Wednesday, December 31, 2008

(Starhawk) Dear friends,

(I have to wonder about Hamas and weather it is motivated to work against the interests of the Palestinians by attacking Israel. Is this is just an excuse for the vastly superior Israeli forces to go on the offensive? This is clearly not in the interest of the Palestinians to attract an attack, so is Hamas actually on the side of the Palestinians or is it a tool of the Israeli SS with provocateurs causing False Flags? It seems plausable, considering what we have seen in the past with Al Quida, etc. Charley)

All day I’ve been thinking about Gaza, listening to reports on NPR, following the news on the internet when I can spare a moment. I’ve been thinking about the friends I made there four years ago, and wondering how they are faring, and imagining their terror as the bombs fall on that giant, open-air prison.

The Israeli ambassador speaks movingly of the terror felt by Israeli children as Hamas rockets explode in the night. I agree with him—that no child should have her sleep menaced by rocket fire, or wake in the night fearing death.

But I can’t help but remember one night on the Rafah border, sleeping in a house close to the line, watching the children dive for cover as bullets thudded into the walls. There was a shell-hole in the back room they liked to jump through into the garden, which at that time still held fruit trees and chickens. Their mother fed me eggs, and their grandmother stuffed oranges into my pockets with the shy pride every gardener shares.

That house is gone, now, along with all of its neighbors. Those children wake in the night, every night of their lives, in terror. I don’t know if they have survived the hunger, the lack of medical supplies, the bombs. I only know that they are children, too.

I’ve ridden on busses in Israel. I understand that gnawing fear, the squirrely feeling in the pit or your stomach, how you eye your fellow passengers wondering if any of them are too thick around the middle. Could that portly fellow be wearing a suicide belt, or just too many late night snacks of hummus? That’s no way to live.

But I’ve also walked the pock-marked streets of Rafah, where every house bears the scars of Israeli snipers, where tanks prowled the border every night, where children played in the rubble, sometimes under fire, and this was all four years ago, when things were much, much better there.

And I just don’t get it. I mean, I get why suicide bombs and homemade rockets that kill innocent civilians are wrong. I just don’t get why bombs from F16s that kill far more innocent civilians are right. Why a kid from the ghetto who shoots a cop is a criminal, but a pilot who bombs a police station from the air is a hero.

Is it a distance thing? Does the air or the altitude confer a purifying effect? Or is it a matter of scale? Individual murder is vile, but mass murder, carried out by a state as an aspect of national policy, that’s a fine and noble thing?

I don’t get how my own people can be doing this. Or rather, I do get it. I am a Jew, by birth and upbringing, born six years after the Holocaust ended, raised on the myth and hope of Israel. The myth goes like this:

“For two thousand years we wandered in exile, homeless and persecuted, nearly destroyed utterly by the Nazis. But out of that suffering was born one good thing—the homeland that we have come back to, our own land at last, where we can be safe, and proud, and strong.”

That’s a powerful story, a moving story. There’s only one problem with it—it leaves the Palestinians out. It has to leave them out, for if we were to admit that the homeland belonged to another people, well, that spoils the story.

The result is a kind of psychic blind spot where the Palestinians are concerned. If you are truly invested in Israel as the Jewish homeland, the Jewish state, then you can’t let the Palestinians be real to you. It’s like you can’t really focus on them. Golda Meir said, “The Palestinians, who are they? They don’t exist.” We hear, “There is no partner for peace,” “There is no one to talk to.”

And so Israel, a modern state with high standards of hygiene, a state rooted in a religion that requires washing your hands before you eat and regular, ritual baths, builds settlements that don’t bother to construct sewage treatment plants. They just dump raw sewage onto the Palestinian fields across the fence, somewhat like a spaceship ejecting its wastes into the void. I am truly not making this up—I’ve seen it, smelled it, and it’s a known though shameful fact. But if the Palestinians aren’t really real—who are they? They don’t exist!—then the land they inhabit becomes a kind of void in the psyche, and it isn’t really real, either. At times, in those border villages, walking the fencelines of settlements, you feel like you have slipped into a science fiction movie, where parallel universes exist in the same space, but in different strands of reality, that never touch.

When I was on the West Bank, during Israeli incursions the Israeli military would often take over a Palestinian house to billet their soldiers. Many times, they would simply lock the family who owned it into one room, and keep them there, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days—parents, grandparents, kids and all. I’ve sat with a family, singing to the children while soldiers trashed their house, and I’ve been detained by a group of soldiers playing cards in the kitchen with a family locked in the other room. (I got out of that one—but that’s another story.)

It’s a kind of uneasy feeling, having something locked away in a room in your house that you can’t look at. Ever caught a mouse in a glue trap? And you can’t bear to watch it suffer, so you leave the room and close the door and don’t come back until it’s really, really dead.

Like a horrific fractal, the locked room repeats on different scales. The Israelis have built a wall to lock away the West Bank. And Gaza itself is one huge, locked room. Close the borders, keep food and medical supplies and necessities from getting through, and perhaps they will just quietly fade out of existence and stop spoiling our story.

“All we want is a return to calm,” the Israeli ambassador says. “All we want is peace.”

One way to get peace is to exterminate what threatens you. In fact, that may be the prime directive of the last few thousand years.

But attempts to exterminate pests breed resistance, whether you’re dealing with insects or bacteria or people. The more insecticides you pour on a field, the more pests you have to deal with—because insecticides are always more potent at killing the beneficial bugs than the pesky ones.

The harshness, the crackdowns, the border closings, the checkpoints, the assassinations, the incursions, the building of settlements deep into Palestinian territory, all the daily frustrations and humiliations of occupation, have been breeding the conditions for Hamas, or something like it, to thrive. If Israel truly wants peace, there’s a more subtle, a more intelligent and more effective strategy to pursue than simply trying to kill the enemy and anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity.

It’s this—instead of killing what threatens you, feed what you want to grow. Consider in what conditions peace can thrive, and create them, just as you would prepare the bed for the crops you want to plant. Find those among your opponents who also want peace, and support them. Make alliances. Offer your enemies incentives to change, and reward your friends.

Of course, to follow such a strategy, you must actually see and know your enemy. If they are nothing to you but cartoon characters of terrorists, you will not be able to tell one from another, to discern the religious fanatic from the guy muttering under his breath, “F-ing Hammas, they closed the cinema again!”

And you must be willing to give something up. No one gets peace if your basic bargaining position is, “I get everything I want, and you eat my shit.” You might get a temporary victory, but it will never be a peaceful one.

To know and see the enemy, you must let them into the story. They must become real to you, nuanced, distinctive as individuals.

But when we let the Palestinians into the story, it changes. Oh, how painfully it changes! For there is no way to tell a new story, one that includes both peoples of the land, without starting like this:

“In our yearning for a homeland, in our attempts as a threatened and traumatized people to find safety and power, we have done a great wrong to another people, and now we must atone.”

Just try saying it. If you, like me, were raised on that other story, just try this one out. Say it three times. It hurts, yes, but it might also bring a great, liberating sense of relief with it.

And if you’re not Jewish, if you’re American, if you’re white, if you’re German, if you’re a thousand other things, really, if you’re a human being, there’s probably some version of that story that is true for you.

Out of our own great need and fear and pain, we have often done great harm, and we are called to atone. To atone is to be at one—to stop drawing a circle that includes our tribe and excludes the other, and start drawing a larger circle that takes everyone in.

How do we atone? Open your eyes. Look into the face of the enemy, and see a human being, flawed, distinct, unique and precious. Stop killing. Start talking. Compost the shit and the rot and feed the olive trees.

Act. Cross the line. There are Israelis who do it all the time, joining with Palestinians on the West Bank to protest the wall, watching at checkpoints, refusing to serve in the occupying army, standing for peace. Thousands have demonstrated this week in Tel Aviv.

There are Palestinians who advocate nonviolent resistance, who have organized their villages to protest the wall, who face tear gas, beatings, arrests, rubber bullets and real bullets to make their stand.

There are internationals who have put themselves on the line—like the boatload of human rights activists, journalists and doctors on board the Dignity, the ship from the Free Gaza movement that was rammed and fired on by the Israeli navy yesterday as it attempted to reach Gaza with humanitarian aid.

Maybe we can’t all do that. But we can all write a letter, make a phone call, send an email. We can make the Palestinian people visible to us, and to the world. When we do so, we make a world that is safer for every child.

Below is a good summary of some of the actions we can take.

