Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why Hurricane Sandy Has Morphed into a 'Frankenstorm' -- And Why We Should Get Used to Catastrophic Weather

Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org)

Climate Progress [1] / By Joe Romm [2]

Why Hurricane Sandy Has Morphed into a 'Frankenstorm' -- And Why We Should Get Used to Catastrophic Weather

October 28, 2012

What would you call an “unprecedented and bizarre [3]“ storm that is:

The “largest hurricane in Atlantic history measured by diameter of gale force winds (1,040mi)” [Capital Weather Gang [4]]

“A Storm Like No Other” [National Weather Service via AP [5]]. NWS [6]: “I cannot recall ever seeing model forecasts of such an expansive areal wind field with values so high for so long a time. We are breaking new ground here.”

“Transitioning from a warm-core (ocean-powered) hurricane into an extra-tropical low pressure system, a classic Nor’easter, fed by powerful temperature extremes and swirling jet stream winds aloft to amplify and focus the storm’s fury” [meteorologist Paul Douglas [6]]

Being fueled in part by “ocean temperatures along the Northeast U.S. coast [] about 5°F above average,” so “there will be an unusually large amount of water vapor available to make heavy rain” [former Hurricane Hunter Jeff Masters [7]]

Also being driven by a high pressure blocking pattern near Greenland “forecast to be three standard deviations from the average” [Climate Central [8] and CWG [9]]

“Stitched together from some spooky combination of the natural and the unnatural.” [Bill McKibben [10]]

McKibben explains “Our relationship to the world around us is shifting as fast as that world is shifting. ‘Frankenstorm’ is the right name for Sandy, and indeed for many other storms and droughts and heat waves now.”

CBS News offered another coincidental reason for the name in its headline [11], “Hurricane Sandy may slam into U.S. East Coast as Halloween week ‘Frankenstorm’.”

Readers of my book, “Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga [12],” know the unique power of metaphors. As one review article put it, “Studies reveal that virtually all of our abstract conceptualization and reasoning is structured by metaphor.”

Frankenstein — and his monster — have become a metaphor for the unintentional consequences of scientific and technological advances.

Humans are changing the climate in dangerous and unprecedented ways. At first it was unintentional, but no one in the public arena can possibly claim today they haven’t been warned — repeatedly — by climate scientists and others (see, for instance Lonnie Thompson on why climatologists are speaking out [13]: “Virtually all of us are now convinced that global warming poses a clear and present danger to civilization.”)

Dr. Kevin Trenberth, former head of the Climate Analysis Section at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, explained in a must-read 2012 review article in Climatic Change:

The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be….

We can even make a stronger statement today in the case of hurricanes thanks to a brand new study, “Homogeneous record of Atlantic hurricane surge threat since 1923 [14]”

We demonstrate that the major events in our surge index record can be attributed to landfalling tropical cyclones; these events also correspond with the most economically damaging Atlantic cyclones. We find that warm years in general were more active in all cyclone size ranges than cold years. The largest cyclones are most affected by warmer conditions and we detect a statistically significant trend in the frequency of large surge events (roughly corresponding to tropical storm size) since 1923. In particular, we estimate that Katrina-magnitude events have been twice as frequent in warm years compared with cold years.

The name “Frankenstorm” fits. The unique severity of the storm is the point! Manmade warming has consequences. The time to act is now.

For those who aren’t regular readers of Climate Progress, here’s more of the literature on how manmade carbon pollution is making many of the most destructive kinds of extreme weather events — Frankenstorms – more frequent and more intense.

Let’s start with a quote from Jennifer Francis of Rutgers (via DotEarth [15]) on the link between Sandy and the record-smashing Arctic sea ice loss:

The jet stream pattern — particularly the strongly negative NAO [North Atlantic Oscillation [16]] and associated blocking — that has been in place for the last 2 weeks and is projected to be with us into next week is exactly the sort of highly amplified (i.e., wavy) pattern that I’d expect to see more of in response to ice loss and enhanced Arctic warming. Blocking happens naturally, of course, but it’s very possible that this block may have been boosted in intensity and/or duration by the record-breaking ice loss this summer. Late-season hurricanes are not unheard of either, but Sandy just happened to come along during this anomalous jet-stream pattern, as well as during an autumn with record-breaking warm sea-surface temperatures off the US east coast. It could very well be that general warming along with high sea-surface temperatures have lengthened the tropical storm season, making it more likely that a Sandy could form, travel so far north, and have an opportunity to interact with a deep jet-stream trough associated with the strong block, which is steering it westward into the mid-Atlantic. While it’s impossible to say how this scenario might have unfolded if sea-ice had been as extensive as it was in the 1980s, the situation at hand is completely consistent with what I’d expect to see happen more often as a result of unabated warming and especially the amplification of that warming in the Arctic.

I haven’t read the entire Noren paper yet, but it does not surprise me that severe flooding in the northeast could be linked with periods of negative AO [Arctic Oscillation [17]]. When the AO is negative, the jet stream tends to be wavier, just like the situation we’re in now, which favors slow-moving weather systems that can cause floods. Losing ice, reducing the poleward temperature gradient, and warming the entire climate system should contribute to increasing the likelihood of condusive to anomalous storms.

The very latest science by Francis, NOAA, and others suggests we may actually be in the midst of a quantum leap or step-function change in extreme weather because of increases in “blocking patterns” and warming-driven Arctic ice loss:

NOAA Bombshell: Warming-Driven Arctic Ice Loss Is Boosting Chance of Extreme U.S. Weather [18]

Arctic Warming Favors Extreme, Prolonged Weather Events “Such As Drought, Flooding, Cold Spells And Heat Waves” [19]

Is Climate Change Bringing the Arctic to Europe? [20]

One of the basic predictions of climate science is that extreme weather will make the hydrological cycle more extreme:

Two seminal Nature papers join growing body of evidence that human emissions fuel extreme weather, flooding that harm humans and the environment [21]:

1) Here we show that human-induced increases in greenhouse gases have contributed to the observed intensification of heavy precipitation events found over approximately two-thirds of data-covered parts of Northern Hemisphere land areas. These results are based on a comparison of observed and multi-model simulated changes in extreme precipitation over the latter half of the twentieth century analysed with an optimal fingerprinting technique.

Changes in extreme precipitation projected by models, and thus the impacts of future changes in extreme precipitation, may be underestimated because models seem to underestimate the observed increase in heavy precipitation with warming.

2) Occurring during the wettest autumn in England and Wales since records began in 1766 these floods damaged nearly 10,000 properties across that region, disrupted services severely, and caused insured losses estimated at £1.3 billion….

… it is very likely that global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions substantially increased the risk of flood occurrence in England and Wales in autumn 2000.

That post ended with its own review of the literature on the connection between global warming and extreme weather. Here are several more recent studies on how warming is already making our weather more extreme:

Study: Global warming is driving increased frequency of extreme wet or dry summer weather in southeast, so droughts and deluges are likely to get worse [22]

A new study by a Duke University-led team of climate scientists suggests thatglobal warming is the main cause of a significant intensification in the North Atlantic Subtropical High (NASH) that in recent decades has more than doubled the frequency of abnormally wet or dry summer weather in the southeastern United States….

The models – known as Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3) models – predict the NASH will continue to intensify and expand as concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases increase in Earth’s atmosphere in coming decades.”This intensification will further increase the likelihood of extreme summer precipitation variability – periods of drought or deluge – in southeastern states in coming decades,” Li says.

Nature: Hurricanes ARE getting fiercer — and it’s going to get much worse [23]

The team calculates that a 1 ºC increase in sea-surface temperatures would result in a 31% increase in the global frequency of category 4 and 5 storms per year: from 13 of those storms to 17. Since 1970, the tropical oceans have warmed on average by around 0.5 ºC. Computer models suggest they may warm by a further 2 ºC by 2100.

Nature: [24] Strong Evidence Manmade ‘Unprecedented Heat And Rainfall Extremes Are Here … Causing Intense Human Suffering’

Hansen et al: [25]“Extreme Heat Waves … in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010 Were ‘Caused’ by Global Warming”

Study Finds [26] 80% Chance Russia’s 2010 July Heat Record Would Not Have Occurred Without Climate Warming

NOAA: [27]Human-Caused Climate Change Already a Major Factor in More Frequent Mediterranean Droughts

Manmade climate change is one monster we still have some control over. But here’s the final warning. We are already seeing Frankenstorms, and we’ve only warmed about 1.4°F over the past century. We are on track to see more than 5 times that warming this century. The monster storms that would spawn are beyond imagining.

Source URL: http://www.alternet.org/environment/why-hurricane-sandy-has-morphed-frankenstorm-and-why-we-should-get-used-catastrophic


[1] http://climateprogress.org/

[2] http://www.alternet.org/authors/joe-romm

[3] https://www.facebook.com/TWCBryanNorcross/posts/456374007733953

[4] https://twitter.com/capitalweather

[5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czyuzRvdSj8&feature=g-u-u

[6] http://www.startribune.com/blogs/176051131.html

[7] http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html?entrynum=2272

[8] http://www.climatecentral.org/news/east-coast-facing-major-threat-from-hurricane-sandy-15157

[9] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/mega-storm-threat-growing-for-mid-atlantic-and-northeast-early-next-week-from-sandy/2012/10/24/0b7f1148-1e06-11e2-9cd5-b55c38388962_blog.html#pagebreak

[10] http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/26/bill-mckibben-on-why-frankenstorm-is-just-right-for-hurricane-sandy.html

[11] http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57540360/hurricane-sandy-may-slam-into-u.s-east-coast-as-halloween-week-frankenstorm/

[12] http://www.amazon.com/Language-Intelligence-Lessons-persuasion-Shakespeare/dp/1477452222

[13] http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/12/13/207169/lonnie-thompson-climatologists-global-warming-a-clear-and-present-danger-to-civilization/

[14] http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/10/10/1209542109.abstract

[15] http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/the-frankenstorm-in-climate-context/

[16] http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/nao.shtml

[17] http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao.shtml

[18] http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/11/989231/noaa-bombshell-warming-driven-arctic-ice-loss-is-boosting-chance-of-extreme-us-weather/

[19] http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/04/04/457823/arctic-warming-extreme-weather-events-drought-flooding-cold-spells-and-heat-waves/

[20] http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/06/419154/climate-change-arctic-europe/

[21] http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/02/16/207545/two-nature-paper-join-growing-body-of-evidence-that-human-emissions-fuel-extreme-weather-flooding-that-harm-humans-and-the-environment/

[22] http://climateprogress.org/2010/10/28/global-warming-extreme-wet-dry-summer-weather-in-southeast-droughts-and-deluges/

[23] http://climateprogress.org/2008/09/03/nature-hurricanes-are-getting-fiercer-and-its-going-to-get-much-worse/

[24] http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/26/451605/nature-strong-evidence-manmade-unprecedented-heat-rainfall-extremes-causing-intense-human-suffering/

[25] http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/01/06/399350/hansen-extreme-heat-waves-texas-oklahoma-moscow-were-caused-by-global-warming/

[26] http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/10/24/351770/study-russia-2010-july-heat-record-climate-warming/

[27] http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/10/27/355639/noaa-climate-change-mediterranean-droughts/

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Geoengineering: Testing the Waters

Published on Monday, October 29, 2012 by The New York Times

Geoengineering: Testing the Waters

by Naomi Klein

For almost 20 years, I’ve been spending time on a craggy stretch of British Columbia’s shoreline called the Sunshine Coast. This summer, I had an experience that reminded me why I love this place, and why I chose to have a child in this sparsely populated part of the world.

It was 5 a.m. and my husband and I were up with our 3-week-old son. Looking out at the ocean, we spotted two towering, black dorsal fins: orcas, or killer whales. Then two more. We had never seen an orca on the coast, and never heard of their coming so close to shore. In our sleep-deprived state, it felt like a miracle, as if the baby had wakened us to make sure we didn’t miss this rare visit.

The possibility that the sighting may have resulted from something less serendipitous did not occur to me until two weeks ago, when I read reports of a bizarre ocean experiment off the islands of Haida Gwaii, several hundred miles from where we spotted the orcas swimming.

There, an American entrepreneur named Russ George dumped 120 tons of iron dust off the hull of a rented fishing boat; the plan was to create an algae bloom that would sequester carbon and thereby combat climate change.

Mr. George is one of a growing number of would-be geoengineers who advocate high-risk, large-scale technical interventions that would fundamentally change the oceans and skies in order to reduce the effects of global warming. In addition to Mr. George’s scheme to fertilize the ocean with iron, other geoengineering strategies under consideration include pumping sulfate aerosols into the upper atmosphere to imitate the cooling effects of a major volcanic eruption and “brightening” clouds so they reflect more of the sun’s rays back to space.

The risks are huge. Ocean fertilization could trigger dead zones and toxic tides. And multiple simulations have predicted that mimicking the effects of a volcano would interfere with monsoons in Asia and Africa, potentially threatening water and food security for billions of people.

So far, these proposals have mostly served as fodder for computer models and scientific papers. But with Mr. George’s ocean adventure, geoengineering has decisively escaped the laboratory. If Mr. George’s account of the mission is to be believed, his actions created an algae bloom in an area half of the size of Massachusetts that attracted a huge array of aquatic life, including whales that could be “counted by the score.”

When I read about the whales, I began to wonder: could it be that the orcas I saw were on their way to the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet that had descended on Mr. George’s bloom? The possibility, unlikely though it is, provides a glimpse into one of the disturbing repercussions of geoengineering: once we start deliberately interfering with the earth’s climate systems — whether by dimming the sun or fertilizing the seas — all natural events can begin to take on an unnatural tinge. An absence that might have seemed a cyclical change in migration patterns or a presence that felt like a miraculous gift suddenly feels sinister, as if all of nature were being manipulated behind the scenes.

Most news reports characterize Mr. George as a “rogue” geoengineer. But what concerns me, after researching the subject for two years for a forthcoming book on climate change, is that far more serious scientists, backed by far deeper pockets, appear poised to actively tamper with the complex and unpredictable natural systems that sustain life on earth — with huge potential for unintended consequences.

In 2010, the chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology recommended more research into geoengineering; the British government has begun to spend public money in the field.

Bill Gates has funneled millions of dollars into geoengineering research. And he has invested in a company, Intellectual Ventures, that is developing at least two geoengineering tools: the “StratoShield,” a 19-mile-long hose suspended by helium balloons that would spew sun-blocking sulfur dioxide particles into the sky and a tool that can supposedly blunt the force of hurricanes.

THE appeal is easy to understand. Geoengineering offers the tantalizing promise of a climate change fix that would allow us to continue our resource-exhausting way of life, indefinitely. And then there is the fear. Every week seems to bring more terrifying climate news, from reports of ice sheets melting ahead of schedule to oceans acidifying far faster than expected. At the same time, climate change has fallen so far off the political agenda that it wasn’t mentioned once during any of the three debates between the presidential candidates. Is it any wonder that many are pinning their hopes on a break-the-glass-in-case-of-emergency option that scientists have been cooking up in their labs?

But with rogue geoengineers on the loose, it is a good time to pause and ask, collectively, whether we want to go down the geoengineering road. Because the truth is that geoengineering is itself a rogue proposition. By definition, technologies that tamper with ocean and atmospheric chemistry affect everyone. Yet it is impossible to get anything like unanimous consent for these interventions. Nor could any such consent possibly be informed since we don’t — and can’t — know the full risks involved until these planet-altering technologies are actually deployed.

While the United Nations’ climate negotiations proceed from the premise that countries must agree to a joint response to an inherently communal problem, geoengineering raises a very different prospect. For well under a billion dollars, a “coalition of the willing,” a single country or even a wealthy individual could decide to take the climate into its own hands. Jim Thomas of the ETC Group, an environmental watchdog group, puts the problem like this: “Geoengineering says, ‘we’ll just do it, and you’ll live with the effects.’ ”

The scariest thing about this proposition is that models suggest that many of the people who could well be most harmed by these technologies are already disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Imagine this: North America decides to send sulfur into the stratosphere to reduce the intensity of the sun, in the hopes of saving its corn crops — despite the real possibility of triggering droughts in Asia and Africa. In short, geoengineering would give us (or some of us) the power to exile huge swaths of humanity to sacrifice zones with a virtual flip of the switch.

The geopolitical ramifications are chilling. Climate change is already making it hard to know whether events previously understood as “acts of God” (a freak heat wave in March or a Frankenstorm on Halloween) still belong in that category. But if we start tinkering with the earth’s thermostat — deliberately turning our oceans murky green to soak up carbon and bleaching the skies hazy white to deflect the sun — we take our influence to a new level. A drought in India will come to be seen — accurately or not — as a result of a conscious decision by engineers on the other side of the planet. What was once bad luck could come to be seen as a malevolent plot or an imperialist attack.

There will be other visceral, life-changing consequences. A study published this spring in Geophysical Research Letters found that if we inject sulfur aerosols into the stratosphere in order to dial down the sun, the sky would not only become whiter and significantly brighter, but we would also be treated to more intense, “volcanic” sunsets. But what kind of relationships can we expect to have with those hyper-real skies? Would they fill us with awe — or with vague unease? Would we feel the same when beautiful wild creatures cross our paths unexpectedly, as happened to my family this summer? In a popular book on climate change, Bill McKibben warned that we face “The End of Nature.” In the age of geoengineering, we might find ourselves confronting the end of miracles, too.

Mr. George and his ocean-altering experiment provides an opportunity for public debate about an issue essentially absent during the election cycle: What are the real solutions to climate change? Wouldn’t it be better to change our behavior — to reduce our use of fossil fuels — before we begin fiddling with the planet’s basic life-support systems?

Unless we change course, we can expect to hear many more reports about sun-shielders and ocean fiddlers like Mr. George, whose iron dumping exploit did more than test a thesis about ocean fertilization: it also tested the waters for future geoengineering experiments. And judging by the muted response so far, the results of Mr. George’s test are clear: geoengineers proceed, caution be damned.

© 2012 The New York Times

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and syndicated columnist and the author of the international and New York Times bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, now out in paperback. Her earlier books include the international best-seller, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (which has just been re-published in a special 10th Anniversary Edition); and the collection Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (2002). To read all her latest writing visit www.naomiklein.org. You can follow her on Twitter: @NaomiAKlein.

Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/10/29-1

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Baltimore Activist Alert - Part 3

65] Need help from the storm? – Oct. 30

66] National Day of Remembrance for Nuclear Weapons Program Workers – Oct. 30

67] "Information Makes Us Human" -- Oct. 30

68] War Is Not the Answer vigil – Oct. 30

69] Cuban Missile Crisis – Oct. 30

70] Cerro Blanco mine – Oct. 30

71] Dream Act party – Oct. 30

72] Meet Khader Adnan -- Oct. 30

73] Kashmir Conflict – Oct. 30

74] Light Brigade Maryland vigil – Oct. 30

75] Crime Victims’ Forum – Oct. 30

76] The Disappeared – Oct. 30

77] Frederick Canvass for Marriage Equality – Oct. 31 & Nov. 1

78] Easton Phone Bank for Marriage Equality – Oct. 31

79] Philadelphia peace vigil – Oct. 31

80] D.C. Phone Bank for Marriage Equality – Oct. 31

81] Revolution Rises Week – Oct. 31 – Nov. 5

82] Green Currency Meeting – Oct. 31

83] Music for Peace – Oct. 31

84] 60th anniversary of Ivy Mike – Nov. 1

85] Sweden and Nukes – Nov. 1

86] Chestertown phone bank for Marriage Equality – Nov. 1

87] Hyattsville phone bank for Marriage Equality – Nov. 1

88] First Thursday peace vigil – Nov. 1

89] D.C. Statehood Candidate Forum – Nov. 1

90] Casa Baltimore/Limay fundraiser – Nov. 1

91] Film “Victory to Change” -- Nov. 1

92] A Palestinian farmer – Nov. 1

93] Phone bank for Marriage Equality & Dream Act – Nov. 1

94] Father Jerzy Popieluszko remembered – Nov. 1

95] Chuck Johnson wrote a book – publication date Nov. 1

96] IVAW conference – Nov. 2

97] MUPJ Conference – Apr. 12 & 13, 2013

98] Do you possess any Tom Lewis artwork?

99] Sign up with Washington Peace Center

100] Join Fund Our Communities

101] Submit articles to Indypendent Reader

102] Donate books, videos, DVDs and records

103] Do you need any book shelves?

104] Join Global Zero campaign

105] Digital Information and the Criminal Justice System

106] War Is Not the Answer signs for sale

107] Click on The Hunger Site

108] Fire & Faith

109] Book CRIMES OF PASSION available

110] Join Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil


65] – Tuesday, October 30, 2012 is a National Day of Remembrance for Nuclear Weapons Program Workers.

66] – The Baltimore Peoples Assembly and the Solidarity Center are offering help to those affected by the storm. The Solidarity Center will be prepared to have its doors open as soon as it is physically safe to act as a charging station, with a generator if need be, for communal use. Sharon Black, who is a registered nurse, is also available for non-emergency consultations regarding medicine and other medical questions, etc. at 410-218-4835. The All Peoples Congress has three vehicles with gas, for auxiliary use if needed. In an emergency, call 410-218-4835 or a backup number 443-221-3775. If you can volunteer to open up your house or apartment for anyone in severe need, call the Solidarity Center.

67] – "Information Makes Us Human" is a lecture taking place on Tues., Oct. 30 at 3:30 PM in the Batza Room of the Athenaeum, Goucher College. Joe Janes, associate professor and chair of the Master of Library and Information Science Program at the University of Washington, will discuss the myriad guises, forms, and uses of information Go to http://meyerhoff.goucher.edu/eblasts/in-the-loop/images/dotted-line3.gif.

68] – There is a vigil to say "War Is Not the Answer" each Tuesday since September 11, 2001 at 4806 York Road. Join this ongoing vigil. The next vigil is Oct. 30 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Call Max at 410-366-1637.

69] – On Tues., Oct. 30 from 6 to 8 PM, Rose Gottemoeller, Acting Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and Sergei Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the U.S., will examine "The Cuban Missile Crisis: Fifty Years On" at George Washington Univ., Harry Harding Auditorium, Room 213, 1957 E St. NW, WDC. RSVP at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGlSX2d0OVBDYkVyZnp3dWY5eXg3X3c6MA.

70] – Implications of the Cerro Blanco mine in the border region of El Salvador and Guatemala is a talk taking place on Tues., Oct. 30 at 6 PM at the Consulate General of El Salvador, 2332 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The Honorable Consul General of El Salvador, Celia Medrano, and El Salvador’s Ombudsperson for Human Rights, El Salvador, Dr. Oscar Luna, have the honor, together with the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Committee in Solidarity with the people of El Salvador (CISPES) of presenting the talk. Interpretation to English will be provided by CISPES. RSVP to camelgar@rree.gob.sv. Call 301-437-7698.

71] – The Quixote Center, 7307 Baltimore Ave., Suite 214 (from the parking lot, come around the right side of the building, second floor), College Park 20740, is holding a party: Come Dream With Us on Tues., Oct. 30 from 6 to 8 PM. Welcome a cafeteria worker from the union Unite Here, who will discuss the food workers movement. Put together how sustainable foods and worker justice go together, sample food and ideas from the farm-to-table project of the newest program, the Crabgrass Christians Initiative. Email andrew@quixote.org or call 240-770-5347.

72] – Students for Justice in Palestine presents Khader Adnan on Tues., Oct. 30 from 6 to 7:30 PM at Letts Formal Lounge, American Univ. Khader Adnan is a former Palestinian prisoner in Israel who was released after being on hunger strike for 66 days. During the period of his detainment Israeli authorities had never laid any formal charges against him, and he was given no trial to defend himself. He will speak on behalf of Palestinian prisoner rights organization Addameer on the subject of administrative detention and the hunger strikes taken by Palestinian prisoners in protest of this policy. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/404093692996079/.

73] – Bridge Builders in the Kashmir Conflict: The Human Dimension and the Role of Civil Society is the topic being discussed on Tues., Oct. 30 from 6:30 to 8:15 at American Univ., Center Ward 2, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. See the film "A Journey through the River Vitasta," with an introduction by student and filmmaker Pawan Bali, followed by presentations by author Dr. Nyla Ali Khan and former graduate students who have lived and studied in the region.

74] – On Tues., Oct. 30 at 6:30 PM at 409 Cathedral St., Baltimore 21201, come and stand with the Light Brigade Maryland /OR/ drive-by and HONK! Send the message that some Catholics support Marriage Equality. Go to http://www.facebook.com/LightBrigadeMaryland.

75] – The Baltimore City Branch of the NAACP and MD CASE invite you to . . . a Crime Victims' Forum: Featuring Panel of Victims and Service Providers on Tues., Oct. 30 at 6:30 PM at Union Baptist Church, 1211 Druid Hill Ave., Baltimore 21217, Come and hear what can be done for victims. Email info@mdcase.org.

76] – On Tues., Oct. 30 from 7 to 9:30 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, see the film “The Eco of the Pain of the Many,” which traces the efforts of one Guatemalan to find out what happened to her brother, one of thousands who were ‘disappeared’ during the internal conflict of the 1980s.Enjoy light refreshments, and participate in a discussion with a representative from a Guatemalan Human Rights Commission after the film. The church is located at the Southwest corner of Arlington Blvd. (Rte 50) & George Mason Drive. Proceeds from the sale of 2013 calendars, fair trade coffee and a free-will offering will be shared with two groups that focus on Guatemalan human rights.

77] – There is a Frederick Canvass for Marriage Equality on Wednesdays & Thursdays from 4 to 8 PM at 4 W. Church St. RSVP to amy@mdfme.org.

78] – Protect Marriage Equality in Maryland by participating in the Easton phone bank on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 PM at 7 E Dover St. RSVP to Toney.Schloss@mdfme.org.

79] – Each Wednesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the House of Grace Catholic Worker holds a weekly vigil for peace in Iraq outside the Phila. Federal Building, 6th & Market Sts. The next vigil is Oct. 31. Call 215-426-0364.

80] – Protect Marriage Equality in Maryland by participating in the D.C. phone bank on Wednesdays from 6 to 9 PM at 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. RSVP to kate.kramer@hrc.org.

81] – Revolution Rises Week of Actions from Wed., Oct. 31 from 6:30 PM through Mon., Nov. 5. On Oct. 31 at 6:30 PM, Adbusters has put out a national call for a Halloween Party at the capitol. Meet at 5 PM at Freedom Plaza. On Nov. 1 re-occupy Farragut Square; Nov. 2 day of teach-ins and education; Nov. 3 Portland has put out a national call against austerity; Nov. 4 conduct a mock election and Anti-Political Party action (AADC); and Nov. 5 do various Occupy movements around D.C. Email Novplancoal@gmail.com.

82] – The Baltimore Green Currency Association meets every Wednesday at 7 PM at Breathe Books, 810 W 36th St. # A, Baltimore, MD 21211-2554. Call 410-235-7323.

83] – Discover music as a means to communicate and connect across cultures. Listen, play, or learn. The event will feature an open mic forum, guitar lessons, and the chance to meet and connect with other musicians in the city. Music for Peace takes place at 7:30 PM on the last Wednesday of the month at the HI Baltimore Hostel, 17 W. Mulberry St. Call 410-576-8880 or go to http://www.baltimorehostel.org.

84] – Thursday, November 1, 2012 is the 60th anniversary of the "Ivy Mike" nuclear test, the first hydrogen bomb test. Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands.

85] – On Thurs., Nov. 1 from 3:30 to 5 PM, Thomas Jonter, Stockholm Univ. will talk about "Explaining Nuclear Forbearance: A Case Study on Sweden" at the Wilson Center, Reagan Bldg., Fourth Floor, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, WDC. RSVP at http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/rsvp?eid=24998&pid=294.

86] – Protect Marriage Equality in Maryland by participating in the Chestertown phone bank on Thursdays from 4 to 8 PM at 106 Spring Avenue. RSVP to Toney.Schloss@mdfme.org.

87] – Protect Marriage Equality in Maryland by participating in the Hyattsville phone bank on Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 PM at 4301 Garden City Dr. RSVP to shelena@mdfme.org.

88] – The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore will host an End the Wars vigil on Thurs., Nov. 1 from 5 to 6:30 PM in Mount Vernon at Centre & Charles Sts. The Pledge gathers in Mount Vernon on the first Thursday of the month to protest U.S. wars. Call Max at 410-366-1637.

89] – There is a DC Statehood and Autonomy Candidate Forum on Thurs., Nov. 1 from 6 to 9 PM at the Islamic Heritage Museum, 2315 Martin Luther King Ave. SE. ALL candidates welcome, but with a special welcome to Shadow Representative, Shadow Senate and US Delegate candidates. Email: info@livingwiththelaw.com.

90] – Casa Baltimore/Limay invites you to a fun- and fundraiser for its December-January delegation to Nicaragua! Freewill donations for the delegation will be accepted at the door - from $5 to ???? The theme is "DIA DE LOS MUERTOS" (Day of the Dead, to honor our ancestors and dear departed by celebrating their lives). Enjoy dinner, music, poetry readings, a Live DJ! and the Barrage Band Orchestra on Thurs., Nov. 1 from 6 to 9 PM at 2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218.

91] – See the film “Victory to Change" on Thurs., Nov. 1 at 7 PM at BloomBars, 3222 11th St. NW. It is a 30-minute film by Gregory Walsh and Laurel Gwizdak on civil rights activists in rural India. Leading the post-film discussion will be filmmaker Walsh and activist Varsha Jawalkgekar (from Bihar, India, via Skype). The documentary tells the story of two remarkable, young Indian activists, Varsha Jawalkgekar and Mukesh Rajak – fighting for the most marginalized members of Indian society - Dalits (untouchables), women, and children. This revolution is embodied in the slogan "Jai Parivartan!" - Victory to Change! There is a suggested $10 donation. Free popcorn and refreshments will be provided. Email Info@BloomBars.com or call 202-567-7713.

92] – On Thurs., Nov. 1 at 7 PM at Perry Auditorium, 7th floor, National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Aves., the Palestine/Israel Advocacy Group (PIAG) hosts Daoud Nassar, a Palestinian Christian farmer whose family works its 100–acre farm and orchard just outside the town of Bethlehem. It is on his farm that the family members strive to maintain a haven of peace and brother/sisterhood.

