Meeting to Discuss the SURVIVE Act

One of the goals of the First Nation-Climate Unity March that occurred during the first week of September was to make it possible for a group of Native and non-native people to get to know each other so we can work together on issues of common interest.

We will be meeting in Senator Grassley’s Des Moines office Tuesday, November 20, 2018, at 11:00 am. to talk about the SURVIVE Act. The office address is 210 Walnut St Rm 721, Des Moines, IA 50309. You are welcome to attend. Christine Nobiss, who was on the March, and is founder of Indigenous Iowa, will be leading the discussion.

Below are some resources to help prepare for this meeting.

Use this link to send a letter to your members of Congress, asking them to support the SURVIVE Act.

Washington, DC (July 30, 2018) – The Quaker lobby, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) called on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (H.R. 6545). Led by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), the bill seeks to expand protections to women victims of violence.

Contact: Adlai Amor, Friends Committee on National Legislation,; 202-903-2536

“The Violence Against Women Act is particularly significant to Native women and girls across the nation,” said Diane Randall, Executive Secretary for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. “We welcome this initiative and urge the House to swiftly reauthorize H.R. 6545.”

Native women experience violent crimes at disproportionately higher rates than other women in the United States. While the federal government has jurisdiction in Indian Country, it lacks the resources to effectively prosecute crimes. Non-Native offenders regularly avoid prosecution for sexual assault and domestic violence.

With over 100 cosponsors among House Democrats, the bill will improve tribal access to federal crime information and standardize protocols for responding to cases of missing and murdered Native peoples. The current bill expires on Sept. 30, 2018.

The bill also extends tribal jurisdiction to include sexual violence, sex trafficking, stalking, child violence and violence against tribal law enforcement attempting to execute these provisions.

“If passed, the bill will be a huge win for Indian country, as more than half of American Indian and Alaska Native women experience sexual violence in their lifetime,” said Lacina Tangnaqudo Onco (Shinnecock/Kiowa), FCNL’s Advocate for Native American Policy. “Safety from violent crimes should not be a privilege but for too long, many Native women have gone unprotected by the law.”

In addition to advocating for the Violence Against Women Act, FCNL has also been a strong advocate for a bill to address the crisis of missing and murdered Native women. If passed, Savanna’s Act (S.1942/H.R.4485) will create a standard protocol for law enforcement and expands tribal access to criminal databases.

FCNL has also been a strong advocate for the SURVIVE Act (S.1870/H.R.4443) which authorizes a permanent five percent tribal set-aside in the Crime Victims Fund.

October 15, 2018

Dear Mr. Kisling:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me to express your support for a tribal set-aside within the Crime Victims Fund. As your senator, it is important that I hear from you.

I was an original cosponsor of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which established the Crime Victims Fund. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’ve also called on congressional appropriations leaders to provide an appropriate funding stream for Tribes under VOCA.  As stated in a letter I initiated to the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this year, “individuals on Tribal lands experience high rates of domestic and sexual violence, and resources from the Crime Victims Fund are critical in addressing” these victims’ needs.  This letter was cosigned by several dozen of my Senate colleagues.

In June, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill for the coming fiscal year, S. 3072, that would make significant resources available for tribes, including a 5 percent set-aside within the Crime Victims Fund.  This legislation further directs the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) at the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) to “consult closely with tribal stakeholders to improve services for tribal victims of crime to include expanded purpose areas described in the OVC final rule effective August 8, 2016.”   

If enacted, the fiscal year 2019 spending bill that Senate appropriations leaders approved also would make $91 million in competitive grant funds available for tribes as follows:  $50 million within DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs to help tribes improve the capacity of their criminal and civil justice systems; $7 million for a tribal youth program within DOJ’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; $27 million for tribal resources and $3 million for a Tribal Access Program within the COPS Office at DOJ; and $4 million for a special domestic criminal jurisdiction program within DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women.

I hope you find this information helpful. Your involvement in this issue is important, and I encourage you to keep in touch.


