Interested in whatever is true, good, beautiful, real? Then let's join together in a conversation that began centuries ago, and which will extend throughout eternity, when we feast at the Lord's Table. This blog is born of wonder, but welcomes doubters. So let's sit down and talk...
The first word I learned to read was "Look" from a soft-cover Dick and
Jane primer. Even at age six, I realized the significance of that
moment, and I appreciated how appropriate it was that my first word
should be "look." Literacy would open the world for me, and all I had
to do was pick up a book to discover it. It's not an exaggeration to
call that a holy moment in my life.
A magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the Pacific Northwest coast could hit at any time. Enter your Oregon address for a custom report on your seismic risks and how to prepare.
The scenario: Oregon's long-awaited magnitude 9 earthquake has
finally struck, unleashing a sustained shaking from British Columbia to
the tip of California. Oregon was unprepared – and your home in the
valley is no exception.
Shaking here is strong. It causes panic. Heavy furniture is moving.
Plaster is falling from the walls and ceilings. Many old brick
buildings that haven't been reinforced are failing. Most buildings
constructed before the '90s are damaged but usable. Buildings
constructed before the '70s are likely more damaged. Many bridges are
damaged and impassable.
Your Community’s Recovery
Experts project it could take several months to restore your
community to its normal function based on damage to pipes,
infrastructure, and the transportation corridors needed for recovery
How To Prepare
Given the hazards and preparedness level in your community, experts
suggest keeping an emergency kit with enough supplies to last a minimum
of two weeks. They also recommend connecting with community groups to
boost your region's overall resiliency.
Your Supply Kit
Experts suggest you have the following:
Weeks of supplies per person
Gallons of water per person
Meals per person
For more information on making your kit, check out these emergency supply lists from OPB and American Red Cross.
Based on the estimated shaking intensity in your area, experts
recommend you bolt your house to the foundation and secure heavy
furniture. Strap down your water heater. Know the location of utility
shut-offs and keep needed tools nearby.
Know Your Routes
Make sure your family and friends know where to gather after
the earthquake and how to get there. You'll need a reconnection plan. Do
you cross a bridge on your way to school or work? It could be unsafe to
cross after an earthquake. Do you need an evacuation route? If you're
in the tsunami zone, you do. Find your route.
Also be aware that some major roads won't be safe or passable
during and after an earthquake. Contact your local public works
department or Office of Emergency Management in advance to find out which routes could potentially be impassable in your area.
Know Your Leaders
Contacting local officials with questions and concerns can
further preparedness efforts in your community. Recommended people to
contact: building officials, who can assess vulnerable structures, local
emergency planning committees, and elected officials.
The Importance of Community
The most crucial thing you can do to increase the resiliency of
your community is connect with your neighbors to plan as a group. One
way to do this is through Community Emergency Response Teams. Find out how to join or start a community team.
How does it work?
Aftershock is designed to help Oregonians prepare for a
Cascadia earthquake. Several state agencies have released predictions on
how a 9.0 earthquake from the Cascadia Subduction Zone would affect
Oregon. Aftershock organizes and delivers that information in a way that
makes it accessible to any Oregonian.
Aftershock uses data from modelling done by the Oregon
Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. Geographic data sets
include: expected shaking, tsunami zone, soil liquefaction, landslides
and impact zones — determined by the Oregon Resilience Report. The
descriptions of risk and how to prepare for those risks are based on
best estimates from DOGAMI, the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory
Commission, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management
Agency. Have questions? Click here for more information.
Who made this?
Aftershock began during a weekend Storytelling with Data build-a-thon hosted by Hack Oregon and the Agora Journalism Center
at the University of Oregon. Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Jason Bernert
and Tony Schick led the project with contributions from Dan Logan of
Portland State University, Geoff Ostrove of the University of Oregon,
the Portland multimedia studio Sticky and computer engineer David Losada.
I don't always agree with DBH, and often when I do, I wince at his aggressive rhetoric, but this time I can absolutely agree with what he writes, and applaud the way he does it.
A Brief Political Confession
by David Bentley Hart
Forgive me for stepping out from behind the curtain here, but I can think of nowhere else to post this. It has come to my attention that there have been some debates online, in a variety of forums, regarding my political convictions. Why anyone cares very much, I cannot say, but I am of course flattered. It even seems, however, that there are those who want to conscript me into their own political causes. Again, I am flattered, but I am also somewhat disturbed. In fact, apparently a comic feuilleton that I published about nine years ago—about a letter J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to his son, where he professed to being drawn simultaneously toward anarchism and toward a purely ceremonial monarchism—has been seized on by a few of these disputants as some kind of personal “monarchist” manifesto. I find this a mite bizarre, since that piece was nothing but an idle fantasy on how nice it would be if there were no need for a political class at all, and we all lived in a kind of agrarian utopia, and the only government were a totally powerless (and ideally somewhat inbred) monarch whose only interests were Dresden china and fly-fishing. How anyone could mistake that for a serious statement of political philosophy, I honestly cannot imagine. I am fond of the piece, and regard it as a good specimen of the sort of light extemporanea I particularly enjoy writing; but that is all. I have also been informed by an acquaintance who does some publicity work that these debates have resulted in interventions on the part of some person or persons unknown in the text of the brief Wikipedia page devoted to me. Apparently, someone does not want me to be identified as a democratic socialist there, though that is in fact what I am.
I have to say, for those in the academy familiar with my technical work, there could scarcely be much confusion on this score. From my very first publications onward, my political leanings have been almost ostentatiously on display in my scholarly writings. But I suppose it would be wise to make things clear here. I apologize in advance to anyone who might find my views a disappointment; but, again, it does not seem to me to be something that many people should care about.
I have never belonged to any political party except the Democratic Socialists of America; I am a member even now. Moreover, contrary to some opinions expressed online, my membership in the DSA is not simply an act of ironic political theatre, or a sullen expression of my contrarian disposition. I am quite a contented and convinced son of the European Christian Socialist tradition; I was formed in early in life by William Morris and John Ruskin, among other worthies of that sort; and socialism is my politics in the short term. In the long term, as the eschatological horizon of my political vision, as it were, I am drawn to something like Pyotr Kropotkin’s anarcho-communism, however unrealizable it may be within history. One needs a Utopia to strive for and fall short of. I have, moreover, no interest in or sympathy for—in fact, am temperamentally averse and morally hostile to—any forms of political conservatism: neo-conservatism, palaeo-conservatism, “lost-cause” conservatism, monarcho-conservatism, theo-conservatism, or any other. The true conservatives I have known in my life have generally struck me as suffering from a somewhat bilious resentment of the simple and inevitable fact of social change, and from a jealous desire to freeze reality in an image of a past they only think they recall or understand. To me, that would be an emotionally exhausting way to live. I take Heracleitus as my guide here, and recognize that you really cannot step in the same river twice. If the present appalls you, seek things eternal, like love and justice; but let the dead bury their dead. I also dislike every form of libertarianism, which among all the expressions of the American political mind strikes me as the most incompatible with Christianity.
I realize that in America, alone among nations with developed economies, the word “socialism” has a sinister ring in many ears. I take this as a symptom of our unique national genius for stupidity. I am well aware of how badly the various parts of a “socialized” economy can at times be managed (the tales I could tell of my experiences with the NHS); but, well managed, they make for a far more humane governing philosophy than ours, and one that comes as close to something like “Distributist” justice in the use of property and wealth as we can hope for under current circumstances. So I find it very odd that, when we look at those nations of northern and western Europe that enjoy the benefits of sane socialist policies, as a result of both their Social Democratic and their Christian Democratic traditions—nations, like Germany or Denmark or France, where the cost of healthcare per capita is far lower and yet coverage is universal, where life spans are longer, where working people are not rendered bankrupt by serious illnesses, where the children of the poor cannot be denied expensive treatments by predatory insurance adjusters, where people have far more savings in bank and endure much lower levels of debt, where wages generally keep pace with inflation, where every worker has decent vacation time each year, where suicide and opioid addiction are not the default lifestyle of the working poor, where homelessness has been nearly abolished, where retirement care is humane and comprehensive, where schools are immeasurably better, where literacy is far higher…—we recoil in horror and thank God that we are free from such things. Surely, we tell ourselves, these are curses, only a few steps away from the gulags. We know that civic wealth is not meant for civic welfare, but is supposed to be diverted into the pockets of the military-industrial complex, by the needless purchase each year of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of weapons systems that will never be used, or is supposed to be squandered through unneeded tax cuts for the very richest of the investment class. We know that when the child of a working family is diagnosed with cancer, that the child should be denied the most expensive treatments, even if they alone can possibly save him or her, and then should probably die, and that his or her family should be utterly impoverished in the process. We call this, I believe, being free. And, as long as we have access to all the guns we could ever need to fight off invasions from Venus, what more can we ask?
Anyway, there it is. Excuse the interruption. Best to all—DBH.
(DBH is a North American, Eastern Orthodox philosopher and theologian. Source: DBH's FB page, today.)
THE REST OF THE STORY: As I listened to McCain's funeral this morning
on NPR, they announced a piece as "Jupiter," from Holst's "The
Planets." Although it did indeed begin as a theme embedded in Holst’s
“Jupiter,” Holst set that melody ("Thaxted") to Cecil Spring Rice’s
text “I Vow To Thee My Country” in 1921. It is now a beloved Anglican
hymn. I cannot help but think that McCain, who was raised as an
Episcopal, chose it to be played because of its lyrics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MG27BKwjaI
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace. ______________________________________
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency’s 12th Most-Read Article of 2016 https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/titles-of-bach-chorales-as-translated-by-my-niece-after-one-semester-of-german Valet will ich dir geben
I will give a deer to the valet
Kommt, Seelen, dieser Tag
Come, seals, this day Wie bist du, Seele
How are you, seal? Christus, der uns selig macht
Christ, make us a salad Nun lob mein Seel den Herren
Don’t throw that herring to my seal Was willst du dich, o meine Seele
What are you gonna do now, O my seal? Christ lag in Todes Banden
Christ is late to every band rehearsal Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele
My dear seal, you are such a schmuck
Ministry as Sponging
Isaiah 53: He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried.
This Lent I am learning how to be a sponge.
If Jesus' battle with sin, death and the devil has been won on cross,
what we are presently engaging in is a mop-up operation. That means as
his disciples, we are to absorb sin, suffering, grief and despair, just
like He did.
So I am trying to learn how to be a sponge.
I am trying to learn how to walk with an Iranian woman through the valley of the shadow of death. I am trying to learn how to listen to people who are depressed and angry with those I love. I am trying to learn how to help someone shoulder shame, frustration and abandonment. I am trying to learn how to enter into lives marked by pain, disease, and poverty. I am trying to learn how to carry on when what I have to give is rejected.
I'm learning I'm need to be a lot more absorbent! But that's scary,
because the more absorbent the sponge, the more porous it is. I'm not
much for being drilled, shot through or eaten away.
Protestants don't like to talk about it much, but the call to ministry
is an invitation to allow oneself to be used as a sponge. Pastoral
ministry--dare I use the term, "priesthood"--demands that one be
Sure, we like to claim that all believers are
priests, but when we say this, I'm not sure that we are always thinking
of allowing ourselves to be scrubbed over the world's dirt, wrung out,
rinsed and repeated. We prefer to think of priesthood in terms of issues
of direct access, not matters of soaking and swabbing.
A robust church is an absorbent church, but one which doesn't tear or lose its shape when it is repeatedly wrung out.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
Good sponges do not resist squeezing, nor do they make much sound when
compressed. Similarly, when flattened, good ministers do not turn
combative, but yield themselves and silently pour themselves out before
...He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.
Jesus was ultra-absorbent. He became sin, for our sakes. He was so
absorbent that when wrung out on the cross, not only water but blood
Hebrews 12 Consider him who endured such opposition
from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your
struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of
shedding your blood.
I'm feeling wrung out, but I haven't yet
shed blood. I can't wait for the ultimate Easter when there won't be any
more sin to mop up, and our sponges will be transformed into prisms.