Posted in government, military, Peace, tagged obama on March 20, 2011 |
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At the OFA meeting I attended yesterday, one woman explained her support of President Obama by saying she doesn’t agree with everything he does or says, but she believes in his vision for the country. I do, too, but I am very concerned and disappointed by his decision to attack Libya. From the beginning I thought the invasion of Iraq was a big mistake, and as the war there and in Afghanistan has dragged out, my opposition has been justified. In general I think violence should be the last resort to solve anything, although I know reasoning with Gaddafi is useless. I don’t claim to understand the complexities of the situation, but I know our country can’t afford another entanglement over oil in that region of the world.
Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Dish is covering events with typical zealousness and has a good roundup of his thoughts as well as analysis from the experts.
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Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was published today in 1852. I read the book last year after owning it for a long time, and it was hard going because the treatment of the slaves was so brutal. Although the tale is fiction, Stowe based it on real accounts she read and people she met while living in Cincinnati, just across the river from the slave-holding state of Kentucky. The book is remarkable for several reasons: 1) it wasn’t common for any woman to be published; 2) the subject matter was highly controversial. Reports say the book had a hand in starting the Civil War, as it sold 10,000 copies in its first week in the United States and 300,000 its first year, and forced Americans to confront the ugly reality of slavery.
Stowe said of her motivation to write the book:
“I wrote what I did because as a woman, as a mother, I was oppressed and broken-hearted with the sorrows and injustice I saw, because as a Christian I felt the dishonor to Christianity — because as a lover of my county, I trembled at the coming day of wrath.”
She also said, “…the enslaving of the African race is a clear violation of the great law which commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves.” Stowe was ahead of her time in advocating that message, and it’s one we would do well to remember even today.
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The Alliance for Biking & Walking recently honored individuals and organizations across the nation for their advocacy efforts on behalf of non-motorized transportation. According the the Alliance’s press release the awards are meant to achieve the following:
“To shine the spotlight on the progress and victories of the bicycle and pedestrian advocacy movement, the Alliance for Biking & Walking is pleased to announce its 2011 Advocacy Award winners. Since 2009, the Alliance has solicited public nominations and recognized the individuals, organizations and business leaders who are propelling our People Powered Movement.”
According to Alliance President and CEO Jeff Miller:
“Our 2011 award winners represent all corners of the continent and a variety of different campaigns and initiatives to increase biking and walking. But they are all shining examples of the energy, enthusiasm and progress of the bicycle and pedestrian advocacy movement — a movement that is transforming communities across North America.”
For 2011, the Alliance for Biking &Walking honored the following winners:
- Advocacy Organization of the Year: Bike Pittsburgh
- Advocate of the Year: Jackie Douglas, LivableStreets (Boston, MA)
- Business Advocate of the Year: New Belgium Brewing Company
- Winning Campaign of the Year: Michigan Complete Streets
- Best Practices: Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
- Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award: Stephanie Routh
- Innovation Award: Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (Virginia)
Congratulations to all of the winners. A special shout out to the Michigan Complete Streets Program. You did the Great Lakes State proud!
For more information on the Alliance for Biking & Walking, check out their website via this link.
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Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova from the then Soviet Union was the first woman and first civilian in orbit. On her mission as a cosmonaut, she spent 71 hours orbiting Earth 48 times in June 1963 in her capsule named Chaika (Sea Gull). Ms. Tereshkova was a avid parachuter and she parachuted from her spacecraft after it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. To my knowledge, no other person has ever done that. Upon completion of her successful mission Ms. Tereshkova was honored with the following:
- Title of “Hero of the Soviet Union”
- Order of Lenin
- Order of the October Revolution
- United Nations Gold Medal of Peace
- Simba International Women’s Movement Award
- Hero of Socialist Labor in Czechoslovakia
- Hero of Labor of Vietnam
- Hero of Mongolia
Ms. Tershkova was born on March 6, 1937. Following her triumphant space flight, she went on to graduate from the Zhuykosky Air Force Engineering Academy in 1969, and earned a degree in technical science in 1976. She also served in the Communist Party for many years including as President of the Soviet Women’s Committee and as a member of the Supreme Soviet (Parliament).
Valentina Tereshkova in 2002 c/o wikipedia.com
Today, in her 70s, Valentina Tereshkova remains revered as a Russian hero. Given the scope of her accomplishments, she should be heralded across the planet for her contributions to science and the advancement of women.
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