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Nuclear power and the collapse of society E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 08 May 2017 14:10

Greenpeace - Blogpost by Rex Weyler - 5 May, 2017

On March 1 1954, on Bikini Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, the US military detonated the world’s first lithium-deuteride hydrogen bomb, a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. The radiation blew downwind, to the southeast, and irradiated the residents of Rongelap and Utirik atolls, and the crew of tuna boat Fukuryu Maru, “Lucky Dragon.”

Last Updated on Monday, 08 May 2017 14:16
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It’s About Bringing Your Congress Back Home, Citizens! byRalph Nader E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 19:57
 
 
 
by Ralph Nader
 
 
Published on
by
 
 
 
 
 

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/05/03/its-about-bringing-your-congress-back-home-citizens

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In this Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, file photo, people react as U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks during a town hall meeting at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Some attendees of the contentious town hall hosted by Chaffetz last week, have sent the congressman fake invoices after he claimed some people there were paid protesters. (Photo: AP/Rick Bowmer, File)

 

 large marches, in Washington, DC and around the country, calling attention to importance of science and focusing on the calamitous impacts of climate change  had impressive turnouts. But the protests would have been more productive if they concentrated more – in their slogans and signs – on 535 politicians to whom we have given immense power to influence policies relating to those issues, for ill or for good.

I’m speaking of Congress.

"For a national, comprehensive change movement, it is the Congress which must be effectively and forcefully instructed to act in the public interest."

Congress cannot be ignored or neglected simply because we know it to be a corporate Congress, or a gridlocked Congress, or a Congress that is so collectively delinquent, or perk and PAC addicted, or  beholden to commercial interests, or self-serving through gerrymandered electoral districts where they, through their party’s controlled state government, pick the voters to elect them.

Sure, there are probably 100 good legislators on Capitol Hill. But many of these progressive elected officials fail to effectively network with citizen groups, or organize left-right coalitions back home into an unstoppable political force. Issues that invite such left/right consensus are numerous, including  raising the federal minimum wage, protecting civil liberties, tackling government waste and corruption, advancing solar energy, reforming the corporate tax system, full Medicare for All (with free choice of doctor and hospital) and a crackdown on corporate crime and abuses against consumers, workers and communities. Polls show big majorities behind these and other much needed redirections and reforms.

All these improvements in the lives of all Americans have to go through Congress. Sure, some efforts can be partially achieved by self-help and state/local governments. But for a national, comprehensive change movement, it is the Congress which must be effectively and forcefully instructed to act in the public interest.

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A Dam Big Problem: Fracking Companies Build Dozens of Unauthorized Dams in B.C.'s Northeast E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 13:04

A Dam Big Problem: Fracking Companies Build Dozens of Unauthorized Dams in B.C.'s Northeast

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A subsidiary of Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned petro giant courted by the B.C. government, has built at least 16 unauthorized dams in northern B.C. to trap hundreds of millions of gallons of water used in its controversial fracking operations.

The 16 dams are among “dozens” that have been built by Petronas and other companies without proper authorizations, a senior dam safety official with the provincial government told the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which began investigating the problem in late March after receiving a tip from someone with knowledge of how widespread the problem is.

Two of the dams built by Progress Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Petronas, are towering earthen structures that exceed the height of five-storey apartment buildings. Petronas has proposed building a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Prince Rupert, which if built would result in dramatic increases in fracking and industrial water use throughout northeast B.C.

The two dams are so large that they should have been subject to review by B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). Only if a review concluded that the projects could proceed would the EAO have issued a certificate, and only then could the company have moved on to get the necessary authorizations from other provincial agencies.

But nothing close to that happened because the company never submitted its plans to the EAO before the dams were built.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 13:19
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The Empire Expands Not the American One, But Trump’s E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 06:31

By nomi  Prins

President Trump, his children and their spouses, aren’t just using the Oval Office to augment their political legacy or secure future riches. Okay, they certainly are doing that, but that’s not the most useful way to think about what’s happening at the moment. Everything will make more sense if you reimagine the White House as simply the newest branch of the Trump family business empire, its latest outpost.

It turns out that the voters who cast their ballots for Donald Trump, the patriarch, got a package deal for his whole clan.  That would include, of course, first daughter Ivanka who, along with her husband, Jared Kushner, is now a key political adviser to the president of the United States.  Both now have offices in the White House close to him.  They have multiple security clearances, access to high-level leaders whenever they visit the Oval Office or Mar-a-Lago, and the perfect formula for the sort of brand-enhancement that now seems to come with such eminence. President Trump may have an exceedingly “flexible” attitude toward policymaking generally, but in one area count on him to be stalwart and immobile: his urge to run the White House like a business, a family business.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 16:31
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Indigenous Women: The Frontline Protectors of the Environment E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 27 April 2017 09:33

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage The Bhumia tribal community practices sustainable forestry: these women returning from the forest carry baskets of painstakingly gathered tree bark and dried cow dung for manure. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

The Bhumia tribal community practices sustainable forestry: these women returning from the forest carry baskets of painstakingly gathered tree bark and dried cow dung for manure. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 27 2017 (IPS) - Indigenous women, while experiencing the first and worst effects of climate change globally, are often in the frontline in struggles to protect the environment.

A forum organized by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) brought together indigenous women from around the world to discuss the effects of climate change in their communities and their work towards sustainable solutions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 16:45
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America’s War-Fighting Footprint in Africa E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 27 April 2017 07:17

America’s War-Fighting Footprint in Africa 

Secret U.S. Military Documents Reveal a Constellation of American Military Bases Across That Continent 

By Nick Turse 

General Thomas Waldhauser sounded a little uneasy. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 17:01
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Long Way to Go for Indigenous Rights Protection E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 10:38

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage

Tadodaho Sid Hill (shown on screens), Chief of the Onondaga Nation. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Tadodaho Sid Hill (shown on screens), Chief of the Onondaga Nation. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 25 2017 (IPS) - Despite progress, many gaps remain in international indigenous rights protection, said representatives during an annual UN meeting.

More than 1000 indigenous representatives from around the world have gathered at the UN for the 16th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). This year’s meeting focuses on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which was adopted 10 years ago by the General Assembly.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 May 2017 17:07
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Making Sense of the Deportation Debate How Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Laid the Groundwork for Trump’s Immigration Policies E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 06:47

By Aviva Chomsky

Ever since he rode a Trump Tower escalator into the presidential race in June 2015 and swore to build his “great wall” and stop Mexican “rapists” from entering the country, undocumented immigrants have been the focus of Donald Trump’s ire. Now that he’s in the Oval Office, the news has been grim. A drumbeat of frightening headlines and panicked social media posts have highlighted his incendiary language, his plans and executive orders when it comes to immigrants, and the early acts of the Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents when it comes to round-ups and deportations. The temperature has soared on the deportation debate, so if you think we’re in a completely unprecedented moment when it comes to immigration and immigrants, you’re in good company.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 May 2017 17:16
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Fate of Earth Must Not be Decided by US & Fellow Nuclear States E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 24 April 2017 15:38

Joan Russow 

Dr Joan Russow is Co-ordinator, Global Compliance Research Project

Credit: UN photo

Credit: UN photo

VICTORIA, BC, Canada, Apr 24 2017 (IPS)- When the United Nations continues its negotiations in June for an international treaty against nuclear weapons, there must be a treaty that should cover every single aspect of the devastating weapons — and leading eventually to their total elimination from the world’s military arsenals.

As envisaged, the treaty should not only prohibit stockpiling; use and threat of use, and planning for use of nuclear weapons but also the deployment; transfer, acquisition, and stationing; development and production of these weapons—along with testing; transit and transshipment; and financing, assistance, encouragement, and inducement and an obligation for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and a framework to achieve it.(WILPF, Reaching Critical Will).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 06:54
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Provincial Peace and Disarmament Summit E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 21 April 2017 22:55

The Provincial  Peace and Disarmament Summit will be held on Friday, May 12  and on Satuday, May 13 at  at the University of Victoria, David Strong Building in room C118 -  

See Poster below,

For info and Registration visit www.vipdn.org 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 April 2017 02:32
 
Americans Bracing for More War Under Trigger-Happy Trump E-mail
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 14 April 2017 13:15

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/14/americans-bracing-more-war-under-trigger-happy-trump'It is as if he has discovered the keys to the family gun cabinet'

 

A still image of the blast on Thursday after the U.S. military dropped a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), known as the

A still image of the blast on Thursday after the U.S. military dropped a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), known as the "mother of all bombs," on Nangarhar province, in Afghanistan. (Screenshot: Department of Defense)

The American public is bracing for war now that President Donald Trump has seemingly stumbled upon "the keys to the family gun cabinet," as one observer put it, after a week of rash and aggressive military action.

The unprecedented use of a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), known as the 'mother of all bombs,' on Thursday was just the latest in a series of attacks by the U.S. in recent days, prompting demands for a Congressional debate on the use of military force.

Dr. Gabriela Lemus, president of the Progressive Congress Action Fund political action group, issued a statement Thursday saying that the use of "the largest non-nuclear bomb in our arsenal...to target [the Islamic State or ISIS] without the advice and consent of Congress raises serious concerns about the potential for the United States' engagement in unchecked use of military force and blanket authorization for endless war."

Specifically, Lemus said there must be an "immediate and urgent review of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)" and supports legislation put forth by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) that calls for repeal of the 2001 AUMF.

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