Block Party in Free Bloomfield 9/2

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I posted this as is, despite some of the obvious kookiness. I’m a little too feverish and delirious to get into talking about the US vs. China proxy war in Darfur, that already has liberal consent for a full on war, just add Democrat President, and the establishment of a US Afrika Korps African Command

Just come to the damn party.

Members and Supporters of the TMC…
Body: Dear Members and Supporters of the TMC,

I am very glad to be the new communications director and am still looking forward to meeting all those I did not get a chance to see at our recent meet and greet events.

In the midst of celebrating 35 years as a peace and justice organization, the Thomas Merton Center faces an unexpected financial crisis. Though most non-profits usually suffer a slow down of contributions during summer months the center is experiencing an emergency situation.

We have been an important community institution for many individuals and groups in the region and it is very important to have a common space for the community to share. As you know, the Center continues to support anti-nuclear groups, workers and the right to fair treatment in the workplace, anti-war efforts, and the quest to increase the peace and stop the violence in our communities.

The Thomas Merton Center has been able to provide support and resources for projects such as the Pittsburgh Campaign for Democracy Now, Save Our Transit, and Book ‘Em books-to-prisoners campaign. The TMC continues to help people on the local level to think globally though the efforts of the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, the Africa Project and the Haiti Solidarity Committee.

Our long-time colleagues from American Friends Service Committee recently sponsored a vigil with Demilitarize Pittsburgh, a project of the Thomas Merton Center, to recognize the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing and make connections to war profiteers and the arms race today.

Recently featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was TMC member and urban farmer Claire Schoyer and several other members of the Center’s Sustainable Living Project. Pittsburgh is one of the few large cities with a lot of green space in an urban environment. The members of this project are working on communal, organic gardens to eventually provide a free source of healthy food. They aim to facilitate self-sustaining and less destructive human environments by studying and mimicking relationships found in nature.

As you see, the Thomas Merton Center is as committed to peace and justice issues today as we were in 1972. Over the years, our work has continued to transcend race, gender and socio-economic factors.

The demolition and replacement of an old fire escape has put a large hole in the Merton Center budget. Nearly $20,000 has been spent so far in that process alone with another $11,000 due to pay off the bill for the new structure. The demolition has caused damage to the community institution housed in the heart of the Penn Avenue Arts district in Garfield. The structure had to undergo masonry repairs and still needs roofing, gutter and downspout work which means additional funds are needed. Clearly the escalating costs were not anticipated by the former financial management team.

Other physical plant issues the Center is facing come from further inspection by the current staff and board members. This includes the need to renovate space available for community use, replace an antiquated phone system and to improve our computer networking capabilities. Various individuals and groups have stepped forward over the past weeks to offer donations, volunteers and consultation. We also need your assistance.

The 2006 cost to run the center was just under $192,000, which pays for three full-time and one half-time staff, office supplies and physical up keep. That total 2006 budget does not include monies received by the 25 individual projects that are fiscally sponsored by the Center which are used by the projects. The current situation also has staff members facing possible layoffs to save the center.

While supplemental funds are constantly being sought by our development, building, financial committee members and staff, that does not downplay or rule out the urgent need for new and renewing memberships.

We are also currently in the process of contacting major donors and planning for our next major fundraising event on November 15. The 2007 Thomas Merton Award Dinner will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Station Square. This year’s Merton recipient will be Cindy Sheehan, the fiery “peace mom” of our growing anti-war movement.

How can you help? We are asking you to make a donation, renew your membership, support our annual dinner, encourage others to become members, volunteer your time, goods or services to keep this community institution growing. All of your contributions are tax deductible.

Donate online at:
http://www.thomasmertoncenter.org

Contact the staff about volunteering your time, goods or services at:
412-361-3022

Send a donation to:
Thomas Merton Center
5125 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

The Center is confident that we will get through this current situation and continue to serve the public by making everyone aware of this crisis but we cannot do this without your help.

Thanks for your time
Peace and justice for all,

Kevin Amos / Communications Director

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Attorney General Resigns

I’m not sure what difference that makes, although, Boss media seems to think there’s a story there?

Jaywalking: A Capital Offense in PA?

I guess the SWAT team was busy with other “social work”?

The Pittsburgh Police have killed again. This time, it was a 27 year-old man who was walking on the Parkway West. Boss media is implying that it was OK, since the

“car contained suspected drug paraphernalia”

Who am I kidding? If Stevie Junior would grant me the same blanket immunity from prosecution, that is enjoyed by the paid, uniformed terrorists police in Allegheny County, I might behave the same way?

In another unrelated incident last night, a teen chose to defend themselves from “unlawful combatants”, to use the language of the State, since they weren’t in uniform. Send all the undercover and unmarked piggies to Gitmo.

A Block Party to Benefit the Thomas Merton Center

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A Block Party to Benefit the Thomas Merton Center
Sponsored by Food Not Bombs
Sunday September 2nd
4pm-10pm
Corday Way between Taylor and Ella Sts.,
Parking Lot behind Ace Hardware on Liberty Ave.
Bloomfield, Pa.

