Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rusul goes back to Iraq

Photo is of Rusul, taken in August 2008. She likes to ham it up sometimes, at other times she seems quiet and reflective.

Rusul and her dad went back to Iraq last week. Rusul has a new right foot, and an extra one that is somewhat bigger for her to grow into.

I wish I could have gone down to Greenville and spend some more time with her this month, but the gas situation rather precluded doing that, unfortunately. They were back at home last Friday, per reports from No More Victims. Hey, I wish I could speak some Arabic also, and find out more about what they are thinking and feeling.

On my last outing with Rusul (in Greenville), she was singing 'Thank You, Allah' in a little song. She came to Asheville for a house party and LOVED jumping on the trampoline! She liked to put salt on a slice of lemon and eat it ~ she had some quirks, that's for sure!

Here is the last email from Ann:

Hello Friends of Rusul and Salee!
I just flew in late last night from an NMV event in LA but wanted to let you all know that Rusul and Abu Ali have made it home safely. They arrived at the NMV apartment in Amman on Wednesday, and were driven to Hasswa on Friday. (and by now, I'm sure that Rusul and Salee are deep in walking competitions!) Umm Ali had gone shopping with her parents in Fallujah last week to prepare for their arrival, so I'd guess that today would be a day of festivity and welcome!
I'll keep you all updated whenever I hear any news from them.
Please keep our other NMV children in your prayers. Nora is still receiving the saline injections in the balloon extenders on her head; she'll be ready for surgery by the end of October. Omar is still in Boston undergoing medical care after over a year and a half. Little Mustafa, who just got to Portland, Oregon a little over a week ago has now had one kidney removed. They also removed a stone in his bladder the size and weight of a chicken egg (the stone is what had caused the failure of his kidney). Many of the children are developing horrible kidney stones as a result of the devastation of the water supply due to the war. Doctors in Oregon said that Mustafa would have died in a matter of months if NMV hadn't gotten him out. There wasn't a lot that they could do for his bowels, however; his intestines still extrude from his body whenever his colostomy bag is changed, but this is one child whose very life was saved by the work that each of you is helping with. You might remember that Mustafa lost his leg and buttocks in a US air strike during the second seige of Fallujah, is six years old and weighs 22 pounds, so this little guy was really in serious shape. He'll undergo his prosthesis when he's fully recovered from these emergency surgeries.
And, 3 year old Mustafa Ghazwan is still waiting for visas at the NMV apartment in Jordan with his father. Please say a prayer for them; how hard this must be for them being away from home so long and in this state of uncertainty. Cole has contacts from Senator Kennedy to Nancy Pelosi's office all working on helping to expedite Mustafa's father's visa, but as of yet, there's been no change.
If you'd like to learn more about any of the children, please check out the website (www.nomorevictims.org ); we're trying to keep it updated as much as possible, or e-mail me anytime!
Thank you all, as always, for your compassion to the war-injured civilians of Iraq. As soon as I hear anything from Salee and Rusul's family, I'll pass it on!
with peace, Ann

Monday, September 29, 2008

Handout from Vets for Peace

This is a copy of the handout given out last week at the Veterans for Peace protest at the National Archives Building. (More information at this link about this event- scroll down.)

Here's the text of our handout (which we also signed and sent to each Judiciary Committee member):

Our Intention

As veterans and family members of military personnel, we respect and honor the military oath of service to America—a solemn oath, having no expiration date, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Since January of 2001, we have witnessed George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other administration officials abuse the Constitution by violating the Bill of Rights, by ignoring international agreements, by defying Congress, and by violating the public trust through lies and deception. Bush and Cheney’s serial abuse of the Law of the Land clearly marks them as domestic enemies of the Constitution. In addition, they have illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, deliberately destroyed civilian infrastructure, authorized torture, and unlawfully detained prisoners. These actions clearly mark them as war criminals.

We realize that during our action today at the National Archives, we might be in technical breach of some minor statutes. But given our concern for the Supreme Law of the Land and the ineffectiveness of our lawful efforts to date, we are compelled to take this extraordinary action. We are not disturbing the peace; we are attempting to restore the peace (and restore the integrity of government as well). We are not conducting ourselves in a disorderly manner; our action is well-ordered and well-considered. We are not trespassing; we have come to the home of our Constitution to honor the oath to defend it.

