The Craziest Thing Just Happened

I was sitting on my balcony when I heard a big thunk coming from above me. Then a fluttering noise and then a thud on the ground.

I crept towards the edge and looked over. A bird apparently hit something. (Ran into someone's glass window?) and then fell to its death.

But then, it slowly raised its head and looked around a bit. I watched it for awhile and then decided to go grab my camera to take a picture. But when I got back the bird was gone!

I guess it made it after all and flew away!


Junk to Explore 2

Just Another list of authors, topics, books, and movies that have been recommended for me to check out:

illustrated elements of style
human light
polar bear club
recommendation for chuck
milan halek
seeds of compassion
Al Franken's book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right called "Savin' It!" In it,
Unaccustomed Earth.
Lily Dale : The True Story of the Town that Talks to the Dead
The Fall of the Evangelical Nation.
David Sedaris--when you are engulfed in flames et al
BCC documentaries
heart of darkness
apocolyse now
the devil came in horseback
chavez-inside the coup, movie
the story of stuff, movie
"Côte d'Azur" ("Crustaces et Coquillages"), movie
20 cm, movie
black gold
st dsn season 5
darfur now
Pledge of Allegiance Blues
Atheist tapes
a history of disbelief
For the Bible Tells Me So
Beauty Mark, documentary
flow, documentary
blue gold
blue covenant
golden compass
undercover economist
I am America and so can you
The skeptical environmentalist
poisonwood bible
hunt for red october
there is a god
unaccustomed earth
dinner iwth osama
the fall of the evangelical nation
the god delusion
why we fight, jarecki
Miami Model, movie
peace day, movie
born again, movie
Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, Michael Dowd
King Corn, movie
towelhead, movie
When Corporations Rule the World by David Korten
Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea
In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God
The Road
Apocalypse How
Les Miserables
Center for Student Organization packet
Gangs of NY
civil versus criminal law
rosewood, move
Ward Churchill
holocaust versus genocide
zapatista reader
definition of secularism
convalescent, fecundity
John Perkins (American Imperialism, Confessions of an Economics)
The smell of old lady perfume
children of men
requiem for a dream
the fountain
angels in america
deblernes, louis-carellis mandalin
bajo juarez
casa amiga
black madonna
cradle to cradle
the daughters of juarez, rodriguez
the killing fields, valdez
overthrow, steven kinser
richard clark
cato institute
myths of migration
pastors for peace
us embargos
mexico solidarity network
history of mexico
future of food
go ask alice
brave new world
Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson
Jewel of Medina
Dragons of Eden
Salvation Boulevard
street fight
...so goes the nation

This makes me really mad!

The Pulpit Initiative is Sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund. On a video that I watched on the ADF website, many of the pastors talked about biblical truth and how they were simply professing biblical truth.

"Those things that He stands for are worth us taking a stand for." (pastor from video on ADF website) 

"No pastor should fear the IRS. When a pastor speaks scriptural truth, and directly addresses the issues embraced by a party or a candidate and the IRS threatens the church's tax exemption then to protect his constitutional rights and the church's constitutional rights he should call the Alliance Defense Fund." (Also from the video on ADF website)

So, the thing I'm confused about is how they could think that a church has constitutional rights? I have no problem with preaching politics from the pulpit as long as you just remove the tax-exemption status.


New Study on Abortion Reduction

The heated abortion debate has up to this time been focused on legal measures. A new study commissioned by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good concludes that government social spending and economic conditions do more to reduce abortions than legal strategies such as parental consent laws.

Joseph Wright (Penn State University) and Michael Bailey's (Georgetown University) examined the dramatic drop in abortions in the 1990s. The results are significant. States that spend more generously on nutritional supplement programs, for example, could see up to 37 percent lower abortion rates. Other factors such as cutting welfare more slowly and higher male employment rates had a 20 to 29 percent reduction rate.

The negative approaches don't seem to work. Welfare caps on children born while on welfare and laws requiring parental consent for minors have only negligible impact. The study concludes that "pro-family policies reduce abortions."

Both Republicans and Democrats should take note. The authors estimate that increased welfare payments and less Medicaid funding for abortions could lower the current abortion rate by 37 percent.

by Mary Nelson via [God's Politics]


Nizhoni Raíces

In my INVST cohort, today we came up with a mission statement that is to represent the 8 of us in our cohort as we move forward in our lives.

I'm excited because it took a few weeks to develop since we used consensus-based decision making to decide on each section of the statement.

Here it is:

From our beautiful roots, we radiate hope, love and passion as we live for social justice and infinite possibility. We critically engage with the world and constantly seek to empower and mobilize ourselves and our communities in order to deconstruct oppressive realities and transform our society.



So I just listened to this really great podcast!

Spirituality. What does that word really mean? This summer, when I was in Mexico, we talked a lot about spirituality and how people from the U.S. may be may economically rich, but may also suffer from "poverty of spirit". This summer we also talked about how there are different types of poverty and each person can have strengths and weaknesses in each of these area:

Types of Poverty:
1. Economic Poverty
2. Bodily Poverty
3. Mental Poverty
4. Cultural Poverty
5. Spiritual Poverty
6. Political Poverty
7. Societal Poverty

Back to the podcast I just listened to:

It's called "Point of Inquiry" and this particular episode was titled "Thank God for Evolution"

Rev. Michael Dowd shared that in order to work towards uniting the world, we need a common "creation myth" and that creation myth can and should be evolution. He also had a non-supernatural view of God that I'm interested in learning more about in my quest to be a more "spiritual person" (whatever that means)

He also talked about heaven and hell as something that we can experience here on this earth (again, not supernatural). I can really get on board with that idea too.

I look forward to listening to part two "The Marriage of Science and Religion"

Thanks for reading...
~Ever Confused

P.S. What does spirituality mean to you?

This is Your Nation on White Privilege

(Note from me: This article was sent to me by a close friend. I find this article to be really inflammatory, but also wonder if are bits of truth in it. In the past few months I've been doing a lot of reading about affirmative action/racism/white privilege on both sides of the issue. So, in short, please consider the article below simply as some points to ponder. And I would appreciate your thoughts too!)

This is Your Nation on White Privilege
by Tim Wise

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend five different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while if you're black and believe in reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school, requires it), you are a dangerous and mushy liberal who isn't fit to safeguard American institutions.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.

White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto is “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college and the fact that she lives close to Russia--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because suddenly your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is when you can take nearly twenty-four hours to get to a hospital after beginning to leak amniotic fluid, and still be viewed as a great mom whose commitment to her children is unquestionable, and whose "next door neighbor" qualities make her ready to be VP, while if you're a black candidate for president and you let your children be interviewed for a few seconds on TV, you're irresponsibly exploiting them.

White privilege is being able to give a 36 minute speech in which you talk about lipstick and make fun of your opponent, while laying out no substantive policy positions on any issue at all, and still manage to be considered a legitimate candidate, while a black person who gives an hour speech the week before, in which he lays out specific policy proposals on several issues, is still criticized for being too vague about what he would do if elected.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to go to a prestigious prep school, then to Yale and then Harvard Business school, and yet, still be seen as just an average guy (George W. Bush) while being black, going to a prestigious prep school, then Occidental College, then Columbia, and then to Harvard Law, makes you "uppity," and a snob who probably looks down on regular folks.

White privilege is being able to graduate near the bottom of your college class (McCain), or graduate with a C average from Yale (W.) and that's OK, and you're cut out to be president, but if you're black and you graduate near the top of your class from Harvard Law, you can't be trusted to make good decisions in office.

White privilege is being able to dump your first wife after she's disfigured in a car crash so you can take up with a multi-millionaire beauty queen (who you go on to call the c-word in public) and still be thought of as a man of strong family values, while if you're black and married for nearly twenty years to the same woman, your family is viewed as un-American and your gestures of affection for each other are called "terrorist fist bumps."

White privilege is when you can develop a pain-killer addiction, having obtained your drug of choice illegally like Cindy McCain, go on to beat that addiction, and everyone praises you for being so strong, while being a black guy who smoked pot a few times in college and never became an addict means people will wonder if perhaps you still get high, and even ask whether or not you ever sold drugs.

White privilege is being able to sing a song about bombing Iran and still be viewed as a sober and rational statesman, with the maturity to be president, while being black and suggesting that the U.S. should speak with other nations, even when we have disagreements with them, makes you "dangerously naive and immature."

White privilege is being able to say that you hate "gooks" and "will always hate them," and yet, you aren't a racist because, ya know, you were a POW so you're entitled to your hatred, while being black and insisting that black anger about racism is understandable, given the history of your country, makes you a dangerous bigot.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism and an absent father is apparently among the "lesser adversities" faced by other politicians, as Sarah Palin explained in her convention speech.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because a lot of white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.