Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Gordon Campbell Shits on the Poor Again; Corporations Contracted to Wipe Them Off

Gordon Campbell and his corporate media whores have just wasted our time again with their neoliberal vision of a better hyper-individualist, starve-if-you're-poor Canada.

Campbell's glowing philosophical piece [see below or here] advocating for minute decreases in most Canadians' tax bill is a shallow reflection of the real point: substantial decreases in the tax bill of the rich. Federal and provincial tax cuts that give most Canadians $10-15/month in tax savings do nothing for the economy, the working poor or the destitute. Tax cuts recently have been an orgasmic boon for the rich who fund Campbell's neoLiberal party in BC and the federal Liberals and Conservatives.

These editorials are a waste of time because they rest on one scurrilous "If": "If the federal government has more money than it needs to fulfill its responsibilities, its first priority should be to reduce the tax burden on all Canadians with a significant tax cut." The federal government does not have more money than it needs to fulfill its responsibilities.

The rural poor throughout Canada, the destitute on reserves, urban homeless, the working poor, those in the majority of communities in BC who have constant boil water alerts, ill Canadians who do not benefit from closed wings of hospitals--all these people are not being served by the government.

Our beloved neoliberal premier, of course, thinks otherwise. The role of providing all these should go to the market where corporations can profit from human misery and those too poor to pay do not get the services they need to live in dignity.

Campbell's entire editorial rests on the assumption that people are doing ok. And they sure are. The people who read the Globe and the Sun typically are socially better off than those living in economic insecurity. They'll likely support his assumption because they are comfortable enough to not need economic support.

In calling for competitive tax rates, Campbell is not looking for an eased tax burden for the poor and working poor. He's calling for eased taxes for the wealthy in society who can be lured to Canada by lower tax burdens than elsewhere. The typical fiscal right wing arguments about trickle-down wealth and the multiplier effect usually follow this plan as these global entrepreneurs who settle in Canada will create economic opportunity, jobs, and a larger tax base.

This rhetoric is tired. It's been going on for decades. Parliament pledged to end child poverty in Canada by 2000. It grew. During that time, we were graced with NAFTA and the federal Liberals' gouging of social programs. Gordon Campbell can trickle down my ass.

Campbell's embrace of his inner-Indian is especially galling. His government's racist First Nations referendum early in his first mandate was an insult to all British Columbians and First Nations. Calling for more development for First Nations is a sound idea. Gordon Campbell's advocacy amounts to little more that a desire to get access to some federal pork. When our premier racist apologizes for the First Nations referendum, I will take his advocacy for First Nations development seriously.

Calling for infrastructure investment in a Pacific corridor through to the rest of the continent is an economically sound approach because it can facilitate economic growth and provincial and federal wealth-creation. The fiscal right, however, is loathe to provide the same kind of infrastructure support to actual human beings as it provides for corporations. "Ports, airports, roads, bridges and border crossings" are certainly important for economic growth. Quality education, small class sizes, improved pediatric and ECE care, universal daycare, quality health benefits, no tuition fees, improved grassroots healthcare support, a guaranteed annual income or living minimum wage, increased GST rebate thresholds--all these would help people. Instead, the fiscal right is interested in underwriting the costs of corporations to do business, corporations that claim to wish to operate in a free market system, but in reality spend a great deal of time funding governing parties to cover their expenses for them to pad their profitability.

Who pads the profitability of poor and working poor human beings? Not Gordon Campbell or the Globe and Sun that publish his anti-human, pro-corporate litanies.

In the end, Campbell's true motivational tone arrives at the end of his piece when he explains what provinces would do with more federal tax money. His rhetoric about vertical and horizontal imbalances is a red herring. He wants more federal cash. And sure, that's what a good advocating provincial premier will do. But the title of his piece is "Building a Stronger Canada", not trying to get a larger share of the federal fiscal pie.

Building a Stronger Canada

July 25, 2006

By Premier Gordon Campbell

Versions of this column by Premier Campbell were published today in the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun.

Canada's premiers are meeting once again to discuss ideas for strengthening Confederation. Central to that endeavour is the need to ensure that all governments have the revenue they need to provide the services for which they are responsible, within taxpayers' ability to pay.

Canadians contribute about half-a-trillion dollars annually to their governments at all levels. That should be more than enough revenue to pay for all of the programs and services that governments provide. The question is: how can we better use that money to benefit taxpayers across Canada? How can we better ensure that all levels of government in every province have the fiscal capacity to deliver reasonably comparable levels of service at reasonably comparable levels of taxation?

