June 8, 2008 archive

Social Justice (don’t shoot the messengers), the grand experiment of Yes We Can

Cross posted at  KOS

Social Justice. Some of us were introduced to the idea in church, appropriately because Jesus preached social justice. Altho social justice is an important theme in all major religions, some churches like the Catholic Church have offices of Social Justice. In deed the term was coined by a Jesuit priest in the mid 1800’s, based on the teachings of Thomas Aquinas.  

It got a lot of press both good and bad in the 60’s when Jesuit priests preached social justice and organized the impoverished of South America. Social Justice is the heart of Liberation Theology and Black Liberation Theology.  Follow me below the fold for a little background on social justice, why shooting the messenger is counter productive and oh yes, the grand experiment of YES WE CAN.

Mukasey Gets New Chance To Cover Up Bush War Crimes

House Democrats sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey [.pdf] Friday requesting that he appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether White House officials, including President Bush, violated the War Crimes Act when they allowed interrogators to use brutal interrogation methods against detainees suspected of ties to terrorist organizations.

The letter, signed by 56 Congressional lawmakers, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, who is leading an investigation into the administration’s interrogation practices, says the International Committee of the Red Cross conducted an independent investigation of interrogation practices at Guantanamo Bay and “documented several instances of acts of torture against detainees, including soaking a prisoner’s hand in alcohol and lighting it on fire, subjecting a prisoner to sexual abuse and forcing a prisoner to eat a baseball.”

“We believe that these events alone warrant action, but within the last month additional information has surfaced that suggests the fact that not only did top administration officials meet in the White House and approve of the use of enhanced techniques including waterboarding against detainees, but that President Bush was aware of, and approved of the meetings taking place,” the letter, dated June 6, says. The Justice Department is reviewing the letter, a spokesman said.

However, Mukasey has defended the administration’s interrogation policies, and with seven month to go before a new president is sworn into office, it appears unlikely that Mukasey will act on the Democrats’ request.

House Democrats Want Bush Administration Investigated for War Crimes

Jason Leopold, The Public Record, Sunday, June 08, 2008

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

57 Stories.  U.S. News (done), Politics (done), Business (done), and Science (done).

Final edition until June 28th unless someone picks it up.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 War bill helps Iraqis, may ignore Katrina victims

By JOHN MORENO GONZALES, Associated Press Writer

2 hours, 16 minutes ago

NEW ORLEANS – A long way from Iraq and the war debate in Washington, Herman Moore sat outside a tent in a downtown New Orleans homeless camp, trying to make sense of a proposal that helps Iraqi war refugees but will likely exclude Hurricane Katrina victims.

“Messed up is not the phrase. I think you know the phrase,” Moore said. “This place has been forgotten, just forgotten.”

The 56-year-old lifelong city resident is referring to Congress’ plan to spend $212 billion to finance the war in Iraq. In the massive spending bill, $350 million is set aside to help Iraqi refugees while just $73 million has been allotted to help shelter physically and mentally disabled Katrina victims – and that money could be cut as early as Tuesday.

Café Discovery: Nine comments

Nine Comments

Yesterday was interesting.  There were so many comments I made which I could have expanded upon…whole chapters in their own right.  What generally happens at a time like that is that nothing happens.  The comments just drift away into nothingness.

So I grabbed an assortment and decided to comment on the comments.  And stuff happens.  If it weren’t for the fact that my computer is currently crashing, I might have selected an assortment of thoughts from those responses and turned them into a poem.  Sometimes, however, stuff doesn’t happen.

For those looking for an etymological moment, I give you


From late O.E. wimman (pl. wimmen), lit. “woman-man,” alteration of wifman (pl. wifmen), a compound of wif “woman” (see wife) + man “human being” (in O.E. used in ref. to both sexes; see man).

You see, the thing is that originally man (or homo in Latin) meant human being.  Wer (or Vir in Latin) meant male man.  Wif  meant female man.  They were less knowledgeable about other possibilities at that time than we should be today…one would think.

In the late 1200s (after the signing of the Magna Carta, one might notice) wer stopped being and man became the word used to refer to a male human.  Those things we said before about human beings?  They now mean males only.

