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,
Munchkin has been dominating my life -- how do dog owners do it? I got to Saturday's Union Square peace
vigil late, thanks to Munch and caring for my own cats and recently planted flowers. The good news is that I was able to give
some subway riding Billy Graham GLY crusaders who were giggling at my peace button hat a couple copies of John Dear's
prayer for our persecutors -- I also blessed them. I could say I sowed some seeds but the NYFOR info was on the bottom of the prayer and we
shall see where that leads them -- perhaps back to me. AT the vigil, got to speak with Voices in the Wilderness'sfasting Kathy Kelly's NY counterpart, Paul Frazier who is in NY staying at Mary House and
spending time at the Isaiah Wall. We discussed teaching folks to talk to high school students about building up a conscientious
objector file in anticipation of Bush's endless war bringing endless draft. We'll see what happens there, but we were both
impressed by a young couple complete with sign preaching to Union Square benchsitters about current politics. I chorused in
to what he was saying. Come on baby, light some fires.... Let's keep trying.
On a different topic, I gotta follow up on NY's buying voting machines which could decide our votes for us. Have to do
some more research and alert folk. Check out the NYFOR and WQIDC listservs for action updates on various p&j issues. Now to walk Munchkin and get to work where Shirley
Marcus is celebrating her birthday. Happy Birthday, Shoil -- and peace!!
And when will I find time to review all my email? Did Zara Fox write me? Did Catherine Cann
Fox see my account of my evening with her lovely daughter? Will I find that impulsively bought lotto ticket and check
it to find I won money to underwrite my peace work? Here's to communication and peacemaking and money for good purposes! After
some rain it is back to getting hot -- dog days of June, indeed!!
Personally, things go well. Summer is about to begin and the season has started well with a visit from my son Michael Dylan and his friends Jon Haverman and George Soltis. We played tourist together and
I got talked into doing the World Trade Center's big hole but angels led me to take them to St. Paul's Chapel which miraculously survived 9/11 and served as a base for the workers/would-be rescuers. It's graveyard is the only burial
place for the atoms of people who were vaporized and the energy there is phenomenal. What is better is that the church was
open and it maintains a signficant tribute to the coming together of NYC, the US and the world following the tragedy and before
Bush's illegal invasion of a country who had nothing to do with it. There are banners, letters and other artifacts as well
as some tasteful multimedia displays. Go there if you do the site. And leave a donation for the church for being a shining
example of ecumenical service.
Oh, there was John's pizza and the ESPN playsite on 34th Street and GlenGarryGlennRoss and the Rush
meet-up at Loreley prior to the focal point of MDB's visit: the Marillion concert at the Bowery Ballroom -- okay, "only" three of the band -- but what a concert!! Anyway, I've since gone
to Tower Records to try to find more. (Too much Fish and not enough H -- but I was able to buy the Marbles on the Road DVD -- MD had already given me the CD of Marbles.) After the concert though,
Los Trios Marillos met with fans smart enough to go to the lounge. Steve Hogarth really is as charming off stage as on -- what a smile! He said I gave him energy while he was performing but in
truth we all SHARED energy. See MD's blog http://audientfiles.blogspot.com for more but suffice it to say "a good time was had by all." And we met some good folk: Terry(i?), Buddy, and Lawrence
in particular. And I am into Marillion big time (and thanks to the wristband that Rita Drew threw me, I've discovered "Make Poverty History" -- see http://one.org for the US site. We all ARE one so let us get our acts together.
I've got to get my act together and go walk my friend Joan's Munchkin and get to work.
(Dogsitting for the next two weeks will keep me out of trouble.) But I've got to write FOR on our group's plans and work at furthering publicity and action on the Downing Street Minutes.
(Dial Congress and Senators tollfree at 877-SOB-USOB for their DC switchboard.) In the meantime, Bush pushes
on to build yet a 6th concentration camp at Guantanamo -- outrageous and a crime against humanity, but it gives money to Halliburton.
God forgive us. (Time to re-read Fr. John Dear's prayer.)
I miss MD and Jon and George -- but I have Munchkin as well as cats Mu-ning and MacTangelo, Wilbur and Bootsie and two
different NYC apartments. And I may even get to meet my English penfriend Catherine Cann Fox's daughter Zara Fox tonight.
WOW! But first work -- gotta pay those bills.
In the midst of doing housecleaning in anticipation of my son Michael Dylan's visit (see his blog), I just stopped to contribute $10.00 to the DNC via the Air America Radio's Majority Report's Democrats.org webpage! It
is called "Clean Money, Clean Elections", doing it with SMALL donations -- not to BUY anyone but to show support for Howard
Dean to counter the mainstream Dems maligning of him. This is also how we can let the DNC and Dr. Dean know that Liberals
care and what WE think matters -- collectively, we impact. I am thankful for their suggesting it -- I can DO $10, even with
high NYC prices. What about you? See the first hour of the June 9th blog for the link or maybe I can link it here. Small donations done en masse speak forcefully for the peaceful, liberal vision, or as the Majority Report aptly put it,
"Spend $10 and tell the corporatist dems to suck it!"
[See Robert C. Koehlers column The Last War? -- Lets risk the mockery and say out loud that it is time
to stop at Commonwonders.com ]
Another good, strong column, Bob! Thanks. I find it interesting how we almost have to apologize, however, for daring to question
the futility of war (akin to questioning the count of the last several elections, no doubt). When I wrote something along
the same vein several years ago, I was "accused" of being "a tired 60's liberal." Hey, I'm glad we're
still at it, determined to change the world. Anyway, you got me on a roll, exploring the topic. I started with a Kennedy quotation
which your column brought to mind, googled, and found Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking similarly about a different war --
'I want to say one other challenge that we face is simply that we must find an alternative to war and bloodshed. Anyone who
feels, and there are still a lot of people who feel that way, that war can solve the social problems facing mankind is sleeping
through a great revolution. President Kennedy said on one occasion, "Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an
end to mankind." The world must hear this. I pray to God that America will hear this before it is too late, because today
were fighting a war.'
And I thought of Peter, Paul and Mary's "The Great Mandela" [Spell checking "mandela" and PP&M on
Google led me to a lesson plan on 60s protest - see plan -- good resource to check out later] -- and that led me to another song about the earlier "war to end wars", Eric
Bogle's "No Man's Land" (a/k/a "The Green Fields of France" which has a responding song -- of lesser
quality -- supplied by Stephen L. Suffet, which you and I wouldn't buy.) You can find a version of Bogle's song at PeterPaulandMary.com
and some other sites, but my favorite version of the song is that sung by the Fureys and Davey Arthur (proving how folk songs
have lives of their own, going through changes):
The Green Fields of France
Well, how do you do, young Willie McBride
Do you mind if I sit here, down by your graveside
And rest for awhile 'neath the warm summer sun
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done
I see by your gravestone you are only nineteen
When you joined the great fallen in nineteen-sixteen
I hope you died well and I hope you died clean
Or, young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene
Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife flowly
Did they sound the Death March as they lowered you down
Did the band play The Last Post in chorus
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest
Did you leave 'ere wife or a sweetheart behind
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
Although you died back in nineteen-sixteen
In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Enclosed then forever behind a glass frame
In an old photograph, torn, battered and stained
And faded to yellow in brown leather frame
The sun, now it shines on the green fields of France
There's a warm summer breeze that makes the red poppies dance
And look how the sun shines from under the clouds
There's no gas, no barbed wire, there's no gun firing now
But here in this graveyard it's still no man's land
The countless white crosses stand mute in the sand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
To a whole generation that were butchered and damned
Ah, young Willie McBride, I can't help wonder why
Do those that lie here know why did they die
And did they believe when they answered the cause
Did they really believe that this war would end wars
Well, the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain
The killing and dying was all done in vain
For, young Willie McBride, it all happened again
And again and again and again and again!
Anyway, thanks for spurring me onward and fighting the good fight, if there is any such thing. (I avoid war imagery -- I cannot
sing Onward, Christian Soldiers.). I just read your column on Counter-Recruitment -- another keeper (yes, I file some
of my favorites -- and share them with my p&j friends). Lots to do, but thanking you helped me find material for my blog.
Hurrah for multi-tasking!
I called Amnesty USA's New York City office and thanked them for Amnesty's courageous stand against the US gulag at Guantanamo
and our other outrageous treatment of prisoners. They were happy to hear words of support and I promised to send in my renewal
(talk is cheap, money is commitment). Bush and Cheney deny the torture, of course -- but then they lied about Weapons of Mass
Destruction, too. Good God, forgive us our sins.
Okay, got up early today to get some stuff done around the house and ended up listening to Rachel Maddow's show on Air America
Radio -- streamable over the web, but check out her blog - Maddowonline and learn about Patriot Pastors and a courageous Cleveland Heights pastor decrying their mission as "frightening, diabolical
stuff for non-Christians and Christians alike" -- again, amazing what Bushites are up to. (Time to say John Dear's prayer
In the meantime, the Netherlands has joined France in nixing the European Union constitution, which would create a more corporate-centered
structure rather than a Europe for People. While Bush is equating Corporate America and the United States of America, Europeans
aren't buying this picture for Europe. As Thom Hartmann says, our democracy must built on "we the people" and not on corporations
or religions or any single ideology. The injustice of it all in America, where the middle class is becoming impoverished while
tax cuts are being given to the rich. Seeing us, why would Europe follow suit? And when will America wake up?!?
There is so much to do -- in the world and at home. It is overwhelming, but we must do what we can. I'll start with doing
some housework, paying some bills, and renewing my Amnesty International membership.
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