Monday, December 31, 2007

The Japanese Way of Health

The Japanese live longer than Americans (although only by 4 years on average), despite drinking and smoking heavily. There are all kinds of theories about this. Here's an article saying it's their diet that is the key. They eat fish, lots of veggies, fruits, and rice, and not a lot of red meat or dairy. But of course, there is no way to tell for sure, despite all the numbers. It might be something else entirely.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fairy and Human Relations Congress

There is going to be a meeting of the Fairy and Human Relations Congress this summer a bit north of here in the North Cascades, near the border of Washington and Canada. They are a group of people who believe they can communicate with fairies and other spiritual beings they refer to as devas. Apparently they meet regularly, and have writings about their experiences. The main purpose of their gathering is to promote peace on earth and to improve relationships between humans and fairies (and other spiritual beings). I have never personally communicated with fairies. I say anything to promote peace is pretty cool. My friend Stacy pointed out, however, that they charge money and still expect you to work. And she says that they are wrong that you have to go to the congress to experience fairy love. Perhaps a visit to a rainbow gathering, which is free to my best recollection, would be a better way to get together with alternative types. If that's what you enjoy, that is. A large number of people in the woods can be kind of weird, and sanitation is a real concern (when I went to a Rainbow Gathering, I got a nasty case of diarrhea and a nasty cold out of it).

Monday, December 24, 2007

Native American Profecy

I think the subtitles are either German or Swedish.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lakota Nation Secedes from United States

This is huge! Link

Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US

December 20, 2007

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.

A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old.

They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.

The treaties signed with the United States are merely "worthless words on worthless paper," the Lakota freedom activists say on their website.

The treaties have been "repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life," the reborn freedom movement says.

Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.

"This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution," which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.

"It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent," said Means.

The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence -- an overt play on the title of the United States' Declaration of Independence from England.

Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because "it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row," Means said.

One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples -- despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws.

"We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children," Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference.

The US "annexation" of native American land has resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere "facsimiles of white people," said Means.

Oppression at the hands of the US government has taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life expectancies -- less than 44 years -- in the world.

Lakota teen suicides are 150 percent above the norm for the United States; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom movement's website.

"Our people want to live, not just survive or crawl and be mascots," said Young.

"We are not trying to embarrass the United States. We are here to continue the struggle for our children and grandchildren," she said, predicting that the battle would not be won in her lifetime.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On Peace

In this season when so many are wishing for peace, or at least wishing each other peace, I thought it might be nice to post some quotes about peace:

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes from within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.
-Black Elk, Oglala Lakota Spiritual Leader (1863 - 1950)

True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Short-circuiting the long-established principles of patient negotiation leads to war, not peace.
- Jimmy Carter
Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.
-- and
If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.
- Mohandas Gandhi

Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.
- Robert Fulghum

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.
- Jimi Hendrix

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Books about ob/gyn care in the US

In case you were wondering, yes, these books point out that we have a pretty high maternal death rate, and infant death rate, for a developed country. Most wealthy countries do far better with less money.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

By Hook or By Crook film clip

This came out a few years ago (before C was born). My good friend Carina has a major part in it so I couldn't help wanting to put it up:

Saturday, December 01, 2007


It snowed last night, melted, then snowed again today! It's quite beautiful, but I'm glad I'm not trying to drive around in it. It's pretty chilly, too. This is the earliest it's snowed up here since we moved here a bit over three years ago. It had been feeling like it was going to snow for several days, but it was still a bit of a surprise to wake up to a snow-covered world. It was too cold to make a snow-person, and anyway in an apartment, where would it go?