By the way, David will be in Seattle on June 12th. I will be there. Will you?
Chad (The Left) Shue
"The War Prayer" follows:
”It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
Sunday morning came -- next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams -- visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation.
Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory –
An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:
"I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause and think.
"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.
"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory--*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(*After a pause.*) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.”
Chad (The Left) Shue
McSame's rejection of Parsley comes just one day after he was forced to reject the endorsement of Rev. John Hagee after audio of Hagee asserting Adolf Hitler was "sent by God" to drive the Jews back to Israel surfaced on the internet.
While it is certainly prudent for McSame to reject these men for their statements, what has me concerned (and should have many concerned) is McSame's seeming lapse of memory in who sought whose endorsement. Could this be yet another "senior moment" for the nearly 72 year old senator?
Senior Moment or Flip-Flop? Does it matter?
Chad (The Left) Shue
Of note (for me, anyway) is where my two Senators, Cantwell and Murray, voted on each of these amendments; and, of course, where the presidential candidates came down on these votes. Sen. John McSame couldn’t break himself away from a fundraising event to report to his “day job.” Therefore, he did not vote on any of the amendments.
First to the amendment approving billions in funding for a broad array of domestic programs, including increases in GI education funding, extension of unemployment benefits, levee construction in New Orleans, and more. On this amendment both Cantwell and Murray voted “Aye”; as did Senators Clinton and Obama. The amendment passed, 75-22.
On the amendment which included a withdrawal timeline, troop readiness requirements, no permanent bases and no torture, again Cantwell and Murray voted “Aye” while Clinton and Obama both vote “No” (That’s right, both Democratic candidates for President voted against the amendment establishing a timed withdrawal from Iraq) The amendment failed, 34-63.
Finally, on the amendment to award Bush and his contractor buddies $165.4 BILLION for the continuing occupation of Iraq, Cantwell and Murray voted “No” (are you reading this Rick Larsen?) as did Sen. Clinton. Sen. Obama DIDN’T VOTE!? In the end, the amendment passed, 70-26.
With as much railing as I have done against my two senators over their “Iraq votes”, I have to say that I am pleased to see them finally voting together on the side of the majority of their constituents. As for those who would be the nominee of the Democratic Party, I have to say that they are simply keeping the waters muddied. Senators Clinton and Obama, with these votes (non-vote) are saying, while it may be fine to campaign on a platform of troop withdrawal, no permanent bases, adequate rest for the troops, etc. they are not willing to put their votes where their mouths are. YET, Senator Clinton is willing to vote to cut off funding for the occupation. And what’s with Obama’s “Not Voting” on that portion of the bill?
Because the US House voted down the Iraq funding portion of this “supplemental” there will need to be another vote in that chamber (I guess, after Memorial Day) to reconcile the two versions of the bill before it goes to Bush’s desk. Ironically, Bush is expected to veto the final bill due to the added spending on the GI Bill and the domestic spending items. With what I have come to expect from this Congress, I am guessing that, in the end, Bush will have his way so as to not distract from the presidential campaign.
All the while, people continue to die for a lie.
Chad (The Left) Shue
Congressional Progressive Caucus
73 Strong and Growing: Open to New and Different Ideas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Julie Nickson
May 22, 2008 202-225-6221
House Adopts Lee Amendment to prevent President Bush from making Commitments related to the security of Iraq absent congressional approval
(Washington, DC) – Today, by bipartisan a vote of 234 to 183, the House adopted Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization Act requiring congressional approval of any agreement between the U.S. and Iraq making commitments related to Iraq’s security.
In November 2007 President Bush and Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed the “Declaration of Principles for Friendship and Cooperation,” which included an unprecedented commitment to “defend Iraq against internal and external threats.”
A long term security agreement is currently under negotiation. This amendment will ensure that any such agreement will require Congressional Approval, either by treaty ratification or otherwise.
A traditional Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) would not require congressional approval, but the agreement being negotiated appears likely to go far beyond a traditional SOFA.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's administration has said that any agreement negotiated between the U.S. and Iraq must be approved by the Iraqi parliament before it becomes law.
“If prior review and approval is good enough for the Iraqi Parliament, it is essential for the Congress,” said Lee.
“This amendment is about the future. Do we want the next President and Congress to inherit a situation where our troops are committed to fight Iraqi civil wars and any entity the Iraq deems a threat? Do we want to do that without having even debated it or allowing Congressional review? The answer is: no.”
Chad (The Left)Shue
There isn't another man
"...For me, issues do matter. As an Iraq war veteran, I think Obama will be bad for our military and domestic security. Obama will not unite America, let alone his party.