Suggested Donation $5-$15
Beverages and Vegetarian Food will be provided by Food Not Bombs
Raffle and Music
Free Literature

Bands 4:30-7
Two Sexy Beasts
Kill the Unicorn
Saber Teeth
+ 1 More TBA

DJs 7:30-10
DJ Spaed
DJ Zack Traxxx
DJ Sean MC
DJ Idris Intifada
DJ Thermos

For more info:
Pittsburgh_FNB@yahoo.com
http://fnb-pgh.2ya.com/

Predator Access to Children Restricted by School Board

jackson.jpgAny effort to counter military recruiting, reformist or otherwise is fine with me, since I favor reinstating the military draft. Although their (public) numbers are shrinking, since 9/11/2001, there are still far too many flag-sucking sheep, who beat the drums of war, but refuse to to take up arms themselves. A draft would give many of them a chance to put their money where their mouth and magnetic ribbons are. It would be interesting to see some casualties from the suburbs, instead of the current. mostly rural and urban child sacrifice.
Otherwise sane people who feel that there is nothing they can do about the imperial designs of the US, would probably realize that there were at least a few things they could try, if their number was called. Violent authority could lose some of its newfound popularity, too. I have a feeling that the self-described, ‘War on the Lack of Consumer Capitalist Markets in Resource Laden, Largely Muslim Regions Terror’ wouldn’t survive too long if it required anything more than economic conscripts. A “volunteer” military is one of those rackets like voting, that is used by State capitalist regimes self-described ‘democracies’, to fabricate the illusion of consent, and the US could stand a little disillusionment (and barricades).

Whether it is underreported, or actually rare, there is very little of the kind of resistance that led to the US withdrawal from Indochina. Sorry old hippies, and new SDSers, I’m talking about mutiny and desertion, not sit-ins and good vibes.

The 21st century US military recruiter is a despicable creature; half pimp, using deception, coercion, and sometimes outright sexual assault, to put healthy young bodies to work for their own financial gain, as well as half snitch, because like a informant, they must get other people to forfeit their freedom, to escape the consequences of their actions, although instead of jail, the recruiter are trying to avoid combat in Iraq. If they don’t offer up enough fresh meat for the grinder, they are headed back to the front lines, and like other snitches, the State is willing to overlook almost any misdeed, if it produces the desired outcome.

Although compulsory education seems to be about 95% compulsory and 5% education, it’s good to hear that the Pittsburgh City School Board passed a resolution that restricts the kind of dirty tricks that the captive audience known as “our children” can be subjected to. Some of the provisions of the resolution include:

Curiously enough, Mark Brentley Sr., who was hailed as a supporter of the resolution, by any account, voted against it. None of the media reports name a reason.

Kudos to the School Board. I never thought I’d live long enough to say that. Nice work Conscience and Quakers, and while you’re at it, check with the folks from the Pittsburgh Organizing Group, to see if there’s anything you can do to support their upcoming action.

In theory, this will also curtail the activities of other confidence tricksters, such as those who push five-figure a semester, 2 year culinary and art schools, and credit cards for teens and other exploitative practices.

Domestic Terror Groups Running Low on Ammunition

One of the good things about the 21st Century crusades, is that occasionally, glassy-eyed, flag-sucking morons engage in combat with their lunatic Muslim counterparts, and both sides take casualties. I do fell genuine sympathy for ordinary Iraqis and Afghanis caught in the crossfire, and to a lesser degree, the Crusader mercenaries noble volunteers who are only seeking to elevate their own economic conditions and get a formal education, but it is ridiculous, after a certain point in time, to pretend that they did not know what they were getting into when they enlisted. At the risk of being branded “insensitive” the fewer “care so much about the flag or holy book that I’ll kill you” or whatever types that I have to share a planet with, the better. An imperial army, composed of slaves and/or mercenaries, is a formula that dates back to the days of Roman conquest, and like Rome and other imperial powers, the US empire is in decline, due in large part to it’s attempt to control large territories far from the Belly of its Beast.

I wince when liberals bleat about “supporting the troops”. What in the hell does that mean? I used to “support the troops” when I was paying federal taxes, but other than that, and magnetic ribbons (which support the troops in Red China), they’ve lost me. Are they guarding rear supply lines? Mending torn uniforms? Reloading ammunition? Knitting desert camouflaged I-pod covers?

Same with the “bring the troops home now”; I say leave them there. We have enough deranged cops running around as it is. The last thing us lower class folks in the US need is a bunch of shell-shocked 20 something cops, who can’t tell the difference between Sadr City and Kansas City. At least after Vietnam, they used their civil service points to work for the post office, and most of their combat took place in jungles, not urban environs. I’d take the random individual “going postal” over thousands of PTSD cases resuming their domestic role as the occupying army of Capital, as members of an increasingly militarized police force.

We have more than enough uniformed, licensed, specialists in suppression of the poor, that we should be in no hurry to subject ourselves to new ones. On a positive note, the Crusades are limiting the capacity for State terrorists to train and wage violence against US civilians.

Infighting Erupts Amongst Regional Terror Groups

Two (temporarily demoted) City detectives reacted violently, to counter the assertion that they were not “above the law” when confronted by country cops at a Toby Keith concert, of all places. They even tried to grab the uniformed terrorist’s weapon. If you or I tried that, it’s no mystery how that would have ended.

Amazingly, the City is pretending to discipline them, even stripping them of their titles, but no reduction in wages. Compare the reaction with that to the handful of murders of black civilians, committed annually.