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WE THE PEOPLE: Wishing you love, laughter and peace

By Clyde Ussery Chronicle contributor, Crossville Chronicle

CROSSVILLE — “There’ll be love and laughter and peace ever after, tomorrow when the world is free.” That line from a song popular during World War II made us feel good and gave us hope at the time. But instead of “peace ever after” we got perpetual war. Even though there has been a law on the books in the U.S. for 83 years making war a crime and perpetrators liable to prosecution just like other criminals, vast numbers of people are still being murdered.

Following World War I an aggressive world-wide peace movement, supported by an overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens, resulted in the Kellogg-Briand Pact. It renounced war as an instrument of national policy and resolved that all disputes should be settled by peaceful means. What a concept! The treaty was signed by 14 nations immediately, and 62 eventually. President Hoover stated: “I dare predict that the influence of the Treaty for the Renunciation of War will be felt in large proportion of all future international acts.” He was wrong. Within twelve years all of the nations that signed the treaty were involved in a war of the largest scale in the history of the world.

The U.S has never repealed the treaty; it is still on the books as part of the supreme law of the land. But laws, like the Constitution, are often conveniently shoved out of sight. I dare say that few U.S. citizens other than historians even know about Kellogg-Briand, probably none of our lawmakers. I learned about it from David Swanson’s book, “When the World Outlawed War.” It is a good read and proves how much a group of people committed to eliminating war and injustice can accomplish.

Things have changed since the peace movement of the 1920s when peace was actually patriotic. We of the so-called “greatest generation” were so busy accumulating “stuff” that we didn’t heed Ike’s warning about the military-industrial complex. Now the war profiteers pull the strings in Congress. And while our bridges collapse and our schools crumble, we continue waging long and costly wars.

I know that peace is not likely to break out in my lifetime. My cynical self keeps telling me that it will only happen when someone discovers a way to make a profit from it. But there are two young men in my life who keep my hope alive and will keep me plugging away for peace. They are my great grandsons: five-year-old Keegan Forbes DeSantis, and Knox Anthony Chanudet who will be two weeks old the day this is published.

The “peace ever after” that the songwriters promised us hasn’t worked out, but “love and laughter” has seen our family through good times and bad, and it will see us through whatever is in our future.

For Keegan, Knox, and all the other children of the world, may your lives be filled with love and laughter, and may in your lifetime there be “peace on earth among men of good will.”

Speaking Events



March 24, Boone, NC.


March 25, Asheville, NC
Battery Park Apartments, 1 Battle Square, rooftop room, noon - 2 p.m.
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War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
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April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
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April 14, Bellingham, WA, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.
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April 15, Seattle, WA
Town Hall Seattle
1119 Eighth Ave (8th and Seneca) 
Seattle, WA 98101
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April 16 Portland, OR


April 24, Oneonta, NY at Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta.
5:30 discussion with students.
7:00 talk and Q&A with everyone.
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May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
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May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
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May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
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May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
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May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event


June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
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June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
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Other Events Here.


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