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Thought Express: A progressive think tank

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Setting up a user-friendly progressive believers portal? Nov. 15th, 2005 @ 08:18 pm
gpv
I found that a lot of the Christian search engines and link directories (and there are many) will not list my website because it's theologically liberal. This means than a lot of other progressive sites can't be found there as well if they don't profess the Nicene Creed or agree that the Bible is inerrant.

So, what about creating one of our own for progressive faith listings? I'd like to take my very long website and chop it up and put it into a much more user-friendly set up. Would there be anyone here willing to assist in the data entry and content management since a project of this sort would require a team of dedicated participants? It doesn't pay anything other than the knowledge that you are building up an internet ministry.

Let's all put our heads together, decide on the format of the new site, and sort out who tackles which topic. But I need people who are truly willing to commit some time so as to make it worth while to have a pro designer come in and overhaul the set-up of the site. :)

Edit: Here is a test template of the site. (Isn't it pretty?) http://www.hostdiva.com/liberalchristians/ The old site has been dumped into it by the pro designer so she could demonstrate to me how to reorganize the info. My next goal after learning how to work with the new set up is to break down some of the info even further and type in descriptions/mini reviews of each link (that's where we will need the most help, I think) so that search functions will be most useful.

Latest edit: I want to thank the web designer for donating her time and energy to completely overhauling the set-up and giving a place to put the beautiful new website. I also want to say that I had no thoughts of doing something like this until she mentioned it, so I really feel that this is something that was just _meant_ to happen. :^)

I also want to thank people who have offered to help thus far. It will be a little while before I am ready to assign jobs. I need to do what I said I would do up above and learn the ropes of the site. But if you really are anxious to be of help it would be _lovely_ if you could maybe write some articles or share your thoughts on "paper" so that this site can have some content of its own beyond the great big links directory that it is now. Just drop a line below and let me know what you are thinking of writing about. Or if you have something already written, like a sermon or journal entry, that isn't published elsewhere where there would be a copyright issue that would be useful too. It would be nice for visitors to hear from people other than myself, I think. :^)

Update: 12/13

I am getting pretty good at managing the back end of the site. I still have more sections to add and fill out and I have more work to do cross-refercning some of the other major sits. I think since that I am saving HTML straight to the server that it would be best if I am the only one to work from that end of things. (I have already overwritten and lost some work. *sob sob* Fortunately, the webdesigner clued me in to saving all the pages as raw html in notepad. Hence the reason I will be the only one working from the back end of the site. If it gets overwritten I have the back-up already to re-publish.)

But I am still looking for folks who can write and who are great at putting together newletter info. The site can generate blogs and newsletters and I would really like to capitalize on that, so keep thinking about what you can add to those areas. :^)

Nov. 14th, 2005 @ 02:48 pm
greenlantern46
A simple thought on patriotism.

If Bush calls those who do not support his war, his agenda, unpatriotic, where does that leave those unthinking and uncritical people who do climb on his gravy train? Would that make them complicit? Would they be accomplices or accessories to his crimes?

If he has committed high crimes, misdemeanors and perhaps treason, does this also mean those 'patriots' in Congress, regardless of party affiliation, are also liable and perhaps likely, to stand in the dock, as accused?

What is a patriot? One who follows blindly the concept "My country right or wrong?" Or is the individual who respects the Constitution, the Declaration, the Bill oif Rights, who believes in 'traditional American values' of charity, of helping the helpless, of offering succor to those in need the patriot? Is the one who follows blindly without regard, the road taken, or the one who questions authority gone wrong, the true patriot?

Personally, I will continue to question authority, follow where it is right to do so, support my country when it maintains a true path and wave goodbye to those in manacles and shackles and orange jumpsuits as they do the perp walk to a private and privatized hell called prison.

Nov. 9th, 2005 @ 11:25 am
greenlantern46
One wonders how those corporations who manufacture both electronic voting machines and ATM machines maintain the faith of the public in their ATM machines when obviously, their BBV machines appear susceptible to questions regarding their integrity in elections?

And why can one obtain a receipt from other electronic systems such as cash registers and ATMs and not a BBV machine?

We are losing our democracy in this country one questionable election at a time. How much longer will the public stand for this? It is long past time for publicly funded, paper ballot or paper trail balloted elections and campaigns.


