Wednesday, July 23, 2014


“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” ~ Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn  

“Denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good.” ~ Philip Gourevitch 

“Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself. … Few are guilty, but all are responsible.” ~ Rabbi Abraham Heschel

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.” ~ Baltasar Gracian

Monday, July 21, 2014


Palestinians flee from Gaza's eastern Shejaiya district on July 20, 2014 (AFP Photo/Thomas Coex)

I wonder what the little girl is looking at? a drone? a plane? or just looking to heaven knowing her time on earth was near an end? What Israel is doing to Gaza is an evil beyond belief. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Upcoming events in the Asheville area this week


NOTE:  Veterans for Peace, an international organization to promote peace and stop wars, is holding their national conference in Asheville this week! The conference will cover many topics of interest to progressives, peace activists, and environmentalists. See July 24 for a link to the conference website and check out the program schedule. It is possible to come for just one session (cost is $10) or one day (cost is $20).

Spruce Pine Library, 142 Walnut Ave.  Presentation by Nicole DeCogliano. Time is 7 PM.  Email for more info.

This presentation is by Debi Athos of Organicfest. Time is 7 PM to 9 PM and location is Jubilee at 46 Wall Street in Asheville. Cost is $5.

Join us Wednesday July 23rd at 6 PM at the Green Sage Coffeehouse and Cafe for a presentation on the 2014 North Carolina legislative wrap up. Come learn about environmental issues addressed in the just-completed state legislative session and what it all means for WNC. Presenters are Western North Carolina Alliance’s co-director, Julie Mayfield, and Ken Brame, political chair of the WENOCA Sierra Club. Time is 6 PM to 7 PM and location is Green Sage Cafe in downtown Asheville.

This will be held at UNCA. The convention committee has secured the following speakers: Cynthia McKinney, American Politician and Activist; Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Founder of SOAW; Camilo E. Mejia, First Iraqi War Resister; Col Ann Wright, Former U.S. Army Colonel; Margaret Stevens, VFP Board Member; Mike Prysner, VFP Board Member, March Forward; Maggie Martin, IVAW Executive Director & Membership Coordinator; Ben Griffin, Founder of VFP UK Chapter; Brian Willson, Vietnam Veteran; Leah Bolger, Past VFP President; Patrick McCann, VFP Board President; and Michael McPhearson, VFP Interim Executive Director. Many local and national groups will be involved with tabling and holding presentations during this event. Some of those groups are WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility, Move to Amend Buncombe County, Code Pink, Western Carolinians for Peace & Justice in the Middle East, Registration for the convention and information at this link: More information on registration fees for locals below.

The movie “Gasland 1” will be shown by the SCCAF – Swain County Coalition Against Fracking. They are presenting a series of educational movies on the dangers of hydraulic fracturing. The Coalition urges everyone to come view this extraordinary documentary depicting what happens to our environment and property values if fracking is forced on  upon good citizens like us. Community awareness and involvement is much needed. Free. This will be held at the Swain Center for the Performing Arts at 7 PM.

This is an important meeting – WNC Green Congregations has some BIG NEWS and will be discussing their plans for the the remainder of 2014 and beyond! They hope to see you there! Email for more info. Time is 5:30 PM to 7 PM and loc ation is First Baptist Church on Oak Street in downtown Asheville.

Lynn Newsom, co-director of the Quaker House in Fayetteville, NC, will speak to the topic of “Moral Injury: Hidden Cost of War,” at 7 PM at St. George’s Episcopal Church parish hall on School Road in West Asheville. “Moral injury,” a relatively new diagnostic term employed by the Veterans Administration, recognizes that among the effects of war on military personnel is emotional trauma over serious transgressions of moral, spiritual, or religious beliefs. The program is co-sponsored by Circle of Mercy Congregation, Land of the Sky United Church of Christ and St. George’s Episcopal Church. Call Rev. Sehested for more information at 828-252-2297. Childcare provided for younger children.

You’ve heard about Moral Mondays, but what about Moral Movies? The NC Justice Center is proud to be a collaborator, along with the NC NAACP and Working Films, on the Moral Movies film series, which is bringing award-winning documentaries to cities across North Carolina to jumpstart community dialogue and action on social, economic, and environmental issues. Moral Movies will take place the last week of each month from April through July in Wilmington, Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Greenville and Durham. The Asheville screenings are hosted by the Mountain People's Assembly. Tonight’s film will be “Inequality for All” presented by NC Justice Center. Time is 7 PM and location is Ferguson Auditorium at AB Tech, 340 Victoria Road in Asheville.  

Local Veterans For Peace Chapter 099 is proud to host singer, songwriter, story teller, author and activist John McCutcheon to Asheville for a special benefit to support work of VFP. “John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally, he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this world in a better direction.” — Pete Seeger. It’s open to the public: 8 PM on Friday July 25, 2014 at UNCA Lipinsky Auditorium, part of Veterans For Peace 2014 National Convention. Tickets are $20 available at Malaprops in Asheville, and are available online. Reception with John McCutcheon & Preferred seating tickets are $35. Contact Tom for more info on ordering online at 828-335-3627 or

A reception, talk, dialogue and supper will be hosted by Western Carolinians for Peace & Justice in the Middle East on Friday, July 25 from 5 - 7:30 PM at Asheville Friends Meeting, 227 Edgewood Road. Supper is free, with donations accepted, BUT YOU MUST RSVP by calling Suchi at 828-707-4271 or emailing her at Ali Abunimah is the author of “One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse” and co- founder and director of the widely acclaimed online publication “The Electronic Intifada”. Based in the United States, he has written hundreds of articles and been an active part of the movement for justice in Palestine for 20 years.

Learn about electricity and how we depend on it. Tour off-grid renewable systems in practice (photovoltaic, microhydro, radiant-floor heating, hot water diversions, wood-fired boiler). Learn issues surrounding both grid-tie and off-grid renewable energy systems. Make biochar – use charcoal as fertilizer, which liberates large amounts of energy in production. Explore development of energy alternatives to the world’s impending energy crisis. Registration required. Time is 9:30 AM to 5 PM, and location is Earthaven Ecovillage. For more information or to get instructions on how to register, contact NikiAnne at (828) 664-0268 or

Ali Abunimah, the author of “One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse” and co-founder and director of The Electronic Intifada, shares his new book, “The Battle for Justice in Palestine”. Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, says, “This is the book to read to understand the present bizarre and ongoing complexity of the Palestine/Israel tragedy.” Abunimah is the recipient of a 2013 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship and was recently featured on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonz├ílez. Time is 7 PM and location is Malaprops in downtown Asheville.

Time is 7 PM and location is Vance Monument in downtown Asheville.  Join us to make a stand for women’s rights. Learn how an Equal Rights Amendment stops legislative, legal and economic discrimination on the basis of gender - and improves your life. More info from

The Swain County Coalition against Fracking and the Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River (WATR) are sponsoring a series of videos on Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking). We invite everyone to view this extraordinary documentary depicting what can happen to our environment and how our property values will be affected if fracking is forced on us. Come stand with us in the fight against fracking. “Triple Divide” will be shown at Marianna Black Library in Bryson City at 7 PM and it will be shown at Mad Batter in Sylva at 6:30 PM. Both are free.

Enjoy delicious and locally sourced varieties of craft hard apple cider. Sample 3 Urban Orchard Ciders paired with an offering of dips, cheeses and meats from local purveyors. Gain a deeper understanding of the delicate process of this historic beverage during a private tour of the Cidery led by industry professionals. Time is 5 to 7 PM and location is Urban Orchard Cider Company at 210 Haywood Road in Asheville. Suggested donation of $15 per person at the door. RSVP to Betsy by calling 828-210-3444 or emailing

An investigation of impacts from fracking in Pennsylvania, “Triple Divide” has been called “a bombshell that could reverberate across the state.” It will tour across the country June thru November thanks to a grant from the Investigative News Network with support from the Knight Foundation. The team will cover over 10,000 miles in a Tesla Motors Model S, a long-range, all-electric sedan, and use the company’s nationwide Supercharger system where the electric cars can be quickly recharged for free. The directors aim to cross the U.S. using zero gasoline and emitting zero greenhouse gas pollution. It screens July 30 at 7 PM at Mad Batter in Sylva. Hosted by Clean Water for North Carolina and Western North Carolina Alliance.

May 2014 saw the release of the third National Climate Assessment, the most authoritative and comprehensive report to date on climate change and its impacts in the United States. On Thursday, July 31, the Arboretum will host Laura Stevens, a research scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, North Carolina, based at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville. She will address the National Climate Assessment, including how it came about, its goals and outcomes, and the process involved in creating the report. Her presentation will include a look at past trends in U.S. temperature and precipitation, as well as future climate projections, with a focus on the Southeastern United States. The presentation is free and open to the public, however normal parking fees apply ($12). Location is NC Arboretum at Education Center Auditorium.  Members always park free. Time is 6 PM. For more information please call Beth Ross Johnson at (828) 665-2492.

The Water Sustainability Initiative and Lenoir-Rhyne University are planning a water forum for the general public to address local water concerns. We are planning to address the heavy rains this year and last year, the Asheville water system, the CTS site, the Hominy Creek spill, and the coal ash ponds. It is planned to be a positive, answer-oriented event with demonstrations and solutions from the Water Sustainability Initiative. The Water Sustainability Initiative promotes the use of plants, earthworks, tanks, and community engagement to address water issues with improved rain water management and a whole-system approach. Time is 6 PM to 9 PM and location is Lenoir-Rhyne Board Room at 36 Montford Avenue in Asheville.

Asheville Fine Arts Theatre will show “Triple Divide” screening with Q&A with the filmmakers. Cosponsored by Clean Water for NC and WNC Alliance. Regular admission charges apply. Time is 7 PM. See film description under 07/30/14.

Time to motivate and create posters for the August fracking events. If you’d like to join us and create, build or just provide support, join us! Feel free to bring your beautiful mind, art supplies, your unicorn, sign-making materials, a few favorite fracking protest sayings, a sense of humor and your favorite libation! Time is 5 to 7 PM and location is Ty’s place. This was posted on Facebook under “Protest Poster Creation Party”.

CANCELLED - see below under 08/07/14.

Join folks from across the region and state for another energizing and inspiring Mountain Moral Monday - “Moral March to the Polls Rally” on August 4, from 5-6:30 PM at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville. The Mountain People’s Assembly, a coalition of WNC organizations, and regional WNC NAACP Branches, will host the return of Mountain Moral Monday, a non-partisan program that will highlight the destructive policies enacted by the N.C. statehouse over the past year while strongly focusing on the voter empowerment campaign, “Moral March to the Polls.” The event will feature Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP and other guest speakers, as well as musical entertainment. In addition, there will be opportunities for participants to get involved in voter registration, education and Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts during the current mid-term election cycle. ‘Moral Freedom Summer’ Organizers and volunteers will be available to help register voters. To sign on as a supporter or for more information, email info@mountainmoralmonday.

Sierra Club will present “Birds around the World” with Simon Thompson, world renowned birding expert, on Wed, August 6 at 7 PM. Free, open to the public. Location is the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 1 Edwin Place and Charlotte Street in Asheville. Contact Judy at or 828-683-2176 for more information.

MABCO and the Unitarian Universalist Church Swannanoa Valley are co-sponsoring a free documentary series and the final showing will be of “The Story of Citizens United v. FEC”. Learn about the nationwide campaign to amend the Constitution to return corporations to their earlier state when they were not given the rights of citizens, when money wasn’t speech and when Congress could regulate money in politics. Sponsored by Move to Amend Buncombe County, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley Social Action. Two videos: Citizens United vs. FEC and Citizens United in North Carolina. The films will be shown at the church, located at 500 Montreat Road in Black Mountain.  Doors open at 6:30 PM and the showing starts at 7 PM. Free of charge. This was posted on Facebook under “Move to Amend Video Series”.

