Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas message from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King jr.

Here's a great speech by an outstanding American during a time of unrest, violence, hate and, yes, hope.

Martin Luther King: A Christmas Sermon On Peace - 1967

Bleeding Heart

Everything Christ talks about here is exactly what the conservatives attempt to denigrate liberals with what, they seem to believe, is the derogatory expression of ‘bleeding heart’.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

Luke 6-27-38

Jesus explains well what it means to be a good follower of His; a good explanation of one type of Cross He has asked us to bare. Also, for those of us who dare to call ourselves Christian it’s a good example of how to be a ‘bleeding heart liberal’.

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

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


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


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Copenhagen and environmental concerns

Copenhagen Climate Conference

The far right-wing big conservative mucky mucks must not only be amazed, but overcome with giddiness that every lie and distortion they fling against the wall sticks. The latest concerns the environmental scientists emails. The large level of distrust for the scientific community, among evangelical fundamentalists, rivals that of the Middle Ages. Corporate polluters are all to happy to use their ignorance fueled prejudice in their favor.


The Sate of Climate Change

NOAA: 2009 Global Temperatures Well Above Average; Slightly Above-Average for U.S.

Arguing, and voting against alternative advances in energy is an insult to the
resourcefulness and ingenuity of the American spirit.

Why anyone would bet against the can-do spunk of Americans is hard to
understand. But, the Republican party is dominated by those who are doing this
very thing in order to protect massive oil company profits. It's a detriment to
what we can all achieve.

The US has always been in the forefront of developing new technology that has
spread around the globe and advanced the standard of living for the whole human

GOP is intentionally ignorant on climate change

The GOP and religious extremists


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

President Obama and Afghanistan

what Olberman said about Afghanistan surge the night before Obama's speech...

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I wrote this during the Cheney/Bush years....

They screwed the Afghanistan people and our troops who were fighting the terrorists who really did attack our country by running away from the ‘war on terror’ hijacking it for neoconservative desires. The Taliban is regaining strength in Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden is still free. They have been the best friends of those who attacked us by making the United States weaker and reviled in the world while boosting Al Qaeda recruiting and prestige. They hijacked the criminal pursuit of Al Qaeda in favor of their own misguided desires and against the interests of the American people and those of the Middle East and they continue to do so. Their lying tongues like the 9-11 terrorists are drenched in the blood of the innocent. They truly belong on trial for the crimes they’ve committed against the citizens of the United States and Iraq and whatever else is uncovered.

I would like to add that Neocon-led Bush policies have made such a mess of Afghanistan, I'm sceptical that previous military successes there could be repeated. However, we owe justice to the 3,000 that has been denied them during this regime.

In an article from the Huffington Post on July 15, 2008 by: GLEN JOHNSON it is made very clear that, as president, Obama would make Afganistan, al-Qaida and the Taliban his top priority.

Obama Iraq Speech: US Strategy Is Unsound

He's doing exactly what he said he would do.

I do like the use of heavy diplomacy and political negotiation, as well as humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. Whatever they have planned in this area they need to multiply. Civilian deaths are way, too, high. If we continue to be careless, it doesn't matter what positive things we do.

I would also have preferred less reliance on more troops while increasing the use of FBI, CIA and Special Forces in a more law enforcing mode than war.

from this morning - Democracy Now...

Karzai stole the election. Will he now become our latest dictator in the pocket.

We commit, allow and turn our backs away from many atrocities because we want to better our position in the third world. Our government puts the best spin on these episodes whenever they see the light of day and claim it’s all in an effort to fight radical Islam. But are we truly any better when we endorse the same human rights abuses as our foes? Does it matter what side of the fence the bullet came from when you lie dying?

Friendly Dictators
When we support a country whose government mutilates human rights we hand an ideological victory and propaganda tools for insurrectionists to use against us. Where they suppress speech we should encourage it. Where they use violence we should react with kindness, food and medical care.

Sometimes every choice sucks. I know Bush stuck us with Karzai, but we should let the people of Afghanistan know we do not support his human and civil rights violations and push for change. We should never provide military assistance or have friendly diplomatic ties with any country that violates the civil liberties of its citizens. We must never, as we have in the past and may still be, in some instances, abusers of the population ourselves.

For example, we have close economic ties with China whose benefits evidently carry more weight than the blood spilled by democracy loving students or the freedom and human rights we say we cherish so deeply. Policies such as this soil the Stars and Stripes far more than any match.

It is immoral to keep a people held hostage under a dictator or totalitarian system by providing the weapons and money needed to stay in power, then turn around and wage war against these same people because the same tyrannical government becomes unacceptable. This situation in Panama and Iraq left thousands of civilians dead. Will we end up facing this type of crisis in Afghanistan? Every time we cozy up to a dictator it comes back to bite us in the butt.

Too often, it seems many hawks in this country view world relations as a football game, us against them. The other team is dehumanized to ease our feelings as we ‘tromp’ them. There's absolutely no consideration of how we arrived in our present situation and to whether our conduct was and is ethical or in the best interests of all parties involved. Any targeting, careless or otherwise, of noncombatants is sinful.

Representative Joe Sestak on Obama's plan...

from 60 Minutes...

US policy in Afghanistan explained...

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Official Army history finds Bush admin. ‘hamstrung’ troops in Afghanistan

Army History Finds Early Missteps in Afghanistan

'A Different Kind of War' (Army’s official history of the war in Afghanistan)

Iraq invasion in 2003 was illegitimate: Dutch probe