HPJC, along with the Houston Regional Sierra Club, Texas Campaign for the Environment, and other groups, opposes the "One Bin" / dirty materials recovery facility, or dirty mixed waste trash proposal for the City of Houston. Similar projects in Ohio, Georgia, California and other places have resulted in actual recycling rates of only 10%-30% and greatly increased air pollution from the remaining incinerated waste. It's bad for our air and water, it's bad for city finances, and it's bad for environmental justice. It would be wasteful of energy, uses technology that has not worked thus far, and will greatly reduce the marketability of materials that would have been accepted for recycling if not contaminated with garbage.
Post Your Organization's Event on HPJC's online calendar and E-Mail Calendar of Events Newsletter -New/Improved Form
If you have an event that you want other progressives to know about, we want to help you get it on the online calendar for the Houston Peace and Justice Center. Due to some problems we've had with event postings on our calendar, we've created a new form that we hope will be easier to use.
Events posted on our online calendar are also included in HPJC's e-mail calendar of upcoming events newsletter that goes out to over 3,000 people twice a month. If you are not already getting that calendar of progressive events newsletter (it's free), you can sign up - enter your email address in the box near the bottom of the right column of our home page hpjc.org.
First, let's define militarism
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, militarism is the belief that a country should use military methods, forces, etc, to gain power and achieve its goals. It is the predominance of the military class or its ideals, the exaltation of military virtues and ideals, a policy of aggressive military preparedness. One only has to look at the the amount of money that the U.S. spends on the military, and our involvement in past and present wars, to realize that this nation EMBRACES militarism and war.
The Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown is a miscarriage of justice
The Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown is a miscarriage of justice. The decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences.
This is a frightening narrative for every parent of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.
Beginning October 2nd more than 20 Houston organizations are contributing to exhibits, presentations, celebrations, and discussions exploring nonviolence and the resonance of Mohandas Gandhi’s philosophy. This is an initiative of the Menil Collection and details can be found at http://gandhislegacyhouston.org. Here are just a very few of more than 16 events and exhibits that are a part of Gandhi's Legacy: A Houston Perspective:
October 2 - February 1 Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence at the Menil
Monday, Nov. 3 Rev James Lawson speaks on Recovering a Vision of Gandhi and His Meaning for the 21st Century at Riverside United Methodist Church
Beginning Monday Dec. 8 and for the next five days from 11 am to 5 pm each day, see the meditative creation of a mandala (cosmic diagram) made from colored sand by Buddhist monks in the Menil foyer.
Save the date for Urban Harvest's annual Fruit Tree Sale. It may be the largest one-day sale of fruit trees and berry vines on the planet, with thousands of them for sale.. Plan to come early -- people start lining up an hour or two before the sale starts, so they can be sure to get what they want before some varieties sell out.
On December 10 of each year, we celebrate the anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948.
The Universal Declaration was a wonderful step forward for the world community. However, it is disturbing that human rights seem to have a very low priority in the United States at this time. Consider a recent vote in the U.S. Senate where the U.N. Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities was not ratified. This shows what a sad state we find ourselves when it comes to basic human rights.
Please take a few minutes to write (short) notes to President Obama, your Congresspersons, and your local newspaper about Obama's plan to try to bomb our way to peace.
But first, read this article by Stephen Miles (of Win Without War) that was reprinted in the Huffington Post:
On Wednesday night, President Obama addressed the nation to unveil his strategy for confronting the violent extremists of ISIS (also called ISIL or Islamic State). While the President outlined a four-point plan, the central focus of his strategy is an increased military intervention in Iraq, where we have already launched over 150 airstrikes and deployed over 1,100 ground troops over the past few weeks, and an expansion of that air war into Syria. We are also sending 475 more American troops to join the roughly 1,100 already on the ground in Iraq. While the professional punditry has busied itself debating just how many bombs should fall and where, we should be asking ourselves, is American military force really the smartest way to address the threat we face from ISIS?
The clear answer is no.
American bombs simply cannot eliminate the threat of ISIS and may indeed make the conflicts in Iraq and Syria worse and harder to solve. Fortunately, we have alternatives, and, while they lack the immediacy of bombing, they are ultimately far more effective in keeping America safe, protecting innocent lives and crippling violent extremists.
Also, here's the Win Without War web page with some great statements by other organizations opposed to Obama's plan for using the military: http://winwithoutwar.org/coalition-statements-isis/
The Houston Peace and Justice Center has consistently been a strong proponent of nonviolent solutions for conflicts, whether they be personal, local, national, or international conflicts. We detest the United States' over-reliance on military force in attempts to solve international problems, and realize that often use of such force results in more violence, and more suffering and casualties by civilians, while actually fomenting more hatred and distrust of the US and encouraging terrorism. We recognize that the US has often acted as a bully by using military force in both covert and overt operations, not because there was a threat to the US, but for political or economic reasons. That needs to stop. Further, we should stop encouraging other countries to be bullies.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been going on for many years and we do not see an end to it without annihilation of one side or the other (which we certainly do not want), unless effective pressure is put on perpetuators of the conflict to change the factors that continue to generate violence.
(If you are reading this on the HPJC home page, click the title of this article, or the Read More link below, for the entire statement and the resolution approved by the HPJC Board.)