Friday, October 31, 2008

Rightwingers and Compassion


much like Prez. Clinton's term...he tried to have more even handed wealth
distribution, instead of the 2nd gilded age of robber barons we have today. But--it seems the right does not like sharing much. I thought they were compassionate conservatives?

I agree with what you said: the "redistribution of wealth" is a positive, and economy-supporting, idea, if applied carefully and judiciously. The extreme right is absolutely terrified of certain words, including "distribution." Some fanatics are so deeply infected by selfserving greed that they feel threatened even by so gentle a word as "sharing."

These types used to be called, in pop-psych, "anal retentives"-- just another way of poking fun at their greed. They were the kind who squeaked whenever a penny escaped their desperate grasp. They can usually be recognized because their lives are completely drained of all joy.

Their greatest terror is a "welfare state." They believe correctly that everyone should work to earn her own bread. They have a special loathing and fear for "welfare moms"-- young girls who have several babies in order to increase checks from the government. And they also have viable and reasonable complaints against young men who are perfectly healthy, but insist on drawing welfare checks.

In this, they are right: In a perfect world, each person would do honest work to make and earn her own way, her living. But terrible fanatics would eradicate absolutely all programs designed to alleviate poverty, every one designed to help an honest and good person who has fallen on "bad times."

These extremists just say, "Let them get a job, pick themselves up by their own bootstraps." And that is fine, and true, when it is possible. But some unfortunates have also had their "bootstraps" removed.

The probllem with these humorless rightwingers is not only their loss of a sense of humor, but complete loss of compassion. "Compassionate conservatism" is one of their favorite myths; it makes them feel at least slightly human. But it is a myth precisely because they are behind it only if it does not cost a cent! In the real world, compassion can get expensive. (Just ask the Love Ministries Federation!)

But compassion is nothing but an emppty shell if it is only pretty words. True compassion must express as actions actually to aid those less fortunate than ourselves.

And what rightwingers never "get" is that compassion, by definition, is given freely from an open heart; it is not "earned." These rightwingers have sacrificed compassion, and even all goodness, in the name of greed, usually expressed as their personal pocketbook or bankaccount. Slamming shut the heart makes us less, less human, less divine. It also makes us less joyful, and less tranquil.

Rightwingers pay a very high price, in terms of the interior "jewels" of the universe-- such gems as goodness, compassion, positive selfesteem, and psychological wellness and balance-- for their greedy, gritty view of the world. It is a joyless expression of animal survivalism, and can never bring any joy or satisfaction, for it leaves the heartmind empty and arid, a spiritual desert, in which all the flowers perish.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Twenty Facts About Rigged Voting

Thanks to Barbara Baty.


Whether you consider yourself an Independent, a Republican or a Democrat, and regardless of whom you support for president, this is a very serious issue. PLEASE consider this a must-read; and, after you read it, you'll see the seriousness of this issue and be glad you read it.

And remember, there IS a way of preventing this!


Twenty Facts About Voting in the United States

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.,2645,61640,00.html

13. Jeff Dean was Senior Vice-President of Global Election Systems when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software now used in most of the United States.

14. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here:,2645,63298,00.html

17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.,2645,65757,00.html

19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.

20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated; and experts are recommending further investigation.

NOTE: Please copy the above list and distribute freely!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thanks to Sandra Grubb.

Dear Red States: An Imaginnative Satire

Dear Red States ...

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly:

You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.

We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs and we get two-thirds of the tax revenue. You get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water , more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners), 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11.

Peace out,

Blue States

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Shame of Greed


In every one of his speeches, and in many of his writings (he has written several profound books), Barack Obama encourages community, community-awareness, and community-action. He encourages Americans to think of ourselves as interactive and interdependent people. And he always makes a special effort to think of the poor and the middle class.
This "ordinary American" is something that the Republican Sarah Palin has tried to fake, but, due to her $150,000 clothing, make-up, and jewelry (she also paid a professional cosmetician $11,000 a week to make her look better), she has never managed to pull this one off; she has fooled almost no one. McCain has from seven to ten houses, and even he is not certain how many he owns. And the Republican Party has been the puppets of corporations for the last eight years, under the bush regime.
It is thus not at all surprising that the Republican Party has emerged, and continues to define itself, as the party of the coddled, spoiled, and rich elite. "Common, average" people are rare among them, and the poor virtually non-existent within Republican ranks. For decades, this party of greed and materialism has appealed to the lowest nature within human beings-- territoriality and survivalism.
In stunning contrast, Obama regularly calls upon people to exercise compassion through service; he even has a plan for National Service for young people, to help pay for college. In summary, Obama calls upon us, challenges us, to think of others as well as of our own families; we all stand together, not only as Americans, but as human beings.

This is a cohesion infinitely more powerful than mere money. Compared to this wise
and wide calling, the Republican focus on personal dollars appears as almost an illness, an unhealthy obsession. Indeed, greed has been the root of virtually every major conflict and war in the history of our poor little planet. It is time for all of us to seek to outgrow this childish, self-serving trend, and to give more to the poor. At the very least, if we do nothing else, we can support them in our hearts, prayers, thoughts, and actions. We can lift our political agenda towards compassion and away from the consuming and dreaded disease of greed.

The Love Ministries Federation


If you want to teach only the Love of God, as the primary teaching of Jesus and his disciples, you are welcome to join the Love Ministries Federation. If you do, you are under no obligation. Love Ministries USA publishes two email magazines, the "Universal Love Digest," which comes out every two or three days, and Lovelight magazine, which is released once a month. You are welcome to a free subscription to both.

Periodically, it is our goal financially to support small independent ministries such as yours. This is done by asking our readers to send in donations, which we then divide up among the following members of our Federation (in alphabbetical order):

Love Ministries of India
Love Ministries of Kenya
Love Ministries of Pakistan
Love Ministries of Rwanda
Love Ministries of Sierra Leone(?)
Love Ministries of Uganda.

As of this time (Tuesday, October 14), we have received no new donations, for about a month, from any of our friends; but, when we do, we will be happy to support your work for the poor. Please continue to teach, and to practice, the sacred work of teaching the infinite Love of our Lord. May you be blessed with peace and joy.


Richard [Francis],
Love Ministries USA

Free Good Deed

Thanks to Cherigene Slaughter

Free Good Deed

Virus Warning

Virus Warning!

Thanks to Maureen Dwyer.

Subject: Real Virus--Take Seriously
This has come around before so consider it a reminder!!!


(Note from HN, blog editor: Please notice that this is not the "worst virus ever." The Snopes article debunks some of the claims made below.)

Hi All,I checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this

I checked Snopes (URL above:), and it is for real!! Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP. PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS!

You should be alert during the next few days. Do not open any message with an attachment entitled 'POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK,' regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which 'burns'the whole hard disc C of your computer.

This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/ er contact list. This is the reason why you need to send this e-mail to all your contacts It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.

If you receive a mail called' POSTCARD,' even though sent to you by a friend, do not open it! Shut down your computer immediately.

This is the worst virus announced by CNN. It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever.

This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.

Who is Joe the Plumber, really?

Thanks to Barb Siler.

Who is Joe the Plumber," really"?
By David Neiwert Thursday Oct 16, 2008 8:59am

I guess it's no wonder that John McCain was so happy to use "Joe the
Plumber" as a debate prop last night. He's a partisan Republican who also happens to be a member of McCain's old friends, the Keating family.

Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who's Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating's son-in-law, and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes, having given well over $10,000 in the last few years.

Now I guess we know why Joe is telling the press that Obama is a "socialist" and that the Obama tax plan "infuriated" him. After all, it would hit families like the Keatings and their minions [and millions] the hardest.

Obama's economic-recovery plan would put the crimps on influence peddlers like McCain's old friends, the Keating Five. But he sure made for a good one-day story.


Obama NOT a Muslim!

Obama NOT a Muslim!

It is a well known fact that Barack Obama is NOT a Muslim; he is, and has been for many years, a Christian; in fact, the Republicans tried to get him in trouble due to his lunatic Pastor, an extremist named Jeremiah Wright. But you simply cannot have it both ways: If Obama were a Muslim, he would not even "have" a Christian pastor! So, they had to choose: Which attack was more damaging to Obama and his cause?

The Republicans are running scared. That alone explains why they are starting, all over again, to use this discredited myth, calling Obama a "Muslim," and turning that word into a perjorative. McCain's entire campaign is falling apart in state after state-- largely due to his impulsive, impetuous appointment of Sarah Palin as his running-mate. She has excessively damaged the campaign, but, even if she were gone,
McCain's continual and consistent support of George Bush would itself be enough quite thoroughly to ruin him.

Absolutely anything can be written, and passed along, in absolutely any email. I received this charge of "Obama's being a Muslim" early in the campaign, and have heard Obama himself deny it several times. It has been quite thoroughly and repeatedly disproved and discredited. In every one of his bionotes (writings about his life-history), he makes it crystal-clear that he has never been a Muslim. For most who are "hip" on the political scene, this lie was quashed several months ago. I am not at all certain that I could vote for a Muslim to "run" the U.S., although, of course, each adult person has a full right to believe whatever she chooses. So, there is, and should be, no attempt to limit the beliefs of other adults.

Nevertheless, you can rest fully assured that Obama is not a Muslim. He has an "odd name" because of past cultural influences, but is as American as you or I. He is deeply loyal to his country, and to a highly idealistic vision of how it can be improved. After eight years of trying to turn the White House into an asylum, where insane and incompetent men (and women, like Condy) can "recuperate," it might soon once again become the center of good government and good laws for this country.

White House of Horrors?


Starring Senator John McPain and Governor Scare-Ya Palin.

McCain thinks Roe v. Wade "must be overturned." And he mocked the "health" of women facing risky pregnancies. Palin said she would not support abortion even if her daughter were raped.


Counting Votes

Thanks to Michelle Spivey.

Counting Votes

something to think about :

Facts are powerful!!
Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin. What if things were switched around?
Would the country's collective point of view be different if race and gender did not enter in?

Consider the following:

• What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
• What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?
• What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?
• What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to painkillers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
• What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?
• What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three-month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

• What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
• What if Obama was the one whose military experience included numerous disciplinary problems and a record of crashing seven planes?
• What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?

• What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

• What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
• What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
• What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?
• What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?
• What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

And what about the educations of the candidates?

Barack Obama holds a B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations from Columbia University and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School. While, John McCain graduated from United States Naval Academy and ranked 894th in a class of 899.

Joe Biden holds a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Delaware, as well as a J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law. While, Sarah Palin holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Idaho, where she completed a total of 5 semesters, after having spent one semester at both the Hawaii Pacific University and Matanuska-Susitna College, as well as two semesters at North Idaho College.

• What if McCain was the Columbia/Harvard Law grad and Obama the low ranked Academy grad?
• And Palin had a BA and JD, while Biden had gone to four schools to get a journalism degree?

Would the polls be as close as they are, if the reality reflected the reverse circumstances pondered in the questions? Is there much doubt who would hold a commanding lead? I doubt it!

This is what racism does. It colors perceptions, covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in the majority candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in the minority candidate when there is a color difference. And it's wrong!

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world. And re the ten other canidates-- would voting for one of them even count?

So, another question : How does Sarah Palin's $ 150,000 + wardrobe for television make you think that she is really prepared to help the nation's leaders reduce our financial budget? And does this not contradict her carefully manicured but unreliable image as a "common woman," a "hockey mom"? (Maybe a "hockey mom" covered with diamonds!:) And her political party is paying for it all. Does that mean that voters can look into their own future and expect Republicans to pay for it too?

From mud slinging to shopping sprees, what seems to be grey is actually very black and white. This clarity of the history of the candidates is a carefully guarded Republican secret.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Real Scandal (they're ruining my country)

Thanks to Barbara Baty.

The Real Scandal (they're ruining my country) October 21, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
The Real Scandal

It never ends. The Republican Party never gets tired of spraying its poison across the American political landscape.

So there was a Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, telling Chris Matthews on MSNBC that the press should start investigating members of the House and Senate to determine which ones are “pro-America or anti-America.”

Can a rancid Congressional committee be far behind? Leave it to a right-wing Republican to long for those sunny, bygone days of political witch-hunting.

Ms. Bachmann’s demented desire (“I would love to see an exposé like that”) is of a piece with the G.O.P.’s unrelenting effort to demonize its opponents, to characterize them as beyond the pale, different from ordinary patriotic Americans — and not just different, but dangerous, and even evil.

But the party is not content to stop there. Even better than demonizing opponents is the more powerful and direct act of taking the vote away from their opponents’ supporters. The Republican Party has made strenuous efforts in recent years to prevent Democrats from voting, and to prevent their votes from being properly counted once they’ve been cast.

Which brings me to the phony Acorn scandal.

John McCain, who placed his principles in a blind trust once the presidential race heated up, warned the country during the presidential debate last week that Acorn, which has been registering people to vote by the hundreds of thousands, was “on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history.”

It turns out that a tiny percentage of these new registrations are bogus, with some of them carrying ludicrous names like Mickey Mouse. Republicans have tried to turn this into a mighty oak of a scandal, with Mr. McCain thundering at the debate that it “may be destroying the fabric of democracy.”

Please. The Times put the matter in perspective when it said in an editorial that Acorn needs to be more careful with some aspects of its voter-registration process. It needs to do a better job selecting canvassers, among other things.

“But,” the editorial added, “for all of the McCain campaign’s manufactured fury about vote theft (and similar claims from the Republican Party over the years) there is virtually no evidence — anywhere in the country, going back many elections — of people showing up at the polls and voting when they are not entitled to.”

Two important points need to be made here. First, the reckless attempt by Senator McCain, Sarah Palin and others to fan this into a major scandal has made Acorn the target of vandals and a wave of hate calls and e-mail. Acorn staff members have been threatened and sickening, murderous comments have been made about supporters of Barack Obama. (Senator Obama had nothing to do with Acorn’s voter-registration drives.)

Second, when it comes to voting, the real threat to democracy is the nonstop campaign by the G.O.P. and its supporters to disenfranchise American citizens who have every right to cast a ballot. We saw this in 2000. We saw it in 2004. And we’re seeing it again now.

In Montana, the Republican Party challenged the registrations of thousands of legitimate voters based on change-of-address information available from the Post Office. These specious challenges were made — surprise, surprise — in Democratic districts. Answering the challenges would have been a wholly unnecessary hardship for the voters, many of whom were students or members of the armed forces.

