Saturday, December 03, 2016

More money for war? Hell no!


By David Swanson

President Obama waited until after the election last week to propose an unpopular idea. He asked Congress for $11.6 billion extra — outside the huge existing military budget — for wars. Here’s his letter including all the gory details. Please read it yourself when you begin to hope that I’m making up some of what follows. This massive pile of money, equivalent to the annual spending that the United Nations says could end the lack of clean drinking water globally, adds between 1% and 2% to U.S. military spending — but is by itself more than the entire military budget of all but 14 other nations on earth, 12 of which top-spending nations are U.S. allies.

This $11.6 billion would be added to another $73.7 billion in off-the-books war spending already appropriated. That’s military spending outside the gargantuan military budget and supposedly for emergency wars that just shockingly arose, although actually for a half-dozen permawars plus basic profiteering and preparation for future slaughters.
While nothing would prevent this new money from being used for any war that the current or next president desires, it is requested in large part for the wars in Afghanistan and Syria/Iraq. That includes supplying other militaries such as the Iraqi, Afghan, and Kurdish armed forces with free gifts of instruments of mass murder, as well as expanding U.S. military facilities in Somalia, Mauritania, Chad, Turkey, and elsewhere.

………..

Also requested: miniature killer drones that can be launched by U.S. troops in Iraq — troops whose boots are, despite White House rhetoric, on the ground. Also requested: a big chunk of change for secret operations that Congress is expected to fund with our money despite not knowing what they are. And another for secret research and testing (which sounds less like an “emergency” war than profiteering on the preparations for more wars down the road). Also in there: funding for a major war on drugs in Libya and West Africa. Not to mention: funds for USAID operations of the sort that have facilitated violent coups in places like Ukraine.

++++++++++++


I agree with David Swanson: this needs to be stopped. 

Friday, December 02, 2016

Middle-Eastern American Glad Trump Won

F*** You, White Liberal: a Middle-Eastern American Glad Trump Won
By Christopher Ketcham

I received the following note in the wake of an op-ed I recently published at the Daily Beast called “Anarchist for Trump: Time For Liberals To See America As It Really Is.”

“As a Middle-Eastern American,” it began, “I just wanted to thank you for your [article.] I first became politically aware while I was in the army during 9/11 and our country’s response to it.  I felt like a living contradiction, being one of the ‘heroes’ as a soldier and a villain as a Middle Eastern person.” The writer was an Iranian-American dual citizen named Bijan Sharifi, who was an infantryman in the U.S. Army and who now teaches art in a youth prison in Ohio. He remarked how disgusted he was “at our country’s behavior internationally” and how he had voted for Obama in 2008, partly “because I knew Clinton would continue the policies of Bush.” But a funny thing happened in the wake of the election. First, there was his own “complete disillusionment” with the new president, as Sharifi puts it: “Obama continued the same policies in the Middle East and spying at home.” Then came a greater disappointment, one which turned out to be a common enough experience during the Obama years. “My white liberal friends were with me when it was against Bush,” said Sharifi, “but their rhetoric quickly changed with Obama. Even my black friends weren’t trying to hear any criticism of Obama’s imperialism. Now all my white liberal friends want to ‘stand in solidarity’ with me?”

“I resent the hell out of them and their protests,” continued Sharifi. “They’re partisans trying to disguise themselves as social justice warriors. Obama detained and deported Latinos in record numbers in for-profit detention centers. Spied on Muslim-Americans here and bombed innocent Muslims over there. We shame Donald Trump for saying he wants to kill terrorist’s families, but give Obama a pass when he drone strikes an entire extended family at a wedding party out of existence? Fuck that. Fuck Obama, fuck Clinton.” And, in a final parting blow before signing off: “Fuck white liberals and their meaningless protests.”

............

As my friend Travis Kelly tells me, “Two million Muslims/Arabs killed in the ‘War on Terror’ – two million BROWN people, not to mention all the maimed, widowed, orphaned, homeless and impoverished. These horrors don’t even register on the radar of the prissily politically correct, so obsessed with their own WESTERN WHITE privilege that transgender bathroom privileges trump [emphasis his!] 2000 children blown to bits in Gaza.”


Thursday, December 01, 2016

About the 2016 election

I find people's willingness to accept or ignore the fact that the USA bombed seven (or more) countries in the last eight years unacceptable. I find the idea that electing someone who promoted and supported and voted for many of those wars and bombings unacceptable. I find the fact that the US military dropped over 23,000 bombs in 2015 alone unacceptable.


And I found Trump unacceptable because he is a bully, a racist and a sexist asshole.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NC Pipeline protest


Photo came in an email written by Steven Norris. It was called Robeson Walk, and I do not know who took the photo.

++++++++++++++++++

By Steven Norris:

In three North Carolina counties on Saturday, November 19, over 225 people participated in Walks to Protect Our People, Homes, and Lands from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Participants in these marches reflected the huge diversity of peoples, races, cultures, and ages of North Carolina, including farmers, students, Afro-Americans, Indigenous people, teachers, Latinos, children, great-grandparents, mothers and home-makers, activists, elders, tradespeople, motorcyclists, people of faith, and even a few folks from out-of state.  

