Benny's World

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Cute Pic

Saw this on the DU. Benny would do this, if he could. smile.

Anyone Going to DC next Weekend?

Here's a driver and a bus that can transport you and you can relive the summer of '67 in it.

There is a hippie vacation up for bid on e-bay.

The latest bid was 5K. I think for 5K, I'd want a little of the cost of the gas thrown in, plus:

1)Incense and Peppermints (and other related misc items)
2)8 track or cassette player that works well
3) Music of the following: the Grateful Dead, Beatles' Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour, Janis Joplin, Iron Butterfly, Delaney & Bonnie, Hendrix (especially Electric Ladyland), Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Lovin' Spoonful, Woodstock, Cheech & Chong (hey man) and George Carlin comedy tapes
4) Forrest Gump and Jenny Curran, and some protest signs
5) My brother, my sister, all of my brother's high school friends, and one colleague at work named Al.

What's funny is that Cody, the busdriver, has lost his tin foil hat. I'd want one of those too. Be aware before you bid though, the bus driver and his bus have been known to:

Get lost
Run out of gas
Require bail money
Experience mechanical problems
Have their tires stolen
Meet "Ms. Right"
Meet "Ms. Right's" Husband's Fist
Are abducted by aliens
Insert any unbelievable incident "here"

UU's dream! You can bid on it by clicking on the e-bay link and refreshing the page.

Heart Warriors

A friend of mine is in the throes of a break-up with his partner. They lived together for 9 years, then she told him about 2 months ago, "I don't feel for you anymore." He has moved out of their house. I don't blame him for being hurt as she presented her feelings at the time his best male friend was on his deathbed. She wants to be friends with him, and I think she's sincere about it, but having a difficult time understanding what that could be herself. My gut feeling she's in the mode of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind".
If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
’bout a ghost from a wishin’ well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost that you can’t see

If I could read your mind love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind that drugstores sell
When you reach the part where the heartaches come
The hero would be me
But heroes often fail
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just too hard to take

I’d walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script
Enter number two
A movie queen to play the scene
Of bringing all the good things out in me
But for now love, let’s be real

I never thought I could act this way
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it
I don’t know where we went wrong
But the feelin’s gone
And I just can’t get it back

I feel really bad for him. I can hear and sometimes feel his pain. I've been through so many heartaches in my life, that I consider myself a heart warrior and can empathize. I've been in the situation where "it was a good thing we had going...going, gone."

Before writing this post, I was wondering through the blogosphere and decided to check the She's-a-Sprite blog that fellow UU Tank in Texas turned me on to.

There was a poem posted and since it's not known who wrote it, I thought I would post it here. It's a great reminder of what a good friend should be.

"Portrait of a Friend"

I can't give solutions to all of life's problems, doubts,
or fears. But I can listen to you, and together we will
search for answers.

I can't change your past with all it's heartache and pain,
nor the future with its untold stories.
But I can be there now when you need me to care.

I can't keep your feet from stumbling.
I can only offer my hand that you may grasp it and not fall.

Your joys, triumphs, successes, and happiness are not mine;
Yet I can share in your laughter.

Your decisions in life are not mine to make, nor to judge;
I can only support you, encourage you,
and help you when you ask.

I can't prevent you from falling away from friendship,
from your values, from me.
I can only pray for you, talk to you and wait for you.

I can't give you boundaries which I have determined for you,
But I can give you the room to change, room to grow,
room to be yourself.

I can't keep your heart from breaking and hurting,
But I can cry with you and help you pick up the pieces
and put them back in place.

I can't tell you who you are.
I can only love you and be your friend.

So, I call my friend regularly. He wants the life he had with her back. Personally, I think his relationship with her is now over, but I have suggested they if they do reunite, it will have to be on both of their terms.

However, I know that even when I offer suggestions, I can only love him, support him, and just be his friend.

JRE Offers Perspective on Poverty in California

At chamber event with speakers including Powell and Ashcroft, Edwards tells capital conference that storm exposed a national problem.

by Dorothy Korber -- Bee Staff Writer, Saturday, September 17, 2005

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell received two standing ovations from a sellout crowd at the annual Perspectives convocation in Sacramento on Friday, and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft offered an upbeat account of his days in the Cabinet of President Bush.

But it was left to a Democrat, former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards, to tackle the most compelling news of recent weeks: the devastation unleashed on the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina.

Other speakers at the daylong event were CNN journalist Judy Woodruff and world-champion boxer Sugar Ray Leonard.

Edwards, who as a North Carolina senator became John Kerry's running mate in the 2004 presidential race, said the painful images spawned by Katrina have forced the nation to acknowledge some grim facts about poverty in America.

"Katrina exposed the ugly face of poverty, not just in New Orleans but across the country," Edwards told the crowd of 3,400 at the event sponsored for the 11th year by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Edwards, now running a poverty think tank at the University of North Carolina, noted that most of those stranded in the flooded city were poor and black. Their poverty is not surprising, Edwards said, noting that the average net worth of black families in the U.S. is $6,000. For Latino families, the figure is $8,000. For white families: $80,000.

He said Katrina's victims "represent one of the great moral issues this country faces. These people are on the razor's edge. When things happen, when they have problems they don't expect, they don't have anything to fall back on."

But, he said, the painful situation also provides an opportunity - and the world is watching. He suggested creating a Depression-style public works program to put Katrina evacuees back to work.

"How about, we let the people who were displaced rebuild their own cities, at a decent wage and with benefits," Edwards said.

"There is nothing America can't do - absolutely nothing," he concluded. "We can show the world America is up to this challenge - we just need to seize it."


Chernoff Issues Apathy Alert

Color-coded System Would Warn Public of Sluggish Government Response

Reacting to criticism that the federal government does not respond quickly enough in times of emergency and crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff today unveiled what he called "a color-coded apathy alert system" that will warn the public of just how sluggish the government's response will be.

"In the past, people have asked, what is taking the government so long to help?" Mr. Chertoff said in a press conference in Washington. "It is my firm belief that this color-coded system will keep the public better informed about the government's precise level of apathy and indifference."

"In times of crisis, people have had to guess whether the government cares or not," Mr. Chertoff added. "This apathy alert system should totally take the guesswork out of that."

The color-coded system consists of five different colors, each corresponding to the government's degree of sluggishness, Mr. Chertoff explained, using a chart and a pointer to demonstrate the system for reporters.

According to the new system, the color yellow means "normal apathy - will wait and see how situation develops,"

orange means "heightened apathy - will not return phone calls"

red means "severe apathy --will not cut short summer vacation in Nantucket."

But even as he unveiled the new apathy alert system, Mr. Chertoff was less specific about how and when the system would be implemented
on a national basis.

"I don't see what the rush is all about," he said, telling reporters he was late for a golf date.

Friday, September 16, 2005

JRE with Tom Kaine, VA

Kaine, former VP candidate Edwards push pre-kindergarten plan


Associated Press, September 9, 2005

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tim Kaine toured one of Virginia's oldest early childhood schools Friday with former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards to press his case for universal pre-kindergarten access in Virginia.

Kaine and Edwards, John Kerry's running mate a year ago, said Virginia is missing an opportunity to prepare its toddlers to perform in schools and, later, to compete in a much more demanding workplace.

"This facility is a perfect example of helping get these kids on the right track, and we as a nation need to make a commitment as other nations have done to end poverty in our lifetime," Edwards said outside the Barrett Early Learning Center, which was established in 1935.

Edwards, who is expected to run again for president in 2008, walked through homey, wood-floored rooms filled with toys, children's books and brightly colored rugs in the old converted house where Barrett schools up to 45 preschoolers.

Both men knelt to speak to bashful toddlers huddled behind the center's teachers or their parents.

Kaine has proposed making structured education available to every Virginia parent who wants it, an initiative he estimates would cost about $300 million a year after a four-year, incremental phase-in.

Kaine said the projected expense of the program doesn't take into account the savings he envisions from a reduced demand for remedial education and reduced costs of truancy and juvenile crime.

"We spend at least $5 for remedial education right now for every dollar we put in early childhood education," Kaine said. "All the studies on early childhood education show this is going to pay for itself."

Poll: 8 in 10 Want Drivers to Drop SUVs

Recently a girlfriend sent me some cartoons about gas prices. Some of them were funny. But here was my overall response back to her:

In reality, I'm probably one of the few around my neighborhood who is not unhappy with gasoline prices. With no energy plan to address the problem (only more tax cuts for the oil companies in the latest bill signed a month ago), knowing that India and China are competing with us on energy consumption, gasoline prices were going to go beyond the roof. The reason we don't worry: hubby and I drive our Toyota Prius most of the time, which gets around 47-50 mpg in the summer; about 37 in the winter.

In general, car companies don't seem to get it either, which is make very affordable hybrids in SUV format (with double electric batteries for extra power), since the majority of parents in our country prefer SUV's for their comfort and to carry half of their house around to keep their kids constantly entertained. It's too bad that regular cars aren't perceived as good enough for the average family of 4 anymore, as it was when I was growing up, but times have changed. Hubby has a SUV as you may know, but he doesn't complain about the prices either; he's learned to drive it less and take the bus sometimes.

However, I do feel sorry for poor people who can only afford gas guzzlers that are old, and they have to pay more to commute to work or get to a emergency room (since most are dependent on medicaid for health insurance). I also feel sorry for poor and those squeezed financially because all products will go up in price, due to increased transportation costs. Some folks have opted to eat less or do without other things because of gas prices.

I discussed this at home with hubby, and he thought I was being too hard on her, especially being critical about SUV's being the comfort car of today. Then I saw this poll early this morning from the AP via Yahoo:

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 15, 2:58 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Eight in 10 people say it's important for Americans now driving sport utility vehicles to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles to reduce the nation's dependence on oil, a poll found.

With gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon nationally and the price of natural gas rising sharply, six in 10 said they are not confident President Bush is taking the right approach to solving the nation's energy problems, according to the survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Then the poll indicated some other preferences that were definitely not mine except:

_want more spending on subway, rail and bus systems.

_Just over eight in 10 want higher fuel efficiency required for cars, trucks and SUVs.

Only four in 10 wanted to promote the increased use of nuclear power, while slightly more than half opposed that step.
The Pew poll of 1,523 adults was taken Sept. 8-11 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Nonetheless, I stand by the SUV comment. The only thing I will say is that while SUVs are useful for hauling around bunches of kids and dogs, as well as hardware products, I see a lot of teens driving their parent's SUVs and wasting gas big time. I think it's time to shift the focus back to cars--and smaller ones at that.

Uncle Bush: Just Trust Me

I watched the 22 minute speech by Uncle Bush last night.

I noticed just a few itty-bitty things about content and tenor of the speech.

Not once could Uncle Bush bring to his lips "I'm sorry what my government didn't do, and we will try to fix it". Instead, he extended the American people's sympathy.

He interjected the neocon's dreaded P word, "poverty" 4 times. He had some practice on saying that word as he used it in his speech to the UN 10 times. That is 14 times more than he's said it in 5 years.

In watching the speech, I was trying to figure out who the speech writer was. At first, it sounded very Karen Hughes-like, taking ideas that JRE had lined out somewhat in his New America Initiative, and putting them into Bush-speak. Then when I read NYT columnist Paul Krugman's piece that most of it was shaped already by the Heritage Foundation, such as Ed Meese and that ilk, I thought to myself "another shock and awe"; the de-democratization of the Gulf Coast region. Just trust Uncle Bush, and the Crescent City will rise again.

Yep, put people back to work for less than fair wages to rebuild the region.

Yep, give them 5K for retraining, child care, etc. My sense is that welfare pays better than that.

No mention that the region's bridges and other infrastructure could be bid on and redone by companies besides Halliburton.

No mention that things were bad before Katrina hit. Period.

and as John Kerry responded last night "leadership is not giving out an 800 number".

But in all honesty, Bush has always responded too little too late. And if you read the CNN polls, it's evenly decided three ways between too much, not enough, and just right.

To be continued..

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Holy S**t Batman: The Dreaded P Word

I heard Bush use the term "poverty" a few times times in his speech to the UN today. Actually, I just checked the WH site. It was 10 times. That's 10 more than he's said in 5 years.

My goodness...wonder how many times he had to practice saying that word? Bush is definitely in trouble, and Karl Rove knows it.

That aside, I like the idea of debt forgiveness and having grants instead for developing nations that he proposed in his speech. Developing countries cannot pay back debt if they want to get out of poverty.

It would be too pragmatic if Republicans revisited that concept here, but I keep hoping Rep. John Conyers will keep pushing for revising the bankruptcy bill.

I love Rep. Conyers. I wish he were my congressman from Illinois instead of the one I have! Lucky Ohio!

Church Signs

This image was passed through the e-mail to me. I discovered it's from a site called The web site designer relayed that it could be a Redneck Church sign. I'm not so certain.

Real Q: Redneck or UU? :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


A poem by MB Tankersley and fellow UU'er


My girl says,
“I want to do it my way.”

Cyphers how its done
without being taught
lessons would simply
muddy her thoughts,
her trials spinning
silk from everyday ether.

My girl says,
“I think God is us.”

A bold declarative
her narration on life,
on her drifty soul
after a day at the waterpark
with Daddy on the trip back home-
a sudden insight on deity.

My girl says,
“Oh my GOSH...”

A blurt before giggles
grandly juggled in throat
unleashed upon world
with accompanying snort
she laughs so hard-
she's wild and brazen with life.

My girl says,

Speedily, spritely
ending her prayers, only
pretending to be prepared
for bed- in reality ready to pounce
on ponderings pulsing thick through
her always-busy head.

My girl says,
“Was that a good question?”

And I pause, marveling at
her confidence, her wit
to have these queries
at six, her mind ablaze
and I respond,

“They're all good.”

I'm hopeful she'll never run out
of questions to ask,
nor I answers to
the symphonies and strands
my girl says.

If you'd like to check out other kewl poems by Tankersley, go to his website, Fly by Night Lighthouse.

Camp Casey III: Covington, LA Updates

Michael Moore has a new column on his site called Covington Updates. Covington, LA is where Cindy Sheehan and the anti-war vets from Camp Casey are located at the moment--and had brought in all of the donated supplies from Camp Casey II during Cindy's vigil near W's ranch in Texas.

Here's a painting of Smudge, the Camp Casey Cat. The painting was being auctioned on e-bay, then it was disallowed to be auctioned as the Department of Commerce intervened. Luckily, someone bought the painting anyway, and the proceeds are going for more supplies to hand out to Katrina survivors. I'm posting the VFP for Hurricane Relief on my blogroll in case anyone wants to look at the latest news--and if you care to join their bb.

Good peeps! Good luck Cindy as you keep on your trail to the Anti-war March in DC later this month.

Science And Politics: Tar Heel Tavern

Bora Z is the host of the Tar Heel Tavern. Essentially, the THT is a group of electic bloggers who mainly reside in North Carolina, but not all. They give a quick summary of bloggers and their topics of possible interest.

Bring Em' Home Now Tour--from Syracuse, NY

Taken by Iddybud
Should be on a Mastercard commercial: Priceless

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Real Benny

JRE on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer

9/11/2005: Show Theme--State of Emergency

In addition to the misery and ruin caused by Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath of the storm is exposing the pervasiveness of poverty right here in the United States.

Among those who are saying Katrina represents a chance to address America's growing class divide, among other subjects, is the former Democratic vice presidential candidate, the former U.S. senator from North Carolina, John Edwards. He's now the director of the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

And John Edwards is joining us now, live from Raleigh.

Senator, it's good to have you back on "Late Edition."

Thanks very much for joining us.

JOHN EDWARDS, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Glad to be with you.

BLITZER: Let's get to the issue at hand, the recovery operation right now. Are you satisfied the way the situation is going?

EDWARDS: You mean now?

BLITZER: Right now.

EDWARDS: I'm satisfied with some things that are happening and, obviously, there's a more intense effort going on now than happened originally right after the hurricane hit.

There are some things that I'm concerned about. For example, they're moving away from the use of these $2,000 debit cards and instead they're suggesting they're going to put -- deposit into bank accounts for folks.

The problem is a lot of people -- they got devastated by this hurricane -- they don't have bank accounts. The president, apparently, is suspending Davis Bacon, which is a law that requires a prevailing wage be used in federal contracts in the reconstruction effort.

I think that's a mistake. I think there are a number of things happening which indicate what is continuing, which is a lack of understanding of the pervasiveness of poverty in the inner city in New Orleans: why these folks live in poverty, the problems they had in responding to the hurricane as a result and the ongoing problems that not only they, but the 37 million people across America that live in poverty face every day.

We don't seem, in this administration, to have an understanding of what their lives are like.

BLITZER: A lot of us who covered the campaign last year will remember: You kept speaking of those two Americas that you saw out there, one affluent, well-to-do, educated; yet, there was another America you used to point out, a very poor America.

Certainly we see that. We have seen that the past couple of weeks in Louisiana, specifically, and Mississippi to a certain degree. These are two of among the poorest states in the United States from unemployment, from wealth, from education, from very -- from a whole lot of perspectives.

What's the major lesson that you learned in the aftermath of Katrina as far as this whole issue of class and race, poverty in America?

EDWARDS: Well, it's a microcosm of the problem that exists all over this country. You just pointed it out. Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in America. Alabama also hit, the third highest poverty rate. Louisiana has the fifth highest poverty rate. Almost one out of four people who lived in the city of New Orleans live in poverty.

And it's a huge issue, not just on the Gulf Coast but all across America. And the people who got hurt by Katrina and got hurt the worst by Katrina are the same people that are always hurt the worst when something like this happens. They're vulnerable; they don't have any assets.

There's a huge asset gap in America. For example, white families have an average net worth of about $80,000 in this country. African- American families are about $6,000. That gap means something in people's lives, because if something goes wrong -- you know, a hurricane or something a lot less serious like their kid gets sick or they have a layoff or some kind of financial problem.

If you think about it, all of us have run into things that we don't expect that are bad. These folks have nothing to fall back on. And as a result their lives -- they go right in the ditch. Their lives are devastated. And so that's what we see.

BLITZER: Do you think the president, as some Democrats, some of his critics have suggested, including Howard Dean, the chairman of your party, the Democratic party -- do you think the president doesn't care about some of these people?

EDWARDS: No, here's what I think. I think that -- and, by the way, I think this has gone on for decades. I don't think this is something that's happened in the last few years.

No, I think what we've seen is a lack of understanding in the federal government of how these folks live their lives. You know, we issue an evacuation order, we expect everybody to leave. Well, a lot of these people unfortunately don't have bank accounts. They don't have a car. You know, the hurricane hits a few days before their payday, which they're waiting for to be able to get the money to buy gas and to buy food -- you know, they are in a very different place and that continues.

I mean, even now they're in a different place. They don't have a job. They didn't have insurance. They basically have nothing left.

And one of the things that I hope we will do is look at this as an opportunity not only to shine a bright light on poverty in America and do something about it nationally -- I think it's one of the great moral causes that face America today -- but to use New Orleans as a shining example of what we can do.

Let's have, for example, a WPA project in New Orleans. Take these displaced folks, put them to work in New Orleans. Pay them a good wage. Pay them decent benefits so that they cannot only reconstruct their city, they can reconstruct their lives and have the dignity that comes from having a good job and being able to support your family.

BLITZER: There was a "Time" magazine poll that's just come out this weekend -- are you worried that the government won't provide relief to your community after a natural disaster? Fifty seven percent of the American public says yes, 41 percent says no.

North Carolina could be a victim in the coming days. Hurricane Ophelia sort of hovering on the Atlantic Coast right now. Some projections suggesting it could hit the coast of your home state.

Is your state prepared for what potentially could happen?

EDWARDS: Well, we've had a lot of experience with hurricanes, Wolf, as I know you know. And we are as prepared as you can be, and right now it's a category 1 hurricane. We're not sure exactly where it's going to hit. You know, we hope it won't make landfall at all, but, yes, we're prepared. Governor Easley has focused on it. He knows what needs to be done.

So we have a lot of experience with this, and I might add, we know from our own state from having been hit with serious hurricanes in the past, we've had the same experience that you're seeing in New Orleans right now.

Principal (ph), a small town, largely African-American population, in eastern North Carolina was devastated when we were hit by a very bad hurricane a few years ago.

So this is not new, what we're seeing in New Orleans. We're not seeing it on this scale, of course.

But what we're seeing in New Orleans, which is the most vulnerable people being hit the hardest, the people in Ward 9, for example, which is the lowest lying area, which is about 98 percent African-American -- I mean, those are the people that get hurt the worst whenever something like this happens, and I might add they're also the folks that get hurt the most when anything happens in their lives. It's what they deal with every day.

BLITZER: We're out of time, but are you running for president again?

EDWARDS: I don't think we should be talking about that. I haven't made any decision about it.

Let's focus now on doing something to help these people on the Gulf Coast and doing something about 37 million people who live in poverty.

BLITZER: A lot of our viewers, Senator, want to know how your wife Elizabeth is doing. How is she doing?

EDWARDS: Thank you for asking.

She's actually doing very well. She's finished her treatment. Doctors are very optimistic. We're optimistic.

Obviously, it's a huge thing in our lives. We love and adore Elizabeth, and she's doing very well right now.

BLITZER: Well, that's good to hear.

Give her our best, Senator Edwards. We hope to have you back soon here on CNN.

EDWARDS: Thanks for having me.

BLITZER: Thank you very much.

Great ideas, good poise...sorry I missed you, JRE. I wasn't at home when you were on tv.

Walk With Me Through this Day

Good morning.
Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord's word to get us through. "The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place."

And let me show you how we are building and putting cedars in those three hallowed places-the footprints of the Towers, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania. Walk with me through this day and you will see that this is a season of hope.

For at this moment, just outside of New York, a mother laces up her daughter's shoes. And they are ready to start their long walk through this day. The daughter is two and a half. She can say his name, "Dad." She can point to his picture, but she does not know him.

On this day, they go to Central Park to remember with the other families. Then, they head downtown to place a flower where he died-the once tall tower where he left his first, last and only message addressed to her. And they return home still in their Sunday bests after a Saturday of sorrow.

So walk with me through this day.

Today, a town gathers in front of their church. It is a town where so many-53-were taken before their time. For a week after that September day, the Lord's doors were open. The Lord's doors were open for that hour of loneliness just before dawn. That night when the silence inside the house was too much to bear. And for that moment when just missing their wife, their husband and the love of their life was the greatest pain they'd ever known.

But today, they are there to ring a new church bell-a gift born out of their grief. They want it to ring from the bell tower to ensure that "sorrow and sighing shall flee away." That bell will toll for the souls gone home. It will toll for those who still weep. And it will toll for those who rejoice in life's great gifts.

Walk with me through this day.

And across our great river, the men and women who stood at their posts at the Pentagon; who helped rescue the wounded and carried the dying, and who still guard their post at this moment will pause in a sea of stone and valor. They will lay a wreath. They will pray onward soldier you answered your calling here but your work is not done in the Lord's house. And they will pray for those whose wounds have not healed-the burns that cause them great pain every time they reach out to hold their wife's hand until the stars rise and the night falls on this day in September.

So walk with me through this day.

To that field in Pennsylvania where-the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors of that day's warriors- will stand in the middle of all things beautiful. They will read the names of those who charged. Those who fought back. Those who never gave up so that evil never had the chance to finish its plan. They come together, as their loved ones did, to find hope in the middle of the Lord's green field.

They will sing. They will pray. And they will lay a wreath where Flight 93 fell. And in a place where smoke once rose, you and I we will see that cedar rising.

Walk with me through this day.

At this hour and all day long, strangers will follow the Lord's wish. In memory and in the hope that goodwill and grace will always triumph out of tragedy, they will give. In "a day's payment of service," New York City firefighters will give and fly to California to help rebuild homes destroyed in the fires. Businessmen from Long Island will give and take sick kids to a ball game. Men and women in Memphis will give and build wheelchair ramps for the disabled. And there are thousands standing in Afghanistan, standing in the very place where evil grew, giving their service to ensure that evil never rises again.

These Americans will give because so many were taken from us. And for them-the three strangers who came together to start this day of service-a mother who lost her son, a brother who lost a brother, and a friend who lost a friend-for them September 11th is never in the past; it is enduring. It is never just an anniversary; it is a time of renewal for each and every one of us to do God's work here on earth.

So walk with me through this day.

At this breakfast, our prayers will be heard and answered for those who still need comfort. They need a hand to hold as they try over and over again to forget the crashing windows, the fire, and the falling steel that took their coworkers but not them. They need the comfort of prayers as they sit in solitude. They have their head in their hands as they wonder like the other tens of thousands who walked out-why I lived and the others did not. And they need to know that we are with them even when it feels like we aren't as they try to rebuild their lives without.

Whether it's one year, two years, three years or until our short time on this earth comes to an end. Those who lost that day will always miss them. Those who worked night and day until the last cart was carried out of Ground Zero will always know they did their best. And those who unfurled their flags, gave blood, comforted a child who lost their Dad, and made that day the defining day for them to leave their mark on this earth-we will always remember that unity of purpose.

Walk with me through this day. And you will see that while those bricks fell and the sycamores cut down, our people are making those cedars rise.

"And let us not grow weary in well-doing for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."

And let us not grow weary of taking care of those families. Let us not grow weary of praying for those soldiers who defend us from that evil at this hour. Let us not grow weary for giving up a day in our lives for those who are gone. And let us not grow weary in our determination to never forget, to never grow indifferent to what occurred that dark day in September.

This season of hope does not have to end tomorrow. We do not have to wait for yet another anniversary to come and go. We know what we want in this country. We want that one America.

There have been few times when we saw the possibilities of one America more than on September 11, 2001. All Americans, black and white, young and old, rich and poor, were bound together in tragedy and resolve to ensure that once again good triumphed over evil.

Sitting here today, after so long in the desert, it may seem like a mirage. But we know it is real, and that it is possible because we have seen it. We want one America. We want that hope, that faith, and that purpose without the tears, the pain, and the sorrow.

You know, I have learned two lessons in my life. One is that there will always be heartache and struggle in our lives. We can't make it go away. And the other is that people of good will can make a difference. One lesson is sad and the other is inspiring. And walking together through this day, we choose to be inspired because we know that we can fulfill the promise.

In times like these, if we can work together, comfort together, and help communities rebuild together, then let's do that for all of the challenges that exists right now and build one America.

For that child we see every day sitting on the front step, locked out and alone, let's work together to give him a safe place to go with friends and teachers while his mom works.

For that mother who works hard all day-forty hours plus a week- and she still has to sit at the kitchen table and divide her bills into pay now and pay later, let's work together to give her a country that honors work so she can get ahead.

For that whole town that's watched their factory lock its doors, let's work together to make sure that we bring opportunity and an equal chance to their front door.

For that young boy who always sits in the back of the classroom unable to read the basic instructions, but is too scared to ask for help, let's build him a school that's a palace for learning so no child is ever afraid to ask for help.

And for that family we know on every street. The mother and father are working hard. He takes the late-bus to work and she takes the early bus. They're doing what's right, what they're supposed to do to take care of their family. And yet later tonight, they might have to put their kids to bed hungry again because they can't afford dinner on a Saturday.

So let's work together to end poverty. Now some are going to say "end poverty" you can't do that. That's something we've been fighting for centuries. We just have to live with it. Says who?

Anything is possible in this country when you and I work together. If we put a man on the moon; if we conquered diseases like polio; if we can live through a terrible day like September 11th , then we can build the Lord's house in every heart and home across this land.

Some days sorrow just storms in doesn't it. You wake up one beautiful morning and the kingdom is at hand. You're on your way to work, to school, or to fly west to see your family. You're washing down the fire truck or walking the halls in the Pentagon. You're waving good bye to your young son on his first day at his new job. You're just talking on the phone with your child. And then sorrow hits.

It never asks if it can drop by. It doesn't knock. And it never asks if you're ready. It just hits and knocks everything down. And the next day, grief washes over thousands and sorrow surrounds us.

But we know how to beat it back. In America, we always rise up. Sometimes not on the first day or the second day, but we begin to rise up and build something new.

This is who we are, and this is the eternal spirit of America.

That is why that young girl who never knew her father, will feel the comfort of millions as we walk with her through this day and her life. That is why the men and women at the Pentagon will feel the prayers of millions as they salute their fallen. That is why the families in Pennsylvania will know that we weep with them. That is why the firefighters and police officers who miss their brothers will know that we miss them too. And that is why a new bell tolls in a church on the other side of the Hudson River.

You and I, we hear it. It tolls once for the dead. It tolls a second time for the mournful. And the third time, it tolls for us. It tolls for us to seek joy in our families, comfort in our children, and hope in our neighbors.

Each time that bell tolls, it calls us to a greater purpose. It calls us to never forget. It calls us to do the Lord's work here on earth. And it calls on us to always remember that when we walk through this day together-the cedars will rise, the stones will go up, and this season of hope will endure.

Thank you and God bless you, the families and friends who mourn, and our great United States of America.

If a few words were changed, you would think this was about Katrina as much as 9/11. JRE's one of the universal messengers. He could have been a spiritual guru--well, he is, actually. He also happens to run a poverty center in NC.