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Shut Down the Shut Down



SHUT DOWN RACISM, WAR, JOBLESSNESS & LOW WAGES
NOT GOVERNMENT WORKERS AND PEOPLES SERVICES!
Express your anger and outrage at the government shut down!
PROTEST THIS FRIDAY, OCT 11 – WASHINGTON D.C.
 
The Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly and the “We Deserve Better” Workers Assembly have voted and consented at our recent organizers meeting to endorse and attend a protest this Friday, Oct 11th called by Local 17 of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) who initiated a rally and protest of the government shut down.  They are inviting all community groups, other workers and unions, students and activists to bring signs and join the protest.
 
This Friday, will be the first Friday that government workers should have received their pay.·        

When: Friday, October 11, 2013 from 12:00 Noon until 3:00 PM
Where: The West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building, E. Capitol Street & First Street NW

(parking is available at Union Station, if you can not find street parking)   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/166054733595564/?context=create

People from Baltimore will be car pooling this Friday.  Leaving at 10:30 A.M. from 2011 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 – if you would like to reserve a seat please call 410-218-4835. 
Those who would like to help make signs please meet at 2011 N. Charles Street, Thursday, Oct 10, from 7 P.M. to 9 P.M. 
To sign up on face book: https://www.facebook.com/events/166054733595564/?context=create

Don’t say you weren’t warned: Stallman, FOSS and the Adobe Nightmare

By Alfredo Lopez

 

Recently, Richard Stallman published an article in Wired about Free and Open Source Software [1] and its alternative, "Proprietary Software". As he has for 30 years now, he vigorously called for the use and defense of FOSS and warned about the nefarious nature of Proprietary.

Park rangers ‘punked’: Government Shuts Down But Perversions Persist

By Linn Washington, Jr.


On the first day of the federal government shut-down, as hundreds of tourists were turned away from the shuttered Liberty Bell and other fabled sites within the Independence National Historical Park in downtown Philadelphia, Richard Dyost stood near the building housing the Bell and received a big laugh.

Here's one battle we can win: Help One Women's Rights Hero Defeat Anti-Abortionists Trying to Steal Her Family Farm

By Dave Lindorff

 

The family farm in America may be going the way of the dodo, thanks to the corrupt political influence of corporate agribusiness, but here's a chance for us all to concretely save at least one family's farm.

Israel, Palestine and Iran It's Time To Feed the Hungry Peace Wolves

By John Grant

 


All we are saying is give peace a chance
        - John Lennon
 

Whether war or cooperation is the more dominant trait of humanity is one of the oldest questions in human discourse. There are no satisfying answers for either side exclusively, which seems to suggest the answer is in the eternal nature of the debate itself.

October 2013 War Criminal Appearances

Here's the October 2013 War Criminals Appearances/Protests. Let us know if you are planning something in your area so we might assist you and publicize your event. You may download leaflets and posters at www.warcriminalswatch.com

Dick Cheney  

10/2/13 Colorado Springs CO   

We did it again!: TCBH! Wins Another Project Censored Award

ThisCantBeHappening! just into its fourth year of publication, has learned that we have won our fourth Project Censored Award, this time for Dave Lindorff's article Incidents raise suspicions on motive: Killing of Journalists by US Forces a Growing Problem, published in TCBH! on Nov. 22, 1012.

Talk Nation Radio: Nathan Schneider on the Occupy Apocalypse

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-nathan

Nathan Schneider is an editor of the websites Waging Nonviolence and Killing the Buddah.  He reported on / participated in Occupy Wall Street from before Day 1.  He has now published Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Teach the World About Drones on a Sidewalk Near You

From Nick Mottern

Get these cards in a Word doc here.

Join Online Chat on War Abolition with David Swanson, Hosted by Medea Benjamin

David Swanson will answer questions about his new book War No More: The Case for Abolition in an online chat hosted by Medea Benjamin.  To take part, just be at Firedoglake.com at 5:00pm ET / 2:00pm PT, Saturday, October 5th, for the FDL Book Salon discussion, which will run for 2 hours. To participate and comment, stop by a few minutes early to register and get a password. To just read along, no registration is required.

Maine Drone Peace Walk: Limestone to Bath, October 10-19

Peace activists from Maine and beyond will walk through large portions of our state from October 10-19 in order to bring the issue of drone surveillance at home and drone killing overseas to the public’s attention.  The walk will begin in Limestone in Aroostook County and end in Bath.
 
President Obama has announced that as many as 30,000 drones will be flying around the US doing surveillance of the American people in the coming years. Thirty-seven states have applied to host one of six military drone test centers across the nation.
 
There is much talk about bringing drones to Maine and making the Presque Isle airport a weaponized drone test center, thus the reason for starting the walk in Aroostook County.
 
Last spring the Maine legislature passed a bill that would require police to obtain a warrant before snooping on citizens across the state.  Gov. LePage vetoed the bill.
 
According to Lisa Savage, co-coordinator of the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home, “This walk is important to raise awareness of how the government spends our tax dollars on very expensive drones to keep us all under surveillance. Drones are being used to kill thousands of innocent civilians, including hundreds of children, around the world. People here in the U.S. say they want their tax dollars spent on health care, education, jobs and veterans benefits -- not drones.”
 
Doug Rawlings from Maine Veterans For Peace said, “As I walk down these Maine roads that I have driven for the past 35 years, I will be going past bridges and schools that have been built since World War II military expenditures were converted over into infrastructure funds. My father's generation put away the munitions and started building the country that has given us the life we now lead.  Over forty years ago I served in an artillery unit in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Our howitzers dropped rounds on countless Vietnamese peasants, and I didn't blink an eye. Now I realize the anguish we wrought then, and visit now on Afghan and Pakistani children with our Predator drones.  I cannot, in good conscience, accept or support such a use of my tax dollars.”
 
The drone walk begins in Limestone on October 10 and will pass through Caribou, Presque Isle, Old Town, Bangor, Skowhegan, Mercer, Farmington, Waterville,Belgrade, Augusta and Bath. (Some driving will be necessary between some of these communities.  The walk will average about 13 miles per day.  In the evenings walkers will be fed at local churches and will stay in local homes.)
 
On October 18 the walkers will hold a protest against drones inside the Hall of Flags at the state capital in Augusta at 3:00 pm.
 
The walk will conclude on October 19 with a 10:00 am protest in Bath at the “christening” of the Navy’s first “stealth” destroyer at Bath Iron Works. 
 
Drone Walk Schedule
 
·       October 10 (Thursday) Begin in Limestone (former Loring AFB) and walk to Caribou.
·       Oct 11  (Friday) Walk to Presque Isle
·       Oct 12  (Saturday) Drive to Old Town and walk into Bangor and have program that night
·       Oct 13  (Sunday) Walk to Skowhegan (need to drive some part of the day) with program that night
·       Oct 14  (Monday) Walk to Mercer
·       Oct 15  (Tuesday) Walk to Farmington with program that night
·       Oct 16  (Wednesday) Walk to Waterville (need to shuttle some part of the day)
·       Oct 17 (Thursday) Walk to Belgrade
·       Oct 18  (Friday) Walk to Hall of Flags in state capitol, Augusta (see above)
·       Oct 19 (Saturday) Walk concludes with protest in Bath
 
 
Buddhist monks and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji order will lead the nonviolent peace walk. 
 
The walk is being organized by Maine Veterans For Peace and the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home.  The walk will be held during Keep Space for Peace Week and is just one of many such events that will be held around the world.
 
The daily schedule and entire walk route can be found at 
http://www.bringourwardollarshome.org/Maine%20Drone%20Peace%20Walk%20Schedule.pdf

We Need a Dandelion Insurrection

I recently recommended a great book about the now deceased Occupy Movement, long may it live.  Just as important, I think, as contemplating the successes and missteps of such past actions is envisioning the next ones.  Rivera Sun has done that in The Dandelion Insurrection.  Imagining the game in such a book can inform our studying of the warm-ups we've seen or been part of.

The Dandelion Insurrection is an updated, more accurate, less fantastical Brave New World or 1984.  But it's not a dystopian novel.  It's a novel about overcoming abuses that now exist or easily might in the next few years.  The author says that much of what she imagined has already happened in the time she's been writing the book.

The events of the book, however, -- the insurrection -- have not happened.  I recommend experiencing them.  It may give you chills or tears.  There is not much suspension of disbelief required, quite the opposite.  An ounce of belief that people can turn around a destructive course of events ought to open the door to this creative, strategic, and informed imagining of how we, ourselves, in the very near future might do so. 

I don't like spoiling fiction, but I recommend reading this book in groups and then discussing it.  I'd like to be part of such a discussion.  There are ways in which I think a people's nonviolent insurrection are more likely than some of the details here.  But I am not inclined to believe we'll be able to control all of the details.  The essential ingredients, I think, are here accurately assembled.  Two of them are in the book's subtitle: Love and Revolution.

In halls of the UN, Pakistan officials raise drone protest

Outside UN, US grandmothers take the protest to the streets

What: Photo Op – Drones Protest w/model Reaper drones coinciding with Pakistan UN Speech
When and Where: Friday Sept 27, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
(a)  Fox News, 1211 6th Ave bet 47th & 48th St
(b)  NBC, 30 Rockefeller Plaza (49th St) between 5th & 6th Ave
(c)  Times Square, 46th & 7th Avenue


Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his delegation will raise the issue of US drone strikes in its tribal regions at the UN Security Council debate on the Role of Small Arms in Conflict on Thursday, September 26, and in the speech of the Prime Minister to the General Assembly on Friday, September 27.

US peace and justice advocates will protest in midtown at the same time, displaying 1/5 scale models of Reaper drones to educate the US public and win support for Pakistani outrage against US drone killings.

"They won't let us get near the UN, but we will be out in the streets in other parts Manhattan to draw attention to the disgraceful conduct of the United States in Pakistan and other countries in the region," said Joan Pleune of the Granny Peace Brigade. "It is particularly important that we do this now, at this moment when the eyes of the world are on New York City during the UN General Assembly meeting and there is heightened attention to the Obama Administration's targeted killing by drone," she said.

The intensified focus by both the Pakistan government and US activists on US drone killings in Pakistan coincides with a growing controversy over the attempts by the US government to block the visit to the US of the leading legal advocate for victims of US drone strikes – Shahzad Akbar. "Representative Alan Grayson, D-FL 9th District, has invited the family of a 67-year-old female Pakistani drone victim to testify before Congress. However, the Department of State has blocked their lawyer, Shahzad Akbar, from appearing before a Congressional ad hoc hearing with the family. Without Mr. Akbar, Rafiq and his family will be unable to come to DC, and their story will never be heard," says filmmaker Robert Greenwald.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Granny Peace Brigade:
http://www.grannypeacebrigade.org/

KnowDrones.com: http://www.knowdrones.com/


November 2013 Days of Action against Drones: http://nodronesnetwork.blogspot.com/2013/08/fall-2013-events-and-actions.html

World Can’t Wait http://www.worldcantwait.net/index.php/features/covert-drone-war


Cut War Not Welfare - Sunday 29 - Manchester


September 2013 | stopwar.org.uk

1) Cut War Not Welfare - Sunday 29 - Manchester
2) Public rally: we stopped the bombing of Syria. 12 years on, end the War on Terror
3) Stop the War fundraising dinner with Guardian foreign correspondent Jonathan Steele
4) International Anti-War Conference
 


1) Cut War Not Welfare - Sunday 29 - Manchester

This Sunday 29 September tens of thousands will join the TUC march on the Tory Party conference in Manchester to defend the NHS and challenge austerity. Stop the War is organising an anti-war block with CND on the demonstration.

We will be in block J on the demo which assembles at 11am, Sunday 29 September Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP.

Look for the 'cut war not welfare' placards!


2) Public rally: we stopped the bombing of Syria. 12 years on, end the War on Terror

7 October is the twelfth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan. Stop the War is organising a London public rally on the day to discuss the disarray of the War on Terror.

Speakers include Tariq Ali, Sami Ramadani, Lindsey German, and Mitra Quayoom.
 

7pm - Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London - nearest tube: Holborn

3) Stop the War fundraising dinner with Guardian foreign correspondent Jonathan Steele

A reminder about the celebratory fundraising dinner on Monday October 14th. Please come, we would love to see you at Ev Turkish restaurant near Southwark tube for 7pm.

Three delicious courses, a flash art auction, raffle prizes, plus after dinner speech by Jonathan Steele, foreign correspondent of the Guardian.

Tickets are going fast and we have a special price of £35 for members or £30 for Friends.  If you can get a table of 8 or 10 together, it will be £35 for non members too.


4) International Anti-War Conference

The killings in Nairobi - a product of Kenya's involvement of the western backed invasion of Somalia by Kenya and others - underline the way that the War on Terror continues to destabilise whole swathes of the world.

On the 30 November, Stop the War is hosting an international conference to discuss the state of the War on Terror and strategise for the global struggle against the West's wars.

Speakers include Jonathan Steele, Manik Mukherjee, Owen Jones, Kate Hudson, Tariq Ali, Lindsey German, Mitra Quayoom.
 

10am-5pm - 30 November -  Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street, London - nearest tube: Westminster

Occupy Everything. Did We Ever Give It Back?

When the Pentagon ends an occupation, crawling home from Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan with its Tomahawk missile dragging between its legs, it declares victory every time.  And, depending on how you define victory, it certainly leaves lasting effects.  The cancer and birth defects and poisoned water supplies bear witness: there was an occupation here.

When the Occupy Movement lost its presence on television and therefore in real spaces that are never quite as real as television, it too left a lasting impact.  But it was a positive lasting impact, difficult as yet to measure fully, but observable in many areas. 

I've just read Nathan Schneider's new book, Thank You, Anarchy: Notes From the Occupy Apocalypse, with a foreword by Rebecca Solnit.  I consider this book one of the lasting benefits of Occupy.  We need a movement as badly as ever, but we now have great experimental lessons to draw on, and collective experience to benefit from.

Veterans of the Occupy encampments have added their strengths to the antiwar and environmental movements, and the growing movements against predatory home loans, foreclosures, student loan sharks, etc. 

But primarily, Occupy has changed minds, some dramatically and some slightly -- the sum total impossible to discern.  But there is no doubt that opposition against the war on Iraq, denounced as futile by many who took part in it, laid much of the groundwork for successful opposition to missile strikes on Syria.  Occupy can be expected to bear similar fruit.

I recommend reading Schneider's story and considering yet further some of the strategic questions debated without end by General Assemblies -- those debates recounted in Schneider's book. 

We're going to need to know how and why we are committed to nonviolence.  We're going to need to consider how and whether we can build something national or international without the corporate media.  We're going to need to develop further our ability to combine our disparate movements against the giant triplets of racism, militarism, and extreme materialism.  We're going to have to be capable of engaging in big-picture political action while becoming service centers to the homeless or avoiding doing so.  We're going to have to further refine our ability to have fun without becoming foolish.  We're going to have to appreciate unpredictable chaos and learn to generate and steer it without ever knowing what it is.  We're going to have to decide whether we grow by hating the police or by meeting their antagonism with our own jiu-jitsu.  We're going to have to become more international, more non-national, and more local, all at once.  We're going to have to create a movement that grows and grows and grows prior to winning and regardless of winning, while directing its energy toward the most likely winning path.

As I was writing this at Millers bar in Charlottesville, Va., the waiter saw my book, started talking to me about Occupy, and told me that Global Friend Bombs are the way to build connections and "organize the masses."  I had never heard of global friend bombs, but I had had many previous experiences of the word "Occupy" opening up conversations about changing the world in place of "do you want fries with that?" 

Newspapers are the first draft of an imperial eulogy.  The first draft of history is our books.  Read them.  Debate them. Mic-check them.  Expect the unexpected.  Occupy Wall Street.  Occupy Main Street.  Occupy Everything and Never Give It Back.

The beginning is near!

Violent Police Arrests of Students Protesting Petraeus

Petraeus was the main keynoter at a gala fundraiser at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College on Tuesday evening, September 17th.  The other keynote speaker was Fareed Zakaria, a foreign policy adviser to Obama who previously worked with Paul Wolfowitz to pave the way for war under Bush, demanding 400,000 troops for the invasion of Iraq.

Students, faculty and others protested outside.

See video at:   http://youtu.be/UJcfNII6J5g

Frackademia: The People & Money Behind the EDF Methane Emissions Study

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The long-awaited Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)-sponsored hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") fugitive methane emissions study is finally out. Unfortunately, it's another case of "frackademia" or industry-funded 'science' dressed up to look like objective academic analysis.

Flush the TPP

 We are in crunch time to stop Congress from granting Fast Track to the President. Fast Track would mean that he could sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement before Congress sees it and would prevent transparency and a democratic review of the TPP in Congress.

         The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to negotiate trade. If Congress gives this responsibility up, then we will not know what is in the text of the TPP and will not have hearings or debate on it.

Flush the TPP         It is likely that Congress will vote on Fast Track in both the House and Senate in late September. We must move quickly to tell Congress to say “No!” to Fast Track and to demand transparency and a democratic process for the largest and most wide-reaching trade agreement in history.

         As part of the Flush the TPP Coalition, the Green Shadow Cabinet has issued over a dozen detailed statements on the likely impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on education, jobs, nature, poverty, law, health care, and more (click here to read them).   

         If you can be in Washington D.C. on any of the days between September 20-25, there are plenty of important events in which you can take part (click here).

         And all of us can take part in a fun "thank or spank" action that will take place across the U.S.A. tomorrow, September 17: Constitution Day . . . 

  1. Ask your member of Congress to make a commitment to vote “No” on Fast Track. Use House.gov or Senate.gov to find contact information for your member. Contact them via phone and email and social media. But even better, grab a couple friends and go to their local office! 
  2. If your member promises to vote “No” on Fast Track, then thank them publicly (this must be a solid promise, remember that politicians are clever). Make it fun. Invite their staff to celebrate with you. Send out a press release or write letters to the editor in your local paper to let everyone know that your representative is standing with the people. See the toolkit for help with this.
  3. If your member waffles, won’t commit or supports Fast Track , then ‘spank’ them publicly for siding with the corporations. Here is a list of the corporations that support the TPP. And you can find out which corporations are controlling your member of Congress through the Sunlight Foundation. Use the search function in the Influence Explorer section. Be creative in your actions. Make them highly visible to have an effect.
  4. Then share your results - their responses, your photos, videos and write-ups - with your local media and with FlushTheTPP.org. Remember to be the media too and share on local blogs and social media outlets.

Thank you.

See You at the WE CAN STOP WARS Party in Nashville This Weekend


Click on image to enlarge
The Festival for Peace, Prosperity, and the Planet will be held 11am to 6pm Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the "Special Events Pavilion" in Centennial Park. That's in the northwest corner of the park, near the airplane and the locomotive (see green arrow on the map linked here). Admission to this event is FREE. We'll have speakers, music, exhibitors, and vendors. Come rain or shine -- we have a roof!

Speakers will include David Swanson (peace writer), Hector Black (advocate for peace and forgiveness), Paki Wieland (Gaza flotilla, Raging Grannies), Linnet Overton (Community Food Advocates), and Diane Wilson (Code Pink). Musical performances will include MD & Cobalt Blue, Danny Salazar, the Shelby Bottom String Band, and others. We're still looking for exhibitors and vendors; contact Eric Schechter (LeftyMathProf@gmail.com) regarding those, or regarding other aspects of the festival.

(There will also be a
fundraiser dinner on the preceding evening, at the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, to help pay for the festival.)

 


Schedule:



     MUSIC     SPEAKERS     
noon - 1:00 Jam Bands
1:00 - 1:30 Diane Wilson
1:30 - 1:45 J. Karen Thomas & Colette Divine
1:45 - 2:00 Hector Black
2:00 - 2:45 Danny Salazar
2:45 - 3:00 Lynnet Overton
3:00 - 4:00 MD & Cobalt Blue
4:00 - 4:30 Paki Wieland
4:30 - 5:20 Shelby Bottom String Band
5:20 - 6:00 David Swanson



Information for vendors / exhibitors:
  In most cases, vendors and exhibitors will need to supply their own tables, chairs, and (optional but strongly recommended) tents. All we're providing is a space, 10 feet by 10 feet. Spaces are reserved if you've notified us in advance that you're coming; anyone else takes a chance on space not being available. Fee, payable to Nashville Peace and Justice Center, is $20 for food vendors, $15 for other vendors, and free for nonprofits. Our audience will be arriving around 11am, so we hope you can unload your vehicle and remove it from the area by 10am.
 

 
© 2005-2011 Nashville Peace and Justice Center

Ask the Labor Movement to Take a Stand Against Another War

PLEASE READ AND FILL OUT ENDORSEMENT COUPON BELOW

(For more information, please call 973-944-8975.) 

To be sent September 20, 2013

Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association
Mary Kay Henry, President, Service Employees International Union
James Hoffa, President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Robert McEllrath, President, International Longshore and Warehouse Union

Greetings:

The undersigned union activists strongly oppose a U.S. air attack against Syria. We know that you have heard the numerous arguments advanced against such an attack. We emphasize only one here because we believe it has not been given the weight it deserves.

We refer to the multiple crises here at home — unemployment, loss of pensions, threatened cuts in safety net programs especially Social Security and Medicare, cuts in food stamps, voter suppression, immigrant rights, sequestration, foreclosures, tens of millions without health care coverage even if the troubled Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, more states adopting right-to-work laws, growing poverty, attacks on public education, growing inequalities in wealth, etc. Dealing with these problems must be our priority. It is clearly against the interests of the majority to divert our attention from these burning issues by launching a war against Syria, which is 6,000 miles away, with the loss of life and the loss of the billions of dollars that would be expended.

We are writing you now to urge you to speak out publicly against yet another Mideast war, this time against Syria. Despite the current “pause” and turn to diplomacy, the threat to bomb Syria has not been taken off the table. Proponents of military action are regrouping and searching for ways to get language approved by Congress and/or the UN, which could then be used to “justify” air strikes. We must stay alert and on the ready to take united action to prevent what could be a catastrophic war.

People around the world are looking to see who in the U.S. is working to avert the bombing. All polls taken in country after country show overwhelming opposition to a strike. A wide range of organizations has staked out positions in the historic debate that is unfolding. But what about the U.S. labor movement? Where do we stand?

We must not be silent. Silence is complicity.Labor’s opposition to the war could prove to be decisive. Being silent and watching events from the sidelines cannot be an option. We hope you agree and will help ensure that the U.S. government and the whole world gets the message: American labor is for peace and against bombing Syria.

In unity,

(List of union activists gathered by Thursday, September 19)

_____________________________________________________________________

ENDORSEMENT COUPON

[ ]You can add my name to the list of endorsers of Open Letter to U.S. Labor Leaders on Syria.

NAME:______________________________________________________________

UNION / ORGANIZATION:_____________________________________________

TITLE: (list if for id. only)_______________________________________________

CITY:________________________________________________________________

STATE:_________________________________________ ZIP:_________________

EMAIL:______________________________________________________________

Please fill out asap and return to conference@laborfightback.org.

Is Dithering Always Bad?: Trust and Verify and Vomit

By John Grant


The media didn’t waste time lining up US leaders to trash Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent op-ed in The New York Times. There was the expected outrage that such a “dictator” and “tyrant” had the gall to lecture the United States of America. Bill O’Reilly referred to Putin as “a criminal monster.” Charles Krauthammer kept it real and called Putin "a KGB thug.”

Admit It: Things Are Going Well

When something goes right
Oh, it's likely to lose me
It's apt to confuse me
It's such an unusual sight
—Paul Simon

Larry Summers has proven unacceptable to oversee the continued destruction of the U.S. economy.  The U.S. public has successfully rejected proposed missile strikes on Syria.  My Congressman was among the majority who listened.  Today was beautiful.  The Orioles won.  The Cowboys lost.  The University of Virginia avoided losing by not playing.  My family is expecting a new baby.  I've finished a new book, which Kathy Kelly has written a beautiful foreword for.  I have a sense that if the universe were right now campaigning on "hope and change" I might seriously consider voting for it.

I'm also pretty sure that if everything in my personal life were going slightly to hell and Larry Summers were crowned king of Wall Street, and the Dallas Cowboys were to win (darn them!), my sense of this moment in the movement against U.S. militarism would remain essentially the same.  A major victory has been won, and we need to claim it and celebrate it.

Imagine the euphoria -- or don't imagine it, just remember it -- when this country elects a new president whose main redeeming feature is that he isn't the previous president.  For personality fanatics that's big stuff.  And there are big parties.  For policy fanatics -- for those of us interested in seeing policies change rather than personalities -- that kind of moment is right now.  We need some parties, and if spontaneity is beyond us, perhaps we can use the International Day of Peace on September 21st for a combination celebration / discussion during which we explain to ourselves that it really is OK to celebrate.

Yes, many people in this country and around the world are suffering horrible tragedies in their personal lives and as a result of public events.  Yes, the horrors in Syria, as in many other places, continue.  Yes, the CIA is arming terrorists in Syria.  Yes, the president whose missile strikes we prevented is taking credit for that restraint, just as he would have taken credit for the carnage had we not stopped him -- and he's threatening to bring the missile strikes back.  Yes, if we let down our guard for a moment, the president and Congress and the CIA will do their worst.  Yes, the danger for Iraq and Libya really loomed large after they had given up nuclear and chemical weapons, not before.  Yes, lots of people opposed bombing Syria because they didn't think Syrians deserved such favors.  (No, I'm not making that up.)  Yes, the corporate media is pretending that the threat of war brought peace, ignoring the successful insistence on peace by the people of the world.

But that's why we have to celebrate what really happened.  We have to announce it.  The point is not to take credit.  No one person or group did this.  People espousing a variety of ideologies did it.  And they did it over many years.  Millions contributed.  The point is that war was popularly rejected.

Why does this matter?  It's not a case for optimism, or for pessimism.  I continue to have very little use for either bit of self-indulgence.  The forces that press for more wars have not gone away.  Neither have they been empowered.  The point is that those who nonsensically proclaim that stopping wars is impossible cannot get away with saying that anymore. 

You know the types.  They show up at meetings, wait for the question-and-answer period, and then give a speech on how everything is utterly hopeless.  Those speeches should be laughed away within the first five seconds now.  And the many, many people who had begun ever so slightly to take that defeatist nonsense seriously can now be relieved of that weight.  The danger now is not of being a sucker who proclaimed good news just before a genocide.  The danger is of joining in the foolish campaign of the war propagandists by pushing the lie of powerlessness on people just after they prevented a war.

Do we still have to prevent a war again this week?  Of course, we do.  Do we have to take on the larger task of organizing peace and preventing crises?  We do.  Do we need to build a movement for the abolition of war that reaches beyond opposition to each immediate war proposal?  You'd better believe it.  But this is what we wanted in 2001 and 2003.  Well, some of us did -- that's the point.  We're larger now, even if it's not made visible.  As long as we went on failing to prevent wars, people could say we'd never prevent them.  There's no science or logic behind such an assertion, but it still has power in it.  Or it did, until now.  Now we can claim with equal validity that we'll stop every single war proposed from here on out.  Of course we might or we might not, but we know that it's up to us, that it depends on what we do, that little steps that appear useless at the time can help, and that changes to our culture can outweigh changes to the Pentagon budget, the global climate, crises in capitalism, or any other supposedly unstoppable force.

After World War I, people in the United States understood the need to eliminate war.  Again, after Vietnam, many understood it almost that much.  They developed the Vietnam Syndrome, a level of healthy resistance to more wars lamented as a disease by Washington.  Now we're moving back in that direction.  War resistance is the health of the people.  We're not developing a syndrome.  We're developing an immunity.  We've been vaccinated against war.  We're not as allergic to the propaganda as we once were.  We're war resistant, and our task is to compel those in power not to lament our syndrome this time, but to share in our contagious good health.

“The U.S. military does not do pinpricks” is NOT “We stopped a strike on Syria”

 

by Debra Sweet                It is a good thing that thousands of people protested and many more voiced their opposition to a U.S. strike on Syria.  But it’s not good that some are relaxing, much less celebrating, in the delusional idea that somehow diplomacy has “worked” to prevent the Obama administration from going forward with this attack.  It would be very bad if people recede into passivity and acceptance, thinking that the danger of war is lessened, when it could well be higher, as Obama works the world for support.

Call Waiting: Peaceful Syrian Opposition Ignored by Peace Laureate Obama

Interview by Dave Lindorff

 

As Syrian expatriate Dr. Rim Turkmani was watching President Barack Obama give his brief nationally televised address to the American people and the people of the world last night, she says she had two contradictory feelings. “I felt good that it was not a war speech,” says this British-based member of the political office of an organization called The Syrian State Current, a movement that is seeking non-violent democratic change in Syria. “But what upset me was his repeated referring to what is happening in Syria as a ‘civil war.’ There is an element of civil war in the violence in Syria, but more importantly it is a proxy war between the US and Russia, and it has to be acknowledged that the US and Russia are the key players.”

Protest Drone Wars at the CIA

Amidst the struggle between violence and war or diplomacy and peace, the US is focused on a civil war in another country, Syria, denouncing the Syrian regime which the US claims kills innocent people including children. This Saturday, September 14 we will continue our monthly vigil against the use of armed drones used by the US CIA and US Military who are killing innocent people including children. Please find some time and join us for our vigil.
 
Our message is simple:
DRONE WARFARE IS IMMORAL AND ILLEGAL. NO MORE WAR, STOP ARMED DRONES NOW!
 
DATE & TIME:
Saturday, September 14 at 10AM to 11:30AM
PLACE:
Central Intelligence Agency headquarters located in the 900 block of Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean, VA
 
Since our last vigil in July protesting the illegal and immoral use of killer drones the US has continued the practice of extrajudicial killing with the aerial death squad drones in various countries. According to the investigative reporters with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism just in Yemen alone the number of drone strikes was the highest since March of 2012 with 22 to 43 people reportedly killed. Six civilians were reportedly killed by the American death squads of the skies.
 
Supported by Pax Christi Metro DC, Northern Virginians for Peace & Justice, Episcopal Peace Fellowship (DC), Dorothy Day Catholic Worker of DC, Code Pink, Nova Catholic Community, Langley Hill Friends (Quaker), Washington Peace Center, Peace Action Montgomery County, MD, Little Friends for Peace, Maryland United for Peace & Justice, Veterans For Peace

For more information contact Jack McHale: 703-772-0635

A people’s victory over Syrian attack plan: In Historic First, American Empire is Blocked at the Starting Line

By Dave Lindorff


Let’s be clear here. The people of the US and the world have won a huge victory over a war-obsessed US government and an administration that was hell-bent on yet again launching a criminal war of aggression against a country that poses no threat to the US or its neighbors. Overwhelming public opposition in the US and the nations of Europe, as well as most of the rest of the world to a US strike on Syria have forced the US to falter and to accept the idea of a compromise deal offered by Russia.


In Raleigh NC on 9/28 March for Our Planet

Join my awesome neice and nephew in Raleigh for this incredible event! --DS
 

March for Our Planet

 

September 28, 2013, 3:30 pm in Raleigh, NC

Handing out Flyers

Sharing flyers about the March for Our Planet

Sign up to MARCH!

On September 28, 2013, young people around the world will lead marches, rallies, and demonstrations to call attention to climate change and to ask our leaders to make protecting our planet a top priority.  Events will be planned and led by youth but all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

In North Carolina, youth will lead a march and rally in downtown Raleigh with inspiring calls to action from youth leaders and climate advocates.  Marchers will meet at Halifax Mall at 3:30 pm for a welcome and activities.  The march will begin at 4:00 pm, circling the Capitol and the General Assembly building before returning to Halifax Mall for a program to include speakers, music, and more.  More details about march location and logistics to come. 

Click here for ways to get involved!

Raging Grannies From Moral Monday Cropped and Resized

The Triangle Raging Grannies will perform at the post-march rally

The March for Our Planet is endorsed by

350.org Boone
350.org Triangle
350.org Winston Salem
Climate Convergence NC
iMatter Youth/Kids vs. Global Warming
League of Conservation Voters
NC Interfaith Power and Light
NC Students for Climate Action
Our Children’s Trust
Southern Energy Management

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