Monday, April 30, 2007


"I think we can come up with a statement on which all Americans, Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, straight or gay, can agree, despite our country being so tragically and ferociously divided. The first universal American sentiment I came up with was: 'Sugar is sweet.'" - Kurt Vonnegut

"I am neither left wing nor right wing; I need both wings to fly." - Deborah Van Valkenburgh.

L. to R: Lydia, Wally Wingert's mom, Deborah Van Valkenburgh

In Burbank over the weekend, Deborah and I signed autographs and had fun with Henry Winkler (Fonzie from Happy Days and children's book author of the "Hank Zipper" series), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters and Beverly Hills Cop. Ernie guest-starred on our show in its first season); Michael Beck from The Warriors; Lorenzo Lamas; Juliet Mills; Larry Thomas, the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld (LOVE THIS GUY!); Bruce Kulick, incredibly gifted guitarist from KISS; Wally Wingert - actor, amazing human, and voice over artist extraordinaire; William Forsythe, Branscombe Richmonds who is now host of GOOD MORNING HAWAII. Deborah and I did an interview for the show, and I'll try to upload clips after it airs. I love Branscombe; he played Jackie Rush's love interest on our show. I met lots of others, but have to post them later. Met the legendary sketch artist ROMEO who works in blue pencil; he gave me a portrait of my favorite actress of all time, Audrey Hepburn.

My son got INVADER ZIM'S autograph, Richar Horvitz, who played ZIM!!!

Progressive is the term I choose to call my social and political leanings. Going forward, making progress, advancing new ideas, bringing people together in the spirit of love, making friends out of enemies, having compassion even for the offensive and downtrodden (because I know what it's like to have a bad day.) Progressive means enlightened, spiritual, diplomatic solutions... getting along with ones enemies, finding common ground, realizing that by joining forces and engaging in community we become stronger and better human beings.

Regressive is the opposite of progressive. In my view, regressive thought encompasses the belief that fighting one's enemies is the way to peace! Never have I heard a more ridiculous statement, but it seems to be the philosophy of the regressive movement. Religious fundamentalism is dangerous in any culture. Being focused on materialism, and on judging others completely negates the love required in order to live in a society. Fundamentalism is the primitive, archaic, eye-for-an-eye mentality -- the way of people who are too afraid of losing what they have and too protective of their own possessions. People who are afraid.

Strong people do not need to fight -- or hide behind guns. Truly brave and courageous men do not breed enemies. They are clever enough to outwit and outsmart their enemies by keeping them close. What sane person on earth, if he's not in law enforcement, needs a semi-automatic weapon?

The Constitution of the United States of America mentions "military defense" only once. But it mentions the importance of sharing, helping each other, helping the states, and building community -- several times, repeatedly.

Our Founding Fathers would not recognize the executive branch today. Their values are quite different from the values of America.

God helps those who help others. "God helps those who help themselves" is not mentioned in the bible anywhere. We must replace the idea of "rugged individualism" with "helping others within your community" because no one ever really made it on his own without a helping hand.

I really feel as if the tide is turning and we are all going to be okay. We will avert nuclear war with Iran, despite the president's war lust, and we will create a safer, cleaner better world. Because we all have intentions toward life and peace.

I signed autographs on Friday and Saturday at Ray Courts show in Burbank and spoke to several people about the state of the world. Eight out of ten people, including a police officer, despise this war and think badly of Bush. Only two people I spoke to the entire day said that they could never vote for a Democrat becaues they are pro-life. They never once acknowledge that the war in Iraq has killed 650,000 Iraqi civilians and innocent children, including babies -- even though they are "pro-life." They are so brainwashed they actually do not understand that Democrats are NOT PRO-ABORTION. Democrats hate abortion too.

These unthinking people who parrot the Bush party line, are killing more innocent souls with their ideology and they refuse to wake up and see it.

Got this from a LAKE TAHOE Journal: "Deep inside of us, we hunger for a simpler life. The fresh mountain air, the smell of pine needles and the bluest lake in the world. Nothing alleviates stress better than the surreal beauty of nature."

If you missed it, YOU WILL NEVER WATCH TV NEWS AGAIN after watching the electrifying PBS Special by Bill Moyers "BUYING THE WAR."

"Buying the War," a 90-minute documentary that explores the role of the press in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. This riveting, thorough investigation includes interviews with Dan Rather, formerly of CBS; Tim Russert of MEET THE PRESS; Bob Simon of 60 MINUTES; Walter Isaacson, former president of CNN; and John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel of Knight Ridder newspapers, which was acquired by The McClatchy Company in 2006.

In "Buying the War" Bill Moyers and producer Kathleen Hughes document the reporting of Walcott, Landay and Strobel, the Knight Ridder team that burrowed deep into the intelligence agencies to try and determine whether there was any evidence for the Bush Administration's case for war. THIS WILL SHOCK PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN BUYING THE PROPAGANDA OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. BUSH AND CHENEY MUST BE IMPEACHED.


* Bring about a new bottom line of love and caring in America
* Challenge the misuse of God, religion, and spirit by the religious right
* Challenge the anti-religious and anti-spiritual biases in some sectors of liberal culture

Friday, April 27, 2007

Talk Radio

from 9 - 10 a.m. We broadcast live -- or go to our website and click on the link to hear the entire show in the archives.

LISTEN TO YESTERDAY'S SHOW IN THE ARCHIVES: Yesterday, we had Paul Waldman from Media Matters on to discuss Bill O'Reilly's delusional rant accusing Media Matters of being a propaganda website funded by George Soros. This is hilarious, you have to hear it. Media is a Washington think-tank whose sole purose is to correct deception, misinformation and hate-speak in the right-wing media. Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

TALK RADIO by Larry Johnson

Talk radio has become a billion dollar business in America and the audience is growing with the influence of Internet Talk Radio to capture a growing block of the audience. More and more people are logging on to listen to talk radio over their computers and hand held devices.

Conservatives took the lead in talk radio with influences like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity dominating the airwaves with their abrasive tones slanted sharply to a conservative point of view. As these shows caught on other conservative shows hit the airwaves and helped push the Republican party into power.

Progressive talk shows came at a disadvantage as the conservative influence had long dominated the airwaves. As Air America came into existence and progressive talk shows began to gain an audience, politics in the U.S slowly started to turn.

Eight of the top ten talk radio shows are conservative programs that reach millions of listeners, who daily use their broadcasts to further the conservative agenda. Each week these and other talk radio pundits make outrageous claims that often prove untrue.

A new breed of progressive talk has recently hit the airwaves. Broadcasting from Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Doug Basham and Lydia Cornell host the Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk show every Saturday at 9:00 AM PST.

This Saturday on Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk they will interview Paul Waldman of Media Matters. The subject will be the recent outrageous remarks of Bill O'Reilly and other conservative claims that have been untrue.

Tune in Saturday at 9:00 AM PST for the fastest growing show in talk radio. bashamandcornell

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Tonight is the first of the Democratic Presidential Debates.

8 Democratic Presidential candidates will square off in their first combined appearance on national television. Comment live.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"
Nikka - age 6

Stephen Pitt Political Cartoons

Before we get into the truth behind Gonzo-Gate, POTENTIALLY HABITABLE PLANET FOUND!! THIS IS EXCITING!!

WASHINGTON - For the first time astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, with Earth-like temperatures, a find researchers described Tuesday as a big step in the search for "life in the universe."

The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 120 trillion miles away. But the star it closely orbits, known as a "red dwarf," is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun.
Read more:

Did the most powerful Republicans in America have the computer capacity, software skills and electronic infrastructure in place on election night 2004 to tamper with the Ohio results to ensure George W. Bush's re-election?

The answer appears to be yes.

On Election Night 2004, the Republican Party not only controlled the vote-counting process in Ohio, the final presidential swing state, through a secretary of state who was a co-chair of the Bush campaign, but it also controlled the technology that allowed the tally of the vote in Ohio's 88 counties to be reported to the media and voters.

Privatizing elections and allowing known partisans to run a key presidential vote count is troubling enough. But the reason Congress must investigate these high-tech ties is there is abundant evidence that Republicans could have used this computing network to delay announcing the winner of Ohio's 2004 election while tinkering with the results.

Read more below, but first an editorial comment:

Because we love America, love our freedoms, love our constitution and despise lies, war, death and destruction... and because we cherish our troops and want to bring them safely home, we must continue to hold these criminals in the Bush administration accountable. We must hold their feet to the fire, or else we are being un-American. These people do not seem to have America's best interests at heart. We are Americans and deserve honest, ethical leaders who work for the people. After all, the United States is unique in all the world as government BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE AND OF THE PEOPLE.

Regular viewers of mainstream news, and especially Fox News are never told the whole truth. With smoke and mirrors, they distract us from the truth; they obfuscate. In the Alberto Gonzales hearings, what is the crime beneath the outer crime of lying and "I can't remember?" Is it obstruction of justice? What is Gonzo-Gate really all about? Why is Congress so interested in getting to the bottom of why these attorneys were fired? Brad Friedman of, who has worked tirelessly for three years to uncover shocking evidence of GOP ELECTION FRAUD, CORRUPTOIN AND ELECTION THEFT, exposes it and so does Bob Fritakis.

GOP's Cyber Election Hit Squad Exposed
Steven Rosenfeld and Bob Fitrakis
April 24, 2007

Bob Fitrakis is a political science professor and attorney in the King Lincoln Bronzeville civil rights lawsuit against Ken Blackwell. Fitrakis, Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman are authors of What Happened in Ohio? A documentary record of theft and fraud in the 2004 election.

Did the most powerful Republicans in America have the computer capacity, software skills and electronic infrastructure in place on election night 2004 to tamper with the Ohio results to ensure George W. Bush's re-election?

The answer appears to be yes. There is more than ample documentation to show that on Election Night 2004 , Ohio's "official" Secretary of State website—which gave the world the presidential election results—was redirected from an Ohio government server to a group of servers that contain scores of Republican web sites, including the secret White House e-mail accounts that have emerged in the scandal surrounding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s firing of eight federal prosecutors.

Recent revelations have documented that the Republican National Committee (RNC) ran a secret White House e-mail system for Karl Rove and dozens of White House staffers. This high-tech system used to count and report the 2004 presidential vote—from server-hosting contracts, to software-writing services, to remote-access capability, to the actual server usage logs themselves—must be added to the growing congressional investigations.

Numerous tech-savvy bloggers, starting with the online investigative consortium and their November 2006 article cross-posted by contributor luaptifer to Dailykos , and Joseph Cannon's blog at, outed the RNC tech network. That web-hosting firm is SMARTech Corp. of Chattanooga, TN, operating out of the basement in the old Pioneer Bank building. The firm hosts scores of Republican websites, including, and

The software created for the Ohio secretary of state’s Election Night 2004 website was created by GovTech Solutions, a firm co-founded by longtime GOP computing guru Mike Connell. He also redesigned the Bush campaign's website in 2000 and told Inside Business magazine in 1999, "I wouldn't be where I am today without the Bush campaign and the Bush family because the Bushes truly are about family and I’m loyal to my network."

Ohio's Cedarville University, a Christian school with 3,100 students, issued a press release on January 13, 2005 describing how faculty member Dr. Alan Dillman’s computing company Government Consulting Resources, Ltd, worked with these Republican-connected companies to tally the vote on Election Night 2004.

"Dillman personally led the effort from the GCR side, teaming with key members of Blackwell's staff," the release said. "GCR teamed with several other firms—including key players such as GovTech Solutions, which performed the software development—to deliver the end result. SMARTech provided the backup and additional system capacity, and Mercury Interactive performed the stress testing."

On Election Night 2004, the Republican Party not only controlled the vote-counting process in Ohio, the final presidential swing state, through a secretary of state who was a co-chair of the Bush campaign, but it also controlled the technology that allowed the tally of the vote in Ohio's 88 counties to be reported to the media and voters.

Privatizing elections and allowing known partisans to run a key presidential vote count is troubling enough. But the reason Congress must investigate these high-tech ties is there is abundant evidence that Republicans could have used this computing network to delay announcing the winner of Ohio's 2004 election while tinkering with the results.

Did Ohio Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell or other GOP operatives inflate the president's vote totals to secure George W. Bush's margin of victory? On Election Night 2004, many of the totals reported by the secretary of state were based on local precinct results that were impossible. In Clyde, Ohio, a Republican haven, Bush won big after 131 percent voter turnout. In Republican Perry County, two precincts came in at 124 percent and 120 percent respectively. In Gahanna Ward 1, precinct B, Bush received 4,258 votes despite the fact that only 638 people voted for president. In Concord Southwest in Miami County, the certified election results proudly proclaimed at 679 out of 689 registered voters cast ballots, a 98.55 percent turnout. later found that only 547 voters had signed in.

These strange election results were routed by county election officials through Ohio's Secretary of State's office, through partisan IT providers and software, and the final results were hosted out of a computer based in Tennessee announcing the winner. The Cedarville University releases boasted the system "was running like a champ." It said, "The system kept running through the early morning hours as users from around the world looked to Ohio for their election results."
(


THE UNDERLYING CRIME: White House Interference into a U.S. Attorney's Criminal Investigation in Missouri

High-Level White House, DoJ, Rove Operatives Went to Work While now-Fired Prosecutor Bud Cummins Was Building a Case Against Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and the WH Connected MO Law Firm Lathrope & Gage...

"You have to firewall politics out of the Department of Justice. Because once it gets in, people question every decision you make," the former U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, Bud Cummins, told the Los Angeles Times in March. "Now I keep asking myself: 'What about the Blunt deal?'"

What about the Blunt deal, indeed.

Last Thursday we began piecing together a few previously unconnected dots in the firing of Cummins. The dots connected appear to lay out a fairly straight arrow into the the highest levels of the White House. At least if you're familiar with some of the players, whom they know, and what they do for a living....
Click Here for the rest of the story:


Monday, April 23, 2007


For the FUNNIEST, best, political cartoons, go to Stephen Pitt Political Cartoons copyright 2007 Stephen Pitt

Huffington Post | April 22, 2007 10:39 PM
At some point during his ramblings, we became heartbroken to think that the President of the United States and his top advisers have partially built a career on global warming not being real. We have been telling college students across the country for the past two weeks that government does not change until people demand it... well, listen up folks, everyone had better get a lot louder because the message clearly is not getting through.
In his attempt to dismiss us, Mr. Rove turned to head toward his table, but as soon as he did so, Sheryl reached out to touch his arm. Karl swung around and spat, "Don't touch me." How hardened and removed from reality must a person be to refuse to be touched by Sheryl Crow? Unphased, Sheryl abruptly responded, "You can't speak to us like that, you work for us." Karl then quipped, "I don't work for you, I work for the American people." To which Sheryl promptly reminded him, "We are the American people..."

for the rest of the story: KARL ROVE vs SHERYL CROW

A side note: I worked with Laurie David's husband, Larry David, on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, and a more delightful spirit is hard to find. He raves about his wife and her committment to saving our planet. Who could argue with wanting to conserve energy, stop waste and stop global warming?

EARTH DAY should expand into EARTH YEAR. EVeryone must see this Discover Series PLANET EARTH. It is stunning and will change your life. The polar bear swimming for his life is so tragic. These beautiful creatures must be saved. We are all togehter on this. Rove and certain right-wingers who are mired in archaic mentality, want to paint this as a liberal agenda, but aren't we past that mudslinging?


On April 16, 2007, a Virginia Tech student shot and killed more than 30 students and faculty, including himself. Reactions to this terrible incident have ranged from stunned shock to angry outrage as people try to understand how—why—this could happen.

But there's another way to approach this tragedy: with a spiritual perspective that helps us recognize that even in the darkest moments, God, good, is present, comforting and protecting everyone. And that all people can feel the healing blessings of our prayers. Hear inspiring and powerful ways people are turning to prayer in response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Special Sentinel Radio program
In silence, feeling the presence and power of God

Download MP3


Friday, April 20, 2007


from 9 - 10 a.m. We broadcast live -- or go to our website and click on the link to hear the entire show in the archives.

Our special guest Saturday morning, April 21, is the leader of a movement to restore the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state in the United States Military. He is the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He is also an attorney and businessman, who served on active duty in the US Air Force as a Judge Advocate General – or JAG – for 10 years. He spent 3 years as an attorney in the Reagan White House, and he is the former general counsel for H. Ross Perot. His name is Michael Weinsteen, his new book is titled “With God On Our Side: One Man's War Against an Evangelical Coup in America's Military.”Be sure to tune in to: BASHAM AND CORNELL PROGRESSIVE TALK

We need to keep separate Church and State. "Shouldn't each individual have the freedom to decide what God they are fighting for and praying to? It's that right to worship as we please that has been one of the abiding rasons we send our sons and daughters off to die. We need to preserve that right at all costs."

"It's simply wrong to paint every Christian with the same brush. For example, I'm firmly convinced that it's possible to have a strong, even fervent belief and still respect the constitutional rights of your fellow American citizens. From the first time I ever heard it, I was impressed by the Alcoholics Anonymous idea of drawing its members through attraction, not promotion... I think, for fundamentalists, at least in the workplace: lead by example, not by marketing and publicity and high-pressure sales tactics."


No matter what we think of the gunman — or of enemies, serial killers and psychopaths in general — what this world needs more of is love. There is no difficulty that enough love and compassion will not heal. In the wake of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, I reminded my kids about the Golden Rule, how to treat other kids at school.

On Tuesday, I told my sons to go to school and pick out a lonely child, a kid who eats alone or seems depressed, or who is constantly bullied. I asked each of my sons to make an effort to befriend this child, at least smile at him, and even be so brave as to risk embarrassment and sit with that person at lunch.

It didn't work because my youngest son came home with an overweight kid. They both came into my office and my son proceeded to call him "Fattie" out loud, right in front of him! The kid chuckled nervously. I told my son, "That is not nice; your friend is very good looking; he's perfect and you are being rude." My child said, "It's just a joke. Everyone calls him that, he likes it, right Frankie?" The child laughed nervously again.

Later my older son came home and whispered to me, "What's that chubby kid doing here?" I was appalled.

I thought I had taught them the Golden Rule years ago, but I guess bad habits die hard. So we are now committed to applying it more conscientiously. We're on a mission to stop this peer pressure to insult other kids!

Because the Golden Rule, meaning "treat others with kindness, the way you would want to be treated," is the most important thing Christ taught. In fact, it is the only part of Christ's actual words and teachings that are necessary in a mixed society. "Love one another; love your neighbor as yourself; love your enemies, bless those who persecute you." That's all anyone ever needs to know about the Great Peacemaker's teachings in order to live together peacefully in a society of warring religions. Enough of the intolerant, divisive fundamentalist preachings.

So I asked my kids to pick out a lonely, alienated child and to pray for this child every night for two weeks. We'll see how it goes. If nothing else, I am asking them to be mindful of other's feelings.

I would rather my sons be kind to others than to get good grades or win a sports competition. Nothing is more important than how we treat our fellow man.

On that note, here is an excerpt from one of my favorite books "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl, the famed Austrian psychotherapist who transcended concentration camp torture through the power of his mind. I was introduced to this book in 7th grad and it changed my life:

Even in the degradation and abject misery of a concentration camp, Frankl was able to exercise the most important freedom of all - the freedom to determine one's own attitude and spiritual well-being. No sadistic Nazi SS guard was able to take that away from him or control the inner-life of Frankl's soul. One of the ways he found the strength to fight to stay alive and not lose hope was to think of his wife. Frankl clearly saw that it was those who had nothing to live for who died quickest in the concentration camp.

"He who has a why for life can put up with any how."
Frederick Nietzsche

Frankl wrote the following while being marched to forced labor in a Nazi concentration camp:
"We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road running through the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor's arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his hand behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: "If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don't know what is happening to us."

That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another on and upward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look then was more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise.

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth--that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world may still know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when a man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way--an honorable way--in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life, I was able to understand the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory."

All of this is spiritual. The Christ came to tell us the very same thing. How we have twisted this message to the self-serving message of "dying for our sins" is hard to understand. Consider this: What if, when Jesus said, “I am the way, the path, the light… the only way to the Father is by me…” HE MEANT LOVE IS THE WAY!! What if he didn’t mean for people to worship him – or make an idol of him. He said, “the things I do, you can do also.” The salvation of man is in LOVE for his fellow man... and in understanding that man is not material, he is spiritual. We place too much emphasis on matter.

I also don’t think Jesus meant to put so much emphasis on his Second Coming, and in this man-made "rapture" business which I explained last week. No matter what the book of Revelation says, I think the Second Coming has to happen in our hearts – each of us individually must have this rebirth of love for our fellow man. We each must become Christ-like: innocent as a child, giving, loving, turning the other cheek, not fighting our enemies, not controlling other people, not being selfish, not fearing rejection, not turning hatred to love, not retaliating, not making more weapons, not fearing anything (for love casts out fear and to have fear means we lack faith.) When each of us becomes as loving as the Christ — this is the "Second Coming." Christ will be reborn within the soul of mankind. It has to come from within. Maybe what the bible means is that we will see Christ (love) reflected in each other.


Ann Coulter, Advocate for Death, to Speak Tonight with Sam Brownback at Pro-Life Banquet
Queen of Elmination Rhetoric, Hate Speech, Joins 'Conservative' Presidential Candidate on the Dais...
by Daniel Borchers of Citizens for Principled Conservatism

Controversialist Ann Coulter, legendary for her hate speech and elimination rhetoric (see just a few of her most notorious greatest "hits" in the chart linked below), is a featured speaker at tonights New Jersey Right to Life (NJRTL) Banquet. That’s right, an advocate for death is a spokesman for life.

Presidential candidate Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), and others, will be sharing the dais with Coulter....


For the FUNNIEST, best, political cartoons, go to Stephen Pitt Political Cartoons copyright 2007 Stephen Pitt

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


"Love one another."


Imagine this: every kid and teacher in that school has a gun. Someone is out in the hallway waving a gun around in the air. Everyone rushes out from classrooms to the hallway, waving their guns. WHO IS THE ORIGINAL GUNMAN? If everyone has a gun, who's the bad guy?

To the NRA and opponents of gun control: what's wrong with Tasers instead of guns? If you really are in fear and need to protect yourself, then have a taser handy.  This way it's not permanent.

Americans should have to pass eye tests, firearms classes, and metamphetamine tests, blood tests, even psychological testing (and see if they're on medications for depression or using psychotropic drugs) and be licensed BEFORE they can buy a gun.

It probably would not hurt at all to also have every applicant interviewed by someone trained to spot personality disorders, such as the kind that were so obvious to anyone who knew the mass murderer to be at Virginia Tech. The faculty there had already reported him to local police as a possible lunatic. And yet he was allowed to just walk into a gun store, where other murder weapons had been purchased, and walk out with a gun. There is something very broken about a system that failed to stop this.

For God's sake and for our children's sake, there have only been 24 justified shootings in America - versus THOUSANDS of "accidental" and rampage shootings, as a result of our lax gun laws.

In every other country where they have strict gun control, gun deaths are down.

Every day they try to fill us with fear. "The terrorists are coming over here to get us," they say. And why WOULDN'T the terrorists want to come to Virginia, for example? Why they've got some of the most lax gun laws anywhere, where even a deranged non-citizen can freely buy a high-powered assault weapon. And its not just people from overseas, criminals from all over the eastern seaboard come to Virginia in particular to buy their guns, so they can go commit crimes in other states.

The blood had not even dried on the classroom floors of Virginia Tech before the NRA launched its own offensive, in the media and in email blasts, to argue that what we really need to do is turn all our teachers into pistol packing sheriffs, and our colleges into something out of the wild west. There are only two categories of people who oppose any kind of gun regulation, lobbyists for the gun manufactures themselves, and people with personal Rambo fantasies. And the latter are possibly the LAST people who should be armed with deadly force.

The fact is that for every private citizen with the skill and JUDGEMENT to effectively intervene against someone else shooting a gun, there are many more Rambos in their own mind who would end up getting even more people killed including themselves. For every gun in a home used for successful defense against an attacker, there are many, many more used in suicides, or killing by accident, or end up stolen. Those are the statistics and they don't lie. You remember Marvin Gaye, don't you? He was killed in a family argument by his own father with a gun he bought for his father's protection.

It has never been enough to be a law-abiding citizen to be armed with a lethal weapon. With gun rights come gun responsibilities. You must be trained to use a weapon responsibly. And nobody should be able to purchase such a weapon unless they can first demonstrate this, any more than someone should be allowed to drive a car without at least first passing a driving test, together with an eye exam and a written test. They passed a law in the last Congress that said you were required to attend a special class before you could declare bankruptcy. Why not also to own a gun?

Having more guns in this country in the hands of people who can't handle them doesn't make us more safe. It makes us all LESS safe. Many of the guns already in the hands of criminals were originally sold legally (though perhaps under the most feeble of laws), and the more our society is awash with guns, the more guns criminals will get, to steal if they have to. The more guns the NRA can sell us, the more they will tell us we need to buy to "protect" ourselves from the ones already sold. What a deadly, murderous racket. Read more and take action at: TELL CONGRESS WE NEED STRONGER FEDERAL GUN REGULATIONS

No laymen, except the VERY INSECURE weaklings, need a gun that can kill people. Tasers stun the criminal and stop him in his tracks. Then you can take him to court and find out why he's doing what he's doing.

WE need to disarm all the criminals. In this day and age, with the stress of our society, the traffic, the job insecurity, the machines we're plugged into, the fear-mongering, the pharmaceutical drugs people are popping -- NOW MORE THAN EVER I DO NOT WANT NERVOUS PEOPLE TO HAVE GUNS IN THEIR HANDS.

The ENLIGHTENED, HARMONIOUS, long view is to work together to heal the ills of our society, tone down the desperation and the attraction to violence, and help us understand each other's tragedy. Truly damaged people should not be able to buy guns.

This kid was a ticking time bomb; his English teacher knew it. Why didn't someone put out an alert via his Driver's license, warning gun shop owners not to sell this kid GUNS!

People should prove why they need a gun; hunting licenses aside, they should be tested thoroughly before owning a weapon that can kill a human being.


For a distinguished example of reporting on national affairs Awarded to Charlie Savage of The Boston Globe for his revelations that President Bush often used "signing statements" to assert his controversial right to bypass provisions of new laws.

The most heinous instance of a law Bush usurped was the Geneva Convention's ban on torture of human beings. Bush secretly signed his "right to torture" thereby breaking the Geneva Convention.

Bush could bypass new torture ban: Waiver right is reserved
By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | January 4, 2006

WASHINGTON -- When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief...

David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said that the signing statement means that Bush believes he can still authorize harsh interrogation tactics when he sees fit. 'The signing statement is saying 'I will only comply with this law when I want to, and if something arises in the war on terrorism where I think it's important to torture or engage in cruel, inhuman, and degrading conduct, I have the authority to do so and nothing in this law is going to stop me,' " he said. ''They don't want to come out and say it directly because it doesn't sound very nice, but it's unmistakable to anyone who has been following what's going on." articles/2006/01/04/bush_could_bypass_new_torture_ban/

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Maurice Possley and Steve Mills of the Chicago Tribune for their investigation of a 1989 execution in Texas that strongly suggests an innocent man was killed by lethal injection, and Les Zaitz, Jeff Kosseff and Bryan Denson of The Oregonian, Portland, for their disclosure of mismanagement and other abuses in federally-subsidized programs for disabled workers, stirring congressional action.

Other items of interest coming up:

On our show this week we are having Mike Weinstein, author of "WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE: One Man's War Against an Evangelical Coup in America's Military"

Check out internationally renowned architect William McDonough and his vision of the future:

Analysis of the Left Behind Books and their anti-Christian message

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


"Love one another." How do we survive this kind of tragedy? By loving one another, coming together. Survival is through community, and not letting go of each other. The massacre at Virginia Tech is one of the most tragic reminders of how much our nation needs healing, on every level. We should be more responsible in conveying values beyond the quick satisfaction of material needs. The constant glorification of violence through the gun culture, videoames, news broadcasts showing incessant bloodhsed, hatred, torture and bullying tactics on shows like “24″… yes the gunman was deranged, but there is something deeper going on in our American Dream.

Go to and leave a prayer message on the Wall. I am also sending out a blessing and prayer to Josie, my friend in Nebraska who is going through cancer surgery today. xoxo

"No Spur Of The Moment Crime"…9 mm Handgun Purchased On March 13…Returned To Dorm Room To Re-Arm After First Shooting, Left A "Disturbing Note"…

Why don't we have a more rapid response to violence like this, whether it's terrorism or random violence. The fact that the campus didn't sound a SIREN, send out an alert and cancel classes over a loudspeaker or alarm... or text messaging! In this day and age, in light of the times, why don't we have "rapid response" and lockdown immediately in the case of a crisis like this?

Excerpted from Jane Smiley's Blog at

Some years ago, I was talking to a man about guns. At the time, I didn't really know anyone with guns (still don't), but he did. He had had guns himself. He said, "I gave my gun away, because when I had it, every time something happened that made me mad, my mind would start circling around that gun, and I would be thinking about using it.

So I got rid of it and I'm glad I did." Right up front I will say that I am opposed to casual gun ownership, but I also realize that Americans will always have guns. Period. It's a national fetish. But the mental state my interlocutor was describing years ago is the price we have to pay, along with, of course, the accidental deaths of children and other unprepared and careless people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and in proximity to the wrong gun. What I would like is for the gun-toting right wing to admit that there is a price we pay, that senseless accidental deaths and traumas are a national cost and that it's not so clear that it's worth it, but hey, we pay it anyway because so many guns are in the hands of so many people that there would never be any getting rid of them. I would like the right wing to admit that guns are not "good" and that the right to bear arms is not an absolute virtue and that the deaths in the US caused by guns are at least as problematic, philosophically, as abortion. But I'm not holding my breath...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Rep. Charles Rangel on our Show "Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk"

from 9 - 10 a.m. We broadcast live -- or go to our website and click on the link to hear the entire show in the archives.

TOMORROW, Saturday April 14:

Congressman Charles Rangel will be our guest April 14. He will discuss his 30-year Congressional career and his new book, "And I Haven't Had a Bad Day Since: From the Streets of Harlem to the Halls of Congress."

We're also having Eric Burns from Media Matters to discuss the Imus issue.

Recently our guest was Mark Green, one of the new owners of Air America, founder of New Democracy Project and author of "Losing Our Democracy." We've had some amazing guests the past 3 weeks: former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, author of "U.S. vs BUSH" which is going to be a movie, a courtroom drama on the Bush Impeachment. We also had Media Matters' Paul Waldman, author of "Being Right is Not Enough". Last week we interview Media Matters' Eric Boehlert on his report "If it's Sunday it Must be Conservative." Boehlert is the author of LAPDOGS: "How the Press Rolled Over for Bush." A look inside one of the great journalistic collapses of our time.

Open thread. Let's talk about the 5 million emails missing from White House computers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Just got this letter from John Conley, the Marine combat Vet (who sent me his Purple Heart, God bless him!)

Dear Lyd,

What Imus said was inexcusable and deserving of decisive punishment, but more inexcusable to me is the ongoing urgency to completely destroy his life and the very positive things he and his wife have built to help kids fight cancer. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have both needed forgiveness in the past for racial slurs and incidents (Jackson with his anti-semitic "Hymietown" remark in describing New York City and Sharpton with the Tawana Brawley myth he rushed into and helped perpetuate.)........both incidents just as inciteful, if not more, than anything Don Imus has said or done.

In this case not only is there no forgiveness, but the punishment grossly outweighs the offense and a feeding frenzy has developed among bored journalists trying to uncover new excuses to hammer Imus even harder. The theory seems to be that If you want to prove you're not a racist, then step up and take your pound of flesh from Don Imus. I fear the pendulum is now swinging a little too far the other way.

Part of being a public figure or celebrity means dealing with unsolicited opinions about yourself. On this blog as well as on others, I have been stung and hurt to the core by cruel, sexist comments. The first time it happened, my cheeks stung and I burst into tears, feeling lower than I had in my entire life. I can't imagine what these young Rutgers women must have felt like after working hard to get to college, to earn their place on the Rutgers team, to make it to the finals — only to be dismissed as whores (no matter the catchy slang, "ho's" means one thing and applies to the worst thing men can call women.) Black women have it harder than any other group; they have been marginalized, forsaken, forgotten and maligned and yet they have such dignity and innate beauty in the face of unbearable hardship.

Imus lost his MSNBC show, a signal that sexist, racist hate-speak will not be tolerated on the public airwaves. But much worse than Imus on any given day, are Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage — who also have their own shows. They systematically engage in hate-speak and Nationally syndicated Clear Channel radio host Glen Beck has actually sent out screaming death wishes to certain Democrats he hates. He called hurricane survivors in New Orleans "scumbags," and said he "hates" 9-11 families: "I didn't think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims. (More below, but first this...)

Please Go back and listen to Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly's shows. Every single day, they provoke people to hate their fellow man, to hate anyone who is not pro-Bush, pro-war labeling peacemakers as traitors. Every other word out of their mouths conveys their disgust for perceived liberal bias, for human rights groups, environmentalists, liberals, gays, Muslims, women's groups, feminists, "Hollywood" Democracts and their fellow man.

Is this kind of hate-mongering good for America? Is the politics of personal destruction good for America? Does anyone know the truth about the "Swift Boat Veterans" who ruined John Kerry? Did the media ever get the word out that the man behind this campaign was a completely deranged individual who was caught lying and posting threats on blogs -- and had no credibility whatsoever? I will post the truth you missed in my next thread.

On all these political talk shows, every single pundit, except for Keith Olbermann — are raving right wingers. Chris Matthews aside, there are no other intelligent, Progressive or Democrat-leaning talk show pundits with thoughtful, reasoned voices -- such as Paul Waldman or Scott Ritter or Robert Dreyfuss or Arianna Huffington. The list is endless. We have so many wonderfully intelligent people that could be talk show hosts, yet we get these sinister loud-mouths who dumb America down such as Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh.. and of course Bill O'Reilly, one of the most hateful hypocrites on the public airwaves. Why are they still on the air? They take glee in stirring up hatred. What a tragedy for America. We need to become a softer, kinder nation. We need to come together and see each other with fresh eyes. We are all one race, and we are all flawed.

BUSH LIED, THOUSANDS DIED and are dying ....WHY?
In case you didn't know the reasons most Americans are so upset with Bush, here is a brilliant article that describes how we feel. This is an an article by Paul Waldman, Senior Fellow at Media Matters and author of "It's Not Enough to Be Right: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success." We had him on our show a few weeks ago. Don't forget, this Saturday morning at 9 AM PST we're honored to have Congressman Charlie Rangle, who has been serving America for over 30 years. He's a great wit, and a man with such a keen eye and big heart. He's on CNN and MSNBC almost every week.

There's No Denying it, we Progressives are Angry
by Paul Waldman

We can’t deny it any longer. There’s no point in hiding it, no point in trying to explain it away. Yes, it’s true: We progressives are angry. And we no longer care if the centrist, moderate guardians of the establishment scold us for it.

Our anger is not just some vague feeling whose source we can’t put our finger on. It isn’t based on absurd conspiracy theories and it isn’t illogical.

We’re angry because of what has happened to our country, because of how we’ve been treated, and because of the innumerable crimes the conservatives have committed. We’re angry at the president, we’re angry at the Congress, we’re angry at the news media. And we have every right to be.

Yes, we’re angry at George W. Bush. We’re not angry at him because of who he sleeps with, and we’re not angry at him because we think he represents some socio-cultural movement we didn’t like 40 years ago, or because he hung out with a different crowd than we did in high school. We’re angry at him because of what he’s done.

It’s true, we don’t like the fact that the most powerful human being on the planet is such a ridiculous buffoon that he can’t put two coherent sentences together without beginning to giggle and shimmy his shoulders. But we’re not angry because we think he’s stupid, we’re angry because he treats us as though we’re stupid. We’re angry that he lied to us, and lied to us and lied to us again. We’re angry that when he lies to us it isn’t because he’s caught up in scandal or got caught doing something he shouldn’t have, it’s part of a carefully constructed plan to fool the public.

Yes, we’re angry about Iraq, and we may be for the rest of our lives. We get angry every day when we open our newspapers and see the photo of another young soldier who died for this, another one maimed for life, another one with a tormented and broken soul. We’re angry about the couple of trillion dollars this war will cost. We’re angry about the thousands of young men around the world have been driven into the arms of al Qaeda, who have decided to devote their lives to killing Americans because of this war. We’re angry about the thousands upon thousands of Iraqis who have died in the orgy of bloodshed we unleashed, and the living too, those whom we said we were coming to “liberate,” but who now find themselves in a suffocating, endless miasma of fear and misery and death.

We’re angry that when we talk about ending this monstrous war, the soulless hypocrites who are glad to send more and more men and women to be scarred and maimed and killed in Iraq have the gall to accuse us of not “supporting the troops.” We’re angry that people whose actions exhibit nothing but contempt for freedom and liberty and justice, who wouldn’t know real patriotism if it came up and smacked them across the face, pin a little flag on their lapel and say that we’re the ones who hate America.

We’re angry because people who said the Iraqis would greet us as liberators, who said Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were good buddies, who said this nightmare of a war would bring a flowering of democracy across the Middle East—this band of idiots, the Kristols and the Krauthammers and the Kagans and the Kondrackes, is treated as “serious” and “credible” on matters of national security, while those of us who were right about the war are dismissed as some sort of fringe whose ideas are too silly to listen to.

We’re angry that America may now be the only country in the world in which torture is an officially sanctioned policy, proclaimed proudly in public. We’re angry that in our name prisoners are subjected to sleep deprivation, water boarding and other forms of psychological torture to the point where they are literally driven mad. We’re angry that the president has decided, over 750 times, that if Congress passes a law and he doesn’t like it, he’ll just ignore it. We’re angry that this administration has argued over and over, in public and in court, that if the president does it, it’s not illegal. We’re angry that they tell us we have to shred our freedoms in order to be safe, and that so many of our fellow citizens shrug their shoulders and think it’s no big deal.

And we’re angry that Bush has made our nation so hated around the world. We’re angry that the next time a Democrat gets elected, most of their time will be spent cleaning up the god-awful mess Bush has made of everything.

We’re angry that we and our children and our grandchildren will have to keep paying off the nation’s debt, which now stands at nearly $9 trillion. We’re angry because every other industrialized country in the world has a single-payer health care system that works, and we pay more for ours than any of them, yet we have 45 million people with no health insurance. We’re angry that the insurance companies have convinced their obedient servants in Congress that the Rube Goldberg perpetual paperwork machine we have now is somehow “the best health care in the world” and preferable to a system in which you go to your doctor, get treated and go home, without having to fill out 10 forms and get down on your knees before the gods of the HMO bureaucracy to get a partial repayment minus your deductible and your co-pay.

We’re angry that the federal government is brimming with people fundamentally opposed to the mission of the agencies over which they preside, the anti-environmentalists who run the Interior department, the mining company lobbyists in charge of mine safety and the union-busters in charge of worker safety. We’re still angry about Hurricane Katrina, that our government left thousands of its citizens stranded to suffer and die, while the president thought that the guy presiding over the disastrous failure was doing a heckuva job. We’re angry that our government sends religious fundamentalists around the world to discourage condom use, thus condemning untold numbers of people to unwanted pregnancy, disease and death.

We’re angry that forty years after the Voting Rights Act, the Republican Party continues to exploit racism and do everything in its power to stop black people from voting in each and every election. We’re angry that in the richest country in the world we can’t seem to find our way to a system in which you go to the polls, cast your ballot and know that it will be counted. And yes, we’re still angry about what happened in Florida in 2000, that through lying and cheating and pure luck the Republicans were able to steal a presidential election, and five unprincipled partisans on the Supreme Court helped them do it. We’re angry that every time we look at Al Gore all that pain and frustration and outrage comes bubbling up through our guts no matter how hard we try to “get over it.”

We’re angry that some of the most powerful people in America see nothing wrong with getting down on their knees to kiss the rings of radical clerics espousing a theology as maniacal as any on earth. We’re angry that we have to endure lecture after lecture on “family values” from people who rush from their pulpits, whether in church or in Congress or on cable chat shows, to a motel room to give in to their desires and revel in their transgression before rushing back to those pulpits to wag a finger in all our faces with talk of sin. We’re angry that people whose souls are so twisted by hate and shame they make John Winthrop look like Wavy Gravy have the nerve to tell us how to live “moral” lives.

