Peace and Justice Files
Thirty summers ago, a group of activists gathered in St. Paul, MN to discuss the possibility of creating a Green Party in the United States that might replicate the political successes of The Greens (Die Gruenen) in West Germany. Building on the “Four Pillars” of Die Gruenen, they came up with a statement that listed 10 “Key Values” for the nascent American Green movement: Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, Personal and Social Responsibility, Nonviolence, Decentralization, Community-Based Economics, Post-patriarchal Values, Respect for Diversity, Global Responsibility, and Future Focus. Read more
Maybe you remember: it was a beautiful Tuesday morning, clear and sunny. I had spent a couple of early morning hours training with my martial arts teacher, and I was headed home to start in on my day’s obligations for my telecommuting job. I stopped at a health food store in Hamlin for a beverage—and it soon became clear that something was not right. The radio was tuned to NPR and the news people were still on the air, though it was now way past the time for the morning news programs.
And what they were saying made no sense.
“What… happened?” I asked the clerk. Read more
Author’s note: I don’t know if Sullivan County is in the coverage area for Bob Beierly’s publication Our Town, but here on the PA side of the river you can’t swing a cat without hitting one of his stands. A longtime feature of local life in Wayne and Pike counties, this free magazine, combining right-wing politics and sometimes salacious humor, has recently begun expanding its reach into Orange County, parts of New Jersey and other areas. Read more
The folks at Hobby Lobby (which apparently is an evangelical ministry disguised as a craft store) took out a full-page ad in the papers recently, touting the notion that the United States was from the outset intended to be a “Christian nation” (whatever that is supposed to mean—but that’s another column). I guess they were reveling in the heady feeling of victory, following the Supreme Court decision that recognized their right to apply their religious beliefs to the benefits package that they offered their employees. Many liberals and progressives were upset by the decision, but not me. Read more
It was a beautiful August day as we gathered in the town square. Two large tubs, one with soapy water and one with clean water, had been set up in front of the speakers’ podium. A good-sized flag hung from a clothesline behind it, its stars and stripes bright in the sunlight. Two more clotheslines hung on either side, plentifully supplied with clothespins. A table held the dishes that had been brought for what I guessed was a potluck to follow.
Everyone had flags. Small ones, large ones, flags hanging from flagpoles, flags stapled to sticks, flags draped across shoulders. Read more
I spent my adolescence in North Carolina, during the storied reign of Dean Smith as basketball coach for the UNC “Tar Heels.” An important part of UNC’s strategy during those years was the “Four Corners Offense.” Having established a lead, four Tar Heel players would stake out the corners of the offensive court and use up as much time as possible just passing the ball back and forth. Read more
World events, no matter where, are no longer “remote,” and haven’t been for some time. Moment by moment, we can follow the search for a vanished jetliner over the Indian Ocean, or watch one country take a bite out of another along the Black Sea. Battles and disasters, once just abstract reports, take on specific human forms, with individual names and faces. Read more
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world.
It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
― L.R. Knost
Every once in a while (as I may have observed here before), something comes across the Internet, amongst all the kitty-cat videos and trivial “Mmmm, nice lunch!” status updates, that make a reader stop dead for a moment. Read more
The System functions as designed
Does just what it’s supposed to do
So you shouldn’t be surprised
From the point of view of those on top
Everything is working fine—
The System functions as designed Read more
For me, 2013 didn’t go out with a bang; it went out with a cough and a wheeze and a snore. After a year-end barrage of long workdays, a persistent chest bug sent me to bed around 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and I didn’t stir till late the next morning. It was just as well; I was perfectly happy to be done with a year that had brought more than its share of challenges. Read more