Hating is no longer an option

To the editor,
Hating each other is no longer an option! In a world that is more concerned about another vacuous, Kardashian, nauseating headline about absolutely nothing while there are whole countries blowing each other up and slitting the conquered countries’ people’s throats, including children, and kidnapping little girls to be sex slaves for their armies as if it is a religious right of passage, it is time for serious change. The violence in our own country is appalling. This is INSANE and WAAAYY too sad and so unnecessary!

No matter how we may differ in personal opinions, there is no opinion that justifies murder or rape or even disrespect. I love the gentle Indian greeting of placing their hands together in a prayer pose, looking into your eyes and nodding their head in respect and saying “Namaste,” which means “I honor the God within you.”

Today, in a culture that is obsessed with “stuff” and “what’s cool,” which changes in microseconds, it is essential that we take the time to get quiet and go within our own consciousness and breath, if only for a few minutes a day, to connect with the 99.9 percent of our bodies’ awareness that is empty space and connected with infinite wisdom. In any case, aren’t we all totally exhausted with the old paradigm of “Us against Them?” Aren’t we exhausted with the Them that manipulate us into believing that there has to be an Us Against Them? It is SO YESTERDAY – and if it continues, there will be no tomorrow.

Nelson Mandela, who was unjustly in prison for 25 years, was only criticized for one thing in a Time magazine article years ago: “He’s too willing to see the 4

good in people; if this is a flaw, it grows out of his great strength, generosity of heart toward his enemies; he defends himself by noting that thinking too well of people sometimes makes them behave better than they otherwise would.” Jesus, the Buddha and all spiritual teacher have always taught that hatred never ceases by hatred.

We live on an incredible planet. Most human beings are incredibly beautiful in their hearts. I have traveled all over the world and 99.9 percent of the time have witnessed only beauty in other humans. We all want the same things. Love, peace, joy, abundance. There is just a handful of soul-less greedy energies that we have been allowing to control us with fear for eons. Greed grows out of fear.

I don’t want to be afraid of you, and I know you never need be afraid of me. Can’t we make this work? I know we can! I see and honor the God within you.
– Namaste, Susan Urban

Make the ‘Arc’ history

To the editor,
No matter how Judith Reynolds, the Durango City Council, the Herald and whoever else tries to spin it, this “Arc of History” art installation, or whatever it is, it is an aberration that never should have happened. What was the Art Council thinking? If this is what they thought was the best of the three finalists, they should have threw them all out and tried again. Being a retired professor of visual communication and design (both two- and three-dimensional) in a college of design at a Midwestern university, I – in all my years of teaching – had never seen any of my student’s work so lacking in design or conceptual symbology. Any student that submitted anything so totally without any visual merit or conceptual meaning would have gone back to the drawing board or received a failing grade. Art  should, of course, be about controversy: of meaning, of symbology, of beauty, of sense of time and place. This ghastly piece of junk meets none of these criteria. It should never have happened and should be removed and the space left bare as a remembrance to what should never have been.
– Respectfully yours, Ed Lehner, Durango

End one-sided Israeli relationship

Dear Editors,
Our relationship with Israel is like the disintegrating marriage, where the best solution is divorce. Like the selfish lover that can’t be trusted, Israel thinks and acts only for herself, taking whatever she wants and doing whatever’s in her best interest, regardless of what anyone else thinks. This continues to put a huge strain on our other relationships around the world. Putting us in the awkward spot of defending her awful behavior over and over again.

 When we support Israel, we support her actions and become party to the same war crimes she’s been committing for decades.

 Consider the illegal blockade of Gaza that’s been in effect since 2006. Israel restricts anything crossing into Gaza that could aid in the making of armaments or fortifications, including concrete, steel and weapons. But it also blocks such products as cars, computers, fruit juice, chocolate, cumin, jam and fishing rods. Israel controls Gaza’s coastline and airspace; its drones patrol the skies and its ships enforce a maritime blockade 3 miles from shore. “The fact that this coastal population now imports fish,” says a U.N. report, “speaks to the absurdity of the situation.”

 It’s an economic wreck. In December 2008, Israel launched a three-week military campaign that destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure, leveling factories, government buildings, hospitals, schools, and entire neighborhoods. Ninety-six percent of Gazan industry collapsed. Unemployment runs as high as 40 percent, and 70 percent of Gazans live in poverty. “The term ‘economy’ is no longer valid in the Gaza Strip,” says Palestinian economist Omar Shaban. The world protested, we stood behind her.

 One of the other methods Israel uses to slowly exterminate the Gazans is with extreme water restrictions. Israel uses more than 80 percent of the water while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 percent. While Palestinian daily water consumption barely reaches 70 liters a day per person, Israeli daily consumption is more than 300 liters per day, four times as much.

 Whenever the U.N. Human Rights Council votes to condemn Israel of war crimes or other atrocities, it is ALWAYS the United States, alone, standing beside Israel to issue a veto or “no” vote. Even when the Jews are so clearly guilty of horrific acts of violence or other sadistic and vicious crimes. Bulldozing homes for illegal Jewish settlements in Gaza. Targeting schools, hospitals and civilians. The list of heinous crimes is endless. We, the American people, give Israel weapons, money and strong public support to assist in the killing and destruction.

 The U.S. is behaving like the naive spouse, condoning and enabling anti-social, disastrous behavior; ignoring the behind-the-scenes calls from our closest friends to end this destructive  dependency. Without U.S. support, Israel will be forced to behave. Especially in that neighborhood.

 Time to move on and say “good luck with yourself.” Or perhaps something stronger.
– Thanks, Bill Vana, Durango