Saturday, March 22, 2008

From the pen of Ann Telnaes


Saturday Constitution Blogging

I usually post a few thoughts on the Constitution of the United States on Thursdays. It has become a regular feature, though I have never studied law and am only an ordinary citizen looking at our foundation document. This week was a bit too busy, being Holy Week. Additionally, this weekend is a time dedicated to blogging against theocracy. I am very happy to do so.

Mind you, I am anything but an anti-religious person. I am someone entrusted with preserving, teaching, and celebrating the Christian faith, first as a minister of the Gospel in a Baptist context and now as an Episcopal priest. I take my ordination vows very seriously. I take my faith very seriously. Those who read this blog know all this.

One very important part of my Baptist heritage is a belief in both separation of church and state and "soul freedom." No one may, should, or is allowed to tell anyone what to believe. Baptists were once persecuted and they were determined that no civil government should mess with anyone's belief, ever.

I cherish the right to understand my own beliefs in my own way, without interference. Even within my own faith community I "color outside the lines," but I do so knowing where the lines are supposed to be and why they are there and why they matter and why I sometimes go beyond them. I also know that I do not live in isolation and that all people and all creation is intimately interrelated, so my beliefs, my words, and my actions all affect others. I can be a bit of a rebel and very stubborn, but I am not an individualist or isolationist in the sense of deluding myself into thinking I can do whatever I want. Community matters to me and that, too, is one of the basic parts of my faith.

Just as I cherish the ability to believe and worship as I feel led, so I cherish and desire that for every other person. I do not want my government or any government dictating what religion I must join or practice, nor forbidding me to believe and practice freely. This means I stand by the right of those of any and all faiths and those of none (and those checking "undecided" as well) to believe or not as they feel led.

With the heritage or religious wars far more keenly on their mind than such matters are for us, some centuries later, the founders of the United States sought to avoid the horrors and injustice they had known where religions were established and enforced by law and sword.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Article VI

Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
From the Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by the Senate on June 7, 1797 (and therefore part of the supreme law of the land):

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

I am appalled at those who radically distort the history of the United States in order to claim that it was, at its founding or any point thereafter, a "Christian nation." This is arrant nonsense and a wicked lie. It is bruited about for the sack of misleading masses of well-meaning people into first asserting this untruth, then seeking to reinforce it, then to make it a reality. It is an attempt to enforce one set of beliefs on an entire nation and to privilege not merely one religion but, far worse, a narrow subset of that religion. It is a great evil.

We are currently threatened by dominionists and others whose explicit intent is to make the United States subject to their interpretation of God's alleged laws and values, to create a theocracy.

Such falsehoods and such plans are to be opposed at all times and in all places until they are exposed as the evil that they are and lose their appeal. Anything less is to yield our precious form of government and our soul freedom to power-hungry god-mongerers whose desire to impose their will on others is one of the most satanic things I can imagine.

May we keep this nation free, our government secular and grounded in the will of the People for the common good.

--The Rev. Paul E. Strid

My home boy - updated

I live in NM-01, the district long held by Bush-enabling Heather ("don't let my children see Janet Jackson's tit on TV") Wilson. Now we have a real candidate to replace her, one faced by an even worse Bushie than Heather.

I am proud to introduce y'all to Martin Heinrich.

Vote blue this fall!

h/t to Howie Klein at Crooks and Liars and at Firedoglake.

Here is Martin's campaign site.

Since he is the current champion for my district, I consider him to be this week's nominee for prince blogging.

In the comments Jane R said "Holy WOOF!" Yes, Martin was voted the hottest man in US politics. AND his politics are good too. Now we just need to combat Darren White's GOP scare tactics.

Jane, dear, have you checked out Scott Kleeb in Nebraska?

--the BB

You gonna buy this?

The Baculum King at Daily Kos brings us this news:
WASHINGTON - Older White House computer hard drives have been destroyed, the White House disclosed to a federal court Friday in a controversy over millions of possibly missing e-mails from 2003 to 2005.

The White House revealed new information about how it handles its computers in an effort to persuade a federal magistrate it would be fruitless to undertake an e-mail recovery plan that the court proposed.


It would be costly and time-consuming for the White House to institute an e-mail retrieval program that entails pulling data off each individual workstation, the court papers filed Friday state.

He adds a comment:
This from the Administration that brought you Iraq and pissed away billions on poisonous house trailers...

Plus that he doesn't believe a word of it. Neither, of course, do I.

Won't anyone hold these criminals accountable?
--the BB

As of today


Bach - Matthaus Passion - 1. Coro - Kommt ihr Töchter
1. Chor I & II & Choral.

(Töchter Zion und Gläubige Seelen)

Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen,
Sehet! - Wen? - den Bräutigam!
Seht ihn! - Wie? - als wie ein Lamm.
Sehet! - Was? - seht die Geduld,
Seht! - Wohin? - auf unsre Schuld.
Sehet ihn aus Lieb und Huld
Holz zum Kreuze selber tragen.
O Lamm Gottes unschuldig,
Am Stamm des Kreuzes geschlachtet,
Allzeit erfunden geduldig,
Wiewohl du warest verachtet.
All Sünd hast du getragen,
Sonst müßten wir verzagen.
Erbarm dich unser, o Jesu.

1. Chorus I & II and Chorale.

(Daughters of Zion and Faithful Souls)

Come, daughters, help me lament,
behold! - Whom? - the Bridegroom!
Behold Him! - How? - As a Lamb.
Behold! - What? - behold the patience,
look! - Where? - at our guilt.
See Him, out of love and graciousness
bear the wood for the Cross Himself.
O innocent Lamb of God,
slaughtered on the trunk of the Cross,
patient at all times,
however You were scorned.
You have borne all sins,
otherwise we would have to despair.
Have mercy on us, o Jesus.

Roy Goodman, Brandenburg Consort

In spring of 1965, my freshman year in college, the chorus and orchestra performed Bach's Saint Matthew Passion, the big concert of the year. I had friends in both the orchestra and the chorus, so I attended several rehearsals, obtained a copy of the score, and immersed myself in it. Even so, I was not prepared for the performance when it all came together. I was utterly blown away and repeatedly moved to tears. One soloist shattered me as she looked to the heavens and sang with such deep yet restrained emotion that I had to write her a note afterward. She replied, telling me that her father had just died. Torn, she decided to sing anyway and was singing for him. I attended both nights.

The following year I took a year of German just so I could understand the text of that one work. I also spent many hours in practice rooms with upright pianos until I could play the reduced accompaniment of the final chorus all the way through. I have never had a piano lesson in my life.

It is an honor to share some of the experience that marked me so deeply with you this Holy Week. Above is the opening chorus; below the penultimate meditation and the final chorus.

1. Rezitativ (Chorus I) und Chor II.

Nun ist der Herr zur Ruh gebracht.
- Mein Jesu, gute Nacht! -
Die Müh ist aus, die unsre Sünden ihm gemacht.
- Mein Jesu, gute Nacht! -
O selige Gebeine,
Seht, wie ich euch mit Buß und Reu beweine,
Daß euch mein Fall in solche Not gebracht!
- Mein Jesu, gute Nacht! -
Habt lebenslang vor euer Leiden tausend Dank,
Daß ihr mein Seelenheil so wert geacht'.
- Mein Jesu, gute Nacht! -

1. Recitative (Chorus I) and Chorus II

Now the Lord is brought to rest.
- My Jesus, good night! -
The weariness is over, that our sins have given Him.
- My Jesus, good night! -
O blessed bones,
see, how I weep over You with repentance and regret,
since my fall has brought such anguish upon You!
- My Jesus, good night! -
Lifelong, thousand thanks to You for Your suffering,
since You held my soul's salvation so dear.
- My Jesus, good night! -

Collegium Vocale Gent.

Dietrich Henschel (Bass).
Andreas Scholl (Alto).
Sibylla Rubens (Soprano)
Werner Gura (Tenor).

Dir. Philippe Herreweghe.


Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder
und rufen dir im Grabe zu:
Ruhe sanfte, sanfte ruh!
Ruht, ihr ausgesognen Glieder!
Ruhet sanfte, ruhet wohl!
Euer Grab und Leichenstein
soll dem ängstlichen Gewissen
ein bequemes Ruhekissen
und der Seelen Ruhstatt sein.
Höchst vergnügt, höchst vergnügt
schlummern da die Augen ein.

Final Chorus (this one is my own translation so it may be rough and I will take some poetic liberty to help my rough text flow):

We sit down, brought low with tears,
and cry out to you in the grave:
Rest gently, have gentle rest!
Rest your exhausted limbs!
Rest gently, rest fully!
May your grave and burial slab
be a comfortable and peaceful cushion
for your tormented conscience
and a resting place for your soul.
Highest delight be yours!
May your eyes now close in slumber.

Roy Goodman, Brandenburg Consort

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, 'After three days I will rise again.' Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, 'He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception would be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can." So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. (Matthew 27:57-66)
O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
--the BB

Eripe me de inimicis

Tibet - China
China Vows to Crush Tibet's Independence Movement
Voice of America - 1 hour ago
By VOA News China's Communist Party newspaper is calling on the government to "resolutely crush" Tibet's independence movement.
Video: House Speaker Meets With Dalai Lama AssociatedPress
China Issues Most Wanted List of Rioters ABC News

Marche dans le nord de l'Inde en signe de soutien au dalaï lama
La - Publié depuis 1 heure
Plusieurs centaines de manifestants brandissant des drapeaux tibétains et indiens ont défilé samedi dans les rues de Dharamsala pour exprimer leur soutien au dalaï lama et dénoncer la répression chinoise au Tibet. "Longue vive au dalaï lama" ou encore ...
Trente intellectuels chinois appellent Pékin au dialogue
Pékin évoque 19 morts au Tibet et craint la contagion Le Point

Embassy storm after US fans Tibet fire Hindustan Times

Taiwan Vote May Herald Closer Ties With China
New York Times - 2 hours ago
By KEITH BRADSHER TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan elected on Saturday its first president who had campaigned for closer economic relations with Beijing, paving the way for a considerable lessening of tensions in one of Asia’s oldest flashpoints.
Profile: Ma Ying-jeou BBC News
Taiwan opposition triumphs in elections CNN International

Le candidat nationaliste remporte la présidentielle à Taiwan
Le Point - Publié depuis 1 heure
Ma Ying-jeou, candidat du parti nationaliste Kuomintang, a remporté samedi l'élection présidentielle de Taiwan avec 58% des suffrages, annonçant ainsi un possible rapprochement de l'île et de la Chine continentale. Franck Hsieh, le candidat du Parti ...

Profile: Ma Ying-jeou
BBC News - 2 hours ago
Ma Ying-jeou has survived a lengthy corruption trial to emerge as the winner in Taiwan's presidential elections. The US-educated lawyer, standing for the Kuomintang (KMT), served as minister for justice and minister without portfolio during the 1990s.

Gana candidato opositor y pro chino elección presidencial en Taiwán
Vanguardia (México) - hace 1 hora
Beijing.- El candidato del Partido Kuomintang (KMT, oposición), Ma Ying-jeou, favorable de un acercamiento entre Taipei y Beijing, obtuvo este sábado una clara victoria en las elecciones presidenciales en Taiwán. Ma obtuvo 58.4 por ciento de los votos, ...

United States
Floods sweep central US
Reuters - 2 hours ago
By Ros Krasny CHICAGO (Reuters) - Swollen rivers flooded parts of the central United States on Friday and threatened to engulf a major interstate highway in Missouri, after violent rainstorms caused at least 16 deaths, according to reports on Friday.
Flooding, Heavy Snow Plague Midwest The Associated Press
Flood cleanup and more snow Reiten Television KXMB Bismarck

Sarkozy Announces Cuts in Nuclear Arsenal
Washington Post - 12 hours ago
By Molly Moore PARIS, March 21 -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a small reduction in the country's nuclear arsenal Friday during inauguration ceremonies for "Le Terrible," his military's newest nuclear-capable submarine.
France Adds Nuclear Sub and Vows to Cut Warheads New York Times
President of France Sarkozy unveils new French nuclear submarine Web in France Magazine

Francia reducirá en un tercio el arsenal nuclear
El Periódico - hace 1 hora
Por imperativo económico, el presidente de Francia, Nicolas Sarkozy, anunció ayer una reducción en "un tercio" del arsenal nuclear del país. El jefe del Estado explicó que para mantener el programa nuclear de Defensa sería necesario aumentar en un 40% ...

Party of Late Benazir Bhutto Poised to Reveal Candidate for ...
Voice of America - 2 hours ago
By VOA News The political party of slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto says it will announce its candidate for prime minister Saturday.
Musharraf Party to Nominate PM Candidate The Associated Press
Opposition quits Pakistan PM race

US stuck in Iraq despite documents
Reading Eagle - 1 hour ago
The Issue: A review of 600000 Iraqi documents reveals no operational link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. Claims of a link were used to justify the US-led invasion.
Bush Defends Iraq War in Speech New York Times
Americans still divided on end of Iraq war after 5 years Xinhua
[If 2/3 of Americans wanting us OUT of Iraq is divided, well then, yes.]

