OMNI NEWSLETTER OF HOPE FOR 2009
From: Omnicenter Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org) on behalf of Dick Bennett (email@example.com)
Sent: Wed 1/07/09 1:18 PM
OMNI NEWSLETTER OF H O P E FOR 2009, BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE, Compiled by Dick Bennett (#1 March 25, 2008).
SENATOR LINCOLN (202) 224-4843 Fax: (202) 228-1371.
Fayetteville office: 251-1380
Senator Mark Pryor: Phone: (202) 224-2353 Fax: (202) 228-0908
CONGRESSMAN Boozman: Lowell office: 479-725-0400.
DC address: 1708 Longworth House Office Bldng., Washington, DC 20515; 202-225-4301.
"Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures." John F. Kennedy. So if you really think the world should be better, take action to better it. You. We, the People. Jefferson and Lincoln did not say our country was founded of, by, for rulers or saviors, but by us the people. For all who served peace and not armed force, we can never thank them enough. In a Constitutional Representative Democracy, WE, THE PEOPLE ARE OUR HOPE. Here are some of THE PEOPLE (and species friends) making breakthroughs.
GOOD NEWS AT THE END OF 2008 AND THE BEGINNING OF 2009
21 Chanukah begins
22, 1943: strike by COs ended segregation at Danbury Fed. Prison
23, 1947: Pres. Truman pardoned 1,523 of 15,890 WWII draft resisters
23, 2000: Jubilee Debt Relief granted to 22 poorest nations
25 Christmas Day
25, 1875: Jesse Hughan, founder of WRL, born
27, 1914: International Fellowship of Reconciliation founded
28 Islamic New Year begins
29, 1970: Congress passed Occupational Safety and Health Act
29, 1996: Guatemalan peace treaty signed, ending 36 years of war
29, 2002: "Baring Witness" naked women spell out PEACE in CA
31 New Year's Eve
31, 1915: FOR founded
31, 1999: US gave ownership of Canal Zone to Panama
1 New Year's Day
2, 1992: UN established first Conventional Arms Registry
3, 1793: Lucretia Mott born, advocate of women's rights and abolition of slavery
3, 1993: START II Treaty signed
5, 1548: Francesco Suarez born, pioneer of international law
5, 1925: Nellie Ross of Wyoming, first woman governor, sworn in
6, 1937: Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight Spanish fascism
6, 1941: "Four Freedoms" speech by Pres. Roosevelt
8, 1867: WILPF co-founder Emily Balch born
8, 1885: A. J. Muste born, advocate of nonviolence
9, 1859: Carrie Chapman Catt, US suffrage leader, born
10, 1776: Paine's Common Sense published
10, 1920: League of Nations founded
10, 1946: First session UN General Assembly (51 nations)
11, 1912: Textile workers begin "Bread and Roses" strike in MA
11, 1952: 1st British protest against nuclear weapons
12, 1932: Hattie Caraway (D-AR) first woman elected to US Senate
15, 1929: Martin Luther King Jr. born
12, 1957 Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded
MICE FEEL EMPATHY
ADG (7-5-06),"Mice Found to Share One Another's Pain" by Benedict Carey (NYT). We already knew that apes, elephants, dolphins "show clear understanding of the suffering of others in their clans and act to help them."
Now scientists have "found strong evidence of empathy in [mice] who saw a fellow creature suffering," but they have much to learn: the empathy was significantly more for a familiar mouse than for a stranger. [One of the chief moral aims of peacemaking religions and secular education is to widen human capacity for empathy for people outside their family, clan, town, county, state, nation.]
AL GORE CLIMATE PROTECTOR
Gore on 60 Minutes This Sunday. CBS News, March 27, 2008. "Al Gore says those who still doubt that global warming is caused by man -- among them, Vice President Dick Cheney -- are acting like the fringe groups who think the 1969 moon landing never really happened, or who once believed the world is flat. The former vice president and former presidential candidate talks to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl in an interview broadcast Sunday, March 30, at 7 p.m. ET/PT... Gore donated his $750,000 [Nobel Peace Prize] money to The Alliance for Climate Protection, the non-profit he started to help him on his quest. He and his wife, Tipper, tell Stahl they not only matched the Nobel money with their own, but they are also donating to the organization the significant profits from his book and Oscar-winning documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth. The funds will help the Alliance for Climate Protection execute a new $300 million ad campaign on global warming set to start next week. Some of the ads will feature unlikely alliances to drive home the message that people of all stripes are concerned about global warming. These include the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Pat Robertson, Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks, and Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich. Stahl also visits the Gore's Nashville home, recently refitted with touches that include roof solar panels that make it more environmentally friendly." (from Robt. M)
JAN EGELUND UN HERO
Jan Egelund, UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator and author of A Billion Lives: An Eyewitness Report from the Front Lines of Humanity. Interviewed by Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now" 3-28-08. Google Egelund Jan
ACCION INTERNATIONAL HELPING WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD
This is only one of the several organizations that loan small amounts of money to women to begin a business. Located in Boston: www.accion.org
LIBERATING THE BODY
Some 1,500 Venezuelans in Caracas shed their clothes on a main city avenue in front of the statue of independence hero Simon Bolivar. One man said: "There were good vibrations, a good positive energy among all the people involved. I felt liberated." The group gathered for the photographer Spencer Tunick,:"The body represents beauty, love, and peace." "Venezuelans Pose Nude for American Artist," TMN 3-20-06.
CHILDREN OF NONVIOLENCE
In London in 2007 the "Gen II Peacemakers" meeting took place, made up of the children of famous world leaders who were dedicated to the principle of non-violence in the 20th century. King's son and namesake was there, also Gandhi's grandson Arun, King Abdullah of Jordan, Itzak Rabin's daughter Dalia, the daughters of Desmond Tutu, Naomi, and of Cesar Chavez, Christine, and many more. "…non-violence has a track record of solving some of the most intransigent problems on earth, as in the US civil rights struggle, India's independence. "Formula for Peace Is Reborn in London," by Nick Clooney, Cincinnati Post (7-23-07.)
To Grady Jim Robinson the main importance of Barack Obama is: he fills him "with joy and hope about our future." "He's willing to try new things. He has promise….a Bridge to Somewhere, namely the future." "Please, America, Make Me Happy" (NAT, 11-5-08).
DEFENDERS OF RACIAL, ETHNIC EQUALITY
REV. DUNBAR OGDEN
Ogden, Dunbar. My Father Said Yes: A White Pastor in Little Rock School Integration. Vanderbilt UP, 2008. One of the pro-integration leaders in Little Rock's white community, Dunbard work with Daisy Bates, who owned LR's black newspaper.
Palmer, Phyllis. Living as Equals: How Three White Communities Struggled to Make Interracial Connections During the Civil Rights Era. Vanderbilt UP, 2008. Three hopeful responses by whites to racial repression.
Anderson, Jervis. Bayard Rustin: Troubles I've Seen: A Biography. Harper Collins, 1997. Committed to the Gandhian principle of nonviolence, Rustin was the civil rights movement's ablest strategist and indispensable intellectual resource for many black leaders. OMNI founded a scholarship in his honor at the UofA in 2008.
Denise Tyrrell, former Southern Calif. Metrolink Media Relations Advisor, refused to cover up the train wreck at Chatsworth, CA in Sept. 2008."Rail Spokesperson Fired for Telling Truth" by Patt Morrison of LAT. (TMN 9-21-08). She declared: "'I am unclear of…how the truth can somehow be premature. The truth is the truth." Morrison's account is a rousing cheer for truthtelling.
A deranged man killed five little Amish girls in Lancaster County, PA. As donations poured into their lives from the world, they asked for the aid to be shared with the killer's young family, also grieving and horrified. Some Amish even attended his funeral, and his wife thanked them for their "forgiveness, grace, and mercy." These events occurred in 2006, but the example will last until all memory is lost. (Thanks to Fran's 10-23-6 column.)
JULIO DIAZ: Model of Compassion
StoryCorps: Recording America. "A Victim Treats His Mugger Right."
Listen Now : http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89164759
Julio Diaz recorded his story in New York City just days after he was mugged in the subway.
Morning Edition, March 28, 2008 · Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.
But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.
He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.
"He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, 'Here you go,'" Diaz says.
As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, "Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you're going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm."
The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, "like what's going on here?" Diaz says. "He asked me, 'Why are you doing this?'"
Diaz replied: "If you're willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me ... hey, you're more than welcome.
"You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help," Diaz says.
Diaz says he and the teen went into the diner and sat in a booth…...
Produced for Morning Edition by Michael Garofalo.
Students at The New School in Fayetteville have begun a Kindness Awareness Campaign. The students find ways to perform simple acts of kindness with the hope that the person will spread kindness to others. Students ion Melissa Campbell's fourth-grade class sent letters to people they admire. Counselor Carrie Rye helped get the project started. And it seems to be increasing consideration, respect, and sportsmanship. "New School Students Campaign for Kindness" by Brett Bennett, NAT (2-18-07).
SERVICE FOR ONE'S COUNTRY: REFUSING WAR
There never was a good war or a bad peace. Benjamin Franklin
Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, 28, of Honolulu was the first US officer court-martialed for refusing to go to Iraq because the invasion and occupation of Iraq was illegal ("a horrible breach of American law," which made it his duty to disobey) and based on lies. Earlier, in 2005, Army Sgt. Kevin Benderman refused to go to Iraq.. Both were court-martialed. They are our best in clarity, ethics, and courage.
Some of OMNI's values: OMNI SEEKS A WORLD FREE OF VIOLENCE AND WAR, A SOCIETY WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, A COMMUNITY WHERE EVERY PERSON'S POTENTIAL MAY BE FULFILLED, AN EARTH RESTORED. GRASSROOTS NONVIOLENCE, WORLD PEACE, HUMAN RIGHTS, SOCIAL and ECONOMIC JUSTICE, ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP PROTECTING SPECIES AND THE EARTH. Read our brochure and our newsletters, attend our Steering Committee, become an active member of one or more of our committees, participate in our dozens of activities to see how these broad goals for building a Community of Peace are realized in action.