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Monthly Archives: December 2013

May 2014 bring peace, joy and hope to all!

Please enjoy this collage of my favorite images of peace from the past year.

Best of Peace

Thanks and credit to (from upper left, clockwise) 1. Robert J.R. Graham’s website 2. http://hashtagpeace.tumblr.com/ 3. http://peace.maripo.com/p_hands.htm 4. Peace and Harmony by Lauren Voiers 5. Shutterstock 6. Artist saleire at Red Bubble 7. Hippie Peace Freaks Facebook Page 8. Original art by Laura Barbosa 9. Peaceful World by Peace Simon

For a look at my favorite images of joy from 2013, please visit my y1 blog here.
For a look at my favorite images of hope from 2013, please visit my z2 blog here.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in art for peace

 

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Peace on Earth

Thank you Hippie Peace Freaks

Thank you Hippie Peace Freaks

Talk of love and brotherhood is about to begin in earnest as Christians the world over commemorate a gentle soul born in a manger and famous for uttering such lines as “just as you did for the least of these, you did for me” and “if someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.” These are powerful words with pretty clear meanings.

Yet, many a battle has been started and fought by those who profess to follow these teachings. Plenty of other wars are fought by followers of other gentle faiths, whose prophets and leaders and books of wisdom offer similar, clear admonishments to love one another.

We almost all seem to agree that peace is best, that love is good. Yet …

Thank you That's a Good Sign

Thank you That’s a Good Sign

A July 2011 article in History Today posted by Kathryn Hadley notes that research shows that “between 1870 and 2001, the frequency of wars between states increased steadily by 2% a year on average.”

According to Professors Mark Harrison from the University of Warwick and Nikolaus Wolf from Humboldt University Harrison this increase can be explained in part by the proliferation of borders. In other words, the number of countries has almost quadrupled since 1870, giving us more countries to fight each other and more borders to fight about.

The article also points out that there is no tendency for richer or poorer countries to fight more, but rather that the readiness to engage in war is spread uniformly across the global income distribution even though “increased prosperity and democracy should have lessened the incentives for rulers to go to war.”

Mark Harrison concluded that ‘the very things that should make politicians less likely to want war – productivity growth, democracy, and trading opportunities – have also made war cheaper. We have more wars, not because we want them, but because we can.”

Because we can. How can an entire species profess to love the concept of peace, and yet continue to fight more as time goes on? It looks like we do merely because we have more things to fight over and more things to fight with.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in peace

 

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Weapons for peace

click to like Hippie Peace Freaks

click to like Hippie Peace Freaks

I live in Texas where the very idea of gun laws cause heartburn. We like our guns. My father collected them and my co-workers discuss their firearms in the break room. In the novel x0 my telepathic hero Lola has a gun in her purse and has to consider whether her new powers will render her unable to use it. Guns show up in my next two novels as well.

In spite of the disposition of my home state, and the behaviors of my fictional characters, I am an advocate of reasonable gun regulations.

According to the blog of the Houston Chronicle a state gun law scorecard was released yesterday (Dec. 9) which showed that in the last year 21 states have created or expanded gun laws while 25 other states, including Texas, get F’s for failing to provide the most basic safety restrictions.

This didn’t surprise me, but it prompted me to learn more. Thanks to a website called Texas Gun Laws I found out that in Texas

  • There is no waiting period for purchasing a firearm
  • There is no state registration of guns
  • If you have a concealed handgun license you may carry as many hidden revolvers as you like
  • You can get a CHL now with four hours of instruction and a proficiency exam at a shooting range
  • You can keep a gun loaded and within reach in your car, and a school campus cannot prohibit you from doing so.
  • You may carry a gun while drinking but not while legally drunk
  • Machine guns, suppressors and other assault weapons are perfectly legal
  • There is no limit to the number of rounds the magazine for your gun may hold.
  • Background checks are required by federal law and Texas leads the nation in running them. No check is needed for sales between private citizens or at gun shows
  • Texas averages about ten major gun shows a month
click to like Word Porn

click to like Word Porn

That’s a lot of firepower out there folks, in a lot of inexperienced hands. Additional changes have been proposed to allow concealed weapons to be carried into a bar and into places of worship, and to allow weapons to be holstered so that they are visible.

Accidents happen. Stupid things get done. Tempers flare, people show off, children get curious. Is this sort of world we really want? Not me. I like my heritage and my freedom, but I also like my peace of mind. The idea of a whole lot of barely trained people strutting around with assault weapons does not make me feel safer.

How does one fight the sort of paranoid movement that wants the most dangerous of guns readily available? Luckily there are other kinds of weapons in this world and other ways to fight.

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in peace

 

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