Premiers have often called on Ottawa to assist in funding all sorts of worthy national priorities, from health care or skills training and post secondary education to transportation, infrastructure and a national pharmaceutical strategy. These represent billions of dollars in potential new investment, to say nothing of our common commitment to close the gaps for Aboriginal Canadians in health, education, housing and economic opportunity.

These are all vitally important national needs that should be supported within governments' means. But there is a limit to what provinces can expect or should demand from the federal government, because taxpayers also deserve a break.

There is only one taxpayer in Canada--you. The biggest fiscal "imbalance" is not the so-called "vertical imbalance," which suggests that the federal government has relatively more revenue than the provinces to pay for its responsibilities. Nor is it the "horizontal imbalance" that relates to the provinces' differing abilities to generate revenues. Rather, it is the growing imbalance between governments' insatiable appetite to spend and taxpayers' ability to pay.

Simply put, governments at all levels are taking too much out of taxpayers' pockets for too little marginal benefit, leaving working families too little to make ends meet and get ahead. If the federal government has more money than it needs to fulfill its responsibilities, its first priority should be to reduce the tax burden on all Canadians with a significant tax cut. This should take precedence over any increases in equalization or massive new increases in federal transfer payments to other governments.

Governments striving to increase revenue should focus on economic growth and wealth creation. While we look at modernizing fiscal federalism, we should also be driving a national competitiveness agenda, with competitive tax rates at the top of the list.

To compete and prosper in today's economy, we must step up our commitment to train, attract and retain skilled workers. We do need new investments in post secondary education, skills training and apprenticeships. We also need to dramatically expand our efforts to recruit skilled immigrants, with flexible and pragmatic new immigration policies and national strategies for credentialing in areas of skills shortages. And we need to face up to the challenges of our aging population and consider alternatives to mandatory retirement.

Let's create wealth by closing the social and economic gap with Aboriginal Canadians, the fastest growing segment of our population. The sooner we close the Aboriginal skills training gap, the faster we will address skills shortages and improve the quality of life for Aboriginal Canadians. Moreover, the sooner we negotiate contemporary solutions to the age-old problems that have made Aboriginal Canadians Canada's third solitude, the faster we can all benefit from new partnerships across the economic and social spectrum.

Working together, Canada's governments can generate economic growth by expanding targeted investments in infrastructure and transportation. We need to open up Canada's Pacific Gateway and establish a Pacific corridor into the heart of the country and the continent with strategic investments in our ports, airports, roads, bridges and border crossings.

Economic growth can also be generated by getting accountability for spending tax dollars closer to the level of government delivering the service. For example, we could transfer 80 per cent of federal fuel taxes back to the provinces, along with the responsibility for funding provincial transportation priorities and the cost of the "New Deal" with municipalities, which is funded from fuel taxes. The federal government could then retain 20 per cent of that funding to pay for strategic transportation investments that are vital to our national competitiveness.

We should foster greater mobility of labour, investment and truly free trade within Canada. British Columbia and Alberta are leading the way in this regard through a new landmark agreement that establishes the second largest economic union in Canada, after Ontario. This is something that all provinces could do on their own, without a penny of new federal funding.

These are all far more urgent priorities, in my view, than a wholesale renewal of the equalization program. At a minimum, any change in equalization must not create new barriers to competitiveness through policies that tilt the scales against taxpayers in provinces that foot the bill.

Provinces that receive equalization should not have a higher fiscal capacity than non-recipient provinces. Provinces that benefit from equalization should not have higher per capita program expenditures than the average of provinces that foot the bill. And equalization subsidies should not grow faster than the average rate of inflation or the average rate of economic growth for Canada.

We should not make the equalization formula even more unfair and complicated by counting assessed property values as a measure of fiscal capacity when, in fact, these property values are not a measure of taxpayers' ability to pay.

In the new fiscal federalism, commitments made should be commitments kept. And all governments should respect the hard work it takes for every taxpayer in every province to generate the revenues that we are entrusted with.

As we meet in Newfoundland, the premiers should be considering how we can strengthen Canada's competitiveness through lower taxes, strategic national investments, co-ordinated planning, new relationships with Aboriginal Canadians and fair transfer payments. That is the roadmap to prosperity for all Canadians that British Columbia is committed to pursuing.

Make your voice heard!

