Tag: nonviolence

Nonviolence does not equal complacency

Originally posted at PoliZeros.

I went to a protest in Philadelphia this past Saturday, and it was more disheartening than anything else.  It was against the wars and various other injustices, with a special focus on he recent FBI raids of peace activists and Pennsylvania Homeland Security spying on innocent civilians and activists.

By the end of it, I kind of just felt like going up to the megaphone and asking, “How much moral outrage can one person muster?  There are more people handing out fliers here than not, and with this country committing so many disgusting, outrageous acts, I don’t blame you.”  I won’t lie, I handed a few out myself.  Yet the contrast between the righteous causes featured in the speeches and on the signs and on the fliers and the, as a fellow protester said to me, “complete lack of solidarity” was striking.

Kathy Kelly: Tough minds and tender hearts

By Kathy Kelly

January 19, 2010

I spent Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday in Washington, D.C. as part of the Witness Against Torture fast, which campaigns to end all forms of torture and has worked steadily for an end to indefinite detention of people imprisoned in Guantanamo, Bagram, and other secret sites where the U.S. has held and tortured prisoners.  We’re on day 9 of a twelve day fast to shut down Guantanmo, end torture, and build justice.

The community gathered for the fast has grown over the past week.  This means, however, that as more people sleep on the floor of St. Stephen’s church, there is a rising cacophony of snoring.  Our good friend, Fr. Bill Pickard, suggested trying to hear the snores as an orchestra, when I told him I’d slept fitfully last night.      

There is a young boy in Mir Ali, a town in North Waziristan, in Pakistan, who also lies awake at night, unable to sleep.  Israr Khan Dawar is 17 years old.  He told an AP reporter, on January 14th, that he and his family and friends had gotten used to the drones.  But now, at night, the sound grows louder and the drones are flying closer, so he and his family realize they could be a target.  He braces himself in fear of an attack.

We’re told that we will be more secure if the CIA continually attack the so-called lawless tribal areas and eliminates “the bad guys.”

In late May and early June of 2009, while visiting in Pakistan, a man from the village of Khaisor, also in North Waziristan, told us about his experience as a survivor of a drone attack.  Jane Mayer, writing in The New Yorker, mentioned that the people operating the drones and analyzing the surveillance intelligence have a word for people like him who managed to survive a blast and run away.  They are called “squirters.”  So, I suppose he would have been considered a squirter.  

This man, at some risk to himself, walked a long distance and took two buses to meet with us.  Because of travel restrictions, we would not have been allowed to visit him in North Waziristan. His village is so remote that there are no roads leading up to it.  Five hundred people live there.  Often, western media refers to his homeland as “the lawless tribal area.” One day, three strangers entered Khaisor and went to the home of vigil elders. For centuries, villagers have followed a code of hospitality, which demands that when strangers come to your door, you feed them and give them drink. It’s not as though you can point them toward a Motel 6 or a 7-11.  The strangers were welcomed into the home they approached and they left after having been served a meal.  They were long gone when, at 4:30 a.m. a U.S. drone, operated by the C.I.A., fired 2 Hellfire missiles into the home they had visited, killing 12 people, two of whom were village elders.  Children were dismembered and maimed.

Science Entails Practice; Likewise Religion

Religion and science are both practiced by humans, therefore they are not as unlike as many argue.  There is much overlap in the skills of emotions and of understanding required to practice either productively.  Both fall disappointingly short of realizing their ideals in practice.  Both are corrupted by the common human flaws.

Faith is one foundation of most religions.  All religions also involve practice.  It’s not so obvious how to master one’s anger and violent tendencies.  Selfishness is a persistent human trait.  And greed, and so on.  But practice tends toward perfection.  Not being a good person for some future reward, no.  I am talking about practicing behavior which will bring happiness to oneself and to others.  Christianity is in alignment with every major religion in placing the golden rule at it’s center.  Treat others as you yourself would be treated.  This simple guide defines a human technology which could actually prevent warfare and end torture.  It is a much more effective approach than simply being right-which is where science, or being reality-based, rears it arrogant head.

I stress arrogant, as opposed to confident in oneself as a result of disciplined practice of rationality.  For science entails practice as well.  No matter how deep one’s knowledge of the heuristic methods of science, acquiring the skills of a practicing scientist requires years of practice-as in religion, the acquired skills are never fully mastered.

Oops, did I call science arrogant?  And I was so wanting to be nice.  Sigh.  If it makes you rational ones feel better, pretending to have co-powers with god is rather breathtaking in its audacity, not to mention claiming to know the unknowable.  So let’s call it a tie.  Okay, go ahead, give religion the black mark on this one.  The over-riding point is that humans tend to be arrogant.  Add that one to the list of human afflictions.

Gaza report: US arms would require ‘Grand Canyon of a tunnel’

(Kathy Kelly ([email protected]) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence.  Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, she has often put herself in harm’s way as a witness for peace, most recently in Gaza.)

By Kathy Kelly

People have asked me, since I returned from Gaza, how people manage. How do they keep going after being traumatized by bombing and punished by a comprehensive state of siege? I wonder myself. I know that whether the loss of life is on the Gazan or the Israeli side of the border, bereaved survivors feel the same pain and misery. On both sides of the border, I think children pull people through horrendous and horrifying nightmares. Adults squelch their panic, cry in private, and strive to regain semblances of normal life, wanting to carry their children through a precarious ordeal.

And the children want to help their parents. In Rafah, the morning of January 18, when it appeared there would be at least a lull in the bombing, I watched children heap pieces of wood on plastic tarps and then haul their piles toward their homes. The little ones seemed proud to be helping their parents recover from the bombing. I'd seen just this happy resilience among Iraqi children, after the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing, as they found bricks for their parents to use for a makeshift shelter in a bombed military base.

Children who survive bombing are eager to rebuild. They don't know how jeopardized their lives are, how ready adults are to bomb them again.

In Rafah, that morning, an older man stood next to me, watching the children at work. "You see," he said, looking upward as an Israeli military surveillance drone flew past, "if I pick up a piece of wood, if they see me carrying just a piece of wood, they might mistake it for a weapon, and I will be a target. So these children collect the wood."

While the high-tech drone collected information,– "intelligence" that helps determine targets for more bombing, –toddlers collected wood. Their parents, whose homes were partially destroyed, needed the wood for warmth at night and for cooking. Because of the Israeli blockade against Gaza, there wasn't any gas.

With the border crossing at Rafah now sealed again, people who want to obtain food, fuel, water, construction supplies and goods needed for everyday life will have to rely, increasingly, on the damaged tunnel industry to import these items from the Egyptian side of the border. Israel's government says that Hamas could use the tunnels to import weapons, and weapons could kill innocent civilians, so the Israeli military has no choice but to bomb the neighborhood built up along the border, as they have been doing.

Suppose that the U.S. weapon makers had to use a tunnel to deliver weapons to Israel. The U.S. would have to build a mighty big tunnel to accommodate the weapons that Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Caterpillar have supplied to Israel. The size of such a tunnel would be an eighth wonder of the world, a Grand Canyon of a tunnel, an engineering feat of the ages.

Think of what would have to come through.

Imagine Boeing's shipments to Israel traveling through an enormous underground tunnel, large enough to accommodate the wingspans of planes, sturdy enough to allow passage of trucks laden with missiles. According to UK's Indymedia Corporate Watch, 2009, Boeing has sent Israel 18 AH-64D Apache Longbow fighter helicopters, 63 Boeing F15 Eagle fighter planes, 102 Boeing F16 Eagle fighter planes, 42 Boeing AH-64 Apache fighter helicopters, F-16 Peace Marble II & III Aircraft, 4 Boeing 777s, and Arrow II interceptors, plus IAI-developed arrow missiles, and Boeing AGM-114 D Longbow Hellfire missiles,

In September of last year, the U.S. government approved the sale of 1,000 Boeing GBU-9 small diameter bombs to Israel, in a deal valued at up to 77 million. Now that Israel has dropped so many of those bombs on Gaza, Boeing shareholders can count on more sales, more profits, if Israel buys new bombs from them from them. Perhaps there are more massacres in store. It would be important to maintain the tunnel carefully. Raytheon, one of the largest U.S. arms manufacturers, with annual revenues of around $20 billion, is one of Israel's main suppliers of weapons. In September last year, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved the sale of Raytheon kits to upgrade Israel's Patriot missile system at a cost of $164 million. Raytheon would also use the tunnel to bring in Bunker Buster bombs as well as Tomahawk and Patriot missiles.

Lockheed Martin is the world's largest defense contractor by revenue, with reported sales, in 2008, of $42.7 billion. Lockheed Martin's products include the Hellfire precision-guided missile system, which has reportedly been used in the recent Gaza attacks. Israel also possesses 350 F-16 jets, some purchased from Lockheed Martin.

Think of them coming through the largest tunnel in the world.

Maybe Caterpillar Inc. could help build such a tunnel. Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of construction (and destruction) equipment, with more than $30 billion in assets, holds Israel's sole contract for the production of the D9 military bulldozer, specifically designed for use in invasions of built-up areas. The U.S. government buys Caterpillar bulldozers and sends them to the Israeli army as part of its annual foreign military assistance package. Such sales are governed by the US Arms Export Control Act, which limits the use of U.S. military aid to "internal security" and "legitimate self defense" and prohibits its use against civilians.

Israel topples family houses with these bulldozers to make room for settlements. All too often, they topple them on the families inside. American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death standing between one of these bulldozers and a Palestinian doctor's house.

In truth, there's no actual tunnel bringing U.S. made weapons to Israel. But the transfers of weapons and the U.S. complicity in Israel's war crimes are completely invisible to many U.S. people. With the border crossing at Rafah now sealed again, people who want to obtain food, fuel, water, construction supplies and goods needed for everyday life will have to rely, increasingly, on the damaged tunnel industry to import these items from the Egyptian side of the border. Israel's government says that Hamas could use the tunnels to import weapons, and weapons could kill innocent civilians, so the Israeli military has no choice but to bomb the neighborhood built up along the border, as they have been doing.

Suppose that the U.S. weapon makers had to use a tunnel to deliver weapons to Israel. The U.S. would have to build a mighty big tunnel to accommodate the weapons that Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Caterpillar have supplied to Israel. The size of such a tunnel would be an eighth wonder of the world, a Grand Canyon of a tunnel, an engineering feat of the ages.

The United States is the primary source of Israel's arsenal. For more than 30 years, Israel has been the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance and since 1985 Israel has received about 3 billion dollars, each year, in military and economic aid from the U.S. ("U.S. and Israel Up in Arms," Frida Berrigan, Foreign Policy in Focus, January 17, 2009)

So many Americans can't even see this flood of weapons, and what it means, for us, for Gaza's and Israel's children, for the world's children.

And so, people in Gaza have a right to ask us, how do you manage? How do you keep going? How can you sit back and watch while your taxes pay to massacre us? If it would be wrong to send rifles and bullets and primitive rockets into Gaza, weapons that could kill innocent Israelis, then isn't it also wrong to send Israelis the massive arsenal that has been used against us, killing over 400 of our children, in the past six weeks, maiming and wounding thousands more?

But, standing over the tunnels in Rafah, that morning, under a sunny Gazan sky, hearing the constant droning buzz of mechanical spies waiting to call in an aerial bombardment, no one asked me, an American, those hard questions. The man standing next to me pointed to a small shed where he and others had built a fire in an ash can. They wanted me to come inside, warm up, and receive a cup of tea.  

Gaza: ‘The West watched the killing for 22 days like watching a movie’

(Kathy Kelly, a Chicagoan twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, who has devoted her life to promoting peace through non-violence, has often put herself in harm’s way as a witness. She has been in Gaza for six days.)

by Kathy Kelly

January 21, 2009

GAZA –Traffic on Sea Street, a major thoroughfare alongside Gaza’s coastline, includes horses, donkeys pulling carts, cyclists, pedestrians, trucks and cars, mostly older models. Overhead, in stark contrast to the street below, Israel’s ultra modern unmanned surveillance planes criss-cross the skies.  F16s and helicopters can also be heard.  Remnants of their deliveries, the casings of missiles, bombs and shells used during the past three weeks of Israeli attacks, are scattered on the ground.  

Workers have cleared most of the roads.  Now, they are removing massive piles of wreckage and debris, much as people do following an earthquake.  

“Yet, all the world helps after an earthquake,” said a doctor at the Shifaa hospital in Gaza. “We feel very frustrated,” he continued.  “The West, Europe and the U.S., watched this killing go on for 22 days, as though they were watching a movie, watching the killing of women and children without doing anything to stop it.  I was expecting to die at any moment.  I held my babies and expected to die.  There was no safe place in Gaza.”

He and his colleagues are visibly exhausted, following weeks of work in the Intensive Care and Emergency Room departments at a hospital that received many more patients than they could help.  “Patients died on the floor of the operating room because we had only six operating rooms,” said Dr. Saeed Abuhassan, M.D, an ICU doctor who grew up in Chicago.  “And really we don’t know enough about the kinds of weapons that have been used against Gaza.”  

In 15 years of practice, Dr. Abuhassan says he never saw burns like those he saw here.  The burns, blackish in color, reached deep into the muscles and bones.  Even after treatment was begun, the blackish color returned.  

Two of the patients were sent to Egypt because they were in such critical condition.  They died in Egypt. But when autopsies were done, reports showed that the cause of death was poisoning from elements of white phosphorous that had entered their systems, causing cardiac arrests.  

In Gaza City, The Burn Unit’s harried director, a plastic surgeon and an expert in treating burns, told us that after encountering cases they’d never seen before, doctors at the center performed a biopsy on a patient they believed may have suffered chemical burns and sent the sample to a lab in Egypt. The results showed elements of white phosphorous in the tissue.  

The doctor was interrupted by a phone call from a farmer who wanted to know whether it was safe to eat the oranges he was collecting from groves that had been uprooted and bombed during the Israeli invasion.  The caller said the oranges had an offensive odor and that when the workers picked them up their hands became itchy.  

Audrey Stewart had just spent the morning with Gazan farmers in Tufaa, a village near the border between Gaza and Israel.  Israeli soldiers had first evacuated people, then dynamited the houses, then used bulldozers to clear the land, uprooting the orange tree groves.  Many people, including children, were picking through the rubble, salvaging belongings and trying to collect oranges. At one point, people began shouting at Audrey, warning her that she was standing next to an unexploded rocket.  

The doctor put his head in his hands, after listening to Audrey’s report.  “I told them to wash everything very carefully. But these are new situations. Really, I don’t know how to respond,” he said.

Yet he spoke passionately about what he knew regarding families that had been burned or crushed to death when their homes were bombed. “Were their babies a danger to anyone?” he asked us.  

“They are lying to us about democracy and Western values,” he continued, his voice shaking. “If we were sheep and goats, they would be more willing to help us.”

Dr. Saeed Abuhassan was bidding farewell to the doctors he’d worked with in Gaza.  He was returning to his work in the United Arab Emirates.  But before leaving, he paused to give us a word of advice. “You know, the most important thing you can tell people in your country is that U.S. people paid for many of the weapons used to kill people in Gaza,” said Dr. Saeed Abuhassan.  “And this, also, is why it’s worse than an earthquake.”

Kathy Kelly (email: [email protected]) is a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She and Audrey Stewart have been in Gaza for the past six days.  

Only 3 more years in Iraq? Such a deal!

Iraq and the United States have signed an agrement requring the US to withdraw its troops by the end of 2011.

So the war and occupation, already more than five and a half years old, could be over in three more years.  How about that?

That actually is progress of sorts. And there are some positive things about the agreement, which still needs to be ratified by Iraq’s Parliament.  (Interestingly, it does not need Congressional approval.)

UPDATE: David Swanson says it is a treaty that does, indeed, require Senate ratification, and that we should insist on it. Link.

But you’ll have to excuse us if we don’t call off Friday’s planned Iraq Moratorium actions across the country. In fact, there are signs of renewed and increased interest in antiwar activity. We definitely need to keep the heat on the new Congress and the Obama administration.

497-mile walk for peace ends in St. Paul; to greet GOP

Witness Against War, a seven-week, 497-mile walk to promote peace and nonviolence, crossed its finish line Saturday in St. Paul, in time to greet delegates to the Republican national convention.

A delegation from the national Veterans for Peace convention, taking place in nearby Bloomington, joined the core group of walkers for the last 2.7-mile segment of the trek, which began in Chicago in mid-July.

Members of Code Pink and the Sisters of St. Joseph greeted the walkers and hosted a celebration at St. Joseph Church to mark the end of the journey.

Walk against war nearing end in God’s country

Witness Against War, a walk from Chicago to St. Paul to promote non-violence and an end to the war is Iraq, is in its final week.  

Dan  Pearson,  the one who dreamed it up, scouted and planned the route, and coordinates much of the logistics, calls it “a totally worthwhile endeavor.”  He and Kathy Kelly are co-coordinators of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, the Chicago-based group that organized and sponsors the walk.  

The drive from Milwaukee, where I had last walked with them, to Pepin, WI, on the Mississippi River, to rejoin them, took five hours.  It had taken the walkers five weeks.

As they started Saturday’s trek from Pepin to Maiden Rock, along one of the most spectacularly scenic stretches of river in the country, they had covered 420 miles.   When they reach St. Paul this weekend, in time for the Republican national convention, they will have walked nearly 500 miles.

There are 10 walkers on Saturday, including Marie Kovecsi, who joined the group in Winona, MN to spend a week walking with them before returning to start another school year as a teacher of deaf and blind students, and me.  The rest are part of the core group who left Chicago in mid-July and have walked most or all of the way.   Most days they are joined by local activists who walk with them for a day or two, but there are none on Saturday in this sparsely-populated area.

Walking, witnessing against war, 13 arrested at Fort McCoy

Witness Against War, a 450-mile walk from Chicago to St. Paul for the Republican convention, reached a Wisconsin Army base on Sunday, and 13 walkers were arrested when they tried to enter the base to interact with soldiers there.

Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, who organized the walk, was held on an oustanding 10-year-old warrant for civil disobedience at Project ELF in northern Wisconsin.  The others were released and the walk continues today.

This report is from Jeff Leys, one of the walkers who was arrested:  

Sunday, August 10, began with breakfast at the home of Dick and Violet, our hosts. We arrived at Tunnel City, our starting point that day, at 9:30 a.m., in time to meet with Sheriff Pederson to discuss the day’s walk. We explained that we intended to walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic, as required by state traffic laws. He explained that he’d met with his officers and with officers of the Wisconsin State Highway Patrol that morning. Their intent was to ensure that the walk was able to proceed safely, and not to interfere with the walk’s progress. Indeed State Patrol and County Sheriff patrol cars accompanied the walk as it processed from Tunnel City to the edge of Fort McCoy and onward. One patrol officer turned on his vehicles flashing red and blue lights to slow traffic down along the highway (with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour and a fairly narrow shoulder), keeping a health distance form the front of the walk and backing up on an even pace with the walk.

We began walking at about 9:45 a.m. The first question mark of the day arrived three miles into the walk. At that point Highway 21, on which we were walking, enters Fort McCoy with a yellow sign informing motorists that they are “Entering a Military Area.” We were relatively certain we’d be able to proceed without any difficulty since we’d received a letter from Colonel Daniel Culver of the base advising us that normally the only time the base law enforcement would get involved along Highway 21 is if the operations of the base were being interfered with. Since we were walking on the shoulder, we were relatively certain we’d be fine. Yet, the question mark remained: would there be a change in the base’s position now that the walk had arrived? Would we be met by Fort McCoy security determined to prevent us from crossing the base?

The answer was “No”. Fort McCoy’s command would not block the progress of the walk. We would keep on walking forward, never turning back.

Walking across Wisconsin, witnessing against war

In some ways, much of Kathy Kelly’s adult life has been a walk against war. So it was completely in character for her to be walking through Milwaukee Monday, on a 450-mile trek to St. Paul and the Republican national convention.

Kelly, (left) a high school and community college teacher, has repeatedly risked her life and her freedom as an advocate for non-violence.  She is now affiliated with Voices for Creative Nonviolence, based in her hometown of Chicago, which organized Witness Against War now making its way across Wisconsin.

A three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work , Kelly is a longtime pacifist who refuses to pay war taxes.  She’s served prison time for  planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites and for crossing the line as part of an ongoing effort to close the School of the Americas, an Army military combat training school at Fort Benning, GA.

She helped initiate Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign which brought medicine and toys to Iraq in open violation of UN/US sanctions against Iraq. Voices in the Wilderness organized 70 delegations to visit Iraq in the period between 1996 and the beginning of “Shock and Awe” warfare in 2003. Kelly has been to Iraq 24 times since January 1996, when the campaign began.

In October 2002, Voices in the Wilderness declared their intent to remain in Baghdad, alongside Iraqi civilians, throughout a war they still hoped they could prevent. Kelly and the team stayed in Baghdad throughout the bombardment and invasion and maintained a household in Baghdad until March, 2004. During 2007, she spent five months in Amman, Jordan, living amongst Iraqis who’ve fled their homes and are seeking resettlement.

Do These Gardening Horror Stories Justify Killing Animals?

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Today’s New York Times features “Peter Rabbit Must Die”, a compendium of stories of gardeners killing animals which had the unmitigated gall– can you imagine the nerve?– to eat their tomatoes and other plants.  The bottom line?  In the collision between gardeners and wildlife of all kinds, the  animals are killed.  Nothing, it’s claimed, is as effective as clubbing, drowning, shooting.  And, of course, most of these folks claim that they don’t even feel the slightest twinge of guilt afterwards.

What disgraceful nonsense.  Give me a break.

I’ve been gardening for more than 20 years in Columbia County, New York.  Sure the deer have eaten the Swiss Chard and the sunflower sprouts.  Of course the ground hogs have eaten the cucumbers.  It’s sad when that happens.  I get angry, too.  But let’s get a grip.  This garden isn’t necessary to feed me or the people in the Village of Chatham.  It’s not the difference between living and dying, between health and starvation, between prosperity and economic ruin.  It’s a hobby.  It’s something I enjoy.  Yes, I love my lettuce and tomatoes and kale.  So, in fact, do the animals.  But does this give me authority to get a shot gun and blast them away when they browse the arugula?  I don’t think so.

These animals were here long before I was.  They were here long before my 160 year old farm house.  They were eating crops here before Lincoln was president.  They were eating spinach and kale when it was grown by Dutch colonists in the 17th century.  So at the very most, I can take non-violent steps to discourage them.  Urinating on the garden’s boundaries sometimes works.  Letting the dog out sometimes works.  Letting the cats wander sometimes works.  Spraying with cayenne works to a degree.  Being present works.  Weeding works.  Leaving your scent in the garden works.  If I left for a week or 10 days and didn’t weed, the garden would be eaten in broad daylight because it would appear to have been abandoned.

There have always been collisions between humans and wildlife.  I believe in non-violence. And peace.  And equanimity.  I don’t want to think while I’m eating my tomatoes of the dozen ground hogs I murdered to get the vegetables on the table.  I don’t want to pass the lettuce and think about rabbits I garroted.  I don’t want to eat stuffed zucchini and think about how I got a NY State permit to shoot the deer.   I can live very nicely without those thoughts.

There’s a bird family living in the kitchen vent in the side of my house.  I hear the chicks tweeting for food at sunrise.  I see the mother and father bird bringing food and nesting materials into the vent.  I get off the porch if they are frightened of my being there and won’t go to their chicks.  I would never reach in and throw them, their nest and their babies out and stomp them.

How can we expect anything as grandiose as world peace when we cannot find a way to coexist with groundhogs?  Can’t we live and let live?

Compassion Is The Answer, But What Is The Question?

No one event triggered this devolution, but it undeniably was pushed along many times by the moral relativism of the last 50 years, when most of society’s widely accepted norms were undermined by the quicksand of nonjudgmentalism; when the concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, were abolished in favor of differences that were to be respected if not celebrated, and codified when necessary to surmount widespread public opposition.

Paradoxically, people and institutions whose beliefs do not permit them to tolerate the most abhorrent differences were judged to be evil. Through rigid enforcement of increasingly fascist speech and thought codes, relativists turned America into a nation of lip-biters who with their silence condoned as normal behaviors and beliefs that are irrefutably unnatural and inherently immoral.


No, the [recent California Supreme Court] ruling merely answered homosexuals’ purely emotional plea for cultural acceptance by giving civil unions their proper label – “marriage” – the will of Californians, as democratically expressed twice, and the dark societal consequences be damned.

–Editorial in the May 17, 2008 Waterbury Republican.

link: http://www.rep-am.com/articles…

Anyone who regularly reads my blogs probably thought to log in and find the latest news from Myanmar, or of the earthquake in China.

But today I want to write about something that underpins almost every headline here and abroad: human suffering. The answer on how to understand human suffering has been written about and expounded upon by far more eloquent and profound people than me. Everyone from Martin Luther King, to Gandhi, to the Dalai Lama agrees that compassion is the ultimate answer.

But what is the question?

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