Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: BREAKING report



A US jury last month convicted Aafia Siddiqui, a neuro-scientist specializing in cognitive teaching from MIT, of trying to kill US servicemen. AFP (File Photo) Other photos taken from internet sites reporting Dr. Aafia Siddiqui protests in US, Pakistan and UK - The tall poster behind small boy may show an Aafia image from FBI composite with Dr. Siddiqui's driver's license which is simiilar to one shown on Wikipedia.

Newly-formed Justice For Aafia Coalition (JFAC) indicates "New Abuse Revelations":
"Aafia Siddiqui Forced to Walk Naked Over the Qur’an"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30th 2010
Contact: info@justiceforaafia.org

As hundreds of concerned citizens (were) holding a Day of Remembrance in Pakistan to commemorate the seventh anniversary of her disappearance, the Justice for Aafia Coalition revealed for the first time, in the English language, specific harrowing details of the abuse Aafia Siddiqui was forced to endure in the years spent in secret detention.

During the course of an interview by Kamran Shahid on Pakistan’s Front Line, screened 26th March, Siddiqui’s mother and sister described (in public) for the first time the various forms of torture she underwent at the hands of US agents. This included being:

* forcefully stripped by six men and then repeatedly sexually abused
* beaten with rifle butts until she bled
* bound to a bed, with her hands and feet tied whilst unspecified forms of
torture were administered to the soles of her feet and head
* injected with unknown substances
* dragged by her hair
* having her hairs pulled out one by one
* forced to walk on the Qu’ran which had been desecrated in her cell whilst naked

Maryam Hassan, founder of the Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC), commented:

“These most recent horrific revelations shine a light for the first time on years of detention shrouded until now in darkness and mystery. Forced nudity, violent sexual abuse, the desecration of the Qu’ran, video-taped torture sessions have become infamous hallmarks of US detention since the start of the War on Terror, from Bagram to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

The Obama administration must immediately disclose any video evidence in its possession relating to Ms Siddiqui’s detention and torture. The American public has a right to know what is being carried out in its name as much as the Pakistani public are deserving of knowing the horrendous abuse one of their citizens has been subjected to. “

For the full interview, transcribed and translated into English please visit:

To view the FRONT-LINE special program March 26th video recording of the interview in URDU, GO here
ENGLISH Subtitles to be added soon.

Find this JFAC on Facebook: here

SEE TRAILER featured by JFAC here

Additional Facebook Page here

Here following are just two of many items I've posted on my blogsite oneheartforpeace dot blogspot dot com about Dr. Siddiqui (look to the right column to see many more for each day of the trial.) I sat in on the complete trial where I also took notes each day and made many observations.

Aafia Siddiqui was her own star witness here

Aafia Siddiqui Trial Falters here

There is to be a WORLD-WIDE internet seminar - a WEBINAR - concerning Dr. Siddiqui on 8 PM ET FRIDAY (6 am SATURDAY in Karachi) with key people including Tina Foster, Yvonne Ridley and Aafia's brother. Tina is a lawyer with the International Justice Network. For details about this internet seminar - GO - here

And while at that site, find out about another alarming case of great concern for April here

SEE more related items to be posted both below and to follow...

Help get out the word...

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Weaving a Net of Accountability" Conference on NC USA Role in Torture & Rendition


The "WEAVING a Net of Accountability" conference on North Carolina ’s role in US torture and extraordinary rendition is less than three weeks away! For much more information, Plz GO to accountabilityfortorturenc dot org

In a few minutes you will find out a lot quickly here on this SHORT COMPACT VIDEO: The 6-minute conference video is a great way to learn some basics and to get the word out! here

This conference has made the news in Ireland, where our invited speaker from ShannonWatch, Dr. Edward Horgan, still waits to learn if he will get a new visa in time to fly to North Carolina

This excellent blog post on FireDogLake helped: here

INTERFAITH SERVICE: Please encourage people to attend the Interfaith Service on Torture that precedes Scott Horton’s talk on April 8. We will soon have a flier for the service. It is being organized by Rabbi Raachel Jurovics of Cary and Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University, and will be an inspiring event. The service is 5:30 to 6:15 pm at Goodson Chapel, Duke Divinity School. Directions to Duke Divinity School : here . Map and parking: here

The SCOTT HORTON TALK STARTS at 7:30 pm on April 8 in Love Auditorium, which is in the Levine Science Research Center at Duke University . It’s walking distance from the Interfaith Service, and there will be simple food for purchase in-between. Map: here

RSVP: Are you planning to attend the conference on April 9, from 9 am to 5 pm, at the John Hope Franklin Center ? It’s free, but we need a count for breakfast and lunch. Please RSVP to contact@ncstoptorturenow.net .

Again, if this topic interests you, in a few minutes you will find out a lot quickly here on this VIDEO: The 6-minute conference video is a great way to learn some basics and to get the word out! here

UPDATED: Open Letter Supporting Aafia Siddiqui-2 (With highly-informative comments)

Image from the International Purple Ribbon Project here

(NOTE: Some of the comments re-posted below came quite a bit after this letter was written)

By Shaykh Haitham Al-Haddad (Cross-posted from justiceforaafia.org)

It is well known that the War on Terror waged by the United States and its allies led to aggression and injustice against countries, organizations, groups and individuals. Perhaps the worst example of this brutality against individuals was that meted out to our Muslim sister in Islam, Aafia Siddiqui and her three small children.

Aafia is a hafidhah of the Qur’an, a devoted mother and practising Muslim, who dedicated her life to spreading the religion of God and assisting fellow Muslims. It is believed that she was abducted at the behest of American intelligence from Pakistan, her home country along with her children in 2003, the youngest of whom was just six months old at that time. Aafia Siddiqui and her lawyers maintain that she was held in secret US detention and tortured and abused in this time, along with her children – a claim that is corroborated by former prisoners at Bagram. After five years of denying knowledge of her whereabouts, the US claims that she allegedly emerged in Afghanistan. She was shot by US soldiers and then tried and convicted despite the absence of any physical evidence against her and the conflicting testimonies presented during the trial. She now faces life in prison. Only one of her children has been released, while the whereabouts of the two youngest remain unknown. From the time she was transferred to the US to date she has been subject to humiliating and degrading strip and cavity searches in prison and is now being denied jail visits and communication with the outside world, including her immediate family.

Allah has enjoined upon the believers, in innumerable commandments, to support the believers who are being oppressed, irrespective of where they may be. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“The believers, men and women, are auliya (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin good and forbid from evil; they establish prayers, and give the zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”[1]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfil his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection.”[2]

He (peace be upon him) also said:

“Whoever is present while a Muslim is humiliated before him, and is able to assist him [and yet does not], Allah will humiliate him before all of creation on the Day of Judgment.” And in another narration, “No man forsakes a Muslim when his rights are being violated or his honour is being belittled except that Allah will forsake him at a place in which he would love to have His help. And no man helps a Muslim at a time when his honour is being belittled or his rights violated except that Allah will help him at a place in which he loves to have His help.”

When we merely hear the plight of our sister, we should feel restless and tormented as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love and affection is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.”

In spite of this, the Muslim ummah, whose followers surpass that of any other world religion, have shamefully failed in our duty to defend this Muslim woman.

Obligation to aid in the emancipation of Muslim captives

Allah has admonished and reproached the believers for allowing the weak to remain under the clutches of the enemy and their torture. Allah says:

“And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help.””[3]

Explaining this verse, Imam Al-Qurtubi said, “Freeing the prisoners is obligatory on the Muslim, whether by war or wealth.” Imam Malik said, “It is obligatory on (Muslim) people to ransom the prisoners with all their wealth.” There is no difference of opinion among the scholars over this, since the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Free the prisoners.”[4] Our scholars say that ransoming prisoners is obligatory, even if not a single penny is left. Ibn Khuwaizimandad said, “This verse contains the obligations to free prisoners. There are reports from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to this effect: he freed prisoners and ordered them to be freed. This was practiced by Muslims throughout the ages and the scholars are unanimous about it. It is obligatory to free (Muslim) prisoners from the state’s treasury, and if the amount does not suffice, then it is obligatory upon all the Muslims to contribute. If one Muslim frees him, the others are absolved of this duty.”

An incident that shows the great concern for freeing Muslim captives is when the Caliph ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul Aziz (may Allah be pleased with him) sent ‘Abdul Rahman bin ‘Amrah to free some Muslim captives. He said, “Give them whatever they ask for every Muslim! By Allah, a Muslim is dearer to me than all the polytheists in my state! Indeed, you win any Muslim you pay the ransom for. Indeed you are buying Islam (by ensuring their release from prison and torture).”[5]

Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Freeing Muslim prisoners is one of the greatest obligations. Spending money from endowments (waqf) and other sources is one of the best deeds.”

Ibn Qudamah, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “It is permissible for a Muslim to use his zakat to buy back a Muslim prisoner from the captivity of polytheists. This is because the emancipation of a Muslim captive is similar to emancipating someone from slavery, as well as it bringing glory to Islam. Spending zakah in this cause is like spending it to soften people’s hearts towards Islam, and since it is given to the prisoner to free himself from captivity it is like giving money to an indebted person for ridding himself of the debt.”

Our Obligation

Therefore, it is obligatory upon every single Muslim, wherever they reside, to work, directly or indirectly, towards the release of the Muslim captives irrespective of wherever they may be. Any Muslim with the capability to aid others yet fails to do so will be sinful. Everyone is responsible according to their ability; the greatest responsibility lies with those in authority, followed by the scholars, and so on – although the failure of those who bear greater responsibility to act does not absolve individuals of their own individual responsibilities.

If the captive is a Muslim woman, like our sister Aafia, the obligation becomes even greater, given the elevated status of women in Islam. The scholars of Islam are unanimous that a Muslim woman cannot be handed over to non-Muslims in any case. This Ummah has a glorious heritage of protecting Muslim women that we must endeavour to restore. Amongst the incidents narrated to this effect, is that of the honour of a believing woman attacked by members of the tribe of Quraydhah, and so, a believer fought to defend her until he was killed and an army was dispatched against the perpetrators.

As a nation, we have not fulfilled our obligation towards our sister, Aafia Siddiqui, as well as her children. We must exhaust every lawful means for her release and for the recovery of her children without fearing anyone but Allah. This may include, but is not limited to, direct involvement with organisations that work for this cause, donating money for it, raising awareness and actively speaking about her plight, writing in support of her and her family, and pressuring those governments complicit in her ordeal to end this injustice.

The least that is enjoined upon us is to supplicate to Allah for her as well other Muslim prisoners, as supplication is the weapon of a Muslim; it is incumbent upon every believer to supplicate for them as if we were supplicating on behalf of ourselves and our families.

“O Allah, deliver our sister and her children from this humiliation and torture at the hands of those who do not believe in You.”

May Allah ease the affairs of our sister Aafia and hasten her release from captivity. May He break free her shackles and the shackles of all of our oppressed prisoners. May Allah give them the strength to deal with their ordeal.

May Allah punish those who have oppressed our sister Aafia and continue to oppress her, may He defeat them and smite them, and may Allah forgive us for being negligent towards our Muslim brothers and sisters.

May Allah unite the hearts of the Muslims and grant us victory over our oppressors.

Notes:
[1] Surah Taubah 9:71
[2] Sahih Al-Bukhari
[3] Surah Al-Nisa’ 4:75
[4] Sahih Al-Bukhari
[5] Narrated by Sa’eed Bin Mansur in his Sunan

Also find Comments follwoing this same open letter here along with quite a debate in terms of Comments (some which appear to be highly informed and helpful - especially those by Amad Sahib and Andy Purcell Sahib)

Open Letter: Supporting Aafia Siddiqui | MuslimMatters.org
Mar 22, 2010 ... By Shaykh Haitham Al-Haddad (Cross-posted from justiceforaafia.org)
here

###########################

I've here re-posted the following Comments from the MuslimMatters dot org site in response to the above letter:

ONE: Ummezaynub
March 22, 2010
Ameen, Thumma Ameen. If this can happen to Sister Aafia, it can happen to anyone of us. The sister I remember was the heart behind the MSA of Greater Boston. I was a first year in college and my future husband a sophomore at the same university where she was completing her undergrad. She was one who would make hundreds of samosas to sell at MSA fundraisers. A passionate activist who struggled to find Muslim homes for the hundreds of Bosnian orphans who were brought in to the U.S. I could relate to her then, I spent my childhood in Africa too and like her had come to study in the US from Pakistan, I was barely 17. She was one of the first women I had met who was brilliant, educated, ‘religious’ and a hijabi- not many those around in the 1990s. What happened to her is so twisted, so heart wrenching, WHY? HOW? And what crime have her children committed? Azilumantasha’a wa tuzillu mantasha- biyadikalkhair wa huwaa’al kulli shayin kadeer.


TWO: Amad (In response to the "Africa Theory" - that Aafia went to Liberia Africa in the year 2000 to take money off of poor Africans.)
March 22, 2010 • 3:33 am
Your information needs updating. Please refer to the many articles debunking your “africa” theory and other misinformation here

(See the comments about the "night goggles" and following clarification

THREE: Muslim Stranger
March 23, 2010 • 3:45 am

1) Dr. Aafia’s husband bought those night vision goggles & body armour. Not Her.

2) She has never re-married. Read following comment by ‘Andrew Purcell’ in the following link: here

Muslim Stranger says here that Andy Purcell had a believable responde to one who stated: “Aafia was married only once, to Mohammed Amjad Khan, the father of their three children." below

1) I have known Aafia and her brother and her sister and their mother for decades. I know this family well enough to know she would not remarry without consulting them, and if their had been a marriage, I would have known about it. She did not consult her family. There was no second marriage.

2) During one of the brief visits she was allowed with her brother he asked
her if she had married anyone during her missing years. She said no.”

3) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was water boarded 143 times during 1 month, after which he (spoke) Dr. Aafia’s name here


FOUR: Andrew Purcell (shows up in person)
March 23, 2010

(To a previous comment by whom he and we will call "T")

As of a few minutes ago there were over half a million entries for “Dr Aafia” listed on Google. You just read all of them? And that quickly? I am impressed.

But you seemed to have missed a few. For example, any mention of the Pakistani government’s announcement in 2003 that she had been arrested in Karachi and turned over to American agents.

You also seem to have missed all mention of eyewitness reports that put her in Bagram Prison.

Quoting her ex-husband does nothing for the credibility of your research. He is her ex-husband for a reason. And how did you determine that he had access to the roster of undercover operatives for multiple intelligence agencies? You read it on the Internet.

You “think she dabbled in extremist groups, then went to the CIA when she was caught, then worked again for extremist groups.” Because you read it on the Internet. Bravo!

You know that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed named her and that she married his nephew because you read it on the Internet.

About the body armor and the night vision goggles. The story is that her ex-husband is the one who is said to have made those purchases.

You “just read a bunch of stuff about her on the Internet” and you couldn’t find one citation among over half a million entries on Google that indicated any evidence of innocence.

(After T again offers counter-arguments as to Dr. Aafia's guilt, Andy responds again)


FIVE: Andrew Purcell
March 23, 2010

(To"T") once again you are citing as facts statements made without a shred of evidence to back them up because you “just read a bunch of stuff about her on the Internet”.

Aafia was married once, to Amjad Khan, the father of her three children. She stated in court during her testimony that she had not remarried. I was there.

Unnamed sources from unnamed intelligence agencies who are themselves accused of kidnapping Aafia and her children are not paragons of honesty. You will have to do better than that.

And I do not mean Aafia’s uncle. In the past, Uncle has dreamt about events that never happened and then can’t tell the difference between the real and the imaginary. I know this because several years ago one of his little fantasies inadvertently dragged me into it. While he is a skilled storyteller who enjoys the attention of an audience, he is not reliable.

As an example, in his story, he saw through the scarf that Aafia was wearing over her face and determined that she had undergone plastic surgery. Earlier this year I sat for three weeks in a Federal Courthouse in New York City at her trial. While she kept her face covered for most of the trial, there was a moment when she stood up, faced the spectators, removed the scarf covering her face, and made a statement. She was standing right in front of me, maybe twelve feet away. There was no plastic surgery. That was the face of the woman I was introduced to twenty years ago. That was the face I saw many times over the years.

Your hysterical shrieking that Aafia and her family are all liars does not constitute proof or evidence...

