Tuesday, December 1, 2009

UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE

NO ESCALATION IN AFGHANISTAN!
Call President Obama TODAY! 202-456-1111
Join or plan a demonstration Tuesday or Wednesday!
President Obama will unveil his new Afghanistan policy tomorrow. But we must not let up! Last week, we flooded the White House with so many calls that the White House Comment Line was continually busy! Now is the time to keep the pressure on and keep the calls coming.
Call the White House today at 202-456-1111.
Tell President Obama to send NO additional troops to Afghanistan, WITHDRAW the troops already there, begin serious DIPLOMACY with all parties to the conflict, and REDIRECT the money wasted on the Afghanistan war to people's urgent needs at home.
UFPJ member groups are already planning protests either Tuesday evening or Wednesday at Federal buildings or other public places.
or organize one if none has been planned and post it here.
Be sure to notify the press using this sample press release.
We oppose the war because:
• 298 U.S. soldiers lost their lives so far in 2009.
Tens of thousands of returning troops are damaged by physical injury, PTSD, psychological damage, suicides, and domestic violence. There is a backlog of up to 1 year for veterans waiting for VA care.
• The war is unaffordable. The White House says we are paying $1 million a year for each soldier sent to Afghanistan. At that price, the war will soon cost $100 billion a year. Yet Congress is not willing to pay that kind of money for health care, jobs, housing, or environmental protection.
• The war is making conditions worse for the Afghan people. UNICEF reported last week that eight years after the start of U.S. military occupation of that country, Afghanistan is the world's worst place to be born. Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate in the world -- 257 deaths per 1,000 live births - and 70 percent of the population lacks access to clean water. Afghanistan ranked 181st out of 182 countries in the UN's human development index for 2009. The presence of U.S. troops breeds resistance, conflict, and instability.
• The war is not helping Afghan women, whose conditions are as bad as ever. The government turns a blind eye to rape and violence against women. Civilian casualties, who are primarily women and children, are rising each year as the violence increases.
• In addition to being wrong, the war is also unwinnable. As U.S. troop levels have grown from 15,000 in 2004 to 68,000 now, more and more Afghans have joined the Taliban and resistance groups to defend against foreign invaders. Yet The Nation reported this week that the U.S. military cannot even protect the trucks which bring gasoline and other supplies to outlying U.S. bases, and that contractors are paying protection of $800 to $1500 per truck to the Taliban.
• War funding is feeding corruption, private armies, and the drug trade. The more money the U.S. and NATO pour into Afghanistan, the greater the rake-offs and corruption among U.S. contractors and the U.S.-supported Afghan government. President Karzai's re-election was confirmed even though his supporters had stuffed boxes with more than one million fake ballots. Five ministers in Karzai's cabinet have been given immunity from prosecution for corruption.
Call the White House today at 202-456-1111.
Be out in the streets if the President does order an escalation of troop levels.
Let Americans know that we will not be silent and we will keep opposing this needless, senseless war for as long as it takes.
UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
212-868-5545
PO Box 607;
Times Square Station;
New York, NY 10108

Pax Christi



Monday, November 30, 2009
Dear friends,

Unfortunately, we are expecting an announcement on Tuesday from President Obama that more troops will be sent to Afghanistan. The phone calls we began last week are still important, but more actions are needed. Pax Christi USA is joining with many of our partner groups in calling for the next several days to be "days of action" on Afghanistan. There are a number of actions we encourage you to take over the course of the next several days as you are able.1) Continue to make phone calls to the White House at 202-456-1111 and tell President Obama:
No additional troops to be sent to Afghanistan.
Start the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
Begin serious diplomacy and dialogue with all parties to the conflict, internal and external, as well as independent Afghan women leaders, without preconditions.
Redirect the tens of billions of dollars spent yearly on Afghanistan war funding to human needs in Afghanistan and at home.
2) Flood your local media with letters to the editor and so forth against the escalation. Post comments on local and national media websites, blogs, and elsewhere. Use the bullet points above.
3) Organize or participate in local actions. Several different sites are hosting information on actions and events or allowing you to post your own action or event. Check out these two sites:
To find an event near you, go to the sites of

To add your own event at these sites, go to The World Can't Wait or United for Peace and Justice.
4) Change your Facebook status to "President Obama, please: No escalation in Afghanistan."
5) Tomorrow, Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan will be traveling to the White House, delivering a petition to President Obama before he announces his decision. Please sign the petition online here. You can also post the petition to your Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=http://rethinkafghanistan.com/#petition) or tweet the petition to your friends: "Vets to Obama: Do Not Escalate in Afghanistan: "http://rethinkafghanistan.com/. To listen to the voices of the Veterans, check out the video on YouTube by clicking here. Pax Christi USA has signed several letters and petitions to the President asking him to chart a new direction in Afghanistan, one that does not include an escalation of troops and lays out an exit strategy. You can add your name to the petition mentioned above in #5 and this letter initiated by Sojourners too. To see the letter we signed from the Afghanistan Policy Working Group, click here. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to bringing peace to Afghanistan. Take action in any way possible this week. More efforts are still in the work and I'll keep you updated in the days ahead.

In peace,
Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hiroshima / Nagasaki Remembrance

Speak Out Against New Forms of Nuclear Weapons
Thursday, August 6th 2009 5:30 PM
Hartford's Riverside Park
East Service Road /Jennings Road, Hartford, CT
Picnic with conversations about nuclear weapons and
Remembrance Ceremony with "candle boats" adrift on the Connecticut River
Sponsored by: Connecticut Coalition For Peace and Justice (CCPJ)
Bring your picnic basket and we will provide lemonade and chips...
For Press Release and Press Briefing Paper click => here
For a flyer (pdf), click => here

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The General Speaks

From my friend's blog that I check in on almost daily, I found he had added this link: Ruminations from the Distant Hills - because of it's "It is impressive in its love of the woods."
This for example includes a favorite quote of mine: Purple
"If you pass by the color purple in a field and
don't notice it, God gets real pissed off." - Alice Walker
Some other ideas I found posted there impressed me in other ways, such as:
"Gun-loving pastor to his flock: Piece be with you"
By DYLAN T. LOVAN
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.New Bethel Church is welcoming "responsible handgun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety."We're just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation," said pastor Ken Pagano. "And we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn't be here..."
(To which I can't help but add, in response to the last sentence above, "That's what all my Indian friends tell me.)
And I found this quote there too:
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Outside the Glass Bell Jar


I’ve lived all my life on the right hand side of that bell graph of normalcy, that graph in the Psychology 101 books, where Intelligence is the lower line with 100 or Average in the middle, the other line going up on the left side representing population. It feels, to me (living with the results of that stupid IQ test that was “off the charts” in the early 1960’s), like a glass bell jar that looks much like the graph and I’m on the outside looking in, sometimes banging on the glass, trying to talk with the people inside, and they just can’t hear what I’m saying.
Perhaps that’s why I have so much empathy for the people, trapped outside also, on the other side of the IQ line. Maybe it is why I can connect with them, and they with me. They are on the outside too, banging the glass, trying to get in, trying to be heard. I think both they and I know that we are all people, human beings, and what we want at the most basic level is to be recognized as humans – and to be with all the other humans.
And to be treated as unique individual humans, which we all are, which makes us all very much the same.
Go way back in the History of Our Human Family. We Humans have no claws, no big teeth or other natural weapons, and no shell or feathers or fur for protection. We Humans survived only because We Humans helped each other do so, up against Lions, Tigers and Bears (Oh my!). Our big brains helped us figure out that the only way we could survive in this world and, with the help of our opposable thumbs to carry out the actions we figured out with our imaginations, we somehow got to where we are in the world.
The world that needs us to remember this ancient basic premise of helping one another is still very much needed if we are to survive as a species or face our own extinction by our very own hands.
Yet we keep hearing about “Safe Nuclear Power,” “Clean Coal Technology,” and the need to continue to wage war.
More people have died from radiation poisoning working in places that handle nuclear materials, many more from the ways we store –or dump- the waste products than by any weapon produced.
Mercury released from all the coal that has ever been burned, falls from the sky in the rain, and enters our world’s food chain (much like radiation).
And War is as far away from helping each other survive as you can get.

Greed for money, lust for power, even at the expense of the rest of our Human Family, fuels this fire that needs to be put out.
Lip service just doesn’t cut it - we’ve got to live it.
In “Coram Deo,” in the face of God, as the man we know as Jesus said on the Mountain where he made all those fish sandwiches, speaking about hypocrites.
Those words are just as true today, in so many ways, here in this Christian Nation whose motto is “In God We Trust,” whose biggest export is high-tech weapons…


Tim MacSweeney
Sunday, June 07, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

And the Band Played the Star Spangled Banner




This song is based on "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda," the lyrics changed to reflect not the "War to End All Wars," but the Second World War that followed the First, and the USA rather than Australia...


And the Band Played the Star Spangled Banner (Lyrics)

From Prarie Home Companion Saturday, May 29, 2004



Now when I was a young man and loose and free
And I followed a young man's drummer
I hitch-hiked from New York to Yosemite
And led me a beautiful summer

Then in December, nineteen forty-one
I heard the call, there was work to be done.
I joined the Army and they gave me a gun
And they shipped me away to the war...

And the band played the Star Spangled Banner
As the ship pulled away from the shore
And amidst all the cheers, the music, and the tears
We sailed off to fight in the war.

And how well I remember how at Anzio
We strolled to the beach through the water
And the counterattack was a powerful blow
And we fell like lambs at the slaughter.
Who misread the enemy? Too late to tell.
We were pounded by bullets and bombs and by shell
And in two days they blew us to hell
Nearly blew us right back to New Jersey.

And the band played the Star Spangled Banner
As the flag was raised on the hill
We bowed our heads as we buried our dead
Then we went back to maim and to kill.

We marched north through Italy, tried to survive
In that mad world of death, blood and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
As the death toll got higher and higher
In a field north of Rome I raised up my head
And when I awoke in my hospital bed
And saw what had happened, I wished I was dead
And I lay there a month without talking.

They collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed
And shipped us back home to New Jersey.
The legless, the armless, the blind, the insane
The proud, wounded heroes of Italy.
And when I was carried back to Fort Lee
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thanked Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity

And the band played the Star Spangled Banner
As we came to the U.S.A.
But nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared
Then they turned their faces away

So now on Memorial Day on my porch
I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams and past glories
And the old men march slowly, their bones stiff and sore
Tired old men from a long ago war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question

But the band plays the Star Spangled Banner
And the old men answer the call
But year after year, those old men disappear
Soon no one will march there at all...

Dedicated to all who fell, and to my Great-Uncle Fred who survived this event and all that followed, and to the end of the outdated notion of War...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Call 800-517-5696 today


Call 800-517-5696 today to protest more war funding!

Dear Friend,


Do you want the United States government to spend tens of billions of dollars more to fund the war in Iraq and expand the war in Afghanistan?
Next week, your representative will be asked to vote on a war supplemental bill that would do just that.
Call toll-free on May 12800-517-5696
Say no to more spending on two wars. Urge your representative to use our tax dollars to
bring the troops home
take care of them upon their return
rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan
take care of health, education, and energy here at home
Please join a national call-in day organized by our friends at FCNL to oppose more war funding.
The U.S. government already spends $1.9 million every minute on the military — and that doesn't include funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
With your help we can make a difference. Please call today.
Peace,

Laurie Creasy,

American Friends Service Committee


Forward this message to your friends.


American Friends Service Committee

1501 Cherry Street

Philadelphia, PA 19102


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NVCC Students for a Culture of Peace


SCOP Club Meeting Thursday April 16th, 2009

@4:30 PM in the Cafe-West

Chairwoman - Helena Dubose

Agenda:

1. Afghanistan Continued (Monica)

2. SGA meeting report-back (Jamie)

3. Wesleyan Peace Workshops (Brittany)

4. Sculpture Update (Keep an eye on the central walkway to the college!)

5. Other Business-
"We the people of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war… " Charter of the United Nations, 1945

Culture of Peace : what is it ?
As defined by the United Nations, the Culture of Peace is a set of values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations (UN Resolutions A/RES/52/13 : Culture of Peace and A/RES/53/243, Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace). For peace and non-violence to prevail, we need to:
Foster a culture of peace through education
by revising the educational curricula to promote qualitative values, attitudes and behaviours of a culture of peace, including peaceful conflict-resolution, dialogue, consensus-building and active non-violence. Such an educational approach should be geared also to:
promote sustainable economic and social development
by reducing economic and social inequalities, by eradicating poverty and by assuring sustainable food security , social justice, durable solutions to debt problems, empowerment of women, special measures for groups with special needs, environmental sustainability…
Promote respect for all human rights
human rights and a culture of peace are complementary: whenever war and violence dominate, there is no possibility to ensure human rights; at the same time, without human rights, in all their dimensions, there can be no culture of peace...
Ensure equality between women and men
through full participation of women in economic, social and political decision-making, elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women, support and assistance to women in need,…
Foster democratic participation
indispensable foundations for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security are democratic principles, practices and participation in all sectors of society, a transparent and accountable governance and administration, the combat against terrorism, organized crime, corruption, illicit drugs and money laundering…
Advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity
to abolish war and violent conflicts we need to transcend and overcome enemy images with understanding, tolerance and solidarity among all peoples and cultures. Learning from our differences, through dialogue and the exchange of information, is an enriching process…
Support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge
freedom of information and communication and the sharing of information and knowledge are indispensable for a culture of peace. However, measures need to be taken to address the issue of violence in the media, including new information and communication technologies…
Promote International Peace and security:
the gains in human security and disarmament in recent years, including nuclear weapons treaties and the treaty banning land mines, should encourage us to increase our efforts in negotiation of peaceful settlements, elimination of production and traffic of arms and weapons, humanitarian solutions in conflict situations, post-conflict initiatives…

Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men than defences of peace must be constructed "
Constitution of UNESCO, 1945

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Community Days of Advocacy For Justice & Human Rights

Community Days of Advocacy for Justice & Human RightsApril 4-19, 2009
NNIRR invites its members, partners and allies to join in our Community Days of Advocacy for Justice & Human Rights. Organize community delegations to meet with members of Congress during the Congressional Spring recess (April 4-19) to deliver a strong message on critical issues facing immigrant families, workers and communities. Register your event or action here.


Raise your voices, tell Congress to end all raids, detentions and
deportations!

Organize an action or activity as part of NNIRR's "Community Days of
Advocacy for Justice & Human Rights" this week!

Keep your eyes on the prize: socially just immigration reforms.

Click below to be part of Community Days of Advocacy and download
materials to prepare for speaking with your members of Congress:





Our message is clear:
Ending raids is a good start. But this will not be enough to end the
ICE abuses and rights violations against immigrant and refugee members
of our communities.

Meet with or call your Congressional delegation to demand action to:
End all raids or enforcement operations;
Suspend all detentions and deportations and investigate the abuses;
Protect the labor and civil rights of all workers, regardless of
immigration or citizenship status;

Restore due process rights for all;

End the humanitarian crisis of migrant deaths & rampant rights
violations at the U.S.-Mexico border;
Hold Congressional hearings with our communities to learn directly from
those impacted by raids and other immigration enforcement and services.
ICE, police and local, county, state and other federal government
agencies must be accountable to our communities. And,
Enact fair and just immigration reforms.
Organize a community delegation to meet with your Congress members
today.
You can also call your Representative and Senators at (202) 224-3121.
Ask to be connected to their office and then talk to their staff person
in charge of immigration issues. Tell them why ending raids is not
enough!

Raise your voices, take action for justice and human rights!
National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights
Red Nacional Pro Derechos Inmigrantes y Refugiados


Para leer este mensaje en español, haga clic aqui:
Días de Acción Comunitaria por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's A Hard Life Wherever You Go

I am a backseat driver from America

We drive to the left on Falls Road

And the man at the wheel's name is Seamus

We pass a child on the corner he knows

And Seamus says, now what chance has that kid got

And I say from the back, I don't know

He says there's barbed wire at all of these exits

And there ain't no place in Belfast for that kid to go

'Cause it's a hard life, it's a hard life, it's a very hard life

I's a hard life wherever you go

And if we poison our children with hatred

Then the hard life is all that they'll know

And there ain't no place in Belfast for that kid to go

Cafeteria line in Chicago

The fat man in front of meIs calling black people trash to his children

And he's the only trash here I see

And I am thinking this man wears a white hood

In the night when his children should sleep

But they'll slip to their windows and they'll see him

And they'll think that white hood's all they need

'Cause it's a hard life, it's a hard life, it's a very hard life

It's a hard life wherever you goAnd if we poison our children with hatred

Then the hard life is all that they'll know

And there ain't no place in Chicago for those kids to go

I was a child in the Sixties

When dreams could be held through T.V.

With Disney and Cronkite and Martin Luther

And I believed, I believed, I believed

Now I am the backseat driver from America

And I am not at the wheel of control

And I am guilty, I am war, and I am the root of all evil

Lord, and I can't drive on the left side of the road

'Cause it's a hard life, it's a hard life, it's a very hard life

It's a hard life wherever you go

And if we poison our children with hatred

Then the hard life is all that they'll know

And there ain't no place in this world for those kids to go'

Cause it's a hard life wherever you go...

(Nanci's Video, released in Europe but not the USA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFzI_4_5EGg .)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Support a Truth & Reconciliation Commission

I have proposed the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate abuses during the Bush-Cheney Administration -- so they never happen again. These abuses may include the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, and executive override of laws.Please sign this online petition, urging Congress to consider establishing a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the Bush-Cheney Administration's abuses.
Thank you,
Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator
Georgetown University. February 9, 2009.

On March 19, the seventh year of the Iraq War begins.

March 19 marks the beginning of the seventh year of war in Iraq.
As part of our Countdown to Withdrawal campaign, we're asking you to mark the war's anniversary with a public event during the week of March 16.
How will you wage peace?

Will you attract the public's attention with rows of lighted candles at a vigil?

Gather a circle of drummers to embody the drumbeat for peace?

Organize an outdoor prayer service or a singalong of peace songs?

Or will you let your imagination soar?


We can help:
Organize an event and put it on our national listing or find a vigil to attend.
Print signs and banners.
Post photos, videos, and stories about your event on Facebook.
The Iraq War was a tragic mistake. Let's stop it, let's fix it — and, most important of all, let's not repeat it. Help us wage peace today.


Peace,

Laurie Creasy

American Friends Service Committee

View this message as a web page.

Or click below for the video:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

CODEPINK

We danced the "Yes We Can-Can" on Inauguration day as we applauded President Obama's promises to take our nation in a new direction. With his recent announcement of an additional 17,000 troops to be deployed to Afghanistan, we see change come to a screeching halt and a dangerous continuation of the same failed US policies of the Bush era blaze forward. Just as in Iraq, misplaced hope in military solutions is pushing peaceful strategies to the back seat. Take action and help President Obama do the right thing- we need an escalation in peaceful alternatives, not military force!
Call 202-456-1111 today! Tell the Administration that we want:
1) Reduction of troop levels in Afghanistan

2) Rapid withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq

3) A commitment to diplomacy involving all major regional players, including major international peace-keeping bodies

4) Addressing the real needs of Afghans by funding development assistance for Afghanistan's basic human needs - health-care, clean water, education, security, rights for women and girls-, through Afghan NGOs, using local labor and services
Take a tip from Senator Feingold and ask the tough questions: "We need to ask: After seven years of war, will more troops help us achieve our strategic goals in Afghanistan? Is there a danger that a heavier military footprint will further alienate the population, and, if so, what are the alternatives?" Even Obama's advisors say the war in Afghanistan "cannot be won on the battlefield." Over 2/3 of Americans oppose the deployments, and a majority of Europeans want their troops home- leaders of Spain, France and Germany have refused to send any additional forces!

It is said that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action but to expect a different result. President Obama is a deeply intelligent man, but it is crazy for him to stay on Bush's crash course of empire building, and all the devastation and loss of life it leaves in its wake. We can help Obama find the road to peace and make sure he keeps his promises! Yes we can end war,

Audrey, Dana, Deidra, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jean, Jodie, Liz, Lori, Medea, Nancy, Paris, and Rae of CODEPINK!
P.S. When you are connected to your Representative's office, keep your message short and to the point. Tell them:

More troops only means more violence, more suffering, more killing of innocents, and more recruits for the Taliban. Instead of a surge, President Obama must take bold and compassionate action to address the Afghan's real need for health care, clean water and education, instead of continuing to cripple Afghanistan with more years of war. Call on Obama to fulfill his promise for peace and change! Call (202)456-1111 TODAY!Click here for more resources


"Afghanistan needs troops--but it needs troops of doctors, troops of teachers, troops of Peace Corps volunteers, and troops of farmers to go and replant the fruit orchards."

--Kavita Ramdas, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women
Afghanistan 101



Posted by Dana -
Thu, Feb 5, 2009
Afghanistan
There is a LOT of information out there about the crisis in Afghanistan and how and what we (as citizens, activists, women, progressives, humans, etc) need to do to address this multi-faceted, complex issue. Here are some resources that we at CODEPINK have found helfpul in reenforcing the importance of opposing military escalation in Afghanistan and supporting non-military solutions to the conflict. This is by no means an extensive list. If there are other resources that have helped YOU get a better grasp on the issues in the region please leave it in the comments!
First, 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows put together this Afghanistan Primer- this is choc full with useful, focused info + very easy-to-read/comprehend. On January 30, Bill Moyers (on the JOURNAL) hosted a fascinating conversation on bombing - it’s history and current use - with a historian and a former Pentagon official to see how well it works and has worked in the past. This website GetAfghanistanRight.org (launched by Robert Greenwald/Brave New Film and FireDogLake) is a wealth of information with some great video interviews and countless articles! Military Family Speaks Out has also collected some poignant key articles and additional resources.

Ghost Dance - Bill Miller

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bethlehem Peace Vigil Will Continue




We are still holding a Vigil for Peace every first Sunday of the month from 12 to 1 PM, on the Green in Bethlehem CT at the junctions of routes 61 and 132. There has been some confusion about this: The Litchfield Peace group has decided to take a break after six years (See article below). We will continue with ours and invite all to join us to take a stand for Peace in the World. We will also continue to post at our blog: http://bethlehempeacewatch.blogspot.com/
(Click to enlarge:)

Monday, February 2, 2009

FIRST SCOP MEETING!!!!!!!


