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Evergreene Digest: It is time to re-energize the movement for media reform and media democracy.

We need our independent media like Evergreene Digest to stand strong against the tide of unprecedented mergers in our media. We need to keep bringing you the voices of dedicated activists and the ideas of creative writers and dreamers building a better tomorrow for our common good.

Dear readers of Evergreene Digest,

It is time to re-energize the movement for media reform and media democracy. The connections between media and social, political and economic justice issues are undeniable. We must have a vibrant independent media in order to achieve our progressive goals.

Since the 1980s we have seen unprecedented mergers in our media, Disney and ABC, AOL and Time Warner, Comcast and NBC Universal. There are now only 5 or 6 corporations controlling access to information through multiple modes across the globe.

Not only do we see a terrifying concentration of power (and the increasing capacity for the abuse of that power), we end up with increasingly cookie cutter content across this country and around the world.  And as readership of the mainstream media declines, we see more space devoted to advertising and superficial infotainment.

We need our independent media like Common Dreams to stand strong against this tide. Bringing you the voices of dedicated activists and the ideas of creative writers and dreamers building a better tomorrow for our common good.

Out of the current crisis in the mainstream media comes the opportunity for a new and more democratically independent media. Evergreene Digest has been here since 2005, and we are in this movement for the long term. Please stand with us and contribute today!

To make a secure donation today and help bring the progressive dream to life, click here

If you would prefer to send a check, make it out to Evergreene Digest and send it to David Culver, 460 5th Avenue North, #428, Hopkins, MN  55343-7260.

If you can't help financially, help by spreading the word about Evergreene Digest and/or contributing material for publication.

And to those who have already contributed, please accept our deepest thanks.

We can't do it without you. With a big thanks to small contributors,

Sincerely,

Dave & Crew

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The gullible mind explained

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  • Whereas a normal, intelligent person would raise commonsense questions about information they receive from all sources, the Gullible Mind wholly accepts virtually any information from sources that occupy the role of apparent authority in society.
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  • Important insight into the psychology of surrender
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Mike Adams, NaturalNews.com

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

In light of the string of the blatant falsehoods being announced by the U.S. government these days (FDA, DHS, White House, etc.) it's interesting that so many people still believe whatever they are told by "official" sources. It brings up the question of the functioning of their brains: How could a person swallow official information so gullibly and so completely without even asking commonsense questions about the reliability or factual basis of that information?

These people, it turns out, are operating from what I called The Gullible Mind. It is a psychological processing malfunction that filters out information based on its source rather than its integrity. People who operate from The Gullible Mind tend to have misplaced trust in governments, institutions, mainstream news networks, doctors, scientists or anyone who wears the garb of apparent authority.

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War is a Sticky Business

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If the United States of America survives another fifty years and historians begin to chart the decline of the Great Republic, they will undoubtedly reach the conclusion that post-9/11 Washington found it very easy to use continuous conflict as a substitute for any real foreign policy while also finding it extremely difficult to exit from what it had begun.

Philip Giraldi, Anti-War.com

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

The killing of Osama bin Laden, which could have signaled an end to the global war on terror and a retrenchment from interventionism by Washington, appears to be going the other way, with government hawks extolling the virtues of torture and singing the praises of special operations directed against nations with which the US is not at war.  If the United States of America survives another fifty years and historians begin to chart the decline of the Great Republic, they will undoubtedly reach the conclusion that post-9/11 Washington found it very easy to use continuous conflict as a substitute for any real foreign policy while also finding it extremely difficult to exit from what it had begun. Empires frequently exhibit such a failure of imagination, thinking themselves invincible. Rome sought absolute security by invading and conquering much of central Europe, Mesopotamia, and Scotland, only to find itself defending territory that was largely indefensible, at great cost in manpower and treasure.  The British should have learned their lesson with the American Revolution, but a repeat performance against Boer farmers served as a prelude to the utter collapse of their Empire after the Second World War.

