Saturday, July 31, 2010

Penn State's condemnation of the assault on the Gaza flotilla

We, the undersigned faculty, staff, and students at The Pennsylvania State University, condemn Israel’s assault on a flotilla of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza. Early Monday morning on May 31, 2010, the Israeli Army attacked a convoy of ships in international waters destined to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. According to current news reports, at least 9 peace activists were killed and dozens injured.

The six boats included over 600 peace activists from over 50 nations including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland, several U.S. citizens, former Ambassador Edward L. Peck, U.S. Navy veteran Joe Meadors, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein and U.S. Col. Ann Wright (ret.).  Their mission was to break the siege of Gaza and deliver much needed supplies.

The people of Gaza have suffered enormously since Israel blockaded the Gaza strip in June 2007. The Israeli declaration of a blockade of Gaza is unilateral and has no official support from the UN or any otherworld body.  In fact, UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon has publicly asked for the end to the blockade on Wed. June 3rd. Amnesty International describes the blockade as a “flagrant violation of international law”.  Documentation of the atrocious humanitarian situation is copious.  For example:  

·    Since the intensification of the siege in June 2007, “the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed”.  (Association of International Development Agencies-UN)
·    “61% of people in the Gaza Strip are food insecure”, of whom “65% are children under 18 years”.  (UN Food and Agriculture Organization)
·    Since June 2007, “the number of Palestine refugees unable to access food and lacking the means to purchase even the most basic items, such as soap, school stationery and safe drinking water, has tripled.” (UN Relief and Works Agency)

Not only is the inhumanity and illegality of the siege appalling, but the animosity and suffering it creates in Gaza is a breeding ground for terrorism.  It is exactly in these conditions that the more radical and violent sects of Palestinian society in Gaza gains sway.  In this way, the siege is ultimately worsening the security of Israeli citizens.

Therefore, the undersigned would like to take this opportunity to stand in solidarity with the activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla as they attempt to peacefully enforce humanitarian law.

Furthermore, we ask for an immediate, international investigation into the flotilla assault conducted by an independent UN-led body and cessation to the blockade of Gaza.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Phil Ochs - I Ain't Marchin' Anymore

The works of mercy and the works of war

Feed the hungry
Clothe the naked
Give drink to the thirsty
Visit the imprisoned
Care for the sick
Bury the dead

Destroy crops and land
Seize food supplies
Destory homes
Scatter families
Contaminate water
Imprison dissenters
Inflict wounds
Kill the living

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Look into my eyes......

US House of Representatives voted for more war

They did this yesterday.  They also voted to keep our 120 US troops in Pakistan, and they surely voted to make sure the voting of Pakistan continues.  My guess is that the bombing of Yemen and Somalia will continue too.  They will probably bomb a few other countries too.  It is massively evil, and we are making new enemies faster than we can kill them.

But one Representative spoke out:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Free Palestine!!

Waving Flag – lyrics by K’naan

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back

Born to a throne, stronger than Rome
But violent prone, poor people zone
But it’s my home, all I have known
Where I got grown, streets we would roam

Out of the darkness, I came the farthest
Among the hardest survival
Learn from these streets, it can be bleak
Except no defeat, surrender, retreat

So we struggling, fighting to eat and
We wondering when we’ll be free
So we patiently wait, for that fateful day
It’s not far away, but for now we say

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back

So many wars, settling scores
Bringing us promises, leaving us poor
I heard them say, love is the way
Love is the answer, that’s what they say

But look how they treat us, make us believers
We fight their battles, then they deceive us
Try to control us, they couldn’t hold us
Cause we just move forward like Buffalo Soldiers

But we struggling, fighting to eat
And we wondering, when we’ll be free
So we patiently wait, for that faithful day
It’s not far away, but for now we say

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back

And everybody will be singing it

And you and I will be singing it

And we all will be singing it

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back

When I get older, when I get older
I will be stronger, just like a waving flag
Just like a waving flag, just like a waving flag
Flag, flag, Just like a waving flag

Monday, July 26, 2010

Current Thinking (Poem)

Current Thinking
(June 2010)

Current thinking
Without blinking
Means no drinking
From the flow

Current thinking
Shows reason sinking
And no linking
To what we know

Current thinking
Is quite stinking
And always shrinking
Our ways to grow

Current thinking
Has no inkling
That we are sinking
But we made our woe

Current thinking
Is not real thinking
As our glasses are clinking
We shall reap what we sow

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Peace Activists Protest DNC Attack on Steele Over Afghanistan

The following letter was sent to the Democratic National Committee recently:

Brad Woodhouse, Communications Director, Democratic National Committee
Tim Kaine, National Chair, Democratic National Committee
Mike Honda, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
Linda Chavez-Thompson, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
Donna Brazile, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
Raymond Buckley, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, D.C., 20003

Dear Mr. Woodhouse and Governor Kaine,

As Americans working to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan, we write to express our deep disappointment and concern at the recent attack by Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse on Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele in response to Mr. Steele's criticism of the war in Afghanistan.

We have three concerns.

First, in supporting the war in Afghanistan, and portraying this as a Democratic position, Mr. Woodhouse was not representing the majority of Democrats in the United States, who oppose the war. Two-thirds of Democrats think the war is not worth the cost, the Washington Post reported in June. [1] Shortly before Mr. Woodhouse made his statement attacking Mr. Steele, three-fifths of the Democrats in the House, including Speaker Pelosi, Representative Honda, and Representative Wasserman Schultz, voted for an amendment introduced by Representative Jim McGovern, Representative David Obey, and Representative Walter Jones that would have required President Obama to establish a timetable for U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan. [2]

Second, in his attack on Mr. Steele, Mr. Woodhouse seemed to be encouraging Republicans to enforce "party discipline" on Mr. Steele to support the war in Afghanistan: "The likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham will be interested to hear that the Republican Party position is that we should walk away from the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban without finishing the job." [3] Regardless of Mr. Woodhouse's intent, his attack has had this effect. Enforcing Republican party discipline on Republicans to support the war in Afghanistan is not in the interest of the majority of Democrats who want to end the war; quite the contrary. If a third, instead of 5%, of the Republicans in the House had supported the McGovern-Obey-Jones amendment, reflecting the third of Republicans in the country at large who do not support the war [4], the McGovern-Obey-Jones amendment would have passed. As a private citizen, Mr. Woodhouse is entitled to his views, as the rest of us are. But as a spokesman of the Democratic National Committee, he is not entitled to take actions that run counter to the interests of the overwhelming majority of Democrats, if the DNC wishes to be perceived as institution that represents Democrats and is entitled to their support.

Third, in attacking Mr. Steele as "not supporting our troops" because of his criticism of the war - Mr. Woodhouse said that Mr. Steele was "betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan" [5] - Mr. Woodhouse engaged in a tactic that Democrats have justly and bitterly complained about when Republicans used it against them. Indeed, when he was president of Americans United for Change, which pushed for "a safe and responsible end to the war in Iraq," Mr. Woodhouse was ostensibly on our side of this dispute. By engaging in this sort of attack, Mr. Woodhouse helps to foster a climate in which critics of this war or any other can be marginalized with attacks on their patriotism. This is unacceptable whether done by Republicans or Democrats. As E.J. Dionne wrote in the Washington Post, Mr. Steele "had a right to offer his opinion without being accused of undermining our troops or 'rooting for failure.'" [6]

To address our concerns, we urge Mr. Woodhouse and the Democratic National Committee to issue a public statement that would do the following:

1. Acknowledge that accusing Mr. Steele of "betting against our troops and rooting for failure" was unjust, not only towards Mr. Steele, but towards all American critics of the war;
2. Commit that the Democratic National Committee, and anyone speaking on its behalf, will not represent support for the war in Afghanistan as the position of Democrats; and
3. Commit that the Democratic National Committee, and anyone speaking on its behalf, will not attack the patriotism of critics of the war, nor accuse critics of the war of "rooting for failure," nor of "wanting to cut and run," nor of "not supporting our troops," nor engage in any other attack which impugns the motives of critics of the war.

We would appreciate a response from the Democratic National Committee to our concerns and to our proposals for redress, which may be directed to Robert Naiman at

Respectfully yours,

Robert Naiman, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy
Paul Kawika Martin, Political Director, Peace Action
Raymond McGovern, Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Gael Murphy, Cofounder, CODEPINK
Robert Greenwald, Director, Brave New Foundation
Michael Eisenscher, National Coordinator, U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)

Friday, July 23, 2010


James Clapper, retired military guy who claimed that Saddam sent WMDs to Syria, is going to be our next Director of National Intelligence.

Nothing like having a total idiot in charge of our intelligence!!!!

Jokes on us.......

WAR - what is it good for? absolutely nothing!

Billboard for Arizona

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why we return to Fort Benning

Unfortunately, I will not be able to go to Fort Benning this November, due to a local event.  But I will be there in spirit.  Here is a message from Father Roy:

This November 19-21, we return to Fort Benning because we must.  The martyrs demand it.

Twenty-six years ago, the graduates of the School of Assassins killed my good friend Maura and the other three Church women in El Salvador. It has been 20 years since 14-year-old Celina, her mother Elba and the six Jesuits were killed by SOA grads. It's been five years since it was revealed that instructors at the school worked with the paramilitaries in Colombia. One year has passed since SOA graduates overthrew democracy in Honduras.

The school is still open and the violence continues.

There has been no accountability. The martyrs made the ultimate sacrifice for their resistance. We will not forget the goals they fought for. We must return to Fort Benning to remember them and to recommit ourselves to those same goals. We must return to Fort Benning until this school is closed once and for all. Justice will prevail!

See you at the gates,

Father Roy Bourgeois, M.M.

Keep your eyes on the prize - hold on!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Call to action from UFPJ

Chatham beach at Isla del Coco

From United for Peace and Justice:

The outrageous announcement that 46 US warships and 7000 Marines are heading for Costa Rica to "fight drugs" should alert all peace and justice organizations to the real significance of this action.  Such a move will raise legitimate alarm in the Caribbean, Central and Latin America of the real intent of the United States and react accordingly. 
Regardless whether this was done with the connivance of the Costa Rica government or not, as peace and justice activists, we are opposed to the extension of US military force, especially, at these times, when our Brothers and Sisters in the South are moving forward in their struggle for national sovereignty and independence from US influence.
Endorse the "Declaration Against US Military Forces in Costa Rica, the Declaration against Invasion and Military Impunity":
- We the undersigned and organizations of our support network, categorically reject the U.S. military ships entering Costa Rican territory, as well as any further increase of militarism to attempt to solve conflicts in global politics. 
- We oppose the permission granted by the Costa Rican Legislature, which allows for joint patrols against trafficking of drugs into Costa Rica with up to 46 warships, 200 helicopters, 10 AV-8B Harrier aircraft and 7,000 marines.
- With this action, the government of Costa Rica aims to join the U.S. military agenda in Latin America. The solution to drug trafficking is social, not military.
- Costa Rica, with its neutral and pacifist tradition, cannot allow its territory to be used for a military objective that violates their sovereignty. This U.S. military contingent will be able to move freely throughout Costa Rican territory with immunity for its troops. Such a military presence in a country without an army is unacceptable.
- We call on our respective governments and peoples to jointly promote all possible action to defend Costa Rican sovereignty, and to reject this military action.
Call to Action: United for Peace & Justice encourages UFPJ Member Groups and other organizations to individually endorse this declaration and communicate it to Hendrik Voss, School of the Americas Watch,   To support endorsement, we encourage that issue information and calls to action be forwarded to member group constituencies.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hey World, Don't Give Up (Michael Franti)

A room divided (Poem)

A Room Divided
(June 2010)

Yes, there was a shared history there,
But it did not seem to matter.
Sometimes walls lead to more privacy and quiet,
Sometimes they just wall people out.

The room was were the shared history happened,
Usually cheerful and happy,
Until the wall was built,
And lives and realities diverged.

But a room divided can stand,
Because it is only a part of the whole.

Monday, July 19, 2010

“away goes the white dog and now comes the black dog”

The above is an old Iraqi saying.  It means, according to this post, that the difference between two people is so small that expecting a difference in behavior or outcome between them is unrealistic. 

More on that later.

The real news of the day: 

As we have long suspected, cancer rates are sky-rocketing in Fallujah from the double assault by the US military in 2004.

Birth defects are very, very high also, and infant deaths are very, very high, and there are other signs of genetic abnormalities in Fallujah.

Here is the abstract of the study:

 Abstract: There have been anecdotal reports of increases in birth defects and cancer in Fallujah, Iraq blamed on the use of novel weapons (possibly including depleted uranium) in heavy fighting which occurred in that town between US led forces and local elements in 2004. In Jan/Feb 2010 the authors organised a team of researchers who visited 711 houses in Fallujah, Iraq and obtained responses to a questionnaire in Arabic on cancer, birth defects and infant mortality. The total population in the resulting sample was 4,843 persons with and overall response rate was better than 60%. 

Relative Risks for cancer were age-standardised and compared to rates in the Middle East Cancer Registry (MECC, Garbiah Egypt) for 1999 and rates in Jordan 1996–2001. Between Jan 2005 and the survey end date there were 62 cases of cancer malignancy reported (RR = 4.22; CI: 2.8, 6.6; p < 0.00000001) including 16 cases of childhood cancer 0-14 (RR = 12.6; CI: 4.9, 32; p < 0.00000001). Highest risks were found in all-leukaemia in the age groups 0-34 (20 cases RR = 38.5; CI: 19.2, 77; p < 0.00000001), all lymphoma 0–34 (8 cases, RR = 9.24;CI: 4.12, 20.8; p < 0.00000001), female breast cancer 0–44 (12 cases RR = 9.7;CI: 3.6, 25.6; p < 0.00000001) and brain tumours all ages (4 cases, RR = 7.4;CI: 2.4, 23.1; P < 0.004). 

Infant mortality was based on the mean birth rate over the 4 year period 2006–2009 with 1/6th added for cases reported in January and February 2010. There were 34 deaths in the age group 0–1 in this period giving a rate of 80 deaths per 1,000 births. This may be compared with a rate of 19.8 in Egypt (RR = 4.2 p < 0.00001) 17 in Jordan in 2008 and 9.7 in Kuwait in 2008. 

The mean birth sex-ratio in the recent 5-year cohort was anomalous. Normally the sex ratio in human populations is a constant with 1,050 boys born to 1,000 girls. This is disturbed if there is a genetic damage stress. The ratio of boys to 1,000 girls in the 0–4, 5–9, 10–14 and 15–19 age cohorts in the Fallujah sample were 860, 1,182, 1,108 and 1,010 respectively suggesting genetic damage to the 0–4 group (p < 0.01).

They cannot determine exactly what type of bomb or explosive caused these cancers and birth defects (and it could be more than one), but it is clearly the result of the US destruction of the city of Fallujah in 2004.  Depleted uranium is suspected, but there were other chemicals used also.

This destruction came about because of an illegal war of aggression on the part of the USIraq did not have an air force or navy, and they did not have any WMDs (and our politicians either knew that and lied, or they are dumb as rocks).  Iraq had no way of harming the USA, and did not threaten us.  They could not harm Americans until Americans stepped on their soil.  And once American troops did that, we committed a war crime – a crime of aggression.

It is a hideously shameful event in our country’s history, but not unexpected in light of our country being founded on genocide and slavery.

The research is solid – Fallujah is suffering from some carcinogen that is impacting on their very genetic makeup.  And it affects the unborn and the young children the most.  And it will stay with the people of Fallujah for HUNDREDS OF YEARS AT THE MINIMUM. 

(To all those hypocrites out there who supported this war and call them selves “pro-life” --- what do you have to say for yourselves now?)

And who was in charge of the destruction of Fallujah?  LGEN Mattis, who is now up for being head of US Central Command.

"You have to understand the Arab mind," one company commander told the New York Times, displaying all the self-assurance of Douglas MacArthur discoursing on Orientals in 1945. "The only thing they understand is force -- force, pride and saving face." Far from representing the views of a few underlings, such notions penetrated into the upper echelons of the American command. In their book "Cobra II," Michael R. Gordon and Gen. Bernard E. Trainor offer this ugly comment from a senior officer: "The only thing these sand niggers understand is force and I'm about to introduce them to it."

That is the kind of mind-set that Mattis is promoting.  And he has had quite a few ugly evil comments of his own to share:

Like - how it is "fun to fight 'em.  It's a hell of a hoot" and "it's fun to shoot some people" and "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years, because they didn't wear a veil.  You know guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway.  So it is a hell of a lot of fun to shoot 'em."

I can assure you that Mattis does not give a rat’s ass about domestic abuse, or women, in Afghanistan.  To even suggest he does is lunacy of the highest order.  He does not even care about keeping people alive:

Mattis may also come under scrutiny during his Senate confirmation for the way he handled charges against eight Marines for the November 2005 killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in the Iraqi city of Haditha, especially since one of the key strategies of current U.S. policy in Afghanistan is to reduce civilian casualties.

The Marines at Haditha killed the Iraqis in their homes, including women and children, in what survivors described as an indiscriminate shooting spree after a fellow Marine was killed by a roadside bomb. A military investigation found that none of the dead were insurgents or had threatened the troops.

As head of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif. , however, Mattis dismissed many of the charges. One Marine, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich , is still to be tried, with that proceeding set to begin Sept. 13 .
In writing his reasons for dropping unpremeditated murder charges against one of the Marines, Lance Cpl. Justin I. Sharratt, 

Mattis said that brutality, including the death of innocents, is a part of war.

Yeap, it is just a part of war for Mattis.  He’s not concerned about it and will take no steps to mitigate the death or suffering of innocent civilians.  He will take no steps to mitigate the brutality, because he feels it is a heck of a lot of fun to shoot some people.  My guess is he would feel it was “fun” to shoot anyone he could get away with.

And now, today, they are proposing that LGEN James Mattis be put in charge of US Central Command.  Secretary Gates says that he has learned to control his mouth.  But, how will this look to the people of Fallujah, whose lives are devastated by the US bombing and destruction?  How will this look to the people of Haditha, who had 24 unarmed civilians killed by US troops, and then totally excused (except for one person) by Mattis?  Imagine being this little girl, who saw her mother’s head get blasted off by US bullets, saw her father and grandparents killed, and played dead under their dying bodies to escape alive:

“Her story is written in the blood of those closest to her.”

She will carry scars on her body for the rest of her life.

In light of this, we must take action to stop Mattis from being appointed to US Central Command.  We must call the White House and our US Senators and tell them to stop this appointment.  To fail to do so is to piss in the face of every decent US man or women who is serving in the US military.
And as to the title of this piece, here is a part of a report from an Iraqi:

“Away goes the white dog and now comes the black dog”. When it comes to the American war on Islam there is no difference worth talking about between the Obama administration and the Bush Administration. None. Obama is carrying forward, and expanding, Bush’s war against Muslims. He is a little less vicious, somewhat more efficient, and a lot better at putting a pretty mask on the evil that America does in Muslim lands. 