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a 550 mile $5 billion fracked gas pipeline which Duke and Dominion propose to build from the sacrificial fracking zones of West Virginia, though Virginia, and then through North Carolina. In North Carolina, which is where the environmental justice movement started and where people are painfully aware that industry and government often target poor people and people of color with projects like this. The proposed route takes the pipeline through some of the poorest counties in the country, some of which also have majority Afro-American populations, and one of which is almost half Lumbee and other native American people.

In Cumberland County, a multiracial group of 75 Afro-Americans, Latinos and whites, walked through Fayetteville's downtown  to the famous meeting house where a spirited, united rally with loud anti-pipeline speeches and chants lasted for over an hour. The Prayer Walk in Robeson County, where more than 100 people participated, started at University of North Carolina Pembroke, and was led by elder and young Lumbee women with prayer flags, escorted by male defender motorcyclists through the rural area to the metering station two miles south of Pembroke. Rallies with drums, songs, prayers and chants were held at the beginning and end of this walk. In Nash County, a diverse group of about 55 people walked for five hours from Red Oak along public roads next to sweet potato, horse and cotton farms. The nine mile route paralleled the proposed pipeline route all the way to steps of the Nash County Courthouse in Nashville, where the downtown for a short time was filled and mesmerized with the noise of chants, speeches and song.

All participants recognized that these Walks were one part of a beginning to the Campaign to protect our people, our water. our homes, and the earth from all further fossil fuel extraction and development, including pipelines. In March 2017 participants are planning to walk the entire 155 mile route of the ACP in N.C., meeting with residents, churches, schools, and community groups along the way.

In North Carolina the need to protect our people, our water and the earth has been driven home recently by the 1000 year floods of Hurricane Mathew in October, which killed almost 30 people and left thousands homeless along the ACP route in eastern North Carolina. Mathew has been followed by an unprecedented drought in the western mountains of the state. The drought has caused multiple devastating forest fires forcing many homeowners to evacuate, and leading to large-scale respiratory problems from smoke-filled valleys over hundreds of square miles.

Below are several news articles from various local and state media.

ROBESON COUNTY

NASH COUNTY

CUMBERLAND COUNTY:

Monday, November 28, 2016

"Cold Missouri Waters" by Cry, Cry, Cry

This is to honor all the fire fighters who lost their lives trying to help.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Upcoming events for the week of November 27, 2016


UPCOMING EVENTS CALENDAR BY DANCEWATER

11/28/16 EXHIBITION AT RAMSEY LIBRARY AT UNCA
“All My Relations” exhibit by Shan Goshorn will be at Ramsey Library, Blowers Gallery from November 8 to December 16. This exhibit includes forty black and white photographs of contemporary Cherokee people. They were  taken over a 25 year period by Eastern Band artist Shan Goshorn. Goshorn is perhaps better known for her painted photographs (many of which address stereotypes and racism) which she weaves into baskets that now reside in many prestigious collections around the world. 

11/29/16 LECTURE AT WARREN WILSON COLLEGE
“Impressions From Germany: Immigrant Women and the Legacy of National Socialism, A Welcoming Culture for Refugees and the Anti-Refugee Movement PEGIDA” will be addressed b Christine Nugent, director of the college’s Pew Learning Center and Elisson Library. Admission is free and open to the public. Time is 7 PM and location is Jensen Humanities and Social Science Building, in the third floor lecture hall.  

11/29/16 SHOWING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE EVENT
Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is a national network of groups educating and organizing white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for racial justice. Asheville SURJ hosts a weekly discussion group on risk-taking, accountability, mutual interest and how to call more white people into racial justice work. Anyone with a passion for working with white people on racial justice is welcome.  Time is 10 AM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information. 

11/29/16 SHOWING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE EVENT
Join us for an Accountability Through Action meeting where we are doing basic training and hearing from several local POC leaders about upcoming projects and ways people can engage and support them. We know a lot of folks are waking up to the racist nature of our country and want to get to work! SURJ is here to be a resource for anti-racism training -- something every white person should have if they want to join the fight to dismantle racism. We also strive to connect awesome POC led work in town with white folks who want to support that work. In this meeting we will hear about opportunities for white people to support but not overrun or unintentionally undermine good POC work in town. Join the fight to dismantle racism and be prepared to volunteer and donate to good work happening in town! This Accountability thru Action meeting is at UU congregation at corner of Charlotte & Edwin Place - in main building, Sandburg Hall (and NOT at Kairos). Since it's a jam-packed session that needs to start at 6:30, we aren't having a regular slow start potluck. If you want to bring something to eat - or share - you can come early at 6 for some community time. This is a facebook event. 

11/29/16 ART RECEPTION AND FUNDRAISER AT THE BLOCK OFF BILTMORE
StingRae (Willow Rae Collins) is an Asheville local and a young, beautiful, melanated sista who is having a closing art reception at The Block of Biltmore AKA Young Men's Institute Building this month. The gallery theme is “Power Through Struggle / Light From Darkness.” The hanging artwork and mural centers around Blackhood and Women of Color. We will be asking for donations at the door. Suggested donations are between $5-$25 and the majority of the proceeds will go to Helpmate--the local domestic violence agency. The event is also supported and organized through Organic Synergy and Nex Millen--who will be providing music. Please come out and support Helpmate, Organic Synergy and our artist by stopping in and visiting. StringRae's work will also be available for sale as well as stickers and postcards. The art is so powerful. Time is 7:30 to 10:30 PM and location is The Block Off Biltmore at the corner of Eagle and Market Streets in downtown Asheville. This is a facebook event.

