Galloping towards the Apocalypse

Democrats and progressives have been celebrating their electoral gains in the House of Representatives and in local and state races.

But Republicans will gain one or more seats in the U.S. Senate, and 85 year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg just had a bad fall and broke some ribs.

If the Supreme Court rules that that Trump can fire Mueller or that the House of Representatives can’t investigate Trump, that would cause a constitutional crisis and result in massive civil unrest.

Such rulings are more likely now that Kavanaugh has been confirmed and will be even more likely given the likelihood that Trump will get to appoint a third Supreme Court Justice.

Trump has already threatened to bring the government to a halt if Dems investigate him.

The question is: would voices of sanity in the Supreme Court (maybe Chief Justice Roberts) realize that a highly partisan ruling about investigations of Trump could result in a constitutional crisis?

The right is so deranged, living in a fantasy world of fake news and conspiracy theories. I fear for the future of the nation.  Hopefully Roberts and others on the Supreme Court will realize that the nation’s future is at stake.

For an example of craziness, consider: Matthew Whitaker: acting attorney general said judges should be Christian “Trump’s replacement for Jeff Sessions to lead the justice department said judges needed a ‘biblical view of justice’.”  Whitaker has also expressed skepticism about the Mueller investigations.

Another example: Spokane GOP leader authors ‘Biblical Basis for War’ manifesto calling for end to abortion, same-sex marriage and death of enemies who disagree. FBI investigating Washington state rep. for manifesto urging ‘all males will be killed’. But the legislator, Matt Shea, won re-election.

Another example: Right-wing Evangelical letter opposing Faithful America, containing conspiracy theories and distortions.  The letter, signed by over 4000 right wing Christians denounces, in part:

1. A growth industry trafficking in human baby organs and body parts, funded and defended by the Democratic Party.

2. The abandonment of a biblical view of marriage that protected and liberated children and adults from centuries of pagan slavery, poverty, polygamy and non-life-giving sexuality.

3. The Transgender agenda including gender “reorientation” of our children, also being forced on our neighbors, businesses, schools, military and churches.

4. Socialism, higher taxes and government regulations. These policies stifle human creativity, productivity, family stability and generosity. Such policies increase joblessness, welfare dependency and national debt.

Faithful America also reports: “In Georgia, the Republican candidate for governor used his position as secretary to state to purge more than 1.5 million voters from the rolls and shut down hundreds of polling places – likely enough to decide the election.”  Such voter suppression tactics are widespread.

Is it true that 1.5 million voters were purged in Georgia?  According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 500,000 voters were recently purged.   “Since 2012, according to federal and state data, Georgia has removed about 1.4 million people from the voting rolls.”

Whatever the exact number, such blatant voter-disenfranchisement is despicable and warrants an organized national response.  Boycott of Georgia?

North Carolina and other states enacted similar policies.

Given all this craziness, this well-written article seems quite plausible: America’s Next Civil War.  “The United States shows all the warning signs of impending social and political collapse.”   The article describes the extreme divisions in American politics and the failure of major institutions. It envisions the outbreak of violence.

So, progressives don’t have a lot to be pleased about. What’s more, this article, Progressives’ plan for victory just took a gut-punch. Now what do they do?, suggests that progressives flipped few seats in the 2018 election. “Despite a good night for congressional Democrats overall, nearly all of national progressive groups’ star candidates fell short in their contests in red or purple districts and states, potentially slowing the momentum the emboldened left had enjoyed since Hillary Clinton’s loss two years ago.” (Or is that story biased?)

The far left — meaning those who regarded Hillary and the Dems as the “lesser-of-two-evils” and refused to vote for them — may be correct that the mainstream Dems were helping the GOP set the U.S. on a path towards environmental, budgetary and military destruction. But at least the Dems were doing so slowly. Realistically, the mainstream Dems are centrists and, generally, hawks, but they’re not deranged like the Republicans.  They would have protected the EPA, the Supreme Court, the separation of church and state, gay rights, labor rights, etc., etc.

The Republicans are galloping towards the Apocalypse, or a Second Civil War.

Progressive Dems — many of them young women — won many races. So there is hope. But can the center hold or will the nation further split into warring factions of Trumpian Republicans on the one hand, and Democrats and other leftists on the other?  Furthermore, can the Left heal the divisions between the Democrats and the radicalizing socialists fed up with the corporate, centrist Dems?  If the socialists would join forces with the progressive Dems, together they could together kick out the corporate Dems and reform the Democratic Party.

