Saturday, November 13, 2004

No posts for a few days

My internet service at home is down for a day or two...will post more as soon as connection is back up...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Yasser Arafat

PLO leader Yasser Arafat died Wednesday, November 10 in Paris, France bringing an end to his nearly 40 year reign as leader of the Palestinian people. I offer my deepest heartfelt condolences to the Palestinian people for the loss of their leader and the hope of a peaceful homeland he once represented. May his passing be a force that can unite his people to appoint a new leader who will be able to secure the blessings of a Palestinian state and finally make peace with Israel. May Allah bless his soul.


Reason to celebrate!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Nation Divided

Posted by Hello

Real Moral Values

This article by Arianna Huffington is extremely inspiring and more of what I think we need to do as Democrats:

“Alongside our famous individualism,” he said, “there’s another ingredient in the American saga: a belief that we are connected as one people. If there’s a child on the South Side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandmother. . . . It’s that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. ‘E pluribus unum.’ Out of many, one.”
This is perhaps the most spiritual political statement uttered this entire campaign. It should be the starting point for the rebranding of the Democratic Party. For it is only with such real “moral values,” from which spring clear political priorities, that you can counter Bush’s divisive religiosity — and win back America’s value voters."

Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

Ohio vote

Looks like Dennis Kucinich is an active proponent for making sure that every vote in Ohio is counted. May not change the outcome of the election, but at least all of the concerns that have popped up since the election will be addressed and, hopefully, resolved.

Good news for progressives has an article about advances that progressives are making in the "red states." These are the kind of grass roots advances that we need to make to change the face of this country for the better. Also, it reminds us that within the "red states" there are pockets of "blue" that need nurturing. Bush may get all of the electoral votes from "red states," but votes within those states were not unanimous and we need to remember that.

More good news...John Ashcroft resigns!

Liberal Christians and the Values Vote

An interesting article in the Washington Post discusses that liberal Christians view moral issues as more than abortion and gay marriage. Furthermore, on the issue of gay marriage, a full 56 percent of all Christians think that infidelity and financial problems are the greatest threats to heterosexual marriages. Only 22 percent chose same sex marriage.

"Tom Perriello, an organizer at Res Publica, said the poll shows that "while there may be a "solid 20 percent who are very focused on abortion and gay marriage, for most Americans of faith, there are other moral issues of greater urgency, and that's where the religious middle is."

"The answer to this "God gap," Perriello said, "is that progressives need to embrace the deep moral critique that people are looking for and make that case on poverty and Iraq, and not just try to talk more about God or outpace the Republicans on gay marriage or abortion."

This is just more evidence that we Democrats need to take back our issues and frame the national conversations around them in the context of morality. Most democrats like to keep their faith private. Primarily because we believe in the separation of church and state, but also because we know that separation protects our own right to worship freely. And although most are not willing to announce it publicly, the driving force behind ou values is the same as anyone else, deeply rooted in our religious faith.

And while I think we need to remind the American public that our liberal, democratic values are rooted in our religious faith, I think its necessary that we remember God's warning to those who proudly wear their faith on their sleeve as a badge of moral superiority lest we become what we have so asidously avoided, self-righteous.

Matthw 6:1-8
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen by them: otherwise ye have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 Therefore, when thou doest [thy] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Verily, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thy alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself will reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Verily, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret, will reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Therefore be ye not like them: for your Father knoweth what things ye need before ye ask him.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

More on Liberal Values and Introspection

Two good articles here:

Democrats Vow to Hold Bush Accountable (WashPost)
Face the Music (

Again, I think these articles focus on the Dems looking within, defining themselves, embracing their values and communicating that to American Voters. Also, holding Bush accountable to his record. Great ideas.

How do you define liberal?

This is a scary article. Again, one more example of how the liberals and democrats have allowed the right to define them.

"For many decades, conservative citizens and like-minded political leaders (starting with President Calvin Coolidge) have been denigrated by the vilest of lies and characterizations from hordes of liberals who now won't even admit that they are liberals--because the word connotes such moral stink and political silliness. As a class, liberals no longer are merely the vigorous opponents of the Right; they are spiteful enemies of civilization's core decency and traditions."

The thrust of this article is that the red states should expel the blue states, whose moral character is not reflective of middle America. That would certainly make the secession to Canada a little easier.

I think it is about time that we take back the term "liberal." Our values, fair labor laws, keeping Americans employed, taking care of the elderly, feeding, housing and clothling the disadvantaged are moral values and they are worth fighting for.

So, I'm going to start defining how I see Liberalism and the values of the Democratic party.

Here are some some definitions that I looked up on-line to help give me direction:

According to Miriam-webster online:
Main Entry: lib·er·al·ism Pronunciation: 'li-b(&-)r&-"li-z&m
Function: noun1 : the quality or state of being liberal
2 a often capitalized : a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity b : a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties d capitalized : the principles and policies of a Liberal party.

According to
1. freely giving; generous.
2. respectful of individual differences; tolerant.
3. favoring progressive political change.
4. relating to democratic forms of government rather than monarchies or aristocracies.
5. one who favors progressive political philosophy, including government promotion of social change and the primacy of individual liberty.

"The primacy of individual liberty." "Generous." "Respectful." "The spiritual and ethical content of Christianity." Wow, there are some concepts I can embrace. And I believe most Americans can embrace these concepts as well.

What really is at issue here is the part of the definition that favors "progressive political change." Let us be very clear about that. The people who are against liberals, liberalism and liberty are against progressive political change. Therefore they spend their political clout and limited "moral values" to restrict the liberty of individuals with whom they don't agree. This is clear from the rhetoric of hate and division that they frequently spew. And since they cannot argue against the true definition of liberal, because that true definition embodies Christian ethics and the belief in individual liberty, they have redefined the word to suit their own purposes.

So, I say, Let's take it back and be proud of who we are!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Values and Dealing with Loss

Gersh Kuntzman has written an article on that I just loved. Finally, a reporter and pundit who has asked the question: "Since when are liberal values immoral?"

"If you take the central issues that liberals fight for—a clean environment, fair wages for working people, expanded civil rights, the rights of homosexual adults to copulate freely—these are ultimately American values. Yes, we liberals sometimes think we know better than you do—but, unlike the president, we don't make it the central pillar of our campaign."

Its about time! Now we're moving in the correct direction!

Black Box Voting

Black Box Voting is an organization that wants the 2004 election audited because of voting irregularities in several states. Here is a quote from an e-mail that I received:

"Black Box Voting has taken the position that fraud took place in the 2004 election through electronic voting machines. We base this on hard evidence, documents obtained in public records requests, inside information, and other data indicative of manipulation of electronic voting systems. What we do not know is the specific scope of the fraud. We are working now to compile the proof, based not on soft evidence -- red flags, exit polls -- but core documents obtained by Black Box Voting in the most massive Freedom of Information action in history. "

Whether or not there was actually any voting fraud or just many glitches in the system, I think its a good idea to have these things looked at to improve the accuracy of the new electronic voting machines. This combined with Keith Olberman's report tonight on Countdown certainly raise enough questions about the security of the system to be of concern to future elections.

They are asking for donations. Al Franken of Air America Radio is asking everyone to send in $1 either through credit card or paypal.

10 Reasons not to Flee to Canada

Sarah Anderson wrote an article for Common Dreams about why we should stick around the US for a while.

Vote Counting Irregularities

Keith Olberman of MSNBC had a blog entry about problems with vote counting in Ohio and Florida. I have read several stories over the past week about counting irregularities in both Ohio and Florida, but I have been skeptical that these stories would ever make it to the mainstream media.

I don't know if these stories really have any legs or if the end result of these stories could change the outcome of Tuesday's election results, but I'm going to check out Countdown tomorrow night to see what conclusions can be made about this story.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Continuing the dialogue

Someone sent me this link asking me if I was willing to keep the dialogue (between left and right I assume) going. It is an article written by George Will in the Sacramento Bee.

The crux of this article was more of the democrats-are-over-unless-they-dump-their-liberal-base-and-embrace-the-values-of-the-right banter that the media is full of right now, urging us to purge our party of the radical Michael Moore faction. Um, I guess the fact that Michael Moore is a self proclaimed Independent has escaped him.

Sigh. Where do I begin...

Of course, keeping dialogue going is a very important thing and I'm all for it. However, dumping our values just because we lost an election (albiet a big election in a big way) is not the path that I would encourage.

For a direction I would like to see the democratic party pursue, please see this article by Paul Krugman in the NYT. Oh, and yeah, I did copy the link from the Michael Moore site.

Speaking of Canada

Well, for anyone who thinks moving to Canada is a good option, Slate has published a few good articles about that subject. Looks like there are a few options open. We could move to Canada, or secede from the Union. Either choice is rife with complications and problems. I'll admit, its a tempting notion, but we must remember that leaving the US would mean we give up the right to vote for a better president next time. And I for one, am not yet ready to give up on the grand experiment just yet.


The NYT editorial page has a good article about election reform. I especially like making election day a holiday. I cannot believe that in 2004 we still have a problem with minority voter suppression.

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