Thursday, January 29, 2009

Unsettling Settlers

"We killed Jesus, and we're proud of it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Forgiveness: An exampe from the Pope

This Sunday we will look at the Christian value of Forgiveness.

As I promised one week ago, I will try and post on each Sunday what values Christians take from their faith, and also, I should have said, what values Christians teach their children. Events of this past week lead us to consider the Christion value and teaching of Forgiveness. I would like to share with you the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant Matthew 18:

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought to him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But for as much as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that you owe. 29 And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and sought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told to their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said to him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you desired me: 33 Should not you also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also to you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

The endless slaughter in the Holy Land has all of us heartbroken. From the leaders in Israel we hear their justification of excessive violence that caused the death of 400 Palestinian children as they crouched for safety in their homes inside the Gaza Ghetto. Having lived under the Israeli siege for almost 2 years, and a blockade of two months, these children were often without food, water and medical care. Even as the UN and other international human rights groups called on Israel to recognize the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Israel arrogantly, and with extreem cruewlty, denied there was any humanitarian crisis.

Now, today, Israel is schreeching in anger and attacking the Pope, because he wants to rehabilitate 4 conservative Bishops, one of whom is a Holocost denier acording to Israel. No Mercy!! No forgiveness. No rehabilitation. No reconsiliation. Only ostrazitaion will satisfy the hate filled Jewish vendeta, bound and determined to teach the whole world the lesson they teach their children: We will never forget. We are the victims. Our tragedy trumps everyone else. Listen to us, or else. We will accuse you of anti-Semitism, and destroy your career. We have no choice, we must be ever vigilant, lest the holocast happens again. So goes the Israeli, or Jewish wail. Anger, hate and fear perpetrated into pertuity. No end in sight. No hope. No forgiveness. An endless Nuremburg trial.

Yes, it is true, I checked the news, and sure enough the Pope is going to talk with the 4 excommunicated Biships, and Jewish entities are attacking the Pope, even as gaza children continue to die of their wounds under the savage, barbaric and inhumane bombardment of the Gaza Ghetto, where Israel refused to allow innocent Palestinians and children to leave the Ghetto during the bombardment.

'Fifty years ago today, Pope John XXIII called a council," by Jason Petrosa, published on National catholic reporter on Line today, describes the thought behind the decision to excommunicate the 4 Bishops, and now the dicision to invite them back.

"Weary and even heart-broken, let us consider forgiveness. Our ultimate model of forgiveness is Jesus Christ, and for a concrete, recent Christian example we have the Amish of Nickel Mines, Pa. In the fall of 2006, Charles Carl Roberts IV, a truck driver, entered the Amish community’s one-room schoolhouse and held 10 girls hostage for several hours. He then shot and killed five of the girls and seriously wounded the other five.

How the Amish community responded with forgiveness in so many ways is told in the book Amish Grace, How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt and David L. Weaver-Zercher (Jossey-Bass). “Amish people are likely to say that they are simply trying to be obedient to Jesus Christ who commanded his followers to do many peculiar things, such as love, bless and forgive their enemies,” they write. These Amish people’s ongoing forgiveness, pardon and reconciliation are a model for us as we try to liberate the Catholic church from its current predicament.

Forgiveness is the way to make us whole again. It is the medium through which we tap into the transcendent power of the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness is the balm to ease our pain and restore our optimism. Forgiveness helps us avoid sinking into the ugly cancer of contempt. It frees us from the temptation to get even, to one-up or put down our adversaries. Forgiveness enables us to purify our intentions so that every step of our ecclesial crusade is marked with magnanimity."

In "Benedict and the SSPX: the backlash begins ," Damian Thompson shows us how quickly people responded, many of whom may not be able to understand the meaning of the lifting of the excommunication.

This anger is nothing more, in my opinion, than hatred, and it is being aimed at the Pope, who, on January 1st, World Peace Day, spoke up for Christians who were suffering persecution for bearing witness. His views went unnoticed due to the horror Israel was visiting on the Gaza Ghetto.

"The Pope also gave attention to another type of anti-Christian persecution, one he pointed to in the Western world. He expressed his hope that "prejudice or hostility against Christians will not be cultivated simply because, on certain questions, their voice causes disquiet."And he offered words of encouragement for "the disciples of Christ, in the face of such adversity," urging them not lose heart."

