Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ret. Col. Ann Wright to Speak in Vancouver on June 9th, 2008

The Iraq Occupation and Military Action Against Iran:
Dissent and Voices of Conscience
Monday, June 9th - 7 p.m.

Ret. Col. Ann Wright: retired U.S. Army Colonel and retired official
of the U.S. State Department. Now peace activist, author and lecturer.
Helped organize Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas with Cindy Sheehan.
Arrested willingly numerous times as part of anti-war demonstrations.
Lt. Col. Wright resides in Hawaii.

Dr. Goudarz Eghtedari: Engineer, writer, radio host, and human rights
and peace activist living in Portland. Board Member of the American Iranian
Friendship Council in Portland and active nationally with Iranian
academia and peace organizations. He is a valuable resource
for citizens of the northwest in the area of U.S.-Iranian relations.

Michael Servetus Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, in the RE building.
4505 E. 18th St., Vancouver.

Sponsored by Vancouver for Peace and the Peace and Justice team of MSUUF.

Free and open to the public
Also on Ann Wright:
Ann Wright is a retired Army Colonel and diplomat who resigned her post with the state department to protest the war in Iraq. She is now an outspoken peace activist, and has been in the news recently for being denied entry into Canada with Medea Benjamin and going to jail for disrupting the Patraeus hearings.
Her new book, "Dissent: Voices of Conscience," co-authored with Susan Dixon, catalogs the story and public statements of individuals in all level of the U.S. government who have publicly dissented. Some you have heard of, like Ehren Watada, but many you haven't. This inspiring book is evidence that the war is truly unpopular and that members of the government are actively resisting.
For more on Ann Wright, please go here:
For Ann Wright video on Bush war crimes, please go here:
Ann Wright and others speak at Arlington West on 5/25/08:

“When the actions of government become dangerous to the security of the nation, it takes a special courage for men and women inside the government to speak out. If we care about keeping democracy alive, we must welcome this book. "—Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the U.S.

"I have served my country for almost thirty years in the some of the most isolated and dangerous parts of the world. I want to continue to serve America. However, I do not believe in the policies of this Administration and cannot defend or implement them. It is with heavy heart that I must end my service to America and therefore resign due to the Administration's policies." ~ Ret. Col. Ann Wright

The Way to a Just Foreign Policy


Yes! Magazine, co-founded by David Korten, is one that I subscribe to and find particularly informative, innovative, illuminating, and hopeful. I just received the latest edition and wanted to pass on this important article:

The Way to a Just Foreign Policy

by John Feffer

Aaron Hughes spent the spring of 2003 transporting supplies from Kuwait to Iraq as a soldier in the Army National Guard. Today, he is an outspoken anti-war activist.

“I didn’t have an epiphany,” Hughes says of his turnabout. “I just continually hoped that I could help the Iraqi people, that my fellow soldiers would be respected as human beings by the military. And after one year and three months over there, that hope was shattered.” He thought his gun could be used to defend democracy only to “awake to my weapon pointed at the hungry, and I am the oppressor.”

Hughes is now an artist who makes videos, performance art, and drawings that capture his experience in the Iraq War. In one particularly moving performance, he stopped traffic by drawing on the pavement of a busy intersection in Champaign, Illinois, with a sign reading “I am an Iraq War veteran. I am guilty. I am alone. I am drawing for peace.” He likens his artwork to a spark of light. “In a desert you can see a match lit from miles away,” Hughes says. “Although it’s just a little match, it’s still being seen, and it can empower a lot of people.”

Aaron Hughes’ journey from war to peace mirrors the larger shift in the United States since 2003. What had once been the opinion of a vocal minority—that the invasion of Iraq was wrong—has become the position of a no-longer-silent majority. There are now many points of light, many matches in the desert. The U.S. public rejects the centerpiece of the Bush foreign policy, namely its doctrine of attacking any country that poses even a hypothetical threat. Americans support across-the-board change in our relationships with other countries on issues from climate and trade to arms control to cooperation on ending wars in the Middle East and Africa. After years of standing out in the cold, U.S. citizens want to rejoin the family of nations.

True, Americans are fearful of terrorism. And both the Democratic and Republican parties share a blinkered consensus on national security. But the counter-narratives at the heart of Aaron Hughes’ art and in the programs of social movements throughout the country are becoming more prominent. The polls suggest an overwhelming desire for change, even if the pols are behind the times. Meanwhile, the world has undergone a profound transformation in the last few years. All of this means that a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy, not seen since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, may be just around the corner.