11/30/16 GREEN GRANNIES BOOK CLUB
Founded in 2012, the Green Grannies are a group of women who are willing to make a ruckus about the need for action on climate change. This is their reading group and it is open to all! Time is noon to 1 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information.

11/30/16 SHOWING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE EVENT
What's Up with Whiteness Wednesdays is an ongoing ASURJ series endeavoring to dismantle white supremacy.The "Title Track" part of the WUWW series will generally repeat on the first Wednesday of the month. What's Up with Whiteness functions to explore what "white" means, and how it was created as a racial group to implement a white supremacy culture in the United States. This group is for anyone who is willing and able to explore their whiteness or whiteness as a race with a racial justice lens. We aim to dismantle white supremacy power by exploring it from the inside. Time is 6:30 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information.

11/30/16 ASHEVILLE SOCIALIST MEETING AT UNCA
We will meet again on Wednesday November 30th to discuss plans for local organizing and for going to DC on Jan 20/21 to protest Trump's inauguration and also an update on Standing Rock. Once more, the capitalists reveal their true nature through the actions of their laws, their government, and their police. Private and state police attack water protecters, the media calls it a ‘riot’ if it bothers to cover the attack at all, and the Democratic party and Obama administration are silent. We also see the power and compassion of ordinary people working together to make a better world. And, the incarceration and deportation apparatus built during the Obama years will now be in the hands of President-elect Trump, who has threatened to deport three million immigrants. Everyone please be prepared to discuss what you can do to help build relationships with campus, community, and labor organizations to protect immigrant workers, students, and families. Time is 6:30 PM and location is Highsmith Student Union, room 102. Free parking on campus. Be sure to sign the google form if you'd like to help with the organizing or travel to DC with us - (https://goo.gl/forms/9LzdyPAxA8jxkgsf2). For more information, contact Asheville Socialists at asheville.socialist@gmail.com.

12/01/16 JUST ECONOMICS 10TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT
This year’s annual celebration is the eve of our 10th year working together for a more just and sustainable local economic community.  Join us in celebrating the past 10 years and looking forward to our next 10. Everyone is welcome. There will be a candle lighting ceremony, raffle, music, and food. Time is 6 to 9 PM, and this is free to attend. Location is Jubilee at 46 Wall Street in Asheville.  For more information, contact info@justeconomicswnc.org.   

12/01/16 POLITICAL PRISONERS LETTER WRITING
This happens on the first Thursday of the month. Time is 6 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information.

12/01/16 WORLD AIDS DAY
Come help us commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1st, with classes, keynote speaker Cecil Baldwin and a documentary screening. WNC AIDS Project’s World AIDS Day 2016: ‘The Power of Zero.’ Featuring “Welcome to Night Vale” host, actor and LGBTQ advocate, Cecil Baldwin. The full schedule of events include “In It Together,” a CEU accredited educational seminar designed to improve health outcomes along the HIV care continuum (from 10 AM to 12 PM); “HIV/ STD/ Hepatitis 101” a CEU accredited educational seminar led by Michael Harney (from 1 to 2:30 PM);  a screening of the documentary, “The Last One,” about the eventual last square to be placed on the AIDS quilt (7 PM), before Baldwin’s highly anticipated talk. If you plan to attend either of the seminars, please RSVP to bwyatt@wncap.org or (828) 252-7489 ext. 216 by Monday, November 28, 2016. Please include which training you would like to attend. The primary aims of this event are to raise awareness of the ongoing prevalence of AIDS, to eliminate stigmatization of the issue through education, and to work towards a future where there are zero new AIDS cases. This is a free event open to the community. Location is the Renaissance Hotel in Asheville. Contact WNC AIDS Project for more information. 

12/01/16 STANDING ROCK: CONNECT IN AND REPORT BACK
We are creating space here for those who've been to Standing Rock to share in person, in community, in trust with each other and you. Our intention is: 1) to further strengthen & build local networks -- in person; 2) for those who've been to share their authentic heartfelt experience; 3) to inform those who wish to go with our firsthand insight; 4) to lean into each other as we deepen our understanding of what it means to be allies in solidarity with Standing Rock, native liberation & ecological justice work; 5) to use this as fertile ground for ongoing & other grassroots endeavors -- especially as we face these times. Bring your prayers, love, good vibes, a hearty snack to share and $5 donation to Standing Rock. Time is 6 to 9 PM and location is 80 Buchanan Avenue in Asheville. Come around back. This will be co-facilitated by several folks who've recently returned. This is a facebook event.

12/01/16 ASHEVILLE PRISON BOOKS EVENT
Come help sort books, respond to letters, and package books to be shipped every Thursday. Asheville Prison Books Program is an all volunteer run non-profit organization that meets weekly in order to mail free reading material to indigent inmates in facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.  Each prisoner request is met with a package containing several books, personally selected by volunteers out of our donated library, a letter and if requested, a National Prisoners Resource List. Time is 4 to 7 PM, and location is Downtown Books & News at 67 North Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville.

