Tag Archives: war

Depleted Uranium “not that scary”? Really? Really, Really?

On the danger scale, they [scientists] seemed to rank it [depleted uranium] somewhere just above or just below eating too much sugar.
– Lee Benson, Deseret News, April 2, 2010
Three scientists gave a presentation  in Tooele County last week, the county that is home to Energy Pollutions Solutions in a county that is touted the chemical waste "armpit" of Utah.   The presentation centered on the he health risks associated with depleted uranium.  Lee Benson reported on the event and titled his article "Depleted uranium not that scary".  The report disingenuously insinuates that because there were no "anti-nuclear" activists present there was no controversy by virtue of the fact that
a hockey game DIDN’T break out.  Nobody slugged anybody.  There was no brawl.  No one even raised his voice.

Benson continues to summarize the scientists theories that as long as the DU is covered and out of sight, the dangers are not as "real" as everyone says it is.


I can’t help but wonder, even though Benson points out that there is no connection between the presenting scientists and Energy Pollutions Solutions or any other waste storage corporation, if there was some hidden connection, somewhere, somehow ("We have vays…..").  I mean, c’mon – the audience members had very little to say and no questions?  In Utah????  Just sayin’.

And it’s not just the radiation.  DU has chemical properties that deems it more dangerous than lead (about 70% time more dense than lead is) .

Physicians for Social Responsibility provides some good information and links to published journal sources to examine the effects of DU, including occupational hazards, for example.  HEAL Utah also provides cited information in the dangers of DU.

Let’s face it. The Pentagon will never reveal any findings about the effects of DU.  I’m not a scientist, but based on my readings, I feel that  DU is a terrible, horrible weapon of mass destruction.   The waste from the use of DU in nuclear power plants is in itself a real problem since it can’t be stored just anywhere.  The manufacturing and use of it for any reason should be stopped…..now. 

Here are some links to sources to read about  DU, some scientific, some not.  I have purposely provided sources that are neutral to the dangers of DU and some that adamantly oppose DU due to the health risks and other factors.   (Warning:  Some articles show graphic photographs of children disfigured by the effects of DU).

Is depleted uranium really "not that scary"?  Read and decide for yourself if the risks of manufacturing, using, and storing it are worth it for the welfare of our planet.

Comments to the Deseret News Article reference above
Wikipedia – general information on DU with cited sources
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Campaign Against Depleted Uranium
World Nuclear Association – "representing people and organizations of the nuclear profession"
International Atomic Energy Agency
Countercurrents Depleted Uranium: A War Crime Within a War Crime
TuberoseDepleted Uranium and Gulf War Syndrome – good information, sources not cited
Federation of American Scientists


ASVAB Bill passes in MD

Pat Elder sent this out today:


The Maryland Senate narrowly approved a measure today that will prohibit the automatic release of ASVAB test results to military recruiters by public schools.  The vote was 24-23. 

Opponents charged the bill was unpatriotic and anti-military, particularly in a "time of war."   Currently, thousands of Maryland high school students are tested by the Pentagon during school hours without parental knowledge or consent. The Maryland House of Delegates passed the same measure 102-37.  Governor O’Malley is expected to sign the bill into law.  Maryland could become the first state to challenge military testing in the public schools. Last year, the California Assembly passed a similar measure but it was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.

To listen to today’s proceedings click here, select the Wednesday, March 24th session and go to 33:48.  The debate is 14 minutes long.  http://mlis.state.md.us/asp/listen.asp

Peace of the Action

For years I have been sharing my dream of action to end war with many people:

That people will "wake up" and begin mobilizing, en masse, to Washington, D.C. to demand an end to corruption, to war, to the crimes against humanity.  Imagine the highways clogged with people traveling to the doorsteps of our nation’s capital, just having "awoken" from their sheep sleep, realizing that change must happen and that the only way to do this is to go to the heart of the problem.

Finally, someone is putting this vision to reality. Check out Peace of the Action a group whose mission it is to clog "business as usual" in D.C. on a daily basis until these demands are met:

Troops out of the Middle East, which includes drones, permanent bases, contractors and torture/detention facilities. Reparations for the peoples of these war torn regions and a fully funded VA system to reintegrate our soldiers healthfully into our society.

The group is calling on 5,000 citizens to come to D.C. and commit to realizing this action.

No Escalation! Protests

A small group of people braved the bitter cold in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 3, 2009 to protest the surge of troops to Afghanistan, joining 100 cities across the nation last week in the common message: No Escalation!

Afghanistan Escalation

The peace community around the nation is outraged at Obama’s announcement of the deployment of 35,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. But should we be surprised? Obama promised the reduction of forces in Iraq and further escalation in Afghanistan during his presidential campaign.

Regardless, not only are more lives going to be lost in an escalation that shouldn’t happen, but billions of taxpayer dollars are going to be spent on this escalation, further impacting domestic programs that provide essential services to human beings in the U.S.

This is an outrage.

There are numerous actions being held around the country this week in reaction to Obama’s announcement. Here in Salt Lake City I hope people will come out to the event listed below to raise their voices:

Afghanistan: No Escalation Vigil – December 3, 5:30pm

Afghanistan: No Escalation!

Vigil, 5:30 – 6:30pm
100 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT

Honor Veterans with Peace

I am posting this message from a Green Party colleague in Arizona in honor of Veteran’s Day which was sent to urge people to support the Green Party which is the only political party with a platform that promotes peace:

The Green Party is the Peace Party, the one voice in the political array that doesn’t rely on about-face justification for continuing international violence underpinning notions of a superior calling for our nation.  What does that mean?  On Veteran’s Day, what is the price of war?

I’m from a military family.  My dad went into the Navy right out of high school, and is a Pearl Harbor survivor.  After the war, he went Army, to finish his twenty years.  Growing up, I attended 13 schools before I finished 9th grade, most of them in rural villages, where the Nike missile base was a barracks for the privates, the missile "silo" was a cramped metal trailer, and the two families with kids were temporary outsiders.

Except for aunt Marianne, who was a navy nurse, the military didn’t want women, so we four daughters were not expected to enlist. As a woman, I was often told I had no right to an opinion in favor of peace, unless I had a brother or a cousin in combat. Like many of you, I decided that the way you best fight war is to get there ten years beforehand, and prevent despair by fixing what was wrong.

My husband’s family was also military. In their Appalachia, no one was drafted– they were Volunteers. His dad never saw a plane close-up, til he climbed into one, to learn to fly it for WWII. He re-upped, and finished his military career by teaching ROTC, in a building on campus that a Quaker-led group, including me, would stumble into one day, and occupy long enough to pray for the dead, and the still living. My as-yet-unmet husband’s only brother was among the unnamed for whom we prayed. His unarmed reconnaissance plane was shot down, the last fatality from Tucson. Until the next war.

Continue reading

Happy Mother’s Day!

Julian Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclomation

War Supplemental Vote Early Next Week

Here is status of the Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan war supplemental bill for the remainder of 2009.

According to a report I received from a constituent who talked with Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree’s Military Legislative Assistant, Eric Hansen, the bill is in the House Appropriations Committee now and that it would likely be voted on in the House of Representatives as early as next week.

President Obama had requested $83 billion for the war supplemental but House Democrats have added $9.3 billion to that request to bring the supplemental to now stand at $94.2 billion.

According to Hansen Rep. Pingree would vote on the supplemental and he said that she wants to first "see what form the bill takes" before deciding on her vote. He said that the Congresswoman was wanting to see if bench marks and timelines were included in the bill. So far Obama has not submitted any timelines on ending the Afghanistan occupation.

Hansen said that the war supplemental will also include funds for economic assistance to the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He talked about "soft power" options being important like moving some Pakistan funds from the Pentagon to the State Department’s control for diplomatic purposes and for expansion of counter-insurgency capabilities.

Hansen also said that Rep. Pingree was seriously considering signing on as a co-sponsor to a bill presented by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) that would "require the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress outlining the United States exit strategy for United States military forces in Afghanistan participating in Operation Enduring Freedom."

As of today the cost of the war in Afghanistan to American taxpayers has been more than $172 billion and the Iraq war has cost more than $656 billion.

It is important to remember that Obama has also already requested $130 billion for war funding for fiscal year 2010.

Please make a call immediately to your member of your state Congressional delegation. Urge them to vote against any more war funding.

War Taxes

Today is the day that the U.S. Government says is the deadline for filing the annual income tax.  Even though there is a new president, there is and will still be too much of our money spent on the military industrial complex.

The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) is an organization that advocates for withholding the portion of one’s income tax that is spent on war.  It is a coalition of groups from across the U.S., formed in 1982 to provide information and support to people involved in or considering some form of war tax resistance (WTR).  Each year there are actions planned all around the country – view today’s actions here.

Several years ago Tom and I were in D.C.on April 15th and partiicpated in an action at the IRS building there.  People gathered to collectively present a giant (I mean giant in the physical sense!) check for their portion of taxes spent on war to a non-profit organization.  Very clever and creative.

Your Taxes Are War Taxes
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee

2009 War Tax Boycott logo



Military Recruiting – California

Full adult privileges are not afforded to U.S. youth until age 21, yet youth in the U.S. are recruited for the military as early as middle school. Aside from the issue of marketing the military to ANYONE, there’s something wrong with this picture of youth recruiting. Democracy Now! aired a segment yesterday on military recruiting in California.

Last November, residents of Eureka and Arcata passed a ballot initiative known as the Youth Protection Act that bars the US government from trying to enlist youths under the age of eighteen in any branch of the US armed forces. But just days after the laws went into effect, the Justice Department filed a suit seeking to overturn them. The Justice Department’s civil action says the initiatives are invalid because they conflict with federal law. Both towns are refusing to cave. They’ve hired lawyers and filed counter-claims challenging the federal government’s action.