Friday, April 27, 2012

Teachers, Unions and Occupy Chicago Protest Scott Walker

Geez, Chicago's Teachers Union and the Laborers... that's quite a combination.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Biden: 'The President Has a Big Stick'

Biden's right. The President has a terrible and swift swoard, and that that provokes laughter a very bad thing however one spins this. Referring to President Roosevelt's foreign policy quote about "speaking softly and carrying a big stick," Biden told the crowd that Obama followed a similar path while negotiating with Iran. "I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you," Biden said as the crowd laughed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

’Gaia’ scientist James Lovelock: I was ’alarmist’ about climate change

Tricks abound with Nature.....

’Gaia’ scientist James Lovelock: I was ’alarmist’ about climate change

“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,” Lovelock said.
“The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said.
“The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising -- carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that,” he added.
He pointed to Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Tim Flannery’s “The Weather Makers” as other examples of “alarmist” forecasts of the future.

Backers, protesters hold competing rallies on airport near Peotone - Post-Tribune

Backers, protesters hold competing rallies on airport near Peotone - Post-Tribune

What would Jesus do about a third airport for Chicago?

With gospel music blaring and angry picketers shouting, pastors prayed, preached and sprinkled holy water over the site of the proposed airport near Peotone on Saturday morning. 
Busloads of people gathered in Monee on Saturday in support of the airport, an event organized by U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and the community groups South Suburban Action Conference and Gamaliel of Metro Chicago. 
A simultaneous rally was held nearby by those who oppose the airport. Jackson did not speak with a group of local protesters who attended part of his event.
Jackson’s “Blessing of the Land” rally began outside New Hope Community Church, where Jackson and other pastors fired up the crowd with sermon-like speeches and prayers, punctuated with “amens” and applause from the audience.
I wish Jesus would stroll over to Gary Indiana.  It has a fine airport, easily expanded, close to Chicago, but outside the hands of Chicago Politicians.  That's what Jesus would do.  (I'm betting).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Occupy Unmasked

Growing Unitarian Universalism: Growth and Decline: A Numerical Snapshot

A snapshot not getting much attention as far as I can tell. Rev Morales has some explaining to do in Phoenix.

Here’s how our congregations have fared over the last decade:

  • The decade-long trend shows that 22% of our congregations have declined in adult membership by more than 20% over the past decade and an additional 12.7% have declined by between 10% and 20%, which means that fully one-third of our congregations have declined beyond a level that can be attributed to normal fluctuation. The percentage of declining congregations peaks among fellowships (1-60), with 43.4% reporting declines in excess of 10%.  The best-performing category is that of large churches (550+) but, even among these congregations, one-quarter have reported declines of 10% or more.
  • 37.8% of large churches (550+) have reported increases in adult membership exceeding 20% during the past decade, followed by small churches (61-160) at 29.1%.  Fellowships (1-60) and awkward-size churches (301-400) bring up the rear at 17.7% and 19.6% respectively.

Growing Unitarian Universalism » Blog Archive » Growth and Decline: A Numerical Snapshot - Sponsored by the Office of Growth Strategies

The Making of a Bully

Father Barron on The Making of a Bully

Somehow this rings awfully true, 
Finally, men of valor, charity, ambition, and grace transform boys into men of valor, charity, ambition and grace. When this mentoring dynamic is lost, Dr. Sax argues, the result is boys adrift and young men taking their cues from Eminem, 50 Cent, Akon, and the Situation.Now you might be wondering what all this has to do with the phenomenon of bullying. One reason why boys turn into bullies is that they have no one around to turn them into men. Boys are filled with energies meant to be channeled in a positive direction, toward protecting the innocent and building up the society. Without strong male role models, and without a disciplined process of initiation into maturity, these energies remain either unfocussed (as in the case of slackers) or directed toward violence and the exploitation of the weak (as in the case of bullies). Dr. Sax comments that you might not be able to turn a bully into a flower child, but with the right male mentoring, you could certainly turn him into a knight.
If a son of yours is either bullied or becoming a bully, I would strongly recommend that you read Boys Adrift and, above all, that you introduce your son to a strong, morally upright, focused and courageous male mentor -- fast!

Monday, April 23, 2012

At The NYT: Clueless Blue Deer Meet Onrushing Truck

Times reporters discussing a strike over converting from defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans.  Via Russell Mead At The NYT: Clueless Blue Deer Meet Onrushing Truck | Via Meadia

Singletons and Unitarian Universalism

Mary Umberger in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune on the rise of single households. A trend and a population I suspect most UU Churches geared to families and couples, not well suited to respond too.
These days, Americans are increasingly likely to live alone, but please don't presume they're lonely.

It's a reality that sociologist Eric Klinenberg would like us to embrace, as the number of adults living alone reaches proportions never before seen in this country.

The professor of sociology at New York University and author of "Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone" (Penguin Press) talked about what he called the "seismic effect" that solo living is likely to have on our culture and on housing

Andrew Bowen, Man Who Spends 12 Months Practicing 12 Different Religions, Finds Peace

H/T Terry Joseph at the Conservative UU Facebook Page.  In Chicago one could easily find mentors for dozens of faiths to undertake such an experiment.   For all the religion in Chicago, little peace.

To find his mentors in late 2010, he had to look outside his tiny, mostly Baptist farm town. His Zoroastrian mentor lives in Chicago. His Muslim mentor lives in Fayetteville.

Andrew Bowen, Man Who Spends 12 Months Practicing 12 Different Religions, Finds Peace

All Souls Free Religious Fellowship Women's Day Program

Chicago's oldest UU Church. They can trace their roots to Rev Ryder's First Universalist and Rev Jenkin Lloyd Jones All Souls. That's quite a UU tradition still kicking in Chicago.

All Souls

Sunday, April 22, 2012

American Professors Gather in Tehran for Occupy Wall Street Conference

American Professors Gather in Tehran for Occupy Wall Street Conference

The professors interviewed on Press TV include Alex Vitale of Brooklyn College, Heather Gautney of Fordham University, and John Hammond of City University of New York.

Imagine MSM's reaction if Tea Party reps found in Tehran? And US Taxpayers supposed to bail out student loans for kids studying under likes of these?

Monday, April 16, 2012

update - Unheard Voices of Unitarian Universalist Conservatives

Via Paul Roche on the Conservative Forum for Unitarian Universalists on facebook.
We presented our play/commentary re above at the Joseph Priestley Assembly in Va this weekend. We had about 25 folks in the audience and by all accounts it was well received. People who weren't at the session approached us to thank us for raising awareness of the way less-than-liberal UUs are treated inour Congregations. Rev Anya Sammler-Michael of Sterling VA asked UUA President Peter Morales (keynote speaker) about crossing political barriers. The question received APPLAUSE from probably 50 of the 200 UUs gathered. I wish Rev Morales response was more forthcoming, but he kind of punted on the question. Thanks to the six ministers who took part in the presentation. Come to GA to see it for yourself... :-)
This blog disqualifies me as an unheard voice and I've never been mistreated so to speak. I agree with many putting on this session though that UUA's overlooking outreach to a good many Conservatives of a libertarian sort with their reflexive Progressivism e.g. finding the rest of your fellow citizens in Denial.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Elton Trueblood’s place to stand

 A Quaker I've never heard of, and his book: A Place to Stand.  H/T Donald Haynes below,
One of the many old wells I have re-dug has been the writings of Elton Trueblood, perhaps the greatest Quaker of the 20th century. While teaching at Stanford, this brilliant man was tapped as a consultant to the writing of the United Nations charter, and he often spent overnight sojourns in San Francisco as World War II was coming to an end and dreams were being shaped for world peace. 
In browsing through my underlined sentences in Dr. Trueblood’s autobiography, I found this profound insight: “As I sat in one of the San Francisco meetings concerning the formation of the United Nations, it occurred to me that world reconstruction, about which we were conferring, is impossible apart from a moral basis, and that in this regard the Decalogue is as pertinent as ever. With speed came the conviction that all of the commandments could be restated in positive form.” 
The series of sermons in Stanford’s Memorial Chapel that came from that brainstorm were converted to a book-length manuscript on such insights as adultery is wrong precisely because fidelity is right. Today we see, more than in 1945 at the close of that horrific war, that without a moral basis, no free society can abide with any modicum of peace and tranquility, debate and compromise, or liberty of conscience.  
In Trueblood’s 1968 volume enunciating his theology, he taps the rich reservoir of what he calls “witnesses to truth,” and writes profoundly, “What we desperately need is the literature of witness in which men who have reached a firm place to stand are able to tell us the road by which they have come and why it was taken.” As a title for his book on theology, Trueblood chose the phrase, A Place to Stand.
The United Methodist Portal

