Monthly Archives: February 2020

God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom’: William F. Buckley Jr.


“For God, for country, and for Yale… in that order,” William F. Buckley Jr. wrote as the dedication of his monumental work—a compendium of knowledge that still resonates within the halls of the Ivy League university that tried to cover up its political and religious bias.

In 1951, a twenty-five-year-old Yale graduate published his first book, which exposed the “extraordinarily irresponsible educational attitude” that prevailed at his alma mater. The book, God and Man at Yale, rocked the academic world and catapulted its young author, William F. Buckley Jr. into the public spotlight. Now, half a century later, read the extraordinary work that began the modern conservative movement.

Buckley’s harsh assessment of his alma mater divulged the reality behind the institution’s wholly secular education, even within the religion department and divinity school. Unabashed, one former Yale student details the importance of Christianity and heralds the modern conservative movement in his preeminent tell-all, God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom.”

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The Market as God: Harvey Cox

The Market has deified itself, according to Harvey Cox’s brilliant exegesis. And all of the world’s problems―widening inequality, a rapidly warming planet, the injustices of global poverty―are consequently harder to solve. Only by tracing how the Market reached its “divine” status can we hope to restore it to its proper place as servant of humanity.

The Market as God captures how our world has fallen in thrall to the business theology of supply and demand. According to its acolytes, the Market is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. It knows the value of everything, and determines the outcome of every transaction; it can raise nations and ruin households, and nothing escapes its reductionist commodification. The Market comes complete with its own doctrines, prophets, and evangelical zeal to convert the world to its way of life. Cox brings that theology out of the shadows, demonstrating that the way the world economy operates is neither natural nor inevitable but shaped by a global system of values and symbols that can be best understood as a religion.

Drawing on biblical sources, economists and financial experts, prehistoric religions, Greek mythology, historical patterns, and the work of natural and social scientists, Cox points to many parallels between the development of Christianity and the Market economy. At various times in history, both have garnered enormous wealth and displayed pompous behavior. Both have experienced the corruption of power. However, what the religious have learned over the millennia, sometimes at great cost, still eludes the Market faithful: humility.

…(read more).

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Contagion – Trailer

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Dec 19, 2011

Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne and Bryan Cranston, along with medical journalist Sanjay Gupta, explore the real science of global viruses and what they mean to the human race. The world is preparing for the next biological disaster…but is it too late?



Trump’s border wall harms the environment, activists say

Washington Post

Published on Feb 28, 2020

At Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona, Laiken Jordahl, a campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity says border wall construction is threatening the environment including two endangered species. Subscribe to The Washington Post

Welcome to The Climate Crisis Newsletter | The New Yorker

We’re eight weeks into the new decade, and, so far, we’ve had the warmest January ever recorded. (Indeed, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that 2020 is more than ninety-eight per cent likely to be one of the five warmest years ever measured, with a nearly forty-nine-per-cent chance to set a new annual record.) We’ve seen the highest temperature ever measured on the Antarctic continent, and also record swarms of locusts descending

on the Horn of Africa, a plague which scientists assure us will “become more frequent and severe under climate change.”

I’m calling this new newsletter—and welcome aboard—The Climate Crisis because this is what a crisis looks like. I’ve been at this beat for so long that when I first started writing for The New Yorker on this topic, in the nineteen-eighties, we called it the “greenhouse effect.” “Global warming,” “climate change”—those are fine, too. But they don’t capture where we are right now: not facing some distant or prospective threat but licked by the flames. Thousands of people huddled on Australian beaches this year, ready to wade into the ocean as their only protection from the firestorms raging on the shore. This is not only a crisis—it is the most thorough and complete crisis our species and our civilizations have ever faced, one there is no guarantee that we will survive intact. Does that sound extreme? Consider the conclusions of a team of economists from the world’s largest bank, in a report to

high-end clients which leaked to the British press, last Friday: “Something will have to change at some point if the human race is going to survive.”

But the name of this newsletter is also a nod to W. E. B. Du Bois, and the magazine that he founded a hundred and ten years ago, at the start of the N.A.A.C.P. The Crisis was, and is, a crucial journal in the analysis of the race hatred that mars and shames and undermines our collective life to this day; it linked readers to news from around the world, so that they could examine the currents roiling their lives. I’ll do the same in a section we’re calling Climate School—perhaps, if only by long exposure, I have some sense of how emerging science, economics, and politics fit into the larger picture. I mostly won’t be doing original reporting. (Check out Emily Atkin’s excellent daily newsletter, Heated, for that.) And I won’t shy away from talking about the activism and organizing that many people—myself included—are now engaged in. Du Bois’s The Crisis was an organ of action, constantly suggesting ways that its readers could move forward. “Is a toothache a good thing?” Du Bois asked, in the first issue. “No. Is it therefore useless? No. It is supremely useful, for it tells the body of decay, dyspepsia and death.” A toothache, he declared, “is agitation,” and agitation is necessary “in order that Remedy may be found.” Since I am an agitator as well as a journalist, I’ll include many suggestions about where a push might help us make progress.

My sense is that we’ve reached a place where many people are eager to help. National polling released this month, in a study by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities, found that one in five Americans said that they would “personally engage in non-violent civil disobedience” against “corporate or government activities that make global warming worse” if a person they liked and respected asked them to. If that’s anywhere close to true, then it’s possible to imagine a movement big enough to make a difference—a movement one can see already emerging with the school climate strikers, the extinction rebels, and the Green New Dealers. I hope to introduce you to many of these people, and to the scientists, entrepreneurs, and policy wonks whose work undergirds their activism—people I’ve met in my years as a journalist and a volunteer at, the global climate campaign. Most weeks, I’ll include a short interview that lets them address you directly.

…(read more).

The HAPPINESS Project and Increasing Access to Mental Health Services | Office of the President | Yale University


Left to right: President Peter Salovey, Dr. Theddeus Iheanacho, Dr. Charles Dike, and Mr. Eddie Mandhry

February 21, 2020

The HAPPINESS Project is one of the ways Yale faculty and students are tackling the complex, global challenges of connecting people with mental health services. The HAPPINESS Project aims to improve mental health care delivery in Nigeria, and the methods and technology developed through the project have the potential to help many other communities. Upon their return from Lagos, Nigeria, President Peter Salovey, Dr. Theddeus Iheanacho, Dr. Charles Dike, and Mr. Eddie Mandhry discuss the partnerships Yale is developing through this project and the Yale Africa Initiative.

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Should Americans reconsider travel plans in wake of coronavirus?

ABC News
Feb 25, 2020

With the coronavirus spreading to Europe and Asia, travelers are questioning whether they should cancel their travel plans.

Communities on lockdown as coronavirus spreads in Italy

CBC News: The National

Feb 25, 2020

Some communities in northern Italy have been locked down as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Nations increasingly fearful of coronavirus pandemic and resulting global recession

FRANCE 24 English

Feb 27, 2020

Hopes the coronavirus would be contained to China vanished on Friday as infections spread rapidly around the world, countries started stockpiling medical equipment and investors took flight in expectation of a global recession.

Fueling Change: Oil Extraction in Alaska and California | KCET

Season 2, Episode 1

The global demand for oil and gas has long-lasting impacts on the communities that supply it. In Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, powerful native communities are at odds over an oil exploration and drilling plan that will boost their economy but have long-term consequences on native species and their environment. In California’s Kern County, the mayors of two neighboring towns face off on the economic benefits and health risks of oil production and their vastly different visions for the most sustainable path to the future.