July 2010's Spiritual Sharings

8/2/10 – We’re culturally programmed to react destructively, angrily, guiltily, defensively and vengefully, but we can instead go within and find the gentle, peaceful, loving, forgiving opposites to such conditioning which miraculously transform each moment.


8/1/10 – Our shared cultural judgments damn us all to a collective sense of wrongness, inadequacy, sinfulness and unworthiness, while recognition of our shared spiritual perfection, creativity, will, w/hol(i)eness and love offers all a saving release from fear.


7/31/10 – Cultural myths, like all words and symbols, are always relative. They can be rich, suggestive, poetic, powerful, helpful, revealing and inspiring, as well as confusingly and distractingly circuitous, contradictory, incoherent, destructive—and persistent.


7/30/10 – Words can usefully point to and hint at truth, but they can also obfuscate and complicate truth. Words are always relative, whereas truth is ineffable—inexpressible and incommunicable in words—as well as absolute, experiential, simple and self-evident.


7/29/10 – Words are mere human symbols, variously-defined in relation to one another, subject to arbitrary interpretation, misinterpretation, re-interpretation and twisting. Everything written and spoken is relative, whereas truth is always ineffable and absolute.


7/28/10 – Without a shared theology or belief system, we can still all joyfully join in accepting our beautiful, amazing selves, each other, and the world as-is, sensing our oneness with a timeless, powerful, loving source, and attending to our inner guide.


7/27/10 – We can buy the cultural illusion that we are deprived, cheated sufferers, cruelly and unfairly punished for unavoidable failures; or we can recognize that we are God’s one whole perfect creation, forever sharing the love and abundance of the universe.


7/26/10 – We can beneficially dedicate each day to asking our guiding spirit for loving, strengthening, helpful spiritual perspectives regarding the people, situations, questions and challenges we will encounter, pondering the answers we receive, and applying them.


7/25/10 – We can see humankind as our one self, recognize love’s shared abundance everywhere, and fulfill our only need—to extend acceptance, forgiveness and appreciation as required to gently heal all errors arising from fear of love’s insufficiency.


7/24/10 – When we ask for spiritual help in seeing any situation, issue or person differently, our limited, defensive, angry, skewed viewpoints are powerfully replaced with a helpful, peaceful, smart, thoughtful, intriguing insight which changes everything.


7/23/10 – Within us is a guiding light, a spark of divinity, that-of-God, a calm, soundless voice, a shining conscience, a comforter, sage and seer that strengthens, inspires and loves us, answers our questions, and understands all situations far better than we can.


7/22/10 – We can draw all we encounter into our circle of acceptance, appreciation, love and forgiveness for everything, past and present. As we gently welcome all who stand outside the circle, we will find ourselves drawn safely and peacefully inside it, with them.


7/21/10 – We can close our culturally-blinded, critical, defensive eyes, choose patient acceptance of our own and others’ gaps in understanding, and trust only in God’s quiet, loving judgment of our holiness (wholeness), and in the unity of our shared forgiveness.


7/20/10 – The single essential, motivating lesson we are challenged to teach, exemplify (and thus learn) is how wonderful we all are as-is—wholly lovable in our fallible human uniqueness, forever blameless, sufficient, worthy, indispensible, precious and holy.


7/19/10 – How we see others, treat others, think of others, is how we will see, treat and think of ourselves. We can remember that we are all lovable, wonderful, fallible, forgivable and very human, and that we all have forever to live, learn and love.


7/18/10 – Communication can be honest, effective and true when we ask for spiritual help—in dropping our barriers, staying in the moment, letting go of fear, getting our ego out of the way, and allowing God to express, affirm and celebrate our holy connection.


7/17/10 – God can free us of our cruel cultural illusions—of conditional love, of our own guilt, helplessness and isolation, and of a too-brief interval between birth and death spent fighting over a few unsatisfying earthly rewards and pitilessly-limited slots into heaven.


7/16/10 – What if we live forever in an abundant universe and a timeless present—perfect, undivided, loving, loved, interdependent, innocent, one with God, each other and all creation—and eternally blessed with access to God’s guidance, strength and power?


7/15/10 – We are exactly as we were forever intended to be, uniquely indispensible to God and his creation, timelessly innocent, and capable of expressing one shared perfect love and will. Yet we dream a cultural nightmare of fear, difference, guilt and chaos.


7/14/10 – We can focus our faith, commitment, time, energies and talents on recognizing, creating and fulfilling at each present moment the truth that “what-is” is good; or we can limit and postpone awareness of our own power to creatively fulfill that beautiful reality.


7/13/10 – The justice of God comprises eternal innocence in a timeless present; the gift of an amazing and abundant universe; total access to God’s love, strength, guidance, and spirit; and an eternity in which to enjoy and equally contribute to loving interdependence.


7/12/10 – When we let go of the recent and ancient past—all mistakes and regrets, both ours’ and others’, remembering only good intentions, efforts and gifts—we once again feel light, open, positive, and free to love and give again in each shining new moment.


7/11/10 – We can ask for help in letting go of our cultural focus on harmful illusions, analyses and projections of a competitive, guilty, fearful reality, and instead see everyone and everything through loving, eternal eyes—beautifully, perfectly, spiritually “as-is.”


7/10/10 – We can’t feel and express both negative and positive emotions simultaneously, but we can ask for help in releasing those fearful feelings, so as to allow room for the miraculous healing power of accepting feelings to flow through us in the present moment.


7/9/10 – Anger is a sign of guilt pangs so bad that we attempt to foist them on others by focusing on their mistakes and shortcomings, all in a foolish attempt to redirect our imagined deserved punishments and retributions for an implacable past that is … gone.


7/8/10 – When we confidently and humbly offer our unique and invaluable lives and gifts to the completion of God and his creation, assured that our contributions are as important and indispensible as everyone else’s, God responds by offering us everything, forever.


7/7/10 – We gain what we give. We can offer God’s beloved children strength, light, hope, support, healing and peace as we walk hand-in-hand along our path with them and with God, and receive, multiplied and overflowing, all the gifts that we have extended.


7/6/10 – If we want a peaceful day, we can let go of fear, and share instead God’s eternal acceptance, appreciation and unconditional love with every each of his beloved children, treating all as infinitely worthy of our deepest respect and our most loving thoughts.


7/5/10 – To see only love in ourselves, everyone else, and everything, we can let go of our defenses against it—our fearful cultural lessons, strict personal experiential rules, and every barricade, wall and fortification separating us from offering and receiving it.


7/4/10 – Moment-to-moment, we choose between love and fear. Choosing love always makes sense, because love always works in the eternal now.Choosing fear (guilt, anger, injustice, separation, vengeance, sadness, despair…) never makes sense in any context. 


7/3/10 – We cannot “fix” ourselves or anyone else, but we can choose to see everyone through loving, appreciative, forgiving eyes. When we choose to express peace, we will understand the power, vision, value, joy and clarity (for everyone) in loving choices.


7/2/10 – The body was never meant to last. Only universal mind remains forever in eternal communication with the love that is its self. Love is who we were created to be, who we are and will always be, one perfect love with God and his whole creation.


7/1/10 – When we’re afraid for others, we’re relating to them as to mere limited mortals, tragic figures bound within a brief life and a cruel death. Yet we can choose instead to joyfully communicate as peaceful eternal spirits boundlessly expressing the love of God.


6/30/10 – An instant of willingness to share God’s truth, inspiration, guidance, love, peace, light, forgiveness and joy clears away all nonsense about the past and all its guilty, angry, fearful, judgmental, divided, painful, stupid, useless “knowledge” and “lessons.”

Sharing Spiritual Inspiration and Insights

Every day that I can, I meditate/pray/(or whatever word you want to call it) as early as I can. Usually I have personal questions or issues that seem pressing that day, so I attempt to articulate those questions as part of my meditation. Then I do some reading from a variety of inspiring sources. Then I summarize what I learned from that day’s meditations, questions and reading in a brief Spiritual Sharing.


I hope you will feel free to substitute (for the word “God” in the following meditations) your word that best describes or names the source of your experience of spiritual power, insight and understanding—whether God, guiding spirit, intuition, the unknowable, conscience, Hashem, inner knowing, natural understanding, deity, the Universe, friend, light, the Ineffable, creator, a favorite deity, I-Am-That-I-Am, or any other word or name that works for you. The many different linguistic, cultural, religious and experiential names we assign to our various but often uniquely personal spiritual experience and understanding of our higher power cannot change whatever may be its essence and nature.


It’s possible that I may someday attempt to publish this year’s worth of mediations. Thank you for your help, and for feedback too!



Daily Spiritual Sharing:


2/10/10 – We can help others best by recognizing that we don’t know how to—but God does. We can be fully present, accepting and loving. We can ask to see clearly, allow God to work through us appreciatively, encouragingly and forgivingly, and not interfere.


2/9/10 – When we limit the number of times we turn to our guiding spirit for insight, inspiration and help, we limit the number of daily problems, large and small, that we can resolve.


2/8/10 – Our happiness and strength arise from our undivided efforts to see, accept and lift ourselves and all others as God’s one perfect, unconditionally-beloved, eternal creation, to whom he has given everything, and with whom he is well-pleased.


2/7/10 – All apparent angry attacks and defensiveness conceal fearful pleas for healing and help. When we ask for God’s grace and vision, he lifts every imagined illusion and barrier to the love that sees only goodness and unity, and sets all things right.


2/6/10 – We get angry at others because we feel guilty about what we’ve done to them, not the other way around. And so we try to make ourselves feel better by dumping our guilt feelings on them, imagining we can rid ourselves of our guilt that way. We can’t.


