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Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduce a bipartisan bill: end U.S. involvement in Yemen’s civil war

March 3, 2018

National Peace Organization: Peace Action on Ending the Saudi Slaughter in Yemen

We have a very real opportunity to help end what the United Nations has deemed “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”[1]

For nearly 3 years, the U.S. has supported a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia in a brutal war in Yemen. The impact has been devastating for Yemenis. The coalition’s airstrikes have killed thousands of civilians by indiscriminately bombing schools, hospitals, marketplaces, and other vital infrastructure.

Yesterday, Senator’s Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a bipartisan bill that would end U.S. involvement in Yemen’s civil war. Because their bill declares that the U.S. role in the war in Yemen violates the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, it’s likely guaranteed a vote on the Senate floor within the next 10 days!

Please, take a quick moment and sign our petition to your senators urging them to support this crucial legislation. After signing, you’ll be directed to a special tool to call your senators’ offices to urge them to support this bill.

Congress has never authorized U.S. involvement in Yemen’s civil war. Despite this fact, the U.S. has literally fueled the conflict and its resulting war crimes. The military support has included mid-air refueling of warplanes, participation in naval blockades, targeting assistance and more. On top of all that, the U.S. has also approved tens of billions of dollars in arms sales to members of the military coalition.

This reckless and unauthorized military support has to stop, and you can help make that happen. First, click here to sign the petition calling on senators to support legislation that could end U.S. complicity in Yemen’s civil war. After signing, use the calling tool to call your senators offices to urge them to support the Sanders/Lee resolution.

The Saudi-led bombing campaign paired with ongoing blockades of Yemen’s borders and ports is choking the country’s access to food, fuel and desperately needed medical supplies. According to the U.N., nearly 22 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian aid. That’s about 75% of its entire population.

Even worse, around 8.4 million people, roughly the population size of New York City, are at the brink of starvation. Yemen is also now home of the largest and fastest growing cholera crisis ever documented, with over 1 million Yemenis having contracted this normally preventable disease.[2] Every 10 minutes, a child in Yemen dies of malnutrition or preventable disease.[3]

Last fall, 366 members of the House of Representatives voted for a bill acknowledging that Congress has not authorized U.S. involvement in Yemen’s civil war. Let’s build on that momentum. Please, take a moment right now to urge your senators to support legislation that will bring an end to your tax dollars funding an unauthorized war in Yemen.

Humbly for peace,

Paul Kawika Martin
Senior Director, Policy and Political Affairs
Peace Action

P.S. In a recent poll, 70.8% of Americans said they believe Congress should pass legislation to restrain oversees military action.[4] Yemen should be at the very top of this list. Sign the petition today calling on your senators to support ending U.S. involvement in Yemen’s civil war.


Rosie The Riveter/World War II Home Front Musuem

February 26, 2018

Outside the entrance to what was the Kaiser Steel Shipbuilding Facility, Richmond, California

“Rosie the Riveter”
Song Lyrics

While other girls attend their fav’rite
cocktail bar
Sipping Martinis, munching caviar
There’s a girl who’s really putting
them to shame
Rosie is her name

All the day long whether rain or shine
She’s a part of the assembly line
She’s making history,
working for victory
Rosie the Riveter
Keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage
Sitting up there on the fuselage
That little frail can do more than a
male will do
Rosie the Riveter

Rosie’s got a boyfriend, Charlie
Charlie, he’s a Marine
Rosie is protecting Charlie
Working overtime on the
riveting machine
When they gave her a production “E”
She was as proud as a girl could be
There’s something true about
Red, white, and blue about
Rosie the Riveter

Everyone stops to admire the scene
Rosie at work on the B-Nineteen
She’s never twittery, nervous or jittery
Rosie the Riveter
What if she’s smeared full of
oil and grease
Doing her bit for the old Lendlease
She keeps the gang around
They love to hang around
Rosie the Riveter

Rosie buys a lot of war bonds
That girl really has sense
Wishes she could purchase
more bonds
Putting all her cash into national
Senator Jones who is “in the know”
Shouted these words on the radio
Berlin will hear about
Moscow will cheer about
Rosie the Riveter!
Paramount Music Corporation, NY,

A War That Changed The Country and the World

It was over a short period,  spanning the U.S. involvement in World War II ,when “it all came together,” a short time between the Depression of the 1930s and the advent of the Cold War in 1948,9 when the social fabric of the country itself underwent profound changes as did the U.S. role internationally. Those of who were born just prior to, during (myself – 1944) or just after the end of that war inherited a country and a world vastly different from the one our parents had grown up in as the U.S. rose to be the pre-eminent power in the world, and up until then, easily, the richest country in world history. During the war, the industrial machine with then top-of-line technology and managerial expertise produced a material bonanza of weapons, ships and planes all of which were continually modernized as the war progressed. From a material view-point neither the Nazis’ nor the Japanese militarists’ economic engine came close to U.S. war production which gave Washington a decisive advantage.

