May 27, 2013

Eyeless in Prague

Well, the King of Thailand and I have something in common, since we both have only one eye, at least temporarily. Pneumonia 'palsied' the optic nerve in brain that controls my left eye muscles, Dr. says, so I have quite severe double vision. Must wear eye patch for two to three months until it resolves itself hopefully. If not, surgery. Good news is I can read, work on computer, and teach classes - though not easily and without left peripheral vision, so must be careful I don't step on any of my little ones. But life is not so easy anymore. Don't know when I will be able to resume blogging on any regular basis. But listening to a lot of music and audio books, quite a treat. 

Yet in all of this there is Peace and the inner assurance that all will be well in 'God's good time.'

May 16, 2013

UK Catholic primary school becomes champion of gay equality

This encouraging story just in from UK's Telegraph

Catholic school calls in Stonewall after boy calls pupil's shoes 'gay'

A Roman Catholic school called in a gay rights group to give staff lessons in how to stop homophobic bullying after claims a five-year-old boy called another pupil’s shoes “gay”.

The jibe was made in the infants’ playground of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Wimbledon, southwest London, according to a school source.
It was reported by a supervisor at the school to Sarah Crouch, the head teacher, who decided that it amounted to homophobic abuse.
Miss Crouch then invited Stonewall, the gay rights group, to teach staff how to educate children in sexual equality.
The training day went ahead last September with the consent of all but one of the governors and with the approval of the authorities of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark.
The school is now the first and only Catholic primary school in the country to be listed as a Stonewall “Primary School Champion” of gay equality.

Stonewall resources for primary schools are based around a pack called “Different Families, Same Love”, which teaches the message that same-sex couple households are equal to those founded on marriage between heterosexuals.
Children are taught not to use the word “gay” derisively, even if they say it to mean “bad” or “rubbish”, because it would upset children who might be gay or might have gay parents.
But the decision to allow Stonewall into a Catholic primary has surprised family campaigners who believe that the gay rights group should not be allowed to impose its views on young children.
They claimed that such incidents were being used as a device for the group to enter schools to teach “gay propaganda”.
Antonia Tully, national coordinator of the Safe at School campaign, said that the presence of gay activists in primary schools may alarm parents. “Many parents will be very concerned that a gay rights organisation is considered to be an appropriate source of advice on how to deal with children using inappropriate language in the playground.
“If a primary school takes on Stonewall’s agenda, young children will be exposed to homosexual issues which they are too young to understand properly. Parents expect a school to provide an education, not subject their children to gay propaganda.”
One parent at the school, who gave his name only as Peter, said he was concerned that the teachers were being trained to undermine the idea of a family being based on a marriage between a man and a woman.
“Homophobia is never acceptable, and should be stamped out of children as young as possible. But there is a massive difference between that and teaching young children about gay relationships.
“Church teaching is around the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. You don’t expect a Catholic school to be teaching anything else.”
Miss Crouch said she called the campaign group in to St Mary’s to train staff “on how to tackle homophobic language and bullying”.
“As a school, and as Catholics, we are opposed to prejudice of any kind and felt it was important to tackle the issue of homophobic language and bullying.
“The training was very successful and we feel confident that if any incidents of this kind of language occur our staff have the means to address them appropriately.”

May 14, 2013

Return from Hospital/Rejoicing for Minnesota.

  1. I've just returned from a three day stay in hospital, recovering from complications arising out of my bout with pneumonia. The hospital itself was so lovely, like an old fashioned spa sanitarium, with a long, spacious yellow corridor outside my room, with lace curtains on the windows blowing in the breeze, very comfortable armchairs and sofas and potted plants arranged by the windows all the way down the corridors, and cafe tables with fresh flowers outside the rooms- giving patients the option of taking their meals in their beds or at the tables. The Czech staff were the most wonderful of any hospital I've every stayed in, friendly, witty, mischievous and so genuinely happy.
(Don't know how that #1 got there at beginning of paragraph. Must have pressed a wrong button:)

But what a joy to return home and to hear the news of the historic decision to approve gay marriage in the US state of Minnesota, with so much tireless effort expended by Catholics for this result in the face of vitriolic opposition from Archbishop John Nienstedt. Besides being a clear and radiant sign that the Holy Spirit is on the side of equality for all, this historic decision also highlights the clear message of the Spirit that church authority can so often be quite fallible and misguided, misleading the faithful into toxic positions at variance with the gospels. The real conduits of the Spirit in this historic moment are the many dedicated laity who represent the true spiritual leadership of the church.

For full commentary and wonderful, heartwarming photos, visit Michael Bayly's great blog, Wild Reed.

May 9, 2013

Sister Megan Rice- at age 83- gets 20 years.

I found this story deeply moving, sad and inspiring all at once, especially Sister Megan's courageous remark that she wished she hadn't waited 70 years to take action. This is the essence of following in the way of Jesus in confronting the principalities and powers of this world. A truly brave woman, our prayers should be with her, as she begins her ordeal at such a late age. She will, no doubt, die in prison. She reportedly smiled as the verdict was read. It takes a burning love for the Crucified to imbue a person with such joyful acceptance of the cross, and reminds me of the peace and joy of the early Christians marching to their deaths in the Roman Colosseum, yearning to give their all for their Divine Master. As Blessed Charles de Foucaud said so eloquently, expressing his own burning desire for martyrdom:

       When one can suffer and love, one can do almost anything, even things in this world which seem impossible. 

Sister Megan Rice enters prison for all of us. Would that we had her resolute faith and her unshakeable serenity in the face of trial and suffering. To this way all Christians are called, depending on their capacity for love and sacrifice. 

However, here is a dissenting view from National Catholic Reporter well worth pondering:

It seems to me that Arun Gandhi's criticism of the Plowshares actions back in 1995 also applies to the
"Transform Now Plowshares".
Arun Gandhi said: "You can quote me as saying Mahatma Gandhi would disagree with the Plowshares actions because they employ tactics of secrecy and destruction of property. I also think locking up the most courageous and devoted peace leaders for long prison terms is a way of weakening the peace movement. Those leaders could do much more for peace outside of jail than in it." ( The Jesus Journal - Summer 1995 - No. 77 - page 44 )
"Common people who are not directly involved in social debates and political conflicts have their lives to live, they become angry at those who are disturbing their lives or damaging property that has to be repaired using public funds. Thus the average person, whose support is often necessary for lasting success, is alienated. Rather than leading to a resolution, they escalate the conflict and create more deeply entrenched opponents." (Legacy of Love by Arun Gandhi – page 132)

Finally, here is the news:

An 83-year-old nun who broke into a Tennessee depleted uranium storage facility in 2012 and splashed human blood on several surfaces, exposing a massive security hole at the nation’s only facility used to store radioactive conventional munitions, was convicted Wednesday and sentenced to a term of up to 20 years in prison.
The only regret Sister Megan Rice shared with members of her jury on Wednesday was that she wished 70 years hadn’t passed before she took direct action, according to the BBC. She and two other peace activists, 64-year-old Michael Walli and 56-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed, were convicted of “invasion of a nuclear facility” in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, even though investigators admitted they did not get close to any actual nuclear material.
The three activists are part of a group called “Transform Now Plowshares,” a reference to the book of Isaiah, which says, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares. They shall learn war no more.” All three face individual sentences of up to 20 years, along with a litany of fines.
As they invaded the Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge, a perimeter fence was cut, several surfaces were spray-painted, banners were hung and activists read from the Bible. They also spread human blood on several surfaces, saying its use was symbolic, meant to remind people “of the horrific spilling of blood by nuclear weapons.”
“The shortcomings in security at one of the most dangerous places on the planet have embarrassed a lot of people,” the activists’ attorney, Francis Lloyd, told members of the jury according to the BBC. “You’re looking at three scapegoats behind me.”
Sister Rice has been arrested between 40 or 50 times committing acts of civil disobedience, according to The New York Times, including once in Nevada after she physically blocked a truck at a nuclear test site.
Depleted uranium munitions like the kind stored at the facility Sister Rice targeted are blamed for some of the worst birth defects and soaring cancer rates seen in post-war Iraq, particularly in the city of Fallujah following the siege of 2004, in which U.S. soldiers killed thousands of civilians.
The city has never recovered, particularly from the use of depleted uranium munitions, and to this day residents suffer from health effects “worse” than those seen following the nuclear detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, according to a study by theInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
“I believe we are all equally responsible to stop a known crime,” Sister Rice said from the witness stand, according to quotes published by her group. She called herself a “citizen of the world” and reportedly smiled as the verdict was read.
This video is from ABC News, aired August 2, 2012.

May 8, 2013

Presence Through Movement. Peace in the Face of Evil

Here is a  beautiful series on presence through movement from Kim Eng, the wife of renowned spiritual master, Eckhart Tolle (video below). The shy boy who said he spent his adolescence in anxiety over finding a girlfriend has discovered his perfect life partner through the generosity of the universe. She is clearly a master in her own right, imbued with a deep inner peace.  

Practicing this 'Presence' is essential for spiritual and psychological balance throughout the day, centering oneself and accessing the divine inner peace and compassion and allowing it to flood itself upon the world through your own open being. Remaining centered in this Presence is also essential for social activists and all those who must confront the evil of the world. I try to limit my own immersion into or exposure to stories of terrible injustice and social evil, because they can have a toxic effect on one's spiritual peace. But this is not the same thing as ignoring injustice or burying one's head in the sand. Quite often the 'Great Compassion,' as the Buddhists like to phrase it, will guide you to take into  your heart and soul the essence of evil and injustice in order to confront it and lead the world to healing. But without being grounded in the Great Compassion and surrendering to it with absolute trust and faith, no matter what the trials and travails of life in this world, one can quickly be lost and descend into pessimism and despair. 

Every issue I feel called to examine, contemplate, absorb and discern I take to prayer first and last during the day, asking for the Divine Spirit to guide my own searches, to illuminate my own being, and through that gentle inner peace to lead me to certain conclusions about the issues. Without this inner guidance I would be trapped in the turmoil and anxiety of the forces of contradiction and further trapped in the inner recesses of the mind, which cannot of its own and unaided, discern correctly the inner realities of complex issues of social injustice and systemic evil. There are simply too many lies coming at one like a thousand shards of glass. Inner peace gives one the calm and balance to discern with objectivity and the proper distance. It also imbues one with the sense of a blazing inferno of lovering compassion at the 'still center of the turning world, ' a love so profound and so powerfully energetic that it consumes all evil in its blazing furnace, while remaining paradoxically still and silent and unmoved. A stillness so profound, it imbues one with the inner sense that there is nothing to fear, that evil has no objective existence or  power to harm in any ultimate, absolute sense, that Love does indeed conquer all - but not without suffering and surrender of the heart to its purging flames. Inner peace and the Living Flame of Love within one's deepest being illuminate and unmask the forces of evil that obscure for so many the radiant Light of the Great Compassion. But with this gift comes obligations born out of gratitude, the call to bring peace and the illuminating light of truth into the marketplace and the town square, and into the deepest centers of violence and injustice. The Great Compassion lovingly calls us to confront the principalities and powers of this world, just as it called the Divine Master two thousand years ago, who's own prophetic calling led him to the tree of torture on the hill of  skulls. Divine light and compassion shine most brightly at the center of human depravity and evil. This is where we are called to venture, secure in the inner peace that guides us that all will be well, all manner of things will be well. 

May 6, 2013

I'm in Love with Gabriel: Gay Teen Love Story

Here's a wonderful short gay teen video - in Brazilian Portugese- that warms the heart. A touching story, but bittersweet for the young girl who is in love with the blind boy - who is really in love with Gabriel.

May 4, 2013

Bradley Manning, Drone Warfare and the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade

One other case I'm following with keen interest is that of Bradley Manning and the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade. Manning was first asked to be an honorary grand marshal of the parade, a decision that was quickly reversed by SF Gay Pride board president, Lisa Williams, in an authoritarian statement redolent of the old days under the Stalinist regime in Moscow. Pravda would be proud. Quite shocking, actually, but the sorry affair has been a blessing of sorts in that its brought a great deal of moral corruption and compromise on the part of the gay movent in general out into the clear light of day.

This issue is quite personal to me because I was born and raised in San Francisco, and marched in a number of gay pride parades in the early days when the event was still an iconoclastic and prophetic gesture that refused to bow to prevalent political and social  pieties. How things have changed.

Thanks to Williams' decision, the great Daniel Ellsburg will now be marching in the parade in support of Bradley Manning. And a great deal of frank, open discussion is now under way, as numerous gay activists and philosophers of note are asking the hard questions. The affair highlights my own misgivings about single issue politics. If there is one single gay issue that compels me heart and soul it is the eradication of the toxic homophobia in the Catholic Church, manifest in the hierarchy's near pathological hatred for the very idea of gay marriage. However, as a general issue, I have misgivings  about the passionate, single focus on this one issue for so many 'liberal' gay activists, and the SF Gay Pride affair perfectly sums up my ow fears.  How far are we willing to go when striving for marriage equality and acceptance? Does it mean meek assimilation and quiet conformity to a prevalent order profoundly unjust to other minority groups, does it entail silence in the face of true evil created by a system and a President who seems to be on "our side," therefore who for that reason deserves our silent acquiescence, our turning the other way. I'm sorry to say that Rachel Madows exemplifies this kind of LGBT liberal to me and I have lost all respect for her.  Bradley Manning, on the other hand, exemplifies the very best of queer heroism, standing up for gay rights and equality while also opposing the evils of a destructive and corrupt military and political system. He has not lost the critical, prophetic edge of the Queer outsider. No house in the suburbs with one's partner and the marriage contract famed on the wall, in exchange for silent conformity to a profoundly unjust  system. Likewise no marching in a parade under the banners of corporate sponsors that include Verizon, complicit in the illegal wiretapping of US citizens, and Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, both banks being sued for mortgage fraud on a grand scale, destroying in the process the lives of countless lower middle class folks. As Glen Greenwald has said in a superb article at the Guardian which I highly recommend,

The minute something even a bit deviant takes place (as defined by standards imposed by America's political and corporate class), even the SF Gay Pride Parade must scamper, capitulate, apologize, and take an oath of fealty to their orthodoxies (we adore the military, the state, and your laws). And, as usual, the largest corporate factions are completely exempt from the strictures and standards applied to the marginalized and powerless. Thus, while Bradley Manning is persona non grata at SF Pride, illegal eavesdropping telecoms, scheming banks, and hedge-fund purveryors of the nation's worst right-wing agitprop are more than welcome.

What we see here is how even many of the most liberal precincts in America are now the leading spokespeople for and loyalists to state power as a result of their loyalty to President Obama.

.... when I wrote several weeks ago about the remarkable shift in public opinion on gay equality, I noted that this development is less significant than it seems because the cause of gay equality poses no real threat to elite factions or to how political and economic power in the US are distributed. If anything, it bolsters those power structures because it completely and harmlessly assimilates a previously excluded group into existing institutions and thus incentivizes them to accommodate those institutions and adopt their mindset. This event illustrates exactly what I meant.

Which brings me back to my first fundamental question. How far are we willing to go in the quest for equality?. As far as Lisa Williams, which is very far indeed, or do we follow the truly principled moral standards of an heroic figure like Bradley Manning, who takes a prophetic stance against injustices across the board, an integrated and inclusive moral stance that refuses to focus solely upon the single issue of the tribe.

From a powerful article on drone warfare at the on line journal, Counterpunch, Jeffrey St. Clair makes
this passionate, incisive remark that expresses my own misgivings about the 'gay liberal' movement in this country.

The president has offered us a master class in political mesmerism, transforming the anti-war Left into supine functionaries of the imperial management team.
The cyber-Left is kept rigidly in line by the architects of liberal opinion. From David Corn to Rachel Maddow, the progressive press acts in sinister harmony with the administration’s neoliberal agenda. They seduously ignore Obama’s constitutional depredations, and instead devote acres of airspace to the faux clashes over sequestration and gay marriage.
Night after night, we are presented with sideshows, what Hitchcock called the McGuffin in his films, the dramatic diversions designed to distract the audience’s attention from the real game being played. Meanwhile, the liberal commentariat is balefully complacent to the rapacity of Obama’s remote control death squadrons, even in the face of somber evidence regarding the drone program’s criminal nature. Raid after raid, kill after kill, ruin after ruin, they remain silent. But their silence only serves to emphasize their complicity, their consciousness of guilt. Their fingers too are stained by distant blood.
In the quest for equality, how are we to react to an ally like President Obama, who, according to the New York Times, runs a kill list that results in the 'accidental' death of a 16  year old US citizen, with no known ties to terrorism other than his relationship to a famous, known terrorist father. His grandfather is on record as saying he was doing all in his power to insulate and protect his grandson from the effects of his father's notorious reputation. But that is not the only issue here. This 'accidental' killing (and I highly doubt there was anything accidental about it), not only took out the 16 year old boy, but also killed his two teenage companions dining at an outdoor cafe, and 8 of the other customers.

Here is a quote on the affair from the just published book by Jeremy Scahill (author of Blackwater)  Dirty Wars: The World's a Battlefield. 
A former senior official in the Obama administration told me that after Abdulrahman’s killing, the president was "surprised and upset and wanted an explanation." The former official, who worked on the targeted killing program, said that according to intelligence and Special Operations officials, the target of the strike was al-Banna, the AQAP propagandist. "We had no idea the kid was there. We were told al-Banna was alone," the former official told me. Once it became clear that the teenager had been killed, he added, military and intelligence officials asserted, "It was a mistake, a bad mistake." However, John Brennan, at the time President Obama’s senior adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security, "suspected that the kid had been killed intentionally and ordered a review. I don’t know what happened with the review."
Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, would not answer questions about the former official’s assertions, saying that she “can’t address specific operational matters and won’t go into our internal deliberations,” adding: "We cannot discuss the sensitive details of specific operations."

But of course, this is only one of the more noticed of such stories and one which attracts comment because the boy was a US citizen. What of the wedding party singled out for a drone attack, the consistent policy of drone operators to 'strike twice,' once at the intended target and once again at the people who rush to the victim's aid. For a comprehensive look at the civilian death toll from the drone attacks (including 11 children killed in a drone attack on a school just one week before the Boston Bombings) check out the very conservative and responsible Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which last February released its report on the estimated number of civilian deaths from these drone attacks.

On December 30 of last year, ABC News reported on a 16-year-old Pakistani boy, Tariq Khan, who was killed with his 12-year-old cousin when a car in which he was riding was hit with a missile fired by a U.S. drone. As I noted at the time, the report contained this extraordinary passage buried in the middle:
Asked for documentation of Tariq and Waheed’s deaths, Akbar did not provide pictures of the missile strike scene. Virtually none exist, since drones often target people who show up at the scene of an attack.
What made that sentence so amazing was that it basically amounts to a report that the U.S. first kills people with drones, then fires on the rescuers and others who arrive at the scene where the new corpses and injured victims lie.
In a just-released, richly documented report, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, on behalf of the Sunday Times, documents that this is exactly what the U.S. is doing — and worse:
The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of  civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed.
The findings are published just days after President Obama claimed that the drone campaign in Pakistan was a “targeted, focused effort” that “has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties”. . . .
A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts.
Although the drone attacks were started under the Bush administration in 2004, they have been stepped up enormously under Obama.
There have been 260 attacks by unmanned Predators or Reapers in Pakistan by Obama’s administration – averaging one every four days.

As I indicated, there have been scattered, mostly buried indications in the American media that drones have been targeting and killing rescuers. As the Bureau put it: “Between May 2009 and June 2011, at least fifteen attacks on rescuers were reported by credible news media, including the New York TimesCNNAssociated PressABC News and Al Jazeera.” Killing civilians attending the funerals of drone victims is also well-documented by the Bureau’s new report:
Other tactics are also raising concerns.  On June 23 2009 the CIA killed Khwaz Wali Mehsud, a mid-ranking Pakistan Taliban commander. They planned to use his body as bait to hook a larger fish – Baitullah Mehsud, then the notorious leader of the Pakistan Taliban.
“A plan was quickly hatched to strike Baitullah Mehsud when he attended the man’s funeral,” according to Washington Post national security correspondent Joby Warrick, in his recent book The Triple Agent. “True, the commander… happened to be very much alive as the plan took shape. But he would not be for long.”
The CIA duly killed Khwaz Wali Mehsud in a drone strike that killed at least five others. . . .
Up to 5,000 people attended Khwaz Wali Mehsud’s funeral that afternoon, including not only Taliban fighters but many civilians.  US drones struck again, killing up to 83 people.As many as 45 were civilians, among them reportedly ten children and four tribal leaders.
The Bureau quotes several experts stating the obvious: that targeting rescuers and funeral attendees is patently illegal and almost certainly constitutes war crimes:
Read the rest of this expose here at Salon. 

I may seem to have come a long way from the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, but not really. This brief foray into President Obama's drone policy, which Liberation Theologian Leonardo Boff described as"manifestly evil," only highlights my original question. What price equality? Too many liberal gay activists have chosen to remain silent on these issues and many others simply because their hero, President Obama, is on 'their side,' or to put it bluntly, on the side of the Gay Tribe. The choice for many of us concerned for justice for LGBT people is clear. Do we side with the Lisa Williams of this world, and they are legion, or do we take our stand with a true gay hero like Bradley Manning, who does not compromise his  conscience for the sake of a single issue. Given the passionate, spirited and outraged responses now underway about the SF Gay Pride Parade, many of us have made the right choice. 

May 2, 2013

A Wise View From The Center

Well, not exactly the center, but the moderate wing of what constitutes the alternative media in the US.
Here is Dave Lindorf's very wise, balanced and intelligent assessment of the kinds of evidence surrounding the Tsarnaev brothers, which any responsible crime investigator would feel compelled to follow. 
I've decided not to quote at length from the article or comment, but just provide the link for any who are interested. Dave says it all, without any emotionalism or resort to 'conspiracy theories.'

I've also included a link to his fine piece examining the evidence of private military contractors working the Boston event.

Tsarnaev Brothers had a CIA connection.

Why Such secrecy about Private Military Contractors's Men Working the Event.

May 1, 2013

Brazilian priest chooses freedom and walks away.

An inspiring story yesterday at Rebel Girl's Iglesias Descalza blog. Father Roberto Francisco Daniel had been a long time advocate for the rights of gay people within the church, making frequent comments at his blog site to the effect:

If the human sciences are telling us that today we can no longer classify human beings as homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, but as sexual beings, and that love can emerge at any of these levels, if science leads us to this level of awareness, the Church needs to study this, otherwise it will be committing a sin. Which sin? Not loving one's neighbor. So the Church has to change, not because society is changing but because science and human knowledge have evolved." (O Globo)

As a modern day communicator, Padre Beto also expressed such sentiments in his newspaper column and radio show as well as on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. When the Church authorities formally asked him to recant such statements, he formally announced his resignation from priestly ministry, saying that for him, "it has become impossible to live out the Gospel in an institution where, for the moment, freedom of thought and freedom of expression are not respected."

His resignation wasn't enough for church authorities, however, and his local bishop then excommunicated him.  What I find inspiring about the whole affair is his peaceful indifference to the excommunication, which he has accepted with a bit of humor. 

He joked that he was thankful to God that the "bonfire" no longer exists, and added that he is a theologian and that he intends to "develop a theological argument so that the analysis of Biblical texts will not be used anymore to discriminate against people and make them unhappy. Today, sexual diversity exists and there are many texts in the Bible that we can no longer consider to be the word of God....I feel honored to be on the list of the many persons who have been killed or burned alive for thinking and seeking knowledge. I'm grateful to the Diocese of Bauru."

This, to my mind, is the way to go for persons such as Padre Beto- walk away from the toxic hate and let the Spirit lead one to new and more fruitful forms of ministry 'outside the door.' It means letting go of any emotional attachment to the institutional church as in any way necessary for one's personal spiritual health or ministry. It does not mean severing one's mystical ties to Holy Mother Church, whose mystery transcends the narrow limits of its present rigid doorkeepers and watchers of orthodoxy. The fact is the Spirit of the Risen Lord is calling many of us to give this same witness, to 'walk away' in peace and joy, as a sign of freedom and detachment from a closed system. But the essential corollary of this walk is to witness to the fruitful existence of other forms of spiritual ministry and nourishment not dependant on the institutional church. My own heart has been filled with an indescribable peace and joy ever since I felt compelled in the Spirit to walk away from formal participation in the Church. And now the only place where I encounter the face of the Beloved is  " outside the door," a place that is filled with shining light and transcendent love. Thank you, Lord, for this inestimable grace of freedom.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev's links to the CIA

Explosive report from Wayne Madsen below:

( I may seem to have veered off topic - or away from the usual focus of this blog - for the moment, but this has become a very personal issue for me and I have to pursue it. Note the use of "" Madsen puts around the term 'radicalized,' in the article below. This is to alert the reader that Tsarnaev was most likely being trained to simulate a radicalized Muslim. This is explosive news as is the video I linked to in the last posting (in which the brothers can be heard screaming, "Chill out! Chill out! we didn't do it!"), which is also rather dangerous. The video decides nothing as to the actual guilt or innocence of the suspects, but the suspicions it raises are multiple. I continue to sit on the fence about the innocence of the Tsarnaev brothers re: actually dropping the bags. As is being suggested, they may have been part of the 'drill,' asked like many others to stroll casually through the crowds and just as casually drop off their backpacks. Or not.....the older brother may have turned. So many questions abound. The real scandal is that none of this, none, is being picked up by the mainstream media. It has now come out that, Ruslan Tarsni,  the uncle of the brothers (and the media's darling in this whole affair) - the only family member to be packaging them as these lone, disaffected terrorists - was supporting 'terrorist' groups in the Caucasus while actually living in the home of top CIA official Graham Fuller. This is also explosive news that needs to be pursued (see Madcow Morning News). Look for it in vain in the MSM. It is all being swept aside. And Graham Fuller's role in the Caucasus? One of the key operatives in charge of CIA Operation Gladio, designed to recruit, train and arm terrorists to forment and destabilize the Caucasus. See Sibel Edmonds' latest video interview.  So we have an uncle with clear CIA connections as well as links to 'terrorits' groups in the Caucasus, linked to a chief CIA operative in charge of a secretive CIA operation in the Caucasus. This should be headline news across the world. Look for it in vain. I just checked in to Counterpunch, a leftie on line journal with corporate funding which publishes many superb hard hitting articles on US  foreign policy and its destructive effects. A very good journal, yet they are swallowing the official line on this story. It's simply too hot to handle. The same with Truth Dig.  They are alternative media only up to certain limits and within certain clearly defined parameters. Anything outside the box is taboo.) And then this today from UKs Daily Mail. 

Following report taken from the Wayne Madsen Report, which requires a subscription to access.) 

Evidence is mounting that the accused dead Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev became a “radicalized” Muslim while participating in a covert CIA program, run through the Republic of Georgia, to destabilize Russia’s North Caucasus region. The ultimate goal of the CIA’s campaign was for the Muslim inhabitants of the region to declare independence from Moscow and tilt toward the U.S. Wahhabi Muslim-run governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
What does U.S. ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul know about Tamerlan Tsarneav’s activities in Russia’s North Caucasus?

Russia’s Izvestia is reporting that Tsarnaev attended seminars run by the Caucasus Fund of Georgia, a group affiliated with the neo-conservative think tank, the Jamestown Foundation, between January and July 2012. The U.S. media has been reporting that during this six month time frame Tsarnaev was being radicalized by Dagestan radical imam “Abu Dudzhan,” killed in a fight with Russian security last year. However, in documents leaked by the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs’s Counterintelligence Department, Tsarnaev is pinpointed as being in Tbilisi taking part in “seminars” organized by the Caucasus Fund, founded during the Georgian-South Ossetian war of 2008, a war started when Georgian troops invaded the pro-Russian Republic of South Ossetia during the Beijing Olympics. Georgia was supported by the United States and Israel, including U.S. Special Forces advisers. The Georgian intelligence documents indicate Tsarnaev attended the Jamestown seminars in Tbilisi.

Tsarnaev also visited Dagestan in 2011. On December 16, 2011, WMR reported on the CIA’s and George Soros’s operations in Georgia that funded the Caucasus Fund, the Jamestown Foundation, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) activities. It should also be noted that Tsarnaev’s Maryland-based uncle, Ruslan Tsarni (name changed from Tsarnaev) was also contracted to USAID.
“The money from USAID for Russian dissidents is being funneled through the Georgian Ministry of Education. The Georgian Minister of Education Dmitry Shashkin also attended the Tbilisi ceremony (a World AIDS Day ceremony also attended by U.S. ambassador to Georgia John Bass and Georgia First Lady Sandra Roloefs, the Dutch wife of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili), which provided cover for the covert aid program to the Russian dissidents. USAID money was used to fund scholarships in Georgia for exiled Chechen “students” who were being trained as CIA agenst to interface with Chechen guerrilla forces and the Caucasus Emirate terrorists of Doku Umarov.
Georgia has become the nexus for the U.S. aid to the Russian opposition trying to unseat Putin. In March [2010], Georgia sponsored, with CIA, Soros, and MI-6 funds, a conference titled ‘Hidden Nations, Enduring Crimes: The Circassians and the People of the North Caucasus Between Past and Future.’ Georgia and its CIA, Soros, and British intelligence allies are funneling cash and other support for secessionism by ethnic minorities in Russia, including Circassians, Chechens, Ingushetians, Balkars, Kabardins, Abaza, Tatars, Talysh, and Kumyks.”

Note: the Talysh and Kumyks live primarily in Dagestan.

The conference, held on March 21, 2010, was organized by the Jamestown Foundation and the International School of Caucasus Studies at Ilia State University in Georgia. If Georgian counter-intelligence documents had Tamerlan Tsarnaev attending Jamestown conferences in Tbilisi in 2011, could the Russian FSB have tracked him to the Jamestown Hidden Nations seminar in March 2010? In any event, a year later the FSB decided to contact the FBI about Tsarnaev’s ties to terrorists.
The first Russian request to the FBI came via the FBI’s Legal Attache’s office at the U.S. embassy in Moscow in March 2011. It took the FBI until June of 2011 to conclude that Tamerlan posed no terrorist threat but it did add his name to the Treasury Enforcement Communications System, or TECS, which monitors financial information such as bank accounts held abroad and wire transfers. In September 2011, Russian authorities, once again, alerted the U.S. of their suspicions about Tamerlan. The second alert went to the CIA. The Russians were well aware that the Hidden Nations seminar held a year earlier was a CIA-sponsored event that was supported by the Saakashvili government in Georgia. In their second communication with Washington, the Russians were likely making the CIA aware that it was on to one of Langley’s assets.

