Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Looks like Senator Obama finds Pastor Wright's most recent proclamations (the ones that took place after the Bill Moyers interview) as distressing as most others do (of all races). Although the Senator deferred throwing his pastor under the bus when he spoke out against him in Philadelphia a month or so ago in his longer address regarding race issues (being the gentleman he is), he has definitely come out in a forceful way today to reassure all of us that he does not agree with Pastor Wright's outrageous conspiracy theories (i.e., that HIV was an instigated attempt at genocide for people of color by the US government, etc); nor does he hold in high esteem other folks whom Pastor Wright listens to with what seems to be utmost respect.
I listened to all Pastor Wright had to say at all three events (primarily because I was reassured of his decency by the extended coverage of the sermons shown during the interview with Bill Moyers). I understand completely the theological points he was making. (Pastors answer to a higher authority than human authority and struggle to make all God's children inheritors of the benefits of being His.) Whenever he speaks of God's love, Wright seems to get it right.
It's when he speaks of "God's wrath and judgment" against many former, and some present, U.S. policies that causes others to tremble and fear his presumed influence on those in his congregation. (He cited American history against Native Americans, the history of African-American slavery, Irish and Chinese treatment in America in earlier times, Jim Crow laws, lynchings, sending soldiers of color to fight our wars while regarding them as second-class citizens and denying them the vote).
Pastor Wright didn't make up any of this part: these things happened. We are a nation of greatness and of pettiness; of compassion and brutality; of mercy and injustice. I love America -- but I cannot defend everything it has ever done, nor will I.
What the pastor seems to overlook is that we are living in days of grace (unmerited favor) since Jesus walked the earth in the flesh. As such, in God's eyes we're utterly forgiven in all the areas where we screwed up (and still screw up) as long as we recognize it, feel remorse over it, and repent of it. It is our responsibility as Christians (which is what Pastor Wright professes to be) to love the sinner and hate the sin.
I don't see a lot of forgiveness or love in Pastor Wright for American government. I don't understand where he got the notion that white America is the source of evil in this country -- but if I were born black in the era in which he was reared, I'm sure I, too, could create an extensive list of evils without much trouble. So could you, no doubt. It's amazing to me that more African-Americans aren't as riled as he is. I know I would be, had I been treated the way they have been until relatively recently. And they're still not home free in this regard. But thank God , the vast majority of African-Americans are, and have been, non-confrontational Christians... whose ancestors, including parents and grandparents, endured much worse than they have had to face... and as Americans, they recognize the progress that has been made, while Pastor Wright seems to be "a fly caught in amber" back in the 50's, when things were admittedly atrocious for the black members of our society.
But white America was never the source of the evil. ("We struggle against powers and principalities, not against flesh and blood.") Reverend Wright should know this, theologian that he is. Satan and his minions have been the source of all evil in the world; have been ever since they were cast out of heaven! Because Satan is the presiding prince here on earth until Jesus comes again, we're all fallen! And if not for the love and the willing sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we would all stand condemned in our sins, major and minor --- Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians, everyone!
I know that Barack Obama does not believe as Pastor Wright does in numerous areas. Just looking at and listening to him confirms that, and comforts me. Senator Obama couldn't conceal (beneath his surface) the vitriol that Wright displays in his bearing. It would show, as it surely shows in the Reverend.
Reverend Wright is an angry man with a chip on his shoulder, wanting someone to knock it off so he can be proven right and get into a fight for legitimacy again -- to keep the 50's as alive to us as they still are to him.
Barack Obama is not an angry man. He is a patient man whose time, in my opinion, has come. As the product of a bi-racial marriage, he "gets" both sides of the story and has a much clearer perspective. In Barack Obama is the DNA of a hope we all possess: that we can come together and live up to our nation's creed.
He hasn't given up. I pray he never will!
Barack Obama's voice remains one of measured hope and reassurance that we can, indeed, address the many perils and issues that we all face in this economy and around the world.
What scares me most is this thought: "If we don't honor rationality over emotional paybacks -- and soon! --we may not get another chance. Too many people have too many weapons of mass destruction, with too many ways to deliver them."
We need a leader who's mature enough to realize that unless we sow fruitful discussion, we court fearsome destruction.
Most of the world's people just want to live their lives, raise their familes, and get along. It's governments and terrorists that seem bent on playing the blame game and on "making things right" -- as they measure "right" ("My way or the highway").
"America, right or wrong?" Hmmm... With that attitude, we may end up being "dead right" ... along with everyone else who's cause seems "right" to them.. and along with all the innocents residing within their territories!
I still love America. I want to love her more. I want our nation's originators to be able to look down on us from heaven in the next ten or twenty years and smile and say, "Now, that's more like it!"
This surely ain't it -- people at each other's throats:
Red state, blue state
Black eyes, checkmate
Let's get into the boat and row in the same direction -- and see what common courtesy and working in tandem can do.
We can do it, if it's deemed important enough.
And of course it is!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Today has been a whirlwind filled with fun, fun, fun -- and it isn't over yet!
Jackie and I started out the morning visiting with two old school chums of hers (Melody Griffin nee Ruhl and Lillian Rogalski nee ???) up near Seattle. After that two hour breakfast-time visit, Jackie and I loaded our bikes and went on a 15 mile bike ride on the Orting Trail (while Wendy and her mom Sue Rebar walked four miles along the same path). Now we're awaiting a call to head over to Sue and George Rebar's for an outdoor campfire that promises a lot more fun, including hot dogs and s'mores. So you might call this "Kid Day" at the Smiths -- we've behaved like kids all day land loved every blasted moment of it. That doesn't happen enough in middle age; or at least is hasn't for me. I can take life waaaayyy too seriously at times.
We need to be sure it happens more often. I feel ten years younger and a whole lot more chipper than I have in quite some time.
The call just came in -- it's time to go to the campfire! WHEEE!!!!!!!
Try it! You'll love it!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Some very intelligent, very wonderful people I know are utterly aghast because I am backing Obama for President (or Clinton, should she become the nominee of the party). They are sending me all kinds of rumors about the man: that he's secretly a Muslim, that he hates America, that he has renounced white America, etc. etc. etc. (He's half white, was raised by a white single mother and a white grandmother. Renouncing whites would be quite a slick trick!)
Puhleeze, all Americans (and anyone else following this blog or planning to vote in November for our next President): go to http://www.snopes.com/ right now and type Barack Obama into the search field. Every rumor and innuendo that is being expressed about him can be found there, and will be confirmed or debunked.
I believe this man is going to be our next Commander in Chief and I would hate to see anyone harboring any suspicions about him for which there is not one scintilla of evidence.
He's a good American. As is Senator Clinton. As is John McCain.
I implore you -- vote your conscience... vote your party... but please refrain from forwarding emails that cast aspersions on any of the candidates which have been debunked and shown to be urban legends at snopes.com. Forwarding lies is not a proper or intelligent way to influence people who are trying to make a good decision as to who should be our next President.
I am soooooooooo sick of the crap being spread about all three candidates. Get a newspaper. Watch different cable channels. Listen to the candidates. Then pray and make up your own mind.
Americans of all stripes need to stop slandering the patriots who step forward to lead this land.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
As you may have heard, each of us will be getting a tax rebate check to stimulate the economy.
If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China .
If we spend it on gasoline, it will go to the Arabs.
If we purchase a computer, it will go to India .
If we purchase fruits and vegetables, it will go to Honduras and Guatemala .
If we purchase a good car with a killer warranty, it will go to Japan or Korea .
If we purchase useless stuff, it will go to Taiwan
None of the above will help the American economy.
We need to keep that money here in America .
ERGO, the only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it at yard sales , since those are the only businesses left that are owned by Americans !!
Monday, April 21, 2008
My test results from the City of Tacoma Office Assistant exams were in the mailbox this morning when I went by the condo. I came in #18 in a field of more than 500 people! This is significant because potential employees are hired in order, and according to the fellow who gave us the exam, every department in the City uses Office Assistants -- some use more than one -- and so the rosters for these positions are gone through pretty fast. So I think I'll be called in soon for follow-up inteviews and testing, unless someone else swoops in and snatches me up first.
That's great news. I need to get back to work full-time, for sure. It has been a very long three months!
I've also heard back from the first client I served via Elance.com. He wants to use me for another couple of reasons (proofreading, a press release and an article about the business) so I'll be working on those as soon as I get the gig officially and the talking points. I've also bid on several other possible projects at Elance, and it looks as though at least a couple of those will fall to me.
I'm very grateful for the opportunity to keep my hand in the writing field evenings and weekends. Eventually, if I build up a large clientele (which will likely take a few years), I may be able to "fly solo" and hire myself full-time as a copywriter. Now, that would be sweet! It pays a whole lot better than any other job I've done in the past, and I love every moment I'm doing it! So, we'll see what God has in mind for me.
At least I've taken the leap of faith that had to be taken. I'm so glad I spent a year as an in-the-trenches copywriter, writing for hundreds of different clients, so I could pole-vault over the "fear factor" wall that seemed to be emblazoned with the question, "CAN YOU DO IT?"
Yes, I Can -- to steal a well-known Obama (and Sammy Davis Jr) phrase!!! I can do it! WAHOO!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Her presentation, "My Soul in Anchored in the Lord" was based on Hebrews and Romans. She mentioned God's covenant with Abraham and reminded us, "God doesn't lie." She showed us how the king of Salem in the Old Testament prefigured Christ (a king who also served as High Priest, whose kingdom reigns forever): King Melchizedek also had no beginning and no end -- his history (birth, life, death) is not chronicled. Many take Melchizedek to be an earlier appearance of Christ into the story of the Hebrews.
Cynthia gave the definition of an anchor: a heavy support during rough waters and troubling times. She proclaimed, "Jesus Christ is our anchor."
