Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Christian Alliance for Progress issues "Jacksonville Declaration"

Sign the Jacksonville Declaration

Help make justice and compassion the hallmarks of our country. Add your signature to this letter. Let the Political and Church Leaders of the Religious Right know they do not speak for you. Help them hear a different understanding of Christian values. Add your voice below.

To The Political and Church Leaders of the Religious Right:

As responsible and patriotic Americans, we can be silent no longer. In light of the deepening polarization in our country's social and political life, we feel compelled to speak out to you in a spirit of sincerity.

For many people, your words and actions have identified Christianity with radical, far right politics. We believe that your use of Christianity has sown the seeds of deep discord in our nation and throughout the world. Hear some of your own words:

"You owe liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."
-- Church Leader Bob Jones, to George W. Bush after 2004 election

"I hope the Supreme Court will finally read the Constitution and see there's no such thing, or no mention, of separation of church and state in the Constitution."
-- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas)

"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence…in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."
-- Dr. D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Ministries

"…the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left has been repudiated…"
-- Tony Perkins, Family Research Council

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians … the ACLU, People For the American Way … I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'."
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, on Pat Robertson's 700 Club discussing the WTC attacks

We must tell you now that you do not speak for us, or for our politics. We say "No" to the ways you are using the name and language of Christianity to advance what we see as extremist political goals. We do not support your agenda to erode the separation of church and state, to blur the vital distinction between your interpretation of Christianity and our shared democratic institutions. Moreover, we do not accept what seems to be your understanding of Christian values. We reject a Christianity co-opted by any government and used as a tool to ostracize, to subjugate, or to condone bigotry, greed and injustice.

If your politics flow from your faith, then we do not know the Jesus you claim to follow. We cannot imagine a Jesus who would say:

"You are strong and powerful; your ideals are noble. Make war to spread those ideals."
"The end is near - So it doesn't matter what you do to my Father's creation."
"Heal the sick - Provided they can pay."
"All are welcome at the table - As long as they are the same as we are."
"Follow me - And help me form a government to force others to follow."

Do you believe such statements truly reflect Christian or American values? Do these views follow what Jesus taught? Do you think it is genuinely American to steer our country toward a Christian theocracy? Is it Christian to foster intolerance? Is this the path to which Jesus leads us?

We say "No". Instead, we say "Yes" to values Jesus plainly and passionately practiced. Listen to his words:

"I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
-- John 13:34-35

We hold up to all fellow Americans the heart of Jesus' teaching: his unwavering commitment to justice, compassion, responsibility, equality, and care "for the least of these". These are values Jesus taught, and they also serve among America's finest traditional values. Our political views flow from these values.

We also reaffirm a well-established American commitment to a clear separation of church and state. In your statements you often characterize America as a "Christian nation". We strongly disagree. As a nation of immigrants, America has been a land of freedom and diversity. Separation of church and state helps ensure liberty and justice for all Americans - not just those who are like-minded. Hear these words:

"The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Know that you do not speak for us. We oppose so many of your words and deeds. But though we may disagree with you, we offer this declaration in a spirit of openness. We hope you will respond in kind. We call on you to stop dividing our country with your words and actions, and we invite you to turn to compassion and justice, values that Jesus lived.

In Truth and Faith,
Christian Alliance for Progress

light at the end of the tunnel? or just more bs? you decide

The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes," Vice President Dick Cheney says, and he predicts that the fighting will end before the Bush administration leaves office

life situation puzzle

Friday, May 27, 2005

V for lack of vision

Viagra causes blindness.

Bet it grows hair on your palms, too.

"Banksy's contribution to the Nazi Coke challenge."

concept du jour

Slime worlds.

Ahh, I knew there was a name for this place.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

building a better you & me

11 Steps to a better brain. Sorry, 12-steppers (or, maybe they go one better).

Step 3:
Music may tune up your thinking, but you can't just crank up the volume and expect to become a genius

Stand outside listening to car stereos thumping half a mile away if you don't believe it.

black tattoo

....Hersh was contacted by a family member of a young American woman who had served in a unit policing Abu Ghraib, the Guardian reports. The young soldier had "come back a different person," the relative said: distraught and angry, turning her back on her family.

The relative retrieved a computer she'd lent the soldier to use in Iraq ­ and found there a file crammed with torture porn: photo after photo of a naked Iraqi prisoner writhing before the onslaught of fierce police dogs. One of the pictures was later published worldwide and became an emblem of the dehumanizing brutality of the American occupation.

The young soldier thought she'd been sent to fight for democracy and freedom, the relative told Hersh, but it was a lie. Instead she found herself in Hell, committing crimes, violating her own nature, her sense of duty perverted by leaders who twisted it into a weapon to serve aggressive war. Since her return, said the relative, the young soldier keeps getting black tattoos, more and more of them, slowly covering her entire body ­ trying literally to change her skin.

...read it all: Tattoo Nation by Chris Floyd, Counterpunch, 25 May 2005

Monday, May 23, 2005

another dream shattered

Bummer. Turns out that wormholes are no good for time travel after all.

Friday, May 20, 2005

living on sunshine

German scientist claims he hasn't eaten for four years, surviving only on water, a little fruit juice, and sunshine.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

headline of the month

Man fingered after tip off at Wendy's

Saturday, May 14, 2005

d2's news delight: cybercast 7pm tonite!

From Don and Deb:

We have exciting news for D-Squared (Don Charles & Deb Gessner).

We are honored to have our river song "Row" (from "matter of life & death") included on a beautiful new compilation CD "Songs and Stories from Grand Canyon" by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. There will be a live cybercast of the CD release concert this Saturday from Flagstaff, Arizona.

This from Hal Cannon of Western Folklife Center:

Tune in to www.westernfolklife.org for a live broadcast from the Orpheum Theatre in Flagstaff, Arizona. Saturday, May 14 at 7:00 pm PST, the Western Folklife Center, Grand Canyon Association and KNAU-FM will present an evening of music, poetry and stories inspired by the Grand Canyon.The concert celebrates the Western Folklife Center's latest CD, Songs and Stories from Grand Canyon, recently released on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. You can access the cybercast off of our home page with either RealAudio or Windows Media Player. If you miss the live show, you can listen to the archived concert on the website beginning at 9:00 pm PST, May 14.

The concert features performers from the CD, all of whom represent an incredible array of traditions rooted in the Grand Canyon. Larry Stevens, a well known environmental scientist, will sing the song of the Humpback Chub. D-Squared will sing river running songs (well, sort of) as will river guide Christa Sadler. Ross Knox, who has packed over 40,000 miles in the canyon on the back of a mule, will recite poetry of the mulepacker, and Sue Harris and Doc Rolland will sing a variety of old-time songs from the Canyon.

Hundreds of hours of fieldwork provided the foundation for the CD, which is produced by the Western Folklife Center's Hal Cannon and Taki Telonidis. Cannon says of the CD, which was five years in the making: "This recording is a rare look at how people who live here, year after year, have interpreted the Grand Canyon in story and song. We don't know of another recording like this and hope that it will be the first of a series that explores the music and stories of America's most treasured places."

These concerts are produced by the Western Folklife Center and sponsored by Grand Canyon Association, KNAU-FM, Scenic Airlines and Smithsonian Folkways Records.

Hal Cannon
Western Folklife Center Media
101 Wasatch Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
801-582-9569 FAX


For those of you in Arizona, you can catch D-Squared as well as performances by Roland Manikaja, Larry Stevens, Sue Harris with Doc Rolland, Ross Knox, and Christa Sadler for the CD release of "Songs and Stories from Grand Canyon" at the following venues:

Friday May 13th 8PM
Shrine of the Ages
South Rim, Grand Canyon

Saturday May 14th 7PM
Orpheum Theatre
15 W. Aspen Street
Flagstaff, Arizona
Reception in the lobby of Orpheum Theatre at 6PM

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Tickets available at local ticket outlets or online at www.orpheumflagstaff.musictoday.com. Call 928.556.1580 for more information

Western Folklife Center members will receive a 50% discount on tickets purchased at Orpheum Theatre box office. To join Western Folklife Center call 888.880.5885, extension 222.

All our best to you!

Don & Deb


Friday, May 13, 2005

in time for Spring: kute, kolorful elephant poo, from Japan!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Freedom Is On The March

Wolcott gives good blog (color added):
"The important thing is to Think Positive and never forget that America is still
the beacon of freedom and justice for all man and womankind. "

Monday, May 09, 2005


...shoulda bought the more expensive brand cat food...

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Morning Sun

That's the title of a documentary we saw on the Tube this evening, well worth watching. Alice attended one of the Cultural Revolution mass rally events - the denunciation of Wang Guang Mei - included in the film. Nice web site, too.

update: POTUS address book update

UPDATE: Not so fast, says New Testament papyrus expert. He thinks it may well be "616" but says more study is required to be sure, and, more than anything else I suspect, he wants to get his name in the papers while this story is still hot....

Research on the oldest known text of the New Testament shows that the Number of the Beast is actually 616, not 666.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

all dressed up

BORIS VALLEJO Jesus Christ oil on masonite 1969!!!!!
eBay Item number: 6175927200

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


...dream of a bathing beauty at the shore, dazzling, with her cigarette, her smile, and her sombrero...

Monday, May 02, 2005


...moving through the 'net today like the melting crayolas of my mind:

Supposedly they wanted to say DSL and "somehow" got it backwards....

Sunday, May 01, 2005

so cute