Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sojourners quote of the week

Here it is:

I advocate military engagement when I think it’s necessary, but really you can get more bang for your buck from civilian programs than you can from military engagement most of the time. You’ve got to have more options than just dropping bombs on people.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, on why he’s working to protect foreign aid from budget cuts.

People, this is just wrong, wrong, wrong:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Joe the Plumber -- again

And what makes this man qualified to serve in Congress, I'd like to know?

If I'm coming off as angry, it's because I am.

-- Samuel Wurzelbacher, known as Joe the Plumber, announcing in a video that he will run for Congress in Ohio; he became famous after asking Barack Obama several questions during the 2008 Presidential election

This is one of the Time Magazine "quotes of the day". There was no mention of what Mr. Wurzelbacher is actually angry about.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oh, this is really good ---

It was one of Friday's Quotes of the Day over at Time Magazine:

If being gay is a choice, show us the proof. Choose it. Choose to be gay yourself. Show America how that's done.

-- Dan Savage, columnist and co-founder of the It Gets Better campaign, propositioning Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain — who has said that being gay is a choice — in an explicit open letter

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Headline of the day

All right, dear people. Run, don't walk, over to Huffington Post and read this:

Here are some excerpts that especially got my attention:

One of the most striking images I witnessed at the demonstration was a young black man holding a sign that read "End NYPD Violence!" in front of a group of police officers.

The officers quickly challenged his accusation. But the young man didn't leave. Next, the police turned away and ignored him. But he still didn't leave. Then the officers chuckled and let out an unexpected laugh when they realized the man wasn't going away. The scene was confrontational, but definitely not violent.
Although I supported the concept of the Occupy Wall Street movement when I first heard of it, I admit I didn't think the group had much to offer me. From what I could see in the media, they were well-educated, well-intentioned young white people...

I was wrong.

What I found was a wide-ranging group of people from various backgrounds, young and old, male and female, black, white, Latin, Asian and mixed. It was the essence of New York, the reason why I moved to this city 10 years ago.
To watch some of the media coverage of the movement, you would think the protest was filled with long-haired hippies left over from the 1960s.... There were high school-aged kids with their parents, college students in their school sweatshirts, men in business suits, mothers with baby carriages, people with jobs, people who were unemployed, white-haired retirees...

Do go read the rest of the piece. It's not very long and it's very illuminating.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging!

People, this is just wrong, wrong, wrong:


Texas Prisons Have Stopped Serving Weekend Lunches

Since April, the New York Times reports, inmates have not been provided lunches on Saturdays and Sundays.

It's a cost-cutting measure: an effort to trim $2.8 million in food-related expenses from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's 2011 budget, which makes up just a small part of the state's multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall.

You will not be surprised to learn that there are comments from people who are just fine with it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Headline of the day


Why The U.S. Needs To Learn More Science

It's a brief article and won't take you much time to read.

The comments by various readers are interesting as well.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sigh. Very deep sigh...

Good grief.

Complaints about the so-called "war on Christmas" are already cranking up. One of my friends on facebook posted about it this morning and copied a forwarded email that's been traveling around for a couple of years. It's the one that claims the Obamas are having a "holiday tree" in the White House instead of a Christmas tree (they're not; check Snopes) and goes on to blame Hurricane Katrina on the lack of of prayer in public schools. The writer insists that since we "God from the schools" that God chose to "be a gentleman" and leave us alone (i.e. withold divine protection.) You might like to see my response:

Seriously? Seriously? God punished people with a massive hurricane because we don't have government coerced prayer in public schools? (Because that's what school official-led audible prayer would be.) How about God is a gentleman and doesn't intervene with the consequences of our actions - like building major cities on flood plains, destroying the coastal wetlands that protect us from the severity of hurricanes, neglecting to keep the levees repaired, and not bothering to take at least some responsibility for the climate change that is increasing the severity of extreme weather events.

Jesus himself made it very clear that natural calamities are NOT God's punishment for human sin: "The rain falls on the just and unjust..." and "His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus...... You know, it is simply not true that people have been forbidden to pray in school. People do it all the time. They just don't get to impose that prayer on others. For those who insist that such prayer be official, formal and audible they need to remember that Jesus told us to go in our room and shut the door when we pray and to pray in secret. (He had very harsh words for the Pharisees who prayed publicly in order to be seen by others.)

Finally, I'd like to say that there are places in this world where Christians really are persecuted and, I'm sorry, but hearing someone call a decorated tree a "holiday tree" simply does not begin to rise to that level.

Here's a very interesting article about the language concerning December holidays:

Why the 'War on Christmas' retail controversy is so absurd

The comments by reader are particularly illuminating.

Disturbing headline

Here it is:

Air Force Academy Cadets Decide They Must Pretend To Be Fundamentalist Christians

Well, a lot of us have been seriously concerned about the Air Force Academy for some time now.

When is it going to stop???

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Something not to forget


In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us.

--Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't wait!

A facebook friend posted the following this morning:

If you have a situation and it seems endless, and it's a negative situation, don't wait for a Gandhi, don't wait for a King, don't wait for a Mandela. You, you, are your own Mandela, you are your own Gandhi, you are your own King. You know your issues, you know your concerns, and you know the solution. Rise up, and do something to change your situation around.

- Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Winner

We really need to give this some serious thought.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No kidding


We didn't know enough and we still don't know enough.

-- Stanley McChrystal, retired Army general and former commander of U.S. and NATO forces, reflecting on the 10-year anniversary of the fighting in Afghanistan

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wow. Just wow.

The people are unhappy....

Wow. This is from Fox News. Imagine!

Do 'Occupy Wall Street' protesters represent your views about the nation's economic problems?

Share your thoughts, answer our question then click "Leave a Comment."

Thank you for voting!
Read more:

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Under the weather...

So sorry for the lack of posting. I'm down with a really bad cold, I'm sorry to say, and will be back to normal posting when I'm feeling a bit better.

Take care, everyone!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Quote of the day

I completely agree:

You want to be Commander in Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it's not politically convenient.

-- Barack Obama, U.S. President, in response to his GOP rivals not speaking out against the booing of a gay soldier during one of their presidential debates

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Quote of the day

This one needs to be shouted from the housetops, IMHO:

I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.

-------------------------------------------------------- Malcolm X

It was posted today by a facebook friend and I'm so glad to find it.

Just look at this:

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Headline of the day

I want to call your attention to this article from Time Magazine:

Why Fewer Young American Jews Share Their Parents' View of Israel

Here's an illuminating passage:

My mom has a master's degree in Jewish history and is the program director of a large synagogue. Her youthful experiences in Israel, volunteering on a kibbutz and meeting descendants of my great-grandmother's siblings, are part of my own mythology. Raised within the Conservative movement, I learned at Hebrew school that Israel was the "land of milk and honey," where Holocaust survivors irrigated the deserts and made flowers bloom.

What I didn't hear much about was the lives of Palestinians. It was only after I went to college, met Muslim friends and enrolled in a Middle Eastern history and politics course that I was challenged to reconcile my liberal, humanist worldview with the fact that the Jewish state of which I was so proud was occupying the land of 4.4 million stateless Palestinians, many of them refugees displaced by Israel's creation.

I do recommend that you read the rest of it. For me it's offers the reassuring perspective that being critical of Israel is not necessarily the same as being anti-semitic - no matter what some people may claim about the matter.