Tag Archive | Kentucky

A Welcome Vote

I am updating and celebrating. In a previous post, I wrote that the city commission of my hometown of Frankfort, KY was considering what is known as a Fairness Ordinance, that is an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation. I had posted about some of the dissension and spoke of my belief in human rights for all.

I am here to report that our City Commission did indeed pass that ordinance (3-2) on August 28 and I am delighted. I must say that there was much discussion regarding the matter and the city commission meetings were extremely well attended. The religious community was divided and spoke up, especially the progressive and more conservative Baptists. We are in the Bible Belt. It was a good community conversation that even went into the newspapers, including opinion pieces and letters to the editors.

I must say that I am rather surprised by all this. I grew up here and have spent most of my life here. Kentucky is a conservative state and Frankfort is not the most liberal city, though in some ways rather moderate. Again, I am delighted.

I Declare World Peace.

 

Note: You can read articles from the regional paper, The Lexington Herald-Leader, on the Frankfort Fairness Ordinance here.

 

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Memorial Day 2013

For Memorial Day this year, I remember by the numbers:

The 4486 U.S. military casualties in the Iraq War, 70 of whom were from my state of Kentucky

The 2227 U.S. military casualties in the Afghanistan War, 40 of whom were from Kentucky

(from iCasualties.org)

I also remember the many, many civilians who have died in those two countries from our actions.

 

On Memorial Day 2013, I also remember:

All the civilians, including children, who have died by US. drone strikes outside the war theater. In Pakistan, alone, between 411-884 civilians have reportedly been killed, including between 168-197 children.

(See here.)

 

I am also remembering the 9 detainees who have died in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay,  Cuba.

(See here.)

 

I Declare World Peace. It is time.

With malice tow…

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.

— Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address

As a native and resident of the birth state of Lincoln ~ Kentucky,  I Declare World Peace.

Human Rights Are for Human Beings

The State Journal, of my hometown of Frankfort, KY has reported a flap in a recent city commission meeting. After publishing a news report the previous day, there was an editorial and a cartoon on Tuesday, January 29.

The editorial, “Represent Everyone,”  included this on the matter at hand:

At a City Commission meeting Friday, [new Commissioner Robert] Roach stated he was against re-establishing a local human rights commission because he is not in favor of expanded rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, commonly called LGBT.

Roach was quoted as saying the issue comes down to whether or not you believe it to be “moral.” He went on to say his opposition was based on “divine revelation, natural law and millennia of customs.”

Whether or not the city re-establishes a human rights commission, Roach needs to understand there must not be discrimination in the hiring and managing of government employees. Those hired by the city must be judged on their work performance, not their sexual preference or someone else’s judgement of their “morals.”

Roach is the former headmaster of The Frankfort Christian Academy, so it it is not hard to imagine the slant of his personal views on such matters.

This made me post a deeply-held belief of mine at Google Plus (Anne G. Woodhead) that I am reposting here:

#believe  that a human being is a human being is a human being with all the rights and privileges thereof.

I don’t care if the person is black, white, red, blue, striped, polka-dotted, liberal, conservative, handicapped, non-handicapped, brilliant, not-so-brilliant,  rich, poor, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, of other religion, Atheist, Agnostic, American, Afghan, Iraqi, Palestinian,or of other country, lesbian, gay, straight, man, woman, or whatever.

I agree with Thomas Jefferson who wrote in the U.S. Declaration of Independence “that all men [sic] are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

#humanrights  for All Forever!

In return, I received an interesting, pertinent comment that said:

Precisely. An interesting tidbit about the use of “men”.  In Old English, the term for a male human was “were” and a female human was “wif”.  The term “man” meant human. The “were” today survives in constructs like “werewolf” (half man / half wolf) and wif morphed int both wife and woman. The all inclusive “man” grew narrower and particularly with various social awareness efforts starting in the late 1950s, is now viewed a not inclusive at all.

I note that President Obama built his Second Inaugural Address around that most famous and deeply-cherished quote of Thomas Jefferson’s above.

I would also like to say regarding Commissioner Roach and his belief in the limitation of rights for LGBT  persons based on his view of Christianity that I don’t remember seeing Jesus himself discriminating against anyone in the Gospels. In fact, I see just the opposite. Jesus seemed to include everyone and seemed to especially favor the marginalized and outcast. He also advised us to treat others as we would wish to be treated. I note that the Book of Genesis in the beginning of the Bible spoke about human beings being made in God’s image. I did not see anyone being excluded from that.

I also note that Article 1. of the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

All of this is prompting me to repost The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a page to itself in this blog because I believe that declaring human rights is a way to declare and foster world peace.

In this regard, I Declare World Peace for all.

PINK Peace Anniversary

I hereby give a shoutout to CODEPINK: Women for Peace observing ten years of declaring world peace.The group began with pink-clad women vigiling for peace in front of the White House from November 17, 2002 until International Women’s Day on March 8, 2003 in opposition to the impending U.S.-Iraq War. The anniversary site with its beginning is here and remembrances are posted here.

I and a few others formed a chapter of CODEPINK  here in my hometown of Frankfort, Kentucky to protest the war in Iraq. We held a few events, including ones for the UN International Day of Peace and Mother’s Day for Peace, and held weekly vigil on the sidewalk in front of our local federal building.  You can view our reports at CODEPINK’s site here.

I was the last lone wolf standing vigil for a while and left when I was no longer able due to family obligations.  Our local paper, The State Journal, had a story on me and the vigil for its weekly “Frankfort Faces” feature in August of 2009. You can view that piece with its photos here. I also had letters to the editor published in both The State Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader and I had two previous blogs, the last one being here.

I have been enamored of CODEPINK. The group describes itself on its About Us page as “a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.” That has made a lot of sense to me.

Of late, I have been especially impressed with and following its anti-drone campaign at DronesWatch.org. As a part of that campaign, CODEPINK organized a magnificent delegation to Pakistan last month.

Following President Obama’s re-election. CODEPINK issued a statement saying, “CODEPINK calls on President Obama to respect human rights and civil liberties by redirecting the billions of dollars in the bloated military budget into life-affirming activities instead, such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, green jobs and more.” The group plans to return before the White House on November 14 where it began — this time with pots and pans.

Happy Anniversary, CODEPINK! Thank you for being there. Keep on truckin’ for peace.

I Declare World Peace, too and still.

The Network of Mutuality

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

In a Q & A following her recent speech in Louisville, KY, Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese democracy leader and Nobel Prize winner, said:

You must be able to put yourself in the place of your adversaries. What do you want done to you? What should they want done to themselves? … Non-violence is a good way of making yourself a better person.

In an interview with USA Today, regarding her new novel, The Casual Vacancy, J. K. Rowling said:

In some sense, the whole plot can be summed up with ‘What do we do about Krystal?’ and by extension, ‘What do we do about all those people who are in a poverty trap?’ But for Krystal, it’s more than that, isn’t it? Krystal is dealing with addiction in her family, she’s dealing with decades of increasing poverty in her family with everything that means, and she’s also caught in the crossfire of a local battle because this beautiful West Country town of Pagford is furious that it has jurisdiction over and responsibility for what we call a council estate (low-income public housing). So Krystal is caught up in this local battle, and of course in examining this tiny little local battle I get to explore what I think are fairly universal themes.

I do think the themes in the book do translate across any national border because ultimately we’re talking about our human responsibility, whether you think we should all be entirely self-reliant and people sink or swim, or you think we should be extending a helping hand and whether that should come from government and so on. And these are very contemporary themes in a lot of countries, particularly in the financial mess in which we find ourselves.

 

I Declare World Peace.

 

 

Peace Day ~ 2012

September 21 is the annual observance of the United Nations International Day of Peace, often called Peace Day. It is a day set aside to honor world peace, celebrate it, and observe it. it is to be a day of ceasefire. I consider it a very special day.

CODEPINK.org

WorldPeace.org

IDeclareWorldPeace.com

In my part of the world, Merlene Davis had an excellent article, Organizers hope local celebration of Peace Day will have ripple effect, in the Lexington (KY)  Herald Leader about the day and about an interfaith observance in that city that was to be held today (Thursday).

I Declare World Peace.