Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hooray - Spring is Here - Happy Spring to you!

Hooray Spring is Here!

Happy Spring to You -

especially to my friends who live in the colder climates :-)

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Unhappy 7th Anniversary of the War in Iraq-5,407 killed in action

5,407 military from the United States have been
killed in action since the start of the war in Iraq in 2003.
Also some allies from U.K., Spain, Poland, Australia and Denmark


U.S. Deaths Since war began (3/19/03): 5,407

Latest Fatality Mar. 18, 2010

U.S. Wounded

320,000 Vets Have Brain Injuries

War Veterans’ Concussions Are Often Overlooked

Wounded- official count 31,693

18 Vet Suicides Per Day.

Iraqi Casualties - more than one million


As of today's date SEVEN YEARS have passed without a peaceful resolution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There has been a strong corps of people who are against the war who have been protesting by sending letters, making phone calls, picketing, marching, displaying Anti-War signs on their lawns, cars, windows, clothing, e-mails, blogs, books, magazines, etc..

The figures quoted above come from official sources. Most of us feel that the numbers of dead and wounded are much higher. The number of Iraqi's killed is over one million with more than 4.2 million Iraqi refugees displaced.

I have done everything that I can think of to protest these wars and today I feel that not much has changed. I do not have the personal resources to stop it and I know that I have the stamina to stay in this for the long haul, however, just for today, I lack the physical, spiritual and emotional strength to do much more than to share with you the number of persons who have been reported dead during this involvement on Iraq and Afghanistan's soil.

Does anyone else give a damn about this?

Tonight I'm taking the evening off - tomorrow I will be demonstrating again.
Won't you join me? Even if you have never taken part in any type of social action in your life - wont you join me and others in standing up for justice?
It takes courage to take a stand and I believe that if enough people would just stand up then the 'powers that be' just might listen.

As in the words of Margaret Meade " Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."

If you have any comments or would like some suggestions on how to get involved let

peacesojourner presente!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Winter Reflections

Winter reflections: A Russian woman walks under the snow-encrusted

trees of a Moscow park. (AFP/Natalia Kolesnikova)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Women - How Healthy Are You?

Medical Tests for Women in Their 40s

How healthy are you? Your 40s are a great time to assess the current state of your health, correct the abuses of your past, and prepare your body for the next four, five (or six!) decades of your life. Your doctor can help by checking you for problems that can rob you of your health.

Here's a list of the basic tests women should ask for. (Note that your doctor may recommend additional tests based on your personal health profile.)

Blood Sugar. Decades of eating the wrong food (think chocolate, hot dogs, fries -- you get the picture) plus weight gain (plus hormone changes in women) may have overworked your poor pancreas. It can't keep up and that can lead to diabetes. Starting at age 45, be sure to get a fasting blood sugar test, and then at least once every three years.

Breast Exam and Mammogram. You're probably checking your breasts at home regularly (you better!) and your doctor does an exam annually, but most experts recommend adding a mammogram to the mix somewhere between 40 and 50. When to start? Work with your doctor to decide.

Blood Pressure. Don't be surprised if your blood pressure starts rising now - that's common. Fortunately, you can lower your blood pressure through diet, exercise, and medication. It's worth the effort. Lower blood pressure is a key factor in longevity.

Cholesterol Profile. Take heart: this simple blood test can save your life. One in five Americans has high cholesterol, a condition that leads to heart attacks or strokes - diseases that claim a life every 33 seconds! If you have high cholesterol, protect yourself by changing your diet and taking medications such as statins.

Stepping on the Scales. You blissfully enjoyed chips and hamburgers while ignoring your expanding waistline, but the scale doesn't lie. Pay attention to the results: being overweight puts you at high risk for developing a number of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

Pelvic Exam and Pap. Yes, you still need these -- especially if you're sexually active. Ten minutes of mild discomfort once every one to three years pays big dividends in protecting you from cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

Looking for Moles. Those years of getting "a healthy tan" can lead to something not so healthy -- skin cancer. Luckily, most skin cancers are curable. So don't forget to ask your doctor to check your skin for unusual moles or skin changes once a year.

Protecting Your Eyes. Having trouble reading or working at the computer? It's not unusual. Be sure to get your eyes examined regularly -- every one to two years to check for common problems like presbyopia, glaucoma and macular degeneration. (Go more often if you have vision problems).

Checking Your Immunizations. Ask your doctor if you need a tetanus booster shot, and whether you should consider a flu shot.
This year, give yourself the gift that keeps on giving. Schedule a visit to your dentist, and call your doctor to see if there are important tests you should take. By investing an hour or so with the doctor now, you may be able to add years to your life.

WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Jonathan L Gelfand, MD

Don't put it off any longer - Get those tests and examinations done soon.

I usually schedule a complete physical around my birth date. This helps me to remember when the next appointment is due.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Daylight Saving Time Remains a Mystery To Me

Have you ever wondered why we change our clocks twice a year?
This has always been a mystery to me.

I seem to recall that daylight saving time somehow saves money and reduces consumption of energy. For me, it has always been a struggle with my biological makeup. I seem to take longer than most to adjust to the loss/gain of one hour.

Originally Benjamin Franklin's idea, Daylight Saving Time is a little bit different everywhere it is practiced and has been controversial since its introduction. It has two main purposes: to increase evening daytime hours for outdoor leisure activities and to save on energy consumption.
Benjamin Franklin first conceived the idea that would become DLT during a 1784 post as an American delegate in Paris. It was similar to his oft quoted maxim, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." Half-jokingly, Franklin suggested that Parisians shift their sleep schedules an hour back in order to save on candles in the evening. He did not suggest changing the clock and it was not until World War I, in 1916, when it was adopted by several countries in Europe that had initially rejected the idea.

Spring forward...Fall back....

It's ingrained in our consciousness almost as much as the A-B-C’s. Yet in those four words is a whole collection of trivia, facts and common sense about Daylight Saving Time.
DLT - for the U.S. and its territories - is NOT observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and by most of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona).


-DLT saves Energy – this statement has caused much controversy over the years.While the amounts of electricity saved per household are small...added up they can be very large.
-DLT saves lives and prevents traffic injuries.
-DLT prevents crime.

The surveys are being taken, the question remains, how long will it take for the results to come in?

It is difficult to predict what will happen with Daylight Saving Time in the future. Many countries change the date and they desire to change the time due to special events or conditions. The United States, Canada and some other countries extended DST in 2007. The new start date is the second Sunday in March through to the first Sunday in November.

Daylight Saving Time statistics for 2009:

Countries which do not observe DST at all 131
Countries where at least one location observe DST 74
Countries where all locations observe DST some part of the year 63
Countries where many, but not all locations observe DST 11

To add to the confusion:

We also have the The International Date Line, abbreviated as the IDL, this is an imaginary line which runs roughly along the 180 degree line of longitude, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

International convention accepts the IDL as the location where one day rolls over to the next, with the area east of the IDL one day ahead of the west. The line is necessary to address certain oddities which occur during travel: people going all the way around the world perceive themselves either gaining or losing a day, depending on which direction they traveled in, as happened to Magellan on his first voyage.

I recall, while travelling to India on a plane over the Pacific Ocean, the Pilot announced "We have just lost one day as we travel over the International Date Line."

We went from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon in a blink of an eye. Hey, I wanted that day ! How will I ever know what wonderful things could have happened on my lost day? Later, when I returned home they 'said' that they returned it to me but I have never quite believed that. Where did it go? What did I do? Now I ask you, would you voluntarily give away a day of your life? Of course not :-)


If you are interested in changing DST, either abolishing it or having it extended year-round contact your state's elected officials or your Congressional representatives. You can also contact the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

Final observations:

Daylight Saving Time differs in other areas of the world. To further complicate it, India makes their change difference 1-½ hours and Chatham Island New Zealand has a 1-3/4 hours time difference. It is amazing that the countries around the world can keep up with so many variations of what appears to be a vague promise of energy consumption.

Do you think when the world was created that there was ever such a plan regarding 'time' predicted for the future?

I find this website very helpful when I need to know what the time and weather is in almost every corner of the globe.

Tonight when we hear the news bulletins reminding us to put our clocks one hour forward – don’t ask questions - just do it!

