The Friends of Peace meet monthly, the third Tuesday of the month, 6 pm, at Poppo Rollo's Pizza
Westbank Meeting Room, 703 N. Valley Mills Dr., Waco, 76710. Free presentation and pizza/salad buffet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DECEMBER PROGRESSIVE FILM AND MEETING

TITLE: WHAT WOULD JESUS


BUY?


GENRE: Docu-comedy.


DATE: Thursday, December 11,2008.


TIME: 6p.m. community announce-


ments, 6:30 film and discus-


sion.


VENUE: Poppa Rollo's Pizza, 703. N.


Valley Mills Dr., Waco. Mtg.


room, enter from inside or


outside on the right.


PRICE: please bring one canned food


item for local charity.


FOOD: pizza buffet plus extra for non


pizza persons.


RATING: PG.


RUN TIME: 91 minutes.


RELEASE DATE: 2008.








Through retail interventions, corporate exorcisms, and some good old-fashioned preaching, Reverend Billy reminds us that we have lost the true meaning of Christmas. What Would Jesus Buy? is a journey into the heart of America from exorcising the demons at the Wal-Mart headquarters to taking over the center stage at the Mall of America and then ultimately heading to the Promised Land ... Disneyland.



"Genuine and meaningful provocateurs like Talen are vital, and his message is a glad one to anyone who abhors the WalMart-ification of America." --Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.



I think you will find this film funny and thought provoking. Please join us for food, film, and discussion, while contributing to local food banks for the needy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Peter Zylstra-Moore (World Hunger Relief) Essay

The Waco Friends of Peace are honored to have workers from the World Hunger Relief project near Waco attend many of our events.
The fascinating essay below was written by one of Relief's members PETER ZYLSTRA-MOORE.


Fiscal Conservatism: Rhetoric or reality
One of the defining myths of the Republican Party is the concept of fiscal conservatism, as opposed to the so-called, “tax and spend liberals.” With economic concerns rising to the top among voters it is important to separate myth from reality. It is important to look at different factors including, overall growth, the national deficit, income growth of the rich and poor, and taxation rates and policy.
If we consider some actual numbers from 1948 to 2005, a common measure of economic growth, Real per capita GNP, grew significantly faster under the Democrats. During their 26 years of office, after accounting for inflation, GNP grew an average of 2.78% per year. Under 32 years of Republican administration, real GDP grew an average of 1.64% annually, over whole percentage point lower than Democrats. In other words, our economy grew 2/5 more quickly under the Democrats.
Not only has economic growth actually been slower with the Republicans, but they have also significantly increased the deficit. In fact the national deficit has increased 36.4% or 2.25% per year, in Republican administrations since 1978. The Democrats, on the other hand, have increased the deficit a total of 4.2%, or.35%, per year in office. We have spiraled into debt seven times quicker with the Republicans. Per year in office, government spending rose .76% under the Republicans, while it grew .83% per year under the Democrats. Government spending has grown only .07of a percent faster under the Democrats. The reason for this slight difference in spending is because Democratic administrations have made payments on the deficit rather than taken out substantially higher debt. It should also be recognized that one of the main reasons for a growing deficit is the fact that both Republican and Democratic budgets include irrationally high spending on the military.
In considering the economic effects of each political party it is important to also consider the distribution of wealth. Princeton Professor, Larry Bartel did a mass study of political parties and their effects on economic growth for various groups in American society. He found that after accounting for inflation, the era of Roosevelt’s New Deal policies which began in response to the Great Depression not only provided the most economic growth overall but also the most equitable growth. Starting with Reagan, the income gap between rich and poor in the United States has increased with every Republican administration. Including Roosevelt, the gap between the rich and the poor has declined slightly with all Democratic administrations except under Carter who was hurt by oil inflation. According to Bartel, during Democratic administrations, Real Incomes (the amount you can buy with each dollar) grew twice as fast for middle-class families and six times as fast for working-poor families than with Republicans in office.
Yearly Real Income Growth Rate, 1948-2005 (Bartels, 32)
Democrats Republicans
Poorest 20th percentile 2.64% .43%
Bottom 40th percentile 2.46% .8%
Middle Class 60th percentile 2.47% 1.13%
Upper 80th percentile 2.38% 1.39%
Highest 95th percentile 2.12% 1.9%
It is fascinating to note that even the richest 5% grow quicker under Democrats (2.12% compared to 1.9%). Thus even if we don’t care about the poor we should vote Democrat. If we look back on history if we vote Republican for economic reasons, then it is because we want inequality, stunted growth, and deficits.
Examining what has actually happened under each administration, we recognize that with Republicans our national debt has increased along with the disparity between rich and poor. At the same time their overall tax revenues have been equal to those of Democratic administrations. Finally per capita income has slid under Republicans. With Republicans, tax cuts for the poor and middle class which create consumption and equality are replaced with tax cuts for the rich and business, which leads to increased indebtedness and more frequent recessions. Even growth for the rich slows, because they can only produce profitably in relation to what is demanded. When we separate rhetoric from reality, it becomes clear; if we really want a government that will grow our economy and balance the budget, we had better vote Democrat.
It is time for the Democrats, but not the Democrats of the past 30 years who look more and more like the Republicans. It is time for labor. It is time for unions. It is time to accelerate progressive taxation. It is time for big businesses to start paying taxes again and to start paying workers again. It is time for higher minimum wages. It is time for estate taxes. It is not about giving the poor handouts, but allowing the poor and middle class to compete. It is time for the Fed to be run not by big banks and their friends, but by democratically elected governments. It is time to improve rather than undercut our public education. It is time for an efficient single-payer medical system. It is time to create new, high-paying jobs; green jobs in producing renewable electricity and making our homes and businesses more efficient, infrastructure jobs to maintain and repair our country. It is time to focus our technology not on the military but on things that actually improve our lives and the lives of our children. It is time for the Democrats and it is time to demand of the Democrats a new New Deal.



