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About the Author

Me PicI am  a retired Software Development Engineer.  Mathematics, computer code are so soothing and abstract.  But after a while you find yourself alone in a 6×6 cloth cube with 3 computers for 9 hours a day, essentially doing virtual factory work, building something that you have no passion for so that someone else can make a profit.  So, when they closed my office and sent us packing in late 2008,  it was like being released from prison with $50 and the clothes on my back, but at least I was free to join the dance of life.

I spent the 50s and 60s in an upwardly mobile household full of food and kids, and focused on success. From there I went to Drew University in Northern NJ, which was serious culture shock for a city girl from Upstate, but I received 2 gifts there that have stood by me for a lifetime, the Anti-War Movement and a history of religion from Seminary teachers who normally teach the teachers. Since then I have raised a son by myself and, after a harrowing recovery, plied a career in computers that brought us out of poverty and desperation.

I learned, and teach, Yoga and Mindfulness, a version of Iyengar style Yoga where form is everything, but connecting with yourself is more important than any athletic capability. And I have an abiding interest in religion. I have practiced and studied more than one, and have found myself a Buddhist.

I administer this blog and also the Upstate Drone Action website and blog, which reports the interests and activities of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, a group of people mostly from upstate New York who educate and protest around Hancock Air National Guard Base just north of Syracuse.   Hancock is the domestic center for training pilots and hardware maintenance for Reaper Drones, as well as a location from which armed drones are flown over Afghanistan and elsewhere.  About 50 of us are awaiting trial from various protests and have been served with orders to protect the Base Commanders from our nonviolent presence outside the fence around their high tech armed encampment.  We are NOT to annoy them!

I have joined two Fellowship of Reconciliation Civilian Peace Delegations to Iran. In 2007 I fell in love with that ancient and beautiful land, and the passionate, creative people who live there.  So, I co-lead my second Delegation in May of 2011. In the summer of 2009, I spent a month in Suleimaniya, Northern Iraq, and I joined the CodePink Civilian Peace Delegation to Pakistan in the Fall of 2012.   We met with the families of victims of Drone attacks and rallied with the locals on the border of Waziristan.   Since 2014  I have visited Syria twice.   Visiting the Middle East, and southwest Asia, I always feel that I am encountering the history of our race and civilization, not their history, but our history.   One would think we would cherish these lands and the people who have lived in the land of our ancestors for millennia.

Let’s end all these crazy wars and travel the globe!   There  is so much to see and learn.

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  1. Helena Cobban

    Dear Judith–

    Sarah Ahmed had talked so movingly about you in the part of our interview that I had to cut out… But I am delighted, via twitter, to have tracked you down.

    I would love to be in touch with you– including, my company has a great new book of photos from Syria that I hope would be of interest to you, and you might review it? http://justworldbooks.com/lens-on-syria/. If so, please email me. (We also recently published this book– did you see it? http://justworldbooks.com/never-can-i-write-of-damascus/)

    I would also like to interview you and other members of the recent USPC delegation to Syria, for the Just World Educational blog or the JWE blog. Do contact me!

    Peace, Helena.

  2. Ben Tao

    Just watched your Reconciliation video on youtube. Amazing lecture. But more telling is that it only has 382 views. The case for Syria is so compelling, but so few Americans care, let alone the rest of the western world. Very sad.

    1. Judith

      Thank you, Ben. It is sad.

  3. Glenn

    Hi Judy!
    I remembered you telling me about this blog. I just read your profile. I thought you were interesting: now, even more so. As a lover of animals, I’m also in favor of peace and against war. How many people consider the effects of war on animals? As long as we wage war and terrorize people and animals, we shouldn’t consider ourselves “civilized.”
    your coworker, Glenn

    1. Judith

      Hi Glenn. Glad you stopped by. It is true that wars kill animals and humans; babies, little children, innocent shop keepers and house keepers. Today’s wars more and more target civilians, ordinary people trying to live their lives. What can we do?
      H Can we need to let go of our fears and face the world every day without relying on the powerful to protect us and allowing them to direct us. We need to find ways to see ourselves behind the masks of ‘enemies’.

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