Israel's Other Temple: Research Reveals Ancient Struggle over Holy Land Supremacy

Der Spiegel on the remaining  Samaritan community.

Israel's Other Temple: Research Reveals Ancient Struggle over Holy Land Supremacy - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Friday, April 13, 2012

Occupy Chicago in the Springtime

Spring in Chicago: Occupy returns to the loop and the butcher bill soars in the neighborhoods ( eight people shot last night including a seven year old girl). Cops won't be able to deal with both come Nato summit. Rahm's going to need to call out the Guard.  H/T Illinois Review

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jesse Jackson: Jesus was an occupier

JJ the elder on Jesus occupying the temple (stay clear of those Bud distributorships though I'm sure).

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Ayatollah Boroujerdi's voice in Yazd prison Dec 2008

+18 A Bloody massacre by Al-Assad in Deir Ba'albah-Homs-Syria 07.04.2012

WARNING: Very graphic. I've become numb watching these things. This one has an English translation of the Arabic. Odd we UUs can spend so much time writing a SOC on creating peace, yet know one refers back on it to ask what our (our's as UUs or US Americans) obligations are when confronted with this kind of slaughter we can witness as we wish on Youtube.

Friday, April 06, 2012

USCIRF Concerned about Easter Terror Threats in Nigeria

April 6, 2012

USCIRF Concerned about Easter Terror Threats in Nigeria

WASHINGTON, DC -- Having just returned from an information-gathering mission to Nigeria, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is deeply concerned about the latest threats to the lives of Christians and Muslims from Boko Haram, the militant group that espouses an extreme and violent interpretation of Islam. USCIRF’s concern underscores the action by the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja of issuing an updated travel warning today on the eve of Easter.   Among Boko Haram’s goals is to impose an extreme interpretation of Shari’ah law on all citizens of Nigeria, and its representatives have called on Christians to leave the north.

Leonard Leo, Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, said, “These threats, especially as Easter approaches, should be taken seriously, especially given Boko Haram’s coordinated attacks on Christmas day when suicide bombers attacked churches in five different cities in central and northern Nigeria.” 

In the violence last Christmas, a Boko Haram suicide bomber attacked St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, outside of Abuja and killed at least 44 people.  Other churches were attacked in Jos, Kano, Gadaka, and Damaturu.  After this attack, the Committee of Imams of the Federal Capital Territory, alongside a representative of the Sultan of Sokoto, paid a condolence visit to St. Theresa’s Catholic Church.  They condemned the church attack and deplored other acts of violence committed in Islam’s name in Nigeria and other parts of the world, emphasizing that such acts were a deviation from the teachings of their religion.

“USCIRF commends Nigerian religious leaders who have condemned Boko Haram’s religiously-motivated violence and urges continued interreligious condemnation of threats or attacks in the name of religion.   The U.S. government should continue to engage the Nigerian government as intensely as possible to ensure that the actions of these religious leaders are paralleled by Nigeria’s justice leaders bringing all perpetrators of violence to speedy justice.

“Nigeria’s leaders have failed to date to muster the will and courage to bring all perpetrators to justice.  That means seriously prosecuting them, regardless of their faith or position in society, and ensuring a speedy process which holds them accountable.  This includes giving state prosecutors more freedom and flexibility against offenders, rather than insisting on federal trials which result in holding the detained in the capital and releasing them a few months later,” Leo said.

