Gentle Fudge
religion, politics, current events, and other fashionable dinner conversation.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Can We Handle the Proof?
Controversy surrounding the photographic evidence from 'alleged' abuse of Iraqi and Afghani prisoners of war are now pushed to the forefront of our minds and demanding to be dealt with in this new presidency. What has been repeated over and over in proverb have again prophetically rose from the ashes: Deeds men do in darkness and shadow will be shown in the light of day for what they truly are.

But dare we publish these disturbing images? Could we actually suggest that there are those in our own ranks that have sunk to the basest of things and taken on nothing more than animalistic behavior, nothing more than something befitting of a sociopath seen in a WWII movie or horror flick? Surely not in our own military. Not one of ours. They're the Good Guys. Only those who side with The Terrorists would use such tactics as raping an innocent woman or torturing a man beyond his capacity for pain. Yet somehow there is evidence of this. Or alleged evidence. But it could be misplaced. Or taken out of context. Or perhaps that person could have asked for such abuse, if information was being withheld. Always the victim's fault. (S)He asked for it.

And of course, if these images were to get out, then all of our own troops would be in danger. Eye for an eye. That's the way that side of the world works. So it would be best to keep this information behind closed doors and let our military keep to itself and discipline itself. Just as it disciplines the men who rape or abuse the women in our own ranks. Don't ask, don't tell, right?

So yes, we should just cover it up. After all, I'm sure we all would have been better off without the pictures of Auswitz and the gas chambers and East Germany with the Berlin Wall and Russia during the Cold War. Life is far better with repression and false memories of the Golden Years. After all, we never do anything wrong.

And we should never apologize because the U.S. never makes mistakes.

See also: Pro Liberate: "Again, May God Forgive Us"
Additional information from The Rutherford Institute can be read in their report here.

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posted by Sara @ 11:08 AM   0 comments
Thursday, April 09, 2009
In A World Without The News...
I can hear that voice now. Which is why I chose that title. We're talking print here, people. Newsprint. Getting lost in a paper. Not network news, not celebrity trash shows, not talk radio, not satirical spin as fun as those are. Real news. This made it onto a couple blogs I follow over the last few days as we have been witnessing the death of the Press in state after state. Sure, we can make the case that some papers are biased one way or the other. Still, the reader stumbles across stories that would otherwise not see the light of day if browsing a website or watching TV. Or unless one had a really good friend who dug up international stories from unusual sources -- apart from The Drudge Report.

The Rutherford Institute has an excellent commentary, calling out to bring back localism to government which is what local papers were established to do. Currently, only national news gets attention and citizens neglect to see how they can be of use in their own communities, resulting in political isolation and apathy. Not to fluff my own pillow here, but every editorial letter I've sent in to our local paper was published. One was featured on the first facing page of our free weekly. Try keeping that record up in the New York Times. Fantastic... now I've jinxed myself...

In The Daily Heller's A Note To Our Readers, Steven Heller points a spotlight on the gorgeous redesign of the International Herald Tribune. The commentary from the progressive designers, however, steal the limelight -- voicing their preference for tactile paper.

So go out and support your local paper. The writing is excellent, the layout takes time (and a lot of thought goes into it), and the paper is recycled. And can be recycled. Get lost in the quest for a good story. Buy a Sunday edition for the coupons even. I won't tell.

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posted by Sara @ 11:23 AM   1 comments
Friday, February 20, 2009
The Worth of Faith
Back from a lengthy sabbatical due to health issues. Bleh. Anyway... a little something to read about churches, how to market your church, and my own opinion on how this has gotten somewhat out of hand because, well, I think we're missing the point of what the Church is supposed to be about anyway.

The Value Principle

A marketing professor holds an item up in the air and asks his class, "what's this item worth?" His students suggest one dollar, ten dollars, three hundred, and so on. The professor's response surprises them. "Well, you're all wrong." He sees the class show their frustration and finally says, "The item is worth whatever someone will pay me for it." He then explains to them that this is universally true with any product.

Make sense? It's like when you hear someone say "All you're paying for in that product is the name." An expensive car, a set of golf clubs, a purse, or cosmetics—we try to justify these purchases but most of the time we're buying the name or the style. Sometimes the product truly is different and really more valuable but sometimes it's just the packaging that gets us. Sometimes it's the sense of belonging.

So here's my question… what do people perceive about the worth of your church? How much are they willing to "pay" for the product? In their minds, is church worth not sleeping late on a Sunday morning? Now, remember, man looks on the outside, so they don't always see the amazing product that we're actually providing—they think they are paying for the package that it's coming in. How do we make church valuable to them?

Published on Friday, February 13, 2009 @ 2:23 PM CST

From the blog Beyond Relevance


Now, here's where my two-cents comes in. This is what irks me. I get the whole "sense of belonging" and "searching" and "reaching out..." But we always are waiting for Them to come to Us. Christ didn't do that. He went out. And things were a little different, too. Religion was different. The state was different. Saying Jesus was Lord and G-d was considered heresy as well as treason; it would land you in jail because Caesar was Lord (and a god). That was his title. It would be similar to refusing to address the President with his official title and instead addressing someone else as such. And revering that individual with presidential power. Ok, enough history......

In this day and age -- and by that, I mean the past 100+ years -- we have been "marketing" Christ. As a product. You go to church. You say the right words. You "receive" eternal life. You "get" the product of Jesus. Pray and receive a different response than the one others expect. Read the Bible and learn the future; discover the past right there in black and white... all like some mystical crystal ball. Exchange of tender or product in anticipation for receipt of goods and services. Basic concepts of capitalism. Gone was the thought of wrestling with the Scriptures as the ancient rabbis once did, being captivated by the words instead of trying to captivate and understand each concept.

We sell Christ as a commodity like a car or toothpaste that will change your family, your workplace, your career. There are promises that you'll live a better life, become happier, have less worries and troubles, maybe get more money ("blessings"), all backed up with biblical verses or studies or testimonies. (I for one will tell you this is all a Great Lie. You will experience nothing but loss. Be prepared to lose everything; you must if you are to die to self. Now a sense of peace, contentment, and joy -- which is NOT happiness -- that I do agree with.) A great sense of individualism also sets in, which permeates the American culture. It is how we are -- strong, rugged, can-do attitudes, pioneering spirits. However, it also starts to isolate. This, I believe, is the reason more and more people -- individuals -- see the Church as merely church and as "their church." It's hard to be the Body of Christ -- the Bride -- with so many little bridezillas parading around. There has been a small revival that began around 5-10 years ago and is starting to catch fire -- I'm not talking about the nearly defunct Emergent Movement, but it was a catalyst. It looks at the teachings of Christ historically, contextually, and questions how Christianity is being "sold" now.

One of my favorite quotes is from Shawn Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution: "Christ is coming back for a Bride, not a harem." This is one of the things I keep in the forefront of my mind when I deal with difficult people and also when people ask me why I still attend church: Because I'm still a part of It and because, for some reason, I can't give up on It yet. (I haven't been told it's an option. Really.)

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posted by Sara @ 11:29 PM   0 comments
Saturday, August 30, 2008
A Kinder, Gentler Nation
The following commentary was published in my local paper this past Sunday. Of course, I was not able to find any links. The paper rarely archives any commentaries regarding religion and politics, thus I decided to retype it in its entirety here. Mr. Whitehead is the local watchdog for religion, politics, law, and civil rights, the founder and president for The Rutherford Institute. Fabulous organization.

When Pastor Rick Warren decided to hold a 'forum' on August 16, 2008, at his mega church Saddleback and invited both presidential candidates to avoid losing his tax-exempt status. This I'm certain of. Due to millions of Christians leaning away from the Religious Right and becoming more 'loving' and 'forgiving' -- thus of the evangelical persuasion -- Warren saw his opportunity and took it. The Purpose-Driven Pastorprenuer opened his arms and welcomed both sides -- surely a thing Christ would do, right? -- and asked questions... and charged tickets, to make sure this was not confused with a church event. Some went as high as 2 grand, from my limited websurfing.

was truly pointless, spineless, and lacked purpose, something Warren should really have some knowledge, considering his empire of books. I agree. Warren should have asked the tough questions instead of worrying about offending the evangelical masses. He is known for avoiding hot button issues and instead focuses on uniting the peoples. He avoids the issues of abortion, or specifically what causes abortions, and instead focuses on world poverty. A wonderful thing when you live in a rich country and the American Way is to fix problems with your checkbook... when the problems are thousands of miles away... when we are known for ignoring our neighbors down the street who are struggling financially or emotionally.

Christ was never worried about being offensive when it came down to it. He confronted the church leaders of his day who lived lavish lifestyles. He went out to find the poor and oppressed. He challenged the comfortable who thought they had done 'enough'. He wasn't afraid to die for what he believed, for those he cared for, which is what ultimately happened. So why is this pastor afraid to lose his earthly kingdom when he should be more concerned for his soul?

Commentary from "The Daily Progress" (Charlottesville, VA)
Sunday, August 24, 2008

by John W. Whitehead

America, meet your new evangelical leader

I have never been considered a part of the religious right, because I don't believe politics is the most effective way to change the world. Although public service can be a noble profession, and I believe it is our responsibility to vote, I don't have much faith in government solutions, give the track record. --Rick Warren

The recent Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency was a wash. Both candidates, who claim to be Christians, spent much of their time pandering to the nearly three million television viewers who tuned in. But in terms of what presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama had to say, their responses were largely lacking in content.

However, the Saddleback Forum wasn't insignificant. Its significance has less to do with what the two candidates had to say than in what the person asking the questions, Rick Warren, signifies for the future of Christianity.

The fact that it was Warren and not James Dobson, the Christian Right's de facto Godfather, is particularly telling. It speaks of a decided shift away from the rigid, right-winged mindset that has dominated evangelical Christianity in America over the last three decades. Warren, pastor of the 23,000-member Saddleback Church in California and the best-selling author of "The Purpose-Driven Life," seems to be about as far as you can get from the stigma of the Christian Right while still calling himself an evangelical Christian.

The Christian Right, represented by such prominent figures as Dobson, Pat Robertson and the Late Jerry Falwell, among others, has long stoof for the erection of a Christian State. As David Kuo, who served as special assistant to President Bush documents in his book "Tempting Faith," these Christian leaders worked hard to maintain ties to the Bush White House, complete with weekly conference calls to keep them updated on ever facet of the president's policy and political agenda.

However, the dismal failure of the Bush presidency has led inevitably to the decline of the Christian Right -- and can be credited with contributing to Warren's rise to prominence. According to a 2005 Nation article, Warren "disassociates himself from the religious right, noting that he shares its position on social issues but doesn't want to focus on them. He focuses on poverty, disease, and aid to Africa."

It's not difficult to see why Warren, a mainline evangelical in the Billy Graham mold, is enjoying such popularity. Disillusioned by the power-hawking, war-mongering of the Christian Right, the nation's 80 million evangelical Christians would have little trouble with the feel-good Christianity that Warren sells -- non-confrontational, congenial, and polite. That isn't to say that it lacks substance, merely controversy.

As a recent time article observed, like Graham, Warren "projects an authenticity that he helped him forge an exquisite set of political connections -- in the White House, on both sides of the legislative aisle and abroad. And he is both leading and riding the newest wave and change in the Evangelical community: an expansion beyond social conservatism to causes such as battling poverty, opposing torture and combating global warming.

"The movement has loosened the hold of religious-right leaders on ordinary Evangelicals and created an opportunity for Warren, who has lent his prominent voice to many of the new concerns."

Warren has avoided much that is controversial, such as abortion and gay marriage (what he refers to as "sin issues"). Instead, Warren focuses on issues that "unite," such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate change, and human rights. Warren is, whether consciously or unconsciously, shifting the national faith dialogue back to a pre-Regan era, before the small group of leaders that have come to dominate the Christian Right turned Christianity into a synonym for right-wing theocracy.

Sidestepping the siren call of politics, Warren has taken aim at what he calls the "five global giants": spiritual emptiness, selfish leadership, hunger, sickness, and illiteracy. Empowered by his publishing success and with the support of his megachurch, he launched his PEACE initiative -- an acronym for Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, and Educate the next generation. Since coming up with the plan, he has taken his PEACE plan global, with Rwanda as his testing ground.

Warren is now being looked upon as America's pastor. Suddenly, Christianity appears somewhat appealing again. Yet while there is so much to commend this so-called New Evangelicalism, with its rejection of politics as the answer and its emphasis on carrying out Jesus' mandate to care for the poor and helpless, there is also an important lesson to the learned. The rise of the Christian Right came about at a time when the evangelical church in America was doing its best to be non-controversial an inoffensive. The evangelical church's subsequent failure was to morally impact the culture and the legalization of abortion can be directly attributed to the emergence ot the Christian Right.

The Christian Right was, without a doubt, a semi-militant reaction to a society that seemed to be lacking a moral compass. And as journalist Chris Hedges points out in his book "American Fascists," if a real crisis rises again across this country (such as another terrorist attack), it would not take much for the country to revert back to such a militant fundamentalism.

This brings us to the current presidential election. No matter who ascends to the White House, it's clear that Christians will not enjoy the kind of access that laid claim to during the Bush administration -- whatever good it did them. For example, abortions didn't decline under Bush, and it's doubtful that whether they would under either Obama or McCain.

The lesson to be learned is this: what is needed now is not a return to the overly polite Christianity of the pre-Regan era. Nor is it the politically charged Christianity of the Religious Right, but a brand of Christianity that does not shy away from speaking truth to power. In other words, the type of Christianity Jesus practiced.

John Whitehead is president and founder of the Albemarle County-based Rutherford Institute, a civil-liberties organization. He can be reached at

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posted by Sara @ 4:06 PM   1 comments
Friday, August 22, 2008
It's There If You Look For It
Being raised with exposure to the Chinese culture while growing up in the Midwest is hard to explain to the average American. You don't really fit in either world. Especially when none of your family is Chinese. Except your cousins. Your half-Chinese cousins. While everyone else is either all Finnish or an American mix.
Try to buy fake Olympic merchandise... ?
"The police say it will destroy the reputation of the Olympics," said one vendor.
So the Beijing Olympics were a mix for me. The culture was as I remember from my childhood, visiting my grandparents. The respect, the culture toward foreigners, the 'strange' food. Giggling while watching anchors and reporters attempting to eat with chopsticks. And all the red. Everyone was talking about how polite the Chinese were. Of course. That's how you act. You respect your elders. You put others first. And -- if I dare say -- the government can and will make play nice to your visitors. They spent billions of dollars putting on this show. They have the people power to pull this off. If you do not follow along, you are expendable. Do not protest. Do not talk poorly about the government. Remember that. You are only one of a billion people. Remember that. After the earthquake, the government dished out paperwork to grieving parents, making them sign so the parents wouldn't investigate if there was shoddy workmanship in the schools that had collapsed. They also reminded parents that they could have another child, as the only one that they had had died. Their flesh and blood was, yes, replaceable, just like that.

I saw subtle (and not-so-subtle) propaganda in the imagery. There were posters around Tienanmen Square that got very little face time. I was able to see them a bit longer in design magazines that I subscribe to. It would take a little longer to explain to those unfamiliar to Chinese culture, where image, color, and tone all have meaning. But if you are familiar with Communism, you can pick up on some of the nuances. One article I would recommend is Party Games from Print Magazine, which describes Beijing's carefully calculated iconography, incorporating both ancient meaning with governmental propaganda. The main icon, the Dancing Beijing logo, is one such icon. It is taken from the second Chinese character for the city, jing (below left), which is often used shorthand for 'capital'. Beijing itself means literally 'North Capital' (bei = North, jing = Capital). The Dancing Beijing logo is made to look like a chop, or block, which is a seal. Governments use them to stamp official documents. I personally own one that my grandmother used to sign her paintings. Every artist had a chop made specially to signify his or her work and to prevent counterfeits. They are highly prized and not duplicated. They are still used today, from business to government work.

Also, religion is still not tolerated in this 'progressive,' modernizing city. Churches are driven underground. Tibetan monks are imprisoned and tortured. Buddhists practice... hesitantly. To a degree. And all without question of the infallible government. Big Brother knows best.

You can buy anything you want in China, especially on the black market. Even the police and government officials. Corruption is everywhere. There is question about the age of the Chinese girl gymnasts, which government workers could have can easily altered certificates and official papers. But if try to buy fake Olympic merchandise? Nope. "The police say it will destroy the reputation of the Olympics," said one vendor from the Print article.

The good side to the Olympics were the athletes. Pure, unadulterated sport. No background or superimposed banners for Nike or Adidas or Budweiser. Yeah, you still have to sit through commercials. And the opening ceremonies were done in the spectacle and grandeur that I expected (constantly interrupted by the freeking commercials). Artistry, imagery, music, ancient instrumentation, illuminating light, technology never seen before, everything incorporating all senses. Plus the elements of wind, water, fire, wood, metal... Holistic, that everything is interconnected. And reminding the world -- and the Chinese -- of the power of the human. The sheer mass. The largeness. One of many -- so very many --and yet, just one of many. And more subtle propaganda woven in here and there. You wouldn't see it if you weren't familiar with the history or culture of China. Proud history. Thousands of years. Luxurious costuming and fantastic attention to detail -- jewels, posture, makeup, facial expression. Then we incorporate the new with old, strength with weakness, power with control, chaos with order, balancing opposites without clashing. Americans have a terrible time of doing this. We tend to forget our past or forget to set time aside, remembering that the dishes can wait for tomorrow -- we want to leave it behind and just live in the future. We forget about today. China accepts its past and brings it forward, incorporating it into today.

Now if it would let its people forward instead of letting the few rule the many under an iron fist.

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posted by Sara @ 8:17 AM   2 comments
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Minority Report
On Sunday, it was announced in a local paper that UVa would alert parents of students if students showed signs of mental illness, focusing on those who were "a threat to themselves or others." To make sure that this policy did not violate HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that all competent adults are entitled to, UVa's Visitor's Bureau made sure that their clause read that they would only allow notification if there was " 'substantial likelihood' in the near future that their child will harm himself or others, as evidenced by the student's recent behavior or any other relevant information."

This reactionary invasion of adult privacy comes in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting from a year ago. Again, understand that the shooting hit home for me. It was mere hours away from where I live. I knew friends who attended, people who lost loved ones, people who almost lost loved ones. It isn't something I take lightly. But 'criminalizing' those who have mental illness or those who express frustration and then labeling those individuals as "unstable" -- as our medicated society is so apt to do -- will only create more walls and close off communication from the still-developing mental health field and those who are considering pursuing treatment for multiple reasons.


The Individual
Anyone who has considered that something has been wrong knows how long that thought has lingered in the back of the head. And how long it took to come to the personal realization that something actually was wrong, that it all wasn't just in the head, and to start looking for help. How many voices, both personal and professional, sneered to the contrary. How many medical tests proved the opposite. How many doctors have been seen. How many insurance payments have been made. How many years were been wasted. How many different diagnoses were made. How many miles were driven. How much hope was lost. How many different drugs were tried. How much sleep was lost. How much money was spent. How many friends were lost. How many relationships were strained or dissolved. Sometimes it works. Sometimes you wonder if it ever will.

The Family & Mate
Anyone who has had to break the news to family that they have a mental illness knows that there are as many reactions as there are species of butterflies. Some are accepting and stay the course throughout treatment. Some deny everything. Some tell you it is your fault and walk away. Some tell you if you had prayed more or had more faith, G-d wouldn't have deserted you with this illness. Some run hot and cold. Some are too caught up in their own world to care. Some ignore it and don't do anything. Some make fun of it. Some try to exorcise your demon. Some are just as ill and don't see it themselves. Some are confused and don't know what to do. Some lecture and become self-righteous.

The Friends
Friends often have similar reactions as family, depending on closeness. Many feel helpless and don't know what to do. Many go on and pretend the illness doesn't exist because they don't know any better.


I've been through this mass production myself, as I'm manic depressive lite. (Bipolar II to the less poetic.) And that's as personal as I'm getting in this edition. It's right back to the usual chewy news and religion after this.

Sure, this sounds all romantic and mysterious, but it can be absolute hell -- or heaven. I couldn't blame any friend or family member for any reaction. It is very much like a death and there is a grief phase. But could you imagine a stranger giving you this news instead of your loved one? There is no way I would want my school giving such personal news in place of someone I knew. I prefer to be in control of who in my family I tell. I know who I can trust and who will shun me.

I sought feedback on this in the political scene, from those who know Delegate Rob Bell, the head of this policy. Of course, this would only apply to 1% and not the 99% who eventually seek treatment. Tangent: it reminds me in a way of the parable of the 99 sheep and the 1 who gets away, lost, who was chased after through rocky crags and prickly thickets, and brought back in. (Why is it always 99 and 1 with politicians? With bipolar, the stats are around 97% normal and 3% irregular. Maybe the math needs to be easier...) And of course a judge has to make the determining factor that the individual is a danger [to society]. Duh. I know that. But I also know that if you are in a psychotic state, you can be committed temporarily without a judge's order. To be committed permanently, you need a judge's order. Without the family's permission. And even then, there is room for debate. All this was looked at based on Cho, who was court-ordered to get help. But he didn't want to. You cannot force someone to get help who does not want it. Anyone ever live with an addict?

Oh, and the policy would only qualify for those students still qualifying as dependents and would only go to the custodial parents. So again, privacy is not an issue. Right? And of course, if a friend or family member mentions to one of the 99 that (s)he needs help, (s)he will get it. Because that's what all the research from the parents, patients, advocates, mental health professionals, police, school officials, and others had showed... goddIlovestatistics. Everything is happy-happy and this is the perfect plan. They all lived happily ever after.

But again, how do you determine 'dependent'? On a tax-return? Or someone who is a minor? Any parent of course would want to know about his or her child, because you will always be a kid to your dad or mom. Or step-parents. Or grandparents. Or whoever raised you. Come to think of it, who qualifies as the 'custodial parent' in this policy? I detest legalese.

And an energy efficient light bulb will suddenly appear over an individual's head once a friend or family member sees something wrong and suggests getting help. "I never thought of that..." Hmmm... ok, in some cases, usually with depression, that does happen. In most cases, there is an inkling that something could be off and no one else sees a damn thing because it's easy to mask or con out of or ignore. And it can take years for reality to sink in.

Anyone who has been through the mental health system knows that it needs some serious tweaking. It can take years to get an accurate diagnosis in many cases, let alone getting around to deciding to seek help. As the old joke goes, it only takes one psychiatrist to change a light bulb, but the light bulb has to want to change.

The last thing we need from The Powers That Be is heaping those who wish change for themselves into the same basket as more dangerous disorders. Someone with major depression is different from general depression is different from schizoaffective disorder is different from an anxiety disorder is different from a compulsive disorder... and there are all different colors and flavors and mixtures of each of these and we all get different treatments.

Have any of these representatives pushing policy been through any of this themselves or read the actual bills instead of getting briefed by aids, well-meaning parents, school officials, and lobbyists? Are they aware of the personal implications for the individuals, the time it takes to go through the system, the backlash once a diagnosis is made, once the family or friends have been told? And now there is the added fear that someone will see something, label it as a 'danger,' and tattle to mommy and daddy without telling us. That's how I interpret the policy.

There needs to be better dialogue regarding mental health and mental illness and the stigma needs to be taken away instead of being feared and again associated with Bedlam, jackets and/or restraints, and psychotic killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and Cho.

Those in legislature and pushing these policies have little understanding behind what they are pushing. It isn't going to be a quick fix. It isn't black and white, cut and dried, or easy. Not everything is prevented or seen, especially mental illness. We can always look back with our 20/20 hindsight and hypothesize on how things could have been done differently and prevented. Not everything can be predicted. Humans are entirely too unpredictable, unstable. The wiring is faulty. For the most part, it works. But every once and a while, there is a glitch in the Matrix. We find it, we use the duct tape, solder a little here and there, and we move forward.

I'm getting tired of taking my shoes off at the airport, wasting good shampoo, and trying to figure out if hair sculpting wax is a liquid or a solid according to whichever random NSA agent. This is the same instance. We are reacting to a random, tragic and violent event that happened instead of seeking prevention through good dialogue and looking at our available resources, improving them.

Please petition your House Representatives, letting them that this is a very slippery slope regarding personal privacy, mental health and treatment of it, and encourage them to look at alternatives.

Those in the Virginia who supported this policy:

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posted by Sara @ 10:02 AM   2 comments
Tears for Tech
It's been a year and two days. Technically. It's a leap year. Virginia Tech is going through mourning. Yesterday marked the anniversary of the massacre of 32 students and teachers killed in a thoughtless shooting. Life truly is grey.

I've visited the campus and memorial. Everyone is chatty around the quad. Looking around, there is no sign that a killer walked the grounds. Life goes on.

You walk up the sidewalk to the stones marking the names. There are signs saying not to leave memorials or pictures. Of course, they are ignored and there is solitary poem here or a faded photo there. Then all conversation stops. Just stops. It doesn't dribble away. It just stops. Dead silence. You hear the scuffing of shoes against the concrete. If the person in front of you pauses, you pause. No one is in a hurry. If someone sneezes, you let it fly away in the breeze. The space is sacred and all who visit know this. When you leave, you stroll slowly and talk of the event, where you were, what you were doing. Life looks backward and to today. You forget what you were doing up until that point. Tomorrow doesn't matter anymore.

And now politicians, bureaucrats, and officials muddle over what to do elsewhere to prevent this from happening. But that's for another time.


posted by Sara @ 9:33 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Xyience to be Sold for $15 Million
The latest in our little saga is that Xyience is to be sold. My many thanks to Mr. Bergeron for his assistance in this unraveling of an energy empire in the great City of Sin. As my cable hasn't been hooked up for over a year, I had to wait for months, catching old fights off Netflix, to see the switch on the MMA center mat from the usual slimline can -- and I did look for a switch. I listened for new sponsors. I watched for sponsor changeovers from fighters. That's pretty much the only reason I checked in from time to time while the other half indulged his guilty pleasure of watching ultimate fighting. Truth be told, it is a fascinating sport. I prefer it over boxing. Human chess wits mixed with the gladiator gore of ancient days.

But enough pithy prose... on to the meat of the matter:

Xyience to be sold for $15 million

Posted: 4/3/2008 10:21:46 AM

A Nevada bankruptcy judge approved the $15 million sale of Xyience Inc. Tuesday after rejecting a last-minute offer for $15.5 million.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal­ reported that Judge Mike Nakagawa rejected the bid from Medici Group Holdings of New Zealand because the company failed to meet the bidding deadline. The Journal reported that the company called 90 minutes before the hearing and failed to send a representative to the court room.

Jim Morgan, the attorney for Xyience’s unsecured creditors, urged the judge to accept the larger offer, the Journal reported, saying that it represented a better deal for the company’s estate.

Manchester Consolidated Corp., whose offer was approved, will pay $200,000 in cash and assume $14.8 million in debt, the Journal reported. Medici reportedly offered $15.5 million in cash.

Morgan also asked the judge to delay the sale of Xyience for two days to give another potential bidder time to respond, but Greg Garman, an attorney for Zyen, opposed the delay. The Medici offer should not be considered because they failed to meet bid requirements and make a deposit, he said.

"All we have is a ghost (bidder)," Garman said.

His client, Zyen, stands to benefit from the sale. The company – controlled by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta – signed Xyience as a sponsor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which the Fertittas also own.

Zyen extended two loans to Xyience totaling $14.7 million ahead of the sale. The Journal reported that the terms of those loans gave Zyen the right to recover debt before other creditors.

Source: Staff

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posted by Sara @ 5:47 PM   1 comments
About Me

Name: Sara
Home: gypsy wanderer, United States
About Me: Those who know me find me stubborn, opinionated, open-minded, strong-willed, of some intelligence, and yet they still hang around.
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Love God. Love all. Serve both.

There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor. -George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

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