Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm a role model!!

A short visit with an old friend today has me in a happy and contented orbit. She told me she is taking a page from my book and starting a retail abstinence to save some money.


This so surprised and pleased me. That to someone who I admire, I have something to share, and

I'm a role model!!!

It's also a good day because I sold (so far)$30 in beads today, and I found out the source of chocolate our favorite bakery uses. Guittard. Looks fairly fair trade, though the more I learn about chocolate production, the more slippery that concept becomes.

I see myself as a peacemaker and when my behavior influences another's, I'm really glad.

Peace, y'all


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hello reader(s) in Indonesia!

A year ago, blogspot started offering "stats" so bloggers can see where readers are from, which blog entries get read, how readers come to the site, and the like.

It thrills me to know my modest thoughts about peacemaking are read across the globe.

For several days someone or ones from Indonesia have been reading, so I want to say hello, and thank you! Will you tell me via comments what resonates, and what ideas my writing leads you to?

Readers in USA, Canada, Australia, Belarus, China, France, ANYWHERE--thanks and Hi to you too. What ideas have I inspired? What has resonated? What did you disagree with? What have I missed?

Peace, Y'all


Monday, September 26, 2011

Peacemaking priorities

This weekend I listed my peacemaking priorities. These are the areas I care about most deeply and where I want to put my efforts (and money). There are so many worthy causes, some related to peace and some not.

Human rights, fighting slavery and torture and supporting the work of Amnesty International.

Climat change- cutting carbon personally, urging and helping others, and changing laws and rules.

Immigration reform

Clean water for all

Opposition to war--the bloated military budget, landmines, and obsolete and overpriced weapons. Justice for veterans.

Prison reform, mitigating the new Jim Crow, harsh sentencing, and supporting marijuana decriminalization.

Repairing the impacts of racism and colonialism.

Protecting abortion rights

Help prevent abortions and unwanted pregnancy through family planning



Health care reform.

This list helped me say no to a fundraising appeal that came to me this weekend.

What's on your list, friends?



Friday, September 23, 2011

Moving planet day is tomorrow

Tomorrow's the big day for's big event, Moving Planet. In dozens of countries, hundreds of communities.

I will not drive that day. Not because I'm using an alternative means, just because I'll be at a camp for the weekend.

Last few days I have not driven. When I do drive, it's in a hybrid. So I have some room for improvement, probably other areas will be more fruitful in my personal quest to lower carbon levels.

How about you?

Peace, y'all


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On homelessness.

Home. Home is where the heart is. The ultimate aim of all ambition is to be happy at home, so said someone long ago.

II love my home. It's comfortable and pretty, and every part of it reflects the tastes and efforts of my husband and me. There is no other home I like so well, though I do suffer some kitchen envy when I visit a few friends.

Today, visiting the big city, I saw homeless people. I tried to truly see them, not to stare but not to ignore either. I am so grateful for my lovely safe home. How I wish everyone were so blessed.

The book Nickeled and Dimed revealed to me the surprising number of employed people who are homeless, and how difficult it is to find a decent place to live when you live check to check.

The USA's poverty rate is determined based on what it costs to feed someone or a family. Yet food prices in the US are low, artificially and inappropriately so. So you can have a full belly but no place to set it down to rest?

Income polarization is a bad thing.

What are your thoughts on affordable housing and homelessness?

Peace, y'all


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Quaker Query opposing war

I found this query on my computer this evening, and am ever so glad I did.

Do you live in the life and power which takes away the occasion for all wars? Do you refuse to participate in or cooperate with all military effort? Do you work actively for peace and the removal of the causes of wars? Do you endeavor to cultivate good will, mutual understanding, and equal opportunities for all races, creeds and nations? Have you examined your lifestyle and possessions to make sure that the seeds of war are not found in them?

Hmmmm. Seeds of war? Like driving a car that runs on gasoline? Like buying clothes made by exploited workers? Or chocolate grown by child slaves?

It isn't comfortable to think of how my life and possessions hold seeds of war.

Even less comfortable is the question about cooperating with military effort. I do pay income taxes, so I directly subsidize my nation's greedy military. Maybe one day I'll have so little income that don't. That day is not yet here.

I do endeavor to cultivate goodwill. The Bead sale is one clear and recent example.

I guess I answer the query with Yes, Not Really, Yes, I Really Try, and Yes--but no.

Peace, Y'all


Monday, September 19, 2011

Using less energy

I want to buy a Nissan Leaf. I want to drive a car with zero emissions. Well, near zero. It runs on electricity, and where I live, 5% of thevpower comes from coal. So when I charge the battery, the electricity will come from somewhere. Some nukes, some hydro, some coal, a dab of wind and solar and a few other things.

Taking the first step will be my contribution to the Moving Planet event sponsored by

Peace, y'all


Sunday, September 18, 2011

On God letters

In my own shorthand, for my perpetual lists, that's what I called my letters to leaders on subjects I felt called to write about to promote peace and justice.  I used to write regularly to my representatives in Congress, the President, the heads of state Amnesty International asked me to write to, and my representatives in the state legislature.
Replies were predictable and rarely satisfying. 

Still, especially in these days of email and online petitions (which I sign frequently), a single letter has value.  Even if the response is rote, the decision makers tally the letters.  More than 5 letters (of the non-formletter type, the truly personal ones) constitute grassroots clamour, a true groundswell.

So I should keep on with the God letters, even though it's a chore.  And so should you!  

Last Christmas I derived great pleasure from writing big checks to charity.   I wonder if I could also derive pleasure from writing God letters?   I wonder which has great impact, my voice or my money? 

Money is finite.  Voice, like love, is infinite.   I guess I should use the gift of language for good, and exercise those marvelous First Amendment rights more vigorously. 

And so should you.  Let's clamour for peace and justice!  Let's make a groundswell of public support!

Peace, y'all


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Racial justice websites

Cribbed from the Quarterly publication of the Southeastern Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends:


Now to translate the source of this list. Quaker group from SE USA quarterly publication.

Peace, y'all


Friday, September 16, 2011

An integrated life

So many things relate to peace for me. Helping others. Speaking out for justice. Living more simply. Fighting to protect the environment. Advocating for gay kids and immigration reform.

I find these good deeds also promote sustainability.

A more sustainable world will have a better standard of life for the world's have-nots. There will be more justice, more mercy, better health for children, adults, animals and ecosystems.

I see continuity and integration. When I encourage my colleagues to act more sustainable, that helps make the world better.

I put a lot of effort toward sustainability. I don't think it diverges from peacemaking. I think it converges, complements, and contributes to my very nonlinear path to peacemaking.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Here I go again. I'm leading another Eco-team. Last time was really disappointing, yet here I go!

I somehow caught wind of an Internet-based initiative from Portland called the 2011 Eco-Challenge. It's pretty straightforward. Change one behavior for 2 weeks.

Visit Sign up. Form a team, or join one. Then get ready to change a habit to make it greener!

By lowering my carbon footprint I will make the world a little better. By eating more simply I'll increase my understanding of people who have so much less than I.

Wish me luck!!!

Peace, y'all


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On Truth

Quakers are more formally known as the Religious Society of Friends. What are we friends of?


Truth is Godly. Total truth is amazing and hard to behold. It's hard to achieve. Yet as with peace, we must continue to try.

I like to believe I live in truth and integrity but if I look at myself more honestly, I realize truth is more than not lying.

Watching the Republicans' so-called debate (an inaccurate description, more like a group interview) refreshes my awareness of how cavalierly truth is abused.

I will strive for a deeper level of honesty. I wonder where it will lead?

Peace, y'all


Monday, September 12, 2011

On terrorism

On the Interfaith Peace Walk Saturday, I walked for a while with a nonreligious Jew, who is a good friend of mine. He suggested, and I agree, that terrorism has filled America's 'enemy' role that Communism held for so long. Yes, the shoe fits.

And perhaps our nation's heavy-handed response is the 21st century version of McCarthyism from 60 years ago.

If so, I have cautious optimism that the fervor will cool down and we can get on with our lives with the threat in the background.

Peace, y'all


Sunday, September 11, 2011

On 9/11

The memories of 9/11 are inescapable.  So here are my own reflections.   Maybe I can contribute something new to the morass.

I am so sorry our nation squandered the good will offered to us by other people in other nations.  That our response was military is very sadly predictable.

The boy scouts in my town had a project to put up 2900 or so flags to commemorate each life lost in the tragedy ten years ago.  The flags line a long road and it's quite impressive.  The little boys don't remember a life before the tragedy, and that is a really sad thing.

Our nation has become nastier since 9/11/01.  Embroiled in 2 wars of choice, partisan politics making government completely dysfunctional.   The far right and far left are getting further apart.  This is scary.   The planet's hot, the rhetoric hotter.  Gas prices are high but not high enough to get us to give up our gas hogs. 

The price of higher education is in the stratosphere.   In 2006 or 2007 I bought share in my state's 529 plan at $70/share.   Today those shares cost $163.

10 years ago I got the news while at the gym.  Maybe I'll revisit that gym and see if all my parts still work.

We are no longer #1, except in military might, per capita waste, per capital wealth, and medical technology.  Our people are not healthier, our children are not the most successful in school, and our reputation is in shatters.  

I'm so sorry. 

How do we get better?   Well, we must think globally and act locally.  Do no harm. 

Peace, y'all


Saturday, September 10, 2011

On slavery, chocolate, underwear and abstinence

Clothing shopping abstinence ended in August and I ackowledged it with a trip to buy new underwear. It was high time too, because during my 12 months of clothing shopping abstinence, most of my underwear got pretty ratty. Every morning when I don a new pair, I so appreciate my ability to buy new things! Now I'm abstaining from chocolate. It has been just over two weeks and it hasn't been that hard. Why chocolate? A curious combination of events. 1. I finished reading Chocolate Wars, which ended with Kraft's takeover of Cadbury. 2. I looked, but couldn't find Cadbury's chocolate in my usual store. 3. Alarmed, I checked in another store. 4. I found the Cadbury chocolate! But it was made in USA by Hershey under license by Cadbury. 5. Same day, I read Cadbury's Dairy Milk bars are now Fair Trade (but what I read was written before the Kraft takeover). 6. Also on same day, I got an email askingvmevto sign a petition to protest against Hershey using forced labor from immigrants. I sent inquiries to Cadbury and Kraft to ask if the chocolate I buy in the US is slavery free. I don't have answers yet. So -- no chocolate till I find out. I'm pretty sure fair trade, organic chocolate is slavery free. But what about the chocolate in chocolate chips? Ice cream? Mocha drinks? Oreos? Peace Y'all Molly