If Hillary does not win, I will join the growing number of Democrats who will be actively supporting Republican John McCain. At least I know where he stands" (emphasis TLS).
— Kerry Watkins, Lake Stevens
Now I have met Kerry and have found him to be a good man. He ran for city council in Lake Stevens last year and was well supported by his LD and the county party in his failed run. However Watkin's embrace of John McSame in lieu of Hillary Clinton simply validates my assertion that Hillary Clinton represents the Republican Wing of the Democratic Party. (Oh how I miss Chantel when I hear things like this)
As for Watkins' claim that he "know(s) where he (McSame) stands"; I can only suggest the he check out my previous post.
Chad (The Left) Shue
Then, today, I received an email from Congressman Larsen, via Brooke Davis at his re-election campaign, asking me again to attend the convention and vote to nominate him for his upcoming walk through election. I could not help but send Brooke/Rick some of my concerns:
We should all have Rick's job security. Odd isn't it that he fails to mention the single issue that holds this nation hostage to a failing economy and a generational debt that will be be a harsh burden for my children and my granddaughter. Rick's failure to take a strong leadership role (from his position on the Armed Forces Committee) to end our continuing occupation of Iraq; indeed his co-ownership of this travesty that he signed on to when he failed to support the only bill that has been offered to date to demand a draw down in American forces leaves me cold and resolute in my refusal to add my name in any way that might encourage support for him.
Rick's refusal to support actions that would lead to the impeachment of George W Bush and Dick Cheney by claiming that he finds no evidence of lawlessness simply begs the question, "Which constitution did he swear an oath to protect?" The fact that he is even concerned about FISA is in direct realtionship to Bush's admission that he ordered warrentless wiretapping of American citizens. The fact that top administration officials devised and ordered specific torture techniques to be used against uncharged, untried, prisoners apparently is a justifiable violation of the Geneva Conventions and other international treaties to which the United States is a signee to Rep. Larsen.
As I say, we should all have Rick's job security. He should be gald that he does not need my vote."
And then, only moments later, the icing on the cake -
From True Majority came this news:
I wanted to share some breaking news. The House of Representatives just voted 149 to 141 to cut off funding for the war in Iraq.
This was followed by votes to put significant restrictions on President Bush's war policy, including a timeline for withdrawal, and creating a new GI Bill to help returning veterans."
Wow! but wait...........Larsen's vote? Why, with the 141 - of course!
Chad (The Left) Shue
"Washington, DC – On Thursday, May 15th, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) will hold a forum to hear testimony from more than a dozen veterans of the war in Iraq who will share eyewitness accounts of the ongoing military occupation. Testifiers, who are members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, will discuss the ineffectiveness of the President’s “troop surge,” the dehumanization, abuse and killing of innocent Iraqi civilians, the strain that the continued occupation is having on military readiness and unmet need of Iraqi war veterans. The event, which is scheduled from 9:30am-12:30pm in 2261 Rayburn House Office Building, is open to members of the media, as well as the public."
WHAT: Iraq war veterans testify on Capitol Hill
WHO: Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Other Members of Congress TBD…
Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War
WHEN: 9:30am-12:30pm Thursday, May 15
WHERE: 2261 Rayburn House Office Building
This might be a good opportunity to ask your member of congress to be among the "Other Members of Congress TBD…"
Chad (The Left) Shue
”With the ghosts of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower looking down, President Bush finally admitted today that he has been touched by the true cost of war:
For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families: He has given up golf. (emphasis TLS)
"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," he said. "I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."
In unity and spirit with Americans who will never see a child or a parent again on account of his policies, George W. Bush made the heart-wrenching decision to take a five-year hiatus from the game. He chose to make this sacrifice several months after the invasion of Iraq.”
Just in case you miss the point they conclude:
”If past Commanders-in-Chief were alive, they'd wretch at such a statement from this wartime "leader." Imagine Washington at Valley Forge. Imagine Lincoln on the eve of the Civil War. Imagine what Truman went through in August 1945. And then listen to this asshole:
"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," he said. "I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."”
Chad (The Left) Shue
This is the same message I sent to my congressman, Rick Larsen, just this morning. I'm not holding my breath.
Chad (The Left) Shue
From Rick Perlstein at The Campaign for America’s Future comes this acknowledgement of the passing of Mildred Loving;
”Mildred Loving was a black woman who married a white man in Virginia, which was against the law in the state. She took her case all the way up to the Supreme Court, which struck down interracial marriage bans in the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision. Today it was announced that she has died at the age of 68. But what her AP obituary doesn't mention—hopefully others will correct the oversight—is that last year Mildred Loving came out foursquare for marriage equality for same-sex couples as well, and insisted you should, too.”
