Tuesday, November 24, 2015


(#1, August 2, 2014)

For research purposes, specific subjects can be located in the following alphabetized index, and searched on the blog using the search box.  The search box is located in the upper left corner of the webpage. 
Newsletter Index:  http://omnicenter.org/dick-bennetts-peace-justice-and-ecology-newsletters/dicks-newsletter-index/
See:Arab Spring, Displaced Persons,  Indigenous People Genocide, Jewish Holocaust WWII, Korea, Syria, Tibet, Vietnam, Warming, Wars, etc!
(479) 442-4600
2582 Jimmie Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72703

Minimum number of people displaced since 2004 by World Bank projects: 3,350,449.
Portion of Syrians seeking asylum, since 2011 who have been hosted by Turkey: 2/5.
By the US: 1/7,700.
From “Harper’s Index,” Harper’s Magazine (July 2015).
Number of migrants who have entered Greece so far this year: 453,912.
Number who have applied for asylum there: 8,519
Percentage of Syrian asylum seekers in Germany who have been granted refugee status: 99.5.
Percentage of Afghan asylum seekers who have: 37.
Percentage of recently arrived adult immigrants to the US who have a bachelor’s degree: 41.
Percentage of native-born US adults who do: 30.
From “Harper’s Index,” Harper’s Magazine (Dec. 2015, 9). 


Win Without War, Contact Your Senators
Bernie Sanders
Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC)
US Writers

UNHCR UN High Commissioner for Refugees
UN WIRE Reports on Climate and Refugees

Choosing to Act from Love Instead of Fear
Political Struggle:  Win Without War, S.2145, the Middle East Refugee
      Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act
Schooling of Somalia Muslim Women in the US

Intervention in Syria Should Be More or Less?

Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCNL): “Our love for refugees as fellow humans, whose lives matter, needs to trump our fear of the violence they're running from.”  

ARKANSAS (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/ADG)
(See below for contacting Arkansas’ Senators and Representatives)
WWII Concentration Camps for Japanese-AMERICANS No Parallel
Governor Hutchinson:  No Room at the Arkansas Inn and No Stable
      Either—Only Greed, Jingoism, Xenophobia, National Security (i.e. Fear
      Down to His Socks), and Opportunism
Arkies Reply
The Christian Compassion Tradition
The US Political Tradition of a Nation of Immigrants
And More

Ann Medlock, Giraffe:  Paula Lucas Fleeing UAE

Refugees International, Population Displacement and Climate Change
Climate Displacement 2015,  Google Search, Nov. 21, 2015

McFadden, Rescue of Jewish Children from Nazi Germany
The Demise of the Homogeneous State in ME and West as Cause.
Tomgram, “the Great Unraveling”; John Feffer, “Splinterlands,” Looking Back
      from 2050

Equitable Education for Displaced Populations by Elinor L. Brown, Anna

Contact your Senators, Representatives, and President Obama

Give Me Your Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free
Angela Miller, Win Without   War  info@winwithoutwar.org via bounces.salsalabs.net 
2:54 PM (13 minutes ago)
to me   11-24-15
Dear Dick,
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the misnamed American SAFE Act, a bill to place major bureaucratic hurdles in the way of desperate people fleeing wars for which the U.S. bears some responsibility. Most, if not all, would not be welcomed.
Forty-seven Democrats joined all but two Republicans in supporting this wrong-headed reaction to the recent tragic attacks in Paris. The vote in the House is right on the cusp of the 2/3 majority needed to override a promised presidential veto.
We can’t let the Senate make the same mistake. While Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says he will keep a similar bill from even being voted on in the Senate, we need to raise our voices. The issue could be attached to a must-pass Omnibus spending bill in a few weeks, even if the Senate doesn’t vote on the House's anti-refugee bill.
The moral stakes are simple -- the golden rule on a global scale. What would we want for our families if our communities were torn apart by violence? The United States has a proud tradition of welcoming the persecuted. Now is no time to turn our backs on that.
We must send a strong message to the Senate to oppose any and ALL attempts, such as the American SAFE Act, to make it harder for refugees from Iraq and Syria to come to the U.S. Instead, we should not only welcome refugees, but provide more assistance to the innocent families seeking refuge.
The problem is that fear-mongers in Washington are bashing the current resettlement process and ignoring the fact that our rigorous system for screening refugees is working. The two-year process includes vetting by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense and multiple intelligence agencies long before refugees arrive in the United States. Priority is given to women and children, and only about 2,000 Syrian refugees have been allowed into the U.S. since 2011.
Thank you for working for peace,
Angela Miller
Digital Director
Win Without War
DonateFacebook Twitter
Win Without War, 2000 M Street NW, Suite 720, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-3317 | info@winwithoutwar.org


Can you add your name to Bernie's Syrian refugee petition today?

Official Bernie 2016  Unsubscribe
11:46 AM (5 hours ago)
to me 
The response to Bernie’s email in the last 48 hours has been incredible. 
Our movement is proving that now is the time to stand with refugees fleeing violence — not give in to the racism and bigotry being spouted by Republican candidates. Can you add your name to Bernie’s petition today?
See Bernie's original email to you below:
Bernie Sanders for President
Dick -
My father Eli immigrated to America from Poland in 1921 after World War I at the age of 17. He was not a refugee fleeing war, although much of his family later became victims of the Holocaust. He came to America looking to make a better life. He never made a lot of money, but it didn’t matter because he was able to start a family and send his two sons to college. That meant the world to him and he loved this country.
While my father came here as an immigrant, many have also come as refugees fleeing war, oppression and violence. That's why I opposed the call of some to turn away unaccompanied children who showed up on our borders from Latin America. We must not allow the horrific violence we have seen in France and elsewhere to turn us from our historic role as a haven for the oppressed.
In terms of the Syrian refugee situation we are now facing, now is not the time for us to succumb to racism and bigotry. In this moment, it is particularly important that we not allow ourselves to be divided by the anti-immigrant hysteria that Republican presidential candidates are ginning up.
When hundreds of thousands of people have lost everything and have nothing left but the shirts on their backs, we should not turn our backs on these refugees escaping violence in the Middle East. Of course we have to investigate the backgrounds of people coming into the country — and we will — but to suggest that we would even turn away orphans is incredible.
The rhetoric and fear mongering about these refugees from some Republicans running for President is abhorrent and has no place in our political discourse.
Donald Trump has not just called for keeping out Syrian refugees, he also said he thinks it's a good idea to create a national database of all Muslims in America. Meanwhile, Ben Carson said some Syrian refugees are like "rabid dogs" and referred to the rest of Syrian refugees as just "dogs." This disgusting rhetoric cannot be tolerated.
Other Republicans have suggested rounding up existing refugees and deporting them. And yesterday afternoon, the House of Representatives voted on a plan that would make it near impossible for the United States to continue our Syrian refugee program.
This is not what America stands for.
Syrians and other refugees from the Middle East are escaping unspeakable horrors. To get to our country, refugees already go through a vigorous vetting program by the FBI, National Counterterrorism Center, Homeland Security and the State Department. The process takes almost two years and refugees from Syria face additional scrutiny.
We should continue our program to provide Syrians fleeing violence with the opportunity for a new life. I hope you’ll join me to stand together to admit Syrian refugees. Sign my petition here:
Thank you for standing with me and making your voice heard on this important issue.
In solidarity,  Bernie SandersSIGN OUR PETITION

Sue Udry, Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation info@bordc.org via mail.salsalabs.net 
12:03 PM (3 hours ago)
to me   11-23-15

Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Defending Dissent Foundation

Dear Dick,
Vile politicians are exploiting the Paris attacks to spew hate and recycle unconstitutional and fake solutions like more surveillance and government sanctioned Islamophobia.
Almost as soon as the attacks were launched, and certainly without any evidence of who the attackers were, where they came from, or how the attack had been planned, blowhards were pressing their narrative to a compliant media.
We have to push back hard.
Here’s what we’re up against:
·  The House just passed legislation to make it impossible for refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq to enter this country, while various Governors disgrace themselves by saying they will bar refugees from their state;
·  A bill to promote government-sanctioned Islamophobia will likely get a vote in the House soon;
·  A former CIA director said Snowden has blood on his hands for the Pairs attacks, the current CIA director seemed to agree. Legislation to repeal reforms to mass surveillance will not be far behind;
·  FBI Director James Comey used the attacks to renew his call for U.S. companies to give law enforcement and intelligence agencies a way into our encrypted devices and communications.
We’ve seen this pattern before, when there is fear, reactionaries will seize the opportunity to try to institute repressive, and usually racist, measures.
Let’s not let it happen again.
Thanks. You will be hearing from us again, this is not going to go away anytime soon.
Stay Loud, Stay Strong,
Sue Udry
P.S. The actual facts about the Paris attackers:
·  none were refugees from Syria or Iraq,
·  they communicated using text messages and other un-encrypted means,
·  they did not evade surveillance, most of them were known to French, Turkish and U.S. intelligence agencies

Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Defending Dissent Foundation
8 Bridge St. Suite A, Northampton MA 01060
(413) 582-0110 · info@bordc.org

US AUTHORS: allow the refugees in. 
Good morning! Here's your daily digest of money-in-politics news and the headlines of the day, compiled by BillMoyers.com’s John Light.

Home of the brave --> An open letter signed by a dozen of America's leading authors reminds Congress that its fear of Syrian refugees is unfounded and anti-American: "Refugees are not the enemy. Refugees are our spouses, our parents, our grandparents. Some among us are refugees themselves; others have experienced the violence of war. But we are all writers. As such it is our duty to bear witness." The writers (Reza Aslan, Geraldine Brooks, Teju Cole, Aleksandar Hemon, Marlon James, Phil Klay, Laila Lalami, Yiyun Li, Tom Lutz, Maaza Mengiste, Gary Shteyngart and Jane Smiley) call on Congress to rethink its actions and allow the refugees in. 

UNHCR 2015, Google Search Nov. 23, 2015
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UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2015.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
5 June 2015 · Guidelines on International Protection No. 10: Claims to Refugee Status related to Military Service within the context of Article 1A (2) of the 1951 ...
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UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency. Français Share: Email · Facebook · Reddit · StumbleUpon · Digg · Delicious.
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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Annual budget reached US$7 billion for 2015. ... UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update - Populations of concern to UNHCR · UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2015 ...
In the news
Deutsche Welle - 3 hours ago
Jordan Times - 2 days ago


NOVEMBER 23, 2015

News covering the UN and the world

Quote of the Day
@UNFoundation: What does#OrangeTheWorld mean? Find out here from @UN_Women, and spread the word: bit.ly/1tqnMQY#16days
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UN Dispatch
"This outbreak could be linked to individuals deemed to have been cured from Ebola, suggesting that the virus can live on in individuals for months after symptoms lapse." UN Dispatch (11/23)
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United Nations
UN report: Weather-related disasters have high economic cost 
The world is paying $250 billion to $300 billion annually to cope with weather-related disasters, says a report from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. A global pact on carbon emissions will help temper such disasters, says Margareta Wahlstrom, UNISDR's chief.International Business Times (11/23)
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Health & Development
World Bank's Kim: Climate pact will keep millions out of poverty 
A global climate pact to curb carbon emissions is essential to bringing millions out of poverty and keep others from economic decline, writes Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank. "By doing the right thing, we will also push forward the cause of justice -- we can preserve the planet for future generations and end extreme poverty," he writes.The Guardian (London) (11/

