Friday, February 25, 2011

Money, Greed and God

HERE is a review of a book I recommend.  I posted two years ago that I thought capitalism can't survive without traits like morality and goodness and how I thought faith (God) was a major contributor to those characteristics.

Jay W. Richards, the author of the book, obviously goes far more into the subject than I did, but I find it intriguing and hope you do, too.  Here's a paragraph from the review:

The book divides into eight chapters, with each chapter discussing a common held economic myth like the “piety myth” or “nirvana myth.” Richards says the piety myth pertains to “focusing on our good intentions rather than on the unintended consequences of our actions.” The nirvana myth characterizes the act of “contrasting capitalism with an unrealizable ideal rather than with its live alternatives.” Richards himself states, “The question isn’t whether capitalism measures up to the kingdom of God. The question is whether there’s a better alternative in this life.”

What do you think?   I was pleased to see someone's devoted a lot of time and thinking to this subject and hope you weigh in on my hypothesis (above in red), too.



beamish said...

"Thou shalt not covet..."

"Thou shalt not steal..."

"When a strong man, fully armed, guard his palace, his goods are safe..."

Clearly the Bible does not endorse socialism.

Matthew 25:14-30 pretty much advances the idea that Jesus endorses investment capitalism.

beamish said...

[A "Talent" in that parable, by the way, was a measure of around 80 pounds of gold or silver, roughly 6,000 denarii, or enough to pay a man in Biblical times daily for 20 years worth of work]

Always On Watch said...

In my view, the greed factor is the undoing of capitalism. That and the entitlements mentality that fuels the Nanny State.

The above can be said about socialism, too.


Thessalonians: He who does not work does not eat. Sounds capitalistic to me.

Scotty said...

Matthew 25:14-30 pretty much advances the idea that Jesus endorses investment capitalism.

I have to nitpick a bit here beamish, it's a parable about faithfulness.

Debbie said...

Sounds like a good book and sound advice. Unfortunately too many in government don't look at thing that way. We have way too many who feel entitled.

Right Truth

Faith said...

I've had the idea from somewhere that America's prosperity, which certainly has a lot to do with capitalism, was the result of Biblical principles, which of course include careful stewardship, frugal living, generous giving to the needy and God's work, etc. The Bible also somewhere clearly encourages us to make (lots of) money in order to help others (where is that scripture?)

Ducky's here said...

I want two main qualities in an economic system:

1. Sustainability

2. Reasonable distribution of wealth

Laissez-faire capitalism offers neither. It's idea of sustainability is an accelerated extraction of resources to try to beat the Malthus curve.

Capitalism is also inately poor at distributing basics like health care, food etc. It does a bang up job of producing lots of flat screen TV's with attendant junk to watch, however as the market economy pitches entertainment to the least common denominator.

I'd rather try to move to democratic socialism with a social democracy as a quick stop on the way realizing it is just a stopgap.

Ducky's here said...

Richards says of the entrepreneur:

Unlike the self-absorbed, they anticipate the needs of others, even needs that no one else may have imagined.


That's the pure stinky cheese. They anticipate the wants of others. They pander to desire, not need.

Schopenhauer's "World as Will and idea" gives a good overview of the will as a destructive agent. If our salvation is in controlling the will then capitalism ain't going to help and will be a constant antagonist.

beamish said...

Malthus curve? Really, Ducky?

Malthusian economics was made irrelevant by industrialization...

"Necessity is the mother of invention."

Making it profitable to increase production means more people can be fed.

Which is why massive starvation is always one of the outcomes and distinguishing characteristics of collectivized agriculture.

You left-wing Lysenkoist idiots just don't know when to stop trying to pretend communist shit is a candy bar, do you?

Talk about a resource curse. The Left has an abundance of bullshit theories, and nobody buying them....

beamish said...

...except of course, blithering idiots.

cube said...

A high tide raises all boats. I think capitalism, when bound with principles of basic goodness (see the 10 commandments), helps everyone in the society.

Bloated government only helps the entitlement community and that only works until the money supply dries up.

beamish said...

Matthew 25:14-30 pretty much advances the idea that Jesus endorses investment capitalism.

I have to nitpick a bit here beamish, it's a parable about faithfulness.

Using investment capitalism as a demonstration of faith. All but one servant returned to his master with a profit from investment. The last servant made no leap of faith at all, burying his talent rather than investing it in the economy for a return.

A lot of spiritual lessons and parables in the Bible have at their core an appeal to material gain as a virtue. Those that returned to the master with a profit were considered "faithful."

My main point is that you won't find a defense of socialism / wealth redistribution in the Bible.

Ticker said...

“Capitalism is an economic model in which all or most of the production and distribution capabilities are privately or stockholder corporately (not state) owned. It is based on the premise that man will pursue a path that enhances his own self interest. It is fueled by ambition, enterprise, invention, and self sacrifice. It capitalizes on man’s natural desire to improve and to reap the rewards of superior talent, energy or skills.”

What happened?

In 1929 the bubble burst. The stock market crashed and the Great Depression which followed took capitalism to it’s knees. After eleven years of despair it struggled back to it’s feet but was forever altered to alleviate the misery of it’s “Victims”. (Under FDR) Capitalism was saddled with the responsibility of securing both the present and prospective needs of every member of society, whether they belonged to the economic structure or not. Social, or state managed, capitalism evolved and swept over the world of heretofore free economics. Recent economic crises have greatly accelerated the demise of capitalism at the hands of it’s arch enemy—Socialism.

From Jus'Sayin'Has Capitalism Come To An End In America. a Series from Nov 17 2010- Nov 29 2010

beamish said...

In 1929 the bubble burst. The stock market crashed and the Great Depression which followed took capitalism to it’s knees. After eleven years of despair it struggled back to it’s feet but was forever altered to alleviate the misery of it’s “Victims”. (Under FDR)

And because America was the slowest to get off the dumbass gold standard, the Great Depression lasted well longer than it should have, justifying all manner of goverment social programs in an artificially tightened money supply.

Whenever you hear talk of going back on the gold standard, you're listening to either a hardcore leftist or an economic buffoon, if there be a way to distinguish the two.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't have your CULTURE, I'm not Christian, I'm born MUSLEM, I mean that, when I was born, my mother and father were Muslim,
BUT, we are teached to believe that ISSA (Jesus) was the LOVE of GOD, and SAINT MARY is as important and dear to GOD as SAINT JESUS.

Btw, we never prononce MARYAM(MARY) and ISSA(JESUS) without adding SAINT before, it is a sin to prononce MOUSA (MOIISE) and JESUS and MARY withou a SAINT before.

and we are educated that SAINT JESUS was the first socialist because he divided his bread equally between his followers.

Beamish, or someone who has an theologic knowledge can clear me more.

I would like to add that, I WOULD NEVER have the intentions to influence your view on ISLAM, and I add that, the Integrists consider us(me and our educatin) KAFFAR (INFIDELS that should be killed).

I myself, I love SAINT JESUS, but, I don't want to share whole my things with everybody, because I work very hard, and I hate to share every thing equally with someone who do not work,
But, I believe to the equality of the chances and opportunities.
All the people should be allowed to have the same chance.


Z said...

SAM, better versed people than I will respond regarding Jesus and SOcialism but some of the Scripture Beamish shared reminds us that, while Jesus was absolutely for helping our brothers, we are not to have our belongings taken from us. We are to give with an open heart and open arms because HE did that first. And because our hearts are changed through belief in Him.

SAM, as a Muslim, who do you believe thinks YOU are an infidel? We know that the Koran tells us that non Islamist believers are infidels, it's what terrorists/jihadists call us. Who refers to you that way? "Integrists?" I'm not sure what that means. Please explain.

CHristians are ALL for equality...and opportunities...I agree with you.

Z said...

Los Angeles lost another firefighter the other day. His name is Glenn Allen.
His funeral is going on now and, again, another Christian funeral is being seen on two local channels throughout the Los Angeles are. This has happened before; it seems that either all firemen and cops in LA are devout Christians or the nonChristians don't have funerals!
The Christian Gospel preached by ALlen's pastor was incredible; nothing was held back. Allen was a very faithful Christian and I know his family will find some solace in knowing that millions of Los Angelenos today were touched, that a mustard seed was sown, in millions of heart which might otherwise never heard it explained so beautifully.


soapster said...

"Whenever you hear talk of going back on the gold standard, you're listening to either a hardcore leftist or an economic buffoon, if there be a way to distinguish the two."

Argument from intimidation much?

Labeling someone as a bufoon or "leftist" because they support a hard currency doesn't bolster your point or validate your argument of why it is you beleive it isn't sensible.

Try again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Z;

Very dear Madame Z, Because of you, I just called a Theologian Koraniste about the signification of KAFFAR (Infidel) in the writings of KORAN, and here is his answer:
According to Koran; Infidel is the one who BARRAGES THE WAY AND THE WILL of GOD, no matter if he is a follower or not.

You have Anti-Christs in Christianity, we have KAFFAR that is equivalent of your Anti-Christ.

An Islamist, or an Mullah, or an Ayatollah are the KAFFARS, and according to the KORAN's INSTRUCTIONS the KAFFARS should be eliminated.

So, that's why the Islamists consider us the KAFFARS, like your Anti-Christs who consider the true christians infidels.

and as you know, the ANTI-Christs are originated from the CHURCHS and Catolisism, like our Mullahs who are from Koranic Schools and Mosques.

Again, let me to add that, I'm not here to influence or to propagand any religion, I'm just a follower, GOD is strong to defend his messages and his religion without my help!!

What I wrote was not my interpretation, it is the clear writings of KORAN.

You asked me, and I answered, that's all.
I'm not anything, and I do not put my prejudgement on any religion or non religion.


Scotty said...

A lot of spiritual lessons and parables in the Bible have at their core an appeal to material gain as a virtue. Those that returned to the master with a profit were considered "faithful."

We'll just have to agree to disagree, beamish. I don't want to highjack the thread.

shoprat said...

The Bible does endorse κοίνωνια (pronounced koinonia) which is translated fellowship or community and some people see a superficial similarity between that and socialism, but one is voluntary with a sense of personal responsibility while the other is at gunpoint.

FrogBurger said...

"Thou shalt not steal..."

Unfortunately some Christian, especially Catholic, have translated profit into theft. We have an example with Ducky.

That's the pure stinky cheese. They anticipate the wants of others. They pander to desire, not need.

You're the stinky one b/c needs are stronger than wants. Needs relate to the unconscious whereas wants relate to the conscious.

For example, you Ducky, wants to have an iPod b.c your need is to be fashionable to be accepted by and conform to the capitalistic society in which you feel so uncomfortable.

Ducky's here said...

Especially Catholics? You've let the bigots in again,z.

Froggy, as penance please pray for the beatification of our sister Dorothy Day.

Ducky's here said...

Prayer for the Intercession of Servant of God Dorothy Day

God our Creator,
your servant Dorothy Day exemplified the
Catholic faith by her conversion,
life of prayer and voluntary poverty,
works of mercy, and
witness to the justice and peace
of the Gospel.

May her life inspire people
to turn to Christ as their Savior and guide,
to see his face in the world’s poor and
to raise their voices for the justice
of God’s kingdom.

We pray that you grant the favors we ask
through her intercession so that her goodness
and holiness my be more widely recognized
and one day the Church may
proclaim her Saint.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


FrogBurger said...

No need for penance, Ducky. I feel very ok with what I said. Keep the Catholic guilt to yourself.

But I appreciate the sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

"I want two main qualities in an economic system:

1. Sustainability

2. Reasonable distribution of wealth"

So far Ducky, what you want isn't happening, and won't. The main reason it won't is because while you focus on individual greed, you ignore the greed which government produces with rampant corruption.

1) You can't spend your way to properity. It's unsustainable, or as Thatcher said, "sooner or later you run out of other people's money".

2) Distributing wealth is not some dictator picking winners and losers. It's making wealth possible through entrepreneurs, employment and merit. The rest is up to each of us.

Jesus preached individual salvation, not collective salvation.