In the face of widespread public criticism (even the Republican lieutenant governor weighed in), the party backed off.

That sort of thing is widespread. In one politically crucial state after another — in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, you name it — the G.O.P. has unleashed foot soldiers whose insidious mission is to make the voting process as difficult as possible — or, better yet, impossible — for citizens who are believed to favor Democrats.

For Senator McCain to flip reality on its head and point to an overwhelmingly legitimate voter-registration effort as a “threat to the fabric of democracy” is a breathtaking exercise in absurdity.

Miles Rapoport, a former Connecticut secretary of state who is now president of Demos, a public policy group, remarked on the irony of elected Republican officials deliberately attempting to thwart voting. Some years ago, he said, he “and all the other secretaries of state” would bemoan the lack of interest in voting, especially among the young and the poor.

Now, he said, with the explosion of voter registration and the heightened interest in the presidential campaign, you’d think officials “would welcome that, and encourage it, and even celebrate it.” Instead, he said, in so many cases, G.O.P. officials are “trying to pare down the lists.”

A version of this article appeared in print on
October 21, 2008, on page A29 of the New York Times.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We're not victims

Dear Friends,

Taxpayers are investing hundreds of billions in Wall Street, while ceo's get to keep their golden parachutes. In need of even more cash, the financial services industry could be eyeing our credit cards. Let's be sure that this doesn't happen. We don’t have to be victims. We're in the midst of an aggressive campaign at the Federal Reserve Board to protect you from unexpected and unwarranted increases in credit card
rates. Strong new rules need to pass right now to avoid a credit card crisis.

Help us take on the deep-pocketed financial lobby by giving whatever you can right now.

Back in 2002, Consumer Reports warned that deceptive marketing, dreadful service and broken promises were becoming the norm in an increasingly Wild West marketplace. We noted that when free markets went bad, industry sees no contradiction in getting multi-billion dollar government bailouts while fighting against reasonable oversight. It’s time to end this "anything goes" attitude.

With Americans carrying nearly a trillion dollars in credit card debt, interest rate increases mean big money for the banks. But rate hikes mean potential financial ruin for families. If you are responsible and make your payments, banks should treat you as a valued customer rather than jacking up your costs.

Your donation will help us take back the marketplace for consumers, and could save you money in the long run.

With your help, we’ve succeeded in passing a national product-safety law to make imports, toys and other goods safer. We took on the pharmaceutical industry, passing a law to stop drug companies from selling unsafe prescription drugs to unsuspecting consumers. And we held the hospital industry’s feet to the fire after countless Americans died from infections they got while hospitalized.

Help us now take on the financial services industry. And please, forward this letter to everyone you know who carries a credit card, so they can pitch in, too.
Kathy Mitchell
Consumers Union Action Fund, Inc.
506 W. 14th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Monday, October 20, 2008

Animalcharities: Using Common Sense and Caution

Animalcharities: Using Common Sense and Caution

All charities might be good, but they are not created equal. We should always do everything possible, of course, to support the environment and the biosphere. But, for most of us, money for charity can be extremely, even severely, limited. So, we must use caution and make very careful, thoughtful, and considered choices.

A species might look "cute" from a distance, as is the case with some polar bears or wolves (two of the most popular recent animalcharities). But these creatures might be, in the wild, lethal to human beings and to all other life-forms, especially if they are carnivores.

Do carnivores have the right to exist in peace, undisturbed by human beings? Of course they do, and we should always insist that they have the right to be, as nature itself teaches us. Yet on a planet such as ours, where many other creatures (baby seals, for example) are suffering and dying, and where creatures (such as monkeys) are dying horrible deaths in "scientific" experiments, we can be excused if we prioritize our very scarce dollars to support these creatures before we support the others. Also, and let us never forget this, the most important charities of all include human beings exactly like you and me, who will surely starve if not given aid of some kind. Due to the very nature of things, we think that human charities should come first.

So, when distributing those scarce dollars, let us be careful not to do so carelessly. Let us take our time, think about it, and prioritize. Let us put human beings first, and after them, the most sentient (and harmless) of creatures, including whales, dolphins, monkeys, apes, simians; then, llamas, horses, etc.

Since we are the people of Love, we want to exercise Love in our support of charities as well. There are, of course, no "hard and fast" laws, but these are just some simple suggestions that you might wish to consider.


the staff of Love Ministries USA

The Poorest People in the World


Dearest Friends of the Heart,

Through a visiondream, the Spirit of Love has guided that we take up a fourth collection for the poorest people on the planet. Our Love Ministries Federation, which cares for these destitute and hopeless, hapless orphans, who have had everything taken from them, including families, by the horrors of commercialism, greed, and war, must care for these abandoned people. They are arguably the "least" of the "brothers of Christ" on this planet, so whatever we do for them, we do for the
Christ, or Holy Spirit of Love.

So far, in this collection, we have gathered only a pittance. Please remember that, for the price of one fast-food meal, or one electronic game, or one cd, which you might buy for an American child who already has (and is bored with) several electronic games, and several cd's, you can make the difference between life and death for another sacred human being. There is no better way to love, or to "worship" our sweet Lord of Love! So, please donate today!

Offerings to date:

Anonymous: $100
Anonymous (same donor:) $200
lmiusa: $96
lmiusa: $84
Kathy Moulton-Posey: $20

Total 101908: $500

Thank you for your manifestation of compassion. Donations of as little
as three dollars can make a difference!

Love, Joy, and Peace,

a franciscan taoist, and the staff of Love Ministries USA

ps: So far, we are supporting the following (in alphabetical order):

Love Ministries of India
Love Ministries of Kenya
Love Ministries of Pakistan
Love Ministries of Rwanda
Love Ministries of Sierra Leone
Love Ministries of Uganda

Love and War


We are also fervently praying that the God of Love will guide our nation, the U.S., from its present path of foolishness, greed, and violence towards the Way of compassion. As the people of Love, God has told us how foolish is the way of war, and how stupidly incompetent are leaders who lead their countries into war. Unlike our leaders, most of our people are not foolish, but do believe in the Power of Love.

Just released! LCV's 2008 National Environmental Scorecard

Just released!
LCV's 2008 National Environmental Scorecard

This year, as the nation struggled with record high gas prices and oil companies reaped record profits, our nation's energy crisis and the dangers of our dependence on oil could not have been more apparent.

How did Ohio's delegation score on energy votes this session?

Ohio's delegation was split between those who favored continued dependence on oil and other dirty fossil fuels and those who favored renewable energy and energy efficiency. Representatives Kaptur, Kucinich, and Sutton earned scores of 92%, Senator Brown earned a 91%, and all continuously fought for clean energy alternatives. However, over half of the delegation received 50% or lower, and Representatives Jordan, Latta, and Boehner earned abysmal scores of 0%.

While we applaud those who championed clean energy solutions that will create jobs, save consumers money, and protect the planet, we are disappointed that so many in the delegation sided with Big Oil over the interests of their constituents. The average Ohio Senate score was 55%, and the average Ohio House score was 46%.

The 110th Congress started out strong. The House passed a bill to repeal more than $13 billion in subsidies to Big Oil and to increase funding for clean, renewable energy. And, the first increase in fuel efficiency standards since 1975 was passed and signed into law.

