Saturday, March 10, 2007

Open Thread

And don't forget daylight savings begins tonight. . . .

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Friday, March 09, 2007

What makes a family?

listener sent this to me last week, but I never got around to posting it over the weekend.

It is a book review taken from the Diocese of Vermont's newspaper, The Mountain Echo, and the author of the article is also the editor of the paper.

Book Explores Jesus' "family values"

For Luke, Good says, “following Jesus takes priority over every other consideration, overriding even the obligations of family and household.” Luke “requires that the human father demonstrate the love and unconditional forgiveness of the heavenly Father,” and, Good notes, “lays the ground for enlarging the function and role of family and household with a program of expanding hospitality.”

Paul’s focus is on the notion of brotherly love. His community understood the coming of a new heaven and a new earth to be imminent, so he wrote little about marriage and family other than to recommend marriage as the acceptable alternative to uncontrolled sexual desire.

Good concludes that a careful examination of ancient texts will open us up to our own presuppositions. Given the variety of ways the New Testament portrays marriage, family and community life and the lack of a unified teaching, Good says, “For us to isolate and commend one set of moral instructions over another fails to acknowledge the authority of the whole teaching.” She says, “The sure knowledge we have is that if we err on the side of generosity and magnanimity, we do not stray far from the nature of God, and we have a sure claim on God’s forgiveness.” In the end, as she notes in the dedication of the book to her own family, “Magnanimity creates families….”
The rest, as a PDF, can be found here.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

International Women's Day

I forgot this was today. Better late than never, I guess.

Celebrated on 8 March, International Women's Day (IWD) is the global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. IWD celebrates the collective power of women past, present and future.
Click the graphic above to learn more.

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Alachua will hold elections but judge may have final say-so

ALACHUA -- The city of Alachua will move forward with holding its elections, the city commission voted Tuesday, March 6, in an emergency meeting. The vote included allowing the elections' three challengers until 4 p.m. March 7 to "fix the deficiencies" in their qualification papers.

The commission made the vote after a recommendation by City Manager Clovis Watson Jr. to extend the qualifying date to "promote harmony" in the community and possibly prevent "future controversies." But legal actions had been filed against the city the day before, and some of those who helped file that action said the city commission held the emergency meeting when city officials realized they couldn't win in court.

Charlie Grapski, a challenger who filed to run against incumbent Bonnie Burgess, said that because the matter already was filed in court, the city's decision Tuesday holds no weight until a judge hears the case.

Click the title to read the entire article.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Vermont votes to impeach Bush/Cheney

Via Yahoo News

By an overwhelming voice vote, Middlebury called for impeachment.

So it has gone this week at town meetings across Vermont, most of which were held Tuesday.

Late Tuesday night, there were confirmed reports that 36 towns had backed impeachment resolutions, and the number was expected to rise.
Click here for the rest.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Open Thread

The image above is from NASA's Image of the Day Gallery.

The latest from Charlie can be found here.

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High Praise for My Left Wing

Just spotted this diary at My Left Wing.

My Left Wing Earns High Praise

...CJ emailed me today to let me know that My Left Wing had caught the eye of Cyrano's Journal Online and wanted to tell me how much appreciation there was thereabouts for MLW.
Featured Writers of CJO:

Gore Vidal (Emeritus), Noam Chomsky, Alex Cockburn, Uri Avnery, Michael Parenti, Glen Ford, Edward Herman, Stephen Gowans, Ernest Stewart, John Steppling, Guy Zimmerman, Jason Miller, James Petras , Sheila Samples, Robert Parry, Phil Rockstroh, Bruce Dixon, Danny Schechter, Ilan Pappe, Carolyn Baker, Slavoj Zizek, Margaret Kimberley, Stephen Lendman Charles Sullivan
Click to read all the nice things they have to say about My Left Wing. Very cool.