I myself have experienced this kind of persecution, for expressing my views on the current catastrophy in Palestine. Nakba continues, but the Holocost is over.

"Israel Condemns Vatican’s ‘Concentration Camp’ Remarks," the NYTs headline screams! How dare they compare the Ghetto of Gaza with a consentration camp, claims the "offended" Israeli's. Ooops, are we all anti-Semitic? I am having a hard time thinking of what to compare Israel's brutal, inhuman, barbaric "neutralization" of Palestinians as Israels punishment for their daring to elect Hamas. Livni bragged that "Israel has gone wild," and that they needed to be taught a lesson. Oh, my, whatever happened to the "self defense" excuse?

So, it would seem from Israel's point of view, that Pope Benedict XVI is not going to parrot the Israeli narrative. I wonder why Israel ever thought anyone should, much less the Pope? We all have a right to exist, and we all have a right to define ourselves. The Israeli narrative is impossible for me to embrace, much less defend. In fact, it is indefensible. However, although not all Christians are Catholic, I am glad the Pope has taken a stand for our rights to express Christian values without being unfairly accused of anti-Semitism.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Did the 'war on terror' end?

In the past few days, since the world's 4th largest army withdrew from the Gaza Ghetto, the silence from the bombardment has been filled with whispering, op ed pieces, and a flurry of realization that the war on terror has no meaning.

Paul Woodward's piece "Did the 'war on terror' end, Jan 25, on The National, AbuDhabi, caught my eye. It is a brief review of several news reports and op ed pieces about Israel's attack on Gaza and Obama's change in foreign policy. Woodward notes that India was able to keep Kashmir out of the fray of diplomacy.

Another piece, "This Is Not A Test," by Thomas friedman, Jan 25, NYT, points out that the window of opportunity to a two state solution is rapidly closing. He writes, "So if you believe in the necessity of a Palestinian state or you love Israel, you’d better start paying attention.
This is not a test. We’re at a hinge of history."

"Hamas and Palestine's right to exist," by Tony Iltis, Jan 23, Green Left on Line, makes a case that unless the main grievences of the Palestinians are discussed and resolved, a just peace cannot be reached. "However, while Palestinian acceptance of the “right” of Israel to exist as an exclusively Jewish state was a precondition for talks, discussion of the geographic definition of the Palestinian state was deferred and Israel has refused to negotiate on crucial issues, such as the right of Palestinian refugees driven from territory claimed by Israel to return to their homelands."

And then there is this piece, in the Houstan Chronicle that claims that US prosecutors have linked Ingred Mattson, who took part in Obama's inaugural prayer service on Wednesday to Hamas!

After giving all these stories some thought, and it is hard to read them all in one day, I have come to the conclusion that Paul Woodward's headlin has more meaning in it than he realizes. Yes, Israel may not have destroyed Hamas, who has already risen from the ashes, stronger than ever, but Israel's slaughter of Gaza's children has destroyed the war on terror. It is clear that refusing to talk with one's enemy cannot get you what yopu want.

The war on terror is over. Now we need to find a way to listen to each others grievences. To those who still believe one can bring peace by bombing the brains out of children, I can only say you have failed to win their hearts and minds. It is for that reason that the war on terror cannot be won, and now Israel has ended it for us all. Let the building up begin.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama at State Dept: Our Actions In Defense Of Liberty Will Be As Just As Our Cause.

With Vice President Biden and H. Clinton in tow, President Barack Obama worked the room and chatted with State Dept for more than 20 minutes today, his second day in office.

Sec of State Clinton announced that she and the president were announcing the appointment of Richard Holbrooke to coordinate US stragegic goals in the region of Afghastan and Pakistan., and george Mitchell as Special envoy for Middle East Paece. Former Ambassador Holbrooke stated clearly that he recognized the individual histories of each nation, and would work to bring an integrated strategy to solve the challenges the two nations face as they share a border in the troubled region.

Former Senator george Mitchell pledged his full effort to the search for peace and stability in the Middle East. He explained that there is no such thing as a conflict that cannot be ended, because conflicts are created by human beings. He aslo described the region as volitile, complex and dangerous. "I understand those of you who may be discouraged," he said, and described 800 years of struggle to achieve peace in Ireland.

H Clinton introduced the meeting by stating that diplomacy is the top priority of this administration, and that was demonstrated by President Obama coming to the State Dept on his second day in office. Vice president Biden stated that H Clinton was the right person at the right moment to head the State Dept, "She is uniquely qualified to put diplomacy back in the forefront of US policy."

