Sunday, December 25, 2016

#3 Gift Idea for the Baby Jesus

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?    --Micah 6:8

Friday, December 23, 2016

#2 Gift Idea for the Baby Jesus

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee 
              an hungred, and fed thee? 
                        or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?
                                  or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.       Matthew 25: 37 - 40

Thursday, December 22, 2016

#1 Gift Idea for the Baby Jesus

"But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;  for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God."   James 1: 19,20

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Four Years Late and Two Hundred Sixty-Nine Votes Short...

...but RON PAUL did  finally get an electoral vote this week.    Viva la  rEVOLution!

Hello.  Today is "Tuesday what's the News Day" at My blog.   The second biggest news is that I've decided to let people "in real life" know about my blog.  Welcome.



                                               We are Dancing on Common Ground

                                                                   Graphic Credit

People on opposite sides of the great Trump divide have been calling one another morons, lib-tards, unpatriotic flag-burners, racists, baby-killers -- and oh! cover your ears, Baby Jesus -- not real Christians.

I'm not going to wag my finger, because I understand what it's like to care so much about a candidate that I've taken it personally when someone doesn't share my enthusiasm, or worse, outright impugns my candidate's character.

After Ron Paul's second failed bid for the presidency in 2012,  the "fight" just went out of me. I didn't become apathetic, it's just that these days I'm less interested in bringing people over to "my side" than I am in finding common ground.

So, occasionally, on Tuesdays (every other Tuesday? every fifth? frequency will vary) I will post something about a divisive issue here in my blog, and invite people to read it. Please feel free to share your views in the comments. I might still be needing someone to help me make up my mind.

How Will Trump's Presidency Affect Africa?

So there are three perspectives I've found. One is not-so-hot on Trump, one is from a Trump enthusiast, and one suggests, "let's make the best of it."

First this one from a Libertarian blog. Using forces already operating on that continent, especially with a heightened emphasis on the America First philosophy, Trump may be no better for Africa than were previous president. Washington's Commandos without Borders.

Now we travel to an Alt Right blog. Optimistic about Trump as well as Africa, the contributing author is getting torn apart in the comments by white supremacists. If nothing else, it's illustrative of the wide range of folk who voted for Trump. How Donald Trump can Save Africa.

Next stop: AllAfrica blog to see one black man's view.  In How Africa Should Seek to Benefit from a Trump Administration, Dennis Matanda takes an "it is what it is" philosophy and suggests ways Africa can make the best of it. 
"Ironically, in spite of uncertainty wrought by this Early Trump Era, Africa could herself rebalance her yet-to-ripe partnership with the world’s largest economy. In fact, if Africa proposed an innovative, mutually beneficial and uniquely transformational trade policy blueprint to augment the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA), a real paradigm shift in the U.S.-Africa dynamic should occur over the next 12-month period. ...ultimately graduating Africa from being dependent on the West to becoming a co-partner... Africa must know that she has supporters and strategic stakeholders in the United States. The effort to achieve a new blueprint must start now."

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Jingle Bell and Electoral Vote Count



It is Mystical/Mathematical Monday at my blog. 

COUNTING, mathematical.  Some of the jingle bells were green, and others were pink or gold, and they left glitter behind on the couch where I was counting them for a friend's “Guess How Many Jingle Bells Are in the Jar” contest.

As I was counting, I remembered  that simultaneously electoral votes were also being counted in capitals all across these United States.  The jingling led to an Idea You Might Write Your Congressperson about.

Jingle-jangling over the electoral college has been a topic of discussion for a long time, but the noise about the pros and cons only seems to come at election time. The stakes are just too high  at that time for either winners or losers to give both positions fair consideration.  The Powers Who Put Things on the National Calendar need to pick a time in 2018 and designate it “Determine-Once-and-For-All-If-We-Keep-the-Electoral-College-Week.”

