Online Edition: October 2007     Vol. XXI, No. 2

sponsored by Peace Life Center, Public invited

  • MODESTO PEACE LIFE CENTER VIGILS: Monthly peace vigils are held THE FIRST FRIDAY of the month at McHenry Ave. and J St., (Five points), 5:30-6:30 pm. call the Center for info: 529-5750.

  • Click here for peace action schedule around the area.

  • PEACE LIFE CENTER WILL BE OPEN WEDNESDAYS, Noon to 3 pm. Come by for coffee or tea and just to chat or look at our book and magazine collection. Bring your own bag lunch; there may be films some days. 720 13th St. Call us 529-5750, we'll get back to you with info on vigils and other activities.

Click Here to download the 2008 Peace Essay Flyer

Connections needs help!

Stanislaus Connections, the peace and justice newspaper of the Modesto Peace Life Center, needs volunteers able to help edit, write, or help put up the paper each month. We meet two times per month. If you are interested in helping with our progressive paper, contact us.

Email Jim Costello, or call 537-7818. Or call Myrtle Osner, 522-4967,

The Modesto Peace Life Center
invites you to

A Harvest Gathering

A benefit for
the Peace Essay Contest

Friday, November 2, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
the home of
Nancy Smith and David Rockwell
520 Helen Ave., Modesto

Delicious Desserts, Good Wines
Special Coffees and Teas

Suggested Donation: $10 per person
Casual attire

Join with people of peace to help us continue our outreach to our community’s youth
by supporting one of our most important yearly events, the Peace Essay Contest.

We look forward to seeing you and your friends


Peace & Justice

Around the Center: 

Living Lightly

Recipes from Connections

A Gathering of Voices--Lee Herrick

Out and About


Masthead and Back Issues

Opinion and Letters to Connections

Interesting Web sites

Connections fundraiser a success!

The editorial committee of Stanislaus Connections and the Modesto Peace Life Center would like to thank all of you who contributed to our successful Stanislaus Connections Fundraiser and Auction.

We raised a whopping $2978.00!

A special thanks to all who so generously brought great food and contributed items for the auction, and especially to our auctioneers, David Rockwell and John Frailing for making the auction so much fun.

We would also like to salute our layout editor, Linda Knoll, who designed our terrific flyer, and for making Connections look so great looking each month.

Without your continued support, we could not put out our labor of love, Stanislaus Connections, nor could the Peace Center continue the programs and actions it does.

NOTE: Several items were left at the auction: a blue heavy plastic dinner plate, a plastic knife & fork salad server with turquoise blue handles, an 8”X12”X10” white and green Rubbermaid ice chest, and two bottles of nail finish. If any of these belongs to you, please call Dan at 526-5436 to get them.


• The Peace Life Center Board of Directors recently approved a donation of $100 to the Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society (MECCS) from the Center treasury. This is in addition to the donation given to David Smith-Ferri who spoke to Peace Camp this June about the work of the organization in resettling refugees who have fled to Saudi Arabia to escape death in Iraq. The Direct Aid Initiative promotes funds for projects within the exiled community and is part of MECCS.

MECCS is a registered nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and the fiscal sponsor for the Direct Aid Initiative. Their work with Iraqis includes families who have been driven from their homes by the war. Their partners in Jordan include a committee of Iraqis which interviews potential beneficiaries of the Fund, investigates the legitimacy of their claims, and ensures the neediest members of the community are served. CARE International, an NGO working in Amman, receives funds in Jordan and disperses them, ensuring the effective and safe delivery of aid. Donations can be sent to Don Veach, P.O. Box 382425, Cambridge, MA 02238,

• The Board of Directors thanks all those who contributed to the Center on the occasion of receiving a letter this summer. You should receive a letter from the Center confirming receipt of the money. However, for those giving $25 or less your subscriptions to Connections are being upgraded for another year. We don’t acknowledge these because we need every penny we can get to publish the paper. For more information as to what we do with your donations, come to a Board meeting (First Tuesdays, 7 p.m.). Also, attend the Annual Meeting, to be held in February, 2008. (Example: Rent, $675 per month, subsidized by $200 from League of Women Voters, who share our office. Cost of printing and distributing Connections, our vital link to you all, is about $1000 per month.

• Attend Demonstrations Against the War: 5:30 p.m. the first Fridays at McHenry and J St. (Five Points). Signs are available in the Peace Center. We also occasionally demonstrate in front of the Brenden Theatre, or in front of Dennis Cardoza’s office on J. St. Recently, a group of peace people came over from San Jose to demonstrate and put up signs asking Cardoza not to vote for the war. Other efforts to collaborate with other Peace Centers in the Valley (Fresno, Sacramento, and Stockton) happen occasionally. Call us: 529-5750.

Commission for Women honors elected officials

An evening to honor elected officials in Stanislaus County will be held at 6 pm. at the McHenry Museum, 14th and I St., Modesto, Wednesday October 10, at 6 p.m. To celebrate the contributions of All elected officials, the meeting is open to all.

To emphasize how far we’ve come since 1918, we’ll remember Esto Broughton, one of the first four women elected to the California Assembly in 1918 to represent Stanislaus County. She was also the distinguished first female lawyer in Stanislaus County. Carol Whiteside, recently retired President of the Great Valley Center and former Mayor of Modesto, will speak.

Join the Stanislaus County Commission for Women, an independent, non-governmental organization to promote within the community an awareness of issues that concern women and children.

For more information: Belinda Rolicheck, 209-988-6674,

Second thoughts on impeachment


By its actions, the Bush-Cheney administration has claimed powers for the executive branch far beyond those authorized by the Constitution. It has engaged in illegal wiretapping of American citizens, ordered executive staff to refrain from testifying before Congress, and for political purposes leaked the name of a CIA covert operative and fired U.S. attorneys without just cause. These actions constitute ample grounds for hearings on possible impeachment of the President and Vice President to be initiated in the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. George Miller, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and others have argued against taking the first steps toward possible impeachment, on grounds that it would be counter-productive to create a “constitutional crisis” in the waning months of this presidency, suggesting that however egregious Bush’s and Cheney’s assumption of extra-constitutional powers, the exercise of those powers will cease at the conclusion of their current term.

Conservative columnist Bruce Fein[1] and liberal writer John Nichols[2] assert that those opposed to impeachment err on two key points. First, impeachment will not create a constitutional crisis. There is already a constitutional crisis — the assumption by this president of near-monarchical powers has created it. The process of initiating impeachment, beginning with hearings in the House Judiciary Committee to publicly examine possible grounds for impeachment, is the constitutionally-prescribed remedy for precisely this constitutional crisis, one of illegal expansion by the executive branch of the powers assigned it by the Constitution.

Second, each presidency leaves to its successor, as precedent, the tools of power it has brought into being by its actions. No president, of either party, is likely to eschew the potential use of any element of that inheritance. Impeachment is required at this time not as punishment for Bush and Cheney, but as a constitutional corrective to the profound imbalance among the three branches of government which the administration’s actions have created. Failure to exercise that power of the Congress at this time will in effect forever institutionalize an executive branch able to override civil liberties at will, function without effective congressional oversight, and obey only those laws by which it chooses to abide.

These considerations compel me to ask myself: if not impeachment now, then when? Recent polls show 45% of the public favoring impeachment of Bush (with 46% opposed), and 54% support for impeaching Cheney. The constitutionally-prescribed function of Congress to re-establish the balance of power between the branches of government through impeachment of an over-reaching executive will be far more difficult to exercise with an administration not as blatantly and openly contemptuous of the Constitution as is that of Bush and Cheney. We deceive ourselves if we believe our democracy will be safe if we allow a Giuliani, an Edwards, a Romney, an Obama, a Thompson, a Clinton, or even a Gore to inherit the powers of a king.

[1] Fein, Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, posted a column, “Impeach Cheney: The V.P. has run utterly amok and must be stopped” on Slate, 6/27/07.

[2] Nichols, a fellow with The Nation Institute, wrote “The Genius of Impeachment: the founders’ cure for royalism,” NY: New Press, 2006.

  Fein and Nichols appeared together in support of impeachment on PBS’s Bill Moyers’ Journal, 7/14/07.


Tenth of each month. Submit peace, justice and environmentally friendly event notices to P.O. Box 134, Modesto, CA, 95353, or call 522-4967 or 575-4299, or email to Jim Costello. Free listings subject to space, availability and editing.