Four US soldiers killed in Iraq
AFP - 1 hour ago
The latest death brings the military's losses in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion to 3996, according to an AFP tally based on independent website icasualties.
Four US soldiers killed in Iraq BBC News
Three US soldiers die in Iraq, toll nears 4000 Reuters

The Uncertain Meaning of 4000 American Military Dead in Iraq
ABC News - 48 minutes ago
U.S. participation in the war in Iraq, and the courage and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. It will also inevitably trigger another wave of polarized debate.

Pentagon Urges Delay in US Troop Reductions in Iraq
New York Times - 11 hours ago
By STEVEN LEE MYERS WASHINGTON - Senior military commanders have presented the Bush administration with proposals to put off any plans for further reductions of troops in Iraq at least until the end of summer. At the same time, the proposals would ...
US defense chief meets commanders over Iraq strategy AFP
Pentagon: Put off US Iraq troop cuts PRESS TV

«Les Américains ne peuvent pas gagner cette guerre» - 20 mar 2008
Il ya cinq ans, les troupes américaines entraient en Irak. Aujourd'hui, elles se trouvent empêtrées dans une guérilla qu'elles ne peuvent que perdre, juge Albert A. Stahel, expert suisse en stratégie. Malgré la mort de 650'000 Irakiens et de 4000 ...
Cinq années de guerre en Irak ont renforcé l'Iran Ouest-France
Situation sanitaire en Irak: MDM tance la communauté internationale

Binny and Benny
Vatican Security Worries Over bin Laden Tape
New York Times - 10 hours ago
By IAN FISHER ROME - The Vatican on Thursday rejected an audiotaped accusation from Osama bin Laden that Pope Benedict XVI was leading a “new Crusade” against Muslims, but Italian security officials were concerned about the threats included in Mr.
El Vaticano considera «sin sentido» las acusaciones de Bin Laden
ABC - 20 Mar 2008
ROMA. El Vaticano rechazó ayer categóricamente las acusaciones de Bin Laden contra el Papa, formuladas en una grabación de audio en una página web cercana a Al Qaida, considerada auténtica por la Inteligencia norteamericana. Sobre las caricaturas de ...

Sri Lanka
S.Lanka bombs Tiger rebels after navy boat sunk
Reuters - 4 hours ago
By Rob Taylor COLOMBO, March 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan air force jets bombed rebel Tamil Tiger ground positions on Saturday after a navy patrol boat was sunk by a suspected rebel mine off the northeast coast, with 10 of the 16 crew missing and feared ...
Ten Sri Lankan sailors missing after Navy boat burst into flames ... CNN International
Tigers sink Sri Lanka craft, heavy land battles erupt AFP

Americans aren't the only ill-informed
Winston Churchill walked on moon, say pupils - 20 Mar 2008
By Lucy Cockcroft One in three primary school pupils believe that Sir Winston Churchill was the first man to walk on the moon, according to a survey.

Chypre: la presse salue la relance des négociations sur l'avenir ...
Le Monde - Il y a 4 heures
La presse chypriote grecque, enthousiaste, a salué samedi la décision des dirigeants des communautés grecque et turque de relancer les négociations pour mettre fin à 34 ans de partition de l'île, affirmant toutefois que beaucoup de difficultés les ...
Chypre fait un pas vers la réunification France Info
Chypre: geste symbolique et relance des négociations sur l'avenir ... AFP

Cypriots to remove barricades in landmark deal
Reuters - 1 hour ago
By Michele Kambas and Simon Bahceli NICOSIA (Reuters) - Rival sides on divided Cyprus were preparing to dismantle a poignant symbol of half a century of division in a move diplomats hope will improve the climate for new peace talks.
Cyprus Leaders Agree to Restart Talks on Reunification New York Times
Cyprus peace back on the agenda BBC News

Symbole de la division de Chypre, la rue Ledra bientôt rouverte
Le Point - Il y a 17 minutes
Chypriotes grecs et turcs se préparent à démanteler à partir de lundi le mur de la rue Ledra, dans la vieille ville de Nicosie, symbole de la division de l'île depuis près d'un demi-siècle. "Si tout se passe comme nous le prévoyons, nous pensons ...

Afghanistan - France
Sarkozy va envoyer un millier de soldats supplémentaires en ...
France Info - Il y a 4 heures
Le président français Nicolas Sarkozy devrait annoncer au Premier ministre britannique, au cours d’une visite à Londres la semaine prochaine, qu’il compte envoyer un millier de soldats français supplémentaires en Afghanistan, a indiqué le Times samedi. ...
La France serait prête à envoyer 1.000 soldats en Afghanistan L'Express
Nicolas Sarkozy serait prêt à envoyer 1 000 soldats ... Le Monde

'MDC will not be taken for a ride again'
Independent Online - 1 hour ago
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has threatened to pull out of general elections next week if electoral authorities proceed with a plan to count presidential election ballots at a national command centre instead of polling stations.
Mugabe warns rivals against Kenya-style violence Reuters South Africa
Zimbabwe police jailed for 'bias' BBC News

Palestine - Israel - Egypt
Hamas, Jihad officials head to Egypt for truce talks with Israel
Xinhua - 4 hours ago
GAZA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Leaders representing Hamas and Islamic Jihad (Holy War) movements will head to Egypt for talks on a possible truce with Israel, well-informed Palestinian sources announced on Saturday.
Hamas men 'tortured by Egyptians' BBC News
Egypt to supply electricity to Gaza

Sufre España atentado de la ETA
Vanguardia (México) - hace 1 hora
Madrid.— La organización terrorista vasca ETA hizo ayer explotar un coche-bomba junto al cuartel de la Guardia Civil de Calahorra (La Rioja), que aunque no provocó ninguna víctima mortal, sí causó importantes daños materiales en 40 viviendas de los ...
Calahorra arropa a la Guardia Civil La Rioja
Concentraciones en provincia española de La Rioja contra ETA tras ... El Comercio (Ecuador)

World Health
Carecen de sanitario casi 40% de las personas en el mundo
El Universal (México) - 20 Mar 2008
16:05 Más de 2.6 millones de personas en el mundo, la mayoría de ellas en Africa, viven sin acceso a excusados adecuados, lo cual les hace vulnerables a numerosos riesgos para su salud, lamentó hoy la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU). ...
La ONU organiza una cola "reivindicativa" ante un aseo público en ... Unión Radio
Carece de adecuado saneamiento 60 por ciento africanos, ONU Prensa Latina

OMS destaca lentitud en combate a la tuberculosis - 17 Mar 2008
La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) llamó hoy a redoblar los esfuerzos en el combate global contra la tuberculosis, tras la divulgación de un informe que confirma una desaceleración en las acciones contra la enfermedad. ...

La mitad de la población mundial carece de acceso adecuado al agua
Diario de Sevilla - 20 Mar 2008
La falta de un saneamiento adecuado, que afecta en pleno siglo XXI a 2.600 millones de personas, un 41 por ciento de la población mundial, es una grave amenaza para la salud a la vez que una ofensa la dignidad humana, recordaron hoy la Organización ...

Prayer in Grief for War
Blessed One, I cry out to you in grief that our human wisdom has failed and we have fallen into the sin of war and many lives are being lost; the evil we would not do, we do; the good we would do, we fail to do; and we dwell in this body of death despite your will to deliver us. Let me not push away depression and sorrow, but cherish them as signs of the knitting together of my heart with yours, through your boundless grace, through which alone, may I and the world be healed. I pray with Jesus, your Beloved, who also wept. Amen.
--Episcopal Church Peace Ministries

--the BB

Friday, March 21, 2008


The Epistle: Hebrews 10:1-25

Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach. Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshipers, cleansed once for all, would not longer have any consciousness of sin? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, 'See, God, I have come to do your will, O God' (in the scroll of the book it is written of me)." When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), then he added, "See, I have come to do your will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, "he sat down at the right hand of God," and since then has been waiting "until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet. "For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds," he also adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Aus Liebe - St.Matthew Passsion, J.S.Bach BWV 244

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
--the BB

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Let's look more closely at Bushspeak

Ah, my little blogswarmers, all tired out from yesterday? Well, here is a diary from Daily Kos that I noted in this evenings "rescued" category (for non DK readers, these are posts that might come and go without notice but someone thought they deserve a look).

Vox humana's post is titled "Iraq: In Fighting This Battle, Mr. Bush Lost the War."

The history of shifting rationales for the war is explored and then an analysis on whether Bush or the terrorists are winning, based on the principles of democracies that Bush himself outlined in yesterday's speech. A delicious dissection. Enjoy.
--the BB


For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26 )
Love by George Herbert

LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
'Who made the eyes but I?'

