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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

Mother's Day e-news from VOW

Happy Mother’s Day to All –
The perfect gift for the womyn in your life – A VOW membership and of course, please remember to renew your VOW membership this Mother’s Day
in this e-newsletter:
-Reaffirming Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Vision
-FairVote conference in Toronto
-Respond to this CBC poll – Should Japan’s nuclear reactors stay offline?
-Taking Stock of the World’s nuclear missiles
-PLANET EARTH:THE LATEST WEAPON OF WAR. By Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D., GNSH and honorary VOW member, how to purchase this book now.

Reaffirming Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Vision

Julia Ward Howe offered her Mother’s Day Proclamation to the world in 1870. Her dream was the establishment of an international Mothers’ Day Festival dedicated to the cause of nonviolent resolution of conflict and international solidarity among all women. Her pacifist consciousness had been provoked by the bloodshed of the Franco-Prussian War. Her activism was cultivated in the struggles for abolition of slavery and the quest for women’s suffrage. She had the proclamation translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Swedish, working for the establishment of Mother’s Day in concert with women internationally celebrating peace and women’s empowerment.

Howe died in 1910, four years before President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the day in 1914 in response to the burgeoning success of the movement she inspired. But Wilson avoided any mention of the thrust of Howe’s cause in his declaration, instead emphasizing only the nurturing “home and hearth” dimension of motherhood. He also spurned the internationalist concern that was central to Howe’s consciousness, distorting this into American nationalism. Howe’s central concerns, the universality of motherhood and its natural expression in anti-war sentiment, was excised from the official meaning of the day.

President Wilson proclaimed: “Now, therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

Compare this to Howe’s far more high minded vision, still so desperately needed in this suffering divided world. Here is the text of her 1870 Mother’s Day Proclamation, so prescient in its understanding, so courageous in its call, so plaintiff in its currency nearly a century and a half later.

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
FairVote conference in Toronto
Join us at the Fair Vote Canada Convention in Toronto, as we help lay the groundwork for a massive campaign to make electoral reform a reality.

Should Japan’s nuclear reactors stay offline? Respond to this CBC poll now.
Taking Stock of the World’s nuclear missiles

The stunning graphic reproduced below appeared in the National Post
on May 4 2012. It represents an estimate of the number of nuclear
missiles currently “ready to use” — that is, deliverable to targets in a
very short time. It does not attempt to compare explosive yields or
even the number of warheads in any given missile.

The outer blue circle are missiles belonging to the United States of America.
The red circle just inside the outer blue circle are those belonging to Russia.
The blue circle inside that one are the missiles belonging to Britain and France.
The red circle inside that are missiles belonging to China and Pakistan.
The innermost circle, light green and blue, are the missiles of India and Israel.

Which brings us back to the most important question of our times :
is there intelligent life on Earth? or will there ever be?

Gordon Edwards.

A Critical Study into the Military and the Environment
By Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D., GNSH
ISBN 1-55164 1838
Published in America by Black Rose Books, Toronto Canada, April 2001
Published in Europe by The Women’s Press, London

This work offers an assessment of environmental damage caused by military activity. It demonstrates how the space programme, “Star Wars” research and electromagnetic weapons have destabilized the natural balance of the Earth’s ecosystem, causing widespread devastation.

As weaponry and warfare have become more complex and sophisticated, so the long-term effects have become more insidious and deadly. Looking not just at the visible manifestations of damage such as ‘scorched earth’, Rosalie Bertell shows how the space programme, Star Wars research and electromagnetic weapons have destabilised the ecosystem, causing widespread devastation in environmental, economic and social terms. She calls for a new approach to security, rising above the national agendas, to seek global solutions to a global problem.

From the Publisher
Environmental damage caused by military activity
‘Rosalie Bertell is an author with an expert grasp of the biological effects of radiation.’ New Scientist.
‘No-one who reads it will ever be complacent again.’ Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
‘In the aftermath of the Gulf War, experts predicted that the smoke from burning oil fields would warm the lower atmosphere throughout South Asia, causing monsoons to arrive earlier and more forcefully than usual. A huge typhoon later struck Bangladesh, killing 100,000 people.’

As weaponry and warfare have become more complex and sophisticated, so the long-term effects have become more deadly. Looking not just at the visible manifestations of damage such as ‘scorched earth’, Rosalie Bertell shows how the space programme, Star Wars research, depleted uranium and electromagnetic weapons have destabilised the natural balance of the earth’s ecosystem causing widespread devastation in environmental, economic and social terms. She calls for a new approach to security, rising above national agendas, to seek global solutions to a global problem and provides some encouraging examples of civilian action.
Her closing paragraph is one of advice:

“I hope this book has given readers some inspiration as to how they might become involved in helping this peaceful planet evolve to it’s full potential. Despite years of abuse, it is still an amazing and beautiful creation. It deserves our best efforts. Enjoy it, love it, and save it!”

Now you can get PLANET EARTH:THE LATEST WEAPON OF WAR as a GREAT OFFER only $5.00 plus $5.00 for handling and shipping = $10.00
Please write a cheque for $10.00 made out to the International Institute of Concern for Public Health and send it to:
Shirley Farlinger
402-77 Clarendon Avenue
Toronto, ON
M4V 1J2
Please be sure to give your name and address so the book can be sent to you..

Another review:
Dr Rosalie Bertell, ‘Planet Earth The Latest Weapon of War: A Critical Study into the Military and the Environment’
Review by Theresa Wolfwood Dr Bertell believes it is vital for peace workers to be responsible for communicating knowledge, in every way possible, and also to be willing to seek out information, particularly from those most affected by policies and events. This book is a major contribution to this important exchange.
In Planet Earth, the internationally respected scientist states that the most urgent problem facing humanity really is how to sustain Earth, our life-support system. She goes on to say that we need to find a new model of global organisation, not based on force, in a world of hard and unbending capitalism.
She begins with a detailed and devastating analysis of the wars of the last ten years of the 20th century. In Part II she provides an acute scientific basis for the madness of war and the destruction that science, harnessed to the military, is planning for us and our world. She discusses so-called natural disasters that are linked to human-caused climate change, the “down-to-earth problems with Star Wars”, and the environmental crises spawned by war-making.
She examines the economic fallacy of the military providing jobs and prosperity. There is detail and fact here enough to convince any concerned citizen, particularly those who see saving the environment as a separate struggle, that the work of peace, economic justice and ecology is one struggle.
Dr Bertell argues that security will be achieved through the protection and responsible stewardship of the earth, calling this “ecological security”, based on a complex multi-faceted approach to the world’s problems. Realising this vision is a big job and requires multi-faceted solutions. Dr Bertell has many insights and ideas on how to create this solution, citing, in particular, the need to alter the core belief of military security.
This book is full of examples and ideas, a book to treasure and for repeated reference.

PS Dr Rosalie Bertell’s book, No Immediate Danger: Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth, was the first book to reveal the dangers of low-level radiation causing international controversy when it was first published in 1985. Since then she has become an internationally respected scientist, writer and lecturer, testifying before the US Congress, the Select Committee on Uranium Resources and the Sizewell Enquiry in the UK. Rosalie Bertell has been selected by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, UK for inclusion in 2000 Outstanding Women of the Twentieth Century.