Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Lori Keeling Campbell
The Light of Truth
Lisa Maxine Kjernisted
A Rainbow of Profiles
Sharing Dreams of Peace Around the Communal Fire
Jennifer & Jean Chapin
Julie St. John
World of Peace
The Peace House
Photo by Petrus Spronk
The Earth Is In Our Hands
Grade 8 Art Class with the direction of Art Teacher, Rena Warren
Peace in Many Languages
Vision for Hope and Peace
Fly Away Home
Quieten the Noise
*All From 2006*
"We support peace based on certain requirements - justice, dignity and respect for those who were killed," said Cherifa Keddar, leader of an organization representing victims of the war, as she visited the graves of her brother and sister.
But many people were expected to accept the president's proposal, which amounts to trading a call for justice and accountability in return for a promise of peace and stability.
"This is a good thing, so the people can go back to the right path, so we can live in peace," said Rabaa Draai, 62, a father of 10 children, at his house in Rais, a community that suffered one of the worse atrocities of the war. On one night in 1997, more than 400 men, women and children were killed.
"Is there anybody who doesn't want peace?" said Mr. Draai, who said he had not lost any relatives in the massacre.
Algerian authorities predicted a large turnout among the country's 18 million voters, and they reported heavy voting throughout the day, although polling places in the capital and surrounding areas appeared to be largely empty much of the day. Mr. Bouteflika was hoping a commanding victory would empower him to move the country in a direction of his choosing. The results were not expected until Friday.
Since taking office with the support of the military in 1999, Mr. Bouteflika has managed to consolidate his authority while other institutions - like the judiciary and Parliament - remain relatively weak. Many of the generals to whom the president owed his job have since retired and have been replaced by those who now owe their positions to the president.
This referendum would continue Mr. Bouteflika's consolidation of power. It not only would grant amnesty to those who committed all but the most heinous crimes and effectively exonerate government security forces for killings, torture or kidnappings, but it also would grant the president broad authority in carrying out the proposed charter.
The document has been sharply criticized by opposition politicians, families of victims and human rights organizations for being vague, for not offering any process for exposing crimes of the past and for centering so much power in the president.
A group of mothers of Algerians who disappeared - suspected of being taken away by state security agents - have held protests in the center of Algiers almost every Wednesday for 11 years. They were there again this week, holding old, weathered placards with photographs of their missing family members. They said they were concerned that if the referendum passed, the issue of the missing would be considered resolved and their quest for answers about the fates of their family members would be ended.
"We are afraid after this we will be forgotten," said Fayza Ayash, whose three sons, Abdulkarim, Lakhdar and Muhammad, all disappeared years ago.
The government pressed hard to convince people to vote yes. Opposition voices were not allowed on television or radio, and opponents were depicted as being against peace. Polling places were plastered with pictures of the president and posters calling for the passage of the referendum.
While voters cast secret ballots, it was very easy for poll watchers to tell how people voted. Blue ballots, which meant yes, could easily be seen through the white envelopes they were tucked into before being dropped into a ballot box. The no ballots were white.
In Rais, the town of the massacre, many people stayed away from the polls. Three men sitting on a log around the corner from the polls had all lost relatives, and they were outspoken and angry. But they were afraid to give their names because to be against the referendum was perceived as dangerous. As they saw it, approval would mean that the killers would be allowed to return to their community - and they would be forced to accept it.
"I lost my brother and sister; I lost my mother and father," said one of the men. "Is it normal to accept someone who killed your father and mother and brother and sister to come live beside you?"
Since Mr. Bouteflika came to power, life in Algeria has begun to return to normal. The government estimates there are still about 1,000 armed militants, and it would like them to turn in their weapons, but the country is far safer today than it was just a few years ago. Where roads were once empty at night, they are clogged with traffic again. Even Western embassies are allowing their staff members to walk freely around certain areas.
To many people, that is what matters most.
"Nobody," said Arslan Chikhaoui, a business consultant in Algiers, "can say no to a peace process."
Robert Malley, a former special assistant to President Bill Clinton on Arab-Israeli affairs, told the Forward that the attacks on him by some supporters of Israel have “crossed the line.”
Malley, who now heads the Middle East and North Africa program at the International Crisis Group, emphasized his strong support for Israel and explained his views on the need to engage in talks with Iran and Syria.
According to a statement from the Obama campaign, Malley is one of several experts who had offered advice to the campaign on Middle East policy. This role has taken center stage in recent weeks as right-wing groups and individuals have argued that Malley holds anti-Israeli views and that this indicates Obama himself has a problem with his Middle East policy.
Writing on the Web site American Thinker, Ed Lasky argued that Malley “represents the next generation of anti-Israel activism.”
Camera, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, published an article exploring Malley’s family roots. The article argues that “Malley’s parents were rabidly anti-Israel” and that Malley’s articles on Middle East issues “demonize Israel only slightly less than his father.”
Malley, in his first public response to the allegations, said that “it tends to cross the line when it becomes as personal and as un-based in facts as some of these have been.”
Malley’s father, journalist Simon Malley, was born to a Jewish family in Cairo in 1923 and was best known for his writings on third world independence movements.
Speaking of his father’s views, Malley said that while he loved and respected his father — who passed away in 2006 — he did not agree with him on everything.
“I found them to be an odd guilt by association,” Malley said, referring to the attacks on him based on his father’s views.
Malley recently received support from five Jewish former U.S. government officials who are known to be strong supporters of Israel. Former national security adviser Sandy Berger and former State Department officials Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, Aaron David Miller and Daniel Kurtzer released their open letter defending Malley on February 12.
Responding to what they call “a series of vicious, personal attacks” against Malley, the former officials wrote: “These attacks are unfair, inappropriate and wrong.”
The letter is particularly noteworthy because, according to press reports, Berger and Indyk have been advising Obama’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, on Middle East policy.
The letter adds that while disagreements on policy exist, there is no disagreement regarding the special relationship between America and Israel: “We have worked with Rob closely over the years and have no doubt he shares this view and has acted consistent with it.”
Miller, who has advised six secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli negotiations and is currently a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, told the Forward he does not believe this public show of support will stop the attacks against Malley.
“The degree of concern among some in the Jewish community is endless,” Miller said, adding that the criticism of Malley has proved to him that “Jews worry for a living.”
Malley drew criticism from the pro-Israel community after co-authoring an article in The New York Review of Books arguing that the blame for the failure of the 2000 Camp David peace talks should be divided between all three leaders who were present at the summit: Yasser Arafat, Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton.
This article was considered controversial, since mainstream policy analysts in Israel and America had pointed to Arafat as having sole responsibility for the failed talks. Later, however, other scholars and former officials voiced similar views to those of Malley.
Today, Malley still stands out for his calls to engage in negotiations with Syria and Iran and for finding “some kind of accommodation” with Hamas.
“If you want to have movement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority you’re going to have to find some way of neutralizing Hamas’s spoiling capacity and that means to some extent, to some extent, engaging with it,” Malley said, adding that he does not believe America should be the side dealing with Hamas.
In a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Israel Policy Forum two weeks ago, Malley said he does not believe Obama will talk to Hamas or Hezbollah if elected president. Malley attended Harvard Law School with Obama but is not considered a close friend of the candidate.
The Bush administration and the Israeli government strongly oppose dealing with Hamas or breaking the wall of isolation surrounding Iran. Olmert does not, however, oppose talks with Syria.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Toward Wisdom: Finding Our Way to Inner Peace, Love and Happiness
By: Copthorne Macdonald
The Happiness Code : A Complete Book on the Art of Achieving Happiness
By: S. Mukhopadhyay
By: Matthieu Ricard
By: Sheryl Crow
Love is Free
By: Sheryl Crow
Come the Day
By: Bruce Woodley
The women in the valley forge They go day to day Don't let them raid my home and My home and place But the men they can't see boyond So they war and war They don't remember What they came here for People to people are so unjust Carry yourself well so Carry yourself well Women in the valley forged her The once home of the brave Don't let them raid me home and My home and place But the men they can't see beyond So they become what they hate They don't see that the moon has just Yeah the moon is just getting its legs People to people are so unjust day Carry yourself well so Carry yourself well People to people are so unjust Carry yourself well so Carry yourself well And you don't even close the barn door After the horses have scattered And no one knows anymore Where all the souls have gathered Though they will keep an eye on what you do And when the people have spoken We won't cry mercy on Mercy on you Cause we will We will be alive just broken People to people are So unjust they say Carry yourself well Carry yourself well People to people are so unjust they say Carry yourself well so Carry yourself well
State Radio "Fight No More"
On behalf of the resistance, and all of our existence As the wanted man, the conquered man.We no not of your borders,But you push us to your corners.This is not your land,This isn't anybody's land.Some will live and some will last,Some will cry out for the past.But my oh my,The answers are falling fast.I will give if this pain won't last.So from where the sun now stands,I will fight no more forever.How you choose to meet your fate, For I will fight no more forever.Government agent arrivals, pale chief and his disciples. They crooked tongues, the acid lungs.We know not of your borders,But the world is getting colder.This is not your land,This isn't anybody's land.Some will live and some will last,Some will bleed like Looking Glass.But my oh my, The answers are falling fast.I will give if this pain won't last.So from where the sun now stands,I will fight no more forever.How you choose to meet your fate, For I will fight no more forever.From where the sun now stands,I will fight no more forever.How you choose to meet your fate, For I will fight no more forever.And the sun will set sad and sick, Break these chains I don't want them no more.And the sun will set sad and sick, Break these chains I don't want them no more.Break these chains I don't want them no more.Break these, break these chains.Said he died of a broken heart.Said he died of a broken heart.Died of a broken heart. Broken heart.