Unfortunately, too many in Congress put the interests of Big Oil before their constituents, and blocked much needed additional progress towards a clean energy future.

LCV's 2008 Scorecard highlights critical energy votes from this last session and how each and every Member of Congress voted. Click here to view LCV's 2008 Scorecard.

Will you help educate others on the environmental votes of the 110th Congress? After viewing the Scorecard, please spread the word by forwarding this to your friends and family.

Thank you,

Gene Karpinski
League of Conservation Voters

Movie Review: "W"


This movie is not as funny as it could have been. Indeed, it could well have been something of a semislapstick-nature film, with non-stop laughs, as in a Mel Brooks film.
But, although it had its amusing moments, it was a fairly serious semihistorical study of George W. Bush, the very soon ex-president. It flashes back and forth among the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, and early twenty-first century. It gives only a few minutes to the time when the young George W. Bush was doing drugs, boozing, and breaking the law in his late teens and early twenties. Then, it gives only a few minutes more to the time when he was lying, stealing, robbing, making enemies, fornicating, and failing businesses in his early twenties and thirties. (There is barely a mention of a young girl whom he had got pregnant; she disappeared from the screen faster than she disappeared from history!)
George grew more arrogant as he aged, and a bit stranger. He had various jobs given to him by his rich daddy and his daddy's friends, and he utterly failed at each and every one. His personal psychotic break climaxed in his idea that "God" told him to run for the office of president-- another job given on a silver platter by his daddy.
He found new ways to lie, and people whom he could hire to lie for him, as president. He lied the U.S. into a war that cost about three trillion dollars, a war that murdered four thousand American girls and boys, and nearly a million innocent Middle Eastern men, children, and women. The movie did not, could not, take the time to explore all the massive errors and terrible mistakes made by an administration ruled entirely by greed. The movie does not go into the sad history of the worst president in the history of the world. It just gets a "toe in the
water" as he begins the Iraq war.
This movie is semi-serious, and gives George a chance; it records even one of his nightmares, which must have been abundant. And it exposes how he feels like a "failure" to his father, in sibling rivalry with his brothers. George is human, but this very fact can dilute the true evil, and also can obscure the real ignorance, lack of education, and absence of sophistication that marks this man, consumed with personal greed, and obsessed with the success of the wealthy, including his beloved corporations. The movie does the best it can in its short duration, taking a small "slice" of the complex man's history. It does not have time (who does?) more fully to explore his evil, his incompetence, or his ignorance.
The next president will require at least decades even to begin to undo all the damage done by George. It will take our country centuries completely to recover, especially on an international scale. So, let's make sure that we elect a president who is committed to ending the stupidity, ineptitude, and just plain dumbness that has stained our country for the past eight years.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Very Good Read

Thanks to Barbara Baty.

The Choice
October 13, 2008
The New Yorker

Never in living memory has an election been more critical than the one fast approaching—that’s the quadrennial cliché, as expected as the balloons and the bombast. And yet when has it ever felt so urgently true? When have so many Americans had so clear a sense that a Presidency has—at the levels of competence, vision, and integrity—undermined the country and its ideals?

The incumbent Administration has distinguished itself for the ages. The Presidency of George W. Bush is the worst since Reconstruction, so there is no mystery about why the Republican Party—which has held dominion over the executive branch of the federal government for the past eight years and the legislative branch for most of that time—has little desire to defend its record, domestic or foreign. The only speaker at the Convention in St. Paul who uttered more than a sentence or two in support of the President was his wife, Laura. Meanwhile, the nominee, John McCain, played the part of a vaudeville illusionist, asking to be regarded as an apostle of change after years of embracing the essentials of the Bush agenda with ever-increasing ardor.

The Republican disaster begins at home. Even before taking into account whatever fantastically expensive plan eventually emerges to help rescue the financial system from Wall Street’s long-running pyramid schemes, the economic and fiscal picture is bleak. During the Bush Administration, the national debt, now approaching ten trillion dollars, has nearly doubled. Next year’s federal budget is projected to run a half-trillion-dollar deficit, a precipitous fall from the seven-hundred-billion-dollar surplus that was projected when Bill Clinton left office. Private-sector job creation has been a sixth of what it was under President Clinton. Five million people have fallen into poverty. The number of Americans without health insurance has grown by seven million, while average premiums have nearly doubled. Meanwhile, the principal domestic achievement of the Bush Administration has been to shift the relative burden of taxation from the rich to the rest. For the top one per cent of us, the Bush tax cuts are worth, on average, about a thousand dollars a week; for the bottom fifth, about a dollar and a half. The unfairness will only increase if the painful, yet necessary, effort to rescue the credit markets ends up preventing the rescue of our health-care system, our environment, and our physical, educational, and industrial infrastructure.

At the same time, a hundred and fifty thousand American troops are in Iraq and thirty-three thousand are in Afghanistan. There is still disagreement about the wisdom of overthrowing Saddam Hussein and his horrific regime, but there is no longer the slightest doubt that the Bush Administration manipulated, bullied, and lied the American public into this war and then mismanaged its prosecution in nearly every aspect. The direct costs, besides an expenditure of more than six hundred billion dollars, have included the loss of more than four thousand Americans, the wounding of thirty thousand, the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis, and the displacement of four and a half million men, women, and children. Only now, after American forces have been fighting for a year longer than they did in the Second World War, is there a glimmer of hope that the conflict in Iraq has entered a stage of fragile stability.

The indirect costs, both of the war in particular and of the Administration’s unilateralist approach to foreign policy in general, have also been immense. The torture of prisoners, authorized at the highest level, has been an ethical and a public-diplomacy catastrophe. At a moment when the global environment, the global economy, and global stability all demand a transition to new sources of energy, the United States has been a global retrograde, wasteful in its consumption and heedless in its policy. Strategically and morally, the Bush Administration has squandered the American capacity to counter the example and the swagger of its rivals. China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other illiberal states have concluded, each in its own way, that democratic principles and human rights need not be components of a stable, prosperous future. At recent meetings of the United Nations, emboldened despots like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran came to town sneering at our predicament and hailing the “end of the American era.”

The election of 2008 is the first in more than half a century in which no incumbent President or Vice-President is on the ballot. There is, however, an incumbent party, and that party has been lucky enough to find itself, apparently against the wishes of its “base,” with a nominee who evidently disliked George W. Bush before it became fashionable to do so. In South Carolina in 2000, Bush crushed John McCain with a sub-rosa primary campaign of such viciousness that McCain lashed out memorably against Bush’s Christian-right allies. So profound was McCain’s anger that in 2004 he flirted with the possibility of joining the Democratic ticket under John Kerry. Bush, who took office as a “compassionate conservative,” governed immediately as a rightist ideologue. During that first term, McCain bolstered his reputation, sometimes deserved, as a “maverick” willing to work with Democrats on such issues as normalizing relations with Vietnam, campaign-finance reform, and immigration reform. He co-sponsored, with John Edwards and Edward Kennedy, a patients’ bill of rights. In 2001 and 2003, he voted against the Bush tax cuts. With John Kerry, he co-sponsored a bill raising auto-fuel efficiency standards and, with Joseph Lieberman, a cap-and-trade regime on carbon emissions. He was one of a minority of Republicans opposed to unlimited drilling for oil and gas off America’s shores.

