Rebecca's on vacation. I'm her friend Elaine. Thanks to C.I. (for help and patience).
Here are some things I'm noting.
Former reporter pushes peace studies (Reuters)
Colman McCarthy loves the long-shot. Good thing, too, because the journalist-turned-peace activist is betting that warlike humanity will some day evolve into enlightened creatures guided by love and harmony.
"We can't be the final product of evolution, unless there's some kind of cosmic sick-joke going on," McCarthy chuckled after treating a classroom of sleepy teen-age boys to a varied discussion about gun violence, forgiveness and U.S. foreign policy.
For years now, the bespectacled 64-year-old has been trying to get American educators to see violence as learned behavior that can be overcome by adding comprehensive peace studies programs to the curriculum at the nation's 80,000 elementary schools, 26,000 high schools and 3,100 colleges.
"People who are going to be on death row are now in first- or second-grade, and so are people who are going to be in the White House. If we don't teach them peace, someone else will teach them violence," he told Reuters during a recent visit to an Episcopal-run prep school in the Philadelphia suburbs.
"The most revolutionary thing anybody can do is to raise good, honest and generous children who will question the answers of people who say the answer is violence. That's what the schools should be doing."
Statistics on the sheer toll of violence are commonplace: 10,000 people murdered with handguns each year in the United States, and domestic abuse the leading cause of injury among U.S. women, he says.
[. . .]
He says kids need to study closely the history of the peace movement, starting with the lives and ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, the Berrigan brothers and other radicals.
And he wants to teach kids that American violence goes hand-in-hand with widely accepted conventionalities such as economic competition, conspicuous consumption, tax cuts, U.S. foreign policy and gigantic Pentagon budgets.
Over Two Million People Take to the Streets Around the World in Global Protests Marking the One-Year Anniversary of Iraq War (United for Peace & Justice)
On Saturday, March 20, upwards of 2 million people took to the streets around the world to protest the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. People in more than 60 countries throughout the world - from Japan to South Korea to Spain to Australia to South Africa - called for an end to the occupation, which they believe is only increasing violence and insecurity in Iraq.The March 20 global day of protest surpassed the expectations of its organizers, both in terms of the number of cities and countries that organized events and the number of people who took to the streets. Under the banner, "The World Still Says No To War," at least 300 U.S. cities and towns held anti-war events on Saturday, as did more than 275 other cities throughout the world.In the United States, notable protests included a 100,000-person march and rally in New York City, and a similar event in San Francisco attended by more than 50,000. In Crawford, Texas, where President George Bush owns a ranch and often vacations, 1,000 protesters converged to repudiate his militaristic policies and call for a diversion of the billions of dollars that are being spent on war to domestic programs like schools, health clinics, and unemployment benefits. Military families and veterans led a protest that drew 1,500 to Fayetteville, North Carolina, outside the Fort Bragg military base.
Resource Center for Nonviolence Santa Clara, CA:
NONVIOLENCE GUIDELINES FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS IN RCNV ACTIONS 1) We will not harm anyone, but will be nonviolent in words and actions. 2) We will treat every person with respect. 3) We will not damage or deface property. 4) We will not carry any weapons. 5) We will not bring or use any alcohol or drugs, other than for medical purposes. 6) We will not resist arrest.
INSPIRATIONAL WORDS: "The rays of the sun are many through refraction, but they have the same source. I cannot therefore detach myself from the wickedest soul (nor may I be denied identity with the most virtuous). " "The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree." - Mohandas Gandhi
There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Peace Quotes (Peace Center)
If it's natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how?