COURAGE, ENDURANCE, WISDOM, HOPE,
HUMOR AND COMMUNITY: Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer at the gates
While we were in
, or on our way back, the Senate capitulated to the Bush
administration’s demand for a national security state, passing the
Homeland Security Act. Sen.
Robert Byrd’s remarks outline the travesty.
As Sen. Byrd (D-WV) said in the Senate, none of the senators
were even given time to read the 484-page document. Except
for nine senators, they voted for it anyway. (transcript).
It continues to
shock us that the intrinsic value of life is inconsequential in the
cancerous drive for profit. We
who are aware of the magnitude of the seizure of power must
replicate our understanding in a very few months.
We have an antidote
to the theft (and mass
murder) of the global commons (see McMurtry, e.g., The
Cancer Stage of Capitalism); it requires extrication
from group think – via doing just what Lynne Stewart said in DC,
Oct. 26: People
have ears to hear what we are saying.
trouble, be cranky, rouse the people, get
the thought processes working.
In a recent video,
we had the opportunity to put a face to six virtues outlined by Jack
Nelson-Pallmeyer in his speech at the gates of
: courage, endurance, wisdom, hope, humor and community.
we chose Alexandra
Sr. Caryl Hartjes of the Sisters of St. Agnes,
Fond du Lac
. For wisdom,
Fr. Roy Bourgeois, and for hope and community, images of the
thousands upon thousands at
November 17, 2002
total consensus on the choice of Ms. Rilke.
Is she courage? Young
Ms. Rilke, her forehead painted with a rainbow-colored peace sign
for the occasion, her face decorated and defiant with jewelry, was
one of the nearly 100 people who crossed onto Ft. Benning,
committing misdemeanor trespass onto a military facility in a time
of induced national hysteria and warmongering and war-making by our
un-elected president, facing thousands of dollars in fines and other
expenses, and a half-year in prison.
Doesn’t that qualify for courage?
And we could have pictured Caitlin Heartwood, anthropology
, or David Tarbell from
, or dozens of others, young and old, who crossed onto
. Similar acts of
courage are coming from those men and women who are refusing
to serve in the current and upcoming unjust wars, to paraphrase
Sr. Hartjes took
her first lessons in non-violence in 1974.
There was full consensus that the former nurse and hospice
worker qualified as endurance.
In a short interview, before crossing onto the base, a
reporter asked what she feared in taking her action.
She replied that she feared she might become angry.
“I felt the anger rising in me when I heard recently that
the SOA in
used the homeless for target practice.”
we chose the bearded whirling dervish priest/priestess/diva dancing.
probably a retired professor of philosophy from Black Mt.
. Or an ex-welder from
we unanimously chose Fr. Roy Bourgeois.
But why? An
answer is suggested in Sr. Hartjes’ worry over anger rising in her
when she learned of yet more acts of depravity.
Anger could consume
us. Anger could induce our youth, especially, to respond with
violence, a response a national security state feeds on – a
self-fulfilling prophecy which justifies its existence to those
floating along in group think.
Anger is debilitating, disenabling us to free other people
from media-induced passivity and acceptance.
Humor and hope
to anger and depression, and wisdom
sees that, and proclaims it consistently.