Saturday, March 31, 2012

OCCUPY EPA & NOW DC

These are pictures from the protest at the EPA on 3-30-12.  Speaker included EPA whistleblower Dr. Coleman-Adebayo, Pediatricians Dr. Caldicott and Dr. Flowers and EPA Whistleblower Susan Morris.  It was a small crowd, and it was raining a bit, but I heard later that a warning email went out to EPA staff about the Occupy protest.

Her sign says STOP CORPORATIONS FROM DESTROYING THE EARTH.

Dr. Helen Caldicott speaking to the crowd.




I had some fun with the FEDERAL AGENTS in the background on the right here.  I suggested to them that they wear hoodies - and one of them pulled out the hoodie on his sweatshirt and put it up for a brief minute.  Then I noticed the soft ties that they had hanging from their belts, and I asked them if that is what they use to tie people up with..... they took exception to the idea that they "tie people up" but it seems to me that is exactly what the cops do when they arrest someone.



Carry On - by CSNY

Friday, March 30, 2012

Greensboro action!! This is terrific!!



UPDATE on 3-31-12:  While at the National Occupation of Washington DC, I met MATT from Occupy Greensboro, who was behind this film showing and other actions in relation to the foreclosure crisis.  I hope we can get this training and film showing in the Asheville area.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

In DC

 Cool statue on the National Mall.

 The only cherry blossoms that I saw - past their peak already.

 Washington Monument is closed for repairs.

 Cool looking tree, and the reflecting pools are empty of water right now.  I heard it is because of some geese that make a real mess there.

Part of the Smithsonian on the National Mall.

Notes

These are just two quotes from a book I read recently.  I really think they are the truth.

DEATH OF THE LIBERAL CLASS
By Chris Hedges

“A county that stops taking care of its own, that loses the capacity for empathy and compassion, that crumples up human beings and throws them away when it is done with them, breeds dark ideological monsters that will inevitably rise to devour the body politic.

“Violence is also a drug.  Those most addicted to violence are those who have access to weapons and penchant for force.  And killers rise to the surface of all armed movements, even those that could be defined as just, and contaminate them with the intoxicating and seductive power that comes with the capacity to kill and destroy.  I have seen it in war after war.  When you go down that road, you end up pitting your monsters against their monsters.  And the sensitive, the humane, and the gentle, those with a propensity to nuture and protect life, are pushed aside and often murdered.”

What?


U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen is seen during his meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, unseen, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, March 19, 2012.
++++++++
Who is this guy and what is he doing in Iraq?  What is "financial intelligence" and why would anyone think Americans had such a thing?  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another unpublished letter

This letter was sent to the Hendersonville News in February.  Never published.


I support cuts to the Pentagon budget.  It has grown way out of proportion to any real risk to our country in the last ten years.  If the proposed $1 trillion in cuts are enacted, the Pentagon budget will still be higher than it was in 2007, when we were still occupying Iraq. 

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has called the cuts “horrific” and he has urged Congress to not enact these automatic cuts to Pentagon spending.  I think the amount of money that we are spending on the Pentagon, on wars, on occupations, on drone bombings, and on over 1,000 overseas American bases is way out of line.  We need to be spending money here at home for infrastructure and health care for our citizens, not on wars and occupations overseas.

I cannot see how either our occupation of Iraq (which destroyed that country) or our occupation of Afghanistan (where children are freezing to death in refugee camps this winter) are helpful to the American people.  I cannot see how our drone bombings (that mainly kill civilians) are helpful to the American people either.  All of these actions strike me as totally immoral. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Comparisons of Liberal and Conservatives

The main difference between liberals and conservatives:


Some research I heard about said:

Liberals are open to experiences, and they like novelty and travel and new experiences. 

Conservatives believe in self-sufficiency, whereas liberals believe in a public code of care and equality. 

Research on six different traits showed conservatives are equal on all six traits below, but liberals were low on the last three and high on the first three, especially high on care and compassion:

1. care and compassion
2. liberty
3. fairness
4. loyalty
5. authority and order
6. sanctity

Conservatives believe in proportionality and fairness and think the liberals are punishing success and rewarding failure.  They believe in the Protestant work ethic. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Unpublished letter to the editor

 
Newborn baby in Fallujah
Photo:  As of December 21, Alani, who has worked at the hospital since 1997, told Al Jazeera she had personally logged 677 cases of birth defects since October 2009. Just eight days later when Al Jazeera visited the city on December 29, that number had already risen to 699.  “There are not even medical terms to describe some of these conditions because we’ve never seen them until now,” she said. “So when I describe it all I can do is describe the physical defects, but I’m unable to provide a medical term.”


Here is the letter that they did not publish:

LETTER SENT TO ASHEVILLE CITIZEN TIMES

The Budget Control Act of 2011 will require about $100 billion be cut from the Pentagon budget.  Over the next ten years, this would amount to about a $1 trillion cut, bringing the Pentagon budget back down to 2007 levels.  I want to see this budget cut put into effect, and the Pentagon spending return to 2000 levels.   

We have spent over $1 trillion dollars on our wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan alone, and have nothing positive to show for it.  In Iraq, the country is destroyed.  Hundreds of thousands were killed, millions are refugees, and tens of millions have been severely damaged by our war of aggression against a country that never threatened us.

In Fallujah, one baby in four dies before they are a week old.  Two more of the four babies have obvious birth defects.  Cancer rates are soaring, and all of this started in 2005.  This is the result of the US military assault on that city.  I fail to see how that helped a single American in any way, shape, or form.  It has been devastating for the city of Fallujah. 

Upcoming events in the Asheville area this week

Photo: Rainbow in Asheville today... from the Flint Street Bridge.


UPCOMING EVENTS

03/27/12 COMMUNITY FORUM ON AMENDMENT ONE
The Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council (ABCRC) and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville (UUCA) will host a community forum discussing Amendment One, from 7:30-9:30 pm at the UUCA at 1 Edwin Place, Asheville.

03/29/12 PUBLIC LECTURE AT UNCA
“Justice for All:  The History of the Justice Center” with Marty Nicholson.  Time is 12:30 PM and location is Ramsey Library.  More info at 251-6645.

03/30/12 NATIONAL OCCUPATION OF WASHINGTON DC
http://nowdc.org/ or The National Occupation of Washington, DC - Occupy Powers

03/31/12 BOOK DISCUSSION AT FIRESTORM CAFÉ AND BOOKS
This book discussion will be on “The Man Who Quit Money” and will be held at 1 PM.  This is free and open to the public.  In the autumn of 2000, Daniel Suelo deposited his life savings—all thirty dollars of it – in a phone booth. He has lived without money ever since. And he has never felt so free, or so much at peace.

03/31/12 VIGIL FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH ISSUES
This will be from 4:30 to 5:30 PM at Montreat Road and State Street in Black Mountain.  The purpose is to make a statement about women’s health issues and the government.  Women asked to wear something purple to signify that all American women stand to lose if the government enacts laws that affect reproductive health.  Please bring signs.

04/01/12 FUNDRAISER FOR EARTH FIRST!
This will be held at Rosetta’s Kitchen at 8 PM.  The fundraising will go towards an action. No further information at this time.

04/04/12 SIERRA CLUB MEETING
Hartwell Carson, French Broad River Keeper, and Frank Holleman, Southern Environmental Lawyer will talk about Coal Ash and the 2 ponds south of Asheville at Progress Energy’s Power Plants (the health and environmental impact) on Wednesday, April 4, 7 pm at Asheville’s Unitarian Church at the corner of Charlotte and Edwin.  Contact: judymattox@sbcglobal.net or 828-683-2176.

