Saturday, November 29, 2008

A blog I like to read, mostly because it keeps me informed about what is going on in the world of the ECUSA as well as others, politically, just a bit of morbid curiosity, because I don't think I'd rejoin the church for any reason, but maybe a touch of schadenfreude. That being said, I can't say I really agree with his lambasting of some of the holdiay tips given by the "keep Christmas GREEN" bunch. Some of them are downright silly and of course there is the obligatory "plant a tree to save the planet" crap. We did that when I was a kid and frankly, you start to run our of room in your yard for large native tree species. I personally think the rampant commercialism of the holidays has little or nothing to do with Christ and everything to do with retailing and advertising moguls who only care about getting me to spend more. I would much rather have someone make a donation in my name to a cause dear to me than to get more junk I don't need. I love homemmade gift, I even love home made paper. My cute little Welsh gramma who grew up in the depression instilled a hate of waste, I admit I even reuse the wrapping paper if it's not to messed up, and I certain reuse the gift bags. I love buying locally, whenever possible. I makes me happy to know I am helping out my neighbor, right her and right now. Ok, here the heart of it, the point of the holiday is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it's all about him, not about our traditions, what worked in the 40's and 50's is very likely not the same as what works today. What does not change is God, what ought to change is us. If what we are doing to honor him has an impact in a bad way, it's not really very honoring. I wouldn't want people going out and making a huge mess in my name and then telling me, "but we did it for you!". Not that we have to toss every near and dear tradition, but I don't see anything wrong with being mindful of what we do. Heavy sigh. I am not in any way a liberal greeny eco warrior person. I think that should be glaringly obvious. I just feel strongly that continuing to do things we know are not good for the world we live in just because we have always done them, once we know better, seems kind of juvenile. You don't have to be religious about it to be thoughful about your actions. That's all I'm saying, don't make environmentalism a religion, we have no god besides God, but we are to be good stewards.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a lesson in tolerance or, what we have to look forward to as we are all taught how to "get along"

A lesson in tolerance
Tolerance fails T-shirt test
John Kass

November 13, 2008

As the media keeps gushing on about how America has finally adopted tolerance as the great virtue, and that we're all united now, let's consider the Brave Catherine Vogt Experiment.

Catherine Vogt, 14, is an Illinois 8th grader, the daughter of a liberal mom and a conservative dad. She wanted to conduct an experiment in political tolerance and diversity of opinion at her school in the liberal suburb of Oak Park.

She noticed that fellow students at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama for president. His campaign kept preaching "inclusion," and she decided to see how included she could be.

So just before the election, Catherine consulted with her history teacher, then bravely wore a unique T-shirt to school and recorded the comments of teachers and students in her journal. The T-shirt bore the simple yet quite subversive words drawn with a red marker:

"McCain Girl."

"I was just really curious how they'd react to something that different, because a lot of people at my school wore Obama shirts and they are big Obama supporters," Catherine told us. "I just really wanted to see what their reaction would be."

Immediately, Catherine learned she was stupid for wearing a shirt with Republican John McCain's name. Not merely stupid. Very stupid.

"People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn't be wearing it," Catherine said.

Then it got worse.

"One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed," Catherine said, of the tolerance in Oak Park.

But students weren't the only ones surprised that she wore a shirt supporting McCain.

"In one class, I had one teacher say she will not judge me for my choice, but that she was surprised that I supported McCain," Catherine said.

If Catherine was shocked by such passive-aggressive threats from instructors, just wait until she goes to college.

"Later, that teacher found out about the experiment and said she was embarrassed because she knew I was writing down what she said," Catherine said.

One student suggested that she be put up on a cross for her political beliefs.

"He said, 'You should be crucifixed.' It was kind of funny because, I was like, don't you mean 'crucified?' " Catherine said.

Other entries in her notebook involved suggestions by classmates that she be "burned with her shirt on" for "being a filthy-rich Republican."

Some said that because she supported McCain, by extension she supported a plan by deranged skinheads to kill Obama before the election. And I thought such politicized logic was confined to American newsrooms. Yet Catherine refused to argue with her peers. She didn't want to jeopardize her experiment.

"I couldn't show people really what it was for. I really kind of wanted to laugh because they had no idea what I was doing," she said.

Only a few times did anyone say anything remotely positive about her McCain shirt. One girl pulled her aside in a corner, out of earshot of other students, and whispered, "I really like your shirt."

That's when you know America is truly supportive of diversity of opinion, when children must whisper for fear of being ostracized, heckled and crucifixed.

The next day, in part 2 of The Brave Catherine Vogt Experiment, she wore another T-shirt, this one with "Obama Girl" written in blue. And an amazing thing happened.

Catherine wasn't very stupid anymore. She grew brains.

"People liked my shirt. They said things like my brain had come back, and I had put the right shirt on today," Catherine said.

Some students accused her of playing both sides.

"A lot of people liked it. But some people told me I was a flip-flopper," she said. "They said, 'You can't make up your mind. You can't wear a McCain shirt one day and an Obama shirt the next day.' "

But she sure did, and she turned her journal into a report for her history teacher, earning Catherine extra credit. We asked the teacher, Norma Cassin-Pountney, whether it was ironic that Catherine would be subject to such intolerance from pro-Obama supporters in a community that prides itself on its liberal outlook.

"That's what we discussed," Cassin-Pountney said about the debate in the classroom when the experiment was revealed. "I said, here you are, promoting this person [Obama] that believes we are all equal and included, and look what you've done? The students were kind of like, 'Oh, yeah.' I think they got it."

Catherine never told us which candidate she would have voted for if she weren't an 8th grader. But she said she learned what it was like to be in the minority.

"Just being on the outside, how it felt, it was not fun at all," she said.

Don't ever feel as if you must conform, Catherine. Being on the outside isn't so bad. Trust me.

Copyright © 2008, Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good grief

What is next

I have to say, I am not happy, not happy at all about the election, and it isn't because one guy won and another lost. I am angry that the choices we had were so poor, on both sides, I am angry that it seems at times there is truly a conspiracy of greed or of greedy people that make decisions for the rest of the populace, to the greedy's benefit, and that, it would seem, as long as they provide us with the appearance of security, prosperity or whatever they think will placate us, they can do or say whatever they wish. It isn't a party thing, and it isn't a class thing other than the fact that it seems those who are the richest usually have their fingers in the pie the deepest. I think that the media is in cahoots or at the very least, being used by this faction, to create the appearance of a conflict, to manipulate. Don't get me wrong, I believe the left in this country is heading in the wrong direction, it just seems to me that they are heading there faster than the right, but in the end, they are both headed the same way, and that's the way the powers that be want it. They don't care how we get there as long as we get there. I don't know where "there" is (I have my suspicions), but it no longer seems to matter what we common folk think or want. I don't truly believe we live in a democratic republic, I think that's is just one of the illusions we are allowed to exist under to keep us happy and calm. I don't think that anything that happens, happens by accident, and again, don't get me wrong, I believe God is in control of the mess, but while this little play is playing out, we just think we are in the land of the free and the home of the brave. There are brave people and there are people who will not be made slaves, but as a country, we are not unified and we are not one nation. We were once. We are, I believe in at least the middle stages of being subdued in a quiet gentle fashion. Oh, every once in a while a glimpse gets out of the behind the scenes machinations but no one really latches on, at least not globally enough to make a difference. Look at the bailout fiasco, look at Minnesota elections, look at the last Washingtom state elections. It always heads in the same direction and it is just incremental enough to keep us from really realizing the bitter pill we are being fed. I don't have any answers and I don't know that anyone can make it stop. I do believe that anyone who sees it must remain aware, must remain awake, and hold to what is true and honest. We cannot allow ourselves to be put to sleep, to be deceived. There are few enough who see it, but there must always remain a remnant who are aware and who can speak the truth. In the end, I think the truth does not become dimmer as the light fades, I believe it becomes clearer and more resonant, the more untruth fills the air, what is true becomes more and more apperant. I know people are more and more muddles about right and wrong, but that only makes truth more apperant when they hear it. They can chose not to listen but they cannot chose not to hear, not when it is spoken. Don't be afraid to hold to what is true, to what is good and to what is right. There is a difference between right and wrong, not all things are relative, unless you are holding them up to compare with the one true source of light and good and love. Anything else is just a copy, an imitation. Imitations can be beautiful but that doesn't make them authentic. Don't judge things by their outward appearance, develop an instinct for that inner voice that proves to be reliable. Test that voice, and listen to that voice. If it leads you wrong, keep listening for the authentic voice. Your spirit will know the difference. Most of all, don't be afraid. We are in good hands, no matter what it looks like, and I don't mean Obama's hands.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

gotta share this

I realize that there is a pardigm shift trying to occur in our society in America. At no time in our past have so many people believed that the gvoernment is here to take care of us, save us. People who have come here from other countries came here to find the freedom and opportunities to help themselves, to make a way for themselves, often from countries where the government felt it was their job to take care of the people. They were escaping that and those who grew up here never wanted it in the first place. It was a source of pride that we took care of ourselves, we were accountable and able. No more, not as a nation, We whine and complain about what has anyone done for me LATELY? I don't understand why people idolize Obama and his supporters can't understand why anyone would prefer Mccain and Palin over their hero? There is such a disconnect, it seems unbridgable because it is simply put, two different mindsets, two completely different views of who and what the government is and should be. This video, I remember the Nike commercial well, loved it, and this adaptation, I think, exemplifies how those who believe the ideals and spirit of America do not need to be changed but rather strengthened, view the seemingly mindless devotion those who would prefer our country become a nanny state for lazy, unmotivated apathetic parasites living off the teat of the government. Sorry, I calls it as I sees it. If they, the other side of the equation don't understand, this it a great picture of what they look like ot the rest of us.
Just of note, I see baracko made a similar video with Hillary as the speaker on the screen. How ironic, he sees himself as the one gonna save us from the mindless control of....the Clintons????