Wednesday, January 31, 2007


This story is another example of how our military gets involved in sectarian violence and another reason why we shouldn’t be there. Whenever one side can get away with using us to go after their enemy, to fight their fight or do their dastardly deeds, they will while all sides continue to target our forces.

From the Independent…

US 'victory' against cult leader was 'massacre'
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
Published: 31 January 2007

There are growing suspicions in Iraq that the official story of the battle outside Najaf between a messianic Iraqi cult and the Iraqi security forces supported by the US, in which 263 people were killed and 210 wounded, is a fabrication. The heavy casualties may be evidence of an unpremeditated massacre.
A picture is beginning to emerge of a clash between an Iraqi Shia tribe on a pilgrimage to Najaf and an Iraqi army checkpoint that led the US to intervene with devastating effect. The involvement of Ahmed al-Hassani (also known as Abu Kamar), who believed himself to be the coming Mahdi, or Messiah, appears to have been accidental.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

At one time the leader of the world in human rights

The United States was at one time the leader of the world in human rights. We liked to call ourselves the greatest nation in the world.

Oh, it's true we stumbled along the way but we always moved ahead in a positive direction. We haven’t always lived up to the fullness of what our Constitution and Bill of Rights calls us, so there were bumps and sometimes giant ruts along our shared histories path that brought great trials and sometimes costs many lives. But America grew brick by brick laid by the tough hands of our forefathers and foremothers whose lifeblood flows throughout the heart of our land. History is full of the tales of their labored lives, hardships, troubles, and accomplishments. The dust of their bones will be desecrated if we take a wrecking ball to the foundation they set.

Now, because of a desire for power, secrecy and control among those in the Bush administration our nation has embraced a cancer of cruel suppression of the dignity of humanity. A sheepish fear among their followers, has allowed them to become mesmerized by a calculating group masquerading as trustworthy, giving the neoconservatives approval to disregard, as if it didn’t exist, the law and ethics of our nation. Acting as all cancers do if not removed it will grow and bring death to our democratic republic.

The loyal dissenters believe this to be a horrible wrong. Driven more by the love we have for this country than by fear, we believe that all must speak out; that every one must shout’ STOP’. We believe it is time for all to demonstrate the courage of our ancestors and love America more than fear the unknown. And that goes especially for our new Democratically controlled Congress who have given us a new found hope for a return to constitutional order, an end to Iraqi occupation and a halt to military adventurism.

We our now facing our giant rut along the path, will we dishonor the legacy of those who stood so bravely on this land before us?

Amnesty International Guantánamo Bay Protest Slideshow
Amnesty International USAHuman Rights Agenda for the 110th U.S. Congress

ACLU Calls for Accountability from Gonzales on Torture and Surveillance

House of Representatives

U.S. Senate

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I’m supposed to hate!?!

They are evil and we are good.

God is on our side because we are chosen by God.

The evildoers beneath us can’t be negotiated with because

they must do what we demand in the holy name of God

or be destroyed.
Holy Dirt---Steve Schalchlin

I get the felling I’m supposed to hate. I can’t be a loyal American or a good Catholic (or any other kind of Christian) unless I believe that all members of Islam want to make us all like them or destroy us and our freedom in the process.

Well, the positions I take are much more in line with our past and current pope, our bishop and Catholic social teaching.

Hate doesn’t see any of that because it’s blind and driven by fear.

Bravado driven nationalism that disguises hate in an illusion of the defense of mom and apple pie does not improve its immorality.
It is well known that honest dissent takes courage and is the highest form of patriotism.

People say they have love of nation and faith in God but once again it is necessary to point out that the greater part of faith is trust. If we love Jesus it’s imperative that we at least struggle to trust in what He taught us.

We all fall short, I know I have a whole stack of demons I wrestle with and I let them win far more often than I should, but to outright deny Christ in favor of fear and hate is just wrong. We should all be encouraging each other in this struggle and not be putting pressure on those who disagree to join in an orgy of embracing evil.

Hate is evil, it always has been and it always will be the largest obstacle to fitting through the needles eye.

"Don't ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love. We must have the compassion and understanding for those who hate us. We must realize so many people are taught to hate us that they are not totally responsible for their hate. But we stand in life at midnight; we are always on the threshold of a new dawn."

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

"In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives."

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

please listen...
(Didn’t Know I Was) unAmerican

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Are we going to do to Iran what we did to Iraq?

