Critical Information

Here, you will find a whole slew of meaningful material! 

Whether you find something inspiring or contentious, please discuss it in the Critical Information Forum

Friday
Dec282012

TEDx Talk on Fracking by Theo Colburn

From Joyce Hale

Dr. Theo Colborn is founder of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange.  Most people are pretty familiar with the potential for water and air contamination from gas well development, but you may not fully realize the impact these chemicals in low doses can have on the unborn.  Dr. Colborn and her staff have dedicated their work to exposing the risks we are taking with untested chemicals, particularly those that act like synthetic hormones.  I hope you will read her message below and watch her TEDx talk expressing her concerns. We need to know about this issue to prevent unintended consequences from impacting future generations.

Thank you friends, Joyce Hale

Theo Coburn TEDx Talk

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r2Rx8VRq48&list=SPsRNoUx8w3rN4l7h9HzGwXlDuUKWqb-eS&index=10.

 

You can copy the link and paste it in a message directly to the President here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments.

More information on endocrine disrupting chemicals can be found at www.endocrinedisruption.o

rg.


Theo Colborn

Friday
Dec282012

What is OMNI Center, anyway?

Here's a glimpse

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology is a locally-based action incubator for projects that support our mission of nonviolence, sustainability and justice. We began our work a few months before September 11 in 2001 and became a 501c3 nonprofit in 2005. At this time we nurture six projects that powerfully address issues our community is passionate about.

  • OMNI Core Programs - “Creating leaders for a culture of peace, and nurturing public dialogue, to make our community a hub of progressive thought for nonviolence, sustainability and justice”

      Programs include Open Mic for Peace, monthly Vegetarian Potluck, Video Underground, key annual events such as the Annual Members Meeting, organizing public dialogue forums, and facilitated dialogue dinners. Part of our outreach is to encourage like-minded community groups to hold meetings in our comfortable and welcoming space. In addition our Board of Directors, Advisory Board and leaders take an active role in our community by participating in other local, regional and national groups that fit our mission and support our community. They carry their convictions for peace, justice and ecology wherever they go, and bring their experience to us as a body of knowledge we cherish, to educate, empower and connect around our values and Mission. 

    • A new project this year are some powerful Dialogue Dinners intended to open up conversation in Northwest Arkansas across old barriers that keep us from understanding one another.  Training for a crack team of Facilitators to kick-start these Dinners will begin happening in February.  Email Gladys for information if you'd like info about this opportunity.

  • OMNI Youth Programs - “Young leaders for a culture of peace”

      College-age groups at the University of Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas Community College, and a new high-school group at Fayetteville High School. Other groups will form as volunteers become available. They are supported by a Youth Resource Board and a Youth Coordinator provided through AmeriCorp VISTA.

  • OMNI 350 Environmental Committee - “Education and action about climate change, and engaging Arkansans to thrive”

    Advocacy at the state level, education projects, and the Climate Change Book Club reach out to church and community groups now becoming concerned about climate change.

  • Fayetteville Community Radio - “Community radio... community voice”

    Active, dynamic group currently doing podcast programming and preparing to apply for a low-power FM license opening in early 2013.

  • Tri Cycle Farm – “Food sovereignty begins at home”

    2 acre urban farm that teaches gardening, resilience and care. What grows here is fresh food and strong community. They are doing wonderful outreach among its low-income neighbors

  • Bread and Roses Campaign - “Dignity, respect, and justice for workers”

    Large poultry factories are a fact of life in Northwest Arkansas. Workers in these plants are

    often exploited and disrespected. Solidarity organizing is an important feature of this project. We are also participating in Civil Rights Roundtables to erode barriers between minority, white, privileged and less-privileged neighbors. We do this as part of a collaboration with other groups in our area.

  • Other projects we have nurtured include a statewide Peace & Justice Heroes Award series; the Rapid Response Writers (who write insightful and well-researched letters to the editor, and quickly respond to LTEs in our local paper that reflect hateful and uninformed speech); “The Goddess Festival”, (the group plans a beautiful spring festival during Women's History Month); and other projects, scholarships for international and African American students of the University of Arkansas, and mentoring interns from the Department of Social Work. OMNI members also participate in a broad range of community activities, such as Fayetteville's annual diversity festival “FestofAll”, a charming neighborhood peace park (World Peace Wetland Prairie), and have a table at our popular farmers market to publicize events, enroll members and talk about issues.

