Friday, September 30, 2011

The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : The Awlaki Precedent

The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : The Awlaki Precedent:

More thoughtfullness from the Libertarian Candidate for the GOP Prez nomination: Gary Johnson, and the Libertarian American Spectator, than found on the UU Blogosphere or creating peace listserv. So smitten (still) with Obama they can't bring themselves to reflect?

No tears for al-Awlaki from me, but there's still a principle here that ought be examined. Especially from those who were so appoplextic on Bush and GWOT.
Gary Johnson says in a statement on the killingof Anwar al-Awlaki:
I understand that laws may allow these decisions by thePresident and other officials in regard to al-Awlaki, and I do notin any way want to diminish the skill and dedication of our CIA andmilitary. But, at the same time, it must not be overlooked - andthoughtfully examined - that our government targeted a U.S. citizenfor death, and carried out that sentence on foreign soil. To myknowledge, that is a first, and a precedent that raises seriousquestions...

The world is very likely a better place without al-Awlaki in it,but let us not neglect to ask the tough questions this attackraises and about the laws that allowed it to be carried out.

Grave Tales: Geneva Unitarian Pastor, Pioneer, Killed Wolves and Fought Slavery - Geneva, IL Patch

Grave Tales: Geneva Unitarian Pastor, Pioneer, Killed Wolves and Fought Slavery - Geneva, IL Patch:

From a local paper on my Church's founder. Notice the comment at the end about tweeting from Conant's diary. Haven't seen that yet. It's and interesting idea for promoting the Church.
Geneva became the center of a far-flung Unitarian ministry. Augustus founded societies in Belvidere, Elgin and Joliet, and regularly traveled to Wisconsin and Indiana to preach and hand out religious tracts. But as national tensions mounted, his anti-slavery stance made many prominent parishioners turn away.On June 20, 1857, he wrote, “I have passed through many trials as a Christian minister, some of the severest growing out of my preaching against slavery in opposition to the prejudices and wishes of a portion of the society. The disaffection has been so great that the congregation has been considerably diminished, and my hopes of usefulness in Geneva greatly reduced.”

Two weeks later Augustus left his Geneva and Elgin congregations to lead the Rockford Unitarian Society, though Collyer doesn’t say whether he moved out of the city. Four years after that, he and his two sons all joined the Union Army. Augustus, now 50, served as chaplain of the 19th Illinois regiment. His letters to his wife include cheerful descriptions of military life.

In late January 1863, Augustus was working as a field medic during a battle near Murfreesboro, Tenn., when he encountered his son Neroy fighting with a different regiment. He wrote to Betsy that he had found their son in good health and brought him a cup of tea during a lull in the fighting.

A week later, Neroy wrote to his mother that Augustus had contracted a respiratory infection, attributed to overwork during the battle, but that he would care for his father until he recovered. Though Neroy plied Augustus with medicine and currant wine, Augustus died Feb. 8.

The pioneer farmer, theological scholar and fiery abolitionist may lie in West Side Cemetery, but his legacy still resonates. Collyer’s biography is posted online at, where all 94 pages can be read for free. This year, the Des Plaines Historical Society is presenting Conant’s diary entries from his years there as daily tweets on Twitter. That’s a far cry from the originals, which Collyer described as being written on coarse paper with “abominable” home-made ink.

Yemen claims AQAP cleric Anwar al Awlaki 'killed' in airstrike - The Long War Journal

Via Bill Roggio's invaluable Long War Journal. Yemen claims AQAP cleric Anwar al Awlaki 'killed' in airstrike - The Long War Journal:

So much for the Judicial Model. This is War.
Yemen's Defense Ministry claimed that today its forces killed Anwar al Awlaki, the American cleric who serves as an operational commander for al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen. Samir Khan, another American who runs Inspire magazine, is also said to have been killed. The report has not been confirmed.

"The government of the Republic of Yemen announced today the death of Anwar Al Awlaki, the American born terrorist and member of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," the message stated. "Awlaki was targeted and killed 8 KM from the town of Khashef in the Province of Jawf (140KM east of the Capital Sana'a). The operation was launched earlier today at around 9:55 AM, local time." Al Jawf province is a haven for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Defense Ministry later said that Khan was also killed in the same strike. Khan runs AQAP's English-language propaganda, and has published an article in Inspire entitled "I Am Proud to be a Traitor to America." Prior to leaving the US last year, he ran the pro-al Qaeda Inshallahshaheed website.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Normal Mormons | The Christian Century

Normal Mormons | The Christian Century:

Universalists like us. Jana Reiss on how the Spooky Mormon Hell Dream from the musical The Book of Mormon.
The worldview mocked by the rest of the song is a fiction: Mormons don't believe in any sort of eternal hell that resembles the one depicted in the song. In fact, one of the sticking points between LDS theology and mainstream creedal Christianity is Joseph Smith's near-universalism and his emphasis on the three levels of paradise that the vast majority of humanity will find themselves in after the final judgment. A popular Mormon folk story features Smith's teaching that even the lowest kingdom in heaven is a paradise so divine that anyone who caught a glimpse of it would be tempted to commit suicide to get there sooner. The story is probably apocryphal, but the spiritual point hits home: in the Mormon cosmology, almost everyone attains some version of heaven, even adherents of other religions.