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Bono's NAACP Chairman's Award Acceptance Speech

Partial trancript

...When people talk about the greatness of America, I just think of the NAACP...
See, I grew up in Ireland, and when I grew up, Ireland was divided along religious lines, sectarian lines. Young people like me were parched for the vision that poured out of pulpits of Black America. And the vision of a Black Reverend from Atlanta--a man who refused to hate because he knew love would do a better job. (Applause). These ideas travel, you know? And they reached me, clear as any tune, lodged in my brain like a song. I couldn't shake that. And this is Ireland in the 70s growing up. People like me looked across the ocean to the NAACP, and I'm here tonight, and that feels good. It feels very, very good! (Applause.)

Well today, the world looks again to the NAACP. We need the community that taught the world about civil rights to teach it something about human rights. I'm talking about the right to live like a human. The right to live, period. Those are the stakes in Africa right now. Five and a half thousand Africans dying every day of AIDS, a preventable, treatable disease. Nearly a million Africans, most of them children, dying every year from malaria. Death by mosquito bite.

And, this is not about charity, as you know here in this room. This is about justice. It's about justice and equality. (Applause.) Now I know that America hasn't solved all of its problems, and I know that AIDS is killing people right here in America. And I know the hardest hit are African Americans, many of them young women. Today the church in Oakland, I saw such extraordinary people. This lioness here, Barbara Lee (applause) took me around with her pastor, J. Alfred Smith, and may I say that it was the poetry and the righteous anger of the Black church that was such an inspiration to me, a very white, almost pink, Irish man growing up in Dublin.

This is true religion, true religion will not let us fall asleep in the comfort of our freedom. "Love thy neighbor" is not a piece of advice, it's a command. (Applause and cheers.) And that means a lot. That means that in the global village, we're going to have to start loving a whole lot more people. That's what that means. That's right--its truth is marching on. Two million Americans have signed on to the One Campaign to make poverty history, tonight the NAACP is signing up to work with us. And so can you. Its truth is marching on! Because where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die.

And to those in the church who still sit in judgement on the AIDS emergency, let me climb into the pulpit for just one moment. Because whatever thoughts we have about God who he is, or even if God exists, most will agree that God has a special place for the poor.

The poor are where God lives. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is where the opportunity is lost and lives are shattered. (Standing ovation.) God is with the mother who has infected a child with a virus that will take both their lives. God is under the rubble in the cries we hear during wartime. God, my friends, is with the poor, and God is with us if we are with them.

This is not a burden--this is an adventure! And don't let anyone tell you it cannot be done. We can be the generation that ends extreme poverty! Thank you.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Tell Harry Reid: Don't legitimize Fox News

Via Fox Attacks

Tell Harry Reid not to legitimize FOX. Over at MyDD Matt Stoller has started a nationwide calling campaign to Senator Reid's office.

What is needed right now in Nevada is the kind of leadership shown by Democrats like Michael Zahara. Senator Reid, the most powerful official in Nevada and a key leader in the national Democratic Party, is either part of these decisions or could substantively accommodate our legitimate concerns....Please call Reid's offices and ask him to not legitimize Fox News as a neutral news outlet. 202-224-3542 / Fax: 202-224-7327 If you live in Nevada, use this number, which is restricted to 775 and 702 area codes: 1-866-SEN-REID (736-7343)
You might also like to check out: Questions I Want the Presidential Candidates to Answer by Dump Terry McAuliffe

And some new posts at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance.

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The meaning of a "Black Value System"

Originally posted at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance

This is related to my post about A Black Theology of Liberation from the other day. In addition to the overview link I posted, I had also looked at a PDF that went into detail about what is meant by a Black Value System. This part stood out to me, and I think I heard it echoed when listening to Barack Obama speaking at an event in Selma commemorating the voting rights march that took place there 42 years ago.

Disavowal of the Pursuit of "Middleclassness"

Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must keep the captive ignorant educationally, but trained sufficiently well to serve the system. Also, the captors must be able to identify the "talented tenth" of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor's control.

Those so identified as separated from the rest of the people by:

Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.

Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.

Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of "we" and "they" instead of "us".

So, while it is permissible to chase "middle-incomeness" with all our might, we must avoid the third separation method-the psychological entrapment of Black "middleclassness": If we avoid the snare, we will also diminish our "voluntary" contributions to methods A and B. And more importantly, Black people no longer will be deprived of their birthright, the leadership, resourcefulness, and example of their own talented persons.

Anyway, I thought that excerpt was worthy of some reflection. In yesterday's post, I linked to the lively exchange between Sean Hannity and Barack Obama's pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, about whether Trinity United Church of Christ espoused a "radical separatist" agenda. What I failed to mention at the time is that I do "get" why many White people are uncomfortable with the wording Hannity referred to from the church's web site--commitment to the Black family, the Black community, etc. Hannity asked, wouldn't it sound racist if you substituted the word White--if there was a church that openly stated it was all about supporting and strengthening the White community.

And I can't judge him for asking that. I've wondered the same thing in the past. Wright responded that churches have been that way for ages--White by default. White is "generic" to many of us, so we don't even use the word as a descriptor when we are describing a new person we met, for example. But that's not an easy concept to "get". It's going to take some serious thoughtful discussion among people of good will. Which means, and this is just a guess, it will likely be taking place somewhere other than Sean Hannity's television program.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Independent Bloggers' Alliance mirror site

I set up the Independent Bloggers' Alliance site at Wordpress for a reason. I'm sure I did. At the moment, though, I can't remember exactly what that reason was. At least some of it had to do with the ease of using tags, so that, if the site got big.

I mention this now, because I am becoming more aware of some of the limitations inherent in Wordpress--the most relevant being that *most* people use Blogger/Blogspot, and I think that's put an unnecessary stumbling block in the way of adding new contributors.

I don't know, ultimately, what the solution will be, but yesterday I spent some time creating a mirror site on Blogspot. Okay, that's when I discovered *one* of the reasons for using Wordpress--adding the site banner was a lot easier there.

But here's the deal...if you'd like to be a contributor to the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, and Blogger/Blogspot would be easier or more convenient for you, drop me an e-mail at ohiorenee(at) and I can send you an invite. Wordpress has a function where I can import posts from another blog, so your posts will appear there even if you aren't signed up at Wordpress.

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Sunday morning post from Subway

I have a friend at HowardEmpoweredPeople who goes by the blog name of 'listener.' Last week she asked me to define what I mean by Ascension, and pointed out that to many people, Ascension has religious overtones that are apocalyptic.

The Ascension of which I speak is a global Awakening to a potential that humankind, for one reason or another, has so far kept deeply hidden. The cynic might say that Religion has kept this potential away from the rest of us for selfish gain. They barred the door to the treasures of Eternal Knowledge and suffered not even the willing to enter in. Though I would say that most religions have simply forgotten over the span of time.

Today higher states of awareness seem to come to those with the time to meditate in the ancient traditions. These folks spend years and even lifetimes seeking the Bliss that comes from touching the Unconditional Love of the Universal Heart.

One of the things I'm looking forward to when I get my new gizmo is joining one of the several 'user groups' that have sprung up recently. Serious experiments are underway to "link hearts in a phase lock, in a chat like environment." I have no idea how something like that works, but I guess I'm about to learn. When it can be demonstrated on a wide scale that hearts can be linked in this way, I think folks are going to sit up and take notice.

It kinda takes me back to "Star Trek The Movie." In the end, all that we learned of the physical Universe merged with the heartfelt focused intent of Consciousness and created a new, transcendent life form. In the next decade, it seems to me that the lines between the Inner-Space of the HeartSoul, and the Cyber-Space of ones and zeros will begin to blur.

Most religions speak of profound change in these times. Christians say that Jesus is coming. I think it would be a nice surprise if we met him half way.

For your Sunday morning relaxation, Radio Sri Chinmoy presents music by Shindhu.



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