Sunday, November 02, 2008

NOVEMBER 13, PROGRESSIVE FILM SERIES


On Thursday, November 13, the Waco Friends Of Peace will present the Waco debut of the academy award winning film (Best Documentary Feature of 2007) Taxi To The Dark Side. This film, by Alex Gibney and Eva Orner, uses the death of an Afghan taxi driver while in U.S. military custody as a springboard to examine the role of torture in America's so-called "war on terror."

We know that the mood on November 13 is going to be greatly affected (to say the least!) by the results of the election on November 4, but we believe that our chosen film will be relevant regardless of the outcome. Also, we hope to see many FOPs at Poppa Rollo's in order to celebrate or commiserate, as the case may be.

There are many terrific reviews of Taxi To The Dark Side. The following is from one by Roger Ebert:

In December 2002, an Afghan named Dilawar had scraped together enough money to buy a taxi. He was fingered by a paid informant as a terrorist connected with a rocket attack. Taken to the American prison at Bagram, Afghanistan, he was tortured so violently that he died after five days...

Alex Gibney's horrifying documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side" uses the death of Dilawar as an entry point into a remorseless indictment of the Bush administration's unofficially condoned policy of the torture of suspects, which is forbidden by U.S. constitutional and military law and international agreements, but justified under the "necessity" of working the dark side. Gibney interviews U.S. soldiers who participated in such torture sessions (under orders, they thought, although their superiors claimed innocence, all the way up to Bush, who claimed ignorance of torture even after he had seen official Pentagon and intelligence reports). They seem sorry, sobered, and confused...

There are those, their numbers shrinking every day, who would agree we have to "work the dark side." Growing numbers of us are yearning for the light. This movie does not describe the America I learned about in civics class, or think of when I pledge allegiance to the flag. Yet I know I will get the usual e-mails accusing me of partisanship, bias, only telling one side, etc. What is the other side? See this movie, and you tell me.

The place is Poppa Rollo's. The time is the usual: 6:00 pm, with pizza buffet followed by the movie and discussion. Hope to see you there! --Harrison Ward, moderator.


(for new attendees, Poppa Rollo's meeting room is at 703 N. Valley Mills Drive in Waco. Admission is free as always and donations are accepted. Everyone welcome).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

PROGRESSIVE FILM SERIES: OCTOBER 2008

TITLE: THE REAL McCAIN: LESS JOBS. MORE WARS.


GENRE: Documentary.

DATE: Thursday, October 23, 2008.


TIME: Pizza buffet and community announcements 6pm, film and discussion 6:30.

MODERATOR: Kay Lucas, director, Crawford Texas Peace House.


VENUE: Poppa Rollo's Pizza, front meeting room, 703 N. Valley Mills Drive, Waco.

RELEASE DATE: August, 2008.

RUN TIME: 60 minutes.



PRICE: All free.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Robert Greenwald is a producer, director and political activist. Greenwald is the director/producer of "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" (2005), a documentary that uncovers the retail giant's assault on families and American values. He is also the director/producer of OUTFOXED: RUPERT MURDOCH'S WAR ON JOURNALISM (2004), a documentary exposing the right-wing bias of Fox News.Greenwald is also the executive producer of a trilogy of "Un" documentaries: UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (2002), directed by Richard Ray Perez and Joan Sekler; UNCOVERED: THE IRAQ WAR (2003), directed by Greeenwald; and UNCONSTITUTIONAL (2004), directed by Nonny de la Pena, about the post 9/11 erosion of American civil liberties.In addition to his documentary work, Greenwald has produced and/or directed more than 50 television movies, miniseries and feature films, including: THE BOOK OF RUTH (2004), based on the best selling book by Jane Hamilton; THE CROOKED E: THE UNSHREDDED TRUTH ABOUT ENRON (2003); BLONDE, a miniseries based on Joyce Carol Oates' fictionalized biography of Marilyn Monroe; THE BURNING BED, starring Farrah Fawcett as an abused housewife; OUR GUYS, based on the true story of a rape in a small town; SHATTERED SPIRITS, starring Martin Sheen, about alcoholism; FORGOTTEN PRISONERS, about the work of Amnesty International; and Hiroshima.Greenwald also produced and directed the feature film, STEAL THIS MOVIE, starring Vincent D'Onofrio as 60's radical Abbie Hoffman, as well as BREAKING UP, starring Russell Crowe and Salma Hayek.

ABOUT THE FILM: Concerned that the real John McCain story was not being told, Robert Greenwald and his team at Brave New Films decided they HAD to do something about it, so they did some extensive research on his flip-flopping. The result is a series of short films laying bare the fallacy of the straight-talk label that has been attached to McCain like a Siamese Twin for the better part of a decade.The results have been truly spectacular, entering record-breaking territory. Within a week of its debut on the web over 1 million people viewed The Real McCain 2. It s been the #1 most viewed video on YouTube, #1 on the viral video chart, and the #2 story on the Digg Election 2008 page. Brave New Films is now reaching an audience that most cable news shows only dream of. This DVD compiles the shorts and adds exclusive on-camera instruction and commentary from key progressive leaders including MoveOn s Eli Pariser, Democracy For America s Jim Dean and Greenwald himself. They show the viewer how to use these short films to maximum effect.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ret. Colonel Ann Wright Lecture October 5, 2008






Date: Sunday, October 5 at 6p.m.


Venue: Poppa Rollo's Pizza Outback Meeting Room, 703 N. Valley Mills Drive, Waco.


Event: Lecture and Book Signing of DISSENT: VOICES OF CONSCIENCE (2008).


Price: Free (donations accepted).


VOTER REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE!!


During the run-up to war in Iraq, Army Colonel (Ret.) and diplomat Ann Wright resigned her State Department post. She was one among dozens of government insiders and active-duty military personnel who leaked documents, spoke out, resigned, or refused to deploy in protest of government actions they felt were illegal. In Dissent: Voices of Conscience, Ann Wright and Susan Dixon tell the stories of these men and women, who risked careers, reputations, and even freedom out of loyalty to the Constitution and the rule of law.


The Waco Friends of Peace are honored to present this soldier, diplomat, author, peace activist, friend and inspiration to speak in Waco. Your attendance is respectfully requested--your voice of conscience is needed to support this forum in Central Texas.


BIOGRAPHY:

Ann Wright grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas, where she received a master’s and a law degree. She also has a master’s degree in national security affairs from the U.S. Naval War College. After college, she spent thirteen years in the U.S. Army and sixteen additional years in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel. She is airborne-qualified.
In 1987, Col.Wright joined the Foreign Service and served as U.S. Deputy Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She received the State Department’s Award for Heroism for her actions during the evacuation of 2,500 people from the civil war in Sierra Leone, the largest evacuation since Saigon. She was on the first State Department team to go to Afghanistan and helped reopen the Embassy there in December 2001. Her other overseas assignments include Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, Micronesia, and Nicaragua. On March 19, 2003, the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Ann Wright cabled a letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell, stating that without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the invasion and occupation of a Muslim, Arab, oil-rich country would be a disaster. Since then, she has been writing and speaking out for peace. She fasted for a month, picketed at Guantánamo, served as a juror in impeachment hearings, and has been arrested numerous times for peaceful, nonviolent protest of Bush’s policies, particularly the war on Iraq. She lives in Honolulu.




“When the actions of government become dangerous to the security of the nation, it takes a special courage for men and women inside the government to speak out. If we care about keeping democracy alive, we must welcome this book. "—Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the U.S.


"Truthout has traveled the country covering the anti-war movement, and wherever we go, Ann Wright is there providing steady leadership. We recently announced that Ann was one of three recipients of our first annual Freedom and Democracy Award. I'm sure I will see her soon. Wherever there is an important event calling for peace, Ann Wright will be there, leading by example."—Scott Galindez, truthout.org
ADDENDUM: The lecture at Poppa Rollo's was a great success, with 50-60 in attendance, a lively discussion, and one gentleman registered to vote. The following day Ann gave a lecture to a political science class at Baylor University and was very well received. An image from that lecture is above. Her T-shirt says it clearly: WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.
The Waco Friends of Peace thank Colonel Wright for sharing her insight and enthusiasm with Waco.





























Sunday, September 07, 2008

PROGRESSIVE FILM SERIES: September










TITLE: American Blackout


GENRE: Documentary


DATE: Thursday, Sept. 11


TIME: Pizza Buffet and announcements 6pm, film and discussion 6:30pm.


VENUE: Poppa Rollo's Pizza mtg.room, 703 N. Valley Mill's Drive, Waco.


PRESENTER: Boyce Vardiman



FILM LENGTH: 86 minutes.


CHARGE: All Free.


AUDIENCE: All Welcome.


VOTER REGISTRATION AVAILABLE.



The right to vote represents one of the strongest elements of democracy within the United States. With his documentary American Blackout, Ian Inaba shows that while voting is a right many Americans take for granted, it's something that's still not a given for many of America's citizens. With his thought-provoking film--which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival--Inaba shows through interviews, documents, and startling images of African Americans waiting in the rain (only to be falsely told they're too late to vote) how districts are systemically trying to exclude blacks from the voting process. By focusing on controversial congresswoman Cynthia McKinney--who has been a vocal opponent of President George W. Bush and his administration--and a few others, Inaba doesn't lose the viewer with too many subjects. Whether or not your political views align with McKinney's, it's difficult not to question some of her opponents' motives for twisting her words, especially pertaining to 9/11. Though no one will be surprised that this film was shot on a low budget, the lack of bells and whistles doesn't take anything away from the production value, which is compelling in its stark reality.

"a provocative look at the 2004 election." -The New York Times.
WINNER-Special Jury Prize 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
"a muckraking indictment of the systematic disenfranchisement of African American voters."
-The Los Angeles Times.

Monday, August 11, 2008

People's Campaign for the Constitution

The Waco Friends of Peace was a signatory to a new declaration of Independence for our times which appeared as a half page ad in the New York Times July 3, 2008. We joined 600 others in signing and funding this declaration. Signatories from Texas included Hadi Jawad, Rick Halperin and the Freedom and Justice Foundation.

The text began: "When in the course of human events the government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter it and demand restoration of those Constitutional principles that have so long assured their liberty, safety, and happiness. Therefore, on the anniversary of our Independence, we offer this new declaration for our times." The text addresses presidential usurpation of power, illegal surveillance, signing statements, torture, violation of international treaties, imprisonment of lawful immigrants, and massive governmental secrecy.

See complete document at : http://www.constitutioncampaign.org/ad/ad.pdf
or www.constitutioncampaign.org

Friday, August 08, 2008

AUGUST PROGRESSIVE FILM


DATE: August 14, Thursday.
TIME: Pizza buffet, announcements
from peace and justice
community 6pm, film and
discussion 6:30pm.
GENRE: Documentary.
LENGTH: 78 minutes.
PRESENTER: Kay Lucas, Director,
Crawford TX Peace House.
VENUE: Poppa Rollo's Pizza Mtg. Rm
with entrance from front or
inside.
PRICE: All free. donations accepted.

Synopsis:FROM CANADA Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their new found wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness. Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream. But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary. The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia ?
Hosted by Barrie Zwicker. Featuring James Howard Kunstler, Peter Calthorpe, Michael Klare, Richard Heinberg, Matthew Simmons, Michael C. Ruppert, Julian Darley, Colin Campbell, Kenneth Deffeyes, Ali Samsam Bakhtiari and Steve Andrews.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BUSH RANCH PROTEST JULY 19, 2008


"Bush may be a lame duck, but we're not," was Harrison Ward's quick response to the question of why we continue to protest. His response sums it up very accurately. Of course, the national media is paying less and less attention to the man, as he becomes more irrelevant.
But we feel it important to continue the tradition of protests at the ranch checkpoint each time Bush is there (since 2005). Its a matter of conscience and consistency--to never let Bush forget that there are millions of Americans who strongly object to his illegal wars and shredding of the Constitution. And that approximately 210 million disapprove of his presidency. There were only 2 of us available for this latest checkpoint action. (Thanks to Kay Lucas for loyal and able shuttle service). But we are a ripple that reaches to the ranch and to many others in Central Texas. And an added bonus--Channel 6 TV did a very nice interview at the scene. As Howard Zinn says: every action, no matter how small, is important to the cumulative movement.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Progressive Presentation Series for July


FILM: CRAWFORD.
GENRE: documentary.
DATE: Thursday, July 10, 2008.
TIME: pizza buffet and community announcements
at 6pm, film and discussion 6:30pm.
VENUE: Poppa Rollo's pizza meeting room, 703 N.
Valley Mills, Waco. enter front meeting
room from outside door on right or from
inner restaurant door.
RATING: ok for kids, limited language.
BONUS: Misti Turbeville, the main character of the
film, will be present for the discussion!
AUDIENCE: all welcome.
PRICE: free pizza buffet and film.
JULY MODERATORS: Harrison Ward, Gail Boyd.
Please join us for the Waco premier of this outstanding documentary. This is a great opportunity to see the acclaimed film which has not been released yet on DVD to the general public. The film unfolds almost entirely through the words of Crawford citizens and protesters, and is thus insightful and balanced.