Climate and Energy
UN: 138 world leaders to attend start of climate talks 
The United Nations climate-change talks in Paris may begin on Sunday, a day earlier than scheduled. Nearly 140 world leaders have said they will attend. Climate Home (11/23), Reuters (11/23)
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Peacekeeping and Security
Analysis: China re-evaluating role in Syrian crisis 
China is finding its neutral stance in Syria threatened by the Islamic State's actions, some experts say. Bloomberg(11/22)
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Syrian Refugees

Hysteria Rattles US Brains
Syrian Refugees and Japanese-American Internees?
Virginia Mayor David Bowers cited the mass detention of Japanese-Americans during WWII to bolster his opposition to allowing Syrian refugees to resettle in the US.  The parallel he thought?  The US interned dangerous “foreign nationals” guilty or suspected of espionage and sabotage.   But Star Trek star George Takei, who was interned at age 5 at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Arkansas in 1942, reminded Bowers that there was no evidence of espionage or sabotage.  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Nov. 20, 2015).  And none for Syrians fleeing toward the US, and there is and will be thorough screening.

The Syrian Refugee Crisis and the ‘Do Something’ Lie By Adam Johnson.  FAIR. 


Syrian refugees coming ashore in Greece (photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/Getty)
Photo of Syrian refugees coming ashore on the Greek island of Lesbos that accompanied the Guardian‘s editorial (9/3/15) condemning “the refusal to intervene against Bashar al-Assad.” (photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/Getty)
It didn’t take long for the universal and entirely justified outrage over a picture of a dead three-year-old to be funneled by the “do something” pundits to justify regime change in Syria. The “do something” crowd wants us to “do something” about the refugee crisis and “solve” the “bigger problem,” which, of course, involves regime change. To create the moral urgency and to tether the refugee crisis to their long-standing warmongering, these actors have to insist the US has “done nothing” about Syria. Here’s the Guardian editorial from Thursday:
The optimism of the Arab spring is spent. Colonel Gaddafi was a tyrant, yet Libya has unravelled violently in the aftermath of his removal. The refusal to intervene against Bashar al-Assad gave the Syrian president permission to continue murdering his people.
Here’s London Mayor Boris Johnson in the Telegraph:
I perfectly accept that intervention has not often worked. It has been a disaster in Iraq; it has been a disaster in Libya. But can you honestly say that non-intervention in Syria has been a success? If we keep doing nothing about the nightmare in Syria, then frankly we must brace ourselves for an eternity of refugees, more people suffocating in airless cattle trucks at European motorway service stations, more people trying to climb the barbed wire that we are building around the European Union.
And here’s an op-ed by Michael Gerson in the Washington Post from the same day:
At many points during the past four years, even relatively small actions might have reduced the pace of civilian casualties in Syria. How hard would it have been to destroy the helicopters dropping barrel bombs on neighborhoods? A number of options well short of major intervention might have reduced the regime’s destructive power and/or strengthened the capabilities of more responsible forces. All were untaken.
But this is all a fantasy. The US has been “intervening” in the Syrian civil war, in measurable and significant ways, since at least 2012—most notably by arming, funding and training anti-Assad forces. According to a report in the Washington Post from June:
At $1 billion, Syria-related operations account for about $1 of every $15 in the CIA’s overall budget, judging by spending levels revealed in documents the Washington Post obtained from former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
US officials said the CIA has trained and equipped nearly 10,000 fighters sent into Syria over the past several years — meaning that the agency is spending roughly $100,000 per year for every anti-Assad rebel who has gone through the program.
In addition to this, the Obama administration has engaged in crippling sanctions against the Assad government, provided air support for those looking to depose him, incidentally funneled arms to ISIS, and not incidentally aligned the CIA-backed Free Syrian Army with Al Qaeda. Regardless of one’s position on Syria—or whether they think the US is somehow secretly in alliance with Assad, as some advance—one thing cannot be said: that the US has “done nothing in Syria.” This is historically false.
Most of those advocating for the removal of Assad probably know this, but can’t say “the US should do more,” or “they haven’t done enough,” because this would raise the uncomfortable question of what they have done already. And the answer to that, as is with most US meddling in other countries, is a lot of covert programs US officials—and thus their court press—can’t openly acknowledge. So those in the establishment media are left to do a strange dance: at once ignoring all the US has already done while insisting the US should join a fight it’s been a party to for over three years.
Another idea being advanced, for instance in the Guardian op-ed above, is the creation of a no-fly zone to help stem the tide of refugees:
To begin restoring that hope will inevitably mean international intervention of some kind. The establishment of credible safe havens and the implementation of a no-fly zone must be on the table for serious consideration.
Two things before discussing this further:
A) A no-fly zone would only be applied to Assad because anti-Assad forces don’t have an air force.
B)  While it may sound like a simple humanitarian stop gap—and that’s no doubt how it’s being sold—literally every no-fly zone in history has eventually led to regime change. Which is fair enough, but those pushing for one should at least be honest about what this means: the active removal of Assad by foreign forces. Indeed, if one recalls the NATO intervention in Libya was originally sold as a no-fly zone to prevent a potential genocide, but within a matter of weeks, NATO leaders had pivoted to full-on regime change.
But here again, there’s some serious fudging going on by the Guardian. While there’s no doubt many of the refugees are escaping Assad’s bombing of cities, the boy in question, Aylan Kurdi, wasn’t: He was escaping ISIS and the US bombing of his hometown of Kobani, far from anything the Assad government is doing. A no-fly zone would not have saved his hometown. An absence of fueling jihadists by the United States and thesubsequent bombing of said jihadists by the United States? Perhaps.
Once again, the disease becomes the cure, because a holistic diagnosis is not being advanced by Western media—only an evil dictator vs. freedom fighter cartoon. And why wouldn’t it? These nuances complicate the messy narrative of “If we get rid of Assad we can solve the crisis,” which has been US and UK orthodoxy since 2011. But the Guardian still has all their work ahead of them: If the West removes Assad, then what? Will the tens of thousands of radical, medieval wahabbists that have flooded in simply go away? Will the US bombing of ISIS simply stop?
The US funded, armed and fueled the very crisis its partisan media are now calling for it to swoop in and save. The moral ADD required by those pushing further US involvement in the Syrian civil war in the face of this fact is severe. That some in the media, eager to settle old scores, would so blatantly ignore history to indulge this fantasy is as pernicious as it is predictable.

