Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What You Can Do to End War on the International Day of Peace

What You Can Do to End War on the International Day of Peace
By David Swanson, telesur
If you want to find peace in your heart, knock yourself out. Seriously, knock yourself out, there's nothing more peaceful. Or if you want to find peace in your family or your neighborhood, or on the sidelines of a football game during the playing of the National Anthem, there may be no better way to do it than to pledge your allegiance to permanent war on poor foreign countries.
A school board member in Virginia once agreed to support a celebration of the International Day of Peace "as long as everyone understands that I'm not opposing any wars."
But what if you want to find peace through the abolition of war? Then what do you do? Well, then you do the long, hard, exciting, fulfilling, nonviolent, community building work that may very well bring peace to everything from your heart to your local police department in the process, but which is aimed at reducing and eliminating the arms trade and militarism.
Have you noticed how outraged U.S. liberals can become when they discover that the U.S. National Anthem has various ties to racism? Imagine! A song that celebrates the mass slaughter of human beings during an inane quest to take over Canada (which instead got the White House burned) -- that glorious treasure might be marred by a cruel and unenlightened ideology!
Did you see the news story this week about the U.S. government compensating the family of an Italian they'd blown up in a war with a payment of $1 million? What if Iraqis were given that treatment? As many families are gone entirely, let's round down to 1 million victims with survivors left to be compensated. What's a million times $1 million? It's $1 trillion. What the U.S. government spends on militarism in 1 year could treat Iraqis as if they were Europeans. The next year's funding could start in on compensating Afghans, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Libyans, Somalis, Syrians, etc.
There is an educational project needed that you can help with. It involves persuading people that war can't be mended, that it must be ended. You might begin by sitting out a playing of the National Anthem and then explaining to people why. If you don't want to do that alone, do it with a small group. If you don't have a small group, Campaign Nonviolence has over 650 nonviolent war-abolition events of all sorts planned all over the place this week. Find the nearest event.
For more events all over the world, check out our events page at World Beyond War. There are art exhibitions, ship voyages, anti-nuclear lobby events, protest rallies, vigils, conferences, festivals, and long-distance walks.
Have you ever dreamed of seeing a peace movement, much less a war abolition movement, on television? Now you can. On September 23rd and 24th point your web browser to and hook your computer up to your television screen to see the No War 2016 conference. (Or just watch it on your computer.) Here's the detailed agenda of what you'll see at what time, and bios and photos of all the speakers. This event will be three days of making the case for alternatives to war, including activist workshops on the third day, and on the next morning (Monday, the 26th) a 9 a.m. protest at the Pentagon. Come join us!
We will also be delivering to the Pentagon a petition simultaneously being delivered by U.S. whistleblowers and Germans to the German government in Berlin asking for the closure of Ramstein Air Base. On the 23rd/24th you can also catch a live stream World Beyond War event from Malaysia. Other events all over the world will be viewing the live stream from Washington, D.C., including this one in Berlin. Protests are also planned on the 26th in California, at West Point, and inAustralia.
Wherever you are, you should catch a screening of Paying the Price for Peace and of Snowden. The International Peace Bureau World Congress is in Berlin from September 29 to October 3rd. If you can be in Ireland or England or Germany, join the big events on October 8th. Keep Space for Peace Week is October 1 to 8, and has events everywhere.
You can always organize your own event anywhere, and World Beyond War will be glad to help you promote it. If you are looking for a tool for studying, teaching, or leading discussions, we're just now publishing the 2016 version of A Global Security System: An Alternative to War. Or use any of these videos, power points, or speakers.
Want to lobby the U.S. government for something immediately achievable? Call Congress and tell them to halt the next pending sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia to be used killing people in Yemen. Sign this petition too. There is also an opportunity right now to ban cluster bombs, and after those nuclear bombs.
If you're convinced that activism is best directed at the edges of a broken presidential election system, here's a useful approach: demand that debates, like the one on September 26th, include more candidates, so that the pro-war consensus gets challenged.
Another debate is underway in the world right now on the question of whether "Just War" theory is of any value. Even the Catholic Church, the creator of Just War theory, is debating whether to formally reject it. I've just published my argumenton the topic and will be debating a Just War advocate in October. Get involved in this discussion. Ask someone on September 21st, the International Day of Peace, whether they'd like there to be peace everywhere every day. Ask them if they'd like to help make that happen.
Also, you can join a skype call with Afghan peace activists on September 21st.
There is peace in most places most of the time. Adding the last bit of the earth to that peaceful status would not violate any laws of nature. It would only violate the irrational drives and profiting greed of those who oppose peace. This will take more than a day, but we can do it.
Sign the Declaration of Peace.

Find events all over the world that you can take part in.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Marriott's business partners endanger LGBTQI lives


TO: Marriott Hotels

William Rosen
-------------------- IL 60148
United States

Re: Marriott's business partners endanger LGBTQI lives

Dear Nell Williams, Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Customer Care,

Marriott has longstanding business relationships with many conservative Christian groups and their conferences, like the National Religious Broadcasters and Alliance Defending Freedom.

We aren't asking you to stop hosting these conferences. We know you even do a lot to support the LGBTQI community. But that’s why we are asking to meet with you to convey the impact of these groups, your guests, on the lives of LGBTQI people around the world.

The NRB, which you will be hosting again next February in Orlando, site of recent anti-LGBTQI shooting that killed 51 people and harmed many others, actually upholds explicit anti-gay beliefs into their code of ethics for all of its 1400+ global members.

To be honest, we probably wouldn't be writing you today if you didn't so effectively court LGBTQI customers.

Your #LoveTravels campaign features beloved LGBTQI activists, but your motto, "We believe that every guest, whoever they are, wherever they go, should feel comfortable and welcome the moment they walk through our door," doesn't square with reality.

When we stayed at your Nashville Gaylord Opryland hotel during the last NRB conference, their attendees treated our people, a same-sex couple, shamefully.

We know that's not what Marriott wants, and that's why we'd like to discuss our stories and community's needs in person with you.

What's true is this: our community is not safe at your hotels when of these conservative conferences is taking place. Moreover, our community, in the Global South in particular, is made unsafe every day because of the work of your guests.

We believe that if we sit down at the table and share information from our respective experiences, we can come to a collaborative solution that affirms safety, informed consent, and global solidarity.

Please take the time to meet with representatives from the Know Your Neighbors team ( and the LGBTQI people who are directly affected by many of your important and longstanding guests.

Yours sincerely,

William Rosen

Friday, June 17, 2016

When You Sing Your Own Song, You Can Fly!

We stand with Orlando.
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Chicago Gay Men's Chorus (CGMC) stands with the victims of the Orlando massacre, and offer our heartfelt love and support to all of those impacted.  For that reason, we dedicate our upcoming concert "When You Sing Your Own Song, You Can Fly" to the city of Orlando and specifically to their LGBTQ community.

We will continue to stand strongly behind the LGBTQ  community, especially those who have been and continue to be marginalized by hatred, bigotry, discrimination, and violence. CGMC is and always will be a force for continued progress and change through the power of song.
The Board, staff, donors and patrons of CGMC will continue to stand for human dignity in all of its forms, and continue to foster a community of safety, mutual respect, fair and ethical treatment, and a sense of community that is inclusive of all its members.
Join us for a night of community and hope through song.

When you Sing Your Own Song, You Can Fly!

Chicago Gay Men's Chorus and Allegrezza join together for a special evening of fantastic music dedicated to all of those affected by the tragedy in Orlando.

Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Lake View Presbyterian Church
716 W. Addison St., Chicago, IL 60613

Both Chicago Gay Men's Chorus and Allegrezza are members of the Gay & Lesbian Chorus Association (GALA). This summer, CGMC will be attending the GALA Festival in Denver to perform with over 130 GALA chorus groups from around the continent.

This unique joint performance features a preview of CGMC's GALA set, Sing Your Own Song and a selection of music from Allegrezza's recent concert, You Can Fly! We would love for you to join us!

Yes You Read That Correctly, These 'Peace Loving' Christians Are Praising The Orlando Killer

These motherfuckers are praising the Orlando killer

Pat Robertson: “The left is having a dilemma of major proportions and I think for those of us who disagree with some of their policies, the best thing to do is to sit on the sidelines and let them kill themselves,” he said.

Walid Shoebat: ""The only ones moaning over fifty gays slaughtered are liberals, idiots and gay lovers." I don’t care about gays who are Muslim loving anti-gun liberals. Stupid people who hate life die. Stupid people who hate life always die. The haters of God love death."

Ted Cruz: For all the Democrats who are loud champions of the gay and lesbian community whenever there is a culture battle waging, now is the opportunity to speak out against an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians. ISIS and the theocracy in Iran (supported with American taxpayer dollars) regularly murder homosexuals, throwing them from buildings and burying them under rocks. This is wrong, it is evil, and we must all stand against it. Every human being has a right to live according to his or her faith and conscience, and nobody has a right to murder someone who doesn’t share their faith or sexual orientation. If you’re a Democratic politician and you really want to stand for LGBT, show real courage and stand up against the vicious ideology that has targeted our fellow Americans for murder.

Pastor Roger Jimenez of the Verity Baptist Church: Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um no, no one should be sad. I think it is great! I think that helps society. We do not need to do anything to help. As far as I’m concerned, Orlando is a little bit safer.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Summer in Chicago Series - Finale of Mahler's 2nd Symphony

So my friend Sean sang in the chorus in this performance and what a stunning performance it was! Stunning music, stunning venue, stunning weather, stunning company!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Do you have your tickets yet for "My Kind of Town"?

Do you have your tickets yet?

CGMC’s spring production, "My Kind of Town", opens in 7 Days on May 20th at the Harris Theater, with additional shows at theNorth Shore Center on May 21st and Beverly Arts Center on May 22nd.

This Toddlin' Town experience highlights a variety of musical genres - from the Chicago Blues to House; with music from Bessie Smith, Goldrich and Heisler, Louis Armstrong, along with pop classics from Janet Jackson, Tori Amos and many more. With 100+ singers, a live band, and several dance numbers, the show is guaranteed to get your heart racing for the windy city!

Don’t miss out from seeing this tuneful tribute to our great city of Chicago, tickets available now.

Monday, April 18, 2016

More Responses From My Favorite Senator Dick Durbin!

April 18, 2016

Mr. William Rosen

Dear Mr. Rosen:

          Thank you for contacting me about the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 (S. 2012).  I appreciate hearing from you.
          The bill, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, would make significant changes to our national energy policy.  It contains several reforms increasing energy efficiency in buildings, appliances, manufacturing, and vehicles.  The bill would authorize energy efficiency grant programs for buildings, create energy efficiency standards for appliances, and encourage research into energy efficiency improvements for manufacturing and vehicles.  The bill would improve energy infrastructure by directing the Secretary of Energy to strengthen cybersecurity and energy grid security and authorize grants for fortifying the energy grid.  It also would direct the Secretary of Energy to review and optimize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and require a final decision on applications for permit to export liquid natural gas within 45 days of the completion of the review process.  
          The bill would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF).  The LWCF provides funds for the conservation of important lands for recreation and protection of important national treasures.  The HPF provides funds for historic preservation in the United States.  The bill also would create the National Park Service Maintenance and Revitalization Conservation Fund to fund important maintenance needs in National Parks.
          Many people are concerned that this bill does not include wind and solar energy.  These and other renewable sources play an important role in reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil, creating good jobs here in the United States and helping us protect our environment. 
          I will continue to support federal energy policies that focus on increasing energy efficiency and expanding the development of renewable energy.  Investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation will strengthen our national security, protect our environment, and create a wide range of new jobs here in the United States.
          The bill has been passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  I will keep your concerns in mind as the Senate considers the Energy Policy Modernization Act.
          Thank you again for contacting me.  Please feel free to keep in touch.