Monthly Archives: June 2013

Biggest Hypocrite of All Time

I want to nominate the biggest hypocrites of all time award. That award goes to the Walton Family that owns Walmart/Sam’s Club.

The Walton’s who own Walmart/Sam’s Club are worth $115 billion making them the richest family in the world. They could use their money to pay their employees a livable wage but have decided to use their wealth to fund right-wing politicians. Over the last decade the family has spent over $17 million in federal elections and millions more on state and local initiatives. Most of the donations were for Republicans and right-wing causes, including anti-gay, anti-environment and pro-gun politicians and causes. In fact the Walton’s donate to candidates with low scores on civil rights, women’s issues, immigration, and those who oppose raising the minimum wage. Though Walmart makes $16 billion in profits a year each Walmart store costs taxpayer one million in corporate welfare.

The Walton family is on the wrong side of every social justice issue. The following videos will give you just a small example of the evil they do in the world.

A Walmart global service manager weeps when he sees the working conditions of Walmart’s sweatshops. He is fired for telling Walmart what he has seen. 

1127 Walmart Bangladesh sweatshop workers dead after a building collapses in  April 2013. 

112 die in fire at Bangladesh sweatshop making Walmart apparel.

Cambodian workers at a sweatshop making products for Walmart are cheated out of their wages.

A former Walmart employee talks about Walmart is anti-union.

Confessions of a Walmart hitman about bribes, cheating employees off the clock, wiping out mom and pop stores etc.

Walmart’s Third World slave workers working up to 20 hours a day. making $2.00 a day.

Walmart lobbies against food safety measures.

Shocking Truths About Walmart.

U.S. taxpayers pay for Walmart employees.

The Walton’s who are guilty of all of this injustice had the utter BALLS to point the finger at someone else who made a mistake. Walmart announced they will no longer be selling Paula Deen’s cookbooks,  cookware, or other products because, they don’t want to soil their company name. Deen’s troubles started when she revealed in a deposition for a workplace discrimination lawsuit that she’d used the N-word in the past. She also admitted that she’d used other racist language and shared racist jokes.. Well, the big joke is Walmart getting squeamish over Deen’s racism. Besides all of Walmart’s issues above they have also had a problem with racism. In 2011, Walmart  paid $44,000 to settle a racial discrimination case filed by nine Hispanic employees. In 2009, Walmart paid out $17.5 million in a class-action case where they discriminated against African-Americans looking for jobs as truck drivers.  There are plenty of other lawsuits of discrimination by women and people of color against Walmart. Walmart easily wins the hypocrite of all time award.

The runner-up winner of being a hypocrite goes to Walmart/Sam’s Club shoppers who consider themselves caring, spiritual or Christians. You cease being anyone of those things once you make the choice to enter the doors of Hellmart/Satan’s Club.

Music: “Shadow Business”

“Walmart Song”

“We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, we now know that it is bad economics.” ~ FDR

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“Job Cremators”

  While watching a show on TV I got the facts on what is really happening with the economy in the USA. It wasn’t even a documentary it was a reality show that is strictly a show for entertainment. It’s named, Shark Tank and it is in its fourth season on ABC. Shark Tank consists of five wealthy investors (the Sharks), who consider the sales pitch from inventors or entrepreneurs” seeking investments and help for their business or product. The entrepreneur is essentially a contestant on a game show. He/she makes a request for how much money he needs and offers a percentage of his business. If a Shark on the panel is interested in the deal being offered to them he can make an offer. The offer will consist of how much money he will invest and what percentage he wants in return of the business. If no panel member is interested in the business, the contestant leaves without an investment. Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John and Robert Herjavec our generally the five wealthy Sharks but a few other have sat in instead of the regulars.

