Exploring Ways To Make Peace Within
Ourselves & the World

Women In Black Denver, Colorado

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Why Do I Write This Blog???

The easiest (and probably the most honest) answer to that question is: I don't know. It all started in the summer of 2005, when I went to Crawford, Texas ( a.k.a. the home of the prez's ranch, a.k.a. the home of Camp Casey) to support Cindy Sheehan. I wanted the world to know that, contrary to what one could read in the mainstream media, the peace movement was alive and well and large numbers of Americans did not support the war in Iraq. I wanted people to know that thousands of Americans were willing to travel to Texas and tolerate the heat, humidity, and bugs in order to support a grieving mother whose new purpose was to shine a light on the lies that led to the war and to bring home our troops so that no other mother would have to know the pain that she felt.

Over time, this blog has become more of an exploration of who I am, my spirituality, and how life works. I love life's complexities, exploring the shades of gray. I want to, as Rainier Maria Rilke said,

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

Maybe my blog is just one big question about what is needed in order for people to take the time to love and cherish each other and our earth. Maybe someday, I will "live along some distant day into the answer."

In the meantime, thank you for joining me on my journey. I welcome you to share yours with me


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

One People

"Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people." - Barack Obama, from his presidential victory speech, 2008

May we put the divisiveness of the campaigning season behind us and work together to heal the problems facing all beings on this planet.


posted by Carol at 8:52 PM 18 comments

On This Election Day, 2008

A Call For Guts

Frances Moore Lappe (author of Diet for a Small Planet), the November issue of Ode magazine, says, "The future depends on mastering the art of positive courage."

Quoted from the article:
"Like a lot of us, I keep asking myself, how did we get into this mess? Since humans have innate needs and capacities for cooperation, empathy and fairness - which science now confirms - why does so much suffering and destruction continue? For many, the answer seems obvious: Humans just aren't good enough; we need to become better people; we need to overcome selfishness and evolve into more caring and cooperative creatures. I disagree. Since these positive qualities are hard-wired in virtually all of us, maybe what we really need more of is something else: backbone.

Have you ever considered we're too cooperative? Maybe we're hard-wired to follow others, even if we should say 'no way.'"

Lappe goes on to site recent studies where people were willing to administer electric shocks to others in order to induce learning. More than half conform, delivering up to 150 volts, even when the subject cried out in pain. When interviewed afterwards, those that stopped sending shocks believed themselves to be responsible for the shocks. The ones that kept going believed the experimenter was the one to be held accountable.

Maybe, because we believe our government is accountable, we don't hold ourselves accountable when we witness racial slurs, poverty, and other problems that we say are not acceptable.

"...In these do-or-die times, the future depends on how quickly we grasp that we must keep power dispersed. As it's dispersed, more of us come to feel accountable. We must master the art of positive courage. We can, for example, reward our kids from the earliest ages for speaking out against injustice.

To call forth courage in the wider culture, we can actively protect and publicly reward and honor truth-tellers willing to risk humiliation or even their livelihoods to uphold our shared values of fairness and honesty. We can work on ourselves, checking our tendency to go along with what we should not.
Preaching generosity and cooperation alone won't get us there. Evidence-driven thinking about the real challenge of our species - cultivating gutsiness - is the first step toward the world almost everyone wants."


posted by Carol at 7:00 AM 10 comments

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is This What We Want?

When I was in my early 20's, I lived in 3 different southern states. I wasn't very politically aware at the time. I just lived my life. I remember all of the wonderful neighbors I had in each of those states. I loved them. And they took me in like family. We would have done anything for each other.

As I got older, I realized that most of those neighbors were probably politically conservative. If we would have gone to the polls together, we would have discovered our very different political values. But we shared the most important things. We were kind to each other and looked out for one another. THAT'S what mattered.

The air feels different nowadays and I don't think it's all because I'm more politically aware and involved. Our country feels more divided. Is it because of the media's divisive messages of labels, lies, and name-calling?

Is this what we want?

I am really sad. This name-calling has seeped into our extended family. We were people who once loved each other; relatives who shared the exploration of ancestry; friends who emailed adventures of birds and sales. Now, names and labels and rigid rights and wrongs are hurled, dividing family into treehuggers on one hand and those who know what's "right" on the other.

And I wonder... On our deathbeds, what will matter most: Believing that we are right or knowing that we loved?


posted by Carol at 9:39 PM 16 comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What Will You Do If Your Vote Isn't Counted?

Below are some excerpts from an article in Rolling Stone by Greg Palast and Robert Kennedy Jr. who warn us of vote tampering on a massive scale.

As Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise..."

Don't worry about Mickey Mouse or ACORN stealing the election. According to an investigative report out today in Rolling Stone magazine, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast, after a year-long investigation, reveal a systematic program of "GOP vote tampering" on a massive scale.
Republican Secretaries of State of swing-state Colorado have quietly purged one in six names from their voter rolls.
Over several months, the GOP politicos in Colorado stonewalled every attempt by Rolling Stone to get an answer to the massive purge - ten times the average state's rate of removal.
While Obama dreams of riding to the White House on a wave of new voters, more then 2.7 million have had their registrations REJECTED under new procedures signed into law by George Bush.

Kennedy, a voting rights lawyer, charges this is a resurgence of 'Jim Crow' tactics to wrongly block Black and Hispanic voters.

A fired US prosecutor levels new charges - accusing leaders of his own party, Republicans, with criminal acts in an attempt to block legal voters as "fraudulent."

Digging through government records, the Kennedy-Palast team discovered that, in 2004, a GOP scheme called "caging" ultimately took away the rights of 1.1 million voters. The Rolling Stone duo predict that, this November 4, it will be far worse.

Block the Vote by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. & Greg Palast is in the current issue (#1064) of Rolling Stone. [Media enquiries - Dave Falkenstein, Sunshine Sachs & Assoc, via interviews@gregpalast.com.]

Check this out: Kennedy and Palast are releasing, simultaneously with the Rolling Stone investigative report what they call, the vote-theft 'antidote': a 24-page full-color comic book, which can be downloaded or obtained in print from their non-partisan website, StealBackYourVote.org

For updates and video reports, go to RollingStone.com


posted by Carol at 8:14 AM 9 comments

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

If The World Could Vote

If the world could vote for the person they'd like to see as the next U.S. prez, which candidate would win this election? (Voters are only allowed to pick from the two candidates that get any press.)

Click here to find out.

Then let me know if you are surprised at the results.


posted by Carol at 4:20 PM 10 comments

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Won't You Please Come Up To Denver?

I'm thinking about what I want to do for peace when the DNC comes to town. I think I know, but I haven't committed to it yet. Last night I was reading an article about The Come Up To Denver Coalition so I checked out their song. Pretty neat that Graham Nash gave permission for them to re-do Chicago.

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posted by Carol at 10:03 AM 6 comments

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

posted by Carol at 7:54 AM 2 comments

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Can't We Just Get The Facts And Vote?

I'm trying to pay some attention to this strange game of choosing candidates while avoiding the dramas. Maybe I'm strange, but I want to be educated while not getting caught up in all of the interpersonal debates and "being right", and did that candidate do this to get votes, and on and on.

"Great" American entertainment.

And the story is created by the media.

I guess I have to admit that I have been paying more attention than necessary to my own drama. One moment, I think that I should go ahead and have surgery on my shoulder. The next, I decide that it's not really that bad - I can live with it. I have a lot of resistance to surgeries and other violent acts. AND I'd like to have my arm back.

Writing this, I realize that, while working on a drama-free life, I am pretty caught up in Days of My Shoulder. Funny how these things sneak up on me.

Hmmm... I could hold an election. Citizens could vote for either change or the status quo regarding this shoulder that has been quite the painful limiting factor for the last year. But first, I get to campaign for both sides - dirty ads and all.

OK then. Time to change the channel.


posted by Carol at 9:32 AM 5 comments

Thursday, November 29, 2007

R.I.P Fair Elections

I probably can't get any more cynical about our election process. Before 2000, I believed that my vote counted. At least a little. Up to that point, I thought that the only thing that got in the way of one human/one vote was the electoral college. I am no longer so naive.

This is an important article:

The Plot to Rig the 2008 US Election
by Johann Hari
from The Independent/UK

excerpts below
to read the complete article, click here

In the long, hot autumn of 2000, the world was shocked by the contempt for democracy shown by the Republican Party. They knew their man had lost the popular vote to Al Gore by half a million votes. They knew the majority of voters in Florida itself had pulled a lever for Gore. But they fought - amid the confetti of hanging chads - to stop the state's votes being counted, and to ensure that the Supreme Court imposed George W Bush.

Today, that contempt for democracy is on display again. In California right now, there is a naked, out-in-the-open ploy to rig the 2008 presidential election - and it may succeed.

...Today, the Republicans are trying to exploit the discontent with the electoral college among Americans in a way that would rig the system in their favour. At the moment, every state apart from Maine and Nebraska hands out its electoral college votes according to a winner-takes-all system. This means that if 51 per cent of people in California vote Democrat, the Democrats get 100 per cent of California's electoral votes; if 51 per cent of people in Texas vote Republican, the Republicans get 100 per cent of Texas' electoral votes.

The Republicans want to change this - but in only one Democrat-leaning state. California has gone Democratic in presidential elections since 1988, and winning the sunny state is essential if the Democrats are going to retake the White House. So the Republicans have now begun a plan to break up California's electoral college votes - and award a huge chunk of them to their side.

...They have launched a campaign called California Counts, and they are trying to secure a state-wide referendum in June to implement their plan. They want California's electoral votes to be divvied up not on a big state-wide basis, but according to the much smaller congressional districts. The practical result? Instead of all the state's 54 electoral college votes going to the Democratic candidate, around 20 would go to the Republicans.

If this was being done in every state, everywhere, it would be an improvement. California's forgotten Republicans would be represented in the electoral college, and so would Texas's forgotten Democrats. But by doing it in California alone, they are simply giving the Republicans a massive electoral gift. Suddenly it would be extremely hard for a Democrat ever to win the White House; they would need a landslide victory everywhere else to counter this vast structural imbalance against them on the West Coast.

I checked out California Counts' website (calcounts.com) where they list the problems with the electoral college in CA:

* In 1988, Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis received 48% of the vote, but received ZERO electoral delegates from California.
* In 2004, Republican nominee George Bush received 44% of the vote, but received ZERO electoral delegates from California.
* It has been over 30 years since presidential candidates have actively sought the votes of Californians. Without this reform initiative, they will take us for granted again in 2008.

Excuse me, but this is the same thing that happens in EVERY state. Why only change California??? (heh heh heh... as if I didn't know...)

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posted by Carol at 9:57 AM 4 comments