Please feel free to repost this. In fact, send it to someone you think will disagree with it.

Updated Action Alert on Gaza:
We Need "Sustained, Determined Political Action"December 29, 2008

As of this writing, a third consecutive day of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have killed an estimated 315 Palestinians and injured more than 1,400. According to the UN, at least 51 of the victims were civilians and 8 were children. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has vowed ominously "a war to the bitter end."

Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip are being carried out with F16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, and naval gunboats all given to Israel by the United States with our tax dollars.

From 2001-2006, the United States transferred to Israel more than $200 million worth of spare parts to fly its fleet of F16's and more than $100 million worth of helicopter spare parts for its fleet of Apaches. In July 2008, the United States gave Israel 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel and signed a contract to transfer an addition $1.9 billion worth of littoral combat ships to the Israeli navy. Last year, the United States signed a $1.3 billion contract with Raytheon to transfer to Israel thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and "bunker buster" missiles.

Make no mistake about it-Israel's war on the Gaza Strip would not be possible without the jets, helicopters, ships, missiles, and fuel provided by the United States.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] organized a theatrical event on March 12. Ten antiwar activists calling themselves the Ghosts of the Iraq War, Maria Allwine, Ellen Barfield, Tim Chadwick, Joy First, Judith Kelly, Art Landis, Linda LeTendre, Max Obuszewski, Manijeh Saba and Eve Tetaz, went to the gallery of the U.S. Senate in a bold attempt to call for an end to the funding of the war.
Most of the Ghosts were on probation in Washington, D.C. So an arrest would violate its terms and possibly cause the activists=2 0to have to serve their suspended jail sentences. But the situation in Iraq was too dire, and our government too arrogant to care. So we had to take action, and we wore We Will Not Be Silent tee shirts and gauze over our heads. We were arrested and charged under federal law with unlawful conduct, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $500 fine. Five of us were released after ten hours in police custody, but the others were incarcerated until 7 PM on March 13.
A five-day jury trial began on October 20 with Judge Robert Morin presiding in Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Nine defendants were pro se with Ann Wilcox acting as an attorney advisor. Tetaz was represented by Jack Baringer. The jury acquitted five of the Ghosts.
The rest of us made a post-verdict motion for dismissal arguing we were denied access, prior to trial, to all relevant discovery. The defense did not receive, until the prosecution rested its case, two pages from the U.S. Capitol Police Intelligence Report for March 12, 2008, which included a private email of mine. The judge scheduled an evidentiary hearing, and on November 7, Eric Orsini, a civil ian employee of the Capitol Police, testified he found my email on the web site Based on research done after the hearing, it is unlikely the email ever appeared on, which is a calendar. My email, a proposal to speak out in one of the Capitol galleries, definitely was not a calendar item.
So I renewed my motion for dismissal on December 15 arguing it is doubtful Orsini found the email on More likely he got the email from a police agency, as I am one of the victims of the Maryland State Police spying scandal.
Nevertheless, Judge Morin was not in a mood to allow the defense to re-visit how my purloined email was obtained, as he found Orsini to be a credible witness. He also rejected Baringer’s motion on behalf of Tetaz. Since she is a resident of Washington, D.C. and does not have representation in Congress, Baringer argued she should not be subject to the laws of the District of Columbia.
Andrew Warren, the prosecutor, suggested the five activists should receive fines ranging from $100 to $250, suspended jail sentences and six months of unsupervised probation. This was a relatively lenient recommendation.
Each defendant made a sentencing statement. Tetaz talked about her years of teaching in D.C. schools, which included studying the writings of Henry David Thoreau. She reminded the court of Thoreau’s perspective that when injustice abounds, the proper place for a citizen is in jail. She would pay no fines, do no community service and not comply with probation. She asked the court to join her in praying to turn swords into plowshares.
Saba, raised in Iran, took very seriously her citizenship oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. And the administration’s violations of that sacred document brought her to the gallery of the U.S. Senate. She detailed many of her efforts over the years to call for an end to the war in Iraq. For example, she was involved in bringing to the White House one million signatures from people opposed to the war, but the authorities would not accept them. She vowed not be a Good German.
I called for time served for all, informed the court I would appeal the conviction and indicated I had a Nuremberg Obligation to continue challenging a government engaged in widespread illegal activities. I then posed some questions. Why are the architects of this illegal war not in any court of law? Why is it that only antiwar activists are being prosecuted?
Barfield, a veteran, expressed a concern for three of her family members who were stationed in Iraq or will soon be. Her sister, for example, just returned from seven months in Ramadi. The defendant then indicated she would not pay any fines or accept probation. She said there was no need to arrest those who spoke out on March 12. As one of the veterans who protested at the National Archives first in September on a ledge and then in November on a scaffold, she pointed out no one was arrested despite their provocative message to prosecute Bush and Cheney. In fact, while the vets gathered on the Archives ledge, a Metropolitan Police captain stated there is a document inside which guarantees the protesters their First Amendment right.
Chadwick also indicated he could not pay any fines or cooperate with probation. He informed the court he violated probation when arrested on March 12. As a tax resister, he r efuses to support U.S. warmongering. On his wall at his home in Pennsylvania, he has a woodcarving by Tom Lewis, one of the Catonsville Nine, which features a quote by Dan Berrigan—“Know where you stand and stand there.” He talked about his travels to countries where the people suffer from U.S. foreign policies. He was moved to resistance against the war in 2005. At his first arrest, he protested outside the White House, but the executive branch ignored his message. Then he was arrested trying to meet with his Congressional representative, and later arrested while attempting to go into the office of Sen. Rick Santorum. So he now made an appeal to Morin, a member of the judiciary.
In his own way, Judge Morin responded affirmatively to Chadwick’s appeal. Each defendant was sentenced to one day in jail, which was suspended, and ordered to pay $50 to the Victims of Violent Crimes Fund. In D.C., it is mandatory for a judge to order a payment to the fund.
Just after the sentencing, Morin made an observation that our decision to call for a jury trial had ramifications for a defendant who was in jail. His case was not called until the conclusion of our trial. We agreed to discuss this conundrum with others who might be contemplating acts of civil resistance.
Outside the courtroom, though, we pointed out it is the police who decide to arrest nonviolent activists. And it’s the prosecutor who takes the case to trial.
Later on December 15, Barfield appeared before Judge Marisa Demeo and did not contest the charge that she violated her probation from another conviction. Demeo, though, acknowledged that the activist dutifully showed up in her courtroom whenever ordered so that was enough of a sentence.
The legal saga of the Ghosts of the Iraq War is not yet completed, as four of us appealed the conviction. As that matter wends its way through the system, all ten activists are sure to take action again. There is a strong suspicion U.S. troops will occupy Iraq for years to come. And there will probably be an upsurge in military activities in Afghanistan. It’s evident that members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance will continue to speak truth to power.
Max Obuszewski is a member of the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore and the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at]

