Archive for December 15, 2010
Senate Debates New START Treaty
by Paul Deaton
If you are reading this post, you may be familiar with Blog for Iowa's hope to ratify the New START Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. Thank you for your help and for what you have already done to support efforts to get the treaty ratified.
The United States Senate began floor debate on the New START Treaty a few minutes ago. We have been able to secure precious Senate floor time during the lame duck session of the 111th Congress.
Please call your US Senators today if you have not done so during the past week. Friends Committee on National Legislation has set up a toll free number to the Senate switchboard: (888) 475-8162.
What people forget is that after the United States dropped nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was a world-wide movement to disarm based on this act's deadly force. President Truman and his cabinet believed that nuclear weapons were something that the US should use and have in its arsenal, including the more powerful hydrogen bomb. When resistance to the hydrogen bomb surfaced, President Truman advised Secretary of State Dean Acheson, “the least said about the so-called hydrogen bomb by officials…the better it will be for all concerned.” In 1945, the United Nations was formed partly as a response to global desire to manage nuclear technology and coordinate efforts in non-proliferation.
While there have been periodic resurgences in interest in nuclear abolition, it has been difficult to sustain over the past 65 years.
Our numbers have dwindled to small bands of people like the Disarm Now Plowshares 5. During the night of the Feast of All Souls, November 2, 2009, Anne Montgomery, 83, a Sacred Heart sister from New York; Bill Bischel, SJ, 81, a Jesuit priest from Tacoma Washington; Susan Crane, 67, a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, Maryland; Lynne Greenwald, 60, a nurse from Bremerton Washington; and Steve Kelly, SJ, 60, a Jesuit priest from Oakland California, cut through the chain link fence surrounding the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base outside Bremerton, Washington. They then walked undetected for hours nearly four miles inside the base to the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific (SWFPAC). This top security area is where the Plowshares activists say hundreds of nuclear missiles are stored in bunkers. There they cut through two more barbed wire fences and went inside. They put up two big banners which said “Disarm Now Plowshares: Trident Illegal and Immoral,” scattered sunflower seeds, and prayed until they were arrested at dawn.
We also tend to forget the story of David Hahn, the Boy Scout who built a nuclear reactor in his backyard to get a merit badge. His story illustrates how easy it is to enrich uranium. If a Boy Scout can do this, then so too can terrorists and that's the problem.
New START does not go far enough, but absent an abolition movement like there was after we dropped the bomb, it is up to each of us to help rid the world of these weapons. Ratifying New START would be a step in that direction.
Please call your Senators today if you have not done so during the past week. Friends Committee on National Legislation has set up a toll free number to the Senate switchboard: (888) 475-8162.
CWA, FCC, NAACP and Sierra Club to Urge Action on National Broadband Plan
(Washington, D.C.) – Today (Wednesday, December 15), the President of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Washington Office and the Chair Emeritus of the Sierra Club will discuss the current state of Internet connection speeds in the United States.
New research from CWA’s Speed Matters Campaign ranking current state-by-state Internet connection speeds will be released showing how poorly the United States fairs against global peers – reaffirming the urgent need to implement the National Broadband Plan to build infrastructure and support affordable access to high-speed Internet across the nation. Also at the event, CWA is releasing the fourth edition of the annual report for their Speed Matters campaign, Internet Speeds in all 50 States and it will include information on Iowa.
In addition, the economic challenges facing rural communities with spotty broadband coverage will be described.
WHEN: Today, Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 12:30 to 1:30 CST, National Press Club, Washington, DC
This event will be streamed live
online at SpeedMatters.org
Larry Cohen, President, CWA
Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC
Hilary Shelton, Director, Washington Office of the NAACP
Carl Pope, Board Chair Emeritus, the Sierra Club
Gilbert Smith, Vice Chair, Charles City/County Va. Board of Supervisors
Click here to see how Iowa compares on average download speed.
Click here to download the fact sheet on Iowa
Click here to read prepared remarks of Chairman Julius Genachowski at The Brookings Institution Washington, DC, September 21, 2009, where he said he wants to prohibit any kind of discrimination against any kind of content by internet access providers.
The Communications Workers of America represents more than 700,000 workers employed in telecommunications, the media, public sector, manufacturing, health care and airlines.
Lest we forget how bad things can be when Republicans are in charge for too long, here's Bush appointee, former FCC Chair Kevin Martin in the
photo literally in bed with a media exec. and an industry lobbyist. BFIA posted this photo on January 14, 2009, six days before the inauguration of our current President, Barack Obama.