Vol 10, Num 1 :: 2011.01.14 — 2011.01.27
1. Where we went wrong
Summarized from 1 Samuel 8:1-20: “So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, ‘You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.’ After being forewarned by Samuel of the turmoil of having an earthly King the people respond again by saying, ‘No! We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.’”
2. Sigh, government
Thomas Paine: “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
3. On the dangers of not questioning traditions
Thomas Paine: “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.”
4. On human freedom and equality
Frederick Douglass: “Those beautiful vessels, robed in purest white, so delightful to the eye of the freemen, were to me so many shrouded ghosts, to terrify me and torture me with the thoughts of my wretched condition. I have often, in the stillness of summer’s Sabbath, stood all alone on the banks of the noble bay, and traced, with saddened eye heart and tearful eye, the countless number of sails moving off to the mighty ocean.”
5. On cable news networks
STEWART: But the thing is that this — you’re doing theater, when you should be doing debate, which would be great…. It’s not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it…
CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you’re accusing us of partisan hackery?
STEWART: Absolutely…. You’re on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls. What is wrong with you?
6. On capitalism
Proverbs 30:8-9: “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”
7. During economic crisis
Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “Don’t panic.”
8. On patriotism and the American dream
Yeah I’m up at Brooklyn.
Now I’m down in Tribeca.
Right next to DeNiro
But I’ll be hood forever
I’m the new Sinatra
And since I made it here
I can make it anywhere
(Yeah, they love me everywhere)
In New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There’s nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York.
(“Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys & Jay-Z)
9. On the promise of a perfect country
Hebrews 11:13-16: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country — a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
10. The promise of a perfect country (continued)
Revelation 21:3-5: "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’"