Catholic Relief Services (CRS) reports on the crisis in East Africa

More than 12 million East Africans face malnutrition and starvation in the midst of the region's worst drought in decades. Find out how you can help.

Advice for Those Considering Joining the Military

Retired Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff explains what military life really entails

 

“What is the war in Iraq really like?” Not like what we’re told by the government and the media. Listen to the words of Retired Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff as he explains what military life really entails. Goff's website is www.feralscholar.org.

Urge Obama to withdraw weapons deal with Israel

Background: Numerous news reports are now saying the Obama Administration offered Israel20 F-35 fighter jets, valued at$3 billion; a pledge not to request further "settlement freezes"; and a commitment to veto any United Nations Security Council action affirming the declaration of a Palestinian state, all in exchange for the Israeli government's pledge of 90-day "settlement moratorium" that excludes East Jerusalem.

Contact for more information: American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights (AAPER), (202) 683-8438, info@aaper.org

Urge Obama to Stick to "Serious Drawdown" from Afghanistan in July 2011

Background: Recent press reports by McClatchy and the New York Times have suggested that the Obama Administration intends to "publicly walk away from" President Obama's promise to begin drawing down U.S. troops from Afghanistan in July 2011 at the NATO summit this week. The White House has responded to these reports by insisting that there has been no retreat from the President's promise. "The president has been crystal clear that we will begin drawing down troops in July of 2011. There is absolutely no change to that policy," the White House said. But these press reports nonetheless suggest a shift that the White House has not disputed: away from Vice-President Biden's promise that "In July of 2011 you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out" and Speaker Pelosi's statement that there would be a "serious drawdown" starting in the summer of 2011, towards a more token withdrawal favored by the U.S. military.

Contact for more information:Just Foreign Policy, (202) 448-2898, info@justforeignpolicy.org

Stop weakening of Wisconsin's gun laws

Background: Governor-elect Scott Walker and many new legislators have signaled that they intend to make it even easier for more people to carry guns in more places. Wisconsin has prohibited citizens from carrying concealed weapons for more than 130 years. Scientific evidence, experience, public opinion and common sense are all in agreement: Legalizing the carrying of hidden, loaded guns in public will not increase personal safety, and these laws are not effective in decreasing crime.

Take Action: Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort says stopping a concealed-carry bill is "going to take all of us working together in an organized and strategic way," and urges you to sign their online "No Guns in Public Places" petition. WAVE hopes to gather thousands of signatures by January 3, 2011 -- Inauguration Day.

Contact for more information: Jeri Bonavia, WAVE Educational Fund, (414) 351-9283, wave@WaveEdFund.org

Wisconsin Books to Prisoners needs books

Background: Wisconsin Books to Prisoners sends books free of charge to those incarcerated in Wisconsin prisons. Wisconsin Books to Prisoners believes that books are tools for learning and can help open minds to new ideas and fresh possibilities. By sending books to those in prison, they hope to foster a love of reading and encourage the pursuit of knowledge and self-education.

Take Action: New and gently-used paperback fiction, nonfiction, and reference books may be dropped off at the following locations: 1) Rainbow Bookstore, 426 W. Gilman, Madison, WI 53703, 2) Lakeside Press, 1334 Williamson St., Madison, WI 53703, 3) Madison Infoshop, 1019 Williamson St., Madison, WI 53703, 4) Cream City Collective, 732 E. Clarke St.. Milwaukee, WI 53212

Contact for more info: Camy Matthay, Wisconsin Books to Prisoners, 608-455-2712

Out of Afghanistan Congressional call-in days

Background: United for Peace and Justice has organized a Congressional call-in this week in opposition to the Afghanistan war. The call-in is focused on two goals: 1) Increasing the number of members of Congress who are members of the Out of Afghanistan Caucus, and 2) Increasing the number of members of Congress who have signed on as cosponsors to Rep. Barbara Lee's HR 6045, limiting the use of government funds to the " safe and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan" of all military personnel and Defense Department contractors.

Take Action: UFPJ notes that neither Tammy Baldwin (202-225-2906) nor Gwen Moore (202-225-4572) have signed on as cosponsors of HR 6045 or as members of the Out of Afghanistan Caucus, despite their strong voting records on antiwar legislation and war funding. Calls from Rep. Baldwin's and Moore's constituents are especially needed. It is also important that all other Wisconsin Congressional representatives hear from their constituents who oppose the Afghanistan war.

Contact for more info: Rusti Eisenberg, United for Peace and Justice Legislative Working Group, hiscze@aol.com