Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Morning Meditation

artistic credit: Rural Colors, Music by Jannick Schou

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Nicholas Kristof Speaks at Syracuse University, Warns of Likely Violence and Brutality in Sudan

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was at Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University last night to talk about some of the topics he has discussed in his book "Half the Sky", written with his wife and partner-in-journalism, Sheryl WuDunn.

He started his talk, much of it about weighty topics such as global poverty and the plight of exploited women around the world, with a light touch. Speaking about the contest he runs at the NY Times annually, choosing a college student to accompany him on his travels, the Harvard-educated, Rhodes scholar, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner said, "One thing you should realize is that, within the New York Times, behind my back, the story goes that First prize is one trip with me; Second prize is two trips with me. Be careful what you wish for."

The audience at Hendricks Chapel

He went on to talk about a brave nomadic woman who gave birth in the desert and developed a fistula, having been perceived as something evil and isolated from her fellow villagers, left to fend off hyenas and make her own way to a hospital where she was given care and an opportunity to eventually become a nurse and care for others.

He showed the audience a photo of a young woman named Long Pross, of whom he spoke glowingly as a heroine in a story of her enslavement in sex-trafficking in Cambodia and the gouging out of her eye by her captor when she would not cooperate with her own exploitation. Today she works with the Somaly Mam Foundation to raise awareness of a cruel and continuing modern-day slavery.

Mr. Kristof took a good number of questions, but the one in which Mr. Kristof's reply was most memorable for me was the one where an audience member, who'd met Mr. Kristof in Darfur, asked him to try to tie in the upcoming referendum in southern Sudan and how it might play into international politics.

This was Mr. Kristof's reply:

If you think about things around the world that may go badly wrong over the next six months or so, what might be the bloodiest war in 2011, it may very well be a bloody war between north and south Sudan.

The situation there is that north and south Sudan had a terrible war that went on for twenty years and ended in 2005 after two million deaths. Under the terms of a peace agreement, south Sudan was given a right to have a vote, a referendum to secede from the rest of Sudan.

That vote will happen on January 9, 2011.

It is overwhelmingly clear that southern Sudan will vote to secede. The problem is: it's hard to imagine the north will allow the south to leave, because the south has most of the country's oil, about 80% of the oil. So there is a fairly widespread expectation that, in one way or another, the north will block that vote, block that referendum, frustrate that, not let that happen, and that in that case the south will declare a declaration of independence and have renewed fighting.

If you think Darfur was bad [with 2 million dead], you could quickly have a level of killing and a level of brutality that makes Darfur look just like a prologue.

What has been so frustrating about this is that we've known, for years now, that this referendum was coming up. There are ways we could have worked internationally with other countries, and it's not just the United States' role, it was all countries that needed to do that.

And nobody really did.

I believe the Obama administration was not aggressive in holding Sudan's feet to the fire until very recently - until a month ago. About a month ago the administration got very, very active and has been doing a lot of last-minute diplomacy. I think that helps, but I'm afraid it may have been "too little, too late."

I think there are things we could do that would minimize the risk of war. They're going to have to involve working with other countries. I fear they're not going to happen and I fear there is going to be a really brutal new war in north and south Sudan in the coming months.

See: "Chronicle of a Genocide Foretold" by Nicholas Kristof - NY Times, Sept 29, 2010

* Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn have also written two previous books, both about Asia: Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia and China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power.

Want to become active?

Half the Sky Movement - how to become involved

"How to Change the World" by Nicholas Kristof, NY Times, October 20, 2010

Groups in the Syracuse area:

- She's the First (at Facebook)

- She's The First (blog)

- Dining For Women (at Facebook)

- Dining For Women (Skaneateles Chapter)

- Dining For Women (Ithaca Chapter)

Friday, October 22, 2010

On An Autumn Afternoon [video]

Autumn is such a lovely time of year. I created this video today, using footage from a walk I took yesterday. ♥ Enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Film/Music Premiere: 33 Miners (Mision Cumplida Chile)

I put together this film with scenes from the Chile mine rescue, set to music created in honor of the event by Woodrow Williams.