93] – The Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition is proud to be spending the weeks leading up to the election focusing on gathering support for the Dream Act and Marriage Equality (Questions #4 and #6 on the Maryland ballot). There is a phone banking house party for these issues on Thurs., Nov. 1 from 7 to 9 PM at a supporter's house. RSVP at mococivilrights@gmail.com. The house is near Piney Branch and Sligo Creek Parkway in Silver Spring. Refreshments will be available! All you need to bring is your cell phone.

94] – On Thurs., Nov. 1 at 7:30 PM, join a discussion on Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko of the Polish Solidarity Movement led by Judith Kelly of Pax Christi. Father Popieluszko was a tireless supporter of Solidarity, as well as a vocal critic of the communist regime in his native Poland. He was martyred in 1984 and beatified by our Holy Father in 2010. Contact Michael McCoy at mccoy.michaelj@gmail.com.

95] – Chuck Johnson lived in Baltimore for a number of years. He has written a biography of Oregon Governor Bob Straub, and it will be available as of Thurs., Nov. 1. Oregon State University Press is pleased to announce the publication of “Standing at the Water’s Edge, Bob Straub’s Battle for the Soul of Oregon” by Charles K. Johnson. See http://osupress.oregonstate.edu/book/standing-at-waters-edge. The book chronicles the life of a unique, and perhaps unlikely, political figure in Oregon history.

The author is a Portland writer, fundraiser, and activist. A native Oregonian, he has been active in environmental politics since childhood. After a decade in national politics, working with Physicians for Social Responsibility and as executive director of Nuclear Free America, Johnson returned to Oregon, where he was instrumental in making a home for the Robert W. Straub Archives at Western Oregon University’s Hamersly Library. The paperback costs $24.95. Call 1-800-621-2736 or go to http://osupress.oregonstate.edu/book/standing-at-waters-edge.

96] – Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) Convention 2012 takes place Fri., Nov. 2 starting at 9 AM at 2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218. The convention theme is "HEALING THE WOUNDS." The military and veterans community faces a series of challenges both physical and psychological. IVAW wants to highlight the many ways members, their loved ones, and broader support networks are working to rebuild their lives and promote the healing process.

Members will also meet with the current board and candidates, elect members for open board positions, review the status of our organization including finances, and participate in a Bradley Manning solidarity action at Fort Meade. Contact the IVAW National Office at 646-723-0989 or the Convention Committee at convention@ivaw.org.

97] – The 28th Annual Maryland Peace, Justice and the Environment Conference [www.mupj.org] will take place Fri., Apr. 12 and Sat., Apr. 13 at the Turner Memorial AME Church, 7201 16th Place, Hyattsville. Save these dates. Email paulette.d.hammond@questdiagnostics.com.

98] – Stephen Kobasa is hoping to do an exhibit of the work of Tom Lewis opening in May 2013 in New Have, CT. It would include a variety of his paintings, drawings, silkscreen prints, book illustrations, posters, banners and sketchbooks. This would not only be a display of objects on a gallery wall, but would also involve events which would return Tom's art to the streets where it was originally meant to make conscience visible.

Contact Stephen if you are in possession of original work and would consider loaning it for a month long display. You can reach him at stephen.kobasa at gmail.com or 203-500-0268.

99] – The Washington Peace Center has a progressive calendar & activist alert! Consider signing up to receive its weekly email: info@washingtonpeacecenter.org.

100] – Fund Our Communities campaign is a grass roots movement to get support from local organizations and communities to work together with their local and state elected officials to pressure Congresspersons and senators to join with Congresspersons Barney Frank and Ron Paul, who have endorsed a 25% cut to the federal military budget. Bring home the savings to state and county governments to meet the local needs which are under tremendous budget pressures. Go to www.OurFunds.org.

101] – MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. Baltimore's Indypendent Reader is looking for individuals interested in creating media - written, photo, audio, or video - that relates to issues like...economic justice, race, prisons & policing, environment, gender & sexuality, war & peace and more! If you would like to create social justice media, then email indypendentreader@gmail.com. Visit http://www.indyreader.org.

102] – If you would like to get rid of books, videos, DVDs or records, contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.

103] – Can you use any book shelves? Contact Max at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski at verizon.net.

104] – Join an extraordinary global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons: http://www.globalzero.org/sign-declaration. A growing group of leaders around the world is calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and a majority of the global public agrees. This is an historic window of opportunity. With momentum already building in favor of Zero, a major show of support from people around the world could tip the balance. When it comes to nuclear weapons, one is one too many.

105] – Visit the Digital Information and the Criminal Justice System at http://www.onlinecriminaljusticedegree.com/. This link presents a wide range of insightful articles for criminal justice and legal professionals, both current and future. The project aims to be an objective, authoritative resource in the ever-changing court system.

106] – WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER signs from Friends Committee on National Legislation are again for sale at $5. To purchase a sign, call Max at 410-366-1637.

107] – The Hunger Site was initiated by Mercy Corps and Second Harvest, and is funded entirely by advertisers. You can go there every day and click the big yellow "Give Food for Free" button near the top of the page; you do not have to look at the ads. Each click generates funding for about 1.1 cups of food. So consider clicking.

108] – Go online for FIRE AND FAITH: The Catonsville Nine File. On May 17, 1968, nine people entered the Selective Service Offices in Catonsville, Maryland, and burned draft records in protest against the war in Vietnam. View http://www.prattlibrary.org/digital/.

109] – "Crimes of Passion," the first volume of the Mid-Atlantic Murder Mystery Series, is now published and available through www.Amazon.com and www.BN.com. This is a collection of true crime articles Krist Boardman wrote in the '80's and '90s for the Official Detective Group and Globe Publishing. My beat was Maryland, parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, District of Columbia, New Jersey and Delaware. These articles were done from original courthouse research and interviews with detectives and prosecutors.

"Crimes of Passion" focuses more on the impulsive crime, and frequently the resolution of each case depends on legal arguments and courtroom maneuvers. The cases also focus on police work, often superlatively done and under very trying conditions. For example, "When Hookers Fall Out..." is nearly an impossible case solved by the U.S. Park Police. The murder of Arlene Flowers in Prince George's County was a case that barely held together as investigators tried to solve the heartless murder of a13-year-old. Another case took three years to solve and involved a search along the Shenandoah River for the body and the recovery of a car submerged in the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. The protection of the public is the special role of the police and good police work throughout is highlighted.

110] – Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil takes place every day in Lafayette Park, 1601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 24 hours a day, since June 3, 1981. Go to http://prop1.org; call 202-682-4282.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"One is called to live nonviolently, even if the change one works for seems impossible. It may or may not be possible to turn the US around through nonviolent revolution. But one thing favors such an attempt: the total inability of violence to change anything for the better" - Daniel Berrigan

Over 150 Former International Anti-Apartheid Activists Call on South Africa's ANC to Boycott Israel

Over 150 Former International Anti-Apartheid Activists Call on South Africa's ANC to Boycott Israel

BDS South Africa

October 26, 2012


At the opening plenary of the African National
Congress' (ANC) 3rd International Solidarity
Conference (26-28 October), former Dutch anti-
apartheid activist, Adri Nieuwhof, presented a
statement on behalf of over 150 former international
anti-apartheid activists to the ANC. The call has the
support of signatories from more than 19 countries,
belonging to over 35 organizations. It also has the
backing of long-time international ANC supporters
such as E.S. Reddy, Alice Walker, Victoria Brittain
and Prexy Nesbitt.

The statement begins:

"We - former international anti-apartheid activists -

supported the ANC and the people of South Africa in

their fight for liberation and against apartheid by

mobilizing support for boycott, divestment and

sanctions against the South African apartheid

regime. We succeeded to put the crime of apartheid

on the agenda of political parties, trade unions,

churches.and concerned citizens. We called on

people not to buy apartheid products and we

discouraged tourism to the country. We campaigned

for a weapons embargo, an oil embargo, a

Krugerrand boycott, a sports, academic and

cultaural boycott."

The former international anti-apartheid activists

then go on to express their "deep concern" regarding

Israel's ongoing violations of the rights of the

Palestinian people with "total impunity".

The statement by the former international activists

(who once mobilized in their countries for the

isolation of Apartheid South Africa) specifically calls

on the ANC (South Africa's ruling party) to explicitly

support the Palestinian boycott, divestment and

sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign:

"On the occasion of the 3rd ANC International

Solidarity Conference, we call on the ANC to support

the Palestinian people in their fight for freedom,

justice and equality.. We call on the ANC to

support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment

and sanctions (BDS) as expression of the party's

solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people

to enjoy their rights."

Nieuwhof commented after presenting the statement

on behalf of her international anti-apartheid

counterparts: "We once galvanized world opinion

against Apartheid South Africa, the time is to now

galvanize world opinion against Apartheid Israel. I

am confident that the ANC will heed our call."

Signatories to the call include the former United

Nations Centre Against Apartheid director, E.S.

Reddy; Prexy Nesbitt of the World Council of

Churches Program to Combat Racism; the acclaimed

author and US civil rights activist, Alice Walker;

Mireille Fanon, the daughter of Frantz Fanon and

the current President of the Fanon Foundation;

Victoria Brittain from the UK Anti-Apartheid

Movement and Kate Gilford of the Mozambique

Angola Guinea Bissau Information Committee.

BDS South Africa salutes the former international

anti-apartheid activists who have made this call to

the ANC and are encouraged by their consistency -

they once supported the oppressed South African

people, and now the oppressed Palestinians.

The ANC's 3rd International Solidarity Conference is
taking place this weekend in South Africa's capital
city, Pretoria/Tshwane, and will conclude on

Sunday the 28th of October.

Read the full statement with the names of all the



Monday, October 29, 2012

Anti-drone letter in SUN/ACLU argues surveillance is anti-constitutional

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bs-ed-military-letter-20121029,0,6538805.storyBaltimore Sun

Baltimore Sun

1:00 p.m. EDT, October 29, 2012

Has anyone else thought about what we would do if foreigners sent drones over our land to kill some bad guys but ended up killing lots of innocent people? Any patriot would naturally see that as unacceptable and retaliate any way we could. This no-brainer leads me to think that the U.S. is deliberately creating enemies to justify wars for oil and pipelines.