Man has proven, he alone cannot guarantee collective equality or social justice.

When we, as individuals lose our faith and honor, there is nothing left but chaos and despair.

So Ducky, one day perhaps you'll accept that human beings are flawed, and that our Republic, has produced the most fair, equitable, free system possible.

There is no perfect system. But ours is the best. Now there are flawed human beings who, in their arrogance, are in the process of tearing down the most productive, free, charitable, nation on earth.


FrogBurger said...

So Ducky, one day perhaps you'll accept that human beings are flawed, and that our Republic, has produced the most fair, equitable, free system possible.

There is no perfect system. But ours is the best. Now there are flawed human beings who, in their arrogance, are in the process of tearing down the most productive, free, charitable, nation on earth.

I say AMEN to this, not Ducky's prayer.

Like Dennis Prager says: the left's ideology is only based on wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

Matthew 25:14-30 (King James Version)

 14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
 30A nd cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
Webster’s 1913:

TAL'ENT, n. [L. talentum; Gr. to bear, allied to L. tollo. The word is said to have originally signified a balance or scales.]

1. Among the ancients, a weight, and a coin. The true value of the talent cannot well be ascertained, but it is known that it was different among different nations. The Attic Talent, the weight, contained 60 Attic minae, or 6000 Attic drachmae, equal to 56 pounds, eleven ounces, English troy weight. The mina being reckoned equal to f3 4s.7d. sterling, or fourteen dollars and a third nearly, the talent was of the value of f193 15s sterling, about $861 dollars. Other computations make it f225 sterling.

The Romans had the great talent and the little talent; the great talent is computed to be equal to f99 6s. 8d. sterling, and the little talent to f75 sterling.

2. Talent, among the Hebrews, was also a gold coin, the same with a shekel of gold; called also stater, and weighing only four drachmas.

But the Hebrew talent of silver, called cicar, was equivalent to three thousand shekels, or one hundred and thirteen pounds, ten ounces and a fraction, troy weight.

3. Faculty; natural gift or endowment; a metaphorical application of the word, said to be borrowed from the Scriptural parable of the talents. Matt.25.

He is chiefly to be considered in his three different talents, as a critic, a satirist, and a writer of odes.

'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts.

4. Eminent abilities; superior genius; as, he is a man of talents.

Z said...

Ducky, you're joking, right?

All the terrible, nasty terms you've used for Protestants and Protestantism and you have the nerve to call anybody a bigot for their belief that Catholicism is into money in ways not dictated by Scripture (indulgences, etc.)? REALLY?

REALLY funny, have to admit.
By the way, you think Socialism is sustainable? What, by printing money? You need to have friends who've escaped Romania, Russia, Armenia, E Germany, then let's talk about how great socialism worked, okay?
Dorothy really should read some Amy Carmichael, too...gorgeous stuff, but she's not Catholic. Why'd you post the prayer?

SAM, thank you for that explanation, though I'm a bit curious about it.
Our Scripture alludes to the Anti-Christ, this is nothing made up in our churches or by Catholics....But, of course,
The ANTICHRIST is mentioned only in John BY's alluded to in Daniel and Revelation and other places, I suppose. The Antichrist in John is one who does not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

So, your theologian says that the Mullahs, are INFIDELS because they "BARRAGES THE WAY AND THE WILL of GOD"
I thought the Imams and Mullahs are the teachers of the word of Allah (God)? How is that barraging God? Or are you saying most Muslims do not agree with the opinion of Imams and Mullahs in regard to God's will?
Pris "So Ducky, one day perhaps you'll accept that human beings are flawed, and that our Republic, has produced the most fair, equitable, free system possible."
In your dreams :-)

FrogBurger, "only based on wishful thinking" Man, I know Prager is REALLY smart but that's just plain brilliant. EVERYTHING is wishful thinking with the Left. If ONE person has a problem out of a million, they want a LAW to protect all future problems...wishful thinking that LAWS can keep hot coffee from scalding us or whatever the situation.

Z said...

Oh, my gosh.

FrogBurger said...