12/01/16 UNITED TO RESTORE DEMOCRACY MEETING
United to Restore Democracy (Asheville) is a local non-partisan citizens group that has organized as a result of the destructive Citizens United decision, to reclaim the liberties and privileges guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution for real, living, breathing people. Our group is part of a larger state and national movement to educate, empower, and bring awareness to the issues related to corporate constitutional rights, the corruptive influence of money in politics, and the impact that it has on local, state, and national communities. After much behind the scenes support and work we have secured a new location and new meeting day for our United to Restore Democracy meeting. We will meet at Jefferson House behind the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville at 21 Erwin Place in north Asheville. Time is 7 PM. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Diana Kruk.  Call or text 828-275-0680 or email dianakruk@gmail.com.

12/02/16 ANTI-RACISM ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP AT UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST
A weekly group focused on Standing Up For Racial Justice core values for people beginning to wake up to the impact of white supremacy on our culture and seeking a safe place to begin to talk about it. Time is 10 AM and location is 23 Edwin Place, next to Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville. Contact Elizabeth at elizabeth@lainschell.com for more information.

12/03/16 MOVING FORWARD: POTLUCK DINNER FOR PROGRESS AND JUSTICE.
Moving Forward:  Potluck Dinner for Progress & Justice. Come engage with local organizations fighting for justice across the board. Listen and talk to your representatives about how you can support them moving forward. One soul, one heartbeat, one race. Location is Buncombe County Democratic Party HeadquarteRs at 951 Old Fairview Road in Asheville (near Oakley neighborhood). Time is 5 to 8 PM. Contact Emily Whitmire, President; Buncombe County Young Democrats for more information at edwhitmire1@gmail.com. Also, please RSVP to Emily. 

12/3/16 COTHINKK WINTER RETREAT
CoThinkk is a “giving circle” that uses our collective time, talent, and treasure towards investment strategies that address education, economic mobility/opportunity, and leadership development towards impacting some of the most critical social issues facing African-American & Latinx communities in Asheville and WNC. This Winter Retreat builds upon the momentum from our inaugural event “Connecting Through the Roots,” which was held on October 22nd - where we were able to honor leaders doing extraordinary work in our communities, as well a number of capacity-building opportunities. This meeting will provide an opportunity for us to continue to move our collective agenda, plot out next steps, and finalize key milestones for our upcoming work over the next 12 - 24 months. Please RSVP by November 28th, 2016. We need everyone's voice. We continue to look forward to having diverse voices and communities in the room to help shape this agenda. If you have any questions or concerns please free to send Tracy Greene-Washington an e-mail at cothinkk@gmail.com. Please let Tracy know if you need interpreter support or child care. Time is 10 AM to 5 PM, and location is the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design at 67 Broadway Street in downtown Asheville. 

12/03/16 UNITE FOR JUSTICE AND DIVERSITY
Every day we are seeing more evidence of attacks on diversity of all kinds. In nature, diversity is the key to survival. We are all part of nature and our diversity is our strength. We will not allow fear, hatred, and bigotry to go unchallenged. You are invited to stand up and exercise your right to peacefully assemble and express your views with us. We want to express love and support for people of all races, religions, abilities, genders, neurotypes, sexual orientations and citizenship status. We will meet at Pack Square and may march along the sidewalks of downtown Asheville. We will assemble peacefully and obey all traffic laws as well as leave a right of way for pedestrians. Bring signs and bring your kids, this is a family-friendly event. Let's set an example of unity for the next generation. Time is 12 to 2 PM and location is Pack Square Park in downtown asheville. This is a facebook event.

12/03/16 WOODS AND WILDS - DOGWOOD ALLIANCE EVENT
Celebrating 20 Years of Forest Protection - Join us for Dogwood Alliance’s 20th Anniversary Woods & Wilds Festival. Activities include storytellers, music, kids’ activities, lawn games, yoga, great beer and more. This event is free and open to the public. Time is 1 to 9 PM and location is the Salvage Station at 468 Riverside Drive in Asheville. This is a facebook event.

12/04/16 HABITAT BENEFIT CONCERT
West Asheville Presbyterian Church, with West Village Market, will once again hold its annual Habitat Benefit Concert with acts by talented local musicians. Attendance is free and a love offering will be taken midway through the show. Performers include Valorie Miller, Ian Ridenhour, Jamie Laval, Paul Babelay, Laura Blackley, Kevin Smith & Planefolk, Blake Anthony Ellege and more! Hosted and produced by Aaron Price, music director at West Asheville Presbyterian Church. Time is 6 to 9 PM and location is West Asheville Presbyterian Church at 690 Haywood Road in west Asheville.

12/04/16 AUTHOR EVENT AT FIRESTORM
How can we build a better world? And what is the role for people with privilege in social justice movements? For people interested in these discussions and more, author and journalist Jordan Flaherty, explores these themes in his new book “No More Heroes: Grassroots Responses to the Savior Mentality.” From the Crusades to Black Lives Matter, No More Heroes is a grassroots history of resistance to the savior mentality. The book weaves the stories of teachers, international volunteers, sex workers, FBI informants, indigenous organizers, and prison abolitionists into a narrative of revolutionary change that travels from Alaska to Palestine, from Karl Marx to Muhammad Ali, and from KONY 2012 to the Red Cross. Time is 5 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information.

12/04/16 EMPOWERMENT FOR WOMEN MEETING
‘I Believe the Women’ - A space of empowerment for women who have survived sexual assault. From the organizer: “We will not ask what you were wearing. We will not ask how much you had to drink. We are here to hear your story and empower each other as women who have endured sexual assault.”  Time is 6:30 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information.

12/06/16 WORKSHOP/CLASS FOR THE EXQUISITELY EXHAUSTED
Allies for the Exquisitely Exhausted - This class is designed to provide tools and resources for those who are working in helping professions and are looking to better manage stress and burnout as well as increase resilience in their daily lives. Participants will cover various tools for healthier work life and personal boundaries, grounding skill that you can use in the moment in the workplace, better financial planning and various plant and herb allies you can use to increase resiliency. Time is 7 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information.

12/06/16 WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL AT UNCA
The World Affairs Council meetings offer a lively line up of topics and compelling presenters. On December 6, ‘International Human Rights: At what cost to the rest of international law?’ will be the topic. Ingrid Wuerth, Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law, and Director of the International LegalStudies Program at Vanderbilt Law School will discuss the impact of the “responsibility to protect” – the global political commitment endorsed by all U.N. member states. Time is 7:30 to 9 PM. All lectures are scheduled in the Reuter Center's Manheimer Room, free to WAC members and UNCA students, all others $10 at the door.   

12/06/16 CURRENT EVENTS BOOK CLUB 
Current Events Book Club discusses “The Polarized Mind: Why It's Killing Us and What We Can Do about It” at 7 PM at Malaprops in downtown Asheville. Contact Malaprops for more information.

12/07/16 BUNCOMBE COUNTY INFORMATIONAL MEETING
Buncombe County will hold a drop-in informational meeting to gather input from citizens and business owners about the draft update to the five year Sustainability Plan.  Drop in at Lord Auditorium at Pack Library at 67 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville between 5:30 and 7 PM. For further information about the plan, please call the County Planning Department at 250-4830 or email sustainability@buncombecounty.org. They can tell you how to find it online. And you can also find a draft copy of the Sustainability Plan update at the reference desk at Pack Library.

12/07/16 SIERRA CLUB MEETING/GREEN DRINKS
This event is free and open to the public. Time is 7 PM and location is Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 1 Edwin Place (corner of Charlotte and Edwin) in Asheville. For more information, contact Judy at judymattox@sbcglobal.net or call 828-683-2176.

12/07/16 SHOWING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE EVENT
What's Up with Whiteness/Title Track: Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6:30pm at Firestorm. This is part of Asheville SURJ's educational series. This month's specific topic: “The Klan in North Carolina, then and now.” The ‘Title Track’ sessions of “What's Up with Whiteness” function to explore what ‘white’ means, and how it was created as a racial group to implement a white supremacy culture in the United States. This group is for anyone who is willing and able to explore their whiteness or whiteness as a race with a racial justice lens. We aim to dismantle white supremacy's power by exploring it from the inside. Time is 6:30 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information or contact Art for more information at arthur@lainschell.com.

12/08/16 HOMEWARD BOUND OF WNC TOUR
“Welcome Home Tour” is a tour of Asheville organizations that serve the homeless population. Registration required, free to attend. Time is 11 AM. Call 258-1695 for more information and for instructions on how to register.

12/08/16 ASHEVILLE BUNCOMBE FOOD POLICY FOOD COUNCIL
You're invited to join the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council at the ‘Meeting of the Whole’ on December 8th. Come celebrate, share good food, learn about recent work and provide input on revisions to the City of Asheville’s Food Action Plan. Time is 6:30 PM and location is Toy Boat Community Art Space at 101 Fairview Road (near Sweeten Creek)  in Asheville. Free and open to the public. This is a pot-luck ~ bring a dish to share and your own utensils if possible! There will be a cash bar. For more information, email coordinator@abfoodpolicy.org.

12/08/16 DISCUSSION AND PRESENTATION ON MEN DOING OPPRESSION, MEN DOING OPPRESSED, MEN DOING ALLY
This is a recurring discussion / presentation at Firestorm. Sexism. Queerphobia. Racism. Who are you doing it to? Who's doing it to you? Who's saving whom? Who's doing nothing? Who are you allying with? What's happening when you act in any and all the roles of persecutor, victim, rescuer, bystander and ally with others in our world of white male privilege and domination? We gather as men to explore interpersonal, structural, economic and institutional systems of injustice and the ways each of us is the oppressed and the oppressor, and learn to serve as allies, being responsive and accountable for what we choose to brave in our own lives, and with and for all our relations. Who's welcome: all men – White, Cis, Indigenous, Queer, of Color, Trans, and Those called to do Ally. Facilitated by Duncan Tam. Time is 7 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information.

12/08/16 ASHEVILLE PRISON BOOKS EVENT
Come help sort books, respond to letters, and package books to be shipped every Thursday. Asheville Prison Books Program is an all volunteer run non-profit organization that meets weekly in order to mail free reading material to indigent inmates in facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.  Each prisoner request is met with a package containing several books, personally selected by volunteers out of our donated library, a letter and if requested, a National Prisoners Resource List. Time is 4 to 7 PM, and location is Downtown Books & News at 67 North Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville.

12/08/16 YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY WATCH PARTY
“Years of Living Dangerously” episode to cover CCL's efforts! CCL (Citizen’s Climate Lobby) is so proud to be covered on such an amazing show and wants to share the love and enthusiasm with all who want to attend. Please bring a dish and drinks to share while watching a one hour episode on Jay Butera's efforts in Florida and our conference that many of us attended last June. Afterwards please stay around for a brief 15 minutes to call or write your legislators and/or a letter to the editor. Again our legislators are saying they don't hear enough from their constituents so we want to make this our initiative. Time is from 6 to 8 PM at Brad’s house at 3 Stegall Lane in Asheville.

12/09/16 WALL RAISING BY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Christmas Jam House Wall Raising by Habitat for Humanity. Join us as we celebrate with Warren Haynes and his family, Before the Jam, Lend a Hand volunteers, sponsors, community well-wishers, and the future Habitat homeowner family ! There will be a short speaking program, followed by the raising of the first wall. From Habitat for Humanity. Time is 3 to 4 PM. Contact Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity at 828-251-5702 for more information and location.

12/09/16 SOCIAL JUSTICE FILM AT UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST IN ASHEVILLE
On Friday, December 9th, we are screening the new award-winning environmental documentary “Before The Flood”. From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award-winning actor, environmental activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, “Before the Flood” presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet. The film follows DiCaprio as he travels to five continents and the Arctic speaking to scientists, world leaders, activists and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue and investigate concrete solutions to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time. The film screening is at 7 PM and location is Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville at the corner of Edwin and Charlotte streets in Asheville. There is no charge for viewing the film. Donations are welcome. Contact Charlie at mnpopi@icloud.com for more information.

12/10/16  CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY MEETING
Citizens Climate Lobby meets the second Saturday of each month at Kairos West Community Center (behind Firestorm) at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. We are advocating for a Carbon Fee & Dividend, which would impose a fee on fossil fuels at point entry; this fee will be refunded to individuals and families. There is bipartisan support in Congress as this will create jobs and help grow the economy, boosting renewables. Time is 12:30 to 3 PM. For more information, contact asheville@citizensclimatelobby.org.

12/10/16 NIA JAM FOR STANDING ROCK IN ASHEVILLE
You are cordially invited to join us as we dance, party, and jam out to lend our support for the courageous water protectors at Standing Rock! Join us for a good old-fashioned, rabble-rousing Nia Jam and dance party, hosted by activist and Nia dancer Danielle Maxon. Leading us in heartwarming music, movement, and magic will be Nia teachers Lia Barth, Cathy Keith, Annie Sparks Poteat, Julie Melton, Jocelyn Tolleson and more TBA soon. We will be dancing to honor and support those brave souls holding strong at Standing Rock in protection of our water in the face of encroaching big business. Danielle is already in direct communication with some of the water protectors currently encamped at Standing Rock, and all proceeds will go to assist in alleviating their most immediate needs. Suggested donation is $20 (donations of any amount welcomed and appreciated). RSVP to Annie at DreamDancinAnnie@aol.com. Time is 10:30 AM to 12 PM and location is 848 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville. This is a facebook event.

12/13/16 VETERANS FOR PEACE MEETING
On the second Tuesday of each month, Western North Carolina Veterans for Peace meets to coordinate group activities and programs.Veterans For Peace is a global organization of Military Veterans and allies whose collective efforts are to build a culture of peace by using our experiences and lifting our voices. We inform the public of the true causes of war and the enormous costs of wars, with an obligation to heal the wounds of wars. Our network is comprised of over 140 chapters worldwide whose work includes: educating the public, advocating for a dismantling of the war economy, providing services that assist veterans and victims of war, and most significantly, working to end all wars. Time is 6:30 PM and location is the Center for Art and Spirit at Saint George, address is One School Road in west Asheville. For more information, contact Gerry at gwerhan@gmail.com.

12/14/16 JUST PEACE ISRAEL/PALESTINE MEETING
This meeting will be at 9:30 AM at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church at 117 Montreat Road in Black Mountain. Contact Suchi at suchi1025@bellsouth.net for more information

12/14/16 SHOWING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE EVENT
What's Up with Whiteness/Calling In: Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 6:30pm at UU congregation (corner of Edwin Place & Charlotte Street), downstairs main building. This is part of Asheville SURJ's educational series. Part of ongoing ASURJ educational series endeavoring to dismantle white supremacy. Have you decided to wear a safety pin as a sign that you are a ‘safe’ person to people who are, now more than ever, faced with harassment, bullying, and worse? This session will especially be focused on interrupting potential scenarios including some conversation/idea sharing on de-escalation techniques. Like all Asheville SURJ meetings, this session is open to anyone who wants to participate and is interested in anti-racism work and supporting the movement for Black Lives. Session takes place downstairs in the main building at the UU congregation. Led by David Greenson. Contact Art at arthur@lainschell.com for more information.

12/16/16 WNC PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
Physicians, health personnel and everyone; all are welcomed at our monthly meetings held on the third Friday of each month. Bring a brown bag lunch around noon. This will be held at The First Congregational United Church of Christ, Room E205, at 20 Oak Street (just off College St. in downtown Asheville). Time is noon to 2 PM. Meeting starts at 12:30. Parking is available behind the church. Enter the church or ring doorbell at the glass doors on Oak Street. For more information contact Dr. Terry Clark, Chair, 633-0892 or Dr. Lew Patrie, 299-1242.

12/17/16 NIA JAM FOR STANDING ROCK IN HENDERSONVILLE
You are cordially invited to join us as we dance, party, and jam out to lend our support for the courageous water protectors at Standing Rock! Join us for a good old-fashioned, rabble-rousing Nia Jam and dance party. Join with us as we continue the movement, music, and magic at our sister jam in Hendersonville on Saturday, December 17th from 4 to 5:15 PM at the Hendersonville Athletic and Activity Center, 708 Grove Street, Hendersonville, with all proceeds going to the same great cause of Standing Rock. Suggested donation is $20 (donations of any amount welcomed and appreciated). RSVP to Annie at DreamDancinAnnie@aol.com. This is a facebook event.

12/20/16 TRANSIT COMMITTEE MEETING
Asheville Transit Committee meeting will be from 3:30 to 5:30 PM. Location is the 4th floor police/fire training room at the Municipal Building at 100 Court Plaza in downtown Asheville. Contact City Hall for more information.

12/28/16 THE NEW JIM CROW BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP
This is a monthly discussion group of Michelle Alexander's book “The New Jim Crow.” This is on Wednesday from 6:30 - 8:30 PM at Firestorm Bookstore & Cafe at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. This monthly discussion group of Michelle Alexander's book the "The New Jim Crow" will discuss a chapter a month. In September we will cover Chapter One. This group will meet September 28, October 26, November 23, December 28, and January 25, 2017 and maybe one more in February. Anyone is welcome to jump in anytime. Led by Eryka Lynn Peskin. Time is 6:30 PM and location is Firestorm Cafe & Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. Contact Firestorm at info@firestorm.coop for more information.

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ONGOING EVENTS
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TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument during most of the year, but after DST kicks in, they meet at 4:30 PM. 
Showing Up for Racial Justice at Firestorm Cafe and Books at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. 10 AM. Educating and organizing white people for racial justice. Free.


WEDNESDAY
Haywood Peace Vigilers have a weekly vigil at 4 PM at Haywood County Courthouse in Waynesville
French Broad Riverkeeper has a paddle-n-plant to prevent sediment erosion most Wednesdays and Saturdays. Registration required at anna@mountaintrue.org. 
Green Grannies Book Club meets at noon at Firestorm at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville. 
“What’s Up With Whiteness” discussion group at 6 PM at Firestorm at 610 Haywood Road in west Asheville.
Green Drinks meets at 7 PM at The Block Off Biltmore on the third Wednesday of the month.
Sierra Club meets at 7 PM at Unitarian Universalist in Asheville on the first Wednesday of the month.


THURSDAY
Political Prisoners Letter Writing at Firestorm Cafe & Books at 6 PM on fourth Thursday of the month. Materials provided.
Political documentary film and discussion at Firestorm Cafe 6:30 PM on the third Thursday of the month. Sponsored by Asheville Citizens Accountability Project. 
Welcome Home Tour by Homeward Bound on the third Thursday of the month at 11 AM. Call 258-1695 for more information.


FRIDAY
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall in Hendersonville.


SATURDAY
French Broad Riverkeeper has a paddle-n-plant to prevent sediment erosion most Wednesdays and Saturdays. Registration required at anna@mountaintrue.org. 
MountainTrue holds urban forest workdays on the second Saturday of the month at Richmond Hill Park from 9 AM to 1 PM. Call 258-8737 for more information.
Citizen’s Climate Lobby meeting at 12:30 PM at Kairos West Community Center on second Saturday of the month.


SUNDAY
Asheville National Organization for Women meeting at 2:30 PM at YWCA of Asheville on second Sunday of the month.


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ACTIONS AND READINGS
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From Veteran Brian Wilson:

“More than 47 years ago I walked into inhabited, undefended villages in Viet Nam, immediately after they had been bombed. Most were dead, mostly from napalm, mostly small children. A few were still, just barely alive. I can still hear their moaning from intense pain. In one week I witnessed somewhere between 700-900 murdered, genuine villagers trying to live their lives to preserve their autonomy from the US invaders, of which I was one. It was all about body counts. As a nation we have been doing this all over the world to satisfy some kind of geopolitical interest, defined in various ways at different times. But, it changed me deeply in my soul, and ever since I have adopted the mantra, "We are not worth more, They are not worth less." But as USers, generally we don't give a fuck about others. It is time for us to discover our souls, so that we might actually recover our humanity. We were born as a nation in genocide of Indigenous people stealing their land, killing millions, committed with virtual impunity. Can we be humble enough to grieve for however long it takes for the harm we as participants in the American Way Of Life/AWOL) have inflicted virtually everywhere for several hundred years, right up to this very moment? It is a serious question. Our dignified survival rests on whether we have the courage to endure a long, painful, but liberatory, healing.”

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ASHEVILLE NOW HAS A BUS GOING TO WOMEN’S MARCH IN DC IN JANUARY

Just a couple hours after we announced we would have a bus to the Women's March in Washington on Jan. 21, we have 14 of the 57 seats booked. If you want a seat, you should probably act fast. A seat on the bus is $75 each. The bus will leave Asheville at midnight on January 20, 2017 and then leave DC at about 6 PM the next day to return home. We are doing the quick up and back so no one has to pay for a hotel. You sleep on the bus and the driver sleeps while we're busy rallying. If you can't go but would like to sponsor someone, that would be wonderful. To book, please e-mail nowaville@gmail.com.


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Friday, November 25, 2016

In memory of John Heuer


In memory of my friend, John Heuer, who died last week. We were setting up these signs to welcome Karl Rove and the Republicans to Asheville airport. It was a lot of fun. I think this was in 2005. John was always willing to support and implement any plans I had, and I always supported his plans. During this time frame, we worked on impeaching Bush. We both worked on Progressive Democrats of NC too.

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Here are some of John's own words that were posted on Facebook:


From Wade Fulmer:

John Heuer, RIP, peacemaker, soul and spirit for peoples (via W.R.)

“I was born in 1946, a year after my father returned from Europe, where he served as a US Army Lieutenant MP during WW II. Both of my grandfathers served in WW I, one killed, one crippled. Three uncles served in WW II, 2 killed, one wounded and became a POW. My only cousin to serve in Viet Nam was crippled. My father was relatively lucky, although the stench from the Buchenwald Camp stayed with him until his death at age 90.

Viet Nam was my generation’s opportunity to serve the flag. I forfeited my student deferment by dropping out of college and signed on as an Ordinary Seaman on a ship bound for Viet Nam. What I saw in Qui Nhon confirmed my worst fears that my country was involved in great crimes against the people of Viet Nam, her neighbors, and our own servicemen and women.

I refused induction into the Army of Richard Nixon in 1970. I came to North Carolina to restore my good citizenship as a VISTA volunteer in 1976. My wife and I raised 2 boys. Jack and Gordon are now of fighting age, facing their own generation’s “wars of choice.”
I am grateful that my boys did not choose military service. But I am furious that, while my boys are safe, other children are sent to die for lies. And I am challenged to do whatever I can do, to see that my children’s children, and yours, may know a world without war.”

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From David Swanson:

I knew John Heuer was elderly from the day I met him, years ago, and came to know him as one of the most dedicated advocates of peace on earth. Losing him is a blow. He was youthful, vibrant, recently married, and intent on ridding the world of pointless mass slaughter. John was active in every organization and independently. He advanced nonviolent action, lobbying, education, and inspiration.

John wrote this four years ago:

Dear young citizens,

            First, I want to congratulate you on your many accomplishments.  Second, I want to counsel you on your roles as citizens.

            When I graduated 8th grade in 1960, citizens could not vote until they were 21.  Boys could be drafted into the army and sent to war at age 18, but they could not fully participate as citizens, including engagement in public, democratic decisions about whether or not the nation should send our boys to war.  This travesty was somewhat remedied by passage of the 26th amendment to the US Constitution in 1971, granting the right to vote to 18 year-olds.

            I say “somewhat” a remedy, because the issue of the rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties of citizens under the age of 18 have not been addressed.  It is these rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties about which I write today:  Your citizenship.

            As rising 9th graders, you are well aware that your education is, as yet, incomplete.  But it will come as a surprise to many and a shock to some to learn that your education has contained deep strains of fraud, about who actually runs our government and how.  Here are three examples:

            OLF – The US Navy proposed construction of “Outlying Landing Fields” (OLF) in wildlife sanctuaries near North Carolina’s east coast, in order to practice landings and take-offs for military aircraft.  Public outcry caused the Navy to scuttle these plans.

            Sonar Training Field off the Florida—Georgia coast.  The Navy has proposed designating hundreds of square miles of Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the southern US for submarine sonar training, despite opposition of environmental groups which point out that these areas are breeding grounds for whales, and that high frequency sonar is known to drive marine mammals insane.  The US Supreme Court overruled the environmentalists with the judgment that, while there could be incidental injury, there was also a lack of proof that the sonar testing area would threaten any species’ extinction.

            $185 Billion Dollars is what our government proposes to spend in the next 10 years to modernize our nuclear weapons arsenal.  It is difficult to measure (or imagine) $185 Billion, but it would pay for a lot of school lunches, teachers’ salaries and school nurses.  Besides, what business do we have maintaining a military arsenal designed to incinerate cities?

            When you consider these government programs, you have to wonder if our government has gone mad, and what we, as citizens, of all ages, can do about it.

            Why don’t we hear more about these grave assaults on planet earth and this terrible squander of our wealth?  The fact is that the agents that propose these travesties are the same ones that often own our newspapers and write your textbooks.

            So, what are we to do?  One of the 1st steps, I think, is for you to understand that the wealth being squandered and the planet being desecrated belongs to you, your generation, your children, grand children and posterity.

            The 2nd step is to realize, however painfully, that your parents and grandparents have failed to establish your legacy of peaceful nations living together on an abundant earth.

            The 3rd is to exercise your rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties of your citizenship to carefully study your local resources in order to propose a reconfiguration of those resources to meet the needs of your community, and to engage your peers in an earnest identification of those needs.  Start with identifying the military footprint in your district and discuss how much, if any, that investment enhances the security of your community, and how redirecting that investment could improve the security of your community.  Use your networking capabilities not just for socializing, but for building solidarity among your peers.  Use that solidarity to demand a school curriculum that addresses the needs of your community or create your own curriculum.

            Finally, a word about citizenship.  Many of you go to school with non-citizens of the USA.  Please recognize them as guests, and afford them as much hospitality as you can.  Remember, your US citizenship may be established by the Constitution and subsequent laws, but we are all world citizens by virtue of our birth.