Archive for November, 2010

Just Back from School of the Americas Vigil

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Aloha friends,

I’m just back from Columbus, Georgia after participating in the 20th annual School of the Americas Watch gathering over the weekend Nov. 19-21.
The School of the Americas, also called the School of the Assassins, located at Fort Benning trains troops of Central and South American repressive regimes in police state tactics, including torture.

I was named by Pax Christi USA as their 2010 Teacher of Peace and given an award as part of the weekend activities.  Each year Pax Christi USA names one Teacher of Peace.
Some of the past Teacher’s of Peace are: Daniel Berrigan, SJ, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, MM, Shelley and Jim Douglass, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Kathy Kelly, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, Martin Sheen, Helen Prejean, CSJ, Liz McAlister and Fr. Louis Vitale, OFM.

I’m a small potato compared to the above spiritual giants, but I told the gathering that I accepted the award on behalf of all the small potatoes of the world standing up to ending the war against the planet (the poisoning of land, water and air) and making peace with mother earth.
Beyond the wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. — the wars for oil, are the wars for food, wars for water, wars against species, so it is good to honor all the small potatoes who believe we need to end all the wars.  All species,  people, cultures should be respected and the resources of the earth should be shared in a just, sustainable manner.

The weekend activities were very inspiring. It was great to see such a cross cultural/age gathering of thousands.  The entire weekend was very well organized with lots of workshops, speakers, and music.  The weekend concluded at the main gate of Fort Benning with a solemn procession of people holding crosses and the chanting of thousands of names of those killed by people trained at the School of the Americas.  Several dozen were arrested in peaceful protests over the weekend in acts of conscience.
The work will continue on many levels until the School is shut down.

Below are a few links for more info.

Jim Albertini
Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O.Box AB
Kurtistown, Hawai’i 96760
phone: 808-966-7622
email: JA@interpac.net
Visit us on the web at: www.malu-aina.org

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/pax-christi-awards-teacher-peace-video-event

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/soa-vigil-opens-organizer-calls-change-foreign-policy

http://lifesent.typepad.com/diary_of_a_priest_on_miss/2010/11/school-of-the-americas-training-in-torture-oppression-and-lies.html

Making peace with all!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

True Thanksgiving!

Time to End War Against the Earth

“When we think of wars in our times, our minds turn to Iraq and Afghanistan. But the bigger war is the war against the planet. This war has its roots in an economy that fails to respect ecological and ethical limits – limits to inequality, limits to injustice, limits to greed and economic concentration.

“A handful of corporations and of powerful countries seeks to control the earth’s resources and transform the planet into a supermarket in which everything is for sale. They want to sell our water, genes, cells, organs, knowledge, cultures and future.  The continuing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and onwards are not only about “blood for oil”.  As they unfold, we will see that they are about blood for food, blood for genes and biodiversity and blood for water…

“Making peace with the earth was always an ethical and ecological imperative. It has now become a survival imperative for our species.  Violence to the soil, to biodiversity, to water, to atmosphere, to farms and farmers produces a warlike food system that is unable to feed people. One billion people are hungry. Two billion suffer food-related diseases – obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cancers.

“The elevation of the domain of the market, and money as man-made capital, to the position of the highest organizing principle for societies and the only measure of our well-being has led to the undermining of the processes that maintain and sustain life in nature and society.  The richer we get, the poorer we become ecologically and culturally. The growth of affluence, measured in money, is leading to a growth in poverty at the material, cultural, ecological and spiritual levels.  The real currency of life is life itself and this view raises questions: how do we look at ourselves in this world? What are humans for? And are we merely a money-making and resource-guzzling machine? Or do we have a higher purpose, a higher end?

“I believe that ”earth democracy” enables us to envision and create living democracies based on the intrinsic worth of all species, all peoples, all cultures – a just and equal sharing of this earth’s vital resources, and sharing the decisions about the use of the earth’s resources.  Earth democracy protects the ecological processes that maintain life and the fundamental human rights that are the basis of the right to life, including the right to water, food, health, education, jobs and livelihoods.

“We have to make a choice. Will we obey the market laws of corporate greed or Gaia’s laws for maintenance of the earth’s ecosystems and the diversity of its beings?  People’s need for food and water can be met only if nature’s capacity to provide food and water is protected. Dead soils and dead rivers cannot give food and water.  Defending the rights of Mother Earth is therefore the most important human rights and social justice struggle. It is the broadest peace movement of our times.”

This is an edited version of Dr. Vandana Shiva’s speech at the Sydney, Australia Opera House Nov. 6, 2010  See  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/11/07-5
PS.  Reminder: Hawaii’s soil is contaminated with a wide range of toxins, including depleted uranium from military training.

Love Your Mother!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties.

4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc.5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action

P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email ja@interpac.net   http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Nov. 26, 2010 – 480th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Bush’s Book tour

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Torture Without Regrets -

“Damn Right”
Bush Boasts About Waterboarding

“Former President George W. Bush continues to be beyond shame. Those favored with an advance copy of his memoir, Decision Points, say it paints a picture of a totally unapologetic Bush bragging, for example, about authorizing the CIA to waterboard 9/11 (alledged)  ‘mastermind,’ Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. For such a frank admission of high-level criminality, we can say, with ample justification, Shame on Bush. But that shame also sticks like Saran wrap to the rest of us – and especially to the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM), which has soft-pedalled the significance of Bush’s confession, and to his make-nice successor, Barack Obama, who has refused to demand any accountability. However, if we are still a democracy, we are all complicit. Last but hardly least, shame on Bush’s timid successor. Every time I hear that Obama is a former professor of Constitutional law I find myself muttering, ‘And that would be the constitution of which country?’ The President’s soaring rhetoric falls flat fast the moment you stop to ponder how he has betrayed his oath to see to it that the laws are faithfully executed — in this case, by holding self-confessed torturers accountable. Bush has brought the issue of torture to a head. Shame on us all, if we allow the recent history of waterboarding and other torture techniques to go unchallenged and to end up defining us.”

Ray McGovern | “Damn Right”: Bush Boasts about Waterboarding
See full article: http://act.commondreams.org/go/3042?akid=261.56000.4-rrck&t=18
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. During his career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed the President’s Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates.

Wikipedia (an online encyclopedia) defines waterboarding as:
“a form of torture that consists of immobilizing the subject on his/her back with the head inclined downwards; water is then poured over the face into breathing passages, thus triggering (a sensation) of drowning. In contrast to submerging the head face-forward in water, waterboarding precipitates an almost immediate gag reflex (causing) extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to (the) lungs (and) brain….from oxygen deprivation (as well as) other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, if uninterrupted, death.”

Related Links:  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26804.htm
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26807.htm

Bush authorized and expanded extra-judicial imprisonment and torture.  Obama has not only failed to follow through on his promise to close Guananamo Bay prison, but also has authorized extra-judicial killings.

Shame on Bush!  Shame on Obama!

Shame on us all!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action

P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email ja@interpac.net   http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Nov. 19, 2010 – 479th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office

Volunteer Kalo Planting Dec. 4th

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Volunteer Farm Day

Saturday, December 4th, there will be a volunteer farm day at Malu ‘Aina from 9-11AM.  Call 966-7622 or email ja@interpac.net for directions.

Weather permitting, we’ll be planting kalo and there will be volunteer jobs for all ages and skill –from keiki to senior citizens.  Come and lend a hand to plant food to share with people in need and support the work of justice and peace.

Following the work, we will have a pot luck lunch and talk story.  It’s a good day to reconnect with the ‘aina and one another.

Blessings and mahalo.

Jim Albertini

Who’s on the “Hit” List?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Obama Targeting Americans
for Assassination

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration argued on Nov. 8th before a federal court that it should have unreviewable authority to kill Americans the executive branch has unilaterally determined to pose a threat. Government lawyers made that claim in response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) charging that the administration’s asserted targeted killing authority violates the Constitution and international law. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia heard arguments from both sides today.

If the Constitution means anything, it surely means that the president does not have unreviewable authority to summarily execute any American whom he concludes is an enemy of the state,” said Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU, who presented arguments in the case. “It’s the government’s responsibility to protect the nation from terrorist attacks, but the courts have a crucial role to play in ensuring that counterterrorism policies are consistent with the Constitution.”

“Not only does the administration claim to have sweeping power to target and kill U.S. citizens anywhere in the world, but it makes the extraordinary claim that the court has no role in reviewing that power or the legal standards that apply,” said CCR Staff Attorney Pardiss Kebriaei, who presented arguments in the case. “The Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected the government’s claim to an unchecked system of global detention, and the district court should similarly reject the administration’s claim here to an unchecked system of global targeted killing.”

The ACLU and CCR were retained by Nasser Al-Aulaqi to bring a lawsuit in connection with the government’s decision to authorize the targeted killing of his son, U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi. The lawsuit asks the court to rule that, outside the context of armed conflict, the government can carry out the targeted killing of an American citizen only as a last resort to address an imminent threat to life or physical safety. The lawsuit also asks the court to order the government to disclose the legal standard it uses to place U.S. citizens on government kill lists…

The government filed a brief in the case in September, claiming that the executive’s targeted killing authority is a “political question” that should not be subject to judicial review. The government also asserted the “state secrets” privilege, contending that the case should be dismissed to avoid the disclosure of sensitive information.

See full article http://act.commondreams.org/go/3034?akid=261.56000.4-rrck&t=1
For more information on the case, including fact sheets and legal papers, visit: www.aclu.org/targetedkillings and www.ccrjustice.org/targetedkillings

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

-Abraham Lincoln

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc.
5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.

Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action                                                          P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email ja@interpac.net   http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Nov. 12, 2010 – 478th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office