Tag Archive: FCNL

On the Way to William Penn House for Tuesday Night Yoga Practice (with a Detour to Stand with the People’s Filibuster)

The filibuster and related activities, including an interfaith vigil on Wednesday the 28th, continues until Thursday. Details on various Facebook Pages–ACLU, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Move On, and others. 

Mostly I will be working during the scheduled times, but I will head over outside of my work day again. Senator Chris Murphy was on his way to dinner with friends from Connecticut who had spent the day doing citizen lobbying–telling their story about why keeping and improving on the ACA was important to them. Senator Murphy said that he’d heard people were outside and felt he needled to at least stop by and connect. He said this is just the beginning, don’t let them tinker and declare a victory if they only deprive 5 or 10 million people from getting insurance; he said keep it up; he’d like to see millions of people coming to D.C. and making their voices heard.  I was starting to get caught up in listening and then realized it was time to be at William Penn House.


Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?

For me, an important part of living yoga off the mat is knowing how I fit into the flow of energies (and money is a big flow of energy and power) in community and what I do to try and shift things where and when I can.  One big step in being empowered is not to accept powerlessness, but to act even if yours is only one small voice.

Click here to see the analysis prepared by the  Friends Committee on National Legislation to show where your tax dollars go, along with some suggestions for individual action.  Participating (at a minimum by being educated about the issues, registering to vote, and actually voting) is important for all of us.


Letter from FCNL on How You Can Help Shape the Budget

I just received this letter and wanted to pass it on to those who have senators and members of Congress (those of us in DC still do not):

Dear Elizabeth Goodman,One of our lobbyists just reported to me that some members of the supercommittee are telling us they are open to cutting Pentagon spending. “We need to hear what the folks back home in our state have to say about this,” we heard.The most important voice in this budget debate is your voices as constituents. As they make their decision, your members of Congress need to hear your side of this story. They need to hear about the consequences in your communities when money isn’t invested in schools, roads, jobs, and other local priorities.Today, will you write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper? Refer to your members of Congress by name and point out the needs in your local community.Communities around the country are being squeezed. More people are relying on food banks; local governments are copying with both the neighborhood and family stress of foreclosure; schools are increasing class sizes and shortening the school year; and critical maintenance on bridges and roadways. Police and firefighters are losing their jobs.  Yet, the Pentagon budget continues to grow.Congress will take action to reduce the deficit, which means budget cuts. But if Congress doesn’t act to cut at Pentagon spending by a significant amount — FCNL and others believe that number is $1 trillion over the next ten years — then the cuts to other programs will be much deeper. Cutting the Pentagon budget and potentially making more funds available to meet the needs of state and local communities.  There is an opportunity to make this change.Thank you for your action.Sincerely,Diane RandallExecutive Secretary  P.S. If you want to know more about how much Pentagon spending is slated to rise, or more on FCNL’s views on the debt, deficit and supercommittee, visit our website. 

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


What Difference Does Lobbying Make (and Svatantriya)

The tantric yoga philosophy ascribes the characteristic of svatantriya or ultimate freedom to the energy that infuses all of us.  We all want to be free, but when we get stuck in our embodiment, forgetting that we ourselves are manifestations of spirit, then we lose sight of our true freedom.  To find our own freedom of spirit, we need to be disciplined, to practice, to study, to live in a way that brings us into better alignment with ourselves and world with which we are inextricably interconnected.

In this country, one of our principle ideals and buzz words in dialogue about how we should live is freedom.  What can so often be forgotten in this dialogue, though, is that freedom is a contract.  To be in a society where all have the opportunity to experience freedom, we need to agree, with discrimination (viveka) to certain limitations (for example, we agree to stop for red lights so that we can be free to drive and walk without a constant risk of being hit in crowded city).

Granted, I am grossly oversimplifying here, but part of the great losses of freedom we are currently experiencing is the abdication by individuals of the responsibility to shape the agreement to maximize our collective freedoms.  Like the agreement with ourselves to practice steadily to experience inner freedom, we need to stay engaged, even when it seems impossible or deeply frustrating, in order not to lose sight of the ideal entirely.  Here’s some information from FCNL on why it is important to lobby despite how fruitless an act it may appear to be.


Letter from Friends Committee on National Legislation on Budget Priorities

Wanted to share with all of you the text (plus link) of an email I received today from FCNL:

Here in Washington, everyone agrees that the current level of federal budget deficits is unsustainable. Our FCNL policy is that – with a few exceptions – government should take in sufficient revenue to cover the nation’s needs.  But as our lawmakers debate how to cut the deficit, we need to insist on truth telling; a serious consideration of all federal spending, including the Pentagon’s budget; and open discussion about priorities. Contact your representative today.

take actionThe plan that the House leadership offers for a vote on Friday fails that test. The plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) reduces the $15 trillion federal budget debt by about $155 billion over 10 years – that’s a drop in the ocean. This plan “saves money” by transferring resources from programs that assist people with low and moderate incomes to wealthy individuals and corporations.

Rep. Ryan’s plan, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, would cut $4.3 billion in federal spending – two-thirds of that directed at programs for people of low and moderate incomes. The plan would then give $4.2 billion of that sum away in tax cuts that benefit primarily wealthy individuals and corporations.

We at FCNL want Congress to be serious about federal government spending, which means looking at ALL expenditures and balancing priorities. Cutting waste, fraud and abuse makes good sense. The place to start  is with Pentagon spending. Fair and adequate taxes and other government programs should also be examined.


Take Action

Urge your representative to reject the Ryan budget and to support efforts to make at least $100 billion a year in cuts to the Pentagon budget, as recommended by the Sustainable Defense Task Force.

Ask 5 friends to contact their representative too.


Find Out More

Who says we can and should cut Pentagon spending? The answer may surprise you.

The Sustainable Defense Task Force outlined how nearly $1 trillion could be cut from the Pentagon budget over the next 10 years. Read the summary and share it with others in your community.

Read the analysis of Rep. Ryan’s budget that was done by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Find out more about the Our Nation’s Checkbook campaign to shift money from the military budget to advance other priorities.


Two Tangible Things You Can Do in Response to the Earthquake in Haiti

Donate to support the peacekeeping efforts of the American Friends Service Committee (or other organization of your choice).

Write to your elected official about granting temporary protected status for Haitian immigrants.  The Friends Committee on National Legislation has made it easy to take action.