Monday, July 30, 2007


The word "green" used to be all about St. Patrick's Day. It has more meaning these days, and rightfully so. Combating climate change and gaining "energy security" often has me wondering what kinds of things I can be doing to help our old polluted earth.

I do most of my grocery shopping at Albertson's. It's close to my home and is smaller then the big box stores I get lost in. Going there this week led me to a great discovery. 10 sturdy canvas green bags for sale for 10 bucks. I bought three and carried my groceries home in green bags I will use again and again. Congratuations and thank you Albertson's! You are doing something to stimulate responsibility, and I'm responding!

Plastic bags have bothered me for some time. Did you know there is enough petroleum in 14 bags to drive a car one mile? It takes 12 million barrels of oil and 14 million trees to make all the paper and plastic bags Americans use each year.

A plastic bag needs 1,000 (yes, that's 1,000) years to decompose, according to the EPA. while a paper bag takes a month. Yet, paper bags generate more pollutants in production than plastic counterparts. Reuseable cloth bags solve the problem.

I applaud my daughter's friend, Adam, for completing plans on building a "green" house. Talk about being environmentally conscious!! As for me, I'm taking baby steps. Today, green bags, and light bulbs. Tomorrow, hopefully more. And how about you? Are you in the loop?

Remember to care and be aware...........Pax Tecum

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Difficult Discernment

I consider myself a peace activist, but it is a hard road to travel. Where to go, what to do, when to do it. How involved to get, not only with your money and your mind, but all out acts of civil disobedience.

Discern, by dictionary, means to perceive by the sight or the intellect, or to distinguish mentally. The decision to attend demonstrations, to be visable and vocal is fairly easy for me to do. I am good as part of the crowd, one of many making up the whole. I find it a very effective way of getting the message out, one of many, who understands the power in numbers.

But individual acts of civil disobedience puts you into the arena alone. The stakes are definitely higher, and the reasons for doing it must be clear in your head. This is heavy stuff, involving arrest, confinement, and notoriety. Why in the heck am I even talking about this???

I will tell you why. House Bill # 1707 was defeated again this year by a few votes. The bill was written to eliminate funding for the SOA/WHINSEC. That notorious combat training facility for Latin American security personnel located ar Fort Benning , Georgia. It is a school of torture and failed U.S. policy, and you and I are paying for it with our taxes.

Every year in November, at the gates of Fort Benning, thousands of the little people who value justice gather to demonstrate against the schools human right abuses. I've been there and demonstrated, and am now discerning if the time has come for me to do more.

It's hard when family and friends think you're crazy for even considering it. One member of my family stated "why in the world would you do that? It wouldn't make a bit of difference, and it sure would not change a thing". I think of the solidarity that would unite me with all the people who died and whose families were torn apart by this program. Am I crazy? Maybe.

I remember something Robert F. Kennedy said, and I think it addresses the little people like me. "Few will have the greatness to change history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."

Pax Tecum