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Reminder: New Directions in Disarmament, this Friday Nov 11, 6:30 pm Santa Fe

Nov 7, 2016

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It was the time of the preacher
In the year of '01
When you thought it was over
It had only begun.
"Time of the Preacher," Willie Nelson, lyrics changed to these in the 1985 BBC anti-nuclear thriller "Edge of Darkness"

Dear friends --

The Study Group will host a special talk and discussion of "New Directions in Disarmament" on Friday, November 11, at 6:30 pm in Santa Fe at the Center Stage Performance Space, 505 Camino de los Marquez (map).

We'll be Skyping in special guest and Study Group board member Ray Acheson to provide her perspective on the recent breakthrough in disarmament diplomacy. As a teaser here's Ray's most recent editorial.

Bring a friend if you can. (This is not just to get more people in attendance. That communication between you and your friend is prototypical of the mobilization we need. The "call to a friend" contains much of the "DNA" of a larger movement.)

Professionals, this means you. In New Mexico, especially in Albuquerque, a lot of the professional community is missing in action these days. I have no idea what all our doctors and lawyers and environmental scientists and ministers and you name it are up to, vis-a-vis the major crises of our time.

The UNM professoriate is particularly MIA. Pity the students there -- where is the guidance? Where, the education? If adjuncts are too poverty-stricken to be active citizens, maybe they should revolt -- like, yesterday. (See: "fear", below). It is surely better to be a handyman or plumber -- important professions, both -- with a clear conscience, than an intellectual slave, my friends.

As discussed in Bulletin 224, new doors are opening in nuclear disarmament -- even as our historical crisis becomes acute. Tomorrow we will have a general election which in and of itself will change little. On Wednesday, the day after, the US will still be on a course leading toward greater wars, climate collapse will continue unabated by any policy, treaty, or agreement (current, planned, or discussed in the campaign), the poor in this country and abroad (as well as the world's wildlife and habitats) will remain insufficiently protected, and will suffer. New Mexico with its "World War II economy" (Carol Miller) will remain locked in a "death spiral", with a few new faces in leading positions, but few new ideas and no obvious greater commitment to our children or the environment.

In short, this election provides no explicit mandate or platform for change. We have to provide that, nonviolently but coercively. Where is this conversation happening today? We are pretty well connected but we don't hear of it.

Especially at statewide levels and above, we have to do it primarily outside the electoral process, given the many ways in which candidates and elections are bought and sold.

Our collective thought needs now to turn toward how we might best mobilize, resist, and build* simpler, more sustainable, and more just communities.

If you or your friends are working on climate or energy issues we hope you (and they) will come on Friday.**

By the way, we hope those of you who can, will find a way to support resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), in its present alignment or any other which might be found. All new fossil-fuel-producing (and -consuming) infrastructure needs to be considered life-threatening until proven otherwise, wouldn't you say? There are free rides and co-op rides available to the Standing Rock Reservation, where some of you have already been and some are right now.

We are aware that some of you are a bit afraid these days. We hear this from some of our members and we hear it from field organizers in other organizations. A little fear sharpens perceptions -- which is helpful -- but fear-induced paralysis is no way to live. From tomorrow's perspective, these are the good old days.

Two of us will be traveling to Washington, DC next week to see what can be done in the transition period. It is a good time to cut nuclear weapons programs, but will it happen? There is no sign of it yet. Too many powerful liberal funders got sucked into supporting Obama's Nobel-winning faux "disarmament" agenda. There is no sign they have learned from that mistake, or ever will.

How to fix this is the topic for Friday.

Greg, Trish, and the gang

*The Study Group has two NM corporate partnerships benefiting customers, the Study Group, society, and the earth:
  • Positive Energy/Sunpower: high-efficiency, long-life, hassle-free solar installations. $100 to LASG for any consultation (please mention us); an additional $400 with system installation (please mention us).
  • McCune Solar Works/One World Co-op: high-end PV modules; also systems tailored for renters; high-reliability, no-maintenance, long-life, non-toxic battery systems; low-cost emergency backup; more. $500 to the Study Group with system purchase and other deals that help all of us.
Frankly, most homes and businesses in New Mexico should be running on solar power at this point. We didn't know how (relatively) easy it was until we bit the bullet. There are many ways to go solar. Those who rent have fewer options but if you have a good relationship with your landlord it may be time to start talking with him or her about solar power. Talk to these companies.

**We've previously sent a link to the so-called "Climate Victory Plan", which we commend to you because of its scope and speed (which more or less accord with natural science, a welcome change from the usual).

One of the bigger missing pieces in this plan is any acknowledgement of the issues raised by Dr. Tim Morgan's "Perfect Storm: the End of Growth" and related works (all very accessible), or "Some reflections on the Twilight of the Oil Age" (in three parts) by Louis Arnoux on Ugo Bardi's blog Cassandra's Legacy. We have been talking with you about this for a decade now. You can see more at our own blog, Forget the Rest. We especially recommend the blog roll there. If you get all your news from the mainstream media (including of course NPR and PBS) or even good corporate alternatives like Democracy Now, you cannot help but be ignorant of some of the biggest historical currents that are turning our world upside down.

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