Thursday, March 22, 2007

On Elizabeth Edwards and the Campaign

We're Committed

Our campaign goes on and it goes on strongly. We are so proud of the campaign we are running—a campaign based on ideas and reaching out to people. This campaign is not about me or Elizabeth—it's about all the people we have met these past few years and people like them all across America and the world—people worried about feeding and clothing their kids; people without health care; people facing hardships overseas.

Both of us are committed to this campaign. We're committed to this cause and we're committed to changing this country we love so much.

Thank you again for your support and for standing with us.

- Senator John Edwards, from a campaign email today

As I'm sure my readers will already know, I am deeply saddened by the news that Elizabeth Edwards will have to face yet another trying time as she fights this cancer. How I wish Elizabeth did not have to go through this. The wonderful part of the news is that she will not have to face it alone. She'll have her beloved husband and family by her - always. I've come to care very much about the Edwards - I feel, in many ways, that they are family - and my first reaction to the news that Senator Edwards will continue this campaign is that I think it's the right thing for him to have done because it was his decision and Elizabeth's decision. Family is the Edwards' first priority. They support one another and stand strong through the hardest of times - and that, to me, is setting a great example to anyone seeking personal victory and happiness in their own life.

Whatever John Edwards and his wife and family decide to do has my blessing. The Edwards have my prayers and support, as always.

I'm not sure why had spread inaccurate news about the Edwards' intent before they really knew what was happening. It caused CNN to repeat the inaccuracies in a rush to report. It's no wonder we get so many false and misleading stories in the news. Saddest of all, this was the highest level of attention that CNN has paid to John Edwards' campaign since he announced he'd run for President. I think that fact is a damned shame. Worst of all, I heard the Fox News Live host Jon Scott cynically questioning Senator Edwards' statement of optimism immediately after the press conference. Dr. Robert Ashton, who was being interviewed, put the news host in his place, saying that he believed that optimism was the best thing for the Edwards to have.

Fools like Kathleen Parker write about trivial nonsense while a family faces the trial of a lifetime amidst a Presidential campaign. How I wish people could get real.

I wonder how Ann Coulter's feeling right now?

In the absence of eloquent words to say right now, I am going to repeat what David (Anonymoses) said just this morning. I think it ties in beautifully with the Edwards' statement about their optimism, tenacity, love, and vision:

Fyodor Dostoyevsky is reputed to have said: "Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness", which, among other things, conjures images from the life of the young buddha. Gurdjieff talks about how we evolve our being through what he called "conscious suffering".

Thinking about such things has given me courage during trying times, which is why I wanted to share it.

In many ways, Life is a steady stream of bad news. And sometimes, bad news is just well-disguised good news.

The stress of having one's current reality be so far from ideal, provides the fuel and energy that will propel one toward one's vision.

May the Edwards family be filled with light, love, peace, good health and repose.

- David

Elizabeth, you'll never be alone in this battle. May God comfort you and may you know how many of us love you and care about you. May you have the spiritual strength to bear any physical discomfort that you may have to endure from day to day, and may you find healing, spiritual fortitude, and peace from God's guiding hands.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Don Rose Bangs on Wrong Door for Iraq War

To commemorate the ghastly 4th anniversary of the Iraq War, Chicago-based political consultant Don Rose would rather have us look back at Democrats who voted for the Iraq War Resolution rather than to review the horrendous errors and lies of the Bush administration and every rubber-stamping Republican that has willingly prolonged the disaster since the war began. I wonder why? Could it be because Chicago's own Barack Obama can't be blamed for his vote because he wasn't in a position to have to have voted at the time because he wasn't yet a Senator? How politically convenient. What about things as they stand here and now?

Shouldn't we be opening our eyes and ears (widely) to what the Democratic leaders are saying and doing today about Iraq rather than hyperfocusing on political atmosphere four years ago? Notice that Mr. Rose says absolutely nothing about what the Democratic candidates are doing/saying today. Why isn't that more important?

With a clear eye, I don't trust Mr. Rose's judgment. He isn't a forgiving sort on this matter, and I realize his heart may be in the right place since he is a founding member of Chicagoans Against the War in Iraq. I went through similar feelings myself a couple years ago, but I realized that if we cannot learn to forgive when our leaders tell us they regret having trusted Bush with any authority, we will only have more cynicism and doubt - - and more leaders like George W. Bush.

I think a much better reminder of how we must change, as a nation on the fourth anniversary of this mess, is well-witnessed and written by Juan Cole, who points out the true source of the tragic war mistakes.

Bush's Top Ten Mistakes in Iraq during the Past 4 Years

10. Refusing to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld when his incompetence and maliciousness became apparent in the growing guerrilla war and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.

9. Declining to intervene in the collapsed economy or help put Iraqi state industries back on a good footing, on the grounds that the "market" would magically produce prosperity effortlessly.

8. Invading and destroying the Sunni Arab city of Fallujah in November, 2004, thus pushing the Sunni Arabs into the arms of the insurgency in protest and ensuring that they would boycott the January, 2005, parliamentary elections, a boycott that excluded them from power and from a significant voice in crafting the new constitution, which they then rejected.

7. Suddenly announcing that the US would "kill or capture" young nationalist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in spring, 2004, throwing the country into massive turmoil for months.

6. Replying to Baathist guerrilla provocations with harsh search and destroy missions that humiliated and angered ever more Sunni Arab clans, driving them to support or join the budding guerrilla movement.

5. Putting vengeful Shiites in charge of a Debaathification Commission that fired tens of thousands of mostly Sunni Arab state employees simply for having belonged to the Baath Party, leaving large numbers of Sunnis penniless and without hope of employment.

4. Dissolving the Iraqi Army in May, 2003, and sending 400,000 men home, unemployed, resentful and heavily armed.

3. Allowing widespread looting after the fall of Saddam Hussein on April 9, 2003, on the grounds that "stuff happens," "democracy is messy," and "how many vases can they have?"-- and thus signalling that there would be no serious attempt to provide law and order in American Iraq.

2. Plotting to install corrupt financier, notorious liar, and shady operator Ahmad Chalabi as the soft dictator of Iraq, and refusing to plan for a post-war administration of the country because that might forestall Chalabi's coronation.

1. Invading Iraq.

Goo Goo Dolls and Augustana in Concert

I was treated to my first
Goo Goo Dolls concert last night
in Binghamton, N.Y.
All I can say is:
Where the hell have I been?
They played in their hometown
of Buffalo, N.Y. and even performed
at gigs here in Syracuse in the early years.
Man, have I missed the boat or what?!
These guys are fantastic.

Here's a great representation of the spirit of lead singer John Rzeznik. It's footage from a July 4th concert in Buffalo, N.Y. - in the pouring rain. (John might rather be seen on a better hair day, but I think he's the perfect rawk star in this particular vid.)

I was amazed by the talent of the young group of musicians who were part of the opening band Augustana. I had first heard about them in a blogpost by Adam Duritz of Counting Crows fame. Adam was saying how impressed he was by the band. I finally saw them play last week on the Ellen show, and little did I now that I'd get to hear them live just a week later! If they play anywhere near you, please do yourself a favor and see them live.


Photo of John at top is by Diane K.

Small photo of Augustana is credited to Rebecca Towns of the Press&Sun-Bulletin
See her other concert photos at PressConnects. You can also see Sarah D'Esti-Miller's review and column at the Binghamton Press&Sun Bulletin

Christine has some photos up at Absolute Goo.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Gift of Love Ministry

"gift of love ministry - a view from afar"

Morningside Rhapsody - Charlotte's Forgotten Poor

Morningside Apartments was built in 1949 and 1950 to ease the housing shortage that followed World War II, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission report. In its early days, Morningside attracted World War II veterans, bachelors and widows. These days, it houses a mix of people -- different races, backgrounds and education levels. A notable contingent of Sudanese and Bosnian immigrants live in the complex. It's a relatively safe home at a good price: one-bedrooms rent for as little as $350.

"They're not going to be able to afford something in a decent neighborhood for that price," says Elizabeth Stafford, a frustrated former Morningside resident. "They're all going to have to go to the ghetto."

Morningside - Soon to be torn down - the people who've lived there are left with few options for affordable housing.

THE LIE: "If anyone has concerns, they're not saying anything about it."
Graham Development plans to construct a variety of housing styles, including townhomes, traditional brownstones, condominiums and single-family detached homes. Prices could range from $150,000 to more than $1 million.

The 33-acre tract is the site of the 336-unit Morningside complex and about 12 duplex homes.

There is no current Section 8 housing availability for new applicants.

An economically vibrant city like Charlotte should be ashamed.

Only those who can afford $150,000 - $1 million homes will now enjoy living adjacent to lovely Veterans' Park. As for the poor and the stray cats -
where will their heads rest while the millionaires plan their McMansions
William Perry couldn't be accused of sugarcoating his feelings about the proposed demolition of Morningside Apartments. "For me," the 75-year-old resident says slowly, "having to find another place to live would be just like a man-made Katrina."