Privatizing the Military: Full Speed Ahead Under Obama

February 6, 2010
Privatizing the Military: Full Speed Ahead Under Obama

JEREMY SCAHILL: A hearing in Sen. Claire McCaskill’s Contract Oversight subcommittee on contracting in Afghanistan has highlighted some important statistics that provide a window into the extent to which the Obama administration has picked up the Bush-era war privatization baton and sprinted with it.

Our Security is Threatened and We Don’t Have Time for War

February 5, 2010
Our Security is Threatened and We Don’t Have Time for War

PETER BERGEL: The government and the Pentagon are right. Our national security is definitely at risk. Afghanistan? Iraq? Al Qaeda? Small potatoes. Yemen? Iran? Even smaller. Nope, the big threats are not military. Nor can they be addressed by the military.

Government Hinders Gaza Freedom March

February 4, 2010
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...

J Street Comes to Eugene

February 3, 2010
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

February 3, 2010
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.

Nuclear Terrorism: How It Can Be Prevented

February 2, 2010
Nuclear Terrorism: How It Can Be Prevented

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER: The recent furor over an unsuccessful terrorist attempt to blow up an airliner is distracting us from considering the possibility of a vastly more destructive terrorist act: exploding a nuclear weapon in a heavily-populated area.

Native Nations Respond to Climate Change Threats

February 1, 2010
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...

Solarize Portland Makes Solar More Affordable

January 30, 2010
Solarize Portland Makes Solar More Affordable

SOLAR POWER: Homeowners in a Southeast Portland neighborhood have banded together to buy and install solar panels, knocking significant chunks off the price through high-volume purchasing. The 6-month-old Solarize Portland program has wildly exceeded expectations.

Where’s the Money?

January 29, 2010
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...

Youth Empowered Action Camp

January 28, 2010
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....

Global Warming Caused by Global Warring

January 27, 2010
Global Warming Caused by Global Warring

CLIMATE CHANGE: The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will more than wipe out any reduction in carbon from the government's proposed climate measures ...

100 Ways You Can Help Stop Violence

January 26, 2010
100 Ways You Can Help Stop Violence

WORDS TO LIVE BY: Practical ideas for living and teaching peace.

Letters to the Editor

January 25, 2010
Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: 1) "Lack of Draft Leads to Apathy" from Carla Mikkelson; and 2) A poetic letter, "Where Does the President Go?" from Virginia Bailey or Portland, OR.

New Afghan War Cost Analysis

January 24, 2010
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...

Traumatized Soldiers Bring the War Home

January 23, 2010
Traumatized Soldiers Bring the War Home

ROBERT C. KOEHLER: There’s no armor, it turns out, for conscience. So our men and women are coming home from the killing fields wounded in their heads, used up, greeted only by the military’s own meat grinder of inadequate health care and intolerance for “weakness.”

Are Americans a Broken People?

January 22, 2010
Are Americans a Broken People?

BRUCE E. LEVINE: Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them? Has such a demoralization happened in the United States?

In War, Winners Can Be Losers

January 22, 2010
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

January 21, 2010
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...

PGE to Close Boardman Coal Plant

January 20, 2010
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...

Where There is No Vision, the People Perish

November 30, 2009
Where There is No Vision, the People Perish

PETER BERGEL: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” says the King James Bible in Proverbs 29:18. Certainly the people are in danger of perishing today. If not from wars and nuclear weapons, then from global warming. If not from that, then from a series of other threats. Could vision be what rescues...

Biggest State Party to Obama: Get Out of Afghanistan

November 30, 2009
Biggest State Party to Obama: Get Out of Afghanistan

NORMAN SOLOMON: There's a significant new straw in the political wind for President Obama to consider. The California Democratic Party has just sent him a formal and clear message: Stop making war in Afghanistan.

How Patriotism Can Save America

November 30, 2009
How Patriotism Can Save America

PAUL K CHAPPELL: As a soldier in the United States army, I have often pondered what it means to be patriotic, what it means to serve our country, and what it means to love America. In Will War Ever End? I described a dangerous misconception of patriotism that I witnessed while deployed in Baghdad.

How Television Affects Our Lives

November 30, 2009
How Television Affects Our Lives

A C NIELSEN: Approximate number of studies examining TV's effects on children: 4,000 Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 3.5 Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680 Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70 Percentage of parents who would...

Opium, Rape and the American Way in Afghanistan

November 30, 2009
Opium, Rape and the American Way in Afghanistan

CHRIS HEDGES: The warlords we champion in Afghanistan are as venal, as opposed to the rights of women and basic democratic freedoms, and as heavily involved in opium trafficking as the Taliban. The moral lines we draw between us and our adversaries are fictional. The uplifting narratives used to justify the war in Afghanistan...

Obama to Native Americans: You Will Not Be Forgotten

November 30, 2009
Obama to Native Americans: You Will Not Be Forgotten

OBAMA: President Barack Obama vowed not to forget American Indian tribes as representatives gathered for a White House conference on native issues.

Beltway Bulletin

November 30, 2009
Beltway Bulletin

The focus of this month's Beltway Bulletin is "We Are the Climate Catastrophe Deniers".

Introduction to Cutting Your Carbon Footprint

November 30, 2009
Introduction to Cutting Your Carbon Footprint

PETER BERGEL: Helping you and encouraging you to cut your carbon footprint is a major purpose of OPW’s 5% Solution to the Climate Crisis project. In addition to the information provided in this PeaceWorker’s focus topic articles, you will find a great deal more about this subject on OPW’s website, www.oregonpeaceworks.org. On our homepage,...

Study Claims Meat Creates Half of All Greenhouse Gases

November 30, 2009
Study Claims Meat Creates Half of All Greenhouse Gases

MARTIN HICKMAN: “A vegetarian driving a Hummer leaves less of a carbon footprint that a non-vegetarian driving a Prius.” – Reader’s comment.

New MPO Task Force Rolls Up Its Sleeves

November 30, 2009
New MPO Task Force Rolls Up Its Sleeves

1000 FRIENDS OF OREGON: As the issue of global warming occupies center stage on the national and international arena, here in Oregon, attention is focused on a newly appointed committee looking at how Oregon can combat global warming pollution from cars and trucks.

British Challenge: Cut Your Emissions 10% in 2010

November 30, 2009
British Challenge: Cut Your Emissions 10% in 2010

10:10 is a mass movement that is signing up people and organizations from every corner of British life. From councils and hospitals to faith groups and scout troops, organizations across the country are deciding to get on board at the start of the journey to a low-carbon society.

British Government Pledges to Cut Carbon Emissions 80% by 2050

November 30, 2009
British Government Pledges to Cut Carbon Emissions 80% by 2050

DEBORAH SUMMERS & DAMIAN CARRINGTON: The government has committed the U.K. to cutting greenhouse-gas emissions by 80% by the middle of the century in a bid to tackle climate change. In a move that was widely welcomed by environmental campaigners, Ed Miliband, the new energy and climate change secretary, said that the current 60%...

What About Carbon Offsets?

November 30, 2009
What About Carbon Offsets?

Every time we heat our homes, take a flight or drive the car, fossil fuels are burnt and CO2 is released into the atmosphere causing climate change. Carbon offsetting enables you to take responsibility for the carbon emissions you create by paying an organization to reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere on your behalf.

Mullen Announces Afghanistan Strategy: Prepare to Nonviolently Resist

November 30, 2009
Mullen Announces Afghanistan Strategy: Prepare to Nonviolently Resist

JEFF LEYS: Last month, Admiral Mullen (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) announced that the Pentagon will seek additional war funds for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in 2010. While he did not give a firm dollar amount, the New York Times reported that defense budget analysts are kicking around the number of...

Israeli Military Refuser Jailed

November 30, 2009
Israeli Military Refuser Jailed

SERGEIY SANDLER: A new collective declaration of refusal by Israeli youths, the 2009-2010 high school Seniors Letter, went public last month. On October 22, two of its signatories, Efi Brenner and Or Ben-David, went to the military induction base in Tel-Hashomer and refused to enlist. Brenner was immediately imprisoned, while Ben-David was not because...

Pro-Gaza Activism Contrasts with Congressional Votes

November 30, 2009
Pro-Gaza Activism Contrasts with Congressional Votes

NANCY HEDRICK: Recent activism and awareness-building events around the Israel-Palestine issue and the ongoing siege in Gaza are in contrast with an unfortunate vote in Congress to support belligerent actions by Israel once again.

Tell the State Not to Give Sweetheart Deals to LNG Companies

November 30, 2009
Tell the State Not to Give Sweetheart Deals to LNG Companies

The State of Oregon is leasing 92 acres of waterfront industrial state-owned land for a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal for just $38,400 per year. This is 3000% less than comparable leases.

Great Getaway Raffle Underway; Drawing Slated for Holiday Party Dec. 6

November 30, 2009
Great Getaway Raffle Underway; Drawing Slated for Holiday Party Dec. 6

PETER BERGEL: The Great Getaway Raffle, OPW’s annual fundraiser in which 5 awesome vacation packages are raffled off to ticket holders all over the state is under way. Tickets are currently available at $1 each.

OPW, Allies Meet with Congressman Kurt Schrader

November 30, 2009
OPW, Allies Meet with Congressman Kurt Schrader

PETER BERGEL: On November 9, a delegation organized by Oregon PeaceWorks met with Oregon’s 5th District congressional representative Kurt Schrader. On the agenda were the wars in the Middle East, global warming and health care. The meeting included representatives from OPW, Veterans for Peace, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Fellowship of Reconciliation and Physicians for...

Calendar

November 30, 2009
Calendar

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.

Think Outside the Box

November 1, 2009
Think Outside the Box

PETER BERGEL: On the surface things look pretty grim. The chances for any kind of meaningful world peace seem remote. The environment is terribly degraded and seems to be retaliating with global climate change ” probably the worst crisis the human race has ever confronted. The economic system is in the toilet and...

Starting Another Year of War in Afghanistan

November 1, 2009
Starting Another Year of War in Afghanistan

NORMAN SOLOMON: October 2009 began with the New York Times reporting that "the president, vice president and an array of cabinet secretaries, intelligence chiefs, generals, diplomats and advisers gathered in a windowless basement room of the White House for three hours on Wednesday to chart a new course in Afghanistan."

The Myth of the Powerless

November 1, 2009
The Myth of the Powerless

KEN McCORMACK: When they dismiss myth as merely a lie, scientists display enormous ignorance. Myth, as students of literature know, is the ultimate framework of consciousness. It is Meta-Fact — the arena wherein thought takes place — and an expression of the collective mind.

Moving Beyond War in Afghanistan

November 1, 2009
Moving Beyond War in Afghanistan

WINSLOW MYERS: The challenge of helping Afghanistan while also serving U.S. security goals includes four aspects: first, U.S. fear of more terrorist attacks mounted from the region, second, fear that other powers, such as Russia or Iran, could assume undue influence, third, the potential use of the territory as a route to move resources...

Letters to the Editor

November 1, 2009
Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: This month's letters include: 1) Drug and Insurance Companies Run DC by Ed Hemmingson; and 2) Schrader Responds re: Afghanistan by Rep. Kurt Schrader.

Obama Peace Prize: Three Views

November 1, 2009
Obama Peace Prize: Three Views

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Three points of view: 1) Fred Miller, Regional Peace Action Organizer; 2) International Peace Bureau (Geneva, Switzerland); and 3) Filmmaker Michael Moore.

Army Prisoners Isolated, Denied Right to Legal Counsel

November 1, 2009
Army Prisoners Isolated, Denied Right to Legal Counsel

DAHR JAMAIL: Afghanistan war resister Travis Bishop has been held largely “incommunicado” in the Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Lewis, Washington. Bishop, who is being held by the military as a “prisoner of conscience,” according to Amnesty International, was transported to Fort Lewis on September 9 to serve a 12-month sentence in...

Schrader, DeFazio Call on Obama to Deescalate in Afghanistan

November 1, 2009
Schrader, DeFazio Call on Obama to Deescalate in Afghanistan

SCHRADER & DeFAZIO: Reps. Kurt Schrader (OR-5) and Peter DeFazio (OR-4) have joined a bipartisan handful of House members in signing the following letter to President Obama:

“Michael Moore’s Action Plan: 15 Things Every American Can Do Right Now”

November 1, 2009
“Michael Moore’s Action Plan: 15 Things Every American Can Do Right Now”

MICHAEL MOORE: You want something to do? Well, you've come to the right place! 'Cause I got 15 things you and I can do right now to fight back and try to fix this very broken system.

We Were Arrested for Speaking

November 1, 2009
We Were Arrested for Speaking

DAVID SWANSON: The president was holding a press conference inside the White House fence with a bunch of doctors who oppose serious healthcare reform. Donna Smith, star of Michael Moore's "Sicko", was standing next to me and telling me that every patient who had appeared in that movie had determined that the healthcare...

News Reports from Inside the Financial Coup

November 1, 2009
News Reports from Inside the Financial Coup

DAVID DEGRAW: The past few days have been very revealing when it comes to the financial coup that has occurred here in the U.S. When we say financial coup, we're not giving you hyperbole. We're telling you the technical term for what has occurred.