John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004
FOR Peace Organization Links

MLK Jr: Non-Violent Protester

FOR's Vision: We envision a world of justice, peace, and freedom. It is a revolutionary vision of a beloved community where differences are respected, conflicts are addressed nonviolently, oppressive structures are dismantled, and where people live in harmony with the earth, nurtured by diverse spiritual traditions that foster compassion, solidarity, and reconciliation.

FOR's Mission: FOR seeks to replace violence, war, racism, and economic injustice with nonviolence, peace, and justice. We are an interfaith organization committed to active nonviolence as a transforming way of life and as a means of radical change. We educate, train, build coalitions, and engage in nonviolent and compassionate actions locally, nationally, and globally.

Since 1915, The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) has carried on programs and educational projects concerned with domestic and international peace and justice, nonviolent alternatives to conflict, and the rights of conscience. A Nonviolent, Interfaith, tax exempt organization, The FOR promotes nonviolence and has members from many religious and ethnic traditions. It is a part of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), which has affiliates in over 40 countries.

The International Fellowship of Reconciliation

FOR Religious Fellowships:

Baptist Peace Fellowship
Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Catholic Peace Fellowship
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Jewish Peace Fellowship
Lutheran Peace Fellowship
Muslim Peace Fellowship
Orthodox Peace Fellowship
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

FOR Local Groups and Affiliates:

Charlotte, NC FOR
Minnesota Fellowship of Reconciliation
Olympia, WA FOR
Western Washington FOR

Decade of Peace and Nonviolence:

IFOR's Culture of Nonviolence Page

Internship and Volunteer Search Sites:

Campus Access
Voluntarios Solidarios

Other Peace Link Sites: - A Progressive Portal

Middle East Peace Organizations

See FOR Middle East Links Page
Electronic Iraq
Palestinians and Israelis for Nonviolence

Online Magazines

American Prospect magazine
Common Dreams Newscenter
Mother Jones magazine
The Nation magazine
Now Age Press
People's Weekly World
Sojourners magazine
Yes! Magazine
Z magazine
The Mahatma Gandhi Canadian Foundation for World Peace:
Mahatma Gandhi Research and Media Service:

Peace Organizations
A.J. Muste Memorial Institute
U.S. Campaign To Stop The Use of Child Soldiers
Cities for Peace
CONTACT - Conflict Transformation Across Cultures
Culture of Peace News Network
National Network to End the War Against Iraq (NNEWAI)
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
Global Coalition for Peace
Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
Holy Land Trust
Light a Candle for Peace
Lutheran Peace Fellowship
National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
New Internationalist Magazine
New Society Educational Foundation
Nonviolent Peaceforce
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
IFCO/Pastors for Peace
Institute for Public Accuracy
Pax Christi USA
Peaceful Tomorrows
Reaching Critical Will
Sojourners Magazine
The Way Home - Stories of Forgiveness
Training for Change
Traprock Peace Center
U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu
U.S. Institute of Peace
Veterans Against the Iraq War
War Resisters League
World Conference on Religion and Peace
World Peacemakers
Peace Brigades International
SIPAZ, Service for Peace
United for Peace
Veterans for Peace

Blog the Vote!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Teams USA in Athens

Athens 2004 Team USA
Team USA

NBC Olympic TV
I have to be honest with you.  I much prefer to see images of young Americans overseas competing in the 2004 Olympic Games on MSNBC, Bravo, and NBC than seeing them with camo and kevlar on Fox news in Bush's Iraq.

I'm actually watching some of the Olympic coverage because I'm awake when they air it in the middle of the night.  Oddly, but perhaps out of corporate rivalry, I don't hear Fox News getting all uber-patriotic over U.S. athletes winning medals in Athens.  Maybe Rupert Murdoch will green-light an olympic story on Fox News if an Australian wins something cool.  It's too bad we can't vote someone else to be in charge of Fox News -- Oh Wait.  I forgot we can vote with our TV remote control.  I guess there is a place for Fox News in the media world, right along the lines of Al-Jazeera.  I always thought it was interesting that Fox News came after the Sci-Fi channel on the cable channel food chain.  Sorry, I'm just thinking out loud.

Have you been following the Summer Olympics in Athens?  I mean, you know, the athletes -- not just the pretty women that are making their mark in Playboy and FHM magazines.  Do you have a favorite sport in the Summer Olympics?  Are you any good at these sports?  Here's a list of the Summer Olympic sports to ease the burden on the few, tired and overworked brain cells you have left sparking between your ears:

 ArcheryUSA  Equestrian - USA  Shooting - USA  Trampoline - USA
 Badminton - USA  Fencing - USA  Soccer - USA  Triathlon - USA
 Baseball - USA  Field Hockey - USA  Softball - USA  Volleyball - USA
 Basketball - USA  Gymnastics - USA  Swimming - USA  Water Polo - USA
 Beach V-ball - USA  Judo - USA  Synch. Swim. - USA  Weight Lifting - USA
 Boxing - USA  Pentathlon - USA  Table Tennis - USA  Wrestling - USA
 Canoe/Kayak - USA  Rhythmic Gym. - USA  Tae Kwon Do - USA  Handball - USA
 Cycling - USA  Rowing - USA  Tennis - USA  Karate - USA
 Diving - USA  Sailing - USA  Track/Field - USA  Racquetball - USA

Click on the sport name to check out the latest news in Athens.  Click on USA to go to that sport's team USA web site.  I'm cheering for all the Teams USA to go for the Gold!

Monday, August 16, 2004
24 Hurricane Charley pix

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These photographs were taken by the intrepid staff photgraphers at the Naples Daily News.  If you wish to help the people in this area, there are many ways.

Go to the NDN How to Help page.

Sunday, August 15, 2004
Evangelical Christianity has been hijacked

Click for more info
Early this month, I asked, will U.S Christians overlook obvious Bush sins?  I pointed out that some Christians not so hardened in their hearts and myopicly focussed on Republican candidates' perrenial re-election promises on so-called 'family values' issues are taking a more critical look at the incumbent candidate for the top job -- George W. Bush -- evaluating his performance and subsequently concluding that he and his administration's policies leave much to be desired.  Specifically, U.K.-based Christian Aid reports that billions of dollars in Bush's Iraq Defense Fund has gone MIA.  Billions of dollars from the sale of the Iraqi people's own oil for which the Bush administration remains totally unaccountable.

I appreciate all the comments you cared to share on that topic.  While this topic is definitely related, it isn't about Bush or his oil buddies stealing $20 billion.  So, in order to give Dubya the benefit of the doubt in this one matter alone, given his dismal track record of running his own businesses in the past, I'll just assume that like the those stockpiles of Iraqi WMDs, the IDF billions of dollars are buried in some unlocateable sand dune in the vast desert of the growing Bush World government bueracracy.  Big oil, corporate thieves, and inept or corrupt politicians are such common place things to discuss in the Bush World culture, I publicly challenge any late night TV comic to find a humorous angle to drum up a chuckle over them.

Bush chewed the head off of one of his aborted but adopted fetus collection.  Blink.

Bush and his cronies stole $20 billion dollars from the Iraqi people!  Crickets.

Wait just a minute, Sparky.  Before you go firing off some vitriolic hate email to me that would rival the Satanic Verses for my fetus remark, I would just like to say that I haven't put my office workspace back together post-Hurricane Charley so I wasn't able to make an eye-catching image for you.  In this case, that's probably a good thing.  I do have the skillz to make that fetus remark a mere caption to a visual image.  You might be thankful that I'm limited to a linguistic two-by-four to get your bovine attention on this entry.

I recently read a Belief Net article entitled 'Evangelical Christianity Has Been Hijacked': An Interview with Tony Campolo and it was helpful to understand that not all Christians are in lock step with the idea of four more years of Bush World.
It's necessary to know Jesus in an intimate and personal way. That's what it means to be an evangelical. I don't think it means evangelicals are necessarily in favor of capital punishment. I'm one evangelical that is opposed to capital punishment. I do not believe being an evangelical means women should be debarred from pastoral ministry. I believe women do have a right to be in ministry. It doesn't mean evangelicals are supportive of the Republican party in all respects, because here's one evangelical who says "I think the Republican party has been the party of the rich, and has forgotten many ethnic groups and many poor people.

I am an evangelical who holds to those three positions [Creed, Bible, personal relationship with Jesus] and is a strong environmentalist. I am an evangelical who raises very specific questions about war in general, but specifically the war in Iraq. The evangelical community has been far too supportive of militarism.
Being a progressive libertarian myself, I always cringe when I think about the historical political enemy of the last few decades of individual liberty.  The nasty hair on my back stands up on end when I think of the self-labelled moral majority calling themselves conservative when in fact they continuously sell out our country's founding principles of civil liberty to the lowest bidding politician: like privacy, free expression and church-state seperation.  Campolo's Belief Net articles dispel the myth that BACs are a monolithic ideological and voting demographic.

While a large percentage of FOX News viewing BACs might forsake their deeply held beliefs, and leave them outside the polling place in November, and vote for Bush -- it makes me hopeful that there are some more credibily-thinking and progressive Christians who will also be voting.

I am John Furie Zacharias and I approve this message.

Blog the vote!

[Added 08/17] Related Plastic Com discussion:
The Vanishing Protestant Majority in the United States

Saturday, August 14, 2004
Hurricane Charley: After Action Report

Dodged this bullet like Neo, luckily!
First of all, I want to thank everyone who expressed their concern in email and on the little Thunderstorms live TAG board.

Believe it or not, when I was packing, moving and waterproofing the PCs hours before Charley was to hit land (about the time I snarfed up that radar image), it was comforting to know someone might be paying attention to the situation should my little world and I get utterly obliterated by tornadoes spawning off of the storm or by Charley himself.

Helleena had to go to work at the nursing home early on Friday afternoon about the time I was digging through the NWS radar loop pages, trying to dig out the raw image data they used for their java application.  It took me a few minutes to find the right server where they were storing their raw images, and even longer to actually copy any of them from their server to my hard drive through the dialup.  All NWS/NOAA servers were peaking out Friday afternoon.

Anyway, after converting the image file formats, compiling and optimizing them -- I was able to create those two GIF animations -- one from Key West radar imagery and the other one closer to where I live with Tampa radar imagery.  In the process of creating those animations, it seemed to me that Charley's path was turning more east and heading for Fort Meyers.  That just made me worry about Melicious y Mondo while I was unplugging the PC.  I told Helleena that if Charley cut across Florida far enough south of us, the potential for serious damage would be a lot less from the bands of severe storms that spiral out to the north and east of the hurricane.  At the time, though, the latest broadcasted prediction still had it making landfall around the Tampa area which would mean it would likely continue on to come straight at us.  Who are you going to believe -- a pixel monkey like me making GIF animations right before the world is supposed to end or the people on the TV?  ROFL.

Even if the eye wasn't to come straight over the house, I took the threat of total annihilation seriously enough to continue hobbling and bouncing around the house that afternoon waterproofing things in storage containers and garbage bags should one of the three crappy live oak trees hanging over the house decide to come down or should all of some of the windows blow out and spray the interior of the house with water like children dancing next to an opened fire hydrant.

It's not easy for me to walk, let alone carry stuff.  I started off toward the big green commercial trash dumpsters with several kitchen garbage bags full of trash on my little electric scooter to get that out of the house should the place get tumbled, but I didn't make it twenty feet out of the house when one of the hurricane bands instantly dumped a blinding rain seemingly out of nowhere.  I turned around and drove back inside the house.  I was already pretty beat from carrying things all over the house.  I actually packed most of it into the bedroom because it's the northern-most room. Then I half-assedly barricaded the one window, put a few things in a gym bag (local officials were talking about evacuations), turned on the TV, and plopped down on the bed.  I was tired and in pain.  I ended up falling asleep for two hours.

If you want to know my state of mind on Friday, you can listen to this MP3.  It is what was droning through my mind at the time.  It reminds me of Soft Cell a little. It's the melody I used to mindlessly practice on my Korg when I would get stressed out before it got stolen.  Get the MP3 while you can -- I'm not going to leave it on Hygelic's server space for very long.

I may add more to this entry over the next few days ...  especially if I hear anything from Melicious directly that she'd care to share with the class.

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