Thursday, June 30, 2011

Call from Anonymous

They are trying to get a class action lawsuit against The Fed.

"They Dance Alone"


Why are there women here dancing on their own?
Why is there this sadness in their eyes?
Why are soldiers here
Their faces fixed like stone?
I can't see what it is that they despise
They're dancing with the missing
They're dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid
They're dancing with their fathers
They're dancing with their sons
They're dancing with their husbands
They dance alone
They dance alone


-- "They Dance Alone" written by Sting



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Support the Gaza Freedom Flotilla

The United National Antiwar Committee calls for the resignation of Secretary of State Clinton because of her statement saying that Israel could use violence against a humanitarian flotilla of boats, including one U.S. flagged ship that is trying to reach the Gaza Strip. Also, a report from UNAC steering committee member, Kathy Kelly, who will be on the boat, follows the UNAC statement.

Secretary of State Clinton stated that in response to the humanitarian and totally peaceful mission of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla II, “the Israelis have the right to defend themselves”, implying they can violently attack the boats with U.S. government permission. She has given approval for an attack by a foreign power on a U.S. flagged boat carrying nearly 40 Americans who are on a completely legal and admirable mission. This is inexcusable and a total betrayal of her duty to protect law abiding American citizens.

The United National Antiwar Committee, which is a coalition whose last convention had nearly 800 participants, condemns Clinton’s statement, and calls for her resignation as Secretary of State. We call for a clear statement by the Obama Administration that it will not tolerate any Israeli interference in the Freedom Flotilla voyage to the Gaza Strip.

Washington has also threatened to use “material support to terrorism” laws against boat participants -- the same laws which have been used to criminalize the totally legal and peaceful antiwar, solidarity and humanitarian activities of the 23 FBI/grand jury targets in the Midwest, and hundreds of others, mostly Muslim/Arab/South Asian."

At a recent meeting of the UNAC leadership, the organization voted unanimously to support the Freedom Flotilla and called for major demonstrations in the event the boat was attacked.  The U.S. Boat to Gaza website is www.ustogaza.org

Photo:  U.S. human rights activist Ann Wright, a former U.S. State Department official who plans to sail on a vessel named "The Audacity of Hope" after the title of a book by President Barack Obama, speaks during a news conference about international flotilla to blockaded Gaza, in Athens, on Monday, June 27, 2011.  Organizers say Israel is pressuring Greece to halt the ships' departure.  Sign at front in Greek reads: Athens. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

WAR - What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How do you speak of war without tears?

PHOTO:  A mosque employee prepares the body of Lamiamh Ali, 6. Four siblings were playing outside their home in Baghdad when a U.S. cluster bomb exploded.  Two of the children died that day and their brother died later as a result of his injuries. Photo taken April 26, 2003.  Photo by STEPHANIE SINCLAIR/Chicago Tribune
“The disparity between what we are told or what we believe about war and war itself is so vast that those who come back are often rendered speechless. What do you say to those who advocate war as an instrument to liberate the women of Afghanistan or bring democracy to Iraq? How do you tell them what war is like? How do you explain that the very proposition of war as an instrument of virtue is absurd? How do you cope with memories of children bleeding to death with bits of iron fragments peppered throughout their small bodies? How do you speak of war without tears?”

From The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert

Monday, June 27, 2011



We have slogan here.  “From river to the sea, everyone should be free.” -Nabeel Raee, teacher of Jenin Freedom Theatre traveling on the West Bank hills.

We in Afghanistan sense your loneliness.  It is hard to be born human, and not be regarded as one.  It is hard to be a mother who can’t cook enough for meals and laugh enough with her children.  It is hard to be a youth, and not feel young at all.  It’s hard to lose the human capacity for happiness.  We share your anger too.

But let’s not be angry for too long. Hasn’t war taught us that love is needed to guide anger, the same way we’ve seen mothers shaking with grief but standing with grace?  Don’t be angry with your family and loved ones because they had snapped at you after the usual hard day. We should forgive, and try to stay as human as life allows.

Please stay together, and not submit to human laws which pull humans apart.  We can’t expect people in the rest of the world to worry about us in Gaza or Afghanistan. It hurts more than we’re willing to utter, but we’ll find sufficient strength to accept that people are normally too busy to wonder if we’re really such ‘terrible’ human beings.  It’s irritating that politicians are universally well-dressed while making our world so socially distant and emotionally intolerable. We know that peace, equality and freedom will come when the politicians step aside and let the people converse. But they aren’t going to step aside unless we persuade them with our dignity, like many people across the world are doing now.

In adversity, we share with you the occasional burden of being ‘no-bodies’, But surely, we must cling on to some meaning, cling on to the hope that God doesn’t intend for us to be discarded (like trash), that there are such qualities as compassion, that human company exists.  To the people of Gaza and Israel, we are reaching out to you, as President Obama and world leaders keep extending their violence on their own people, and on us whom they don’t see.  They believe in force.  “What we can do, and will do, is build a partnership with the Afghan people that endures – one that ensures that we will be able to continue targeting terrorists….( ‘permanent base ‘)…..When threatened, we must respond with force.”   Obama in his Afghanistan ‘withdrawal war speech’.

We the people believe in love.  We send you our love through our friends on the US Boat to Gaza sailing with the Freedom Flotilla 2. A fortnight ago, there appeared a remote possibility that two of us would be considered for travel on the Mavi Marmara. It gripped us that we may have been able to share each other’s pain at a closer distance, for a little while.  The people of Mavi Marmara and the other flotilla boats have opened up the seas of our hearts.  Afghanistan needs a flotilla too, but you would know that Afghanistan has no sea.  We imagine the blue seas.  Imagination helps friends not to worry about whether they’re available for each other ALL the time, or whether they will ever see each other face-to-face.

20-year-old Skye Miller was our friend for a brief moment, introduced to us by Kathy Kelly, one of our dear activist friends on the US Boat to Gaza. Skye was dying from cancer in a hospice and Kathy had passed her a blue scarf from our silent, peace walk in Kabul this spring.  We sent a message to Skye, “Mohammad Jan, Abdulai and I are typing this email feeling a sadness, and feeling that life must be more than just what we see. It is meaningful for us to give you our small ‘salams’ through Kathy and through the visions of peace colored in blue. Thank you Skye!”  She passed away with her family by her side, a few days after her reply, “Dearest Kathy, I cannot tell you the happiness that I felt after receiving the e-mail from Mohammad Jan, Abdulai and Hakim and to know that I am in their thoughts. I am enjoying the weather and hope that you are too. Enjoy your weekend. Be well, Skye.”

Here, sometimes, the sky is so peacefully and enjoyably blue we can almost touch it.

What antagonism has poisoned Man, and who on earth and in heaven has determined, that we can’t touch your face?



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Upcoming events in the Asheville area and beyond....

Photo is Rhododendron on Roan Mountain, June 2011

UPCOMING EVENTS

06/27/11 MTN PROTECTORS MEETING
Planning meeting for an activist training / peer to peer share for the third weekend in August.  Registration / travel info available in about 2 weeks.  First organizing meeting is Monday, June 27 at 6 PM– attend by phone or in person.  Meeting is at NIRS House Asheville (call for directions or for call in number at 828-242-5621).

07/01/11 FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE SERIES AT COMMON LIGHT MEETINGHOUSE
July 1: Bringing Down a Dictator - Inspired by the writings of Gene Sharp, the American scholar of nonviolence, a group of students organized a nonviolent movement that helped to oust Milosevic.
July 8: Pray the Devil back to Hell - Ordinary women.  Extraordinary courage.  This is the story of a nonviolent movement organized by the women of Liberia against the brutal regime of Charles Taylor.
July 15: Budrus - An amazing account of one family's leadership of a movement to prevent Israel's Separation Barrier from slicing the Palestinian village of Budrus in half.
July 22: The Singing Revolution - The people of Estonia had no weapons but their inspiration and their singing culture.  They sang their way to freedom from Soviet domination.

Time is 7:30 PM.  Location is Common Light Meeting House in Black Mountain.
This is presented by Daniel O. Snyder, PhD, who is a private practice pastoral counselor in Asheville and Black Mountain.  He has been studying and teaching nonviolence since l974 and since 2004 has taught a variety of workshops on peacemaking at Common Light Meeting place.   Dan is offering this summer's series of films and discussions, and clinics for the purpose of helping nonviolence toward its "tipping point," supporting awareness of a force that could transform the world.  To register or to find out more, email Mahan Siler at jahan222@bellsouth.net or call 828- 298-9509.

07/02/11 GREEN PARTY MEETING
The Buncombe County GREEN Party's business meeting is free & open to the public. It will be held from 10AM to noon, upstairs in the Fortune Building, 729 Haywood Rd., West Asheville. Contact Ronald @ 828LUCK180 or Larry @ 828-225-4347 for more information.

07/04/11 RALLY FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS BY SDS-UNCA
Time is 11 AM until 1 PM (or later).  Place is Vance Monument on Pack Square.  Bring signs, voice, peace and a strong will to help all women be, once and for all, recognized as equal citizens in our country.  Men who support women are strongly invited to join in.


07/07/11 VETERANS FOR PEACE MEETING
Time is 6:30 PM and location is VFP HQ at the Phil Mechanic Studios: 109 Roberts Street (the corner of Haywood and Roberts), Asheville. VFP CHAPTER 099: http://vfpchapter099wnc.blogspot.com/
 
*******************************************
ONGOING EVENTS
*******************************************
SUNDAY
Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds a weekly vigil from 5:30 to 6 PM at All Soul's Cathedral.
 
TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square
 
WEDNESDAY
Haywood Peace Vigilers have a weekly vigil at 4 PM at Haywood Country Courthouse in Waynesville.
Asheville Cop Watch meeting at 5 PM at Firestorm Cafe.
 
THURSDAY
Asheville Homeless Network meeting at 2 PM at Firestorm Cafe.

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square in Asheville
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the Old Courthouse in Hendersonville
 
SATURDAY
Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard.

I am Bradley Manning

Friday, June 24, 2011

Phil Ochs - Power and the Glory 1974



We are losing our power and our glory - it is mainly gone. We have a former President who liked to torture people, a current President how likes to assassinate people, both without arrest, trial, evidence, judge or jury – and they like to call our country the “shinning city on the hill”. We have a Nobel Peace Prize President who starts up new wars annually, and likes to escalate any currently ongoing wars. Can we bomb children? YES WE CAN!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quote from Chris Hedges

"But the words of the vanquished come later, sometimes long after the
war, when grown men and women unpack the suffering they endured as
children:  what it was like to lose their homes, their community,
their security, and to be discarded as human refuse.  But by then few
listen.  The truth about the war comes out, but usually too late.  We
are assured by the war-makers that these stories have no bearing on
the glorious violent enterprise the nation is about to inaugurate.
And, lapping up the myth of war and its sense of empowerment, we
prefer not to look."  - Chris Hedges

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It is summertime!! the best time of the year!!

Autrocities in Afghanistan

Since April of 2009, Voices activists have maintained a partial listing of civilians killed by U.S. led ISAF/NATO troops in Afghanistan. All of the information we’ve assembled is available in the mainstream news. We realized that we ourselves were not paying close enough attention, - we weren’t pausing to ask questions and absorb the details, and so we’ve tried in the past several months to carefully update the “Afghan Atrocities” timetable.

