Archive for November, 2009

Beauty and ugliness

November 30, 2009 1 comment

Beauty and ugliness are everywhere – even in some of the same things. To some a wide open prairie is empty and colorless – but to others it is uncluttered simplicity – the way life itself ought to look. Physical appeal is high on some lists, but nu tso se dv na, which is Cherokee comfort, lasts longer. Whatever is in our hearts is in our sight. To love something or someone makes us see the beauty of it – not the wrong. It is to our advantage to be gentle in our observations – to see and cultivate the best in who we are and in those around us. We love quiet; we suffer the mouse to play; when the woods are rustled by the wind, we fear not…….


World March in USA

November 28, 2009 Leave a comment

The World March for Peace and Non-violence is continuing its route around the world. It has recently arrived in the USA and this is the view of Red Bluff co-ordinator Mary Shaver Hobi .

Currently we are living in a world at war. We see it happening live on the nightly news ever more frequently these days. Perhaps we know of someone fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, a son or daughter, brother or sister, father, mother, husband, wife or someone very close to the suffering of war. It is definitely not a peaceful feeling! Most of us feel helpless to make it go away. There is also a looming threat of a nuclear war happening somewhere in the world. This is not a peaceful thought, and it perturbs our minds and hearts even to imagine that this type of disaster could happen here or anywhere in the world.

Violence in our personal lives, whether we’re young or old, also creates a feeling of the absence of the peace we aspire to. This personal violence causes mental and physical suffering in ourselves and in those close to us.

Think for a moment of the violence that is produced when we discriminate against others because of their race, their sex, their religious beliefs, for economic or moral reasons, or when we mentally or physically do another harm. Treating others as we would like to be treated is a helpful attitude to diminish personal and social violence. It is a great tool for creating peace in your life.

War and other forms of violence are of great concern for people everywhere; but, you may ask, what can be done?

Currently a World March for Peace and Nonviolence is moving across the globe, participating in rallies, conferences, marches and meetings with dignitaries, including presidents of countries, the Pope, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates in Berlin, all to raise the awareness of the nuclear threat and a call for peace and nonviolence globally.

Red Bluff is one of a few cities in the United States the march will visit on its long journey that concludes on Jan. 2, 2010, in Punta de Vacas, Argentina, high in the Andes mountains. What an opportunity we have here!

At noon on December 2, at Red Bluff’s Park of Study and Reflection, there will be an event in which participants from Redding who joined at the start of the march in New Zealand, in October, will talk about their travels and experiences. Chico and Red Bluff peace groups, students from Chico State University and Red Bluff High School, artists, veterans of war, and others will speak.

This is only the beginning of what each of us can do to bring peace and nonviolence to our lives, our communities, our world.

Talking Turkey

November 28, 2009 Leave a comment

This Christmas 10 million turkeys will be killed and eaten in the UK. Added to the 45 million that have just met the same fate in the US for Thanksgiving, this represents one of the largest death tolls in such a short time period for any creature.

According to animal welfare charity Viva!, turkeys have a zest for living and, treated with respect, they become very friendly. Wild turkeys live in North and Central America and, apparently, Benjamin Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird of the US instead of the Bald Eagle. They are striking and handsome, graceful and intelligent. They roost in trees and roam in woodlands, eating vegetation and insects. They live in harems – the mothers being very protective of their young. An adult bird can fly up to 50mph.

How sad then that they have become the food of choice for what is supposedly a Christian festival.

This is poet Benjamin Zephaniah’s plea for this cruelly abused and much maligned bird:

Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas
Cos’ turkeys just wanna hav fun
Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked
An every turkey has a Mum.
Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas,
Don’t eat it, keep it alive,
It could be yu mate, an not on your plate
Say, Yo! Turkey I’m on your side.
I got lots of friends who are turkeys
An all of dem fear christmas time,
Dey wanna enjoy it, dey say humans destroyed it
An humans are out of dere mind,
Yeah, I got lots of friends who are turkeys
Dey all hav a right to a life,
Not to be caged up an genetically made up
By any farmer an his wife.

Turkeys just wanna play reggae
Turkeys just wanna hip-hop
Can yu imagine a nice young turkey saying,
‘I cannot wait for de chop’,
Turkeys like getting presents, dey wanna watch christmas TV,
Turkeys hav brains an turkeys feel pain
In many ways like yu an me.

I once knew a turkey called…Turkey
He said “Benji explain to me please,
Who put de turkey in christmas
An what happens to christmas trees?”,
I said “I am not too sure turkey
But it’s nothing to do wid Christ Mass
Humans get greedy an waste more dan need be
An business men mek loadsa cash’.

Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
Invite dem indoors fe sum greens
Let dem eat cake an let dem partake
In a plate of organic grown beans,
Be nice to yu turkey dis christmas
An spare dem de cut of de knife,
Join Turkeys United an dey’ll be delighted
An yu will mek new friends ‘FOR LIFE’.

Good time to invest in alcohol and drugs

November 28, 2009 Leave a comment

An article in Saturday’s Guardian newspaper offers a sad reflection on 21st Century values.

Looking at what assets rose the most in value during the first nine years of the century (the ‘noughties’), they discovered that the big winners were fine wine and cigarettes.

A case of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982 which would have cost you £2,613 at the beginning of 2000 (already a disturbingly large amount of money for 12 bottles of wine), sold at the end of October this year for £25,500, an increase of 876%.

And shares in British American Tobacco, whose brands include Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall mall rose over the decade by 454% with Imperial Tobacco – makers of West, Gauloises and Rizla – not far behind with an increase of 400%.

Although this was the decade that saw smoking outlawed in public places in the UK such as cafes, bars and workplaces, these two made their vast profits partly by exploiting lucrative new markets such as Nigeria and Pakistan.

So it seems that producing wine for the obscenely rich or peddling a proven cancer-producing drug to poor people in developing countries is the best way to increase your wealth.

How very, very sad.