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Remember back how Iraq, a war based on lies, was going to be quick, surgical, and paid for by oil revenue.  Eight years, some trillions of dollars, nearly five thousand dead Americans, and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis later, the war is still going on.  Recently Senator Lindsey Graham has warned that America in Iraq could go on forever because Iraq will "go to hell" without a continued US military presence. Ironically, Senator Graham notwithstanding, it is unlikely that any Iraqi government will agree to an open ended invitation to the US Army, meaning that all those fine bases with their Burger Kings and the Embassy-Mausoleum on the Tigris will be little more than hugely expensive monuments to America’s failure to understand what makes a foreign nation tick.

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From modest beginnings, with virtually no resources, Evergreene Digest has evolved into a dynamic alternative media site.

Dear readers of Evergreene Digest,

In an era of media disinformation, our focus has essentially been to center on the "unspoken truth". From the inception of Evergreene Digest in Winter, 2005, we have established an extensive archive of news articles, in-depth reports and analysis on issues which are barely covered, if at all, by the mainstream media.

From modest beginnings, with virtually no resources, Evergreene Digest has evolved into a dynamic alternative media site.  This has been done through the skill and labor of love of an all-volunteer staff. We are also indebted to our authors, who have repeatedly volunteered their time and energy. However, volunteer labor cannot meet all our expenses, expenses which like everything else keep rising. To meet these rising expenses, Evergreene Digest conducts quarterly  fundraising drives like this which have provided us with most of our annual budget.

Please donate to Evergreene Digest. Become a member. For the cost of a cuppa jove a month, we'll keep telling you the truth. Is it a deal?

A significant number of Evergreene Digest's  readers have become members and we are much indebted for their support.  The purpose of this fund raising campaign is to reach out and request the support of all our readers.

Thanks to your contributions, we have been able maintain complete independence. No outside force steers our agenda. We don't cater to advertisers because we don't have any. We do not accept support from private foundations, which are now seeking to control and manipulate the alternative news media, so there's no need to avoid controversial issues that could upset a few wealthy donors. We don't have any!

If you are unable to donate financially, please  donate by cross-posting and/or forwarding Evergreene Digest articles (including this message); post them on your blog sites, on Facebook, and on Twitter, submit them to internet discussion groups, send them to your friends on your e-mail lists, etc. This will help Evergreene Digest in its endeavors. Widespread distribution of Evergreene Digest articles is a means to reversing the tide of media disinformation.

On behalf of the Evergreene Digest crew, we extend our sincere thanks for your continued support and encouragement.

To make a secure donation today and help bring the progressive dream to life, click here

If you would prefer to send a check, make it out to Evergreene Digest and send it to David Culver, 460 5th Avenue North, #428, Hopkins, MN  55343-7260.

If you can't help financially, help by spreading the word about Evergreene Digest and/or contributing material for publication.

And to those who have already contributed, please accept our deepest thanks.

We can't do it without you. With a big thanks to small contributors,

Sincerely,

Dave & Crew

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The Fake Budget Debate in Washington, DC

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  • As long as both Democrats and Republicans agree that the U.S. government must be directed to meet the needs of the super wealthy who own U.S. corporations, the country will shift continually to the right, with social programs and living standards evaporating.
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  • However, the stronger that labor and community groups unite and fight to save these social programs, the harder will it be to cut them; out of such a struggle will emerge practical solutions to solving the deficit problems of the country, such as dramatically increasing the taxes on the rich and corporations so that jobs can be created and social programs saved.
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  • Democrats and Republicans escalate campaign against health care programs
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Shamus Cooke, Workers' Compass

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

If you are on a tight budget, don't send cash! Just forward articles to your friends - and non-Progressives too ;) - and we need help building our Evergreene Digest community, you can invite your Facebook friends, that's a big help too.

By definition, a "debate" requires two opposing sides holding mutually exclusive opinions. In the U.S. Congress, however, real debate has all but vanished. Instead, we are subjected to endless blather that — if you listen closely — is a simple discussion over splitting hairs.

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There can be no U.S. budget debate when both sides have already agreed that massive cuts to social programs — including Medicare and Social Security — will be the foundation of any plan.

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Democrats and Republicans escalate campaign against health care programs, Joseph Kishore, World Socialist Website

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  • Former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin made clear that these cuts in Medicare and Medicaid would be only initial steps, saying that further “entitlement reform” measures would follow.
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  • Many of Rubin’s protégés have top positions in the Obama administration, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
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  • FDA approved drugs with no scientific data!
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How to Restore Truth in Media Reporting?

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  • The late New York University media scholar Neil Postman once said about America, “We are the best entertained least informed society in the world." From Jessica Simpson’s weight and Brangelina’s escapades, to Britney Spears’ sister and the Obama’s First Puppy, Americans are fed a steady “news” diet of useless information laden with personal anecdotes, scandals, and gossip.
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  • The media democracy movement
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  • ...And in Other News
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  • Stop Blacking Out Progressive Protests
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Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips, Centre for Research on Globalization

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

The late New York University media scholar Neil Postman once said about America, “We are the best entertained least informed society in the world." From Jessica Simpson’s weight and Brangelina’s escapades, to Britney Spears’ sister and the Obama’s First Puppy, Americans are fed a steady “news” diet of useless information laden with personal anecdotes, scandals, and gossip.

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Since the middle of the 1980’s, Project Censored at Sonoma State University has annually researched this phenomenon making list of the most important censored news stories and the most insignificant. Topics and in-depth reports that matter little to anyone in any meaningful way are given massive amounts of media coverage in the corporate media. In recent years, this has only become more obvious.

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...And in Other News, Dan Rather, Huffington Post
What bothers me is the hypocrisy. The idea that we can't afford to throw resources at an important foreign story, but can afford to spend this kind of money on a story like the royal wedding is just plain wrong.

Stop Blacking Out Progressive Protests, Fairness in Accuracy & Reporting (FAIR)

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  • Thousands marched against war in New York City on April 9. Two thousand protested the Koch brothers in Washington, D.C. Neither event was covered by major media. A sparsely attended Tea Party rally just a few days earlier, though, was big news. We call on news media to explain the journalistic principle that makes thousands of progressive activists far less newsworthy than dozens of Tea Party protesters.
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  • ...And in Other News
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Evergreene Digest: Here's a list of some of the more than 545 organizations and journalists we link to.

Evergreene Digest features links to over 545 of the hottest websites, progressive organizations, and saviest writers and bloggers on the 'net.

Dear readers of Evergreene Digest,

Evergreene Digest features links to over 545 of the hottest independent media outlets, progressive organizations, and some of the saviest writers and bloggers on the 'net.

Here's a list of some of these organizations and journalists:
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Bill Black
Bill Moyers
Bob Herbert
Chris Hedges
Common Dreams
Daily Kos
Danny Schechter
David DeGraw
Dylan Ratigan
Elizabeth Warren
Ellen Brown
Glen Ford
Glenn Greenwald
Janet Tavakoli
Janine Wedel
Jeremy Scahill
Jim Hightower
John Pilger
Joseph Stiglitz

Matt Taibbi
Max Keiser
Molly Ivins
Naomi Klein
NiemanWatchdog
Noam Chomsky
Nomi Prins
Nouriel Roubini
Paul Krugman
Public Record
Ralph Nader
Real News Network
Rethink Afghanistan
Ring Of Fire Radio
Robert Fisk
Robert Reich
Robert Sheer
Rory O'Connor
The Center for Public Integrity
Tom Dispatch
Truthdig
Truthout
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How's that for an all-star line up? Quality journalism takes time to produce and we strongly believe in providing this service to as many people as possible. If you appreciate it, please consider helping us by becoming a monthly sustainer. We know many of you are feeling the effects of this financial crisis as well, so we have provided monthly contribution guidelines as low as a cuppa jove a month.

If you are:
---
Doing ok: $2 per month (about the price of a cuppa jove).
Not stressing over bills: $7 per month
Well-off: $10 per month
Rock Star: $20 per month
Fighting an uphill battle like us: don't send cash! It's a big help to just forward articles to your friends - and non-Progressives - and help build our Evergreene Digest Facebook community by inviting your Facebook friends. We are proud to have you with us.
Not into monthly subscriptions, make a one-time donation.

To make a secure donation today and help bring the progressive dream to life, click here

If you would prefer to send a check, make it out to Evergreene Digest and send it to David Culver, 460 5th Avenue North, #428, Hopkins, MN  55343-7260.

If you can't help financially, help by spreading the word about Evergreene Digest and/or contributing material for publication.

And to those who have already contributed, please accept our deepest thanks.

We can't do it without you. With a big thanks to small contributors,

Sincerely,

Dave & Crew

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Original Mother’s Day Proclamation was an Anti-War Manifesto

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  • It Lamented the Dead, Dying and Soul-Wounded Sons and Husbands Returning from War
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  • Text: Julia Ward Howe's 1870 Mother's Day Proclamation
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Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

141 years ago, in 1870, the disastrous long-term human and economic consequences of the American Civil War were becoming increasingly apparent, especially to the mothers of the sons and the wives of the husbands who had seen their patriotic men march off to that “inglorious” war and had come home dead or wounded. The war had ended in mutual exhaustion 5 years earlier in 1865. Most Civil War-era women on either side of the battle lines had willingly participated in the flag-waving fervor that all war planners and all war-profiteers of all ages cunningly elicit from the people who will be expected to patriotically pay their war taxes. Such propagandistic techniques are universally aimed at the poor and working class soldiers who must be fooled into doing the soul-damning dirty work.

Julia Ward Howe, author of the Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870, was a life-long abolitionist and therefore, early on, she was a supporter of the Union Army’s anti-slavery rationale for going to war to prevent the pro-slavery politicians and industrialists in the Confederate South from seceding from the union over the slavery issue. Howe was a compassionate and well-educated middle child of an upper class family. She was also a poet who, in the early days of the Civil War, wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” using many biblically-based lyrics. Howe had intended her song to be sung as an abolitionist song; however, because of some of the militant-sounding lyrics and the eminently marchable tune, it was rapidly adopted by the Union Army as its most inspiring war song, a reality that Howe likely regretted when the true nature of the world’s first “total war” became clear to her.

Howe, who wrote the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in one sitting (in the early hours of November 18, 1861) later became a pacifist and antiwar activist. At the time she wrote the song, the Civil War was just starting and had not yet degenerated into the wholesale mutual mass slaughter that was made possible by the technological advances in weaponry that would eventually make cavalry charges, the bayonet and the sword obsolete.

The 19th Century Press Didn’t Censor out the Horrors of War

Howe’s evolution into pacifism came about because of the horrors of the War Between the States (1861 – 1865). By the time she proposed a national day of mourning for the victims of the mutual mass slaughter, she had also become aware of the carnage that was occurring overseas in the Franco-Prussian War, which had started in July of 1870. That war, won by Germany, was a very short war but nevertheless it had resulted in almost 100,000 killed in action plus another 100,000 severely wounded. Howe’s awareness of the realities of war had been made possible because of the relative lack of press censorship about the barbaric nature of modern war, which appropriately horrified sensitive humans like her.

It hadn’t taken too long for peace-loving, justice-oriented and compassionate observers to recognize that war was indeed, the equivalent of hell on earth. Howe recognized that reality even before the infamous General Sherman had uttered his famous statement about the satanic nature of war. Sherman’s statement indicted his era’s “ChickenHawks”*: “I confess without shame that I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded, who cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is Hell.”

* (ChickenHawks are flag-waving war-mongers who have never truly experienced the gruesome realities of combat war and yet have no problems sending their nation’s sons and daughters off “into harms way”. [Recent infamous examples of ChickenHawks include these pro-war politicians who have never “served” in the military: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Condolezza Rice, Mitch McConnell, Newt Gingrich, Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Eliot Abrams, Rudy Guiliani, Rick Santorum, Phil Gramm, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Amy Klobuchar, etc, etc. It also includes a multitude of right-wing “journalists” who particularly loved to beat the war drum, like George Will, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, etc, etc.]).

Women have often seen their sons and husbands returning home broken in body, mind and spirit. These men, no matter what side they had fought on and whose side claimed the hollow victory, were all equally defeated when the war ended. And none of them regarded themselves as heroes. Their minds had been forever changed. They had at last seen through the lie that war was glorious.

Soldiers’ Heart: the Civil War-era’s PTSD

What was an unexpected development for many of the families of the returning soldiers - both North and South - was the fact that many of the veterans who had no visible scars were still disabled mentally, many of them getting worse after they came home. The healing effect of time didn’t work like it was supposed to in the combat-traumatized victim of war. These ones commonly became melancholy, suffered horrendous nightmares, couldn’t function in society and were frequently suicidal, homicidal and/or turned to a life of crime. It is a fact that many of the most infamous train and bank robbers and serial killers of the late 1800s got their start as Civil War soldiers (the members of the James gang was a good example).

Because of the inability of normal families to deal with the massive numbers of traumatized warriors, the first “veterans homes” in America were constructed for the long-term care of invalided ex-soldiers who, without society’s help, would have otherwise starved to death - homeless, despairing, jobless and helpless.  Many of these unfortunates were diagnosed as having “Soldiers’ Heart”, also known in the Civil War era as “Nostalgia”, a commonly incurable malady, then as well as now, known today as “Combat-Induced PTSD” (posttraumatic stress disorder).

Howe’s Call to Action for Mothers

Julia Ward Howe was a humanist who cared about suffering people. She was also a feminist, a social justice activist and a suffragette, and it was because of her ultimate antiwar commitment that she wrote the famous “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870, five years after the end of the Civil War, a war that resulted in a total of 600,000 dead American soldiers, with no accurate count of the probably much larger number of those soldiers who were wounded, missing in action or committed suicide after the war was over.

The Mother’s Day Proclamation was partly a lament for the useless deaths and partly a call to stop future wars. The call to action was not directed at men, most of whom would have refused to admit, because of their masculine pride, that their dead buddies had actually died in vain. Rather, the call was directed at women, who were more thoughtful, humane and compassionate than the more violence-prone male members of the species.

The Intent of Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation has Been Forgotten

Sadly, Howe’s original intent in calling for a Mother’s Day protest against war has been censored from the consciousness of our capitalist, militarized, war profiteering culture. Howe’s call to action has been watered-down to a sentimental shadow of its original intent.

Rather, Mother’s Day in America has been exploited into a profit-making venture, as have most other holidays (including the originally religious ones like Easter and Christmas). Mother’s Day seems to be just another annual opportunity for gift-buying, gift-giving and the marketing of non-essential consumer goods to a gullible public. No mention is made of its original purpose. What was originally a call to mobilize outraged mothers to keep their sons and husbands from going off half-cocked to kill and die for some corporate war profiteer or other, has become just another opportunity for boosting the corporate bottom line.

One wonders what “irrelevant agencies” Howe was talking about in line two of the Proclamation below. One can be sure that the predecessors of our modern militarists, politicians, bankers, media moguls, autocratic corporatists and various bureaucratic agencies that have been royally messing things up in places like Viet Nam, Central America, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Muslim oil states, the Gulf of Mexico, Japan (and the rest of the irradiated world), were also ignoring the wishes of compassionate mothers and the critically thinking public back in 1870.

Note in Howe’s manifesto below how strongly she felt about wives and mothers never again having to be put in the position of comforting or applauding their soldier-husbands or soldier-sons when they came home from war “reeking of carnage”. Howe clearly felt that mothers should never again let war-making institutions make killers out of their sons who they had raised to be ethical, humane sons with a love for humankind. The prevention of such “reeking” is so much simpler than the attempt to reverse the often untreatable consequences of the gruesomeness of combat war.

Let the people of good will begin again to promote the peacemaking vision of Julia Ward Howe in our current chaotic time of perpetual war. A good place to begin would be this Mother’s Day, May 8, 2011.

Dr. Kohls is a retired physician from the Duluth, MN who writes about issues of war, peace and mental health.

Related:

Julia Ward Howe's 1870 Mother's Day Proclamation

Arise then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears!

Say firmly: 'We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.

Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

From the bosom of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, disarm!”

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor does violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plow 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.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions and the great and general interests of peace.

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