John Mayer "Waiting On The World To Change"
Me and all my friends We're all misunderstood They say we stand for nothing and There's no way we ever could Now we see everything that's going wrong With the world and those who lead it We just feel like we don't have the means To rise above and beat it So we keep waiting Waiting on the world to change We keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change It's hard to beat the system When we're standing at a distance So we keep waiting Waiting on the world to change Now if we had the power To bring our neighbors home from war They would have never missed a Christmas No more ribbons on their door And when you trust your television What you get is what you got Cause when they own the information, oh They can bend it all they want That's why we're waiting Waiting on the world to change We keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change It's not that we don't care, We just know that the fight ain't fair So we keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change And we're still waiting Waiting on the world to change We keep on waiting waiting on the world to change One day our generation Is gonna rule the population So we keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change We keep on waiting Waiting on the world to change.
Retold by Peninnah Schram "The Cycle"
King Solomon was noted, not only for his great wisdom and his skill as a judge, but also for his ability to understand the languages of the birds and the beasts of the fields. Thus, he would sometimes listen to the complaints of animals against each other and against humanity.
Once, a grief-stricken lioness came before Solomon with a bitter complaint. "Say what is in your heart," said Solomon, "I will hear you out."
And the lioness spoke. "Why must there be war? Why must we attack one another? Can there be no peace in the world? Is it right that the hunter comes to my den and robs me of my babies and then, before my own eyes, strips off their skin? Does he have no pity for the mother? No pity for the babies? That hunter must be punished, Your Honor, and be shown no mercy, for he is guilty of killing my babies."
And the lioness began to cry with great anguish.
When King Solomon heard this, he said, "Listen to my story and tell me who is to blame?" And Solomon told this story.
One day, the mongoose and the weasel were talking, and the weasel was complaining, "That snake has eaten up so many of my babies. He comes and attacks them when I run out for a few moments to get them some food." And the weasel moaned with grief.
"Well then," suggested the mongoose, "why not devise a scheme to get the snake out of his cave and then attack him? Let's see. The snake loves fish, so we'll put a trail of fish leading away from his cave right to where we can kill him."
"Good," replied the weasel. "That will be a just dessert for him, and a good dinner for you, my friend."
So the mongoose and the weasel caught some fish and dropped them in a row on the path to the snake's cave. When the snake smelled the fish, he left his cave and ate each of the fish. As he slithered past the scorpion, the scorpion sharpened its stinger to attack the snake and accidentally struck the hen nearby.
The hen ran to the rooster and alerted him that the scorpion was ready to make war. The rooster called out "cock-a-doodle-doo," which sounded the alarm and the wolf ran out of his dean.
As he ran by the weasel's home, the wolf saw that the weasel's babies had been left unguarded, so he ate them.
When the weasel returned home after having helped the mongoose kill the snake, she found her babies gone, and she knew that they had been killed.
Weasel ran to the Judge and cried, "The wolf has killed my children. Punish him, punish him!" The the Judge asked her just one question: "What did you bring for food for your children, Mother weasel?"
And when the weasel answered, "Birds, Your Honor," the Judge said, "You, yourself, are to blame for your children's death—and no one else."
Then Solomon looked at the lioness and waited. The lioness lowered her eyes and head in shame. And the lioness understood. Yes, the lioness understood.
The Talmud says: "What you do not want to have happen to you, do not do to another."
Jesume Sioco "Happiness"
Happiness is a good health and a bad memoryAnd tells every person’s wonderful storyMemories we hope to happen againCan never be move like a mountainHappiness does pass as time goes byBut we can make another if we give it a tryThose beautiful memories are really badWhen we think of it and makes are heart sadHappiness we all know lies aheadSo keep it don’t throw it insteadThen share it to everyone you loveIt will make you fly like a doveHappiness is a perpetual possessionTells about life in your intuitionThen positive thinking to achieve perfectionMake it as an expressive communication.