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New Mexico, work for peace and well-being, not nuclear weapons

Let’s try to imagine what $9.4 billion could do for New Mexicans in one year: Hire hundreds of new teachers, help protect us against increasing wildfire threats, secure precious water resources, provide medical care for the poor and clean up contamination from past nuclear weapons production. Instead, it is going to nuclear weapons forever, even as the chances of potential nuclear war are increasing and we already have global overkill many times over.

New Mexico, work for peace and well-being, not nuclear weapons,  https://www.abqjournal.com/2509231/new-mexico-work-for-peace-and-wellbeing-not-nuclear-weapons.html

BY THE MOST REVEREND JOHN C. WESTER / ARCHBISHOP OF SANTA FE
SUNDAY, JUNE 19TH, 2022 
 My Archdiocese is named Santa Fe for the “Holy Faith” of St. Francis, patron saint of the environment and tireless promoter of peace. Pope Francis took his papal name from that revered saint and has explicitly called for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Yet ironically, two of the nation’s three nuclear weapons labs – Los Alamos and Sandia – are located within the Archdiocese. That is why 40% of the DOE’s national nuclear weapons budget of $16.5 billion will be spent in New Mexico alone, double that of any other state. In addition, New Mexico has the largest repository of nuclear warheads in the United States, with up to 2,500 warheads held in reserve at the Kirtland AFB just south of the Albuquerque Sunport.

The New Mexico congressional delegation has always historically supported the nuclear weapons industry in the name of jobs, jobs, jobs. This needs to be critically examined and questioned, both morally and practically. Why is it that New Mexico consistently ranks near the bottom of all 50 states in key socio-economic indicators? Does the nuclear weapons industry really benefit New Mexicans as a whole? The facts indicate no.

For example, during the nearly 80 years the nuclear weapons industry has been in the Land of Enchantment, Census Bureau data show that New Mexico slipped in per capita income from 37th in 1959 to 49th in 2019. Last year U.S. News and World Report gave New Mexico a best-state-to-live-in ranking of third from the bottom and dead last in education. According to the N.M. Human Services Department, we have the highest percentage of seniors living in poverty and the second-highest rate of overall poverty, suicide and food insecurity among children. The Land of Enchantment was recently ranked 49th among all states in overall child well-being. Not coincidentally, New Mexico’s population is 63% people of color who disproportionately bear the negative impacts of poverty.

Let’s try to imagine what $9.4 billion could do for New Mexicans in one year: Hire hundreds of new teachers, help protect us against increasing wildfire threats, secure precious water resources, provide medical care for the poor and clean up contamination from past nuclear weapons production. Instead, it is going to nuclear weapons forever, even as the chances of potential nuclear war are increasing and we already have global overkill many times over.

The Vatican itself has evolved from conditionally accepting nuclear weapons as necessary for “deterrence” to now declaring even their possession as immoral. This is because nuclear weapons indiscriminately kill everybody, and the nuclear powers have made zero progress toward the disarmament they promised to pursue in the 1970 NonProliferation Treaty. In fact, they are going backward with Russia’s current nuclear saber-rattling and the U.S.’ $1.7 trillion nuclear weapons “modernization” program. But in truth, neither country ever had just “deterrence.” Instead, they spent enormous sums on nuclear warfighting capabilities, which is why we have thousands of nuclear weapons instead of just the few hundred needed for only deterrence.

Given today’s increased dangers, I quote President Reagan, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then, would it not be better to do away with them entirely?” Defense Secretary Robert McNamara said of the Cuban Missile Crisis, “Rationality will not save us. … It was luck that prevented nuclear war.”

Let’s not count on our luck holding out – let’s abolish nuclear weapons as both President Reagan and Pope Francis have directed us toward. In turn, New Mexicans should direct their congressional representatives to lead us toward that promised land while encouraging life-affirming jobs instead.

June 20, 2022 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pope Francis again says that the West provoked or failed to prevent Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pope Doubles Down On NATO-Ukraine Comments: Russian Invasion Was “Provoked” https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/pope-doubles-down-ukraine-war-comments-russian-invasion-was-provoked

BY TYLER DURDEN, WEDNESDAY, JUN 15, 2022 –
Pope Francis has doubled down on prior controversial statements suggesting the Russia-Ukraine conflict is largely NATO’s fault, asserting also that “war cannot be reduced to distinction between good guys and bad guys” – as the Vatican’s own headline to the interview reads.

In statements published Tuesday by the Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, the Roman Catholic leaders said that the Russian invasion was “perhaps somehow provoked” while again saying there were signs that NATO had been “barking at the gates of Russia” in the run-up.

The pontiff still condemned what he called the “ferocity and cruelty of the Russian troops” while warning against a pure ‘good vs. evil’ fairytale narrative of the conflict.

Just like with his initial similar comments made at the start of May, these latest statements have triggered outrage among Western pundits who’ve called for escalating military support to Ukraine at the expense of dialogue with Moscow toward negotiating a settlement to end the war:

“We need to move away from the usual Little Red Riding Hood pattern, in that Little Red Riding Hood was good and the wolf was the bad one,” Francis said. “Something global is emerging and the elements are very much entwined.”

