Kate Anne FOR Peace, Justice and Nonviolence ~ Weblog
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Welcome to my peace blog!

This blog is my online peace journal with information and reflection on a variety of peace topics -- personal, local, global -- as well as peace and justice related links that I find helpful and/or inspiring. For more formal information on peace, justice and nonviolence, I urge you to explore the webpages of The Fellowship of Reconciliation USA (see FOR), of which I am a member and join our New York Fellowship of Reconciliation (see NYFOR) listserv. Also, check out my alternate Peace Hugs blog as well as my links page.

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"The God of Peace is never glorified by human violence."
-- Thomas Merton

"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."
-- St. Francis of Assisi

"There is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence - there is only a choice between nonviolence and nonexistence."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.


War is Costly, Peace is Priceless !!!
Spend money to help, not hurt, humankind

Cost of the War in Iraq
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Sunday, May 30, 2004

Memorial Day - A Woman on War vs Peace

This past week my long time friend Jackie Hillyer, retired school teacher and former president of Ohio NOW, knowing my passion for peace, emailed me a copy of something I found rather extraordinary. This holiday weekend when the emphasis is on War and its fallen victims (as well as memorializing other dead) I find an appropriate time to discuss it. That the woman most remembered for authoring the militaristic Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Ward Howe, also grew to cherish peace I find amazing and heartening. Having witnessed the terrible U.S. Civil War and its ramifications, she believed peace was one of the two most important issues, along with equality, of all types. (Julia Ward Howe was both an abolitionist and a feminist.) In her zeal, she set out, unsuccessfully unfortunately, to gather women everywhere together to work for peace in a Mother's Day for Peace. As we we pause this weekend to count the dead from too many wars, let us ponder Julia's OTHER words and (re)dedicate ourselves to peace, women and men alike. (And while my blog proclaims "Peace, Justice and Nonviolence", this is a good time to firmly state that I concur with Julia and place Equality firmly within my definition of "Justice"). For more on Julia, Google or go to http://womenshistory.about.com, but may her words of PEACE inspire us:


Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870
by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

~~~

A Kate Anne Postscript: Women, it's not too late to get OUR act together. God knows the men -- okay, and Maggie Thatcher -- have mucked it up. Let's remember Julia and Lysistrata and consider creative ways to peace... Put THAT on our to-do lists!!
6:28 pm edt

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Personal peace and the simple things

My computer is going through transitions and so am I. Amazing how simple things like a well-working computer and a newly planted garden can brighten one's life. Personal peace involves the little things. The microcosm affects the macrocosm. Now to take the little things, marvel at the transitions, and move on into more productivity and service. A well-honed computer and a pretty garden sustain me. I walk forth into the new day as I continue my metamorphosis, giving thanks to the many-named God of us all. Amen and peace hugs to one and all.
12:13 am edt

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Computing peace and Education

 

Computer problems can impede personal peace and communication. I call it a challenge and go with it: a computer imposed retreat. I seek other means of communication, read a book, send a snail mail card, write a few quick pithy snippets when given brief computer access. I trust that “In my world nothing ever goes wrong.” (Wayne Dyer quoting Maharaji Nisagardata) Good comes of it.

 

Caught Channel 13 (PBS) discussion of Florida education funding which I believe influenced the No Child Left Behind legislation. Minority students especially are impacted as their schools are denied much needed financing because the students aren’t doing well on standardized tests, thus contributing to a viscious cycle. Without proper funding, students are denied the better teachers who seek positions in school districts where their remuneration is more just. Students are frequently taught by substitute teachers and do not get the necessary variety of material necessary to pass the standardized tests, thus scoring poorly when faced with new matter on the tests, thus causing their school to receive less money and therefore losing the ability to attract teachers who could best address the problem. Some people say that this is deliberate malfeasance to create a permanent lower class who can perform society’s drudge work. Whether deliberate or not, it is the logical outcome of such poor legislation. Teaching to tests is not the way to teach students. Basing funding on how well students perform on such tests worsens the problem. Even the best tests reflect first and foremost who best knows how to take a test. Yes, knowledge of content is part of it, but it is a well known given that there are bright students who do poorly on tests. Ideally, education should assist people on how to think and where to go for the answers. Wonder how Jeb and Dubya Bush would score on some of Florida’s standardized tests, this many years out of school?

 

“Money for education, not for war. Money for teachers, not for war.  No justice, no peace.”

 

***

 

And why isn’t reporter Bob Novak being prosecuted for outing the CIA wife of Bob Wilson? Don’t tell me he didn’t know better. And who in the Bush administration told him? Coverup continues.

6:25 pm edt

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Peace - Personal and Shared

Last Saturday found me seeking peace in personal ways. One way was merely completing some necessary tasks -- stuff put off too long. Then I fed my soul by accepting an invitation to the ballet at Lincoln Center's State Theatre from my friend playwright Donald Yonker. The performances were beautiful and catching up with Donald and sharing some memories was a real treat. I made this conscious decision that I needed a day off, that one less person at Cooper Union for the World Tribunal on Iraq wouldn't make much of a difference. Still, I give thanks for my NYFOR friends who join me in doing what we can for peace and justice. One of them, playwright and poet Howard Pflanzer, who did attend the World Tribunal on Iraq, posted this powerful observation and poem to our NYFOR listserv:

"I attended two of the sessions of the tribunal on Iraq last Saturday. [ May 8, 2004 ] The first, THE US-WAR OF AGGRESSION AGAINST IRAQ while examining the legal justifications of the war, brought up a very critical issue: a war could be legal and still be illegitimate. The first Gulf War was "legal" but not legitimate. I feel the only way to change things is peaceful grassroots protest on a massive scale. In the second session there were graphic photos of the civilian deaths and maimings caused by cluster bombs, incendiary bombs and a chemical cousin of napalm in our pinpoint bombing of sites where Iraqi leaders were allegedly found. It was documented how the US violated all the Geneva conventions of war. Not one Iraqi official was killed in these bombings but hundreds of civilians were. The photos were nightmarish and were a catalyst for this poem.

THE MARKETPLACE IN BAGHDAD

The bomblets fell like grapes from the sky
They were not manna from heaven
Intended for the enemy
They tore the flesh of the innocents
And the dark juice flowing through the streets
Was not wine."

-- Howard Pflanzer

~~~~

"Legal or illegal, there is no such thing as a just war. It's just war. "
-- Hal Weiner, Episcopal Peace Fellowship
8:59 am edt

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Enough!

Another American has been executed in Iraq, proving once again that violence leads to more violence. We began an illegal preemptive war, against massive public opinion worldwide, with substantial opposition coming from US citizens. The stated reasons were based on Iraq being an imminent threat, that they possessed weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear as well as chemical and biological; al Qaeda links; and an irresponsible leader guilty of human rights abuses. So the most powerful nation of the world goes after some tiny country with no WMDs -- only oil; no al Queda links -- until we forged them; and a rinky-dink leader whose dastardly history of human rights abuse was ignored as long as he was our ally -- and we trump those abuses with the bombing of innocents, the destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure and the environment, and the torture of Iraqi prisoners. Now they are lashing out at the mighty USA with the only tools left to them: terror and torture, and we are surprised and angry. Who is kidding whom?

Mind you, this does not excuse their violence, only explains it, because we must recognize that it is our violence and our arrogance and our sins against the Iraqi people -- twelve years of sanctions and two wars -- that have brought us to this juncture. Torture is violence, bombing is violence, and violence is violence, whoever commits it, under whatever name or whatever flag or whatever cause. Violence only compounds itself -- it solves nothing. It offers no healing salve. It makes no friends, only enemies. It brings "deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars." Where are those who have the courage to claim the higher ground and end the violence? Where are those who will stand up and say, "Enough!"? We have to move beyond our comfort zones and unite in our demand that our country extricate itself from this hole, not dig us in deeper. They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Enough of this insanity of war! Please, God, help us find leaders who will focus on helping us build a culture of peace, not war. Peace, justice, nonviolence: they are all connected. We Americans need to move beyond patriotism to become good citizens of the world. We need a Department of Peace with emphasis on nonviolent and just solutions. Enough war, enough terror, enough violence: bring on real peace, true justice, and nonviolence. Begin today.

"The God of Peace is never glorified by human violence."
-- Thomas Merton

"You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can't bomb it into peace."
-- Michael Franti
9:35 am edt

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

May Peace Prevail on Earth

We do what we can for peace and justice, those of us who care. For me this recently has meant the May 1st demo at Bryant Park, the May 3rd forum on the injustice of the death penalty at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and the May 4th Peace Picket and Memorial for the Dead Soldiers and Dead Iraqis outside of the offices of Senators Clinton and Schumer. Oh, yes, earlier on the fourth I called their offices about the horrific treatment/abuse of the Iraqi prisoners, and how they should slam Bush on it -- hope that Gillian and Rob told their respective senators. [HINT: good idea to turn the person on the politicos's phones into human beings, with friendly acknowledgement.] Watch this space for more info on all three events -- but in the meantime, call the Senators (see below for their phone numbers). Thanks and peace hugs!
9:42 am edt

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ARCHIVES ABOVE -- Right now, if you click on the above numbers, you SEE my earlier posts. I still have a lot to learn but I intend to make changes to this site on a regular basis, sharing news, views, experiences, photos...whatever occurs to me. Check back often! Peace, love, and all good things in abundance!!

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June 2003

"Our country currently lives under a single-party form of government. One ideology (pro-corporate, coddling the rich, neglecting the middle class, patronizing the poor) is governing like there's no tomorrow. Should they continue, they'll be right."
-- Ted Rall, WAKE UP...YOU'RE LIBERAL

EMAIL me as KateAnne (at earthlink.net)

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"We must be the change we wish to see
in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

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