Monday, January 10, 2011

A Fierce Love and Loyalty

My deepest longing is to live in a
world that respects life in every form,
a world whose people have a fierce
love and loyalty to the Earth
and their particular place thereon.

~Lorraine Anderson
Sisters of the Earth

Of Note: Africa is on the move. It is like a reborn giant ready to heave off its tawdry clothes to be fit for a new costume gleaming with the treasures from its fertile land. Many pooh-pooh the idea that African nations will move past their troubled history as undeveloped, corrupt countries. These naysayers point to the stalemate in the Ivory Coast where the newly elected President is being held prisoner in a hotel by his defeated predecessor, who refuses to concede. Even given these problems, every sign points to the day when Africa will be set free. For example, yesterday in Southern Sudan, a jubilant people went to the polls to vote whether to secede from the north. The final vote will take time to tally, but the result is a foregone conclusion. Dancing erupted in the streets as people sang while waiting in line. The referendum was part of a peace deal struck in 2005 by the UN to end a twenty-year civil war between the predominately Muslim north and the Christian south. The bitter and bloody battle stemmed from deep grievances by the impoverished people of Southern Sudan, who were treated as second-class citizens by the Muslim-government situated in the northern capitol. With the secession, the north will give up a third of its land, a quarter of its population and most of the its oil. However, with concessions made by the United States and other, late last week the Sudanese government gave its tacit approval for southern independence. One voter remarked: "A lot of people have fought for this day. A lot of lives have been lost over this, and now we have a say. All we could do in the past was run. Now we're here today to show we're not running. We're here to make a difference." Ten other African nations will get a chance to make a difference by voting for new leadership in 2011. It might be the year that many begin to see the giant emerge in a sparkling new outfit--however, if not this year, it won't be long. Once people get the taste of freedom either directly or through their neighbors, it cannot be repressed.

Today's Weather Report: After a week or more of temperatures in the single digits, today's 21 degrees Fahrenheit seem downright balmy. It is partly cloudy so the sunshine is not intense, but passable nonetheless. 15 minutes in its rays today will still keep the levels of Vitamin D up to snuff. My condolences to the families and friends of the victims killed in Arizona by a crazed gunman. We hope for a full recovery of the Congresswoman shot in the head. She must be one tough woman to still be alive. Murder is craziness, and the world is still full of crazy people. It won't always be that way, but right now with the heightened energy of change, it has brought them out of the wood work the world over. It is surprising then that the Basque separatists announced recently a decision to lay down their arms after decades of terrorist-style murder by bombs and other stealthy devices. That shows that at some point collective craziness can give way to collective sanity. While the UN was not involved in the Spanish truce, we can thank them for being at the center of many "moves to sanity" such as that in Sudan.

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