The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Archive for May 2007

After Bush, another Big Business White House?

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In Two families, 28 years of Presidency I noted God’s Politics’ observation that if Hillary Clinton were elected and served two terms, the US Presidency would be held by the Bush and Clinton families for more than a quarter-century. I learned much from the comments you left, and wound up thinking more negatively of this than before.

Another Clinton liability is in the news now, this time the subject of investigative writer Ari Berman in an article for The Nation entitled Hillary, Inc. Berman documents extraordinary Clinton ties—and future favors owed—to corporate money.

American democracy is perennially troubled by the coziness between corporate wealth and political power. The Clinton campaign—far from troubled—appears to share corporate DNA. Here’s Berman, interviewed on DemocracyNow!:

Hillary, Inc. is, first thing, about the money that she takes … Hillary, compared to her democratic rivals, is more reliant on corporate money … but it’s also … about the people that will run … her campaign and have prominent positions in the White House. And these are people with very, very, very significant business ties […] Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

May 31, 2007 at 8:30 pm

Posted in Politics, Social change

Readings for Sunday, June 3

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Trinity Sunday
June 3, 2007

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

Psalm 8

Romans 5:1-5

John 16:12-15

John 16:12-15
“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

May 31, 2007 at 12:15 pm

“And whoever the angels are who helped with this …”

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Some friends with generous hearts stepped in to help a boy. Here’s the story, and then a thought:

From: Heather Lujano/To: Kelly Swift/Subject: student wellness

Hi Kelly,

Thanks to the WCSD [Washington Community School District] Student Wellness fund, who assisted a 10 year old … student in avoiding having a deformed finger!

Single parent (working) family: Student was injured at school; student has no insurance and is not eligible for Title XIX (because his immigration case has not yet been approved by US gov’t. I believe he has been waiting since he was 4 or 5 years old for petition to be approved). […] Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

May 28, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Three stunning thoughts on war, oil, and immigration

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I quoted Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul a few days ago. Now here are three insights by Democrat Dennis Kucinich that were startling to me. They come from an interview at the ever-fresh DemocracyNow!

First thought: Congress can force the President to end the war without passing a single bill. Huh? Think about it. Funding expires. Funding bills serve only one purpose: continuing.

JUAN GONZALEZ: What about those Democrats who argue that they could not get a majority vote or at least one that would survive a presidential veto to stop the funding, so that they’ve got to then have a concession of some sort? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

May 26, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Community Supported Agriculture

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I’ve changed my blogroll to link (under Washington) to Choice Earth’s Blog. Lori and I buy a share in Choice Earth each spring and get locally grown vegetables all summer long. Think how much energy is saved by buying food grown here, rather than diesel-hauled from a thousand miles away! Jocelyn has links to help you find a CSA near you if you’re not from “these parts.” But her blog is worthwhile in itself. Here’s a sample:

Choice Earth CSA

Choice Earth is a Community Supported Agriculture group growing fresh, local, organic, heirloom vegetables for members in Fairfield and Washington area communities. … The mission of this blog is to tell all the day-to-day stories and action that happen on an organic vegetable farm…

Sunday, May 20, 2007:

What Am I?

Sometimes identifying a vegetable in the field can be tricky. Sure, we know what the vegetable looks like on the store shelf, but are we sure we know what it looks like in the garden? Frankly, I haven’t always been able to recognize the vegetables in their natural state. Here are some of my favorite “clueless vegetable” moments …[read more]

Drop by! And I hope you find such a food source near you, too.

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Written by Monte

May 26, 2007 at 3:40 pm

To the Person Sitting in Darkness

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Mark Twain – To the Person Sitting in Darkness
Servant at Ressentiment tipped me off to this haunting modern rendering of words of Mark Twain from the time of the Spanish-American war by Italian poets/filmmakers at Nuovoviautori.
Servant has here a link to the text as originally written in the New York Times of 1901 (and the NYT’s response), with more explanatory details.

Related posts: Power corrupts: Here’s its antidote
A brief history of Iran-US relations, part 1: Constitution to Khatami
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Written by Monte

May 26, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Guess what is “terrorism’s indispensable ally?”

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I’m not attracted by most libertarian views. But foreign policy comments of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul are more hopeful than almost everything I’ve heard from candidates of either party.

Most offer: A) a lot more of the same, B) more of the same, C) less of the same, D) a lot less of the same.

I want E) none of the above.

He appeared with former CIA operative and author of Imperial Hubris, Michael Scheuer. Reason is, I believe, the web’s biggest libertarian voice. Here’s Scheuer:

clipped from
Scheuer didn’t endorse Paul, but he came pretty close: “There are now 10 Republican candidates in the field and there are eight Democrats. Seventeen of them are not at all worried about Osama bin Laden and what he represents. Dr. Paul, on the other hand, has hit on the only indispensable ally that bin Laden and their allies have, and that’s U.S. foreign policy.”
Paul repeated (with more detail, obviously) some of his debate lines, while Scheuer tried to knock down the “they hate us for our freedom” dogma. “Ayatollah Khomenai tried for a decade to instigate a jihad against the United States on the basis of our degeneracy and our debauchery, our movies, our women in the workplace. It didn’t work. No one blew themselves up because of R-rated movies. Al Qaeda and its like have gone to school on the abject failure of the Ayatollah. They have focused on U.S. foreign policy and they’ve found it to be a glue of unity, a glue of cohesion across the Islamic world.”

  blog it

Here’s another quote from Scheuer’s book:

“The fundamental flaw in our thinking about Bin Laden is that “Muslims hate and attack us for what we are and think, rather than what we do.” Muslims are bothered by our modernity, democracy, and sexuality, but they are rarely spurred to action unless American forces encroach on their lands. It’s American foreign policy that enrages Osama and al-Qaeda, not American culture and society.

Ya think? Might it be that billions of dollars and thousands of lives could be saved—and terrorism threats actually reduced—if we would just get the hell out of other peoples’ back yards?

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Written by Monte

May 24, 2007 at 1:33 pm