Then she read Romans 4:16-22 reminding us that God's promise comes by faith through grace (unmerited favor). Against all hope, Abraham believed God for the birth of his son Isaac, and because he believed (even though he was 100 and his wife Sarah was 90 and her womb was barren her entire life), his belief was credited as righteousness. Conceiving Isaac by human will and want was impossible; so God got the glory, which is all He ever really wants!
In Hebrews 6:17-19 the Bible covers God's unchanging nature. Again, God doesn't lie; God doesn't change. His promise and his oath will not return to him without results. God is bound by His word. God always confirms His word.
So we can approach the throne room of God with confidence. We can let go and let God do the impossible through us.
Cynthia reminded us that CFAN (Church For All Nations) is a training ground for ministers, and that all of us who attend churches are ministers. We can't leave the work for the pastors, elders and other church people -- we are the ones going out into the highways and byways on a daily basis and seeing the multitudes of people who are going day to day without hope, feeling despair, fear and hopelessness. We are the people most likely to interface with them and bring them the light of God's love -- not with a sermon or a testimony, always -- sometimes with just a smile, holding a hand, and praying for or with others.
On Saturday following a praise and worship time, Women's Ministry leader Vernita Porter brought up to the platform two women whose testimonies pretty much blew us all away. One lady, Teresa, described her struggles as she faced -- three different times -- the very great likelihood that she would die, either of cancer or of an embolism in her chest. She described being alternately frightened and calmed -- frightened because she didn't want to die, but calmed because she knew that if she did, she would be with Jesus. Still, at middle age, very few of us want to be with Jesus quite that soon! She felt she had much to do that would be left undone...
Teresa described going through radiation and chemotherapy two different times. After the last time, her doctor told her there was nothing more he could do and that her cancer would consume her at some point. He mentioned the possibility of a transplant and further options, but said those solutions would probably only buy her a year of time...
Feeling pretty devastated, she went home, came to church, approached the altar, and gave her situation utterly to God. At that moment, she said she lost all ability to stand and found herself prostrate on the floor, shaking from head to foot -- completely taken over by the Holy Spirit. For the better part of an hour, she was immobilized except for the violent shaking of her body. At the end of that time, she stood up, completely certain that her cancer had been defeated.
She went back to her doctor -- an atheist -- and told him she was healed. Needless to say, he was skeptical! He tested her a few weeks later -- and a few months later -- and again just recently -- and she is completely without any sign of cancer. Teresa says, "He calls it a rather miraculous 'remission,' but I know better. God has cured me. I am free of it."
The next testimony came from a woman who had been a victim of domestic violence for well over a decade. Suffering physical, mental and sexual abuse from her husband, he had convinced her that she deserved it. Her face and demeanor showed it. Then she started coming to church and learning about how much God loves his children, how awesome He thinks each of us are. Over the course of several years, the quiet, reclusive, "mousy" lady in the third row, surrounded by two of her closest friends, began to own the story of God's love for her. A year and a half ago she finally developed enough courage and enough self-respect to file for and obtain a divorce. She said, "I know God despises divorce, and I prayed that if I was doing the wrong thing in filing that He would let me know so I could cancel and submit to my husband again, but the filing and the proceedings went smoothly, so I'm a free woman now."
She says that both she and her young son have dedicated their lives to the Lord and have completely changed the ways in which they view the world and themselves. Her son got into a wee bit of trouble recently talking too much about God to his friends on the school playground... so he now knows to invite them home if they want to hear more and learn how much God loves them, too!
The Keynote speaker Saturday was Pastor Laura Gunnarson. To meet and speak with Pastor Laura, you would think of her as almost shy -- demure, soft-spoken... but when she mounts the platform and takes the pulpit, the transformation is just amazing! She becomes a fearless evangelical for Christ -- strong, forceful, dynamic, energized, completely lacking any sense of shyness or self-censorship. It blew me away to see and hear her!
She too took us to Hebrews in the Bible, stating that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. She showed us a miniature tabernacle, like the one the Israelites erected each time they stopped during their wilderness wanderings for forty years; later, when the Temple in Jerusalem was built, a tabernacle was also inside it.
As the camera zoomed in on the tabernacle, she showed all the elements it contained and showed how each element prefigured the acts and essence of all that Jesus would perform during his earthly ministry.
Inside the tabernacle, well-concealed inside a room with a series of curtains (six inches thick) was "The Holy of Holies" or "The Most Holy Place" where God dwelled. When Jesus died on the cross, the thick curtains split from top to bottom, symbolizing to all who understood that God was now accessible to all who came to Him, not just to the High Priest during one day out of the year. Jesus made a way for us to approach the throne room of God without condemnation. Pastor Laura put it this way: "Hope reaches behind the curtain and into the Holy of Holies."
Then she reminded us that "hope, faith, and love" -- all eternal -- all require and involve RELATIONSHIP. Without a relationship with God (which Jesus provided to all of us, not to just a select few), these eternal things do not and will not belong to us in eternity. We'll find ourselves utterly alone, without hope, faith or love... Ghastly!
We build relationships by spending time with our Beloved -- earthly and heavenly!
Pastor Laura then reminded us how much effort it takes to throw out an anchor (to build a quality relationship) in the natural. Once we've done that, we must pay careful attention to the relationship and to what we've heard and felt so that we don't begin to drift away.
The good news is that our hope doesn't lie in our own efforts. Rituals become ends in themselves all too often, instead of the spiritual realities behind them. So to safeguard our anchor and establish and keep our relationships strong, we must Pay Attention to them; Disregard ritual and be in spirit instead of thinking our own efforts will bring us the bounty. Jesus bought us the relationship with God with his blood; there is nothing more, ritualistically, we need to do to obtain it. God wants us now to be with him. He wants us to want Him, to seek him, to press (with pressure!) toward Him and ask Him to speak to us and guide us. We can't do this with the TV blaring and with other people interrupting. We need to get away into a prayer space or a prayer closet and be willing to be still and listen for God's thoughts.
The new covenant is a better covenant -- established on Jesus Himself -- on what He did for us to make us worthy to approach God the way a child approaches a beloved daddy -- full-tilt, arms wide apart, knowing absolutely that we will be embraced, lifted up, provided for, snuggled with, and guided in His ways.
After lunch, eight workshops were offered. Each of us chose one of them and attended. The one I attended was taught by Pastor Pat Leksen and was called "Senior and Loving It!" It was quite an eye-opener for me. I adore Pastor Pat because she is always so cheerful and effervescent and fun. What I didn't know was her life story -- which was pretty horrendous! What an overcomer Pat became despite odds that would have crippled most people! She and a younger sister were conceived out of wedlock more than 60 years ago, when that kind of act was poorly tolerated by society at large. Because of her mother's shame, Pat was treated as a sort of embarrassment by her mother, as Evidence of the scarlet letter she wore. Pat didn't understand this at all, of course -- her mother married her father shortly before her birth so she didn't realize (until her 25th anniversary!) that she was an illegitimate child. Still, she felt something from her mother that seemed alien -- Pat sensed that she probably "shouldn't be here."
Despite this, Pat was born with a cheery personality and seemed to manage without a customary "doting mother." At age eleven or twelve she was invited to church by a neighbor. It was at this time that she found someone who loved her without limit, unconditionally: Jesus! She gave her life to Him immediately, as did her sister, and they rushed home to tell their mother and father the good news. That was bad news. Her parents were horrified. There was only one other Christian in the family -- an aunt -- and she had always been talked about in condescending and desultory tones.
Pat went to Bible school and met and married a Swede, Nils Leksen, her absolute opposite in the personality department. She was an energetic, personable sprite with a passion for interaction and contact with loved ones; he was a stoic, dispassionate fellow whose emotions ran so deep that they were all but indiscernible on the surface. She says that drove her nuts for quite a while and that she probably drive him batty as well!
Then Nils came home one day and said he had been called by the Holy Spirit to Africa -- the last place in the world that Pat wanted to minister! But by the time they left, two years later, she was as excited about it as he was.
The Leksens served in Africa for more than twelve years, losing a three-month-old daughter and burying her there. Life was hard in Africa, but it was good. They grew to love it and the people.
Their next mission took them to Canada for a a decade and a half. Throughout all this time there were trials, challenges, heartaches, crises, tragedies of all kinds.
Pat shared what she learned from all this:
1. Don't get offended by life's circumstances. Doodoo happens to absolutely everybody. Most of the time how people treat you isn't even your fault. Always remember that your future is as good as the promises of God.
2. Don't fear the future. God is in control. He has brought you safely thus far, has He not? He loves you!
3. Don't regret the past. As one of the attendees said, "Stop 'shoulding' on yourself."
This is a new day; God's blessings are new every morning; He is faithful. Your tomorrow will be better the moment you leave past hurts and regrets in the past and realize that now is the only time you can do anything about -- and the possibilities for your now are endless. Make good choices NOW!
All in all -- eight hours very well spent!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The women's conference was fabulous. Just fabulous. I'll blog about it a little bit later, but right now, I'm going on-line to look for work, and then will take a nap.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Holding your breath about me? Hope not!
Nothing to report yet re: the World Vision position. All I know now is that I'm still a contender. I wrote a test letter a couple days ago for them. If that was a final hurdle, I feel very good about it.
Stay tuned! Will let you know when I do!
I also feel good about the City of Tacoma exam I took a few days ago... to get on their employment roster as an Office Assistant candidate for the next year.
Have a terrific weekend!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Had a group interview at World Vision on Friday that seemed to go very well, so I'm looking forward to seeing where that might go.
My sister and I found a wonderful place (two levels) this morning that our Realtor will be placing a bid on. It's something that Jackie can afford herself, in case my condo doesn't sell. I can rent out my condo, move in downstairs from her, and wait until the market rebounds to sell the condo. Alternately, I can "fire sale" the condo and get out of it whatever the market bears at this time, and pour most of the proceeds into the new place. That way we'll have it paid off in under ten years....
It was built in 1989, has a full upper deck and a full, carpeted basement with pellet stoves on both levels. We're excited.
On another front, I've completed my first job on Elance and received excellent reviews from the buyer. I have bid on ten other jobs and will bid on 15 more in the next few days. I bid on jobs that can be done a couple of hours or a day at a time, so that I can complete them while remaining fully employed forty hours a week. Now all I need is a full-time job and I should be able to make quite a nice living... and still use my creative skills via Elance. Please keep me in your prayers for World Vision -- or whatever else God has in mind for me, if it isn't World Vision.
I will contribute to World Vision soon, too. I got their Gift Catalog the other day when I was there and there are a lot of ways to contribute that you don't have to be a gazillionaire to support. Buy a goat (or a pair of goats) or chickens for a family; support new wells in Africa; help pay for inexpensive meds to fight diarrhea and other easily-correctable diseases in kids; support AIDS orphans and education; the list is endless.
What else? Tomorrow at 3 p.m. I have exams for the City of Tacoma for a position with the city... Since the World Vision spot, if I get it, is only 4-6 months in length, I want to be on the city roster as having passed their tests so I'll be eligible to work for them after the WV gig, if there isn't something else at WV that they would want me to do.
Yesterday Jackie, Phil, Wendy, Casey, Lizzie and I rode bikes on the Orting Bike/Walking Path. Casey is just learning to ride bike again after a full season away from doing it, but she did great and rode 11 miles with Jackie and I shepherding her along. By the time we got back she was an old pro. Lizzie, Phil and Wendy rode on ahead and put in 14 miles. It was 80 degrees here yesterday. I don't know if that's a record for this time of year, but it must have been close if not.
The Dalai Lama has been in Seattle the past several days and will be here two more. The newspaper is filled with reports and comments from people who attended. I will logon to http://www.seedsofcompassion.com/ soon and catch what I missed. The event was sold out months in advance, but most of it is accessible at the Seeds of Compassion URL.
Tuesday morning this week if I'm not working I'll be riding to Seattle with 15 women's ministry folks to appear on Northwest Afternoon. I wrote a Public Service Announcement for the upcoming Women's Conference at CFAN and it will be taped then and will appear that afternoon. If I'm one of the six chosen to appear on-screen during the PSA, I will be on TV Tuesday afternoon very briefly (in the PSA). If not, you Pacific Northwest folks might catch me in the audience. At least 15 people have to go -- the more the merrier -- to help fill the audience for the half hour show. So, if you're in the Seattle area, and free to sit in an audience Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., come to the KOMO TV studios and let them know you're with the CFAN folks. Wear business casual clothes and a smile and enjoy a morning of live taping of the show.
Next weekend I'll be at the CFAN Women's Conference on Friday night and Saturday during the day. I'll have a booth there, so will take some fliers along and sample copies of my four books.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
"World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice."
I'm sure all of you know about the wonderful work that World Vision does across the globe (http://www.worldvision.org/). World Vision is deeply committed to the poor and dispossessed. In Africa, they are in the thick of the AIDS crisis, offering sustenance, encouragement, and AIDS-prevention education to orphaned children whose parents have succumbed to the disease. They were in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and in Southeast Asia after the horrendous tsunami a couple years ago the day after Christmas. In fact, they have been in many countries for decades, which is what made them able to respond immediately to the tsunami when it occurred. World Vision is stationed around the world, offering help and hope to children of every color, tribe and religion. It's a wonderful organization and I encourage you to do what you can to help them help others. You can support their projects with just a few dollars every month, or in a larger way. Really! Just logon to their website and take a look at what they've been doing (www.worldvision.org). It'll give you a good feeling to help others...
Here's the best news I've received in a while: MY NEXT JOB MIGHT BE AT WORLD VISION! Volt Technical Services in Federal Way has submitted my name and documentation to be considered for a 4-6 month contract position. It can go even longer, or if not -- because I'll do a bang-up job for them -- I may be considered for other permanent positions there. So this is "foot in the door" time, and I'm beyond excited. If I could find a way to make my hands and feet like a gecko's, I'd be dancing on the ceiling!
Please keep me in your prayers for a challenging, creative position wherever I end up next! I've wanted to work at World Vision for years. Perhaps this is the year!
If so, I already have the job! God will place me wherever I'm most ready to serve and grow again. This, I know -- to the core of my being!
In my legislative district, 120+ Obama supporters (out of approximately 237 total) wanted to move forward and become delegates to the upcoming state and national conventions, but there are only twenty spots for delegates and 10 for alternates... so I figured that many of those who didn't get voted in as continuing delegates would then like to become alternates. Since I didn't have any designs on going on to the state or national conventions, I decided to take myself out of contention even as an alternate and let those who are chomping at the bit (to go all the way to Denver) to have the opportunity they so desperately want.
