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Monday, January 10 2011

This was emailed to me and really reflects how I feel.  We have too long accepted provocative rhetoric instead of demanding respectful dialogue on the issues.  I copy it here to reflect on the killings both in sorrow and a more urgent desire to see changes in our behavior that reflects our humanity and not the worst we have to offer. 

"All of us at Pax Christi USA were shocked to hear of the assassination attempt on Rep. Giffords yesterday. Below you will find our official statement on this horrific tragedy. We ask that you join us in praying for Rep. Giffords, the 6 people who died and their friends and families, and those wounded. We ask too that you pray with us that this event may mark a change in the tone and character of our national political conversation.


Official statement on the attempted assassination of Rep. Giffords


Pax Christi USA condemns the violence which took place in Arizona on Sunday, killing 6 people and wounding 7 others, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Within hours of the assassination attempt on Rep. Giffords, a Democrat who had voted in support of last year's health care law, the debate regarding the role that our current national political divisiveness had played in this violence was being played out in media outlets across our nation. Prominently noted was that Giffords had been targeted by former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin because of her support of healthcare reform, appearing on a map on Palin's political action committee's website and her own Facebook page with the cross-hairs of a gun-sight denoting Giffords' district.
 
Pax Christi USA has consistently spoken out against the rising negative rhetoric that has marked our national political conversation over the past few years and warned of its consequences. It is disingenuous and ignorant to suggest that hate-talk media and the hyperbolic use of violent imagery play no role in this rising wave of political violence. The vandalism which has been perpetrated at the offices of our political representatives, the scenes of individuals carrying weapons at last year's town hall meetings, and now the assassination attempt on Rep. Giffords are all part of the same cloth that begins with the irresponsible speech and sloganeering of media personalities and political leaders. Pax Christi USA hopes that the escalation of violence demonstrated in yesterday's events will finally bring our nation to its senses and lead the American people to no longer tolerate such utter disregard for civility and for the humanity of those with whom we disagree.
 
Pax Christi was founded on the reconciliation of French and German Catholics following two world wars in which they had slaughtered each other by the millions. Respect for our shared humanity is at the heart of our proclamation of the power of nonviolence to transform enemies into friends. We believe in a God who calls us to respect all life, to care for all of our sisters and brothers, and to work for a world that reflects the message God's son shared with us-a message of compassion, love, forgiveness, and peace with justice. Today, we pray for Rep. Giffords' recovery, for the healing of those wounded in this tragic act, and for the consolation of the family and friends of the six who were killed-including a 9 year-old girl. And we pray too that this tragedy brings about a new era of civil and respectful dialogue in our national political conversation, where we recognize and honor the conscience and freedom of our opponents, and where our highest ideals-rather than our basest fears-govern how we speak to one another and how we portray each other. "

Posted by: rbcarpenter AT 12:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, January 08 2011

Yes this is late. They have already fallen from the sky. They have washed up on the shores.  They are the Birds, the Bees, The Fish, The Crabs and who knows what is coming next.

Things we do know.  The birds dropped out of the sky in great numbers and they were dead before they hit the ground.  The fish died before they washed up on the shore.  The crabs did not die on the coastline where they were found.  The deaths happened in fresh water and salt water.  So we have both air and water.  Specific species were affected.  All of the birds and fish and crabs of every conceivable species mix did not fall out of the sky or wash up on the beaches.  The deaths were not Arkansas specific although that was the first world wide awareness of the mass deaths. 

Despite the rampant speculation the Internet has proved its worth because in a very short time the entire world became aware of the Arkansas deaths.  This is the good news.  As an aside we should be very conscious of our responsibility to maintain the integrity of the information we dispense.  This world wide web thing is a two edged sword.  So before the paranoid censors get ambitious and try to police everything on the internet we might police ourselves and be very aware of what we submit.  Just sayin. (I know many are beginning to dislike that saying) 

So lets pretend we are investigators with very limited tools, but we do have the internet search capability.

Although many in positions of leadership have chimed in and given their expert opinion let's not forget that some well meaning people want to lower the fear factor, prevent panic and hope their input makes the whole thing go away.  It is not going away.  We are in the midst of change, often serious, often deadly.  So keeping quiet about the issues and the problems serves only those who need the air and the wires to be silent for their own purposes, whatever those may be.

Ok I know nothing at this point in time.  But I would like to take a shot at some of the comments surrounding this tragic occurrence.

Loud noises spooked the birds roosting at night and they flew into each other, into buildings, trees, etc. The birds,the fish, the crabs all died from a disease.  They were all poisoned, by pollutants, by noise, by radiation, by unusual climate conditions such as the surface water and air temperature.  And even if some groups want to attribute these occurrences to God's retribution or as a sign of our eminent demise it would be wise of us to figure out the real world causes and leave the end of the world rhetoric for the story tellers. 

Some things to be aware of, although none of these have to be the specific cause.

Climate change is upon us:  Flooding, colder than normal, hotter than normal, Land and water surface ice sheets melting, Tundras melting, glaciers retreating rapidly, Water temperature both ocean and fresh water getting warmer and yes colder in areas all over the globe. In some parts of the world glaciers supply fresh water all year long but only for a relatively short period of time if the current warming trend continues.

Sea traffic so pervasive in the oceans that noise pollution affects every species that communicates through the water.  This affects migration patterns, feeding and social behavior.

Pollution, oil, chemical, refuse, plastics, are pervasively eating away at the integrity of the oceans, our fresh water supplies, our soil.  The simple cause and effect is that our food chain is being tampered with and in some parts of the world we are being systematically poisoned (yes the USA is included).  

Genetically modified plants and other life (fish) are being introduced into our food chain at an alarming rate even though the long term possibility of a serious mistake is not only possible but guaranteed.

Our organic farmers are trying to stop the maddness of industrial agriculture.  The chemical runoffs, the soil sterilization, the GMO crops cross contamination, the depleted soil of organic material and living benefical organisms, the excessive use of antibiotics and hormones to increase production. 

Human reliance on drugs in every dimension of our lives cannot be good. The advertisement for a stop smoking drug has a serious listing of scary side effects, even death, and this is just to stop smoking. 

Humans were not affected so a Methane leak can probably be discounted.

So the point is we do not know,  but I will be tracking the investigation to see where it goes and what the investigators find.....rbc 

Posted by: rb Carpenter AT 02:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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