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July 2005
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September 2005

Justification for my addiction: Coffee Top Source of Antioxidants for Americans

I love the java, the joe, the coffee. I have worried about the health affects because I have high blood pressure, but my doctor told me it was OK.

Reuter's reported on Monday, 08/29/05, that coffee is beneficial in many ways including the high levels of antioxidants that coffee contains which helps prevent liver and colon cancer among other things.

I'm drinking my first cup of the day as I write this.

Link: MedlinePlus: Coffee Top Source of Antioxidants for Americans.


Rory O'Shea Was Here/Inside I'm Dancing, the film

Rory_oshea Rory O'Shea Was Here/Inside I'm Dancing is an Irish film distributed in 2004 which has very unusual content. The main character is a young man, Rory, who is confined to a wheel chair by his Duchenne Muscular Distrophy. When he is forced into a very nice nursing home he befriends another young man, Michael Connolly, who also is confined to a wheel chair by his Cerebral Palsy and his speech is so poor that Rory is one of the few people who can understand him. Together they decide to leave the nursing home for independent living where they can make decisions and choices of their own.

The movie tells an often funny as well as tragic story and certainly sensitizes the viewer to the "rights" of the disabled and their desires to be just like everyone else.

I highly recommend this movie. It is not only funny and enjoyable, but will raise the viewers awareness of the concerns and desires of the disabled.

Link: Inside I'm Dancing (2004).


Swimming Upstream, the film

Swimming Upstream is an Australian film released in 2003 about the family life of the Australian Swimming Champion in the late 50s and early 60s, Tony Fingleton. It is a true life story of triumph over abuse.

Tony was the middle of five children in a working class Australian family in which the father was an alcoholic, physically abusive, and emotionally and mentally abusive. Tony, in particular, was emotionally abused by his father who clealy favored Tony's younger brother, John, also a swimmer, and his older brother, Harold.

Luckily, Tony was reassured and loved by his mother. Tony received a swimming scholarship to Harvard, married an American woman, and immigrated to the United States as an adult.

This movie, like Coach Carter, works on many levels. If you are interested in an exciting sports film with the focus on swimming, this film will provide the heartbreak and triumph of sporting contest. If you are interested in a depiction of a family drama, this film is interesting too. If you are interested in learning about the impact of alcoholism on a family, and why alcoholism is sometimes called a "family disease", this film has a lot to teach.

I highly recommend this film.

Link: Swimming Upstream (2003).


Pat Robertson advocates terrorism

The Northcoast Cafe has an interesting article posted on August 27, 2005 about Venezuela no longer admitting Christian missionaries into the country after Pat Robertson, the TV Evangelical Christian Preacher and one time U.S. Presidential Candidate, said that US covert operatives should assassinate Venezuela's President, Hugo Chavez. (If you would like to watch the clip where he says this, click here.)

Is terrorism a faith based initiative now being advocated by Christian Clerics in the US? How is this different from what some of the Islam fundamentalists are doing in the middle east?

Where does Pat Robertson and other fundamentalist right wing Christians find the assassination of people in the New Testament or in the teachings of Jesus?

This kind of "preaching" calls into question the authenticity and credibility of Christian leaders of the fundamentalist ilk who advocate terrorism as a faith based initiative.


Charges Dropped Against 'Raging Grannies'

Raging_grannies_tuscon I mentioned on this blog on August 20th, 2005 that some of the Tucson Raging Grannies had been arrested at the military recruitment office in Tucson when they tried to enlist so their children and grandchildren could come home. The recruiters apparently neither took them seriously nor thought they were funny so they called the cops. The cops arrested these senior citizens but apparently the procecutor decided to drop the charges because she didn't have enough evidence to prosecute. I would guess that neither the city nor the military wanted any more publicity because the whole thing strikes me as guerilla street theater.

The Christian Peacemaking Teams have a new book out entitled "Getting In The Way" and that's what the Raging Grannies were doing. Putting sand into the transmission.

I say, "You go grannies!"

"Charges have been dropped against the "Raging Grannies," five women accused of trespassing after they tried to enlist at a military recruitment center to protest the war in Iraq, a city prosecutor said.

The five women tried to enlist on July 13, saying they wanted to go to Iraq so their children and grandchildren could come home. Recruiters called police.

Their group, dubbed the "Tucson Raging Grannies," includes members ranging in age from 65 to 81 — decades older than the maximum age for recruits. They have protested at the center every week for three years.

City Prosecutor Laura Brynwood said Friday the trespassing charges were dropped earlier this month because they would have been difficult to prove."

Link: Print Story: Charges Dropped Against 'Raging Grannies' on Yahoo! News.


Cherry Picking Your Way Through The Bible To War

I am reminded again of the power of the witness while reading David Ray Griffin's article in the July/August, 2005 issue of Zion's Herald entitled, "9/11: A Christian Theologian's Response". Griffin is a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology at the Claremont School of Theology.

"If we believe that our political and military leaders are acting on the basis of policies that are diametrically opposed to the divine purposes, it is incumbent upon us to say this. This is especially the case if we live in a rich and powerful country, the policies of which affect the welfare of other peoples, even other species. This is all the more true if these leaders are claiming divine support for their policies, as did Vice President Cheney in sending out a Christmas card with the statement: “And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

The fourth anniversary of 9/11 will be upon us in two weeks and it appears that the current administration will use this occassion to further celebrate its militarism. Militarism is 180 degrees opposed to what Jesus ever taught and yet the current administration wraps its imperial pre-emptive war policies in a claim that it is God's will.

This kind of propaganda is very dangerous especially when people start to believe it. As the bumper sticker says, "FACISM CAN HAPPEN".

Griffin's point is that the everyday person may feel impotent to stop the huge wheels of government, and to a large extent we are. But the power of the pen and the spoken word should never be underestimated.

People have been silenced until Cindy Sheehan appeared on the national scene and her simple question is what is the noble cause that her son died for? What is worth the tremendous sacrifice of human life that this administration has expended?

9/11 was a terrible tragedy and injustice, but as Gandhi said, "An eye for eye makes us both blind."

Our government will continue its misguided policies as long as they can get away with it. More people need to witness and get in the way. Jesus told Peter to put away his sword even as they came to arrest him. I wonder if Bush and Cheney ever read those passages of the New Testament, the Good News, or do they just cherry pick the passages that support their policies like they did the intelligence?
Link: ViewPoint.