On a human scale, something also unprecedented was talking place. People from all over the country, isolated from one another by distance, accent and sociological position, were forced together, both in the military and industry to a degree that they never had before and would not since. It certainly didn’t end racial and religious discrimination in the country, but it blunted its edge quite a bit and set the stage for the great social movements that would explode in the 1950s and 1960s. Read more…

An Office of Public Private Partnership Denver Doesn’t Need

February 17, 2018

Single Family Home on Tennyson Street in NW Denver – jammed now between two monster development apartment projects. …typical of the kind of uncontrolled development taking place in Denver right now and leading to dramatic displacement of middle, working class, poor folk, people of color from the neighborhood. A demographic epidemic in the making over the past two decades

An Office of Public Private Partnership Denver Doesn’t Need.

At a time when the city could use more oversight, more public regulation of development and major real estate projects from the city council and auditor’s office, from all appearances, the Denver City Council seems to be going full steam ahead in the opposite direction. By way of example, the Council’s recent barely noticed nod to Mayor Hancock’s request to create an Office of Public Private Partnership.

Let us say outright, that we oppose the creation of the Office of Public-Private Partnership. Read more…

The Wobbling Narrative: Reduced Knee-Jerk American Jewish Support For Israel

February 16, 2018

11-30-2016 Demonstration in front of the Jewish Community Center in Denver organized by new group of young Jewish radicals, “If Not Now, When?” It protested the anti-semitic overtones of the then just elected Donald Trump and criticize the silence of local mainstream Jewish organizations to address the rising wave of antisemitism. Several hundred people, almost all of them Jews of all ages, were in attendance.

(This blog entry – reflection I suppose would be more accurate – is a result of reading the article below this morning and…a lengthy meeting and discussion I had recently with a young Jewish member of Jewish Voice for Peace here in Denver.)

An article appeared in the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz (The Land) entitled “Vast Numbers of Progressive California Jews Disengaging from Israel, Survey Finds.” Its subtitle reads “Only a minority of young Jews in San Francisco’s Bay Area believe a Jewish state is important and only a third sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians.” It goes on to add:

The survey targeted a variety of people in Northern California’s 350,000 Jewish Community, only 21% of whom identify themselves as “strongly attached to Israel.” So nearly 80% are not so attached. Read more…

No to the 2026 Olympics in Denver…Colorado’s latest PPP Boondoggle-In-The-Making

February 6, 2018

City Park and downtown Denver, viewed from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Or…where’s Gene Amole when we need him?

The discussions among the anointed ones, the participants didn’t gravitate around whether or not Denver should host the Olympics, ie., the positives and negatives. Instead several people in the room, rather crudely focused on what they specialize in: What’s in it for them! 

Hi Folks…

For those of you in Colorado – which is most, but not all – or who have lived here and still care…there is a move afoot – usual developer-big finance stuff – to bring the Olympics to Denver in 2026. A number of people with good political noses have been predicting such plans were in the hopper – I wasn’t one of them – . They based their suspicions on certain developer-contractor patterns unfolding in the city, put it all together and it spelled “OLMYPIC BID”…and they, the friends, were “spot on.” All this was done with what is now become the traditional lack of “transparency. “But as the time to make a formal bid for the Olympics is fast approaching, the Olympic bid organizers have had to come out of the closet, so to speak to win public approval for plans already decided upon behind closed doors. Read more…

GES Coalition’s Public Comment on “Housing an Inclusive Denver”

February 5, 2018

A 300 plus apartment-condo unit, a true monstrosity in the neighborhood, being built at the corner of Lowell and 38 Ave in NW Denver, here in the early stages of development. The structure is now completed, with people moving in. Typical of the nearly un-controlled growth taking place all over Denver.

Denver – actually pretty much all of the Front Range (of the Rockies) in Colorado – is experiencing a housing crisis. People are moving to Denver from all over the country at an alarming rate – with the metropolitan area (Denver-Aurora-Lakewood) now at close to 3 million. Denver’s population alone is now nearing 700,000 after decades of hovering around half a million. There are more than 1000 people a month coming here with no slowdown in sight. The demand for housing combined with are some of the most poorly regulated housing codes in the country has triggered dramatic demographic shifts as well. Rental rates have soared as have housing prices, resulting in, over the past decade, an epidemic of displacement of middle-income, working class and poor people. People of color especially, Blacks, Browns, Reds, are among the most adversely affected. No surprise as part of the mix that homelessness is also a serious problem with homeless folk numbers consistently above the 10,000 mark. Read more…

An Outsider’s Look at the January 18, 2018 Protests in Tunisia

January 20, 2018


An Outsider’s Look at the January 18, 2018 Protests in Tunisia The link takes readers to five commentaries at on the Tunisian protests. Below is my contribution somewhat more elaborated.

They’ve been sitting in cafes for seven years, maybe more.

As the news of the protest movement made its way into the media (to follow in far off Colorado), a vivid memory of Tunisia in 2011 came to mind. It was almost a year after the widespread revolt of initiating “the Arab Spring” which swept Zine Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi and their two completely corrupted extended family clans from power. Young men are sitting in a Tunis café in a not very prosperous neighborhood. They arrive in the morning as soon as the café closes; many stay all day, till late in the evening when the café closes, playing cards, talking. Day after day, all day. The coffee is subsidized, the government fearing what might happen if coffee was unaffordable.

They are in their great majority unemployed, bored, angry. Read more…