An original song written by Woodrow Williams, dedicated to the 33 miners of Chile and the people who rescued them.

33 Miners (Mission Completed Chile) [English translation]
A song and poem by Woodrow Williams
Film by Jude Nagurney Camwell

33 miners lost underground
All hope lost in the Chilean town
Loved ones and members of their little town
would not give up until they were found

so they started to dig
until they were found

They dug and they dug
they hoped and they prayed
they found the miners
two months in the grave

then one by one they rose from the ground
spirits they raised - spirits around
and the world joined in and they helped where they could
spirits they rise for the better and good of mankind

33 miners lost underground
now join their families above the ground
and the world rejoices for the lives that they found
and everyone loves along with our small Chilean town.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Robert C. Byrd Spoke With Clarity Through Fog of Post-9/11 Days

"Truth has a way of asserting itself
despite all attempts to obscure it."

~ Senator Robert C. Byrd

Senator Robert C. Byrd was one of my heroes in the dark days of post 9/11 Bush-led America. I chronicled his words as I blogged from day to day at Iddybud. I'm sad to hear he has passed away and wanted to share some of the lines of his that I heard clearly when so many of my leaders seemed to be speaking in vague, cowed whispers. Senator Byrd gave us far more than whispers. Thank you, Senator Byrd. May you rest in peace.

From "We Stand Passively Mute" - by US Senator Robert Byrd - Senate Floor Remarks on February 12, 2003:

"..To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war. Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent -- ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war..."

"...war must always be a last resort, not a first choice. I truly must question the judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50% children is "in the highest moral traditions of our country"..."

From The Truth Will Emerge - by US Senator Robert Byrd, Senate Floor Remarks - May 21, 2003:

"'Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again, - -
The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
And dies among his worshippers.'

"...Was the American public deliberately misled? Was the world?"

"...Democracy and Freedom cannot be force fed at the point of an occupier's gun. To think otherwise is folly. One has to stop and ponder. How could we have been so impossibly naive?"

"..I contend that, through it all, the people know. The American people unfortunately are used to political shading, spin, and the usual chicanery they hear from public officials. They patiently tolerate it up to a point. But there is a line. It may seem to be drawn in invisible ink for a time, but eventually it will appear in dark colors, tinged with anger. When it comes to shedding American blood - - when it comes to wreaking havoc on civilians, on innocent men, women, and children, callous dissembling is not acceptable. Nothing is worth that kind of lie - - not oil, not revenge, not reelection, not somebody's grand pipedream of a democratic domino theory.

And mark my words, the calculated intimidation which we see so often of late by the "powers that be" will only keep the loyal opposition quiet for just so long. Because eventually, like it always does, the truth will emerge. And when it does, this house of cards, built of deceit, will fall."

From "The Road to Coverup is the Road to Ruin" by Sen. Robert C. Byrd - US Senate Floor Remarks - June 24, 2003

My Note - Senator Byrd had a way with words. I loved the use of the word "massaged" in this part of Senator Byrd's speech. It was quite colorful. [Iddybud blog]

"..Whether or not intelligence reports were bent, stretched, or massaged to make Iraq look like an imminent threat to the United States, it is clear that the Administration's rhetoric played upon the well-founded fear of the American public about future acts of terrorism. But, upon close examination, many of these statements have nothing to do with intelligence, because they are at root just sound bites based on conjecture. They are designed to prey on public fear."

From A Nation with Questions - by Robert C. Byrd, September 29, 2003

"..The Bush Administration's single-minded focus on Iraq has ignored, in large respect, the terrorist threat that produced the attack of September 11, 2001."

From The Emperor Has No Clothes by US Senator Robert Byrd - Senate Floor Remarks on October 17, 2003:

"...the time has come for the sheep-like political correctness which has cowed members of this Senate to come to an end."

From - Senator Robert C. Byrd's remarks, delivered in the Senate on April 17, 2007:

"...I was quite surprised recently to hear some Senators take the position that this body is wasting its time in drafting and passing legislation which the president threatens to veto. Let me remind all who listen that the Congress legislates for the people, and has a Constitutional obligation to act independently from the White House. As Senators already know, there are three separate but equal branches of government.

The Constitution's Framers never considered a president to be the final arbiter of the public good. Whether the question relates to military, foreign, or domestic affairs a presidential veto threat is not the last word in what should become the law of our land. Those decisions are left to the representatives of the people, along with the power over the purse and other Constitutionally enumerated congressional powers.."

"Let the President issue his veto threats, but also let the Congress dutifully represent the will of the people."

"Members of Congress are elected to make laws based on sound public policy, not to capitulate to presidential threats. The Senate must never become a rubberstamp for any president."

"...members of Congress and officials of the Executive Branch have a duty to try to find common ground, especially when the issue is a violent and controversial war, with our troops in harms way every day. I shall hope for a more reasonable and more realistic tone from our President in the coming days. More light and less heat on this matter would truly be in the best interests of our troops and of our sorely divided country."

From Unprepared for Peace in Iraq - By Robert C. Byrd
Thursday, January 15, 2009 [Washington Post]:
Also posted at: [Iddybud blog]

"...A hallmark of true leadership is the ability to admit when one is wrong and to learn from errors. Candidate George W. Bush spoke about the need for humility from a great and powerful nation. He said, "Let us reject the blinders of isolationism, just as we refuse the crown of empire. Let us not dominate others with our power -- or betray them with our indifference. And let us have an American foreign policy that reflects American character. The modesty of true strength. The humility of real greatness." It is time for the Bush administration to swallow its false pride and return to that philosophy of humility before it is too late."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

RIP, Dennis Hopper (reciting Kipling)

The late Dennis Hopper when he appeared on "The Johnny Cash Show," September 30, 1970. As Mr. Hopper points out prior to the reading of the Rudyard Kipling poem, "If" is the middle word in life.

*tip of the hat to Fung-Lin Hall.

Iddybud's Connections [Pearltree]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Universal Child Annie Lennox

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Walden Beat (video)

Friday, April 16, 2010

US Rep. Honors Victims of OK City Bombing, Warns Congress Against Overblown Rhetoric

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) issued the following statement on the House floor, regarding H.Res. 1206. This resolution commemorates the victims who died in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 19, 1995:

"Madam Speaker, today I rise to remember the victims of the 1995 terrorist attack in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. This act of American terrorism was committed by a man who viewed the federal government as such a threat that it justified mass murder.

"I applaud my colleague from Oklahoma for her resolution because it serves as a reminder that right-wing, anti-government extremist groups are on the rise today.

"Only two weeks ago members of a so-called Christian militia in Michigan were arrested by the FBI for plotting to kill law enforcement officers in the hopes of inciting an
anti-government uprising.

"A national civil rights organization has documented a growing number of hate groups in America and states they are ‘driven largely by an angry backlash against non-white immigration ... the economic meltdown, and the climb to power of an African American president.'

"Or, in one word - racism.

"Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center states, ‘Individuals associated with the Patriot movement during its 1990s heyday produced an enormous amount of violence, most dramatically the Oklahoma City bombing...'

"Today, Mr. Potok states, ‘as the movement has exploded, so has the reach of its ideas,
aided and abetted by commentators and politicians...'

"Only last month a Fox News commentator, with Members of Congress next to him, rallied a Tea Party crowd by disparaging Congress and calling the crowd ‘all these Tim McVeigh wannabes here' to the crowds cheers and applause.

"When Members of Congress compare health care legislation to ‘government tyranny,' ‘socialism,' or ‘totalitarianism' - in the hopes of scoring political points is like pouring gas on the fire of extremism.

"The Members of this House Democrats and Republicans - have a duty and an obligation to end the dangerous name-calling that can only inspire the extremist militias and phony patriots.

"In the most free, prosperous and greatest democracy on earth it is time to return to a civil, decent debate of public policy.

"I don't want another ‘Oklahoma City' to ever take place again.

"Just as we would not give aid and comfort to al-Qaeda, let us not allow the words of elected leaders give comfortable excuses to extremists bent on violence.

"Words have power for both good and evil. I implore my colleagues to temper their rhetoric and not allow the words of a Member of Congress to be used by any violent militia or hate filled phony-patriots to perpetrate violence.

"The victims of the Oklahoma City bombing were women at work, men waiting in line for government services, and children in a day care center. Families were torn apart and struggled to heal. A community was devastated but is again filled with hope and memories.

"I hope with this resolution every Member of Congress will reflect upon the victims of Oklahoma City as well as our duty as elected federal leaders in a proud and free country.

"Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks, and I yield back my time."

*Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Garden Walk (video)

Come take a walk with me through the beautiful blooms in the Susie Harwood Garden on the campus of UNCC Charlotte (N.C.)
~ Jude

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Holocaust Remembrance Day


"Memory is what shapes us.
Memory is what teaches us.
We must understand that’s where our redemption is."

~ Estelle Laughlin, Holocaust Survivor

WAYS TO REMEMBER - [Each Of Us Has A Name]

Saturday, April 10, 2010

NoDa Arts District, Charlotte, N.C. (photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell)

NoDa Arts District, Charlotte, N.C.
photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Doorway (photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell)

"Every doorway, every intersection has a story."
~ Katherine Dunn

photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Communities Organizing in Charlotte, Then and Now

Si Kahn watches the panel discussion
photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

There was a gathering of Charlotte's community organizers on Friday evening at the Levine Museum of the New South. The panel speaking at the program "Communities Organizing in Charlotte, Then and Now" centered their spirit of sharing upon the life lessons of legendary singer/songwriter/organizer Si Kahn, who lives in Charlotte and has recently released his book "Creative Community Organizing - A Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists, and Quiet Lovers of Justice." Donna Red Wing, who is taking over for Kahn after 30 years as Grassroots Leadership's Executive Director, started the program by stressing that grassroots community organizing campaigns were different than Astro-turf organizing campaigns that are formally planned by an organization and often funded without transparency - and designed to mask their origins to create the impression of being spontaneous, popular "grassroots" behavior.

The program was opened by David Crowe and Kali Ferguson, each taking turns reciting four selected narrations from Si Kahn's new book, set to music composed especially for the occasion by Crowe. Moderator Tom Hanchett told about his organizing days in Chicago - the place where President Obama was also a community organizer.


US Rep Mel Watt was the first panelist to speak, saying that he hadn't been in Charlotte, but instead at Chapel Hill, during some of the years considered to be crucial to the Civil Rights movement. However, his introduction to organizing for justice came earlier - in his high school years when he was a student bus-driver during the early days of desegregation busing after the Brown v. Board of Education decision. He told the story of how he, with the support of other student bus drivers, confronted, demanded, and successfully convinced a high school principal to get them new buses instead of what he called the "hand-me-down" buses in which they'd been responsible for driving fellow students to school. This, he said, was preparation for managing his first successful political campaign in 1974 for Harvey Gantt/City Council (when he'd had no prior experience in politics whatsoever). He spoke about a heartbreaking Harvey Gantt-for-Mayor primary campaign in 1979 vs. Eddie Knox that taught him important lessons about organizing, having lost by a mere 95 votes. Rep. Watt called this particular campaign one of his most exciting in which to have been involved because of the impact he saw it had had on the African-American community, telling the story of one elderly woman he'd encountered on the way to the polls saying proudly that she was on her way to vote for "her Harvey." Watt saw the power of unity - even in the face of disappointing defeat. He credited Si Kahn's advice to see justice as a process; never knowing if you're actually winning or losing; never losing faith that, whatever small part you're playing, you're making a difference and you're making progress.

l-to-r: moderator Tom Hanchett, Rep. Mel Watt, Lyndall Hare, Alfreda Barringer, Myra Clark, LaWana Mayfield
photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell


Lyndall Hare, consultant with Charlotteans for a Free Southern Africa, an anti-apartheid group who organized protests against loans by local business to the South African government, preparing speakers and protests. She recalled a woman with whom she'd organized in Johannesburg telling her that the key to successful community organizing is to have regular meetings. She'd said, "When you have three people in the same room, you're organizing."


For Alfreda Barringer, a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow, a journey to community organizing began with the simple act of becoming involved with her daughter's Girl Scout cookie campaign. Having her heart and mind opened for her family's sake, she became increasingly concerned when she saw her children being bused to three different Junior high schools. Wanting to understand why, she attended her first Homeowner Association meeting asking, What can we do?" - and receiving the reply "What can YOU do?" From that time, she led others to care about the effects of white flight and disinvestment from her Sugar Creek neighborhood which had depleted the quality of public life and economic force of the area. From her community's organizing came tangible and positive results - the MLK Jr. High School, the Sugar Creek library, and assistance for low-income families to relocate from flood plain areas. Crime and safety issues are still a challenge, but Barringer stressed the necessity of active and sustained leadership and the motivation for community organizing which, for her, was simply wanting a better neighborhood.


Myra Clark spoke about her work as the Executive Director with the Center for Community Tranistions, a not for profit with a mission of strengthening the community by helping people with criminal records find a healthier and more productive way of living. Their work provides employment and transitions services, supports alternatives to incarceration, and restores and strengthens family bonds. With about 97% of those incarcerated returning to the community, most are released with little or no resources of any kind. Research has shown that finding and retaining employment are major factors in preventing a return to prison. [Real-life stories of the success of the program can be seen here] Myra Clark spoke about success she'd seen with the coordinating efforts of different community groups, citing an example of how eyes of the County Commissioners were opened to advocacy issues through MORN - a coalition of agencies and organizations that are working to address the needs of former prisoners re-entering society and the workplace. It is in this spirit of abundance and cooperation that success and real change can be found. When people come together, the need for unnecessary competition and duplicated efforts are left behind.


LaWana Mayfield [Mecklenburg Justice Project Coordinator] and Ruben Campillo [Advocacy Coordinator for the Latin American Coalition] spoke together about their joint efforts to build a Black-Brown coalition in Mecklenburg County. They cited the rapidly changing demographics in North Carolina (and in the South). The benefit of a coalition of this kind is coming to better know and understand your neighbors and the community concerns you share. Bridging division for the sake of finding commonality brings more efficient progress and justice. The coalition's appeal surrounds the expansion of social horizons, making room and opportunity for real and meaningful change. Mr. Campillo said that there was great power in the telling of each person's own story, inspiring others and increasing self-understanding as well as community understanding. Connections, when enhanced by such stories, can be a powerful force in change-making. Both Campillo and Ms. Mayfield spoke at length about a campaign to end Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g), a section of Immigration law that causes undue injustice not only to the undocumented in this country, but to their spouses and their children. The law deputizes local and state police to enforce immigration law after entering into a Memorandum of Agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [I thought of the 2007 film titled "The Visitor" which isn’t specifically about 287(g), although its plot would lend much empathy and understanding about the effects of 287(g).] Last Friday, the DHS Office of Inspector General issued a damning critique of the federal 287(g) program. Congressman Watt added that he was committed to decreasing the vulnerability of families by doing away with 287(g).



Charlotte Then
[from photobucket.com]

Charlotte Now
photo by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Sunday, January 03, 2010

WNYC Video - "New York 2009"

Produced by Beth Fertig, mixed by Wayne Shulmister, and edited by Karen Frillmann. Online montage by Stephen Nessen.

source: WNYC News Blog