Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Your New Year Resolutions

Although some jokingly say New Year resolutions only go in one Year and out the other, I like what Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn has said about them:
Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.
What do you want to change about yourself in the coming year? Do you have a plan for self-improvement in 2009 that will help bring you closer to your goals and dreams?

For those who wish to take stock of their personal progress now that we're at the end of the year, I received this guide by Rev. David Ault that may help:

Year End Resolutions

Did I express love this year—real love? The kind of love that doesn’t announce itself in flashy circumstance or structured conditions—but an authentic, quiet, internal love? The kind of love that bubbles to the surface when I gaze at another with understanding, a love that places me in their shoes, granting freedom from judgment and deepening my compassion? A philanthropic love that expresses because it simply feels compelled to, because it knows there is more than enough and everyone can benefit. If not, then I resolve to be and do better in my authentic loving.

Did I forgive this year—really forgive? The kind of forgiveness that cracks open my heart, peeling away one more layer of righteous indignation, thus allowing my soul to breathe? The kind of forgiveness that loosens my clinched fists held high at a situation so that I don1t enter into the next one with guarded mistrust? The kind of forgiveness that comprehends there is a difference between understanding a behavioral choice and condoning it? If not, then I resolve to be and do better in my forgiving.

Did I stop this year—really stop? The kind of stopping that can’t help but make me vulnerable by becoming more familiar with who I am without distraction, smoke screens, excuses or self-imposed numbing? The kind of stopping that turns me, naked, towards my feelings, giving them permission to express? No right or wrong—a stopping that simply lets me hear what I need to hear so that I can live more effectively? If not, then I resolve to be and do better in allowing myself to stop.

Did I seek adventure this year—real adventure? The kind of adventure that requires me to not only take a leap of faith off my cliff of familiarity but actually sends me back to get a running start? The kind of adventure that shakes the dust off my capable but underused wings and gives them an opportunity to catch the gorgeous wind of change? The kind of adventure that knows there is no outside safety net in this physical world, only an internal one? The kind of adventure that shouts, "I choose to live fully!" If not, then I resolve to be and do better in seeking adventure.

Did I seek wellness this year—real wellness? The kind of wellness that requires me to be fully conscious of what I put in my body—the kind of wellness that requires me to practice what I preach when it comes to self-love while understanding that the power to dissolve poor habits starts by simply choosing to change? Wellness that says, "This is the only body you’ve got. Treat me with respect, praise me daily and honor me as the holy temple that I am? " If not, then I resolve to be and do better in allowing wellness in my life.

Did I play this year—really play? The kind of play that gives value to the heavenly activity of fun -knowing that fun is sacred, that play is the equivalent of work and that during play—renewal and relaxation usher in the newest ideas and the clearest choices for better manifestations? Did I view play as a necessary life function and not a debatable luxury? If not, then I resolve to be and do better in my relationship to playing.

Did I set a goal and see it to completion this year—really complete it? The kind of completion that lets the vibration of satisfaction and confidence in my abilities heal any opposing ideas of not being good enough? Did I honor my life and its sacred purpose by utilizing my time with forward thinking and letting my mistakes be motivators not antagonists? Did I dissolve my insecurities and procrastination by understanding that my untapped genius has but one mode of expression and that is through idea, thought, word and action? If not, then I resolve to be and do better in setting and completing my goals.

Did I open myself up to learn this year—really learn? The kind of learning that entices me to enroll in being a student of life with thirst and enthusiasm? Did I set an intention for uncovering more of my potential, letting divine intellect eat from my plate and stepping deeper into the waters of wisdom? Did I open a book, take a class, study a language, learn an instrument, write a poem, visit another culture? Did I learn to surprise and thrill myself with the infinite capacity I have to master more than I thought I could? If not, then I resolve to be and do better on my personal path of learning.

Did I clean up my relationships this year—really clean them up? The kind of cleaning that requires me to break open the lock, pull back the curtain, throw open the window and start removing the dust of harsh words, grudges, false accusations and misguided choices that have layered my heart? Did I make amends for the fearful ways that disheartened another, for neglecting to honor their point of view? With careful examination, did I communicate my truth, understanding that sometimes all we may be able to do is agree to disagree and to do so without judgement or malice? If not, then I resolve to be and do better on cleaning up my relationships.

Did I share my good this year—really share? The kind of sharing that comes from the pure joy of seeing another succeed, not from what I think they can or will do for me in return? Did I tithe back to where I was spiritually fed, transformed and inspired? Did I practice random acts of kindness and give of my time, talent, and treasure realizing that my good is a part of a never-ending wellspring that cannot run dry -whose source is and always will be the infinite wellspring of the Divine? Did I commit to walking the altruistic path, remembering that every step brings healing and enlightenment to the world? If not, then I resolve to be and do better in my sharing.

