Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Unitarian Universalist's guide to ACORN and SEIU (updated x1)

Bumped today and updated for Kirk's Presser day before yesterday on Illinois, ACORN, and SEIU: Census Cut Ties With ACORN; It Should Cut Ties With SEIU, Too
by Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL)

****

A collection of links in response to Chalice Chick's posts on ACORN.

Kathleen Parker today on SEIU and ACORN: Not Far From the Tree: ACORN and Its Political Seed H/T Real Barack Obama: POTUS and SEIU: “as tight as Heidi Klum and a new pair of jeans”?

RBO from April 2009 (before the O'Keefe Giles sting) on SEIU and ACORN covering up their long assocication: ACORN Disappears Three Decades Link to Unions IT Founded (Updated 2x)

more in a bit. I want to post Keith Kelleher's history of Local 880 in Chicago. And here it is: A People's History of SEIU Local 880

The Najibullah Zazi detention Memo

Daveen Gartenstein-Ross takes a look at the detention Memo at the new blog from Long War Journal, and it's not good,
The entirety of this story has yet to be told. The detention memo makes clear, as does information previously revealed, that not all of Zazi’s associates have been arrested yet.
Situationally aware on the train today.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekend Iran Posts: Now that we know what Obama's open hand to Ahmadinejad yield



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via GOP Conference Blog,
U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference and member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following statement today after Iran revealed the development of a secret nuclear facility:

Iran’s revelation of a secret nuclear facility is disturbing yet not unexpected. Iran has deceived the world community time and time again and any assurance that their nuclear program is peaceful should be seen for what it is, just another lie.

President Obama must abandon his foreign policy that extends a hand of cooperation to our enemies, while turning a cold shoulder to our friends and a blind eye to their suffering. Continuing to hold out the false hope that this lie will be the last further endangers the safety of the American people and our allies. It is time to impose meaningful sanctions on the Iranian government, and send a strong signal that these dangerous acts of deception will not stand.

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Franks Calls on World Leaders to Act Now to Halt Iran's Nuclear Program



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Larry King's interview with Ahmadinejad. Leaders of a nuclear Iran underestimating potential responses and retaliation is extremely dangerous.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Common Sense Health Care Reforms

A much better way to go...
What Americans want are common-sense, responsible solutions that address the rising cost of health care and other major problems. In the Republican address following President Obama's speech to a Joint Session of Congress on Wednesday, September 9, 2009, Dr. Charles Boustany (R-LA) outlined a series of such solutions:

* "We do need medical liability reform, and it needs to be real reform. We need to establish tough liability reform standards, encourage speedy resolution of claims, and deter junk lawsuits that drive up the cost of care."
* "Let's also talk about letting families and businesses buy insurance across state lines. I and many other Republicans believe that will provide real choice and competition to lower the cost of health insurance."
* "All individuals should have access to coverage, regardless of preexisting conditions."
* "Individuals, small businesses and other groups should be able to join together to get health insurance at lower prices, the same way large businesses and labor unions do."
* "We can provide assistance to those who still cannot access a doctor."
* "[I]nsurers should be able to offer incentives for wellness care and prevention – something particularly important to me. I operated on too many people who could have avoided surgery if they’d simply made healthier choices earlier in life."

Iranian Queer Railroad

Here's some folks clearly standing on the right side of love.
The Board of Directors of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR) is pleased to announce the organization's federal incorporation as a non-profit group according to Canadian law. This structure helps support the long-time work of our organization's founder and current Executive Director, Arsham Parsi.

This represents a continuation of Arsham's previous work with the IRanian Queer Organization (IRQO) but with a greater focus on supporting Iranian queer refugees in their safe journey towards a life of freedom from discrimination and persecution.

Our organization's name is inspired by the "Underground Railroad" that existed more than a century ago. The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th century Black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and mainly to Canada with the aid of abolitionists who were sympathetic to their cause. In Canada, they found freedom.

The Board of Directors wishes to acknowledge and publicly thank Ottawa lawyer Philip MacAdam for his significant support in the incorporation process.

Biographies of IRQR Board Members and Executive Director can be found here To make a donation to support our work, please click here. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to send an email to info@irqr.net.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Deerslayer's Back


Slotkin's award winning classic from the 70's: Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860 I yanked my copy from way back in the shelf after prompting by two things. An email from a UU Minister announcing a series on Peace Making and violence that mentioned the dark side of life (yep, the dark and bloody ground the hunter plunges into in, and whow I hope the Minister realizes there is an American mindset out there sort of intrigued by that. A mindset fed by the Literature Slotkin masterfully reviews in his book.)

Then I saw Hurt Locker. Reviewed here by Michael Totten. The final scene is the hero returning to Iraq on day one of his second 365 day deployment. Images of him walking off the C-17 and then walking off alone in his EOD gear. (I couldn't find that final image, which is him walking away from the camera; but above pic is close enough.)

My emotion was that's exactly what I felt when I deployed. Guilt from leaving your family and pride knowing you were doing something not many could do (in my case keeping the books straight in a combat zone). My brain told me that image --playing with my emotion-- was Slokin's Deerslayer walking off into the Dark and Bloody ground, and while Slotkin's book fun to read criticism, there's nothing regenerative about it.

Anyway, the Deerslayer's back. Time to reread Slotkin.

What's a Liberal Church do when the wheels come off Liberalism?


I believed Obama's election would challenge contemporary Political Liberalism leaving it unrecognizable, and events are unfolding pretty much as I expected. The war in Afghanistan his real test. The only surprise for me was the bailouts and virtual nationalizations of GM and Chrysler. The events causing that I didn't expect; but the outcome a logical responses given Obama's frames.

The challenge will hit a Liberal Church that's become so closely coupled to Liberal Politics too. Responding to the challenge by building bunkers framed by America's violent or racist (that's new?) not healthy responses. Not responses adopting Liberal thought for today. They're bunkers to avoid engagement with anyone who disagrees.

Rev Morales talks of changing our Movement. Liberalism is facing a change. Forty years of criticism and now the mess of governing. The reality of accomplishing a Liberal agenda from the 60's and 70's in the reality of the world in 2010. It's changing our Movement to a new reality that's the challenge. I'm not sure the antique ideas we're bringing to this event will sell. I have a feeling what's going to hit us is far bigger than Rev. Morales realizes.

Little kid showing V during Qods day 18 September 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

VOICES FOR IRAN: NO to Ahmadinjad! YES to Human Rights! Rally at UN

VOICES FOR IRAN: NO to Ahmadinjad! YES to Human Rights! Rally at UN

***INVITE EVERYONE!!! FORWARD EVERYWHERE!***

***DONATE! DONATE! DONATE! at voices4iran.org (it's tax deducible!)***

Join us in New York City, September 22nd, 23rd and 24th, as we raise our Voices for Iran and demand Ahmadinejad be held accountable for crimes against the Iranian people. We call upon the international community support human rights in Iran and reject the policies of military aggression and economic starvation.


SCHEDULE (check for updates at www.voices4iran.org):

*Tue. Sept. 22nd: 6:30pm – “Iran Alive” – (47th St. & 2nd Ave.)

Art installation and performance dedicated to the people of Iran. Iran Alive is short film projected on a 300-person human screen with audio featuring recorded protest messages from Iranians inside Iran.
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* Wed. Sept. 23rd: 12:30pm - Rally outside the Iran Mission to the UN (40th st, & 3rd Ave.)

The Iran Mission serves as Ahmadinejad’s NYC headquarters. He reportedly will be having meetings there all day. Let’s make our presence felt. At 3pm we will begin a procession to the UN plaza.


*Wed. Sept. 23rd: 4:00pm – Rally outside the United Nations Building (47th st. & 2nd Ave)

Ahmadinejad speaks before the UN General Assembly around 5:00pm; our rally will last the duration of his speech.
_____________________
*Thursday. Sept 24th: 10am: March with the Green Scroll across the Brooklyn Bridge (gather at Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn)

*Thursday. Sept 24th: Music for Iran, social event fundraiser (location and time TBA)


PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE:
Denis Halliday, Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoeini, Mansour Farhang, Reese Erlich and more TBA.

PERFORMANCES BY: Arash Sobhani from Kiosk, Freedom Glory Project, Sohrab Saadat, Haale, Revolution of the Mind, Meetra A. Sofia, Turaj and more TBA.




OUR MESSAGE:

Hold Ahmadinejad Accountable. Say no to torture, killings, rape. Say yes to freedom of speech, assembly. End the show trials. Free all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and hold the real criminals accountable. Remember Neda and Sohrab, and all the victims of state violence. Oppose war and economic sanctions.

JOIN US:

We aim to have the single biggest international action ever in support of Iranian rights in one location. We encourage everyone to come to New York City September 23rd and 24th. Together we can send a message that is heard loud and clear!

Delegations are coming from all over North America and Europe including D.C., Toronto, San Fransisco, Paris, Stockholm, L.A., Seattle, Atlanta, Vancouver, Orange County, Austin, Phoenix, Houston, College Park PA and more...

Email us to find the delegation near you!

Hotels: Check out hotels.com or email us at delegations.voicesforiran@gmail.com.

For more information go to http://voices4iran.org/

The worst thing we can do is to do nothing! بدترین کاری که میتوانیم انجام دهیم این است که کاری انجام ندادن


بدترین کاری که میتوانیم انجام دهیم این است که کاری انجام ندادن!

The worst thing we can do is to do nothing!

via Freedom Fighter Iran's Facebook

'Please restrain yourself from killing us'


An Iranian protester holds up a sign reading "Please restrain yourself from killing us. Thank you. The people of Iran." H/T Bill Roggio

Ahmadinjad's NYC visit: it's not about denying the Holocaust anymore

Via Mir Hossein Mousavi's facebook,
Ahmadinejad is attending this year’s UN General Assembly yet again. Every year the protests against him were aimed at his remarks denying the Holocaust or were planned by those who were against the Islamic Republic but this year his trip will be different as there are millions of Iranians who will protest his “selection” and the crimes committed in the aftermath of election. This year he is going to face the "Green Movement" in NYC as well!
This year the protests aren't about the regimes threats to the world, but by the crimes inflicted by the regime on Iranians.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hitlerian Racism

Jesse Jackson words on Jimmy Carter's ethnic purity remarks back in Time Magazine April 1976,
The furor began when Carter was asked in Indianapolis to explain his recent statement that there was "nothing wrong with ethnic purity being maintained" in neighborhoods. Carter replied that he wholeheartedly supports open-housing laws that make it a crime to refuse to sell or rent a house or apartment on the grounds of race, color or creed. But he opposes Government programs "to inject black families into a white neighborhood just to create some sort of integration." Said he: "I have nothing against a community that is made up of people who are Polish, or who are Czechoslovakians, or who are French Canadians or who are blacks trying to maintain the ethnic purity of their neighborhoods. This is a natural inclination."
I had met Carter at the Airport in Grinnell Iowa that winter. My friend was a big Carter supporter during those Iowa primaries and had the virtually unknown Gov invited over to school to speak. He didn't impress me much then and never has since. He's as phony as a politician can come.