"The first meeting of the semester of the Students For A Culture Of Peace Club (SCOP) will be Thursday Feb. 5th, 4:30 PM, Cafe-West, Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury CT. The Isreal/Palistine conflict will be discussed as well as a report back from the SGA meeting. We are hoping to move forward with a number of projects - peace sculpture and club brochure. Bring new ideas! See you there. Look for the peace dove."

Video from the Schaghticoke Rally and Protest

"If it was your house, and it was your mother's grave getting dug up, wouldn't you get upset?"
Tony Crone of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Schaghticoke Reservation, Kent CT

ProtectSchaghticoke
January 19, 2009




----- What is happening at the reservation today can accurately be called a hate crime and unmistakably desecration, despoliation and destruction of our ancestral land. In 2004 and again in November of 2007, a non-Schaghticoke individual trespassed upon our reservation, began ripping out trees, cutting and removing timber, quarrying stone and illegally excavating our sacred land without Tribal approval or official State permits. Since November 2007, Tribal members have been in contact with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and demanding an immediate cease and desist order to be applied to this intruder. No order was ever applied and the hate crime, destruction, desecration and despoliation have been allowed to proceed for over one year now. The Governor, who has been aware of this situation, allows the intruder to indiscriminately damage our ancestral land, digging up sacred artifacts and keeping them, despite constant opposition from Schaghticoke. To date, he has committed these crimes to over ten (10) acres of land. He has destroyed natural habitats including those of endangered and watched species, desecrated many burials with out any consequences as well as threatening a Tribal member with a rifle, again with out consequences. The State of Connecticut has been allowing these crimes to continue for too long. We are planning a protest in Hartford, CT on 29 January 09 at the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building. Please join us from 10 to 3 PM, snow, rain or shine. We, additionally, are circulating a petition; which can be viewed and signed at http://www.petitiononline.com/STN129/petition.html
We plan to hand deliver to the Governor on the day of our protest.
Thank you for your support.
In peace,
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Preservation Committee

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen at the inaugural concert

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
words and music by Woody Guthrie

As I was walking a ribbon of highway

I saw above me an endless skyway
I saw below me a golden valley
This land was made for you and me
Chorus

This land is your land, this land is my land

From California, to the New York Island

From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters

This land was made for you and me


I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
Chorus
The sun comes shining as I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me
Chorus
As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!
Chorus
In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.
Chorus (2x)
©1956 (renewed 1984), 1958 (renewed 1986) and 1970

TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc.

(BMI)

http://www.arlo.net/resources/lyrics/this-land.shtml

Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK Day 2009

Broadcast for 1/19/09, probably available later today if you missed the streaming broadcast this morning...



For more of King’s speeches check: Pacifica Radio Archives.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Sign a letter to President-elect Obama


On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, we’d like to ask you to sign an open letter to President-elect Obama asking him to use King’s vision to create a better, more peaceful country.
It’s a corollary to our Roadmap for Peace — and, by the way, we did it!
Thanks to you, we’ve delivered the Roadmap for Peace to President-elect Obama’s transition team, along with more than 10,000 signatures.
In the days, weeks, and months to come, we’ll be working with the team and with representatives on Capitol Hill to encourage the use of the Roadmap as a vision for the future a more secure, peaceful world, with the United States building stronger relationships everywhere in the world through diplomatic, not military, means.
But diplomacy has been neglected in recent years. Roughly 700,000 civil servants work for the Department of Defense. In contrast, there are 6,500 career Foreign Service Officers and 5,000 Foreign Service specialists at 265 posts abroad and at the State Department.
Our country has also failed to use other means of diplomacy, such as United Nations agencies and other multilateral institutions.
This week, please take a few minutes to e-mail your senators and representative about this great lack in our country’s resources for conflict prevention and resolution.
Some talking points:
We shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket. Yes, we need official government initiatives, but we also need to revive public diplomacy and increase people-to-people exchanges and citizen diplomacy in order to build the international partnerships the United States needs.
Americans want to be represented at the United Nations. Polls show that we view the U.N. as a way to share the responsibilities of engagement with the world. Yet the U.S. is still behind in paying its dues, and Americans are underrepresented at the staff level in three key U.N. agencies.
Open dialogue and principled negotiations need to be the diplomatic standard, not a reward.
You can use our web site to find your senators and representative's contact information and the talking points above.
Write from your heart, but keep your e-mail short and sweet. Urge your senator or representative to download and read the Roadmap for Peace at http://support.afsc.org/site/R?i=7K30BdNkgZ1u88ge2F3vrw...
Thank you for your time, your enthusiasm, and your courage in supporting our Roadmap.
Peace,
Laurie Creasy,
American Friends Service Committee

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gaza Crisis



From: Maureen via Pax Christi USA
January 13, 2009

The crisis in Gaza worsens

Dear friends,

In this email you'll find two action items related to the resolutions passed last week by the Senate and the House. Immediate action is needed on these.
Please take a moment to look these items over and respond as you are able.

We have also added items to our page of resources on the crisis in Gaza. Two important items we think you'll find helpful:
1) Bill Quigley, Pax Christi National Council Member and a PCUSA Teacher of Peace left for Gaza last week and is sending us communiques back. You can read his first two reports on our site.
And 2) we have included a recent short YouTube video from Rabbi Arthur Waskow on the crisis in Gaza as well.







To see these resources and more, click here now: http://www.paxchristiusa.org/news_events_more.asp?id=1497




Additionally, in this email you'll find an action alert from our friends at Catholic Relief Services and the USCCB. We hope you'll join us in taking action and bringing this conflict to an end.