Did I pray this year—really pray? The kind of prayer that is spoken not to God but AS God—prayers that affirm rather than beseech, are pregnant with knowing rather than bloated with doubt? Did I make my every day activities a prayer—realizing that every thought I think carries with it the responsibility of an effect on the world? Did I remember how truly powerful my own prayer actually is and that by simply devoting myself to the practice of it, I become the change? Did I remember that my prayer takes what I seek and introduces it to me, the seeker? If not, then I resolve to be and do better with praying.

Did I do all these things because deep down inside I fully understand how precious I am and that these activities will help me to see that I am held in the light as a perfect idea? Did I remember that I have been perfectly conceived and am always held in the perfect mind of God as perfect being? Did I know that there is nothing that I can ever say, nothing I can ever do that will separate me from the love of God? If for any reason, I forgot my divinity this year, then I resolve to be and do better in my knowing of it, to fully understand and embody the truth that it is done unto me as I believe. And I believe in the power of Good, for me, for you, for all.

© 2005 Rev. David Ault

At Ode Magazine's "Exchange" (where readers share ideas, experiences and stories], Kristen offers ten questions she believes you can ask yourself to increase your self-awareness:

Whatever question is tormenting you, it’s time to get your mind to focus on what really matters now. Remember, you get what you focus on. Here are 10 questions to print out, answer and give some attention to. Get your friends and family to answer them as well. You will learn a lot about each other if you do.

* What was the best thing that happened to me this year? * What did I do this year that I’m really proud of? * Who did I really help? * Who do I need to thank and acknowledge for having been there for me? * What are the top three lessons I learned? * What increased my happiness and joy this year? * What’s something I got through that was really tough? * What did I avoid that I must pay more attention to in 2009? * What character trait did I develop most this year? * What new people did I meet that are now in my life?

At, Kirsten Harrell suggests a "Dream Book" -

[..] Get a 3-ring notebook, a scrapbook, or journal. Gather magazines, photos, scissors, glue (or tape), and a couple of colored pens or markers. Create a page for each life category. Cut out pictures from magazines and use photos that represent your dreams and goals. Make a collage on each page with your pictures and photos. Be sure to include your affirmations on the page somewhere. You can write them with your colored pens or print them out from your computer. Be creative and have fun with it! Create a page like this for each of your major life areas.

The next step is to create your action plan. Having great big, juicy dreams is fun and exciting! However, it can be overwhelming as you try to figure out how to achieve these goals. Breaking your big goals down into smaller, more manageable, actions steps will help. That's the beauty of big lofty dreams; you can break them down into as many little steps as you need to in order to move forward. I suggest you keep breaking the big goals into smaller and smaller ones until you feel completely confident that you can reach the new smaller goal. If you don't break the goals down, you may get overwhelmed and end up not doing anything at all to reach the big goal. If you notice that you are stuck and not moving forward on a goal, then you know it is time to break it down further. [more at link]

Good luck and Happy New Year
~ Jude

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Favorite Christmas YouTube Videos

Merry Christmas.

I created this one:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

"Night Angel" - photo by Iddybud

O sleep, we are beholden to thee, sleep;
Thou bearest angels to us in the night,
Saints out of heaven with palms.
Seen by thy light
Sorrow is some old tale that goeth not deep;
Love is a pouting child.

- Jean Ingelow, "Sleep"
Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell"

'Ownership Society' - A Cartoon by Iddybud

I have a comment to make about an article in today's New York Times by Jo Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and Stephen Labaton titled: "The Reckoning - White House Philosophy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire" [excerpt]:
Mr. Bush says he will leave it to historians to analyze "what went right and what went wrong," as he put it in a speech last week to the American Enterprise Institute.

Mr. Bush said he was too focused on the present to do much looking back.

"It turns out," he said, "this isn’t one of the presidencies where you ride off into the sunset, you know, kind of waving goodbye."
I should say not!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Leno Exposes Intellectual Bankruptcy of Norquist Crowd

Grover Norquist , who has said that bipartisanship is equal to date rape, is still at it. He's expecting that billions of dollars can be cut from state and federal budgets while not proposing an end to the biggest money-sucker of all - the Iraq war. Norquist has led an anti-intellectual movement that has made "tax" a word to which leaders have developed a professional allergy. [So-called] leaders have allowed themselves to be herded, because of political pressure, to sign a pledge, now clearly seen as a meaningless joke to anyone in their right mind, to always resist raising taxes.

