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MANIFESTO ON THE FUTURE OF WAR AND CLIMATE CHANGEThis effort is endorsed by Foreign Policy in Focus, the Asia Institute, and World Beyond War, and is being launched on July 9, 2015. You can sign, and ask everyone you know to sign, this declaration here: http://diy.rootsaction.org/p/man Exactly 60 years ago today, leading intellectuals led by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein gathered in London to sign a manifesto voicing their concern that the struggle between the Communist and Anti-Communist blocs in the age of the hydrogen bomb guaranteed annihilation for humanity. Although we have so far avoided the nuclear war that those intellectuals dreaded, the danger has merely been postponed. The threat, which has reemerged recently with the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, has only grown more dire. Moreover, the rapid acceleration of technological development threatens to put nuclear weapons, and many other weapons of similar destructiveness, into the hands of a growing circle of nations (and potentially even of “non-state actors”). At the same time, the early possessors of nuclear weapons have failed to abide by their obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to destroy their stockpiles. And now we are faced with an existential threat that may rival the destructive consequences even of a full-scale nuclear war: climate change. The rapacious exploitation of our resources and a thoughtless over-reliance upon fossil fuels have caused an unprecedented disruption of our climate. Combined with an unmitigated attack on our forests, our wetlands, our oceans, and our farmland in the pursuit of short-term gains, this unsustainable economic expansion has brought us to the edge of an abyss. The original 1955 manifesto states: “We are speaking on this occasion, not as members of this or that nation, continent, or creed, but as human beings,” members of the human species “whose continued existence is in doubt.” The time has come for us to break out of the distorted and misleading conception of progress and development that has so seduced us and led us towards destruction. Not only intellectuals but anyone informed, aware, and caring bears a particular responsibility of leadership by virtue of their specialized expertise and insight regarding the scientific, cultural, and historical forces that have led to our predicament. Between a mercenary element that pursues an agenda of narrow interests without regard to consequences and a frequently discouraged, misled, and sometimes apathetic citizenry stand the responsible individuals in every field of study and sphere of activity. It falls to us to decry the reckless acceleration of armaments and the criminal destruction of the ecosystem. The time has come for us to raise our voices in a concerted effort. The original text, issued in London on July 9, 1955, is here: http://www.umich.edu/~pugwash/Manifesto.html SIGNERS OF THE NEW PETITION INCLUDE: Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus, MIT Helen Caldicott, author, activist Naomi Klein, author Larry Wilkerson, Retired United States Army Colonel. Benjamin R. Barber, President, Global Parliament of Mayors Project David Swanson, Director, World Beyond War John Feffer, Director, Foreign Policy in Focus Emanuel Pastreich, Director, The Asia Institute Leah Bolger, Chair, Coordinating Committee, World Beyond War Ben Griffin, Coordinator, Veterans For Peace UK Michael Nagler, Founder and President, The Metta Center for Nonviolence John Horgan, Science journalist & author of "The End of War" Kevin Zeese, Co-director, Popular Resistance Margaret Flowers, M.D., Co-director, Popular Resistance Dahr Jamail, Staff Reporter, Truthout John Kiriakou, Associate Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies and CIA Torture Whistleblower Kim Hyung yul, President of The Asia Institute, Professor of History, Sook Myung University Choi Murim, Professor of Medicine, Seoul National University Coleen Rowley, Retired FBI agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel Ann Wright, Retired U.S. Army Colonel and former US diplomat Mike Madden Vice President, Veterans For Peace, Chapter 27 Chante Wolf, 12 year Air Force, Desert Shield/Storm veteran Member of Chapter 27, Veterans For Peace William Binney, Former NSA Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, Co-founder of the SIGINT Automation Research Center. Jean Bricmont, professor, Université Catholique de Louvain
Vote for TPP and I'll Never Vote for YouThe TPP is a disaster that towers over considerations of gentility and lesser-evilism. This is Congress, as our supposed representatives, giving the power to overturn its own laws to corporations. This is NAFTA on steroids, economically and environmentally destructive at home and abroad. Most of it has nothing to do with trade, but is rather about empowering banks and corporations with powers that couldn't be passed separately or transparently because they're too terrible and unpopular. It's time we take a stand against wrecking the world, even with corrupt politicians who can find someone slightly more corrupt to run against. Here are the senators who voted for Fast Track: http://1.usa.gov/1GtAdTH And the House members who voted for Fast Track: http://1.usa.gov/1GAl1TT Let them know the consequences if they vote for the TPP.
