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Traveling and Thinking out Loud with the People's Pastor

National Action Network (NAN)

Saturday 6/11 - I spoke at the National Action Network, Reverend Al Sharpton had been one of the organizing committees. In my remarks I rehearsed the history of June 12th, the Department of Defense’s military budget is $75.5 billion dollars and this does not include the Overseas Contingency Budget Operation, nor does that include the DOD’s base budget, that comes to $933 trillion dollars while there’s a desperate need for programs for the needy. I have heard it said that America is one of the sickest nations in the world. At the same time, America is said to be one of the richest nations in the world. What a glaring contradiction. While millions of Americans' income is below the poverty line, yet the rich get richer and do not pay their fair share of taxes. The poor get poorer. Neighborhoods are deteriorating. Roads are crumbling. Bridges are falling down. Homelessness is pervasive.

What Congress has given freely to war, death and destruction, human needs in comparison is a pittance. And there is stiff resistance to its allocation.

Also, I discussed the war in Ukraine. There was an agreement between negotiators of Ukraine and Russia that called for Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine and the granting of Ukraine’s full independence.

For that Ukraine would not join NATO but would be free and independent, nor would it have an army but would trust the United Nations to supply a military presence. In other words, Ukraine would be completely neutral. For some reason it was rejected. And so, the war continues. I’m including the actual quote from an article written by Michael von der Schulenberg. He was a former senior German diplomat with the United Nations and with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:

“The key elements for a peaceful solution have already been worked out by courageous Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in the first two months of the war. According to these, Ukraine would renounce NATO membership and not allow any foreign military bases on Ukrainian soil, while Russia would commit to recognizing Ukraine’s territorial integrity, withdraw all Russian troops from Ukraine and accept international security guarantees for Ukraine. It had also already been tentatively agreed to give a special status to the Donbas within Ukrainian territory (as already foreseen in Minsk II) and to resolve the future status of Crimea at a later stage through purely diplomatic means.

Certainly, this is not a complete peace treaty – not yet; many difficult details remain unresolved. But the outcome of these peace negotiations, even if only provisional, represents an astonishing achievement at a time of war. There is and will be no other peaceful solution than to agree to some form of Ukrainian neutrality in return for preserving Ukraine's territorial integrity. It would be completely illusory to assume, as some Western governments like to claim, that such a peace treaty is a purely Ukrainian responsibility and that they should stay out. To use this to justify the West's silence on Russian-Ukrainian peace efforts is highly disingenuous.”

And as the war continues, this is the most dangerous time for a war than the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. I urged the audience to become informed and to get involved in these global issues. After all, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed a long time ago,“what does it mean to have access to restaurants, hotels, etc. if nuclear war can blow us all off the map.” The speech was overwhelmingly received. NAN gave my speech a standing ovation.


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