The Common Good

Blog Posts By Jack Palmer

Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 46 weeks ago
If we look at what is happening this week – elections in Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo, an aid effectiveness conference in South Korea, the continuing Arab Spring in Syria and beyond, World Aids Day Thursday – and in the coming weeks -- the U.N. climate change conference, COP17 -- we cannot pretend that these events have no impact on our lives here and now.Every one of these events is a matter of justice. The citizens of Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo deserve the opportunity to express freely, without fear of intimidation or violence, how they believe their country should be governed. Having spent some time in the region, I believe that the people of the DRC deserve more than any other to live in a country where they are safe and secure.How we assist other countries in their development is an issue of justice.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 46 weeks ago
Private Sector Adds 206,000 Jobs In November; Police Clear Occupy Camps In Los Angeles, Philly; Churches Help Occupy Movement Survive Crackdowns, Winter; Study: Even With More Kids In Poverty, Number Of Uninsured Children Fell 14 Percent Over 3 Years; Poverty Soars For Students In D.C., Montgomery County; Anonymous Iowa Christian Group Launches Attack On Gingrich; Should Fair Trade Certify Giants Like Nestle and Folger's?; Long Lines For Free Holiday Food Vouchers.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 46 weeks ago
GOP Candidates Fight Over Future Of Immigration Reform; The Letter From Evangelical Iowa; Evangelical Good News For Romney?; Child Poverty Rises In 96 Of Top 100 School Districts Since 2007; Undocumented Migrant Whose Lack Of Hope Drove Him To Suicide; Does Your Aid Count?; Is Tim Tebow Performing Miracles? (OPINION)
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 46 weeks ago
This weekend, 60 Minutes aired a piece that has been commended by many as a shocking but must-see insight into poverty in the United States today.Sixteen million children now live in poverty, and for many, they don’t even have a proper place to call home. These situations are even more frequent in areas of the country where traditional industries have collapsed in the wake of the financial crisis – such as the construction industry in central Florida.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 46 weeks ago
Coptics Fear Islamists Will Sweep Egypt Elections; Why Columbus, Ohio, Needs Somali Cops On Its Force; Anti-Mormon Bias Persistent In Presidential Politics; Rampant Levels Of Poverty In Florida Force Families To Live In Cars; Religion: A Growing, Changing God Lobby In D.C.; Poll Numbers Suggest Gingrich’s ‘Humane’ Immigration Stance Could Help Him; How 2008 Radicalized Me; Cornel West: Ultimate Fight For Entitlements Will Be In "The Streets"
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 47 weeks ago
Attack On The Middle Class!!; Union Leader Declined To Endorse Romney Because He ‘Represents The One Percent’; And Now It's Time For The Occupy Obituaries; Pastor Fights HIV Stigma In Southern Town; Do Protestants Need Some Holy Humor?; A Preaching 'Genius' Faces His Toughest Convert; GOP Foreign Policy: Neoconservatives Looking For A Comeback In 2012.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 47 weeks ago
Policy-Making Billionaires, Poverty In The Midst Of Plenty: Hunger Persists In The United States; The Religion Of An Increasingly Godless America (OPINION); Evangelicals Flocking Toward Newt Gingrich; Rev. Jackson Calls For New War On Poverty; Improving Social Justice Indicators Will Create A Better U.S. (OPINION); Is The Black Church The Answer To Liberal Prayers?; Catholic Charities' Human Trafficking Program Loses Federal Funds; Air Force Academy Adapts to Pagans, Druids, Witches and Wiccans.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 47 weeks ago
Another week, another Republican Presidential Debate.This time, eight of the GOP candidates for the nomination spent their evening putting forward their beliefs on the issues of foreign policy and national security. The topics ‘debated’ (out of respect for Debate teams around the country, I use inverted commas) were not surprising – Afghanistan, Iran, the Arab Spring, Israel, foreign aid, immigration.But there were a few things that the candidates did say that caught my attention as I read through the transcript this morning – particularly in relation to foreign aid and immigration.It was encouraging to hear at least one candidate come out and support the positive impact and geo-strategic importance that non-military development assistance is playing on the African continent (even if he did accidentally call Africa a "country.")
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 47 weeks ago
Older, Suburban And Struggling, ‘Near Poor’ Startle The Census. OWS Campers: What Can We Occupy Next. Social Conservatives Hold Covert Meeting To Stop Romney. In Season Of Giving Thanks, Signs That Gratitude Is Back. What Christians Want In A President. Could Gingrich’s Immigration Stance Boost His 2012 Chances? And States’ Immigration Laws Fill Leadership Void Left by President and Congress.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 47 weeks ago
GOP Candidates Show Sharp Differences On National Security And Terrorism; GOP Debate: Romney Aide Struggles To Answer Immigration Question While Attacking Gingrich; Occupy Pessimism; Occupying The Gospel; An America Less Friendly To Christians? Not In This Campaign Supercommittee Failure Confirms What Most Americans Believe About Congress; Evangelicals Assert Their Role In GOP Primary; Occupy Thanksgiving.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 47 weeks ago
Is The Bible A Reliable Moral Guide?; Why I Got Arrested At Occupy Wall Street; Unemployment Rates Drop In Most States;Black Friday And The Importance Of Sabbath Rest; Poor People To Get Poorer; Coptic Christians Living In Egypt Speak Out (VIDEO); Wall Street Will Never Be The Same Again; Occupy Wall Street And The Crisis Of Choice (OPINION); Candidates Face Foreign Policy Challenge; Don't Surrender To Laws Of Market, Pope SaysOut To Lunch: Congress Puts The Food Lobby Above Child Nutrition; Supercommittee Failure Puts U.S. At Risk (OPINION); Would The World Be Better Off Without Religion? (AUDIO); 'Thanksgiving To Almighty God' Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations From George Washington To Barack Obama.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 48 weeks ago
In 'God's Country': Voting Wallets Over Religion. Why Evangelicals Forgive (Republican) Sex Scandals. The Gospel According To Herman Cain. Pope Asks African Catholics To Be ‘Apostles Of Reconciliation.’ Super Screwed. Congress May Try Blocking Cuts If Debt Panel Fails. Too Much Violence And Pepper Spray At The OWS Protests: The Videos And Pictures.  
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 48 weeks ago
Obama At Church: The Tricky, Exciting, Distracting Business Of Worshipping With A President. OpEd: Should A President Be Intelligent? Archbishop Rowan Williams Backs Revolt Against Coalition's Welfare Cuts. Taking It To The Streets. Are Christians To Blame For White House Shooter Linking Obama, Antichrist? Voices Of The Near Poor. What Occupy Harvard Should Tell Liberal Elite Parents On Thanksgiving. Democrats To Protest Immigration Crackdowns. And Hispanic Churches Fight Alabama Crackdown On Immigration.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 48 weeks ago
Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is A Disaster For The State’s Economy; Undocumented Immigrants Facing Deportation: Caught Up In Confusion, Lost Records, Inconsistent Policy Enforcement, And Difficult Choices; A Deeper Look At Income Inequality; Why The Debt Panel Is In Trouble; How Congress Occupied Wall Street (OPINION – Sarah Palin); 68 Percent Of The Sons Of The 1 Percent Work At Their Dad's Company; More Than 1 In 5 U.S. Children Poor, Census Says.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 48 weeks ago
There is something fundamentally wrong with our education system when the draws of a huge salary and big bonuses consistently trump the aspirations and dreams that were front and center in our lives just four years earlier. Debts, a lack of job opportunities in other fields, your basic standard-issue panic — or maybe a simple absence of imagination can take hold and send us running into the arms of the recruiter with the flashy suit, a Hollywood smile and promise of a better life.As Terkel reminds us: “Young people will continue to go work in the financial sector as long as its pay is disproportionately higher than alternative careers. It's basic human nature: Follow the money.”But what would it look like if we didn’t follow the money? What if Wall Street paid no more than schools or hospitals?What would our economy look like if these leading young minds chose not to work for big banks and consultants, but instead were the teachers that helped turn failing schools around, the innovators and engineers who were designing products that would create thousands of new jobs?What needs to be done so that the finest members of the 2012 graduating class head to Main Street instead of Wall Street?
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 48 weeks ago
Santorum: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Have A 'Legitimate Point', 'Occupy' Protesters March On New York Stock Exchange, Occupy Wall Street November 17: Journalists Arrested, Beaten By Police, 'Orchestrated' Arrests In Downtown L.A. Protest, Police Say, Deficit Talks Shift Toward Blame Game, GOP Supercommittee Members' Tax Plan Gives Party An Identity Crisis, Vatican Objects To Pope Kissing Imam Advert.     
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 48 weeks ago
As Injured Vets Return Home, Churches Reach Out. Occupy Wall Street Gears Up For The Big Day. Faith Overtones In Occupy Protests But Leaders Wary. OpEd: How The First Amendment Got Hijacked. Religious Groups Offer Help To Evicted Protesters. OpEd: What Happens When A Seminary Is Occupied? Religious Voices Loud And Clear At Keystone XL Protests. Iowa Scientists Ask Candidates To Acknowledge Climate Change. And Below The Line: Portraits Of American Poverty.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 48 weeks ago
The latest news on the Occupy Wall Street movement this morning includes: Occupy Wall Street camps are today's Hoovervilles. At Zuccotti Park, police protect the 1 percent. The New OWS: Reset button or game over? Harsh NYPD action against OWS might energize the movement. Alec Baldwin on "What Occupy Wall Street Has Taught Me." Olbermann condemns Bloomberg. President Obama says each city must decide for itself how to handle OWS protests. Occupy Wall Street and the return of law and order politics. The Straw Man cometh to Zuccotti Park. Militarizing police forces from Oakland to NYC. And more.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 48 weeks ago
A (usually) twice-daily round up of news related to Sojourners commitments to social justice and the poor.Organized Labor Will Continue Standing With Evicted Protesters. Sentamu Hits Out At Greed Culture Of Fat Cats. Does Immigration Fuel Crime? Without Statistical Consensus, Rhetoric And Fear Reign In Debate. Occupying History. Faith Plays Role In Occupy Wall Street Sense Of Morality. Immigrants And English Acquisition. People Reject National Banks, Want To Go Local. OpEd: On the Rise in Alabama. Why the Religious Right Can’t Seem to Get the Candidate It Wants. A New Battle For Religious Freedom? Keystone XL Is Delayed — So Where's The Oil Going Now? OpEd: Is Rick Perry’s Zero Foreign Aid Plan Feasible? Desirable?
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 48 weeks ago
According to the Associated Press: The National Lawyers Guild says it has obtained a court that allows Occupy Wall St. protesters to return with tents to a New York City park. The guild says the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on Occupy Wall Street protesters.More of the latest news on the Occupy Wall Street movement inside.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 49 weeks ago
 Cain: God Convinced Me To Run For President. OpEd: Whatever Happened To Discipline And Hard Work? Bob Jones III Unplugged. GOP Candidates Hammer Obama On His Iran Policy During South Carolina Debate. Jon Huntsman Blasts "Sound-Bite Campaigning." OpEd: Christian Politics Create Unholy Alliances. Would Cracking Down On Illegal Immigration Really Cut Unemployment? And the Poor Are With Us, However You Count Them.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 49 weeks ago
One year of prison costs more than one year at Princeton. Capitalism and social justice. OpEd: The values discussion we're not having. 'One Day's Wages' fights poverty two years on. Government aid helped cut U.S. poverty nearly in half. Religion-friendly democracy and democracy-friendly religion. And Newt Gingrich says God forgave him. 
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 49 weeks ago
Reawakening the Radical Imagination. Proposed Keystone XL pipeline route may be reassessed. OpEd: The answer is: Spend less. Cornel West keeps the faith for Occupy Wall Street. Most Americans support raising the minimum wage. Smithsonian museum on Jefferson's Bible. Poll suggests evangelicals favor redistribution of wealth. Defining poverty in a land of plenty. Is American becoming a nation of poor children? Are older Americans better off? Immigration in the South. Are unions and young people a winning combination for 2012? Unemployment claims drop for the second straight week. And Christian leaders talk about marriage and sex.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 49 weeks ago
For three straight years, there have been more than three job seekers to every available job. Nineteen statistics about the poor in America that will absolutely astound you (or should.) Poll shows most Americans see deepening wealth gap. OpEd: Juliet Eilperin of Think Progress believes climate change could be a "wedge issue" in 2012 elections. Rolling Stone magazine on "How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich." And Obama leads with Latino voters going into 2012, while GOP frontrunners face backlash on immigration.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 49 weeks ago
New regulations increase accountability and boost quality in Head Start programs. Economic statements from the GOP presidential contenders. "Occupy" groups plan march from New York City to Washington, D.C. Our expensive, expanding nuclear weapons complex. Evangelicals call for nuclear cutbacks. Mississippi rejects abortion amendment. Ohio repeals anti-union law. And is Occupy Wall Street overshadowing itself?
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 49 weeks ago
Oppression is not a state right. OpEd: Twenty-five years after Reagan's "Amnesty Bill," conservatives should support increased immigration. A new survey says strong majority of Americans would be better off if our distribution of wealth were more equitable. Environmental activist Bill McKibben says surrounding the White House on Sunday was an "historic step" in stopping the Keystone XL pipeline. Obama mulls siding with Christians, environmentalists or the unions in tar sands debate. And nearly a third of U.S. homes are underwater (figuratively.)  
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 49 weeks ago
Human trafficking and sex slavery thrives in the U.S. and abroad. Census Bureau measure more Americans living in poverty. Debate brews over new method of measuring poverty. Poll finds voters deeply torn. Faith important in 2012 presidential election, but skepticism about Mormonism remains. Health tab for climate change: $14 billion. What do the Copts mean for Arab Spring?
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 50 weeks ago
U.S. foreign aid and the 2012 budget. Most Republicans want someone other than Romney on the GOP presidential ticket. OpEd: A year from the election, how does Obama measure up? Thanksgiving week discussion on faith with the GOP presidential candidates. President Clinton defends Perry on immigration. Recent poll says 62 percent believe the war in Iraq wasn't worth fighting. "Wall Street resurgent prosperity frustrates its claims, and Obama's."
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 50 weeks ago
Protesters encircle the White House. Democrats get blow-back over outreach to religious voters. Catholic bishops to Penn State: Call the Cops. GOP candidates on the issues. Rick Perry's faith journey leads to presidential run. E.J. Dionne on the politics of the "heavenly and unheavenly". Alabama immigration law crippling farms. Immigration focus of Arizona recall election. Living with homelessness.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 50 weeks ago
This morning, as I caught up on what had been going on in the world over the weekend, I stumbled across a very interesting resource -- a website that compares the frequency with which words appear in the Bible and the Quran. Although that in itself is an interesting tool, I was less interested in the comparison feature and more interested to see how often certain words appear in the Bible.
Posted by Jack Palmer 2 years 51 weeks ago
Last weekend, I had the privilege of spending some time at the End Genocide Action Summit, which brought people from all over the world to Washington, D.C., to learn about and fight against genocide, particularly the ongoing genocide being waged by Omar al-Bashir against the people of Darfur, Sudan.
Posted by Jack Palmer 3 years 2 days ago
As Christians are we not obligated to help those who area most in need? Should we only focus on those in our own country who need our help, or does God's command us to ignore borders? How might the words of the biblical prophet Isaiah resonate with us today, when he says: "If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday."
Posted by Jack Palmer 3 years 1 week ago
This was not so much a movie as a (very long) sermon. In fact, it's a sermon that actually culminates in a sermon, as Kendrick's character spells out what he has learned in a message delivered to his church congregation. Despite its well-meaning intentions, Courageous fails to say anything new about fatherhood, family, faith or anything else, for that matter. The few funny or moving scenes are surrounded by clunky acting, overly-moralistic dialogue and a plot that is trying to be three movies in one -- and none of them terribly believable.
Posted by Jack Palmer 3 years 1 week ago
Posted by Jack Palmer 3 years 1 week ago
The news cycle often moves so quickly that very often big news stories are forgotten within a day, sometimes even more quickly. I prayerfully hope that this is not and will not be the case with the story of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, the Iranian Christian leader who has been sentenced to death for refusing to recant his religious beliefs and convert to Islam. Arrested in 2009 on a charge of apostasy, he has spent two years in jail, with his wife also being jailed on similar charges last year. The world's media was watching then.
Posted by Jack Palmer 3 years 2 weeks ago
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economyWhere is the compassion in our economy and our politics? It says much of the economic system that Sojourners even needs to campaign for a "moral budget." How do we, as Christians, challenge structures that allow billions of dollars to be wasted via tax loopholes while 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty?Will we, as Sachs hopes,
Posted by Jack Palmer 3 years 2 weeks ago
#OccupyWallStreet (the New York-based protest against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government) has moved to a new location, a street where the air is far sweeter than on Wall Street.Won't you tell me how to get, how to get ... there?That's right, folks, the occupation has taken over Sesame Street.
Posted by Jack Palmer 3 years 5 weeks ago
Did you know 98 percent of poor households in the U.S. (those with an income of about $22,000 or less for a family of four) own a STOVE or OVEN? Or that 84 percent of poor households have AIR CONDITIONING? Shocking! An outrage! At least that's what some of our colleagues in the media appear to believe, as Jon Stewart documents in the following "Daily Show" report: