Meeting notes for People for Peace, Justice, and Healing

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Present for check-in: Sallie S., Susan, Mark, Sheila, Catherine, Louisa, Colleen, Kyle.


1. Negotiating in the Middle East (Mark)

In a PowerPoint presentation prepared for a graduate course on management at Texas Tech, Prof. Robert Giambatista, slide 19 describes cultural factors involved in "Negotiating in the Middle East/North Africa" as follows: "Bargaining is a way of life ('You're supposed to haggle!' – Monty Python). Time – not punctual or planning-oriented (too much attempt to control the future invites trouble). Ramadan is especially slow for business. Group oriented, and very deferential to those of status. Much time upfront spent in developing relationships. Masculine Arabs read poetry, use intuition, and are emotional. Feminine Arab qualities are coolness and pragmatism. Israelis are direct, Arabs indirect, vague & expressive, often to point of exaggeration & filled with fantastic metaphors. 'No' is uncommon; look for a hesitant 'yes' instead -- white lies common form of courtesy. Saying 'I don’t know' you are of little account. Strong eye contact, close personal space, touchy. High initial demands, slow concessions, issues sequential, extreme 'face' orientation, truth is revealed very slowly because it is considered dangerous." -- Interesting in light of current negotiations over the Iraqi constitution.

2. Sept. 24 Seattle Antiwar Rally (Louisa)

On Saturday, Sept. 24, at noon, in Seattle's Westlake Plaza (4th and Pine), A.N.S.W.E.R. is organizing a major rally with the theme "Stop the War in Iraq! End Colonial Occupation from Iraq to Palestine to Haiti" rally. (This is the same day that International A.N.S.W.E.R. and United for Peace and Justice will hold a rally with the theme "End the War on Iraq/Bring the Troops Home Now!" at the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.; [cf. A.N.S.W.E.R. page and ] also the United for Peace and Justice page.) Pierce County activists are urged to attend, and to take for transportation the Sound Transit Seattle-Tacoma express 594 (get off at 4th and Union). For the weekend schedule, visit here.

3. Pat Robertson (Louisa)

Discussion of the Rev. Pat Robertson's infamous Aug. 22 "700 Club" broadcast, in which he urged the U.S. government to use "covert operatives" for "assassination" to "take out" Venezuela's thrice democratically elected president, Hugo Chávez. Rich Lang of Seattle is writing a book on Christian fascism. Discussions of possible forum on this subject underway. See also United for Peace of Pierce County's statement of Dec. 9, 2004, "On the Danger of Excessive Tolerance of the Religious Right in Public Policy and International Affairs," which says, in part: "[A]n article by Glenn Scherer entitled 'The Godly Must Be Crazy' . . . argues that a delusional mix of ideology and theology has moved from the wacko fringe of American life to some place near the center of power. Tom DeLay in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma are perhaps the best known examples of this, but by Scherer's count, before the 2004 election nearly half of the United States Congress -- 231 out of 535 legislators, 45 out of 100 senators and 186 out of 435 representatives -- scored 80-100% approval ratings from the three most influential advocacy groups of the Christian right. The number will soon be higher, in the aftermath of the November 2 elections." -- One of these groups, the Christian Coalition, was founded by Pat Robertson.

4. Louisa's Aug. 19 action in Eugene, Oregon (Louisa)

Louisa presented a slideshow of her action. Discussion of its effectiveness and its capacity to disturb. Ongoing (both the action and the discussion!)

5. Mission (Sallie S.)

For a new attendee, discussion of PPJH's mission. We are a post-9/11 group convinced that the United States has turned in the wrong direction and working to change that direction through a variety of means, mostly educational and supportive; PPJH maintains a YahooGroups listserv (tacomapjh) and a web site and has conducted and co-sponsored innumerable events, as well as spawning several related ongoing groups. See the website for more information.

6. Conversation café (Mark)

Question for discussion on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 7:00 p.m. at the Mandolin Café (3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma): What do you think about "speed dating"? (The phrase "speed dating" garners 742,000 hits on Google; see, for example, here.)


1. Progressive Roundtable (Mark). In addition to the 4th Friday at 7:00 a.m. at Shakabrah Java, 2618 6th Ave. (and Oakes), Tacoma (253-572-2787), the Progressive Roundtable ( (a progressive networking forum for community leaders and activists) will also hold a 2nd Saturday session at 9:30 a.m. at Los Reyes Del Taco, 6308 E. McKinley Ave., Tacoma (253-474-3642). Mark and Sallie attended yesterday's meeting along with about 20 others.

2. Digging Deeper IX (Mark). United for Peace of Pierce County will begin a new study circle on Sept. 12 with five books on the theme of "Connecting the Dots." Books to be discussed: Matthew Simmons, Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy (Wiley, 2005); Andrew Gumbel, Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America (Nation Books, 2005); George Lakoff, Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate -- The Essential Guide for Progressives (Chelsea Green, 2004; orig. ed. 2002); V.S. Ramachandran, A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers (Pi Press, 2004 [paper 2005]); and William Engdahl, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, revised ed. (Pluto Press, 2004). -- No charge for participation. -- Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma.

3. Book recommendation (Susan). Paul Rogat Loeb, The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear (Basic Books, 2004). A book of readings.

4. Comics recommendation (Susan). 411 Vol. 1, Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Features stories about peace. More information here.

5. Book recommendation (Mark). Rolf Meissner, The Little Book of Planet Earth (New York: Copernicus Books, 2002). Translation of Geschichte der Erde (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1999). "A concise description of the geological evolution of Earth from its formulation . . . With a particular gift for expressing how the forces in and around our planet constantly alter the world we live in, the author introduces lay readers to the key topics in modern earth and planetary science: the creation of Earth and Moon, the role of seismology in analyzing Earth's structure, the formation of mountain ranges and basins, the dynamics of plate tectonics, the significance of Earth's magnet field, and the complex relationship of our planet's geology to the life forms found here."