Archive for March, 2007

January / February 2007

March 5, 2007

?The January/February 2007 issue of the Catholic Worker featured the following articles:

  • Iraqi Refugees in Amman by Cathy Breen – An account of a six month stay among Iraqi refugees in Jordan. Notes that Iraqis are denied residency in Jordan and subject to deportation. The author surveyed 30 embassies in Jordan and found most countries have closed their door to Iraqis.
  • Is it True? by Usama Abu Kabir – A poem by a Gitmo inmate that I reprinted elsewhere.
  • St. Joseph House by Mark Kalivoda – Reflection on the value of voluntary poverty and the need to experience failure.
  • Collateral Damage by Bill Griffin – Brief comment on article abstracted by PubMed below.
    • 1: Lancet. 2006 Oct 21;368(9545):1421-8.

      Comment in:
      Lancet. 2007 Jan 13;369(9556):101-2; author reply 103-4.
      Lancet. 2007 Jan 13;369(9556):101; author reply 103-4.
      Lancet. 2007 Jan 13;369(9556):101; author reply 103-4.
      Lancet. 2007 Jan 13;369(9556):102-3; author reply 103-4.
      Lancet. 2007 Jan 13;369(9556):102; author reply 103-4.
      Lancet. 2007 Jan 13;369(9556):104.
      Lancet. 2007 Jan 13;369(9556):105.

      Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample
      survey.

      Burnham G, Lafta R, Doocy S, Roberts L.

      Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. gburnham@jhsph.edu

      BACKGROUND: An excess mortality of nearly 100 000 deaths was reported in Iraq for the period March, 2003-September, 2004, attributed to the invasion of Iraq. Our aim was to update this estimate.

      METHODS: Between May and July, 2006, we did a national cross-sectional cluster sample survey of mortality in Iraq. 50 clusters were randomly selected from 16 Governorates, with every cluster consisting of 40 households. Information on deaths from these households was gathered.

      FINDINGS: Three misattributed clusters were excluded from the final analysis; data from 1849 households that contained 12 801 individuals in 47 clusters was gathered. 1474 births and 629 deaths were reported during the observation period. Pre-invasion mortality rates were 5.5 per 1000 people per year (95% CI 4.3-7.1), compared with 13.3 per 1000 people per year (10.9-16.1) in the 40 months post-invasion. We estimate that as of July, 2006, there have been 654 965 (392 979-942 636) excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war, which corresponds to 2.5% of the population in the study area. Of post-invasion deaths, 601 027 (426 369-793 663) were due to violence, the most common cause being gunfire.

      INTERPRETATION: The number of people dying in Iraq has continued to escalate. The proportion of deaths ascribed to coalition forces has diminished in 2006, although the actual numbers have increased every year. Gunfire remains the most common cause of death, although deaths from car bombing have increased.

  • Impact of Solanus Casey by Ben DeImonico – Reflection on the life of Fr. Solanus Casey, who worked as a priest at NY’s Queen of Angels from 1921-1924. Fr. Casey is currently being considered for sainthood.
  • Leviticus: Stumbling Block for Christians? by Joanne Kennedy and Terry Rogers – Two separate positive reflections on Leviticus. Both highlight social justice instructions of Leviticus, including the commandment not to reap the edges of your field so that the poor could feed themselves from your property.
  • Books on Nonviolence by Quilty – Recommends these four books written by Jim Douglass and available from Wipf and Stock Publishers, 199 West 8th Ave, Suite 3, Eugene OR 97401:
  • Fred Garel, Rip by Mimi Lamb – Short reflection on one-time St. Joseph House cook, contributer to CW and actor with the CW players as Thorton Wilder’s Stage Manager and Tennessee Williams’s Big Daddy, who died on October 23, 2006. Mr. Garel had been estranged from the Catholic Church as a result of his son being molested by a priest, but he never lost faith in God or prayer. Mr. Garel was also the author of a book called Lighting the Lamps. According to xlibris, “Lighting the Lamps is about the many worlds of New York City, past and present–living the robust tenement and street life of the Depression; encountering “the Desert Experience” in NYC faith communities; and meeting extraordinary people while working at a great variety of jobs–starting in the days when a skilled buildings-engineer supervisor might be illiterate and “manual labor” included amazing feats of skill.”
  • Art Center for Peace by Lizz Kaune – A description of work being done in Suchitoto, El Salvador to create an “Art Center for Peace” which would offer a variety of arts classes along with workshops on conflict resolution, spirituality, gender equality and respect for the environment. Describes some obstacles for the project. For more information please contact Sisters of Charity/Project CARP, 41 Emory St, Jersey City, NJ 07304.
  • Alyssa Presente! by Bill Griffin – Brief account of a Schools of the Americas /Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation protest in Ft. Benning, GA. Article excerpts remarks by former Army Colonel Ann Wright, who sees a connection between torture techniques used in Iraq and the WHISC curriculum. Article also mentions the September 2003 suicide of US Army interrogator Alyssa Peterson who objected to US interrogation tactics being used that the Tal-afar airbase in northern Iraq.
  • Natale Pace, 1935-2006 by Siobhan O’Neil – Obituary of kind but highly eccentric Catholic Worker Nat Pace. He always had time for visitors and loved chocolate, even after diabetes made that love problematic. A good singer who sometimes tried the patience of his bishop.
  • Book Review – Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer, Times Books, Maryknoll, NY, 2006 Reviewed by Tom Cornell – Favorable review of a book containing 14 case studies where the United States overthrew governments of other countries either by invasion or subversion. Some of the countries featured include Hawaii, Phillipines, Panama, Iran. Review highlights point that empire is a bipartisan problem.
  • Book Review – Jesus Today: A Spirituality of Radical Freedom by Albert Nolan, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY, 2006 Reviewed by Bill Griffin – Favorable review of a book extolling the incarnational spirituality of Jesus Christ, a spirituality for the here and now.
  • Book Review – Danger on the Doorstep: Anti-Catholicism and American Print Culture in the Progressive Era. by Justin Nordstrom, Univ of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN, 2006 Reviewed by Jane Sammon – Favorable review of a book outlining the anti-Catholic press of the late 1800s/early 1900s and the Catholic response, including the rise of the Knights of Columbus. Notes with regret that American Catholic enthusiasm for WWI led to greater acceptance of Catholics as “real Americans.”