'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.

Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around him. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around himself. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered, "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand." Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you." For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, "Not all of you are clean." After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you." (John 13:1-15)
"Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end."

This tells us what we need to know of God, a god worthy of adoration and service. This tells us what we need to know of love, a love that perseveres and prevails. This tells us what we need to know of ourselves; that we, unlovely in our own eyes, are nevertheless beloved. This tells us what we need to know of our neighbor, and of our enemy; that they too are loved. This tells us how we ought to live, to love, to be with each other. And that, though we fail often and fall far short, there is still welcome at the table, and food and drink and love to share.

Tenebrae Factae Sunt, by Tomás Luis de Victoria

Panis angelicus
fit panis hominum;
Dat panis coelicus
figuris terminum:
O res mirabilis!
Manducat Dominum
Pauper, servus et humilis.
Te trina Deitas
unaque poscimus:
Sic nos tu visita,
sicut te colimus;
Per tuas semitas
duc nos quo tendimus,
Ad lucem quam inhabitas.

The Bread of Angels
becomes the bread of humans;
The Bread of heaven
ends all prefigurations:
What wonder!
a poor and humble servant
consumes him, the Lord.
We beg of You,
God, One in Three
that you visit us,
as we worship You.
By your ways,
lead us who seek
the light in which You dwell.
--Thomas Aquinas

Jose Cura sings 'Panis Angelicus'

Jonathan Peter Kenny - Matthaus Passion - Erbarme Dich

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
--the BB

Salvum me fac, Deus

Tibet - China
In Remote China, Tibetans Break Silence
The Associated Press - 1 hour ago
TONGREN, China (AP) - A Tibetan monk crouched in the quiet courtyard of a nearly deserted monastery and bitterly recalled the words he and his fellow monks have been forced to recite every year at government-organized classes: "I love this country.
Transcript: James Miles interview on Tibet CNN
China asks Dalai Lama to create conditions for talks Hindu

China Blankets Tibetan Areas With Troops
The Associated Press - 1 hour ago
ZHONGDIAN, China (AP) - China blanketed restive Tibetan areas Thursday with a huge buildup of troops, turning small towns across a wide swath of western China into armed encampments.
China admits firing on Tibetan protesters
Police 'shot at Tibet protesters' BBC News

Tibet: le Canada appelle la Chine à la retenue - Publié depuis 1 heure
OTTAWA - Le Canada a appelé jeudi la Chine à "faire preuve de retenue dans son intervention" contre les protestataires tibétains et à entamer "un dialogue direct" avec le dalaï-lama. "Le Canada partage les inquiétudes de la population face à la ...
Le dalaï lama se dit prêt à aller à Pékin 20

Tibetan monks: A controlled life
BBC News - 48 minutes ago
China's crackdown on monk-led rallies in Lhasa is part of a long history of state control of monasteries, argues Peter Firstbrook, producer of BBC Four series A Year in Tibet.
Rice: China should reach out to Dalai Lama on Tibet Reuters India

Dispuesto el Dalai Lama a dialogar con China
El Financiero (México) - hace 6 horas
Beijing, 20 de marzo.- Al menos 24 personas fueron detenidas hoy y 170 se entregaron a las autoridades chinas tras la revuelta en Lhasa, capital del Tíbet, mientras el Dalai Lama expresó su disposición a reunirse con el presidente chino Hu Jintao. ...
China preocupada por posible reunión Brown-Dalai Lama Univisión
China reconoce que se propagan protestas y el Dalai Lama ofrece ... El Universal (Venezuela)

Pékin admet l'existence de troubles hors du Tibet
La - Il y a 8 heures
Pour la première fois depuis le début de la crise tibétaine la semaine dernière, un média officiel chinois a reconnu jeudi que les manifestations s'étaient étendues à d'autres provinces du pays. Le Dalaï Lama a réitéré sa disponibilité à discuter avec ...
Des Jeux olympiques déjà entachés Courrier International

Kosovo - Serbia
Serbia pulls envoys as neighbours recognise Kosovo
Reuters - 2 hours ago
BELGRADE, March 20 (Reuters) - Serbia is withdrawing its ambassadors from Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria in response to their recognition of Kosovo as an independent state, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
UN: 'Rock-solid' proof of Serbia's hand in Kosovo violence Christian Science Monitor
Bulgaria accepts Kosovo statehood BBC News

Palestinian Officials: Bid to Reconcile Hamas, Fatah Fails
Voice of America - 3 hours ago
By VOA News Palestinian officials say Yemeni-brokered talks have failed to reconcile differences between rival Palestinian factions - Hamas and Fatah.
Yemen-brokered PA faction talks fail Jerusalem Post
Palestinian talks in Yemen 'fail' BBC News

Unity urged on Iraq war anniversary - 6 hours ago
Iraq's president has welcomed the removal of the previous leader Saddam Hussein on the fifth anniversary of an invasion by a US-led coalition, while urging Iraqis to work towards peace.
Feature: Five years of war too many for Americans Xinhua
Bush defends Iraq war on fifth anniversary International Herald Tribune

Iraq war, five years later: Death, lies and an uncertain future
San Francisco Chronicle - 1 hour ago
Yesterday, commemorating the fifth anniversary of his war in Iraq, George W. Bush spoke to an audience of military and US Department of Defense officials at the Pentagon in Washington.
Can't say I'm sorry to have left Iraq Globe and Mail

Maliki Says Iraq Must Overcome
Wall Street Journal - 3 hours ago
AP BAGHDAD -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday that Iraq must rise above the violence and assert itself in international and cultural forums in a bid to achieve normalcy as the war enters its sixth year.
PM Says Iraq Must Rise Above Violence The Associated Press
Iraqi Leader Tries to Rally Morale The Associated Press

Iraqis say war failed to win battle for democracy
AFP - 37 minutes ago
BAGHDAD (AFP) - The United States has crushed the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein but failed to win the battle for democracy in Iraq, many Iraqis said as they marked the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion.
UK Iraqis wait for silver lining BBC News

Taiwan - China
China Tensions Sway Taiwan Election
New York Times - 6 hours ago
Ma Ying-jeou, the Nationalist Party’s presidential candidate, in Kaohsiung County in southern Taiwan on Thursday. By KEITH BRADSHER TAIPEI, Taiwan - China’s suppression of protests in Tibet and missteps by the opposition Nationalist Party have made the ...
China's Actions Against Tibet Overshadow Taiwan Elections Voice of America
Why Taiwan's election matters in Silicon Valley San Jose Mercury News

US Employment
Jobless Claims Jump by 22000
The Associated Press - 3 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of newly laid off workers filing for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level in nearly two months, providing more evidence that the weak economy is drying up jobs.

Al Qaeda - Vatican - Gaza - Iraq
Bin Laden: Pope Helps Anti-Islam Crusade
The Associated Press - 2 hours ago
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Osama bin Laden accused Pope Benedict XVI of helping in a "new Crusade" against Islam and warned of a "severe" reaction to European publications of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that insulted many Muslims.
Video: New Purported bin Laden Tape Surfaces AssociatedPress
Bin Laden tape voice 'authentic' BBC News

WRAPUP 1-Bin Laden says free Gaza with "iron and fire"
Reuters - 1 hour ago
By Lin Noueihed DUBAI, March 20 (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden urged Palestinians on Thursday to use "iron and fire" to end an Israeli blockade of Gaza, in a recording after the Vatican rejected accusations by the al Qaeda chief of a "new crusade".

Confirma la CIA que la voz del video de Al Qaeda es de Bin Laden
El Universal (México) - hace 4 horas
11:02 La Agencia Central de Inteligencia de EU señaló hoy que está prácticamente segura de que la voz que aparece en el nuevo video en el que Al Qaeda amenaza a la Unión Europea es la de Osama Bin Laden. El funcionario de inteligencia estadounidense ...
Consideran servicios secretos EU auténtico nuevo video Bin Laden Milenio
Libertad Palestina necesita 'hierro y fuego': bin Laden Reuters América Latina

Ben Laden appelle à la guerre sainte en Irak
France Info - Publié depuis 1 heure
Le chef d’Al-Qaeda Oussama ben Laden exhorte les musulmans à soutenir l’insurrection en Irak, jugeant que cette attitude est le meilleur moyen de soutenir les Palestiniens, dans un message audio diffusé par Al-Jazira. "Le champ de bataille du Jihad (la ...

