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In this month's issue:
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| ||The View from my Corner|| |
| ||Well, my friend, it appears that we have survived yet another extraordinary month in human history, with the much of the world's attention inevitably being drawn towards the US in the last 30 days.|
The people of New Orleans have suffered terribly at the hands of Hurricane Katrina, and fingers are pointed again at the Bush government for diverting funds originally allocated for flood control to anti-terrorist projects (click here).
Abroad, the US has demanded that no fewer than 450 changes be made to the United Nations' 'action agenda', which is focused on relieving world poverty. Phyllis Bennis (a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies) sees this as being tantamount to the US declaring war against the UN and the rest of the world! Click here for a full report.
Columnist Charley Reese sees the problem as stemming from the loss of a truly independant media in the US (click here) and maybe he's right, but I'm not sure that the Australian media is far behind. Last week in Oz, our friend and brother Ray Williams was forced to declare himself bankrupt (from gaol) and for some reason none of the papers chose to report this tragedy with anything but vitriol. One columnist even went as far as to denigrate Ray, yours truly, and Confederate General Robert E. Lee, all in one short article (click here). What a privilege to be besmirched in such good company!
Yes, things aren't looking a whole lot better here in Australia, where one of our leading politicians got sacked last week for making a racist statement, and then attempted suicide. Personally, I can't work out why the man was given the flick. It's part of the culture here that we assume that our politicians are immoral to begin with. Why is it then that we get outraged when something is said that simply confirms our initial assumptions?
Yes, it's September, 2005, and the world is a dark place. We know that. And yet as I look around me, I see signs of new life everywhere. And even as I shake my head, looking at what's coming out of the US, I notice too that many, if not most, of the world's greatest reformers and human rights activists are also operating from US soil.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never overcome it."
The prophetic words of the Apostle John ring as true today as they have always done. There are principalities and powers at work in our world, doing their best to drag us into the abyss, and yet the Spirit of God is also on the loose, and the darkness has never overcome it!
May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called, my friend.
Your brother in the Good Fight,
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| ||What's On|| |
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Courtesy of our friend Bruce Robertson and his team, we are proud to present another 'Rock on for Life extravaganza, this coming Sunday afternoon, September 11th, @Newtown RSL Club.
It's another fundraiser for our beloved Youth Centre, and if it is anything like the last show, you can be guaranteed an excellent afternoon of first-class music and entertainment.
Amongst the performers who have donated their time are Louise Gallet, Ami Williamson, Paul Fenech, The Cats Meow, Vicki Forrest, Buddy Paris, Kel-Anne Brandt and Andi Spandex.
Full details are available on the Rock on for Life website. Click here.
It is with deep regret that I have to announce that the Aussie Fighting Legends II show has had to be postponed. Unfortunately, too many of the key performers are unavailable for the date we had set down. One is scheduled to be in Japan, another in Tahiti, two in Darwin, etc. I guess it's the price you pay for being a fighting legend.
My special thanks go to the guys from Petersham RSL and @Newtown, who kept the venue open for me while I did my best to make the impossible happen.
The biggest worry I am left concerns the Youth Centre funding. I was anticipating raising at least $5000 through this show, and this postponement will leave a big hole in the budget. If anyone has any creative ideas on how else I might raise the funds, please share your wisdom with me.
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| ||For Your Prayers|| |
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Our brother, Morde Vanunu, recently conducted a fascinating in-depth interview with the visiting professor of political science at An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine.
In it he outlines, for the first time I believe, the strategy he used to survive during his eighteen years in prison, eleven and a half of which were spent in solitary confinement.
"My message is that the human mind, the human spirit, is very free and no one can destroy or change it, not by any system."
Morde also talks openly about the problems he sees with a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine problem, and reaffirms and explains his opposition to the use of nuclear deterrents.
This is certainly the most frank and in-depth interview with Morde that I have seen since his release, and I commend it to you. Click here.
I note too that Morde is keen to do a video link-up with us, and if any of you guys feel you have the technical expertise to help me set this up, I'd be glad to hear from you.