“Away goes the white dog and now comes the black dog”. Both Bush and Obama are commanders in chief of armed forces renowned for their deliberate attacks on civilians as an act of policy approved at the highest levels of their command structure. 

……….“Away goes the white dog and now comes the black dog”. There is no difference between the (Democrat) Secretary of State who says that 500,000 dead Iraki children is a price she thinks worth paying and the Republican one who describes the children slaughtered by the Israelis in Lebanon as the "birth pangs of a new Middle East".
……  By appointing a man such as this as overall commander for the American forces of invasion and occupation of both Afghanistan and Irak the Obama administration has proved yet again that the differences between them and the Bush administration that preceded them are so small as to be irrelevant. 


We must stop this evil.  Protest the appointment of Mattis, and protest the continuation of these evil occupations.

Take a look at the evil we visited on Iraq over the years in the meantime.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The peace of wild things


The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

Photo:  By Bill Russell.  This is a photo of the 'blue' moon on New Year's Eve, 2009

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Update on the US Social Forum by UFPJ

Photo is of a poster from the US Social Forum in June 2010 in Detroit, MI.

Dear UFPJ Activist,

We wanted to give you a little update on our work and movement happenings!  Our time at the US Social Forum went really well.    We connected with hundreds of people through a variety of workshops.   We had lots of people approach our table with words of interest and support.  We had a small but boisterous peace march at noon on Thursday and passed out lots of fliers with workshops by member groups!  We wanted to extend a special thank you to George Martin from the Milwaukee Peace and Justice Coalition who represented UFPJ on the Social Forum Planning Committee and did so much work to coordinate peace efforts!

Several important pieces of work are coming out of the social forum and lots of interest and energy growing for UFPJ.  At our “Assembly” workshop on Thursday morning about 35 people – new and old – gathered to talk about what is needed in this next period and what  the best role of UFPJ.

Key points in summarizing the conversation include:
1.       Desire to maintain a systemic analysis of Empire connecting racism, war and greed as root causes of the multitude of crisis’s we face.
2.       Concrete plan offering organizational opportunities to engage in collective work  (recruit, train, action cycle)
3.       Solutions based approach – keep focused on what we want
4.       Visioning/building/modeling the world we want in current practices

Some of the other pieces of the conversation include the importance of  us (the movements) doing the work, the need to understand the interests of other groups and what moves them, the importance of listening and building relations and the need to transcend divides and polarization.

Collective Strategies include:
·         Visibility – posters, stickers etc
·         Humanize cost – human, environment
·         Public education – list building, events etc
·         Alliance Building and  Solidarity actions
·         Legislative – resolutions at local and state levels
·         Direct Action
 Expectations of Network
·         Be specific in request for action
·         Strategic plan – what is process for moving campaigns forward
·         Up the Ante - need more local direct action / locally coordinated actions
·         Keep principled and democratic
·         Make more ways for member groups to be highlighted
·         Integrate more fundraising into the work and sharing resources between local and national

Some new concrete work emerging is developing and building the Move the Money campaign to Fund Jobs and Cities by cutting the military. A number of member groups are doing great work at moving a slow build effort that is allowing space to build relations with groups most impacted by the economic crisis. 

UFPJ is working with the One Nation Movement in an effort to expand the political call to include as a solution to the economic crisis we need to cut the military budget and stop funding war in order to fund jobs and community needs.  
Effort to cut military funding to Afghanistan have been in a flurry to prevent the most recent votes to fund war.  Both the Afghanistan Working Group and the Legislative group have been working hard to stop the flow of cash,but Democratic maneuvers have once again proven that Congress is not ready or willing to end these illegal and unjust wars and occupations.   Grassroots pressure to end the war is growing thanks to people like you!   An international call with the No To NATO Network  has put forward Oct 7-10 as days of action on Afghanistan.   

The work for nuclear abolition gained momentum as the US conference of Mayors called to cut the nuclear budget to fund cities.   This is critical in light of the Administration plans to build three new bomb factories – in Los Alamos, Kansas City, Mo and Oakridge, TN.   The Think Outside the Bomb, youth network is organizing an exciting initiative call Disarmament Summer – check out more here

July 20 marks the 3 month anniversary of the BP spill and groups around the country are preparing for action.  A big action is being called in Upper Senate Park in Washington DC and there will be protests around the country.  Part of the call is for getting the Dirty Money out of politics.    This fall will see protests in DC for climate justice and an end to mountain top removal.  Sept 25-27, Appalachia Rising will be coming to DC for a Summit and major action to Stop Mountain Top Removal – another horrible form of extraction for dirty coal.  October 12th is a Global day of action in Defense of Mother Earth which is leading up to the next round of climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico at the end of Nov and early December 2010.

We are keeping our eye on Arizona as the new law goes into effect on July 29th.    A major protest is being called in Arizona with support from around the country if the lawsuits don’t stop this new law.   These racist immigration policies are just an extension of the military/security-industrial complex – more walls, more border militarization, more prisons.  This is the wrong direction, supports calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform now!

There is a lot of exciting work going on, and it is a great time for the peace movement to deepen our strategies to move beyond mobilizing to organizing so we can add our power and support to allied movements.     Together we can win peace with justice!

In solidarity and peace,
Lisa and Michael
UFPJ National Conveners


A list of names with identifying information has been spread around in Utah.  It is allegedly a list of people who are in our country without documentation.  I hope no violence comes to these people, some of whom may be quite LEGAL.

List of alleged illegal immigrants mailed in Utah

It looks like the KKK rides again in the USA.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Response from Toronto Police

On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 11:45 AM,  <> wrote:
> Good afternoon:
> The Office of the Chief of Police is in receipt of your recent
> correspondence.
> Thank you for taking the time to send us your thoughts. The established
> Rule of Law applied before, during and after the G 20 Summit.  I would like
> to ask you to reserve your judgement until all the facts are known.  At
> present you appear to be making your decisions with a paucity of
> information. When making decisions, one should always be wary of the source
> and the quality of the information.
> Thank you.
> Sincerely,
> Inspector Stu Eley
> Executive Officer
> Office of the Chief

My response:

I saw a video where one Toronto police office told a young women she
would be arrested if she blew a bubble and it landed on him.  He said
she would be arrested for assault.

That man belongs in a mental hospital, not on the police force.

The female cop next to him laughed at him, not thinking he was
serious, but he was.   The young women was arrested, I do not know
what she was charged with.

I saw cop cars burning with no police in sight.  I saw police hitting
and charging people who were doing nothing.

There are things SERIOUSLY WRONG with the Toronto police.  THAT is clear.


More at The Real News

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Face of Evil

Lieutenant General James Mattis of the US Marines Corps has been picked to take over US Central Command Photo: AFP/GETTY


The above will be going out on postcards to my elected officials tomorrow.

A video of his hideous comments about how it is "fun to shoot some people" and "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years, because they didn't wear a veil.  You know guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway.  So it is a hell of a lot of fun to shoot 'em." 

I used to go to a women to have my hair cut.  She claimed she was a Christian, but she also supported the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.  She made a comment to me at one point saying that it was okay to shoot Afghan men, because they are abusive to women.  Now imagine US police shooting men who look to be engaged in domestic violence on sight - and imagine how well that would go over.  And the domestic situation would be way less stressful than the war situation, plus they usually speak the same language - in Afghanistan, the US military does not usually speak the language.

That hair dresser is less"Christian" than a dirt ball, in my eyes.  She was a fake.

And Mattis is the one who lead troops in the destruction of Fallujah, which now has astronomical rates of birth defects and cancer.  I would guess that he thinks that is an okay kind of thing.  One of the senior Army officers in the assault on Fallujah say this hideous comment: "The only thing these sand niggers understand is force and I’m about to introduce them to it."   I don't know if Mattis said it, but either he did or someone under him did.

Sec of Defense Gates claims that Mattis has learned to keep his mouth shut now - the comments above are from 2005.  But I do not give a damn what he has learned, with his hideously evil comment, he should not be in our military, much less in a leadership position.        

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Statement from Veterans for Peace - San Diego Chapter

An undated image taken from the Free Gaza Movement website on May 28, 2010 of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, taking part in the "Freedom Flotilla" heading towards the Gaza Strip. Pro-Palestinian groups are planning to send another aid flotilla for Gaza, similar to the one involved in a deadly attack by Israeli commandos in May, an organiser has said. 
(AFP/Free Gaza Movement/File/Ho)


by Jon Monday & Barry Ladendorf

In the past few weeks the world's attention has been drawn, yet again, to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by reason of the violence from the Israeli Defense Force boarding the Mavi Marmara and the five other ships intending to run Israel's blockade of Gaza.  The purpose of the humanitarian flotilla was two fold:  focus the world's attention on the blockade, which it did, and bring much needed supplies to the people of Gaza.

Reasonable voices on all sides of the conflict have expressed bitter disappointment with the seemingly unending cycle of violence which time and again escalates into unreasonable force and indiscriminate threats and violence against innocent civilians.

As Veterans For Peace, we are mindful of our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace and to increase public awareness of the costs of war and to seek justice for victims of war.  We will continue our pledge to use non-violent means to accomplish our goals.  As veterans, we understand that to return violence with more violence never gives birth to either justice or peace.  Violence can never be the answer.  Therefore, we pledge to use our best efforts to support and work with groups inside Israel and Palestine or elsewhere who are working for peace by using non-violent means.

As Veterans For Peace we believe we have a duty to renounce evil and violence that has caused so much of the injustice in the world.  The violence and depravation that has been visited on the 1.5 million people of Gaza cannot be justified and we condemn it.  We also denounce the blockade and call for an international peace group to manage relief efforts into the area to restore peace and decent living conditions.

To ease tensions and begin a non-violent resolution of Israeli/Palestinian conflict we support and recommend the following steps be taken:

 1.   An immediate end to the blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt and under the watch of an international peace group allowing the free transport of all goods and materials to the people of Gaza, including food, medical supplies and building materials necessary for a decent living and the rebuilding of schools, homes, factories, hospitals and government buildings.

2.   Provide the people of Gaza means to travel throughout Palestine and the Occupied Territories.

3.   That Israel pledge to immediately suspend the building of settlements in the West Bank and the Occupied Territories.

4.   That the Israeli government, the Palestinian government, and Hamas pledge to reject the use of violence and immediately agree to open peace talks to resolve the issues in Gaza and to move toward a peaceful resolution that will lead to a free and independent state of Palestine and secure state of Israel.

5.   We call upon the people of Israel and Palestine and the Occupied Territories to use non-violent means to pressure their governments to reject violence and work for a permanent and lasting peace between Israeli and the Palestinian peoples.

6.   We call upon our own government to continue to strive for peace in the Middle East and incessantly work with Israel and the Palestinian authorities to finally bring about a two state resolution that will end the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Protest at Y-12

Photo:  About 200 people gather for a peace vigil outside the Y-12 National Security Complex on Sunday afternoon. Organizers have planned a small rally outside Y-12 and a commissioning, or blessing today. (Scott Fraker,

Bottom two photos are by Tom Palumbo’s Facebook page.  He was one of the people arrested on July 5, 2010.

Late in the evening of July 4th, the people attending the Nuclear Resistance weekend went to Y-12 for a vigil.  They were still busy making plans for the actions the following day when I left the conference (the poison ivy was driving me crazy, and I could not stand out there in the heat).  But here are some updates:

Roughly 200 people turned out at the Y-12 National Security Complex on Sunday as part of a three-day ceremony marking 30 years of nuclear resistance, an organizer said.

The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, which organizes regular anti-nuclear weapons events, including those outside Y-12, was asked to join the celebration by Nuclear Resister in Arizona and Nukewatch in Wisconsin, and the three groups collaborated in setting up the ceremony, OREPA member Mary Dennis Lentsch said.

Some of the self-proclaimed nuclear resisters briefly blocked an entrance to Y-12, and others crawled under or through a barbed-wire fence to reach an area that's posted as off-limits to visitors. All told, 37 protesters were arrested on state or federal charges and sent to local jails. A counter-protester also was arrested for disorderly conduct after he reportedly refused to follow police orders.

Peace activists, anti-nukes and those dedicated to disarmament gathered in East Tennessee over the weekend to commemorate the 30th anniversary of several events, including the initial "Plowshares" action that took place Sept. 9, 1980. On that day, brothers Daniel and Philip Berrigan and six others entered a General Electric nuclear missile facility at King of Prussia, Pa., and reportedly damaged the nose cone of a warhead and poured blood on weapons documents at the plant. Since then, there have been more than 70 similar or symbolic Plowshares actions at U.S. nuclear facilities.

……..  The biggest surprise was the number of protesters willing to face stiff federal charges for trespassing on Y-12 property, he said. The 14 protesters arrested on federal trespassing charges were booked at the Blount County Jail, while those facing state charges for blocking a roadway were processed in Clinton at the Anderson County Jail.

Judith Hallock, a nurse and co-founder of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, is one of 23 people beinig held at the Anderson County detention center facing state charges for blocking a roadway into the plant.  Another 14 protesters are being held in the Blount County jail on federal charges for crossing a fence into the Y-12 property.  The protesters were commemorating the 30th anniversary of the initial "Plowshares" anti-nuclear weapons protest that took place in 1980.

I plan on being there next time they demonstrate.

Resistance for a Nuclear Free Future - July 2-5, 2010

Top photo:  The plenary session with Ralph Hutchinson, Mary Olson, Glenn Carroll, and Jay Coghlan.

Next photo:  Discussion group in the break out session.

Next photo:  Mary Olson talking to the group.

Last photo:  music by Guy, Candie and Evan Carawan.  This is a family, with the farthest on the left the son of the older couple.


People started arriving on Friday, July 2, for this amazing weekend.  They put us up at Maryville College – and the dorms and the food was amazing!  One of the best cafeterias for food I have ever seen.

Unfortunately, I had poison ivy on my arms, which meant I missed quite a bit of the conference (and the actions on July 5 and July 4) because I had to take care of the poison ivy.  I had to ice down the swelling and put hydrocortisone on the blisters.  I also had to wear a long sleeve shirt for the whole weekend…. And it was hot outside!

Saturday morning started with a Plenary, consisting of OREPA, Where things are with nuclear power, and where things are at with nuclear weapons.  Ralph Hutchinson with OREPA said that resistance to nuclear bombs started right after the bombings in Japan in WW2.  He said the point of the conference is to abolish nuclear weapons by non-violent means.  They are organizing to stop nuclear power too, because it is dangerous and deadly.  Disarmament begins at home – and we need to work on abolition of all nuclear weapons starting with the USA.

Nuclear waste is dumped into the Nolichucky River in TennesseeTennessee is the only state that allows nuclear power site to dump waste into municipal landfills.  One of these is in Erwin, Tennessee.  There are underground caves in Tennessee, and no one knows where the water goes.  They put five million pounds into landfills in 2007 alone.  Tennessee allows incineration of these materials.

Nuclear reactor waste is forever reactive.  They haul the waste down dirt roads to Indian reservations.  The ‘spent’ nuclear fuel is high level radioactive waste, with a million years of hazard.  They called the NRC the Nuclear Racism Commission, since they dump on areas were racial minorities live.

In spring of 2010, we hit 63 thousand metric tons of radioactive waste.  There is a huge transportation risk of this material, since it is a dirty bomb on wheels.  An accident could leave an area unsuitable for habitation for eons.  They are also mobile x-ray machines that cannot be turned off.  They are not safe to transport.  Chernobyl had 200 tons of material that burned.  We have up to 7 tons in storage on nuclear plant sites.

We then broke into networking roundtable.  They want to develop small groups who will pick a nuclear weapon site and start educational process.   The USA is going back into the business of building nuclear bombs.  They are opening a new plant in Kansas City in August or September. 

April 26, 2011 will be the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl meltdown.

 The afternoon started with an overview of the history of the anti-nuclear resistance.  There was music breaks and a series of workshops to attend in the afternoon.  I went to the one on nuclear waste, which went into how we cannot deal with the waste and how the Volunteer state was volunteering for radioactive waste disposal and processing (not to mention the Y-12 plant that has been building the nuclear bombs).

Saturday evening was both fun and emotional for me.  They had music and talks by Kathy Kelly, Liz McAlister & Jonah House.  The best part was seeing four of the Plowshares Eight have a panel discussion on their actions 30 years ago, and what they have been doing since then.  There was an anti-nuclear slide show, which including pictures of the deceased members who were activists on nuclear weapons and nuclear power issues.  They sang songs, including ‘Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on’ and ‘We shall overcome’.  It is that last song that gets me rather emotional.  I remember seeing an Afghan child in early 2002 sing that at a church (part of a PBS show) and I have often thought about what she faced when she returned to her home country after getting medical care here in the USA.  I often wonder WILL WE OVERCOME all this evil in the world?  I feel it is hopeless, but I know that I must keep on taking action for as long as I can. 

On Sunday morning, there was training on nonviolent actions, followed by lunch, and then followed by more training on nonviolence.  The afternoon had talks on NONCOOPERATION by Fr. Steve Kelly, and INTERNATIONAL LAW by Anabel Dwyer and Kary Love.  The last one was very interesting to me. 

There were many groups from around the country who are working on these issues, and they had tables of literature, shirts, CDs, books, etc.  There was one group from Australia.  One of my roommates was selling her book about Christians in Palestine.  She was raising money for Vanunu, an Israeli who blew the whistle on Israel’s nuclear weapons program.  Her book is called “Third Intifada/Uprising:  Nonviolent but with words sharper than a two-edged sword” and I like some of her ideas on what Christianity really is.  The author is Eileen Fleming.  When I finish this book, I am going to get it to Rep. Shuler to read.

One thing is very clear:  Nuclear power is dirty, dangerous and expensive.  Those plants would never be built without huge government subsidies, and I do not agree with socialism for huge corporations.  (I feel it is okay for helping poor people.) The nuclear power plants use uranium and they release radioactive waste into the environment every stage of the fuel cycle.  The chemicals they leave behind while the uranium is being developed are very destructive to life and the planet.  It leaves permanent waste behind, which is stored on site.  This waste is very radioactive, and moving it would be dangerous.  Storing it on site has multiple problems too.  And it will never go away.

We have 104 nuclear reactors here in the USA, and 77 of them are east of the Mississippi River.

And the development of new US nuclear weapons production facilities must be stopped.  These plants (three total) are planned in New Mexico, Kansas, and in Tennessee at the Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge

I will post an update tomorrow on the arrests at Y-12.