We’re angry that when some pompous fool who less than a decade ago demanded that Bill Clinton be impeached in order to demonstrate our fealty to the “rule of law” comes on television to explain how Scooter Libby’s perjury and obstruction of justice mean nothing and he must immediately be pardoned, Wolf Blitzer doesn’t say, “Get out of this studio, you contemptible hypocrite, and don’t ever come back.”

We’re angry because a repellent ghoul like Ann Coulter can regularly advocate the murder of people with whom she has political differences, yet continue to get invited on the Today Show. We’re angry that journalists who ought to know better tut-tut progressive bloggers for using dirty words but don’t blink an eye when conservatives spew forth the most abominable hatred and calls for violence that one could imagine.

We’re angry that there is not a single show on cable news in which a progressive is given an hour to spout off his or her opinions, but that privilege is given to the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck and John Gibson and Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarborough and all the other two-bit electronic hucksters of phony aggrievement.

We’re angry because snake-oil salesmen like William Donohue— despite being an anti-Semitic homophobe —can issue a press release expressing patently phony outrage about something somebody said, and get the mainstream press to jump like trained dogs. We’re angry because a band of liars like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth can hoodwink the media into doing their dirty work for them. We’re angry because every despicable Republican attack gets recycled as knowing, arched-eyebrow commentary by “mainstream” commentators.

Those are a few of the things we’re angry about, and yes, that’s a lot of anger. But you know what? There’s nothing wrong with being angry. Anger is the appropriate reaction to moral outrages, to crimes against our common humanity, to the actions of those who would turn our country into something twisted and ugly.

Paul Waldman is a senior fellow at Media Matters for America and the author of the new book, "Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Can Learn From Conservative Success."
© 2007

From Lydia: I struggle with my anger toward Bush and I pray for him to gain wisdom, compassion and to truly understand the Christ Truth. As a mother of young sons, I feel such agony over the deaths of our soldiers — young kids barely out of high school — and I am so horrified at Bush's arrogance, that he doesn't seem to care about human life. I am most upset that Bush proclaims he's a Christian, yet persists in doing the exact opposite of the Great Peacemaker's teachings. The "anti-Christ" means "evil in the mind of man; evil in human thought." I do not believe in a physical "anti-Christ" but Bush and the pro-war politicians, including misguided evangelical leaders such as John Hagee, Tim LaHaye and Pat Robertson represent the anti-Christ thought on earth right now; of this I have no doubt. Research how they are connected to White Supremacists. Jesus himself called the religious leaders, the pharisees a "brood of vipers" and got very angry with them. We are angry with Bush for his wanton destruction of lives and our democracy.

But I know that thinking the worst of Bush, or anyone, never helps them. We have to send love to those who are in the dark, that have lost their way. We need to see the good in people, even those we think are evil, becaues there is no power in evil except that which we give it with our thoughts. This is prayer: seeing the good in others so overwhelmingly that our vision of them actually changes the situation. Even with terrorists, dictators, "deciders" — and in the environment, world affairs, financial crises — it works for our worst enemies. It's written in the New Testament, in red lettering.

Friday, April 06, 2007


from 9 - 10 a.m. We broadcast live -- or go to our website and click on the link to hear the entire show in the archives.

THIS WEEK we interview Lieutenant Eric Shine, who became a whistle blower, and had his life interrupted... by the Department of Homeland Security.

Upcoming: Congressman Charles Rangel will be our guest April 14. He will discuss his 30-year Congressional career and his new book, "And I Haven't Had a Bad Day Since: From the Streets of Harlem to the Halls of Congress." Recently our guest was Mark Green, one of the new owners of Air America, founder of New Democracy Project and author of "Losing Our Democracy." We've had some amazing guests the past 3 weeks: former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, author of "U.S. vs BUSH" which is going to be a movie, a courtroom drama on the Bush Impeachment. We also had Media Matters' Paul Waldman, author of "Being Right is Not Enough". Last week we interview Media Matters' Eric Boehlert on his report "If it's Sunday it Must be Conservative." Boehlert is the author of LAPDOGS: "How the Press Rolled Over for Bush." A look inside one of the great journalistic collapses of our time.

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always." - GANDHI

Today is Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, a holy day observed by most Christian religions. It commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus at Calvary. Easter celebrates the resurrection on the third day, when death itself was conquered.

All of Christ's teachings are about the sins of intolerance and hatred. These need to be cut out of the new man with the spiritual sword, which separates hate from love.

Special prayer services are often held on this day with readings from the Gospel giving accounts of the events leading up to the crucifixion.

A man arrives at the gates of heaven. St. Peter asks, "Religion?" The man says, "Buddhist" St. Peter looks down his list, and says, "Go to room 24, but be very quiet as you pass room 8."

Another man arrives at the gates of heaven. "Religion? “Muslim.” Go to room 18, but be very quiet as you pass room 8."A third man arrives at the gates. "Religion?" "Jewish." "Go to room 11, but be very quiet as you pass room 8."

The man says, "I can understand there being different rooms for different religions, but why must I be quiet when I pass room 8?"

St. Peter tells him, "Well only Christians are in room 8, and they think they're the only ones here."


Late in life when Gandhi was asked if he was a Hindu, he replied:
"Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew".


I have the profound sense that we can touch God everyday when we are loving to others, especially those who offend us and disturb us, and especially those less fortunate. Have you seen someone's face light up with just one kind word?

We lived in Holland for awhile and visited Anne Frank's hiding place in Amsterdam. It is so eerie to think that human beings are capable of villifying an entire group of people and getting the masses to believe that one race of fellow human beings are vermin, not worthy of life. We have to be careful not to do this with any group - including extremist fundamentalists of any religion. Except of course Cheney's religion, Halliburtonology. The tendency in this divisive culture is to lash out at each other, and I have been guilty as well when I speak of the religious-right. But this new breed of militant "Christian" has completely missed the point of Christ's teachings and turned many people off to Christianity in the process. And I believe they are partly behind our foreign policy and this rush to war. They defeat the entire purpose of the Great Peacemaker's teaching: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Christianity 101: God is Love. We must remember that Christ came to bring the New Law in the New Testament, and his Sermon on the Mount (The Beatitudes) brings the message of LOVE for our neighbor, our enemies, and for all mankind. For some bizarre reason, many Christians today are not familiar with Christ's actual words in the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They must be listening to false prophets, for Christ's actual words in the the New Testament are all any Christian needs to know about getting along with others in the world.

The Old Testament brought Mosaic Law and the Ten Commandments, which are wonderful, but are only half the story. Fundamentalists are severely misguided by focusing only on the "Thou shalt nots." Christ came to complete the circle, commanding us to a higher law of "Love our neighbor and our enemy."

“ To learn that not only you suffer, but the other person also suffers, the other group of people also suffers… when you touch the suffering in other people you want to help, and when you want to help, compassion is born in you… you don’t suffer anymore, and you are motivated by the desire to do something, to be something for other people…and that is Peace. ”
~ Thich Nhat Hahn Zen Buddhist monk, nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work to end the Vietnam War

I am so proud of Nancy Pelosi for making her historic visit to Syria. Peace in the Middle East is possible and it is happening now. We can have peace on earth if we all want it badly enough. I see it all happening according to our belief. We must take the spiritual and diplomatic keys to life and use them now.


Gandhi dedicated his life to the wider purpose of discovering truth, or Satya. He tried to achieve this by learning from his own mistakes and conducting experiments on himself. He named his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Gandhi found that uncovering the truth was not always popular as many people were resistant to change, preferring instead to maintain the existing status quo because of either inertia, self-interest or misguided beliefs. However he also discovered that once the truth was on the march nothing could stop it. All it took was time to achieve traction and gain momentum. As Gandhi said:

"The Truth is far more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction".

Gandhi said that the most important battle to fight was in overcoming his own demons, fears and insecurities. He thought it was all too easy to blame people, governing powers or enemies for his personal actions and well-being. He noted the solution to problems could normally be found just by looking in the mirror.

One of the greatest contributions of Mahatma Gandhi was in the realm of ontology and its association with truth. For Gandhi, "to be" did not mean to exist within the realm of time, as it has in the past with the Greek philosophers. But rather, "to exist" meant to exist within the realm of truth, or to use the term Gandhi did, satya. Gandhi summarized his beliefs first when he said "God is Truth," but as typical of Gandhi, he evolved, later to correct himself and state that "Truth is God." The first statement seemed insufficient to Gandhi, as the mistake could be made that Gandhi was using Truth as a description of God, rather than the summative definition of the entire essence of God. Satya (Truth) in Gandhi's philosophy is God. It shares all the characteristics of the Hindu concept of God, or Brahman. It lives within us, that little voice that tells us the right thing to do, but also guides the universe.

The concept of nonviolence (ahimsa) and nonresistance has a long history in Indian religious thought and has had many revivals in Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Christian contexts. Gandhi explains his philosophy and way of life in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth.

As the Native Americans reminded us: "No tree is so foolish as to have branches that fight among themselves."

Sunday, April 01, 2007


“Let us serve instead of rule, knock instead of push at the door of human hearts, and allow to each and every one the same rights and privileges that we claim for ourselves.” – Mary Baker Eddy

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" - Albert Einstein

As we enter Easter and Passover season, let's think about some new ideas. I heard a radical new theory the other day on Thom Hartmann’s Air America broadcast. He said, “Why are we so hell bent on ‘economic growth?’ Why not ‘economic stability?” If economic growth means even one more cancer death, then I am for stabilizing the economy, not growing it. As home prices drop to human levels, wouldn't it be great if the average American could actually afford to buy a home without killing himself — without holding down two jobs, or having his spouse bring in the second income while the children stay in day care until 7 p.m. after a harrowing drive in rush hour?

This got me to thinking about Ted Knight’s favorite expression: “less is more.” He used to advise us not to mug for the cameras — and that there was more power in underplaying a scene. These were his acting tips in the beginning of Too Close For Comfort. I was too scared to look into his eyes, so I'd look at his forehead instead. He kept standing on his toes to get into my line of vision. Ted thought I was doing this on purpose, and the National Enquirer sent spies down to check out the tension on the set. They didn't call me a dumb blonde for nothing. (Actually I was just shaking in my boots with fear.)

'Less is more' could also pertain to this statement from the New Testament: “A soft answer turns away wrath.”

I believe that less truly is more when it comes to quality of life. In fact, lately I’ve been longing for a "pastoral life" (but without the sheep.) Growing our own herbs and vegetables, building furniture, downsizing, shedding excess... I've actually been making my own hand lotion and face cream (olive oil & glycerin) because I'm sick of the chemicals the big brands put in there. Who knows what we're putting into our bodies with 'Aluminum Silicate, Dimethicone, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin... (partial list of ingredients in a major label hand lotion.)

Did anyone catch that 60 Minutes report a few months ago on the trend towards American "McMansions?" The new crop of millionaires in Texas and other red states are obsessed with acquiring larger and larger houses. There is nothing wrong with buying a beautiful house if you can afford it, but the couple they profiled lived alone without any children, in an 12-bedroom home with heated toilet seats, gold fixtures and underground parking. It reminded me of Aaron Spelling's 50,000 square foot hotel, er, I mean "home" in Holmby Hills, near Hef's mansion. This kind of conspicuous consumption reeks of "noveau riche" and used to be somewhat embarrassing, Rhode Island aside. It is certainly not something to brag about. What kind of values are we teaching our children? I personally would never again drive a showy or flashy car — and I’d be mortified to live in a huge, ostentatious mansion. It lacks class. Sorry but it's unseemly and selfish in this day and age.

It is also true that abiding by PRINCIPLE really pays off: if you treat your employees well, they will strive for you; they will be more loyal and more dependable. Costco, Best Buy, Starbucks, Trader Joes and Google all pay great benefits and overtime; they have proven that companies who really do the right thing, are rewarded by the laws of the universe. To me this proves there is “goodness in the universe” – and that the Golden Rule works! Honestly, when I walk into Trader Joes or Costco, the employees seem to be dancing with joy! It's contagious. On the other hand Circuit City keeps wages low, somehwere around $8 dollars an hour, just above minimum wage. they fire employees in order to hire new ones at lower wages. Guess what? Circuit city is failing. WalMart uses similar tactics; though they brag they donate more money to charity than any other company, they are not fooling smart people. Charitable donations are tax write-offs; why don't they put all that money into employee health care instead?

I love Stephen Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” which basically proves that in business, if you abide by certain fundamental principles of justice, honesty and kindness — and seek to understand rather than to be understood (in other words, if you do the right thing) everyone is happy, wealth is created and harmony prevails.

To me this principle is most clearly and mysteriously propelled by “giving to the poor” or tithing.

But in a country such as ours, where corporations are given huge tax breaks and executives get million dollar bonuses, hoarding wealth at the top levels does not "trickle down." The government must step in and help the middle class and the poor. We can’t leave it up to the churches and synagogues to take care of the "least among us," as Christ admonished.

The day I started seeing the world through other people’s eyes and feeling other’s pain, is the day I can honestly say I became more progressive, inclusive, democratic, less fearful of the "other." In other words, I was a Republican and then I got sober. I put a toe into the water of compassion and unselfishness because I wasn’t quite ready to be "too good" yet. Narcissism had taken me through the prehistoric era, the heady days of TV stardom, which coincided with the Reagan era while I was drinking heavily — and it was a hard habit to break. But at least I began to suspect other people existed in the universe, and not just to serve me. I began to suspect that there were other humans on earth with feelings, wants and needs. To those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, count your blessings.

Anyway, all sorts of wonderful things opened up when I started caring about others, tithing, giving things away. I even offered to drive my sister to the airport — an unheard of gesture in L.A. in the 90’s. Every time I would give, I would receive. Soon, an abundance of riches flowed into my life. Wayne Dyer, in his bestselling book “You’ll See it When You Believe It,” says that the magic of tithing actually is a law in the universe and works like clockwork. Every single time he sent out 10% to charity of any income that came in, his income rose exponentially.

And now, the deeper my faith in God grows, the more I become a liberal — oops I mean "progressive" (the old word was 'liberal" but that word has been sadly demonized.

By the way, LIBERAL IS NOT A DIRTY WORD; it's a beautiful word! It means "generous, bounteous, freedom loving, protecting of civil liberties."

Courtesy of Carl at SimplyLeftBehind "Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things...every one! So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, 'Liberal,' as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor." -- Matt Santos, The West Wing

Despite thirty years of 'liberal-bashing as blood sport' on AM Talk Radio via Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, etc — I believe GOOD CONSERVATIVES ARE LIBERALS AT HEART. Obviously, anyone who's paying any attention knows FOX News should have its license revoked for being a propaganda news network. I don't mean Fox Primetime or Fox Entertainment Network, but Fox News Division. Billionaire owner Rupert Murdoch admitted he tried to use his news channel to sway public opinion for a rush to war. Why isn't it a crime to pretend to be are a "fair and balanced" news broadcast, whose sole purpose is to deceive and manipulate viewers? My radio co-host Doug Basham said something very wise: "If Fox News thinks the media has a liberal bias, why aren't they showing us all the good news out of Iraq and the Bush administration? Why aren't they showing any other pictures, taken by their own "news" team?" BECAUSE THE TRUTH HAS A LIBERAL BIAS, that's why. It's hard to camoflage the truth, but they sure are trying.

The very idea of “conservatism” is antithetical to the Christ idea of loving ones neighbor as oneself, not judging others, blessing ones enemies, turning the other cheek, giving to the poor, giving one’s cloak, washing the feet of the lepers... in other words, 'love conqering fear.'

Conservative means "cautious, restrained, opposed to change." Sounds fear-based to me. And Christ said, "Love casts out fear." If the definition of God is Love, doesn't this mean that if you have faith in God you have nothing to fear? So tell me again, why are we at war with terror if we have faith in God? (The fundamentalist Christian right-wing agenda according to George Bush, Tony Perkins, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James D. Kennedy, Ann Coulter, Dick Cheney, James Dobson, Ted Haggart and the most dangerous pastor in America - John Hagee - who is advocating war with Iran! (Please read my expose on Hagee in last week's archives.)

I’ll probably get into a lot of trouble for speaking out against the Pharisees, but I have prayed deeply about this and been given a “revelation” of my own. When Jesus said, “I am the way, the path… no one comes to the father but by me,” he meant LOVE is the way and the path. He meant that he who hates his neighbor, can’t forgive his brother, declares war against his enemies, retaliates in the “an eye for an eye” Old Testament way — or who judges others while ignoring his own pride and the plank in his own eye – is not ready yet for the kingdom.

For all the people who use the LaHaye-Jenkins Left Behind books as their bible — the only people who are going to be “left behind” are the ones who think others will be left behind! I don’t say that to be cruel, but here’s how it works: since God is love, the people whom militant “Christians” ostracize and judge so harshly — in other words, the peacemakers, the anti-war activists, the “meek,” the outcasts (even gays and God-forbid, liberals!) and anyone who loves his enemy — will be in heaven before the exclusionists will be. But what I mean is this: since God is Love, and the kingdom of heaven is within, then it’s obvious, isn’t it, that those who don’t have love in their hearts will not be “entering heaven?” To attain heaven means filling our hearts with so much love, love is all we see. Love is God and the Kingdom is within us, as Christ clearly states.

In fact, those who abide in love have already reached the kingdom, because it is within them -- regardless of whether or not they have accepted Jesus "in name" as their savior. He couldn't have cared less if you were Hindu, Muslim or Jewish - or vowed faith in his Jesusness, his personality or name. In fact, he didn't want us to worship him.

There are 70 million Evangelical Christians in America right now, and many sadly believe in the Left Behind revenge fantasy books, which hope to hurry up the end of the world in a blood bath of catastrophic proportions. These books promote the theory that good Christians will be raptured or “caught up” with Christ in heaven, leaving their eyeglasses and everyone else behind — everyone who didn't technically declare Jesus Christ as their savior. I guess that includes the unborn! This theory, believe it or not, might actually be determining America's current foreign policy in the Middle East. The Evangelical market is so big now corporate America doesn't dare ignore it. But I believe this brand of evangelism is not only severley misguided, but dangerous and sophomoric.

The word "Rapture" is not found in the Bible. There is also no single word used by the biblical authors to describe the prophetic factors which comprise the doctrine. A mere human being invented the ‘Rapture’ theory in the 1800s. It is an extremely divisive man-made theory. It was theologian John Darby who popularized the Rapture with the scriptural arguments which seem so convincing to some. But it was a woman named Margaret Macdonald who, in 1830, while ill — had visions of a two-phase Second Coming of Christ. This is where the rapture theory began. Its formulation has come about by means of induction. Certain biblical passages concerning the second coming (and the role that Christians will play in that event) have been inductively blended together to establish the teaching. The modern expression "Rapture" was then invented to explain the overall teaching. It may come as a surprise to many Christians, but the doctrine of the Rapture is not mentioned in any Christian writings, of which we have knowledge, until after the year 1830 A.D. Whether the early writers were Greek or Latin, Armenian or Coptic, Syrian or Ethiopian, English or German, orthodox or heretic, no one mentioned a syllable about it. (More on this in my upcoming essay.)

Jim Wallis of Sojourners says, "What’s so astounding is that conservative religious groups see no reason to help the poor in America, if it competes with their abortion issue."

It's not a question of the poor not being important or that meeting their needs is not important," said Paul Hetrick, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, Dobson's influential, Colorado-based Christian organization. "But whether or not a baby is killed in the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy, that is less important than help for the poor? We would respectfully disagree with that."

Jim Wallis is not buying it. Such conservative religious leaders "have agreed to support cutting food stamps for poor people if Republicans support them on judicial nominees," he said. "They are trading the lives of poor people for their agenda. They're being, and this is the worst insult, UNBLIBLICAL."

A couple of years ago, I hosted a Bible study at my house for a group of couples from my church. I was the only Progressive in the bunch. I asked the men why they were Republicans. They mentioned the abortion issue as being the most important issue when picking a president. I was astounded. One said that Republicans believe churches should help the poor, but government should stay out of it. They said this helps people take responsibility for their own lives. To an extent I agree, but a system that outsources its labor force, and gives huge tax breaks to wealthy corporations — virtually shutting out the lower and middle classes — so they cannot survive, cannot afford medical insurance or rent without two incomes, seems un-American! The government is slanted toward corporations, who own the media. The rich are not creating wealth according to Reagan’s trickle-down theory. But aside from all this, helping the poor is Christ’s most vital commandment. He is unequivocal about this.

Here’s how it works: the more you help the poor, you increase the goodwill of your citizens. It's a moral and spiritual principle. It does not make for a stable economy to have such a large gap between the rich and poor. Helping the poor would actually make our country wealthier, because everyone would prosper. There is enough to go around.

And on a Christian level, the more you are doing the will of God, according to Christ’s law to “take care of the least among you” the more you are rewarded, according to the Bible. Tithing is a law of the universe that pays for itself triple-fold. If we are going to mix church and state, at least let it help people, not take away from them and give tax breaks only to the rich!

I wrote this right after Katrina: "The news footage of looting in New Orleans gave certain right-wingers, "the haters," fuel for their bigotry. Can't they see that the economic system that creates such a wide chasm between “the haves and the have-nots” actually creates Les Miserables! A culture that constantly advertises salvation through Nintendo, i-Pods and Plasma TVs creates an insatiable craving for stuff. Yes looting is bad, but looting pension funds is worse. And looting votes through Gerrymandering is worse. And to think the minimum wage is still only $5.75 an hour, while Congress votes lifetime pensions for themselves into the six figures! Again, Reaganomics and the trickle down theory didn't work because of the greed of the corporate executives, who take such a large slice of the pie they have to eliminate the actual workers! Ford and GM outsourced thousands of jobs to make their corporate owners more wealthy. Churches are not tithing enough to support the needy. A society must take care of the "least among us." Then we will see amazing things begin to happen. And I'm not talking about a welfare state, by the way."

Ray Dubuque of Liberals Like says: "When Hitler came to power and started to do his worst, his aides asked how he'd keep the German churches from protesting. ( Keep in mind that if, instead of siding with Hitler, the Christians of Germany - who represented some 96% of the population - had joined with the Jews, Jehovah Witnesses, handicaps, homosexuals and the "Liberals", there would have been no war and no holocaust !) But Hitler responded: "I have the churches in my back pocket." He then proceeded to arrange for the Nazi government to pay for the support of the clergy, their churches and their schools, so long as they didn't get in his way. That is just one of the many reasons why so few of the Christian clergy dared to speak out against Hitler, no matter how heinous his policies became!

When asked how to fulfill the second of his two great commandments, Christ replied that his followers should model their lives on non-believing "Good Samaritans" who show pity on the downtrodden, rather than follow the lead of ministers and church people who don't: { Luke 10 : 25-37 }

In this time of unimagined prosperity in countries like America, in contrast to unimaginable misery in many other parts of the world, how many "Christians" are being taught what Jesus actually taught, as opposed to the pablum passed off as his teaching? Instead of being concerned about taking and passing the test of salvation which Jesus gave to the "Rich Young Man” millions of "Christian Conservatives" much prefer Paul's incredibly easier test of “salvation by faith alone.” (Compare and contrast the teaching of Jesus to that of Paul -- in their own words -- on this most important subject at http://www.LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/ForSalvation.) How many churches in America take Jesus' teaching seriously when it comes to telling their members -- who are rich, by the Bible's standard -- that "It is almost impossible for those who are much more prosperous than others to be saved," unless they are willing to share their extra shirts and food (and everything else) with those deprived of even the most basic of necessities of life..

How to get rich? Give to the poor! In other words, there is nothing wrong with wealth, as long as you share it. This is an abundant universe!

The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
– Eric Hoffer

Easter is the time of all things new. Let's strive to see the best in each other. If it can work with my family, it can work with anyone!

This is the first in a series of articles on how to apply the ancient metaphysical truths of 'THE SECRET' to everyday life. These are basically Christ's laws. And by the way, "getting sober" means turning your life over to a power greater than yourself, shedding the petty ego... and it starts with taking a leap of faith and deciding there is a benevolent force of goodness in the universe. To simplify: PRAY. But pray by focusing so overwhelmingly on the good in life, that the "bad" is extinguished — forced our of your thoughts by neglect. In other words, what you focus on GROWS. Prayer does not mean begging some anthropomorphic deity outside of yourself. It's realizing the beauty within us all, and within our fellow man.