The military-industrial complex, which President Dwight Eisenhower warned us against, is forcing us into permanent war by funding politicians. Even President Barack Obama has increased the Pentagon budget while cutting necessary programs. That's why I am voting for Jill Stein of the Green Party for President. She has pledged not to take a penny from corporate handlers.

Richard J. Ochs, Baltimore


October 29, 2012


Steven Gosset, steve.gosset@gmail.com

ACLU Tells Supreme Court FISA Surveillance Law Is Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON - October 29 - The Supreme Court heard arguments today in Clapper v. Amnesty International, to decide whether clients of the American Civil Liberties Union can challenge the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), enacted by Congress after the abuses of the 1960s and 70s, regulates the government’s conduct of intelligence surveillance inside the United States. It generally requires the government to seek warrants before monitoring Americans’ communications. In 2001, however, President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to launch a warrantless wiretapping program, and in 2008 Congress ratified and expanded that program, giving the NSA almost unchecked power to monitor Americans’ international phone calls and emails.

Those potentially affected by the law include attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose work requires them to engage in sensitive and sometimes privileged telephone and e-mail communications with individuals located outside the United States.

Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director, argued the case before the court this morning.

"We were pleased with today's argument. The court seemed appropriately skeptical of the government’s attempts to shield this sweeping surveillance law from meaningful judicial review,” Jaffer said. “The justices seemed appropriately sympathetic to lawyers, journalists and human rights researchers who are forced to take burdensome precautionary measures because of the law."


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

ACLU Links:

HomePress CenterAction Center

Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/10/29-0

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Baltimore Activist Alert - Part 2

32] Volunteer to preserve the MARYLAND DREAM ACT – through Nov. 6

33] Fall Festival – Oct. 28
34] Bridges for Peace – Oct. 28
35] Film BETWEEN TWO WORLDS – Oct. 28
36] Dr. Bishara Awad in U.S. -- Oct. 28
37] Phone bank for marriage equality in Chestertown, MD – Oct. 28
38] Phone bank for marriage equality in Baltimore – Oct. 28
39] Annapolis Canvass for Marriage Equality – Oct. 28
40] Support postal workers – Oct. 28
41] Philadelphia Peace Vigil – Oct. 28
42] Green Forum – Oct. 28
43] Film AS GOES JANESVILLE – Oct. 28
44] VATICAN ii – Oct. 28
45] Red Emma’s meeting – Oct. 28
46] Yoga – Oct. 28
47] Pentagon Vigil – Oct. 29
48] Herblock Exhibit – through Nov. 9
49] Support arrestees – Oct. 29
50] Occupy D.C. City Council – Oct. 29

51] Human Rights forum – Oct. 29

52] Death Penalty Vigil – Oct. 29

53] Marc Steiner on WEAA – Oct. 29 – Nov. 1

54] Cliff DuRand in U.S.A. – Oct. 29

55] Baltimore phone bank for marriage equality – Oct. 29

56] Silver Spring phone bank for marriage equality – Oct. 29

57] Columbia phone bank for marriage equality – Oct. 29

58] Film UNEQUAL JUSTICE – Oct. 29

59] Freedom fighter to healer – Oct. 29

60] Living under drones – Oct. 29

61] Trans-Pacific Partnership – Oct. 29

62] Pledge of Resistance/Fund Our Communities – Oct. 29

63] Drone strikes in Pakistan – Oct. 29

64] Fast to close SOA – Oct. 30


32] – If you have a couple of hours free to volunteer between now and Tues., Nov. 6 (including on election day to staff polling places), join CASA de Maryland Youth Committee, dreamers, friends, parents, teachers and allies at CASA de Maryland, 2224 E. Fayette St. Help defend the MD DREAM Act. Go to http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/292903477485757/. Email Elizabeth Alex to hear about volunteer opportunities at ealex@casamd.org or 443 802 2933. Go to www.casademaryland.org.

33] – Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 306 W. Franklin St., Suite 102, Baltimore, MD 21201-4661, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion from 10:30 to 11:30 AM. However, on Sun., Oct. 28 at 10:30 AM, the BES will hold a Fall Festival and "Stone Soup.” Hugh Taft-Morales leads a celebration of autumn with stories, music, and poems! Fall is a time when everyone “lends a hand in the fields,” and we all express gratitude for our harvest. As Yoko Ono reminds, “Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.” Those attending may bring food items for us to share in the tradition-based rendition of Stone Salad! Call 410-581-2322.or email ask@bmorethical.org.

34] – Maryland Bridges for Peace welcomes you to stand for peace Sundays from noon (or thereabouts) to 1 PM on the Spa Creek Bridge in Annapolis. Contact Lucy at 410-263-7271 or mdbridgesforpeace@toadmail.com. Signs are not allowed to be on a stick or pole. If there is interest, people will be standing on the Stoney Creek Bridge on Fort Smallwood Road in Pasadena [410-437-5379 or magicalgodmom@aol.com]. Go to http://BridgePeace.blogspot.com/.

35] – See the film "Between Two Worlds The American Jewish Culture Wars" (70 min.) and discussion on Sun., Oct. 28 at 2 PM at the Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, MD 21044. Who speaks for a divided community at the crossroads? The highly acclaimed film is a groundbreaking personal exploration of the community and family divisions that are redefining American Jewish identity and politics. The filmmakers' own families are battlegrounds over loyalty to Israel, interpretations of the Holocaust, intermarriage, and a secret communist past. Filmed in the U.S. and Israel, this first-person documentary begins with a near-riot at a Jewish film festival in San Francisco, reveals the agonizing battle over divestment from Israel on a university campus, and shows the crackdown on dissent in Israel itself. Go to www.btwthemovie.org. The event is sponsored by the Committee for Palestinian Rights (Howard County) and D.C. Metro Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. Email CPR_Maryland@yahoo.com.

36] – Dr. Bishara Awad is to speak at the National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW (between Massachusetts Ave. and Van Ness St.)\, on Sun., Oct. 28 at 12:30 PM. Dr. Awad, president emeritus of Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine, was born in Jerusalem in 1939. He founded Bethlehem Bible College in 1979 with the help of other Christian leaders. A fully accredited institution, it serves more than 100 young Palestinian women and men each year. As a child, Dr. Awad became a refugee in 1948 when his father was killed by a stray bullet at the time of the Nakba and Israel's founding. He received his higher education in the United States before returning to his homeland. Contact Serge Duss at 703.625.0241 or sergeduss@gmail.com.

37] – Phone bank for marriage equality in Chestertown, MD on Sundays from noon to 4 PM at 106 Spring Ave. RSVP to Toney.Schloss@mdfme.org.

38] – Phone bank for marriage equality in Baltimore on Sunday from noon to 8 PM at 400 Boston St., Suite 101D. RSVP to malachi@mdfme.org.

39 – Join an Annapolis canvass for marriage equality on Sundays from 2 to 4 PM at the UUCA Parking Lot, 333 Dubois Road, Annapolis, MD 21401. RSVP at manley@mdfme.org.

40] -- Postal Workers United are holding rallies, marches and other protests against cuts & closures of postal facilities and the privatization of the postal service. In Baltimore, on Sun., Oct. 28 at 2 PM, members of the community and postal workers will hold a rally at the Baltimore Main Post Office, 900 E, Fayette St., followed by a march thru the downtown Inner Harbor tourist area. Call Tom Dodge at 410-236-2300.

41] – Every Sunday, 4 to 5 PM, there is a Quaker Peace Vigil at Independence Mall, N. side of Market between 5th and 6th Sts., Philadelphia. Call 215-421-5811.

42] – The next Baltimore Green Forum is on Sun., Oct. 28 from 4 to 6:30 PM at the Maryland Presbyterian Church, 1105 Providence Road, Towson, MD 21286, and the topic will be The Environment and Elections with Jen Brock-Cancellieri, Maryland League of Conservation Voters. We are lucky in Maryland to have a great number of elected leaders who we call friends and champions, but we also have a some elected officials who can not be counted on to vote for strong environmental legislation --- even though many of them are from communities where protecting the environment is a strongly held value. It is imperative that during elections we support those Republican and Democratic legislators who stand with us on the front lines as we fight together for strong environmental legislation. Jen will also talk on the national League of Conservation Voters and what they are doing to elect pro-conservation candidates nationally.

The Baltimore Green Forum is a monthly environmental and discussion forum held usually on the last Sunday of each month. It is open to the public and is free of charge, but donations to Maryland Presbyterian Church are greatly appreciated. For questions, to co-sponsor, or to RSVP, contact baltimoregreenforum@gmail.com or 301-345-2234. Go to http://www.baltimoregreenforum.org.

43] – "As Goes Janesville" will be screened on Sun., Oct. 28 at 5 PM at Busboys and Poets, 14th and V Sts. NW. Community Cinema a free film, followed by a Q&A with Dean Baker, author of The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Both a microcosm of America's economic crisis and a deep immersion in the country's tug-of-war over labor relations, the documentary offers critical insight and heart wrenching humanity as the United States enters an election season that has already engulfed the nation in an inflamed and polarizing fight over how we should realize the American Dream. Go to http://busboysandpoets.com/events/10/26?utm_source=1022BusboysEblast&utm_campaign=E-blast&utm_medium=email.

44] – On Oct. 28 at 6:30 PM (after the 5:30 PM Mass), Holy Trinity Parish, Georgetown, McKenna Hall, continues the Celebrating Vatican II Sunday Speaker Series with “Bishops and the 2012 Election” by Thomas J. Reese, S.J., senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center. Fr. Reese is a frequent presider at Holy Trinity and former editor of America magazine. The Second Vatican Council called for greater involvement of the church in the modern world. In his presentation, he will look at the role of the bishops in the 2012 election, especially their concerns about religious liberty. Contact Judith Brusseau at jbrusseau@trinity.org.

45] – Red Emma’s needs volunteers. Stop in to the weekly Sunday meeting at 7 PM at 800 St. Paul St. or email info@redemmas.org. The next meeting is Oct. 28. There is no meeting on the first Sunday of the month. Call 410-230-0450. If you would be interested in volunteering or becoming a collective member of 2640, send an email to 2640@redemmas.org.

46] – The course in Yoga/School of Life has been moved from Thursdays to Sundays. Foundations of Yoga will begin on Sun., Oct. 28 and continue for six weeks from 7 to 8:30 PM at 4217 East West Hwy., Bethesda, MD 20814. The cost is $100 for five weeks, which includes CD for home practice, and a text book. Call 301-654 4899.

47] – There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop. The next vigil is Mon., Oct. 29, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. Keep Space for Peace signs will be held at this vigil. Email artlaffin@hotmail.com or call 202-882-9649.

48] – Herblock on Democracy is an exhibit about the approach and subject matter of Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herb Block's work. It continues through Fri., Nov. 9, Mondays-Fridays, 8 AM to 5 PM in the Albert S. Cook Library, Towson U., 8000 York Rd. Call 410-704-2461.

49] – On Mon., Oct. 29 from 8 to 8:30 AM in front of the John R. Hargrove, Sr. Building, 700 E. Patapsco Ave., Baltimore 21225, support Rev. C. D. Whither spoon and Sharon Black who are scheduled to go on trial. At the Aug. 6 Unity March, they were arrested and jailed for presenting a letter to the mayor calling on the city to implement a number of demands voted on at the June 30th Baltimore Peoples Assembly - including community control of police, jobs for all, and stop the rec. center & fire station closings. They refused to plead guilty in exchange for community service.

50] – Occupy the DC Council: “A Homeless and Poor People's Town Hall Meeting at DC City Hall” is happening on Mon., Oct. 29 from 10 AM to 4 PM at Freedom Plaza and then the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. SHARC (Shelter, Housing And Respectful Change) is calling on the poor (dispossessed), the homeless, churches, non-profits, Occupiers and all others who are concerned about increasing poverty, the evisceration of the social safety net (including jobs programs), unfair hiring practices, the lack of affordable housing, the hijacking of governments by Wall Street and corporations and the failure of politicians and political candidates to mention poverty or do anything about it. Contact Eric Jonathan Sheptock at 240-305-5255.

51] – Monday, October 29th, 2012 1:30 - 3:00 PM, Jubilee USA Network invites you to join us for: Human Rights and The International Financial Crisis - A presentation and conversation on The United Nations Guiding Principles on Foreign Debt and Human Rights. Featuring: Dr. Cephas Lumina, UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights with Responses from Maria Lucia Fattorelli, Latin American Coalition on Debt and Development, and Gina Ekholt (invited), The Norwegian Coalition on Debt Cancellation. The intro will be by Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA Network. Held at Church Hall, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol. St. NE, WDC 20003. Join Jubilee USA Network in welcoming Dr. Cephas Lumina, UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights. Jubilee USA Network has served on Dr. Lumina’s expert working group to develop principles and solutions to the international debt crisis in the context of human rights.

52] – There is usually a vigil to abolish the death penalty every Monday from 5 to 6 PM, outside the prison complex and across the street from Maryland’s Super Max Prison, at the corner of Madison Ave. and Fallsway in Baltimore. Maryland’s death row was moved out of Baltimore, but it was decided to continue the vigil. The next one is scheduled for Mon., Oct. 29. Call 410-366-1637.

53] – The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 PM on WEAA 88.9 FM, The Voice of the Community, or online at www.weaa.org. The call-in number is 410-319-8888, and comments can also be sent by email to steinershow@gmail.com. All shows are also available as podcasts at www.steinershow.org.

54] – Cliff DuRand is promoting his new book “Recreating Democracy in a Globalized State. He will be interviewed on Mon., Oct. 29 on the Mark Steiner Show at 5 PM on WEAA 89.5 FM.

On Mon., Oct. 29 at 7 PM, Cliff DuRand presents "Recreating Democracy in a Globalized State" @ Red Emma's, 800 Saint Paul St. DuRand, retired professor of philosophy at Morgan State U. and founder of Baltimore's Research Associates Foundation, presents his most recent book. It is a collection of essays on corporations, globalization and the state, taking a radical look at the role of the state in globalization and its transformation thereby. The editors and contributors are long-time social activists approaching the issues from the perspective of the global South.

On Tues., Oct. 30, he will be at Howard University in Washington at 3 PM in the Ralph Bunche Center. And Thurs., Nov. 1 at 11:30 AM, he will speak at Morgan State U. in Holmes Hall 117. Call 410-230-0450 or go to http://www.redemmas.org.

55] – The Baltimore City phone bank for Marriage Equality takes place Monday – Friday, 5 to 8 PM at Campaign HQ, 2400 Boston St. Email Malachi@mdfme.org.

56] – The Silver Spring phone bank for Marriage Equality takes place Monday – Friday, 5:30 to 8:30 PM at 8720 Georgia Ave., Suite 900. RSVP at andrew@mdfme.org.

57] – Protect Marriage Equality in Maryland by participating in the Columbia phone bank on Mondays from 6 to 8 PM at 7246 Cradlerock Way. RSVP to amy.adler@mdfme.org.

58] – On Mon., Oct. 29 at 6 PM attend a reception, and at 6:30 PM see a screening of “Unequal Justice: The Relentless Rise of the 1% Court,” followed by a discussion. The event will be at the Service Employees International Union, 1800 Massachusetts Ave. NW [Red Line Metro: Dupont Circle]. The featured speakers are Nan Aron, president, Alliance for Justice; Craig Becker, co-general counsel, AFL-CIO’ Pam Gilbert, partner, Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca and former executive director of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; Sarita Gupta, executive director, Jobs with Justice and American Rights at Work’ James Steele, contributing editor, Vanity Fair and co-author, “The Betrayal of the American Dream.” The film is narrated by renowned journalist Katrina vanden Huevel. RSVP http://afj.convio.net/site/Calendar/1895820458?view=Detail&id=109021&whence=http%3A%2F%2Fafj.convio.net%2Fsite%2FPageNavigator%2FAFJ_Events_New_All.

59] – On Mon., Oct. 29, from 6 to 8 PM at Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Sts. [nearest Metro, Gallery Place/Chinatown], join the book launch for “Redeeming the past: My journey from freedom fighter to healer,” by Fr. Michael Lapsley, sponsored by the Embassy of South Africa, in collaboration with the Institute for the Healing of Memories and Orbis Books. The event will bring together those who have cherished Fr. Lapsley’s work of healing, justice and forgiveness in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and his own country of birth, New Zealand. In this memoir, Fr. Lapsley outlines his strong stand against apartheid for which he became the victim of a letter bomb attack in Zimbabwe. He founded the Institute for the Healing of Memories which works with individuals and communities in healing through reconciliation and forgiveness. The book launch will include cultural performances and speeches from communities and people that have been touched and inspired by Fr. Lapsley’s contribution. Seating is limited; RSVP is required to celestinoa@dirco.gov.za or 202-745-6601.

60] – On Mon., Oct. 29 at 6:30 PM be at Living Under Drones! Report from Pakistan at the Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, Room 109, UPenn's Wharton School, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA. A U.S. Peace delegation in Pakistan, organized by Code Pink, Oct. 3 - 10, 2012, put an international spotlight on U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and the human cost of war from afar. On Oct. 7, the 11th anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, the delegation held a march into South Waziristan, the center of U.S. drone strikes, where they were stopped by the Pakistani Army.

Hear more about the killer drone research going on at UPenn and Drexel. The featured speakers are Joe Lombardo, national co-coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition, and a participant in the peace delegation to Pakistan, Peter Lems, American Friends Service Committee's Afghanistan/Iraq program, speaking on the geo-political situation of southern Asia and the use of drones in the continuing "war on terror,” and Marjorie Van Cleef, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, drone research and development at Penn and Drexel universities. Go to www.phillyagainstwar.org.

61] – Beyond the Classroom Living & Learning Program: An Evening with Melinda St. Louis, Global Trade Watch, is on Mon., Oct. 29 at 7 to 9 PM at 1104 South Campus Commons, Building 1, U. of Maryland, College Park. What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement? What are the proposed trade and investment rules that will govern the global economy in the 21st century? What does the Trans-Pacific Partnership mean for the economy, jobs, the environment, labor rights, public health and democracy in the United States and among member nations? Come hear from Melinda St. Louis, the International Campaigns Director at Global Trade Watch to learn about this secret, but potentially important trade and investment agreement. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/361996073884690/. Contact: James Riker at 301-314-6622 or jriker@umd.edu.

62] – The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore usually meets on Mondays at 7:30 PM, and the meetings now take place at Max’s residence. The next meeting takes place on Oct. 29. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at verizon.net for directions. The agenda includes the Bradley Manning vigils, the First Thursday antiwar protest, the visit to Baltimore by Oliver Stone, the forum on drone strikes at JHU on Nov. 15, the ongoing drone protest and other items.

63] – On Mon., Oct. 29 from 7:30 to 9 PM, hear Peace Action Montgomery member Pam Bailey, who participated in the peace delegation to Pakistan earlier this month, focused on U.S. use of drones. You can read her blogs about this extraordinary trip on Michael Moore’s web site (http://www.michaelmoore.com/blogger/pam-bailey ). Pam will talk about the CodePink-organized trip from Islamabad to Waziristan, a first-hand account of the visit to areas on the receiving end of U.S drone strikes. The event is co-sponsored by Peace Action Montgomery, Code Pink, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore and others, and it will be at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814.

64] – Join a one-day fast to close the School of the Americas on Tues., Oct. 30 from 10 AM until Wed., Oct. 31 at noon around the world. Fasting has been present in all the world's spiritual traditions. Fasts help focus an individual or a group, deepen ones commitment, and have often been used as an effective nonviolent tool for achieving social change. SOA Watch is calling on human rights activists to engage in this fast. Fast to honor those killed by graduates of the School of the Americas and U.S. militarization. Participants in the fast will abstain from food and only drink water. Go to http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/727/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=11737.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Nuclear Reactors Await Hurricane Sandy


October 28, 2012, 4:55 pm

Nuclear Reactors Await Hurricane Sandy


Among the various immobile pieces of infrastructure in the path of the East Coast hurricane are around 20 nuclear reactors, from Calvert Cliffs in southern Maryland to Pilgrim in Plymouth, Mass., and Vermont Yankee, just north of the Massachusetts line in Vernon, Vt. But the industry and regulatory officials say that this is an anticipated challenge.