It was an easy decision for me. I can support either of the two Democratic nominees. I prefer Obama -- I think he's much better at uniting people than Clinton; and, while 73% of those polled say they are ready for a black President, only 67% say they are ready for a woman President. For these reasons, and a lot more, I feel Obama has the best chance to beat McCain in November.
I like McCain as a person and certainly honor him as a war hero and statesman; I just don't think he knows enough about the economy (for starters), and I disagree with his stand on the most pressing issues of the day. I also want this to be the year that America goes beyond "only white men can become President." I want to see that "glass ceiling" broken for everyone in America -- and while Hillary can break it for women, Barack can break it for everyone else who has ever been marginalized because of the color of their skin or their name.
We've already seen female world leaders -- Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, etc. And America has a lot of women governors now. It's just a matter of time before we see a woman President -- I just have a hard time believing it will be Hillary. (Even though I think she's pretty terrific personally.) A third Clinton term (especially with Bill as First Spouse -- almost frightening to consider!) is not a whole lot more appealing (to a great many voters) as is a third "Bush" term (read "McCain"). Not that McCain is by any means a clone, as the Dem talking heads try to convince us he is, but he's close enough to keep me at a distance, for sure. And Bush has come out for him -- which makes me very wary! (But then, who else could he come out for?) Anyone Bush wants, I don't! (Yes, I'm bitter and resentful over the many ways in which President Bush has driven our country into the ditch.)
Anyway... didn't intend to get on my soapbox... Bush won't be our next President -- HALLELUJAH!!!! -- so it's water under the bridge...
Study the issues, watch the candidates being grilled, and make an informed choice in November. I think the survival of this planet depends on it this time. We have a very small window of opportunity to curb global warming, turn the economy around, save Medicare and Social Security, get the lower and middle classes out of the ditch and back on the road, embrace our planet -- in a phrase, we need to move forward AS SOON AS JANUARY 20, 2009 to redeem what we can from the fiasco of the last eight years (and more, going backward three and a half decades to Watergate, off and on).
Friday, April 4, 2008
Comments:Senator McCain's reflections on the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Forwarded Content:Thank you. Alvieda King, Ralph Abernathy Jr., Dr. Montgomery, members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference: I appreciate your kind invitation, and I am honored to stand with you at this place on this day. Martin Luther King, Jr., was not a man to flinch from harsh truth, and the same is required of all who come here to see where he was in the last hours of his life.
The Lorraine Motel is a civil rights museum now, but in the memory of America it will always be a crime scene as well. On the National Register of Historic Places, there are few sites remembered with more regret, or touched with so much sorrow.
If we think only of that day and that moment, there is no inspiration to be gained here. The man we remember was a believer in the power of conscience and goodness to shape events. But this place will always stand as a reminder that cowardice and malevolence lay claim to their own victories. No good cause in this world -- however right in principle or pure in heart -- was ever advanced without sacrifice.
And Dr. King knew this. He knew that men with nightsticks, tear-gas, and cattle prods were not the worst of what might be lying in wait each day and night. He was a man accustomed to the nearness of danger. And when death came, it found him standing upright, in open air, unafraid.
We see him today from a distance of four decades, more time than the man himself lived on this earth. And it would not be unusual if his stature or reputation had faded with the passing of the years. It happens sometimes that the judgments of history overrule contemporary opinion, indifferent to the fame and approval of the moment.
But this has not been the case with the firstborn son of Alberta and Martin Luther King, Sr. He only seems a bigger man from far away. The quality of his character is only more apparent. His good name will be honored for as long as the creed of America is honored. His message will be heard and understood for as long as the message of the gospels is heard and understood.
Forty years and more after the great struggles of the civil rights movement, we marvel that such fierce passions could be aroused in defense of such petty cruelties. Separate lunch counters, the preferred seat on a bus, one restroom for whites and another for everyone else -- these were among the prerogatives fought for as if on a point of the highest principle. There is no end to human pride when it goes unchecked, no limit to arrogance and presumption when they pass uncorrected.
Like every citizen he spoke for, Martin Luther King had seen the underside of life in America, where the rules of respect, and fairness, and courtesy were thought not to apply. It was a humiliating existence, unjust in matters both large and small, merciless in its routine of insult, sparing not even the elderly or little children from its crude bullying. For black men and women, as Dr. King wrote, it was a life "plagued with inner fears and outer resentments."
And yet, as he knew, fear alone would never right the offense. And resentment alone would never overcome the wrong. "Along the way of life," he said, "someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil. The greatest way to do that is through love."
Martin Luther King today is honored by the world, in such a way that it is easy to forget he once knew the scorn of the world. And it wasn't just force of personality that made him the man he was. It was the power of truth, spoken with a servant's heart and a voice like no other.
He put it this way once, expressing the spirit of both the cause and its leader: "I said to myself over and over again, 'Keep Martin Luther King in the background and God in the foreground and everything will be all right. Remember you are a channel of the gospel and not the source.'"
When Dr. King and his comrades began to break that chain with their campaign of peaceful protest, there were those who said, "Wait. Just give it a little more time. Be patient. Be patient, and one day America will come around." But patience had been tried, over many generations, and still millions lived in what he called the smothering, airtight cage of injustice.
For his marches in Birmingham, Montgomery, and elsewhere, for his sit-ins and his sermons, he was called an agitator, a trouble-maker, a malcontent, and a disturber of the peace. These are often the terms applied to men and women of conscience who will not endure cruelty, nor abide injustice. We hear them to this day -- in Darfur, Zimbabwe, Burma, Tibet, Iran and other lands -- directed at every brave soul who dares to disturb the peace of tyrants.
Sometimes the most radical thing is to be confronted with our own standards -- to be asked simply that we live up to the principles we profess. Even in this most idealistic of nations, we do not always take kindly to being reminded of what more we can do, or how much better we can be, or who else can be included in the promise of America.
We can be slow as well to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King. I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona.
We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans. But he knew as well that in the long term, confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed. And always, that was his method in word and action -- to remind us of who we are and what we believe.
His arguments were unanswerable and they were familiar, the case always resting on the writings of the Founders, the teachings of the prophets, and the Word of the Lord.Perhaps with more charity than was always deserved, he often reminded us that there was moral badness, and there was moral blindness, and they were not the same.
It was this spirit that turned hatred into forgiveness, anger into conviction, and a bitter life into a great one.
He loved and honored his country even when the feeling was unreturned, and counseled others to do the same. He gave his fellow countrymen and his fellow Christians the benefit of the doubt -- believing, as he wrote, that "returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that."
I remember first learning what had happened here on the fourth of April, 1968, feeling just as everyone else did back home, only perhaps even more uncertain and alarmed for my country in the darkness that was then enclosed around me and my fellow captives. In our circumstances at the time, good news from America was hard to come by. But the bad news was a different matter, and each new report of violence, rioting, and other tribulations in America was delivered without delay. The enemy had correctly calculated that the news from Memphis would deeply wound morale, and leave us worried and afraid for our country. Doubtless it boosted our captors' morale, confirming their belief that America was a lost cause, and that the future belonged to them.
Yet how differently it all turned out. And if they had been the more reflective kind, our enemies would have understood that the cause of Dr. King was bigger than any one man, and could not be stopped by force of violence.
Struggle is rewarded, in God's own time. Wrongs are set right and evil is overcome.
We know this to be true because it is the story of the man we honor today, and because it is the story of our country. And yet for all of this, forty years and a world away, we look up to that balcony, we remember that night, and we are still left with a feeling of loss.
Here was a young man who composed one of literature's finest testimonies to the yearning for equality and justice under law -- writing on the margins of a newspaper, in the confinement of a prison cell.
Here was a preacher who endured beatings, survived bombings, suffered knifings, abuse, and ridicule, and still placed his trust in the Prince of Peace.
Here was a husband and father who will stand to children in every generation as a model of Christian manhood, but never got to raise his own sons and daughters, or to share in the gift of years with his good wife.
All of this was lost on the fourth of April, 1968, and there are no consolations to balance the scale.
What remains, however, is the example and witness of The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and that is forever. Thank you.
To learn more or to join the John McCain Presidential team, visit www.JohnMcCain.com
Today is the 40th anniversary of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I want to share a video that reveals how far we've come and how much this campaign owes to Dr. King's legacy.
Students at a high school in the Bronx, who had no real interest in their government, have found new hope. They were surprised by their own excitement and engagement, but to me, they embody so many reasons why Barack and I decided to get into this campaign.
It's truly moving to see young people inspired by a political leader -- someone who gives them hope and reminds them that they can be anything they want to be if they work hard.
Watch what these kids have to say about politics and race in this country:
Much has changed in this country since Dr. King's death, and thanks to his life and work we have taken critical strides towards racial equality.
The simple fact that Barack is running a competitive campaign for President is a direct result of Dr. King's legacy -- and this movement for change would be impossible without the support of people of all races, ages, and backgrounds.
I remember back in December of 2006, a group of us were discussing the possibility of Barack running for President. And as you might have read, I was hesitant about the idea.
But then Barack started talking about why he really wanted to do this -- to bring people together and to change the tone of the way we talk to each other in this country. He talked about the need for people to be inspired by their leaders, and the importance of leadership to chart a different course. He talked about Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy, and their passion to challenge a new generation and provide them with role models.
Barack promised that as a candidate and as President he would do everything he could to bring new people to the table. He shared his desire to reach out to our neglected inner cities, to strive to be a role model for young people, and to connect with people who are not involved in politics -- those who feel their voices haven't been heard, those who have been left behind, and those who have been turned off by all the petty bickering in recent years.
We can change that, by standing on the shoulders of folks like Dr. King who came before us.
Watching these students who are excited about their own role in politics for the first time, and watching Barack as he strives to live up to the challenges Dr. King made possible, I am truly touched.I hope you'll watch this video and share that feeling with your friends and family:
Yes, WE CAN! It's time. It's a moment in American history we can all take pride in.
If not now, when?
If not us, who?
Go, BARACK, GO! We're behind you and will help make the ideal as real as we can at this stage in our national evolution.
LEAD THE WAY! We're right behind you!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
This week I've contacted a number of ad agencies here in Tacoma via phone to see if they'd be interested in me as a copywriter or copy editor, now or in the future, part time or full-time, during busy seasons, or for one-shot gigs. I attached writing samples and two letters of recommendation from my most recent place of employment. I also let them know they can engage me "virtually" through Elance.com if they prefer to work that way. I knew it was a long shot, but worth a try.
Much to my surprise and utter delight, four of the five agencies have called or emailed already to say they're glad to know I'm in the area and available. They say they'll keep me on file for whenever they might need me! WAHOO!!!
Can't tell you how great that makes me feel. I'll do more research and see if I can find more ad agencies in this neck of the woods and in Seattle and Olympia. During busy seasons, when agencies get overwhelmed, perhaps they'll think of me and give me some of their overload. Or, who knows? If one of their employees quits or is let go, perhaps they'll consider me as a replacement.
I was really surprised at the warm welcome I received when I called. "Oh, that's great. Yes, I'd like to see your resume and writing samples. Send them along!" WHEEE!
I'm also listed with five temp agencies (for companies needing secretaries and/or administrative assistants), but haven't received a single assignment yet. This is par for the course so much of the time -- that's why I have to be listed with just about every agency that's worth its salt.
A temp in a new region has to build a client base before s/he can stay busy. I was busy as a bee in Hollywood as a temp after about a year, because clients I worked for would request me the next time they needed to fill a spot while a permanent employee took a vacation/had a baby/went for surgery/took a sabbatical or what-ever. "Build it (a good reputation) and they will come!"
This Saturday and next I will be at caucuses as an alternate delegate for Barack Obama. I wasn't able to make it to the training sessions so will have to rely on my ability as a "quick study"! I did fine as a precinct captain, even though I'd never attended a caucus before, so reckon I can catch on to the nitty-gritty of these upcoming events. I just hope I'm not shanghaied to attend the national convention in Denver when that comes around. I hope all the regular delegates can "do their thing" so I don't have to fly to Denver for four days (on my own dime) to help Barack win the nomination. (ATTENTION, MARGOT! PLAN FOR A GUEST IF I HAVE TO BE IN DENVER FOR THE CONVENTION! I can't afford plane fare, let alone a hotel room!)
[Donations accepted to get Kris to Denver... if that comes to pass!!! :) :) :) :) ] [Watch all my Republican friends send me tickets to Hawaii for the duration of the Democratic National Convention! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!]
On April 14th I will be taking the Office Assistant exam for the City of Tacoma. I have to buy a calculator for that. They're required. (Good thing. After I get past fingers and toes, I need a calculator!) (OK, that's a slight exaggeration, but only slight.)
Three weekends from now, I'll be attending Church For All Nations's women's conference, which takes place Friday night (the 18th) from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday (the 19th) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The women's ministry leader says I can have a vendor booth at the conference, so this afternoon I made some postcards. They look pretty cool, if I do say so myself. If you want a copy of the postcard, let me know and I'll email it to you. Then you can make copies and hand them out to business owners wherever you are if you have a friendly relationship with them and feel comfortable doing this. Since I'm listed with Elance, anyone in the whole world has access to my writing service -- so don't be shy about telling folks you know me and will vouch for me. That would be great! I need a handful of clients soon, so I can convince myself I can make a go of it as a freelance copywriter! Thanks!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
If Hillary doesn't stop casting aspersions about Obama's supporters (I am one of them) it will sour us on supporting her with enthusiasm and working for her should she win the nomination. MOST Obama supporters believe in the right of people to vote in their primaries, and for her to concede now is entirely her choice. She has an uphill battle, but so be it. She's a great contender and would be a fine President -- one of the best. I just think Obama will be even better, as far as being able to unite us.
I'm tired of Hillary sniping. All it does is make the situation ugly. Fight fair, dear lady. I like your stance on the issues, I will support you if Obama isn't the nominee, but please stop accusing Obama of a few of his supporters' rhetoric. Talking heads have to fill up space on the cable channels. They say dumb things. Get over it and talk about the isses that matter to us as Americans and world citizens.
And re former Pastor Wright: The brouhaha about Obama's former pastor is ludicrous. The great thing about Obama is that he can sit and listen to "nonsense" on all sides, take the lessons learned (the lesson here for Obama is (I'm surmising) "My pastor is very angry about the opportunities denied people of color during his upbringing and early adulthood, and he continues to see residual evidence of it which triggers his anger again.") and continue to treat everyone with respect, understanding and compassion, while too many other will run from the room shrieking, leaving the matter to fester some more. It is Obama's ability to listen to the disparate stories across America and find a way forward toward the ideal.
Let's be civil to each other during this process. I know sniping is great for sound bites and "news-tertainment," but it cheapens the process. But then, it always has. I think this might be one of the cleanest campaign seasons in American history, for that matter!