Susan Livingston's blog

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This is one of those moments when I feel absolutely in tune with the cosmos. I was just about to do this blog entry about Thursday night's conference call when my dial-up disconnected. Whenever I reconnect, my email automatically downloads, and I noticed that my "Soul Booster" had arrived, so I thought I'd take a look at that before coming back to propeace. It was from the Dalai Lama, and it said, "An enemy is the greatest teacher of altruism, and for that reason, instead of hating, we must respect him." read more »

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SC District 4 (Greenville) DoP Campaign Coordinator Sara Eaton didn't really think she was an activist. She wrote, Until I got your mail, I questioned my sanity in volunteering to do something that I am certainly not qualified to do! I actually felt a bit guilty for volunteering. In the past, it has not been my nature to be a leader. Yet I signed up, knowing that I don't have time to really devote to the peace movement, except as one who lives peacefully, speaks of peace, and promotes peace. read more »

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I've put out a call for DoP precedents to Matthew Albracht of The Peace Alliance and Philip Henika of The Carter Center. Other governments have such Departments, and I want to see if they have anything to teach us. Philip answered me today with enough information to satisfy my research needs for a few days at least.

Elsewhere, I spoke of holding up our Constitution beside documents such as the World Charter to see whether or not it addresses the cultural revolutions and subsequent consciousness shifts of the past 200 years, and I made the point that we ignore such changes at our peril. Analysis of the six goals set forth in the Preamble by means of both cross-cultural and historical perspectives revealed that the noble intent has failed to be translated into practice.

  • Form a more perfect union - An iron-clad charter to be amended "from time to time" does not address the ever-accelerating rate of cultural change. A more malleable substance - clay rather than iron - is needed.
  • Establish justice - Once established, justice must be secured.
  • Insure domestic tranquility - Not!
  • Provide for the common defense - Overkill!
  • Promote the general welfare - Inequitable distribution of resources has compromised the viability of the middle class.
  • Secure the blessings of liberty - Those must be the blessings guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. How can we secure them?
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This sermon was inspired by Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind.

Two warriors, a man and a woman, both honorable and brave, walked with a sage from his house a short distance into the woods. They came upon two young maple trees. The thinner tree was a bit thinner than the woman's wrist, while the thicker tree was a bit thicker than the man's wrist. The sage stopped them and gave to the woman a fine new sword. It was heavy, and it drooped until its point touched the ground. read more »

The following Ten Commandments are from Kent M. Keith's book Anyway: Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World.


People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway. read more »

I was deeply moved by the article "A Correspondent Comes Home" by Dahr Jamail that appeared in AlterNet on June 2, 2005. He had been back in this country for three months, but his heart and mind were still in Iraq, where he had witnessed real people undergoing real hardship on a daily basis. Our relative ease and removal from the situation seemed surreal to him. He said, "I keep wondering how long so many people in my home country will continue to ignore it, to be complicit, whether they know it or not, in our brutal occupation - so long after it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that this war was illegal and based on nothing but lies. I can't help wondering as well how long they will be complicit as their tax dollars continue to be spent on a war machine that is eating their children and loved ones, along with innocent Iraqis; complicit as social programs and benefits, civil rights and liberties are stripped from them - a little more with each passing day. read more »

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I participated in The Peace Alliance conference call on Non-Violent Communication (NVC) a few hours ago. Even though there were so many of us, Miki is such a terrific moderator that true connections were made across the demographics of age, gender, and geography - the only ones that are obvious on the phone; there may have been others. I will summarize her main points and relate them to ideas that have already been discussed elsewhere. read more »

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At the suggestion of the Kucinich site, I just read the USA Today editorial in favor of the continued occupation of Iraq. I don't usually read such rags because they upset my mental equanimity as well as my digestive system, but this time, since I was warned about what would be there and informed that I would have a chance to respond, I was prepared to answer in a more productive fashion than letting my blood boil. Since I doubt they will publish anything that "radical," I thought I'd at least publish it for this readership. read more »

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Sixty South Carolinians organized by the Carolina Peace Resource Center in Columbia marched from the University of South Carolina horseshoe (main campus) to the plaza in front of the federal building about a mile away. I'm sure there will be pictures posted at their website very soon. Leading the sidewalk parade were two black coffins, each with four pall-bearers, followed by a wreath-bearer and a drummer who throbbed a slow, deliberate beat. Next came four scrolls listing the names and ages of fallen American soldiers who have been sacrificed to "¦. read more »

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...is hard to come by these days, but today's AlterNet (5/18/05) has certainly started my day off right. Featured was the transcript (with links to live audio and video) of a speech by Bill Moyers, former NOW host who retired last year, that was given in St. Louis regarding government control of media in particular and the state of the nation in general. Moyers received calls to come out of retirement and even two nominations for President! read more »

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