Archive: 12/2013

What is the Truth About Sarin and Syria?

by Dan Schlitt, Nebrakans for Peace Member

The truth about the use of chemical weapons in Syria is still unknown. More bits of information keep coming out.

At the Annual Peace Conference in Omaha there was a workshop on Syria where, among other things, attenders were cautioned to not jump to conclusions about the facts of the use of the nerve gas sarin. It is going to be up to future historians to straighten things out.

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Local View: Getting Back to Local Food

The following guest editorial by Nebraskans for Peace State Coordinator Tim Rinne appeared in the Sunday, December 8th edition of the Lincoln Journal Star and was reprinted in the Wednesday, December 11th edition of the Grand Island Independent.

By Tim Rinne
Lincoln Journal Star
Sunday, December 8, 2013

How embarrassing.

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The Coming Showdown Over Tax Reform

Starting next month, the Nebraska Legislature will be charging forward on reforming the state's tax system. Everything will be on the table -- from expanding the sales tax, to property tax relief, to outright abolition of the income tax. And Nebraskans for Peace intends to be right in the thick of this discussion, arguing for fairness and justice in any proposed plan.

In the Wednesday, December 11 Lincoln Journal Star, the newspaper's editorial board laid out its perspective on the forthcoming tax reform debate, which outlines, we think, some 'common sense' principles for the Legislature to heed. Despite its reputation as dry and technocratic, tax policy gets right to the heart of issues of equality and compassion and defines the kind of society we will be. There is, accordingly, no more important Peace & Justice issue.

Deliberate speed on tax reform
By the Journal Star Editorial Board
December 11, 2013 

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The 100th Anniversary of World War I

Will that horrible and senseless war be exploited for political gain, or for peace?

by Hank Van den Berg
UNL Professor of Economics

Early November of this year, President François Hollande of France laid a wreath at the flame of the Unknown Soldier next to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to honor French soldiers who died in World War I. With this event, Hollande officially initiated what will be five years of commemorative events for the 100th anniversary of World War I.

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Nelson Mandela and Nebraska

by Paul A. Olson, NFP President Emeritus

The death of Nelson Mandela should make us all reflect on our histories. I first got into the struggle against apartheid seriously when, in the late 1970s, I worked with my church—the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America—to ask that Namibia, which had been illegally absorbed by the South African government, be given its independence from South Africa and its racist policies. Most Namibians are Lutherans as am I. We wrote to Nebraska U.S. Senator Carl Curtis and received a lame excuse, defending South Africa. The whole church finally acted. Eventually Namibia was the first part of South Africa to be freed, in 1990.

In 1983-84, NFP worked with State Senators Ernie Chambers and Nelson Merz to push for divestment of state government funds from corporations doing business in South Africa. The divestment legislation was adopted, making it among the earliest in the nation to be passed. A Fordham University study described the Nebraska action as follows (the Sullivan principles were international principles to apply in divestiture):

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