Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christianity and The Good for the All


The Eupan Global Initiative is not a specifically Christian organization, though many persons who share partnership with us embrace Christian faith. 

Since I have been part of Christian faith communities for all of my life, it is important for me to think about how Christian faith shapes extended ideas about establishing the good for the all - and for bringing peace on earth. 

In the season of Christmas, persons in the West - and certainly in America - are caught up in the swirl of activities that come with what is so often perceived to be central to the season.  I am reminded of the the Nativity Scene - or the Creche that so many Christian persons use to decorate their home in this season.  From my perspective, for many, the Nativity Scene has become an object "to collect" more so than an object to call us toward world-peace-making in establishing the good for the all.  This is unfortunate because the Nativity scene itself, dates to the 13th Century, and to a Christian reformer (of sorts) who called Christian persons to a lifestyle of non-materialism and non-acquisitiveness.  (See more on St. Francis of Assisi and his view of the "Poor King" here.)

What is more urgent to me - though - is the actual persons who are "at" or "in" the Creche.  Magi represent foreigners, who are welcome with Jesus and Mary and Joseph.  Shepherds represent the common, even poor - non-stereotypically-religious-non-elite.  There are no "religious" "officials."  And, angels announce "Peace on Earth."

The Creche should be a reminder - perhaps the most important reminder to Christian persons - that peace on earth comes when all persons of any nation - and all persons of any "class" can be participants together in partnering for world peace.

As a Christian, Peace on Earth is always my hope - and the Nativity Scene reminds me that partnerships toward peace can include diverse groups of people.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Nobel Peace Prize


Through the Eupan Global Initiative we add our voice to stories of struggle - opportunities for solidarity - and extended success in peacemaking.

Delighted to read that a story we featured with our 2010 public campaign to screen "Pray the Devil to Hell" is connected to the fact that Leymah Gbowee, featured in that film, is one of three women to have received the Nobel Peace Prize!

In Gbowee's Nobel acceptance speech, she voiced:

“In the past we were silent, but after being killed, raped, dehumanized, and infected with diseases, watching our children and families destroyed, war has taught us that the future lies in saying NO to violence and YES to peace! We will not relent until peace prevails. . . ."

Particularly for persons of Christian faith - but certainly for any faith - I recommend this supplement (non Nobel speech) from Gbowee available here, Gbowee notes:

"In almost 60 years, I’ve done nothing really great or to let my light shine. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything extraordinary but to take my little light and shine it in darkness."

"The US has resources but they lack activists. . . . it’s time we do collective peace building. It’s time that we do collective experience sharing. It’s time for us to stop the hypocrisy of sending money to Africa when there’s communities here that need that money more than anything.  It’s time for you Christians to stop getting on planes to Rwanda to teach children to read when down the street in Brooklyn, children cannot read."

Our part through EGI is small - sharing our voice - and yet this serves as a reminder that our efforts to share awareness and engage solidarity in action!

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

OKC Specific - With Focus on the Poor


Because changes like this affect *every* customer - - and many of those customers include the urban poor or public services and charitable services operating with limited budgets to help the poor - a change based on what is proposed will have major effect if something like this passes.  It seems worth noting that this issues shapes "the good for the all" which is at the heart of the Eupan Global Initiative.

The public is invited to participate in the hearings regarding whether OG&E is entitled to a rate hike. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is scheduled to begin hearings on OG&E's request for a rate increase at 10:00 a.m., December 13, 2011, in Courtroom 301 on the third floor of the Jim Thorpe Building.

OG&E is seeking an annual increase of approximately $73 million "to recover increased business costs and electric infrastructure investments the Company has made since 2009".

The $73 million increase, as proposed, would raise a residential customer's bill by 6% when compared to current rates. More than 70,000 small business customers would receive an average 2% rate increase. For industrial rate classes, the average increase would range from 1% to 7%.

The hearing will be held each business day and continue until concluded. All interested parties may appear at the hearings to make public comments. After the hearing the Commission will issue its final order and any rate changes will become effective after the final decision is issued.

UNOFFICAL NOTE in ADDENDUMIt is my understanding that the CEO of OG&E makes 5.5 million per year.  Also, I have been told that the board of directors each make $100,000 a year, and if they stay on the board for ten years, they receive that sum for the rest of their lives.  Also note that industrial rates may not go up at all, while all individual accounts will go up if OG&E gets their way.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"An Ocean of Grief"

It is always good to be reminded about how we use resources - and how we can be better stewards.

This four-minute trailer for a  film due out in 2012 helps focuse our attention toward how we can do better "for all" including wildlife.

The MIDWAY media project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.

<p>MIDWAY : trailer : a film by Chris Jordan from Midway on Vimeo.</p>

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stuff, Consumption, Offsetting


20 minutes is not too much time to invest in this excellent "movie" about The Story of Stuff !!  Hopefully it will inspire and encourage you to think differently about how you use resources and how you spend and consume personally - so that you can make influence the scope of the world.  (Several additional supplemental videos are also available under the links to "movies" at the site!   Good stuff to think about effecting the Good for the All!)

Some quick reminders on how to:  Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle, Relocalise - then Offset

And, the principles and ideas imbedded in this article from The Sierra Club on Why Consumption Matters - provides keen insight to rethink patterns of life that effect the Good for the All!  The article concludes with these words:

The solutions to questions of justice and equity that pertain to our consumption patterns will require a reexamination of our values, the products we buy, the layout of our communities, and ultimately global trade. As a start, we should promote fair trade, livable wages, and better city planning that mixes people of different incomes. Most importantly, valuing people for who they are and how they spend their time, rather than for what they wear, drive, or own, is a simple but important act, that will serve as the foundation of a more just society.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Iran and Nuclear Weapons: What if we had sought peace in the 1990s?


