Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Necessary Civics Lessons

It's time that every American citizen learns how our government is supposed to work. plk

The following is a video of Sen. Russ Feingold's comments as he chaired a Senate Judiciary hearing on Congress' clear powers to end military conflict under the constitution.

In the following video Sen. Arlen Specter challenged the Bush/Cheney view of the Constitution at the Senate Judiciary hearing on the constitutionality of congress ending the Iraq War

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

An Appeal from Amnesty International

On January 29th, Amnesty International issued an urgent web appeal on behalf of two Algerian men, known as 'Q' and 'K', who are being held incommunicado in Algeria and are at risk of torture. The men were deported from the UK last week.

Amnesty is asking people to go to and email the Algerian authorities, calling on them to release the men immediately unless they are promptly charged with a recognisably criminal offence and tried within a reasonable time. It is urging the Algerian authorities to ensure that the men are not ill-treated and are granted access to their families while in detention.

Amnesty International UK Media Director Mike Blakemore said:
The UK authorities have put these men in real danger by deporting them to Algeria, where they face a serious risk of being tortured.
We are asking people in the UK and elsewhere to appeal to the Algerian authorities not to ill-treat the two men who were recently deported from the UK. In the face of the UK authorities' failure to comply with their human rights obligations, we hope that people in the UK and world-wide will take action and express concern about the fate of these men."

Read more:

Send an appeal to the Algerian authorities

It's the Mouse Trap Story Again!

OK, I know, I've published the mouse trap story several times. Sorry for the repetition but the message seems to apply to so much happening in today's world.

Take the case of Maher Arar.

You may ask why an African American US citizen care about the false arrest and torture of a Syrian born Canadian citizen? The answer is simple.

The evil that we allow to happen to others is the evil that we bring upon ourselves.


A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package. What food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a mouse trap.

Retreating to the farmyard the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mouse trap in the house, a mouse trap in the house!

"The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Excuse me, Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mouse trap in the house, a mouse trap in the house!" "I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse," sympathized the pig, "but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured that you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow. She said, "Like wow, Mr. Mouse. A mouse trap. Like I am in grave danger. Duh...NOT!"

So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mouse trap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mouse trap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital. She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

His wife's sickness continued so that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well and a few days later she passed away. So many people came for her funeral, that the farmer had the cow slaughtered, to provide meat for all of them to eat.

So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when there is a mouse trap in the house, the whole farmyard is at risk.

-- Author Unknown

Why Care About The Case of Maher Arar?

This could happen to your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, your friends, your neighbors, etc., etc., AND YOU!

Monday, January 29, 2007

An InspiringThot -- He Gathers Every Teardrop

A message from my friend Sing Cher Kwek:

Dear friends,

Be comforted by what God is planning and will do for you.

View Flash Movie at

He Gathers Every Teardrop

Regardless of the circumstance,
Regardless of the fear,
Regardless of the pain we bear,
Regardless of the tear.

Our God is ever in control,
Performing as He should,
And He has promised in His Word
To work things for our good.

But as a loving Father would,
He sometimes lets us cry
To cleanse the hurt out of our heart,
To wash it from our eye.

Yet gently gathers the tears
Within His hands to stay
Until He turns them into pearls,
and gives them back someday.

Author: Glenda Fulton Davis

Off The Wall

What do Michael Jackson and Vice President Dick Cheney have in common?

Well in case you missed it, last Thursday Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said that Vice President Dick Cheney was "off the wall" and "not vice-presidential" during his CNN interview discussing the troop escalation in Iraq.

Quite frankly, "off the wall" is a kind way of phrasing it

The Gift of Peace - A Play

a message from The Peace Alliance

The Gift of Peace - A Play

Kicking off a cross-country tour on January 26th, 2007, The Gift of Peace will educate and inspire audiences from Los Angeles to Washington DC to support non-partisan legislation currently in Congress to create a national, cabinet-level Department of Peace.

"The idea for this series of monologues grew from my belief that a Department of Peace is exactly what this country needs," said playwright Stacey Martino. "Regardless of one's politics, religion or race we have all experienced a moment when a deeper calling for a more peaceful world arose within us, even if only for a moment. I wrote The Gift of Peace to remind each of us to see part of ourselves in everyone, so that perhaps that moment might be extended and sustained.

"The Department of Peace and Nonviolence will be a vital part of the U.S. Federal Government that American leaders have been calling for since 1792. The primary function of the Department of Peace will be to research, articulate and facilitate proven nonviolent solutions to domestic and international conflict. The bill currently has 75 cosponsors in Congress and its proposed budget is the equivalent of two percent of the Department of Defense budget.The touring troupe will be directed by Valentino Ferriera and will travel across country performing the play en route to the Department of Peace Annual Conference in D.C. Stops will be made be in Phoenix, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta and Lynchburg with a final performance kicking off the Department of Peace Conference on Friday evening, February 2nd.

The Gift of Peace tour will culminate in a Los Angeles show on February 28th with a group of high-profile performers, including Frances Fisher, Wendie Malick. Dan Lauria, Esai Morales, Amy Brenneman, Ivan Sergei, George Coe, Kent McCord and Ed Asner, with direction by Tony Award winner John Rubenstein.. The Greenway Court Alliance will host the evening, which will raise awareness, funds and media attention for the project.

Details about venues for each performance will be made available on our website at

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Week That Was

cartoons provided by Cagle Cartoons &

Everyone seems to be running for the US Presidency in 2008. They better be careful what they wish for.

A State of the Union Speech which seemed to show a gentler and wiser GWB

.....but then he spoke to Dick Cheney again

and the Bush administration juggernaut rolls on

Join The March For Peace

People around the globe are supporting the Peace March on Washington DC on Saturday January 27 by joining the march via this internet petition....

won't you join them in the call for PEACE..

Please pass this on...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kudos to Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning & Lovie Smith

What a day this is!!!

Keeping Your Faith Awake

Have you ever made a decision to step out on faith only to doubt yourself shortly after? I know I have. But as I shared with a friend a few days ago, while I've had several moments when I've questioned my recent transition a moment has followed shortly thereafter that confirms my faith and reassures my heart. My faith reawakens.

So here's a message from Reverend Kelli Jareaux of The Inner Visions Full Life Fellowship to help you keep your faith awake.

Be Blessed,

Pamela Lyn

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Inspirational Reading:

"Faith has tremendous power, and it works either way. Our negative or positive faith helps shape our future. The vision you keep, the words you speak pave the way for your experiences. The mind is a prolific author. What you believe – along with the action you take – composes your life. At this moment our lives reflect where we have been in consciousness and what we have done with our time." Wisdom for the Soul, Larry Chang, p. 299, quoting Susan L. Taylor, Lessons in Living.

"Waking Sleeping Faith"

Prior to his crucifixion, Jesus went to pray in Gethsemane. With him he took three disciples, Peter, and John and James, the two sons of Zebedee. Peter represents faith, John love, and James judgment. Jesus counted on these three to support him in his moment of critical need. Yet, all three fell asleep. Repeatedly, Jesus returned, woke them, and besieged them to stay awake. Repeatedly, they fell asleep. (Mathew 26:36-46)

Faith, love and judgment slept, but Jesus remained awake and praying! Jesus represents the directive power within man. The power we possess to direct ourselves to align with God's will. It is a power beyond faith, a power that can reawaken sleeping faith.

Recently I spoke with a brilliant young lady who I met through the newsletter. She told me about certain circumstances in her life that had turned sour. She was gravely disappointed. The most significant source of her disappointment was that she believed she was mistaken about God's will for her life. She doubted whether the steps she had taken and the sacrifices she had made were directed by God. She questioned whether the divine guidance on which she had relied had been a mental delusion.

I totally understood and empathized with her situation.

When our faith is asleep we may doubt ourselves, doubt our relationship with God, question our destiny, question and even doubt God. This is the normal result of sleeping faith. Worse, sleeping faith may be accompanied by sleeping love, (I no longer love what I am doing) and sleeping judgment (I no longer judge this to be the right thing to do).

Doubt, on the other hand, is likely awake and active.

So? What are we to do?

These are the, "nevertheless" moments, when we must know that we will do God's will nevertheless. Perhaps without loving it, perhaps without faith in it, perhaps without judging it appropriate, Father, "nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt."

These are the Nike moments, when we must, "Just do it!"

God's will does not always seem easy, it doesn't always feel synchronous, it doesn't always feel good, or right, or justified, or reasonable, or sensible, or logical. Sometimes it may seem downright crazy and make us question whether what we are doing is divinely guided or guided by the derangement of our own mind or ego.

In those moments, we are to follow Jesus' example! We are to pray, stay awake in Spirit, and use the directive power of our being to do as God directs. When we obey God, our repeated obedience will be the needed wake up call for our sleeping faith. And, in time, faith, love and judgment will arise and stand with us as we go to meet our divine destiny.

"Inner Visions is a network of conscious individuals, who are dedicated to serving God and awakening the consciousness of humanity with LOVE, EXCELLENCE and ELEGANCE. It is a shared philosophy of teaching and practical application of spiritual principles and universal truths as a foundation for living."

Rev. Iyanla Vanzant-Bandele, Founding Minister

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Was It Much Ado About Nothing ...

... or a plan to get liberals to block lobbying reform legislation? It's worth a closer look.

Like many other bloggers I received the message from Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of and quickly voiced my objections to "Section 220 of S. 1, of the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, which would require grassroots causes, to register and report quarterly to Congress. However, I have recently learned that all of the furor about this legislation may be much ado about nothing.

In a recent post to his blog Professor Stephen Bainbridge, UCLA law professor states that Viguerie's claims are bogus. Prof. Brainbridge states:

"The vast bulk of the section is definitional. When you parse out the operative language, the only persons or entities required to file reports under Section 220 are "gressroots lobbying firms." The term "grass roots lobbying firm" is defined as a person or entity that "is retained by 1 or more clients to engage in paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying on behalf of such clients; and receives income of, or spends or agrees to spend, an aggregate of $25,000 or more for such efforts in any quarterly period.

Someone who engages in grassroots lobbying is not required to register or file reports under section 220. Someone who engages in paid grassroots lobbying is not required to register or file reports under section 220. Only someone who is retained by a client and either earns or spends $25,000 or more per quarter is covered.

There have been times when bloggers were hired by either political or issue campaigns to blog on their behalf. Such a blogger might be covered by this statute if they make more than $25,000 per quarter for doing so. But how many bloggers does that include?"

As I mentioned in my initial reaction to the Viguerie message, there are those in Congress who want to equate the actions of grassroots activists and bloggers to the shady dealings and power brokering of "K" Street. It looks like yesterday many of us may have been pawns in their game.

Originally posted by Pamela Lyn to Pam's Coffee Conversation at 1/19/2007 11:28:00 PM

Friday, January 19, 2007

Was It Much Ado About Nothing ...

... or a plan to get liberals to block lobbying reform legislation? It's worth a closer look.

Like many other bloggers I received the message from Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of and quickly voiced my objections to "Section 220 of S. 1, of the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, which would require grassroots causes, to register and report quarterly to Congress. However, I have recently learned that all of the furor about this legislation may be much ado about nothing.

In a recent post to his blog Professor Stephen Bainbridge, UCLA law professor states that Viguerie's claims are bogus. Prof. Brainbridge states:

"The vast bulk of the section is definitional. When you parse out the operative language, the only persons or entities required to file reports under Section 220 are "gressroots lobbying firms." The term "grass roots lobbying firm" is defined as a person or entity that "is retained by 1 or more clients to engage in paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying on behalf of such clients; and receives income of, or spends or agrees to spend, an aggregate of $25,000 or more for such efforts in any quarterly period.

Someone who engages in grassroots lobbying is not required to register or file reports under section 220. Someone who engages in paid grassroots lobbying is not required to register or file reports under section 220. Only someone who is retained by a client and either earns or spends $25,000 or more per quarter is covered.

There have been times when bloggers were hired by either political or issue campaigns to blog on their behalf. Such a blogger might be covered by this statute if they make more than $25,000 per quarter for doing so. But how many bloggers does that include?"

As I mentioned in my initial reaction to the Viguerie message, there are those in Congress who want to equate the actions of grassroots activists and bloggers to the shady dealings and power brokering of "K" Street. It looks like yesterday many of us may have been pawns in their game.

I'm Taking the Leap of Faith Again

During the few weeks that this blog was offline, I declared my support for former Senator John Edwards' 2008 Presidential campaign. So from time to time you can expect various posts on why I support his efforts. I know that this can get a little boring for my international friends so I promise not to overdue it.

So if you'll indulge me for now, here are a few reposts explaining my support for the Edwards campaign.


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2007 1:03 AM
Subject: [Get the Facts & Get Involved] I'm Taking the Leap of Faith Again

As long time readers of this and my former blog ( Pam's Coffee Conversation ) recall, I was a supporter of former Senator John Edwards in his bid to win the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination. Well, I'm taking the leap again and supporting him in his bid for the 2008 nomination. Over the next year, I'm sure to cite the many reasons why I support his candidacy. For now I'll just say that the primary reason I support John Edwards is his courage to speak out on issues when they aren't in vogue. No one has to be reminded now that John Edwards spoke out on the reality of "two Americas" before Hurricane Katrina.

As Jim Wallis stated in his August 2005 NY Times editorial, "The Democrats assume the poverty issue belongs to them, but with the exception of John Edwards in his 2004 campaign, they haven't mustered the gumption to oppose a government that habitually favors the wealthy over everyone else."

John Edwards has launched a brand-new blog community, where members can write diaries and blog entries, comments, and even vote on what blog entries should appear on the front page.

It's a big step forward in online political action, and it would be even better if you joined us.

Check it out at

See you there!

Pamela Lyn

P.S. While I'm at it I'll go on record as stating that my dream ticket is Edwards/Obama.

.. and while I'm dreaming

  • the creation of a Department of Peace
  • Hillary Clinton as head of the Department of Health & Human Services
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Colin Powell as Secretary of Defense.
  • Lou Dobbs as head of the Department of Commerce
  • bring back Robert Reich as Secretary of Labor
  • and, a cabinet appointment for Bill Moyers

Posted By Pamela Lyn to Get the Facts & Get Involved at 1/05/2007 12:01:00 AM
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In presidential campaign 2004, former US Senator John Edwards cautioned the country that there are "two Americans". Those with blinders on wrote his words off as political rhetoric. Sadly, it's taken a national disaster of horrific proportions to paint of picture of his message.

Posted by Pamela to Pam's Coffee Conversation at 9/02/2005 07:24:00 AM

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

... In the following article John Edward reminds us of the importance of securing the future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. While I am certainly not happy with the privitization strategies proposed by the current administration, I have not heard the Democrats bring a better proposal to the table. As regular readers of this blog know, I strongly advocate reforming the Social Security system in order to ensure that assistance is available to those in need for decades to come. Fiscal mismanagement and fraudulent abuses demand that the current Social Security system be overhauled. This should be a non-partisan issue for everyone man & woman of good conscience who cares about their neighbors in need. Ensuring the future of SS, Medicare & Medicaid will take strong leadership that honestly goes before the American public and asks each of us to make the necessary sacrifices for the good of our society.

August 10, 2005

John Edwards is a former senator from North Carolina and was John Kerry's vice presidential candidate in 2004. Visit Edwards' new website at .

Since its founding, America has been known as the land of opportunity, the place where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead. Today, though, America is not living up to her great promise. Thirty-six million of our fellow citizens are living in poverty. Millions of men and women are working two or three jobs and still struggling to make ends meet. That's not right.

In a nation of our wealth, it is wrong for people who work hard to have to live on the margins. As Democrats, we believe that every person who wants to work should have the opportunity to go as far in life as he or she is able. We believe that every American has the right to affordable, quality health care and a secure retirement. President Lyndon Johnson created Medicare and Medicaid to ensure that health care wasn't just a luxury for the rich, and President Roosevelt created Social Security so that millions of seniors could do more than just get by. As Democrats, we have always fought for these rights and will continue to do so.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the creation of Medicare and Medicaid and the 70th anniversary of the creation of Social Security. These programs have lifted millions of Americans out of poverty and kept millions more from falling into it.

Social Security is one of our nation's most successful domestic programs. Yet Republicans want to dismantle it as part of their radical agenda to help the wealthy at the expense of America's working families. This is unacceptable. Seniors should not be punished so the administration can help out its friends on Wall Street. Privatizing Social Security would be a major setback in the fight against poverty. We cannot and will not allow this to happen.

In the same vein, we must keep Medicare and Medicaid strong. These critical initiatives provide millions of seniors and low-income families with essential health services. Since Medicare was created in 1965, poverty among America's elderly has dropped dramatically. Today, Medicare provides health insurance to more than 40 million Americans, and Medicaid provides insurance to more than 50 million people, including more than one in four children. Given the enormous burden of today's health care costs, Medicare and Medicaid are vital tools in the fight against poverty.

When President Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law 40 years ago, he followed through on a commitment he made to help America's less fortunate. Johnson realized that America was not living up to its name as the land of opportunity. He declared a War on Poverty, calling on Congress and all Americans to work together to restore the great American promise.
Johnson made eradicating poverty a centerpiece of his agenda. That's the kind of leadership we need today from Washington, but sadly we are not seeing it. Today's Republican leaders promote policies that reward and protect wealth over work. The rich keep getting richer at the expense of working families. And to make matters worse, we are continually fighting Republican efforts to dismantle programs that do so much to alleviate poverty, like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Decades later, we must continue Johnson's war on poverty. Too many Americans are struggling to get by. They're not asking for handouts. They want to work hard and make a decent living so their kids can have better opportunities than they did. They want to know that when they their kids are sick, they'll be able to take them to the doctor. They want to know that when they retire, they will not have to worry about choosing between food or medicine. Millions of Americans rely on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for help. They work hard for America. And America needs to work for them. That is why it is so important we keep these programs fully funded and intact.

Poverty is all around us. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Instead of ignoring the problem, we can reach out to the people struggling with it. It is time America lives up to its title as the land of opportunity. It is time work is rewarded instead of wealth. Every American who works hard should be able to live comfortably, afford good health care and be able to enjoy retirement.

Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have been instrumental in allowing millions to live the American dream. These programs show that when we are determined and focused on dealing with poverty, we are able to make a difference. Let us honor the legacies of these programs by continuing the fight against poverty. With the will and the resources, we can make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.

Posted by Pamela to Pam's Coffee Conversation at 8/15/2005 07:46:00 PM

The War on Democracy?

While the Bush administration proudly professes to waging a war on terrorism another more dangerous struggle is being waged right in Washington, DC. It is a war on democracy -- a battle for control of goverment and the very soul of America. Will the US government return to being a goverment for the people and by the people OR will it be a government for corporate interests and controlled by corporate interests?

As the previous post indicates, there are those in Congress who want to equate the actions of grassroots activists and bloggers to the shady dealings and power brokering of "K" Street. This, of course, is ridiculous. But in the aftermath of the 2006 elections, politicians realize just how effective grassroots activists can be in informing the public and mobilizing voters.

So in order for "K" Street to get back to business as usual, the oppostion needs to be silenced. "Section 220 of S. 1" of the lobbying reform bill is no accident is just one battle that the American public will need to fight in order to win back the heart and soul of the republic.

Congress to Send Critics to Jail, Says Richard Viguerie

PR Newswire
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The following is a statement by Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, regarding legislation currently being considered by Congress to regulate grassroots communications:

"In what sounds like a comedy sketch from Jon Stewart's Daily Show, but isn't, the U. S. Senate would impose criminal penalties, even jail time, on grassroots causes and citizens who criticize Congress.

"Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and rep ort quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever.

For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.

"The bill would require reporting of 'paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying,' but defines 'paid' merely as communications to 500 or more members of the public, with no other qualifiers.

"On January 9, the Senate passed Amendment 7 to S. 1, to create criminal penalties, including up to one year in jail, if someone 'knowingly and willingly fails to file or report.'

"That amendment was introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-LA). Senator Vitter, however, is now a co-sponsor of Amendment 20 by Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) to remove Section 220 from the bill. Unless Amendment 20 succeeds, the Senate will have criminalized the exercise of First Amendment rights. We'd be living under totalitarianism, not democracy.

"I started to fight efforts to silence the grassroots. The website provides updates in the legislation and has a petition to sign opposing Section 220.

"Thousands of nonprofit leaders, bloggers, and other citizens have hammered the Senate with calls in opposition to Section 220, which seeks to silence the grassroots. The criminal provisions will scare citizens into silence.

"The legislation regulates small, legitimate nonprofits, bloggers, and individuals, but creates loopholes for corporations, unions, and large membership organizations that would be able to spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars, yet not report.

"Congress is trying to blame the grassroots, which are American citizens engaging in their First Amendment rights, for Washington's internal corruption problems."

Mark Fitzgibbons,
1 + 703 - 392-7676 or 1 +

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Update On The False Arrest & Torture of Maher Arar

As regular readers of this blog recall, I have been following the story of the false arrest and torture of Canadian citizen, Maher Arar.

Last September, I shared a Washingpost article that reported that Canadian intelligence officials had issued a report that concluded that they had passed false warnings and bad information to American agents about Muslim Canadian citizen, Maher Arar.

The Canadian report also concluded that after receiving this information, U.S. authorities turned Mr. Arar over to the Syrians who in turn detained and tortured him.

According to the Washingpost article, "The report, released in Ottawa, was the result of a 2 1/2-year inquiry that represented one of the first public investigations into mistakes made as part of the United States' "extraordinary rendition" program, which has secretly spirited suspects to foreign countries for interrogation by often brutal methods. "

After the charges against him were found to be groundless by Canadian intelligence, Mr. Arar filed a lawsuit in US court for false imprisonment. The court dismissed his case on the grounds of "national security".

Well today, Maher Arar may have come one step closer to getting the justice that he so richly deserves.

On CNN's situation room, correspondent Kelli Arena reported on a heated exchange between US Senator Patrick Leahy and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about Mr Arar's arrest and subsequent torture by the Syrians. Here is an excerpt from that broadcast.

Aired January 18, 2007 - 16:00 ET

First this hour, a vivid reminder that the new Democratic leaders in the Congress have plenty of bones to pick with the Bush administration.

It happened on Capitol Hill today, just a few hours ago, when the attorney general of the United States, Alberto Gonzales, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. That's when the questions and the fir started flying.

Let's turn to our justice correspondent, Kelli Arena -- Kelli.

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this was the first time that the attorney general appeared before the Judiciary Committee since the Democrats took over control of Congress. And I can tell you, it was hardly a friendly reception.

Democrats pounced on several of the administration's anti-terror policies, including domestic wiretaps and the detention of terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay.

But the most heated exchange came when Judiciary Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy brought up a man named Maher Arar. Now, he's a dual Canadian and Syrian citizen and he was deported from the U.S. to Syria, where he says he was tortured. Arar was allegedly on a watch list for suspected terrorist ties. He's since been cleared by the Canadian government.

Listen to this, Wolf.


SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: We knew damn well if he went to Canada he wouldn't be tortured. He'd be held and he'd be investigated. We also knew damn well if he went to Syria, he would be tortured. And it's beneath the dignity of this country, a country that has always been a beacon of human rights, to send somebody to another country to be tortured.

ALBERTO GONZALES, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Before you get more upset, perhaps you should wait to receive the briefing be...

LEAHY: How long?

GONZALES: I'm hoping that we can get -- we can get you the information next week.


ARENA: Now Gonzales and other U.S. officials have said that they got assurances from Syria that Arar would not be tortured. Leahy promised Gonzales that if he didn't get the information that he wanted within the week that he promised that he would hold a hearing on the issue -- Wolf.

BLITZER: He's been cleared by the Canadian government.

But is there still suspicion in the Justice Department in the U.S. government that this individual may have had some links to terrorism?

ARENA: Yes. Actually, Senator Leahy today said that he is still on a U.S. watch list and he wanted to know why from the attorney general. But the attorney general refused to give any details about that case, at least in a public forum -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, maybe that's what he's talking about next week, they'll have a private briefing.

All right, thanks very much.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mr. Arar deserves a formal apology from the US Dept. of Justice.

Last October, I created a petition: "US Justice Dept. Owes A Formal Apology to Falsely Imprisoned & Tortured Canadian Citizen". Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and consider signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. Please sign here:


Pamela Lyn

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Act to Restore Habeas Corpus

People detained by the United States in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere around the globe were cut off from traditional civilized methods of detention and prosecution by the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This wrong must be righted.

I just wrote a letter about restoring habeas corpus rights, and I hope you will do the same.

Click on this URL to take action now

If your email program does not recognize the URL as a link,copy the entire URL and paste it into your Web browser.


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"Connect and Be Counted"

A Good Laugh To End The Day

Somedays you just need a good laugh to end the day and a good friend to send you a clip like this. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Can You Watch "24" and Oppose Torture?

According to Wolf Blitzer of CNN's Situation Room, a Newsweek Magazne article is calling the FOX TV program "24" "the ultimate neocon sex fantasy".

After the Abu Ghraib scandal broke and the subsequent stories of US condoned torture surfaced, I decided that as much as I have enjoyed the the program in the past, that I could no longer in good conscience support it.

So here's the question is "24 the ultimate neocon sex fantasy"? Can you watch "24" and support peace?

Take this poll! (0 responses)

Keeping An Eye on WalMart

cartoon provided by

No one has ever denied that you can get it for less at Walmart but as I mentioned in my 12/8 post to the older version of my Coffee Conversation blog, the American consumer is starting to realize that there are hidden costs behind those " every day low, low prices"?

As points out, "Americans aren't buying the empty rhetoric coming from the store of smiling faces. They're ready for real reform and honest leadership"

Personally, I try my best to avoid shopping at Walmart and other megamarts that reap huge corporate profits by selling imported goods ofter made by exploited foreign labor, driving smaller businesses out of communities and pay their employees low-scale wages with few if any benefits.
Don't get me wrong, I need to save my pennies as much as, if not more than, the next person. But from what I can see everytime I save a few dollars on an item at a Walmart I'm hurting the American job market and manufacturing industry.

Like thousands of other Americans I've joined Wal-Mart Watch, a public education campaign to encourage Wal-Mart to become a better employer, neighbor, and corporate citizen.

Thank you for your help!

There Is Still Time To Win Hearts & Minds

"The task of leadership, the first task of concerned people,
is not to condemn or castigate, or deplore: it is to search
out the reason for disillusionment and alienation, the
rationale of protest and dissent."

--Robert F. Kennedy
It is not too late to undo to the damage done to America's global reputation over the last decade.  But the American people will need to demand governmental leadership who is willing to listen and not just talk,  and who is willing to use diplomacy rather than military might.   The American people also need to demand that American corporations stop exploiting third world populations for profits and that American charitable foundations monitor their investments.  The war on terrorism will not be won on the battlefield but rather in the mind and in the heart.  It is still not to late!

The many stripes of anti-Americanism - International Herald Tribune
By Neil Gross
The Boston Globe
Published: January 15, 2007

Last week, Venezuela swore in for a third term President Hugo Cha¡vez -- a man who routinely denounces U.S. "imperialism" and who referred to President George W. Bush as the devil in a speech before the United Nations. Chavez's reelection caused some commentators here to fret about the so-called "pink tide" of socialism that is sweeping Latin America, from Bolivia to Brazil, but there has been no sense of shock or outrage that a politician spouting fiery anti-American rhetoric could win 63 percent of the votes in his country.

In part, this is because Americans have grown used to the idea that much of the world hates us. Indeed, in the years since Sept. 11, 2001, we have gone from having the world's sympathy to being perceived as the world's bully, denounced on the streets of Caracas, Tehran, Paris, and even London for our unilateralism, aggressive military stance, and free-market economic policies.

In their new edited volume, "Anti-Americanisms in World Politics" (Cornell University Press), international relations scholars Peter Katzenstein and Robert Keohane bring together a distinguished group of social scientists to consider how much anti-Americanism there is, and whether, in fact, anti-Americanism is any one thing at all.

Katzenstein and Keohane suggest there are four distinct strains.

The first, liberal anti-Americanism, appears in democracies like France or England. Here opposition to American policies often involves the charge that the United States is being hypocritical by not living up to its professed values and ideals -- values its critics share.

The second strain, social anti-Americanism, comes from critics of the United States who are staunch supporters of the social welfare state, and thus oppose American economic policy because it promotes laissez-faire ideals and erodes welfare state protections.  Social anti-Americanism is at play when Bolivian President Evo Morales, for example, rails against American-led globalization on the grounds that, among other things, it exposes people to the vicissitudes of the market.

More dangerous, according to the editors, are the two remaining strains.

