Saturday, December 29, 2018

Baltimore Activist Alert December 30, 2018 – January 1, 2019

Baltimore Activist Alert December 30, 2018 – January 1, 2019

"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  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 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 [at]

1] Books, buttons and stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Get involved with NCNR   
4] Buy an Anti-War Veteran hat  
5] Redlining – through Dec. 31
6] “Anger: Women, Men, and Me Too” “-- Dec. 30
7] DC Free Store – Dec. 30
8] ERA conference call – Dec. 30
9] Bake Sale for the Maryland SPCA -- Dec. 30
10] Enjoy Satire & Social Commentary – Dec. 30
11] Protest at the Pentagon Dec. 31
12] Food Rescue – Dec. 31
13] Food Rescue – Dec. 31
14] Alternative New Year’s Eve Party – Dec. 31
15] Food Rescue – Jan. 1
16] Peace Vigil – Jan. 1
17] No Drone Research DEMO – until Jan. 8
18] Watch Night Service – Jan. 1
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

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

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 U.S. wars.

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

4] – Get a good-looking black hat which says Anti-War Veteran in the front and Viva House 50th in the back.  The cost is $10. Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.

5] – At 10 AM through December 31, check out Undesign the Redline exhibit, hosted by Choose Civility, HCLS Central Branch. Look for tickets at  This interactive exhibit explores the history of structural racism and classism, how these designs compounded each other from redlining maps until today, and how we can come together to undesign these systems with intentionality.  Tours, reading lists, events, and more details are at See

6] –  Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 2521 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion at 10:30 AM.  On Sun., Dec. 30, the platform address is “Anger: Women, Men, and Me Too.” There’s a lot of anger in the US these days, from the anger that fueled Trump’s election to the anger of the #MeToo movement to the anger of street protests. Where does this anger come from? Where will take us? What do you do with it? Reflecting on Rebecca Traister’s new book, “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger,” Hugh Taft-Morales explores the history of anger and how it is manifesting in women, men, and himself. He joined the Baltimore Ethical Society as its professional leader in 2010, the same year he was certified by the American Ethical Union as an Ethical Culture Leader. He also serves as Leader of the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia. Call 410-581-2322 or email

7] – On Sun., Dec. 30 from 3 to 5 PM, get over to the DC Free Store, hosted by The Peace House DC and Black Lives Matter DC at The Peace House DC, 1535 Olive St. NE, WDC 20019. A free store is a “store” where all goods are free. Whether it is a book, furniture, a shirt, or a haircut, it is all freely given away. It’s a place where anyone can participate by leaving stuff they don’t want or taking stuff they do. No strings attached.  Mutual aid is the voluntary exchange of resources and services. Instead of looking to corporations or the state, we can look to one another for what we need. This practice has existed for thousands of years in many societies. Capitalism creates a false sense of scarcity by placing monetary value on everything from the environment to human life, in order to build wealth. Mutual aid focuses on building community wealth, and not only in terms of material gain. Mutual aid places value on a large spectrum, not just on monetary or material goods. Mutual aid creates cooperation instead of competition.  Go to for ground rules.

8] – On Sun., Dec. 23 at 4 PM, join The CALL - ERA Education Program, hosted by One Rural Woman at Katrina's Dream, PO Box 32003, WDC 20007.  Get tickets at  Help build the groundswell. The collaboration of grassroots organizers, lobbyists, and professionals is dedicated to promoting and educating folks across the United States of America to empowering women around the world.  PASS THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT.

There is a NATIONAL WEEKLY SUNDAY CALL at 4 PM with E.R.A. ADVOCATES -- CALL IN NO: 563.999.2090 CONFERENCE NO: 898879#.  Go to

9] – On Sun., Dec. 30 from 6 to 9:30 PM, come to a Bake Sale for the Maryland SPCA, 720 W. 34th St., Baltimore 21211-2604. Check out

10] – Enjoy Satire & Social Commentary on Sun., Dec. 30 with Tom Neilson who is doing a fundraising concert while promising great music and good politics.  Support Maryland Pesticide Education Network along with your Sierra Club friends.  The suggested donation is $15.  It is happening at 2913 Overland Ave., Baltimore.  Email for the time.

11] – 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 Dec. 31, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr.

12] – On Mon., Dec. 31, and every Monday until Feb. 4, 2019, at noon, there will be a Food Rescue at Land of Kush, 840 N. Eutaw St., Baltimore 21201. Food Rescue Baltimore is honored to partner with The Land of Kush each and every Monday to bring access to free vegan/plant-based food in the community. Bring a bag. Take what you want from noon to 1PM or while supplies last. No purchase is necessary to take advantage of the Food Rescue Baltimore give away. Items from The Land of Kush's menu are not included in the give-away but will be available for sale. See

13] – On Mon., Dec. 31 from 3 to 4 PM, there is a Food Rescue Pop-Up at Flourish, 3418 Belair Rd. Bring a bag, take home healthy, free food! See

14] There is an Alternative New Year’s Eve Party on Mon., Dec. 31 from 8 PM to 1 AM at the Peace Fellowship Church (behind IDEA Charter School), 1027 45th St. NE, WDC 20019. It is organized by Rev. Delonte Gholston. The party will invite and hold up people who have lost loved ones to police violence and brutality in 2018 and previous years.   It will also provide a safe space for the celebration. Email

15] – On Tues., Jan. 1 at noon, join Food Rescue at YO! Baltimore West, 1510 W Lafayette Ave., Baltimore 21217-2131.  This will occur every Tuesday, until Jan. 1, 2019.  Get fresh, delicious, and free food. Bring a bag. Bring a friend! Take what you want. See

16] –  Each Tuesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the Catholic Peace Fellowship-Philadelphia for peace in Afghanistan and Iraq gathers at the Suburban Station, 16th St. & JFK Blvd., at the entrance to Tracks 3 and 4 on the mezzanine.  The next vigil is Dec. 25.  Call 215-426-0364.

17] – Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 33rd & North Charles Sts. However, the next vigil will be on Jan. 8 from 5 to 6 PM. Contact Max at mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net or 410-323-1607. 

18] – Join people of conscience and recommit to justice on Tues., Dec. 31 from 7 to 9 PM by watching the combined Watch Night Service of the Poor People’s Campaign, Repairers of the Breach and the Kairos Center.  The watch night service in 1862 was celebrated by enslaved and free African Americans, abolitionists, and others awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation would become law to free Blacks living in the South. This service will bring together people of conscience to recommit to the fight against systemic racism, poverty, the war economy/militarism, ecological devastation and our nation's distorted moral narrative in 2019.

    Hear from Rev. Dr. Barber, Rev. Dr. Theoharis and Poor People's Campaign leaders who understand why we must build this moral movement. Please note, service is being streamed from Raleigh, NC and you can watch it on a 120-inch screen at 3309 Bunker Hill Rd., Mt. Rainier, MD. Refreshments will be served & feel free to bring something to share. Register at  If you'd like to host your own Watch Night Service, watch party, please email Rev. Janelle Bruce at

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"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, December 28, 2018

Saudi Strikes, American Bombs, Yemeni Suffering How Saudi Arabia ’s war tactics have fueled Yemen ’s humanitarian crisis.

New York Times, December 27, 2018

Saudi Strikes, American Bombs, Yemeni Suffering
How Saudi Arabia ’s war tactics have fueled Yemen ’s humanitarian crisis.

By Derek Watkins & Declan Walsh

The dots on this map show some of the places where the Saudi Arabia-led coalition struck civilian targets in Yemen .

At least 130 civilians were killed in September 2015 when the coalition bombed a wedding reception near Mokha, Yemen .

“This is totally false news,” a statement by the Saudi-led coalition said in response to the wedding reception bombing.

The Saudi coalition dropped American-made bombs on a funeral near Sana in October 2016, killing 155 civilians.

A Saudi general initially said there had been no strikes near the funeral. But days later the Saudi coalition admitted that an aircraft had “wrongly targeted the location.”

The Saudi-led coalition bombed a school bus carrying children in August 2018. CNN reported that the bomb was American-made. Forty-four children and 10 adults were killed. The youngest child was 6.

The coalition “expresses regret over the mistakes, extends its sympathies, condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims,” a statement said.

These strikes are part of the broader Saudi-led air war that has killed over 4,600 civilians in Yemen since 2015. Circles show the number of coalition air raids by district since the war began.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have been waging a ruinous war on neighboring Yemen for three years, with support from the United States . Armed with powerful fighter jets and warships, the Saudi-led coalition has employed tactics that minimize risk to its troops. But it has killed thousands of civilians and dealt a crushing blow to Yemen ’s fragile economy.

The architect of the war, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, initially promised a swift victory against his Houthi foes. But the effort quickly bogged down.

