Monday, September 26, 2005

Department of Peace and Nonviolence

A breakthrough!!

U. S. Senator Mark Dayton (D. Minnesota) introduced the Department of Peace and Nonviolence (S. 1756) legislation in the Senate on September 22, 2005. Now there is a bill in both houses.

The House of Representatives bill ( H.R. 3760) was re-introduced on September 14, 2005. The bill now has 60 co-sponsors. An additional six members have signed on since the last session.

I am grateful!

For more information on the DoP, see my September 14, 2005 posting.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


"Hope criticizes what is, hopelessness rationalizes it. Hope resists, hopelessness adapts."

William Sloane Coffin

Credo William Sloane Coffin, p 19, ISBN 0-664-22707-4, Westminster John Knox Press 2004.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Department of Peace and Nonviolence

So many of us want peace and nonviolence. From my observation, I see many, many people pursuing peace and nonviolence. So why not have our government reflect what we want? For after all, in theory , the power of the government flows from us the people.

So today the Department of Peace [DOP] legislation has been re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is Bill #HB 3760

Here is a brief overview of the Department of Peace-

What is it?
DOP is a citizen, grassroots lobbying effort that establishes nonviolence as an organizing principle of American Society.

It will:

  • Establish a cabinet level post that will provide the U.S. President with an array of peace-building policy options for domestic and international use.
  • Create and empower methods and perspectives that will address the root causes of violence.
  • Focus on peaceful conflict resolutions, work to prevent violence before it begins and promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights.

  • Provide much needed assistance for the efforts of city, county and state governments in coordinating exciting programs in their own communities, as well as programs newly developed and provided by the DOP.
  • Teach violence prevention and mediation to America's school children.
  • Effectively treat and dismantle gang pschology.
  • Rehabilitate the prison population.
  • Build peace-making efforts among conflicting cultures both here and abroad.
  • Develop policies to address domestic violence, child abuse, hate crimes, racial violence and mistreatment of the elderly.
  • Support our military with complementary approaches to ending violence.
  • Gather and coordinate information and recommendations from America's peace community.
  • The DOP will create and administer a U.S.Peace Academy, acting as a sister organization to the U.S. Military Academy.


  • Make our homes, schools, businesses, cities, states, nation and the world a better place to live.
  • Reduction in violent crime and associated costs, thus saving millions of dollars in the crimnal justice system.
  • Reduction of violent crime will foster the business community resulting in economic growth.
  • Improve the quality of learning in shools. School violence disrupts learning thus a loss of valuable quality time.

How can we make DOP happen?

Call your Representative at the U.S. capital switchboard: (202) 224-3121. To find your Representative, visit Tell the staffer who answers your call that you want your Representative to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Department of Peace and Nonviolence Bill #HB 3760 legislation. Request a written response explaining your position and the reasoning behind it. You can call your local office as well. It is most effective if you call the D.C. office first, then follow-up with a fax or email.

Remember the DOP legislation is a grassroots effort therefore it is up to us to take action by contacting our House Representative. Also discuss the DOP with your friends, neighbors, relatives and collegues. When our conversations center around the topic of violence, the DOP is a positive way to carry on our discussion.

Writing letters to newspapers, TV producers and magazines is a good way to get the word out regarding DOP.

Much of the "What is It" section above are exerpts from a white paper by John R. Shack, Ph.D, Clinical Psychologist, in the booklet titled, "Michigan Department of Peace Campaign, Political Action Guide 2005-2006, pp 4-5. Contact John R. Shack for more information.

For copies of the booklet contact Citizens for Peace District 11, Colleen Mills at (734) 425-0079 or email

"Be what you want from others" (Ghandi)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

9/11 Thoughts

When I think of September 11, 2001, my heart goes out to those who are grieving losses from that day.

But at the same time my thoughts are for everyone who are grieving the death of a loved one regardless when that passing occured. Also my thoughts are for those who are grieving the loss of a pet.

Grief is a universal emotion that knows no national or cultural boundaries.

But let us all honor our loved ones who are physically no longer with us by affirming life.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Jim Hall Concierto

Jim Hall Conierto

The Concierto ,track 4, in the CD is a little more than 19 minutes of modern jazz that leaves me feeling so good to be alive. Yes I'm grateful to hear and cherish sounds that come from the alto sax of Paul Desmond. And than the soft tones of Chet Baker is full of feeling without any fooling around, nothing but healthy notes.

The rhythm section carries everyone along. Jim Hall, guitar, Roland Hanna, bass and Steve Gadd, drums. Each takes a solo or two that made me want this music to go on and on.

Eric Friesen played this track a couple of weeks ago on his CBC Radio Studio Sparks program from Canada. Even though this music was recorded in April 1975, it has the feel and newness of a contemporary work.