Chuck Grassley
United States Senate  

FCNL Survive Act fact sheet

According to federal data, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities face some of the highest victimization rates in the country. Unfortunately, less than 0.7% of the Crime Victim’s Fund (CVF) established by the Victims of Crime Act reaches Indian tribes. This important funding provides victim services including crisis intervention, emergency shelter, medical costs, and counseling.

Currently, VOCA does not incorporate tribal governments for victim assistance and victim compensation formula grant programs. If we want to tackle the unacceptable disparities facing these communities, we need to make sure victims have equitable access to the critical resources VOCA funds support.

That is why I have introduced the bipartisan Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act. This bill would create a tribal grant program within the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and require a 5% allocation from the CVF be provided to Indian tribes. It would expand the use of CVF funds for domestic violence shelters, medical care, counseling, legal assistance and services, and child and elder abuse programs to enable tribes to deliver critical services to their communities.  

Tom O’Halleran, Member of Congress

“Since 1976, FCNL’s Native American advocacy program has worked to restore and improve U.S. relations with Native nations so that our country honors the promises made in hundreds of treaties with these groups. FCNL provides information to Congressional offices and to national faith groups about the continuing struggles of Native people and advocates in support the resilient and inventive solutions proposed by tribal governments and Native American organizations.

This work takes us into all of the issue areas encountered by any government: land and borders; environment, energy, and natural resources; economic development; care for the safety and well-being of tribal citizens; and investment in the future through health and education.” Witnessing in Solidarity with the First Americans

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The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf’

I’ve been talking about climate change for so many years, most people are so tired of hearing it, they don’t pay attention anymore.

There was once a young Shepherd Boy who tended his sheep at the foot of a mountain near a dark forest. It was rather lonely for him all day, so he thought upon a plan by which he could get a little company and some excitement. He rushed down towards the village calling out “Wolf, Wolf,” and the villagers came out to meet him, and some of them stopped with him for a considerable time. This pleased the boy so much that a few days afterwards he tried the same trick, and again the villagers came to his help. But shortly after this a Wolf actually did come out from the forest, and began to worry the sheep, and the boy of course cried out “Wolf, Wolf,” still louder than before. But this time the villagers, who had been fooled twice before, thought the boy was again deceiving them, and nobody stirred to come to his help. So the Wolf made a good meal off the boy’s flock, and when the boy complained, the wise man of the village said:  “A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.”

Aesop, . (1867). “The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf’”. Aesop’s Fables (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved November 16, 2018, from

The difference is those who have been warning about the dangers of our environmental destruction were not lying. 

I feel so badly for those who have suffered from the ferocious wildfires in California. And I hope the mudslides that might happen now that there isn’t brush to hold back the water don’t occur. 

And yesterday record setting snowstorms are yet another result of environmental damage. Although it seems counter-intuitive to associate snow with global warming, that is the case. As the air, land and water temperatures rise, drought occurs by the increased evaporation of water. Also, more intense precipitation, in either torrential rains or heavy snowfall results from the air that holds more water.

This time there really is a “wolf” and it won’t be going away. Will this be enough to get people to acknowledge our environmental chaos, and work to change their lives? To stop burning fossil fuel? To protect our land, air and water? 

Posted in #NDAPL, bicycles, climate change, climate refugees, First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March, Indigenous, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Savanna’s Act

Now that Savanna’s Act has passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, I hope you will contact you senators to ask them to vote for the bill.

Senator Heitkamp added FCNL’s written testimony into the record Sen. Heitkamp mentions Friends Committee on National Legislation“The Quakers” : at 48:22.

The website of Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) can help you get such a letter to your senators. Using the link below you can create your own letter, and it will be sent to your senators. For example, this is what I wrote:
Now that S.1942 Savanna’s Act has been passed out of committee, I hope you will support this bill related to the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women.

From the Friends Committee on National Legislation:

FCNL submitted written testimony supporting S.1942 Savanna’s Act prior to markup on November 14, 2018. Savanna’s Act was then passed with unanimous support of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Here’s what we wrote.

FCNL Statement to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Pertaining to The Business Meeting to Consider S. 1942 “Savanna’s Act.” Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation urges members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to support Savanna’s Act (S. 1942) and its effort to address the crisis of Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation is a Quaker lobby in the public interest. We have lobbied on Native American concerns since the 1950s. We lead an interfaith coalition that examines and improves the historic relationship between tribes and faith groups and speaks out on current concerns for tribes.

On some reservations, Native women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average. More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime. This high prevalence of violence contributes to a crisis that is not widely acknowledged outside of Indian Country, that is the crisis of Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.

S.1942 “Savanna’s Act” is named in honor of Savanna LaFontaine Greywind, a young Native woman who went missing and was found brutally murdered. Her story is one of few cases of violence to make the national spotlight. Her story is tragic and heartbreaking, and it saddens us to say that this level of violence is not uncommon among Native communities.

Savanna’s Act addresses two of the most perplexing conundrums afflicting tribal criminal justice – coordination among jurisdictions and agencies and access to databases. When a sister, a daughter, an aunt or a cousin has gone missing and is in danger of trafficking, rape, and murder, there is no time to deal with bureaucratic barriers. These are moments of crisis – plans must already be in place for rapid intervention and, hopefully, the prevention of further harm. Time is of the essence in missing cases, delays in response affect the safety of the victim and the ability to receive justice in the courts. We must create a pathway in which Tribal, Federal, and State law enforcement can work together to effectively respond to missing cases. Increased coordination between law enforcement agencies along with improved data collection will help with tracking missing Native cases.

While the anecdotes of missing Native women and girls are shared within Indian Country, hard statistical information on how many cases there are nationwide is difficult to find as this information is not tracked in national databases. Savanna’s Act will improve this data collection by calling for criminal databases such as the National Crime Information Center database; to collect tribal enrollment or affiliation information of missing victims. This bill also calls for tribal consultation to improve tribal access to criminal databases relevant to missing and murdered Native cases. We are encouraged to see that these consultation requirements are included as tribes should always be involved in the decision-making process.

We urge the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to recognize the efforts of advocates to bring this crisis of Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls into the light. Congress must move this legislation forward to protect the safety of Native communities.


Lacina Tangnaqudo Onco Congressional Advocate on Native American Policy Friends Committee on National Legislation

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Solar Thermal Fuel

It is critical to dramatically reduce fossil fuel use if there is to be any hope of avoiding runaway global heating. There have been advances in wind and solar energy technologies and rapidly increasing installations of solar panels and wind turbines.

One area that has needed to be developed are ways to store thermal energy. Scientists in Sweden have developed solar thermal fuel to efficiently store solar energy for years. 

“A solar thermal fuel is like a rechargeable battery, but instead of electricity, you put sunlight in and get heat out, triggered on demand,” says Jeffrey Grossman, who leads a lab at MIT that works on such materials.

Around a year ago, the research team presented a molecule that was capable of storing solar energy. The molecule, made from carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, has the unique property that when it is hit by sunlight, it is transformed into an energy-rich isomer – a molecule which consists of the same atoms, but bound together in a different way.  This isomer can then be stored for use when that energy is later needed – for example, at night or in winter. It is in a liquid form and is adapted for use in a solar energy system, which the researchers have named MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage). In just the last year, the research team have made great advances in the development of MOST.

As the diagram above shows, using the catalyst to release the heat could be used for domestic heating systems.

  1. Removing the need for toluene to be mixed with the molecule. Liquid Norbornadiene Photoswitches for Solar Energy Storage in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.
  2. Increasing energy density and storage times. Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage in photoswitch oligomers increases energy densities and storage times in the journal Nature Communications.
  3. Achieving energy storage of up to 18 years. Norbornadiene-based photoswitches with exceptional combination of solar spectrum match and long-term energy storage in Chemistry: A European Journal.
  4. New record in how efficiently heating can be done. The liquid can increase 63 degrees Celsius in temperature. Macroscopic Heat Release in a Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage System in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.
Posted in climate change, renewable energy | 1 Comment

Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim

I am glad to have gotten to spend some time with Ed Fallon since I returned to Iowa last year. I went to Minneapolis last February on a trip he organized to take a group of water protectors to demonstrate in front of the US Bank headquarters. September 1 – 8, this year I joined the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March that he, Bold Iowa, and Indigenous Iowa, organized. Following is information about Ed’s book, Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim:

Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim is Ed Fallon’s memoir from the 2014 Great March for Climate Action. On the 3,100-mile, 8-month walk from LA to DC, marchers became a mobile village — weathering harsh conditions, sharing joys and sorrows, and intensifying their commitment to the cause as they sounded the alarm about climate change.

Through humor and candid introspection, Ed shares his experience on the March and how it brought into focus his lifelong search for love and meaning — even as intense, interpersonal dramas threatened to tear the March community apart.

Purchase both hardcover and paperback books here.

Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim will also soon be available as an audio book and through Kindle. All proceeds go to Climate March, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization continuing the work of the Great March for Climate Action.

Attend the book launch on Sunday, December 2, 2018, 2:00-4:00 p.m. at 500 E Locust Street (third floor) in Des Moines. We’ll have beverages and light homemade snacks to share. Thanks to Downtown Disciples for providing the space.

water protectors
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California Fires and Apathy

Note from Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa: The denial of the forest fire-climate change link is incredible, not just by Trump but by the mainstream press. Discussing it on my program today, FYI. 11:00 on my website:

There aren’t words to describe the ongoing tragedy of yet another cycle of fierce fires in the western United States.  I don’t know how to deal with the rage I feel,  knowing this could have been avoided if we had been responsible about caring for our environment decades ago. Yes, we have learned much more about factors that affect our environment and climate. But even as a high school student in the 1960’s it was easy to see the environmental damage that was occurring from automobile emissions.

Simply designing walkable cities with mass transportation systems would have gone a long way to have significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions that have occurred since then.

Why didn’t we stop doing so many things we knew were destroying our environment? Why do we continue to do them today? Will we ever stop?

The best answer I’ve found is from environmentalist Gus Speth:

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.

To have any chance of even beginning to deal with our evolving environmental chaos, we have to identify the causative factors, “selfishness, greed and apathy.”

It feels like selfishness, greed, and apathy are on the rise. And unfortunately, when we look for help by spiritual transformation, we instead find certain church organizations have chosen to embrace political tribalism instead.

But the fires burning in California now are making it more difficult to be apathetic. Thousands of homes have been burned. Hundreds of thousands of people have, at least temporarily, become climate refugees, adding to those from storms in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. How much of these devastated communities will ever be rebuilt? These violent storms and fires are not one time events, but will increasingly occur as environmental conditions continue to deteriorate.

Often the thing that causes change to begin is when we are personally affected. Even if you haven’t experienced these storms or fires, as increasing numbers of people do, their families and friends are impacted, too. I’ve heard from family and friends who have had these experiences, and I would guess many of you have as well.

The choice is clear now. From now on, do we live lives of selfishness, greed and apathy, or do we embrace loving our neighbors as ourselves? There are a number of practical things that can be done. But the first thing we each need to do is take off our cultural blinders, really look beyond the status quo and make the choice of how we will live from this point on.

“The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.”  Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place.



Posted in climate change, climate refugees, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

War and Peace

Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2018

Military holidays bring attention to perennial questions about peace, how to deal with conflict, and attempted justifications for war.

It is an awesome commitment for someone to give years of their life to the service of their country. To be willing to risk, and sometimes lose their very life to, as they believe, protect their family, community and country.

It is often awkward for those of us who disagree that fighting is the way to resolve conflicts between nations without offending those who have sacrificed so much from war.

But I, as a Quaker, don’t believe war is the right way to work to achieve peace. I believe there is that of God in every person, so it could never be right to kill a child of God. One of the two greatest commandments is to love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Believing every person is my neighbor means I should love every person of every country and every culture.

The years of wars, over and over, proves war never achieves lasting peace. The temporary cessation of war is not actually peace when the winner oppresses the loser.

The fundamental principle of nonviolence is the belief there is truth on each side of a conflict. The goal is for each side to learn the truth in the opponent’s position. By both sides changing as they acknowledge these combined truths, everyone moves closer to the truth. The situation deescalates, and everyone moves closer to a lasting peace.

Mahatma Gandhi’s campaign to achieve independence for India from British rule, and Rev Martin Luther King, Jr’s leadership during the civil rights struggles here in the 1960’s are two examples of the success of using nonviolence to resolve conflicts.

More recently the Native American nations that gathered at Standing Rock demonstrated the power of prayer and nonviolence.

In the early 1950’s a group of Quakers left the United States because of the increasing militarism. They settled in Monteverde, Costa Rica, a country that does not have a standing army.

Costa rica no army

The last project that Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Friend Don Laughlin worked on was a collection of stories of Quaker men who refused to cooperate with war and military conscription:  Young Quaker Men Face War and Conscription



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Federal Judge says #NoKXL

Yesterday Federal Judge Brian Morris ruled that TransCanada has not fulfilled the requirements to begin construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and the company cannot do any work on the pipeline construction until it adequately completes the State Department’s  supplement to the 2014 Shared Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) in order to comply with its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This vacates the 2017 decision by the Republican President to approve the pipeline permit.

Specifically, Judge Morris ruled that the following issues have not been adequately considered:

The effects of current oil prices on the viability of Keystone
The cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions from the Alberta Clipper expansion and Keystone
An updated modeling of potential oil spills and recommended mitigation measures

Northern Plains Resource Council

The reason consideration of current oil prices is important is that mining tar sands oil is much more expensive than pumping oil from liquid deposits. If the market price of oil is too low, tar sands oil is not cost effective. Currently Saudi Arabia is flooding the oil markets, and the price of oil has been dropping.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the rule of law, and it’s a victory for common sense stewardship of the land and water upon which we all depend. Despite the best efforts of wealthy, multinational corporations and the powerful politicians who cynically do their bidding, we see that everyday people can still band together and successfully defend their rights. All Americans should be proud that our system of checks and balances can still function even in the face of enormous strains,” said Dena Hoff, Glendive farmer and member-leader of the Northern Plains Resource Council.

Many of us have been involve in the fight against the Keystone Pipeline since plans to build it were announced in 2013. I was among 97,236 people who signed the Keystone Pledge of Resistance:

“I pledge, if necessary, to join others in my community, and engage in acts of dignified, peaceful civil disobedience that could result in my arrest in order to send the message to President Obama and his administration that they must reject the Keystone XL pipeline.”

And I was one of about  400 people who were trained by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), CREDO, and the Other 98 Percent as Action Leaders to create local plans for nonviolent direct actions. The Action Leaders then trained over 4,000 local activists to participate in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience in the event it looked like the pipeline was about to be approved. This was the first time the environmental community found a way to effectively challenge the fossil fuel industry in the United States.

In Indianapolis we designed a direct action that would involve blocking the doors of the downtown Federal Building, and held six training sessions which educated about 50 local activists. We held many rallies downtown to raise awareness about the dangers of tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline.

We used other opportunities to raise awareness about the Keystone Pipeline, fossil fuels and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. The Indianapolis Star published this letter to the editor I wrote. Senator Donnelly had been talking about the jobs the pipeline would create. In reality less the 50 full time jobs would be created. After this editorial, he didn’t talk about jobs again.

donnelly keystone

The Kheprw Institute (KI), a Black youth mentoring community I was involved with, allowed us to hold a public meeting about the Keystone Resistance. Each of the Action Leaders spoke about why we were willing to risk arrest to stop the pipeline.

We had numerous public demonstrations in downtown Indianapolis to try to raise awareness. Every week at our peace vigil I held my Stop Keystone Pipeline sign.

North Meadow Circle of Friends, the Quaker meeting I attended in Indianapolis, divested their bank account from Chase bank because of its support of pipelines.

I was also connected to Derek Glass, who was looking for video projects for his interns to work on. He and Andrew Burger and I create this video about the Keystone Pledge of Resistance.

President Obama did finally decide to deny the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, so we did not have to trigger our civil disobedience actions.


We leaned a great deal about organizing and training for local civil disobedience direct actions. Our work also created a large and diverse network of environmental activists. This was extremely useful when people in Indianapolis wanted to organize to support the water protectors in North Dakota who were trying to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Joshua Taflinger and Brandi Heron led these efforts in Indianapolis. They knew Jim Poyser, one of the Keystone Action Leaders, and asked him for help in organizing the #NoDAPL efforts in Indianapolis. He contacted me and the other Keystone Leaders, and we were all happy to help with this. We held numerous public demonstrations, prayer vigils and bank divestment events.

At the Kheprw Institute, Ra Wyse interviewed me about the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Coming full circle in a way, the video below is of me talking about the Keystone Pledge of Resistance at a Dakota Access Pipeline gathering at the Indiana State Capitol.

Posted in #NDAPL, civil disobedience, climate change, integral nonviolence, Keystone Pledge of Resistance, Kheprw Institute, Quaker, Quaker Meetings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


I really wasn’t expecting anyone to show up at tonight’s demonstration to protect the Mueller investigation from interference by the Republican administration. So I was pleasantly surprised to find these folks here in Indianola. There were nearly 1,000 demonstrations across the country. In Iowa, demonstrations were planned in Ames, Burlington, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Indianola, Iowa City, Red Oak.

At it sounds like the President’s installation of Matthew Whittaker as Acting Attorney General is unconstitutional, at least until he is confirmed by the Senate.

Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel’s Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation. By replacing Rod Rosenstein with just-named Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker as special counsel Robert Mueller’s boss on the investigation, Trump has undercut the independence of the investigation. Whitaker has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation and cannot be allowed to remain in charge of it. The Nobody Is Above the Law network demands that Whitaker immediately commit not to assume supervision of the investigation. Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice. We will update this page as the situation develops.


Trump putting himself above the law is a threat to our democracy, and we’ve got to get Congress to stop him.

We’re mobilizing immediately to demand accountability, because Trump is not above the law.

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When one hurts, all hurt

This morning we learn of yet another mass shooting in our country. That hurt, hurts us all. Don’t you feel the pain?

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26

Linda Washington talks about a friend who suffered from a kidney stone: “Isn’t it interesting that something so small can cause a whole body so much agony? But in a way, that’s what the apostle Paul alludes to in 1 Corinthians 12:26: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.” Throughout chapter 12, Paul used the metaphor of a body to describe Christians around the world. When Paul said, “God has put the body together” (v. 24), he was referring to the entire body of Christ—all Christians. We all have different gifts and roles. But since we’re all part of the same body, if one person hurts, we all hurt. When a fellow Christian faces persecution, grief, or trials, we hurt as if we’re experiencing that pain.”

That applies to every person on earth, not just Christians.

I was blessed to have had numerous opportunities to hear Rev. William Barber speak. He was often in Indianapolis because that is where he was raised. I often heard him say, “when one hurts, we all hurt”. 

“We believe we’ve got to shift the narrative of this country. And the only way we can do it is people have got to put their lives and their bodies on the line. You have preachers and poor people and impacted people who are in these lines. And we’re willing now to engage in an act of moral civil disobedience to drive home what is going on. We believe that injustice is happening in the halls of Congress and in the halls of state capitols around this country.”  Rev. William Barber

Rev. Barber has been on the streets, putting his body on the line, being arrested for civil disobedience. He organized and led the Moral Mondays movements, and the new Poor People’s Campaign.

He wrote an article in Friends Journal calling on Quakers to get back into the public square.

We live in a time of spiritual poverty. We suffer and hurt from the pain others experience daily in this country. These continuous assaults wear us down to the point too many of us begin to feel there is nothing we can do.

But that is exactly why people of faith need to be showing what can be done. Demonstrating that there is hope.

We can become more involved with our Quaker organizations such as the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Friend World Committee for Consultation (FWWC), and Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW).

We can become more involved in non-Quaker organizations, such as Bold Iowa, and Indigenous Iowa. We can become involved with today’s Poor People’s Campaign. We could have spent a week walking 94 miles, learning about Native Americans and other environmental activists on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March.

We need to seek out new opportunities to ease the suffering of others, which will also ease our own suffering.

What we should not do is feel helpless. People of faith know the Spirit will guide us, and show us how to be our brother’s keeper.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”  ― Neil Gaiman




Posted in #NDAPL, Arts, Black Lives, civil disobedience, First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March, Indigenous, peace, Poor Peoples Campaign, Quaker, race, Uncategorized | Leave a comment