Tag Archives: Holidays

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The staff of Grateful Dread Peace Media and Summit Peace wish you and yours the happiest of times. May your winter holiday celebrations be filled with light and love, with joy and peace. And may the new year bring us all good times with family and friends, prosperity and positivity, and opportunities to help make the world a better place.

Thanks for your support now and in the past. We hope we can count on it in the future. Trust, you can count on us.

In honor of the season, GDPR will air kynd holiday music beginning at 1pm Eastern on Christmas Eve and ending at midnight Christmas Day. Enjoy!

Happy St. Pat’s!

syf shamrock

Happy Passover & Blessing of the Sun

Jewish worshippers wrapped in prayer shawls, participate in the special ‘Blessing of the Sun’ prayer at sunrise on the Eitam Hilltop near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Efrata Photo: AP

Tens of thousands of worshippers stood next to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Hundreds headed to the ancient desert fortress of Masada, while others prayed on the roof of a Tel Aviv high-rise and congregated on roadsides.

“God created the world in seven days,” said Yona Vogel, one of the estimated 50,000 who attended the Western Wall prayers. “On the fourth day he put the sun into orbit and every 28 years it returns to the original place that it stood when God created the world.”

The blessing – called the Birkat Hachamah in Hebrew – was marked in many time zones, starting with members of the small Jewish community in New Zealand. In hundreds of places all over the world, observant Jews rose before dawn for outdoor prayers and dancing.

via Telegraph (UK):  Jews around the world celebrate The Blessing of the Sun 

Java, Stat!

Starbucks gets into the spirit of the day:


Wonder if it comes in eight-pump chai…

Activist Ornament Won’t Adorn White House Xmas Tree After All

Bah humbug: After a Washington Post blog announced that a Washington state artist’s “Impeach Bush” holiday ornament would hang from a branch of the White House Christmas tree, the Bushies changed their minds and announced that the ball would be banned.

An excerpt from WaPo’s update:

“Oh, dear,” said Seattle-based artist Deborah Lawrence, who created the red and white ornament that salutes Rep. Jim McDermot(D-Wash.) and his support for a resolution to impeach the president. “This doesn’t really surprise me. But it’s disappointing that I won’t get to see it on the tree.”

Laura Bush asked all members of Congress to pick artists from their districts to decorate ornaments, presumably highlighting local landmarks and heroes. Lawrence, 55, used the opportunity to honor McDermott, a strong critic of Bush. The collage artist glued tiny text on the nine-inch ball thinking no one would actually read her embedded “subversive” message.

But Lawrence shared her secret protest with friends, and the news quickly spread. “An artist doesn’t always get this kind of attention,” she told us. “It took on a life of its own, obviously. In a way, I’m speechless.”

Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for the first lady, confirmed the ornament would not be displayed. “It’s inappropriate and it’s not being hung,” she said. She said that when asked about the issue yesterday, the White House tree decorations were not complete. “We reviewed the ornament along with all the [other] ornaments, and Mrs. Bush deemed it inappropriate for the holiday tree.”

I guess there is no freedom of speech in the citizens’ White House, and only certain points of view are allowed to be represented there. Perhaps that will change once 1600 Pennsylvania finally gets some decent occupants.

Some advice for Lawrence: Next time she attempts a covert action, she should keep her mouth shut until afterward.

Lefty Message Hangs on Bush’s Holiday Tree

Laura Bush asked members of Congress to pick local painters to decorate ornaments for this year’s 20-foot Fraser fir in the Blue Room. The globes (to be unveiled by the first lady tomorrow) are supposed to showcase something special about each congressional district. Washington state’s Rep. Jim McDermott contacted a local arts organization, which asked [Deborah] Lawrence, a collage artist, to create the local entry.

“I was at first nauseated, then realized it was an opportunity,” said Lawrence, 55, who frequently combines politics and satire in her work and saw this as the perfect way “to highlight Jim McDermott because he’s a hero of mine.”

The nine-inch ball is covered with swirly red and white stripes — and, in tiny glued-on text, salutes the Democratic congressman’s support for a resolution to impeach President Bush. (Also showcased: Washington state’s 1919 labor strike, its suffrage movement and the violent anti-World Trade Organization riots of 1999.) Lawrence sent it off to D.C. in September and was very surprised it was accepted for the tree — and that she was invited to this afternoon’s White House reception for the artists, which she flew to D.C. to attend.