Preperations for Ahmadinejad’s trip to New York گزارشی از تدارك احمدی نژاد و ایرانیان خارج از كشور برای اجلاس نیویورك

A translation using google translate from Mir Hossein Mousavi میر حسین موسوی facebook followed by the Persian text.
It seems this year's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled to New York's most different trip to the United Nations, he will be a broader procurement news suggests he is the former travel. Finally, the same crime News of Parliament to pressure parliament for minority representatives to outfit with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would travel to New York suggests, was confirmed to be set for the first time representatives of religious minorities in Parliament his trip Tuesday Day to accompany. On the other hand seems to Iranians protesting the elections out of the country engaged in the provision of widespread protest to show their presence during Ahmadinejad is in New York. Or

Fars reported: Siamak Mrhsdq representative Jews, Armenians Representative Robert Byglryan South, North Gyvrk Vartan representative Armenians, Assyrians and Kldanyha Churches Btklya representative and Zoroastrian representative Esfandiar optional five representatives of religious minorities in our parliament are. Based on ordinary presidents in our past trips to America to participate in the annual UN General Assembly meeting, the only member of the Assembly representatives of religious minorities was accompanied by President of parliament, but this time invited all the representatives mentioned the trip to New York, accompanied Ahmadinejad said. or

A month before the program Parlmannyvz Atrafyan Ahmadinejad and his effort with representatives of religious minorities to travel with him in New York had sent. Said that representatives attend the visual moderate and temperate in the Ahmadinejad will show minorities. Or

On the other hand, following Wall Street Journal story titled "Iran and residing abroad to protest Ahmadinejad to accumulate" wrote: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad next week for when the UN General Assembly New York in control will be a watershed in U.S. relations with Iranians outside the country will be. Or

The magazine in its latest number writes: Thousands of Iranian cities in the U.S. and Canada for 22 to 24, in protests against Iran and protest actions following the June presidential election rights violations attributed to them it Bshrbh are the way to travel to New York.
And the original Farsi.
به نظر می رسد سفر امسال محمود احمدی نژاد به نیویورك متفاوت ترین سفر وی به سازمان ملل خواهد بود و خبرها حاكی از تداركات گسترده تر وی نسبت به سفرهای پیشین است. در همین راستا سرانجام خبر سایت پارلمان نیوز كه از اعمال فشار به نمایندگان اقلیت مجلس برای همسفر شدن با محمود احمدی نژاد در سفر به نیویورك حكایت می كرد، تایید شد و قرار شد برای نخستین بار مجموعه نمایندگان اقلیتهای دینی مجلس وی را در این سفر سه روزه همراهی كنند. از طرفی به نظر می رسد ایرانیان معترض به انتخابات در خارج از كشور نیز مشغول تدارك گسترده ای برای نشان دادن اعتراض خود در مدت حضور احمدی نژاد در نیویورك هستند.ا

فارس گزارش داد: سیامک مرهصدق نماینده کلیمیان، روبرت بیگلریان نماینده ارامنه جنوب، گیورک وارطان نماینده ارامنه شمال، یوناتن بتکلیا نماینده آشوریها و کلدانیها و اسفندیار اختیاری نماینده زرتشتیان پنج نماینده اقلیتهای دینی کشورمان در مجلس شورای اسلامی هستند. براساس روال معمول در سفرهای گذشته روسای جمهوری کشورمان به آمریکا به منظور شرکت در اجلاس سالانه مجمع عمومی سازمان ملل، تنها یکی از اعضای مجمع نمایندگان اقلیتهای دینی در مجلس رئیسجمهور را همراهی میکرد ولی این بار از همه نمایندگان مذکور دعوت شده در سفر به نیویورک، احمدینژاد را همراهی کنند.ا

یک ماه پیش پارلماننیوز از برنامه احمدینژاد و تلاش فراوان اطرافیان او برای همراه کردن نمایندگان اقلیتهای دینی با او در سفر نیویورک خبر داده بود. گفته می شود که همراه بودن این نمایندگان تصویری میانه رو و معتدل از احمدی نژاد در رابطه با اقلیت ها نشان خواهد داد.ا

از سوی دیگر، وال استريت ژورنال ذیل مطلبی با عنوان "ايرانی های مقيم خارج از کشور برای اعتراض به احمدی نژاد جمع مى شوند" نوشته است: محمود احمدی نژاد رئيس جمهوری ايران هفته آينده هنگامی که برای شرکت در مجمع عمومی سازمان ملل متحد وارد نيويورک مى شود شاهد نقطه عطفی در مناسبات دولت خود با ايرانيان مقيم خارج از کشور خواهد بود. ا

این نشریه در تازه ترین شماره خود می نويسد: هزاران ايرانی از شهرهای مختلف در آمريکا و کانادا برای شرکت در تظاهرات ۲۲ تا ۲۴ سپتامبر عليه دولت ايران و اعتراض به اقداماتی که در پی انتخابات ژوئن رياست جمهوری در مورد نقض حقوق بشربه آن نسبت داده مى شود راهی سفر به نيويورک هستند.ا

Pelosi in Squeezing $500 billion from Medicare

Well, start now.... it's gonna take a might umpf to get $500 billion outta the program.

