Meditation Focus #181
Shifting the World Consciousness from Greed & Fear to Compassion & Love
What follows is the 181st Meditation Focus suggested for the next 3 weeks beginning Sunday, January 27, 2008.
SHIFTING THE WORLD CONSCIOUSNESS FROM GREED AND FEAR TO COMPASSION AND LOVE
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus
4. Special peace vigil for Kenya
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS
Also recommended to your attention...
The Big Scoop Series #20: Making the Best Out of a Difficult Situation (January 8, 2008)
The Writing on the Wall Series #55: You Have to be Blind to Not See What's Happening (January 11, 2007)
Turning Tide of History #24: It's Now or Never! (January 20, 2007)
The Moment of Truth Series #11: Be the Change! (January 24, 2008)
As the United States enters a new election cycle leading to the selection of a new leader whose key responsibility will be to shift the path of this country back to compassion, love and peace, and away from the clenching grip of greed, fear and war, a change of course that will be essential in similarly shifting the priorities of numerous other countries, we are left to wonder what role we each could play in helping this hoped for result come to be. There is much we can do. The first critical assistance we can provide is through holding in our hearts the vision of the kind of world we would like to live in, and to empower through our collective spiritual will the kind of values that will make such a world possible. However, it is only through shifting humanity's consciousness away from the perfidious and pervasive influence of greedy motivations that a more enlightened attitude towards all Life and all other beings will come to be.
For centuries, the selfish pursuit of one's own enrichment and material comfort to the detriment of everything else has been the dominant and unquestioned socially accepted goal of the vast majority of humans. Because of the growing pressure of vastly increased multitude of people whose consumption now exceeds the limits of her finite natural resources, our living planet is choking under this stress and showing unmistakable signs of imminent failure. Unless radical changes are soon globally implemented through enlightened and bold leadership, and unless a vast majority of humans choose to willingly join the growing chorus and movement for a greener and more socially equitable lifestyle, the ship of our civilization will enter treacherous waters that will force us all to take even more drastic measures to prevent it from sinking altogether.
Realizing how vital it is to eradicate from humanity's psychic makeup the deeply entrenched thought-forms of greed and fear, leading to blindness to the suffering of other beings, human, animal or otherwise, and to replace it with the Life-nurturing values of compassion and love, leading to greater empathy and a true understanding of our Oneness with All That Is, we shall each focus our God-driven willing abilities to reach out to the souls of all our brothers and sisters and sow the seeds of loving kindness, compassionate caring and an unremitting desire to become ever better, and ever more filled with Peace, Love and Harmony, for the Highest Good of all.
This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus181.htm
"WE ARE ALL CONNECTED - Everything we do, think and feel has an effect upon the whole We are energetic beings. As physics has proven, "energy flows where your focus goes". Each thought that you have, changes the molecular structure of every other human being. We are receiving in manifested form, all of that which lies within our own consciousness - personally and globally. Together we create an energy field of light, and light is reflective. The catalyst of emotion comes from the heart, the seat of emotion. To the degree that there is greed, judgment and hatred, is to the degree that the world will manifest all that represents the fundamental fear which masks as greed, judgment and hatred. To the degree that there is love, is to the degree that the world will manifest compassion, healing, unity, and peace. Let us choose wisely, for the future of our planet, of humanity and the quality of our lives and the lives of our children."
- Rev. Marcy Roban -- Taken from http://www.oneworldmovement.org/how_create_peace.htm
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below correspond (for most countries) to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 AM
You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=27&month=01&year=2008&hour=16&min=0&sec=0&p1=0 to find your corresponding local time if a nearby city is not listed above.
3. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS
The following is provided as a complement to further the process of inspirational understanding of what, in truth, cannot be grasped from a purely intellectual perspective, for the True Key to unlock the vault of your spiritual knowledge lies within you... and nowhere else.
1. DIVINE GOVERNMENT - 2008
2. What America Needs in 2008
How greed is killing the oceans
Corporate Greed, Intellectual Property Laws and the Destruction of Human Civilization
Institutionalized Glorification of our Greed and Gluttony: Thanksgiving Reflections of an Anti-Capitalist
Greed is the selfish desire for or pursuit of money, wealth, power, food, or other possessions, especially when this denies the same goods to others.
Compassion is an understanding of the emotional state of another. Not to be confused with empathy, compassion is often combined with a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another or to show special kindness to those who suffer
DIVINE GOVERNMENT - 2008
by Patricia Diane Cota-Robles - http://www.eraofpeace.org
This is a powerful moment for the people in the United States of America. We are being called to a higher service, and we are being presented with the opportunity to change the direction in which this country is headed. Time is of the essence, and in order for this country to fulfill her Divine Destiny, we must act now. We must get involved, and we must respond to the inner prompting of our hearts that keep repeating the refrain, "Your time is at hand."
When we watch the news or read the newspaper it appears as though everything on this planet is spiraling out of control and disintegrating into an abyss of chaos and confusion. It seems as though the people in positions of power who are associated with governments, corporations, energy, religions, the media, financial institutions, medical and pharmaceutical interests and most of the other institutions that profoundly affect people's lives, have lost their way.
They have succumbed to the paralyzing grip of their fear-based, fragmented human egos even though this aspect of Humanity's fallen personality is now obsolete. They have bought into the illusion of lack and limitation. Many of them sincerely believe that they must lie, cheat, steal and kill in order to survive. These people are committed to doing whatever they think is necessary in order to maintain their power.
It is difficult for the average person to fathom how we will ever get out of this mess. It looks like an impossible task, and it seems as though our humble efforts are futile in the face of such powerful adversity. But our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Father-Mother Godthe Cosmic I AMAll That Is, is directing the Company of Heaven and embodied Lightworkers on Earth to help every person on this planet understand that NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!!!
We are not worthless sinners or worms in the dust. We are Beloved Sons and Daughters of God, and ALL that our Father-Mother God has is ours. We are in the physical plane of Earth at this time to learn how to use our creative faculties of thought and feeling to become cocreators with our God Parents. We were given the gift of free will, so that we would voluntarily use our thoughts and feelings to cocreate new patterns of Divinity in the physical world of form, thus expanding the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. As Children of God, we are powerful beyond our knowing.
No matter how remote that Truth may be from our conscious mind and memory, it is still pulsating in the genetic codings of our Divine Potential. All we have to do in order to bring this knowledge to the surface is ask our I AM Presence to reveal to us the Truth of who we are and why we are here.
In order to change what is happening in the outer world, we do NOT have to do battle with the forces of imbalance. That particular focus of our attention would interfere with our ability to be the Peace Commanding Presence we need to be at this time. It would actually distract us from fulfilling the Divine Plan.
Buckminster Fuller once said, "In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete."
That, in essence, is the higher service to which we are all being called.
We must start by knowing that we are ALL One. There is no "us and them." Every soul who is acting out adversely is still a Son or Daughter of God, regardless of how far that soul may be from reflecting that Truth in his or her behavior patterns. Consequently, every person on Earth is our Divine Sister or Brother in every sense of the word. We are interrelated, interconnected and interdependent, not only with every person on Earth, but with every facet of Life in the whole of Creation.
It is imperative for us to remember that every man, woman and child have a Spark of Divinity pulsating within their Heart Flame. If that were not true, they could not exist. As we focus our attention on the Divine Spark within every person's heart, it begins to expand and expand. This allows their I AM Presence to integrate into their physical, etheric, mental and emotional bodies.
The I AM Presence, which is our true God Self, always sees the bigger picture. This aspect of our Divinity knows our individual purpose and reason for being. Once our I AM Presence integrates into our Earthly bodies, it is able to influence our thoughts, words, actions and feelings in new and constructive ways. This will result in new behavior patterns that reflect the Oneness of Life and the highest good for all concerned.
In the United States of America, we are in the midst of our Presidential elections. Due to the Cosmic Moment at hand, this is the most important election we have ever faced. The Beings of Light in the Realms of Illumined Truth have indicated that through this election process, a Divine Plan of monumental proportions is unfolding on Earth. In order for this plan to succeed, the involvement of every awakened Lightworker is vital and necessary.
The Truth is that fundamental change never begins at the top. Change of this magnitude begins with a shift of consciousness at the grass-roots level and expands into an unstoppable momentum. People at the top who are in positions of power, however, do have the ability to wreak havoc on this planet and Humanity. For this reason, it is critical that the next President of the United States of America be a person who understands the Oneness of Life and the Divine Destiny for this country.
America is an anagram for the I AM RACE. This will be a race of God-conscious souls, a race of people comprised of all races, all religions, all nationalities, all cultures and all creeds. America is literally the microcosm of the macrocosm for this planet.
The I AM RACE will be a race of people who truly represent the Family of Humanity living together in peace, harmony, joy, mutual respect and abundance. This will be a race of people who revel in the unity of our diversities, people who are learning and growing through our shared experiences, continually working toward the highest good for all concerned, cocreating win-win situations for all of our interactions with each other. The I AM RACE will be comprised of people who are modeling Humanity's Divine Potential for all the world to see. That is the Destiny and the Divine Plan for this country.
This archetype for the Family of Humanity will then expand until all of the peoples on this sweet Earth are experiencing Oneness and the reverence for Life. As the I AM Presence expands through every Heart Flame, Humanity will succeed in cocreating the wonders of Heaven on Earth.
It may seem as though this reality is a pipe dream or, at most, a remote possibility in the far distant future. But, in Truth, we have the ability to cocreate this Divine Plan right here and right now. This is not a colossal feat, but it does involve a deliberate shift in Humanity's consciousness.
The Beings of Light in the Realms of Truth have given specific guidance on what Lightworkers can do to assist in cocreating this vitally important facet of the Divine Plan. It is never the intent of these selfless servants of God to interfere with our free will, so they will not tell us who to vote for or what the result of the elections will be. In fact, they said that there are several variables in these elections that could result in a positive outcome if the candidates will give their I AM Presence dominion of their thoughts, words, actions and feelings.
What Lightworkers all over the world are being asked to do during these elections, is to be the Open Door for the Light of God. Even though the Company of Heaven is standing in readiness, they cannot intervene without our permission. Once we ask for their assistance, however, the floodgates of Heaven will open in response to our invitation.
Because of the miraculous activities of Light that were accomplished in 2007, the Earth and all her Life are now vibrating within the initial frequencies of the 5th Dimension. As hard as this may be to believe, this shift of vibration is allowing the Legions of Light from Systems of Worlds beyond our previous experience to assist us.
These Beings have access to Divine Technology that is capable of preventing the potential corruption and manipulation of our voting machines and our voting system. In response to the Divine Plan for this planet, they have been granted permission by our Father-Mother God to hold the space for the Divine Integrity of our elections. These Beings of Light will never interfere with our free will, but if they are invited to do so, they have the ability to ensure that the Will of the people will be victorious.
The Beings of Light are beseeching all of us who are able to vote in these elections to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity. They have asked us to evaluate the candidates according to our wisdom and our understanding, then we are to ask our I AM Presence for guidance and illumination. After listening to our inner guidance, we are being asked to vote for the person who resonates in our heart-of-hearts as the one who will bring about the highest good and the Divine Destiny for this country.
After completing the voting process, we shall affirm within our hearts: "Thy Will, not mine, be done."
Since we are One with all Humanity, we have the ability to serve as surrogates on behalf of every voter in the United States of America. That is true regardless of where we reside on the face of the Earth. We have the ability to ask the I AM Presence of each voter to intervene in his or her voting process, just as we have asked our own I AM Presence.
From now until the November 2008 elections, we have the ability to create the sacred space for the right and perfect outcome of this Divine Plan. The Beings of Light have given us some very powerful affirmations and invocations. This will give the Company of Heaven permission to intervene in powerful ways in the election process in the United States of America.
If we will all do these invocations and affirmations daily, knowing that we are joining in consciousness with Lightworkers all over the world who are doing them with us, our efforts will be expanded a thousand times a thousand fold. This amplification of Light is a gift from both the Spiritual Hierarchy and the Legions of Light assisting us from other Systems of Worlds.
CLIP - To review the rest of this message, please go at http://spiritlibrary.com/era-of-peace/divine-government-2008
What America Needs in 2008
If we are to heal the crises of war, violence, injustice, ecological devastation and extreme poverty in the United States and around the world, we need a new kind of political conversation.
In our current political debates, it is taken for granted that our highest goals should be unlimited economic growth for the country and personal prosperity for individuals. Institutions, legislation, and social practices are evaluated according to how they serve these goals, how they maximize our material wealth and our power to protect it from those who would take it from us. This is the old Bottom Line. What counts in this culture is what can be counted, measured, and used to increase our material well-being. This deep assumption, which is present not only in our politics but in almost every aspect of our lives, has led to the triumph of greed, materialism, and selfishness. This me-first-ism plays out in our lives in destructive and painful ways and has contributed to the destruction of our environment and the acceleration of global climate change.
We have lost our ability to value each other and the natural world as embodiments of the sacred, or, in secular terms, as inherently valuable and worthy. Instead we learn to see others, at best, in terms of how they can help us get ahead, and at worst, as competitors for everything from jobs to love to space on the overcrowded freeways. The price of material success, it seems, is a certain amount of alienation from others and from nature. Then, when that material success proves ultimately unsatisfying, we lack an alternate frame of meaning for our lives.
The speed at which we feel we need to live, coupled with a materialist worldview, flattens our experience of the world. The media intensifies this with reality shows that glory in participants backbiting and ruthless pursuit of their own interests. Elections are covered as a horse race in which we learn almost nothing about what the candidates really think about the issues, but only about who is leading in the polls or who has pulled what dirty trick on whom. Evening news shows flatten life further with scripted banter between the anchor-people, which reflects an inner deadness that we are supposed to accept as real.
Phoniness surrounds us and presents itself as the only reality. Those who wish for joy, celebration of the grandeur of the universe, loving connections with others, and a community of meaning and purpose often feel driven to the margins. Many people feel they have to keep to themselves how alienated they feel under our current political and social systems. It is no coincidence that depression, numbness, loneliness, and anxiety are rampant. We are suffering from a society-wide repression of what might be called the life force, God-energy, or Spirit. To address this deep spiritual crisis, we need a president and political leaders who are unashamed to talk and act from a commitment to a New Bottom Line of love, caring, kindness, compassion, generosity, environmental sanity, and awe and wonder at the grandeur of the universe.
Our next president and our Senators and Representatives should encourage the recognition that there is enough, that we can afford to share, and that slowing down and acting from love, gratitude, awe, and wonder is actually more satisfying than the frenetic material consumption that is destroying our environment. We need leadership that can inspire the American people and the people of the world with that sensibility, and with the recognition that our own well-being depends on the well- being of everyone else on the planet and of the health of the planet itself. More than someone who is just charismatic, we need a leader who is committed to this New Bottom Line consciousness.
We need a leadership that can challenge the fundamental assumption that domination of the world is a good way to achieve security, and instead advocate for a Strategy of Generosity, recognizing that it is through caring for other people around the world and eliminating their suffering that we are most likely to dry up the cesspools of despair, anger, and rage, from which terrorists are able to recruit their suicide bombers.
The following questions may be useful in locating the right candidates for those leadership roles.
1. Resolving the War in Iraq: How would your Iraq politic foster reconciliation among Iraqis and show genuine concern for their well-being while bringing our own soldiers home quickly? The NSP proposes that all further war funding be focused exclusively on bringing home all troops. Would your policy accomplish that, or would it de facto leave tens of thousands of advisors or pre-positioned forces in Kurdistan or neighboring countries? How will you ensure that the rebuilding of Iraq is done in ways that best protect the interests of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, and how will you withstand the corporate pressure to maintain major control over Iraqs oil resources and oil profits? Would you issue a public apology to the people of Iraq on behalf of the American people for the damage we have inflicted in the past years?
2. Strong Families: How would you challenge the selfishness, materialism and looking out for number one in our economy and in our society that undermine loving family relationships? How would you seek to support loving, healthy families?
3. Environment: Will you develop proposals and policies to deepen peoples connection to and appreciation of the earth, including making the fostering of such appreciation part of our public school curricula? Are you willing to propose plans that would limit over-consumption of the worlds resources (water, food, energy sources and other aspects of the global commons) and protect them from ownership and exploitation for private profit? Can you imagine any way to use your elected position to begin to heal the crisis in meaning that has caused so many Americans to turn to consumerism and materialism to feed their hunger and fill the void created by selfishness and spiritual deadness?
4. Health Care: At a very basic level, Americans believe in taking care of each other and each others families. Guaranteeing health care for everyone would be a beautiful way to manifest that caring as a nation, yet the profit-hungry healthcare industry inhibits our ability to do that. How would you help us make sure that every single American gets the health care he or she needs? Would you support efforts to direct our health care system to pay greater attention to the ways that peoples emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being affect their physical health?
5. Education: Would you support legislation aimed at requiring schools to teach students to be socially, ethically, and ecologically responsible, and to develop students capacities to care for others, as well as to teach academic skills? How would your plan help to foster the moral and spiritual sensitivity and imagination of the next generation rather than encouraging schools to focus exclusively on training students to do well on standardized tests?
6. Poverty and Homeland Security: The poverty suffered by so many people both here and around the world is a source of great pain and anger. Do you agree that a United States that demonstrates generosity and care toward the world would ultimately be safer and more secure than a United States that devotes its foreign policy exclusively to maintaining its status as number one in the world? We are advocating for a Strategy of Generosity as an alternative to our current Strategy of Domination. As part of this Strategy of Generosity, would you support a Global Marshall Plan to allocate 1-2% of our gross domestic product each year for the next twenty years to ending global and domestic poverty and inadequate health care and education and to healing the environment? Do you believe that this is the primary way to provide safety, or do you intend to fund new wars in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan or other countries to continue a war on terrorism? What specifically would it take for you to agree that the war on terror is over?
Will you protect the human dignity even of those who are suspected of a crime or of being an enemy combatant, prohibiting torture, physical pressure, water boarding or denial of the rights of habeas corpus and a speedy trial? What specifically will you do to strengthen civil liberties, human rights, and protection of our citizens from infringement of our privacy by corporations and by government related agencies?
7. Social Responsibility: We believe that many of the people leading corporations actually want to be socially responsible but are limited in doing so by their responsibility to maximize shareholder profit without regard to societal consequences. How can we devise policies that empower such leaders to act on their principles and that affirm that shareholders themselves often have concerns about the social and moral consequences of their investments? For example, we have suggested legislation that would require every large corporation (income over $50 million/year) to get a new charter every ten years, with the charter being granted only to those corporations that could prove a satisfactory history of social responsibility to a jury of ordinary citizens. Would you support this legislation? Do you believe that the free market, based as it is in an inequitable distribution of money and hence of inequitable consumer power about what is to be produced, should be the only mechanism for shaping production of goods?
8. Modeling Personal Responsibility: How can you, your campaign, and your staff model what it means to care for others? The NSP has called for elected officials and their staffs to give a few hours during each work week to hands-on service to the needy, for example in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Would you take this on?
9. Meaning and Purpose: Do you agree that the economy should not only increase financial wealth but also provide ways for people to contribute to some higher meaning and purpose? In what ways would you give priority to resisting our societys tendency to value human beings primarily in terms of what societal, economic, or sexual needs they can serve? What steps will you take to make politics about meaning more than about large monied interests?
Will you support electoral reform to eliminate the influence of money and incumbency, replace the Electoral College with the popular vote, require free media time for candidates, ban political advertising, and fully equalize the possibilities of ordinary citizens running for office even though they do not have the backing of corporate interests?
10. Values in the Public Sphere: Many of us have worried that openly supporting values in the public sphere violates the separation of church and state. This hesitance has cleared the way for the values of the marketprofit, competition, narrow self-interestto dominate our common life. How would you bring a values-based moral voice into the public square, affirming that the creation of a loving and caring society is a legitimate purpose of governmental action as the expression of the caring impulse of the people?
A Note on Elections and Political Pundits
In the coming months, you will hear the media, political pundits, bloggers, and the mavens of the political parties refer to certain candidates as realistic, pragmatic, knows how government works, electable, not too partisan, or savvy. Beware the weight placed on these labels. They are shorthand for willing to accept the basic contours of economic and political power, even as they work for some limited but valuable reforms. The labels urge candidates to stay within the limitations of what is instead of reaching for what might be. In many of our religious traditions, such fixationbeing realistic and accepting the way things already have been set up in our world while ignoring the transformative power of Godis called idolatry. The truth is that a candidate who courageously speaks to our distress at the selfishly manipulative way people treat each other and the earth will get voters attention in a way no candidate has in decades. If that candidate can then point the way to maximizing a meaningful life rather than just maximizing material success, that candidate will be electable. By moving beyond the normal range of political discourse and addressing the pain and frustration generated by the spiritual and ethical crisis in American society, a spiritually progressive candidate can become more viable than the more traditional politicians who stay within the box of conventional political discourse.
The Network of Spiritual Progressives has developed a Spiritual Covenant with America that might be a starting point for such a platform. The Spiritual Covenant can be downloaded from http://www.spiritualprogressives.org/article.php?story=covenant
We offer this covenant in a spirit of humility while standing steadfast in our call for a new bottom line of love and caring.
If you are excited about this new vision, please join the Network of Spiritual Progressives! You can help us spread these ideas. Use the elections to challenge the conventional ways of thinking about politics. Dont waste your money, time and energy backing candidates who dont really support your highest ideals and vision of a healthy society. If you cant find a candidate to support, consider becoming a candidate yourself and running on these ideas.
Distribute this brochure to your neighbors and coworkers. Free copiescall (510) 644-1200.
The Network of Spiritual Progressives is a national interfaith organization dedicated to a fundamental shift from fear and domination to love and generosity in our institutions, public policies, and social practices. Please join us and contribute to spreading this way of thinking!
Call (510) 644-1200
NSP, 2342 Shattuck Ave, Suite 1200, Berkeley, California 94704
NOTE: The one presidential candidate who best represents the ideals and views outlined above has been forced to abandon his presidential bid and has been systematically deprived of substantive national newsmedia coverage and even banned from participating in several recent political televised debated despite very favorable polls among progressive Democrats and qualifying to the criteria for selection devised by a major US TV network. Here are some relevant web resources on him:
Kucinich Abandons White House Bid (25 January 2008)
Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio congressman who tried to prod his fellow Democrats to take a tougher stand against the Iraq war, dropped out of the race for the White House yesterday. Kucinich, 61 and a six-term member of Congress from Cleveland, had barely registered on the political radar during the campaign. He makes his exit amid reports that he faces a series of primary challenges to his seat in Congress. (...) He was regularly shut out of presidential debates - even after he went to the courts to seek airtime in Las Vegas. (...) Despite his apparent failure to gain support in presidential politics, commentators have given Kucinich credit for giving a greater airing to anti-war sentiment. But as he himself admitted yesterday: "There is a point at which you just realize that you, look, you accept it, that it isn't going to happen and you move on."
Democrat Dennis Kucinich abandons presidential race (Jan 25, 2008)
CLEVELAND (AP) Democrat Dennis Kucinich abandoned his presidential campaign Friday to focus on his congressional district. It was Kucinich's second long-shot campaign for the White House in four years. Kucinich, 61, faces four challengers in the March 4 congressional primary in his campaign for a seventh two-year term in the House. Kucinich, speaking at a union hall, said he remained focused on ending the war in Iraq and ensuring jobs, health care, education and retirement security for all. "I won't be president, but I can continue to fight for these important issues as the United States congressman representing the community that is first in my heart, Cleveland, Ohio," he told supporters, who chanted "Dennis, Dennis" as he took the podium. "Today we are recommitting our energy to a government that works for all of us and is open to all of us. ... A government that stands for truth, for civil liberties and for a constitution," he said. "And it starts today in Cleveland, Ohio, in the heart of America." CLIP
Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich from Ohio's 10th District (HE NEEDS URGENT ASSISTANCE)
Dennis Kucinich's stance on key issues
A Disgrace... Kucinich Banned!!! The Best Positions By Far (January 15, 2008)
(...) These primaries are a participatory farce, but will lead to the eventual nominee. The electorate -- and the Democratic Candidate -- must not be terrified of real New Deal style change, which Kucinich represents.
Kucinich is not running to win the nomination. He knows he is not going to succeed... He is running to influence the political discourse within the Democratic party --- which is critically important. He is running to show the front-runners what the full spectrum of Democratic opinions might be... in a real debate. CLIP
Kucinich to Introduce Impeachment of Bush Before State of the Union January 28
In a brazen show of courage, Congressman Kucinich took to the House Floor yesterday and called Bush and Cheney the liars that they are. "The President and Vice President lied and 4,000 of our soldiers died. The President and Vice President lied and a million innocent Iraqis died in a war that'll cost us two trillion dollars while people here in the states are losing their jobs, their health care, their homes, their dignity. Lies are weapons of mass destruction. Lies are also an impeachable offence. Monday, January 28th is the State of the Union. We already know the State of the Union, it's a lie." Dennis said his piece, then had to retract it.
Wikipedia entry for Dennis Kucinich
4) SPECIAL PEACE VIGIL FOR KENYA
Here are some of the latest developments in Kenya. Please also keep this situation in mind during your meditations in the coming three weeks to help ensure that peace prevail there as well.
Kenya violence casts gloom over Annan mediation (Jan 26)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethnic violence in Kenya's Rift Valley is undermining attempts by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to mediate a crisis that has killed more than 700. On Saturday, Annan said turmoil over President Mwai Kibaki's disputed re-election had evolved into something worse, denouncing "gross and systematic" human rights abuses after visiting the Rift Valley and calling for an investigation.Nakuru, a previously calm tourist town, has been rocked by three days of pitched tribal battles."Let us not kid ourselves and think that this is an electoral problem. It's much broader and much deeper," he said. "We have to tackle the fundamental issues that underlie what we are witnessing today. If we do not do that, three, five years from now we may be back at this."The turmoil unleashed by the December 27 polls has shattered the east African nation's image of stability, horrified world powers and jeopardized the region's most promising economy.But many Kenyans say leaders on both sides of the political divide show few signs of addressing deep seated tribal rivalries over land, business and power -- many of them born more than 45 years ago under British colonial rule. CLIP
81 killed in Kenya as Annan slams 'systematic' rights abuses (Jan 26)
NAIROBI (AFP) - Kofi Annan said Saturday he had witnessed "gross and systematic human rights abuses" on a visit to western Kenya, where some 81 people were killed in the flashpoint Rift Valley province. (...) Around 800 people have been killed and some 260,000 others displaced across the country since the disputed poll on December 27 touched off a wave of deadly rioting and ethnic killings. Gunshots rang out from Nakuru's southern slums Saturday, and police fired bullets into the air and tear gas to disperse hundreds of machete-wielding youths who had erected barriers along highways into the town. Mobs of Kikuyus, the ethnic group of Kibaki, gathered in Nakuru on Friday to avenge attacks by other tribes, including the Kalenjin and the Luo group of Odinga, provoking authorities to impose an overnight curfew. "Some houses are being burnt and fresh violence (has erupted) in some sections of Nakuru," said Anthony Mwangi, spokesman for the Kenya Red Cross. The general hospital said 162 victims of violence had been treated since the start of the clashes on Thursday. (...) Annan also called for a national compensation fund to be set up for victims of post-election violence, a statement from the president's office said later after the ex-UN chief met with Kibaki."Mr. Annan appealed to politicians from all parties to visit the affected areas and camps of the displaced persons in order to see for themselves the damage which can be caused by reckless statements," it added.International mediators have so far failed to make headway in the crisis, which has shattered the stable image and economy of the east African nation.Annan on Thursday orchestrated a symbolic first meeting between Kibaki and Odinga, who shook hands, called for peace and hinted at a willingness to talk. The gesture, hailed internationally, was later undermined by further squabbling, with both sides maintaining their hardline positions.
'Tribal war' spreads in Kenya (January 27, 2008)
NAIROBI, KENYA -- Tit-for-tat ethnic clashes have killed more than two dozen people during the last two days, and angry youths Saturday continued to terrorize parts of central Kenya, defying calls from political leaders to maintain the peace.The country's latest postelection trouble spot is Nakuru, about 90 miles northwest of Nairobi, where gangs from rival tribes have burned hundreds of homes, stoned motorists and hacked dozens of people with machetes. The local morgue was overrun with burned, mutilated bodies. Local news media put the death toll as high as 41. "It's a tribal war," said David Kuria, 42, a Nakuru soda vendor and father of four. "We've had tribal clashes before, but I've never seen anything like this. Shops are closed. Children are scared. People won't go outside."The government dispatched army units to quell the violence and imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew.The clashes in Nakuru, which previously had escaped much of the violence, were some of the deadliest in this East African nation since the turmoil that followed a disputed Dec. 27 presidential poll.
UNICEF: Kenya child rapes on rise (Jan 25)
GENEVA - Kenya has seen a rise in child rapes since last month's disputed presidential election sparked violence and forced thousands into makeshift camps, the United Nations children's fund said Friday. Overcrowding and lack of security in the camps is making women and girls vulnerable to opportunistic sexual assault, UNICEF spokeswoman Veronique Taveau told reporters."Cases of rape are increasing" and will eventually show up in the country's HIV statistics as victims are not getting treatment within the recommended 72 hours to prevent infection, Taveau said.Many of the estimated 255,000 people forced from their homes since the Dec. 27 vote have gathered close to schools and police stations in the hope that these will offer a measure of protection.Preliminary reports collected by three U.N. agencies in Kenya indicate that girls and women in the informal camps are forced to "trade sex for biscuits, protection, transportation, or are raped while trying to get to a latrine during the night," UNICEF said.One Kenyan non-governmental organization, the Mombasa-based Gender Violence Recovery Center, has reported that cases of sexual violence have doubled since the elections, according to UNICEF, which is seeking $3 million to help protect the children. Concrete figures were difficult to come by because many attacks go unreported, Taveau said."Most of the time the women or the young girls will not mention it because they fear retaliation," she said.
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