CASA CRY APRIL, 2017
Many Catholic Workers, including us, refuse to pay federal taxes. Some say that this is wrong since some of the money goes to help people, but we could be helping a hundred times more people if the tax money was used in the right way. Almost half of the federal taxes ($1,377,000,000) are spent on the military to train our young to fight, maim and kill those deemed “enemies” by the U.S. government. We do not believe this is helping anyone but the military corporations, who lobby Congress and give Senators and Representatives lots of money, long for more wars because they want to sell more and more of their weapons. Military corporations get billions of tax dollars to create the weapons and then taxpayers are to pay billions of dollars for medical care for the injured and disabled as well as the rebuilding of what was destroyed by the weapons. Many of the weapons are confiscated by those whom the military is fighting and are used against the U.S. troops. Weapons are sold to countries known for human rights abuses, such as Saudi Arabia who is still attacking Syria, creating more and more refugees and disabled people. The U.S. military cannot account for $3.5 trillion, and the government says it is impossible to audit the military. We, in conscience, cannot say we are opposed to war, and at the same time pay for it. We cannot condemn weapons while at the same time pay for them. We cannot say we are opposed to waste, pollution and killing, and at the same time pay for more waste, pollution and killing. Those of us who believe in the message of Christ to love our enemies, do good to them and pray for them cannot give assistance to those who ask us to kill our enemies, make their lives miserable and create more havoc and disrespect in the world. We do not want our money to go toward building a trillion dollar wall to keep others from enjoying what we have. We want our money to go to help those who lack the basics of life, like the refugees and victims of natural and unnatural disasters. The U.S. gives less than 1% of its budget on foreign aid, and President Trump wants to pay even less than that now. Plus, 75% of foreign aid goes to Israel and Egypt alone, 2 countries who do not do well observing human rights. If tax money was used for life-giving projects, the world would be a much better place in which to live. However, so much of the taxes go toward creating terrorism and destroying human rights around the world. We have yet to learn that peace can only come through love, not weapons. When you pay for violence you will get violence. Rather than giving your money to the military, give it to the many groups who are working for the betterment of the world. Yes, you may be punished for doing this, but at least you will be doing what God wants. Christ was punished for doing good. Can we expect anything less? -----Don Timmerman
The U.S. is cutting funding for the U.N., the E.P.A., education, etc. to feed the Pentagon $54 Billion more for war.” ---Code Pink
“What would you do if someone came to your door with a cup in hand asking for a contribution to help buy guns to kill a group of people they didn't like?” — Wally Nelson
To explore this forms of conscientious objection, please contact the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee at www.nwtrcc.org or (800) 269-7464 – for information, literature, counseling and guidance.
President Trump says he was treated unfairly by the writers of the U.S. Constitution. ---New York Timers
I was about to do some spring cleaning, but then I realized this book is not going to read itself. I feel I should clean the house, but I’ll read until that feeling passes.
What is President Trump’s favorite dog? The Border Collie! A man with a gun walks in to a bar. He takes out the weapon and waves it in the air, shouting, "I have a 45 caliber Colt 1911 with 7 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, and I want to know who's been sleeping with my wife!" A voice from the back shouts, "you're gonna need more ammo!
Police Captain: I have one final question, before we give you your badge. Recruit: Yes, sir? Police Captain: What would you do if you were required to arrest your own mother? Recruit: Call for backup, sir!
When I die, I want to go out peacefully, in my sleep, just like my dear old Grandpa. Not screaming hysterically like the three other people riding in his car with him. How do you get a squirrel down from a tree? Stand on the ground and act like a nut.
Blood stains on clothes are removed with a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and wiping off the blood stain. (Now, what to do with the body?) Imagine that awkward moment when the guy who discovered milk had to explain to the village what he was doing to the cow. Doctor: “Try and stay calm, Sir. There’s no use in both of us panicking.”
Presidential campaigns magnify the cries for more military spending. Candidates ignore the facts and declare “the U.S. is weak on defense. Trillions of dollars and endless war have bought a steady growth in terrorism over the last decade, with the highest number of deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, countries the U.S. was “helping. Fifty million refugees or internally displaced people are due to these armed conflicts, the most since World War II. A hundred million barrels of oil per year burned by U.S. military equipment releasing millions of tons of pollutants. Major human rights violations occurred, including detention without trial, torture, expanded U.S. government surveillance, and racial profiling. ----FCNL The U.S. is planning to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years on nuclear weapons.
One in four refugee children from Syria, around 2.5 million, are on the brink of developing a mental health disorder. Some 13.5 million people remain in need of aid in Syria, and almost half of these are children. ---- UNICEF
President Trump is now allowing 500,000 people, who just days ago were prohibited purchasers, to buy guns. We’re talking about fugitives and people with mental illness who may be a threat to themselves and/or others. ---WAVE
Gallons of diesel fuel that leaked from an Iowa pipeline 1 day after Trump pledged to build 2 new pipelines: 46,830.
Twice as many Americans work in the solar industry than work in fossil fuels.
Percentage by which the average amount of gun violence in popular PG-13 movies exceeds that in popular R movies: 23
Number of Americans aged 50 or older who have outstanding student loans: 2,800,000. Portion of those borrowers who have taken on debt to pay for a child or grandchild’s education: ¾.
Percentage change since 2010 in the number of firearm silencers registered in the U.S.: +217 Number of golf courses worldwide operated by the U.S. military: 170. Number of suicides committed by U.S. veterans each day, 8000 per year -----Harper’s Index
The Pentagon employs 3 million people with taxpayer money and owns 70% of federal government’s $1.8 trillion in property, land and equipment. The Army uses more than twice as much building space as all the offices in New York City. The Veteran’s Administration serves 9,6 million wounded or ailing veterans. It is the largest free healthcare service in the U.S. Economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes estimate that the wars’ overall costs will top $4 trillion. Military planes cost $32,6 billion, The F-35 military plane has 1,400 suppliers in 48 states. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive, and possibly the most error ridden, project in the history of the United States military. But DOD has sunk so much money into the F-35 — which is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over the 55-year life of the program -- that the Pentagon deemed it "too big to fail" in 2010.(CNBC) Lockheed Martin gave money to 425 members of Congress in 2012 and has spent $159 million on lobbying since 2000. ---Mother Jones
The U.S. military has 800 or more bases in the world and numerous missile silos containing nuclear weapons which, if ever used, could possibly mean the annihilation of the world population. U.S. taxpayers already spent $4 trillion on making, maintaining and serving the missile silos. ---NukeWatch
There are still 174 US “base sites” in Germany, 113 in Japan, and 83 in South Korea. Hundreds more exist in around 80 countries, including Aruba and Australia, Bahrain and Bulgaria, Colombia, Kenya, and Qatar, and other places. The U.S. currently has 5,113 atomic warheads deployed in silos, bombers, and submarines, mostly in the continental US. That doesn't include thousands of "zombies" being kept in reserve and a backlog of more than 3,000 warheads awaiting dismantlement. The cost of manning and maintaining these each year is over $150 billion. ---The Nation
The U.S. military does not prevent wars. No one really wins in war. ----Dispatch.com 3/18/16
NOTES FROM 21ST STREET: We were in Minneapolis for our trial. Don & I, along with other Midwest Catholic Workers, were arrested last April for blocking the light rail and busses going to Target Stadium for the season opener of the Twins. We were informed and assisted by Black Lives Matter. Jamar Clark, a young unarmed black man, had been shot by the police, and no indictment was issued to the officer who pulled the trigger. The Black Lives Matter movement had been very active in the streets getting arrested and drawing attention to the problem of racism in police actions. We were to draw attention to the fact that the white population cannot remain silent but must speak out and demand justice for Jamar Clark and other black people who have been killed by police. The judge ruled that all 25 Catholic Workers could not be tried all together. Thus, Don and I had a jury trial on March 20. There were pictures of Don and me standing in front of a bus. I used the necessity defense. You do not charge someone with trespassing for breaking into a burning building to rescue someone. I believe it is the same issue when unarmed black people are shot and killed by police with impunity. It was hard for the jury to find us not guilty. We must peacefully and nonviolently do what we can to draw attention to and stop this from happening again. The prosecutor told the jury that no one should be above the law. I agree, but I also believe that laws should be broken in order to bring about justice, as Christ and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others did who were committed to nonviolence. Peace, Roberta
TUES., APRIL 4 ---NO MORE GUNS VIGIL FROM NOON TO 1 P.M. to stop the proliferation of guns. About 40% of all U.S. guns are sold through private sellers with no required background checks. Those who use guns get their guns ultimately from those who bought guns at a gun show, gun shop or online. The more guns there are the more the possibility of more murders with guns.
THURS., APRIL 6 ---PRAYER VIGIL AT ICE FROM NOON TO 1 P.M. at Knapp & Broadway Sts., to stop the separation of families, to release refugees in detention and stop the harassment of those wishing to come to our country. NO MORE WALLS!
TUES., APRIL 11 ---VIGIL AT ROTC AT MARQUETTE U., 15th & Wisconsin Ave., from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. calling for the closing of military training on a Christian campus. A Christian institution must begin to teach Christ’s message of loving one’s enemies if there is ever to be peace in the world. Did Christ die for nothing? Money for education, not training for war.
