7-4-13

7-4-13

The Government and the Media Lie About Drone Warfare

It's impossible for an average American to understand the terror, fear, resentment, despair, hate and ultimate insurgency caused by drone warfare when the media portray it as a successful way to stanch the growth of terrorism. When the government obfuscates, vacillates and deceives, the corporate media regurgitates their message. How can we know the truth? Reports on the ground in countries like Yemen and Pakistan verify the death by drone of many women and children, but those reports are rarely repeated in US media. Here is a revelatory statement (forwarded by Judie) from former U.S. drone pilot Brandon Bryant:
"... the lie is that it's always been the air force that has flown those missions. The CIA might be the customer but the air force has always flown it. A CIA label is just an excuse to not have to give up any information. That is all it has ever been."
 Read more from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting on this subject HERE and
HERE is a video clip from a new drone documentary.

Check our calendar often; not all events are blogged. Scroll and click on event for more details

Please Come to Vigil With Us Every Wednesday

THE WEATHER IS FINALLY WARMING!
Show commuters that the struggle for peace and justice has a face.
 JOIN US!
Our next vigil will be:
Wednesday, April 23th
4:45pm to 5:45pm
50th Street at Halifax 
(corner of Lunds parking lot)


Two Events at Simpson Shelter

Every 4th Wednesday of the month Heading Home Hennepin will continue to host a free hour-long session on a variety of topics related to our community’s collective work to end homelessness. Upcoming sessions are as follows:

April 23 – Family Homelessness Research
Professor Maria Hanratty from the Humphrey School of Public Policy will be presenting new research on family homelessness. This will include a recently published article titled: Family Shelter Entry and Re-entry over the Recession in Hennepin County, MN:  The Role of Family Income, Earnings and Residential Location 
May 28 – Sexually Exploited Youth and the Safe Harbor Legislation
Beth Holger-Ambrose will discuss the recent legislation around sexually exploited youth and some of the new interventions and programs coming about as a result of this legislation.All sessions are held at Simpson Shelter, 2740 1st Ave S, and will run from Noon - 1:00. Bring your lunch and your thinking cap.
forwarded by Judie

A New Recycling Item--Cork

An innovative company called ReCORK is collecting your used wine bottle corks for fashioning items like cork soled sandals. The cork can be taken to any Houlihan's Restaurant (4 Mpls locations HERE) for recycling. Read more about ReCORK HERE.
forwarded by Judie

Middle East Peace Now Forum 4-26

Addressing Challenges of Christian Zionism
Presenter: Rev. Robert O. Smith 
The Rev. Robert O. Smith is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America currently serving as Area Program Director for the Middle East & North Africa in the Global Mission unit of the Churchwide Organization. He serves on the staff team for the Peace Not Walls campaign and is a designated representative for the ELCA in the National Jewish-Christian Roundtable Dialogue. With Dr. Muna Mushahwar, he serves ecumenically as co-moderator of the Palestine-Israel Ecumenical Forum of the World Council of Churches.  He received his Ph.D. in Religion, Politics & Society from Baylor University (Waco, Tex.) in 2010.  With Charles Lutz, he is author of “Christians and a Land Called Holy: How We Can Foster Justice, Peace, and Hope” (Fortress, 2006). His latest book, “More Desired than Our Owne Salvation: The Roots of Christian Zionism” was published with a foreword from Martin E. Marty in July 2013 by Oxford University Press.
SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014

9:30 a.m. Refreshments          10:00 a.m. Presentation and Discussion
THE LUTHERAN CHURCH OF CHRIST THE REDEEMER
5440 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN
For information call Dale Stuepfert at 612-374-4049

Boston and Baghdad

Read Ralph Nader's excellent differentiation HERE.

GFP Schedule of Meeting Topics 2013-14

GRANDMOTHERS FOR PEACE 
First Wednesday of each month meetings are held at
Edina Community Library and occasionally the St. Louis Park Library
12:45 pm

MAY 7th  Middle East Issues-Israel/Palestine

JUNE 4th Picnic in Peace Garden

JULY 4th Edina 4th of July Parade

AUGUST 6th Informal gathering 

SEPTEMBER 3rd Planning for 2014 - 2015
see our calendar for more details

Resist More Weapons to Israel-sign on

"This year the Obama administration earmarked another $3.1 billion for weapons to Israel in the FY2015 budget request it sent to Congress." Protest Israel's human rights abuses of Palestinians. Protest spending our tax dollars to arm Israel by signing HERE.

Help Stop the Frack Attack on Federal Lands

Sign the petition HERE.

Book Picks

With our concerns about the environment, GMOs, organic food, and sustainable agriculture, we got into a discussion at our last meeting about some new books on the subject:
The edible landscape : creating a beautiful and bountiful garden with vegetables, fruits and flowers by Emily Tepe, 37 copies at Hennepin Libraries and Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens by Lauren Scheuer, 5 copies for you adventurous egg lovers!
from Jane

An Action After Our Meeting

Ann Redmond said that she could talk all day about the devastating scourge of sex trafficking and the people and agencies trying to stop it. She didn't have all day, but we learned so much from her excellent presentation and handouts. Ann has worked tirelessly for more than 10 years on this issue. When asked what we can do to help, she referenced the need for supplies at the shelters that help women escape the snare of trafficking. After checking out the website of Breaking Free (HERE), I called to ask for more donation suggestions. What if the Grandmothers collected items and brought them to the next meeting on May 7th? 

  • Food items:  cereal, pasta, spaghetti, canned meats, powdered beverages like Kool-Aid, iced tea, coffee, sugar, flour, boxed dinners, soups, small snack packs for distributing on the street
  • Hygiene items:  toilet paper, paper towels, tampons, handiwipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner (large or hotel size are fine)
  • Misc:  paper plates, napkins, plastic silverware, new or gently used towels and blankets

 Let's do it!
Bring along whatever you can on May 7th and we will take it all to Breaking Free.

If you have questions, call them at 651-645-6557.



Art Against Drones

This is what a drone pilot thousands of miles away might see if he/she were planning a hit on a Pakistani village--an amazing collaborative action to read more about HERE.

Let's Help Get Labels on GMO Foods

We want to know if the food we buy is genetically modified. Two bills have been introduced in Minnesota that will call for labeling. Though the bills will not be heard this session, our lawmakers should hear from us and be encouraged to keep the bills alive.
Tell your legislators HERE. 

Drone Strike Transparency Bill

The administration needs to come clean about its incursions into other countries to assassinate people by drone strike. The bipartisan Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act H.R.4372 would force disclosure and alert us all to the horrendous loss of innocent life that these strikes have produced. Urge your Representative, your Senators, and President Obama to support this legislation by signing the petition HERE.

Where Does The Money Go?

Click HERE to take action.
forwarded by Cathie

Boycott the Koch Brothers

The Koch boys want to buy our democracy; let's not buy from the Kochs!
List of familiar Koch products and brands:
-American Greetings (took heavy Koch investment, upwards of $200 million)
-Angel Soft
-Angel Soft Ultra
-Brawny paper towels
-Dixie products
-Insulair cups
-Mardis Gras napkins
-Perfect Touch cups, paper products
-Quilted Northern
-Sparkle paper towels
-Vanity Fair napkins & paper towels
-Zee Napkins

See a list of more products and sign the pledge HERE.

"Supreme Court Just Crippled Democracy" Public Citizen

Sign their petition HERE. 

Read the breaking news,
 "(SCOTUS) Strikes Down Aggregate Limits on Federal Campaign Contribution" in the NYT HERE.

Book Pick

President Jimmy Carter has a new book--
A Call to Action : Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.
It would be an excellent addendum to the topic of our meeting on April 2nd--

"The Obscenity of Sexual Trafficking in Minnesota"

(there are 30 of Carter's book available to reserve at Hennepin Libraries.)

Join the Anti-Hypocrisy Movement

Review how duplicitous the U.S. can be in matters of
human rights and war and sign HERE.

More Wells Fargo Fraud Uncovered

Recently discovered information reveals that a Wells Fargo instruction manual directs its lawyers to fabricate documents, including foreclosure papers. Read and watch more HERE.
Stand by for actions against this criminal enterprise
from Home Defenders groups across the country.
suggested by Judie

Petition Drive to Pardon Dakota


Read the Strib article,
"Petition drive hopes to pardon 40 executed Dakota fighters from 1862", HERE. 

(The petition has now expired.)
forwarded by Darlene

In Case You Missed It

See Coleen Rowley, Ray McGovern, and Norm Solomon at the 3-25 National Press Club meeting about political asylum, Edward Snowden,
and related issues HERE.

Repeal the Iraq War Authorization!

The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 is still in place. Tell Congress to sign on to Barbara Lee's bill (H.R. 3852) repealing the authorization HERE.
forwarded by Judie

Ask Kerry to Work With Iran for a Syrian Ceasefire

The bloodshed in Syria must stop!
Sign the letter to John Kerry HERE.

Do You Really Want to Shop at Target?

"Target doesn't like unions - maybe because, as America's third-largest retailer with 2012 revenues of $73.3 billion, it can get away with paying its CEO $24 million a year, or $14,000 an hour, while paying its average sales 'team member' less than $17,000 a year, if they're lucky enough to get 40 hours a week".
WATCH Target's anti-union indoctrination video for new employees
and you may change your mind.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Revealed

A very fine explanation of the current developments in trade deals was published recently in the NYT Sunday opinion section. Written by esteemed economist Joseph Stiglitz, find it HERE.

For St. Patrick's Day, A Bit of History

Conservatives have difficulty empathizing with needy Americans, as demonstrated by Paul Ryan's COMMENTS about "inner city" men last week. HERE is a NYT opinion piece with a historical prospective.

This You Probably Won't See In Your Newspaper

Independent Bernie Sanders may run for President. Read it HERE.

Petition for Edward Snowden

"The U.S. government should make an ironclad commitment to fully respect Edward Snowden's legal rights to seek political asylum, and to not engage in abduction or other foul play."
 Sign on HERE.

International Women's Day

Recognize International Women’s Day and click here to urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Women, Peace, and Security Act (S. 1942 / H.R. 2874) to ensure that the voices and concerns of women are heard on matters of peace and security because women and girls are disproportionately affected by crisis and conflict.

From United for Peace and Justice

100 women, mostly from Europe and the US, expected to enter Gaza by March 8 to celebrate International Women's Day in solidarity with their Palestinian sisters in Gaza. As of now the majority of the delegation has been detained by Egyptian authorities at the Cairo airport or deported. Two of the delegation's leaders, US Peace Activist Medea Benjamin and Irish Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire have already been deported. Medea was assaulted and injured by Egyptian police while in their custody and ignored by the US Embassy in Cairo despite repeated calls for assistance. She has returned to the US and is recovering.

The international delegation was formed in response to a call for help from the women of Gaza. The 1.8 million inhabitants of this tiny Palestinian territory have been under siege by neighbors, Israel and Egypt, for 7 miserable years, depriving them of the most basic needs, including access to safe drinking water, electricity, adequate medical care and freedom of movement. Human and material access in/out of Gaza is highly controlled and the only civilian point of entry is through Egypt at the Rafah Gate, where Palestinians are the first victims of frequent border closings. This is where the delegation intends to cross into Gaza if the Egyptian authorities allow them to travel through Egypt.

Actions we can take:

Call and/or email the Egyptian Embassy at 202 895-5400 and Embassy@egyptembassy.net. Ask for an apology and justice for the delegation. Demand that they open the Rafah border and stop cracking down on journalists and Egyptian and International peace and justice activists! Send a letter to the Egyptian Ambassador with our demands: http://codepink.salsalabs.com/o/424/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=7196

Sign this petition to Egypt Desk at the State Department, then call them (202-647-4680). Demand to know why they did not assist, and let them know you want an immediate end to US military aid to Egypt. http://codepink.salsalabs.com/o/424/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=719
7

Medea Benjamin Detained and Assaulted in Cairo

Our friend Medea was held for many hours without charge and very badly injured by Egyptian authorities at the Cairo airport. After multiple pleas for help, the US embassy never showed up to assist her. She was denied medical treatment and put on a plane to Turkey.
Audio of Medea from Democracy Now HERE.

Recap of March Meeting-GMOs

We received a plethora of information about Genetically Modified Food from our stellar speaker, Nancy Brown. Important to remember from her talk are the foods that have currently been genetically modified:  canola, corn, sugar beets, cotton seed, and soy. Nancy started the group Right to Know MN and also praised the national group Just Label It as well as the Non-GMO Project where you can find GMO food alternatives. Pervasive in the foods we eat, GMOs have been shown to negatively effect human health as well as the environment. Link to these websites to learn what can be done to defeat the corporations who put profit over public welfare. Nancy began her excellent presentation with a hilariously depressing clip from The Colbert Report. View it HERE. 

Grandmothers for Peace Meeting-GMOs

On March 5th at 12:45 at the Edina Library our program focused on the food we eat. The corporate push toward genetically modified (GMO) crops threaten the environment and also our ability to understand what dangers may be lurking on our plates.
 HERE is an excellent article on the subject by the inimitable Jim Hightower.
forwarded by Marian

An Action Against GMOs

From the Organic Consumers Association:  read the history of the fight to get GMO labeling and
sign the petition HERE.

Send a Message to AIPAC

As Medea Benjamin says, "Israel is the 27th richest country in world, but thanks to AIPAC, it gets more U.S. tax dollars than any other country. At a time when the foreign aid budget is being slashed, keeping the lion’s share of foreign assistance for Israel means taking funds from critical programs to feed, provide shelter and offer emergency assistance to the world’s poorest people."

Read Medea's full article HERE and don't forget to send your message HERE.

Tackling Torture at the Top (T3)

At the WAMM Annual Meeting Coleen Rowley's T3 committee gave us a peek at the winners of their video contest.
You can see these affecting, creative works on YouTube HERE.

This Exxon Exec Loves Fracking Except Near His House

Read the story HERE.

SCOTUS May Decide That Corporations Can Discriminate on Religious Grounds

Arizona's governor was right to veto the legislature's "religious liberty" bill, but the Supreme Court could sanction discrimination on a wider scale with a ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.
Read more HERE.

Hold BP Responsible-Sign On

A petition pertaining to Minnesota from
Public Citizen (a favorite of mine) HERE.

3 Year Sentence for 84 Year Old Peacemaker

We incarcerate a nun and call it justice.
Read the story HERE.

The Wisdom of Bernie Sanders and the NPP

Read Robert Naiman's piece about appropriating needed funds from the military budget HERE.
And did you hear that the National Priorities Project has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize?
See their incomparable work tallying the cost of war HERE.

Why Is Germany's Economy So Strong?

According to an interesting article by John Nichols, the answer is UNIONS.
Read it HERE.

Sound Off About Keystone XL

Here's a chance to comment to the administration
before the XL decision is made by the State Department.
The link is HERE.

Check Out The New Greenwald/Scahill Website

Glenn Greenwald has partnered with Jeremy Scahill on a great project. See the first of the writings on the internet magazine, The Intercept HERE.

Hydraulic Fracturing and Drought

Scary article about a new study HERE.

The Army Recruiting Fraud

Read about it in Stars and Stripes HERE and in Common Dreams HERE.
recommended by Judie