Z, Dennis Prager is my compass. Love him. Sometimes I don't agree with him (pretty rare) but he makes me question some of my beliefs at least. And you can't beat a guy like him as far as intellectual honestly and truth seeking.

Anonymous said...

Why the USA is the most successful country of the world?

Well, we have other successful countries like SWISS, Noway, and many others, BUT, their size and popullation is so little comparing with USA that you can consider them smaller than one of the USA CITIES.

There are mayebe more corruptions in the USA rather than other countries, this is because of the overcapitalism(SORROS for EXAMPLE), but, even the most corrupted in the USA can not run and rule more than 8 years in the Government.

I think that, all these success you owe to your CONSTITUTION, and not only to your CONSTITUTION but to the SOLID and STABLE and INDEPENDENT institutions that Guarantees the application of your constitutions.

Compare two countries;

Mine has more than 12,000 years of history and experience.
Yours, only 200 years, mayebe 300,

You are 12,000 times more happy than we do.

Your Corruted Rullers stay on power only 8 years with their MAXIMUM cheatings and minimum of deaths.

Ours, stay 32 years, with more than 120,000 executions, more than 1,000,000 deaths in the war, several millions of displaced, the millions of ORPHANS, and halph a MILLIONS of HOMELESS women with children only in TEHRAN.

and Daily collective EXECUTIONS.

We also had the good writen CONSTITUTIONS, but not the independent INSTITUTIONS.

Socialism or Collectivism is good for fighting against the COMMON ENEMY, but not for democracy,

This is what I think.

So, IF I WAS AMERICAN, besides my faith and RELIGION which is my private relationship with my GOD, I WOULD PRAY AND CHERICHE AND RAINFORCE AND RESPECT THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE INSTITUTIONS (JUSTICE) in the first place.

GOD do not need the prayer, justice NEED.



Anonymous said...


99 percent of the Muslims are un-alphabet and never read and never understood KORAN.

IN KORAN, we have the history of the creation from BIG BANG, ADAM et EVA, NOHA, ABRAHAM, ,,,, SAINT MOIISE, SAINT JESUS (WITH SAINT MARY) wich Finishes by Mohammad.

the Mullahs are against GOD and against the PROPHETS and what they say are the lies on GOD, the Mullahs say that they are the will and the light and the picture and the ORDER of GOD on the earth, while GOD says to his Prophets that you are only the messengers,

GOD has ordered the punishment of the MULLAHS (KAFFARS) and Islamists even on the earth.

Jihad means to go to war against the MULLAHS and Islamists, Dhimitude means, if the MULLAHS and Islamists surrenders, we have to undermine them for ever and they have to pay the taxes to even unbelievers.

This is KORAN, this is writen black on white and has absolutly no interpretation.

Muslem means the one who believes on GOD, that's all, and everybody by his way, Christian, Jews, Buddiste Brahman, or any individual who believes on GOD is a MUSLIM.

The Word Muslim means the one who surrenders to GOD, and it has nothing to do with Mohammad, Mohammad was the Prophet who brought this message, but he was not the only Prophet, before him, NOHA, IBRAHIM, MOUSSA, ISSA, brought the same message in their words.

I believe on Jesus as I believe on Moiise and Mohammad.

Just on my head, I have a wonderful painting from one ASHRAFY Resident who illustrates Saint Mary with Jesus in her ARMS, and I get relaxed anytime i look at this picture.

I'm absolutly not Religious, I'm just Muslim,

Anybody can insult and hate Islam, this is his own business, I don't defend Islam, or any other religion, GOD can defend and PROTECT his house (in the hearts of the believers) alone.


beamish said...


All of the gold mined in the entirety of human history is no where near the value of economic assets currently held by the US much less the rest of the world.

Then there's the electronics and industrial uses of gold.

You'd tie the economy to ups and downs in the mining industry.

Z said...

SAM, I am printing out your comment.
I'm amazed as we hear so many different things.
Please be aware that you might have some who will come here and say you're wrong but I found your comment compelling and convicting.
I wish more Muslims felt like you do and there were far less who follow the Mullahs.
Here in AMerica, I believe 99% of us believe the Mullahs ARE representing the Koran exactly as it says. And, of course, I'm sure there are many Muslims who believe that, too.
If what you say is true, and I have no reason to believe otherwise because I know you for a long time now and have trusted you for years as you know, how I wish people like you could get this word to those Muslims who cannot read and just go blindly along with the Islamist Imams, Mullahs, etc. (Of course, in all religions there are those who twist their Scriptures) you believe in God at all? I will hopefully find the time to do a Sunday Faith Blog this weekend which rather goes along with some of what you write. I hope you come read it IF I get to it this week. I've been eager to write it for a very long time and today I was inspired by a friend. WIsh me luck!

Z said...

For those of you who might take SAM to task on his latest comment, please see his comment of 12:04PM first. Thanks.

Common Sense said...

Z, Off subject but I wanted to ask.......Is your snow shovel ready. They're calling for snow and rain here in Mailbu.

Stay warm and safe, have a great week-end.

Z said...

CS...SNOW IN MALIBU? Are you kidding? I heard SNOW here in L.A. and I thought surely it meant in the foothills, not by us, near the water!? WOW.
Let us know what'll be beautiful and not much, so enjoy!
My friend was very touched that your brother knew David, or OF David.....was your bro really on the force for forty years? that's a long time.

Common Sense said...

I spoke to him last night and he told me he retired after 35 years, he went as long as he could to get full retirement. I was off by 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Well; Madame Z;

If I believe on GOD?!

My Answer is, anytime I look behind myself, I tell to myself, Why I had not believed and not trusted my GOD before?

I know that there is a KEY, somewhere, I'm not satisfied and i'm not relaxed, till I find that CODE, which will remove all the doubts from my heart.

I'm looking to become at any breath THANKFUL of GOD.


Faith said...

That's a new one to me, what Sam said he believes. I wonder where you were taught that, Sam. Is it a sect of Islam? It has some basic Muslim beliefs -- about Adam, Noah, Moses, Mary and Jesus -- but also some very unusual notions -- about the Mullahs.

Anonymous said...

SAM must be a liberal Muslim not a fundamentalist.

Anonymous said...


This is the Iranian Resistance teachings, our Leader of Resistance is MARYAM RAJAVI.

We are not a sect of Islam, WE ARE MUSLIMS, which means, AS JEWS as a JEW, as Christians as a Christian, and respectful to all bit, BLOODY ENEMIES of the MULLAHS and ISLAMISTS.

ISLAMISM is SATANIC and the Mullahs represent the SATAN.


Common Sense said...


Where are you located?

Anonymous said...

Common Sense;

Where am I located?
Me, or Iranian Resistance?


Common Sense said...


You, I find your comments to be truly educational.

I was in Jordan, Egypt and Israel last year and spoke to many young people with the same outlook.

Anonymous said...

Common Sense;

Actually, right now, I'm in France,

I'm very happy to find that the true Islam is known and believed in other countries.

IN KORAN, we learn the history of Judaiism and the Christianity, and we have too many people who are named, EBRAHIM, MOSSA, ISSA, MAYAM, DAVOUD, AZRA, DANIAL, and the Biblic names.


Common Sense said...


I travel the World often and I have found that 99.9 percent of the people are great and friendly. It's that .1 percent that are a problem and it's mostly the Governments.

Anonymous said...

Now I understand the SENSE of Common SENSE, and I would say Common Reason.


Z said...

Common Sense, I, too, am happy to hear that was your experience with the Muslims you met.
And ya...35 yrs is a long time, too, and admirable. I was a little amazed at 40 yrs because I think they can retire with pretty full benefits after 25 years, tho I know your bro didn't seem to need the benefits :-)

SAM....I love what you wrote about GOD and I hope that happens for you...that you do feel grateful to God with every breath you take some day very soon.
I find great comfort in Scripture..Psalms from the Bible's Old Testament, like

The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.

23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dell in the house of the Lord forever.

SAM...I will be praying for you :-)

COmmenters: I am hoping this Psalm remains alone on this post for Sam. Believe me, I know there are many, many other beautiful ones.
I'm starting slowly...please? thanks.