SUNDAY, APRIL 16 ---RESURRECTON OF CHRIST! ALLELUYA! May we all rise to living better lives by loving all people.
SAT., APRIL 15 ----TAX DAY VIGIL AND ACTION at the military base on 51st & Silver Spring Dr. from Noon to 1 p.m. No more training our young to fight and harming their neighbors and contributing to the violence, bloodshed and misery in the world. Move the money from bullets to bread!
SAT., APRIL 29 ---CLIMATE CHANGE MARCH. Please call Julie for details at 414-964-9478.
Needs: We need someone to help us with the baby and children’s give away room every Monday and Wesnesday mornings. Thank you for your kind attention.
Have a great celebration of Christ’s rising above hatred, enmity and retaliation and giving us the secret for true happiness….returning good for evil. Let us rejoice.
Confederacia in New Orleans
Racism rears its ugly head in various ways across the United States. The Catholic Worker community in New Orleans confronts historical tributes to racism that have taken the form of statues. The New Orleans City Council recently voted to remove four statues, three commemorating Confederate soldiers and one commemorating a post-Civil War insurrection by a local White League to take control of the Louisiana state government in 1874. This White League controlled the state capital for three days before Federal troops dispersed them. When these White Leaguers came to power in 1891 after the end of Reconstruction (in which the federal government ensured the rights of blacks) they passed laws curtailing the voting rights of African Americans. Currently, the fate of the statues is being decided by the courts, as a number of groups are trying to prevent their removal. Below is a poem that ponders the present situation in New Orleans by Henri André, a friend of the New Orleans Catholic Worker.
Confederacia by Henri André Fourroux II
Those statues convinced certain murderers to murder African-Americans.
Flag wavers wrapped in flags like togas longed still to win.
The lynchers lynched the people with guns, rifles and badges.
The council tore down those statues to stop black people from bleeding when they wandered in the trajectories of the bullets.
Some whites whined dispossessed They lamented their lost privilege They accused the council
The council unveiled in the circle to the metropole: an angry big fat ugly armless, Statue named Confederacia,
fat ugly armless statues.
You may catch sight of a crow that lights on Confederacia’s head
in the street and tears at roadkill or squashed strange fruit.
Henri Andre Fourroux III Copyright@2016 Printed with permission
For background on historic statue http://www.commondreams.org/news/2
I can’t believe I forgot to go to the gym today. That’s 7 years in a row. After many years of studying at a university, I’ve finally become a PhD…or a Pizza Hut Deliveryman, as people call it. Last night a Chinese man came to my favorite bar. I asked him if he knew how to fight Kung Fu. He said, “Why do you ask me that? Is it because I am Chinese?” “No it’s because you’re drinking MY beer!” Dentist: “You need a crown.” Patient: “Finally someone who understands me.”
They threw me out at the cinema today for bringing my own food. But come on, the prices are way too high, plus I haven’t had a barbecue in months! One state official to another: “I don’t know what people have against us. We haven’t done anything!” ”We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” ---Aesop
Did you hear about the New Age Catholic Church? They've got an organic gluten-free Communion wafer called I Can't Believe it's not Jesus! What is Donald Trump's favorite dog? The Border Collie. Did you hear about the Norwegian who almost got rich in the skin care business? He created Oil of Ole! What do you call a dead spruce, pine or hemlock? A nevergreen. I was worried but I feel much better now. My IQ test results were negative.
What do you call a blonde skeleton in a closet? The winner of last year's hide-and-seek contest. i asked for a smart phone. They said, "No, that's only for smart people!"
Every day 7 children and teens die from gun violence. Every month 50 women lose their lives from domestic abusers with guns. Every year 33,000 people are killed with guns. Today 1.7 million children live in homes where guns are unlocked and loaded. In all of Europe there were only 67,000 gun related deaths. ---Associated Press
Although diplomatic relations have been restored and some US travel restrictions have been relaxed, the bulk of the blockade legislation on Cuba still remains in place. The blockade is still costing the island $4.7 billion annually and more that than $125.873 billion since it began 55 years ago-----Cuba Solidarity Campaign 2/15/17
Mississippi lawmakers are advancing a proposal to add firing squad, electrocution and gas chamber as execution methods in case a court blocks the use of lethal injection drugs."
In 2005, 500 Mexican soldiers came from the border to the U.S. to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina delivering 184,000 tons of food and supplies. They also delivered 7,000 meals, and they provided medical help. All the Mexican soldiers returned to Mexico in 20 days. ----Associated Press
The energy company behind the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has reported hundreds of thousands of gallons of spills from pipelines between 2015 and 2016. Energy Transfer Partners and its subsidiary Sunoco have filed 69 accidents over the past two years. ---EcoWatch, 2/15/17
Heavily armed white guys take over a federal facility for 41 days. They were acquitted. Unarmed native Americans defend their own land from corporate destruction were maced, beaten, arrested, kept in dog kennels, charged with trespassing and rioting. Where is justice here?