California State Senator Mark Leno says it far more diplomatically than I did, appealing to the business community:
"I wouldn't think that anyone with a business mind or business concerns would in any way support the status quo right now."[source: SF Guardian]

Back in 2005, understanding the ideology of Bush and the Republican party that had been pushing hard and partisan for a doctrinaire national agenda, I recognized the intellectual bankruptcy of the President's ideas about his "ownership society." After the bitter realities exposed in post-Katrina New Orleans, I'd wondered where on earth Bush's "Harry Hopkins" might be [and he still hasn't emerged]:

Bush pushed his "ownership society" ideology during his speech, the Urban Homesteading Act for example, which is short-term Republican micromanagement of an insidious poverty that will still exist when the funds have run out. Does the President believe that he can accomplish a war on poverty without informing the American people that either their taxes will need to be raised or else they will suffer an ever-widening gap between rich and poor while government manipulates more tax breaks as a way to redistribute wealth to the richest? Somewhere along the way, we know that sacrifices must be made for what we've deliberately done in Iraq and for what nature did to us in New Orleans. The bill has been placed in front of us. Who's going to wind up paying the bill? If the richest are not called on by the Bush administration to pay their fair share, the middle class and the poor will be the ones who will suffer most, even though their taxes are not "raised". They will pay higher prices. Their schools will suffer. Their social programs will dissipate as spending becomes restricted to fighting in Iraq and rebuilding New Orleans. The gap between the "two Americas" will deepen.

The economic realities that Republican leadership have avoided, with an all-too-supportive FOX News giving cheerleader's megaphone, have hit us in the face. The Grover Norquist-"drown it in the bathtub" form of federal government was drowned by the floodwaters of August. This is a brand new day.

Where's Harry Hopkins?

[Iddybud blog/Jude Nagurney Camwell/09-16-05]

Flash forward to the present.

I wonder how many citizens are able to draw the exisiting line between 1. the starvation of federal support for anything resembling a safety net for the US worker and for the conscientious work that many unsung heroes of the already-underpaid nonprofit community are doing quietly each day and 2. the breakdown of the quality of life for those Americans who've done their best to keep afloat while being forced to compete with workers in the developing world in an unregulated business atmosphere where labor standards are few if they exist at all.

The anti-tax pledge was the joke that the fiercely ignorant anti-tax crowd had played on our weak leaders in D.C. that unravelled the moment the fat cats that couldn't get enough welfare from Washington started suffering.

And, lo, the suffering of the fat cats was loud.
The cries were heard 'round the world as markets flopped.
The voiceless worker who'd long suffered
Was the first target for attack by the doctrinaires.

It should've happened long ago, but if there's ever been a time to expose the total bankruptcy of the unmovable ideas of the anti-tax crowd, it would be now.

Senator Mark Leno says now is the time for Democrats to aggressively fight back against an inflexible anti-tax stand that has eroded critical government services for a generation and has now finally reached a crisis point. The conservative crusade has been led largely by ATR head Grover Norquist, who once famously said he wants to shrink government to the level where he can drown it in the bathtub.

"Every Republican has signed a pledge to someone who wants to drown government in a bathtub - Grover Norquist. So nothing will happen until we rip up those pledges," Leno told me, noting that the two-thirds vote margin is just three Republicans each in the Assembly and Senate. "Six human beings are bringing us to our knees."

Even the conservative editorial page writers of the San Francisco Examiner (who endorsed John McCain for president) on Dec. 15 wrote, "the deficit has become so overpowering that - hate it all we want - California cannot continue functioning in 2009 without at least temporary tax raises."

Yet Norquist and the Republican legislators in his thrall haven't softened their position one bit and instead hope to win deep cuts with this game of brinksmanship. "Now it's up to the governor to come up with a budget that doesn't borrow money and doesn't raise taxes," Norquist told the Guardian.
[source: SF Guardian]]

To ALL elected leaders: Let's admit the truth, shall we? America can't continue functioning in 2009 without tax raises. Grover Norquist has constantly relied upon citizens' historic resistance to taxation in order to destroy our own beneficial soical safety government mechanisms. Some ignorant citizens think back to the Boston Tea party when they hear the word "tax" even though it has no correlation to modern life where their own jobs have been shipped off by their own government.
Hey, Grover...
Drown this!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buh Bye Blago [Comic]

Monday, December 08, 2008

"Worth the Fight" [Obama-Clinton 08]

The strip below was inspired by a story I'd read at Kansas (Be sure to use the arrow at the right)
~ Jude

Tsunami by Jude Nagurney Camwell [poem]

I'm just beginning to enjoy the pleasure of sharing some of my writing with others at Scribd. This is a poem I'd written just after the great tsunami of late 2004. It's hard to believe that it's been almost four years since the Great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and deadly tsunami. My prayers go out to all souls who were lost or who'd lost loved ones.

Tsunami by Jude Nagurney Camwell [Poem]

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ken Burns' Moving Speech at Gettysburg Ceremony

"Of the People"
by Dale Gallon

Below you'll see a wonderful video [CSPAN] of a November 19th ceremony of remembrance on the 145th Anniversary of the Gettyburg Address. It's wonderful in its entirety if you have 50 minutes to spare, but if you're pressed for time, I'd recommend that you don't miss filmmaker and Founders Award winner Ken Burns' moving speech which begins at 19:00. I promise it'll be a stirring 18 minutes.

Jupiter & Venus Flirt With the Moon

Jupiter & Venus Flirt With the Moon
photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Sunday, November 30, 2008

On World AIDS Day 2008

One third of pregnant women in South Africa have HIV by Annie Lennox, The Sun, UK - AIDS has claimed more than 25 million lives worldwide and an estimated 33.2 million people now live with the HIV virus. ...

World AIDS Day: Address Needs of Drug Users - Ensure Access to HIV Prevention and Treatment Human Rights Watch - Governments around the world should adopt and expand needle and syringe exchange programs and effective drug dependency treatment as part of their efforts to address HIV among people who use drugs, Human Rights Watch said today, ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1...

Living With HIV The Silhouette, Canada - So you’ve made the decision to get tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). You’ve got your result, but where do you go from here? ...

AIDS patients dying in China due to ‘tragic stigma’

Speaking Out for a Group Once Unheard-Of: Aging With AIDS New York Times - Today, because of antiretroviral therapy and an array of drugs to treat both symptoms and side effects, AIDS has become a chronic condition to be managed, at least in the developed world...

Botswana and America celebrate life on World AIDS Day Sunday Standard - After the introduction of life-saving antiretroviral treatment, this hospice chose instead to mark World AIDS Day with a celebration of life, because the people who were once dying in their care are now living and thriving members of society. In this spirit, on World AIDS Day 2008, we join the people of Botswana in celebrating life.

Africa’s AIDS fight: Fresh focus on issue of multiple partners Christian Science Monitor, MA - Johannesburg, South Africa - In the latest season of the popular South African television ...

Rick Warren takes on World AIDS Day -- again USA Today - major religious leaders across the nation are issuing statements today. They're calling on everyone to pay attention to the epidemic and make their own contributions of time, money or political support to combating the causes, expanding the treatments and caring for the victims of HIV/AIDS...

Britain is criticised for deporting HIV patients, UK - The government is today, on World Aids Day, accused of double standards for permitting the deportation of people diagnosed in the UK with HIV to countries ...

UK funds for S Africa Aids fight BBC News, UK - The UK is to give South Africa's new health minister Barbara Hogan £15m to help combat Aids in the country. Ms Hogan was appointed health ...

Study Cites Toll of AIDS Policy in South Africa
New York Times - A Johannesburg AIDS hospice in 2002. From 2000 to 2005, few South Africans got the AIDS drugs they needed, a study found.

World AIDS Day Dec 1st - World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, shines a light on a disease that continues to spread at home and abroad despite advances in education, treatment and survivability, ...

Model Predicts Halt to Africa's AIDS Epidemic
Washington Post - A strategy of testing adults every year for HIV and immediately treating every person found to be infected could virtually end the AIDS ...

World AIDS Day a time to renew fight against the disease Tucson Citizen, AZ - The World Health Organization established World AIDS Day for Dec. 1 to demonstrate the importance of AIDS and show solidarity for the cause. ...

The kindest cut: How circumcision is the secret weapon in the battle against HIV/AIDS, Independent, UK - In Zambia, an experiment in the battle with HIV/Aids is producing staggering results. If this were a vaccine trial, the medical world would be hailing it as ...

HIV Tests, Treatment for All in Africa May Halt Most New Cases Bloomberg News [John Lauerman] - Testing everyone for the AIDS virus in hard-hit African countries and treating all infections immediately may ...

HIV protection: Could pills work wonders against HIV? Monsters and By Gisela Ostwald - Anti-HIV medicines have rescued tens of thousands or perhaps even millions of people ...

Study says HIV could be eliminated in a decade The Associated Press - LONDON (AP) — The virus that causes AIDS could theoretically be eliminated in a decade if all people living in countries with high infection rates are ...

An end to the AIDS epidemic? Study provides new reason for hope. New York Daily News, NY - A shelter in the Congo that cares for children with AIDS. A new study predicts that the disease could be eradicated in 10 years with ...

World AIDS Day - A Reminder That HIV Has Not Gone Away
eFluxMedia - Just days before the World AIDS Day on December 1st, the World Health Organization released a study trying to answer a question that has been ...

Universal Testing, Prompt Treatment Could Slash HIV Washington Post - A combination of universal voluntary HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral treatment (ART) following diagnosis of ...

WHO suggests universal HIV tests BBC News, UK - Universal testing for HIV, followed by immediate treatment could cut the number of people developing full-blown Aids by up to 95% ...

NGO Warns Economic Crisis Could Re-Ignite AIDS Epidemic Voice of America - The anti-poverty agency ActionAid is warning that the current economic crisis could re-ignite the global AIDS epidemic. ...

South Africa's hidden epidemic - When the Themba Lethu HIV/Aids Clinic opened at Johannesburg's Helen Joseph Hospital in 2005, the focus was on saving lives ...

S Africa's AIDS programme carries legacy of denialism AFP - JOHANNESBURG (AFP) — Every morning at 8:00 am, after his mobile phone alarm goes off, Thabo Moloi reaches for his pill box and swallows two small ...

US Leaders Celebrate Life on World AIDS Day NewsBlaze, By Daniel Gorelick - Washington - For World AIDS Day, December 1, United States leaders are calling on Americans to celebrate life and commemorate those who ...

A New Treatment Could Prevent HIV, eFluxMedia by Christian Coley - A recent discovery might help people with HIV. A combination of universal voluntary HIV testing and immediate antiretroviral treatment ...

New network will improve HIV/AIDS treatment Insciences Organisation, Switzerland - Simon Fraser University health sciences professor Robert Hogg, who is internationally known for his understanding of infectious diseases, will head Canada’s ...

Early detection cuts Aids risk Straits Times, Singapore - PARIS - Universal and voluntary testing for HIV and early access to antiretroviral drugs could slash infections of the Aids virus by 95 per cent within a ...

Faulty AIDS policies caused 365000 early deaths in SAfrica: study AFP - WASHINGTON (AFP) — The failure to provide anti-retrovirals to AIDS patients in South Africa led to the premature deaths of 365000 people between 2000-2005 ...

Complacency about AIDS heightens risks, experts say (News Feature) Monsters and - Geneva - Asian countries, youngsters and people spoiled by the availability of medicines in the developed world are ...

Hope finds a ravaged land The Age, Australia - Bokomuso, 3, gets a scrub from his new sister, Nomhle, who came to live with the family in Soweto after her mother died of AIDS. ...

Maybe AIDS Treatment Is Also AIDS Prevention Wall Street Journal Blogs, NY - Two of the great hopes for AIDS prevention — vaccines and microbicides — have yet to pan out. So researchers are looking more closely at the hiding-in-plain ...

Wyoming HIV/AIDS Program Adds Increasing Number of ClientsKaiser, DC - The number of new clients enrolled in an HIV/AIDS program in Wyoming is increasing, with some experts attributing the rise to a greater number of people ...

Money Delayed is ARVs Denied, Washington - South Africa's newly sworn-in Health Minister, Barbara Hogan, came head-to-head with her first real crisis when antiretroviral (ARV) treatment was withheld ...

Lancet Publishes Opinion Pieces on HIV Prevention, Epidemic in China Kaiser, DC - The Lancet on Saturday published two editorials about HIV prevention and China's HIV/AIDS epidemic. Summaries appear below. ...

Radio Head: an Aids anniversary Times Online, UK - Can you remember where you were when you first heard of acquired immune deficiency syndrome? For me it was 1982. I was working on a men’s magazine in South ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving

This is a Thanksgiving prayer from my neighbors and friends, the Haudenosaunee people of Upstate New York. All photos are mine except those with which I credit others - and most of the photos are taken of the land that once belonged solely to the nations of the Haudenosaunee. When I walk the trails and forest paths, I can feel their spirits all around me. They were caretakers of the land, and we need to honor the ancient spirits by doing the same.

Thanksgiving Address: Greetings to the Natural World

The People

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.

Now our minds are one.

art by Unknown

The Earth Mother

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Waters

We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.

Now our minds are one.

The Fish

We turn our minds to the all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Plants

Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants

With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs

Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

The Animals

We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are honored by them when they give up their lives so we may use their bodies as food for our people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one.

The Trees

We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

The Birds

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds-from the smallest to the largest-we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds

We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers

Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We are thankful that they keep those evil things made by Okwiseres underground. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

The Sun

We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon

We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

photo credit:Joanne Hailey

The Stars

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to the Stars.

Now our minds are one.


The Enlightened Teachers

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.

Now our minds are one.

The Creator

Now we turn our thoughts to the creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

Closing Words

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.

The Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address/Prayer was reproduced courtesy of Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs. []

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
~ Jude

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama Announces His Economic Team Leaders

Geithner, Summers among key economic team members announced today []

The Team:
Timothy Geithner
Lawrence Summers
Christina Romer
Melody Barnes ... Inside the Transition: Meet Melody Barnes []

Others who've worked on the Obama transition Economic team: []

Economics and International Trade Team

CFTC, Mark Johnson; Department of the Treasury, Stephen Abrecht; Department of the Treasury, Erika Brown; Department of the Treasury, Alastair Fitzpayne; Department of the Treasury, Mary Goodman; Department of the Treasury, James Greene; Department of the Treasury, Robert Kahn; Department of the Treasury, Edward Knight; Department of the Treasury, Rebecca Levin; Department of the Treasury, Marne Levine; Department of the Treasury, Robert Litan; Department of the Treasury, Donald Lubick; Department of the Treasury, James Millstein; Department of the Treasury, Cantwell Muckenfuss III [yes, that's really his name]; Department of the Treasury, Emanuel Pleitez; Department of the Treasury, Rosa Rios; Department of the Treasury, David Vandivier; Department of the Treasury, William Wechsler; Department of the Treasury, James Wetzler; Department of the Treasury, Jacqueline Wong; Department of the Treasury, Jide Zeitlin; [see link for more]

They Tried to Warn Us!

