Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lean but not mean

The war machine is grotesquely bloated and it is shamefully mean. It takes and takes and takes and just when we have suffered unprecedented loss, it takes more.

The Cost of War website is rapidly approaching the $1Trillion mark, and this is just for the wars since 2001, not for the war machine that operates to make these wars possible. The War Resisters League budget chart shows the obscene level of military spending above and beyond war; this opportunity cost is why our various budgets are suffering, including education and environmental protection.

Peace is skinny.

Peace is hungry.

Peace is malnourished and yet blooms healthy anytime it's given a chance.

Peace is lean but not mean.

Peace is overpraised and underfunded. War is condemned and overfunded.

Let's start to live our rhetoric.

I'm getting to be a geezer; I'll be 60 this year. I can't run anymore with my bum Achilles tendon, but I can still bike. I got rid of my car years ago as a bad bet for peace. I'll bet on bikes.

When I lived in the country, I couldn't bike 50 miles to work in the snow and I focused on driving a fuel-efficent car while making sure my cabin was superinsulated and solar heated alongside the ubiquitous woodstove.

Was this activity a hardship? No, it was simply minor accountability as an educated human who understood the connections between resource consumption, war, and individual participation. I had many friends who did the same or whatever their own mix of conservation and efficiency might have been. Indeed, we had a group for years we called People Attempting Self-Sufficiency, PASS. We held annual Energy Fairs to showcase alternatives, and people flocked to attend. I've added some images from our resident artist, Francene Hart, and invite you to check out her other art.

The spirit of helping, of living appropriately, is always ready to be fostered and engaged. It doesn't work to be self-righteous, but it does work to bring the information to your fellow citizens.

Connecting nonviolence to conservation is an easy thing and this is part of going on that diet America's been promising itself for so long. Of course with oil it's like we've been binge drinking at the same time, so we need some really serious methods of drying out and getting right with all those we've hurt. Once Americans understand this, we can begin to make ourselves loved and respected not for our big military but for our big hearts and helpful honesty.

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