December 2006 Archives

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By Brenda Clemons, U2 Station Staff Writer

Mark Wrathall is a philosophy teacher at Brigham Young University. He is also a U2 fan. It was while riding his Harley through the desert that he came to the realization that Bono's lyrics would make good examples for his lessons. The idea caught on and soon his students were bringing their favorite U2 CDs to class. This led to the idea of a book. Several philosophy Professors have written essays that make up the text of the book. Mark Wrathall is the editor. He took time out of his schedule to talk to me about U2, Bono and the human soul. (Editor's note: Mark Wrathall's book can be purchased from Amazon.com).

1. Do you believe the world's governments have a responsibility to foster higher thinking or the evolution of the human soul? If so, do you think that they have been successful or have they failed?

I think governments have a responsibility to secure an environment that lets people develop their thinking capacities or improve their souls. But I don't want the government to dictate how this development or improvement is to be brought about. The interesting questions for our time are, first, to what degree governments are capable of fostering this sort of environment in a globalized, technological world culture.
It could be that other actors and social forces are eclipsing the power of national governments to shape the intellectual and spiritual atmosphere. Second, we ought to be asking to what degree political actors can legitimately limit their focus to their own nations, to the exclusion of the rest of the world.

Honorary Knighthood for U2's Bono

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U2 frontman Bono is being awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen, the British Embassy in Dublin has said.

The singer, whose real name is Paul Hewson, has been given the honour for "his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work," it said.

Prime Minister Tony Blair congratulated him, telling the singer in a letter: "You have tirelessly used your voice to speak up for Africa."

The 46-year-old will receive the honour in Dublin early in the new year.

British ambassador David Reddaway will conduct the ceremony.

The embassy said the agreement of the Irish government was sought and granted for the Dublin-born singer to be honoured.

A statement on the band's website said the singer, who has lobbied Western leaders to increase aid to developing countries and cancel Third World debt, was "very flattered" to receive the award.

It added that he hoped it opened doors for his campaigning work against extreme poverty in Africa.

Bono Slams Dems' $1B AIDS Dodge

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By Ian Bishop

WASHINGTON - Even with Democrats poised to control the government's purse strings next year, U2's Bono still hasn't found what he's looking for when it comes to U.S. funds to combat AIDS.

The disappointed U2 frontman stormed away from high-level meetings with incoming Democratic leaders late last week without assurances that $1 billion in proposed U.S. support would become a reality next year.

"I'm alarmed we could not get a commitment from the Democratic leadership to prevent the loss of $1 billion in the continuing resolution to fight AIDS, malaria and extreme poverty," the rock star said in a statement.

President Bush had proposed that amount in the past.

"I don't know who's to blame. Democrats are blaming Republicans, Republicans are blaming Democrats," Bono added.

Congressional leaders are expected to freeze the budgets of federal agencies, making it unlikely additional funds will be provided.

Copyright © 2006 New York Post. All rights reserved.

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U2 embraces all comers in an inspired, intimate Aloha Stadium spectacle

by Gary C.W. Chun

Slovenia, Ireland, England, Arkansas ..."

They came from all over, avid fans of a certain band that was wrapping up its world tour Saturday at Aloha Stadium. A guy was telling his friends of the people he'd met from such faraway locales, as a long line of ticketholders finally made it inside to experience the near-evangelical power that is U2 in concert.

True believers all, some of them wore the (Product) Red T-shirts that are part of lead singer Bono's consumer campaign to help finance the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty, particularly in Africa. But in the true rock 'n' roll spirit, others wore amusing, sarcastic knockoffs printed with "INSPI(RED)" and "DESI(RED)." A couple of shirts even read "HAMME(RED)," and one said "BO(RED)."

Regardless of their attitudes, fans filled the stadium to capacity to eagerly attend the Church of U2. As Bono mentioned early on, it was "a gathering of the faithful," and the "congregation," at times, literally shook the venue's rusting stands in gleeful approval. Somewhere in all that humanity, according to stadium spokesman Patrick Leonard, were special guests Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and celebrities Pierce Brosnan, Kid Rock and cast members of the ABC show "Lost."

The singer also thanked the crowd for being patient and having faith in the band. That faith was rewarded several times over the course of the evening.

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