Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Anger and Vengeance and Intolerance in the Middle East MUST END!!!

Yeah you don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Slim
Jim Croce - You Don't Mess Around With Jim

The logic of firing missiles into Israel completely escapes me. I fail to understand what Hamas hoped to accomplish. Maybe there's some bravado driven slaps on the back that makes this all worth-while to them. Maybe it's their way of solidifying their base. The political, social, humanitarian and spiritual result of terrorism always seems to be negative outside of the few perpetrators who receive some form of self satisfaction in their horrible deeds.

Much more can be accomplished by embracing the non-violent methods of outstanding leaders such as Martin Luther King and Gandhi. The world would be far more supportive of injustices inflicted on and the needs of the Palestinian people if we all didn't have to do a collective 'yea but' because of terrorism.

This in no way excuses Israel from the wrong they have done to the Palestinians. Military occupation always leads to human rights abuses and bad feelings between the parties which has been exasperated by foreign settlements and the hated wall of separation. 'Shock and awe' military excesses especially for punishment is always unjustified. It doesn't deter terrorism, it feeds it a high protein diet because of the deaths, injuries and hardships it forces upon a largely innocent civilian population.


Bush is not blameless. Removing the US from the peace process from the earliest days of his administration was an invitation to kaos. His forceful encouragement of having votes too early in Afghanistan, Iraq and among the Palestinians in his zeal to have instant democracies only brought him instant Karma and disaster for the people of those nations. His embracing of excessive violence over diplomacy has been a disaster for the Middle East and legitimized its use among others inclined to embrace this bloody trap.

The hope of Obama is diplomacy. The hope of diplomacy is people putting aside past grievances, many of which are horrendously terrible and heart wrenching, in favor of mutual cooperation, security and growth.

Loving your enemy, doing good things for them and forgiveness, as Christ taught, needs to be embraced by the Christian community so that we can be legitimate brokers for peace rather than antagonists for doom and destruction.

Whoever says he is in the light,
yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness.
Whoever loves his brother remains in the light,
and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.
Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;
he walks in darkness
and does not know where he is going
because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1 Jn 2

Bush Refuses To Interrupt His Final Vacation As Middle East Crisis Escalates

Progressive Jewish Groups See Test in Crisis

Israeli Bombings Mark Moment to Show Jewish American Voice Not Monolithic on Force

US, UN, EU, Russia urge immediate Gaza cease-fire

From Left to Right on Israel Makes War on Gaza

Israel Considers a 48-Hour Cease-Fire

from the nutty and very dangerous Neocon mind...
Bolton: Gaza Crisis Means We Should Attack Iran Now
Israel Rejects 48-Hour Cease-Fire Plan

End unlawful attacks and meet Gaza's emergency needs
West Bank anger over Gaza raids

more on the maddness from MSNBC...

Graphic, uncensored video shows carnage in Gaza

Israel Invades Gaza: Info, Updates

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Orwell said it.

They are ready and willing to accept something as being green one day, then believe, without a doubt, because they've been told, that same thing is orange the next day; convinced it never was green, while it has been, in fact, truly blue all along.

I thought the sentiment behind those lines were original with me. But, may be not. It may have been locked up in the deep recesses of my brain from reading '1984' in the '70s. I sure don't remember it.

Last night I listened to an old time radio version of 1984 I found on the net. Boom! There it was. He used different colors but the concept was the same.

Although, it's an easy analogy to come up with. I've heard it on progressive radio before and wondered if I might have been the source. Oh well. George Orwell deserves the ultimate credit.

I just wish we didn't have to live so much of it during these last 8 years.

It's an old recording without the best sound in the world, but, it's bearable. (almost an hour long)

1984 by George Orwell

Friday, December 26, 2008

it just wouldn't leave my head

I have been receiving Saint of the Day from American Catholic for years. Not anymore. I haven't received it since I wrote this post. Thinking that something went wrong with my registration I attempted to re-register. A notice popped up that I've been banned. I was a little hurt and a little angry.
Catholics believe that at the very moment of conception a new person complete, with soul, is present. It's a treasured occurrence where a mother and father join with the hand of God in a beautiful act of creation. Abortion, in their view, not only destroys a tiny human life, but is an affront to God.
I do believe, my religious convictions, aligning with the Church, as expressed above, to be true. As many ways as I can think about it I always come to the same conclusion; a life is here that deserves it's chance to be whatever it will be. My wife has had two miscarriages, early in her pregnancy. I've given them the unisex names of Jackie and Jordan and try to remember to wish them good night every evening.
The pro-lifers see this as an absolute truth needing to be fought, for the lives of little children. They do not except that the beginning of life is a religious belief that can't be legislated on in the US, except by amending the constitution. Many are intolerant of those who disagree with this political point and threaten with loss of Communion and Hell.

My problem is I'm able to see both sides. That's why I believe in using the knowledge of science and the art of legislative creation by building on consensus. in order to lessen abortions.
Such as, proper government funded nutrition and health care for the pregnant woman and her child through well after birth. This is seen by them as subjugating life to the material. However, they seem to not realize these provisions would be supported by Democrats regardless of the status of abortion.
We're trying to point out to conservatives one of the many values of providing good care to lower middle class to lower class people; fewer abortions by those who fear what the economic hit will do. I know it's said, but it happens every day. This would be an easy fix. One that we shouldn't let pass by. If you're willing to protest in the hopes of just deterring one woman you should be willing to embrace this type of legislation which will save thousands.

Embracing to tolerating Conservative Republican ideology, it's methods and atrocities do a disservice to the whole spectrum of pro-life causes. I think we can do better.

Just like the faith and love it takes to instill upon a person a reverent devotion for the Eucharist, to be able to embrace life as beginning at conception, complete with soul, must be infused in the heart of a person in much the same way.
(update) Sometime after this post I was able to receive Saint of the Day, again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Peace and Goodwill to the Whole World - NO Exceptions

Joy to the World

Sorry I haven't been here much. This time of year puts my brain in low gear. Three feet of snow hasn't helped much either. You normally think about shoveling the walks or digging the car out, but, we had to make paths in the backyard for the dog to go to do his business and have someplace to run.

Last year in Spokane we had the second most snowy winter on record which just missed being broke by less than a couple of inches. We've already broke the record for snowfall in a single day. It seems like were headed for another one like last year. It just keeps snowing. We are to get another big storm in tonight with another one coming this weekend. I hope this isn't what climate change is going to mean for us. At least the snow goes away, but, those who's home or nation gets buried under water are in a considerably more dire situation.

It's reeking havoc with travel and the retail end of this holiday season. The road crews can't keep up. If you don't have a four wheel drive with good tires your not getting around, after one of these large storms hit. (update - Well, it's the 5 o'clock news and we have now made the snowiest December on record)

O' Christmas Tree

I would like to wish everyone who reads me a beautiful Christmas that nourishes both body and soul.

Even for you members of whatever alphabet agencies may be tasked with monitoring loyal Americans because of their political, religious, peace or environmental convictions. Here's hoping that the new year will bring more rewarding and productive work for you.

For all who celebrate Hanukkah please have a joyous holiday filled with light, family and friends.

Finale' of a Muppet Family Christmas

If you're Christian the religious nature of the holiday shouldn't be forgotten in all the confusion and gaiety. I really like this little video. When we celebrate the birth of Rev. Martin Luther King we are not remembering little baby Martin but his whole life and legacy. Similarly, we shouldn't be recalling only the nativity story but the whole of who Jesus is and how he fits into our lives.

The Reason for the Season

This will be a Christmas no one will forget in the Northwest. Shipping hasn't been working very well.

It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

- Dr. Seuss


Monday, December 15, 2008

Another embarrassing moment for the US courtesy of 'W'

Shoe Thrown at Bush in Iraq

Iraqis Pick Up Their Shoes: Reaction From Around the Country

The American public was first introduced to the concept of the bottom of the shoe being an insult during the staged toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue. I guess it's a way of saying you're lower than the dirt on the bottom of my shoe. I wonder if this incident will be occasionally adopted by our citizens towards politicians by showing the bottom of our footwear or will heckling and the one finger salute continue to dominate? Flinging a shoe would be considered assault especially if it involved a steel-toed work boot.

We should be angered and insulted at such a demeaning act being done to our president as an act of disrespect for America. But that's not what happened. This man's act of civil disobedience tickled everyone to the left of the conservative right. Not just here, but, across the world.

Remember when, Hugo Chávez, the democratically elected president of Venezuela made this comment in front of the UN, while insulting to everyone here since it was made on our soil, is no great surprise either, "Yesterday, the devil came to the UN, and today, it still smells of sulfur and Bush". Conservatives were outraged, but, what should have been shocking to us were the giggling, laughter, and applause, not just in the UN but globally.


These two incidents along with the many protests everywhere he goes, at home and wold-wide, point a bright shining light on how the president and his neoconservative administration are viewed around the world. Much more than half the Americans, while not seeing him as literally the ‘devil’, do see the immorality of the way he conducts much of our nations business overseas and at home.

Why is it so often, for so many leaders around the world, advantageous at home and around their regions to knock Bush (and America, because of the way they’re running it)?

This is why I believe the large crowds Obama had in Europe and the huge turnout at his rallies at home would be comparable if Hillary, Richardson, or any of the other Dems won the nomination and election. The Bushies have led this country in such an appalling way that everyone embraces the hope that changes away from the Neoconservative method of running government (into the ground) will bring at home and around the world.

For his part at home Bush is trying to change regulations to fit the radical conservative agenda in such a way that will make it difficult for President Obama to undo.

At the Last Minute, a Raft of Rules

Republicans aren't trying to help fix the economy at this time either. It seems as though they are trying to exacerbate every problem they've left for the nation in an attempt to make Obama look bad when he takes office. The right wing propaganda merchants on the radio, FOX and elsewhere will then badger him the whole way with fabrication and lies while the Senate Republicans filibuster (block) everything they don't like.

I read somewhere today that it might be time to use former Sen. Frist's nuclear option.

The Senate Republicans, forever loyal to all things Bush, are the fly in the ointment. They have blocked/filibustered every single thing that has come before the Senate that doesn't survive their inquisition. The, up or down vote crowd, has used this method of killing Senatorial business more than it's combined use through out it's history.

This maneuver goes something like this hypothetical example....

Let's say there is a bill that has swept through the House with broad bi-partisan approval such as, a needed improvement in prenatal and natal care through the WICK program.

Conservatives in the Senate, the Administration and those who influence them find objection to not only 'robbing the tax payer to help irresponsible women', but it became noticeable that the bill contained a provision for regulating the baby food industry in order to insure the high quality of their product, not only domestically but international sales as well.

Both sides jaw about the pros and cons of the bill when it finally comes time for someone to invoke cloture. Cloture means it's time to stop talking about the bill, set time for final debate then vote. It takes sixty votes to stop debate (cloture). The Republicans have more than enough votes, even with a few honorable defections, to block every vote in the Senate and they have used it without mercy or pity.

What's the nuclear option? It only takes a simple majority to change the rules of the Senate. They can easily change the number of votes needed to pass cloture. It hasn't been a popular thing to do, but, if the Senate Republicans are going to do nothing but block everthing Obama tries to do for the US it may be time to play that card.

Friday, December 12, 2008

How stupid can you get?

I know I'm late about putting this guy in the BLOG. I was raised in down-state Illinois where Chicago has always had a bad reputation. Although, that's typical for people on the opposite end of a state with a large city. We lived there for three years and found Chicago land to be cool. Except for the gangs which were spreading out into the neighboring communities at a furious pace. We also lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for 5 years and found that place, all the way into Louisiana, to be very crooked. At the time there were several big scandals going on including the murder of a judge and his council woman wife.

Illinois Gov. charged with 'selling' Obama Senate seat

A lot of people, vets and liberals or maybe just me, wanted to see Tammy Duckworth in that Senate seat.

If this is anywhere near true, and it sure seems to be, we should all be angry about it. Tammy or other deserving Democrats would not stand a chance. All we would be getting is someone who already sold their soul.

I agree that the timing is funky but if BofA was privy to a classified law enforcement investigation, that in itself requires a detailed look into why.

But it in no way sanctions the governors alleged activity. He deserves his day in court, but, you all must realize, if true, then he was damaging Democrats most of all. The number one choice of the incoming Obama administration was cast aside in favor of finding someone corrupt. If I was lobbying for a Senate candidate I would be very upset at the way the governor was conducting business. There's many who would have let the crime be known to law enforcement including the Obama team.

I really don't understand those who would defend their own party member when wrong-doing is discovered. They should be first in line to hang their butts up in a sling. Because, it always hurts the political party that person is in. For example, the Republicans should have been hopping mad at Senator Stevens because he cost the GOP what would have been a secure Senate seat.

