Monday, July 31, 2006

Thoughts for the Day -- - 08/01/06

"Each of us has the right to assess the roads which lie ahead and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well."

-- Maya Angelou

The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing. They believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself.

- Wang Yang-Ming

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Thoughts for the Day -- - 07/31/06

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." -- Lao Tzu

"Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost."
Helen Keller

"Great is the road I climb, but the garland offered by an easiereffort is not worth the gathering."
-- Sextus Propertius (50BC-16AD) Roman Poet Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 29, 2006

No Strings Attached

by Mike Barres

Recently we had someone pass through our town, and they stopped at our church to receive some help. We were able to help them, and this person attended a couple of our church services.

God reminds us to reach out to those in need:

"'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'" (Matthew 25:38-40)

The Holy Spirit says, "He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished." (Proverbs 17:5)

This person also joined us one afternoon for our weekly prayer time. At the end of it, he said, "It's so nice to come to a place where you are loved, with no strings attached."

Do we offer love with strings attached?

What if we helped people with the requirement that they come to church?

I have heard of churches that discontinued their benevolence programs because the people never came to church. That sure wasn't "no strings attached help."

Do we expect something in return when we do things for people?

Let's love, "with no strings attached," as unto the Lord. I once was a part of an outreach that did "Random Acts of Kindness." We handed out cold drinks to teens on the street and even gave roses to all the women in an office. We would say, "This is a gift from ... (add the name of the church) with no strings attached."

Some churches have outreach programs to children and teens mid-week. Sometimes they have a difficult time getting them to come to church on Sunday.

Is that ok? Are we willing to reach out to them anyway, if they don't come Sundays?

Jesus said:

"But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful." (Luke 6:32-36)

(c) 2006 Mike Barres

(c) 1996-2002, Heartlight, Inc.

Thoughts for the Day -- - 07/29/06

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.   
-- John Andrew Holmes
Power is the ability to do good things for others.

-- Brooke Astor

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Expect God's Best!

a message from Joel & Victoria Osteen

Today's Scripture

"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." (Psalm 5:3)


Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

Our God is a god of "Suddenlies!" God can suddenly break an addiction. He can suddenly heal your body. He can suddenly give you that promotion. When you keep your heart open, expectant, and filled with faith, it gives God something to work with. In the same way Jesus turned the five loaves of bread and two fish into lunch for 5,000 men (Matthew 14:17), God will take your faith in Him and turn it into the provision you need!

The enemy's goal is to steal your hope. He wants to get you down and discouraged so you will give up and settle for less than God's best. Don't be deceived! No matter how many disappointments you've encountered, God can turn things around for you in a split second of time! One touch of His favor can suddenly restore relationships! One touch of His goodness can solve that problem you're facing today! Just one touch from Almighty God can instantly change your life!

A Prayer for Today

God, each day I come before You with my joys, my concerns, my praises, and my requests. I will wait patiently and expectantly for Your answer. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Joel Osteen Ministries, 3700 Southwest Freeway, Houston TX 77027



Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Middle East Buddy List

Unless you work for the UN, understanding the politics of the Middle East is tantamount to understanding quantum physics.  However, the Buddy List Chart by Slate is a good place to start your study.  plk

Does Hezbollah get along with Egypt? What about Hamas and Iran?

By Christopher Beam and Noam Rudnick
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006, at 5:04 PM ET

Last month, Hamas militants tunneled into Israel and kidnapped an Israeli soldier. Israel immediately invaded Gaza. Hamas began lobbing rockets into Israel. The Lebanese group Hezbollah kidnapped two more Israelis near the Lebanon-Israel border. Israel responded by carrying out airstrikes against Lebanon. Egypt and Saudi Arabia condemned Hezbollah for instigating the violence. Syria, Iran, and Lebanon called Israel's retaliation an excessive use of force.

Confused? We are too. Slate's Middle East Buddy List breaks down the relationships between the countries, terrorist organizations, and political factions who are fighting it out in the current conflict. Who likes whom? Who are the bitterest of enemies? And which groups don't really know where they stand? Click here to open an interactive chart that tells you everything you need to know.

Christopher Beam is a Slate intern.
Noam Rudnick is a Slate intern.

Article URL:

Monday, July 24, 2006

Message for the Week --- Raise your expectations!

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Charles Spurgeon wrote "Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly. Others give but an occasional pluck at the rope. But he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might."

Some might take this to mean that we need to beg and plead desperately for God to answer our prayers. I don't think so.

I believe that we must pray, expecting for God to bring the answer and do the work because, among many other reasons, He is faithful, just and loves us with an everlasting love!

Raise your expectations today! Expect God to do something great and we'll believe along with you to see mighty breakthroughs!

This devotional was provided by Worthy Devotions.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


PRAYING FOR PEACE by Marianne Williamson

Like many people, I'm both glued to the news and horrified by it. My thoughts and feelings have been thrown out of order, into some kind of disarray that at times surprises me. We're all being challenged by world events to see just how deeply our convictions lie, and how and where we're ready to apply them to the realities of the world.

For myself, if I'm sure of anything I am sure of this: the mortal mind, as it is currently and commonly configured within human consciousness, is inadequate to the demands of the times in which we live. As Gandhi said, "The problem with humanity is that it's not in its right mind." We are being asked by history, by evolution, by God, to evolve beyond all thoughts of separation to see the unity of all children of God. Ultimately we will leave behind as quaint such notions as "national sovereignty." We will realize that all of us are one. Or else... No one has a monopoly on human suffering, and no child is more precious to God than any other. Only when we have learned to love as God loves will the world be uplifted to where it naturally belongs. It's one thing to say that, or to even believe it. But how do we apply it to such a moment of world crisis as confronts us now?

