To receive weekly CCPJ Email updates, click the box below:
Archive of past mailings
By Fareed Zakaria, CNN
Everyone in Washington this week is having a nightmare about a guillotine. I'm talking about the proposed cuts to the Defense Department. » read more »
You be the judge. Actually you won't be the judge.
Charlottesville, Va., Mayor Dave Norris was the first mayor, after the original sponsor, to sign onto the antiwar resolution that was passed on Monday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He signed on immediately upon being invited to. Those early names are the hardest and help encourage others to add their own.
Norris planned to hold a news conference Monday afternoon (video to come) but gave me permission to go ahead and release his statement: » read more »
A program hosted by the University of Virginia is teaching Afghan women about the nuts and bolts of American democracy, in the hopes that they’ll bolster democracy in their home country.
The three-week program includes a mix of job-shadowing and speakers. It’s aimed at women who are in leadership roles in Afghanistan, but not at the absolute top of government.
“I think right now [the creation of functioning democracy] is going to have to start with kind of the middle, those people like we have now. … The top of the government is not always square, and I think the people [at] the very bottom, are just trying to get by,” said Daman Irby, director of operations at UVa’s Center for Politics.
Did you hear the one about the Ex Democratic Party Chairman and the peace activist walking into the coffee shop?
That was Tim Kaine and me on Saturday.
He's the former governor of Virginia, former DNC Chair, and current candidate for the US Senate. » read more »
Unless Rahm Emanuel talks them out of it over the weekend, come Monday the US Conference of Mayors will vote to pass its first resolution since Vietnam calling for the end of war and the re-allocation of all that money to something useful.
Here's the New York Times:
The first mayor to sign onto this resolution other than the original sponsor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles was Charlottesville, Va.'s Dave Norris. Norris signed on immediately upon being asked, and his name helped encourage others to join the list of sponsors.
Eventually 21 mayors signed onto the resolution prior to the commencement of the conference now underway in Baltimore.
Here is the resolution that will make news on Monday, just as President Obama appears likely to violate his commitment to a major withdrawal from Afghanistan, and just as Congress is moving to cut off funding for the unauthorized war in Libya:
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO REDIRECT MILITARY SPENDING TO DOMESTIC PRIORITIES
WHEREAS, the severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to re-examine our national spending priorities; and
WHEREAS, the people of the United States are collectively paying approximately $126 billion dollars per year to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan; and
WHEREAS, 6,024 members of the US armed forces have died in these wars; and at least 120,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the coalition attacks began.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports efforts to speed up the ending of these wars; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the U.S. Congress to bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy
Credit where it's due.
Thank your Mayor, Charlottesville! » read more »
When a national television program this week needed to find a spokesperson for the right of presidents to launch wars without congressional authorization, it turned -- to the great shame of us University of Virginia alumni -- to Robert Turner. He is the co-founder of the University of Virginia's Center for National Security Law.
Turner worked as an attorney in the Reagan White House and behaves accordingly. His center is directed by John Norton Moore who unsuccessfully defended the United States before the International Court of Justice in 1984, the court ruling that the United States had violated international law by supporting Contra guerrillas in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua's harbors. Then in 1991, Moore was legal advisor to the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, whose daughter was trained by a D.C. public relations firm to lie to Congress about babies being taken out of incubators. Moore supported the later Iraq War as well. The rest of the Center's personnel is a who's who list of war facilitators with blood up to their elbows. » read more »
When other nations' governments go off track, their people do something about it. In Tunisia and Egypt people have nonviolently claimed power in a way that has inspired Americans in Wisconsin and other states, as well as the people of Spain and the rest of the world.
Washington, D.C., is the weakest point in our democracy, without which state-level reform cannot succeed. Most Americans want our wars ended, our corporations and billionaires taxed, and our rights expanded rather than curtailed. We want our money invested in jobs and green energy, not a global military that can't stop itself. Our government in Washington goes in the opposite direction, opposing popular will on these major issues, regardless of personality or party.
On October 6th, a Thursday, the Afghanistan War will complete its first decade as the United States goes into its 2012 austerity budget. Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt translates as Liberation Square. We have in Washington, D.C., a square with the similar name: Freedom Plaza. This square is located between the Capitol and the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue, and built into its surface is a map of downtown Washington on which nonviolent resistance actions can be conveniently planned. » read more »
If you like the idea of an independent online force for peace and social justice, join us now.
This video is the first in a series -- intended to generate independent progressive activism in the run up to the 2012 Presidential election and beyond.
RootsAction is part of a growing grassroots movement to push the President and Congress to address pressing economic and war issues -- and to invest in jobs, green energy, schools, housing and education.
We will not be silent as Congress and the President continue to squander billions of dollars on foreign wars, causing destruction and hatred overseas while failing to meet the needs of the vast majority of people in our country.
We will not stand by as people lose their jobs and homes due to Wall Street schemes abetted by both major parties.
We will not give the Obama administration a pass as it continues many of the same policies that sparked loud protests under the Bush White House. We will take action -- independent of both party leaderships.
RootsAction has been strongly endorsed by such respected, independent-minded progressives as Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk and Coleen Rowley.
We'd love it if you would join us now.
I think Harry Belafonte found useful historical perspective this week when he told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now:
And when you ask me about Barack Obama, it is exactly what happened to Kennedy. We, the American people, made the history of that time come to another place by our passion and our commitment to change. What is saddened -- what is sad for this moment is that there is no force, no energy, of popular voice, popular rebellion, popular upheaval, no champion for radical thought at the table of the discourse. And as a consequence, Barack Obama has nothing to listen to, except his detractors and those who help pave the way to his own personal comfort with power -- power contained, power misdirected, power not fully engaged. And it is our task to no longer have expectations of him, unless we have forced him to the table and he still resists us. And if he does that, then we know what else we have to do, is to make change completely. But I think he plays the game that he plays because he sees no threat from evidencing concerns for the poor. He sees no threat from evidencing a deeper concern for the needs of black people, as such. He feels no great threat from evidencing a greater policy towards the international community, for expressing thoughts that criticize the American position on things and turns that around. Until we do that, I think we’ll be forever disappointed in what that administration will deliver.
AMY GOODMAN: And to those who say, "If you want President Obama re-elected, you will undermine him if you criticize him; and consider the alternative"?
HARRY BELAFONTE: I think we will not only undermine him, but undermine the hopes of this nation, if we don’t criticize him. Absence of protest in the times of this kind of national crisis -- Theodore Roosevelt once said, "When tyranny takes over the national agenda, it is that time that the voices of protest must be awakened. And if you don’t raise your voice in protest, you are a patriotic traitor." And I believe that patriotism is betrayed by those voices that are not heard. Those who would detract you from that fact are those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Nothing will happen but good for Barack Obama and the United States of America, and indeed the world, if everybody stepped to the table and said, "This is the course we must be on."
Let's change that situation.
The President will present more words in a speech today, as his wars rage on. Will you join us in preparing to insist on something louder than words?
U.S. newspapers sometimes print what they call the total death count from one or more of our wars, and all the dead who are listed are Americans. They aren't all the Americans. They don't include contractors or suicides or various other categories of dead Americans. They certainly don't include those who died for lack of basic needs while we dumped half of our public treasury into wars. » read more »