Girl accused of blasphemy for a spelling error – The Express Tribune

Via E Tribune, Girl accused of blasphemy for a spelling error – The Express Tribune:

Only insecuirty on a grand scale explains this.
ABBOTTABAD: It may have been a mere misplaced dot that led to accusations of blasphemy against a Christian eighth-grader, whose miniscule error led to her expulsion from school and uproar amongst local religious leaders.

Faryal Bhatti, a student at the Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony Havelian, erroneously misspelt a word in an Urdu exam while answering a question on a poem written in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The word in question was ‘laanat’ instead of ‘naat’ – an easy error for a child to make, as the written versions of the words are similar.

According to the school administration and religious leaders who took great exception to the hapless student’s mistake, the error is ‘serious’ enough to fall within the realm of blasphemy, Saturday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hope Redefined: Unitarian or...?

Via Hope Redefined, Hope Redefined: Unitarian or...?:

From a thoughtful post. I can't comment over on the blog because of some weird quirk with a new version of IE I'm using. Rev Charles Lyttle once suggested our Church would be better titled the First Liberal Church rather than Unitarian Universalist Society and I suspect he was right. Liberal relgion far easier to explain than either Unitarian or Universalist religion.
As it stands now, I find such debates de-motivating - partly because the debate is over. Organised Unitarianism in Britain, as it is in the United States, is firmly on track to either a new Post-Christian era or extinction - probably a mix of both. There maybe the odd rural or small town Unitarian congregation here and there that maintains a Christian identity and programme of worship, probably in the gentle, liberal mould of Martineau more than the radical, forward-running mould of Channing et al. But in the bigger cosmopolitan cities I think we'll see the Religious Humanists, Buddhists and Neo-Pagans - in my experience a bit younger and more assertive - take the lead, actively seeking to 'evolve' from the liberal, rationalist Christian roots of Unitarianism.

Herman Cain on Morgan Freeman's Tea Party Racism charge

Also, some video of Cain speaking to the Chicago Tea Party

Libyan Rebels Say Mass Grave Found With Bodies Of 1,270 Killed By Qaddafi | Fox News

Now the mass graves will reveal themselves and the dead speak.
Libyan Rebels Say Mass Grave Found With Bodies Of 1,270 Killed By Qaddafi | Fox News: Libyan revolutionary authorities say they have discovered a mass grave containing the remains of 1,270 inmates killed by the regime of Muammar Qaddafi in a 1996 prison massacre.

The site was found near Tripoli's Abu Salim prison, where the victims were killed on June 26, 1996, after protesting conditions at the facility.

King Abdullah: Saudi Arabia women can vote, hold elected office in 2015

King Abdullah: Saudi Arabia women can vote, hold elected office in 2015:

My friends watching the Kingdom will have to deconstruct this one for me.
Woman will soon be able to vote in Saudi Arabia, but they still can't drive a car.

Saudi King Abdullah announced on Sunday that not only will females be allowed to vote in municipal elections in that Middle Eastern country, they will also be allowed to hold office, according to news outlets in the region.

"Because we refuse to marginalize women in society in all roles that comply with Shariah, we have decided, after deliberation with our senior ulema and others to involve women in the Shoura Council as members in line with the Shariah regulations, starting from the next term," the king said in an address to the Shoura Council in Riyadh, according to the English-language Arab News.

Zainab Al-Husni RIPs

Via Free detainees... Zainab Al-Husni, murdered by the Assad Regime « The photos of this atrocity easily found on the net. They're too graphic for me to post.
Please share this tragic story of the young martyr Zainab Al-Husni, whose head, arms & legs were cut off by the Assad regime:

Zainab’s brother, Muhammad, was a well-known anti-Assad activist in Homs. While Muhammad was in hiding, his sister Zainab would go purchase groceries for the family, and on August 2, Zainab was abducted. Five days later, the family received a call that she would be returned only if her wanted brother surrendered. The family did not agree on the exchange location, and then the callers hung up the phone.

A month later, on September 13, the family received news that Muhammad was killed by security forces, and his body was at the Military Hospital in Homs, and also that an unidentified 19 year-old young woman was at the morgue.

At first, the family did not recognize Zainab. Her head was separated from her body, her face burned, her arms cut off at the shoulders, burns and bruises all over her body. The family was not allowed to receive Zainab’s body unless the signed that they would not post video of her body and that they would not hold a funeral procession.

If this story makes your blood boil with anger, then you will understand why the Syrian people have been literally dying to end this oppression.

Climate skeptics don’t ‘deny science’ - Opinion - The Boston Globe

Climate skeptics don’t ‘deny science’ - Opinion - The Boston Globe:

I've wondered when Warmists and Petrophobes tell me the earth is warming; as the average is a quirky stat with two tails and a dispersion. Much can get washed out in the mean.

