Mike Gravel goes Libertarian-bye, bye, bumper stickers

Mike Gravel announced today he has left the Democratic Party and will run for president on the Libertarian Party.

The government may not be perfect but it does accomplish a few things. Safe drinking water. Highways. The National Park system.  Sorry, but I just can’t take the Libertarians seriously.

The Mike Gravel for President buttons, magnets and bumper sticker link in the sidebar has been deleted.

Do you have an astrologer?

Yes, I do have an astrologer.

The Jordan Times used to have a really great horoscope for people learning English. I wish they still had in in their online paper. It was great because of the understandable English. Every day we started class by reading our horoscopes out loud. The Moslem students–and some of them were pretty devout–assured me it was okay to read horoscopes as long as it was for entertainment and not a substitute for Allah.

navhoroscopered.gifSome time ago I put a horoscope widget in the lower right column and linked it to Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology. Every once in a while, when politics gets me feeling a bit jaded, I go over there and read my horoscope just to smell the fresh air. For entertainment only, of course.

For some reason, today’s message was just what I needed to erase today’s static and be ready to get back on the hamster wheel tomorrow:

You are potentially a genius. Maybe not in the same way that Einstein and Beethoven were, but still: You possess some exceptional capacity that is absolutely unique. You’re a masterpiece unlike any other that has ever lived in the history of the world.

Furthermore, the precise instructions you need to ripen into your genius have always been with you, even from the time before you were born. In the words of psychologist James Hillman, you have a soul’s code.

You might also call it the special mission you came to Earth to carry out; the divine blueprint that contains the open secret of how to be perfectly, unpredictably yourself; the master plan that is your heart’s deepest desire.

Would you like help in deciphering it? The Divine Intelligence Formerly Known as God is always on call, ready to help. It’s your birthright to ask Her a specific question every day about what you need to do next to express your soul’s code; it’s also your birthright to receive a response.

The divine revelation may not be as unambiguous as a little voice in your head. It might appear in the form of a TV commercial, an odd dream, or an encounter with a stranger. It could be demanding and difficult, delivering information you’d rather not have to deal with. Or it might show up as a clear and simple feeling of knowing exactly what to do, and it could be easy and fun.

What question will you ask the Divine Wow today?

Posted in Widgets. Comments Off on Do you have an astrologer?

Keeping the Camel’s Nose child-friendly

Some time ago I signed up for an online shop to design campaign buttons, t-shirts, magnets, and bumpers stickers. I still have some campaign gear online for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, although I haven’t added any new items lately.

When I started the online shop, I had to check a box that said whether my website was child-friendly or not. That was easy. Up to that point, my focus was mainly on the Middle East, and I hadn’t written anything I wouldn’t want my Jordanian roommate to read. Also I wanted children to be able to read my site, and not have it restricted by any parental control software.

Since I wrote a couple of pieces about Obama’s Trinity church, people have been leaving comments with a lot of profanity. I have never had this problem before. So what do I do now? I’m a big fan of free speech. I want to hear what people think. I want to provide a public forum for the exchange of ideas.

So far, I have just replaced the profanities with asterisks, so the original intent of the writer is still obvious. But the effect is quite frankly a bit more moderate than the original post. Wouldn’t it be more realistic to leave in the original words so people can get the idea of what kind of person is expressing these opinions full-blast?

I am well aware that there are lot of blogs out there that try to use profanity in a hip way. You can decide for yourselves if they are offensive in a way that is socially redeeming and make a point or whether they just come off as being ignorant and offensive.

Okay, so the Camel’s Nose is not a democracy. It is my personal kingdom, and I am the Queen. If I decide I don’t like seeing a bunch of offensive language every time I open my browser, I can do something about it. I can make my own website civil and idea-driven. And for now, that’s what I’m going to continue to do. I do want the exchange of ideas, even ideas I don’t agree with. As long as they are couched in language that is civil.

Is that reasonable? If you don’t agree, I am willing to entertain other ideas. The comments are still open.

In the meantime, if you are thinking about posting a bunch of expletives here, just think what impact your ideas will have once I get through replacing the profane words with asterisks. Will you have any ideas left?

Posted in Obama, Technology. Comments Off on Keeping the Camel’s Nose child-friendly

Wright vs. Wright: Liberation Theology or a New Creation?

michaelangelo.jpgStill scratching your head over how something called “liberation theology” can make Chicago’s Rev. Jeremiah Wright act the way he does? Still waiting for your “taken up” neighbors to go flying through the air? Was The Golden Compass strangely unsatisfying with its emphasis on a theology not seen since the Medieval thinking of Dante?

Despair no longer. A new Wright is on the scene. Bishop N.T. Wright, the author of a new book called Surprised by Hope says he doesn’t believe in heaven, at least the kind of heaven where everyone sits around on a cloud strumming a harp. The idea of heaven and hell may have become popular through the paintings of Michaelangelo or the writings of Dante or Milton, but it’s just not biblical. According to an interview with Wright in Time, “It says that Christ is coming here, to join together the heavens and the Earth in an act of new creation.”

Wright: Never at any point do the Gospels or Paul say Jesus has been raised, therefore we are we are all going to heaven. They all say, Jesus is raised, therefore the new creation has begun, and we have a job to do.

TIME: That sounds a lot like… work.

Wright: It’s more exciting than hanging around listening to nice music.

This theology has another advantage. Unlike some other theologies, this one is based on the teachings of Jesus.

Obama’s Trinity Church and Hamas

The latest buzz about Senator Barack Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ is about an opinion piece by Hamas senior official Mousa Abu Marzook. It was printed in the pastor’s column of the Trinity church bulletin in July 22, 2007, when Rev. Jeremiah Wright was still officially the senior pastor.

. tucchamascolumn072207.jpg

The editorial originally appeared in the LA Times and was criticized for being grossly inaccurate. And the author, Abu Marzook, the deputy of the political bureau of Hamas, which the State Department considers to be an official terrorist organization, has been accused of funneling money to al Qaeda through the Global Relief Foundation and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

So what’s the context? Why have I found this so intriguing enough to track down as many of the original sources as I could find and put them in one place? Maybe the most interesting thing about it is it’s lack of context. The entire editorial was just reprinted in the church bulletin, but with a new title ,”A fresh view of the Palestinian struggle.” Is it just meant to be something different and maybe easy to reprint in the summer when a church’s staff and clergy is mainly on vacation? Or is it meant as an endorsement? Reprinted as it was on the pastor’s page, and taken in context with Wright’s Libya visit with Qaddafi, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan, I would take it as an endorsement. I would like to see an explanation, but maybe it is all the more interesting, and flexible in terms of future usefulness, for not having one.

Posted in Election 2008, Obama, Religion. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Obama’s Trinity Church and Hamas

The Obama Race Speech: links to text, videos for Obama and Wright

Some links to text and videos of Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright:


The text of the Obama speech is |here|.

Obama’s Huffington Post piece |here|.

Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC interview with Obama |here|.

Major Garret 3-14-08 interview on Fox with Obama|here|. Transcript of Fox Obama interview |here|.


Rev. Jeremiah Wright N-word clip |here|

God Damn America clip |here|.

Clinton/Lewinsky comment clip |here| NSFW ( Rev. Otis Moss III portion has been repeated several times)

Montage of several clips together from Fox News |here|

“Chickens coming home to roost” longer (9:56) video |here|

There are a lot more clips out there, but they all seem to be variations of the ones posted above.

Still looking for the video of Obama’s Friday CNN interview and the “America created AIDS to kill blacks” video.

Children Killing Children: An Anti-gun Demonstration in Chicago

On Tuesday a group of people marched from St. Sabina Church to the Chicago Temple to light a candle for Ruben Ivy.

three-candles.jpgRuben was killed outside his school by a fifteen year old with a gun.

Every time a school child is killed in Chicago, the marchers plan to meet at the State of Illinois building at 11 a.m. the next day and march to the Chicago Temple to light a candle for that child.

Since Tuesday, two more children have been killed.

Three candles now burn on the altar, for Ruben, Channon, and Marcellus.