Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
An accomplished French journalist, mother, practicing Buddhist, and author of A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl, Mariane Pearl is the widow of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered by Islamic extremists in Pakistan four months after 9/11.
Since the tragedy, Mariane's voice has become an inspirational force for courage in the face of terror. "They did not take my spirit," Mariane said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal soon after her husband's death. "Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable, in my opinion, to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism.
"We need to overcome cultural and religious differences, motivating our governments to work hand in hand with each other, perhaps in an unprecedented way.
"I think we are now all aware that terror is not a problem facing one country alone, not Pakistan, not the United States. It is the world-wide responsibility of governments and of us, as journalists, professionals of all kinds, and human beings—mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. We are all going to need courage and commitment. Let us inspire each other to goodness."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Is the system working? Why does America have such a lead in mental illness? Bezruchka will review the studies on mental illness in society and show that the way we have structured our country to give ever more to the rich while instilling hope among the poor that some will trickle down is in large part responsible for this crazy state of affairs. The medicine we need is social and economic justice, and it needs to be taken early in life to be effective.
Dr. Stephen Bezruchka has been a faculty member in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington since 1993. He has spent over 10 years in Nepal working in various health programs and teaching in remote regions. Currently he works as an emergency room physician in several hospitals around the Seattle area. He received the School's Outstanding Teacher Award in 2002 and works with the Population Health Forum to help people understand the impact of social and economic policies on the health of societies.
Stephen Bezruchka teaches at the University of Washington and works as an emergency room physician in Seattle. His particular areas of research are population health and societal hierarchy and its application to health. He is author of numerous articles and essays. His most recent contribution is to Sickness and Wealth, a collection of essays on the effects of global corporatization on health.
Humankind. Let's be both. ~ A bumper sticker I have seen.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This is the story of our Grandmothers, and Great-grandmothers, as they lived only 90 years ago. It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.
The women who made it so were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the that night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs, and their warden's blessing, went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.' They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.
Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food -- all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because -- why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?
Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO 's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.
All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.
My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was -- with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use -- or don't use -- my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.'
The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'
HBO released the movie on video and DVD. I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.
The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'
Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote Democratic, Republican or independent party -- remember to vote. History is being made.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Archetypal Associates Presents
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
To open deeply, as genuine spiritual life requires,
Saturday, July 5, 2008
When a man, travels from one land
Or is it those around him
Can one man who dances, change the world?
and the next week,
It is only then, that one man
Friday, July 4, 2008
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The 2008 Southwest Washington Sustainability Conference & Trade Show, presented by the City of Vancouver and Clark County, is proud to offer a special evening keynote presentation by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 10. In "Our Environmental Destiny," Robert F. Kennedy Jr. discusses the role that natural resources play in our work, our health and our identity as Americans. Through this speech, he reminds us that we have a responsibility to protect and preserve our environment for the future.