Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny. -- Daniel Webster

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Torture By Any Other Name

If there was any doubt that the regime in Washington has lost its moral compass the recent so-called compromise legislation agreed to by the White House and leading senators regarding the torturing of detainees, removes all remaining questions. While purporting to protect human rights, this legislation has holes big enough to drive a truck through, as they say.

The web site of the Friends Committee on National Legislation does essentially as good a job as any I have seen in explaining the situation. The General Board of Church and Society of the world-wide United Methodist Church has also voiced strong opposition to this legislation.

Any legislation of this sort must be rejected out-of-hand by any Christian or other ethical person. The United States, indeed no nation, should have the option of playing fast and loose with the issue of torture. And in any event, our nation's Constitution must be respected and obeyed. The alternative is a nation and world run simply by the wealthy and most powerful.


Monday, September 25, 2006

An Abundance of News

There has been an unusually large number of web articles of interest in the last week. Such a large number, while welcome, has presented this author with a dilemma. Knowing which subject to write about has not been easy!

For now I will leave you with the tidbit below. As you will see, the fight for the truth is intensifying a bit. Happy reading.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

An Up-date

In my last post, I indicated that I would soon comment on the passing of the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001. As school is back in session and my schedule has once again become heavy, my treatment of that subject has been delayed.

And now, too, a more complete essay on that subject must await another time due to time constraints. However, I can say that at no time do I remember a higher level of exploitation of the memory of that tragic day than on this September 11. Certainly memorializing those who died is entirely appropriate. But did not one smell the scent of self-aggrandizement on the part of politicians and press?

Let us hope that in the future such thinly-disguised selfishness and greed will be left out of September 11 anniversaries.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Powwow

Yesterday and the day before I had the distinct privilege of attending a powwow sponsored by the Thunderbirds. Along with all the Native American crafts on display, the native dancing was most impressive for its sincere spirituality.

From the Thunderbird newsletter I am pleased to re-print the "Top 10 Things You Can't Say to A White Person upon First Meeting". While hilarious, it is impossible to miss the point. Here is the list:

10. How much white are you?
9. I'm part white myself, you know.
8. I learned all your people's ways in the Boy Scouts.
7. My great-great-grandmother was a full-blooded white-Canadian princess.
6. Funny, you don't look white.
5. Where's your powdered wig and knickers?
4. Do you live in a covered wagon?
3. What's the meaning behind the square dance?
2. What's your feeling about river-boat casinos? Do they really help your people, or are they just a short-term fix?
1. Oh, wow! I really love your hair! Can I touch it?


Tomorrow: A different perspective on the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001

Friday, September 08, 2006

An Important Voice

A voice has risen in the media clearly and forcefully opposing the most recent Bush and Rumsfeld speeches. This voice is not only opposing these governmental charlatans, but is showing the relation between them and fascism.

The name of this voice is Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. In passionate, well-reasoned terms Mr. Olbermann pierces the gloomy clouds of doom pervading this country. I recommend these pieces by Olbermann. May he inspire countless others to speak forth in truth and love of country.

NOTE: The web site host for this video may contain adult content. Reader discretion is advised.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

An Interlude for Humor

Part of the purpose of this web log is to present material not likely to be found anywhere else. Such is the case with this post as I retrieve from history the name of Robert Benchley. For some, this name is quite familiar, for others it may sound vaguely familiar. For still others, the name may not ring a bell at all. Robert Benchley was an author, actor, and humorist and according to the book jacket was much loved by all. It seemed he had a warm heart as well as a ready wit.

Recently I acquired his book The Early Worm, first published 'way back in 1927. (I wonder how many reading this remember the publication of this book.) The volume was re-printed in 1946 shortly after Benchley's death.

I have read several of the early stories in the book and -- with one exception -- have found them to be very funny. The writing is breezy without being vapid, witty without sneering. The experience is a little like eating cinammon toast on a warm early-autumn day. The air is most pleasant and the taste is at once sweet and spicey.

One of my favorite stories is about the bicycle expedition to the North Pole, intended to "catch up" to Amundsen and Byrd. This may sound like a silly premise for a story, but the actual tale is quite hilarious as told by the talented Benchley.

If you can find this book I highly recommend it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Seeing Clearly, Finding Our Courage

For Americans, now is a time of waking as if from a long slumber -- one filled with nightmares of the most terrifying kind. Some of the terrors are real -- the attacks of September 11, 2001, were indeed quite real. But increasing numbers of people, largely through Internet research, have come to believe that the newspaper headline of several years ago was right: "Bush Knew."

The mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, one Rocky Anderson, has recently given a powerful speech affirming the right, even the duty, of Americans to say the truth about the President, good or bad. He quotes, significantly, President Theodore Roosevelt in this regard. Mayor Anderson helps make clear how aberrant is this administration, how cruelly unfaithful it is to what America truly is. In future days I plan to continue reading this speech. I am placing a link to it below.

Citizenship in a democracy means work. It means constant vigilance. It means pitching in to do one's part. As we celebrate Labor Day, let us remember our civic duty, as well as our financial duties to our selves and our dear families.

(Thanks to Dr. G. for alerting me to this speech.)

deseretnews.com Text of Mayor Anderson's speech

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