pharmacy cheapest buy lipitor online, and cheap online order cheap premarin online, and generic medications doxycycline non perscription, and online cheap medications cod acyclovir cash on delivery, and generic medications order amoxil cash on delivery, and online cheap medications buy zithromax no prescription, and purchase with no prescription buy synthroid without a rx, and order online lowest price on paxil, and order online order wellbutrin on line without a prescription, and pharmacy online generic baclofen, and cheap online propecia without prescription cheap, and buy cheapest buy valtrex by cod, and purchase with no prescription retin-a for sale cod, and buying cheap flagyl no prescription, and order online order prozac no prescription, and online pharmacy buy online clomid prescriptions, and online pharmacy lasix cheap order, and ordering online buy cheap neurontin online, and online pharmacy arimidex online order, and buy cheapest purchase online hydrochlorthiazide without rx, and purchase with no prescription zovirax no precription, and buy online buy norvasc without rx, and pharmacy online where to buy accutane without prescription, and ordering online buy diflucan online no prescription, and order online buy no prescription bactrim, and
keeping an eye on the tree and the forest

Dave's Exegesis is my eclectic site of exegesis on pretty much everything I can think of, whether biblical studies, theology, music, movies, culture, food, drink, sports, or the internet.

Philosophical Insights into the Tea Party

06.14.10

Here is a very helpful post about the anger of the Tea Party movement from the perspective of philosopher J.M. Bernstein:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/the-very-angry-tea-party/

He is interested in what is truly motivating this anger.  Here are some highlights:

Sometimes it is hard to know where politics ends and metaphysics begins: when, that is, the stakes of a political dispute concern not simply a clash of competing ideas and values but a clash about what is real and what is not, what can be said to exist on its own and what owes its existence to an other.

When it comes to the Tea Party’s concrete policy proposals, things get fuzzier and more contradictory: keep the government out of health care, but leave Medicare alone; balance the budget, but don’t raise taxes; let individuals take care of themselves, but leave Social Security alone; and, of course, the paradoxical demand not to support Wall Street, to let the hard-working producers of wealth get on with it without regulation and government stimulus, but also to make sure the banks can lend to small businesses and responsible homeowners in a stable but growing economy.

My hypothesis is that what all the events precipitating the Tea Party movement share is that they demonstrated, emphatically and unconditionally, the depths of the absolute dependence of us all on government action, and in so doing they undermined the deeply held fiction of individual autonomy and self-sufficiency that are intrinsic parts of Americans’ collective self-understanding.

Tea Party anger is, at bottom, metaphysical, not political: what has been undone by the economic crisis is the belief that each individual is metaphysically self-sufficient, that  one’s very standing and being as a rational agent owes nothing to other individuals or institutions.    The opposing metaphysical claim, the one I take to be true, is that the very idea of the autonomous subject is an institution, an artifact created by the practices of modern life: the intimate family, the market economy, the liberal state.  Each of these social arrangements articulate and express the value and the authority of the individual; they give to the individual a standing she would not have without them.

The great and inspiring metaphysical fantasy of independence and freedom is simply a fantasy of destruction.

This is the rage and anger I hear in the Tea Party movement; it is the sound of jilted lovers furious that the other — the anonymous blob called simply “government” — has suddenly let them down, suddenly made clear that they are dependent and limited beings, suddenly revealed them as vulnerable.  And just as in love, the one-sided reminder of dependence is experienced as an injury.  All the rhetoric of self-sufficiency, all the grand talk of wanting to be left alone is just the hollow insistence of the bereft lover that she can and will survive without her beloved.  However, in political life, unlike love, there are no second marriages; we have only the one partner, and although we can rework our relationship, nothing can remove the actuality of dependence.  That is permanent.

In truth, there is nothing that the Tea Party movement wants; terrifyingly, it wants nothing.  Lilla calls the Tea Party “Jacobins”; I would urge that they are nihilists.  To date, the Tea Party has committed only the minor, almost atmospheric violences of propagating falsehoods, calumny and the disruption of the occasions for political speech — the last already to great and distorting effect.  But if their nihilistic rage is deprived of interrupting political meetings as an outlet, where might it now go? With such rage driving the Tea Party, might we anticipate this atmospheric violence becoming actual violence, becoming what Hegel called, referring to the original Jacobins’ fantasy of total freedom, “a fury of destruction”? There is indeed something not just disturbing, but frightening, in the anger of the Tea Party.

Sick Around the World

07.24.09

I am a very big fan of the PBS program FRONTLINE which usually airs each Tuesday evening at 8 PM.  As I was researching for this past presidential election and the issues we are all facing as a country, I found FRONTLINE to be an invaluable resource.  In April 2008, they did a wonderful piece on the leading “national” health care programs in 5 wealthy and modern countries: UK, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, & Taiwan.  As the House and Senate are now focusing their efforts on putting bills forward in this direction, I thought it was appropriate to dust this piece off to revisit and educate us in how the rest of the world advanced ahead of the US in successful health programs.  Below are the necessary links, and the whole episode can be viewed for free online.

Here is the site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

Here is the transcript: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/etc/script.html

Here is the introduction:

In Sick Around the World, FRONTLINE teams up with veteran Washington Post foreign correspondent T.R. Reid to find out how five other capitalist democracies — the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland — deliver health care, and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures.

Reid’s first stop is the U.K., where the government-run National Health Service (NHS) is funded through taxes. “Every single person who’s born in the U.K. will use the NHS,” says Whittington Hospital CEO David Sloman, “and none of them will be presented a bill at any point during that time.” Often dismissed in America as “socialized medicine,” the NHS is now trying some free-market tactics like “pay-for-performance,” where doctors are paid more if they get good results controlling chronic diseases like diabetes. And now patients can choose where they go for medical procedures, forcing hospitals to compete head to head.

While such initiatives have helped reduce waiting times for elective surgeries, Times of London health editor Nigel Hawkes thinks the NHS hasn’t made enough progress. “We’re now in a world in which people are much more demanding, and I think that the NHS is not very effective at delivering in that modern, market-orientated world.”

Reid reports next from Japan, which boasts the second largest economy and the best health statistics in the world. The Japanese go to the doctor three times as often as Americans, have more than twice as many MRI scans, use more drugs, and spend more days in the hospital. Yet Japan spends about half as much on health care per capita as the United States.

One secret to Japan’s success? By law, everyone must buy health insurance — either through an employer or a community plan — and, unlike in the U.S., insurers cannot turn down a patient for a pre-existing illness, nor are they allowed to make a profit.

Reid’s journey then takes him to Germany, the country that invented the concept of a national health care system. For its 80 million people, Germany offers universal health care, including medical, dental, mental health, homeopathy and spa treatment. Professor Karl Lauterbach, a member of the German parliament, describes it as “a system where the rich pay for the poor and where the ill are covered by the healthy.” As they do in Japan, medical providers must charge standard prices. This keeps costs down, but it also means physicians in Germany earn between half and two-thirds as much as their U.S. counterparts.

In the 1990s, Taiwan researched many health care systems before settling on one where the government collects the money and pays providers. But the delivery of health care is left to the market. Every person in Taiwan has a “smart card” containing all of his or her relevant health information, and bills are paid automatically. But the Taiwanese are spending too little to sustain their health care system, according to Princeton’s Tsung-mei Cheng, who advised the Taiwanese government. “As we speak, the government is borrowing from banks to pay what there isn’t enough to pay the providers,” she told FRONTLINE.

Reid’s last stop is Switzerland, a country which, like Taiwan, set out to reform a system that did not cover all its citizens. In 1994, a national referendum approved a law called LAMal (“the sickness”), which set up a universal health care system that, among other things, restricted insurance companies from making a profit on basic medical care. The Swiss example shows health care reform is possible, even in a highly capitalist country with powerful insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Today, Swiss politicians from the right and left enthusiastically support universal health care. “Everybody has a right to health care,” says Pascal Couchepin, the current president of Switzerland. “It is a profound need for people to be sure that if they are struck by destiny … they can have a good health system.”

Niebuhr a Favorite Theologian of Obama

07.13.09

According to a NY Times interview with David Brooks in 2007, Obama has a liking to Rienhold Niebuhr.  This was a recent topic of the biannual Faith Angle Conference in May 2009 hosted by the Pew Forum.  It is quite an interesting discussion.  Take a look here:

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1268/reinhold-neihbuhr-obama-favorite-theologian

Here is the intro:

Ever since then-Sen. Barack Obama spoke of his admiration for Reinhold Niebuhr in a 2007 interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks, there has been speculation about the extent to which the 20th-century theologian has influenced Obama’s views on faith, politics and social change. At the Pew Forum’s biannual Faith Angle Conference in May 2009, Wilfred McClay, a historian specializing in American intellectual history, offered an overview of Niebuhr’s unique form of progressive Christianity and its influence on 20th-century American politics and international affairs. E.J. Dionne, columnist for The Washington Post, remarked on the recent revival of interest in Niebuhrian thought and the role Niebuhr played as a public intellectual active during the worldwide political upheavals of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.


Speaker: Wilfred M. McClay, SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Respondent: E.J. Dionne Jr., Columnist, The Washington Post; Senior Advisor, Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life
Moderator: Michael Cromartie, Vice President, Ethics & Public Policy Center; Senior Advisor, Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life

In the following excerpt, ellipses have been omitted to facilitate reading. Find the full transcript, including audience discussion, at pewforum.org.

Wondering What the Next President Is Up To?

11.17.08

Then head over to www.change.gov.  One of the total whiffs of fresh air of the new administration is transparency and communication that we have never had before in the United States.  As those in Illinois have experienced over the past couple of years with Senator Obama with his Senate website (http://obama.senate.gov/) , we have now begun to experience a politician of the modern age who embraces communications technology.  He will be the first president to podcast, vodcast, and youtube us weekly to keep us in the loop and give us his rationale for the decisions has made/will make and legislation he has proposed/will propose.  For once in a long time, we will have a president that encourages dialogue and is helping democracy to spill into new mediums.  He is certainly not perfect and will make mistakes, but he may be the perfect communicator for our time setting a example for presidents to come.  Although, they will have to pry his Blackberry out of his hand.  According to the right sidebar of Change.gov, it does appear that his priorities will be:

  • Revitalizing the Economy
  • Ending the War in Iraq
  • Providing Health Care for All
  • Protecting America
  • Renewing American Global Leadership