- To join the French Foreign Legion?
- Start an army?
- Run an illegal cartel?
- Perform in the circus?
- Make Swiss cheese in a weird new way?
Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category
Posted in Animals, civics, civility, Communications, consumerism, deregulation, Education, Environment, government, Guns, Handguns, health, human rights, humanity, Peace, politics, product design, tagged assault rifles, body armor, gun advocates, gun rights, Guns on July 30, 2012 | 5 Comments »
Posted in Alternative energy, Climate Change, deregulation, Economics, Environment, fitness, health, history, human rights, humanity, Nature, Peace, politics, pollution, Renewable Energy, Science, seasons, sports, Travel, tagged climate change, environment, global warming, olympics, sports, Summer Olympics on June 29, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
- Sauna cycling
- Climate change denier decathlon (make them run till they drop)
- Heat wave high-jumping
- Swimming in sweat
- Bad ass butt-blistering badminton
- Empty pool concrete crawl
- Track and burnt to a crisp fields
- Diving into melted marshmallows
- Hop, skip, and puddle jump
- Arid aerobics
- Hot as hell hammer throw
- Molten lava shot put (can you say hot potato?)
- Blistering baseball
- Torrid tennis
- Fiery flame fencing
- Hot foot gymnastics
- Desert doom marathon
- Asphalt egg-frying
- Perspiration polo
- Dead tree trunk lifting
- Bermuda short boxing
- Water bottle relay
- Mirage javelin and discus throw
- Greenhouse gym-gastics
- Wrestling with guilt (everyone qualifies)
Posted in civility, Climate Change, Communications, deregulation, Diversity, Economics, Europe, feminism, government, history, humanity, military, Peace, politics, Trade, Transportation, Women, tagged future, history, predictions on June 2, 2012 | 6 Comments »
- Brazil, not India will be the next superpower after China and the first in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Sadly, I think parts of Europe may be headed for possible open warfare – not over political ideologies, but between the haves and the have-nots. If the USA is not careful, it may be going down that same path.
- The Basque and Catalonia regions of Spain will successfully separate into independent nations as a result of the economic upheaval.
- Canadian banks will become among the world’s largest and most influential as they avoided the pitfalls of the housing bubble.
- The Republican Party will split in two within five years.
- Poland will become an economic powerhouse as the link between Germany and Russia.
- America’s first woman President will be elected in 2016.
Posted in civics, civility, Communications, Diversity, gay rights, government, health, human rights, humanity, Immigration, Language, Love, Peace, politics, Poverty, racism, Religion, Sexism, Women, writing, tagged corporations, human rights, humanism, humanity, Love, people on May 20, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
In 2010, the Supreme Court decided in the Citizen United case that corporations are “people.” More recently, I have seen and heard references to people as something other than “people.” I have heard “units” utilized on a television commercial for Colonial Penn Life Insurance and “giving units” at two different churches to describe people who donate to the church. While this may be accounting lingo, I find it very disturbing that corporations are being called “people” while people are being described as “units.”
This may seem innocent to some, but my concern is these subtle alterations slowly but surely dehumanize people into something other than human beings, while raising corporations up to a standard of perception that frankly, they do not deserve. When you dehumanize people, it can be the start of a very slippery slope towards mistreating and disrespecting them. It is much easier to dispose of a “unit” than a “person.” We all know history is littered with the corpses of those poor souls who were dehumanized by their enemies.
To keep humankind from repeating some of history’s lowest moments, it is high time for all of us to re-emphasize our love and respect for ALL of humanity, whether they are our friends, family, neighbors, fellow citizens, or our enemies. Love is life’s greatest gift. It is time for each and every one of us on the planet to start behaving like we appreciate this generous blessing.
Posted in censorship, civics, civility, Diversity, government, human rights, humanity, Land use, Peace, politics, Religion, Trade, tagged foreign aid, government, Israel, Palestine on May 8, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Posted in Books, Canada, civics, civility, Diversity, Europe, family, human rights, humanity, Love, Peace, politics, racism, reading, Religion, schools, volunteerism, writing, tagged book review, books, civil rights, diversity, history, Mark Morrison-Reed, peace, racism, religion, Unitarian Universalist on April 18, 2012 | 2 Comments »
NOTE: This post was first published on my other blog – Panethos.wordpress.com. The topic is so important, I felt it should also be posted here.
I first met Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed several weeks ago when he spoke at my church and gave the sermon on Sunday morning. Upon hearing about his life story which led him to becoming an Unitarian Universalist minister, I decided to purchase and read one of his books - In Between: Memoir of an Integration Baby. The book is both a memoir and a valuable and poignant history lesson about what it was like growing up as an Afro-American during the Civil Rights movement.
Throughout the book there are thoughtfully vivid and endearing reflections about his family and childhood, important facts, and above all, crucial discussions about race relations in the United States and elsewhere. Having personally grown up in a fairly privileged, white family just a few years after Dr. Morrison-Reed, I could relate in part to his general perceptions about those tumultuous times, but not to the direct, day-to-day impacts he and his family faced. As a result, I found his perspective enlightening. At the same time, I found my poor understanding of the differences between our experiences to be troubling, which caused me to reconsider my “semi-Pollyanna” memories of youth.
Right from the get go, the book noted an important historical fact that I had either forgotten, overlooked, or was never taught – all three of which are pitifully shameful excuses – the United States Capitol building had been built with slave labor (page 4). I have no idea why that historical detail escaped my attention all these years when it makes perfect sense, given the time frame of the building’s construction. If I didn’t even know that factoid, then how in the world could I ever considered myself to be an enlightened and open-minded person regarding the topic of race?
To this day, I can recall being on spring break with my family at Longboat Key, Florida when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. I can remember my parents discussing whether they should try to bypass Atlanta and Nashville on our way home back to Indianapolis – neither city had a completed beltway at the time. In the end, we took the traditional route through the two cities.
I can also clearly remember the debate, both in the media and around the dinner table about school busing and desegregation in my hometown of Indianapolis. I was opposed to the idea of transferring to a private school after eighth grade, but not because I was taking a righteous, ethical, or moral stand in favor of integrated schools, but because the majority of my friends were staying in the public school system. Wow…does that memory ever sound selfish, ignorant, and hypocritical in hindsight.
The reason I am potentially boring everyone about certain segments of my youth is that is what is so great about Dr. Morrison-Reed’s book — it causes one to look back and reflect. Not just on one’s own life, but at our society as a whole. When two people as well-educated and esteemed as Mark Morrison-Reed’s parents can still face the ugly blots of racism, one must rethink our precepts about the United States. Even today, Afro-Americans, Muslim-Americans, women, and immigrants continue to face similar treatment by so-called freedom-loving Americans who think our country is some sort of massive, private, white males-only, flag-waving membership club.
One only need to turn to the recent tragedy in Sanford, Florida to see exactly what the Mark Morrison-Reed is talking about in his book when he cites the differences in growing up as an Afro-American in our nation. Here is an example that eerily sound like it could have come from today’s headlines:
“Many white folks find this impossible to believe, but being a black man in America is risky business — you never know when something bad is going to happen for no other reason than that you’re black and you’re there.
Several years earlier, it had happened to my brother, Philip. After he had moved to Denver he’d been riding his bicycle home from work when he found himself pinned spread-eagle against a squad car, and all he could do was pray that the cops didn’t do anything even more idiotic. His crime was riding through Lakeview, a white neighborhood, just after a drugstore had been robbed, and he happened to be the first black man the police encountered. Philip was carrying his security clearance for the United States Geological Survey, but they just wanted to know how he got his hands on it. They kept him sitting on the curb until their supervisor arrived; the, opening his backpack, they found a geology textbook and a research paper. They eventually released him, but offered not a word of apology, and it took the threat of legal action by the director of the Geological Survey to force them to expunge Philip’s arrest record.” (page 178)
In Between is a superb and thought-provoking book that I highly recommend reading. I also believe it would be a particularly useful textbook in high school and collegiate history classes which focus on the 20th century, Civil Rights, or Afro-American history. Dr. Morrison-Reed’s book will make you smile, laugh, shake your head, and cry. Above all, it will cause you to reflect — and that in itself is an important step towards healing a nation so fractured by race relations for far, far too long.
Posted in censorship, charities, civics, civility, Communications, Diversity, Education, Environment, feminism, gay rights, government, Homelessness, human rights, humanity, Immigration, Love, Peace, politics, Poverty, racism, schools, Sexism, volunteerism, Women, tagged activism, government, Love, militarism, peace, Peace Education Center, politics, protest on April 15, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Last night I had the privilege of attending the annual meeting of the Peace Education Center in East Lansing. The energy level among the approximately 50 attendees was inspiring as the membership socialized, shared a potluck supper, celebrated volunteer efforts, heard business reports, listened to informative presentations, and voted on officers. During the meeting, there was a quote stated that I thought was particularly poignant and useful to pass along:
“Sustainable peace is grounded in inner peace.”
As part of the business reports, three were given by task forces that the Peace Education Center is championing. These are:
The Youth Outreach Program conducted an intriguing study in six area high schools. They asked students if they had $1.3 trillion dollars to spend elsewhere than the for the Pentagon, where would they spend it? Below is a chart showing a summary of the answers that came from more than 400 students.
If you live within earshot of Greater Lansing, please consider joining the Peace Education Center. Their continuing efforts towards a more just and equitable society are commendable and should be supported. If you live elsewhere, consider joining a similar group in your community. If no such organization currently exists there, think about starting a new one. I think you will find the effort an uplifting experience for you and your community.
Posted in Alternative transportation, Biking, Cars, charities, civics, civility, Education, Environment, fitness, health, Health care, humanity, Peace, politics, sports, Transportation, volunteerism, walking, tagged bicycling, cycling, Ride of Silence, safety on April 12, 2012 | 1 Comment »
In 2012, the tenth anniversary of a solemn event will take place worldwide on Wednesday, May 16th at 7:00 pm local time. The Ride of Silence began in Dallas, Texas and honors those who have lost their lives or been injured by motor vehicles while riding their bicycles. Aside from honoring the fallen, the ride is meant to be a peaceful way of protesting the disdain much too often shown towards bicyclists by drivers. The mission of the Ride of Silence is:
“The mission of the world-wide Ride of Silence is to honor bicyclists killed by motorists, promote sharing the road, and provide awareness of bicycling safety.”
Here in Greater Lansing, the Ride of Silence begins on the Michigan State University Campus and concludes at the State Capital. Similar rides will occur throughout the United States and in countries across the globe on May 16th.
Here’s just a brief summary of the scope of the event in 2011 from the RoS website:
- “322 locations around the planet
- All states and the District of Columbia: 2nd straight year, 3rd year for all 50 states
- 24 countries: down from a high of 26 in 2010 but 4 new countries listed
- 28 Canadian locations: twice as many as 2011!
- All seven continents: 2nd straight year, 3rd year total. (how…. in Antarctica?? Thanks to the Palmer Station for having a Ride (Spin) for Silence, taking turns on an indoor stationary bike)
- 47%: number of locations that posted a follow-up ride report (down from 2009 & 2010)
- Zero words are spoken, but a million powerful memories.”
Many of us have friends and/or family members who have been killed or injured by motor vehicles while riding their bikes, but that is not a prerequisite for participation. Please consider participating in this important and sobering event on Wednesday, May 16th. In our unified silence, let the impact of our combined resolve be a deafening statement to all. Below are links to the Greater Lansing Ride of Silence and a page that lists all the Ride of Silence events around the world. Please consider participating.
- Here’s a link to the event details for the Greater Lansing Ride of Silence: http://www.bikes.msu.edu/index.cfm/news-and-events/ros/
- Also, check out this page to locate events around the USA and world: http://www.rideofsilence.org/locations-domestic.php
Posted in art, charities, civility, Communications, Entertainment, Environment, fun, humanity, Language, Love, Music, Peace, Religion, Travel, writing, tagged Earth, environment, lyrics, music, Peter Mayer, songs, spirituality on March 25, 2012 | 4 Comments »
Since joining my church family at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing in 2011, there is a song by Peter Mayer, entitled “Blue Boat Home” that we sing now and then, that I love every time I hear it/sing it. The melody comes from an old hymn, but the lyrics were written to emphasize the fragile and timeless beauty of our lovely planet.
While Mr. Mayer’s original version is wonderful, there is something about singing “Blue Boat Home” in unison with fellow UU members in church that is even more uplifting and inspiring. As an environmentalist, I have found there are few songs which express the loveliness of our planet more than Mr. Mayer’s tune. The lyrics are provided below, as is a terrific music video of the song showing the vast array of sea life off the coast of Catalina Island, California. Enjoy!
Blue Boat Home
Though below me, I feel no motion
Standing on these mountains and plains
Far away from the rolling ocean
Still my dry land heart can say
I’ve been sailing all my life now
Never harbor or port have I known
The wide universe is the ocean I travel
And the earth is my blue boat home
Sun, my sail, and moon my rudder
As I ply the starry sea
Leaning over the edge in wonder
Casting questions into the deep
Drifting here with my ship’s companions
All we kindred pilgrim souls
Making our way by the lights of the heavens
In our beautiful blue boat home
I give thanks to the waves upholding me
Hail the great winds urging me on
Greet the infinite sea before me
Sing the sky my sailor’s song
I was born upon the fathoms
Never harbor or port have I known
The wide universe is the ocean I travel
And the earth is my blue boat home.
This past Saturday evening, I visited a local art galley (Saper Galleries in East Lansing) to view their display of artwork by Dr. Seuss. I have enjoyed his books since childhood, but had never seen framed proofs and final images on display in a formal setting before.
While not overly large, the exhibit was fascinating. It included well-known images from his books, similar artwork that was not contained in one of his books, and even one editorial cartoon that was as poignant today as it was in the late 1940s.
My favorites were the framed prints that included a proof as well with Dr. Seuss’ penciled corrections written in the margins. Of course these were priced to reflect his handwriting. So if any f you has several thousand dollars of pocket change, you might want to buy one.
Here are some photographs I took of the exhibit. If you have the opportunity to see an exhibit of Dr. Seuss artwork at a gallery or museum near you, I would highly recommend it.