From the monthly archives:

August 2009

Capitalism and the “death of God”

by Kim on August 31, 2009

“The market does not really want a rigorous expression of religion in the public sector. This is another reason why religion in the modern world gets fenced into the private domain, and is always messy when it intrudes into the marketplace. In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of capitalistic economics is [...]

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Greenbelt update

by Richard on August 30, 2009

Sunday pm: all around me are children, noisily enjoying the messy area - “sticking and glueing”. I’m enjoying a mug of coffee, the cheapest I’ve found anywhere in the festival, and far from the worst. There are all sorts of activities I might go and do, but there is something very appealing about [...]

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Greenbelt musings

by Richard on August 29, 2009

Very much enjoying my first Greenbelt. The sun is shining and the atmosphere is warm. I’ve caught up with some old friends, and look forward to seeing more. The highlight so far for me was the first talk by Bishop Gene Robinson. His manner was extremely engaging, and he spoke with passion and humility. His, [...]

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Greenbelt

by Richard on August 28, 2009

Tents are pitched: and so it begins!
Posted via email from Richard Hall’s perfectly pointless blog

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On our way to Greenbelt

by Richard on August 28, 2009

Posted via email from Richard Hall’s perfectly pointless blog

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Getting into books

by Richard on August 23, 2009

There was a bit of fuss recently about children’s authors who visit primary schools being expected to go through a CRB check. However, perhaps more serious is the closure of libraries in schools, often in favour of “resource centres”. This was picked up on the BBC’s iPM programme yesterday, illustrated with a lovely story featuring [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on August 23, 2009

OPEN, Lord, my inward ear,
And bid my heart rejoice;
Bid my quiet spirit hear
Thy comfortable voice;
Never in the whirlwind found,
Or where earthquakes rock the place,
Still and silent is the sound,
The whisper of thy grace.
From the world of sin, and noise,
And hurry I withdraw;
For the small and inward voice
I wait with humble awe;
Silent am I now and [...]

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Berrington Hall

by Richard on August 22, 2009

A good place for a coffee
Posted via email from Richard Hall’s perfectly pointless blog
Update: Maybe not the best pic I’ll ever post, but a reminder to myself and others of a very nice National Trust tearoom just off the A49 between Ludlow and Leominster. A good stopping place if [...]

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So bad it’s good? Or just bad?

by Richard on August 21, 2009

Phil Bradley (on Twitter) reckons that this is “possibly the worst designed web page in the world”. He might be right. I can’t do a screenshot: it wouldn’t do it justice. But if you’re prone to epilepsy, you shouldn’t look at it.
I wonder what Mean Dean would make of it?

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Aliens in the Attic

by Richard on August 19, 2009

Went to see Aliens in the Attic tonight. I don’t think anyone is ever going to call this a great film, but it is good fun. The kids I went with came out very happy, and I had a goodish laugh from time-to-time. Don’t don’t go looking for an exploration of the human condition [...]

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Solo

by Richard on August 18, 2009

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Told you I was a lefty

by Richard on August 18, 2009

I find these quiz-thingies hard to resist. This one contains no surprises.
My Political ViewsI am a left social moderateLeft: 6.42, Libertarian: 0.59Political Spectrum Quiz
via Allan Bevere

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Imprecatory prayer

by Richard on August 18, 2009

Bene Diction is hot under the collar about imprecatory prayer. It seems that some on the Right are now actively praying for Obama’s death.
People have been driven out of churches because of the abuse of this militant dominionism, and have suffered spiritual, emotional and mental harm. Marginalized groups in society such as GLBT [...]

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Health-care hymn of the day

by Kim on August 17, 2009

Jesus’ hands were kind hands, doing good to all,
London Town excepted, also Montreal:
There the sick are shafted, there the feeble fall.
(Oops, I told a porky! Ethics? Bugger all!)
Take my hands, Lord Jesus, let them work for you,
Selling health insurance to the well-to-do;
The poor are always with us, taxes are taboo:
I’m all right, Lord [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on August 16, 2009

Thou hidden source of calm repose,
Thou all sufficient love divine,
My help and refuge from my foes,
Secure I am if thou art mine;
And lo! from sin and grief and shame
I hide me, Jesus, in thy name.
Thy mighty name salvation is,
And keeps my happy soul above;
Comfort it brings, and power and peace,
And joy and everlasting love;
To me [...]

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The cost of healthcare

by Richard on August 15, 2009

Atrios gives a fun fact about US government health spending
Fun fact the media never tells you: as a % of GDP, the US has greater public expenditures on health care than the UK does. Not total expenditures, we know that. Public expenditures. More big government health care in the US than the UK.
Here’s another fun [...]

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NHS / US healthcare compared

by Richard on August 15, 2009

Tony has already turned up this very worthwile and balanced contribution to the debate in the comments, but it bears repeating I think: This American’s Experience of Britain’s Healthcare System
I can sum up my experience of the British and American healthcare systems in one simple sentence: given a choice between the two systems, I’d [...]

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Just for Beth: a guest post

by Richard on August 14, 2009

By Tony Buglass
This is Daniel the Spaniel, who shared our home and our hearts for 13 years. He was a very happy dog, with very pretty face and very little brain, and he taught us a great deal about living in the moment. He never learned to let the ball rebound before trying [...]

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Healthcare controversy

by Richard on August 14, 2009

At the end of June I wrote a little piece Yay for the NHS! that got one or two of my American US readers hot under the collar. Now I see that has been repeated on a wider scale, with the American right-wing using the denigrating the NHS in an attempt to stymy President Obama’s [...]

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Here is the Revd. John Ames, from Marilynne Robinson’s preternaturally wonderful novel Gilead, reflecting on a discussion in his catechism class about damnation.
“Two or three of the ladies had pronounced views on points of doctrine, particularly sin and damnation. I blame the radio for sowing a good deal of confusion where theology is concerned. [...]

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