Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Deadline tonight to sign online petition for impeachment

Kucinich Petition Deadline Midnight Tonight 7/30/08
URGENT: need your help -
Impeachment Petition Deadline Midnight Wednesday

Dear Friends,

Because of your vigilance and support for democracy, last Friday was a day of singular importance in Washington. The House Judiciary Committee met to discuss the Bush Administration's abuse of executive power and for the first time the case for Impeachment was discussed in front of a Congressional committee, in depth, at length and with authority.

Twenty members of the Judiciary Committee attended the six hour hearing, during which twelve witnesses, including myself and four members of Congress testified. In this hearing I called for the Impeachment of the President for misrepresenting a case for war.

This week I will present members of Congress with Impeachment petitions submitted by those of you who have signed the on-line impeachment form.

I need your help. In the next few days we must redouble our efforts to get more signatures on the online petition at I'm asking each of you to please contact at least ten of your friends to go to now and sign the Impeachment petition that will be delivered by me. Wednesday night is the deadline.
Please sign petition online here
Please send out an email to all your friends and family, post this link, to your blogs and make this effort count as this is the only petition that I will deliver.

Thank you so very much.


PO Box 110475 | Cleveland | OH | 44111 | 216-252-9000

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Environmentalists not allowed to participate in coal conference in Hope, Arkansas

Comment from Stephens media blog on unfairness of coal conference in Hope
Different panel: Same dirty coal

Relying on information in the Hope newspaper yesterday, I mentioned that PSC Chairman Colette Honorable would be moderating a panel at a coming conference in Hope on "Making Clean Coal Technology a Reality." I commented that that seemed sort of a political statement by a member of a state panel that is hearing objections to coal-fired power generation by "clean coal" -- a public relations term -- or any other coal.

She asks a correction. She says, despite what a Hope newspaper account erroneously said, she's actually moderating a panel "What to do about Greenhouse Gases."

Noted. Answer to her panel's question: Don't burn coal in power plants.

Honorable is honorable, I hasten to add. I've known her several years and think a great deal of her. But I'll repeat what I told her. I'm not sure it's a good idea for PSC commissioners to lend their high status and neutral position to elevate a public relations stunt put on by the electric power industry and the coal lobby, as this one is. If you need any more information about how balanced this session will be, see Stephens Media today for its story about how the Sierra Club was barred from participation.

Torture the timber, strip the land, dig the coal. Just don't expect me to call it perfume.

I also meant to say initially that this "conference" is a byproduct of SWEPCO's recent purchase of the UA community college branch at Hope for $1 million. No reason the Hope branch shouldn't have a corporate owner, like the UA's Walton-Tyson branch.

PS -- I'm told Ken Smith of Audubon Arkansas will be on hand to be available to anyone who might appreciate a fuller picture of coal's impact on the environment. I hope the power company lobby, which is putting on this dog-and-pony show, doesn't arrest him or move him, a la the Bush jackboots, to a Free Speech Zone over around Lake Greeson.
posted by aubunique at 10:03 pm 0 comments
Environmentalists not allowed to participate in coal conference in Hope, Arkansas
Environmentalists excluded from conference on coal power
Thursday, Jul 17, 2008

By John Lyon
Arkansas News Bureau
LITTLE ROCK - Environmentalists have been barred from participating in an industry-sponsored conference that will examine Arkansas' role in the development and use of clean coal technologies, a spokesman for the Sierra Club said Wednesday.

Former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and U.S. Rep Mike Ross, D-Prescott, are the scheduled keynote speakers for the Arkansas Clean Coal Technology Conference, set for today and Friday at the University of Arkansas Community College in Hope.

A news release from one of the conference's sponsors, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, says the conference will focus on "Arkansas' role in the development and deployment of advanced clean coal technologies as well as the associated environmental, economic and public policy concerns."

Glen Hooks, regional representative of the Sierra Club, said the Sierra Club and Audubon Arkansas asked to participate in the conference and provide alternative viewpoints but were told they could not.
"They said that's not what this is about, they've already got the panel set up," Hooks said. "So we were invited to attend but not necessarily to participate in the official part of the program."
There is "not really any environmental representative on the panels at all," Hooks said.
Ken Smith, executive director of Audubon Arkansas, did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.
Leah Arnold, spokeswoman for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, said she was not aware that the Sierra Club or Audubon Arkansas had asked to participate, but she said the conference is not a forum on whether coal power should be abandoned.
"We don't think that coal should be taken out. We believe that coal is going to continue - it's going to have to continue - to be a part of Arkansas' energy mix. You can't just do away with 47 percent of (the state's) electricity like that," she said.
The conference will be held about 12 miles from the site of a planned $1.52 billion, 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant Southwestern Electric Power Co. hopes to build near Fulton. The state Public Service Commission has approved SWEPCO's plans, but the state Department of Environmental Quality is still considering whether to grant an air permit for the proposed plant.
Arnold said the conference will include discussion of technology that would allow carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants to be stored permanently underground. The technology is 10 to 15 years away from being a reality, she said.
"Clean coal" technology would not be available when the SWEPCO plant near Fulton goes into operation, but the technology could be added to it and all other power plants when it does become available, Arnold said.
Hooks said America cannot afford to produce additional millions of tons of carbon dioxide every year while waiting for clean coal technology to be developed.
"By all accounts, we're at or near the tipping point when it comes to global warming," he said.
The conference also is sponsored by the Center for Legislative Energy and Environmental Research and the Southern States Energy Board.
Find this article at:
posted by aubunique at 9:21 pm 0 comments

Sunday, July 27, 2008

OMNi information on coming presidential election

OMNI OBAMA NEWSLETTER‏From: Omnicenter Communications ( on behalf of Dick Bennett (
Sent: Sun 7/27/08 3:32 PM
Reply-to: Dick Bennett (


Compiled by Dick Bennett, July 22, 2008.

For a Culture of Peace and Justice by We, the People.
We should stand by our principles, search for the truth about McCain and Obama, do our best to make them wiser candidates, vote, and then continue to do our best to make the winner respect the Constitution, avoid illegal wars, restore the economy.
[For rest of Obama Newsletter go to and click on periodicals]
Websites for researching Obama
Type Obama into the search field at
Topic pages and databases about Obama

Chicago Tribune - Candidate coverage
On the Issues - Issue positions
Project Vote Smart - Candidate information, including issue positions
Disability issues

Obama answers questions on disability issues
Obama & environmental issues: Comprehensive review from the League of Conservation Voters.
Foreign affairs
"Renewing American Leadership" - detailed article article by Barack Obama in Foreign Affairs
Barack Obama's positions on top foreign policy issues - extensive material documented by the Council on Foreign Relations
Health care
They've Got You Covered? - Obama and Clinton ads both claim all Americans would be covered by their health plans. Clinton's would come close. Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania.
2008 Presidential Candidate Health Plan Report Card issued by the National Physicians Alliance
Envisioning the Future: The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Proposals from The Commonwealth Fund
Israel and the Middle East conflict
Obama on Zionism and Hamas - extensive interview with Jeffrey Goldberg
Speech by Senator Barack Obama
McCain, Obama positions on Mideast issues Associated Press June 6, 2008
Obama and the Progressive Base
Thursday 10 July 2008 by: Norman Solomon, t r u t h o u t | Perspective
"The Audacity of Hope" is embraced during an Obama campaign rally on the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries. Supporters have long projected their hopes onto Barack Obama. (Photo: Reuters)
A reasonably evenhanded biography of Barack Obama, published last year, describes him as "an exceptionally gifted politician who, throughout his life, has been able to make people of wildly divergent vantage points see in him exactly what they want to see." The biographer, David Mendell, reports, "the higher he soared, the more this politician spoke in well-worn platitudes and the more he offered warm, feel-good sentiments lacking a precise framework."
Now, less than four months before Election Day, with growing disquiet among significant portions of Obama's progressive base, the current negative reactions can't be dismissed as potshots from the political margins. Even The New York Times, in a July 4 editorial headlined "New and Not Improved," has expressed alarm: "We are not shocked when a candidate moves to the center for the general election. But Mr. Obama's shifts are striking because he was the candidate who proposed to change the face of politics, the man of passionate convictions who did not play old political games."
But on July 8, Obama made a valid point - even if it wasn't exactly the point he was trying to make - when he disputed "this whole notion that I am shifting to the center" and argued: "The people who say this apparently haven't been listening to me." Overall, his career as a politician has embraced conciliation and compromise rather than pushing against centrist corporate agendas.

These days, an appreciable number of Obama supporters are starting to use words like "disillusionment." But that's a consequence of projecting their political outlooks onto the candidate in the first place.

The best way to avoid becoming disillusioned is to not have illusions in the first place.

The more that spotlights move from Obama's uplifting eloquence to his specific policy positions, complete with loopholes and wiggle room, it's predictable that some of his progressive base will become displeased - whether on issues related to the death penalty, fair trade, government funding of religious-based projects, Iraq, Iran, evenhandedness between Israel and Palestinians, gun control or (perhaps most flagrantly) warrantless surveillance.
On Wednesday, when Obama cast a vote in the Senate to undermine the Fourth Amendment, he fulfilled his frequent prediction during the primary season that "I will make mistakes." This was a very big one. As an attorney who's well acquainted with constitutional law, he participated in damaging one of the most precious provisions in the precious Bill of Rights.
Barack Obama is an extremely smart guy. And I can't remember a major contender for president less inclined to insult the intelligence of the public. Let's return the favor by directly challenging him when appropriate. We'd do him - and the Obama campaign, ourselves and the country as a whole - no favors by opting for silence instead.
We can help the Obama for President effort when we hold him to his good positions - and move to buck him up when he wavers.
While speaking of the Iraq war, Obama made one of the most insightful statements of the primary campaign: "I don't want to just end the war; I want to end the mindset that got us into war." He needs to be held to that wisdom. Obama should feel enormous counterpressure from the grassroots against the forces in the media and foreign-policy establishment that are pushing him to go wobbly on ending the Iraq war.
The vortex of what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the madness of militarism" is enormously powerful - and, in the context of presidential politics, routinely enticing. To the extent that Obama gears up anti-Iran rhetoric that he seemed to have mercifully abandoned months ago, for instance, he may reassure some pundits and other influential power brokers in Washington, but at the same time he's liable to weaken some of the allegiance to his candidacy among progressive constituencies.
As an elected Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention, I've been hearing from people who are upset by the recent direction of the campaign. Some were always a bit skeptical of Obama, but are becoming much more so. Others have been strong supporters from the outset. In the latter category, an attorney sent an email to me a few days ago: "I must confess that my enthusiasm for Senator Obama has waned in recent weeks with a number of his policy announcements (on FISA, gun control, etc.). While I of course will vote for him and help him get elected, I must say that I feel a bit deflated after having put so much hope, effort and money into his candidacy."
Obama and his top advisers will have to gauge the importance of such deflation and waning enthusiasm. A key factor in the election will be the extent to which the Obama campaign can pull off a massive mobilization of voters. Deflated constituencies don't mobilize as well as inspired ones.
Anyone who assumes Obama will be elected president in November is on ground as solid as the assumption in 2000 that Al Gore would be elected president. On July 9, when releasing new results from nationwide polling, the Democratic research outfit, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, reported Obama has a mere four-point lead over John McCain. Despite its propensity to spin for Democrats and its eagerness to note Obama seems "well-positioned," the firm acknowledged "some diminished enthusiasm for the presumptive Democratic nominee and only small gains among independent voters."
Some progressives, now disaffected, might consider the prospect of Obama falling short on Election Day to be his problem, not ours. But this isn't about Obama. It's about whether the levers of power in the Executive Branch, and the Supreme Court along with it, are going to be redelivered into the hands of the right wing for yet another four years.
We're facing the historic imperative of keeping McCain out of the White House. If major progressive change is going to be feasible during the next several years, defeating McCain in November is necessary. And insufficient. The insufficiency does not negate the necessity.