Please go here for the entire article and for others from this issue of Yes!:

Peace ~ Molly

"Today, we need a different kind of social movement—one that focuses on U.S. foreign policy. Such a movement, drawing heavily on the peace and global justice efforts, would aim for nothing less than a transformation of the U.S. role in the world. This would be no mere change of politicians or adjustments to a few policies. It would be a change of truly global proportions." -- John Feffer

The Green Festival & David Korten: Navigating the Great Turning From Empire to Earth Community

Warmest Greetings

In April of this year I had the great privilege and pleasure of attending Seattle's first annual Green Festival. Although this phenomenal coming together of some of America's greatest visionaries has been happening for several years now, this was the first time for this event to make it to the Pacific Northwest. Through a series of synchronicities I learned of this year's Green Festival just in time to make the drive northward to Seattle to attend. The cost of entrance for two days - $10. And - WOW! - was it spectacular beyond my wildest dreams! It is believed that some 30,000 people attended this event which featured 350 exhibits and 165 speakers who spoke from five different stages. I am sure that there would have been more attending if it were not for the fact that the Dalai Lama was also in Seattle that same weekend. I am so very grateful to have attended! Now I will not miss another Green Festival whenever it comes to the great Northwest.

Before I go any further, please note that this year's Green Festival has been scheduled for Seattle, Chicago, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. For all those who live in the Northwest, you may want to know that I learned that next year's Seattle festival is scheduled for the last weekend in March of 2009 - which looks like 3/28-3/29/09. You may want to join me in marking your calendars!

This is the website for the Green Festival:

It is my intention to write several posts that are related to my experiences at this year's Green Festival in Seattle. I would like to begin with David Korten, who - in my opinion - is one of this country's greatest visionaries. Please go here to glimpse who this man is: It is clear upon listening to this brief biography that this is a man who through his life experiences has become a true Elder, visionary, wisdomkeeper, and peacemaker. I love David Korten. I love all those who are making such a profound difference in the world.

It was such an honor and such a moving experience to be able to sit right up front during David's presentation and maintain wonderful eye contact off and on throughout his speech. Please go here to read the transcript or to listen to David Korten at this year's Green Festival: I believe that this message, and numerous other ones like it that are spreading across our country and the planet, are of profound importance to humanity and life on Earth.

For further reading and information on The Great Turning, please go here:

Peace & Blessings,


"Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations."
—The Earth Charter (2000)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers Win Courage of Conscience Award

"It is out of a desire to promote the causes of peace and justice, nonviolence and love that The Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award is humbly given."

Celebratory greetings!

I have loved the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers ever since I had the supreme honor and heartfelt delight of meeting and listening to the Council's chairwoman, Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, speak here in Portland at a Natural Way event presented by Earth & Spirit Council in October of 2005. I was both amazed and flooded with deep emotions as I learned of this wise, strong, loving, and deeply committed and courageous group of Elder women from indigenous tribes from all over the world. I learned at that time that it takes five interpreters for the Grandmothers to speak with one another! Yet these beautiful elder women are an example of transcending, working with, and honoring their differences to work together on behalf of the higher good of us all. I have photographs of the Grandmothers up in my home and at my work. I love these women, these Grandmothers! I appreciate their love for Mother Earth and for all life on the planet. I hear, see, and understand their concerns. And I am deeply grateful to each of the Grandmothers for all that they do and all that they are.

It is my belief that we humans are deeply in need of Elders who model strong voices that speak the truth, expansive hearts that care for all life, and courageous spirits and wise souls who help remind us to connect with our hearts and act in whatever way we each can to bring awakening, healing, and peace to ourselves and to the planetary family we share this wondrous world with. This is the gift that the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers bring forth. And now it comes to my attention that they have been granted the Courage of Conscience Award. This makes my heart smile. :-)

Thank you to Ken for passing on this information to me about the Grandmothers receiving the Courage of Conscience Award. In honor of the Grandmothers, I am moved to share about the these extraordinary women and the award they are receiving...

Grandmothers Council Wins Courage of Conscience Award

The Grandmothers have been awarded the Courage of Conscience award, which has been given to peacekeepers and activists such as Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, and Rosa Parks, among others.

The notice of the award is not yet posted on the Peace Abbey website, but you can visit their site to see information on the Courage of Conscience award and a complete list of the previous recipients. Congratulations to the Grandmothers Council on receiving this distinguished honor!

Please go here for the website for the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers:

For more on Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, please go here:

Peace & blessings ~ Molly

"The Creator gave us... this voice to be able to speak for the voiceless. And that is all the green upon our Mother Earth, the one-leggeds, the 'tree people,' I call them... People said when you take the trees off of the mountain, they're the ones that call the wind and the rain. And when you do that, it causes a domino effect of destruction all the way down that mountain to the rivers and streams..." - Agnes Pilgrim, the oldest living descendent of the Takelma Indians

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All Fired Up!?!!*

Fired up greetings!

(*I dedicate this post to my son, Matt - his youth, passion, courage, integrity, vision, wisdom, hope, and heart...)

Matt called me at work today - something he doesn't normally do -- all fired up. He asked, "Have you seen Obama's speech in Iowa?" When I said I hadn't, Matt went on to share that "Lisa (his girlfriend) is working tonight. Let's watch it tonight when you get home. It's legendary!"

I understand my son's excitement. I get it. However, I didn't initially... and with good reason! I am aware of the Big Money that is buying up our nation, other nations, and any unsuspecting citizen who either isn't paying attention or is so immersed in distractions or survival that there is no energy left over to know what is at stake or how to take a stand for what truly matters to us all - clean air to breathe and water to drink, healthcare and jobs, an end to the war profiteering that does not care about the death of our children or anyone else's, etc., etc.

I knew that I needed to remember the words of the great historian Jacob Burckhardt to "beware the terrible simplifiers." I knew that deep discernment, possessing a high level of awareness and information, questioning and questioning again and again along the way, listening - listening with my mind AND with my heart - to the candidates and also to those mentors and teachers whose wisdom I trust, following the money trail, digging and digging, sorting and sifting, and coming back to listening and truly hearing - I felt that all this and more would be required of me to discern who - if anyone - was not bought.

So I listened, and listened deeply, for that person who walked the high ground and would refuse to sell out, refuse to stoop to feeding polarities and divisiveness, refuse to be distracted by the pettiness and immaturity that fill so many of the airwaves, television screens, newspaper stands. I watched for that person who refused to be pulled away from higher needs, issues, values, and visions. I looked for someone who would stand firm - FIRM! - in the values of integrity and truth. I also listened deeply for someone who would most emanate a blending of masculine and - what I believe to be - deeply, deeply needed feminine energy and wisdom. I listened for that person who would be most likely to truly walk the courageous and powerful path of the visionary, the peacemaker, the builder of bridges.

In the midst of all these ideals, and very importantly, I also prayed for a human being who was not afraid of humility; someone who knew how to be self-reflective and who was strong enough to own and learn from mistakes. How deeply we need in a leader someone who is able to role model the messiness and, yes, the value of imperfection and the openness to learning that such awareness generates. As author storyteller Michael Meade writes, "In this world, and especially when things rattle and become uncertain, it's best to be an 'imperfectionist'."

Could there be such a person who as a leader would be clear and secure enough within themselves to understand that she/he would need to invite all of us to join together with her or with him to bring about the kind of change that America - and beyond! - so critically needs at this time? I prayed for the possibility of a leader who would lead in such a way as to invite, encourage and support, paradoxically, change from the bottom up. Someone who would hold anyone - no matter their title or position, all of the way up to Mr. Bush - accountable for crimes against our nation and humanity, who was not afraid to talk about the truth of what's been happening AND take corrective action! - the shredding of the Constitution, violating the Geneva Conventions, throwing out Habeas Corpus, secret prisons, torture, extraordinary rendition, pre-emptive war, illegal wiretapping, the reckless depletion of the environment, the relentless propaganda that preys on fears and prejudices and turns us against one another, denial of global warming while actively blocking the development of alternative energy resources, all the war profiteering and corporate welfare and shipping jobs overseas while lining the pockets of the wealthiest top 1%. And on and on and on.

Would there possibly be someone who might even come a tiny bit close to even a partial wish list?

And then I did what I knew I needed to do - I spent a great deal of time and energy listening, seeking and exploring, digging and discerning. I followed those money trails. I looked into candidates histories and visions - past to present. I contrasted words with reality, promises with actual follow through, professed values with values grounded in that of someone who unmistakably walks their talk. And, all I'll say at this point, is that - in my opinion - my son is right in what he sees in Barack Obama. And he has been from the very start.

Which brings me to affirm my experience and awareness that part of the sickness that sucks at the lifeforce of our nation and its people has been this deepening disrespect and disregard - and even more so in recent decades - of our youth and our elders. There are many reasons why so many of our youth have grown sick - apathetic, angry, addicted, uninformed, unconscious, distracted, disengaged, depressed, lost. And there is a reason today why so many of our youth are so drawn to Barack Obama. And it is important, I believe, for all of us who are older to listen to the voices of our youth and to take them seriously. To listen - and listen with our hearts. Like the visions of true Elders, the voices of youth - especially those who work at being conscious and keeping their hearts open - reflect deep intuition and wisdom. They are speaking strongly, clearly, and in phenomenally growing numbers now to all who will listen. Will we listen? What do we hear?

And so Matt grabbed me right off the bat as I was walking in the door tonight - "It's half-time and we just have a few minutes. Come watch it now. It's legendary!... I watched it three times today and it just about brought me to tears." (Yes, my 21 year old son said this. A few weeks ago, he also told me that he would be "heartbroken" if Obama does not win. Matt's heart is open...) As we sat down in front of the computer, my son went on to say that he posted this speech on his MySpace. That's where we watched Obama's speech - posted on my son's MySpace...

Meanwhile, it had been just three days earlier when I felt as though I was immersed in a legendary experience. Indeed, as my son Brian relates, "You had an epic weekend, Mom." Indeed I did. It all began with that phenomenal life-changing experience at the First Baptist Church Friday night and ended with being just feet away from Barack Obama as he gave his Spirit-filled speech on that beautiful day down at Waterfront Park in Portland. It was so amazing to be surrounded by the energy of 75,000 people - so exhausting, energizing, inspiring, and more. Talk about connection and community and bridge building - this was the most diverse crowd of people I have EVER seen gathered together in Portland. And then there was Barack... What an amazing experience! So worth the seven hour wait that Ken and I had to land ourselves right up front like we did...

Here is a glimpse into our experience on Sunday:

Here is what I watched together with my son tonight that Matt has on his MySpace:

My young 21 year old son is talking with me increasingly about these being "legendary times". And this is someone who up until recently, because he is deeply informed and has an open heart and truly knows the challenges that humanity is currently faced with, struggled with despair about the fate of humankind and all life on Earth. I would try quotes such as that "it's important to not become part of the cult of powerlessness", or reminders of how Matt is needed and how important he is to help affect change, etc., but Matt's pessimism often persisted. But now I hear - literally one second ago - "Isn't that an incredible speech?!" And as Matt is walking around our home, along with his beautiful smile, he keeps off and on tossing at me - "Yes We Can!" He exclaims to me that he's "so excited to be alive!" and "Yes we can, America! and "I'm so fired up!"

Then - after a while of this tonight - he asks me, his mother, the question that I'll also leave each of you with -- "Are you all fired up?!?" And if you are, what does that look like for you...?

Tag, you're it...
We're all it...


Blessed are the peacemakers ~ Jesus

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More than a song: Eddie Vedder sings "No More"

Heartfelt and inspired greetings.

Please go here to see, hear, and experience Eddie Vedder sing "No More": This is the first of two songs that I was deeply privileged to hear Eddie Vedder sing this past Friday night at the end of an extraordinary event at the First Baptist Church in downtown Portland. It was just Eddie Vedder and his acoustic guitar in this big old church filled to the brim with actors and artists, activists and poets, rebels and rabble-rousers, visionaries and peacemakers - and more! - and of all ages... And the performance was electrifying, amazing, extraordinary!

And, yet, this song is about so much more than the musician who wrote it or the words it speaks. There is the profound message of a very old story and a much deeper truth here which moves directly into the heart. Eddie wept after singing this song. Many wept. The reasons for the tears are greater than what words can speak to. See for yourself. See with your hearts...*

I just found this video of Eddie Vedder singing "No More", but to a much, much larger crowd than what any church could hold. Also included are clips offering glimpses into the documentary "Body of War" and Tomas Young, the young veteran whose story inspired this song and the film. This is very, very powerful stuff - the kind that can break any heart open ... and, in doing so, potentially energize more and more to seek to discover whatever our unique way is to be an increasing force of heart-knowledge, spiritual awareness, soul-inspired compassion and wisdom, action and peace in the world.

What comes to mind is the saying that it isn't what happens to us that matters as much as how it is that we chose to respond to the events of our lives. May Tomas Young inspire more and more of us to do our part, whatever that may be...

Peace ~ Molly

"No flag is large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."
~ Howard Zinn

(This is one of the 18 bumper stickers I have on my van.)

*Thank you to my soulsister Wendy Bjornson for her encouragement
and inspiration to seek to see more and more deeply
with my heart.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

For Dustin... and all the children of war...

Last night I hugged Dustin. During the second long hug that we shared, Dustin told me, "Yeah, I'm still here..." It had been a long time since I had last seen my son Matt's childhood friend. Dustin has been a medic in Iraq, and he is currently home on an 18 day leave.

Matt told me this morning some of what Dustin has seen and experienced -- the deaths, the injuries, the kicking down doors of people's homes, shooting his gun and not knowing if he had killed someone or not. And also about his friend's own close brushes with death.

