Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ethical Eating: nothing but potatoes and milk?

The Straight Dope: Could I survive on nothing but potatoes and milk?:

As I recall from Don Smith's Irish History class at Grinnell in the 70s, you can do just fine on potatoes, milk, and a few apples. The Straight Dope finds the same plus.....
"How did the Irish do on this diet? We can't be certain — nobody was conducting nutrition studies in those days. But there's reason to believe they were healthier than you might guess. In the century before the famine, Ireland had the highest birthrate in western Europe. Some credit potatoes, saying the availability of easy-to-grow, easy-to-cook spuds made it practical to raise large families. Telling evidence on this score, one historian writes, 'is that the Irish in general and Irish women in particular were widely described as healthy and good-looking.' I don't know about you, Josh, but any diet that gets results like that is good enough for me."

RealClearPolitics - Wrong Marriage Debate Again

RealClearPolitics - Wrong Marriage Debate Again:

If you want to talk about class war, here's the frontline.

"Much has been made by Democrats of the increasing inequality of income distribution in America. That inequality is real. But it's not the result of tax cuts. It's an artifact of family structure. And unless we find a way to discourage unwed childbearing and revive marriage, the chasm between classes will continue to grow.

Gay marriage is a distraction. The country depends on traditional marriage."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Unitarian Universalist Generals Assembly's Action of Immediate Witness calling for end to Afghan involvement, fails

AIW 3, calling for end to Afghan involvement, fails

Not an easy vote for many at GA to make. It shows a lot of courage at GA.

The old watchwords of liberalism

The old watchwords of liberalism – freedom, reason, tolerance-worthy though they may be, are simply not catching the imagination of the contemporary world.  They describe a process for approaching the religious depths but they testify to no intimate acquaintance with the depths themselves.

-O. Eugne Picket, 1979 as quoted on page 195 of John A. Buehren’s Universalist and Unitarians in America: A People’s History

Unitarian Universalists ought reset to ‘79 and reevaluate freedom, reason, and tolerance’s   insufficiency to reach religious depths.

Syrians, Libyans, Egyptians, Iranians and others throughout the Middle East endure the converse of this trinity. 

Their revolution's caught the imagination of the contemporary world. 

That UU’s at a loss to address the depth of their revolution (not an AIW on it at GA) suggests to me we made a very bad turn somewhere between today and ‘79. Starting with Picket's discount of our old core I suspect.


Sivan Perwer Azadi, شفان برور أغنية الحرية والسلام
video about the last three months in the middle east.

Earl Browder: The Mike Wallace Interview

Earl Browder: The Mike Wallace Interview

Mike Wallace's interview with Earl Browder from 1957 (Smoking on TV encouraged: My name is Mike Wallace. The cigarette is Philip Morris.).

Stumbled accross it while half way through Charles Eddis's Stephen Fritchman: The American Unitarians and Communism. Was trying to google around for the essays mentioned on page 91: Can A Real Unitarian Be A Real Communist.
Three wrote saying yes. Former US Communist Party secretary Earl Browder, whose father was a Unitarian, said no: a communist was an atheist, which Unitarians were not. Don Harrington also said no. Two of the "yes" writers, Curtis Reese and Alfred Stiernotte, clarifed the meaning or meanings of the word communist as they used it.
The book's filled with original documents so maybe more towards the end.

EU targets Iran for supporting Syrian protest crackdown | World news | The Guardian

EU targets Iran for supporting Syrian protest crackdown | World news | The Guardian:

Iran's Mullahs desperate to keep a lid on Revolution in Syria.
"Turkish media reported this week that President Assad's brother Maher, who has masterminded the military crackdown, is working with Iranian intelligence organisation Savama, which has also been tracking Syrian opposition figures in Turkey.

The Sabah daily also claimed Maher has recruited former Iranian Revolutionary Guards for $5,000 (£3,100) a month.

Reports from Syrian troublespots have described mysterious bearded men who did not speak Arabic, or others speaking Arabic in the accent of Ahwaz, capital of Iran's Khuzestan province. Others suggest Lebanese Hezbollah militiamen, allies of Syria, have been involved."

Friday, June 24, 2011

The PJ Tatler » Hillary Clinton to Libya skeptics: ‘Whose side are you on?’

The PJ Tatler » Hillary Clinton to Libya skeptics: ‘Whose side are you on?’:

Senator Clinton's words to Gen Petraeus about that willing suspension of belief during the hearings on the Iraq War keep coming to mind as I reread this. Wonder what our new CIA Director Petreaus thinks of this crowd.
"U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is questioning the priorities of lawmakers criticizing the U.S. intervention in Libya.

She’s asking bluntly, “Whose side are you on?”

Setting up a showdown on Libya, House Republicans agreed Wednesday to vote on dueling measures, one to give President Barack Obama limited authority to continue U.S. involvement in the NATO-led operation against Moammar Gadhafi and the other to cut off funds for military hostilities."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Will Congress Enact War Powers Act in Libya?

Nick Cohen: Face the facts – Syria is an apartheid state

Another place worthy of an Action of Immediate Witness.  Cohen writes,

For a tyrant whose forces took 13-year-old Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, burned him, mutilated him, shattered his knee caps, cut off his penis and sent his corpse to his parents as a warning against participating in opposition politics, Bashar al-Assad receives remarkably forgiving treatment.

[***]

I hope that liberals of my generation who beat their chests as they protested against racial apartheid in southern Africa will soon feel as outraged by religious apartheid in the Middle East. The Syrian opposition has as much right to our support as the African National Congress did because it has not targeted Alawites because of their religion. Indeed, it places its hopes on the Alawite-led army mutinying.

Nor does it want western military intervention. In a discussion of the opposition's needs, the pro-democracy thinktank, the Henry Jackson Society, emphasised the modesty of the dissidents' requests. They need encrypted laptops and satellite phones and sim cards to circumvent the regime's media blackouts and so continue the documentation of atrocities, and support from western intelligence services as they seek to persuade sympathetic Syrian army officers to switch sides.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Proposed Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) on the Obama\Pelosi War Doctrine

Joel writes a nice post on the doctrine: The Obama/Pelosi Doctrine. He included a video of Pelosi explaining the new doctrine which has since been pulled back from YouTube.

I raised this on the UU Peace Making List Serv and a member assures me while the future of AIWs is unclear, GA could still offer one up this year.

So we shall see.

Footnote: I support what the Administration's doing in Libya although I'm queasy about the way they're going about it. I want the Administration to get far tougher with Assad in Syria. I'm certain though that if the Administration isn't upfront with the American people by making the case before Congress, than any action is in jeopardy for lack of support. So I'm quite willing to sign onto an AIW asking the President to respond to WPA and Libya.

Update: The Progressive's take...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Boehner warns Obama that Libya will violate war powers

Wonder if this will prompt an Action of Immediate Witness at General Assembly. It would if it were Bush. So much for the illegal war frame. Our ability to switch frames may explain our demise more than anything else. It's distasteful to anyone concerned; regardless of side on the issue.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/06/boehner-warns-obama-libya-will-violate-war-powers

June 14, 2011

Dear Mr. President:

Five days from now, our country will reach the 90-day mark from the notification to Congress regarding the commencement of the military operation in Libya, which began on March 18, 2011. On June 3, 2011, the House passed a resolution which, among other provisions, made clear that the Administration has not asked for, nor received, Congressional authorization of the mission in Libya. Therefore, it would appear that in five days, the Administration will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution unless it asks for and receives authorization from Congress or withdraws all U.S. troops and resources from the mission.

Since the mission began, the Administration has provided tactical operational briefings to the House of Representatives, but the White House has systematically avoided requesting a formal authorization for its action. It has simultaneously sought, however, to portray that its actions are consistent with the War Powers Resolution. The combination of these actions has left many Members of Congress, as well as the American people, frustrated by the lack of clarity over the Administration’s strategic policies, by a refusal to acknowledge and respect the role of the Congress, and by a refusal to comply with the basic tenets of the War Powers Resolution.

You took an oath before the American people on January 20, 2009 in which you swore to “faithfully execute the Office of President” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The Constitution requires the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” and one of those laws is the War Powers Resolution, which requires an approving action by Congress or withdrawal within 90 days from the notification of a military operation. Given the mission you have ordered to the U.S. Armed Forces with respect to Libya and the text of the War Powers Resolution, the House is left to conclude that you have made one of two determinations: either you have concluded the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the mission in Libya, or you have determined the War Powers Resolution is contrary to the Constitution. The House, and the American people whom we represent, deserve to know the determination you have made.

Therefore, on behalf of the institution and the American people, I must ask you the following questions: Have you or your Administration conducted the legal analysis to justify your position as to whether your Administration views itself to be in compliance with the War Powers Resolution so that it may continue current operations, absent formal Congressional support or authorization, once the 90-day mark is reached? Assuming you conducted that analysis, was it with the consensus view of all stakeholders of the relevant Departments in the Executive branch? In addition, has there been an introduction of a new set of facts or circumstances which would have changed the legal analysis the Office of Legal Counsel released on April 1, 2011? Given the gravity of the constitutional and statutory questions involved, I request your answer by Friday, June 17, 2011.

From the beginning, the House of Representatives has sought to balance two equal imperatives regarding Libya which have been in direct contradiction: the House of Representatives takes seriously America’s leadership role in the world; our country’s interests in the region; and the commitments to and from its steadfast allies. At the same time, strong concern and opposition exists to the use of military force when the military mission, by design, cannot secure a U.S. strategic policy objective. The ongoing, deeply divisive debate originated with a lack of genuine consultation prior to commencement of operations and has been further exacerbated by the lack of visibility and leadership from you and your Administration.

I respect your authority as Commander-in-Chief, though I remain deeply concerned the Congress has not been provided answers from the Executive branch to fundamental questions regarding the Libya mission necessary for us to fulfill our equally important Constitutional responsibilities. I believe in the moral leadership our country can and should exhibit, especially during such a transformational time in the Middle East. I sincerely hope the Administration will faithfully comply with the War Powers Resolution and the requests made by the House of Representatives, and that you will use your unique authority as our President to engage the American people regarding our mission in Libya.

Respectfully,
John A. Boehner
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/06/boehner-warns-obama-libya-will-violate-war-powers#ixzz1PHgWJHc9

Monday, June 13, 2011

WAPO: ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus’ comes clean


Turns out Gay Girl in Damascus was a Peace Activists from Georgia who did the cause of Middle East Peace no favors with his fraud.

I'll stick with Press Releases from the Reform Party of Syria.

Via WaPo.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our one-sided view on drones - Asad Munir

A Pakastani’s take on the Drone War. H/T Pakhtunkhwa Peace Forum

There have been about 249 drone strikes in different parts of FATA since 2004. Except for three attacks, most of the strikes have targeted and killed terrorists and their facilitators. The strikes have played a major role in the elimination of some of those who were directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of more than 35,000 innocent Muslim Pakistanis and armed forces personnel. The drones have killed many prominent commanders of Al-Qaeda, which is operating in Pakistan since 2002.


There are a number of them, but the more important names include Khalid Habib, a Moroccan and commander operating in the Mahsud area of South Waziristan, Abu al-Laith al-Libi, commander of North Waziristan, Tahir Yaldashev, commander of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) who was responsible for the killings of prominent tribal maliks, Baitullah Mahsud, who was reported to have been involved in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Abu Suleiman Aljazairi and Abu Kash.

Our one-sided view on drones - Asad Munir

Chris Hedges Lambastes Failure of the Liberal Class

I think the Hopes gone. Via The Progressive Fox

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Church awards scholarships to Austin students

UU’s doing practical goodness in the world.

Phylistene Ward looked on in pride Sunday as 15 college-bound students from the West Side received scholarships from Third Unitarian Church.

Thirty-seven years ago Ward was the first recipient of what has become an annual tradition for the Austin church, which has helped hundreds of students attend college.

This year, Third Unitarian awarded a total of $15,000 during its "Scholarship Service."

Church awards scholarships to Austin students

Marah Bukai: The Cyberspace Discourse in the Middle East and Islamic World"

I’ve noticed.  It’s impact will be huge.

