Benny's World

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Little Engine that Could

Red Raiders rally behind Ross' 24, earn spot in Sweet 16

March 19, 2005 wire reports

"TUCSON, Ariz. -- Bob Knight is back. Ronald Ross made sure of that.

Knight's Texas Tech Red Raiders rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat Gonzaga 71-69 on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the Albuquerque Regional.

Ross, the sharpshooter who walked on as a freshman four years ago and became one of the best guards in the Big 12 under Knight's guidance, sank a 3-pointer from the corner to put sixth-seeded Tech up 68-67 with 1:06 to play, then sealed the victory by making both halves of a one-and-one with 7.5 seconds remaining.

Ross and Knight hugged in the final seconds as it became obvious that a Knight-coached team would make it to a regional semifinal for the first time since 1994.

When it ended, Knight's wife Karen joined the coach on the court, crying and hugging him. It was an emotional scene around the crusty coach whose 854 career victories are just 25 shy of Dean Smith's NCAA Division I record.

Ross scored 24 points - giving him 102 in his last four games - and grabbed nine rebounds, and backcourt mate Jarrius Jackson added 18 points. Martin Zeno scored 11 and Darryl Dora 10, eight in the second half.

Third-seeded Gonzaga (26-5) made an early exit with a high seed for the second year in a row. The Zags were the No. 2 seed a year ago and lost to Nevada in the second round. "

The TTU Raiders have not been to a Sweet 16 in nearly 10 years. Whether one likes Bobby Knight or not, his team functioned as a team. They made several mistakes, got off-balanced, showed their hand (offensive strategy) too quickly at times, but in the end, TTU's defensive plays were aggressive, and the Zags saw a 13 point lead melt. They had one really good player, Morrison, but the team relied too heavily on him to make all of the big plays. Teams win games when they function like teams. Bob Knight's Red Raiders did. And like a little known man from Robbins, NC who won a US Senate seat in 1998, they were the little engine that could: with heart, faith, and endurance.

The other little engine that could is TTU's next opponent, West Virginia, who beat Wake Forrest in double OT.

"It's About Terri"

Florida Woman's Feeding Tube Removed (from the site):

By Robert Green | March 19, 2005

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (Reuters) - Doctors removed the feeding tube that has kept a brain-damaged Florida woman alive for 15 years Friday after U.S. lawmakers tried to prolong her life by subpoenaing her to appear before Congress.

The feeding tube was removed from Terri Schiavo, the woman at the heart of a long right-to-die battle, at 1:45 p.m. [yesterday] and she was expected to die in seven to 14 days.

Her husband's lawyer called the last-minute attempt by U.S. congressional Republicans to keep the tube in place "nothing short of thuggery" and called Democrats "spineless" for failing to thwart it.

Schiavo has been fed through a stomach tube since a heart attack starved her brain of oxygen in 1990, leaving her in what the courts declared was a permanent vegetative state.

Her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, said she would not have wanted to live in that condition and won permission to remove the feeding tube.

He was not in his wife's room at the Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida, when the feeding tube was removed in what his lawyer, George Felos, described as a "very calm" and prayerful procedure. But her husband was at her bedside later, Felos said.

Republican congressional leaders made the last-minute bid to keep the tube in place by subpoenaing Terri Schiavo to appear before hearings and committees later in the month, a move that would have granted her protection as a witness in a congressional inquiry.


House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay called removing the feeding tube "an act of barbarism."

"Terri Schiavo is alive. ... She is as alive as you or I, and as such we have a moral obligation to protect and defend her from the fate premeditated by the Florida courts," DeLay said.

Felos said the congressional action was "odious, it was shocking, it was disgusting and I think all Americans should be very alarmed about that."

"They cannot walk over the dying body of Terri Schiavo for political gain," he added.

Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, are fighting to keep her alive, saying she responds to them and could improve with rehabilitation and have lobbied lawmakers to intervene.

"They're devastated," their lawyer, David Gibbs said after the tube was removed.

