Anti-war / Pro-peace
alliance resonates accord
EDITORIAL NOTE, posted December 9, 2003: Today I received email from Candy Chand, asserting that somewhere in the 12-02 edition of Gozarks, that I published an article of her authorship titled "Christmas Love" and that I failed to properly attribute the work to her. So I came here looking to find it and make amends for my mistake, because I would never knowingly do such a thing.
Sadly, I have not been able to find the piece... yet still, if I have inadvertently done that which has been alleged, I offer earnest apology and humbly request that if Ms. Chand would care to point me more specifically to the text in question, and given I agree that an error has been made, I will with thankfulness for the correction italicize or by some other agreeable means give full attribution as deserved.
FYI: As I understand it, somewhere in the following is the material in question. ~ email@example.com
Anti-war / Pro-peace alliance resonates accord
DECEMBER 2002 -- This is an odd New Year we stand at the dawn of. Talk everywhere is of "wars and rumors of wars..." [Mark 13:7]
Personal worries have invaded our homefront. Thoughts about suffering, killing, weapons, violent waste, contamination, starvation, rubble and death; the supposed "need" for it all along with the longing for none of it to happen. These are the fruits of war and it is good that these thoughts are coming into close attention because we are learning, first hand, the substance of our own mettle and faith.
"All mothers should automatically be against war," said Daphne Reed, one of the founders of Mothers Against War. Reed, a grandmother and retired teacher in Massachusetts, began rallying the "nurturing" troops four months ago. And according to The Washington Post, "Reed's response is just a tiny part of a growing peace movement that has been gaining momentum and raises the possibility that there could be much more dissent if U.S. bombs begin falling on Baghdad."
This burgeoning movement is drawing together a fast growing alliance among strange bedfellows, involving people from every walk of life who are all questioning the fundamental wisdom and sanity of the plotted invasion. Pulling mainstream political pundits together with longtime radical groups, involving labor and religious organizations of virtually every denomination, including veterans groups, business leaders and corporations, relatives of victims of 9.11, immigrant and ethnic-cultural groups, college campus, human rights and civil liberties organizations, along with an apparent tidal wave of ad hoc citizens meetings spontaneously blossoming in private homes, civic centers and church basements, like "Raging Grannies" of Palo Alto.
Forces not generally associated with outspoken opposition and unified resistance to promulgated government policies and practices.
"It's a campaign of all different kinds of groups, from the National Council of Churches to the International Socialists organization," said Andrea Buffa, co-chair of the UNITED FOR PEACE network. Buffa said that groups are combining efforts to develop a consensus statement and a calendar for the eradication of war and the ushering in of peace.
And though this gathering critical mass seems to have been largely ignored by mainstream media and Capitol Hill, the accruing will of those speaking out on behalf of their constituencies represents over 100 million individual Americans.
Among them are folks like Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, alleging that "if some country was going to do this to us --- have a little preemptive war with the U.S., bomb our people, kill or maim people because they thought that at some time we might bomb them --- we'd say that's a war crime."
"Count yourself as a Lightworker," Rev. Sterling expounds. Be "one person who knows nothing about being a Lightworker but who wants peace in his heart and harmony in the world in which he exists... simply be a human being who knows there is a greater experience awaiting all of us." Then, choose to find some means to "let the rest of the world know we are here."
A start in this direction could be as easy as casting an electronic ballot at VoteNoWar.org and holding a candlelight vigil in your home New Year's Eve. Or your actions could be as invigorating as participating in the PEOPLE'S ANTI-WAR REFERENDUM with a march on the White House, headed to Washington D.C. on January 18, 2003.
This effort, being channeled in part by The International Action Center, (founded by Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General) along with organizations like International A.N.S.W.E.R. ("Act Now to Stop War and End Racism") and others, is forwarding a widespread demand for the immediate elimination of US weapons of mass destruction along with a "people's inspection team" having unfettered access to and a full public disclosure of all U.S. non-conventional weapons systems by calling for civilians and soldiers alike to exercise their political right to speak out against war.
Thus it looks like things are shaping up to hold the makings of a very Happy New Year... given we all keep the faith, stay the course and continue to grow our mutual accord for the global reign of peace.
Amen and Halleluiah!!!
Christine- Thanks for your message. I agree. I have not looked at the web site that you sent but have heard the quote. But I wonder - how do we stand our ground? I will not take BS from people... That is the hard part. Fending off the BS without causing damage. ~Sue
Attached to Sue's note was a beautiful greeting card, which I mention only so that my response to her, cc'd below, will make sense to you:
What a beautiful card,
Sue...!!! Thank you! Now, about "fending off the BS without causing
damage..." yes, this is very delicate work and developing the skills
with which to do it adequately requires that one exercise perseverance,
patience and diplomacy with the utmost wisdom a goodly measure of
discretion and absolute love.
That is, I must
understand that there is NOTHING that "I" can do to "teach them" (any
sort of lesson). The ONLY thing I can do is to "live" in accord of the
truth I hold to be self-evident and have dedicated my life to serve.
Wishing all of us the future we prefer...
Please, read this: Hundreds Rounded Up in Calif.
Then, have a look at this: Technical Difficulties
Now, stand up and get involved.
Two brands of "insanity"...
We decorate our homes, offices and marketplaces in carnival-esque fashion; spend more money than we realistically possess on nonsensical trinkets, gadgets and trivia; and drive ourselves nutz with overbooked activities intended to engender good cheer.
In reality and taken only at face value, all this amounts to "Blissful Insanity." A traditional excuse for doing the silly, outlandish and fundamentally inconsequential. Yet we love doing this because it is fun and thus, in essence, this kind of insanity is good.
I have noticed, however, that there is another brand of insanity steadily eroding the joy from every season of life, which I'll call (in a semi-plagiarized title, attributable to William Rivers Pitt in his "must read" 12/12/02 truthout Perspective piece) "The Pure Essence of Stupid Insanity." And this essence is admirably depicted in the quasi-poetic lines of an email pass-along I recently received, which I'll share with you in part:
Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have. As children, we rode in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat and when we rode our bikes, we never wore helmets.
We played dodge ball, ice hockey and roller-skated; got into schoolyard scuffles, cocked fingers like pistols and sometimes we got hurt. But we never sued anyone over it. And none of us were arrested for "terroristic threatening." We (and our parents) just took it in stride. It was all part and parcel of "growing up."
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, not expected to report back home until dinner. We drank water from the garden hose, ate chocolate cupcakes, sliced white bread loaded with real creamery butter, and consumed sugar as if it were a gift from the gods. And our generation was, overall, in better physical shape than most kids are today.
We had "tryouts" and "chose up sides" for games and teams, and not everyone made the cut. We learned first hand and usually by the hard knocks of experience to deal with failure, unfairness and rejection. And, unsurprisingly, our generation produced some of the greatest risk-takers and solution-finders to ever walk the face of our civilized Earth.
We didn't have personal computers, PlayStation, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital cable stations, yet we were never "bored." We were too busy building "forts" out of fallen branches and discarded pieces of plywood, playing Lone Ranger and Tonto games in some guy's vacant lot, or going swimming in an abandoned gravel pit -- which was NOT, "for reasons of liability," fenced off, gated, and rigged with "intruder alarms."
When we did misbehave, we got our butt whupped and our parents never feared allegations of "child abuse."
But, like they keep telling us, times have changed and we simply must do many things very differently because it is, after all, for our own good. Well...
I'm inclined to adamantly disagree with this premise. I think that far too many of the "changes" we're swallowing hook, line and sinker are "The Pure Essence of Stupid Insanity." And that these changes are bad for us because they breed and foster greed, ignorance and incompetence. Because they rob us of our own "decision making" authority and exempt us from owning up to the consequences of our own actions, thus thwarting collective liberty and degrading individual free will.
It's like the other day at WalMart. I bought a pack of "pipe cleaners." You know, those semi-stiff wires laced with fuzz that can be bent into different shapes. Thing is, the ones I bought were actually labeled "Pipe Cleaners" rather than with some generic title such as "crafting sticks."
Thus my purchase was
"classified" (by some super-brain) as a "tobacco related" purchase. And
as soon as the cashier rung-up the item, a COMMAND popped to the cash
register display screen, insisting that she check my ID for proof of
And who are the meta-stupid managerial executives, CEOs and cash register computer programmers that cow-tow to this brand of insanity running amok?
Of course it's a little thing, this current rant of mine. Yet I am a firm believer that life is like a beach made up of billions upon billions of grains of sand, and only by extricating the dirty bits from betwixt the crystalline particles will the living of life ever truly shine.
Thus what I found most
interesting about this Pipe Cleaner transaction was that the cashier
herself was indignant about the procedure with which she was "computer
instructed" (and "legally bound") to comply and as a result of this,
this total stranger and I had a brief but emphatic and meaningful
exchange about "all this nonsense" and how "it must stop" and that
"somebody's got to DO something" to stop this stupid insanity from
wreaking further havoc upon all of our lives.
Want to read more about Stupid Insanity? Have a gander at cryptogon.com
On The Evening News...?
GROUPS LAUNCH NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO OPPOSE U.S. WAR ON IRAQ
Anti-War Protests Sweep the Nation, Civil Disobedience in more than a Dozen Cities, More than 150 People Arrested
Washington, DC -- On Tuesday, December 10, anti-war organizers launched more than 130 events in at least 37 states across the country. Events included rallies, marches, teach-ins, civil disobedience and protests to express their strong opposition to the White House's plans to start an unprovoked war in Iraq. The dozens of anti-war events that took place around the United States were timed to coincide with International Human Rights Day.
Anti-war organizers say the White House's reckless doctrine of pre-emptive strikes is a clear violation of the values embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Human Rights Day of action was called by more than 90 organizations that are bringing their combined resources and memberships together to launch a nation wide campaign called "United for Peace" to oppose a U.S. war on Iraq.
The December 10 anti-war events stretched from Vero Beach, Florida to Anchorage, Alaska. In New York City, faith leaders held a peace rally outside the United Nations where more then 120 people were arrested. In Spokane, Washington, local residents paraded through downtown carrying anti-war signs and singing carols. Detroit residents held an anti-war teach-in at the local YWCA and students in Nevada organized a walkout from classes. In many cities, anti-war rallies will included readings of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Coming on the heels of massive peace marches in Washington, DC and San Francisco in late October, the anti-war events in towns and small cities across the country show that the burgeoning peace movement is picking up steam. Resistance to the war even extends to places like Hastings, Nebraska, where local residents distributed anti-war leaflets on Main Street.
"The formation of United for Peace marks a breakthrough for the peace movement-the diversity and breadth of groups involved is astounding. We are building a new, unconventional network to oppose a U.S. attack on Iraq," said Bill Fletcher, Jr., President of TransAfrica Forum.
UNITED FOR PEACE
"The right to live free from the horrors of war is a basic human right. Religious leaders, business leaders, students, and peace and justice activists are organizing creative actions to educate their community, build their local anti-war base, and to demand that their elected officials stand for peace," said Leslie Cagan, co-chair of United for Peace.
The events included teach-ins on college campuses, actions to pass local City Council Resolutions against the war, rallies at local federal buildings, interfaith prayer services, and candlelight peace vigils. The numerous civil disobedience events were planned under the guidance of the Iraq Pledge of Resistance campaign (www.peacepledge.org). United for Peace is working on another round of activities during the Martin LutherKing, Jr. holiday weekend, January 18-20, 2003. Picking up on the initiative of Black Voices for Peace, local organizers are being encouraged to build on the legacy of Dr. King's work linking the struggles for social justice and peace.
Red, White & Green...?
I’ve always been “a member” of a lot of different group efforts. Like every other one of us, I was “born into” a society filled with aggregate mindset games. And I say this not in mockery of our magnificent human capacity to willfully create organizations, but with enduring passion, profound respect and powerful admiration for the seemingly miraculous achievements wrought by people working in teams.
Yet I also say it in wonder over the collective choices we’ve made in the construction (and enabling by thoughtlessness) of some of our co-created "team conduct" (game playing) rules.
Landing on the Moon and The Berlin Wall. Both of these were the result of organized, purposeful and willfully promulgated group effort. Each effort had leadership, followers, objectives and goals. Sounds just like a game of football (or even Canasta) to me. How about to you?
Anyway, over the years I’ve come to look at all of life’s anticipatorily organized group efforts (political parties, Girl Scout Troops, religious persecutions, philatelists, nuclear families, The War on Drugs, alternative lifestyles, Capitalism, Communism, Socialism and Democracy, etc., etc. and on and on …) each as a kind of game played in accord of a particular set of ordinances. And each as a sort of sub-set game of that Big Game I call life.
But again, before I get to my point (which I will, I promise you), I feel the need to recuse myself from any inferred association between the description I’m penning and smarmy witticism. I’ve purposefully constructed this analogy absent of motive to cast aspersions, denunciate or condemn, but with an intention to gain understanding and thus be enabled to willfully comply.
That is, it seems to me that by doing my best to reduce large and complex things to childhood-simple stories, I am empowered to make wiser choices. Once I know the game by its rules and have thoughtfully evaluated its objectives, I'm enabled to make informed decisions about the quality, flavor and quantity of goodness that “playing the game” may deliver to (or withhold from) the bounty of where I reside.
Thus I look at every game in which I participate, and most especially those which were thrust upon me by virtue of my birthplace, and I -- in honor only of my own kinship-loving interests -- do my best to pick and choose.
Over my lifetime to date, I have been a member of a lot of groups. Some of them I willfully joined. Others, because of their pervasion throughout the mainstream culture of my time and geography, involved me by default.
As time passed and my group experience multiplied, my tendency became to decrease my involvement with groups because the “rules of (that particular) game” were, in my own opinion, counterproductive to my own ends.
That is, the rules called on me to do things that, again in my humble opinion, failed horribly to justify the recommended day-to-day means. Promulgated practices purported to accomplish something “for the good,” seemed more to me like an inherent contradiction of terms:
“If you don’t march in our Peace Parade, we’ll punch your face off.”
My husband, Daniel, first said this to me as a rhetorical assessment, sometime back in the 1980s, regarding a “peace and justice” group we’d gotten involved with and then, after digesting the rules of their assembly, disappointedly decided to un-join.
Over the years, the making of this negative choice has been frequent and increasingly painful. At least for me. Because throughout my life I have harbored this eloquently inexpressible longing to be an integral part of something far, far grander and tremendously more magnificent that any “I” alone can ever hope to achieve. Thus in the making of my many decisions to distance myself from various group efforts, I seemingly deny myself the opportunity to win the game that is most endearing to my Big Game of life.
This is my personal conundrum; holding these two conflicting thoughts whilst remaining sane.
But getting back to where I started this beginning, I have quested after a powerful working alliance for a very long time, yet my desires have been repeatedly thwarted because I cannot to my own conscience justify playing by the rules of the games. Now however, I see what is perhaps a glimmer of hope on the horizon. At least I hope it is, because I’m weary of butting my head against ideologies that contrive to commit vast amounts of human energy to (trying to) build yet another (type of) Berlin Wall.
I’m ready to team-up with the Star Trek Voyager crew and go on an intergalactic mission. Ready to play a game that's grounded with win/win rules. Thus I’m declaring my unanimity with the Ten Key Values of The Green Party and putting my Sunflower bedecked activism hat on.
Sincerely, I’m hoping for ALL of you to mount a similar effort. Do something to satisfy your own inner craving. I mean, did you know that we fellow Gozarkians now number nearly 15,000? And that's only the few of us that the statistical trackers tell me about.
There are more of us. Lot's more. (Some of whom we've yet to meet.) And that’s a lot of “Matter of fact…” Our numbers are growing. Mathematically speaking, expo-zark’n-nentially.
Together, we're a quantum-leap team force of independent free-willed thinkers, and I’m thinking that it’s time for us to get our sh*t together and take a stand.
With something. For something. Together and on common ground.
Download the Green Party PDF flyer: “Green Party opposes War with Iraq" Digest it. Share a copy with a friend. Do this and tell me what happens. Sincerely, I'd love to know.
Last night we talked about this, he and I. We talked about how the distance between teenager and senior citizen is, from the younger’s perspective, a seemingly endless expanse of possibility, opportunity, and invincibility. And about how by the time one crosses the invisible boundary between “young adulthood” and “middle age,” the world seems a whole lot less malleable to our effervescent whims.
That as one begins to troll the waters of vested maturity – a shoe that fits only those folks past fifty – the tables seem to have spun in oppositional directions and it is, for many, a stretch to remember just exactly what they themselves once thought about the incumbent potentialities of “the rest of my life.”
And, we talked about how all of these “rights of passage” seem to happen in the blink of an immortal eye.
Yet, though the eye is immortal, we are not. At least not yet… Though certain religions and now even the genetics branch of science tells us that we all have the inherent potential to be.
That is, did you know that there has been found in the human genome a “switch” (so to speak) that in theory can turn the “aging process” OFF. And, this daydream aside, genetic technology itself taken to the degree of cloning, offers the prospect of precisely replicating body parts so that old failing organs may be (easily?) replaced with healthy new ones.
Aside from the ethics of this equation, I have to wonder… what would it have done to my thought processes if, as a teenager, I had known with certainty that death and disease were things of the distant past? How would this “reality” have changed my approach to living? Would I have done things differently?
But “how” would it have been different? Would I have been more reckless and cavalier? Probably… but factually, I don’t know. Because such thoughts were not mine to ponder when my head and heart were still resonant with the “newness” of being self-consciously alive.
And, now that I’m “old” I wonder... If I’d been immersed in this vantage point 50 years ago and had grown up knowing as fact that no matter what audacious feats I’d endeavored there was a physiological “fix” to make me again whole, would I have been a “better” person because of it…??? And the truth is, I don’t know.
What I do know is that these promises of unending longevity are meaningless unless one has “something to live for.” And I am thankful to be a “someone” who has lots of substance as the foundation of this cause.
But at the same time I am wary, because so very much of what I see as the true and deepest meanings of life seems to be passing away. And, quite frankly, it scares me.
It scares me because it seems there is so little about it that I, alone, as a single individual, can do to stop the (detrimental) changes that I see unfolding around me. And this scares me because, as one famous saying goes, “Children learn what they live.”
Children (and, respectfully, anyone under the age of 35 fits nicely into this category) tend to accept the truth and validity of whatever they look around and observe. Thus whatever is accepted as “standard practice” in the community and environment where they reside, they tend to adopt and replicate the practices without giving the substrate ideologies much if any thought.
Then, before you know it, in the twinkling of Santa’s immortal eye, the whole ideological landscape gets blanketed with “truths” that are NOT “Creator endowed” and self-evident, but are promulgated by the few (and powerful) in the supposed interest of “upholding the public good.”
And what scares me most about this whole scenario is not genetic manipulation or growing old or even the topsy-turvyness of today’s industrial marketplace. It is that as I look back at the landscape through which I’ve traveled and observe the trends now afoot, I wonder quite seriously if 50 years from now my children will still be taking for granted their freedom to decorate Christmas Trees, light Chanukah Candles, and pray or not pray whenever and however they choose.
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