Cf. Du. vrouwmens “wife,” lit. “woman-man.” The formation is peculiar to Eng. and Du. Replaced older O.E. wif, quean as the word for “female human being.” The pronunciation of the singular altered in M.E. by the rounding influence of −w−; the plural retains the original vowel.  Women’s liberation is attested from 1966; women’s rights is from 1840, with an isolated example in 1632.

The Smile Train. A Gift of Love and Laughter.

Also available in Orange

I remember when my first child was born. It was a Sunday evening in October, and because the staff that night was short handed there were only two nurses on the floor, and one doctor on call.  For the sake of brevity I’ll spare you all but one of the details of that night. My repeated requests for somebody to come to our room and help were ignored because the “professionals” knew that it just couldn’t be happening so quickly. Even a childbirth noob like me knew what a head popping out of that magical place meant, time for action!

I ended up catching my own daughter as she launched herself into this new place of being and straight into my heart. The nurses showed up several minutes later with bemused looks, and I remember one said loudly, “Holy Shit! You weren’t kidding!” The usual frenzy of delivery room antics followed, and once completed I spent every minute of the next 24 hours either holding or staring at this amazing new perfect little person as I was so immediately and completely in love. I knew instantly that I would do anything for her. No matter the cost, no matter the risks, I was going to give her a good life. I was going to protect her. I’m sure these are the thoughts of all new Fathers, and those of us blessed to have been born in developed countries have a damn good shot at making those dreams a reality. But suppose your child isn’t born “perfect”, and that “imperfection” will lead to a lifetime of isolation and cultural shame for your child unless corrected. You have no resources, none.

Now what?

ordinary americans

Liberals need another George McGovern-and perhaps conservatives do too

In the home stretch of the ’72 campaign, [George] McGovern said, “Government has become so vast and impersonal that its interests diverge more and more from the interests of ordinary citizens.”

I was digging around the internet for statistics on liberals, conservatives, and moderates. And ran into a conservative (Bill Kauffman) writing with reverence about the left’s George McGovern. Interesting, I thought.

Especially the part where he talks about McGovern crediting George Wallace’s appeal as a candidate to “a sense of powerlessness in the face of big government, big corporations, and big labor unions.” He asked Wallace for his endorsement, though as he recalls with a smile, “He said, ‘Sena-tah, if I endorsed you I’d lose about half of my following and you’d lose half of yours.'” Well, maybe, guv-nah-but just think of the coalescent possibilities of the remaining halves.

“It is not prejudice to fear for your family’s safety or to resent tax inequities. … It is time to recognize this and to stop labeling people ‘racist’ or ‘militant,’ to stop putting people in different camps, to stop inciting one American against another,” said McGovern, who called the Wallace vote “an angry cry from the guts of ordinary Americans against a system which doesn’t seem to give a damn about what is really bothering people in this country today.”

What hits me in my gut is that last line…

…an angry cry from the guts of ordinary Americans against a system which doesn’t seem to give a damn about what is really bothering people in this country today

In Praise of Amateur Political Pundits

I didn’t think I had much to say about the recent inter-blog Obama/Clinton wars.  Not much to say about the “anti-Hillary” diaries on DKos and “anti-Barack” posts on blogs next door on the net.  Not a lot to say about the exchanged fire over claims of racism and sexism.  Hardly anything to say about the foul language.  Not much about the current calls for renewed unity and some of the brush-off responses to those calls.

And maybe I still don’t have anything much to say.  But I would like to take a moment to praise all of it, or very, very nearly all of it.  

What the I-Ching Said

I asked the I-Ching if it had anything to say to Docudharma.

And I got a response.

The I-Ching is also called the Book of Changes, and the response I received had two changing lines.

I received Hexagram 61. Chung Fu/Inner Truth.

Here’s some of what the book says about Inner Truth (all quotes are from the Wilhelm/Baynes edition):

The wind blows over the lake and stirs the surface of the water.  Thus visible effects of the invisible manifest themselves.  The hexagram consists of firm lines aqbove and below, while it is open in the center.  This indicates a heart free of prejudices and therefore open to truth.  On the other hand, each of the two trigrams has a firm line in the middle; this indicates the force of inner truth in the influences they represent.

Joyousness and gentleness are the attributes of the two primary trigrams.  Tui means joyousness in following the good, and Sun means penetration into the hearts of men.  Thus one establishes the foundation of trust that is necessary in transforming a country.

What are hexagrams?  In my cases, I toss 3 Chinese coins 6 times and then draw six lines, one on top of the other.  Each toss has a numerical value depending on how they land, sort of a heads/tails kind of thing.  If you get an odd number you draw a straight (yang) line.  An even number, you draw a broken (yin) line.  In certain cases, the numerical value produces what is called a “changing” line.  When that happens, the line turns into its opposite and a new hexagram comes forth.

There were two “changing” lines in the hexagram about Docudharma, which means there were specific special messages in this reading.

Electoral Votes 2008 – On Which side of the Aisle will YOUR State land?

Senator’s Barack Obama and John McCain are working overtime to change the Electoral Map of our country in an effort to win over States that have been recently voting either Democratic or Republic in our current 2008 Presidential Election.  

Both Presidential Candidates are in serious need of changing the Electoral Map, as the polls are showing possible pick-up’s in States that have traditionally voted for one party or the other during a Presidential election.

From Washington Post:

The 2008 general election will pit the best-organized nomination campaign in the history of modern Democratic politics against the battle-tested machinery of the Republican Party, with both Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) determined to shake up an electoral map that has been virtually static over the past two elections.

Democrats enjoy a highly favorable electoral climate at this start of the general election, created by gloomy attitudes about the state of the country and economy, President Bush’s low approval ratings and negative perceptions of the GOP. But as Obama shifts his attention from his primary victory over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) to his test against McCain, the electoral map nonetheless foreshadows another highly competitive race in November.

McCain and Obama offer a rare combination of nominees able to poach on the other party’s turf. Both have proven appeal to independents. McCain will target disgruntled Clinton supporters; Obama will target disaffected Republicans. Women, Latinos and, especially, white working-class voters will find themselves courted intensely by the two campaigns.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Music to Transition by

Nina Simone: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

I’m still playing with a deaf machine, so this is a rerun.  But it’s a rerun of music from the tough times.

I didn’t actually have a copy of Nina singing the first song.  A friend, one of the first 20 people I came out to, made me a tape of two Mary Travers solo albums (Mary and Morning Glory) and that song was included.  It kept me going.

Docudharma Times Sunday June 8

It’s Over

And There Was No Singing  

Sunday’s Headlines:

Oglala Sioux could regain Badlands national parkland

Tokyo man goes on stabbing spree  

For Studies in English, Koreans Say Goodbye to Dad

Kremlin leaves BP shaken, but it won’t stir

Peter Millar meets Vaclav Havel

Voters feel bite of Robert Mugabe’s Crocodile

Lawyers flee Zimbabwe as Mugabe regime cracks down: activists

New forces fraying U.S.-Saudi oil ties

US military arrests 2 suspected militiamen in Iraq

Chávez suffers military and policy setbacks

Sculptor Jorge Pardo: Is it art or furniture?

Oil consumers ask for boost in output

Associated Press

AOMORI, Japan – Leading energy-consuming nations urged oil producers Saturday to boost their output to counter soaring prices threatening the world economy, while they pledged to develop clean energy technologies and improve efficiency.

The five nations – the United States, China, Japan, India and South Korea – differed, however, on how urgently oil subsidies should be phased out, with Washington backing bold movement while India and China warned of political and economic instability.


Each Party Is Set to Hunt The Other’s Usual Ground

By Dan Balz

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, June 8, 2008; Page A01

The 2008 general election will pit the best-organized nomination campaign in the history of modern Democratic politics against the battle-tested machinery of the Republican Party, with both Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) determined to shake up an electoral map that has been virtually static over the past two elections.

Democrats enjoy a highly favorable electoral climate at this start of the general election, created by gloomy attitudes about the state of the country and economy, President Bush’s low approval ratings and negative perceptions of the GOP.

From Across the Pond – Step forward George Bush

Keep your eyes and ears peaked for this coming week, when the whittle prince makes the rounds of his final goodbyes to Old Europe, many, my guess would be, will not enthused with welcoming his horror, whoops sorry, his honor.

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