COUNTING, Mystical.  Spiritual party-poopers say:  Osiris-Isis-Horus, therefore, the Father-Holy Spirit-Jesus Trinity or  Holy Spirit-Mary-Jesus triad are just reworked pagan ideas. May their eyes be opened to the beauty of three-ness.  The Universe, reflecting God’s glory, is shot through with threes, there for seekers throughout history to find.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

I am Partly Responsible for the Cubs' World Series Victory

For many weeks now, I've wanted to write this post for a "Mystical and/or Mathematical Monday"  at my blog.  Mondays have been pretty busy, so I'm going to use "The Day Off Thursday" to give credit where credit is due.





Back in July, I brought awareness to -- oh! who knows how many baseball fans? and countless others who cared not a whit for baseball but still had the power to influence the outcome of one of its most important contests -- about the cosmic significance  of the number 108.  I got people thinking about  "one hundred and eight" as the number of steps in a complete journey,  and I got folks musing about the wondrous ratio seemingly built right into the relative sizes and distances between the Earth, Moon and Sun.

And the resulting accumulated hours of awed contemplation about 108 being the number of steps in a complete journey was precisely enough to tip the cosmic balance in favor of The Chicago Cubs, whose 108-year journey from World Series victory to World Series victory ended this fall. The story of their triumph is embroidered with many other 108 facts and folklore that Snopes.com has verified as..."mostly true." 

108 stitches in a baseball: MOSTLY TRUE

A.G. Spalding's office originally located at 108 W. Madison Street: MIXTURE

The left and right field corners at Wrigley Field are 108 meters from home plate. TRUE


TD Ameritrade is located on 108th street in Omaha, Nebraska. TRUE

The movie Taking Care Of Business, which shows the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, is 108 minutes long. TRUE

The movie Back to the Future Part IIwhich shows the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, is 108 minutes long. TRUE

Emil Verban's batting average in 1950 was 108. TRUE

Before 2016, the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series Game was on 10/8 in 1945. TRUE
Some people trust news sites that tell them which news sites are fake news sites.  Snopes.com is reliable insofar as it agrees with what I believe, and I think most people who use it to school others, and which others have used to in turn school them, feel the same way about Snopes.

I am glad IreneAthena.blogspot.com is not a news site, fake or otherwise. A force for good in the Universe? Ask the Cubs.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gonna Lay My Comment-Making Pen Down (for Now) O Lord

Note Dec 3:  In the post with the title Alt-Right in Dulce Jubilo (previously called something else), I've removed a couple of paragraphs  describing comments I have posted, will post,  or may post in other people's blogs. It takes me a long time to write anything at all, even a small comment.  I look back at the time I've spent writing in the comment sections of other people's blogs and wonder about how much of it has been wasted time.  I am sure I don't have time to write about writing those comments. Take right now for instance...

Smells Like the Sixties

Conceived late Friday night, for Family (Secrets) Friday at my blog

I remember getting the croup when I was little.  Dad got the shower going really hot, and then carried me, kicking and struggling, into the steamy bathroom, to open the airways, of course.  Heaped onto the pile of  terror of not being able to breathe was the unquiet assurance that he was going to throw me under the scalding water. (*1)

One of my best and most easily recreated memories, though, is of the end of those terrifying croupy nights, when cool scented mist all around me replaced the bathroom's angry steam,  the vaporizer pop-pock-pockling near my bed where I was breathing easy once again.

Even now, when I  hold an open jar of Vick's Vape-o-Rub to my face,  I'm being  transitioned from the 4th to the 5th movement  of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. Frohe und dankbare Gefühle nach dem Sturm: Cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm.
 

FOOTNOTES

(*1) Why would I have imagined that my father would do that? He was generally a kind man, sure, but he was also the man who had hauled me away to the hospital to have my stomach pumped, and that was no fun.

"COMET! It makes your teeth turn green. COMET! It tastes like gasoline. COMET! It makes you vomit! So buy some COMET! and vomit today."

Or maybe it was something else that I ingested. Maybe memories of the COMET! advertising jingle and memories of the story "of the time we had to pick you up off the kitchen floor and take you to get your stomach pumped" have mingled and bled all over each other...

We Kids of the Sixties similarly enhanced the ad for Chiffon Margarine, didn't we? "If you think it's butter, but IT'S SNOT! It's Chiffon."