That’s when in the interview he provided more context to his early May statements on the war. He said that a couple months prior to the Feb.24 invasion, he met with a “wise” head of state – though Francis didn’t name him or her

“…a wise man who speaks little, a very wise man indeed … He told me that he was very worried about how Nato was moving. I asked him why, and he replied: ‘They are barking at the gates of Russia. They don’t understand that the Russians are imperial and can’t have any foreign power getting close to them.'”

“He concluded, ‘The situation could lead to war.’ This was his opinion. On 24 February, the war began. That head of state was able to read the signs of what was happening.”

He added: “We do not see the whole drama unfolding behind this war, which was, perhaps, somehow either provoked or not prevented.”

The Pope also reiterated that the arms industry in the West is benefitting from the bloodshed: “I also note the interest in testing and selling weapons. It is very sad, but at the end of the day that is what is at stake,” he said in the interview.

Someone may say to me at this point: but you are pro-Putin! No, I am not. It would be simplistic and erroneous to say such a thing. I am simply against turning a complex situation into a distinction between good guys and bad guys, without considering the roots and self-interests, which are very complex. While we witness the ferocity and cruelty of Russian troops, we should not forget the problems, and seek to solve them,” he explained.

According to Vatican News, the pontiff additionally described that even beyond Ukraine-Russian, “the world is at war

“We see what is happening now in Ukraine in a certain way because it is closer to us and pricks our sensibilities more. But there are other countries far away—think of some parts of Africa, northern Nigeria, northern Congo—where war is ongoing and nobody cares. Think of Myanmar and the Rohingya. The world is at war. Today, for me, World War III has been declared.”

The last time he suggested the West is at least equally to blame for the unfolding Ukraine war, an avalanche of op-eds and condemnations were issued by US and Western officials suggesting that somehow liberal Pope Francis too has been ‘compromised’ by Putin (ironically a smear typically reserved for Trump or Republicans in general).

June 16, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | 1 Comment

No credibility in the way that the Ukraine war is being reported – says Colonel Richard Black (ret)

Video: Col. Richard Black — U.S. Leading World to Nuclear War, The International Schiller Institute,  27 May 22,   Mike Billington with Executive Intelligence Review interviews Col. Richard Black (ret.). 

”…………………………..BILLINGTON: Many flag grade officers certainly understand the consequences that you just described in a rather hair-raising way. Why is it that, while there are some generals speaking out in Italy, in France, in Germany, warning that we are pursuing a course that could lead to nuclear war, why are there not such voices from flag grade officers—retired, perhaps—saying what you’re saying here today?

BLACK: You know, there’s been a tremendous deterioration in the quality of flag officers………. we now have “yes men.” These are not people whose principal devotion is to the United States and its people. Their principal devotion is to their careers and their ability to network with other military officers upon retirement. There’s a very strong network that can place military generals into think tanks, where they promote war, into organizations like Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, and all of these defense operations, where they can get on boards and things like that. So there’s quite a personal price that you pay for saying, “Hey, stop. War is not in the interests of the American people.” If we had a better quality of individual, we would have people with the courage who would say, “I don’t care what it costs me personally.” But it is very difficult to get into the senior ranks, if you are an individual guided by principle, and patriotism, and devotion to the people of this nation. That’s just not how it works. And at some point, we need a President who will go in and shake the tree, and bring a lot of these people falling down from it, because they’re dangerous. They’re very dangerous to America.

……………….  Just like I asked what’s keeping the generals from speaking out, why, and what will it take, to get Americans to recognize that we can and must sit down with Russians, and with Chinese, and with all other nations and establish a true, just world based on the dignity of man and the right to development and security?

………. at this point, the media have been so totally censored and so biased that the American people really don’t have a perception of the need for anything of that sort. It’s going to be difficult. 

…………  The idea that somehow we have this enormously just cause, it doesn’t strike a great deal of the world that it is just, and much of the world does not accept the latest propaganda about war crimes: this thing about Bucha. That’s probably the most prominent of all the war crimes discussions. 

And what was Bucha? There was a film taken of a vehicle driving down the road in Bucha, which had been recaptured from the Russians. And every hundred feet or so there was some person with his hands, zip tied behind his back, and he’d been killed. It was not announced until four days after the Ukrainians had retaken Bucha. 

Now, we knew almost nothing about it. We actually didn’t even have proof that people had been killed. But assuming they had, we didn’t know where they had been killed. We did not know who they were. We did not know who killed them. We did not know why they were killed. No one could provide an adequate motive for the Russians to have killed them. The Russians held Bucha for a month. If they were going to kill them, why didn’t they kill them during that month? And if you’re going to slaughter a bunch of people, wouldn’t they all be in one place and wouldn’t you gun them all down there? Why would they be distributed along a roadside, a mile along the way? It makes no sense! 