04/05/12 VETERANS FOR PEACE MEETING
Time is 6:30 PM and location is VFP HQ at the Phil Mechanic Studios at the corner of Haywood and Roberts Street in Asheville. VFP CHAPTER 099: http://vfpchapter099wnc.blogspot.com/

04/05/12 PROTEST AT ASHEVILLE CITY HALL
This will be at 4 PM outside City Hall.  The protest is against a new ordinance that further criminalizes homelessness. This will be followed by campout at Obama headquarters. This event is organized by the Occupy Asheville group.

04/07/12 GREEN PARTY MEETING
The Buncombe County GREEN Party's business meeting is free & open to the public. It will be held from 10 AM to noon, upstairs in the Fortune Building, 729 Haywood Rd., West Asheville. Contact Ronald @ 828-LUCK-180 or Larry @ 828-225-4347 for more information.

04/07/12 TRANSPORTATION PLANNING WORKSHOP
This is hosted by the Western North Carolina Alliance and Transition Asheville.  It is from 9 AM to 12 PM at the UNCA Reuter Center

04/12/12 BUNCOMBE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
Meetings begin with a closed session that typically starts at 5:30 p.m. and the general session at 6:30 p.m.  Regular monthly meetings are held at the Administrative Services Building, 175 Bingham Road, in the Board Auditorium.   There will be further discussion on the presentation of some religious materials in our schools, while other religious material is not allowed to be presented to students.  This is the time to express your opinions on the First Amendment and how it needs to be respected in our local school system.

04/13/12 MOVIE NIGHT AT UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST
The film will be “The Growing Edge”.  This is sponsored by the UU Social and Environmental Justice Film Series and Bountiful Cities Project.  Time is 7 PM and location is Universalist Unitarian Congregation of Asheville, corner of Edwin and Charlotte Avenue.

04/14/12 - 04/17/12 SOA WATCH DAYS OF ACTION IN DC
Four days of lobbying, conferences, strategy sessions, concerts and street theater.  Prior to the Days of Action, from April 11-13, we will hold a Direct  Action Training camp to train movement activists in the skills needed to carry out effective actions.  http://org2.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=5cR1JW7Z3KLARiECufCoW8UkZA/WO+zK

04/14/12 FUND RAISER FOR BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF NC
The Brain Injury Association of North Carolina (BIANC) is holding its 6th annual Walk & Roll-athon at Carrier Park.  Registration for the walk includes a t-shirt and lunch. Music, food, display booths, and activities for the whole family will be provided at the event. This event is a great way to help shine a light on brain injury, promote a sense of community among participants and supporters, and help support BIANC in their mission to offer help, hope, and a voice for people with brain injury and their families.  For more info on donating, registering, or sponsoring, visit www.bianc.net or call 800-377-1464.

04/15/12 ASHEVILLE “LETS” SEEDLING SWAP AND BIRTHDAY PARTY
An orientation to Asheville LETS will be held at 12 noon at Magnolia Park in Montford, follow by a potluck and seedling swap from 1 to 3 PM.  This is the 5th anniversary of Asheville LETS.  All are welcome.

04/17/12 GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION ON MILITARY SPENDING

04/18/12 FUND RAISER FOR HEALTH CARE ADVOCACY AND EDUCATION
“Dance Like There's Nobody Watching” is a dance to support Like o’ Mike programs:  Patient Pals & Family Friends, Start from Seed and True Stories.  Featuring Blind Boy Chocolate and the Mojomatics.  Tickets $10 in advance, $12 at the door.  Time is 6 PM to 9 PM.  Location is Highland Brewing Company at 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville.

04/19/12 EARLY VOTING BEGINS

04/19/12 WILD AND SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL
The Western North Carolina Alliance presents the first-ever Wild & Scenic Film Festival, on tour in Asheville during the week leading up to Earth Day!  For nearly a decade, the festival has been touring the country and this year the festival will make its first appearance in Western North Carolina.   Time is 7 to 10 PM and the location is the Fine Arts Theatre in Asheville.  http://wnca.org/events/wild-scenic-film-festival/

04/21/12 MARCH FOR BABIES
Join March for Babies Chair (and County Commission Chair) David Gantt in supporting the March of Dimes' efforts to raise awareness of the need for research to help prevent and treat premature birth, birth defects and other threats to babies' health. This one walk, on one day, brings the Asheville area together as one voice to help babies be born healthy. The 3-mile walk through downtown Asheville begins and ends at Pack Square Park. It's designed to be a family-friendly event, with music, food and activities for kids. Registration begins at 8:30 am, the Walk begins at 10:00 am. For more info call 828-258-1234 or go to www.marchforbabies.org.  

04/21/12 EARTH DAY
Celebration from noon to 10 PM on Lexington Avenue.

04/21/12 to 04/27/12 EARTH WEEK
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate's call for actions during Earth week, in D.C. and locally, April 21-27 http://www.interfaithactiononclimatechange.org

04/26/12 LATINO EDUCATION IN NORTH CAROLINA
Latino Education in North Carolina: Challenges & Solutions, Thursday, April 26 at 7 pm at the MAHEC Health Education Center. Hosted by the Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Community Foundation of WNC.  More info coming soon to Stand Against Racism at YWCA website: http://ywcaofasheville.org/

04/26/12 DINING OUT FOR LIFE
This is to raise support for HIV/AIDS services.

04/27/12 STAND AGAINST RACISM
More information to follow.

04/28/12 NATIONAL PROTEST AGAINST THE WAR ON WOMEN
This will be held at state capitols across the nation.  10 AM.

04/28/12 - 04/29/12 DRONE SUMMIT IN DC BY VETERANS FOR PEACE AND CODE PINK

05/01/12 OCCUPY WALL STREET CALLS FOR MAY DAY GENERAL STRIKE

05/01/12 OCCUPY CHICAGO
Adbusters has issued a Call to Action to Occupy Chicago for the NATO summit this coming May.   

05/04/12 SPRING HERB FESTIVAL AT FARMERS MARKET
More information at www.ashevilleherbfestival.com.

05/05/12 EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
The organization 350.org will hold a day of action to "Connect the Dots" between extreme weather events and climate change via distributed actions.  http://www.350.org

05/08/12 PRIMARY ELECTION DAY

05/10/12 - 05/11/12 PROTEST ALEC SPRING MEETING
Spring Task Force Summit Meeting in Charlotte NC.  More info:  http://www.alec.org/meetings/

05/17/12 CHILD & FAMILY ADVOCACY DAY IN NC
Action for Children NC will host a day of advocacy at the NC General Assembly, training on key issues, special guest speakers. More information to follow.

05/19/12 - 05/21/12 NATO IN CHICAGO
“Won’t you please come to Chicago, for the help that we can bring?  We can change the world, rearrange the world, it is dying - to get better.”  G-8 SUMMIT MOVED TO CAMP DAVID

06/02/12 to 06/06/12 END MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL WEEK
The Alliance for Appalachia's "End Mountaintop Removal Week" will be in Washington DC this June 2-6th, 2012.  http://ilovemountains.org/wiw

08/08/12 - 08/12/12 VFP NATIONAL CONVENTION IN MIAMI FL

09/03/12 DNC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN CHARLOTTE
This event goes until 09/08/12.   PROTEST THE DNC!  Already, organizations and Occupy movements across the country are making plans to mobilize to be in the streets of Charlotte during the DNC. For more information on the Coalition to Protest at the DNC and to find out how your organization can join, please visit http://protestdnc.org.