“….revelatory: a deeply committed piece of high-def storytelling.”
Steve Dollar, The New York Sun

“…a serious splash at SXSW…[Modigliani is] one of the four next great Texas directors.” Christopher Kelly, Texas Monthly

“…an evenhanded and occasionally poignant account…populated with colorful, contrasting characters who have profoundly mixed feelings about being used as props in Bush's political stagecraft.” Joe Leydon, VARIETY

“CRAWFORD received standing ovations at South by Southwest.” Jeffrey Ressner, Politico.com

“Vital…Engaging…CRAWFORD has the potential to disrupt narratives and change the way people think.” Jake Gyllenhaal

“…smart and absorbing…a microcosm of a nation…” Flickhead.com

“A touching, even-handed, and genuinely significant film.” Dan Nuxoll, Rooftopfilms.com
“….a fresh, unique perspective…entertaining and incredibly affecting…” Josh Tyler, Cinemablend

“The right mingles with the left, no one is declared a winner…a brilliant job…refreshing, and the ultimate compliment to director David Modigliani, to have such a politically charged environment delivered to the viewer with such an even hand.”
Mark Bell, Film Threat
Thanks for your support of this unique forum for progressive thought and discussion in Waco and Central
Texas. We know everyone is very busy and we always strive to bring you films and lectures that will be enlightening and well worth your attendance. If you are able to make it, we are honored by your presence.
peace, alan














Sunday, June 08, 2008

Friends of Peace message for the election year.


As of May 1st, 2008, the Friends of Peace billboard is back! As you know our previous impeachment billboard heroically survived verbal attacks, the severe limitations to the 1st amendment in Waco, and physical assault--for 5 months. But finally its brave message was censored about one year ago. So we are very happy to have a new message for the election 2008. We will maintain this board through the November election. Although Friends of Peace does not typically endorse a candidate for President, I think it's clear which candidate is closest to voicing an anti-war sentiment. The current location is on Panther Way near Hewitt drive in Hewitt. While driving on Panther toward the light at Hewitt Drive, the visibility of this sign is fantastic. But our plan is to move the sign around in other parts of Waco, especially those sites with very high traffic. We feel the simple and powerful message is an important reminder at this time--less the lesson of Iraq and other imperialist wars be forgotten. (Thanks to our friend Carl for the phrase). Contributions to help keep this billboard going are greatly appreciated.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Progressive Film Series for June


Documentary: BLOOD AND OIL (2008).
Date: Thursday, June 12, 2008.
Time: 6p.m. pizza buffet and announcements.
6:30p.m. film and discussion.
Venue: Poppa Rollo's Pizza, 703 N. Valley Mills Drive,
Waco. meeting room, enter from inside or outside
front door on right.
Audience: All welcome.
Price: free film and pizza buffet.

The notion that oil motivates America's military engagements in the Middle East has long been dismissed as nonsense or mere conspiracy theory. Blood and Oil, a new documentary based on the critically-acclaimed work of Nation magazine defense correspondent Michael T. Klare, challenges this conventional wisdom to correct the historical record. The film unearths declassified documents and highlights forgotten passages in prominent presidential doctrines to show how concerns about oil have been at the core of American foreign policy for more than 60 years – rendering our contemporary energy and military policies virtually indistinguishable. In the end, Blood and Oil calls for a radical re-thinking of US energy policy, warning that unless we change direction, we stand to be drawn into one oil war after another as the global hunt for diminishing world petroleum supplies accelerates.

Genre: Documentary.
Runtime: Approx. 52 min.
Rating: suitable for children.
Release Date: May 22, 2008.
Media Education Foundation: other films include "War Made Easy," "Reel Bad Arabs,"
and "Hijacking Catastrophe."
In an effort to bring you the newest and most important films, we are proud to present "Blood and Oil," just released in May. Join us for the Waco premier. Your
peace and justice announcements welcome, and your discussion of the film honored. Please support this unique forum in Waco.

Friday, April 18, 2008

May Progressive Film and Meeting, Thursday 8th.

Selection: "11th Hour."
Genre: environmental documentary.
Release date: April 8, 2008.
ScreeningDate: Thursday, May 8, 2008.
Time: 6p.m. Pizza buffet and announcements, 6:30 film and discussion.
Fee: all free, all welcome.
Venue: Poppa Rollo's Pizza meeting room, 703 N. Valley Mills Drive, Waco.
Rating: PG.
Run time: 92 minutes.


Environmental documentary 11th HOUR resides at the polar opposite of escapist summer fare its mission to firmly confront viewers about the indelible human footprint that humans have left on this planet and the catastrophic effects of environmental neglect and abuse. Produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio and ably directed by Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Peterson the documentary doesn't get much fancier than talking heads news footage and the occasional animated illustration but its message is potent and delivered effectively.The first hour of the film is essentially a horror story recounting the myriad sins perpetrated against the environment (pollution deforestation over-mining resources) the reasons behind it (corporate greed faulty public policy bad leadership ignorance) and what it means for the human race. Thankfully the last third of the movie tilts the mood upward with a spirited discussion of solutions offered by a crack team of scientists designers and thinkers. Stirring visions of alternate energy sources diversified transportation enlightened governmental agendas sustainable homes and cities and most importantly more conscious consumer choices leave viewers with the palpable feeling that change is both necessary and possible. If the "eleventh hour" for our planet is drawing near this admirable film points confidently towards a new dawn.

