Saturday, August 23, 2008

Take Action to Create a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

An Appeal to the Next U.S. President

Click here to join the XIVth Dalai Lama, Walter Cronkite, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Frances Moore Lappé, Daniel Ellsberg, Bonnie Raitt, Douglas Roche O.C., Jackson Browne, Jeff Bridges and many others in sending a message to the next occupant of the White House. Our goal is to collect the support of one million people for a world free of nuclear weapons.

This appeal to the next U.S. President is found at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: For their peace quotes, please go here:



"We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but on the positive affirmation of peace. We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war. Somehow, we must transform the dynamics of the world power struggle from the negative nuclear arms race, which no one can win, to a positive contest to harness humanity's creative genius for the purpose of making peace and prosperity a reality for all the nations of the world. In short, we must shift the arms race into a peace race. If we have a will - and determination - to mount such a peace offensive, we will unlock hitherto tightly sealed doors of hope and transform our imminent cosmic elegy into a psalm of creative fulfillment." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

Take Action to End Extreme Poverty and Global Disease

Warmest Greetings

Senator Obama finally announced his vice-president choice, Senator Joe Biden - and I just took action with to make this national political moment a meaningful poverty-fighting moment.

Please click this link to send Joe Biden a digital postcard letting him know that you want leadership as committed as we are to ending extreme poverty and global disease:

It's important we contact him now, before he gets swept-up in an inevitable blur of coast-to-coast campaigning and crushing national media attention.

Peace & blessings,


"I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream -- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are." -- Hafsat Abiola

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Limits of Power and the End of American Exceptionalism

Bill Moyers Interviews Andrew J. Bacevich -
Please don't miss this one...

I watched a riveting interview tonight. Riveting. Superb. If you didn't catch it, please don't miss this one. And please pass it on. No matter what your age, your politics, your religion, your race, your socio-economic standing, or where you live - there is a deeply important and uniting message here that goes beyond any of our differences. I watched it tonight with my elder friend, Maija, and we were transfixed. Few have summed up so much in such a short time. Amazing. And profoundly important. Profoundly.

From Bill Moyers website:
As campaign ads urge voters to consider who will be a better "Commander in Chief," Andrew J. Bacevich — Professor of International Relations at Boston University, retired Army colonel, and West Point graduate — joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to encourage viewers to take a step back and connect the dots between U.S. foreign policy, consumerism, politics, and militarism.

Please go here for a video or transcript of tonight's Bill Moyers Journal interview with Andrew J. Bacevich:

For more on Mr. Bacevich's new book, please go here: Or here: THE LIMITS OF POWER Read an excerpt from Bacevich's new book THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM.

Andrew Bacevich is a West Point graduate, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, and an amazing human being. My grandfather, West Point graduate Class of 1910, would be enthusiastically applauding this Mr. Bacevich for his great courage and integrity and the power of his message. I am so grateful for his wisdom. May we all listen.



“In this utterly original book, Andrew Bacevich explains how our ‘empire of consumption’ contains the seeds of its own destruction and why our foreign policy establishment in Washington is totally incapable of coming to grips with it. Indispensable reading for every citizen.”—Chalmers Johnson, author of the Blowback Trilogy

“In The Limits of Power, Andrew Bacevich delivers precisely what the Republic has so desperately needed: an analysis of America's woes that goes beyond the villain of the moment, George W. Bush, and gets at the heart of the delusions that have crippled the country's foreign policy for decades. Bacevich writes with a passionate eloquence and moral urgency that makes this book absolutely compelling. Everyone should read it.”—Mark Danner, author of Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror

Bacevich begins his new book, THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, with an epigraph taken from the Bible: "Put thine house in order." - Andrew J. Bacevich

Michael Meade Event: VOICES OF VETERANS - Please come!

From Michael Meade's website:

Voices of Veterans
A Ceremony for Veterans

Saturday, September 6th, 2008 ~ 7 PM
First Congregational United Church
1126 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR

~ Donation Suggested ~ Everyone Welcome ~

Healing only happens where and when the burdens of war can be shared by the greater community. A public gathering allows citizens to become compassionate witnesses to the stories of war and the necessity of a conscious and genuine return.

Mosaic wishes to announce a community centered welcome home program for veterans of foreign wars and their family members, in particular those from Iraq and Afghanistan. Join author Michael Meade, veterans, and their families for an evening of original poetry, stories, and commentary.

A public gathering will bring together veterans and the community in an attempt to heal the distance between the warriors and those they protect and bridge the gaps between war and peace, trauma and renewal, pain and understanding. This conversation requires courage and is too-often avoided. It begins with tragedy and loss, the aftermath of any war, and requires the language of poetry, theater, and art as well as the dignity of ceremony.


For more information on this event, Michael Meade, and Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, please go here:


I am very excited about this event. It will be nearly 20 years since I first met Michael Meade - and it was at this same church. Over these past many years, Michael Meade is someone for whom I have grown to have deep respect, affection, and gratitude for. What an amazing human being he is - Vietnam War veteran with an incredible story of his own, mythologist and storyteller, author and poet, and tireless and passionate advocate for so many - especially those who are hurting, who are seeking their own deeper stories, and who may be struggling to find their voices and to make sense of these incredible times in which we find ourselves. I've been touched in my deepest being by the poetry, by the Sudanese refugees he brought dancing to the stage, by the youth he never gives up on. And the stories, ah, the stories... Sometimes they are hundreds or thousands of years old. And whether the story is one of today, or long, long ago, there is this thread connecting them to the timelessness of the larger story behind the ones we see in the present. These threads connect us with ourselves, with one another, and with all of our ancestors throughout all of eternity. What I am saying here is simply that, for me, it is an amazing experience to see and know Michael Meade. There is something that flows through Michael that is much larger than this one human being. And it has changed me.

And now he brings the voices of veterans for all of us to listen to and to hear with our hearts. Which suddenly touches my heart in writing these words and brings tears to my eyes, ... tears as I think of the young people I know, and those I don't, who are touched by war. Yet, that is only part of what touches me so deeply about this coming event. We need to hear these voices. And we need to be changed by them. Bless Michael Meade for bringing the voices of veterans to us all.

I hope to see you there. And if you are not in this area, please check out the website for the location of other events, to hear clips of Michael speaking, and for books and CD's and more. Please also consider sharing about this event and about Michael Meade and Mosaic Foundation with others. Thank you so much.



Michael Meade is a master-storyteller and story-teacher of the soul's unfolding. He addresses the mess we're in and helps us each discover the unique threads, the poetic DNA we must live out. As interpreter and mythic guide, he is the best there is. ~ Coleman Barks

Michael Meade is magic. Unlike anyone else one is likely to encounter, Michael Meade is one of the greatest living teachers of our time." ~ Alice Walker

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Great Peacemakers

Inspired Greetings

This week I received the latest newsletter from Riane Eisler. You can go here to read more or, if you are so moved, to sign up to receive these newsletters yourself:

It is in this latest newsletter that I learned of an extraordinary new book in which twenty people are featured from around the world, of which Riane is one. Riane writes: "I am honored to have been chosen as one of 20 international leaders who have made major contributions of world peace featured in Great Peacemakers: True Stories from Around the World. The other 19 include Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Jane Goodall, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu."

The Great Peacemakers is
- Award-Winning ... 5 National and International Book Awards
- Powerfully Endorsed ... 3 Heads of State and 3 Nobel Peace Prize Winners
- Truly Inspiring ... True life stories of real people making a difference
- Life Changing ... Insights for creating peace in your own life

Please go here for more information:

Peace & blessings,


"Powerful, well-researched and, above all, timely,
Great Peacemakers should be required reading for the youth of the world.
Classrooms are flooded with history textbooks that celebrate military heroes.
It is long past time that our children learn from books that celebrate peace."
—Dr. Oscar Arias president of Costa Rica and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

"Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look
through each other's eyes for an instant?"
—Henry David Thoreau

An Amazing Woman and Her Journey Out of Poverty

Heartfelt Greetings

This post is inspired by my partner Ken's son, Ross. We had a conversation this past weekend which touched my heart and motivated me to do new posts on poverty. Thank you, Ross. :-) And in seeking to get into the heart of poverty, one person came spontaneously to mind who I hadn't thought of in some time. Yet this woman's courage, teachings, wisdom, enormous heart and passionate caring for all those impacted by poverty deeply lives on in me. Donna Beegle is among so many others who have deeply touched my heart and inspired a shift in my thinking and the way I am in the world.

It has been several years now since I attended a two day training through my work with Healthy Start. In doing home visiting through the Healthy Start program with first time parents for nearly eight years, I had the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with a variety of people. They ranged from the very wealthy to the homeless. "The Culture of Poverty" training was to be my first encounter with its facilitator, Donna Beegle. In this training, we each were offered hands on activities that put us in touch with our own personal beliefs, prejudices, experiences, emotions, and attitudes related to poverty. Donna also shared her own personal story, which left barely a dry tear. And out of this two day experience all my days since then have been changed.