Perhaps we could outlaw lobbyists? Or any campaign contributions not directed towards an entrance gate for clean campaigns and elections? Or if this does not work, then maybe we should open the budget process to national elections, taking the lobbyists and politicians out of the direct mainstream of taxastion and budgetry.

There is no point to the pretense of democracy if we can't point to the honesty and integrity of our ballot box outcomes.

Let's get clean campaigns, publicly financed elections and a paper trail system out there for 2008. Time to move folks.

The Long Now seminars online. Nov. 4th, 2005 @ 01:11 pm
yes_justice
Long Now

http://www.longnow.org/



"The Long Now" Brian Eno Nov 02003
Listen: Vorbis, MP3 Part: 1, 2, 3, 4
Read: PDF, DOC, SXW


"The Art Of The Really Long View" Peter Schwartz Dec 02003
Listen: Vorbis, MP3
Read: DOC



"There's Plenty of Room at the Top: Long-term Thinking About Large-scale Computing" George Dyson Jan 02004
Listen: Vorbis, MP3


Several more behind cut.Collapse )


Nov. 4th, 2005 @ 10:07 am
greenlantern46
One has to wonder, what with all the investigations now underway, and those that will spring from new revelations and information, just how long it will be before the GOP starts spouting publicly, that Bush stole two national elections and was never truly our President. One wonders how long it will take them, in a desparate attempt, to keep the GOP from shriveling up and blowing away, from distancing themselves from Bushwa. One wonders how long it will be before they declare he was no Republican to begin with?

Aides, lobbyists, Congressional reps, Pentagon and State officials, state and local reps down to the level of election officials. All faced with a payback for their criminal behavior, their corruption, cronyism and evil. How will the GOP recover from this tearing open of the heart and soul of conservatism. How long will it be before the worms and other infestations so exposed at the heart of the GOP will be sewept from memory?

The conservative knows no bounds, recognizes neither law nor limit placed upon them. They control most of the MSM. So how long will it be before they are re-writing the history of their boundless corruption and criminality?

We wait and wonder just how their Spindarella will dance.

I myself hope they never recover. I wish to find them consigned to the ashbin of history.
Other entries
» Rescuing Christianity.. proposals on how to do this
A rebuttal to the following post that liberal Christians are responsible for the thoughts and actions of the more zealous conservative ones:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x5186160

"We spend lots of time pointing to the Muslim community and telling them that their religion of peace has been hijacked. We show them point after point after point and then we tell them if they want to save their religion -- if they truly are a religion of peace -- then *they* need to do what only *they* can do: CLEAN HOUSE.

I'm sorry if Christians on DU or any other message board are offended to be lumped in with the fundamentalists of their religion. Please remember, these zealots are a problem in *your* community which is affecting us all and endangering peace. Now, just like the Muslims, it is time for you to prove you are a religion of peace. *You* need to go do what only *you* can do: CLEAN HOUSE."

My thoughts on this:
Claiming that liberal Christians are the only ones who have to speak up when the conservative ones become hateful is no more fair than expecting the French to keep the Quebecois in line. Yes there is some common language there, but that's all the connection they have. If what conservative believers do is a threat to all of the American public, then it is up to every citizen (not just people from liberal churches) to speak out about this. (And I do believe some conservative believers are a threat when they start talking about limiting what rights women have over their own bodies, who can marry whom, who can adopt children, whether or not real science is taught in schools, blaming natural or manmade disasters on the "sinful" behaviors of some people...)

But changing conservatives would be very hard to do. There is a reason why some of them are so "in-your-face" and trying to meddle in other peoples' lives. Conservative evangelicals believe that they have to keep on converting others and making their government align with their religion because they have been indoctrinated into thinking that they have to save others in order to maintain their own salvation. As long as the leaders can peddle the fear of HELL we have a problem. In order to fix this we need to get rid of the concept of eternal Hell. In order to do that we have to get them to let go of Bibilical literalism. In order to do that we have to get these black and white thinkers who take comfort in absolutes to give up their faith and transform it into something compeletely different.

This is not an easy thing!! I married into a family of conservative evangelicals. The fear they have of stepping a toe out of line is unbelievable!

But we have the same battle for faith that we do for political liberalism. We need our own airwaves. Just as the RW bloviators own the political airspace, so do the RW people of "faith". We need an alternative to the 700 club and TBS and Angel. There is no Air America for liberal believers. The closest I can find is Day 1 which is still not liberal enough for the likes of me.. though it is better than the 700 club.