2/5/10 – Human culture projects its fearful interpretation upon everyone’s actions, while spiritual guidance leads us to a more peaceful, loving vision. Thus, we can reactively interpret behavior as aggressive, or we can ask to see it as offering—or requesting—love.


2/4/10 – When we notice someone who frightens us—someone apparently sick or sad or desperate or angry—we can ask our guiding spirit for another way of seeing that person, not let our fear interfere, surrender the encounter to peace and inspiration, and relax.


2/3/10 – When we ask for clarity and guidance, we find out that what we need and want the most, but may have temporarily lost sight of, is exactly what God wills for us too. We are wholly supported in accomplishing this shared will—surely, safely, serenely, joyfully.


2/2/10 – We don’t understand our own needs. Our guiding spirit does, and will supply them, when we let go of our own ideas of what they are, and stop hurrying to fulfill them. Instead, we can be willing to ask, and receive.


2/1/10 – Gifts given resentfully, guiltily and fearfully, without loving thoughts, are unwelcome sacrifices, angry attacks, tradeoffs, payments for something. We imagine someone is demanding sacrifices of us, but we’re demanding them of ourselves.


1/31/10 – We are God’s one perfect beloved eternal expression. Bodies are for communicating unity, acceptance and love, and were never meant to be permanent. God bountifully comforts, inspires and strengthens the willing. Of what shall we be afraid?


1/30/10 – We can relate to one another as to God, and he to us—one good, whole, perfect creation, one value, one mind, one love, one request and one answer. We are his loving eyes and willing hands, and through us he extends his appreciation and meets every need.


1/29/10 – All our guiding spirit asks of us is our willingness that it be our guide. We don’t need to be strong, or sure, or wise, but merely willing.


1/28/10 – Our one real choice is whether or not to invite and follow our inner guidance. When we surrender to it, we’re happy, and when we don’t, we lose our way. This one powerful choice offers us vision, release from guilt and fear, and clarity of purpose.


1/27/10 – When we dedicate each situation, interaction and perceived conflict to a peaceful outcome, and look on everyone with appreciation and acceptance now, we can be assured that all will play their parts well, and that God will meet everyone’s needs.


1/26/10 – When things go wrong, we need do nothing. We can rest quietly, calmly, patiently, fearlessly, harmlessly—accepting and trusting in God’s peaceful, healing light, hope, inspiration, vision, power, insights, strength, and unconditional love.


1/25/10 – What if spirituality reveals a powerful higher reality not contradictory to science but unexplained by it? What if we share one transcendent mind and love? What if the universe is within, nothing is without, and we dream eternally in the heart of God?


1/24/10 – How do we know what’s the right thing to do? What makes us feel good. What makes us feel peaceful, loving, loved, at one with all of life. What relaxes, heals, warms us, lets us breathe, brings smiles and laughter, what feels right, what makes us happy.


1/23/10 – We can only give love, which is who and what we are—one love, one mind with our creator and his creation. Nothing else is eternal. Our bodies are temporary, a means of loving. We can choose to give and receive love only now. Nothing else matters.


1/22/10 – We create our own little separate realities by projecting our fears about the world outward onto others, and then letting their responses reinforce our beliefs. When we express and see instead only one loving, eternal reality, love’s witnesses appear.


1/21/10 – As we give now to our brother, and thus to ourselves and everyone, the eternal gifts we’ve received of peace, acceptance, love, appreciation and forgiveness, our eyes mirror our freedom from fear, past and future, change, mistakes, guilt, hurry, and time.


1/20/10 – Each of us creates his own little harmful, hostile, confusing, insane personal and cultural world of senseless mental fantasies and meaningless projections of guilt, judgment and fear—when all we ever need and want is to be in the circle of God’s love.


1/19/10 – God’s justice comprises his peace, life abundant, and life eternal. His love is unconditional, his forgiveness and patience infinite. We can be ignorant, confused, misguided, willful, crazy, dangerous and cruel, but never irredeemably “bad” or “evil.”


1/18/10 – When we feel inadequate, we’re judging God himself to be difficult, angry, impossible to please. God loves us now and always with unconditional love and infinite appreciation for our smallest gifts, which ripple perfectly through his beloved creation.


1/17/10 – Instead of letting guilt and fear hold us back from the love we could be giving and receiving, we can use them as reminders to ask God to share with us—and through us—his comforting vision of one unified, beloved, forgiven, eternally perfect creation.


1/16/10 – We can experience the power and the memory of God anytime that we want nothing else. We can ask for it, welcome it, and then await the coming of God’s bright, beautiful, revealing, comforting, illuminating, reassuring, guiding, restful presence. 


1/15/09 – What if this life isn’t the only “chance” we get? What if somehow we go on forever in an eternal present, one with all creation and its accepting, loving creator, just as he intended? Why cling blindly to a tragic cultural vision of a brief, hurried, guilty life?


1/14/10 – When we let God work powerfully and lovingly through us, he heals our illusion that we are separate, divided, competing mortals, and shows us that we are forever one in him—free to be, do, have and share everything we need and want.


1/13/10 – When we ask God for guidance, he who sees his creation as one, equal, beloved and eternal, will move us away from all sense of isolation, guilt and fear, and toward choices that are in the best interests of everyone and everything—that is, our own.


1/12/10 – We can ask God to share with us his vision of one perfect creation all equally and forever blessed with everything we could want and need, and for the healing strength we need to free ourselves now from all guilty illusions of a past that is, after all, gone.


1/11/10 – We are most powerful when we merely accept everything and everyone as-is, without opposing, comparing or defending, letting the goals of acceptance and peace inspire all our relationships, interactions, decisions, conflicts and endeavors.


1/10/10 – God helps us drop our cultural blindfolds—the judgment, guilt and fear which fog and obscure our sight of others and ourselves as-we-are and were meant to be—his unique, beloved, beautiful, human, muddled, messy, forgiven, perfect creation.


1/9/10 – God is not at home in our separateness, but in our relationships. We know his peace when we let go of imagined “safety” barriers of guilt and fear between ourselves and others, choosing instead to rest calmly in immutable innocence and oneness.


1/8/10 – We can walk joyfully along our eternal path of now by walking together with others—neither before nor behind—seeing ourselves as God does, as his one perfect, beloved creation and will, and letting go with him our human blindness to that light.


1/7/10 – We can rest together where time begins and ends, one with another and our peaceful guiding spirit, healed, forgiven, released from past guilt and future fear, filled with the inspiration and creative possibilities inherent in a loving, innocent, eternal now.


1/6/10 – A focus upon one single healing purpose comprising acceptance, appreciation, help, forgiveness and love toward all things offers stability and meaning to life. All other perspectives—on ourselves and each other, our activities and goals—result only in guilt.


1/5/10 – When we humbly accept God’s miraculous healing of all our past errors and imagined future fears, we can once again live joyfully and appreciatively in the present moment, seeing in ourselves and everyone only reflections of his light, grace and love.


1/4/10 – When we see ourselves as temporary, threatened individuals, we compete and attack.When we remember our essence and eternal value as beloved co-creators with God and all, life is joyful, loving, purposeful, cooperative, productive, peaceful, meaningful.


1/3/10 – Giving and receiving acceptance now miraculously changes and heals the past while creating a peaceful, happy future. If we drag our own and others’ past mistakes into our present moments, when will we envision, create and share a different kind of future?


1/2/10 – All that we give is wholly shared, because God’s creation isn’t separate, but one. God’s love is given and received in an eternal creative cycle, to us and through us. Our only limit on giving and receiving is our willingness to ask, receive, give, and appreciate.


1/1/10 – When we accept and mindfully practice union—peace, kindness, acceptance, love—as our highest relationship goal, all our interactions, communications, conflicts, giving, creativity, work, play and all our other priorities feel miraculously supported.


12/31/09 – Who might be harmed if we all consistently chose to project upon one another—and ourselves—a warm, caring, positive, empathetic, optimistic vision of their/our human potential, capacity, and possibilities? Who might benefit?


12/30/09 – All guilty, sad, hard things of the past, all scary possibilities of the future, are just illusions that mess everyone up in the present moment. Everything that is joyous, loving and giving happens now, this moment, when we let all past and future fears go.


We can pass on, encourage, enkindle either fear or love. Let’s choose love. And when we or others forget, we can let it go and choose once again. Love is the most powerful force in the universe, while fear is nothingness. Choose love, and choose love, and choose love.


Fear erases whole-heartedness—all appreciation, all reasonable, loving perspectives, and everything we know to be true, replacing them with insanity, cruelty and chaos. We can always, right now, choose love over fear.


Love isn’t sacrifice. Union can’t be found in bondage. Love is freedom. As we release others from their separations-through-sacrifice, we will find ourselves released to be free, loving and as one, and available to receive their comforting love in return.


“Special” relationships are only harmful when they hold us to guilt about the past and fear of the future. “Special” relationships work only when we give freely of our appreciation and acceptance in the present, and let go of past and future illusions.


People are motivated by only two things: a wish to help, or a wish to be helped. No other interpretation of others’ motivations is ever accurate, and when we guess or assume some other motivation, our response to them will have nothing to do with anyone’s reality.


All we ever need from others is: their permission to love and give to them, or their gracious loving responses to our moments of fear, regardless of what form our fear takes—whether anger, judgment, attack, defensiveness, withdrawal or misunderstanding.


When we learn to interpret others’ every action as either loving, or a request for some kind of loving—whether help, kindness, acceptance, gentleness, appreciation—life gets simple, kind, friendly, relaxed, peaceful. And when we forget, we can begin again, now.


