Archive for the ‘War and Peace’ Category

Do we want the United Corporations of America?

March 27, 2014

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Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to cover its employees’ birth control on company insurance plans. In fact, they’re so outraged about women having access to birth control that they’ve taken the issue all the way to the Supreme Court.

I cannot believe that we live in a world where we would even consider letting some big corporation deny the women who work for it access to the basic medical tests, treatments or prescriptions that they need based on vague moral objections.

But here’s the scary thing: With the judges we’ve got on the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby might actually win.

The current Supreme Court has headed in a very scary direction.

Recently, three well-respected legal scholars examined almost 20,000 Supreme Court cases from the last 65 years. They found that the five conservative justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court are in the top 10 most pro-corporate justices in more than half a century.

And Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts? They were number one and number two.

Take a look at the win rate of the national Chamber of Commerce cases before the Supreme Court. According to the Constitutional Accountability Center, the Chamber was winning 43% of the cases in participated in during the later years of the Burger Court, but that shifted to a 56% win-rate under the Rehnquist Court, and then a 70% win-rate with the Roberts Court.

Follow these pro-corporate trends to their logical conclusion, and pretty soon you’ll have a Supreme Court that is a wholly owned subsidiary of big business.

Birth control is at risk in today’s case, but we also need to worry about a lot more.

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court unleashed a wave of corporate spending to game the political system and drown the voices of middle class families.

And right now, the Supreme Court is considering McCutcheon v. FEC, a case that could mean the end of campaign contribution limits – allowing the big guys to buy even more influence in Washington.

Republicans may prefer a rigged court that gives their corporate friends and their armies of lawyers and lobbyists every advantage. But that’s not the job of judges. Judges don’t sit on the bench to hand out favors to their political friends.

On days like today, it matters who is sitting on the Supreme Court. It matters that we have a President who appoints fair and impartial judges to our courts, and it matters that we have a Senate who approves them.

We’re in this fight because we believe that we don’t run this country for corporations – we run it for people.

What is the worth and meaning of the individual ?

September 19, 2013

What is the worth and meaning of the individual ?

Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, a Chinese Sage named Lao-tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching in which he asks the same questions as our subject. Perhaps we would say it in this manner “Do I matter, Why am I here? Does my life have meaning?
In the fifty-fourth verse of his classic Lao-tzu was asking and answering this age old question this way:
What (Tao’s) skilful planter plants
Can never be uptorn;
What his skillful arms enfold,
From him can ne’er be borne.
Sons shall bring in lengthening line,
Sacrifices to his shrine.

Tao when nursed within one’s self,
His vigour will make true;
And where the family it rules
What riches will accrue!
The neighbourhood where it prevails
In thriving will abound;
And when ’tis seen throughout the state,
Good fortune will be found.
Employ it the kingdom o’er,
And men thrive all around.

In this way the effect will be seen in the person, by the
observation of different cases; in the family; in the neighbourhood;
in the state; and in the kingdom.

How do I know that this effect is sure to hold thus all under the
sky? By this (method of observation).
In the opening verse of the Tao Te Ching , Lao-tzu tells us the “Tao is both named and nameless.” The Tao is an unknowable, unseeable realm where everything originates, while at the same time, the Tao is invisibly within everything. When we desire to see this invisibleness (mystery) , we attempt to define it in terms of the outer world of form – what Lao-tzu calls “the 10,000 things” He counsels us that letting go of trying to see (or understand) the mystery will actually allows to see it. Or as I like to think of it, “let go and let God.” For Lao-tzu the Tao is God.

In 964 B.C. The Psalmist David ask the question this way:
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Psalms 8: 3, 4 KJV)
How is it possible that two men with such diverse backgrounds and differing expressions have the same type of thoughts? “Do I matter, Why am I here? Does my life have meaning?
The best explanation that I might give is the butterfly effect.
Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect?
At one time there was a theory that the Chaos theory attempts to explain the fact that complex and unpredictable results can and will occur in systems that are sensitive to their initial conditions. A common example of this is known as the Butterfly Effect. It states that, in theory, the flutter of a butterfly’s wings in China could, in fact, actually effect weather patterns in New York City, thousands of miles away. In other words, it is possible that a very small occurrence can produce unpredictable and sometimes drastic results by triggering a series of increasingly significant events.
“The child whispered, ‘God speak to me’
And a meadow lark sang.
The child did not hear.
So the child yelled ‘God speak to me!’
And the thunder rolled across the sky
But the child did not listen.
The child looked around and said,
‘God let me see you’ and a star shone brightly
But the child did not notice.
And the child shouted,
“God show me a miracle!’
And a life was born but the child did not know.
So the child cried out in despair,
‘Touch me God, and let me know you are here!’
Whereupon God reached down
And touched the child.
But the child brushed the butterfly away
And walked away unknowingly
Gentle Reader, You flapped your wings and God spoke through you and…who knows how many lives were changed for the Glory of God!
I am so proud of each of you Gentle Readers, who come to share with me and each other who pray for one another each day whose prayers reach the highest of peaks far beyond what man can aspire to the very throne room of God. Who in His infinite love bends to hear and answer the weakest voice.

In the fifty-fourth passage of Lao-tzu and David advised you to see divinity that resides in each of us. Know that in the silent space within you, where the Tao (God) dwells, who animates every breath and thought your life makes a difference.
See the world without hatred, disrespect or violence where the environment is respected and cared for and where cancer, Aids, starvation, child abuse, weapons and war of all kinds or any other demeaning scenarios disappear.
Therefore everything you think and do extends outward and multiplies. And we reach out and touch the face of God. For in him [Christ who is in God] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, [ye are in Him, made full] which is the head of all principality and power… (Col. 2:9,10).

No War?

December 19, 2007
Gentle Reader,

It’s the time of year when we think of those times when it is all right with the world “Peace on earth Good will toward men” Well here is a True story read think and enjoy! Hope and dream! What if we said NO MORE WAR!

D decorativeenis

Silent night lyrics

It was December 25, 1914, only 5 months into World War I. German, British, and French soldiers, already sick and tired of the senseless killing, disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with “the enemy” along two-thirds of the Western Front (a crime punishable by death in times of war). German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, “Merry Christmas.”

“You no shoot, we no shoot.” Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man’s land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.

A shudder ran through the high command on either side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with each other and refusing to fight. Generals on both sides declared this spontaneous peacemaking to be treasonous and subject to court martial. By March 1915 the fraternization movement had been eradicated and the killing machine put back in full operation. By the time of the armistice in 1918, fifteen million would be slaughtered.

Not many people have heard the story of the Christmas Truce. On Christmas Day, 1988, a story in the Boston Globe mentioned that a local FM radio host played “Christmas in the Trenches,” a ballad about the Christmas Truce, several times and was startled by the effect. The song became the most requested recording during the holidays in Boston on several FM stations. “Even more startling than the number of requests I get is the reaction to the ballad afterward by callers who hadn’t heard it before,” said the radio host. “They telephone me deeply moved, sometimes in tears, asking, `What the hell did I just hear?’ ”

I think I know why the callers were in tears. The Christmas Truce story goes against most of what we have been taught about people. It gives us a glimpse of the world as we wish it could be and says, “This really happened once.” It reminds us of those thoughts we keep hidden away, out of range of the TV and newspaper stories that tell us how trivial and mean human life is. It is like hearing that our deepest wishes really are true: the world really could be different.

This song is based on a true story from the front lines of World War I that I’ve heard many times. Ian Calhoun, a Scot, was the commanding officer of the British forces involved in the story. He was subsequently court-martialed for ‘consorting with the enemy’ and sentenced to death. Only George V spared him from that fate. — 

My name is Francis Toliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here,
I fought for King and country I love dear.

‘Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day,
Their brave and glorious lads so far away.

I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground,
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I, “Now listen up, me boys!” each soldier strained to hear,
As one young German voice sang out so clear.

“He’s singing bloody well, you know!” my partner says to me.
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in harmony.The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more,
As Christmas brought us respite from the war.

As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent,
“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was “Stille Nacht,” “‘Tis ‘Silent Night,'” says I,
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky.

“There’s someone coming towards us!” the front line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright,
As he, bravely, strode unarmed into the night.

Soon one by one on either side walked into No Man’s Land,
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well,
And in a flare lit soccer game we gave ’em hell.

We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from home.
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a violin,
This curious and unlikely band of men.

Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more.
With sad farewells we each prepared to settle back to war.
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night:
“Whose family have I fixed within my sights?”

‘Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost, so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they’d kept between us to exact the work of war,
Had been crumbled and were gone forevermore.

My name is Francis Toliver, in Liverpool I dwell,
Each Christmas come since World War I, I’ve learned its lessons well,
That the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame,
And on each end of the rifle we’re the same.

xmas