Rachel maddow - The Infinite Sadness of Gov. Rod Blagojevich


Thursday, December 11, 2008

60 years old plus 1 day

Universal Declaration of Human Rights animation

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was yesterday. Amnesty International USA has a history of its passage in the US. It's not a very pretty picture because the old line conservative Dixicrats of the South, who later became the right-wing of the GOP, did not want those rights applied to African Americans.

A very good 'must read' from Amnesty International USA Magazine...
Eyes off the Prize

Price of Silence

Lynchings (for those who read the above article from AI)

We're still a country divided over basic human rights. Some correctly believe they're for everybody, but sadly, too many want them just for they're particular group. This seems to be a predominately white conservative disease in this country.

Obama, Gitmo, and Rendition-1/2

Obama, Gitmo, and Rendition-2/2


Report: Spokane psychologist key in expanding torture

Report Blames Rumsfeld for Detainee Abuses


Monday, December 08, 2008

Inauguration Day is drawing near!!! updated

Inauguration Day is drawing near. I remember When George W. Bush obtained the presidency in 2000. I placed the malfunction in Florida and how Bush obtained power on the back burner once it was time for the swearing-in. Hope is what electing a new president should be about even for the loyal opposition. For me it was hoping that the president was actually the compassionate individual he claimed to be and that his opposition to nation building was genuine. When Senator Kennedy left the White house, one day, with an agreement on education, he was pleased with Bush and signaled that the Democrats would be able to work with this man. I remember thinking this is all going to work out and maybe it won't be so bad.

Kennedy to meet Bush

After 9-11, before more facts were learned, I was pleased with him for the way he brought the country together. Even though Muslim hatred was strong in the nation he included Muslim clerics in the memorial services.

Then it all changed. For many disapproval of the election was the breaking point or the Cheney secret energy meetings or the dubious appointments. For me it was the debate over the Patriot Act. When those who wanted to have time to review what was in the act were called un-American, traitors and terrorist sympathizers I began at that very moment to get involved online in the Democratic party, Pax Christi and once again with Amnesty International USA. Other progressive groups then followed, especially when the tough talk bravado began with regards to running away from Afgahanistan and into an illegal war with Iraq.

I tried to be supporting from the very beginning of the new administration. It was Bush/Cheney Neoconservative shenanigans that drove my love of country to abandon my hope I once struggled to have with the new administration. Eventually I found myself arguing with myself over whether to use the word fascist. I agonized over it because I didn't want it to be just some flippant remark like those words excessively embraced by the right. I used fascist-like, playing with fascism and recently fascist-wanna-bes. I decided that future historians and political scientist would produce another word, but, for us, for now, fascist is close enough.

I don't see any effort at that hope from the current loyal opposition. All I see is the same old fear and lies embraced so easily by the conservative right.

Oh! I know that most of you Republicans are good. I realize that we have a difference of opinion on a wide range of issues, most of which you are sadly misguided on, but the troubling thing for your party and the nation is that you have allowed yourselves to be taken over by right wing religious zealots and most recently fascist-leaning to outright fascist-embracing neoconservatives. You need to develop the courage to see the truth because these monsters are destroying you from within and along with you they've drug the whole nation into disgrace and economic disaster. These are not your fathers Republicans they’re essentially fascists who has devastation as their mistress and ruin in their wake.

The rest of us must realize they're trying to hold on to the GOP. They're talking heads have not gone away and they will be using every low handed trick in their arsenal to convince the country of the errors of our way.

The right-wing still love to cling to there policy of 'it's Clinton's fault' especially concerning the recession.
Discriminating against a white or minority business owner or homeowner because of their zip code was wrong. It kept growth from occurring in these communities. This was the problem Clinton sought to fix. It had nothing to do with easy irresponsible loans for those on the bottom or those living beyond their means. Bush and his Republican controlled Congress did that. If you doubt me here are the words from the horse's mouth...

Conservatives try to dodge responsibility for financial crisis by blaming poor people, minorities.

The Irresponsible and Crooked of the GOP--updates

McCain/Bush & the GOP caused economic crisis

After 9-11 our nation promised the people of Afghanistan a great deal before the invasion. There was detailed information about the copius atrocities carryed out by the Taliban. Remember the soccer field that wasn't used for that porpuse any longer because it was being used for gruesome public punishment and executions. There was broad support here and across the world, even from the religious community for military involvement.

Bush/Cheney screwed the Afghanistan people and our troops who were fighting the terrorists who really did attack our country on 9/11 by running away from the ‘war on terror’ hijacking it for neoconservative desires. The Taliban is regaining strength in Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden is still free and in charge of Al Qaeda which is gaining strength and free reign in western Pakistan and throughout western Africa. We can’t do anything to curtail their growth because we are bogged down in Iraq while seriously running down the morale and readiness of our military.

Taliban Expanding Foothold in Afghanistan, Report Finds

If we know where Bin Laden is we should get him, but, to launch any military attack against Pakistan after the mess which was made in Iraq would be fool hardy at best especially with this current group we have occupying the White House. Barack Obama is left with diplomacy, with human rights as its cornerstone.

In all international dealings most feel that our national interests should be first and foremost. But when we side with a dictator against the best interests of the countries own citizens, as we did in Iraq and Pakistan and many others throughout the globe, it always does them and us a great disservice.

Conservatives like to claim that the liberals are to blame for the problems in Iraq. Complete nonsense.
“When history is written, Iraq will look just like a comma.”

The Republicans were in charge...

when warnings about terrorism were ignored before 9/11,

Randi Rhodes: 9/11 Another Pearl Harbor 1 &2


when Afghanistan and the battle against the Taliban and Al Qaeda was abandoned,

when a war of choice against a country that was not an imminent threat was begun,

when a war in Iraq was begun based on lies,

when this ill-advised war was begun without a cultural understanding of the people,

when far too few troops were used for that illegal action in Iraq,

when lawlessness and looting were tolerated,

when the Iraq army was disbanded,

when troop armor and gear were kept sup-par for the mission,

when a forced vote was held too early before Sunni concerns were addressed,

when torture was allowed to become administration policy,

when illegal detentions became administration policy,

when spying on Americans became administration policy,

when support for war profiteers became administration policy,

when habeas corpus became something not available to all,

when posse comitatus became abandoned,

when spying on American citizens became an okay thing to do,

when a culture of corruption was allowed to flourish at home,

when congressional oversight was abandoned,

when doing the same failed thing over and over without success became the plan,

when our war dead became something to hide in shame,

when the injured military and their families were treated without proper care or respect,

when terrorism was allowed to grow world wide while claiming success,

when fear became a weapon of propaganda against the American people,

when failure became always someone else’s fault,

and when lies and propaganda became an acceptable substitute for truth when dealing with the public.

For these reasons and many more Iraq has become the mess it now is.

Is it any wonder that the Iraqis want us out?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

May we never forget.

We should remember this day and all the horror that total war unleashes, those who thrust it upon us and all who died in it's wake. May those who place a small value on life never achieve such power again.

This war was the reason for the UN. We should never forget that either, because the next total war will use weapons far advanced from the beginning of the second world war.


Monday, December 01, 2008

To Catholics and other Christians on the immorality of voting for the current GOP.


I haven't wrote anything new about pro-life issues since '04. It wasn't something I just posted on the BLOG. I sent it to my parish, bishop, and the National Conference of Bishops. I have strong beliefs of conscience for my political leanings. I know my convictions will stand up against all but the most rabidly close-minded conservatives.

I'm constantly told I can't be a good Catholic or any other kind of Christian unless I'm the dedicated conservative Republican kind. Why? Because, they're against abortion. It doesn't matter that the GOP hasn't done anything, it's in their platform and that's good enough.

I would much rather be pro-life in the Democratic Party than be someone in the Republican party who rejects most, if not all, Judeo-Christian social teachings. To be a conservative member of the GOP I would be forced to tolerate if not embrace the following...

The Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war as demonstrated by our invasion then occupation of Iraq. For Catholics it should be noted that Pope John Paul II voiced strong opposition to this war he called immoral. The Council of Catholic Bishops voiced strong opposition as did most of the Religious community. In fact every dominate Cristian church voiced similar opinions. The only churches strongly endorsing Bush and Cheney's criminal actions were the Armageddon-ready Evangelical Fundamentalist types.

collateral damage

The concept of illegal enemy combatants.

Indefinite detention with no Habeas Corpus or right to any type of legal representation.

Geneva Convention does not apply to us.

Torture and ill-treatment of those in our custody.

Disappearences - It's when we kidnap someone, from whatever country they're in, ally or not, and transport them to a country where they can be tortured or to a secret place where we can do it ourselves.

During a time of war the president has dictatorial powers (the unitary executive) and that the war on terror is an endless war.

Diplomacy is overrated, that military action is the preferred choice for our national interests.

Spying on Americans without a warrant is acceptable.

That Neoconservative influenced changes to the executive branch are about freedom and liberty. Rather than the fascist-like ideology it truly is.

I'm supposed to be comfortable with religious fundamentalist ideological dominance in all branches of government

That we are a Christian nation. Catholics and others should realize they are left out for being the wrong kind of Christian. We're viewed as being okay except that we get a few things wrong. We must see the error of our ways and become like them to be truly a part of the family of Jesus and truly loyal Americans.

There's no need to worry about McCain's age because Palin is well qualified. In fact she shows the depth of Neocon involvement within the McCain campaign. If his health were to fail they would have a George W. Bush type personality, complete with bravado driven tough talk, intellectual laziness and mesmerized follows for them to manipulate.

The money I pay in taxes is many times more important than all of the above.

And on and on and on........I was going to go through a much longer litany of Republican ills from economic violence at home and throughout the whole world, Global Warming and immigration, etc. The above sins are serious enough to deter any self respecting Christian from accepting any of it. Voting for it would be, too much.

It would be different if the Catholics and other Christians within the Republican party fought for a complete embracing of Catholic and Christian social teaching. If the Devil himself rose to the highest level of the GOP, would you all vote for him as long as he stood on a plank against abortion? In all reality you all sided with some evil and horrendous acts done in your name, with acceptance in your silence if not enthusiastic approval.

While I do believe life does begin at conception and fully understand the concept of surrendering to God's will, most people in America see that as a religious belief. And that's the problem. In this nation we can't impose our religious beliefs on them anymore than we would want anyone imposing theirs on us. That's what freedom of religion is about.

There are people in the Democratic Party who are against abortion, but there are many more who are open to banning late term abortions, as long as the life of the mother is taken into consideration.

"a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother."

"Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term."
Barack Obama

It seems to me that more and more people are considering at what point personhood begins. This is a point where Republicans and Democrats can work together for improvement.

Another area would be in lessening abortions among the lower income women. Often, they become pregnant because of a lack of birth control or knowledge about it. Once again those who do not hold to this religious belief should not be held to it. Now, that a pregnancy has occurred the biggest reason to end a pregnancy is financial. It's shameful that money would get in the way. But it does every time the amount of taxes a person may have to pay rises above the need to make a serious and meaningful reduction in abortions by providing all the material and physiological help a young mother needs.Once again conservative ideology and a little old fashion selfishness interferes with what good could be accomplished.

Life Does Not End At Birth (pdf)

Also, I would like to add that truly prolife people who embrace the full spectrum of social teaching are, while disagreeing with us on abortion, respected by the liberal community. A beginning of dialog lies there. The faulty tactics and hypocrisy embraced by the religious right have only hurt any cause to decrease abortions.

Stringing along religious conservatives has been very advantageous to the Republican power structure who have used it to their political, economic and international gain. It's little wonder why they talk a good game but have nothing to show for it after all these years.

It's easy to feel good about yourself for only voting for this one issue based on what they tell you but our voting responsibilities as Christians and citizens are much more serious than that and a lot more complicated.

Lives in the Balance From Jackson Browne

Do they not deserve a voice of equal magnitude?

Citizens of countries that let tyranny reign either through direct involvement or through welcomed ignorance and laziness or fear have found they’re faced with guilt and shame for several generations. I predict when things are said and done everyone will claim to have opposed Neocon excesses, abuses and crimes when in actuality they were either blind followers or apathetic or just to scared to speak up.

The truly remarkable lady from Africa, who, a few years back, won the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai, tells a story of a hummingbird that flies back and forth to the river scooping up mouthfuls of water to spit on a roaring jungle fire. All the other animals, just sitting around hopelessly, laugh at and belittle the poor hummingbird and inquire as to why such a small animal is even trying to put the fire out. The hummingbird just looks at them and replies,” I’m doing what I can.” I’m trying to follow that example in my own stumbling bumbling off the beaten path kind of way. The illness constantly interferes.

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.
But, as a Christian community, as varied as it is, for us who are so bold to refer to ourselves as followers of Jesus to outright deny His teachings in favor of fear and hate in order to grasp at some illusion of earthly security 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.