Are they really going to do it? Is it time to do the next ‘protect America now or we’ll all die war’ by attacking Iran. Two carrier groups, mine sweepers and no telling what else all ready to deliver ‘shock and awe’ on country number three. Today the President called for doubling the Strategic Oil Reserves which sounds like another war preparation. Word bombs have been lobbed by both sides for quite some time now. But, recently there seems to be a quality to the tone of the rhetoric that hangs heavy in the air suggesting an inevitable conflict is just over the horizon.

I worry about Russia’s closeness to Iran; they are joined by the Caspian Sea and they have sent defensive missiles to Iran. Will they be drawn into this war? Saudi citizens are sending money in the millions to the Sunnis of Iraq. Will they be drawn into the war?

I feel depressed about the whole thing. It all sounds so much like what we heard before the Iraq War. I could see the can of worms we were opening in Iraq. I’m not special in what I saw before this war. Many legitimately knowledgeable people at home and around the world knew the disaster that would occur with an invasion of Iraq and it was known since 1991. If all these people knew it right down to some little guy like me, why didn’t Bush see it?

It’s amazing why our leaders didn’t see it. I believe they let their ideology get in the way so they ignored, wouldn’t even allow themselves even to openly question, all that would go wrong. However, I think lust for oil and the PNAC documents are far closer to the truth that explains this war.I remember explaining to my family that they wouldn’t fight us directly but that they would blend into the population and rage a guerilla war. It wasn’t hard to see that radical Islamic fundamentalists would thrive in this environment leading to an explosion among the terrorists’ population.

There’s a long list of problems that were caused when President Bush and his administration blatantly lied us into this Iraqi quagmire. They led America into believing that we were under an imminent threat of attack from Iraq. That mushroom clouds would appear on our shores if we did not move quick enough. Of course this was all lies.

And now, they want us to believe and trust them, again.

Congress is about to rightfully tell the administration they have no confidence in the plans to escalate the war in Iraq.

It won’t mean a thing if we engage Iran in war. This is another can of worms, far more foolhardy than the last, full of death and destruction.
14 Characteristics of Fascism - Mike Malloy
1992 Defense Planning Guidance

Escalation of US Iran military planning part of six-year Administration push Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel KanePublished: Tuesday January 23, 2007
A project of Raw Story Investigates

The escalation of US military planning on Iran is only the latest chess move in a six-year push within the Bush Administration to attack Iran, a RAW STORY investigation has found.

From Frontline….

also from; Raw Story...

Rummy's Back (did he ever leave?)

On Thursday, 9 Nov 06, I wrote this on my old Blog. Musings from the Outskirts of Cognition

Robert Gates seems to be a good company man type of guy who is going to do a very good job of what he’s told. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe we might see Donald Rumsfeld slip quietly undercover into some type of ‘advisory role’.

I really don’t trust these guys.

Well what do you know, today Raw Story is reporting that….

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has left the Pentagon, but not the Defense Department, reports Thursday's edition of the Washington Times, revealed that Bush's onetime Defense chief is now an unpaid consultant -- with classified access.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Stop executions in Iraq

One of the reasons I joined the good people of Amnesty International was because of my opposition to the death penalty. I believe it to always be immoral. In the case of Iraq reconciliation must be priority one in order to begin to heal and hopefully bring a halt to the sectarian violence. Put him in prison for life, treat him humanely and let that humanity begin to spill over the nation.

Stop Execution of Former Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadhan

Escalation of death

The group of people who believe escalation is a good idea is very small.
Our military leaders are against it. This escalation of death is no
substitute for diplomacy. Since Christ instructed us to love our enemies
don't you think talking to them would be a small little baby step in that
direction. Please stand against escalation.

There’s much more at Network. Please read, sign on then send to the President and your members of Congress.

Escalate diplomacy, not troops in Iraq
End This War

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pro-life Liberal

I am a pro-life liberal. I do believe that God gets the ball rolling at the point of conception. This is a religious belief and I do feel it is the correct one. I am also willing to understand that not everyone is going to share the same religious dogma that I do. I don’t believe it to be right; in fact it’s a dangerous road to follow, to pass laws solely based on the religious beliefs of a group.

This position gets harder to take as the pregnancy continues and science as well as common sense both comes to the same understanding that a child is indeed dwelling in the womb. Our elected leaders, guided by science, must have the courage to come to a determination at what point life exists, at what point a person becomes a person and then set that as the law of the land. A large scientific panel should be convened to tackle this most important of human questions.

