Archives for: May 2010
By Randle Loeb on May 30, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are making us poor. Right now, America spends $159 billion on contingency operations for the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s enough money to eliminate taxes for everyone who makes under $35,000 a year, while cutting the deficit.
Progressive hero, Congressman Alan Grayson, is once again leading the charge to put an end to this disastrous spending. I signed the petition to support 'The War is Making You Poor' Act, an act that would cut waste, fraud and abuse in the disastrous occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Join me and sign the petition at www.TheWarIsMakingYouPoor.com
Do it now.
Memorial Day is a time for recollection about what is vital to our interests as sentient beings. Please take time and respond.
By Randle Loeb on May 29, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Denied from the start
Indolence came calling and obsession with small things
Hardship and excuses criticizing lies, demeaning mean spirited
Veil of tears denying the inevitable pain that flesh is heir to
We crept in the darkness of slag heaps of bitter consciousness
Barely audible whimpering – shallow, nerve racking expectancy
Bleating hearts pierced with arrows slung by mine
Desolately waiting for an inevitable end to the interminable night
Fight or flight mirroring trembling deifies of the rapture
Leaves us gasping, fainting, and then failing to catch our breath
We gratefully lie down swooning violently waiting for the end of miracles
By Randle Loeb on May 27, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Whether we’re talking about Afghanistan, Korea, our borders, the Middle East, Palestine, just about any where that has been burdened by our presence over the last 60 years plus, we are the aggressors. We have screwed up everything and everyone with this blatant militarism that is tied to multi-national corporations having fun at the world’s expense. Unfortunately, the cost is paid for in wasted and tragically expended lives. Some losses are related to this land and most of the devastation is in places where we have little knowledge, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan we’re woefully deficient in common cultural and historic awareness.
Our drones have continued to sew the seeds of violence. Because of our partnership with Israel, almost all Muslims have elements that hate us. Our forays with Iran are stirring and sweetening the pot of violence and in nations with supposed allies, like Saudi Arabia our espionage further weakens our efforts for peace and human rights. Even South Koreans are not delighted with our presence.
Meanwhile the hungry and torn up nations become more and more desperate. I would go much further than this group espousing placing flowers on the pages of the White House and urge Americans to resist supporting our experience abroad. I refuse to pay taxes and support the military that President Eisenhower vehemently warned against their infiltration into domestic affairs; and that the last five generations subsequently staunchly imposed an iron will on these sovereign nations.
Many of those who read these words do not remember the experiences of Vietnam, but I was impressed with the conspiracy doctrine abroad and on these shores by politicians lying, creating a climate of fear and acquiescence about the dramatic imposition on people who already had been subjugated and enslaved by the French for two hundred years.
We have a responsibility as stewards of the earth to resist the temptation to accept the status quo no matter who may be serving in the White House. Urgently rise up, march, incite and add your support and passion in saying enough! “We will not have our sons and daughters shedding the blood of their children….”
Julia Ward Howe, one of our own leaders passionately placed the burden on all women who are mothers. My own mother wrote hauntingly as a child regarding the same principles. It is cowardice for us not to stand up as warriors of the spirit and resist by any means possible the inequities of a powerful nation oppressing marginal people.
In 1980 a woman who wrote as a free lance writer for the Village Voice in New York City wrote the "Cry of the People," her name is Penny Lerneaux. All of us can study and be acquainted with the subterfuge and rancor of foreign affairs as practiced by this nation.
This is why I choose to be a pacifist.
Rethink Afghanistan May 18 at 2:34pm Report
We have some sad news to share: 1,000 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan.
Please take a moment to voice your opposition to this costly, bloody war that's not making us safer.
1. Copy the following text:
2. Paste this text onto the wall at the White House Facebook page:http://facebook.com/WhiteHouse (You have to become a fan of The White House to post on their wall.)
This is a heartbreaking toll on American families. These were people's sons and daughters, husbands and wives, moms and dads. Our hearts go out to all of their families. Our hearts also go out to the families of the many thousands of Afghan civilians who have died.
We want the President and the American people to know that we abhor the awful cost of this war and want our troops to come home. Please post the message above on the White House Facebook page.
Robert Greenwald & Derrick Crowe
and the Brave New Foundation Team
1,000 Dead Americans in Afghanistan [HD]
As of today, 1,000 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan. Please take a moment to voice your opposition to this costly, inhumane war that's not making us safer. 1. Copy the following text: With this flower, I commemorate the 1,000 American lives lost in th...
By admin on May 27, 2010 | In Striving for Higher Ground By Rev. Dr. James Fouther Jr.
"You only live once, so why not go out in style?"
I have lived with that line in the trailer of one of my favorite movies for a long while. And after a visit with two of my favorite cousins, who have made it a point to travel the world shamelessly, I was reminded again that life is short. We've got to live it to the fullest while we have the chance. Living with a "Bucket List" Mindset means doing five important things while you can.