    Season 3 episode 307 gave me insight to a lie that is going on in our nation. That is the B.S. lie that the wealthy of our nation are “Job Creators.” That episode featured Gulf War veteran, Donny McCall who has become my new hero. Donny is the inventor of the Invis-A-Rack a pick-up truck accessory. This invention is a retractable cargo rack designed to turn your family pickup truck into a work truck in just minutes. McCall appeared before the Sharks requesting $100,000 for a 10 percent stake in his company and help making his product. Donny talked about how he had seen his community of Sparta, North Carolina have factory after factory shut down or move. He said this is why he was insisting the manufacturing and production of his product was going to be in the U.S. Donny firmly believes he can get into the retail sector and still make a good profit using only U.S. made materials. He admitted he knew the truck rack would not save the U.S. economy; he was content trying to just help a community like Sparta in whatever way he could with jobs. “I’m one man trying to do his best for this country,” he said. “I want to help my family and my investors financially but also my church, community, state and country in any way that I can.”

 

  Shark Daymond John asks if they could find a quality manufacture oversees that could make this much cheaper, would he be interested? Donny replied, “This product was invented in the U.S. and it will be built here.” Kevin O’Leary says he is only interested if the Invis-A-Rack is produced oversees. Kevin is an atheist who has said he worships only money. He claims money is the only thing that is important in life and that you should fire your own mother if she stands in the way of you making a buck. In the past Shark Robert Herjavec has talked about how his dad came from Croatia and became a Canadian factory worker. He has talked about how his dad worked hard to supported his family and give them a better life in their new country. Donny looked right at Robert and said, “A Factory Workers Son” that immediately hit home with Robert. Robert than gave an emotional speech that brought him and me to tears as he remembered his Dad’s struggle at finding a job. His dad finally found a factory job and was able to provide for his family. I was thinking what if the factory had closed and moved to China? Where would Robert be today without his father providing for his education? In the end Herjavec like the rest of the Sharks declined investing in McCall’s product unless it is made overseas which Donny to his credit will never accept.

  These five BS “Job Creators” treated him like a rube. Donny might have lost $100,000 but he is my hero because he epitomizes integrity, patriotism and community. I’m not the only one who feels that as his website was jammed with traffic after the show. He sold out of his Invis-A-Rack inventory in no time at all. Donny was contacted by a DeeZee.com who makes truck accessories in the U.S. and they are now making Donny’s Invis-A-Rack! The Sharks are the perfect example of everything that is wrong with U.S. businessmen today. These wealthy businessmen have no loyalty to this country and don’t care about domestic manufacturing. They want to make products overseas where they can make huge profits by exploiting under-aged, under-paid workers in dangerous sweatshop conditions and be free to pollute the air and water. Conservatives keep using the term “Job Creators” for these U.S. businessmen that are actually only creating jobs overseas. Then we have corporate lobbyists who own our “Representatives” to the point that the lobbyists write tax laws that allow U.S. companies that do business outside the U.S. to park their profits, in offshore accounts and be exempt from taxes. As long as the 99% keep accepting the B.S. of corporate welfare, deregulation, cheap products vs. U.S. jobs, tax cuts for the wealthy and trickle down economics we are going to be in the poorhouse while the 1% laugh all the way to the bank.

  Guys like Donny McCall who show that there are things way more valuable than moneys are the type of people who are going to make this a better planet for my kids. Donny shows the “Job Creators” for what they are “U.S. Job Cremators.”

James Hunter: “People Gonna Talk”

“Don’t Do Me No Favors”

James will be playing at the Kent Stage June, 30

My mother said I broke her heart…but it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but it’s all we have left in this place. It is the very last inch of us…but within that inch we are free.”  ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

 

 

 

 

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F Yall

  Thanks to Tom S. for telling me about this event in Tennessee. I did some research about it and looked over comments people made about it. I then took that info added my own thoughts and put it in this poem form.

Tennessee Teabagging Islamaphobia

In August of 2010 a new Islamic center being built

in a Nashville suburb was destroyed by arson.

It was just one of the Mosques that have been

vandalized or burned in the USA over the last decade.

Recently a Facebook posting by Coffee County,

Tennessee Commissioner Barry West

showed a man pictured pointing a gun at a camera

with words that read “How to wink at a Muslim.”

It drew lots of hate-filled comments about Muslims.

A Tennessee group the American Muslim Advisory Council,

put on an event called “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society,”

It was an educational opportunity for the public to learn about American Muslims,

as well as how the civil rights of all citizens are protected under the Constitution.

A Muslim speaker showed photos of American Muslim soldiers killed

 while serving their country in the United States military

The crowd booed at the photos and cheered and clapped

at photos of an arsonist burned mosque in Columbia, Tennessee.

