ROBERT J. GOULD – If you have money to give, donâ€™t wait for a call, an email, or a formal proposal, please reach out to a local community organization that is working on a cause you believe in, and get involved with what they do, and when you are convinced that they are doing good work, fund them!
RAMESH JAURA – Despite protests by Republican congressional leaders and the heads of Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, President Barack Obama is garnering wide support for his reported plan to implement at least a part of his cherished nuclear agenda through a series of executive actions during the next months before leaving the White House.
WINSLOW MYERS – Martin Luther King Jr., in his famous Riverside Church speech of 1967, â€œBeyond Vietnam,â€ cataloged the ingredients of the toxic brew we must acknowledge and eliminate if we really hope to make America great: rampant racism, materialism, and militarism.
TOM MAYER – A passionate denunciation of NATO is given by Dennis J. Halliday, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General (1994-98): â€œNATO as it expands today is absolutely not what the world of struggling economies and deprived populations require. It is nothing, but a negative force. It is undermining an already fragile United Nations. NATO has not been appointed policeman for the globe. It is self-serving, lacks integrity, has demonstrated its leadership cannot be trusted and creates nothing positive. It only yields destruction and human poverty, insecurity and misery. NATO must be abolished!â€
PATRICK T. HILLER – The war that has come home is that of unchallenged U.S. militarism. While easily identifiable in wars abroad, the sometimes subtler forms of militarism played out in six ways over the last days.
TRUDY RUBIN – When it comes to Western political leaders, we have definitely arrived at The Time of the Woman. Hillary Clinton is the first serious female candidate for U.S. president, Theresa May just took over as British prime minister, and Germany’s Angela Merkel remains the most powerful European politician. Moreover, the nationalist Marine Le Pen will most likely make the final round for French president in 2017. So why not a woman to succeed Ban Ki-moon for secretary-general of the United Nations when he steps down later this year?
DAVID SWANSON – As the United States and NATO antagonize Russia, and pressure NATO members to buy more weapons, and showcase U.S. weapons in numerous wars, and use every carrot and stick in the State Department to market U.S. weapons, an “official” who happens to have been located at a giant weapons trade show predicts that of its own accord “demand” for weaponry is going to grow. Here’s Reuters’ first sentence: “International demand for U.S. weapons systems is expected to continue growing in coming years, a senior U.S. Air Force official said on Sunday, citing strong interest in unmanned systems, munitions and fighter jets.”
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Itâ€™s clear that democratic socialism has made a comeback in American life.
RIVERA SUN – Independence Day is commemorated with fireworks and flag-waving, gun salutes and military parades… but one of our nation’s founding fathers, John Adams, wrote, “A history of military operations… is not a history of the American Revolution.”
TOM H. HASTINGS – My real point on the Second Amendment is that it effectively blocks sane control of weaponry. Repealing the Second Amendment would not affect anything that most gun owners feel is desirable. But the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Supremes does make it possible for the gun industry, through its most powerful lobbyist–the NRA–to claim that laws restricting anything to do with guns are odious and part of an unconstitutional slippery slope. The track record is so clear. The Second Amendment protects the gun manufacturers and sellers at the expense of a lot of lives every year.
MEL GURTOV – Will the real China please stand up? In the US media, most stories about China raise questions that amount to threat-mongering. How can Chinaâ€™s â€œaggressivenessâ€ in the South China Sea be stopped? Is China forming a new alliance with Putinâ€™s Russia? Has China hacked its way into the most sensitive US industrial and military secrets? Is China on the verge of displacing the West from Africa and even Latin America? Are the Chinese about to become a military rival of the US in terms of naval and air power?
JOHN DEAR – â€œI believe we are at an important and hopeful turning point in human history,â€ Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire said after a Rome conference in April, â€œa turning from violence to nonviolence, war to peace.â€ I hope Christians and Church people everywhere will study our statement, urge their local church leaders to teach Gospel nonviolence, and pray for and call for such an encyclical so that we can get Catholics and Christians out of the big business of war and start the world down a new path–toward a new world of peace.
KATHY KELLY – Along with Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) companions, Iâ€™m part of a 150 mile walk from Chicago to Thomson, IL, a small town in Northwest IL where the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is setting up an Administrative Maximum prison, also known as a Supermax. Prison laborers from U.S. minimum security prisons now labor to turn what once was an Illinois state prison into a federal supermax detention facility with 1900 cells that will confine prisoners for 23 hours of every day. Drivers seeing us with our signs often wave or honk approval as they whiz past us on the road. â€œEducation not Incarcerationâ€ says one sign; â€œBuild hospitals, not Prisons,â€ says another.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Whatâ€™s the difference between education and obedience? If you see very little, you probably have no problem with the militarization of the American school system â€” or rather, the militarization of the impoverished schools . . . the ones that canâ€™t afford new textbooks or functional plumbing, much less art supplies or band equipment. My town, Chicago, is a case study in this national trend.
JOSE-ANTONIO OROSCO – Fifty years ago this past March, a small group of activists left Delano, California and began a march to Sacramento to raise national awareness about the plight of farmworkers. By the time the march made it to the state capitol, its ranks had swelled to over 10,000 people. California politicians and their agri-business supporters realized that they were facing a major civil rights movement in the Central Valley, and that its leader, Cesar Chavez, was someone to contend with. The importance of the Sacramento March today is more than just historical. The march is a lesson about how to use nonviolence to respond to economic hardship in a way that builds a powerful force for justice.