Read the rest of it here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Recent protest in Libya - supporting Gaddafi

Children killed in Libya by NATO

Pictures taken on a guided government air strike show damage reportedly caused by Nato air strikes. Photograph: Ismail Zetouni/Reuters  NATO has admitted it was responsible for an air strike that killed civilians in Tripoli over the weekend.  Two children are among the dead.

Pictures – shown to the media on a guided tour by the Libyan government – of a residential neighbourhood in Tripoli, where civilians died during a Nato bombing raid. Photograph: Mohamed Messara/EPA  Nato is urgently reviewing the details of its weekend bombing missions after the Libyan government claimed one of its missiles had struck a house in a residential area of Tripoli, killing a number of civilians, including two children. – from The Guardian  Headline:  Libya: Nato admits civilian deaths in Tripoli air raid

Upcoming events in the Asheville area and beyond....

UPCOMING EVENTS

06/21/11 TRANSITION HANDBOOK STUDY CIRCLE
Time is 4 to 5:30 PM and first meeting is at Stan Corwin’s home in east Asheville.  Contact Stan at colnstash@att.net for details.  There will be books available for purchase or loan, and the public library
also has copies of the Transition Handbook.   They still have room for a few more people to join others in discovering the story and vision of the Transition Initiative.  In 6 sessions we will review the Transition Handbook written by co-founder Rob Hopkins and explore how we can integrate the principles into our daily lives.  If you can't make the first session you can easily catch up.

06/23/11 MTN PROTECTORS MEETING
For all concerned citizens who would like to help change our nuclear future and keep nuclear waste out of WNC.  Meeting at 6:30 PM ending between 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM.  For directions call Mary at 828-242-5621.  Please note - there will be no potluck - feel free to bring your own bag dinner & eat as we meet.

06/24/11 FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE SERIES AT COMMON LIGHT MEETINGHOUSE
June 24: A Force More Powerful (Part II) -The second part covers the Danish nonviolent movement against the Nazi occupation, Poland's Solidarity movement, and the nonviolent overthrow of Pinochet in
Chile.
July 1: Bringing Down a Dictator - Inspired by the writings of Gene Sharp, the American scholar of nonviolence, a group of students organized a nonviolent movement that helped to oust Milosevic.
July 8: Pray the Devil back to Hell - Ordinary women.  Extraordinary courage.  This is the story of a nonviolent movement organized by the women of Liberia against the brutal regime of Charles Taylor.
July 15: Budrus - An amazing account of one family's leadership of a movement to prevent Israel's Separation Barrier from slicing the Palestinian village of Budrus in half.
July 22: The Singing Revolution - The people of Estonia had no weapons but their inspiration and their singing culture.  They sang their way to freedom from Soviet domination.

Time is 7:30 PM.  Location is Common Light Meeting House in Black Mountain. This is presented by Daniel O. Snyder, PhD, who is a private practice pastoral counselor in Asheville and Black Mountain.  He has been studying and teaching nonviolence since l974 and since 2004 has taught a variety of workshops on peacemaking at Common Light Meeting place. Dan is offering this summer's series of films and discussions, and clinics for the purpose of helping nonviolence toward its "tipping point," supporting awareness of a force that could transform the world.  To register or to find out more, email Mahan Siler at jahan222@bellsouth.net or call 828- 298-9509.

07/02/11 GREEN PARTY MEETING
The Buncombe County GREEN Party's business meeting is free & open to the public. It will be held from 10AM to noon, upstairs in the Fortune Building, 729 Haywood Rd., West Asheville. Contact Ronald @ 828LUCK180 or Larry @ 828-225-4347 for more information.

07/04/11 RALLY FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS BY SDS-UNCA
Time is 11 AM until 1 PM (or later).  Place is Vance Monument on Pack Square.  Bring signs, voice, peace and a strong will to help all women be, once and for all, recognized as equal citizens in our country. Men who support women are strongly invited to join in.

07/07/11 VETERANS FOR PEACE MEETING
Time is 6:30 PM and location is VFP HQ at the Phil Mechanic Studios: 109 Roberts Street (the corner of Haywood and Roberts), Asheville. VFP CHAPTER 099: http://vfpchapter099wnc.blogspot.com/

10/06/11 FREEDOM SQUARE IN WASHINGTON DC
Join thousands to protest wars and injustice on the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan.  Stop the machine, create a new world!  More info here:  http://october2011.org/statement


Photo is of Senaca Rocks, West Virginia in June 2011.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Radicals!

I wrote this piece for the local paper as an op-ed.  They did not publish it.

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

A conservative is one who conserves all resources, is adverse to change without careful consideration and thought, does not spend money they don’t have, believes in the rule of law, wants to reduce government interference and regulation when possible, and certainly would not engage in radical behaviors with unforeseen consequences.  What is called “conservative” in the US today is far, far, far from these principles. 

Starting up a war and occupation where none existed is the most radical form of behavior one can engage in, and yet our past Republican president did just that – twice.  Our current president is involved in bombing three more countries beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, so he does not qualify as a conservative either.  The final consequences of these actions are still unforeseen, but the consequences for the people who live in those countries are horrific indeed.  They have found the freedom of the grave and the democracy of death, thanks to US bullets, bombs and interference.  And we left behind a toxic legacy that will kill their children far into the future.

And there is the issue of conserving economic resources – Mr. Bush doubled our deficit, and Mr. Obama is also making it worse.   And they both have given significant tax breaks to the rich folks and the mega-corporations, which might be okay if we were not in a financial crisis right now.  But we are in a crisis, thanks to the many liars’ loans for mortgages and CDS and CDOs that came about in the last decade after the Glass-Steagall act was overturned.  Now there is an example of what a real lack of government regulation can achieve – financial meltdown.  And then in 2008, the taxpayers bailed the financial institutions out – which is a fine example of socialism for the rich. 

Along with a lack of conservation of our economic resources, I see no sign of conservation of our military resources, conservation of our environment, or conservation of our infrastructure.  Senator Burr wants to do away with the EPA!   Now, I have some issues with government regulations.  If they are stupid or not enforced, then they are more harmful than helpful.  But throwing ALL government regulation of the environment out the window will surely NOT lead to conservation of our environment in any shape or form.  Can we have major oil spills, nuclear radiation in our rain?  Why, yes, yes, we can. 

And the lack of regulation seen in our financial markets should give most reasonable people pause for concern. Of course, if true conservatives were running the country, the rule of law would be enforced and those responsible for the financial crisis of 2008 under the Bush presidency would be facing trails or in jail right now.  Instead, no one has been charged.  What are those so-called conservatives waiting for?  Don’t they believe in rule of law for the rich?  They sure do like to lock up the poor, often for very stupid things.  And if the so-called conservatives won’t do this, then the liberals had better wake up and get busy.

And on the local level, NC Rep. Moffett wants to add on two more people as County Commissioners.  Sure glad we are not in a budget crisis, so we can afford this… oh wait, we CANNOT afford this.  We need to spend less money on government officials, not more!  He also wants to hand over our water system, and again without any input or discussion from local folks.  Making changes like this show a radical, not a conservative agenda. 

In various state houses across our nation, the Republicans are changing laws about how we vote, thereby spending money to fix a problem that only exists in their minds.  The solution will also increase government interference in our lives and cost the taxpayers more money.  How is that conserving our financial resources? 

And while lack of rules and regulations are quite evident in the financial sector of our country, the illegal spying on ordinary Americans continues, thereby violating our Bill of Rights!  It started under Mr. Bush and is growing under Mr. Obama.  Sure hope they are reading every word I write, even as they are throwing our Bill of Rights in the trash.  Yippee, another radical change!  No more silly Constitution to worry about! 

So, to my fellow citizens, if you voted for Rep. Moffitt, you voted for more taxes, more government interference in your voting, and radical changes to many local government structures without any due deliberation.  And you are not a conservative, you are a radical.  I only hope your radical changes work out well, since it appears we won’t even know about them until the very last minute. 

So far, I would say that wars and bombings without end, deficits without end, massive exploitation of our environment, and a lack of diligence in applying the rules of law to rich folks is not working out so well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Message from Afghans



Javier Sicilia, Julian Lebaron and all with the Caravan of Solace, like you and the families of 40,000 Mexican victims, we need you to know that we've also been crying.
There are no expectations in our crying.
There's only grief, and ignored anger, the ignored anger of the mundane masses.
To all fellow humans alive today, we need you to know that many people are hurting badly because we will not do more than what is normally required to preserve our conventional ways of life.
We need you to know that the many who are hurting are real people.
Sadly, every day that we defend our lives as usual, we demean other lives as usual, and therefore we all become less dignified, less human.
We in Afghanistan have been learning that being alive is not just about busily earning our keep, or more ridiculous, about getting good grades in 'empty' schools.
We have also been learning what it means to be alive.
Here, the other Friday, we felt alive when we walked together to the river, listening to everything.
We felt alive caring for one another despite our utter despair.
Unfortunately.
Our systems have been structured to rule us out, to corner our humanity. Our systems despise our hope.
The doorways of our governments are tunnels for theft.
To conform with Power, we're 'told' that we must remain helpless, friendless.
Our poverty is 'graced' by bullets, bombs and blood.
Our struggle is 'condemned' by religious and political dogma.
We detest these from way deep down. We detest these so much. Every soul does.
But today, self-protection at the expense of the distant 'other' justifies a strategy of 'Man killing Man for Greed's sake.'
How can that be?
How can it be that 'the common good' is no longer 'good', that it has become an impractical ideal divorced from human society?
How can it be that asking for economic fairness is considered being anti-government, that speaking against corruption gets us into trouble?
How can it be that when we tell our leaders to stop killing, we are the ones deemed naïve and dangerous?
We detest this violent antagonism infecting the world.
We detest the decay of our values.
We're creating so few lifetime opportunities for genuine education, decent livelihoods, and grief.
Not enough space, except by the rivers.
We need to talk differently, walk differently, serve ( lead ) differently and relate differently, and if we so earnestly and painstaking act in love, 'Y' not?
Who has dictated to the 'Y' generation that,' You can never change this unequal, unkind global system of governance.'?
'Y' not when the majority of humanity and the majority of 30 million Afghan citizens manage to get along without killing one another?
'Y' not step towards the rivers where human solidarity runs?
How can we live without crying? How can we suggest what could be done when we ourselves are hardly coping?
We need you to know that your journey is our journey too, and that yes, 'No estas solo'.
We need you to know that crying is our friend, and not a weakness.
We need you to know that walking together is not a weakness. It is our everything.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Volcanic pictures from Chile - June 2011

Volcanic lightning is seen over the Puyehue volcano, over 500 miles south of Santiago, Chile, Sunday June 5, 2011. Authorities have evacuated about 600 people in the nearby area. The volcano was calm on Sunday, one day after raining down ash and forcing thousands to flee, although the cloud of soot it had belched out still darkened skies as far away as Argentina. (AP Photo/Francisco Negroni, AgenciaUno)
 
Lightning flashes around the ash plume at above the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain near Entrelagos June 5, 2011. The volcano in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain, dormant for decades, erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompted the government to evacuate several thousand residents, authorities said. Picture taken June 5.  REUTERS/Carlos Gutierrez 

Lightning bolts strike around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain near southern Osorno city June 5, 2011. The volcano in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain, dormant for decades, erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompted the government to evacuate several thousand residents, authorities said. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado 

Lightning bolts strike around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain near southern Osorno city June 5, 2011. The volcano in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain, dormant for decades, erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompted the government to evacuate several thousand residents, authorities said.  REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
 
Lightning bolts strike around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain in the Patagonia region at sunrise June 5, 2011. The volcano dormant for decades erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompting the government to evacuate several thousand residents, Chilean authorities said. REUTERS/Carlos Gutierrez 

Lightning bolts strike around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain in the Patagonia region at sunrise June 5, 2011. The volcano dormant for decades erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompting the government to evacuate several thousand residents, Chilean authorities said.  REUTERS/Carlos Gutierrez 

Lightning bolts strike around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain in the Patagonia region June 4, 2011. The volcano dormant for decades erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompting the government to evacuate several thousand residents, Chilean authorities said. Picture taken June 4, 2011.  REUTERS/Carlos Gutierrez

Lightning bolts strike around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain in the Patagonia region June 4, 2011. The volcano dormant for decades erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompting the government to evacuate several thousand residents, Chilean authorities said. Picture taken June 4, 2011.  REUTERS/Carlos Gutierrez 

A view of the ash plume at sunset above the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain near Entrelagos June 5, 2011. The volcano in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain, dormant for decades, erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompted the government to evacuate several thousand residents, authorities said. Picture taken June 5.   REUTERS/Carlos Gutierrez 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Upcoming events in Asheville area and beyond.....

Photo:  Sunset as seen from the fire tower on Rich Mountain in NC on 6-12-11.


UPCOMING EVENTS

06/12/11 FOLD 1000 PAPER CRANES FOR JUDITH HALLOCK
Fold a paper crane and fulfill a wish:  Judith Hallock, lifelong peace activist in Asheville, is dealing with inoperable brainstem cancer. Help Judith fulfill her wish for 1000 paper cranes for peace at event tonight at The Hop on Merrimon Avenue from 6 to 8 PM.

06/12/11 ASHEVILLE NOW MEETING
Asheville NOW members will meet at the Havana's Restaurant in downtown Asheville for our monthly meeting. We are planning to have a meal provided for the homeless women veterans who are able to come. Now is your time to meet and greet the women for which Asheville NOW is working to provide a permanent shelter.  [Time was not specified for this meeting.]

06/13/11 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE PLANNING MEETING
Time is 6 PM and location is First Congregational Church of Christ in Asheville.  Contact Rachael for more information at rachael_bliss@yahoo.com.

06/14/11 DEMOCRACY NORTH CAROLINA
Democracy North Carolina Cut the Strings! Summer Tour - Tues, June 14 - 6-8 pm at French Broad Chocolate Lounge, 10 S. Lexington Ave. RSVP to (704) 957-3105. The meeting is an opportunity to meet with other progressives, discuss the regressive, special interest bills passing through the NC Legislature and help us create a plan to “cut the strings” that connect big money corporate interests to our elected officials.

6/15/10 ASHEVILLECONNECTS
Held at YMI Historic Drug Store on 39 Market St. from 9 to Noon AshevilleConnects is a local initiative to strengthen the Asheville community by making good use of existing resources and tapping our
creativity. For more information & to RSVP, go to this link: http://ashevilleconnects.wordpress.com or call Kathleen at 231-5565. Volunteer options available.

06/16/11 LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS EVENT
Redistricting movie “Gerrymandering” will be shown with discussion afterwards. They are joining with NC for Redistricting Reform. Come and learn how redistricting will affect you. The event is free and the time is 6 PM and location is the Reuter Center at UNCA. If you have any questions, please email Brent Laurenz at laurenz@nccve.org or call 919-783-8811, or Kathleen Balogh at kmbalogh52@gmail.com or call 828-275-8366.

06/16/11 COMMITTEE TO STOP FBI REPRESSION
As a part of a National Day of Action in Solidarity with Carlos Montes (a longtime Chicano activist and active member of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression) we are showing the HBO movie "Walkout", based on the true story of the 1968 East L.A. walkouts. The movie will be at Firestorm Cafe & Books on June 16th at 8:30 PM. Carlos is featured in this movie. Discussion afterwards. More info here:
http://www.stopfbi.net/take-action/2011/6/2/june-16-day-action-solidarity-carlos-montes

06/17/11 WNC PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
Lunch will be eaten at noon, and meeting starts at 12:30. Location is NIRS office at 45 Riverview Drive, please park on the street. This meeting is open to all, and a short program is usually included.
Please go to www.wncpsr.org  for more information, which includes how to get there and other details.

06/17/11 FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE SERIES AT COMMON LIGHT MEETINGHOUSE
June 17: A Force More Powerful (Part I) - The first part of this powerful PBS documentary covers Gandhi's nonviolent campaign against British colonialism, the US civil rights movement, and South African activists' use of nonviolence against apartheid.
June 24: A Force More Powerful (Part II) -The second part covers the Danish nonviolent movement against the Nazi occupation, Poland's Solidarity movement, and the nonviolent overthrow of Pinochet in
Chile.
July 1: Bringing Down a Dictator - Inspired by the writings of Gene Sharp, the American scholar of nonviolence, a group of students organized a nonviolent movement that helped to oust Milosevic.
July 8: Pray the Devil back to Hell - Ordinary women.  Extraordinary courage.  This is the story of a nonviolent movement organized by the women of Liberia against the brutal regime of Charles Taylor.
July 15: Budrus - An amazing account of one family's leadership of a movement to prevent Israel's Separation Barrier from slicing the Palestinian village of Budrus in half.
July 22: The Singing Revolution - The people of Estonia had no weapons but their inspiration and their singing culture.  They sang their way to freedom from Soviet domination.
Time is 7:30 PM.  Location is Common Light Meeting House in Black Mountain. This is presented by Daniel O. Snyder, PhD, who is a private practice pastoral counselor in Asheville and Black Mountain.  He has been studying and teaching nonviolence since l974 and since 2004 has taught a variety of workshops on peacemaking at Common Light Meeting place. Dan is offering this summer's series of films and discussions, and clinics for the purpose of helping nonviolence toward its "tipping point," supporting awareness of a force that could transform the world.  To register or to find out more, email Mahan Siler at jahan222@bellsouth.net or call 828- 298-9509.

06/18/11 MTN PROTECTORS FOR A NUCLEAR FREE WNC
This event will be held at Firestorm Cafe in Asheville from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.  It will be an evening of information, music, and poetry. Music by Greg Olson and poetry by Thomas Rain Crowe.  Theme is “Music and Poetry for the Earth”.

06/22/11 to 06/26/11  US SOCIAL FORUM IN DETROIT

06/22/11 to 06/25/11 WITNESS AGAINST TORTURE EVENT IN DC
http://www.witnesstorture.org/

06/23/11 to 06/26/11 WILD GOOSE FESTIVAL
Justice, spirituality, music and art in Shakori Hills, NC.   More information at http://www.wildgoosefestival.org/

08/20/11 PROTEST THE “OTHER WARS”
Please note also that the 2nd annual BLACK IS BACK conference held last weekend in DC has called for August 20 actions to protest the "other wars," i.e. the US backed wars and corporate proxy wars on the African continent, the occupation of Haiti, the war on the Black community in the U.S., and the ever more militarized operations on the U.S. Mexican border.

10/06/11 FREEDOM SQUARE IN WASHINGTON DC
Join thousands to protest wars and injustice on the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan.  Stop the machine, create a new world!  More info here:  http://october2011.org/statement

11/18/11 SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS WATCH IN FT. BENNING
http://www.soaw.org/

*******************************************
ONGOING EVENTS
*******************************************
SUNDAY
Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds a weekly vigil from 5:30 to 6 PM at All Soul's Cathedral.

TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square

WEDNESDAY
Haywood Peace Vigilers have a weekly vigil at 4 PM at Haywood Country Courthouse in Waynesville.
Asheville Cop Watch meeting at 5 PM at Firestorm Cafe.

THURSDAY
Asheville Homeless Network meeting at 2 PM at Firestorm Cafe.

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square in Asheville
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the Old Courthouse in Hendersonville

SATURDAY
Transylvanians for Peace and WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility
have a weekly vigil at noon in front of the courthouse in Brevard.

*******************************************
ACTIONS AND READINGS
*******************************************
Mountain Protectors for a Nuclear Free WNC Present:

GREG OLSON and THOMAS RAIN CROWE
An evening of Music and Poetry for the Earth Firestorm Café - Saturday, June 18th
48 Commerce Street, Asheville, NC 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Mountain Protectors for a Nuclear Free WNC will be presenting an evening of information, music, and poetry at Firestorm Café. Tables will be set up to educate the audience on President Obama’s Blue
Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and to promote an email campaign to the BRC to express our concerns about the potential transport of high level nuclear waste through our region and the possibility of a high level nuclear waste repository in our area. Original music will be provided by multi-instrumentalist songwriter and composer Greg Olson and original poetry by Thomas Rain Crowe. The theme will be “Music and Poetry for the Earth”.  Donations will be collected in support of the campaign and the café. www.NoNuclearWasteInWNC.com

*****************

Sign from Y-12 protest in July 2010



The sign says:
“Continuing nuclear weapons production at the Y12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is in direct violation of the treaty obligations of the United States (The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Article VI), and therefore is a violation of Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States of America and fails to conform to our obligations under international law according to the ruling of the International Court of Justice, July 8, 1996.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Truth

“Behind the 'unexamined nostalgia for the "Golden Days" of American intelligence' lay a much more devastating truth:  the same people who read Dante and went to Yale and were educated in civic virtue recruited Nazis, manipulated the outcome of democratic elections, gave LSD to unwitting subjects, opened the mail of thousands of American citizens, overthrew governments, supported dictatorships, plotted assassinations, and engineered the Bay of Pigs disaster. 'In the name of what?' asked one critic. 'Not civic virtue, but empire'.” — Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters (1999)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The bombing list


The bombing list

Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-1961
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Iran 1987
Panama 1989
Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
Kuwait 1991
Somalia 1993
Bosnia 1994, 1995
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999
Yemen 2002
Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular basis)
Iraq 2003-present
Afghanistan 2001-present
Pakistan 2007-present
Somalia 2007-8
Yemen 2009
Libya 2011

Plus
*Iran, April 2003 -- hit by US missiles during bombing of Iraq, killing at least one person
*Pakistan, 2002-03 -- bombed by US planes several times as part of combat against the Taliban and other opponents of the US occupation of Afghanistan
*China, 1999 -- its heavily bombed embassy in Belgrade is legally Chinese territory, and it appears rather certain that the bombing was no accident
*France, 1986 -- After the French government refused the use of its air space to US warplanes headed for a bombing raid on Libya, the planes were forced to take another, longer route; when they reached Libya they bombed so close to the French embassy that the building was damaged and all communication links knocked out.
*Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1985 -- A bomb dropped by a police helicopter burned down an entire block, some 60 homes destroyed, 11 dead, including several small children. The police, the mayor's office, and the FBI were all involved in this effort to evict a black organization called MOVE from the house they lived in.

************

Photo:  A Predator surveillance drone equipped with Hellfire missiles. US missiles have killed 18 militants in Pakistan's tribal district of South Waziristan, destroying compounds and a vehicle in the deadliest drone strikes for months, local officials said.  (AFP/General Atomics/File)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

More events in Asheville this week

Today I heard of more local events that locals might be interested in attending, and they are happening this week.

Also, there is news about the SEE Expo and Our Southern Community Center in Hendersonville.  After ten years, SEE Expo will be discontinued. Here is a message from Ned Doyle:  “Rather sad to tell
you, but the SEE expo is ending & the OSC Center closing down.  Full explanation at  www.seeexpo.com for public, etc.”  This is a great loss, but his reasoning behind the closing seems to be sound.

UPCOMING ADDED EVENTS:

06/08/11 FOLD 1000 PAPER CRANES FOR JUDITH HALLOCK
Fold a paper crane and fulfill a wish:  Judith Hallock, lifelong peace activist in Asheville, is dealing with inoperable brainstem cancer.  Help Judith fulfill her wish for 1000 paper cranes for peace at two free community craft events.  On June 8, the event will be held from 12:30 to 2 PM at the Top Floor Studio Courtyard at 58 ½ N. Lexington Avenue in Asheville.  On June 12, the event will be from 6 to 8 PM at
The Hop Ice Cream on Merrimon Avenue.  Live acoustic music by Sara Day Evans.  Local activist Judith Hallock has started or supported many initiatives to support world peace, including co-founding a
non-profit. She asks her Asheville community to make 1000 cranes for her wish.  Her family shares that prayers are accepted for Judith as she goes through chemotherapy this month.  Helpers and
folder-facilitators needed for both events: call Jennifer at 828-231-7205.

ALSO - Special Series this week – The Reality of Will and Grace The following programs will happen this coming week to be held concurrently with the Exodus Conference taking place at Ridgecrest.
Take the opportunity if you can to come to one or all. (www.TheRealityOfWIllAndGrace.wordpress.com)

06/08/11 Tressa’s, 28 Broadway, Asheville, exhibit opens at 5:30, program begins at 7pm: Wayne Besen &  Cecil Bothwell on the Religious Right

06/09/11 Tressa’s, 28 Broadway, Asheville, exhibit opens at 5:30, program begins at 7pm:  Wayne Besen & Panel of Exgay Survivors

06/10/11 Tressa’s, 28 Broadway, Asheville, exhibit opens at 5:30, program begins at 7pm:  Mel White & Panel of Affirming Clergy

06/11/11 First Congregational UCC, 20 Oak St, Asheville, exhibit opens at 6pm, program begins at 7pm:  Mel White Keynote Address

Monday, June 06, 2011

Nomination!



Obama is running his nominations for the Citizens Medal.  I think I might have entered too late - just an hour past the deadline - but I did nominate Bradley Manning.  Here is what I said about him:
Bradley Manning is a hero in my eyes because he tried to get information to the American people about Iraq, Afghanistan and what the US officials are up to in foreign countries.  He has risked his personal safety and freedom to get the information to the American people.  He has suffered greatly by acting on his moral guidelines.  He is an amazing example of what courage really is.

He has performed an exemplary service to his fellow citizens and to all the people of the world.  His actions - to release information - have changed the course of history.  Hopefully, his actions will one day wake the American people up to the point that they will stop their government from it's hideous and evil wars of aggression and mass destruction of civilian populations around the world.  This is a very long term and very persistent problem. 

Bradley Manning's actions have had a positive effect in many countries around the world, but especially in Egypt and Tunisia, where citizens have non-violently overthrown their corrupt governments.
His actions will have a sustained impact on many countries, and have inspired some US officials to be more honest. 
The photo above is a picture of a recent rally for Bradley Manning in Germany.

Rally for Naksa Day

Hundreds of Palestinians entered the Golan Heights, or tried to, on June 5, 2011.  Reports said that 23 Palestinians were killed, and the IDF claims that stones were thrown at them. 

The picture is from Al Jazeera.  Those Palestinians are very brave to go up against the IDF.  I do not think throwing stones is a good idea, but for the most part, I am on their side.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Upcoming events in the Asheville area and beyond....

06/05/11 NUCLEAR ABOLITION DAY

06/09/11 MTN PROTECTORS CAMPAIGN MEETING
For all concerned citizens who would like to help change our nuclear future and keep nuclear waste out of WNC.  Meeting at 6:30 PM.  For directions call Mary at 828-242-5621

06/10/11 ASHEVILLE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST SOCIAL JUSTICE FILM
"Permaculture: The Growing Edge" is an antidote to environmental despair, a hopeful and practical look at a path to a viable, flourishing future. The film introduces us to inspiring examples of projects, and includes a visit to David Holmgren homestead, tracking deer with naturalist Jon Young, sheet mulching an inner-city garden with Hunters Point Family, transforming an intersection into a gathering place with City Repair and joining mycologist Paul Stamets as he cleans up an oil spill with mushrooms. Permaculture is a sustainable system of earth care that offers solutions to many of our grave environmental problems and a hopeful, proactive vision of change.  Time is 7 PM and location is UU church in Asheville, corner of Charlotte and Edwin.

06/11/11 PIEDMONT FILM AND DISCUSSION ON TORTURE AND THE USA
"So, Should We Just Turn Away?"  -  June is Torture Awareness Month and Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church in Charlotte has planned an event in conjunction with Charlotte Friends Peace and Social Concerns Committee.  This is event is done with support from NC Peace Action, NC Veterans for Peace and NC Stop Torture Now.  They will present a film and discussion of our response to the problem of US sanctioned torture of political prisoners.  Time is 7 PM.  Presenters and discussion leaders are Christina Cowger director of NC Stop Torture Now and Edie Garwood of Amnesty International.  The event will be at the Quaker Meeting House, 570 W. Rocky River Road, Charlotte, NC. For more information contact Mimi Davis, davisxyz@hotmail.com or call 704-499-3918.

06/11/11 RALLY AND DAY OF ACTION ON BLAIR MOUNTAIN IN WV
More information on this event here:  http://marchonblairmountain.org/.

06/13/11 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE PLANNING MEETING
Time is 6 PM and location is First Congregational Church of Christ in Asheville.  Contact Rachael for more information at rachael_bliss@yahoo.com.

6/15/10 ASHEVILLECONNECTS
Held at YMI Historic Drug Store on 39 Market St. from 9 to Noon AshevilleConnects is a local initiative to strengthen the Asheville community by making good use of existing resources and tapping our
creativity. For more information & to RSVP, go to this link: http://ashevilleconnects.wordpress.com or call Kathleen at 231-5565. Volunteer options available.

06/16/11 LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS EVENT
Redistricting movie “Gerrymandering” will be shown with discussion afterwards. They are joining with NC for Redistricting Reform.  Come and learn how redistricting will affect you.  The event is free and
the time is 6 PM and location is the Reuter Center at UNCA. 

06/17/11 WNC PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
Lunch will be eaten at noon, and meeting starts at 12:30. Location is NIRS office at 45 Riverview Drive, please park on the street. This meeting is open to all, and a short program is usually included.
Please go to www.wncpsr.org  for more information, which includes how to get there and other details.

06/17/11 FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE SERIES AT COMMON LIGHT MEETINGHOUSE
June l7: A Force More Powerful (Part I) - The first part of this powerful PBS documentary covers Gandhi's nonviolent campaign against British colonialism, the US civil rights movement, and South African activists' use of nonviolence against apartheid.
June 24: A Force More Powerful (Part II) -The second part covers the Danish nonviolent movement against the Nazi occupation, Poland's Solidarity movement, and the nonviolent overthrow of Pinochet in
Chile.
July 1: Bringing Down a Dictator - Inspired by the writings of Gene Sharp, the American scholar of nonviolence, a group of students organized a nonviolent movement that helped to oust Milosevic.
July 8: Pray the Devil back to Hell - Ordinary women.  Extraordinary courage.  This is the story of a nonviolent movement organized by the women of Liberia against the brutal regime of Charles Taylor.
July 15: Budrus - An amazing account of one family's leadership of a movement to prevent Israel's Separation Barrier from slicing the Palestinian village of Budrus in half.
July 22: The Singing Revolution - The people of Estonia had no weapons but their inspiration and their singing culture.  They sang their way to freedom from Soviet domination.

Time is 7:30 PM.  Location is Common Light Meeting House in Black Mountain. This is presented by Daniel O. Snyder, PhD, who is a private practice pastoral counselor in Asheville and Black Mountain.  He has been studying and teaching nonviolence since l974 and since 2004 has taught a variety of workshops on peacemaking at Common Light Meeting place. Dan is offering this summer's series of films and discussions, and clinics for the purpose of helping nonviolence toward its "tipping point," supporting awareness of a force that could transform the world.  To register or to find out more, email Mahan Siler at jahan222@bellsouth.net or call 828- 298-9509.

06/18/11 MTN PROTECTORS FOR A NUCLEAR FREE WNC
This event will be held at Firestorm Cafe in Asheville from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.  It will be an evening of information, music, and poetry. Music by Greg Olson and poetry by Thomas Rain Crowe.  Theme is “Music and Poetry for the Earth”.

06/22/11 to 06/26/11  US SOCIAL FORUM IN DETROIT

06/22/11 to 06/25/11 WITNESS AGAINST TORTURE EVENT IN DC
http://www.witnesstorture.org/

06/23/11 to 06/26/11 WILD GOOSE FESTIVAL
Justice, spirituality, music and art in Shakori Hills, NC.   More information at http://www.wildgoosefestival.org/

08/20/11 PROTEST THE “OTHER WARS”
Please note also that the 2nd annual BLACK IS BACK conference held last weekend in DC has called for August 20 actions to protest the "other wars," i.e. the US backed wars and corporate proxy wars on the African continent, the occupation of Haiti, the war on the Black community in the U.S., and the ever more militarized operations on the U.S. Mexican border.

10/06/11 FREEDOM SQUARE IN WASHINGTON DC
Join thousands to protest wars and injustice on the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan.  Stop the machine, create a new world!  http://october2011.org/statement

11/18/11 SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS WATCH IN FT. BENNING
http://www.soaw.org/

From an email....

This was forwarded to me by a friend, and reportedly came from a San Francisco newspaper:
Yes, Americans are this stupid.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Poem by imprisoned nuclear disarmament activist Lynne Greenwald


FDC SeaTac

by Lynne Greenwald

Concrete walls and locked doors
cannot take away images of bright lights,
fences and towers protecting tombs
of unimaginable horrors.

We remember fertile lands, natural
forests, mollusk-rich beaches, early morning
fog clinging to water and earth until
the sun brightens the sky,
exposing Olympian mountains.

Trident IS Illegal and Immoral.
We mourn. We cannot be silent.
Resistance is a song, a dance,
an act of love.
We must resist.

*******************************
Photo is of a Women in Black vigil in Asheville in 2010.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011