Friday, January 19, 2007

Explaining America...

I promised some of my friends I'd air my political views on another page, and I shall. But a new book by Chris Hedges, Harvard Divinity School graduate and author, is so important, I think, that even if it smacks of politics a bit , it's worth everyone paying attention.

Just a couple of weeks ago American Facists: The Christian Right and the War on America (New York: The Free Press, 2007) appeared in print. Publishers Weekly calls it a lucid study that "draws striking parallels between 20th-century totalitarian movements and the highly organized, well-funded "dominionist movement," an influential theocratic sect within the country's huge evangelical population.... [He] profiles both former members and true believers, evoking the particular characteristics of this American variant of fascism." Publishers Weekly concludes that this is an "urgent book [that] forcefully illuminates what many across the political spectrum will recognize as a serious and growing threat to the very concept and practice of an open society."

I've not gotten the book yet (just ordered it), but I read Hedge's short essay "The Radical Christian Right is Built on Suburban Dispair" and found it most intriguing. If his analysis is right, and it certainly rang true to my ears, then we're in for interesting times in the coming years. The causes of the suburban dispair he describes and which have given rise to the "dominionist movement" in the Christian Right are in my mind, for many reasons, something we as a nation can ill-afford not to confront and ultimately change.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Back from the Caribbean...

Deborah and I returned a couple of days ago from three weeks of cruising in the Caribbean. To say the least, it was great fun. We love Road Town and Tortola, and got to see friends we made last April at the Fort Burt Hotel and to make some new ones. Our boat in from Conch Charters had a lot to be desired, but we managed it for a week.

A big highlight in the BVIs was the Encinal Yacht Club's ad hoc end-of-the-year Caribbean cruise. The Princess and I met the Waterloos at Marina Cay on the 19th and the Shaffers on the 20th. Then we sailed up to the Bitter End and hooked up with the Pimentels. They all got on boats on the 21st, and we sailed back down to Cooper Island to meet them that afternoon and declare it a valid cruise for the club. Had to be, what with the 2006 cruise captains, the commodore, the rear commodore, and a club director present!

The whole story of the BVI leg of the cruise is posted now on the cruising log, and photos are linked to the log. Our log for the second leg of our trip to St Martin and Anguilla will be posted next week.