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Tell Your State Legislatures and Governors the National Guard Is Not for Occupying Other People's Countries
By Leah Bolger
Tips and Talking Points for Lobby Visits
1. Bring laptop with “At This Moment” National Guard theater commercial
2. DoD spends $3 billion a year on recruiting. Point out that this slick video focuses primarily on combat/fighting missions, and not on a typical state-based mission.
3. Concern that the National Guard is being marketed as a front-line fighting force. By marketing the National Guard in this way, it appears that the federal government intends to continue using the Guard as a front-line component.
4. The National Guard is not meant to be a front-line fighting force for indefinite periods of time.
5. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have decimated the effectiveness and readiness of the Guard.
6. States need the resources and manpower of the National Guard for state-based emergencies.
7. Federal call-up and deployment of National Guard units has a huge negative economic impact on states.
8. Tie-in recent Executive Order which creates “Council of Governors” which appears to be wresting control of the National Guard away from the governors.
9. Ask your governor if he/she is aware of this Council and its possible ramifications.
10. Ask your governor if he/she knows who is on this Council and if he/she has been in communication with the Council.
The mortgage company has agreed to a month’s delay in foreclosing on the Peace House.
Your support is making a difference!
Johnny Wolf’s activism began at an early age, as his parents instilled in him an ethic of peaceful service to his fellow man, which he has practiced throughout his life. After attending a National Network to End the War Against Iraq conference, he sold enough buttons at a buck a pop to raise the down payment on the Peace House.
Among Johnny’s other contributions are co-founding the Committee on Solidarity with the People of Iraq, which, together with Veterans for Peace, is responsible for rebuilding six water treatment plants in Iraq.
The Crawford Peace House was dedicated on Easter Sunday, 2003.
Over the years of resistance to the Iraq war and the criminal activities of the Bush regime, the Crawford Peace House served thousands of activists as a gathering place of hope and resistance, feeding literally thousands of people and managing a large team of volunteers. Wolf states, “The Peace House is so much more than President Bush – it is a centralized location where we perform miracles, offering hope to humanity to counter the cult of war.”
Now, with your help, Johnny is working tirelessly to make the dream of a Peace Museum a reality. Easter, of course, is our seasonal reminder of the prospects of world peace. If you share in the dream of a Peace Museum and care to contribute, you can contact Johnny Wolf.
Cindy Sheehan wrote:
On August 3, 2004, fourteen Marines from a reserve unit in Ohio were killed in Iraq--then president, George Bush, said that they, and all of the war dead, died for a "Noble Cause." I was sitting in my home in Vacaville, California watching the press conference where George said this, and when none of the reporters present asked him exactly what that "Noble Cause" was, I decided to go to Crawford and ask him myself.
I sent out an email stating my intention to go to Crawford, and a few hours later I received an email from one of the founders of the Crawford Peace House, Hadi Jawad, telling me that the Peace House would be at my disposal for that action. Well, that action turned into a movement. And even though on August 3rd, I had never even heard of the Crawford Peace House, the owner, Johnny Wolf, and its staff became an integral and indispensable part of the Camp Casey protests.
During the protests, the Crawford Peace House welcomed and fed literally thousands of people and managed a large team of volunteers. It took tens of thousands of dollars to keep the protests going while Bush was president.
Even though the wars haven't ended and Bush is out of office, the "action" that turned into a movement is what changed the perceptions and attitudes of a nation.
Our vision for the Peace House would be for a Peace Museum and visitor center for people who want to come to Crawford and visit the historic sites of Camp Casey 1, 2, and 3, and store the vast amount of memorabilia, photos, and cherished mementos.
Now, my friends need help--I am copying a letter from the founder of the Crawford Peace House, Johnny Wolf.
Please contact Johnny directly if you can help!
Love and Peace,
Take Action: DC! Tomorrow, March 30th - International Day of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Against Israel
When: March 30, 5 PM
Where: Lord & Taylor, 5255 Western Ave., Northwest Washington DC 20015; next to Friendship Heights metro
Tuesday, March 30th, 5pm, join us in marking the international day of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. We will be protesting against the Israeli cosmetic company AHAVA at the Lord and Taylor’s store in Washington DC. AHAVA is made in a settlement using Palestinian resources taken from the Dead Sea. The address of Lord and Taylors is 5255 Western Ave Northwest Washington DC 20015. It is next to the Friendship Heights metro. Spa attire (bathrobes and towels) are recommended but not required. We will provide signs and fliers, but if you would like to make your own sign, messages could include: AHAVA: Made by Israeli Profiteers in Occupied Palestine; Have a Heart--Don't Sell AHAVA Cosmetics; Don't buy AHAVA Cosmetics; Settlement Products Kill Hope for Peace; There is no love in Occupation.