SIX: Andrew Purcell (in response to more challenging by "T"
March 25, 2010
Hello T,
I never said she was held at Bagram. I merely stated that among the half million items about Aafia avaialable on the Internet you didn’t manage to find any references to eyewitnesses who identified her as the woman they saw there.

...All I have to go on is the quarter of a century of close friendship with Aafia and her sister and her brother and their mother.

Fowzia and Ismat Siddiqui have made statements that are contradicted by the uncle and the ex-husband. This does not make them liars. Without supporting evidence you cannot make a judgement. Based on what I have witnessed over the last seven years, I believe that the statements made by Fowzia and Ismat Siddiqui are the truth.

Next point. Bearded and devout Muslims are no more or less likely to be imperfect than clean-shaven and devout Christians.

The lack of plastic surgery is important because it contradicts a detail in the uncle’s story. If his description of her basic appearance (is) incorrect, the rest of his story becomes suspect.

If you are going to accuse me of something, use the correct term. Slander is a spoken attack using information known to be false. The term you are looking for is libel, a written attack using information known to be false.

I neither slandered nor libeled the uncle. I merely said that I have been involved in an incident that indicated his inability to recognize the difference between reality and his dreams.

Again, Aafia did not remarry. During her trial she specifically denied marrying a second time. As for the account of the family of the reputed second husband, the only references I have found confirming this are from anonymous sources from unnamed intelligence agencies who are suspected of kidnapping and imprisoning Aafia.

The jury in New York City said nothing about anything or anyone shady that she was involved in. The judge in the case repeated over and over to the jury that they were allowed to consider only the events that occurred on July 18, 2008. The jury found her guilty of picking up a rifle and shooting at a group of Americans in a jail in Afghanistan. Nothing else.

How much money am I receiving form Aafia’s mother and sister? Clearly you do not know these two extraordinary women.


SEVEN: Muslim Stranger
March 27 and 29, 2010 (various YOU Tube links)

Frontline Special Program On Dr.AAFIA SIDDIQUI on Dawn News:
(26 March, 2010):

PART1: here

PART 2: here

PART 3: here

PART 4: here

PART 5: here


JUSTICE FOR AAFIA (New Website): here

Youtube Video: JUSTICE FOR AAFIA: here

Plz, NO Anon, NO Advertising, NO inappropriate sexual - business, and other such items, and NO other comments in language other than English and URDU (usually when also translated to English) are accepted in COMMENTS here on oneheartforpeace due to those who've been continually inappropriate with comment having NOTHING to do with Post. ALL COMMENTS now require names.

Thanx, Connie L. Nash, oneheartforpeace blogger

23-25 April 500 Young Leaders World Wide: (E.C.I) To Hold 3rd Creative Leaders' Conference

Painting red bird flying south found here Spread your unique wings

NOTE by blogger here:

Hello, I decided to post this minus the other items like article and poetry to be sure it's simple, clear and noticed by a few who read this site who may get a chance to go. Plz excuse me as I probably have no right to put this on my blogsit and encourage youth from a land so far away? My husband questioned how I could recommend this since I really knew nothing about it...but hey, it looked like fun...a forum I'd love...the music, dancing, photographs and speakers all looked marvelous - what beautiful handsome interesting lively people! I like the mission which includes excellence, intergrity and creative expression and people from various places...(Connie, blogger at one heart for peace)

THE THEME: “Mehnat Apni Ho Gi, Pehchan Kabhi Na Bholo”

Be sure to see the videos at these sites: here

3rd Creative Leaders’ Conference
(Regional Co-Operation)
(Participating Countries: Pakistan, Germany,
Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, UAE, South Korea,
Bangladesh, Nepal & Turkey)
Dreamland Motel, Islamabad ( 23rd – 25th April, 2010)

From: Creative Leaders
Sent out on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 (found on a listserv several days ago)

Join one of the "largest online community of youth interested in global issues and creating positive change" - taking it global...

FACEBOOK here and here



Photos for Change here Asim Aziz – Desi Beetle

Excellence Consultants Institute (E.C.I) has now decided to hold:

3rd Creative Leaders’ Conference (Regional Co-operation) from 23-25 April 2010 at Dreamland Motel, Islamabad . CLC-2010 will assemble 500 young leaders’ from across the world. The theme of 3rd CLC-2010 is…

“Mehnat Apni Ho Gi, Pehchan Kabhi Na Bholo”.

It is 3 days residential conference designed to educate, enlighten, encourage and empower the Pakistani youth through workshops, hands on training, re-creational activities and events. Besides eminent scientists, renowned educationalists, politicians and famous sports personalities, successful businesspersons and also the celebrities from showbiz will deliver outstanding lectures on imperative subject matters.

It’s our great pleasure and honor to invite you to participate in the Mega Event (3rd CLC-2010) which is going to be held from 23-25 April 2010 at Dreamland Motel, Islamabad. For detailed information please visit our here (online registration facility is also available. Last date for registration has been extended to 5th of April.

Regards,

Ms. Naureen Hafeez

Director, ECI

eci786@yahoo.com

0345-515 8857

============

MORE INFO:

Name:3rd Creative Leaders' Conference 2010 (April, 23-25)Category:Student Groups - Pre-Professional GroupsDescription:3rd Creative Leaders’ Conference
(Regional Co-Operation)(Participating Countries: Pakistan, Germany,
Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, UAE, South Korea,
Bangladesh, Nepal & Turkey)

Dreamland Motel, Islamabad ( 23rd – 25th April, 2010)

Excellence Consultants Institute (ECI) has now decided to hold 3rd Creative Leaders’ Conference (Regional Co-operation) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Foundation from 23-25 April 2010 at Dreamland Motel, Islamabad. CLC-2010 will assemble 500 young leaders’ from across the world.

Check in : 22nd April at 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Check out : 25th April 2009 at 5:30 pm

It is 3 days residential conference designed to educate, enlighten, encourage and empower the Pakistani youth through workshops, hands on training, re-creational activities and events. Besides eminent scientists, renowned educationalists, politicians and famous sports personalities, successful businesspersons and also the celebrities from showbiz will deliver outstanding lectures on imperative subject matters.

It’s our great pleasure and honor to invite you to join hands with us in this Mega Event (3rd CLC-2010) which is going to be held from 23-25-April,2010 at Dreamland Motel, Islamabad. For detailed information please visit our website here (online registration facility is also available).

Thanking you in anticipation for your assistance in this project for the advancement of youth.

Best Regards,
Ms. Naureen Hafeez
Director (ECI)

Excellence Consultants Institute (ECI) to hold 3rd Creative Leaders’ Conference (Regional Co-operation) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Foundation from 23-25 April 2010 All content is public. Contact Info Email: clc@craeativepakistan.com.pk eci786@yahoo.com Website: here

Office: Excellence Consultants Location:9th Avenue Islamabad, Pakistan

Recent News News:2nd Creative Leaders’ Conference (CLC) featuring the theme of “Justuju Ju Karay Wo Choay Asmaan” was successfully held from 13-15 Nov.2009 at Dreamland Motel, Islamabad. CLC -2009 was an interactive and experiential 3 days residential conference for 500 young leaders, coming together from across the country. They have learnt from each other and from well-known Entrepreneurs, Corporate Executives, Social Workers and Politicians. In essence, CLC-2009 developed a solution-oriented, visionary approach to leadership in our youth. Coverage to this conference was provided by various well-known Channels like Business Plus, ATV, Waqt TV, SAMAA TV, TV One, FM 89 etc.

3rd CLC Venue:

23rd -- 25th April 2010
Venue: Dreamland Motel, Islamabad

School of Universal Leadership (SOUL) is an auxiliary of Excellence Consultants Institute (ECI) - Its motive is to take people into the wilderness for an extended period of time, teach them the right things, feed them well and when they walk out of the mountains, they will be skilled leaders.

The core of this idea is the extended expedition, one of the sufficient lengths that a person could learn and practice the leadership skills over and over again.

The team of (SOUL) believes that leadership is an action that guides the world to make a better place to live for entire humanity. That is the backbone of every ECI course and this School will be widely recognized as the world's leader in the extended voyage, from one step to infinite stairs.

============

I understand that if you apply, once accepted, then you may be able to ask and possibly receive funding toward this event or scholarship!



============

NO Anon, NO Advertising, NO inappropriate sexual - business, and other such items, and NO other comments in language other than URDU (also translated to English) are accepted in COMMENTS here on oneheartforpeace. This should go without saying but I now need to be stronger due to those who've been inappropriate.

ALL COMMENTS now require names (full name unless I know you)

Thanx, Connie L. Nash, oneheartforpeace blogger

Singer, Songwriter, Poet: Pierce Pettis: of the fine details without the gloom


This photo just made me think of poets and travelers (from the internet cache unamed)

COME BACK FOR MORE of Pierce Pettis! ( And for those interested in the "Creative Leadership" conference or the one in North Carolina, see above.)

Find more on this musician here and here

MUSIC & Poetry can be such HEALERS and BRIDGES...maybe be even better than most and function sometimes as sleep and dreams - like painting...

See Especially the WORDS and MUSIC online To "Dance" , "That Kind of Love" , "I am Nothing" , "Farewell" , "Veracruz" , and "Hallelujah"

I am a poet and recognize others...this guy is among the VERY best!

I'm looking for YOUR favorite music with some Audio/You Tube to put here on this post. (Plz let me know your favorites here in the Comments)

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz
(rschwart@bowdoin.edu)

Pierce Pettis is truly a songwriter's songwriter. He has dedicated himself to serious music making for some thirty years. Hailing from Alabama, he became a staff writer for PolyGram Publishing in Nashville. Joan Baez covered one of his songs as did Dar Williams and Garth Brooks. Until now, he has remained just under the radar as a popular solo performer. His January, 2009 release, That Kind of Love, may change all that.

The recording is expertly produced by Garry West, one of the co-owners of Compass Records. He surrounds each of Pettis' songs with support from some of Nashville's finest musicians, among them: Stuart Duncan (on fiddle and banjo), Phil Madeira (on Hammond B3 and accordion), Kenny Malone (on drums and percussion) and Garry West himself (on electric bass).

The opening track, Nothing but the Wind, grabs you right from the start. It was written by the late Mark Heard, whom Pettis credits as a hero both as a songwriter and a man. It's got Phil Madeira on Hammond, Rob McNelley on slide guitar and Stuart Duncan on fiddle. But most of all, the melody takes hold, and you go along for a wonderful ride.

I Am Nothing is simply put, a great, great song. It is about a singer/songwriter, Don Dunaway, whom Pettis says "has labored in obscurity at a small tourist bar in Florida for over 30 years." It's got a powerful beat and even more powerful lyrics:

I am nothing
But the angels sometimes whisper in my ears
Yeah, they tell me things
And then they disappear
Though I am nothing
Sometimes I like to make believe
I hear

Andrea Zonn contributes perfect vocal harmony, and Pettis accompanies himself on guitar.

Farewell is the kind of song every songwriter would like to call his/her own. It tells the story of a maternal ancestor of Pettis' who was given away in marriage at the age of sixteen, to a much older man. She travels from her native Rhode Island, down to Alabama, far from the sea. Pettis has captured the melancholy, the hope and the fear. He has also captured the tenderness he feels for the great, great, great grandmother he only knows through family lore. Here is her story.

The title tune, That Kind of Love, is moving, tender and true. Both the melody and the lyrics stop you in your tracks. For a moment you forget about the harsh realities of the outside world. Only a truly great song and an even greater songwriter can do that.

If records were novels, That Kind of Love would be the kind of absorbing read that makes it to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Instead we have an album full of story songs intelligently written, with beautiful melodies. Each tune reaches deep into the heart. The music of Pierce Pettis is timeless. That Kind of Love should be in every music lover's collection. It is simply that good.

Track List:
Nothing But the Wind (Mark Heard)
I Am Nothing
Veracruz (Robert Vega/Pierce Pettis)
Farewell
Lion's Eye
You Did That for Me (Jonell Mosser/Pierce Pettis)
That Kind of Love
Talk Memphis (Jesse Winchester)
To Dance (Greta Larson/Pierce Pettis)
Hallelujah Song
Pastures of Plenty (Woody Guthrie)
Something for the Pain

All songs written by Pierce Pettis except where noted.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 25, 2010: Islam and Politics: Toward a Humanistic Approach

Barnes and Nobel photo based on a Dr. Emad Shahin publication.

Scholar-Writer Emad Shahin - Courtesy of Notre Dame peace studies

This notice here not only intended for the few who may see and be able to attend this lecture - yet also for other comments here from people of all ages and backgrounds within Islam; as well as for comments and discussions with those of other persuasions. I am posting this intending that those of us with almost no awareness of these matters will gain insights needed in the growing international, inter-cultural and intra-religious dialogues of our time. (Including the small discussions beyond academia.)

A few basic discussion questions follow notice:

Islam and Politics: Toward a Humanistic Approach
Free and Open to the Public
Date: March 25, 2010
Time and location:
4:15 p.m., Hesburgh Center Auditorium, University of Notre Dame
Henry R. Luce Inaugural Lecture

Featuring:

Dr. Emad Shahin
Henry R. Luce Associate Professor of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding

...In his Henry R. Luce Inaugural lecture, Associate Professor, Dr. Emad Shahin calls for shifting the focus back to the society and the individual. He argues for reclaiming Islam’s humanistic and universal values that provide common ground with the rest of humanity and reaffirm the dignity, freedom, and independent reasoning of the individual.

Dr. Shahin is a comparativist who examines the foundation for democracy and political reform within Islamic law, philosophy, and political practices. He is the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2011), and he is co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2011) with John L. Esposito of Georgetown University.

Lecture Respondent
James Piscatori
Deputy Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies,
The Australian National University

Journalists and others:
Contact: Kathy Smarrella, (574) 631-9370, ksmarrel@nd.edu

Contact this Award-Winning Teacher and Scholar and learn more about his writings and work:

Kroc Peace Programs: here

Harvard visiting faculty: here

Find descripitions of Dr. Emad Shahin's book publications at Barnes and Nobel:
here

********************
Questions from blogger at One Heart For Peace:

1) How from this context and from possible research might you discover or already understand the role of a "comparativist"? (those from any background or age)

2) How might a comparativist help the curious casual visitor here, the interested beginner and the advanced novice to discuss a humanistic approach for democracy and political reform within Islamic law, philosophy, and political practice? (anyone)

3) A question for scholars, historians and other "experts" who may see this, both within and without Islam: in which ways might you agree or disagree with Lecturer and Scholar-writer, Emad Shahin from what little you may find regarding his position?

4) In your understanding, how might there be some differences in application or rejection of all/parts of Dr. Emad Shahin's approach? (Apply question as surmised from this limited post - or what you know of his writings; in relationship to various continents, regions and nations.)

Please comment below to any question suggested here; or combination of questions; or make any observation you wish related to this topic.

Romero's Resurrection: Thirty Years after his Assassination

Called St. Romero of the Americas

"If they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people. If the threats come to be fulfilled, from this moment I offer my blood to God for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador. Let my blood be a seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be reality." Archbishop Oscar Romero

Romero's resurrection
by John Dear SJ on Mar. 16, 2010 On the Road to Peace

FatherJohnDear dot org

"I have often been threatened with death," Archbishop Oscar Romero told a Guatemalan reporter two weeks before his assassination, 30 years ago on March 24, 1980. "If they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people. If the threats come to be fulfilled, from this moment I offer my blood to God for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador. Let my blood be a seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be reality."

Oscar Romero gave his life in the hope that peace and justice would one day become a reality. He lives on now in all those who carry on the nonviolent struggle for justice and peace. A beautiful new photo book and biography, Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints, by Scott Wright, shows us what a holy life he lived, and just how much he gave.

Romero spent his years up until 1977 as a typical quiet, pious, conservative cleric. Indeed, as bishop, he sided with the greedy landlords, important power brokers, and violent death squads. When he became archbishop, the Jesuits at the Univeristy of Central America in San Salvador were crushed. They immediately wrote him off -- all but one, Rutilio Grande, who reached out to Romero in the weeks after his installation and urged him to learn from the poor and speak on their behalf.