What we do know is that four days after the mayor of Bucha joyously announced that the city was liberated, four days after the Ukrainian army had moved in, and their special propaganda arm of the Ukrainian military were there, all of a sudden there were these dead people on the road. How come they weren’t there when the Russians were there? How come they only appeared after the Russians were gone? 

If I were looking at it as simply a standard criminal case, and I was talking to Criminal Investigation Division or the FBI, or military police or something, I’d say, “OK, the first thing, let’s take a look at the Ukrainians.” My guess would be, and you start with a hunch when you’re investigating a crime—my hunch is that the Ukrainians killed off these people after they moved in, and after they looked around, and said, “OK, who was friendly towards the Russian troops while the Russians were here? We’re going to execute them.” That would be my guess. Because I don’t see any motive for the Russians to have just killed a few people on their way out of town. 

And nobody questions this, because the corporate media are so monolithic. We know for a fact, from the mouth of the head of a Ukrainian hospital, the guy who ran the hospital, he boasted that he had given strict orders to all of his doctors, that when wounded Russian POWs, when casualties were brought in, they were to be castrated. Now, this is a horrific war crime, admitted from the mouth of the hospital administrator, and the Ukrainian government said, “we’ll kind of look into that,” Like it’s no big thing. I can’t think of a more horrific, horrific war crime, ever. Where did you hear about it, on ABC and MSNBC and CNN and FOX News? Not a whisper. And yet the proof is undeniable. We had another clip where there was a POW gathering point, where the Ukrainians would bring POWs to a central point for processing—and this is about a seven-minute video—and the Ukrainian soldiers simply gunned them all down. 

 And they had probably 30 of these wounded Russian soldiers lying on the ground, some of them clearly dying from their wounds. Some of them, they put plastic bags over their heads. Now, these are these are guys who are laying there, sometimes fatally wounded with their hands zip-tied behind their backs, and they’ve got plastic bags over their heads, making it difficult to breathe. And because they can’t raise their hands, they can’t take the bags off, so that they can breathe. At the end of the video, the Ukrainians bring in a van, and there are three unwounded Russian POWs. Without the slightest thought or hesitation, as the three come off, and their hands are bound behind their backs, they gunned down two of them, right on camera and they fall over. And the third one gets on his knees, and begs that they won’t hurt him. And then they gun him down! These are crimes. And these were not refuted by the Ukrainian government. But you’d never even know that they occurred! So far, I will tell you that the only proven—I’m not saying that there aren’t war crimes happening on both sides. I’m just telling you, that the only ones where I have seen, fairly irrefutable proof of war crimes, have been on the Ukrainian side. 

Now, often you hear it said, well, the Russians have destroyed this or destroyed that. Well, I’ve got to tell you, you go back to the wars that we fought when we invaded Iraq, the “Shock and Awe,” we destroyed virtually everything in Iraq, everything of significance. We bombed military and civilian targets without much discrimination. The coalition flew 100,000 sorties in 42 days. You compare that to the Russians, who have only flown 8,000 sorties in about the same period of time. 100,000 American sorties versus 8,000, in about the same time.  I think the Russians have tended to be more selective. Whereas we went out — the philosophy of Shock and Awe is that you destroy everything that is needed to sustain human life and for a city to function. You knock out the water supply, the electrical supply, the heat, the oil, the gasoline; so that you knock out all of the major bridges. And then you just continue to destroy everything. 

So it’s really ironic. And keep in mind, Iraq is a relatively small country. Ukraine is a huge country. 100,000 sorties in 42 days, 8,000 sorties in about the same time. A tremendous difference in violence between what we did in Iraq, and what they have done in Ukraine. So there’s simply no credibility when you actually get down to the facts and you look at the way that the war has been conducted…………… https://schillerinstitute.com/blog/2022/04/26/video-col-richard-black-u-s-leading-world-to-nuclear-war/

May 28, 2022 Posted by | media, Religion and ethics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

What to do about humanity entering “a spiral of self-destruction” – a UN Summit now on in Indonesia

A little-known United Nations summit gets underway in Indonesia this week.
Unfortunately, it’s one that will become more important to us all. The
intention? What to do about humanity entering “a spiral of
self-destruction”. At least that should be the focus, according to the
UN’s Deputy Secretary, ahead of the gathering in Bali. Meanwhile, on the
other side of the world in Davos, Switzerland, leaders of the richest
corporations and banks are sounding much more upbeat at the World Economic
Forum’s Annual Meeting.

 Independent 23rd May 2022

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/davos-switzerland-un-bali-climate-b2084431.html

May 26, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Pope says NATO may have led to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Francis says transatlantic military alliance was ‘barking’ at Russia’s door.  BY HANNAH ROBERTS Politico, May 3, 2022

ROME — Pope Francis said that NATO “barking” at Russia’s door may have led to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — and said he has offered to meet the Russian president in Moscow.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Francis reflected on Russia’s lethal aggression toward its neighbor and said while he might not go as far as saying NATO’s presence in nearby countries “provoked” Moscow, it “perhaps facilitated” the invasion.

