Paul’s Perambulations

October 15, 2019

“Love your Enemies” comes to West Point Military Academy

Filed under: Education,Love,Peace — admin @ 4:13 pm

 

This weekend I attended the West Point Military Academy conference entitled Ethics of War and Peace. Once again I publicly identified as the sole pacifist in a group of about 75 (mostly cadets). I shared my views with cadets and others, and heard their views. After much reflection and discussion with others, I decided to wear my “LOVE YOUR ENEMIES” shirt tor part of the conference and for lunch and during our West Point campus tour. Yes, this was at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Suspect it may have been a first. I appreciate the respectful discussion that this enabled. It was important for me to practice wearing this shirt before West Point, because when wearing it I feel that I become a different person, both to myself and to others. That’s a long story. In so doing, I found that the shirt is frequently ignored, pointedly so. Absolutely the elephant in the living room. There’s more to be said than can be said here. In any case, I felt that my presence contributed to the event and am grateful for my academic credentials that earn an invitation to this conference. I was blessed that Fran came along, and she could enjoy the trip as a vacation (our rooms in the military hotel overlooked the Hudson River). When we left West Point Saturday afternoon, we drove home to change into formal wear (my annual foray into a free tux) for the Mendel Dinner at Villanova. Quite a change, while also an opportunity to explain to fellow Villanovans (including Father Peter, President of VU) about my attendance and activities at West Point (I was prepared to discuss Love Your Enemies from an Augustinian perspective if that was desired). Actually, the only folks who seemed prepared to really discuss this were some of the cadets with whom I chose to sit. I suspect the cadets in attendance were a special group – those with the interest and experience to attend a conference of professional philosophers. These conferences are different from the psych conferences I attended for decades. It’s a good learning experience for me, as well as an opportunity for me to make a unique contribution. (more…)

February 1, 2019

Freedom School at Villanova

Filed under: Education,Peace — admin @ 7:55 pm

I was back in the classroom again as part of Villanova’s annual Freedom School. We (including three ROTC students) read and discussed how (quoting from my class description) “King’s ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence’ – as Relevant Today as Ever’  challenges us through his linkage of “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism.” Delivered exactly one year before his death, this speech is as timely today as it was then. As we consider what he said at Riverside, it may help us understand why at the time of his assassination King was the most hated man in America. Have we white-washed the real King in our public praise of him?” I offer a class annually, sometimes on this topic and sometimes on King and civil disobedience.

 

October 29, 2017

West Point Ethics of War and Peace conference

Filed under: Education,Peace,Politics — admin @ 5:55 pm

Plenary session

This weekend I attended a three-day conference entitled Ethics of War and Peace, held at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. I’m feeling both exhausted and energized/empowered to have once again been the sole pacifist at this annual conference co-sponsored by Villanova University. (more…)

April 17, 2017

War Tax Resistance letter to IRS explaining why they aren’t receiving the full amount we owe.

Filed under: Education,Peace,Politics,Religion — admin @ 10:43 am

April 15, 2017
To the Internal Revenue Service:

We support our country in all its peaceful endeavors, but for reasons of conscience and religious faith we do not support our country in its preparation for war and in war making.   We are deeply troubled by the fact that about half of the federal income tax that we owe the government is budgeted for military-related expenditures, (more…)

October 14, 2015

“Is that a drone on that car?”

Filed under: Education,Peace,Religion — admin @ 3:47 pm

I have a drone model on the roof of my car when I am at Villanova.  I park in front of the monastery, next to the chapel.  This is a busy spot for students, and it is on the tour route for prospective students.  As the picture shows, my drone gets attention.  Signs in the windows read “Stop drone killing” and “Money for education, not war.”

March 28, 2015

West Point conference on the Ethics of War (an oxymoron).

Filed under: Education,Peace — admin @ 7:32 pm

I attended  a two-day Ethics of War conference held at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. I was the sole pacifist in attendance, and my attendance was publicly acknowledged at a plenary session.  I had some concern about attending, (more…)

February 14, 2015

“What would you do?” Building alternative communities, including chickens and bees.

Filed under: Education,Nature,Peace,Politics — admin @ 2:51 pm
Bee-built comb from one of our top bar hives.

Bee-built comb from one of our top bar hives.

Much of this blog is concerned with criticism of national and international events. One might ask “Well, what do you propose?”  If I could answer that to people’s satisfaction, I’d be at the White House and UN, not typing this post.  On the other hand, it is a reasonable question and I have some ideas that I am testing. I am working toward (more…)

January 10, 2015

Martin Luther King and Lockheed Martin (when will they learn?)

Filed under: Education,Peace,Politics — admin @ 7:50 pm

Today I was at the Martin Luther King Demonstration at Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest war profiteer and nuclear weapons manufacturer. I was attempting to read King’s Riverside Church speech to employees and police in their driveway.  – but as pictures show, only got partway. Here is a sample of what they don’t want to hear at Lockheed Martin:  “I knew that I could never again (more…)

April 5, 2014

Ethics of War conference at Villanova (and Paul speaks out)

Filed under: Education,Peace,Politics,Religion — admin @ 10:58 pm

The United States Military Academy at West Point and Villanova University jointly sponsored this two-day Ethics of War conference. The largest group in attendance were West Point cadets.

There were a number of presentations, followed by Q&As. After one presentation in which a cadet said that she had freely given up her autonomous rights when she promised to serve the military in an instrumental capacity, I questioned whether a promise to serve means that you can never change your mind, even if you gain new insights. I noted that military personnel can apply for conscientious objector status, even though  (more…)

January 11, 2014

Profits before poison – 300,000 Americans suddenly without safe drinking water.

Filed under: Education,Politics — admin @ 5:42 pm

“Authorities struggled to determine how much danger the little-known chemical, MCHM, or 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, posed. ‘The only appropriate use for this water is toilet flushing.’” (New York Times)

(more…)

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress