Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Friday, August 26, 2005

Mr. Clean

Now here is a good one.
Pat Boone shreds Cindy 'peaceniks'Music legend says U.S. 'sitting duck' for next 9-11 with message of peace
Pat Boone is the symbol to me of a particular form of ignorance that I see as characteristic of certain American Christians. I've seen more of these people than I've actually met, but I've met a few in person. "Mr. Clean" really does characterize them. But I find it interesting that even in this small article, this topic came up:

Outspoken about his Christian beliefs, Boone explained why he thinks most of his colleagues tend to lean leftward in their political stances.
"Folks in the entertainment business don't want anyone telling 'em what they can or can't do," referring to God.

If I am reading this correctly, Boone is suggesting that the left consists of people who don't like to obey while the right is the obedient.
Actually, that fits pretty well with the book I'm slowly reading, Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think. But I'll leave that for another day. Pat Boone, in my mind, is a master of the art of actually not thinking. That's my point for today. There are American Christians whom I have met who generally seek recognition from others through their Christianity who simply could never be accused of thinking anything through critically. The men in particular are handsome, somewhat aloof but yet friendly, and very respectable, at least on the surface.
The one trait that seems to best characterize them is that when you talk to them, it is as though you are talking to someone who is blind. It is as though they don't see your face, can't see your eyes. They look through you instead of looking at you. They can't see what you are seeing. They only see what they see. So, just like with Pat Boone, these Christians look at you with a blank smile on their faces, a smile that says, "Don't even bother. My mind is not functioning."
I swear, these people are out there just looking for ways they can tell you that you need to obey everything. I swear! And for many years now, the face of Pat Boone has symbolized for me that kind of Christianity. In my head, I see Pat Boone's face whenever I meet someone like this.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's Just A Joke!!

How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?
1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed;
2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed;
3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb;
4. One to arrange the invasion of a country rumored to have a secret stockpile of light bulbs;
5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for the new light bulb;
6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a step ladder under the banner: Light Bulb Change Accomplished;
7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally in the dark;
8. One to viciously smear #7;
9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light-bulb-changing policy all along;
10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

Firewood Week

This is firewood week here at our house. We can see and feel the passing of summer so it's time to begin preparing for the long winter. My son Jake and I have been going out on Plum Creek land cleaning up (scavenging) in the yarding areas of an area east of town that was cut last winter. We have a permit for five cords of firewood but have only managed to collect about two so far this week. Tomorrow morning we will go after another half-cord load to finish off the week.
Tomorrow evening my wife and I will go to the opening of the American Folk Festival in Bangor. Bangor has hosted the National Folk Festival (yes, that's where it went for all of you who have been wondering) for the past three years but the seed was planted and this year the American Folk Festival was sprouted, potentially long-term. It's always fun to attend this folk festival because of the variety and the energy of the music and the fair-like atmosphere in the food court. There's a beer tent too on the hillside overlooking the largest of the five performance stages, but I don't take advantage of that. Most of the fans seem to be there strictly to enjoy the music, the dancing, and the food. The festival begins at 6:00 tomorrow evening, begins Saturday at noon, and finishes up on Sunday. The weatherman is promising lots of sunshine with high temps in the low 80s, just right.
My wife's on vacation next week all week so I think I'll put off the second half of firewood week till September. Today we went grocery shopping, went for a swim in the cold waters of Wilson Pond, and went blueberry picking up on our hill. I picked for awhile and then just totally went into munch mode and ate a bunch of berries fresh off the bush. That is so good!
Winter... I cringe...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Different Math

When it comes to reporting about the federal government, the media seems to speak an entirely different language than the rest of us commoners do. According to this one website, the media would appear to use a different kind of math as well, especially when it comes to the cost of the military. So which is it, 19 cents on the dollar or 68?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Civil War

Juan Cole's blog which I read when I wish to be informed about Iraq and the Middle East in general, had a few words to say this morning about the Iraq War. I can't say as I support his views on this, but he knows the region a lot better than I do. The thing is, this is sounding so much like what we heard as the reasons to stay in Vietnam back in the 60s and 70s. What makes it so true now when it wasn't then? Why would the people of Iraq, all of whom are deprived of real power, choose to fight a genocidal civil war instead of either splitting up or settling for peace under a central government? Why would they choose to mass murder themselves instead?
But anyway, here is the link to Juan Cole's "Informed Comment" blog:
A couple of things in the introduction stood out to me:
"All it would take would be for Sunni Arab guerrillas to assassinate Grand Ayatollah Sistani. And, boom. If there is a civil war now that kills a million people, with ethnic cleansing and millions of displaced persons, it will be our fault, or at least the fault of the 75% of Americans who supported the war."
I know, I know, you don't care. I've hear it a million times. But if that did happen, it would be pretty difficult to say that the Americans who did and do support the war were not the enablers.
Then he went on to say:
"And as I have argued before, an Iraq civil war will likely become a regional war, drawing in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. If a regional guerrilla war breaks out among Kurds, Turks, Shiites and Sunni Arabs, the guerrillas could well apply the technique of oil pipeline sabotage to Iran and Saudi Arabia, just as they do now to the Kirkuk pipeline in Iraq. If 20% of the world's petroleum production were taken off-line by such sabotage, the poor of the world would be badly hurt, and the whole world would risk another Great Depression."
I sense that Cole might have written this in response to Howard Dean's stance where it is the responsibility of the White House, not the Senate minority, to have a plan for withdrawal. Cole outlines his plan for troop withdrawal here.
One step in particular that catches my eye...
"9) Congress must rewrite the laws governing US reconstruction aid to Iraq so as to take out provisions that Iraqis must where possible use US companies or materiel. All of the reconstruction money should go directly to Iraqi firms, so as to help jump-start the economy."
I couldn't agree more on that one. Don't jump start the US economy by sending Americans off to their deaths halfway around the world, risking civil and regional war. If we want peace and stability in Iraq, get their economy up and running.