Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Leadership Held Accountable to Justice

What makes the news from Sierre Leone significant, involves national leaders being held accountable to their criminal past!

Victims of brutal war rejoice at Taylor sentencing

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Amputees still struggling to lead normal lives years after being mutilated by rebels in Sierra Leone, hailed the decision by judges at The Hague on Wednesday to sentence the man who backed those rebels, ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor, to 50 years in prison.

In a landmark ruling by the Special Court on Sierra Leone last month, Taylor became the first former head of state since the aftermath of World War II to be convicted. The 64-year-old Taylor was found guilty on 11 counts of aiding and abetting the Revolutionary United Front rebels in Sierra Leone, who murdered and mutilated tens of thousands of people during this country's 11-year brutal civil war which ended in 2002.

I doubt this will "strike fear" in the leaders of other nations, like Syria right now where horrendous atrocities are being reported daily, but perhaps it will give some leaders reason to pause and consider their choices. 

I doubt the punishment fits the crime and I genuinely hope for the idealism of a future where nation will no longer rise up against nation.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More News From Syria

There is deeply disturbing news out of Syria today. In the town of Houla some 100 people were killed, including women and children. Reports from witnesses describe executions, indiscriminate killing and much more. For over a year the Syrian people have been facing violence from their government. This violence has at times been inflamed by armed rebel forces whose ranks are filled with the sons, fathers and brothers of the civilians. The violence in Syria has been altogether heartbreaking and it serves as a reminder of the importance of working toward eupan, the good for all. Here is a link to NPR's post about the incident in Ho

Thursday, May 24, 2012

An admirable person to receive Oxford Doctorate!


Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is to receive an honorary doctorate from Oxford University.

The advanced degree, in civil law, will be presented at the institution's annual Encaenia ceremony, during Ms Suu Kyi's trip to the UK next month. The visit is the first time she has ventured outside Burma since 1988, when she also visited Europe.

Oxford, which referred to Ms Suu Kyi by the honorific name Daw Suu, said that she was awarded the honorary degree by the university in April 1993, but has been unable to receive it in person until now.

More at this link.

Pictured with Prime Minister David Cameron, pro democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon, Burma.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Prevention of War


It should be obvious - but the time to prevent war, is before it begins.

With reports like this one from Reuters - stipulating the possible likelihood of an Israeli attack on Iran before November . . . one would hope national powers and political leaders would do more NOW to prevent the possibility of conflict.

But we must not only hope - we can know that others want actions for peace!!  We can know that there are many persons who do not want war!  Many persons who want a better future! 

Of course, nothing can be known until "something" happens!  

Why not make peace happen?  Why not open up conversation? 

Why not listen to those in each country - and members of various parties and areas of life - who want mutual respect, tolerance and peace?

Now is the time for peacemaking.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Let's do good - now!

Today is the 225th anniversary of the launch of the movement to abolish the British Slave Trade . . . which began with just 12 people and has been a model for all future human rights movements.

Let's get more involved now, faster, for effecting great social benevolence and care worldwide!

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Pacifists vs. the Military


In this lengthy (but well worth reading!) NY Times article, Luke Mogelson details stories from a hospital in Afghanistan, known as "Emergency."

The story offers not so much a prescription - as narration.   The narrative, though, should force us to find prescriptive ways to save the lives of fellow humans, children, and victims of war.

A single quote:

The Pacifists vs. the Military
It’s easy enough to dismiss pacifism as quixotic or na├»ve. But nowhere does it appeal more strongly to reason than among the wounded and the maimed. At Emergency’s hospital in Kabul, it’s not unusual to find Afghan national security forces recovering in the same ward as Taliban insurgents, and after a while, the ideas that make enemies of the two men lose their relevance; the daily spectacle of their impact on human bodies invalidates them.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kindness and Compassion - Can Save a Live


If only we all found ways to extend simple acts of compassion and kindness.

It would change the world!

A great tribute to one man's kindness in the news! 

Don Ritchie, 85, who lived across the road from The Gap – a treacherous coastal cliff in Sydney's east - would stop people in distress and say: "Is there something I could do to help you?" Hundreds of strangers subsequently stopped for his "kind word and a smile" and then changed their minds about jumping to the rocks below. Some had laid their shoes, wallets and a note on the coastal rocks and were poised to leap before being gently coaxed back from the edge. Officially, Mr Ritchie saved 160 people over the past 50-odd years, though his family believe the number is closer to 500.

Toward eupan!

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Monday, May 14, 2012

How does peace happen? Can nonviolence spark reform?


Peace and conflict.

War and (re)construction.

Violence and pacifism.

Complex categories of opposites that frame complicated issues.

The individual conflict that takes place between two lovers - in their fight - can be fractured by multiple layers of missed and missing communication, unmet expectations and unclear intentions, fraught with emotions.  How much more difficult are situations between large groups of people, caught up in decades of extended civil mistrust and outbreaks of fighting!

The situations of Palestinians and Israelis is one such situation, fraught with complexities that can not easily be discerned. 

And yet, I am convinced that more peace is needed, greater communication is needed, and solidarity with peacemaking efforts needs to be discerned.

In decades past, individual persons like Ghandi or MLK, Jr. were "at the right place at the right time" (in many issues of engagement, over years - not just in a single event) to help reframe situations of bias, prejudice, exploitation and violence. 

In the context of the situation of Israeli-Arab-MiddleEast-Palestinian issues, people have been hoping for some kind of Peacemaker - a single, social activist who can gain sway to mobilize social, media, political action.  For years, many, many individual persons of various status and identity have been working toward more wholistic and healthy relationships in this region.

Right now, May 14, 2012 - One-thousand-five-hundred-and-fifty (1,550 ! ) Palestinians are on hunger strike in Israeli detention.  Two persons have been on hunger strike for more than 77 days - the longest known hunger strikes by any human.

Of course, this has been going on for weeks!  Weeks!  See this May 7th report.

When will the world take notice of the extremity of this collaborative, intentional, non-violent action as a means for the world to notice the situations they are protesting. 

If the world does not take notice of non-violent, passive, protest, how can we reasonably expect persons with such extreme protest to get the world to take notice of their claims!?  Heaven forbid we ignore these actions, and create a framework within which people think bombing building or persons is a better option!

We need to take notice - so we can work toward a better world.

Toward eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

God is not a factionalist, says Desmond Tutu

Insight from Desmond Tutu on working for a better world at this Washington Post Article.

Among some quotes:

Because we live in a pluralistic, global world we need to be able to listen to other viewpoints, place ourselves in the shoes of others, and respond fairly, magnanimously and pragmatically.

God is not a factionalist. Surely St. Peter does not stand at the Pearly Gates and  grant tickets only to Lutherans or Hasidics or Sunnis or Jains… or to Christians, but not to Buddhists?

The ethic of reciprocity enjoins us to treat others as we would like others to treat us.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative

Earth and Ecosystems


I've had a personal interest in the Pacific Ocean's "Pacific Gyre" - a marine debris and trash area - also known as the North Pacific Garbage Patch. 

Every year when I teach on issues of the ethics of ecology,  my University learners read about this specific issue (among many other issues!)

From Oklahoma, this seems a long distance away.  And yet, it is our plastics and our consumption that contributes to global, natural, trans-national problems like this.  We should be mindful, thoughtful, aware and active in working toward better ways to use and resource.

If you've driven across Texas - the attached image gives some perspective on the huge-scale of this trash problem!

More on the recent news with this BBC article.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Posted via email from Eupan Global Initiative