Camino de Santiago

Camino  I have discovered my next hike. Or at least one to put on my bucket list. I would only need 6 - 8 weeks time to do it. I discovered the hike by watching the movie the way. The hike is only 800 kilometers. 

The hike is known as the camino de santiago or the way of st. james. It is a spiritual journey in northern Spain that has been walked by pilgrims for over 1000 years. The end of the route is the Cathedral in Santiago where it is believed the remains of the Apostle James reside. I am a Jew who believes in Jesus, so the Catholic flavor of the journey is not what is drawing me to consider it. I got a glimpse in the movie of what it is like to traverse hundreds of miles by foot together with other pilgrims. It seems to me it would be a life changing experience both personally and communaly with those one would be traveling with. 

The route is well established for a thousand years. There seems to always be pilgrims on the road. There are established hostels and places to eat along the way. It just seems to cry out to me as one of those things that it would be worth doing while one is still in their earth suit. There are numerous guidebooks and resources on the web to study how to prepare. 

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The Book Thief Movie Review

The Book Thief Movie Review

 This is one of those movies which as you are watching it, you find yourself wondering if and hoping that it is a true story. It almost seems like an adaption of "Anne of Green Gables" set in Nazi Germany. Though the setting is dark, the message is heart warming and endearing. The heronine is a young girl, and the movie seems suitable for children.

Like Anne, Liesel is taken in by a foster family. The foster mother, Rosa at first seems very srict. The father, Hans is warm and endearing. Liesel and her foster father Hans both learn to read togeher. After a scene of the Nazi's burning books, when the crowd has cleared, Liesel finds a book that survived and so ends up stealing her first book. 

The family hides a Jew named Max in their basement. Max and Liesel spend hours reading together. Stuck indoors, Max encourages Liesel to use her own words to describe the weather and what is happening outside. Max explains to Liesel how important words are to Jews and encourages Liesel that even if he dies, he will live on in her words. Ultimately it is Max who encourages Liesel to start writing. 

I won't give away any more of the story line. I will end by saying that one sees the best and worst of humanity, and is left treasuring relationships and the triumphant human spirit.



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The place of civil marriage

I was just ruminating on when I used to be quite indignant about believers who were living together and not married.

Now that gay civil marriage is recognized in many states, I have started to reevaluate my perspective.
Note: I am not writing this to get into a debate on whether gay marriage is right or wrong.
I think it is wrong, but I respect those those feel otherwise and am not in this post trying to change your mind.

I am also not trying to get into the political issue of if states should recognize same sex couples as married. Many states already have,
so I just trying to work that into my current faith perspective.
What I am looking for is input on how others who do not view gay marriage as a real marriage have navigated this issue.

Full story »

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The unholy alliance of web democratization and censorship


It was amazing to watch the coverage of the demonstrations and violence in Iran following the disputed elections. If it wasn?t for Twitter and the Internet, we never would have seen what was happening. The government effectively stopped the reporting of the major international news organizations. They had to rely on Twitter and Youtube feeds from actual demonstrators.

It is evident that the digital revolution is making it difficult for despotic regimes to control what their citizens say and read. It is interesting that Iran tried to limit or slow down the internet during those riots, but they soon discovered that they needed the internet as well for the government to function.

Ironically, this same medium of freedom has been used in China to crack down on people. Yahoo gave the Chinese government access to a private citizens email account. The citizen was later arrested. Yahoo and Google are faced with either giving in to Chinese censorship and spying demands or walking away from the largest and fastest growing internet market in the world.

With the digital revolution lead to more freedom or more censorship? Only time will tell.

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Sober Up Washington

sober up washington
sober up washington

I stumbled on what might be a constructive proposal for how to reform our broken political system and address the overbearing influence big money has in influencing our federal government. It is an op-ed that appears to be written two Harvard Law professors, one a conservative and one a liberal. You can read the article here.
They want to see a constitutional convention called by the states.

Some of the reasons given
Enact true campaign finance reform... because Congress does not have the will to do it, since they are too controlled by special interests.
Give the president a line item veto.

It makes for an interesting read.
I am tempted to support the idea...

I'd love to hear some insights and thoughts from others....

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