Wednesday, November 26, 2008

China calls off EU summit over Dalai Lama visit

As we get ready for the great turkey massacre of '08, it should be remembered that across the globe, many things are still happening. Thousands of children are still dying in Africa everyday because they do not have clean water or food, and tribal people are stilling being pushed out of their home and land and into the mass insanity our civilized cultures call "progress". I feel that one of the most significant stories being played out right now is the plight of the Tibetan people. China, the worlds greatest economic player perhaps, is trying to assimilate this beautiful and ancient culture, and is now beginning what looks like a larger scale effort to bully the rest of the world into playing by their rules. The Tibetan culture and land must be preserved and protected; they may have the key to a more peaceful world. Read on for more information. Free Tibet!

China calls off EU summit over Dalai Lama visit
Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:27am EST
By Darren Ennis and David Brunnstrom

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - China, angry at plans for Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to visit Europe, has called off a summit with the European Union next Monday which may have forged a joint response to the global economic crisis.

The 27-nation bloc expressed regret at Beijing's decision but pledged to continue to promote a strategic partnership "at a time when the global economic and financial situation calls for very close cooperation between Europe and China."

France confirmed President Nicolas Sarkozy would meet the Dalai Lama at a December 6 ceremony in Poland to mark the 25th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize to former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, despite Beijing's displeasure.

"Nicolas Sarkozy ... is free to decide his agenda," government spokesman Luc Chatel told reporters.

China's foreign ministry had no immediate comment. But earlier this month it warned Sarkozy, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, that the EU risked losing "hard-won" gains in ties with Beijing if he met the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in the mountainous region, occupied by Chinese troops from 1950. China calls him a "splittist" for advocating self-determination for his homeland.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, the head of euro zone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, and EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia had been due to meet Chinese counterparts on the sidelines of the Lyon summit to discuss the global crisis.

The European Council on Foreign Relations,a think-tank, said the meeting should have been used to forge a partnership on the crisis.

Its Asia director Francois Godement called the Chinese move "unprecedented" and "aggressive" and said it exposed the EU's failure to coordinate policy toward Tibet and the Dalai Lama.


"The sorry spectacle of European disunity over the financial and economic crisis has confirmed to China's leaders that Europe is not a unitary actor and can be publicly provoked at no significant political cost," he said.

"It is urgent for Europeans to realize the steep political price for their failure to agree on common principles and practice for their China policy."

It was not immediately clear what commercial fallout, if any, there would be from the row.

More here

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hey there you

If you like me bloggin', please click on the "follow this blog" link to yer right, mister. Your welcome.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A World Without Water

I just watched an amazing movie called FLOW:For the Love of Water. It highlights effectively the key issues that face us in terms of Water usage issues. Check it out here:


I also found this movie that I am watching now. It is similar to FLOW, and quite good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Baby, your home

Baby, You’re Home

Liz Rubincam for The New York Times

ROOM FOR ONE MORE? Alecia White Scharback between contractions, surrounded at home by her mother, Judith Deierling White; her sister, Amanda White; and her husband, Joshua Scharback, before giving birth to Noah with the aid of a midwife.

Published: November 12, 2008
SQUATTING in an inflatable pool in the open kitchen of her apartment in Astoria, Queens, a very pregnant Alecia White Scharback, nude except for a bathing suit top, groaned in pain. It was 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 1, and Mrs. Scharback, 29, an actress, had been in labor for more than 36 hours. The contractions had been only mildly painful at first, but had grown increasingly fierce as a second night gave way to morning.

At the height of one contraction, Mrs. Scharback closed her eyes, bent forward and rocked her hips back and forth. “It hurts, it hurts, it hurts,” she moaned. Using a stainless steel refrigerator to steady herself, she vomited. Joshua Scharback, her husband, rushed to her side and gently stroked her head.

Mrs. Scharback was giving birth at home because she did not want any medical interventions in the process unless she needed them, she said. But after another four hours, she was beginning to doubt whether she could make it and was pleading with her midwife, Miriam Schwarzschild, for relief. “Oh, Miriam,” she whimpered, “I can’t.” Ms. Schwarzschild reassured her client: “You can. And whenever you’re ready, you can start to push.”

Home births have been around as long as humans, but since the 1950s, the overwhelming majority of American women have chosen to give birth in hospitals, which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists identifies as one of the safest places for the unpredictable and sometimes dangerous process of childbirth. (The group has officially opposed home births since 1975, and this year the American Medical Association adopted a similar position.)

Recently, though, midwives and childbirth educators say, a growing number of women have been opting instead for the more intimate and familiar surroundings of home — even in New York City, where homes are typically cramped warrens of a few hundred square feet and neighbors often live close enough to hear every sneeze and footstep.


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Rainforest fungus makes diesel

Colorized environmental scanning electron microscope photo of Gliocladium roseum, an endophtic fungus that produces myco-diesel hydrocarbons. (Photo courtesy of Gary Strobel.)
Click here to enlarge image

( -- A unique fungus that makes diesel compounds has been discovered living in trees in the rainforest, according to a paper published in the November issue of Microbiology. The fungus is potentially a totally new source of green energy and scientists are now working to develop its fuel producing potential.
"This is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce such an important combination of fuel substances," said Professor Gary Strobel from Montana State University. "The fungus can even make these diesel compounds from cellulose, which would make it a better source of biofuel than anything we use at the moment."

The fungus, which has been named Gliocladium roseum, produces a number of different molecules made of hydrogen and carbon that are found in diesel. Because of this, the fuel it produces is called "myco-diesel".

"Gliocladium roseum lives inside the Ulmo tree in the Patagonian rainforest. We were trying to discover totally novel fungi in this tree by exposing its tissues to the volatile antibiotics of the fungus Muscodor albus. Quite unexpectedly, G. roseum grew in the presence of these gases when almost all other fungi were killed. It was also making volatile antibiotics. Then when we examined the gas composition of G. roseum, we were totally surprised to learn that it was making a plethora of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon derivatives. The results were totally unexpected and very exciting and almost every hair on my arms stood on end!"

Link to article

Monday, November 03, 2008

Who Would Jesus Vote For?


Who would Jesus vote for tomorrow (if he was a US citizen, of course)? Would he vote for McCain or Obama? After much consideration, I would have to say that the biblical Jesus would almost certainly not vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin for president and vice president, respectively. He would vote for Barack Obama.

First of all, Jesus Christ was a dark-skinned radical Jew, who was a poor under-educated tradesman. He was so radical that he actually believed that the divine resided within himself, and that he was God and God was he, as opposed to the more traditional Jewish view of a God that was separate from humanity and the world. This radical view basically got him killed by the Romans, who were the occupying military force of Jerusalem at the time. An unrepentant dark-skinned radical preaching that holiness resided within each individual is not the type of person that John McCain and Sarah Palin really seem to include in their myopic fundamentalist vision of America. While they seem to enjoy referencing the common man by occupation, i.e. Joe the Plumber, I'm not sure that they understand the trials and sufferings that the real common man is going through these days in "Real America", i.e. next door. Jesus the Carpenter was not one to be bought by big money and swayed by vitriolic slogans. In fact, he died defending his right as a divine human being to speak his mind and to say the truth that he felt deep inside of his immortal soul.

Jesus Christ was reported to have said that it was "easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle then a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." In a nutshell, Barack Obama wants to tax the rich to feed the poor and support the middle class. Right now, we are taxing the poor and middle class to make the super rich richer. In fact, George W Bush and the US Congress just handed over $700 billion of our taxpayer dollars to the rich so that they can continue creating more wealth for themselves, while allowing us real common folk to suffer job loss, loss of our homes, tight food budgets, huge medical costs, and high gas prices.. Does this make any sense? Not to Jesus it wouldn't. Jesus Christ, dirty with desert dust and sore in the sandals, hung out with thieves and prostitutes, and fed the poor even when low on funds. Jesus did not consider it man's sacred call to pull himself up by his bootstraps and hoard as much wealth as he can. This is the antithesis of his message, which was the theo-socialist concept that God will provide what is needed to those in need, and that the meek shall inherit the earth. Some human beings, through no fault of their own, will always find it challenging to provide for themselves and their families, and others will be able to, through no inherent superior abilities, provide for them. Because of this truth we can practice grace, charity, and compassion in a Godly fashion.

Forget for a moment the name-calling that the McCain campaign is engaging in, with "Socialist", "Muslim", "Anti-American", "Terrorist" as some of the the labels casually thrown about, and focus on what Obama really stands for. He stands for Peace, Hope, and Values.

These are some of the key values in Barack Obama's public statements on faith and politics

• God is constantly present in our lives, and this presence is a source of hope.

"Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: In the end, that is
God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better
days ahead." – Democratic National Convention Keynote Address.

• As Joshua built on the work of Moses, leaders of today – the 'Joshua Generation' – must
build of the foundation of previous generations to move our nation forward.

"The final thing that I think the Moses generation teaches us is to remind ourselves that we do what we do
because God is with us. You know, when Moses was first called to lead people out to the Promised
Land…the Lord said I will be with you. Throw down that rod. Pick it back up. I'll show you what to do.
The same thing happened with the Joshua generation.
Joshua said, you know, I'm scared. I'm not sure that I am up to the challenge. The Lord said to him,
every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon, I have given you. Be strong and have courage, for I
am with you wherever you go. Be strong and have courage. It's a prayer for a journey. A prayer that kept
a woman in her seat when the bus driver told her to get up, a prayer that led nine children through the
doors of that Little Rock school, a prayer that carried our brothers and sisters over a bridge right here in
Selma, Alabama. Be strong and have courage." -Address to Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, Selma,
Alabama, on the Anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

• Faith should not be used as a wedge to divide.

"We think of faith as a source of comfort and understanding but find our expressions of faith sowing
division; we believe ourselves to be a tolerant people even as racial, religious, and cultural tensions roil
the landscape. And instead of resolving these tensions or mediating these conflicts, our politics fans
them, exploits them, and drives us further apart." – The Audacity of Hope.

"Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America – there's the
United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian
America – there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red

States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for
them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking
around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in
the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one
people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of
America." – Democratic National Convention Keynote Address.

• The separation of church and state is critical and has caused our democracy and religious
practices to thrive.

"[Conservative leaders] need to understand the critical role that the separation of church and state has
played in preserving not only our democracy, but the robustness of our religious practice. Folks tend to
forget that during our founding, it wasn't the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective
champions of the First Amendment. It was the persecuted minorities, it was Baptists like John Leland…It
was the forbearers of the evangelicals who were the most adamant about not mingling government with
religion, because they did not want state-sponsored religion hindering their ability to practice their
faith…" – Call to Renewal Keynote Address

• Faith is a source of action for justice.

"Imagine Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address without reference to "the judgments of the Lord." Or
King's I Have a Dream speech without references to "all of God's children." Their summoning of a higher
truth helped inspire what had seemed impossible, and move the nation to embrace a common destiny." –
Call to Renewal Keynote Address

"We should never forget that God granted us the power to reason so that we would do His work here on
Earth - so that we would use science to cure disease, and heal the sick, and save lives." – World AIDS
Day Speech: Race Against Time

"Pastors, friends of mine like Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes, are wielding their enormous influences to
confront AIDS, Third World debt relief, and the genocide in Darfur. Religious thinkers and activists like
our good friend Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo are lifting up the Biblical injunction to help the poor as a
means of mobilizing Christians against budget cuts to social programs and growing inequality…Across
the country, individual churches like my own and your own are sponsoring day care programs, building
senior centers, helping ex-offenders reclaim their lives, and rebuilding our gulf coast in the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina." – Call to Renewal Keynote Address

• Government alone cannot solve all of our problems – we have an individual responsibility to
be our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper.

"And although government will play a crucial role in bringing about the changes we need, more money
and programs alone will not get us where we need to go. Each of us, in our own lives, will have to accept
responsibility - for instilling an ethic of achievement in our children, for adapting to a more competitive
economy, for strengthening our communities, and sharing some measure of sacrifice. So let us begin. Let
us begin this hard work together. Let us transform this nation." - Presidential Announcement

John McCain would like America to participate in an endless war against terrorism forever, regardless of how much life and money it costs. Jesus would not agree that this would be the right thing, the moral thing to do. In fact, it is downright sinful. Jesus said that "You have heard it said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I say if a man plucks your eye from your head, you should pluck out your other eye and give it to him as well." This is a guy who is not screwing around with nonviolence. Jesus is a radical peacenik who would have happily marched alongside Gandhi down to the sea to gather salt. John McCain and the Neoconservatives are pushing this endless war to create an endless source of wealth and power for themselves and their allies. Shall we bring up the book of Revelations and the Beast or should we just let that one lie, and realize that the Bush/McCain agenda is not for God or Love or Peace?

I believe that as a good and honest Christian, it is your duty to vote for a man of peace, hope, and justice that will lead America into a better place; a place where we can care for our disadvantaged citizens as well as pursue our own happiness. I feel that it is a huge mistake to vote Republican just because you are a Christian. Barack Obama is a Christian who worked very hard over the years to become the man he is today, and he has learned an essential truth. Faith is about love, and love is about caring for your fellow human as you would care for yourself. In my obviously strong opinion, voting for McCain is voting for hatred: hatred for those who cannot provide for themselves, hatred for those who have different spiritual beliefs or sexual orientations, and most of all hatred for peace on this earth and good will toward man. Please, vote with your heart and mind, not your faith and dogma.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

We spent last night camping out at Afton State Park. IT was a beautiful night and the moon was bright. Some maples glow yellow. That is all.

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