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Main | March 2007 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » February 2007

By Steve Creason on February 28, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut once wrote (is this a tired cliche?) something about visits to strange places being dancing lessons from God. But how about visits to strange places that are altogether familiar? For instance, due to a steady and firm shove from my girlfriend I wound up at a bible study group in Phoenix, Arizona last weekend. Considering that I live in Los Angeles, that is a remarkable and strange thing. Still, once I was seated in a circle with the rest of the bible students, holding a copy of a book by Chuck Colson instead of the Bible and listening as one particular attendee began to take over the meeting, I found myself in familiar territory. I was in the land of God-fearing, earnest believers who allow a zealous, over-bearing pharisee take over their agenda.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on February 26, 2007

I believe Hillary Clinton can win a presidential bid in 2008. Let's just get that out of the way. I think she can do it. In fact, I'm sure she can do it. There are a large number of states HRC would need to win and of those her leanings are far more mainstream than that of McCain who has more conservative clout than Mr. Guli.

Naturally where HRC would have the toughest time is in states that she won't win anyway. These are states with relatively low electoral votes. Little of no concern to her campaign. CA, OH, FL, PA, we know them well and she can win them - big vote getters. Kansas, OK, MO, NV, not so much with the excite-o-meter.

So why would I rather resign the White House to another 4 years of Republican Rule than have Hillary as the 2008 democratic nominee?

Read more from this post here ...

By Nora Thomason on February 25, 2007

I'm here now at this site because so many things matter. There's so much to say and do. Brand new to blogging, I find myself cautious. Do I dare add my voice to the public debates? As my friends know, I'm never at at a loss for words, missions, or issues. So why do I hesitate?

My gut tells me that the gamble of engagement is worth the cost. But, what does one do with this bit of fear? The fear of raising one's voice publicly? I know that citizens must engage in democracy. It's certainly as or more important now than in any other time in history. I know I want to be heard, as I want to hear others. I want to help push progress along. Still, I find myself needing a shot in the arm just to make it though this gate.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on February 24, 2007

As a debut on EverydayCitizen I've decided to talk about my two favorite things in politics - campaigns/candidate and the church.

Let's begin with Nancy Boyda, recently elected Congressperson from Kansas -- who so unbelievably dethroned Olympian Jim Ryun who talks in tongues at church on the weekends.

After Phill Kline was caught with his godliness down around his ankles I've been thinking about how beneficial it would be for a Kansas politician who actually knows the words of Jesus, believes in the message, and is willing to talk about it -- to actually communicate to their faith based constituency here at home.

Read more from this post here ...

By Pamela Jean on February 24, 2007

I'm ashamed of our previous Congress for allowing George Bush to send our troops into the Iraq occupation - but, even more so, my heart is broken that the prior congressional leaders let these soldiers come home into a system of inadequate veterans services.

Thankfully, a new congressional leadership is in place now. But these new leaders have so much previous harm to remedy - and, so much work to do just to right the wrongs resulting from years of neglect by the previous congressional leadership. I know they'll do their best but my heart still breaks for all those veterans who are now feeling alone, frustrated or confused by the mess.

Read more from this post here ...

By J.P. Michaud on February 22, 2007

It's not about taking more time off work to enjoy life. It's not about contributing to developing economies.

It's about cultural development. It's about gaining a global perspective.

Estimates of the number of US citizens owning passports vary between 7 and 25% and are difficult to verify. But one thing is clear. A lot of us have never left our own country, and have no plans to do so. You can get anything you need in America anyway, right? Heck, it seems a lot of us don't ever leave our own state. No wonder our high school kids score so low in geography. No wonder we refer to immigrants as "aliens" instead of "foreign nationals".

Society benefits from the cultural awareness of its citizens and democracy is most effective when the electorate is educated. The real benefit of international travel is an improved understanding of how people of different cultures think - and how they think differently from us. Such knowledge allows us to better gauge how our words and actions are construed by others (read "non-Americans") and better anticipate how they will resonate throughout the world before we commit to them.

Read more from this post here ...

By Bob Hooper on February 14, 2007

My stitches got his attention.

"Missus finely sock yez in yer eye?" He had a smirk like his hero.

The stitches followed the carving out of a likely basal cell cancer. Basal cells rarely metastasize if you catch them early. I could have said all that, but I didn't.

"Nah," I said. "Wuz a Bush true believer like you. Guess he figgered with one eye I might see the world like you and Sir Pinocchio Flight Jacket." Smirky didn't think that was funny.