Tell Congress – End Secrecy on 9/11, Declassify the 28 PagesRemember the shocking revelation that the Bush White House let 140 Saudis fly out of the country in the days immediately after the 9/11 attacks, even though it claimed 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis? One of these flights had two dozen bin Laden family members on board and another had elite Saudi royals including Prince Ahmed bin Salman, a reported intermediary between Al Qaeda and the House of Saud. Then, causing great concern to high-ranking members of the Congressional Joint Intelligence Committee which in 2002 produced the first investigative report of the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration blacked out 28 full pages that document members of the Saudi royal family as the principle financiers of the Sept. 11 attacks. Despite promising 9/11 family members that he would release them, President Obama has so far maintained the suppression of these 28 pages. Former Senator Bob Graham, who co-chaired the Joint Intelligence Committees' investigation, has said that the 28 pages “primarily relate to who financed 9/11 and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier.” Graham has also said that the 28 Pages reveal the Saudi funding came primarily through the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. The Saudi Arabian Ambassador at the time was Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the very same Bandar nicknamed “Bandar Bush” by George W. because of his longstanding close affiliations with the Bush family. In addition to Graham, both co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission and even former CIA Directors have called for their release. All of the members of Congress who have read the 28 pages are saying that releasing them would not compromise national security. Quite the opposite. On June 2, Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) went so far as to say that the 28 pages contain the "best intelligence" we have for preventing another 9/11. Senator Graham has said the U.S. government’s shielding of Saudi Arabia’s role in funding extremism helped pave the way for the rise of ISIS. The content of the pages is so shocking that Massie has also stated: “I had to stop every couple of pages and … try to rearrange my understanding of history … It challenges you to rethink everything.” On June 2, 2015, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced a Senate bill, the Transparency for Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act of 2015 (S.B. 1471) – the companion bill to bi-partisan House Resolution 14 (H.RES.14). S.B. 1471 mandates the immediate declassification and release of the 28 Pages. We need your help to get a filibuster-proof majority of Senators to read the pages and become co-sponsors. Over 70 percent of the 400 questions compiled by the 9/11 Families Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission -- many on the U.S.-Saudi relationship -- were never answered, and now the Supreme Court has allowed the 9/11 victims’ families to sue the Saudis in federal court. They need your help to get the 28 Pages finally released.
Create Truth and Reconciliation Commission for U.S. and NATO WarsTunisia is the latest example of a nation using truth and reconciliation to address past horrors, specifically torture. The United States has not put an end to torture, to lawless imprisonment, to warrantless spying, or to any of the other criminal elements of its aggressive warmaking, which continues ever more free from even the pretense of adherence to law.
BAN THE USE AND SALE OF MICROBEADSDid you know that a single tube of face wash can contain over 330,000 microbeads and well over 1,000 personal cleansing products contain microbeads? Several studies have shown that microbeads absorb pesticides and other toxic chemicals as they go down the drain. Most treatment plants do not have filters that are fine enough to filter and capture these .5mm beads, causing them to slip through and into our waterways. This is causing fish, birds and other animals to mistaken these beads for, which leads to them ingestion these plastics – bringing these microbeads to our plates. This is an extremely dangerous matter that is allegedly good for the skin, but is an extremely alarming issue that is and will continue to impact our oceans and environment. We do not have the technology, manpower or equipment to easily remove these .5mm beads from our oceans and as of right now, the problem is just continuing to grow. The State of California and New York recently passed legislation prohibiting the production, manufacture, distribution and sale of products containing plastic beads fewer than 5 millimeters in size. The Wisconsin Legislature and several members of Congress have also introduced similar bills this year. I need your help in making sure we keep our water ways clean and healthy!
Rich must pay fair share of Social SecurityOnly those earning $115,000 and below pay the full amount ie 15% of their total net imcome. One can make a billion dollars and still will only pay 15% on $115,000.00. This is not fair. This is regressive and the cap should be done away with and the richest among us should be forced to pay their fair share. Then Social Security would be solvent for milliniums.
America Must Stop Justifying the Business of Making WarPeople tend to ignore the fact that the issues we face against Iran, started with ignoring the will of the People of Iran after World War II, when we helped install the Shah of Iran. The real issue was controlling oil then just as it is now. The real issue in Vietnam was the desire to be rid of a colonial presence, just as it was in 1776 in America. We can be the leader of the World pursuing peace, but we have to stop relying on the business of war making to prove our point.
Make Georgia College Students Eligible For Food StampsI am an unemployed online college student, living at home with elderly parents who are in poor health and on a fixed income barely making ends meet with bills, rent and car payments, and we just lost the food stamps we desperately need to survive because I signed up for college. After a long and unsuccessful job search, I started attending courses in an online college in hope of improving my chances of getting hired. When I reapplied for Food Stamps, I marked down that I'm now a collage student. Later I was shocked and devastated to find that I was no longer eligible for Food Stamps; due to an unjust policy by the state of Georgia which makes college students ineligible for food stamps unless employed or part of a work study program. This policy is unfair to anyone who is attending an online collage which offers no such thing, or is attending collage through a scholarship. It makes it harder for poor people who are already strapped for cash and struggling to pay for tuition, at a time when jobs are scarce and an education is needed to help them stand out in the job market or meet qualifications.
Support German Campaign to Remove Ramstein Drone RelayAll lethal US drone strikes are guided via the Satellite Relay Station located on the US Air Force Base Ramstein. More than 10,000 people worldwide have been killed by these drone strikes. The bin Ali Jaber family lost two of its members through a drone strike in Hadramout in Yemen. Now Reprieve and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) have filed a lawsuit against the German government in a German court on behalf of the bin Ali Jaber family. The suit demands that the German government “take legal and political responsibility for the US drone war in Yemen” and “forbid use of the Satellite Relay Station in Ramstein.” Wednesday, May 27th 2015, 11 a.m., German Bundestag (Meadow) : this case will begin with a hearing before the high administrative court in Cologne. The military base in Ramstein remains under the legal jurisdiction of the German federal government even though the US Air Force has been allowed to use the base. If illegal activities are conducted from Ramstein -- such as extra-judicial killings – and the US judicial authorities do not condemn these crimes and mandate an end to them, then German justice authorities have a duty to act. The United States Government claims the right to deploy killer drones everywhere in the world, but extrajudicial killing is against United States constitutional law as well as German and international law. Extra-judicial killing, the killing of 'suspects' is a grievous violation of the United States Constitution. The initiation and prosecution of wars in sovereign countries that do not threaten the US mainland are in violation of international Treaties the United States has signed and which have been ratified by our Congress. These include the United Nations Charter, the Nuremberg Judgement and the Kellogg Briand Pact, all signed into US Law at the time of their ratification. Extra- judicial killings carried out by armed drones that are guided to their targets and controlled via Ramstein on German sovereign territory are also violations of both German law and international law. In deference to the suffering of drone victims, and to the deep antiwar sentiment of the German people, as citizens of the United States, we stand in solidarity with the bin Ali Jaber family of Yemen, and the urgent demand by German activists that the (German) Attorney General’s Office act to initiate investigations against military personnel working at Ramstein. The Two-plus- Four-Treaty (the constitutional founding document of the reunited Federal Republic of Germany) grants Germany “complete sovereignty at home and abroad” and emphasizes that “there shall be only peaceful activities from German territory.” The 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War was just celebrated in Europe and Russia. This is a reminder of the devastation caused by war. The German people have not forgotten this. In accordance with the Treaty and in solidarity with the German people and drone victims everywhere, we demand that: > The German Attorney General’s Office immediately initiate investigations on the US military base Ramstein against those individuals who are participating in the operation of the Satellite Relay Station. > The German Government work for the immediate closing of the Satellite Relay Station at Ramstein and abstain from acquiring weaponized drones for the German military. You can get more information by listening to David Swanson's interview with Andreas Schueller on Talk Nation Radio: http://davidswanson.org/node/4725 and Germany is the Tell-Tale Heart of America's Drone War, Jeremy Scahill's article in the Intercept: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/17/ramstein/
Tell United States and All Non-Members to Join the ICCGlobal justice requires global participation. Partial and biased justice damages the cause of establishing the rule of law and the nonviolent settlement of disputes. To succeed, the ICC must include all nations and treat all crimes equally regardless of where committed or by whom. Here is the list of which countries are members: http://bit.ly/1IDMGbe
Let us Exercise in AustinEvery year, our park is closed to the public for Austin City Limits Music Festival and other events, which affect the citizens of Austin who use this park as a place to exercise. Please consider moving these events to locations that can handle this type of traffic and parking, as it's a nuisance to people who live in these neighborhoods and people who live in this city, as it blocks traffic and destroys the parks due to foot traffic (uproooting of the grass).