It would then up to the religious community to sway people through varying forms of religious education to a view more palatable with their religious faith. Individuals within the faith community, or open to it, who may be contemplating abortion must be moved to keep their young life at conception by love and understanding based on faith. Hearts must be softened by instilling a love for the Creator and the importance to surrendering to His will. These arguments would be made stronger if the vast majority of those who claim to be pro-life would embrace all life with the love and vigor we have been taught by Christ. This would help to remove the shameful hypocrisy in the pro-life movement as it exists in our modern times also possibly opening these arguments to the understanding of those not of our particular faith communities.

But in the end God has given us free will and that must be respected. Once again, it is a violation of our Bill of Rights to force people to live under the dictates of any particular religious belief. In the long run it does Him a disservice because He is far more interested in what love we have for Him and each other in our hearts rather than the faith we show to our laws.

As a liberal I understand the importance of hope. Hope is what it's about. When you're on the bottom you cling to hope. A poor struggling single Mom or family is often left with more fear than hope. It becomes easier to rationalize a need for abortion when you see no help or support anywhere. If you want to decrease abortions or maybe even keep most from ever occurring it is a must to restore hope.

They need help. Help that can best come from policies that demonstrate real care and real help. Hope can best be achieved by all of us working together, Church, hospitals, civilians and, yes, a large role for the government. Help with the bills, medical and child care. A strong support system is of the greatest importance.

The conservatives make a fuss about abortion being the wrong choice but they do very little about it. Meaningful funding of programs that care for mothers in need during their pregnancy and the years following are not possible within their ideology.

They would rather pay lip service to groups opposing abortion than really trying to tackle all the facets of this problem. They have a vested interest in keeping things the way they are. Catering to the religious right along with their fundamentalist cohorts joined with a skillful use of fear brings votes and along with these votes come more power and riches. These have been used to rage an immoral and unjust war which has led to a raping occupation in Iraq with a growing threat of more military adventurism in Iran and more war profiteering and more instability for our nation, the Middle East and the world.

for example please view.....
Collateral Damage
from; Burnt Page Films

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Gonzales & Habeas Corpus

(This photo is from a Japanese-American internment camp.)
Torture is a dark sinister event that must be halted. Great shame has been brought on our nation because of this hideous practice. Torture is evil everywhere it's practiced and it must never be used for information, punishment, intimidation or for any of the other screwy reasons governments or 'freedom fighters' deploy it.

Also, from the mouth of our Attorney General, “…the Constitution doesn't say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn't say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.”
Alberto Gonzales

The Habeas Corpus Act 1679 came into being during the reign of King Charles II of England. It was adopted into our own constitution where it states, “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”

These words from Gonzales are frightening and un-American. It’s another reason why it’s time to get rid of these guys. Investigations leading to impeaching both the president and vice-president would be a wise and necessary action which would begin to repair our damaged democracy.
please listen....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Iran offered concessions in 2003

from the BBC...

Iran offered the US a package of concessions in 2003, but it was rejected, a senior former US official has told the BBC's Newsnight programme.
Tehran proposed ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups and helping to stabilise Iraq following the US-led invasion.
Offers, including making its nuclear programme more transparent, were conditional on the US ending hostility.
But Vice-President Dick Cheney's office rejected the plan, the official said.

Investigations must take place with a serious eye on impeachment of both the President and Vice-President!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Trip to Guantanamo

Join Amnesty International's virtual flotilla.

then sign their pledge!

Mr. President,

Torture is Unacceptable!

When we became a nation that tortures we became less. It's a dark sinister turn that must be halted and made right. Great shame has been brought on our nation because of this hideous practice. You like to make bellicose speeches about evil all over the world. Well torture is evil here and everywhere it's practiced and it must never be used for information or punishment or intimidation or for any of the other screwy reasons governments or 'freedom fighters' deploy it.

Torture is a cowardly act of weakness. We need to draw away from this behavior; we need to educate ourselves to the damage caused by mistreatment of prisoners. Far more good can be gained for America by listening to those who value civility and human rights than by ignoring them.

I fear we do so at our own peril.

