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.
"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,
Read it, and share its excellent points with your friends by email, listservs, and snailmail. Concentrate on the leaning
and undecided, but spread its solid and strong Kerry-supporting message.
And say a prayer for John as he faces Dubya
tonight. Relax, John -- you have Truth on your side. Positive energy, calmness, humor, and God's blessings in abundance to
you, John Kerry -- tonight and ALWAYS!
Last nights' phone calls to Minnesota for America Coming Togetherhttp://act4victory.org brought me energy and encouragement: there are lots of great folks in the MidWest. The Kerry supporters far outnumbered
the few Bushites -- hurrah!-- then, there was this wonderful young man who didn't like either of them, for reasons to which
I can relate: they allow corporate interests to influence them too much. We talked about the importance of campaign finance
reform, voting for a candidate on another party line to make a statement (An independent Democrat, I ALWAYS
vote for my candidates on the more progressive Working Families Party line, if they appear there) but I don't
know if HE has that option, as well as the liberal talk radio network, Air America Radio -- http://airamericaradio.com. Maybe if he hears the importance of voting Kerry over Bush from Chuck D on Unfiltered,
he will understand that sometimes you have to compromise. Another terrific person was this woman whose brother Brian
Beckmann is very active on the Kerry campaign, with Veterans for Kerry. We were seeking Kerry volunteers,
but I urged the busy folks to speak to their friends about the importance of voting, and making sure their like-minded friends
get to the polls Nov. 2. See, we can all do politicking -- and the individual stuff is very important. I hope they got that
The volunteers around me were great, too -- Don Berg, a 22 year old bicyclist, will be spending
next month in Pennsylvania making persuasion visits. On my other side, artist Pat Lipsky was spiritedly calling folks. And
Marshall and Ann Harmon were there -- five of us in a room of at least fifty -- but it was good to talk and
encourage each other. We all agreed, there is a lot to be positive about. But we're not resting on our laurels -- there are
calls to be made. Phone 212-523-0180, ext. 43 to volunteer in NYC or go to http://act4victory.org if you are out of state: America Coming Together for Victory indeed!!
Neat and informative site to check
out: http://nationalpriorities.org/ -- turning data into action. "The National Priorities Project (NPP) offers citizen and community groups
tools and resources to shape federal budget and policy priorities which promote social and economic justice." Included
recently is state-by-state data on the number of soldiers killed and wounded, the dollar cost, and the number of reservists
and National Guard troops on active duty are presented in the context of worsening conditions in Iraq as well as expert opinions
on national security policy.
It's a moral issue. The German theologian Bonhoeffer said, "The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind
of world it leaves to its children." Now we're leaving our kids unthinkable taxes and debts and so forth. -- Pete Peterson
[of the Blackstone Group]
My personal response concerned the truth of Bonhoeffer's statement and Peterson's but also
asked that we also consider the rise of nuclear weapons and the decline of the environment -- loss of green/wild space, endangerment/extinction
of animals, pollution, global warming, etc. All of this on top of the burden of this outrageous budget defict. How dare we?
How could we?? What are we thinking??
And while I didn't leave it it for Bill, I have been thinking of Helen
Caldicott, Nobel prize winner and nominee, who recently spoke of Global Warming impacting Florida weather with more
hurricanes. Some would say it is just a new cycle -- yes, but global warming exacerbates it. Florida voters, please, vote
your own issues. Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty, so reject Bush!!! And with all of her expertise on the nuclear issues, we
should get Helen Caldicott on Oprah and other such shows. See http://helencaldicott.com and http://nuclearpolicy.org then go to Oprah's site and leave a message on the show ideas form there, or write Oprah.email@example.com. Our children deserve
a better world and we have to do better.
Please listen -- please give me a few minutes of your very valuable time. You care about your kids. You care about their future.
You want them to have good lives in a better world. We both want that -- for your kids and mine. Heed my words, please. You
have got to vote for change -- not a false security. George Bush is not good for you, your kids, or the world. Please let
me explain why.
You are not safer than you were three years ago. Indeed, you are less safe -- George Bush's policies on Iraq have terrorized
an innocent people who had nothing to do with the tragedies of September 11, 2001. Their only crimes were being predominantly
Muslim [5% Christian] and having a despotic leader. Bush's policies of a preemptive war to find nonexistent weapons of mass
destruction have killed as many as 30,000 Iraqi civilians in a country with 1/12 our population and have poisoned Iraq with
depleted uranium, fallout from our weapons [as well as poisoned our troops serving there -- your husbands, your brothers,
your cousins, your neighbors -- Gulf War II syndrome seeds have been sowed in our troops' bodies even as his Republican led
congress has cut veterans benefits and closed veterans hospitals]. Iraqi people -- who had endured Gulf War I and its depleted
uranium causing hideous birth defects in children and 12 years of US sanctions -- have been further brutalized, have been
bombed, injured, killed, deprived of electricity, deprived of jobs which the U.S. has contracted out to non-Iraqis -- the
list goes on. Is it a wonder some of them are heeding the recruitment messages of al Qaeda terrorists who have recently streamed
over the borders from Saudi Arabia? Indeed, Bush's policies have created the very thing they were supposed to stamp out: terrorism
Most of you are not better off then you were four years ago -- the middle class is shrinking, with his tax cuts primarily
benefitting the wealthy. He gives a few dollars to you and deprives funding to your states, thus causing them to have to raise
your taxes and/or cut your services. His tax breaks benefit companies who have engaged in a massive outsourcing of American
jobs to India and other foreign countries and encourage more of the same. While your household budgets are being seriously
impacted, corporations are making out like bandits. Since Bush became president 40% more companies are paying no taxes! Some
people term it corporate welfare -- and its not trickling down.
What about his promises four years ago? He was going to increase Pell grants so your kids could afford to go to college --
but no. College costs skyrocket and there is no relief. He oversaw the passage of No Child Left Behind but left it seriously
underfunded. He was going to protect the environment -- but no, he retreated from the Kyoto Treaty which would have decreased
global warming -- the very thing which is impacting weather and increasing hurricane formation. He was going to help seniors
afford health care, but his drug prescription law provided a slight discount soon to be overtaken by rapidly increasing prices
while the law's provisions deny the federal government the right to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. We
see our parents and grandparents choosing between medicine and food.
And in all of this, we have seen our country go from a budget surplus to a huge budget deficit, while at the same time he
has been giving tax relief to the wealthy. Your kids and grandkids will be paying it off. Can we afford more of the same?
Can our kids, our country, our world afford four more years of this? Surely, not. You know a better world is possible, but
it requires change. Stop the war -- John Kerry has a plan. Stop the outrageous spending -- John Kerry has a plan. Money to
help people, not hurt people -- to provide a better world for your kids -- John Kerry has a plan. George Bush had four years
and he muffed it. Now he gives us more promises. Fool me once, shame on you, George Bush -- but you cannot afford to give
him another four years. Your children deserve more. Show the compassion and the wisdom George W. Bush has not. Please. Think.
Please. Go to costofwar.com and see how just the war money alone could be better spent. Go to johnkerry.com for more on Kerry's
plans. Then go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 2, and vote for change, vote for your children, vote for John Kerry.
Rather crucifixion distraction from the TRUTH + Ugly re-enlistment practices
Dan Rather is being crucified by the media for trusting some forged documents containing true information
and the media has chosed to diminish the story: Bush lied about fulfilling his service obligation. Rather didn't really need
to USE the documents -- he shouldn't have iced his cake with the tempting but tainted icing. The icing however was first judged
okay by four CBS experts and so Dan spread the story. SUGGESTED ACTION: TELL CBS THE CAKE UNDERNEATH IS STILL FINE -- the
message is still true, even if Dubya isn't, even as he mires us deeper into the Vietnamesque Iraq and seeks re-election depite
a failed presidency. Can't run on his record, so he runs on fear. Voters still need to hear the facts, even as CBS must be
more diligent. DAN RATHER and 60 MINUTES are VERY much needed -- now more than ever.
Bottom line, CALL 212-975-3247,
the CBS Audience Servicesnumber, and tell them that CBS is copping out by scapegoating
Rather and ignoring the message: Bush lied -- and continues to lie. Leave a recorded message if you aren't lucky enough to
get a live person. American voters deserve to hear the truth. BUSH LACKS INTEGRITY. HE DID THEN AND HE LIED ABOUT IT. We don't
need that in a leader. (And now his administration is trying to fool the voters via a "leak" through John Novak that we're
getting out of Iraq after the election. Other good sources are saying QUITE the contrary -- Paul Krugman was GREAT on Al Franken
Tuesday -- he's on every Tuesday.) ANYWAY, YOU KNOW THE FAR RIGHT IS CALLING THE MEDIA, SO WE MUST TOO. Hone in on what you
want to say and CALL ASAP. Before more are sent to die in Iraq as we create more and more terrorists (who are now sawing off
peoples heads) via an illegal war against people who did nothing but suffer under the rule of a hideous leader. Now they suffer
under US and so do our soldiers. It is now hitting the web about re-enlistment practices: Re-enlist or go to Iraq. See RockyMountainNews.com
Sept 16 article, GIs Claim Threat by Army -- http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/state/article/0,1299,DRMN_21_3185596,00.htmland also CapitolHillBlue.com's Sept. 17 article, Re-enlist Now or Face Immediate Deployment to Iraq -- http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_5272.shtml -- But, hey, what do we expect with such a commander-in-chief?
Was checking out the Daily Kos and jumped to this blogger from Kos's link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/15/22556/3027 -- A businessman in Canada writing and emotionalizing about the crass killing of civilians and our seemingly acceptance of
it. Somehow it's okay for civilians to be killed when they are not us. This emphasizes what I said to my "adopted" daughter
Krista Z. last night: this killing of civilians is obscene, in whatever country -- USA, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan....anywhere:
killing anybody is wrong, but killing civilians is truly obscene. What are we thinking? By ignoring non USA civilian deaths,
we are essentially saying it is okay to kill civilians. And that, believe me, will come back to haunt us.
William Rivers Pitt aptly puts it, "The survivors of this attack, like the survivors of Qana, were probably not terrorists
before the fire came raining down. It is a safe bet they are now, after seeing what they have seen, willing to trade their
lives to see Americans die. They have seen the massacre of civilians, and so believe that civilians are fair game in this
dirtiest of wars. They are monsters now, not born, but made. "
IraqBodyCount.net gives the current minimum documented
deaths of Iraqi civilians as 12,721 deaths, maximum of 14,751 -- this in a country 1/12 of our size. Multiply these figures
by 12. Could you imagine how the deaths of 150,000 - 175,000 American civilians would impact OUR country? Indeed, in her 9/15/04
posting, Baghdad Burning's Girl Blogger, speaking of the dead soldier's grieving mother in Fahrenheit 911,
says it well:
"When she asked why her son had been taken and that he had been a good person… why did this have to happen
to him? I kept wondering if she ever gave a second thought to the Iraqi victims and whether it ever occurred to her that Iraqi
parents perhaps have the same thoughts as they try to dig their children out from under the rubble of fallen homes in Falloojeh,
or as they attempt to stop the blood flowing out of a gaping hole in the chest of a child in Karbala...."
So when are
we going to realize that THEY are us, and if we don't do something, they WILL be us. The blood will be flowing in our streets
again -- no matter who is elected, IF we don't stop this OUTRAGEOUS agenda of preemptive war on the innocent. It is essential
that BUSH must be outed, because while Kerry wasn't my first choice, he will at least listen and we CAN work with him. Bush
speaks folksy and lies in his stump speech (hear the speech at npr.org) to the hand-picked "little people" allowed into his
screened events, even as he drains their pockets to feed the coffers of his corporate cronies. [He says he values life --
meaning fetuses, of course -- not born Iraqi children.] Oh, please, open your eyes and your ears!
The people of the
world are watching. We didn't elect him the first time, but Bush tricked himself in. If we give him four elected years, we
will give ourselves grief. His policies are oh so wrong: the war on terrorism, the environment, the budget deficit .... the
list goes on. Watch my blog for more on this subject. And consider listening to WNYC, 10 AM, the next 30 days starting Monday
as they consider 30 issues, comparing Bush, Kerry, and sometimes Nader. (This may be streamable after hours -- hope so.) Convinced?
Hie thee to http://actforvictory.org/ and get involved. The life you save may be your own.
Finished 50 Ways to Show George the Door and now must finish reading Ted Rall's Wake Up...You're
Liberal -- none too soon, because last night's phonebanking for Citizen Action and America Coming Together showed
me that there are LOTS of people sleeping in Missouri. It wasn't part of the script but I wanted to ask the question to those
choosing Shrub, "Why aren't you voting for YOUR issues?" Arrrrgh!!!! Wake up, Missouri -- and America! The Bush Boy, Shrub,
that sometimes charming lying liar is doing you few favors. Fool me once, shame on you -- but all of these times he has lied
and too many folks are still oblivious.... I could weep. But forget the tears, now is the time for ACTION....
as Joan Pagan, Susan Meyer, Gene Oyler and I were some who called last
night, more of us must step up to the plate and trust that if we make it to some bases, others doing their part will drive
up the score to a team Kerry victory. Hey, those already awake: seek out organizations such at Move On and Citizen Action
and let's together energize America to the polls for a better America -- John Kerry over George Bush any day, but especially
on November 2. See http://www.volunteer2004.org and get moving -- on the phones, on the buses, in the streets: talking, registering voters, and getting Kerry supporters
to the polls. New Yorkers, phone Micaela or Jesse at 212.523.0180 (ext.
24 or 43). Everyone, we can all seek out the address we were giving out to Missourians last night: http://act4victory.org/ Plug in your zip code -- and you're with us. Together we can -- and we must.
Back from a visit to Colonial Williamsburg where Joan Pagan and I delved into the past wearing our 2004 peace
and RNC buttons amidst Revolutionary War reenactors. It was gratifying to get positive responses from a number of the Williamsburg
staff, including Brenda Hamant, whom we met at the Great Hope Plantation. Our visit went way too fast -- so much to
see. Check out their site: http://history.org/
But Cheney’s outrageous comment in Iowa inferring that a vote for Kerry/Edwards is a vote for another horrific
terrorist attack (and WHO was at the helm during the last attack??) spurs me on. I contacted Jess Dixon -- firstname.lastname@example.org
about volunteering Monday night to make calls to the swing state of Pennsylvania. I would urge people to donate time and/or
money -- call 212-523-0180, X43 or visit http://volunteer2004.org -- and let’s all tell Cheney to go to hell. (See http://truthout.org for Krugman’s and Kristoff’s latest articles, about combatting Bush’s war president facade and his audacity at
allowing the Swift Boat campaign to be launched when his own war record could/should sink him. Americans, wake up!!!!
Tonight all over the United States are candlelight vigils mourning the loss of over 1000 American soldiers in Iraq
(and God knows how many Iraqis) -- oh my God, what have we done? God forgive us. So much loss of life. Wake up, America
-- we cannot and must not allow this to continue.
Eyes Wide Open -- a Friends sponsored Human Rights Exhibit depicting the dead of Iraq, both American and Iraqi, by displaying
empty shoes or Army boots -- has been showing at both Judson Church and at Union Square where I saw it (and Eva took my picture)
as I was reading some of the name tags on those sad empty boots. And Eyes Wide Open is at least what some of the people have
experienced, I hope, in NYC this past week, when human rights were trampled on in an attempt to silence demonstrators and
protect the Republicans' right to free and positive press. A half of million people demonstrated peacefully and their numbers
were diminished to a third in much of the American mainstream media. But more than that, people in NYC were rounded up in
preemptive arrests -- terrifyingly foreshadowing the fascist world to come if the Bush Agenda succeeds for another four years.
My neighbor Raissa Wu was detained for almost 40 hours at "Guantanamo on the Hudson" -- a police holding pen at
100 Centre Street contaminated by gasoline and oil and other remnants of the vehicles previously housed there -- when she
was rounded up in a sweep as she walked with War Resisters who were going to peacefully perform civil disobedience action:
a die-in outside of Madison Square Garden. Raissa was going as a supporter, but it didn't matter. They were arrested within
one block of their announced STARTING point, painfully handcuffed with these tight plastic bands, and their message silenced
-- at least for the moment. Word of sweeps was all over town -- not the mainstream media, of course -- sweeps that nondiscriminantly
gathered anyone in sight of certain suspected protesters -- including people who just happened to be in the vicinity. Bush
was in our face and we wanted to be in HIS face but many of us were denied our right to freedom of speech and more than 1700
were arrested and detained abnormally long in wretched conditions signed hazardous, exposed to contaminants and forced to
sleep on the floor. This is not the end. We must speak up, while we still can.
Last night several of us Queens folk joined Councilmember Eric Gioia and Congressmember David Weiner in a candlelight vigil
down at Gantry Park in Long Island City. It meant foregoing the massive Union Square vigil but it was important to talk with
them about these abuses and urge our elected officials to do something NOW, even as we all stand up and light candles for
a better world, apart from the Bush agenda. We'll continue to speak up and hope Eric and David and others hear us, really
hear us, and ACT. Freedom of speech and assembly are essential, if our Constitution is to live.
And if you protest and they don't report it, what then?? Joan Pagan, Lynne Friedmann and I joined thousands of women and men
at NY NOW's Central Park East Lawn "Code Red" protest rally Wednesday night and I saw no mention of it in Thursday's
online press. OUCH. My sign was the classic -- straight from my closet -- Lincoln weeping and the words "Will the party
that freed the slaves become the party that enslaves women?" It was snapped repeatedly, but will I see that or any picture
turn up anywhere? Ouch, indeed.
So this is hump day on my supposed vacation (from paid work at corporate America but surely not from peace and justice activities).
I'm meeting Marcia Schumann at Porter's Restaurant on 7th Ave (betw 22 and 23) to support Air America Radio's Unfiltered Show
and spend a bit of time with my friend. This follows Joan Pagan and I having had such a wonderful time there yesterday with
our new friends Sarah Burke, Holly Butler, Jason Sanchez, Rodd Marcus, and Suzanne McAndrews -- a spirited bunch! So I repeat
myself -- or rather, so I start my day off well, with Unfiltered's terrific hosts Lizz Winstead, Chuck D and Rachel Maddow.
I don't know who can beat yesterday's guests, who included Maureen Dodd, Michael Franti and author/cartoonist Ted Rall in
person, as well as the chalking biker -- oh, oh, a warning to those of us writing chalked and washable progressive messages
on City cement. See http://www.unfilteredradio.com/ and listen to Unfiltered.
Oh, gag, listening to GOP moderates saying that Americans owe it to victims of the Sept. 11th attacks to re-elect Bush? Make
us ALL victims (as if we aren't)? Misery loves company? Oh, please, what a dishonor to the those tragically lost, to put this
ingenuous lying liar of a pResident back into office to continue to wreak havoc on the middle class, the environment, education,
and the budget deficit, to name a few? Rudy sinks to a new low. (Jack Newfield, author of The Full Rudy, spoke of his antics
on Amy Goodman's wonderful and streamable DEMOCRACY NOW program.)
But I move ahead, before documenting a few notes on two other events from yesterday, the Shut-up-athon outside of Fox media
on 6th Avenue, sponsored by Code Pink and others (I had to bow out as grim cops appeared with steel pens and plastic handcuffs
-- Officers Poulos and Boone by me: scary.) And much more healing was the evening's Riverside Church led Ring of Hope, an
interfaith vigil of light for peace and justice issues. (Spoke with another FOR member Rev. Carol Huston who with me joined
the All Soul's contingent on 81st and First Avenue -- All Soul's has a great peace group.) Holding flashlight torches, we
lined the streets of Manhattan in witness. Hope, indeed. Let us continue to speak up and speak out loudly and proudly: peace,
justice and nonviolence, oh YES -- but to the Bush agenda: NO!
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!!
"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
-- 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