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Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 | 0 comments

This is How we Give Thanks: American-Style

This is How we Give Thanks: American-Style

For those of you outside the United States, today is our Thanksgiving. It is our last remaining cultural tip-of-the-hat to that quaint practice of harvest festivals. We eat a lot, drink a lot, most watch American football, and tomorrow we all head out to fight over the latest and greatest Black Friday sales at the local malls. This is how we give thanks: American-Style. Of course there are references, traditions, and gestures towards true thanksgiving. But they are mostly carried on by the old, and received with rolling eyes and communal sighs of discomfort from the rest of us. I for one HATE to say what I am thankful for in front a whole group of family. That is worse than singing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas. Generally I would ignore the whole cultural apparatus of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, etc. and just go fishing. But today I bought myself a duck to roast. So while it is thawing in the fridge, I find myself in my usual corner...

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Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 | 9 comments

How the NSA Killed God

How the NSA Killed God

A majority of Americans approve of the National Security Administration’s (NSA) surveillance programs aimed at U.S. citizens with 56 percent of Americans “prioritize[ing] probes over privacy,” according to the latest Washington Post/Pew research numbers.[1] The argument in support of such broad and far-reaching government surveillance programs is, of course, based in counterterrorism. If we know enough, the intelligence supporters claim, we can stop future terrorist attacks. For a majority of Americans, it is clear: fear of terrorism is more pressing than freedom from government spies. True, the NSA surveillance programs have not created the dystopic realities of Orwell or Huxley. But they are (as is their broad popular support) symptomatic of a deeper and more sinister cultural reality: the reality of bureaucratization. The trend towards bureaucratization in the west has been in process for centuries and is rooted in a pursuit of efficiency and technique in all aspects of human endeavor. It is not simply the TPS report phenomenon of Office Space fame but, as Gabriel Marcel argues, it...

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