Thursday, May 24, 2018

"Cataclysm" by Robert F. Lundrigan








Cataclysm: Survival in a Barren World
by Robert F. Lundrigan
Genre: SciFi Fantasy

The story is told from two points of view. The Clark family finds themselves seemingly alone on a barren planet while an alien named Pzx is in charge of the fleet looking for a home. She is under orders but would prefer to communicate with other beings. This is a tale of the struggles of both of them as they seek to survive in a barren world.







About the Author
Robert F. Lundrigan is a certified member of APICS and former Manager of Materials at General Electric. A native of Massachusetts, he graduated from Lowell Institute in Mechanical Engineering and later attended technical and creative writing workshops at Harvard. He has helped several companies as a consultant to improve profits by using the theory of constraints, with great success. Bob has written numerous articles for professional journals, this is his second novel.


Author Links


Giveaway
$25 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


EXCERPT 1:

The end of the three hundred year journey is at hand and the flagship passes silently into the outer reaches of Earth’s solar system. As programmed, the artificial brain is automatically activated when the craft passes through Pluto’s magnetic influence, causing the temperature and atmosphere of the cryonic chamber to change. At the same instant, a signal is transmitted to the other space vessels and soon the entire armada slows to sub warp speed and deploys to establish a parking orbit around Mars, the planet nearest to its ultimate destination.
Slowly Pzx opens her eye and it takes her but a moment to realize what seemed like no more than a good night’s sleep has in fact, spanned three centuries. She stretches her stiff tentacles and breathes as deeply as she possibly can to clear her lungs of the stale air, while she looks carefully at the bank of instruments overhead to be certain that all is in working order. Satisfying herself that all is as it should be she projects the thought command that lifts the lid of the vacuum chamber that has been her world for three hundred years, and slithers to the deck where she anchors her base appendage to the foot-beam. She rubs her eye and seeing her reflection in the chamber lid, decides that she looks terrible - just as she does every morning until she’s had time to adjust her
plasma casing from rest to activity mode. It’s extremely cold in the cryonic chamber but the twisting and turning exercises she must go through to make her face cause her to forget the chill. When she’s satisfied that she looks presentable enough for what she needs to do, she slides slowly to the next capsule and extreme apprehension takes over as she peers through the transparent lid at the still form of Hrnk. She engages the activator switch and watches fondly, and the apprehension is replaced by something else as he goes through his waking process. He
opens his eye and when he recognizes Pzx his thought projections tell her that all is well with him. Pzx doesn’t open the cover until she is certain that all of Hrnk’s vital signs are normal. At the precise moment the cover is unlatched Hrnk’s reproductive organ begins glowing with that unmistakable signal that is characteristic of all male members of the Drmbkian race, a race dominated by females, a race where the male’s only functions are reproduction and companionship. Although there is an almost overwhelming desire within her to climb into the chamber with Hrnk, Pzx closes the lid reluctantly and tears herself away from her mate.
She has so much to do and so many duties to fulfill. Her first duty is that of activating the cryonic capsules of the ninety nine other ships in the fleet so that they can can get on with the business that has brought them to this new world, the world which they have chosen to be their home, New Drmbk.


