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Nathanial Batchelder (click image to read news and views from Peace House OK's Director, Nathaniel Batchelder)

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My “Commentary” in this week’s Oklahoma Gazette

I sent this “Vote For Peace” Commentary a month ago, and gave up hope. But, Hooray, it’s in.

It’s posted on this site here. The Gazette retitled it “Voting for Peace

Oklahoma’s 27th Peace Festival

We ask your assistance in getting this word out. Please forward, share, announce and promote freely. Flyers can be downloaded and printed for distribution (see links below). Thank you!

Details are in place for Oklahoma City’s 27th annual Peace Festival to be held Sunday, Nov. 11th, from 11 am to 5 pm, in the Civic Center Music Hall’s “Hall of Mirrors” in downtown in Oklahoma City. The event is free and open to the public.

“Visitors will be inspired by tables and booths of local groups and organizations serving in the areas of social justice, human service, human rights, environment and peace,” said Nathaniel Batchelder, director of the Peace House. “Oklahoma City cares about people and the world,” he said.

The Peace Festival has become a holiday shopping opportunity as groups and vendors sell items as gifts for the holiday season. Fair trade and home-made goods on sale include pottery, crafts and organic coffee from Central America, carving and hand-made items from Africa. Local artists and craftspeople sell their art as well. Many groups sell books, calendars, t-shirts and bumper stickers furthering their mission. All groups offer brochures, newsletters, and membership opportunities in addition to sales items.

“Background music during the festival includes musicians Steve McLinn, Jahruba, and others,” Batchelder said. Folk singers and guitarists Jerry Carroll and D. Ray Polk will entertain. Dance recitals will be performed by students from Oklahoma City’s Aalim School of Dance.

A Children’s Activity Room, supervised by adults during the event, is sponsored by the Peace Education Institute, a cosponsor of the Festival.

Other sponsors with the Peace House and Peace Education Institute include the Social Justice Committee First Unitarian Church, Home Creations, Bright Lights of OKC, Summit Business Systems, and Bob Lemon.

More information is available by calling the Peace House in Oklahoma City at 405-524-5577, or by going on the website www.PeaceHouseOK.org.

Flyer 1 up

Flyer 2 up

Presidential Debates and Global Warming

It is shocking that global warming and climate change were not mentioned in Tuesday’s debate. The consensus of the world scientific community is that that the release of heat-trapping gases is the primary cause of global warming and climate change, and that fossil fuels are the chief source of elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Mitt Romney made it clear that he and his party plan to accelerate production of oil, natural gas, and coal toward making America energy independent. They assert that environmental regulations must not stand in the way of energy production. They fully support the Keystone XL pipeline to transport bituminous crude from Canada’s tar sands to Texas refineries, considered by environmentalists a guarantee of more decades of high CO2 release. The Republican position on solar and wind potential is to let them compete in the market place.

By contrast, President Obama has said that global warming is real, not a hoax, and has shown leadership in extending incentives for the development of clean energy alternatives as part of the “all of the above” mix of energy sources the U.S. must pursue.

Future generations will judge our generation’s responses to the challenge to protect and preserve earth’s natural systems that, in fact, support human life. Voters have clear choices in November.

On the Elections: What’s at Stake. What we can do.

This letter went out to our mailing list this week. Please read, act and share!

Dear Friends of Justice and Compassion in America,

Thinking about the November Elections, it is clear to me that We The People must stand in the gap to reverse the drift toward America becoming a nation and government of, for, and by the few who are doing well while the many struggle merely to get by. The stakes are daunting:

It is shocking that candidates on the national scene profess commitment to more tax cuts for the wealthy, shifting tax burdens to the middle class, and balancing the budget by cutting social programs that ease the lives of America’s most vulnerable. They would repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, removing health insurance from some 30 million qualifying people. They would privatize Medicare with vouchers. They would shift resources out of public schools with vouchers. They oppose as “job killers” government regulation of industry, banking, and finance. They propose cutting the Environmental Protection Agency and oppose legislation to protect the air, the oceans, and land. They oppose labor rights and raising the minimum wage. They dismiss as unproven the consensus of the scientific community that production of heat-trapping gases is the primary cause of global warming and climate change. They would pass a human life amendment to the Constitution restricting women’s reproductive choices, and have curtailed reproductive freedoms in every state they could. Once again, we are hearing dangerous talk accusing a foreign nation – Iran – of being a threat and source of weapons of mass destruction, reminiscent of the language that prepared America for war on Iraq. And aging members of the Supreme Court are likely to retire soon, their replacements to be nominated by the next President.

Those listening regularly to Fox Radio and TV News are wildly misled by purposeful distortions and misinformation into voting against their own interests. Huge financial support for the politics of the 1% must be countered with People Power, doing what we can to encourage an outpouring of voting for the agenda of The Reasonable Majority.

I urge everyone passionate about justice and peace to take personal action encouraging a huge voter turnout in November for candidates who will legislate for the common good and general interest of all people and earth’s challenged environment. What can individuals do?

We can speak fearlessly with family and friends; pen a brief expression of our political hopes and the crucial significance of voting this November and send our note to select address book recipients; help with a particular campaign that calls us; register one or more friends. You may already be doing these or other things. Just imagine more people voting in 2012 than in 2008.

GOTV: Let’s Get Out The Vote as a mission in this election season, and Keep Hope Alive.

Blessings and Peace,

Nathaniel Batchelder

Oklahoma Voter Registration Information:

Registration is free: Visit any Tag Agency or County Election Board.

Deadline to register for November 6th General Elections: October 12th
You must re-register if you have moved since last election.

Early Voting at County Election Boards (check times open)
Friday, November 2nd; Saturday, November 3rd ; Monday, November 5th

Avoiding war with Iran

LETTER TO: The New York Times 9/18/12

Dear Editors,

All diplomatic and personal efforts must be exercised to forestall military actions against Iran which could explode into regional war dragging in the U.S.

Iran has had nuclear power plants for decades and does enrich their own uranium for energy production and medical purposes, both activities being legal under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Intelligence officials from Israel, the U.S., and the International Atomic Energy Agency have stated that Iran “has not decided” to develop nuclear weapons. All agree that, should Iran initiate enrichment of uranium to higher levels, this would be revealed by IAEA inspectors in Iran long before Iran could build a bomb.

The U.S. economy and U.S. military cannot afford another war. May cooler heads prevail.

Sincerely, Nathaniel Batchelder, Oklahoma City

WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER FOR PEACE
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Peace and Dignity Journey visits Oklahoma City

The Peace & Dignity Journeys 2012 came through Oklahoma and on Sunday, September 9 visited with supporters to tell about their project. This year’s theme is “Water”

Eleven runners and about two or three support people are traveling from Alaska to Guatemala to reunite the Eagle and the Condor, symbols of the original cultures of the Americas. The presentation consisted of moving stories about each of the staffs they carry, bringing to life the memories and dreams of the individuals and communities that gave them to the project.

The event was organized by Brenda Golden and hosted by the Church of the Open Arms. It includes a potluck meal that was preceded by prayer  led by Richard Ray Whitman, OKC artist and activist,  and a song sung and drummed by activist Dennis Watson of Yukon.

For more information about the Peace and Dignity Journeys, see their web site.

September-October 2012 issue of Peace Strategy News published

Read with the embedded document above, or from this link.

Tip: Once the pdf is opened, click anywhere on it to increase the size and navigate around the page. Click again to reduce the size.

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