Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fort Bragg Disaster

Now that we know the seriously dilapidated conditions of Fort Bragg barracks, once again we learn of Bush administration hypocrisy. They all talk about the military, but we are discovering time and again that real support for returning veterans is failing.


Because there's no money.

It's all gone to the rich and what's left is pouring into foreign coffers.

Bush and gang is the biggest sham and scam we've ever seen.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I am ashamed of my nation.

After all these years, we're sinking lower into the slough of despond, if you will, with regard to race. I feel like a kid in Florida many years ago when walking with my mother in a Miami shopping district - an elderly Black man coming our way stepped off the sidewalk into the gutter, nodding at us as walked by. That image, along with "Colored Only" drinking fountains and movie-theater entrances, is forever seared in my memory.

Have we made material progress? I suppose we have, but our emotional state, our spiritual condition, seems to have gotten stuck, masked by the material progress, but now unmasked by the fiery rhetoric of Wright - if he threw dawn a gauntlet, white folks are donning the hooded robe, retreating into all the old knee-jerk reactions and spouting the same old cliches, albeit a bit more politely.

I'm stunned by the media - pigs, bottom-feeders, every imaginable low-life description fails to capture what they're doing to this good nation. CNN is leading the way - how low have they sunk; how corrupt have they become. Where's Aaron Brown when we need him?

I'm stunned by Hillary and her desperate handlers who have played the race card, albeit "politely." And McCain, too - of course, this is to be expected, but here would be an extraordinary opportunity for both senators to come to the defense of Senator Obama, and to challenge this nation on the issues of race - to speak the truth!

But with feigned seriousness (McCain) and jolly assurance (Hillary), we're told that Wright's influence rightly concerns good Americans. As for Wright, I hope he stays with it.

If Obama is going to lose the nomination of his party, then he will lose with dignity and right in his corner, and if Wright is the obvious cause, then so be it - far better to be Wright these days than a groveling politico pandering to the worst instincts of our nation.

I am ashamed!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Warring Madness

Harry Emerson Fosdick's hymn, third verse:

Cure Thy children’s warring madness,
Bend our pride to Thy control.
Shame our wanton selfish gladness,
Rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.

"Thy children's warring madness" - I'm listening right now to CNN (my, how low they sunk) and a Wolf Blitzer (blitzed?) forum on Iran, Syria, North Korea, Israel (the maddest of them all) - it's as if we're hellbent on war.

We sniff a little gunpowder, or an isotope, and we go mad.

Are we so insecure? So little in our own minds that we can only react like a schoolyard bully to every threat, real or imagined? And how large are these threats? And who's the enemy?

Feinstein thought Israel's bombing of the alleged nuclear facility was right - because Israel can't tolerate "a hostile neighbor" on its border.

A hostile neighbor - wonder how Syria feels because good ol' Israel has the bomb, and we know it, and we're glad to make Israel our little pawn in the Middle East - to make Israel the hostile neighbor to everyone, slowly stripping Israel of its humanity, turning it into a first-class oppressor-nation of the Palestinians - not to mention Palestinian Christians of various sorts - and a technologically advanced terrorist nation able to mount a bombing attack, not with strap-on vests, but high-tech jets and smart bombs - yup, this makes it a military adventure, not a terrorist attack.

In the recently available photo scrapbook from Dachau, Allied air-raids are described as "terrorist" attacks. Interesting how perspective makes all the difference. We all spin our own perspective to match our own ideological bias, and, of course, we're always the good guys. America has this insane desire to be innocent all the time, and what crimes we commit against our own history and the peoples of the world to sustain this false god, this terrible illusion.

But to return to Fosdick's hymn.

It's an appeal to God to "cure" us. And I echo that prayer, but I wonder if God doesn't say: "Cure yourselves. You can do it, you have what it takes, so don't dump this in my lap."

And more to the point: I wonder if God is letting us chart our own course toward war. "If this is what you want, far be it from me to stand in your way. War you want? War you shall have."

Fosdick is right: we are rich in things, although recent economic patterns are threatening that, too.

And profoundly poor in soul.

Where's the church in all of this?
I'm the church.
I'm a pastor.
I don't even know where to begin.

We're enthralled with ourselves ... we're stuck in a time warp ... we're so into Jesus, we're oblivious to the world, or we're so sophisticated, we deal with the world only through university-sponsored workshops that result in placards and pronouncements, and then we smoke a joint or have a drink and forget about it.

Anyway, I think we're in a pickle ... and God is going to let us pickle ourselves ... until we're so tired of it, so desperate for another way, we'll reach within and discover our own peace, and reach upward and discover God's peace, and reach out to others and give them peace.

But until then, our warring madness is leading us down a dark and dangerous path, from which there is no return except a radical decision to pursue peace rather than wage war.

Ah, nothing like the smell of napalm in the morning.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Where to from here ...

Now that Hillary is back in the saddle, can the Dems continue this campaign without doing damage to their chances this fall?

I'm confident that McCain won't win, but can the Dems pull together and unite this country around a new agenda?

A new agenda badly needed.

Sometimes a good look in the mirror helps us see ourselves for what we are, and just this morning, in the New York Times, the following article about Putin and the Orthodox Church - as if Putin has taken a page right out of Bush's playbook:

Ever since Constantine chose Christianity as his safeguard for the Empire, we've seen this terrible relationship play itself out countless times with always the same consequences: loss of freedom for everyone outside the partnership, power for those within it, a loss of soul for religion and the further insulation of the government from healthy criticism.

