Author: Oregon PeaceWorks

Peace, Peacebuilding and Peacelearning

NATIONAL PEACE ACADEMY: The National Peace Academy’s understanding of peace is shaped by the definition contained in the Earth Charter: “…peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.”

Have Americans Given Up?

PETER BERGEL: In an enormously provocative article entitled “Are Americans a Broken People? Why We’ve Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression” psychologist Bruce E. Levine divines what ails the American body politic.

Howard Zinn and the State of the Union

TOM H. HASTINGS: Howard Zinn has crossed over. He was a mensch, a historian and a peace and justice activist. He was not convinced that nonviolence was always the answer, but he often provided expert testimony for nonviolent resisters seeking help in conducting a robust defense of their actions in opposition to militarism and injustice.

Calendar

CALENDAR: Late February through June. To offer calendar items, post them at www.oregonprogressivenetwork.org or email them to: updates@oregonpeaceworks.org before the 12th of the month for following month’s issue.

Farewell April Wynkoop, Hello Donna Gerry

PETER BERGEL: The friendly voice you’re most likely to hear when you telephone OPW is that of our Office Manager, April Wynkoop. After almost two years with OPW, during which she made the office hum and handled all the details that make the difference between a smooth functioning organization and one that staggers along, April is leaving us.

Tom Hayden to Speak in Eugene March 5

TOM HAYDEN: The Lane Peace Center invites readers to this year’s peace symposium entitled “Confronting Militarism: Democracy vs. Empire.” The event will take place March 5 from 6-9 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) in the Center for Meeting & Learning at Lane Community College.

Dollars for Death, Pennies for Life

NORMAN SOLOMON: When the U.S. military began a major offensive in southern Afghanistan over the Presidents’ Day weekend, the killing of children and other civilians was predictable. Lofty rhetoric aside, such deaths come with the territory of war and occupation.

Nuclear Power: Still a Bad Idea

RALPH NADER: A generation of Americans has grown up without a single nuclear power plant being brought on line since before the near meltdown of the Three Mile Island structure in 1979. They have not been exposed to the enormous costs, risks and national security dangers associated with their operations and the large amount of radioactive wastes still without a safe, permanent storage place for tens of thousands of years.

Peacebuilding for Conservatives

WINSLOW MYERS: There is big money in polarization, as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and other media kingpins understand all too well. But one of the many tragic by-products of our polarized political culture is the demonization of conservatives by progressives.

Obama’s Afghan “Strategy” ­ Another American Tragedy

JOSEPH GERSON: Shortly after President Obama’s Afghanistan War escalation speech, I was contacted by the Voice of America’s Russian Language Service. They wanted to interview me. These are the questions they asked: What do you think about Obama’s new strategy for Afghanistan? Were you surprised by it? Do you think it would be possible to carry out all Obama’s objectives by 2011? Would Afghanistan, you think, cease being a failed state?

International Criminal Court Complaint Filed Against Bush & Co.

FRANCIS A. BOYLE: Champaign, U.S.A./The Hague, Netherlands — Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, U.S.A. has filed a complaint with the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) in The Hague against U.S. citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales (the “accused”) for their criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition” perpetrated upon about 100 human beings.

Brief-ings

BRIEF INSIGHTS: 1) Postwar Deformities; 2) Kaufman Bill to Hold U.S. Contractors Overseas Accountable; 3) Stunning Statistics About the War That Everyone Should Know, by Jeremy Scahill; and 4) NRC Looks to Technology to Cut Energy Use.

Western Shoshone Prevail on Mt. Tenabo – Open Pit Gold Mine Enjoined

CORTEZ HILLS GOLD MINE: On December 3, 2009, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling enjoining the construction and operation of the Cortez Hills gold mine, proposed by Barrick Gold Corporation. The Ninth Circuit reversed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, which had denied the motion for preliminary injunction filed by the plaintiffs.

PSR Announces Greenfield Peace Writing Contest

KELLY CAMPBELL: With great pleasure, I announce the second annual Greenfield Peace Writing Contest, sponsored by Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, and named for Del Greenfield, our first executive director. Any 11th or 12th grade student in Oregon may enter by submitting an original piece of fiction, poem, or essay (maximum 600 words) reflecting on the following question: In a world where we struggle with wars, injustice, violence in our communities and the threat of environmental devastation…what does peace mean to you?

Government Hinders Gaza Freedom March

JEAN ATHEY: We are in the Middle East, seeking a nonviolent solution to the blockade of Gaza. Free Gaza actions are occurring all over Cairo, and so the police, who are often in riot gear, have had a busy day — they show up wherever we go. They are incredibly young, maybe 18 or 19. Typically, they surround us with moveable steel fences, which they line up behind and they watch us with what seems to be curiosity, not malice.

J Street Comes to Eugene

COMING TO EUGENE OREGON: J Street, the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement, is setting up shop in Eugene. Its official opening will be celebrated Thursday, February 4th at 7 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel, 1175 E. 29th Ave.

Unique Peace Video

KSIYA SIMONOVA: The winner of “Ukraine’s Got Talent,” Kseniya Simonova, 24, draws a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her unusual talent is mesmeric to watch.

Native Nations Respond to Climate Change Threats

VALERIE TALIMAN: Nearly 400 Native leaders, scholars, elders and Tribal College students from across the country, joined by scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), came together at a watershed gathering, the Native Peoples Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop II, to formulate a collective response to the far-reaching impacts of climate change on Native lands and communities.

Where’s the Money?

CRAIG CLINE: On January 4th, the Statesman Journal ran an Associated Press article entitled: “Most state budgets on path to even leaner times.” The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that state budgets are likely to fall $180 billion short for the new fiscal year. According to the Pew Center on the States, our own Oregon is ninth among the ten “worst” states, and 30th among all states, with a 14.5 percent budget gap for 2009-10 (as of July 2009).

Youth Empowered Action Camp

NORA KRAMER: Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp is training the next generation of leaders and activists who will work for the environment, peace, animal rights, justice, gay rights, etc. We will be having three sessions next summer — two at last year’s beautiful venue near Santa Cruz, CA, and one just outside Portland, Oregon.

New Afghan War Cost Analysis

JO COMERFORD: The president’s $30 billion figure for getting those 30,000-plus new surge troops into Afghanistan is going to prove a “through-the-basement estimate.” As for the dates for getting them in and beginning to get them out? Well, it’s grain-of-salt time there, too. According to Steven Mufson and Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, some of the fuel storage facilities being built to support the surge troops won’t even be completed by the time the first of them are scheduled to leave the country, 18 months from now.

In War, Winners Can Be Losers

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER: Thus far, most of the supporters and opponents of escalating the U.S. war in Afghanistan have focused on whether or not it is possible to secure a military victory in that conflict. But they neglect to consider that, in war, even a winner can be a loser.

It’s Time to Escalate the Peace

RANDALL AMSTER: What if they held a war and no one came? No one was out in the streets, no one paid the “big speech” much mind, no one asked for permission to protest, no one wrote an open letter to the President. No one enlisted for it, no one paid for it, and no one watched it on television.

PGE to Close Boardman Coal Plant

BOB JENKS: Portland General Electric (PGE) announced January 14, 2010 that, rather than attempt to upgrade its Boardman coal fired power plant and operate it until 2040 or longer, it now wants retire the plant in 2020. A number of folks in the Northwest have been working to stop PGE from investing $500 million in new pollution control and operating the plant indefinitely into the future. Investing that kind of money in a pulverized coal plant makes little sense for the planet and is a big financial risk to customers.