OCTOBER THIRD THURSDAY LUNCH

Voting rights under attack: The current situation, locally and nationally

THIRD THURSDAY LUNCH SERIES
presented by Fellowship of Reconciliation

and Sowers of Justice Network
October 20, 2022: Noon—1 PM
Zoom Video Conference: REGISTER in advance or see below to join live

Dee

OUR SPEAKER: Dee Pregliasco, First Vice-President of the Kentucky League of Women Voters

According to the League’s website (lwvky.org) “Many changes have been made in Kentucky’s voting and election process,leaving voters confused and potentially prevented from voting”.

Well known as a student of the tangled web of voting history in the United States, Dee Pregliasco’s presentation will be a timely reminder that the upcoming general election on Tuesday, November 8th, is a very important date to observe —for voters in Jefferson County will be casting their ballots to determine their next mayor, 3rd district congressman, U.S. senator, state legislators, two possible amendments to the Kentucky Constitution and local school board races (see louisvillefor.org for details).

The event will also be live streamed on the Sowers of Justice Facebook page,

https://www.facebook.com/SOJNLou and broadcast on 106.5 FM WFMP’s FORward radio. Third Thursday lunch is sponsored by Fellowship of Reconciliation and Sowers of Justice, two faith based advocacy groups that work for justice through education and action.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYlcOigqDMjE9CEyjiFbNszUY5c-k6sl3Q1

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

New executive director of FOR-USA

“After an extensive national search, the Fellowship of Reconciliation-USA (FOR-USA) is proud to welcome our next executive director, Ariel Gold.

Ms. Gold, a veteran peace and justice advocate, is taking the helm as the organization’s first Jewish executive director. Prior to this groundbreaking appointment, for the past seven years Ms. Gold worked at CODEPINK Women for Peace, where she was the national co-director and a Middle East policy analyst.”

Watch this video for her welcome message and introduction:

https://www.facebook.com/reel/625022842253497

SEPTEMBER THIRD THURSDAY LUNCH

September 15, 2022, noon to 1pm – Tom “Fitz” Fitzgerald: Kentucky Resources Council, The Good Trouble Proposal (click here to REGISTER in advance or see below to join live)

Tom “Fitz” Fitzgerald

Tom FitzGerald, better known as “Fitz,” was Director of the Kentucky Resources Council for 37 years. Since 1984, KRC has worked to protect those who live downhill, downwind, and downstream, and who have suffered the burdens of environmental pollution and injustice. With the support of friends and members, KRC achieved numerous successes in protecting Kentucky’s built and natural environment.

FitzGerald, who says he’s never charged a client for legal services in his career, also has one final project — a program to “engage communities and individuals more proactively in getting involved in environmental decision making at a local and state level.”

The Good Trouble Proposal — a program to “engage communities and individuals more proactively in getting involved in environmental decision making at a local and state level.” Tentatively named their “good trouble” proposal — an homage to the late congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis — FitzGerald added: “I’m always looking for good trouble to get into.”

You may join the discussion VIRTUALLY via Zoom, but the event will also be live-streamed (see below).
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpdOmqrD0vE93Hytw_q-D3dEZ4IWWMQwTW

The event will also be live streamed on the Sowers of Justice Facebook page, and broadcast on 106.5 FM WFMP’s FORward radio. Third Thursday lunch is sponsored by Fellowship of Reconciliation and Sowers of Justice, two faith based advocacy groups that work for justice through education and action.
Share the Facebook event:   https://www.facebook.com/events/3305379813119350

APRIL Third Thursday Lunch

THIRD THURSDAY LUNCH SERIES
presented by Fellowship of Reconciliation

and Sowers of Justice Network
April 21, 2022: Noon—1 PM

SPEAKER CHANGE: Anatol Levin was unable to participate

Dr. Andrew J. Bacevich

Answering questions about Ukraine and Russia

You are invited to join the discussion VIRTUALLY via Zoom, but the event will also be live-streamed (see below).

