Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright got it Right!

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I may keep thy righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much; quicken me Oh Lord, according to thy word. Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offering of my mouth, Oh Lord, and teach me thy judgments. My soul is continually in my hand, yet do I not forget thy law. The wicked have laid snares for me, yet I erred not from thy precepts. Thy testimonies have I taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end (Psalms of David 119:105-112).

Are the media and the political operatives of the McCain and Clinton campaigns really the moral authorities who define for us what the duty of a preacher is, and what is and is not appropriate for a preacher to say? Seems strange that these are the people seeking to determine, or rather to dictate to the rest of us, what can be said from behind the pulpit and what can’t be said, and also what we can listen to and what we shouldn’t listen to, and perhaps even which Churches we should, or should not attend. If it is true that the media and political consultants have it as their intent, to now define these things for us, the United States has a much worse problem than many of us imagine.

We all might feel that the Church has strayed from the path of God to a great extent, and that it is much too pre-occupied with wealth and power, when it should be more interested in souls and salvation. Yet, few of us would ever believe that the state has such an interest in the Church and vice versa, that the media and political consultants should feel that it is right or their duty to decide for us what the message of God to man is, who can deliver that message, and what we must do if we don’t like what a preacher says, or if we simply disagree with him. Who would have ever dreamed that in 2008 in the United States of America, we would be challenged by the media and political operatives, candidates and consultants to judge the preacher according to their criteria and to forget God’s? Was it Jeremiah Wright, or was it God who first said that life is sacred and should not be taken unjustly?

The Bible says that as a young man, Jesus entered the synagogue and turned over the tables of the merchants and whipped some of them because they had turned the house of God into a place of commerce. Sound familiar? How many of our Churches, Synagogues and even Mosques have become places of commerce, and have ceased to be places of refuge, and sanctuary for orphans, the poor, and the broken hearted, the drug addicted, the sick, the mentally ill, and the homeless?

It’s hard to imagine that there would have ever been an American Revolution, or the United States of America, had there not been some pretty courageous, and feisty Preachers who spent their Sundays condemning the British Crown and calling the colonists to arms to fight for freedom and rights. Had it not been for the orations of Preachers who condemned slavery, even though they were mocked and accused of treason, it may have taken years longer, and many more lives would have been lost before slavery ended. Jeremiah Wright seems to be the object of ridicule because he admonished the United States for mistakes we have made that are pretty obvious, in the same way of Preachers before him.

Wright didn’t tell any lies that took us to war in Vietnam, but he was a Marine. He didn’t cause 4000 of our children to be killed for no reason in Iraq. He didn’t vote to take us to war, and cause thousands of our children to be maimed and driven out of their minds for no reason. Did Jeremiah Wright set up Guantanamo prison? Was it Jeremiah Wright who said that it’s all right to torture people, and that our country should not honor its treaties and that we should ignore our Constitution? Did Jeremiah Wright carry out the wicked and foul acts at Abu Ghraib prison? Was it Jeremiah Wright who made mortgage loans to unqualified, and inexperienced borrowers creating a sub-prime mortgage crisis that has ruined people’s credit, and put families in the streets? Was it Jeremiah Wright who has been stealing people’s pensions while living like a King? Did he get a multi-million dollar retirement plan for doing nothing? Was it Jeremiah Wright who shipped arms to Israel and gave them billions of dollars in support of an illegal and brutal occupation, and genocide? Was it Jeremiah Wright who closed down our factories and left our country with nothing to produce, out sourced our jobs, refused to secure our borders, and tried to give amnesty to over 12 million illegal aliens? Was it Jeremiah Wright who made our dollar valueless, and gave us Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears as role models for our daughters? No. It was Jeremiah Wright who said that God would damn America if we continue to ignore the evil that is being carried out in our names as Americans, and if we, the people, continue to turn our heads, and refuse to do something about it.

Who will answer for the millions of innocent lives lost in Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Darfur, and other places in the world where we have sent arms, money and given moral cover to crimes against humanity? Who will answer for the 650,000 children that we starved to death in Iraq for no reason? If Jeremiah Wright, and other preachers wont bring it to our attention that something is morally wrong with the United States of America, and call us to repentance, who will?

When Jesus preached, the Pharisees became angry because he told the truth. He called them vipers and liars, and cursed them for hiding the truth, and oppressing people economically, and spiritually. He cursed them, and just like with Jeremiah Wright, they sent out their henchmen and operatives to defame Jesus, and when they could not silence him with threats, they sought to have him crucified. Remember John the Baptist? The authorities of his time never appointed him to a government office, never gave him millions of dollars, or allowed him to dictate public policies. As I remember, they cut of his head. I didn’t see in the Bible where either Jesus, or his cousin John ever ended their admonition of the powerful elite and the societies that fed their greed and lusts, and who ignored their injustices and crimes, for fear of public ridicule or even death. Should the Reverend Wright have to fear such a fate? Every true believer should stand with him, and stand up for him.

Someone asked why Obama would be a member of such a Church. Another person asked what man of God says things like Jeremiah Wright said? People asked, why didn’t Obama leave that Church, and someone said that what Jeremiah Wright said was vile, and hurtful and unkind. Nobody asked if he had lied. Nobody asked if he had awakened the members of his congregation to the truth, and to their duty to pray for their country and to speak out, and work against injustice. Anyway, men of God don’t answer to the media, or to politicians, political operatives and consultants, they really do answer to a higher authority.

America needs more men like Jeremiah Wright, and we need people to listen to what the true men of God have to say. Their not crying and longing for Armageddon and the destruction of the earth and all of mankind, or killing innocent people, attempting to force Jesus to return to rapture them and send everyone else to hell. Such men as Wright are filled with hope, and the belief that a good word is like a good tree, and that a good tree bears a good fruit, that can change this world. A good number of people in this country, Black and White, young and old, rich and poor, seem to believe the same thing.

Rather than to ask why Obama didn’t leave Jeremiah Wright’s Church, we should ask what Jeremiah was saying on those days that Obama was there. What caused Obama to become the type of person who can look out at a hate filled world that is suffering from the ill effects of racism, elitism, lies, greed, immorality and injustices and say, “We can change it “ initiating a movement of believers who are answering back and saying:” Yes we can.”

“Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil falsely against you for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets before you “ (Jesus speaking to the multitudes as recorded in the Holy Bible, Matthew 5:12)

Monday, March 10, 2008

UN Security Council credibility eroded by its refusal to restrain Israel

The UN Security Council is often frustrated in its attempts to respond effectively to Israel’s continued atrocities against the Palestinian people. When the US is not vetoing, and thereby blocking attempts by the Security Council to hold Israel accountable for its repeated crimes against humanity in Palestine, the Palestinians themselves, and other Arab and Muslim states have held up the process due to failures to agree upon specific language, and due to other seemingly unimportant issues. In comparison to the probable benefits resulting from any successful attempt to restrain Israel’s violence through a legal process, including saving lives, such things as getting permission from the PA first shouldn’t matter, yet it has. As a result of all of the reasons mentioned above, the UN Security Council has failed to do anything of substance to stop, once and for all, and to prevent the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Even though the Security Council may not be solely to blame for this failure, it is clear that it is another victim of the conflict, and not its member states. The UN Security Council is loosing credibility due to its seeming impotence in the face of the growing threat that Israel represents to regional peace and stability. This loss of credibility will result in a loss of Security Council stature in the eyes of the people of the world, and this loss of Security Council stature will create a vacuum in power that will increasingly be filled by non-state actors.

Fear of a popular outcry due to the failure of international institutions to deal effectively with Israel is perhaps part of what motivates Hosni Mubarak’s more severe crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt now taking place, and also increased efforts to control information, and to put political pressure on opposition groups in the region generally. Such attempts to forestall an inevitable backlash of anger and discontent will without doubt fail to curtail or to abate a popular response to Israel’s ethnic cleansing, and genocide in Palestine. Too much time has been allowed to elapse that was filled with blatant violations of human rights and international laws. During this elapse of time, frustration among common people have reached levels that are capable of causing public outbursts among people who are not part of organized campaigns, and who are not activists.

Along with Israel’s crimes against humanity and its other war crimes in Palestine, Israel has repeatedly thumbed its nose at the international community, the UN and also at the Security Council. When Israel uses its influence over the US government to stall or prevent Security Council action, the US and Israel both loose status and credibility, but not to the extent that the Security Council does. It will continue to loose its credibility and stature if it cannot regain its voice, its conscience, its moral bearing and function as a protector and enforcer of international law, particularly in respect to the smaller countries, and people like the Palestinians who have been rendered dependent in a very detrimental way upon the UN. Palestine has no army; it has no healthcare system, and no economy, all thanks to Israel who refuses to fulfill its Geneva Convention mandated responsibilities to those people whose land it has militarily, and illegally occupied. While the Security Council stalks Iran, and a mythical nuclear weapons program, the Palestinian people are living in a very real concentration camp, and they are being exterminated by Israel in a very real way, while the UN does nothing. Even members of Israel’s government and military leadership shamelessly refer to their project in Gaza as a Holocaust.

It is unbelievable, and tragic that a person can go to prison in Europe for denying the Holocaust against the Jews in Germany, while the UN Security Council can’t even get a resolution passed, condemning and calling for an end to an ongoing Holocaust being carried out in Palestine, distinguished by the Israelis who have termed the genocide in Palestine, the second Holocaust, or Holocaust number 2.

Continued international hypocrisy, and Security Council helplessness in respect to the ongoing tragedy in Palestine will only exacerbate growing popular discontent, which will likely lead to larger and more aggressive demonstrations of public support for Palestine, along with increasing anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment. Such demonstrations may be what it will take to drive home the point that the people of the world will not tolerate a Holocaust number 2 in Palestine, and neither will Muslims tolerate an Apartheid state in the Muslim world. The required role of the UN Security Council has much greater significance than either Israel or the US seems to understand. As the US and Israel act in concert to weaken the UN Security Council, which is a symbol of international authority and justice, rendering it ineffectual except against their selected foes, they simultaneously strengthen the legitimate authority of the people to take the steps necessary to end the occupation themselves, to free Palestine, and to save the Palestinian people.

The United Nations and its various agencies must regain their independence if they are to play their mandated roles as peacemakers, peace keepers, and the great equalizers of the world’s people through the pursuit of justice, and enforcement of international law. If they cannot, we have every reason to expect that the void created by their institutional failure, will be filled by the stronger voices and activism of the world’s people, who should not be expected to stand idle as the Palestinian, or any people are eliminated from the earth simply because they are not Jewish, and an inconvenience to the US and Israel.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hillary gets by with lots of help from her friends

OK everyone; it’s time that we look at last night’s primary showdown to see who really won those primaries in Ohio and Texas. Was it Hillary? If we only look at the numbers we might say she did. The media said so. If we forget the numbers for a minute, and look closer at some of the very strange things that happened both prior to, and during those primaries, it might cause us to conclude that not only did Hillary not win; she robbed our country of some very important things by using desperate and underhanded tactics to stay in the race. Those things lost include trust in our electoral system, the people who oversee it, and who report on it.

We cannot have a functioning republic without representation, and the voting process is where that representation begins. Votes are the voices, and power of a self-governing people. When politicians use acts of deception, racism and fear mongering to win primaries, they rob us not only of the opportunity to cast a real and honest vote, they help set the stage for the election of people who may not be the best to lead this country, thereby abusing the power we grant, and the trust we give them to oversee our electoral process. When politicians appeal to our most primitive instincts, they prevent the maturation of our society, which is the electorate. As a consequence, this lack of maturation stifles our countries intellectual and spiritual progress. When a person is willing to do anything to garner power, we must ask ourselves what they will do once their goal is achieved. If it’s true that our country desires changes in our political culture and methods, Hillary’s dirty tricks might indicate that she is not the best one to bring that change about.

Hillary’s underhanded attacks on Obama began with her racial attacks in South Carolina, and her husband’s implication that Obama’s campaign is a fairy tale because he’s not white. They didn’t learn from their loss in South Carolina that such tactics turn people off. What they learned was that racism does not work against an African American when the majority of voters in that state’s party are also African American. So rather than remove race from her political armory, Hillary saved it to use in Ohio and Texas, and exchanged her Latino campaign director for an African American. Who in their right mind could accuse an African American of using racism against another African American? Anyone who knows that money talks, and if you are Hillary anything goes when it comes to getting elected.

Racism was not the only unsavory tactic Hillary Clinton employed to win Ohio and Texas. Her suggestion that Obama might be a Muslim fed right into the Islamophobia that was created by the media following 9/11, and exploited by desperate, and low lived politicians ever since. Using rumors of Obama having a secret Muslim religion seemed kind of risky for a woman whose husband pledged US unconditional support to Israel, then violated the Geneva Conventions designating Hamas a terrorist organization by executive order. Bill wore a yamaka during his term in the White House and never a cross, and he celebrates Yom Kippur. He also gave a foreign policy speech from a synagogue and never from a Church or mosque.

Hillary’s “who to trust at 3am in the Whitehouse” commercial was another attempt to use Islamophobia and fear to capture votes, but it wasn’t as bad as the help Hillary was given by her friends in high places. In true Clinton style, they bombed Somalia the day before primary day, killing an entire family, including innocent women and children. This, so they could remind us that we are in a war on terrorism, and so they could plaster the face of a very Arab looking man with a very Muslim sounding name on television, who is alive, yet supposedly wanted in connection to a suicide bombing in Israel. How that led to a US attack on Somalia, and not an Israeli attack was not explained. Also, someone needs to tell those people that Somalis don’t look like the stereotypical Arab. The Somalia attack also bolstered the neo-cons claim that Al-Qadea is in Somalia, which in turn provides an excuse for the US funded, and instigated Ethiopian occupation of Somalia. It also took the focus off the economy for a few days, and put it squarely on national security, which Hillary’s neo-con handlers believe is her strong point. Remember when Hillary’s husband Bill was president and they used to bomb Iraq every other day, killing Iraqi civilians to distract us from their scandals, most notably the Monica Lewinsky scandal? It also seems a bit strange that Israel ended its brutal and illegal attack against Palestinians in Gaza that left nearly 50 innocent civilians dead, the day before the primary, and then began it all over again the day of the primary. Will a Hillary presidency bring us peace?

Some pretty suspicious things also happened in Ohio that might cause us to question the integrity of Hillary’s supposed Ohio victory. In Cleveland, which is a Zionist, and Clinton stronghold in Ohio, the polls were left opened until 9:30, while they were closed everywhere else in Ohio at 7:30. That gave Clinton’s people two extra hours to vote. There are also reports that some of the polling places ran out of paper ballots, and so some people who showed up at the polls did not get to vote, while others were forced to enter their votes into the black hole of electronic voting devices, controlled by who know who. Prior to the primary election there was quite a bit written in Ohio newspapers about the use of paper ballots, instead of electronic voting, and it was decided that both should be made available. Seems that before Hillary got into primary trouble, Democrats wanted to use paper ballots, and to give Ohio voters a choice. Yesterday, with Clinton in trouble, they somehow ran out of paper ballots. You’d think with there being census numbers available, they would know just about how many paper ballots would be needed. Also, let’s not forget the bomb threat called in at one of the polling places, which doubles as a school.

The list of Clinton Super Tuesday oddities doesn’t stop there. There were others that had no direct or indirect link to Hillary, but that might have something to do with zealots who feel that they dislike Obama, more than they love Hillary. Did anyone think it was strange that Al Qadea issued a press release saying that Obama is an Iranian agent two days before the vote? This bit of news scrolled across the bottom of one cable TV’s news program, while it was breaking news for another. That’s the second time that Al-Qadea has popped up to help Hillary. The first time was after her first, not the second crying spell, where she said that she wants to convince us that Al-Qadea is still a threat to the US. This time Al-Qadea seemed to be responding to suggestions that the Democratic party would ask Hillary to bow out of the race if she lost Ohio and Texas, or if she did not win them by wide margins, which she didn’t. Then there was the shooting suicide at Wendy’s in Florida, and a school bus flip over that made the national news, both things that rattle our nerves and get us to wondering who is best to protect us, Clinton or Obama.

Did Hillary really win Texas and Ohio? We’ll never know by just looking at the numbers. What we do know is that America lost something yesterday, and what was lost is faith in our system and hope that it will ever be changed. Unless Obama gets up to steam and realizes that he can only float so high above the fray, hope will be forever vanquished by the dirty tricks of the cynical and hopeless, and the change hoped for will be, as Bill so aptly put it, just a fairy tale.