No Iran War

"Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,neither shall they learn war any more."
(Isaiah 2:4)

Read statement and sign-on

Words, Not War, With Iran

also read this......
God takes no sides in war

Saint Francis of Assisi was able, during war, to walk between the Moslem side and the Christian side talking of love and peace and the architect of both.
There are many people, I’m sad to say even some who have his statue in their gardens thinking of him only as a lover of birds and little furry animals, who would call him a vile traitor, liberal appeaser and dangerous threat worthy of torture and life detention if he were to carry out those same actions in today’s climate.
There’s been a lot of hatefulness lately from right wing conservatives, many who consider themselves chosen Christians, who feel the government has no business caring for the most vulnerable among us, while wasting money on corporation 'wellfare' and giveaway schemes or military adventurism is just fine.
Hate and prejudice directed at minorities, immigrants and anyone who voices dissent or interferes has not died. I fear there are a sizeable number of people on the right who really don't care that the invasion and susquent occupation in Iraq is wrong and that as long as we're killing Moslems its okay and the sooner we can do that in Iran the better.

Scant evidence found of Iran-Iraq arms link
U.S. warnings of advanced weaponry crossing the border are overstated, critics say.
By Alexandra Zavis and Greg Miller, Times Staff WritersJanuary 23, 2007

BAQUBAH, IRAQ — If there is anywhere Iran could easily stir up trouble in Iraq, it would be in Diyala, a rugged province along the border between the two nations.The combination of Sunni Arab militants believed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda and Shiite Muslim militiamen with ties to Iran has fueled waves of sectarian and political violence here. The province is bisected by long-traveled routes leading from Iran to Baghdad and Shiite holy cities farther south in Iraq.But even here, evidence of Iranian involvement in Iraq's troubles is limited. U.S. troops have found mortars and antitank mines with Iranian markings dated 2006, said U.S. Army Col. David W. Sutherland, who oversees the province. But there has been little sign of more advanced weaponry crossing the border, and no Iranian agents have been found.

more at...
L.A. Times,1,5002907.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage&track=crosspromo

please listen.....

War On Terror Fear Campaign (montage)

George Bush---The Wave

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Christian nation?

We are not a Christian nation.
It doesn’t matter what our founding fathers believed about their own personal faith. To be a Christian nation we would have to act like one. We would have to be the servant of all and as a nation make meaningful sacrifices for the good of all people.
We would have to love those who hate us and wish to do us harm , pray for them, ask that they be blessed, forgive them and do good things for them as well.
Far too many times we Christians have excused crimes against humanity done in our name. Our nation has too often placed into power or supported dictators guilty of many human rights atrocities for what is perceived as some short term foreign policy benefit. Often these arrangements are made for the profit of powerful international corporations.
A short list of sins against our neighbors would include; detention of innocents, accepting the use of torture, tolerance of the killing of innocent women and children as just a casualty of war, participating in and profiting from the arms trade, and supporting cruel and unjust economic policies in the third world.
‘God bless the whole world-no exceptions’.

Christ clearly tells us what he expects of us.
31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,
32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
40 And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41 Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
44 Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'
45 He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'
46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Matthew: Chapter 25

Jesus tells us that we are to love God with our whole heart and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He also tells us to love our enemies. The demands of our Christian faith dictate that we must care for the benefit and well being of our enemies as well as ourselves.
The greater part of faith is trust. If we have faith in all that Jesus taught then we should muster the courage to trust Him as well.

Saint Paul very plainly tells us of love and its importance.
1 If I speak with human tongues and angelic as well, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and, with full knowledge, comprehend all mysteries, if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give everything I have to feed the poor and hand over my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish.
5 Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood overinjuries.
6 Love does not rejoice in what is wrong but rejoices with the truth.
7 There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.
8 Love never fails. Prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, knowledge will pass away.
13 There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.

The Prayer of Saint Francis
"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light,
and Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seekto be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."

Among the conservative right the flag and its pledge has risen to a station of an icon and its prayer.
They have a high priest—(Bush);
Bishops—(the administration and party leadership);
Various ranks of priests—(national and state office holders);
And a blind faithful flock—(the base).
They worship at the Alter of Commerce in the Church of Supremacy.
Their dungeons are full of skeletons and sinister secrets.
Half truths, self- aggrandizement and trepidation are the subjects of their sermons.
The virtues they cherish are greed, pride, gluttony and tyranny.
The fruit they bare is misery, death and devastation.
Darkness follows in their wake;
And ruin is their toll.