See these 5 important tips below!
1. Travel the world and never look back! International travel is hard to beat in terms of what it teaches us. The beauty of a place like Rio in Brazil or the sugar cane fields of Barbados can only be fully experienced up close. Don't wait, travel the world!
2. Find a friend who you can speak truth to and who can speak truth back to you! The world is filled with hucksters, liars and fools! Avoid them and find a friend who can be counted on to "zing" you every now and then!
3. Laugh.....even when you feel like crying. Oh, don't skip the crying part but a great sense of humor is a great helper in times like these! Laughter AND crying is good for the soul.
4.Connect with your spiritual self and don't ignore it! In the movie, Morgan Freeman is heard even quoting his pastor at one point, IMAGINE THAT?
5. Reconcile those old hurts! Jack Nicholson's character must gather himself to reunite with a daughter whom he'd been previously estranged from.
Maybe the movie was emotional for me because I visit hospital rooms regularly as a church pastor. I see families at their best and at their worst. Maybe the movie was emotional for me because I recently found out that a good friend who was about six years younger than me died suddenly....or at least suddenly from the perspective of a person who only saw her occasionally after college. I've lost so many family members to the scourge of cancer also.
Maybe the movie was emotional for me because I could buy the DVD itself for a rock bottom price as my favorite Albertson's Grocery store in my neighborhood was moving out because of the recession.
Find out what chords are touched in you when you watch the movie, The Bucket List. But, take the five tips to heart and you will find gifts of God in unexpected places, people and things!
SpectrumTalk Blogger Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther
James Ellis Fouther, Jr. is the inspirational architect and spiritual leader of the United Church of Montbello. This northeast Denver based, progressive community of Christians embraces and welcomes folks of all backgrounds, races and levels of need. The church itself has been a groundbreaker in many ways. It has led the effort to feed hundreds of families and individuals through the Montbello Cooperative Ministries Food bank and sponsored refugee families from different parts of Africa.
While James is a pastor who embraces the need for ministers to be serious scholars, his bachelor of arts degree is from Illinois Wesleyan Univervsity, his master's degree is from the Chicago Theological Seminary, and his doctorate degree is from Eden Theological Seminary. James comments on current issues as well as spiritual, motivational, religious and funny matters on SpectrumTalk as well as his own blog site at http://revjamesfoutherjr. blogspot.com/
By helen on May 26, 2010 | In The Black Perspective of Views of America By Helen Burleson
CALLING OUT ALL HYPOCRITES
By Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration
When it comes to hypocrites, it’s hard to decide who to name first. Let’s start with Dylan Radigan of MSNBC. In assessing the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, Mr. Radigan, who appears to be lacking in objectivity, seems to conclude that the problem for addressing and resolving this crisis is lack of leadership.
Mr. Radigan may I remind you that all of the problems that our current president, President Barack Obama is faced with are the results of lack of leadership in our country for years, maybe for decades. Why was BP allowed to drill without following recognized standard safety procedures? Where was the Congressional oversight? How does Haliburton figure in this? There has been so much cronyism, nepotism, palm greasing, cooking books, looking the other way, and just plain corruption in our government that has led to the problems that we are facing today.
Recently, it has been revealed that one sensitive government department had workers spending their time watching undesirable videos. Another very important department MMS uncovered the fact that some of their workers were too cozy with those they were responsible for regulating.
It’s time for true confessions! It’s time to stop the lies and pretenses! Stop the game playing! It is time to bring our heads up out of the sand and look at reality! It’s time to behave like adults and Americans. It is time to work collectively, assertively and aggressively to address the very real needs of the people of this country who are suffering because of failed past practices.
Stop this ridiculous trumped up blaming of the current president for all the corruption, incompetency, inadequacy and inattention to due diligence of past administrations, especially the most recent past administration.
Like it or not President Barack Obama will go down in history as THE GREATEST PRESIDENT AMERICA HAS EVER KNOWN. This is the true problem with the malcontents. They know this is true and they are doing their darndest to tamper with history. History is on the side of President Obama. The hypocrites might just as well get over it! Republican Bob Corker, Tennessee, says the President has thin skin. It is Mr. Corker whose veneer is cracked and revealing. Republican Senator Pat Roberts, Kansas, says the President needs to take a pill before he comes in and talks to Republicans. Only a man of peace and wisdom would walk into the lions’ den which the Republican Party has become. Only a man of steely resolve would bother with a group who are determined to make his presidency his Waterloo.
I am so proud that we have a president who is mature and wise beyond his years and can withstand the slings and arrows that are being thrown at him from the detractors, the demons and the diabolical whose contempt for him is based on their own feelings of inadequacy and lack of accomplishment.
While we are singling out some of the hypocrites, we can’t leave out Republican Congressman Mike Pence, Indiana. We must recognize the number one hypocrite, Republican Senator John McCain, Arizona, who has vacillated and flip flopped on every issue he was once for, now that he lost his bid for the presidency. As a long-term senator from Arizona, why hasn’t he introduced legislation to resolve the border issues? Arizona’s problems of illegal immigration did not start with President Obama’s presidency. Because he has now become an “INSTANT EXPERT” on everything, is McCain suffering from amnesia? If 6.000 members of the National Guard were required to guard the borders, when the Republicans had the majority, why wasn’t this done?
For the thinking people of America; and, I sincerely hope we are in the majority, our vision is like infra red and we can see through the layers and layers of hypocrisy. Our country will never be successful as long as we have people who are intentionally exerting massive energy to divide us, to delude us and to dissuade us from evaluating everything objectively, free from biases. Wake up America and let’s call out all these hypocrites!
By Randle Loeb on May 26, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
House Boat Grounded on in Oil Soaked Marsh: What are the Barriers to Being Safe?
Housing is not an option for more than half of the world's population. In the eyes of the children is a vacant stare. From a sense deep within there is a feeling of abandonment and longing that has disappeared. More than half of those without a home start their lives without a safe, stable sanctuary to rest.
Still, doggedly they cling to life because they have no other choice. They laugh and play as though they were princes not paupers.
Naively, we have built housing for those who are homeless, like launching a new paper ship casually down a river. We now understand that many people without homes are being excluded from these homes. There are barriers – semi-permiable membranes – keeping us from them – separating the deserving from non-deserving – creating arbitrary classes of people who are burdened with social and economic barriers to being able to live with dignity.
What are the barriers that must be over come: These are illustrated in the scenes of musical chairs where one by one each of the chairs disappears. Some are resilient despite the game’s bias – clinging to universal human motivators – faith – hope – the overwhelming need to love and protect their children. For others, this scenario has rudely been played out for generations, until one stops resisting the temptation to feel, or hope, or to dream. For these people there is one door and that is surrender.
Many of these people will die of excruciating chronic illnesses, anesthetize their spirits, or slip away unnoticed. These are the prisoners of squalid living who we stand with and who we acknowledge.
The first barrier is neglect. Invisible and pervasive - how many times do we pass those who are anguished only to turn away or say, "not in my backyard?" We build housing that is affordable but stop short of making it assessable to the people who need it. While it is a good effort – the door remains shut to many and we have chosen to look past the people waiting to get in.
Two: There are those who are incarcerated, whose families served time long before the bars clanked shut and the person lived in solitary confinement. Often, they cannot find housing – no matter how much money they have. We sit in judgement of these people as though they have a choice to fully participate in society when they are released Is there anywhere for many of them to live within the limits of the Housing and Urban Development restrictions? Who will open the door and give them safe passage home – or even unlock the shackles? They have no doors to housing anywhere.
Three: There are the mentally unfit, who we patronize and expect nothing of their lives. There is no place for their antic dispositions and we shun them. Housing without support is short-sighted. Housing with services but without allowing people to be engaged and valued is warehousing. Housing without community is a shell and a door to housing.
In a place called Gheel, in the Netherlands, this is completely the opposite, They've a place to live throughout their lives.
People who are in corrections are housed with mental illnesses. child abuse and sex offenders, the like. We feel safer with them safely kept apart and we subjugate and relegate them to being illegal alien.
The same is true for those who cross the borders against their will. Brazil and America are the two most prolific slave trading or human trafficking countries in the world. We send them back when they are arrested as being undocumented. In point of fact we created a market for this subjugated caste with our desire for goods and services that cost less, when throughout the world people are worthy of a universal living wage.
Immigration restrictions prevents citizens from being able to care for their families, which delineates a distinction between wealth and poverty that pervades our way of life. Children are often separated from their fathers for this reason and therefore are inadequately housed or nurtured.
Four: Legal status arbitrarily confers the ability to live sheltered from the elements, safe from harassment, and abuse. While we each know that we would cross any boarder to feed our children, we condemn or turn a blind eye to those that have heroically chosen to risk their lives to provide hope and opportunities for their families. Worse, as the economy declines, we fight each other over the scraps left by capitalism instead of working together to change our exploitive system.
Five: Frankly, affordable housing that is not based on a percentage of income excludes families existing on Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) and who are receiving or in the process of receiving social security disability. In Colorado, 1,000s of people are currently receiving TANF. The average monthly income for a family of four on TANF is insufficient to care for a family.
Six: Many people have their only support from their disability checks. Their average monthly income meets a fraction of their needs and they scratch out a living. Those without familial resources and without subsidized housing, have no hope in renting the typical affordable housing unit which runs $$$ per month.
Seven: Aging in place – fixed income –
Eight: Larger issue is structural poverty. As a society we have chosen to allow corporations to profit from labor to the extent that an adult working for minimum wage must work unbearable numbers of hours to be able to pay for an apartment in Denver. People are trading their life energy for so little that they can’t live )
Victims of child neglect and domestic violence are a devastating chasm of need that leaves all of these people who are standing far from the source of a caring community. When it is said and done all of us sit on one chair together and for that loss of constant regard, respect and dignity we all suffer immeasurably. Those who are outside the circle suffer, offering their life blood over every good and simple effort to sustain this world
By Randle Loeb on May 26, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Enough Militarism, Enough
How we survived this long is anyone’s guess. We were barely clinging on when we hobbled out of Africa a million years ago. The aboriginal appeal of men in particular to scrapping is based on a predisposition to “fight or flight,” engrained in the cerebral pre cortex. This creates a situation where we choose to settle everything by bullying.
I was once managing a thrift store on Park Avenue West in Denver and a person came along and dumped trash on the sidewalk. When I went over to where he was, he pulled out a sawed off shot gun and threatened me. My response was to back off immediately, “the flight instinct,” and to live another day.
The day I was born, January 29, 1951, we were involved in full scale war in Korea, detonation and nuclear proliferation of arms, and the cold war, none of which has diminished in sixty years. In fact, in one way or another holocaust has never ceased against the world wreaked by human beings on everything surrounding us.
We’re poised in Pakistan, Korea, along the southern border, and Afghanistan to continue to escalate the devastating build up of armed intervention, which has plagued us in our foreign policy and destroyed countless communities. I was ruminating in my spiritual practice what would it be like to make war in this neighborhood? What would the effect be on the quality of life of all of those who go about their daily exercises oblivious to the gnawing fears of a thread bare worn world? Would you still be able to drive down the street for lack of a safe and sound paved road? Would you be able to use your cell phone because of a lack of communication networks? Would you have a lack of running potable water, food, hygiene, and any peaceful surroundings? How could we believe that we are immune from this contaminating influence or that our way of life is not the finite cause of the tyranny?
What Obama might consider imperative is dispensing with all threatening gestures against anyone internally to this land or abroad and instead have a peace summit once and for all between all disillusioned and dysfunctional groups to determine exactly what would be possible to do to live in peaceful existence forever more.
By helen on May 18, 2010 | In The Black Perspective of Views of America By Helen Burleson
IGNORANCE AND IMMORALITY EQUALS SUCCESS IN AMERICA
OR THE WORSE YOU BEHAVE THE MORE YOU ARE WORTH
By Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration
Want our daughters assured of making mega bucks, preach abstinence to them and then let them turn a deaf ear and get pregnant as a teenager! How about between $15,000 to $30,000 to go on the speakers circuit to talk about abstinence and the perils of being an unwed, teen mother.
One American family has really found the secret to success. When so many young people are in college today trying to broaden their knowledge, we have a former political candidate running around the country giving hateful sound bites , incendiary and inciteful remarks whose being made a multi-millionaire through book deals and speaking engagements despite the fact that her very limited knowledge is soaringly and glaringly obvious.
What a mother–daughter team! They must be the model duo for the 21st Century. Forget about all those old-fashioned values and ideals that girls used to be taught and adhered to, this is a new day, a new way and a new say to raise a fortune.
Now we’re going to hear lectured to young girls, don’t do what I did, do what I failed to do. This great message should resonant well especially when the audience of young girls out there are working at fast food places making minimum wages and trying to figure out how they’re going to be able to pay for their college tuition. Are they going to think of themselves as suckers who listened to their mothers and let their conscience be their guide when they resisted the temptation of early, unprotected sex? I wonder, if instead, they say, what the heck, if I get a baby, I’ll be set for life; and, a very glamorous and well rewarded one at that.
You have to give credit to this mother-daughter team; they really know how to game the system. Have someone write a book for you, travel in luxurious style, flash a smile and soak up all the praise along with all the dollars. The ideal is to appear at political functions, offer nothing on policies or solutions that might help the country overcome its multitude of problems. All you have to do to please your equally-yoked audience is to slam the President of the United States of America, plant the seed of distrust and disrespect, fuel the flames with fiery rhetoric in syncopated rhythm and then work the crowd up into a frenzied pitch where they shout out things like, “no one is going to take our guns away from us or we want our country back.”
The unwed father of the baby has gone Hollywood and is getting offers to pose for magazines. I guess next it will be the baby born out of wedlock who will start racking in the bucks. Why not? There’s no shame in this brazen assortment of exhibitionists.
All I can say is go, girls go. You make the rest of us who follow the Ten Commandments look like pikers and nerds. Anybody ready to trade places?