“Apparently, they didn’t read it — or Laura Bush is more progressive than I believed,” Lawrence told us.

via Washington Post‘s Reliable Source: Christmas Colors for the White House: Red, White and Impeach

I suspect that both of Lawrence’s thoughts are true — the White House staff probably did not read it and Mrs. Bush likely is more enlightened than her spouse. One more thing: I expect that the “Impeach Bush” ornament will be on the back of the tree.

Here’s to free speech! Deborah Lawrence is my new hero.

Food for Thought: Save the Turkey; Bring on the Desserts!

Food for Thought is my periodic series on healthy cooking, nutrition, food trends, and related subjects. I’m a passionate cook and kitchen tinkerer, sometime vegetarian and sometime not, and trying to live as green a life as possible. The articles appear… well, whenever the mood strikes. A surprising find while perusing political blog sites served as this installment’s catalyst.

Op-Ed News, whch normally features editorial pieces on current events, domestic and world affairs and the like, offers an article about food. “A Compassionate Thanksgiving Dinner: It’s Easy and Delicious!,” includes a recipe for pumpkin pie. Imagine my surprise.

That isn’t to say the subject matter isn’t political. To the contrary, nearly half the piece is an almost grotesque and obviously politically motivated play-by-play of what happens to too many birds around this time each year. Just a wee taste:

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, 50,000 turkeys are slaughtered each day at just one Butterball plant in Arkansas. Desensitized slaughterhouse workers routinely punch live turkeys in their heads, grab them by their legs and bang them against walls, and throw them on the ground and stomp on them. And this plant is not unique: Such conditions exist at slaughterhouses across the country. And those are the lucky turkeys.

The rest is pretty intense; sensitive people should consider themselves warned. Still, it seems only fair — and a penance to the faithful fowl Americans will consume by the millions tomorrow — to see exactly what it takes to bring the birds to our holiday tables. (If you need more, feel free to view a video of Sarah Palin’s recent and ill-advised visit to a turkey farm.)

Author Gail Davis (no relation, I assume) is, of course, beseeching us to eschew the turkey and to embrace a vegan Thanksgiviing dinner instead. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve enjoyed my share of both savory faux turkey (made of soybean-rich tofu) and the noble fowl and can appreciate all sides of the argument. But I have to tell you, her description of the turkey-slaughtering process made me think twice about the turkey I’ll begin preparing shortly.

Davis softens the blow with some gorgeous bits of food soft-porn, her own mouth-watering Thanksgiving menu for 2008, and the aforementioned pumpkin pie recipe. This respite could not have come at a better time: Pie always makes me feel safe, warm, and altogether happier about life.

The reverie caused by a photo of a golden brown pie covered in daubs of whipped-cream snowcaps and desserts from Thanksgivings past. Definitely: We love our main entree of choice and stuffing, and I’ve said before that side dishes are my favorite part of the meal, but my favorite after-meal treat is dessert. And making them is a big part of the magic. This year, our family’s T-Day dessert will be a peach cobbler, a re-worked version of my late father’s classic pastry. In honor of Gail Davis, I’ll make it palatable to vegans (no worries, the carnivores will love it too).

Vegan Peach Cobbler


1 cup all purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup unflavored soy milk

dash of cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1/4 cup vegan margarine

3 C sliced organic canned peaches in natural fruit juice (if this were summer, I would use fresh organic peaches instead)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place all the dry ingredients (except the spices) into a large bowl. Add the soy milk and follow with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly until the batter is lump-free.

Next, put the vegan margarine into an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Place the pan into the oven and allow the margarine melt completely. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. Once the margarine is liquified, remove the baking pan from the oven — don’t forget oven mitts! Take the batter and pour it over the melted margarine. Carefully spoon the peaches, along with the juice, on top of the batter and place the whole back into the oven.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cobbler is golden brown and bubbly. 

Serves eight peach-pie aficionados and makes them happy, just in time for football or a post-dinner nap.
And now, da-da-da-DAH! — here is that quick and easy pumpkin pie recipe from — wow — OpEd News:

Gail Davis’ Cruelty-Free Pumpkin Pie

1 1/2 cups soy milk (vanilla or plain)
4 Tbsp. cornstarch – or – arrowroot
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin 
1/2 cup raw sugar or other sweetener
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 ready-to-bake pie crust shell 

In a large bowl, whisk together soy milk and cornstarch or arrowroot until smooth, then blend in remaining ingredients.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 45 minutes. Cool before cutting. Top with Soyatoo Whipped Topping or Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk vanilla ice cream.

Need more vegetarian holiday recipes? Check out PETA’s VegCooking site.

However you decide to observe Thanksgiving and no matter what you have on your dinner table, count your blessings, be thankful, and observe the day in the spirit of peace and love.