This News from Friends of Peace in Waco

You might be interested in participating in their agenda — or watch their upcoming monthly movie.

Friends of Peace – http://friendsofpeacewaco.blogspot.com/

“THE PEOPLE’S RESPONSE to THE GEORGE W. BUSH LIBRARY AND POLICY INSTITUTE opening will happen April 11-14, 2013. The FOP plan to take a van to Dallas for this massive protest action. Please mark your calendars and join us for this commission on peace, justice, and reconciliation.

“PERSONAL NOTE.
“Shortly before Christmas an Op-Ed I had written on global warming was published in the Waco Tribune-Herald. I was of course very pleased it was printed. But the newspaper actually added words to the editorial that I did not write. I mentioned that global climate change is one of those issues which will have massive impact on our “children and grandchildren.” The paper added that this impact was like “runaway spending.” I NEVER wrote those words. “Runaway spending” is right wing code for any money spent to help the poor and disadvantaged. Of course I believe we do too little to help the needy of our society, certainly not too much. I wanted all FOP members to understand that words were added to the column which were the Trib’s words, not mine.” (I’ve had editors take OUT some of my words, but I never had anyone ADD their own words to my editorial. Amazing things happen when you live in Texas.)

“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”–Howard Zinn

Today is Wednesday

I’m trying something new here. Posting the entire email that I received from our Peach Clubhouse tentacle in the Brazos Valley, Friends of Earth. They want us to telephone Rep Flores today using a toll free number provided by The National Quaker Peace lobby. If this posting doesn’t work check out Friends Committee on National Legislation.

From: anorthc
To: anorthc
Sent: Tue, May 15, 2012 10:40 pm
Subject: friends of peace ACTION
WED. May 16 is the day for our coordinated action . Please call Rep. Flores office. We can make a big difference because those few supporting unending war in Afghanistan are not like to call. Let our voices for PEACE be heard wednesday. Complete instruction below–the call only takes a couple of minutes.
thanks for your dedication to peace.

—–Original Message—–
From: Jim Cason, FCNL
To: Alan Northcutt
Sent: Tue, May 15, 2012 2:20 pm
Subject: Key Afghanistan Vote This Week: Call Your Rep Today

Dear Alan Northcutt,
This week, as world leaders gather in Chicago to make long-term plans for Afghanistan, your representative will cast a vote that could help end the destabilizing U.S. military presence in that country.
Please call your representative using our special toll-free number: 877-429-0678. Urge your representative to vote “yes” on the McGovern-Jones amendment, amendment number 101, to the National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment would
• accelerate U.S. troops withdrawal, requiring the U.S. to end combat operations in Afghanistan no later than December 2013;
• attempt to ensure at most a limited U.S. military presence after December 2014; and
• call for robust negotiations leading to a political settlement and reconciliation of the internal conflict in Afghanistan.
The vote could come as soon as Wednesday afternoon, so please call today. Read the full amendment text here.
Your calls could make a real difference. The military authorization bill as currently written contains language that would pressure the president to keep tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan past the current scheduled withdrawal date of 2014. The McGovern-Jones amendment we are supporting would affirm Congress’ commitment to bringing the U.S. war to a close. While we don’t support authorizing more money for the military, this bill is likely to pass and presents an opportunity to make significant policy changes.
Please call your representative today: 877-429-0678. When you call, ask for your representative by name (look up your rep. here if you’re unsure), then use these talking points to help you make your call.
• My name is ____ and I’m from _____(City, State)_____
• I’m asking Representative _____ to vote “yes” on the McGovern-Jones amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment would bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan sooner and bring the U.S. war to an end.
• Thank you.
More and more people are getting the message that bullets aren’t the way to bring peace to Afghanistan. In a recent Fox News poll, 78% of respondents said they “approve of the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan.” Opposition in Congress has also steadily been growing. Last year, 204 representatives voted for a similar amendment offered by Reps. McGovern and Jones, and a majority of senators supported a call for an accelerated withdrawal of U.S. military troops from Afghanistan. Yet none of these provisions have yet become law. Your voice could help convince your representative to vote for an accelerated end to the war. Please call today.
Thank you for all you do to work for peace.

Sincerely,

Jim Cason
Associate Executive Secretary for Campaigns

P.S. In addition to this amendment on Afghanistan, we are also paying close attention to amendments on the military authorization bill to remove restrictions on Pentagon spending, encourage diplomacy with Iran, guarantee the right to a civilian trial for anyone arrested in the United States and more. See updates on the amendments we are watching.

The phone number wouldn’t paste, but it says:

call 877-428-0678
Ask for your representative by name
Tell your member to support an expedited withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Peach Clubhouse Newsletter – December

Activities of Interest

Peach Clubhouse Movie Night – Second Tuesday of December. After that — next year — movies only by request. These movies are free at the Peach Clubhouse, 1110 Justine, just northeast of downtown Bryan.

December 13, Tuesday, will be the beautiful BBC “Jungles.”

The next requested presentation will be Bill Moyers’ interview of Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onandaga, a member of the Iroquois Alliance. We will discuss this and the story of the Great Law of the Peacemaker, as told by John Mohawk. The time for this is to be arranged. Let me know if you want to participate.

No other programs are yet scheduled for December. Enjoy your holidays.

Radio Spots – Bare Bones Biology Radio spots may be heard on KEOS FM, 89.1, three times a week. Sunday morning at 6:55 AM, Sunday afternoon at 3 PM, Tuesday evening at 8:55 PM. These may be downloaded at http://WWW.BareBonesBiology.com or at http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com. The new series, beginning this month, examines the Peach Clubhouse Imagining cited in the masthead.

Other Activities around the Brazos Valley

The Insight Meditation Group holds a half-hour sit, followed by a short reading and discussion of a general nature, every Wednesday at noontime at the Unitarian Church in College Station, Friday at 3 pm at the Peach Clubhouse.

Dec. 8, Friends of Peace
– Thursday, Poppa Rollo’s Pizza, 703 N.Valley Mills Drive, Waco
6 p.m.- business and pizza buffet.
6:30 p.m.-film and discussion.
Admission: one non-perishable food item for a local food bank.
Selection: OCCUPY EVERYWHERE: ON THE NEW POLITICS AND POSSIBILITIES OF THE
MOVEMENT AGAINST CORPORATE POWER (2011).
Or if you can’t make that, you can view or download a one-hour excerpt of a panel discussion, different program, at the website of Democracy Now. The program aired November 4. For more about creative political solutions, go to political section of this newsletter and some other interesting activities of Friends of Peace in Waco.

Remapping our Rule of Law

Occupy College Station
has held at least two public actions. I have a nice video with chanting but haven‘t figured out how to put that in a newsletter.

A quote from Arundhati Roy:
“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling — their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.” Our stories, according to Jack Kornfield, are who we are. I think it’s best to not let some corporation tell us who we are.

That’s basically it, and so well put, but of course to do that — to refuse to believe the brainwashing — we need to have something better in our brains. Something true and based in factual reality that we can live now and grow for our future, and that of course we are doing.

And speaking of the future, I’m attaching a short clip from Democracy Now that reports a neat and effective political response to the effort of our drug companies to overcharge the world for essential medicines on the basis of American patents. The speaker is Harriet Washington, author of the book, Deadly Monopolies. (www.democracynow.org)

Another commentary on Occupy is of special interest because it is a discussion among three American Buddhist thinkers, Michael Stone, David Loy and Ethan Nichtern. “When you go deeper” you get beyond superficial nitpicking and find there,what truth? (ttp://TheIDProject.org)

That comment reminds me of the new approaches of Democracy School (http://www.celdf.org/) and others who are preventing the corposystem from co-opting control over land, water, food, air and other resources that belong to the commons (i.e., everyone) by changing our own assumptions about the law itself. “Does our activism mean so little that we want no more than a few beeps from cars that are passing by?”

Compassion Corner

“It seems to me that no matter which spiritual path one is on, and no matter what the calling or vocation, this question of purpose must arise, if there is to be any real meaning in “commitment” and “practice.” To what are we committed, we must ask, again and again. Each day presents the challenge to contemplate the question and find a way of acting differently that becomes a transformative “way” that honors Life and Nature’s limits and wonders. What are we doing to stop “the machine?” Shouldn’t all practices now be anchored in the awareness of the peril we face?” Or do we just sit there and enjoy it?” Question raised by one of our tentacles.

Bottom Line Biology

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/30/end-of-growth (Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Inst.)
Also check out the website of TheWildlifeCenter.org. I have been to this facility in New Mexico, and it is outstanding. Not your ordinary dot org.

“On the face of it, it wasn’t anything to shout about — just more stats in a world drowning in numbers. These happen to have been put out by the U.S. Department of Energy and they reflected, as an Associated Press headline put it, the “biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases.” In other words, in 2010, humanity (with a special bow to China, the United States, and onrushing India) managed to pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than at any time since the industrial revolution began — 564 million more tons than in 2009, which represents an increase of 6%. According to AP’s Seth Borenstein, that’s “higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.” He’s talking about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, which is, if anything, considered “conservative” in its projections of future catastrophe by many climate scientists. Put another way, we’re talking more greenhouse gases than have entered the Earth’s atmosphere in tens of millions of years.” From Tomgram http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175468/tomgram%3A_bill_mckibben%2C_puncturing_the_pipeline/#more

And if you really want to know why we should care about these facts (I know you already know) a new Declaration that describes very beautifully the relationship that we must have with our ecosystem if we want to survive into the future in our home on this living earth. (Blue River Declaration, Spring Creek Project springcreek@oregonstate.edu)

Fracking News, water, air, soil, damaging sound waves, earthquakes. What next?

Well, next the Government Environmental Protection Agency has definitely established contamination of an aquifer with fracking fluids (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/SIG=13er0l4se/**http%3A//beta.news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now/friday-13th-takes-twitter-beck-vs-mccain-two-160239016.html), another earthquake, this time in Georgia, and several cities have established new constitutions that prevent outside powers from dictating matters that influence the commons, that is properties that rightfully belong to all the people, such as air, water, soil and our climate that permits us to survive and grow our food.

Here are a few web sites that will be of interest to people who want to keep up with the news about Fracking, courtesy of our Austin tentacle.

Fracdallas is a Public Information site by a local Dallas interest group. Since you mentioned possibly creating a web site or blog site to raise public awareness in your area, I thought this might help you with ideas: http://fracdallas.org/docs/ambient.htmll

The Argyle-Bartonville Communities Alliance (Near Dallas in the Barnett Shale Area) is another action group focused on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing: http://abcalliance.blogspot.com/2010/05/fracking-process-and-noise.html

This is a public publication group that talks about many subjects. They had some interesting information on hydraulic fracturing: http://www.propublica.org/special/hydraulic-fracturing-national

The NOSEBLEEDS that are so common near the gas compressor plants are caused by highly volitile compounds. You may not be able to smell them, but the nose knows. My nosebleeds have stopped since I moved.

Food and Farming

Next issue I will give more attention to the agribusiness control over farmers in the United States and abroad, including the genetics part of the problem that usually is not explained, but is the biggest reason we do not want to turn our entire food-making enterprise over to Montsanto. And the other reason we don’t want to do that has to do with the same issues that are discussed above relative to fracking — our commons. We really do NOT want the things we require for our survival to be manipulated by the corposystem. The ecosystem already knows how to do a far better job. In the meantime, the world is belatedly beginning to take notice. If you want one example, check out the new trend in the Phillipines:

“This is indeed what is happening in the Philippines: The agriculture ministry, long a position for agribusiness allies, is currently headed by Proceso Alcala, a strong proponent of organic agriculture. Within a year of his appointment in mid-2010 – and just months after we had walked through Atilano’s fields – we learned that the Philippine agriculture department had stopped subsidizing chemical fertilizers and was steering public funds into community-based seed banks for traditional rice varieties. Alcala, we heard, was hiring community-based farmer-scientists and gearing up for an “eat healthy” campaign that will champion brown rice and other healthy foods.” http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/can_danilo_atilano_feed_the_world/

That’s nice and we had better go ahead in that direction if we want to survive. However, there is only one action that can truly ensure human survival on this earth, and that is control of our population pressure on the sensitive interactions that keep the earth alive and well,. Thus I get extremely crabby whenever any of our positive or negative sound bites suggests that ANY ONE THING will save us because it simply is not true and it pulls people’s energy away from what we truly MUST do if we are to survive. The answer to the misleading headline is of the above article is No. Organic farming cannot feed 7 billion people. Neither can any other kind of farming for very long. Picture the earth, population mounting, more and more mouths to feed, each doubling of numbers taking half as long as the previous doubling. Mouths crying for food, the earth increasingly paved over. The climate and destruction of soil reducing productivity in spite of the best efforts of the organic farmers. And killing more and more and more species that the earth requires for its resilience, until finally we kill ourselves.

Now someone will tell me I’m against organic farming. NO. Organic farming is A GOOD THING. HOWEVER, if there are no humans around to appreciate it, then all the effort will have been wasted. There is only one essential requirement for our survival. We have all the necessary resources and technologies to provide birth control for every person on earth who wants it. If we don’t do that, we will never be able to feed all the people.

It is rather astounding that we make up debates over which kind of agriculture can feed us all — when it is so clear that neither can — and it would be so relatively easy to solve the problem. No of course not easy — but simple. If we don’t deal with population control we will not survive on this earth no matter what kind of magic we invoke. Organic farming is better than Monsanto farming for very many reasons, but I don’t understand why we can’t get it through our heads that all of our work won’t make any difference to anyone if all the people die. Of course the earth will likely return to lovely glowing health, but what is lovely if no people remain to enjoy it?

OK, so I have scientifically literate friends who think we might get by without becoming entirely extinct, but I don’t think you will like what they envision, either. So why don’t we start to do something THAT WILL WORK FOR THE FUTURE! And then farm for our own welfare in our spare time. Not the other way around.

And as we are trying to promote gardening, folks in the Brazos Valley can participate in a student project at TAMU (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=427169369603), and open to public participation. Howdy! Farm. You will find their produce available at the Farmers’ Market in Bryan (http://www.brazosvalleyfarmersmarket.com). And of course organically grown foods at Brazos Natural Foods in College Station (BNF@txcyber.com) And a heads up from the Peach Clubhouse, we have a small open space available if the right person wants to take on the challenge of creating an organic community garden closer to downtown Bryan. See? I’m not against it. I just hope someone will be around to eat it 50 years from now.

The Peach Clubhouse Newsletter
imagines the minimum requirements for a sustainable, reasonably comfortable and rewarding human lifestyle within our earth ecosystem for our future generations. We would grow a communication and educational system that teaches everyone these minimum skills:
1. The basic physical requirements for our living earth to be healthy. Because the healthy functions of earth ecosystem provide us with everything we need to stay alive — earth, food energy, air, water.
2. Practical, applied compassion. Because humans require compassion in order to lead reasonably comfortable and rewarding lives (www://Bare BonesBiology 080-The Golden Rule).
3. A rule of law that recognizes the different and sometimes conflicting needs of different levels of life — individual, population, ecosystem — and strives for the overall most useful solutions..
Factual Biology-Education-Practical Compassion-Rule of Law -|- https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com