Doris "Granny D" Haddock dies at the age of 100 years

Doris "Granny D" Haddock (January 24, 1910 – March 9, 2010) was an American politician and liberal political activist from New Hampshire.

This week I learned of the death of activist Doris Haddock of Dublin, N.H., better known as Granny D. I first met her 10 years ago when she visited Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She was 90 years old when she completed her 3,200 miles journey across the country to lobby for campaign finance reform – starting on January 1, 1999 and culminating on February 29, 2000,

She died on Tuesday March 9, at the age of 100. A former housewife and office assistant, Doris was happily retired for over twenty years–but when her husband died, she needed a reason to live. So at the age of 90, she laced up her sneakers and walked across America to rally against the influence of big money in elections. Her epic journey galvanized popular attention to a political system gone awry.

Unfortunately, candidates who can raise the most money still win elections. It’s a system where, as Granny D put it “a poor man has to sell his soul to get elected.”

Granny D ran an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2004, continued to press Congress to plug campaign loopholes in campaign laws that allowed so-called “soft money” from corporations, and other interest groups trying to influence political campaigns.

Campaign reform efforts were dealt another blow in January when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to reverse a century-long trend to limit the power of corporations in American elections. The decision overruled two precedents – a 1990 decision that upheld restrictions on corporate spending to support or oppose political candidates and a 2003 decision that upheld the McCain-Feingold law that restricted campaign spending by corporations and unions.

It will take leadership, courage and the perseverance shown by Granny D, during her second career as a political activist to change the way politics is played in America.

“Never be discouraged from being an activist because people tell you that you’ll not succeed,” she wrote. “You are succeeding if you are out there representing truth or justice or compassion or fairness or love.”

There are many miles left to go before Granny D’s dream is realized. But hers are words to live by.

As I listened to this small, energetic, feisty, then 90-year-old lady who had just walked 3,200 miles across the continental United States, I was filled with encouragement and renewed energy that one should continue to speak up when we see or hear something that we feel needs to be changed. Sometimes it can be a lonely struggle but then people like Granny D enter our lives and we are inspired to continue on.

During her walk, while following her daily regimen of ten miles, she wrote nightly for two hours. The result was a journal that is a multilayered memoir, roadside nature field book, and philosophical summation of a life well spent. She spoke fondly of people who she had met on her journey. Her book is full of portraits of the countless citizens who welcomed, joined, cared for, and walked with her. Her graceful descriptions of the kindness routinely shown her are collectively a stunning portrait of the American soul.


"You're Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell." Granny D.


God bless you Granny D and thank you for all of the work that you did while here on earth and for giving us the inspiration to continue to speak out and stand up against injustices of the world.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

5,398 U.S. Service Members Killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

The following message is a call for action from United for Peace and Justice:

Call Congress Today: Vote to End Afghanistan War! Congress has the power to end the Afghanistan war with a majority vote of both houses.

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill requiring all U.S. armed forces to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

Call your House representative and tell him or her to vote YES on H. Con. Res. 248! Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121

The bill, introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, asserts the authority given to Congress under the War Powers Act. If passed, the bill would require all U.S. armed forces to be withdrawn from Afghanistan in 30 days, or in any case by December 2010 if the President certifies they cannot be safely withdrawn that fast.

The bill is expected to result in 3 hours of debate on the floor of the House. "We haven't had a real debate," Kucinich said in explaining why he was pushing the resolution. "We want to light the fire of the American peace movement."

Even if this resolution does not pass, a large number of "Yes" votes would send a strong message to the White House that the Administration needs a real and rapid "exit strategy."

Contact your Member of Congress to support H. Con Res. 248, and ask your friends to do the same. 202-224-3121. 2009 was the bloodiest year for U.S. combat deaths and Afghan civilian casualties. There can be no military solution in Afghanistan. Yet tens of thousands of troops are on their way to Afghanistan this spring as part of the president's misguided escalation.


To date there have been 5,398 U.S. Service members

killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Compassion by Frederick Buechner

“Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity
for feeling what it is like to live inside
somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that
there can never really be any peace and joy for
me until there is peace and joy finally for you, too.”

-- Frederick Buechner

photo of Gabriel and Igor from the pen of the wayfarer