Remember the Refusniks
And while you're praying for the people of the Middle East, spare a special thought for the refusniks Indeed, if you're willing, write a letter of appeal on their behalf.
These are the young Israelis who have refused, for reasons of conscience, to enlist in the army if it means participating in the occupation of Palestine.
It is tragic to note that the small number of Israeli soldiers who refused to participate in evicting the Jewish settlers from Gaza apparently did so with impunity. The refusniks, on the other hand, face lengthy prison terms for their stance.
Click here to get an update on their situation, and also details on persons in authority that you can write to in order to plead their cause.
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| ||Sermon of the Month|| |
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Whatever you might think about Jesus' ethics, you have to admit that he made a lousy economist.
Remember that story of how he allowed a whole herd of pigs to be drowned, in order to save one crazy guy who lived in the hills. That was probably a whole town's food supply, sacrificed for the sake of one man's well-being.
Similarly, Jesus was quite capable of enjoying having the costliest of perfumes poured out over his feet when, as Judas pointed out, the stuff could have been sold and the proceeds used to benefit many needy people.
But nowhere is the strange economics of Jesus more apparent than in His story of the lost sheep, where the shepherd all but abandons ninety-nine healthy sheep for the possibility of winning back one foolish sheep that has wandered from the flock. Click here and see if you can make better sense of it!
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| ||Sites of the Month|| |
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With such a historic opportunity for peace and new life in Gaza this month, it seems appropriate that I draw your attention to a few more resources:
The aim of this website is to provide information and alternative commentary on the ongoing developments in the Occupied Territories - the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - in Hebrew, English and Russian.
The need for such information arises since the ongoing devastation of the Palestinian land and people in the Occupied Territories is regularly represented in the Israeli and US media as "fight against terror". The Editors represent a range of opinions as to the optimal solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, they are united in their opposition to the Israeli military occupation, and in their commitment to building a society based on principles of equality, justice and mutual respect. Click here.
While much has been done to ensure the welfare of the resettled settlers, there are many very real cases of hardship amongst those who are still in Gaza. GIVE GAZA is a non-profit, non governmental, non-political community-based association that tries to contribute to relieving the most urgent and tragic cases of families in need, particularly in situations of destruction and death.
Refusers Parents’ Forum
I mentioned the refusniks above - that courageous group of young Israelis who have refused to enlist in the Israeli army if it means being involved in the occupation of Palestine. Here is the English version of the forum for their parents!
The site includes copies of the letters written by the refusniks themselves, through which they explain their stance. The light shines in the darkness! Click here.
The other people my heart reaches out to this month is the good people of New Orleans. We have a picture on our fridge of the time our family visited New Orleans back in 2001. Such a wonderful historic place, and now the centre of so much pain.
The Eye of the Storm
I can't resist sharing with you this posting from my friend Hodges Hines. If you go back to the root directory of this site, you'll find that Hodges is actually an Internet Marketer. He's also a Christian pastor! And (like Dr Breitrose, whose article was sited above) he's also upset about the media of the New Orleans tragedy. Click here.
Send Donations here
And if you want to contribute something to the plight of the people of New Orleans, do so via this site: FEMA - the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Click here.
And with all this criticism being thrown at various governments and people in authority, it seems only fitting to conclude with a critique much closer to home.
Farewell, Church of England?
The New Criterion publishes articles on ideas and the arts, reviews of books, etc. Written by the leading critics, it is an outspoken and rigorous cultural review.
The New Criterion article that this link will take you to is by Peter Mullen, and is probably the most scathing and incisive attack upon the dear old Church of England that I have ever read. Here's an article that will make you both laugh and cry. Click here.
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| ||Fight Tip of the Month|| |
| || | Interview with the Pitbull: Part 2
This month we continue our startling interview with Australian Kickboxing legend, Paul Grima, scouring through more of Paul's early training, and hearing about his fights.
This month Paul tells us about how he used to fight people way outside of his proper weight division, how he didn't nurture his body properly after injury, and generally how he did a whole variety of things, of the type that we're busy trying to convince our kids not to do!
Click here to get reacquainted with the Pitbull.
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