You are hereActivism
By John Grant
I saw the masked men
throwing truth into a well.
When I began to weep for it
I found it everywhere.
- Claudia Lars (El Salvador)
Mark Zuckerberg's complaint box is filling up. The billionaire founder of FaceBook is behaving as destructively as other sociopaths who hoard vast riches while others starve and die for lack of medical care. And people are letting him know how they feel about it.
Zuckerberg's new advocacy group FWD.us is running TV ads in support of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A petition asks him to stop. The comments that people are leaving on the petition ask him to do a number of other things I won't repeat. You'll never guess what they've found that rhymes with Zuck.
FWD.us is a group of plutocrats who, instead of advocating for education funding, are advocating for the immigration of educated workers. And in order to win over certain members of Congress on immigration policy, FWD.us has funded two front groups, one for Republicans and one for Democrats. Both are buying TV ads supporting Congress members who support tar sands and drilling in ANWR.
"Integrity goes a long way -- longer then any pipelines."
"How can you live with your billions and support something like this?"
"If you think this pipeline is a good idea, you need to visit the Arkansas spill, see the damage done, & maybe buy everyone affected a new house in a clean environment.
"What? REALLY?? May I suggest that you visit Arkansas...."
"Yes, what is this about - are you kidding me? This is the earth where we live that is going to be damaged."
"Are you out of your mind, supporting tar sands? Get a grip and a clue or we'll start a mass exodus from FB and bring you down! This is unacceptable and boycott-able."
"Stop talking about subjects you don't understand."
"Back to MySpace -- or whatever is next -- GOODBYE FACEBOOK! Shame on you, Zuckerberg!!"
"Only greedy creeps push the tar sands."
"F--- THE ZUCK!
"You did a great thing with creating Facebook, however, that doesn't qualify you to be making big decisions for the rest of us."
"After reading about this, I'm seriously considering divesting my 1500 shares of stock in Facebook."
"So after we get all that nasty sludge you think we should burn it up and put more crap in the atmosphere? Are you insane or suicidal? Maybe just greedy."
"Please don't share the destruction of our climate! Unlike."
"I'll be avoiding facebook until I hear that you've had a change of heart."
"Zuck, your billions don't make you God!
"Mark Zuckerberg, your young voice should not be speaking for our common destruction; has your wealth turned you plumb crazy? Has cash power corrupted you utterly? Wake up young man!"
"I have an 11 year old daughter. I put her, and the planet ahead of my business and personal profits. Wish you had the same concerns. I'm about to cancel my Facebook page."
"Go back to school and learn how to respect the earth and life!"
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will receive the Intrepid Freedom Award on May 23rd for his distinguished career "defending" the values of freedom and democracy. Kissinger developed the plans for millions of war deaths, millions of refugees, millions maimed. He was responsible for the crimes against humanity in Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Chile and many other countries, including Iraq. Protest Kissinger at Manhattan's Intrepid Museum, Pier 86, 12th Ave. & 46th St., NYC May 23rd, 5:30pm
by Debra Sweet My friend Stephen Phelps, Senior Minister at The Riverside Church, signed The New York Times ad on closing Guantanamowe plan to publish next week, and sent a note saying he would “begin to send the hope around to some others.” This hit me strongly. For the last four+ years, since Obama promised to close it, nothing hopeful has come out of Guantanamo.
A Slideshow of 35 photos of a rally where a CODEPINK Activist Chains Herself to White House Fence: Demands Guantanamo Be Closed
On May 1, the CT State Senate passed State Bill 619 (SB619) sponsored by State Senator Toni N. Harp (D-New Haven) creating a "Futures Commission" to find ways to keep manufacturing jobs in CT as the Pentagon budget begins to be reduced.
State Senator Harp said. “The proposed Futures Commission will set up a framework that allows us to convert many of our military related jobs and infrastructure into non-military industries. If we want to take advantage of the green economy that the Obama Administration is pushing, we need to have the infrastructure and trained workers in our state to do so.”
The bill will now will come up for a vote in the CT House this week. Please call your legislator to support the bill. You can find your legislator here.
Peace Action and our allies in the peace and justice movement continue to organize to change national spending priorities by moving the money spent on the Pentagon budget to fund jobs, human needs and diplomacy. We also must organize to insure that workers, their families and communities who have depended on Pentagon contracts for good paying jobs are supported in the transition to producing what we need in our communities.
Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) “Connecticut has some of the best high-skilled manufacturing workers in the world,” Senator Looney said. “As needs of the national and world economy evolve, we must ensure that Connecticut’s economy is ready to adapt and our workers are well trained for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Please take a few minutes to call your state rep and ask to support SB619. You can find your legislator here.
According to the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Research, ‘This bill reactivates a dormant economic development advisory commission… and broadens its charge to include policies encouraging defense contractors and subcontractors to engage in environmentally sustainable and civilian product manufacturing.’
With your support, CT can be the first state to pass a bill to convert military production to civilian use!
Power to the peaceful,
In November 2012, a ballot referendum passed in New Haven that called for moving the money from war to jobs rebuilding our infrastructure and human needs. This referendum won support nearly 6 to 1! This winter in Connecticut, the US Peace Council, No Nukes No War, the City of New Haven Peace Commission with the support of the state AFL-CIO and International Association of Machinists worked to get SB619 introduced in the state legislature calling for a Futures Commission whose goals is to investigate how to convert the weapons manufacturing industries to producing civilian, green products and retain and develop manufacturing in the state. The Commission that this bill creates will include representatives of labor, peace and environmental organizations.
DPI/NGO Relations with the kind sponsorship of the
Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations
invite you to the Briefing
“Determined to Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War”
Date: Thursday, 6 June 2013
Time: 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Location: ECOSOC Chamber, Conference Building, United Nations Headquarters
H.E. Mr. Paul Seger, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Nations
Ms. Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Chair, Nobel Women’s Initiative
Mr. Ralph Zacklin, Former United Nations Assistant-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, 1998-2005
Ms. Nounou Booto Meeti, Programme Manager, Centre for Peace, Security and Armed Violence Prevention
The Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations begins with the words “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.” These opening words continue to serve as a reminder that the UN itself was created to help prevent war, and of the ruin that war can bring upon the world.
Since the UN’s creation, the international community has not seen a conflict with the same level of globally widespread catastrophe as the Second World War, which motivated governments toward its creation. Unfortunately, the “scourge of war” has not disappeared. Now, nearly 70 years after the Charter’s signing, ongoing violent conflicts continue to inflict unimaginable suffering around the world. Some, like the current crisis in Syria, resulting in over 70,000 deaths so far, have no end in sight.
Although not every part of the world directly experiences widespread violent conflict, the implications of militarization touch every corner of the global village. Over $1.7 trillion is spent globally on armaments, making up about 2.5 percent of the world’s GDP. Figures like these have prompted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to stress several times that “the world is over-armed and peace is underfunded.”
This Briefing will bring together a diverse and high-level panel to discuss the role of war in recent human history and how far humanity has advanced in limiting the scourge of war, particularly since the signing of the UN Charter. The Briefing will highlight various aspects of this topic, including the idea that peace comes through strength, the questioning of increasing militarism in society, and the view that the institution of war should be abolished, just as institutions of slavery, colonialism; apartheid and the prohibition of women from voting have been eliminated.
by 10:00 a.m. sharp.
United Nations-produced videos relevant to the theme of the Briefing are sometimes screened during the session. For Briefing information please call the DPI/NGO Resource Centre at +1-212-963-7232 / 7233 / 7234 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive the Briefing information electronically, please email email@example.com. You may also visit the DPI/NGO Relations Cluster website at www.un.org/dpi/ngosection, where archived web casts and audio (both, when available) of the Briefing may also be accessed.
Requests for NGO guest passes should be faxed on organization letterhead to the DPI/NGO Resource Centre at +1 212-963-2819 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org AT LEAST TWO BUSINESS DAYS PRIOR to the Briefing. [Please note that pass requests received at any other email address will not be processed.] All guest passes should be picked up at the DPI/NGO Resource Centre, Room GA-37, on the morning of the Briefing. NGOs are reminded that this Briefing starts promptly at 10:15 a.m. Guests in need of an NGO sponsor for a UN guest pass are asked to contact Mr. Charles Hitchcock at email@example.com no later than 1 June 2013.
NOTE: This Briefing will be webcast live at webtv.un.org. You can post questions and comments during the session on our Facebook (facebook.com/
by Debra Sweet We’ve been pondering hard on what more we can do to create a political situation where Obama has to back down, release at least a few of the men at Guantanamo, and be forced into closing the prison. All of our frequent protests, petitions, call-ins, editorials and op-eds are part of what's needed.
By Alfredo Lopez
This Summer, a team at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has undertaken a remarkable project: to recreate the first web site and the computer on which it was first seen.
An NPR story on Monday carried this headline: "Expansion Plans At Arlington National Cemetery Cause Environmental Concerns." Only environmental concerns? Are there any other concerns that anyone can think of? I mean if, for example, "All Things" were going to be "Considered," would there be any other things worth considering?
U.S. troop deaths were 0.3 percent of the deaths in the most recent attack on Iraq. Most of those U.S. dead (and all of the non-U.S. dead) do not end up in Arlington. Most end up in other cemeteries. Some are never recovered. Some are unceremoniously dumped in land fills. And yet the cemetery is running out of room even for cremated corpses.
Advocates of military spending often push for increases to keep pace with gross domestic product. Should Arlington be the same? Should we kill off our young in proportion to how much money our bankers have? Should we expand cemeteries to keep pace with weapons budgets, prisons, highways, and fracking subsidies? Or should we take this opportunity to consider altering our priorities?
President Kennedy, whose eternal flame burns atop the hill at Arlington, wrote that we would have wars until the conscientious objector was given the prestige and respect now given to soldiers. Why is there no cemetery to honor those who resist massive crimes based on the sort of lies told about Iraq 10 years ago and told about Syria today? Why do we have to educators or doctors or diplomats or firefighters or historians or poets honored with the ceremonial wasting of fertile soil? Why only those who participate in state-sanctioned murder?
As Eisenhower warned on his way out of office, we get the society we prepare for. Expanding Arlington Cemetery is preparing us for a horrible future, one that we and the rest of humanity may not survive. The environmental concerns raised by this vision should be much more encompassing that a particular creek and stand of trees. The destructive arrogance of our war economy will either be replaced by a sustainable peaceful system or destroy us.
Pass that along to National Pentagon Radio when you get a chance.
Here is the list of appearances/Protests of War Criminals for May, 2013. If any of these war criminals are in your area, please plan something around their appearance. We will be happy to help you get things started. You may access posters and leaflets on our website - http://warcriminalswatch.org/index.php/downloadable-materials/173-posters-a-leaflets
by Debra Sweet The April month of protest against US drone warfare and surveillance ended very strongly in Syracuse Sunday with a protest of hundreds of us at Hancock Air Force Base, where drones — unmanned aerial vehicles — are piloted over Pakistan, Afghanistan, and perhaps Yemen, Somalia and other countries. Picture the starkness of the political clash.
Radicalize for Peace
The official storyline on the Boston Marathon bombing paints a picture of Tamerlan Tsarnaeva being "radicalized".
The official storyline also ignores the fact that neither Tamerlan's all black backpack nor his brother Dzhokar's mostly white backpack resemble the blown up backpack which was black with a white rectangle on the top (probably a logo). The official storyline also refuses to ask or answer any questions whatsoever about the presence of at least 7 individuals near the bombing site dressed as Craft International mercenaries. At least two of these individuals are wearing black backpacks and at least one of these black backpacks has a white rectangle on the top similar to the one on the backpack that held one of the bombs. This has all been documented by independent journalist David Lindorff at ThisCantBeHappening.net
"Accountability For The Past, Democracy For The Future."
On April 26, 2013, people gathered outside the gates of the U.S. Federal Prison in Carswell, Texas where Lynne Stewart is being held.
STAND WITH THE MANY
NOT WITH THE FEW
WHAT WILL WE DO?
1. Sign the petition for a Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart. lynnestewart.org/
2. Post photos linked here on Facebook (on.fb.me/11D3nfa) and Twitter, with links to the petition. Raise awareness about Lynne's case, her appeal for a Compassionate Release and encourage people you know to sign the petition. lynnestewart.org/
3. Write a letter to Judge Charles Samuels, who is looking at Lynne's case. Write that Lynne Stewart should be discharged on Compassionate Release grounds.
Charles E. Samuels, Jr. Director
321 First Street NW
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Washington, DC 20534
4. We will come out next week in May 8, 2013 in New York City, Lynne's city and stand up for her. We will create a public presence from Carswell, Texas to Times Square, New York to stand for compassion, for love, for justice for Lynne Stewart and ask others to stand with us. (Facebook Event on.fb.me/ZnwqC5)
5. Join together on May 9, 2013 for a Rally for Lynne Stewart at the Theater 80 Saint Marks, 80 Saint Marks Place, NYC at 7pm.
We will be part of this wave of humanity... to get justice done to bring Lynne home.
We will not delay. Time is of the essence.
SIGN THE PETITION
SPREAD THE WORD
In Lynne's own words, "until my feet are planted like the Tree that grows in Brooklyn and I am around my friends, family and comrades... we must continue. Fight On!!"
by Debra Sweet On April 18, 2013, Rochester Indymedia interviewed Debra Sweet, an anti-war organizer and director of The World Can't Wait. She will be going to Syracuse, NY on April 26-28th for the “Resisting Drones, Global War and Empire" convergence (see the Facebook event).
by Debra Sweet Protests planned for Bush “Lie-bury” dedication this week at SMU in Dallas:
By Norman Solomon
As a perpetual emotion machine -- producing and guzzling its own political fuel -- the “war on terror” continues to normalize itself as a thoroughly American way of life and death. Ongoing warfare has become a matter of default routine, pushed along by mainline media and the leadership of both parties in Washington. Without a clear and effective upsurge of opposition from the grassroots, Americans can expect to remain citizens of a war-driven country for the rest of their lives.
Across the United States, many thousands of peeling bumper stickers on the road say: “End this Endless War.” They got mass distribution from MoveOn.org back in 2007, when a Republican was in the White House. Now, a thorough search of the MoveOn website might leave the impression that endless war ended with the end of the George W. Bush presidency.
MoveOn is very big as online groups go, but it is symptomatic of a widespread problem among an array of left-leaning organizations that have made their peace with the warfare state. Such silence assists the Obama administration as it makes the “war on terror” even more resolutely bipartisan and further embedded in the nation’s political structures -- while doing immense damage to our economy, siphoning off resources that should go to meet human needs, further militarizing society and undermining civil liberties.
Now, on Capitol Hill, the most overt attempt to call a halt to the “war on terror” is coming from Rep. Barbara Lee, whose bill H.R. 198 would revoke the Authorization for Use of Military Force that Congress approved three days after 9/11. Several months since it was introduced, H.R. 198 only has a dozen co-sponsors. (To send your representative and senators a message of support for Lee’s bill, click here.)
Four score and five years ago our fathers brought forth a new world conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all nations are created equal. When nations came together to renounce war, the Kellogg-Briand Pact they signed became the blueprint for peace on earth. Unfortunately hardly anyone in America remembers this important historical fact and inconvenient truth. This is why the West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition (WSFPC) is encouraging people to do a little research on the subject. Anyone who thinks war is a stupid way to resolve international conflicts is invited to join the 2014 WSFPC Peace Essay-Response Contest. Those essays which elicit the most significant responses from our country’s leaders will be rewarded, the top prize being $1,000. The contest rules are listed below.
2014 Peace Essay-Response Contest Rules
The West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition is once again sponsoring a Peace Essay Contest with a $1,000.00 award to the winner, $300 for the runner-up, and $100 for third place. In contrast to the previous year’s contest, essays now will have to be directed to a person who can help promote knowledge of the Kellogg-Briand Pact (KBP) and, from whom a response is expected. Essays will be judged not only on the quality of the essay but on the impact of the response. Everyone is eligible to participate; there are no restrictions regarding age or place of residence. Participants are required to take the following 3 steps:
1. To enter the contest send a Peace Essay Request email to coordinator Frank Goetz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your Name, Mailing Address, Email Address, Phone Number, and, if under 19, Age. Also, provide the Name and Position of the person to whom the Essay will be directed. Your application acceptance as a contest participant will be acknowledged in an email containing your assigned 4-digit Essay Number. [If information is missing or confusing you will be contacted by phone.]
2. In 800 words or less write your essay on: How Can We Obey the Law Against War? By April 15, 2014 send the essay to the person named in your application and a copy to email@example.com with your Essay Number in the Subject line.
3. By May 15, 2014 send Essay Response documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org with your Essay Number in the Subject line.
The 2014 WSFPC Peace Essay-Response Contest will begin once the Rules are approved by consensus of the WSFPC Servant Leadership Team and posted on our website: www.faithpeace.org. The WSFPC reserves the right to restrict the number of participants. We know from our previous experience we can evaluate at least 100 participants. With broad distribution of the Rules on the Internet with help from affiliated organizations it is difficult (perhaps impossible) to predict the number of Peace Essay Requests. If necessary we will post a cut-off date of Peace Essay Requests on our website.
Some examples of impact:
1. The President agrees to explain the limitations placed on the government by KBP.
2. A member of congress supports a resolution to make August 27 a Day of Reflection.
3. The ACT or SAT administration agrees to include questions regarding KBP.
4. A newspaper includes a KBP story.
5. A school board revises its curriculum to expand KBP studies.
6. A religious leader calls for nonviolent actions.
We anticipate announcing the Winners at a festive event honoring the 86th Anniversary of the Kellogg-Briand Pact on August 27, 2014. Your comments are welcome. Early applicants will receive a prize with their Essay Number.
When the World Outlawed War tells the story of how a treaty was created in 1928 that bans war and is still the supreme law of the land under the U.S. Constitution. (Sign the petition to create a holiday.)
This is an annual essay contest that can be entered at any time.
The top prize is $1,000, with lesser prizes for runners-up.
In 800 words or less answer the question: How can we obey the law against war?
Essays are judged based on (1) Knowledge of the Kellogg-Briand Pact (2) Insight into how the Pact influences U.S. foreign policy (3) Creativity in recommendations regarding compliance (4) Quality of prose.
Please include your: (1) name, (2) age (if under 19), (3) mailing address, (4) phone number, (5) email address, and (6) year and school that you first learned about the Kellogg-Briand Pact.
Email your Peace Essay to email@example.com or mail to Peace Desk, 213 S. Wheaton Avenue, Wheaton, IL 60187.
This contest is a creation of the West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition.
A copy of When the World Outlawed War by David Swanson will be donated to the library of the winner's school. The WSFPC will also send the best Peace Essays to key members of the U.S. Congress.
By Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret)
On the first Earth Day in 1970, the U.S. military was fully engaged in the Vietnam war, a war that killed or wounded millions of people, laid waste to wide swaths of Vietnamese countryside using Agent Orange, caused untold suffering by people who were guilty of nothing, and cost the U.S. taxpayers $738 billion. Today, 43 years later, the U.S. continues to spend more on war and the military than the rest of the world combined, is responsible for the deaths and injuries of millions of people, poisons the Earth using Depleted Uranium weapons, and has caused untold suffering by people who were guilty of nothing. Additionally, the U.S. military is the biggest consumer of fossil fuels in the world, burning 300,000 barrels of oil per day at a cost of more than $30 million in fuel per day. In the pursuit of imperialistic and aggressive military policies, the government of the United States has violated the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution while squandering trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, money that could have been used to eradicate hunger, house the homeless, provide comprehensive health care, educate millions, create jobs, or a myriad other programs which would benefit humanity. To add salt to the wound, our military’s gross consumption of fossil fuels has contributed enormously to the problem of greenhouse gases and climate change.
In the past 43 years since the first Earth Day, these militaristic and war-mongering policies have been conducted by both the Republican and Democratic parties. Despite quantitative evidence that shows that the American people want their tax dollars spent on health care and education, neither party listens. Every year the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago conducts a poll to survey Americans opinions about where their tax dollars should be spent. Every year, the American people put human needs programs ahead of defense spending, which they say should be cut.
On this Earth Day 2013, the Green Shadow Cabinet (GSC) is launched. The people who make up the GSC are concerned citizens who believe that the American people deserve much better than what our two-party system is providing, and as a body, the GSC will be advocating for programs and policies which benefit people and address their priorities.
Green Shadow Defense policies will include immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, a closure of all foreign bases, a cessation of combat drone attacks and a cut of 50% to the Pentagon budget. There will be a strict adherence to international law, and military force will only be used in situations of legitimate self-defense. The U.S. will not participate in illegal wars of aggression, thus saving the lives of innocent people, and saving the U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars to be reallocated for programs of social uplift.
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leah Bolger is a retired U.S. Naval commander who served 20 years on active duty (1980-2000). She served tours in Iceland, Bermuda, Japan and Tunisia and earned her masters degree in National Security and Strategic Affairs from the Naval War College in 1994. In 1997 she served as a Military Fellow for the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2012 she was elected as the first female president of Veterans For Peace, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. She serves as the Green Shadow Cabinet Secretary of Defense. Her Twitter is @leahbolger.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
Was it simply a “cold business decision” or a callous act of censorship?
This is the question swirling around legendary pro-basketball player Shaquille O’Neal who put a power move on Stephen Vittoria blocking this respected filmmaker’s showing of his latest documentary at the movie complex O’Neal co-owns in downtown Newark, NJ, the city where both of these men were born.
By David Swanson
I'm honored to have accepted the position of Secretary of Peace in the newly formed Green Shadow Cabinet. Of course, I cannot contrast my positions with those of the actual Secretary of Peace, as the United States has no such position.
There is a Secretary of War, although that title was changed to Secretary of Defense 66 years ago. It was changed the same year George Orwell wrote his masterpiece, 1984, in which he suggested that language is sometimes used as a disguise. In fact, ever since the War Department became the Defense Department, its business has had less than ever to do with defense and more than ever to do with promoting the use of war-making as an instrument of national policy. President Dwight Eisenhower observed and warned of this worsening situation 52 years ago in one of the most prescient but least heeded (even by Eisenhower) warnings since Cassandra told the Trojans to be wary of giant horses.
There is a Secretary of State, but the State Department has come to work arm-in-arm with the Defense Department, marketing weaponry to foreign governments, building coalitions for wars, imposing deadly sanctions as preludes to wars, presenting bogus arguments for wars at the United Nations, and holding the world's governments accountable for human rights abuses based less on the extent of the abuses than on the governments' relationships with the Pentagon. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and Israel don't have greater civil liberties and popular democratic rule than Iran; the State Department just acts as if they do.
Our entire government claims to be for peace, but it has become common to state one's support for peace, and then qualify it with the assurance that one is not against any wars. This is usually meant to convey understanding or affection for members of the U.S. military. But you can respect people while condemning what they do. If our understanding and affection are broadened to include Afghans and Pakistanis and Yemenis, then we are obliged to oppose what the War Department is doing to them. Supporting "peace on earth" in December, or peace in our hearts, or peace through war is not enough. We need to be working for peace -- the absence of war -- year round.
We invest roughly a trillion dollars in war preparations every year, roughly half of federal discretionary spending, roughly half of world military spending. With no credible enemy in sight, and with no beneficial war observable in our history, great quantities of fear-mongering and much beautification of history are required to get us to tolerate this. The Pentagon is investing $65 million of our money in a Vietnam Commemoration Project aimed at making that war look less horrible than it was.
A University of Massachusetts study found that investment in education or infrastructure or green energy or even in tax cuts for working people produces significantly more jobs than does the same investment in the military. As tiny and much-exaggerated cuts to the military may soon actually materialize, we should take the opportunity to begin a conversion process. We can retool and retrain and convert from a war industry to a peace industry without anyone having to suffer in the process, and with money to spare.
And if we take away the idea of justifiable killing in war, and if we continue to eliminate the death penalty from additional states, we may begin to move our culture in a direction that helps bring our epidemic of violence at home under control as well. That could be a project for a Department of Peace. It's not that some other department couldn't do it. But thus far, none is.
David Swanson's books include "War Is A Lie." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org andhttp://warisacrime.org and works for http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter:@davidcnswanson and FaceBook.
|David Swanson||Secretary of Peace||Foreign Affairs|
|Leah Bolger||Secretary of Defense||Foreign Affairs|
|Ann Wright||Secretary of State||Foreign Affairs|
|Harvey Wasserman||Secretary of Energy||Ecology|
|Bruce Gagnon||Secretary of Space||Ecology|
|George Paz Martin||Peace Ambassador||Foreign Affairs|
|David McReynolds||Peace Advisor to the President||Foreign Affairs|
|Daniel Shea||Veteran's Affairs: Chemical Exposure||General Welfare|
Federal judge rules in favor of Bush Center protestors, calls Dallas’ picketing ordinance ‘unconstitutionally vague’
From Dallas Morning News:
Late Friday, six activists won their battle with the city of Dallas over their plans to protest next week’s opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus.
In his 12-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis ruled that protestors can stage their rally at the SMU-owned Expressway Tower, where the university gave them the OK to gather. He also voided, at least temporarily, the city’s ordinance that bans “the carrying of signs on, over, or near freeways.” Solis said it’s “unconstitutionally vague” and therefore unenforceable.
“How ’bout that,” says Hadi Jawad, one of the organizers of The People’s Response, which will feature marches, demonstrations and rallies throughout the week. Jawad wasn’t aware the judge had granted the temporary restraining order until contacted by The Dallas Morning News Friday evening.
“As an activist, I learned early on you fight, you lose, you fight, you lose, you fight, you lose, you fight, you lose, you fight, you lose and then you win one,” said Jawad. “And then you fight, you lose, you fight, you lose all over again. But this is a good day for Dallas and the citizens of Dallas and the Constitution. It’s a fantastic feeling.”