We do these projects in spite of a very low budget, because we depend on donors and volunteers to step in to provide energy and funds. OMNI's role has been to provide a visible public space where people in this Southern state who long for a better, more just world, can bring their ideas to be developed and shared. The model has worked well for our community. In some ways we act as a 'secular church' that draws in people around our highest ideals to work together for the values we support. We see ourselves as testing a model for community engagement and feel that many communities would benefit by having such a group available in their area. We are honored to help move our area in a direction of nonviolence, sustainability and justice, and we feel that we have had a role in helping to make Northwest Arkansas the wonderful place that it is.

 

Friday
Nov302012

Refusnik Moriel Rothman would appreciate your support

You can read the full declaration on Moriel's Blog here.

Write words of moral support to Moriel.  His prison address is:

Moriel Rothman 
Military ID 5410557

Military Prison No. 6

Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-4-9540580

Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send them your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org (hitting “reply all” to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during visits.

Recommended Action

First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.

Other recommendations for action:

1. Sending Letters of Support

Please send Moriel letters of support to the prison address above and via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org.

2. Letters to Authorities

It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors’ behalf, preferably by fax, to:

Mr. Ehud Barak,
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
Hakirya,
Tel-Aviv 61909,
Israel.
E-mail: sar@mod.gov.il or pniot@mod.gov.il
Tel.: ++972-3-6975220
Fax: ++972-3-6962757

Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:

Commander of Military Prison No. 6,
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-4-9540580

Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General:

Denny Efroni,
Chief Military Attorney
Military postal code 9605, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-3-569-45-26

It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:

Gil Ben Shaul,
Commander of Induction Base,
Meitav, Tel-HaShomer
Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
Israel.
Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52

For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.

Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners’ behalf. 

 

Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to my attention that Moriel Rothman (military ID 5410557), a conscientious objector to military service, has been imprisoned for the second time for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 6 near Atlit.

The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Rothman is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. The repeater imprisonment of conscientious objectors is an especially grave offence, as it means sentencing a person more than once for the same offence, and has been judges by th UN working Group on Arbitrary Detention to constitute a clear case arbitrary detention. 

I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Moriel Rothman, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.

Sincerely,

 

3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries

Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other 
countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully 
pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in 
bringing their plight and their cause to public attention. 

Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel: 

 

    Ma'ariv:
    2 Karlibach st.
    Tel-Aviv 67132
    Israel
    Fax: +972-3-561-06-14
    e-mail: editor@maariv.co.il

    Yedioth Aharonoth:
    2 Moses st.
    Tel-Aviv
    Israel
    Fax: +972-3-608-25-46

    Ha'aretz (Hebrew):
    21 Schocken st.
    Tel-Aviv, 61001
    Israel
    Fax: +972-3-681-00-12

    Ha'aretz (English edition):
    21 Schocken st.
    Tel-Aviv, 61001
    Israel
    Fax: +972-3-512-11-56
    e-mail: letters@haaretz.co.il

    Radio (fax numbers):
    Kol-Israel +972-2-531-33-15
    and +972-3-694-47-09

    Galei Zahal +972-3-512-67-20

    Television (fax numbers):
    Channel 1 +972-2-530-15-36
    Channel 2 +972-2-533-98-09
    Channel 10 

     

 

Wednesday
Aug292012

Tar Sands Blockade organizing in Texas!

FROM: Ramsey Sprague

Saturday, August 25, 2012 12:49 pm

Dear Friends,

I'm writing now to introduce the Tar Sands Blockade.

We have launched a campaign of sustained, rolling nonviolent civil disobedience actions aimed at the ongoing construction of the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline, which will carry extraordinarily toxic tar sands diluted bitumen (dilbit) chemical slurry through unsafe, unproven pipelines across Oklahoma and Texas to be refined and exported through tax-free ports in Port Arthur and Houston, TX.

I've been a part of this team of extraordinary individuals working non-stop for the last month on many aspects of our campaign, living in East Texas with them to facilitate this massive, dubious endeavor, and working from daylight to sunset and beyond to make all the necessary preparations to ensure these actions will happen and happen well.

While we recognize that we are simply a small part of an international network of grassroots organizations and individuals working towards protecting public health and safety, we also recognize that stopping this particular leg of KXL is critical in preventing the corresponding increase in production capacity should the tar sands dilbit be able to reach these Texas refineries. Tar sands bitumen is extracted via surface mining through which unfathomably large swaths of boreal forests are literally strip mined dozens of feet deep and turned into a toxic moonscape. We are saying that we will not allow the already devastatingly dire situation in Alberta, Canada to become further exacerbated.

TransCanada's public relations spin has been shown to be a heaping pile of lies and deceit. Very, very few long-term jobs are offered by this pipeline, and the oil is going to refineries owned by non-US-based multinational corporations for the export market, not for domestic use, contrary to their claims, which are often predictably parroted by industry sympathizers, investors, and the media organizations who love them ad nauseam...

The failure of the Obama administration to act in the public's interest nor provide for thorough stakeholder input and that of the 'big green' organizations to neither end the pipeline's existence nor tar sands extraction is why we are in the inglorious unglamorous position of taking direct action. While we do declare unity and solidarity with our friends embroiled in legal fights to challenge TransCanada on many fronts, however important they are, they could take years, and we all recognize that we must resist the pipeline today.

Our campaign is aware that KXL is just the beginning. After we block this tar sands pipeline, there will be another that will simply follow whatever legitimized process is established, so we are determined to build a coalition-based campaign that will be there to energetically fight any tar sands pipelines with an informed, local support base ready to weigh in during that process!

Towards those ends, we maintain our grassroots coalition so that it criss-crosses the political spectrum. Our blockade has garnered some very unlikely allies, as varied as Credo and Tea Party Affiliates and beyond, y'all. We intend to remain focused on realistic, winnable short-term coalition-building action goals to resist corporate eminent domain abuse by TransCanada and prevent the construction of their illegitimate pipeline – a clear win for all.

Our initial banner drop actions at TransCanada's pipeyards and equipment storage sites have already had a significant impact on the climate justice movement by blowing away stereotypes of southern resistance to toxic industry and successfully routing TansCanada by drawing media scrutiny to their having started construction without fanfare.

We are a cutting edge of the resistance to KXL and of the long-term fight against tar sands extraction. As you can imagine, a campaign of sustained nonviolent civil disobedience has some pressing needs. That's where you come in, dear friend.

I'm asking you to JOIN US.

Whether your assistance would mean you would like to play a part in our actions, make a financial contribution, or that you would just be happy to pass along our news and support requests to your friends and family, it all adds up to a pipeline that goes unfinished!!

I would hope that my involvement assures you that we are bold, informed, disciplined, prepared, and poised to do right by the earth, our communities, and ourselves! And I hope you are as inspired as I am in our collective capacity to pull the rug out from underneath TransCanada, to make further development of the toxic Canadian tar sands politically and physically impossible through a campaign of sustained, strategic nonviolent civil disobedience!!

All victims of the endemic environmental racism at the core of the tar sands story stand to benefit by our using our best resources, ourselves, to stop the pipeline: the frontline Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation communities directly downstream from the tar sands extraction site, Texas' Gulf Coast refinery row communities, all the land and peoples in between in clear danger of permanent land scarring and irreparable spills, as well as those who have already suffered unimaginably.

Together, we will have an incredible impact by bringing this project to a screeching halt and sending a clear message that we are ready to MOVE BEYOND multinational fossil fuel companies dictating the terms on which we will live in their world.

Together, ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE.

Together, we are the Tar Sands Blockade.

So, consider us in contact again, and please don't hesitate to ask any questions. I likely miss you more than I can say here, so hearing from you would be really nice. I hope our paths cross again somewhere along the contours of this pipeline route and its empowering resistance.

In peace, love, and solidarity,
Ramsey Sprague
682-556-0553
evolve@1919hemphill.org

Website: http://TarSandsBlockade.org
Twitter: @KXLBlockade

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TarSandsBlockade?ref=stream

Wednesday
Aug292012

Fall at the National Peace Academy

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 3:29 PM

Dear Friends-greetings at this end of summer, as we  look toward Fall and the crisp autumn. ... I want to alert you to the enticing line up of courses that are being offered through the NPA Certificate Program (open t all), as well as to the activities that we are engaged in including the Global Campaign for Peace Education and the just completed successful week of the International Institutes on Peace Education in Japan.

In the words of Tony Jenkins, NPA Vice-President and coordinator of the IIPE- “I received a message this evening from an experienced peace educator in Japan that the IIPE has transformed her way of life”. These are the kinds of empowering opportunities offered by NPA and why I believe so deeply in the mission. You can find out more about courses and workshops at the NPA web site: www.nationalpeaceacademy.us. Many of the courses are offered online. NPA’s philosophy includes the notion of courses being affordable and accessible and collaborative.

Finally I invite you to contribute to the mission of NPA (details below).

I will be offering a day long workshop on November 17th in collaboration with the NPA Certificate program and the Graduate Institute in Bethany, CT http://www.learn.edu/, on Visioning a Fossil-Free Future. Adapting the work of Elise Boulding and other futurists, who pioneered this future visioning format 25 years ago in visioning a world without weapons, we will engage in a series of exercises designed to both create the future for which we hope and to provide action steps for how to get there. This course is sponsored by the National Peace Academy in collaboration with the Graduate Institute’s Master’s Program in Conflict Transformation, whose director is NPA board member Lisa Huber. The course is open to anyone interested and the cost is $50. You do not have to be enrolled at the Graduate Institute or in the Certificate Program to participate. Scholarships are available. This is a shortened version of the workshop Tony Jenkins and I did at Adelphi last Spring and some of you who were not able to join us requested information on a future workshop.

If you want a little more information on what future envisioning is, you can read about it in a little article I wrote: http://nationalpeaceacademy.us/faculty/2012/03/07/futures-morrison/.

Line up of other courses offered this Fall

Finally, I invite you to contribute financially to the work of the National Peace Academy. Below the course line up is an email from the CEO and President of NPA, Dot Maver. NPA is at a crucial time for finances in its 3 year history and mission right now. So many successful initiatives, activities, institutes, conferences and networking. So many testimonials of lives changed. Even with intentional measures of frugality taken over the past year, NPA’s future can be assured its sustainability  through ongoing individual donations. Grant funding for peace education has never been ubiquitous and in this present economy, funders are being frugal. We on the board are committed to insuring NPA is successful into the future. If you believe in the mission, any amount you can contribute  will be greatly appreciated. We particularly appreciate recurring donations in any amount as it insures a steady flow of income. See Dot’s note below with details of giving. You can always find more information on the web site http://nationalpeaceacademy.us/invest-in-peacebuilding/. Checks may be sent to the NPA business office in Michigan. And if you are aware of possible grant funding sources, please get in touch with me.

September 3-30, 2012. (NCP18) Intro to Peace Ed Part 3: Pedagogy & Practice, Teachers Without Borders, Stephanie Knox Cubbon, Elspeth Macdonald, Ellen Feig, Online Course, $125, (P,S), 2.0 certificate 1.4 CEUs

September 15-October 15, 2012. (NCP21) Communicating Peace: Writing for the Media, National Peace Academy, Michael Shank, Online Course, $100, (S,O), 2.0 certificate 1.4 CEUs

October

October 11/12 – November 8/9, 2012. (NCP19) Monetary Justice, Earth and Peace Education International (EPE), Frans C. Verhagen, Online Course, $10/$25, (I,E), 2.0 certificate 1.4 CEUs

October 13-14, 2012. (NCP04) Bridging Political Divides with Collaborative Communication, Center for Collaborative Communication, Dian Killian, New York, NY, $100-$500, (P,S), 2.0 certificate 1.4 CEUs

October 27, 2012. (NCP23) Transforming Power:  An Intro to AVP, National Peace Academy in partnership with The Graduate Institute, Barbara Thorngren, Bethany, CT, $50, (P,S), 1.0 certificate .7 CEUs

November

November 17, 2012 (NCP05.2) Building Resilience in a Time of Transition: Imaging a Fossil Free Future, The Graduate Institute and Pax Educare Consulting, Mary Lee Morrison, Bethany, CT, $50, (P,E), 1.0 certificate .7 CEUs

__________

*Some scholarships are available for this course / this course qualifies for a 15% PJSA member discount

 Mary Lee Morrison Ph.D, Pax Educare

Teaching, Writing, Consulting for Peace

The National Peace Academy

www.nationalpeaceacademy.us