Issues November 2005 Newsletter

A sure-fire way of recharging my psychic batteries, I have found, is to attend the annual meetings of Citizens for Global Solutions (or, before that, of the World Federalist Association); and this year's meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico was even more rewarding than I had anticipated. Santa Fe, the oldest (1607) and highest (7,000') capital city in the U.S., is a terrific town. It is said to have the second greatest con-centration (after New York) of artists in America. Art confronts one at every turn: in innumerable galleries, craft shops, and chic boutiques; in out-door sculpture; and in the omnipresent, sturdy, ochre-hued adobe architecture. Just outside the capitol building I even saw a giant mosaic composed of numerous forms of bread, including no fewer than 100 bagels! Such is the evidence of the cultural eclecticism of which the city's citizens are so proud. In contrast to many other racially diverse parts of our country, Native Americans, Mexican Americans and Anglos appear in Santa Fe to interact in genuine, laid-back harmony.

So, it is not surprising that New Mexico should have elected as its Governor Bill Richardson, the proud son of a Mexican mother and an Anglo-American father, The enlightened and progressive Richardson, along with the octogenarian former Interior Secretary, Stewart Udall, a co-founder of the International Environmental Movement, and his son, Tom, a current member of the U.S. House of Representatives, were among the inspiring dignitaries who addressed the Santa Fe meeting.

But there were also many other memorable presentations. Among them was a panel on the UN in the wake of the recently concluded Summit. Previously, I had concluded that that gathering was an almost unmitigated disaster and took issue with those who argued that the cup was half-full, rather than half-empty or less. However, the panel persuaded me, in the words of CGS Executive VP, Don Kraus, that "the tap is still running." In short, UN reform is not to be seen as an event, but rather as an on-going process, one to which CGS can make a meaningful contribution.

Other panels falling under the general confer-ence theme, "Making the Global Local," dealt with environmental issues, the power of the Internet, effect-ive communication, and how to work with youth. The last was especially appropriate in that young persons comprised over 150 of the more than 350 persons in attendance. This remarkable turnout was largely due to the efforts of Seth Green, an unassuming Rhodes Scholar, now studying law at Yale University, who is the national leader of Americans for Informed Democracy. Along with the Stanley Foundation and the UN Foundation, AID is among the organizations with which CGS has developed especially cordial ties since Charlie Brown took over as President in 2004 and I hope that we can forge similar bonds here in Minnesota, where our own Board member, Jared Black, is a leader in AID's U. of M. Chapter.

The conference's most sobering event was a panel on genocide. It featured a married couple of international lawyers who have been deeply engaged in the post-conflict war crimes trials in Sierra Leone; and a retired Marine Corps captain, who was one of only three Americans posted with the African Union forces in Darfur to provide photographic documentation of the genocide underway in that region. The photos he presented were the most gruesome testimony of depravity one could imagine, comparable in many ways to what one would witness in Auschwitz.

I was one of only two Minnesotans who attended the Santa Fe meeting, the other being Carol Duff, of Red Wing, a member of the National Board. But our former Minnesotan WFA Board member, Inga Thompson, now resident in Albuquerque, was the one who suggested the Santa Fe meeting site and served on the Host Committee. I left Santa Fe with a sense of pride in my association with CGS, of confidence in its talented and devoted staff, and of renewed determina-tion to further its vitally important mission.

Joe Schwartzberg, President, Minnesota Chapter


Citizens for Global Solutions is a nationwide organization that inspires Americans to engage the world. Its members recognize that in today's inter-connected world, our lives, our jobs and our families are increasingly affected by global problems. Chal-lenges such as terrorism, climate change, failed states and infectious diseases cannot be effectively addressed by countries acting on their own. They demand global solutions.

The major goals being promoted by CGS are:

  • A U.S. foreign policy that makes us stronger and safer through cooperation;
  • Global collaboration on environmental and public health challenges;
  • Collaborative approaches to human security, the prevention and resolution of conflict and the rebuilding of failed states;
  • Laws and institutions that protect human rights;
  • Making international institutions like the United Nations better able to tackle the complex challenges of the 21st Century.

Charles J. Brown, CGS President and Chief Executive Officer since 2004 has a rich background working in positions of high authority in Amnesty International, the Department of State and Freedom House. You can learn much more about him and C.G.S. by checking out our national website: It will provide you with many interesting links and contains, among other features, numerous clever, but serious, flash movies and games.

We invite you also to check our Minnesota Chapter's website:

We invite you to join CGS even if you feel you cannot be particularly active in our work. Membership will entitle you to receive our national and state newsletters, notices of special events, and a means of becoming more involved with global issues that you feel are especially important. Should you decide to join please send your initial yearly dues ($25 for individuals, $30 for married couples, or $10 for students) to our state Treasurer, Louise Pardee, at 5492 Bald Eagle Blvd. E., White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Also provide us with your US mail address, home and office telephone numbers, and e-mail address. A statement of interests will also be welcome.


May we suggest that you check regularly on the website of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, for news of events sponsored by the 63 organizations (including our own) making up that coalition? On December 13 MAP will host its annual meeting, and you are invited to attend. This information-filled program will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will include lunch. The cost is only $10.

We also suggest that you contact David Shove at shove001 [at] and request that your name be added to his Progressive Calendar list-serve.


