14 - Twitter, Ardi and more! (Oct 2009)
As part of our efforts at connectivity and unity, AFWW is now on Twitter. We post roughly daily. We invite you to "follow" us at Twitter!
Be among our first 100 Followers and help us make this list grow as rapidly as possible. Why not think big? Why not gather thousands of followers, all of them showing support for the goal of abolishing war?
Following us takes just a moment:
Why following us is worth those few minutes of your time:
It's a way to show solidarity. It's a way to be connected to other AFWW followers who share this vision of a future without war. It's a succinct source of a great deal of information, from AFWW and also from other organizations and individuals should you choose to follow them.
This show is solidarity is especially important. Even if everyone were to agree that ending war is a worthy cause, long overdue and the only sane way for us to proceed into the future, how can we possibly unite so many? This is AFWW's greatest challenge: to convince masses of us that abolishing war is possible, that it's worth the effort it will take, and then unite us into concerted and focused action. Follow us and add your voice - there is power in numbers! Your support can encourage others to embrace this goal as well. For details about the simple steps required to "follow" us and the rationale for using Twitter and a bit about how Twitter works, read "Getting Connected Using Twitter".
Locked in a Male Embrace
Recently, in an exchange with talk show host Barry F. Seidman (Equal Time for Freethought: WBAI-NY), who describes himself as a secular humanist, the subject of paradigm shift came up. Barry is an advocate of libertarian-socialism (anarchism), a good man who envisions a future for our species much like that envisioned by AFWW: egalitarian, just, less violent, ecologically sustainable, and free of war.
He sees us trapped in endless cycles of war, polluting and denuding our environment at a perilous rate, and challenged by the juggernaut of global warming. In other words, like most broadly-informed people, he sees the mess we've gotten ourselves into.
When questioned about whether or not he used his voice, via his radio program and interviews with experts, to encourage the global empowerment of women as rapidly as possible in order to achieve his vision, his response was, No. "Unless we change the current capitalist system, adding more women to government won't make any difference." Ah. This very enlightened man of good will, like most men, women, well-meaning organizations, and governments, has it the wrong way 'round. Why is his orientation wrong headed, and why should empowering women be the very first choice of what to do? Read more "Locked in the Embrace of Male Biology: A Barrier to Positive Paradigm Shift".
GORT, Climate Change, Abolishing War
October 15 2009 was International Blog Action Day (www.blogactiond ay.org). The idea was to have as many of the world's bloggers as possible address the great challenge of Global Climate Change as it relates to them ... to their work or their lives or the organizations they support.
Climate change and ending war. How are these related? It was easy for AFWW to participate. In her Keynote Speech, entitled No More War, Dr. Hand includes a section on why Climate Change may have an up side for those organizations dedicated to abolishing the weapons of war and war itself. For AFWW's take on the subject of Climate Change, see "GORT, Climate Change, Abolishing War".
Celebrating Good News
Since the last AFWW newsletter, some truly noteworthy events have occurred. Every campaign needs to celebrate its victories, especially big ones. Each and every day a multitude of small triumphs are experienced by millions of individuals and organizations seeking to abolish the weapons of war and ultimately war itself. But our next four entries are notable cases of major "good news.
Obama Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
This is our first "Good News" item, and Tops the List!
The world at large didn't much question the choice. The world at large is enthusiastically aware of how much Barack Obama accomplished in the last year to advance peace. Most notably, by his night-to-day change of tone on public and global relations to emphasize cooperation and dialogue, and by his aggressive movement to begin eliminating nuclear weapons.
In the United States, however, controversy reigned. Why is that? And why is Obama's win so pivotal to a campaign to ultimately abolish war? Read why on our blog "Obama Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize".
Demise of the F/A22-Raptor
Cutting off this program is our second "good news" item.
The campaign to end war will have many battlefields, and one such battlefield focuses on work to eliminate the development and production of the weapons of war ... beginning with low hanging fruit such as the F/A22-Raptor, which wasn't needed and wasn't even wanted by the DOD, and Nuclear Bombs, which are so inherently immoral their use should never be permitted. The Good News is that the Obama administration had the guts to cancel the F/A22-Raptor program.
Some time ago AFWW offered a list of some examples of the costs of war and 8th on the list was this dreadfully expensive and totally unnecessary war plane. Good riddance! See the list at afww.org.
Now let's dump the C-17. In an LA Times article, Richard Simon writes:
"The Senate on Wednesday shot down an effort to kill funding for Boeing C-17 military cargo planes that President Obama says are not needed, underscoring the turbulence the White House faces in trying to cut money for politically popular projects. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), a leading critic of pork-barrel spending sided with his Democratic opponent in last year's presidential election in pushing to end the production of additional planes "that we don't need, the Pentagon doesn't want, and that we can't afford." "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a letter to law-makers that the department has enough cargo planes ... and that any more would come "at the expense of other priorities." (1 October 2009, "In bipartisan vote, Senate protects funding for C-17's")
The Unveiling of Ardi
Another Nail in the "Man-the-Warrior" Coffin
AFWW has closely followed the evolution of thought about whether humans have always made war, or whether war is a fairly recent, and nasty, invention, the result of hunter-gatherer males being put into the strange new environment of settled living. From early speculation in Women, Power, and the Biology of Peace (2003) about a possible nonviolent and women-centered Minoan civilization and the physical similarities humans share with bonobos, such as hidden ovulation, continuous sexual receptivity, and frontal sexual intercourse, to more recent essays, Dr. Hand, and AFWW, has been inclined to say it's possible, perhaps even likely, that we have not always made war!
Download the book for FREE: Women, Power, Biology of Peace
Read the Essay: Nonviolence Before Its Time
Two other scientists offering work suggesting that warfare may be a recent behavior for Homo sapiens have been featured on the AFWW website, including reviews of their books: Douglas Fry - Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace. Read the review at afww.org. This book reviews studies of hunter-gatherer cultures, many of which are nonviolent, and concludes that war is not universal or inevitable. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy - Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding. R ead the review at afww.org. This book looks at the origins of human capacities for altruism, cooperation, sharing, and caring. It suggests that the need to care for extremely dependent young lies at the root of such behavior, and that raising of such dependent young is more likely than war to have been the basis from which our amazing feats of cooperation spring.
Now comes more good news in the form of discovery of the oldest primate ancestor of Homo sapiens, a fossil species called Ardipithecus ramidus that is 4.4 million years old. What is so remarkable about Ardi from the perspective of trying to reconstruct the origins of war is that at least two traits in this fossil hominid are quite unlike chimpanzees, the highly aggressive human relative that has been extensively used as the model from which to speculate on human evolution. Read more about the truly astounding Ardi and the evolution of war.
Bottom line: new data and reanalysis of old data is moving perceptions of the essence of our origins in the direction of stressing "humans-the-cooperators" rather than "man-the-warrior." Good news!
"They can because they think they can!"
~ Virgil, Roman epic poet (70 BC - 19 BC)
A Good Book
"Half the Sky" by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn.
A Good Movie
"Capitalism: A Love Story." Writer, Producer, Director - Michael Moore