being the society we want for ourselves
A lot of people talk about changing society, yet the more I learn about society the more I wonder what it is they actually have in mind. It is quite clear that trying to find the controls as though society were some sort of an ocean liner is very naive. On the other hand, the more I know about society, the more I believe that society really does need to be changed. Mostly it is our beliefs about society that need to be changed. And when we change our beliefs, society is going to change.
Giving hope to children orphaned by AIDS: HARARE, Zimbabwe, 16 February 2005 Ė UNICEF
She wakes early, fetches water, then wakes her two younger brothers to get them ready for school. She makes them breakfast and then walks with them to class. Despite both her parents dying three years ago, Kristen manages to continue her own studies, before heading home after school to tend the small vegetable garden that helps sustain her and her brothers. She then collects firewood, prepares dinner, and lends a hand with the boysí homework. At around 11 pm, Kristen begins her own homework. Six hours later her day begins again.
February 9, 2005
getting the big things right
One of the things I learned from hiking in the wilderness as a kid is that if you ever get lost, the one thing you want to avoid is going in circles. You may not know which direction you need to go, but the best thing to do is pick a direction and stick with it. Eventually you will come to a road or something. If, on the other hand, all you do is go in circles, you never get anywhere. Obviously certain trajectories are better than others, but being too indecisive to move doesnít help. Sometimes you have to pick a particular direction based on the location of sun or the stars. Sometimes you just pick any old direction because the only thing you know is that staying where you are is not an option.
Pro-Soldier, Anti-War: My Experiences as a Conscientious Objector and the Launching of Peace-Out.Com
I joined the Army on August 27th, 2001, just two weeks before the terrorist attacks of 9/11. As naive as its sounds, I wasn't thinking about going to war when I signed up. I was thinking about jumping out of planes, learning medical skills, and getting a tangible experience that would be somehow more "real" than the previous two years of college. Enlisting was totally spontaneous, and I never took time to sit down and consider how I really felt about war.
January 16, 2005
acceptance, wisdom, & social change
Now that over a month has passed since the election, Iíve begun to feel the need to write about acceptance. There is a paradox involved in acceptance in that it is one of the very best tools for changing the world. Itís pretty clear that beating our heads against the wall rarely accomplishes anything. Seeing things exactly as they are works a lot better. And that is primarily what I understand acceptance to be about. To pay attention is to be distressed, but to ignore what is going on can ultimately be even more uncomfortable.
December 1, 2004
Darfurian Women Face Rejection After Rapes Make Them Pregnant
Rape has been a tool of war probably since the first war millennia ago. Itís typically used to intimidate, humiliate, obtain information and to reward soldiers. Sometimes, itís openly practiced, even encouraged, sometimes secretly done while officially condemned, but rarely is it prosecuted.
Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
Dr. Martin Luther King speech
This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.
October 18, 2003
A Mexican storm is brewing
Mexico's economy cannot function effectively without
the family farm; it is a millennia-old system that has been the
backbone of the Mesoamerican economy and more than 25% of the Mexican
population makes its living from agriculture. (For comparison, it
is less than 2% in the U.S.)
Globalization inherently favors large-scale operations
that are centralized, highly automated, and dependent on long-distance
transport. Small farmers and businesses are immediately at a disadvantage
-- their scale of operation is incompatible with the competitive
demands of global trade. This basic feature of globalization raises
another crucial question.
Security on Free Trade may Backfire
Since September 11, 2001 there has been a heightened
world-wide concern about security issues. Countries have been roused
to increase their police or military security, to crack down on
dissidents, to restrict the crossing of their borders, and so on.
While many of these measures may be sensible, even in the absence
of any specific threat of a terrorist agenda, there is some concern
that nations are failing to grasp what will provide the world with
August 19, 2003
And Starving In The Land Of The Free
The most shocking sight to see is homeless and
starving children, living right near some of the richest neighborhoods!!
Right here in "humanitarian" America, home of the worlds
largest "humanitarian" and "liberating" force
(or is it FARCE?)..
July 1, 2003
The Drawbacks of Cultural Globalization
The aggressive spread of market economics and communication
technologies - often under the control of Western multinationals
- brings new challenges to local cultures and values in Africa and
other non-Western societies. Sometimes it seems as if a tidal wave
of the worst Western culture is creeping across the globe like a
giant strawberry milkshake oozing over the planet, with a flavor
that is distinctly sweet, sickly and manifestly homogenous.
June 20, 2003
In Ravaged Marshes, Peace Gives Hope
Where reeds once grew thick and tall, a mud village
stripped of vegetation bakes under the sun. Where the people once
fished, hunted birds, and reared cattle, ration cards fill people’s
bellies. Where once they moved about by boat like rural Venetians,
now they must dig wells deep into the ground for water.
Visited Hell, and Came Back in One Piece.
I lived with the group for 24 hours. Crazy hours,
very frightening, hours of fear and apprehension in which I felt
at my nerve endings, a wildly beating heart and wet underwear. I
understood what it means to live with death for 24 hours a day.
A bad death. With guns, tanks and bulldozers targeting your home,
your bedroom, your kitchen, your balcony, your living room. No way
of defending yourself, nowhere to run to.
Detainees Must be Lifted out of Ever-Deepening Legal Black Hole
"It is a basic principle of international law that
any detainee has the right to test the lawfulness of his or her
detention in a court of law. By putting these detainees into a legal
black hole, the US administration is supporting a world where arbitrary
unchallengeable detention becomes acceptable."
Toll in Iraq Conflict
"The humanitarian and human rights consequences
of war must be given high priority by the Security Council. When
war is contemplated against a country whose people have been suffering
from severe violations by their government and more than a decade
of sanctions, the need for such an assessment is even more important,"
said Ms Khan.
Asylum Seekers in Jeopardy
Women seeking asylum in the United States based
on gender-related violence face a new threat today - from the Justice
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