Friday, May 20, 2011

this weekend we will honor the Women Water with us, send your prayers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thanks Elaine, this is a great mind twister piece.....
To Live or Not to Live: The Danger of the Tragic Hero Mindset by Derrick Jensen / Orion Magazine
this is a great piece........
Have you ever noticed how many excuses we all find to not act in defense of the planet? Sure, we all have errands to run and e-mails to answer and we all need down time and the problems are so big and [INSERT YOUR BEST EXCUSE HERE]. But lately I've been encountering a particularly frustrating excuse that a lot of people seem to be giving for not acting: they say it's too late, that various tipping points have been reached in terms of runaway global warming, and that especially because of the lag time between carbon emissions and increased temperature, we're already doomed, so what's the point of fighting back? This faux-tragedian posturing infuriates me. What infuriates me even more is that this reasoning has become so familiar. I encounter it all the time. [Visit Derrick Jensen's site here. <>] Literally the moment I finished typing the above-and I'm not making this up-I received an e-mail that said, "Solutions are inadequate, futile, and too late. I wish people would admit this, rather than scramble for last ditch efforts. . . . Just as people speak of peak oil and peak civilization, we're peak life. Three billion years of cyanobacteria, 500 million years of increasingly complex life forms, and a cherry topping of too-intelligent human beings. Humans are demonstrating that intelligent life is unsustainable, perhaps triggering the downward slope of life complexity and returning the planet to its microbial past." And as I finished pasting that quote into this column I received yet another such e-mail. The notion that humans are the peak form of life (and everyone else is just background) leads to a sense of entitlement, which leads to atrocities against those who (or, in this formulation, that) are seen as less-than-peak forms of life. And anyway, what kind of peak life form would knowingly degrade its landbase and then throw up its hands when action is most needed to counteract the destruction? I'm not convinced that humans are particularly more intelligent than parrots, octopi, salmon, trees, rivers, stones, and so on, but even if you did believe that humans were more intelligent, it wouldn't alter the fact that the Tolowa Indians lived where I live for 12,500 years and did so without destroying the place. I'd hate to try to make the argument that the Tolowa didn't destroy the land because they weren't intelligent enough to do so. But there's another point I want to make here, which has to do with the tragic posturing. In his book The Comedy of Survival, Joseph Meeker points out that human cultures through the ages have created comedies, but only civilization has created the genre of the tragedy. In fact, you could easily say that tragedy is this culture's tragic flaw. A tragic flaw, you probably recall, is a flaw in the protagonist's character that brings him or her to ruin. The flaw could be indecision, hubris, jealousy, etc. The point is that the character is unable or unwilling to examine and overcome this flaw, and, in my perspective at least, it is this, and not the flaw itself, that leads to the downfall. Tragedies presume inevitability, which presumes an inability to choose. As one definition puts it, "Tragic behavior assumes change is not possible and will defend this assumption to the death." I've always found classic tragedies such as Hamlet or Othello to be more frustrating than cathartic. I mean, if your behavior is leading you and those around you to ruin, why not just change your behavior? Why hold tight to a character flaw that's killing you and those you love? The tragic "hero" only becomes aware of his or her fatal flaw once it is too late. I'm far more interested in stopping the tragedy before it's too late than I am in feeling sorrow or empathy for those who cannot or will not change their destructive behavior. What's worse is that in this human-culture-as-tragic-hero narrative, the flaw is nothing so ignoble as greed, lust, jealousy, or even indecision. Rather, the tragic flaw this culture ascribes to itself is intelligence. We're simply too smart to allow life on the planet to continue. And of course we are unable to change, so there is nothing to be done. Cue the tears, drop the curtain. I'm not interested. First, the premise that intelligence is behind the murder of the planet is both inaccurate and absurd. Second, the murder of the planet is the result of behaviors-which can be changed-and infrastructures-which can be destroyed. There's nothing inevitable about it. Nor do I believe that global warming has reached a final tipping point. There are plenty of options to try first, like deindustrializing. People like James Lovelock (who predicts that by the end of the twenty-first century, "billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that [who] survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable") are already acknowledging that this culture, if left unchecked, will essentially kill the planet. Well, if this culture will kill the planet, then it looks like it's time to roll up our sleeves and do what's necessary-not stick our heads in the sand. The best way to guarantee that it is too late is by saying it is too late and not acting to help the world as we know it survive, a world with goblin sharks and pencil fish, where bats flutter by at night and butterflies and bumblebees light up the days. My friend the great Dakota activist Waziyatawin once said, "That defeatist attitude makes me want to scream. The battles we're fighting are overwhelming, but we know things won't get better if we do nothing. Our only hope is enough people intervening and taking action, people willing to risk something now so we all don't lose everything later. The only sense of empowerment I feel is by taking some kind of action, whether it's writing, working to undermine the existing structures, or sitting on the open prairie in December with a Dakota man trying to save our landbase." She went on: "If our actions will do nothing, why would anyone even want to live anymore? That kind of hopelessness, in the defeatist sense, means an embracing of victimage and complete powerlessness. Here the salmon have much to teach: either they make it upriver to spawn, or they die trying." If our actions make it so there is even a one-thousandth of 1 percent chance that things will work out better for ourselves and the planet, then it is our moral duty to act and act and act. Before it's too late. Am I optimistic? Not in the slightest. Am I going to quit? Not on your fucking life.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I loved this sentiment: ". Thanks for taking another layer of blindness off my eyes

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" | Video on

Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" Video on

Militarism, Mutilation, and Minerals: Understanding the Occupation of Afghanistan

Militarism, Mutilation, and Minerals: Understanding the Occupation of Afghanistan from Cultures of Resistance on Vimeo.

By mid-2010, the war in Afghanistan had arguably passed Vietnam as the longest war in the history of the United States. At the war’s outset many U.S. citizens supported the invasion as a means of holding responsible those who orchestrated the attack on the World Trade Center. However, as time has passed and more American troops and Afghan civilians die, the U.S. government has struggled to maintain popular support by emphasizing other justifications for continuing the costly occupation. One of the most controversial concerns is the plight of women. Many commentators, some of them Afghan women, argue that the presence of coalition forces in their country has allowed them to be more active in politics and civil society. But not all women agree, and many find the country just as dangerous as ever. Furthermore, some believe that, in reality, the U.S. is far more concerned with the nearly $1 trillion worth of untapped mineral deposits that the U.S. discovered in June 2010. Watch this short film, featuring suspended Afghan Member of Parliament Malalai Joya, which allows women in Afghanistan to give voice to their reasons for opposing an ongoing occupation.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Check this out......
Mother's Day Her-StoryWhile the Feminist 

Heritage Minute tells the essence of the story, the true history of Mother's Day is a fascinating one – read on to learn more.

A day rooted in social activism

The inspiration for a national Mother's Day came from a West Virginian woman and mother of eleven who suffered through the loss of eight of her children. In 1858 at only 26, Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis organized women in her area into Mothers Day Work Clubs to improve the health and sanitation conditions in her county. During the American Civil War, she was adamant her clubs stay neutral, and they courageously nursed soldiers from both sides. When the war ended, she arranged the first Mothers Friendship Day in 1868 to reconcile friends and families torn apart by the bitter conflict, and the holiday was celebrated on several occasions after.

Mothers' Day For Peace (1870)

Julie Ward Howe 1830-1910
Influenced by Ann Jarvis and reeling from the carnage left over from the American Civil War, the prominent Boston writer, abolitionist, and suffragist Julia Ward Howe issued a Mothers' Day Proclamation in 1870, calling on women around the world to unite to end war. (Click here to read an excerpt of this stirring text.) She saw mothers as being uniquely invested in stopping the killing of each others sons, and worked to have a Mothers' Day for Peace recognized on June 2. Though it never really caught on, in recent years Mother's Day has been reclaimed by the American peace movement in actions to end the Iraq War.

Memorial Mothers Day (1908)

When Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis passed away, her daughter Anna vowed to realize her mother's dream of a day commemorating mothers and the "matchless service rendered to humanity." On the second Sunday of May 1908, the third anniversary of her mother's death, 15,000 people showed up at a Philadelphia church to celebrate a general memorial day for all mothers. Anna also began the custom of wearing a carnation on Mother's Day, a pure and inexpensive symbol of love and respect.

Mother's Day goes national... and loses its original meaning (1914)

By 1909, Canada, Mexico, and 45 U.S. States were celebrating Mothers Day. In 1914, it was declared a U.S. national holiday. But thanks to tinkering by officials, the apostrophe was moved and it became "Mother's Day," a day to celebrate the individual mother and her work in the home, thus changing the collective nature and meaning of every Mothers Day that had come before.

Anna "Rebel" Jarvis

portrait of Anna Jarvis In many ways, the story of Mother's Day is the story of Anna Jarvis. She is the embodiment of the dutiful daughter and consummate activist, dedicating her life to pay tribute to her own mother. But her fierce nature really comes through when she began her unsuccessful lifelong fight against its commercialization. When carnation prices rose she attacked florists as pirates and racketeers whose greed was undermining the noble spirit of the day. In the 1930s, she was arrested protesting a meeting of the American War Mothers who were selling carnations to raise money. She even incorporated Mother's Day and threatened to sue anyone who infringed on the patent. Anna Jarvis would spend the rest of her life and her fortune bitterly trying to take back the day. And though she was never a mother herself, she is considered to be the mother of Mother's Day. Anna Jarvis spent her last days in a nursing home; penniless after her long struggle, her bills were paid (without her knowledge) by the American Florists' Exchange.

Mother's Day today

Mother's Day for Peace banner
While Julia Ward Howe's dream of a worldwide women's congress for peace did not come to pass as such, women around the world have been gathering together for decades to build international alliances and common cause – at international conferences such as in Cairo or Beijing, in national meetings and networks, and every day through online and phone relationships. More than a hundred and fifty years after Mother's Day was first celebrated, there are women in every country who are working for safer, healthier, more peaceful communities and societies.
Inter Pares works with women and men who share our desire for a world free from sexism, inequality and war. We strengthen local and national movements by raising money and generating political support for their work, collaborating in developing plans of action, connecting them with like-minded groups, and engaging in policy advocacy and public education in Canada. In each case, we bring a special support to women's leadership, and a feminist analysis to problems and potential approaches. Whether the initiatives focus on building peaceful societies, healthy communities, ecological agriculture, or just economies, the common threads that bind them are solidarity and social justice – supporting marginalized communities to build better futures.
This Mother's Day, take back the holiday's original meaning: give a day's tribute to the women in your life by supporting women who are bringing about generations of change.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The First Mother's Day proclaimed in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe
was a passionate demand for disarmament and peace.
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears!
Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall 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 taught them of charity, mercy and patience. 
We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow 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 & 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 Caesars but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at 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.

Biography of Julia Ward Howe
US feminist, reformer, and writer Julia Ward Howe was born May 27, 1819 in New York City. She married Samuel Gridley Howe of Boston, a physician and social reformer. After the Civil War, she campaigned for women rights, anti-slavery, equality, and for world peace. She published several volumes of poetry, travel books, and a play. She became the first woman to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1908. She was an ardent antislavery activist who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic in 1862, sung to the tune of John Brown's Body. She wrote a biography in 1883 of Margaret Fuller, who was a prominent literary figure and a member of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Transcendentalists. She died in 1910.

© Nuclear Age Peace Foundation 1998 - 2011 |

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”
– John Lennon