Monday, January 31, 2011

Jody Williams - Another Voice for Peace and Social Justice

Jody Williams
Jody Williams was born on October 9, 1950 in Brattleboro, Vermont. Her brother was deaf and suffered from schizophrenia. On account of his disabilities, he was incessantly tormented by his classmates. Williams was deeply touched by her brother’s plight. An indication of Williams’ concern about world issues was the that that as a teenager she was aware of the consequences of American military involvement in Southeast Asia and became involved in the anti-war effort during the Vietnam War.

Williams is the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), an organization that began in October of 1992. She has overseen the growth of the ICBL to more than 1,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in more than sixty countries. She has served as the chief strategist and public representative for this campaign. Working extensively with many non-governmental organization (NGOs) and receptive governments, the ICBL ultimately achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines during the diplomatic conference held in Oslo in September 1997. For this monumental effort Williams was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize along with the campaign she worked for. It should be noted that governments of the United States, Russia and China refused to be signatories to this treaty.

The life that she lived that led up to this monumental achievement was a life dedicated to service. Williams first trained as a teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL), receiving a BA from the University of Vermont in 1972 and a Master's degree in teaching Spanish and ESL from the School for International Training (also in Vermont) in 1974. She taught ESL in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and finally Washington, D.C.. During her stay in Mexico, she had her first real experience of what constitutes grinding poverty. In 1984, she received a second M.A. in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

On learning about the U.S. involvement in the civil war in El Salvador, she began to devote her attentions to this situation. For two years she led delegations to Central America as coordinator of the Nicaragua-Honduras Education Project where she was an aid worker from 1984 to 1986. She also served as the deputy director of the organization Medical Aid for El Salvador where she developed and directed humanitarian relief projects. She was particularly concerned about the deleterious impact of U.S. policy in Central America; Williams held this position until she took up her role within the newly formed ICBL.

In late 1991, Bobby Muller, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, called Williams to see if she was interested in coordinating a new effort to ban landmines worldwide. She proceeded to mobilize non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to press this worthwhile cause. Millions of these explosive devices remain buried in the ground in war-torn countries around the world long after the initial conflicts had ended.

In October 1992, the ICBL was formally launched. The ICBL called for an end to the “use, production, trade, and stockpiling of mines.” As the ICBL’s chief strategist, Williams took every opportunity to speak and write about this issue and was insistent on calling for a total ban.

Their efforts got another boost in 1996, when a meeting hosted by the Canadian government agreed to draw up an international treaty banning landmines. In December 1997, the treaty was signed , with the support of 122 countries. In little more than five years, Jody Williams and the ICBL had achieved their goal of raising public awareness about landmines and affecting a landmine ban.

Together with Shawn Roberts, she co-authored After the Guns Fall Silent: The Enduring Legacy of Landmines (VVAF, 1995). Their book detailed the more hidden costs of landmine use, such as the long-term effects of land mines. Williams expressed her concerns in the following way, “Besides the costs of treating landmine victims, the mines mean that people cannot travel or work safely. Land goes unused, causing unemployment and poverty.”

"People have this idea that land-mined fields are set off with barbed wire like they are in World War II movies, but that is not how it is," Williams once told a reporter. "They put them where people go. They put them next to watering holes, along the banks of the river, in the fields. It is not realistic for people to stay out of those areas."

To achieve her monumental goal, Williams developed an approach that capitalized on the power of numbers, for her cause struck a strong and sympathetic chord in many individuals throughout the world, who were horrified to hear of the impact of landmines on innocent people. In her own words, Williams said, “Imagine trying to get hundreds of organizations – each one independent and working on many, many issues – to feel that each is a critical element of the development of a new movement. I wanted each to feel that what they had to say about campaign planning, thinking, programs, actions was important. So, instead of sending letters, I’d send everyone faxes. People got in the habit of faxing back. This served two purposes – people would really have to think about what they were committing to doing before writing it down, and we have a permanent, written record of almost everything in the development of the campaign from day one.”
Williams continues to serve the ICBL as a campaign ambassador and editor of the organization's landmine report, and, since 2003, has held a faculty position as a distinguished professor of social work and global justice at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Her publications include:

