If we are to move to a world without nuclear weapons two practical steps will be required: 1. The actual dismantling of nuclear bombs. 2. The verification of the process -- without revealing sensitive security information. That why I find this report of the actually dismantling process of special interest.
In case you did not get a chance to read the letter sent early this month to all U.S. senators and representatives by Bishop William F. Murphy, Chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee Domestic Justice and Human Development, you can find it here.
With comprehensive health care in the balance and strong vested interests making every effort they can to slow or stop health care reform, the position of the Catholic church on health care reform matters.
"No Recess for Reform” was the mantra at a press conference and prayer meeting at the U.S. Capitol this morning. The event, sponsored by PICO, a faith-based community organizing network, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Sojourners and Faith in Public Life, was the kick-off of a campaign to pressure legislators to pass comprehensive health reform legislation this year.
During the congressional August recess, the coalition is planning a hundred meetings at the district offices of fence-sitting congressmen and senators. Additionally, the coalition will be running radio ads and collecting signatures for petitions. “The Good Samaritan was called upon to provide affordable, accessible health care,” Rev. Stevie Wakes of the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kan., told the gathering.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer writes a thoughtful piece on natural family planning.
A long and loving look at the natural world we inhabit can actually change us. We can become different persons. In his book The Universe Is a Green Dragon, physicist Brian Swimme points out that when you stand, for example, in the presence of the moon, you become a new creation. There is an actual physical interaction between the photons of light coming from the moon and the optical nerve cells in your body.
The horror slasher movie "Orphan" open last weekend, raking in $12.8 million for Warner Bros. as the fourth most popular movie of the weekend.
An earlier outcry from adoptive parents offended by the premise that an older adopted child might be a homicidal psychopath resulted in the trailer line, "It must hard to love an adopted child as much as your own," being replaced. But the movie still reinforces the stereotype that it's risky to adopt an older child.
I didn’t know Lily Burk, never met her walking through our neighborhood. But when the 17-year old high school senior was murdered last Friday while running an errand for her mother, that death shook my home to its very walls.
This past Saturday, we were invited to the home of some friends, to view native Mexican arts and crafts on display and for sale -- proceeds were to go to a cooperative of women working in the remote and poverty-stricken Chiapas region of southern Mexico, the poorest part of a poor country.
The items had been brought back by a group of teenagers from a local private school. The students make an annual trip to Chiapas, to help the women’s group fix homes and build their small businesses.
In some ways, the gathering could have been the kind of Hollywood fundraiser that promotes snickers outside this town: a meeting of the comfortably middle class, doing what they do best -- shopping.
Do you remember this diplomatic incident from 2006? The U.S. mission in Havana installed a scrolling electronic sign to flash human rights messages in five-foot high crimson letters into Havana.
"The US described [the sign] as a way to convey information to the Cuban people but the real purpose was to irritate the Cuban government," explained said Dan Erikson, author of The Cuba Wars and an analyst at the Inter-American Dialogue think tank.
But in reality, he said, "It was basically a contest of which side could annoy the other the most."
Well, The Guardian of London is reporting that the sign has been turned off.
"The Obama administration is more interested in normalizing diplomatic channels and apparently did not see the sign as being conducive to that goal," said Erikson. He called the propaganda war surrounding the US mission in Havana as creepy, comical and slightly surreal.