We’ll meet in the underground parking lot of the store. If you are planning to come, please call Medea Benjamin at 415 235 6517. Thank you and hope to see you there.
Help Us Address The Growing Tide Of Threats And Violence By Partisans
Join Our StopDomesticTerror.com Campaign!!
Last summer, in response to a rising tide of extremism coupled with threats and violence, we launched a new campaign called Stop Domestic Terror, www.stopdomesticterror.com. In short, we asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to aggressively target those who commit violence, and we urged both the media and religious leaders to speak out against such anti-democratic behavior. Our campaign has met with success in many ways, but as we all have seen over the past few weeks, there is still much more to be done.
First the good news. The DOJ has announced that hate crimes and threats of violence are now a “top priority,” after years of neglect. On Saturday, the DOJ arrested at nine members of an “end of times” militia group that was planning violence against Americans in order to kick off a widespread uprising against the government. Last week, 114 prominent religious leaders signed a “civility covenant” calling for an end to the heated rhetoric of political discourse. And finally, national media are beginning to report on this problem in a serious manner rather than as something silly.
Now the bad news. The tea bagger movement has endorsed threats, hate and anger as a political weapon, and the GOP has hitched its political fortunes to this hate machine, adopting Nixon’s Southern Strategy, which exploited opposition among the once segregationist South to the cultural upheaval of New Left, Vietnam protests, the Hippie culture, Gun control, Abortion, desegregation, and the Civil Rights Movement. Over the past month, we have seen white Americans spitting on Black Congress members, calling them foul names, and committing violent acts and making threats against other politicians. The GOP, in response to a call by the DNC for a new civility agreement, said no! Sarah Palin put Democrats in crosshairs on her website and told her followers to “reload.” Right-wing media are supporting this behavior as “patriotic.”
Help us by joining with thousands of others who have spoken out against the tyranny of violence. Add your name to our Stop Domestic Terror campaign. Send a letter to Congress demanding that the media act in the public interest rather than fanning the flames of violence.
You can also help us place ads online and in print to call for an end to violence in politics. DONATE HERE.
Also check out our other campaigns:
All The Best,
We can't do this without you!
Help us push this campaign into the media by writing letters to the editor, linking to it on your websites and Facebook pages, and Twittering. Donate to VR today to increase the volume on this campaign!
If you prefer to send check or money order, you can mail it to:
PO Box 9576
Washington DC, 20016
STOP WALL STREET GREED
Tell Congress About Credit Card Rip-Offs
The greed and recklessness of Wall Street has created the most severe economic recovery since the 1930s. Millions of people have lost their homes and savings, and 17 percent of our people are unemployed or underemployed. Wall Street is now spending billions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions to make sure that they can continue to act in the reckless and unregulated manner which led us to where we are today. We cannot allow that to happen.
Among other very important reforms, Congress must stop big banks from ripping off consumers by charging credit card interest rates of 35 percent or more. That is why I will offer an amendment to stop usury in America and place a reasonable cap on what lenders may charge credit card customers, similar to the limit already in place and working well for credit unions.
Here’s how you can help. Members of Congress definitely will hear from the big bankers and their well-paid lobbyists. I think they need to hear from you too. They need to hear about your real-world experiences with these loan sharks in three-piece suits. Let me know how credit card companies have treated you, and I will read some of your stories on the Senate floor.
As activism has been defunded since the 2008 election, there have been casualties, organizations and individuals driven from the field -- and deprived of a decent income, even of a roof under which to live.
Garda Ghista of World Prout Assembly has been a key ally in the struggle for peace and justice for years and is now in financial trouble. Can you help?
Go here and donate what you can:
Read this for inspiration:
The Deep Love for Suffering Humanity Embedded in the Principles of PROUT
By Garda Ghista
March 17, 2010
by Linda Milazzo
(This article is based on one that will appear in the upcoming May/June 2010 issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: http://www.wrmea.com)
Sunday, March 14, 2010, ushered in two welcome events to Southern California: the inauguration of the headquarters of the bustling Winograd For Congress primary campaign, and an extra hour of daylight to help Marcy Winograd’s swarm of supporters evict Jane Harman, the wealthiest Democrat in Congress, from her eight-term seat in the House.