All this falls on the heels of the extraordinary event I witnessed last night at the First Baptist Church in Portland in which a diverse group of actors, poets, activists, truthtellers and peacemakers read aloud from the Voices of a People's History. At the end of this event was Eddie Veder... singing about No More War...

Here is Eddie Veder in conversation with Iraq War veteran Tomas Young, whose story is told in the documentary "Body of War":

Here is the website for this documentary: Included in this website are links to a dozen ways to take action against the war/occupation:
1. Vote!
2. Stop the next war now
3. Support GI resistance
4. Demand the best for our vets
5. Go on record against the war
6. Twist the arm of Congress
7. Take to the streets
8. Stop the military from preying on our kids
9. Stop war profiteers
10. Connect the dots
11. Shut down secret prisons
12. Pull the plug on war

Here is Bill Moyers Journal from March 21, 2008 which was dedicated to Tomas Young and Body of War, the documentary which tells his story:

This is for Dustin and for all the children of all the people who are impacted by war. My own belief is that, to one degree or another, that includes us all.

Tag, you're it...

Peace ~ Molly

Last Night Eddie Vedder Wept...

Last night Eddie Vedder wept. As did I and many others. I truly had no idea what I was in for when I walked in the doors of the First Baptist Church in downtown Portland. I had no idea Eddie Vedder ( would be there. And I certainly did not know that Roslyn Zinn had died just four days earlier...

It is still amazing to me that there are Americans who do not know of Howard Zinn. ( Many fewer people have known of his beautiful wife (of 60+ years?), Roslyn, and the depth of heart and caring that she brought to the world. It is a sad commentary on American deprivation in the midst of what is often thought to be a land of plenty. It is also unimaginable how different our world would be if visionaries like Howard Zinn filled the airwaves, the television screens, the talk shows rather than what goes for the normal American media of today. What I know of Howard Zinn is much more expansive than anything that could be summed up on some post. He is, to me and to countless others around the world, among the most courageous and beloved truthtellers and visionaries that America has known. I don't believe that that is an overstatement. Of course, Howard Zinn will strongly attest that our country is brim-full of extraordinary people... and always has been. The problem is that their stories are tragically seldom told.

Hence Howard Zinn's Voices of a People's History of the United States, edited by Anthony Arnove. Of course, first there came A People's History of the United States -
One of numerous pieces of hope is how this book is being used in high schools and universities in increasing numbers throughout our country.

Last night was so beyond extraordinary, beyond what any words can adequately speak to, because it brought the Voices of a People's History -- alive! Last night it was the stories of our American history which were told - glimpses into countless stories which need to be found in our history books, on our television sets and in our movies, on our news - and more! The oldest story went back to 1542. I heard the voices of Helen Keller, Malcolm X, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan (sung by Viggo Mortensen), Leonard Peltier, Cindy Sheehan, Howard Zinn - and more! Even just in this tiny glimpse of voices, it is simply an indescribable experience to hear and feel in the depths of my soul these heartfelt stories of these human beings and our true history. These voices, these stories need to ring out all over the land!

For more information on Voices of a People's History of the United States, you can go here:

To hear one of the stories I heard (read by a different actor and at a different night and place of readings), please go here to hear read Howard Zinn's speech given in 1970 on Civil Obedience: (You will see Howard Zinn sitting on stage at this event.) It can also be found printed here: **If you only check out one thing from this post, check out this voice of Howard Zinn from nearly four decades ago.** It is still so relevant to today and brought the house to a roaring standing ovation last night.

For another story I heard, here is Viggo Mortensen reading Bartolomé de Las Casas, first in Spanish, then in English:

To see Staceyann Chin give voice to the depth of a mother's outrage at the loss of her child, please go here: This particular youtube reading was done on a different night and at a different place, but it was done by the same actress I saw and it was with the same intensity and depth that I witnessed. This particular story, more than any other I heard last night, brought the most thunderous applause to this old Baptist Church as everyone rose to their feet. There is such a primal level of profound heartfelt understanding that this voice touches. (I have a photo both in my home and at my work of myself and Cindy Sheehan hugging. Her son Casey was born two days before my oldest son Brian...)

Stories can break our hearts open. It was well over 20 years ago - as I was first embarking on my own journey of awakening, healing, and transforming - that I heard these wise words: "Each time we allow our hearts to break open, more space is created for love." This is the great teaching of the alchemist - that a broken heart, with the right medicine, grows profoundly powerful. That medicine is love. What is needed is love. And sometimes it takes great courage to grow in love...

To see some of the 47 videos of voices read and sung by Alice Walker, Danny Glover, Josh Brolin, Steve Earl, and many others, please go here:

For a full hour to select videos or transcripts of readings from, please go here to Amy Goodman bringing the voices alive on Democracy Now!:

For more on Howard Zinn, including an animated video from his latest book, People's History of American Empire (voiceover by Viggo Mortensen), please go here:

Hearing voices come alive last night from all across America, all across history, all across time touched my heart more deeply than I can ever find the words to say. I wept. Many wept. Eddie Vedder wept in-between his song which gave voice to no more war and his final song, which he dedicated to Roslyn Zinn, who gave her lifetime in service of humanity. The voices which filled the stage and our hearts last evening need to be heard. They would change, not only our country, but the world.

In closing, here is Eddie Vedder singing Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a Changing":

May we each give voice to bringing peace to this world.
May we spread the voices of others which need to be heard.
May we ourselves have the courage to listen to these stories.
May we each open our hearts ever more deeply.
May we each be the change.


Hubble: The Most Amazing Space Photographs in the Universe

Astronomers Select Top Ten Most Amazing Pictures Taken by Hubble Space Telescope in Last 16 Years...

"...they illustrate that our universe is not only deeply strange, but also almost impossibly beautiful."

After correcting an initial problem with the lens, when the Hubble Space Telescope was first launched in 1990, the floating astro-observatory began to relay back to Earth, incredible snapshots of the "final frontier" it was perusing.

Astronauts voted on the top photographs taken by Hubble, in its 16-year journey so far. Remarking in the article from the Daily Mail, reporter Michael Hanlon says the photos "illustrate that our universe is not only deeply strange, but also almost impossibly beautiful."

To view Hubble telescope's top ten greatest space photographs, please go here:

Peace ~ Molly

Friday, May 16, 2008

Barack Obama in Portland

Excited greetings!

For all who are local - I just learned that Barack Obama will be in Portland:

Sunday, May 18th
Waterfront Park at the Hawthorne Bridge
Enter at corner of SW Columbia & SW Naito
12:30 PM arrive

For more information, and to RSVP, please go here:

Ken and I will probably try to get there before 8am.
Let me know if you'd like to join us!

I hope to soon do a post on also looking deeper into Barack Obama.

Brightest blessings,


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

If I Were a Terrorist: A Video by James Pence

I would like to thank both Ken and Diane for bringing this video - "If I Were a Terrorist" - to my attention: And as one blogger responded, "Whichever emotion it (this video) inspires, let’s hope it promotes discussion. No matter what party, religion, or culture one belongs to, we could all use a lot more communication and understanding and less acrimony and hate."

Peace ~ Molly

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Looking Deeper Into John McCain

Warm greetings.

I believe that most of us will all agree that the upcoming election is deeply important. And yet it is so easy to be lacking in accurate and meaningful information about the candidates. My son, Matt, has actually been among those who have helped me to become more informed. He was at times insistent that I watch both Republican and Democratic debates, and he was insistent from early on that Obama is the one who will help Americans to make huge and desperately needed changes in our country and beyond. Yet, like most of us, while deeply listening to my sons and to others, I had to find out for myself what is going on.

So part of what I have done is really pay attention to all the candidates. In listening to Mr. McCain and doing a lot of research about this candidate, I have learned a great deal that I had been previously ignorant about. For me, it is not helpful to just look at labels - right/left, conservative/progressive, etc. - for those can distract from facts. And what is concerning for me about John McCain are very specific facts related to issues -- such as his votes for torture, his being last of the Congressional list regarding the environment, his views on war/occupation as reflected in his comments on being in Iraq for 100 years and singing about bombing Iran, his votes and open endorsement of the failed - and often criminal - policies of the Bush administration, and - very importantly - his close alignment with the corporate powers that have stolen the American government from we the people. I also had no idea that the Children's Defense Fund rated Mr. McCain as the "worst senator in Congress for children".

Here are a few of many resources that can shed significant light on this candidate:

The Buying of the President 2008 - John McCain:
Excellent Article in The Nation:
McCain's Confessions of an Economic Hit Man:
McCain Laughs, Sings "Bomb Iran":
McCain Votes Against Torture Ban:
McCain Draws Criticism For Torture Vote:
The Other Side of the McCain Lobyist Scandal:
McCain Under Fire Over Environment Record:
The American Tragedy of John McCain:
Going Against Campaign Finance Reform:
CLICK HERE to view Senator John McCain's record on veteran's benefits

Reflections & facts from someone who previously had been a big fan of John McCain:

For information on all presidential candidates from the Center For Public Integrity, please go here:

Here is a list of "10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't)":

1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.
2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.
4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."
5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.
6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.

7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.
9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."
10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.

For the full article, please go here:

While the corporate media is busy focusing on lapel pins, race and Reverends, what whites want and who said what about whom, all the while stirring up and preying on fears and prejudices, many of the deeper issues affecting us all are not coming to light for far too many Americans. How many who can vote know Mr. McCain's stand on torture, his overwhelming ties with corporate interests, his bottom of the barrel score card on children and the environment, his pro-war/occupation stand which utterly mirrors that of Bush & Co., etc., etc.? The corporate media certainly works overtime to ensure our remaining distracted and in the dark. How many Americans - out of a combination of ignorance and apathy - will not even choose to vote? Yet - what is the true definition of patriotism? Thomas Jefferson, Bill Moyers, and many other visionaries have affirmed that democracy cannot exist without an informed citizenry. So perhaps part of what is asked of each of us in these times is that we assume increasing responsibility to inform ourselves, to shine our own light upon critical issues, and then to help one another know what is truly happening which impacts, not only the welfare of a few, but ultimately the welfare of us all...
Tag, you're it...

Peace & blessings ~ Molly

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pangea Day: Seeing the World Through Each Other's Eyes

Warm greetings.

Yesterday I learned about Pangea Day from my son, Matt. Thank you, Matt! All too often profoundly meaningful and moving events of this nature do not make the news. So I unfortunately heard of this first ever global event after it happened on May 10, 2008. But no matter, for there are so many ripples that reach out to invite us into this wondrous planetary experience in an on-going way.

Matt told me that the Pangea Day video was the most viewed video on U-tube over the weekend. What a great triumph of the Internet! Yes! You can find this extraordinary video here:

The theme and intent of Pangea Day is to invite us all to see the world through each other's eyes. There are films, stories, inspiration, and more included on the Pangea Day website - - which gift us with glimpses from around the world! and into such an incredible diversity of topics and experiences. The lives of those from all over the planet come alive to our senses and before our eyes as we witness stories of love, sorrow, coming of age, dance, hope, marriage, religion, war, family, music, and more. There are countless beautiful children and people of all ages, nations, races, religions, ethnicity's, and cultures. There is such incredible richness here! In watching the videos and listening to the stories, what comes to mind is the Maori elder quote: "I am you and you are me."

This experience of bringing us face to face with one another - with our sisters and brothers - from all over the world is an antidote, I believe, to the stories we tell ourselves that our differences must keep us divided and that , therefore, there is an "Us" who is naturally somehow better or more entitled than a "Them". Indeed, my experience in exploring Pangea Day was moving, illuminating, and heart-opening. And what better way to invite a deepening dissolution of the distortions that promote polarities and separation than to experience the heartfelt experience of others through the smiles, tears, hopes, and dreams of their day to day lives?

What comes to mind in this moment for me is this bumper sticker I recently saw: If you see yourself in others, how can you harm another? Amen.
There are countless leading authors, film makers, visionaries, peacemakers, and others who contributed to Pangea Day. Included also are inspiring quotes which emerged out of this event ... such as this one: "We have a responsibility to expose ourselves to our world, to see our common humanity, to learn about other people -- not only in times of war, but in times of peace. " - Ishmael Beah, former child soldier and advocate for peace .

I respect and love Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa for the remarkable and courageous peacemaker and visionary that he is. It was he who opened the Pangea Day film with these words: "Hey?! Do you know something? You and I - all of us! - are members of one family. We are sisters and brothers. And we are going to sink or swim together..."

It is so hopeful how many from all over the world and from all different cultures are reaching out to one another, gently and sometimes urgently, calling us all to awaken, to care, to be the change we all wish to see in the world.

Peace ~ Molly

JD Rocks!

For all of us who work at the Midtown branch of DHS child welfare, we know Jeremy Devros as "JD" - a great supervisor with a big heart who has been a longtime, tireless advocate for children and families. And then there's this other side that can be seen as he plays guitar and other instruments with his band of today, and can also be glimpsed with his band of yesterday. Here's JD (wearing a hat and on guitar) close to 2 decades ago playing "Charlie Must Dance" with his band Big Medicine Head: Great video! And here's JD with his incredibly gifted and diverse band of today - Negara: (On the songs--he's playing electric guitar on Essakane & Juana and cumbus saz on C min. jam, which is the tiny, banjo-sounding instrument.) For those reading this who are local, you can also check out this web site to see where you can catch JD and Negara live. Today and yesterday - JD rocks ... and more! Enjoy! :-) Molly

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Help needed for a friend

I just sent out this email message today and wanted to also add this new post to my blog site...

Warm but sad greetings today. I just learned this morning that a friend has been diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of the pancreas. He and his wife were also told that most people with this diagnosis have 6 months to 1 year to live. In talking with my friends this morning, I have their permission to share their names and to outreach for any kind of support anyone may deem helpful. For all those who were part of our very strong and loving team at Healthy Start, it is Bonnie and her husband Dave who just learned on Thursday that Dave has this cancer. They will be meeting with an oncologist on Monday and will then learn more ideas for treatment, possible radiation, chemotherapy, and palliative treatments. Bonnie shared in an email that "we have been told there is nothing that will stop the growth of the cancer and the death of his body. I have wondered if there are alternative therapies that you might know of, or might know someone to refer us to. Anything that would alleviate pain and itching as the cancer progresses." So they are now aware that I am sending out this email, and will also add a post to my blog site, asking for any help and ideas that anyone may have for alternative treatments - especially anything which might help with the pain and itching. My understanding is that the itching is from the inside out and affects the whole body. Anyone who feels that they may have some feedback which may help can email Dave and Bonnie directly at Any ideas which may help in any way possible would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. Peace and blessings ~ Molly

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Acknowledging the Race Chasm

Warm Greetings.

Author, columnist, journalist David Sirota is a man I very much respect for his truth-telling and his ability to shine light on the complexities and deeper layers of many of the most important issues facing us all today. Of course, one which is brimming up with great force in all its overt and covert ugliness - and, therefore, also with the very real potential for true recognition, healing, and transformation - is racism. As David states, "racism... will exist until we recognize it and reject it." Amen.

Here is David's website: And here is his article "Acknowledging the Race Chasm":

I see these times as inviting us to deepen our courage and our connection with Creator, our capacity for truth and vision, and our heartfelt caring for all. My own experience is that this has required of me, and in an on-going way, to deepen my spiritual practice and that, in doing so, to embrace the humility and courage it takes to see my blind spots and what may be getting in the way of being a greater force for kindness, compassion, caring, and peace. Growing up many years ago in what was a very white and very racist suburb of Detroit, Michigan, I fully own that I have had, and continue to do, much work on lifting my own veils which have kept me from recognizing and healing the distortions of the often subtle, but deeply hurtful and damaging stories and belief systems which were one part of my inheritance of growing up in Grosse Pointe. That said, I am so grateful today for all the opportunities to see more clearly and deeply. In opening my heart to the Love that is the root and core of my spiritual path, and with the lifting of each new veil of distortion, I have found that buried in often hard and painful truths - right down there in the thick of things - is much beauty, greater joy, and a deepening sense of lovingkindness and connection with the sacredness of all life. Even along very bumpy roads in which there have at times appeared to be insurmountable obstacles, on the other side I have always discovered profound lessons for which I am deeply grateful.

Perhaps a diversity of opportunities for us all abound in these times.

Brightest blessings ~ Molly

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Chris Jordan: Running the Numbers, Intolerable Beauty, In Katrina's Wake ...

Warm greetings.

My oldest son, Brian, recently sent me an email reminding me of the extraordinary work of Chris Jordan, former corporate attorney turned photographic artist. Chris Jordan has joined the countless others around the planet who are finding their very own unique way to be a voice for the voiceless, to shine light on both hard and higher truths, and to make a very real positive difference in the world. Chris does this through providing Americans a mirror with a very unique lens which offers a profound opportunity to look upon ourselves from an entirely different perspective. And this perspective is riveting. As are the facts that his phenomenal photographs speak to.

Chris Jordan's website is:

Here are examples of what you can view in his photographs:
- 1 million plastic cups, the number used on airline flights in the US every six hours
- 2 million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes
- 8 million toothpicks, equal to the number of trees harvested in the US every month to make the paper for mail order catalogs
- 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds
- 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005
- 9 million wooden ABC blocks, equal to the number of American children with no health insurance coverage in 2007
- 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in the US every five seconds
- 30,000 reams of office paper, or 15 million sheets, equal to the amount of office paper used in the US every five minutes
- 125,000 one-hundred dollar bills ($12.5 million), the amount our government spends every hour on the war in Iraq

These photographs blew me away when I first saw them. I was deeply impacted. Chris Jordan's work is just one more inspiration for me to work toward ending the occupation of Iraq, using my own cloth bags rather than store bags whenever I shop, staying away from the use of plastic water bottles, etc., etc. See what you think.

To see Chris Jordan on Bill Moyers Journal on September 21, 2007, or to read the transcript, please go here:

Truly amazing to look in the face of American consumerism and the intolerable beauty that Chris Jordan captures in his amazing art.

And, yes, another world is possible. Tag, you're it...

Many blessings ~ Molly