Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Rose Nader - A True American Citizen

Will the local media carry this excellent, ALREADY-WRITTEN, bio of citizen-activist Rose Nader (Ralph's mom) who just passed away yesterday? Will they do any follow-up? Will they give this news ANY coverage at all? Will they talk to Phil Donahue or people on Ralph's staff? Will they totally ignore it as if its irrelevant? Oooohhh, the suspense is killing me!

Seriously, though, for those of us who care about the United States and American issues, the loss of such a wonderful citizen-activist and human being IS news and we all know that the mainstream media will never cover anything like this without ulterior motive. We'll just have to make do with this one-time emailing of an excellent biography of Rose written by the Nader family, themselves. Although, I did send out a notice earlier about Rose's death, the one below is MUCH more comprehensive. A friend of mine, Matt Bradley (who works for Ralph) sent it. It's well worth a read. Send it to others who care.

Peace,
Matt

Rose Bouziane Nader – Teacher, homemaker, civic advocate and author.

Rose Bouziane Nader, who raised a family of civic activists by her
teaching, writings and personal example, died on January 20 in her 100th
year at her home in Winsted, Connecticut. The cause was congestive
heart failure, according to her daughter, Claire Nader.

Born in Zahle, Lebanon on February 7, 1906, Rose Nader became a high
school teacher of French and Arabic. She married Nathra Nader in 1925,
and emigrated to the United States shortly thereafter, settling with her
husband, a businessman, in Danbury and then in Winsted, Connecticut
where they raised four children.

She is survived by a sister, Angele Bouziane Mokhiber, of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, two daughters, Dr. Claire Nader of Washington D.C. and
Winsted, Connecticut, and Anthropology Professor Laura Nader of
Berkeley, California, a son, Ralph Nader of Washington, D.C.; three
grandchildren and three great-grand children. She was predeceased by
her first son, Shafeek Nader, the principal founder of the Northwestern
Connecticut Community College, in 1986 and by her husband in 1991.

In the nineteen fifties, after the destructive hurricane and flood of
Winsted in 1955 – the third disastrous flood there in thirty years- she
famously pressed then Senator Prescott Bush in a public gathering to
pledge to push for a dry dam by not letting go of his handshake until he
had promised to do so. And it was built. No more floods since. After
the flood damaged the local movie theater she also arranged for a
community room at the local YMCA to be devoted to the recreational needs
of local youngsters who otherwise might be loitering on the streets. She
also initiated and led the Women's Club International Relations
Committee, bringing distinguished speakers to the Town to inform the
citizenry about world affairs.

Mrs. Nader was active in adult education in Connecticut, where she and
her students were featured on a statewide television show in the
nineteen fifties. Her public interests ranged from the local to the
state to the global level, as a member of Peace Action, Co-op America,
and as President of The Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest.
She fought for the expansion and later the preservation of the Winsted
Memorial Hospital.

During the seventies, Mrs. Nader was criticized in an editorial by the
Wall Street Journal for having insisted that her children munch chick
peas on their walk to school instead of presumably something sweeter.
They charged that she was puritanical. This so amused her. Later, when
hummus became a popular dish, she remarked, "I suppose I was a little
ahead of the times for the Wall Street Journal,"

In 1991, after years of orally responding to questions from people
curious about what formula she used to raise her children, she authored
the book It Happened in the Kitchen, which contained her philosophy of
child-rearing, the intimate connection between good food and diverse
kitchen table/family conversations and some 100 recipes to nourish this
food and thought combination. The last segment includes many perceptive
observations by her husband, Mr. Nader, during discussions with their
children. She was featured that year on the Phil Donahue Show with her
book, which received wide circulation. One of the recipes presented on
the show was hummus!

Dr. Donna Andrea Rosenberg, a specialist in child rearing, wrote that
the first section of the book "is the best I have ever read on child
development. It is a masterpiece of utility and brevity. I constantly
recommend it."

Mrs. Nader was a contributor of articles to several publications,
including one in the New York Times on the irony of those common
assurances of credibility ("in all honesty," "to be perfectly frank,"),
which have the unintended effect of undermining the speaker's previous
statements. In the U.S. Postal Service's magazine she wrote praising
so-called "junk mail" from citizen organizations that do inform you
about what is going on in their world and give you a choice to help
expand their efforts.

Rose Nader was a joyous person with an engaging vibrant manner, a love
of singing songs and spreading proverbs and an irreverent sense of
humor. "She was not a person of many words," said her daughter Claire,
who is active with many citizen groups, "but her content contained much
memorable wisdom." For example, her daughter Laura noted, "on
child-rearing formulas, Mom observed that, 'there is no recipe.' On
supporting each other, it was 'operation cooperation.'"

