can look at war as a massing of arms and matérial
and troops, but you can also see it as something
else--as a delicate web of interwoven choices made
by human beings, made out of a certain consciousness.
The decision to order an attack, the choice to obey
or disobey an order, to fire or not to fire a weapon.
Armies and, indeed, any culture that supports them
must convince the people that all the decisions
are made already, and they have no choice. But that
is never true."
Fifth Sacred Thing" by
of Peace from Webster
Etymology: Middle English pees, from Old French
pais, from Latin pac-, pax; akin to Latin pacisci
to agree -- more at PACT
Date: 12th century
1 : a state of tranquillity or quiet: as a : freedom
from civil disturbance b : a state of security or
order within a community provided for by law or
custom <a breach of the peace>
2 : freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts
3 : harmony in personal relations
4 a : a state or period of mutual concord between
governments b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities
between those who have been at war or in a state
5 -- used interjectionally to ask for silence or
calm or as a greeting or farewell
- at peace : in a state of concord or tranquillity
WORDS - E'tokmit e'k, rangimarie, hedd,
pace, tutquin, shanti, vrede, paquilisli,
MNP, Onai rahu, amani, kev sib haum
xeeb, salam, shaantiM, hedd, gutpela
taim, lalyi, pesca, damai, raha, fred,
eirni, pax, mir, peace, heiwa, amn,
nabad, rauha,paz, frid, paco, shAnti,
paqe, danh tu, ittimokla, rahu, paix,
beke, shalom, mnonestotse, kapayapaan
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Arts Galleries of Art & Poetry
any political party attempt to abolish
social security, unemployment insurance,
and eliminate labor laws and farm programs,
you would not hear of that party again
in our political history.
There is a tiny splinter group, of course,
that believes you can do these things.
Among them are...Texas oil millionaires
and an occasional politician or business
man from other areas. Their number is
negligible and they are stupid. - President
Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1954
world is possible. Where the choice
is between war or peace, between memory
or oblivion, between hope or despair,
between the grey on one side and the
whole rainbow on the other side. One
world where many worlds can exist. It
is possible for a "YES!" an
"YES!" to be born out of a
"NO!". A "YES!"
that gives humanity hope back, so that
we day by day can
rebuild the complex bridge that connects
thinking and feeling" ....
Marcos, from the mountains in Southeast
inscribed on our Statue of Liberty proclaim
what we say makes this a special nation:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your
huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,the
wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these the homeless, tempest-tossed
to me I lift my lamp beside the golden
world is too
dangerous for anything
but truth and too small
for anything but love.
William Sloane Coffin:
few days ago the FCC voted to gut Net Neutrality,
Mozilla and many others are redoubling their
commitment to fight for an open, healthy and
accessible Internet in 2018. They need our
support. So please consider making a donation
to Mozilla today. Thanks and Happy Celebrations!
is a non-profit, and committed to supporting
an internet for people, not profits. But because
they're a non-profit, they depend on the generosity
of people like you to fund their campaign
the campaign to protect Net Neutrality in
the US, working to protect rights for content
creators and Internet users in Europe, and
the ever-growing threats to our privacy and
security online, they've invested in some
of their biggest campaign actions ever over
the past few months.
consider helping Mozilla to continue their
vital work in 2018 with a special donation
work is for all of us who want to enjoy the
openess of information resources on the web
and who also appreciate a strong presence
of the little companies, because in fact,
they are the ones who employ most people.
making a donation to Mozilla today!
by Rob Kall, via Flickr Commons
Lessons from the 20th Century About How to Defend
Democracy from Authoritarianism, According to Yale
Historian Timothy Snyder
in History | January 20th, 2017 - 1.3k SHARES -
Image by Rob Kall, via Flickr Commons
Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History
at Yale University, is one of the foremost
scholars in the U.S. and Europe on the rise
and fall of totalitarianism during the 1930s
and 40s. Among his long list of appointments
and publications, he has won multiple awards
for his recent international bestsellers Bloodlands:
Europe between Hitler and Stalin and last
year's Black Earth: The Holocaust as History
and Warning. That book in part makes the argument
that Nazism wasn't only a German nationalist
movement but had global colonialist origins-in
Russia, Africa, and in the U.S., the nation
that pioneered so many methods of human extermination,
racist dehumanization, and ideologically-justified
The hyper-capitalism portrayed in the U.S.-even
during the Depression-Snyder writes, fueled
Hitler's imagination, such that he promised
Germans "a life comparable to that of
the American people," whose "racially
pure and uncorrupted" German population
he described as "world class." Snyder
describes Hitler's ideology as a myth of racialist
struggle in which "there are really no
values in the world except for the stark reality
that we are born in order to take things from
other people." Or as we often hear these
days, that acting in accordance with this
principle is the "smart" thing to
do. Like many far right figures before and
after, Hitler aimed to restore a state of
nature that for him was a perpetual state
of race war for imperial dominance.
After the November election, Snyder wrote a profile
of Hitler, a short piecethat made no direct comparisons
to any contemporary figure. But reading the facts
of the historical case alarmed most readers. A few
days later, the historian appeared on a Slate podcast
to discuss the article, saying that after he submitted
it, "I realized there was more
are an awful lot of echoes." Snyder admits
that history doesn't actually repeat itself. But
we're far too quick, he says, to dismiss that idea
as a cliché "and not think about history
at all. History shows a range of possibilities."
Similar events occur across time under similar kinds
of conditions. And it is, of course, possible to
learn from the past.
If you've heard other informed analysis but haven't
read Snyder's New York Review of Books columns on
fascism in Putin's Russia or the former Yanukovich's
Ukraine, or his long article "Hitler's World
May Not Be So Far Away," you may have seen
his widely-shared Facebook post making the rounds.
As he argued in The Guardian last September, today
we may be "too certain we are ethically superior
to the Europeans of the 1940s." On November,
15, Snyder wrote on Facebook that "Americans
are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy
yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism." Snyder
has been criticized for conflating these regimes,
and rising "into the top rungs of punditdom,"
but when it comes to body counts and levels of suppressive
malignancy, it's hard to argue that Stalinist Russia,
any more than Tsarist Russia, was anyone's idea
of a democracy.
Rather than making a historical case for viewing
the U.S. as exactly like one of the totalitarian
regimes of WWII Europe, Snyder presents 20 lessons
we might learn from those times and use creatively
in our own where they apply. In my view, following
his suggestions would make us wiser, more self-aware,
proactive, responsible citizens, whatever lies ahead.
Read Snyder's lessons from his Facebook post below
and consider pre-ordering his latest book On Tyranny:
Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century:
1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of
authoritarianism is freely given. In times like
these, individuals think ahead about what a more
repressive government will want, and then start
to do it without being asked. You've already done
this, haven't you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience
teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates
2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the
media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of
"our institutions" unless you are making
them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions
don't protect themselves. They go down like dominoes
unless each is defended from the beginning.
3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders
of state set a negative example, professional commitments
to just practice become much more important. It
is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers,
and it is hard to have show trials without judges.
4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain
words. Look out for the expansive use of "terrorism"
and "extremism." Be alive to the fatal
notions of "exception" and "emergency."
Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic
5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the
terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians
at all times either await or plan such events in
order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag
fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end
of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties,
and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian
book. Don't fall for it.
6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the
phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way
of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you
think everyone is saying. (Don't use the internet
before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom,
and read.) What to read? Perhaps "The Power
of the Powerless" by Václav Havel, 1984
by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czeslaw Milosz,
The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism
by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything
is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.
7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words
and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange
to do or say something different. But without that
unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you
set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken,
and others will follow.
8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon
freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize
power, because there is no basis upon which to do
so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The
biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.
9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself.
Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative
journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize
that some of what is on your screen is there to
harm you. Learn about sites that investigate foreign
10. Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your
body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating
on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar
places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends
and march with them.
11. Make eye contact and small talk. This is not
just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your
surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers,
and come to understand whom you should and should
not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation,
you will want to know the psychological landscape
of your daily life.
12. Take responsibility for the face of the world.
Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate.
Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove
them yourself and set an example for others to do
13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that
took over states were once something else. They
exploited a historical moment to make political
life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local
and state elections while you can.
14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick
a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know
that you have made a free choice that is supporting
civil society helping others doing something good.
15. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will
use what they know about you to push you around.
Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email
is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms
of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal
exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve
any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail
state, looking for the hook on which to hang you.
Try not to have too many hooks.
16. Learn from others in other countries. Keep up
your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad.
The present difficulties here are an element of
a general trend. And no country is going to find
a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family
17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men
with guns who have always claimed to be against
the system start wearing uniforms and marching around
with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is
nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official
police and military intermingle, the game is over.
18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry
a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep
you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen
and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing
irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do
not know what this means, contact the United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training
in professional ethics.)
19. Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is
prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will
die in unfreedom.
20. Be a patriot. The incoming president is not.
Set a good example of what America means for the
generations to come. They will need it.
we be seeds of peace, may we be seeds of justice, may
we be seeds of freedom .
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