Saturday, November 22, 2008

The most unpopular guy

Naked for Social Justice

A Movement for Social Justice

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bush's legacy

In a little over 2 months the Bush administration era will be over and we will begin the celebration of an Obama presidency and the slow clean up of the Bush mess. In case you have a case of election eve celebratory amnesia, here is a quick run through of what 8 years of not paying attention to our Constitution ("just a goddamned piece of paper" according to Bush* ) and other "pesky documents" (a Bush quote about the Geneva Convention) can do: and . Not to mention that his ability to comprehend some of those documents is a little weak, for instance, on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights he ommitted those clauses which cause him seem to be contradictory to his governing--

But do not rest your vigilance...he and his are still in power until the January 20th passing of the torch...Bush is still using signing statements to change bills into the laws he wants--here is a list of all his signing statements
[The signing statements can also be found at]



Monday, November 10, 2008

Bush Doctrine: Outrageous

OMG--The Bush Doctrine is far worse than expected--not only do we conduct preemptive wars, we have been conducting military raids on the al Qaeda network around the world! We have been conducting secret military operations in countries NOT at war with us, nor with their permission (think back to a few weeks ago when we went into Pakistan or Syria!). The order to do so was signed in Spring 2004 by Rumsfeld with Bush's approval.

If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention

Greed is bad

"We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" FDR's 2nd Inaugural Adress

or Greed and selfishness is bad ifor the economy and humans.

(with a nod to Paul Krugman for his Nov.7, 2008 NYT op ed)

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Tonight is the 70th anniversary of Kristallnicht--the nights of the broken glass, the nights of violence against Jews and their businesses for some marks the beginning of Holocaust.
Never Again!

Once again: religion versus/and equality

Three columns worth reading

Frank Rich's NYT column

Nicholas Kristof's column on the end of the anti-intelluctual president

Peter Steinfel's column on the relationship of church and vote "

One Question to Ponder:
What would have happened if Obama had taken a pro-active stance on equality regardless of how his religion views marriage--remembering both the separation of Church and State or simply put:
How can a group who has been oppressed oppress?

I am reminded of Governor Cuomo addressing the University of Notre Dame September 13,1984 ( :

". . . I want to begin this talk by drawing your attention to the title of the lecture: "Religious Belief and Public Morality: A Catholic Governor's Perspective." I was not invited to speak on "church and state" generally, and certainly not to speak on "Mondale against Reagan." The subject assigned to me is difficult enough.
. . . Specifically, must politics and religion in America divide our loyalties? Does the "separation between church and state" imply separation between religion and politics? Between morality and government? And are these different propositions? Even more specifically, what is the relationship of my Catholicism to my politics? Where does the one end and the other begin? Or are they divided at all? And if they're not, should they be?
These are hard questions. No wonder most of us in pubic life -- at least until recently -- preferred to stay away from them, heeding the biblical advice that if "hounded and pursued in one city," we should flee to another. Now, however, I think that it's too late to flee. The questions are all around us; the answers are coming from every quarter. Some of them have been simplistic; most of them fragmentary; and a few, spoken with a purely political intent, demagogic. There's been confusion and compounding of confusion, a blurring of the issue, entangling it in personalities and election strategies, instead of clarifying it for Catholics, as well as for others.
. . .more intelligent attempt at describing the role that religion has in our public affairs, and the limits placed on that role. And if we do it right -- if we're not afraid of the truth even when the truth is complex -- this debate, by clarification, can bring relief to untold numbers of confused, even anguished Catholics, as well as to many others who want only to make our already great democracy even stronger than it is.
. . . Now all of us -- all of us are saying one thing, in chorus, reiterating the statement of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops that they will not take positions for or against specific political candidates, and that their stand -- the stand of the bishops and the cardinals -- on specific issues should not be perceived as an expression of political partisanship.
Now, of course the bishops will teach -- they must teach -- more and more vigorously, and more and more extensively. But they have said they will not use the power of their position, and the great respect it receives from all Catholics, to give an imprimatur to individual politicians or parties. Not that they couldn't do it if they wished to -- some religious leaders, as you know, do it. Some are doing it at this very moment. And not that it would be a sin if they did. God does not insist on political neutrality. But because it is the judgment of the bishops, and most of us Catholic laypeople, that it is not wise for prelates and politicians to be too closely tied together.
. . .
I am by training a lawyer and by practice a politician. Now, both those professions make me suspect in many quarters, including -- including some of my own coreligionists. . . I speak here as a politician; and also as a Catholic, a layperson baptized and raised in the pre-Vatican II Church, educated in Catholic schools, attached to the Church first by birth, then by choice, now by love; an old-fashioned Catholic who sins, regrets, struggles, worries, gets confused, and most of the time feels better after confession. The Catholic Church is my spiritual home. My heart is there, and my hope.
But there is, of course, more to being a Catholic than a sense of spiritual and emotional resonance. Catholicism is a religion of the head as well as the heart, and to be a Catholic is to say, "I believe," to the essential core of dogmas that distinguishes our faith. The acceptance of this faith requires a lifelong struggle to understand it more fully and to live it more truly, to translate truth into experience, to practice as well as to believe. That's not easy: applying religious belief to everyday life often presents difficult challenges. And it's always been that way. It certainly is today. The America of the late twentieth century is a consumer society, filled with endless distractions, where faith is more often dismissed than challenged, where the ethnic and other loyalties that once fastened us to our religion seem to be weakening.
In addition to all the weaknesses, all the dilemmas, all the temptations that impede every pilgrim's progress, the Catholic who holds political office in a pluralistic democracy, a Catholic who is elected to serve Jews and Muslims and atheists and Protestants, as well as Catholics, bears special responsibility. He or she undertakes to help create conditions under which all can live with a maximum of dignity and with a reasonable degree of freedom; where everyone who chooses may hold beliefs different from specifically Catholic ones, sometimes even contradictory to them; where the laws protect people's right to divorce, their right to use birth control devices, and even to choose abortion.
In fact, Catholic public officials take an oath to preserve the Constitution that guarantees this freedom. And they do so gladly, not because they love what others do with their freedom, but because they realize that in guaranteeing freedom for all, they guarantee our right to be Catholics: our right to pray, our right to use the sacraments, to refuse birth control devices, to reject abortion, not to divorce and remarry if we believe it to be wrong.
The Catholic public official lives the political truth that most Catholics through most of American history have accepted and insisted on: the truth that to assure our freedom we must allow others the same freedom, even if occasionally it produces conduct by them which we would hold to be sinful. I protect my right to be a Catholic by preserving your right to be a Jew, or a Protestant, or a nonbeliever, or anything else you choose. We know that the price of seeking to force our belief on others is that they might someday force their belief on us.
Now, this freedom is the fundamental strength of our unique experiment in government. In the complex interplay of forces and considerations that go into the making of our law and policies, its preservation, the preservation of freedom, must be a pervasive and dominant concern.
But insistence on freedom is easier to accept as a general proposition than in its applications to specific situations because there are other valid general principles firmly embedded in our Constitution, which, operating at the same time, create interesting and occasionally troubling problems. Thus, the same amendment of the Constitution that forbids the establishment of a state church affirms my legal right to argue that my religious belief would serve well as an article of our universal public morality. . ."

Thank you for thinking.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Don't rest on your laurels

Americans have spoken and voted and Barack Obama is our president-elect. Obama is a BIG FIRST. The first African-American/bi-racial man to assume office;it only took almost 150 +/- years for black men to achieve this political equality. But that does not mean that we should all pat ourselves on the back, and say we have achieved equality.
We will need more black men in the presidential pipeline, and women, and homosexuals, and Latinos, and Asian-Americans, and atheists and Jews and Muslims and Sikhs and Quakers and agnostics and . . .(fill-in-all the other religions and ethnic-Americans). . .

We have, in short, a LOT more work to do. . .


Tuesday, November 04, 2008




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