At some point in time after the first Russian alert and either before or after the second, the CIA entered Tamerlan’s name into the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment list (TIDE), a database with more than 750,000 entries that is maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Virginia.
On March 31, 2010, shortly after the Hidden Nations conference in Tbilisi, deadly mass casualty suicide bomb blasts in the Moscow Metro system and in Dagestan, and Georgia’s Georgia’s launching of a Russian-language TV channel targeting the north Caucasus and designed to whip up anti-Russian feelings in the volatile region, WMR reported:

“The Jamestown Foundation is a long-standing front operation for the CIA, it being founded, in part, by CIA director William Casey in 1984. The organization was used as an employer for high-ranking Soviet bloc defectors, including the Soviet Undersecretary General of the UN Arkady Shevchenko and Romanian intelligence official Ion Pacepa. The Russian FSB and the SVR foreign intelligence agencies have long suspected Jamestown of helping to foment rebellions in Chechnya, Ingushetia, and other north Caucasus republics. The March 21 Tbilisi conference on the north Caucasus a few days before the Moscow train bombings has obviously added to the suspicions of the FSB and SVR.

Jamestown’s board includes such Cold War era individuals as Marcia Carlucci; wife of Frank Carlucci, the former CIA officer, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of The Carlyle Group [Frank Carlucci was also one of those who requested the U.S. government to allow former Chechen Republic 'Foreign Minister' Ilyas Akhmadov, accused by the Russians of terrorist ties, to be granted political asylum in the U.S. after a veto from the Homeland Security and Justice Departments], anti-Communist book and magazine publisher Alfred Regnery; and Caspar Weinberger’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland. Also on the board is former Oklahoma GOP Governor Frank Keating, the governor at the time of the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing.

The Georgian International School for Caucasus Studies in a perfect partner for Jamestown. Its current major project is designed to stir up anti-Russian sentiments in the north Caucasus by creating such new research programs as “Tsarist Russian policy and state-sponsored Soviet ethnic policies conducted in the North Caucasus during the 19th and 20th century.”

Cooperating with Jamestown in not only its north and south Caucasus information operations, but also in Moldovan, Belarusian, Uighur, and Uzbekistan affairs, is George Soros’s ubiquitous Open Society Institute, another cipher for U.S. intelligence and global banking interests. Soros’s Central Eurasia Project has sponsored a number of panels and seminars with Jamestown. Soros and his NGO contrivances and constructs provided the impetus for Saakashvili’s themed ‘Rose Revolution.’ Jamestown’s Monitor and the Soros-influenced Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty often quote from each others’ sources and reports.

On March 9, 2005, the Jamestown Foundation, Soros’s Open Society Institute, and the Moldova Foundation sponsored a seminar in Washington on the Moldovan elections. Among the advisory board members of the Moldova Foundation are Bari-Bar Zion, CEO of A4E and Amin in Israel and a former business adviser to the head of the Israel State Lottery, and Sam Amadi, special adviser to the President of the Senate of Nigeria. The Moldova Foundation receives support from Soros’s Open Society Institute.”

Georgia was a major launching pad for anti-Russia operations by the CIA, Mossad, and Britain’s MI-6. Not only did Georgian Imedi TV presented a fake news report about a Russian invasion of Georgia — which also suggested that Russian troops had killed Saakashvili — but Caucasus Emirate terrorists were conducting a number of terrorist attacks inside Russia, including a suicide bombings in Moscow and Dagestan, at the same time NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was hosting Saakashvili in Brussels.

The Russians indicated in their first communication with the FBI that Tamerlan had changed drastically since 2010. That change came after the Hidden Nations conference in Tbilisi. U.S. support for Chechen and North Caucasus secession came as a result of a public statement on August 2008 by GOP presidential candidate John McCain that “after Russia illegally recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Western countries ought to think about the independence of the North Caucasus and Chechnya.”

What does U.S. ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul know about Tamerlan Tsarneav’s activities in Russia’s North Caucasus?

Upon becoming President in 2009, Barack Obama adopted McCain’s proposal and authorized CIA support for North Caucasus secessionists and terrorists with money laundered through the USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, Soros’s Open Society Institute, Freedom House, and the Jamestown Foundation. In January 2012, Obama appointed a Soros activist and neocon, Michael McFaul of the right-wing Hoover Institution at Stanford university, as U.S. ambassador to Moscow. McFaul immediately threw open the doors of the U.S. embassy to a variety of Russian dissidents, including secessionists from the North Caucasus, some of whom were suspected by the Russian FSB of ties to Islamist terrorists.