Congressional leaders issued the subpoenas after failing to enact legislation allowing federal courts to review the case. The Florida courts have consistently ruled in Michael Schiavo's favor and the U.S. Supreme Court has refused three times to intervene.

Michael Schiavo said Friday night he would not give up his campaign even though Terri was not believed to be in pain.

"I won't give it up. Terri is my life," he said on CNN's "Larry King Live." "I'm going to carry out her wishes to the very end. This is what she wanted. It's not about the Schindlers, it's not about me, it's not about Congress. It's about Terri."

There is more of the article if you wish to read clicking on the title of this thread.
For Senator Bill Frist, who is a surgeon, to say that the doctors were wrong about her diagnosis, even though he has never seen up close, is one matter. Senator Frist, you should know as a doctor that you cannot base a diagnosis based on some videotapes her parents sent you; that is ludicrous. It's not to say doctors don't make mistakes, but it's another when she has been lingering for 15 years with a feeding tube. What kind of life is that? Is it that the kind of life many of us want?

While I am sincerely sorry for her parents, it is time that they take their place with those who holding vigil outside of her home and praying. I have a hunch that the husband knows what Terri wanted all along. Terri's journey, at least on this planet, is drawing near the end, and Terri is ready for her maker.

Friday, March 18, 2005

JRE in SF at the Bar Association Luncheon, St. Patty's Day

From Sirus (who was at the event) and posted the following on JREG:

"I just saw John Edwards speak at a luncheon sponsored by the Bar Association of San Francisco. Nice event. Same (very eloquent) speech that he gave in New Hampshire a while ago and since then, pretty much. But, I hope we can get a transcript because he did answer some questions afterwards. I liked his answers to the questions and it was interesting and informal to have him answer some of the questions in a more spontaneous way.

It was nice to see him again and I got to shake his hand and talk to him later and tell him I'm glad he's doing the work on poverty at UNC. I think I felt a little bit sad at the event, though. Sad that he's not in the White House. Sad that we have to wait for 4 more years to have a chance to get him as our President
. "

JRE is doing a podcast next week sometime. I had one question for him, but then I realized it was too complicated for him to answer, nor did I e-mail it to him in the right place. :-) I'm still reading an interesting article from the NYU Review of Law and Social Change. I think it has to do with reframing issues about poverty, but from a philosophical view, which is perhaps what I think JRE and the rest of us need to think about.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Being a Pantheist

A belief statement of the World Pantheist Movement (edited slightly by my beliefs)

1. We revere and celebrate the Universe as the totality of being, past, present and future. It is self-organizing, ever-evolving and inexhaustibly diverse. Its overwhelming power, beauty and fundamental mystery compel the deepest human reverence and wonder.

2. All matter, energy, and life are an interconnected unity of which we are an inseparable part. We rejoice in our existence and seek to participate ever more deeply in this unity through knowledge, celebration, meditation, empathy, love, ethical action and art.

3. We are an integral part of Nature, which we should cherish, revere and preserve (edit here)in its beauty and diversity. We should strive to live in harmony with Nature locally and globally. We acknowledge the inherent value of all life, human and non-human, and strive to treat all living beings with compassion and respect.

4. All humans are equal centers of awareness of the Universe and nature, and all deserve a life of equal dignity and mutual respect. To this end we support and work towards freedom, democracy, justice, and non-discrimination, and a world community based on peace, sustainable ways of life, full respect for human rights and an end to poverty.

5. There is a single kind of substance, energy/matter, which is vibrant and infinitely creative in all its forms. Body and mind are indivisibly united.

6. We see death as the return to nature of our elements, and the end of our existence as individuals. The forms of "afterlife" available to humans are natural ones, in the natural world. Our actions, our ideas and memories of us live on, according to what we do in our lives. Our genes live on in our families, and our elements are endlessly recycled in nature.

7. We honor reality, and keep our minds open to the evidence of the senses and of science's unending quest for deeper understanding. These are our best means of coming to know the Universe, and on them we base our aesthetic and religious feelings about reality.

8. Every individual has direct access through perception, emotion and meditation to ultimate reality, which is the Universe and Nature. There is no need for mediation by gurus or under-revealed scriptures.

9. We uphold the separation of religion and state, and the universal human right of freedom of religion. We recognize the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them.

This why the following:

*I am buying through payments the best hybrid car (Toyota Prius) that really relies on more battery via re-gens, less fuel, therefore, less emissions
Still a struggle to pay up, but worthy..

*I still recycle many things in my house and live in a place that respects recycling; my NE living years taught me that Recycling when living in crowded places is very important when real estate is a commodity and so is older places who wish to reside longer

Faith & Politics

By David E. Price

The Bible harshly admonishes leaders who declare "Mission Accomplished" prematurely. The relevant passage is Jeremiah's condemnation of prophets and priests who "deal falsely": "They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying 'Peace, peace' when there is no peace." Or, as a contemporary translation has it: "They act as if my people's wounds were only scratches. 'All is well,' they say, when all is not well," (Jeremiah 6:14).

What a text for our times! I had occasion to recall this and to remind others of it during the 2004 campaign. How the admonition resonates when we think not only of President Bush, dressed in a flight suit declaring victory in Iraq, but also of his complacency in the face of economic distress, pulling the plug on extended unemployment benefits in 2003. Bush's hope seemed to be that no one would notice that the jobs were not coming back and thousands were still exhausting their benefits every week. "All is well," he said, in effect, when all was manifestly not well.

I made this point in different campaign contexts, sometimes framing it with the scriptural reference, sometimes not. My audiences always understood the message and were receptive to it. Yet I was struck by how much more engaged and enthused they were when I first reminded them of the familiar phrase, "'Peace, peace' when there is no peace."

Normally, I'm not aligned with this group, but I think they have a few bits to offer in reframing messages...and we have 3 years to do so.

Monday, March 14, 2005

My Eyes Are Wide Open

Today, I am posting a featured piece from the DU. As the author says, if you have seen the Wall in DC, your emotions are vulnerable. This is about an outdoor mixed media exhibit in San Francisco and one person's reaction to it as it pertains to the war in Iraq.

March 14, 2005
By Patricia Mack Newton

If you've ever visited the Viet Nam memorial wall, then you know the feeling. You can try to prepare yourself intellectually but your emotions remain as vulnerable as a raw nerve; the pain is instant and searing.

The Eyes Wide Open exhibit (sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee) honors each military casualty with a pair of boots, and Iraqi civilian casualties with a pair of shoes. All kinds of shoes - baby shoes, sneakers, slippers, sexy shoes, orthopedic shoes.

The deceptive beauty of Grape Day Park in Escondido, the warmth of the sunshine, and the squeals of children playing, camouflaged only for a moment the trepidation that enveloped me as I approached 1,514 pairs of boots on the ground. Even in death, their characteristic orderly discipline was evident; reminiscent of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. The sheer volume was stunning.

The Wall of Remembrance honors the fresh young faces of our fallen heroes. Strolling among the rows is heart wrenching. The first thing that struck me was how young they were. 19, 20, 21, 24...

Then the personal items, the very special mementos family members have chosen to commemorate their loved ones, begin to appear, inviting me to come closer, to get to know a little something about the person who had occupied these boots.

Nearby, a patriotic teddy bear promises to salute if I just move his arm to his forehead; I couldn't abide him because I couldn't look more closely at the then-smiling widow and toddler's photo attached to his red, white, and blue ribbon collar.

To read the rest:
Thank you Patricia for sharing your reactions with us on this very moving artistic exhibit. I remember seeing the Wall many years ago for the first time, and I cried openly, even though I was fortunate not to have lost a friend or relative in that senseless war. Seems like the war in Iraq is senseless too, but I guess Bush has concluded that is the only way to detract folks from our shores. Wish he could have gone after the real problem, the Osama.