Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trying to make the world a better place

Here's what I'm up to.
Selling paper beads from Uganda--bead for life, check it out. My good friend Kathy is having a party featuring my beads.

Tonight I serve dinner to a very close friend and an old friend of my husband's who is back in our life.

Friday I'm bringing dinner to the gay kids at out local center for the LBGTQ youth.

I have signed one petition today, to fight slavery. I signed and mailed an old-fashioned letter to my congressman.

I will help my husband find ways to pursue his own list of causes (Especially the ones I agree with).

It is not a huge list of peacemaking steps but it's a start. Any suggestions?

Peace y'all


Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to make peace on a Saturday afternoon

Taking a break from a chore I dislike and wondering 'what can I do today that has the greatest impact?" the followon question is then 'to what end?'. Since this is my peace blog, I suppose I should consider my peacemaking goals. Hmmm. As I write this I'm exercising one of ny wonderful First Amendment rights. I think I'll exercise them more today. Sign some petitions, write Congress, write legislators. And make a nice vegetarian meal.

Any other suggestions for peacemaking on a Saturday afternoon?

Peace, y'all


Friday, October 28, 2011

Occupying our town --weekend warriors

It's Friday, so the work week is ending. In my community this means the town square occupiers will soon assemble. That's because our occupiers are blessed with jobs--good jobs for many of them. So they rally on the weekends. We have outrage, though, and are glad to be part of a wider movement. Let others laugh. We vote with our feet and our wallets.

Better times will come, but we have to work for them.

Peace, y'all


Monday, October 24, 2011


Today I'm in the big city and walked by a park where homeless people camp. It makes me uncomfortable. Knowing that bad luck, drugs and mental illness cause people tinkled their homes,jobs and family is bad. Seeing it is worse. That I live in a society that tolerates this is intolerable.

Our nation has a huge disparity between it's richest and poorest citizens. CITIZENS. What rights can homeless people practically exercise?

Something for me to think about.

Peace, y'all


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On occupy Wall Street

I support Occupy Wall Street. Though I am financially secure, I'm only one medical disaster from becoming a have-not. Also I feel outrage that the financiers who wrecked our economy were bailed out--by American taxpayers--while those same taxpayers saw their jobs disappear and their mortgages implode.

Things are a mess. I'm thankful I have a home, a job, and a full tummy. Wish everyone else did too.

Peace y'all


Sunday, October 16, 2011

On community

A sense of community is so important. I feel blessed by friends and neighbors, kindred spirits, people I like and people I love.

Talk about an antidote to mainstream poison!

I shared breakfast with a neighbor. Eggs from my backyard, peaches from his, and coffee fresh from the roasting plant he maintains. So pleasant!

Later on we got a visit from the little girl living on one side of my home, and a visit with the woman on the other side a little later. Also had a call from my closest friend and will host two other close friends for dinner. Yes, today I've seen and heard from many people close to me. And I glow with contentment.

Community? Sort of. There's also the Facebook community. And office community. Etc. This web of human connections supports and nutures me. I'm grateful.

Peace, y'all


Saturday, October 15, 2011

These poisonous times we're in

My emails are full of partisan messages that the other party is ruining our nation, so give some money by midnight. I get several each day. I usually glance to be sure it's just a request for $$ and not a petition or request that I use my voice somehow.

My Facebook newsfeed has lots of funny or pointed messages to illustrate the same basic thing--what's wrong in the world and particularly our nation.

I feel poisoned.

There is a lot wrong in the world but there is a lot that's right. For a while I will focus on the good and the right, because this poison makes me feel bad. Hope I haven't poisoned you too.

Peace, y'all


Friday, October 14, 2011

On slavery in the 21st century

In the 21st century we call slavery 'human trafficking.' oh please. What's wrong with calling it something we all recognize? Slavery slavery slavery!

There was quite an outcry some yeas ago when it was revealed that some designer's clothing was made in overseas sweatshops. Where is the outcry over the abuse of children in cocoa production? How can one eat chocolate knowing it has cost some innocent child his freedom, safety, family, peace, and hope?

Something else I wonder about, is why don't descendants of American slaves speak out against 21st century slavery.

Slavery is hidden because it's wrong and evil. Today, we have all kinds of ways to shed light in dark corners. Let's reveal abuses wherever and whenever we can.

Peace, y'all


Monday, October 10, 2011

The true cost of our occupation of Afghanistan

This blog entry won't convey the full costs of our role in Afghanistan these past 10 years. A full accounting is probably impossible.

Direct costs in last 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan are$1.3 trillion. True dollar costs are 3 or 4 times higher.

While we've spent trillions in so-called nation building (which entails killing, terrorizing, and maiming people 'over there'), we've been neglecting the building of our own nation here. Was it worth it? Is Afghanistan better now? Are we?

I cannot quantify the loss of human life, the wounding, both physically and mentally. Money is something we all use and deal with.

The $4 Trillion or so we've spent on these wars comes to about $13,000 for EVERY man, woman and child in the US. Of course, that's money we grownups don't have to pay, because we borrowed it! While Congress enacted 3 tax cuts for the wealthy, and Obama followed suit, we pass this bill off for our children and their children.

The $122 billion for our war in Afghanistan in 2011 could have paid for
  • 62.5 million children receiving low-income healthcare for one year OR
  • 1.8 million elementary school teachers OR
  • 2 million firefighters OR
  • 22 million students getting Pell Grants of $5550 for college.

It's wrong, wrong, Wrong to continue this war.  Or to have ever undertaken it in the first place.

Peace, y'all

Saturday, October 8, 2011

10 years, $1.5trillion in Afghanistan

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of America's invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

No longer proud to be American. Maybe still lucky, but not proud.

Peace, y'all


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More on synergy and slave chocolate

More divine synergy. Last night inboards a small party to sell beads made in Uganda. Our conversation turned to slavery in chocolate. One guest sells fair trade chocolate at her church, and last night I learned she does not eat slave chocolate either. Kindred spirit, this one!

More synergy. Another friend of mine who knows about my chocolate abstinence and concern about slavery forward to me an email about a meeting next week in my city about slavery in chocolate! There will be a documentary called The Dark Side of Chocolate, from 2010. I am so glad to get an update on the implementation of the Harkin-Engel protocol. Documentaries don't always have long shelflives, so it's great to see a fairly new program.

Synergy. If you ask, it may come. By sharing my concern, others pick it up and amplify it.

My chocolate-abstaining guest also shares my concern about immigration reform. And living greenly. We even went to the same college!

More on slave chocolate later.

Peace, y'all


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

Yesterday a coworker admired my calendar's October calendar cat, and ended up looking through the whole calendar. She was looking for the entries such as "Fluffy, age 12, returned home to Des Moines after stowing away to Denver, in just 3weeks in 1988."

While seeking entries like that, we both saw many other anniversaries related to peace and justice.

Through love of cats I reached someone I would not expect to have much in common with.

Thank you, Nebraskans for Peace, for this fine calendar, and maybe you'll thank me when this coworker buys the 2012 calendar!

Speaking of buying, tonight I hold a bead for life party and I sure hope I sell lots of beads--and raise more Ugandans out of poverty,

Peace y'all


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Converging thoughts:

We have temporal lives and spiritual lives.

We have physical health and beauty and spiritual beauty and health.

We make the world better when we focus on our and other's spiritual health and beauty and life.

Peace, y'all