"War is the greatest threat to public health." - Gino Strada, Italian war surgeon and founder of the UN-recognized Italian NGO Emergency

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Subversive Peacemaking going on sabbatical

Dear Friends,

This blog was the beginning for me, the beginning of blogging that is. As my peacemaking work continued to evolve I found myself engaged on a deeper level in the work of abolishing nuclear weapons. I started getting a large amount of feedback that I should consider splitting off the nuclear stuff, and that is what I did. The Nuclear Abolitionist was the next step, and after that came the Puget Sound Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.

Aside from having some fun and blowing off steam once in a great while on The Loose Nukes, I have recently been focusing all my attention on mounting a campaign to scuttle the US Navy's plans to build a new generation of ballistic missile submarines. Known as the OHIO Class Replacement Program or SSBN(X) in Navy circles, I call it New Trident.

Of course, what campaign is complete with its own website or blog, so I created NO To NEW TRIDENT (the name of the campaign) at NOTNT.ORG. New Trident will cost at least $100 billion, just to build 12 replacement subs. Building a new generation of ballistic missile submarines will not only waste a huge amount of our nations human and financial capital, it will also accelerate a growing nuclear submarine arms race and increase the risk of nuclear war.

So Subversive Peacemaking is taking a sabbatical so that I may put all my energies into this important campaign. Check it out at notnt.org and get involved; I think it is a worthy effort.

And to those who have read this blog over the years (and hopefully gotten something useful from it); THANKS!

In Peace,

The Subversive Peacemaker

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Be The (CLIMATE) Change!!!

Dear Friends,

Today, Sunday, September 21st is the International Day of Peace, one day each year designated by the United Nations as an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. During the General Assembly discussion of the resolution establishing Peace Day it was suggested that:

"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."

So it is appropriate that today the largest climate march - People's Climate March - in history takes place in New York City, headquarters of the UN. Ahead of the September 23rd UN summit on climate change over 100 world leaders have gathered in NYC, and there will be 2808 solidarity events in 166 countries.

Why a Climate March on Peace Day??? It is the very endless cycle of militarism and war making directly tied to an unsustainable means of existence that drives the war against the planet. Most of the effects over past decades were isolated, and felt by only a fraction of the Earth's inhabitants. Yet now, with Carbon Dioxide levels at dangerously high levels, we are seeing the beginnings of more far reaching effects on climate that will most definitely affect all of us.

We can no longer plunder our way to maintain an unsustainable way of life. And a key factor in stopping the plunder is accepting that we MUST change (for the sake of future generations) and make the hard choices now. Such a huge paradigm shift will be extremely difficult, and yet the stakes are also huge.

Conversion from a fossil fuel consuming, war making society to a sustainable one that utilizes resources intelligently and resolves conflict nonviolently will be a massive challenge. We (the people) have been so acculturated and indoctrinated to accept and support the very system of our planet's destruction that we are blinded to the reality of the impact of our choices on our planet (and all of its inhabitants).

Today in countless cities in the US and around the world people who have removed their blinders are rising up to say no more status quo. They are saying yes to "a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities." They are saying yes to a "just, safe, peaceful" and sustainable world.

Yet for the massive turnout for today's People's Climate March, it will take so many more of us to engage the issues that are dragging us down and to change direction. As their website says, "TO CHANGE EVERYTHING, WE NEED EVERYONE."

Mahatma Gandhi once said, we must "be the change we wish to see in the world." May we ALL be that change!!!



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Refugee (a poem by Bruce Gagnon)

Editor's Note: I first read this poem by friend and colleague Bruce Gagnon back in July. I find myself going back and re-reading it after looking at the accompanying photo over and over. At any rate, this is certainly a poem for our time. It speaks to the madness of the Combine, the Machine, the Military-Industrial Complex, the Kleptocracy... whatever you wish to call it. It also speaks to us as citizens and asks, in a subtle way - "Will we resist the madness?"