The whole world is as we are. If we send out messages of peace and love and giving, they will return to us. If we send out messages of fear—anger, guilt, attack—they will be returned to us. Love the world and watch it love you back.


We are love—beloved, loving, and eternally one with all and a loving God. When we momentarily forget this visionary truth, we feel alone and guilty, because we have rejected God’s unconditional, universal gift. We can accept and share it once again.


The pressure and pain of continual judgment and fear—from within and without—wears us all down. God sees us only now, as innocent, perfect and beloved. When we ask his help to see ourselves and others as he sees us, all judgment and weariness disappear.


God wants us to accept ourselves, him and one another, as a loving circle of support. He wants us to let go of all our illusions of a condemning, angry, vengeful, impatient, impossible, unforgiving God who expects us to understand and know everything already.


Instead of focusing on guilt, vengeance, resentment and anger, we can stop attaching demands, bondage or expectations to our “special” relationships, and instead seek, see and accept in ourselves only our own highest, holiest, loving and forgiven innocence.


Right now, there is no such thing as conflicting needs or confusing motivations or angry illusions. Right now, we have no need but to share God’s mysterious, incomprehensible, irrational, unexplainable, ineffable, eternal, unconditional love, acceptance, appreciation.


The cause of fear is illusion—that we are separate, defective, competing, imperfect, mortal selves, hurrying to be superior to others before we die. The cure for fear is accepting that we are eternal, equal, one, and unconditionally loved by God.


12/29/09 – I am committed to being, knowing, seeing, sharing, expressing, honoring, welcoming, embracing, accepting and appreciating only God’s one whole eternal, infinite, perfect, loving, powerful, sane, peaceful, innocent, meaningful creation.


12/28/09 – All the sad, guilty, hard things of the past, all the scary possibilities of the future, are just illusions that mess everyone up in the present moment. Everything that is joyous, loving and giving happens now, when we let past and future fears go.


12/27/09 – When we’re upset, the only way to return to peace and love is to be peaceful and loving. We’re never upset for the reasons we think—injustice, who is right, unfairness, unkindness, selfishness, anger, weariness—but because we’re afraid.


12/26/09 – All our fears are about “past” and “future”—mere verbiage, concepts, words about time which never occur. Only an eternal series of nows really happens. With God, we can handle anything now. Now is also the only time we can change past and future.


12/25/09 – The only gifts which are loving, useful, and acceptable to others and God are those offered in appreciation and love, never those given out of fear, selfishness, guilt or sacrifice.


12/24/09 – We are one creation, eternal, infinite, equal, unlimited, whole, unshakeable, miraculous, powerful, peaceful, beloved—and usually asleep in dreams of separateness, dreaming we are competing, joyless, suffering, sinful, finite mortals.


12/23/09 – We can be only goodness. We can inhale, exhale, think, ask for, receive, see, know, share, speak, hear, accept, teach, learn, express, envision, feel, choose, create—only goodness.


12/22/09 – Sacrifice isn’t love. It’s the opposite of love—an attempt to kill it, control it, and replace it with guilt. Giving freely with God’s strength and guidance of our highest self at each moment—to ourselves, to all—is love.


12/21/09 – We are free to see God in everyone—expressed as unlimited, innocent, joyous, good, beautiful, loving, gifted, abundant, wise, eternal be-ing, one, in and with all.


12/20/09 – A God of love, our source and nature, never created fear, evil and guilt, but only eternal love, which we can embrace or postpone, but never change. God’s beloved eternal creations honor him and each other by creatively extending his love in his image.


12/19/09 – When we let go of another’s wickedness, cluelessness, obtuseness, mistakes and attacks, we forgive ourselves too, and peace and truth dawn on us both. When we appreciate rather than condemn, innocence is reflected from wherever we bestowed it.


12/18/09 – Why act out human suffering, despair, anger, resentment, guilt, defensiveness, loss, limitation and death, when God offers his beloved eternal children forgiveness, joy, wisdom, strength, guidance, peace, love and endless abundance, forever?


12/17/09 – The only goals that bring satisfaction, healing, peace and love are those which offer these continually to ourselves and others. We can lean on God’s strength, live our faith, trust his loving guidance, and let all weakness, guilt, anger and fear go.


12/16/09 – We can practice willingness to see things God’s way anytime, so when we most need his perspective—in moments of conflict, panic, confusion, fear, weariness, anger—we will remember to ask for it, certain of its healing, transforming power.


12/15/09 – If we were mere mortals, we might reasonably feel doubt, guilt, weakness and defensiveness. But God is real, and well-pleased with his beloved children. We can choose to live, express and see only this strong, certain faith in ourselves and in everyone.


12/14/09 – When we have learned to always choose love over fear in every situation, we will be free to focus on creatively choosing how best and most usefully to express that love from moment to moment.


12/13/09 – As God’s willing, human, eternal creation, we put our trust in his strength, guidance and unconditional forgiveness, and devote each moment to courageously, joyously, uniquely, humbly and powerfully expressing and sharing his boundless love.


12/12/09 – We exhale panic, confusion, frustration, resentment and helplessness; inhale God’s perspective, guidance and strength; and focus confidently, trustingly, calmly, lovingly and completely upon doing the next right thing with his holy gift of now.


12/11/09 – We can heal the walls between ourselves and others when we let go with God all our present and past guilt, sins, mistakes and errors—and see others as equally free of theirs. Accepting and sharing God’s forgiveness releases us to love and be loved anew.


12/10/09 – Our everyday priorities, activities and interests are rewarding and meaningful only in context and service to our highest spiritual goals—peace, love, understanding and acceptance of God’s will (“what-is”), forgiveness, and our oneness with God and man.


12/9/09 – We are God’s will, forever loved, learning and forgiven. Our loving thoughts are infinitely transformative, creative, powerful and eternal. We ask God to express himself joyfully through us now, letting go with him distracting imaginings of past guilt.


12/8/09 – Giving and receiving love joyfully reminds us of our oneness with God and his eternally loving creation. Guilt, suffering, attack, deprivation, need, unfairness and death are all fearful, meaningless, ephemeral illusions of separation from this holy relationship.


12/7/09 – We are eternally learning, loving and forgiven spirits. Time itself, as well as suffering, aging, everyday concerns, wars, catastrophes, mistakes, and all our everyday choices are urgent only insofar as they postpone or hasten our peace, joy and oneness.


12/6/09 – We learn—and teach—best from approaching the good, not from avoiding the bad. God helps us focus on what brings joy, not pain.


12/5/09 – All relationships are reflections of our relationship with God. We are his eternal creation and expression, sharing one mind, one love, one purpose.


12/4/09 – When we feel tension building with someone, we can remember to turn the relationship over to God, dedicate it and the conflict to the goal of peace, be honest, gentle, forgiving and appreciative of both, listen calmly, and ask thoughtful questions.


12/3/09 – Strain, weariness, and confusion disappear when we share with God his undivided will to love, lift, forgive, help and comfort all his children, to recognize only our eternal goodness, and to support only our eternal greatness.


12/2/09 – When we feel fearful, confused, dispirited, hopeless, uncertain, pulled in various directions, unloved and unlovable, we can be sure we are not communing with God, nor relying upon his guidance and strength.


12/1/09 – Union is always universal and unconditional completion, extendable infinitely and lovingly to everyone. Separate, special, exclusive “unions” are counterproductive, disappointing, impossible oxymora.


11/30/09 – What few know, and even those few too often forget, is that in God’s eyes, we are all exactly the same, equally and eternally blessed with an infinite amount of love, forgiveness and appreciation to share with others.


11/29/09 – All we ever need remember to do in any situation is ask God to share with us his unique perspective on our every sorrow, trouble, challenge, pain, guilt, fury, conflict, frustration and fear, and then peacefully await his sure, clear answer.


11/28/09 – Guilt is insane and blasphemous when God has joyfully offered to each of us, his prodigal sons and daughters, immediate and unconditional love and forgiveness for all the mistakes we would leave behind us.


11/27/09 – The light and joy in others’ eyes strengthens our faith by reminding us that God works lovingly and powerfully through us.


11/26 – When we refuse to see shortcomings in others, and instead see only their eternal value as God’s beloved children, we remember our own lovability, value and oneness as an essential and indispensible part of God’s one, single, unified, eternal, perfect creation.


11/25/09 – When we learn to see only the joyous, beloved and loving eternal spirit in everyone, we will see a beautiful world where death, suffering and time are irrelevant,


11/24/09 – Instead of seeing cruelty, evil, error, ignorance, obliviousness, selfishness and foolishness, we can choose to see in others only the beloved and learning spiritual beings they are, acting only upon one of two goals: either offering others love, or asking for it.


11/23/09 – We can rest our faith, peace and love in the powerful, unconditional, universal love that God channels though us, instead of in our demands and expectations for others’ behavior.


11/22/09 – In quietness and peace, we allow God’s forgiving miracles to work through us, and do not interfere,


11/21/09 – We each made our own weird, private, personal, completely insane and incommunicable worlds of fear, so we can release them to God, and decide to share with others only our love, which is always perfectly understood by everyone.


11/20/09 – Even if we can’t understand it, we can accept and use the unshakable grace and faith we are granted, along with our desire to be holy, share God’s will, and be wholly helpful, kind and forgiving.


11/19/09 – When we start our day asking for God’s strength and guidance, we can then listen, trust, work and rest peacefully.


11/18/09 – When we feel tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, we can let go and let God’s inexhaustible and certain strength and power work through us.


11/17/09 – When we feel defensive, we can ask to see ourselves as the eternally lovable, loving, forgiven creation God sees.


11/16/09 – We can accept, forgive and love ourselves when we are willing to allow each present moment just to be what it is.


11/15/09 – All God’s children are forever safe, unconditionally loved and joyously supported. Our bodies are temporary, our spirits eternal.


11/14/09 – When we are frozen in fear and guilt from past pain, we can ask to see things differently, as God sees, who loves his whole creation unconditionally and eternally now, as-is, just as he created us to be. Then we can let go and let God, and rest in his peace.


11/13/09 – Spiritual sight is always wholly helpful, because love attracts love to itself by offering and seeing it everywhere. When we ask continually for spiritual light, all paths work. When other perspectives distract us, even our sincerest efforts come to nothing.


11/12/09 – We want only to ask for, accept, give, receive and see the eternal light, peace, love, strength, joy and forgiveness of God in all that we do, in everyone, and in everything.


11/11/09 – When we carry guilt around, we’re seeing ourselves and the world as hopelessly unteachable and unforgivably mortal. We can choose instead to accept, affirm and see all about us as unconditionally loved and loving, learning, forgiven, eternal.


11/10/09 – Whenever we consistently ask for and apply God’s guidance, we are his accepting, forgiving, loving expression, and our lives work. When we decide to go it alone for a bit, our lives fall apart. God merely waits in infinite patience and love for our return to joy.


11/9/09 – Knowing how divided our minds are, why would we choose to direct ourselves, rely upon our own strength, or be our own teachers? We can resign now, and surrender our every need and undivided attention to our constant, clear, unlimited Teacher.


11/8/09 – With God’s consistent guidance, strength and love peacefully flowing through us, we can let go of all attacks—our own attacks upon ourselves, our attacks on others, and others’ attacks on us.


11/7/09 – When we’re feeling afraid, overwhelmed, confused, weak and estranged from God and man, we can surrender our simple willingness to allow God’s strength and loving purpose to work peacefully and powerfully through us.


11/6/09 – Our decisions—to hand over our fearful thoughts to God, and to share with others only our loving ones—increase our loving thoughts and reduce our fearful ones.


11/5/09 –We can remember God’s power, light, love, and healing forgiveness whenever we use and share that power with everyone.


11/4/09 – We begin our day by turning it over to God’s guidance, and promise to ask again for that guidance at each difficult moment.


11/3/09 – Our loving, appreciative responses to others’ fears are reminders that we are all unified in God’s love, and that we need never fear loss or separation from that love.


11/2/09 – As we humbly ask for God’s love, healing and forgiveness to flow through us, we are one with him, and become his perfect answer to every problem.


11/1/09 – When we trust God enough to ask him, often, for understanding, meaning, help, love—and for the answer to every problem—he will remind us that his answer already lies in us.


10/31/09 – In an eternal, but also in a practical sense, “reality” is not “out there” but rather “in here”—in the loving thoughts we all share with each other and with God. A “realist” then, is aware only of the love that is everyone, everything, everywhere.


10/30/09 – We recognize and nurture our own limitless value when we see and nurture that same equal and limitless value in everyone.


10/29/09 – Living joyfully in the light of God’s unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness of our humanity is co-conditional and inextricably intertwined with joyfully sharing that same unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness with all his children.


10/28/09 – We are exactly alike in our interdependence upon each other and our Source as a loving whole. We are completely unique in freely channeling that love through our lives, relationships, creations, productions, expressions.


10/27/09 – The way to God is to see everything and everyone, including yourself, with love and without blame. God and his creation comprise a perfect, eternal, loving whole. What is not love doesn’t exist, last, or matter.


10/26/09 – God answers prayers for peace and rest by removing our fearful, negative thoughts and replacing them with powerful, positive thoughts we use to encourage others.


10/25/09 – All God needs from us is one second of willingness, when things feel scary, to let him stoke our tiny sputtering spark of love into a bonfire.


A Very Good Save-the-World Software Development Idea. Please Help Yourself! :-)

Will some brilliant programmer please step up and design a google-type software program that can linguistically analyze and determine a speaker/writer’s cooperative tone and intent?


Your new program could identify and distinguish among those writers/speakers whose communications promote a sense of division, partisanship, negativity, polarization, blame, attack, incivility, rudeness, destructiveness, unfriendly competition, bickering and hate—and those promoting a sense of positivity, creativity, life-affirmation, support, harmony, acceptance, forgiveness, productivity, civility, courtesy, equality of opportunity, caring, cooperation and unity.


Your software could have endless useful and profitable applications. For immediate profitability, please consider using your product for security purposes, to helpfully ward off unfriendly attacks and attackers (of whatever kind) upon individuals and enterprises (of whatever kind.)


Imagine leaders young and old in every field vying for their communications to be screened and certified via your software. Why not simultaneously award a “Truth-bearer” (or some other such logo) “gold seal of approval” identifying individuals and organizations as positive communicators, healers, light-bearers?


Your prestigious and desirable software “accreditation” could motivate many people to investigate and understand the important distinctions between peaceful and contentious communication purposes, and to recognize and encourage humanity-unifying goals as non-threatening and potentially beneficial to all earthlings, while discouraging communications with adversarial, hostile ends. Your software would also surely stoke national dialogue, while heightening awareness about the many distinct (although often confusingly-disguised) differences between helpful and harmful human communications. Your software would take care not to exclude any gentle, friendly, cooperative practitioner of any ideology, religion, political party, nation, organization, affiliation, etc.


One important goal of your software would be to educate. Hopefully, everyone would eventually become enlightened enough to merit universal inclusivity (by acting as good, positive communicators) according to your accrediting software, which might also be developed Wikipedically, or perhaps Amazon-style—i.e., open-sourced, by inviting motivated reviewers and voters opportunities not only to build your site, but also to offer feedback opportunities and provide needed talent to shape and debug upgrades and develop next-generation software.


Recipients of your approving nods (such as Nobel prize winners and mild-mannered third-graders) could proudly display and announce their cherished new affiliation and certification on their websites, on Facebook, business cards, in TV commercials and advertising, on coffee cups, tee-shirts, shopping bags….


Additionally, your software could assist web surfers to more-judiciously select helpfully-screened websites, products and opinions as the very ones they will most benefit from investigating. Perhaps your software could also eventually include a function which would recognize and refute inappropriate co-opters of your symbol of acceptance and stamp of approval—an iterative process that would call out abusers while encouraging more awareness and discussion.


Your software will stimulate lively dialogue; increase the impact and number of creative, thought-provoking, and controversial-but-civil exchanges; reduce (by virtue of indifference and neglect) the quantity and influence of divisive communications arising anywhere in the world; universally improve facility in verbal and mental processing of complexities, innuendo and nuances; and inspire us all to pull together cooperatively to resolve our common personal, local and global problems.


While you're programming, please give extra points for humor?


And if you're not a programmer, but merely a earthlinged, godlinged promosapient like me, please pass this idea on to any similarly-inclined programming/software folk or foundations, or to whomever might be interested!


Thank you…. 🙂


Nancy Pace





















































































Justice and Peace Are One Path

Peace and justice nourish one another, sharing their hope for non-violence and their concern for the interests of others. Wherever exploitation and oppression are ignored, peace and justice are illusive; wherever respect and support for human life become priorities, peace and justice are reborn.


Rule-of-law and justice are not always the same. Hopeless citizens who despair of working out their life-and-death issues within unjust legal, economic and political frameworks sometimes turn to crime, terrorism, and war. What goes around comes around. Those who work for equal opportunity and peace lift up their own lives with the lives of others, growing in understanding and acceptance of human difference, and increasing the sum of peace and justice.


The Golden Rule, the historical foundation for all moral and legal systems, and the basis for the “liberty and justice for all” to which we pledge allegiance, works so well because treating others as you wish to be treated becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Peace and justice are among the highest ideals and values enshrined in our proud founding documents, which extend equal protection for the peaceful, equitable goals of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” even to “the least of these”—children, the elderly, sick, needy and handicapped, and all who struggle to rise from historical discrimination.


Angry media xenophobes and demagogues try to scare us into believing that the world is divided into a tiny deserving few of “us” vs. a vast faceless, threatening, undeserving “them,” urging us to abandon the goal of peace and justice for all, and to put power and wealth in the hands of a few self-interested fear-mongers who guilefully “guarantee” safety through militarism. Offering the opposite message are the great leaders of our past and present, urging us to love and help one another, to give and forgive, to risk peace instead of war, and to work together for respectful, supportive conditions valuing the sanctity of human life everywhere. Truly, we cannot avoid all injustice, but we can avoid adding to its sum.


Justice implies neutrality and fairness, but no judges are completely unbiased. We all see the world uniquely, based on our different backgrounds. In the face of the same legal arguments, natural, unavoidable bias is evident in the many disagreements among even our rigorously-selected highest justices.


Our current justices’ life experiences are for the most part grounded in privilege and wealth. A more balanced Supreme Court would include justices whose lives reflect struggles against prejudice, poverty or disadvantage, since, in common law legal systems like our own, justices at times “make the law” by overturning precedents, regulations and legislation, with immense implications for future generations.


Clearly we need to appoint judges with sterling records of excellence and impartiality. President Obama hopes also to nominate Supreme Court justices with a sense of what real-world folks go through, who know what it is to be a teenage mom or to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old, to have the system not work for you, to be vulnerable in the political process—an outsider, a minority, someone without a lot of clout.


In the five percent of hard cases where the legal language is not perfectly clear, and where legal procedures alone can’t lead to a rule of decision, President Obama believes that the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in a judge’s heart. May we find the peace and justice we seek there, and together with our good president, continue to nurture peace and justice in our own hearts, in our families, communities, businesses, schools, courts, churches and government, and in all our relationships with others throughout the world.



Please send questions and comments to njcpace@gmail.com. Thank you!

Democratic Advocacy for the Sanctity of Human Life

Americans of faith, whether liberals or conservatives, have always wanted to elect leaders who will put in place caring governmental policies supportive of human life, from beginning to end—policies such as people-friendly health care, education, jobs, housing, transportation, and energy; equitability and opportunity; a small-business and worker-friendly economy; environmental stewardship; generosity toward the most vulnerable; representative, transparent politics, government, and taxation; and a peaceable foreign policy. Unfortunately, Republican partisan hacks continually manipulate our natural emotions and sympathies to galvanize us around single values-issues like abortion, and thus distract and divide us into voting against our own (and everyone else’s) best interests, against the very life-supporting and compassionate values we care so much about, values which the Democratic Party has always stood up for. The Democratic Party party is pledged to make abortion more rare, not more dangerous, and to promote healthy childbearing, family planning, contraceptive research, and comprehensive family life education. Look at Republican Party results and you will see that, once in power, they consistently put in place policies that move the bulk of the nation’s money away from the broad middle class and toward a small group of very wealthy people. The Republican Party isn’t what it used to be. This time, I hope Americans of faith will vote Democratic—for a change

New Exciting Commitments, Time Crunches, Beloved Old Ones

My big question today is:  how will I manage to add on another new, time-eating priority (that is, taking mediation training, and then volunteering) while I’m already feeling over-committed to my many other current involvements, which I truly, dearly love and want to support, and continue, and finish?


I so love my husband and our life and time together. I love and am committed to supporting my children, parents, sisters, friends. I love inspirational and thought-provoking ideas and conversation, and having a regular spiritual practice.  I want to establish a Department of Peace. I want to get Barack elected, end the war, and help him succeed in achieving his amazing agenda.


I want to keep working out, almost-daily. I dearly love writing my quirky personal take on breaking news for this blog (and sometimes for the local newspaper) and I love writing my (coming-along-nicely) “heartwarming, funny, and astonishing” (my words) memoir assessing the various impacts and implications of a military brat childhood upon my life and family (and upon others, and upon culture in general.)


I love Master Gardeners and our mission and activities. I love Women in Black and our peacemaking activities. I love keeping up with news and issues, reading about politics, reading non-fiction books and periodicals in all my favorite fields, and delighting in art and culture via Netflix and television. I love my dog, my home, my garden. I want to cook more often, and more healthfully and artfully. I sometimes need (and even fruitfully use) unstructured downtime (and sleep.) I love staying in the present moment, and being available and responsive and supportive to those I love and strangers alike, available to listen and help when things come up. I love sponsoring family visits and happy holidays.


I want to be gentle with myself, and to resist picking on myself about spreading myself too thin, about not “being there” when needed. True, I do too many things hastily and half-assed, but why waste time and energy judging myself? I don't want to waste my life feeling like I disappoint everyone, or fretting about health issues, poor discipline, or advancing age.


My answer for now? Trust. Surrender.


As Popeye says, I yam what I am. I accept forgiveness for myself, as I extend that acceptance to others who are also going 100% to do whatever most needs to be done, whatever most wants to be done.


I'll always do my best (which, granted, sometimes ain't so hot.) I'll focus on excellence in each small process, and I'll stay in the present so I won’t have to fret about my results, however wonderful, indifferent, or disappointing.


I'll make the time to start my day well, with humility, vision and heart.


I'll trust in God's strength and guidance to help me make healthy, loving choices, moment-to-moment, to help me live a good life.


I'll follow my love, energy, excitement. I'll remember that this approach generally works, if in characteristic fits and starts. (My husband sometimes kindly reminds me–as he goes, uncomplaining, to work each day–that no matter how many activities and relationships I choose—or how few—I’ll never get any of them “right”—to my satisfaction—because, after all, really, nobody ever gets anything or any relationship, finally, “right,” now do they? 


Oh, what a relief to not have to worry about that.


True, I do let people down sometimes, and I hate failing others' expectations. Sometimes I collapse in a familiar heap, and sometimes I run away and hide for awhile.


But I’m not going to kick myself anymore. I'm just going to keep making the best choices I can, moment-to-moment, keep doing what I do, and adjust, as needed, and let that be enough. I'm going to remember to love me too, by letting me be me, and not beating me up. (And mediation training would be such a nice present to me….)


After all, I wasn't getting as much done these days as at some other times in my life, probably because I’m currently feeling bogged down and overwhelmed and uninspired and unsure how to juggle my already-competing priorities. Probably an exciting new involvement, by its nature, will synergistically fill in important blanks, open new mental doors, create missing links, help me integrate, energize and prioritize all my beloved activities–inform all of them, support all of them.


Because, just as army brats must (eventually…somehow…) learn excellence, loyalty, perseverence, and FINISHING STUFF, we musn't forget meanwhile that we also simply thrive on jumping into new opportunities, taking risks, enjoying novelty, adventure, new learning, new friends, excitement, expanding our spidery souls by ceaselessly venturing, seeking connection, tirelessly unreeling our threads out of ourselves, casting filament after filament out into the universe, 'til they catch somewhere, O my soul*….


See? My decision to take on mediation training (which I've longed to do for ten years) has already inspired me to write this new blog! 


* inspired by and adapted from Walt Whitman's “A Patient, Noiseless Spider”. 



Please send your comments to njcpace@gmail.com.  Thank you!

Sarah Palin for Vice-President?

The McCain campaign would love for the American public to think this campaign is “about” being “for” or “against” Palin. It's not. It's about choosing between Obama and McCain on the issues that affect the American people. But the McCain campaign very much hopes we will forget about the issues, in the midst of all the Palin drama they'll keep stirring….

Palin will do a LOT to open feminism up to conservatives, so there is some good in that. She is in many ways a good, remarkable woman, just misguided and ill-informed. I admire her grit and her many abilities and accomplishments. However, I certainly do not agree with her politics, and she is in no way qualified to be either President or VP of the U.S. No major party would dream nowadays of nominating a man with such weak credentials, so they nominated her in part in hopes of stealing the women's and evangelicals' votes, and in part because she is a very talented, smooth political operative. I would not entrust such an important office to an unqualified woman, no matter how appealing, and I will vote for the ticket which is best-qualified and most likely to solve our many global challenges and right our economy, and make the rest of the changes we need here at home–Obama/Biden.

She knows almost nothing about national and international politics, and on several issues, she is a right-wing extremist clearly out of step with most Americans. Shame on McCain. His gambit may work, but it's cynical and self-serving.

The U.S. already twice elected a Palin lookalike–George W. Bush–a “pretty,” likeable, electable young face with an earnest, authentic voice, ideological convictions and good intentions, someone “real,” “like us,” who doesn't know much but you could have a beer with. And the American public trusted and hoped that those wiser would guide him as necessary. Consider where that got us.

Should Palin need to step up to the top job, her office will immediately be taken over by a committee of small, incompetent, warmongering political insiders who will once again run the country amok.

Palin is a good spokeswoman for Republican ideology, and certainly unique, and I wish her much growth. She has a bright future in conservative politics as a talking head for the powerful insider Rove/Limbaugh/Cheney puppeteer troupe (although they may find her harder to “handle” than Bush was–maybe not.)

But regardless of her politics, she is in no way ready to run our country in it's hour of greatest need.

Although admittedly, Palin is a big step up from Cheney…. 

Hillary and other feminists need to say, Yes, a qualified women for VP or President, but Palin is not qualified. I'm sorry, but Palin's face and style keep reminding me of Annette, the Mouseketeer. J-O-H   N-S-M   C-C-A-I-N! Sorry, Annette. But if it quacks like a duck….

I also think we need someone who will be a 24/7 President, as Obama has promised. He has pre-arranged the excellent care of his children with his wife, in-laws and friends, and they are counting on him to show up and be Daddy on occasion, but not to have any family responsibilities other than being a loving father, husband, friend. He does not have five children, one a special-needs infant, one heading to Iraq and one young, unmarried, pregnant and vulnerable.

Clearly, Palin's husband will be playing the traditional parent-at-home job, and I suspect he'll be good at it. If Palin is willing to turn the raising of the family over to him and others, as Barack has done, and leave herself only the responsibility of showing up to be loving Mommy on occasion, as Barack does, then she can be a 24/7 leader. Otherwise, we're gonna get cheated.

Both candidates should of course be with their families during major family crises, which arise more often in families of five children than of two children (see above). Presidents are also needed on-the-job during world crises. Enough said. I welcome the national dialogue that will occur on this issue, about just how much responsibility any parent of either sex can reasonably take on simultaneously at home and at the office, and still perform “equitably,” satisfactorily, laudably

Obama's judgment and patriotism is so evident in his choice of Biden, and McCain's seems ever more unstable, imprudent, impulsive. Certainly Palin was not thoughtfully vetted.

We desperately need national leadership, and we need a clear vision of where we are going and how to get there, not partisanship. We need someone who can give us good reasons to pull together, not someone whose extremism will tear us apart. McCain is all about scaring people into voting for him, and about making people think this election is about Palin, and not either-Obama-or-McCain.

By insisting that the media is to blame for critically vetting Palin, the Republicans are setting themselves up to excuse Palin from future unscripted media dialogue, interaction, and risky exposure. Palin's a maverick, it's true, but a maverick we know little about, who should not be protected from the press, nor left to cut her pretty teeth on the Presidency.

