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The Sword, Separation and Nonviolence in Early Quakerism

The Testimony of James Nayler (1618-1660)

  • Stuart Kenneth MastersQuaker
Keywords: Quaker; James Nayler; non-violence;

Abstract

The status of the sword of earthly government and the appropriate relationship of Christians to temporal authority has been a significant focus for scholars of Anabaptist history and theology, particularly in the work of James M. Stayer and Gerald Biesecker-Mast. It has been suggested that early Anabaptists and Quakers shared “fundamentally the same theology, which grew in different cultures and therefore acquired slightly different shapes”. This view implies that, since Quakerism emerged within the more pluralistic and democratic context of seventeenth-century England, its relationship to the world was less hostile and polarized than that of early Anabaptists. By focusing on the writings of the Quaker minister, James Nayler, this paper outlines the early Quaker approach to the sword, separation, and nonviolence and seeks to locate it within the range of positions adopted by sixteenth-century Anabaptist groups.

 

 

TRIAL

Through each

And every trial

God is with you

All the while

David Herr

30.10.2019 – Redazione Italia

The invasion of N. Syria and its aftermath: Militarism and more suffering

by Serdar M. Değirmencioğlu

As the invasion got underway on October 9, Süleyman Soylu, the Minister of Interior was on television. Seated across several regime-friendly journalists who were very enthusiastic about the invasion, he appeared to enjoy every moment: He was grinning and posturing. His words were even more stunning.

In response to questions about the ISIS threat, he laughed: “Don’t you worry. Nothing will happen.” A journalist asked: “What if we encounter an ISIS camp, or militants? What is going to happen when they are captured? Will we take them to court? Send them back? Or annihilate them?” The minister continued, with a wide smile on his face: “Look, Europe is terrified. They are scared. The world is totally afraid of them. They have no option but to cooperate with us. Take it easy! Relax!”

The minister’s disturbing behavior was not surprising. He used to be an outspoken critic of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, when he was heading the Democratic Party. He called him a sultan, among other things. But then he was recruited by Erdoğan and installed as Minister of the Interior in 2016. Since then, he distinguished himself with his outrageous attacks on the opposition.

The journalists did not try to clarify who the minister was referring to when he said, “They have to cooperate with us.” The minister downplayed the threat of ISIS but argued that his government had been waging a sincere effort against ISIS for years.

His words were consistent with the words of Ahmet Davutoğlu. Davutoğlu was always very gentle to ISIS. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, he referred to ISIS in August 2014 as “angry masses.” He said, on television: “ISIS might be seen as, in its core, as a radical, terrorist structure. But in it, it has Iraqi Turkmen as a considerable majority. It has Sunni Arabs, Kurds. The frustrations, the insults, all the anger created a huge reaction among masses. If Sunni Arabs were not excluded from power in Iraq, there wouldn’t be such a buildup of rage. When we told Assad that he could not rule Syria representing an ethnic minority of just 12%, that Syria belonged to all ethnic groups, he did not listen. Had he listened, none of this would have happened.”

Davutoğlu never blamed the US invasion for ISIS because AKP (Justice and Development Party) supported the invasion of Iraq. Davutoğlu was a proponent of the new-Ottomanism – of turning Turkey into a “regional power”, in effect, an imperialistic state. The invasion of Iraq and the civil war in Syria were part of his vision.

External observers wondered why Davutoğlu was trying to put a nice face on ISIS. First as Minister of Foreign Affairs and then as Prime Minister, Davutoğlu knew ISIS could serve his government’s plans. But he always denied that his regime was offering a helping hand to ISIS recruits, who were trying to reach Syria: “Those who say ISIS is being supported by Turkey are traitors. The greatest treason is to mention Turkey along with this organized structure.”

Davutoğlu was recently sacked from Erdoğan’s AKP. He now says he is willing to talk about some dirty business. But he will not tell the truth about ISIS. He was part of the regime and bears direct responsibility for the regime’s crimes against humanity.

The truth? ISIS was supported and sheltered. It was used externally and internally. Back in March 2014, three ISIS militants, recruited from Germany, Switzerland and Macedonia, were traveling by car from Syria to Istanbul with weapons, ready to stage an attack. When they were stopped in Niğde, they killed a gendarme and a police officer, and also a truck driver. The court case against them was hidden from public attention. Investigation after investigation, the regime concealed the facts from the public. ISIS militants were traveling freely in Turkey. Near the border with Syria, their presence was common knowledge. ISIS found a very welcoming host in the AKP regime.

The domestic role of ISIS became more important after June 2015 elections: HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) took 13% of the votes, obtained 80 seats in the parliament and AKP lost its majority. Two ISIS bomb attacks followed: The first, on 20 July in Suruç, killed 33 people. The target were socialist youth, who were about to leave for Kobane, across the border. The second, on 10 October in Ankara, targeted activists and organizations demanding peace. The attack not only killed 103 people and maimed many, but also traumatized masses. The attack also effectively maimed the political will to demand peace in Turkey and in Syria.

These attacks were part of the “strategy of death” the AKP regime put in place after the 2015 elections. The strategy meant a war in Southeastern Turkey and a silencing of the opposition across Turkey. Foreign analysts and observers have been reluctant to establish the link between ISIS and AKP’s domestic agenda. Very few ever ask why ISIS has never targetted a single AKP building, event or political figure.

Now it is time to put the pieces together. Turkey is suffering under the “strategy of death”, conceived by AKP and fully supported by the fascist MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). The one-man regime in Turkey has nothing but death to rely on. The regime is collapsing and this is it is trying more and more drastic tactics to blind masses. The invasion is not about Syria but about the survival of the regime. This is why the minister of the interior, and not the foreign minister, is promoting it.

The invasion is not due to a mad man’s action or to Trump’s irresponsible foreign policy. It is far more structural and dangerous. Human life in Turkey has no value anymore. Each death is propaganda material: Dead soldiers are cherished “martyrs”; dead Kurds mean “victory”. Just like Syrian refugees in Turkey, who are used as a threat against EU governments. The regime used ISIS to silence the domestic opposition. It will not be afraid of releasing ISIS militants from prisons to eradicate its opponents – again.

But there is more at stake. This invasion and ensuing power play by Trump and Putin are nothing but militarism. These superpowers and their militarisms are as real threat: Not only for the Kurds, but also for all those who live in Turkey, Syria and the entire region, and for the entire world. The invasion is unacceptable, no matter what Trump or Putin might say. Militarism can never usher peace. It can only perpetuate the suffering.

29.10.2019 – Human Wrongs Watch

High Mountain Summit seeks to boost climate and disaster resilience

World’s Highest Peaks, Hit hard by Climate Change; the Impacts Are Cascading Down to Some of Earth’s Most Densely Populated Areas

28 October 2019 (World Meteorological OrganizationThe world’s highest peaks, ranging from the Andes to the Alps and the Third Pole to the tropics, are being hit hard by climate change, and the impacts of this are cascading down to some of Earth’s most densely populated areas. The rapidly melting mountain glaciers serve as a source of freshwater for major rivers. Those rivers are vital for humans, ecosystems, agriculture, industry and serve as a means of transportation.

Weather forecasts, climate and water management services are often inadequate, and hazards such as glacial outflows and landslides regularly destroy lives and livelihoods.

The World Meteorological Organization and a wide array of partners are therefore convening a High Mountain Summit on 29–31 October.  It will bring together more than 150 stakeholders from all over the globe to identify priority actions to support more sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation both in high-mountain areas and downstream. This includes a roadmap to improve hydrometeorological services to address water and hazard impacts and management.

Mountain regions cover about a quarter of the Earth’s land surface and are home to around 1.1 billion people. They are often known as the “water towers of the world” because river basins with headwaters in the mountains supply freshwater to over half of humanity, including in the mountainous Himalaya-Hindu Kush and Tibetan Plateau region, known as the Third Pole.

The mountain cryosphere – glaciers, snow, and permafrost – are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of constantly rising global temperatures, threatening food security, freshwater supply and river transportation. Iconic peaks such as Mount Everest, Mont Blanc, Kilimanjaro and the Rocky Mountains are all impacted.

“Accelerating glacier retreat and receding ice and snow cover is perhaps the most visible sign of climate change. There has been a boost in the melting of 31 major glaciers, especially during the past two decades,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

“Precipitation distribution is changing, as is the amount and seasonality of runoff in snow-dominated and glacier-fed river basins. In the short term, this may mean an increase in hazards, whilst in the long-term it is expected to lead to increasing water stress and negative impacts on agriculture, food security and energy supplies,” he said.

“Science-based hydro-meteorological observations, information and services are key to climate resilience and adaptation and to inform policy-making on the allocation and use of resources, regarding water security and risk management, at national, local, and community level,” said Mr Taalas, who will speak at the opening session of the three-day conference.

The high–level opening session features an address by Swiss Federal Councillor and Interior Minister Alain Berset. Switzerland is witnessing dramatic glacier retreat and threats to its vital winter tourism as a result of rising temperatures.

A concluding high-level segment will adopt a Call for Action.

The High Mountain Summit follows shortly after the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, which includes a dedicated chapter on high mountain areas.

The IPCC report said that current trends in cryosphere-related changes in high-mountain ecosystems are expected to continue and impacts to intensify. Snow cover, glaciers and permafrost are projected to continue to decline in almost all regions throughout the 21st century.

Mountain Research Initiative Executive Director Carolina Adler, a lead author of the IPCC report chapter on the changes occurring in high mountain areas, is co-chair of the High Mountain Summit. John Pomeroy, Canada Research Chair in Water Resources & Climate Change; Director, Centre for Hydrology of University of Saskatchewan, and Director, Global Water Futures Initiative, Canada., is the other co-chair.

Thematic sessions will focus on:

The summit will seek to:

  • Promote an integrated cross-sectoral approach on priority action and investments addressing impacts of climate change in high mountains.
  • Identify practical steps for improving the provision of hydrological, meteorological, climate and prediction services to optimize and cryosphere and high mountain observations and access to data, and advance scientific research.
  • Identify roadmaps for climate risk and early warning systems for mountain-specific and transboundary threats, including extreme events, glacial lake outburst floods, avalanches, permafrost thawing related risks, Foehn type wind storms, air pollution, and others.
  • Promote closer and interactive links between science and policy at all levels of governance, ensuring science-based input to policy development and long-term adaptation strategies.

Sponsors of the High Mountain Summit include the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and Swiss government agencies. It is co-organized by:

 

Oscar Lugusa Malande wrote “The Concept of Hierarchy and Doing Ministry in the Church: Evaluating the Roles of Leaders and the Use of Authority in Quakerism” for the Fall 2019 issue of QRT. With experience as a pastor and chaplain in Vihiga Yearly Meeting in Kenya, as well as teaching and serving as academic dean of Friends Theological College […]

via QRT #133 – The Concept of Hierarchy and Doing Ministry in the Church: Evaluating the Roles of Leaders and the Use of Authority in Quakerism – by Oscar Lugusa — Quaker Religious Thought and Quaker Theological Discussion Group

28.10.2019 – Pressenza London

Journalists must not allow themselves to be used by unscrupulous politicians
Reporters with various forms of “fake news” from an 1894 illustration by Frederick Burr Opper (Image by Frederick Burr Opper, Public domain, Wikipedia)

Steven BarnettUniversity of Westminster for The Conversation

Here are three questions that anyone interested in the health of UK democracy should be asking. Should reputable political journalists allow themselves to be exploited as conduits for the unfiltered messages of political leaders? Where does accurate reporting end and uncritical stenography begin? Are the media’s big name political editors – in particular the high-profile broadcasting duo of Laura Kuenssberg on the BBC and Robert Peston on ITV – exercising proper scrutiny of a ruthless Downing Street propaganda machine, or are they victims of it?

These are important questions because – as anxieties grow about “fake news” being spread by unmoderated and unaccountable social media sites, and as the national press becomes even more vocal in its partisan reporting – our broadcasters have become the last bastion of detached information and critical analysis. Research shows that broadcast journalism is still regarded as the most trustworthy media, and those entrusted with the task of reporting on our political leaders on TV and radio bear a particularly heavy burden in febrile political times.

They are also questions that, over the past few weeks, have become more urgent as Downing Street has sought to impose its own narrative on unprecedented political turmoil. When the UK Supreme Court announced its historic decision that Johnson’s prorogation of parliament was unlawful, Kuenssberg immediately tweeted a thread from a “No 10 source” that the court had made “a serious mistake in extending its reach to these political matters”. This was not accompanied by analysis of the decision or the rationale for reaching it.

Seasoned journalists argue that the political lobby has been doing this for decades, only now it is exacerbated by the speed with which news cycles develop in the digital world. Maybe. But when Johnson and the German chancellor Angela Merkel had their now infamous telephone conversation on October 8, the Downing Street machine – and the breathless reporting that accompanied it – went into overdrive.

Sky’s Kate McCann tweeted a number 10 source as saying: “If this represents a new established position, then it means a deal is essentially impossible not just now but ever”. Other respected reporters followed suit, including the BBC’s Five Live with a faithful “a Downing Street source has told the BBC …”

It didn’t take long for veteran observers of the diplomatic scene to expose this Downing Street version of events as, to put it politely, economical with the truth. Former Irish ambassador Bobby McDonagh tweeted: “If Downing Street ‘source’ wants people to believe a fictitious account of conversation with Merkel it should avoid attributing views to her which are palpably made up.” And Tony Connelly, Irish broadcaster RTE’s experienced Europe editor, made it clear in a series of tweets that both the tone and language were completely out of character for Merkel, and that the view in Brussels was that Downing Street was kickstarting the blame game.

At this point, Twitter jokers decided to have some fun. LBC talkshow host James O’Brien tweeted: “A ‘senior Downing Street source’ has told me that the moon is, in fact, made of cheese.” Another wag followed up with “a Downing Street source has just told me I can lose a stone in a week using this one weird trick and earn 20 grand a month working from home”. And so it went, as some of the country’s most revered commentators were lampooned mercilessly for parroting the Downing Street line.

‘Dodgy stories’

It is, however, a profoundly serious problem which was brilliantly articulated by columnist Peter Oborne this week in an article for OpenDemocracy (which he said he was unable to place in a mainstream publication). Oborne described a number of worrying examples of deliberate smear campaigns being run by newspapers to discredit those who were not following the Johnson line, which were then followed up by broadcasters.

These “dodgy stories” started to appear, he said, after Johnson installed his media team in No 10. “With the prime minister’s evident encouragement these Downing Street or government sources have been spreading lies, misrepresentations, smears and falsehoods around Fleet Street and across the major TV channels. Political editors lap it all up.”

Oborne specifically targeted Kuenssberg and Peston, suggesting that they may be too compliant in their eagerness to receive “insider” information which they report without challenge. This, he wrote, is “client journalism” which “allows Downing Street to frame the story as it wants. Some allow themselves to be used as tools to smear the government’s opponents. They say goodbye to the truth.”

He subsequently appeared on Channel 4 news to repeat his allegations that since Johnson took up residence at 10 Downing Street, largely thanks to the prime minister’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings and a “group of other figures from the old Leave campaign … that a total unscrupulousness has developed” about the way they used journalists across the spectrum to present information “much of which turns out to be false”.

In his rebuttal on the same site, Peston argued that anonymous briefings have always been part of political journalism, and that the job of a conscientious reporter is “to distinguish palpable nonsense spouted by aides from information that genuinely represents the policy of the government”. Democracy is served, he wrote, “when we know how those in power think and speak”.

Preston was joined on Twitter by fellow practitioners defending their colleagues on the basis that governments have always indulged in spin, and that lobby journalists were perfectly capable of distinguishing exaggeration from downright lies.

Lies, damned lies

In the current environment, however, these arguments are increasingly unconvincing. Just as in the White House, so in Downing Street we have an embattled figurehead who is an acknowledged liar surrounded by cronies well-versed in the art of creating a political narrative that bears very little resemblance to the truth. Moreover, the time and financial pressures on journalism allow much less scope for fact-checking, thoughtful analysis, or critical appraisal of official briefings.

In an environment where the issues are complex and the politics are brutal, it is surely incumbent on those political journalists who are being relied upon by voters to guide them through their leaders’ machinations to spend more time on insights and explanations.

Print journalists have a longer history of partisan coverage and a weak regulatory framework which has never set much store by accurate reporting. Broadcast journalists, however, are immersed in a culture of impartiality and commitment to factual accuracy.


Read more:
Brexit: democracy needs journalists to be transparent about their political sources


Whatever the temptation of being first, or being singled out for exclusive access, at a time when democracy itself is under immense strain they surely owe it to their viewers to spend a little more time challenging power and a little less in knee-jerk facsimile tweets.The Conversation

Steven Barnett, Professor of Communications, University of Westminster

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Sons and Heirs
Gal 4:1  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Gal 4:2  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

The Law and the Promise
Gal 3:15  Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
Gal 3:16  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Gal 3:17  And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
Gal 3:18  For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Gal 3:19  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Gal 3:20  Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
Gal 3:21  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Gal 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

27.10.2019 – David Swanson

The World Must Compel the U.S. to Allow Korea to Have Peace
(Image by Facebook/Korea Peace Network)

By David Swanson

I’ve never heard of or even seen fantasized a society or a government that wasn’t deeply flawed. I know neither North nor South Korea is an exception. But the primary impediment to peace in Korea appears to be the United States: its government, its media, its billionaires, its people, and even the arm of the U.S. called the United Nations.

The U.S. public has, and chooses to have, very little control over its government, and is easily manipulated by the corporate media. But public opinion still matters. In U.S. national mythology, the wars most easily twisted into glorious undertakings loom largest. The U.S. war for independence is glorious because, obviously, as everyone knows, Canada, India, and the rest of the British Empire remain brutally enslaved by the English monarch. The U.S. Civil War is glorious because it was against slavery, while much of the world ending slavery and serfdom without similar slaughters is a freak occurrence one can draw no lessons from. And, above all, World War II is glorious because it was to save the Jews from the Nazis, even though it wasn’t that until after it was over.

These wars all involved something else that living members of the U.S. military know only from distant legends. They involved surrenders by defeated enemies. The surrenders may have been primarily to the French in one case and to the Russians in another, but they happened, and it’s not hard to pretend they were surrenders of evil to goodness. In fact it’s heresy to even hint at anything subtler than that.

Nobody — not even Barack Obama, who tried — has figured out how to effectively sell what they call the Korean War as a glorious victory. And so one hears very little about it. Most things that happened in the United States at the time of the Korean War are simply described as happening “after World War II.” The transformation of the peace holiday Armistice Day into the war holiday Veterans Day, for example. Or the development of the permanent military industrial complex, and permanent wars, and CIA wars with nothing off limits, and nuclear threats, and deadly sanctions.

Nobody gives the Korean War era credit for all the wonderful and lasting things the United States did to itself in that period. Without the accomplishments of those days it’s even possible that something could go wrong in the United States today and not be blamed on Russia. Imagine having to live in such a world.

When the Korean War is mentioned it is often mentioned purely as an occasion when the sainted Troops obeyed orders and served. Never mind served what. One must oneself be a good troop and not ask that question. Or it is depicted as a defensive war that rescued freedom from aggression. I have no doubt that more people in the United States could tell you that North Korea started the war than could tell you where Korea is on a map, what language is spoken there, or whether the United States has any troops there.

So, I think it’s important that we remember a few things. The United States government divided Korea in half. The United States government imposed a brutal dictatorship on South Korea with a U.S.-educated dictator. That dictator, with U.S. complicity, massacred South Koreans. He also sought out war with North Korea and launched raids across the border prior to the official start of the war. The U.S. military dropped 30,000 tons of explosives on North Korea, much of it after pilots began complaining about the “scarcity of strategic targets” left standing. The U.S., in addition, dropped 32,000 tons of napalm on the Korean Peninsula, principally targeting civilian human beings where they lived. Still not satisfied, the United States dropped insects and feathers containing bubonic plague and other diseases in hopes of starting epidemics. A side benefit of those efforts is very probably the spread of Lyme disease, very likely spread from Plum Island off the tip of Long Island, New York. The U.S.-led war on North Korea may have killed some 20 to 30 percent of the population of the North, not to mention those in the South killed by both sides. Few Koreans in the North do not have relatives who were killed or wounded or made homeless. U.S. politics is still twisted by the U.S. Civil War of over 150 years ago, but few in the United States imagine that the Korean War of less than 70 years ago has anything to do with current North Korean behavior.

The United States has prevented the war from officially ending or the two Koreas from reuniting. It has imposed deadly sanctions on the people of the North, which have been failing spectacularly to accomplish their stated purpose for several decades. It has threatened North Korea and militarized South Korea over whose military it has maintained war-time control. North Korea negotiated a disarmament agreement with the United States in the 1990s and for the most part abided by it, but the United States did not. The United States called North Korea part of an axis of evil, destroyed one of that axis’s other two members, and has threatened to destroy the third member ever since. And ever since, North Korea has said that it would re-negotiate but has built the weapons it thinks will protect it. It has said it would renegotiate if the United States will commit to not attacking it again, will stop putting missiles in South Korea, will stop flying practice nuking missions near North Korea.

That we have seen steps toward peace and reunification is remarkable, and greatly to the credit of nonviolent activists from the South and the North, with some small assistance from others around the world. Success would present a model to the world, not only of how to end a long-standing war. We’ve just seen a Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia for that feat. Success would present the world with a model of how to end a long-standing war that the U.S. government does not want ended. The whole world has a stake in what happens in Korea, not only because we are all brothers and sisters, and not only because the notion of a contained nuclear war is a product of dangerous ignorance, but also because the world needs examples of how to keep the peace against the will of the world’s self-appointed policeman.

Because people in the United States hear almost nothing about the Korean War, they can be told that North Korea is simply evil and irrational. Because they have no idea how many people live in North Korea, they can be told that North Koreans are going to take over the United States and remove their freedoms. Because dozens of U.S. wars have been marketed as bringing human rights to people by bombing them, the U.S. public can be told that North Korea is being threatened for human rights. And because they have identified with one or the other of the two big U.S. political parties, members of the U.S. public can be outraged if Donald Trump talks peace with North Korea, far beyond their outrage when he threatens nuclear war in violation of the UN Charter and all human decency. The United States sells weapons to 73 percent of the governments that the United States calls dictatorships, and trains most of them in the use of those weapons. Surely merely speaking with a dictator is preferable to the typical U.S. relationship with dictators.

When somebody compliments Trump on his hair or whatever it is, and he swings from threatening apocalypse to proposing peace, the appropriate response is not partisan outrage, not a declaration that U.S. troops must never leave Korea, but rather relief and encouragement. And if the President of South Korea believes that giving Trump a Nobel Peace Prize would cause him to allow peace in Korea, then I’m all for it. The prize has been given out before to people who never earned it.

I think, however, that there are other means available to us to encourage peace. I think we need to shame and reform and take over and replace U.S. media outlets that cheer for war and condemn peace talks. I think we need to shame those who profit when weapons stocks soar on Wall Street because Trump threatens Armageddon, and who lose fortunes when the danger rises of peace breaking out. We need our local governments and universities and investment funds to take our money out of weapons of mass destruction.

The world, through the United Nations and otherwise, needs to demand a permanent and complete end to war rehearsals in and near South Korea. The U.S. Congress needs to restore the Iran nuclear agreement, making it a treaty, and uphold the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and comply with the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, so that the government of North Korea begins to have some basis for believing anything the U.S. government says.

The United Nations needs to cease providing cover for U.S. wars. The U.N. instructed the United States in 1975 to dissolve the so-called United Nations Command in South Korea, to take the U.N. name off a U.S. imperial enterprise. The U.S. is in violation of that resolution. The U.S. builds, tests, and threatens to use nuclear weapons far beyond what North Korea does, yet the U.N. sees fit to sanction North Korea, and not to sanction the U.S. government.

It is long since time for the world to hold the United States to the rule of law on an equal basis with every other government. It is long since time for the world to follow through on banning all nuclear weapons. I know seven people in the United States called the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 who are at risk of 25 years in prison for protesting nuclear weapons. There was a man not long ago in South Korea who burned himself to death in protest of U.S. weapons in his country. If these people can do so much, surely the rest of us can do more than we have.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill not yet agreed to by the Senate which, among other things, would support ending the Korean War, and would require that the Pentagon justify every foreign military base as somehow making the United States safer. Those two steps would allow a peace agreement in Korea and, if truly followed through on, require the closure of every golf course and chain restaurant in every mini-United-States-fortress in South Korea and around the globe, since these bases do not make the United States safer, and in many cases generate hostilities. So, we need to keep those measures in the so-called National Defense Authorization Act.

Ultimately, we need public pressure from around the world and within the United States, and through global institutions, to compel the U.S. government to plan and begin a withdrawal from Korea. This need not be an abandonment of Korea. It could be a deeper friendship with a unified or unifying Korea. I certainly manage to be friends with people who don’t oversee armed occupations of my house. Such friendships may be rare and treasonous and isolationist, but I think they’re possible nonetheless.

But Korea is one corner of the world. We need with some urgency to similarly advance toward an ending of wars and war preparations everywhere. That’s the mission of a global organization I direct called World BEYOND War. I encourage you to go to worldbeyondwar.org and sign the declaration of peace there which has been signed in 175 countries. Together we can make war and the threat of war things of the past.

26.10.2019 – UN News Centre

Lives at risk if wireless technology demands are not held in check: UN weather watchdog
Hurricane Dorian as seen from the International Space Station on 2 September 2019. (Image by NASA)

Amid growing competition for radio wave space due to new wireless technologies, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Thursday called on governments to protect radio frequencies allocated to potentially life-saving weather forecasting services.

Earth observation services vital to weather forecasts and long-term climate change monitoring, are having to share more and more limited bandwidth, with the rollout of new communication devices, including the new 5G phone data service.

Frequencies dedicated to weather forecasts need to be balanced with commercial interests, Eric Allaix, chair of the WMO group dealing with frequency issues, said, explaining the risks posed by having too little bandwith, when it comes to early warnings of bad weather.

“Thanks to timely weather warnings, there has been a big reduction in loss of life during recent decades. These improvements are directly related to the use of radio frequency-based remote sensing, feeding directly into numerical weather prediction systems giving more accurate predictions with longer lead periods.”

No wish to hold technology back

Mr. Allaix, said WMO does not wish to hamper technological advancements, “but we are concerned that they should not encroach on the frequencies used by life-saving applications” including aircraft, radar and other observing systems beyond predicting the weather.

In June, the World Meteorological Congress, WMO’s decision-making body, passed a resolution stressing the need to protect radio bandwidth necessary for earth observations, explaining that “jeopardizing these frequencies jeopardizes weather forecasts and services, and thus, people’s lives.”

Our ability to foresee incoming disaster and destructive weather events is possible thanks to “passive sensing techniques”, used by many weather experts, the WMO explains. Sensitive instruments measure very low-power microwaves emitted from the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface.

The radio frequency on which these observations operate, runs adjacent to the 5G frequency used on many mobile devices, which make lines of communications in predicting the weather vulnerable to interference.

From 28 October to 22 November, the World Radio Communication Conference (WRC-19) will bring together more than 3,500 participants in Sharm el-Shaikh, Egypt, to address and revise radio regulations with major repercussions for earth exploration, environmental and meteorological monitoring.

The 193 Member States belonging to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will be in attendance, along with 267 members of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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