NATO - Afghanistan - US
US commitment to Nato 'at risk'
BBC News - 15 hours ago
US commitment to Nato risks being undermined because some European nations are unwilling to deploy more troops in Afghanistan, MPs have warned.
Warning over NATO 'mistrust' ePolitix
MPs warn Nato nations must spend more money on defence Scotsman

Afghanistan - the Dark Lord
Il vice presidente americano Cheney e' arrivato a Kabul
RaiNews24 - 12 ore fa
Il vice presidente americano, Dick Cheney, e' arrivato questa mattina a Kabul, in Afghanistan, dove avra' un incontro con il presidente Hamid Karzai. I colloqui dovrebbero essere incentrati sulla lotta contro i movimenti estremisti, in vista del summit ...
Afghanistan. Visita a sorpresa di Cheney per colloquio con Karzai Agenzia Radicale
Afghanistan, Cheney torna a Kabul La Voce d'Italia

Belgique: le gouvernement Leterme a prêté serment
La - Publié depuis 1 heure
Le chrétien-démocrate flamand Yves Leterme a été désigné jeudi par le roi Albert II comme Premier ministre de la Belgique à la tête d'une fragile coalition de cinq partis. Il succède au gouvernement intérimaire du libéral flamand Guy Verhofstadt après ...
Le roi Albert II de Belgique nomme Yves Leterme Premier ministre L'Express
Belgique: la crise trouve temporairement un terme RFJ

Health - the drug Ecstasy affects the brain in a manner similar to Alzheimers
Ecstasy, pericolosa come l'Alzheimer
Barimia - 11 ore fa
Una ricerca condotta dal Neuromed, l’Istituto neurologico mediterraneo di Pozzili ( provincia di Isernia), e pubblicato sul Journal of Neuroscience ha appurato che l’assunzione di ecstasy provoca danni cerebrali simili a quelli dovuti alle forme di ...
«L'ecstasy provoca alterazioni simili a quelle della demenza» La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno

North Africa - and Austrian hostages
Otages autrichiens sûrement localisés
Le Figaro - Il y a 6 heures
Les deux otages autrichiens enlevés le mois derniers par la branche du Maghreb d'Al-Qaïda alors qu'ils voyageaient dans le Sud tunisien, sont probablement retenus dans la région de Tombouctou dans le nord du Mali, selon un chef touareg rebelle ...
L'Autriche hostile au versement d'une rançon pour ses otages Le Point
La Tunisie, nouveau nid de l'islam radical ? MediaPart

Prayer for our enemies
Holy and merciful God: you have made us for yourself and you keep us in all our ways; hear our prayer for our enemies and all who wish us harm. Watch over them as you watch over us, and help us never to forget that they also are made in your image by your love. May the time soon come when our conflicts cease and that love prevails in all the world; through Jesus our Savior. Amen.
(from Episcopal Church Peace Ministries - h/t to Susan Russell)

--the BB

Tibet update

China pours troops into Tibet
by Peter Harmsen
Thu Mar 20, 6:36 AM ET
Thousands of soldiers were seen in Lhasa on Thursday amid reports of a huge military build-up, as the Dalai Lama expressed fears China's crackdown on Tibetan protesters had caused many casualties.

Long military convoys were on the move in Tibet while a build-up of troops also took place in nearby provinces, after a week of violent unrest against China's rule of the region, witnesses, activist groups and media reports said.


--the BB


Joe Brewer and George Lakoff have an article at Truthout titled "We Need a President, Not Just a Commander in Chief." Nice discussion of the perils of narrowing our primary image down to military mode alone.

Barbara O'Brien provides background on the situation in Tibet here.

William R. Polk has an extensive guest article posted at Informed Comment. The title is "Iran: Danger and Opportunity." Polk provides an interesting analysis of the risk of a US attack on Iran and also the potential for positive action instead.

The New York Times weighs in on Bush's speech yesterday.

I was heartened by this news today (heard first on the radio):
A three-judge panel on the D.C. Court of Appeals stripped Libby of his ability to practice law after he was found guilty last year of obstructing the investigation in the CIA leak investigation, WTOP radio reported. [emphasis mine]
SilentPatriot at Crooks and Liars lets us know that Bill Maher offers us a great new campaign slogan for Grandpa John:

Susan Russell, who has a son in the military, posted some great prayers from Episcopal Peace Ministries.

FranIAm wrestles with footwashing, the new commandment, and how we feel about warmongers in a challenging post.

Jane R shares a great quote from France's last surviving World War I veteran, Lazare Ponticelli, who died last week at 110:
You shoot at men who are fathers: war is completely stupid.
Mimi has a thoughtful poem for today.

Of course, our blog friends put out fascinating and provocative and uplifting material all the time. Blessings upon them all.
--the BB