You are here: Home / Meeting Minutes / 2008 Minutes / July 15, 2008 Meeting

July 15, 2008 Meeting

UU CHURCH, Charlotte St., AVL

The Meeting was convened by Lew Patrie at 12:30 PM. Present were Pete Sutherland, Leah Karpen, Mary Olson, Lew Patrie, Stan and Brad Dienst, John Joyner, Tim Takaro and Don Richardson

Personal notes on several colleagues were shared, including George Simpson, Kitty Boniske, David Swain and death of Ed Arnold, Exec. Dir. of Georgia PSR. SEE ADDENDUM I
Brad Dienst attended the Department of Peace Campaign meeting in Hendersonville.
Leah Karpen is acquiring Sierra Club's BRAVE NEW NATION DVD for future viewing. Don distributed several copies of Cindy Heil's tape  NUCLEAR COMEBACK? which he had transferred to DVD.
11 copies of Arjun Makhijani's book Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free, to be given to area libraries, are pending delivery (Mary Olson).
Mary suggested we all read the Scientific American’s 1/08 article, SOLAR GRAND PLAN, also dispensed copies of 2 NIRS publications RISKY APPROPRIATIONS & FALSE PROMISES.

PROGRAM: Stan Dienst showed the 30 minute film CLIMATE OF HOPE by Scott Ludlum, a fine indictment of nuclear power, while promoting renewable sources. Several requested copies for showings.

JUNE MINUTES were accepted, as was TREASURER'S REPORT by John Joyner.
Balance is $1738.18 of which $578.18 is PSR's, $900 is committed to Rusul fund, including a contribution from Stan Dienst, and $260 is CSNC's.

EVENTS: Recent Hiroshima/Nagasaki event  of July 9 at UNCA Karpen Hall was standing room only. The related photo exhibit will run through August 8, including 30 large prints of Hiroshima/Nagasaki devastation and human suffering. Dot Sulock will show related film there, WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN, on August 6 at 7 PM.

Leah will show NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE HUMAN FUTURE to her congregation at Beth Ha-Tephila Congregation, 43 N Liberty St (at Broad St), Asheville on September 10 at 6:30 PM and requests attendance and discussion by PSR members. Broad and Liberty Streets. WNCPSR will promote and cosponsor. Bring your own food.

South East Energy & Environmental Expo is August 22-24. PSR will share booths with NIRS and CSNC, and sign-up sheet was passed with good response -- we will be covered, but more volunteers are needed, Call Lew

Don's Op-Ed vs. plan to strike Iran was in A C-T on 6/23. SEE ADDENDUM II
We promoted more such LTEs. Lew also asked that we urge Heath Shuler to withhold support for HR 362, which proposes a naval blockade of Iran, a clear act of war.

Mary reported on the upcoming SOUTHEAST CONVERGENCE FOR CLIMATE ACTION, to be held in Louisa County, Virginia, August 5-11. SEE ADDENDUM III

Leah circulated a petition for Asheville mayor re not targeting cities with nukes to encourage endorsement.

NEXT MEETING to be August 19, 2008, at UU church, 12:30 PM, bring your lunch.

Meeting adjourned 2:20 PM. - Don Richardson, Acting Secretary
* * *
Addendum I: Ed Arnold, 69, ACTIVIST DEVOTED TIME TO PEACE, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 06/24/08
A life insurance job brought Ed Arnold to Atlanta in 1976. Within a few years, though, his focus shifted to a different type of life insurance — a global policy focused on the survival of the planet & the health of humankind. "He got out of the insurance rat race because he was trying to rethink what he wanted to do with his life," said his partner of 14 years, Betsy Brevard, of Atlanta. "He was very concerned about the way the world was going and that nuclear annihilation was a possibility," she said. "And his concern about that never died."
In the 1980s, Mr. Arnold became exec. dir., Ga. PSR,drew a modest salary, worked out of his home office and volunteered for a slew of organizations, including Atlanta WAND, Nuclear Watch South and the Georgia Air Coalition. "Ed was just amazing, a remarkably selfless man," said Dr. Erica Frank of Atlanta, PSR president . "He was incapable of concentrating on anything mundane because there was so much that had to be fixed in the world. Whenever any green organization in Atlanta called, Ed was there — bringing the health message to environmental issues and peace and justice issues." He spread his message in the halls of Congress and on the street corners of Atlanta. He would testify at official hearings in Washington, then load young activists into his van to protest at Savannah River Site. He battled environmental racism and encouraged faith-based groups to acknowledge their stewardship of the earth.
* * *
Addendum II: Don’s OpEd - Given the reckless history of the Bush administration, it is not hard to believe that an attack against Iran is imminent, especially since President Bush and Vice President Cheney now have less than 240 days to finish their term. The Jerusalem Post quoted a senior member of the president’s entourage after Bush addressed the Knesset, indicating that Bush & Cheney were of the opinion that military action was called for. This sounds like a self-fulfilling prophesy following the drumbeat of recent threats without substance that got us into Iraq in 2003.
The November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concluding that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program was rejected by this administration, apparently because it interfered with war plans already in the works. Instead, we got unsubstantiated claims that Iran is a major threat to stability in the Middle East, while the rest of the world understands that it is the U.S. which continues to destabilize the region. When you’ve got lung cancer, your doctor does not prescribe increasing your smoking.
Closer to conflict - The threat of more military action and further sanctions can only move us closer to conflict, which is apparently what the Bush administration wants. The bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended direct talks. Bush has set preconditions which effectively scuttled any hope of negotiations, namely that Iran cease enriching uranium, even as he hypocritically promised to give enriched uranium to Saudi Arabia, and is building a new generation of nuclear bombs at home, in violation of many treaties aimed at ridding the world of these monstrous weapons.
Bombing Iran would have enormous human and environmental costs, probably trigger revenge attacks against U.S. interests everywhere, from Iraq to the continental U.S., and be yet another public relations disaster for America, already suffering loss of prestige from 7 yrs of theo-fascist rule by the present administration. Oil prices would go even higher, if that’s possible. Unconditional negotiations with Iran are the only rational course. Iran appears willing to open its allegedly peaceful nuclear program to inspection. We should ... end sanctions, pledge not to interfere in its government and help Iran integrate into the world economy.
Wars don’t work - We are in the 21st century: war is no longer an acceptable instrument of foreign policy, given its huge human and environmental costs, not to mention the waste of trillions of $’s desperately needed for real problems like runaway population & global warming.
It is time that a timid Congress gather the courage to support the Constitution and step in to stop yet another mindless war for global domination. Citizens in our congressional district must contact Rep. Heath Shuler and demand that Bush and Cheney initiate unconditional talks with Iran to stop the insanity and put us on a path to peace. How many more deaths will we tolerate in order to drive our SUVs and further exacerbate climate catastrophes?
Don Richardson, M.D., is a member of Physicians For Social Responsibility. He lives in Brevard

* * *
Addendum III: 2nd annual Southeast Convergence for Climate Action 
This summer, NIRS again cosponsors this for people of all ages and backgrounds from Southeast & beyond; following success of last yrs convergence we are excited to continue the struggle for climate justice in the southeast with wk. of workshops, strategizing & direct action! This yrs convergence will be hosted in Va where communities are fighting uranium mining, nuclear pwr, mtntop removal coal mining & new & old coal plants, uniting vs. coal industry’s stranglehold, while rejecting the deadly nuke industry’s attempt to position itself as the solution to the climate crisis. The convergence is a place to strengthen our movement, network with new allies & act vs. dirty energy while working to build a sustainable world. Workshops: community organizing, direct action 101, debunking false solutions to climate change, blockades, sustainable living systems, media, disaster response, fighting nukes & coal, and much more. The convergence will culminate in an empowering action to show that the southeast is serious about tackling climate change. For more: - Email: