Personal blog of Liz from Kauai.

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Baha'i, Mom and Grandma, Fish Breeder, Sports Fan

Thursday, July 31, 2008

From the Wall Street Journal 8/1/08

A Campaign of Persecution
Against a Faith of Tolerance

August 1, 2008; Page W11

Haifa, Israel

Earlier this summer, Unesco added the Bahai holy places here to its list of World Heritage sites. Bahai officials greeted the announcement with enthusiasm. "[It] highlights the importance of the holy places of a religion that in 150 years has gone from a small group found only in the Middle East to a worldwide community with followers in virtually every country," said Albert Lincoln, secretary-general of the Haifa-based Bahai International Community. The Bahais, dedicated to the idea that all great religions teach the same fundamental truths about an unknowable God, now number more than five million. Mr. Lincoln added that the group is "particularly grateful to the government of Israel for putting forward this nomination."

Impressive Bahai houses of worship stand in dozens of cities, from New Delhi, India, to the American headquarters in Wilmette, Ill. But each faces the steep slope of Mount Carmel on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, a 100-acre site that contains the Bahai archives and the Universal House of Justice, a neoclassical building that houses the faith's elected nine-member international governing body and a staff of more than 600. At the literal and spiritual center of the site stands the shrine of Mirza Ali Muhammad, known as the Bab ("Gate"), the forerunner who in 1844 heralded this youngest monotheistic faith, and who is buried here in a golden-domed mausoleum.

Though the Bab was executed for insurrection and heresy in 1850 in Tabriz, Iran, his followers brought his remains to the Holy Land in the 1880s, and buried them here in 1909, at the instruction of the faith's founder, Mirza Hussein Ali. The Bahá'u'lláh ("Glory of God"), as the founder is known, himself arrived in the area in 1868 as a prisoner of the Ottomans after he had been banished from Persia, charged with revolutionary activities and of conspiring to assassinate the shah.

These days, the complex attracts over half a million visitors a year, including Bahai pilgrims who come for nine-day visits, and tourists who come to stroll the immaculate curving terraced gardens that set off the shrine -- nine above it, and nine below. The terraces, designed by Fariburz Sahba, and completed in 2001, correspond to the 18 original Bahai disciples. They require some 80 gardeners and an annual cost of about $4 million to maintain.

Yet not all goes placidly for Bahaism. For all the benevolence its members enjoy from their Israeli hosts (following an instruction of Bahá'u'lláh issued shortly after his arrival here, the religion neither seeks nor accepts converts in Israel), they suffer miserable persecution in Islamic countries. Nowhere more so than in Iran, the cradle of the faith.

In May, six leaders of the Bahai community were arrested in Tehran; they remain incommunicado. The arrests are but the latest ripple in an undercurrent of decades-old hatred directed at a faith regarded as a Muslim heresy. During the Pahlavi regime (1927-79), the Bahais' schools were forced to close, and their literature was banned. The shah's army disfigured the Bahai National Center in Tehran in 1955.

After the ayatollahs' revolution of 1979, things got even worse for Bahais. Revolutionary Guardsmen destroyed the Bab's house in Shiraz and erected a mosque over the rubble. Later, they razed the mansion that had belonged to the Bahá'u'lláh's father. Iranian officials bulldozed Bahai cemeteries in Najafabad and Yazd, and desecrated the grave in Babol of Quddus, an early disciple of the Bab.

Those incidents began a systematic, government-sponsored purge. Bahais were banned from universities, subject to intimidation and arbitrary arrest, and denied the freedom to worship. All Bahai civil servants were dismissed. In 1991, the secretary of Iran's Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council, Seyyed Mohammad Golpaygani, issued a directive, personally approved by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declaring that "employment shall be refused to persons identifying themselves as Bahais." Some of the faithful were denounced as Zionist agents and tortured. In all, the Bahais say, more than 200 of their own have been executed in Iran since the revolution, including 10 Bahai women hanged for teaching religious classes to children.

It is difficult to imagine a purer strain of religious intolerance than the fanaticism that pervades Iran's leadership class. It is just as difficult to conjure a purer essence of tolerance than that which distinguishes the Bahais, who recognize Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad as divine messengers; who preach pluralism, equality between the sexes, universal education and the harmonization of secular and religious knowledge; and who stress the oneness of humanity, to the point of explicitly encouraging interracial marriage.

Intolerance hates tolerance most of all. At the very moment Unesco has chosen to recognize what it calls the "outstanding universal value" of the Carmel shrines and what they stand for, the mullahs are moved to persecute these believers who emerged from the very heart of Islam -- and who represent a future that fanatical Islam has so disastrously chosen to reject.

Mr. Balint, a writer living in Jerusalem, is an editorialist for the Jerusalem Post.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The World of Liliana Luukia

After beautiful Portugal, Lilu and family traveled to Scotland to continue the visit to more aunties and uncles - on her dad's side of the family. There were trips to castles and waterfalls and beautiful loch.

Then home again to PapaK and Nana and good friends back in Portland.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


They call it Rotary International for a reason.
I received this email today:

President Liz
West Kauai Rotary Club

Dear President Liz

Just a note to greet you from Endeavour Rotary Club, Whitby, North Yorkshire, England and to inform you that we will toast your Club at 8pm UK time, tomorrow, Wednesday 30 July 2008.

We are delighted that your immediate past president, David Walker has chosen to stay for three nights in Whitby and are grateful to our immediate past president, Les Overton for providing that hospitality.

David has agreed to talk to us about West Kauai and make a presentation of a picture of The Endeavour sailing ship visiting Hawaii, to our Town Mayor,
Councillor Steve Smith.

Once again, we send you our greetings.

Yours in Rotary

Mike Murphy


Sneaton Castle

Endeavour Rotary Club
North Yorkshire, England


Now, FYI, The HM Bark Endeavour carried Captain Cook to far away places (He eventually sailed the Resolution and made landfall here in Waimea on his third voyage in 1778 ).


wikipedia says:
His Majesty's Bark Endeavour was a collier built in 1768 in Whitby, North Yorkshire. The vessel was purchased by the Admiralty for James Cook on his first voyage to the Pacific Ocean ostensibly to observe the 1769 transit of Venus. After this event Cook had sealed orders from the Admiralty to explore for Terra Australis Incognita.


So here, 230 years later, we have the coming together of two Rotary clubs on opposite sides of the planet- because of HM Bark Endeavor and Captain James Cook (with a little help from Past President Dave Walker).Our Club offered a toast and a sunset to the Endeavour Rotary Club, Whitby- who meets a few hours from now.

Let there be peace on earth- and let it begin with friendship!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thy Name is My Healing...

UPDATE: My mom has recurring colon cancer and has just emerged from a successful surgery. We'll see what the pathology report says but the procedure went well and she is in the recovery room as I type! Mahalo for your prayers and kind thoughts!

This is for her and all who are ailing.

Blue waterfall.

Thy name is my healing, O my God...

Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Welcome to the NFL

Monday was the last public practice. This was taken by YoCoLifSavr.

Mahalo to mdboost for posting this shot. Both are from

Mahalo zskins for these images of Colt Brennan in the Sunday Redskins Training Camp.

From JimmiJo:
• Today’s practice featured a lot of check down passes. Most passing plays were to backs or third receivers. I don’t if this was be design but I’m guessing it was.
• Jason Campbell had a good practice and continues to improve. He made a few very nice passes but few if any beyond 15 yards.
• Todd Collins continues to look shaky in camp. He did have one play where he threw a very nice pass 15 yards downfield to tight end Jason Goode, who dropped it in spectacular fashion.
Colt Brennan had the play of the day with a seam pass to Jason Goode who made a nice one-handed grab.
• Colt Brennan committed the gaff of the day with a poor throw that was picked by Shawn Springs
• Shawn Springs played safety during today’s practice.

Back at the Detroit Lions Camp, Jordon Dizon (57) and Ikaika Alama Francis (97) worked out.

On whether it would be more difficult than the media realizes for a rookie linebacker to step in and play the middle
"Oh yeah, it’s hard. It’s hard in this league to play any position as a rookie – to come in and do that. For a rookie to come in and be a starting middle linebacker in this package, it’s hard; it’s tough. Now, we have high expectations of Jordon (Dizon). He’s a very good player. We wouldn’t’ have taken him in the second round if wasn’t. But Paris Lenon is our starting (middle) linebacker right now and Jordon is in the rotation."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

One Ring

A couple of years ago, my daughter and her fiance traveled to New Zealand and joined a group of strangers from many places to trek to the far reaches of Peter Jackson's Middle Earth. A few months later, they were married and among their guests were members of that new fellowship who journeyed to Oregon from distant lands.

Now comes the time for the wedding of Dulce and Anthony- who met and fell in love in Middle Earth those few short years ago. Michele and Jason and Lilu did trek to beautiful Portugal, 'neath castles of old to share in the nuptial celebration and to be reunited with their own Fellowship of the Ring.

Lilu meets and converses easily with new people.

Miruvor and lembas for the members of the Fellowship, and an Elvish setting at each table.

Lilu meets her first boyfriend and seems mesmerized by a ring - and then sees Luis, the official Ring-Bearer.Hail, the Fellowship of the Ring reunited!

On Track in the NFL

Ikaika Alama-Francis is in his 2nd year with the Lions.

Jordon is finally a Lion in Training!
Linebacker Eyes
Jordon Dizon - great to see you on the training field at last!
As we say in Rotary, MAKE DREAMS REAL!

Bottom two hotos by Daniel Mears / The Detroit News