Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Aleida Guevara in Teheran: "My father never mentioned God"

Sarah Baxter describes a culture clash between between the children of Che Guevara and the Mullahs at Teheran University. From Times Online via Belmont Club
A glorious culture clash took place in Iran recently that made me laugh out loud. The children of Che Guevara, the revolutionary pin-up, had been invited to Tehran University to commemorate the 40th anniversary of their father’s death and celebrate the growing solidarity between “the left and revolutionary Islam” at a conference partly paid for by Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president.

There were fraternal greetings and smiles all round as America’s “earth-devouring ambitions” were denounced. But then one of the speakers, Hajj Saeed Qassemi, the co-ordinator of the Association of Volunteers for Suicide-Martyrdom (who presumably remains selflessly alive for the cause), revealed that Che was a “truly religious man who believed in God and hated communism and the Soviet Union”.

Che’s daughter Aleida wondered if something might have been lost in translation. “My father never mentioned God,” she said, to the consternation of the audience. “He never met God.” During the commotion, Aleida and her brother were led swiftly out of the hall and escorted back to their hotel. “By the end of the day, the two Guevaras had become non-persons. The state-controlled media suddenly forgot their existence,” the Iranian writer Amir Taheri noted.

After their departure, Qassemi went on to claim that Fidel Castro, the “supreme guide” of Guevara, was also a man of God. “The Soviet Union is gone,” he affirmed. “The leadership of the downtrodden has passed to our Islamic republic. Those who wish to destroy America must understand the reality and not be clever with words.”
Note the, Those who wish to destoy America... here. Give these folks credit for saying what they mean.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ron Paul on Marriage

Nice thing about the GOP debates is candidates really debates principles and policy. In no small part to having Ron Paul up there. Here he is from last night on marriage,
Cameron: Congressman Paul, to you, on the subject of one of the core debates in the party, over social issues: gay marriage.

You've been quoted as saying, Any association that's voluntary should be permissible in a free society. And you've expressed your opposition to a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Many of your rivals on that stage disagree. Why are they wrong?

PAUL: I'm afraid I haven't been able to get most of your question. I know you brought up the subject of gay marriage, but I didn't get the point of what you're saying. I can't hear it that well.

CAMERON: Why are on those stage who support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage wrong?

PAUL: OK. Well, if you believe in federalism, it's better that we allow these things to be left to the state. My personal belief is that marriage is a religious ceremony.

PAUL: And it should be dealt with religiously. The state really shouldn't be involved. The state, both federal and state-wise, got involved mostly for health reasons 100 years or so ago.

But this should be a religious matter. All voluntary associations, whether they're economic or social, should be protected by the law. But to amend the Constitution is totally unnecessary to define something that's already in the dictionary.

We do know what marriage is about. We don't need a new definition or argue over a definition and have an amendment to the Constitution. To me, it just seems so unnecessary to do that. It's very simply that the states should be out of that business, and the states -- I mean, the states should be able to handle this. The federal government should be out of it.

There's no need for the federal government to be involved in this. You can accomplish this without waiting five or ten or 15 years. The authority can be put in the states by mere voting in the Congress.
When a UU makes a point of saying they favor marriage equality ask them why they think government should license (i.e. discriminate) marriage at all? Nine times out of ten they'll go blank on you.

Giuliani countered Paul noting Government indeed has a stake in marriage and therefore defining what marriage is. In otherwords Government can be moral and can indeed make people more moral. I'd agree with Giuliani but note Paul's point.

A Democrats in debate just duck it all with platitudes on approving civil unions but not same sex marriages.

Hitchens at the Atheist Alliance International conference

HT Allahpundit over at Hot Air. Fast forward to -4:30 if you don't have time for the whole thing.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mere Orthodoxy: Washington Briefing Dispatch: Rudy Giuliani (Updated)

Mere Orthodoxy reviews Giuliani's speech to the Value Voters Conference,
Rudy Giuliani is one savvy politician. He knew that the territory he was entering was going to be cordial, but cool toward him, and he managed to bring the room to loud spontaneous applause.
HT Jill Stanek over at Illinois Review

Cardinal signals firm Vatican stance with Muslims (what say UUs?)

Reuters on the Vatican's response to the Muslim Scholar's call for dialogue with Christianity.
The appeal was addressed to all leading Christian churches. Anglican, Lutheran and evangelical leaders and the World Council of Churches have all welcomed it.

