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Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma


Resistance & Renewal

Bono_on_Bono_Cover“It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma…

You see, at the centre of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics – in physical laws – every action is met by an equal or opposite one.  Its clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe.  I’m absolutely sure of it.

And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “As you reap, so will you sow” stuff.  Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news…

View original post 286 more words

Check out the Candidates


Image representing FindTheBest as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

To those of you with little time, but interested in finding out more about the 2012 Presidential Candidates and how they differ I have a recommendation.
I’ve discovered this user-friendly, non “party biased” website which allows us to compare Presidential Candidates’ platforms with ease .

Here’s the specific section on the Presidents: http://2012-presidential-candidates.findthedata.org/

Explore a bit and you’ll find loads of other categories for comparison, among them; Cars, Software, Universities, Healthcare etc.

Of course, we want to know if the information is reliable, can we trust it? This is the good news.

Founder, Kevin O’connor, who also co-founded “DoubleClick“, says he “found sites offering top 10 recommendations were secretly getting kickbacks from the sites they were recommending. So in 2009 he launched FindtheBest.com with the goal of filtering excessive junk and presenting information in a simple, comparable way.”*

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/01/24/qa-kevin-oconnor/

So, if you are like me and would like to know what Ron Paul stands for compared to Mitt Romney without wading through tons of information on everybody’s website…this might help.

Herman Cain’s Teachable Moment


Herman Cain Speaks At Values Voter Summit

Image by TalkMediaNews via Flickr

This morning we woke up to allegations of Herman Cain‘s sexual misconduct while he was CEO of the Restaurant Association.

In the court of public opinion, our principle of law, “innocent until proven guilty” is seldom the case.

Interesting that this comes out as he edges past all other candidates in the Republican Primary Race. He’s denying that there is any truth to the stories. There is breaking news that his wife, absent until now from the campaign trail,  will be appearing by his side sometime soon.

The mistreatment and harassment of women in the workplace is crude and cruel. I hope that Mr. Cain did no such thing, that he is a man of such strong character that it never entered his mind to do what he is accused of doing. If true, he has nothing to fear and can simply “hang tough”.

I wonder though, if there may be a cultural component to this that possibly will never be discussed. I just watched Tyler Perry’s highly successful film, “Medea’s Family Reunion”,  the other night and found it surprisingly laced with violence toward children, and explicit sexual talk…and it is a family film.

It seems that African American Culture has different standards for what is acceptable humor, sexual conduct, violence, and polite conversation than White culture.  How about Latino Culture? Our experience with Asian culture is that there are different standards…very different ones.

If Herman Cain did wrong, and covered it up, it will be better if he simply admits his fault, and seeks forgiveness from the women he harmed. As a Christian man, familiar with sin and forgiveness, he can attempt to right this wrong (allegedly the women were paid to keep quiet) and serve as a role model to others. It will mean the end of his political career, but he will be a better man for admitting his failures.

Cain calls claims a ‘witch hunt’
By: Reid J. Epstein
October 31, 2011 12:12 PM EDT
Herman Cain on Monday called stories about sexual harassment allegations against him “a witch hunt” and repeatedly said that he never harassed female employees while he was CEO of the National Restaurant Association.“Number one, in all of my over 40 years of business experience … I have never sexually harassed anyone,” Cain told the National Press Club. “Number two, while at the restaurant association, I was accused of sexual harassment. Falsely accused, I might add. I was falsely accused of sexual harassment, and when the charges were brought, as the leader of the organization, I recused myself and allowed my general counsel and human resource officer to handle it.”Asked by press club president Mark Hamrick if he thought a fellow presidential candidate floated the sexual harassment story, Cain pleaded ignorance.“I have no idea,” he said. “We have no idea the source of this witch hunt, which is really what this is.”Cain reiterated that he’s not aware of any settlements paid to women who accused him of harassment. He said there is no reason for the restaurant association to divulge more information about the story.“As far as we’re concerned, enough said about the issue,” he said. “There’s nothing there to dig up.”The press club appearance followed Cain’s Fox News interview earlier Monday morning, the first time he addressed the POLITICO story.Cain told Fox he was “falsely accused” of sexual harassment while CEO of the National Restaurant Association and doesn’t know of any settlements paid to resolve such allegations.“It is totally baseless and totally false,” Cain said. “Never have I evercommitted any kind of sexual harassment.”He added: “If the restaurant association did a settlement, I wasn’t even aware of it and I hope it wasn’t for much. If there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers at the restaurant association.”Cain said it’s possible that more sexual harassment allegations could be forthcoming, but that they would be baseless. “If more allegations come, I assure you, people will simply make them up. … The only other allegations will be trumped-up allegations. There is nothing else.”Cain also said the campaign is working to schedule “an exclusive interview” with his wife of 43 years, Gloria, who has not appeared with him on the campaign trail.Cain also acknowledged that the POLITICO storydetailing the accusations against him may hurt his campaign.“Some people are going to be turned off by this cloud that someone wanted to put over my campaign,” he said. “But a lot of people aren’t going to be turned off.”The Fox News interview followed Cain’s appearance at the American Enterprise Institute, where he declined to addressthe POLITICO report, citing “ground rules” imposed by AEI.“I’m going by the ground rules that my hosts have said,” Cain said.

Cain’s statements come after his campaign sought to push back against the report but did not directly deny that cash settlements had been paid to women to resolve complaints about his behavior.

Cain’s campaign manager, Mark Block, said on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” on Monday that Cain has “never sexually harassed anybody” but referred questions about settlements to the National Restaurant Association.

The association’s general counsel, Peter Kilgore, has so far declined to comment on whether any settlements existed.

“Herman Cain has never sexually harassed anybody. Period. End of story,” Block said. “The only people who spoke publicly about the story in that article are the ones in the best position to know. They were the chair, vice chair and immediate past chair of the National Restaurant Association.”

Block added: “Every negative word and accusation in the article is sourced to a series of unnamed or anonymous sources. And this is questionable at best. I am not personally aware of any cash settlement relating to sexual harassment charges related to Mr. Cain.”

When the story dropped Sunday night, the campaign’s immediate response was to claim the insurgent candidate was the target of media and the establishment wrath.

“Fearing the message of Herman Cain, who is shaking up the political landscape in Washington, inside-the-Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain,” the campaign said in a statement released to Byron York of the Washington Examiner. “Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the chief executive officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts. Since Washington establishment critics haven’t had much luck in attacking Mr. Cain’s ideas to fix a bad economy and create jobs, they are trying to attack him in any way they can.”

The denials Cain campaign officials have offered thus far have been broadly worded. When pressed for specifics, they have referred questions to the National Restaurant Association or dodged the questions.

Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said “yes” to The Associated Press on Sunday night when asked if he was denying the report. But in a six-minute exchange with Geraldo Rivera on Fox News, he repeatedly did not answer specific questions, leading Rivera to warn: “J.D., what you are saying and what you are doing right now is a recipe for disaster, mate.”

And Block, on MSNBC on Monday morning, said Cain would respond directly to accusations if the accusers — who, according to the POLITICO story, signed confidentiality agreements barring them from speaking publicly about the matter — address him in public.

“He said to me emphatically, ‘Where there is facts, bring them to me. Let me face my accusers and we will do this then,’” Block said.

Later in the interview, when host Chuck Todd informed Block that he has independent sourcing that there were settlements involving female restaurant association employees, Block said he has “complete confidence that what Mr. Cain told me is absolutely factual and true.”

Todd asked: “You’re 100 percent confident that all parts of this story are inaccurate?”

Block replied: “Yes.”

Todd: “One hundred percent?”

Block: “Yes sir. How many times do I have to say it to you?”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/67233.html

Wikileaks: Proof that Americans aren’t as Dumb as the World Thought


freedom of speech [wikileaks]

Freedom of Speech

Yes, contrary to most North Americans’ belief, the rest of the World thinks we’re naive and pretty dumb, along with a list of other problems that involve greed and war that I won’t go into here.

But, the diplomats and leaders of the United States were vindicated by Julian Assange, and the fellow who sent him the 25,000 plus pages of secret documents released as, “Wikileaks“!

One quote I remember and will paraphrase, “we (some world leaders) had no idea the Americans actually knew what was going on behind the scenes in these countries..they’re smarter than we thought”.

The American public has learned what the Government and Military has known for a while, that Afghan corruption is at such a point that the ONLY minister of Karzai‘s government NOT taking bribes is allegedly the Minister of Agriculture, makes a poignant counterpoint to our remaining arguments for staying in Afghanistan..to prop up the Karzai regime.

But what will happen to this good guy, the Minister of Agriculture, when the US Army pulls out? Even more of a question is what will happen to the many good people who have tried to stand for freedom and honesty?

We’re sure in a mess, but my thoughts and prayers go out to those in Afghanistan who are in between a rock and a hard place and didn’t choose either. They are in a similar but much worse place economically to those Americans who have family members fighting pointlessly now, for Afghan’s corrupt regime.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/12/01/the_state_department_i_never_knew

The Bay at Last


Category:Ford vehicles

Some will have noticed my absence as my husband and I packed up and moved to our Sabbatical Retreat home in an isolated town on a Bay on the East Coast.

I sit here in our blue and yellow living room looking out at the bay, in air-conditioned comfort, seeing the waving branches of the cedar trees surrounding our cottage and knowing that it’s 91 degrees outside. The sun is bright, and I just got internet last night. I am at peace!

We had a rough start, taking ten hours to pack up the U-Haul with our odds and ends and then being too exhausted to go far beyond our hometown the first night, but we’ve felt completely free to relax here at the beach, and I can’t get enough of looking out our bedroom windows at the white sand!

Our son came down to help us unload our stuff, mostly books for the year, and things we didn’t want to purchase..unknowns like bedding that we thought we’d need and kitchen stuff.  We were right on both counts, a fortunate guess, since we took the cottage sight unseen!

What did we fill the truck with? That’s a question we’ll have to leave unanswered, since it just doesn’t make sense even to us. Jon and I brought our computers, printers, a few projects. I brought ALL my clothes just in case I never return North except for a visit.

I’ve been aiming South for the past five years at least and, having arrived here, I see no turning back. I may eventually long for friends, since i don’t plan on making a lot of new ones..I want to nurture my old friendships from afar, but, for now I’m only looking into the sunshine and sand and saying, Hurrah!

Holding Politicians Accountable


Misdirection from Crossroads GPS

Ads from a Rove-connected group attack Democratic Senate candidates with faulty claims on health care law.


August 30, 2010

Summary

A group with ties to Karl Rove sends viewers astray in a $2 million ad campaign attacking Democratic Senate candidates in Pennsylvania, California and Kentucky. The ads make badly misleading claims about the health care legislation that those Democrats supported.

* An ad attacking Rep. Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania claims that “hard-hit families” will see $2,100 premium hikes. But that’s not true for the large majority, who are likely to see somewhat lower premiums, according to the very source the ad cites. Any families that do see such large premium increases are likely to also get federal subsidies to help pay them, resulting in lower cost to most of them as well.
* The ad also claims that “Sestak voted to gut Medicare.” That’s a wild exaggeration. It’s true that the law calls for restraining the future growth of Medicare spending by about $555 billion — about a 7 percent reduction spread over the next 10 years. And millions who now have private Medicare Advantage plans are likely to see their extra benefits reduced. But that hardly amounts to eviscerating the program.
* An ad attacking California’s Sen. Barbara Boxer claims that she voted to “cut spending on Medicare benefits” by $500 billion. But Boxer didn’t vote for cuts in benefits. Rather, as we note above, the law puts restraints on the growth of future spending, mostly payments to hospitals and other providers. And that won’t necessarily lead to cuts in benefits, except for Medicare Advantage plans.
* A third ad, attacking Jack Conway in Kentucky, also makes misleading references to higher taxes, Medicare cuts and higher premiums.

Note: This is a summary only. The full article with analysis, images and citations may be viewed on our Web site:

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Some Thoughts from Lynne Hybels


grandma and her great grandchildren

A Few Things I Believe

by Lynne Hybels


I believe in lighting a candle in the morning, looking out the window, and doing nothing for a good twenty minutes.  Most of us could use a lot more nothing in our lives.

I believe my friends keep me sane.  For years I lived in isolation, an introvert introverting, and I almost lost my mind.  I do better when I live in community.

I believe in stories, yours and mine, for they are the basis of community.  And they have the power to heal, inspire and awaken us.

I believe great-grandmas and newborns and women of every age in-between do better when their lives intersect often.

I believe devoted aunts and uncles are critical to the wellbeing of every child.  (It doesn’t much matter whether they’re aunts and uncles by blood or in spirit.)

I believe women are the bell-weather for a society; the future of a culture depends on how women are treated.

I believe we must live intentionally and choose hard everyday or we will lose our own best self.  We need to say no often so we can say a few important yeses.

I believe most of us need to simplify our lives.  That looks different for each person but it always seems to require getting rid of something (household clutter, clothes we never wear, destructive relationships, photos of people we don’t know, responsibilities we shouldn’t have accepted to begin with).

I believe that suffering can be redemptive, that the deepest pain can become the most beautiful poetry.  But it’s not easy.

I believe in the power of play and that a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down. Sometimes I can only get my work done if I play very loud music.

I believe in silence—as prayer, as spiritual practice, as healing balm.

I believe there are times when we must not be silent.  There are issues we need to cry and scream about: that millions of women and children are sold into the sex trade each year, that a billion people live on less than a dollar a day, that we are raping the earth with our careless use of resources.

I believe in recycling and that disposable plastics should be outlawed.

I believe it is heartbreaking that 80% of 18-24 year olds polled in America said the most important thing in life was to be very rich.  (This is also a sad indictment of preceding generations, my own included.)

I believe in chopping vegetables by hand, in homemade soup and whole grain bread, and in the value of sitting long around a table with friends and family.  I wish I did this more often.

I believe we should only wear clothes we love, and that nothing beats a pair of perfectly fitting jeans and a black turtle neck sweater.  Black turtlenecks are an aging woman’s best friend.

I believe beautiful stationary will always have its place, email notwithstanding.

I believe that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly.  (It’s a heady thing for a recovering perfectionist to type those words without choking.)

I believe in 30-minute bursts of constructive activity and that it’s more important to start a project than to finish it.  (If I start something, I may eventually finish it.  If I’m paralyzed by the thought of having to finish it, I won’t even start it.  Yeah, I know, I’m a deeply troubled person.)

I believe the most universal experiences are generally the most profound.  Every birth leaves its witnesses speechless and every death is a tragedy never before known.

I believe that in almost any sad situation showing up is half the battle; if you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything.  But show up anyway.  And attend funerals as often as possible.  You’ll never be sorry you attended a wake or funeral, but might regret staying away.

I believe that no grandmother has ever loved her grandchild as I love mine.  I believe that every grandmother thinks that.

I believe women are the greatest untapped resource in the world.

I believe soulful women could take world by storm if they wanted to and that if ever the world needs a feminine storm to pass through it, it is now.  Unfortunately, I don’t know how many soulful women are left.  Too many of us leave our true lives unlived and our souls die.

I believe this is unspeakably sad: that our lusty, powerful, loving, sexual, spiritual, life-giving, grieving, compassionate, righteously angry, childishly silly, wonderful feminine souls die.

I believe we can—and must—help each other come to life.

http://www.lynnehybels.com/articles.asp