Thursday, March 29, 2007

the 'other' war

“Let's face it, the war on terror is also a war on difference: cultural, political, religious, racial and even sexual. And the many targets of this war-Muslims, Arabs, Arab-looking people, Latino immigrants, people with thick accents and ethnic features-are being lumped into one single menacing form of otherness. The list goes on to include the poor and the homeless. Dissenting intellectuals, critical artists, socially conscious scientists, and activist gays are all being targeted as well. The others who are “the new barbarians” multiply, threatening Western democracy from without and within…”

From a special commentary by performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña

Monday, March 12, 2007

finally: 'every human life is sacred'

"When torture is employed by a state, that act communicates to the world and to one's own people that human lives are not sacred, that they are not reflections of the Creator, that they are expendable, exploitable, and disposable, and that their intrinsic value can be overridden by utilitarian arguments that trump that value. These are claims that no one who confesses Christ as Lord can accept."


We renounce the use of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment by any branch of our government (or any other government)-- even in the current circumstances of a war between the United States and various radical terrorist groups.

We call for the extension of basic human rights and procedural protections to all persons held in United States custody now or in the future, wherever and by whomever they are held.

We call for every agency of the United States government to join with the United States military and to state publicly its commitment to the terms of the Geneva Convention related to the treatment of prisoners, especially Common Article 3.

We call for the legislative or judicial reversal of those executive and legislative provisions that violate the moral and legal standards articulated in this declaration.

-- Excerpts from "An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture: Protecting Human Rights in An Age of Terror," released March 11, 2007, by the National Association of Evangelicals

the press release has some interest as well

Friday, March 09, 2007

united states of amnesia

"As we peer into society's future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

"Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

"Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

"Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose."

-- Farewell Radio and Television Address to the American People by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1961.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

being unreasonable

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

-- George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903)"Maxims for Revolutionists"

Thursday, March 01, 2007

mind of the shooter

"In our lifetime those who kill
The newsworld hands them stardom
And these are the ways
On which I was raised
These are the ways
On which I was raised

I never wanted to kill
I am not naturally evil
Such things I do
Just to make myself
More attractive to you
Have I failed ?"

-- "The Last of the International Playboys," Morrissey