Meeting notes for People for Peace, Justice, and Healing

November 5, 2005

People for Peace, Justice, and Healing met at 10:00 a.m. at Associated Ministries, 1224 South "I" St., Tacoma, on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005. Present for check-in: Catherine, Sara, Rob, Mark, Sallie S., Sheila, Kyle, Laura, Nancy, and Gracie.


1. 13th Annual Northwest Regional International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier. (Mark, Sheila, Laura)
First United Methodist has confirmed the availability of the church kitchen and basement for PPJH's dinner for marchers. Sheila agreed to help organize volunteers for the dinner. On Jan. 7, 2006, following the regular PPJH meeting, Laura confirmed that there will be a pre-march event at Guadalupe House will feature a showing of a film (either "Incident at Ogala," "Lakota Woman," or "Broken Rainbow") and a potluck lunch. More information available from Arthur Miller (

2. Tom Rawson concert tonight. (Sallie S.)
Last-minute planning. Recruiting of help to clean up afterwards. Review of ticket sales. Sallie solicited and received some input for "the pitch," which she will give.

3. Time. (Mark)
Mark summarized an op-ed piece in the Nov. 5, 2005, New York Times, in which author, filmmaker, and journalist Michael Benson called attention to a momentous decision to be made next week: "whether we as a civilization, for the first time in history, decide to uncouple our time-keeping from the rotation of the Earth." The earth's rotation is slowing down "about two milliseconds per day per century." At present "astronomical time" (based on the earth's rotation, and defining a second as 1/86,400th of a day) is regularly synchronized with International Atomic Time (defining a second as "9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom") by adding a leap second every year or two, usually as "the 61st second of the last minute of June or December," Benson reports. Now the Bush administration would like to abandon the leap second, because, it says, "the prospect of future catastrophic errors" may be caused by the leap second. Modern technologies, including commercial transportation systems, rely on American global position system (G.P.S.) satellites, which use International Atomic Time." Nevertheless, Benson believes abandoning the leap second, and thus the link between astronomical time and International Atomic Time, would be a mistake. There are practical reasons to retain leap seconds, but for Benson the deepest reason is symbolic: he believes "that our corporeal selves are tied to the Earth."

4. Conversation Café (Mark)
Review and revision of the following statement, which will be posted on the web site: "Since August 2004, the Conversation Cafe has been held every Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Mandolin Cafe (3923 South 12th St., Tacoma). -- Questions to be discussed on the following Tuesday are chosen at the weekly Saturday morning meeting of People for Peace, Justice, and Healing, at Associated Ministries (1224 South "I" St., Tacoma). In this way, the questions discussed are themselves a product of community. Fostering community is one of the goals of the Conversation Cafe, and valuable insights about subjects and about the phrasing of questions have emerged from these Saturday deliberations. We believe the Tuesday evening discussions have benefited from these insights. All who are interested are most welcome to attend Saturday meeetings and participate in the process! -- Once adopted, questions are posted on the web site of People for Peace, Justice, and Healing; a mechanism is now being developed to make it possible to post them on the web site of the Mandolin Cafe as well." -- Selection and honing of question for Tuesday, Nov. 8: "Do nationalism, patriotism, and loving your country mean the same thing?" Susan Boone is scheduled to facilitate Tues., Nov. 8.

5. Spring event (Sallie S.)
Sallie advocates a prominent speaker, preferably one with a military background. Laura urges that the event include some participatory component. Discussion to be continued next week.

6. Participation in Nov. 18-19 Peace Marathon (Sallie S.)
Luke Smiraldo is organizing a 27-hour Marathon for Peace to be held from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, November 18, to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 19. PPJH has received the Saturday 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. block of time. Discussion of M.C. and program content. Probably: Steve & Kristi Nebel, music; Louisa Beal, performance; Al Kammerzell, poetry; Karen Konrad, poetry; Mark Jensen (satire by Jack Kus); Roy Sutherland, adaptation from Dickens's "A Christmas Carol"; modeling of a Conversation Café.


1. Tonight: Tom Rawson's benefit concert (Antique Sandwich Company, 5102 N. Pearl St., Tacoma, WA 98407, 253-752-4069) for the Summer 2006 interfaith peace camp. Tickets available at the door for $10. From the flyer: "Join Tom for some humorous stories, user-friendly songs, and acoustic folk philosophy that's guaranteed to leave you smiling. Armed with a long-necked banjo and other weapons of mass delight, Tom will have you singing along in no time. Tune up your vocal chords -- you'll need 'em!" (Sallie S.)

2. At 9:45 a.m. on Sun., Nov. 13, Mark Jensen will make a brief presentation to the Agnus Dei Adult Forum Series entitled "A Perspective from the Peace Movement," to be followed by discussion. This is the seventh in an eight-part weekly series called "Your Will Be Done: Christians Look at the Iraq War," organized by Ed Knudsen and held at the Agnus Dei Lutheran Church at 10511 Peacock Hill Ave. in Gig Harbor. (The presentation on Sun., Nov. 6, 9:45 a.m., will by by Ronald J. Young, Co-Coordinator, National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East, on "War in Iraq and Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Is There a Connection?") (Mark)

3. On Mon., Nov. 7 and Mon., Nov. 14, at 7:00 p.m., United for Peace of Pierce County will continue and conclude Digging Deeper XI: The Road to Abu Ghraib, a study circle, at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA. Books being read and discussed are: Mark Danner, Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (New York Review Books, 2004); Seymour Hersh, Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (HarperCollins, 2004; paper, HarperPerennial, 2005); Karen Greenberg & Joshua Dratel, eds., The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (Cambridge University Press, 2005); books are available for borrowing or purchase. Goal: to address the question, "How are we to understand the willingness of the United States Government to embrace the use of torture?" Books available for borrowing or purchase. Call Mark Jensen at 253-756-7519. (Mark) (NOTE: On Nov. 1, a delegation from UFPPC met with staff from the office of U.S. Representatives Adam Smith and Norm Dicks to press for support for the McCain Amendment and stronger action against torture.