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A New Calendar of Holidays

By: David Swanson Wednesday June 22, 2011 5:41 pm
Close Up of a Monthly Calendar, January 1 2014

A new calendar offers peace throughout the year.

A new calendar of peace holidays has just been published. And none too soon, if you’ve noticed the epidemic of military holidays around us.

I can understand that Catholics have a saint for every day of the year. And I’m not shocked that various ancient religions have holidays for a high proportion of the year’s days. But what to make of the United States, which now has a military holiday for at least 66 separate days, including Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and lesser known days like the just passed Marine Corps Reserve Birthday?

In the coming weeks we have V-J Day, 9/11 Remembrance Day / Patriot Day, the U.S. Air Force Birthday, National POW / MIA Recognition Day, and Gold Star Mother’s Day. There are, in addition, six week-long military holidays and three month-long ones. May, for example, is National Military Appreciation Month.

The military memorializes past war lies (Remember the Maine Day), cultural depravity normalized by eternal war (Month of the Military Child), and past crimes like attacking Cuba and killing a mule (Mantanzas Mule Day). This website even — wonderfully and accidentally — includes the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, which is a day dedicated to opposing militarism. The same website — disgustingly and inappropriately — includes Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday as a military holiday.

Still, the general pattern is this: in the United States there are holidays to celebrate militarism just about every week, and increasingly one hears about them on the radio, at public events, and in corporate advertising that apparently believes militarism sells.

What would a calendar of peace holidays look like? At WorldBeyondWar we believe it would look something like this.

We’re making it available for free as a PDF that you can print out and make use of: PDF, Word.

We’re also displaying on the front page of WorldBeyondWar.org the holiday, if any, to be marked or celebrated on whatever day it happens to be at the time. So you can always just check there.

We think that part of developing a peace culture is marking great peace moments from the past. Knowing what peace holiday any given day is, or what holidays are coming up soon, can be very useful in creating and promoting events, writing op-eds, and interesting the corporate media in something that is otherwise too important and news worthy to be touched.

World peace holidays can build unity among activists. They can be used for education (celebrating the Hague Peace Conference of 1899 on May 18th could cause someone to want to know what that conference was). And they can be used for encouragement and inspiration (on a gloomy March 20th it might be nice to know that “on this day in 1983, 150,000 peace rallies were held in Australia”).

In this initial draft of the World Beyond War Calendar we’ve included 154 holidays, all of them days — no weeks or months. We could have included a significant peace event for 365 days a year but chose to be selective. It’s a tightly held secret, of course, but there has been a lot more peace than war in the world.

Some of the days are also military days re-purposed. For example:

  • September 11. On this day in 1973 the United States backed a coup that overthrew the government of Chile. Also on this day in 2001 terrorists attacked in the United States using hijacked airplanes. This is a good day to oppose violence and nationalism and revenge.

Others are military days the military doesn’t celebrate. For example:

 

Real Fiscal Responsibility 2: Carter, Stagnation and Unemployment

By: letsgetitdone Saturday January 15, 2011 7:09 am

The economy during the Carter period never operated at full capacity or near full capacity. Deficit and inflation reduction were emphasized above all other domestic concerns, and substantial output gaps were simply accepted as something that it was very difficult for Government to do anything about.

This post continues my series evaluating the fiscal responsibility/irresponsibility of the Governments of the United States (mostly the Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Federal Reserve) by Administration periods beginning in 1977 with the Jimmy Carter period. My first post explained why I chose to start my evaluation with the Carter period, and also laid out my related definitions of fiscal sustainability, and fiscal responsibility.

It explained why fiscal responsibility is closely connected to the idea of public purpose, which I’ve laid out here. I also claimed that the Government of the United States has been fiscally irresponsible in every Administration period since 1977. The remaining posts in this series, and they will be many, will document that claim with analysis.

In this second post, I begin my evaluation of the extent of fiscal responsibility or irresponsibility of the Federal Government during the Carter Administration by covering two of the primary problems reflecting public purpose, and what the Federal Government did or did not do about them with its fiscal and monetary policies. The two are: ending economic stagnation, and creating full employment at a living wage.

Replacing a stagnating economy with one operating at its full potential; closing the current output gap

The economy during the Carter period never operated at full capacity or near full capacity. Deficit and inflation reduction were emphasized above all other domestic concerns, and substantial output gaps were simply accepted as something that it was very difficult for Government to do anything about. This was true during a period in which the presidency and the Congress were both in Democratic hands with substantial majorities.

In addition, the President was able to appoint his choice to head the Federal Reserve on two occasions. During the early part of his Administration he was dealing with a Republican appointee, Arthur F. Burns, who was far from a fiscal hawk on inflation. When Burns resigned, Carter appointed G. William Miller to head the Federal Reserve. Miller was, if anything, more dovish on interest rates than Burns. But later when he moved Miller to Treasury, he appointed the fiscal hawk Paul Volcker as Federal Reserve Chairman, and in doing this shot both himself and the United States economy in the foot; condemning himself to defeat in 1980; and the economy to a multi-year recession with high levels of unemployment from 1980 – 1986.

In spite of his favorable political situation (at least until he appointed Volcker) for active deficit spending-based fiscal policy, President Carter and leaders in the other branches of Government chose to emphasize inflation moderation, rather than facilitating an economy that used its full productive capacity for the public purpose. The outcome of this orientation was characterized as “stagflation” in the popular press, and the term came to stigmatize the Carter period in Government and his Administration, in particular.

Why did the leaders of the Congress, the Executive and the Federal Reserve choose inflation moderation above other goals during the period 1977-1981? Partly because President Carter was very serious about attempting to reduce the Government’s deficit, and eventually balance the Federal budget by 1981, and he implemented a variety of Executive Branch cost-cutting measures across the Federal Government to try to reach his goal, while using the power and bully pulpit of the presidency to bring others along the path of “sacrificing for the public good.”.

Congress both collaborated with and sometimes opposed Carter’s cost-cutting proposals, when they related to infrastructure spending. But generally, they supported him in his broad-based deficit cutting activities, because they bought into the fiscal responsibility as deficit cutting and budget balancing notion, and also accepted that as political virtue in a time of uncertainty and stagflation.

Over Easy: Monday Science

By: BoxTurtle

It ain’t Godzilla you must worry about

Greetings!

I hope everyone has a good holiday planned. We have a miserable, dreary morning here but it’s supposed to get nice later on. I hope.

Fukushima update:

The fuel rod removal from the #4 sfp is going well, about a month ahead of schedule. I may be off base, but something here isn’t computing to me. Some of those fuel bundles just have to be damaged enough to make removal difficult, but there’s no official word of any problems at all.

Multiple classified interviews released. JG knew on the afternoon of 3/11 that the reactors were already melting. TEPCO did not want to inject seawater to cool the plants, but their man at Fuku ignored their orders. Were they still thinking the reactors were salvageable at the time?!? And when the radiation spiked, TEPCO assisted their plant workers by dropping off needed supplies 50km away.

Their plan to pump up and divert groundwater is pumping 25,000 gallons/day, but having no detectable effect on the amount of water going into the reactor basements.

30 cases of thyroid cancer per 100,000. The normal number is 1.7.

TEPCO found liable for employee suicide. This could be very costly for TEPCO on paper, but it will really cost the JG as TEPCO is effectively bankrupt.

Fuku is now estimated to cost at least $105B. Twice the original estimate but still well below the $1T estimates from outside sources.

About 2 TRILLION Bq/day emitted by the plant.

I’m going to go ahead an post what I’ve got now, and perhaps add more to it later. Busy holiday for me and I’ve run out of time for the moment!

Boxturtle (There is no rest for the wicked)

Simple Pleasures

By: Elliott Thursday June 28, 2012 9:27 am

video link

It’s not hard to find joy in life.

 

Johnny Rivers – Summer Rain

*****
Bonus Video:

I am so bummed I only saw this tonight, and not last night, to add to the Game Night post; but here it is, late but not too little.

video link

Puppy video via tastefully offensive

Going to the Fair

By: cmaukonen Sunday August 31, 2014 9:59 am

Went out to the Geauga County Fair the other day. My brother and a cousin came up from Florida and NC to go and were staying at the Red Maple Inn in Burton Ohio. I have stayed there as well and it is very nice. My knees being in some what more horrible condition since I took a small spill and landed on them, I was not able to see as much as previous years.  I do not remember when I first went to the fair there. I was very young and must have gone with my aunt and cousins initially.  Originally geared more toward the rural population of the area with large pavilions for 4H and FFA [Future Farmers of America], it now is more of a family C&W [Country and Western] themed with the 4H exhibits off to the side. And a much larger Midway.

Fair Midway

And a large area for farm equipment. There were the usual rabbit, dairy, turkey, chicken, sheep, and goat exhibit areas though. Something new from what I remember as a kid, Alpaca and Llamas now too.   They even had a sky diver too. You do not get the feeling of serious farming that you did in the past, though.

You do not see many – if any – minorities at the fair. Nor do you see many Amish there either, even though it is on the skirts of Amish country in NE Ohio.

Speaking of Amish, after we left and had dinner I was able to crash in my cousin’s room at the Inn and make use of her jacuzzi-type tub for nearly an hour. The next day we all went to the next township over, Middlefield. The heart of Amish country in NE Ohio. We went to a number of small Amish shops run by them including the Original Amish Cheese factory, a large cooperative on the out skirts of Middlefield village, with just about any kind of cheese one would want. And then to a small shop on one of the farms that had baked goods, handmade clothes, handmade furniture and quilts. The quilts ! Beautifully done but pricey ! Maybe one day I will be able to get one when I have enough money. They are all handmade, so well worth it. Lots of Amish buggies.

My cousin seemed to know more of the Amish shops and where they were than I and I have been up here for four years. The last place we visited was a Mennonite chocolate factory where you could get just about any chocolate confection you would wish. And they are extra special delicious, I can tell you. Truly decadent.

After lunch at a local eatery, we went back to the Inn where I had a bit of a lay down and then said our good byes. I needed to get back to my place in Garfield Heights and take my medicine and such, they will be there another day and then return. Hopefully we can get together next year as well.

Legal Case: White House Argues Against Considering Climate Change on Energy Projects

By: Steve Horn Sunday August 31, 2014 9:20 am

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The White House

The White House

Just over a month before the United Nations convenes on September 23 in New York City to discuss climate change and activists gather for a week of action, the Obama White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) argued it does not have to offer guidance to federal agencies it coordinates with to consider climate change impacts for energy decisions.

It came just a few weeks before a leaked draft copy of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest assessment said climate disruption could cause “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”

Initially filed as a February 2008 petition to CEQ by the International Center for Technology Assessment, the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) when George W. Bush still served as President, it had been stalled for years.

Six and a half years later and another term into the Obama Administration, however, things have finally moved forward. Or backwards, depending on who you ask.

NEPA and CEQ

The initial February 2008 legal petition issued by the plaintiffs was rather simple: the White House’s Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) should provide guidance to federal agencies it coordinates with to weigh climate change impacts when utilizing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on energy policy decisions.

A legal process completely skirted in recent prominent tar sands pipeline cases by both TransCanada and Enbridge, NEPA is referred to by legal scholars as the “Magna Carta” of environmental law.

CEQ oversees major tenets of environmental, energy and climate policy. It often serves as the final arbiter on many major legislative pushes proposed by Congress and federal agencies much in the same way the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) does for regulatory policy.

In February 2010, Obama’s CEQ showed signs it would utilize NEPA in its policy decision-making process with regards to climate change, issuing a “Draft Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change Impacts” and opening up a 90-day public comment period.

Sunday READ – 31 August 2014

By: GREYDOG Monday November 17, 2008 4:16 pm

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* THE LATIN AMERICANIZATION OF U.S. POLICE FORCES

sunday

Sunday Reading

By Cosme Caal, Counterpunch

From Guatemala City I have been keeping up with the events in Ferguson, Missouri and my heart goes out to those United States citizens who are actively resisting a brutal local police state. I sit awake at night and contemplate how one of the greatest nations in the world has become militarized and despotic. Impunity is now normalized in most police departments across the United States and in the minds of many Americans. I did not know I would live to see this phenomenon, yet, the more I peruse online news feeds, the more evident it is to me that Americans, especially minorities, are in great danger of militarized suppression as a matter of state policy.

From our experience in half a century in Latin America I can tell you that, once the human rights of a minority are compromised, it is only a matter of time before they are compromised for an entire nation. From that same experience I can tell you it will take decades before they can be regained. Militarized police forces take on a life of their down, at the expense of the society’s well-being. The social contract that gives the state the duty to organize police forces itself becomes obsolete, almost a joke. Citizens begin to obey agents of the state not out of respect or cooperation, but out of fear of those sworn to protect them. Eventually, the militarized power of the police reaches such magnitude that political leaders lose all ability to rein them in. We experienced this USA-backed militarized transformation of the police in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, and Colombia. What the U.S. helped do to Latin America, it is now doing to itself.

Even when there will officers who want to adhere to the law, militarized policing organizations become an unstoppable and despotic force. The very ideologies that give them life become obsolete, as do all existing laws that protect citizens. Central American dictatorships backed and armed by the United States government in the 1970’s built police forces, outfitted them with military gear, and allowed them to brutalize and kill with impunity. The murder or incarceration of progressive democratic leaders who resisted this transformation was sanctioned by United States intelligence agencies.

I call out to white United States citizens, and those police officers that believe in democracy and the rule of law, to unite with racial minorities who are now being suppressed, and to resist the catastrophic militarization of police forces across the United States. For white Americans to think that their race makes them immune to police brutality is a mistake that cannot be afforded. Central American urban mestizo masses ignored the genocide of hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples. They saw these massacres as not their problem. Today we all suffer militarized suppression. Racial division was our greatest weakness. […]

READ @ http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/27/the-latin-americanization-of-u-s-police-forces/

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* ARRESTED LEGAL OBSERVER: FERGUSON A ‘PILOT PROGRAM’ FOR WHEN COMMUNITIES RESPOND TO POLICE BRUTALITY

By Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake