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

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Missing Link

Have you heard the good news? It seems that televangelist and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson has found the missing link between "intelligent design" and God.
From CNN.com:
Robertson warns Pennsylvania voters of God's wrath
"just remember, you just voted God out of your city"
I guess that settles that debate, huh?
Do you suppose that Robertson's mission is apolitical? Do they pay taxes to the IRS?

Women

Boy, some women you just can't trust to be discrete...
Rep. Sherwood Settles Alleged Abuse Suit

Lies Lies Lies

It all depends on what your definition of "is" is and it all depends on what you define a lie to be, but the Washington Post wasn't very impressed with President Bush's Veterans Day speech in which he claimed the high ground with respect to the blundering of pre-war intelligence on Iraq.
Asterisks Dot White House's Iraq Argument
By Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 12, 2005; Page A01
Page A01, that's the front page, isn't it?
In the past, the mainstream media would never have covered something like this so blatantly. They knew that if they were critical of the President, they would lose the inside scoop from the White House. But after the Judith Miller fiasco with the New York Times, maybe the mainstream media has lost interest in the inside scoop from the White House. Maybe the media is figuring out that being the voice of propaganda for the White House in a political climate full of propaganda and outright lies isn't healthy for the survival of their reputation as a reliable source of the news. Maybe this article is damage control.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friendly Foe

President Bush gave a Veterans Day speech today before a friendly crowd in Tobyhanna, PA. A little bit of it was on the nightly news this evening.
Bush used the occasion to proclaim that it is the right of Americans to voice dissent against the Iraq War immediatly before he declared, as usual, that those who do so give comfort to the enemy. Figure that one out. But to what one would assume to be another of the cherry-picked audiences for Bush's propaganda speaches, Bush, referring to the claims that his administration cherry-picked intelligence before the war, said, “While it’s perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.”
In other words, you can criticize me all you want just as long as you don't call me a liar for misleading you. Dissent all you want as long as you agree that I was as deceived as you were. Don't suspect or investigate because that would be "deeply irresponsible."
One thing that is encouraging, though, is that Republicans are eating this stuff up, loving it. The old George is back! Yea! Rally around your fearless leader, all you faithfuls, while we watch this Titanic split right down the middle and sink to the deepest darkest depths of the cold North Atlantic. We're already rowing the lifeboats as far from this wreck as we can get 'em so don't count on us to come save you. Enjoy the ride, boys.

Deadly Interrogation

Jane Mayer was on Democracy Now today talking about an article of hers in the New Yorker titled "A DEADLY INTERROGATION: Can the C.I.A. legally kill a prisoner?"
When you think about it, this argument about whether our government should give the CIA the right to use certain kinds of non-lethal torture or torture which stops short of doing permanent physical harm is simply a cover-up, another of the many lies of this political season. The discussion bears no relevance to what is actually going on, nor does it bear any relevance to what the proponents actually believe. It is merely a facade, a lie, aimed at silencing any debate about the real agenda of our government.
What I mean by this is that those who are advocating for torture, the Bush Administration and their supporters in Congress along with the public propagandists, really could care less about whether the people being tortured are harmed or killed by their torturers. They perceive the people being tortured as "scum" and therefore care nothing about their welfare or survival.
But while the public propagandists are free to speak the truth about their philosophy, our elected officials know that it would be political suicide to speak the truth about what they really believe. Not only that, but if the truth were to come out, the American people would rise up against it because the majority of the American public still knows the meaning of morality and understands the importance of American law and justice. The American public is wise enough to know that if we create a system that bypasses our system of justice, eventually that system will come back to haunt us here in America.
We recognize fascism when we see it and we are seeing it now in the Republican leadership in Washington.

