Friday, August 17, 2012

Build Peace Moved, sort of....

Long time no write.  Sorry.  

Actually I've been writing a lot!  Just not here...   

I tried Done Nesting as another blog here on blogspot, and because of the positive response and realizations I had on and because of that site, I decided to kick the concept up a notch that and  We're Done Nesting will relaunch as a broader concept website this fall.  

I've tried several different blog platforms and blogging configurations to house the rest of my writing and what has resulted is Reason Creek.  Check it out.  It is a place where logic flows... freely.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Arizona Constitution Protects Occupy Tucson Yet Arrests Continue

For Tucson this past week has been a busy one.  First the air was calming down after El Tour de Tucson, and gearing up for Buy Nothing Day and Shop Local Saturday, then on Thanksgiving the air was abuzz with how wonderful it was that Gabby Giffords was able to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the servicemen at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, which was uplifting, even though from my perspective it would have been more wonderful if she had served the homeless or the Occupy folks. 

Then on the 23rd the busy-ness in Tucson became less upbeat as the Occupy Tucson movement geared up to stand up to the court's decision to intensifiy of the nightly citations they received: 
What it means now is - if a person who has more than two tickets for violating the city code which prohibits sleeping in the park after 10:30 p.m. - goes back to the park after 10:30, they face the more severe crime "interfering with judicial process."
From what I can tell there are around 100 core occupiers in Tucson.  That is a substantial number. 

Mary DeCamp, the Green Party Candidate for Mayor in the recent election, was the first person actually arrested and jailed, rather than receiving a citation, on Thursday night, Thanksgiving Evening. 

The next physical arrest, of a disabled woman, can be seen in the following video.  Her statement that is read over the top of the following video, is well worth a read even if you don't watch the whole video. 

#OccupyTucson - Joan Zatorski Puca - A Disabled Woman Being Arrested by Tucson Police Dept 11 25 2011 from Mary K. Johnson on Vimeo.

Joan's statement:
Friday, Nov. 25, 2011

After much personal introspection, I came to the decision today that this evening I will place myself in position to be arrested at Pancho Villa Park downtown (Veinte de Agosto Park) and jailed in relation to my involvement in the OCCUPY MOVEMENT in Tucson.

I've been carefully studying and meditating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's most erudite essay, his "Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963)" this past week. I am convinced that it is essential for deliberate, immediate attention be refocused on the issues of economic injustice which initially galvanized the OCCUPY MOVEMENT world-wide (as opposed to issues related to local city curfew, park ordinances, or even this issue of First Amendment Rights).

I have come to this conclusion not as a leader of any movement or group but as a singular individual desperately concerned about the profound suffering presently experienced by millions of human beings across every economic and social class, generation, gender, sexual orientation, political persuasion, religious or spiritual belief.

In good conscience, I simply cannot let Mary DeCamp (recent Mayoral candidate, Tucson Peace Activist) be the lone Tucsonan willing to enter jail (as she did in the wee hours of November 25th) as a means of drawing attention to our country's blatant issues regarding economic injustice.

As an educated white woman, legally disabled by illness, a civil servant with almost 20 years of service to children who were living at or below the poverty line, a mother, grandmother, spouse, avowed Christian, registered and consistently-participating voter, American citizen by birthright, granddaughter of immigrants, who has never been arrested, much less walked into a jail, I believe I am the most "common" example of the "common person" impacted by the devastatingly serious economic issues that thousands upon thousands of people are demanding be addressed.

I am you... we are all one and we are suffering. Only by uniting with one another can our most egregious issues be solved.

Look in my eyes and see the reflection of your own face, your own pain... Look again and see, as well, the possibility for redemption, for resolution, for renewal of all that is good within the soul of America.

In closing, I ask you to surround me with your personal prayers this evening. That I may stay committed to my decision to display non-violent behavior, speech, and attitude in the face of (what may be) a physically and
medically challenging experience for me tonight (and beyond).

Joan Zatorski Puca
Tucson, Arizona
 So, local ordinances that are being enforced by Tucson Police are being used as though they supersede both the State and Federal Constitutions. 
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – United States Constitution, First Amendment, Bill Of Rights
“The right of petition, and of the people peaceably to assemble for the common good, shall never be abridged.” – Arizona Constitution, Article 2 Section 5
[Note that under this section, camping in the park because you are homeless (for personal gain) might be illegal, but for the common good (political protest) it is a protected activity]

The Constitution of the State of Arizona seems particularly clear in support of citizen protest of illegal financial practices by financial institutions and their state and federal regulators.  Until the criminal financial abuse of the Citizens of the United States is stopped and the Federal Court system has equitably meted out justice to those who assaulted our financial system, it certainly seems like the State Constitution of Arizona explicitly protects the actions of the Occupy Tucson protesters. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy Tucson needs your help!

Make some calls!  NOW!   This is from the Facebook Wall:

OccupyTucson needs your help! TPD is utilizing a strategy of financial attrition to kill the movement by issuing criminal citations to occupiers in the who stay in the park past 10:30pm. This citation carries a potential sentence of up to a $1000 fine, up to 6 months in jail, and up to 3 years probation. They are bleeding this movement financially instead of using pepper spray and batons. We need you all to take action now! Below is the link with the phone numbers and email addresses of each of the members of Tucson city council. Call them and demand that TPD stop it's war of financial attrition against OccupyTucson.

Regina Romero - city council Ward 1
Phone: (520) 791-4040 Email:

Karin Uhlich - Vice Mayor and city council Ward III Phone: (520) 791-4711 ---

Shirley Scott - city council Ward IV
Phone: (520) 791-3199 E-Mail:

Steve Kozachik - city council Ward VI
Phone: (520) 791-4601 E-Mail:

Mayor Bob Walkup
Phone: (520) 791-4201

 Also:  There is a march to City Council starting at 4:30 from Armory Park today if I read the post correctly.

The City Council Meeting does begin this afternoon at 5:30 p.m.!
The City Council meets here:  Mayor and Council Chambers, City Hall, 255 W. Alameda, Downtown Tucson

I have linked the image above to the Occupy Tucson site, even though I have been unable to get it to load. 

Monday, October 03, 2011

People on the Way to Occupy D.C.

People from all over the country are heading to Washington, D.C. this week.  A bit further on I discuss meeting with three of them heading across country to Occupy DC.  October 6th marks the 10th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.  Ten years ago we were mourning the attacks on New York City, the District of Columbia, and one attack that was thwarted and became a crash site in Pennsylvania.  We had the world on our side, our country was more united than we had been in decades, and our finances were in good shape.

10 years later the American people seem to be awakening to an understanding that they have been lied to, manipulated and bankrupted in order to benefit the wealthy corporate and military interests that used an attack on U.S. soil to corrupt the democratic processes that regulate capitalist maximization of profit at the expense of human needs. 

The unemployed, the outraged, the peaceful have put out and are responding to a call to gather together.   The Wall Street Occupation is getting the attention today, the D.C. occupation will probably get the attention at the end of the week.  The fact that I haven’t heard discussed is that this is happening during the month after the 10 year anniversary of our country was attacked and  the 10 year anniversary

During the evening of September 29th  I had the opportunity to talk to Xan, Peter, and Kevyn  as they came through Tucson on a caravan across the southern United States that was stopping in as many places along the way as people want them to talk about the issues or to join in a vigil or protest, or join with the caravan and go to D.C. to join the Human Need Not Corporate Greed occupation  force there.

The three original caravan members, others may have joined along the way by now, are associated with peace groups, Xan and Kevyn identify with CodePINK, and Peter is a member of Veterans for Peace.

Their stay in Tucson included protest with the local peace and justice community at weekly gathering in front of the Federal Building in downtown Tucson at rush hour, a candlelight vigil for DRONE victims in front of the gates of Davis Monthan Air Force Base at sunset,  connection with another weekly vigil  for those migrants who die in the surrounding desert nearly every week of the year in the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert.  Then with the Theater’s permission the lead Caravan Truck parked in front of the main theater doors with the with the side with  the beautiful mural painted by Phoebe Ackley so that viewers of a privately sponsored viewing of  The Future of Food  organized by the Tucson GMO Free Group  could see that individuals from diverse groups have the same concerns and can spread a message, have impact, and talk to  caravan members about the overlapping goals and agendas of peace and safe food groups. 
The concept of overlapping concerns and goals is a growing theme in U.S. civic action.  Talking heads, such as Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC today noted the amorphous nature of the reasons for the Occupy Wall Street actions in NYC that are spreading to other major cities across the United States.  The October 2011 web site that is the overarching informational site about the occupation of Freedom Plaza in D.C. has a list of 15 Core Issues of the Human Needs Not Corporate Greed actions in D.C.

The events commencing October 6 in D.C. are focused on redirecting war, military and occupation funds back to support of human and environmental needs.  The pledge on the states,

"I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day or the days immediately following, for as long as I can, with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine by occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America's resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning."

People’s motivations and wellbeing, as well as the ideal of democracy are complex constructs and cannot be condensed into the well-packaged marketing sound bytes easily broadcast by our media that now functions as much from press releases as from investigative journalism.  If the media, even those very few media outlets that are covering the Human Needs movement, does not understand what certainly seems like parts of a mass movement reacting to corporate take over of government functions around the world, well perhaps they will have to revert to old fashioned journalistic practice.

Today through Thursday of this week the CodePINK Caravan will travel through Shreveport, Louisiana - Jackson, Mississippi - Birmingham, Alabama, - Atlanta, Georgia - Charlotte and Henderson, North Carolina on the way to their arrival in Freedom Plaza in D.C.  at 9 a.m. Thursday.  “ Thursday,” as the participants note, “is only the beginning.” 

Xan has kept a blog of her activities at CODEPINK Journals since 2003.  She has made many cross country trips from her home in Berkeley to Washington, D.C. and was instrumental in getting the first on-going, long-term CODEPINK presence from all over the U.S. established in D.C. in 2006 and again in 2007 which lead to over two years of constant action in the Halls of Congress by women who came from every part of the U.S. to stay for a week or a month and focus on actions pertinent to them and the areas of the country from which they came at The Pink House, a cooperatively run house near Capitol Hill. 

A core group of activists and groups have promoted various views of and solutions to the misuse of government. and the peoples wishes and funds,  over the last 10 years.  Without them the current, extremely diverse 99 Percent might not be able to move in synch in what now seems to be a an organic trajectory rather than a single minded group.  Just like the Caravan built on already occurring events in the local community, what is building in the U.S. builds on years, and indeed years of awareness of the growth of greed. This is the stuff of which revolutions are made.  I think the people of the United States had their revolution and now they want it back.  Democracy is powerful and it is far more than a memory to the American People. 
 I can provide contact information to interested independent journalist bloggers who wish to request an interview with one or more of the caravan participants. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Repeal Day, Now We Just Need to Repeal a Couple More Things

Happy Repeal Day!  12:01 a.m. today, a few hours ago, the right of all citizens to serve serve in the military and defend the Constitution and the people of United States has been restored. Don't Ask Don't Tell finally goes away.  A person's sexual orientation is no one's business, and yet for the last 18 years any non-heterosexually oriented person had to hide their sexual orientation or risk expulsion from the military,  punishment, and loss of benefits.  Obama has kept another campaign promise. 

Right now the military is doing better at promoting and protecting constitutional basics than the society at large.  Just look at the recent Top Air Force Official Issues Religious Neutrality Policy in Wake of Truthout's "Jesus Loves Nukes" Exposé that caused the Air Force to pull all ethics training in order to scour the use of biblical justifications from ROTC pilot training in the use of nuclear weapons.  When this came to light, "Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz said, "Leaders ... must balance Constitutional protections for an individual's free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and its prohibition against governmental establishment of religion.""

Now perhaps we can get down to the real sex problem in the military of rape and sexual assault.  An amazing woman I have occasionally had the honor to work with in the peace movement over the last few years is Retired Colonel Ann Wright, one of three diplomats,who resigned  from the diplomatic corps in March 2003 when we invaded Iraq, has written on and spoken about this topic extensively. I recommend starting your read on this topic with her on the site, U.S. Military Violence Against Women. The site is an essential reference in any discussion of sexual violence in the military including the use of rape as a weapon.  

We still have a long way to go.  We as a country are still allowing the execution of people, a barbaric medieval practice, even in cases where there is significant doubt that the murder conviction would not stand in a fair trial.  Troy Davis is the current news making death row inmate with no appeals or recourse remaining who is most probably innocent.  WTF. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I once had a little white on black button from the Holocaust Museum in D.C. that simply said, "remember."  My husband borrowed it, and I never saw it again.  Somehow that is fitting.  Things don't last.  Things vanish.  But memories are different.  We keep them and review them in grief, and for comfort, until they are worn smooth into polished icons of remembrance. 

We got the call from my step-daughter early that day; we didn't have hours, days or weeks of worry.  She was a lovely and quite intelligent young woman, only 25, who worked in lower Manhattan, not all that far from the WTC,  and lived in Brooklyn.  She was okay.  Her building had been evacuated and she was going to have to walk back to Brooklyn that day.  Our younger daughter was in 6th grade and the school called because they were concerned about her.  She seemed to grasp the enormity of the attacks and was emotionally devastated and raw unlike many of her peers who just did not quite get it.  She'd been to the WTC the previous month, August 2001, with her dad, my husband, when he stopped in to see a broker. We didn't know it then but she would spend 7th grade in Arlington, VA with classmates who lost parents in the attack on the Pentagon.   I spent years disseminating real information about the Iraq War that most folks now grudgingly recognize as truth, and during those years many despised me, called me a traitor, and threatened me and my family.  It has been a hard 10 years. 

I wrote, globally, about the initial thoughts I had on the blog/site I ran at the time called Late Boomers.  The three articles I wrote that were "about" the attacks on the U.S. can be read, in the same format in which they appeared then, at:

Boomers Unique Take on Patriotism and Military Service

A Lifetime of Violence: Terrorism, Rates of Information Flow and Baby Boomers

Art, Angst, and Zeitgeist

And I expressed myself through poetry, bad though it was, which was accepted for the Poets Against the War Website .

There was this site, and before that another site, where I chronicled and pondered the journey from 9/11 onward. 

And of course there was a wrap up (for me anyway) of the impact 9/11 had on my life that I posted to after bin Laden was killed this past Spring: On Realizing I Was Impacted by Terrorism.

I have been feeling numb this past week.  Perhaps because of the approaching anniversary.  Anniversaries of sad events always get to me even if I don't consciously remember them.  This year I have had to add another sad connection to 9/11.  This year, on January 8th, Tucson lost a little girl whose 10th Birthday anniversary is tomorrow. 

Please, let's try to build peace, kindness, and a loving human family. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Put a Sales Tax on Wall Street Transactions

Just read a NYT's  article by Nancy Folbre, an economist, and professor at U. Mass. - Amherst.  One of the reasons that have been given for the disrepancy between sales and "investment" taxes is that investment supposedly builds our future while sales tax is all about the present, material and implicitly is irrelevant to building the future.  Bull Pucky. 
Most of us pay state and local sales taxes on most things we buy, and most casino gambling is subject to state taxes ranging from up to 6.75 percent in Nevada to 55 percent on slot machines in Pennsylvania.

But speculative purchases of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments in the United States go untaxed but for a tiny fee (less than a half-cent) on stock trades that helps finance the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sales taxes on goods support new technologies that will not get off the ground if no one buys them. Want to talk about risk?  Invest in a home that is worth less than the mortgage on it.  Parents buying school supplies for their kids invests in the future of labor and research.  Homes are no different than "plants" in industry, especially in an information age where much "real" work occurs at home over privately paid for communication lines.  The value of the bulk of investment by the American people has been inappropriately skewed for far too long. 

Folbre's article is a must read. It clearly explains the logic of an argument that has been avoided  or overlooked for far too long.  If the repugnants won't allow themselves to be taxed, let us just put a sales tax on investments.  All sales taxes ultimately tax investments by the people.