Francis also condemned the “brutality” of the war and compared it to Rwanda’s civil war in the 1990s, which resulted in a genocide of the Tutsi minority.

The Holy See has been asking since mid-March for a meeting between Francis and Putin in Moscow, the pope said. “Of course we needed the leader of the Kremlin to allocate a window of time. We haven’t yet had any response, and we are still trying, even if I fear that Putin can’t and doesn’t want to have this meeting at this time.”

In the interview, Francis ruled out going to Kyiv for now: “First I have to go to Moscow, first I have to meet Putin.”……………. https://www.politico.eu/article/pope-francis-nato-cause-ukraine-invasion-russia/

May 5, 2022 Posted by | Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pope Francis reiterates complete opposition to the possession and use of nuclear weapons

Pope Francis: ‘Use and possession of nuclear weapons inconceivable’

In talks on Wednesday with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Pope Francis says the use and possession of nuclear weapons is inconceivable.

Vatican News, By Linda Bordoni  4 May 22,   In a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister on Wednesday morning before the General Audience, Pope Francis reiterated his position of total opposition to the use and possession of nuclear armaments.

According to Holy See Press Office Director, Matteo Bruni, during their conversation that lasted about 25 minutes, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the Pope talked about nuclear weapons and about how their use and possession is inconceivable.

Long-standing opposition to nuclear arms

It is not the first time that Pope Francis has expressed this view……………………..   https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2022-05/pope-japan-prime-minister-nuclear-weapons-inconceivable.html

May 5, 2022 Posted by | Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Catholic bishops assert their opposition to nuclear weapons

Catholic bishops assert their opposition to nuclear weapons,  THE organisation Justice & Peace Scotland have reaffirmed their opposition to nuclear weapons and have marked the 40th anniversary of the Scottish Bishops 1982 landmark statement entitled Peace and Disarmament.

A video, recorded in conjunction with Sancta Familia Media, features clergy, young people and laity reaffirming their opposition to nuclear weapons, and the reasons for their stance.

The video features Archbishop William Nolan (Glasgow), Archbishop Leo Cushley (Edinburgh), Bishop John Keenan (Diocese of Paisley), Bishop Brian McGee (Diocese of Argyll and the Isles) as well as young people from every Catholic diocese in Scotland………….  https://www.irishpost.com/news/catholic-bishops-assert-their-opposition-to-nuclear-weapons-231766

March 22, 2022 Posted by | Religion and ethics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons must be relegated to the past – Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The letter also marks the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ statement prior to the entry into force of the treaty on Jan. 22, 2021; the Pope said nuclear weapons “strike large numbers of people in a short space of time and provoke long-lasting damage to the environment.” On Tuesday, the archbishop said, “It is the duty of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the birthplace of nuclear weapons, to support that treaty while working toward universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament.”

As of this week, the treaty has 59 member nation signatories. The purpose of the treaty is to outlaw the manufacture, testing, possession, stockpiling and use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. It is the legal form chosen by 122 nations who, in 2015, sought a route toward disarmament that would be more effective than the United States’ languishing 1970 promise to disarm “at an early date.”

Nuclear weapons must be relegated to the past,  https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/my_view/nuclear-weapons-must-be-relegated-to-the-past/article_d247c8d8-7559-11ec-ab06-bfa71f3f3b1e.html, By Basia Miller, Jan 16, 2022  .

On Jan. 11, the Archbishop of Santa Fe, John C. Wester, shared his pastoral letter, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament” (“Archbishop decries labs’ weapons production,” Jan. 12).

His letter, a timely, courageous and powerful call for a culture of peace, comes at a time when the United States appears to be entering a new arms race, one in which contamination of the waters and lands of the Rio Grande watershed with radioactive, toxic and hazardous pollutants is often accepted passively, without questioning the deadly — and growing — enterprise behind it.

In his summary, the archbishop makes a link between the costs of military spending and the reciprocal effect on civilian life. He says, “Moreover, we are robbing from the poor and needy with current plans to spend at least

$1.7 trillion to ‘modernize’ our nuclear weapons and keep them forever.”

The archbishop presented his letter six days before the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and 10 days before the first anniversary of the entry into force of the International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, on Jan. 22.

The letter also marks the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ statement prior to the entry into force of the treaty on Jan. 22, 2021; the Pope said nuclear weapons “strike large numbers of people in a short space of time and provoke long-lasting damage to the environment.” On Tuesday, the archbishop said, “It is the duty of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the birthplace of nuclear weapons, to support that treaty while working toward universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament.”

As of this week, the treaty has 59 member nation signatories. The purpose of the treaty is to outlaw the manufacture, testing, possession, stockpiling and use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. It is the legal form chosen by 122 nations who, in 2015, sought a route toward disarmament that would be more effective than the United States’ languishing 1970 promise to disarm “at an early date.”

The long-range expectation is the dynamic among the treaty’s signatory nations (including the NATO countries) will gradually curb the United States’ appetite for building more weapons. The purpose was once “deterrence,” but even that rationalization has been undermined.

In this way, a new legal norm will have been created by which nuclear weapons follow the pattern of the worldwide ban on landmines and chemical and biological weapons.

An occasion to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate the first anniversary of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is planned by local activists and veterans groups at Ashley Pond in Los Alamos from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22. The public is invited.   Basia Miller is a board member of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. She has lived in Santa Fe for over 30 years.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Can Santa Fe survive as a nuclear weapons suburb?

Will Santa Fe “fold up,” democratically and spiritually, when this new “Manhattan” fully appears? Is the faith of that man of peace, St. Francis — the very name of this city — obsolete to political leaders in the city and the state?

Can Santa Fe survive as a nuclear weapons suburb?  https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/my_view/can-santa-fe-survive-as-a-nuclear-weapons-suburb/article_b6ab8ce8-7556-11ec-b47a-57273af4ebbc.html, By Greg Mello, 16 Jan 22,

Many Santa Feans understand that Los Alamos National Laboratory, the most lavishly funded nuclear weapons facility in the world, has embarked on a new mission: making plutonium warhead cores (“pits”) on an industrial scale, to involve 4,000 full-time personnel and 24/7 operations.

It’s among the dirtiest and most dangerous missions in the nuclear weapons complex, not seen at LANL since the 1940s. It’s centered in an old facility built for research and development, now to be driven far beyond its original capacity.

LANL predicts it will spend $18 billion to start up production over this decade. In constant dollars, this is 15-fold what the Manhattan Project spent in New Mexico — indeed it dwarfs the cost of every other project in New Mexico history.

The pits will cost at least $50 million apiece, 200 times their weight in gold. A single LANL pit, assuming all goes well, will cost as much as the combined annual salaries of 1,000 New Mexico teachers, or the equipment for 5,000 residential solar systems. A major reason our society is failing is because it is kept on a war footing.

This huge program has nothing to do with national security, except in the negative sense. It is not needed to maintain any stockpile weapon. As military planners say, it’s (very) “early to need” and there are now perfectly sound, cheaper plans to do without LANL’s production should something go wrong. Why wait?

After extensive analysis under both the Obama and Trump administrations, the National Nuclear Security Administration in 2017 firmly rejected what is now LANL’s pit plan. The New Mexico delegation fought back, enlisting congressional hawks to help blackmail the Trump administration into building an unheard-of two pit factories. Up to now, a barely functioning Congress has gone along with the game. Time will tell just how long this scam holds up.

LANL’s pit production, for all its cost and danger, just isn’t enough to support any foreseeable U.S. stockpile. If LANL is a pit factory, there will be two.

What about Santa Fe, then?

On July 18, 1945, Harry Truman wrote in his diary, “Believe [Japan] will fold up before Russia comes in. I am sure they will when Manhattan appears over their homeland.”

Will Santa Fe “fold up,” democratically and spiritually, when this new “Manhattan” fully appears? Is the faith of that man of peace, St. Francis — the very name of this city — obsolete to political leaders in the city and the state?

What exactly would Santa Fe stand for or mean if nuclear weapons — the ultimate in human disposability — became its main tangible product? When our schools and community colleges direct our young people into LANL’s “pipeline” of plutonium minions? Or do you suppose their potential for creativity, compassion and wisdom could be better developed in other ways, as the region faces the towering crises of the 21st century?

Can Santa Fe survive as a nuclear weapons suburb? It certainly can, as a kind of nuclear “Pottersville” — a sprawling, increasingly ugly “city” with growing inequality, a vacuum where shared ideals should be, with no real urban center or shared human purposes, its most cherished traditions washed away by too much money given to too few people doing “work” society doesn’t need or want. It would be a city divided against itself to be sure, with plenty of poverty, human tragedy and crime.

Santa Fe could be a city that aims for justice and peace, where the obligation of respect binding us together is fostered, where the potential of every child is honored. Those political values are incompatible with manufacturing more nuclear weapons.

Greg Mello is executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group.

January 17, 2022 Posted by | culture and arts, Religion and ethics, social effects, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Archbishop calls for nuclear disarmament

Archbishop calls for nuclear disarming, Santa fe New Mexican By Robert Nott rnott@sfnewmexican.com, Dec 20 , 2021   

Looking up at the sky as a young teen one day in Daly City, Calif., Archbishop John C. Wester had one thought as he saw military planes overheard.

Were they ours, or were they Russian planes?

The year was 1962, perhaps the first time nuclear war between the two superpowers seemed likely to erupt as the Cuban Missile Crisis played out and students were taught to prepare for an atomic attack by diving under their desks at schools.

“I don’t think going under our desks was very helpful,” Wester said Sunday in Santa Fe, moments before issuing a call for the world to rid itself its nuclear weapons.