To her young children, Rose Nader would explain health care just when
they were most receptive--lying in bed with childhood ailments. To her
growing children, she would teach about priceless things by asking them
the price of sunshine, or songbirds or cool breezes. She declined to
read to her little ones, preferring to draw on her wide historical and
literary memory and speak directly to their eyes so as to discern their
reactions and expressions.

Rose Nader consistently conveyed to her children their duty to improve
the country to which she had emigrated. "One day, when I was about nine
years old," recalled her son Ralph, "she asked me if I loved my
country," I replied that I did, whereupon she said "Well I hope when you
grow up, you'll work hard to make your country more lovable."

When her children came home from school for lunch, she would relate
installments of an historical saga. While at the evening meal, she
listened to the children talk about what the school day was like.

A practicing advocate of the uses of proverbs to raise children and
enrich adult conversations as well, she was collecting Arabic proverbs
used liberally in her own family upbringing and community in Lebanon
with a view of compiling them in a book.
A memorial service will be held at a date to be determined.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Shafeek Nader Trust for the
Community Interest, an educational foundation, PO Box 500, Winsted, CT
06098.

For further comments about the life of Rose Nader, you may wish to
contact Phil Donahue at 212-564-3234, David Halberstam at 212-580-4835,
and Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research
Group, at 202-588-7735, and publisher-author Richard Grossman at
860-824-0367.

Contact telephone number is: 860-738-1262.

The above was written by the Nader family on January 23, 2006.
Thank you for your interest.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Some Thoughts From a C.O.'s Wife That Will Never Appear in the Local "Paper"

Here is a thought-provoker written by Monica Benderman. Her husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, has been wrongfully imprisoned in Fort Lewis for 15 months. His crime? Refusing to participate in the unconstitutional occupation of Iraq by the U.S. government.

Peace,
Matt

Have You Forgotten?
Written by Monica Benderman
Monday, 16 January 2006
Have you forgotten? We are people.

Have you forgotten? There are feelings inside.

Have you forgotten?

We are fighting for our lives. We are fighting for the right to live in peace, as we choose. We are fighting to live by what we believe, in the hope that others will be allowed the same opportunity, even as they choose to live differently than what we have chosen.

Have you forgotten the purpose - while you fight so hard for the cause?

We gave more than you know to war. We gave time, we gave life, we gave freedom - all because we believed our country would respect the sacrifice and appreciate the gift.

Have you forgotten?

Those of us who have given - know the value of what we gave. But do those who took the gift understand its significance? Do you know we didn't fight for you? We fought for the right to walk away, to know that we had done our part that we gave all we had for the "common good." We believed that every person would fight equally hard for the lives they had been given, and learned the hard way what it means to be taken advantage of by so many who seem to believe they do not have to stand for themselves.

In this country of credit, of rewards before the work, of people believing they are owed something for nothing - we gave. We put our lives on hold to fulfill what we believed was our duty. We did it so that when we were done, we could walk away in peace, knowing that we deserved the right to live as we choose - the right we fought for.

We have earned our freedom. We have done our part.

But you have forgotten - or is it that you never really knew?

We are people. We breathe, we care - we laugh and we cry. We have children, parents, and grandparents. We have private lives and responsibilities that belong to us - and should be no one else's concern. We have dreams together that will only work if we are allowed to see them through together, without interference from those who claim to know us but have never gotten past what we have allowed them to see.

We are not a cause - we are not THE cause - we do not work for the cause.

There should be no cause. There should only be life - pure and simple. Life - private and free - with no one trying to control what is not theirs to control.

We are fighting for our lives, and the right to walk our own way, knowing what lies on either side - blending the edges of each to mark the center of the path we follow.

We respect those who choose as we do. Not necessarily those who make the same choices, but those who dare to walk their own way as well, choosing for themselves, blending the edges of their choices in a way that defines themselves as individuals in a world that doesn't seem to understand individuality.

Many have forgotten as they work for a cause; as they cling to the edge of their side of life, so fearful of losing control of what they believe that they do anything they must to keep the voices of the other side from being heard.

No side is winning. People are losing.

Stop and look at what is happening - before we have lost completely.

The edges must blend - we cannot have one without the other - day and night, black and white, activists and pacifists, Muslim and Christian, Muslim and Jew.

When you stare across the road as you are holding your signs of protest, and there are those on the other side staring back with signs of their own, what do you see?

When you read the story of a veteran of war who has faced himself and made the choice to walk away from the violence he came to understand war to be, why do you argue so hard against his choice? Why are you so determined to keep him from making a choice that is his to make? You are free to live as you choose. Why are you so afraid to let this man do the same?

When you see a family praying in a way that you do not pray, why do you question their faith against your own? If your faith were truly strong you would understand theirs. Is it that you fear yourself and therefore cannot allow others the freedom to not be afraid?

When you see a relationship so different from your own, why do you turn away in disgust? Is it because even in its difference, the relationship has connections you cannot feel in yours? Does it frighten you to think that their truth is showing you what you are missing?

When you hear of another country where people live differently than you, what makes you so afraid that you create stories of fear and doubt - that you see them as less fortunate for not being as you are? Is it because they seem at peace while you run from the turmoil? Do you know? Or do you fear without seeing?

NO side is winning. People are losing.

Daily we hear of new rights being challenged, new rights being demanded. Can you see? These are not rights for the living, for freedom, for people? They are rights that justify fear, for inhibiting freedom, for taking way individuality. They are rights determined by someone's "cause" not by someone's life.

The fear of the individuality of another has caused us to be so insecure that every time our way of life is challenged we must create a law to protect our right to live in fear. The rights of "causes" are now protected, as people are lost in the cause.

America was once about freedom. The freedom to choose to live as an individual, according to what worked for you, as long as it did not injure another according to moral and ethical principles.

Stop and ask yourself - do another's differences hurt you, or do they simply cause you to be afraid? Ask honestly, why it is you are afraid? Could it be you fear the cause?

Could it be you have forgotten who you are?

Monica Benderman is the wife of Sgt. Kevin Benderman, wrongfully imprisoned for being a Conscientious Objector to war. Kevin is currently serving a 15 month sentence at the Ft. Lewis RCF in Washington. Please visit www.BendermanTimeline.com and www.BendermanDefense.org for more information.

Monica and Kevin may be reached at mdawnb@coastalnow.net

Monday, January 09, 2006

Dahr Jamail (a truly independent journalist) speaks in Albany

Happy New Year, everyone!

The following press release is for an event that should be well worth attending. Its being organized by Maureen Aumand, a real friend of the peace movement. It is highly unlikely that you will read about this journalist (Dahr Jamail) or his work in the local press (even now when it is quite clear that a majority of Americans have "seen the light" concerning our debacle in Iraq).

mattfuniciello@earthlink.net
Two Political Parties = One Massive Corporation


A VIEW FROM THE GROUND: AN UNEMBEDDED REPORT FROM
IRAQ

Following the firing of the entire staff of the paper he wrote for after
their critical commentary on the war, Dahr Jamail, an independent
journalist, from Alaska traveled to Iraq on a quest to get the true
details and dimensions of the war from the perspective of those those
caught in the crossfire. He has repeated this trip a number of times
since.

His persistence in this effort to gain an honest view rooted in deep human
concern has resulted in dispatches and articles which have provided
powerful, moving insight into the chaos being engendered.

Following the International Tribunal on the War which is being held in
NYC at Riverside Church and Columbia Law School on the weekend of the 20th of
January; Dahr Jamail will join us in the capital region.

On Monday evening, January 23rd he will be speaking at 7 pm at the
Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy where he will be showing and providing
commentary for: "Caught in the Crossfire - The Untold Story of Falluja" by
Conception Media and "Falluja 2004" a film by independent Japanese
journalist Toshikuni Doi. This is a free will donation, open to the
public presentation. A question and answer session will follow.

Tentatively Dahr Jamail will also participate on the 24th in a Union
College "Pizza and Politics" noontime discussion group.

On Tuesday January 24th, Dahr Jamail will be speaking at 7pm at the
College of St. Rose, St. Joseph's Hall, Madison Avenue Albany. This presentation
is also free and open to the public.

A preview of Dahr Jamail's commentary and experience can be heard on
Wednesday January 18th at 10am on WRPI on "On the Barricades" when Steve
Breyman will interview him; Dahr Jamail will also be interviewed on
Tuesday morning January 24th on WAMC's "The Roundtable".

For those unfamiliar with Dahr Jamail's work please take a look at his
Iraq Dispatches web site:

http://dahrjamailiraq.com/index.php

For more information or to add your group's name to the list of supporters
for these events contact: M. Aumand, 378-2909; 869-6674 or C. Callan at
439-8115.