On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Reverend asks “What happened to peace?”
As a person who was in Manhattan when the planes struck the World Trade Center and a person who had a missing family member in that area at the time I feel like the September 11th spectacles and the orgy of retrospectives is something to avoid at all costs. It doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s disconnected from what actually happened, how people really felt. It’s a political celebration and an on que outpouring of emotion that cheapens us all. Far from healing since it’s so far from the truth or that moment.
I saw this video though of Reverend Billy (whom we introduced to you here if you don’t know him) and finally I saw something 9/11 related that made sense to me. Here the good Reverend talks about one of the things we forget was talking place at the time- a genuine human desire for peace, a peace movement.
If you’re in town you can join him this Sunday on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. “Bring flowers & candles and let’s pause together remember when there was still hope for Peace in the time after the towers crashed down.” More info: revbilly.com
Many Somali refugees will be observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It’s a time when, among other things, people fast during the daylight hours, though they are already “fasting” due to starvation. Many Somalis are caught in the midst of what the United Nations describes the Somali drought as the worst humanitarian disaster in the world and what United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls the situation a “catastrophic combination of conflict, high food prices (as we saw in Egypt during the Arab Spring) and drought“.
Famine was officially declared in 2 regions of Somalia in late July while another 8 million in neighboring countries including Kenya and Ethiopia need food assistance.
Ramadan is also a time of for generosity and compassion. In the video people in Nairobi observing the holy month donate food to starving Somalis to deliver aid that also hasn’t come from other sources.
Photo Credit: “point blank” by Jesse Wright
It’s unfortunate that many people think of human society as being separate from, or above, nature. In reality, we are part of it. This means that the actions humans take, specifically the ones which are contributing to climate change, not only negatively effect our natural environment, but also effect our society and the way individuals and nations interact with one another. One of these interactions between nations as a result of climate change is an increased threat of war. Continue reading
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.” — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Beyond Vietnam speech, April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, New York City
King’s “Beyond Vietnam” or the “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam” speech was made one year to the day before he would be assassinated. This is King at the depth of his popularity, when even many, including Black people, turned their backs on him. This is King at his most controversial, and possibly at his most enlightened. Continue reading
This year I have a few thoughts about Veterans Day. It’s really easy for us to wrap ourselves in the flag and make all these declarations about this great country and people making “the ultimate sacrifice” when we’re not sacrificing anything ourselves, let alone our lives.
It’s much harder to sacrifice your life but I think no one really sacrifices their life. Continue reading
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. -George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946
On this day in 2001 during a televised address to a joint session of the United States
Congress, U.S. President George W. Bush declared a “war on terror” against Al-Qaeda and other global terrorist groups. Continue reading
I confess, “if I’m being completely honest” as American Idol judge Simon Cowell used to say, I have watched every season of American Idol (AI) since it started.
I got hooked by the bad auditions in the beginning of the first season, not expecting to be engaged in the contestants plights and quests for stardom.
With millions of voters, even in the first season when no one really knew what the show was, AI consistently gets a voter turnout those in politics would be envious of. Continue reading