Monday, April 26, 2004

"Fanatics and Fools" Website

*Now on sale at*

The official website is up and running!

At Arianna's blog, she says there's everything you'd want to know about the book at the official site -- plus a petition you can sign letting John Kerry know which of the 10 issues that make up the book's "Contract for A Better America" you support the most. So visit the site, sign the petition, and help reset our nation's priorities.

You can also send a postcard!

Love and suffering

"I maintain that all sorrow comes from love of those things of which loss deprives me."

--Meister Eckhart

The source of my grief and loneliness is deep in my breast.
This is a disease no doctor can cure.
Only union with the Friend can cure it.


The heart longs for God, and seeks to find its true Beloved. If we follow our longing, if we allow ourself to be pierced by the pain of separation from the source, we will be drawn back to God.

Longing is the central core of every mystical path, as the anonymous author of the fourteenth-century mystical classic, The Cloud of Unknowing, simply states: "Your whole life must be one of longing."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Love and suffering are powerful transformative agents because they embrace the mystery of being human. Longing is love's call to "return to the root of the root of your own self," to the place within the core of our being.. where we are always whole.

We are conditioned to avoid pain, but the mystic pain of the heart is the thread that leads us; the song of the soul that uncovers us. Meister Eckhart said, "God is the sigh in the soul," and this sigh, this sorrow, is a most precious poison. How love heals us from the sufferings we inflict upon ourself is always a mystery.

Thanks to Nurihsan for the referral to the article from which I took the above statements.
WTO says no to U.S. cotton subsidies; sides with Brazil

The WTO has issued a landmark decision denouncing U.S. cotton subsidies (which were approved democratically by our Congress). The WTO sided with a complaint from Brazil claiming that the payments unfairly boost U.S. production and exports while lowering world cotton prices. We probably won't be the number two cotton producer in the world much longer. This is the first time a country has been challenged over its domestic agricultural subsidies. This is probably just the first of more complaints to come against our nation.
Coffins: The White House has totally lost the P.R. war

Mainstream radio and news are totally against the government's policy to ban and/or censor these photos.
For only one example, see this article from Editor and Publisher.

"Americans deserve to see who is paying the ultimate price for this war."
--Virginia Pilot

" the United States continues a war that is -- at this moment, at least -- being waged on the pretext of freedom, the government tries to censor images of flag-draped coffins. But the censorship has failed because it defies common sense and federal law. ... These images are what they are: a sad reflection of our president's war of choice. Yes, they are sobering. That is even more justification for their prompt and public release."
--Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo
An interview with James Moore/ A letter from the family of a Soldier

At Buzzflash, there's an interview with James Moore, author of the recently-published book "Bush's War For Re-election: Iraq, The White House, And The People". On the book's back cover, Buzzflash offers its support by saying the book 'masterfully details how Bush's war for re-election has real victims: the families of soldiers who have died in Iraq and American citizens who have dared to tell the truth'.

In the Buzzflash interview, Moore states:

There are families whose lives have been ruined by the President's decision to attack Iraq. And because that was unnecessary, these families are even more shattered by it. They try and try to believe that their child died for something important, but they're struggling to do that now. And in some of the cases, these families have been split apart in the same way that the Civil War split families apart. [By politics]

I read a letter to the Editor of the Syracuse Post Standard today from the mother-in-law of a soldier in Iraq. The following is an excerpt:

How will we justify it if Jon comes back broken and mutilated - or not at all? Will we say it was worth it?

I hear so many families saying "He believed in what he was doing," and "He was fighting for freedom." I won't be believing that. I've never believed we should be killing Iraqis to set them free. Will I have to mouth those words for the rest of my life to comfort a distraught young woman whose husband paid a price he shouldn't have to pay?

My mother's heart fears the future. I pray, and hope, and honor the young men and women doing what they have to do. But I do not honor the president who keeps them in the way of harm to serve his own twisted interests.
American Political Jihad and Myths about Iraq

How many coffins have to come back to Dover before politicians acknowlege how myth and coffin have married to share an American legacy?

At Skippy the Kangaroo, I was interested to read about a recent article by Steve and Cokie Roberts titled Party purists paralyze Congress by political jihad. I especially appreciated Skippy's take on the topic.

Kevin Hayden thinks it's probably late in the day to change many Americans' false perceptions about the war in Iraq and that John Kerry may find it an exercise in futility to continue to make that an important part of his campaign. He cites Juan Cole's April 25th commentary regarding the sad fact that so many Americans still believe Saddam gave substantial support to al-Qaeda (and worse, 45% actually say that "clear evidence" has been found in Iraq to support this allegation!)

Juan Cole makes the astute observation:

Democratic party leadership has not developed an effective critique of Bush administration approaches to the 'war on terror,' and that in effect the Republicans are poaching on Democratic territory successfully in this regard.

Democrats have their work cut out for them. I don't know that I agree that Kerry should abandon attempting to dispel the myths about Iraq. If not Kerry, then who? America has bought into the myths and there's no one on the Right who will risk political damage by bringing significant truths to the light of day. This is probably nothing new in the political realm. I think we can all recall seeing a determined look-away from truth for politics' sake occur during the Viet Nam era. The question is: Didn't we learn anything from that American experience? How many coffins have to come back to Dover before politicians acknowlege how myth and coffin have married to share an American legacy?

Juan Cole contrasts Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee's decided independent search for truth with the Republican Right, who keeps with the partisan line in perpetuating the myths about Iraq. He cites recent Associated Press worries that centrist Republicans like Chafee and Spector are a "dying breed." I saw Republican Senator Chris Shays (CT) speak about the U.N. Food-for Oil investigation on FOX Sunday show yesterday and I got a clear sense of a non-partisan in his search for truth. Democrats should recognize and give positive reinforcement to independent-minded Republicans whenever possible. Public speaking about great respect and value placed on idependence of the individual political mind (regardless of party line) is the only way to turn the tide of polarization and civil division in America. Hit Americans in their mass consciousness. They don't have a clue where they're being led today...and the cliff edge is fast approaching. (Which takes me back full-circle to Skippy's commentary as referred above).

I believe it would serve the Democrats well to educate Americans about the authors of myth. Grover Norquist, for all intents and purposes, is a democracy-criminal and I believe he should be exposed as often as possible as it is his Club For Growth which is strong-arming and hijacking the People's true and responsible American represention. Representation is the life-blood of American democracy. It's being poisoned without our knowlege. The debate about these unpatriotic political tactics need to be raised to mainstream media debate as often as possible.

I never thought I'd see the day that the Northestern Republican would be a threatened species... eaten by their own party. Democrats have a stake in reaching across party lines to defend Republicans of independent mind. Kerry recently made a public plea for improvement in the tone of civil discourse in Washington, D.C., stating:

"The high road is harder, but it leads to a better place."

I think he's onto something there. If he can develop a way to throw the truth about the Norquistian-style hijacking of American politics in the mix with a more effectively-developed critique of the Bush administration's wrong-minded approaches to the 'war on terror', he may find empowerment via truth-in-politics. What a refreshing, unwaffling idea.