By Tom Tomorrow,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Patriotism and Bailouts

I was reading an article by Rev. Jim Wallis [Sojourners] about his prayers for the workers in his hometown of Detroit and the question came to mind: "What does patriotism mean when it comes to economics?"

I recall a day, three decades ago, when a worker from Chrysler that I personally know refused to speak to my ex-husband because he'd bought a Subaru. Some younger people might say "How odd." But back then it was true - if you bought a foreign car in the '70s you were looked at with resentment by American auto workers. I'd witnessed a long friendship hanging in the balance over one friend's challenging another about his consumer-choices. I think that it's only now that I've come to a full realization regarding the fears of that Chrysler worker back in 1977.

The economic survival today of so many American auto workers who are innocently caught up in the great leveling of the global playing field is dependent upon our government seeing the pitfalls and fault-lines of pure Capitalism and government's acknowledging that they have failed in their hesitation, for politics' sake, to stem the tide of the ever-rapidly and inevitable outsourcing of American business. In the early years of globalization, responsible regulation by government would not have had to have been legislated in the spirit of cutting off free markets, but to show responsibility and goodwill intent to protect the American worker - and the Middle Class from which he or she was a part - from undue hardship. To be patriotic today wouldn't be to leave millions of workers at risk in a culture of inevitable greed that came with the global markets opening up and too little regulations and laws to protect the Middle Class.

When it comes to the current debate about bailing out the big auto companies and securing millions of jobs, the problem our elected US legislators face is the inability to reconcile their past failures of realistic leadership with what appears to be a move - this bailout proposal - that defies their hard stands on respective economic philosophies.

It's understandable to question the fairness of the bailout in the current global market. But is it fair to the American worker who was never realistically led by her government to responsibly be able to track her realistic economic path and its pitfalls on her personal map? After all, as an average citizen, she wasn't required to be an intellectual, a sociologist, an attorney, or an economist. Is it fair to the Middle Class in America to suffer undue hardship, by simply allowing milllions of jobs to be sucked under with the tide of poor past political leadership? What about more citizens who will lose related jobs while investors lose more confidence and citizens lose more faith in their leaders?

When it comes to patriotism and our American communities great and small, either we citizens are in this together or we shouldn't be in it at all. Now's not the time for harsh judgments about the auto companies' failures. Instead, it's the time for vision and for the greatest leadership possibly ever seen in US history -- the kind of leadership that will inspire us to see that America is strongest when we, especially our leaders, humbly admit past mistakes and invite us all to work together to correct them without unduly punishing ourselves. Most important, the time for politicians and pundits holding on to extreme economic philosophy is over in a country where the Middle Class is economically imploding and the world watches for America to lead.

Note: Warren Buffett says, [..] any automaker bailout package should include a business solution, and be negotiated by the president, not Congress.[..]

Monday, November 10, 2008

When You Come Home by Nora Eisenberg [Review]

"When You Come Home"
by Nora Eisenberg
Curbstone Press

I clearly remember the night Operation Desert Storm was begun by the United States because I still have the journal I'd been keeping for my son, who was then a newborn in a borrowed handcrafted wooden swinging cradle. My baby boy slept in the cradle while Bernard Shaw and John Holliman hunkered down in their Baghdad hotel room reporting the details for then cutting-edge CNN and it looked like fireworks over the besieged city of babies and old men and women already sick and starving from years of fruitless sanctions. It was a war for which we were being told, after years of hippie vs. hawk Vietnam argument, that we could finally win - and, at long last decisively so. What is winning? As a new mother, I wrote the question -along with all the words that were in my heart. I questioned our country's growing involvement in the region although I understood that we were defending an ally. I wondered, even then, if our growing dependence on foreign oil was leading our nation down a path of perpetual war. I wondered if my baby, sleeping peacefully in his bed, would someday be called to be a warrior for our national addiction.

