Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nice sunny Thursday. Another Supreme Court hearing on prayer.

Good day, again.  Sunny but very cool this morning with frost on the roofs.  The weather people say we may get snow in the middle of next week.  Some time this weekend I hope the patio will be dry enough for me to sweep up the leaves.

I see the issue of prayer in conjunction with public/political meetings has come before the Supreme Court--again.  This is only one of the stories I have seen on the matter.  I have a couple of thoughts on the matter.  First, only one (and I can't remember where it was) made the point that the city at the heart of the matter opened their council meetings with a "moment of silence" until a very fervent Catholic was elected who decided that prayer opening the meeting of another government's meetings "worked" and should be emulated.  So this city had a history of opening meetings with a non-sectarian, non-coercive ritual.  The move from the "moment of silence" to what the "in your face" Christian prayers was coercive from the beginning.  Second, I think religion should be a private matter and we should not be subjected to what amounts to proselytizing in what should be a public space which should accommodate people of diverse belief.  I note the picture shows a meeting being opened with a Baha'i prayer but the date was earlier this year--well after the current law suit was filed.

I caught a brief comment on one of the news shows--probably on Al Jazeera or BBC, certainly not one of our main stream media outlets--that intrigued me.  The commentator mentioned the fact that people generally live in their own bubbles.  The rich rarely interact with those poorer than they are.  The financial and political elites rarely have to deal with real people who are not also part of those elites.  Sometimes it gets interesting when they have to--as in the so-called town meetings that turn raucous unexpectedly.  Usually, the political pundits speak critically of the bubble surrounding the President and how that bubble puts him out of touch with the ordinary citizens.  But I would guess that that is an endemic condition for anyone in that stratospheric altitude.  Why should the original comment intrigue me?  Well, how often have you heard anyone acknowledge that we live in a country where the divide between the privileged and not-so-privileged is deep and growing, and that there is very little real interaction between the two America?  That someone would in our infotainment media would actually utter such heresy is amazing and intriguing.

Firedoglake has an interesting piece.  Wireless communications have been pushed for some time.  We shifted to cell phones about 6 years or so ago because we didn't see the sense of paying for both a land line and cell phones, and the only calls we got on the land line were from telemarketers.  We had to change out our computer router and replaced the old wireless router with a new wireless.  But every now and then we get a twinge of concern about the reliability of such systems especially in an emergency.  We recently saw a documentary on Superstorm Sandy and one of the people profiled got help by way of her computer and twitter after the cell phones failed.  Technology may be nice but there are always downsides to it.

No comments: