From Wall Street to D.C. and Change to Believe In and Work For

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by Eileen Fleming

 

On Sept. 17th hundreds of protestors took it to the streets at Bowling Green Park in Manhattan, home of the charging bull in New York’s Financial District, to “take the bull by the horns.”

The diverse crowd shared one thing in common being “We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” as stated on the website Occupy Wall Street, where posts also compare the group’s efforts to those used in the pro-democracy movement known as the Arab Spring.

On Saturday, a peaceful march near Union Square in downtown Manhattan, turned ugly when unarmed female protestors were corralled behind an orange mesh barricade and assaulted directly in their faces with pressurized mace:

PEACEFUL FEMALE PROTESTORS PENNED IN THE STREET AND MACED!- #OccupyWallStreet



Perhaps those Police believe as Mitt Romney does that “corporations are people” while ignoring the pain of we the people who are fed up with the status quo and negation of our civil liberties.

In his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln knew that this “nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” but who were “engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure” concluded that the Civil War “dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

This citizen of conscience for US House of Representatives believes that unless we dismantle The Corporate Military Industrial Security/Surveillance Complex we shall perish from the earth.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy warned US:





“Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident, or miscalculation, or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.”

Ten days after the earthquake in Japan triggered the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, extended the license of a virtual twin of Fukushima; a 40-year-old Vermont nuclear reactor for another two decades. The license renewal was granted even though the reactor’s cooling tower had literally fallen down, and the plant had repeatedly leaked radioactive fluid. [1]

In his 2012 budget, President Obama included $54 billion in federal loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors and $7.6 billion for nuclear weapons research and production, but “Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nuclear weapons are not just morally indefensible but politically unsustainable.

The NPT/Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, was created in 1968, and maintains that nuclear weapons proliferation can only be curtailed if nuclear countries move toward disarmament and the five nuclear powers that signed the NPT must abolish their nuclear weapons.

America is one of the five nuclear powers that signed the NPT and thus is obligated to abolish its nuclear weapons-but the USA has been in violation ever since the day America signed the NPT!

In 1966, at the height of the Cold War, the US nuclear arsenal was estimated at over 32,000 warheads. Current estimates range between 5,000 to 12,000; but even one is more than enough to destroy Creation as we now know it.

If that day we call 9/11 taught us anything, it should be that America’s nuclear arsenal cannot defeat ‘terrorism’ or provide security from the actions of a few violent mad men who target and murder innocent people.

American money is imprinted with “IN GOD WE TRUST” but the Corporate Military Industrial Security/Surveillance Complex has trusted in and has maintained a nuclear arsenal of nearly 2,000 on hair-trigger alert!

But redemption is always possible and as Churchill said:

“Never give up. Never give up. Never give up, never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor [CONSCIENCE] and good [COMMON] sense.”

Conscience is calling and Common Sense could reign if the Members of the Super Committee heed the wisdom of The Honorable Edward J. Markey to “Freeze the Nukes, Fund the Future.”

Edward J. Markey, is also a national leader on energy and the environment and has served in the US House of Representatives since 1976. On 22 September 2011, Representative Markey wrote:

Dear Members of the Super Committee:

The Berlin Wall fell. The Soviet Union crumbled. The Cold War ended. Yet 20 years later, we continue to spend over $50 billion a year on the U.S. nuclear arsenal. This makes no sense. These funds are a drain on our budget and a disservice to the next generation of Americans. We are robbing the future to pay for the unneeded weapons of the past. Now is the time to stop fighting last century’s war. Now is the time to reset our priorities. Now is the time to invest in the people and the programs to get America back on track.

The Super Committee is best positioned to cut this outdated radioactive relic. The Soviets are long gone, yet the stockpiles remain. The bombs collect dust, yet the bills are with us to this day.

We call on the Super Committee to cut $20 billion a year, or $200 billion over the next ten years, from the U.S. nuclear weapons budget. This cut will enable us to stay safe without further straining our budget. This cut will improve our security. This cut will allow us to continue funding the national defense programs that matter most. Consider how this savings compares to vital programs on which Americans rely. We spend approximately $20 billion per year on Pell Grants to help students pay for college. We spend $5 billion to ensure that Americans do not freeze in their homes during the winter.

We need to freeze our nuclear weapons, and fuel our stalled economy.

The Ploughshares Fund estimates that the U.S. will spend over $700 billion on nuclear weapons and related programs over the next ten years. Nuclear weapons and missile defense alone will consume over $500 billion. We can no longer justify spending at these levels. We can save hundreds of billions of dollars by restructuring the U.S. nuclear program for the 21st century.

Our current arsenal totals over 5,000 nuclear warheads. This enormous stockpile will allow us to annihilate our enemies countless times.

At any one time there are 12 Trident submarines cruising the world’s seas. Each submarine carries 24 nuclear weapons. Each submarine is capable of destroying all of Russia’s and China’s major cities.

Why then do we need all of these weapons? There is no good reason. America no longer needs, and cannot afford, this massive firepower.

The Super Committee should not reduce funding to vital programs relied upon by millions of Americans.

Cut Minuteman missiles. Do not cut Medicare and Medicaid. Cut nuclear-armed B-52, B-1, and B-2 bombers. Do not cut Social Security. Invest in the future, don’t waste money on the past.

We do not need to maintain our current level of nuclear weapons to secure our country. The President agrees. The Senate agrees. The New START treaty will reduce our level of deployed strategic warheads to 1,550. This is a 25 percent cut from today’s levels. Fewer nuclear weapons should equal less funding.

We should not cut entitlement programs first. We should not target our seniors, our children, and our sick first. Instead we should target outdated and unnecessary nuclear weapons. Let’s freeze the nukes so we can fund the future. [2]

On 5 July 2010, just before the Y-12 Thirteen nonviolent nuclear resisters were arrested in Oak Ridge Tennessee, The Declaration of Independence from Nuclear Weapons was read:

The Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 indicted a government that engaged in barbaric conduct contrary to the laws of Humanity that included “works of death, destruction and tyranny unparalleled in the most barbaric ages” until the Age of Now!

Current Law requires an end to all planning, preparation, production, threat, or use of nuclear weapons…[we] demand this Government adhere to the fundamental rules and principles of Humanitarian Law.

These rules and principles require that civilians never be the object of attack. Consequently we must never use weapons that are incapable of distinguishing between civilians and military targets.

Whereas it is a basic human right to be free of threat or violence, and it is our duty to protect children and future generations we call on this government to use our tax dollars that are now being used to wage permanent war unequivocally demand they be used to pursue a nuclear free world and clean up all chemical and radioactive contamination.

[Learn More: The Y-12 Thirteen and MADE in USA WMD ]

On 20 September, I participated in a Global conference call initiated by URI: United Religions Initiative, www.uri.org which seeks collaboration and action for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The first to speak was Jonathan Granoff, the current President of the Global Security Institute, and a Senior Advisor of the American Bar Association’sCommittee on Arms Control and National Security, who has also served as Vice President of the NGO Committee on Disarmament at the United Nations.

Granoff said: “Nuclear weapons are illegal and immoral. They are going to spread or we are going to work together to eliminate them. What is lacking is the political will and it should be based on moral grounds.”

Next up was Rev. Tyler Wigg Stevenson who stated: “I work at the intersection of faith and public policy. Theology brings truth; the highest goal alongside love, faith and humility. It is a spiritual challenge that we cannot run away from…[It is a] fallacy that we must live with Nuclear Weapons. [It requires] vitality to overcome this paralysis – most people don’t worry about changing global realities-the minutia of life presses in on people, but the freedom of vocation –that sense of calling by God to do something…[He] made us smart enough to create nuclear weapons may we be smart enough to dismantle them.”

Next Sidney Drell, a Jewish man and Professor of Theoretical Physics (Emeritus) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Senior Fellow of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution said: “Scientific progress has enabled us to create the greatest threat to civilization. These weapons are so destructive they cannot be justified on any ethical ground. The hardest part in making Nuclear Weapons is getting your hands on the fuel. The USA and Russia posses 90% [of all nuclear weapons] and they must lead…No matter how difficult this is a moral obligation.”

Playing clean up was the Irish Catholic and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, who was also awarded the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s “Distinguished Peace Leadership Award” in 1996.

Maguire reminded us of Sir Joseph Rotblat, who received the Nobel in 1995 for his efforts towards nuclear disarmament and whose work on nuclear fallout was a major contribution to the agreement of the Partial Test Ban Treaty.

Mairead said:

“Rotblat called for a nuclear free world and an end to all war. In Conscience he worked for nuclear disarmament. [We must ask ourselves] What is my life about? What are my values?

“You cannot read the gospel and not know that Jesus was totally nonviolent…we have lost sight of importance of every human being.

“We really have to stand up for human life. We spend $100 Billion building nuclear weapons a year –how many children could be fed with that?”

I do not know, but I imagine that $100 Billion could ensure that every child of the world receive adequate nutrition and a future with the hope that they would have a life to the full; but I know this is a spiritual battle that must be fought in the political realm:

Citizens of Conscience, People of Faith: Call for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

“Everyone but Christians understands that Jesus was nonviolent.”-Gandhi

Clement, Tertillian, Polycarp and every other early Church Father taught that violence was a contradiction of what Christ was about.

The first and greatest heresy in the Christian faith occurred in the third century when Augustine penned the “Just War Theory” for church and state got in bed together and “our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”-Dorothy Day.

One of the greatest Christian spiritual leaders of all time, Thomas Merton [a Trappist monk who listened to Bob Dylan LP’s in his hermitage in Kentucky] was the first religious voice to rise up and speak out against the Vietnam War. When Merton spoke at what became his last peace rally-before he was electrocuted in a freak accident and died- a nun accosted him and demanded, “Why didn’t you mention Christ in your speech?”

Merton replied, “What we are asked to do at present is not so much to speak of Christ as to let him live in us, so that people may find him by feeling how he lives in us.”

Merton also said, “The duty of the Christian at this time is to do the one task God has imposed upon us in this world today. The task is to work for the total abolition of war. There can be no question that unless war is abolished; the world will remain constantly in a state of madness…The church [meaning all Christians] must lead the way on the road to the abolition of war. Peace is to be preached and nonviolence is to be explained and practiced.”

I submitted the following question to URI’s Global conference call on Sept. 20th but it was not responded to; so I raise it here and respond to myself:

What do you say to a Media and Government who have ignored what Mordechai Vanunu, Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower told me in 2005?

“Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons? In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’

“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”[3]

US and Israeli Nuclear Deceptions

Please and thank you for asking your U.S. Representative to Sign onto “Freeze the Nukes, Fund the Future” @

Ask Your U.S. Representatiive to Sign a Letter: “Freeze the Nukes, Fund the Future” 

  1. America’s Nuclear Nightmare
  2. BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010


Author Details
Eileen Fleming, A Citizen of CONSCIENCE for House of Representatives 2012 campaign can be followed at EileenFleming.org. Eileen also founded WeAreWideAwake.org, Produced “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu” and authored “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory” and BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010. Visit Eileen’s YouTube Channel
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