Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Rey, Lois, Wanda, Galen
1. Approval of Minutes for January 8: The minutes were approved as written. There was wide ranging discussion pointing out Trump's similarity to Nebuchadnezzar, ICE raids to Nazis picking off Jews, fake news rants to Hitler attacking the press.
2. Progress Reports:
a. Topic of the Month: Why we oppose nuclear weapons. Peter printed our 2006 statement on our position on Nuclear Disarmament and Nuclear Power and Ellyn printed a Wikipedia article giving the list of countries (9) with nuclear weapons. The U.S. and Russia have about 7,000 each and France is next with 300. The "Defense" Department has a 100 page document on nuclear weapons. The Pentagon is asking for a 3% increase in their budget for refurbishing of nuclear weapons. We decided to integrate the Wikipedia article into our 2006 statement. Lois suggested we write a 700 word Voice of the People letter re nuclear weapons. Ellyn offered to collect ideas of people in the group and weave them into a coherent letter.
b. Little Taste of Peace: This was attended by 120 participants out of 150 who had registered. Glenda Rae thought the low attendance was due to bad weather. Most people had positive feedback although some thought the questions looked for expected answers and did not stimulate wide ranging discussion.
c. Book of the Month report: Rey is reading "White Rage" and thought that an alternate title should be "America's War on Black People." He also read "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" after reading an editorial panning it. He wrote a letter to the editor recommending that the book should be carefully considered. He also recommended "It is Even Worse Than You Think." Trump has overturned everything that Obama set in place. He makes promises but nothing is based on sound theories or practice. 43% of Democrats thought Trump's State of the Union was a good speech, but within a month he has undone whatever good the speech had promised. Now folks can take guns into the legislature, schools, and churches. There is a move to federalize the concealed carry law so that local jurisdictions cannot restrict this practice. Lois had heard of a book by two Harvard professors, "Why Democracies Fail," and wondered if our democracy was in danger of collapse.
d. Immigration Coalition Report: There will be a meeting of Evangelicals at Bethel College at 6:30pm February 26 to which conservative christians are invited to talk about DACA..
e. MLK Day table: Peter brought the Vets for Peace and the MPJC banners and he, Ellyn, and Kathy carried our banner in the noon march. We had two tables side by side. Lois had a computer running the rapidly changing National Priorities Project Cost of War banner. She had Veterans for Peace literature and a big model of a birthday cake with a slot for folks to put donations for a scholarship fund. Two little girls wrote a note to Dr. King, saying "Teach the bad guys to be good to make the world a better place." They insisted on putting these notes in the slot as a present to Dr. King. The bean poll was an attraction again this year. There seemed to be fewer people visiting the tables, perhaps because of the lunch that overlapped the march and early afternoon events.
3. Treasurer's Report: $96.33 with a $30 in petty cash.
1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion
2. Topic of the Month: Why we oppose nuclear weapons. We will continue to investigate this topic. See above.
3. Tax Day plans: Tax day is on Tuesday, April 17th this year. Peter should post NWTRCC information on the website. We are not able to access our facebook page as Kevin did not share the password with anyone before he died. We talked about dedicating the April 16th vigil to war tax resistance. We should put the nwtrcc.org website on some of the signs. We will meet again before tax day. Perhaps more ideas will emerge.
4. Other Topics and Issues: Memorial Day is coming up. Rey offered to push a disabled veteran in a wheelchair if we can find one willing to walk with us. Lois saw a bumper sticker from Iraq Veterans Against the War. She will try to call the national headquarters to see is there are local members. We could try the American Legion. Rey wanted the sign to read, "Vets pay the price and this is the change they get."
The Olympics have some visuals of North and South Koreans coming together, at least symbolically. It was a shame that Pence snubbed the North Koreans when he was there.
Lois mentioned that Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one won the last war and no one will win the next." We have been in Afghanistan for 17 years and a military solution is not possible, according to Rex Tillerson.
Rey and Glenda Rae saw a film at Notre Dame indicating that Pakistan is ready to send refugees back to Afghanistan even though there has been no improvement in conditions there.
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5. Next meeting: Monday, March 26th, at 2:30pm at Lois' assisted living center. We will send the directions in the meeting announcement.