Under a McCain presidency, we'd be back to square one, where we've found ourselves since January 2001. Putting Obama in the White House would not by any means ensure progressive change, but under his presidency, the grassroots would have an opportunity to create it.
Along the way, let's strive to eliminate disillusionment by dispensing with illusions. No one who is a presidential candidate can proceed to overcome corporate power or the warfare state. The pervasive and huge problems that have proved to be so destructive are deep, structural and embedded in the political economy. The changes most worth believing in are the ones social movements can make possible.

Norman Solomon, the author of "War Made Easy," is a national co-chair of Healthcare NOT Warfare. The other co-chairs of the campaign, launched by Progressive Democrats of America, are Donna Smith (featured in "Sicko"), Marilyn Clement (national coordinator of Healthcare-NOW) and Representative John Conyers, chief sponsor of H.R. 676
July 25, 2008
Dear Dick,
We are guardedly optimistic about the growing consensus for a timeline to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. But unlike Barack Obama, we don't want to see our troops removed from the "bad war" in Iraq only to be sent to fight "the good war" in Afghanistan.

One of the very first actions of CODEPINK when we formed in 2002 was to go to Afghanistan to see, firsthand, the results of our invasion. We were horrified by the "collateral damage" -- the steady stream of innocent civilians killed and maimed by our "smart bombs." We pushed our government to stop killing civilians and to compensate the families of those who we had mistakenly killed or maimed.

Seven years later, innocent Afghans continue to be killed by our troops, more US soldiers are now dying in Afghanistan than Iraq, the Taliban are gaining new strength, opium production has soared, and Osama bin Laden has not been found. The Afghan people continue to be among the poorest in the world, women continue to be oppressed, and the U.S. government reneged on its promise of a "Marshall Plan" to rebuild Afghanistan.

Barack Obama and John McCain are advocating the exact same "solution": Send more troops. But more troops will only mean more violence, more suffering, more killing of innocents, and more recruits for the Taliban.

We know that war is not the answer, but what is? Should the U.S. peace movement call for talks with the Taliban? In Iraq, the U.S. government has not just talked to Sunni insurgent groups that killed U.S. soldiers but it is now allied with them.

Back in 2006, Greg Mills, an advisor to the NATO forces in Afghanistan, wrote: "Countering an insurgency requires a mix of military pressure, institution-building, reconstruction and development, and international aid. But ultimately, the key to defeating it is political accommodation. In Afghanistan, that means talking to the Taliban."

A June 2008 report by Canada's Senate Committee on National Security, said, "The conflict in Afghanistan could go on for a very long time if there is no attempt to resolve the issue through diplomacy."

Would you advocate a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops? How can we best support Afghan women?

Click here to share your thoughts with us and take our survey about the issues that are being brought to the surface by Obama's recent trip to Afghanistan. You can join the conversation by posting your comments on Common Dreams and Huffington Post. We will cull through your responses and comments and promote the best to the presidential candidates. Surely we can come up with a better answer than simply advocating more violence!

Thank you for your insights and your commitment to peace.
Alicia, Anne, Dana, Deidra, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jean, Jodie, Liz, Lori, Medea, Nancy, Rae and Tighe

P.S. While Obama has been in Iraq listening to generals, we are listening to the soldiers standing up against war. James Burmeister, who suffers from PTSD and other ailments related to traumatic brain injury, was recently court-martialed for refusing to return to Iraq and speaking out against the horrors of war. He is currently serving six months in prison for his courageous stand. You can read more about his story here and send a letter of support- get the address here.

P.P.S. Our website won the 2008 Progressive Source Awards Judges' Choice for Best Microsite, making this CODEPINK's second win in a row! Congratulations to Farida Sheralam, our brilliant webmistress, who continues to make our work shine. Be sure to check out her awesome new homepage redesign at

unsubscribe from this list

Take our survey and share with us your thoughts about Afghanistan

Send a letter of support to war resister James Burmeister

at the DNC/RNC!

Robert Dreyfuss, “Obama’s Evolving Foreign Policy.” The Nation (July 21/28, 2008). His foreign policy views are “a work in progress.” Dreyfuss’ references seem thorough.


“Naivete, thy name is Arkansas Democrat-Gazette” By Richard Drake

With their editorial “Willful Blindness Dept.: Naivete, thy name is Barack Obama” [the ADG took] Obama - and by extension the Supreme Court - to task for their old-fashioned view that the rule of law, and granting prisoners the right of Habeas Corpus will somehow result in in all of these prisoners being free to attack the U.S. again, they reveal a serious mistrust in the basic rule of law in the United States, that which other nations often look to as an example of how to conduct themselves.
Guilt? Innocence? These are just words! So what if a lot of these guys were just innocent schmucks turned in by people for the reward, who may not be guilty of anything at all, except being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The new mind-set: Guilty until proven guilty.

Lest we forget that Libs and Demos have a less than perfect candidate, read this Wash Post story on the Court
GO TO and click on periodicals for the full biblio.

Dick Bennett
(479) 442-4600

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Caterpillar of the viceroy butterfly on a willow tree on World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on image to ENLARGE TO photo of viceroy butterfly caterpillar on willow leaf at World Peace Wetland Prairie in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Viceroys (Limenitis archippus) look much like monarchs but their caterpillars look far different and depend on willows and other native trees, while monarch caterpillars depend on the many species of milkweed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dick Bennett's latest bibliography



Why the silence? Public subservience to our authoritarian presidency: “…it is this tilt toward deference, this willingness to hold our tongues and sit on our principles, that truly threatens us, even more than the manifold abuses of this administration, because it makes them possible.” Mark Slouka, “Notebook: Democracy and Deference,” Harper’s (June 2008).

Each of us is responsible for defending and improving our democracy.

OMNI SEEKS A WORLD FREE OF WAR AND THE THREAT OF WAR, A SOCIETY WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, A COMMUNITY WHERE EVERY PERSON’S POTENTIAL MAY BE FULFILLED, AN EARTH RESTORED. GRASSROOTS NONVIOLENCE, WORLD PEACE, HUMAN RIGHTS, SOCIAL and ECONOMIC JUSTICE, ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP PROTECTING SPECIES AND THE EARTH. These are OMNI’s ideals. Read our brochure and our newsletters, attend our Steering Committee, become an active member of one or more of our committees, participate in our dozens of activities to see how these broad goals are realized in action. There is nothing vague about Building a Culture of Peace, including this bibliography, which leads to concrete action; for example, see the Hope and Victims entries.

SENATOR LINCOLN (202) 224-4843 Fax: (202) 228-1371.

Fayetteville office: 251-1380;;;

SENATOR Mark Pryor: Phone: (202) 224-2353 Fax: (202) 228-0908. ;

CONGRESSMAN Boozman: Lowell office: 479-725-0400.

DC address: 1708 Longworth House Office Bldng., Washington, DC 20515; 202-225-4301.

Needed: someone to gather these biblios. into one. In these books you will find the deep, wide, concrete ideas necessary for changing the USA into a peaceful and just nation. All together they will make your hair seem to catch on fire with knowledge and hope.

ABRAMOFF, JACK (see: Capitalism, Corruption, GOP, Right Wing, Congress)

Frank, Thomas. The Wrecking Crew. Metropolitan, 2008. See Frank’s “The Wrecking Crew: How a Gang of Right-Wing Con Men Destroyed Washington and Made a Killing.” Harper’s (August 2008), taken from the book.

ACTIVISM (see: Children’s Books, Foreign Policy, Farrell, Gandhi, Heroes, Hope, Popular Protest, Political Change, Resistance)

--Bobo, Kim. Organizing for Social Change (Seven Locks Press, 2001); Lives Matter: A Handbook for Christian Organizing (Sheed and Ward, 1986).

AFGHANISTAN (see: Imperialism, Iraq)

Kolhatkar, Sonali. Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence. 2006.

Bleeding Afghanistan

“Bleeding Afghanistan is without a doubt the most realistic and sincere reflection of the ongoing tragedy in my ill-fated Afghanistan, covering every aspect ... - 18k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

AIR WAR (see: Afghanistan War, Iraq War, Vietnam War, War Crimes, World War II)

ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT (see: Conscientious Objection)

Ritter, Scott. Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement.

ARABS in USA (see: Israel/Palestine, Palestine)

Shaheen, Jack. Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People and Guilty: Hollywoood’s Verdict on Arabs after 9/11. Rev. WRMEA (May/June 2008): “Arabs remain the most maligned group in the history of Hollywood.” See Shaheen’s article, “Attacks on Barack Obama Reinforce Anti-Muslim Sentiment.” The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (May/June 2008).

--El Rassi, Toufic. Arab in America. Last Gasp, 2007. Graphic novel about author’s experience as a first generation Arab American.

BILL OF RIGHTS (see: Democracy)

Bodenhamer, David, ed. The Bill of Rights in Modern America. Indiana UP, 2008. Short, lively essays.


Jacked: How "Conservatives" are Picking Your Pocket (whether You ... - Google Books Result by Nomi Prins - 2006 - Political Science - 151 pages
As an insider--including stints as managing director at Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns--Nomi Prins can speak with authority about the Bush administration's...

--Bugliosi, Vincent. The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. Rev. Seattle Times Newspaper July 8, 2008.

CANADA (see: Industrial Chemicals/Capitalism, Investigative Journalism)

CAPITALISM USA (see: Consumerism, Corporations, Free Trade, Imperialism, Inequality, Right Wing, Unions)

--Chait, Jonathan. The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hood-winked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics. Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

--Johnston, David Cay. Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill). Portfolio, 2008.

Both books rev. by Steve Fraser, The Progressive (July 2008). The books “join a vast armada of literature chronicling the astonishing inequalities of wealth and income that have earned our own era the dubious sobriquet ‘second Gilded Age.’”

--“Ecosocialism against cynicism: a review of Joel Kovel's The Enemy of Nature “ by Cassiodorus Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 05:01:13 PM PDT
This is a revisitation of Joel Kovel's (2002) book The Enemy of Nature in light of a discussion I had with Joel, who says he is currently working on a 2nd edition. Kovel's work is the quintessential manifesto of ecosocialism (notwithstanding the actual "Ecosocialist Manifesto" he co-wrote with Michael Lowy). The ecological crisis is dire, and capitalism is at fault. But there are many other reader-accessible works which display an ecosocialist bent; what is important about Kovel's work, I argue here, is its attack on the cynicism of our time.

--“Ecosocialism or Barbarism,” a film by Joel Kovel based on his book. (Title might be “The Really Inconveient Truth”).

-- Ecosocialism or Barbarism edited by Jane Kelly and Sheila Malone.
Ecosocialism or Barbarism explains that the twenty-first century has opened on a catastrophic note, with an unprecedented degree of ecological breakdown and a chaotic world order beset with terror and warfare. In this book, socialists Jane Kelly and Sheila Malone have gathered together articles from some of the world’s leading ecologists and Marxists to discuss how the profoundly interrelated crises of ecology and social breakdown should be seen as different manifestations of the same structural forces. Joel Kovel and Michel Löwy’s ecosocialist manifesto sets the framework for a discussion which is unfolding around the world. They argue that capitalism cannot regulate, much less overcome, the crises it has set going. It cannot solve the ecological crisis because to do so requires setting limits upon accumulation—an unacceptable option for a system predicated upon the rule: Grow or Die! And it cannot solve the crisis posed by terror and other forms of violent rebellion because this would mean abandoning the logic of empire, imposing unacceptable limits on growth and the “way of life” sustained by empire.

--“The Corporation” film, shown on FSTV 6-29-08 on liabilities of capitalism, esp. US corporate power. Argues: need to eliminate legal corporate personhood, corp. opposition to democracy, corp. vs. sustainability, corp. unaccountability, etc. Hope: if we could decommodify slavery, we can free ourselves from the corp. yoke, for there is a moral order superior to profit making. Dirs. Marck Achbar, et al.

--Greenhouse, Steve. The Big Squeeze. 2008. Pressures on working people today increasing—stagnant or declining wages, eroding benefits and job security, etc., on account of the power of the owners and the destruction of unions. Interviewed on “Grit TV” 6-28-o8.

--Gosselin, Peter. High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families. 2008. Rev. TMN (6-15-08), Anne McFeatters: “…a majority of US public are in danger of taking steep financial falls” largely on their own, “buffeted by financial forces far beyong our control, sometimes even beyond our knowledge.”

--Fraser, Steve. Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace. Yale UP, 2008. See his rev. of Chait’s The Big Con and Johnston’s Free Lunch.

--Klein, Naomi. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007). See Klein’s essay, The Nation (July 21/28, 2008), “Disaster Capitalism: State of Extortion.”

--Salter, Malcolm. Innovation Corrupted: The Origins and Legacy of Enron’s Collapse. Harvard UP, 2008. Why success without an ethical foundation leads to disaster.

--Schechter, Danny. Plunder. Interv. by Amy G 7-17.

Greider, William. Come Home America. Interv. Bill Moyers’ Journal 7-18-08. Esp. the ruinous results of bipartisan deregulation by Congress, and therein esp. accelerated by Congress accepting usury in 1980.

C02 (see: Coal, Climate Change)


Hajdu, David. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America. Farrar, Straus and Girous, 2008. Rev. The Humanist (July-Aug 2008). See: Paul Blanshard, The Right to Read: The Battle Against Censorship; “Fanning the Flames” by Rob Boston (The Humanist July-Aug 08).


The Best Children’s Books of the Year. 2008 Ed. Annoted guide to over 600 books:

Johnson, Becky. Wicked Cool Sustainable Solutions for the Earth: An Activity and Coloring Book. Teaching K-6 studnts about community gardens, windmills, composting, etc.

ChinLee, Cynthia. Akira to Zoltan: Twenty-six Men Who Changed the World. An alphabet book for students in grades 3-6 that fouses on men who brought about change through peaceful methods.

Cohen, Richard. Students Resolving Conflicts: Peer Mediation in Schools. Guide to designing and operating a peer mediation program for students in grades 6-12.


--June 2008 no. of FCNL’s Washington Newsletter entirely on China.

--Jian, Ma. Beijing Coma. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. Rev. The Nation August 4/11, 2008. China portrayed as “a vast graveyard” with “a gruesome history.”

CHRISTIANITY: FROM PEACE TO WAR (see: Conscientious, Imperialism, Iraq, National Security State)

--Brock, Rita and Rebecca Parker. Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us. 2001. How the Crucifixion of Jesus Chris and the doctrine of substitutionary atonementt has sanctioned violence and war.
--Brock and Parker. Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire. 2008. Jesus’s teachings and the practices of the early church affirmed life in this world as the place of salvation. But in the 2nd millennium, the church shifted to belief in atoning death and redemption through violence, and relegated paradise to a distant afterlife, following the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne's demand for empire.

See their summary “’This Present Paradise’” in UU World (Summer 2008) 27-32. [A third book could explain why and how in 2008 most Christian nations have turned back toward the early Christianity while the US has continued Charlemagne’s campaign of terror. D] [On Just War theory see Paul Rasor’s “Prophetic Nonviolence,” UU World Spring 2008, and letter responses UU World Summer 2008.]

CIA (see: Imperialism)

--Risen, James. The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.

--Weiner, Tim. Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA. Anchor, 2008.

--Goodman, Melvin. Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA. Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

--Betts, Richard. Enemies of Intelligence: Knowledge and Power in American National Security. Columbia UP, 2008.

--Zegart, Amy. Spying Blind: The FBI, the CIA and the Origins of 9/11. Princeton UP, 2008.

All 4 books rev. The Nation (July 14, 2008): “The CIA is what it is—an unaccountable, dysfunctional and occasionally amoral entity—because America is what it is.”

CIVILIANS KILLED (see: Afghanistan, Imperialism, Iraq, War v. Terrorism, Wars)

Hedges, Chris and Laila Al-Arian. Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians. Nation Books, 2008. Devastating expose of an unplanned military occupation becoming lethal to the people there, daily life become terrifying. Here are the true consequences of the war that the White House-Pentagon-Corporate-Congress-Mainstream Media unleashed in Iraq.


Etheridge, Eric. Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders. Atlas, 2008. Rev. TMN (July 13, 2008). Their actions altered “the course of history, paving the path for the Civil Rights Act of ’64, “ and other advances. Book explores who they were and what they did afterward with their lives.

CLASS (see: Middle Class, University)

CLIMAT E CHANGE/DISRUPTION (see: Capitalism, Coal)

Krupp, Fred and Miriam Horn. Earth: The Sequel—the Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming. Norton, 2008. Focuses on innovation and solutions.


Burning America's Addiction to Coal (David Novack) A great article on why filmmaker David Novack dedicated a year of his life to making his documentary, Burning the Future: Coal in America.

For the rest of the biblio. go to:, click on "Biblios."
Dick Bennett
(479) 442-4600

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Letters supporting grants to build trails in Arkansas needed NOW!

From: Terry Eastin
Date: July 23, 2008 7:43:08 PM CDT

Subject: Arkansas Trail Fund - last request for letters

Everyone -

Thank you so much for your support of the trail legislation initiative! We are 87 letters strong as of today, July 23rd. A significant number of the mayors of Arkansas' largest cities and many smaller towns have sent well-crafted letters indicating their support for economic, health, and conservation reasons. Many organizations, including those one might not expect (economic and health arenas), have also given this initiative their support. Even more of you individually took the time to share your thoughts and send your letters.

This is the last post I will send requesting letters. The deadline was extended to August 1st last week, but, if letters come in shortly after the deadline, they will be accepted until the packet is finalized. I am expecting the count to extend 100 letters.

Once the project is completed, I send a report to all who helped.

Thank you very much, and please forward this last message. Again, if you have questions, please feel free to contact me at, or by phone at 479-236-0938.

Terry Eastin
Co-Chair, 2008 National Trails Symposium


Please distribute the letter below and both attachments to every organization news outlet, email network, agency, mayor, city council, county judge, and trail enthusiast you know. If trail enthusiasts want to see an Arkansas Trails Fund established in the 2009 legislative season, NOW is the time to act! The response date has been extended to August 1, so, please help move this project forward with your letters to me either by email or regular mail. If you have questions, please feel free to contact. We are over half way to our goal of 100+ letters.

Attached is a letter from me explaining the project, a report prepared for the Legislative Committee on Agriculture, Economics, and Forestry, as well as, an Arkansas trail funding summary that illustrates the strong demand for our current minimal trail grant resources.

Even if you have already sent a letter yourself, please forward this request to other trail friends and enthusiasts. Your voices will be heard.

My address is

858 N. Jackson Drive
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Best Regards,
Terry Eastin

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Please click on image to Enlarge type on cartoon about global climate change and carbon emissions.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Worshipping the myths of World War II

By Edward W. Wood, Jr.

Is any war a "good war"? In WORSHIPPING THE MYTHS OF WORLD WAR II, Edward W. Wood, Jr.takes a critical look at what he defines as America's dedication to war as panacea and as Washington's primary way of dealing with the world. Articulating why he believes the lessons of World War II are profoundly relevant to today's events, Wood reflects on the killing of innocents, which became increasingly accepted during the war, and how actual killing is usually ignored in war discussions and reporting. He examines the lifetime impact of frontline duty, which he knew first hand; the present fallible criteria for judging war movies, memoirs and novels; the fallacy that the United States won the war largely on its own; and the impact the Holocaust has had on our national concepts of evil and purity. Wood's final chapter centers on how the "war on terror" is different from World War II--and why the myths created about the latter hide that reality.

WORSHIPPING THE MYTHS OF WORLD WAR II offers one WWII veteran's controversial pespective. Edward Wood, a wise, careful writer whose life was totally changed by his war experience and his serious wound, and who has spent the past sixty plus years pondering these vital isues, affirms that World War II had to be fought. Yet it is America's misperceptions of that war he examines--misperceptions which have led to tragic ways of dealing with the world.

It is the four myths of World War II he discusses and criticizes:





He sees the wars America has fought since 1945 as rooted in these myths, wars that should never been fought, including this most recent one that seems interminable. He believes it is time to talk with those we perceive as enemies so as to search for areas of agreeement, preventing future conflict.

WORSHIPPING THE MYTHS OF WORLD WAR II is supported by Howard Zinn, the historian.
It was selected as one of the most important books of 2007 by CHOICE, CURRENT REVIEWS FOR ACADEMIC LIBRARIES.


A panel will discuss Worshipping the Myths of World War II: Reflections on America’s Dedication to War by Edward W. Wood, Jr., on Thursday, July 10, 6:30 p.m., at Nightbird Books.

Nightbird Books is at 557 S. School Ave. in Fayetteville, the northwest corner of 71B and 6th St. 443-2080.

Panelists are:

David Edwards, retired Professor of History at the U of A, where he headed the History Department’s honors program and worked with the curriculum committee for many years. Since retirement he has been an active member of the Unitarian Fellowship.

John Rule, served in the U.S. Army 1953-55, discharged as Sgt. He received his BA and MA from the UofA 1955, retired from teaching at Arkansas Tech in 1976, and became a farmer in the Boson Mountains, where he resides. His interests are world and personal peace, ecology, and sustainability.

Steve Striffler, Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies at the University of Arkansas. He is on the Board of the NW Arkansas Workers Justice Center and author of Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America's Favorite Food (Yale University Press, 2005).

Lyell Thompson, Retired Professor of Agriculture, UofA, lifelong advocate of civil rights and liberties, WWII veteran: European Theater, Battle of the Bulge.

Moderated by Dick Bennett, retired professor of English at the Univ. of Arkansas, USAF 1954-56, a founder of OMNI, and compiler of the Peace Movement Directory.

Friday, July 4, 2008

OMNI's Fourth of July newsletter: End usurpation of freedom by shopping malls

From: Omnicenter Communications ( on behalf of Dick Bennett (
Sent: Fri 7/04/08 1:53 PM
Reply-to: Dick Bennett (



CONTENTS: We, the People: Thinking Outside the Box is Fireworks

OMNI’s Early July Events

FSTV July 4 Presentation of Zinn’s Voices

Essay on Shopping Malls vs. Freedom

The Shalom Center on Pres. Bush and a New DoI

OMNI provides FSTV via CAT every morning. Many of today’s excellent programs focused on themes related to July 4; for example, readings from Howard Zinn’s Voices of the People’s History of the United States. Zinn gave linking narration to notable actors and authors (Danny Glover, Harris Yulin, Kurt Vonnegut, et al.) reading from John Brown, Fredrick Douglass, Mark Twain, and others, all protesting injustices of race, wealth, class, and empire.


"Shopping Malls vs. Freedom?" By Dick Bennett

In 1938, the United States Supreme Court unanimously struck down an ordinance authorizing the arrest in Griffin, GA, of a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses for distributing handbills without a license. A year later the Court struck down an ordinance in Jersey City that required speakers to obtain a permit from city authorities. And in 1941 the Court affirmed the right of peaceful picketing as an expression of First Amendment Rights. Ordinances prohibiting free expression, the Court ruled, because they can be made the instrument of arbitrary suppression of free expression of views, are unconstitutional and invalid. These victories for free speech were victories especially for working people (the rich can hire a hall), for they guaranteed the right of all citizens to express their views freely on public sidewalks and parks hroughout the land. But defenders of freedom had not anticipated the restrictive consequences of shopping malls on free Communication.
In the towns of our country the people shopped by public streets and sidewalks. That's where the people were; that's where communication to the greatest number of people was possible. But then shopping malls gradually arrived. We didn’t know what had hit us. Suddenly they had replaced thousands of miles of shopping by public sidewalk.
Now, not only inside a mall, but in the parking outside, you could be expelled and even arrested for leafletting or picketing. The constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression was replaced by private property, real estate, shopping malls!
Whereas formerly private property had been the foundation of freedom-the yeoman farmer, the small businessman--, suddenly private property shopping malls had become a bastion against freedom all across the land.

By itself this extreme and now deeply entrenched reduction of freedom might not be so threatening. But recent years have witnessed increasing secrecy, censorship, surveillance, harrassment, arbitrary detention, and heavier methods of police state control as illustrated by rejection of Geneva Conventions, the "Patriot" Act, and the Military Commissions Act. While we are struggling to remove these

repressive barriers to democracy, we should also attempt to regain the sidewalks and streets taken from us by the owners of shopping malls.
How might we begin?
First, we can turn to the Constitution of the State of Arkansas. Although the Nixon Court modified the strong free speech laws of 1937-41, many state constitutions offer an affirmative declaration of the individual's right to free speech. For example, in Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robbins, the USSCt says the 5th amendment takings clause does not trump California’s free speech right. It has not been litigated in Arkansas, but our free speech clause is almost identical to California's.
Second, we are supported by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a treaty signed by the President and ratified by Congress. Article 19 of the UDHR declares: "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
This 4th of July, 2008, let us begin a campaign against the usurpation of freedom by shopping malls by talking up the original commitment to freedom in the 1937-41 Supreme Court rulings and these state and treaty rights.

A Prophetic Voice in Jewish, Multireligious, and American Life

Dishonoring Jefferson or renewing America?--

Two responses to the Fourth of July

I am shocked to learn that the Thomas Jefferson Foundation has invited President Bush to speak on the Fourth of July at Monticello.

George W. Bush has replicated more of the ill deeds charged by the Declaration of Independence against King George III than any other President in our history. He is the first President to claim that torture is legitimate and to proclaim that he is violating the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution (requiring warrants to examine citizen's communications).
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration precisely to resist that kind of usurpation of power. To invite Mr. Bush to speak on the Fourth of July at Monticello makes a travesty of that sacred day and the sacred work of Mr. Jefferson.
Of course, the far deeper dishonoring is the way the President has behaved toward the Declaration and the Constitution themselves --
And on the other hand, what would we write today if we ourselves were "Jefferson"? This is a brief passage from "Declaring Interdependence" (on our Website at ):

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for the peoples of the earth to declare -
our interdependence with each other and with all the life-forms of the planet,
and our independence from efforts by the most powerful and most reckless among the national governments to create a new and global Empire;
Then a decent respect to the opinions of Humanity requires that we declare the causes that impel us to rise beyond the present Powers of the earth and to embody our planetary community in new social, political, and economic forms.
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all human beings are born with equal dignity and worth, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights: -
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;
to the sharing of community;
to a rhythm of worthy work and shared rest that frees time for family, neighborhood, citizenly service, and spiritual reflection;
to a life-sustaining share of the earth's abundance;
to peace among all peoples;
and to a responsible relationship amidst the whole web of life upon this planet.
The present government of the United States has violated our rights, broken our laws, thwarted our hopes, and blocked many of the paths to change.
Within the United States, its actions are concentrating undemocratic power in the hands of the super-rich and a few favored corporations;
In the world at large, its actions are concentrating undemocratic power in a small group of gigantic global corporations and its own military.
To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world: _______________ [See our list in web site above or name your own.]

What do we do about this? We might take the opportunity of the Fourth of July to reflect on our lives in the body politic, to read this new Declaration and reread the old one and discuss their meaning. To treat these texts the way some of us treat the Passover Seder -- learning it, teaching it, enriching it. And then, like those who in 1776 with courage and determination pledged to each other "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor" -- we might redeem the promise of our forebears and bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old, as they did.

Shalom, salaam, peace -- Arthur

SENATOR LINCOLN (202) 224-4843 Fax: (202) 228-1371.

Fayetteville office: 251-1380

Senator Mark Pryor: Phone: (202) 224-2353 Fax: (202) 228-0908

CONGRESSMAN Boozman: Lowell office: 479-725-0400.

DC address: 1708 Longworth House Office Bldng., Washington, DC 20515; 202-225-4301.

Dick Bennett

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July is buttonbush month in Northwest Arkansas wetland areas and along streams and ditches

PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE PHOTO of Buttonbush inflorescence on World Peace Wetland Prairie on June 2, 2008.

I have been asked why I discourage people from using radical clearing methods on wetland prairies, especially small parcels and urban parcels such as World Peace Wetland Prairie.
One of the main reasons is that some prairie and wetland native species need to grow tall and strong and not be cut bank or burned off if they are to reach their full potential.
The buttonbush is among the easiest to identify in this category at this time of year. The buttonbush is a sure marker of wetland when found growing in the wild. Its value to many species of wildlife is well-documented. And it is among the better native species for protecting riparian zones of streams from eroding.

Read what Texas A&M's Aquaplant Website has to say about the amazing buttonbush.

Plant Identification


Description Management Options Other Photos

Cephalanthus occidentalis
Buttonbush is a woody shrub (3-10 feet tall) that occasionally grows into a small tree and can be found above water or in water up to 4 feet deep. It has shiny dark-green spear-or egg-shaped pointed leaves 3 to 6 inches long. The leaves are opposite or whorled in 3's or 4's along the stem. Flowers of buttonbush are easily identified by their greenish-white tube flowers in dense ball-shaped clusters about 1 inch in diameter. Seed heads are brown.
Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc. ). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called "detritus") for many aquatic invertebrates. Buttonbush seeds are occasionally eaten by ducks but the bush itself is used for nesting by many bird species.

Emergent Plant Index
Alligator Weed
American Lotus
Banana Lily (Floating Heart)
Blue Flag
Bull Tongue
Common Reed
Cow Lily (Spatterdock)
Dollar Bonnet (Water Shield)
Floating Heart (Banana Lily)
Fragrant Water Lily (White Water Lily)
Giant Reed
Lizard's Tail
Mexican Water Lily (Yellow Water Lily) Pickerelweed
Smartweed (Water Pepper)
Soft Rush
Southern Watergrass
Spatterdock (Cow Lily)
Spike Rush
Water Pennywort
Water Pepper (Smartweed)
Water Primrose
Water Shield (Dollar Bonnet)
White Water Lily (Fragrant Water Lily)
Yellow Water Lily (Mexican Water Lily)
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Copyright (C) 2000-2008 Texas AgriLife Extension Service. All rights reserved.

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)