Since 1999, more than 14,000 Nigerians have been killed in religiously-related violence between Christians and Muslims.  This sectarian violence threatens the stability and viability of a country that is considered far too vital to be allowed to slide into chaos and perhaps another civil war.

To interview a USCIRF Commissioner, contact Paul Liben at or (703) 870-6041.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress.
Visit our Web site at
Leonard A. Leo, Chair • Don Argue, Vice Chair • Elizabeth H. Prodromou, Vice Chair
Azizah Y. al-Hibri • Felice D. Gaer • Richard D. Land • Ted Van Der Meid
Nina Shea • William Shaw • Jackie Wolcott, Executive Director
202-523-3240 | 202-523-5020 (FAX)

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

If Ben Franklin and David Gregory Ever Met

If Ben Franklin and David Gregory Ever Met

David Gregory on Romney and Mormonism.  Mainstream media doesn't do Religion well.

Lawrence O'Donnell, Romney and the Mormons

This over the top?

I've seen Rev Morrison-Reed quote some uncomfortable things from Unitarians past on African-Americans.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Obama care, FDR's National Recover Act, and the words of Clarence Darrow

President Obama told us yesterday SCOTUS ruling against Obamacare would be an unprecedented move by the court. Yet a fellow who lived only a few blocks from Obama, Clarence Darrow; was once asked by FDR to review a similarly controversial law in the 1930s: the National Recovery Act.

Darrow, to FDR's surprize, didn't much care for Congress's overreach with the NRA, and said so before a Congressional Committee once FDR finally released Darrow's report. The University of Minnesota has Darrow's testimony online.

SCOTUS went on to strike down the NRA, and FDR went on with a futile war against the court with his court packing scheme.

So no new history here President Obama.  The United States has been here before.  This story's a repeat and its hero lived in our backyard almost. (My Grandfather had a dime store near Darrow's apartment off 63rd street.)

Darrow himself can be heard below speaking out against the New Deal and the NRA in words as applicable now as then.

Or here below,
"I see today that the spirit of human freedom has vanished from the peoples of this world especially from America! We have forgotten it. We care nothing about. If we can make money by compelling people to do certain things by law, or if some fool reformers think they can save the souls of men by passing laws, we say: let them do it. We would not fight for liberty today; we have forgotten it." -Darrow

It's strange a Professor of Constitutional law wouldn't understand the unconstitutionality of Obamacare. It's unChicagoan a lawyer from Hyde Park would have forgotten Darrow's words. He's a mythic figure Chicagoans of a progressive sort once grew up with. That kind of Liberalism long passed it seems.

Unionists, Occupy Protest Rahm Emanuel, Scott Walker

H/T Illinois Review

Jeremy's latest video of Occupy in Milwaukee protesting Rahm's visit. Geez has Ed Sadlowski gotten fat!  I was in the Steelworkers union in Chicago with him in the 70s.  It was a different sort of Union movement then, and a different Ed Sadlowski. A guy who went to the Supreme court defending donations as free speech by the way when the USW establishment went after him for taking outside money to run against them.

Sam Marcey's Workers World Party (Trotskyism as cult) lives on....  they figure big in Occupy.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Thomas Sheahan on $30k pension sweetener: ‘I deserve every penny’ - Chicago Sun-Times

H/T Second City Cop

Hey, I’m sure it’s only fair.

But buried within the legislation was something considerably less altruistic: a provision that enabled a member of one of Chicago’s better-known political families to boost his pension by more than $30,000 a year — while saddling unsuspecting taxpayers in Oak Brook with nearly $750,000 in funding liabilities, the Chicago Sun-Times and Better Government Association have learned.

The recipient of that larger pension, Thomas Sheahan, is a former police chief in Oak Brook, the current village manager in Lyons and a member of a Democratic clan that has helped rule Chicago’s Southwest Side for decades.

Sharp-tongued and unapologetic about benefitting from the provision that no one else has used, the 59-year-old Sheahan said of his pension: “I worked for 24 f------ years [in the public sector], I deserve every penny of it and I deserve a lot f------ more.”

Clout-heavy ex-police chief on $30k pension sweetener: ‘I deserve every penny’ - Chicago Sun-Times