Monthly Archives: March 2010

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Leadership library give away

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Categories: Book Reviews, Non-fiction, Tags: , , , ,

Up for grabs is a group of ten (10) leadership books to keep or give to leaders around you. Most of these are used having been picked up at various sales or thrift shops over the last few months (not everyone actually reads them, you know) or books that were given to me for attending conferences.

Included are: Pour Your Heart Into It, by Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks, Credibility, by Kouzes and Posner, Mad Church Disease, by Anne Jackson, The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make by Hans Finzel, From Lucky to Smart, by Chester Cadieux, co-founder of QuickTrip, When Teams Work Best, by LaFasto and Larson, and, by John Maxwell, Failing Forward, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and Maxwell’s newest, Everyone Communicates Few Connect.

Entering this give away is easy:
1. Leave a comment in the comment thread. One comment per entrant, so make it your best shot.
2. In 35 words or less, explain why you would like to win. You can use humor, satire, other creativity or be straightforward. Thirty-six or more words means disqualification.
3. I will choose the winner based on the 35 or less word entry, my choice being final and completely subjective. Losers will be prayed for.
4. Shipping will be media mail, paid for by me. Cash or other remuneration will not be given if shipment is lost or damaged.
5. No other gifts are promised or implied.
6. Entry is open from the time this post goes online through 10:00 pm (Eastern), Wednesday, March 31, 2010.
7. Winner must be able to provide a valid USPS shipping address within 48 hours of notification. Notification will take place via the non-published email address used when leaving comment.
8. THIS CONTEST IS OPEN WORLDWIDE. HOWEVER, ONLY SHIPPING TO THE 48 CONTIGUOUS UNITED STATES IS FREE. IF THE WINNER IS SELECTED FROM ALASKA, HAWAII OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY, WINNER AGREES TO PAY (VIA PAY PAL) ALL SHIPPING COSTS ABOVE $10/US.

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Stressed? Under pressure? You’re not alone

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Categories: Devotional, Tags: , , , ,

Image: jokes123.com

Stressed out? Does the weekend bring as much anxiety as Monday? Do you dread the alarm clock for more reasons than being a night-owl? You are not alone.

Consider these recent items from the April 2010 edition of Fast Company magazine:

According to a psychological survey done in 1938 and again in 2007, anxiety and mental-health issues are 5 times more common now among high-school and college students than they were toward the end of the Great Depression.

Two-thirds of spoken curse words are a result of stress. Swearing accounts for 80 of the 15,000 words typically spoken per person per day.

In Sweden, mental illness, including stress and anxiety, accounts for 41% of total sick pay, up from 15% in 1990. The nation has one of the world’s most generous sick-leave laws–workers can get up to 75% of their salary for years.

One in four Americans admits to having taken a “mental-health day” to cope with stress. The costs employees $602 per worker per year.

Sixty-two percent of Americans are stressed about work, according to the American Psychological Association.

Eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks was shown to reduce stress. [In a study conducted by Nestle...no lie!]

One third of American children ages 8 to 17 say they worry about their family’s finances. Two other major sources of childhood stress are homework and testing.

Globally, more thna three out of five doctor visits are stress related. In the US alone, more than $22.8B is spent on anxiety-related health care each year.

Each year, more than 275M working days are lost in the US because of absenteeism resulting from stress.

Only dead people do not experience some type of stress. I’m reminded of the words of Jesus Christ given to some of his followers during a very stressful time; words that have helped alleviate stress in my own life inumerable times:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many living places; if it were not so, I would have told you.

I am going to prepare a place for you and, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will return and receive you to myself, so that where I am there you also can be.

I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. [The New Testament book of John, chapter 14, verses 1, 2, 3 & 6]

Stress is inevitable in almost everyone’s life. Allowing stress to crush you, however, is optional.

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When movies and music mesh

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Categories: Movie Reviews, Music, Tags: , , , ,

Ennio Morricone (Image: wikipedia.org)

Ideally the score of a film should enhance the images on the screen. This isn’t always the case. I was watching A Few Good Men the other night and my son agreed the music was often cheesy and not appropriate for the visuals. At some points I expected Tubbs and Crockett to come walking through the scene.

Though there are certainly many movies with outstanding scores (not “soundtracks”), three that always come to mind are the “Dollars Trilogy” directed by Sergio Leone and scored by the brilliant Italian composer Ennio Morricone. In one segment that comes to mind, Morricone, composer and arranger of more than 500 movie and television scores, wrote and arranged a musical piece so perfectly matched to the visual that one can hardly imagine one without the other. The music alone is so rich, so well conceived and executed that it has been covered live in concert, complete with film excerpt, by the band Metallica, used as a concert closer by the Ramones and recorded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and orchestra leader Hugo Montenegro.

The music in mind comes near the end of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly when the long-searched-for-gold is close at hand. Blondie (Clint Eastwood), who harasses Tuco (Eli Wallach) through the entire film, begins firing cannon shots at him as he rides on a horse. Tuco is thrown from the horse and rolls into a headstone marking the cemetery which holds the gold. Tuco’s subsequent search is the visual accompanying Morricone’s “The Ecstasy of Gold.” Enjoy.


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Late in the game, CNN shows signs of life

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Categories: Opinion, Tags: , , , ,

CNN's Jack Cafferty Photo: CNN

I’m not much on broadcast news. There seems to be too much that isn’t news in every “news” cycle. I rarely watch CNN except on election night. There seems to be as much bias as FoxNews.

So, for me at least, it’s news when CNN starts attacking Democrats given how far left-leaning they typically stand. It does bear noting that the following rant from Jack Cafferty is related to the press not getting its way. It isn’t just about a lie; politicians lie all the time and major media seemingly finds ways to overlook it. Let someone ignore the press, though, and it’s a sign of the Second Coming.

Nonetheless, Cafferty does a good job of pointing out the obvious. With a great closing line.

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Chris Tse and the strange workings of God

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Categories: Blog, Devotional, Tags: , , ,

The painting Living Water by Simon Dewey.

“The Lord moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.” So wrote the poet William Cowper, though it seems each time He moves in a mysterious way there is a rushed disclaimer that it was not the Lord after all.

Yesterday, I posted a short note and a video by a young Canadian man, Chris Tse, entitled, “I’m sorry I’m a Christian.” There was some discussion on this site and I participated in a lively discussion on the Facebook page of a friend, Michael Ray Kear. Saying anyway what goes without saying, opinions were sharply divided.

This writing is neither to explore, examine or defend Chris’ poem. It speaks for itself. The deeper question for followers of Jesus seems to be, “How do we respond when God breaks through in a way that we are not expecting?” We can even take this question farther as ask, “What happens when God breaks through in a way that I’ve always believed was not something God would do?”

In opening this particular Pandora’s box, there are two specific biblical examples that will suffice. The first comes from the life of Isaiah; the other from the life of Jesus.

Imagine if you will walking down the street to the loud call of, “REPENT!! JUDGMENT IS COMING!” Ambling over to a gathered crowd you see a naked, adult male (not covered with sandwich boards) preaching that the Lord is angry with some country and is about to send judgment to it. Upon further questioning, you find that the nude dude has been about this for two and a half years and thinks he probably has about six months to go on his assignment. Tactfully keeping your eyes averted you ask, “Uhm. And why is it necessary to be preaching without benefit of your clothes? Do you think God really is pleased by this?”

He replies, “Who do you think told me to preach naked? The devil? God’s point is that He is going to shame [insert sinful country] like one who walks around with his/her backside exposed should be shamed!”

Now consider Isaiah 20, verses 2-4 (HCSB):

During that time the Lord has spoken through Isaiah son of Amoz saying, ‘Go, take off your sackcloth and remove the sandals from your feet,’ and he did so, going naked and barefoot-the Lord said, ‘As my servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and omen against Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old alike, naked and barefoot, with bared buttocks, to Egypt’s shame.

At this point, I’m sure someone will hurry to say, “WAIT! He wasn’t really naked! He had his underwear on.”

That will not fly and here’s why. The Hebrew word translated naked is used more than 40 times in the Old Testament. Each time it means unclothed. Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:25). Moses saw the children of Israel were naked to their shame (Exodus 32:25). Saul stripped off his clothes and lay down naked (1 Samuel 19:24). Job came naked from his mother’s womb and supposed his naked return (Job 2:21). Are we to assume that Eve was strolling around in her best Victoria’s Secret ensemble or that Job was born with his boxers on?

God even clarified it by noting their “bared buttocks.” He’s talking nekkid.

The fact is that God commanded Isaiah to do something so far out of the box, so far against what most modern Christians cannot conceive is holy is significant. Many conservatives would say, “God would never command someone to preach naked; it’s against His character.” Well, He did it. Talk to Him about the character issue.

No life has been more appreciated by unbelievers than the life of Jesus Christ and no life has been more glamorized by believers than the life of Jesus Christ. When you get right down to how some conservative Christians view Christ it is little more than the ethereal goofiness of Deepak Chopra.

One of the most celebrated passages in all of the gospels is Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman in John 4. We trumpet that as the love of God to a prostitute, talk about “divine appointments,” wonder at worship not attached to a place, rejoice that everyone everywhere can know God and, being 2,000 years and thousands of miles removed from the context, miss the scandalous, disreputable things that Jesus did in this story.

It is necessary to remember that Jesus was a rabbi. Rabbis were not supposed to speak to women. They were not supposed to speak to women alone. They certainly were not supposed to speak to sinful women. Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. In at least four ways, Jesus did what was unthinkable.

In fact, if a pastor today did exactly what Jesus did, he’d probably lose his job. John wrote (John 4:4), “[Jesus] had to go through Samaria.” Why? To have an isolated meeting with a prostitute-not for sex, but for salvation.

This woman’s eternal destiny was more important that His own reputation so Jesus was willing to face the wonderment of the returning disciples who knew He was violating protocol (4:27). Jesus made Himself no reputation, which is more than a philosophical, theological pondering. It was a practical reality. Virtually everything He did shattered the preconceptions of “what God would and would not do.” What would God do? EXACTLY what Jesus did in every situation.

The very incarnation of Jesus Christ was God pulling a Chris Tse on the entire world. Jesus arrest and trial was based on a charge of blasphemy–“that he being a man claimed to be God.” Is it so hard to see that God saved the world through appearing to violate the tenets of His own law? It was a sin, punishable by death, for a man to claim to be God. So what does God do? He appears as a man and claims to be God.

There is your all-eternity, all-universe stumbling block.

I’m not saying or even implying that God sins. I am saying that God has regularly done things throughout history that religious people-even His people-did not believe could come from God.

If we are not careful, in our quest to be right in all things we may inadvertently miss righteousness in the process.

So I cannot say whether Chris Tse was being obedient to God; no one can. But I can say that it’s just like something God might do.

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Chris Tse poem: I’m sorry I’m a Christian

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Categories: Blog, Tags: , , , , ,

A college aged friend of ours, Jordan Burk, sent this to my son and then to me. It’s from a “Poetry Slam” in Vancouver, BC, in December 2009. The young man’s name is Chris Tse and his poem is entitled, “I’m Sorry I’m A Christian.” It’s worth your four minutes whether you are a believer or not.

The primary reason I’m posting this is because a good many older believers are having an hard time understanding what makes younger believers tick. They don’t really understand why young believers are not into door-to-door visitation or “revival meetings.” Chris Tse’s poem reveals what is beating at the heart of many high school and college aged believers. They look at history, including their own context, and just see far too much done in the name of Jesus that seems devoid of His fingerprints. Too much of the movement that Jesus started with His own death and resurrection has been, over time, hijacked by professionalism, modernism, nationalism, fundamentalist certainty and liberal ambiguity. Even when they cannot put words to it they know something is amiss. It’s like they have an intuition that the “weightier matters of the law,” to use Jesus’ words, have been jettisoned for fried chicken, new buildings, culture wars and, take your pick, slick or lousy programming.

Language warning: Tse drops the f-bomb two times during his talk. Do not listen if this offends you.

UPDATE: A follow up to an interview has now been posted here.

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Will healthcare reform mean the ouster of 100’s of congressfolk?

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Categories: Blog, News, Opinion, Tags: , , , ,

Every two years the “throw the bums out” band starts again its mournful dirge. It matters not whether Democrats or Republicans are in control of the government, people get out of sorts, get cranky and get fed up. With the healthcare reform debate and last night’s passage of the bill by the House, the rumbling is louder than in recent memory. Even so, every two years there are national elections that rarely change the makeup of the houses of congress and never make a change in the end result of unqualified people who view themselves differently than they view their constituency.

I doubt this year will be any different and here’s why:

1. Too many people are convinced that only Democratic and Republican candidates are viable and will not admit that both parties are the problem. Democrats and Republicans do not want what is best for America-they want what will keep their party in power, no more and no less. Both parties ignore the wishes of their constituents when those wishes go contrary to the needs of the party.

Republicans are all up in arms about President Obama’s use of Executive Orders, or at least his threatened use. They get all up in arms about recess appointments when a Democrat is doing the appointing, but seem to find every available excuse when a Republican does the same thing. Democrats are sanctimonious toward a Democratic president’s Supreme Court nominee, but have positively demonized those recommended by Republicans.

2. People have short memories when it comes to politicians. Unless someone is accused of pedophilia a month before the election or has amassed a long record of stupid voting, Americans seem to be willing to send people of all extremes to Washington. South Carolinians were still sending Strom Thurmond to the Senate when his staffers were having to prop him up on the chamber while Georgians sent Cynthia “The Capitol Cops Are Racists” McKinney more than once.

People will just refuse to vote rather than join a movement. Remember: Nowhere in America can you vote against a candidate. You have to vote “For” someone so abstaining may be a protest, but it does not effect change. Just getting mad does not change anything and most people will not stay mad until November. There have been notable exceptions (Republican sweep in the Clinton mid-term), but on the whole it’s a back and forth, not a slaughter.

3. Alternative efforts like the Tea Party movement are too easily vilified by the media. On Saturday protesters at the Capitol hurled the “n-word” at Georgia House member, John Lewis, a veteran of the Civil Rights movement who was nearly beaten to death in the 1960s. I have no idea who did the yelling or whether they were actually a part of the Tea Party movement, but it really does not matter. They were tagged as “Tea Party” by the media, true or not, lazy journalism or not.

4. Alternative efforts like the Tea Party movement are too easily hijacked by, or at least attractive to crazies. While I respect and support the concerns that everyone has about the intrusive nature of the government, most Americans a put-off by crazies. Unfortunately, whether it’s the Ron Paul presidential campaign or that lunatic David Dukes from Louisiana, when people start talking about shutting down the IRS or sending illegals back across the border in a shipping container, people are attracted to the movement that are scary to mainstream Americans no matter how mad they are at the government.

When groups of people who are so far out they have to drive for two days just to get back to the fringe appear at meet-ups that’s the last you see of Biff Magoo and his penny loafers. Mr. Kakhi Pants doesn’t to be seen around Wild Bill who might be riding around with a thousand .223 rounds in his trunk.

While I am not overly optimistic that this passion for change will bear fruit, it can against all odds.

The primary thing that needs to change is the attitude of mainstream Americans, middle-right through middle-left. Those people have to admit that our two party system is a party for no one except those it benefits the most: those on the Hill, special interests, lobbyists, business, those receiving subsidies, etc. Those people must be willing to have a strategy or create on that actually inspires their own peers, who make up the majority of every single election.

Another thing that needs to happen is that people who are not willing to run for office have to be willing to be drafted. Votes aren’t the only thing that need to be changed, the entire culture of Washington elitism needs to be removed and that does not happen when one group of elitists is replaced by another group of elitists. Arcane rules that allow ear marks and totally unrelated amendments, adding millions and billions of dollars to bills can be voted out of existence. Time consuming procedures can be removed, the cottage law making industry can be voted out of existence and representatives can spend more time at home than in D.C.

If there is someone reading this who wants to prove me wrong, I welcome it. Just remember, Republicans nor Democrats are the answer; they are the problem.

While you are figuring out how to prove me wrong, check out GOOOH. At least they have a plan.

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The end of the republic?

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Categories: Blog, News, Opinion, Tags: , , , ,

Bill and friend from Schoolhouse Rock wait on Capitol Hill.

I am not an alarmist by nature. Things around me are viewed with the eyes of scrutiny, but, by and large, I don’t get excited or alarmed by bad news. When Chicken Little runs by, the natural response is to stick out my leg.

Assaults on the U. S. constitution by our “representatives” on the Hill, though, are raising my own “Terror Alert” scale to the reddest of the red (or “Elmo” if you prefer the Sesame Street version).

With the passing of the first “bail-out” bill pushed by Paulson and Bush, it was obvious that (1) our representatives do not represent us and (2) those on the Hill think they are smarter than everyone else in the country. I contacted my rep and both Georgia senators not only requesting them to oppose the bail out but inquired as to the percentage of calls for and against. Each office affirmed that calls were going 90% against the bailout. I called one or two reps not from Georgia and, as was expected: 90% against. Nonetheless, it passed with healthy support from both the Democratic and Republican parties. I subsequently voted against Zaxby Saxby Chambliss from Georgia.

Are we at Elmo?


As Schoolhouse Rock reminded us so long ago, legislation once started with the grassroots, went through our representatives to the president then became law. Now, Capitol Hill is a cottage industry of bill introduction, law making and law breaking, with nary a concern given to the folks back home. When the folks back home get fed up and threaten revolution, an act that places them in the exalted company of our Founding Fathers, they are vilified by Washington and the press. I’m sure Washington and Jefferson have rolled over in their graves so many times by now they’ve worn grooves on the inside of their respective coffins.

Because house and senate leadership are attempting an end run around the constitution (and don’t let the Republicans around you get all high and mighty, the elephant party is just as hypocritical, manipulative and self-indulgent), the article I’m linking is very, very important. It comes from Washington Times opinion writer, Jeffrey Kuhner. The entire article can be read here. Here is a pertinent excerpt:

Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution stipulates that for any bill to become a law, it must pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate. That is, not be “deemed” to have passed, but actually be voted on with the support of the required majority. The bill must contain the exact same language in both chambers – and in the version signed by the president – to be a legitimate law. This is why the House and Senate have a conference committee to iron out differences of competing versions. This is Civics 101.

The Slaughter Solution is a dagger aimed at the heart of our system of checks and balances. It would enable the Democrats to establish an ominous precedent: The lawmaking process can be rigged to ensure the passage of any legislation without democratic accountability or even a congressional majority. It is the road to a soft tyranny.

Because of the elitist attitude of so many in Washington, we already live under a functional aristocracy: senators and representatives have a lucrative retirement program that is exempt from the tax dangers “we the [little] people” face, they have a Cadillac insurance program that will not be affected by reform legislation as “we the [little] people” will have to face, they ignore their constituents’ desires to exclude illegal residents from insurance coverage. Over the past decade it has not mattered whether Republicans have been in leadership or whether Bela Pelosi is pulling the strings, the outcome is the same.

To say “change is needed” is just to pee against the wind, since everyone defines “change” a different way. One thing seems certain, though-if November does not see a wholesale removal of 300 or more House members and the firing of all 1/3 senators, then the “ruling class” inside the Beltway will continue to live like kings and queens, while treating us like serfs.

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‘When Helping Hurts,’ book review

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Categories: Book Reviews, Non-fiction, Tags: , , , , ,

I’m not sure what the literary equivalent of disruptive technology is, but When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert would certainly fit the description. Perhaps cognitive realignment could be suggested.

In the wake of the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile combined with ongoing struggles in Sudan and concerns about unemployment in the U. S., minds and hearts have been turned to those in need. While compassion is a good, even Christlike, attitude to have wisdom is also necessary which is where Corbett and Fikkert excel.

Subjects of the American poverty mindset.


This thoroughly biblical book looks at poverty from the aspect of four sets of relationships: our relationship to God, self, others and the rest of creation. Since all of God’s created order has been damaged by The Fall, every set of relationships have been royally messed up. The challenge to those in the West is to recognize the material poverty of The Majority World is no worse than the spiritual poverty of our own broken relationships in all areas. Due to this misunderstanding, many efforts at poverty relief fall short of helping for the long term.

Perhaps most helpful for Americans is a delineation between relief, rehabilitation and development. Americans and others tend to view every single instance of poverty, even extreme poverty, with a relief mentality when often development is the right approach. Since development is a more difficult and time-consuming process than relief, it is the approach often not taken. Not to mention our own pride causes us to seek a feeling of “having helped” or having “seen 50 people saved,” short term goals, rather than building the relationships necessary for long-term development.

One of the most cognitive realigning portions of the book has to do with the different ways poverty is viewed by the materially poor and the materially well off. Those with means tend to view poverty in terms of not having things, while those in poverty use terms related to shame and powerlessness. This leads the authors to this statement:

One of the biggest problems in many poverty alleviation efforts is that their design and implementation exacerbates the poverty of being of the economically rich–their god-complexes–and the poverty of being of the economically poor–their feelings of inferiority and shame. The way that we act toward the economically poor often communicates–albeit unintentionally–that we are superior and they are inferior. [pg. 65, emphasis in original

Had I done a “2009 Top Books” list, When Helping Hurts would have been tied for the top spot with Tim Keller’s, The Prodigal God. While the latter is a soteriological and exegetical masterwork, the former is a just-as-profound monument as a theology of economic justice.

Hey, take a minute and vote for my website in Blog Madness at SBC Voices. I’m in the South Division: vote here.

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Asylum or incarceration? Lady Liberty drops her torch

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Categories: Blog, News, Tags: , , ,

If you are like me, you’ve assumed Ladies Home Journal to be a magazine about flowers, gardens, fashion and diet always with a cover graced by, say, Brooke Shields or Faith Hill, so the cover is as far as most men ever get.

I stand corrected.

This month’s issue (April ’10) LHJ has a probing and disturbing human interest story about Isatu Jalloh, a young, female refugee who escaped brutal treatment in Sierre Leone and attempted to seek political asylum in the United States in the mid-2000s. The story begins:

Isatu Jalloh had never been on a plane in her life when, in October 2006, she made the two-day trip to Philadelphia from her grandmother’s village in Sierra Leone. As the airplane flew over New York City, the 18-year-old stared out the window, trying to see whether she could catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, that world-famous symbol of freedom for the oppressed. After living in a war-torn country, being raped by soldiers and mutilated by her tribespeople, Isatu hoped she was safe at last. Excited to be in America and exhausted from the trip, the nervous teenager handed her passport to an immigration official. ‘This isn’t a photograph of you,’ he told her. ‘I know,’ Isatu replied softly. ‘I would like to apply for political asylum.’

Please finish reading Broken Promises.

Having traveled internationally a fair bit in my life, I can tell you that, even with the economic issues facing the U. S., it remains the desired destination of millions around the world. While on the Kenyan plains, Maasi evangelists told me of their desire to come to America. Russian women marry American men so that they may come to the land of the free. Entire families cross Caribbean and Atlantic waters in vessels not-quite-seaworthy to escape oppression, the very act of which reaffirms America as the home of the brave. Elaborate systems of transportation, tunnels and river crossings have been devised, not only to run drugs, but to have a chance at making more than 5 dollars a day. Years ago, I worked alongside a number of green-carded Mexican landscape workers in Gwinnett County, GA who told me they were making more every hour than they could make in a day in Mexico (where they could not even find a job unless they bribed someone).

Yes, there is a reason many urban areas have “Little Mexico,” “Little Vietnam,” “Little Italy,” or “Chinatown.” It is a testament to the innate desire to live in freedom.

As Isatu Jalloh’s story reveals, beginning with Bush 41, expanding through Clinton and Bush 43, with, as far as I know, no changes as of yet under Obama, political asylum in the U. S. is becoming less of a reality for some fleeing persecution worldwide.

I remember the Cold War era when the news of someone defecting from Cuba, the USSR or East Germany was almost a badge of honor for Americans. “See?” we’d say. “Freedom is so much better than communism people want to live here. So a hearty ‘Welcome!’ to Arkady Shevchenko, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Martina Navratilova, and Nadia Comaneci, and a number of Cuban pilots who brought themselves and their airplanes to the U. S. in seeking freedom.”

If Isatu Jalloh’s story was isolated it would still be heartbreaking, but at least it would be isolated. If the LHJ article is accurate, not only is this not isolated it is policy.

Asylum seekers are routinely arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. According to Detention Watch Network, a human-rights organization, Isatu’s treatment was typical: Torture survivors and rape victims are locked up alongside hardened criminals in U.S. prisons, where they often remain for months, even years. This happens despite the fact that incarcerating asylum seekers is against international law.

But, hey, who cares about the law when a brutalized 18 year old girl, halfway around the world from her home, shows up seeking help?

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to

me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Thus speak the lasting words of Emma Lazarus on Lady Liberty’s base. If we do not soon demand that the government be held accountable to that promise, someone ought to procure a hammer and chisel–some re-writing might soon be in order.

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