The rhetoric of Israel and America with respect to Iran with respect to Nuclear weapons is intriguing in many ways.  There is ample availability to read many perspectives on the situation

It is not too late to seek better communication, that leads to more healthy perception and works toward peace! 

In fact, the time for peacemaking is now!

The time was ripe, too, in the early 1990s.  At that time, peace accords set in the context of the Middle East began to set trajectories for new forms of harmony and mutual inter-dependence - leading to key diplomats in the region jointly winning the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Acccording to a the owner and publisher of Israel's oldest newspaper, Haaretz ("the land") - Yitzhak Rabin addressed in 1993, the "threat" of "Iran" having nuclear weapons - but with a very different kind of appeal compared to what has recently been in the news.

Speaking in the Knesset in January 1993, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said, "Iran is in the initial stages of an effort to acquire nonconventional capability in general, and nuclear capability in particular. Our assessment is that Iran today has the appropriate manpower and sufficient resources to acquire nuclear arms within 10 years. Together with others in the international community, we are monitoring Iran's nuclear activity. They are not concealing the fact that the possibility that Iran will possess nuclear weapons is worrisome, and this is one of the reasons that we must take advantage of the window of opportunity and advance toward peace."
Amos Schocken's full article can be read here.

We can ask ourselves "What if we had sought peace in the 1990s?"  How would the world be different now?  But, we can not change what happened in the 1990s or the early 2000s.

Now, though, we can work for sustainable peace and harmony for the Middle East - and for the World - today!

Now is the time for peacemaking. 

War and violence need not be the master of us all.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Compelling Portraits - Hoping for Peace

There are many stories that nuance the complexity of conflict. 

Peace can only come for all persons when we take time to know multiple stories.

Here are four stories that might help us better understand the complexities of conflict - in order that we might better promote peace.

A Palestinian teenager whose family is forced to give up part of their home and live under the same roof as a family of settlers. He comes of age in the face of unrelenting tension with his neighbors and unexpected cooperation with Israeli allies in his backyard.

An American-born Israeli mother who to her own surprise becomes involved in the demonstrations after her children are arrested for protesting.

A Palestinian community organizer from Sheikh Jarrah who spearheads the involvement of local women in the movement while facing the risk of losing her own home to the settlers.

A former Israeli soldier from a religious background who only several years after his combat service in the West Bank finds himself taking on a leading role in the protests.

Videos produced by:  Just Vision

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Jewish Rabbi Reflects on 'Occupy London'

There is much that is good in this blog post, published by Howard Cooper.

He writes that the groups of people at various places around the world now in the "occupy" movements - are historically extended over time.  That is, these movements come and go with the ebb and flow of social impact over decades and centuries because "we can do better." 

Indeed, every generation must work to compel the world to do better - to extend the good for the all!

The article ends with these words: 

Those people in those tents may be gone by Christmas, by choice or by eviction; this may be an ephemeral, a transient occupation of the space around St.Paul’s. But they will be back, in one form or another, here and abroad, they will be back because they represent something eternal, something very Jewish actually, a belief, a hopefulness – what use to be called messianic hopefulness - that we can do better than this. We can build a society, brick by brick: dignity, justice, generosity, compassion, care, companionship - these are the building blocks of real community and a good, a godly, society where people are more valued than profit margins, where sharing what we have is more important than share options. We can do it better.

Link to Full Article Here.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

! Film Screening ! Israel and Palestine

There is much going on in Israel and Palestine - all the time.

Palestine's historic bid for statehood with the U.N. here in October 2011 "brings to the forefront" many of the issues that have long shaped the people of this land.

The Eupan Global Initiative is partnering with visionary young leaders at Southern Nazarene University who are providing information about misconceptions and misinterpretations about the complex series of situations that frame opportunities for peace in this land.

Tuesday Night

October 18th

7:00 p.m. (1900 hours)

Located in the SNU Webster Commons

(Link  to maps/pictures here:

Additional links to the Film:  With God On Our Side

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

WGOOS Flyer.pdf Download this file


Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Interrupting Violence

In 1995, epidemiologist Gary Slutkin decided to turn years of experience fighting infectious diseases overseas to his hometown of Chicago, that faced its own violence epidemic. He founded Ceasefire, an organization that reduces violence through behavioral change strategies. At the PopTech Chicago Salon 2010, he explains how this initiative has expanded to more than a dozen U.S. cities.


Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, October 3, 2011

Public Lecture - "Naked Canaries"

Hosted on the campus of Southern Nazarene University (SNU) - this week -

Dr. John Cossel will be giving a lecture on "Naked Canaries" in the Beaver Science Lecture Hall, S 102, Friday, October 7,  at 1 pm.  A reception will follow.

Historically, before modern air quality monitoring instruments, canaries were used to warm miners of dangerous air quality.  Amphibians such as frogs are our "Naked Canaries" today warning us of polluted environmental conditions.   Dr. John Cossel is a Professor of Biology at Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho. 

Additionally, Dr. Cossells Photography Exhibition is currently on display, in the SNU Webster Commons, viewable from the main areas of the Commons First Floor.  Alongside wonderful images, Dr. Cossell provides careful analysis and descriptions that highlight situations that shape global shifts due to human use of pesticides and other contaminants.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Palestine and Israel


There have been many peace talks and peace efforts with respect to issues in Palestine and Israel - for decades - and yet, so little has changed to extend the good to the all in extended ways.