Veterans

Veterans Lash Out at Loss of Voice on Capitol Hill
Those ungrateful vets...
Always looking for a handout...
Long live King George!!!
3 More Years!! (unless we impeach the bastards)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lilith

I won't comment on this other than to say that it was a rather interesting read for me. Some things come to us only when we are ready to hear them:
http://www.lilitu.com/lilith/khephprint.html

Intelligent Dover

It's good to see that the people of Dover, PA got the "intelligent design" issue straightened away this week... at the polls:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-evo10.html

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Charmed Life

There's this ongoing debate in some circles about whether or not Jesus could have sinned. There seem to be three possibilities. One, of course, is that Jesus was a free man and could have sinned if he had chosen to do so. That's controversial in the sense that it is unimaginable that Jesus could have chosen to sin, but it does allow that Jesus was human and could at least associate with the temptations that we all face as humans.
The second possibility is that it would have been impossible for Jesus to have sinned since he lived not only according to the Jewish Law but also according to divine and absolute morality. In other words, it was impossible for him to violate God's moral law. Jesus was restricted in this sense. Some things he was forbidden and thus incapable of choosing to do. For instance, He was celibate and could not possibly have married or had sex in his life. When Satan tempted him, he could not possibly have accepted Satan's offers.
The third possibility is a little more complex. I think the best way to describe this third possibility is that Jesus led a charmed life. Whatever he chose to do, no matter what he chose, was not sin because Jesus was God and God creates reality as he goes and whatever God chooses to do, by very definition it isn't sin. If it ever had been sin before, when Jesus chose to do it, it ceased to be sin, even if only for Him. The Prophet Mohammed lived just such a life. The Quran was being written during Mohammed's life and some of the Quran was written after the fact to justify what Muhammad had just chosen to do. This seems especially so when you study Mohammed's various wives.
I tend to accept the first possibility, that Jesus didn't sin because he knew the Law and chose to obey it. The second is a possibility also, but I reject the third explanation. I reject the notion that reality exists at the whim of a supernatural being.
I wish I could remember where I read it, but I recently read in someone's blog that he (this blogger) was talking to someone in the White House who was explaining to him about the difference between how it used to be in Washington and how it is now. Basically it went something like this. In the past, the media used to analyze what went on in Washington and report on it to the public. But now, you can analyze Washington reality all you want, but as soon as you do, the reality changes because in the White House, "We now make reality." That isn't word-for-word, but it is how I understood the conversation.
What it means is that the White House is exercising option three above, that reality is conforming to the Bush White House. When Bush said Saddam had WMDs, they existed. When Bush said he didn't, they didn't exist. No problem, no conflict, no worries. Yesterday I heard Bush explaining about the need to get information from the terrorists to protect Americans. Bush was presenting the argument being used to justify the secret CIA torture camps. Then he said basically that whatever we do, we don't torture. When Bush says America doesn't torture, then no matter what America does, it isn't torture. The reality of what torture is shifts with the Bush doctrine.
You see, America, it all depends on what your definition of "is" is.
I'm not sure that the American public is catching on to this yet, but many are becoming suspicious. Many are able to recognize that there's been a major shift in America's policies under Bush, a shift for the worse. Americans are beginning to understand that they don't understand the Republican leadership in Washington and they're beginning to suspect that the problem is a credibility problem. The problem is that whenever we think we're on solid ground, the ground shifts beneath us, and we're realizing that it's an eerie feeling. We're beginning to see that it's because of George Bush and his administration and certain other Republican leaders in Washington that we're getting this creepy feeling.

On Top

Once again, I bring this up on top for all to see. Yesterday I pointed out a story on the blogs and on CNN that it appears the leak of information about the secret CIA-run torture camps in Eastern Europe may have come from a meeting Vice President Cheney had with fellow Republicans on the Hill. One might even note that Trent Lott's discussion is confirmation of those camps: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/006956.php
Mike made the assumption that I was now saying the leak should be investigated now that it appears a Republican did it. He even calls me "a two-faced rat" presumably because I wasn't interested in seeing this investigated till now:

Oh so now you want an investigation. Before you told me to ignore this topic but now you can't wait to talk about it. How convenient. You once again show how conveniently you can respect or ignore the law depending on how it serves your political views. You are a two-faced rat. It's really quite pathetic how I have become the obsession of your blog. You are a bitter old man upset that he is so insignificant and powerless to shape the world into his twisted view. When I close my door tonight, I will pray for you, Bill. Jesus still loves you.I hope there is an investigation. If they find Cheney leaked the information I hope they throw him in jail. What do you think about that, Bill? But I'm not saying Cheney should resign just because somebody says the leak "may" have come from him. Trent Lott has a lot of political axes to grind ever since the party made him walk the plank over the Strom Thurmand statement.

