JUDITH LEBLANC AND KEVIN MARTIN — Barack Obama is undoubtedly the U.S. president most committed to nuclear disarmament since Kennedy. People all over the world have cheered President Obama’s commitment to move toward nuclear disarmament.
PETER BERGEL: Measured by the satisfaction expressed by attendees during the event and afterwards, Give Peace a Dance 2010 â€“ which took place on April 17 — was a grand success. It also raised well over four thousand dollars to keep Oregon PeaceWorksâ€™ projects moving forward.
I have been thinking about a verse from Leonard Cohenâ€™s oft-recorded country song Bird on a Wire, a lot recently. Written in 1968, this simple, if depressing, song has been covered by artists as varied as Cohen himself, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, The Bobs, Dave Van Ronk, k.d. laing and the Neville Brothers, to name a few â€“ a sure sign that it speaks to many kinds of people.
One of the most popular muckraking American journalists of the late twentieth century, I.F. Stone, once remarked: “All governments lie.” Even a prominent government official — Andrei Gromyko, the veteran Soviet diplomat — once admitted, in a weak moment: “Governments are never sincere.” This gloomy assessment appears all too true when it comes to national security policy, and particularly so with respect to nuclear weapons.
Matt Ryan, the mayor of Binghamton, New York, is sick and tired of watching people in local communities “squabble over crumbs,” as he puts it, while so much local money pours into the Pentagon’s coffers and into America’s wars. He’s so sick and tired of it, in fact, that, urged on by local residents, he’s decided to do something about it.
NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW: The New York Times’ lead editorial on Sunday, February 28, 2010 laid out some of the major nuclear issues very well.
ANDY HARRIS: Former Oregon PeaceWorks Board Chair Dr. Andy Harris is in Sierra Leone on a medical mission of mercy. Here is his fascinating report on the work heâ€™s doing.
EUGENE’S PENNY POLL: Peace Activists gathered at the Eugene downtown Post Office on Tax Day, April 15th, to call for the re-ordering of federal spending priorities from supporting war to meeting human and environmental needs. One hundred sixteen people took the opportunity of voicing how they would spend their tax dollars when they participated in Eugeneâ€™s â€œPenny Poll.â€
LAWRENCE WITTNER: Does the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Prague on April 8, really provide a beginning toward a nuclear-free world? That’s what Obama implied in a statement two weeks earlier. Speaking to reporters at the White House, he described the treaty as an historic step toward “a world without nuclear weapons.”
INTERNATIONAL COALITION TO BAN URANIUM WEAPONS: A draft bill that would ban the use of uranium in all non-nuclear weapons in Ireland has received a positive cross-party response from senators during its Second Stage reading in the Irish Senate.
MARK KASTEL: After over 10 years of lobbying, family farmers across the country, who produce organic milk, are celebrating the release of strict new USDA regulations that establish distinct benchmarks requiring the grazing and pasturing of dairy cows and other livestock. Many hope that the new rule will put an end to the abuses that have flooded the organic market with suspect milk from a handful of mega-dairies generally confining thousands of animals in feed lots and barns.
KYODO NEWS: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has decided to visit Hiroshima on August 6 as the Japanese city marks the 65th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing, according to a senior U.N. official. The plan, expected to be formalized around July, would make Ban the first U.N. chief to attend an annual commemorative ceremony at the city’s Peace Memorial Park.
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.
ENERGY NEWS: Google Energy is now fully authorized to buy and sell energy at market rates. Are you going to be able to buy power from Google? Not exactly, butâ€¦
RAY LAHOOD: Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning.
DAVID HARTSOUGH: When people think of Palestine and Israel, they often picture Palestinians as suicide bombers and terrorists while the Israeli military are seen as bombing whole neighborhoods in Palestine. The violence and counter-violence and endless war has created a hopelessness about any peaceful future for the Holy Land.
KLEE BENALLY: In defiance of legal challenges and a U.S. government moratorium, Canadian company Denison Mines has started mining uranium on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. According to the Arizona Daily Sun the mine has been operating since December 2009.
DEMOCRACY NOW: Amy Goodman: Final question, the antiwar movement â€” what do you think â€” and you end your primer, Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan, with this â€” what do you think the antiwar movement needs to do?
DUD HENDRICK: Two thirds of those at the March 1 Deer Isle Town Hall Meeting on this picturesque Maine island of 2,400 lobstermen, artists, tradesmen, and â€œfrom-awayersâ€ voted to approve an article on the town warrant calling on Congressman Mike Michaud not to fund the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan and to take a lead in demanding the same principled position of his colleagues.
PETER G. COHEN: While Moodyâ€™s is saying that the U.S. could lose its gold-plated AAA credit rating if the budget deficit is not reduced, President Obama is requesting $33,000,000,000 FY 2010 supplemental to fund the troop buildup in Afghanistan. This is in addition to the war-funding budget for 2011 of $159,300,000,000.
RANDY JONES: Looking for a bank that benefits everyone, not just a few? Common Good Banks will distribute all profits beyond basic operation costs, to local, national, and global projects aimed at those most disadvantaged.
DAVID SWANSON: Congressman David Obey (D., Wis.) is the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He’s in charge of spending our money. For years he spent it on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq without any resistance. Until last October, Obey maintained that spending hundreds of billions of our dollars on wars was something he just had no choice about.
PHIL CARVER: On Feb. 11, two key Democrats, Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) and House member Chris Van Hollen (MD), outlined a bill to reform spending on elections. The bill will seek to undo the worst effects of the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Jan 21 in the case of Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission.
LYNN BERRY: A senior Kremlin official says the United States and Russia have reached an agreement on “all documents” necessary to sign a new nuclear arms treaty.
NORMAN SOLOMON: The event on the House floor on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, was monumental — the first major congressional debate about U.S. military operations in Afghanistan…
RIP: Legendary campaign finance activist Doris “Granny D” Haddock died peacefully in her Dublin, New Hampshire family home at 7:18 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, 2010. She was 100 years old.
GIVE PEACE A DANCE: Oregon PeaceWorks is proud to announce that it will again sponsor Oregonâ€™s best peace party for the 26th straight year. Give Peace a Dance will take place April 17 at the First Congregational Church of Salem (not the Grand Ballroom this year), 700 Marion St. NE, from 6-11 p.m.