Monday, December 15, 2008

Final Report on the European Tour — A Great Success!

This came from Mia Hamel. It seems that the Truth is more accessible over there. Charley

It looks like the Europe Tour was an awesome success! Thousands of Europeans were exposed to the truth about the explosive controlled demolitions of the 3 World Trade Center high-rises on 9/11 — in 9 cities, across 6 countries, including London, Madrid, Vienna, Geneva, Paris, Aachen, Brussels, Hamburg, and Berlin. Hundreds of architects & engineers came to see what all the controversy was about. (See the numbers in the individual event records). Mainstream media in Spain gave us a good TV interview and prime time coverage of the AE911Truth presentation. About 8 other radio and TV interviews provided additional coverage. Full houses in Madrid and Paris caused people to be turned away. I gave some of the better presentations I've ever given and received a standing ovation. Language was not an issue because we had translators where it was most necessary. And the numbers of hands raised revealed that hardly anyone supported the official conspiracy and fire story after the evidence was given. The event coordinators in every one of the 9 cities showed up and performed professionally from start to finish – working around the clock to ensure that publicity via the TV & news media, marketing to A&E's, and even leafleting on the street, as well as all the facility coordination went without a hitch! These guys are incredible and give the Americans an edge to strive for! A huge thank you to Ms. Annie Machon from London, whose tireless efforts and seamless skills went toward putting the tour together, and who coordinated all of the European Coordinator activities to ensure my efficient travel and other details. And to the lead EC's themselves: Gareth and Douglass in London; Diana and Greg in Madrid; Daniel T. and Jimmy W. in Vienna; Richard Golay, Florian and Valerie in Geneva; Arno, Atmo, and Deborah in Paris; Channing in Aachen; Jean-Luc and Eric in Brussels; Jens and Inez in Hamburg; Ronald, Oliver, Heiner, Hauke, Sebastian, and Clifford in Berlin. You and your team are all national and world patriots, and heroes! I was treated in every city to an incredible whirlwind tour by our gracious EC's. At the top of my list, though, had to be the harrowing motorcycle ride through the medieval streets of Paris – and the Avenue Champs-Élysées – after which Arno brought to life the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and other famous treats to the eye. A close tie had to be the modern domed architectural masterpiece of Sir Norman Foster at the top of the historic Reichstag in Berlin, and Charlemagne's magnificent cathedral in Aachen. And don't miss the "Gherkin" — a pickled shape building in London, also designed by Sir Norman Foster with an amazing cross-spiraling perimeter structure. (see photos in the galleries below) Don't wait to go to Europe until you're 53! You'll regret having missed so much of the unique people and architecture. They are indeed quite aware of and sensitive to the growing political/social/military machine in America. We really don't see it because we live in it and haven't been given an outside view of it through our media. It seems that almost everyone in Europe disfavors the outgoing American Administration – and with a passion! And that is even without hearing the evidence in our 9/11 presentation and its obvious implications. There is quite a move in the European community to bring David Ray Griffin over this spring. Willie Rodriquez recently completed a short powerful tour. And they seem to want AE911Truth back in 6 months. The truth and the truth-tellers are relentless in Europe. We will support them wholeheartedly. It seems that it will require massive international pressure upon our American Government in order to compel the necessary self-reflection and moral will-power of our elected representatives to engage the weighty issues of 9/11 head on, raise truth and justice upon their shoulders, and let the chips fall where they may. My sense is that all of Europe will come to the aid of an ailing America, as we have to them in their times of peril. It has been an immense honor for AE911Truth to be one small voice in the sea of American cries for help from our friends across the Atlantic. I am so grateful for an enlightening and enriching trip where deep friendships and alliances have been forged. Let's build on the momentum! — Richard Gage, AIA, Architect

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Beautiful Letter About Life and Freedom.

This is a letter that I got in an Email that is so beautiful and descriptive and it reflects the life of a Free Soul who has followed her Bliss, through the years, beginning in the wonderful ’60’s to present. She has become wise in the interim and has something to say. She represents, I think, the individuals with the vision to help us keep our heads in these shocking times and may have more to say as we gain a new Positive Future.
She gave me permission to publish her letter. I am going to edit it slightly and leave names out.

Haven't you noticed the news, and media in general focus on the negative aspects of the past, present, and future? For whatever reason, bad news travels faster and is more widely read, they say, so if it bleeds it leads. It's all about selling advertising. These young people who weren't around then have mostly news from that time for a reference, and of course it was negative.
Don't let anyone convince you that your memories of joyful expansive times were wrong!
I feel so fortunate to have been a teenager and young adult during those years, as it was a spiritual and cultural renaissance period. Music flowered with The Beatles and many, many, inspired bands and Folk Singers. Bob Dylan's poetic songs inspired us, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, The Allman Brothers Band, Buffy St. Marie, The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, John Denver, Sly and the Family Stone, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Motown music, the Incredible String Band, Harry Nilson, and on and on....
We were idealistic, committed to positive change in the world, full of love and joy and placing more value on human beings, than on money and things. The enthusiasm of Woodstock was duplicated on a smaller scale all over the world. My friend watched the movie of Woodstock with her college age daughter, who said,"Oh, I wish I had been around then! If it happened nowadays, there would be fights and somebody would have been killed." I do think the world was different then, unless you had the misfortune to be in the war in Vietnam, which was quite the opposite.
But there was a great awakening stirring, in part perhaps, due to the news of the horrors of the war, which seemed endless. Opposition to the war brought young people together emotionally, grieving for friends and brothers killed, and galvanized in us a determination to exercise our rights in a democracy to demand an end to the war. Young people gathered peacefully for concerts, and lived in Provincial parks in Canada up in the Rockies every summer. We gathered in great numbers in Banff in a meadow full of wild flowers provided by the park service as a free youth hostel, and put up 100 large teepees in Jasper, Alberta every summer in the early 70's, and hundreds of tents. We lived there all summer, sharing food and sweat lodges, learning from Native Canadian and Native Americans how to re-connect with the Earth, and live in harmony with ourselves and others. Many of us had profoundly positive, life-changing mystical experiences with psychedelics, peyote, etc.
Adults told us that our generation only criticized, but had no solutions for society's problems. We listened, and tried to prove them wrong by doing something. Some of us got tired of rejecting material wealth and became yuppies, and some of us moved to the country and tried to return to farming the land and living without modern technology. Some of us tried living communally and found out how difficult it is living with a bunch of other egos. Gaskin's farm in Tennessee developed great skill in natural Childbirth and midwifery, and traveled with a video teaching other communities. Now natural childbirth methods are taught everywhere and people have returned to nursing their babies instead of bottle feeding. Lama Foundation above Taos, NM is one of the few communities from those days that is still going strong, and offers classes on permaculture (living ecologically), and alternative building workshops among others. Some of us started collectively owned and operated businesses to try to develop new models for friendly workplaces. Some of us explored ways to communicate more honestly and in a way that respects all people involved. Gestalt psychology, EST, ARICA, and many other personal Growth schools sprung up. The New School For Democratic Management began in San Francisco, and collectively run businesses all over the West Coast sent delegates to be trained in mediation and conflict resolution, and learn models for business other than the traditional heavy top-down management. We studied less-toxic methods of agriculture and started the return to organic foods. We started food banks to solve the problem of hungry people in our own country. Some of us joined the Peace Corps. Some of us went to India looking for a Spiritual Teacher, or a monastery or ashram where we could learn how to find mystical experience without drugs, and how to become strong and balanced and better able to serve our fellow humans. Some of those people succeeded and are teaching students today. Some discovered that miracles are real and became healers in various traditions.
The Arts were everywhere, Alvin Ailey Dance troupe, Martha Graham, murals on City walls, we embroidered our jeans, our blouses, we danced, we painted, we sang and chanted. Sometimes we were foolish and spent years re-inventing the wheel, but we believed in our ability to change the world for the better. Some of the things we proposed were considered impossible or impractical, like widespread recycling, but now it's become accepted as not only workable, but financially wise, and ecologically necessary, and most churches in Atlanta now have recycling bins in back, as it provides income for the churches, and is considered the moral thing to do. Massage schools became popular, like Esalen style Swedish Massage, which helped many people relax and feel more comfortable with their bodies. There came a heightened sensitivity, and with that we looked at how people treated each other. Less ethnic jokes, more tolerance for other races, handicap access to buildings and transportation, gender-inclusive language, rights for women, many men moved toward more openness, less need to hold up a "John Wayne" tough guy mask, allowing themselves to express emotion, and cry if that was how they felt. Women began wearing comfortable shoes, abandoned girdles and uncomfortable clothing. We dressed for comfort and beauty, but didn't feel the need to wear alot of make-up to be loved or "acceptable".
Of course I left out the downsides, the casualties, but that has been thoroughly covered.
When the rest of the world returned to business as usual, the idealism was still going strong in some areas like Vancouver and Bellingham Wash., Eugene and Portland in Oregon, and towns here and there where dedicated "flower children" went to retire and quietly put their inspiration into practice. For me it lasted from '68 to '79, where by '76 I was working in a collectively owned restaurant, writing a manual of policies and procedures and job descriptions, and learning how to chair an effective and efficient meeting with parliamentary procedure, and a prioritized agenda with time limits. Portland now has impeccable city planning to make the city people-friendly, efficient, livable and un-polluted.
In Eugene, OR, I really had the sense that the world was changing for the better, faster than it had. When I moved to the south in '82 I was in for severe culture shock that the same old worn-out attitudes were still around. But humans are slow to change, and growth doesn't proceed steadily but in spurts and zig-zags and pendulum swings, and a slow spiraling. I still hope that that window of kindness and cultural growth in the late 60's and early 70's is a precursor of more to come on a larger scale. The Age of Aquarius, sung about in "Hair" actually starts, astrologically, in 12 or 13 years. The Mayan calendar says we'll all experience a heightened sensitivity to other people, and a sense of oneness, being part of a larger community which will expand our outlook, as a new cycle begins in 2011.
I hope so.