A Course in Miracles says that God does not give us victory in battle; rather, He lifts us above the battlefield. Our greatest spiritual contribution to this moment is to remember, in the words of the Course, that "beyond this world is a world I want." Beyond this three dimensional reality where the horrors of war are raging, there is another field of possibility alive in the Mind of God. Our work as individuals is to claim that world beyond this one, with passion and conviction; it is a world in which Jews and Arabs and Christians -- and everyone else as well -- are united not through the body but through the spirit. Close your eyes and see with your Inner Eye what the newspapers cannot show you. See the light withinn every Israeli, the light within every Palestinian and Lebanese, the light within every human heart, emerge from the center of their souls and then merge into One. See this, hold onto the vision, pray that it become a reality on the face of the earth, and then surrender it into the hands of God.

What the world needs now is a miracle, and it is miracles to which we are all entitled. For miracles occur naturally as expressions of love; they are in fact the natural order of the world when the mind is in its natural state. Our task, quite simply, is to love in a way that we have never loved before. Let us love even those with whom we do not agree, perhaps even those whom we might think we hate. Let us love them not personally, of course, but impersonally. Let us reach for the Love of God within us, that we might reach the Love of God within them. Let us all awaken to a higher truth, that we might be subconscious awakeners.

Neither Israel nor Lebanon need any of us to fall into this nightmare with them. What they need is for us to remain spiritually awake -- to the truth of their Oneness in the Mind of God. Because all minds are joined, our being awake will help them all to awaken. Their souls are making an ultimate sacrifice for each of us, showing what lies ahead for the world should we not remember who we truly are.

God bless Lebanon. God bless Israel. God bless every child of God. And God, please help us to live in peace. We need a miracle. And we need it now.

Please check Marianne's website at

Copyright © 2006 Marianne Williamson. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lying about the Ruinous Cost of the War in Iraq

Published on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 by
by Huck Gutman

While Congress was in session this week debating such momentous issues as whether to prevent the courts from interfering with the Pledge of Allegiance and whether to make it illegal to use women’s bodies to raise stem cells (in point of fact, all stem cells are taken from in vitro fertilization), a remarkable report came out in a minor government committee, a report on the cost of the US "global war on terrorism." What is particulary revealing in the report is its provision of very specific numbers for the cost, in dollars, of the Iraq War.

As almost everyone knows, unless they have very faulty memories, the initial estimates of the Bush administration were that the war in Iraq would not cost American taxpayers much

In a fateful September 2002 interview with the Wall Street Journal while the Bush administration was planning the Iraq war, the President’s economic advisor Lawrence Lindsey proposed an "upper bound" estimate of $100 billion to $200 billion for its cost. The numbers were too high for the President’s liking, so he did what all irresponsible people do: He fired the messenger. Mr. Lindsey was gone.

In damage control mode, Mitch Daniels, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, spun the Lindsay estimate by saying that it was “very, very high.” Note that it was not just high, or very high – but very, very high.

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld got into the spin circus, saying, “the Office of Management and Budget, has come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost.” If you don’t like the numbers, you can not only fire the statistician, you can hire another one to give you the numbers you want to hear. As Mark Twain once said, “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.”

But facts are facts. The cost is far higher than "under $50 billion," far higher than even the high end of Mr. Lindsay's estimate. As Ms. Belasco has revealed, the cost of the Iraq war through fiscal 2006 is $319 billion.

In addition to this, she notes that both CRS and the General Accounting Office have found that the Defense Department, in reporting on the costs of the war, has omitted substantial amounts of war spending. So the figure is likely to be higher, and it will of course keep growing as the tragic occupation continues.

And will grow still higher as we care for our wounded veterans, and as we re-supply a military which has used up many of its material resources.

Thus, it was not only about weapons of mass destruction that the Bush administration misled the country. The enormous fiscal cost of the President’s misadventure in Iraq means that there is a lot less federal money to address the crisis in health care, the lack of affordability of college for young people, and the need to find alternatives to fossil fuel.

The Bush administration knew this would happen, of course -- the war in Iraq is, among other things, a way for neoconservatives to insure that the federal government fails in its mission to “promote the general Welfare,” a mission mandated by the U.S. Constitution. . We will have a government less able to serve the needs of its people not because we want that kind of government, but because so much of our financial resources will have been poured into the sands of Iraq. Between tax breaks for the wealthy and the costs of the war, President Bush is bankrupting the American treasury.

This, then, is the truth, revealed more clearly than ever before: The Bush administration, which thought up the war and then urged it upon the American people, lied to us, lied about the cost of the war. If Americans knew what the war in Iraq would cost in dead, brave, American soldiers; if Americans knew how many other brave soldiers would return gravely wounded; if Americans knew that making war on Iraq would cut the heart out of HeadStart and Medicaid and would bankrupt state and local governments as revenue sharing declined and unfunded mandates increased -- if, in other words, Americans had known the costs of the war in Iraq, they would not have been eager to support the President.

It has all been a tissue of lies, from weapons of mass destruction to the irresponsible low-ball estimates of the war’s costs, to the unfulfilled claims that Iraqi oil would pay for our troops.

Even today the administration refuses to tell the truth. There is still an ongoing deception about cost. Appropriations for the war in Iraq are supplemental rather than regular, which means that our military costs in Iraq are off-budget. Over 90 percent of the costs of the "war on terror" have been provided for in supplemental appropriations bills or as "emergency" funding. The President’s apologists will no doubt say that all wars start this way, with supplementals. But wars have never before continued to be funded in this off-budget manner, as Stephen. Daggett of CRS has revealed in a recent report.

In 1951, at the start of the Korean War, supplemental appropriations comprised almost three quarters of all appropriations. By the next year, supplementals were under 3 percent. By the third year of the Korean War, supplementals were down to zero.

In 1966, the first year of the escalation in Vietnam, supplemental appropriations were seven times as high as regular appropriations. The next year, they were roughly equal. In 1968 supplementals were less than a fifth of regular appropriations, and by 1970 they were down to zero.

But the Bush administration will not take responsibility for its actions. Mr. Rumsfeld will never acknowledge that his planning for the war was all wrong, and Mr. Bush will never acknowledge that the costs of the war are real, and not somehow accidental. He seems to believe that if the spending is off-budget, we will somehow never have to pay for the war.

Thus, by looking at numbers, we can see anew the breathtaking ability of the President and his administration to lie about the costs, fiscal and human, of their decision to make war with Iraq. They lied about the numbers before the war, they hide the real costs each day and each month, and they put the whole mess ‘off-budget’ so that – they hope – nobody will notice how large is the bill that comes due each year.

Huck Gutman teaches at the University of Vermont and is on the staff of Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Drowning In Debt & Maxed Out

You may not be, but odds are you know someone that may be quietly drowning in debt and/or maxed out. Sadly, that's become the state of many middle-class Americans. Equally unfortunate are the often experienced feelings of shame, guilt, and failure and hopelessness that accompanies this financial situation. There is a stereotype that most middle-class persons that find themselves deeply in debt brought the situation on themselves by irresponsible behavior. However, more and more persons that tried to play by all the rules to achieve the American dream are finding that dream buried beneath a mountain of debt.

According to a report by the Center for American Progress:

"A common but misplaced assumption is that the growth in debt among middle-income families — those with incomes roughly between $25,000 to $70,000 a year — is the result of over-consumption through increased credit card debt. Rather, growth in debt is primarily due to heavier borrowing for investments in homes or education, both of which saw dramatic price increases in recent years. The cost of a college education, for example, grew by 24.6% between 2001 and 2004, after adjusting for inflation. "

Now that the changes in bankruptcy law and the changes to the required credit card minimum payment fees are history, the indebtedness of the American middle-class in no longer a national headline story. However, the number of families and individuals still drowning in debt has not decreased.

The Economic Mobility Program of the Center for American Progress is convened a
conference Wednesday, July 19 to examine the issues of household debt. During the conference I am sure that there was discussion of what corporations, the government and individuals can do. However, one of the most important points to recognize is that we live in an economy that promotes spending and indebtness. When the economy is sluggish politicians and economic leaders can be heard encouraging people to spend more.

People need to know that they can get out of debt and live debt free. It is not easy and will not be without some pain, sacrifice and patience. Living debt free requires a major change in mind-set and an understanding of the system that is designed to promote indebtedness.

Pamela Lyn

Note: even though the conference date has passed you can still obtain the conference materials from the website


July 17, 2006

Debt Matters: Raising the Profile of Household Debt in America

As no time before, debt matters in America. For the first time on record, the total debt Americans owe exceeds the total income Americans earn. Americans' struggle with rising debt is contributing to a declining personal savings rate that has fallen to levels not seen since the Great Depression -- below zero percent. Families have often taken on record amounts of debt to manage low-income growth, thereby falling prey in many cases to unscrupulous lenders. Even the United States military has recognized the problem of household debt, naming predatory lending as one of the top 10 issues facing military families today. At the same time, many of the corporations that finance debt are reporting record profits.

To highlight these issues, the Economic Mobility Program of the Center for American Progress is:

Hosting an event: As the dramatic run-up in household debt is relatively recent, the implications for families and the economy are not fully known, and the public’s appetite for policy solutions has not been fully explored. To further examine these issues and put debt on the national policy agenda, the Economic Mobility Program of the Center for American Progress is convening a conference on household debt on Wednesday, July 19, titled “Debt Matters: Raising the Profile of Household Debt in America.” The conference will bring together state and national leaders to discuss creative approaches for addressing household debt and relevant issues in the credit and lending markets. Join us

Screening a film, Maxed Out:

Credit cards are one of the leading causes of the rise in personal debt. Today, 144-million Americans with credit cards (an average of 12 per household) owe some $813-billion in credit card debt. Sixty percent of households with credit cards — about 90-million Americans — do not pay their outstanding balances in full regularly. Not surprisingly, the companies that finance credit card debt are reporting record profits.

On Wednesday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m., the Center for American Progress will host a screening of Maxed Out. The film shows how the modern financial industry really works, explains the true definition of "preferred customer," and tells us why the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. By turns hilarious and profoundly disturbing, Maxed Out paints a picture of a national nightmare that is all too real for many of us. Maxed Out won critical acclaim at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas, in March, and Simon & Schuster plans to publish a memoir next year, which is based on Director James Scurlock's interviews and travels during the making of the film. Click here for more details.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

" There's a sucker born every day"
-- P.T. Barnum
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Medicare Part D Prescription Plan -- The Cruelest Deception Ever Passed on the American Public

"If the prospect of more sick and dying senior and disabled citizens (  because they can't afford their maintenance medications   ) isn’t enough to scare lawmakers into changing the existing program, perhaps this will put them over the edge: ER visits and long-term hospital care for those who don’t take their prescribed medications are already subsidized by Medicare and they’re a lot more expensive than prescription drugs are. In the long run, the government will actually end up spending more on this type of care than they would have spent if they had just paid for people’s drugs in the first place."  -- Britt Cass
If you're a senior citizen, or someone like me, who has spent hours trying to assist a family member and other senior citizens with dealing with the Medicare D prescription plan,  you probably know by now that the Medicare Part D prescription plan is not worth the paper it was drafted on.  And, if you are one of the thousands of seniors that are reporting that they were enrolled in plans that they did not select then you are downright angry.   But, if you're a young person that is not familiar with the Medicare D prescription plan, you may be under the illusion that this doesn't affect you.  Think again.
As Britt Cass points out when an elderly or disabled person can't afford their maintenance medicines they run a higher risk of requiring emergency medical treatment  and possibly hospitalization.  If the ER visit or hospital stay is covered by Medicare, and Medicare is part of the federal budget,  and the federal budget is paid for by taxpayer dollars then the failures of the Medicare Part D prescription plan affects all of us. 
Many seniors fell into "the doughnut hole"  ( the $2,250 window) before mid-year and are now paying full-price, out-of-pocket for their prescription medicines as well as paying the insurance premium for the coverage.  For some seniors this may mean the difference between $100-$150/mo versus $500-$600/mo for medicine.   Not an easy adjustment for any budget .    And if a senior tries to save money by purchasing their prescriptions from a wholesaler like COSTCO it takes them that much longer to reach the $2,850 deductible so their Medicare D coverage will kick in again.
And they said that this prescription plan was supposed to make their lives easier?    
COW DUNG !!!   
The only lives made easier by the Medicare Part D prescription plan are corporate executives of pharmaceutical companies,  lobbyists, and the congressmen who already have the best health insurance plan in the nation.    I would like to dump a nice fresh cow pie on each of their desks .  But since I can't do that I'll do my best to make sure that everyone I can reach knows the facts before they go to the polls again,
P.T. Barnum coined the phrase,  "There's a sucker born every minute".    The American Congress has acted like it lives and breaths this philosophy.   Now, it's to the American public to see who'll be a sucker in November.
Pamela Lyn
Medicare's Hollow Heart

by Britt Cass

July 13, 2006

Britt Cass is the National Academy of Social Insurance intern at the Campaign for America's Future. CAF has released a new report, Falling into the Doughnut Hole: How Congress and the Drug Industry Created a Trap for American Seniors and People with Disabilities.

Everybody has heard of the costly and inefficient failure of the Republican Medicare prescription drug plan, Part D. But few people understand how for many Americans, even as they continue to pay a monthly premium, Part D provides no coverage at all.

The roots of the problem go back to Part D’s creation. As a thank-you to the pharmaceutical industry for its large campaign contributions, the Republican majority in Congress allowed the industry to play an important role in writing the legislation. Not surprisingly, they wrote it in such a way that would maximize profits for the industry. This is why under the terms of Part D, the government is forbidden from using its bulk-buying power to negotiate for lower prices.

As a result, prescription drugs purchased through Part D are much more expensive than the same drugs would be if they were purchased through other government agencies, like the Veterans Administration. To offset government costs, at least somewhat, seniors and the disabled—i.e., the very people who were purported to benefit from the plan—pick up a large share of the bill for these expensive drugs.

The other trick the writers of the law included to keep government spending down is a coverage gap.

In the majority of Part D plans, enrollees have 75 percent of their drug costs covered (after a $250 deductible)—but only until they have incurred $2,250 in medication costs. After they hit this mark, seniors and the disabled must pay the full cost of their prescription drugs until they have reached $5,100. This means that Medicare enrollees, who are often on small fixed incomes (the median is $14,664 per year), must spend $2,850 before their coverage will kick in again (after that, Medicare covers 95 percent of drug costs).

This colossal gap in coverage (which, you may notice, is larger than the initial coverage itself) is popularly known as “the doughnut hole.” Even worse, those who have fallen into the doughnut hole must still pay their monthly premiums, even though they are paying every last cent of their drug costs during this period out of their own pockets. Talk about adding insult to injury.

It’s hard to say for sure how many people will fall out into the doughnut hole. The best guess available comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation, whose conservative estimate is that almost 7 million people will reach the gap in 2006. Out of these, many will never be able to spend the $2,850 required to get out of it. And the doughnut hole is getting bigger every year: The law is written in such a way that the actual amount of money that people will have to spend to get out of the hole is going to increase annually.

Older and disabled Americans who have been struck by illnesses require expensive medication to stay alive. These are people with ailments such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease. The program’s Republican supporters and the pharmaceutical industry claim that by monitoring their spending and substituting generics for brand-name drugs, everyone should be just fine. They also point out that not every plan has a coverage gap.

These suggestions must be taken with not just a grain, but a whole shaker of salt. True, generics are cheaper, but not all brand-name drugs have equivalent generics. And while it’s true that not all plans include a doughnut hole, the vast majority of them do, and the few that don’t have a coverage gap have prohibitively high premiums.

Some point out that consumers can take steps to cut down on their spending to afford what they need. And sure, they can cut out luxury items, like vacations or dinners out. Spending still too high? They may be forced into cutting out dinner altogether or cutting back on their prescription drug intake. The problem is, people are taking these drugs because they need them. For the beneficiaries these are not “luxury” items. They are not little expenses that can be easily managed with proper budgeting. Past studies have shown that placing caps on prescription drug benefits causes people to skip doses more often, visit the emergency room more often, and, most frightening of all, to die sooner. In fact, the annual mortality rate for those with capped benefits is 22 percent higher than it is for those without such a cap.

If the prospect of more sick and dying senior and disabled citizens isn’t enough to scare lawmakers into changing the existing program, perhaps this will put them over the edge: ER visits and long-term hospital care for those who don’t take their prescribed medications are already subsidized by Medicare and they’re a lot more expensive than prescription drugs are. In the long run, the government will actually end up spending more on this type of care than they would have spent if they had just paid for people’s drugs in the first place.

It is absolutely imperative that the doughnut hole be eliminated. This could be done without blowing spending levels through the roof if Medicare was allowed to negotiate for lower prices, a practice which has been proven to lead to considerably lower prices in the past. If the program remains in its current state, it will be nothing short of disastrous for senior and disabled Americans with high drug costs.

The only barrier to these important changes is the political power of the pharmaceutical industry. American lawmakers should choose to help our senior and disabled citizens over special interests. The question is, will they?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Are you wondering why it's so hot today?

For Brits enduring the current heatwave here's a good article that explains the reasons why?  plk

Is it just a freak summer? Or proof of global warming? As temperatures hit record highs, what's fuelling the heatwave?

 Read the entire article at:

Cars Soaring emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), an inevitable waste product of burning coal, oil and gas, are causing the atmosphere to retain more of the sun's heat and change the climate, with potentially catastrophic results.

Britain's road transport emissions grew by 8 per cent between 1990 and 2000 and without any further policy measures to combat this, scientists predict emissions in 2010 will be 15.6 per cent higher than in 1990.

This means cars and lorries in five years' time will be pumping out 46.5 million tons of carbon a year compared with 40.2 million tons in 1990.

Electricity generation Power generation accounts for the biggest single source of carbon dioxide and equivalent greenhouse gases, with 61 million tons being released into the atmosphere in Britain in 2004.

This was about 40 per cent of our total greenhouse gas emissions.

A switch from power generation using coal and oil to gas, nuclear energy and renewables has led to a fall in annual emissions since 1990.

However, growing energy demands - and the closure of many nuclear power plants over the next decade - makes it by no means certain that this decline will continue.

Aviation Carbon emissions from jet aircraft represent one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gases.

Scientists forecast that by 2030 the amount of CO2 or equivalent greenhouse gases released by UK aviation could produce 16 to 18 million tons of carbon annually; it is also thought that the effect on the climate of releasing greenhouse gases at high altitude could be between two and four times greater than releasing CO2 at ground level.

Cheap air travel does not take into account the cost to the environment.

Cars Soaring emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), an inevitable waste product of burning coal, oil and gas, are causing the atmosphere to retain more of the sun's heat and change the climate, with potentially catastrophic results.

Britain's road transport emissions grew by 8 per cent between 1990 and 2000 and without any further policy measures to combat this, scientists predict emissions in 2010 will be 15.6 per cent higher than in 1990.

This means cars and lorries in five years' time will be pumping out 46.5 million tons of carbon a year compared with 40.2 million tons in 1990.

Electricity generation Power generation accounts for the biggest single source of carbon dioxide and equivalent greenhouse gases, with 61 million tons being released into the atmosphere in Britain in 2004.

This was about 40 per cent of our total greenhouse gas emissions.

A switch from power generation using coal and oil to gas, nuclear energy and renewables has led to a fall in annual emissions since 1990.

However, growing energy demands - and the closure of many nuclear power plants over the next decade - makes it by no means certain that this decline will continue.Aviation Carbon emissions from jet aircraft represent one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gases.

Scientists forecast that by 2030 the amount of CO2 or equivalent greenhouse gases released by UK aviation could produce 16 to 18 million tons of carbon annually; it is also thought that the effect on the climate of releasing greenhouse gases at high altitude could be between two and four times greater than releasing CO2 at ground level.

Cheap air travel does not take into account the cost to the environment.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


No Kudos This Time

 In the past,  I think I've offered kudos for Senator Spectre on more than one occassion.   This can"t be one of those time . plk

When a Compromise Isn't a Compromise

a Talking Point from the Center for American Progress

July 18, 2006

Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) announced that he had struck a "compromise" with the White House over the illegal National Security Agency (NSA) domestic spying program. The bill isn't a compromise for President Bush, who would receive a "blank check" to continue operating the program. Specter, however, has compromised his principles. Specter's latest effort to amend the law — which has been inaccurately portrayed by some in the media as a White House "concession" — "is not a compromise but a full-fledged capitulation on the part of the legislative branch to executive claims of power."

  • The Specter compromise makes court review optional and expands presidential authority. Specter’s legislation does not require Bush to submit the program to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court; it merely gives him the option. Nothing in the Specter legislation requires the attorney general to obtain court approval before engaging in electronic surveillance. The compromise is a sham because it makes optional what Bush is already required to do. Section 801 of the Specter bill also leaves "open the interpretation that Bush has the power to conduct other surveillance outside FISA's purview, a possibility [Bush] administration officials noted with approval."
  • The compromise does away with the need for individualized warrants. Under FISA, individual requests for foreign intelligence surveillance inside the U.S. may be approved if there is probable cause presented to show that the target is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. Under FISA, applications by the government to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance inside the U.S. must show probable cause that the target is a terrorist or spy. The Specter bill repeals this requirement by allowing the FISA court to authorize the entire NSA surveillance program. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution explicitly requires particularized suspicion before approval of a warrant.
  • There is a better approach to address the perceived problems with the current law. Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, has introduced a bill that asserts FISA "is the exclusive way to conduct electronic surveillance of U.S. persons and makes clear that any attempt to listen in on Americans, or collect telephone or e-mail records, must be conducted in accordance with FISA or Title III of the criminal code." Another positive approach may be found in an earlier bill on which Specter collaborated with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), offering a genuine compromise that would meet the claimed need for greater speed and flexibility. Their bill, which also maintains the exclusivity of FISA, proposes specific, targeted amendments "to address the administration’s need for additional flexibility to pursue intelligence-gathering activities by providing additional resources and streamlining the current FISA procedures." Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) also have proposed bipartisan legislation.

To visit the Talking Points archives, please click here.

Criticism With Love

Instead of always harping on a man's faults, tell him of his virtues. Try to pull him out of his rut of bad habits.
Hold up to him his better self, his real self that can dare and do and win out.
  -- Eleanor H. Porter, 1868-1920

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming.
-- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people  happy.  -- Samuel Goldwyn
These are a few of my favorite quotes on criticism and praise.

When it comes to praise and criticism I try to practice the philosophies of  being quick to praise and slow to criticize as well as  focusing criticism on an individual's actions and not the person. 
I don't always succeed but I try.   Often in the course of blogging,  I can become very passionate about my subject matter and not always practice the philiosophy of criticism with love. 
It gets very hard not to make personal atacks, when I see hurricane victims waiting for days to be rescued; women and young girls recounting the stories of brutal rapes and other sadistic cruelties in refugee camps;  corporate criminals that are responsible of thousands who have seen their retirement savings vanish;  wildlife reserves threatened so suburban teenagers can drive SUVs to the mall two blocks away  and, politicians that do nothing but convene meetings, make promises and give themselves raises,  but I try to resist. 

