Saturday, November 21, 2009

Petition for Nuclear Disarmament

I encourage everyone to sign this important petition and circulate it among family, neighbors and people you work with.

TO: Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General, United Nations

We wish to add our voices to the global campaign for an end to nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. We believe that the world needs to take urgent action to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and to make the world free of nuclear weapons, as part of the overall drive for worldwide peace and the transfer of military spending to socially-useful ends. The international treaties concerning nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear weapons test-ban and fissile material cut-off are essential to achieving this goal.

In May 2010 the United Nations will meet to review the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Trade unionists from around the world are urging that meeting to make a clear path towards abolition of nuclear weapons in the shortest possible time. We ask that:

those countries which have not joined the NPT do so, and for all countries to comply with it in full;

the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty enter into force as soon as possible;
there be an immediate start to and rapid progress on the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty; and

we ask for international agreements to support nuclear-weapon-free zones.

We support the actions of the “Mayors for Peace”, headed by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in calling for abolition of all nuclear weapons by 2020.

Production and maintenance of nuclear weapons, and military expenditure overall, cost more than one trillion dollars each year. We call for major reductions in military expenditure, to allow this money to be spent on social and economic development and fighting poverty. We further ask that this transformation from military to peaceful expenditure be done in a way which protects the livelihoods of those who would be affected by it.

We support the actions of the “Mayors for Peace”, headed by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in calling for abolition of all nuclear weapons by 2020.

Production and maintenance of nuclear weapons, and military expenditure overall, cost more than one trillion dollars each year. We call for major reductions in military expenditure, to allow this money to be spent on social and economic development and fighting poverty. We further ask that this transformation from military to peaceful expenditure be done in a way which protects the livelihoods of those who would be affected by it.

Go here to sign the petition---

Or do like I have done. Print off the Petition and circulate it yourself among people you meet during the course of the day. In the few days I have been circulating this Petition lots of people asked me for a copy to circulate so I just went to the library and photocopied 50 copies; I included my name and contact info on the Petition then I check off who signed the Petition I gave a copy to so I can gather them all up.

Just copy and paste this Petition and print it.

Take a few minutes a day to work for peace.


Monday, November 9, 2009


Money for jobs; not for war... unemployed workers shouldn't have to pay any taxes.

Make the minimum wage a real living wage based upon all the cost-of-living factors as scientifically calculated by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics and then legislatively tie the minimum wage to cost-of-living increases.

A National Conference to Create Living-Wage Jobs,
Meet Human Needs and Sustain the Environment

November 13-14, 2009

New York, NY

The Problem: Even before the onset of our current, deep recession, we faced chronic unemployment, low and stagnant wages, myriad unmet needs and unprecedented environmental degradation.

Today’s rapidly escalating unemployment has put job creation back on the public agenda for the first time in recent history. Nearly 15 million workers were officially unemployed in June 2009, and hidden unemployment brings total joblessness up to almost 30 million with nearly 12 seekers for every available job. If it is possible to ignore the chronic unemployment that besets millions of people in normal times, it is much harder to ignore this current, mass unemployment and its staggering social and economic costs.

 What should progressive activists concerned about economic justice, labor, the religious community and other concerned people do about mass unemployment?
 What long-term goals should we have for the economy?
 How can we build a strong, effective unified movement to achieve full employment and living wage jobs for all?

A strong economic stimulus is imperative to meet the current emergency. Yet, even if the current stimulus package that achieves its intended goal of creating 4 million jobs, it would only reduce official unemployment by a third!

Nor is it good enough to return to official unemployment of 5 million women and men and millions more working poor even in the “best” of recent times, or to be satisfied with the host of unmet needs with which this recession began. In the words of FDR, “We cannot be content, no matter how high the general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people … is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.”

The Challenge: Crises present opportunities for progressive change. This is the time for Progressives people of good will to mobilize and to develop goals and strategies for an economy that provides living wage jobs for all, sustains the environment, and repairs our social and physical infrastructure and begins the transition to a more stable, productive economy that provides for shared prosperity.

Conference Goals and Intended Outcomes:

1. Expand public debate and action on the future of the U.S. economy
2. Increase public awareness of chronic unemployment and underemployment and its human and economic toll, even in better times
3. Build on Increase public awareness of current mass unemployment, its dire consequences for human beings and its waste of potential economic output;
4. Raise public awareness of our current economic dead-end—high personal and foreign debt, inequality, wage lag, environmental degradation, military overreach….
5. Steer public debate and action toward:
• Government promotion and creation of living-wage jobs, strengthening of the safety net and supportive fiscal, monetary and trade policies;
• Government promotion and creation of jobs that improve the physical and social infrastructure (repair of bridges, upgrading public transportation, building affordable housing, improving and expanding public education and child, health and elder care).
• Government promotion and creation of jobs that further the goal of a sustainable economy and begin to restructure it.
6. Develop plans to pay for this program of reconstruction through more progressive taxes and confinement of military spending to genuine defense needs

7. Initiate a movement for living-wage jobs for all and develop strategies for achieving this permanent economic reform-- including similar conferences in cities across the country and a mass mobilization in Washington on behalf of economic reconstruction.

You Are Invited to Be a Conference Convenor/Co-Sponsor: We seek broad participation and sponsorship for this National Conference, especially organizations with a primary focus on the quality and quantity of jobs, economic justice, social security, the safety net and poverty prevention. Other critical participants will be organizations not primarily concerned with employment, but whose goals for union rights, health care, education, child care, elder care, disability rights, housing, economic restructuring, public transportation, environmental sustainability, and the arts would be furthered by job creation in their areas of interest. The hope is to gain their ongoing commitment to conquering unemployment and low wages-- even after the crisis subsides. This would build on a plans of the National Jobs for All Coalition and the Chicago Political Economy Group to simultaneously create living wage jobs for all and, through a renewed public sector, to repair our deeply deficient social and physical infrastructure.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Middle class would pay thousands for health care

Middle class would pay thousands for health care
(AP) –

WASHINGTON — Government experts say some middle-class families would still face a big budget hit for health care, even with the new help that Democrats want to provide.

A family of four making $66,000 could face a total health care bill of $10,000 — counting premiums, copayments and deductible — under the House Democratic health care bill, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday. And that's after counting $10,500 in government assistance.

The estimates apply to people purchasing their own coverage, not those in employer plans.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Remember Medicare for All in the healthcare reform debate

I would encourage we post this call to action widely.

We are getting nothing from this jerk Obama and these Democrats. I am so glad I voted for Cynthia McKinney.


Remember Medicare for All in the healthcare reform debate

By Kay Tillow, Coordinator, All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676, Nurses Professional Organization - 11/03/09

We are in danger of losing the opportunity to bring Improved Medicare for All, a single payer plan, before the Congress. Last July Congressman Anthony Weiner and six of his colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee attempted to substitute the real public option—HR 676, a single payer plan—for the healthcare reform in the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured them that if they withdrew the amendment in committee they would have an opportunity to bring it to the House floor for a debate and vote. Now Pelosi is threatening to keep the Weiner Single Payer Amendment from seeing the light of day.

If we were able to get this plan really on the table and before the nation in a meaningful way, we could win this hands down. Even Blue Dog Mike Ross, in an unguarded moment, asked why not just have Medicare for All. HR 676, the national single payer legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers, would cover everyone for all medically necessary care through an Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. The bill and its advocates have been blocked, excluded, and beaten back in the current national healthcare reform debate.

Yet Medicare for All continues to raise its head. When single payer advocates were excluded from the White House kick off meeting for health care reform, doctors’ opened the door to two single payer advocates with a plan to protest at the White House gate. When Senate Finance Chair Baucus ruled single payer off the table, thirteen doctors, nurses, and others rose to protest. Baucus had them arrested. Those gutsy advocates pried open another door and won a round of publicity for single payer. But still not a place at the table.

Yet support for single payer continues to grow. Its simplicity, humanity, and economic efficiency win more supporters each day. The Kentucky House of Representatives, four other state legislative bodies, scores of cities and counties, a half dozen giant religious denominations, NOW, the NAACP, and the National Conference of Mayors have called for passage of HR 676. For unions, it’s the plan of choice. At each contract deadline the double digit rise in health care costs gobbles up the lion’s share of bargaining power. For that reason, 578 unions including 39 state AFL-CIO’s and 134 central labor councils have endorsed HR 676. In September the national AFL-CIO Convention declared unanimous support for single payer as the social insurance plan necessary to achieve social justice.

When Physicians for a National Health Program founder Quentin Young, testified before a House committee last June, Representative Weiner listened and was impressed. Weiner turned HR 676 into an amendment that would transform the House bill into a single payer plan. He popularized it as Medicare for All and catapulted the discussion into the national media with his feisty good humor and popular style.

Now Pelosi wants to renege on her promise to Weiner. We have sent an action alert to over 19,000 unionists asking them to contact Pelosi, and Waxman (who relayed Pelosi’s commitment publicly) and Slaughter (who heads the rules committee) to assure that they allow the Weiner amendment to come to the floor.

The “public option” that remains in both the Senate and the House bills is pitiful and powerless--totally incapable of providing cost control. Those bills, with their forced mandates and fines, their massive transfer of public funds to the insurance industry, and their ban on bulk buying power to rein in the pharmaceutical companies, will fail woefully to cover our people and to make that care affordable.

Pelosi should stick to her promise. We’ll keep up the effort to make her do so. Either now or later Medicare for All will have to come to the table. We’ll keep building the movement to make that happen.

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