Portion of Syrians seeking asylum since 2011 who have been hosted by Turkey: 2/5.
By the US: 1/7,700.
From “Harper’s Index,” Harper’s Magazine (July 2015).


Stephen Miles, Win Without War           info@winwithoutwar.org via bounces.salsalabs.net 
4:12 PM (50 minutes ago)
to me
Email Your Senators
Ask them to cosponsor S.2145 to provide refuge for Syria's refugees.
Dear Dick,

Four million people have fled Syria so far, yet the U.S. has shamefully only accepted 1,500 of those refugees.
Fortunately, Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Graham (R-SC) have introduced a bill that would provide an additional $1 billion in emergency funding to respond to the refugee crisis, including costs associated with the resettlement of refugees here. Their bill, officially titled S.2145, the Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, could potentially support the resettlement of 100,000 Syrian refugees in the next two years.
The world has been shocked and saddened by the plight of millions of refugees fleeing the horrific civil war in Syria. While we have often emailed you about ways to stop that conflict, today we're asking for your help in protecting the men, women, and children whose lives have been destroyed by the war. Yet, while so many of us have stood up to help those in need, we have also seen the heartless xenophobia of Donald Trump and others who would close our nation's borders to those in need of safe harbor.
From World War II to Vietnam, America has always opened its doors to those in need of safe harbor, and today should be no different. Senators Leahy and Graham have taken this courageous first step, acknowledging that, to do the right thing, our government will need additional resources. While U.S. taxpayers have already spent an astonishing $6.5 billion in the failed effort to bomb our way to peace in Syria, resources to protect those in need have been severely lacking. The UN's refugee agency has raised just 43% of the funds it needs to aid Syria's refugees this year, and that need is only growing. While more - much more - needs to be done to both aid Syria's refugees and end the conflict from which they are fleeing, S. 2145 is an important first step towards fixing America's broken policy towards the Syrian Civil War.
Thank you for working for peace,
Stephen Miles
Advocacy Director
Win Without War
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GovTrack  Oct 6, 2015 - ... Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, ... as used in this Act shall be as defined in section 7034(t)(1) of division J ...  S. 2145
United States Government Publishing Office
Oct 6, 2015 - BILL. To make supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2016. Be it enacted by the ... refugee crisis resulting from conflict in the Middle East,. 12. VerDate ... et and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, except that. 5 such amount ... 7034(t)(1) of division J of the Consolidated and Further. 9. Continuing ...
Oct 30, 2015 - Why isn't more funding coming from U.S. charitable donors and ... to pass the bipartisan Middle East Refugee Supplemental Appropriations Act, which ...Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance, $50m, $50m, $250m.
At last, a bipartisan push has begun in Congress to help Syrian refugees in ... 2145, theMiddle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act." ... If we don't speak up, we leave the debate to those calling for America to turn our ...
dyn.realclearpolitics.com › ... › 114th Congress › s2145

Educated for Change?
Muslim Refugee Women in the West
Patricia Buck, Bates College and Matawi, Inc.
Rachel Silver, Matawi, Inc.
A volume in the series Education Policy in Practice: Critical Cultural Studies
. . . .Following an initial introduction to the ethno-historical formation and dissolution of the Somali postcolonial state resulting in a prolonged exodus of Somali citizens, the text is divided into two parts. Part One features an examination of young women’s approaches to schooling in the Dadaab refugee camps of northeastern Kenya; Part Two looks at schooling among Somali women resettled in a northern region of the United States. Each part includes a description of the unique, if interconnected, local factors and policies that give rise to particular forms and ends of schooling as designed for refugee women. Several chapters depict women’s strategic use of schooling to respond to structural forces, build intercultural social networks, and negotiate new ways of being Somali women.

Educated for Change? concludes with an analysis of the implications of Somali refugee women’s schooling experiences for working definitions of global
social justice that undergird feminist political scholarship and gender-sensitive, humanitarian aid policy and practice

Christine Letts, FCNL fcnlinfo@fcnl.org via uark.edu 
Nov. 21, 2015   4:51 PM (15 hours ago)
to James


Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
From “The New Colossus” by  Emma Lazarus
Dear James,
Living in the capital, and as a chronic worrier, the recent attacks in Paris, Beirut, Kano, and Bamako have shaken me. Acts of terrorism are scary -- that's the point. So I can't tell you not to be afraid. I can tell you what I'm trying: choosing to act from love, not fear. In policy and everyday life, I think that's how we're stronger.
This week, the House voted overwhelmingly to pause the Syrian refugee resettlement program. Consider that for a moment. Congress is poised to turn away people fleeing violence, in search of shelter. Over the past four and a half years of civil war, an average of 146 Syrians have been killed per day, according to conservative estimates. Put another way, Syria has faced the equivalent of the Paris attacks every single day for years. Our love for refugees as fellow humans, whose lives matter, needs to trump our fear of the violence they're running from.
Our staff offered their perspectives: Ruth Flower on the power of fear, Diane Randall on Syrian refugees, and Jim Cason on ways forward.
·  President Obama: An interesting take on how this president entrenched the "war on terror."
·  Immigration: Most agree that the immigration system is broken -- the question is how to fix it.
·  Book recommendation: From Executive Secretary Emeritus Ed Snyder, Why Civil Resistance Worksby Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan.
·  Racism on campus: A recent wave of student protests, and backlash against them, has highlighted theongoing, often institutional racism in universities today.
·  Politics at Thanksgiving: Instead of trying to win debating points, try to listen -- and other helpful tips.
https://ci3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/_eXgUeEuNsiNarbfp2Rep_Av7Xwh0WPwyzHOSO4CsqtYyh3nPP3R5m0s7xZmPWUrDnx73FmfOnylqNHyRN37TO_fHmBCvdc=s0-d-e1-ft#http://fcnl.org/about/who/staff/christine-150.jpgChristine Letts
Communications Associate
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This email was sent to: jbennet@uark.edu
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Giraffe Founder Ann Medlock amedlock@giraffe.org via uark.edu 
5:45 PM (1 hour ago)
to James  11-9-15