But the reaction of the Roman Catholic Church, which makes up more than half of the world's two billion Christians, is key to any coordinated Christian response to the Muslim appeal.
We're not included on the address list, but I think Rev. Sinkford could make a case we fit here: And Leaders of Christian Churches, everywhere… based on our history and heritage; and maybe respond.

Stephen Schwartz in his essay A Mirror for Muslim Reformers said we have something to offer,
Miquel Servet is a Reformation figure that should appeal to Muslims who want their religion freed from obscurantism, dogmatism, and oppression. His views reflect both intellectual independence and a curious commonality with some essential elements of Islam, and especially of Sufism, or Islamic spirituality. Born in a small village near Zaragoza, in Aragon, Servet was impelled as a youth to doubt the Christian doctrine of the trinity, which he saw as an impediment to the intellectual conversion of Jews and Muslims to the faith of Jesus (see biography at www.uua.org/uuhs/duub/articles/michaelservetus.html). He seems to have excluded from his consideration the Spanish practice of effectively compelling the children of Isaac and Ismail to accept Christianity by force, and to have perceived that the complicated trinitarian system, which both Jews and Muslims reject, erected a mental barrier between the Christians and the others that could not easily be overcome. Above all, however, he was disturbed to find the idea of a three-in-one godhead absent from the Bible. But it is also of interest that both Servet and his great Catalan predecessor, Raimon Llull, on whom I previously wrote in TCS, were influenced by Islamic thought even as they sought to convert Muslims.
Schwartz has also noted how US ARAMCO has sought to portray Wahhabism as a sort of Arab variant of Unitarianism. Here's Schwartz again,
Kelly wrote that Aramco "constituted itself the interpreter of Saudi Arabia – its people, its history, its culture, and above all its ruling house – to the United States at large, and because there were no other sources of information about that country open to the American public, ARAMCO could put across its version of recent Arabian history and politics with almost insolent ease… Its propaganda was framed in a manner likely to strike a sympathetic response in the American people… Much emphasis was laid upon the spiritual nature of the Wahhabi movement, upon its puritanical aspects (with Riyad cast in the image of Salem [Mass.]), upon the felicitous alliance of religion with secular power, and upon the harmonious blend of piety and statecraft inherent in the person of the Saudi king-imam. To make the analogy more familiar, the term by which the Wahhabis distinguished themselves, muwahiddun ('believers in oneness'), was consistently rendered as 'Unitarians', a usage which must have puzzled the adherents of the American Unitarian Church… Naturally, little prominence was accorded in ARAMCO's publicity to the fanatical nature of Wahhabism, or to its dark and bloody past."
Maybe it's time for UU's to clear things up. To respond to the scholars call. As Schwartz shows, we have much to offer and some confusion to clear.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Benazir Bhutto: ...everything they fear the most - moderation, democracy, equality for women, information, and technology.

Benazier Bhutto's Journeying to democracy which has new meaing after the slaughter of the attack against her. Temendous courage...
As I board the plane to Pakistan, I am fully aware that the supporters of the Taliban and Al Qaeda have publicly threatened my assassination.

Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban commander, has said that his terrorists will "welcome" me on my return. Everyone understands the meaning of these comments. And I fully understand the men behind Al Qaeda. They have tried to assassinate me twice before. The Pakistan Peoples Party and I represent everything they fear the most - moderation, democracy, equality for women, information, and technology. We represent the future of a modern Pakistan, a future that has no place in it for ignorance, intolerance, and terrorism.

The forces of moderation and democracy must, and will, prevail against extremism and dictatorship. I will not be intimidated. I will step out on the tarmac in Karachi not to complete a journey, but to begin one. Despite threats of death, I will not acquiesce to tyranny, but rather lead the fight against it.

The Forward: Atheistic Denomination Struggles To Fill Void Left by Founder’s Death

The Forward on Humanistic Judaism's first meeting without founder Rabbi Sherwin Wine.

It does beg the question So what’s the deal with atheists and the UUA ad campaign? if we do live in a time when God is less controversial.
Ultimately, the movement’s greatest challenges may prove, ironically, to be born of its own ideological success. In the decades since its founding, the Jewish mainstream has itself grown more pluralistic and flexible; for example, the new official Reform prayer book, “Mishkan T’filah,” itself draws from a variety of Jewish and non-Jewish sources, presenting them as companions to the traditional Jewish liturgy.

Humanistic Judaism “was born at a time when belief in God may have been more central and more controversial within Jewish society, and even American society,” said Steven M. Cohen, a research professor of Jewish social policy at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. “Now, we live in a time when, for Jews at least, God is less controversial, so people don’t have to choose up sides as firmly as they did in the past. Probably, most Jews in America affirm a nominal belief in God, but God doesn’t play a major role in their thinking about what it means to be a Jew or even a good person.”

Gen Harbord's recommendations to Congress from his Mission to Armenia

Harbord laid out the Commission's recommenations on the US Gov accepting a mandate to govern the fledgling state of Armenia in two columns: one Pro and one Con. The final 14th Pro recommendation lacked a matching Con. Here it is from page 28,
14. Here is a man’s job that the world says can be better done by America than by any other. America can afford the money; she has the men; no duty to her own people would suffer; her traditional policy of isolation did not keep her from successful participation in the Great War. Shall it be said that our country lacks the courage to take up new and difficult duties?
Our decision to not accept the mandate for Armenia would have been an interesting topic for Congress to reflect on.

House Resolution 106 just noted this response by Congress to Harbord's report,
(13) Senate Resolution 359, dated May 11, 1920, stated in part, `the testimony adduced at the hearings conducted by the sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have clearly established the truth of the reported massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian people have suffered'.

(14) The resolution followed the April 13, 1920, report to the Senate of the American Military Mission to Armenia led by General James Harbord, that stated `[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages'.
Congress noted Armenia's suffering but strangley silent on how it responded to Harbor's recommendations on what should or should not have been done.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pete Stark on the SCHIP veto override vote

Well, at least he skipped the fruitcake charges.

Update: UU World on the responses from Congressional Offices to Rev. Sinkford's Peace Petition.
In accepting the petitions, the representatives from each office expressed appreciation. David Schnittger from the House Republican Leader’s office said, “While Congressman Boehner probably wouldn’t agree with all of the views expressed, he would say that he has respect for your views and the views of those you represent.”
Update Oct 23, 2007: Stark's apology here.
I hope that with this apology I will become as insignificant as I should be.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Scott Thumma and Dave Travis: Beyond Megachurch Myths - What We Can Learn from America's Largest Churches

I watched Thumma discuss his book on c-span last night and discoverd he has a blog devoted to it today.

They're not at all my kind of Church but I find them fascinating things to study. They always have a very long driveway and I'm sure there is a very deliberate reason why.

A good blog to follow.

Bush hosts Dalai Lama amid Chinese outrage

on Reuters
Beijing has bitterly denounced plans for the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India since staging a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday.

Bush was scheduled to attend the ceremony on Capitol Hill, marking the first time a sitting U.S. president will appear in public with the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate whom China regards as a separatist and a traitor.

"We are furious," Tibet's Communist Party boss, Zhang Qingli, told reporters. "If the Dalai Lama can receive such an award, there must be no justice or good people in the world."
That's the way awards work sometimes Comrade.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Novak: Rudy and Religion

Today's ST,
The most surprising recent national polling result was an answer given by Republicans who attend church weekly when Gallup asked their presidential preference. A plurality chose Rudy Giuliani, a Catholic who in 1999 said: "I don't attend regularly, but I attend occasionally." Their choice raises deep concern among prominent conservative Republicans who feel it would be a serious mistake for leaders of the religious right to scorn the former mayor of New York.
I think God is speaking to them.

Al Gore and ignoring the 'final solution' to eliminate Tutsis

The Guardian from March 2004: US chose to ignore Rwandan genocide -Classified papers show Clinton was aware of 'final solution' to eliminate Tutsis
President Bill Clinton's administration knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in April 1994 but buried the information to justify its inaction, according to classified documents made available for the first time.

Senior officials privately used the word genocide within 16 days of the start of the killings, but chose not to do so publicly because the president had already decided not to intervene.

Intelligence reports obtained using the US Freedom of Information Act show the cabinet and almost certainly the president had been told of a planned "final solution to eliminate all Tutsis" before the slaughter reached its peak.
The National Security Archive, an independent non-governmental research institute based in Washington DC, went to court to obtain the material.

It discovered that the CIA's national intelligence daily, a secret briefing circulated to Mr Clinton, the then vice-president, Al Gore, and hundreds of senior officials, included almost daily reports on Rwanda. One, dated April 23, said rebels would continue fighting to "stop the genocide, which ... is spreading south".

Three days later the state department's intelligence briefing for former secretary of state Warren Christopher and other officials noted "genocide and partition" and reported declarations of a "final solution to eliminate all Tutsis".

However, the administration did not publicly use the word genocide until May 25 and even then diluted its impact by saying "acts of genocide".
A guy who remained silent during this a heck of a choice for a peace prize.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Iraqi Liberal Khudayr Taher: My Journey from Darkness to Light; America Is the Prophet of Liberty

MEMRI's translation of Khudayr Taher's essay at the liberal Arab e-journal Elaph.
"Allah's Justice and Mercy Encompass All Humanity," Except for the Terrorists, Wahhabis, and Khomeinists

"It is illogical to think that Allah, Who is just, would prefer one sect… and love only [those belonging to it], and bring them into the pleasures of Paradise while bringing the rest of humanity into hellfire. It is impossible that Allah's justice and mercy [would allow this]. Allah's justice and mercy encompass all humanity, all religions, and all countries, and no one has the right to claim a monopoly on truth and faith.

"[But] naturally, I exclude from Allah's mercy the terrorist movements and the criminal takfiri groups like the Wahhabis, [the followers of] Khomeini's [theory of] the rule of the jurisprudent… and all the Islamist [political] parties, [both] Shi'ite and Sunni… Theirs is ignominy in this world and punishment in the next world.

"I left the prison of sectarianism… and turned to the concept of Allah… as a philosophy and a belief that symbolizes beauty, justice, love, virtue, and the principle of human brotherhood for all, without differentiating between Sunnis, Shi'ites, Christians, Jews, or Buddhists…"
Curious liberals and religous liberals wouldn't talk about an essay like this more.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dan Harper: It's hard being a UU

I heard Dan Harper give this sermon once at the Geneva Church. Given all the blog talk about the new video, and it all seems centered on what a UU Church can offer you, it might be worth asking what members are expected to offer the Church.

Sort of like ask not what UUism can do for you, but ask what you can do for UUism. I recall it being a good sermon although he Dan didn't express it in quite that Kennedyesque way.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Was Tun! oder nichts?

via Belmont Club

From a review of a very good book,
This short, loosely organized collection of occasional essays makes for a surprisingly interesting and valuable book, well worth reading and pondering. Sociologist and radical activist Todd Gitlin, who has been a figure in the American Left since his Vietnam-era days in Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), has made a serious effort to reflect on the failures of the American Left since the 1960s. The criticisms he puts forward here, which are inevitably self-criticisms in part, are unsparing and penetrating, made all the more memorable by his unacademic, direct, and often epigrammatic style.

Gitlin's criticism is relentless, and will win him few new friends on the Left, though it will likely energize the many enemies he already has there. He sees a story rich with irony, in which it has been precisely the Left's most triumphant expressions in contemporary American life that led it into the spiritual wasteland in which it now finds itself. And for this lost condition, he believes, the Left has only itself to blame. It embraced the smug disassociation from existing society epitomized in the sweeping call by émigré philosopher and '60s hero Herbert Marcuse for a "Great Refusal" of the confining ideals and crass manipulations of the modern capitalist political economy. But the embrace of Marcuse's influential but ill-defined slogan has amounted in practice to a "great withdrawal," a narcissistic retreat into self-proclaimed "marginality," an obsession with ever more minute forms of identity politics and the infinite "problematizing" of "truth," a reflexive opposition to America and the West, and an immurement in "theories" whose radicalism is so pure that they never quite touch down to earth—follies all underwritten and protected by the perquisites and comforts of academia.

Gitlin argues that the results may have benefited individual leftists, who have feathered their own nests quite nicely by fusing radicalism and academic careerism, but they have been unambiguously disastrous for the Left as a political force outside the academy. "If we had a manual," Gitlin remarks, "it would be called, What is Not to Be Done." The Great Refusal turns out to have been little more than "a shout from an ivory tower," an advertisement of futility that was unable to conceal the despair, paralysis, and general contempt, including self-contempt, that lay behind it.
Was nicht Tun liebe Genossen!

Mark D. Tooley: Friends of Mahmoud - The Iranian president gets a warm reception from the religious left.

The joke may not have been to far from the mark. From Tooley in the Weekly Standard,
NOT ALL OF Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's encounters in New York during his recent trip were testy. The Shiite theocrat had what the New York Times called a "warm, even friendly exchange" with 150 church officials at the United Methodist Women's Church Center for the United Nations.

