McGovern: GOP Giving White House Blank Check for War is Shameful!!!!, America Has Been At War for 16 Years and Speaker Ryan Refuses to Allow,…

McGovern: GOP Giving White House Blank Check for War is Shameful!!!!
America Has Been At War for 16 Years and Speaker Ryan Refuses to Allow
Congressional Oversight and Debate on Updated War Authorization
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat, delivered a blistering rebuke of Speaker Ryan and House Republicans for their refusal to answer the bipartisan call to end the outdated war authorization used by Presidents Obama and Trump.
Highlights of Congressman McGovern’s Speech:
“We are 16 years into the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. The costs are already in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And the human costs to our troops, our veterans and their families have been enormous. Yet, Congress has not taken a single vote, has not taken a single stand, on this war for sixteen years. So, in the absence of debating an updated AUMF for Afghanistan, the very least we can do is debate whether we will, once again, escalate our military footprint in Afghanistan.
“Congress has to stop kicking the can down the road. It is unconscionable that the Republican leadership continues to prevent meaningful debate on these wars. Both Democrats and Republicans keep bringing these issues up because it’s our job. The American people sent us to Washington to debate the uncomfortable issues and to take the difficult votes.
“There are some in Congress who think it’s acceptable to give this Administration a blank check to continue these endless wars. Why anybody, no matter who’s president, but especially with this president, would feel comfortable giving the White House a blank check for war, is beyond my comprehension.
“We need to debate these wars. And if that’s a debate you’d rather not have – if that’s a vote that you would rather not take – then you should look for a new job. You should go into a different vocation.We are 16 years into the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. The costs are already in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And the human costs to our troops, our veterans and their families have been enormous.
Yet, Congress has not taken a single vote, has not taken a single stand, on this war for sixteen years. So, in the absence of debating an updated AUMF for Afghanistan, the very least we can do is debate whether we will, once again, escalate our military footprint in Afghanistan.
“We need to debate these wars. And if that’s a debate you’d rather not have – if that’s a vote that you would rather not take – then you should look for a new job. You should go into a different vocation.

Gaza’s Last Power Plant Just Shut Down, Plunging the Strip Into Darkness, Gaza’s last functioning turbine has been closed, leaving the strip without…

Gaza’s Last Power Plant Just Shut Down, Plunging the Strip Into Darkness
Gaza’s last functioning turbine has been closed, leaving the strip without almost any power
Graphic
The Gaza Strip’s only operating power plant was turned off late Wednesday due to a severe shortage of fuel, leaving the coastal enclave in a complete blackout, local officials said.
Officials at the Hamas-run power corporation said they had turned off the last operating turbine at the plant in southern Gaza city.
The Gaza Strip, with more than two million people, has been suffering from an energy crisis since mid-April due to a dispute over taxes between the Islamist Hamas movement, which rules the enclave, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
>> Gaza power watch: How many hours of electricity did Gaza get yesterday <<
Gaza has been under a tight Israeli blockade since Hamas’ violent takeover of the coastal enclave a decade ago and residents have been subjected to persistent blackouts.
Since April, Gaza’s power station has not been generating any megawatts, while Israel has reduced the amount of power it supplies to the Gaza Strip. Power lines built to supply electricity from Egypt have been damaged amid heavy fighting in the Sinai region.
Two weeks ago, Egypt shipped around 4 million liters of fuel to operate the power plant – but it was not enough to resolve the worsening crisis.

At the end of the day as the sun was coming out after a big rains all throughout the day, our wonderful delegation of anti-nuke activists from the…

At the end of the day as the sun was coming out after a big rains all throughout the day, our wonderful delegation of anti-nuke activists from the United States arrived.
This is one powerful group of women and men who have spent 34 years collectively in prison challenging the US nuclear program!
Many thanks to Marion Kupker for her steadfast organization for these camps each year.
Please put the camp on your schedule if you’re ever going to Europe in the summer!
http:// www.buchel-atombombenfrei.de
nukewatch

From Hamburg I went down the Rhine River and then the Mosel river to the anti-nuclear camp at the German airbase near Buchel where at least 20 US…

From Hamburg I went down the Rhine River and then the Mosel river to the anti-nuclear camp at the German airbase near Buchel where at least 20 US nuclear bombs are located. The camp is been going on for a long time and has 20 weeks of protest this summer.
Please come visit if you are in Europe this summer.
For more information, check here: http://www.abolition2000.org/…/international-action-camp-a…/
http:// www.buchel-atombombenfrei.de
Organizer
Atomwaffenfrei
Phone:
+49 (0)172 771 32 66
Email:
mariongaaa@gmx.de
Website:
http://www.atomwaffenfrei.de/

Viet Nam : openings to the West

The authentic Vietnamese culture – autochthonous Viet culture – was bom during the Bronze Age (1st millennium BC) in the basin of the Song Hong (Red River). Enriched by the contributions of Chinese culture, it developed in the context of Southeast Asia and East Asia until the first decades of the 19th century in such a way as to bring about what is often called traditional culture.
 
