December 23, 2007 archive

An Open Door

As many around the world are thinking about a little town called Bethlehem and the family that needed refuge there a couple of thousand years ago, I’m thinking about a little town in Southern France called Le Chambon that heard the call of those in need during more recent times.


The story of Le Chambon is written in a book titled Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed by Philip Hallie. It is the story of the people there who are responsible for saving the lives of over 5,000 Jewish refugees – mostly children – during World War II.

I read this book a couple of years ago and have since then found myself thinking about it quite often. It is a powerful story of ordinary people who had a huge impact in the world by living out their values of peace and human dignity in the face of totalinarianism and violence. Many have wondered over the years why a small town like this would take a stand when so many others were choosing to look the other way. Philip Hallie tries to answer that question in his book.

Please Help American Buddhist Teachers Stephen and Ondrea Levine

levine stephen 1200 flagt

Stephen with the Wish Flag. Click on the image to get a fair-use copy – and spread the message.  

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Turkish aircraft in fresh raid in Iraq, says Kurdish official


27 minutes ago

ARBIL, Iraq (AFP) – Turkish jets bombed northern Iraq on Sunday in the latest of a string of attacks on Kurdish rebels there, but caused no damage or casualties, an Iraqi Kurdish security spokesman said.

“Turkish warplanes bombed Karukh mountain north of Arbil,” said Jabbar Yawar, spokesman for the Kurdish militia which is responsible for security in northern Iraq.

He said the raid was carried out by three jets but “there was no damage or loss of life.”

If confirmed, it would be the fourth Turkish military operation against the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the past week in northern Iraq, which Ankara says the rebels use as a springboard for attacks in Turkey.

Ramón, Our Nigerian Dwarf Buck Extraordinaire

One aspect of life that gives me hope is the strong effect places, events, animals and people can have on us human beings. I became particularly aware of this phenomenon 13 years ago when I started practicing a Raja Yogic meditation system simultaneously with beginning work as a counselor at a treatment center for children who had committed sexual offenses.

Crossposted at Pockets of the Future  

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Christmas Songs II

Eartha Kitt:  Santa Baby

I Should Not Have Told The Secret Police My Father Was A Cao Boi

Cao boi (pronounced “cowboy”) had a different meaning to Vietnamese than Americans though both got their “knowledge” from a flim (movie). Since my father lived in the land of Hoa Thinh Don (Washington) and Hollywood [a Vietnamese map I had from the time gave both equal prominence] it didn’t affect him but it did me.  I was never invited back.

Quick Bites

Y’amal (flickr Creative Commons)

A roundup of tasty items that caught my eye the past few days.  

  • Global Orgasm Day h/t Unqualified Offerings

    The Second Annual Global Orgasm for Peace was yesterday, December 22, at 06:08 Universal Time (GMT).   Did you feel the earth move?  

    The world is full of men with axes to grind and weapons to fire in displays of their superiority over others. It is time to spare the planet from Alpha Male concepts of ‘progress’, ‘growth’ and Manifest Destiny, which are endangering all of us. True partnership between the Masculine and Feminine that is within all women and men may enable our species to survive in relative harmony. The Global Orgasm for Peace is one attempt to begin that process.

  • from Daily Kos, updated Gilbert & Sullivan – I am the Very Model of a Bush Attorney General by Briseadh na Faire.  Bloody brilliant.  First verse below, go sing the rest.  

    I am the very model of a Bush attorney general

    I prosecute all Democrats with charges quite ephemeral

    I know the things I say are legal metaphorical

    With logic that defies Supreme Court rulings quite historical.

  • Tbogg, now at Firedoglake, has fun with Romney’s idiotic statements in I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…but only in a figurative sense

    Mitt explains the MLK march hallucination. Dude, we told you to stay away from the brown LSD…not LDS.

    “The reference of seeing my father lead in civil rights,” he said, “and seeing my father march with Martin Luther King is in the sense of this figurative awareness of and recognition of his leadership.”

    “I’ve tried to be as accurate as I can be,” he continued, smiling firmly. “If you look at the literature or look at the dictionary, the term ‘saw’ includes being aware of — in the sense I’ve described.”

    The questioning did not relent. “I’m an English literature major,” he insisted at one point. “When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there.” (He meant the Super Bowl, of course.)

    (via msnbc)

    btw, Firedoglake got a radical makeover a couple weeks ago. I hadn’t been there in a while so I was kind of surprised.   Not sure I like it yet but the banner is nice.   emptywheel is part of the blog too.  

  • via Neatorama, The Galactically Hot Women of Star Trek.  Click the pic for more space chicks.  Some of the comments on flickr are pretty funny.  

    Poletti flickr photo set

The Next Economic Revolution: Economic Growth and the Steady State

Crossposted from The European Tribune to Docudharma …

… because the world can’t end today, its already tomorrow on Docudharma.


 Early this month I finished Justinian’s Flea, which looks at the reign of Justinian the Great as the pivot between “late antiquity” and the rise of medieval Europe … and the central role in the drama played by the Plague of Justinian, the first clearly documented outbreak of the Bubonic Plague.

Which was one more addition to the mix of things involved in my reaction (s) to the diary [NB. at the European Tribune] by Jerome a Paris, Hostility to the notion of limits to growth … and the question of what was so special about the Industrial Revolution.

I’ll start with what is normal, then with what has been peculiar in the past couple of hundred years, and then how that peculiarity must have warped our economic institutions … and to get back to normality, we will have to unwarp them.

OK, “tell them what you are going to tell them”. Check. Make it clear as mud. Check. “then tell them”. That’s after the fold.

Blog Voices go MTV – 12/23/07

Will young people in this country engage in the political change process? They will if Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican and Kyle at Citizen Orange have anything to say about it.

These two powerhouse voices of the diversosphere have been chosen by MTV to be part of the Street Team ’08 that inlcudes 51 young vloggers who will cover the presidential election through next November.

The presidential candidates can run, but it will be hard for them to hide from the horde of citizen journalists tapped by MTV’s Choose or Lose ’08 to cover the race for the White House. A group of 51 youth reporters – one from each state and Washington, D.C. – will follow the 2008 elections and deliver weekly multimedia reports tailored for mobile devices.

Using short-form videos, blogs, animation, photos and podcasts, the reports will be distributed through MTV Mobile,, more than 1,800 sites in The Associated Press’ Online Video Network and a soon-to-launch Wireless Application Protocol site. The Street Team ’08 reporters were carefully selected after an extensive nationwide search, and they represent every aspect of today’s youth audience – from seasoned student-newspaper journalists to documentary filmmakers, the children of once-illegal immigrants and community organizers.

They are conservative and liberal, from big cities and small towns, but all are tied together through a passion for politics and a yearning to make the youth voice heard during this pivotal election. The correspondents will begin reporting early next month after an intensive MTV News orientation in New York, during which they’ll be armed with laptops, video cameras and cell phones and challenged to uncover the untold political stories that matter most to young people in their respective states.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Christmas Songs I

Bobby Helms:  Jingle Bell Rock

Docudharma Times Sunday Dec.23

This is an Open Thread: Read Then Go Shopping

Republicans opt for new worldview: McCain,Obama gain in N.H. poll: Democrats Make Bush School Act an Election Issue: In a Force for Iraqi Calm, Seeds of Conflict: 10 Years Later, Chiapas Massacre Still Haunts Mexico: Stakes High For U.S. and Argentina in Cash Scandal


Republicans opt for new worldview

The candidates try to distance themselves from the president’s foreign policies but try to not alienate Bush loyalists.

WASHINGTON — Last week, after Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee criticized the Bush administration for an “arrogant bunker mentality” toward the world, rival Mitt Romney rose to George W. Bush’s defense. “Mike Huckabee owes the president an apology,” Romney said.

But Romney too has criticized the Bush administration, saying the occupation of Iraq was “underplanned, understaffed [and] under-managed,” resulting in “a mess.”

Other GOP candidates have also found things to dislike in Bush’s foreign policy: Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has dismissed the president’s campaign for democracy in the Muslim world as naive and opposed his drive to establish a Palestinian state. Sen. John McCain of Arizona thinks Bush hasn’t sent enough troops to Iraq and has been too easy on Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.

McCain closing gap with Romney

In N.H. poll, Obama inches ahead of Clinton

Senator John McCain of Arizona, whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination was all but dead this summer, has made a dramatic recovery in the Granite State 2 1/2 weeks before the 2008 vote, pulling within 3 percentage points of front-runner Mitt Romney, a new Boston Globe poll indicates.

McCain, the darling of New Hampshire voters in the 2000 primary, has the support of 25 percent of likely Republican voters, compared with 28 percent for Romney. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has slid into third place, with 14 percent. A Globe poll of New Hampshire voters last month had Romney at 32 percent, Giuliani at 20 percent, and McCain at 17 percent.

Among Democratic voters, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has opened up a narrow lead over Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, 30 percent to 28 percent. That, too, represents a major shift from last month’s Globe poll, which had Clinton with a 14-point advantage. Former senator John Edwards of North Carolina remained a steady third at 14 percent.

Music Liked By Me

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