What Bush did for nearly eight years Putin is doing with a Russian flair.

Time for a new agenda in America.

And oil prices?

Oil isn't going up ... the American dollar is falling!

Everything Bush and his spiritual granddaddy Reagen brought to this country is now in a state of failure, and we've yet to calculate the full cost, not only for ourselves, but for the entire world, as food prices escalate and international relations remain edgy.

I don't know how Bush can sleep at night, other than the sleep of the idiot.

I hope that when the Dems are finally able to clean house and put things back together again, there will be further investigations into the corruption of Bush and Gang - they have pillaged the American Dream and left us in rags.

Monday, April 21, 2008


From the get-go, my wife and I were in Hillary's camp, but the day of the California Primary, I switched my vote to Obama in the voting booth. My wife stands with Hillary.

I have no doubt Hillary has all the experience we need and then some; she would make a great President, but it's time for a change.

Starting with George 1 as vice-president under Reagan in 1981, the Bush and Clinton families have dominated our politics. A friend of mine, in his late 30s, said, "That's pretty much my entire adult life."

So, I switched to Obama and I'm sticking with him - we need a breath of fresh air.

And of late, I've become increasingly irritated with Hillary, not for her proposals, but for the Republican-like manner in which she's gone after Obama. Something wrong here; something way over the top - something desperate and mean-spirited, and as for Bill, I've been one of his biggest fans, but his behavior of late has been nothing but disappointing. As far as I'm concerned, his record as President (one of the best) has been compromised by his less than stellar behavior.

Bill needs to think twice about this and embrace the statesman-like quality of Jimmy Carter who has continued to enlarge his role in history far and beyond his term of president.

Pay attention Bill.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


When George Bush ordered up our armed forces, he initiated a chain-reaction of violence that has done great harm to tens of thousands, if not millions.

First of all, Bush allowed violence already done to dictate the means to be used.

Whatever the reason, whatever the justification, violence infects all of us with disvalues: inevitable loss of regard for the human. When violence is chosen, we are forced to give up some of our values, and the more violence escalates, the more is our moral compromise. Violence slowly but surely corrodes the moral character of persons and nations.

See William H. Shannon's Silent Lamp: The Thomas Merton Story, p. 243.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Guns or Religion - Obama

Obama's remark about hard times and desperate people turning to guns or religion may have been expressed more sensitively, but the point he makes is accurate. Anger hides in the off-beaten corners of our society, even as it stalks us on our streets. Hard pressed and up against the wall, folks can turn to extreme private rights - such as guns, and it's only a breath away from right-wing religion - all of it, a champion of the down-and-out, channeling their sorrow into often destructive pathways.

I surely hope folks of intelligence and compassion will see in these remarks an accurate description of desperate people longing for meaning and power.

For those with power and wealth, for those with the means to effect positive change in their status, it's difficult to imagine what powerlessness feels like; how maddening it is to see your life's saving slip away, an ill child suffer for want of medical care because the family has no insurance, to see the future as a looming darkness and to live with unpaid bills, humiliating letters and late-night phone calls threatening suit and foreclosure, or whatever else is needed to intimidate those who live on the margins.

Obama is right, and I hope that Senator Clinton, herself a champion of the poor and the struggling middle class, refrains from attack, and helps call the nation's attention to the plight of millions, marshaling our resources and resolve to rebuild the middle class, rescue millions from the edge of poverty, rebuild our economic engines and thereby lessen the temptation to dysfunctional expressions of power and religion.

Obama is right!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Headed in Wrong Direction

Recent poll - 81 per cent of Americans believe we're headed in the wrong direction, and the President's approval rating has sunk to 29 percent. Only 21 percent said the economy is in good shape - wonder who they are.

Of course we're headed in the wrong direction ... Bush, wrapped in the flag and spouting religious goobledegook generated by the Gestapo Gang: Robertson, Falwell and Kennedy, stripped this nation of its values of freedom and compassion, turning us into a little fundamentalist congregation doing battle with everyone.

Bush has ruined our economy, taken us into a military dead-end weakening our military, taking thousands of civilian lives, added judges to the Supreme Court who will continue for years to erode the freedoms it took years to establish, ruined our economy and sapped the dollar.

I can't think of a better ending to our Bushy Boy then to put him back into his flight suit (with those tight straps), tell him - "Don't worry; the war is over" - haul him off to Tikrit, put him in a unit and let him watch the horror of war he so glibly glorifies (see Stop-Loss).

Thank God Americans are waking up to the horror of the last 8 years - an administration corrupt and conniving, master of doublespeak, heralding justice and democracy as a blatant cover for greed and world-dominance.

Americans are fundamentally a decent folk - large reserves of kindness and compassion, and liberty. Rightly so, the American public senses that Bush and Gang have taken us in the wrong direction.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tax Breaks for Oil

Poor oil.

Raking in billions ... but not enough to fund exploration ... boo hoo, sniff, sniff.

I am so tired of President Hoover, er, Bush and Gang, and the tears of the oligarchy.

Meanwhile, millions of Moms go without to bring their children to poorly-funded schools, living in cities with mostly marginal public transportation, trying to build a life when everything in the village conspires against it.

But, noooooo tears here. She's on her own, and if she wanted to make something of her life, she could. So, quit your sniveling sweetie. Take a look around you; check out those gated communities and posh cars - you could have it, sweetie, if you were smart enough - just like those folks.

Meanwhile, back at the Bush ranch ... how about a few more breaks for my oil buddies - they're poor and needy.