Peace Making Issue: Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan

From SF Chronicle's Deb Saunder's The Democrats' Hypocrisy
,As The Chronicle reported Wednesday, U.S. helicopters swept into Somalia and killed al-Qaida operative Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan. That's a good thing. But as of my deadline, the newspaper didn't receive a single letter to the editor complaining about U.S. imperialism, colonialism or military overreach.

Under Bush, I believe, the criticism would have been shrill. It's great to see Democrats talking about the need for civility in the Capitol -- so much so that the House passed a resolution reprimanding Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., for "a breach of decorum and degraded the proceedings" when he yelled, "You lie," to Obama as the president addressed a joint session of Congress earlier this month.
As far as I can tell, the UU Peace Making community silent on this one too. I agree it was a very good thing. Had we captured him Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan instead, I'd ague he should be held in Gitmo for the duration, until Bin Laden issues the Fatwa of surrender. But to scream at the Bush Administration, and go silent with Obama's is an Hypocrisy that will destroy Democrats and UUism alike.

Inner City Tough Guys and Eric Holder


CC wrote,
Oh, come on, Bill, be straight with me, big city person to big city person. Color notwithstanding, you know what real prostitutes look like, and you know what real inner-city tough guys look like.
So here's a picture of one and he's actually an Elmwood Park Illinois tough guy: John "No Nose" Difronzo. Rod Blagojevich was going to pay Eric Holder up to $300,000 to prove Difronzo had nothing to do with Rosemont, Illinois. A picture of the two at the Presser announcing Rosement's vetting.

It was a deal with Illinois Holder omitted from his background check for Attorney General, causing the former head of Illinois's Gaming Commission to say,
In an interview Tuesday, the Gaming Board's chief investigator in 2004 said the timing of Blagojevich's appointment of Holder raised the staff's suspicions.

"The concern was Holder had a bias to do whatever Blagojevich wanted, which was to give the casino to Rosemont," said Jim Wagner, who was a top Chicago FBI agent before he joined the Gaming Board, from which he retired in December 2005. "We all believed the only reason Holder was coming in was to fashion an investigation that would manipulate the casino into Rosemont."

Wagner also said the matter should be explored by the Senate Judiciary Committee. "It ought be brought up and vetted totally as to what motivated him to leave it off" the questionnaire, Wagner said.
So you don't really need to go to the inner city to meet gamblers, whores, pimps and even their sponsers. You can come to my home in Chicago's West Burbs.

They just look like average Americans. Sometimes they wear white shirts and ties. The only thing that makes them a bit different --from my experience-- is they sometimes brag about violence they may never have committed. It's kind of way of establishing their bona fides. Hey, your dealing with a made guy so watch your step. That's the way Mr. Difronso can do it sometimes, and perhaps that's what that ACORN lady was all about too. ACORN will have to hire themselves connected lawyers now to tell us what we saw; wasn't.

Peace Making issue: Brezinski Calls for Obama to Shoot Down Israeli Jets

via The Daily Beast via The Weekly Standard,
How aggressive can Obama be in insisting to the Israelis that a military strike might be in America’s worst interest?
We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?

What if they fly over anyway?
Well, we have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a Liberty in reverse. [Israeli jet fighters and torpedo boats attacked the USS Liberty in international waters, off the Sinai Peninsula, during the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel later claimed the ship was the object of friendly fire.]


Footnote: The Captain writes, Why Can't We Just Say 'No' to War?

Easy, because War doesn't say no to us, and Mars throws this question in our face; to the only Nation with the means to struggle with it.

America's exceptional whether we like it or not, because of our work; not God's. So best leave God and Jesus out of it and sort this one out for ourselves, with History our Judge; a Clean Conscience our only reward.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

When President Obama stands on the wrong side of love.

So when the Prez picks the wrong side of love as here: Obama admin: dismiss gay couple benefits lawsuit, and the kind of anger seen here gets turned on the Administration, will it be driven by racism?



And when Dick Cheney can seem to the left of the Prez, will a UU welcome him for siding with Love?



Obama may soon meet General McCyrstal's request for 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan. I'll stand with Obama. Many fellow UU's won't. Would it be fair for me to label their opposition racist?

We ought to think a little harder about these divides we're building. And our quickness to label.

We're going to end up looking jackasses in hindsight. Not a thoughtful way to build a Church.

Lech Wałęsa talks about missile shield

Via Warsaw Business Journal via Weekly Standard,
Former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Lech Wałesa, has spoken out about media reports that the US has scrapped plans to install a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

“Americans have always cared only about their interests, and all other [countries] have been used for their purposes. This is another example,” Mr Wałęsa told TVN24. “[Poles] need to review our view of America, we must first of all take care of our business,” he added.

“I could tell from what I saw, what kind of policies President Obama cultivates,” the former president added. “I simply don't like this policy, not because this shield was required [in Poland], but [because of] the way we were treated,” he concluded.
A promo for the Polish film Katyn. The first Polish movie about the massacre in the Katyn Forest, west of the Russian town of Smolensk, where Soviet secret police killed Polish army officers and civilians taken prisoners from 1939-40. Pay attention to the Polish Woman telling her husband, don't tell me about hope.

Stand by Iran Ralley in NYC September 22-24: Rev Morales Opportunity to restore UU Honor after Sinkford

From Stand with Iran,
Join us in New York City on September 22-24 as we raise our Voices for Iran and demand Ahmadinejad be held accountable for crimes against the Iranian people. We aim to have in one location the biggest international action ever in support of Iranian rights.
An opportunity for Rev Morales to stand on the right side and make up for this disgraceful moment in UU history.