Since the 2004 election, however, McCain has moved remorselessly rightward in his quest for the Republican nomination. He paid obeisance to Jerry Falwell and preachers of his ilk. He abandoned immigration reform, eventually coming out against his own bill. Most shocking, McCain, who had repeatedly denounced torture under all circumstances, voted in February against a ban on the very techniques of “enhanced interrogation” that he himself once endured in Vietnam—as long as the torturers were civilians employed by the C.I.A.

On almost every issue, McCain and the Democratic Party’s nominee, Barack Obama, speak the generalized language of “reform,” but only Obama has provided a convincing, rational, and fully developed vision. McCain has abandoned his opposition to the Bush-era tax cuts and has taken up the demagogic call—in the midst of recession and Wall Street calamity, with looming crises in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—for more tax cuts. Bush’s expire in 2011. If McCain, as he has proposed, cuts taxes for corporations and estates, the benefits once more would go disproportionately to the wealthy.

In Washington, the craze for pure market triumphalism is over. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson arrived in town (via Goldman Sachs) a Republican, but it seems that he will leave a Democrat. In other words, he has come to see that the abuses that led to the current financial crisis––not least, excessive speculation on borrowed capital––can be fixed only with government regulation and oversight. McCain, who has never evinced much interest in, or knowledge of, economic questions, has had little of substance to say about the crisis. His most notable gesture of concern—a melodramatic call last month to suspend his campaign and postpone the first Presidential debate until the government bailout plan was ready—soon revealed itself as an empty diversionary tactic.

By contrast, Obama has made a serious study of the mechanics and the history of this economic disaster and of the possibilities of stimulating a recovery. Last March, in New York, in a speech notable for its depth, balance, and foresight, he said, “A complete disdain for pay-as-you-go budgeting, coupled with a generally scornful attitude towards oversight and enforcement, allowed far too many to put short-term gain ahead of long-term consequences.” Obama is committed to reforms that value not only the restoration of stability but also the protection of the vast majority of the population, which did not partake of the fruits of the binge years. He has called for greater and more programmatic regulation of the financial system; the creation of a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank, which would help reverse the decay of our roads, bridges, and mass-transit systems, and create millions of jobs; and a major investment in the green-energy sector.

On energy and global warming, Obama offers a set of forceful proposals. He supports a cap-and-trade program to reduce America’s carbon emissions by eighty per cent by 2050—an enormously ambitious goal, but one that many climate scientists say must be met if atmospheric carbon dioxide is to be kept below disastrous levels. Large emitters, like utilities, would acquire carbon allowances, and those which emit less carbon dioxide than their allotment could sell the resulting credits to those which emit more; over time, the available allowances would decline. Significantly, Obama wants to auction off the allowances; this would provide fifteen billion dollars a year for developing alternative-energy sources and creating job-training programs in green technologies. He also wants to raise federal fuel-economy standards and to require that ten per cent of America’s electricity be generated from renewable sources by 2012. Taken together, his proposals represent the most coherent and far-sighted strategy ever offered by a Presidential candidate for reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

There was once reason to hope that McCain and Obama would have a sensible debate about energy and climate policy. McCain was one of the first Republicans in the Senate to support federal limits on carbon dioxide, and he has touted his own support for a less ambitious cap-and-trade program as evidence of his independence from the White House. But, as polls showed Americans growing jittery about gasoline prices, McCain apparently found it expedient in this area, too, to shift course. He took a dubious idea—lifting the federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling—and placed it at the very center of his campaign. Opening up America’s coastal waters to drilling would have no impact on gasoline prices in the short term, and, even over the long term, the effect, according to a recent analysis by the Department of Energy, would be “insignificant.” Such inconvenient facts, however, are waved away by a campaign that finally found its voice with the slogan “Drill, baby, drill!”

The contrast between the candidates is even sharper with respect to the third branch of government. A tense equipoise currently prevails among the Justices of the Supreme Court, where four hard-core conservatives face off against four moderate liberals. Anthony M. Kennedy is the swing vote, determining the outcome of case after case.

McCain cites Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, two reliable conservatives, as models for his own prospective appointments. If he means what he says, and if he replaces even one moderate on the current Supreme Court, then Roe v. Wade will be reversed, and states will again be allowed to impose absolute bans on abortion. McCain’s views have hardened on this issue. In 1999, he said he opposed overturning Roe; by 2006, he was saying that its demise “wouldn’t bother me any”; by 2008, he no longer supported adding rape and incest as exceptions to his party’s platform opposing abortion.

But scrapping Roe—which, after all, would leave states as free to permit abortion as to criminalize it—would be just the beginning. Given the ideological agenda that the existing conservative bloc has pursued, it’s safe to predict that affirmative action of all kinds would likely be outlawed by a McCain Court. Efforts to expand executive power, which, in recent years, certain Justices have nobly tried to resist, would likely increase. Barriers between church and state would fall; executions would soar; legal checks on corporate power would wither—all with just one new conservative nominee on the Court. And the next President is likely to make three appointments.

Obama, who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, voted against confirming not only Roberts and Alito but also several unqualified lower-court nominees. As an Illinois state senator, he won the support of prosecutors and police organizations for new protections against convicting the innocent in capital cases. While McCain voted to continue to deny habeas-corpus rights to detainees, perpetuating the Bush Administration’s regime of state-sponsored extra-legal detention, Obama took the opposite side, pushing to restore the right of all U.S.-held prisoners to a hearing. The judicial future would be safe in his care.

In the shorthand of political commentary, the Iraq war seems to leave McCain and Obama roughly even. Opposing it before the invasion, Obama had the prescience to warn of a costly and indefinite occupation and rising anti-American radicalism around the world; supporting it, McCain foresaw none of this. More recently, in early 2007 McCain risked his Presidential prospects on the proposition that five additional combat brigades could salvage a war that by then appeared hopeless. Obama, along with most of the country, had decided that it was time to cut American losses. Neither candidate’s calculations on Iraq have been as cheaply political as McCain’s repeated assertion that Obama values his career over his country; both men based their positions, right or wrong, on judgment and principle.

President Bush’s successor will inherit two wars and the realities of limited resources, flagging popular will, and the dwindling possibilities of what can be achieved by American power. McCain’s views on these subjects range from the simplistic to the unknown. In Iraq, he seeks “victory”—a word that General David Petraeus refuses to use, and one that fundamentally misrepresents the messy, open-ended nature of the conflict. As for Afghanistan, on the rare occasions when McCain mentions it he implies that the surge can be transferred directly from Iraq, which suggests that his grasp of counterinsurgency is not as firm as he insisted it was during the first Presidential debate. McCain always displays more faith in force than interest in its strategic consequences. Unlike Obama, McCain has no political strategy for either war, only the dubious hope that greater security will allow things to work out. Obama has long warned of deterioration along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and has a considered grasp of its vital importance. His strategy for both Afghanistan and Iraq shows an understanding of the role that internal politics, economics, corruption, and regional diplomacy play in wars where there is no battlefield victory.

Unimaginably painful personal experience taught McCain that war is above all a test of honor: maintain the will to fight on, be prepared to risk everything, and you will prevail. Asked during the first debate to outline “the lessons of Iraq,” McCain said, “I think the lessons of Iraq are very clear: that you cannot have a failed strategy that will then cause you to nearly lose a conflict.” A soldier’s answer––but a statesman must have a broader view of war and peace. The years ahead will demand not only determination but also diplomacy, flexibility, patience, judiciousness, and intellectual engagement. These are no more McCain’s strong suit than the current President’s. Obama, for his part, seems to know that more will be required than willpower and force to extract some advantage from the wreckage of the Bush years.

Obama is also better suited for the task of renewing the bedrock foundations of American influence. An American restoration in foreign affairs will require a commitment not only to international coöperation but also to international institutions that can address global warming, the dislocations of what will likely be a deepening global economic crisis, disease epidemics, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and other, more traditional security challenges. Many of the Cold War-era vehicles for engagement and negotiation—the United Nations, the World Bank, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—are moribund, tattered, or outdated. Obama has the generational outlook that will be required to revive or reinvent these compacts. He would be the first postwar American President unencumbered by the legacies of either Munich or Vietnam.

The next President must also restore American moral credibility. Closing Guantánamo, banning all torture, and ending the Iraq war as responsibly as possible will provide a start, but only that. The modern Presidency is as much a vehicle for communication as for decision-making, and the relevant audiences are global. Obama has inspired many Americans in part because he holds up a mirror to their own idealism. His election would do no less—and likely more—overseas.

What most distinguishes the candidates, however, is character—and here, contrary to conventional wisdom, Obama is clearly the stronger of the two. Not long ago, Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, said, “This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.” The view that this election is about personalities leaves out policy, complexity, and accountability. Even so, there’s some truth in what Davis said––but it hardly points to the conclusion that he intended.

Echoing Obama, McCain has made “change” one of his campaign mantras. But the change he has actually provided has been in himself, and it is not just a matter of altering his positions. A willingness to pander and even lie has come to define his Presidential campaign and its televised advertisements. A contemptuous duplicity, a meanness, has entered his talk on the stump—so much so that it seems obvious that, in the drive for victory, he is willing to replicate some of the same underhanded methods that defeated him eight years ago in South Carolina.

Perhaps nothing revealed McCain’s cynicism more than his choice of Sarah Palin, the former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, who had been governor of that state for twenty-one months, as the Republican nominee for Vice-President. In the interviews she has given since her nomination, she has had difficulty uttering coherent unscripted responses about the most basic issues of the day. We are watching a candidate for Vice-President cram for her ongoing exam in elementary domestic and foreign policy. This is funny as a Tina Fey routine on “Saturday Night Live,” but as a vision of the political future it’s deeply unsettling. Palin has no business being the backup to a President of any age, much less to one who is seventy-two and in imperfect health. In choosing her, McCain committed an act of breathtaking heedlessness and irresponsibility. Obama’s choice, Joe Biden, is not without imperfections. His tongue sometimes runs in advance of his mind, providing his own fodder for late-night comedians, but there is no comparison with Palin. His deep experience in foreign affairs, the judiciary, and social policy makes him an assuring and complementary partner for Obama.

The longer the campaign goes on, the more the issues of personality and character have reflected badly on McCain. Unless appearances are very deceiving, he is impulsive, impatient, self-dramatizing, erratic, and a compulsive risk-taker. These qualities may have contributed to his usefulness as a “maverick” senator. But in a President they would be a menace.

By contrast, Obama’s transformative message is accompanied by a sense of pragmatic calm. A tropism for unity is an essential part of his character and of his campaign. It is part of what allowed him to overcome a Democratic opponent who entered the race with tremendous advantages. It is what helped him forge a political career relying both on the liberals of Hyde Park and on the political regulars of downtown Chicago. His policy preferences are distinctly liberal, but he is determined to speak to a broad range of Americans who do not necessarily share his every value or opinion. For some who oppose him, his equanimity even under the ugliest attack seems like hauteur; for some who support him, his reluctance to counterattack in the same vein seems like self-defeating detachment. Yet it is Obama’s temperament—and not McCain’s—that seems appropriate for the office both men seek and for the volatile and dangerous era in which we live. Those who dismiss his centeredness as self-centeredness or his composure as indifference are as wrong as those who mistook Eisenhower’s stolidity for denseness or Lincoln’s humor for lack of seriousness.

Nowadays, almost every politician who thinks about running for President arranges to become an author. Obama’s books are different: he wrote them. “The Audacity of Hope” (2006) is a set of policy disquisitions loosely structured around an account of his freshman year in the United States Senate. Though a campaign manifesto of sorts, it is superior to that genre’s usual blowsy pastiche of ghostwritten speeches. But it is Obama’s first book, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” (1995), that offers an unprecedented glimpse into the mind and heart of a potential President. Obama began writing it in his early thirties, before he was a candidate for anything. Not since Theodore Roosevelt has an American politician this close to the pinnacle of power produced such a sustained, highly personal work of literary merit before being definitively swept up by the tides of political ambition.

A Presidential election is not the awarding of a Pulitzer Prize: we elect a politician and, we hope, a statesman, not an author. But Obama’s first book is valuable in the way that it reveals his fundamental attitudes of mind and spirit. “Dreams from My Father” is an illuminating memoir not only in the substance of Obama’s own peculiarly American story but also in the qualities he brings to the telling: a formidable intelligence, emotional empathy, self-reflection, balance, and a remarkable ability to see life and the world through the eyes of people very different from himself. In common with nearly all other senators and governors of his generation, Obama does not count military service as part of his biography. But his life has been full of tests—personal, spiritual, racial, political—that bear on his preparation for great responsibility.

It is perfectly legitimate to call attention, as McCain has done, to Obama’s lack of conventional national and international policymaking experience. We, too, wish he had more of it. But office-holding is not the only kind of experience relevant to the task of leading a wildly variegated nation. Obama’s immersion in diverse human environments (Hawaii’s racial rainbow, Chicago’s racial cauldron, countercultural New York, middle-class Kansas, predominantly Muslim Indonesia), his years of organizing among the poor, his taste of corporate law and his grounding in public-interest and constitutional law—these, too, are experiences. And his books show that he has wrung from them every drop of insight and breadth of perspective they contained.

The exhaustingly, sometimes infuriatingly long campaign of 2008 (and 2007) has had at least one virtue: it has demonstrated that Obama’s intelligence and steady temperament are not just figments of the writer’s craft. He has made mistakes, to be sure. (His failure to accept McCain’s imaginative proposal for a series of unmediated joint appearances was among them.) But, on the whole, his campaign has been marked by patience, planning, discipline, organization, technological proficiency, and strategic astuteness. Obama has often looked two or three moves ahead, relatively impervious to the permanent hysteria of the hourly news cycle and the cable-news shouters. And when crisis has struck, as it did when the divisive antics of his ex-pastor threatened to bring down his campaign, he has proved equal to the moment, rescuing himself with a speech that not only drew the poison but also demonstrated a profound respect for the electorate. Although his opponents have tried to attack him as a man of “mere” words, Obama has returned eloquence to its essential place in American politics. The choice between experience and eloquence is a false one––something that Lincoln, out of office after a single term in Congress, proved in his own campaign of political and national renewal. Obama’s “mere” speeches on everything from the economy and foreign affairs to race have been at the center of his campaign and its success; if he wins, his eloquence will be central to his ability to govern.