The first contacts with the West date back to the 17th century arrival of Portuguese, Spanish and-French Catholic missionaries. Evangelisation, however, took place in fits and starts and did not reach full bloom until the establishment of the colonial administration in the second half of the 19th century.
 
But the dramatic confrontation between East and West made itself felt as early as the 1830s, when the White Peril became inevitable. Apart from some far-sighted minds who demanded reforms, the majority of the mandarins, steeped in Confucianism, simultaneously feared and disdained the material force of the West.
 
Back from an 1832-33 study trip to Batavia, eminent historian Phan Huy Chu deplored the absence of social rites among the Europeans: “The practice of rites between rich people and the commoners is non-existent. That’s because they don’t know the precept of the Zhou and of Confucius. Although they may excel in all sorts of skills, they remain barbarians."
 
These barbarians forced open the door of Viet Nam and confronted Vietnamese intellectuals and patriots with the harrowing choice of revising traditional values in favour of Westernisation. This imparted to Vietnamese nationalism multiple and sometimes contradictory tendencies, from neo-Confucian monarchism to Marxism passing through constitutional monarchism, bourgeois reformism and collaborationism.
 
Ravages of colonialism notwithstanding, during the eighty years of the colonial regime the country opened to the West on a cultural plane through the French cultural channel. Vietnamese culture was thus modernised, taking on a new component.
 
This channel helped bring about a powerful ferment in all domains of civilisation. Changes extended to the material (contributions of science and technology) and the spiritual (ideals of the philosophy of the Enlightmeot Century, the example of the 1789 Revolution, Cartesian rationalism, the creation of journalism, new artistic and literary genres, novels, individualised poetry, modem drama, pumice lacquer, new music, social sciences, etc.)
 
The 1945 Revolution marked the beginning of Viet Nam’s internationalisation and the reconquest of national independence. This was accomplished through the costly Indochina wars and its attachment to the alliance of socialist countries (i.e. the East, East and West being conceived more ideologically and politically than geographically).
 
The disintegration of the Soviet bloc – Eastern Europe – was the prelude to the final turning point in Viet Nam’s contemporary history. The policy of economic renewal (Doi moi), embarked on in 1986, opted for a market-ori-CQted economy and openness to all countries. Furthermore, by integrating into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Viet Nam did not hesitate to open to the West.
 
The economic advances which are the outgrowth of these developments, together with the aftermaths of thirty years of war and the invasion of foreign cultures, have once again called into question the ethical and values of the nations. Viet Nam is on its way to finding a new path to ievef, opment which will not alter its identity and which will allow it to realise key aspirations on the threshold of the 21st century: “a rich people, a strogg country, an equitable democratic and civilised society.’’
 
No doubt it has to proceed with a careful sorting-out of Western culture.
 
Learn more about Vietnamese culture with us through Da Nang packages holiday.
 
 
 

Article about Ariel Gold’s work in the West Bank that challenges Israeli policies