Salary of retired U.S. presidents: $180,000 for life. Salary of House/Senate members: $174,000 for life. Salary for Speaker of the House: $223,500 for life. Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders: $193,400 for life. Average Salary of a teacher: $40,065. Average salary of a soldier: $38,000 plus benefits of housing, food, health and education Salary of a Catholic Worker: $0 for life!
In Bolivia, a state of emergency over drought conditions has now been in place for over 100 days. Scientists say the drought is fueled by the retreat of Bolivian glaciers as a result of global warming. ----Democracy Now, 2/15/17
United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, is warning as many as 1.4 million children could die this year from famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
In 2014, law enforcement officers took more property from Americans—$4.5 billion—than burglars did. --- AlterNet, 2/15/17
Israel arrested 6,440 Palestinians in 2016, among them 1,332 children, including girls, and 164 women. At the end of 2016, 7,000 Palestinians were in Israeli prisons, 300 were children.---- Palestinian and Jewish Unity, 2/3/17
Percentage of U.S. apartments under construction that are unaffordable for those making less than $75,000 a year : 83 Percentage change since 2006 in the number of U.S. cities that have banned living in vehicles : +143
Portion of Americans aged 18 to 34 who live with their parents or other family members : 2/5. Estimated portion of Americans born in 1980 who will go on to earn more than their parents did : 1/2 Of those born in 1940 who did : 9/10 ---Harper’s Index
The Pentagon has admitted that U.S. warplanes fired depleted uranium munitions during air raids in Syria, despite a vow not to use the toxic and radioactive weapons in the battlefield Thousands of children were born deformed due to this.---Democracy Now, 2/17/17
Little Caesars founder Mike Ilitch paid the rent of civil rights icon Rosa Parks for 11 years.---Salon, 2/16/17
WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO IS WILLING TO WORK IN THE BABY AND CHILDREN CLOTHING SHED ON MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY MORNINGS. WE ARE ALSO IN NEED OF A DRIVER FOR DOING PICK UPS WITH OUR FLATBED TRUCK. PLEASE CALL US AT 414-342-0158 OR 414-344-5745. Thanks so much!
SAT., MARCH 4 ----MARCH AGAINST PIPELINE EXPANSION starting at UW-Whitewater University Center, at 2 p.m.
WEDS., MARCH 8 ----INERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY RALLY, 5 p.m. at Federal Courthouse, 517 E. Wisconsin Ave.
THURS., MARCH 9----PRAYER VIGIL AT ICE, Knapp & Broadway, starting at Noon. We pray that no one is denied a place in the U.S. and those who have been detained or deported will be reunited with their families.
SAT., MARCH 4 -----STAND FOR PEACE at intersection of North Ave. & 92nd St. from Noon to 1 p.m. Fly kites, not drones
SAT., MARCH 11----STAND FOR PEACE at 16th St. & Wisconsin Ave. from Noon to 1 p.m. We will be making anti-nuke signs after this action. Please join us!
TUES., MARCH 14-----NO MORE GUNS! VIGIL at Noon to 1 p.m. at Brew City Shooters’ Supply, 43rd & Lincoln. Owning a gun means that you are willing to shoot another person. The more guns out there the more shootings will occur.
MONDAY, MARCH 20 at 8:30 a.m.-----TRIAL for Roberta and Don, who took part in a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Minneapolis MN crying out for an end to the police killing of African Americans in the cities. They joined 22 other Catholic Workers and were charged with trespassing and blocking traffic.
TUES., MARCH 28 ----CLOSE R.O.T.C. AT MARQUETTE U. VIGIL FROM 11:45 A.M. TO 1 P.M. AT 15TH ST. & WISCONSIN AVE. No Christian institution should be teaching violence contrary to the command of Christ to love, not kill, our enemies; and do good, not harm, to those who harm us.
NOTES FROM 21ST STREET: We have many ethnic festivals at the Summerfest grounds at our lakefront. People flock to hear the music, taste the food, and purchase items made by another culture. The richness of another culture delights most people. Why then do we fear someone other than people like ourselves to be our neighbor? In an age of distrust and persecution of people of other cultures we must keep speaking to the beauty and strength those cultures lend to our society. I believe we are richer, not poorer, when we allow people to come to our country. I close with a line from a Bob Marley song; “One Love, One Heart, Let’s Get Together, and Feel Alright.” Peace, Roberta