Jane Smiley: The Buck Stops Everywhere

Jane Smiley has a wonderful essay on the Huffington Post entitled, “The Buck Stops Everywhere”. In her eloquent words,

“…we have reached the stage in this disintegrating war where the buck stops everywhere, and we will be deeply sorry in the end when the face-saving surge fails.”

The gist of what Smiley is saying isn’t anything new. Perhaps Audre Lorde’s well known line says it best: “Your silence will not protect you.” The overwhelming results of the November elections in the U.S. are certainly heartening but they are only a beginning. We cannot allow the escalation of military action in Iraq to be diminished by deceptively repackaging our actions as a “surge”. Poll after poll now shows an incredibly low level of support for the President and the war in Iraq, even among our military forces. Clearly the American people want an end to this madness. The question is, do we have the continued will to not only say ‘stop’, but to mean it as well.


Code Pink gives Harry hell

Several days ago, Code Pink sent out an alert asking people to contact Harry Reid and tell him that his  statement supporting sending more troops to Iraq was unacceptable. The following from CP was in my inbox this morning:

“Many thanks to those of you who took action this week to contact Senator Harry Reid about his remarks that he would support sending more troops to Iraq. His office was flooded with calls and emails on Tuesday! Below is a statement Senator Reid posted yesterday, saying that he does NOT support an escalation of the conflict and wants to bring out troops home. Let’s be clear: He only backed down because of the pressure he felt from the grassroots. Let’s see this as an important victory, and a lesson that we must be on constant alert to push this new Congress to end the war.”

How perfect that this should be the news on the day of the Winter Solstice.  Let’s take this as a sign of the great turning and let it energize us for the work ahead.  Now let’s tell Congress that rubberstamping the Pentagon’s request for 99 bilion more of our dollars is not okay, nor is it ok to give a President who has repeatedly and willfully broken the law a free pass.  Put impeachment back on the table!

Thank You Alice: A Meditation for the Winter Solstice

This piece was originally published on Buzzflash.

Thank You Alice: A Meditation for the Winter Solstice

by Lucinda Marshall

In the dark days of approaching winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, Alice Walker’s new book, “We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light In A Time Of Darkness”, offers an inspiring path of peaceful courage. In this short but eminently wise volume, Walker talks about many things, including a tribe, the Swa, where it is the job of women to say stop when behavior and actions are in damaging excess. As Walker eloquently states, in our own society and time, now is the time not only for women to say stop, but also for men to listen. She shares a statement from the Elders of the Hopi Nation that ends with these lines,

“All that you do now must be done in a sacred manner

And in celebration.

“We are the ones we have been waiting for…””

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Fiji women working for peace

The women of Fiji are an inspiration!


Subject: [pacwin] Friday 14 December 2006

Friday 14 December 2006
Suva, Fiji Islands

They gathered in silence. Close to 40 women and young women at the Holy
Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Suva, symbolizing a collective commitment to
non violence:

“I need to reiterate that non-violence does not mean passivity, but as
women¹s peace groups around the world have exemplified, it is a creative and
courageous way of living. In our own Pacific region ­ in Bougainville and
the Solomon Islands women have walked across the barriers of conflict to
negotiate peace ­ to bring about disarmament and assist in enabling peace
talks, and the revival of our Suva vigil, which will continue on a weekly
basis, is a symbolic gesture of how we can come together from our differing
social and political backgrounds, in unity for sustainable peace for Fiji,”
says Peace Vigil facilitator, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, the Coordinator of

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Alice Waters on the politics of food

Alice Waters, owner and chef of Chez Panisse had a wonderful piece in The Nation back in August that I just caught up with after it was reprinted in a local alternative paper.  But as we go into the holidays when a good ot of us will gorge ourselves silly, it seemed quite timely.  In Slow Food Nation, Waters writes,

“By now it is generally conceded that the food we eat could actually be making us sick, but we still haven’t acknowledged the full consequences–environmental, political, cultural, social and ethical–of our national diet. These consequences include soil depletion, water and air pollution, the loss of family farms and rural communities, and even global warming.”

Our lives have gotten so complicated and busy that it is all too easy to lose sight of these connections, and of course the ramifications of our shortsightedness are very damaging.  Many thanks to Alice Waters for this excellent reminder of how our lives and the welfare of our planet are so intimately connected.

The Grandmothers’ Revolt

Lately it seems that uppity grannies are in motion everywhere. A group calling itself the Granny Peace Brigade has called for grannies everywhere to gather in Washington on January 18th to lobby Congress. This is a picture of the Grannies on the Brooklyn Bridge on Grandparents’ Day, 2006.

If the lyrics to their songs are any indication, they will prevail!

(Tune: “Battle Hymn of the Republic”)

Our Peace Brigade is on the move and we will not retreat.
We send our message far and wide to everyone we greet
We tell the world that we’re in style but war is obsolete,
The Granny Peace Brigade.

Move on over or we’ll move on over you,
Move on over, we’re the Grannies trekking through!
Move on over or we’ll move on over you,
The Granny Peace Brigade.

We’ve been around a time or two and lived through lots of wars,
And seen the senseless killing on so many distant shores.
We’re here to say that they can’t take our grandkids anymore!
The Granny Peace Brigade.

They thought that if they jailed us we would meekly go away,
But they didn’t know that Grannies always have to have their say.
We say this war must end and all our troops come home today!
The Granny Peace Brigade.

Our eyesight’s growing weaker and our hearing’s almost shot,
Our breasts are slowly sagging and our figure’s gone to pot,
But our voice is growing stronger and we will not be forgot!
The Granny Peace Brigade.

Move on over or we’ll move on over you,
Move on over, we’re the Grannies trekking through!
Move on over or we’ll move on over you,
The Granny Peace Brigade.
(Lyrics by Vicki Ryder of the Rochester Raging Grannies,
First verse by Corinne Willinger)

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More Sheroes

Several readers have written to let us know about other Shero sites on the web. Here are 2 sites that are definitely worth a look.

Sheroescentral is a site that is

“about female heroes, “Sheroes”, of every age, race, and country. Here, we discuss women and girls who get out there and do it, females who kick butt and take no prisoners, role models who inspire women and men, girls and boys. (In other words, guys are welcome, too.)”

Simmons College offers a fantastic Sheroes Womyn Warriors Calendar. Each month the calendar honors,

“a different womyn with a photo/drawing and brief warrior bio. Many of these innovative womyn were maligned, attacked, denounced, imprisoned, even assassinated for their activism. We hereby recognize and honor each and all included.”

If you know of another Sheroe site, please let me know and I’ll post it.