A member of my family went to the desert for the first Gulf War. I recall the days of sending him cans of Chef Boyardee and books about Elvis and pictures from home. I especially recall the night he came home to our family. There's a scene I keep in my mind of balloons and embraces at the airport and my sense of peace, joy, and relief in knowing that he'd survived. It didn't matter to me at that moment that he may not have been emotionally whole, I just knew he was back in our arms. I remember going with him to a Catholic elementary school where he offered to allow children to ask him questions about Desert Storm. He's the kind of good-humored, loving, intelligent fellow who'd never want to burden you with horror stories, but I know, even though he doesn't talk a lot about those months in the desert, that he came home changed. How could you not be changed after war? You're lifted to hero status by some who think you deserve it and by those in the shadows who have an interest in keeping soldiers heroes so war can be seen as the fastest route to honor. You may not feel like a hero. You're given a parade and a promise of education so you can keep up with the Joneses while the Joneses become a class of working poor in a nation with a canyon-sized gap between the minute percentage of the richest and the rest of us. You see horrors that no human being ever sets out to desire to see and you're expected to blend in again when you get back. You become acutely aware of your fellow countrymen's short attention span when, on a chilling day, you suddenly realize with a great sense of disappointment that you've been forgotten. A VA hospital closes. Veterans' benefits are cut. A new war is begun. The VFW is often the only place for that certain connection - a refuge where you're still understood for who you are by those who've shared the experience of war.

Veteran's Day 2008 was a fitting time to have been reading "When You Come Home" by Nora Eisenberg. In her writing I see the uncanny ability to pull the everyday experience of the veteran and his/her family together with the inner strife in the inner-lives of the people who've been to war and back. Marine reservist Tony Bravo has come back from the Gulf War with the raw memory of it still fresh in his mind. He has a longing to teach a history of war although he's still confused as to how to approach the subject as each passing day brings up new remembrances of experiences in the war, many of them haunting. Tony, who's lost his own father in the Vietnam war, has fallen in love and wishes to start a new life with his childhood frend Lily, a sweet and creative girl who was orphaned by the ghosts of Vietnam and was raised by Tony's mother. Because Tony's mother Mimi, a midwife by profession, is also a Vietnam war widow, she has been an especially nurturing and empahetic force in Lily's life. The story wraps itself around the main characters and their best friends Homer, a Marine who's come back from Iraq with symptoms of what would eventually be known as Gulf War syndrome and Nancy - Homer's wife - who learns she's expecting their first child shortly after his return from the war. Lily's engagement to Tony and the coming of Nancy and Homer's baby remain in focus throughout the story as the mysterious symptoms related to Guf War syndrome begin to manifest themselves in Homer. The fear and confusion set in as Tony, Lily, and Nancy watch Homer's condition deteriorate and come to understand in a most disheartening way that, whether or not those who worked in Veteran and government afairs were aware of the causes of the mysterious disease, that there was an unwillingness on their part to listen and to claim responsibility, and too often seeming to willfully deny reponsibility for all consequences involving their putting the soldiers in the place where there was the potential for dangerous exposure to poisons, whether it was from oil fires, chemicals like DEET; or from germs, gases, depleted uranium from U.S. weapons, required vaccines that weren't FDA-approved, or broken masks and suits that didn't protect as they were meant to protect.

Homer's symptoms worsen. Nancy's child is born with unexpected health problems that can reasonably be tied to Homer's mysterious illnesses. The tension increases between Tony, who's increasingly worried that he'll soon come down with his fellow soldiers' common symptoms and discouraged because his History course cirriculum, based upon his own experience and knowledge of war, has been rejected by those who don't want that knowledge to be spread too far... and Lily, always the hopeful, committed, and determined champion of the man Tony has become. Their love story isn't an easy or idyllic one. Fairy tales and most romance stories don't involve spending 24 hours of your day watching over a loved one who's been spewing vomit, sweating, and mumbling irrationally while you have no clue what's wrong with them and while no one in your own government seems to want to support you or your loved one with a system of healthcare that has its philosophic basis in the core practice of listening - really listening - to the concerns of the veteran. Nora Eisenberg has made her story all too real, piercing your heart with an image of life for people who return from war different...broken..whether by physical illness, emotional illness, or both.

Lily refuses to let her dreams die - as much of a flight of child-like fancy as they seem sometimes. Although she's never had the opportunity for a first-class education, she's got an uncanny natural ability to see things for exactly what they are. For instance, she thinks of the implications of the Vietnam-era term "MIA" while reflecting upon her own childhood and her father who returned from Vietnam lost and haunted by many memories. He was eventually taken from a very young Lily by the ghosts of war that led to his own physical deterioration. The term that Lily assigns to her father is "MAA" - missing AFTER action; much like her friend Homer and, in many ways, even her fiance Tony...and so many other veterans of the war.

An old friend from the Gulf War enters the story near the end and, to Tony's surprise, is wheelchair-bound and extremely sick from Gulf War syndrome. His friend, angry and confused about his own fate and the death of a mutual brother-in-arms who has succumbed from the same disease, says, "Operation Desert Posion. that's what we should call the whole fucking war."