Sovereign-nationalist anti-Americanism, which may be found in parts of Latin America and Asia, involves opposition to American geopolitical and cultural dominance on the grounds that they are threats to national identity and strategic interests, as can be seen in Chinese saber-rattling over Taiwan.

Too often commentators who have written on anti-Americanism make do with anecdotal evidence:  By contrast, most contributors to the Katzenstein and Keohane volume rely on quantitative evidence from large-scale social surveys. Two especially noteworthy findings emerge.

First, fewer people around the globe hate the United States than might be imagined.  43 percent of respondents worldwide said they had a "somewhat favorable" view of the United States, and 21 percent said they had a "very favorable" view.

To be sure, anti-American sentiment is strong in some countries and regions.

In the Middle East, for example, three quarters of respondents had negative views of the United States overall. But in France and Germany, more than 60 percent of respondents had positive views of the United States.  While 70 percent of respondents in the Middle East held negative views of the United States war on terror, only about one-quarter said they did not admire the advances made by the United States in science and technology.  Similarly, while 57 percent of Egyptians said they disliked American popular culture, a third said they appreciated American ways of doing business. Radical anti-Americanism, encompassing dislike of the United States on all fronts, is rare, and in general there is more dislike for American policies than for the American people.

Second, in most countries, anti-Americanism involves more distrust than outright bias. The distinction is crucial. Where there is distrust, people may be skeptical of US motives and claims, but are open to considering the American point of view. Anti-American bias, by contrast, occurs when policies and actions undertaken by the U.S. government and American corporations are seen as expressions of an unchangeable national identity and character, such that dialogue over disagreements is deemed to have no value.

Taken as a whole, the chapters in the book suggest it is not too late to undo some of the damage that has been done to America's global reputation. Gauging the strength of anti-American sentiment around the world, in all its varieties -- and understanding its roots -- is a crucial first step toward reversing it. Dialogue with those who express radical anti-American sentiment and would take up arms against us may not be possible or desirable. With everyone else, it is imperative.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer
"If you want to win a man to your cause, first convince him
that you are his sincere friend."
-- Abraham Lincoln
(1809-1865, Sixteenth President of the USA)

Monday, January 15, 2007

One Man's Recollection of The Speech

"Free At Last" by James Armstrong

a clip from

Words of Wisdom from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” -- from “Strength to Love”, 1963

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.” -- from "Strength to Love"

“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”

"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

“The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.” -- from 'Strength to Love,' 1963

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” –- spoken when accepting Nobel Peace Prize, Dec. 10, 1964

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” --- spoken on December 11, 1964

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -- from Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

“The church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.” -- from a Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 1963

“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” -- from the speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

“I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.”— from a speech in Detroit, June 23, 1963

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."
-- Martin Luther King Jr., December 11, 1964

When you think about Oprah Winfrey, Deval Patrick, Barak Obama and even Condoleeza Rice, you think about how far we've come. Then you think about Hurricane Katrina, the Patriot Act, the controversy over Keith Ellison taking his private oath of Congress on the Koran, and the woeful state of public education, you know how very, very, far we still have to go. plk

Thought For A New Week

Just As You Are
By John Paul Jackson  
Streams Ministries Online 

            When I ordain men and women as ministers of God, I speak over them the 12-point covenant Streams Ministries and I are making with them. One of those 12 points is our commitment to grace, not legalism. Put simply, grace thinks of us in light of where we are going in God, while legalism judges us based on where we've been or where we are right now. The distinction is vital when it comes to being a leader at any level. It is even more important when it comes to us and our view of ourselves.

            It is horrifically difficult to have a clear, honest view of ourselves. Without God's help, it isn't possible at all. To some extent, all of us see ourselves through a veil of legalism or one of the cousins it often travels with — guilt, fear, shame and condemnation. The roots of these often started when we were a child, and since we've grown up with them, sometimes we can't even tell we have them. It's like having a regional accent; we don't realize we have it until we travel somewhere else and someone tells us.

            The point of this month's e-letter is this: God is committed to grace with us. This means that He will always see us in the light of Jesus' blood — we will never be weighed on the scales alone, in the light of only ourselves. Our Father will always view us through a veil of grace, not legalism. There are no false, lying levels of guilt (2 Corinthians 7:10). There is no fear in His love (1 John 4:18). There is no shame in His arms (Romans 10:11). There is no condemnation (Romans 8:1).

            So we need to stop thinking the opposite! It is a step of faith — a huge one, depending on the entangled levels we've been living at. But don't be afraid anymore.

            All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of ! God (Rom ans 3:23). None of us are as righteous as we need to be. God wants to move in us at greater levels, and I believe we are being asked to address issues that maybe we got away with before. We were allowed to ignore them when we were younger in our faith, but we can't get away with them now. As Paul said, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (1 Corinthians 13:11). I believe that God is saying to many people, "You are in a place where I want to move, but you have to grow up! In order for you to grow up, this issue must be addressed in your life."

It is time to take a step of faith and seriously take God at His word. When we're at a place of facing — again — an issue that we don't want to face because it's ugly and nasty and embarrassing, we shouldn't be ashamed. Just as it is in the good moments, when we feel like all is right with the state of our soul, God is still King now, even when we feel ugly, nasty, and embarrassing. If we don't grasp this hope, we won't survive long. Truly knowing God means knowing that we are loved. Just as we are. Warts and all. When we know this — truly, truly know this — legalism, condemnation, fear, shame and whatever else will not be able to attach to us — because we will know the truth, and that truth will set us free from them (John 8:32).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

If You Can't Take The Heat

The White House and the neocons are desperate.  Senator Boxer's comments to Condoleeza Rice were right to the heart of the matter.
I, myself , am single and childless and I've repeatedly stated that none of the architects of the war in Iraq has a personal investment in the loss of mlitary life. Whether they have no children or only girls, not one of them has a child, spouse, sibling or parent serving active duty in the military.
I guess if I said to Ms Rice that if she can't take the heat she should get out of the kitchen, she would interpret that as a sexist comment.
Exchange Turns Into Political Flashpoint - New York Times

WASHINGTON, Jan 12 --- A passing exchange during a Senate hearing on Thursday turned into a political flashpoint overnight as Senator Barbara Boxer, the California Democrat, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused one another of insensitivity in comments about motherhood and the war in Iraq.