Because I look differently upon poverty now and upon all those who struggle in its grip. There is a sense of compassion, understanding, and passion about affecting positive change that has not left me. And there is this sense of humility for all the ways in which I truly did not understand the culture of poverty in America and how it is that generational poverty is institutionalized in our country. I also have humility that arose in coming face to face, not just with my own ignorance, but also my own biases. As someone who strives to be compassionate, it is not always easy to lift one more veil that has kept my vision distorted and led to my holding judgments and beliefs that were anything but compassionate. There is also this whole level of apathy that I uncovered in myself. Sure, I cared about little children not being fed, violence in the cities, homelessness. But how much? How much had the attitude gotten into my bones that we live in America and anyone who wants to can rise above their circumstances and obtain the American Dream? Did I begin to know or understand or truly care that for so many, the American Dream is something from which they feel wholly excluded? No, I did not. Not really, not deeply, not in the same way that I do today....

Donna Beegle has an amazing story. Although she went from living in her car with her young children, went on to get her doctorate, and now speaks all over the country, her early break came when she was able to be the first single mom to attend a program specifically for young mothers living in poverty. That program was, synchronistically, at Mt. Hood Community College, the same community college that my youngest son attends today.

"Donna is the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated. After growing up in generational migrant labor poverty, leaving school for marriage at 15, having two children and continuing to cope with poverty, she found herself, at 25, with no husband, little education, and no job skills. What followed in 10 short years were: self-confidence, a G.E.D., an A.A. in Journalism, a B.A. (with honors) in Communications, a Master’s Degree in Communication with a minor in Gender Studies (with honors), and completion of a Doctorate Degree."

Donna Beegle shares: "My education, my work, and my passion are to help people from all races who are trapped in poverty. I want them to have genuine options for lifelong success. This can only happen if the voices of those struggling with poverty can be heard and their perspectives understood."

Donna Beegle is one of the strongest, most courageous women I have ever personally met. She is an inspiration. PBS plans to air a documentary in the fall of 2008 which features Dr. Donna Beegle and her life story: "George Rivera Productions presents a one-hour documentary that explores what it’s like to be poor in America through the eyes of a single family living in the Pacific Northwest. Their compelling story will lay the groundwork for improving understanding, communication and interaction between the 36 million people living in poverty and the rest of the country. Plans for the program also include an extensive outreach effort through local PBS stations and partnerships with organizations whose mission is to help people move out of poverty...What makes Invisible Nation unique is that it will refocus perspectives and counter stereotypes in order to encourage new ways of thinking and acting when it comes to confronting poverty. At the program’s center is Donna Beegle, Ed.D., a high school dropout, married at fifteen, who, through sheer determination, has successfully 'crossed the border' to become highly visible as an advocate on behalf of people mired in circumstances not unlike those of her own family."

Please go here for the website Communication Across Barriers to access and view the film trailer for Invisible Nation:

Brightest blessings to all,


"Poverty is resolvable, however, making a difference for people who live in the crisis of poverty requires a paradigm shift. A shift that moves us beyond stereotypes and judgment to a deeper understanding of the causes of poverty and its impact on human beings. With this awareness, we can work together to provide genuine opportunities for people to move out of poverty." -- Donna Beegle

The Way of the World

A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism

Ron Suskind

"From Pulitzer Prize—winning journalist and bestselling author Ron Suskind comes a startling look at how America lost its way and at the nation's struggle, day by day, to reclaim the moral authority upon which its survival depends. From the White House to Downing Street, from the fault–line countries of South Asia to the sands of Guantánamo, Suskind offers an astonishing story that connects world leaders to the forces waging today's shadow wars and to the next generation of global citizens. Tracking down truth and hope within the Beltway and far beyond it, Suskind delivers historic disclosures with this emotionally stirring and strikingly original portrait of the post-9/11 world."

An important new book!



"The voyage of discovery is not about seeking new landscapes,
it's about having new eyes."
~ Marcel Proust

Protect the Right to Vote!

New Attack on the Right to Vote
Kennedy, Palast Investigate

Greg Palast is an investigative journalist of the highest integrity, truthfulness, and courage. He simply is not for sale - to anyone. No matter the offer, his unshakable commitment is to preserving the facts and exposing those forces which compromise, violate, and plunder democracy, truth, and the founding principles of our nation. It is both very telling and disturbing that a number of years ago Greg Palast felt compelled to move to England because he found more freedom in that nation to do honest reporting than here in the United States. Gratefully, however, his passion and commitment to exposing the dark forces in our midst in America - so we can do something about it! - is unrelenting. Greg Palast has been the premier reporter and often the first to expose extraordinarily important stories, such as what happened to the vote in the election of 2000, the horrendous truth about New Orleans both leading up to and in the aftermath of Katrina, and much, much more. Gratefully, too, is the fact that more and more Americans know who Greg Palast is. I have now seen Palast speak twice here in Portland, and both times were to beyond capacity crowds.

I also recently saw Robert Kennedy, Jr. for the first time. He is amazing. Amazing! (And thanks to Ken, who loves to take pictures as much as I do, I now have added to my collection a photo of me with Bobby Kennedy, Jr. Thanks, Ken!) I've heard Robert Kennedy, Jr. on Ring of Fire radio on Saturdays for some time now, and I have read his extraordinary book Crimes Against Nature, which is "ultimately about the corrosive effect of corporate corruption on our core American values". Bobby Kennedy has earned my deep respect, trust, and gratitude. His father would be proud.

So it is both very exciting and hopeful to see Bobby Kennedy and Greg Palast joining forces to help protect the American right to vote. Now they need the rest of us to join them! As I write these words, I wonder how many Americans even know how severely this most essential right has been compromised? The state of our democracy is under such significant threat and attack and surely this issue is among the most important for us all to be informed about. That this assault on the foundations of our nation is not making HUGE headlines, and is largely not reported at all, truly speaks to how vulnerable America is at this time. Instead there are soundbites tossing out he said/she said to the American public along with a plethora of other distractions. What has happened to the media, to true journalism!, in America? What can we do about it??!

Gratefully, there are those like Greg Palast, Bobby Kennedy, Howard Zinn, Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman, Ron Suskind, and many, many others who are consistently and increasingly bringing us the truth of the real issues that are impacting us here at home and all of us globally. We just often have to find the caring in our hearts and the energy and time in the midst of our busy lives to seek to look more deeply. It is my belief, experience, and commitment that we all can help in this effort to get the truth out by spreading the word about the real stories that we need to be informed about. This is certainly one of the times in our evolution that we are being asked to face and transform that which keeps us divided and instead work to come together. For me, that journey has begun in my own heart and expanded outward from there.

For the article on the attack on our right to vote, please go here:

You can find Bobby Kennedy's book here:

For an article on Crimes Against Nature, you can go here:

You can checkout Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio on Ring of Fire here:

For more information on voter caging, please go here:

Truthout's website is here:

Please help spread the word.
Tag, we are all it!


"This is the first White House in America, the first Justice Department in American history, that has not gone out and fought and defended civil rights... Historically, the Justice Department has been the place where Americans, poor Americans, can go to get justice. This Justice Department has in fact been exactly the opposite. They have in fact brought cases against individual voters to prohibit them from voting." ~ Bobby Kennedy, Jr.

Howard Zinn on American History, Human Nature and Aggression, and Patriotism

Howard Zinn is among the most amazing people I have ever known. I love this man for the beautiful human being that he is. I just received his latest newsletter yesterday. You can find it here:

Please go here for an amazing animated video of People's History of American Empire (voiceover by Viggo Mortensen):

Here is a video of Howard Zinn "On Human Nature and Aggression":

Here is a video with Amy Goodman on Democracy NOW! of Howard Zinn "On Patriotism":

Howard Zinn has been such a profound influence on countless people. Among them is Alice Walker, who he taught at Spellman College during the height of the civil rights movement. I so respect, admire, and am inspired by people who have the courage to have their eyes wide open AND their hearts. That is quite a challenge for us humans: to learn to see more expansively - not with the distortions and limitations of our egos, our fears and prejudices, and the projections of our unresolved wounds - but rather with the heart of our higher selves. Humility reminds me of how difficult the path of the heart can be. And also that there is no greater blessing. At least this is my experience...



"Patriotism is supporting your government when you think your country is doing right and opposing it when it is doing wrong. Patriotism is not obeying the government when it is violating its principles..." ~ Howard Zinn

A Novel Approach to Politics by Bill Moyers & Michael Winship

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, for Truthout: "ABC News's political blog, 'The Note,' points out this week that Paris Hilton is issuing policy statements while John McCain nominates his wife for a topless beauty contest. The world's turned upside down. Who could blame a person for thinking that chronicling such oddness is beyond the skills of simple journalists? This is a job for the novelists." ...........

For the full article, please go here:

I love Bill Moyers. Bill Moyers Journal on PBS (Fridays 9-10pm in this area) is something I try to never miss. Last night the Journal focused on the "business of poverty" and how it is that corporations feed off the poor, thus contributing to the endless cycle of poverty. It is criminal that such things are allowed to happen in this country. This related piece to the above article can be found here in video or transcript form: If a tipping point of Americans were to just watch the Journal most every week, I am convinced that that alone would change our country and the world. This kind of information regarding the issues that most affect us all is what journalism should be about and what our nation desperately needs.

May we all grow in our individual and collective courage and commitment to work toward recognizing the shadow side of American culture which feeds off greed, apathy, distractions, and ignorance. May we embrace the great lessons here and act to illuminate and transform this darkness into growing knowledge, integrity, authenticity, truthfulness, compassion, and genuine caring for all. May we all grow our hearts bigger.



"Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government."
~ Thomas Jefferson

"Americans are the most entertained and the least informed people on Earth."
~ Bobby Kennedy, Jr.

"The opposite of courage is conformity."
~ Jim Hightower

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution & the Environment

Inspired Greetings

On July 29th I heard an amazing interview on Thom Hartmann's national radio show. First, I'd like to share that I cannot begin to describe all that I have learned and all that I have been connected to through Thom's radio show and his many incredible books. Thom, like myself, grew up in Michigan and now lives in Oregon, is my age and also the parent of three adult children. In addition, for all who don't yet know of Thom, he is also a prolific author, speaker, and activist who goes way above and beyond to create a world that works for all. I have grown to love, respect, and deeply appreciate this incredible man for his integrity, passion, and the countless ways in which he is making a positive difference in America and around the world. Thom's website is:

One of the people Thom interviewed on July 29th was renowned researcher and author, Paul Ehrlich, who spoke about over-population and his new book he co-authored with his wife, Anne Ehrlich, called The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment. For the audio of this interview, please go here:

For Paul and Anne Ehrlich's website, The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution & the Environment, please go here:

Paul was interviewed on E&E TV's "On Point". Watch the video here. For a transcript of this interview from 7/24/08 in which the author discusses population growth, environmental destruction, biofuels, offshore drilling, peak oil, where to go from here and more, please go here:

There are few issues more important than those raised here. Please consider passing this on to others. Thanks.



“…The Dominant Animal tells the story of how mankind came to dominate nearly every inch of the earth. [It] spans the entire history of the world, weaving both cultural and biological evolution into the ambitious narrative. At its core are timely questions we would all do well to consider: Is it in our best interest to dominate Earth? Are we creating a future we want to live in?” —Plenty magazine

“No other scientific couple could produce a book of this brilliance on where we came from and where we're going. The Ehrlichs, who have been at the cutting edge of the science, have interwoven evolutionary history and our environmental dilemma into a compelling and vital story.” – John P. Holdren, Director, The Woods Hole Research Center and Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy, Harvard University

Health and Poverty in the US

Heartfelt Greetings

Please go here for two powerful and illuminating articles by Dr. Stephen Bezruchka:

Health and Poverty in the US -

Sick of It All - Economic equality: good for what ails you

I dedicate this post to family, friends, co-workers, and loved ones. I dedicate this post to one of my clients who suffered a major heart attack last week and who was dead on arrival at the hospital - but then able to be revived. This client is five years younger than I am, but had lived a lifetime in poverty; it is not known if this person will survive or not. And I dedicate this post to all of us everywhere in America who are impacted by the current economic system that results in such profoundly growing disparities between the rich and the poor in what is said to be the wealthiest nation on Earth. May we recognize and transform our justification of greed or simple apathy or ignorance toward our fellow human beings. May we all be blessed with connecting more with the riches of our hearts and simple genuine caring for ourselves and others. May we all take whatever steps we each can to know and care more about the poverty of our nation - both material and spiritual poverty. And may we each grow in courage and commitment to do whatever we can to work individually and collectively toward creating a nation and a world that truly cares and works for all.

Peace & blessings,


"First they ignore you; then they laugh at you; then they fight you;
then you win." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

"True compassion is more than flinging a coin at a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

My Continuing Passion

My continuing passion is to part a curtain,
that invisible veil of indifference that falls between us
and that blinds us to each other's presence,
each other's wonder, each other's human plight.

~ Eudora Welty

From Word For the Day at

Never Give Up!

Heartfelt Greetings

Thanks so much to my friends Bonnie and Dave
for passing this one on to me.They shared that they
"loved this, and really get the message of the spirit of hope in life.
I'm passing on the hope to you too."

Never Give Up!