In Christ's peace,
Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA


Take Action: Support Congressional Resolution for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza

Last Friday, the House of Representatives voted 390 yes, 5 no, and 22 present to pass H.Res.34, "recognizing Israel's right to defend itself" and "reaffirming the United States strong support for Israel." Last Thursday, the Senate voted on a similarly worded resolution, S.Res.10, which passed by unanimous consent. (For more on these resolutions,see item #2 in this email.)
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation opposed these resolutions because they failed to call for an immediate ceasefire and unimpeded humanitarian access to the occupied Gaza Strip as required under the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 1860. The resolutions also blamed the victims-the Palestinians-for the civilian casualties and humanitarian catastrophe Israel is inflicting upon them and absolved Israel of any responsibility for its actions.







Thankfully these resolutions will not be the final words of Congress on the issue. This week, Rep. Dennis Kucinich plans to introduce a resolution calling for "an immediate and unconditional ceasefire" and "unrestricted humanitarian access" to the occupied Gaza Strip. The US Campaign is supporting this resolution, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Take Action: Support Congressional Resolution for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza
January 12th, 2009


Last Friday, the House of Representatives voted 390 yes, 5 no, and 22 present to pass H.Res.34, “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself” and “reaffirming the United States strong support for Israel.” To see if your Representative cosponsored this resolution, click here. To see how your Representative voted, click here.

Last Thursday, the Senate voted on a similarly worded resolution, S.Res.10, which passed by unanimous consent. To see if your Senator cosponsored the resolution, click here.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation opposed these resolutions because they failed to call for an immediate ceasefire and unimpeded humanitarian access to the occupied Gaza Strip as required under the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 1860. The resolutions also blamed the victims—the Palestinians—for the civilian casualties and humanitarian catastrophe Israel is inflicting upon them and absolved Israel of any responsibility for its actions.

Thankfully these resolutions will not be the final words of Congress on the issue. This week, Rep. Dennis Kucinich plans to introduce a resolution calling for “an immediate and unconditional ceasefire” and “unrestricted humanitarian access” to the occupied Gaza Strip. The US Campaign is supporting this resolution, which can be downloaded by clicking here.
http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1785




TAKE ACTION

1. Call your Representative NOW at 202-224-3121. Thank your Representative if he/she voted “no” or “present” on H.Res.43. and ask her/him to cosponsor Rep. Kucinich’s resolution. If your representative voted “yes” on H.Res.43., then express your disagreement with the vote and ask them to cosponsor the Kucinich resolution.

2. Call your Senators NOW at 202-224-3121. Express your disagreement with your Senators’ vote on S.Res.10 and ask them to introduce a resolution in the Senate similar to Rep. Kucinich’s resolution in the House.

3. Get your organization to endorse Rep. Kucinich’s resolution. Organizations wishing to endorse Rep. Kucinich’s resolution should send their endorsement directly to his Congressional office by clicking here. Let’s make sure that Rep. Kucinich knows that hundreds of organizations support his legislative effort.

4. Join us for a conference briefing call on Thursday, January 15, 9PM Eastern to discuss our next legislative steps. To RSVP for the call and to get call-in info and an agenda, send your name, city, and organizational affiliation (if any), to us by clicking here.

5. Let us know what the offices of your Members of Congress are saying. Let us know how your call went and how the offices of Members of Congress are responding to your concerns. Send us your name, the Congressional offices you contacted, and their feedback to us by clicking here.

In addition to contacting Congress, we have many ideas for action that you can take to demand an immediate ceasefire and unimpeded humanitarian access to the occupied Gaza Strip. For more information, click here.


1. Call your Representative NOW at 202-224-3121. Thank your Representative if he/she voted "no" or "present" on H.Res.43. and ask her/him to cosponsor Rep. Kucinich's resolution. If your representative voted "yes" on H.Res.43., then express your disagreement with the vote and ask them to cosponsor the Kucinich resolution.
2. Call your Senators NOW at 202-224-3121. Express your disagreement with your Senators' vote on S.Res.10 and ask them to introduce a resolution in the Senate similar to Rep. Kucinich's resolution in the House.
3. Join us for a conference briefing call on Thursday, January 15, 9PM Eastern to discuss our next legislative steps. To RSVP for the call and to get call-in info and an agenda, send your name, city, and organizational affiliation (if any), email us at palestinecall@gmail.com
4. Let us know what the offices of your Members of Congress are saying. Let us know how your call went and how the offices of Members of Congress are responding to your concerns. Send us your name, the Congressional offices you contacted, and their feedback to us by emailing congress@endtheoccupation.org



Register your disappointment at last week's resolutions
from Pax Christi Montgomery and Peace Action Montgomery (MD)

On Thursday, Jan. 8, the Senate passed a resolution (S Res
10) expressing unconditional support for Israel 's massive attack on the 1.4 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. That was the same day The New York Times reported that 12 members of one Gaza family were found dead in a house bombed by Israel, with four small children -- alive but so weak from hunger and thirst they could not stand – lying next to their dead mothers. Red Cross personnel had tried to reach the house, but were prevented for days by Israeli troops from getting to the scene.
The next day, Jan. 9, the House passed companion legislation (HRes 34), which was even more one-sided than the Senate version.

Please contact your Representative and Senators today and tell them that their vote for this resolution is an absolute outrage, and that you expect them to show more fairness and compassion -- or they will lose your support. Only when your legislators know you are watching will we get change in Congress.



This is not about being for or against Israel. It is about the wanton disregard for the livelihood and health of 1.4 million civilians and about the thousands of civilian casualties that Israeli politicians knew would result from this war. The invasion of Gaza has caused an already dire humanitarian crisis, resulting from the blockade of this small strip of land, to disintegrate into desperation and starvation for the civilian population. Many commentators, even some conservative ones, are saying the war on Gaza harms Israel in the long term and strengthens Hamas. Congressional actions such as these two resolutions only help to prolong the conflict by sending the message to Israeli politicians that the U.S. does not care about a ceasefire and will not insist on one.
Contact Information
email:
johnnypcusa@yahoo.com


phone:
352-219-8419
web:
http://www.paxchristiusa.org/


Pax Christi USA 532 West Eighth Street Erie PA 16502


http://i4.democracynow.org/2009/1/12/kucinich_cites_arms_export_and_control


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Economic action in Waterbury on Wednesday

Dear MoveOn Member,
President Obama is working with Congress to pass an economic recovery plan, and there's a real struggle going on over whether it will focus on green jobs, health care, and clean energy—or whether conservatives will succeed in cutting many of the progressive provisions and forcing in big tax cuts for the wealthy.
So we're organizing "Economic Recovery Congressional Actions" at offices around the country to make sure that Congress hears our message. There's one in Waterbury, and we really need a bunch of folks there.
Here are the details. Can you come?
Host: Jane M—fellow MoveOn member
Where: Wtby office of Cong. Chris Murphy (in Waterbury)
When: Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, at 12:00 PM
Here's the link to RSVP:
http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/event.html?event_id=89843&id=15357-3339991-4DQmsjx&t=3
And if you own a small business, have a green job, work in health care, face foreclosure on your home, or lost your job as a result of this economic mess, we'd like to extend a special invitation to you to share your story at the event. Please click here to sign up:
http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/event.html?event_id=89843&id=15357-3339991-4DQmsjx&t=4It's especially critical that Congress hear from us now. Conservative lawmakers and lobbyists are in D.C. right now, fighting to take some of the crucial pieces out of the package. Congress needs to hear the message that Americans want real investments in health care, green jobs, relief for struggling states, and clean energy—not more tax giveaways for corporations and the rich. Click here to RSVP and help spread that message:
http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/event.html?event_id=89843&id=15357-3339991-4DQmsjx&t=5
Hope to see you Wednesday. And thanks for all you do.
–Noah, Lenore, Justin, Carrie and the rest of the team

P.S. Can't make this event? Here is another event near you:
Economic Recovery Congressional Action Middle Street, Bridgeport, CT, Bridgeport at 12:00 PM—RSVP
Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.
PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
This email was sent to Tim MacSweeney on January 10, 2009.
To change your email address or update your contact info, click here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Party to Murder

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20081229_party_to_murder/
Posted on Dec 29, 2008
By Chris Hedges

Editor's note: In light of the recent fighting in Gaza, Truthdig asked Chris Hedges, who covered the Mideast for The New York Times for seven years, to update aprevious column (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20081215_israels_crime_against_humanity/)on Gaza.

Can anyone who is following the Israeli air attacks on Gaza-the buildings blown to rubble, the children killed on their way to school, the long rows of mutilated corpses, the wailing mothers and wives, the crowds of terrified Palestinians not knowing where to flee, the hospitals so overburdened and out of supplies they cannot treat the wounded, and our studied, callous indifference to this widespread human suffering- wonder why we are hated?
Our self-righteous celebration of ourselves and our supposed virtue is as false as that of Israel. We have become monsters, militarized bullies, heartless and savage. We are a party to human slaughter, a flagrant war crime, and do nothing. We forget that the innocents who suffer and die in Gaza are a reflection of ourselves, of how we might have been should fate and time and geography have made the circumstances of our birth different. We forget that we are all absurd and vulnerable creatures. We all have the capacity to fear and hate and love. "Expose thyself to what wretches feel," King Lear said, entering the mud and straw hovel of Poor Tom, "and show the heavens more just."
Privilege and power, especially military power, is a dangerous narcotic. Violence destroys those who bear the brunt of its force, but also those who try to use it to become gods. Over 350 Palestinians have been killed (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/30/world/middleeast/30mideast.html?hp) , many of them civilians, and over 1,000 have been wounded since the air attacks began on Saturday. Ehud Barak, Israel's defense minister, said Israel is engaged in a "war to the bitter end" against Hamas in Gaza. A war? Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely crowded refugee camps and slums, to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command and control, no army, and calls it a war. It is not a war. It is murder.
The U.N. special rapporteur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapporteur) for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, former Princeton University law professor Richard Falk, has labeled what Israel is doing to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza "a crime against humanity." Falk, who is Jewish, has condemned the collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza as "a flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention." He has asked for "the International Criminal Court to investigate the situation, and determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law."
Falk's unflinching honesty has enraged Israel. He was banned from entering the country on Dec. 14 during his attempt to visit Gaza and the West Bank.
"After being denied entry I was put in a holding room with about 20 others experiencing entry problems," he said. "At this point I was treated not as a U.N. representative, but as some sort of security threat, subjected to an inch-by-inch body search, and the most meticulous luggage inspection I have ever witnessed. I was separated from my two U.N. companions, who were allowed to enter Israel. At this point I was taken to the airport detention facility a mile or so away, required to put all my bags and cell phone in a room, taken to a locked, tiny room that had five other detainees, smelled of urine and filth, and was an unwelcome invitation to claustrophobia. I spent the next 15 hours so confined, which amounted to a cram course on the miseries of prison life, including dirty sheets, inedible food, and either lights that were too bright or darkness controlled from the guard office."
The foreign press has been, like Falk, barred by Israel from entering Gaza to report on the destruction.
Israel's stated aim of halting homemade rockets fired from Gaza into Israel remains unfulfilled. Gaza militants have fired more than 100 rockets and mortars into Israel, killing four (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7804051.stm) people and wounding nearly two dozen more, since Israel unleashed its air assault. Israel has threatened to launch a ground assault and has called up 6,500 army reservists. It has massed tanks on the Gaza border and declared the area a closed military zone.
The rocket attacks by Hamas are, as Falk points out, also criminal violations of international law. But as Falk notes, "... such Palestinian behavior does not legalize Israel's imposition of a collective punishment of a life-and health-threatening character on the people of Gaza, and should not distract the U.N. or international society from discharging their fundamental moral and legal duty to render protection to the Palestinian people."
"It is an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe that each day poses the entire 1.5 million Gazans to an unspeakable ordeal, to a struggle to survive in terms of their health," Falk has said of the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza. "This is an increasingly precarious condition. A recent study reports that 46 percent of all Gazan children suffer from acute anemia. There are reports that the sonic booms associated with Israeli overflights have caused widespread deafness, especially among children. Gazan children need thousands of hearing aids. Malnutrition is extremely high in a number of different dimensions and affects 75 percent of Gazans. There are widespread mental disorders, especially among young people without the will to live. Over 50 percent of Gazan children under the age of 12 have been found to have no will to live."
Before the air assaults, Gaza spent 12 hours a day without power, which can be a death sentence to the severely ill in hospitals. Most of Gaza is now without power. There are few drugs and little medicine, including no cancer or cystic fibrosis medication. Hospitals have generators but often lack fuel. Medical equipment, including one of Gaza's three CT scanners, has been destroyed by power surges and fluctuations. Medical staff cannot control the temperature of incubators for newborns. And Israel has revoked most exit visas, meaning some of those who need specialized care, including cancer patients and those in need of kidney dialysis, have died. Of the 230 Gazans estimated to have died last year because they were denied proper medical care, several spent their final hours at Israeli crossing points where they were refused entry into Israel. The statistics gathered on children-half of Gaza's population is under the age of 17-are increasingly grim. About 45 percent of children in Gaza have iron deficiency from a lack of fruit and vegetables, and 18 percent have stunted growth.
"It is macabre," Falk said of the blockade. "I don't know of anything that exactly fits this situation. People have been referring to the Warsaw ghetto as the nearest analogin modern times."
"There is no structure of an occupation that endured for decades and involved this kind of oppressive circumstances," the rapporteur added. "The magnitude, the deliberateness, the violations of international humanitarian law, the impact on the health, lives and survival and the overall conditions warrant the characterization of a crime against humanity. This occupation is the direct intention by the Israeli military and civilian authorities. They are responsible and should be held accountable."
The point of the Israeli attack, ostensibly, is to break Hamas, the radical Islamic group that was elected to power in 2007. But Hamas has repeatedly proposed long-term truces with Israel and offered to negotiate a permanent truce. During the last cease-fire, established through Egyptian intermediaries in July, Hamas upheld the truce although Israel refused to ease the blockade. It was Israel that, on Nov. 4, initiated an armed attack (http://www.greenleft.org.au/2008/775/39991) that violated the truce and killed six Palestinians. It was only then that Hamas resumed firing rockets at Israel.
"This is a crime of survival," Falk said of the rocket attacks by Palestinians. "Israel has put the Gazans in a set of circumstances where they either have to accept whatever is imposed on them or resist in any way available to them. That is a horrible dilemma to impose upon a people. This does not alleviate the Palestinians, and Gazans in particular, for accountability for doing these acts involving rocket fire, but it also imposes some responsibility on Israel for creating these circumstances."
Israel seeks to break the will of the Palestinians to resist. The Israeli government has demonstrated little interest in diplomacy or a peaceful solution. The rapid expansion of Jewish settlements on the West Bank is an effort to thwart the possibility of a two-state solution by gobbling up vast tracts of Palestinian real estate. Israel also appears to want to thrust the impoverished Gaza Strip onto Egypt. Dozens of tunnels had been the principal means for food and goods, connecting Gaza to Egypt. Israel had permitted the tunnels to operate, most likely as part of an effort to further cut Gaza off from Israel. This ended, however, on Sunday when Israeli fighter jets bombed over 40 tunnels along Gaza's border with Egypt. The Israeli military said that the tunnels, on the Gaza side of the border, were used for smuggling weapons, explosives and fugitives. Egypt has sealed its border and refused to let distraught Palestinians enter its territory.
"Israel, all along, has not been prepared to enter into diplomatic process that gives the Palestinians a viable state," Falk said. "They [the Israelis] feel time is on their side. They feel they can create enough facts on the ground so people will come to the conclusion a viable state cannot emerge."
The use of terror and hunger to break a hostile population is one of the oldest forms of warfare. I watched the Bosnian Serbs employ the same tactic in Sarajevo. Those who orchestrate such sieges do not grasp the terrible rage born of long humiliation, indiscriminate violence and abuse. A father or a mother whose child dies because of a lack of vaccines or proper medical care does not forget. A boy whose ill grandmother dies while detained at an Israel checkpoint does not forget. A family that loses a child in an airstrike does not forget. All who endure humiliation, abuse and the murder of family members do not forget. This rage becomes a virus within those who, eventually, stumble out into the daylight. Is it any wonder that 71 percent of children interviewed at a school in Gaza recently said they wanted to be a "martyr"?
The Israelis in Gaza, like the American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, are foolishly breeding the next generation of militants and Islamic radicals. Jihadists, enraged by the injustices done by Israel and the United States, seek to carry out reciprocal acts of savagery, even at the cost of their own lives. The violence unleashed on Palestinian children will, one day, be the violence unleashed on Israeli children. This is the tragedy of Gaza. This is the tragedy of Israel.

(see the graphic video of the minutes after the Israeli attack on the marketplace in Gaza at: http://muslimtv. magnify.net/ video/ISRAEL- CARNAGE-CIVILIAN S-CHILDR ).