Palestine is making a "game changing" plan in these forthcoming days - with respect to their hopes to be recognized in new ways by the United Nations (U.N.).

May the new days - and new weeks of decisions extend the good for the all.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 Interfaith Event on Peaceful Community in Oklahoma

The Institute of Interfaith Dialog cordially invites you to the Panel Forum:

Abrahamic Faiths Post 9/11: Building Peaceful Community in a Violent World

September 11th, 2011, 4 pm. – 6 pm.

Moderator: Dr. Barbara Boyd, Director of Outreach Adjunct Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, OU

Panelist: Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

Panelist: Rev. Mitch Randall, Senior Pastor, North Haven Church

Panelist: Dr. Imam Imad Enchassi, President of Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City

Address: Nancy O’ Brian Center for the Performing Arts  @ 1809 Stubbeman Ave, Norman OK.  ( Adjacent to Norman North High School)

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, September 5, 2011

Joining with

The Eupan Global Initiative is proud to be advocating with and for

The mission of is about:

building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries.

and, this event coming in just a few weeks!

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Terrorism, Violence, Compassion and A Peaceable Economy


In the past several days I have reviewed many popular magazines highlighting in some way, the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2011 destruction that took place in New York City, NY, USA.

One magazine highlighted the lives of 10 persons who have grown up without a parent as a result of the death and destruction that took place on that day.

As I read, I reflected on three separate issues -

(1)  I wonder how many thousands of persons have lost a parent worldwide as a result of the violence that has emerged in response to the violence enacted on September 11th, 2011?  If we took a toll of all the persons whose lives have been fractured by the reciprocating and repeating cycles of violence that have extended themselves to thousands of persons as retaliatory violence has been extended  - I wonder how persons would we have to interview?  How many magazines could be filled? 

Has retribution made our world a better place?


(2) I remembered an interview from a public radio brodcast, On Being.  In a 2008 interview with Thich Nhat Hanh, Krista Tippett inquires about what Brother Thay thinks about terrorists. 

Ms. Tippett: What would compassion look like towards a terrorist, let's say?

Brother Thây: The terrorists, they are victims of their wrong perceptions. They have wrong perceptions on themselves, and they have wrong perceptions of us. So the practice of communication, peaceful communication, can help them to remove their wrong perceptions on them and on us and the wrong perceptions we have on us and on them. This is the basic practice. This is the principle. And I hope that our political leaders understand this and take action right away to help us.


(3)  I recalled excellent essays by Wendell Berry - In the Presence of Fear:  Three Essays for a Changed World.   Including this full essay, "Thoughts in the Presence of Fear" - which culminates with these words:

XXVII. The first thing we must begin to teach our children (and learn ourselves) is that we cannot spend and consume endlessly. We have got to learn to save and conserve. We do need a “new economy”, but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, August 22, 2011

Extending Eupan - Reflection on Personal Privilege


Written while on location in Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

I have spent quite a few weeks studying to be in Cambodia – being as aware as I can be of the current situations in this country – while remaining aware of the social/political factors that have shaped its history.

In particular, I have been reflecting on the issues of Genocide that characterized the regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, particularly between 1975 to 1979.  As part of our plans for shared time of peace and conflict resolution engagement in the land, we will be visiting the “museum” that commemorates the killing fields, as well as the “S-21” prison, now a museum.  In these ways alone I have been prepared for the reality of death, gruesome genocide and terrible torture that has taken place in this land. 

Our first day in Cambodia, having landed in Phnom Penh, we went straight to a tourist event – visiting the King’s home at the Grand Palace.  Our guide told us his name was “Ritz,” and I thought as we walked through the Palace how this place looked like “the Ritz.” 

From there, we headed out to a great buffet lunch, “all-u-can-eat”  - noodles, meats, rice, potatoes, fruits.  Our group ate and went off for another touring event – visiting the “Russian Market” – a series of interconnected booths with various wares for sale. 

Not being much of a shopper, I stayed back at the lunch buffet. 

I ordered a cold coke and placed my earbuds in my ear and powered my iPod.  

As the sounds of soft piano played in my ears, I watched drips of water condense on my cold beverage, Phnom Penh was humid.

I looked across the room to the flat-screen TV and read the headlines listed in English, as the newsreporter shared. 

“Libya’s Civil War”

“Somali Food Fight” leaving people dead. 

“Syrian Siege” with a report of some 300 dead today. 

As the chilled, carbonated, syrupy drink delighted my taste-buds, I realized I was listening to an album entitled “Escape.”  Here I was – a rich, educated, privileged white-man – sitting in my isolated, Westernized, “escapist” head-phone reality – a cold coke to chill my body and quench my thirst,quiet music relaxing my spirit.  And I was immediately existentially aware that in this same moment, in so many places in the world, people live now in the midst of trial, trouble, and tribulation.  

I knew the S-21 prison was nearby – it is, after all, located in the heart of Phnom Penh.  More than 17,000 persons, average persons who committed no crime and who had no secret allegiances – these people were stripped, shackled, incarcerated, and tortured for months – to death.

 Just blocks from where I sat, only a few short decades ago – in my lifetime!


And in the same period of years, in my life, my country and my life has not experienced torture, genocide, civil war, food shortages, nor intrusions of conflict. 

I wonder, “Do I live faithfully enough into the privilege I have been extended, to extend that privilege to other people?” 


I will try to live my life in ways that are faithful and honest, kind and true, gracious and generous – in all ways extending peace.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Too much killing


“At least 28 million people have been killed in more than 150 major armed conflicts fought mainly in the Third World since 1945 (IISS, 1997); another estimate puts the total at 40 million civilian and military deaths (Leitenberg, 2003). The proportion of civilian casualties rose from only 5 per cent of total casualties in the First World War, to 50 per cent by the Second World War and to 80 to 90 per cent by the end of the century, of whom the majority were women and children (Grant, 1992: 26; Collier et al., 2003). This is a reversion to older types of warfare.” 

Source:  Contemporary Conflict  Resolution: The prevention, management and transformation of deadly conflicts.  Third Edition Oliver Ramsbotham,  Tom Woodhouse and Hugh Miall. (Page 85)


Let's not revert to warfare - but press forward in peacemaking!!

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Senators for Peace

I attended Elementary and Secondary school in Oregon when Senator Mark O. Hatfield was one of Oregon’s U.S. Senators.  He died this week. 

I did not grow up in a politically active family and do not remember too many occasions in school or in my elementary and secondary schooling when we spoke about Senator Hatfield.  But I do remember reading about him.  My recollection is that during his term of office, he was greatly respected.  Neither loved, nor hated, but respected for the integrity.

I wonder what U.S. policy and action – and U.S. International relations -  would be like today if more Senators advocated as he did.

Hatfield was a Republican who disagreed with then Republican President Ronald Reagan.  He, “used his chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee to denounce what he considered the ‘madness’ of excessive defense spending.”

Though a Navy Veteran who participated in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, he is described as “one of the Senate’s most unwavering pacifists” who “never voted for a military authorization bill.”  As a “critic of extremism across the political spectrum, [he] carved a centrist path on divisive issues such as the environment.”

“If you’ve been in a war, you cannot but have your views altered,” he told the Associated Press in 1986. “The devastation, the terrible devastation, is not something one ever forgets.”

First elected to the Oregon state legislature in 1950, he was instrumental in passing measures banning racial discrimination in housing and public accommodations in his first few years in office — a decade before the government considered similar civil rights laws.

As I write this entry, only yesterday I visited the horrific memorials to the genocide of the Communist Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia, a country that was redeemed in January of 1979 by the Vietnamese.  Only hours ago I ate lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), before going to the Documentation Center of Cambodia to be informed about how this center is documenting the problems of genocide in this land!  Prior to the years of conflict with the War in Vietnam and the problems throughout Southeast Asia, in 1966, Mr. Hatfield nearly lost his seat in the U.S. Senate as he stuck to his position, “You can’t stop communism with bullets.”

Hatfield, helped pass a ban on underground nuclear tests. He campaigned for rules to prohibit the sale of arms to undemocratic countries and countries that do not respect human rights.  When he left office, he expressed, “We’re [the U.S.] still the largest arms peddler in the world,” he said in 1997, “and we infect the rest of the world with our lust for weapons.”

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Majority World


We used to say the "First World" and "Third World" to designate the disparities between countries in their "progress."

More recently, "Developed" and "Developing" Worlds have been used to be sensitive to the priority given to "First" and "Third" categories.

While no term is perfect, I like the term I have recently read - and can not cite as I genuinely do not recall where I read it - "The Major World." 

It should serve as a reminder for me (and for all too many who have the privilege to blog/free-press/freedom from war) - that I am the "Minority" in a big world that is complex and intricate.  I am not the "first" nor the  "developed" who brings peace - but a minority individual striving for peace for the entire World. 

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Non-Polluting Passive Power


While much of the concern and focus of the Eupan Global Initiative includes human violence and reconciling that violence for peace – we celebrate all things that bring about the good for the all!

Issues of energy use, production and pollution – which effect all forms of life on this planet – are also within the scope of our interest!

Non-Polluting Passive Power that is sustainable and achievable sounds great.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Peacemaking and the Role of Religion

In this article by Dr. Scott M. Thomas (December, 2010), Thomas notes several ways in which religion plays an active role in shaping ideology that informs foreign affairs within and between nation states.  (Full PDF here.)  (More about Dr. Scott M. Thomas here.)

If you are young or old - and associated with the Eupan Global Initiative and are thinking about being a peacemaker in our world - you may want to consider ways that you can become an expert on issues of religions and nations states as a means to shaping global peace - bringing the good for the all.

The final paragraph of Scott Thomas' articles reads:

Faith informs the daily struggles of millions in confronting larger political conflicts regarding democracy, human rights, and economic development. Ethnic and religious diasporas in the global South are connected to the West in ways that can create or reinvigorate collective identities, whose influence can both promote social welfare and fuel terrorism and interreligious conflict. As a result, understanding religions worldwide -- their beliefs, values, and practices and the way they influence the political goals, actions, and motivations of states and religious communities - - will be an important task for U.S. and international foreign-policy makers in the coming decades. If the United States recognizes and utilizes the worldwide religious resurgence, it can harness its power to improve international security and better the lives of millions. If the United States fails to confront the implications of this religious rise properly, however, the potential for religiously motivated violence across the globe may increase dramatically over the next century.  Copyright © 2002-2010 by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. All rights reserved.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Muslim teaching about Peace from the Buddha


What a privilege to spend the day with Chaiwat Satha-Anand while in Thailand.

Dr. Satha-Anand is Professor of Political Science – Thammasat University.  Among other titles, his is the Chairperson of the Strategic Non-Violence Commission.

There were many reasons it was interesting to hear and learn from Dr. Satha-Anand – and I learned much from the depth of his “moral” and “peace” experience, teaching, research and life. 

One of several interesting things that stood out to me about his story, though – had to do with his motivations and interests in studying peace.  Dr. Satha-Anand was educated in Thailand in the 1970s when Thailand experienced its own levels of political turmoil, including the fact that Dr. Satha-Anand was a student at Thammasat University in 1976 when the October 6th massacre took place.  As Dr. Satha-Anand said, “This event shaped my life.”  Dr. Satha-Anand went on to study at the University of Hawaii – gleaning from Dr. Glenn D. Paige from a course entitled “Non-Violent Political Alternatives” Dr. Satha-Anand stated, “I came to learn a little more about non-violence and wrote my dissertation on it.”  He returned to Thammastat university where he now teaches.  He quipped with a smile how, how later students told him that his dissertation on “Violence and Non-Violence in Politics” is published under "Military Studies."  With a laugh he said, “What a surprise they’ll get when they read my dissertation!”

What stood out to me about Dr. Satha-Anand personally has to do with the fact that in his own country, in his own culture, in his own circumstances and in his own situations, he has had to discern how to use and apply the practices of peace in conflict based situations.  For Dr. Satha-Anand, activism for peace need not be based on faith based convictions, but on reason – the moral ascendancy and higher value of peace!

Dr. Satha-Anand – a muslim, taught me about peace perspectives from the Buddha. 

“Fighting for peace in a world blinded by violence, weapons of light are needed. These "weapons" include wisdom to unlock the complexity of causes which give rise to violence and to make sound judgments valuing life; space where voices of victims with their tremendous moral authority could be heard; courage in an unyielding search for nonviolent alternatives; and sustained capability in the hearts of common people to feel tenderness and compassion both for loved ones and humanity in general.”  (From Chaiwat Satha-Anand – “9/11, 9/20 and Gandhi's Puzzle: Fighting Postmodern Terror/Modern Warfare with Peaceful Alternatives”)

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Entrepreneurs - Changing the Systems - with Empathy

Ashoka is a citizen sector organization with some particular ideas for “how to change the world.” Social entrepreneurs address complex social problems and -- in our increasingly complex and fast-moving world -- more and more people need those same kinds of skills. Ashoka imagines and builds a world where “everyone is a changemaker.”

Sound abstract? Let’s start with an example.

Frank Hoffman is an Ashoka Fellow in Germany. Frank is a gynecologist by trade and was frustrated with Germany’s health care rules: Women could not receive preventative breast cancer mammograms until age 50. Frank knew that women needed these services much earlier. He may have been able to advocate for a legislative change, but didn’t. Instead, he taught blind women how to give mammograms. Lacking sight, these women saw the world through their hands. And these sensitive hands could detect -- as well as expensive medical equipment -- early stage breast cancer. Not only did German women receive preventative breast exams, this innovation also meant employing a group of women who would otherwise have been relegated to society’s economic margins.

Ashoka is full of these stories, working with over 2,700 social entrepreneurs in over 70 countries. Like Frank Hoffman, these social entrepreneurs address the causes of systemic disorder, rather than bandage symptoms. They’re not merely problem solvers; they’re system changers.

Written by: 

Hayley Darden, a search leader at Ashoka, currently recruiting social entrepreneurs for their empathy initiative. She is a graduate of Wheaton College.  Excerpted from:  Duke Divinity Call & Response Blog

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, July 11, 2011

Imagine Peace - Elise Boulding


Elise Boulding has been an influential thinker and creative voice in peace and conflict theory.  She served as the secretary-general of the International Peace Research Association(IPRA) and president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Boulding is credited with introducing to the field of peacemaking the idea of “imaging the future.” 

For Boulding, the idea of imaging the future is placed within the context of “the 200-year present.”  Within this framework, we must understand that we live in a social space which reaches into the past that extends, as well, into the future.  For Boulding, the “200-year present” contains within it the basis for a world culture of peace and problem solving for the world, but also, the possibility of conflict, chaos and Armageddon.

In my reading of religious persons throughout the history of the world, I believe they understood intuitively what Boulding labels with this term, “the 200-year present.”


We must live with a deep, intimate and close awareness of our history – where we have all too often plucked up and torn down opportunities and resources and communities – while also imagining the possibilities for a new future where we can plant and build something better for future generations.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Burma - Myanmar - Statelessness, Slavery, Human Trafficking

Learning more about the situation(s) in Burma/Myanmar and Laos - border countries with Thailand.

More for you in your shared awareness and shared advocacy can be gleaned from this 50 minute video by John Pilger - entitled "Burma: Land of Fear"

Or, this Reith Lecture by the elected and functionally exiled leader of Burma, Aung Sun San Kyi - "Securing Freedom"

Hoping to do more to extend the good for the all!

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thoughtful Reflection on Interdependence on USA Independence Day

"We are at our best when we use our capacities freely to help one another. Freedom's purpose is to enrich the community. I move from dependency to independence to contribute to the common good, to serve others in their move out of mere dependency.  Interdependence is the path toward the shining city. "

Full article at John Franklin Hay's Blog.  Bikehiker

~ Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Eupan Global Initiative as an SA Partner

In several public and a few private events recently, I have been asked "What is the Eupan Global Initiative again?" 

Or, as one person asked, "You're an anti-Genocide group, right?"

So, this post is intended to clarify a few things.

The Eupan Global Initiative is not a "membership" based group.  We don't have members - only interested, shared partners.  We do not have a mailing list - though we do have an email distribution list we have used, only on a few occasions.

We do have persons who are more invested and involved than others - involving engagement with our events, or with other events where we partner in advocacy.  And, no doubt we have had shared partners over the years who have invested their efforts elsewhere, while we also get new invested partners that show up throughout each new year.

We are not (at least currently) a 501(c)3 - not-for-profit charitable organization.  We have explored all the legal options toward this - but have not pursued it at this time.

We are not (at least currently) a 501(c)4 - not-for-profit which allows for active lobby in politics.  Obviously we have explored this and not pursued it, either.

We are not an organization based out of any school or specific religion or creed.  Several of the early partners were (or are) connected with the Church of the Nazarene and I, Marty Michelson, am an ordained Elder in the church and a professor at a Nazarene University - but our partnerships are as broad and deep as various partners are connected and "networked" in various agencies or other groups.

  • Primarily we are an SA partnership.  (I don't think the SA term is popular - it is simply helping me to identify where I see the Eupan Global Initiative.)

By SA I mean that we are a Shared Awareness partnership - and - a Shared Advocacy partnership - and - a Solidarity in Action partnership –and – a Scholarly Alert partnership.

  • What does that mean - these SA Terms?

By using these terms I am trying to highlight that we are not a lobby based or faith based or non-profit "group" or business.  Rather, we partner in shared ways to help contribute to and raise awareness (education) and participation with (advocacy - literally - add-voice - adding our voice) in solidarity with deliberate actions.   We educate (make people aware).  We advocate.  We act.  We are alert.

Not all persons in the Eupan Global Initiative will choose to act in the same ways or advocate in the same ways.  But, we are attempting to help be a conscious, deliberate, and attentive voice - particularly in the heart of Oklahoma and the OKC Metro to raise awareness about many issues.  That does not mean that all of our events or awareness takes place in Oklahoma!  Certainly we want to give focus here in Oklahoma - and highlight causes in Oklahoma - but it also means we broaden persons horizons to become informed about issues around the world.

One of our challenges - since our "good for the all" effort is so broad - would be that we might be "too diverse" or even "too diffuse" (and not effective) in the issues that we share in awareness, advocacy and action.  This is true.  We could be too diffuse. 

But, for now - our broad based awareness, advocacy and action is appropriate as we do all that we can, for any we can, in advancing the good for the all. 

In answer to the question, "What is the Eupan Global Initiative?"

  • We are an SA Group.
  • We Share Awareness
  • We Support Advocacy
  • We engage Solidarity in Action.
  • We research the best Scholarship to be Alert

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

John W. Burton on Violence and Peace


John W. Burton, an early thinker in peace and conflict studies and the author of Conflict Resolution (among many texts) and a professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in Virginia and a fellow at the United States Institute for Peace, created a neologism – provention.

It is a combination of engaging prevention of violence while also promoting peace. 

Burton has written:

conflict provention means deducing from an adequate explanation of the phenomenon of conflict, including its human dimensions, not merely the conditions that create an environment of conflict, and the structural changes required to remove it, but more importantly, the promotion of conditions that create cooperative relationships.

May we be the kind of people who work for provention – the prevention of violence – and the promotion of peace.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fascinating and Provocative Speech

A fascinating and provocative speech by John Pilger on the occasion of accepting the Sydney (Australia) Peace Prize in 2009.

Many Australian specific comments - but a provocative agenda on peace and "PR - Public Relations." 

<p>Sydney Peace Prize 2009 from John Pilger on Vimeo.</p>

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, June 13, 2011

In Celebration of Dialogue


Let’s celebrate dialogue:


  1. Dialogue is collaborative: two or more sides work together towards common understanding. Debate is oppositional: two sides oppose each other and attempt to prove each other wrong.
  2. In dialogue finding common ground is the goal. In debate winning is the goal.
  3. In dialogue one listens to the other side in order to understand, find meaning, and find agreement. In debate one listens to the other side in order to find flaws and to counter its arguments.
  4. Dialogue enlarges and possibly changes a participant’s point of view. Debate affirms a participant’s own point of view.
  5. Dialogue reveals assumptions for re- evaluation. Debate defends assumptions as truth.
  6. Dialogue causes introspection into one’s own position. Debate causes critique of the other’s position.
  7. Dialogue opens the possibility of reaching a better solution than any of the original solutions. Debate defends one’s own positions as the best solution and excludes other solutions.
  8. Dialogue creates an open- minded attitude – an openness to being wrong and an openness to change. Debate creates a closed- minded attitude, a determination to be right.
  9. Dialogue calls for temporarily suspending one’s beliefs and assumptions. Debate calls for investing wholeheartedly in one’s beliefs.
  10. In dialogue one searches for basic agreements. In debate one searches for differences.
  11. Dialogue involves a real concern for the other person/s and seeks neither to alienate nor to offend. Debate involves a countering of the other position without focusing on feelings or relationship and often belittles or deprecates the other person.
  12. Dialogue assumes that many people have pieces of the answer and that together they can put them into a workable solution. Debate assumes that there is a right answer and that someone has it.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Developed  from Bohm, 1996, by Frank Boulton and excerpted here from Contemporary Conflict  Resolution: The prevention, management and transformation of deadly conflicts.  Third Edition Oliver Ramsbotham,  Tom Woodhouse and Hugh Miall.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Inter Religious Dialogue - extending good from bad

Extending the good for the all must certainly include persons of various religious perspectives becoming aware of one another.

It must also include the fact of religious persons sharing with one another that we all want to overcome hardship and pain, destruction and violence - in order to extend a generic (but important) truism known as the Golden Rule - that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Too many persons who claim to be Christian in history - and in the middle of the 20th Century in Europe - perpetuated great harm, hurt, and violence upon the Jew(s). 

It was a privilege this past week to be a participant (again) in the Oklahoma City Jewish Federation's Yom HaShoah Service.  (Yom HaShoah translates literally - the Day of The Calamity - is a memorial event for what most call the Holocaust - the nuance of terms is important and I believe we will shift over the forthcoming decades to the better term, Shoah, for what has been called The Holocaust.  An appropriate link is HERE for explanation.)

As part of some work I have done with the Directors of and Curators of the Green Collection - I was able to be a liason between the Green Family Collection - and the local Jewish Federation of OKC - to let the Federation use a damaged Torah Scroll - burned in a Polish synagogue during the Shoah. 

Remembering our shared past is an important way to move toward a better future.

This was an important Civic event - and I was delighted to be with other persons who have been connected to other Eupan Global Initiative events!  In attached pictures, you can see me holding the "shield" or "breastplate" - and its damage - as I was translating for family after the event.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, May 2, 2011

Something to think about.

Not Justice, Not Victory: Just Another Murder in the Name of Peace
May 2, 2011
by warresisters

“I keep thinking of how awful it was to hear that there were people actually celebrating on 9-11. Now I look at the TV and see the same thing.”
-Family member of a man killed in the World Trade Center of September 11, 2001.

The reported killing of Osama bin Laden by a CIA operation in Pakistan represents neither justice nor victory, and should be no cause for celebration.

It has been nearly ten years since September 11th, 2001. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed. More than six thousand members of the United States military have been killed. Trillions of dollars have been wasted. Tens of thousands of men, women, and children have been detained and imprisoned in the “war on terror.” Torture is now an acceptable component of U.S. foreign policy. Racism is more deeply entrenched in our culture.

Eight years to the day (May 1, 2003) after President George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished” aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, he called the killing of bin Laden a “victory for America.” Heads of State around the world added to a chorus of congratulations to President Barack Obama and the United States. Crowds gathered in New York City, Washington DC, and other places around the country waving American flags, singing patriotic songs, and chanting “USA, USA.”

This hateful euphoria demonstrates a nation bent on revenge, not justice.

Originally sponsored by the U.S. and now at the top of U.S. military “Most Wanted” target lists,supporters of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda will be emboldened by these events. Our call for an end to violence applies to all sides of the so-called “Global War on Terror,” and echoes responses recently posted on independent Afghan Facebook pages.

In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in 1964, Martin Luther King said: “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace…..If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.”

If we are to move beyond revenge, aggression, and retaliation, we must end the wars–declared and undeclared–now being waged by the United States.

It is beyond time to bring the troops home. The White House must begin a swift withdrawal of U.S. forces abroad.

We must not celebrate the death of one accused of mass murder while justifying or ignoring the death of hundreds of thousands due to our own violence.

In the barbarism of war, what had been unthinkable at one moment becomes routine the next. We must end the cycle of violence now. (The above statement can also be accessed on WRL’s website here.)

As I write - Osama Bin Laden

As I write - the world is abuzz with tweets and status updates noting the news from Washington D.C. - announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden.

There are so many things that could be said about the situation - and many things *are* being said about the situation.

I note a few things. 

Death - especially violent, murderous, state-sanctioned death - never brings about true "good" for anyone.  It might quell the desire that many have for vengeance - but in its wake comes only the need for someone else to seek an equally great (or even greater) retributive violence - and the cycle, so it seems, never ends.

Millions and millions and millions of dollars - and countless hours of persons have invested - for more than a decade - in the pursuit of this one man - and in the process - thousands have died, untold numbers of cities and places and villages have been sacked and rampaged.  Of course there have been numerous other complicating factors, other persons, other agendas - yes, yes.  It is not a simple single issue. 


What if . . . ? 

What if the money and effort and investment had been made to seek peace and safety - love and construction - instead of vengance and death? 

What could the world be like now - had we sought more peaceable options years ago?  What if we more frequently, more routinely, more sincerely, sought the good for the all?

May persons of all nations, languages, and places do more to advance eupan.

And let it begin with me.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Legal Limits and Life As We Know It

Last year included, among many, many other things, an early humanitarian crisis in Haiti as the result of the January 2010 earthquake - and then, another aquatic/biological crisis from the "Deepwater Horizon" and/or BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (April 2010).

This year the earthquake in Japan has lead to this news today as that catastrophe unfolds:

April 5, 2011, 4:39 a.m.
The operator of Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant said Tuesday that it had found radioactive iodine at 7.5 million times the legal limit in a seawater sample taken near the facility, and government officials imposed a new health limit for radioactivity in fish.

The reading of iodine-131 was recorded Saturday, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. Another sample taken Monday found the level to be 5 million times the legal limit. The Monday samples also were found to contain radioactive cesium at 1.1 million times the legal limit.

The exact source of the radiation was not immediately clear, though Tepco has said that highly contaminated water has been leaking from a pit near the No. 2 reactor. The utility initially believed that the leak was coming from a crack, but several attempts to seal the crack failed.

There are no easy answers to our continued need for consumption - alongside the natural functions of earthquakes and tectonic shifts, winds, waves, tsunamis, and the like.  These things are intensely complex - involving huge facilities, international economies, national powers and more.

In the midst of it, though, we must begin to think of better ways to consume resources such that - when natural disasters normally and naturally come - we are better equipped to mitigate the large-scale, long-term, pollution and radiation that make places permanently uninhabitable. 

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, April 4, 2011

Peace Rally in OKC

Oklahoma City University Hosts Human Rights Rally

Oklahoma City University will host a rally called "Building Peace for a Just World" at 10:30 a.m. April 9 in the Quad Lawn in the center of campus to promote social justice and human rights.

The rally will include music and guest speakers and is being held in conjunction with other rallies taking place throughout the world.

Student groups from OCU are partnering with other organizations including the Peace House; Peace Education Institute; Oklahoma Center for Conscience; Church of the Open Arms, United Church of Christ; Mayflower Congregational Church, United Church of Christ; and student groups from Oklahoma City Community College.

We with the Eupan Global Initiative have requested opportunity to participate.  Probably too late for us this year - but we will hope for future events and intentional connections for the future! 

For more information or to participate, contact Joe Meinhart at

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Seams - Separation - and Coexistence

The Museum on the Seam - located in Jerusalem - lays claim to the "origin" of the famous "COEXIST" bumper sticker.

A Polish graphic designer, Piotr Mlodozeniec, designed the first coexist image. He created the design to participate in an art contest hosted by the Museum on the Seam for Dialogue, Understanding, and Coexistence in Israel to promote religious tolerance.

I had opportunity to visit the museum while I was in Jersusalem. Their print information notes:

The Museum on the Seam is a socio-political contemporary art museum located in Jerusalem. The Museum in its unique way, presents art as a language with no boundaries in order to raise controversial social issues for public discussion. At the center of the changing exhibitions in the Museum stand the national, ethnic and economic seam lines in their local and universal contexts.

The Museum is committed to examining the social reality within our regional conflict, to advancing dialogue in the face of discord and to encouraging social responsibility that is based on what we all have in common rather than what keeps us apart.

I recently replied to several questions from a long-time friend about a T.V. episode he had viewed involving a Television Political Talk-Show Media Figure - who was predicting future events based on both Christian and Islamic traditions.  (Personally, I do not tend to watch political-characters in the news - and try to read news from across media sources from the interent, where the nuance of bias can be less flavored - though it always carries a bias.)

The conversation with my friend and his anxiety and emotion invested in "the news" he heard - caused me to be reminded of several things - only one of which I will share here.

While I am a person of Christian faith and Christian identity who believes deeply in the claims of my faith, I can live in charitable and favorable ways with persons of other religions and I do not have to - and perhaps am not even permitted to(!) demean, belittle, harass or act against other faith claims as I embody and reflect the claims of my faith.

No doubt, the world would be a better place if, instead of promoting religious intolerance and religious violence, we promoted the best peacemaking traditions of our faith as we attempt to coexist toward a better world.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


According to sites like, Aquaponics is not new.

The practice of Aquaponic farming is not a new technology, it dates back to the Aztecs, but recently it has has been re-discovered. Aquaponic farming combines the techniques of Aquaculture (fish farming) and Hydroponics (plants grown in water) to create the most sustainable food production system on earth. The system works by using a type of fresh water fish (usually Tilapia or Trout) that multiply in a water tank, then plants are grown on the water’s surface. The relationship works perfectly between the fish and the plants. The fish produce waste in the water, and through natural bacterial processes, fertilize the plants, which in turn clean the water for the fish. The process is completely organic and sustainable for both parties. And the best part is that this system can be used on a small scale in your backyard, or for commercial production on large farms.

But, it is relatively new to me - and might be new to some of you.

And, I want to share about a friend of mine who is using aquaponics in unique ways to extend the good for the all!

Using the rooftop of a church building in the heart of "the Middle East" - in Jerusalem - a brilliant and gracious young friend of mine (as part of a larger research team), Tim Evans - is using a new system of aquaponics to help poor persons in places where land is hard to possess.  The testing of the system by the team, it is hoped, will lead to tests in actual family homes in Palestinian territories.  "The aim of this research is to see if a system that is both affordable and sustainable could be designed to produce adequate fruit and vegetable yields on household rooftops in the Middle East, in refugee camps, and poor urban areas, as well as other less fertile areas in the world."

Tim said, "This has generated a lot of interest in the wider community, and we are hopeful that this could genuinely help poorer families to improve their daily diet, as well as provide enjoyment and satisfaction in moving toward self-sufficiency," said Evans. "In a part of the world where the urban poor and refugee communities do not enjoy many freedoms, there is significance in growing your own food and exhibiting more control in day-to-day life. We are very excited about the potential and are grateful for the support of the church and our other partners."

There is much more we can do to extend the good for the all.  Tim is a personal inspiration to me about thinking in new ways about extending eupan!

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Friday, February 25, 2011

Libya - and other issues of the good for the all

In many ways, with varied interest, persons from around the world have been watching the global situations most urgently recently in Egypt - and now Libya - and along the way developments in Bahrain, Sudan and elsewhere.

In today's news, the Christian Science Monitor is reporting that Colonel Qaddafi is planning to stay in Libya - noting:

“Plan A is to live and die in Libya. Plan B is to live and die in Libya. Plan C is to live and die in Libya,” said Colonel Qaddafi’s son Saif Islam in a TV interview yesterday. Qaddafi himself, who made an appearance before cheering crowds at Tripoli's Green Square today, said on state TV that he was willing to open up his weapons caches to anyone who wants to fight on his side, and said he would set the country “aflame.”

It is a sad state of affairs when persons (or institutions) in power, in order to maintain their discredited power - turn to violence as the path for resolving their loss of power.

Today I hope for the people of Libya and the persons of the world a "Plan D" that does not include weapons, fighting, nor anyone or anything set "aflame."

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative