The Fight for Peace Continues


Larry Ross
See the Patchwork of his life growing

Stan Hemsley

Stan Hemsley - Tributes to a Truly Great Man

comment by Larry Ross
May 2, 2007

Stan Hemsley died, aged 88, of a massive heart attack in a Christchurch rest home on May 2, 2007
His funeral will be held at: The John Rhind Chapel at 1.00 P.M. Monday May 7, 2007 19 London Street, which runs off Stanmore Rd. Christchurch.
The Burial will be in Lyttleton after the serviceMore details in The Press, Obituaries, May 3
Stan was a dedicated member of the executive and tireless worker for the New Zealand Nuclear Free Peacemaking Association from our foundation in 1981. He helped our national 3-part campaign started in 1981 to have the government declare New Zealand a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone....
Stan was a unique mixture of hands-on practicality and insights into the multiple environmental, war and nuclear threats to humanity. He was a great human being, and a kind man who will always be fondly remembered. 


Bertrand Russell - Philosopher, Author and Peace Activist

Comment by Larry Ross, May 14, 2007

Bertrand Russell has always been my favourite philosopher. I corresponded with him on war/peace issues from Canada in 1961 and continued in New Zealand from 1962, on the Vietnam War. I was honoured when he asked me to form the Australasian Branch of The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation which I did until about 1968. I admire this great man who is an example of what we can become. He was willing to act for his principles and go to jail for peace actions at age 90. He was a humanist and rationalist, who believed man evolved and was the author of his own destiny with no divine intervention.

Albert Einstein whose peace quote follows, was dedicated to work for peace. Like Russell, Einstein was very worried about atomic weapons, and that mankind would use these horrific weapons and go on to destroy the world.

Two of the greatest intellects ever produced have warned mankind that nuclear weapons should be abolished before they abolish us.

But today, these world-destroying devices are hardly mentioned. People seem to accept them as part of the background - rather than fear them as a mortal threat. The new Bush nuclear doctrines give George Bush the authority to wage pre-emptive nuclear war, as well as introduce nuclear weapons into conventional conflicts. From 'never to used except as a last resort' weapon the neocon Bush Administration has transformed nuclear weapons into an optional weapon of choice, for a variety of military purposes. 

This was approved by Congress and is a recipe for a global nuclear war which could easily escalate to destroy all life on earth. But this issue was downplayed by the mass media and there was hardly a peep of protest - or even awareness of the new doctrines and their implications. Nor was there hardly a thought about whether any nation, or any neo-conservative elite, or individual like George Bush should have such ultimate power over the whole world's destiny. No other leader in history has had such enormous power at his finger tips - the power to destroy the world in a few hours. As he demonstrated with his illegal assault on Iraq , he can invent any lies to justify any kind of war.

More frightening than the bomb, is that few people express any concern about this situation or work to change it. Have we finally learned to stop worrying and love the bomb? Is there a built-in inevitability in our genes to accept self-extinction? Perhaps if we don't worry or think about it, the threat will disappear like magic. We tend to deny and disregard unpleasant facts.

George Bush is illegally in power, listening to God, quoting the Bible, starting and escalating wars based on lies, but impervious to human advice and reason. This ex-alcoholic, fundamentalist Christian, power-mad war monger is entrusted with the fate of the world. 

Is Bush the man most likely to bring on a nuclear Armageddon leading to human extinction? Why do most people seem so unconcerned? Sigmund Freud would call it a manifestation of the death instinct, which he wrote about in 1920 after World War I. 99.9% of all species of life that have evolved, and numerous flourishing civilizations throughout human history, have become extinct. Do you think we are different and believe it cannot happen to us? Our civilization has developed a huge apparatus of global nuclear annihilation. Each of the 8-9 nuclear weapon nations are subject to nuclear war by "accident, miscalculation or act of madness" as President Kennedy warned in 1961.

Our lack of concern or interest in this 'clear and present danger' and all the other indications show that we are moving toward our own massive self-extinction, as suffered by the other 99.9% of species and past civilizations. The US congress has the power to Impeach Bush, stop his insane wars, including the planned war on Iran . That is only the first most important step. Many other steps must be taken if we are to reduce the threat and make a peaceful, just, nuclear weapon-free world. Of course we could do it by applying our creative intelligence, reason and rationality as Russell and Einstein taught. But have we the will?


May 18, 1872

Bertrand Russell

Birthday of Sir Bertrand Russell, British philosopher, logician, essayist, and social critic, a leading figure in his country's anti-nuclear movement. In 1954 he delivered his famous "Man's Peril" broadcast on the BBC, condemning the Bikini H-bomb tests, and warning of the threat to humanity from the development of nuclear weapons. A year later, together with Albert Einstein, he released the Russell-Einstein Manifesto calling for the curtailment of nuclear weapons.
He became the founding president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958. He resigned, however, in 1960 and formed the more militant Committee of 100 with the overt aim of inciting mass civil disobedience, and he himself with Lady Russell led mass sit-ins in 1961 that brought them a two-month prison sentence.


Albert Einstein

Peace quote...


"(War)...This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once.
Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable an ignorable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
-Albert Einstein



by Jeff Trussell

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

In the early 1600s, sailors from Great Britain made their way to India. At that time, India was a country rich in traditions and culture thousands of years old. The British Empire took control of the government of India and forever changed the face of that country. Ancient traditions and religions were thrown out, made illegal by ruthless British generals eager to make India another England. As you can well imagine, the native people of India suffered greatly, seeing their way of life trampled under the British desire to "civilize" their country.      Read on....

Mahatma Gandhi from Wikpedia    Gandhi (the film)      Information website

A tribute to three peace lovers from "The Hindu" newspaper.

A man who believed in loving his enemy, another who attempted to change the individual soul in a non-violent manner and a third who believes in the power of a single individual to transform the world. Open to the public from today is "Gandhi, King and Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace'' -- an exhibition that encapsulates the lives and beliefs of the three apostles of peace of the 20th Century, whose principles inspired many a freedom struggle and who touched the lives of people all over the world without lifting a finger.

On display for the next six weeks at Gandhi Smriti on Tees January Marg, the exhibition features colour photographs, inspiring quotes and factual information about the three leaders -- Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Daisaku Ikeda. Divided into five sections, the panels focus on different aspects of their lives -- the key influences on each man, their common belief in the innate dignity of humanity, how each man translated his principles into dynamic action, their ideology of non- violence and how they all triumphed over their adversity.        Continue.....



Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King, Jr., ( January 15 , 1929 April 4 , 1968 ) was one of the main leaders of the American civil rights movement , a political activist, a Baptist minister, and was one of America's greatest orators. King's most influential and well-known public address is the " I Have A Dream " speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1963. In 1964, King became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (for his work as a peacemaker , promoting nonviolence and equal treatment for different races ). On April 4 , 1968 , King was assassinated in Memphis , Tennessee .

In 1977, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter . In 1986, Martin Luther King Day was established as a United States holiday . In 2004, King was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal . King often called for personal responsibility in fostering world peace.

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate....
Returning violence for violence multiples violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Daisaku Ikeda


Daisaku Ikeda ( January 2, 1928 –) is the president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist association with about 15 million members in more than 190 countries and territories, and founder of several educational, cultural and research institutions.

Life and establishment of Soka Gakkai
Born of poor origins into a family of seaweed farmers at Ota, Tokyo , Ikeda's family endured the hardships of the war, as many did. In his youth, he lost an older brother to World War II, which developed in him a strong opposition to war. In his late teens, in August 1947 he learned of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism through Josei Toda, a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist, peace activist, and then president of Soka Gakkai. As a disciple of Toda, Ikeda took on Toda's dream and mission to spread the teachings of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism and its principles of developing a peaceful world through the spread of the True Teachings of the Lotus Sutra. Following Toda's death in 1958, Ikeda became president of the Soka Gakkai from 1960 to 1979.

From its beginnings in the 1930s, the Soka Gakkai was a lay organization whose role was to support the laity in their practice of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. After World War II, as Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism began to spread throughout the world, Soka Gakkai responded by developing an international outreach program, the SGI ( Soka Gakkai International ). Ikeda took a lead role in this development, and became the honorary president of SGI upon its founding in 1975. In 1979, Ikeda resigned as president of Soka Gakkai due to conflicts with the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood and was succeeded by Hiroshi Hojo . Even so, he still remained the president of the SGI, and he is the honorary president of Soka Gakkai presently.

As the president of this international Buddhist organization, Ikeda (in October 2006 he received his 200th honorary doctorate degree) (by May 2007 had received 211 honorary doctorates.) has used the principles of Nichiren Buddhism throughout his own life, and in his role as president of SGI, he acts to support the membership in a number of ways, including providing support and encouragement through his writings and lectures, by striving to promote a global dialogue on Nichiren Buddhist principles as they apply to today's global challenges with many of today's world leaders. As such, the SGI membership views him as a great role model for how to apply this practice in their own lives. He is referred to by some members as their mentor, or sensei     Read on.....




Dedicating One's Life For Peace

comment by Larry Ross May 14, 2007

I remember Nhat Chi Mai 40 years ago sitting on the ground with legs crossed, hardly moving as she burned herself to death in the attempt to stop the Vietnam War. She made the ultimate sacrifice for all humanity. That example spurred people to continue working for peace. ~~~~~



NHAT CHI MAI (?--1967) Vietnamese student and pacifist Nhat Chi Mai, history and biography of the pacifist.

Her Person: Young Vietnamese student at the Buddhist Van-Hanh University and worker for the School of Youth for Social Services. Opposed the war in Vietnam. Immolated herself in the courtyard of Tu Nghiem Pagoda in Saigon, South Vietnam, leaving behind poems and letters signed "the one who burns herself for peace."

Her Belief: "I offer my body as a torch / to dissipate the dark / to waken love among men / to give peace to Vietnam."



Julia Ward Howe
May 15, 1870

Julia Ward Howe, suffragist, abolitionist and author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” proposed Mother's Day as a peace holiday.

She had seen firsthand some of the worst effects of war during the American Civil War—the death and disease which killed and maimed, and the widows and orphans left behind on both sides of the Civil War—and realized that the effects of the war go beyond the killing of soldiers in battle. Mother's Day did not become a national holiday until declared by Pres. Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

"Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.”


Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan gives the peace sign
in front of the White House in 2006.

Cindy Sheehan at Wikipedia
Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan (born July 10 , 1957 ) is an American anti-war activist , whose son, Casey Sheehan , was killed during his service in the Iraq War on April 4, 2004 , aged 24. She attracted international attention in August 2005 for her extended demonstration at a peace camp outside President George W. Bush 's Texas ranch garnering her both support and criticism . In May 2007, Sheehan officially ended her involvement as an anti-war activist, saying "I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost."

Sheehan states she has "always been a Democrat ," and that she had initially questioned the urgency of the invasion of Iraq , but did not become active in the anti-war effort until after her son's death.

Sheehan and other military families met with President George W. Bush in June of 2004 at Fort Lewis , near Tacoma, Washington , nearly three months after her son's death. In a June 24, 2004 interview with the Vacaville Reporter published soon after the meeting, she stated, "We haven't been happy with the way the war has been handled. The President has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached." She also stated that President Bush was ". . .sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis … I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."     Continue.....


Cindy Sheehan on Anniversary of Son's Death - April 5, 2007
The human cost of King George's wars is spelled out by Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq 3 years ago. The agony of the Sheehan family can be multiplied a million times by Bush's murders of Iraqis. And perhaps millions of times if he escalates his wars to Iran and other countries. 
Many more American families will suffer as the Sheehans have, if Congress allows King George to continue his pathological murderous spree. But Congress has a collective genius at finding excuses, not to withdraw US troops, but to fund US troops to stay and occupy those 'bright and shinning' new permanent US Bases in Iraq, and the biggest US Embassy in the world, located in Baghdad. 

A Breath of Reality - Comment by Larry Ross - August 23, 2005
Cindy Sheehan spells out the truth and reality of Iraq and Bushites as never before. Just what America desparately needs right now - a dose of reality to cut through tons of lies endlessly repeated by Bush's cheerleading mass media.
Hypocrites and Liars
- by Cindy Sheehan - August 20, 2005
The media are wrong. The people who have come out to Camp Casey to help coordinate the press and events with me are not putting words in my mouth, they are taking words out of my mouth. I have been known for sometime as a person who speaks the truth and speaks it strongly. I have always called a liar a liar and a hypocrite a hypocrite. Now I am urged to use softer language to appeal to a wider audience. Why do my friends at Camp Casey think they are there? Why did such a big movement occur from such a small action on August 6, 2005? .... . full story

Great American Peace Lady Condemns BushCo by Larry Ross - July 6, 2007


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