Author: Oregon PeaceWorks

‘Appalling Betrayal’: New Report Details Dozens of Trump Rollbacks Perpetrated Under Cover of Covid-19

BRETT WILKINS – “Nearly 200,000 Americans are dead and more than 6 million have been infected with Covid-19 because of the administration’s disastrous response, but Trump’s top priority is showering giant corporations with deregulatory special favors,” says Matt Kent of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

Conservationists Say State Regulators are Allowing Power Plant Developers to Avoid Carbon Fees

TED SICKINGER – Opponents of a proposed power plantin Umatilla County say state regulators are poised to allow construction of a “road to nowhere” that would allow the plant’s backers to avoid paying millions of dollars in extra fees under a strengthened global warming standard established this spring by Gov. Kate Brown.

Ashland Activist: Systemic Change Starts with Us

IRENE KAI – The first World Peace Flame in North America was installed in the lobby of the Civil Rights Museum, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee in 2002. Ashland (Oregon) Culture of Peace Commission (ACPC) installed the second North American World Peace Flame on the International Day of Peace two years ago, 21 September 2018.

The Israel-UAE Agreement: Good for a Few, Bad for Most

MEL GURTOV – Commentators evidently desperate for good news are touting the Israel-United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreement as a welcome path to Middle East peace. The agreement trades Israel’s promise not to annex portions of the West Bank for the UAE’s recognition of Israel. One conservative writer for the Washington Post actually thinks Trump’s role in helping bring the agreement about makes him a Nobel Prize candidate. But hold on.

Listen Democratic Party: Your Supporters Want Military Budget Cuts

ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Democratic majorities were crucial this summer to the defeat of three separate bills, introduced by progressive Democrats, to reduce military spending and/or undo the militarization of police departments. These included amendments in both the Senate and the House to the National Defense Authorization Act, diverting 10 percent of the Department of Defense budget to health care, education and jobs; as well as a Senate proposal to end the 1033 Program, which allows the Pentagon to transfer military gear to the police. The amendment’s defeat in the House was especially an outrage in that the Dems hold a majority in the House and could have passed it.

An Open Letter to the National Democratic Leadership

PETER BERGEL – In the wake of the COVID epidemic, the movement to ensure that Black Lives Matter, the inadequacies revealed in our health care system, the movement to address climate change and the growing disgust our people feel for the U.S.’s ongoing foreign wars and international bullying, the time has come for system-wide changes.

“Reluctant Democracy” Abets Election Theft

ROBERT C. KOEHLER – America’s reluctant democracy: It demands a lot more of us than we’re taught to believe. Yes, voting is important (if you can), but claiming the right to vote and have your vote counted — and being able to vote for more than simply the lesser evil and the maintenance of the status quo — requires continual struggle in the face of lies and teargas. Election season never ends.

US and Other Arms Sales Prolong War, Yemenis’ Misery

KATHY KELLY – The cries against war in Yemen fall like rain and whatever thunder accompanies the rain is distant, summer thunder. Yet, if we cooperate with war making elites, the most horrible storms will be unleashed. We must learn–and quickly–to make a torrent of our mingled cries and, as the prophet Amos demanded, ‘let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

“Steadfast Commitment” Needed to Preserve and Expand Voting Rights

ANDREW MOSS – For many people, the thought of this November’s general election inspires anything from apprehension to outright dread. Writing in the Atlantic recently, Adam Harris warned of a “voting disaster,” as historic forms of voter suppression disproportionately affecting minority voters (precinct closures, long waiting lines, onerous restrictions on vote-by-mail balloting) are now colliding with the immense challenges of conducting the election during a pandemic.

A Wake-Up Call: The Nuclear Threat!

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL – Americans know how to engage. In the past four years alone, we’ve seen a groundswell of grass-roots activism on threats from climate change and gun violence to racial injustice and gender inequity. Today, we must add one more to the list: the threat of nuclear weapons. As Collina said, “Nuclear disarmament must be part of the new mass movement.”

US Policy Toward Israel and Palestine Is Inconsistent and Unjust

RUSSELL VANDENBROUCKE – What term should citizens apply to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s half-truths, insinuations, and misleading assertions about Palestine and Palestinian aspirations and negotiating stances, especially when repeated insistently enough by government officials to become enshrined, not simply as the party line, but as truth itself? How do we speak truth to power when power hunkers inside an echo chamber where it hears only its own truth?

George Floyd’s Murder Has Everything to Do With Rampant Militarism

WINSLOW MYERS – Militarism is found in the rhetoric of all those, from the president to Rush Limbaugh, who push a joyless, simplistic us-and-them worldview that tries to negate the existential reality that we are in this together, all challenged to acknowledge our interdependence and steward the life-support system that sustains us. For this great task, militarism is obsolete.

Recent Events Reveal the Bankruptcy of US Arms Addiction

KATHY KELLY – The world that our global empire is swiftly creating, through our devastating oil wars in the Middle East and our arriving cold wars with Russia and China, is a world without winners. We must resist signing contracts with weapon makers profiting from endless immiseration of the Middle East and needless superpower rivalries inviting full nuclear war. Such contracts, inked in blood, doom every corner of our world to perish as a battleground state.

Time to Move Federal Funds Away from Military “Security” In Order to Provide Real Security

DAVID SWANSON – The past month’s activism has changed a great deal. One thing it’s helped with is brushing aside the tired old argument over whether government should be big or small. In its place we have the much more useful argument over whether government should prioritize force and punishment, or focus on services and assistance.

California’s Internal Democratic Leadership Struggle Has National Implications

NORMAN SOLOMAN – After events of 2016, when facts emerged showing that the Democratic National Committee put anti-Sanders thumbs on the scales, many progressives have become acutely sensitive to shortages of fairness in party proceedings. The last thing we need are fresh examples of powerful politicians opting for self-serving actions over democratic principles.

As We Focus on Racism, Don’t Forget MLK’s Two Other “Giant Triplets”

ANDREW BACEVICH – The nation’s current preoccupation with race, as honorable and necessary as it may be, falls well short of adequately responding to the situation confronting Americans as they enter the third decade of the twenty-first century. Racism is a massive problem, but hardly our only one. Indeed, as Martin Luther King sought to remind us many years ago, there are at least two others of comparable magnitude.

The Floyd Protests are the Broadest in U.S. History – and are Spreading to White, Small-Town America

LARA PUTNAM, JEREMY PRESSMAN, ERICA CHENOWETH – Across the country, people are protesting the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and demanding action against police violence and systemic racism. National media focuses on the big demonstrations and protests against policing in major cities, but they have not picked up on a different phenomenon that may have major long-term consequences for politics. Protests over racism and #BlackLivesMatter are spreading across the country — including in small towns with deeply conservative politics.