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ONGOING EVENTS
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SUNDAY
Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds a weekly vigil from 4:30 to 5 PM at All Soul's Cathedral.

TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument
Occupy Asheville Meet Talk Act Nonviolent Affinity Group meets at 4:30 PM at the Chocolate Lounge (second floor) at 10 South Lexington in Asheville. Contact earthsun2@gmail.com for more info.

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.
Occupy General Assembly at 6 PM at Pritchard Park.

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

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square (Asheville) on the first Friday of the month.
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall 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.

OCCUPY WALL STREET ASHEVILLE
Go to www.occupyasheville.org for more information, or call 888-378-0788. Information on Occupy Asheville late breaking events: http://www.occupyasheville.org/events/

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ACTIONS AND READINGS
*******************************************
From Friends Committee on National Legislation:

The United States is at a critical juncture in Afghanistan. Both the media and Congress are giving renewed attention to the ways that the U.S. military is undermining efforts to end the war and leading to the breakdown of negotiations. FCNL is urging members of Congress to end the war in Afghanistan now.

Please add your voice to the lobbying that college students participating in FCNL's Spring Lobby Weekend are doing here in Washington . As I write this, they are meeting with their senators and representatives to press the case that the U.S. needs to responsibly withdraw from Afghanistan. Join them in lobbying: please contact your representative and urge her or him to cosponsor the Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act, H.R. 780. This legislation would allow funding to be used only for an immediate, responsible withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

As FCNL's Matt Southworth explains in this video, this is a key time for U.S. policy in Afghanistan. The U.S. and its NATO allies will be gathering in Chicago in mid-May to evaluate the current war strategy. What you and all of us do between now and then could influence how Congress contributes to this change in policy.

The situation on the ground in Afghanistan is deteriorating rapidly, made worse by the presence of the U.S. military. The killings of 16 sleeping Afghans, allegedly by a U.S. soldier with a history of traumatic brain injury, and the burning of copies of the Quran are just the latest evidence of the failure of the current U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

What is the solution? A complete, responsible U.S. military withdrawal, filling the power vacuum with an international peace assistance force until a political settlement between Afghanistan and its neighbors has been reached. The Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) and currently supported by 68 representatives, would be a first step in this direction. Please urge your representative to cosponsor this legislation today.

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From United for Peace & Justice:

Take the Pledge

“If the United States applies increased sanctions, invades, bombs, sends combat troops or drones, or otherwise significantly escalates its intervention in Iran or the region directly or through support of its allies, I pledge to join with others to engage in acts of legal protest and/or nonviolent civil disobedience to prevent or halt the death and destruction which U.S. military actions would cause to the people of Iran, the Middle East, our communities at home, and the planet itself.”
By signing the pledge you will be connecting with 100,000s of others who are receiving this email; but signing up is just the first step. This will only be effective if we organize at the grassroots level. While the Pledge itself is online and there will be effective actions to do from your computer, it will be important to connect with others in your community to start building out this network. We will be able to connect you with others in your area who sign the pledge to coordinate local actions and engage in emergency response. The structure of the Iran Pledge of Resistance is a simple one: local affinity groups formed by those signing up will lead to local spokes councils and coordinating bodies. Those spokes councils will be part of the national conversation to figure out next steps, plan days of actions and much more. Now is your chance to take the first step. Go to iranpledge.org to take the pledge now.

Working together, we can be a powerful force that can change the course of history. Sign the Pledge of Resistance and start organizing now!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

NON-VIOLENCE AND FREEDOM SUMMER: A Story For Our Times


After a short introduction, Carol Rogoff Hallstrom started the program and welcomed everyone, but especially the young people.  She said that SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Council) was founded at Shaw University in 1960.  It was a student-led, black-led movement – a band of student radicals.  Harry Belafonte asked what are radicals doing today at the 50th anniversary reunion.  They also talked about a “time to heal” from the pain.  Carol shared that Stokey Carmichael said to tell your story because if someone else tells it, they will get it wrong. 

In the SNCC movement, some died, some went mad due to violence, pain and pressure – which was intense. 

Carol talked about her family history.  Her parents were immigrants who were dedicated to this country.  Part of her inspiration was JFK’s leadership and his statement that Americans should ask what they can do for their country.  The four students at the Greensboro lunch counter also inspired her actions.  She talked about going to lunch counters had being yelled at and cursed at.  She said organizing is not glamorous, it is things like going to churches to find people and talk to them. 

A man she knew – Herbert Lee – was a farmer in Mississippi and he went to register to vote and was shot and killed.

Another man – Lewis Allen – was afraid to testify, and he was shot and killed in the driveway of his home the night before he was going to testify about Herbert Lee.

These are just two individuals who lost their lives in the struggle for civil rights and the right to vote and have a voice.  There were many, many more – unknowns who were killed and suffered greatly in the civil rights struggle in the USA. 

Carol also worked to get blacks elected to the Agricultural Board. This Board controlled who grew what in the county.  She told her story of being run off a dirt road in a rural county.  She was with two other women who were black.  They felt that they had to get to the paved road, but as they were walking, the man who ran them off the road was walking behind them and poking them in the head with a rifle and saying “how’s that Martin Luther coon going to help you now” to them.  It was a very frightening time.  They finally made it to the paved road and they were picked up by a black logger.  They then followed SNCC protocol, which meant they were required to report to the local Sheriff’s office – the same Sheriff who was suspected in the murder of Lewis Allen. 

Carol said she often questioned if she really helped people when she was also putting them in very serious danger.  She said she has enormous pride in what she did, and a great deal of pain.  She talked about the movie “Mississippi Burning” which was about the killing of the three civil rights workers:  Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.  In that movie, Carol said the FBI were NOT heroic at all.  She then went on to talk about the DNC in 1964 in Atlantic City.  Part of the Freedom Summer program was to change institutions, such as the DNC, with some success and lots of failure.  Fanny Lou Hamer went to the rules committee at the DNC to ask to be seated at the convention.  DNC offered Mississippi two delegate seats that were symbolic.  The delegates said no.  Carol pointed out how even when you do the right thing, you do not necessarily get the right results. 

After her time with SNCC, they did move in another direction, towards a black nationalist organization.  The tactic of nonviolence established moral superiority making it easier for fence sitters to join them in their struggle. 




Isaac Coleman spoke second.  He said he grew up in segregated schools, but was offered the opportunity to go to an integrated school for his senior year of high school.  He turned this down.  He knew that blacks would not be welcomed at the school, and he felt that he wanted to finish his senior year in the high school where he had been attending.  He wanted to enjoy his senior year.  He then went to Knoxville College (a black college).  He started demonstrating around public accommodations via SNCC, and he went to jail a lot.  His mother was not happy with his decision to demonstrate rather than focus on college.  After one arrest, he was sentenced to the county farm.  Towards the end of the school year, the college president asked them to stop.  Marion Berry asked him to go to Mississippi for Freedom Summer to register voters.  He went to Ohio for orientation. 

Isaac first went to Jackson Mississippi, then to Columbus (better than the Delta).  He went door to door to register voters.  They called their homes “Freedom House” and one of the houses was blown up in the Delta.  He also went to West Point, Mississippi to register voters and do political organizing.  African Americans were excited about getting politically organized.  He was away at training when his house in Tupelo was set on fire.  They had difficulty finding another place, since the locals were very scared.  At one point, he was in a car with two white women and one white man and they were stopped by the police.  They all went to jail, and a mob showed up.  The deputy at the jail, grabbed him and asked him “which one of these women are you fucking” with in the cell.  In court, the deputy snuck up to Isaac and yelled ‘wake up nigger” in his ear and then smacked him.  The women called SNCC who called the Justice Department who called the police.  The police were forced to let them go and give them an escort to the edges of the county, with the mob following behind.  Then the police turned around and left them, so they quickly went to the black part of town, and the locals there started throwing rocks at the mob.

Isaac said that his experiences opened a lot of doors, but he had friends who did not survive.  One friend was shot in a grocery store and nothing was done.  Isaac spent a lot of time in jail at West Point.  A man named Billy Busbee said he was going to kill him at one point.   One day, there was a care parked on the street, and the men in it said they were FBI.  Billy Busbee was sitting in the back seat.  The FBI was not their friend. 

Isaac said that he felt it was important to know the history of our country.  He spent five years in Mississippi before going to NYC for 1 ½ years and then back to Mississippi for economic development efforts.  He helped start Freedom Schools.  He said he learned a lot in Mississippi, and he is still involved politically with the Democratic Party and running campaigns, and working on reading program for local students.  He also works with Clean Water for NC and Progressive Democrats.  Someone asked a question about non-violent tactics, and Isaac said that it was foolish to go up against the US government or any form of government in the USA with violence – they have way more weapons and know exactly how to respond to violence.  He felt that non-violent tactics were the only ones that could possible succeed. 

Isaac also recounted the story of a river being dredged while looking for the missing three civil rights workers.  They found a body while doing this, and the hands and feet were tied together, and yet the local sheriff said that it was a case of suicide.  There are so many sad stories from this time in American history.

We finished the evening by singing “Sit at the Welcome Table”.

+++++++++++
I am so impressed by Carol and Isaac.  They were very brave, and they certainly helped to improve America.
 

Hell NO! I am not all right!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Commentary by John Spitzberg


Guest Commentary to the Asheville Citizen Times, but was not published.
             
            The Asheville Homeless Network (AHN) wants to go on record to censure the Asheville City Council for eliminating the Occupy Asheville Tent City without offering some tangible safe haven for the most vulnerable and marginalized people in this city.  We speak of the chronically homeless who joined forces with the Occupy Asheville Movement to change macro level problems in this community and the country. 

            This City Council should boast of its adopted strategic plan which starts with the word Affordable. “The City of Asheville will offer a standard of living that is affordable and attainable for people of all income levels, life stages and abilities” (Welcome brochure at City Hall). Are these merely pretty words on paper?  Is the mayor and the City Council willing to enforce this strategic plan as much as they are enforcing a ban on camping?  Unfortunately, the only funding that we know of here in Asheville to house the homeless comes from the Federal Government by way of Housing and Urban Development to the tune of nearly $1,000,000.  Some of this money goes to paying salaries for those involved in finding housing while providing modest case management services to those housed. Limited day shelter services at A-Hope Day Shelter, a service provided by Homeward Bound has systematically cut its services due to no funding by the local government.

            Religious organizations such as ABCCM, Western Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army provide overnight sheltering, but the price is that a homeless person loses his or her dignity by having to report by 4 or 5 p.m.or they will lose the right to stay in the facility.  Many feel trivialized by having to meet these standards.  Furthermore, the chronic homeless are criminalized because they are denied the right to camp in most areas and can be arrested for trespass or vagrancy.  The community ends up paying heavily for their stay in the new and “improved” detention center.  A safe haven camp site would ultimately be cheaper.

            Council member Gordon Smith claims that many former homeless have been housed by agencies such as Homeward Bound and he is correct. Our appreciation goes to Brian Alexander and his team.  But in Asheville many of the chronically homeless, some of whom are beset by addiction and/or mental illness are not housed.  The city’s local housing office does not accept them according to our members. Nationally, about 15-20% of the homeless are what HUD would call chronic.  These are the people whom AHN represent and they are systematically left out of the strategic plan which the Council touts.  We are told that Homeward Bound has an outreach worker for chronically homeless people, but this worker has never approached AHN in any sort of collaborative manner. The City’s hired Homeless Initiative employee sends her Americorps Vista worker to our meetings from time to time, but there is little dialog on what the city is willing to do for or about the chronically homeless.

            Abraham Maslow, a developmental psychologist developed a Hierarchy of Needs. Basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothing were offered at the tent city.  Security needs were met because people tried to protect each other. Some of the chronically homeless felt a sense of belonging and nurturing while others rose to leadership positions in the camp..  What this city council has done is to make the most vulnerable people in the city return to foraging for their most basic needs, to fend for themselves, and risk being criminals again because of their economic status. Shame on the City Council members who voted against providing a safe haven for the chronically homeless population. Thank you to Cecil Bothwell and Gordon Smith who did not join the majority in that vote on Tuesday, Valentines Day.  Council members where is your love and caring?

            The answer to this problem is for the City Council to finance a safe haven for the chronically homeless, a place where they may camp together with safety assured and case management services using a harm reduction model. The agencies should provide housing first which provides wrap-around social work services for those who wish to be housed.  Since the 18th century though, there have been those who wish to remain outside under the stars. They should not be criminalized or penalized for this individualism. The AHN encourages citizens to come to the defense and help the most marginalized and vulnerable population in Asheville and Buncombe County, the chronically homeless.  Please join us every Thurday, 2 pm at Firestorm Café on Commerce Street.

     Approved by the Asheville Homeless Network Membership (Of the homeless, formerly homeless and their supporters).  Written by John Spitzberg, Secretary/Treasurer

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And here is a letter to the editor written by John Spitzberg, which also was not published.

A poem written by John Alexander McCrae, Flanders Fields haunts my memory as I drive by every day to once was Occupy Tent City just below the mammoth City Hall.  The names of the warriors are not from the roles of the British soldiers of World War I, but are none-the-less soldiers in the name of change. I gaze upon the flat greenery which once was full of colorful tents and banners and I hear the voices of beautiful people like Starr, Tracy, Kat, Fox, Glowlady, Venus, T.J., Kayvon, Tom, Tim, Matt, Weitzel, and unknown soldiers of the street brigade and I cry for them.  It is now a piece of land marked by ordinance signs:  flat, lifeless, tired and deserted. I think of the Buddhist nuns and monks who immolated themselves in old Saigon and I ask were these brave campers any different really? 

I remember the few but significant workers from the Goliath building which loomed over the tents who winked in silent approval while others sneered and sheepishly marched to the tune of a different drummer full of hate and fear.  Who are the 99% when so many fiddle while Rome burns? So when you pass the Occupy spaces on Lexington Avenue, before the Federal Building, the Wells Fargo Bank and the Merrill Lynch enclave, heed John Donne who said: “Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee”.

Some of you may think that using this platform to voice my concerns is not a good idea, but the Occupy movement is far from over and I am certain that we are just in the beginning of the Spring drives for righting the wrongs.  One of the pundits of the movement, Chris Hedges entitled his piece of 2/14/12 Occupy draws Strength from the Powerless.  I agree with this heading and suggest that hopefully you might also.  - John Spitzberg

Friday, March 23, 2012

"We who belive in freedom"




Ella’s Song
Composed by Bernice Johnson Reagon, copyright: Songtalk Publishing Co.


Refrain:
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

Verses
Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons
Is as important as the killing of White men, White mothers’ sons

And that which touches me most is that I had a chance to work with people
Passing on to others that which was passed on to me

To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail
And if I can shed some light as they carry us through the gale

The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on
Is when the reins are in the hand of the young who dare to run against the storm

Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me
I need to be just one in the number as we stand against tyranny

Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot I come to realize
That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survive

I’m a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard
At time I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man’s word

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"the whole universe"

The heavens and the earth are there; the sun, the moon, and the stars, fire and lightning and the
winds – the whole universe dwells within our heart. – adapted from the Upanishads (from an email from AFSC).  The picture above was taken in September 2010 in the Black Balsam mountains.  I thought it was interesting that some people decided to make a circle of rock in the river. I cannot wait to go back up there to the Black Balsams!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ninth Anniversary


In this March 20, 2003 file photo, smoke rises from the Trade Ministry in Baghdad after it was hit by a missile during US-led forces attacks.
(AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)
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And the Iraqi people are still suffering today from this war of aggression.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Forever a day of shame


Smoke rising from explosions during the first few minutes of a massive air attack on March 21, 2003 signaled the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the fall of Baghdad [GALLO/GETTY]

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Today is the ninth anniversary of the US war of aggression on Iraq.  This photo was taken a couple of days after the aggression started.  This is unforgivable.  This was a massive evil done to a people who never attacked or threatened us.  The USA owes massive reparations to Iraq.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Upcoming events for the week of March 18, 2012


UPCOMING EVENTS

03/19/12 EXPLORING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
“The Israel Lobby” is a documentary about the political influence of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on US policy in support of Israel.  It features interviews with John Mersheimer and Stephen Walt, Tony Judt, and others.  This is part of a series of three film and discussion programs at three different locations in March. The location for this event is Black Mountain Library and the time is 7 to 9 PM.  Free and open to the public.  Discussion Facilitated by Tony Bing, Ph.D., retired professor of Peace Studies, Earlham College.  Sponsored by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  More information at jamara03@bellsouth.net.

03/19/12 ISLAMIC PACIFISM:  GLOBAL MUSLIMS IN THE POST-OSAMA ERA
This even will be a lecture by Arsalan Iftikhar.  It will be held at 7 PM in the Humanities Lecture Hall at UNCA.  Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, global media commentator, founder of www.TheMuslimGuy.com and author of the book Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era. Lecture topics will include the future of the Arab Spring, Muslims in a post-9/11 America, the future of Islam and the West, and the history of Islamophobia.   Co-sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, Student Activities and Integrative Learning, Office of the Provost, Student Affairs, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Intercultural Center, Campus Recreation, Campus Life, Cultural Events and Special Academic Programs.

03/20/12 PRESENTATION ON U.S. POLICY AND ITS IMPACT ON NICARAGUA
We'll be doing a slide show and reading at Malaprop's at 7 PM. Paul Dix and Pam Fitzpatrick both worked against US funding of the Contra War in the 1980s. Paul worked as a photographer in Nicaragua from 1985 to 1990. In 2001 he selected 100 Nicaraguans for follow up and he and Pam began return trips to Nicaragua in search of these 100. After 4 trips for a total of 18 months they located nearly everyone they searched for. With this material they produced the bilingual photo/testimony book, "Nicaragua: Surviving the Legacy of US Policy."  Their presentation begins with slides of the beauty of Nicaragua, then briefly reviews the history of US involvement in the affairs of Nicaragua, a bit about the genesis of the book, followed by "then and now" photos with music, then they focus on 3 or 4 individuals from the book. No charge.

03/20/12 SECOND EMERGENCY LAKOTA SOLIDARITY PLANNING SESSION
Presented by Naomi Archer at 5 PM at Firestorm Café and Books.  Traditional Lakota elders and activists on Pine Ridge Reservation are asking for immediate solidarity assistance in the face of escalating violence and retaliation against them and their families, as they seek justice and accountability for decades of human rights abuses leading to the ongoing genocide of their people. A presentation and planning session will be held Tuesday afternoon from 5pm to 6:30pm.

03/20/12 PERFORMANCE BY THE MEET TALK ACT AFFINITY GROUP SINGERS
“Breaking up is hard to do” but Bank of America can do it now! The Bank of America, which is teetering at the edge of criminality and collapse, has generously provided us with the excuse and opportunity to sing, dance, and protest on the first day of spring. We are trying to persuade Bank of America and the US Government to work together to perform an orderly breakup of the bank so that jobs and investments are maintained. Please join Occupy Asheville's Meet Talk Act Nonviolent Affinity Group Tuesday, March 20 for this extravaganza. Location is in front of the bank at 68 Patton Avenue, across from Pritchard Park.  Time is noon to 1 PM. Bring your dancing shoes!

03/21/12 EXPLORING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
“The Israel Lobby” is a documentary about the political influence of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on US policy in support of Israel.  It features interviews with John Mersheimer and Stephen Walt, Tony Judt, and others.  This is part of a series of three film and discussion programs at three different locations in March.  The location for this event is Brooks-Howell House at 366 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville, and the time is 3:15 to 5 PM.  Free and open to the public.  Discussion Facilitated by Tony Bing, Ph.D., retired professor of Peace Studies, Earlham College.  Sponsored by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  More information at jamara03@bellsouth.net.

03/21/12 STAND AGAINST RACISM EVENT
The Center for Diversity Education will be offering two free trainings on Assessing Common Office Space in support of Stand Against Racism with the YWCA of Asheville.
**March 21 from 9:00- 10:00 at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce
**April 5 from 4:00 - 5:00 at the YWCA of Asheville
Assessing Common Office Space Workshop - When a customer or employee walks into your place of business, house of worship, school, or community center do they feel welcomed? At this hour long participatory workshop, participants will learn to assess a space for visual images, accessibility, and historical cues to create a welcoming climate for a wider, more inclusive community.  Join the Chamber and YWCA to gain tools for assessing your organization's or business's inclusiveness. Speaker Deborah Miles, Diversity Education Instructor with UNCA, will take the group through a hands-on activity to evaluate a space. We encourage you to take the tool back to your space and conduct your own evaluation in time for "The Stand" on April 27.  Haven't Signed Up Yet for "The Stand"? If you haven't signed up yet to be a Participating Site of the 2012 Stand Against Racism, you still have time! Simply sign up by clicking www.standagainstracism.org.

03/21/12 ENVIRONMENTAL FILM AND DISCUSSION AT WARREN WILSON COLLEGE
The film “Green Fire” will be shown at Cannon Lounge at Warren Wilson College at 8 PM.  The public is invited to see the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold and his environmental legacy.  “Green Fire” partners include The U.S. Forest Service, N.C. Leopold Education Project; N.C. Cooperative Extension; The Wilderness Society; The Nature Conservancy; Western North Carolina Alliance; Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy; and Land Trust for the Little Tennessee.  For more information about the local showings, call Jill Gottesman, with The Wilderness Society, at 828-587-9453. For more information about the movie, visit www.GreenFireMovie.com.

03/22/12 EXPLORING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
“The Israel Lobby” is a documentary about the political influence of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on US policy in support of Israel.  It features interviews with John Mersheimer and Stephen Walt, Tony Judt, and others.  This is part of a series of three film and discussion programs at three different locations in March.  The location for this event is Firestorm Café and Books in Asheville, and the time is 6 to 8 PM.  Free and open to the public.  Discussion Facilitated by Tony Bing, Ph.D., retired professor of Peace Studies, Earlham College.  Sponsored by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  More information at jamara03@bellsouth.net.

03/22/12 “CLEAN WATER NOT COAL ASH” COOKOUT AND RALLY
In honor of World Water Day, the Western North Carolina Alliance, Appalachian Voices and partners are inviting the public to a “Clean Water NOT Coal Ash” cookout and rally from 5-7 PM at Lake Julian Park.  http://wnca.org/alliance-hosts-clean-water-not-coal-ash-cookout-and-rally/

03/22/12 FUND RAISER FOR “HOPE TO HOME”
A delicious lasagna dinner and hilarious musical entertainment by Opera Creations will be provided for a $10 ticket ($25 per family).  This will be held at First Baptist Church at 5 Oak Street in Asheville.   Time is 5:45 to 8 PM.

03/23/12 - 03/25/12 SOUTHEASTERN REGIONAL CONVERGENCE OF OCCUPATIONS
http://www.occupysoutheast.org/

03/24/12 CAMPAIGN FOR SOUTHERN EQUALITY VOLUNTEER TRAINING
This will include the WE DO Volunteer Training and CSE Family Dinner.  Location is Friendship Hall at First Congregational UCC at 20 Oak Street in Asheville.  Time is 5 to 7 PM.  BYOB and a favorite dish. LGBT people and allies of all ages welcome.

03/25/12 RELATIONAL ORGANIZING ON AMENDMENT ONE
Discussion and examination of the amendment, reflecting on how it will impact our lives and our communities. Specific emphasis placed on building, practicing, and refining skills employed in relational organizing--telling our stories in a short, compelling, targeted fashion with the people already in our lives to encourage them to come out to vote against A1 on May 8. Free and Open to Asheville community members. Specific LGBTQIA organization leaders will also invited.  Time is 3 PM and location is Firestorm Café and Books.

03/27/12 COMMUNITY FORUM ON AMENDMENT ONE
The Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council (ABCRC) and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville (UUCA) will host a community forum discussing Amendment One, from 7:30-9:30pm at the UUCA at 1 Edwin Place, Asheville.

03/30/12 NATIONAL OCCUPATION OF WASHINGTON DC
http://nowdc.org/ or The National Occupation of Washington, DC - Occupy Powers

03/31/12 BOOK DISCUSSION AT FIRESTORM CAFÉ AND BOOKS
This book discussion will be on “The Man Who Quit Money” and will be held at 1 PM.  This is free and open to the public.  In the autumn of 2000, Daniel Suelo deposited his life savings—all thirty dollars of it – in a phone booth. He has lived without money ever since. And he has never felt so free, or so much at peace.
 
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ONGOING EVENTS
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SUNDAY
Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds a weekly vigil from 4:30 to 5 PM at All Soul's Cathedral.

TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument
Occupy Asheville Meet Talk Act Nonviolent Affinity Group meets at 4:30 PM at the Chocolate Lounge (second floor) at 10 South Lexington in Asheville. Contact earthsun2@gmail.com for more info.

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.
Occupy General Assembly at 6 PM at Pritchard Park.

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

FRIDAY
Women in Black have a vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square (Asheville) on the first Friday of the month.
Women in Black have a weekly vigil at noon at the City Hall 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.

OCCUPY WALL STREET ASHEVILLE
Go to www.occupyasheville.org for more information, or call 888-378-0788. Information on Occupy Asheville late breaking events: http://www.occupyasheville.org/events/

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ACTIONS AND READINGS
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Take action:  Stop Backdoor Bribery

Right now, members of Congress officially earn $174,000 a year. Officially. But that's not their real salary. As numerous media reports and first-hand accounts have shown, the way that many elected officials really make money is to secure high-paying lobbying jobs after leaving Congress, often with the very firms or companies for whom they have done legislative favors while still in office.

It's what you might call Backdoor Bribery—and we need your help to stop it.
So for instance, former Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd got a 762% raise after he retired from the Senate to work at the movie industry association.  Based on available information, the average raise for a member of Congress who becomes an influence-peddler is 1452%.

It's so bad that some current members of Congress, whose retirement is still 10 months away, are already negotiating with lobbyists right now for jobs.

This is outrageous. There are 34 current members of Congress who have announced they are leaving office. We're sending a letter to each of them, asking them to tell the public who is offering them jobs and who they are negotiating with. The American people have the right to know: Who are members of Congress really working for?  

Sign the letter here, addressed to the retiring members of Congress, and we'll deliver the petition with your name on it to their offices. Over the course of the next few weeks, we'll be doing follow-up work to get them to tell us who might be offering them backdoor bribes. And forward this email to your friends. Facebook it. Tweet it out.
It's supposed to be our government, not the lobbyists. Let's make it ours. Click here to sign the letter.

http://www.republicreport.org/2012/stop-backdoor-bribery-lette/


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Take action:  Citizens for Creating Non-Partisan Redistricting Commission

To be delivered to: The North Carolina State House, The North Carolina State Senate, and Governor Beverly Perdue.

“We, the undersigned, demand that Governor Perdue create and that the NC Legislature approve a nonpartisan redistricting commission to draw up voting districts that represent the voters of North Carolina without influence by any political party.”

Go to this link to sign this petition:

http://signon.org/sign/citizens-for-creating?source=s.em.cr&r_by=181732&mailing_id=2626

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Join us every Wednesday for Asheville Green Drinks

Every Wednesday night at Posana Cafe, we invite you to grab a beer and join like minded individuals to discuss environmental issues and hear presendations by local environmental leaders. The events are casual and fun, starting at 5:30pm with the presentation beginning at 6pm. http://wnca.org/events/

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Killing children


Photo:  Villagers showed bloodstains in one of the houses allegedly attacked by the soldier.  AFP Photo. (Please note:  it was most likely MORE than one soldier.)

Previous war crimes that indicate we have lost in Afghanistan

  • February 2012: Violent protests erupt after US troops inadvertently burn copies of the Koran at Bagram air base in Kabul. At least 30 are killed.
  • January 2012: US and UN officials describe a video clip of US marines urinating on dead Afghans as "disgusting" and "inhuman"
And then there is this:  'Intentional murders'
In a statement, Mr Karzai described the deaths in Kandahar as "intentional murders".  "When Afghan people are killed deliberately by US forces this action is murder and terror and an unforgivable action," he said. (BBC)
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I am guessing that US troops are in Afghanistan for the same reasons that they were in Iraq:  To bring those poor souls living there the freedom of the grave and the democracy of death.  It was reported that nine children were killed in this attack.  And children are still dying in Iraq and Vietnam from the poison the US military left behind, but we killed children in Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan with drone bombings in the last few days.

We are killers of children.

Kucinich

Photo of Rep. Kucinich in Asheville in May 007. 

From Glenn Greenwald:
After his Party leaders decreed that impeachment of Bush was “off the table” — both because they feared it would jeopardize their electoral prospects and because top Democrats were complicit in Bush crimes — Kucinich defied their orders and introduced articles of impeachment against Bush for the Iraq War, his chronic lawbreaking, and his assault on the Constitution: exactly what impeachment was designed to prevent and punish. He was one of the very few people in Congress who vehemently denounced the assaults on the Constitution with equal vigor under the prior GOP President and the current Democratic one. He was one of the very few people in Congress with the courage to deviate from the AIPAC script, opposing the Israeli blockade of Gaza, condemning Israeli wars of aggression, and repeatedly publicizing the oppression of Palestinians with the use of American funds and support. He repeatedly insisted on application of the law to the Executive Branch’s foreign policy when all of Washington agreed to overlook it. He repeatedly opposed bipartisan measures to intensify hostility toward Iran. When the Democrats won Congress in 2006 based on a promise to end the Iraq War, only to turn around and continue to fund it without restrictions (thus ensuring that this politically advantageous war would be raging during the 2008 election), Kucinich continuously demanded that they follow through on their promises.

In the domestic policy area, Kucinich typically defended the values which the Democratic Party claims to support even as it assaults those very values. As Progressive wrote this week, “Kucinich was fearless in standing up to corporate power, in denouncing NAFTA and GATT and the WTO and the fallacy of free trade, in criticizing the Federal Reserve Board for not doing more about unemployment and for bailing out the banks” and he “campaigned mightily for universal single-payer health care” (though, under heavy pressure and threats, he supported Obama’s health care bill at the last moment). Kucinich vocally criticized President Obama for proposing substantial cuts to Social Security. He became an increasingly outspoken critic of the Drug War. The Nation‘s John Nichols this week praised him as “one of [Congress'] steadiest critics of corporate power.” Those noble fights were often waged against his own party’s leadership, with risk to his own political fortunes, and with very few allies.
Dennis Kucinich is a hero of mine.  He has consistently stood up for what was right, for what was moral, and never backed down.  I am certain he will still find a way to serve the people, with his wife standing along side him.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Lives in the Balance" by Jackson Browne




Lyrics
I've been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you've seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war

And there's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runs
On the radio talk shows and the t.v.
You hear one thing again and again
How the u.s.a. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends--
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can't take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone
There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can't even say the names

They sell us the president the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Upcoming events in the Asheville area this week

Photo came from an email from Code Pink.  They were demonstrating against AIPAC meeting in DC earlier this month.


UPCOMING EVENTS

03/12/12 EXPLORING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
“The Lemon Tree” is a poignant, award-winning drama of a Palestinian widow’s struggle to prevent the Israeli military from cutting down the lemon trees in her family’s orchard.  This is part of a series of three film and discussion programs at three different locations in March.  The location for this event is Black Mountain Library and the time is 7 to 9 PM.  Free and open to the public.  Discussion Facilitated by Tony Bing, Ph.D., retired professor of Peace Studies, Earlham College.  Sponsored by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  More information at jamara03@bellsouth.net.

03/14/12 EXPLORING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
“The Lemon Tree” is a poignant, award-winning drama of a Palestinian widow’s struggle to prevent the Israeli military from cutting down the lemon trees in her family’s orchard.  This is part of a series of three film and discussion programs at three different locations in March.  The location for this event is Brooks-Howell House at 366 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville, and the time is 3:15 to 5 PM.  Free and open to the public.  Discussion Facilitated by Tony Bing, Ph.D., retired professor of Peace Studies, Earlham College.  Sponsored by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  More information at jamara03@bellsouth.net.

03/15/12 CARING FOR CREATION WEEKEND AT CAMP JUNALUSKA
Dr. Bill McKibben, environmental author and founder of 350.org, will be a featured presenter at Caring for Creation 2012 on March15 to March 18, 2012, at Lake Junaluska. He will be appearing by Skype.  Caring for Creation, a faith based eco justice event, will explore ways individuals and churches can become more environmentally conscious and good stewards of God's Earth.  Named for the safe level of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, 350 parts per million, 350.org is an international grassroots campaign that aims to mobilize a global climate movement. For over 20 years, McKibben has been environmentally active, releasing over a dozen books and various articles on climate change. More information:  http://www.lakejunaluska.com/caring-for-creation/

03/15/12 EXPLORING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
“The Lemon Tree” is a poignant, award-winning drama of a Palestinian widow’s struggle to prevent the Israeli military from cutting down the lemon trees in her family’s orchard.  This is part of a series of three film and discussion programs at three different locations in March.  The location for this event is Firestorm Café and Books in Asheville, and the time is 8 PM.  Free and open to the public.  Discussion Facilitated by Tony Bing, Ph.D., retired professor of Peace Studies, Earlham College.  Sponsored by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  More information at jamara03@bellsouth.net.

03/15/12 “MARKETS NOT CAPITALISM” BOOK DISCUSSION
A Discussion with Author Charles Johnson who is coeditor of the newly released book "Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism Against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty" The economic crisis needs fresh new responses, which emphasize the ways in which poverty and economic inequality have resulted from collusion between government and big business, which has enriched a few corporate giants at the expense of the rest of us. Rather than turning back to politics, the authors argue that working people must begin to free themselves of the mistakes of the past, and work together to take back control over their own lives and livelihoods through individual freedom, mutual exchange, human-scale markets and nonviolent grassroots social activism. Time is 6 to 8 PM.  Location is Firestorm Cafe and Books.

03/16/12 ENVIRONMENTAL FILM AND DISCUSSION AT UNCA
The film “Green Fire” will be shown at Highsmith University Union Grotto at 6:30 PM and will be followed by a panel discussion.  Open to the public, and there is more information below.

03/16/12 WNC PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MEETING
Bring a brown bag lunch around noon. The meeting will officially start at 12:30 and end about 2:00.  Physicians, health personnel and, yes, everyone; all are welcomed at our monthly meetings.  DIRECTIONS:  (Location is in vicinity of Veterans Hospital)  Proceed east on Tunnel Rd./US 70 (away from downtown Asheville) to about one short block prior to the Blue Ridge Pky overpass. Turn right (south) on Pleasant Ridge Dr., then turn right on the second street, Wagon Rd., then immediate left on Birchwood Lane to #18 on the left side of the street. For more information contact Dr. Terry Clark, Chair, 633-0892 or Dr. Lew Patrie, 299-1242.

03/17/12 SIXTH MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF OCCUPY WALL STREET
Congratulations to the Occupy movement for changing the conversation and raising awareness of very important issues that are ignored by the corporate media.  Locally, there is a BBQ potluck on March 17th at 3 PM at French Broad Park, 6 month anniversary of OWS.  Veggie burgers, hot dogs, meat food, bring food, anyone welcome.

03/19/12 EXPLORING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
“The Israel Lobby” is a documentary about the political influence of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on US policy in support of Israel.  It features interviews with John Mersheimer and Stephen Walt, Tony Judt, and others.  This is part of a series of three film and discussion programs at three different locations in March. The location for this event is Black Mountain Library and the time is 7 to 9 PM.  Free and open to the public.  Discussion Facilitated by Tony Bing, Ph.D., retired professor of Peace Studies, Earlham College.  Sponsored by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  More information at jamara03@bellsouth.net.

03/19/12 ISLAMIC PACIFISM:  GLOBAL MUSLIMS IN THE POST-OSAMA ERA
This event will be a lecture by Arsalan Iftikhar.  It will be held at 7 PM in the Humanities Lecture Hall at UNCA.  Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, global media commentator, founder of www.TheMuslimGuy.com and author of the book Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era. Lecture topics will include the future of the Arab Spring, Muslims in a post-9/11 America, the future of Islam and the West, and the history of Islamophobia.   Co-sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, Student Activities and Integrative Learning, Office of the Provost, Student Affairs, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Intercultural Center, Campus Recreation, Campus Life, Cultural Events and Special Academic Programs.

03/20/12 PRESENTATION ON US POLICY AND ITS IMPACT ON NICARAGUA
We'll be doing a slide show and reading at Malaprop's at 7 PM. Paul Dix and Pam Fitzpatrick both worked against US funding of the Contra War in the 1980s. Paul worked as a photographer in Nicaragua from 1985 to 1990. In 2001 he selected 100 Nicaraguans for follow up and he and Pam began return trips to Nicaragua in search of these 100. After 4 trips for a total of 18 months they located nearly everyone they searched for. With this material they produced the bilingual photo/testimony book, "Nicaragua: Surviving the Legacy of US Policy."  Their presentation begins with slides of the beauty of Nicaragua, then briefly reviews the history of US involvement in the affairs of Nicaragua, a bit about the genesis of the book, followed by "then and now" photos with music, then they focus on 3 or 4 individuals from the book. No charge.

03/21/12 EXPLORING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
“The Israel Lobby” is a documentary about the political influence of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on US policy in support of Israel.  It features interviews with John Mersheimer and Stephen Walt, Tony Judt, and others.  This is part of a series of three film and discussion programs at three different locations in March.  The location for this event is Brooks-Howell House at 366 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville, and the time is 3:15 to 5 PM.  Free and open to the public.  Discussion Facilitated by Tony Bing, Ph.D., retired professor of Peace Studies, Earlham College.  Sponsored by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  More information at jamara03@bellsouth.net.

03/21/12 STAND AGAINST RACISM
The Center for Diversity Education will be offering two free trainings on Assessing Common Office Space in support of Stand Against Racism with the YWCA of Asheville.
March 21 from 9:00- 10:00 at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce
April 5 from 4:00 - 5:00 at the YWCA of Asheville
Assessing Common Office Space Workshop - When a customer or employee walks into your place of business, house of worship, school, or community center do they feel welcomed? At this hour long participatory workshop, participants will learn to assess a space for visual images, accessibility, and historical cues to create a welcoming climate for a wider, more inclusive community.  Join the Chamber and YWCA to gain tools for assessing your organization's or business's inclusiveness. Speaker Deborah Miles, Diversity Education Instructor with UNCA, will take the group through a hands-on activity to evaluate a space. We encourage you to take the tool back to your space and conduct your own evaluation in time for "The Stand" on April 27.  Haven't Signed Up Yet for "The Stand"? If you haven't signed up yet to be a Participating Site of the 2012 Stand Against Racism, you still have time! Simply sign up by clicking www.standagainstracism.org.

03/22/12 EXPLORING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT
“The Israel Lobby” is a documentary about the political influence of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on US policy in support of Israel.  It features interviews with John Mersheimer and Stephen Walt, Tony Judt, and others.  This is part of a series of three film and discussion programs at three different locations in March.  The location for this event is Firestorm Café and Books in Asheville, and the time is 6 to 8 PM.  Free and open to the public.  Discussion Facilitated by Tony Bing, Ph.D., retired professor of Peace Studies, Earlham College.  Sponsored by Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.  More information at jamara03@bellsouth.net.

03/21/12 ENVIRONMENTAL FILM AND DISCUSSION AT WARREN WILSON COLLEGE
The film “Green Fire” will be shown at Cannon Lounge at Warren Wilson College at 8 PM.  The public is invited to see the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold and his environmental legacy.  “Green Fire” partners include The U.S. Forest Service, N.C. Leopold Education Project; N.C. Cooperative Extension; The Wilderness Society; The Nature Conservancy; Western North Carolina Alliance; Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy; and Land Trust for the Little Tennessee.  For more information about the local showings, call Jill Gottesman, with The Wilderness Society, at 828-587-9453. For more information about the movie, visit www.GreenFireMovie.com.

03/23/12 - 03/25/12 SOUTHEASTERN REGIONAL CONVERGENCE OF OCCUPATIONS
http://www.occupysoutheast.org/

03/23/12 - 03/25/12 UNAC CONFERENCE IN CONNETICUT

03/25/12 MARCH ON YOUR STATEHOUSE DAY
More information to follow (hopefully).

03/25/12 RELATIONAL ORGANIZING ON AMENDMENT ONE
Discussion and examination of the amendment, and reflecting on how it will impact our lives and our communities. Specific emphasis placed on building, practicing, and refining skills employed in relational organizing--telling our stories in a short, compelling, targeted fashion with the people already in our lives to encourage them to come out to vote against A1 on May 8. Free and Open to Asheville community members. Specific LGBTQIA organization leaders will also invited.  Time is 3 PM and location is Firestorm Café and Books.

03/30/12 NATIONAL OCCUPATION OF WASHINGTON DC
http://nowdc.org/ or The National Occupation of Washington, DC - Occupy Powers

03/31/12 CAMPAIGN FOR SOUTHERN EQUALITY FAMILY DINNER
More information at http://southernequality.org/

03/31/12 BOOK DISCUSSION AT FIRESTORM CAFÉ AND BOOKS
This book discussion will be on “The Man Who Quit Money” and will be held at 1 PM.  This is free and open to the public.  In the autumn of 2000, Daniel Suelo deposited his life savings—all thirty dollars of it – in a phone booth. He has lived without money ever since. And he has never felt so free, or so much at peace.

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ONGOING EVENTS
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SUNDAY
Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds a weekly vigil from 4:30 to 5 PM at All Soul's Cathedral.

TUESDAY
Veterans for Peace have a weekly vigil at 4:15 - 5:15 PM at Pack Square, Vance Monument
Occupy Asheville Meet Talk Act Nonviolent Affinity Group meets at 4:30 PM at the Chocolate Lounge (second floor) at 10 South Lexington in Asheville. Contact earthsun2@gmail.com for more info.

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 vigil at 5 PM at Pack Square (Asheville) on the first Friday of the month.
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.

OCCUPY WALL STREET ASHEVILLE
Go to www.occupyasheville.org for more information, or call 888-378-0788. Information on Occupy Asheville late breaking events: http://www.occupyasheville.org/events/  General Assembly will be held at 6 PM on Thursday and at 3 PM on Saturday.  Location TBD.

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ACTIONS AND READINGS
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The public is invited to see the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold and his environmental legacy.  The free movie, “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time,” will be shown at four locations across Western North Carolina next week.  Two of them are local.  “Green Fire,” shares highlights from Leopold’s extraordinary career, explaining how he shaped conservation and the modern environmental movement. It also illustrates how Leopold’s vision of a community that cares about both people and land, an idea that has come to be known as a “land ethic,” continues to inform and inspire people across the country and around the world, highlighting modern projects that put Leopold’s land ethic in action in a multitude of ways.  

The “Green Fire” movie will be shown on the following days and locations:
March 16, 6:30 p.m.: Asheville, University of North Carolina-Asheville, Highsmith University Union Grotto.
March 21, 8 p.m.: Swannanoa, Warren Wilson College, Canon Lounge.

Curt Meine, the film’s on-screen guide, is scheduled to attend all four showings. Meine’s doctoral dissertation was a biography of Aldo Leopold, published as “Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work” (University of Wisconsin Press, 1988).  After the Asheville showing of the movie at UNCA, there will be a panel discussion, open to audience questions, with Meine, Julie Mayfield of WNC Alliance, Brent Martin with the Wilderness Society, David Ray with the Nature Conservancy, staff from Warren Wilson College, and others.  “Green Fire” partners include The U.S. Forest Service, N.C. Leopold Education Project; N.C. Cooperative Extension; The Wilderness Society; The Nature Conservancy; Western North Carolina Alliance; Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy; and Land Trust for the Little Tennessee.  For more information about the local showings, call Jill Gottesman, with The Wilderness Society, at 828-587-9453. For more information about the movie, visit www.GreenFireMovie.com.