Friday, May 30, 2008

Is Christianity too hard?

"I think it was DH Lawrence that suggested that Christianity was too hard for people."

Well sure. Return love for hate? Bless those who would persecute you? Pray for those who would rather see you harmed? Not so easy.

I naively took this literally and prepared to work with our enemy, the former Soviet Union. There were many who tried to thwart this work, hard to believe anyone would try to interfere with our helping newborns with congenital heart disease, but we persevered in order to save lives and try to create a new kind of understanding between our nations.

Now as to forgiving and working for reconciliation with people in THIS country who have done me/us harm? Yes, I am struggling with that as well. Not so easy but very important.

We are all human beings, we need to look for our common ground, and reach out to those who we see have fallen from reality. Need to walk with them from where they are lost in error to the new place where they experience both truth and safety.

A lot of people’s resistance to coming forward with the truth is that they are afraid. We can be there for them as they become brave to speak.


photo by drewesque

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about McCain

from jane hamsher at firedoglake 29 may 2008

1--McCain: US economic woes 'psychological'

2--McCain housing policy shaped by lobbyist 

3--Bush, McCain plug Social Security 

4--McCain blasts Obama's and Clinton's attacks on NAFTA 

5--McCain in NH: Would Be "Fine" To Keep Troops in Iraq for "A Hundred Years" 

6--McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion

7--Senate passes expanded GI bill despite Bush, McCain opposition

8--McCain says overturn the law that legalized abortion

9--McCain Defends Bush's Iraq Strategy 

Monday, May 26, 2008

We Remember Our Warriors

On Memorial Day I remember my dad who was in the Pacific in WWII and nearly drowned in the typhoon, Mom’s cousin Trevor who died when his plane got shot down, Uncle Don whose ship’s sonar pinged what they believed to be the lost Titanic, and my grandfathers who were in WWI, one in France getting shot at [the mc] and one serving here.

They knew what they were fighting for. But I cry to think of the wasted deaths and the broken human lives that are the result of the lies that got us into this war in Iraq.


photo by pagedooley at Santa Monica Beach, one cross for each American killed in Iraq.

The Next Mountain

crossposted saturday 24 may 2008 firedoglake as Pull Up A Chair


What comes next? In a week full of changes, including here at FDL, it seems difficult to keep track of it all. New political developments, new ideas, things happening quickly.

It would be nice to have some time to rest, to take a good look at that next mountain ahead, and figure out what we are going to need to get there.

Sometimes I feel like FDL is the base camp, with the good food and supplies, that prepares us to go on up and scale the heights. Our fellow climbers can be out of sight sometimes, but every once in a while we get reports of a breathtaking view.

Have any of you gone through changes recently that you want to share with the pups? We had a good discussion last Saturday about joys and concerns in the community, let's keep it going.

What is the next mountain you are thinking about climbing? What do you think of the new things we are trying here?

I would especially love to hear from some of you readers who have never commented or rarely commented. Here's your chance to chime in.

So grab a cup of coffee or tea to go with your homemade cookies, and pull up a chair.... 

photo taken by PhillipC

Friday, May 23, 2008

How the Mighty Have Fallen

crossposted thursday 22 may 2008 at firedoglake


If you've ever complained that the people who run the government just don't understand what it's like for the little guy, this story is for you.

Laura Richardson of Long Beach, California, just saw her house go into foreclosure like so many other Americans this year.

Just one little thing that's special: she is a member of Congress.

You may recall our previous discussions of the House of Cards that is this administration's concept of a housing policy:

The government got rid of the speed limit and the brakes and all the guardrails, and woohoo! Anything goes in the financial markets.

Mortgages were given to people who couldn't possibly pay them back, bad debts were put in a dress and high heels and resold as speculative financial instruments, and now everybody owes everybody. But I'm sure everything is fine.

We have been warned that the storm was approaching.

But Congress didn't seem to care very much, this was only a problem for the little people. Well, not any more:

She bought the three-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath home in the state capital for $535,500. The bill collectors started knocking soon after.

The city utility department placed a lien on her property in June 2007....

In December, she received a default notice on the mortgage from the collection agency of Washington Mutual....

County records show the property was sold to a company called Red Rock Mortgage Inc. of Sacramento.

Richardson says the house isn't really in foreclosure. Um hm, that explains this sad visual:

A real estate agent's lock box hung Wednesday from the front door of the 1926-vintage house.

Hello, Congress? The people, you know -- the ones you were elected to represent -- are hurting out here. A lot of people have lost their houses already. Many, many more are on the edge.

Larry Kissell - NC-08 in '08!

crossposted tuesday 20 may 2008 at firedoglake


Announcing a special Blue America time tomorrow to welcome back our friend Larry Kissell, Congressional candidate from the eighth district of North Carolina. NC-08 in '08!

President Bush will be coming to his district Thursday to give out medals at Ft Bragg. You would think the President would be ashamed to show up there because their substandard housing has been much in the news lately.

Let's hear from a progressive Democrat how things really are for the returning troops. Larry has shown real leadership in reaching out to those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The contrast between his actions and the lack of support from the Bush administration is clear.