The Traveling Bonfires presents Bonfire for Peace at Prichard Park in Asheville. This is a free concert event for the family and the community, featuring Peace Jones, Pipapelli, Lyric, and Riyen Roots. Time is 4 PM to 9 PM. The Traveling Bonfires roam the country, ushering arts and music events and bringing people together in celebration of peace and multicultural connectedness. For more info, call Marta at 828-280-2309 or email

Time is 7 PM and location is North Asheville Library. Call Ruth at 232-2883 or email for more information.

The movie “Gasland 2” will be shown by the SCCAF – Swain County Coalition Against Fracking. They are presenting a series of educational movies on the dangers of hydraulic fracturing. The Coalition urges everyone to come view this extraordinary documentary depicting what happens to our environment and property values if fracking is forced on  upon good citizens like us. Community awareness and involvement is much needed. Free. This will be held at the Nantahala Brewery on Depot Street in Bryson City at 7 PM.


Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument

Haywood Peace Vigilers have a weekly vigil at 4 PM at Haywood County Courthouse in Waynesville

Asheville Homeless Network meeting at 1 PM at A-Hope on North Ann Street in Asheville.  
Youth Outright Poetry Night at United Church of Christ in Asheville at 5 PM

Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall in Hendersonville
Women in Black have a monthly vigil at 5 PM at Vance Monument in Asheville (first Friday only)

Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard
Third Saturdays – Asheville’s Green Grannies invites the public to “sing for the climate” at Vance Monument at 5 PM.

Youth OUTright meeting from 4 to 6 PM at First Congregational United Church of Christ at 20 Oak Street in Asheville. Ages 14 - 23 only.



Please help get the word to local folks that they can come to any workshop, plenary, or film for $10, or any day for $20.    Registration in Lipinsky Lobby 8-5 PM

Veterans For Peace 29th Annual Convention
Peace or Perish, Abolish War on Planet & Poor
July 23–27 at UNC-Asheville Hosted by VFP Chapter 099 WNC
Register at Lipinsky Auditorium  ---  For info 828-258-1800

Keyote Speakers:  Cynthia McKinney and Matthew Hoh
Featured Entertainer – Folksinger John McCutcheon at 8 PM on Friday 25 July at Lipinsky Auditorium, get tickets for $20 at Malaprops
Banquet Saturday 6:30 PM at Morris Hellenic Cultural Center
You are invited to 4 days of Speakers, Workshops, Entertainment, & Community with the focus of ending war and promoting PEACE with social justice.  Convention features 46 Workshops, Tabling, & poetry. $10 per session/ or $20 Day.



EPA Carbon Protection Hearing on Coal Ash in Atlanta July 29 -- Share the Bus!

On June 2nd President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a historic plan to cut carbon pollution and stop the worst effects of climate disruption. The Clean Power Plan is our nation's first major action to cut dangerous carbon pollution from our largest polluters, 30% by 2030, and will help spur a clean energy economy that can drive down electricity bills and create hundreds of thousands of dependable jobs. This is the beginning of what could be the biggest climate fight in US history. The proposed plan is already under attack by fossil fuel industry, Georgia utilities, elected officials, and the billionaire Koch Brothers who are mobilizing like never before to send their lobbyists to Washington and fund astro-turf groups like "Georgia Energy Freedom Alliance" and Americans for Prosperity Georgia. On July 29th, EPA will host the first of just four national hearings on the proposed Clean Power Plan. Let's show the world that the southeast is ready for serious action to stop climate disruption! Though all of the speaking slots are filled for the 29th, we still need folks to pack the hearing and attend the Atlanta Climate Rally taking place the same day. This is about showing the EPA how strong the movement to curb climate emissions is. We need you there in person!

Asheville Bus Logistics: Depart Asheville: 5:30 AM from Westgate Shopping Center, Arrive ATL: 9:00 AM   Depart ATL: 8:00 PM    Arrive Asheville: no later than 12 AM

Public comments will be taken at EPA from 9 AM to 8 PM; Press Conference At Sam Nunn Federal Building at 10 AM;  Rally for Clean Energy Future @ 12 noon Woodruff Park;  March for Climate Justice @ 1 PM Woodruff Park to Sam Nunn Federal Building
Have questions about Bus to the EPA Carbon Protections Hearing!? Contact Emma at



Status of the Coal Ash Bill

Different versions of the coal ash bill - S 729 “Coal Ash Management Act of 2014” have passed both the House and the Senate, but Senator Apodaca (R - Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania), who is taking the lead on the coal ash bill in the Senate, has said that the Senate will vote not to concur on the bill because changes are needed. Specifically, he noted that he would like changes to:

1) the variance procedure added by the House that would allow the Secretary of DENR to grant an extension to deadlines in the bill;  and
2) the agency location and makeup of the Coal Ash Management Commission.
Procedurally, after the Senate votes to not concur - the coal ash bill will go to conference - which means that House and Senate leaders will appoint legislator conferees who will meet in private to iron out differences and come up with a final bill.

A major environmental concern remaining in regards to the coal ash bill is the lack of clear standards to ensure that all closure methods are protective of groundwater near coal ash sites. All 33 coal ash ponds at 14 coal plants in North Carolina are leaking toxic heavy metals into the groundwater.  Without clear guidelines, this bill could allow coal ash at 10 of these plant sites to stay in place, continuing to pollute our groundwater, lakes, and rivers.

Please contact your legislator asking them to add clear standards to the coal ash bill to ensure that any closure method allowed is protective of groundwater near coal ash sites.
Please contact State Legislators:
Buncombe County: -- 919-715-3012 -- 919-733-5746
Haywood, Madison, Yancey Counties: -- 919-733-5732
Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon Counties: -- 919-733-5859


Saturday, July 19, 2014


Photo from Facebook.

“I'm convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin to shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people; the giant triplets of racism, militarism, and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Each of the Iraqi children killed by the United States was our child. Each of the prisoners tortured in Abu Ghraib was our comrade. Each of their screams was ours. When they were humiliated, we were humiliated. The U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq - mostly volunteers in a poverty draft from small towns and poor urban neighborhoods - are victims just as much as the Iraqis of the same horrendous process, which asks them to die for a victory that will never be theirs.” ~ Arundhati Roy

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” ~ Haile Selassie

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Some things you must always be unable to bear. Some things you must never stop refusing to bear. Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame. No matter how young you are or how old you have got. Not for kudos and not for cash, your picture in the paper nor money in the bank, neither. Just refuse to bear them.” ~ William Faulkner

‘Anti-American’ is what governments and their vested interested call those who honor America by objecting to war and the theft of resources and believing in all of humanity. There are millions of these anti-Americans in the United States. They are ordinary people who belong to no elite and who judge their government in moral terms, though they would call it common decency. They are not vain. They are the people with a wakeful conscience, the best of America’s citizens. They can be counted on. They were in the south with the Civil Rights movement, ending slavery. They were in the streets, demanding an end to the wars in Asia. Sure, they disappear from view now and then, but they are like seeds beneath the snow. I would say they are truly exceptional.” ~ Martha Gelhorn

“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.” ~ Ernesto Che Guevara 

Friday, July 18, 2014

There once was a note.....

There once was a note, pure and easy
Playing so free, like a breath rippling by
The note is eternal, I hear it, it sees me
Forever we blend it, forever we die
I listened and I heard music in a word
And words when you played your guitar
The noise that I was hearing
Was a million people cheering
And a child flew past me riding in a star
As people assemble
Civilization is trying to find a new way to die
But killing is really merely scene changer
All men are bored with other men's lies
I listened and I heard music in a word
And words when you played your guitar
The noise that I was hearing
Was a million people cheering
And a child flew past me riding in a star
Gas on the hillside, oil in the teacup
Watch all the chords of life lose their joy
Distortion becomes somehow pure in its wildness
The note that began all, can also destroy
We all know success when we all find our own dreams
And our love is enough to knock down any walls
And the future's been seen as men try to realize
The simple secret of the note in us all
I listened and I heard music in a word
And words when you played your guitar
The noise that I was hearing
Was a million people cheering
And a child flew past me riding in a star
There once was a note, pure and easy
Playing so free, like a breath rippling by
There once was a note, listen
There once was a note, listen
There once was a note, listen

Written by Peter Townsend

And Happy Birthday to me and all others born on July 18th.