Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Clooney Puts Pressure on Olympic Sponsor

Tuesday March 11 8:35 AM ET

Hollywood star George Clooney has put pressure on an Olympic sponsor to speak out over China's foreign policy in Sudan.
Clooney promotes Omega Watches one of the worldwide Olympic partners for the Beijing games.
"I have talked with Omega (about China) for over a year and will continue to talk to Omega," Clooney was quoted as saying on the BBC Web site on Tuesday. "I have and will go to the places I and China do business and ask for help."
Clooney has publicly spoken several times about the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, where more than 200,000 people have been killed and about 2.5 million people displaced in three years of fighting between African rebels and government troops allied with Arab militia known as janjaweed.
China is a major trading partner with Sudan, and Beijing has resisted United Nations attempts to force Sudan to accept U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur.
The push to link the Beijing Games to the Darfur crisis gained wide attention last month when Hollywood director Steven Spielberg said he could not in good conscience serve as an artistic adviser to the opening and closing ceremonies.
"I have and will continue to ask China to use its considerable leverage with the government of Sudan."
Omega has been the official timekeeper for the Olympics since 1932 including the boycotted games in 1980 and 1984. Swatch Group chief executive Nick Hayek, whose company owns Omega, said executives had discussed the issue with Clooney.
"We have full respect for his strong engagement in the fight for the good cause and share his opinion, especially concerning Darfur, and we are proud to work with a person who has such high ethical views," Hayek was quoted as telling the BBC.
"It is our policy not to get involved in politics," he was quoted as saying, because it would not serve the cause of sport, which he called one of the noblest human endeavors "for creating understanding and peace all over the world."
Hayek said Omega would speak out on China's association with Sudan, but directly with high-level contacts rather than publicly.
"Of course, it is a continuous process but we do it the Swiss way of 'little strokes fell great oaks,'" Hayek said.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thoughts on a warm day in March

Some days are a little slower than others. Some weeks, even slower. So I have been focusing on the summer, and for my family, it is a very important one.

1. My sister-in-law Jeanne is getting married to a great guy Kevin.

2. My brother Matthew is getting married to a great gal named Anna.

Isaiah, Katie and I are in both weddings. Here is the Line-up for each wedding:

Jeanne and Kevin's:
Isaiah - Ring Bearer
Katie - Matron of Honor/singing
Daniel - Usher/singing

Matthew and Anna's:
Isaiah - Ring Bearer
Katie - Bridesmaid
Daniel - Best Man

3. Isaiah turns 2 years old on August 12Th.
4. Katie turns 27 on June 5Th
5. I turn 30 on June 1st

I am sure there will be many things that pop in between all those events. So, I have started on my best man speech. What are the important things to "pass-on" to my brother that I can share in front of all our family and friends in 5-10 min? While I am not going to give that away, it has started my thinking about some of the events/people around me and what I would say to them about the adventure/path they are on. So I have decided to make a list of "Daniel Wisdom" that is good for everyone. So here it goes. Some will be blanket statements, others will be very specific.
1. To get respect, you first have to give it. It is truly earned and never should be expected.
2. Don't watch LOST before you go to bed. Your mind will never stop and then you can't fall asleep!
3. Hilary Clinton - don't run a dirty campaign. I am tired of this. And I don't want to see you fall into the trap. I fear it is too late.
4. To every musician out there. Play more!
5. There are many ways to say no and still be nice.
6. It's still NOT OK to wear all denim!
7. "March Madness" is a mental illness and you should be able to stay home because of it.

OK, there was not much Wisdom in there, but I needed to say it. Please check-out it is a great website/blog about being a Christian in this world.[Photo]

Friday, March 7, 2008

Was Jesus a Politician? (by Jim Wallis)

Last Friday I was in Santa Barbara, California, to speak at Westmont College - where even on a Friday evening, the gymnasium was packed with students. Before that event I did an interview with The Santa Barbara Independent, a local weekly newspaper, which they titled The Next Great Awakening? One of the questions the reporter asked was, "Do you think Jesus was a politician?" Here is my answer:

Of course not. But he had a vision of the Kingdom of God which was spiritual, personal, relational, social, economic, and yes, political - because it talked about allegiances and loyalties and authority, and if Jesus was Lord, Caesar was not. His confrontation that he provoked in Jerusalem was with the religious and the political leaders. They saw him as a political threat. If they saw him just as a private pietist, why would they worry? [If he was] helping people get their lives together, helping their marriages, making them better parents and make them go to less Roman orgies and drunken parties, why would that have been a threat to the ruling powers? They regarded him as a threat. I remember I was at Wheaton College once and I asked this class, "Why was Jesus killed?" and they had no idea. They just couldn't comprehend the question. And then one young student said, "Well, to save us from our sins." And I said, "So you think Pontius Pilate was sitting there thinking, 'How am I going to save these American evangelicals from their sins? I'm gonna kill this guy and that will do it.'" Albeit that our theological understanding of the cross and our redemption — I'm orthodox on all those questions, but he was killed because he was seen as a threat to the rulers both religious and political. In the book I talk about how Jesus confronted the major political options of his day. All four of them were there, they're always there: One was collaborationist, one was pietist, one was withdrawn — you know, the kind of counter culture — and one was political insurrection, or revolutionary violence. He confronted them all, he rejected them all. There was a fifth option called the Kingdom of God, and that's our option.