President Obama smiled, but was serious and listed the first three actions he had taken since becoming President. "This morning I signed 3 orders:" 1. The US will not torture, 2. We will close Gitmo, and 3. We will hold a comprehensive review of our policies with the rule of law in mind. Obama said we must renew American leadership through principaled, focused and sustained diplomacy, "We cannot afford to drift and delay."

Paul Woodward raises the question..."Did Mitchell’s anticipated imminent return to the region as President Obama’s Middle East envoy provide an added incentive for Israel to launch its assault of Gaza? After January 20 the strain on US-Israeli relations would have been severe."

Here is a link to Mitchell's "The American Perspective."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dershowitz, Wall St Journal, recieve white powder mail from Knoxville, Tenn.

Cambridge, MA

Cambridge Police report that at 11:30am this morning they responded to Harvard Law in response to a call that an envelope, addressed to Alan Dershowitz, was opened and found to contain a white powder. The return address was Knoxville, Tenn. AP reports that several similar letters, addressed to executives at the Wall Street Journal, in NYC were also sent from various addresses in Knoxville.

Dershowitz, who once referred to the '67 borders in Israel/Palestine as "Auschwitz borders," recently wrote an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal, defending Israel's agression in Gaza. He was one of the attornies on OJ's "Dream Team." To better understand the issue of the two state solution, the Israel/Palistine conflict, the contrast between the Holocost and Nakba, and the term "Auschwitz Borders," I offer this quote from Bradley Burston:
{There was a time when the mention of 1967 lines was met with nothing more than one version or other of Abba Eban's 1969 comment to the German newspaper Der Spiegel: "We have openly said that the map will never again be the same as on June 4, 1967. For us, this is a matter of security and of principles. The June map is for us equivalent to insecurity and danger. I do not exaggerate when I say that it has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz." }

The Boston Herald is reporting that suspecious letters were also sent to Rockland Town Hall. Aparently the FBI is looking into any possible connections.

Obama's Inauguration Speech Heard Around the World!

Please tune back in...

Monday, January 19, 2009


We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless,
for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy,
for no document from human hands can make these
humans any less our brothers .

Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.

Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, ...

Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they can play in a successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reason to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.

Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the NLF, but rather to my fellow Americans, who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents.

Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.

[Dr. King gave this speech at Riverside Church,
New York City, 4 April 1967,
exactly one year before he was killed. Some excerps,
please share Martin Luther King's dreams by
reading this speech today. The whole speech can
be found at the link below.]

Sunday, January 18, 2009

And Who Is My Neighbor?

Today is Sunday, a day of rest. I will try and share my reflections, from now on, on the code I live by, and how that shapes my response to world affairs.

Here is a reply I recieved to one of my comments on a list serve in the midst of debate on Gaza, and my reply follows. My reply explains three reasons I believe, each and every one of us should take what is going on in Gaza personally.

First, the reply I recieved....

"Sorry, forgot that she is immoveable on a conflict that is so far
from her own backyard that one wonders why this is her battle."

Here is my response:

1. Once again, as long as the US uses my tax dollars to finance this genocide,
It will be my legitimate political concern. As for the genocide, why would
those who did not live in Nazi Germany be concerned with Hitler's removal of the Jews?

2. Of course, we all care, as we are all members of the family of man. Perhaps Israel promotes itself as "apart," but no one else does. That's the humanitarian reason to be involved.

3. And religion does play a part. Aside from the true fact that Israel's treatment of the palestinians does not distinguisb between Arabs that are Christian or Muslim, since I was raised Christian, as were many others around the world, I have the following reason to make this my "battle." :

"Mat: 41} Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

{42} For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

{43} I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

{44} Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

{45} Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

{46} And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

(please see also Mat:25:34 and Mat:25:40)

AND then there is the Parable of the Good Samaritan:
Luke:10:25-37 which has this preceeding context:

"On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?". "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" asked Jesus. The man answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

Now, these are the basis for MY values.
(I know the New testament is NOT the Torah.)

take care, we are all neighbors.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On The Beach: Belly Up

Growing up, I spent summers at the lake. After a storm, fish of all kinds could be found belly up, on the beach. Today, we see MSM on the are a few...The Tribune, NYT, CBS, and now the Seattle Post Intelligencer is up for sale. Who's buying?

On the other hand, Aljazeerza English is a hit on YouTube, where it lurks because the US refuses to allow it broadcast here in the USA. Now, reports that Hamas has created a channel on YouTube?

The perfect storm.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Palestinian Reporter in Gaza Reports House Hit

Sad news from Gaza today, a very brave Palestinian journalist reports his house was hit today. There was slight damage, but Israeli's are moving into Gaza City, population 400,000 with tanks. Another report on NPR states of 900 killed, fully 1/3rd are children.

I am unable to upload the photos today, check back tomorrow.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Joe The Plumber Takes Off His PJs!

"Journalists should be abolished
from reporting from war zones."

Pajamas Media (OSM), reportedly named because citizen journalists sit at home and blog, has sent Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka, Joe the Plumber to the front as their war correspondent. He said that the MSM shouldn't be alowed to report on the war, because half the time they didn't know what was behind it.

Joe also expressed quite a few opinions of his own, so I am not sure if he will be repeating the Israeli narative, or if he will question the propaganda that is handed to him. Now don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to citizen journalists, but the issue is being able to tell the American people what the heck is going on over there in a fair and non biased way. We will have to see how he does, and he may set a few celebrity reporters on their heels.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Palestinians Taken Hostage!!

Jan 8, 2009. Chestnut Hill, MA. In a rally to show people how to lobby for Israel, Nadav Tamir, Israeli consulate general to New England claimed Israel was fighting to liberate Palestinians from a terrorist group who had taken the people of Gaza hostage. Although the Boston Globe did mention the other Jews who protested at the Consulate in downtown Boston, the Globe, which is owned by the New York Times chose to run with the Israeli narrative.

The Metro showed this photo of the protest at the Israeli consulate in Boston on Jan, 8 2009. They, and several sources reported that 4 demonstrators were arrested for refusing to leave. Judith Glaubman, of Cambridge, a Jew, was the spoksperson, and stated their solidarity for the Palestinians who had elected Hamas in fair elections.

I offer these two photos and two stories to show the bias that is inherrent in the media as it tries to cover the Palestine/Israel conflict. One might wonder, how a paper of the status of the Boston Globe can allow itself to be a mirror for the israeli lobby. But then thay are not aware of the bias in the MSM as a whole. here is a blog post by Phillip Weiss, a Jew, describing how Jews dominate the MSM, and how he believes that MSM may not be able to fairly cover a story like the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

At issue here is a Free Press vs The People's Right to Know. In my opinion the American Public is poorly served by having over 90% of the MSM dominated by Jews, who, even if they do not support Zionist israel, are sympathetic, and do not want to write a story that would betray Israel.

I am also concerned that if a non Jew were to assert that jews dominate the media, and might be biased when reporting on this conflict thay might be accused of anti Semitism. But, many Jews also recieve pressure from the Zionists in the form of having their careers ruined unless they tow the line, and repeat the israeli narrative.

The losers are first the people, and democracy, because how can we exercice our rights when we are being misinformed, and then Israel is also a loser, as they do not get good feedback, then there are the babies and children being sacrificed on the alter of Zionist zeal and paranoia, that somehow the whole world is against them because they are Jews. For some reason they cannot tell the difference between their policies and there faith.

Well, I believe that we in the good ol' USA must not allow our MSM to be dominated by one ideology, especially when those who would try to report fairly are threatened. How can we make sure that we have more diversity in the media?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Change is on the way!

This is what a moment of truth looks like. Remember when you first saw this? That is what a moment of truth feels like. It kinda takes your breath away for a moment. Who is this man? What does he do? Where is this? Why did he throw his shoe at Bush? How could he do such a thing?
Journalists were rounded up at the last minute and frisked repetedly before an unannounced press conference held so President Bush could get in some good policity photos for his legasy in Iraq. The plan was to abuse the press, by getting some free publicity, and have them be the mouthpiece for Bush's propaganda.
One journalist, Muntadar al-Zaidi, a reporter with Cairo-based network Al Baghdadia Television made a durable and lasting statement by throwing his shoe at Bush. "Here is your goodby kiss, you dog. " The second shoe he dedicated to the widows and orphans.
In this singular act, Muntardar embarassed the MSM for failing their most sacred duty, to make sure the people know what their government is doing.
I am of the firm opinion he should recieve the top journalistc awards for this courageous act.