Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois Newsletter,     Volume 36 No. 1      Spring 2021       
AND ANOTHER THING.....The Icy Highway
Dear Peace Friends,
After a long pause, we are approaching you to donate to the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois.  Our needs aren't many but they are constant--like paying for our regular announcement on WDBX, obtaining supplies for our vigils, taking care of expenses for our Margie Parker Teach In, keeping current with our national memberships, and costs associated with getting our newsletter out.  Right now our bank account is pretty low.  It needs an injection of cash.   
You already know what we stand for: ending our policy of permanent war and making more resources available for human needs, doing away with nuclear stockpiles and building a rational path to mutual security, calling out war profiteers who supply weapons to authoritarian states, contributing more to humanitarian efforts, ending environment injustices and pollution especially those caused by the military.  Basically, we stand opposed to all the militaristic an unjust activities that together constitute crimes against humanity and we support nonviolent alternatives that make for a just peace.

We are a local group that has been around for years.  With your support we will stay around for years to come.  You are welcome to join any of our activities or ask for our support for you own initiatives for peace.  And, of course, you are also welcome to write a check to:
Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois
c/o Randy Hughes
2002 W. Sunset Dr.
Carbondale, Illinois 62901
Hugh Muldoon, Georgeann Hartzog, Randy Hughes,  
Rich Whitney, M.J. Smerken
WHAT'S COMING                                          
--Thursdays, 5:00 p.m. WDBX FM (91.1 FM) “Democracy Now," sponsored by the Peace Coalition.
--Thursdays (1 st ), 7:00 PM, Carbondale Racial Justice Coalition ZOOM, <>
--Saturday (1 st ), April 3, NOON: Monthly Peace and Justice Vigil, Town Sq.  ENDING THE FOREVER WARS
--Wednesday (3 rd ) April 21, Monthly P.C. Meeting on ZOOM, contact to attend.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Peace coalition/FOR has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article, neither is it endorsed or sponsored by the organization)
And Another Thing...                              
THE ICY HIGHWAY             By Gary Shepherd
           During the recent big freeze in Texas, I saw news reports about a massive chain reaction crash in which more than 130 cars and trucks slammed into each other, leading to six deaths and around a hundred injuries. During a phone call shortly after, I asked my daughter over in Ireland if she had seen anything about it. She said she had, and had wondered at the time how people could be so stupid that they didn’t stop before they plowed into the

mass of crashed cars. I explained that the road surface was icy, and by the time they saw the pile up ahead, the drivers simply couldn’t stop. People described to reporters how they were trapped in their vehicles, having to endure the sound and feeling of car after car slamming into the wreckage, helpless to do anything about it, and certain that they were about to die.
          This was a terrible tragedy, but at the same time, it provides a valuable metaphor for the situation we find ourselves in the world today. Most people are aware of the dangers of climate breakdown and of possible nuclear war.  Convincing them that these things are bad, and that they threaten the survival of all of us, is unnecessary. They already know that. However, they feel helpless. The human race has found that, like drivers in speeding autos on an icy highway, no matter how they stomp on the brakes, they cannot stop their forward momentum. In this case, it is the current nationalist-militarist system itself that has trapped us, and it is plunging us forward into the abyss. No one wants to crash, but there seems to be nothing we can do about it.
           I personally believe that one of the most important books that has ever been written is “The Guns of August” a history of the beginning of World War I, authored by the brilliant historian Barbara Tuchman. What is so important about that particular book? Because reportedly President John F. Kennedy had read that book shortly before the Cuban Missile Crisis.  He was struck by the way in which the political leaders on both sides in August of 1914 did not want to start a war, but were drawn into it unwillingly by a series of circumstances largely beyond their control. One step led to another, progressively, until at the end they unleashed a catastrophe that led to the greatest slaughter of human beings in the history of the world up until that time.  
           Because he had read that book, Kennedy wanted very much to avoid a similar fate, and perhaps for that reason, he worked aggressively to prevent the Cuban Missile Crisis from spiraling out of control. No one, not even Kennedy himself, knew at the time just how close to the brink we were. It was only learned after the fall of the Soviet Union how nearly the world came to nuclear Armageddon in 1962. Nor was that the only time as we now know. We can breathe a sigh of relief that we managed to escape from those narrow scrapes, but what about the next time, or the next? Do
we want to depend upon luck to keep ourselves and everyone and everything we care about from a runaway chain reaction wreck?
         What all this proves is that working to convince people that war is bad and should be avoided is quite frankly a waste of time. The same goes for warning about imminent climate catastrophe, or environmental degradation, or any of the other threats that imperil our survival. It won’t matter if, when we see the threat ahead and pump on the brakes, nothing happens. People have to be given the power to slow down and even halt the rush to their own destruction. That is where we must focus our attention.   
CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs. 

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) stands in solidarity with communities across the country who are rising up in protest against racist police violence.



Global Days of Action on Military Spending,  
April 13-May 9                                           

The global cost of the military is $2 trillion, half of which is from the U.S. But all that money could not stop a microscopic virus from sickening and killing millions, and shuttering businesses with devastating job losses worldwide. The major threats to our security — pandemics, climate crisis, domestic threats — cannot be stopped with troops and bombs. We need to rethink national security and redirect funding from the military to prevention, repair, and care.
The 2021 budget for the Pentagon and related agencies is $741 billion, larger than the next eight countries combined, 11 times greater than Russia’s military budget and four times the size of China’s military expenditures. This year Congress voted to increase the military budget by $30 billion, an amount that exceeds the entire budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.
We are invested in a death economy, wasting billions on weapons and war, while failing to eradicate violent extremism and ignoring urgent human needs at home.
In 2021 we will spend over $2 billion a day on the U.S. military, more than a million dollars every minute.  By cutting even a portion of the Pentagon budget, we could:
---Eradicate homelessness in the United States ($20 billion annually)
---Eradicate hunger in the United States ($26 billion annually)
---Create 160,000 new clean energy jobs ($12 billion annually)
---Guarantee tuition-free education ($70 billion annually)
---Transition to a Medicare for All System ($300 billion annually)
We could dismantle nuclear weapons and save $42.9 billion. The U.N. ban on nuclear weapons has now entered into force, making nuclear weapons illegal under international law. We must develop new treaties for complete nuclear disarmament, destroy U.S. nuclear stockpiles (includes a $4 billion annual budget for implementation), cancel nuclear delivery systems (bombers, submarines), and cancel planned nuclear upgrades.
The Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois shares a commitment to achieve a just and peaceful world community with full dignity and freedom for every human being. We promote nonviolent resolution of conflict, the integrity of the environment, and tolerance of diversity.
You are invited to support peace and justice efforts in our area by becoming a paid member of the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois.  Your membership is good for 12 months from the date of receipt.  The newsletter is available as a paper copy or digital copy.  Also check out our website at: or look for us at Peace Coalition Southern Illinois on facebook.  To receive updates on issues and local activities by email, request to be added to the alert list at <>
Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois memberships:
Organizational membership (depending on the size of financial resources)...$15-$25
Individual membership...$10   Service/Hardship Memberships...$1-$5
Make checks payable to Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois.    
Send to: 2002 W. Sunset Dr., Carbondale IL 62901
Please submit material for the next quarterly newsletter:  mail or email in to:  2002 W. Sunset Dr., Carbondale IL 62901,  Editor Gary Shepherd,