Anyone who cheers the firebombing of a mosque is racist,

bigoted and dangerous and needs to be put on a watch list.

Wrapped in American flags and waving Bibles, the protesters loudly shouted,

“speak English” at a Muslim man who has been in the United States for three decades.

They accused all Muslims of being terrorists and yelled at them to “go home.”

One man, who donned a confederate soldier’s cap,

shouted, “Mohammed was a pedophile!”

People who came wearing t-shirts or bought one

 outside of the event saying

 “Stay calm and eat pork”

didn’t exactly come with an open mind.

This could have been an informative exchange of cultures

and a positive learning experience for the people of Coffee County

who need to switch to decaf to brew up a little love.

The event instead turned into a typical angry racist white man

GOP redneck teabagger shitstorm show

or in the words of one redneck commenter

“They was just display Merican’ Values…praise Jesus.”

Right-wing talk radio tried to put a spin on the event.

They said the event put on by Muslims was a liberal plot

to make patriotic conservative Christians look like ignorant bigots.

I guess the evil liberal media was trying to make

Conservative Americans look bad by quoting them

like they did to Tea Party queen Sara Palin.

Nearly 1.000 people showed up for the event

and many could not fit in the building.

Those who couldn’t get inside due to overcrowded conditions

 called law enforcement officers “communists.

In the early 1960’s these angry teabaggers loved police officers

because they arrested black citizens as they attempted to eat at a counter,

 sit in front on the bus, go to a water fountain, pool or bathroom

with the words “whites only” emblazoned on the wall.

 In those days black churches were firebombed

without anyone ever fearing prosecution

 but today the hate crime of mosques being burned

is being investigating so today’s racist long for the old days.

I have real bad news for these hate-filled small-minded bigots.

That is that the younger generations have more tolerance,

understanding and intellectual curiosity than you.

Soon enough you small-minded greedy old fucks

will all be dead and the young will not put flowers your racist

 Great-grandfather’s confederate soldier’s grave

and the Civil War can finally die.

Fuck Yall

 

Now it’s time for the award for local/national buffoons of the week. It goes to callers to local talk and national radio shows that spread B.S. about jobs. These callers say there are lots of jobs around the nation that go unfilled because applicants can’t pass drug tests. Politicians are also spreading this lie. This from Arthur Delaney at Huffington Post: “South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said scads of job applicants flunked a drug test at the Savannah River Site, a nuclear reservation along the Savannah River.” Down on River Site, they were hiring a few hundred people, and when we sat down and talked to them — this was back before the campaign — when we sat down and talked to them, they said of everybody they interviewed, half of them failed a drug test.” Jim Giusti, a spokesman for the Department of Energy, which owns the River Site, told HuffPost he had no idea what Haley was talking about with regard to applicants flunking a drug test. “Half the people who applied for a job last year or year 2009 did not fail the drug test,” Giusti said. “At the peak of hiring under the Recovery Act we had less than 1 percent of those hired test positive.” The River Site doesn’t even test applicants. “We only test them when they have been accepted;” Giusti said. A spokesman for Gov. Haley did not respond to requests for comment.”

  What is the difference between cowboy boots and talk radio callers boots? The cowboy boots have the bull shit on the outside.

  I do salute a recent caller to WKBN’s Dan Rivers. Dan was bashing immigrants and being a racist and a caller pointed it out. Dan got flustered and his producer Viking Jim weighed in with his own stupid racist comments. One of Dan’s statements was that we need to stop Latino immigrants coming into this country because they vote for democrats. He also said we need to stop them because the white race is soon going to be a minority in this country. The sad part is that most callers agreed with Dan and his racism.

 Local band: The Barflies

 Sweet Honey in the Rock: “Are We a Nation”

“Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’round”

 “What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.” ~ Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GetGo, GetPoor

  The Keystone Pipeline once completed would travel 2,000 miles from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas. If the fourth phase of the project is completed it will carry one of the world’s dirtiest fuels: tar sands oil. Pollution in the form of carbon dioxide emissions from tar sands oil during production is three times higher than those of conventional oil. It requires three barrels of water to extract one single barrel of oil. That means about 400 million barrels of water are used a day for production. The waste water is dumped into man-made ponds, known as tailing ponds. The toxic sludge in these ponds includes toxins like ammonia and cyanide. Communities living downstream from tailing ponds in Northern Alberta have seen spikes in rates of rare cancers, renal failure and lupus. In 2010, a million gallons of tar sands oil poured into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan from a pipeline owned by another Canadian company, Enbridge. The spill exposed residents to toxic chemicals, coated wildlife and has caused long-term damage to the area that will not be finished cleaning up until 2015.  TransCanada already attempted to cut corners by seeking a safety waiver to build the pipeline with thinner-than-normal steel and to pump oil at higher-than-normal pressures. Along the route this pipeline could pollute water sources, and jeopardize public health. The first Keystone pipeline, starting in Canada and ending in Illinois, had a dozen spills in its first year, ranging from 2 gallons to 21,000 gallons. This is the largest number of spills during any U.S. pipeline’s first year in history. The Texas refineries that would handle the majority of this tar sands oil already export 60 percent of the finished gasoline they produce. What we have is a dangerous project that will delay investments in clean and safe alternatives to oil and in the end not make us energy independent because most of it will be exported.

  This really doesn’t sound like a good deal for the U.S. public so why would U.S. politicians want to pass a bill for the pipeline to be completed? Let’s look at Republican House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) for example. He received more than $ 1 million in contributions from fossil fuel companies. He also has invested up to $365,000 of his own money in seven companies that would benefit from a tars sands deal being passed. In my book I’d say that is a conflict of interest. The State Department released a report downplaying problems with Keystone XL pipeline. It was later found that three of the so-called experts working on the report had worked for TransCanada, the company looking to build the Keystone pipeline, or other energy companies that would benefit from Keystone’s construction. The anti-union billionaire Koch Brothers will be big winners if the Keystone Pipeline is completed so it is sad to see the AFL-CIO and other unions get in bed with them to pass legislation to get the pipeline finished.

  Are you still thinking, “What is danger to the planet and cancer compared to some cheaper gasoline?” Investigative reporter Greg Palast says “Prices for gasoline will rise by about 15 cents a gallon in the Upper Midwest if the pipe opens.” This brings me to the local buffoon of the week award. That would be Paul Lyden the V.P. of Lyden Oil who I heard the other day on the Dan Rivers talk show on WKBN radio. Paul said President Obama is opposed to the U.S. becoming energy independent because he opposes the Keystone Pipeline. Mr. Lyden says his oil business is doing great and we can all travel this summer as the price of a gallon of gas will stay affordable at under $4.00 a gallon. Mr. Lyden might be swimming in luxury from the price of oil but it is drowning consumers like Mr. E. Over the last few months Mrs. E. has been keeping track of our monthly cost of fuel for our cars. It has been averaging $275 a month for our cars that get about 25 miles per gallon. Our fuel usage is for travel to work and around the area and doesn’t include any of those long trips Mr. Lyden says I can afford to take for the summer.

  I don’t know about you but that $275 a month is a big chunk out of our monthly income.  We really don’t go out a lot though we’d like to. We’d love to be able to afford to go to every play at the Oakland and Rust Belt theaters. We’d love to be able to afford to go to see the Youngstown Symphony or concerts at Blossom. We couldn’t afford to pay $45 each to go to the Big Tap In craft beer festival. It would be a waste of my time anyway as I can’t afford to acquire a taste for craft beers. I get invitations for events that I’d love to support or contribute towards but I can’t afford it. I’d love to be able to donate money to NPR, and starving kids around the world. I wish Mrs. E and I had that $275 a month to put into a retirement account instead of into fuel for a couple of fossil fuel polluting vehicles. Paul Lyden earns buffoon of the week because he and his family are laughing all the way to the bank while the Elecpencil family will be crying all the way to the poor house. I think BP really means be poor, if you go to EXXON your money is all gone and if you go to GetGo it should be called GetPoor. When you need gasoline check this site for the best price.

  Since I mentioned Dan Rivers let me point out runner-up buffoon of the week. That would be Bob from Austintown who is retired and has dedicated his life to calling as many talk radio shows locally and around the country as possible on a daily basis. Bob has no sense of humor but tries to be funny anyways and always comes off as an ass. Bob is a retired working-class guy who hates unions, the ACLU and calls everyone a clown. It means Bob was a guy who loved to bend over for the boss when he had a job, that he hates the Constitution and that he wears sad face clown makeup. Bob earns a buffoon award for his recent comment on a nationally syndicated radio program. Bob told the host, “I talk to Dan Rivers a few times a week and Dan is a very intelligent man.” The fact is Dan is a union hating, democrat hating, immigrant hating and fact hating small-minded creep. That make Dan qualified in his role as a frequent speaker at hate-filled Teabagger events.

  Tracey from the “Tracey and Friends” talk show on WSOM radio was also in the running for local buffoon of the week. On Memorial Day Tracey had a local white man call and say he was on his way to the station to do the black community a favor. When he arrived he stated he had come to tell the black community what was wrong with them and what they should do to make things better. He set about trashing blacks for their morals and ethics and said their salvation was to join the GOP. He said that most large cities that are doing poorly are run by democrats. He of course didn’t mention that the states that are the poorest and doing terrible economically are run by republicans. I was off work and decided to call the show but realized that the show was a rerun so the “Friends” could have Memorial Day off. Tracey, the Friends and callers who are mostly conservative blacks tended to agree with the white man who came on the show to be their savior. My guess is the man had time to be on the show because his local KKK group was not having a gathering that afternoon.

  This week’s national buffoon is Pastor E.W. Jackson, Virginia’s GOP lieutenant governor candidate. He said that doing yoga might leave unsuspecting people vulnerable to satanic possessions. Need I say more?

The Kinks: “A Gallon of Gas”

“Low Budget”

Local Band: Longshotz

“If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.”~ J. Paul Getty

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Reconciliation

  The local buffoon of the week is Warren Tribune Community Columnist Martha Yoder. Ms. Yoder wrote a column entitled, “Tyranny both at home and afar.” Yoder sees tyranny as the passage of the “Affordable Care Act” (Obamacare) and safety and environmental laws. Yoder feels it is tyranny to have healthcare that people can afford and a hindrance on business to ask them not to pollute our air and water. Yoder claims to fight the tyranny of President Obama and even local politicians we must be better informed to start with.  Yoder thinks she is part of the solution as she is here to inform us in her column. The problem is her “facts” are always skewed as her sources are always biased right-wing outfits like Job Creators Network and the Heritage Foundation. Ms. Yoder says we must take to our communities and public squares and fight the tyranny. I’m betting Yoder wasn’t bothered when under GW. Bush we had the Patriot Act, a lie to go to war, torture and people held at Gitmo for years without trial. Ms. Yoder mentions Reagan saying he warned us tyranny was around the corner and that we have to fight for freedom. I guess she forgot Reagan sold weapons to our enemies and ran an illegal war that unlike Obamacare no one voted for. Reagan defended the racist apartheid government in South Africa. As for tyranny Reagan backed brutal dictators all across Latin America (an example in Guatemala) supporting and training these dictators death squads. Between  200,000-300,000 Latin American nuns, priests, union organizers, environmentalists and freedom fighters were killed with Reagan’s blessing. Those were people fighting against tyranny Martha not a bunch of Teabaggers who have medical insurance and don’t want other having the same. Martha Yoder concludes saying we must “roust ourselves from complacency and ignorance and reclaim our inheritance of freedom.” Martha you need to rescue yourself from your own ignorance for that is the tyranny that has stolen your freedom.

  I have said many times my goal is a better world for my children. It saddens me that in other countries that might mean a parent lets their child go off to work in a sweatshop instead of going to school. Even worse is when I see countries that have rebel armies made up of children soldiers. They like using children because the young feel invincible and are easily manipulated. I just saw a documentary about how young Muslim children are manipulated to be suicide bombers. Some of these kids are lied to and told the bomb will blow outwards and not harm them. Many Arabs spoke out and said that the Quran is a book of peace and condemns such actions. In the U.S. I kept hearing people ask where are the Muslims speaking out against what happened on 9/11. I guess they were so busy assuming no Muslims spoke out to actually do any fact checking. Since the attacks on September 11, hundreds of Muslim leaders and scholars made statements condemning the attacks and expressing support for the United States and sympathy for the victims. The conservative media like FOX kept saying no Muslims have condemned 9/11 and the rest of the media did a poor job of publishing 100’s of Muslims condemned the terror of 9/11. The lies led to vandalism and burning of Mosques all around this nation. Here is a map pointing out how many incidents happened at Mosques in the U.S.

  All around the world we have hatred and misunderstanding. We have warring tribes in Africa, Jews and Palestinians at war; we have North Ireland Catholics and Protestants hating one another and different sects of Muslims hating one another. These hatreds go back many years and those injured in these conflicts are still pained and don’t see peace as a way to heal. Those who lost loved ones don’t want them to have died in vain. Won’t staying angry at that lost and not seeking peace just cost another generation of loved ones? Hate and war are a terminal cancer that grows and spreads if not treated. The treatment is to start with small injections of coming together to air grievances and to dialogue. It is easy to hate an enemy you’ve never met yards away in a trench. It is much harder to hate someone you know has suffered just like you in the conflict you are both caught up in. The ultimate cure for the cancer of hatred and war is understanding and peace. History has shown us this ultimate cure can be rather rare.

  After 27 years in prison Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first black South Africa president in 1994. As President, he established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to investigate past human rights abuses by the oppressive, racist former white controlled government. The TRC was a court based of restorative justice ( (a method of dealing with convicted criminals in which they are urged to accept responsibility for their offenses through meeting victims, making amends to victims or the community, etc). The TRC had 19 public hearings each having many victims of gross human rights testify about their experiences. Perpetrators of the violence could also give testimony and request amnesty. Former white president F.W. de Klerk appeared before the TRC and apologized for the suffering to blacks caused by apartheid. Mandela felt these hearing of grievances and facing the accusers would be a healing.  Most people in South Africa considered this a good way to start a new government. Of course such an unusual course for a peaceful solution is a bitter pill to swallow for mankind that is vengeful by nature. Many people felt that the TRC favored the perpetrators of abuse because justice should have been a prerequisite for reconciliation rather than an alternative to it.

  Steps towards reconciliation in Northern Ireland could be a peace model for the rest of the world.  When you really take time and look at the horrors of hatred and war your heart and soul can be moved to speak out for not justice but peace. Twenty five years ago two English soldiers were killed in Belfast by Catholic mourners in a funeral procession of a man killed by Protestant paramilitary. The soldiers though armed chose not to fire on the civilian mob and were beaten to death. A Catholic woman who goes by the alias, Nuala Cassidy (whose father was killed in the conflict between Catholics and Protestants) was told about the soldiers being killed by her mother who was there. The woman horrified-and moved by her mother’s account named her first child after the two slaughtered soldiers. She told writer Richard Pendlebury this about the two soldiers “As an Irish Catholic, I am so very proud of them. They taught me the meaning of true Englishmen. They were strong, brave, honorable men who gave their lives for those who killed them.” She has since written to the parents of the soldiers to praise them and say “A Catholic boy from Belfast is named after your son.” Nuala shares with the parents of the slain soldiers the loss of a son. She conveyed that to the soldier’s parents “When he was still small I gave my son up for adoption. Our life in Belfast had become too much. I felt I had no way out. I wanted more for him, which I could not give. The past cannot be altered. We all bear the scars. Our sons, who have the same names, bear them too.”

  Organizations of Catholic and Protestants who’ve lost family members have been getting together for a number of years and sharing their grief. The same thing is happening with families of Israelis and Palestinians. The growing number of Israeli refuseniks is also a good sign towards a peaceful solution in Gaza and the West Bank. An example of a refusenik is 18-year-old Israeli Noam Gur who last year publicly announced her intention to refuse mandatory service in the Israeli army. Set to be drafted  Gur stated in an open letter: “I refuse to take part in the Israeli army because I refuse to join an army that has, since it was established, been engaged in dominating another nation, in plundering and terrorizing a civilian population that is under its control” Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) is a U.S. organization seeking “an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem” and opposes Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and supports the refuseniks. Here is a list of organizations and projects to promote peace and understanding among Arabs and Israelis. With so many groups trying for peace in that part of the world maybe we will get there in my lifetime.

  In Rwanda there was a  genocide in 1994, Hutus killed about 700 hundred thousand Tutsis. The killings were done by the army, by militias, and by neighbors. In some mixed families relatives killed Tutsis; sometimes parents killed their own children. About 50,000 Hutus were also killed because they were regarded as unwilling to go along with the genocide. At the Kigali Genocide museum the exhibits include one on rescuers, Hutus who endangered themselves to save Tutsis. In 1999 the government established a National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC). The NURC held public meetings around the country where people could say what they believed was necessary for reconciliation and what they needed to be able to reconcile. For example, some women said: “I lost everything, including my husband, I need to feed my family and be able to send my children to school.” At that time this cost money at all grade levels. One positive act of the government was to make education free up to high school. Another positive step was to eliminate official discrimination, in admitting students to schools and universities, as well as in employment.

  Back in their communities, former perpetrators and former victims now live side by side, with many emotional challenges in this situation. Some films that have been made of their interactions show painful steps as they move toward forgiveness and reconciliation, suggesting reasonable success. Others show deep continuing fear and pain underlying coexistence in everyday life. Many try to maintain and promote changing attitudes by the parties toward each other. The challenge for them is to create the conditions that will lead people in Rwanda to identify themselves as primarily Rwandans not Tutsis and Hutus. Rwanda’s history shows that white colonization from Belgium led to the hatred between Tutsis and Hutus. The Belgians used divide and conquer by favoring the Tutsi which led to them being hated by the Hutus. Alice Mukarinda a Tutsi was confronted and asked for forgiveness by Emannuel a Hutu man who hacked her hand off and left her for dead. Here is the heart-breaking story. 

  A Gacaca is the name of the local court held outside on the grass in every community in Rwanda where survivors and the victims’ families can confront the accused about the Rwanda genocide. It is a method of transitional justice, designed to promote healing and helping to give closure to the genocide. The story about Alice and Emannuel says “The surprising thing about Gacaca is that when people like Emmanuel tell the truth, the survivors come to love them, while the Hutu who worked with them during the genocide start hating them.”

  To bring this story of reconciliation and forgiveness to a local level let me tell you about Chuck. Chuck was a successful business owner in Akron. Chuck owned some apartments; a nice house had a pretty wife and a great life. He’d had a complaint about an abandoned junk car at the apartment building he owned. Chuck had the car towed away and then had the car owner who was one of Chuck’s tenants show up. The tenant was angry and hit Chuck who fell backwards hitting his head. Chuck ended up in the hospital for months in a coma. Chuck lost his business, his apartments, his good life and all but his pretty wife. Chuck came out of the coma and has some brain damage and speech problems. Chuck works daily on different physical therapy to better his situation. For mental therapy Chuck who is also a pastor decided to learn more about his attacker. The assailant is an alcoholic but loves his family and has always strived to care for his children. Chuck got to know the man’s wife and children and found himself at trial speaking up for this man who had so severely injured him. Chuck has helped the assailant’s wife and children in many ways. The children don’t know why their dad is in jail or that Chuck was injured by their dad. The man has written to Chuck thanking him and now they regularly correspond. Chuck’s wife and Alice’s Rwandan husband don’t quite understand the reconciliation and forgiveness their spouses have come to accept. In telling Chuck’s story I can’t possibly do it justice. I can tell you when he tells it there isn’t a dry eye in the place. Even with his speech impediment he will fill your heart with admiration for the heights of spirituality which a human being is capable of.

  Reconciliation seems hard to comprehend in our vengeful U.S. society. Are there enough Chucks, Alices, Nuala Cassidys, Noam Gurs, and Nelson Mandelas in the world to show us that understanding, forgiveness, peace and love can end hatred and war? I hope so for my children and the world’s sake. For anyone of these people not forgiving would mean that evil has won and none of them could live with that. Peace~ The Elecpencil

As We Forgive: The Story of Rwandas Redemption.

Jewish-Arab Peace Song

Israeli and Palestinian Youth Sing Out For Peace

Local Band: The Huckin Fillbillys

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.”
Marianne Williamson

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