Veterans for Peace Santa Barbara
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Federalism for the Philippines

Referred to by early visitors as “the pearl of the orient”, the Philippines is, indeed, a place blessed with abundant natural resources and beauty.  Fertile volcanic soils and warm, productive seas make it truly a natural paradise.  The government of the country reflects the best of my homeland without including the worst, the undemocratic electoral college.  More power is given to local government units called barangays however, a tradition taken from pre-colonial days when it was the dominant organizational unit of government.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barangay_%28pre-colonial%29 For this reason the Philippines would seem to be ideal for transition to a federalist system.  Muslim populations in Mindanao and indigenous populations in the Cordillera region of Luzon are asking for more autonomy and the current and past Presidents have promised to consider this. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/110915/philippines-plans-to-give-muslims-autonomous-zone http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/talkofthetown/view/20080906-159116/Local-autonomy-federalism-and-BJE Switzerland, which preserves the  autonomy of its many cultures and languages in a federalist system would seem to offer the best example of a very successful, multilingual, multicultural democracy.  With few natural resources other than a work ethic, the land locked Swiss nation is universally acclaimed as the most prosperous and stable society on earth: http://www.economist.com/news/21566430-where-be-born-2013-lottery-life With all the assets of the more than seven thousand islands of the Philippine archipelago, there is no reason for the “pearl of...

Has U.S. military intervention in foreign lands made us safer?

Thirteen years after the attacks on the World Trade Center has our response made us safer? Overall and historically, has US intervention in the Middle East brought us conflict and military spending? Is it even the goal of our foreign policy to keep us safe or is it to create profits for U.S. corporations? Can we take an honest look at the cause of the attack on September 11th of 2001 and our response to it? It would seem that the response to the attacks have inflamed the entire Middle East.  Once tolerant neighbors now slaughter one another and U.S. journalists.  Many ISIS commanders are former officers of Saddam’s military, which was disbanded and its soldiers sent home with their weapons.  Torture and abuse of prisoners under President Bush is still cited as a reason for joining ISIS by new recruits, and victims of the recent execution of Americans were dressed in orange uniforms like those in the prisons where Arab detainees have been kept. But this is not the first or only example of U.S. intervention gone bad.  When the U.S.A. intervened in Afghanistan to defeat the Soviets, we were allies with Osama bin Laden. Most of the fighters now comprising ISIS were supported by the U.S.A. in order to...

Close the SOA/WHINSEC

There is one Roman Catholic priest that was doing the most to close the School of the Americas, now called WHINSEC but he has been excommunicated and laicized: http://bridgetmarys.blogspot.com/2011/04/maryknoll-priest-roy-bourgeois-letter.html It would be great to hear some support for his reinstatement by Pope Francis!   http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2013/06/13/womens-ordination-and-the-case-of-roy-bourgeois/ http://enlightenedcatholicism-colkoch.blogspot.com/2013/03/two-popes-with-two-styles-that.html...

The Military Industrial Congressional Complex MICC

The Military Industrial Congressional Complex (MICC) has long been the driving force of defense spending( http://www.noozhawk.com/article/letter_to_the_editor_evolution_of_the_terrorist_threat ). Because of the control over congress they exert (every district profits through jobs), the only hope of change is to find things other than offensive weaponry to spend taxpayer money on. Global climate change and the threat it represents makes this possible. http://www.rtcc.org/2014/05/28/pentagon-clear-climate-change-is-a-national-security-issue/     http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/14/us/politics/climate-change-deemed-growing-security-threat-by-military-researchers.html?_r=0 Currently the MICC is using the “threat of terrorism” as the excuse for continued spending. When looked at objectively this has been a monumental failure. Weapons held by al-Quada and ISIS alike are US weapons spent under this errant policy. The need to make new weapons all the time to profit leads the MICC to release old weapons to local police forces. https://www.aclu.org/war-comes-home-excessive-militarization-american-policing Peace organizations should be working to change the mission, not taking unrealistic stances. Defense spending could be made genuine defense spending instead of offense spending as it currently is. Efforts to transform the military may not be successful but at least they are an effort that embraces the reality we find ourselves in....

Rice duck story

For about two years I tried to spread the word and technology for a better way for small farmers to grow rice. The SVD order of the Roman Catholic Church, IRRI and PARFUND provided me support and contacts:   http://www.noozhawk.com/article/122210_letter_to_the_editor_christians_and_activism  When I attempted integrated rice duck (IRD) what was missing was clean water.  Where I was (Gloria, Mindoro Oriental) we had an artesian well but it was not producing enough water for IRD: http://www.vfpsb.org/2011/04/preaching-the-gospel-of-rice-duck/ http://www.vfpsb.org/2012/01/into-action-at-gloria/ http://www.vfpsb.org/2012/01/gloria-cont/ http://www.vfpsb.org/2012/02/mistakes-and-death/ http://www.vfpsb.org/2012/02/ducks-into-rice/ http://www.vfpsb.org/2012/03/eco-farm-rice-duck-appraisal/ http://www.vfpsb.org/2012/02/mindoro-occidental-state/   When I was asked to try IRD in Mindoro Occidental there was such a scarcity of free flowing water that only the rivers gave hope for IRD.  Fossil fuel pumped water to irrigate IRD does not really make sense, it is doing something unsustainable to permit something sustainable.  Finally I did not attempt it due to an inability to find clean free flowing water and due to a request by Bishop Palang to postpone. Bottom line!  The benefits of IRD will only be practical if the rivers are pure and clean.  Ducks and the azolla they like to feed on will not survive in polluted rivers. Rowland Lane Anderson, Veterans For Peace Chapter 54 Formerly missionary for Veritas Social Empowerment Currently permaculturist at Tagpopongan Natural Farm SAVE OUR DYING RIVERS...

Transforming Militarism

Transforming Militarism to Humanitarianism for the future! This will be our best recruiting tool, and therefore our best fund raising tool. It is something I have already tried out on active duty military at Arlington West, on veterans at VFW meetings and on the public during my campaign….it is something that can unite us with the active duty military and the environmentalists. Even if the transformation of our military from empire to global assistance cannot be done it is something that is worth trying to do. We have all seen the predictions…by environmentalists and the pentagon….that global warming and climate chaos will increase conflict and displacement of people. The gist is that military activity is going to increase, whether VFP endorses it or opposes it. R. Bucky Fuller, who would have been a vfp if he had been asked, reflected on his career in the Navy about the conversion of defense spending from weaponry to livingry. He liked to point out that refrigeration, transistors and the internet all came from defense spending. I think that our mission statement commits us to opposing the use of war as an instrument of foreign policy and that we can embrace the good that our military…and likely only our military…can accomplish in an...
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