• After the Guns Fall Silent: The Enduring Legacy of Landmines, Shawn Roberts and Jody Williams, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1995.
• "Landmines and measures to eliminate them," International Review of the Red Cross, July-August 1995. No. 307.
• "Landmines: Dealing with the Environmental Impact," Environment Security, 1997, Vol. 1. No. 2.
• "Social Consequences of Widespread Use of Landmines," Landmine Symposium, International Committee of the Red Cross, Montreux, Switzerland, April 1993.
• "The Protection of Children Against Landmines and Unexploded Ordinance," Impact of Armed Conflict on Children: Report of the Expert Group of the Secretary-General, Ms. Graca Machel, A/51/306, 26 August 1996.

In 2006, Williams was one of the founders of The Nobel Women's Initiative along with sister Nobel Peace Laureates Rigoberta Menchu, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire. Six women representing North America and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa decided to bring together their experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. It is the goal of the Nobel Women's Initiative to help strengthen work being done in support of women's rights around the world.

She was the Head of the High-Level Mission dispatched by the Human Rights Council to report on the situation of human rights in Darfur and the needs of Sudan. The Mission issued its report on 7 March 2007. In addition, Williams was invited to participate in the UN’s Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict of Children that was led by Graca Machel former first lady of Mozambique.

In conferring the Nobel Peace Prize to Williams and the ICBL, Francis Sejersted, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said, "There are those among us who are unswerving in their faith that things can be done to make our world a better, safer, and more humane place and who also, even when the tasks appear overwhelming, have the courage to tackle them... You have helped to rouse public opinion all over the world against the use of an arms technology that strikes quite randomly at the most innocent and most defenseless."

To date, more than 156 countries have signed the landmine ban treaty. The following is an excerpt taken from her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, “The desire to ban land mines is not new. In the late 1970s, the International Committee of the Red Cross, along with a handful of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) pressed the world to look at weapons that were particularly injurious and/or indiscriminate. One of the weapons of special concern was landmines. People often ask why the focus on this one weapon. How is the landmine different from any other conventional weapon?

“Landmines distinguish themselves because once they have been sown, once the soldier walks away from the weapon, the landmine cannot tell the difference between a soldier or a civilian -- a woman, a child, a grandmother going out to collect firewood to make the family meal. The crux of the problem is that while the use of the weapon might be militarily justifiable during the day of the battle, or even the two weeks of the battle, or maybe even the two months of the battle, once peace is declared the landmine does not recognize that peace. The landmine is eternally prepared to take victims. In common parlance, it is the perfect soldier, the "eternal sentry." The war ends, the landmine goes on killing.

“Since World War II most of the conflicts in the world have been internal conflicts. The weapon of choice in those wars has all too often been landmines -- to such a degree that what we find today are tens of millions of landmines contaminating approximately 70 countries around the world. The overwhelming majority of those countries are found in the developing world, primarily in those countries that do not have the resources to clean up the mess, to care for the tens of thousands of landmine victims. The end result is an international community now faced with a global humanitarian crisis.”

Jody Williams has worked tirelessly for the causes of peace and social justice. She is now assisting the ICBL in its efforts to promote a new Cluster Munitions Treaty. Her actions and those who have participated in these efforts with her have undoubtedly saved countless lives and helped craft a safer world for many of the world’s children.


Firefly and Jellyfish

This is a story about how little Firefly followed her dreams.

Everybody knows that fireflies have no real limitation in life other than the delicacy of their wings. With their ever present light, innate sense of general direction, and sensitivity to predators (like automobiles and frogs), they are actually a truly fierce, noble people.

The only problem arises, see, in the case that their wings become inoperable. Say a little yellow/green firefly is just frolicking along in the twilight, tickling the tips of the grass and grazing the bouncing petals of Hibiscus before she bids the day adieu, when suddenly it begins to rain. There might be a very simple solution if only a few misty sprinkles burst into life; or, it may be a deadly flight for the little firefly's life, dodging self-sized droplets as they explode from every direction. It is a deftly maneuvering air ballerina who manages a Caribbean downpour without losing a wing.

What happens when wings lose their strength? A nearly immediate death. Whatever portion of life still remains in the body is cut into fractions of hopes surrounded by a mortar of crushing "I can't move!"

On the extremely rare occasion when a firefly does get her wings back, one can only assume she will never cease her constant exercise of flight and complete emulsion into the wonders of a truly free life.

You must be wondering how, exactly, a firefly saves her wings. This feels like an ancient secret, but I tell you it is not! It is as available tot he night-nymphs as it is for an apple farmer to drink cider.

She simply must be aware of her innate magical powers, and powerfully manipulate the energy surrounding her so that her will prevails. All healing and flight will be restored if only she encourages light to triumph over fear.

This is the story of one particular young Firefly. She took risks like skimming sea foam at the edge of glowing bays, she radiated more colors than any one flutter bug ever had, and she asked questions about almost everything. Why? was always her favorite.

One day, she took her foam-hopping a little farther off shore, following the salty spray of a particularly bubbly wave. She flew and she flew until she could not smell the sand anymore and day had turned to night.

It was out over the clear, rolling black sea that she first glimpsed her reflection. In a blur of silky, sparkly movement, a visage achingly familiar to her blinked before her eyes.

She gasped at its brilliance.

In the next breathless moment, the sea was dark again and she hovered there alone.

Where had it gone, this first felt reflection of herself?

Little Firefly looked up, and in the blanket black above her, she saw a tiny shiny twinkle peeking through the haze. Is this me that I do see? She wondered as the star blinked with its bright but far away light. And, though it felt a tad like her, she had to let it be.

Many days and nights she flew on and on, as fireflies are wont to do, but her wings began to tire and her heart started to ache . . . beginning to lose hope, just as her wing beat began to slow, something shimmering caught her attention.

Flaming bright pink, she quickly flashed her soul defense: her brightest light of all, in order to protect herself. She lit up out of shock! A few tense moments assured her she was alone in the air and that the sea had turned dark once more. Again, the cool calming feeling of soft affinity soothed her fears, and she decided to start looking for home.

As she flew across the black waters with only her own light to guide her way, she cursed the clouds for slowing her perception, begged for Moon to come illuminate the way - but the night was dark, and she was lost.

With just a flicker here and there, a faintly changing sparkle like a lamp bulb dying out, she made her last attempt to calm herself and arrive safely.

Just then, right before her eyes, a glowing love replaced the darkness and warmed her up to glow with such heat she thought she might explode!

What are you?! She screamed; not happy, afraid, or sad, she felt so overwhelmed by what was happening that she could not speak.

As Jellyfish approached the air, his glow couldn't help but fade. Firefly flew closer, shaken from her awestruck paralysis. They were suddenly only inches apart, and Jellyfish could feel the power of her quick bursts of color like droplets of sunshine upon his face.

They then shone a newborn shade, first seen that starless night. A strong, familiar, easy color: every peaceful blue and lively green with sunburst orange and daisy yellow all together in one stationary pulsating light.

As the shock of that sank in, they began to dance as if they had been awoken. A brilliance illuminated the sky and shook the water, causing tiny atomic sparks all throughout the air.

Firefly then spoke aloud for the first time since she'd left shore, "Where are we now?" She had finally begun to see that Jellyfish was not her own reflection at all, but a glimpse of a familiar other. He, too, realized that perhaps he had been wrong. Or maybe both were right.

Still passionate and curious, they moved closer to explore, each a little bit afraid of being so far from home.

Just as soon as they ventured further out to see, the clouds broke up and Moon came out, and their own individual glows were distorted so that they became shrouded in confusion!

Firefly and Jellyfish both panicked, moving erratically in aimless circles and getting nowhere; they lost their purpose, exhausting themselves with unintentional apathy for many long, lonely nights.

But they never forgot about that dance. The electricity of movement, the shutter of color, the deep satisfaction of being completely, comfortably immersed in a familiar feeling light: this became their focus, their obsession.

With that focus came a calm, so their lights began to dim. And their hearts began to grow, and to beat more and more loudly. The sound of their lifeblood became the music of their soul, and they placed it higher than the value of their light.

So as little Firefly finally reigned in her regret of flying far from home, she also opened herself up to the idea of staying out at sea.

Separately, Jellyfish decided the exact same thing!

Firefly set out in a direction, seeking somewhere quiet, dark, warm and full of tree leaves upon which she could rest.

Jellyfish swam to warmer, shallow waters close to the sturdy comfort of tree trunks and ensconced in calm coves.

One night, when Moon was behind some clouds, the water and the sky became an impenetrable inky black mass. To the quick pitter-patter of her little heart, Firefly danced around the lagoon as though her light was effervescent, with total wild abandonment and utter enthusiasm. She'd finally found a place to shine.

Meanwhile, Jellyfish watched the Aurora Borealis show through glassy, clear black waters. His heart was bursting to know that it was her - his fiery reflection!

Overcome with excitement, he followed her to a low Mangrove canopy where it is always dark and the leaves hover breaths away from the water as their trunks absorb the energy within the sea.

One eager tentacle reached up out of the surface and caught a pretty wing.

"Oh!" she gasped and fell away into a nearby leaf.

He swam up close and whispered, "My darling light! Get up! Come play with me!"

She turned a paling head his way and a teardrop splashed onto his cheek. "I can't get up," she said, "my wings are just too weak." All the time she had been searching for him had drained her strength, and his sudden touch had electrified her. She could barely move!

He swam closer, nestled his body against her leaf,and gently pulled her down until she weighed upon him. A splashy tear pooled around her as he told her how he never thought he'd find her again and hadn't meant to cause her harm.

Their lights began to fade.

"But wait!" he cried, she can't go now, he begged the trees.

I can't go now! She sobbed into the water.

They cursed Moon and the clouds, and even the sea and shore. They had all conspired against them for this tragic moment.

It would have been her last attempt to fly on broken wings, but instead miss Firefly used all her strength and all her heart, soul, and mind to flash one final light, with which she knew she would be free.

Exactly in that same breath, Jellyfish charged up his final shock: a blast so strong it would stop his own heartbeat - or jump start a dying thumpthump thump thump t h u m p.

A lightning bolt! And skies parted, fluorescent raindrops exploded in every direction!

It was in this powerful moment that both Firefly and Jellyfish were transformed. They had no need for delicate wings, air on which to fly or stinging, graceful tentacles and water to tread: the two souls finally burst into the light they'd created and began to exist in eternal bliss as one exuberant, brilliant, ever changing dance.

A million years have passed, and still tonight Firefly and Jellyfish light up the bioluminescent bays, sparkling from every drop and leaf, splash and sting, ripple, foam, and wave. On dark nights, a Light-Song can be felt. Mother Earth herself pauses to rejoice in the magic of passion, and to sparkle in her all-permeating, familiarly bright comfort.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt...remember Mahatma Gandhi

"Civil disobedience

becomes a sacred duty

when the state has become

lawless and corrupt"

...Mahatma Gandhi...


Saturday, January 29, 2011

pro - con

"Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format."


Friday, January 28, 2011

my space

roger, go with throttle up...

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida, United States, at 11:38 a.m. EST (16:38 UTC).

Disintegration of the entire vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized hot gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB's aft attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces promptly broke up the orbiter.

The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. Although the exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown, several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. However, the shuttle had no escape system and the astronauts did not survive the impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface.

The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found that NASA's organizational culture and decision-making processes had been a key contributing factor to the accident. NASA managers had known that contractor Morton Thiokol's design of the SRBs contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the O-rings since 1977, but they failed to address it properly. They also disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching posed by the low temperatures of that morning and had failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors. The Rogers Commission offered NASA nine recommendations that were to be implemented before shuttle flights resumed. (read more)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

~ Power Drums ~

........and dance, dance, dance like a Dervish.......

Free the airwaves

Contributed by the Smothers Brothers

turn off your tv

"We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true. But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube. You eat like the tube. You raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness -- you maniacs! In God's name you people are the real thing, WE are the illusion.

"So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of the sentence I am speaking to you now. Turn them off!!"

-- Howard Beale, as played by Peter Finch, during his live studio broadcast of the Network News Hour (video clip)

~ The Warrior Within ~

People of the Rainbow Tribe..........DANCE.........become the Ghost Dancer......they won't stand a chance........against our LOVE

Major General Smedley Butler, U.S.M.C.

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed "The Fighting Quaker" and "Old Gimlet Eye", was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. By the end of his career he had received 16 medals, five of which were for heroism. He is one of 19 people to twice receive the Medal of Honor, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.

In addition to his military achievements, he served as the Director of Public Safety in Philadelphia for two years and was an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventurism. In his 1935 book War is a Racket, he described the workings of the military-industrial complex and, after retiring from service, became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s.

In 1934 he was involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists had approached him to lead a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt. The individuals that were involved denied the existence of a plot, and the media ridiculed the allegations. The final report of the committee claimed that there was evidence that such a plot existed, but no charges were ever filed. The opinion of most historians is that while planning for a coup was not very advanced, wild schemes were discussed.

Butler continued his speaking engagements in an extended tour but in June 1940 checked himself into a naval hospital, dying a few weeks later from what was believed to be cancer. He was buried at Oaklands Cemetery in West Chester, Pennsylvania; his home has been maintained as a memorial and contains memorabilia collected during his various careers.

In War Is A Racket, Butler points to a variety of examples, mostly from World War I, where industrialists whose operations were subsidised by public funding were able to generate substantial profits essentially from mass human suffering.

The work is divided into five chapters:

War is a racket
Who makes the profits?
Who pays the bills?
How to smash this racket!
To hell with war!

It contains this key summary:

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

In another often cited quote from the book Butler says:

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."...Major General Smedley Butler (read more)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

the urge to merge

...the primary human motivations are..., sleep and sex...

...feeble human mores are no match for...

...hunger for food...

...the need to sleep and...

...the urge to merge... will never stop the hormonal tides...

...insemination will result in pregnancies...

...does a zygote rise to the level of "human being?"...

...shall we endow a microscopic cell mass with "full human rights?"

...shall we force every impregnated women to carry to full term and give birth?...

...perhaps we should offer free and available birth control instead and...

...counsel women on how to prevent unwanted pregnancies... one should be using abortion as a form of "birth control"... want to reduce abortions... "loaded words"...

...who wants an abortion?...

...nobody...wants an abortion...

...why do women have abortions?...

...mostly one unwanted pregnancy...

...why are there unwanted pregnancies?...

...the mistake is getting pregnant when you don't want to...

...abstinence, sex education and birth control products...

...are the only ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies...

...shouldn't we employ every practical method to reduce abortions?...

...if you are pro-life or pro-choice you have an obligation to support sex education and the availability of free birth control for the prevention of unwanted addition to this you have an obligation to protest and vote against:

the global arms trade...

the death penalty...

the war machine and all war... reduce abortions we must prevent unwanted pregnancies with:

abstinence education...

detailed sex education...

readily available birth control products for free...

state supported womens clinics for reproductive health...

...abortions have declined worldwide as access to family planning education and contraceptive services has increased.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Mr. Warmth"

Donald Jay "Don" Rickles (born May 8, 1926)[4] is an American stand-up comedian and actor. A frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Rickles has acted in comedic and dramatic roles, but is best known as an insult comic. However, unlike many insult comics who only find short-lived success, Rickles has enjoyed a sustained career, thanks to a distinct sense of humor, a very sharp wit and impeccable timing.

It is known that Rickles has a genuine affection for the people that he insults during his routine, and that it's all part of the act. Although sarcastically nicknamed "Mr. Warmth" due to his offensive and insensitive stage personality, in reality most know him to be actually quite genial and pleasant. (read more)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Roe v. Wade

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), was a landmark although controversial decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. The Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state's two legitimate interests for regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting the mother's health. Saying that these state interests become stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the mother's current trimester of pregnancy.

The Court later rejected Roe's trimester framework, while affirming Roe's central holding that a person has a right to abortion up until viability. The Roe decision defined "viable" as being "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid," adding that viability "is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks."

In disallowing many state and federal restrictions on abortion in the United States, Roe v. Wade prompted a national debate that continues today, about issues including whether and to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, and what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the nation into pro-choice and pro-life camps, while activating grassroots movements on both sides.
(read more)


anarchy dot com

The Internet is like an anarchist state. No one is in charge and everyone can contribute. That’s how it should be. It puts everyone in charge of what comes and goes by a democratic process of selection. What is of interest to the most rises in visibility and what is of interest to the fewest decreases in visibility. It’s still available but mostly to the interested ‘niche’. What has no niche, or is offensive, fades into obscurity and may vanish altogether. That’s how it should be. Since there’s an open-door policy for entry, the ‘gateway’ needs to reside at the point-of-retrieval. This has been the protocol for nearly every database system I’ve installed ..the successful ones anyway. The gatekeeper to the Internet has been the role of portals such as AOL and Yahoo, or search-engines like Google. The most successful being the one that allows the most clear and manageable handle on chaos. That would be Google I believe. They have an equitable and consistent method for delivering Internet content. They call it ‘PageRank’ and it allows viewers to determine what comes to the foreground and what recedes to the background of our collective Internet experience. Rankings are based on factors such as the amount of attention a site receives or the aggregate number of links or ‘signposts’ directing traffic there. It is a most democratic point-of-retrieval system, provided they stay away from paid-ranking practices. Now they’re turning their attention to making Internet services available over the greatest number of devices and locations with their Android operating system. This has made the selection process even more democratic. In addition, it has put the Internet in our back pocket. Browser-based touch-screen phones have created a virtual ‘wallet’ ..containing a marketplace with virtual ‘catalogs’, ‘order-takers’, ‘currency’, ‘transaction-handlers’ and ‘record-keepers’. The number of services they can deliver to the palm of your hand is virtually endless. I don’t see the role of Google diminishing anytime soon.

Friday, January 21, 2011


...growing up in southern california near the san andreas fault in el centro, it was inevitable that i would eventually experience a major earthquake event...

it happened one hot day...the shaking started and i rushed outside onto the front lawn...sprawled on my belly i witnessed the entire event...

as i looked down the street i saw waves of movement in the lawns, the street, and the sidewalks that resembled the waves on the ocean...i was on the ocean...

the cars parked on the street shook back and forth on their parking brakes...the trees all trembled in body swayed on the waves of earth as the ground roiled and rumbled...

i was on the sea of uncertainty...the fate of's an earth-quake!

sock it to me

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cosmic zone

Dawn is breaking on the continent of Capella. Overhead, the star of Davriel is still visible in a purplish blue sky. A meteorite trail flashes by. Sallareä bows her head in homage to all she does not know. She’s unaware that, momentarily, what she does not know will be paying homage back. Flickering particles of crystal enter a sector of Sallareä’s narrative-space. Passing through the prisms of her senses, they arrive and get merged in the centers of perception. A message appears in the form of three-dimensional letters stretching from the ground to the heavens ..too high for her to make out what they say. In addition, they vanish and reappear each instant. This kind of apparition calls on her centers of continuity. Then, like constructing a Klimt from grains of sand interpretation begins to form that is such a departure from conventional classification, she has to temporarily step outside herself. An entity that looks like a changing constellation of linked images begins to emerge ..unraveling faster than it can stay together as a singularity. Sallareä is surprised to learn that, whoever or whatever this presence may be, it seems OK with the circumstances of their existence and wants to know if they can join her narrative-space and play.

quasi - state

Quasicrystals are structural forms that are ordered but not periodic. They form patterns that fill all the space though they lack translational symmetry. While crystals, according to the classical crystallographic restriction theorem, can possess only 2, 3, 4, and 6-fold rotational symmetries, the Bragg diffraction pattern of quasicrystals shows sharp peaks with other symmetry orders, for instance 5-fold.

Aperiodic tilings were discovered by mathematicians in the early 1960s, but some twenty years later they were found to apply to the study of quasicrystals. The discovery of these aperiodic forms in nature has produced a paradigm shift in the fields of crystallography. Quasicrystals had been investigated and observed earlier but until the 80s they were disregarded in favor of the prevailing views about the atomic structure of matter.

Roughly, an ordering is non-periodic if it lacks translational symmetry, which means that a shifted copy will never match exactly with its original. The more precise mathematical definition is that there is never translational symmetry in more than n – 1 linearly independent directions, where n is the dimension of the space filled; i.e. the three-dimensional tiling displayed in a quasicrystal may have translational symmetry in two dimensions. The ability to diffract comes from the existence of an indefinitely large number of elements with a regular spacing, a property loosely described as long-range order. Experimentally the aperiodicity is revealed in the unusual symmetry of the diffraction pattern, that is, symmetry of orders other than 2, 3, 4, or 6. The first officially reported case of what came to be known as quasicrystals was made by Dan Shechtman and coworkers in 1984. (read more) (the basics)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


the moon


i know what you're thinking...


do you believe in intuition?...

most people say yes.

do you believe in esp?...

most people say no.

if there's nothing to esp...

why has the c.i.a. and military

spent so much time and money on it?

first earth battalion

Martin Luther King 1967 Beyond Vietnam A Time to Break Silence

Martin Luther King 1967 Beyond Vietnam A Time to Break Silence
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence
Delivered 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio. (2)]
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:
I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, and some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. And of course it's always good to come back to Riverside Church. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it is always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit.
I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.
The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.
And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.
Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: "Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?" "Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "Peace and civil rights don't mix," they say. "Aren't you hurting the cause of your people," they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.
In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church -- the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate -- leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.
I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia. Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they must play in the successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reasons to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.
Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the National Liberation Front, but rather to my fellow Americans.
Since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor -- both black and white -- through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated, as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So, I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.
Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. And so we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. And so we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.
My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years -- especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.
For those who ask the question, "Aren't you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself until the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:
O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath --
America will be!
Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be -- are -- are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.
As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 19541; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Peace Prize was also a commission, a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for "the brotherhood of man." This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I'm speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men -- for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the Vietcong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this One? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?
And finally, as I try to explain for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.
This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls "enemy," for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.
And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the ideologies of the Liberation Front, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1954 -- in 1945 rather -- after a combined French and Japanese occupation and before the communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony. Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not ready for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination and a government that had been established not by China -- for whom the Vietnamese have no great love -- but by clearly indigenous forces that included some communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.
For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam. Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of their reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization.
After the French were defeated, it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva Agreement. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly rooted out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords, and refused even to discuss reunification with the North. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by United States' influence and then by increasing numbers of United States troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem's methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictators seemed to offer no real change, especially in terms of their need for land and peace.
The only change came from America, as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received the regular promises of peace and democracy and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs.
So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.

What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones?
We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing -- in the crushing of the nation's only non-Communist revolutionary political force, the unified Buddhist Church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men.
Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness. Soon, the only solid -- solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call "fortified hamlets." The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these. Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These, too, are our brothers.
Perhaps a more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front, that strangely anonymous group we call "VC" or "communists"? What must they think of the United States of America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem, which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the South? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the North" as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings, even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.
How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent communist, and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam, and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will not have a part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them, the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again, and then shore it up upon the power of new violence?
Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.
So, too, with Hanoi. In the North, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French Commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered.
Also, it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva Agreement concerning foreign troops. They remind us that they did not begin to send troops in large numbers and even supplies into the South until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands.
Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the North. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humor and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor, weak nation more than eight hundred -- rather, eight thousand miles away from its shores.
At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless in Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called "enemy," I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.
Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak of the -- for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours.
This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote:
Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism (unquote).
If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately, the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horrible, clumsy, and deadly game we have decided to play. The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war.
I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do [immediately] to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:
Number one: End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.

Number two: Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.

Three: Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos.

Four: Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and any future Vietnam government.

Five: Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreement.
Part of our ongoing -- Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We must provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country, if necessary. Meanwhile -- Meanwhile, we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices and our lives if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative method of protest possible.
As we counsel young men concerning military service, we must clarify for them our nation's role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is a path now chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover, I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.
Now there is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. I say we must enter that struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing.

The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality...and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing "clergy and laymen concerned" committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala -- Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.
And so, such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God.
In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years, we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which has now justified the presence of U.S. military advisors in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counterrevolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Cambodia and why American napalm and Green Beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru.
It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.
A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.
This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not engage in a negative anticommunism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice, which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.
These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. "The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light."2 We in the West must support these revolutions.
It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch antirevolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has a revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores, and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain."3
A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.
This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing -- embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate -- ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: "Let us love one another, for love is God. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love." "If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us."4 Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.
We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says:
Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word (unquote).
We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood -- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on."
We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message -- of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.
As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated:
Once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.
Though the cause of evil prosper, yet 'tis truth alone is strong
Though her portions be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.
And if we will only make the right choice, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when "justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."5