Do you agree with Premier Campbell's ideas to Build a Stronger Canada?

Send your comments about the Premier's editorial to the Vancouver Sun (sunletters@png.canwest.com) and Globe & Mail (letters@GlobeAndMail.ca) newspapers directly through a letter to the editor.
E-mail addresses for newspapers throughout the province can be found online at: www.bcliberals.com/EN/314/2909

Get involved!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Taymaz Rastin in Conversation with Stephen Buckley

Taymaz Rastin in Conversation with Stephen Buckley

Taymaz Rastin [http://www.Rastin.org] discusses the Israel-Lebanon issue within a broader context of Middle Eastern history and how issues are being reframed in the post-9/11 War on Terror paradigm. Specific topics include:

- Taymaz's academic and research background and interest in the Israel-Lebanon affair
- Hamas and Hezbollah: grassroots political movement or terrorist group?
- Lebanese demands with Israel: Shebaa farms and the release of Lebanese prisoners
- the new role of Arab media in the debate and in affecting the state of Arab politics and democracy
- Israel's perspective in the contemporary conflict
- Saudi Arabia's view of the conflict
- USA's economic support of Lebanon and military support of Israel
- North American mainstream media's presentation of the conflict
- Iran's rising influence and capacity: does this necessarily lead to increased hostility?
- Iran's reducing isolation
- Iran-Arab relations and conflicts
- is Hezbollah a puppet of Syria and Iran?
- US-Iran relations
- Iran and nuclear weapons
- the USA's support of only certain democratic elections
- Saudi Arabia's internal economic problems
- democracy and domestic economic systems
- Karl Popper, "freedom," liberal democracy, limited government and their export to the Middle East
- truncated shuttle diplomacy

Podcast at http://dgiVista.org/pod/taymaz.mp3

Podcast feed at http://dgivista.org/pod/Vista_Podcasts.xml
Podcast feed for iTunes at itpc://dgivista.org/pod/Vista_Podcasts.xml

And *** A bonus link:

For Greg Palast's recent sense of this month in the Middle East, low Hezbollah and Ohmert approval ratings and black gold, see his piece:

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ajnesh Prasad in Conversation with Stephen Buckley

New to the Vista Editorial Podcast collection:

An intriguing conversation between Stephen Buckley and Ajnesh Prasad delving into the following:

- Ajnesh's research in gender issues
- post-colonial theory
- his work with Margaret Little at Queens University
- his flavour of leftist politics
- theories of sexual difference
- the place of gender in society
- the subtleties and nuances of the same sex marriage debate
- definitions of sexuality
- queer theory
- the queering of heterosexuality in a context of heteronormatism

Podcast at http://dgiVista.org/pod/Ajnesh.mp3

Podcast feed at http://dgivista.org/pod/Vista_Podcasts.xml
Podcast feed for iTunes at itpc://dgivista.org/pod/Vista_Podcasts.xml

Monday, July 17, 2006

Supporting Our Troops

Not long ago, I was at the National Defence HQ in Ottawa on business. Considering where I was, and given Canada’s role in the current conflict in Afghanistan (not to mention our unofficial and mostly unacknowledged role in Iraq), I should not have been surprised to see the banners proclaiming, “We Support Our Troops.” Yet I was taken aback.

Afterwards, I started noticing the proliferation of car magnets that echo that sentiment of “support”. And now we hear rumblings of encouragement to wear something red on Fridays, as a sign of “support” for the troops. Again, I find this trend disturbing.

What, you may ask, is the problem with declaring support for our troops? Indeed, whatever my misgivings about the Afghanistan mission, I have little doubt of the courage and dedication of our military personnel there, nor of the sincerity (for the most part) of their desire to bring about a peaceful and stable democracy, in a land where people have suffered for far too long, either under oppressive regimes or through periods of dangerous chaos.

I have plenty of respect for the men and women of the Canadian Forces. That isn’t the problem.

But what does it mean to “support” our troops?

Our taxpayers support our troops in a real and substantial way regardless of their political opinions. (Arguably not enough, though that is a different question.) But I don’t think the banners are talking about material support. Typically, governments do not raise banners to remind people of where their tax dollars are going. (Maybe they should, but again, that’s a different question.) Nor do taxpayers attach messages to their cars to remind people of where their tax dollars are going, unless they are complaining about something.

No, the banners I saw at NDHQ show that we are being encouraged, by our government, to adopt a certain attitude. The car magnets are signs of success. But what, specifically, is the attitude being promoted here? Furthermore, why is the promotion of that attitude (whatever it may be) being expressed in those exact words?

We don’t have far to look. We only need to go back to 2003, when the US and the UK attacked Iraq.

There was (and is) debate over that war, of course. And wherever there is debate, there is propaganda: Words are creatively manipulated with the object of touching our emotions directly while bypassing rational thought. So in the US, at least, the phrase we support our troops was somehow recast as a shorthand for we support the mission on which our troops are being sent. And presto! Those who did not support the war were tainted with the stigma of failing to respect those patriots who put their lives on the line to serve their country. One can dispute the applicability of the phrase to serve their country, of course, but such nuances are lost on those who buy into patriotic propaganda. And that is precisely the point.

Now the phrase we support out troops has migrated into Canada, bringing its mind-virus with it. The idea, apparently, is to suppress dissent against our government’s policy on Afghanistan by smearing such dissent as a personal affront to the honour of our men and women in uniform.

Fortunately for Canada, the efficacy of patriotism as a trigger of mental shutdown is not as great here as it is in the US. But even so, it is worthwhile to pause and untangle this Orwellian madness.

Agreeing with a military adventure means agreeing to put the troops in harm’s way. Surely, any meaningful “support” for our troops should not automatically mean that we want to put them in danger every time our government is inclined to do so! To the contrary: We can show support for our troops by carefully, soberly considering the pros and cons of any mission on which they are sent. Sometimes, sober consideration leads to opposition. True support for the troops is therefore perfectly compatible with opposition to their mission, even if the troops themselves are sold on that mission.

This conclusion is very simple and straightforward, yet I wonder whether the Harper government understands it. If they do, then their importation of a Bushite mind-virus into Canada is apparently deliberate, and is therefore all the more appalling – regardless of what merit there may be in their Afghanistan policy.

Am I just being paranoid? If so, then maybe those who love to proclaim their “support for the troops” can spell out for me what they mean by it. I’m listening.

Republicans Undermining Capitalism? The Anti-Robin Hood Gang

The kind of open, ribald theft the GOP is perpetrating on American taxpayers for Iraqi and Katrina non-reconstruction [read the filth of it all below or here] is an insult to the dying Iraqis, the [now] minority of Iraqis who still support the US occupation, the suffering Katrina refugees, free market capitalists, and those who oppose government waste, military occupation, specious invasions, human rights and Geneva Convention violations, and crapping on ideals of democracy and equality.

That's quite the disparate group who should be united in one cause!

In a functioning democracy, the people would put a stop to it. In the above list, the only groups who could put a stop to it are free market capitalists and those opposing government waste. The trouble with them, however, is that their goal is to contribute more to the GOP in the future so they can get access to the pork.

This just proves my old strategy while playing Monopoly[tm]. Cheat. Cheat often. Steal whatever you can whenever you can. The goal of capitalism is monopoly. There are no rules in the game or in the real world. This is why there is no deafening outcry from the promoters of American liberal market economy. The last thing they wish to do is play by the rules--even their own.

In the end, is ani difranco: "america is not a true democracy." [For that matter, neither is Canada: first past the post?]

Let's end the delusion.

Iraq's Reconstruction a Boondoogle by Design
By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Posted on July 17, 2006, Printed on July 17, 2006

If you were to gather together the finest, most creative minds and ask them to come up with a plan to outsource the reconstruction of Iraq that would guarantee shoddy work, overcharges, unfinished projects and overt graft, they would probably devise a system very similar to what U.S. taxpayers have enjoyed -- to the tune of about $30 billion -- for the past three years.

In Baghdad, basics like electricity, sanitation and clean drinking water are at lower levels today than they were before the war. A poll last year found that after more than two years of work, only 30 percent of Iraqis had any idea that there was any kind of reconstruction effort at all.

The reconstruction of Iraq has become a boondoggle of historic proportions, but make no mistake: It's a boondoggle by design.

It's an elegant design that begins by shrinking the universe of possible contractors as far down as possible -- competition mercilessly drives firms to ever greater efficiency, and that won't do.

The administration first cut out those who didn't support the invasion. Paul Wolfowitz wrote that "limiting competition for prime contracts [to members of the 'Coalition of the Willing'] will encourage the expansion of international cooperation in Iraq and in future efforts." That knocked out around half of the world's largest construction firms.

But that's just the official policy. In reality, the contracting pool is much shallower. The business community in the United Kingdom -- a country that's taken about a thousand casualties in Iraq -- have been in a snit for two years about not getting their share. The biggest prime contract given to a British company was the $430 million security gig awarded to Aegis, and the top recipient overall was AMEC, mostly in subcontracts to Fluor, a Texas company with a terrible record in Iraq but close ties to the GOP. At less than a billion dollars total, AMEC's take doesn't crack the top 15.

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) found that 60 percent of the top 70 firms getting reconstruction contracts in Iraq -- the New York Times called them "among the politically best-connected in Washington" -- had high-level employees or board members who came out of the military or the government. The group donated almost $50 million to PACs and candidates since 1990. Charles Lewis, then director of CPI, said that there's "a stench of political favoritism and cronyism surrounding the contracting process in both Iraq and Afghanistan."

How does a good Republican administration justify trashing the free market's competitive spirit when they spend so much time kowtowing to its wonders? They simply redefine "competition"; according to the Project on Government Oversight, a contract is considered "competitive" when "a few favored contractors" get a shot at it, or even when it's not bid out at all. There are government procurement rules that require open competition, but there are also plenty of loopholes.

USAID, one of the lead reconstruction agencies, used an exemption from the contracting rules to dole out its first eight big contracts secretly, finding that open bidding would impair the agency's "foreign assistance objectives."

Actually, it did follow standard procurement procedures -- it posted all the contract requirements and requested bids like they're supposed to. But, taking a page from "Catch-22," they only did it after the contracts were awarded. Steve Schooner, co-director of George Washington University's Government Procurement Law Program, told Congress: "Intentionally or unintentionally, USAID excluded any number of potentially qualified U.S. companies."

That gets to the heart of the most common defense of large, no-bid contracts: Only a handful of firms are capable of managing projects as large as those being handed out in Iraq. When Halliburton got busted for overcharging the Army $61 million for gas deliveries from Kuwait on a large no-bid contract, the company released a statement saying it was the "only one that met the Army Corps of Engineers' specifications."

But that, too, is by design. The way many of these deals are structured -- as massive, "bundled," cost-plus contracts -- no firm on the planet has the staff and resources to do the job itself. So instead of awarding dozens of contracts on a competitive basis to firms that specialize in, say, road construction or building sewage treatment plants -- an approach that would give smaller, hungrier companies a shot at some of the action -- you take dozens of different jobs and lump them all together in one megaproject.

A good example was the mammoth "Iraq Infrastructure II" contract recently awarded to Bechtel Corp. (along with a few other well-connected corporate partners). It included "electric power systems, municipal water and sanitation services, road networks and rail systems, selected public buildings, ports and waterways, and airports."

That kind of big, bundled contract represents a perfectly circular argument. In the 1980s and 1990s, Big Business pushed a model of government that shifted a whole chunk of the public sector's functions their way, promising it would spur competition. That resulted in both an explosion of new contracting and steep cuts in the agency staff that oversee those contracts (up to 35 percent in the Bush years alone). With less staff, more projects get bundled into fewer super-sized contracts, and then we're told that there are only a couple of Beltway behemoths that can compete for them.

Now imagine for a moment that you wanted to hire a contractor to babysit your kids, reshingle the garage, teach your sister Swahili and sue a pesky neighbor who's just gotten on your last nerve. The chances are there wouldn't be a lot of firms qualified. But say a few contractors came to you and said they could handle the gig, but they wouldn't be able tell you how much it will cost or when the job will be finished. After a good laugh, you'd probably show them the door.

Your government, on the other hand, would send them to Iraq. Because that, in a nutshell, describes the IQID -- "Indefinite Quantity Indefinite Delivery" -- "contract vehicle" that's become so popular in Washington.

Once a company gets approved for work under an IQID contract, the firm doesn't have to compete for jobs (there's a cap on the total value). According to the Project on Government Oversight, small businesses "that would be able to perform many of the tasks" are "never given the opportunity to compete" for these jobs. That costs them, and the taxpayers, an estimated $13 billion each year. The specifics of these contracts aren't made public -- not even members of Congress can get the details easily.

If a firm runs into problems -- say, if its jobsites keep getting blown up -- IQID contracts make it painless for the contractor to ditch a project before it's done. Parsons, a firm that's worked in the Middle East for years, was contracted to build 150 primary health clinics (PHCs) in Iraq, a project the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart Bowden, called "the most important program in the [country's] health sector."

