Saturday, February 24, 2007

Open Thread

Thank you to Maryscott for frontpaging "What kind of alliance are we?" over at My Left Wing.

This is a late night open thread. Talk amongst yourselves.

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What kind of alliance are we?

Originally posted at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance. I started writing this puppy over four hours ago. And this just can't be all I accomplish today, so please forgive my crossposting it, without editing/personalizing it for different audiences. But it was a full week ago that I wrote the introductory post, and three days ago that Demetrius came through with the banner I asked for. So, here are the results of my first opportunity all week to spend some real time thinking and writing about this new blog...

Last night after work, I approved a comment by liberalamerican. It contained some things I wanted to address--at very least, the question I used as a title to this post...

So, here I sit, determined to actually write something in complete sentences about the raison d'etre of this blog. I've closed the door to the study so that I can try to tune out whatever pointless fight the kids might be getting into. I've shut one of the dogs in here with me so that I don't have to worry about her getting into the trash while I'm writing. And I'm trying to tune out whatever power tool the neighbor is using right outside my window. White noise, Renee. Just let it be meaningless "white noise". So, these are a few of the challenges in trying to move forward with a project like this when blogging is not your day job. Below the jump, I'll try to address some of liberalamerican's points and questions the best I can.

Delilah update

Someone asked about Kimmy last night, so I dropped her a note. Here's an update...

Delilah is so good its insane! She barely cries and when she does its the cutest thing ever! It actually sounds like waa waaa waa.. exactly how thats pronounced! Her blood sugar was a little low the first couple of days and that frightened me but its all squared away now! She looks so much like Mina its insane!

I'm loving it.. I'm pretty exhausted and waiting around for her to need me every moment hehe Its been 6 years since I had a tiny one in the house so I;m still getting the routine down and remembering how to do little things. Shes heaven to be honest

Thank you for asking! I hope that you're doing well. I'll stop by the blog soon and say hello! With pics of course!
I'm trying to catch up with some writing that I haven't had a chance to do all week, but I saw that in my MySpace mail and wanted to share. Please feel free to pass the link along to BFA or whatever.

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72 year old man, victim of hate crime, dies

Via Americablog

Earlier this week, Andy at Towleroad made us aware of the brutal and senseless gay bashing of a 72 year old resident of Detroit. Today, the victim, Andrew Anthos, died from his injuries
More here, from WOOD-TV8, the Grand Rapids NBC affiliate.

I don't know what to say. It's wrong, it's messed up, and we need to address the crap in our society that contributes to this kind of hate. At moments like this, the odds of ever righting the wrongs that lead to hatred for people *simply for being who they are*, seem overwhelming.

Trying to think of *something* to say along with this sad (for Andrew and his family) and bleak (for humanity) news, I thought of the story of Pandora's box. From the Wikipedia article on hope:
When Pandora opened Pandora's Box, she let out all the evils except one: Hope. Apparently the Greeks considered Hope to be as dangerous as all the world's evils. But without hope to accompany all their troubles, humanity was filled with despair. It was a great relief when Pandora revisited her box and let out hope as well. It may be worthy to note that in the story, Hope is represented as weakly leaving the box but is in effect far more potent than any of the major evils.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday night "We love Al Gore" thread

Or, an excuse to post this link, which I failed to post earlier because I needed a silly thread.

Carter Endorses Gore, Says Former Veep Can Win More Than Oscars

Carter told ABC News, "If Al should decide to run -- which I'm afraid he won't -- I would support Al Gore."

The former Democratic President asserted Gore could accomplish much more in the White House than he ever could as a private citizen, saying to Stephanopoulos, "His burning issue now is global warming and preventing it. He can do infinitely more to accomplish that goal as in the incumbent in the White House, than he can making even movies that get -- you know, that get Oscars."

"An Inconvenient Truth", a documentary based on a global warming lecture Gore has delivered around the world, is nominated for an Academy Award and the former Vice President will walk the red carpet at the Oscars this Sunday.

I keep thinking we need Al Gore for president lyrics for Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al"...

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Monty Python's Silly Walks Generator

Let me know if you figure out how to work it. I had a mentally exhausting day at work and at the moment don't seem to have sufficient active, alert brain cells to figure it out. But it looks kinda fun and silly, which seems like about the right speed for a Friday night.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why I'm glad I haven't picked a candidate yet

Crossposted at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance

Via skippy, I found this piece at Time Magazine's blog Swampland, which includes something that might be of interest to readers of this blog.