In recent years, the Internet has become a swift and accessible means of communication, thanks in part to the proliferation of personal blogs and, even more recently, micro-blogs (through “Twitter”). Users are now able to transmit short announcements and updates via mobile phones connected to the Internet. Groups and individuals formerly marginalized or ignored by mainstream media, and in what are generally conservative and tradition-heavy societies, now possess unprecedented means by which to disseminate their views.

This is especially true with regard to women. All over the Middle East, women are active on the Internet, writing in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and English, telling their personal stories and discussing societal matters, taking advantage of the relative anonymity that the Internet offers. Some women have no problem with enabling all interested parties to read their Twitter blogs and feeds.[1] Others, especially concerned with protecting their anonymity, e.g. in Saudi Arabia, insure that only people with their prior permission may do so.[2]

Marah Bukai: The Cyberspace Discourse in the Middle East and Islamic World"

US calls on Syria to end 'outrageous' violence - Telegraph

Stopping a little short of demanding Assad’s departure no profile in courage.

White House spokesman Jay Carney issued a statement after Syrian forces killed at least 25 people in nationwide democracy protests and helicopters, tanks and troops opened fire on protesters in the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour.

"The United States strongly condemns the Syrian government's outrageous use of violence across Syria today and particularly in the northwestern region," he said.

"There must be an immediate end to the brutality and violence."

The statement contained a clear sign of Washington's growing impatience over Syria after top officials had repeatedly called for Assad to embrace reform or get out of the way – but stopped short of demanding his departure.

US calls on Syria to end 'outrageous' violence - Telegraph

The people praying in the streets and neighborhoods, 06/10/2011اهالي درعا يصلون في الشوارع والاحياء

The most important achievements of the revolutions Arab spring, is to remove the nightmares of fear from the minds of the peoples of the region

Lina Moulla writes of the change in peoples minds. A change seen in every video I just posted this AM. Remember Syrians have been at his for weeks now.
6:16am Jun 11

‫ان أهم منجزات ثورات الربيع العربي، هو ازالة كوابيس الخوف من عقول شعوب المنطقة، ومن ثم تخويف الحكام وتهديدهم بالمساءلة والمحاكمات العلنية وهكذا انتقل الخوف ليصبح من نصيب الحكام الذين يتهددهم الشارع بخطر السقوط أو القتل، هرب بن علي وألقي القبض على مبارك، وينتظر القذافي قنبلة تهبط عليه من طائر معدني، وعلي عبد الله صالح قضت قنبلة زرعها معاونوه على مستقبله السياسي إلى الأبد، بينما يعيش الأسد أيامه الأخيرة على الحبوب المهدئة، ليتهمنا إعلامه بأننا نتناول حبوب الهلوسة من أكياس التقطها جهازه الأمني كنب عليها الجزيرة بالخط العريض، حبوب لا تغير شيئاً في قدر رسمه الشعب في أن يقيم له عرساً وطنياً تلي محاكمته وشقيقه وصهره بجرائم تشيب لها الوذلان، قادمون

6:16 am Jun 11

‫ that the most important achievements of the revolutions Arab spring, is to remove the nightmares of fear from the minds of the peoples of the region, and then intimidate the referees and the threat of accountability and public trials, and so moved fear to become one of the share of rulers who threatened the street danger of falling or murder, escaped Ben Ali was arrested on Mubarak, is expected Gaddafi Bomb drop it from a bird metal, Ali Abdullah Saleh has ruled that a bomb planted by his aides to his political future forever, while living Assad his last days on the pills, to accuse us of being informed that we are dealing ecstasy of bags picked up his security CCNP by the island in bold, grain does not change Something in the paint as much as the people that live in his wedding and nationally after his trial and his brother and his brother-Chip have Alozlan crimes, are coming

Martyr Fadi AMR from Latakia 10.6-2011

السبت دمشق القابون تشيع أحد الشهداء11/6/2011 One common station Damascus Saturday killed 11/6/2011

درعا بصر الحرير 10-6 جمعة العشائر، مجزرة بصر الحرير A shield before the silk 10.6 Juma clans, silk eyes massacre

The warning on graphic content below which seems standard thing to say now with anything from Syria.



Fri 10 6 2011 clans knaker



Hims short 10 June 2011

Dara sight silk funeral of the martyrs Fri 10-6 clans درعا بصر الحرير 10-6 تشييع شهداء جمعة العشائر

Apologies to those who have been sending me videos on facebook for failing to keep up with the postings.

الاعتذار لأولئك الذين تم ارسال لي أشرطة الفيديو على فيس بوك لفشلها في مواكبة التعيينات.

Friday, June 10, 2011

NICK COHEN: Libya and the shattering of European illusions

Nick Cohen on the shattering of illusions,
Notice something else. Barack Obama was Europe’s candidate in the 2008 election. His victory delighted every liberal I know. I am not mocking them. I would have voted for Obama if I had been an American. But I do not suffer from the illusion that his record on supporting liberation movements from Burma to Iran has been anything other than appalling – one has to go back to Richard Nixon to find an American president so indifferent to the victims of dictatorship. He persists in saying that Ameirca and Nato will intervene in Libyan affairs, but not intervene strongly enough to overthrow the regime. Washington officials give the strong impression that they are only deploying forces in Libya to help the Europeans, who do indeed have the most to fear from waves of refugees arriving in the continent and building support for far-right parties
.

Jon Turner Artist Talk - Memorial Day 2011

Mather HS gives back to Bill Crist

From Chicago's National Veterans Art Museum.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Iran Human Rights Head: Execution, Eye Gouging, Cutting off Hands and Feet ‘Beautiful and Necessary’

 

The Regime in Iran doesn’t think quite like Unitarian Universalists do (or many others for that matter).

Larijani, who had previously claimed that the sentence of stoning is much lighter than actual execution because the “defendant can actually survive,” also said:

Retaliation and punishment are beautiful and necessary things. It’s a form of protection for the individual and civil rights of the people in a society. The executioner or the person carrying out the sentence is in fact very much a defender of human rights. One can say that there is humanity in the act of retaliation.

Pajamas Media » Iran Human Rights Head: Execution, Eye Gouging, Cutting off Hands and Feet ‘Beautiful and Necessary’

No mainline Protestants in GOP field? » GetReligion

No more Taft Unitarians….

But among the leading candidates for this year’s Republican presidential nomination, not one is a member of the Protestant denominations that for so long have dominated American political culture.

Two of the potential candidates are Mormons (former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.); one is a member of an interdenominational evangelical church (former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty); two others are Catholics (former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum). Rep. Michele Bachmann, who says she’s considering the race, worships at an evangelical Lutheran church; if elected, she’d be the first Lutheran president.

But no matter who wins from this list, it won’t be an Episcopalian, a Presbyterian or a Methodist.

No mainline Protestants in GOP field? » GetReligion

Hollywood luminaries deliver petition to the Iran Mission | The Green Voice of Freedom

Sometimes some in Hollywood get it right.  Nary a UU among them as far as I can see.
Hollywood luminaries deliver petition to the Iran Mission | The Green Voice of Freedom
Amnesty International will lead a delegation of Hollywood luminaries to the Iran Mission to the United Nations on Wednesday, June 8 to symbolically rename a NYC street plaza “Azadi Square” (“Freedom Square”) and deliver tens of thousands of petition signatures demanding the reversal of the harsh sentence against acclaimed film director Jafar Panahi. The group will include Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis, Iranian-born actress Nazanin Boniadi, film producer and actress Trudie Styler and journalist/filmmaker Maziar Bahari, whose book about his imprisonment and torture in Iran will be published June 6.

Gay blogger 'abducted' in Syrian capital - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

More at Al Jazeera

Gay blogger 'abducted' in Syrian capital - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Syria: ‘Gay Girl in Damascus’ Seized · Global Voices

 

Read her whole story over at Global voices. 

Syria: ‘Gay Girl in Damascus’ Seized · Global Voices

Amina Arraf has seen a quick rise to fame. Blogging pseudonymously, as Amina Abdullah, she writes about politics, the recent uprising, and being a lesbian in Syria. A dual citizen of the United States and Syria, her powerful words have shown the reality on the ground in Syria over the past few weeks.

Today, on Amina's own blog, it was reported that she had been kidnapped by authorities.

Top Obama economic aide Goolsbee to return to University of Chicago

Goolsbee goes under the bus.  A comment from the link below says it all,

Mary C. wrote:

He is a nice young man but he just didn't cut it on national TV and on the talk shows. He sounded like he was reciting some script that the WH gave him and he sounded sanctimonious as well. Everything had to be upbeat, the WH is doing a wonderful job, the President can do no worng, the economic data that just came out was a bump in the road.
In other words, we're all idiots.

Read more: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/blogs?blogID=greg-hinz&plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&uid=1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35c&plckPostId=Blog%3a1daca073-2eab-468e-9f19-ec177090a35cPost%3a9a34f7f7-772c-4bf6-a59a-746eed2e685b&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest#ixzz1OZzD8dHj
Stay on top of Chicago business with our free daily e-newsletters

 

Top Obama economic aide Goolsbee to return to University of Chicago | Greg Hinz | Blogs | Crain's Chicago Business

Monday, June 06, 2011

This Unitarian Universalist messaging thing

From David Bumbaugh's The Unfilled Dream,
From the beginning, Unitarians were reluctant to be defined or to define themselves theologically. They had significant differences with some of the other clergy; no one denied that fact. They simply refused to concede that those differences mattered. They, after all, were part of the religious establishment in New England and were determined to protect that role. When their opponents pressed them on what they believed, our proto-Unitarian forebears protested that discussion of theological differences could only prove divisive. As wide a range of beliefs as possible should be tolerated in order to move people gradually toward a greater truth. Throwing around theological labels would only confuse people and distract them from the real focus of religion, the real purpose of life—ongoing, endless, rigorous self-culture and moral improvement.
After two years on my Church's board and one of those years as a VP for Programs, I never had a committee chair come before us and say they were at a loss to explain what being a Unitarian Univeralist meant.

Spending a year on the membership committee of Unity Temple in Oak Park in the 1980s, I was never at a loss to tell anyone what being a UU was about.

So am I unusual? Otherwise what drives this recurring meme of UUs baffled to explain their Church?

David B seems to buy into it in the article, yet the tradition David describes above seems clear enough --and good enough-- to me.  A little caveat maybe that that endless and rigorous self-culture and moral improvement can fall flat; again and again. But it's a fine religion, and darn American of us too if Daniel Walker Howe's histories right.

Or is that Yankee North Americanism the problem for some?

I suggested that once on the Peace Makers list: that the real issue wasn't Just War Criteria and what-not, but what did it mean to be a US of American and how did that square with UUism (a most US of American Church). Few on the list chose to go there (in fact only Dan M. at Harvard thought it was a good idea).

Rehabilitating militants: The road to redemption

Rehabilitating militants: The road to redemption

Nadir Hassan on reclaiming kids trained to be suicide bombers.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

David Mamet's Conversion Story - Reason Magazine

More a test to try out the Blog This feature than any thing in particular on Mamet’s new book.  Below the conclusion from a review in Reason Magazine.

David Mamet's Conversion Story - Reason Magazine

Readers on both sides of Mamet’s current political stance can take issue with his social conservatism. He is, among other things, an unbending proponent of traditional gender arrangements; and yet who even on the left can deny the miseries that have attended the decline of the two-parent family? Nevertheless, it is exhilarating to hear so much common sense expressed with such forceful eloquence: “The honest man might observe…that no one gets something for nothing; that politicians go in poor and go out rich; that the Government screws up everything it touches; and that the Will to Believe is best confined to the Religious Venue, as to practice it elsewhere is just too damned expensive.”

Mamet is not a man with a plan. Neither the right nor the left is to be entirely trusted, and a complete national salvation may remain forever beyond our grasp. “We are a democracy,” he writes, “and as such do not generally elect our best people to office. How could we? They weren’t running.”

After 90 years, U. of C. completes dictionary documenting humanity’s earliest days

After 90 years, U. of C. completes dictionary documenting humanity’s earliest days - Chicago Sun-Times

I might be down there for the celebrations tomorrow.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Stephen Hole Fritchman: Men Of Liberty Ten Unitarian Pioneers (1944)

From SHF's intro. The Book's available for free now over at Internet Archive. (Now I have to figure our which kind of reader to read it on.)
It maybe asked why, in such a time, energy should
be taken from shipbuilding and crop harvesting (in which a
number of Unitarian ministers and Unitarian young
people were engaged) to prepare and publish information
on religious leaders in central Europe, England
and America so many years ago.