Anonymous said...


I was reading word by word your prayer, and I was feeling it, like that, it is mine, and at the end, I found it mine, addressed by you.

If there is no GOD, how the thinks and prayers and the hearts are connected to each other, from at least 10,000 kms away.

This level of TELECOMMUNICATIONS has a central exchange.


Z said...

SAM, I believe in things like connecting though miles away, too.
Of course, this prayer is from the Bible, David's prayer, and I find it soothing and hope it gives you calm and hope.

The other day, I emailed my friend Jen who comments here that I had seen a film I thought she would like. As I watched, I kept thinking of her because the story was something I thought she would like and the photography was exquisite. This movie is very unknown, I had never heard of it but rented it through an internet CD company, and I recommended it to her.
She wrote back that she had just watched it a week or so ago!

FrogBurger said...

SAM you're in Cheeseland?

You can stay a Muslim in my book. Just don't catch the socialism virus :))

Say hi to the Frogs for me.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your kind words, I'll keep your advice about the VIRUS.


Ducky's here said...

I was thinking about this topic, Dutch painting an the National Endowment for he Arts today.

I was talking to a local teacher who is taking her class on a trip to the Peabody-Essex to a show of the van Otterloo collection. Probably the last chance they'll have to see the complete collection exhibited.
The NEA is covering some of the expense because the museum would simply not have been able to mount, transport and insure this collection on its own. Literally a once in a lifetime opportunity.

So we talked about the Dutch still life and topics of international trade, fatalism and thrift. A good deal of the nature of capitalism is laid right out there.

So the kids can go, pick a topic and a list of relevant paintings and after they finish they can discuss why the fringe right would want to defund this type of show.

Z said...

Ducky, imagine what you're doing to children. They are taught the way you and the teacher are both sides of the equation, just hate for one side; and you wonder why incivility is gone? I was enjoying reading your comment, really interested, and then read that last part and seriously questioned any integrity you might have. You wrote: "So the kids can go, pick a topic and a list of relevant paintings and after they finish they can discuss why the fringe right would want to defund this type of show."

The "fringe right" only wants to raise money from private donors if it's this important an artistic experience/exhibit, they'll get the money.

Teacher: "So, kids we looked for private corporations and individuals to back this wonderful exhibit because we can rely on private parties and companies to make sure these exhibits are mounted....this is self-reliance and not depending on a government which can soon tell you what kind of art is allowed, which you definitely don't want."

Students: "Really, Mrs. Z? You the teacher are telling us the right doesn't want this art not to be shown, they just want to let private individuals and corporations to finance the shows instead of going again and again to our government which has barely enough money to spend on more important things, like keeping us safe more important things like keeping us safe. THat makes sense to ME!"

DUcky.."Hey got a D"

Kid "Go away, you silly socialist, I don't swallow that tripe anymore. Wake up, buy a painting, it'll help the gallery."

Ducky's here said...

z, I must say you are pathological. The students are given a set of questions and relevant paintings. They develop their own answers.

This produces capable individuals who can think. This is a good thing.

Now, would the money be raised? In Boston the answer is, maybe. after the Fine Arts mounted "Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese" it was widely discussed that that type of show is going to become extremely rare. There simply won't be the money to mount it. You would have had to hit most of the major museums of the world to see that collection.

If a very arts friendly city like Boston would be strained (Madoff has a lot to do with this) then what happens in smaller cities and rural areas? I daresay I'm the only one you have posting who has ever looked at the list of NEA grants (and yes, received a small amount of grant money).

I'm waiting for the paper from the kid who noticed that in Gerrit Dou's "Sleeping Dog" (unmitigated masterpiece) that the dog's eye was partially open, the wicker basket was fraying, the jug was broken and cracked and we went on to talk about loyalty and mortality. He "got it". Another looked at a still life with shells and is probably doing a paper on the locations represented by the shells and why they would be the subject of a still life.

Of course we shouldn't help fund arts as a matter of course, we should leave it to the whims of private donors. I would have assigned Michael North's "Art and Commerce in the Dutch Golden Age" for the discussion on Dutch vs. Venetian collecting but it's a fairly advanced text.

Anonymous said...


I'm sure you are aware that virtually all the art, architecture and music we consider "great" today -- and the splendid historic buildings that house and display it -- came into being because of the "whims" of high church officials, royalty, aristocrats and later some filthy rich captains of industry.

Like it or not fulfilling the "whims" of the rich and powerful is the only reason the glories of Western Civilization exist -- from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome through Mediaeval and Renaissance Europe to the present day.

It's perfectly possible for students to get an excellent idea of what great painting, architecture and even sculpture is all about from the myriad volumes of beautiful color photographs of great masterworks and from videos such as those made by dear Sister Wendy.

Reading political implications into Art that may or may not be there may do great disservice to Art appreciation. Denigrating the great patrons of the past who made all this work possible cannot help but cloud and shadow a student's view of what he's exposed to.

The Brutal Rape Fantasy characteristic of traditional male domination that certain fanatical -- possibly crazed -- feminists are eager to impose on our "understanding" of "the true meaning" of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is a good case in point. I'm sure from many things you've said in the past indicating you have an honest appreciation of Beethoven that you realize this is arrant nonsense, and quite evil in it's attempt to use the work of a DEWM (Dead European White Male) to further a latter day political agenda of questionable value?

The best in Art exists simply for its own sake in my opinion. All of it is innately glorious and wonderful to behold aside from any implications we may want to read into it. Just as all of it has universal significance.

Polemical or propagandistic art tend to be narrow in scope and is quickly dated.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Ducky, it's a game to intellectualize about art and its "meaning", especially since most artists of famous paintings are no longer around to point out what they really meant. This little anecdote illustrates that perfectly ...

"At the National Art Gallery in Dublin, a husband and wife were staring at a portrait that had them completely confused.

The painting depicted three black men totally naked sitting on a park bench. Two of the figures had black willies, but the one in the middle had a pink willie.

The curator of the gallery realized that they were having trouble interpreting the painting and offered his assessment.

He went on for over half an hour explaining how it depicted the sexual emasculation of black men in a predominately white, patriarchal society. 'In fact,' he pointed out, 'some serious critics believe that the pink willie also reflects the cultural and sociological oppression experienced by gay men in contemporary society.'

After the curator left, an Irishman, approached the couple and said, 'Would you like to know what the painting is really about?'

'Now why would you claim to be more of an expert than the curator of the gallery?' asked the couple.

'Because I'm the guy who painted it,' he replied.

'In fact, there are no black men depicted at all! They're just three Irish coal miners. The guy in the middle went home for lunch.'"


Z said...

Ducky "The students are given a set of questions and relevant paintings. They develop their own answers."


"and after they finish they can discuss why the fringe right would want to defund this type of show."

And you don't think their instructor will lead them to that ridiculous thinking of yours? Ya, right. Bet on it.

PLEASE stop speaking for me...I'm all for the arts and you very well know it....But, I'll separate with you on one thing; I don't believe in indoctrination. I believe the kids should REALLY be given all points of view on all subjects including art...I know you and I part ways on that.
And yes, I think private donors will have to fund the arts until we come out from under the debt Bush started and Obama blew out of the stratosphere.

Waylon, that is SUCH a funny one..thanks for the reminder.
Also, "The Road Less Traveled" could just be a road less traveled, right? :-)
It does make me laugh at the distance some will go to put DEEEEEP meaning into everything....

Ducky's here said...

... our attitude toward money has to be "scriptural" z?

Is pre-ordination, "scriptural". Is Calvinism "scriptural"?

I say it is a codex of man made dogma, a necessary problem for any religion that only has one possible solution, mysticism.

Aquinas tried to place doctrine on an equal footing with reason. Noble effort but he failed in many respects. Luther and Calvin simply abandoned reason.

Extra credit question that is going to be suggested:

Why were the two great centers of painting, Venice and Holland also the two great trading nations.

I really wouldn't have thought of that without posting here, thanks.

Z said...

no reason to respond.
"Luther abandoned reason" :-)

And painting brings on a good economy?