Jacoby from the link above quoting when Scientist and skeptic of Warmism.
Nor does Giaever share the society’s view that carbon emissions threaten “significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security, and human health.’’ In fact, the very concept of a “global’’ temperature is one he questions:

“The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degrees Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me . . . that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this “warming’ period.’’

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Endless War: A decade after 9/11, civilization must still defend itself. - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine

Endless War: A decade after 9/11, civilization must still defend itself. - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine:

Hitchens clearing away the poppycock.
Human history seems to register many more years of conflict than of tranquillity. In one sense, then, it is fatuous to whine that war is endless. We do have certain permanent enemies—the totalitarian state; the nihilist/terrorist cell—with which "peace" is neither possible nor desirable. Acknowledging this, and preparing for it, might give us some advantages in a war that seems destined to last as long as civilization is willing to defend itself.

Dean: Employers will drop coverage under Obamacare | Campaign 2012

Dean: Employers will drop coverage under Obamacare | Campaign 2012:
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman, and doctor, Howard Dean backed a McKinsey & Co. survey today that found that almost a third of private-sector employers will drop their employee health insurance coverage when Obamacare's government-managed insurance exchanges come online.

Dean told Morning Joe, "The fact is it is very good for small business. There was a McKinsey study, which the Democrats don't like, but I do, and I think its true. Most small businesses are not going to be in the health insurance business anymore after this thing goes into effect."
Small business and Churches too I imagine. Church Boards going to be confronted with some very tough decisions on benefits. Lousy coverage, lousy insurance, many people stiffed, and a fine Health Care system condemed to constricting services and increasing wait times. Nothing's Liberal / Progressive about ObamaCare, other than this fraud perpetuated on voter is what the name of Liberalism / Progressivism's become.  Maybe it's time to chuck the 'isms.

Former Afghanistan president Burhanuddin Rabbani killed in Kabul blast - Telegraph

Via The Telegraph, Former Afghanistan president Burhanuddin Rabbani killed in Kabul blast - Telegraph:

Not an easy place to create Peace. Peace threatens some.
The former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed in a suicide bomb attack on his home close to the American embassy in Kabul on Tuesday.

Four other members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, which Professor Rabbani was head of, were also killed in the explosion.

One senior analyst, Taliban expert and former deputy European Union special representative to Afghanistan Michael Semple, described the attack as “one of the biggest blows the peace process in Afghanistan has faced".

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chicago FBI chief: al-Qaida still ‘obsessed with airplanes’ - Chicago Sun-Times

via the Sun TimesChicago FBI chief: al-Qaida still ‘obsessed with airplanes’ - Chicago Sun-Times:
In October 2010, explosives hidden in printer cartridges were pulled off of airplanes in England and the United Arab Emirates after intelligence officials were tipped off that the packages were on board.

The packages, sent from Yemen, were addressed to former Chicago area synagogues bearing the names of historical figures as a way to “stick it in their eyes” if the blown up remnants were found, Grant said. President Obama’s counterterrorism adviser has called the devices “very sophisticated,” and officials believe the Yemeni faction of al-Qaida is behind the plot.

It was foiled after information came in from a “foreign intelligence source, a human,” who warned that there were bombs on the two planes, Grant said.
One of these former Chicago area synagogues was Chicago's Second Unitarian which had hosted a gay friendly Jewish congregation in the past.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Obama's Solyndra scandal reeks of the Chicago Way

Kass today in the Trib: Obama's Solyndra scandal reeks of the Chicago Way
The Solyndra scandal cost at least a half-billion public dollars. It is plaguing President Barack Obama. And it's being billed as a Washington story.

But back in Obama's political hometown, those of us familiar with the Chicago Way can see something else in Solyndra — something that the Washington crowd calls "optics." In fact, it's not just a Washington saga — it has all the elements of a Chicago City Hall story, except with more zeros.
Solyndra's about as Chicago as it gets.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When love walks in the door, judgment crawls out thewindow

A quote via The Spectator. Adownside of standing on love's side.The American Spectator : The Democrats' Chronic Leadership Shortage:
Democrats love to fall in love with their leaders. Although love is the most wonderful thing in the world, it can be brutal when it comes to judgment. A wise friend of mine once told me, "When love walks in the door, judgment crawls out the window."

Democrats clearly fell head over heels for Barack Obama. A lot of them have now fallen out of love with him and are scratchingtheir heads wondering, "What were we thinking? This guy is not whowe thought he was." The answer, of course, is that they were notthinking. They were love-struck. Especially when love is new you do not want to hear anything negative about your sweetheart. That might explain why Democrats so often make choices they subsequently regret.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

If It Feels Right -

If It Feels Right -

The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste. “It’s personal,” the respondents typically said. “It’s up to the individual. Who am I to say?”

Who am I to say ought be the first question one should ask. By what authority do I judge might be more important than your judgement. The kids may not be all so lite here Mr. Brooks... considering your frequent judgements.

Report: Group Of Columbia University Students To Dine With Iranian President

Report: Group Of Columbia University Students To Dine With Iranian President

I hope UUs can decline any invites this go round. Of if they must, maybe a Green Armband in solidarity with the Green Revolution?