Retired,Live in the woods, .54 miles off the road, love to work outside and feed the deer and birds in the winter time. I volunteer with meditation groups in four prisons near my home with the Milwaukee Zen Ctr Program that goes to 12 prisons. Also very active in Poetry community, Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee, Naropa SWP in Boulder, CO and other readings. There are four Buddha surrounding my home, I also take care of their well being and all living beings....
Israeli soldiers assault unarmed Palestinian boy in Hebron Share Yesterday at 5:28pm By Maureen Jack
At 4.30 pm on Monday 13 July 2009 two Israeli soldiers attacked a 16-year-old Palestinian boy 150 yards from his home in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron.
The attack happened as the boy was walking to his home carrying heavy electrical cables necessary for repair work on his family’s house. Two workers who were with him left to raise the alarm.
The boy reported that one particular soldier has often held him for ID checks lasting at least one hour. This soldier and another took his ID and told him to sit on the ground. Initially they made inappropriate sexual comments about the boy and his mother. They then assaulted the boy, kicking his leg, and hitting him on the neck and back both with their hands and with their rifle butts. The boy tried to telephone his father but a soldier grabbed the phone from him and hit him with it after removing the battery and SIM card.
The boy’s mother and cousin arrived and he tried to explain to them what had happened. Soldiers said to the boy, ‘Shut up or I will f*** you,’ and threatened to rape the women.
The soldiers took the boy behind the family’s house, where there were some settlers. The soldiers cuffed the boy’s hands behind his back, blindfolded him and again forced him to sit. One or more people kicked and hit him again, but because of the blindfold he could not see whether his attackers were soldiers or settlers.
At this point his father and friends arrived with videocameras and filmed what was happening. Hearing raised voices, an Israeli army officer arrived. The officer observed that Palestinians were filming the incident and removed the blindfold and handcuffs and released the boy. He gripped the boy by the jaw and warned him, ‘If you say anything to internationals or the police, I will kill you.’
That evening the boy received hospital treatment for his injuries. The next day his father spent four and a half hours at the police station making a complaint, in support of which he passed over video of the incident. Two days later the boy was still limping, clearly in continuing discomfort.
The boy is an able high school pupil who hopes to attend university in the United States. He volunteers for the Israeli human rights group Btselem as a cameraman and has undertaken nonviolence training. Of the incident he remarked, ‘The soldiers tried to make me angry and violent. But I was so quiet. I was so strong.’ The encounter has not affected his commitment to nonviolence. 'If we stay in the way of peace I think we will soon have our freedom,' he said.
Christian Peacemaker Teams is an ecumenical initiative to support violence reduction efforts around the world. To learn more about CPT's peacemaking work, visit our website http://www.cpt.org/
Photos of our projects are at http://www.cpt.org/gallery
A map of the center of Hebron is at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/fullMaps_Sa.nsf/0/5618737E38C0B3DE8525708C004BA584/$File/ocha_OTS_hebron_oPt010805.pdf?OpenElement
The same map is the last page of this report on closures in Hebron: http://www.humanitarianinfo.org/opt/docs/UN/OCHA/ochaHU0705_En.pdf Written 15 hours ago · Report Note
I thought this was a wonderful poem, I know, MJ was a complex person, but his art was something....thanks Maya! Peace, sleep in peace Michael...
Maya Angelou's Elegy For Michael Jackson
Among the many notable moments at Michael Jackson's funeral was Queen Latifah's reading of the Maya Angelou poem "We Had Him." The popular poetess wrote the poem specifically for the occasion (no easy task) and just that morning asked Latifah to perform it, which she did with spirit and elegance.
"We Had Him" is typical of Angelou's work: inspirational and accessible, confident, and deriving power from its rhythms and repetition. You probably know her popular poem "Phenomenal Woman," and might remember another occasional poem she wrote, "On the Pulse of the Morning," which she read at Bill Clinton's first inauguration.
Here's a transcript of "We Had Him" (I took a best guess at the line breaks--Angelou may have intended them to fall elsewhere):
Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.
Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon. In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.
Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone. Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.
He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance. Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that. He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his. We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us. And we laughed and stomped our feet for him. We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.
Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square. In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England
We are missing Michael. But we do know we had him, and we are the world.
The audience responded well to the poem. What do you think?
I find more poignancy in this quote from her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."
Michael didn't seem to have a lot of answers, but for all of his faults, he sang a powerful song.
Following is the prepared text of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, as released by the White House.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I also want to thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for that kind introduction.
In recent weeks, I have had the privilege and pleasure of meeting eighty-nine gracious Senators, including all the members of this Committee. I thank you for the time you have spent with me. Our meetings have given me an illuminating tour of the fifty states and invaluable insights into the American people.
There are countless family members, friends, mentors, colleagues, and clerks who have done so much over the years to make this day possible. I am deeply appreciative for their love and support. I want to make one special note of thanks to my mom. I am here today because of her aspirations and sacrifices for both my brother Juan and me. Mom, I love that we are sharing this together. I am very grateful to the President and humbled to be here today as a nominee to the United States Supreme Court.
The progression of my life has been uniquely American. My parents left Puerto Rico during World War II. I grew up in modest circumstances in a Bronx housing project. My father, a factory worker with a third grade education, passed away when I was nine years old.
On her own, my mother raised my brother and me. She taught us that the key to success in America is a good education. And she set the example, studying alongside my brother and me at our kitchen table so that she could become a registered nurse. We worked hard. I poured myself into my studies at Cardinal Spellman High School, earning scholarships to Princeton University and then Yale Law School, while my brother went to medical school. Our achievements are due to the values that we learned as children, and they have continued to guide my life’s endeavors. I try to pass on this legacy by serving as a mentor and friend to my many godchildren and students of all backgrounds.
Over the past three decades, I have seen our judicial system from a number of different perspectives – as a big-city prosecutor, a corporate litigator, a trial judge and an appellate judge. My first job after law school was as an assistant District Attorney in New York. There, I saw children exploited and abused. I felt the suffering of victims’ families torn apart by a loved one’s needless death. And I learned the tough job law enforcement has protecting the public safety. In my next legal job, I focused on commercial, instead of criminal, matters. I litigated issues on behalf of national and international businesses and advised them on matters ranging from contracts to trademarks.
My career as an advocate ended—and my career as a judge began—when I was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. As a trial judge, I decided over four hundred and fifty cases, and presided over dozens of trials, with perhaps my best known case involving the Major League Baseball strike in 1995.
After six extraordinary years on the district court, I was appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On that Court, I have enjoyed the benefit of sharing ideas and perspectives with wonderful colleagues as we have worked together to resolve the issues before us. I have now served as an appellate judge for over a decade, deciding a wide range of Constitutional, statutory, and other legal questions.
Throughout my seventeen years on the bench, I have witnessed the human consequences of my decisions. Those decisions have been made not to serve the interests of any one litigant, but always to serve the larger interest of impartial justice.
In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law – it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress’s intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand.
The process of judging is enhanced when the arguments and concerns of the parties to the litigation are understood and acknowledged. That is why I generally structure my opinions by setting out what the law requires and then by explaining why a contrary position, sympathetic or not, is accepted or rejected. That is how I seek to strengthen both the rule of law and faith in the impartiality of our justice system. My personal and professional experiences help me listen and understand, with the law always commanding the result in every case.
Since President Obama announced my nomination in May, I have received letters from people all over this country. Many tell a unique story of hope in spite of struggles. Each letter has deeply touched me. Each reflects a belief in the dream that led my parents to come to New York all those years ago. It is our Constitution that makes that Dream possible, and I now seek the honor of upholding the Constitution as a Justice on the Supreme Court.
I look forward in the next few days to answering your questions, to having the American people learn more about me, and to being part of a process that reflects the greatness of our Constitution and of our nation. Thank you.
Soon, Air Force One will touch down in Accra, Ghana; Africans will be welcoming the first African-American president. Press coverage on the continent is placing equal weight on both sides of the hyphen.
And we thought it was big when President Kennedy visited Ireland in 1963. (It was big, though I was small. Where I come from, J.F.K. is remembered as a local boy made very, very good.)
But President Obama’s African-ness is only part (a thrilling part) of the story today. Cable news may think it’s all about him — but my guess is that he doesn’t. If he was in it for a sentimental journey he’d have gone to Kenya, chased down some of those dreams from his father.
He’s made a different choice, and he’s been quite straight about the reason. Despite Kenya’s unspeakable beauty and its recent victories against the anopheles mosquito, the country’s still-stinging corruption and political unrest confirms too many of the headlines we in the West read about Africa. Ghana confounds them.
Not defiantly or angrily, but in that cool, offhand Ghanaian way. This is a country whose music of choice is jazz; a country that long ago invented a genre called highlife that spread across Africa — and, more recently, hiplife, which is what happens when hip-hop meets reggaetón meets rhythm and blues meets Ghanaian melody, if you’re keeping track (and you really should be). On a visit there, I met the minister for tourism and pitched the idea of marketing the country as the “birthplace of cool.” (Just think, the music of Miles, the conversation of Kofi.) He demurred ... too cool, I guess.
Quietly, modestly — but also heroically — Ghana’s going about the business of rebranding a continent. New face of America, meet the new face of Africa.
Ghana is well governed. After a close election, power changed hands peacefully. Civil society is becoming stronger. The country’s economy was growing at a good clip even before oil was found off the coast a few years ago. Though it has been a little battered by the global economic meltdown, Ghana appears to be weathering the storm. I don’t normally give investment tips — sound the alarm at Times headquarters — but here is one: buy Ghanaian.
So it’s not a coincidence that Ghana’s making steady progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Right now it’s one of the few African nations that has a shot at getting there by 2015.
No one’s leaked me a copy of the president’s speech in Ghana, but it’s pretty clear he’s going to focus not on the problems that afflict the continent but on the opportunities of an Africa on the rise. If that’s what he does, the biggest cheers will come from members of the growing African middle class, who are fed up with being patronized and hearing the song of their majestic continent in a minor key.
I’ve played that tune. I’ve talked of tragedy, of emergency. And it is an emergency when almost 2,000 children in Africa a day die of a mosquito bite; this kind of hemorrhaging of human capital is not something we can accept as normal.
But as the example of Ghana makes clear, that’s only one chord. Amid poverty and disease are opportunities for investment and growth — investment and growth that won’t eliminate overnight the need for assistance, much as we and Africans yearn for it to end, but that in time can build roads, schools and power grids and propel commerce to the point where aid is replaced by trade pacts, business deals and home-grown income.
President Obama can hasten that day. He knows change won’t come easily. Corruption stalks Africa’s reformers. “If you fight corruption, it fights you back,” a former Nigerian anti-corruption official has said.
From his bully pulpit, the president can take aim at the bullies. Without accountability — no opportunity. If that’s not a maxim, it ought to be. It’s a truism, anyway. The work of the American government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation is founded on that principle, even if it doesn’t put it that bluntly. United States aid dollars increasingly go to countries that use them and don’t blow them. Ghana is one. There’s a growing number of others.
That’s thanks to Africans like John Githongo, the former anticorruption chief of Kenya — a hero of mine who is pioneering a new brand of bottom-up accountability. Efforts like his, which are taking place across the continent, deserve more support. The presidential kind. Then there’s Nigeria’s moral and financial fist — Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a managing director of the World Bank and the country’s former finance minister — who is on a quest to help African countries recover stolen assets looted by corrupt officials. And the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which is helping countries like Ghana clean up the oil, gas and mining business, to make sure that profits don’t wind up in the hands of kleptocrats.
Presidential attention would be a shot in the arm for these efforts — an infusion of moral and political amino acids that, by the way, will make aid dollars go further. That should be welcome news to the Group of 8 leaders gathered in Italy to whom Mr. Obama bids a Hawaii-via-Chicago-inflected “arrivederci,” as he leaves for Africa.
This week’s summit meeting looks as if it will yield some welcome new G-8 promises on agriculture. (So far, new money: America. Old money: everyone else.) This is the good news that President Obama will bring from Europe to Ghana.
The not-so-good news — that countries like Italy and France are not meeting their Africa commitments — makes the president’s visit all the more essential. The United States is one of the countries on track to keep its promises, and Mr. Obama has already said he’ll more than build on the impressive Bush legacy.
President Obama plans to return to Africa for the World Cup in 2010. Between now and then he’s got the chance to lead others in building — from the bottom up — on the successes of recent efforts within Africa and to learn from the failures. There’s been plenty of both. We’ve witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly in our fraught relationship with this dynamic continent.
The president can facilitate the new, the fresh and the different. Many existing promises are expiring in 2010, some of old age and others of chronic neglect. New promises from usual and unusual partners, from the G-8 to the G-20, need to be made — and this time kept. If more African nations (not just Ghana) are going to meet the millennium goals, they are going to need smart partners in business and development. That’s Smart as in sustainable, measurable, accountable, responsive and transparent.
Africa is not just Barack Obama’s homeland. It’s ours, too. The birthplace of humanity. Wherever our journeys have taken us, they all began there. The word Desmond Tutu uses is “ubuntu”: I am because we are. As he says, until we accept and appreciate this we cannot be fully whole.
Could it be that all Americans are, in that sense, African-Americans?
Bono, the lead singer of the band U2 and a co-founder of the advocacy group ONE and (Product)RED, is a contributing columnist for The Times.
"There are always people who dare to seek on the margin of society, who are not dependent on social acceptance, not dependent on social routine, and prefer a kind of free- floating existence under the state of risk. And among these people, if they are faithful to their calling, to their vocation, and to their message from God, communication on the deepest level is possible. And the deepest level of communication is not communication but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Not that we discover a new unity. We discover an older unity. My dear brothers, we are already one. (Speaking to a conference of monks from many religions.) But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are." (Asian Journal1968 p.308) Thomas Merton
You will find me on Tweeter (1940oldman) and Face Book (Bob koshin Hanson) I am creating some Tweeter Poetry most days, 140 characters is fun! I did a three part this morning, see you here or somewhere...peace ko shin Bob Hanson