I have tried to get people to write in to DISH, DirecTV, Xm, and Sirius to demand equal programming. But we need backers. We need funding. We need programming to offer.

This is NOT going to be easy.. and we need help. There is an alternative for people who want to listen to or view spiritual programming, but we have to make it happen.

Would Jesus love a liberal? You bet!
http://www.geocities.com/greenpartyvoter/liberalchristians.htm
» Indictments tomorrow? For Libby, Rove, Cheney?
Who gets nailed and for what?

Inquiring minds want to know.
» Abramoff, DeLay, and Frist, hopefully only the beginning
Editorial cartoons on the subject: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x4935064
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"Corrupt Connections: Widening Abramoff Scandal Exposes GOP Cronyism"

Crony capitalism the name of the Republican game. Their slogan is "take care of your friends and leave the risks of the free market for the suckers." That would be John Q. Public.

From Halliburton's overcharging in Iraq to Enron's manipulation of the California energy crisis and now the emerging hurricane reconstruction boondoggle, we witness what happens when the federal government is turned into a glorified help desk and ATM machine for politically connected corporations.

But the defining case study on the deep corruption of the Bush administration and the GOP is emerging from the myriad investigations of well-connected Republican fundraiser and lobbyist Jack Abramoff. For starters, Abramoff, a $100,000-plus fundraiser for George W. Bush's presidential campaigns, is under federal indictment on wire fraud and conspiracy charges. He is also under congressional and FBI investigations.

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0927-28.htm
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"The Paper Trail Behind Tom DeLay's Indictment"

WASHINGTON - September 29 - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was indicted by a Texas grand jury Wednesday on a charge of conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws. Following the indictment, DeLay announced that he would temporarily step down from his post as House Majority Leader.
The indictment alleges that $190,000 was illegally funneled from six corporations through DeLay's nonfederal group and then transferred to the Republican National State Elections Committee.

All of these transactions took place through DeLay's 527 group called Texans for a Republican Majority. These 527s are nonfederal fundraising accounts formerly used in elections by candidates and parties. Their use by parties and candidates for federal office was banned, effective after the 2002 election.

http://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0929-14.htm
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"Taking Down Tom DeLay"

Local prosecutors don't usually deal in the affairs of state. It is their job to indict petty crooks and put them behind bars.

But when the affairs of state are corrupted by petty crooks, sometimes only a local prosecutor has the skills - and the sense of duty - that is required to address the crisis.

That explains why Wednesday's criminal conspiracy indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican who essentially runs the Congress, came not from Washington but from Austin.

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0929-24.htm
_______________________________________________________________

"'The Hammer' Gets Hit"

The Republican Party's once-copious political capital is quickly eroding. As we go to press, House majority leader Tom DeLay has just been indicted by a Texas grand jury on one count of criminal conspiracy in a fast-moving money-laundering case. "I have notified the speaker that I will temporarily step aside from my position as majority leader," DeLay said in a statement following the stunning final day of the grand jury's term. The Republican Party's go-to guy, famously nicknamed "The Hammer," finally got whacked.

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0929-26.htm
________________________________________________________________

"Bill Frist, The Former 2008 Presidential Candidate"

It's one thing to lie in politics. It's another to be caught in a lie. Bill Frist has been caught in a lie. His political future is over. The immediate question is, can he survive as Majority Leader?

The Tennessee Republican claims he wasn’t privy to any inside information leading up to the sale of his stock in Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the country’s largest for-profit hospital chain founded by Frist’s father, Thomas, and brother, Thomas Jr., weeks before the company reported lower than expected earnings July 13 that sent the stock south.

Now the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the matter, a spokesman for the senator said last week, to determine if Frist broke any laws.

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0928-20.htm
________________________________________________________________

"A Stock Explanation From Dr. Bill Frist"

Apprehended again in dubious ethical circumstances, Bill Frist has assured the nation that he is faultless. Although he is suddenly under suspicion of insider trading for dumping his stock in Hospital Corporation of America, the Senate Majority Leader predicts that he will be vindicated when probes by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are completed.

Whatever those investigations may conclude, however, the facts that have emerged so far cast a deep shadow on the integrity of Dr. Frist and the standards of the U.S. Senate.

Ever since the telegenic surgeon from Tennessee entered the Senate in 1995, he has been plagued by questions about H.C.A., the gigantic, highly profitable hospital and insurance conglomerate founded by his father and brother. While Dr. Frist billed himself as a health-care expert with a “free-market” orientation, he also had tens of millions of dollars invested in H.C.A. stock.

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0928-32.htm
» Sept 24th Peace Rally compilation thread at Democratic Underground
Peace Rally SUPER THREAD: Pictures, videos, news articles, person on the street reports
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x4870788

Some images from the day.:

This one is so big you'll want to go there to see it, but it is GREAT!! http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/DC9-24i/Rally%20at%20DC%20disc%202%20004.jpg






» Action alert! Tell congress and the media the Katrina investigation must be an independent one
Americans, here are some places where you can quickly fill out email forms and send some notices to your Senators and Representatives and the media in a hurry. If you need a letter to send you can use the example below (note you may also want to ask why there are so many no-bid sweetheart contracts being handed out to companies like Kellogg, Brown, and Root and Halliburton. http://ga3.org/campaign/howdarethey ):

Move-on wants an independent investigation commission. You should too! http://moveon.org/

Democracy for Americ petition: http://tools.democracyforamerica.com/petition/katrina/

Hold ** responsible for Katrina!: http://www.workingforchange.com/activism/action.cfm?itemid=19560

No tax cuts in the wake of Katrina!: http://capwiz.com/fconl/issues/alert/?alertid=8002046&type=CO

Below is a sample letter that you can use as a model to send either to the Congress or to the media.

At no time should a person who is accused of wrongdoing investigate himself, yet this is exactly what George W. Bush is proposing to do in light of the terrible recovery and assistance response after hurricane Katrina. And bipartisan efforts to investigate are also out of order, since bipartisan committees oversaw Homeland Security, which oversaw the now-gutted and crippled FEMA which had been folded into it.

Homeland Security is the first responder in national disasters, why was it one of the last groups to show up? The media was able to get in there, as were celebrities, surely rescue teams could as well. And as for shots fired, our National Guard comes under heavier fire every day in Iraq, surely they could manage the small amounts of gunfire from hysterical people trying to get their attention?

Why did the president not act sooner when implored by the Gulf State governors to send assistance both for evacuation and rescue efforts? (The famed flooded New Orleans school buses were useless to the mayor for evacuation purposes without drivers and federally-approved destinations; responsibilities that fall squarely in FEMA’s lap.) A single phone call from the president from the Oval Office, or Air Force One, or the Senator’s birthday party in Arizona, or the Naval Base Coronado after he finished strumming the guitar he received would have sufficed. NorthCom was in place and ready to serve, but the president did not request their aid. He knew that a disaster of this magnitude was possible based on the test scenario called “Hurricane Pam”, the warnings from the under-funded Army Corps of engineers about the levees in New Orleans, and the alerts explaining the dire consequences of Katrina from NOAA; he cannot claim ignorance of the impending calamity.

Why did the president hand out positions like Head of Homeland Security and the three top positions in FEMA to people who had no disaster management experience that would make them valuable in such placements? Are former political campaign managers and horse association attorneys who embellish their résumés the best the President can muster for these all-important jobs? What good are emergency officers who were so out of touch with the situation on the ground that they didn’t find out for DAYS that there were thousands of people trapped at the New Orleans Convention Center? Some “heck of a job”. Mr. Bush had nothing but high praise for former director James Lee Witt, why didn’t he keep the man on the job?

Why did the president stall on the acceptance of or flat out refuse international assistance? Why was the U.S.S. Bataan sent to the gulf only to sit there and watch helplessly from the waters as it awaited the call to action? FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security appear to have been instructed to reject help from people all over the United States. For what? Pride? Red tape? A misunderstanding of how very bad the situation in the gulf turned out to be?

Now the president is rumored to be thinking of passing more tax cuts. It was bad enough to do it during a time of war, but with the Gulf disaster stacked on top of that there is no justification—none—for cutting taxes at this time.

But there is every justification to demand an independent investigation. After 9/11/2001 we were promised that our nation would be made safer, our emergency responses made more efficient and streamlined. They weren’t. Someone dropped the ball and it landed smack dab on the Gulf Coast.
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