Friday, February 29, 2008

Emerging politics & hedgehogs

Arianna Huffington's post today encapsulates so succinctly what is happening in today's politics and why:

Macro-trends vs. Micro-trends: Why Obama is Winning

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Please pray for Uganda

This just in from Resolve Uganda

Today, the Ugandan government and LRA negotiators signed yet another landmark agreement, establishing a permanent ceasefire!

Since resuming last Monday, the peace talks have made rapid progress. Now that the ceasefire has been established, only one item remains to be discussed in the negotiations. We could see a final peace agreement between the warring parties as early as next week.

We can all celebrate this historic step toward ending this 22-year war. Our minds and spirits are with the people of northern Uganda, as we hope together that this may truly be the beginning of the end.

However, significant challenges do remain, and we can't get ahead of ourselves. There is no guarantee that rebel leader Joseph Kony will abide by the agreement and come out of the bush. Without Kony’s compliance, peace will remain a dream deferred for northern Ugandans.

Strong public pressure will also be needed to make sure the Government of Uganda lives up to its promises, and invests in the rehabilitation and development of war-affected areas. Communities displaced by this war need water, schools, and jobs.

That means our task is clear. To encourage implementation of any agreement signed, the U.S. and international community need to commit political support and financial resources toward implementing a signed peace agreement, including assistance in the task of rebuilding areas devastated by the war. That's the message 1,000 of us are will take to Congress as part of the Lobby Days for Northern Uganda on Tuesday. Even if you won’t be with us, you can join our lobbying push by calling your Senators that day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Is it just me?

Does Cindy McCain look like she should have a BORG implant on the side of her head??

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Loved this!

The universe is made of stories, not atoms. - Muriel Rukeyser

Quote on Bob Carlton's Facebook

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Story of Stuff

I have watched two videos lately that have revealed to me that I've been living in a lot of ignorance with some of the choices I've been making in regard to the things I buy and the things I use. The first was a video from TED by James Howard Kunstler's, The Death of Suburbia where he tells about civic space and how we've depleted our communities of the ability to sustain a local culture. Jordon Cooper linked to it and it was fascinating. (be forewarned that the presentation is rife with swearing). He ends the presentation at TED with a challenge that hasn't let me go. "Please stop referring to yourselves as consumers, citizens have responsibilities."

This has given me much to think about and folds into this next video from Free Range Studios called "The Story of Stuff" - it is so important and interesting. It has filled in the gaps for me of the ignorance I live with every day.

Here's the way the website describes it:
The Story of Stuff - From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

How 'bout you - do you want to be a citizen or a consumer? I'm really giving my consumptive ways a thorough going over.

Hat tip to Melvin Bray at Useful Perhaps

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Obama for ME!

What an amazing opportunity - we were 20 feet away from the next president of the United States today - and today I am even more sure of that. He was incredible. I have rarely been so inspired from someone who calls themselves a politician. He is truly different and so down to earth. I took lots of pictures and videos - but technical dip that I am 1/2 of them are SIDEWAYS! HA!

I didn't know that you can't spin a MOV file like you can a photo - and you didn't get the full effect of him on landscape, so I went vertical - and now they're all tilty... goof.

Anyone know how/if this can be fixed?

I'll keep uploading, but here's one to get you started - enjoy! I know we did. My kids LOVED it - this was historical - they will never forget it.

All Mainers - please caucus tomorrow!! And for those of you who really can't believe he's who he says he is talk to someone, read his positions on his website - everything is in there in massive detail - he isn't green, he isn't naive, he is fresh and new and different and this truly could change everything for the better.

Here's one of the videos that is right way around:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Lent: 2008

Scot McKnight just blogged an idea for lent that I think I am going to embrace. Saying the Jesus Creed as the first and last part of each day.

I will also be limiting my morning computer time. I'm not totally removing the computer from my life for Lent as I have papers to write and research, but I won't be sitting in front of the computer until after noon each day. Quick, standing reference or email excepted. The purpose of this to to encourage me to find better ways to spend my time - like reading for school... :P

Our family is also choosing "meatless Mondays" as a way to begin to examine our own "omnivore's dilemma" and begin to think more carefully about our consumption and learn to cut back in ways that help us and our planet.

The kids and Keith have decided to join me in my chocolate fast (nearly 8 years now) although I'm sure they will celebrate the Sunday release and enjoy some of their favorite treats.

I will also be attempting to explore yoga in the comfort of my own living room. I have a dvd that will get me started and if nothing else will give me some quiet, stretching and breathing time to center my day and get my blood flowing.

Lent has only been a part of my history for the past few years. I don't know if I'll be holding my own ash ceremony tomorrow or if I'll find a service here locally, but I appreciate it's addition to my yearly routine. It reminds me regularly that I am not alone in my faith as I join with the church in choosing these 40 days (actually 47?) to be different.

How will you be celebrating lent?

I Want Change!

Yes We Can!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Rejecting Shame

One of the best things recovery has brought to my life is the recognition of shame. It changed everything for me. This morning I read the best explanation ever:

Shame can be a powerful force in our life. It is the trademark of dysfunctional families.

Authentic, legitimate guilt is the feeling or thought that what we did is not okay. It indicates that our behavior needs to be corrected or altered, or an amend needs to be made..

is an overwhelming negative sense that who we are is not okay. Shame is a no-win situation. We can change our behaviors, but we can't change who we are. Shame can propel us deeper into self-defeating and sometimes self-destructive behaviors.

What are the things that can cause us to feel shame? We may have a problem, or someone we love has a problem. We may feel ashamed for making mistakes or for succeeding. We may feel ashamed about certain feelings or thoughts. We may feel ashamed when we have fun, feel good, or are vulnerable enough to show ourselves to others. Some of us feel ashamed just for being.

Shame is a spell others put on us to control us, to keep us playing our part in dysfunctional systems. It is a spell many of us have learned to put on ourselves.

Learning to reject shame can change the quality of our life. It's okay to be who we are . We are good enough. Our feelings are okay. Our past is okay. It's okay to have problems, make mistakes, and struggle to find our path. It's okay to be human and cherish our humanness.

Accepting ourselves is the first step toward recovery. Letting go of the shame about who we are is the next important step.

Melodie Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, February 3rd.

It was only when I was able to identify shame that I was able to embrace grace. They cancel each other out somehow - it is the beauty of redemption.