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqf-yrrD4rGt1urWfXn0X12S8FmuxccQNH  

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. He is also the founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statesmanship, the author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, The End of American Exceptionalism, The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War, and American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy.

More on Dr. Bacevich:

The event will also be live streamed on the Sowers of Justice Facebook page,
https://www.facebook.com/SOJNLou and broadcast on 106.5 FM WFMP’s FORward radio.

Third Thursday lunch is sponsored by Fellowship of Reconciliation and Sowers of Justice, two faith based advocacy groups that work for justice through education and action.

Share the Facebook event:   https://www.facebook.com/events/343127081115993

Socialism and Incentive

by Ike Thacker

There was a joke in the old Soviet Union: “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.” However widespread (or not) the sentiment suggested by this humor was, the attempt at levity does get at a central question regarding socialism, namely, how do you keep people motivated to work, give them incentive to do so, when cash wages are low and their basic needs are provided for by the government? How do you avoid what Engels called “universal laziness?”

The famous psychologist B.F. Skinner once, in a novel called Walden Two, tried to sidestep the thorny, deeper question to which the question points, that of human nature, by changing that human nature using his behaviorist ideas. The notion was to artificially transform mankind’s flawed nature so that it conforms with what socialism requires.

But I believe that such is unnecessary. Women and men, with their “nature” intact, can be motivated by a multitude of noble causes, including “building socialism.” And anyway, whatever one’s view of human nature, from Hobbesian belief in the state of nature’s “war of all against all,” to John Locke’s “Glorious” view that man’s mind is a tabula rasa (blank slate) onto which one can freely write whatever one wishes, to the even more hopeful Unitarian position—socialism is the social system (the similarity of the words is not random) of choice.

First of all, I believe that people can in fact be motivated idealistically. Despite some 600-700 years of not-so-temporary capitalist conditioning, the evidence that they had already come to be so in Eastern Europe in a matter of a few decades runs through Voice of America publications from the time of the transition back to capitalism, consistently: large majorities of folks in the old Eastern bloc had come to see societal well-being, not just their own, as the proper yardstick with which to measure sociopolitical systems.

Even if people were as capitalists claim, though (which they emphatically are not), socialism would still be the proper social system of choice. The reason for this is simple. Even if man is lazy and evil, under socialism he will quickly figure out that, for the first time in human history, he is not working to make somebody else rich and powerful—in a word, that she and he are no longer being exploited. So, people will work much harder, productivity will skyrocket, and everybody will be able to live at least very near the level at which only the wealthy can, now.

Thus, be mankind good or be mankind bad, it is socialism which can best motivate him economically. Not only that, though. The appeal (as with the preceding argument about exploitation) does not even have to be to the “better angels” of man’s nature. It can be strictly materialistic and self-interest-based. This is because 80 percent or even 99 percent or 99.9 percent of people will be better off (much “richer” economically and otherwise) under socialism. Remember: Lenin won in 1917 promising “Peace, Land, and Bread,” not only through appeal to people’s idealism!. The vast majority of ordinary (and other) people will have their material

lives totally transformed by socialism. We can win by appealing to self-interest; the alignment of the result with virtually every moral principle taught by every world religion from Buddhism to humanism to Islam to Judaism and Christianity, is, while the very most important thing, in this sense a bonus.

And what a glorious world we can create! Michael Harrington, despite his reputation no “moderate” in his ultimate hopes and dreams, compared the world that would result under socialism as (in effect) being like the coming of a lush rainforest for beings who have known only desert. We can’t even properly imagine how things will be! Our perception is limited by our experiences in the desert.

The rainforest of socialism is coming in all its glory, though! Socialism benefits 99 percent or 99.9 percent of the world’s people. Even in the U.S., abominably enough, 76 percent of wealth is held by the richest ten percent of the population and only one percent—one percent!—by the poorest 50 percent. These numbers are ultimately unsustainable for the capitalists. Simple arithmetic will win. We will win! Love will win! Si se puede! Viva the 99 percent!

Isaac Marion Thacker, IV (Ike Thacker) is a writer, activist, and high aimer who seeks solutions to violence and to end racist and political repression.

NO TO WAR!

International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) statement on the current situation in Ukraine

https://www.ifor.org/news/2022/3/1/not-to-war-ifor-voice-for-peace

The International Fellowship of Reconciliation expresses its very strong concerns and deep sadness about the invasion and occupation being conducted by Russia in Ukraine.

These are dark days in history.

War is a crime against humanity and can never be justified. It only leads to human suffering and

tears, and rips apart the societal structures that enable people to live in dignity.

The use, or preparation for use, of nuclear weapons is unconscionable.

Therefore, IFOR:

▪ Stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and supports the efforts of Russians who are

protesting against this war.

▪ Urges an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukraine.

▪ Stands up for conscientious objection, the right to refuse to kill, to reject violence and to

repudiate bearing arms in both (and all) countries.

▪ Urges all governments and multilateral organisations to choose diplomatic and political means to address the situation.

▪ Encourages the Ukrainian government and people to choose persistent nonviolent resistance.

▪ Calls on European people and nations to welcome refugees from Ukraine.

▪ Encourages the Russian people to non-violently resist the war policy and actions of their

government.

▪ Calls on Russian religious leaders to disassociate themselves from the aggressive and bellicose

policy of the Russian government, to recover the peaceful intentions of those religions, and to

actively engage with peace initiatives and diplomacy.

▪ Invites people of faith, spirituality and conscience to direct their prayers and actions to stopping the war and sustaining peace in the region.

Russia-Ukraine Ruminations

by Ike Thacker

[Note: this statement was written well before the invasion had commenced.]

           Kyiv, capital of what used to be known as the wheat-field-laden “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, is more than 500 miles by car from Moscow. Now the two capitals are even farther apart politically. In fact, it appears that Russia may very well be about to invade Ukraine.

            Should the U.S. “compromise” with the authoritarian leader of Russia, ex-KGBer Vladimir Putin? We at the Louisville chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation answer with a very reluctant and eyes-wide-open, but firm, “Yes, for the sake of peace.”

            We realize that Mr. Putin is a master geo-political game-player who likely will not have his hunger for new land sated by the Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine.  We realize that Ukraine’s government, albeit the more wronged party in this complicated contretemps, and mostly to all appearances as well-intentioned as one could reasonably expect, is far from perfect. And we realize that appeasing bellicose near-dictators has a dubious track record.

            But we also know that NATO and its multitudinous nuclear missiles (and conventional weapons and troops) virtually encircle Russia, while Russia has never had—and does not now have, but has recently threatened to seek—anything even remotely comparable in “our” hemisphere. And we know that showing what some would call “character” in this case could be, to speak in unfortunate euphemisms in this world where the two superpowers involved have between them nearly 12,000 nuclear warheads, dangerous and disadvantageous for the U.S. and its allies.  Speaking more plainly, it could be absolutely disastrous, causing many millions of human deaths.

            So please, President Biden, show statesmanlike restraint and (making it clear that this is a one-time thing) do not proceed with Ukraine’s admission into NATO.  Please also grant Mr. Putin’s wish and promise not to expand NATO even further into these lands, so close to Russia, where he seemingly cannot abide rivals.

            It just may short-circuit the budding alliance between China and Russia—not to mention saving potentially millions of mostly young, innocent lives.

            The world and its born and as-yet-unborn children will thank you for it.


Isaac Marion Thacker, IV (Ike Thacker) is a writer, activist, and high aimer seeking solutions to violence and to end racist and political repression.

MARCH Third Thursday Lunch: “Hurt to Hope and Ultimately, to Healing: How Gun Violence Changed My Life” with Rose Smith, March 17, 2022: Noon-1 PM

THIRD THURSDAY LUNCH SERIES presented by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and Sowers of Justice Network

You are invited to join the discussion VIRTUALLY via Zoom, but the event will also be live-streamed.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAtde2pqjgvE933jnGEnORuGNh5muvUxvN5

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Rose Smith

For this program we have chosen an aspect of gun violence—the aftermath—to make more real and more personal than any alarming statistic can, a story about this uniquely American dilemma.

Rose Smith’s son, Cory Crowe, was gunned down in October 2014.

Across the years since Rose Smith has evolved into a vigorous anti-violence activist and is a leader in the Moms Demand Action movement.

In honor of Cory, she has established the ACE Project, a community center in west Louisville where she wants other children to find a path more promising than the one which led to her son’s death.

A.C.E.=Acting Compassionately Everyday. Working With The Hand You Were Dealt.  http://aceprojectky.org

Barbara Boyd

Rose Smith will be joined by Barbara Boyd, a member of the TTL team representing the Sowers of Justice Network. Barbara’s grandson, Austin Goodlett, has recently been grievously wounded and disabled by gunfire. 

Barbara Boyd is a teacher (Rank I) retired from JCPS, a former chair of the KY Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression and the president of the Louisville branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
http://www.asalh.org

The event will also be live streamed on the Sowers of Justice Facebook page,
https://www.facebook.com/SOJNLou and broadcast on 106.5 FM WFMP’s FORward radio. Third Thursday lunch is sponsored by Fellowship of Reconciliation and Sowers of Justice, two faith based advocacy groups that work for justice through education and action.

Share the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/691043778693104/

Diplomacy in Ukraine Is Still the Best Option

We stand on the brink of a war in Ukraine involving world powers that control 90% of the world’s existing nuclear weapons. That statistic, in itself, represents a threat to the entire planet.  Yet, both major US political parties—with major differences on almost every facet of domestic policy– seem to have given in to hawkish positions as U.S. troops are deployed to the region.

At the same time, we see that President Putin has amassed huge numbers of troops and weaponry along the border of Ukraine.  He recently staged cruise missile tests. Ukraine has become a pawn in the struggle for geopolitical security.

We can be skeptical of the motives of Putin in world affairs and still recognize that on the current issues, Russia and its President have a reason to feel betrayed by our past actions. Despite promises following the fall of Soviet bloc in eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany that the NATO military alliance would not be expanded, 14 new members have been added already. At the same time, the United States maintains nearly 800 military installations in more than 70 countries, including 13 European NATO countries. Russia is literally surrounded by U.S. military bases. The U.S. would undoubtedly be as concerned if Mexico or Canada were to enter into a military alliance hostile to its interests today.  We were when Cuba tried.

President Putin is also demanding that the U.S. decrease the number of nuclear missiles in Europe.  The U.S. has 100 nuclear missiles in NATO countries. The U.S. is expected to have a new missile interceptor base operational later this year in Redzikowo, Poland.  The Kremlin believes these missiles could be used to shoot down Russian rockets or modified to fire missiles at Moscow, which is only 800 miles away.   The U.S. political leadership has not—again, as in Cuba– and would not tolerate Russian nuclear missiles or a Russian military installation anywhere near our borders.

Time is short, but there is and must be room for flexibility, compromise and diplomatic solutions, all of which must respect the sovereignty of Ukraine. If readers feel frustrated by the march to war, with the potential of catastrophic nuclear conflict, we urge that you join with the Louisville Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and a coalition of more than 100 national and local organizations in calling on the US to modify its negotiating position and agree to a long-term moratorium on any NATO expansion.

We also urge listening to Ukrainian voices.  A statement by the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement speaks to the impacts on and needs of the Ukrainian people and is posted at  https://worldbeyondwar.org/statement-by-the-ukrainian-pacifist-movement/  . The full statement of the Coalition to Prevent War with Russia and its signatory organizations are posted at louisvillefor.org. For those who want to investigate this issue further we suggest The New York Times article, “On the Edge of a Polish Forest, Where Some of Putin’s Darkest Fears Lurk,” authored by Andrew Higgins and published Feb. 17, 2022.

*****************************************

Authors:  Jim Johnson, Mark Meade and Ike Thacker are members of steering committee of the Louisville Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR).  FOR, an interfaith pacifist organization, has been pressing worldwide for justice and alternatives to war since 1915.

[if you agree, click here to join the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Louisville Chapter, mailing list for updates]

Coalition to Prevent War with Russia Statement

A Statement from U.S. Organizations on the Ukraine Crisis

[ February 1, 2022 ]

As organizations representing millions of people in the United States, we call upon President Biden to end the U.S. role in escalating the extremely dangerous tensions with Russia over Ukraine. It is gravely irresponsible for the president to participate in brinkmanship between two nations that possess 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

For the United States and Russia, the only sane course of action now is a commitment to genuine diplomacy with serious negotiations, not military escalation – which could easily spiral out of control to the point of pushing the world to the precipice of nuclear war.

While both sides are to blame for causing this crisis, its roots are entangled in the failure of the U.S. government to live up to its promise made in 1990 by then-Secretary of State James Baker that NATO would expand not “one inch to the East.” Since 1999, NATO has expanded to include numerous countries, including some that border Russia. Rather than dismissing out of hand the Russian government’s current insistence on a written guarantee that Ukraine will not become part of NATO, the U.S. government should agree to a long-term moratorium on any NATO expansion.

Signing organizations
[if you agree, click here to join the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Louisville Chapter, mailing list for updates]

Physicians for Social Responsibility

RootsAction.org
CODEPINK
Just Foreign Policy
Peace Action
Veterans For Peace
Our Revolution
MADRE
Progressive Democrats of America
American Committee for US-Russia Accord
Pax Christi USA
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Center for Citizen Initiatives
Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security
Alaska Peace Center
Arise for Social Justice
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Backbone Campaign
Baltimore Nonviolence Center
Baltimore Peace Action
BDSA Internationalism Committee
Benedictines for Peace
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
Beyond Nuclear
Campaign Nonviolence
Casa Baltimore Limay
Chapter 9 Veterans For Peace, Smedley Butler Brigade
Chicago Area Peace Action
Cleveland Peace Action
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Community Peacemaker Teams
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
Continuing the Peace Dialogue
Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Washington DC
Eisenhower Media Project
End the Wars Coalition, Milwaukee
Environmentalists Against War
Extinction Rebellion PDX
First Unitarian Society – Madison Justice Ministries
Food Not Bombs
Foreign Policy In Focus
Frack Free Four Corners
Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution
Global Exchange
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Grassroots International
Hawaii Peace and Justice
Historians for Peace and Democracy
Interfaith Peace Working Group
International Tribunal of Conscience
Just World Educational
Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War
Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Maryland Peace Action
Massachusetts Peace Action
Metta Center for Nonviolence
Monroe County Democrats
MPower Change Fund
Muslim Delegates and Allies
National Lawyers Guild (NLG) International
New Hampshire Veterans for Peace
New Jersey State Industrial Union Council
North Texas Peace Advocates
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Other98
Pace e Bene
Parallax Perspectives
Partners for Peace Fort Collins
Peace Action of San Mateo County
Peace Action WI
Peace Education Center
PeaceWorkers
People for Bernie Sanders
Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter, Baltimore, Veterans For Peace
Physicians for Social Responsibility, AZ Chapter
Prevent Nuclear War/ Maryland
Progressive Democrats of America, Tucson
Proposition One Campaign for a Nuclear Free Future
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin
San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility
San Jose Peace and Justice Center
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team
SolidarityINFOService
Traprock Center for Peace & Justice
United for Peace and Justice
United Nations Association, Milwaukee
Veterans For Peace, Russia Working Group
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 102
Veterans For Peace Chapter 111, Bellingham, WA
Veterans For Peace Chapter 113-Hawai’i
Veterans For Peace Linus Pauling Chapter 132
Veterans For Peace – NYC Chapter 34
Veterans For Peace – Santa Fe Chapter
Veterans Peace Team
Western North Carolina Physicians for Social Responsibility
Western States Legal Foundation
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
Women Cross DMZ
Women Against Military Madness
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US
Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy
World BEYOND War
350 Milwaukee

Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), Louisville Chapter (signed also by FOR-USA)

Source:
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2022/02/01/18847678.php

[click here to join the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Louisville Chapter, mailing list for updates]