Article about Ariel Gold’s work in the West Bank that challenges Israeli policies.
Following is the text of the article as one must subscribe to Haaretz to read it.
Jewish Mother and BDS Activist: Code Pink’s Ariel Gold vs. Israel’s Travel Ban
The pro-Palestinian provocateur is under attack after a newspaper alleged that she ‘tricked’ her way into Israel last month. She says she will be ‘heartbroken’ if the authorities ban her from ever returning
Allison Kaplan Sommer Jul 10, 2017 9:01 PM
Photos not shown:
Ariel Gold at her son’s Bar Mitzvah at Ithaca synagogue, New York. Martin Alderman of Ithaca, NY
Ashton Kutcher confronted by protester at Airbnb event over listings in West Bank settlements
WATCH: Protesters get within inches of Kissinger on Capitol Noaell Hill Cross
Ariel Gold is a one-woman example of the contradictions of the Israeli government’s travel ban law, which forbids foreign nationals who call for boycotts of Israel from entering the country.
Outspoken, provocative, pro-Palestinian and an advocate of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, Gold is a professional campaign director for Code Pink, the far-left peace and social justice NGO that works to end U.S.-funded wars and occupations.
She has demonstrated against Israeli policies, disrupted public events and been arrested – in both Israel and the United States – for her protests. She was banned from visiting the Western Wall last year after authorities found her carrying political signs and pamphlets while entering the plaza.
She is currently in Hebron, monitoring the military trial of Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro and publicizing his cause online. At the same time, the 42-year-old mother of two is an active member of her Ithaca, NY Reform synagogue, sends her kids to Jewish summer camp, and her teenage son is on a summer-long Israel program with the Reform movement.
She has Israeli cousins and proudly boasts that her family can trace its lineage back to 16th-century Rabbi Yosef Caro, author of the “Shulchan Aruch” (the codification of Jewish religious law), who is buried in Safed.
PHoto not shown
Ariel Gold, center, protesting against Airbnb.Madrone Jack of Oakland, CA.
In a telephone interview from the West Bank city, Gold says she has been “under attack” since last Thursday when Israel Hayom – a widely circulated, pro-Netanyahu newspaper owned by Sheldon Adelson – ran an article charging that her admission into Israel was a “failure,” and that she had “tricked” Israeli authorities by deleting every post from her Facebook page since 2012, “all of which call for a boycott.”
The article was critical of the Israeli government for allowing Gold to slip through the net, and quotes a Public Security Ministry official as promising that Gold will be barred from entering the country in the future. (A spokesman for Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan did not respond to inquiries for this article.)
skip – Ariel Gold tweet
Gold vehemently denies the newspaper’s charges of deception, saying she “didn’t take down a single post” from her Facebook page, noting that she had merely changed the status of posts from “Public” to “Friends” only.
She says it was “absurd” to believe she had done anything to deliberately deceive the Israeli authorities.
“It’s not hard to see things I’ve done and written about online. You just Google my name. I mean, I publicly disrupted Ashton Kutcher last fall, asking him to use his position on Airbnb to stop it from operating in the settlements – it wasn’t just in Haaretz and the Times of Israel, but it was in People Magazine!”
skip – Ariel Gold vs Ashton Kutcher
Videos of the Kutcher incident are easily found on YouTube, as is the video of a campaign appearance by Chelsea Clinton that Gold disrupted last year, and articles she has written on the Mondoweiss website harshly criticizing Israel and its policies.
skip – Ariel Gold vs Chelsea Clinton
“If I was to try to erase my political opinions on Israel and Palestine on the internet, it would take me years,” she joked.
When she was questioned at Ben-Gurion airport in late June, Gold says she was open about what she did and where she worked, noting that the email she gave officials had a Code Pink address.
The security personnel questioning her “didn’t ask me about BDS at all,” she says. “They asked if I supported violent resistance against Israel. And I said I absolutely did not. They asked me where my feelings were, and I told them that I believe in justice and I believe in peace and I believe in nonviolence.”
Had they asked her about boycotting Israel, she says she would have told them she believes “that BDS is a nonviolent approach to bring Israel into accordance with international law and international standards for human rights.”
What she teaches her kids
She has worked at Code Pink for two years, previously volunteering with them as an activist. Her political activism on the Palestinian issue began during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in late 2008, when she joined Jewish Voice For Peace and became its chapter coordinator, she says.
Gold was raised secular and says she felt she had missed out when she attended her cousins’ Bar and Bat Mitzvot. She connected with her Judaism as a young adult, joining a synagogue and becoming part of a Jewish community, and made a point of sending her own children to Hebrew school and Jewish camp.
PHOTO–Ariel Gold outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, July 2017.Youth Against Settlements
“But I also taught my children to think critically, and [to] think critically about the actions of the State of Israel, and that Palestinians [are] deserving of equality and freedom and justice – and I have taken them to protests alongside me since they are toddlers,” she adds, including a 2015 action against AIPAC where she was arrested.
“I felt a lot of love for Israel when I began to explore Judaism. But from the time I heard about the occupation, it was horrible and wrong,” she says, calling her emotions in coming to terms with Israel’s actions toward Palestinians “a grief process.”
Gold says she doesn’t know why Israel Hayom singled her out but speculates she could be under scrutiny because of her work over the past year spearheading Amro’s cause, and advocating for him with the U.S. government.
Amro was indicted by the Israeli army last September for a range of offences, including spitting at a settler, obstructing soldiers and insulting them, and entering closed military zones. His lawyers have argued that his prosecution constitutes political persecution and is intended to stop his activism.
Gold says proudly she was “instrumental” in the lobbying efforts by a coalition of advocacy groups that resulted in a June 28 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, signed by 32 members of Congress, asking him to use his influence with Israel to encourage its government to “reconsider the charges against Mr. Amro, internationally recognized as a principled, nonviolent human rights advocate.”
Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about Issa Amro.
The number of signatures is the highest-ever on a document advocating for a Palestinian cause, Gold adds. She believes it is this political work (which Code Pink has done in coordination with other groups) that is why the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has sent two representatives to monitor Amro’s trial.
But Gold’s social media activity and provocative actions could just as equally have been the reason – she has been posting numerous photographs and videos criticizing Israeli policies during her stay, including an interview with Amro, and the photograph published in the newspaper where she stands in front of a checkpoint holding a sign declaring “This is Apartheid #codepink”
During her time in Hebron, Gold says she has instigated several “lively Jewish debates” with Israel Defense Forces soldiers standing guard. At various points, she notes, she has been told she was restricted to either the areas exclusively for Jews or confined to the areas for Palestinians, depending on whether she was perceived as a Jew or a pro-Palestinian activist.
skip – Code Pink tweet
She says she isn’t angry or hostile with the soldiers. “These are all very young soldiers and I think they are in difficult situations, and I think they are overwhelmed by what they are doing.” She has harsher words for Hebron’s settlers, whom she alleges have followed and harassed her, insulted her and said “I came here to have sex with Arabs.”
The Israel Hayom article reported ominously that the Public Security Ministry was “investigating what should be done about Gold,” adding that she will be prevented from entering the country in the future, in accordance with the travel ban.
Gold says the prospect of being barred from Israel and the territories – and the entire concept of the travel ban – “appalls” her, and she has considered approaching the authorities and asking them not to stop her from entering the country despite her politics.
“It is incredible here,” she says. “I love my friends here and I love the land here. I will be heartbroken if I can’t return.”
Just in case, she adds, she is going to make a point of visiting her relatives and the grave of Rabbi Caro in Safad, since “it may be the last time I see it.”
Approached by Haaretz, a spokesman for Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says Gold’s case is “being investigated.” He said no decision has been made as to whether she can remain or return to Israel.
Allison Kaplan Sommer
Haaretz Correspondent

Great interview with Palestinian solidarity activist Ariel Gold–her reasons for challenging the policies of the Israeli government are strong

Great interview with Palestinian solidarity activist Ariel Gold–her reasons for challenging the policies of the Israeli government are strong, well-documented and very important–I wish the government of Israel would acknowledge the legitimate criticism of its policies–but they don’t want to be reminded of their illegal, criminal actions in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza!!!

Gaza Needs Our Help Against the Israeli Blockade

Gaza Needs Our Help Against the Israeli Blockade. here are a few of the needs:
- Immediate and stable supply of medicines, medical surgical devices, instruments and their parts, to restore very rapidly the deficits in provision of health services, and grant their maintenance.
- Immediate provision of a stable supply line of fuel to generate energy and of new energy cables to cover needs during construction of a second power plant in Gaza.
- Immediate, stabilized 24/7 opening of the Rafha border by EUBAM.
- Construction of a desalination plant of the size needed to provide drinking water for the whole community.
- Construction of the promised sea port while temporarily ensuring the activation of a small passenger and small items vessel service between Gaza and Cyprus.
- Provision of solar energy plants for all hospital structures serving more than 500 patients/month and for advanced specialist care departments regardless of the number of patients treated, and, in the interim, temporary provision of fuel to cover the requirements of existing generators.
- Delivery of cement and other items needed for housing reconstruction as already ascertained by the UN and UNRWA.
- Reconstruction of the destroyed sewage system and its expansion to meet the population’s needs.
- Establishing and building rubbish recycling and disposal services and plants.
- Granting independent access to satellite and telephone communications.
- Granting the possibility to produce and use local products for trade abroad and to purchase consumer goods from on the free market.

When I first started a healing practice, I thought I had to be perfect all the time

When I first started a healing practice, I thought I had to be perfect all the time.
I thought I had to have everything figured out, or at least make it seem that way.
I thought in order to heal, I needed to have all the answers, all the time.
If I didn’t have an answer, I would fumble and try to make something up that sounded right in my head.
I’ve become more and more comfortable in my unknowing; from this, two beautiful things have started happening.
1. When I admit to myself and to others that I don’t know, we can begin a dialogue, a co-creation, pulling pieces of ourselves together to build an ornate mosaic of experience and perspective. I can say “I don’t know, let’s figure it out together.” And thus begins a beautiful dance of unfolding empathy, curiosity and understanding. I can be the student, learning about myself through others.
2. When I admit to myself and to others the things that I do not know, I become more clear in what I do know. I know and am continuing to uncover my truth. I know how I feel, I listen to the messages my body carries and the emotions that move through me. I strengthen my awareness of myself so that when I do connect and communicate with the world it is with a whole and genuine soul.
I am here.
I am present.
www.madisonwhite.net

Dennis White organized the build of the Wyman School Playground, many years of school plays, D

Dennis White organized the build of the Wyman School Playground, many years of school plays, D.A.R.E. haunted houses, Teen and Arts Center at the local Boys and Girls Clubs and countless other acts of charity asking for no money and no recognition. My brother, who now runs the business he started and ran for over 40 years, putting food on the table for our family, has nominated him and he is definitely my hard hat hero.
Love you, dad, and miss you unimaginably.

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