Thanks for joining us and supporting this unique and growing forum in Central Texas. (April was standing room only!).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Crawford Protest, April 12, 2008








George Bush sneaked into Crawford the weekend of April 12-13, but he could not hide from local activists. An amazing peace karma was at work. We were focused on one of the greatest crimes of the administration--torture--on Saturday. We learned later that day, that on Friday night Bush had admitted in a TV network interview, that he had approved specific torture methods to be used by the CIA. So our emphasis was right on target. Four of us gave witness for peace and justice at the ranch checkpoint on Prairie Chapel Road, picture above. In a bizarre form of comic relief, we observed a bicycle company van speeding from the compound. Although the wheels are completely off this administration, Bush's bicycle presumably is in good shape. He pedals while Baghdad and the American Constitution and values burn. Two activists also expressed their conscience at the downtown corner in Crawford. They were accompanied by two friends in the local police department.
Thus the constant presence of voices of protest against the crimes of the Bush administration remains intact--whenever Bush returns to Crawford.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rev. Robert Kenji Flowers-Best Friend Forever 2008


The Reverend Robert Kenji Flowers
Best Friend Forever Awardee 2008
Waco Friends of Peace.
Thursday, April 10, 2008.
Robert accepts the plaque from FOP member Alan Northcutt at the monthly film/lecture meeting series. The crowd was standing room only as members and guests honored the 6 year Friends of Peace veteran. Robert will be leaving the Wesley Foundation in June for an assignment at a church in Fort Worth. Several attendees spoke in praise and respect for Robert, who has been a mainstay of the organization for years.
Robert was always available for protests and other actions--willing to speak out against war, torture, and man's inhumanity to man. I personally was inspired as well by his depth of knowledge on religious matters and history in general. Robert is a graduate of the SMU Perkins School of Theology and serves on the Alumni Council 2007-2008. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree recently at the Austin Presbyterian School of Theology.
The Friends of Peace and the Central Texas area will greatly miss Robert's knowledge, kindness, cooking, loyalty, hard work, and courage in the struggle for peace. Fort Worth will be blessed by his presence.
Please add your comments about Robert below.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Crawford Texas Peace House 5th Anniversary


CONGRATULATIONS to the Peace House on its 5th anniversary and celebration March 23rd, 2008. Thanks to Kay, Hadi, Johnie, Skip and all the visionaries who made it possible. The Peace House has become a second home and inspiration for activists around Texas and the world. And the Peace House was the epicenter for the resurgence in public opposition to the Iraq occupation which began in 2005.
CONGRATULATIONS!

CRAWFORD ACTION, March 1, 2008

George Bush returned to the Crawford ranch on March 1, and peace activists again voiced their opposition to his illegal occupation of Iraq and twisted priorities. The visit by Bush was largely not announced thus our group was small. But we had rather speak out in small numbers against torture, than hide in a mansion ranch with hundreds and try to rationalize the authorization of war crimes. Further, a Canadian reporter spoke with us and a report appeared in the Canadian press. http://communities.canada.com/shareit/blogs/theelephant/archive/2008/03/02/as-texas-votes-crawford-prepares-for-its-curtain-call.aspx ( for report and image).
And of course, the streak continues: the peace presence at the checkpoint has happened each time Bush hides out at the ranch.

IRAQ 5th ANNIVERSARY MARCH--Austin, TX.















































The Austin Million Musician's March for Peace on March 15, 2008 commemorated the tragic 5th year of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The march was a tremendous success with several thousand estimated in the crowd. The route was Capital to City Hall, with a concert and speakers at the City Hall grounds. The Crawford Texas Peace House float was rolling again this year with Kay Lucas, able driver Roger, Johnnie Wolfe, and many other friends of the House. Friends of Peace took a vehicle with 7 members who carried the FOP banner, other signs of peace, and rode on the Peace Train. Million thanks to the organizers of this great event, and to all those from the Waco area who supported the effort. The question on every one's mind: will we need to be back in 2009?



















PROGRESSIVE FILM SERIES: April 10, 2008.


TITLE:" for the BIBLE tells me so."
GENRE: Documentary.
DATE: Thursday, April 10.
TIME: Free pizza and community
announcements 6pm, film and
discussion 6:30pm.
VENUE: Poppa Rollo's Pizza meeting
room, 703 N. Valley Mill's, Waco.
CHARGE: All free.
AUDIENCE: All welcome.

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, Dan Karslake's provocative, entertaining documentary brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture, and in the process reveals that Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based solely upon a significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation of the Bible. As the film notes, most Christians live their lives today without feeling obliged to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath or eats shrimp. Through the experience of five very normal, very Christian , very American families - including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson - we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. With commentary by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, For The Bible Tells Me So offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

DVD Release Date: February 2008 (Waco premiere).
Running Time: 98 minutes.
Rating: Not rated. (I saw nothing objectionable for those who would comprehend various
sexual orientations).
Recognitions: 9 Awards in festivals nationwide, incl. official selection Sundance.

"Inspiring!"--Los Angeles Times.
"Enlightening!"--Salt Lake Tribune.
"Entertaining!"--Washington Post.

The topic of homosexuality is seldom addressed openly in Waco, and discrimination and fear is rampant. Thus we present this amazing film
and welcome your discussion. We are honored by your support of this
film series and unique forum in Central Texas.

Monday, March 24, 2008

IRAQ: 5 YEARS TOO MANY. MARCH 19, 2008






















The Waco Friends of Peace staged a protest on the 5th anniversary of the Iraq occupation at the corner of Valley Mills Drive and Waco Drive from 4p.m. until 6p.m. About a dozen activists held a 15 foot banner and individual signs. The traffic was heavy during this rush hour time, and the response by motorists was about 90% positive. We were pleased with the number of protesters present during work hours, and excited by 3 or 4 new individuals who came to express the truth. A young man with imminent shipment to Iraq received counseling about his options.
It was a beautiful day, and everyone there knew it was the right place to be, to express your conscience, at that moment in time.
We also experienced a first on this day. ALL local TV outlets and the Herald-Tribune newspaper covered the story. So all local news reports on the 5th anniversary had voices of continued opposition to this illegal war. We reminded the people of Waco that the war has cost 1 million Iraqi lives, displaced 4.5 million Iraqis, destroyed Iraq's infrastructure and antiquities, killed 4000 Americans, injured tens of thousands, exploded the national debt, and will ultimately cost 3 trillion dollars.
Thanks to all the activists who gave of their time to make an important statement.






Friday, March 14, 2008

McCAIN PROTEST, MARCH 3, 2008


Presidential candidate John McCain held a "town hall meeting" at the HOT fair complex the evening of March 3, one day before he secured the GOP nomination for 2008. We felt strongly compelled to protest his presence: no one embodies the philosophy of constant war and imperialism more than McCain. Recently he stated that he had no problem with the U.S. occupying Iraq for 100 years. He finds bombing the people of Iran a joking matter with his vocal rendition of "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran....." The evening was bitterly cold with a wind chill reading of about 25F. But traffic was slow and heavy and every car entering the event could definitely read our signs and banner. The messages were "McC. = WARMONGER", "vote for peacemakers not warmakers," and "7 years of Bush, haven't had enough?". Thanks to the activists above for anchoring the banner in the fierce wind: Carl, Harrison, and two high school students. It was inspiring to have the two students (Obama supporters) spontaneously join us to express their desire for a change from the policies of war and aggression. To further emphasize the message, Carl made a brief pass through the meeting carrying a sign of opposition. Although McCain may have received a warm greeting from those inside the event, all those in attendance and no doubt McCain himself realized that there are voices of conscience in Waco who reject his imperialist world view.

Monday, March 10, 2008

PROGRESSIVE FILM SERIES FOR MARCH 13.


TITLE: Uncounted: The new math of American elections.
DATE: March 13. Thursday.
TIME: 6p.m. free pizza buffet. community announcements.
6:30 p.m. film and discussion.
SITE: Poppa Rollo's Pizza mtg. room, 703 N. Valley Mills Drive,
Waco.
AUDIENCE: All welcome. informative, no matter what your
political persuasion.
PRICE: Free.
RELEASE DATE: 2007.
RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes.
RATING: unrated. safe for all audiences.
Uncounted is an explosive new documentary that shows how the election fraud that changed the outcome of the 2004 election led to even greater fraud in 2006 and now looms as an unbridled threat to the outcome of the 2008 election. The controversial film by Emmy award winning director David Earnhardt examines in factual, logical, and yet startling terms how easy it is to change election outcomes and undermine election integrity across the U.S. A very timely documentary I'm sure you will learn from and enjoy.
Please come support this peace and justice forum in Central Texas.
Its not who votes that counts, its who counts the votes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

SPECIAL EVENT FEBRUARY 7TH, 7P.M., Poppa Rollo's Pizza.