The most recent number of Basilica, the beautifully produced magazine of Minneapolis' Basilica of Saint Mary contains a feature article on CGS members Mary Rose and Fred Goetz, who have been parishioners there since 1961. Mary Rose, long a stalwart of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers, also serves as Secretary of the Minnesota Chapter of CGS. She and Fred met in Korea prior to the outbreak of the Korean War when both were engaged in volunteer work, she with orphanages and he as a doctor working in leper colonies and elsewhere. Both were evacuated when war broke out, and, after training as a public health nurse, Mary Rose spent five years working in Turkey and the Philippines. The two stayed in touch and were married in 1961. Their service careers continued and were emulated by their second child, Cecilia, who was murdered by a robber in Uganda while working with Minnesota International Health Volunteers, The Goetz's then set up the Cecilia Goetz Scholarship in Public Health at the University of Minnesota where Fred taught for many years.

There may be, we fear, a downside to Mary Rose. Her smile is so radiant, that it must contribute substantially to global warming.


More than three million persons have been uprooted by the recent South Asian earth-quake. Help is desperately needed. You can easily contribute on-line through many relief organizations, among which we recommend CARE, Church World Service, the Red Cross, OXFAM, and UNICEF. They can all be reached on the Internet via Google. Please respond generously.


When? The third Thursday of each month, 7:00 - 9:00 pm.
Where? Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis (at Lyndale & Hennepin). Free parking in church parking lot.
All programs are free and open to the public.


On their 2003 Christmas card Dick and Lynn Cheney cite the following question based on a brief passage in Matthew's Gospel: "And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His [God's] notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?" U.S. Empire, in this view, reflects God's will and intent. This presentation will examine the nuts and bolts of imperial politics, including reasons for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and will also explore the destructive expressions of Christianity that fuel imperial ambitions.

Presenter: JACK NELSON-PALLMEYER. Jack holds a Master of Divinity degree from New York's Union Theological Seminary. He is a powerful speaker and the author of many articles and books on faith, hunger, the arms race and U.S. foreign policy. His most recent books are Worship in the Spirit of Jesus: Theology, Liturgy, and Songs without Violence, coauthored with Bret Hesla, and Saving Christianity from Empire. Jack has extensive overseas experience, served as National Program Coordinator of the Politics of Food Program with Clergy & Laity Concerned (1977-81) and directed the Lutheran-sponsored, Minnesota-based Hunger and Justice Project (1982-84). Now an Associate Professor of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Jack is also active in the faith-based Community of St. Martin.

N.B. The program on the European Union originally scheduled for November 17 has had to be rescheduled and will be offered on January 19 or February 16.


This presentation will consider the "Roadmap" and other formulas for a two-state solution and describe recent changes in conditions on the ground in Gaza and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as settlements expand and the "separation barrier" continues to cut through Palestine. It will also point out hopeful signs: collaboration between Palestinians and Israelis, the many groups working for a just peace, and a growing willingness to learn nonviolent resistance strategies. Finally, it will consider the mixed, but largely negative, role of the US. To facilitate future study a list of print and Internet resources will be distributed.

Presenter: SR. FLORENCE STEICHEN. A native of Minneapolis and a Sister of St. Joseph, Florence was registrar of Bethlehem University 1987-1992, during the first Intifada when the University was closed by the Israeli military for nearly three years. She returned to Palestine and Israel in 1995, 1998, 2000, and 2004 to lead groups and visit. She speaks, writes and lobbies on the Palestinian- Israeli conflict. Florence has a Masters of Theology degree from Notre Dame University, has worked as a mediator, and has taught at the secondary and college levels for about twenty-five years.

We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
--Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Jay Shahidi

For 60 years forces of colonialism, imperialism, fascism, totalitarianism and racism have engaged in massive efforts to undermine the effectiveness of the United Nations, to disrupt its workings, to weaken or dismantle it, and, to turn it into a surrogate and agent for major powers. It is awesome that this world body, created to promote global peace and prosperity has survived until now. Indeed, it has become an essential part of the world community and is more relevant now than it was in 1945. Would we have had a World War III? Would we have been turned into a world of puppets under communism? Or, would we be slaves under the absolute power of oligopolistic capitalism? Who would have established standards for aviation, navigation and meteorology? Who would have provided food, medical care and shelter for 50 million refugees since 1950? Who would have vaccinated and provide medical care to millions in Africa and Asia so that we, in the prosperous world, would stay safe form their diseases?

The UN is our only effective source of international law and forum for dialogue and redressing international grievances. It has prevented many wars and brought many others to an end. It has helped develop the world and, more than any other agency, helped spread democracy. Like any human-made organization, it has its defects. It must and it can be reformed and improved. Its successes far outweigh its failures. It is not a world government. It is a cooperative enterprise and it receives its power from its members. It is sad that so many Americans do not understand and appreciate this ingenious system, which was spearheaded by the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt and Minnesota's own former Republican governor, Harold Stassen. Powerful people in America today, though, seek to tear it down and rebuild it to suit their avaricious design for world domination. It is the mission of peace-loving people to resist their greed and their manipulation of truth; their control of the media to spread lies; their exploitation of resources in non-sustainable ways and for the short-term profit of the few; and, their well-financed plan to destroy democracy and establish autocracy.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the foregoing editorial are personal and may or may not reflect the views of other members of CGS.

I am a citizen, not of Athens or of Greece, but of the world.

Citizens for Global Solutions

Citizens for Global Solutions-Minnesota Chapter
5492 Bald Eagle Blvd. E.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
info at
Posted November 15, 2005