PDA in July and August
Summer break in July and Picnic in the Park August 24, 2019. Details coming soon.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR RIGHT AS A CITIZEN
Would you like to join PDACNM for some citizen advocacy with the staff of your US senator or representative? Every month PDACNM sits down with these friendly folks to express concerns, show support, share information and create lasting relationships. We bring a letter each month from PDA national asking for support for specific legislation or to express our thanks for their support. These letters are delivered by PDA chapters throughout the country. We welcome your participation. Let us know if you can join us. Lisa Franzen at email@example.com, Laura Stokes at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paul Stokes at email@example.com.
Paul Stokes, former member of the 18-Nation Disarmament Conference
The Union of Concerned Scientists has asked its members to urge their senators to stop the development of a low-yield nuclear warhead that would be deployed on Sea-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) in our submarine fleet.
The W76-2 is a low-yield version of the W76 nuclear warhead carried on SLBMs. It has been reported in the press as being considered more usable by the Trump administration because of its low yield – 6.5 kilotons.
I am disappointed that NNSA and the nuclear weapons labs (Sandia and probably Los Alamos) agreed to undertake this project. There was a time when the establishment of the nuclear weapons program in the AEC (now DOE/NNSA) and not in the Department of Defense was considered to provide some push-back on the zeal of the Defense Department to develop weapons that would increase its war-fighting capability when that capability also increased the likelihood of nuclear war. That idealism may be totally absent today.
Many decades ago, when I was a young member of the US delegation to what was then known as the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva, the Conference had become aware of the development of what were then called mini-nukes, and were worried that they would be considered more usable because of their low yields, thereby lowering the threshold for nuclear war. I wrote a short speech for the US Ambassador, assuring the Conference that US policy on the use of nuclear weapons was the same for any yield of the weapons. (I don’t remember what levels of authority I had to go through to get approval for that position.)
Today, US policy is apparently different, at least as reported in the media. Now, it seems that President Trump does, indeed, want these low yield weapons because they are more usable.
The firebreak representing the policy difference regarding the use of conventional and nuclear weapons has, thankfully, held since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would be tragic if the firebreak were weakened.
Last week, The House Armed Services Committee voted to delete language from the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act for the development of the W-76-2, the low-yield weapon for deployment on SLBMs. But it may come up again in the Senate or the Senate/House Conference Committee.Senator Heinrich sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which could stop the development of this weapon. Senator Udall sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee which might have jurisdiction. Let them know that you are opposed to the development of the W76-2, a low-yield nuclear weapon, because it would increase the likelihood of nuclear war.
“Green groups echoed Stokes’ concerns about the substance of Biden’s plan prior to accusations that parts of the proposal were lifted straight from industry-friendly organizations.
“‘This plan cannot be considered a serious proposal to tackle climate change,” Hauter said. ‘Biden’s focus on ‘net zero’ emissions, carbon capture programs, and vague pollution pricing schemes all point to one outcome: a society continuing to be dominated by fossil fuels, and a future of irrevocable climate chaos’ ” Read article here.
By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, June 5, 2019
“209 economists have signed a public statement (here) supporting Medicare for All
. The letter calls the current health care system “exorbitant and wasteful” and asserts that ‘the time is now to create a universal, single-payer, Medicare for All health care system in the United States.'”
“‘This letter illustrates how Medicare for All is really a win-win,’ says Cathy Albisa, Executive Director of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. ‘It would lower the nation’s health care costs over time while guaranteeing everyone the care they need and financial security. The only real losers are the big health care companies profiting off of our sickness and health.'”
Read article here.
Discusses his efforts to enact a sweeping package of reforms that will fight corruption, fix our broken politics, and make government work for all Americans.
Senator Udall, NM Rep. Linda Trujillo; NM Rep. Moe Maestas; Paul Stokes, PDACNM; Max Feldman, Counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice; Judy Williams, President NM League of Women Voters; Laurie Weahkee; Exec. Dir. Native American Voters Alliance.
“The For the People Act is a sweeping package of pro-democracy reforms that aims to make it easier, not harder, to vote; end the dominance of big money in politics; and ensure that public officials work for the public interest. The bill serves as Senate companion legislation to H.R. 1 in the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed the House in March of this year. It builds off of Udall’s We the People Democracy Reform Act of 2017, which was introduced in the 115th Congress as a comprehensive reform package encompassing a number of bills championed by Udall and others to address various shortcomings in our political system, and strengthen and revitalize our democracy.” Press Release May 11
PDACNM applauds the Senator for taking bold steps to save our Democracy when it would be easy for him to sit back and relax now that he is no longer a candidate. Instead, he is motivated to do the people’s work as energetically as ever. Let’s support and promote this very important and comprehensive bill.