We all are running
from something
throughout our lineage
our people ran
from the wild
Mother Earth
our home

Now those who run
get locked inside
even the babies
from south
of the border

NAFTA took them down
but we don't talk about that
we just turn on the brown people
and drive them away
keeps us distracted
from what Mr. Big is doing
to all of us

Some are paid to
divide and
incite chaos
quite a job
killing your own people
find it hard
to understand

It's Mr. Big's
favorite play
Modus operandi
every criminal
has a routine

Some call it
the Strategy of Tension
worth noting
it's our future
create chaos
and militarize in response

Seeing the coming storm
some run from it
others stand and resist
as best they can
try to give hope
and strength to those
hiding in the shadows
refugees in their
own right

Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/ (blog)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Desparately Seeking Genuine Patriotism After the Fourth of July

FOR A NATION TO BE, in the truest sense, patriotic, its citizens must love their land with a knowing, intelligent, sustaining, and protective love. They must not, for any price, destroy its health, its beauty, or its productivity. And they must not allow their patriotism to be degraded to a mere loyalty to symbols or any present set of officials. (Wendell Berry: from A Citizen's Response to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America).

I haven't checked the news today, although I' pretty sure that our mighty nation survived the Fourth of July. Based on the police presence just about everywhere I went on the 3rd, we were well protected against those pesky terrorists who (as I believe G. W. Bush once said) "hate our [disappearing] freedoms." I hunkered down and avoided the parades and fireworks displays yesterday as I get a bit twitchy when I see the flags waving everywhere in the nation that brought the world "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror" (thanks G.W. for taking it way over the top). It is not easy when one does not walk in lockstep with the patriotic crowd. Granted, declaring independence from the mother country was quite a big deal in its time, and we do, in fact, live in a nation of democratic ideals. The problem is that there are powerful interests that have undermined those very ideals.

The founding fathers understood the wisdom of avoiding foreign entanglements. As George Washington stated in his Farewell Address in 1796: "The Great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. . . . ‘Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign World." Thomas Jefferson elaborated, saying that the foreign policy of a free society such as ours must mean “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship, with all nations – entangling alliances with none."

John Quincy Adams, author of the Monroe Doctrine said that, "America... does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." The founding fathers were unanimous in their opposition to forcefully exporting American values (particularly at the point of a gun). These were no country bumpkins. These were individuals who understood Lord Acton's Dictum that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Over the next two centuries our nation has all but forgotten the words (and intent) of the founders, and the quenchless thirst for resources and power has led to the creation of a phenomenal Military Industrial Complex and its mate, the National Security State that have allowed the U.S. to impose a global hegemony of unbelievable magnitude. With well over 700 military bases in roughly 150 countries (as of 2013, courtesy of Veterans for Peace), the sun never sets on the Roman American Empire. We have already forced "democracy" on Iraq and Afghanistan, and are working on others now (and they all have oil and/or other strategic resources).

The founding fathers were likely once again rolling in their graves on this past Fourth of July, and for good reason(s). For all the patriotic fervor (and associated drunkenness) of the Fourth, our nation has slumped into an absolute stupor as our "leaders" have squandered the gifts of liberty. John Quincy Adams warned us of this while celebrating the Anniversary of Independence on July 4, 1821:

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her [America’s] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.

We are, indeed, no longer the ruler of our own spirit. As the corporate-military-nuclear-industrial monster swallows up the world, it also swallows up our nation's once great spirit, the spirit of independence. And so I call upon all who believe in the possibility of “peace, commerce, and honest friendship, with all nations – entangling alliances with none" (as Jefferson said) to recapture that revolutionary spirit of the founders (as imperfect as they were), and declare our independence from the powers of death that go out "in search of monsters to destroy."

It's worth citing Berry's quote one last time - "FOR A NATION TO BE, in the truest sense, patriotic, its citizens must love their land with a knowing, intelligent, sustaining, and protective love. They must not, for any price, destroy its health, its beauty, or its productivity. And they must not allow their patriotism to be degraded to a mere loyalty to symbols or any present set of officials" (from A Citizen's Response to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America).

As Berry says at the end of the same essay from which that quote comes, "If we are serious about peace, then we must work for it as ardently, seriously, continuously, carefully, and bravely as we now prepare for war." 

May it be so on this Fourth of July (and on every day).



Click here to read Wendell Berry's A Citizen's Response to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (published in 2003).

Note: This post is a revision of one written in 2009.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Arise, then, women of this day!"


Long before the holiday we know as Mother's Day was established, Julia Ward Howe wrote her Mother's Day Proclamation (in 1870), responding to the horrible carnage of the U.S. Civil War, in which so many women lost their sons and husbands.

Howe and so many other women of that time were committed to abolishing war, and in 1872 Howe proposed the establishment of an annual Mother's Day for Peace. Long since that time (the commercialized version of) Mother's Day has, for the most part, been sanitized to remove any trace of women's civil, political activism. And - Men (am I wrong???) continue to perpetuate the horrific trans-national violence and war that consumes our young, our treasure, our future.
Julia Ward Howe

Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation was an extraordinary statement declaring that women should not allow their children to be taken from them to learn to kill the children of the women of other nations, nor should they allow their husbands go to war. Howe's disdain for the warring actions of the men running the show was clear as she said that such "great questions" must not be "decided by irrelevant agencies."

The final paragraph of Howe's proclamation was a call to women to come together in a "general congress" for peace, which is conceptually a framework for what the United Nations might look like if the nations of the Security Council (including the United States) would honor its noble intentions.

So, "Arise, then, women of this day", just as many women did in response to Howe in 1870. Men have had their chance, and failed miserably. The world continues (paraphrasing Howe) "to reek with carnage." Women - Refuse to send your husbands, your sons and your daughters off to kill the children of others.

It is high time to create the conditions whereby (as Howe stated it), "the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God."

With great thanks to nurturing women everywhere,


P.S. - This Saturday, May 10th, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will hold its annual Mother's Day weekend observance with a tea party (vigil and nonviolent direct action) at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, which houses the largest operational concentration of nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal. Learn more at gzcenter.org.  Join us for tea and cakes and much, much more.


Mothers' Day Proclamation: Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears. 
Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice." 
Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. 
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God. 
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.
Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Saturday, April 19, 2014

(Finally) officially revising the history of the 1953 coup in Iran

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite reads is Secrecy News, published by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Project on American Secrecy (and there is plenty of that!!!). I find it in my email inbox on a fairly frequent basis. It provides insights and resources on secrecy, intelligence and national security policy that I would not know about or find elsewhere. Among other things, FAS makes public scores of government documents (paid for with our tax dollars) that would otherwise be kept secret.  Steven Aftergood is the mastermind behind Secrecy News.

Here is one of the items from this weeks email, regarding the kind of "revision" of history I can get behind (oh, you mean the CIA was behind the 1953 overthrow of the governent of Iran?!?!?!). You can read this and more at http://blogs.fas.org/secrecy/, and sign up to receive Secrecy News. Nothing like a little light shining on those dark and dusty corners of secrecy to strengthen democracy.

Knowledge is Power,




By Steven Aftergood, April 16, 2014

In 1989, the Department of State published a notorious volume that purported to document U.S. foreign policy towards Iran in the early Eisenhower Administration. The volume triggered an avalanche of criticism because it omitted any mention of the CIA's role in a 1953 covert action that helped overthrow the government of Iran.

Later this year, after the passage of more than two decades, the State Department will rectify that error by publishing a supplemental volume of declassified documents in its Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series that is expected to fill in the missing pieces of the documentary record of the 1953 coup against the Mossadeq government of Iran.

The publication of the 1989 Iran volume was a milestone in the history of U.S. government secrecy that prompted widespread outrage and ridicule, but it also inspired remedial efforts that had some lasting impact.

The episode was recounted in detail in an impressive history of the FRUS series that was also published by the State Department last year (Chapter 10).

"FRUS historians could have been more assertive in their efforts to promote greater openness in the 1980s," the FRUS history candidly observed. "They should have recognized that the Iran volume was too incomplete to be published without damaging the series's reputation, consulted with stakeholders across the government and the academic community, and devised alternatives to releasing an unacceptable volume."

Ironically, the defects in the official Iran history generated more broad public attention to questions of diplomatic history than the subject had received for many years.

"The ostensibly authoritative" FRUS volume on Iran "is 'Hamlet' without the Prince of Denmark -- or the ghost," the New York Times editorialized in 1990.

"We are poisoning the wells of our historical memory," wrote Senator Daniel P. Moynihan in the New York Review of Books at the time. "The secrecy system has gone loony."

On the plus side, the scandal over the Iran history galvanized efforts by historians and others to demand a higher standard of fidelity in official history. Those efforts led directly to the enactment of a 1991 statute dictating that the Foreign Relations of the United States series shall provide "a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity."

The forthcoming publication of the FRUS retrospective volume on Iran was noted in a new annual report from the State Department Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation.

It was confirmed by Historian of the State Department, Dr. Stephen Randolph, who told Secrecy News that the volume was expected to be released this summer, barring unforeseen events, along with another long-deferred collection on Chile, 1969-1973.

An initial selection of recently declassified CIA records on the 1953 coup with related background material was posted last year by the National Security Archive.

"The issue is more than academic," wrote the Archive's Malcolm Byrne. "Political partisans on all sides, including the Iranian government, regularly invoke the coup to argue whether Iran or foreign powers are primarily responsible for the country's historical trajectory, whether the United States can be trusted to respect Iran's sovereignty, or whether Washington needs to apologize for its prior interference before better relations can occur."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Father John Dear interviewed on The Nonviolent Life

Fr. John Dear has been travelling around the U.S. engaging people with Campaign Nonviolence, a project of Pace e Bene. In this video, John is interviewed by Mike McCormick on KEXP Radio's Saturday morning show, Mind Over Matters.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Creating a Just World by Honoring and Defending Human Rights

Yesterday was the World Day of Social Justice. It seems fitting to reflect on what precepts would create a solid foundation for a world in which there was justice for ALL.  It seems to me that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, goes a long way in stating the essential human rights and freedoms that must be guaranteed for all people everywhere in order to build a just and peaceful world. I share it here, and I hope you will share it widely as well.  You can download an abbreviated form of the document here (courtesy of YES! Magazine) or the full version here.  Both are PDF files.

Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in the creation of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the commonpeople,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore,



THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. Article 8.

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law. Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Article 10.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Article 20.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. (2) Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality. Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.


Monday, February 3, 2014

The ad you didn't (and wouldn't) see on Super Bowl Sunday

If you watched yesterday's Super Bowl, the following commercial is one you most definitely did not see.

"Proud to Be," was released by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) just in time for the Super Bowl in its effort to eliminate the offensive R--skins from the national vocabulary and let people know that Indians are not mascots!!!

Of course, beyond the fact that the NCAI could not afford a Super Bowl ad, it is obvious from the ads engaging in patriotic pandering that such a topic is definitely not Super Bowl material (just see what happened to Coca Cola after airing their Super Bowl ad).

The struggle to strip away the many layers of racism that have produced so many offensive mascots, not to mention the mistreatment of the people who inhabited this continent long before the white people came, has gone on for decades, and is not yet over.

Please watch this powerful video and learn more at ncai.org.

Racism doesn't belong anywhere, and doing away with it in sports is an important step towards eradicating an ugly legacy for good.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Honoring Dr. King... Building The World House

Dear Friends,

Each year around the time of Martin Luther King Jr's birthday I celebrate his life and works by revisiting one of his essays, speeches or sermons.  I spend time with the document, trying to come to a deeper understanding of Dr. King's state of heart and mind, and the prophetic message he is sending.

This year I chose The World House, having read it before, and finding it the perfect choice for Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action's January events honoring Dr. King.  After all, here we are so many years since Dr. King wrote this essay, and we have a long way to go in reaching the goals he has set for us.  The very walls that hold up our World House are weakening, due in large part to the actions of the U.S. in the world. Carol Bragg, in the introduction to The World House at thinkoutword.org, sums it up best (for me):
In “The World House,” Dr. King calls us to: 1) transcend tribe, race, class, nation, and religion to embrace the vision of a World House; 2) eradicate at home and globally the Triple Evils of racism, poverty, and militarism; 3) curb excessive materialism and shift from a “thing”-oriented society to a “people”-oriented society; and 4) resist social injustice and resolve conflicts in the spirit of love embodied in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. He advocates a Marshall Plan to eradicate global poverty, a living wage, and a guaranteed minimum annual income for every American family. He urges the United Nations to experiment with the use of nonviolent direct action in international conflicts. The final paragraph warns of the “fierce urgency of now” and cautions that this may be the last chance to choose between chaos and community.
I hope you, too, will read The World House as a fitting meditation honoring Dr. King, and that you find something for your journey.  May it move you just a little bit out of your comfort zone and may you find new ways to help build The World House.

In Peace,



The World House

by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some years ago a famous novelist died. Among his papers was found a list of suggested plots for future stories, the most prominently underscored being this one: “A widely separated family inherits a house in which they have to live together.” This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a large house, a great “world house” in which we have to live together—black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu—a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.

Click here to read the rest of The World House...