EPILOGUE: The lecture by Dr. Roberts on February 7th at Poppa Rollo's was a tremendous success. Over 100 people attended, the crowd was standing room only. Many loyal local peace activists were joined by members of the Waco community at large, a large contingent from Baylor University, our friends from the Crawford Peace House and Camp Casey Peace Institute, Vets For Peace members from Austin, and other peacemongers from Dallas and Austin. Thanks to everyone who attended. Special thanks to Kay Lucas, Mary Duty, Gayle, Baylor students, Harrison Ward, Professor Gayle Avant, and all those who worked on this project. Everyone was moved by Dr. Robert's data and personal experiences. We appreciate his time in providing this vital information in Texas (his only stop was Waco). Dr. Roberts also received a positive reception speaking to classes of Professor Avant on February 8th. And I am happy to report that Dr. Roberts, who has lectured extensively about his Lancet study around the country, was happy and satisfied with the crowds and interest here in Waco.
Pictured above at Poppa Rollo's is Dr. Roberts with veteran Waco peace activist Rev. Robert Flowers, and with Mary Duty, owner of Poppa Rollo's whose help was vital in providing the venue for the lecture. No doubt this was the Professor's first taste of pizza in the shape of Texas.



"A Story of Media Spin:
How Americans came to underestimate civilian deaths in Iraq by a factor of 100."

A Presentation by
Les Roberts, PhD, Epidemiologist, Associate Professor, Columbia University.

*Professor Roberts is the lead author of the 2006 Lancet medical journal study which shook the world, revealing 655,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the U.S. occupation.

*His study was the most valid scientific analysis of the human cost of the Iraq War.

*He is an international authority on the computation of deaths in zones of war and other disasters.

Les Roberts has a B.S. degree in physics, a Masters degree in public health from Tulane University, and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins. He did a post-doctorate fellowship in epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he worked for 4 years. In 1994, he worked as an epidemiologist for the World Health Organization in Rwanda during their civil war. Les was Director of Health Policy at the International Rescue Committee from Dec. 2000 until April of 2003. He now is an Associate Professor with the Columbia University Program on Forced Migration and Health. Les had led over 50 surveys in 17 countries, mostly measuring mortality in times of war. He presently lives in Central New York with his wife Mary Grace.

A Waco Friends of Peace Event
Thursday, Feb. 7 - 7 PM
Poppa Rollo’s Pizza/Outback Room (behind, separated by driveway).
703 N. Valley Mills Dr, Waco
Complimentary Pizza
EVERYONE WELCOME.

The Friends of Peace and Waco are honored to have a speaker of the international caliber
of Professor Roberts. His study in Lancet is truly one of the most important and controversial reports in recent years. This will be Dr. Roberts' only speaking engagement in Texas. So please come and support this event, helping to provide a suitable crowd for this renowned scientist. Help show him that Texans DO body counts--that the lives of ALL innocents in the world matter. Your time will be well spent.






Sunday, January 13, 2008

GUANTANAMO 6TH ANNIVERSARY PROTEST







The Waco Friends of Peace sponsored a protest January 10th, one day before the 6th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay prison. The event occurred in front of the Federal Courthouse on Franklin and 8th in Waco. Five FOP activists were dressed in Gitmo garb and held signs "Close Guantanamo" and "Stop Torture." As usual the police attempted to intimidate us and move us across the street. We insisted on our 1st amendment rights on a public sidewalk and stayed there for about 3 hours. We believe Gitmo is a national disgrace because detainees have been held for years without charge or trial (and often without lawyer), children as young as 13 have been held, 55% of detainees have not committed any hostile act against the U.S., habeas corpus has been destroyed, and because illegal torture as occurred. We call for the closure of Gitmo as have the U.N., international human rights groups, and even Colin Powell.
We were honored to have local attorney and elected official, David Schleicher, join us (pictured without hood). We admire and thank David for his courage and conscience, and especially for his willingness to join us and speak out in Waco--at a place where he is very well known.
The Waco-Tribune Herald published a very fair article with photo and we also thank the paper for its interest.
This action was a great success--keeping the abuses of Guantanamo in the public conscience, and demonstrating that speaking out for truth is an acceptable and virtuous action.








BUSH PROTESTS DECEMBER HOLIDAYS 2007







The Holidays always bring Bush to Crawford, and activists are always there to object to his imperial Presidency, endless wars, priorities of business over people, and decimation of the Constitution. The general public is also mostly disgusted by him but seems willing to let his term expire without impeachment. The Democrats have done little to stand up to his distorted priorities. But many of us feel its still up to the grassroots to express that voice of conscience near the source of evil Power.
These are images of some of the actions near the ranch during the Holidays. On Dec. 30, activists from the Crawford Texas Peace House, Camp Casey Peace Institute, Waco Friends of Peace, and others met and discussed the day's plans. Signs expressing opposition to the Iraq occupation were displayed in downtown Crawford and in front of the press corp site (with water tower in background). A march occurred from the Peace House to the press core site. At the ranch checkpoint, women dressed in black and others honored the death of the inspirational Mrs. Bhutto. Other sentiments were "Worst president ever," and "End the War."







































On New Year's Eve the hard core activists braved the cold to be at the checkpoint at midnight. It felt right to express truth to power as 2008 arrived. One sign showed the war criminal's face with the words "impeach" and "2008."
Thanks to everyone from the organizations involved and to all peace workers for their cooperation together and dedication.