I had watched last week the low comedy on C-SPAN where most of the Senate Republicans rallied 'round Sir PFJ to filibuster against debating the escalation of whatever we choose to call the mess in Iraq, or against expanding the mess to Iran. On my bulletin board is pinned a copy of a letter from Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., dated Jan. 22, 2003, - just prior to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Like many others, I had had questions about the evidence. I e-mailed Sen. Roberts to say so.

Read more from this post here ...

By Pamela Jean on February 13, 2007

Without free speech and unfettered freedom of the press, citizens of a democracy cannot learn the things they need to know. If a government is allowed to exercise control over what is said or what is printed, it can produce an uninformed or misinformed majority.

A nation ruled by an ignorant or misguided majority can be the worse form of tyranny. Why? Since it continues to describe itself as democracy although it no longer functions as one, its citizens, blinded by lack of information, will cease asking pertinent questions and stop holding its government accountable for mistakes and abuses. Citizen participation in government and elections probably decline, a result of lack of attention or lack of interest. And the tyranny? It prospers, it strengthens its control and its hold, and its leaders profit.

Read more from this post here ...

By Lucy Belnora on February 13, 2007

Among the ancient Greeks, the dictator was known as the tyrant. His one-man rule was called a tyranny. He ruled with absolute and uncontrolled power. This form of government frequently occurred in the Greek city-states in times of public distress or national danger.

Many of the empires of the East and West were tyrannies, or depotisms. The emperor, king, or potentate was authoritarian in character. This means that he took upon himself the right to rule; his authority was not a grant of powers from the people.

Dictatorships of our own times have much in common with the tyrannies of the ancient world.

Read more from this post here ...

By Lucy Belnora on February 13, 2007

Iraq is a new nation in the old country that was called Mesopotamia. Iraq was formed from three provinces of the Turkish Empire (Mosul, Baghdad, and Basrah), at the end of World War I. This land was the home of the world's oldest known civilization. The early Mesopotamia lived in villages, used pottery and bronze tools, and grew food crops at a time when Europeans were still savage hunters, wandering through the forests in search of wild game and berries and roots. The early Mesopotamia invented important tools such as the wheel and the building arch. They were the first to divide the day into twenty-four hours. They used elaborate irrigation systems to water their fields.

The region which became Iraq was far more prosperous in ancient times than it is today. But Iraq still has valuable resources. It is an important source of oil.

Read more from this post here ...

By Pamela Jean on February 12, 2007

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By Bob Hooper on February 10, 2007

"It's kind of a runaway train." Janette Brimmer, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, speaking of the rush to build ethanol plants. (Duluth News-Tribune, June 24, 2006)

Ethanol. Is it the cure for our national addiction to petroleum and our growing dependence on foreign oil? Is it an economic bonanza for rural America, the pot of gold at the rainbow's end? George W. Bush, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, local eco-devo gurus, corn growers and Archer Daniel Midland all think so.

The U.S. burns about 140 billion gallons of gasoline annually, 40 percent of it now an ethanol blend. Approximately 5 billion gallons of ethanol were produced last year. The 2005 Energy Policy Act mandates the production of 7.5 billion gallons annually by 2012. As one incentive, a 51 cents per gallon tax credit goes to refiners and marketers who make or sell ethanol-blended gasoline, a $3.8 billion subsidy.

You should know that a gallon of ethanol produces 76 thousand BTUs of energy, compared to about 115 thousand BTUs for straight gasoline.

Read more from this post here ...

By Bob Hooper on February 2, 2007

"The presidential disaster declaration requested last week was rushed through and granted Sunday evening by President Bush. And that makes Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan. a very happy man." Hays Daily News. Jan. 8, 2007

So I get this e-mail epistle (forwarded umpteen times) allegedly appearing in the Denver Post, allegedly written by a self-congratulatory "county emergency manager" in central Colorado. The guy who forwarded it says the message should "be spread amongst the whole nation!!!" Ooookaay!!! Supposedly, the epistle came in the aftermath of the recent Midwest blizzard hereabouts of "Biblical proportions": 44 inches of snow, 90 mph winds, trees broken in half, hundreds of motorists stranded in lethal drifts, tens of thousands without electricity. A religious event. (Better Half and I had just wallowed bumper to bumper from Albuquerque to Tucumcari, N.M., so we had some notion of the situation.)

The "county emergency manager" then lauds the sturdy and brave private citizens who handled the whole thing - without crying to FEMA or blaming George Bush.

Read more from this post here ...

By Bob Hooper on February 1, 2007

"Well, we been dishin' it out for a long time."
A neighbor's comment on the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001.

On the simplest level, what we're charged with examining is the effect of Sept. 11, 2001, on the Constitution of the United States.

Read more from this post here ...

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