Remembering Katrina

“If there is any real, fundamental danger to America (as opposed to all of Fox’s made-up stuff, that is), this is it: That the country will fail because its government does not provide even minimally competent services to its citizens.” -Mark Coatney

This is belated but still worth posting.

I went for a week of reconstruction 11 months after the storm, and learned how to build and demolish walls. I also learned how to listen, re-build trust, and work in a community of strangers. I discovered the power of hope, I delighted in the altruism of my peers, and I didn’t realize, until then, what real gratitude looks like.

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Dear Tea Party People:

Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.’ The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan [Muslim], the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.

– Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826), third president of the United States, author of the Declaration of Independence, referring to the Virginia Statute For Religious Freedom, which became law on January 16, 1786.”

The Onion makes the same point with a touch more humor.

Why I’m Blogging

“We live in a world where people get angry about things that do not matter, while at the same time people don’t get angry about things that do matter.”

It is my hope that this blog will serve as a constructive use for the emotions (including anger) that I feel in observing societal issues today, including (but not limited to) social justice, the Middle East, issues of gender, race, class, faith, religion and morality, education, culture, politics and human rights.

Bell concludes his “NOOMA” video sermonette “Store” by saying:

“Often, when we’re talking about what we’re going to give our lives to, we ask the question, “What do you love? What is it that when you do it you feel alive? You think, ‘Man, I could do this forever. I was made for this.’” So we often ask, “What do you love?” but there’s another question we can ask. “What makes you angry?” What is it that when you see it, you think, “That’s wrong! Somebody should do something about that! Somebody should devote themselves to that. Somebody should make a difference there. Somebody should help them.” Maybe that somebody is you.”

Maybe that somebody is you.

“I am he
As you are he
As you are me
And we are all together.”

-The Beatles