Fwd: Congresswoman Chellie Pingree on Palestine, the NDAA and the Pentagon Audit

Please tell your congresspersons what you think about their vote.

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Global Network” <globalnet@mindspring.com>
Subject: Re: Congresswoman Chellie Pingree on Palestine, the NDAA and the Pentagon Audit
Date: July 21, 2019 at 9:07:07 PM EDT
Reply-To: “Global Network” <globalnet@mindspring.com>

Pingree and Golden just voted in favor of the 2020 Pentagon budget authorizing $717 billion on July 12
They both love them some destroyers!
From: Ginny
Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2019 8:54 PM
Subject: Congresswoman Chellie Pingree on Palestine, the NDAA and the Pentagon Audit

From: Congresswoman Pingree <ME01CPIMA@mail.house.gov>
Sent: Friday, July 19, 2019 7:49 PM
To: ginnyschneider@hotmail.com <ginnyschneider@hotmail.com>
Subject: Message from Congresswoman Chellie Pingree


Dear Ginny, 

Thank you for contacting me about the ongoing conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories and the Pentagon’s recent audit. I appreciate hearing from you on these important issues.

I share your deep concerns about the cycle of violence and tension. While there are reports of some protestors committing violent acts, human rights groups have characterized the Israeli military response as disproportionate. I support the ability of people to exercise their right to assemble and to engage in nonviolent protest and urge all parties to allow urgent humanitarian assistance to reach those in need in Gaza.
I believe we need to reinvigorate a diplomatic process that deals with the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. While the road to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and Palestine may not be short, I believe real progress can be made by a U.S. Administration with the vision and political will to invest in sustained, high level engagement. That is why I am a proud cosponsor of H.Res. 138 and H.Res. 326, which express support for addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict concurrently with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and for a two-state solution.
I opposed the Trump Administration’s cut-off of U.S. contributions toUNRWA and economic aid for the West Bank and Gaza, including the East Jerusalem hospitals.  It also closed the Palestinian representation office in Washington and revoked the visas of their top diplomat and his family. These actions not only will exacerbate the suffering of Palestinian refugees and make it more difficult to get access to education, health and livelihoods, it is a security concern, as evidenced by concerns raised by Israeli military and intelligence agencies about the UNRWA cut, and could set back the quest for peace. You may be pleased to know that the FY20 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which was approved by the House Appropriations Committee, on which I serve, restores $226 million in economic assistance to the Palestinians including a contribution to UNRWA.
I have been greatly disappointed that President Trump has all but abandoned the two-state framework for peace, and that his decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem was delinked from the peace process. In March 2019 he unilaterally accepted Israeli’s annexation of the Golan Heights, seized in 1967, breaking the principle of international law that sovereignty of land should not be determined by force. These actions departed from decades of U.S. policy across both Republican and Democratic administrations. The President’s designated envoy, his own son-in-law, appears to be spending more time talking to undemocratic Arab monarchs than with the people, Israelis and Palestinians, who will have to live with the solution that the Administration may seek to impose. We must encourage an independent and viable Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel, with security and human and civil rights for all citizens. 
Given the continued suffering of innocent people on both sides of this conflict, it is my hope that a peaceful resolution is found soon. 
Additionally, as you know, in 2018 it was announced that the Department of Defense failed its first comprehensive audit. The audit of the Pentagon, which had a $2.7 trillion budget in Fiscal Year 2018, found multiple accounting discrepancies. Please rest assured that I will continue to monitor this issue. Further, I believe that instead of dramatically increasing defense spending at the expense of other vital programs, the Department of Defense should become more efficient and eliminate outdated programs. I was pleased to support budget agreements in the last Congress that contained reductions in overseas operations funding, continuing the decline in Presidential requests for overseas operations since FY10. Also, in the past, I have joined my colleagues in sending letters to the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction urging them to reduce outdated and unnecessary nuclear weapons.

If we are serious about getting the deficit under control, we must make smart cuts to the defense budget including wasteful spending on outdated Cold War era technologies, ineffective programs, a failed missile defense program, the proposed Space Force, and unnecessary military bases abroad. I believe we should focus on rebuilding our infrastructure and fully funding our education programs, ensuring that our troops receive the support they need, and emphasizing programs that successfully address our domestic security.

I will continue to tackle these important issues with my colleagues in the 116th
Congress. Thank you again for being in touch, I hope to see you in Maine soon.

Chellie Pingree 
Member of Congress 

Please do not reply to this message, as this inbox is unattended. To contact me, please visit my website at http://pingree.house.gov. If you need immediate help with a federal agency, please call my Portland Office at 207-774-5019 or toll free at 888-862-6500.

Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment

July 27 Concert for Ramallah Friends School, Belfast

An Evening with Amos Libby
A presentation of Middle Eastern music and photographic documentation of current conditions in the West Bank
Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 7:00pm
Fellowship Hall of the First Baptist Church, 95 High Street, Belfast
All are welcome!
Suggested donation: $10 individual or $20 family
This concert is sponsored by Belfast Area Friends (Quakers) and the First Baptist Church of Belfast. Donations will benefit the scholarship fund of the Ramallah Friends School. 

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Diane Oltarzewski <dianeolta@gmail.com>

Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment

Peninsula Peace & Justice Notes


Minutes for Organizational Meeting
Wednesday, July 3, 2019, at 12:00 p.m.
Blue Hill Public Library
Connie, Peter, Bonnie, Steve, Ron, Judy


We talked about our Congressperson Jared Golden’s conversation with people in the library this morning and generally about his accessibility to constituents.


We plan to show Symphony of the Soil at 7 pm on July 26 at the library, in our usual film series. Peter will make a poster. Bonnie will write a press release. Then Steve will send the PR out to media.


We have donated a copy of The Human Element to the library DVD collection.


A friend has suggested that PPJ further pursue the climate crisis topic by hearing from Phil Osgood about his recent participation in the Washington DC Citizen Climate Lobby. Steve will contact Phil to consider whether he might present information on lobbying in D.C. for the bill.


WERU has taped an interview with five of the civil resistance participants recently arrested at Bath Iron Works as part of the Climate Crisis Demands Conversion campaign. It will be aired at 10:00 am on July 4.


Steve will write to PJEM to agree to co-sponsor the End Violence Together Rally & March to be held on September 14, 2019 from 1 – 4 PM at West Market Square in Bangor.


Our next organizational meeting is scheduled for the Bass Room, in the Blue Hill Library, at 12:00 noon on the first Wednesday of next month, August 7, 2019. 


— Notes by Steve Benson 

Peninsula Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 1257
Blue Hill ME 04614

 Steve Benson, POBox 1257, Blue Hill, ME 04614


Knowing what must be done does away with fear. — Rosa Parks

Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment

Fwd: Crimea talk on Deer Isle, Thursday July 11

Crimea:  The History, the Culture, and the Return to Russia

Talk on Deer Isle


Tatyana Bukharina, a native of the Crimea peninsula, will present a video and speak of her home, its history and relationship with Ukraine and with Russia at St Brendan’s Episcopal Church in Deer Isle at 7pm on July 11th.  An English teacher, she has worked extensively as a guide and interpreter—most recently with Maine’s independent film-maker, Regis Tremblay.  Tremblay, whose credits include The Ghosts of Jeju and Thirty Seconds to Midnight will introduce Bukharina and speak briefly of his work in Ukraine and in Russia.


Bukharina is expected to share her perspective of the coup in Ukraine which led to Crimea’s return to Russia.  Her appearance will be sponsored by Island Peace & Justice, Peninsula Peace & Justice, and by Americans Who Tell the Truth.  Donations welcome.


For additional information:
Dud Hendrick



Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment

Climate Convergence Conference, registration open

For a list of workshops and to pre-register: https://reversingfalls.org/climate-conference-registration 

Climate Convergence Conference

George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill, Maine
July 20, 2019
world-globeConvergence is the key to this event: the convergence of the different generations, the convergence between the Physical and Social Sciences, and the convergence among organizations willing to champion science and acknowledge that life on earth is in jeopardy. Together we can explore the roots of science denial and change the nature of the public discourse regarding Climate Change. We may be surprised, as well as heartened, to find that our deepest private feelings about the state of our planet are widely shared by others, and by so doing empower each other to action. It is unfortunate that this convergence for the Common Good is necessitated by the convergence of climate catastrophes. 
Through this lens we ask the question,”With all the floods, forest fires, hurricanes, typhoons, and droughts of unprecedented magnitude, isn’t it time to try science-based climate policy?” To explore this question the conference will bring together dozens of organizations from a variety of sectors: environmental, conservation, business, education, food producers, health, social justice, marine, and spiritual. Together, we will:     
  • Learn the current state of earth’s health with acclaimed Climatologists
  • Gain insights into re-framing the public Climate Change narrative
  • Explore the problem of climate-related stress with Social Scientists
  • Learn about a number of successful climate actions in our area

Interested?  Get more conference details here. 

Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment

Reggie Harris Concert June 20, Blue Hill

Peninsula Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 1257
Blue Hill ME 04614

Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment

‘Fund Climate Solutions, Not Endless War’: 22 Arrested Demanding US Build Windmills, Not Warships

Begin forwarded message:
Published on
Sunday, June 23, 2019

‘Fund Climate Solutions, Not Endless War’: 22 Arrested Demanding US Build Windmills, Not Warships

“We engaged in civil resistance to underscore our conversion demand,” said one of those arrested. Pentagon-funded shipyards “should be helping to solve the climate crisis, not building weapons that make the problem worse.”
Artist and activist Natasha Mayers being arrested near Bath Iron Works, owned by weapons giant General Dynamics, in the coastal town of Bath, Maine on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Photo: PeaceWorksMaine/Screenshot)

Twenty-two climate and anti-war campaigners were arrested in the small town of Bath, Maine on Saturday as they held a direct action calling for conversion of the United State’s major weapons manufacturing facilities into places where the urgently needed economic and renewable energy transition can be realized.

“We are calling on Bath Iron Works to shift its industrial power from the production of warships to sustainable energy systems that might stem climate disruption rather than contribute to it.” —Dud Hendrick, Navy veteran and activistThe protest took place outside the General Dynamics-owned Bath Iron Works (BIW) where some of the U.S. Navy’s most advanced and lethal warships are built. The group blocked traffic near the shipyard as buses carried guests to a ceremonial “christening” of a new Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

Holding signs that read, “Tell Congress: Fund Climate Solutions, Not Endless War” and “Bring Our War Dollars Home,” supporters of the action stood on sidewalks nearby as those who risked arrest were taken into custody by local police.

The protest in Bath was a much smaller direct action than what the world also witnessed on Saturday—when thousands of people from across Europe mobilized in Germany to shut down that nation’s coal industry, storming an open-pit and occupying railway tracks to a major power station—but the message was quite the same: a call for drastic and immediate action to end the world’s reliance on fossil fuels in order to build a more sustainable and peaceful world.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=185&v=zmUiOCWgCXQ

According to the group, nine of the 22 arrested declined bail, asked to be released on their own recognizance, but were denied the request. As of Saturday evening they were still being held at a nearby jail, pending a possible hearing court hearing on Monday. The names of those nine, the group said, were Jim Freeman, Sadie Fulton, Bruce Gagnon,  Ken Jones,  Natasha Mayers, George Ostensen, Dixie Searway, Mary Beth Sullivan, and Russell Wray. The 13 others who were charged and released on bail pending arraignment in August were: Ashley Bahlkow,  Dan Ellis, Ridgeley Fuller, Sophia Fuller, Dud Hendrick, Cynthia Howard, Damon Howard, Connie Jenkins, Richard Lethem, Mark Roman,  Lisa Savage, Robert Shetterly, and Will Thomas.

“We engaged in civil resistance to underscore our conversion demand. BIW should be helping to solve the climate crisis, not building weapons that make the problem worse,” said activist Mark Roman, one of those arrested.

The U.S. Navy destroyer which was being celebrated on Saturday, according to the Portland Press Herald, is 510 feet long and “can easily top 30 knots while simultaneously waging war with enemy ships, submarines, missiles and aircraft.” The newspaper reports that the warship’s “combat system uses powerful computers and a phased-array radar to track more than 100 targets” and is “also equipped with ballistic missile defense capability.”

For the protesters, it is not that the highly-skilled labor force at BIW should not have the high-quality jobs that building weapons for the U.S. military provides, but that the U.S. government spending what it does on war and destruction is misguided and wrong when the planet desperately needs a rapid transition to renewable energy and immediate respite from endless armed conflict.

Not only is the Pentagon’s war machine the largest single emitter of carbon pollution on Earth, the protesters note, but the U.S. wars that have been waged over recent decades have everything to do with a world too dependent on the dirty energy sources buried beneath the ground.

As part of an ongoing “Conversion” campaign in Maine—coordinated by a number of like-minded groups from around the state—the coalition held a press conference on Friday ahead of Saturday’s direct action to explain the basis of their vision and why they insist places like BIW need not be a source of the problem, but an essential part of the solution instead.

Dud Hendrick, a U.S. Navy veteran and one of those arrested, explained in a recent Common Dreams op-ed that those behind the behind the effort “are calling on Bath Iron Works to shift its industrial power from the production of warships to sustainable energy systems that might stem climate disruption rather than contribute to it.”

Having worked closely with the union workers at BIW for a long time, even as an outspoken critic of war and U.S. empire, local Bath resident Bruce Gagnon—also among those arrested Saturday—said at the press conference that many of the workers themselves  “are quite open” to the demands to convert the shipyard to peaceful purposes. “We’d rather build something else,” Gagnon said, paraphrasing what many BIW workers have told him over recent years. “We’d rather build something we’re proud of. We don’t feel so great.”

Also speaking at the press conference was Dr. Jill Stein, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 2016. Stein characterized workers in the weapons industry as “victims of an economy that forces us into militarization.”

Putting the call for conversion into the context of the Green New Deal, Stein said the demand for a rapid transition should be seen as revolutionary. “It’s a revoution,” she said, “for our economy, for our climate, and it makes the wars for oil obsolete.”

Watch the full press conference: https://youtu.be/Odr9aC5CkTM

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Peninsula Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 1257
Blue Hill ME 04614

Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment

Rockweed presentation, June 25, RFS

Ecology: The Key Roles of Rockweed
and the Intertidal Zone
Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley
Tuesday, June 25 at 7 p.m.
Reversing Falls Sanctuary
818 Bagaduce Rd.
Dr. Seeley, a native of Freeport and a graduate of Bowdoin, will provide a multimedia presentation addressing the ongoing controversy over commercial rockweed harvesting, the importance of rockweed in the nearshore ecosystems and the sustainability of harvesting practices. Seeley teaches at Maine’s Shoals Marine Laboratory.
Information: 326-8868 or www.reversingfalls.org

Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment

Fwd: [mainevfp] A Call to Put Down Arms

Published on Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A Call to Put Down Arms

It is past time for the paradigm shift. We have one planet and we must see ourselves as one and we must take a stand.
View as the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS John S McCain as it is launched at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, September 26, 1992. (Photo: Wemitt/US Navy/Interim Archives/Getty Images)

It’s become so absolutely apparent that even the most dedicated and resolute militarist has to concede the fact we have enormous climate crisis-related changes on the near horizon and America’s persistent and insistent militarism is the major culprit. 

It is not hyperbole to argue as does Barry Sanders, author of The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism, that the U.S. military, “as the largest consumer of fossil fuels and greatest producer of greenhouse gases, places the entire globe with all its inhabitants in the most imminent danger of extinction.”

Irony abounds.  The greatest single assault on the environment, on all of us around the globe, comes from the one agency ostensibly in business to protect us (and our “allies”) from our enemies—the U.S. Armed Forces.  And, it is painfully ironic that the Defense Department acknowledges that global warming may make the world politically unstable due to rising seas, powerful storms, famine and consequent migration which “validates” the need for a stronger, bigger, more costly military—the single entity most responsible for climate crisis in the first place.

The truth of militarism as the major contributor to the climate crisis facing humanity has spawned the “Climate Crisis Demands Conversion” campaign where I live in Maine, organized by climate activists and organizations throughout the state.  We are calling on Bath Iron Works to shift its industrial power from the production of warships to sustainable energy systems that might stem climate disruption rather than contribute to it.  Supporters will gather at a news conference for the Conversion Campaign at 11am, Friday June 21st, at the public library in downtown Portland.

Though Maine’s Congressional delegation has been invited, not surprisingly, not one has even responded.  As undeniable as is the connection between the war machine and the climate crisis, so is the sacrosanct status of the military as a whole.  Depressingly, the slightest nod of concurrence with the merits of the arguments/facts submitted here might well spell political suicide.  We’re led to conclude that the seduction of power is so compelling as to preclude real acts of conscience and courage by our political leaders.  

If the politicians lack the will it is left to us, we the people.  Energy-saving light bulbs, solar panels, all of our electric automobiles are not alone sufficient.  It may seem naïve, ludicrous, absurdly preposterous—but, on the other hand—absolutely irrefutable. War-making must be renounced.  It is past time for the paradigm shift. We have one planet and we must see ourselves as one and we must take a stand.

I spent the summer of 1962 on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Independence.  I’ve since learned that this vessel consumed 100,000 gallons of fuel/day.  Every four days it took on 1 million gallons of fuel, ½ of which was consumed by its aircraft.  Steaming to the Persian Gulf from its homeport in Norfolk it consumed more than 2 million gallons of fuel.  One ship.  Fifty years ago!  What now may the daily assault look like?

On Saturday, June 22nd, Bath Iron Works will be Christening the U.S.S. Daniel Inouye, an Arleigh Burke Destroyer.  The addition of yet another unnecessary warship (the U.S. fleet is already larger than the next 13 largest fleets combined) represents an absolute disregard for the well-being of our planet.

We should feel a measure of shame for these launchings.  In his book, Sanders writes, “We pollute as we purportedly advance democracy using the most powerful machinery of death in the world.”  If we are not war tax resisters we are paying taxes to support the degradation of our planet. 

We can and ought to be in the streets.  Please join us in calling for conversion at Bath Iron Works at 8:00 am on June 22nd at the corner Washington Street.  We must believe that in numbers we can make a difference.

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment

The Ongoing Palestinian Nakba, Friday June 21, blue Hill

Please join us Friday evening, June 21, for a talk and slide show on the Tobins’ recent trip to Palestine.
Blue Hill Library, 7 p.m. “The Ongoing Palestinian Nakba”  

Posted in HCCN | Leave a comment