Photo by Linda Milazzo
Health care reform -- here's where we are. The House of Representatives is about to vote on a Senate bill without a public option. It looks like the reconciliation amendment will not have a public option. The House bill had a public option, but once the House passes the Senate bill, that's history.
Which is why I introduced H.R. 4789, the Public Option Act. This simple four-page bill lets any American buy into Medicare at cost. You want it, you pay for it, you're in. It adds nothing to the deficit; you pay what it costs. Read more.
Please click below to hear democratic consultant Bob Fertik discuss how American democracy is at stake due to the Supreme Court decision to allow unfettered corporate spending, including foreign corporate dollars, on U.S. elections: Listen to Bob Fertik on the Bill Press Show
1. Binding pledges from corporations not to buy or sell election ads
2. Strict laws against election spending by corporations with foreign owners, and by recipients of Federal contracts, bailouts, and subsidies. For other U.S. corporations, shareholders must approve election ads
3. Clean elections through publicly-funded Federal and state campaigns
4. A Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling so Congress and states can outlaw all corporate election spending
Labor and advocacy groups organized "brown bag" lunch vigils against war funding in 22 congressional districts in January and 67 in February. Currently 82 are planned for March 17th, with more being added. Organizations participating include: Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), AfterDowningStreet, the Backbone Campaign, Democrats.com, the California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee, Healthcare Now, CodePINK, and United for Peace and Justice.
On March 10th, 65 members of Congress voted to end the occupation of Afghanistan. Yet only 14 have publicly committed to voting No on funding the same war. A $33 billion supplemental spending bill for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is expected to be voted on in April or May. Brownbaggers are asking members of the House to publicly commit to voting No on any bills that fund wars, and to publicly urge their colleagues and the House leadership to make the same commitment. As lesser steps in the same direction, the Brown Bag Vigils are encouraging congress members to cosponsor HR 2454, calling for an exit strategy from Afghanistan, and HR 3699, prohibiting any increase in the number of U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Congress members' commitments are tracked at http://defundwar.org.
Vigil participants, who support a shift in resources from warfare to healthcare, are also asking their representatives to join the growing movement calling for "Medicare for All" by demanding passage of the Kucinich amendment facilitating state-level single-payer healthcare and by offering their support to single-payer efforts moving forward in state legislatures, including in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
War Resisters League Schedules 4 days of Creative Nonviolence Calling for US Nuclear Disarmament 4/30-5/3 in New York City
Kimber Heinz of the War Resisters League wrote:
Join us as we lead up to WRL actions at the NPT Review Conference this May!
Join the War Resisters League in NYC April 30-May 3 for four days of creative nonviolent protest and support a call for unilateral U.S. disarmament at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the UN Headquarters.
In 1982, the War Resisters League initiated "Blockade the Bombmakers," organizing mass actions at the Missions to the United Nations of each of the five nuclear powers on the first day of the United Nations Special Session on Disarmament. In total, nearly 1,700 people were arrested in the blockades, which followed a march involving an estimated one million people.
Today, there are nine nuclear powers and the dangers of nuclear proliferation are even more acute than 28 years ago. Despite the White House's pledge to seek a world without nuclear weapons, the 2011 federal budget for nuclear weapons research and development is likely to be more than $7 billion and could (if the Obama administration has its way) reach $8 billion per year by the end of this decade. This steady and growing investment stands in stark contrast to the promising U.S. rhetoric of disarmament.
The 2010 NPT Review Conference represents a key juncture in the work for nuclear disarmament and a vital opportunity to put pressure on the U.S. government and kick-start the anti-nuclear movement. The War Resisters League is organizing a Monday, May 3rd action to deliver a strong message to the United Nations delegates. We are also organizing a WRL contingent and panel discussion for the Disarm Now! international march and alternative conference happening that weekend as WRL joins with thousands of anti-nuclear activists from around the world in resistance to nuclear build-up and global militarism.
Join us to demand complete and unilateral nuclear disarmament and to insist that action for disarmament, not more talking, is needed. We will be meeting in-person and by phone to shape and finalize the action over the next month and will offer nonviolence training on Sunday, May 2nd. To find out more and to sign up or get involved, please email WRL Organizing Coordinator Kimber Heinz at email@example.com.
Ignoring calls from numerous critics, the New York Times refuses to own up to mistakes in the paper's coverage of the now-famous right-wing videotapes attacking the community organizing group ACORN. Instead, the paper's public editor, Clark Hoyt, is relying on an absurd semantic justification in order to claim the paper does not need to print any corrections.
As conventionally reported in the Times and elsewhere, right-wing activists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles dressed up as a pimp and a prostitute and visited several local ACORN offices, where office workers gave the duo advice on setting up a brothel, concealing a child prostitution ring and so forth. But many of the key "facts" surrounding the videos are either in dispute or are demonstrable fabrications.
Though O'Keefe appears in various scenes in the videos wearing a garish and absurd "pimp" costume, he in fact did not wear the outfit when he appeared in the ACORN offices (Washington Independent, 2/19/10); he was dressed in a button-down shirt and slacks. This fact undermines one of the key contentions of the ACORN smear--that the group is so hopelessly corrupt that they would dispense advice to an obvious criminal.
What's more, the "advice" that they received, according to the transcripts released by O'Keefe and Giles, does not appear to be as incriminating as it was portrayed in the videos--and echoed in outlets like the New York Times.
A review of the Times coverage:
We are very excited to bring you an exclusive online live video chat with Michael Moore as part of the DVD and Blue-ray release of ‘Capitalism: A Love Story'.
The 30 minute session will be on Tuesday, March 16th at 3:00 pm EST at Brave New Films site:
By David Swanson
The tea and coffee parties have cornered the market on vacuous meanness and niceness, respectively. But brownbagging is where the substance and sustenance are. Every third Wednesday of the month, those who want war defunded and everything useful funded are bringing brown bag lunches to vigil at their congress member's local office. This month that means March 17th, St. Patrick's Day. And that means more than food: Kicking off the Green Beer Party.
Ask 14 congress members to withhold support for a healthcare bill unless language is restored allowing states to create healthcare solutions.
March 3, 6pm-7:30pm, Busboys and Poets at 5th and K NW, Washington DC.
Join Andy Shallal from Busboys and Poets and Medea Benjamin from CODEPINK in a discussion of how to build support to stop the city of Washington DC from offering Northrop Grumman $25 million in subsidies to relocate to DC. Not only is this an outrageous waste of taxpayer money, but Washington DC does not need another war company that will use its beefed up presence in the nation’s capitol to lobby for even more money for war. Let’s work together to KEEP NORTHRUP GRUMMAN OUT OF WASHINGTON DC. To generate jobs, we should support our local businesses, not war profiteers.
If you can’t come to the meeting, but want to help in the campaign, call 415-235-6517.
THE Z MEDIA INSTITUTE
NEW DEADLINE: Applications are being accepted now THROUGH MARCH 5 for the 2010 Z Media Institute, which is to be held June 6 to June 14.
Z Media Institute (ZMI) was started in 1994 by the cofounders of Z Magazine and South End Press to teach radical politics, media, and organizing skills; the principles and practice of creating non-hierarchical institutions and projects; and a special emphasis on vision and strategy for social change. Classes are held in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Over 700 students have attended ZMI since 1994, with ages ranging from 16 to 82.
To learn more, there is a video introduction, sample course and faculty listings, and a downloadable PDF application form on our website at: http://zcommunications.org/zmi/zmi.htm.
POLITICAL COURSES INCLUDE: principles of workplace democracy, foreign policy, ecology, political science, queer theory, women and revolution, labor, race, history, vision and strategy for a participatory society, and more.
MEDIA COURSES INCLUDE: analysis of mainstream media; starting a media project (newspaper, radio, video, magazine, Internet, organizing); challenges of alternative media; media activism; video activism; and more.
SKILLS COURSES INCLUDE: finances, promotion, fundraising, design, production, promotion, editing, facilitating meetings, writing for revolution, research and investigation techniques, political theater workshop, and more.
By David Swanson
Canada did not create a civilized healthcare system nationally until its provinces led the way. Clearly Congress is dragging behind the states in our country, and it is through state successes that we will eventually compel the U.S. government to provide our people with this basic human right.
Contact your senators and tell them to insist that Senators Reid and McConnell deliver a vote on the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, without further stalling or delay. Tell them that ten years is long enough to pass rights so that those who defend the public can defend themselves. Go to the Make It Safe Action Center to send a message now.
Blogging GREAT Chile Earthquake/Tsunamis; Pres. Bachelet A Steady Leader; Japan Prepares For Tsunamis
by Linda Milazzo
UPDATED: Feb, 28, 2010/5:40AM (local Chile time)
CNN International is now reporting 101 aftershocks have been recorded in Chile since yesterday's 8.8 earthquake with 7 at 6.0 or higher. Over 300 fatalities have been reported with 60 reported missing.
Japan is seeing tsunami flooding on its northern island of Hokkaido. The tsunami projection from NOAA reports a wave of 4 feet has just arrived. 320,000 coastal residents have been evacuated. The tsunami warning for Russia has been lifted.
UPDATED: Feb, 28, 2010/3:40AM (local Chile time)
The death toll in Chile is now confirmed at 300. Chile has not yet asked for help from other countries. More than one million buildings have been damaged. More than a half million houses have been completely destroyed and two million people affected. President Bachelet has been coordinating services steadily for nearly 24 hours since 5AM yesterday.
By Dave Lindorff
The civilian death toll in the US media-hyped and much government-touted Battle of Marjah is now up to 21, about a third of them children. But that’s only part of this ugly story.
While the slaughter goes on in this pointless display of Marine power, civilians have been dying at American hands elsewhere in Afghanistan. On Thursday a US airstrike allegedly targeting “insurgents” ended up hitting and killing seven Afghani policemen. And yesterday, another airstrike, this time on a “convoy” of three vehicles, killed an astonishing 27-33 civilians and injured at least 12 more--and given the vicious nature of American weaponry, it’s a fair bet that many of those who were injured will end up dying of their wounds too.
Nice work Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Your newly professed “concern” about protecting civilians is working out nicely.
Philly Rampage Shows Social Media's Potential: Youthful Rage, Instead of Ineffectual, Could be Potent
By Dave Lindorff
City leaders and the downtown business community in Philadelphia are wringing their hands and calling for “tough action” against a horde of some 150 high school kids from eight of the city’s decrepit and failing high schools who rampaged late Tuesday afternoon through the Center City district’s shops, from the Gallery mall at 10th Street to Macy’s near City Hall, frightening tourists and suburban shoppers, and knocking over shopping displays.
By evening, police had reportedly locked up 15 kids who were charged with violent offenses, such as beating other kids or bystanders, or destroying property (Macy’s claimed damages to its flagship store totalling $700). Some of these kids were held overnight on lesser charges such as shoplifting or disturbing the peace.
I’m not going to diminish the seriousness of the incident. Nobody should be trashing stores or stealing things, and certainly nobody should be hurting other people.
This Thursday afternoon, ProsperityAgenda.us and A New Way Forward are announcing the "Break Up with Your Bank" campaign that we hope you'll love. In 3 days it'll be Valentine's Day -- the perfect time to end your abusive relationship with the big banks. Move your money to a local bank, cut up that big bank credit card and join us for flyering at 400 events around the country. We're making the break-up easy on you:
We're anxious to hear how much money you can move and see your pictures too.
If you're still banking with one of the Big 4 Banks -- Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo -- you should take this moment, the season of love, to think seriously about ending that relationship and banking with a local bank or credit union instead. Their fees are fairer, their interest rates are lower, and, instead of gambling your money away, they lend to your community and help to create jobs.
You can start by simply moving some of your money from the big bank into a new account at a smaller bank. And cut up that big-bank credit card in a matter of minutes. We have a page of tips to make it super easy.
We see this as the beginning of a new boycott and outreach campaign we hope to work on together. There's plenty of ways to to keep pushing this move your money campaign, we hope you can join us.
You already know these big banks are destroying our economy and distorting our politics. We've been fighting for these big banks to be broken up by Congress. Instead they've been allowed to grow even bigger than they were when they once be too big to fail.
If Congress won't break them up, we, the people, will break up with them. Start by breaking up with them for Valentine's Day. And then get your loved ones something nice with the money you're going to save from banking with a local bank.
Tell us how it goes.
Happy Valentines Day!!
We love you!
Donny, Stephanie, Bruce, and all of ANWF and PA!
The IndictBushNow movement has captured the imagination and support of hundreds of thousands of people.
This is a grassroots movement and it is a classic example of the people acting together to defend democracy and the Constitution from government law-breakers.
The struggle for government accountability has entered a new phase. This movement needs your active participation.
Powerful corporate forces who have bowed in the past to pressure from the Bush-Cheney gang are now trying to block this movement from getting our message out.
IndictBushNow had spent weeks communicating with CBS representatives for the launch in Washington, D.C., for our wrap-around bus ads that read: "TORTURE is not just wrong ... it is ILLEGAL. Because NO ONE is above the law," followed by our organization's website address.
But now, CBS officials have suddenly changed their tune. In a communication we have just received from CBS Outdoor (which has the contract for the placement of bus ads in the nation's capital), the advertising media giant rejected our bus ad, suddenly claiming it constituted "attack advertisement." Read more, take action.
You can join the rest of the country on Valentine's Day in breaking up with the big banks and making these too big to fail monstrosities too failing to be big:
A little less talk and a lot more action.