At the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's mid-Atlantic office in King of Prussia, Pa., Diane Screnci, a spokeswoman, said that reactors in the region have undertaken routine preparations. "They all have severe weather procedures,'' she said. "They've gone through their procedures, making sure they have appropriate staff able to be on site, and that anything that's outside is fastened down.''

"They're all designed to withstand the natural phenomena, including hurricanes and what comes with hurricanes -- high winds, high water, that kind of thing,'' she said.

Reactors operate under licenses that require them to shut down if conditions are too severe, and some reactor operators could shut down even before they are required to do so if they choose to, she said. But none had done so by Sunday afternoon. The conditions that would require a shutdown differ from plant to plant and involve factors like wind speed and flooding potential.

The most severe weather to afflict nuclear reactors may have been Hurricane Andrew, in August 1992, which was a Category 5 storm when it hit the Turkey Point reactors 25 miles south of Miami. The plant lost telephone communications with the outside world, and the access road was blocked by fallen trees, but there was no significant damage to safety systems, the regulatory commission found later.

There was significant damage to two adjacent generators that run on fossil fuels, though. In that storm, there were gusts up to 175 miles per hour, stronger than what Sandy is expected to produce.

The Waterford 3 reactor, 20 miles west of New Orleans, weathered Katrina in August 2005. The management kept two teams of operators on site, and used satellite phones for communications after landlines were knocked out.

Hurricane Irene in August,2011 led to the shutdown of the Oyster Creek reactor in Toms River, N.J., 60 miles east of Philadelphia, and the two Calvert Cliffs reactors in Maryland around 50 miles south of Washington. And the two Salem reactors in New Jersey just south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge cut their power output to reduce their need for cooling water because debris was entering the cooling water channels.

In normal operation, reactors rely on power from the grid to drive some critical equipment. If the high-voltage grid is disrupted, the reactors will automatically shut down, and diesel generators will start up.

That's what happened at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry reactors, 30 miles west of Huntsville, Ala., in April, 2011 when tornadoes tore down power lines.

© 2011 The New York Times Company

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Drone victim’s statement “very moving,” says judge in UK drones policy case



23 October 2012

Drone victim’s statement “very moving,” says judge in UK drones policy case

The statement of a man who lost his father to a CIA drone strike in Pakistan was today described as “very moving” by the judge hearing a legal challenge to the UK Government’s reported policy of support for the secret drone programme.

Lord Justice Moses was referring to written evidence from Noor Khan, a resident of North West Pakistan who is bringing the challenge with the support of legal action charity Reprieve.

UK intelligence services reportedly provide intelligence to support the CIA’s secretive programme of drone strikes, which claims to target ‘militants’ but has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and had a severe psychological impact on communities across the region.

Mr Khan’s statement in full is as follows (translated from Pashto):

“The community is now plagued with fear. Drones hover over our skies day and night. All over NWA [North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan], but especially in Datta Khel, drone strikes continue to take place.

“The Tribal elders are now afraid to gather together in jirgas as has been the custom for more than one century. We are scared that if we get together we might be targeted again.

“The mothers and wives plead with the men to not congregate together for fear that they will be targeted. They do not want to lose any more of their husbands, sons, brothers, and nephews.

“We come from large families, some joined families, and people in the same family now sleep apart because they do not want their togetherness to be viewed suspiciously through the eye of the drone. They do not want to become the next target.

“Most of the people in NWA live in poverty. They have no option but to stay in this area, though many want to leave because of the drones. Plus, we are connected to this land. This is ancestral living place. Why should we have to leave when we have done nothing wrong?

“The younger generation has been especially affected. The children almost all suffer from mental illness and live in constant fear of the drone. The children no longer attend school and because of the constant humming of the drones they’ve become mental patients. My generation fears that because the younger generation is not getting an education they will become a burden on us and stifle the growth that we could have achieved as a people.”

Reprieve legal director Kat Craig said: “Mr Khan’s evidence highlights the terrible toll the CIA’s illegal programme of drone strikes is taking on ordinary people across Northwest Pakistan. The British people have a right to know whether their own Government is providing support to this devastating and counterproductive campaign. Continued obfuscation is no longer acceptable – ministers must come clean.”


Notes to Editors

1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 427 1082 / donald.campbell@reprieve.org.uk

2. Mr Khan’s statement is an extract from the Detailed Statement of Facts and Grounds, which is available on request.

3. Further information on the case can be found here: http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/2012_10_22_hague_in_court_over_UK_drones_policy

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Moderators' Agendas: An Analysis of What Was--and Wasn't--Asked at Debate


October 26, 2012

CONTACT: Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

The Moderators' Agendas: An Analysis of What Was--and Wasn't--Asked at Debate

NEW YORK - October 26 - The establishment media figures who moderated the 2012 major-party candidate debates confined the discussion to a remarkably narrow range of topics, a FAIR analysis of debate questions finds.

A wide variety of topics were never brought up in questions during the six total hours of debate. Among economic subjects, no questions were asked about poverty, income inequality, the housing crisis, labor unions, agriculture or the Federal Reserve.

Social issues were similarly truncated, with no questions raised about race or racism, gay rights (including marriage equality), civil liberties, criminal justice or drug legalization. Despite the fact that four Supreme Court justices are now over 70, candidates were never asked about what kind of nominations they would make to the high court or other judicial positions.

Notably, there was no mention of climate change, arguably the greatest single threat facing humanity--the first time that the issue did not come up in a presidential debate cycle since 1984 (Treehugger, 10/22/12). Nor, indeed, were any environmental topics raised, unless you count the question about gas prices asked by a voter in the town hall debate.

And international questions focused on a very narrow slice of the world, with none raising issues in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa or Europe, including Russia.

Counting questions

What questions were asked? FAIR looked at the topics raised in questions by moderators in the three presidential debates and the one vice-presidential debate, including the questions posed by undecided voters that were selected by moderator Candy Crowley for the October 16 "town hall" debate. (If a topic was raised in more than one question during a single debate segment, that was counted as a single mention of the topic.)

FAIR counted 28 topics that were mentioned a total of 53 times throughout 35 debate segments. Twenty-two of the mentions were categorized as economic issues, 20 touched on international policy and 10 dealt with social policies. An additional eight mentions were categorized as "other"--dealing with things like character, campaign tactics or the legacy of George W. Bush. (Some topics--such as trade--were counted in more than one category.)

Though the No. 1 issue among voters is overwhelmingly jobs, and this was a frequent subject of debate questions, the moderators raised economic topics framed around the federal budget more than twice as often, with 11 mentions versus five. The topic of the deficit was raised three times, taxes came up four times, and Social Security and Medicare were each brought up twice in the context of federal spending. There was also one mention of trade.

International policy questions focused heavily on the Middle East and conflicts in majority-Muslim countries. Libya and Afghanistan were brought up three times during the debates, while Iran and Syria were raised twice each, and Israel, Pakistan and Egypt were each discussed in a single segment. Aside from one discussion of China, the candidates were questioned about no other region of the world.

Not all international policy questions focused on a particular part of the world; six other debate segments involved questions dealing with the military, security or general international policy. One of these questions was about the drone wars, but moderator Bob Schieffer (10/22/12) pointedly declined to ask it of the person in charge of such wars: "Let me ask you, governor, because we know President Obama's position on this, what is your position on the use of drones?"

In the relatively few questions that dealt with social policy, healthcare came up three times--including two segments that asked about Medicare's contribution to the deficit. Gender issues were raised twice (pay equity and abortion), while immigration, education and gun control were each brought up once.

Important--or not

While no time was found for a wide range of critical political topics, moderators did find time to ask seemingly pointless questions, as when Jim Lehrer (10/3/12) asked of the presidential hopefuls, "Does the federal government have a responsibility to improve the quality of public education in America?" (Was he expecting one of them to maybe say no?) Or Martha Raddatz's query to the vice presidential candidates (10/11/12): "If you are elected, what could you both give to this country as a man, as a human being, that no one else could?"

The questions chosen by moderators at the debates presumably reflect the issues establishment media leaders see as important--and unimportant. In particular, the moderators seemed to place a much higher priority on federal budget issues than voters do when they are asked to name the most important issue facing the country.

The questions may also reflect partisan pressures: Based on the moderators' queries, the most important international policy issue facing the nation is the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Libya--an emphasis that would be hard to explain without considering the Romney campaign's decision to make it one of their central criticisms of Obama's foreign policy.

Such partisan and establishment influences should come as no surprise, given that the Commission on Presidential Debates is essentially controlled by the two major parties, with the campaigns allowed to vet the moderators (FAIR Media Advisory, 10/3/12)--a setup that will never result in tough questions across a true diversity of important issues.


FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints.

Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/10/26-0

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Friday, October 26, 2012

Baltimore Activist Alert - Part 1

Baltimore Activist Alert Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2012

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours.

The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center. Go to www.baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com. If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski [at] verizon.net.

Tune into the Maryland Progressive Blog at http://mdprogblog.org.

1] Books, buttons and stickers

2] Web site for info on federal legislation

3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists

4] Buy coffee through HoCoFoLA

5] Energy Awareness Month – through Oct. 28

6] Shop-a-Paw-Looza – through Oct. 30

7] White House vigil – Oct. 26

8] WIB Inner Harbor vigil – Oct. 26

9] WIB Roland Park vigil – Oct. 26

10] Justice for Palestine/Israel vigil – Oct. 26

11] Columbia Canvass for Marriage Equality – Oct. 26

12] Silent peace vigil – Oct. 26

13] Net Impact Conference – Oct. 26 - 27

14] Baltimore phone bank for Marriage Equality – Oct. 26

15] Silver Spring phone bank for Marriage Equality – Oct. 26

16] Cuban author/poet at Busboys & Poets – Oct. 26

17] Sounds of Hope – Oct. 26

18] Ballroom dancing – Oct. 26

19] Cold War Conversations – Oct. 27

20] Marriage Equality events – Oct. 27

21] Baltimore canvass for Marriage Equality – Oct. 27

22] Salisbury phone bank for Marriage Equality – Oct. 27

23] Olney peace vigil – Oct. 27

24] West Chester, PA demo – Oct. 27

25] Celebrate Food Day – Oct. 27

26] Wangari Gardens Festival – Oct. 27

27] Silent vigil at Capitol – Oct. 27

28] Easton phone bank for Marriage Equality – Oct. 27

29] Silver Spring Canvass for Marriage Equality – Oct. 27

30] Frederick Canvass for Marriage Equality – Oct. 27

31] Baltimore Activist Awards Dinner – Oct. 27
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available. “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Donate your books to Max. Call him at 410-366-1637.

