More about love...
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An Ozark E-Zine

A reader writes:

"Your website looks better all the time. Tho I differ with your op-ed that love is not a feeling. It may be more than a feeling, but I guarantee, it's a feeling." ~Larry in VBC (Iowa)

Agreed, Larry <smile>... Love is a warm-fuzzy feeling that (like it says in the now popular song "Bubbly") gives you tingles that start in your toes, crinkle your nose and make you smile for no logical reason... a precious, mysterious and elusive gift that cannot be conjured by 'choosing'.

Yet even when two people are blessed with such magical feelings for each other, the ongoing/long-term activity of 'being loving' necessitates 'choosing' to put the other person's wants/needs perpetually 'on par' with one's own... and (sadly) in my personal experience there are not a whole lot of folks who are sufficiently (emotionally) grown-up enough to (choose to) happily do that...

And in context of building allegiances among groups of people in the interest (for example) of social transformation, the activity of 'being loving' (ie: cognizant of the wants & needs of all involved) seems to get lost in a maze of 'hidden agendas' which worship at the 'exclusive' altar of self-aggrandizement and jockeying for supremacy/domination...

But anyway, yes... in the grandest scheme of things, love is like that old time rock-n-roll that soothes your soul... and I live for the day when everyone everywhere (including me <smile>) gets to live in the 'over the rainbow' land where the purity of love in all its many dimensions, expressions, and dynamics reigns supreme... until then, all I (alone) can do is 'choose' to be as genuinely loving (kind, respectful, candid, forthright,
honest, loyal and caring) as I know how to be all the time... (((hugs))) ~Christine

Artisan & Activist Gallery, Town Hall Citizen Congress Announced
A new local group is applying a ‘mixed medley’ approach to civic edification, according to Christine Beems, Chairwoman of The Committee for Honest Law Enforcement in Van Buren County. [for a report on the outcome of this event, click here]

With a theme of rallying ‘regular citizens’ around the flagpole of civic accountability, The Committee is coordinating a public awareness gathering, 4pm/8pm, Saturday, January 12, 2008, in the Community Room of the Petit Jean Electric Cooperative headquarters, 270 Quality Drive, Clinton, Arkansas.

Organized by Beems and Committee co-founder Michael C. Kelley, the event commences with a ‘mix & mingle’ Artisan and Activist Gallery. Table space for exhibits will be freely allotted on a first-come-first-serve basis, Beems said. However, she added, no ‘sales’ or ‘fundraising’ will be permitted during the event. All exhibitors are instead encouraged to bring printed handout material with follow-up contact information.


Above: Friends of The Committee picketed in front of the VBC Courthouse in downtown Clinton, Arkansas, for a second time on January 9, to raise public awareness about their civic concerns and the Town Hall Citizen Congress they are hosting January 12.

Educational literature for free distribution has already been received from several organizations including the Fully Informed Jury Association and the Marijuana Policy Project, according to Beems. In addition, artist Sven Swenson will be exhibiting his vibrantly hued mixed-media impressionistic painting style and others have inquired about participating.

"One local artist, upon receiving our invitation, wanted to know if we were ‘looking for artists to display or artists with attitude to display’," Beems laughed. "I responded that, as far as we’re concerned, art is 'attitude'," she laughed again. "Thus I emphasize that all artists and all civic activists are welcome and encouraged to exhibit their point of view."

The Town Hall Citizen Congress will convene at the same location at 6pm. Abiding Roberts Rules of Order, the agenda as stated by Beems is to establish an Advisory Council on Civic Affairs and Law Enforcement in Van Buren County. "This will consist of regular citizens with no special qualifications beyond common sense," Beems explained. She said this ad hoc task force will independently review, investigate, advise on and assist with the resolution of various allegations made by private citizens against various law enforcement agencies and officials.

"My personal gusto for this work is based exclusively on my own first-hand experience with our local justice system," Beems elaborated. "As I was taught long ago in public school, law enforcement is supposed to investigate allegations of crimes and, working with the local prosecutor, file charges appropriate to an alleged offense and then prosecute the accused perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law, all the while upholding the sacrosanct principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty," Beems advised.


Above: Ten local citizens (one is taking the photo) carried picket signs protesting what they allege is improper conduct on the part of various local law enforcement officials.

"And though it deeply grieves me to say this, if anyone believes that this is what is happening 'most of the time' here in Van Buren County I assure you from what I have witnessed first hand, it is not. Thus the need for an unbiased ‘third party’ ombudsman of some sort, to assess the validity of individual accusations alleging wrongdoing by law enforcement officials."

To request exhibit space at the Saturday gathering and for more information about The Committee, its goals and plans, visit www.gozarks.com/thecommitte  or contact Christine Beems, 501-745-4153.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE....
The following, which came by way of pass-along email, seems like an appropriate reflection for the beginning day of the new year... (((hugs))) ~Christine

"WHAT IS LOVE?" This question was posed to a group of 4-to-8-year-olds with the following results:

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' ~Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' ~Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' ~Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.' ~Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' ~Terri - age 4

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.' ~Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' ~Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,' ~Nikka - age 6 (We need a few million more Nikka's on this planet!)

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.' ~Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.' ~Tommy - age 6

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image) ~Karen - age 7

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' ~Jessica - age 8

And the final one – A four year old child’s next door neighbor, an elderly gentleman, had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he ad said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry.'

All of which perfectly illustrates what every adult grows to know: That love is not ‘a feeling’… love is a choice. ~~~~~~

The foregoing is part of a series of investigative reports looking into the ramifications of the War on Drugs  [INDEX HERE] TAPED CONFESSION
"He admitted to me that he sold pot to Mr. Kelley..."
Confession (slow download --  high quality audio)
Confession (quick download -- low quality audio)

~ ~ ~

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~ ~ ~

If the general conversation here is of interest to you I highly recommend the following books. Order here through Amazon and we at Gozarks actually earn a few cents...!!!! Thanks!!!

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Shalom Weiss
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