Ms. Eisenberg's book speaks about a war that the United States supposedly won, hands-down, in no time. I'd always felt that it was supposed to erase the memory of the U.S. in Vietnam from our nation's collective mind. It was as if to say, "Look at us. We're war-winners once again." Yet, here we are today, bogged down in a war and an occupation in Iraq. We keep hearing about victory while no one has been able to produce a credible vision of victory in their ever-changing rhetoric about a one-day glorious exit strategy from Iraq that never materializes. The book causes me to ask if the current war in Iraq is really a new war and whether or not, as we look back on the history of the first Gulf War, we'd won anything at all? For all the veterans who suffered and continue to suffer from Gulf War Syndrome, I'd imagine you'd be hard-pressed to find one who believes their country treated them like the winners they were framed to be. It's too hard to worry about the winning when your life and your family's life is torn apart.

If everyone reflected as realistically as Nora Eisenberg upon war and the men and women who fight those wars, we would all look at war differently. I urge you to read this book. The story's as relevant to all of us, to our veterans who deserve our best care, and to our politics today as it was in the 1960s and the 1990s.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Blogging: The First Rough Draft of History

"Journalism is supposed to be the first rough draft of history, but now it’s the second draft — blogging is the first."

~ Nicholas Kristof, NY Times

It Feels Like a Whole New World

It feels like we're in a
whole new world this morning,
doesn't it?
Anything is possible now.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama T-Shirts at UNCC Rally

Take It Back!

Song: "Take It Back"
Written and sung by Paul Hipp


Monday, November 03, 2008

Barack Obama to Speak at UNC Charlotte

UNCC awaits a final North Carolina campaign stop by
Senator Barack Obama

Charlotte, N.C.
photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

What A Difference A Day Makes
Obama in Charlotte
November 3, 2008
photo by R.G. Littlejohn

Autumn Colors

University City
Charlotte N.C.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween in Charlotte: Sarah Palin Meets Obama-cain

"Obama-cain" and "Sarah Palin"
Boardwalk Billy's
Charlotte, N.C.
Halloween, 2008

Note: If you're still undecided about your choice for POTUS, Obamacain won't be helpul.
Photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Friday, October 31, 2008


Five North Carolina Presbyterian Church leaders have entered the controversy regarding the Elizabeth Dole for Senate ad casting her opponent Kay Hagan as a godless person who's hoping to erase God from the minds of all her constituents. Pretty nutty stuff.

The faith leaders have issued a statement that says they "take offense at Senator Dole's political ad." According to WSOC-TV [Charlotte], "Sam Roberson of the Presbytery of Charlotte and four other church leaders endorsed the statement. 'Kay Hagan is a faithful member of her local Presbyterian Church. We implore the senator to stop running the ad,' the statement said.

I believe that Elizabeth Dole's refusing to take down this ad, which is basically a lie because she makes the crazy (and blatantly untrue) claim that Ms. Hagan wishes to erase God from Americans' everyday lives, is a death-knell tolling for Dole's chances to win next Tuesday. Hagan is running an ad defending her faith and accusing Dole of bearing false witness against her. I envision a huge pro-Hagan sign


Bill Clinton: "Unless the Wheels Come Off..."

Former President Bill Clinton spoke rather confidently about a likely win for Barack Obama in next Tuesday's Presidential election when he joined Congressional candidate Al Franken at a campaign rally for Franken yesterday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Clinton said, ""Unless the wheels come off, Barack Obama's going to be elected next Tuesday."

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, after praising Barack Obama for his performance during the nation's financial crisis, Clinton asked:
"If [Obama's] all
that great,
why does he need Franken

The answer, [Bill Clinton] said, is to turn back "a radical right-wing philosophy ... You've got to send him [Franken] to the Senate to make sure America doesn't blow this chance" to repudiate the Republicans' governing philosophy.

"[Obama] has a chance to rewrite the 21st century," Clinton said. "Let's go back and do it right this time. In order to do that, he's going to have to get some votes" in the Senate, like Franken's.

Mr. Franken has also had the help of Senator Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in Minnesota recently:

Chuck Hagel Visits "Charlotte Talks" WFAE

Senator Chuck Hagel was a guest of Mike Collins' Charlotte Talks radio show this morning on WFAE [FM]. Here are a few of his statements:

Speaking about the need for the next President to be more open to diplomatic talks:
"Every challenge we face in the world today is connected to our alliances.
We need to engage

Regarding negativity in this Presidential race:

"It's not new. It's just become more sophisticated."
[Reminding listeners of 19th century political vilification of Abe Lincoln when he was cast as an ape.]

About his wife Lilibet's October 7th endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for POTUS, which was played for the listening audience:

"I'm very proud of her. She wrote it herself. She didn't show it to me.
I think what she says is accurate."

[Explaining that he didn't plan to expend political capital in order to make an endorsement himself.]

Youtube version of Mrs. Hagel's endorsement statement in Alexandria, Virginia: