Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Halliburton Gave Politicians $4million & Received 600% Return Since 2000

CONTACT: Halliburton Watch Jim Donahue, 213-725-3645Halliburton Gave $4 Million to Politicians and Received 600 Percent Gain on Contracts Since 2000, HalliburtonWatch Says

WASHINGTON – September 26 – Halliburton spent $4.6 million since 2000, buying influence in Washington via campaign donations and lobbying, a HalliburtonWatch analysis reveals.
The board of directors and their spouses personally gave $828,701 to candidates for Congress and the presidency while Halliburton’s political action committees gave $1.2 million, most of it donated to Republicans and political organizations with strong Republican ties, according to the analysis.

The company spent an additional $2.6 million lobbying members of Congress, the White House and federal agencies.

Conclusion: Halliburton’s $4.6 million in political arm- twisting since 2000 has paid-off magnificently as the company’s government contracts ballooned by over 600 percent in value by the end of 2005, mostly because of the war in Iraq. Web: http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/reports/waxman0606.pdf

In 2000, Halliburton was the 20th largest federal contractor, receiving $763 million in federal contracts. By 2005, Halliburton had grown to become the sixth largest federal contractor, receiving nearly $6 billion in federal contracts during that year.

Between March 2003 and June 30, 2006, Halliburton received $18.5 billion in revenue from the federal government for the war in Iraq.

The company has seen its profits in government contracting almost quadruple to $330 million in 2005 compared to $84 million in 2004.

During one quarter in 2005, Halliburton’s war profits skyrocketed by 284 percent. Web: http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/news/earnings072205.html

War contracts, intensified violence in the Middle East and record oil prices helped quadruple the stock price between the March 2003 invasion of Iraq and March 2006. As a result, the board of directors together saw the value of their stock holdings in the company increase by over $100 million. Web: http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/reports/houston2006.pdf

CEO David Lesar holds the largest number of shares of any Halliburton official, owning 844,928 common shares and share options as of March 1, 2006. The shares were worth $17.3 million as the troops first rolled into Baghdad in 2003. Three years later, on April 10, 2006, the shares were worth $66.8 million, for a $49.5 million gain. Lesar sold an additional 631,071 shares during the war at various stock prices for gross amounts totaling between $12.9 million on March 20, 2003, and $49.9 million on March 1, 2006. Web: http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/reports/houston2006.pdf

More Information is available at http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/news/halpolmoney.html.
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September 26, 2006 Posted by | U.S. politics | 7 Comments

A Sign of Peace?

Belief.net has posted a story about Muslims in Florida who have sent $5,000 (and are raising more) in seed money to Palestine to rebuild burned Christian churches. The Muslim group notes that, according to the Qu’ran, churches are to be protected. This is a wonderful example of the Just Peacemaking practice of taking independent transforming initiatives for peace. Now, how can Christian groups reciprocate? Can this start a snowball downhill that will generate numerous interfaith independent initiatives that undermine both non-state terror groups and imperialist military machines? Please God, may it be so. Amen.

September 26, 2006 Posted by | interfaith, Islam, just peacemaking | 11 Comments

Dorothy Cotton: Popular Educator for Radical Democracy

Posted by PicasaOne of the many Baptist women who, if not unsung, is certainly “undersung,” is Dorothy Cotton, civil rights leader, peacemaker, and popular educator. A retired administrator of Cornell University, Cotton currently makes her home in Ithaca, NY. But Cotton was one of few female leaders in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, serving as Education Director from 1960-1968, running the Citizenship Education Program. She was a force to be reckoned with and more than held her own among the inflated male egos of the SCLC.

In his memoir, An Easy Burden, Andrew Young, claims that the feminist movement really began when Dorothy Cotton, who had the only functional car at the time, insisted on driving Young & other SCLC leaders through the dangerous backroads of Alabama & Mississippi to bail out Fannie Lou Hamer and others who had been severely beaten and would likely be killed if not liberated. The male insistence that it was too dangerous for Cotton to come met her iron stubborness and determination and raw guts.

Cotton later was Senior VP of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, where she was a senior trainer in nonviolent direct action.

During the Carter administration, Cotton was the Southeastern Regional Director, of ACTION, the government’s agency for volunteer programs, from 1978-1981. She was Director of Student Activities, Cornell University, from 1982-1991. She now works as a motivational speaker. She has been awarded many honorary doctorates for her social justice and peace work.

One of the fringe benefits I reap from long involvement in peace and justice work is that I get to meet so many amazing people. Cotton and I are both members of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and in 2004, she was one of the speakers at the celebration of the FOR’s 90th anniversary (founded in 1914). I was there and privileged to meet her. I encouraged her then to take the time to write a memoir because new generations need to be inspired by her amazing story.

September 26, 2006 Posted by | Baptists, heroes, human rights., nonviolence | 1 Comment

JPT Practice # 6 Foster Just & Sustainable Economic Development

Patterns of economic hardship and exploitation can lead to “resource wars,” and poor people become desperate and are thus vulnerable to recruitment by terrorist fanatics (or power-mad government demagogues) offering cheap and easy solutions through violence. Fair trade, development that works with rather than against healthy eco-systems, these things are not only just in themselves, but win “hearts and minds” that can otherwise be seduced into violence.

“Development” generally describes a process of material and social progress, usually involving wider involvement in the global economy. It is most needed in those nations of the global South where majorities of the people live in abject poverty (50% of the world still lives on less than $2 per day), lacking adequate food, shelter, medical care, and clean water. Evidence suggests this poverty most affects women & children. “Just” development doesn’t simply increase the number of wealthy persons in a nation or its Gross Domestic Product, but works to eliminate poverty for as many people as possible, seeking an adequate minimum standard of living for all.

“Sustainable,” has two senses: 1) Referring to a development pattern which can be maintained by local people on their own steam and subject to their own control. 2) Referring to the need for development plans to include protecting the environmnet and natural resources for future generations. This second dimension recognizes the need for significant changes among wealthy nations, too, since the world literally cannot afford the amounts of energy consumed by the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

See further: Oxfam International, Worldwatch Institute; Bread for the World; The Micah Challenge; The One Campaign

September 26, 2006 Posted by | just peacemaking | Comments Off on JPT Practice # 6 Foster Just & Sustainable Economic Development