LOL
You make assumptions, Mike, that aren't true.
You see, Mike, I don't care who leaked this information about America's secret slide into fascism. If it was a Republican, I'm glad, but that's as far as it goes for me. If you want him prosecuted, fine, have at it. But if that is true, and really we don't know yet if it is, then chances are the Republican leadership will cease investigating the "leak."
No, Mike, what is important to me, and I tried to tell you this earlier, is that now we know the truth about our government. Now we know that our government secretly advocates, condones, and carries out torture of prisoners by the CIA. Now we have the information that we need to debate this as a representative democracy. Now the fascists in the White House, Pentagon, and CIA have been exposed for who they are and what they represent.
Why you think, Mike, that I would want anybody investigated, prosecuted, or punished for releasing that truth to the American public is beyond me.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

No...!

Could this be possible? Mike, where are you now? LOL
New "leak" probe exploding in GOP's face. Trent Lott says it was likely GOP Senators, or Cheney, who leaked it

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Mike Way

In comment to my November 4 post titled "Blinded by the Right," Mike posted a comment containing this paragraph:
Jesus would not condone torture. Neither do I. However, what defines torture? In my mind, doing irreversible bodily harm is torture. Making someone "feel" like they are drowning is not torture. Making someone "think" we are going to kill their family is not torture. Putting a gun to their head and telling them cough up the information or die, as long as you don't pull the trigger, is not torture. Forcing them to strip naked and have women laugh at them is not torture. All of these things can be reversed. They are temporary conditions.
Here is a man who not only claims to be a Christian, but actually posts in his blog The Deep Freeze a weekly prayer to his God, the Father of his Savior, Jesus Christ. Yet somehow, Mike seems to be implying that his Lord Jesus wouldn't have any problem understanding America's need to terrorize, demean, demoralize, disgrace, violate, and in any other way torture those we perceive at the moment to be our enemy, as long as we don't do any permanent harm to our enemy's body. Wow, huh? Wow...
Presumably Mike understands The Golden Rule so he understands that whatever we feel we have the right to do to our enemy, we give our enemy assurance that we expect the same in return from them.
Is it any wonder that I have a problem with right-wing Christianity? Mike thinks I just have an anger problem. No, Mike. I have a problem with your immoral religion.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Torture Debate

It is simply unbelievable that our government is debating this at all. Pass the ban, for Christ sake!
Hagel: Torture Exemption Would Be Mistake

Spong

I was just doing the dishes on a Sunday morning and decided to tune in one of my favorite radio stations, WERU, which broadcasts from down on the coast near Ellsworth, Surry or Blue Hill or East Orland, or somewhere like that. One thing about WERU is that I never know what I might hear next on it, but whatever it is, it's likely to be controversial. Today was no exception.
I was greeted part-way into an interview with former Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong who was talking about his new book The Sins of Scripture. Suppose you tuned in to a radio station on a Sunday morning and heard this:
That many churches today practice psychological abuse, convincing members of their utter worthlessness as fallen sinners and their only hope was to remain faithful to the church and its precepts.
That the Apostle Paul was probably struggling with his homosexuality and went through a transition from fighting it legalistically to accepting himself for who he really is.
That the church attempts to saddle us with guilt to control us socially. One source of that guilt is the assumption that Jesus died because of our own sins, thus laying on our shoulders His death. The result is our social obedience to Christianity.
That and more...
Imagine walking into a Bible-believing Christian church of the Evangelical strain and hearing someone speak like this. The congregation would have the man nailed to the cross right then and there, or if not that, thrown out on his ear, wouldn't they? This man was speaking things which for over a decade I have wished I could hear in an actual church, but realized I will never hear that way. I think I'm going to have to read that book.