After a surreal series of cost over-runs and missed deadlines, it turned out the company would only be able to finish 20 of the clinics. The Army Corps of Engineers, which contracted the job, blamed "contractor performance and lack of openness in addressing schedule and budget issues in a timely fashion." The inspector general noted that, while all the money had been paid, the remaining PHCs are half-built, and the equipment for all 150 clinics was delivered and is now sitting in a warehouse in Baghdad with questionable security. But there's no penalty built into the contract for unfinished work. The 130 half-finished clinics will simply be removed from the contract -- "de-scoping" is a new word one picks up quickly when looking at the hundreds of aborted projects in Iraq.

Many of these contracts are "cost-plus" -- the firms get a percentage of what they dish out to their subcontractors. They effectively become bloated, well-connected corporate middlemen, hiring firms that are actually qualified to do each job (hopefully) and then doing what the government itself should be doing-- overseeing their performance.

But with a straight cut of the lucre, their only incentive is to stick it to the taxpayers. Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and John Dingell, D-Mich., were surprised to find that "Halliburton officials frequently told employees that the high prices charged by vendors were not a problem One whistleblower said that a Halliburton motto was: 'Don't worry about price. It's cost-plus.'"

Competition is supposed to benefit consumers by weeding out the bad businesses -- the slackers, the cheats, the rip-off artists and other shoddy producers. But every single watchdog I've spoken with about contracting abuses has the same question: What, exactly, does a firm have to do to get itself kicked off that list of qualified companies? According to the Project on Government Oversight's database of bad contractors, the following firms (with their number of misconduct incidences) are still getting plum pieces of the pie: Lockheed-Martin, 84; Northrop Grumman, 36; Fluor, 15; Computer Sciences Corp./DynCorp, nine; Bechtel, six; and SAIC, five.

Some of the very few members of Congress who are troubled by all this released a report (PDF) that points to the cherry on the sundae: In addition to hiring contractors to write the terms of future contracts -- which they're then allowed to bid on -- the government is now hiring war profiteers to oversee the performance of their fellow contractors, including firms that they've partnered with on past projects.

It's perfect.

And the tab is being paid in blood as well as treasure. The inspector general says a "reconstruction gap" has developed between Iraqis' (and Americans') expectations and what's really getting done. One shopkeeper in Baghdad told the Washington Post: "It is easy for the Americans to say, 'We are doing reconstruction in Iraq,' and we hear that. But to make us believe it, they should show us where this reconstruction is. Maybe they are doing this reconstruction for them in the Green Zone. But this is not for the Iraqis."

It would be overstating the case to say that the reconstruction mess led directly to the insurgency, but it sure hasn't helped win any hearts and minds. As they sit in the stifling heat with just six hours of juice per day and watch American contractors swagger around their country, largely immune from criminal prosecution, over half of all Iraqis approve of attacks on U.S. personnel.

Joshua Holland is an AlterNet staff writer.
© 2006 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/38986/

Friday, July 14, 2006

Colin Mills in Conversation with Stephen Buckley

New to the Vista Editorial Podcast collection:

A 4 audio segment conversation between Stephen Buckley and Colin Mills meandering about

Part 1:
- Colin's religious and spiritual background
- an overview of pre-modernism [cyclical, ecological], modernism [rationality, enlightenment] and post-modernism [subjectivity, personal narratives]
- how the church fared during these paradigmatic eras

Part 2:
- the difference between faith and belief

Part 3:
- what is our higher calling?
- faith > belief
- reverent agnosticism
- how do we develop faith?

Part 4:
- why the US Christian right is so scary

Colin can be reached at knepomuk at yahoo dot com if you would like to discuss his ideas and experiences or get text copies of elements of our conversation.

Podcast at http://dgiVista.org/pod/colin1.mp3
Podcast at http://dgiVista.org/pod/colin2.mp3
Podcast at http://dgiVista.org/pod/colin3.mp3
Podcast at http://dgiVista.org/pod/colin4.mp3

Podcast feed at http://dgivista.org/pod/Vista_Podcasts.xml
Podcast feed for iTunes at itpc://dgivista.org/pod/Vista_Podcasts.xml

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Best Nike Ad Ever

If you search through here, you'll see that I do not post links to my favorite TV commercials, but I break this trend now.

The best Nike ad I've ever seen, one that truly captures the spirit of the Nike brand is here: http://break.com/index/nikespoof.html. Granted, it's a spoof, but I stand by my critique.

Search dgiVista.org: