Showing posts from September, 2012

Drones & The Good? & Iran? & Obama!

I've hesitated to write about my own antipathy with respect to the U.S. use of Drones in attacking others for many weeks. I'll let this report address some of the complexities & anxieties I feel: The report entitled Living Under Drones calls into question the effectiveness of drone attacks as a weapon against terrorism in Pakistan, stating that it is overplayed by the US government. It says: "The dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer by enabling 'targeted killings' of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts. This narrative is false." And, The "best available information", they say, is that between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed in Pakistan between June 2004 and mid-September this year – of whom between 474 and 881 were civilians, including 176 children. The figures have been assembled by the Burea

The Forgiveness Project

I love coming across a "new" (to me!) agency that is doing great work. I love sharing the work of these agencies toward the possibilities for individual peace, healing & wholeness - for community, social, national and world peace-making. The Forgiveness Project is about: Awareness - - Education - - Transformation  --  Exploring the possibilities of forgiveness through real stories. The Forgiveness Project uses the real stories of victims and perpetrators to explore concepts of forgiveness, and to encourage people to consider alternatives to resentment, retaliation and revenge. Link to their "About Us" page. Link to "Stories" they are collecting! Toward eupan ~ ~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.  

150 Years later - slaves still need emancipation!

150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln announced the emancipation of slaves. World-wide slavery still persists - in appalling numbers. This link reviews some facts including: The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million people who are victims of forced labor worldwide. That’s a figure larger than the entire population of Florida. Today, human trafficking affects people of every nationality, gender, religion, age and socio-economic class. It can occur in almost any industry, from manufacturing to agriculture, from health care to transportation, construction to the commercial sex trade. And though people aren’t often literally bought and sold, they do not have freedom. They aren’t paid wages, they work in deplorable conditions and they are kept from leaving through the use or threat of physical and sexual violence (against them or family members), not to mention emotional coercion. Let's work for a better world than this into 2013 -

Nobel laureate Aung Suu Kyi & U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. Foreign Policy - in the nitty-gritty details of persons & powers & economics -  is intensely complex! I don't pretend to have the answers! We should celebrate the great things happening (even while troubling issues remain - and issues must be dealt with cautiously) for Myanmar/Burma, as the Nobel laureate, and indisputable leader from the Region - Aung Suu Kyi travels abroad, free, promoting peace . Meanwhile, we must be mindful (on the heels of the movie mocking Muhammad continues to cause trouble) how each of us (and politicians with a public voice, in particular) - should not minimize or ostracize groups of people (especially from other cultures & places) -  with one-sided-exclusionary statements that make irrelevant the plight of people groups in various places in the world! To speak in grand generalizations about large people groups with a broad-stroke is problematic - especially when it's not true!   When Mitt Romney says, "Palestinians have no int

Libya, Crowds, Violence & Love

We don’t get violence very well – in large part because we’re unwilling to think in advance of how to diffuse violence. And, we all too easily become victims of our own ability to mirror violence – or create the mirror for others to perpetuate violence. And, we always want to blame our violence on some other – someone else.   “They” – some other group or some other person – “they” are the ones responsible for violence.   By our refusal to recognize our own tendencies to violence – and by blaming “the other” – we fail to recognize our own culpability in the systems and patterns of violence that continues to fuel violence. I think a 1 st Century Galilean peasant taught us something about crowds, culture and violence -   a man who became victim of violence in order to expose the violence of each one of us.   Note this news from today – September 16, 2012.   It reads as follows, with lines I’ve underlined for my purpose here:   UN ambassador says Libya attack wa

Jewish New Year & Peacemaking

I am reminded by my Jewish friends & colleagues, that a New Year us upon us - Rosh Hashanah. It seems to me that every person - in any religious tradition or no religious tradition - needs time to consider our own tendency toward evil - our greed, jealousy, & tendency to want to prevail over others. We are all human. We all struggle with our own selfishness & our own failings. Even if we understand that we are called to be perfect - and even as we hope for making the world better, more peaceable & loving.  We all need to admit our failures - own them - and work for a better future! For some of us - this new & better future comes with theological reflection & deep insight from the Holy -  as most religious traditions have core themes reflecting the need to seek forgiveness & reconciliation.  For others, this new & better future emerges with human will & decision derived from moral development tied to human evolution . We can, though, cre

11th Year Anniversary

The problem with anniversaries - is that we only really pause to remember something "one time" per year. What is more, even this one day per year loses some urgency.  As the years pass, the 11th and 12th Anniversaries don't take on as much significance as the 10th Anniversary.  We let these middle anniversaries dwindle in time - until we get to the 20th or 25th or 30th anniversaries. We're forgetful. As we approach the 11th anniversary of September 11th, 2001. 11 years later.     84,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan.      On average, one U.S. soldier dies everyday.  A mother’s son, a father’s daughter, a sister, a brother, a mother, a father.     Every. Single. Day.     Few Americans notice.  Afghan losses are not reported. They, too – are mother, father, brother, sister.    11 years later.     My hope is that we’ll remember these who grieve, and work for a world characterized by peace for all nations and people groups -