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/. Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR]. It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed. It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq.

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to donmuller@msn.com. Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.

THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe. It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing. To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to ncnrnotices-subscribe@lists.riseup.net. You will get a confirmation message once subscribed. If you have problems, please write to the list manager at ncnrnotices-admin@lists.riseup.net.

4] – You can help safeguard human rights and fragile ecosystems through your purchase of HOCOFOLA Café Quetzal. Bags of ground coffee or whole beans can be ordered by mailing in an order form. Also note organic cocoa and sugar are for sale. For more details and to download the order form, go to http://friendsoflatinamerica.typepad.com/hocofola/2010/02/hocofola-cafe-quetzal-order-form-2010.html. The coffee comes in one-pound bags.

Fill out the form and mail it with a check made out to HOCOFOLA on or before the second week of the month. Be sure you indicate ground or beans for each type of coffee ordered. Send it to Adela Hirsch, 5358 Eliots Oak Rd., Columbia, MD 21044. Be sure you indicate ground (G) or bean (B) for each type of coffee ordered. The coffee will arrive some time the following week and you will be notified where to pick it up. Contact Adela at 410-997-5662 or via e-mail at adela4peace@verizon.net.

5] – Energy Awareness Month runs through Sun., Oct. 28. Explore the production, consumption and creative inspiration we gain from electricity by attending the Energy Awareness Month exhibit at Gallery CA, 440 East Oliver St., presented by the Autonomous Energy Research Lab. Call 410-528-9239. Go to http://galleryca.org.

6] – Shop-a-Paw-Looza continues through Oct. 30. Participate in the Maryland SPCA’s 8th annual online auction to help support Maryland's homeless cats and dogs. Go to http://biddingforgood.com/mdspca.

7] – A peace vigil takes place every Friday from noon to 1 PM at Lafayette Park facing the White House. Join the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and friends. Contact Art Laffin: artlaffin@hotmail.com.

8] – Every Friday from noon to 1 PM, Women in Black, Baltimore, host a vigil at Pratt and Light Sts. in the Inner Harbor. Peace signs will be available. See http://www.peacepath911.com/ or write wibbaltimore@hotmail.com or call 410-467-9114.

9] – There is also a noon vigil on Oct. 26 at Roland Park Place at 830 W. 40th St. Call 410-467-9114.

10] – A vigil for Justice in Palestine/Israel (now in its 8th year) takes place every Friday from noon to 1 PM at 19th & JFK Blvd., Philadelphia (across from Israeli Consulate. It is sponsored by Bubbies & Zaydes (Grandparents) for Peace in the Middle East. Email cswartz@pil.net. Go to http://phillyjewishpeace.org/.

11] – The Human Rights Campaign has a Columbia Canvass for Marriage Equality on Fridays from 1 to 4 PM at the Food Lion, 5851 Robert Oliver Place. RSVP to amy@mdfme.org.

12] – There is a silent peace vigil on Fri., Oct. 26 from 5 to 6 PM outside Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St. Once Charles Street is closed due to construction, there will be a march to the Cathedral of the Incarnation, University Pkwy. & St. Paul St. The vigil will continue at the Cathedral while Charles Street is closed. Placards say: "War Is Not the Answer." The silent vigil is sponsored by Homewood Friends and Stony Run Meetings.

13] – Check out the 2012 Net Impact Conference with over 350 speakers and 100 sessions covering a broad range of topics from sustainability to social innovation. The event takes place Fri., Oct. 26 and Sat., Oct. 27 at the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St., and the prices vary. Call 415-495-4230 or go to http://netimpact.org/conference.

14] – There is a Baltimore phone bank for Marriage Equality on week nights from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at 400 Boston St., Suite 101D. RSVP at malachi.hammonds@mdfme.org.

15] – There is a Silver Spring phone bank for Marriage Equality on week nights from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at 8720 Georgia Ave., Suite 900. RSVP at andrew.deiner@mdfme.org.

16] – Cuban author and poet Nancy Morejón will be at Busboys & Poets, 5th & K Sts. NW on Fri., Oct. 26 at 6 PM. Born in 1944 in Havana to a militant dock-worker and a trade-unionist seamstress, she graduated from Havana University, where she majored in French, and has been an editor for the Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba. Morejón is a recipient, among many other prestigious national and international literary prizes, of the Critic's Prize (1986) and Cuba's National Prize for Literature (2001). Currently, she is the president of the Association of Writers of UNEAC (Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas Cubanos). Go to http://busboysandpoets.com/events/event/cuban-author-and-poet-nancy-morejon.

17] – On Fridays from 7 to 10:30 PM, the Potter's House hosts Sounds of Hope is Good Music, Good Food, for a Good Cause at 1658 Columbia Rd. NW, WDC 20009. Go to www.reverbnation.com/venue/soundsofhope. Contact Mary Shapiro, Sounds of Hope producer at soundsofhopebooking@gmail.com or 202-294-2906.

18] – There is an opportunity to participate in ballroom dancing, usually every Friday of the month, in the JHU ROTC Bldg. at 8 PM. Turn south on San Martin Dr. from the intersection of Univ. Parkway and 39th St. Drive on campus by taking the third left turn. The next dance will be Oct. 26. Call Dave Greene at 410-599-3725.

19] – On Sat., Oct. 27 from 9:30 AM to 2 PM, be part of the Cold War Museum”s discussion "Cold War Conversations: The Cuban Missile Crisis: 50 Years Later, with seven speakers at George Mason Univ., Harris Theater, 4400 University Dr., MS 2F5, Fairfax, VA. RSVP at http://www.planetreg.com/E831629318444.

20] – There are ongoing Marriage Equality events from 10 AM to 4 PM in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Frederick County, Howard County, Montgomery County & Prince George's County on Saturdays and Sundays. RSVP conor@mdfme.org.

21] – There is a Baltimore City Canvass on Saturdays in shifts—10 AM to 1 PM, 1 to 4 PM and 4 to 6 PM—at 400 Boston St., Suite 101D. RSVP at malachi@mdfme.org.

22] – There is a Salisbury phone bank for Marriage Equality on Saturdays from 10 AM to noon at 1222 Old Ocean City Road. RSVP at Toney.Schloss@mdfme.org.

23] – Friends House, 17715 Meeting House Rd., Sandy Spring, MD 20860, hosts a peace vigil every Saturday, 10:30 to 11:30 AM, on the corner of Rt. 108 and Georgia Ave. [Route 97] in Olney, MD. The next vigil is Oct. 27. Call Chuck Harker at 301-570-7167.

24] – Each Saturday, 11 AM – 1 PM, Chester County Peace Movement holds a peace vigil in West Chester in front of the Chester County Courthouse, High & Market Sts. Go to www.ccpeace.org. Email ccpeacemovement@aol.com.

25] – Food Day takes place on Sat., Oct. 27 from noon until 3:30 PM at ECO City Farms, 4913 Crittenden Street, Edmonston, MD 20781. In celebration of National Food Day (October 24) - a nationwide celebration and movement of healthy, affortable and sustainable food - ECO will host an event called "Real Food HEALS" at the urban farm in Edmonston together with the Port Towns Community Health Partnership. See what healthy eating/active living (HEAL) looks like, featuring the work of the SEED to FEED Summer Youth Program. Learn how to make vegetarian sushi and other healthy farm-based dishes, and provide a host of healthy locally produced foods. The youth will present the work they developed with the DC area group Critical Exposure—that promotes youth led advocacy through photographic images and words that help people see the world from their perspectives. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/385962264807658/.

26] – Get over to the Wangari Gardens Fall Festival on Sat., Oct. 27 from noon to 6 PM at Wangari Gardens, between Kenyon St., Irving St. and Park Pl. NW (surrounded by the Washington Hospital). Celebrate good food, great community and a beautiful fall! Wangari Gardens is a garden park designed, created and sustained by the community for the non-profit benefit of the community. Bring your kids, bring your neighbors, bring a dish to share and bring your pups (on leashes, please), Call 202-670-5459 or email wangarigardens@gmail.com.

27] – There will be a peace vigil on the West Lawn of the Capitol at noon on Sat., Oct. 27. Look for the blue banner with the message, "Seek Peace and Pursue It.--Psalms 34:14." The vigil lasts one hour and is silent except when one responds to the occasional questions. Go to http://www.quaker.org/langleyhill/seekpeace.htm or email seekpeacevigil@yahoo.com.

28] – There is an Easton phone bank for Marriage Equality on Saturdays from noon to 4 PM at 7 E. Dover St. RSVP at Toney.Schloss@mdfme.org

29] – There is a Silver Spring Canvass for Marriage Equality on weekends from noon to 4 PM at 8720 Georgia Ave., Suite 900. RSVP to andrew.deiner@mdfme.org.

30] – There is a Frederick Canvass for Marriage Equality on Saturdays from noon to 2 PM & 2 to 4 PM at W. Patrick St. & S. Market St. RSVP to amy.adler@mdfme.org.

31] – The Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Solidarity Center present the BALTIMORE ACTIVIST AWARDS DINNER, a night to celebrate the people who make a difference. Recognizing the many sisters and brothers who make the movement possible on Sat., Oct. 27 at 6 PM at Sharp Hall, Govan's Presbyterian Church (parking on church lot), 5828 York Rd., Baltimore 21212 on the #8 bus line near the Senator Theater. The dinner is at 6:30 PM. The soloists are Andre Powell and Emmanuel Lewis Withers. The awards bnegin promptly at & PM. There is a long list of awardees

Award presenters include Dr. Marvin 'Doc' Cheatham, Renee Washington, Rev. Cortly CD Witherspoon, Brian Keith Easley and Sharon Black. Tickets are $25 per person with a 6-person table for $120. Tickets will be delivered to you--call 410-500-2168 or 410-218-4835 or arrange to stop by the office at 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218. Write checks out to Solidarity Center/earmark Oct 27. To use a credit card, go to https://www.wepay.com/donations/baltimore-activist-awards-dinner. The proceeds will benefit Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Solidarity Center.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/.

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs