Should the U.S. Fear, Antagonize, Denigrate, Irritate or Embrace China?

This anonymous post about anti-China perceptions in the West is viral on the internet. I found it fascinating and thought-provoking. I think you will too…. 

What Do You Really Want From Us?

When we were the sick man of Asia,

We were called the yellow peril.

When we are billed as the next superpower, we are called “the threat.”

When we closed our doors, you launched the Opium War to open our markets.

When we embraced free trade, you blamed us for stealing your jobs.

When we were falling apart, you marched in your troops and demanded your fair share.

When we tried to put the broken pieces back together again, Free Tibet, you screamed. It was an invasion!

When we tried communism, you hated us for being communist.

When we embraced capitalism, you hated us for being capitalist.

When we had a billion people, you said we were destroying the planet.

When we tried limiting our numbers, you said we abused human rights.

When we were poor, you thought we were dogs.

When we lend you cash, you blame us for your national debts.

When we build our industries, you call us polluters.

When we sell you goods, you blame us for global warming.

When we buy oil, you call it exploitation and genocide.

When you go to war for oil, you call it liberation.

When we were lost in chaos, you demanded the rule of law.

When we uphold law and order against violence, you call it a violation of human rights.

When we were silent, you said you wanted us to have free speech.

When we are silent no more, you say we are brainwashed xenophobes.

Why do you hate us so much? we asked.

No, you answered, we don't hate you.

We don't hate you either,

But do you understand us?

Of course we do, you said,

We have AFP, CNN and BBC….

What do you really want from us?

Think hard first, then answer…

Because you only get so many chances.

Enough is enough, enough hypocrisy for this one world.

We want one world, one dream, and peace on earth.

This big blue earth is big enough for all of us.


Please send your comments to Thank you! 🙂


Even More Spiritual Sharings

I am polishing my fifteen-chapter memoirs about my life as a military brat…. Looking for an agent…. 🙂 Meanwhile….

Every day that I can, I meditate/pray/ (or whatever word you might care 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 them, along with any fears I might be repressing—both before and during my meditation. Then I do some reading from a variety of inspiring sources. Then I summarize my “sense” of what I felt or learned from that day’s meditations, questions and reading, in a brief “Spiritual Sharing.” The whole process usually averages about an hour, although sometimes it takes just a few minutes.


I don’t profess any knowledge at all other than my personal experience and insights—certainly no universal religious beliefs. I do try to follow the teachings and example of Jesus, and thus consider myself a Christian. But beyond Jesus’ teachings, I am a mystical agnostic, in the sense of not-knowing anything except in a scientific or personally-mystical or spiritual sense. I do have a very personally-designed faith in certain practices which works for me. I make no claims that I know what is true for everyone or that I am “right” in any of my spiritual conclusions. I am a strong advocate of interfaith understanding, dialogue, respect and support, believe that we can all profitably share our truths with one another, and am also an admirer of the humanitarian work and spirit of all secular seekers.


I see my written daily “Spiritual Sharings” as personal expressions of mystical insights from/into to a spiritual dimension; they come to me during my meditations and I write them down. However, all individual human attempts to express any kinds of truth through language are necessarily limited, personal and fallible.


My daily spiritual practice strengthens my faith and has invaluable applications to my own daily life, and I do trust that sharing my results is sometimes useful to some others. But of course, please be assured that I come and go as humbly and fallibly as others do, and as I have always done, continually forgetting or not applying higher truths I have learned and intuitively understand.


I hope you will feel free to substitute (for the term, “God,” in the following meditations) any personal word that best describes or names the Source of your own experience of spiritual power, insight and understanding—whether that source be “God,” guiding spirit, intuition, the unknowable,  Nature, conscience, a higher power, Hashem, inner-knowing, Christ, Science, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, natural understanding, YHWH or Yahweh, Shiva, the Over-Soul, the Goddess, the divine, the Name, the Universe, Krishna, friend, G-d, light, Allah, Lord, Jehovah, Abba, the Ineffable, the One, Adonai, Creator, the name of your preferred deity, the ground of your being, I-Am-That-I-Am, or any other word(s) or name(s) that work(s) for you.


I find spiritual truth to be ultimately ineffable and uniquely personal. Our various expressions and explanations of universal spiritual truth/s seem limited because we are mentally and linguistically limited, and ultimately—human. Like so many others, I feel inspired to compose and share my personal and unique understandings, knowing that spiritual truth cannot be ultimately, finally, universally expressed, understood, known or agreed upon.


In this sense, all of our searches for understanding about and communion with “God,” through the multitude of faiths, belief systems, spiritual practices and secular searches for truth, human interdependence, conscience and service are interchangeably valuable, adding to a our higher shared human cultural understanding of the spiritual dimension of life.


 The many different personal, linguistic, cultural, religious, experiential and explanatory names we assign to our various but uniquely individual religious, spiritual, humanist and philosophical experiences and understandings cannot change the nature and essence of the source of that spiritual power. Regardless of the conflicting beliefs, perspectives and practices of a world of diverse worshippers, seekers and non-believers, whatever, whoever and however our higher Source may be will never change. In this sense, we all share the same God.


The central message of all the world’s great religions in their highest forms is faith, hope, and love (in all their highest understandings and expressions) whether in human culture or in our highest experiences of a spiritual dimension. In an eternal and spiritual sense, all human cultures and every human life has infinite and even perhaps eternal value, even when those cultures and those humans seem temporally to be struggling with incredible burdens, or conversely, are enjoying disproportionate and inequitable benefits, enlightenment, privileges and support. From an eternal or temporal perspective, however, loving, accepting, forgiving and appreciating one another works best.


I embrace the interfaith movement, which supports the search for authentic worship, community, spirituality, faith and service through familiar traditions, while encouraging better understanding, respect and support for the faiths of others.


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



Daily Spiritual Sharing:



5/24/10 – When we’re feeling fearful or awkward about how to react to a situation or person, we can turn the moment over to the guidance, perspective and insights of our higher power—and then relax, knowing the best healing response for all will come to us.


5/23/10 – We can bow to the world’s cultural dream of fear, sin, judgment, suffering, guilt, depression and death, or we can awaken now to the beauty, peace, love and joy of beloved and loving spirits, eternally celebrating God’s one perfect, abundant creation.


5/22/10 – When I’m feeling negative about any situation, person or issue, and ask to see things differently, the helpful insight I receive encompasses all interests, and reveals my eternal oneness, and loving communication now, with all that is—man, nature, and God.


5/21/10 – God’s forgiveness, and our own, release us from our dreams of retribution and penance for our unjust pasts, and free us to focus now, with God, on acceptance, appreciation and love for all things, the only purposes which assure peace and happiness.


5/20, 2010 – When we remind ourselves that we don’t have to do anything, we will also remember that some of the things we think we have to do are often things we really want to do—which is a happier place to come from.


5/19, 2010 – When we feel weak, beleaguered, hopeless, despairing, angry, guilty, resentful and defiant, we can surrender all to faith, let go, and trust God’s order, purpose, strength, peace, love, innocence and oneness to miraculously transform chaos into peace.


5/18/10 – We can struggle to protect, affirm and aggrandize our illusions of separate, guilty, competing bodies alone in a threatening world; or we can know only one beloved eternal spiritual creation sharing one holy purpose and one peaceful loving home in God.


5/17/10 – When we judge the world and try to fix it, we will see only chaos and error. When we relax, judge not, and see, think and be only love, we will find in ourselves and in all the inner peace and love that gives the world the only meaning it will ever have.


5/16/10 – We can focus on fearful and unsolvable mortal problems, shortcomings and mistakes in a futile attempt to correct and change ourselves and others, or we can let our guiding spirit help us focus on only what is good, true and eternal in ourselves and others.


5/15/10 – “Being” is oneness, wholeness, and the shared loving purpose of a diverse and holy self. This simple truth of one love, one creation and one eternal time of now can be hidden by false, frightening, complex cultural concepts and assumptions, but never lost.


5/14/10 – God’s perfect strength, guidance, and good, holy, beautiful will and eternal love for each of us is expressed and assured—with no conflicts of interest and no divisions—as we choose to love, forgive, accept and appreciate one another now.


5/13/10 – When we see life as a zero-sum game of competing interests, we see nothing but deprivation, scarcity and competition. When we realize that spiritual abundance is equal, universal and eternal, we see only common challenges and cooperative solutions.


5/12/10 – Peace, certainty, sanity and sense in a world of apparent cruelty, chaos and meaninglessness lie in recognizing and practicing only eternal, unified, holy, loving values, attitudes, actions and purposes—which (despite their various names) are all one.


5/11/10 – The opposite of analysis is acceptance. We can’t “figure out” or “make sense” of evil, hate or chaos, because these are meaningless concepts. The beginning of wisdom and understanding comes from a focus upon only that which is good, loving and eternal.


5/10/10 – Our will and God’s will are unchangingly and forever one and the same. We are creations of love itself, eternally open channels through which his love flows. We are co-creators, co-extenders and co-receivers of God’s perfect and endless cycle of love.


5/9/10 – We are always sufficient to each moment’s need, because all of God’s meaning, strength and power lie behind each and every one of even our smallest loving thoughts, gentle touches, healing gestures, and words of acceptance, appreciation and forgiveness.


5/8/10 – We are not separate, unlovable, inadequate, competing, doomed bodies, nor are we—as our human culture tells us—broken pieces of creation. We are one interdependent spiritual self, forever individually, uniquely and creatively expressing the love of God.


5/7/10 – When we are feeling weak and challenged, we can offer up our heartfelt willingness to see each person and situation now as God does; humbly turn over to him each fear, shame and sorrow; and confidently await his miraculous, healing vision.


5/6/10 – I am not guilty, nor is anyone else. We are here and now only to love. As we focus upon this innocent present-purpose, we free ourselves and one another, moment-to-moment, from our sad, angry illusions of an inadequate, unloving, unfair, shared past.


5/5/10 – What and how and whom we choose to love today has nothing at all to do with making up for or changing shared false illusions of a sad, guilty past, which is, after all, gone. Love is what we are now and forever, the only “time” there is to love and be loved.


5/4/10 – We can’t prepare ourselves in advance to know how best to handle each new situation, but we can be ready and willing to turn over each challenging moment trustingly to God, and then to quietly, peacefully and confidently await his sure answers.


5/3/10 – All love, all wholeness, all healing, all relationship, heaven itself, is within—where we share one knowing of our eternal oneness with God, humankind and all of creation.


5/2/10 – We are thoughts in the mind of God, innocent and beloved and one with another and God, as we were created. The illusion which our bodies represent is the imagined gap between us and each other, between us and the universe, between us and God.


5/1/10 – We can see everything differently, lovingly, peacefully, helpfully—from a spiritual, eternal perspective—if, when we are afraid, we ask God for his vision and insight, and then wait in trust, knowing we will receive it.


4/30/10 – We are all unique, innocent, indispensable expressions of one beloved creation, all equal heirs to eternal justice, spiritual abundance and unconditional love, all learning love, forgiveness, acceptance and appreciation for one another, ourselves and God.


4/29/10 – When we add the suffering of guilt and worry to pain, see ourselves and others as unfairly treated, think life brief and unjust and God very-conditionally loving, we’ll feel alienated, guilty and angry, having (mis)judged God’s one eternal, perfect creation.


4/28/10 – Our “self” is an eternal whole, one with God and his beloved creation, forever extending,  communicating and expressing love, oneness and connection personally and irreplaceably, through unique, temporary bodies, personalities, experiences and talents.


4/27/10 – We can make no decisions based on small ideas of weakness, and give no power to imagined individual limitations, but remember instead that we are open, guided, beloved, strengthened media through whom God uniquely expresses his love.


4/26/10 – In the midst of our daily human dramas, we forget our nature as eternal beings in a spiritual dimension with no past or future, no place or time, but rather always and forever everywhere in an eternal now, sharing all creation, all understanding, all love.


4/25/10 – When we determinedly let go of all judgment, anger, blame, attack and retribution toward someone else, all our own defensiveness about our own illusions of our own guilt will fall away simultaneously and miraculously, leaving behind only love.


4/24/10 – When we show up at any moment as guilt-ridden and inadequate, unforgivable and unlovable, we tell the world that they, too, are worthless and bad, deserving of condemnation and death, and hopelessly divided from man and from God.


4/23/10 – Love isn’t difficult, but removing our many barriers to it requires real commitment and effort. Everything that blocks love—all our guilt, attack, fear, anger, envy and judgment—can be brought to God to be healed, released and transformed.


4/22/10 – When we let go of our cultural dream of judgment, guilt and sin, when we realize that separation of God and his beloved creation was never possible, then we will know we never left his garden of oneness, forgiveness, love, acceptance and appreciation.


4/21/10 – The best change we can make is to let go of guilt. Jesus’ whole life was about teaching us that we are forgiven, beloved and free, now and eternally—to live in peace, innocence and love. Would we refuse to hear his message? Let him teach and die in vain?


4/20/10 – Certainty, purpose and present-focus come from seeing ourselves and all others as lovable, as-is. When we accept others’ choices, thoughts and actions mercifully and gently, we receive in return the gifts of peace, acceptance and freedom from judgment.


4/19/10 – Love cannot co-exist with guilt, fear, judgment and attack. Let these go, and recognize instead, in yourself and in all others, the accepting, free, joyous, loved and loving eternal spirit ready to be born again at each new moment, now and always.


4/18/10 – Relationships are about unlimited opportunities to love and be loved, to serve and heal, and not about fear, guilt and disappointment. When we forgive, accept and appreciate ourselves and others as perfect, innocent, eternal spirits, we share one mind.


4/17/10 – Everyone, without exception, makes mistakes, big and small. We can drag our past miseries into our darkened, miserable presents and bitter futures, or we can let go of guilt—and discover and share with others, lives of innocence, lightheartedness and joy.


4/16/10 – Shall we cling to an old, tired cultural vision of an evil, fallen, unlovable, unforgivable humankind caught in a world of fear, judgment, guilt, sin, condemnation and judgment? Or embrace a joyous new vision of forgiveness and unconditional love?


4/15/10 – The feelings of guilt, fear, condemnation, aloneness and inadequacy written clearly upon our faces announce to everyone else that they too are unforgivable, doomed, irredeemable—and as hopeless as we. Is this the mirror we want to hold up to others?


4/14/10 – If we are God’s eternally beloved creation, then there is no death, time has no direction, and the past has no meaning. We are always and forever with God in the present, now, which is the only time there is, and where all healing, love and joy occur.


4/13/10 – Loving relationships are not about fear, guilt, comparisons or sacrifices. They enhance forgiveness, acceptance, love and appreciation for all, support recognition of the changeless innocence and perfection of all, and thus infinitely and sufficiently bless all.


4/12/10 – Why would we waste our lives defending and making up for yesterdays that are gone? God’s peace lies in recognizing and appreciating, now, that we are all innocent, unique, indispensable facets of one eternally loved, loving and lovable spiritual creation.


4/11/10 – What kind of God would create an impossible world, and then ask his children to briefly compete for a limited number of exalted or miserable eternal slots? Why would we spend our lives feeling—and thus making others feel—guilty and inadequate?


4/10/10 – Truth is total, and can be understood only when we are peacefully aware of our loved, lovable and loving oneness with God, nature, and all humankind. Condemnation, conflict and guilt are meaningless, senseless and irrational, and cannot be understood.


4/9/10 – Truth, knowledge and understanding do not lie in extremes, separation, polarity, division or opposition, nor in anger, self-righteousness or conflict. They can only be recognized in unity, harmony, acceptance, forgiveness, oneness, reconciliation and peace.


4/8/10 – When we see ourselves and others merely as flesh-and-blood human mortals, separated from each other and doomed to die, we lose sight of our mutual eternal reality as spirit—forever loved and loving, forever innocent, forever reborn in an eternal present.


4/7/10 – Who are we? We are the eternal love that created us. We are the love that expresses creatively through our unique experiences, learning and talents. We are the love which together forgives, comforts, enlightens, empowers—and moves mountains.


4/6/10 – Love created us by a loving thought, and we continue creation through our own loving thoughts. Life itself is a cycle of creation of love through a multitude of unique forms and expressions. Nothing else is real, nothing else matters, nothing else lasts.


4/5/10 – Shall we spend our lives guiltily groveling, defending ourselves, and rebelling against feeling judged? Or shall we joyously recognize, accept, and celebrate each moment of a life that is not about judging or being judged, but about eternal innocence?


4/4/10 – Together we are God’s one strong, loving, confident, eternal, diverse creation, an irresistibly loving, lovable force, no “part” of which ever needs defending. Defending our illusions of separate, uncertain, inadequate, imagined “selves” only weakens us.


4/3/10 – We are powerful and loving beyond our imaginations, but we can’t recognize or fulfill our own unique and infinite potential until we respect, support and appreciate all others’ potential—as equally, eternally and uniquely amazing, infinite and wonderful.


4/2/10 – We can focus on goodness—seek it, appreciate it, offer it—because it’s pointless to try to understand or fix goodness’ senseless opposites—all errors, sins, evil, mistakes and wrongs. Instead, we can forgive, accept, love, (ourselves too), and let the rest go.


4/1/10 – We are eternal spirits, living life now as one innocent, valuable, beloved, diverse creation, sharing the same interests, and longing for the oneness of loving and being loved. Such awareness offers surrender, peace, forgiveness, acceptance and appreciation.


3/31/10 – Acceptance that we are forever unique, innocent and diverse, as we were created by an unconditionally and eternally loving God to be, helps us let go of the guilt and judgment we project onto others and ourselves, that causes most of the world’s pain.


3/30/10 – When we remember to respond to everyone, every time, with acceptance, forgiveness and appreciation—they like it! J


3/29/10 – Did God create us to drag along feeling guilty, weak and inadequate, or to recognize our capacity to be his loving, joyous, glorious children? If we ask, he will affirm all our ambitions to be our best selves in each moment.


3/28/10 – When we doubt and fear others, we can rely upon God’s inspiration, perspective and strength to help us live out our faith in the inextinguishable spark of divinity and love which is that-of-God eternally present in everyone’s essential nature.


3/27/10 – God created us with the goal of sharing his love and joy with us. We can share in his purpose and achieve his goal by sharing his love and joy with everyone else. The love and joy which then returns to him completes an infinitely loving, joyful cycle.


3/26/10 – We don’t need to learn love, which we all recognize, feel, and intuitively understand. But we do need to get rid of all our wrong-minded cultural ideas which cover, hide and bury our loving natures beneath their burden of guilt, fear and judgment.


3/25/10 – Instead of using anger in a futile attempt to push onto others our own present guilt feelings about the past, we can surrender all guilt entirely to an infinitely patient, understanding, forgiving God, and share his healing, motivating love, grace and peace.


3/24/10 – Each time we take a moment to request, receive and allow God’s unexpected, surprising, miraculous perspectives and inspiration, we will see, accept, appreciate, encourage and lift ourselves and others in incalculable, unforeseeable ways.


3/23/10 – When we finally realize that we don’t know anything, we may be more willing to learn everything from one who does understand, and who teaches by gently offering healing insight, inspiration and perspective to each question we humbly surrender to him.

Biological Arms Races, Biocontainment Labs, Hazards and Assessments

No one wants peace more than a soldier who’s been to war. Military men were my first heroes, my first saints. My darling Dad earned a Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and a chest-full of campaign ribbons and medals. My childhood “hometowns” were Army posts scattered around the U.S., and Japan and Germany.  I went to twelve different schools before college. A civilian now, I’ve listened nostalgically for twenty years to the bugled sounds of Taps floating in my bedroom window near Ft. Detrick.


My husband and good friends working at Ft. Detrick convinced me long ago that the technicians and scientists there have the best intentions, the highest skills, admirable goals, and very conscientious safety precautions.


Unfortunately, they’ve not been able to convince me that the planned Level 3 and 4 labs will be safe in Frederick. The record shows that research lab workers, even those with the highest security clearances and the best available training, are still fallible human beings who can and do become victims of blackmail, fall in love unwisely, get into desperate financial situations, hide growing prescription and other drug problems, and develop volatile feelings about co-workers. Lab workers sometimes become blind to their own religious and political biases and bigotry, and are thus susceptible to involvement in illicit covert operations, conspiracies and cover-ups.


Sometimes they get in a hurry and make professionally embarrassing mistakes and bad decisions. Sometimes they hide evidence, fudge records and fake procedures in order to save their jobs and livelihoods, and then rationalize the risks they’re taking—escalating and exponentially complicating situations already perilous.


Also sadly, no one yet has been able to explain to me why it wouldn’t be easy, temptingly easy, to kamikaze an airplane flown from the Frederick Airport into a targeted Ft. Detrick building, or lob a well-placed rocket over the Ft. Detrick fence. Either of these unpreventable actions would very legitimately throw chaos and panic into the post, city and metropolitan area, creating unforeseen, complicated, dangerous situations.


Scientists in these labs will be genetically-engineering (from diseases with no cures), completely new, highly lethal and contagious life forms, life, life so new that no one yet understands how it works. What if a newly-mutated strain somehow finds a way to attach itself to a lab worker in some unpredictable way, some way that defeats the protections put on it, so that the lab workers carry it outside unknowingly? I plead for humility in the face of nature’s chaotic, awesome genetic power.


Furthermore, if we build the facility, we’ll scare other countries into creating their own labs, creating something like an arms race with ourselves, and increasing the threat. I can’t think why Detrick’s scientists, or the Post Commander, would welcome such dangerous projects, which only complicate, compromise and jeopardize all the other crucially important and valuable research currently being done at USAMRIID and elsewhere on post.


I know we can’t avoid all risks in today’s angry and violent world, but we can avoid adding recklessly to their sum. We can choose not to consolidate, in a metropolitan area, an unpredictable mix of risky components with an infinite potential for dangerous permutations.


I was almost raped as a young mother. A very caring policeman later sternly warned me, “Don’t be so stupid as to leave your window-shade up! You’re attracting every pervert in the county. Eventually, they’ll all make a beeline to your window!”


These labs leave the window-shades in Frederick up. Their very existence in Frederick asks, perhaps begs, for trouble, and that trouble will make its dangerous beeline straight to our area.


Before we expose huge populations to catastrophic risks with BSL 3 & 4 labs, we need to ask why. If someone does attack the U.S. with biologicals, what is the likelihood that we’ll have the right vaccine, in enough quantities, available when it is needed? Wouldn’t we have to vaccinate people before the threat reaches them? Perhaps an antidote, not a vaccine, will be needed. And how much vaccine, and when, would be considered a good solution? And who would be vaccinated? Only the government? The military? The medical community?  Who might our solution actually save?


And finally, has anyone examined the probability that these risky efforts can even be successful? We’re considering exposing huge populations to catastrophic risks. For what? If someone does attack the U.S. with biologicals, what is the likelihood that we’ll have the right vaccine, in enough quantities, available when it’s needed?


None of my concerns are even mentioned in the current USAMRIID hazard assessment, much less addressed.


What is needed is a mature, high-quality thought process developing an informed equation comparing the risks and costs of the potential biowarfare threat itself with the risks and costs of attempting to address the threat. At what point are they equal?


Merely by building such facilities, aren’t we unreasonably augmenting the threat? Aren’t we creating/driving a biological arms race with ourselves, since other threatened countries will feel it necessary to build their own labs, requiring us to expand ours again in an expensive, pointless, dangerous, ineffective, wasteful and infinite cycle?


Here is what a credible, predictive and useful BSL 3 & 4 hazard assessment might look like:


1. Estimate the cost of the planned response to perceived Biological Warfare (BW) threats

   –  List the possible negative events which inspired the proposed solution.

   –  Estimate the probability of each negative event occurring.

   –  Estimate the impact of each negative event, if it occurred.

   –  Estimate the risk (the probability of occurrence times impact) of each negative event.

   –  Estimate the expected cost associated with these possible negative events (some sort of group probability—a statistician would be required.)

   –  Estimate the actual costs of responding to perceived BW threats (labs, people, security, maintenance, upgrades, social, political, other costs…)

   –  Add actual and expected costs.


2. Estimate the benefits of the suggested solution (which is essentially a list of the costs of the negative events that would happen to the U.S. as a result of the perceived BW activities of other countries, assuming that the U.S. does nothing to ward off such possibilities.)


3. List the additional possible negative events that could happen to the U.S. as a result of other countries’ feeling threatened by our new labs and then building similar BW efforts, including the costs of expanding the U.S. response to these rising threats.


4. Using the list produced in step #3, proceed with the steps described in #1 above to determine the benefits of the planned solution.


5. After completing steps #3 and #4 above, we would have an informed decision-makers’ estimate of the costs and benefits of the planned response to the perceived BW threats.


6.  Evaluate the assumption that the planned solution to the perceived BW threats would actually be effective, (i.e., what is the likelihood of the US having an appropriate and effective vaccine or antidote ready when it was actually needed during a BW event? Etc.)


7. As a final step, do a sensitivity analysis.  Determine how much the result of the cost/benefit analysis above would change as a result of changes in the assumptions used to create it.


8. At what point does the risk of the threat itself equal the risk of trying to address the threat?


Essentially, we need to develop an equation, a model, which will allow decision-makers to make a practical and informed comparison weighing and comparing the risks and costs of the BW threat itself to the risks and costs of addressing the threat. A mature, high-quality thought process comparing the risks with the solution would allow for decision-makers’ discussions, and even some disagreement about the assumptions and decisions, but at least all involved would be assured that all issues were addressed in a systematic way.


Sometimes the “costs” in the above equation would be expressed in terms of dollars, sometimes in terms of human life, sometimes in terms of political costs, i.e., international opinion, good faith, trust, health, environmental costs, social costs, risks of increased anger, terrorism, war, etc. A complete list of costs and risks would of course also include the cost of the additional threats which will inevitably emerge as a result of the U.S. building such a facility to address the perceived threats. The list of expected monetary costs should thus include the costs of building the facilities, securing them, running them, maintaining them, and upgrading them again and again as response-threats spiral. Do we really want to start this death-spiral?





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.



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Covering Obama: A Cautionary Note to Journalists and Historians

Journalists who recently told the election tale in terms of a superior candidate emerging victorious over an inferior one risked a barrage of criticism from rightist pundits. And indeed, the salutations of the world’s moral and political leaders, and the tears of admirers everywhere, have crowned Barack Obama a peerless light-bearer, while John McCain, partly for the sake of a contrasting story line, has been cast in the evil emperor role.


Truly, it would be as misguided for liberal-leaning journalists to indelibly identify Obama as a permanent force for good, as for right-leaning journalists to gnash their teeth to nubs over their White Knight’s defeat by the evil Antichrist, because what keeps journalists working is their sure-handed avoidance of any final pronouncements on the rapidly-changing nature of the people and human institutions in the scene before them, in favor of reporting in medias res exactly what just happened.


In this particular case, what just happened was that a famously-esteemed public servant, John McCain, too often gave in to cynicism; attacked his until-recently unknown opponent; promoted fear; and acted the part of convenient tool of greedy and foolish party opportunists narrowly serving the interests of America’s wealthiest citizens.


What just happened was that voters rightly associated John McCain’s candidacy with the failed policies of today’s Republican Party, the party of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Addington, Rove, and Hadley, who, together with Hannity, Limbaugh and their ilk, duped two highly-electable, ideologically “authentic” rock stars, Bush II and McCain, into fatuously selling, with fatal consequences to large swaths of Americans and Iraqis, a vacuous, greed-based ideology.


What just happened was that a Republican presidential campaign aligned itself with policies promoting U.S. hegemony; a dominion of haves over have-nots; a belief in the inevitability of a divided world; militarized solutions to political conflicts; and a continuation of institutionalized bigotry, hatred, ignorance and poverty as the optimal path to safety and prosperity.


Journalists legitimately pointed out that there were clear differences between the two candidates and their campaigns—two very different approaches to governing, two distinct philosophies, two methodologies, two visions.


Journalists rightly explained how and why most world citizens came together to embrace and applaud the more hopeful candidate and reject the more cynical one.


To be sure, John McCain is neither the devil nor the evil emperor. He is, however, a believer in the aggressive, violent, chauvinistic ideology of the Bush regime which preceded him. George W. Bush isn’t the devil either, but he did quite naively become falsely persuaded that his only choice was to unleash hell in the Middle East, thereby adding greatly to the sum of human suffering and injustices in the false hope of thus preventing some.


Many high-minded journalists very professionally told a story of how, in this one glorious instance, Americans courageously elected a man advocating diplomacy, global problem-solving, an end to class warfare, relief for the planet, a search for common interests and solutions, the education of all children everywhere in the necessary skills, ideals and values of citizenship and productivity, and a belief in working together to lift mankind up instead of tearing it down.


Barack’s victory was a victory of hope, love, and faith over cynicism, despair, and vengeance. Journalists telling his election story just exactly as it unfolded were right to tell the truth that for a brief shining moment, America once again welcomed the possibility of a promising new king ready and eager to reign wisely and well from a diverse, compassionate and representative roundtable.


At the risk of grievously mixing regal metaphors:  Make it so.




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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”. 



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An End to Holocausts, Hiroshimas and 9/11s?

Two survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb recently came to my fair city to share their stories and plead for an end to nuclear weapons. I now am more persuaded than ever that powerful leaders who order the bombing of civilian populations are as misguided and ineffective in furthering their causes as are terrorists who set off suicide bombs in crowded marketplaces.


In the past, I believed that bombing civilian targets was sometimes necessary to end war and save lives, but now I see that Americans would never accept such a double standard if nuclear bombs were dropped on our cities.


We only ever have two choices in any personal or global conflict: We can choose never to give up trying to find positive solutions, or we can claim to have no choice but to accept negative ones. We can opt for unity, or we can retreat into defensive separateness. We can bravely reach out to come together as one—one couple, one family, one organization, one polity, one world—or we can retreat from the hard work of reaching agreement.


Proponents of “just wars” assure us that violence sometimes offers quicker, surer ways to prevent injustices and insure the survival of the “right” side. Yet this same moral argument is proffered equally fervently by terrorists, who also believe in the “rightness” of their causes. To both of these, I contend that to be “right,” whether individually or nationally, is to be in continuously valiant struggle to live up to the highest, most positive, peaceful, loving universal humanitarian ideals and values.


Sadly, many of us excuse our double standards and immoral choices, both at home and abroad, because “we’re right.”  But we’re not “right,” regardless of our politics, religion, or history, unless we, our families, friends, organizations and nation resolve our conflicts generously, cooperatively, and non-violently. If our solutions to human conflict are violent, harmful and hurtful, we are no longer “right.”


Our justly historically proud and idealistic nation now controls most of the world’s nuclear weapons (making us by far the greatest weapons proliferator and threat to others around the world) yet we see no problem with that, because, after all, “we’re ‘right’.” We even justify a nuclear attack upon Iran, fearing that they may develop, use or proliferate such weapons—because we’re “right.” As the Bruce Ivins / anthrax case and the Air Force’s case of “misplaced” nuclear warheads have taught us, even well-intentioned weapons research and maintenance can be too easily sabotaged. Deadly bioweapons and nuclear devices quickly fall prey not only to human greed and guile, but also to weakness, illness, error, and confusion about the politically “right” thing to do. All this, while fueling ever more danger, fear, more arms races, and more likelihood of proliferation.


During the twentieth century, every peaceful, diplomatic effort that has ever received anything like the openhanded financial and political backing which war receives has been successful. Such political compromises, however frustrating and dissatisfying they may feel at the time, always seem presciently wise and politically courageous in retrospect.


Wars cannot prevent catastrophes; war itself is a catastrophe, as attested by all those whose lives are touched by war. Soldiers and soldiers’ families are always catastrophically exploited by war. Ninety percent of the victims of war are civilians. We who so proudly march into war have no idea what future injustices those wars will inevitably loose upon innocents on all sides.


The belief that war can prevent injustices is a powerful, well-funded myth. War may prevent a few specific, immediate injustices, but it always creates many more unpredicted and terrible ones. Tragically, we let every generation forget that, whether or fight or not, some great injustices inevitably are suffered, and some people die. Millions of Jews and other innocents died in WWII despite gargantuan war efforts on all sides, and many more died because of them. In wartime as in peacetime, countries come together and apart, tyrants rise and fall. The price of liberty—and its best guarantor—is never war, but eternal, active, courageous, peaceful vigilance. For what does freedom mean, if not the freedom to live and let others livein peace? Our God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—a right shared by all peoples everywhere—rests inevitably upon others’ good will.


War cannot keep us safe. War cannot prevent human injustices. Even under the best of circumstances, human nature being what is it and human conflicts being inevitable, life will always be fragile, difficult, and uncertain. In today’s (and tomorrow’s) fast-shrinking, intricately intertwined, and insanely violent world, life on earth itself is at risk.


The only moral choice about nuclear weapons that any nation has in today’s increasingly complex and violent world is to take the courageous lead in disarming. Such a decision is no different than any of the other difficult moral decisions we make every day. They all come down to one of two choices: whether to live positively or negatively, hopefully or cynically, bravely or fearfully, in faith or in despair.


Regardless of the size and nature of the conflict, whether personal or political, local or global, we can always choose cooperation over competition, unity over division, hope over cynicism, brotherhood over partisanship, and forgiveness over vengeance.


We can always choose faith, hope and love over fear, defensiveness, and retribution. We can choose whether to add to the sum of injustices by fearfully arming ourselves enough to destroy our beautiful blue planet many times over, mistreating our neighbors as they mistreat us, or we can support only peaceful leaders everywhere, seek compromises, listen to all viewpoints, and steadfastly reject that greatest injustice and attack upon freedom, which is war itself.


I’m not brave enough to be a total pacifist; I would defend my family, friends and neighbors from bad guys climbing in our windows and knocking down our doors, and maybe I’m wrong in this. But such scenarios are far less likely if we elect peaceful leaders who maintain strong local militias, and then spend the rest of our so-called “defense” budget redressing local, national and international injustices, and supporting great projects dear to the hearts of our so-called “enemies.” Everyone knows that the best way to get rid of an enemy is to make him a friend.


Albert Einstein famously warned us that no nation on earth can simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. Certainly, maintaining the mightiest military force in the history of the world has not prevented us from being continually embroiled in wars.


We are all conditioned to believe that being “right” about ourselves, our politics, traditions and religions, is more important than living and letting others live in peace. We have to be “right” about so many things—about who the bad guys are, who started it, who was at fault, what happened, who meant well and who didn’t, who did what to whom, whose ideology or form of government or religion is superior….


The truth is, in this confusing world, it’s difficult to find agreement even amongst our best friends and those most “like” us, about what life is all about—what we’re doing here, and how best to look upon the world, ourselves, and one another. Even the greatest scholars realize that the more they know, the more they know they don’t know. This is why, in every conflict, humility, acceptance, mutual respect, support, and yes, forgiveness, are the wisest guides to being “right.”


Some day, they will give a war and no one will come. Each of us will either continue to insist upon being “right” and in control (both illusions in this multicultural nuclear age) or hold ourselves to that highest universal standard, the Golden Rule, which treats all others kindly as we would wish to be treated. When more and more of us make this shift to respect and support for human life everywhere, we will enter a more harmonious age.


In this age of climate change and peak oil, the great work of peaceful global transformation is urgent. Wars over oil already rage in Iraq, Darfur, and Georgia, and other global scarcities such as water threaten increasing conflict. Our mother Earth is sick and reaching crisis. Einstein famously predicted, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”


Fortunately, researchers have learned a lot about how to resolve human conflicts peacefully. Amish and Quaker Christians and other historically peaceful communities have shown us that peaceful cultures are possible, and now, across the globe, great moral leaders demonstrate the proven arts and skills of peaceful conflict resolution. It’s time we learned what they know, and time to spread that knowledge around.


Hatred begets more hatred; this is immutable law. Until we lead the global paradigm shift away from division and toward brotherhood, exploiting the potential of our great institutions and media in the service of peace and justice, we and our progeny will increasingly be at risk for more crime, more injustices, wars and terrorism, more Holocausts, 9/11s, Hiroshimas and Nagasakis. Neither love nor fear are simple, obvious or guaranteed approaches to resolving human conflict, but at this late date, only one has any chance of succeeding.


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Is Moqtada al-Sadr One of the Good Guys?

I only know what I read in the papers, and I’m nervous about speaking up for someone who is, for the moment at least, being demonized by the Bush administration, especially someone who is currently shooting back at American forces, albeit in self-defense. But I must raise the question of whether Moqtada al-Sadr might not be one of the “good guys,” a strong, spiritual leader whom world opinion should now be ecumenically supporting.


Al-Sadr is apparently a wildly popular leader of the Shiite poor, who, time and again, has demonstrated his commitment to peacefully resisting the overwhelmingly-superior military forces bent upon murdering him. Aside from his courageous refusal to relinquish the ancient homelands of his followers to invaders who would steal and exploit them, and his stubborn unwillingness to be assassinated, what has he done to deserve universal media condemnation and abandonment in the west?


Because al-Sadr’s charismatic leadership is seen by the west’s most powerful leaders as a major barrier to their hegemony in the Middle East, few journalists seem willing to raise this question. Yet several times throughout this conflict, when it has seemed temporarily expedient for the U.S. to leave al-Sadr in peace, he has urged patience and forbearance among his followers even as the wide-scale destruction of his country by foreign occupiers has continued.


Currently, American forces are attacking al-Sadr’s Mahdi army in oil-rich Basra, which is right across the border from Iran. Perhaps Mr. Cheney hopes to provoke just enough Iranian retaliation for this particular aggression to finally justify his own longed-for invasion of Iran’s oil fields? Patriots in Basra and Iran share far more in common with one another than with their American attackers; surely the Iranian government cannot be expected to indefinitely contain the passions of their red-blooded youth, currently standing passively by, watching while their brother-Shiites in Basra are being slaughtered.


Isn’t it time we reconsidered the unquestioned place we have given al-Sadr in our western pantheon of demonized enemies? He is a leader to whom the majority of Shiites in Iraq currently pledge their allegiance, one who has often turned the other cheek even while his beloved followers were being killed. Despite being repeatedly stalked, discredited, attacked, betrayed, and occasionally befriended by President Bush, his millions of followers trust him unreservedly to make their decisions for them. Shouldn’t journalists be speaking out loudly and clearly against the attacks upon him? Who are the bad guys here, and who are the good guys?


How can we expect al-Sadr’s forces to passively turn in their guns when our own country feels free to unilaterally initiate pre-emptive wars, invade, occupy and shoot up foreign country sides and villages and cities, interfere with sovereign nations’ internal affairs, drop nuclear and conventional bombs on civilian populations, disrupt livelihoods and lives, kill innocents, and stockpile armaments enough to end life on earth many times over? Al-Sadr has not invaded America. The reverse has happened.


The Bible does not say “the lamb shall lie down with the lion,” but “the lion shall lie down with the lamb.” In other words, powerful countries must first let their weaker neighbors live in peace. Our own interests, even as citizens of the mega-powerful United States, are served only when our leaders humble themselves to offer good will to all other nations, and treat all our neighbors as we would wish to be treated. It is the traditional moral duty of the military to protect the weak from those who would hurt them, not to push the weak around in order to get whatever a highly unpopular, unresponsive and unrepresentative administration wants when they want it.


The willingness to turn to violence to resolve conflicts, whether through state (military) terrorism or through civilian terrorism, turns out to be the problem itself, and not, as many have tried to persuade us, any particular ideology, ethnicity or religion. The burning question too often overlooked in every conflict is: which side is committed to accommodation, compromise and non-violent resolution of this conflict, and which side isn’t?


In the past, partisans loyally embraced only their own leaders as the “good guys,” regardless of their personal records of using violence or keeping the peace–whether Bush or bin Laden, Saddam or Arafat, Hirohito or Mao or Stalin or Cheney or Eisenhower or Hitler. In the future, we will realize that the “good guys” are those real leaders, found in homes, businesses, communities, nations, and throughout the world, who are committed to resolving difficult conflicts—which are perfectly natural and human—harmoniously and peacefully. On the other hand, those violent soldiers and suicide bombers representing belligerent aggressors and extremist zealots will in the future clearly be identified as “the bad guys” of our time.


All-out war makes sense to me only when people are cornered in their own homes, fighting for survival against overwhelming odds, as al-Sadr’s followers currently seem to be.


More and more people today are recognizing man’s inhumanity to man—whether seen in bulldozed homes, in the shattered bodies of innocent children, or in the maimed and traumatized minds and bodies of young soldiers from every land—exactly for what it is, regardless of context, and despite all the attractive ideological, ethnic, religious, and national colors and flavors violence always comes wrapped in.


Around the world, journalists, activists and average citizens are turning away from the angry diatribes of opportunistic demagogues and ideologues bent upon stirring their fellow-citizens to torture and murder, and instead, embracing the world’s highest universal values: the oneness of all mankind and the sanctity of human life.


Shouldn't we all be supporting those who are upholding these important values, and resisting the use violent solutions in the present conflict in Iraq?


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A Clinton Coronation or an Obama Revolution?

Hillary can’t wait to put the finishing touches on her wonderfully aggressive 60’s agenda, while Barack is at home in a tomorrow Hillary can’t visit even in her dreams.


Hillary is thrilled with the chance to add more contributions to her amazing lifetime list, while Barack is thrilled with America’s chances for real change when he is President.


Hillary is amazed at where she’s been and what she’s been able to accomplish, looking forward to recognition and vindication for her life’s work, while Barack envisions efficiently accomplishing today’s most pressing American policy goals and then moving forward to heal the world’s common global challenges.


Hillary loves herself-in-power ruling over her former enemies, while Barack loves the-power-in-himself leading a unified America and world into a hopeful 21st century.


Shall generations await coronation of Jeb Bush into an inevitable succession of Clinton and Bush kings (and queen) reigning in hubris over a 20th century past? Or will we charge our servant Barack Obama to lead us into an American future of unimaginable possibilities?




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