But yesterday's praise (some of it in comments here) for the Obama campaign's rapid response is souring as word spreads around the net that the architect of that rapid response, Robert Gibbs, comes with some baggage. He was the spokesman for "Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values," the group behind an anti-Dean ad you might remember:
Click for more. Oh. That ad.

I'd probably be pretty unhappy about this if I was really excited about Obama as a candidate. I don't dislike him the way I dislike Hillary, but I'm not exactly sold on him either.

Maybe I'll just make some popcorn, kick back, and watch with detached amusement while all of the candidates who are not Al Gore tear each other to pieces.

And root beer. Think I'll go get me a root beer too.

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Independent Bloggers' Alliance

Yesterday, at around 4:30 in the afternoon I got a call telling me I need to come in to work today, rather than next Monday. I thought tomorrow *might* be a possibility, but I was *not* expecting to go in today.

The upshot is that I don't have the time I thought I'd have to get more done with the Independent Bloggers' Alliance site as I thought I would. But at least I've added the new graphic Demetrius made for me.

Independent Bloggers' Alliance

There is a banner version on the blog, which you can see if you click the graphic above. This button version is designed to be used as a link in blog sidebars. I'll be adding it to the HEP sidebar as soon as I get a chance.

To learn more about my hopes for the blog, click here. Additional background on this project can be found here.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Where have we heard this before?

This morning I posted that I officially joined the Episcopal Church three years ago on Ash Wednesday. I've posted more about that connection in an essay at Booman Tribune (crossposted at My Left Wing and ePluribus Media). Not going to repost the whole thing here, but I thought people might be interested in what Rev. Susan Russell had to say about the current situation in the Anglican Communion. Even if you're not Episcopalian, I bet some of this sounds a bit familiar to you...

...From my perspective, the American Episcopal Church has now been very strategically and very intentionally painted into a corner by those in the American church who have been advocating for a schism for many years.

And we're now faced with what I would call a Sophie's choice of having to choose our vision of the inclusive gospel over our inclusion in the communion. It's a profoundly un-Anglican way to make decisions, given that historically we have been a people of God who have not required common belief in order to be in communion with each other.

So I think the greater challenge we face has much less to do with gay and lesbian people or bishops or blessings, but how we're going to be church together. I think that is really under attack by the radical religious right, who is willing to split this church if they can't recreate it in their own image...
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Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of season of Lent. It was three years ago on Ash Wednesday that I was received into the Episcopal church. I could easily have continued to attend, and be considered a member of St. Stephen's without making it official. But, as I've explained in the past, this was on the heels of John Kerry becoming the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party. I was very disappointed, to put it mildly, that instead of being able to enthusiastically cast a vote for Howard Dean for president, I had to settle for voting against George Bush.

So, while that's not the whole story, a significant part of my decision to officially join the Episcopal Church was some sort of psychological need to say "yes" to something. And since the church had said "Yes" to Bishop Gene Robinson, it felt right to say "Yes" right back to that church.

I'm sure I'll have more to say about all of this at some point, but what I've shared above should be enough to indicate that this story, shared by Alan in the comments, was a tough one to read...

U.S. Episcopalians react to church ruling
Relief and anger follow the Anglican directive that the church in the U.S. stop blessings of same-sex unions.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Open Thread

I'm heading off to work now, but don't know yet if it will be a full day. Once I'm home, I'd like to have more discussion of the Independent Bloggers' Alliance idear. I've got diaries at Booman Tribune and My Left Wing, if you'd like to see the discussion so far, and maybe weigh in.

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Happy Birthday, SusanD!

Thank you to Thankful for giving the heads-up about SusanD's birthday.

Happy happy birthday, Susan!

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Day of Remembrance

Thank you to cookie jill at skippy the bush kangaroo for pointing out that February 19 is a Day of Remembrance

On Feb. 12, the House of Representatives was expected to pass H. Res. 122, which recognizes a National Day of Remembrance for the Japanese American Internment. February 19, 2007 marks 65 years since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which forced 120,000 Japanese American citizens and legal residents into internment camps during World War II solely based upon their Japanese descent. The resolution also recognizes that many German and Italian Americans experienced deprivations during this period as well.
From the Children of the Camps documentary web site:
"Until we can talk about the experience and make a connection with our grief and anger, we will each still be unconsciously trying to get out of our own personal camp. Our experience was unique, but it's an example of the broader experience of racism, how it permeates lives, and how we each attempt to survive it. It's about trauma and suffering, but it also is about our strength."
- Dr. Satsuki Ina, PhD
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Hillary's blog is live

Just found out over at skippy's place that talkleft would have a guest post up at Hillary's blog. Okay, I've been at work all day, but this is the first I've heard that her blog is live. And it does appear to be. It even appears to have comments.

See how fair I'm being? I have resisted, so far, the impulse to use quotation marks when describing Hillary's blog. I'm giving her the benifit of the doubt. But I'll be interested to hear if the management is putting limits on what people are allowed to post there.

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Buckeye State Blog update

On Saturday, I posted about the offer that Kos/BlogPAC have made to two Ohio blogs. From the post at Buckeye State Blog:

BlogPac has offered to sponsor this site.

Specifically, they've offered to pay the hosting costs (around $180 apiece) for the Buckeye State Blog and As Ohio Goes, and feature these two sites in their national project. I did not request a grant - BSB was offered one because of the significance we play in Ohio politics.
A decision is being made tonight. Jerid has posted about the topic here and includes his e-mail address for anyone who would like to weigh in. (You know, politely, thoughtfully, and all that.)

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Here's that quote from Al Gore that we are supposed to take as the definitive statement that he is not running in 2008...

"I can't imagine in any circumstance to run for office again," said the former Democratic vice president under then-president Bill Clinton.

I submit that he does not have to be able to "imagine" it--he just needs to be willing to do the right thing when the circumstance presents itself.

From an article in Yes Magazine:
By what name will future generations know our time?
Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, when profligate consumption exceeded Earth’s capacity to sustain and led to an accelerating wave of collapsing environmental systems, violent competition for what remained of the planet’s resources, and a dramatic dieback of the human population? Or will they look back in joyful celebration on the time of the Great Turning, when their forebears embraced the higher-order potential of their human nature, turned crisis into opportunity, and learned to live in creative partnership with one another and Earth?
I recommend reading the rest, if you haven't before. It won't help us to panic. After all, giving in to fear is what has gotten us into the trouble we're currently in as a country.

We just need to learn to *imagine*...together.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Table fellowship and Virginia ham

I just don't seem to have the attention span or focus needed to keep up with multiple complex issues--especially at those times that I am working during the day. So while I've been focussed on how those with smaller blogs can find some way to cooperate in a way that is mutually beneficial, while still retaining their independence, I've completely lost track of some other things. For example, I had totally blanked on the fact that the bishops in the Anglican Communion were having a major meeting this week.

Via the Episcopal News Service, we have this story about Archbishop Peter Akinola and other archbishops of the "Global South" refusing to share Holy Communion with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Seven "Global South" archbishops refused to receive Holy Communion with their fellow Primates February 16, alleging that they were "unable to come to the Holy Table with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church because to do so would be a violation of Scriptural teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding."
Now, I have tremendous admiration for Bishop Katharine. Archbishop Akinola, not so much. But while my first thought was just about the "snub" aspect of the action. It was only a little later that it occurred to me the extent to which this action goes against something that was really central for Jesus. From the web site of The Center for Progressive Christianity:
It is probably no coincidence that many scholars today believe the stories about Jesus’s open table are considered some of the most authentic historical passages in the gospels, in part because they are so unique for the times. Marcus J. Borg wrote in Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, “one of his (Jesus’s) most characteristic activities was an open and inclusive table.” (p.55) Later he notes that, “The inclusive vision incarnated in Jesus’s table fellowship is reflected in the shape of the Jesus movement itself.” (p. 56)
And on the subject of food, I found something interesting at a new blog called epiScope. The post is entitled "Virginia Ham", and it discusses the "unreasonable rift" in the Episcopal Church...
But in the present rift among our Episcopalian neighbors, one feels it is not so much deviant ideas, but how deviant behavior is defined. As we have recently seen, Virginians regard homosexuality as deviant and, I continue to insist, abhorrent. As we have also seen, they are loath to acknowledge this abhorrence, claiming, for the most part, they are constrained to obey the edicts inscribed in the book of Leviticus. Well, Leviticus prescribes dire consequences for any of us who fancy Virginia ham as well.
Good one--wish I'd thought of it. (Given that the most publicized recent rift in the Episcopal Church in the United States has been in the Diocese of Virginia.) More here.


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Happy 4705

From puddle's blog, pyzch:

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4705 begins at 12:00 a.m. on Feb. 18, 2007.
Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest.
Click here for more.

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