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Alt-Right in Dulce Jubilo. Left in Mourning. Others Trying to Make the Best of it.

(Actually written very late Thursday night)

[Note Dec 3:  I've removed a couple of paragraphs describing comments I have posted, will post,  or may post in other people's blogs. It takes me a long time to write anything at all, even a small comment. I look back at the time I've spent writing in the comment sections of other people's blogs, and wonder about how much of it has been wasted time.   I am sure I don't have time to write about writing those comments. Take right now for instance...]

 
Personal Stuff: Tonight I get the reward of writing in my blog because, after a couple of months at the new job,  I've finally gotten  my priorities in order. Today, I not only worked outside the home for pay, but made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, made two big batches of turkey stock and ham stock to freeze, exercised on the rebounder, read Advent devotionals and meditated, and had a delightful spiritual discussion with my 19-year-old son on the fascinating and curious practice of Sun-Gazing and the possibly unrelated potential of inviting the influence of unsavory spirits into ones life.  I watched a relevant father-and-son-reunion episode of NCIS with my husband, and told him I appreciated  his helping me reduce clutter by throwing away  recycling Items on the Island of Thirty Years Accumulation of Misfit Tupperware Lids. He really likes being told he's appreciated, even more than I enjoy surprises. I know he doesn't like surprises.


Political Stuff:


       It's time for Americans on  opposite sides of the political fence to start having meaningful conversations  instead of tossing "gotcha" slogans and Facebook links to "rub your nose in this" fake-news.  The triumphant Facebook crowings of "I put up with Obama for eight years so now you can jolly well suck it up and put up with Trump" just don't seem like an effective way to win friends and influence people.  And on the other side of the coin,  David Brooks at the New York Times had some excellent challenges for the never-Trumpers in "Time for media to do a little listening."
I’ve been thinking a lot about the best imaginable Trump voter. This is the Trump supporter who wasn’t motivated by racism or bigotry...[T]his voter needed somebody to change the systems that are failing her...She needed some way to protect herself... [from] the activists whose definition of social justice never seems to include the suffering people like her experience...
We’ve arrived at the moment of actual governing. We’ve arrived at the moment when Trump has to turn his vague notions into concrete proposals.
...Whether it’s reforming immigration or trade policy, his governing challenge is going to be astoundingly hard and complicated. Surely this is not the moment to get swept up in our own moral superiority, but rather to understand the specificity of the proposals he comes up with and to offer concrete amendments and alternatives to address the same problems.

 Back to personal stuff: Just got a phone call from Mr. Athena upstairs that the stock smelled so good he couldn't sleep, so he took it off the burner and put it in the 'fridge.  Time for me to post a snippet of this at Vox Popoli, and then leave it in God's hands.  Somebody gets mad at me there, too? I.Don't.Care. I've been taught well!

Then, to bed.  Sweet dreams 'til sunbeams find you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Persuasion

I started a new job "outside the home" this month, and I'm having to adjust.  Scheduling sleep and exercise and regular meals and meditation needs to get back on track. No more posting in blogs or Facebook until I've done all those other things--as of tomorrow.   I can no longer be a perfectionist about clutter and  messes around the house. Home has become a place to crash, rather than a place to feel anxious about.  Everyone is happier and more relaxed.  As long as there's grub in the house, the menfolk (almost-grown son and husband ) are happy.The extra money doesn't hurt either. I crave more order and tidiness...but that will come once I've adjusted, and in a more balanced way.  I wish I were doing something more creative, but...eh...I'm blogging, and cooking grape pies. Keeping a warm and inviting house without going overboard is creative. I want that balance.

Also this month, because of the election, I got back into Facebook  and spent way too much time fretting over it.  What a ride!  All the way from sputtering  "What the H-E-Double hockey sticks are they thinking? I'll give them a peace [sic] of my mind!!!"  to perseveration and second-guessing.  "O gosh, did I go too far? on like, my own  Facebook page?? Of course you didn't go too far! It's your page! Get some attitude, girl!...but I hurt their feelings, see how angry I made them...I'm a bitch...No I'm not...."
                                                                         

I think I'm getting the hang of persuasion, whether I'm trying to change an acquaintance's mind in a tête–à–tête or minds-by-the-small-handful in my writing,  the method for persuasion that suits me best involves first seeking to understand what's preventing a person from seeing things my way, especially if their opposition comes floating along a river of  overwhelming emotions.  That's where their head is--no use trying to reason them out of it the torrent--but that doesn't mean the conversation is over. Without having to agree with them, I can let them know I'm listening. Resisting  the urge to escalate, no matter how angry I feel, I can empathize and de-escalate. Then the "persuadee" may be open to listening to the emotional motivations I have for believing/acting as I do.  And if she is engaged in listening to me "speak from the heart,"  I can gradually slip some facts and reason into the conversation, and those ideas will be coming from a companion rather than from an adversary, and will have a chance of being at least considered, if not embraced.

I try not to be a bitch publicly or one-to-one, and for the most part, I think I'm doing all right.

That's a lot of personal crap I just wrote. I've put the part worth most generally useful in bold. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Trump's Transition Team wants your input

Fantasy Activism:
PhotobucketAnti-Trump protesters, put down your torches and pitch forks, will ya?
Channel your rage by sending a polite but emphatic tweet to @transition2017
Members of Trump's transition team are eager to hear from you!

Tweet Trump's transition team, "John Bolton for Secretary of State? Thank you, no."

*****
Something more realistic.

@transition2017 John Bolton for SecState  NO!!! Member of PNAC that sold the Iraq War to USA.








 


Sunday, November 13, 2016

I gave them a piece of my mind!

I was this || close in the last post, but now I've gone and done it, but on my own Facebook page, not theirs, and of course, without the h-e-double-hockeysticks exclamation.  I did end the post on a positive note, expressing my hopes for their renewed vigilance over foreign policy matters now that a Republican is in office.

It is the day after November 11, Veteran's Day, less popularly known as Armistice Day, the Day when we celebrate the end of the War to End All Wars, some one hundred odd years and dozens of wars ago. Since it's the day after Veteran's Day, there is a reduced likelihood of my being accused of being unpatriotic for sharing with my readers my favorite source for encouragement in taking a stand against militarism:  www.antiwar.com

One of the things I like about antiwar.com is that it's not politically biased toward any party. Democrats, Republicans, even Libertarians come under scrutiny for their foreign policy stances.

Here are two articles from antiwar.com, one is hard to read if you voted for Trump,

the other, not so much, although it's does recommend keeping an eye on him.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

did trump supporters create climate of fear for refugees?

I read a Facebook post urging white evangelical Trump supporters to repent for the hostile environment they helped create for minorities, especially refugees. I am this || close to asking in reply "where the H-e-double hockey sticks were your ten times a day Facebook posts when something needed to be said about the destruction of those refugees' original homes, the destabilization of their countries of origin???? "

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

You have to be more than "Pro-Life" to get my vote

You have to be more than "pro-life" to get my vote because...
..."pro-life" since the 1972 US Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion, has often been a label adopted by war-mongering hawks who are actually anything but.
..."family values" often appeals to "I don't know any homosexuals, and I don't understand what they say what they need, but I do know  that I'm agin' 'em."


I'll tell this about myself. In the not inconsiderable number of years that have passed since that 1972 Supreme Court decision, one of the controversial positions on which I've never wavered concerns the humanity of organisms still in the maternal womb. What are they if not human? They're human and they deserve respect and compassion! That's what I've always believed, and I don't see myself changing my views on that.

And if they are human, why would a politician who is otherwise "pro-life" make political decisions to deny that human  a safe place to live outside the womb as well as inside it? to relegate him to a life of poverty where the alternative to unemployment or jobs that do not pay a living wage is often enlistment in the military?  And how many  military engagements (where the US allegiances are oftentimes fuzzily defined at best) can be legitimately classified as "pro-life?" to deny shelter (in his own country, if not in ours)  to residents of lands where US foreign policy has disrupted the social order?


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tell me how to vote, God, or Greg Boyd or someone!

No girls allowed! Out of copyright.
Here it is again, Wednesday Wisdom at my blog.

Is a person who is often torn between
     (a)compassion and
     (b)common sense/letter-of-the-Law/K-selected (*1) options less upright than a person who never seriously considers alternatives to common sense/letter-of-the-Law/K-selected options?

Two hot-button issues come to mind:
 (1) to acknowledge, or not, the validity of transgender identification and homosexual partnerships.

 (2) to welcome, or not, into one's country potentially dangerous refugees from lands whose complex internal conflicts have been exacerbated by destructive  military interference from one's own country.

Claims are coming-- from points all along the religious-political spectrum--that my views on the above issues set me firmly on the side of either treason or spiritual depravity or both.

It has been my experience that when I have myself convinced that only an irredeemable heretic would be in conflict over these issues, I've been afraid and, frankly, loath to pray. (Welcome, my unpardonably sinful Internet friends!)

It has also been my experience that when I approach the Throne of Grace as... well ... a Throne of Grace, I am able to put that turmoil aside momentarily (*2) and ask for the wisdom I need to represent the love of Jesus, just for today, to the extent my limited understanding, sphere-of-influence and level of faith will allow. A mustard seed is all it takes, or so I've heard.

***
You'd think I'd have finally divined, now that decision-making days are dwindling down to the single digits, which presidential candidate the Real Jesus is throwing His Social Media All-Mightiness behind.

Not yet! Meanwhile, I'm keeping internal "you're a heretic" accusations at bay by steeping myself in the wisdom found in articles like Bonnie Kristian's "In Praise of Christian Anarchy."  Staying away from polls and political discussions isn't necessarily recommended. Staying grounded in spiritual reality is.

[Christian anarchy is] a commitment to remember that the "hope of the world doesn't lie in someone finally coming up with the 'right' form of government," explains theologian Greg Boyd, a leading Christian anarchist. Rather, the "hope of the world lies exclusively in Jesus Christ and the willingness of his people to partner with him in bringing about God's will 'on Earth as it is in heaven' by imitating him."...
For the Christian, no electoral outcome can fix or finish our world. The promise that all will be made right in the end is no politician's to offer. But the good news, the very gospel message, is that it has already been offered, and we realize its fulfillment not on Election Day but on Christmas, in the story of power not sought but sacrificed.


FOOTNOTES

(*1) "K-selected" is a fancy word for smart and responsible.

(*2) Reading this passage out loud is a way to prime the pump if, for just that reason, you haven't prayed for awhile.

Psalm 103:13-18  KJV
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.


But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Don't be Afraid to Pray

Grape harvest in.  Experiments with making raisins. Grape jelly turned out very well. Mr A glad I chose to make the low-sugar version, as I did with the berry jam and peach jam this summer. Neither one of us can imagine wanting something sweeter now.

***
I'm reading the story about Jesus and the Samaritan woman for a Bible discussion group I go to on Thursday mornings, and it's bringing back memories.

One summer, years ago, a supervisor asked me to talk with a co-worker who was acting crazy. He wanted me to calm her down and get her back to the task at hand. Either right before or right after the supervisor spoke to me, the Bible reference "John 4:27" came to mind. I didn't know what words went with the Scripture, so I looked them up before I walked over her way.

"And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or Why talkest thou with her."

I was just a kid in college back then, but for some reason the foreman thought I'd know how to handle this.  Maybe it was because I carried a Bible to work with me back in those days.

The lady was saying some crazy stuff about her being Jesus' twin sister. It all had to do with hormones, I was told. There were people at home who knew of her situation, but she was considered well enough to go to work. I remember praying with her. The coincidence of the John 4:27 verse coming to mind helped with my not being self-conscious about doing that, even in the middle of the factory floor. She did calm down and get back to her particular task on the assembly line. I was called over to calm her down a time or two more before the summer break and the summer job ended, and I went back to school.

We were making eyeglass frames, using pantographs to do it. Bet that's a new word for you, isn't it?! 

Monday, September 26, 2016

TSA & Carry-on Luggage: Baby Wipes Considered Liquids?

You are asking the wrong question.

Who wants to carry a whole packet of baby wipes in his or her carry-on?

Especially when in a grey-area case like this, rules vary from airline to airline, and one risks having  the entire package of baby wipes denied and thrown away by TSA agents at the security line.

I have perfected the art of packing the quart size bag of TSA approved liquids for carry-on luggage.
I'd substitute SPF lip balm and face/hand cream if I didn't have a checked bag.

In the upper left hand corner of the bag below, please note roll of baby wipes, 10 or so, rolled so that they can be easily peeled off one at a time. I can't see needing more than that, unless you're traveling with a child in diapers, in which case, God bless you. I don't know how I managed to fly with babies, but I did it...oh yeah, that was before 911 and the crazy regulations about carry-on liquids.

 (NB: Nobody who reads this blog knows where I live, YET, so its OK to say I'm traveling.)

Not Clueless, Just Hates Nagging

I asked a couple of gentlemen why they thought the secret weapon  [described here] for getting one's male mate to understand her worked so well.

"It's because it feels less like your being nagged at," one of them answered right away, "to have the focus be on my being annoyed rather than on your being annoyed."

Men really don't like nagging. Look at the ancient words in chapter 21 of the book of Proverbs. The writer is going on about this and that, and all of the sudden, in verse 9, he pops out with, "It is better to live in the corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife." Then he gets back to non-wife issues, and again,  like, "did I mention men really hate nagging?" in the 19th verse he reiterates, " It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman."

SCHOOLED!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Yes, he's clueless. Deal with it.

It's another Family Friday at my blog, and this entry is written for the woman who is frustrated by her mate's inability to understand why she's upset about this, that or the other thing. Clueless! Yes, he is: most of them are. Men's inability to understand women motivates  many "what she says/what she really means" web pages, and the sooner you accept this and stop expecting your man to be something he can't be, the better. 

Fortunately, there is a little trick a friend shared with me early in my marriage, and I don't know why it works, but it does work, almost every time. Instead of expecting him to know how to walk a mile in your moccasins, you take your moccasins off and put them on his feet, and he'll start walking wherever you want him to go.

Here's how it works.  Let's say he continually uses your sewing scissors to cut paper, or wipes his hands on  the towel you use to dry clean dishes with.  Instead of expecting him to agree with you that this is unacceptable behavior, gently explain,"Honey, it's just as if I used your [insert name of one of his tools]  to [activity which would piss him off if he saw you doing it with aforementioned tool.]

 "Ok, sure, I get it, now that you put it that way." I can't tell you how many domestic crises have been averted thus.

...later on,....

...wait a minute. I asked some guys about this.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Thank God my house was not bombed today.

The War on Terror officially started in 2001, shortly after hijacked commercial airplanes crashed into New York City's Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Before September 11, 2001, many Americans hadn't been paying much attention to US military involvement in foreign Islamic conflicts, either directly or in a supportive role. The 911 attack, in which nearly 3000 US civilians died, was perceived by some as coming out of the blue.

Those advocating the desert equivalent of a scorched earth policy recommended that the US respond to the terrorists by "turning their country into glass."  Many of those advocates couldn't name which country we should turn into glass, as long as Muslims lived there, because Muslims "hated our freedom," or were jealous of it because they had to live under sharia law. It was an emotional reflex reaction.

Cooler heads prevailed, and by cooler heads, I mean the neoconservatives who had been patiently waiting for years for an opportunity to effect regime change in the Middle East as part of their larger goal of establishing global hegemony for the US.  The Statement of Principles of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) listed these and other goals. Many members of PNAC were part of George W. Bush's administration, and influenced his decision to declare the War on Terror.

The US didn't  "turn their country into glass," because 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabians, and the only response the US has had to Saudi Arabia regarding 911 is the Senate's recently passing a bill which would allow families of victims of 911 to sue Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia has threatened to sell its US assets if this bill passes, and President Obama is considering vetoing it, to avoid disruption in our relationship with Saudi Arabia. The other four 911 hijackers were from United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon, but the US didn't retaliate against them either.

So no, the US didn't turn Saudi Arabian countries into glass, but it turned into rubble many cities in countries where the Project for the New American Century had been planning to show its muscle well before 911, particularly Iraq. Instead of being defeated, though, Islamic terrorism grew. Over the fifteen years since 911, the US military has fought the war on terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Philippines, Yemen, Libya. A generation that has known nothing but life in refugee camps continues to provide recruits for terrorists.

***
An armed Muslim: is he a freedom fighter or a terrorist? With the CIA's covert operations we've hedged our bets, for example, in Sunni vs. Shiite conflicts, so in effect, we've armed and trained militants in one battle that we end up fighting in another.  There's other craziness and confusion, too. I haven't talked about oil and Israel and whether or not "protecting one's interests" is just a euphemism for taking stuff that belongs to somebody else.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Thank God It's Sunday!

[This is the second Thank God it's Sunday entry I wrote on August 21, in Portland OR.]

All these streams trying to pour into the River Almighty! Which streams get dammed? I can't say for sure, but until each one gets to where he'll end up, if God works through people, then he has to make do with what he's got. 

Suppose someone has an alcohol addiction, and through this,  he's going to come to the point where he realizes his need for a Higher PowerAlcoholism falls across a wide, wide spectrum of political persuasions.  An alcoholic bigot might not be able to accept help from a Higher Power representative who sees his bigotry, rather than his alcoholism, as his primary problem. And maybe it's not. 

Likewise, an alcoholic who  takes social injustice seriously (maybe too seriously -- that's what drove him to drink) may not be able to tolerate supportive friendship from a Trump supporter, but he'll take it from someone whose political and spiritual ideology the fundamentalist might consider dodgy.

"Out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water."  

How pure does the water in your well need to be, before you feel worthy to give someone a drink from it? 
***

We were in Powell's bookstore in downtown Portland this afternoon.  For a fleeting few seconds, in the midst of all those words, words, words, I thought, "Why does the world need any more writing?"  What a silly thought! Thirst is new every morning, and so there are millions of pots of coffee brewing, mountains of oranges being juiced with every sunrise. So it is with the thirst for wisdom or the balm of humor or whatever the  tragedy du jour requires. Over and over, the words roll on and on, because they need to roll.

Last night, with the Columbia River rolling on nearby, I fell asleep, with the words from a Woodie Guthrie song on my mind. Roll on, Columbia. Roll on. Your power is turning our darkness to dawn...

And this morning I heard this at the church we visited. (When we travel, Mr. Athena picks them based on the size of their organs. In Portland, that means Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.) 
"A reading from the book of Isaiah: ... if you satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom will be like noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places... (Isaiah 58)"

And here's where I turn my ongoing meditation on The Lord's Prayer and the Shepherd's Psalm into a PREZI PRESENTATION, by making the section I'm focusing on POP out from the rest of the text.  


Our Father who art in heaven          The LORD
Hallowed be thy name.


Thy kingdom come,        
Thy will be done            is my shepherd:
On earth 
as it is in Heaven.


Give us this day   
             I shall not want. He  maketh me
our daily bread to lie down in green pastures:
                     he leadeth me beside the                             still waters.


And forgive us our sins         He restoreth my soul:
as we forgive those                               he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness 
who sin against us.                  for his name's sake.


And lead us not         Yea, though I walk through 
into temptation              the valley of the shadow of death,       
but deliver us from evil.   I will fear no evil: 
                                               for thou art with me; 
                                                  thy rod and thy staff 
                                               they comfort me.
  .                      Thou preparest a table before me
                                       in the presence of mine enemies: 
                                thou anointest my head with oil;
                                                my cup runneth over. {wow!} 
                        Surely goodness and mercy
                                  shall follow me

For thine is the Kingdom,                 all the days of my life: and I will dwell
and the Power,                          in the house                  
and the Glory                          of the Lord
Now and forever.                        for ever.


"ROLL ON COLUMBIA, ROLL ON, ROLL ON, COLUMBIA! YOUR POWER IS TURNING OUR DARKNESS TO DAWN, ROLL ON COLUMBIA, ROLL ON!"