By the way, I understand McCain will soon be shipping Palin back to hide out in Alaska to prepare for the upcoming VP debate. She desperately needs uninterrupted time to bone up on all the national and international “stuff” that she has remained happily clueless about for forty-four years. She'll also be able to stay safely away from the pesky (i.e.,”unfriendly”) press scrutiny and risky unscripted media events Barack has been subjected to, for the last nineteen months (not counting his previous four campaigns for public office, and his public service.)

When the only tool you know well is a hammer, all problems look like nails, and McCain's most familiar hammer is the military. None of the national and global problems the next President will face can be solved militarily (or by a rookie testing out her learning curve.)

I once enjoyed hunting too, my daughter was a very competitive basketball player, I admire strong, ambitious, talented women and I love to see them get ahead in politics. But really, Vice President? I don't think so…. This is a big decision, folks. Let's all do some serious thinking about its implications. Our lives, and our children's lives, our money, the fate of the nation, the world, our very planet, are at stake.

“ClaremontObserver” recently wrote:
> Only in Republican America would a black man with
> Bachelors degree in
> International Relations from Columbia University,
> a law degree from
> Harvard Law School, 10 years as a professor of
> Constitutional Law at
> the University of Chicago, 12 years in politics,
> four years on the U.S.
> Senate Foreign Relations Committee and manager of
> one of the most
> impressively flawless and forward thinking
> presidential campaigns ever
> not be ready for the presidency while a white
> female evangelical with
> 19 months in politics and a bachelors in
> journalism is considered
> “ready on day one.”

I copied this off a comments thread on www.realclearpolitics.com . “Claremont Observer” has a website called www.ClaremontObserver.com , so check it out! I thought the above was the most important observation on Palin of the day.




Questioning the Wisdom of Secret Biowarfare Research at Fort Detrick, MD

The Expansion of Biowarfare Research
Laboratories at USAMRIID, Fort Detrick:

A Call to attend a Public Forum before the Frederick Board of
County Commissioners (BOCC)
Monday, November 19 at 7 pm, 1st Floor Meeting Room,
Winchester Hall 12 East Church Street Frederick

This is
the time, the only public opportunity to persuade our Commissioners
that we want them to obtain a Court Review of the USAMRIID Environmental Impact
Statement. A court review will hold the Federal Government accountable for complying with
NEPA- the National Environmental Policy Act, which is designed to protect communities
from development harmful to health and safety.
The Commissioners are holding this public forum
to hear from us about the public health,
safety and environmental concerns associated with the expansion of biological research
laboratories at Fort Detrick. USAMRIID is planned to be the cornerstone of a massive
expansion of such laboratories, involving at least 6 different Federal agencies on what would
be named the National Interagency Biodefense Campus (NIBC). NIBC would occupy 200
acres at Fort Detrick. This would be by far the largest biowarfare research complex in the

What can you do?

Come to the forum, whether or not you plan to speak. We need to fill the room! You
will learn a lot about the issue, and your presence is very important.
Learn more (resources and contacts below), and consider speaking. This meeting is
about the need for a court review, because health, safety and environmental impacts are
properly addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
NEPA requires, and the
USAMRIID EIS does not:

Evaluate alternate, less densely populated locations for these labs.
Provide a comprehensive evaluation of the cumulative impacts of the entire National
Interagency Biodefense Campus.

Address the many burdens upon our community’s public health, safety, growth, taxes and

Use your own unique background to talk about your concerns in your own words. Comments
will be limited to five (5) minutes per speaker and ten (10) minutes for recognized organizations.

Persuade everyone you know to come to the forum! Pass this on, BUT– talking
to people is much more effective!

E-mail the commissioners and tell them what you think. If you can’t come, tell
them you would be there if you could…..
Jan Gardner: jgardner@fredco-md.net David Gray:
Kai Hagen: khagen@fredco-md.net Charles Jenkins: chjenkins@fredco-md.net Lenny
lthompson@fredco-md.net. Send letters to the editor: letters@newspost.com

Learn More:
Informational meeting, open to all
: Viewing of recent PBS
documentary “The Living Weapon”, followed by discussion of the current situation
. 7 pm Monday
in the Notre Dame Room, Parish Center of St. John the Evangelist Church, 118 East 2nd St
Frederick. The parish center is two buildings to the right of the church. Sponsored by St John’s Peace
and Justice Committee
August 24, 2007

“It has been pointed out to me, by those that have read it thoroughly, that the Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) for the USAMRIID expansion does not adequately examine the following very
important question:
Why has an alternate location for the new BSL 3 and BSL 4 labs not been thoroughly examined? This
would be an ideal time to move these labs. They have been a source of concern in this county for
years. They will house the most dangerous pathogens known to man (ie Ebola, Marburg, etc).
Presently they are planned to be again located in the high population area where Fort Detrick is now
located. Public safety fears would be greatly alleviated if they were moved to a more remote and safe
I understand that the EIS is now subject to a court review if requested. I am willing to call for such a
court review before construction commences. I have also been informed that such a review by the
courts was requested when BSL 4 labs were planned to be installed at Boston University which is in a
similar high population area. In that case, in 2006, both the Massachusetts state court as well as the
U.S. District Court ordered that the labs not be operated until alternate (less populated sites) are
properly considered, and simulation of real-world disease transmission is properly analyzed. (This risk
analysis is expected to address in detail the potential threats to the community arising from the use of
several BSL 4 agents that are planned to be studied in the Boston labs. This risk analysis will examine
the effects of a laboratory-acquired infection of a laboratory worker with Ebola; the transportation of a
vector-borne agent, such as tick-borne encephalitis; an aerosol event involving a hemorrhagic fever;
and the use of rDNA in monkey pox.) Our situation in Frederick County seems very similar.
In October 2001 there was an anthrax attack on postal workers, members of congress and the media,
resulting in 5 deaths. This was the first known biological attack on US citizens. It is widely believed
that the source of that anthrax (the Ames strain) was Ft Detrick.
Last December I and four other County Commissioner were sworn into office and we took an oath to
“Preserve and protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Frederick County”. I am
committed to that oath.”

Much more information is available about this issue. Contact:
Beth Willis:
Barry Kissin: barrykissin@hotmail.com. The BOCC obtaining a Court Review has been
endorsed by: Citizens for Quality of Life, Friends of Frederick County, St. John the Evangelist Peace and Justice
Committee, Sierra Club Catoctin Group, the Fort Detrick Watchdog Group, Women in Black Frederick, the Frederick
Peace Resource Center, FredPac, and many many citizens like you.

Breach of trust
Originally published November 07, 2007
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By Katherine Heerbrandt

A week before Sen. Barbara Mikulski visited Frederick County extolling the economic promise of Fort Detrick's expansion, Keith Rhodes, chief technologist for the Government Accountability Office, told members of Congress that the proliferation of high-level biolabs raises serious questions about public safety.
“The more BSL-4 labs there are, the more opportunity for mistakes and the more opportunities for release,” Rhodes told the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Oct. 4.
Since 9/11 the number of labs researching the most virulent pathogens — those with no cure — grew from two to 15. With no central oversight of the growing number of labs, and disincentives inherent in reporting safety breaches, the security and operations of BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs are in question.
The oversight of these labs is “fragmented and relies on self-policing. High-risk labs have health risks for individual lab workers as well as the surrounding community. The risks due to accidental exposure or release can never be completely eliminated, and even labs within sophisticated biological research programs, including those most extensively regulated, have had and will continue to have safety failures,” Rhodes said.
Burning to spend the billions unleashed for biodefense research, the feds rushed to act with little consideration of the consequences. A sadly familiar refrain.
The U.S. Army War College's 2005 “Assessing Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism Threat” concludes money was spent with no analysis of the bioterrorism threat, which it called “systematically and deliberately exaggerated” by this administration.
More probable than a bioterrorist attack is that we infect ourselves by theft, design or mishap. With every new lab opened, every square foot added, the risk increases, according to the GAO.
The Associated Press produced an interactive map that reveals biolab breaches in the U.S. (http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/wdc/biohazards/)
As recently as June, anthrax bacteria was found on a freezer handle, light switch and shoes in a changing room at USAMRIID.
With stories of accidents, breaches of protocol and incompetence from biolabs emerging with disturbing regularity, Detrick's refusal to participate in a public meeting isn't surprising.
Why subject itself to more national attention when biolabs are under assault?
The request came from County Commissioner David Gray, who issued a statement in August saying that federal officials ignored policy in their Environmental Impact Statement by not seeking alternate sites for the labs.
Detrick agreed to meet, then backed out, offering a private meeting with county commissioners. Gray wanted to bring community members and the press. Detrick declined that offer, too.
Detrick has already done its duty, says spokesperson Eileen Mitchell, providing ample opportunity for public comment and complying with federal regulations.
Maybe they weren't counting on anyone actually reading the EIS, but local attorney Barry Kissin and Beth Willis have made a thorough study of it, culminating in a 17-page statement including tough questions for Detrick officials. At best, the EIS is a cursory attempt to comply with federal guidelines. At worst, it ignores documented breaches and blithely concludes that any danger is “negligible.”
The lack of serious effort in such a critical report is yet another example of the arrogance characterizing the federal government's tactics in the name of keeping America safe from terrorists.
Wave the flag and our brains shut down?
Undeterred by Detrick's refusal, Gray will have his forum at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Winchester Hall. But it will take more than the usual 20 to 25 regulars to convince a majority of commissioners that the EIS is severely flawed and deserves a court review.
It's your last chance. Make it count. kheerbrandt@yahoo.com

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Why a Court Review on the USAMRIID Expansion?  
What would it do, and why support it?
The people and government of Frederick County need a court review of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the USAMRIID expansion, because the FEIS does not comply with The National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).   A court review would provide an independent, binding assessment and judgment about the specific ways the FEIS does not meet NEPA requirements in assessing whether Frederick is an appropriate location for these laboratories, and for adequately evaluating the health and safety issues these laboratories would bring to the community.
The purpose and spirit of NEPA requirements assume that a full and thorough environmental assessment is needed to properly make fundamental decisions about site location and risk mitigation.  A complete and thorough analysis of alternative sites is required in order to compare those alternative sites, leading to:
¨      information adequate enough for local elected officials to develop a full and informed understanding of  impacts, risks and issues
¨      information adequate enough for  citizens of the county and other affected parties to do the same
¨      a sound decision on the proper site, based on legally specified health, safety, environmental  and economic factors
The current FEIS does not provide the information needed for decision-makers to determine if these programs should be located in Frederick County.  It does not provide the information needed for officials and citizens to be adequately informed about the risks and impacts, as intended by NEPA.
A court review would, at a minimum, address the following NEPA-related FEIS defects:
¨      the failure during the FEIS process to squarely address fundamental issues raised repeatedly, verbally and in writing by residents of the community.
¨      the failure to properly identify alternatives sites, including one in a less populated area.
¨      the failure to provide credible and serious evaluations and comparisons of such alternatives.
¨      the failure to analyze the cumulative environmental impacts of the entire National Interagency Biodefense Campus (NIBC). Facilities for NIH, DHS, USDA, CDC, BRAC (Naval and Army Bio-Labs), as well as USAMRIID are planned to be located on NIBC. NEPA clearly requires a “Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement” (PEIS) with respect to the NIBC, which has never been done.  Rather, there have been only cursory references to the full program in the USAMRIID EIS.
¨      the failure to adequately analyze the environmental impact of  BSL-3 and BSL-4 pathogens escaping from containment.
¨      the failure to evaluate potential environmental impacts of genetic engineering of BSL-3 and BSL- 4 pathogens.  The Army’s own regulations specifically refer to genetic engineering as an action that demands evaluation for potential impacts.
¨      the failure to explain in specific detail how the cumulative program would satisfy its water requirements, which would at least double the current water requirements of the Fort.
¨      the failure to analyze potential scenarios related to transport of bio-agents to and from facility and failure to include a threat and vulnerability analysis for a terrorist attack or infiltration.
Tell our County Commissioners:
You want them to obtain a Court Review
of the latest Fort Detrick Biocontainment laboratory expansion Environmental Impact Statement.
Women In Black, Frederick commends Commissioner David Gray for his statement questioning the thoroughness of the Environmental Impact Statement  (EIS) on the proposed USAMRIID expansion, especially as it pertains to site location, and calling for a court review of the EIS before construction commences.
The function of the planned Biosafety Level 4 labs scheduled for construction as part of the expansion is to house experiments on infectious pathogens for which there is neither vaccine nor cure. Activities planned at some of the new Fort Detrick labs include the acquisition, growth, modification, storage and packaging of those pathogens most adaptable to being used as bioweapons.
One does not need to read voluminous documents to question the wisdom of locating such a facility in a highly populated area of robust growth such as Frederick County, especially in light of the previous record of failed safety procedures and accidents. This is a rational and logical question and one the citizens of Frederick County cannot afford to take lightly. Once built, this facility will be a permanent part of our community environment. Do we really want to risk the health and safety of our families?  Many accidents at such labs have recently been in the news.  Congress is now holding hearings investigating safety failures in the nation’s 400+ biowarfare laboratory system, for which Frederick will be Headquarters. 
We thank Commissioner Gray for his integrity and commitment to his oath of office,  “to preserve and protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Frederick County.” We urge all our elected officials to meet this same standard, and we urge all Frederick County residents to hold them to that standard.
Please contact ALL of our County Commissioners now, and tell them you want them to protect our health and safety by calling for a legally binding, impartial Court Review of the Army’s USAMRIID expansion Environmental Impact Statement.  Tell them you want them to act on our behalf, and hold the Federal Government accountable for complying with the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act, which is designed to protect communities from development that is harmful to health and safety. 

Call: : (301) 600-9000   Email:
Jan Gardner: jgardner@fredco-md.net
David Gray:  dgray@fredco-md.net
Kai Hagen: khagen@fredco-md.net
Charles Jenkins: chjenkins@fredco-md.net
Lenny Thompson: lthompson@fredco-md.net

Everyone Says We Wouldn't, We Couldn't, We Shouldn't Do It To A Dog…. So Why Do We Keep Doing It to People?

I just read Sally Jenkins' sports column in the 8/22/07 Washington Post, about Michael Vick and his dog-fighting choices…. Jenkins said that people who train animals to fight, and then make them fight, are “brutal…sleaze…wallowing in gore by choice…out of sheer dumb meanness…punishing…torturing…battering…killing…enslaving and tormenting…with unnerving ruthlessness…. (Fighting animals is) a bloodsport…barbaric…a gratuitous form of cruelty…a calculating, deliberate and sustained cruelty….” 

If anyone did such things to people, Jenkins says, we would call it genocidal fascism.

No. We would call it military training, and war, and we would perpetrate such crimes without thought, everywhere, every day. We would take innocent, gentle, ethical young men, and put them through military (or terrorist) training, and then throw them into combat, to kill and maim or be killed and maimed, along with their buddies.

We would condition and indoctrinate our soldiers into forgetting everything they’ve ever learned about how to treat other people. We would turn them into knee-jerk mental, physical and emotional monsters, so that they can efficiently “do their jobs” without thinking of their victims as human beings.

After excruciating training, we would turn them loose upon strangers, many of whom are themselves innocents protecting their own homes and families. We would make our young heroes into snipers and bombers and interrogators and other cold-blooded executioners, to do “work” they can do only because they’ve been brainwashed into thinking of whole populations as demonized “others,” as “the enemy.”

Wars are about powerful, misguided leaders taking for themselves whatever they want—resources, power, money, land—by killing large swaths of people. But soldiers are carefully taught a very different kind of morality, a kind of contextual fuzzy logic that ethically “covers” their bloodiest actions for as long as they can believe that they’re fighting, killing, and dying to protect their friends and families, and to further their country’s noblest ideals and purposes. Soldiers cling to the illusion that that their jobs are necessary and valuable and moral, in hopes that their losses and sacrifices are not in vain, that they have not wasted their lives–and others'.

Unfortunately, when soldiers come home from wars, few can morally rectify the gore they've participated in with their peacetime ethical, spiritual and religious belief systems about what it means to be humane, caring, good—all the understandings which make relationships work, and which make life worth living. Many veterans basically go insane for years. Others are unstable or crazy for the rest of their lives. 

Everyone says training and fighting animals is an outrage. We wouldn't, we couldn’t, we shouldn’t do this to a dog. So why do we keep doing it to people?

It's time to reconsider the inevitability of our centuries-old practice of solving problems through violence.  Human conflict is perfectly natural and unavoidable, since people will always have competing interests, misunderstandings, old grievances…. In fact, conflict is very beneficial, because it nearly always points to inequities or confusions which need addressing.

But violent resolutions of conflict only make things worse.

We can teach all people to resolve conflicts peacefully just as easily as we can raise them to respond to problems violently. It's time for America the beautiful, the once and future leader of the free world, to take the first step toward committing to building a world culture of peace.

The Best (and Only) Way to Solve Our Terrorism Problem

As a history major, I know about what western corporations and governments have done to Muslim (and other) nations—exploited resources, manipulated politics, set up friendly regimes, assassinated opponents, and armed and funded those willing to serve our interests. So when Thomas L. Friedman, in his 4/7/07 New York Times column, “At a Theater Near You…” (copied below) wonders how Americans have grown so “numb to just how crazy” scattered Muslim suicide bombing attacks are,” I wonder in turn how we in the west can be just as numbly indifferent to the horrors we’ve perpetrated upon Muslims.


One member of Congress after another argues for withdrawal from Iraq so that not one more American life will be added to the number lost, without a word about the millions of Iraqi lives already lost or maimed or ruined, and the hundreds dying daily–those same Iraqi lives President Bush so often claimed we had come to rescue.


Mr. Friedman wonders, how could a doctor ever become a terrorist? Many Muslim doctors in London and elsewhere have been dealing for five years and more with the tragic effects upon almost everyone they know of the western occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. These doctors are educated humanitarians, knowledgeable about the histories of western aggression and oppression in their countries of origin, histories we certainly don’t teach or discuss here at home. They are doubtless grief-stricken, paralyzed, and hopeless enough to prefer dying to doing nothing at all. I think they intended to terrify the British into feeling their heightened vulnerabilities more personally, without harming them, hoping they would urge their new Prime Minister Brown to address Islamic concerns and stop the carnage.


Consider: what if an imagined, vastly more powerful Muslim alliance had invaded and occupied the United States five years ago? We wouldn’t be “generating vigorous, sustained condemnation” about an occasional American suicide bomber way over in Iraq, consumed as we would we be already, here at home in America, with simple day-to-day survival, with burying and mourning our million dead brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, with caring for five times that million beloved wounded, with desperately fleeing the violence along with the millions of our fellow Americans abandoning childhood homes and trying to pick up the pieces of shattered lives and dreams anywhere else….


Just who is it, Mr. Friedman, who is “erasing basic norms of civilization” by terrorizing—Islamic suicide bombers, or our own invading and occupying armies?


Both, of course.


I have no doubt that many extremist Muslims are every bit as crazy as some of our very own home-grown terrified fundamentalist Christians and Jews who stand ready to nuke whole Islamic nations right now with no more questions asked. Yes, there are violent, ignorant, vengeful people everywhere, and this is a big big problem. And adding more violence, suffering, anger, and fear to all of their lives is being done to what good purpose?


Islam and Christianity, as practiced by their most devout and informed followers, are both peaceful religions. To be sure, the Koran requires believers to protect Muslim lands from those who would attack, occupy, and impose different traditions upon them, just as American Christians and Jews alike pledge to defend the Constitution even to the death from all enemies foreign and domestic. That doesn’t make either of us crazy. Yet Mr. Friedman implies that crazy-fanatic-Muslims are “the problem.”


Surely he can’t mean to compare the terrible 9/11 attacks perpetrated by misguided young mostly-Saudi Arabian radical intellectuals, with the American government’s own calculated five-year attacks and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have resulted in the deaths of a million people, the wounding of five times that many, the loss of 3,600+ of our own precious youth, the blighted hopes of millions of refugees, and the transformation of vast swaths of culturally-rich Muslim home towns and cities into bullet-ridden ghost towns?


Surely Friedman can’t be comparing the current outbreaks of desperate suicide attacks, however horrific, here and there in the west, with the deliberate, incalculable damage done to Muslim countries by western governments and corporations over the last several hundred years? Only the biggest, comfiest bully on the block could get away with making up such comparisons.


Mr. Friedman believes Islamic countries are benighted because they haven’t embraced western modernity, and it is true that the west and the east have much to learn from one another. But if only we would get out of their way, Muslims would have a better chance to embrace what they admire about western culture, as the Japanese did after WWII. Maybe when freed of western interference, Muslims, like the Vietnamese, will amaze us not only with their productivity, but with their generosity to former enemies as well.


The last thing Americans want to confess is our culpability in the Middle East, so painful is it to see our own shortcomings clearly, and so comforting to chalk disastrous policies up to Muslim backwardness….just as we’ve chalked everything bad happening in China up to Chinese backwardness, until now, when, whoops, here they come too, industriously going about doing things in their own way, and the bigger and stronger for it. In fact, they’ve succeeded so well that many in the west are working to boycott attendance at the Beijing  Olympics on various pretexts, not wanting to risk letting the west see how well the Chinese are doing.


I wish our government would stop creating enemies out of everyone “different,” and stop encouraging well-paid radio demagogues like Rush Limbaugh to keep up their steady drumbeat of xenophobia (“fear of outsiders.”) Demonizing and colonizing distant oil-rich nations does guarantee big profits for oil and for military/industrial corporations which thrive in a political atmosphere of fear. Regrettably though, capitalizing on America’s abysmal ignorance and fear of the rest of the world will never unify or save our nation, or our planet. We are young, brash, and powerful, and we want to “be right” about everything, want to “settle” conflicts “quickly” through violent means. Both goals are fantasies. Instead, we could choose to work to befriend everyone on the planet, accepting all nations and peoples as-is along with their weaknesses and mistakes (including our own), extending a welcome hand of caring and assistance to all….


But unless we voters suddenly get a lot smarter before the 2008 elections, the U.S. government will continue to be run by politicians elected by money from big corporations whose only interest is making high profits for their stockholders, and with no interest at all in changing the aggressive foreign policies which so successfully fill up their bank accounts.


And why should such corporations care if Muslim or American innocents are killed here or there? Why would corporations want to stop endless wars, when they can reinvest their gargantuan war profits into more government lobbying, a strategy which has successfully created for them a safe, lucrative niche within this nation of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations, which may yet perish from the earth. Few politicians disproportionately influenced by corporate donations will risk their powerful status to educate voters about the U.S.’s abysmal history of empire-building.


Friedman seems blissfully unaware of the two clear and oft-repeated “concrete political demands” which Bin Laden and his violent cohorts have stated time and again: in order to stop Islamic terrorism, the west must withdraw military forces from Islamic lands, and must stop arming and supporting Israeli anti-Islamic aggression.


The strategy of beating weaker nations into submission through gunboat lack-of-diplomacy and war has not proved robust. The west will be far more effective at spreading the best of our culture when we first offer generous support for popular cherished Islamic projects and problems.


No matter how far we fling our military forces in attempts to resolve east/west political conflicts, “our” dangerous and costly “terrorism problem” will only become worse until we withdraw our military forces from Islam, and offer generous support only to those Israeli leaders working for peaceful co-existence and equal rights for all ethnicities and religions. Until that time, grieving, patriotic, angry, jobless Muslim youth with no national military hope of prevailing against western oppression or against regional enemies newly armed and militarized amidst the lawlessness and chaos of life in a rapidly spreading war zone, will keep on choosing to throw in with terrorist/insurgent bands and militias.


If we continue to insist upon our American right to impose upon distant cultures our own “superior” political and economic values, multinational corporations profiting from war and terror will continue to misuse our ideals to serve their own greedy purposes:  to drive ever-deeper wedges into foreign lands, and to buy and sell (or take) whatever they want at criminal prices.


Friedman argues that it’s up to Muslim leaders to “remove this cancer” of terrorist violence. No. It is up to western leaders to remove this cancer of military-backed hegemony, this cancer of “might makes right,” this cancer of trampling the rights and traditions of smaller and weaker peoples.


Unless Mr. Friedman and I can somehow agree upon which of our children and grandchildren we’re willing to trade for a steady flow of cheap Middle Eastern oil, and which of our cities we’ll willing to exchange for bigger earnings for American stockholders, we should support leaders capable of shifting our nation and the world into to a new era of non-violent global cooperation, for the sake of all in both the east and the west.



Please send comments to Nancy Pace at njcpace@gmail.com .




July 4, 2007

Op-Ed Columnist

At a Theater Near You …



I knew something was up when I couldn’t get a cab. Then there were sirens and helicopters whirring overhead. I stopped a passerby to ask what was going on. He said something about a car bomb outside a disco six blocks from my hotel. A few hours later, I finally found a taxi. The driver warned me that it was nearly impossible to get across town. Another bomb had been uncovered in a car park. Next day, more news: a suicide bomber had driven his Jeep into an airport and jumped out, his body on fire, screaming “Allah! Allah!”

Where was I? Baghdad? Kabul? Tel Aviv? No, I was in England. But it could have been anywhere. The Middle East: Now playing at a theater near you.

But this movie gets more confusing every time you watch it. When you watched it on 9/11 it was about America’s presence in the heart of Arabia. And when you watched it on 7/7 it was about unemployed and alienated Muslim youth in Britain. In Jordan not long ago it was about a wedding at a Western hotel. In Morocco recently it was about an Internet cafe. And two days ago in Yemen it was about seven Spanish tourists who were killed when a suicide bomber drove into them at a local tourist site. Wasn’t Spain the country that quit Iraq to get its people out of the line of fire?

Because these incidents are scattered, we’re growing numb to just how crazy they are. In the past few years, hundreds of Muslims have committed suicide amid innocent civilians — without making any concrete political demands and without generating any vigorous, sustained condemnation in the Muslim world.

Two trends are at work here: humiliation and atomization. Islam’s self-identity is that it is the most perfect and complete expression of God’s monotheistic message, and the Koran is God’s last and most perfect word. To put it another way, young Muslims are raised on the view that Islam is God 3.0. Christianity is God 2.0. Judaism is God 1.0. And Hinduism and all others are God 0.0.

One of the factors driving Muslim males, particularly educated ones, into these acts of extreme, expressive violence is that while they were taught that they have the most perfect and complete operating system, every day they’re confronted with the reality that people living by God 2.0., God 1.0 and God 0.0 are generally living much more prosperously, powerfully and democratically than those living under Islam. This creates a real dissonance and humiliation. How could this be? Who did this to us? The Crusaders! The Jews! The West! It can never be something that they failed to learn, adapt to or build. This humiliation produces a lashing out.

In the old days, you needed a terror infrastructure with bases in Beirut or Afghanistan to lash out in a big way. Not anymore. Now all you need is the virtual Afghanistan — the Internet and a few cellphones — to recruit, indoctrinate, plan and execute. Hence, the atomization — little terror groups sprouting everywhere. Everyone now has a starter kit.

Gen. Michael Hayden, the C.I.A. director, recently noted in a speech that during the cold war “the enemy was easy to find, but hard to finish,” because the Soviet Union was so big and powerful. “Intelligence was important” back then, he added, “but it was overshadowed by the need for sheer firepower.”

In today’s war against terrorist groups, said General Hayden, “it’s just the opposite. Our enemy is easy to finish, but hard to find. Today, we are looking for individuals or small groups planning suicide bombings, running violent Jihadist Web sites, sending foreign fighters into Iraq.”

I’d go one step further. The Soviet Union was easy to find and hard to kill, but once it died, it was dead forever. It had no regenerative power because it had no popular base. The terrorists of Iraq or London are hard to find, easy to kill, but very difficult to eliminate. New recruits just keep sprouting.

Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists. But it’s been widely noted that virtually all suicide terrorists today are Muslims. Angry Norwegians aren’t doing this — nor are starving Africans or unemployed Mexicans. Muslims have got to understand that a death cult has taken root in the bosom of their religion, feeding off it like a cancerous tumor.

This cancer is erasing basic norms of civilization. In Iraq, we’ve seen suicide bombers blow up funerals and schools. In England, seven out of the eight people detained in the latest plot are Muslim doctors or medical students. Doctors plotting mass murder? Could that be? If Muslim leaders don’t remove this cancer — and only they can — it will spread, tainting innocent Muslims and poisoning their relations with each other and the world.



Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company