Dear James,

As I figure out Thanksgiving plans here, I find myself hugely thankful for the fine people all over the world whose stories we've been able to tell for 
over three decades now.

And I'm grateful for you, reading about these heroes and, I hope, finding your life enriched. Thanks for being there!

As long as there are Giraffes--like Paula Lucas, the brand new Giraffe you'll meet below--and Giraffe admirers--like you--there's hope.

Happy Thanksgiving.--Ann Medlock, Founder

Getting Families to Safety


Paula Lucas seemed to be living a great life--a good career in advertising, an accomplished husband, three healthy sons--a happy family living comfortably in the United Arab Emirates.

But the accomplished husband beat his wife regularly, and then his sons. Lucas kept silent until he started on the boys. An American citizen, she went to the US embassy for help and was told that his behavior was not illegal under UAE law, and that helping her could cause an international incident. She was on her own.

When her photojournalist husband was on assignment in Europe, Lucas managed to find the passports he had hidden. She forged his name on a Permission to Travel document that she and the boys needed to get on a plane. They made a run for it. A run for home.

But they were on the run in the US too, stalked by a furious husband citing international law that declared the boys "abducted." Through months of fighting against the boys' return to the UAE, Lucas was moving them from one homeless shelter to another, and working several jobs to support them. At the same time, she started a hotline for other women who might still be trapped in abusive marriages, far from home.

She won in an Oregon court; the boys are safe, and so is she. And thanks to her compassion for other families in crisis, women living in 175 countries can call her hotline and get the help they need to get themselves and their kids to safety. Every month at least one more family makes it out of a nightmare, thanks to Paula Lucas.

You can follow her work at www.866uswomen.org.

Some things you can do now

Forward this to people you know who need to know there are heroes among us.

Go to www.giraffe.org and fill your day with the inspiration and information you'll find there.
The conversation is lively, and there's a hero from our storybank posted there every single day.
Here's to a life lived with meaning--
your life.

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ARKANSAS (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/ADG)

Governor Hutchinson Joins Other Governors in Rejecting Syrian Refugees::  No Room at the Arkansas Inn and No Stable
      Either— National Security and Public Fear Cover Opportunism, Greed, Jingoism, and Xenophobia.

Arkies Reply to the Governor  (all of the immediately following in ADG 11-20-15, p. 7B)
The Christian tradition offers a powerful rebuke to the Governor.
Byard Miller, “Exceptions Aren’t Rule,” invites Christian denominations to speak out against the “the state,” citing the New Testament’s concern for the poor and needy.
A letter by Jim Wohlleb, Little Rock, “Reflecting Traditions,” praises “the Arkansas Catholic Diocese, United Methodist bishop, and many religious people for their forthright welcomes to desperate immigrants who seek shelter!  They are reflecting ancient tenets of Abrahamic (and other) traditions—compassion and care for strangers and the needy.”
In the guest column “Passing Judgment: Parallels in the Christmas Story,”  Khalid Ahmadzai recounts the story of the birth of Jesus born in a stable after his parents Joseph and pregnant Mary were rejected by the innkeeper.  “Now when you think of Mary and Joseph knocking on the door of the inn, think of the Syrian refugees.  When you think of the innkeeper, think of those who refuse refugees in their states.  And when you think of the possible bad guy in the middle of these refugees, well, think of Judas Iscariot. . . .”  Ahmadzai is a degree candidate at the Clinton School of Public Service.
Succinctly this letter from Jean Gordon, “It Would Just Be Silly”: “I guess Christian churches in Arkansas will not be celebrating Christmas this year with pageants about a Middle Eastern couple desperately seeking shelter.”  Gordon is the founder of Arkansas’ WAND chapter.

And in the US Political Tradition as a Nation of Immigrants,
Arkies Remember the Statue of Liberty, “Mother of Exiles,” and the poem “The New Colossus”  by Emma Lazarus inscribed in its base: “’Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’”
The ADG 11-20-15, p. 6B, included the text of the Emma Lazarus’ Statue of Liberty poem “The New Colossus” illustrated by a drawing of the Statue and accompanied by the question: “Who Knew that the Statue of Liberty Had a Name?” and the reply: “Mother of Exiles.”
 Dennis Schellhase of Little Rock  in “For We Are Americans” urges readers after prudent diligence to embrace Lazarus and “not to fear,” but to welcome the tired, poor, “’huddled masses yearning to be free.’”   “…our greatest weapons in this war for hearts and minds are compassion, decency, humanity and liberty—not fear and isolationism.”
Janet Tarkington of Hot Springs in “Punishing the Many” also quotes from Lazarus’ poem and exhorts Gov. Hutchinson to reject “the guise and fear of terrorism, for what a few have done,” and to “do the right thing toward these brave individuals who have been forced to risk their lives to leave their country.”

Arkies Remember Past Racism, Call for Screening, and Ask for Limits
Pat Oakes, Little Rock, in “Built by Immigrants” places the Governor’s shut door to Syrians fleeing for their lives in the contexts of our earlier injustices against  Native Americans and “the racism that we see every day.”  “Wake up people, this country was built by immigrants.”
L. H. Fordyce, “Must Have Boundaries,” supports helping the Syrian refugees after “thinking things through” and “they are carefully screened.”
A regular columnist, Dana Kelley, “An Immigration Primer,” defends US “long history of saying yes to relatively few immigrants and no to many more others, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of,” because “immigration policy ought to be about what’s best for the country, not what’s best for immigrants.”

Finally, a cartoon by Plante depicts a character with large, curled mustache wearing a black hat saying: “We can’t be letting those Syrian refugees into this country….It’s too easy fer them to git guns.”

IS THE ADG SO WELCOMING OF REFUGEES in other numbers?   Other editorial pages also give access to those who would bar the Syrians seeking asylum.   November 24, 2015 Letters present two writers who support Governor Hutchinson’s fear of terrorists and three writers who reject fear and support refugees: Arthur Luck supporting Pres. Obama, Sally Mays citing Jesus, and Bill Farrell the US Constitution and well-established screening procedures.  Farrell reasons: “To exclude people because they might cause harm [judges] whole blocs of people by the actions of a few.”


[Not rescued by the US]
Nicholas Winton, Rescuer of 669 Children From Holocaust, Dies at 106
A family picture of Nicholas Winton with one of the hundreds of Jewish children whose lives he saved during World War II. CreditPress Association, via Associated Press
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Nicholas Winton, a Briton who said nothing for a half-century about his role in organizing the escape of 669 mostly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, a righteous deed like those of Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg, died on Wednesday in Maidenhead, England. He was 106.
The Rotary Club of Maidenhead, of which Mr. Winton was a former president, announced his death on its website. He lived in Maidenhead, west of London.
It was only after Mr. Winton’s wife found a scrapbook in the attic of their home in 1988 — a dusty record of names, pictures and documents detailing a story of redemption from the Holocaust — that he spoke of his all-but-forgotten work in the deliverance of children who, like the parents who gave them up to save their lives, were destined for Nazi concentration camps and extermination.

The Demise of the Homogeneous State [and the refugee crisis caused by Western interventions].
The Decline of the Western Ethnic State – An Analysis (24 September 2015) by Lawrence Davidson  [I read this in The Humanist (Nov. Dec. 2015).  –Dick]
 Part I – The “Ideal State”
 If you were transported back to Europe in 1900 and asked educated citizens to describe the ideal political arrangement, what they would outline to you is a homogeneous nation-state: France for the French, Germany for the Germans, Italy for the Italians, and the like. They would note exceptions, but describe them as unstable. For instance, at this time the Austro-Hungarian Empire was, ethnically, a very diverse place, but it was politically restless. Come World War I, ethnic desires for self-rule and independence would help tear this European-centered multinational empire apart. In truth, even those states that fancied themselves ethnically unified were made up of many regional outlooks and dialects, but the friction these caused was usually minor enough to allow the ideal of homogeneity to prevail. The ethnically unified nation-state was almost everyone’s “ideal state.”

This standard of homogeneity started to break down after World War II. After this war the foreign empires run by many of Europe’s homogeneous states were in retreat and in their wake came a slew of new nations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Simultaneously, the impact of the end of empire on the European nations was to have their own homogeneous status eroded. For instance, when Great Britain set up the Commonwealth as a substitute for empire she allowed freer immigration into England for Commonwealth citizens. The result was an influx of people of color from former British colonies in Africa, India-Pakistan and the Caribbean. A similar thing happened as the French empire crumbled. With its demise many North Africans, as well as Vietnamese Catholics, went to France. Later, Turks would go to Germany, a preference that reflected the close relations between Berlin and the defunct Ottoman Empire. Then came the formation of the European Union (EU) in 1993, which facilitated the flow of labor across European borders. Now citizens of one EU state could go and work in any other member state.

In other words, the twenty or thirty years following World War II marked the beginning of the end of the Western homogeneous state.

Part II – The Refugee Crisis
 Now we may be witnessing the final stage of that demise. The present refugee crisis resulting from wars raging in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya, among other places in the Middle East, has set in movement millions of displaced people. Many of these refugees are heading for Europe.

While initially most of the European Union leaders showed some willingness to take in substantial numbers of refugees, strong resistance from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic caused a pause in the effort. This was a predictable moment. All established populations, even relatively diverse ones, fear that their cultural norms and economic advantages will be threatened by large waves of new immigrants. At the extreme, one finds ideologically and religiously defined nations such as the Arab Gulf states and the allegedly Westernized Israel (itself a product of an overwhelming refugee invasion of Palestine) refusing to take in any of the present refugees. Even in a country such as the United States, which is historically built upon the inflow of diverse populations, it is politically difficult to open borders to new refugees in need. Initially, announcing a willingness to allow an embarrassingly small number of 10,000 refugees to enter, Washington has increased that to 100,000 between now and 2017.

Getting back to the European scene, the pressures now building on the borders eventually resulted in a EU decision, allegedly binding on all its 28 member states, to speed up the intake screening process for refugees and distribute the accepted numbers across the EU countries. How many will ultimately be allowed into Europe is still unclear. If the leaders of Europe are smart about it they will go beyond merely symbolic numbers. If they are not, then there will be concentration camps on their borders and eventual violence that will mark a dark period in their supposed civilized histories. Controlled or not, in the end, many of the refugees will probably find a way in.

Part III – Ironic Justice
 [Interventions in the ME by Western powers caused the mass displacement of populations.]
There is ironic justice in this prospect. After all, the wars that have uprooted so many were triggered by Western intervention in the Middle East. One can thank George W. Bush and his neoconservative colleagues (along with British allies) for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That action set loose the forces that have subsequently displaced the people who make up the bulk of today’s refugees. To this can be added the 2011 NATO intervention in the civil war in Libya, in which France, Italy and the U.S. led the way. This action has prolonged the anarchy in that country and is one of the reasons that 300,000 people attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea in the direction of Europe in 2015 alone. At least 2,500 of them died in the attempt.
 It is a testimony to the fact that the average citizen has little knowledge and less interest in their nation’s foreign policies that few in Europe and the U.S. recognize, much less acknowledge, responsibility for the present disaster.

