Friday, November 4, 2011

Dona Nobis Pacem

Dona Nobis Pacem/Give Us Peace

Today, on November 4, I’m taking a detour from my usual blogging to Blog for Peace. Those of you reading this on my photography blogs might react with a, “He promised that he wouldn’t get political in his blog posts on this site”. If you read just a little further, you’ll discover that I have kept my promise.

“Peace”, in my mind, is not and should not be a political word. Peace is a time when people are not in conflict with one another, and treat each other as they’d like to be treated- with respect, dignity, and understanding. True peace does not concern itself with ideology, religion, gender, social class, nation of origin, sexual orientation, or any other way that is commonly used to divide people into “us” and “them” categories. Peace is how you and I relate to each other on a one-to-one basis. I understand that these words are extremely idealistic. I also understand that here are circumstances when peace can only be attained or held onto through non-peaceful struggle. Still, as I travel in my own country and in other parts of the world, it is clear to me that we have more similarities than differences. As individuals, we all have a strong desire for peace for ourselves and those we care about. It is imperative for our own survival that, to the greatest degree possible, we “give peace a chance”. There is no substitute for peace.

Would you like to be part of this peace initiative next year? If so, follow this link:



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wisconsin Republicans Rearrange State's Districts by Following "the Dark Side" of American History

In a recent Milwaukee Journal article, it was reported that Republicans have already done this and would like to see it implemented before the ""Recall Walker" votes are made. This is no surprise. Gerrymandering is the proper historical term for it. The intent is to rearrange voting districts in such a way that there is a new balance of voters that favors the political party in power. That means that you realign voter boundaries so that a group who traditionally votes Democratic is absorbed by a majority who have traditionally voted Republican. This is exactly the plan that Wisconsin Republicans hope to implement,

It is interesting that Republicans have chosen to learn from "the Dark Side" of American history and have adopted some of its practices. The last ten months and what has happened in Wisconsin show evidence that it shouldn't be surprising that they do so. Democrats are"using the Force" and have appealed to the federal government (which has created a three judge panel to review this redistricting).

Hopefully, three things will come from this in spite of Republican control of both legislative houses:

-the redistricting will not be permitted to go into effect, at least until AFTER the recall vote.
-the citizens of Wisconsin will be incensed by yet another Republican "Dark Side" ploy.
-Scott Walker will lose his political job and no longer be governor.

For those interested in reading the original Milwaukee Journal article, the link is:

In solidarity,


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thoughts On "The Movement'

Provocative or tongue-in-cheek attempt upon the part of Gary Trudeau? The Movements were/are different:-A stop the war movement + internet = a political tsunami. It's amazing that we did what we did in those times with what we had in terms of communication-no cell phones, no internet. Confrontation through violence was another difference than Occupy Wall Street (both sides were guilty of it at times Kent State (their side)/Army Math Research Center, U.W, Madison (our side)), though our theme was "give peace a chance". Egos abounded and were blatantly present, but Stop the War leaders literally put their lives on the line as targets by being so well-known, as did some protesters randomly (Kent State among other places). Those were the days/there are the days-both with righteous anger and a time of little apathy. My mind is racing on and it's only my initial cup of coffee. This strip triggered memories and thoughts. I vote for "provocative, thanks Gary.
G.B. Trudeau's Doonesbury is currently in its 41st year, tracking its eighth presidential administration. Trudeau maintains his studio in New York and his Web presence at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sorting Out the Truth in Journalism/Occupy Wall Street

It is very difficult to find a source of information that practices what used to be traditional objective journalism. In many forms of the media, the editorial page has moved to encompass the whole publication. A friend gave me a link to another journalist's observations that I found interesting and I thought that I'd share it with you. I'd be curious to discover your reactions to it. Here it is:


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Scott Walker, Wisconsin Governor, Honored

"Campbell's Soup" has issued a new flavor "in honor" of Scott Walker and his political cronies. Needless to say, it's costly and dangerous to the consumer. Walker is reported to be a Wisconsin Weasel, not a Wisconsin Badger as previously self-identified. His political actions since he took office last January have been extremely detrimental to the majority of Wisconsin citizens that he governs. All of his actions have received a stamp of approval by the Koch brothers, major outside campaign contributors to Walker's election.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

History's Lessons Unlearned??

I'm very concerned that President Obama has just announced the commitment of 100 U.S. military advisers to train Ugandan troops. When I read that, my mind jumped back to the 1960's when our nation took a similar action in Vietnam, with tragic results for all involved. I always hope that our foreign policy decision-makers have the capacity to learn from history. Often, I have found that this is far from the truth.

I fully understand the crisis that Uganda has faced by the Lord's Resistance Army. Kidnapping children to brainwash them and make them child-soldiers. Rape. Murder. Destruction. All of these are terrible. You can read more about conditions in Uganda and Obama's decision at this link:

I'm not unsympathetic to the Ugandan people, I lived on the Kenyan-Ugandan border for two years while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. I met some very good people during my multiple trips to Uganda. The Ugandan people are not the reason I'm questioning U.S. involvement there. The U.S. is still in an economic crisis that became full-blown in 2008 and still is impacting millions of Americans. Part of the reason for this crisis is our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, one that drains billions of tax dollars every month and has cost many American lives (lives that can not be measured in terms of tax dollars- these people our our family members, friends, and community members).

The Bush administration, with it's macho military posturing and misinformation, is gone. The United Nations with its international peace-keeping force is here. I feel that if the Obama administration feels strongly about the plight of the Ugandan people, as well it should, its representative in the United Nations should advocate involvement of U.N. peace keepers there. This, I personally feel, is a more appropriate response than sending U.S. military advisers to possibly draw our nation into a Vietnam-like quagmire.

Thank you for listening. I would be glad to read your opinions on the issue, and will try to keep an open mind.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thoughts on bin Laden's Death

"I feel certain satisfaction that Osama bin Laden is dead and will shed no tears for him. However, I do not feel celebratory. The road to his death is strewn with bodies, "ours" and "theirs." This was a moment purchased in blood. I hope it has the value we desire."

The above quote are the words of Dylan Bryne and they express my present feelings better than I could at the moment. The mastermind of 9/11 has paid the ultimate price. In the end, he died as he lived, violence inflicted on a man of violence. It is doubtful that there was any other resolution in the conflict between a man who encouraged others to martyr themselves in acts of terror and those whose lives had terror inflicted upon them.

My next thought is, "Where do we go from here?" I object to those who danced in the streets after his death. We saw the same action in some streets after 9/11 and the only thing that either action did was to provoke further anger. I also object to those who wished to see bin Laden's body. A respectful burial at sea brought closure in a civilized manner, and was not a provocative act of barbarism comparable to the beheading of a captive on You Tube.

It is time for people to soberly consider the future. The resources spent in anger and hatred could be better spent improving the lives of the poor and suffering. We do NOT need further martyrdoms and violence. What we do need is the sanity and clarity of vision to recognize our common humanity and get beyond the cycle of reprisals.

To dream the impossible dream...... Imagine...........