Thanks for coming this past Thursday; op-ed published; more
March 21, 2015
Dear Santa Fe friends --
This email is just going to a few of you among our Santa Fe members.
Trish and I really enjoyed our get-together at Willem's house this past Thursday evening. It was really great to see some of our old friends, stalwart fighters and builders all.
We hope to meet again in about two weeks, probably late on Sunday afternoon April 5 but we have to check that date with a few key people so it's only tentative right now. We're really busy on writing projects at present.
As expected, that 1,000 word op-ed was published ("Treat the state’s lab addiction," Albuquerque Journal, Mello, Mar 20, 2015). (The version on our web site has been improved with 3 or 4 minor word changes.)
Here's the original link if you want to comment. (Carol Miller did right away; as of this writing there are no other comments.)
As we discussed on Thursday, it's an especially good time to write letters to the editor or op eds about northern New Mexico's nuclear addiction and what alternatives we might choose.
Both of our senators want to increase nuclear weapons spending, as does Rep. Lujan (Udall here; Heinrich here -- search the hearing transcript; Lujan here, as samples). (As a congressman, Heinrich was THE most active supporter of nuclear weapons spending among House Democrats.)
The true path of influence, however, lies in building a movement for crucial domestic priorities and against further militarization, war, and nuclear weapons. It is a broad and friendly path. What's missing (say, missing from our churches, a natural home for this) is a realistic sense of urgency. We need to roll back militarization, which is ramping up fast at the moment.
It is really critical to get our "electeds" to publicly commit to these political values.
It's essential for citizens who wish to halt this country's rightward drift to make themselves very clear, both in language and in political commitments. (And forget what somebody "intends," or "wants," or "believes." It's what we do that counts.) We need to clean up our language and be very clear about our direction, as well as distinguish action from Hamlet-like contemplation. On Thursday someone asked, "What's the difference between 'nuclear disarmament' and 'banning nuclear weapons'?" ("Abolition" might have been in there too.) The short answer is: a lot. The phrases "nuclear disarmament," "a world without nuclear weapons," "nuclear abolition" are now rather shopworn phrases. "A world without nuclear weapons" was born as propaganda -- it never meant anything, ever. "Banning nuclear weapons" by contrast refers to something quite specific, namely a treaty which prohibits the design, testing, production, stockpiling, sharing, threatening with, and using nuclear weapons. Such a treaty is now a realistic possibility, with dozens of countries supporting beginning negotiations, quite unlike the unreality of hopes for fruitful bilateral or multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.
The question of a ban also shines an important light on political landscape at home, stripping away layers of propaganda and clarifying the issues. Do churches, environmental groups, unions, social justice organizations, and local governments actually support building weapons of mass destruction, a single one of which can fry millions of people in a minute, or not? Where do people stand? Afraid to take any stand on this at all? Are WMD to be our economy, our identity as a city and state? The Santa Fe metro area is currently the largest concentration of nuclear weapons spending in the world. What will become of Santa Fe, given this continuing influence, in the coming decade? What will it do to the kids? Oh, I forgot. Most of them left already.
It is the environmental community which is the main source of greenwashing for our senators, the labs, and nuclear weapons. Look at Heinrich's funding profile at opensecrets.org. But do either of our senators have a plan or even a vision to preserve or improve New Mexico's environment? Or our economy? No and no. That's just the beginning of the problems with their "environmental" credentials.
As we said in our meeting, the Study Group staff and local board are ready to help you, but we can't do the work of many people by ourselves. It's you who need to be reaching out to the churches, for example. Now is the time.
Just for "fun" here's figure 8-12 from the new Obama nuclear weapons plan released this week. Assuming all goes well for the nuke business, the nominal annual cost of warhead work is supposed to rise forever, nearly doubling by 2040. There's (make)work planned to fill in all those colored areas (that's the rest of the plan).
Good luck and see you in about two weeks,
Greg and Trish