Saturday, September 29, 2007

May Peace Be With These Men and Their Families

These men fought a war, and died during the occupation.

Do as I say...

Do as I say, not as I do, says Mr. Foot in My Mouth Ohio.

If they can spin not giving children health insurance, we're really in trouble.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Possibility that Guliani is behind CA electoral vote scheme

Thanks, Kevin Drum.

Dan Rather; why now?

This is stinging; even worse than Daniel Shorr's scathing NPR analysis of the sham that is American anchor "journalism."

Art and Politics, Amen

I'll buy his download or his album, or both. This guy's got courage; I wonder if NBC is reeling.

14 Democrats voted to stop the war, 1 Republican joined them

This is appalling. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Swiftspeech. I'm trying to think of the best way to show my indignant anger toward my representatives' actions.

Beyond Fatalism--VOTE

I was listening to Thom Hartmann on Air America yesterday and he outlined the caging problem that's probably going to happen in Ohio and Florida (and probably elsewhere) the next vote. He played an audio clip of a conservative preacher (I didn't recognize the name) who was saying how he doesn't want everybody to vote...that there is no way fundamentalists can have their agenda IF EVERYONE VOTES. He called representative Democracy "Goo-Goo," Good Government, which he is AGAINST.

Beyond the red Democrats in Congress, we are simply at war with those who are actively trying to suppress the vote in this country. A simple way we can fight is TO VOTE. Another action is to check out our local and state voting practices (paper ballots, requirements, etc.) so that we can educate our friends and relatives.

Libraries are very good sources for voting info, so next time you check out a book, check out how our Democracy is functioning in your town.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

God: My Third Eye

I've been writing this for awhile, I finally took out most of the preachy parts about MY idea of God and put that somewhere else, but I really wanted to respond to Bill Maher's attack on religions the other evening. He basically called Mormonism luny crazy, and Christianity and Judaism weren't any less so. My point is, let's attack people's policies, not their cultural beliefs and familial traditions--even though religious people often attack our ways of being and beliefs, we can be bigger than they are.

May 2007

In the past few decades there have been a whole slate of either/or arguments in the political arena. It has been a tactic of the Republicans to divide Americans into conservative or NOT. If you want to keep abortion legal, you're a child killer. If you want to keep the environment clean, you're anti-business. If you're pro-union, you're a communist. If you are against the war, you're a weak-kneed, pinko commie. If you think about the needs of poor people, you're for big government (they are for big military). Anything that disagrees with the conservative worldview is considered immoral by them. That's how they think: good vs. evil.

Now, according to a growing number of voices on the LEFT, you're either a religious nutjob who believes in the fundamentalist God or you're an atheist (or Maher's "rationalist" which just cracks me up; do you and your family and friends always act rationally?!).

The atheists win their own arguments because they are based on empirical perception and define God by a biblical account of God, which is ripe with human imperfection, projections and bathed in metaphor. Yet atheists such as Christopher Hitchens, like fundamentalists, take the bible LITERALLY and therefore either give us or deny us a completely flat, predictable, imperfect and very often loathsome picture of God.

I am a liberal Methodist's preacher's kid (my father was born into a non-practicing Jewish family), I am now Jewish, and have settled on a pretty practical and ecumenical picture of God, or what I refer to as the force of life that people represent in different ways, "G-d", "Christ," "Buddha," "Allah," "the Goddess," "The Source," "Being," etc. For instance, it is my belief, and my husband's belief, that most people who describe their faith as a God that intervenes in their lives in judgmental and physical ways, completely obfuscate a spiritual sense of God. I was agnostic for a long time because so many believers were imperfect, and simply because I would not believe that God could save me from a car accident but let a child starve to death in Africa--I still don't believe in that kind of Republicanesque God of reward and punishment.

A wise woman I once knew in Ohio, a brilliant librarian, who was unique in her look and height and presence in this world (and rejected by superficial people), died shortly after telling me the following in response to my agnosticism:

"My darling, no one has ever accurately described God to you, they can't."

As inscrutable as that seemed to me then, it was also true, and remains true. God is a personal and universal truth that no one can be CERTAIN about. What the fundamentalists and the Atheists have IN COMMON is their certainty that their truth is THE truth. Faith in God is a personal truth that can't be verified by science or logic; it's a surrender of certainty, and an embrace of the subjective experiences of being and life's mysteries that people almost universally attribute to something like "God."

This is why no true believer can offer the "fact-finding" Atheist a proof of God, for whatever proof I find, it is in my own eyes, my own consciousness and imagination; my child's life, the connection with my husband, the deep bonds I have with family and friends. These experiences and relationships just seem to be biological and chemical (without awe) to the atheist. Is it this lack of spiritual appreciation that compels the atheist to try to disconnect any sense of holiness from the faithful; for his own rational purity; his version of truth? Sir, I am with you in the ambition to stop the evils that man commits in God's name, any abomination towards man is an abomination to both man and God, but I am against you in your efforts to deny individuals that which cannot be proven, only felt, in the most tenuous and imperfect ways in which we are capable.

I agree with the atheist argument that many religious "believers" do nothing to make the world a better place. The truth is, man either helps or doesn't help man because of moral motivations, either with God or without God and that is the only issue. I have no problem pointing out religious hypocrisy, but moral or immoral actions always trump religious declarations!

On the right it seems that the arguments FOR God are an effort to control people and how we think, now on the left, it seems the arguments AGAINST the existence of God are in order to INHIBIT people's spirituality and, more important, to be academically right (a weakness I myself enjoy). How can one be right about eliminating even the possibility of a greater life force than us--what ego?! Such a declaration does not seem logical or rational to me. The premise is that we know all possibilities, yet we in no way understand everything there is to know about nature, life and consciousness; and all the possible explanations for it all!

Of course, believing in God probably isn't rational either, but that's half the point. Half our brain isn't rational, we're emotional beings (that's a good reason why we shouldn't have guns). Admitting that a belief in God is somewhat irrational doesn't give "believers" any excuse to act on God's behalf to do anything irrational to others! Yes, this irrationality should forever be separate from the governance of the people by the people.

In my view, the argument to prove or disprove God in our culture is a waste of time; it makes far more sense to prove or disprove the EFFECTS of humankind upon each other and this world. In the end, it just doesn't matter if we believe in God or not, it's how we treat each other.

I beg atheists to just concentrate on arguing against the sins of man, rather than the blessed and inherent irrationality of faith. Why would a lack of belief in God make a more compelling argument about culture? The faithful don't have a more compelling argument about culture just because they are faithful either (and we can all make that clear). Those who go against man, go against God, period, whether they invoke God's name or not.

It's not what we say, it's what we do--and that's all there is to it.

Don't step on my imaginary third eye (-;

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I haven't found any news reports that give the whole chronology of events so I have yet to make a judgment on this. I can say that conservatives who buy "reward and punishment" morality will not sympathize with six people beating up one--even if the one provoked it--they will see the six as criminals (and yes, conservatives are very often racist), liberals will see the six as victims of justice gone bad (something that just doesn't seem to concern conservatives). I do think that kind of beating is vigilantism plain and simple and ought to be tried as such...but attempted murder? Was there any attempt to report the initial beating to police? Didn't the six turn in the "victim's" gun to police (oh, those kids didn't beat up anybody and still got arrested!)?

I will say that I'm glad there's a network of bloggers that are monitoring sentencing problems--and organizing people. Hooray!


This seems to be accurate reporting and really shows the infuriating injustice of what's going on in Louisiana. After the protest march, one actively racist underage "white" kid gets a DUI and is out of jail in one night while police call him a "prankster" which makes me think the cops are also KKK supporters/actors, and "black" kids get the maximum bales and sentencing. It's simply wrong. Thanks, Let's Talk:


Friday, September 21, 2007

The trap of Playing Nice

I'm still reading Moral Politics and I've finished the "Strict Father" morality (the idealistic conservative) and am in the midst of the "Nurturing Parent" morality (the idealistic liberal) and have found a really interesting explanation for why Congress is acting the way it is (especially Democrats). I'm paraphrasing, but it seems that most liberals place "get along with others morality (social ties)" above requiring a "nurturing world/morality." This differs greatly from the much more confrontational morality of many conservatives who consider anyone who disagrees with them evil (I've actually been more like a conservative in that line of thinking in my not so distant past--in fact, I have to consciously remind myself that moralities other than my own are not evil).

It's kind of sad, but also unavoidable, that when a liberal disagrees with a conservative, they are ten times more likely to compromise with the conservative than the conservative is to compromise with the liberal. That's because we're trapped: we can't be the peacemaker (one of our leading values) and the dictator at the same time. The conservative has it easy; their dictatorial manner is considered "moral authority" and that's one of their leading values. So our peaceful, moral worldview/plan gets compromised, again and again.

Doesn't that make some sense of the world today?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Progressive loyalties vs. Being Right

Fox "news" and other media are having fun pointing out how liberals are attacking each other. It's so great for them since they pretty much stand in lockstep loyalty except when somebody might be publicly outed as gay (or bisexual).

This begs the question; How important is it to undermine a person's good message with a personal attack? I don't think you can get more personal that what a person eats. How does PETA know that Gore doesn't get his meat from a small, local farmer or hunters? He's from Tennessee and I'm from Missouri and I know that's easy to do--wealthy or not--all you need is a big freezer.

I've often criticized politicians for some imperfection that I'd like "righted," and I'm now rethinking that line of thinking. I will ask myself, "How important is this issue?" Granted, PETA is right that meat production is a huge environmental problem, but I think they could have negotiated with Gore to get his help with that message, say praising vegetarian lifestyles, rather than asking for a conversion and then attacking him personally--yuk.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fred who?

I'm just blown away that this guy thinks he has any business running for President. He's in total denial about Iraq and global warming--oh who cares what foreign policy experts and scientists think. There is little if any difference between this guy and George W. Bush--they think they can project their fear-based world views on everybody else. He's living in opposite world and is comfortable doing so despite the reality of the real world in which the rest of us live. May his campaign be as short lived as his limited perception of reality.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Toxic Pots

We only use stainless steel pots and pans, which is a bummer for scrambled eggs, but at least we're not killing any birds. Dupont seems to be saying a dead canary in the coal mine just isn't important for human conclusions.