EXCERPT 2:
Bill wakes at the crack of dawn and gets things ready for travel without waking the others. As he leaves the main gate he stops to look in on the ranger booth but no one is there. Somebody has left a uniform, complete with shoes right there in the middle of the floor of the small cubicle, and the cash box is open and filled with money. He shrugs his shoulders at the strange condition but leaves the price of a campsite rental for one night on the small counter and drives on. Soon he is out of the Mammoth Cave National Park land and on the entrance to the
highway that leads towards Nashville. There hasn’t been a single car or truck on the road so far but, now that he’s on the main drag, there’s bound to be traffic.
He looks both ways and there’s nothing coming in either direction. “I know that there’s light traffic in the south as compared to the north, but this is ridiculous,” he mutters to himself just before he sees the two cars overturned in the ditch beside the road. He stops and gets out to investigate. There’s nobody in the cars but there’s clothing
scattered about in both of them. He gets a terrible feeling in the pit of his stomach. The road is straight and flat affording good visibility. There’s no traffic in either direction. He waits for five minutes and nothing shows up. Something is wrong, terribly wrong.
He climbs back into the driver’s seat and proceeds slowly towards Nashville. He sees more and more overturned and smashed vehicles along the way but investigation always reveals the same thing - No people in evidence but there is always clothing scattered inside of each vehicle. There’s even watches and jewelry in some of them. His
head is beginning to pound. None of this makes any sense. He turns on the radio to get the news, to find out what in the hell is going on. All he gets is the shoosh of the open airways. He scans the band over and over but either his radio is broken or nothing is being broadcast. He turns on the CB and gets the same shooshing sound, nothing more. “Oh my God,” he shouts. “What is going on?”
His shout wakes up the rest of the crew and they find him sitting in the driver’s seat shaking like a leaf. “Dad, what’s the matter?” asks Marty. “Are you alright?”
“There’s nobody out there,” is all that he can say.
Diana is the first to notice the smashed vehicles alongside of the road. She shakes Bill and he snaps out of it. He tells them what he has found, or has not found. The details are enough to numb them all into a sort of semi-shock but Bill decides to press on towards Nashville until they at least come to a McDonald’s or someplace where he knows that there are always people.
For a while they stop at every empty vehicle to investigate but it’s always the same. They soon learn that it’s useless to stop, and keep going until they come upon a sign that tells them there’s a Burger King at the next exit. When they get to the exit ramp there are several smashed vehicles and an overturned eighteen wheeler blocking the way. The restaurant is nearby so they leave the motorhome and walk. There’s no sound except the sound of a soft breeze murmuring through the trees, and there’s no movement save for that moved by the same breeze, and when they start walking, the sound of their footsteps are like drum beats. The parking lot of the Burger King is nearly full of cars and the big yellow and red signs glow with the electricity that’s inside them.
“Looks like there’s somebody here. The place is open,” shouts Mike as he dashes on ahead followed by Marty and the girls .
When Diana and Bill get to the top of the ramp the children are on their way back, their faces as white as new fallen snow. There is shock in their eyes. “All there is inside are piles of clothes but no people. All the lights are on and there’s even Whoppers ready behind the counter, but there’s nobody anywhere,” says Debbie. “Oh, my God! What is happening, Daddy?”
“I don’t know, honey. I don’t know.” He takes a sobbing daughter into his arms, feeling helpless and confused.
They go into the restaurant where Bill notices on the small computer above the counter that the last order was taken at five-thirtyeight PM. “Whatever happened must have happened at about five-thirtyeight last evening,” he tells them, pointing to the screen.



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"The United" by James Meservy









The United
The Realm of Light Series Book 1
by James Quinlan Meservy
Genre: YA Fantasy


KINGDOMS FALL, ONE DESTINY AT A TIME
Some time ago in a land since long forgotten, an evil force by the name of Lord Yrimwaque – servant of the Threat of Rai – threatens to destroy everything and prepare the world for a harvest. The only thing that stands in his way are three reluctant heroes: Tyler, his girlfriend KimberlyAnn and his best friend Blaze Morrison, who have been recruited by the followers of the Light of Rai. Upon their journey of knowledge, TJ and his friends are forced into an unlikely encounter with a creature of legend, and find themselves in the midst of an ancient battle between the Light of Rai and the Threat of Rai, with our world hanging in the balance. As the Light of Rai teach them to hone their various gifts and talents for the greater good of the kingdom, faith is restored, in the hopes that they will be able to stop Lord Yrimwaque and vanquish the evil horde he desires to unleash upon the land. Amid plots and counter-plots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, allies and enemies, the fate of the land hangs in the balance, as the lines between good and evil become more skewed. But will all their efforts be enough, or will the kingdom be plunged into darkness forever?







About the Author
Literature has always been a passion of mine.  I love to read, and I love to discuss literature.  My favorite genre to read and write is fantasy.
I was born in the InterMountain West of the United States.  I consider my home town to be Mendon, Ut; however, I spent my childhood years in Hinesville, Ga, and multiple communities in Northern Utah.
I graduated from Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, Utah, and graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Anthropology, emphasis in Archaeology, with minors in Russian and Geology.
I started writing in grade school, and after many years and multiple attempts, I finally published my first book The United.



Author Links



The United The Realm of the Light Book 1

TJ’s breathing slowed. He saw LyAnn waiting for him. He took a step toward the cave entrance, and his foot slipped on a rock. He reacted too slowly. He was falling into the water; he was certain that once his body hit the deadly substance, he would not have the power to regain his feet.
This is it, TJ thought as he felt his legs become submerged. His world went black. He sucked what he anticipated to be his last deep breath of air, and he fell into the water up to his torso, ready to accept his watery grave. His arms were now fully underwater. He thought of LyAnn’s beautiful face as the water covered his face. Then, three strong and steady hands grabbed on to him, one under each shoulder, and one grabbed his healthy hand. The unseen hands lifted him to his feet.


The United, The Realm of the Light Book 1

The warrior patiently waited as another female took some water, then a third. After a couple more females started to drink, the warrior saw a male approach. With snakelike reflexes, the warrior coiled his legs and aimed for his prey. The warrior noiselessly sprang at an elk, a female this time. The warrior flew through the air, twisted his body, slit the throat of his prey, and landed on the ground before the herd realized what had happened. At the sight of the human, the herd turned and fled the clearing beside the spring.
The warrior immediately started to prepare his catch for transport. As he was thanking the creature for giving her life so he could sustain the life of his family, a red light reflected on his face. Upon finishing his prayer, the warrior walked toward the red light. He entered into a cavern he never noticed before. There were shelves carved into the wall holding glass jars that reeked of blood. Then he saw it.
On a shelf next to a boiling cauldron of an unknown substance, there lay a beautiful necklace made of gold, with a blood-red stone medallion, much larger and more elegant than any gem the warrior had ever seen.



Giveaway
$15 Amazon Gift Card

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

"Lady Hannibal" by John Kaniecki


Lady Hannibal

Her voice rises loud
She is heard
Over the noisy crowd

Dark brown her smooth skin
Her word
Comes from deep within

Ancestors
Some humble, some brave
An Egyptian Pharaoh
And a galley slave

No justice no peace!
No justice no peace!!
The cries do not cease!

My blue eyes penetrate her soul
History, lessons, they guide
Lady Hannibal
I stand by her side

Bitter cold fingers numb
We speak bold
We shall overcome!
But out on the street
Without heat
We are so few
What can we do?

Lady Hannibal
Presses at my side
She flashes me a smile
My heart beats hot
And the bitterness is forgot
For a while

The tea touches the tongue
We congregate
None of us are young
We debate
Apathy, hopelessness, despair
Does anybody care?
If they do
Why are we so few?

Theories, opinions, thoughts, we exchange
The world is going to hell
We have to change, but how to break the spell?
I nibble on a cookie
Insatiable hunger
Desire does increase
NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!

Lady Hannibal breaks the gloom
Chasing away vultures of doom
We hang on every syllable
Food for the soul
Her laughing lips illuminate light
“How can we fail when we are in the right?”

Ghetto defender, warrior of the street
In winter freeze drawing the heat
Lady Hannibal has crossed the line
She has embraced the oppressed
And called them mine
Angel divine,
Demon too!
All depending on your point of view

Lady Hannibal she cannot fail
Poverty, brutality, ridicule, jail
Justice is an endless quest
Righteousness rewards no rest
Battle, war, it takes its toll
Perfection is an impossible goal
So we seek to rise above
In service to Love
  
Lady Hannibal I admire
Lady Hannibal I desire
Even if I were blind
I am sure I would find
Your light

Her voice is not alone
Our cries
Rise to God’s throne
Father in control
Bless Lady Hannibal
Make it right

For more revolutionary poetry check out "Poet To The Poor"


Thursday, May 17, 2018

"Scarecrow, Scarecrow" by John Kaniecki






Chapter One


To the scant few who knew it existed, Mercer County, Iowa was known for its corn and annual fair. However, when Wilbur Ferris was murdered, the town's reputation got hijacked. It was not just the rarity of the event that attracted attention. It was the savage brutality with which the crime was conducted. The poor man, who was a pillar of the community, was stabbed no less than seventy-five times according to final autopsy reports. Add to that the fact that his mangled body was found hanging from a tree, and his head was barely attached to his mutilated frame, it was a wonder how he could hang there without his battered corpse becoming decapitated.
            If such a heinous crime had been conducted in the old South, cries of a lynching would have been raised up. Wilbur Ferris was far from the typical poor, black man that was so commonly executed. He was of Anglo Saxon descent. Certainly, he had no hereditary mixtures of anything scandalous to prevent him from claiming blue blood status. He was a member in good standing of the Second Baptist Church. He owned a rather large and prosperous piece of farmland where he raised corn. His family history went back for generations and could be traced to the original settlers. In fact, there was even a street in town named Ferris Avenue after some distant relative.
            The question for the community, and indeed the country at large, was why. Why did anyone not only murder poor Wilbur Ferris, but with such brutality? The local police, in association of the Iowa state police, conducted a thorough investigation. Hordes of people were interrogated. After several weeks, when the circus like atmosphere had dissipated, there came out an official conclusion; the authorities determined that Wilbur Ferris had been killed by some stranger who had passed through the community.
            Some of the facts were consistent with the official conclusion of the matter. There had been a mysterious individual who could be labeled as a transient who was present in Mercer County in that time frame. Unfortunately, by all accounts this stranger had disappeared three days prior to the killing. The local folk grumbled at the determination. The national press accepted the police's verdict without a breath of doubt. The press, after all, was only interested in sensationalizing the murder anyway. They cared nothing about the truth. The television networks quest was solely for high ratings.  Other heart gripping stories had come to life, and the story of Wilbur Ferris was soon as dead as he was.  Most importantly, the murder case was officially solved. At least for the moment, things could return to normal.
            Anne McFry knew most of the intimate secrets. The dark details haunted her mind as she boarded the Greyhound Bus with a one-way ticket to New York City in her trembling hand. Conveniently, her leaving was a scheduled trip planned months in advance, and so it would not have gathered any suspicion from any watchful eyes. That is, if the law was even interested in her.  After all, they had no good reason to. The young lady would be pursuing her dreams of becoming a professional singer. Like thousands of other aspiring stars, she was making her pilgrimage to the Mecca of show business. Anne was determined not only to never return but not to even take a look back. She rejected Lot's wife syndrome.
            The young lady mechanically clutched her purse knowing that if the police knew its contents, she could be charged with murder. Truth of the matter was that she was in that intangible gray area. It could one day become a reality that she would be charged for murder in this heinous crime. If she had a good lawyer, she wouldn't go to jail. But being a relatively poor person and thus having to rely on a public defender, most likely the outcome of any trial would be to find her guilty. Such a prospect only urged her to flee her home all the more.
            Anne looked all around in a fit of paranoia. Then with confidence, she relaxed using the techniques she learned from her musical experience. The singer imagined she was going on stage and focused. Using controlled breathing, she exorcised her anxiety. Many of her fellow passengers felt agitated with the thoughts of taking the trip to New York City. Consternation was inflicting the faces of many boarding the bus. Why should she fear arrest anyway? A fair number of the police knew the exact details of that dreadful night when Wilbur Ferris had his life snuffed out. They were as guilty as she. How many there were involved exactly Anne had no way of determining. It could be the whole damn police force for that matter. Anne was certainly an integral part of the secret society that had done the gruesome act. It was a group dominated by mystery. As a safety precaution, members held their anonymity. When meetings were conducted, members masked their faces and disguised their voices. They also went by aliases to hide their true identities. For them, secrecy was the norm.
            The young lady sat back in her seat and did the best she could to relax. Looking out of the dirty window of the bus, she saw her parents standing. Her Momma had broken down in tears this morning, as her baby was leaving her. Both her parents were adamant against her making this trip. She was being foolish to do such a thing was their declaration. But Anne was of age, and the reality was that she would make her journey with or without their blessing. So instead of dealing with the shame and embarrassment of their precious daughter sneaking out in the middle of the night, the unhappy parents gave her a proper send off.
            So consumed in her meditations, she failed to notice a stranger sliding into the empty seat on the aisle next to her.

            "Is this your first time to New Yawk City?" came a deep voice of a man. The young lady could pick up the nervousness in the high pitched tone of the question.




Scarecrow, Scarecrow
Anne McFry Series Book 1
by John Kaniecki
Genre: Horror

The Scarecrow lurks in the shadows of a young girl’s frightened mind. Everywhere Anne McFry looks, she sees the face of a twisted demon that haunts her past. Escaping from the horror ridden town and going to the big city, Anne thinks she is safe from the Scarecrow. That is until it starts popping up everywhere she looks. Befriending a young man against her better judgement, she experiences a demented ride of torture as the past she is running from catches up to her. The Scarecrow is coming to collect dues, and the only payment Anne has is her soul.












About the Author
John Kaniecki was born in Brooklyn, New York. Though having no memories of life there, John is proud to be called a Native New Yorker. John was raised in Pequanock Township, New Jersey. At age twenty John was baptized and became a member of the Church of Christ. Presently John resides in Montclair, NJ and lives with his wife of over twelve years Sylvia. The happy couple attend the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue in Newark, NJ. John is very active in outreach and teaching as part of the leadership of the congregation.


