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Ask the U.S. Institute of Peace to Work for PeaceThe U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) is a federal government institute created by a bill signed into law in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan and funded annually by Congress as well as sometimes receiving funding from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the military. The law states that the "Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the Director of Central Intelligence each may assign officers and employees of his respective department or agency, on a rotating basis to be determined by the Board, to the Institute." The Institute has never opposed a U.S. war and claims that it can only support things, not oppose them. But in fact, the law only forbids it from seeking "to influence the passage or defeat of legislation ... except that the personnel of the Institute may testify or make other appropriate communication when formally requested to do so by a legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof." Most U.S. wars, including the war on Libya, the newly revived war on Iraq (and Syria), and the drone wars on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, have been launched without legislation. And, even if there were legislation involved, it would not be at all difficult for USIP to ask a single member of Congress to request its opinion, thereby freeing it to provide its views and its research. USIP makes no claim that it cannot provide the public with information on the negative results of U.S. wars; it simply fails to do so. The Institute in fact makes recommendations to Congress, including in formally presented testimony, it just recommends things like supporting the Syrian opposition, training and arming troops to fight both ISIS and the Syrian government, and creating a "no fly zone" in Syria, rather than working toward an arms embargo or aid or diplomacy. The Institute has recommended diplomacy with Iran, and could do so in a dozen other cases, although its notion that weapons sales is part of diplomacy may be less than helpful. The law requires that the USIP Board include 15 voting members, including the Secretaries of State and "Defense," the President of the National "Defense" University, and 12 members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and each having "practical or academic experience in peace and conflict resolution." The law also states that "No member of the Board may participate in any decision, action, or recommendation with respect to any matter which directly and financially benefits the member or pertains specifically to any public body or any private or nonprofit firm or organization with which the member is then formally associated or has been formally associated within a period of two years." There are a number of mechanisms for removing a board member, including 8 or more board members making that recommendation to the President. The USIP does do some work aimed at peace, including hosting speakers and producing publications aimed at peace, sending skilled mediators into conflict zones, making research grants, holding essay contests, and conducting conflict-resolution trainings, but such efforts are deeply compromised by the following concerns: USIP board member and chairman, Stephen Hadley, urges the bombing of Syria and the militarization of Ukraine, while encouraging European nations to double their military spending, and himself profiting from war as a board member of Raytheon. USIP board member Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary at the Pentagon, promotes higher military spending, an attack on Iran, and deployment of nuclear weapons to nations on Russia's border. USIP board member Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC, is career military. USIP promotes the overthrow of the Syrian government. USIP is not known to have ever opposed a U.S. war, U.S. weapons exports, U.S. foreign bases, or U.S. military spending. USIP promotes trade embargoes, economic austerity programs, and electoral interventions as tools of aggression, not peace building. USIP funds many more supporters than opponents of militarism. USIP hosts pro-war talks by leading war advocates. Appropriate board members for USIP exist in large numbers, and many of them would no doubt be happy to serve. Here are a few examples of the many possible names: Kathy Kelly, Michael McPhearson, Ann Wright, Paul Chappell, Noura Erekat, Dennis Kucinich, David Vine, Matt Daloisio, John Dear, Bruce Gagnon, Phil Donahue, Mel Duncan, David Hartsough, Mubarak Awad, Leslie Cagan, Roy Bourgeois, Cornell West, Lennox Yearwood, Osagyefo Sekou, Phyllis Bennis, Andy Shallal, Helena Cobban, Noam Chomsky, Elliott Adams.
Vote "NONE OF THE ABOVE"We all know "we the people" are not represented by those we send to Washington. They serve corporate masters. If we can support dictators and create expensive wars then we can afford a second election within 30 days of first. We do not need majority just more than anyone else.
Fully Decriminalize Industrial HempIndustrial hemp is a variety of cannabis sativa. Both the U.N. and the North American Free Trade Agreement recognize industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana due to hemp's next-to-nothing THC content. For thousands of years hemp was used to make dozens of commercial products like paper, rope, canvas, and textiles. Many years ago hemp and marijuana were unjustly banned together. Hemp has great environmental, economic, and commercial potential!! Hemp and marijuana are two very different cultivars grown using very distinct and differentiated methods. The potential of hemp for paper production is enormous. In 1916 the U.S. Department of Agriculture published a report which found that one acre of hemp can produce four times as much pulp for paper as one acre of trees! All types of paper products can be produced from hemp: newsprint, computer paper, stationary, cardboard, envelopes, toilet paper, even tampons. Paper production from hemp would eliminate the need to chop down BILLIONS of trees! MILLIONS of acres of forests and huge areas of wildlife habitat could be preserved! With tree farms, soil exposure can last for years in the time it takes for even a small tree to grow. Trees must grow for somewhere between several years & thousands of years after planting before they can be harvested for commercial use! Within 3-4 months after it is planted, hemp grows 10 to 20 feet tall and it is ready for harvesting! Hemp's long, strong, quickly growing roots help percolate and hold the soil in place. They also contribute to nutrient recycling through the whole plant. Additionally, any stalk or leaves help keep the soil from drying out while its bio-mass insulates the area. Reduction of topsoil erosion would also reduce pollution of lakes/rivers/streams. Fewer caustic and toxic chemicals are used to make paper from hemp than are used to make paper from trees. It has been estimated that hemp could provide 100% of US energy needs if widely cultivated and put to good use. So many products can be made from hemp. Growing hemp would completely change what we call America today. Many products would become eco-friendly and our environment and economy would improve drastically in just a few short years. Of course there are some very rich people who have been doing things the wrong way for a very long time who would not like the U.S. to have a cheaper, more renewable, resource -- a resource that would be available to almost anyone with land, a little bit of money, or the ability to sharecrop. Some people are very resistant to change. But President Obama claims to be so much different than that. Thats why the world needs your help to tell Obama to use his power of executive order to fully and immediately decriminalize industrial hemp.
Take Pulitzer Away from Reporter Who Lied About HiroshimaAfter Wilfred Burchett reported on the death and dying at Hiroshima, the Pentagon assigned reporters to dishonestly oppose that reporting with lies. One of these was William Laurence. His front-page story, U.S. ATOM BOMB SITE BELIES TOKYO TALES: TESTS ON NEW MEXICO RANGE CONFIRM THAT BLAST, AND NOT RADIATION, TOOK TOLL, ran on September 12, 1945 in the New York Times. "William L. Laurence went on to write a series of ten articles for the Times that served as a glowing tribute to the ingenuity and technical achievements of the nuclear program. Throughout these and other reports, he downplayed and denied the human impact of the bombing. Laurence won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting." "It turns out that William L. Laurence was not only receiving a salary from The New York Times. He was also on the payroll of the War Department. In March 1945, General Leslie Groves had held a secret meeting at The New York Times with Laurence to offer him a job writing press releases for the Manhattan Project, the U.S. program to develop atomic weapons. The intent, according to the Times, was 'to explain the intricacies of the atomic bomb’s operating principles in laymen’s language.' Laurence also helped write statements on the bomb for President Truman and Secretary of War Henry Stimson." Amy Goodman and David Goodman wrote about this at https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/08/hiroshima-cover-up-how-the-war-departments-timesman-won-a-pulitzer/
Letter to Pope FrancisSome endorsers: Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan Rev Kristin Stoneking, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nyack, NY Deacon Tom Cornell, Catholic Worker Farm, Marlboro, NY Johnny Zokovitch, FL David Swanson Sister Rose Marie Cummins Sr. Miriam MacGillis, OP, Genesis Farm Dr. Paul E. Ivory Debbie & Bill Quigley, New Orleans, LA Herbert Bix, Cambridge, MA Kathy Kelly, Chicago, IL Fr. Tim Taugher, St Francis of Assisi, Binghamton, NY Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ Deacon Jim Rauner, Diocese of Kalamazoo, Watervliet, MI Jane F. Morissey, ssj, Massachusetts Rev Robert E. Osborne, Louisville, KY Sister Kathleen Desautels, SP, Chicago, IL Elliott Adams Fr. Regis Ryan, Dio. of Pittsburgh Fr. Tony Gallagher, Toledo, OH Sally Bostwick, ret. USN Commander Karl Meyer, Greenlands Catholic Worker, Nashville, TN William H. Privett, NY Victoria B. Ross, Western NY Peace Center, Buffalo, NY Ardeth Platte, OP, Jonah House Carol Gilbert, OP, Jonah House Jack Gilroy, NY Elizabeth McAlister, Jonah House, Baltimore, MD Pat Ferrone, Pax Christi Massachusetts Pat McSweeney, Massachusetts Pax Christi Greensburg, PA Robert M. Smith Brandywine Peace Community, Philadelphia, PA Neil Himber, Youngsville, Pennsylvania Nick Mottern, New York Molly Rush, Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh, PA Sister Rosemary McSorley, shcj Anne Symens-Bucher, Canticle Farm, Oakland, CA Wally Inglis, Honolulu, HI R. Barry Martin, Good Shepherd & McCauley House, Philadelphia, PA Victor Hummert, Indiana Mary Aileen/ Purdy Dame, Medford, MA Nancy O'Byrne, Pax Christi Florida Ray Mack Faye Hinze, Bay Area, CA Mike Wisniewski, Los Angeles Catholic Worker, CA Raquel Falk, St . Peter Claver Catholic Worker, South Bend, IN Fr. Jim Hogan, Dio. of Helena, MT Stephen Kobasa Michael Ifrate, Wheeling, WV Nancy Wallace Fr. Jim Murphy, Dio. of Madison, Highland, WI JoAnne Lingle Rev Louis Arseneaux, C.M., Pax Christi New Orleans Mary Ann Buckley Carolyn McDonnell, Mercy Associates, IL Patricia Donohue Roy Bourgeois, Founder SOAW, Columbus, GA Paula Ewers Fr. Donald Fisher, McKees Rocks, PA Libby Pappalardo Frances Rossi William Houston, Jr Mary Elizabeth Crane John Amidon, Albany, NY Jeanne Allen Eve Tetaz Maureen Hearn Henri A. Fourroux, III Karen McLoughlin Malachy Kilbride, Quaker Ben Gordon, Pax Christi, New Orleans (a partial listing)
President Obama, meet with President Putin.These are dangerous times. The U.S. is “modernizing” its nuclear arsenal and placing NATO bases and troops on the Russian border. In response, President Putin is building 40 intercontinental ballistic weapons, saying he has no choice. On July 4, 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin called the White House and wished President Barack Obama Happy Fourth of July. “In his message of congratulations, the Russian President noted that, …Russian-American relations remain the most important factor of international stability and security,” Reuters reported. “Mr. Putin expressed confidence that Russia and the United States could find solutions to the most complicated international issues and work together to meet global threats and challenges," the Kremlin said. 60 years ago, on July 9, 1955, the Russell—Einstein Manifesto was signed. They denounced the dangerous drive toward war between the world’s two nuclear nations. “Here, then,” it stated, “is the problem which we present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall” humanity “renounce war?” Today, we must add a second and terrible threat to the “Earth’s biosphere”: climate change, which would be greatly exacerbated due to the pollution of our lands, seas and sky by nuclear war. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the Doomsday Clock from 5 minutes to 3 minutes to minutes to midnight because "the constant threat of nuclear war and ‘unchecked climate change’ severely threaten human civilization.” The U.S. and the Soviet Union worked together to defeat Nazi Germany. They cooperated again in the P5+1/Iran nuclear agreement and President Putin said the deal will ...“assist in strengthening global and regional security” and “global nuclear non-proliferation”. President Obama, please accept President Putin’s offer to meet to discuss Russian—American relations. This could help create mutual understanding and reduce the threat of nuclear war. It could be an important step toward saving the human race and our precious Earth. Lee Loe, Houston, TX Grandmother for Peace & Survival
Protect VA, NC, and WV from a risky new fracked-gas pipeline!The 550-mile fracked Atlantic Coast Pipeline would pass by the James River, two VA state parks, and numerous schools and tourist destinations - plus the Blue Ridge Parkway and the gorgeous George Washington National Forest! http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/02/3478041/atlantic-coast-pipeline/ I am a Virginia resident, and am very concerned about the safety implications and environmental impact across VA, NC, and WV. Furthermore, private-property owners are at risk of losing their land through eminent domain. Our rights and our environment should matter more than fossil-fuel profits! My wife and I owned a log home in Nelson County and I worked in Augusta County, where my daily commute would take me across Reeds Gaps over the Blue Ridge Parkway and Afton Mountain. It's strikingly beautiful, and none of us want to see it threatened by a natural gas pipeline. That's why citizen groups like the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Sierra Club, Friends of Nelson, and the Augusta County Alliance are working hard to stop this risky pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission isn't listening to the public, so we need to go straight to our state lawmakers and urge them to do everything they can to protect our homes. http://augustafreepress.com/friends-of-nelson-joins-grassroots-coalition-protesting-ferc-over-proposed-pipeline/