We cannot expect one man to heal every wound, to solve every major crisis of policy. So much of the Presidency, as they say, is a matter of waking up in the morning and trying to drink from a fire hydrant. In the quiet of the Oval Office, the noise of immediate demands can be deafening. And yet Obama has precisely the temperament to shut out the noise when necessary and concentrate on the essential. The election of Obama—a man of mixed ethnicity, at once comfortable in the world and utterly representative of twenty-first-century America—would, at a stroke, reverse our country’s image abroad and refresh its spirit at home. His ascendance to the Presidency would be a symbolic culmination of the civil- and voting-rights acts of the nineteen-sixties and the century-long struggles for equality that preceded them. It could not help but say something encouraging, even exhilarating, about the country, about its dedication to tolerance and inclusiveness, about its fidelity, after all, to the values it proclaims in its textbooks. At a moment of economic calamity, international perplexity, political failure, and battered morale, America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness. It needs a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe. That leader’s name is Barack Obama.

—The Editors

A new computer virus circulating

Thanks to Cheri Slaughter.
NOTE: This could be a hoax, but it is better warned than to be clueless.

(Please see the Snopes article)

Anyone-using Internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and so on. This information arrived this morning, Direct from both Microsoft and Norton. Please send it to everybody you know who has access to the Internet. You might receive an apparently harmless e-mail titled, "Mail Server Report." If you open either file, a message will appear on your screen saying: "It is too late now; your life is no longer beautiful." Subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC, and the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, e-mail, and password. This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon. AOL has already confirmed the severity; and the antivirus software's are not capable
of destroying it. The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself "life owner." Please send a copy of this email to all YOUR FRIENDS, and ask them to PASS IT ON IMMEDIATELY!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"New Spiritual Insights"


There are always "new spiritual insights," if you mean those not familiar or known to you, me, or others. But, more profoundly, do any really "new spiritual insights" exist in the cosmos?

This is a profound question, as the cosmos is always changing and evolving under the direction of Love, often acting through universal law (including karma). Since God is also always changing, as Lovexpression, there is no reason to suppose that the cosmic Mind (God) cannot also create new spiritual or cosmic insights. Indeed, She has an infinite ability, a bottomless reservoir, that makes this not only possible, but probably inevitable.

The Mind is always dreaming, and always dreaming up new beings, worlds, and even universes. Therefore, it would be antiprogressive to believe in any "static" truth, as truth is reality, and reality is more often like a fluid than a solid. It is, in fact, one of the major challenges of the mystical (enlightened) mind to approach a state of semi-fluidity, flexibility, and adaptation in order to keep pace with the cosmos.

If we allow our minds to become like bricks, then, we are caught in paralysis and petrification; we have stopped growing. Knowledge, especially in its manifestation as gnosis, is not a finite reality, but a limitless one. So, new concepts and ideas are always coming into being, and some, no doubt, represent "new truths" (realities).

Fundies are terrified by this mutable and mutating cosmos. They like to have everything "locked down," everything in nice, orderly but finite little categories like Pez pellets lined up in a dispenser. While this might seem to be "neater," or even "more orderly," this is not compatible with an infinite universe existing within a bottomless and breath-taking Mind.

Project K, Deathdesign, Economy, Etc.


Adamaria is no longer able to be a kidney-donor due to some kidney-problems of her own. She is not in trouble, but the docs want a "perfect" kidney for the transplant.

This saddened her, but for only about one day.

The continual challenge is to adjust to this rather fluidic situation-- a real test of our "Taoism." For, in Taoism, if what you want comes to pass, that is celebrated as "good." But if it does not happen, the "good" must also be found in that event. Your life is greatly enriched if whatever happens can be seen as "good."

So, the interior Instruction of the heart is now to take a completely "Taoist" attitude towards this subject. That attitude prevents any interference, manipulation, control, coercion, or even initiation or preference. This is true "Flogoing," going with the Flow. Sometimes, the great Flow seems to help us; and sometimes, It seems to hurt us. But It is rooted in a Mind that is purest Love, and our faith in that Love is continuously challenged.

These lives are very good; that is why we are designed to hold onto them rather tenaciously. Birth is good, life is good, and death is good. Most accept the first two, but have a whoppingly terrible time with the third statement. But death is only the flipside of a life that is eternal, non-ending, or everlasting. As it says in the great Indian mystical classic, "The Song of God," death is, to the Soul, not much more than "changing clothes.":)

We all have a specific time, chosen by the deep Soulmind, for our exit. We do not all want to die of old age-- which can be a most unpleasant, even terrible, way to exit. So, as Souls, some decide to exit this life "early." It is simply easier, and can be a demonstration of Love-- for the Soul, as well as for other people.

At any rate, a "good death" must be an intrinsic aspect of a good lifedesign. So, if and when our work is done, our mission accomplished, we might, as Souls, choose to leave this world. For, as Souls, this world holds little if any reason to continue our biological lives as human creatures; and an amazing, astonishing, breath-taking life awaits us as beings of pure energy or Mind.

But that decision has not yet been made. Recently, the Spirit was asked to give a sign as to whether this life was to continue. When it gave a positive, when we thought that all of Adamaria's tests were positive, we were willing to cooperate. But if that direction has changed now to "no," we must also be willing to cooperate.

But due to Love of this life, we are not giving up. We still have one or two more friends who can be tested for compatibility. Adamaria has volunteered to take care of this, as I cannot do so with a vow of Taoism. Only time will provide an ultimate (and perhaps final) answer to this important question: "Is it true destiny for this donkey to remain on this planet at this time?"

Time and Light


The world unfolds in Light within the heart, telling us of endings that are beginnings, and new starts that are the end of the road. Inebriated by the Light of Love, we persist in bioforms of nanoseconds; soon they pass by, and away we fly! Each instant is a flower of Love, each a blossom of Light, as we drink in the minutes, hours, and days. But how and when are we finally sated? "She who knows that enough is enough always has enough." And I think at times that I've also had enough. But only Sister Time will answer all inquiries, and bring sweet peace to overflowing within every heart. We can't wait!


The Latest Thoughts on Life and Death


We are not certain that it is the will of the Spirit for us to continue our work on earth. We are thinking a great deal these days about a peaceful exit. No decisions have been made, and no signs yet received. We do have one friend who has volunteered to be a donor; Adamaria is going to do the follow-through work with her, getting her tested, etc. I have been instructed to take a "hands off" (Taoist) approach; I will not manipulate, coerce, or interfere.

If this works, great! But if it does not, that must also be great! (If not, this is the "sign" from the cosmos that the work here on this nanoplanet is completed; indeed, I have six books, completed, which we cannot afford to publish, so more writing has been accomplished than Love Ministries can handle right now. This might be an indication that this phase of our everlasting work is completed.) But only time will tell.

Some Thoughts about Jesus

Thanks to Mick Gallagher.

Sometimes, and I mean no irreverant offense by this, the most overtly "religious" can be the most unevolved spiritually, emotionally, because of an upbringing in a "fear-filled" atmosphere, also [influenced by], "black-and-white" infantile thinking. [This includes the illusory belief] that the "outer" world is somehow out to hurt us. And,of course, our corporation-obsessed] government also uses this tactic for power, wealth & control.
The "righteous" were wrong in Jesus' time too.
Who were the elders who were threatened the most by Jesus "The Christ"?
The powerful[, influential] Jews [and] Romans. Yes, Jesus "messed with" their belief systems too. He also "screwed with" their money-- their mercantile, greedy ways.
Yet, they were men of the Law-- the [so-called] "old covenant."
Everything had to be "by the book." [That book was the Jewish Bible, the Hebrew Scriptures, the so-called "Old Testament."] Jesus saw above & beyond the man made/written law. But, now I can see similarity's to today's fundamentalist religions--all twenty-three "sky-god" religions. [They call themselves] "Abramaic-- "from the bosom of Abraham."
Sometimes these "religious" folks love to hate! Strangely enough, that's understandable for us, because we're all "heathens," and [many] have 'bad' intent for all humankind. Yet, we seem to be the most peaceloving. Strange, isn't it?
If your really a "New Testament" Christian, shouldn't you emulate our Wayshower Jesus "the Christ"? So very convaluted!


Well worth watching

Good morning, everyone,

This video clip of Donna Brazile is well worth watching. Unfortunately, too many Americans have a closet agenda of race bias in the presidential election. Brazile puts it into perspective....

This is wonderful and "off the cuff".......

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Decision Time, Again


Thus, we have returned to Square One re staying in the earthstage and earthdrama. At the moment, it is still "up in the air." Many interior forces are conjoining to form a decision, but none has formed yet. But it would be to deny the higher Self to say that it is not time again to consider leaving this dreamworld behind.

At the moment, there seem to be simply too many factors converging. These must be sorted out, and the will of Love determined for this donkey. Any feedback is welcome, as God speaks to us by means of our friends, and not always in the quiet privacy of the heart.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"Lovelight" Magazine


Of course, as a man of poverty, I tend to see everything as overpriced.

I think that this [overpricing] is caused by the "demon" of greed, and it has become a major economic catastrophe in our country, and on our plannet. [It is a form of the service of fear. And fear is the "only devil."] We are all growing, but with incredible slowness, into Love, and out of fear. Thank Love for that!

Being relatively poor, I am limited in financial connections. But Love Ministries does publish an ezine once a month. It is called Lovelight magazine. It includes, in its twenty pages, humor, household tips, useful info, wordplay, small personal pieces, etc., to share the Way of Love. It has a readership of only about two to three hundred, but a couple of charity-drives for Love Ministries Federation have succeeded due to the kind generosity of its readers.

If you would like to write a small article (one or two paragraphs)describing your economic needs, we would be glad to publish it in the November 08 issue, which will come out about November 1. (The October 08 issue is due to come out today. We'll be glad to send you a copy. Subscriptions are free.) Perhaps this can be of some help.

Monday, October 06, 2008

"metta" or "Unreserved Friendliness"


We have heard the Buddhist term metta translated as "unreserved friendliness.":) If this is accurate, it emphasizes a Way of practical, everyday Love that is often ignored or dismissed by most Christians.

Metta can be seen as "everyday maitri [Love] or, to use Jesus' word for "Love," everyday agape. Thus, friendliness, like courtesy (also often ignored in the West) is a real form of Love. We often think of "Love" on a grander scale-- and indeed, there is nothing "grander" or greater in the universe.

But we often allow ourselves to forget that real life does not consist in great and sweeping forces, but in the calm, "common," "ordinary," and "everyday." So, if we are to exercise Love (express Goddess) in our lives, we must often do so as metta, or "unreserved friendliness," including courtesy. For a "Love" that lacks courtesy is not "Love" at all, but only a kind of grand-vision phoniness.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Articles in the uld


It is also my personal preference to write articles of a deeply spiritual nature; so, they will be back, very soon! In fact, they will never go away.:) That is what "universal Love" is all about. But we must not allow the real beauties of the spiritual to lead us down the path of denial. Our world contains many factors and views that are relevant , even if peripheral, to spirituality. Indeed, there is not a moment, or tiny event, of your life, of our lives, that is untouched by deep spirituality.

Some of our sisters and brothers emphasize points of view, and life-areas, that might be different from our own. Life tends to make us all "specialists," to some extent. So, meanwhile, it can be our "test" to accept, and even to understand, perspectives that are different from our own. This is an exercise in non-egoic existence, and increases both our wisdom and our knowledge, as well as humility.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Mea Culpa - Worded a little strongly

Thanks to Mick Gallagher.
--------- Forwarded message

-------Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2008 06:25:02 -0400 (GMT-04:00)
Subject: mea culpa---OK--maybe it was worded a lil strongly

I apologize for the irreverant, rascist sounding rant, in which I was totally wrong.

RE: Wall St. being closed for rosh Hashana (Sha Na Na, Ramma-damma ding-dong};

Milton Friedman immediately called me on it...and demanded an apology.

Now a call from Uncle Miltie would be nuthin unusual, except that he died 2 yrs ago.

So--ya my Karma Cameleon Russel came down heavy.....1st off it was our congress that closed for Jewish New Year is it? I thought it was just the Gov. end of fiscal year? Funny how doz 2 go together, ain't it. Gotta get dem bids in!!

Uhhh...but it was a lil bigoted sounding, even though I am not anti-semetic. I only wanna bring it to everyone's attention--that their Semite Cousins...are considered 'less than' to many, like us Goyim.

But---that is mainly a Zionist supremist view...and if I'm not mistaken, they are suspected as not really being Hebrew. And the 'True Jews' are in the majority(pop. wise);

Only problem as you well know is that the Gov [of Israel] is run, now by a minority of hawkish Zionist's---in the Likud branch of the Knesset. But--Olmert(who is to resign soon) shocked the world with his statements regarding the old Zionist guard. OUTSTANDING!! ALSO KNOW---I believe in giving praise & credit where it is deserved:
You cannot fault the good Jewish high achievers for being the best at everything they do.

They are unbelievably great people...and have done much for the human race, philanthropy, trusts, grants for the poor,etc.,etc. The Arts & culture, medicine, technology. My cardiologist , considered the best at Kettering Med Center, here in Dayton...saved my life. I am eternally grateful to many, including the surgeon, nurse & staff....a 7th Day Adventist I do have a problem with them,
the AnaBaptists, and the Zorastrians. Just kidding...go and Let It Be' a Good Day.

Peace be upon you & yours!!

Mickey McQuire (Sinn Fein) [Mick Gallagher]

Dear Mick,

We often enjoy your progressive political slannt, and do like to share your perspectives, from time to time, with our beloved efamily [elovefamily]. But, as we have stated several times, in lectures, books, and other venues and writings, we wholeheartedly reject any kind of bigotry--as you also do. And we are very glad that you clarified this point for our readers. Antisemitic bigotry is as destructive and ignorance-based as any other bigotry; it is not unforgivable, but it is indefensible from the viewpoint of any cultured, sane, civilized being.

As we have clearly stated several times, no one is ever responsible for the activities or behaviors of her ancestors! Bigotry is foolishness, and can never be defended on either rational or spiritual grounds; and, for whatever record there might be (including akasha), we renounce and denounce bigotry in all of its sorry manifestations. We believe that all people are equal in their possession of the Spirit at the Center of all Mind, and that each is capable of expressing the God(dess) of purest Love.

In fact, we do not even believe that human beings are animals. We believe that they (we) are all Soulminds. And a Soulmind, being immaterial and nonphysical, does nnot belong to any particular race; so racial prejudice is unthinkable from the most elevated spiritual perspective.

Love to All,

a frannnciscan taoist and the staff of Love Ministries USA