Grande himself was a giant for social justice. He organized the rural poor in Aguilares, and paid for it with his life on March 12, 1977. Standing over Grande's dead body that night, Romero was transformed into one of the world's great champions for the poor and oppressed. From then on, he stood with the poor, and denounced every act of violence, injustice and war. He became a fiery prophet of justice and peace, "the voice of the voiceless," and in Jon Sobrino's words, "a new Jeremiah." For me, Romero was a stunning sign of God's active presence in the world, a living symbol of the struggle for justice and what the church could be.

The day after Grande's death, Romero preached a sermon that stunned El Salvador. With the force of Martin Luther King, Jr., Romero defended Grande, demanded social and economic justice for the poor, and called everyone to take up Grande's prophetic work. To protest the government's participation in the murders, Romero closed the parish school for three days and cancelled all Masses in the country the following week, except for one special Mass in the cathedral.

That act alone would have put Romero in the annals of history. Imagine if every Mass in the United States but one had been canceled in protest after the death of Dr. King! Over a hundred thousand people attended the cathedral Mass that Sunday and heard Romero's bold call for justice, disarmament and peace. Grande's life and death bore good fruit in the heart and soul of Romero. Suddenly, the nation had a towering figure in its midst.

Within months, priests, catechists and church workers were regularly targeted and assassinated, so Romero spoke out even more forcefully. He even criticized the president, which no Salvadoran bishop had ever done before, and few in the hemisphere ever did. As the U.S.-backed government death squads attacked villages and churches and massacred campesinos, Romero's truth-telling became a veritable subversive campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience.

Soon Romero was greeted with applause everywhere he went. Thousands wrote to him regularly, telling their stories, thanking him for his prophetic voice and sharing their new found courage. His Sunday homilies were broadcast nationwide on live radio. The country came to a standstill as he spoke. Everyone listened, even the death squads.

As Romero's stature grew and his leadership for justice and peace deepened, his simple faith and pious devotion remained steady, and gave him a foundation from which he could take on the forces of death. To protest the government's silence in the face of recent massacres, he refused to attend the inauguration of the new Salvadoran president. The church, he announced, is "not to be measured by the government's support but rather by its own authenticity, its evangelical spirit of prayer, trust, sincerity and justice, its opposition to abuses." While he embodied the prophetic role of the church, he also modeled that spirit of prayer, trust and sincerity in his everyday life.

As the arrests, torture, disappearances and murders continued, Romero made two radical decisions that were unprecedented. First, on Easter Monday 1978, he opened the seminary in downtown San Salvador to welcome any and all displaced victims of violence. Hundreds of homeless, hungry and brutalized people moved into the seminary, transforming the quiet religious retreat into a crowded, noisy shelter, make-shift hospital, and playground. (I remember helping out there for a few days in 1985, and trying to imagine what a similar Gospel action would look like in the United States. We have never experienced such an action by our church leaders.)

Next, he halted construction on the new cathedral in San Salvador. When the war is over, the hungry are fed, and the children are educated, then we can resume building our cathedral, he said. Both historic moves stunned the other bishops, cast judgment on the Salvadoran government, and lifted the peoples' spirits.

Meanwhile, Romero's preaching reached biblical heights. "Like a voice crying in the desert," he said, "we must continually say No to violence and Yes to peace." His August 1978 pastoral letter outlined the evils of "institutional violence" and repression, and advocated "the power of nonviolence that today has conspicuous students and followers." He wrote: "The counsel of the Gospel to turn the other cheek to an unjust aggressor, far from being passive or cowardly, shows great moral force that leaves the aggressor morally overcome and humiliated. The Christian always prefers peace to war."

Romero lived in a sparse, three-room hermitage on the grounds of a hospital run by a community of nuns. During his busy days, he traveled the country, met with hundreds of poor Salvadorans, presided at Mass, and met with local community leaders. He assisted everyone he could. Later, he said that one of his primary duties as archbishop had become not just challenging the U.S.-backed government and its death squads, but claiming the dead bodies of their victims, including priests, nuns and catechists.

On one of my visits, a Salvadoran told me how Romero would drive out to city garbage dumps to look among the trash for the discarded, tortured victims of the death squads on behalf of grieving relatives. "These days I walk the roads gathering up dead friends, listening to widows and orphans, and trying to spread hope," he said.

In particular, Romero took time every day to speak with dozens of people threatened by government death squads. People lined up at his office to ask for help and protection, to complain about harassment and death threats, and to find some support and guidance in their time of grief and struggle. Romero received and listened to everyone. His compassionate ear fueled his prophetic voice.

By late 1979 and early 1980, his Sunday sermons issued his strongest calls yet for conversion to justice and an end to the massacres. "To those who bear in their hands or in their conscience, the burden of bloodshed, of outrages, of the victimized, innocent or guilty, but still victimized in their human dignity, I say: Be converted. You cannot find God on the path of torture. God is found on the way of justice, conversion and truth."

When President Jimmy Carter announced in February 1980 that he was going to increase U.S. military aid to El Salvador by millions of dollars a day, Romero was shocked. He wrote a long public letter to Carter, asking the United States to cancel all military aid. Carter ignored Romero's plea, and sent the aid. (Between 1980 and 1992, the U.S. spent $6 billion to kill 75,000 poor Salvadorans.)

In the weeks afterwards, the killings increased. So did the death threats against Romero. He made a private retreat, prepared for his death, discovered an even deeper peace, and mounted the pulpit. During his March 23, 1980, Sunday sermon, Romero let loose and issued one of the greatest appeals for peace and disarmament in church history:

"I would like to make an appeal in a special way to the men of the army, to the police, to those in the barracks. Brothers, you are part of our own people. You kill your own campesino brothers and sisters. And before an order to kill that a man may give, the law of God must prevail that says: Thou shalt not kill! No soldier is obliged to obey an order against the law of God. No one has to fulfill an immoral law. It is time to recover your consciences and to obey your consciences rather than the orders of sin. The church, defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, the dignity of the person, cannot remain silent before such abomination. We want the government to take seriously that reforms are worth nothing when they come about stained with so much blood. In the name of God, and in the name of this suffering people whose laments rise to heaven each day more tumultuously, I beg you, I ask you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!"

The next day, March 24, 1980, Romero presided over a small evening Mass in the chapel of the hospital compound where he lived, in honor of a beloved woman who had died a year before. He read from John's Gospel: "Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains only a grain. But if it dies, it bears much fruit "(12:23-26). Then he preached about the need to give our lives for others as Christ did. Just as he concluded, he was shot in the heart by a man standing in the back of the church. He fell behind the altar and collapsed at the foot of a huge crucifix depicting a bloody and bruised Christ. Romero's vestments, and the floor around him, were covered in blood. He gasped for breath and died in minutes.

I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news -- in my fraternity room at Duke University. I had just turned on the TV to watch the evening news. Only the month before, I had decided to apply to the Jesuits, to try to spend my life following Jesus. The shocking report of the death of this brave archbishop stunned me, inspired me and encouraged me to go through with my decision. Later that night, a peace vigil and prayer service was held on campus. My friend Paul Farmer, living next door to me, marks his conversion from that event. (Farmer would become a doctor and teacher at Harvard University and founder of Partners In Health, an international health and social justice organization.) Both of us were touched and changed by Romero's gift.

Romero's funeral became the largest demonstration in Salvadoran history, some say in the history of Latin America. The government was so afraid of the grieving people that they threw bombs into the crowd and opened fire, killing some 30 people and injuring hundreds more. The Mass of Resurrection was never completed and Romero was hastily buried.

Just recently, I learned from one of his biographies that Pope John Paul II had decided to remove Romero as Archbishop of San Salvador. In fact, he signed the removal order on the morning of March 24. In some ways, I'm grateful that Romero never lived to hear that dreadful news. His martyrdom became a spiritual explosion that continues to transform the church and the world.

Today, we remember Oscar Romero as a saint and a martyr, as a champion of the poor and prophet of justice. He calls us to live in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, to think with them, feel with them, walk with them, listen to them, serve them, stand with them, become one with them, and even die with them. In that preferential solidarity, he summons us to carry on his prophetic pursuit of justice and disarmament.

Thirty years later, as the wars and poverty continue, Romero's conversion, death and resurrection push us to a deeper conversion on behalf of the world's poor, especially to side with the latest victims of U.S. warmaking. His prophetic example challenges us to speak out as never before, and so to denounce Obama's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; our assassination training camps and execution chambers; our prisons and torture centers, such as Guantanamo; our corporate greed and unjust system; and our lack of funding for food, clothing, education, jobs, housing and true universal healthcare. Romero named war and poverty as sinful, idolatrous, and demonic; we need to do the same with the same faith, force and determination.

During one of the first anniversaries of Romero's death, Salvadorans distributed posters with a black and white photo of Romero and a caption that read, "We Want More Bishops Like Romero!" I sure wish we had more bishops and priests like Romero today. We certainly have one -- our own hero, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. But I think Romero sets a new standard, which should be heralded and taught around the world. Not only should he be canonized and widely honored, he should be studied and taught as the model priest and bishop, the model Catholic and Christian.

I know we cannot wait for that day to come, for the conversion of others. We need to be converted ourselves and carry on Romero's prophetic work. That's the best way to remember St. Oscar Romero -- to do what we can, serve those in need, advocate for justice, speak up for peace, and follow the nonviolent Jesus. In that way, Romero rises in us, Christ rises in us, God's reign is welcomed and our resurrection is assured.

******

John's booklet, "Oscar Romero and the Nonviolent Struggle for Justice" is available from www.paxchristiusa.org. To contribute to Catholic Relief Services' "Fr. John Dear Haiti Fund," go to: http://donate.crs.org/goto/fatherjohn. John will lead a retreat, "The Gospel According to John," April 30-May 2, near Stroudsburg, PA, see www.kirkridge.org; and"Gandhi, King, Day and Merton," at Ghost Ranch Center, Abiquiu, NM, see www.ghostranch.org. John's latest book, Daniel Berrigan: Essential Writings (Orbis), along with other recent books, A Persistent Peace and Put Down Your Sword, as well as Patricia Normile's John Dear On Peace, are available from www.amazon.com. For further information, or to schedule a lecture, go to here


A little more bio from Wikipedia:

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (August 15, 1917 – March 24, 1980) was a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, succeeding Luis Chávez. He was assassinated on March 24, 1980.

As an archbishop who witnessed ongoing violations of human rights, Romero initiated and gave his status to a group which spoke out on behalf of the poor and the victims of the Salvadoran civil war.

In 1980, as he finished giving his homily during Mass, Romero was assassinated by a group headed by former major Roberto D'Aubuisson. This provoked an international outcry for reform in El Salvador. After his assassination, Romero was succeeded by Monsignor Arturo Rivera. In 1997, a cause for beatification and canonization into sainthood was opened for Romero, and Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the title of Servant of God. The process continues. He is considered by some the unofficial patron saint of the Americas and El Salvador and is often referred to as "San Romero" by Catholics in El Salvador. Outside of Catholicism, Romero is honored by other religious denominations of Christendom, including the Church of England through the Calendar in Common Worship. He is one of the ten 20th century martyrs who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey in London. In 2008, he was chosen as one of the 15 Champions of World Democracy by the Europe-based magazine "A Different View".

Find another article at nomorecrusades dot blogspot dot com

Come back: Quotes, Prayers and more to be added soon...

Monday, March 22, 2010

World WATER Day and a Rilke Poem

I found this poetic vision at a site for the Rilke poem which I posted below here Notice the SUNlight. I end this post with a photo that also offers light.

(By the way, looking for other items related to human rights and health? Scroll right below...)



The Baglihar hydroelectric dam on the river Chenab from Indian-controlled Kashmir into Pakistan

The Chenab, fed with glacial meltwaters from the Himalayas, has for centuries supplied essential irrigation for the area. However, last summer farmers began to notice the levels of both the river and groundwater begin to fall significantly.

The crisis in the agricultural heartland of Pakistan apparently relates (at least in large part) to the Chenab, one of a series of waterways that bisect the Punjab, which means 'five rivers'.

Crucial, coveted and increasingly scarce, water has been growing scarce for farmers in Pakistan's breadbasket. How might peacemakers in both India and Pakistan and perhaps "Water Activists" make a peaceful change for the better? Local farmers (especially in a breadbasket) SORELY need and deserve water. What would we want done for us if we were in their shoes? What is happening with one of the most important rivers in the world and in the subcontinent?

A group of more than 20 different UN bodies and many other groups have been warning that the world may be close to its first water war. They have been trying to inform the world that water is tied to the crises of climate change, energy and food supplies and prices, and troubled financial markets. We have been and ARE being solemnly warned that unless the links with water are addressed in all these other major issues and water crises around the world are resolved, other crises may intensify. Local water crises ARE worsening already and beginning to converge
into a global water crisis. Let's all do our part to prevent this crisis from leading to even more political insecurity and conflict.

I for one am solemnly pledging to add WATER to one of my concerns, prayers and actions for peace. What can we do around home? What might we do to get the word out and to support those who need water (and CLEAN water as well) - both locally and globally?

Be sure to see these amazing, beautiful and some heart-wrenching photos (the one with the child drinking from outdoor faucet looking SO thirsday reminded me to save the water from an indoor drip until I could get it fixed) here

Now, some of the readers to this humble little attempt at a peaceblog may notice that I'm slowly trying to nurture who I am as well as what I seek to do. Who I am at heart is a Poet and Contemplative as well as a free-lance writer and peace organizer/activist. So more and more I want to include the poetic, contemplative and artistic aspects I most honor. I for one ALSO need those elements to "get the job done" more effectively and more joyfully over time.

So, here on WORLD WATER DAY I offer some SPIRITUAL WATER to nurture our deepest center. I offer Rilke to GIVE us courage in our efforts for peace, concern for basic needs for the least powerless and for the sustainability of the world's wounded resources. This poem was sent out by an amazing friend - a Pakistani woman who works daily and untiringly for the voiceless and powerless. She is my Heroine! and Rilke has always been among my favorite poets:

(The following also found in Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousnes.

Give me your hand.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

Final Note: I wrote a poem a long time ago called "Water Against Rocks" which is STILL today an important metaphor for me about how peace and water work with rocks and walls and people over time and how important not to give up...nor to think that we can function without process, art, nature or help from "other" Divine resources.
Today can be our best first step toward peace and for water improvement for generations. Let's multiply who we ARE and what we DO by millions. Then let's multiply that by future generations to see how effective we really are with LOVE!

Photograph by Scottyboipdx Weber

The sun sets over Lower Lewis River Falls in Washington State’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest in the USA. "The falls mark a wild and scenic stretch of the river, but other sections of the Lewis, which drains the state’s mighty Cascade Range, boast large dam and reservoir systems.Hydroelectric plants produce power, but they’ve changed the river’s natural character—to the special detriment of migratory fish like salmon. Utilities have agreed to begin trucking fish around the dams along the Lewis River, moving them from below these looming barriers to prime habitat upstream, above the dams." (credit to National Geographic and Huff Post)

See more photos and videos at here And below...

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

North Carolina USA Forum ON TORTURE/RENDITIONS (UPDATES)


(IF you are looking for the US health care items, plz go one post below or you may want items on nomorecrusades dot blogspot dot com )

The “Weaving a Net of Accountability” conference on North Carolina ’s role in US torture and rendition is less than three weeks away! For more information, Plz GO to accountabilityfortorturenc dot org

It’s made the news in Ireland, where our invited speaker from ShannonWatch, Dr. Edward Horgan, still waits to learn if he will get a new visa in time to fly to North Carolina

This excellent blog post on FireDogLake helped: here

INTERFAITH SERVICE: Please encourage people to attend the Interfaith Service on Torture that precedes Scott Horton’s talk on April 8. We will soon have a flier for the service. It is being organized by Rabbi Raachel Jurovics of Cary and Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University, and will be an inspiring event. The service is 5:30 to 6:15 pm at Goodson Chapel, Duke Divinity School. Directions to Duke Divinity School : here . Map and parking: here

HORTON TALK STARTS at 7:30 pm on April 8 in Love Auditorium, which is in the Levine Science Research Center at Duke University . It’s walking distance from the Interfaith Service, and there will be simple food for purchase in-between. Map: here

RSVP: Are you planning to attend the conference on April 9, from 9 am to 5 pm, at the John Hope Franklin Center ? It’s free, but we need a count for breakfast and lunch. Please RSVP to contact@ncstoptorturenow.net .

VIDEO: The 6-minute conference video is a great way to learn some basics and to get the word out! here

ALSO find plenty of related items by going to nomorecrusades dot blogspot.com

RESULTS/PETITIONS: US HEALTH CARE VOTE: Updates & Options Now

Pardon this strictly US posting (however, what can we learn from you and your nation and what can you learn from our struggle on health care? Looking for more universal items? Plz scroll below or above)


Expect a few more UPDATES so keep coming back...

US Representatives Final Results: here

Interesting Interactive on the Health Care Reform Vote which looks rather rich vs poor in some ways, eh? here

Not over yet in terms of the "fight" for better or the fight again for the worst: here

After the STILL Sick Health Care Reform Bill finally passed (MINUS Public Option)and before more fine-tuning or debates...I will be sending a few items of things we can do in the US right away while the "fire's still hot" to increase the help to those most powerless...

1) UPDATE from Rep. Alan Grayson on Medicare:

In 1968, a ten-year-old boy had to go to the hospital four times a week for treatment. Without that treatment, he had trouble breathing, and he felt like he was suffocating. Because he was suffocating.

His health care was covered by his parents' health insurance. But then they lost their jobs. They were worried about how they would pay the rent. He was worried about whether he would live or die.

How can we let a 10-year-old think about such things? Whether you are Democratic or Republican, left-wing or right-wing, liberal or libertarian, you know in your heart that that's wrong. And it's what you know in your heart, your empathy, that makes you human.

I was that 10-year-old boy. And I haven't forgotten.

That's why I support universal, comprehensive and affordable health care for all American. For you. For me. And for sure, for my five young children, and yours, too. The supposed "sins" of joblessness, homelessness and poverty, those "sins" of the parents, should never descend on the children.

I'm fighting for a decent life for all, especially our children. That's why I voted yes on today's health care reform bill. It's an historic first step. Historic.

But we're not done. The framework for a comprehensive health care system is in place. Now we must finish the job.

Our Medicare You Can Buy Into Act now has over 80 cosponsors in the House and over 40,000 citizen cosponsors at WeWantMedicare.com. It's a simple bill, to let you and me buy into Medicare. You want it, you buy it, you got it.

www.wewantmedicare.com here

Let's do it,

Rep. Alan Grayson

EARLIER and still appropos information on this IMPORTANT PETITION: Congressman Alan Grayson is calling on Speaker Pelosi to allow for a vote on his bill to allow for Americans to buy into Medicare. Medicare is efficient, effective health care and every American should have the choice of buying into it! here Find plenty more on this petition, which is now up to 40,085 plus as of Sunday pm ET. What could hurt to sign in on this one even as THE VOTE to decide our US health care reform system or no is right now in process of happening?

Let's also continue to support Grayson along with Elaine Marshall at least on Health Care reform?

2) Plz answer this petition from ELAINE MARSHALL and encourage her run for SENATE: here

There may be more items at TheHill.com regarding those who voted which way and why?Fax: (202) 225-1765

(Perhaps even AFTER VOTE - whatever the vote is), we may want to keep talking with those who were thoughtful enough to be undecided or to not vote for reasons of integrity (when abortion was thought to be paid for by federal gov. may be the only possibly unselfish reason I personally have seen yet maybe I've missed something?)

We need to keep pushing anyone with ears to hear to seek MUCH BETTER Options down the road. Personally, although the issue is MUCH more complicated than both "sides" often show it to be. I am glad for the modification on abortion - and we need to find some way to respect both those who don't want to be careless with life and death issues. (such as those who ultimately believe in "consistent life" ethic of whom I'm one on the ideal level). AT same time we need to respect that PREVENTION is in dire need and that there are some occasions where it's NOT criminal nor unethical to save a mother's life nor for someone raped to choose to abort and others to choose not. More on these multiple factors on abortion at a different time.

The following is from earlier posting and I will leave this for now and exchange for more current items later.

How can there be One Heart for Peace without Health Fairness?

YES! Magazine - Health Care for All and why Canadians are healthier
Retrieved March 15, 2010, from YES! Magazine Web site: here Powerful ideas, practical actions — YES! Magazine -
Universal Health Care IS Possible in the U.S. (notice how so many difficult issues be presented with such positive energy and why older articles are still relevant!)

One of my favorite Journalists: Scott Galindez (of TruthOut) on why there are more votes for Public Health Care Option then will and how we might be able to turn the table with readersupportednews dot org here

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty) (hey, readers, don't you love Reich's portrait? Connie)

Health Care 2010 and 1994 and the Political Lessons of History By Robert Reich, Robert Reichs Blog here By Robert Reich

Is DENNIS Holding Out? What happened on Air Force One?
I often go to Dennis Kucinich's website or other articles by him because more than perhaps any other congress person he has done his congressional homework with integrity and stood alone plenty of times without caving in (the marks of a great leader - future president?)...so we'll see what happens here...
Obama Brings Dennis Kucinich On Air Force One for Health Care Speech (Is Dennis the only progressive holdout?) here and see article at Huff Post: here

(My secret hope is that while riding in that Air Force One plane Dennis was able to speak strong words of deep effectiveness to Obama also on Torture, Renditions, War and the Rule of Law. Who else might?)

Finally, keep watching Common Dreams dot org, The Kucinich blog and see Steve Livingston on FACEBOOK and at The Global Report for his astute comments and anaylsis with reference:

All but the top was Published on Monday, March 15, 2010 by The Hill: Move on Student Loans Could Win Healthcare Votes, House Dems Say By Jeffrey Young

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

(NOTE on 7th year) HIDDEN BEAUTY: The Arches Cluster - Densest in Our Galaxy

The 7th YEAR - PEACE Efforts urging end to Occupations - See Various items now on these efforts and of efforts to end torture/rendition & provocations of war - plz go to nomorecrusades dot blogspot dot com/ Find other postings related to intercultural conversations and awareness here at one heart for peace...
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Hidden behind a veil of interstellar dust is the densest cluster of stars in our galaxy, the Arches Cluster. Within a span of two light-years, there are some 2,000 stars, including as many as 150 stars that are close to the maximum theoretical limit of mass, beyond which a star will quickly explode into a supernova, then collapse into a Black Hole.

The Arches Cluster cannot be seen with a normal optical telescope, because of the vast clouds of dust obscuring the view, but with infrared sensors, enough information has been collected by Hubble and other, ground-based telescopes to create this artistic depiction of the cluster. It is located a mere 100 light-years from the center of our galaxy, represented by the red blotch at lower right.

The Arches Cluster is so named for the glowing arch of hydrogen filaments at upper left in this rendering, illuminated by the intense energy being generated by the massive stars. Each of the 150 largest stars emits several million times as much energy as our sun, bringing the temperature in the cluster region to a very uncomfortable 63 Million degrees.

The above was found courtesy of Hubble and hubble photo of the week as well as Stereo Man for posting these! here

Gratitude also to THAT DIVINE SOURCE which through such beauty and marvel speaks to something containing our ONE heart...

I also want to introduce another post about such inter-connections from a friend - I believe he took this photo:

Credit to AVD

THE UNDIVIDED WHOLENESS OF ALL THINGS
here BE SURE to see the delicious conversation going on in COMMENTS underneath that lovely post!




In case you're looking for my Human Rights and Inter-Cultural items, plz scroll below or go to nomorecrusades dot blogspot dot com. 'Just assuming my viewers here would like a nice change. :) Thanx for coming by!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SEVEN YEARS AGO, Rachel Corrie was crushed in Rafah, Gaza

( NOTE: For those who are looking for more on Rachel Corrie and Israel/Palestine OR RENDITION scroll JUST below and/or go to nomorecrusades dot blogspot dot com )


HERE are some simple actions...they won't take much of your time...you can do these internationally...

Seven years ago today, 23 year-old Rachel Corrie of Olympia, Washington was crushed to death by a Caterpillar D-9R bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier. Rachel was part of an International Solidarity Movement group trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian pharmacist's home in Rafah, Gaza.

Seven years later, Rachel's memory is still vibrant and her family is still fighting for answers. Rachel's parents and sister are currently in Israel participating in a civil case against the state of Israel for intentional and unlawful killing and gross negligence in Rachel's death. In addition to seeking accountability for Rachel's death through the Israeli court system, the Corrie family has requested that we support Rachel's vision of freedom for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip by participating in a NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY to the White House. (OF COURSE FROM ANYWHERE AND ANYTIME IS GREAT BUT SOONER THE BETTER)

Please honor the request of this bereaved family and do the following:

§ Call the White House at 202-456-1111 AND/OR fill out this QUICK petition: here

§ Urge Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell to visit Gaza and demand that the United States break the blockade of Gaza by providing immediate humanitarian aid and building materials.

Congressman Brian Baird, whose constituents include Rachel's parents Cindy and Craig, has already sent a letter to President Obama requesting that the United States break the siege of Gaza. READ his letter for talking points and awareness
here Brian Baird on Gaza (Feb 19 2010)

In addition to participating in our national call-in day, you may be able to attend a Rachel Corrie memorial event in your area. Click here to find out what's happening in your neighborhood:

Another way to show your support for the Corrie family as they move forward with their civil case in Israel is to sign up for updates from the trial. GO here

The Corries and their supporters will be posting reports from the courtroom, media mentions of the case, and other updates on the Rachel Corrie Foundation website. Click to view the trial updates page on the Rachel Corrie Foundation website. Monitor coverage of the trial in your local media and post favorable comments about trial coverage for on-line media stories and write a letter-to-the-editor if your newspaper includes trial coverage. For tips on how to write a letter-to-the-editor and various other information click here

From the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation endtheoccupation dot org or CLICK here

For various YOU Tube videos on Rachel Corrie GO to YOU TUBE and put RAchel Corrie Catepillar in Search or Try here

Monday, March 15, 2010

Caterkiller & Israel: The Heat is On! (ACT for the Children!)

STOP the Caterkiller - Please sign this petition: here Israel destroyed over 4000 homes in Gaza with D9 bulldozers during "Operation Cast Lead."



An armored Caterpillar D9R Bulldozer used by the IDF.

Companies Supporting the Israeli Occupation: here



This was posted March 16, 2010 having been Updated...

By Ken Dilanian, USA TODAY WASHINGTON — Israel's announcement last week, during a visit by Vice President Biden, that it would build new homes for Jews in ...
USA Today leading to a deep chasm. Biden gets Snubbed in Israel: Analysts see ongoing tension with Israel over settlement ‎ - March 16, 2010 EST USA Today dot com here

Biden-Israel Blowup Backstory hints at interesting turn of events: Is the "house of cards" getting ready to tumble? Talking Points Memo dot com here

Rachel's Parents in Haifa - open dot salon dot com blog

Related and NEW - here

State accused of whitewash as Rachel Corrie suit begins - Haaretz dot com here

See this well-done and SHOCKING video on Catepillar Bull-dozers - modified to be especially destructive and to UPROOT olive trees, DESTROY Palestinian homes, BUILD the SETTLEMENT houses for Jewish/Israelis (contributing to the current fiasco between Biden and Israel) and to Kill people who "get in their way"...such as Rachel Corrie here

Home and Livelihoods Gone in an Instant /Rachel Corrie Background

here

here

UPDATING: Public HEALTH Care OPTIONS (US & Canada)




IF you are in NORTH CAROLINA...Plz answer this petition from ELAINE MARSHALL and encourage her run for SENATE: here

Dennis Kucinich: One Mystery Vote (no longer a mystery - more on this soon!)

IF you want to call and leave message for the following undecided legislator (as of Saturday) about pushing for the CLOSEST vote they can get to an eventual Public Option): Their staff should be in their offices in DC because of the vote tomorrow. Below is a list from TheHill.com:
Undecided/Unclear (31)
Brian Baird (Wash.)
Phone: (202) 225-3536 · Fax: (202) 225-3478

Melissa Bean (Ill.)
Phone: 202-225-3711
Fax: 202-225-7830

Shelley Berkley (Nev.)
Phone: 202-225-3711
Fax: 202-225-7830

Sanford Bishop Jr. (Ga.)
Phone: (202) 225-3631 · Fax: (202) 225-2203

Bruce Braley (Iowa)
(202) 225-2911

Michael Capuano (MA)
Phone
(202) 225-5111
Fax
(202) 225-9322

Dennis Cardoza (Calif.)
(202) 225-6131
Fax: 225-0819
800-356-6424

Chris Carney (Pa.)
Ph: (202) 225-3731
Fx: (202) 225-9594

Jim Cooper (Tenn.)
Phone: 202-225-4311 · Fax: 202-226-1035

Henry Cuellar (Texas)
phone: 202-225-1640
fax: 202-225-1641
toll-free: 1 (877) 780-0028

Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.)
Phone: (202) 225-5406
Fax: (202) 225-3103

Lincoln Davis (Tenn.)
Phone: 202.225.6831 Fax: 202.226.5172

Bill Foster (Ill.)
Phone: (202) 225-2976
Toll Free: (866) 777-6670
Fax: (202) 225-0697

Marcia Fudge (Ohio)
Phone: (202) 225-7032
Fax: (202) 225-1339

John Hall (N.Y.)
Phone: (202) 225-5441 · Fax: (202) 225-3289

Paul Kanjorski (Pa.)
ph: 202-225-6511
fx: 202-225-0764

Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
Tel: (202) 225-4146
Fax: (202) 225-7711

Ron Kind (Wis.)
PH: (202) 225-5506
FX: (202) 225-5739

Ron Klein (Fla.)
Phone: (202) 225-3026
Fax: (202) 225-8398

Jim Matheson (Utah)
Phone - (202) 225-3011
Fax - (202) 225-5638

Alan Mollohan (W.Va.)
ph: (202) 225-4172
fax: (202) 225-7564

Glenn Nye (Va.)
Phone: (202) 225-4215
Fax: (202) 225-4218

Solomon Ortiz (Texas)
(202) 225-7742 tel
(202) 226-1134 fax

Earl Pomeroy (N.D.)
T (202) 225-2611 | F (202) 226-0893

Mike Quigley (Ill.)
Phone: (202) 225-4061 · Fax: (202) 225-5603

Ciro Rodriguez (Texas)
P: (202) 225-4511
F: (202) 225-2237

Bobby Rush (Ill.)
Phone: 202-225-4372
Fax: 202-226-0333

Loretta Sanchez (Calif.)
Phone: (202) 225-2965 · Fax: (202) 225-5859

Kurt Schrader (Ore.)
Phone: (202) 225-5711
Fax: (202) 225-5699

Zack Space (Ohio)
Phone: (202) 225-6265
Fax: (202) 225-3394

John Tanner (Tenn.)
Phone: (202) 225-4714
Fax: (202) 225-1765

(Perhaps even AFTER VOTE - whatever the vote is), we may want to keep talking with the above legislators to encourage BETTER Options down the road)

How can there be One Heart for Peace without Health Fairness?

YES! Magazine - Health Care for All and why Canadians are healthier
Retrieved March 15, 2010, from YES! Magazine Web site: here Powerful ideas, practical actions — YES! Magazine -
Universal Health Care IS Possible in the U.S. (notice how so many difficult issues be presented with such positive energy and why older articles are still relevant!)

One of my favorite Journalists: Scott Galindez (of TruthOut) on why there are more votes for Public Health Care Option then will and how we might be able to turn the table with readersupportednews dot org here

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty) (hey, readers, don't you love Reich's portrait? Connie)

Health Care 2010 and 1994 and the Political Lessons of History By Robert Reich, Robert Reichs Blog here By Robert Reich

Is DENNIS Holding Out? What happened on Air Force One?
I often go to Dennis Kucinich's website or other articles by him because more than perhaps any other congress person he has done his congressional homework with integrity and stood alone plenty of times without caving in (the marks of a great leader - future president?)...so we'll see what happens here...
Obama Brings Dennis Kucinich On Air Force One for Health Care Speech (Is Dennis the only progressive holdout?) here and see article at Huff Post: here

(My secret hope is that while riding in that Air Force One plane Dennis was able to speak strong words of deep effectiveness to Obama also on Torture, Renditions, War and the Rule of Law. Who else might?)

Finally, keep watching Common Dreams dot org, The Kucinich blog and see Steve Livingston on FACEBOOK and at The Global Report for his astute comments and anaylsis with reference:

Published on Monday, March 15, 2010 by The Hill: Move on Student Loans Could Win Healthcare Votes, House Dems Say By Jeffrey Young