Now, some 60 years later, he said he wants to do more to end the threat of an atomic war. Wester spoke and prayed during a 30-minute prayer service and ceremony at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe before he unveiled a sign bearing an image of Pope Francis and a quote uttered by the pope in Hiroshima in 2020: “The possession of nuclear arms is immoral.”

Wester said “our archdiocese needs to be facilitating, encouraging an ongoing conversation” about nuclear disarmament.

He urged people to “pray for God’s intervention” to keep that conversation going.

At least 125 people were present for the service, many bearing roses in honor of the Lady of Guadalupe. Among them was Karen Weber, who said it’s “highly symbolic” for Wester to speak out on the “abolishment of nuclear weapons.”

The shrine is across the street from the Firestone building at West Alameda and Guadalupe streets in downtown Santa Fe, where Los Alamos National Laboratory recently opened a small office. The proximity of the two locales was not lost on Mary Riseley, who described herself as a Quaker and an Episcopalian and who handed out roses to participants in Sunday’s event.

Calling Wester a “prophet in the Catholic Church,” she said it’s important for him to stand up “for peace and understanding” during these times of turmoil.

In his comments, Wester alluded to the growing tension around the Russia-Ukraine border and said there are at least “40 active conflicts in the world.”

“We need to be instruments of peace,” he said, especially as we head into the Christmas season, a “season of peace.”

The current arms race, he said “is more ominous” than any that came before……..   https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/archbishop-calls-for-nuclear-disarming/article_0aabf9f0-60e8-11ec-9e5f-5f7820707fca.html

December 21, 2021 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Even when he is silenced, immobilized, locked up and hidden from public view, Julian Assange continues to shine a light on the abusive mechanisms of power.

Assange: The Masks are Crumblinhttps://consortiumnews.com/2021/12/10/assange-the-masks-are-crumbling/
December 10, 2021  The U.S. and its allies don’t care about press freedom beyond the extent it can be used to conduct propaganda, writes Caitlin Johnstone after the High Court’s ruling against Julian Assange.  By Caitlin Johnstone

CaitlinJohnstone.com    The U.S. government has won its appeal against a lower British court’s rejection of its extradition request to prosecute Julian Assange for journalistic activity under the Espionage Act. Rather than going free, the WikiLeaks founder will continue to languish in Belmarsh Prison where he has already spent over two and a half years despite having been convicted of no crime.

“As a result, that extradition request will now be sent to British Home Secretary Prita Patel, who technically must approve all extradition requests but, given the U.K. Government’s long-time subservience to the U.S. security state, is all but certain to rubber-stamp it,” writes Glenn Greenwald. “Assange’s representatives, including his fiancee Stella Morris, have vowed to appeal the ruling, but today’s victory for the U.S. means that Assange’s freedom, if it ever comes, is further away than ever: not months but years even under the best of circumstances.”

“Mark this day as fascism casts off its disguises,” tweeted journalist John Pilger of the ruling.

This ruling, which allows the U.S. to continue working to extradite a journalist for exposing U.S. war crimes, comes on the final day of Washington’s so-called “Summit for Democracy“, where the U.S. secretary of state made a grandiose show about of press freedom playing “an indispensable role in informing the public, holding governments accountable, and telling stories that otherwise would not be told.” And then adding: “The U.S. will continue to stand up for the brave and necessary work of journalists around the world.”

This ruling also comes on UN Human Rights Day.

This ruling comes on the same day two journalists formally received the Nobel Peace Prizes they’d been awarded and demanded protections for journalists in their acceptance speeches.

This ruling comes as the U.S. government pledges hundreds of millions of dollars in support for “independent media” around the world in coordination with British state media.

This ruling comes after it was revealed that the C.I.A. drew up plans to kidnap and assassinate Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy after the 2017 Vault 7 releases embarrassed the agency.

This ruling comes after it was revealed that C.I.A. proxies spied on Assange and his lawyers at the Ecuadorian embassy, thereby making a fair trial in the United States impossible.

This ruling comes after it was revealed that the U.S. prosecution relied on false testimony from a diagnosed sociopath and convicted child molester.

This ruling comes after recent investigative reports on civilian-slaughtering U.S. airstrikes reminded us why it’s so important for the press to be able to conduct critical coverage of the most powerful military force ever assembled.

The facts are in and the case is closed: the U.S. and its allies do not care about press freedoms beyond the extent that they can be used to conduct propaganda. The way journalists who offend the powerful are dealt with by the U.S. government and the way they are dealt with by the Saudi monarchy differ only in terms of speed and messiness.

The masks are crumbling. Even when he is silenced, immobilized, locked up and hidden from public view, Julian Assange continues to shine a light on the abusive mechanisms of power. He is arguably exposing them more now than ever before.

As fascism casts off its disguises, it becomes more and more important to highlight the hypocrisy, fraudulence and depravity of the people who rule our world.

December 11, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Religion and ethics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | 1 Comment

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Takes a New Approach With Informative Videos for Children and Young Adults

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Takes a New Approach With Informative Videos for Children and Young Adults, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/voices-for-a-world-free-of-nuclear-weapons-takes-a-new-approach-with-informative-videos-for-children-and-young-adults-301412004.htmlNov 01, 2021,

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, a Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, recently launched three nuclear disarmament videos for children and young adults. They are inviting educational institutions, religious communities, nuclear disarmament groups, and other grassroots organizations to post these videos on their websites and social media platforms.

“We realized there was a lack of educational videos about the threats of nuclear weapons for children and young adults. So, the Education Team at Voices decided to take it on. We produced videos that would inform children in an age-appropriate manner, as well as the general public, on this important topic.” said Carolyn MacKenzie, Voices Education Team Lead.

“Many children and young adults know nothing about nuclear weapons. Yet, they pose one of the greatest threats to all life on earth. We wanted to inform youth about nuclear weapons, and also inspire them to get involved by taking simple actions that will allow them to be the change that is needed,” said MacKenzie.

Voices’ goal is for these videos to be widely shared around the world. We recognize we cannot do this alone which is why we are inviting other nuclear disarmament and grassroots groups to give these videos a permanent home on their websites.

The Threat of Nuclear Weapons – A Call to Action Video = 10:54 minutes
Appropriate for young adults and the public.
Description: Brief summary of nuclear weapons history and why we all need to work to eliminate these weapons. Also includes a call to action and a description of what interested individuals can do help the cause.

Captain No-NukesAnimation = 3 minutes
Appropriate for children ages 8 and under.
Description: Short animation of Captain No-Nukes working to rid the world of nuclear weapons with concrete suggestions about how children can help.

The Evolution of Weapons in the World Animation = 1:15 minute
Appropriate for children of all ages.
Description: Brief animation on the history of conflicts and how to solve problems non-violently.

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons is part of United Religions Initiative (URI), the largest grassroots interfaith network in the world. URI builds bridges by encouraging members to work together on practical projects that enhance civil communities and promote understanding between people of different religious and cultural traditions.

Contact : Julie Schelling
322397@email4pr.com
P: 347.719.1518

November 22, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The elimination of nuclear weapons a moral imperative – Vatican


Cardinal Parolin: elimination of nuclear weapons a moral imperative, Vatican News
The Vatican Secretary of State speaks at a conference on disarmament promoted in Assisi by the “Committee for a Civilization of Love”. He argues that the challenge is to adopt forward-looking strategies to achieve the common good and overcome the logic of deterrence. He relaunches the Pope’s idea of converting weapons resources into a fund to fight poverty and promote development.

By Michele Raviart – Vatican City   Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, offered his thoughts via an inaugural video message to a conference on looking at ways to eliminate nuclear weapons and divert spending for humanitarian purposes. The meeting was organized by the Italian-based “Committee for a Civilization of Love” and held at the Sacro Convento in Assisi. Cardinal Parolin noted that the pandemic “is teaching us an important lesson”, namely that “it is necessary to reconsider our concept of security”, which “cannot be based on the threat of mutual destruction and fear, but must find its foundation in justice, integral human development, respect for human rights, care for creation, promotion of educational and health facilities, dialogue and solidarity”.

Real and lasting trust between Nations

The meeting brought together different realities committed to promoting disarmament, the elimination of nuclear arsenals and their conversion into peace initiatives. ……….

2022 diplomatic conferences

Next January the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons will take place. Cardinal Parolin says this will offer “a crucial moment for the international community and in particular for the nuclear powers” to “clearly demonstrate their ability to understand today’s challenges, to face them and to resolve them.” In March the first meeting between the signatories of the recent Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will take place. Nuclear powers and states militarily allied to them (with the exception of the Netherlands) are not party to this treaty which came into force last January. At the same time, Cardinal Parolin called it “a success of multilateral diplomacy,” recalling how “its negotiation and entry into force would not have been possible without the action of the many civil society associations committed to the continuous promotion of disarmament and peace.”

The Pope’s words on disarmament

In conclusion, Cardinal Parolin recalled Pope Francis’ words for the 54th World Day of Peace on January 1, which should be considered as a guide for the next steps towards disarmament. “How many resources are spent on weaponry, especially nuclear weapons?” the Pope asks in the message. The answer he says would be to designate these resources for the promotion of peace, integral human development, and health through an institution such as global fund “in order to permanently eliminate hunger and contribute to the development of the poorest countries.”  https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2021-11/parolin-elimination-of-nuclear-weapons-a-moral-and-humanitarian.html

November 18, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Billionaires Not Morally Qualified to Shape Civilization

Billionaires Not Morally Qualified to Shape Civilization, Consortium News, November 3, 2021  We’re talking about a class which could easily put a complete halt to human beings dying of starvation, writes Caitlin Johnstone. But they don’t.  By Caitlin JohnstoneCaitlinJohnstone.comHuman civilization is being engineered in myriad ways by an unfathomably wealthy class who are so emotionally and psychologically stunted that they refuse to end world hunger despite having the ability to easily do so.

The United Nations has estimated that world hunger could be ended for an additional expenditure of $30 billion a year, with other estimates considerably lower. The other day Elon Musk became the first person to attain a net worth of over $300 billion. A year ago his net worth was $115 billion. According to Inequality.org, America’s billionaires have a combined net worth of $5.1 trillion, which is a 70 percent increase from their combined net worth of under $3 trillion at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So, we’re talking about a class which could easily put a complete halt to human beings dying of starvation on this planet by simply putting some of their vast fortunes toward making sure everyone gets enough to eat. But they don’t. This same class influences the policies, laws, and large-scale behavior of our species more than any other.

……….how absolutely insane it is that we allow this class to shape our civilization.

And we most certainly do allow them to shape our civilization.

Take Bill Gates. He spends a fortune on narrative control ranging from immense contributions to The Guardian to tens of billions of dollars in grants and he’s committed hundreds of millions of dollars to shady political influence groups as well. He’s been influencing Covid policies around the world, from intervening against the waiving of vaccine patent restrictions to facilitating the worldwide rollout of digital vaccine passports; he’s been giving countless media interviews about Covid-19 and vaccines despite having no medical degree or indeed any qualifications at all apart from a net worth of $136 billion. This is after falsely pledging to give his immense fortune away over a decade ago; his net worth has more than doubled in that time.

Jeff Bezos has been a contractor with the Pentagonthe CIA and the NSA, and experts have claimed that Amazon is trying to control the underlying infrastructure of the economy. As sole owner of The Washington Post he ensures that a hugely influential news outlet will always be staffed by people who will help manufacture consent for the status quo upon which his empire is built, and his grand vision for humanity involves shipping us offworld to breed in giant rotating space cylinders………

The World Economic Forum has laid out an agenda for giant corporations to move beyond their unofficial and unacknowledged role as unelected rulers of our world and become open partners in the governance of world affairs alongside our official elected governments, with more power than ever before.

There are almost infinite examples I could highlight, but I think my point is clear. Billionaires and billionaire corporations own our media, influence our thinking, manipulate our economies, interfere in our politics, determine the fate of our ecosystem and shape our world. And they are the very least qualified among us to be doing so……… https://consortiumnews.com/2021/11/03/billionaires-not-morally-qualified-to-shape-civilization/

November 6, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

ESG – Environmental Social and Governance investing excludes nuclear power

Green finance clarifies nuclear issue, https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2021/11/02/2003767157, By Honda Chen 陳鴻達 Translated by Perry Svensson

MSCI, the world’s most reputable compiler of investment indices, generates ESG lists by first excluding firms in the nuclear power, arms, gambling and pornography industries.

The EU Taxonomy excludes nuclear power generation, and nuclear power cannot be used to account for carbon reduction efficiency.

ESG funds exclude companies that generate revenue from nuclear power.

Nuclear power cannot be regarded as green energy, so carbon reduction still requires renewable energy, energy efficiency, or carbon capture and storage technology, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) told a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Thursday.

This is the mainstream view worldwide, and green finance, or ESG — environmental, social and governance — investments, which have surged over the past few years, prohibit investing in nuclear power plant projects.

For example, MSCI, the world’s most reputable compiler of investment indices, generates ESG lists by first excluding firms in the nuclear power, arms, gambling and pornography industries. Only then does it look at whether a firm’s performance indicators meet sustainability requirements. Many funds based on MSCI’s ESG indices do not buy the stocks or bonds of companies in those industries.

Although most power plants in other countries are privately owned, many are publicly traded, but ESG funds exclude companies that generate revenue from nuclear power.

Over the past few years, the EU has been promoting its Green Deal, a transformation of the bloc’s energy sector, and has adopted the EU Taxonomy, a transparency tool that lists economic activities that meet sustainability standards.

Businesses that meet the standards can issue green bonds, which enjoy lower borrowing costs and fewer administrative procedures. Funds that claim to be ESG must disclose how sustainable the companies in their portfolios truly are.

The EU Taxonomy excludes nuclear power generation, and nuclear power cannot be used to account for carbon reduction efficiency.

The EU’s logic is that carbon reduction cannot be achieved to the detriment of other environmental objectives, such as eliminating radioactive waste or safeguarding biodiversity. Sustainable carbon reduction must “do no significant harm” to the environment.

By this logic, nuclear power is a major hazard in Taiwan, a densely populated country situated in an earthquake zone.

The proposed third liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of Datan Borough (大潭) in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) is another example of this.

Infrastructure for the project has been moved farther out to sea, far from the coastline, and the shipping lane is not to be dredged, minimizing damage to an algal reef.

In other words, if the terminal is part of the fight against air pollution, it must comply with the principle of not causing significant harm to other aspects of the environment.

The referendums that are to be held next month have either become highly politicized or distort the issue of nuclear power.

Perhaps the logic behind today’s ESG trend in global finance could help the public to better understand the issue and make more informed decisions.

Honda Chen is an associate research fellow at the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance.

November 2, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment