Saturday, January 05, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

Why Huckabee worries me so much.

Well, there are many reasons...but this is a major one.

From Right Wing Watch

Huckabee loves Scalia.

Governor Huckabee has pledged to support every item on the Radical Right's wish list: a constitutional ban on abortion, a veto of legislation to protect gay and lesbian Americans from discrimination, support for a bill to keep federal courts from intervening when local officials violate the separation of church and state, and most importantly, a far-right Supreme Court.

When asked about what kind of justices Huckabee would appoint to the Supreme Court -- something CNN predicts the next president could get to do three or more times -- his answer was:

"I would want people who are in the spirit of Scalia. He's probably my hero in the Court."

That should make Americans even more nervous.
Why does that scare me so much?

Because Justice Scalia made this scary comment that chills me to my toes.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia 2002:
"Government...derives its moral authority from God. It is the minister of God with powers to "avenge" to "execute wrath" including even wrath by the sword."

First Things May 2002
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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Open Thread

Obama and Huckabee win first 2008 vote

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Dialog versus debate

Quick post before I (hopefully) head out and take care of some errands.

I was thinking recently of something I remember Bishop Gene Robinson discussing at a talk he gave on working for the "common good". He was explaining the distinction between debate and dialog, saying that in our society at this point in time, we seem much more likely to engage in debate than in true dialog...

When I listen to you, all I'm listening for are your weak points--so that I can come back at your weak points and win this discussion we're having. I'm not listening for your strongest points. I'm not trying to understand where you are, what your experience has been, what makes you think the way you do. I'm just looking for the place that I can pick you apart. So I'm listening for the worst in what you have to say. Wheras in dialog, it seems to me that I'm listening for the best that you have to say, and looking for some kind of common ground that would permit us to move forward together.
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Here is a photo of three of the four deer who came to our bird feeders on New Year's Eve Day in broad daylight. Hubby took the photo, since I was at work.

On New Year's Day, Hubby and I went snowshoeing for the first time with our Christmas snowshoes. We trodded off into the woods behind our house, with snow lightly falling, just for the pleasure of the respite that nature provides for weary pilgrims.

So, fellow pilgrims on the path to change, remember to take some time for respite as we forge onward in our many ways of creating and receiving newness this year.

This blog is a great place to create and receive newness. ♥
~ listener

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I don't know if I am an activist anymore.

I know that where I live there is not much I can do to make any difference right now. It is strongly entrenched in the DLC mindset, has been for years. It was one of the earliest strongholds because of Governor Lawton Chiles and his Blue Dog type Southern Democrats. Chiles was a good man, I grew up knowing his family. But he was more Republican than Democrat, just like Bill Nelson and others in Florida.

I say I don't know if I am an activist...I am if writing about things that matter to me makes me one. I read Renee's post. My problem is I still care very much about my country. It is my party that I am not sure about.

I think I saw in 2004 the darkest part of the Democratic Party. I really did not understand that we ate our own. We were Democrats, but Howard Dean's campaign made us activists, caused us to do political on the ground work, the grunt work. We loved it. We don't do it anymore, at least not now.

Why? Because we lost faith in the party to stand up for us. We lost more after the 2006 election when we saw how Bush just kept on getting what he wanted.

Now to go into detail. We saw the destruction, deliberate with forethought and malice, of Howard Dean....complete with the attempts to humiliate and marginalize those of us who supported him. The part of the party that did that still controls the policy. They may not be making as much noise as they did in the last primary, but they are nonetheless in control of the issues.

A couple of examples.

Dean's" internet activists are negative and pessimistic

Mr. From:"That raises a critical question: How could the Democrats lose ground to the Republicans when the GOP is performing so badly? The answer, according to Stanley Greenberg, who took the poll, is that voters believe Democrats have "no core set of convictions or point of view."

In short, voters don't know what Democrats stand for. Why should they? For the most part, congressional Democrats, DNC Chairman Howard Dean, and the party's new Internet activists have delivered a largely negative and pessimistic message -- talking more about what's going wrong than how to make it right."

And these remarks from Mr. Peter Ross Range, editor of the Blueprint:

Dean's" supporters live in a "rarified universe."

He calls us the "cultural divide".

"If we didn't know it already, one critical fact was confirmed by the recent Pew Research Center survey of Howard Dean's 2004 campaign activists: There is a cultural divide in America. What's troubling is that it's inside the Democratic Party.

The Pew study, while focused on 11,500 Dean supporters, nonetheless opened a revealing window on the thinking of liberal activists in the Democratic Party as a whole. One thing it told us is that the party's most active wing lives in a rarified universe of what Pew calls "a different kind of Democrat."
(How snide and condescending, Mr. Range.)

To Mr From and Mr. Range, I still talk about what is going wrong so we can fix it. I still in the "rarified universe" in which some things are right and some things like invading and bombing a country that was not a threat are wrong.

I don't have a clue what the future holds for those of us who really are idealist and demanding that our party do the right thing. I don't think there is a leader of the party right now. Not a real leader who stands up for what is right. Dean has either chosen to be quiet or made to be quiet. Odds are Hillary is going to be the one in charge of the party very soon. In my mind that does not bode well for any of us who want real change.

I saw more of the dark heart of the party again recently when Florida worked with the Republicans to move up the primary...then sent out emails and press releases saying Dean was taking our votes away, to stop sending money to the DNC.

I don't know what my husband and I will do in the future about "activism". It appears not to matter too much locally.

Our party has good people in it, I want to believe they have our best interests at heart. I don't, though, not just yet. A lot of what we do in the future depends on what others do. It depends on who is chosen in the primary to become the head of the party, to be the one with power over all the committees. It depends on what Howard Dean does when he leaves his post. It depends on how hard our party fights back against the extremists who are in charge. I guess I will keep writing somewhere online...because I have to do is part of who I am now.

Haloscan comment thread

My answer to yesterday's "question of the day"

It looks like we need a new thread. I don't want to do another "open thread", as it seems like we have too many of those, but I don't really have anything to say. A while back, Bill noted that he subscribed to the feed and was surprised at some point to notice that few of the posts were about politics. Yesterday, floridagal commented that she wondered if her posts here were too "controversial". I don't think they are. But this hasn't been much of a political blog for some time now. I guess I've disappointed some people.

Yesterday's Question of the Day at My Left Wing was "What do you want?" I responded that I had just been listening to Paul Simon in the car, which is how I arrived at the answer... tap into some wisdom. Even a little drop will do. I want to rid my heart of envy, and cleanse my soul of rage before I'm through.

I've come to realize that political blogging, or even regular reading of the political blogs, only serves to take me further from what I want.

But we do have this here blog which claims to be "an online community of Dean-inspired activists". That's what it was meant to be. I don't really want it to fizzle out, or I wouldn't have renewed the domain names when they came due back in November.

But the truth is, I'm not an activist. At least not any more. I'm probably still "Dean inspired" in some sense of the words, and I'm working on finding my niche. For those of you who are still "Dean-inspired activists", and still working to change the political system, I invite you to step up and bring more of that sensibility here. Write about what you're doing or thinking politically. Invite people to read what you write here. "Be the change you wish to see", and all that. I won't take offense. I do want to see that Dean spirit stay alive online, if for no other reason than as a testimony against the naysayers. Naysayers seriously get on my nerves. ;)

Haloscan comment thread

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

      Alfred, Lord, Tennyson

Happy New Year, everyone.

Comment Link (same as above)


    (Note the time on the clock!)

Our youngest took this photo one week ago,
at midnight on Christmas Eve on Church Street in Burlington
about a block from where Howard Dean announced his candidacy.

It's a new year, a new day, a new season for justice and peace.
Hope springs eternal ~ and I am hopeful for positive changes soon.
I know it takes a little leap of faith for that.
So I am reminded of a bit of wisdom, to reach
toward something greater than ourselves in true expectation:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
He replied, "Go out into the darkness and put your hand in the hand of God.
For you, it is better than a light and safer than a known way."   
   ~ Minnie Louise Haskins

What is your toast for the New Year?
CHEERS! *clink!*

~ listener

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

We Need A Little Kitten...

...Right this very minute!

See The Daily Kitten

Kittens are good for the soul!

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