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Archive for November 28, 2011

Red Cross Resolves to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

A Call to Action
by David Hart

“Mankind invented the atomic bomb, but no mouse would ever construct a mousetrap.” ~Albert Einstein

Many years from now when the history of our time is written, some may reflect that a small but meaningful step that preserved our world was taken this week. In the US, the event passed with little notice. There was Black Friday shopping to do. Meanwhile, a powerful and respected group acted to avert global disaster. The question for us now is whether we will heed their clarion call and act in unison to shape our policies so that a future – any future – can exist.

In a historic decision, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies adopted a resolution calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and urging all of their affiliates to conduct educational campaigns about the unique, catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear war.

This globally respected body’s action comes at a critical time in the history of our world. All over the earth, people are waking up to the sad reality that the path we are on is dangerously unsustainable. Activists, organizers, and everyday people are finding that by taking steps together we can, in fact, change the world.

During this moment of awakening, there is an opportunity to focus new and renewed energy on the enormous destructive potential of nuclear weapons. In recent years, many people have been lulled into a dangerous and false sense of security. Some have come to believe that after the end of the cold war, we need not be concerned about these horrific weapons. In reality, this technology is spreading and remains a grave threat to our health and to our very survival.

Today an organization that is among the most highly esteemed in the world is boldly speaking out on behalf of all who care about the future of our planet and our species. One delegate reminded the gathering of Albert Einstein’s quotation, “Mankind invented the atomic bomb, but no mouse would ever construct a mousetrap.”

We had the intellectual capacity to construct the tools of our own destruction. Will we now demonstrate the wisdom to step back from the brink and choose a different path?

This resolution provides a rare opportunity to do just that. They remind us that this issue should be beyond national borders and partisan politics and instead should be a rallying cry for all citizens of this planet to act together to ensure our very survival. These health care and relief workers, who do so much to help those most in need in times of crisis, realize that they will not be able to adequately respond in the aftermath of a nuclear detonation. No one can. In this case, the only treatment is prevention.

The enormity of this reality is hard to face. Understandably, even when we catch a glimpse of this truth, most of us turn away and try to get on with our lives. But, if we are to avert this looming disaster, we must face the painful reality and act together. And, we must do so now before it is too late.

Let us join together as one people and declare these weapons what they truly are – an affront to all we hold dear, to all the beauty of the past, and to all the potential of our future.

We cannot know, at this moment, what the future may hold, but we can come to understand that our very future is slipping away. Over our long history humans have created enormous beauty. Who knows what we might accomplish if we find a sustainable path and continue our journey for many years to come?

The preeminent international emergency response organization has sent us a clear wake up call. Will we hit the snooze button and go back to Holiday Shopping or will we realize the enormity of the danger we face and find a way to act together to preserve all that our future might hold?

To take action to prevent nuclear war visit 1 More 4 Zero.org . A brief video highlights the diverse and international movement building to eliminate nuclear weapons worldwide. You can learn more and sign up to join the campaign.

~ David Hart is Director of Security Programs for Physicians for Social Responsibility and lives in Washington, D.C.

This Week On The Fallon Forum: The Fallon Anti-Confusi-Tron (FACT)

Monday – Thursday from 7:00-800 pm, join us for the fusion of politics and civility at 98.3 WOW-FM and on-line at 983wowfm.com.  Call (515) 312-0983 or (866) 908-TALK to participate in the conversation.  If you miss the show, you can hear it as a podcast and please help support local progressive talk radio with an online donation  or by check to PO Box 13421, Des Moines, IA 50310. 

Dear Friends,

I’m activating the Fallon Anti-Confusi-Tron (FACT) today to clear-up some persistently bad information. Occupy Des Moines is not – repeat, not – going to disrupt the Iowa Caucuses. The plan is to occupy presidential candidates’ headquarters. Big difference.

The Occupy movement isn’t just about corruption on Wall Street. It’s about corruption on K Street, in Congress and in the White House, too. Most important, it’s about an abuse of corporate and government power that have joined forces to affect the biggest transfer of wealth in planetary history — a transfer from you and me to the thinnest slice of America’s elite.

Every four years, Iowans have a unique opportunity to help select the two major parties’ nominees. We also have a responsibility to hold them accountable. To this end, Occupy Des Moines is organizing a “People’s Caucus” on December 27th and inviting folks from across the country to participate. Then on December 28, 29 and 30, people will occupy the candidates’ campaign headquarters until we receive a better response to the movement’s grievances or, more likely, until we are forcibly removed.

ACTION ALERT: If the National Defense Authorization Act’s provision on citizen arrest passes the U.S. Senate this week, we will see our freedom and liberty erode even further.  The bill “passed the Armed Services Committee essentially in secret, without even a single hearing on their radical and seemingly Soviet-inspired proposal.” Click here to read Shahid Buttar’s analysis in “Truthout,” go to the link at the end of the article to take action, and encourage our senators to support Senator Mark Udall’s amendment to strike the anti-liberty language.

Monday, Charles Goldman and I discuss Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons program and whether it is “the greatest foreign policy failure of the Obama administration,” as Mitt Romney claims.

Tuesday, State Representative Dan Kelley (D-Newton) is my guest.

Wednesday and Thursday, there’s so much to talk about:

- The National Defense Authorization Act (see above)
- The latest Occupy Wall Street developments
- The Republican presidential candidates’ meanderings
- Why the cost of Thanksgiving dinner rose 14% (got this from Glenn Beck, so not sure if it’s true)

So, tune in at 98.3 WOW-FM and online. You can download the Fallon Forum as a podcast, too.  And don’t forget to visit The Fallon Forum website at fallonforum.com.  Thanks!

Ed

How Respectful Media Coverage Of The GOP Is Damaging The Country

This is an excerpt from a must-read article by Eric Alterman, “Next Stop On The GOP Crazy Train: ‘Newtsville’” about the failure of media in their coverage of the so-called GOP “presidential candidates.”  You can read the entire article at The Nation.com.  LINK

The respectful response of the media to the batshit-crazy statements one hears from the second-tier Republican candidates—candidates who occasionally rise to the first tier and then just as quickly sink down again, having never been serious contenders in the first place—is doing definite damage to this country. How many credulous Americans may have decided to shun the HPV vaccine for their daughters after hearing Bachmann’s nutty suggestion that it causes mental retardation? What of the insistence of that ignorant idiot Herman Cain that the “objective” purpose of Planned Parenthood’s founding was to “kill black babies before they came into the world. It’s planned genocide.” Now we’ve got a new front-runner, Gingrich, who holds, among other crazy notions, that the Obama administration’s “secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did,” when his diseased brain is not focusing on his moronic (and racist) contention that “only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together” the inspiration for Obama’s foreign policies.

Gingrich is the man of the hour, as amazing and ridiculous as that may be. Like Cain and Bachmann, he is a better bet for a rubber room somewhere than the Oval Office. But this fact—obvious to anyone who’s paying attention—does not stop various media machers from pretending long enough to fly his ideological freak flag for him for millions of Americans. When, writing in the Washington Post, Pulitzer Prize–winning pundit Kathleen Parker describes “the sudden surge of Gingrich, who, whatever his flaws and despite the weight of his considerable baggage, is no intellectual slouch,” and says he “may be just the ticket”—well, one is left speechless. Pretending that these people might be president, and hence deserve to be treated as if what they say is true, is not merely unjustified—given that the nominee is almost certain to be Romney—but akin to playing accessory to a kind of ongoing intellectually criminal activity.

Reporters representing reliable media outlets are supposed to defend the discourse from the virus of this ignorance. But for a variety of reasons they no longer do so. Part of the explanation can be found in the foolish willingness of so many reporters to treat Fox News, Drudge and various talk-radio hosts as respectable voices in the debate without regard to their motives or qualifications.

Speaking of these Tea Party–inspired “candidates,” reformed right-winger David Frum writes that a “political movement that never took governing seriously was exploited by a succession of political entrepreneurs uninterested in governing—but all too interested in merchandising. Much as viewers tune in to American Idol to laugh at the inept, borderline dysfunctional early auditions, these tea-party champions provide a ghoulish type of news entertainment each time they reveal that they know nothing about public affairs and have never attempted to learn.”

Somebody better tell the MSM…

(click here to read the entire article)