The Saudis and their chief ally, the United Arab Emirates, fight principally from the air. Armed with American-made warplanes and bombs, they have carried out thousands of airstrikes on Houthi targets but also on hospitals, weddings and funerals.

Their pilots typically fly high to avoid enemy fire, which reduces the accuracy of strikes. They regularly ignore a voluminous no-strike list.

The United States backed the coalition from the start with sales of weapons and bombs, midair refueling of warplanes over Yemen, and intelligence. After the funeral attack in 2016 killed 155 people, the Obama administration blocked sales of precision-guided munitions. But the United States continued to refuel coalition warplanes. In May 2017, the Trump administration overturned the missile ban, amid a new weapons deal.

Mr. Trump said he did not want to lose the benefit of multibillion-dollar arms sales for the American economy. But the war was ravaging the economy of Yemen .

Yemen has always been poor, with high rates of malnutrition and disease. But the three-year war has ground its economy into the dust.

Most Yemenis live in the west, between the mountains and the sea. Much of the east is a vast, sparsely populated desert.

Much of the fighting has focused on the port city of Hudaydah, the capital city of Sana, areas around the Saudi border, and Taiz in the south.

Yemen ’s agriculture cannot support the population so reliance on imports is high: About 70 percent of food is imported. As the war continued, the coalition imposed blockades and restrictions.

Blockades, bombing, currency manipulation and a decision to stop paying public servants in Houthi territory crushed Yemen ’s economy.

The war pits some of the richest countries in the Middle East against the poorest.

Yemen has modest reserves of oil, unlike Saudi Arabia , whose economy is 38 times larger. But the war sent Yemen spiraling into an economic catastrophe.

Millions are jobless. Factories have been destroyed. This year the currency plunged sharply, causing inflation to soar. The Central Bank of Yemen printed vast amounts of new currency, making things worse.

For ordinary Yemenis, that means soaring food, fuel and medicine prices. The cost of a basket of basic food has doubled since the start of the war. People have exhausted their savings and sold their cars, land or houses. Many are going hungry.

The United Nations estimates that 16 million Yemenis, over half the population, are seriously food deficient — despite international humanitarian assistance.

Yemen ’s hunger crisis is nearing catastrophic proportions. At least 85,000 children have died. Food insecurity projections show that, without urgent action, a national famine is looming.

Starvation has become a weapon of war. In an effort to isolate Houthi militants, the Saudi-led coalition has bombed farms, fishing boats and factories, according to scholars. Civilians are hit hardest. Dots here show coalition strikes on fishing and agriculture targets.

At least 6,500 civilians have died from airstrikes and other war-related violence, including some likely war crimes. But the greatest threat to most Yemenis is harder to see.

The economic devastation that pushed millions to the brink of famine and created the worst cholera epidemic in living memory is no accident of war: It is the product of deliberate policies by the warring parties.

The Saudi-led coalition, with its warplanes, blockades and vast economic power, bears a large share of the blame. But the Houthis are also at fault. They have manipulated relief aid, recruited child soldiers and planted vast numbers of land mines, according to aid workers and human rights groups.

Peace talks in Sweden in December offered a faint glimmer of hope for an end to the war. A shaky cease-fire in the key port of Hudaydah is holding.

But if politics fails, many fear that Yemen could lapse into even worse fighting. Famine could become a reality. And millions of civilians would pay the heaviest price, yet again.

This story gives an overview of the war’s effects on civilians, and the humanitarian crises it created. Read more about the front lines of the war, Yemen ’s starvation crisis, attacks on fishing boats and America ’s involvement in the war.

Civilian strike locations from Human Rights Watch and our own reporting. Data on coalition air raids from the Yemen Data Project. Control map data from the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. Data on Yemen ’s G.D.P. from World Bank. Locations of strikes on fishing and agricultural targets from Yemen’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and Ministry of Fish Wealth, via a report by Martha Mundy at the London School of Economics.

Additional work by Larry Buchanan.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"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

With Beto O’Rourke as Lightning Rod, Corporate Democrats Aim to Stifle Criticism

With Beto O’Rourke as Lightning Rod, Corporate Democrats Aim to Stifle Criticism

Posted By Norman Solomon On December 27, 2018 @ 1:54 am 

  Well-informed public discussion is a major hazard for Democratic Party elites now eager to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the 2020 presidential nomination. A clear focus on key issues can bring to light the big political differences between Sanders and the party’s corporate-friendly candidates. One way to muddy the waters is to condemn people for pointing out facts that make those candidates look bad.

    National polling shows that the U.S. public strongly favors bold policy proposals that Sanders has been championing for a long time. On issues ranging from climate change to Medicare for All to tuition-free public college to Wall Street power, the party’s base has been moving leftward, largely propelled by an upsurge of engagement from progressive young people. This momentum is a threat to the forces accustomed to dominating the Democratic Party.

    In recent weeks, Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke has become a lightning rod in a gathering political storm — largely because of the vast hype about him from mass media and Democratic power brokers. At such times, when spin goes into overdrive, we need incisive factual information. Investigative journalist David Sirota provided it in a deeply researched Dec. 20 article, which The Guardian published under the headline “Beto O’Rourke Frequently Voted for Republican Legislation, Analysis Reveals.”

   Originating from the nonprofit Capital & Main news organization, the piece reported that “even as O’Rourke represented one of the most solidly Democratic congressional districts in the United States, he has frequently voted against the majority of House Democrats in support of Republican bills and Trump administration priorities.”

   Progressives have good reasons to like some of O’Rourke’s positions. But Sirota’s reporting drilled down into his voting record, reviewing “the 167 votes O’Rourke has cast in the House in opposition to the majority of his own party during his six-year tenure in Congress. Many of those votes were not progressive dissents alongside other left-leaning lawmakers, but instead votes to help pass Republican-sponsored legislation.”

   The meticulous and in-depth reporting by Sirota was a public service, but some angry reactions were classic instances of blaming the messenger for the unfavorable news. At times vitriolic, the denunciations of Sirota came from people who apparently would have preferred for Congressman O’Rourke’s actual voting record to remain shrouded in a hagiographic haze.
   But it’s better to learn revealing political facts sooner rather than later. Thanks to Sirota’s coverage, for instance, we now know “O’Rourke has voted for GOP bills that his fellow Democratic lawmakers said reinforced Republicans’ anti-tax ideology, chipped away at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), weakened Wall Street regulations, boosted the fossil fuel industry and bolstered Donald Trump’s immigration policy.”
The backlash to Sirota’s news article was in keeping with a tweet two weeks earlier from Neera Tanden, the president of the influential and lavishly funded Center for American Progress, who has long been a major ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton. On Dec. 6, Tanden went over-the-top in response to a tweet from Sirota simply mentioning the fact that O’Rourke “is the #2 recipient of oil/gas industry campaign cash in the entire Congress.”

   Tanden lashed out via Twitter, writing: “Oh look. A supporter of Bernie Sanders attacking a Democrat. This is seriously dangerous. We know Trump is in the White House and attacking Dems is doing Trump’s bidding. I hope Senator Sanders repudiates these attacks in 2019.”

   Such calculated nonsense indicates just how panicky some powerful corporate Democrats are about Bernie’s likely presidential campaign — and just how anxious they are to protect corporate-oriented candidates from public scrutiny. The quest is to smother meaningful discussions of vital issues that should be center stage during the presidential campaign.

    Corporate Democrats are gearing up to equate principled, fact-based critiques of their favored candidates with — in Tanden’s words — “seriously dangerous” attacks that are “doing Trump’s bidding.” Such demagogic rhetoric should be thrown in the political trash cans where it belongs. 

   This is not only about Beto O’Rourke — it’s about the parade of Democratic contenders lined up to run for president. Should the candidates that mass media and party elites put forward as “progressive” be quickly embraced or carefully scrutinized? The question must be asked and answered.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"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

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Holy Innocents Faith and Resistance Retreat/Witness/A Point of Holiday Agreement: Stop Wasting Money on the Pentagon

     Participate in the Holy Innocents Faith and Resistance Retreat/Witness starting on Thurs., Dec. 27 at 1 PM through Fri., Dec. 28 at noon.  People will gather St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St. NW, WDC 20010.  Members of the Atlantic and Southern Life communities and other peacemaking friends in a time of prayer, reflection and nonviolent witness to commemorate the Massacre of the Holy Innocents – past and present. Arrive by 1 PM in order to begin the gathering around 1:30 PM.  On Thursday, reflect on the scriptural passage of the slaughter on the holy innocents and its meaning for us today. Joan and Don Wages will share about their journey into nonviolence, how they have tried to embody nonviolence in their life-style and family living, and the challenges they have faced.  Then plan our nonviolent witness for the next day. And, as part of the liturgy, listen to and reflect together on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Christmas Sermon on Peace that he delivered on Dec. 24, 1967.  This was Dr. King’s final Christmas sermon.    In the public witness at the Pentagon, convey  hope for a disarmed world–a world free of war, nuclear weapons, killer drones, all weapons, racial hatred, torture, systemic oppression, social inequality and climate chaos. 

 Please bring sleeping bags and bedding for sleeping in the church sanctuary. Also please bring food for a pot-luck breakfast on December 28. During this time remember in a special way the Kings Bay Plowshares as they prepare for their upcoming trial (date still unknown). Liz McAlister, Steve Kelly and Mark Colville are currently in Glynn County Detention Center in Brunswick, Georgia. Martha Hennessy, Patrick O’Neill, Clare Grady and Carmen Trotta remain out on bond and have court mandated electronic monitors, curfews and other restrictions. Hold in your heart the children and people of Yemen who are experiencing widespread famine, cholera and death as a result of the ruthless U.S.-backed Saudi war being waged against them. On December 13, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution calling for an end to U.S. military and financial support for this criminal war. This represents the first time in U.S. history the Senate has voted to withdraw military forces from an unauthorized war using the War Powers  Resolution. However the House narrowly voted to continue U.S. support, and Mr. Trump has threatened a veto. Contact Art Laffin, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker:

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Point of Holiday Agreement: Stop Wasting Money on the Pentagon
Military leaders literally don’t know what they’re doing with our money, but they want more. People on the left and right have had enough.
    In this season of (hoped for) peace and goodwill, it’s worth looking for things our divided country can agree on. And since all of us want to be able to trust government to spend wisely, we might find common cause in a surprising place: the Pentagon budget.
When you think of politicians railing against the Pentagon (if you can think of any) it might be someone on the left, like Senator Bernie Sanders. That’s why I was gratified to see Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley take on the Pentagon budget in a recent op-ed in The New York Times.

   It’s a relatively rare occurrence for a politician of any persuasion to criticize the Pentagon — but especially for a conservative Republican like Grassley. (That said, the late Senator John McCain, when he was in the right mood, could do it with the best of them. And it’s not Grassley’s first rodeo, either.)

   The Pentagon deserves the criticism. Nearly 30 years ago, Congress asked the Pentagon to complete an audit that could show military leaders knew where our money was going. This year, the Pentagon finally delivered a result: After waiting nearly 30 years, the Pentagon failed its first-ever audit.

   Even more disturbing is that Pentagon leaders aren’t the least bit disturbed about this. Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, the number two official at the Pentagon, told reporters, “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it.”

   If there’s one thing that could get Pentagon leadership’s attention, it would be requiring them to pass an audit before they get one more dollar from public coffers.

   There’s every reason for Pentagon leaders from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on down to be ashamed of this result.

   Every other major government agency has completed and passed an audit during that time, often many times. If the Pentagon doesn’t know where its money is going, how can they assure us it’s being put to good use? With a Pentagon budget of $647 billion this year — not even counting war costs — the potential for waste and fraud is sky-high.

     We know about a lot of examples of waste — Grassley cited a $14,000 toilet seat as a picture-perfect example — but there are no doubt countless more that we don’t know about. This is nobody’s idea of good management.

       Grassley suggests that Pentagon leaders need to step up and earn the trust we give them. But if they haven’t done it in 30 years, what’s going to change now?

     Pentagon leaders haven’t seen any consequences from their disregard for our nation’s budget. If there’s one thing that could get Pentagon leadership’s attention, it would be requiring them to pass an audit before they get one more dollar from public coffers.
Instead, the opposite seems to be happening. Congress keeps rewarding the Pentagon with ever-bigger budgets. The U.S. military budget is more than $200 billion higher than it was 30 years ago.

     And it continues. Less than a week after calling our current Pentagon budget “crazy,” President Trump agreed with military leaders that we need an even larger military budget. And just one day before the failed audit was announced, a committee tasked by Congress announced that the nation needs an almost $1 trillion military budget by 2024.

    If we keep going this way, we’re going to waste precious resources that could be used any number of other ways: creating jobs, fighting the opioid epidemic, building a health care system that works for all of us, fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, etc.

   Until they can show they know what they’re doing, the Pentagon should be cut off from further increases so we can focus resources elsewhere.

  So, if most of the news seems too dicey to talk about over stale Christmas cookies, try the Pentagon’s failed audit. You might be surprised who you’ll agree with. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons

Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
        Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

Lindsay Koshgarian is Research Director at the National Priorities Project. 

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"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 -- December 27, 2018 -- March 31, 2018

23] Maryland Food Bank benefit – through Mar. 31
24] Need gently worn clothes and nonperishables --- Dec. 27
25] Book Buddies -- Dec. 27
26] Food Rescue – Dec. 27
27] Mayor Pugh's Prayer Vigil – Dec. 27
28] DC Vegan Drinks -- Dec. 27
29] WIB peace vigils – Dec. 28
30] White House vigil – Dec. 28
31] Food Rescue – Dec. 28
32] Rally at the Department of Homeland Security – Dec. 28
33] Black Lives Matter -- Dec. 28
34] Ballroom Dancing – Dec. 28
35] Cats, Coffee, & Cookies – Dec. 29
36] Peace Vigil – Dec. 29
37] Progressive Maryland meeting -- Dec. 29
38] Fast for Yemen – Dec. 29 – Jan. 5
39] Participatory Defense Community Meeting – Dec. 29
40] Protest at the Drone Base -- Dec. 29
41] Out For Justice, Inc. celebration – Dec. 29
42] Holiday Performance by Ed Stivender -- Dec. 29
43] Do you want to join a peace caravan?
44] Emergency Demonstration against an attack on Iran or North Korea  
45] Donate books, videos, DVDs and records  
46] Do you need any book shelves?
47] Join the Global Zero campaign
48] Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
23] – On Thurs., Dec. 27 through Sun., Mar. 31, 2019, there is a Maryland Food Bank Benefit, hosted by The Admirals Cup - Fells Point, Baltimore, 1647 Thames St., Baltimore 21231. Do we give so we shall receive, or give because it feels good?  Giving has never felt better or made a more significant impact than this unique opportunity. The Maryland Food Bank and Harbor Magic Hotels presents “HOLIDAY GIVEBACK.”   Experience the adventures of the Fells Point at one of the two beautiful Harbor Magic Hotels: The Admiral Fell Inn or the Inn at Henderson’s Wharf.  Gracefully awaken to the aromas and tastes of a fabulous breakfast and set sail on your day in one of the most amazing places in America. Harbor Magic is donating 10% of dollars generated from this promotion to benefit the Maryland Food Bank. BOOK NOW at Call (410) 534-5555. See

24] – Hosted by TowsonTown Place Apartments, 6906 Donachie Road, Towson 21239, please bring gently worn clothes and nonperishables to the office in support of the local food banks and homeless shelters on Thurs., Dec. 27 from 9 AM to 5 PM, also each day after until Tues., Dec. 31.  Visit

25] – On Thurs., Dec. 27 from noon to 4:30 PM, become Book Buddies at the Animal Welfare League of Frederick County, 1202 East Patrick St., 13A, Frederick 21701.  Tickets are at  Would your child enjoy reading to shelter cats? (Grades K-8).  This is a no-kill animal rescue), and children are invited to read to rescue cats. The program encourages children to improve their reading skills while also benefiting the shelter animals.  Cats find the rhythmic sound of a voice very comforting and soothing. Children bring their own book(s) and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Reservations required and space is limited. One child per 30 min. session. Email any questions to Go to

26] – On Thurs., Dec. 27 from 4 to 5 PM, hosted by Food Rescue Baltimore, every Thursday until Feb. 7, 2019 at the Dovecote Café, 2501 Madison Ave., Baltimore 21217.  Bring a bag, bring a friend, and take delicious, nutritious, free rescued food. Visit

27] – On Thurs., Dec. 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, get over to Mayor Pugh's Prayer Vigil at 101 N. Gay St., Baltimore 21202.  The Mayor invites you to a citywide Vigil of Hope and Healing to honor and embrace the families impacted by violence in Baltimore City. The Mayor will be joined by Interfaith Leaders and members in the bereavement and healing community.  Visit

28] – On Thurs., Dec. 27 from 7 to 9 PM, get some DC Vegan Drinks - December (Ugly Sweater) Edition, hosted by The Humane League - DC, 406 H St NE, WDC 20002-4336. Come on out to enjoy mouthwatering vegan food, Happy Hour cocktail specials, and meeting new and old friends in the DMV community at Fare Well restaurant on December 27th! 

Proceeds from the Happy Hour are donated back to empowering The Humane League's work for animals. For this event, if possible, consider wearing your best ugly sweater to keep the holiday vibes going! We look forward to seeing you there!! Visit

29] – On Fri., Dec. 28 from noon to 1 PM, join a Women in Black peace vigil. A vigil will take place in McKeldin Square at the corner of Light and Pratt Sts.  STAY FOR LUNCH at Baba's Kitchen.  Warm-up, dry off, and enjoy a vegetarian chili lunch and lots of good conversation. Bring a side or topping for the chili.  There are still places at the table; invite a friend to come along with you.

Another vigil is at Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St, Baltimore. 21211. However, if weather is iffy, contact Anne at  Lunch will take place at 1 PM at the RPP Café, 830 W. 40th St., Baltimore 21211.

A third vigil will be in Chestertown, Kent County at Memorial Park at Cross Street and Park Row.  This vigil is looking for more peace bodies on the Eastern Shore.  Welcome to the network, Chestertown Women in Black.

Wear black. Dress for who knows what kind of weather.  Peace signs will be available. When there are others to stand with, you don't need to carry the burden alone. Do this to be in solidarity with others....when everything around us says “Be afraid of the stranger.” Carpool and parking available. Just send an email that you need a ride to:

30] – On Fri.,  Dec. 28 from noon to 1 PM, join the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in a vigil urging the powers that be to abolish war and torture, to disarm all weapons, to end indefinite detention, to close Guantanamo, to establish justice for all and help create the Beloved Community! This vigil will take place at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Contract Art @ or at 202-360-6416.

31] – On Fri., Dec. 28 at noon, get over to Grace Baptist Church, 3201 The Alameda., Baltimore 21218, hosted by Food Rescue Baltimore. This occurs every Friday until Feb. 8, 2019.  For Friday Food Rescue, bring a bag, bring a friend, and take delicious, nutritious, free rescued food. See

32] – Rally again on Fri., Dec. 28 outside the Department of Homeland Security from 4 to 6 PM to keep the pressure on the government to reunify families separated at the border. Hundreds of children are still separated from their parents after the July 26th deadline set by the courts for reunification.  This is a permitted, peaceful event and families are welcome.  You can bring your own sign or use one of the available signs.  Gather at 4401 Massachusetts Ave. NW. This location is about 50 yards south [in towards downtown] of Ward Circle.  There is parking on Massachusetts Avenue across the street, or you can park at the Katzen Center for the Arts for $2/hour and free after 5 PM on the other side of Ward Circle. View Email triduncan05 AT gmail. Com.  

33] – There is usually a silent vigil on Fridays, from 5 to 6 PM, sponsored by Homewood Friends Meeting, outside the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles St.  The next scheduled vigil is on Dec. 28. Black Lives Matter.  

34] – 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 on Dec. 28. Call Dave Greene at 410-599-3725.

35] – On Sat., Dec. 29 at 11 AM enjoy Cats, Coffee, & Cookies, hosted by Passport Animal Rescue, Inc.  This takes place at Petco (Lutherville), 1719 York Rd., Lutherville 21093.  Meet adoptable cats & kittens, sample yummy treats, coffee and juice, and a room full of kitties needing homes!  Go to

36] – 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 Email 

37] – On Sat., Dec. 29 at 11 AM, attend Progressive Maryland’s statewide meeting at the Universalist Unitarian Church, 333 Dubois Rd., Annapolis 21401. This mass meeting will shape Progressive Maryland’s activism for 2019 and beyond – first, preparing for the 2019 General Assembly session that begins Jan. 9, but more broadly to build power for working families as legislators are pushed to shake loose from business as usual. Celebrate the victories, discuss the challenges, and prepare the next steps. Building power is on the table and on the horizon. You can RSVP here.  Need a lift? Want to offer a ride? Fill out the form for carpooling here: (this link is also at the RSVP registration page).  What do you want to see on the agenda? Email the moderator at

38] – You are invited to join a "Voices Rising  * Fast for Yemen" which is liquids only, for approximately two weeks, during which participants will also vigil for one week in New York City, from Sat., Dec. 29 until Sat., Jan. 5. Then from Sun., Jan. 6 through Sun., Jan. 13, the fast will move to Washington D.C. to join Witness Against Torture which has already decided to focus on torture in Yemen as well as Guantanamo. The first week will begin and end at the regular New York Saturday morning vigil from 11 AM to noon, which will most likely happen in Union Square.  On weekdays the fast will hold a public presence, gathering at 11AM, each day at the Isaiah Wall at 1st Ave. & 43rd St.  From the Isaiah Wall, process to various Missions to the UN, the Saudi Consulate, and corporate offices of weapon manufacturers.  Housing in New York City can be arranged.  Call Kathy Kelly at 773 619 2418 or write or email Jules Orkin at 

39] – Come to the Participatory Defense Community Meeting on Sat., Dec. 29 from 1 to 3 PM at the Oakcrest Community Center,  1300 Capitol Heights Blvd., Capitol Heights 20743. This will take place every Saturday through December. CONTACT qiana johnson at at 240-845-4007. Visit

40] – On Sat., Dec. 29 from noon to 2 PM, get over to the Year’s End Final Drone War Protest in Horsham Air Guard Station. IGNITE PEACE. Stop the Violence. End the U.S. policy of drone warfare and endless war in 2019.  Close the drone war command at Horsham Air Guard Station, Route 611/Easton Road & County Line Road. Horsham, PA 19044.  This protest takes place on the last Saturday of the month, noon to 2 PM from March to December. Call 484-574-1148 or visit

The U.S. Air Force has established a drone war command center at the Horsham Air Guard Station.  From there, MQ-9 Reaper drones can be piloted by remote control to launch their deadly Hellfire missiles against people on the other side of the world.  Since April 2013, and the announcement that a drone war command center was planned for the Horsham PA Air Guard Station, there have been focused protests at the base as well as other events throughout the region.

Stand with an appeal to computer drone operators or prospective operators whose hands are on the “killing sticks” at the Horsham command center: Dear Drone Operators, End the Violence, Just Walk Away…Love, Your Neighbors. Trump is ordering airstrikes at 5 times the pace Obama did:  Drone Strikes are Up 432 Percent Under Donald Trump:  The protest was initiated by the Brandywine Peace Community and the American Friends Service Committee.

41] –  On Sat., Dec. 29 from 6 to 9 PM, get involved with an End of Year Celebration, hosted by Out For Justice, Inc. at the Oliver Center, 1400 East Federal St., Baltimore 21213.  Get some food and fun for your family. Celebrate all that OFJ has accomplished in 2018 and hear about the goals for the New Year! See

42] -- Catch a Holiday Performance by Ed Stivender at the Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064, on Thurs., Dec. 27 from 7:30 to  8:30 PM.  He is a Shakespearean Actor, Banjo Player, Theologian, Author (Raised Catholic, Can You Tell? and Still Catholic After All These Fears), Mummer, Dreamer, Juggler, and Raconteur.  He has been called “the Robin Williams of storytelling” by the Miami Herald. A featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival and the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival in Ireland, and our own Philadelphia Folk Festival, he’s traveled the world appearing in schools, churches, coffeehouses and theaters. A resident of Springfield, Delaware County, Ed has strutted in the Comic division of the annual Philadelphia Mummers Parade since 1982.  In 1994, he received the Mummers’ Most Original Character Award for his one-man Vatican-American String Band, and in 2006 and 2011 he won first prize for Most Original Character (and that he is!). The night co-sponsored by the Brandywine Peace Community.  Go to  Doors open at 6:30 PM.  So why not come early for some holiday sharing, song, and refreshments before the show. Visit or call 484-574-1148.

43] – Do you have any interest in challenging the Trump administration for reneging on the Iran Deal? If yes, would you be interested in joining a Peace Caravan to the Iranian embassy in Washington, D.C.? Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.  

44] – It is a violation of U.S. law for us to attack a country that has not attacked us, as only Congress can declare war. The Trump administration is nevertheless beating the war drums for war against Iran and North Korea. The Mueller investigation is tightening the vise, and could cause Trump to attack those countries in order to divert attention from Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Such a military strike would demand an immediate and unequivocal response from us to show that we will not tolerate his abuse of power.

Let's mobilize to show that we the people will not tolerate another military adventure, which would be bound to have profound negative consequences. If a preemptive military strike against Iran or North Korea takes place, then meet outside the War Memorial, 101 N. Gay St., Baltimore, MD 21202. If the attack is before 2 PM local time, then events will begin at 5 PM, local time. If the attack occurs after 2 PM local time, then events will begin at noon, local time, the following day. Contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.

45] -- If you would like to get rid of books, videos, DVDs, records, tarps and table cloths, contact Max at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 at

46] -- Can you use any book shelves? Contact Max at 410-323-1637 or mobuszewski2001 at

47] -- Join an extraordinary global campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons: 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.

48] – A 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; 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: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

“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