"For us let it be enough to know ourselves to be in the place where God wants us, and carry on our work, even though it be no more than the work of an ant, infinitesimally small, and with unforeseeable results."
-- Abbé Monchanin

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dragged through the mud

It was interesting to see George Bush praise Alberto Gonzales and hit out at his critics. I was amused that Bush had to hesitate, look at his notes and turn the page before he could decide what Gonzales' "good name" had been drug through. (He finally got out the word "mud." Watch the speech here.)

But partisan politics aside, who drug Gonzales' name through the mud?

On whose behalf did he advise the use of torture?
On whose behalf did he visit the hospital seeking authority form a sick man to indulge in illegal wiretaps?
On whose behalf did he fire US attorneys?
On whose behalf did he keep repeating, "I don't recall"?
On whose behalf did he speak untruthfully to congress?

These are the acts that plunged him into the mud. The one for whom he did them is the one who drug him into the mud.

George, why did you muddy your friend's reputation?

Monday, August 27, 2007

What is a man with no self-respect?

Why must the US government preserve its dignity and self-respect when it costs the loss of others dignity and self-respect? Our conduct in Iraq proves to be demeaning to the people whose nation we have destroyed and whose lives we have destroyed.

In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.
--The War as We Saw It
The New York Times Published: August 19, 2007

Buddhika Jayamaha is an Army specialist. Wesley D. Smith is a sergeant. Jeremy Roebuck is a sergeant. Omar Mora is a sergeant. Edward Sandmeier is a sergeant. Yance T. Gray is a staff sergeant. Jeremy A. Murphy is a staff sergeant.

Gonzo's Gone-zo

Now for Cheney in chains and George in the gorge.

Whatever happened to the oath to uphold the constitution of the United States? Apparently this administration didn't take it -- at least not seriously.

The last 7 years have done more to damage this nation's stature than all previous bad administrations put together.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Who cares?

The reason this war has produced fewer protests than the Viet Nam war is that most people are not conscious of its direct impact on their lives. Only those with family members in Iraq/Afganistan (or those there themselves) tend to notice any effect other than the TV news coverage. Maybe this is a good argument for a draft. I would suggest the late Art Buchwald's proposal that the wealth of those over 50 years of age should be drafted so that not only the young face the draft. As Buchwald said, then we'll see the suits marching in the streets protesting the war.

Profits of War

"This is not the coalition of the willing. It's the coalition of the billing."

For all of the lofty talk of freedom, liberty, democracy, war against terrorism and other such bunk, the real basis for the war and its continuation is the buck. At a time in our past making fortunes during war time was called war profiteering. It was considered contemptible and was also illegal. Today it is called free enterprise and is lauded.

The companies with the largest number of employees are foreign firms in the Middle East that subcontract to KBR, the Houston-based oil services company, according to the Central Command database. KBR, once a subsidiary of Halliburton Co., provides logistics support to troops, the single largest contract in Iraq.

(Note the connections to the Texas oil industry and Hilliburton. Who are their friends?)

It is also a way of enslaving the working class in the USA. As workers are forced to rely upon investments in the stock market for survival when they are no longer able to be "productive" in the work place, they need a healthy investment return. The jobs created in the production of war material become essential in combating unemployment. War is not only profitable for the wealthy owners of companies with war contracts, it is essential for avoiding financial collapse of the nation's economy.

Former government employees trained at taxpayer expense can retire or resign and do the same work at exorbitant salaries.

And we the workers to pay the taxes foot the whole bill and surrender our freedoms to the god Mars. How can anyone dare call this a "Christian Nation?"

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"An endless war has a bottomless appetite"

Once again Bill Moyers says it well. In a segment dedicated to news that falls between the cracks, he reports on military recruitment and real military life in Iraq. Watch:

Friday, August 24, 2007

Blessed are the peacemakers

This cartoon is from
Church Mice. Although cartoonist Karl Zorowski is a Methodist, his cartoon reminds me of Southern Baptists. This is about as close to peace making as many Southern Baptist pastors of this era will ever come. Still, a good nap is better than another brawl.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Christian by Carol Wimmer

I have found another poem. It is reported that this is the original upon which the poem in my last post was based. According to this tradition, Maya Angelou has been falsely credited on the internet with a modified version of this poem. I do not know if they are independent expressions or if one is derivitive of the other. Both proclaim a great message, though personally, I resonate more with the one attributed to Maya Angelou. Read them both and celebrate the one that speaks most powerfully to you.

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not shouting, "I've been saved!"
I'm whispering, "I get lost! That's why I chose this way"

When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't speak with human pride
I'm confessing that I stumble-needing God to be my guide

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong
I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, "I am a Christian," I don't think I know it all
I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught

When I say, "I am a Christian," I'm not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are far too visible but God believes I'm worth it

When I say, "I am a Christian," I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name

When I say, "I am a Christian," I do not wish to judge
I have no authority--I only know I'm loved

Copyright 1988 Carol Wimmer

Christian by Maya Angelou

by Maya Angelou

When I say . . . "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin."
I'm whispering "I was lost,"
now I'm found and forgiven.

When I say . . . "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble

and need CHRIST to be my guide.

When I say . . . "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
and need HIS strength to carry on.

When I say . . . "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
and need God to clean my mess.

When I say . . . "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are far too visible,
but God believes I am worth it.

When I say . . . "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches,
so I call upon His name.

When I say . . . "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
who received God's good grace, somehow.

One of the teachers at Hawaii Baptist Academy had this posted on her classroom bulletin board during the 2004-2005 school year. She didn't remember where she got it and I have yet to find the source. But, for me, it says it perfectly.

This is the definition of a Christian.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Be Not Afraid

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

--NIV 1 Jn 4:18
Remember this as you listen to Mrs. Obama: Be not afraid

It has been said that "All we have to fear is fear itself." Join the struggle to abolish fear.

Fear not!

The Great Pretender

Let us stop pretending.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Master's Touch Goes to Prison

Six-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award (the Hawaiian Grammy) winning duo Randy and Gay Hongo and the The Master's Touch, the hula halau of Olivet Baptist Church, tour Kentucky and Indiana with a special visit to the Otter Creek Correctional Center to perform for and visit with women prisoners from Hawaii.

"I was in prison and you visited me" -- Matthew 25:36

For the inspiring story behind the pictures visit: www.masterstouch-obc.blogspot.com

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Southern Baptist Convention Group at GodTube

"About this group: The source for video information regarding the Southern Baptist Convention at Godtube.com. Thanks for posting your videos and welcome to the Southern Baptist Convention group!!!!!"

That's how the "Southern Baptist Convention" group at GodTube.com describes itself. And the number one video post is the one above. A true reflection of modern Southern Baptist church polity. Not at LifeWay yet, but sure to be coming soon.

(Note the not so subtle attack on Herschel Hobbs. The deacon's actions show him to be a disciple of Patterson and Pressler, not the irenic Hobbs. Obviously he "looks but does not see, listens but does not hear, reads but does not understand.")


Actually, the one on the left is a modern Southern Baptist and the one on the right is a true Baptist (of whatever flavour). Thanks to cccmedia at GodTube.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

US moves to speed up executions

The new barbarians advance again. Bush and company see death mongering as a growth industry. Not content with the war in Iraq, not yet able to invade Iran, they must turn on our own people. Why? BBC reports the following:

The high cost of keeping inmates on death row is also cited by some conservatives as a reason to speed up the appeals process.

According to a 2005 Los Angeles Times study, it costs California $90,000 more a year to keep an inmate on death row than in the general prison population, adding up to some $57.5m extra each year.

It's the economy, stupid! Make money with war (Haliburton and fellows) and save money with quick executions. Who cares if innocents are executed before they can be exonerated? I do, but Bush and supporters don't! The BBC reports:

The number of executions hit 98 in 1999 but has been falling since amid legal challenges to the use of lethal injections and increasing use of DNA evidence to overturn convictions.

Better kill them quick before the conviction is overturned.

And where do the powers for this rush to death come from? Again, the BBC reports what US news outlets will not.

The change in the rules, under which Mr Gonzales will be able to decide state requests to speed the appeals process, was a measure in the 2006 Patriot Act.
Fear mongering is the key to unlimited abuse of power. Congress has abdicated their duties and goes along with any destructive and immoral act the executive wished to perpetrate.

God help us. We're sure not doing enough.

Monday, August 06, 2007

George Bush - Robert Mugabe

reports the following in a report by Justin Muponda:

President Robert Mugabe has signed a tough law allowing state agencies to pry into private mail and telephones, raising the stakes against opponents in a clear signal that the veteran leader is tightening repression as agitation grows against his rule that is largely blamed for plunging Zimbabwe into economic chaos, analysts said.

The government has defended the Interception of Communications Act saying it was in line with international trends to fight crime and ensure national security.

Last week congress capitulated to George Bush's drive to immitate Robert Mugabe. If we want to see where the U.S.A. is headed under Bush and Company, look to Zimbabwe. "Anti-terrorist" laws WILL be used against those with dissenting opinions. Try to attend a Bush rally with any sign, T-shirt or brochure expressing opposition to Bush's policies. Try to ask a serious question challenging him. We're already moving toward oppression.

Woe unto congress for failing to protect constitutional rights of citizens. Cowards all!