Her statement from June 12, 2007 follows:
Loving for All
By Mildred Loving
Prepared for Delivery on June 12, 2007,
The 40th Anniversary of the Loving vs. Virginia Announcement
"When my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, DC in 1958, it wasn't to make a political statement or start a fight. We were in love, and we wanted to be married.
We didn't get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn't allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family. You see, I am a woman of color and Richard was white, and at that time people believed it was okay to keep us from marrying because of their ideas of who should marry whom.
When Richard and I came back to our home in Virginia, happily married, we had no intention of battling over the law. We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn't that what marriage is?
Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the "crime" of marrying the wrong kind of person. Our marriage certificate was hanging on the wall above the bed.
The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." He sentenced us to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if we left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile.
We left, and got a lawyer. Richard and I had to fight, but still were not fighting for a cause. We were fighting for our love.
Though it turned out we had to fight, happily Richard and I didn't have to fight alone. Thanks to groups like the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and so many good people around the country willing to speak up, we took our case for the freedom to marry all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that, "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men," a "basic civil right."
My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God's plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation's fears and prejudices have given way, and today's young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.
Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights.
I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about."
Just thought you would like to know.
Chad (The Left) Shue
ARE THEY WITH US OR AGAINST US? WTF??????
Fortunately there are members of Congress like Colorado Congressman (and US Senate Candidate) Mark Udall who were quick to take up the challenge. In a press release issued on Friday, Rep. Udall said in part:
"Senator Clinton claimed yesterday that I either stand with her on this proposal or stand with the oil companies. To that I say: I stand with the families of Colorado, who aren't looking for bumper sticker fixes that don't fix anything, but for meaningful change that brings real relief and a new direction for our energy policy. We can't afford more Washington-style pandering while families keep getting squeezed.
"It is exactly the kind of short-sighted Washington game that keeps us from getting real results to our energy problem. Experts across the ideological spectrum agree that it will increase the deficit, drain money away from Colorado roads and bridges, and hurt the environment, all without actually making prices lower for drivers."
For the sake of the Democratic Party and certainly for the country, I hope the remaining "Super Delegates" are listening hard to what is coming out of the Clinton campaign. I am beginning to wonder whether keeping Hillary out of the Whitehouse is enough or is it time to ask her to declare herself the 2nd member of the Independant LIEbeman Party.
[UPDATE - 05/04/08] - As if the "with us or against us" language isn't enough to show that Clinton is now channeling George W. Bush, check this out from her Sunday TV "news" shows:
"Pressed to name an economist who supports such a (Gas Tax) holiday, Clinton demurred. "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists because I know if we did it right, if we actually did it right, if we had a president who used all the tools of his presidency, we would decide it in such a way that it would be implemented effectively.""
I mean, as W has shown us, there is no need for the president to listen to experts when they simply know that THEY ALONE have the answers. Unbelievable! By the way, I wonder if Hillary realizes that, just as in October of 2002, George W Bush is the president whom she will be relying upon to use "the tools of his presidency" to do the right thing with this gas tax scheme that she and John McSame are pushing today?
Chad (The Left) Shue
Rather than just post something based on a snippet of information I waited until I had a chance to do some more looking around. So today I ran across this item from Military.com
“Dems to Add GI Bill Funding to War Bill”
April 24, 2008
”WASHINGTON - House Democratic leaders plan to add extended unemployment benefits and new education funding for veterans to President Bush's war funding bill while dropping lots of other party priorities.
Facing a veto threat, Democrats such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi don't want to try to add billions of dollars for roads, bridges and other ideas such as heating subsidies for the poor and increases in food stamp benefits.”
I don’t know about you, but I read this as, ‘We don’t want to do anything that might make Bush angry before the presidential election – this includes giving as much as he wants (more even) for the continuing occupation of Iraq.’ In fact, the article continues,
”Bush has promised to veto any bill that exceeds his pending $108 billion request to fund U.S. military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a tougher line than he took last spring, when he accepted about $17 billion in domestic funding as part of a $120 billion war funding measure.
Democrats are in fact planning on not only providing the $108 billion to fund the war through the Sept. 30, the end of the 2008 budget year, but they're likely to add another $70 billion for next year so they don't have to vote on war funding again in the fall election season.” (Emphasis TLS)
I hope the families of the 51 American service members who lost their lives in the Middle East in April understand just how the Democratic “leadership” has decided to run out the clock at the expense of those lives (and the many more to come before …we just don’t know when). Oh, and about the “new GI Bill” -
Adding the much deserved educational benefits for our veterans to the “supplemental” ”…would make it more palatable for anti-war Democrats to provide money until the next president takes office.”
Personally, I hope they choke on it.
Chad (The Left) Shue