Part IV – Conclusion
The population in western and central Europe has been shifting in the direction of diversity for the last seventy years, and that of the United States more or less consistently since the nation’s founding. Along with diversity comes a complementary, if perhaps more gradual, shift in culture.
 Opposing this historical trend is the fact that anti-immigrant resistance among established national populations is almost a default position. However, this is like spitting in the wind. In the long term, the evolution of populations moves from homogeneity to diversity. It is just a matter of how long the process takes.
 Thus, from every angle, ethical as well as historical, the way to approach the present refugee crisis is to allow, in a controlled but adequately responsive way, the inflow of those now running from the ravages of invasion and civil war.
       In so doing we should accept the demise of the homogeneous state. Whether it is Germany, France, Hungary, Israel or Burma, the concept is historically untenable and neither raises nor even maintains our civilizational standards. Rather it grinds them down into the dust of an inhumane xenophobia.

Tomgram: On the Verge of the Great Unraveling 
John Feffer, Splinterlands: The View from 2050 
TomDispatch tomdispatch@nationinstitute.org via uark.edu 
8:10 AM (8 hours ago)
to James  11-10-15
TomDispatch.com: A Regular Antidote to the Mainstream Media


The figures are staggering. In what looks like a vast population transfer from a disintegrating Greater Middle East, nearly 200,000refugees passed through Austria in September alone. About half a million desperate refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere have arrived in Greece since 2015 began (those, that is, who don’t die at sea), and the numbers are only expected to rise.  Seven hundred children a day have been claiming asylum somewhere in Europe (190,000 between January and September 2015). And at least three million refugees and migrants from the planet’s war and desperation zones are expected to head for Europe in 2016.

Under the circumstances, I’m sure it won’t surprise you that, once the first upbeat stories about welcoming European crowds had died down, the truncheons and water cannons came out in some parts of the continent and the walls began to go up. Nor, I’m sure, will you be shocked to learn that an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim fervor is now gripping parts of Europe, while far-right parties are, not coincidentally, on the rise. This is true in France, where Marine Le Pen’s virulently anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-European-Union National Front is expected to make significant gains in local elections this winter (and Le Pen herself is leading early opinion polls in the race for the presidency), while in “tolerant” Sweden a far-right party with neo-Nazi ties is garnering more than 25% of the prospective vote in opinion polls. In Poland, an extreme party wielding anti-refugee rhetoric just swept into power. And so it goes across much of Europe these days.

All of this (and more) represents a stunning development that could, sooner or later, reverse the increasingly integrated nature of Europe, raise walls and barriers across the continent, and irreversibly fracture the European Union, while increasing nationalistic fervor and god knows what else. In the United States, in a somewhat more muted way, you can see similar developments in what’s being talked about here as an “outsider” election, but is, in fact, significantly focused on keeping outsiders separated from insiders. (Just Google Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and immigrants, and you'll see what I mean.) Isn’t it strange how we always speak of the “tribal” when it comes to Africa or the backlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but never when it comes to our world? And yet, if these aren’t, broadly speaking, “tribal” responses, what are?

Should the flood of desperate refugees from the failed or failing states of the Greater Middle East sooner or later alter the configuration and politics of Europe, then perhaps we will finally be able to write a true obituary for the invasion of Iraq that George W. Bush & Co. launched with such blind confidence. After all, how many single acts in historical memory, other than perhaps the assassination of an archduke in 1914, have potentially altered the political configuration of such vast stretches of the planet in more radical and devastating ways?

Of course, the future remains eternally unknown and invariably holds its surprises. Fortunately for TomDispatch readers, however, it will prove far less unknown because among our far-flung authors we happen to have one, John Feffer, with the ability to channel a geo-paleontologist who’s had some experience with the world 35 years from now and so, unlike the rest of us, can look back on our planetary fate from what turns out to be a distinctly dystopian future.Tom
The View from 2050 
By John Feffer
Let me start with a confession. I’m old-fashioned and I have an old-fashioned profession. I’m a geo-paleontologist. That means I dig around in archives to exhume the extinct: all the empires and federations and territorial unions that have passed into history. I practically created the profession of geo-paleontology as a young scholar in 2020. (We used to joke that we were the only historians with true 2020 hindsight). Now, my profession is becoming as extinct as its subject matter.
Today, in 2050, fewer and fewer people can recall what it was like to live among those leviathans. Back in my youth, we imagined that lumbering dinosaurs like Russia and China and the European Union would endure regardless of the global convulsions taking place around them. Of course, at that time, our United States still functioned as its name suggests rather than as a motley collection of regional fragments that today fight over a shrinking resource base.
Empires, like adolescents, think they’ll live forever. In geopolitics, as in biology, expiration dates are never visible. When death comes, it’s always a shock.

Migrants and Refugees:
Equitable Education for Displaced Populations
Elinor L. Brown, University of Kentucky
Anna Krasteva, New Bulgarian University
A volume in the series International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice
2013. Paperback 9781623964665 $45.99. Hardcover 9781623964672 $85.99. eBook 9781623964689 $50
International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice is an international research monograph series of scholarly works that
primarily focus on empowering students (children, adolescents, and young adults) from diverse current circumstances and historic beliefs and traditions to become non-exploited/non-exploitive contributing members of the global community. The series draws on the research and innovative practices of investigators, academics, and community organizers around the globe that have contributed to the evidence base for developing sound educational policies, practices, and programs that optimize all students' potential. Each volume includes multidisciplinary theory, research, and practices that provide an enriched understanding of the drivers of human potential via education to assist others in exploring, adapting, and replicating innovative strategies that enable ALL students to realize their full potential. This volume provides the reader with promising policies and practices that promote social justice and educational opportunity for the many displaced populations (migrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, and immigrants) around the globe. The volume is divided into four sections that offer: (1) insights into the educational integration of displaced children in industrialized nations, (2) methods of creating pedagogies of harmony within school environments, (3) ways to nurture school success by acknowledging and respecting the cultural traditions of newcomers, and finally (4) strategies to forge pathways to educational equity. Overall, this volume contributes to the body of knowledge on equitable educational opportunities for displaced youth and will be a valuable resource for all who seek to enable the displaced a place at the political, economic, and social table of civil society.



Climate Displacement

The Bacon Center for the Study of Climate Displacement was established at Refugees International in August 2009 thanks to a generous financial contribution made by Ken & Darcy Bacon just before Mr. Bacon’s death. The Center works to enhance understanding of the complex relationship between environmental degradation, natural disasters, climate change, and displacement, and to address the shortcomings in related legal, policy, and institutional frameworks.  In assisting populations experiencing or at risk of climate-induced displacement, we have found that vulnerability to climate change is a function of a country’s exposure to natural hazards such as floods, storms and droughts as well as underlying factors such as poverty, social injustice and weak government capacity to respond.  Thus, most at risk are not only the world’s poorest countries – such as Haiti and Bangladesh – but also its most conflict prone including Afghanistan, Burma, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.  Advocating for a more effective response to climate displacement is linked to other priority issues for RI, including strengthening the humanitarian response to natural disasters and UN peacekeeping efforts, improving the global response to neglected crises and internal displacement, and achieving citizenship for stateless people.
Today, more and more people are being forced from their homes by weather-related disasters, environmental degradation and changing climactic conditions. Over the past several decades, natural disasters have increased in force and frequency and are responsible for displacing over 36 million people in 2008 alone. In addition, growing water scarcity, desertification, and decreased agricultural output are causing more people to migrate to support livelihoods.  Access to scarce natural resources has the potential to exacerbate conflict.  The war in Darfur, for example, resulted partly from conflict over arable land that has diminished as the desert expands.  In the future, climate change will increasingly harm  some of the world’s most vulnerable populations through greater weather variability, water scarcity, and severe environmental degradation. 
The most dramatic impacts of climate-induced displacement, such as the complete submersion of island states like the Maldives, are many decades in the future.  But today, increased displacement due to more frequent large-scale natural disasters is challenging an already stressed international humanitarian system.  As recent floods in Pakistan and Colombia have showed, the current system is ill-prepared to effectively respond.
·         Burma in the Aftermath of Cyclone Nargis 05/22/2008


·         video
·         photos
See video



from our blog

by: Katia Gibergues
by: Alice Thomas
by: Michael Boyce

CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT 2015, Google Search, Nov. 21, 2015, page one
Refugee Studies Centre
The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) was founded in 1982 and is part of the Oxford ... Human mobility in the age of climate change | Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2015 ...Displacement economies: thinking through the paradoxes of crisis and ...

Jul 20, 2015 - Can we even talk of 'climate change-induced displacement or migration'? We know ..... Oxford University & Refugees Study Centre, May 2015.

Apr 8, 2015 - 2015 DS Mission to Colombia Examines Climate Displacement ... to conduct a study on climate displacement as a result of the 2010-2011 rains. ... Land issues remain front and centre in the political reform process in ...

Adapting to Global Change: Climate Displacement, Mega-Disasters, and the Next Generation of Leaders. June 16, 2015 By Theo Wilson ... of this challenge at the WilsonCenter on June 4, touching on disasters, climate change, human rights, .... Recent efforts by the Obama administration to bolster study abroad programs, ...

CIESIN ‑ Center for International Earth Science Inform...
New York City Panel Report on Climate Change (NPCC) 2015 Chapter 6, Indicators ... This climate vulnerability mapping study covers the Guinea Current countries, .... the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement.

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
Jul 15, 2015 - and Sieun Lee at IOM's Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) and Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for ... InternalDisplacement Monitoring Centre ...... case studies of current situations in.
Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
May 3, 2015 - ... 2015. People internally displaced by conflict and violence ... May2015 ... toring Centre (IDMC) has monitored internal displacement since ...... tribute to the climate of insecurity that .... tion with JIPS and UNHCR it is studying.

Center for American Progress
RELEASE: 10 Years After Katrina, Climate Displacement Remains Unaddressed. August 18, 2015. PRINT: print icon; SHARE: Facebook icon · Twitter icon ...

Brookings Institution
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre recently released their annual Global Estimates of People ... of how people's lives are uprooted by disasters stemming from the effects of climate change. ... Elizabeth Ferris | July 27, 2015 4:07pm ... IDMC's newstudy turns an eye to a more recent disaster, superstorm Sandy, ...

by PĎAGB Kiss - ‎2012 - ‎Related articles
Case study I: Climate change in the Horn of Africa . .... 5 Refugee Studies Centre 'Environmentally displaced people, Understanding the linkages between ...

None of the senators or representatives publishes his e-mail address, but each can be contacted by filling in forms offered through his website.
Senator John Boozman: (202)224-4843
Senator Tom Cotton: (202)224-2353
Rep. Rick Crawford, 1st District: (202)225-4076
Rep. French Hill, 2nd District: (202)225-2506
Rep. Steve Womack, 3rd District: (202)225-4301
1119 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
3333 Pinnacle Hills, Suite 120
Rogers, Arkansas 72758
Rep. Bruce Westerman, 4th District: (202) 225-3772

President Barack Obama: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Refugees International
Center for Study of Climate Displacement
International Holocaust Remembrance and Combat Genocide


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

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