Recently, the major television networks have given a platform to conservative hate merchants like Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, and Melanie Morgan. One of the country's largest syndicates, Universal Press Syndicate, distributes Coulter's column. Beck was recently hired by CNN Headline News. Morgan broadcasts from a radio station owned by Disney. And all three -- and countless others like them -- are regularly given guest spots on cable-news networks.

I've added my name to a petition urging the media to stop spreading hate, and you can, too, at:

You can find other news and actions at 

Pamela Lyn


Monday, July 17, 2006


by Katherine Noyes

The Challenge

Feral cats exist in the shadows of just about every community. These stray cats usually live short, miserable lives without consistent food, water, shelter or veterinary care. Living in colonies with other feral cats, they struggle in a world filled with threats; many don't survive beyond one year.

Feral cats are a direct result of our failure to spay and neuter our pets. Millions of stray and homeless pets are euthanized in animal shelters each year.

Trap Neuter and Return programs are recommended by most animal organizations as the most humane and effective approach for improving the lives of feral cats while reducing their colonies. As part of these programs, feral cats are humanely trapped, taken to a veterinarian for spaying or neutering, and then released where volunteers commit to providing them with adequate food, water, shelter and monitoring.

Trap Neuter and Return programs are not without their critics ― most notably, those concerned about protecting birds and other wildlife ― but partnership efforts have shown that collaboration is possible.

Feral cat success stories abound, and the future is looking brighter for stray cats everywhere. But a world free of homeless pets depends on the help of caring volunteers like you.

Start at home. First and foremost, make sure your own pet cats are spayed and neutered. The feral cat cycle originally began with pet cats, so this is the place to make sure it ends.

Look around. If you have seen feral or stray cats in your immediate neighborhood, commit to having them spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and then caring for them in the long run. Talk to your local shelter to see if they have a Trap Neuter and Return (TNR) program you can participate in. (To find your local shelter, visit the ASPCA or you can enter your ZIP code at Petfinder or Pets 911.) Alley Cat Allies offers an extensive selection of guidelines and resources for feral cat caregivers, and the Humane Society offers a self-paced online course called Trap-Neuter-Return: How to Manage a Feral Cat Colony. Neighborhood Cats offers an assortment of online materials, including slideshows and videos, on dealing with feral cats, as does the Feral Cat Coalition.

Spread the word. Talk to your local shelter, animal control department, and veterinarians about establishing a community Trap Neuter and Return (TNR) program, if there isn't one already. The Animal Spirit offers an assortment of downloadable educational materials including a feral cat brochure. Alley Cat Allies offers brochures specific to veterinarians and animal control agencies, as well as a broad array of feral cat factsheets. The ASPCA has a list of model Trap Neuter and Return programs that have achieved great results.

Adopt from a shelter. Commit to adopting cats from animal shelters, not pet stores or breeders, which just make the pet overpopulation crisis worse. Adopting a cat from a shelter is one more way you can give a homeless cat a chance.

Laugh Medicine


The Pastor asked an energetic young man to help him fill some vacancies in the Sunday School teaching roster. After looking over the church roll and determining who was available, he asked one man if he would help the Pastor by teaching a class of young boys.

The man responded saying, "Let me think about it and pray over it. I'll let you know."

After a week without the man's response, the man was asked again if he would take the job of teaching the young boys.

Again, the man replied, "Let me think and pray about it. I'll let you know."

After another week and still no response, when the man was asked again if he would teach the class of young boys, he replied, "I don't think I can take the class, because I don't think I am being called to teach."

The young man replied, "What do you mean you aren't called to teach? I've called you three times myself." - Lawrence Brotherton
Forward this joke to a Friend: Forward to a Friend

Check out the WWJ website for….
More Jokes:
Just jokes:
Waxing Lyrical:
If Only I'd Thought of it:
Laughing at Ourselves:

© Walking With Jesus Ministries Charitable Trust: As this material is freely received, use is freely given, indeed encouraged, for non-commercial purposes. Acknowledgement of the source is always appreciated.

Thought for the Day

he following is an E-Mail Ministry message. If you are not already a

subscriber and would like to be, please see the bottom of this message.

UNSUBSCRIBE and CHANGE OF ADDRESS information at the end of this e-mail.

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I cannot change the way I am,

I never really try,

God made me different and unique,

I never ask him why.


If I appear peculiar,

There's nothing I can do,

You must accept me as I am,

As I've accepted you.


God made a casting of each life,

Then threw the mold away,

Each child is different from the rest,

Unlike as night from day.


So often we will criticize,

The things that others do,

But, do you know, they do not think,

The same as me and you.


So God in all his wisdom,

Who knows us all by name,

He didn't want us to be bored,

That's why we're not the same


-- Author Unknown


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Stray dogs a new draw among Delhiites

May this become a world-wide trend.  Maybe if man can begin to take responsibility and care for animals it will finally begin to do this same for other human beings.  plk
Stray dogs a new draw among Delhiites :
Prashant K. Nanda (Indo-Asian News Service)

New Delhi,
 July 10, 2006

More and more animal lovers are now preferring to adopt as pets stray dogs rather than expensive pedigree ones, giving these homeless creatures a new lease of life.

"More than any European breeds, I love stray dogs and it's more sensible to adopt them.

They get a place to live, besides love and care, and you get a faithful pet," said Shankar Ghose, president of a social organisation, Charkha.

Inspired by Ghose, a number of his friends and relatives have also started adopting these dogs, whose numbers in the capital and in other cities are probably legion.

We never take care of the animals and when they turn violent, people make an issue out of it," said Ghose, adding "these dogs are extremely well-behaved".

Said Alex Oropeza, who recently adopted a puppy: "I think stray dogs need more care and attention.

R.T. Sharma, president of the Pet Animals Welfare Society, said people are now approaching animal welfare organisations to help them in adopting stray dogs.

Besides Delhi, the trend is prevalent in adjoining satellite towns of Gurgaon and Noida as well," Sharma said, adding they ask people to fill an adoption form before taking a puppy home.

Ajay Gulliani, a veterinary doctor, said stray dogs are more immune to diseases but they do not need extraordinary care like Europeans breeds.

"They just need to be vaccinated once and they are quite comfortable with the climate here.

In comparison to the foreign breeds, these dogs have lesser chances of being infected with disease.

In short, the maintenance is quite low," said Gulliani adding that some foreigners in India too are adopting them as pets.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


Looting the Congo

an article by Friends of the Congo
"The Congo is a classic case of modern day serfdom and the depravity of those seeking to benefit at the expense of others even if millions more Congolese must die."

Looting of Congo Friends of Congo (2006-07-10) London based Global Witness recently published a scathing report entitled Digging in Corruption: Fraud, Abuse and Exploitation in Katanga's Copper and Cobalt Mines.

The United Nation's four reports from 2001 -- 2003, reports by Human Rights Watch, Fatal Transactions reports, independent journalist Keith Harmon Snow's work and the Congolese parliament's Lutundula Commission Report all clearly identify the link between corrupt Congolese officials and foreign mining companies, mainly from Europe, Canada, United States, Australia, South Africa and of late India and China.

Global Witness says the mining sector in Katanga is characterized by "widespread corruption and fraud at all levels."

See the reports section of the FOTC website!

The rapid pace at which the wealth of the Congo is being sold at below bargain basement prices is shameless.

The rebels, turned so-called politicians, and multi-national corporations are the primary beneficiaries of the Congo resource grab.

Gerhard Kemp of the Rand Merchant Bank, of Johannesburg, SA is quoted in the Global Witness report (p.34) saying "The Congo is so rich in mineral wealth, you can't just ignore it.

Without a doubt this is the greatest land grab party of the modern era.

The South African Mail and Guardian reported that there is an international scramble for the wealth of the Congo and that "billions of dollars will be made."

Congolese live on an average of $100 per year and 80 percent of the population lives on 30 cents per day.

The Congo is a classic case of modern day serfdom and the depravity of those seeking to benefit at the expense of others even if millions more Congolese must die.

Surely, King Leopold II would have a rye smile on his face knowing that over 100 years later the plunder and pillage that he began continues uninterrupted with impunity.

Many of these contracts are signed for an entire generation, 30 -- 40 years, which for all intents and purposes condemn a generation of Congolese to serfdom and poverty, whereby their resources are plundered to benefit foreign corporations.

In fact, Global Witness reports that deals signed with Phelps Dodge, Global Enterprises Corporate Ltd and Kinross-Forrest (Kinross Gold Corporation of Toronto, Canada and George Forrest International of Belgium) deliver 70 percent of the Congo's known copper reserves to these foreign corporations.

Should the pilfering continue unchecked, Katanga province will serve as a precursor of what is to come for the entire country.

This reinforces what Congolese say is the under-belly of the election process whereby the international community is working feverishly and spending heavily to legitimize the current client regime so that the unfettered pilfering of the Congo can continue (See interview with Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja by Pambazuka News).

The underdevelopment and impoverishment of an entire generation is being carried out while a perverse alliance between corrupt government officials and big business line their pockets. Surely such a proposition is repulsive to any nation or people who claim to be moral, just or civilized. No human rights group or concerned celebrity can claim to be fighting poverty with any moral veracity and be silent or ignore the plunder and rape of the Congo. People of conscience and goodwill can hardly sit idly and do nothing as another generation of Congolese is in the process of being condemned to forced labor, poverty, and mass death. Friends of the Congo

Email: Voice: 202-584-6512 web: The Friends of the Congo (FOTC) is a collaborative effort of people of African ancestry and others of goodwill who believe that the vast potential of the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be realized with strong support from the International community.

Become a Friend of the Congo and change the future of Africa and the African world.

* Please send comments to or comment online at

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


Sunday, July 16, 2006

How to Identify An American

Thanks to my friend John for sending this message this morning. It's an oldie but goodie that always bears forwarding.

According to, this was published in National Review magazine shortly after the Attack on America in September, 2001. It was written by Peter Ferrara, an associate professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law.


To Kill an American

You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is . So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!!!!)

"An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim.
In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.

The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.

Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

Please keep this going!
Pass this around the World ?
then pass it around again.
It says it all, for all of us

Looking for a Messiah?

If you've been looking for a Messiah, Savior,  High Priest, Leader,  Role Model, etc., etc. here's  a resume that you may want to check out.
Pamela Lyn
The following is an E-Mail Ministry message.  If you are not already a
subscriber and would like to be, please see the bottom of this message.

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Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13

Website: The Bible. Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior and Jesus

Hello. My name is Jesus -The Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my
resume because I'm seeking the top management position in your heart.
Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.


* I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19)
* I formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7)
* I breathed into man the breath of life, (See Genesis 2:7)
* I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13)
* The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through
me, (See Galatians 3:14)

Occupational Background
* I've only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49).
* I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.
* My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15-17)

Skills Work Experiences
* Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to
be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free,
healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty
them that are bruised, (See Luke 4:18).
* I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me
shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33).
* Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse
you of your sins, (See I John 1:7-9)

Educational Background
* I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom and
understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6).
* In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, (See
Colossians 2:3).
* My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto
your feet and a lamp unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).
* I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).

Major Accomplishments
* I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all
times, (See Genesis 1:26).
* I laid down my life so that you may live, (See II Corinthians 5:15).
* I defeated the archenemy of God and mankind and made a show of them
openly, (See Colossians 2:15).
* I've miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!
* There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here.
You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot - the
BIBLE. You don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my


* Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healings,
salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance

In Summation

Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident that I'm the only
candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart.
In summation, I will properly direct your paths, (See Proverbs 3:5-6),
and lead you into everlasting life, (See John 6:47). When can I start?
Time is of the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15).

Send this resume to everyone you know,! you never know who may have an
opening! Thanks for your help and may God bless you!

-- Author Unknown

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Israel Blockades, Bombs Lebanon While Hezbollah Rains Rocket Fire

Two-Day Toll From Conflict Is at Least 57

Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, July 14, 2006; Page A01

DAMOUR, Lebanon, July 14 -- Israel imposed a blockade on Lebanon by land, sea and air on Thursday, striking the capital's airport twice, cutting off its ports and wrecking bridges and roads in attacks that killed at least 47 people in the last two days, nearly all of them Lebanese civilians.

Israel said the radical Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah fired 150 rockets into northern Israel, including two that reached the port city of Haifa.

Israeli jets repeatedly crossed over Beirut before dawn Friday.

At least two explosions were heard, and antiaircraft fire and flares lit up the night sky.

For both sides, the fighting appeared to cross a psychological barrier that had earlier contained the frequent clashes between Israel and Hezbollah.

The Israeli attacks on Beirut's airport -- a morning strike on runways and an evening attack on fuel depots -- were the first since Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Two Israeli women were killed by rocket fire, including one who was struck while having her morning coffee.

The symbolic importance of rockets hitting Israel's third-largest city, relatively far from the border, alarmed several Israeli ministers, who warned of imminent reprisals.

In Israel, the steady boom of Hezbollah's Katyusha rockets triggered air raid sirens and calls to take cover in basements throughout Israel's northern border area.

"This is taking us back 20 years to the Lebanon war," said Rachel Ronen, 54, whose accounting firm was left a shambles by the morning rockets that hit 15 minutes before her secretary was due for work.

Across Lebanon, residents expressed fear that the conflict might drag on days, even weeks.

Lines snaked around gas stations in Beirut, as drivers stocked up on fuel.

Supermarkets were crowded, and the roads that remained open, especially to the Syrian border, Lebanon's last outlet after the airport's closure, were clogged.

Lebanese officials put the toll at 47 dead and 103 wounded, including a family of 12 in the village of Dweir.

Five more soldiers were killed as the Israeli military tried to recover the soldiers and equipment wrecked in the pursuit.

Israeli military officials said they planned to implement a military blockade of Lebanon, employing the same terminology they use to describe restrictions that Israel imposes on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

He said the Israeli military was attempting to force the government "to deploy its army in south Lebanon, take responsibility for the kidnapped, return them" and fulfill a U.N. resolution calling for the disarmament of Hezbollah.

They destroyed fuel depots, sending flames and billowing black smoke arcing across the night sky.

At the Damour River, where Israeli aircraft destroyed the bridge in the early morning, residents of southern Lebanon headed by car, taxi, minibus and on foot for the relative safety of Beirut.

By early afternoon, traffic was passing to Beirut again, even as passengers worried about more airstrikes and traded stories of neighbors or relatives who were hurt or whose houses were damaged in the Israeli attacks.

The first rocket arced over a six-story apartment building and fell into a courtyard where, in a shop that mixes coffee beans for sale to gourmet shops, Danny Skolnick had just arrived for work.

Not long after the first barrage, on the fifth floor of an apartment building whose plate-glass balconies carried the glamour of Miami, Monica Lehrer sat on her balcony with her breakfast.

The blast knocked Lehrer, 50, off the balcony and onto the floor below, sending shrapnel into the building walls and destroying the solar panels in the roof above.


Forget the politicians.   It is time for men and women of faith and good-will around the world to pray, stay informed,  write letters, send faxes,  make phone calls,  march in the streets,  anything ( non-violent)  to demand an end to the escalating madness in the Middle East.   Now is not the time to shake our heads, wring our hands and shrug off the situation as inevitable.   
Innocent men, women and children are suffering on both sides.  For what?  
I don't think they even know anymore.    All most of the current generation knows is that fear and hatred has been the rule in the Middle East all their lives.   I understand the biblical, historical and political reasons for conflict in the regions.  But I ask myself , can either side believe that the God of Abraham,  father of Jew and  Arab, condone this violence against women and children? 
Peace loving Christians,  SPEAK UP!
Peace loving Jews,  SPEAK UP!
Peace loving Muslims,  SPEAK UP!
Hindus,  SPEAK UP
Buddhists,  SPEAK UP
The current violence in the Middle East has the potential to suck in the rest of the world.   So while it may not impact your life today, just do nothing, sit back and wait, it will be on your doorstep soon.    Of course, if you are one of those people sitting back and waiting for Armageddon then do nothing and wait.   But if Armageddon is inevitable,  I for one want to be about my Father's business, speaking out against hatred and violence, until  the very last day.
Pamela Lyn


A Message from The Peace Alliance:

Walk for Peace
Saturday September 16, 2006

Help Create a U.S. Department of Peace!
Join the NATIONAL WALK FOR PEACE in your community!

WHO: YOU, your friends, and others ready to literally walk the talk of peace.

WHAT: A new twist on the traditional walk-a-thon fundraiser, raising money for The Peace Alliance and moving the campaign forward.

WHERE: A public park, city sidewalk, school or other accessible and visible area you choose—in communities all across the nation!

WHEN: Saturday, September 16, 2006, or another date of your choice between September 11 (Patriot Day/100th Anniversary of Gandhi’s first nonviolent action) and September 21 (the International Day of Peace).

WHY: To gain visibility in your city and across the country; raise money for the Peace Alliance; be a model of being the change; support International Culture of Peace month; and inspire and enroll others in the Campaign.

HOW: It’s simple! As always, any project is real when one person who can enroll three friends to help says YES! Click here for tips on creating a Walk for Peace in your community.

TIPS: Click here for tips on how to have a successful Walk for Peace.

SAY “YES” TO PEACE: Are you planning to organize Walk for Peace in your area? Click here to SIGN-UP now to be a point person in your community.