- Peace Garden: 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004

So here we are

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Grand Old party is in NYC and partying like it is 1799. It is amazing when I hear some convention goers say that they don't agree with the Genghis Khanian platform but they stand by their man W. The man who is running on that same platform and all his lies. Shouldn't we be voting for a president who we can trust and support in all his endeavors? Read Michael Moore's article about the conventioneers.

The latest poll has the race dead even. Wow! As I say elsewhere, there are three distinct groups in this nation. Those that hate W, those that love him, and those who couldn't care less about anything. If W pulls this election out, this third group, who don't vote, will realize their mistake as their sons and daughters are sent to Iraq, Iran, Syria... They will realize that they made a mistake when they find themselves sitting in the unemployment office. They will know they were wrong when a knock comes on the door and a man in a dark suit wants to talk to them about the library books they have nbeen reading or the DVDes they rented from Blockbuster.

Speaking of Iran, I see that W says that war with Iran is not necessary since we are beginning negotiations with the Iranians. He cites that we had years of negotiations with Iraq before we took our action. Isn't that comforting? Or is it just convenient to talk about dimplomacy in an election year. But W, why are we rattling our sabres? Why is YOUR MEDIA painting Iran as the evil empire (they replaced Iraq as the New Darth Vader)? If you pull out a win, will diplomacy suddenly fall apart? Will we find out then that Iran has been backing al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army? Read this article.

Sir Walter Scott wrote: "Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive." I remember thinking about that quote during Nixon's regime. It is even more poignant today. Remember W, you can catch a lot of flies and life in your web, but webs are held together by several single strands. Clip one of those strands and the web loses its tension, flaps in the wind, loses it power, and the spider has to move to another area to try to rebuild. Get ready W to go somewhere else to build a new web. 4 more months for your current web to exist. For many, your web is flapping in the breeze and ready to come down.

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Peace (?) in Najaf...

Friday, August 27, 2004

So al-Sadr has withdrawn and called a truce. Of course we will have to see how long the truce lasts. But it will be very interesting to see how this "truce" is played out by W and others at the convention. Will W come across as the hero who somehow brought the ailing cleric back from near-death to broker a settlement? Wouldn't put it past him. They will try and the scary thing is that 48% of the voters will believe him. This GOP convention will be very interesting theater. Listening to Air America this afternoon they were reporting that the stage is able to rise into the air. Randi Rhodes wondered if W will be raised up as the Savior of the nation and the world. Hey, who knows maybe al-Sadr will come out and pary with W. Oh that's right al-Sadr would never get past security. A middle-easterner, a muslim cleric, with a beard and flowing robes....Ashcroft and Ridge would be called on their cellular phones for that one.

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12 miles for Peace

Monday, August 23, 2004

...that is what I walked on a beautiful Sunday (8/22/04). My son (Dan) and I joined Peaceful Tomorrows pulling and pushing a memorial stone with the inscription "Unknown Civilians Killed in War". This Stonewalk was a joint project of Peaceful Tomorrows and The Peace Abbey. The stone,carried on a caisson, weighs close to 2.5 tons (including the caisson's weight). It passed through my area on its journey from Boston to NYC. The walk was so moving and meaningful to me I just had to do it.

Twelve miles seemed like a lot to me (or at least my feet) but I am humbled by the achievements of the "regulars". The core group pushed/pulled the stone up and down many hills the past weeks - they began their journey the last week of July. I was even more impressed by Ken-San walking the whole way barefooted and Jun-San, a Budddhist nun, who has clocked so many miles in the name of Peace. As I was pushing the caisson from behind up, one of the hills, I was struck by the feeling of being out-of-touch. For those 6 hours I had no radio, TV,or Internet to see/hear the news. So my mind wandered to my aching feet and the sweat dripping from my face. But as I was walking to the rhythm of the drum and chant from Ken-San and Jun-San, my mind was brought back into focus thinking about this memoral stone - this grave marker. As I was pushing this through the streets of SW CT, Najaf (Iraq) gravestones were being used as cover by soldiers and militia. There gravestones were being destroyed by mortars and bullets. I was in pain but safe from war's violence.

Rather than hide behind this grave marker - I was hoping to hold this memorial up as a statement that we must stop the insanity and strive for peace. I also realized that while I was hurting, my pain paled to the hurt brought about by this war, all wars and all violence.

I applaud Peaceful Tomorrows, The Peace Abbey and all Stonewalkers. I was happy to help in those 12 miles. While my feet and shoulders cannot be with them as they continue their journey, my heart definitely is pushing them up and down the last hills to NYC.

I hope we all can walk and talk for peace.

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Peace Pilgrim

Thursday, August 19, 2004

... Click on the title to reach the site for Peace Pilgrim - a remarkable and beautiful human. Below is a poem she wrote - offered here with no comments or explanation (none is needed). WAR On the scarred battlefield, when they forced me to go I met a man that they said was my foe- And I ran him through with my blade! When I pulled it out and his blood gushed forth, I was suddenly filled with a racking remorse - "I have killed a man!" I said. He was slim and youthful and frightened like me, And not a fiend as they said he would be - "They sent me to kill you", he sighed. "By God! I wish you had done so!" I swore. "Why, I don't even know what I'm fighting for!" "Nor I," he breathed, and died.

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Kerry and Iraq...

Two excellent articles that lambast Kerry and his Iraq War stance. It really is too bad that this man who was so active in the anti-war movement in his previous life has, IMO, gone full circle. John, listen to the people. We don't want this war. We want peace. Come up with better solutions than you have come up with so far. Remember the position Kucinich took during the debates? Listen closely. Follow his lead. UN in and the US out. Come on John. You have to offer a clearer alternative to W. Please! Don't let the term Bush-lite be true. http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0818-04.htm http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0818-03.htm

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An Election Move In Iraq

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

...I always saw our Najaf adventure as a crazy one. Going after al-Sadr with his militia positioned in some of Shia's holiest places is a major risk. We risk any hope of relationships with the Shia population of Iraq, Iran and the world if we continue with this folly. So why are we going in now? This article's theory looks to the upcoming election as the cause of this military action. W sees his chances slipping away. Bush and Company (from this point on throughout this blog they will be called THEM) is well aware of the polls and the public attitude towards Iraq. This article feels that "The Bush administration appears to have decided that it must take a huge risk to generate a military victory that can turn the tide in both Iraq and in the United States." With a major victory W's popularity will increase (his view). So what if lives are lost on both sides to get W re-elected. He doesn't seem to care. This war was based on lies. The 2000 election was based on theft. Of course W would base the 2004 election on blood - as long as it is someone else's blood. This may be the reason for the Najaf battles, but I am sure that the october Surprise is still in the works. THEM won't put all their eggs in a Najaf victory basket just yet.

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The Crystal Ball...

Monday, August 16, 2004

Common Dreams has a great article on the upcoming October surprise. If W has any shot at this election either the majority of voters have to fall for the lies (that could happen) or he has to pull a rabbit out of the hat. It seems the favorite rabbit notion is that Bin Laden is brought forward. The idea that he has already been captured has been around for a bit. My money is on a "terrorist" act. Whether it be true or not - something will happen to scare the population and set W up as our savior and protector. It could even be a true attack - I firmly believe that groups we label as terrorists love W. With him in office with his strong-arm diplomacy, they don't have to spend any energy on recruiting volunteers. The volunteers are knockiung on the door waiting to enter and give their life for the "cause".

The second article is about the war policies of Bush and Kerry. I think this really expresses my view that both Kerry and Bush are out of step. W-I could expect it from, but I am disappointed in Kerry. The way the anti-war sentiment was handled or pushed aside at the Dem convention was disconcerting. While I am sure that he would be better than W, I wish Kerry would take a more pro-active role in discussing peace and leading this nation towards diplomacy rather than force.

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Blown Away!!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Listened to Steve Earle's new songs from his latest CD "The Revolution Starts.... Now". Fantastic. If you get a chance, read the lyrics too at his site - especially the lyrics to "Rich Man's War". Very insightful!! Maybe he can be in the cabinet of the co-presidents Crosby and Nash. The Revolution Starts...Now

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A Party Party

Sure it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. It is a way to promote their latest tour. Yes David Crosby and Graham Nash are running for President (The party Party) or as they state Co-president. A joke-gimmick-marketing plaoy? Sure. But what is really sad is that they would do better than George W. Think about it. They will lead us better and their speeches will be much more enjoyable than W's. They can serenade us with some tunes. won't be as funnny as the Bushisms, but...

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What If?...

Saturday, August 14, 2004

NY Times magazine has an interesting interview in its 8/15/04 issue. They talked with Ray Fair. He is an economics prof at Yale who has written a book called "Predicting Presidential Elections and Other Things," Using an econometric model he has said that Bush will win with 57.5% of the vote. Fair states his model has performed well in the past and that the average error is only 2.5%. The model takes into account the war, social issues, etc. And it still predicts W winning. I had heard this forecast before but when it is in the NY Times, more and more will hear about it, and hopefully talk about it. I stopped, after reading it, to wonder what will happen if W does pull it off and win:

  1. Invasion of Iran, Syria and eventually Lebanon
  2. Re-institution of the draft
  3. Increased civil rights violations with an increasingly powerful Patriot Act
  4. Further polarization of this nation into three camps - those that love W because they are benefitting from his policies, those that despise the man, and those that don't give a hoot about anything just their Starbucks coffe in the A.M., the Big Mac in the afternoon, and their ballgame on TV in the evening.

W has called himself a War President in the past. If he somehow pulls off another four years, he just may be the Civil War President. Just think - anyone who disagrees with his policies may be arrested, copies of Farenheit 911 DVDs will be burned in public, Air America will be taken off the air for espousing un-American ideas, and on and on.

For the third faction of individuals, as long as they have their TVs and Starbucks, WalMart, McDonalds ... they'll sit back and live with the injustice.

Wow, Orwell was only 20 years off. It may just be 2004 rather than "1984". Something to think about.

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A Department Of Peace...

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The world seems to be spinning faster and faster and more out of control lately. I am not one to buy the fear that is being sold to us by Bush/Ridge/company. But you know, sometimes it is difficult. Hearing about terrorist plots to bomb financial sites in New Jersey. Sites in Texas and Louisiana. Reading the news about Iran and our new sabre rattling towards that country. It is enough to drive one over the edge. But I know we must go on and hope that sensible minds will overcome. Sensible, rational and ethical minds to lead countries and companies. These minds can create a better world. One of the greatest ideas to get us on the road to sanity is the Department of Peace (http://www.dopcampaign.org). This is a proposed cabinet level department put forward by Congressman Kucinech and other forward thinking congresspersons. The notion is that peace must become an "organizing principle in our society". The department would deal with policies that address: domestic violence, abuse, substance abuse, rehabilitation, programs that promote non-violence, international security, human rights, conflict resolution.... You get the picture? The idea for the department is one that is SO needed today. Rather than fear, why don't we try to instill hope. Instead of reacting to violence why don't we try to resolve issues and conditions that foment violence and struggle. With the make-up of the House and Senate today, the bill has little chance of passing with the likes of Shays, Hastert, Frist, etc. But maybe if the public raises their voices in support, like Walter Cronkite (http://www.yankton.net/stories/081204/opE_20040812035.shtml) has , well maybe.... Imagine wouldn't it be great if our elected officials started listening to their constituents rather than to the "money men and women". That would be a fantastic way to demonstrate democracy to the world. Let us lead by example rather than through the barrel of a gun.

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It gets more curious every day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Another great article about our potential October surprise (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0810-03.htm). Whether we take actions before November or not, the propoganda machine is successful in creating fear. I heard an interesting comment this A.M. on Air America. Since the Cold War is over, we need a new enemy so we can continue the war machine spending (to help certain segments of the economy). So we now have the Terror War - or is Religious War, Desert War, The End-Times War....? Whatever history will call it, I am sure that future generations (if there are) will look at this period of history and just shake their heads. How could a nation be driven by what Eisenhower tabbed as the Military-Industrial Complex. It took a few years for them to perfect their machines, but they sure do have it humming along with W at the wheel.

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NO DRAFT!!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

My interest in promoting peace is not only based on philosophical and practical reasons but also selfish ones - I am the father of three draft-aged sons. Who wants their sons or daughters drafted and forced to fight a war that is unjust and only designed to feed the wallets of a few? Everyone has to be made aware of the possibility of the draft. This is a great place to start - http://www.nodraft.info/.

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What's Next For the U.S.?

Saturday, August 07, 2004

This is an interesting and frightening article by Ted Rall (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0804-08.htm). Could Iran be next? For some time I thought it was going to be Syria. But oil is clearly the name of the game. How could anyone fall for the lies we are being told. It is amazing that so many people are. Amazing and scary. Bush may just be able to pull off the greatest comeback yet. He will need an October surprise, but if anyone can or would lie, cheat or steal an election, W is the man. He did it in 2000 - that was just practice. He clearly - backed by Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. - can and will do it again. Who knows, he may even come up with a way to do it again in 2008. Sure you are saying that the Constitution would stand in his way. My question is - Has it stood in his way so far?

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Peace Pole Continued

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Peace Pole - Peace in Arabic (Lebanon) and Polish - my family's nationalities. This is the third and fourth sides. This photo makes it look rough and weathered. After so many years it is. Posted by Hello

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Peace Pole

My handcarved Peace Pole - representing our heritage - Peace in English and Armenian. This was "carved" a few years ago. The small ceramic disk on the lower right of the pole contains a figure of a "tree of life". Posted by Hello

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Where there is hatred let me sow love....

St. Francis among the flowers. The title is from the Prayer of St. Francis. I had to learn that prayer in high school. Never really paid attention to the words until I went to a Blessing of the Animals service at St. John the Divine in NYC (with Paul Winter http://www.livingmusic.com). Really listened to the words and was struck by the beauty, peace and interconnectedness. It has now become my favorite mantra.Posted by Hello

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Serenity and Peace

Serenity and peace. The Buddha in my Garden of Peace. So tranquil sitting there. So contemplative. Being at one with everything and everyone around him. Posted by Hello

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Fear!

Terror alerts! Orange alerts! Potential bombings and chemical attacks! It really is amazing as we open the paper, turn on the radio or TV, or visit some new website – fear, fear, fear. Who knows if this latest Code Orange Plus for specific buildings in NYC and DC is legitimate or a political ploy? I wouldn’t put it past the Bush regime to issue this warning to create fear and apprehension just in time for the election and so perfectly timed to coincide with the Dem Convention. I am looking forward to walking with Peaceful Tomorrows (http://peacefultomorrows.org) and Stonewalk in a few weeks. I hope that open hearts and minds will meet the walk. I am disheartened that the local media has not picked up on this beyond the one small article a few weeks back. If anyone should be listened to it is this group. They have lost so much yet they seek a peaceful path to solving the world’s problems. Heartwarming. I wonder what Bush, Ashcroft, and the others think about this group. Anyone who questions the war is on the verge of being labeled a terrorist. I will be proud to walk with the group. I will be overjoyed to lend my voice, by arms and legs to their walk.

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A Sanctuary

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Well here we go. My first submission on this site. But why? Why am I taking the time to set up this blog, writing the entries and keeping everything up-to-date? Well the whole process is a catharsis for me. I have been very frustrated and anxious about the world around us. Sure I felt the same in the 70's. Then I worked on the McGovern campaign on the University of Bridgeport campus. It made me feel I was doing something and I had hope (How naive!). Then I felt the same when I saw the Earth being destroyed. I volunteered as the president of the Trumbull Land Trust and planted my whole yard as a wildlife habitat. Did it change things in the area? Not to a great extent - there still is destruction. Then I was frustrated with corporations so I changed careers and entered the not-for-profit world. Now I look around and see things getting a lot worse and scarier. I think I agree with John Dean when he says this Bush regime is worse than Nixon and Watergate (and he should know). I see us spiraling back to "Earth Destruction" with SUV's, McMansions and total disregard of laws and acts that are meant to save the environment. And now I am very frightened by how many people either accept or look the other way when it comes to the senseless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And how they turn a blind eye and deaf ear to this government's lies, deceptions, and shenanigans. So I hope by putting my thoughts and resource findings on this site I can start a dialogue with others. It will be a cathartic process and one that may help me realize a dream. I hope to create a resource for individuals interested in peace, sustainable futures, justice, environmentalism and progressive ideals. This is a start. IMAGINE!

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