YouTube below of Quds Day demo,

Protestors taking down Hezbollah Banner پایین کشیدن بیلبورد حزب الله لبنان توسط مردم

پایین کشیدن بیلبورد حزب الله لبنان توسط مردم

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ACORN Child Prostitution Sting Continues. More from San Bernardino and San Diego — and the ObaMedia finally weighs in

Geez, full post over at Real Barack Obama. My Senators Durbin and Burris two of the seven Senators who couldn't vote to defund ACORN. 83 Senators had the horse sense to defund.

Asad Khan Betani: Al-Qaeda return to Afghanistan?

I'll quibble on some details here, but priorities are definitely clearer from Peshawar and Quetta. Asad Khan Betani from a cached copy of his article,
The month of July 2009, proved the most deadliest month for US and foreign troops in Afghanistan, and the month of August also passed same as July, but Barack Hussain Obama is still paying much attention towards health care reform rather than mass destruction in Afghanistan.
Read the whole thing and add The Frontier to your list of AM reading.

Iranian Opposition Vows To Turn Quds Day Green

From Radio Free Europe via Iran Quest. Watch Iran tomorrow,
The founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, designated the last Friday of Ramadan as a day for Iranians and Muslims to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian people and their cause.

But this year, Quds Day (Jerusalem Day) could instead reexpose the fissures that exist as a result of Iran’s severe political crisis.

Amid official warnings not to turn Quds Day into a protest against President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, whose reelection led to massive street protests that were met with a violent crackdown, three leading opposition figures say they will join the pro-Palestinian mass rally on September 18.

The leaders of the opposition movement, former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi, and former President Mohammad Khatami — who have said Ahmadinejad’s reelection was the result of massive fraud — have announced that they will take part in the demonstrations in Tehran.

Billion Dollar Winner - The Novel by A P Jones‏

A P Jones writes,
My first novel is out and I will be reading from it and selling it on Saturday Oct. 3, 2009 at Kennedy King College Theatre, 740 W. 63rd Street, Noon until 3:00 p,m. I will be on a panel discussion that day and the special guest is DJ Herb Kent. For those under 30 or just "not in the know", Herb Kent was the preeminent DJ on WVON in the heyday of Motown, Epic Records, etc.

Please come out and support me on that day as well as pass this information on to all the people on your email lists.

For those who live outside of the Chicagoland area, or who are unavailable to make it that day, my book is available on Amazon.com Billion Dollar Winner. I am ordering 500 copies to sell myself, so feel free to contact me via email (preferred) for a copy that is personally autographed by me to you.

Also visit my blog and read the prologue to the book.


--
A. P. Jones - Author

Billion Dollar Winner - The Novel

www.billiondollarwinner.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Standing on the Side of Love: Just for Marriage?

I have to wade through all the comments on my blog and over at Chalice Blog, but I'm surprised to read the Standing on the Side of Love slogan intended for Marriage Equality campaign only. It's so fundamental, and for so many people God is Love, that it really seemed a universal slogan for me. A question one supposed to ask when faced with any decision: Am I standing on Love's Side if I do A, instead of do B.

If it's a limited slogan, maybe it ought to be qualified.

Footnote: Speaking of slogans, I mentioned once in Social Justice committee I thought the Marriage Equality slogan was a bit of muddle. I said we ought to just say we'd marry one man and one woman, or one man and one man, or one woman and one woman. I thought that would be clearer than Marriage Equality which just raised more questions: was your current marriage equal to your last one, is mine equal to yours, is mine equal today to ten years ago?

The responses was a quick oh no, people (meaning UUs) wouldn't buy that.

That surprised me.

So fuzzy language intended to shield UUs as much as the rest.

Love might even get confused then if we keep that up. She might get angry with us.

The Tragedy of Obama Care

Hatch nails the real tragedy,
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said an alternative to the broad overhaul could be as simple as providing subsidies to the roughly 15 million Americans who he said truly cannot afford coverage.
It's really that simple. The indigent have Medicaid. If someone can't afford coverage and they're too wealthy for Medicaid, give them a voucher. If someone has a pre-existing condition, give them a voucher to cover the risk the insurer won't. If someone can't afford insurance, give 'em a break.

The solution is as simple as that, but put the social engineers in charge, and we get complicated overhauls no one believes will pass the President's Dime test I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits either now or in the future. Period.

If Health Care is a moral test, these guys from Chicago have flunked.

Exploring Bioethics with Uncle Sam

My latest Press Release from National Institute of Health was this: NIH Releases Innovative Approach to Exploring Bioethics in New Curriculum Supplement
Should Carl, a high school baseball player, take steroids to improve his performance and win a college scholarship?

Luke is 58 years old, Emily is 36, and Mario is just 6 months old. All have liver failure. Which one should get the liver that has become available for transplantation?

Joy refuses to be vaccinated. Should she be forced to get a vaccine? Does it matter that the reason she doesn’t want to be vaccinated is her fear of needles? Would her refusal be fairer if vaccinations were against her religious beliefs?

Now teachers will have an innovative approach for students to address these and other bioethical questions. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the global nonprofit Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), developed "Exploring Bioethics," a high school curriculum supplement. It serves as a guide for teachers to foster thoughtful classroom discussions on topical bioethical issues.
Go to the website and you'll find more. Here's module six
6. Modifying the Natural World: Human Responsibilities toward Animals Examine human responsibilities to animals and analyze whether respect for persons should be extended to other species.
Or up a bit to module two,
2. Balancing Individual and Community Claims: Establishing State Vaccination Policies Determine and justify a position that balances individual rights against the best interests of a school community.
So who defines the community's interests? The Community Activists over at ACORN? The Ward Regular Democratic Organization?

And back on up to the start with mod one,
1. Bioethics Concepts and Skills Introduce students to a new model for examining bioethical issues. Apply this model to two cases involving the use of enhancements in sports.
So what exactly was the old model this new model replaced?

I just finished putting the third and last through High Schcool. None of them ever came home with the old bioethics model. What exactly is the old Model NIH has replaced with this New Model? What were the changes?

email to Dr Vannier on it's way.... He owes Americans a little more about the Government Ethics he's zipping off to our kids classrooms.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What side of Love stood James L. Pouillon? - Part 2

What side of Love stood James L. Pouillon was my question. I'd say Love stood on Pouillon's side but I'm not certain. (I'm not as smug a moralist as Murf says I am. I hope Love's on our side, but I'm with JFK,...knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own. So best we can do is just hope we get it right.)

I'm guessing many UUs, at least those who blog, would venture that Mr. Pouillon wasn't on Love's side. His death was tragic of course, but he wasn't standing with Love, and he certainly was not murdered because he stood with Love.

Maybe the difficulty answering this question lies with the notion of Judging who's on loves side, and maybe we should return to a kind of Liberalism that didn't judge that? A Liberalism that humbly said we go forth knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own. And then just quit making these "God Like" allocations on the divide. Smug moralist that I am, knocking off this standing on the side of love frame seems a more humble (and truthful) response to events.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

For UU Peace Makers: Chavez: American Empire must be wiped off the map

Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi translates from Farsi this,
Khomeinist regime-run newspaper Rehsaalat reports: Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela speaking in Moscow on the subject of "friendship between our two nations" emphasized the need to free the world of American domination. According to the Bolivarian news agency of Venezuela, Chavez who travelled to Russia last week, reiterated that now more than ever people are becoming aware of the need to free the world of American sovereignty. Chavez who spoke at the Friendship University of Russia, in Moscow assured that the American "Empire" will be wiped off the planet during the current century. He added: "If the United States does not collapse, humanity will and therefore a choice must be made. Most of the countries of the world are allied empires which devour people; now a new unity has developed among countries that is to their advantage. If we do not destroy the political, economic, military rule that Imperialism wishes to impose on the world, we will slip into barbarism. Russia has risen to this occasion and things must continue as such."
Translated from Farsi by yours truly with original link: http://www.iranpressnews.com/source/065341.htm
I think Chavez means it. Dismiss him as a buffoon? Maybe, but he's talking in Iran to a regime intent on making nuclear weapons.

Chris Kelly RIP

For PG who wonders about why we don't hear more. The trials not til next June, but the pressure intense. Blagojevich's trial only going to get uglier and more tragic, and the investigation still ongoing.



Chicago Trib's John Kass on Kelly. A guy who knew guys.

Mayor of Country Club Hills on investigation,

 

Update: Carol Marin quotes George Ryan's former COS, Scot Fawell,
Fawell today is out of prison. He summed up his experience this way last month: "Illinois politics is a contact sport. . . . Get in the game and you may get hurt. I paid a very serious price."

Not as serious as Chris Kelly.

TeaPartyExpress.org; The 912 Project
















Harry Reid's Evil-Mongers on the march. Video and much more over at the Real Barack Obama.

Footnote: Timelapse on the above picture. H/T Michelle Malkin



Gateway Pundit was covered rally at Quincy Illionis

Commentary by Lydia DePillis in TNR: Tea'd Off

What side of Love stood James L. Pouillon?

The UU blogosphere lit up for Tiller but so far seems pretty silent for Pouillon.

Will we see statements like this from UUA?

Has the divide blurred? Or is it somewhat arbitrary about slicing through; evil-mongers obvious in one narrative, not so in others. Or is love sometimes blind, by choice?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Obama throws illegal immigrants under the bus

Steve Holland notes,
Tucked into President Barack Obama's speech to the U.S. Congress was a new talking point -- that his aim is to get health insurance for 30 million uninsured people, not 46 million.

"There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage," Obama said on Wednesday. Back in August, he had said: "We've got 46-47 million people without health insurance in our country."

Why the change?

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama was making the point that under his plan, illegal immigrants would not get health insurance.
I don't think American Health Care is broken. I think it's world class and we ought to export it. Maybe a start would be billing the much vaunted Foreign Health Care systems for care given immigrants, instead of throwing 16 million folks under the bus for political expediency's sake.

Update: A post clipped in full from the Weekly Standard Blog. I share Philip Terzian's thought in full,
Why Does President Obama Want to Deny Health Care to Illegal Immigrants?

Rep. Joseph Wilson of South Carolina shouted 'You lie!' from the floor when President Obama told Congress that his health care 'reform' proposals would not insure illegal aliens. As it happens, it was Joseph Wilson, and not Barack Obama who spoke the truth in that exchange, and I leave it to others to sort out the etiquette of presidential harangues to joint sessions of Congress.

But what struck me was the substance of Obama's assertion: What sort of humane national health-insurance program would pointedly exclude illegal aliens? There is no national debate, so far as I know, about the fact that we offer free, competent, taxpayer-subsidized health care to convicted felons, pedophiles, rapists, and murderers of the cruelest variety--that is to say, to the millions of Americans currently in prison--but a Democratic president is eager to deny health care to people who live here peaceably, pay taxes, and make a vital contribution to the American economy? Barack Obama would subsidize health care for Charles Manson, but not the man who fills your potholes or the woman who scrubs your toilet.
If you pay taxes, you ought to be covered as any other tax payer. And then, we ought to be billing the home country's for care given. We need to export health care, not limit and constrain an industry we do better than anyone else in the world.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Camp Dodge, Iowa 1918

18,000 men preparing for war in a training camp at Camp Dodge in Iowa.

The Evolution of God

I haven't read the book yet. He's got a style that grates me a bit, but interesting questions that appeal to my historical bent.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Why Red 68er me can feel at home at a Tea Party protest

Camille Paglia gets it,
Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism.
And she gets better with this: a critique of the Industrial-University worthy of Cohn-Bendit.
But affluent middle-class Democrats now seem to be complacently servile toward authority and automatically believe everything party leaders tell them. Why? Is it because the new professional class is a glossy product of generically institutionalized learning? Independent thought and logical analysis of argument are no longer taught. Elite education in the U.S. has become a frenetic assembly line of competitive college application to schools where ideological brainwashing is so pandemic that it's invisible. The top schools, from the Ivy League on down, promote "critical thinking," which sounds good but is in fact just a style of rote regurgitation of hackneyed approved terms ("racism, sexism, homophobia") when confronted with any social issue. The Democratic brain has been marinating so long in those clichés that it's positively pickled.
Un homme n'est pas stupide ou intelligent, il est libre ou il n'est pas

via Slogans of 68

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Van Jones: Not Just a 'Truther,' a 'Deserver'

H/T RBO Vetting Van Jones

geez, a summary of the Sept 13, 2001, Emergency Action Against Racism and War (Oakland). Quoted in full (see how long it stays up) with Van Jones words bolded.
One summary of tonight's rally in oakland

Community Gathers in Oakland to Mourn and Organize Against Racist Violence Committed by US Government

Oakland, CA (September 13) - Hundreds of people gathered at Snow Park in Oakland tonight to mourn, provide support for each other, and speak out against violent United States policies at home and abroad, which they say are the underlying reasons for unprecedented terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC. Organizing against a growing climate of racism, nationalism and anti-Arab bigotry was a focus of the rally.

Organized by youth and people of color in Oakland and San Francisco, solidarity speakers included supporters of Palestine, people returning from the WCAR in South Africa, police brutality activists, anarchists and socialists, anti-gentrification activists and other people representing dozens of cultures and ethnicities. International solidarity was the theme as community and activist groups stood together against the threat of more US violence. Michael Franti of Spearhead also spoke, saying that "we need to be in a war against war."

In addition to an open mic, people at the rally talked with friends and strangers, cried, and began coming to terms with the events of the last three days. Many people who attended have family members still missing on the east coast. And many others have been the target of increased racism and discrimination during times of crisis in the United States, like the Oklahoma City bombing or Gulf War.

A recurring theme of the speakers was the brutal violence committed by or supported by the United States government on a daily basis. "The bombs the government drops in Iraq are the bombs that blew up in New York City," said Van Jones, director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, who also warned against forthcoming violence by the Bush Administration. "The US cannot bomb its way out of this one. Safety at home requires justice abroad."

In a diverse international community shocked by recent world events, deep feelings about the United States government were expressed. A young Puerto Rican person said that "the belly of the beast had something back to eat." A young Filipino human rights activist said that "when we found out what kind of place got hit, we were kind of glad to see the Pentagon burning. But we also know that thousands of Puerto Ricans, Haitians and other workers were in those buildings." An African-American man who works on gentrification issues in West Oakland said that "we're always seeing Americans drop bombs on people. We watch the Vietnamese get bombed, Iraqis get bombed, Palestinians get bombed, now it has come home to roost." Japanese-Americans spoke about internment camps and the nuclear holocaust brought on by US militarism.

Violence and repression within the United States was also talked about. A representative of TransAction said, "We know what it's like to experience police violence on a daily basis." Mesha Monge-Irizarry, the mother of Idriss Stelley (who was killed by SFPD in June), also spoke: "We pray for many lives killed by this government, of black people, and of innocent black people in the third world who will be slaughtered with this terrorism retaliation."

United States support, in the form of arms and funding, for apartheid in Israel was also discussed. "You want to know why they hate us?" asked one woman. "Forty Israeli tanks just entered Jericho tonight."

Those present were determined to make their voices heard in an increasingly hostile, war-mongering climate scripted by the government and recited by corporate media. They also vowed to fight within their own communities against racism and hostility towards Arab-Americans. Everyone sensed that this was an important time in history, and that the stuggle against injustice requires international solidarity. "Everyone should be as wise as these inner-city youth here today," Van Jones concluded. "We all have more in common with the working people of the earth than we do with George Bush or Colin Powell."

An African-American man summarized his feelings: "We don't want innocent people dying. But that's the price we pay for the government in this country."
Worth noting the direct link Jones found between Iraq and 911. Al Qaeda struck America because of Iraq sanctions and bombings. Safety at home does require Justice abroad and a first step was getting ride of Saddam Hussein.

I imagine Van Jones doesn't quite see it that way, but in a weird way he's right.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Van Jones: The problem with White House Czars is no one does a background check on 'em

A post from Sept 5th on my political blog: Bill Baar's West Side for UU's first hearing about Van Jones. Also my post over at the Real Barack Obama: Bill Baar: What does an Energy Czar do?

Gatway Pundits been all over Obama Energy Czar Van Jones. Here's the lastest.
Barack Obama's wacky communist-Truther Green Czar who hated Bush, whitey and capitalism also spent some time in the music studio. While he was director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Van Jones cut a vile CD against whites, the government, Israel, The Man, oil companies, and everything else American. Van Jones was even featured in the recording!


And the quote from Van Jones,
Van Jones: At this point. The end of the occupation. The right of return of the Palestinian people. These are critical dividing lines in human rights. We have to be here. No American would put up with an Israeli-style occupation of their hometown for 53 days let alone 54 years. US tax dollars are funding violence against people of color inside the US borders and outside the US borders.
Getting crowded under the Obama bus? Expect Jones out by Labor Day? Geez if Jones had been appointed to some political job at Energy instead, you'd think someone would have picked this up before a hearing.

Related Stuff:

Pat Hickey sums up Van Jones.

The Columbine quote via RBO



And this from RBO Loudon: Van Jones is a Communist — No Ifs, No Buts — Valerie Jarrett Has Been “Watching”
Even more stunning is the only day-old admission by “the other half of Obama’s Brain”, Valerie Jarrett, that “we” have been watching Van Jones for some years and are “so happy to recruit him to the White house”
great... Jarrett's checked out from rational thought too. What could they be thinking hiring a loud mouth like Jones?

RBO's Van Jones reader.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

oh Jess, End of Life Counseling does not = death panel

Oh Jess, really,
I figure that the people who are really convinced that end of life counseling = death panels are not going to be swayed
The Counseling isn't he panel. The Panel developing the protocol with every Doc in the US reimbursed to us it is the panel. (CMS is sure to define just what that counseling is going to include and a protocol is how that will be done, and implemented via an electronic medical record).

Consider NHS's Liverpool Pathway in the Telegraph yesterday.
Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.

As a result the scheme is causing a “national crisis” in patient care, the letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, and four others.

“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.

“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients."
A Federal Panel promolgating a clinical pathway to be read to Medicare patients every five years --and yes of course a patient may decline-- is the problem. Federalized tick box medicine is the danger and the debate in the UK explains exactly why.

Claire Rayner of the UK's Patient Association wrote to The Guardian a few days ago,

On a slightly separate note: since we at the Patients Association published our report, some people have said to me: "Won't all this publicity about cases of poor care have a bad effect on the NHS's reputation in the US, where they're already saying awful things about it and how much they don't want a similar system of their own?"

Much as I would like to respond to their ill-informed opinions with a crisp "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn what you think," let me instead point out that any intelligent American Republican should be able to see clearly that the anger we are expressing shows just how good the NHS normally is. And exposing the fact that we have a few rotten apples (so rare in the US, according to the self-aggrandising politicians I have heard slagging off our system) and are determined to seek them out and deal with them shows how much we care about our vulnerable, frail, and helpless elders.
What I see from Ms Rayner here is the Clinical gone Political.

The Clinical practice of writing protocols for palliative care responding to the politics of how NHS seen in America. That's what happens when Government creates panels to drive Clinical Practice, write evidence based protocols and encourage their use through incentives in the reimbursement system. Who is to say the budget won't be a driver too for setting practice? That's the fear of many people about having such a huge Government Agency as proposed by HR3200 with is sundry panels and Health Exchanges. We'll get politicized Medical care driven by pathways and algorithims.

Response to Jess on HR3200 and End-of-Life

Jess's last comment and my response,
Then go to a doctor who is trained for it, duh.

This provision of this bill is for VOLUNTARY counseling, so that a doctor can get paid for providing a service to a patient. If a doctor isn’t trained for doing this kind of counseling, a patient can always go somewhere else.

Also, H.R. 3200 provides funds for more doctors to GET trained to do counseling on end of life options. At this point, Bill, you’re arguing for the sake of argument, and not because you have a valid point.

(your comments consolidated for clarity)
Jess, all counseling is VOLUNTARY. No health care is mandatory save for those committed to care.

My concern with HR3200 and your thought what’s wrong with saving money through end of life counseling? was expressed best by Chicago's Cardinal Bernadine --an advocate of single payer by the way-- back in 1977 when HCFA last sought to save a few dollars implementing a similar end-of-life counseling provision,
'The message is clear: government can save money by encouraging old people to die a little sooner than they otherwise would. Instead of being regarded with reverence, and cherished, human life is subject in this view to a utilitarian cost-benefit calculus and can be sacrificed to serve fiscal policy and the sacred imperative of trimming a budget.'

“With three states having legalized physician-assisted suicide, this provision could create a slippery slope for a more permissive environment for euthanasia, mercy-killing and physician-assisted suicide because it does not clearly exclude counseling about the supposed benefits of killing oneself.

“Health care reform that fails to protect the sanctity and dignity of all human life is not reform at all.”
God rest his soul. The Cardinal was right. A reform that embraces a utilitarian cost-benefit calculus and asks what’s wrong with saving money through end of life counseling, isn't reform or very liberal. It is cold.

Regarding,
At this point, Bill, you’re arguing for the sake of argument, and not because you have a valid point.
Argue for the sake of argument? No, I like to think instead, of the quote from Joyce (I'd see it below his portrait hanging at O'Rourkes at North and Sedgeweck from Nelsen Algren's stool): To make the blind see I throw sand in their eyes..

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Blackfive: McChrystal's Report

Blackfive writes,
Man it would be nice to read McChrystal's report and have the brain trust here at Blackfive looking at it rather than just reading about it in leaks to MSM outlets. Ya' know? I'm just sayin', man it would be nice.
Is that too much to ask in a Democracy of our forces? That they make public reports to the Commander-in-Chief before they leak the report to legacy media?