Author Links



            In the distance raged the tall red candles lit with dancing fire. The flickering of the flames produced surreal shadows as if demons were dancing upon the walls. In the background, quite a distance away, stood the members of the coven. They were chanting their unholy praise to the dark lord whom they served. Exactly what was transpiring Anne was uncertain. For some unknown reason, she had misunderstood the time of the meeting and arrived a full hour later than the correct starting time.
            Anne, of course at the time, had no idea who was in that brown robe at this point. The individual wore a plain mask. It was one of a white face with thick black circles around the eyes. The mouth consisted of protruding fangs. It was another anonymous member. Anne knew the identity of a good number of the group. Of course, the oath for secrecy was the most fundamental vow that the organization maintained. The obvious reason was that betrayal in this aspect would bring rapid demise to one's existence in the normal world. So as a precaution, all the members wore masks to conceal their identities. All were instructed that if they were ever to testify in court, they would swear that they knew no one's true name.
            As soon as Anne arrived, the action began. "Black Master Grand," called out the one who went by the name of Dragon Sword. "We have gathered here today to discuss your actions."
            When the words were uttered, the reaction of the brown robed figure was swift. He looked upwards like a dog who heard a whistle disturbing its ears in agony.
            The high priest continued, "It has been declared that you willfully and flagrantly disobeyed a direct command of the Grand Priest."
            Anne shuddered herself when she heard the accusation. For a moment, she felt great sympathy for the accused. If he was found guilty, the penalty would be most severe. Though far from an expert in the by laws and regulations of the coven, Anne could not imagine that there would be any penalty less than death for the offense.
            "How plead ye?" demanded Dragon Sword.
            "I am innocent, of course," cried out the muffled voice of Black Master Grand. "I demand to face my accusers. Where are those who lie upon me?"
            Dragon Sword looked over at Dark Bear, and the two met in a prolonged stare. It was as if they were somehow communicating in a non-verbal way. Anne could not comprehend how that could be, especially since both of the men were wearing masks that concealed all facial movements. After several seconds, Dragon Sword spoke in a roaring voice, "It has been determined that you are guilty of this crime."
            Black Master Grand stabbed back as if he was a boxer reeling from a hard jab. Dark Bear, who was a larger individual, went forward and reached out his massive hand grabbing Black Master Grand's robe. He then jerked the man backward and pushed him to the ground. At the same time, Dragon Sword pulled out a long dagger approximately nine-inches long that was hidden under his tunic.
            Upon the ground, Black Master Grand gave a shrill cry as if he was a woman giving child birth. The victim's right hand was on the ground propping up his body while he raised his left in defense. Dragon Sword advanced with the silver blade in his hand, eerily flickering in the candles' illumination. It appeared as if the weapon pulsated with electric energy. With a savage swiftness, the occultist plunged the dagger down striking the arm of the target. The cloth shred away, and soon blood was pouring out. It saturated the arm. Black Master Grand wailed in agony at the top of his lung. All the while the sickly sounding choir chanting its evil melody in the distance perked up.
            Anne raised her hand to her mouth in disbelief. Several more brutal slashes descended. Still, the poor wretch somehow kept his bloodied hand raised in protection. "Please, please, please," he cried pathetically. Dark Bear advanced and savagely kicked the violator. Black Master Grand wailed once more in pain. Dragon Sword lurched forward and slashed repeatedly back and forth. The poor man's robe was shredded to pieces. Apparently, so was his skin, for blood oozed out wherever he was cut. Then, in frenzy, the high priest stabbed over and over and over. The young lady lost count of the times he thrust down his weapon. In surreal voices, the devil worshipping praise filled the air competing with the yelps of pain. Finally, Black Master Grand ceased to resist. Still, as if insatiable for blood and violence, the attack continued. Finally, the creature was no more than a mutilated sack of bones and flesh.
            In the process of the devastation, the mask fell off. Anne was appalled to learn the identity of the man once known as Black Master Grand. The gray hair and long nose was unmistakable. It was none other than Wilbur Ferris. The killer turned towards Anne and barked out in a commanding voice, "Help me with this body."
            Anne hesitated, daring not to take a single step forward.
            "I said Day Night, help me with this body," he insisted one more. This time the decree was formal as Anne's secret name was evoked. It was a direct command, and what happened to those who disobey had been so clearly illustrated but a moment ago.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

"Momma" a poem by John Kaniecki on Mother's Day

Momma - In Memory of Martha Jenkins

(Mother, Grand Mother, Friend, Much More)

Born - November 10, 1948
Passed On - January 23, 2013

By John Kaniecki

Momma
Lay your bones to rest
Gone is the test
You’ve done your best
You leave more behind
Than memories kind

Momma
We cherish and hold you
More than gold
More than we told you
More then we could express
God bless

Momma
Goodbye
We’ll wail and cry
And never forget
All the good you gave
Up to the grave
In truth you are never gone
Memories, spirits, linger on
And Momma when we fall
And with wearied voice I call
In desperate prayer
Your tender loving care
Will always be there

Momma
Jesus is the Judge of all
Before him we stand or fall
Sleep until His call
We trust and understand
God is in command
And though there is immense grief
We cling to a deep belief
A God of mercy He does reign
And Love is never in vain





Editorial by Madelyn Hoffman

U.S. needs to embrace a ban on nuclear weapons
Madelyn Hoffman
Special to North Jersey Record USA TODAY NETWORK - NEW JERSEY
Nuclear ban or nuclear war? It’s an easy choice for most, but perhaps not for the U.S. government.
On April 29, New Jersey Peace Action celebrated its 61st anniversary with a program featuring two dynamic women answering this question. They were Ray Acheson, from Reaching Critical Will and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Alice Slater, from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a veteran of the fight for nuclear abolition. Both had traveled to Oslo, Norway, in September 2017 to accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
Peace and nuclear disarmament groups cheered at the announcement of ICAN’s award. They were pleased to see a grass-roots organization honored and excited to see nuclear abolition efforts finally acknowledged as a vital part of the work for peace and a necessary step toward the survival of the planet.
Nuclear disarmament has never been more important than it is today. It hangs as a backdrop behind all work to prevent wars and the yelling between the U.S. and North Korea. The escalating rhetoric between Kim Jong-un and President Trump is intensified because one wrong move could lead to the potentially catastrophic use of nuclear weapons. The proximity of Russian and U.S. troops in Syria becomes more dangerous because if either Russia or the U.S. provokes the other, that conflict, too, could result in the use of nuclear weapons.
Don’t let anyone fool you. No one will win a nuclear war. Remember the last time (and hopefully the only time in the history of the world) that atom bombs were used? “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” were dropped by the U.S. military on Nagasaki on Aug. 9 and Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Some 210,000 people were killed or vaporized instantaneously – with millions dying from radiation poisoning over time. Some of the effects from exposure to radiation continue to affect the children and grandchildren of the survivors. Today’s nuclear weapons are more powerful, so would have more devastating effects.
The consequences of radiation poisoning are still making themselves felt today. Fed up with what seems to be a reluctance to once and for all rid the world of nuclear weapons, led by ICAN in July 2017, members of 122 of the 192 member countries in the United Nations agreed to create a world that completely bans these terrible weapons.
In addition to opposing nuclear weapons out of concern for the humanitarian consequences of their use, the U.S. government has pledged to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years to “modernize and rebuild” the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal, making it bigger and more powerful than it was at the height of the Cold War. At the same time, the U.S. warns countries like Iran and North Korea that they cannot have any nuclear weapons. All this when U.S. infrastructure is crumbling or when money is needed for education, health care, veterans’ benefits, public transportation and more. Think of how much money is needed for these purposes and then think about spending $1 trillion on our nuclear weapons arsenal. The words fall flat on their faces.
Ray Acheson wrote in her April 27 article “A New Generation Against the Bomb,” published in The Nation, “Since its founding in Melbourne, Australia, in 2007, ICAN has encouraged and accepted contributions from every person of every age … ICAN is not a youth organization … We’re an intergenerational campaign. Indeed, that’s one of our greatest strengths. We have octogenarians working alongside school students. No one is too young or too old to contribute to a world free of nuclear weapons.'
Nuclear countries like the U.S. must realize that instead of protecting the world and bringing about peace, many U.S. actions accomplish the opposite. Instead of tearing up international diplomatic agreements like the Iran Nuclear Deal, the U.S. should do everything it can to protect such agreements.
On May 12, we’ll learn whether the Trump administration will protect the Iran Deal. It shouldn’t be so difficult to support efforts by young and old alike to lower the escalating levels of violence in our society, including violence from mass shootings and U.S.-initiated violence in the form of drones, nuclear weapons or illegal and undeclared wars of aggression around the globe.
We can support local efforts to highlight the dangers of war on the first Saturday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the MLK statue, 450 MLK Boulevard, Newark. Let’s also support the nuclear abolition efforts of NJPA’s honorees – including the Essex County Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom celebrating its 103rd anniversary this year.
We all have a stake in peace.
Bloomfield resident Madelyn Hoffman is executive director of NJ Peace Action.

Support New Jersey Peace Action Purchase Peace Poems.