Whose Words Will You Hear?


There have been lots of people writing about this for the past several days. Last week when talk of the three "principled" republicans was all over the news assuring us that they would keep the President from allowing legalized torture, deep down in my heart I knew better, just as I know that Sen. Specter will cave on habeas corpus.

The blogs have been abuzz with outrage for good reason. Now they are looking for the "right" moral words, the "right" moral voice to rise above the fray in a way that can be heard. Sadly, tragically, that won't happen. Since when do we need some magic words to replace the simple statement that "We don't torture people. It's inhuman and Unamerican?" Will religious or scriptural words say it any better? Will they have more meaning? if so, to whom? Who is eager to hear them besides the liberals and progressives that are already outraged beyond belief?

The people who want to legalize torture and do away with habeas corpus also want to absolve all who have tortured or taken part in the cover up of their legal "sins." Well, that's to be expected from the gang who have been running this country into the ground for the past almost 6 years. God forbid anyone should be held accountable to anyone for anything.

This is the week of the Jewish New Year. One of the classic readings in the liturgy is this:

Let us proclaim the sacred power of this day;
it is awesome and full of dread.
For on this day Your dominion is exalted,
Your throne established in steadfast love;
there in truth You reign.
In truth You are
Judge and Arbiter, Counsel and Witness.
You write and You seal, You record and recount.
You remember deeds long forgotten.
You open the book of our days,
and what is written there proclaims itself,
for it bears the signature
of every human being.

On Rosh Hashanah it is written,
on Yom Kippur it is sealed:
How many lives shall pass on, how many shall come to be;
who shall live and who shall die;
who shall see ripe age and who shall not;
who shall perish by fire and who by water;
who by sword and who by beast;
who by hunger and who by thirst;
who by earthquake and who by plague;
who by strangling and who by stoning;
who shall be secure and who shall be driven;
who shall be tranquil and who shall be troubled;
who shall be poor and who shall be rich;
who shall be humbled and who exalted.

But REPENTANCE, PRAYER, and CHARITY temper judgment's severe decree.

For a religious person, this might make sense. But the people serving in the highest offices in the country are not religious people. They have no faith, no hearts, no souls. They care only about power and wealth and will do anything to hold on to them.

As Rosh Hashanah gives way to Yom Kippur, tradition says that the book of life is opened and God makes decisions about who shall live, who shall die, who shall see ripe old age, who shall not, etc. This is the week those decisions are made. This is the week for believers to get their spiritual houses in order. This is the week for making amends. BUT, and this is a huge caveat, people cannot ask forgiveness of God for the sins they have committed against one another, only for the sins committed against God. Face to face atonement is required before sundown on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

There will be nothing this Administration can do that can forgive them for what they are about to do. And there is nothing the compliant Congress can do either if they let this travesty happen and I speak of the Democrats as well as the Republicans. There are no perfect words of morality that can be uttered to stop them if they don't get it deep in their own hearts and souls. And if they don't, there is no hope for them. Not in this world or in the next (if there is one).

This is not about protecting the American people from terrorists and EVERYONE knows it. The question is who will stand up and put a stop to it?

Is there no one left that has the moral fortitude to stop this?


Inter est ing

I met with my colleagues today for the first time in a long while. The colleagues in the district normally meet monthly from Sept. through May and provide support, some forms of continuing education at times, and worship for one another. Today, one of my colleagues led worship and spoke of the "inter est ing" times we are living in. Inter— within, among, connected; est—being, to be. We are being, living with, connected to, one another in these interesting times (the ancient Chinese curse is, "may you live in interesting times." )

Many of my colleagues returned from a summer feeling really stressed about the state of the world. Watching the bombing of Lebanon and Israel was different this time, different from the other wars and incursions in the past. It felt far more scary. I understand that. For the first time since the founding of modern Israel in 1948, the Big, Powerful US of A is no longer the superpower that can make everything all right by waving it's big stick. The curtain has been pulled on the mighty Wizard of Oz and there's not much there. Those folks out there who thought we could make things better, know now that we can't.

We are in an interesting profession, my colleagues and I. We are the people whose job it is to find the hope when and where there doesn't seem to be any. Of all of the people in that room today, I probably spend more time than most, if not all, reading the blogs, listening to the news, paying close attention to politics. And I think I was probably one of the most hope filled people there because of it. I truly believe that knowledge is power. Ignorance exacerbates fear. The more I can learn about what scares me, the less fear I feel because along with learning about the issue, I have the blogs to help me figure out what actions to take which in turn makes me feel less powerless. It is because I have found a new world of people who are equally engaged in changing the situation we find our country in that I have hope.

And, hopefully, I will find ways to help others find this stream of hope within the amazing online community that shares information, ideas, and energy in order to actively bend this world back toward the justice, peace and love that we all crave.

No Macaca Moment for Me


I had an unenviable task today.

KathrynMA and I got up really early and drove down to Newtown, CT today to join with Ned Lamont and cheer him on in the Newtown Parade. *xyz and scarecrow from FDL joined up with us. CTBob, Eric, Maura, Keith and Ed were there too. Ned, Annie and the kids were also there in great spirits. It was quite a day. Thanks to Joe there were press releases about how he had been invited and then uninvited to march in the parade. For nine years he had been invited but didn't bother to show up. Why should he? He had already been installed in his permanent seat in the US Senate. Since LOSING the DEMOCRATIC primary on August 8 to Ned Lamont and then most UNgraciously deciding that he would run anyway, he decided to show up for the parade. He had at most around 30 followers with him.

Ned, on the other hand had well over a hundred.

IMG_7762 IMG_7757

As I was standing in the crowd with my new video camera, Fletcher came up to me and said that Swannie had a favor to ask. Would I be willing to stick with Joe and take videos of him throughout the parade? Deep breath. "Anything for the team" said I.

So I spent the whole parade walking along side of Joe and Hadassa, bobbing and weaving capturing many of his moves with the crowd. I left my friends with Ned and ventured into the enemy camp.

Sad to say that Holy Joe got a welcome reception. It had me worried. A lot. Then at the end of the parade I learned a few things. 1. Ned won Newtown in the Primary. 2. Newtown is republican territory.

AHA, that explained a lot. The folks coming up to Joe and cheering him on were the REPUBLICANS!


After the parade, I gave my tape to Fletcher after extracting a promise that he would send it to me after downloading it. He apologized for ruining my day. In the mean time I had used up the end of the roll on Ned in Danbury at the Dem. HQ where he gave the crowd something to cheer about. His public speaking is getting better by the day!.

Then, Kathryn, scarecrow and I went to a diner for lunch before returning home.

Spending that much time dogging Joe, I needed a shower when I got home.
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