The answer lies closer to the immediate struggle
than may seem at first glance apparent. At almost
any hour of the day or night one may turn to one's
radio and pick up one's newspaper and be told that this
is a people's war, that it is a struggle for the Four
Freedoms freedom of speech, freedom of religion,
freedom from want and freedom from fear. "With
the needs of the people in contrast to the needs of a
single class or privileged group Unitarianism has again
and again concerned 'itself. With the final and ultimate
freedom of the unshackled human spirit our
founders have allied themselves, often at the cost of
life itself. To avoid the shortsightedness of a purely
contemporary viewpoint, to ledrn the story of the
adventure of hundreds of thousands of men and
women seeking such freedoms together in the past,
is to deepen our present faith. This is not only a
people's war for millions of citizens of many races
and many creeds at this hour; it is a step forward in a
people's struggle carried on for centuries past, carried
on often against terrifying odds, in the certainty that
victory would come to children still in cradles or yet
unborn. Of such a spirit were Servetus and Biddle,
Channing and Eiriksson, and the others presented on
these pages.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Silence of the UUs

Maybe the indignation and outrage is all over on facebook now, but the silence in the UU blogosphere over Obama's going it alone in Libya all these weeks is astonishing.

UU's would have gone apoplectic within hours had Bush not sought Congress's approval for Iraq and Afghanistan (and Cheney advised him not too but he did none the less.)

Being in the bag for a President of a land so many UU's call Empire can't be good for our Churches. Far too many of our leaders have all the cred of hacks like Pelosi and Reid now.

Just reread their posts from a few years ago to see. No Prophets for sure and just a baffling fear to speak truth to this power in the White House. Fear of frames destroyed the only cause I can see.

via Politico,
The House on Thursday approved a resolution offered by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) barring the use of American ground forces in Libya and demanding the White House turn over internal documents related to President Barack Obama’s decision to order U.S. forces to take part in the NATO-led campaign.

The vote on the Boehner resolution was 268-145. The vote pulled 45 Democrats across the aisle, despite opposition from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other top Democrats.

But lawmakers rejected a competing measure by Rep. Dennis Kunich (D-Ohio) that would have ended U.S. involvement in Libya campaign with 15 days.

The Kucinich resolution failed on a vote of 148-265, with 87 Republicans and 61 Democrats backing it.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/56219.html#ixzz1OFL5UdgF

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

RIP Haleh Sahabi

Via Azamehr,
Haleh Sahabi was killed today by the Islamic Republic security thugs at her father's funeral.

This morning was the funeral of the 81 year old Ezzatollah Sahabi, the reformist Iranian dissident. Haleh Sahabi was walking ahead of the funeral holding a wreath, when security forces tried to break up the funeral procession and steal Sahabi's coffin.

Haleh resisted the thugs and insisted that the funeral procession should proceed as planned. Islamic Republic security thugs attacked her, kicking her repeatedly and punching her with a knuckle duster. Haleh collapsed at her father's funeral and later died as a result of her injuries.

RIP Hamza Al Khatib

The regime sinks further into barbarism. Via The Telegraph: Torture of the child martyr: 'Rebel', 13, shot, kneecapped and had genitals removed before being killed by Syria's sadistic regime
Devotedly washed and sprinkled with rose petals, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb lies prepared for burial.

But the rituals of death cannot wipe away the horrific injuries that have mutilated his body almost beyond recognition.

Nor do they blot out that Hamza - riddled with bullets, kneecapped and with neck broken and penis hacked off - has the rounded cheeks and gentle face of a child.

At 13, he is one of the youngest known victims of Syria's ruthless crackdown on protesters who have tried to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The teenager's family were told not to speak of his terrible fate. But in a pitiful act of defiance, they posted the footage of his corpse online.

The action led to his father being arrested last week. His whereabouts are unknown.

Posted on YouTube, the video is accompanied by a chilling commentary which details the worst of Hamza's dreadful wounds.