In an interview this afternoon with The New York Times, Ms. Rice suggested that the California Democrat had set back feminism by suggesting during the hearing that the childless Ms. Rice had paid no price in the Iraq war.  "I thought it was okay to be single," "I thought it was okay to not have children, and I thought you could still make good decisions on behalf of the country if you were single and didn't have children."

In a separate interview, Senator Boxer said her comments had been misunderstood and were now being turned against her by the White House and other Republicans.

"What I was trying to do in this exchange was to find common ground with Condi Rice," Ms.Boxer said, adding that "my whole point was to focus on the military families who pay the price."
"They're getting this off on a non-existent thing that I didn't say,"   "I'm saying, she's like me, we do not have families who are in the military.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


Questionable Quote of the Week

And in this case "questionable" is an understatement. I can only imagine that Jesus is just shaking his head.

"In order to have babies, you’ve got to have a hope in the future … If you don’t believe in God, if you have an existential view of life, if this life is all there is, then, as Peggy Lee sang "why don’t we break out the booze and have a ball?" Why do we go to all that trouble? It’s only those with strong religious faith who have children. That’s the truth." -- Pat Robertson, commenting on news that the population of Germany “fell for a fourth straight year and recorded its biggest drop since 1990,”

All I could think of after reading this is where was all the "religious faith" when Andrea Yates drowned her five children or Susan Smith drowned her two. plk

The Conversation Starts Again

Hello Friends,

After a few technical problems it's good to be back to the conversation.

Unfortunately, the archive of previous posts could not be restored. To bring you up to date I will cross post a few items that I shared on my other blog Get The Facts & Get Involved over the past month. In fact, let's begin with my post fof 12/8/06, the last post before the blog outage -- " If I Could Speak to President Bush" .

----- Original Message -----

If I could speak to President Bush I would share the following words of wisdom.

"A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying that he is wiser today than he was yesterday."
-- Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English Poet

"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

"When solving problem, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves."

-- Anthony J. D'Angelo

"No people to whom liberty is given, can hold it as firmly and wear it as grandly as those who wrench their liberty from the iron fist of the tyrant."

-- Frederick Douglass

"Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

-- Sun Tzu

"Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy."
-- Howard W. Newton

"Power is the ability to do good things for others."
-- Brooke Astor

"The task of leadership, the first task of concerned people,is not to condemn or castigate, or deplore: it is to searchout the reason for disillusionment and alienation, therationale of protest and dissent."

--Robert F. Kennedy

and lastly ..

"Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God." -- Jesus

--Originally Posted by Pamela to Pam's Coffee Conversation at 12/08/2006 05:25:44 PM

Kudos to Bill & Melinda Gates

"A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the
wrong, which is but saying that he is wiser today than he was
-- Alexander Pope  (1688-1744) English Poet
It is never too late to do the right thing.  plk
Gates Foundation May Shift Billions into Ethical Stocks after Attack on Investments
by Sarah Boseley
Read the entire article at:
Bill and Melinda Gates are to lead a wholesale review of their investments, which could lead to them shifting billions of dollars out of companies that are socially irresponsible or harm human health.

The announcement comes after a major investigation by the Los Angeles Times discovered that some of the billions spent by the Gates Foundation on improving health in the developing world came from its investments in companies that caused illness and disease through pollution and exploitation.

The foundation refused to comment in detail on the allegations but, in an interview yesterday with the Seattle Times, its chief operating officer, Cheryl Scott, said the foundation was rethinking its investment policy.

Because of the size of the foundation's investments - its endowment was $35bn (£18bn) at the end of 2005 before Warren Buffett said he would add some $31bn - any decision to invest more ethically would have a substantial impact and encourage other philanthropic foundations to look at their practices.

Ms Scott denied the move was a response to criticism, but admitted the foundation's current method of investment was "not 100% effective".  She said this year, for the first time, the foundation would conduct a systematic review of its investments, led by Bill and Melinda Gates, to find out if "there are cases simply where the situation is so egregious it will cause us not to invest".

They include BP, in which it had $295m of stock in 2005, and Royal Dutch Shell, in which it has a $35m stake. The two oil companies jointly own the Sapref refinery, outside Durban in South Africa, which is blamed for 24 significant spills, pipeline ruptures and explosions since 1998.  With the Mondi paper mill (owned by Anglo American, in which the foundation has a $39m investment), it is held responsible for significant air pollution by toxic fumes.

In the same area, the Los Angeles Times points out, the foundation is funding studies into a microbicide which could help protect women and their future children from HIV.  But the foundation invests in pharmaceutical companies which have lobbied hard to prevent affordable copies of their Aids drugs being manufactured by generics companies in India. One company, Abbott, makes a drug called Kaletra, which doctors say is essential for patients in Africa for whom basic drugs no longer work.

# # # # #
Los Angeles Times: Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation
By Charles Piller, Edmund Sanders and Robyn Dixon, Times Staff Writers
January 7, 2007
Read the entire article at:


Ebocha, Nigeria --- Justice Eta, 14 months old, held out his tiny thumb.  An ink spot certified that he had been immunized against polio and measles, thanks to a vaccination drive supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  But polio is not the only threat Justice faces. Almost since birth, he has had respiratory trouble.

People blame fumes and soot spewing from flames that tower 300 feet into the air over a nearby oil plant. It is owned by the Italian petroleum giant Eni, whose investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The makeshift clinic at a church where Justice Eta was vaccinated and the flares spewing over Ebocha represent a head-on conflict for the Gates Foundation. In a contradiction between its grants and its endowment holdings, a Times investigation has found, the foundation reaps vast financial gains every year from investments that contravene its good works.

In Ebocha, where Justice lives, Dr. Elekwachi Okey, a local physician, says hundreds of flares at oil plants in the Niger Delta have caused an epidemic of bronchitis in adults, and asthma and blurred vision in children.  No definitive studies have documented the health effects, but many of the 250 toxic chemicals in the fumes and soot have long been linked to respiratory disease and cancer.

The oil plants in the region surrounding Ebocha find it cheaper to burn nearly 1 billion cubic feet of gas each day and contribute to global warming than to sell it.  Under pressure from activists, however, Nigeria's high court set a deadline to end flaring by May 2007.   The gases would be injected back underground, or trucked and piped out for sale.   But authorities expect the flares to burn for years beyond the deadline.
The Gates Foundation has poured $218 million into polio and measles immunization and research worldwide, including in the Niger Delta. At the same time that the foundation is funding inoculations to protect health, The Times found, it has invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Total of France — the companies responsible for most of the flares blanketing the delta with pollution, beyond anything permitted in the United States or Europe.
Like most philanthropies, the Gates Foundation gives away at least 5% of its worth every year, to avoid paying most taxes. In 2005, it granted nearly $1.4 billion. It awards grants mainly in support of global health initiatives, for efforts to improve public education in the United States, and for social welfare programs in the Pacific Northwest.

It invests the other 95% of its worth. This endowment is managed by Bill Gates Investments, which handles Gates' personal fortune. Monica Harrington, a senior policy officer at the foundation, said the investment managers had one goal: returns "that will allow for the continued funding of foundation programs and grant making." Bill and Melinda Gates require the managers to keep a highly diversified portfolio, but make no specific directives.

By comparing these investments with information from for-profit services that analyze corporate behavior for mutual funds, pension managers, government agencies and other foundations, The Times found that the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices.

One of these investment rating services, Calvert Group Ltd., for example, endorses 52 of the largest 100 U.S. companies based on market capitalization, but flags the other 48 for transgressions against social responsibility. Microsoft Corp., which Bill Gates leads as board chairman, is rated highly for its overall business practices, despite its history of antitrust problems.

In addition, The Times found the Gates Foundation endowment had major holdings in:

•  Companies ranked among the worst U.S. and Canadian polluters, including ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical Co. and Tyco International Ltd.

•  Many of the world's other major polluters, including companies that own an oil refinery and one that owns a paper mill, which a study shows sicken children while the foundation tries to save their parents from AIDS.

•  Pharmaceutical companies that price drugs beyond the reach of AIDS patients the foundation is trying to treat.

Using the most recent data available, a Times tally showed that hundreds of Gates Foundation investments — totaling at least $8.7 billion, or 41% of its assets, not including U.S. and foreign government securities — have been in companies that countered the foundation's charitable goals or socially concerned philosophy.

This is "the dirty secret" of many large philanthropies, said Paul Hawken, an expert on socially beneficial investing who directs the Natural Capital Institute, an investment research group. "Foundations donate to groups trying to heal the future," Hawken said in an interview, "but with their investments, they steal from the future."

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer

Secret Santa Passes Away

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Larry Stewart, a millionaire who became known as Secret Santa for his habit of roaming the streets each December and anonymously handing money to people, died Friday. He was 58.

For more on Larry Stewart:

Thought For The Day -- What God has for You

"There have been things freely given to you from God that nobody can stand in the way of. The only problem we have is knowing what they are. What God has for you, he has for You -- with your name on it. And God has no problem with the devil. There is nothing that God has assigned to you that Hell can block. So when you walk through the lost and found department of riches beyond what your eye had seen or your ear heard, but you walk by it because you don't know that it's yours, Hell is not stopping it. Your lack of knowledge of what belongs to you because if you knew it was yours you wouldn't let nobody stop you from getting what God has already provided. "

from the message "Walking in My Already Destiny" , Nov. 12, 2006
Bishop Eddie L. Long, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Lithonia GA

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Kudos to Blogger Support for Recovering Hijacked Blog site

I have good news to report. After posting my problem on Google's Blogger Help Group last night, the URL for my blog "Pam's Coffee Conversation" has been recovered by Blogger support. Sadly, I've been unable to migrate the archive. But thankfully I did keep receive an email for virtually all of the posts.

I don't know who the terrific Blogger tech was that helped me out but I would like to publicly thank him/her for their help. KUDOS!

In case you've experienced a similar problem here's how the problem occurred and how it was solved.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Blogger Employee Helper"
To: "Blogger Help Group - Publishing Trouble"
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2007 2:00 PM
Subject: Re: Blog domain is redirecting to another site

Hi PamelaLyn,

I'm sorry you've been experiencing difficulties with the switching process. Our records indicate that you switched your old Blogger blog to ftp publishing before attempting to switch it to the new Blogger, which made your old address available to a spammer.

Your switch to the new Blogger failed, however, and your account was moved back to the old Blogger. I've restored that blog to your old Blogger account and removed the spam blog from your old Blog*Spot address, so please feel free to reclaim it.

- Blogger Employee Helper

and here's my reply

----- Original Message -----
From: "PamelaLyn"
To: "Blogger Help Group - Publishing Trouble"

Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2007 3:30 PM
Subject: Re: Blog domain is redirecting to another site

Dear Blogger Helper,

Thank you. You're my hero.

At the same time I noticed this post I also received an email reply to my problem report from Mon, 11 Dec 2006 19:28:42 -0800.

So to be on the safe side, I logged into new Blogger, created a blog with the same name and reclaimed the URL.

This is a real relief. As you can imagine, when you've had an URL for several years and your name is attached to it, you truly want to make sure that it reflects your views.

Also, since I had registered that URL with a number of feedburner services, I did not want those services or any subscribers to think that I had become a spammer.

Thank you again.



So we have a happy if not perfect ending. Correct that a new beginning. plk