Bernie Sanders and Foreign Policy

Bernie’s statement on regime change never being a good idea, and mentioning Guatemala, Mossadegh, and Allende is heading toward the vision of what we actually need to do. End our imperial foreign policy, start closing our military bases overseas, focus on our domestic problems. Whether it’s a winning issue with a majority of the public is another matter. They have been quite literally scared out of their wits with a decade of BS propaganda about the “evildoers,” and on and on. Older voters got the Cold War BS. It’s hard to both educate and win in the same campaign. That’s why he’s focused on domestic economic issues, a broad consensus that working families are being screwed already exists.

When foreign policy comes up, IMO, he should frame talk about pulling back within the first 150 years of American foreign policy, not the more recent anti-imperialist strain of criticism that has been effectively marginalized by the corporate war mongers. Avoid foreign entanglements, spread democracy abroad by be a shining example here at home. In that vein, he needs to bring up his opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act and domestic spying more too. Clinton is very vulnerable there.

Saying that we need to have a discussion about why the American military is being used around the world to protect our supposed “commercial interests” when those commercial interests increasingly consider themselves global corporations, not American ones, might also prove useful. They ship our jobs overseas, they invest overseas, they offshore their profits, they avoid US taxes, but without the US military, the global casino economy and resource extraction racket they’ve created is vulnerable.

Glen Anderson: Military "Solutions" Are Really the PROBLEM

Glen Anderson: Military “Solutions” Are Really the PROBLEM- a workshop given at Fellowship of Reconciliation of Oregon and Washington’ annual conference at Seabeck, July 4th 2015.

Military ‘Solutions’ Are Really the PROBLEM. Choose humane, sustainable ways for TRUE Security. In our daily lives, we know better than to think violence solves problems, but at the national level the U.S. government routinely threatens and uses military violence all over the world. Militarism makes problems worse, so why does the government keep using militarism? Who benefits from this? We could achieve more profound, holistic “national security” by renouncing violence and promoting peace and fairness. This highly participatory workshop will encourage participants to share their information and insights. Glen Anderson has worked consistently for many issues related to peace, social & economic justice, and nonviolence since the 1960s. He engages people to help them think creatively and organize at the grassroots.

The Trillion Dollar Death Machine… And What You Can Do to Stop It!

Part 1 The Navy Plan to Turn the Olympic Peninsula into a War Zone

David Spring M. Ed. Director, Washington Environmental Protection Coalition

November 18 2014

 

Everything is connected to everything else…. The health of our State’s economy cannot be separated from the health of our States environment. And the health of our environment cannot be separated from the health of our State’s rivers and streams. And the health of our rivers and streams cannot be separated from the health of our State’s forests.

 

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to summarize the Navy’s trillion dollar plan to turn the Olympic Peninsula into an Electronic Warfare Zone and to provide scientific evidence that two endangered species, Spotted Owls and Marbled Murrelets, would be driven to extinction as a result of this plan. This study is divided into five parts. First, we will review the Navy’s plan to turn the Olympic Mountains into an Electronic Warfare Zone. Second, we will summarize unanswered questions about how this plan might harm humans and wildlife. Third, we will provide a historical summary of past attempts to save the spotted owls. Fourth, we will provide an analysis of current spotted owl population in the Olympic Mountains and evidence of how the war zone plan will destroy this population – which is already on the edge of extinction. If the Navy is allowed to turn the most important remaining habitat of spotted owls into an Electronic Warfare Zone, this will be the final nail in the coffin for one of nature’s most important indicator species. Fifth, we will review what you can do to stop the Navy from destroying the Olympic Peninsula and one of our nation’s last remaining populations of Spotted Owls.

 

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Part 1 The Navy Plan to Turn the Olympic Mountains into a War Zone

The Olympic Peninsula, on the Northwest Corner of Washington State, is critical habitat for two endangered species, spotted owls and marbled murrelets, both of whom rely on rare Old Growth forests for their nests. Numerous environmental organizations have rated the Olympic rain forest as being one of the most important environmental ecosystems in the entire world. More than three million people visit the Olympic Peninsula every year providing more than $300 million in economic activity and tourism related jobs to the local community.

 

Recently, the US Navy submitted an application to the US Forest Service for a Special Use Permit to allow 3 large trucks – fitted with special electromagnetic wave transmitters – to be driven on Forest Service roads in the Olympic National Forest. The public has been given until November 28 2014 to submit written public comments on this project.

 

On August 28, 2014, the Navy issued a 7 page Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) claimed that allowing these three trucks to use Forest Service roads will have “no significant impact” and therefore this project does not require the Navy to submit a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

http://www.navfac.navy.mil/content/dam/navfac/NAVFAC%20Atlantic/NAVFAC%20Northwest/PDFs/About%20Us/Environmental%20Public%20Releases/nw_FONSI_PN_EW_RANGE_1.pdf

 

In September 2014, the Navy issued their final 228 page Environmental Assessment (EA) on this project. Their assessment is available at the following link.

http://www.navfac.navy.mil/content/dam/navfac/NAVFAC%20Atlantic/NAVFAC%20Northwest/PDFs/About%20Us/Environmental%20Public%20Releases/nw_EW_EA_Final_September_2014.pdf

 

However, as the Navy explains in their Environmental Assessment, this project is not merely about having three trucks on Forest Service roads. Instead, the three trucks are an essential component in turning the Olympic Peninsula into an Electronic Warfare Range. In fact, the name of the project on the Forest Service application is Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment #42759. The purpose of the project is to build two stationary electronic warfare transmitters and three mobile electronic warfare transmitters to be used in war games simulations by 135 “Growler” jet aircraft scheduled to be stationed at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island in Washington State. If the Special Use Permit is granted by the Forest Service, the three mobile transmitters would be driven to 12 locations on logging roads in the Olympic National Forest and 3 additional locations on forests controlled by the Washington State Department of National Resources (DNR).

 

These mobile transmitters would then be located by and interact with new electronic warfare equipment on the new “Growler” aircraft during more than 3,000 training missions each year – about 11 missions per day 6 days a week or one mission every hour throughout the entire year with each of the 3,000 missions involving an unknown number of Growler jets. The Navy has claimed that the new electronic aircraft would fly at an elevation of more than 6,000 feet above Sea Level and that the new planes and trucks present no danger to humans or wildlife. However, alternate sources indicate that the planes would actually fly as low as 1,200 feet above the surface in the Olympic Mountains and that the new planes are among the loudest planes ever build – measured at up to 150 decibels – enough to cause permanent damage to the human ear and severe stress in humans and wildlife.

 

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The intense sound produced by these new electronic warfare jets is why the airplanes are called “Growler” airplanes. In addition, questions have been raised about the long term health effects of the electromagnetic pulse radiation produced by the Growler aircraft and the Mobile Transmitters. It is believed that this radiation can lead to cancer in humans and wildlife. Here are the locations of the proposed Electronic Warfare sites. Note that all of them are very close to critical habitat for spotted owls and marbled murrelets.

 

Compare the Map for the Proposed Electronic Warfare Range to the Map of Critical Habitat for Spotted Owls and Marbled Murrelets

 

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Note that mobile transmission site 12 is next to the Hoh Rain Forest – home of the largest concentration of spotted owls left in Washington State. Below is a map of critical habitat for the Marbled Murrelet (shown in black). This too is next to several mobile transmission sites. http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/lm_hcp_murrelet_ltcs_map.pdf

 

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$300 million in Tourism Losses to Save $5 million in Fuel?

The Navy already conducts electronic warfare games at an electronic warfare range at the Mount Home Air Force base in Idaho. However, the Navy wants to add an electronic warfare range on the western slopes of the Olympic Peninsula in order to save about $5 million in fuel costs. The Navy apparently has failed to consider the fact that turning the Olympic Peninsula into a war zone would cost local residents $300 million in lost economic activity and jobs due to the loss of tourism. The Olympic Peninsula already has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. If it is turned into a war zone, it would likely destroy their community. As a consequence, the Forest Service has already received more than 2,500 public comments on the proposal. Over 90% of these comments have opposed the project. However, at a recent informational meeting in Port Angeles Washington, attended by more than 250 angry citizens, the Forest Service improperly stated that “only substantial comments that point out specific errors in the Navy’s Environmental Assessment (EA) will be considered… this is not a popularity contest.” Although required by law to hold an official public hearing on the project, and to manage the forest for the benefit of the public instead of the benefit of special groups like the Navy, Forest Service officials claimed that they do not need to consider the opinion of the public and that they do not have the time or money to hold a public hearing. The 2,500 public comments already submitted can be read at this link.

https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?Project=42759

 

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Killing the Canary in the Coal Mine

A primary concern about the Navy Electronic Warfare plan is the potential to destroy endangered species such as spotted owls and marbled murrelets. These birds are “indicator species” of the health of our entire environment. They are the “canaries in the coal mine.” According to E.O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology, Harvard University: “The fundamental truth is that biodiversity matters profoundly to human health in almost every conceivable way. The roles that individual species, and the ecosystems they make up, play in providing food, fuel and unique medicinal compounds; air, water and soil purification services; and natural regulation of infectious disease, to name a few, are critical to our health and survival. The loss of species as a result of human activity and the degradation of ecosystems ongoing around the world lowers the quality of the planet’s natural resources and destabilizes the physical environment… Changes to the environment—be they from pollution, deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, or other causes—ultimately affect the living world. Once we lose a gene, species, or an ecosystem, it is gone forever.”

 

Below is a link to a ten minute YouTube video with a child explaining the importance of saving our spotted owls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7CevktQyjc#t=89

 

 

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As a sharp contrast to the peace and quiet of an Old Growth forest, we will next look at the monstrous noise levels of the Growler Jets – among the loudest planes ever made!

 

Hear for yourself how much noise these Growler Jets make!

Watch and listen to this video of Growler Jets repeatedly flying over a Little League Baseball Game with the hand held meter registering 112 decibels. This is a five minute YouTube video of the several Growler Jets flying over a Little League baseball game. The decibel rating on the hand held meter reached 112 decibels. “it is not good for the kids… It is not good to anybody.” Note that noise of 85 decibels is enough to cause permanent hearing damage.

 

Navy EA18G Growlers over ballpark, Coupeville WA, harming children’s hearing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwxYpCa09-E

 

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A Navy Auditor found that the noise level of the Growler jets could exceed 150 decibels.

 

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We will next attempt to estimate the total cost of the Navy’s electronic warfare plan. This does not include the cost of the loss of tourism to the Olympic Peninsula. It is merely the hard cost of the planes themselves.

 

What does the Navy Electronic Warfare Program Really Cost?

The Navy recently asked Congress for $2.1 billion to buy an additional 22 Growler jets. From this one might assume that the Growlers cost $100 million each. Every 10 jets cost one billion. So the current inventory of about 100 Growler jets costs $10 billion. But the complete plan is to have 200 Growler jets for a cost of $20 billion. The Growlers would eventually be supplemented by a new electronic warfare jet called the F 35 Lightning. These new jets, the most expensive in history, are initially expected to cost about $400 billion with total eventual cost over one trillion dollars. The Navy plans to purchase 230 F 35 C jets which added to the potential 200 Growlers would make the entire attack force at Whidbey Island more than 400 planes – four times the current number.

http://www.bga-aeroweb.com/Defense/F-35-Lightning-II-JSF.html

 

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“The F-18G, known as the Growler, emits a broader set of electronic warfare frequencies than does the F-35, Rear Adm. Michael Manazir,  told reporters after today’s House Armed Services air and land force subcommittee hearing. The two planes flying together are a much more effective strike package, according to Navy analysis, than either one flying on its own… the Growler generates enough power to blanket the area ahead of the F-35s so they can act in a complementary fashion.”

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/03/why-the-navy-really-wants-22-more-fa-18gs/

 

Both of these planes would be stationed at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and operate in tandem from the Navy’s fleet of Nimitz class aircraft carriers. The F 18G has two powerful continuous wave transmitters that emit electromagnetic beams towards a potential threat. In 2020, an even more powerful electromagnetic warfare system will be added to the jets. In May 2014, Boeing delivered the 100th Growler to the Navy with a committed for 35 more (4 per year) over the next 10 years. But the eventual plan is for 200 Growlers and 230 F 35 C stealth electromagnetic warfare jets.

 

These electronic warfare jets also require a Nimitz class aircraft carrier – which are the largest warships ever built – each with a crew of 6,000. Each ship is longer than three football fields. Each of these aircraft carriers can accommodate up to 100 jets. Each of these ships cost about $8.5 billion. The Navy has 10 of these nuclear powered aircraft carriers so the total cost is about $85 billion. This does not include the cost of the 6,000 person crew. Nor does it include the cost of anything else needed to run the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

 

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One can only imagine the few remaining spotted owls on the western slope of the Olympic Mountains – owls that evolved to live in one of the quietest environments on earth – being suddenly attacked by 200 to 400 electronic warfare jets up to 11 times a day or more than 1000 times a year. The shear volume of noise is certain to be deafening. Should the owls and residents of the Olympic Peninsula somehow survive these hourly attacks, they would still have to suffer the long term and possibly deadly harm inflicted by tens of thousands of electromagnetic pulse beams raining down on them like a toxic invisible hailstorm from the sky.

 

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The Stationary Electronic Warfare Transmitter… Also known as the Death Star

 

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So much for hiking along Pacific Beach. The tower would be about 66 feet high and 40 feet wide. The tower would be capable of generating an electromagnetic wave at frequencies ranging from 2 to 18 gigahertz (GHz) and it would be able to emit up to 64 simultaneous signals while transmitting in pulses or a continuous wave. The Navy plans to have the Electronic Warfare project running by September 2015. The Navy still needs permission from the U.S. Forest Service and the state Department of Natural Resources for use of roads in remote areas where the mobile units would travel and set up.

 

The Mobile Electronic Warfare Transmitters… Bringing death to 15 sites in the Olympic Mountains

 

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Imagine running into one of these war machines during your next family camping trip! The Navy says that you will be okay as long as you are not near one of these war machines for more than 15 minutes. No worries there. The moment I see one of these things, I am heading the other direction as fast as I can!

 

This is only a small part of the Navy’s New War Plan Against the People and Wildlife of the United States

As of December 2014, the Navy will also be expanding its sonar and explosive activity into waters off Indian Island near Port Townsend, in the Strait of Juan De Fuca, and in the 2,408 square mile Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary, where the Navy says it is exempt from prohibitions. It has, however, said that bombing exercises will take place outside the Sanctuary. At the same time, the Navy is developing plans for two Carrier Strike Groups to train in the Gulf of Alaska just south of Prince William Sound and east of Kodiak Island, using new extremely loud weapons systems and sinking two ships per year, in exercises that the Navy admits will kill or injure 182,000 whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, seals, sea otters and other marine mammals in one five- year period. This is less than the original prediction of 425,000 marine mammals, but still so astonishing it makes one wonder what parts of our biologically rich coasts will not become war zones with high casualty counts, if the Navy gets its way.

 

This concludes our summary of the Navy plan to turn the Olympic Mountains into a war zone. In the next section, we will describe a series of unanswered questions about how this war plan might harm humans and wildlife. We will then review the history of attempts to save our spotted owls. We will then assess the current spotted owl population in the Olympic Mountains – showing that is on the brink of extinction even before this new plan by the Navy to destroy them completely. We will then conclude with a series of ideas on what each of us can do individually and jointly to stop this monstrous assault on the Olympic Peninsula.

 

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For links to all of these studies, visit the Home page of our website:

http://washingtonenvironmentalprotectioncoalition.org/

Lobbying Adam Smith on war and the TPP

This afternoon I attended Rep. Adam Smith’s salmon bake in Bellevue. I mentioned problems with our military: ex-military generals whose punditry is corrupted by connections to military contractors; cost over-runs and design flaws in the F-35; and our history of supporting the wrong side in conflicts.  As always, Smith acknowledges the existence of the problems.  He pointed out, too, that the Saudis are funding ISIS.   Still, he voted to fund the training of opposition groups, since ISIS is a real threat. (Only Jim McDermott in Washington State voted against it.)  I asked if Congress approved of the current bombing. Smith said that he thinks Obama should get approval from Congress before bombing. After recalling the trillions of dollars wasted in disastrous wars, I asked him to err on the side of pacifism in future votes.

In his speech to the assembled people, he repeatedly used the word “progressive” and so when it was time for questions, I asked him why he doesn’t join the Progressive Caucus. He responded that he cares about issues not labels, so he’ll stick with New Democrats he’s been a member of.

When moderate Democrats speak to the Democratic base, they often repeat the “p” word (progressive). Do they really mean it?

Someone asked about the TPP. He explained that whenever you trade with another nation you need independent rules and tribunals to deal with conflicts. He concurs that any agreement must have worker and environmental protections. Afterwards,  I mentioned to him that the state Dems’ platform includes opposition to TPP, and I pointed out the widespread opposition of the Left to TPP, which is regarded as a corporate giveaway.   Yes, parts of it are still secret; but the parts that have been leaked suggest it is bad.  Smith said it won’t be coming up for a vote soon.

He said that nothing will get accomplished in D.C. because Congress is under control of Tea Party people who don’t want Congress to work.

His seat in the 9th CD was gerrymandered after the 2010 census to make it safe for a Democrat, just as the 8th CD was made safe for Dave Reichert, whose Democratic opponent Jason Ritchie attended the event.

For a related story, see Adam Smith’s appearance on Face the Nation and CNN.

Dennis Kucinich Peace Forum in Seattle and Bellevue, Oct 16

5:30pm to 8 pm at UW Kane Hall in Seattle
7 to 9 pm at Bellevue College Theater

To attend, RSVP at our website, CoalitionForPeaceNow.org.
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Friends, Are you tired of endless wars and immoral bombing of innocent women and children? Join us to hear the national leader of the Peace Movement and winner of the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize, Dennis Kucinich on October 16th and together we can stop these wars! Please share this event with anyone you know who wants peace and prosperity rather than war and austerity.

RSVP at our website, CoalitionForPeaceNow.org.

See also https://www.facebook.com/events/916816821665261/.

Hey, anti-war conservatives, can we work together to rein in military waste and destruction?

There are many conservatives of a libertarian bent who want to rein in military waste and adventurism.

Progressives and libertarians both oppose the immense corruption, waste, loss of rights, and destruction that results from the activities of the military and security state.

Ron Paul and many of his followers come to mind. But so does the Tea Party.

From the moment they came in to office, a number of the “Tea Party” darlings in Congress were talking openly about cutting Defense Department spending, something which earned them scorn from the military and condemnation from many of the establishment Republicans, for whom military spending can only go in one direction – up. —  Growing Tea Party Calls for Military Spending Cuts

Tea Party members have opposed the NSA.   How the Tea Party became an anti-war movement reports:

The first sign that a real alliance of “progressive anti-war Democrats and isolationist Tea Party libertarians” was actually materializing, says Greg Sargent at The Washington Post, was the narrow defeat of a proposal by conservative Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and liberal stalwart Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to restrict NSA domestic phone surveillance.

Tea Party members have recently called on Congress not to get involved in Syria.  Tea Party group to fight Syria resolution:  “Congress should be focusing on the red ink at home, not arbitrarily established red lines abroad,” said Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks. “Congress ignores the will of the voters on this issue at their own peril.”

The Wikipedia article on the Tea Party Movement says:

 Some Tea Party affiliated Republicans, such as Michele Bachmann, Jeff Duncan, Connie Mack IV, Jeff Flake, Tim Scott, Joe Walsh, Allen West, and Jason Chaffetz, voted for progressive Congressman Dennis Kucinich‘s resolution to withdraw U.S. military personnel from Libya. In the Senate, three Tea Party backed Republicans, Jim DeMint, Mike Lee and Michael Crapo, voted to limit foreign aid to Libya, Pakistan and Egypt.Tea Partiers in both houses of Congress have shown willingness to cut foreign aid. Most leading figures within the Tea Party both within and outside Congress opposed military intervention in Syria.

I know that Dennis Kucinich has called on people to move beyond labels and parties and to work on issues that matter, despite differences.

But when I raised the question with progressive friends they responded negatively.

One person responded, “Should happen. Will not happen.” Another person said, “Probably not.”

In a chat room, someone said, “No – I mean progressives tend to be anti-war on human rights basis… libertarians anti-war on money and ‘not-our-business’ basis… different reasons tend to result in different legislation and different strings attached which would be unpalatable to the other sides.”

Someone said, “We tried working with some of them here on GMO stuff. They tried to co-opt the group, and pushed the FEMA camps, contrails, you name it, as part of the agenda”

“They said FEMA camps are dress rehearsals for incarcerating us in camps….a view I happen to agree with.”

“For every tea partier you get, you will lose a Kennedy democrat.”

But I am not calling for a broad alliance with libertarians. That’s impossible.  Just a targeted, narrow, strategic alliance on this one issue.

Someone pointed out that some of the Republican opposition to military spending is a result of their opposition to President Obama. Had  Republican been president, they would have supported the spending.

You’d think that many Christians would loudly oppose military spending and adventurism.  Sure, too many of them care more about abortions and gay marriage.   Still, there are many anti-war nuns and people of faith.

Peace dove

I’d like to invite anti-war conservatives and progressives to get together to see how they can work to raise awareness about the issues and to strategize about ways to rein in military spending, secrecy, and adventurism.

Can progressives and anti-war conservatives work together on this?  It would garner immense interest as an example of across-the-aisle bipartisanship, and it could really have a positive effect.  The blowback from the security state would be immense, no doubt.

Christians, work with us for peace and justice, by rejecting right wing politics

Pope Francis has called on atheists to unite with religious people and work for a “homemade peace” that will spread worldwide.

I say: Christians, if you really believe in peace and in the teachings of Jesus, stop voting for conservative politicians who start immoral, disastrous wars; who sell the soul of the US to mammon; and who harm the poor, the sick, the children, and the elderly.