———————

As far as I know, the text and woodcut graphics of the Catholic Worker are not available on-line. If you would like the full text of an article that I mention here, I have three suggestions:

1) Try to borrow the article through Interlibrary Loan.

2) Contact the archivist for the CW at Marquette University:

Phil Runkel
Archivist
Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Raynor Memorial Libraries
Marquette University
1355 W. Wisconsin Ave, PO Box 3141
Milwaukee, WI 53201-3141
414-288-5903
http://www.marquette.edu/library/collections/archives/day.html

3) Try contacting the Catholic Worker directly. They MAY be willing to send you the article, though I don’t know if they have morgue files. It seems likely they do, since they often reprint Dorothy Day articles. Contact information for Catholic Worker appears in the “subscribe” section below.

To Subscribe:

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Even if you think you hate the Catholic Worker movement and all it stands for, subscribe anyway. See what the other side is doing. Also get it for the obituaries. Nowhere else will you find people memorializing the marginalized the way the Catholic Worker celebrates the lives that come through their houses of hospitality. Everyone can learn something about how to see every person’s dignity by perusing these obituaries.

Jan/Feb 2007: Poem from Gitmo

March 1, 2007

Because people held at Guantanamo Bay rarely get to speak in their own words, I am reproducing the poem written by Usama Abu Kabir and printed by the Catholic Worker in the Jan/Feb 2007 issue.

Is it true that the grass
grows again after rain?
Is it true that the flowers
will rise up in the spring?
Is it true that birds
will migrate home again?
Is it true that the salmon
swim back up their stream?

Is it true. This is true. These are all miracles.
But is it true that one day
we’ll leave Guantanamo Bay?
Is it true that one day
we’ll go back to our homes?
I sail in my dreams, I am dreaming of home.

To be with my children, each one part of me;
To be with my wife, and the ones that I love;
To be with my parents,
my world’s tenderest hearts.
I dream to be home, to be free of this cage.

But do you hear me, O Judge,
do you hear me at all?
We are innocent, here,
we’ve committed no crime.
Set me free, set us free, if anywhere still
May justice, compassion
remain in this world!

—————————-

To those who want to turn their backs on Mr. Abu Kabir, I repeat this information from the December 2006 issue of the Catholic Worker:

  • Shut Down Guantanamo! by Frida Berrigan & Matthew W. Daloisio – An account of the work done by legal, medical and social groups in 2006 to try and close down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Article offers this breakdown of 517 prisoners at Guantanamo based on Social Science Research Network analysis of recently released DoD data:
    • al-Qaeda fighters only made up 8% of prisoners.
    • Only 5% of prisoners were captured on the battlefield.
    • 86% of the prisoners were captured by either Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and turned over to US custody for payment of large bounties.
    • The article also notes that as of July 2006, 75% of the prisoners were no longer being interrogated.

Is Mr. Abu Kabir innocent? I don’t know, but the odds look good.

Charge and offer a truly fair trial or release the prisoners. Shut down the prison. Shut down the base. Return to our professed values. Let us re-earn the right to issue human rights reports with a straight face.

March 2007 NYC Friday Night Meetings

March 1, 2007

Hi all,

This entry is being written on March 1, 2007 and I just received my Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Catholic Worker. Look for a full digest in the next week or so.

Because I know I have at least one reader in the New York City area, I wanted to point out the CW Friday Night Meetings for March while that information is still useful. All meetings begin at 7:45pm:

  • Mar 2 – Michael True: Peacemaking and Interreligious Engagement*
  • Mar 9 – Bill Goodman: Film on Michigan’s Newspaper Strike of the 1990s.
  • Mar 16 – Our Irish Evening of Stories and Memories.
  • Mar 23 – War and Peace Update–Four Years after the Invasion of Iraq.*
  • Mar 30 – As Holy Week Approaches–Roundtable Discussion on Anti-Semitism.

Why the meetings? I’ll let the Worker itself explain:

In keeping with Peter Maurin’s recognition of the need for ongoing clarification of thought, we invite you to join us for our weekly Friday night meetings. The meetings are held either at Maryhouse–55 East Third St, 212-777-9617, or St. Joseph House, 36 East First St, 212-254-1640. As far ahead as we can see, those we will hold at First Street will be marked with an *. Feel welcome to call and confirm the schedule. Both houses are between First and Second Avenues (2nd Ave. stop on the F or V train).

So, if you’re within driving distance of New York, please attend if you can. If you do, would you leave a comment here or send an e-mail to dnlcornwall AT alaska.net.