Kissell got national attention during his 2006 race, when he lost to the incumbent by only about 300 votes, by having an event where gasoline was sold for $1.22 a gallon, the price at the beginning of the Bush administration. That sure seems hard to believe now, with gas pushing $4 a gallon.

Larry will be with us to answer our questions on how things are going in his district, which has suffered greatly from decisions made by this administration. They have one of the highest rates of unemployment in the area and a lot of people are facing foreclosure on their homes.

I have talked with Larry by phone and feel that his concern for the folks in his district and his love for our country are genuine. You want a true grassroots progressive candidate? Kissell is the real thing.

We're eager to hear his plans for the future and how his terrific campaign with hundreds of volunteers is going. So join us tomorrow at 6:00 ET, 3:00 PT for what promises to be a great Blue America session!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

crossposted saturday 17 may 2008 at firedoglake in Pull Up a Chair


Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness:

Congratulations to newdealfarmgrrrlll and Al the Spook on their engagement! [video here]

Wishing you all the joy in the world!

And my engagement present is this photo of a couple who held a Star Wars theme wedding, which sounds like one of the possibilities. Thanks be to Google.

We have evolved into a real community now with joys and concerns that touch people we've never met in "real" life. Some future sociologist can expand on what it means for us to have so many traveling companions that we know only electronically.

But every once in a while there is an opportunity to put a name with a face, jump the fence into that other world out there. I've had the privilege of attending Suzanne's excellent Boulder Creek pup meetups and getting to know other folks through Yearly Kos and the trial.

The people here at FDL have touched my life in so many ways from encouragement and support to challenge -- and did I mention support? And I have a feeling that some of the rest of you have similar stories to share about FDL friends who are there in good times and in sad times.

We are hoping that QuakerGirl is reading the many, many expressions of love coming her way throughout the comments every day as she struggles with leukemia in hospice.

There are those among us who have lost a parent recently, our hearts go out to you with much love. Nothing can prepare you for this kind of grief, it is an experience that changes your world. How can the sky still be blue? Don't people know everything is different now?

We are there for each other in ways visible and invisible.

Monday, May 12, 2008

For Watertiger

Baby tiger at Cougar Mountain Zoo, Issaquah Washington


photo by Fujin, flickr creative commons

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Grateful to be a Mother

With gratitude to God for Katherine, Laura, Alex.

And I am so happy that I still have my own Mother -- thank you for sooo much love.


photo by Little Bitty Tam

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Love Remains

"Kingdoms come and go
But they don't last
Before you know
The future is the past.

In spite of what's been lost
What's been gained
We are living proof
Love remains"


Collin Raye

photo by Picture Taker 2

O (Don't) Look, Everything is Fine

crossposted 7 may 2008 at firedoglake


Your money is safe and the banking system is fine! No need to worry. All is well. And I'm sure it's just a little ripple, a little glitch, that emergency loans to banks are going up by 50% this month.

My previous post House of Cards talks about how we got to this precarious place.

The government got rid of the speed limit and the brakes and all the guardrails, and woohoo! Anything goes in the financial markets.

Mortgages were given to people who couldn't possibly pay them back, bad debts were put in a dress and high heels and resold as speculative financial instruments, and now everybody owes everybody. But I'm sure everything is fine. "The housing crisis is over"! Pinky promise!

I am completely operational, and all my circuits are functioning perfectly.

And surely we can rejoice at the latest manufactured employment figures, where four months of hemorrhaging job losses has no impact on the unemployment rate. Why? Because they use a model that let them add 267,000 "jobs" on paper last month, including 45,000 in construction, for "seasonal adjustment."

Seriously? Do you know any area that is actually net hiring for construction?

Folks at the Fed are doing a careful job of letting the air out of the balloon slowly, but make no mistake, the wealth of the nation is shrinking.

I know everything hasn't been quite right with me, but I can assure you now, very confidently, that it's going to be all right again. I feel much better now. I really do.

But not to worry! The very people who got us into this mess are the ones who are going to lead us to the Promised Land. Just as soon as their big cat buddies get all their money out first.

I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Shoes for Seersucker Friday


Lovely in White

New idea to have fresh flowers around all the time. Ideally grown locally which isn't so hard here in California. At present I have a bouquet of lovely white irises on my desk.

I once asked a Russian Orthodox priest why they pray to icons and paintings. He said it isn't prayer to them directly, but is like how we westerners use music in services. The beauty draws our attention heavenward.


photo by tigitogs

Sunday, May 04, 2008

You Can't Get There From Here

Commenter Carelli on Carolyn Hax's column Tell Me About It has some good stuff to share:

So many people get caught up in following the plan (whatever that is) that they don't realize how unhappy they are. You never know how bad you feel until you start feeling better....

All you have to do is choose what you want to do for the next 5 years or so, because you won't be starting all over (i.e., get another 4 yr degree) if you want to change. We're a fluid society - you have to start somewhere, you did, now go look for what you want.

And it's OK if it's only what you want for 5 years. I can't wait to find out what I'm going to do when I'm 60, and when I'm 80.
[egregious bold]

This resonates with me as I ponder my new single life in California, frequently asking myself, how did it come to this, and what next?

My father was fond of the saying, with regard to giving someone driving directions, "You can't get there from here. You have to go someplace else and start over again."


photo by Madeleine