One sponsor, the Mennonite Central Committee, called the gathering a "time of dialogue and prayerful reflection among the children of Abraham." A Mennonite official further explained that "mutual respect and graciousness in this conversation blunts the demonization which is part of the current rhetoric of both governments."

The meeting is the third between Ahmadinejad and his new church friends. Forty five of them had met the Iranian during his last New York visit a year ago. And 13 church officials saw him in Iran in February.

Seemingly, the church officials are fascinated and perplexed by the chief of Iran's Islamist police state. Unlike most of them, he has uncompromising theological views, especially about the end-times, about which he shares freely. Perhaps the apocalyptic dogma is bracing to these liberal religionists, who might be inwardly bored with their own mantras about endless tolerance.

"We haven't reached the point of hard truth-telling," explained United Methodist Women's Division chief Harriet Jane Olson, as reported in her news release. "But this dialogue may help to de-escalate the language of hostility, which is a necessary part of building bridges."
I knew a Communist once in the Merchant Marine who sailed on ships organized by the Union to bring relief supplies to the Soviet Union. He was watching the ship unload in Odessa and watched the guards shoot dead a kid trying to sneak inside the ship by climbing the anchor's ropes.

He quite the Party soon after and became a Mennonite in the West Burbs. I wonder what he would have thought of this story.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pete Stark and the little Fruitcakes

Work in Health care and policy and you'll know Congressmen Stark and you'll know he's poor choice to but a positive face on any issue. Here's Fox on his outburst in 2003,
While no cameras recorded the event, a stenographer took down every word Stark uttered. Republican Rep. Kenny Hulshof recited them back on the House floor.

"'You little fruitcake, you little fruitcake, I said you are a fruitcake,'" Hulshof, R-Mo., read from the unofficial transcript.

Stark directed the word — considered by some to be a gay slur —- at Republican Rep. Scott McInnis, who is married and by all accounts not gay.

Republican sources also claim that during the chaotic scene in the committee, Stark fired another gay slur in the direction of Chairman Thomas. The word is too vulgar to print in full, but the last half of it is "sucker."
Democrats in Congress would just as soon hide Stark... and not because of his atheism but his erraticism.

At a time the UU is trying to reach out, this is the last politican we want as a public face for our faith.

Mike Gravel a Unitarian Universalist.

I didn't know Gravel was one. Check out Gravel's YouTube over at The Red Desert. I like it. No idea what the political message, but one could spin fascinating Theology from it!

Here are the UU's supporting him.

Stark's Humanism; Barack Obama's Evengelicalism

Obama tells us,
Faith, he said, is ''what propels me to do what I do and when I am down it's what lifts me up.'' The Democratic presidential candidate said God ''is with us and he wants us to do the right thing,'' including breaking down the divisions between Democrats and Republicans and among religions.
And Pete Stark tells UU's of his untroubled humanism....

...but my troubled inner humanists tells me not to care much what either believes, but ask instead what they will do when creation cruelly reveals itself and demands acts because our beliefs cheap, and without consequence.

Kristol, Burma, and our Peace-War spectrum at Church

Our Social Justice committee posted a spectrum with Just War at one end and Pacifism at the other and asked our Congregation to place a marker where they stand between the two.

I've disliked those UU spectrum. In this case, the common comment is I'm not a pacifist because I'd defend my family with violence.

Just War theory vs Pacifism are about what States should do, and not what individuals should do. There's a difference and it's old pacifists back in the 60s who told me that. They thought the what if my family attacked? argument a way of trivializing a serious policy of non-violence they advocated for the Governments, not individuals. They weren't about to abolish the police.

So, Kristol writes things the US can do now, in Burma. It's tangible and practical stuff and how people come down on these suggestions a better indicator to me on where they really fall on the spectrum of War, Peace, and Justice.

To me the flaw with Just War is the notion of Legitimate Authority. The regime in Burma today doesn't seem like one, the UN's a wishy washy one, so does the US impose itself as one? Bush talked tough about Burma at the UN, the people responded, and now look where they're at. Legitimate Authority simply doesn't hold up well in a world with globalization. It's suited for the old Nation States, and the Princes and Kings before them. It doesn't work well today and it really goes to the heart of Iraq.

Here's what Kristol proposed. Actions I think every UU should evaluate and write the rep about.
So is there nothing more the United States can do? Does the inaction of other governments require our own inaction?

What about using our national power to help the Burmese people against their tyrannical rulers? Burma's regime lost what little legitimacy it had with its bloody crackdown. Parts of the ruling elite must be nervous. Couldn't we give at least some of Burma's generals and soldiers reason to doubt the wisdom of slaughtering political opponents? Couldn't we turn our intelligence-gathering capabilities on Burma to monitor, document and publicize what is happening? Couldn't we tell the generals who are ordering and the soldiers who are carrying out this crackdown that they are being watched, that their names are being recorded -- and that the day will come when there will be plenty of evidence to hold them personally accountable for their deeds?

Couldn't we use other military and intelligence capabilities to put more stress on the regime? As Sen. Joseph Lieberman has suggested, "The junta has tried to cut off the ability of peaceful demonstrators to communicate to the outside world through the Internet and cellphone networks; we should be examining how the junta's ability to command and control its forces throughout the country might itself be disrupted." What about limited military actions, overt or covert, against the regime's infrastructure -- its military headquarters, its intelligence apparatus, its rulers' lavish palaces? Couldn't such actions have a deterrent effect, or might not they help open up fissures in the regime? Have we really done all we can to avert the disaster that is unfolding?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Petition here calling on the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the Burmese monks

via NormBlog,
There's a petition here calling on the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the Burmese monks. Please consider signing it. (Thanks: IH.)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Reactionary Radicalism: Dan Erdman's review of Look Homeward, America. In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists

From the review in Democratyia, Autumn 2007,
If there is an ideological core to 'reactionary radicalism', it is surely isolationism and pacifism. Almost every one of the people Kauffman profiles seems to have devoted their lives to the pursuit of one or both of these causes, in various different historical circumstances; Kauffman uses their stories to evangelise for these values.
It hasn't been around for a long time, but it was common in Chicago once, and I knew some of the believers.

Sinkford, Geldof, and arrogant unilaterialists

As Rev Sinkford wanders the halls of Congress, petition in hand, as monks are slaughtered in Burma, I wonder if he hasn't missed the arrogant unilateralism of China instead; and maybe ought wander over to their Embassy. The Rock Star knows better the source of cruelty,"
I was in Darfur 20 years ago and people were killing each other then. It's an ancient battle between nomadic people and settled people, between Arab Africans and black Africans, between Islam and Christians ... The reason why it has not been resolved is because of China," Geldof said.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ace on a do-nothing immorality play

Ace of Spades on Burma,
It's a Good War, to liberals and chin-strokers, because the US is doing absolutely nothing there to abate slaughter and tyranny. Which makes reporters and academics effectively our "front line" of defense -- which is how they want it. Their "defense" amounts for nothing, of course, and saves no lives and destroys no tyrant's bunkers, but they get to be the stars of this do-nothing immorality play, which is better than the non-college-educated morons in the US military who got stuck in Iraq getting to be the stars.

So we can all cluck, cluck about how horrible this all is and pretend that it matters a whit that we are collectively "horrified."

International Blogger's Day for Burma on Oct 4th

Free Burma from a comment found over at Kuan Yin's Chalice.

Ko htike blog on massacre of Monks

Via Ko Htikes Prosaic Collection. The pictures aer pretty graphic should you follow the link,
A troop of lone-tein (riot police comprised of paid thugs) protected by the military trucks, raided the monastery with 200 studying monks. They systematically ordered all the monks to line up and banged and crushed each one's head against the brick wall of the monastery. One by one, the peaceful, non resisting monks, fell to the ground, screaming in pain. Then, they tore off the red robes and threw them all in the military trucks (like rice bags) and took the bodies away.

The head monk of the monastery, was tied up in the middle of the monastery, tortured , bludgeoned, and later died the same day, today. Tens of thousands of people gathered outside the monastery, warded off by troops with bayoneted rifles, unable to help their helpless monks being slaughtered inside the monastery. Their every try to forge ahead was met with the bayonets.

When all is done, only 10 out of 200 remained alive, hiding in the monastery. Blood stained everywhere on the walls and floors of the monastery.
Jim Wallis writes The news this afternoon from Myanmar/Burma is not good, and suggests,
In response to the world wide call of Free Burma groups we have a sign in our window, THE WORLD IS WATCHING, FREE BURMA, with a candle below the sign.
Just watching seems a little obscene.