We take this action as a last resort. For years we have pursued every avenue open to conscientious citizens to re-establish the rule of law and to restore the balance of power described in our Constitution. We have called, written, and visited our members of Congress. We have written guest editorials and letters to the editors of our newspapers. We have held vigils; we have demonstrated; we have marched in the streets. Despite these repeated and ongoing actions, Congress has not acted, and the media has largely ignored this momentous crisis in our nation.

Our action today is intended to raise public awareness of the crimes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and the need to hold them accountable; to motivate Congress to begin the impeachment process; and to induce the mainstream media to focus on the misdeeds of the current administration instead of the promise of the next. We want to emphasize that accountability extends beyond impeachment to prosecution for war crimes even after their terms of office expire.

We appeal to Congress to hold the Bush Administration accountable!

We call on the media to report with fairness on our action and, especially, on the grave misdeeds of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney!

We urge all Americans to join in defending the United States Constitution!

Through this action, we honor the wisdom and foresight of those original patriots who crafted this defining document of our great nation, as we also honor all those who, since 1787, have sacrificed to support and defend this law of the land.

Veterans for Peace – September 23, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Upcoming Events - 09/28/08

Please go to the WNC Peace Coalition blog for updates on events this week, including some UNCA events.

This photo came from the Dept of Peace walk on September 21, 2008. Holly and Jim are holding the WNC Peace Coalition sign.

Where we are headed

I have been saying for the past year and a half or so, that they US is not going to bomb Iran. And they sure are not going to invade! They will keep doing the covert operations, because the policy planners in DC, and the people who work for them, have absolutely no sense and no morals.

But this cartoon indicates where I do think things are headed - the US is going to get more and more and more involved in Pakistan. They have already done some bombing raids, have had their insanely evil Predator drones bomb even more, and on one occasion, invaded Pakistan to kill some people (mostly innocent civilians - not that this would be of any concern to this evil a**holes).

Yeap, that's where we are headed - getting bogged down in Pakistan. And I do not for one second think that the US forces have to remain in Iraq or Afghanistan, I don't think our sociopath leaders will even think of pulling them out. Our politicians just don't care who gets hurt or killed, they only care about power and money. And there is plenty of money for them to make by doing war! Just go and invest in those war-mongering industries and leave your morals behind!

Hey, we also sold F-16s to Pakistan. I guess that was to make the whole thing more sporting. And Pakistan has nukes, which could lead to global disaster, particularly with these sociopath leaders in the USA running the show.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

International Peace Day in Afghanistan

Photo: Afghans march to mark the International Day of Peace in the city of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008. NATO's top general in Afghanistan has ordered all international troops in the country to halt offensive operations Sunday in honor of a U.N.-backed day of peace. Even the Taliban is pledging to lay down their weapons for a day. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Guns fell silent, sporting events were held, polo vaccinations delivered, marches held, poetry read, kites flown, and a street renamed. In Kunduz, a street that had seen three suicide bombers attack was renamed “Peace Street”. Hundreds of blue flags were strung up in the capital of Kabul. It was a wonderful day in Afghanistan, and I believe this is the third year they are honoring this day – the UN declared International Day of Peace. (Here in Asheville, we held a march through downtown on Saturday to mark this event. About 50 people participated.)

In this report, a US spokesperson in the military said this: "It's a great day to show Afghans exactly what peace is like and how their everyday life would be if they just booted out the bad guys." Of course, he is referring to the Taliban, not the Americans who first funded and armed the insurgents (who later became the Taliban) who fought the Russians, and not the Americans that turned the whole country upside down and routinely bombs civilians. It seems to me that the Americans are equally (if not more so) “the bad guys” in this country. We certainly are not improving the situation or helping the Afghan people. Like they say – there are no so blind as those who will not see.

Jon Stewart shows us that bush is a liar

Friday, September 26, 2008

Review: Jesus Camp

They start by claiming there are ‘culture wars’ that they didn’t start… who is ‘THEY’? It is the religious right wingnuts in the USA, which is reportedly 25% of the population of the USA. The opening scenes of the camp are these kids doing an excellent dance routine. What is disturbing is the kids dressed in combat fatigues as they are doing this. This is happening at a kid’s massive bible class in Missouri. Then they have hundreds of kids ‘talking in tongues’ and they speak gibberish.

These are evangelical kids – not sure if all evangelical folks are this nutso. The women leading this insanity credit’s Bush for their new-found credibility. This was filmed in 2006, so some of that credibility may be shot now.

Before the beginning of the camp, the adults pray over the seats, the lights, the microphone, you name it. It kicks off with a dance routine called “JC in the house” or something like that. Then they immediately move into scaring the kids about “sin” and how it will DESTROY you. “The Devil Goes After the Young” they said – but it seems to me that it is the adults of this world that have the devil in them. She then goes after Harry Potter, which is totally ridiculous. This camp is called Lakewood Park Bible camp.

She then accuses the kids of being hyprocrites…. And makes them name what they need to be forgiven of…..she had them all crying and overcome with guilt. This is child abuse since these kids likely did NOTHING in their short lives that is really evil.

They encourage these kids to become preachers, with no possibility of someone else’s beliefs having any validity. At one point, they have them busting up ceramic cups in order to have righteous government here in the USA. (I guess that they have not busted enough cups, because our government is involved in mass murder, kidnapping, torture, lies and theft. In short, we are really on a path of evil, thanks to Bush and his cohorts.

They go into a emotional exercise where the kids are crying, and the lead adult yelling: “THIS MEANS WAR! THIS MEANS WAR! Are you a part of it or not?” They then do the dance number with the kids in combat gear, and they encourage them to go out and conquer using the teachings of the Gospel. Americans have such a screwed-up idea what 'war' is about, in spite of the fact that they start up wars, or egg them on, on a regular basis.

Then they bring out a cardboard cut out of Bush, and have the kids pray over him. They act like Bush is some sort of God or something.

Then they go into their routine about abortion. They pray that Jesus’s blood is poured over their sins and the sins of their nations. They talk about blood a lot. They are also very concerned about the unborn who were aborted in the USA since 1973. Then they pray for RIGHTEOUS JUDGES… they made a covenant to pray to end abortion in America. Some of the kids were crying again during this part. It seems they work hard to make kids cry.

They then show clips of preacher Ted Haggard, who talks to President Bush and advisors every Monday. He was a leader in the evangelical movement. Well, we know what happened with him – he was caught using a male prostitute, using meth, and did so for three years. I wonder how that impacted on these kid’s minds?

They took the kids to DC to pray for the Supreme Court Justice, and had them out proselytizing about Jesus. It is sick what they are doing to these kids. I hope one day the kids learn to think for themselves.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A possible solution

Again, from the guy who made the video below. I do not know that much about economics and finance, but I do know a few things - debt is generally bad, and no one should go into debt for things that have no financial worth - like say, a vacation. That pretty much leaves open the possibility for debt for education (which will result in a higher income eventually) and a home (which will usually appreciate. Debt for any other items should be short term, like a few months or so. And no one should go into debt to pay for medical care, because WE SHOULD ALL HAVE FREE MEDICAL CARE.

And one other thing I know: $700 billion dollars, if made into JOBS, would have a wonderful impact on our economy. And we would get some of it back in income taxes. This present bailout fraud will not help our economy (rather, it will create another bubble, which will result in a worse crash) but will make some rich folks richer.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

There is still time to impeach bush!

Photo came from an email from www.votetoimpeach.org. One of the activists at this event is a local guy, and I spent some time with him last Friday. It is a very large banner. From the email they sent out:

Right Now: Veterans Climb Government Building, Call for Arrest of Bush and Cheney
Impeachment movement challenges Bush at every turn

Right now, five military veterans -- from Veterans for Peace -- are occupying a 35-foot high ledge at the National Archive Building and have raised a 22x8-foot banner reading, "DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION. ARREST BUSH AND CHENEY: WAR CRIMINALS!" The veterans currently risking arrest have declared their intention to stay on the ledge, fasting for 24 hours "in remembrance of those who have perished and those still suffering from the crimes of the Bush administration," according to a written statement.

On the ledge, the veterans have brought with them a portable PA system, and they are broadcasting recorded statements from prominent Americans for the impeachment and/or arrest of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. Other impeachment activists are at the entrance of the National Archives distributing "Citizens Arrest Warrants" to those waiting in line.

This is the type of boldness that activists have displayed across the country to bring much-needed attention to this movement.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hank: Go Cheney Yourself!!

Here's a bit of the proposed "financial rescue" package that Hank Paulson is proposing:

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Got that? He wants the $700 billion to prop up the very mess he created. I made a sign for my car that says: Mr. Paulson: Go Cheney Yourself!! I figure that will get the message out without teaching the children any bad habits.

And here is a video that really lays it all out, from The Market Ticker.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

We've got the Fed!

Well, this week the same criminals who allowed/assisted in the sub-prime, sub-crime mortgage, have now convinced our criminal politicians to give them another half billion, or a billion, or so - or maybe more! Seems they have a lot of Americans convinced that we HAVE to bail these guys out, because every criminal enterprise/financial business should have more money given to the same folks/criminals who got us into this mess. Apparently, Americans cannot understand that throwing even more money to people who failed totally in their prior management of money is a poor idea.

And the crash will come anyway....... in the meantime, We Got The Feds! And some people still have a sense of humor.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Past pardons by the bushies

Back in 1992, the first president bush pardoned six former officials in the Reagan administration. One of the pardoned was Caspar Weinberger, who was due to stand trial for lying to Congress about his knowledge of the arms sales to Iran, and other information about the US support for the Nicaraguan rebels (better known to most people as ‘murderers’). He also pardoned Robert McFarlane and Elliott Abrams. Both of them had pleaded guilty to charges of withholding information from Congress about the support for the contras in Nicaragua. The US Congress had barred direct aid to the contra rebels, but these guys went ahead with using the money from the sale of arms to Iran to finance a weapons supply network to the contras. These guys just love to kill people – or rather, they love to have OTHER PEOPLE kill people for them. I guess they get their jollies from this sick practice.

This action completed the Iran-contra cover-up. It stopped any evidence of a conspiracy from becoming public knowledge.

(And, just a few years later, we had an 80 million dollar investigation into what the Clintons might have done in real estate and their private sexual behavior. Neither of these were a crime, even though the tried to impeach Clinton for lying about the sex.)

Here’s the statement from the independent counsel, from Reuters:

Following is a statement by the independent counsel, Lawrence E. Walsh, regarding pardons granted today by President Bush.

President Bush's pardon of Caspar Weinberger and other Iran-contra defendants undermines the principle that no man is above the law. It demonstrates that powerful people with powerful allies can commit serious crimes in high office -- deliberately abusing the public trust without consequence.

Weinberger, who faced four felony charges, deserved to be tried by a jury of citizens. Although it is the President's prerogative to grant pardons, it is every American's right that the criminal justice system be administered fairly, regardless of a person's rank and connections.

The Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed with the pardon of Caspar Weinberger. We will make a full report on our findings to Congress and the public describing the details and extent of this cover-up.

Weinberger's early and deliberate decision to conceal and withhold extensive contemporaneous notes of the Iran-contra matter radically altered the official investigations and possibly forestalled timely impeachment proceedings against President Reagan and other officials. Weinberger's notes contain evidence of a conspiracy among the highest-ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public. Because the notes were withheld from investigators for years, many of the leads were impossible to follow, key witnesses had purportedly forgotten what was said and done, and statutes of limitation had expired.

Weinberger's concealment of notes is part of a disturbing pattern of deception and obstruction that permeated the highest levels of the Reagan and Bush Administrations. This office was informed only within the past two weeks, on December 11, 1992, that President Bush had failed to produce to investigators his own highly relevant contemporaneous notes, despite repeated requests for such documents. The production of these notes is still ongoing and will lead to appropriate action. In light of President Bush's own misconduct, we are gravely concerned about his decision to pardon others who lied to Congress and obstructed official investigations.

The first president bush said this about the investigation he stopped: "a profoundly troubling development in the political and legal climate of our country: the criminalization of policy differences." What a load of you-know-what.

And then the Republicans turned around and tried to criminalize private sexual behavior between consenting adults. Talk about a troubling development in the legal climate of our country! Well, I admit, it does pale in light of what has happened since Clinton left office. And we are still paying the price for letting the criminals go free – Abrams, for one, was behind the neo-con decision to invade and occupy Iraq. Probably more of the criminals in this Iran-contra crime were not even identified, much less indicted, much less pardoned.

And today – we seem to have a political class in DC who believe that they are above the law, and that there is no point in impeaching a president just because he lied us into a war of aggression, installed policies of torture, rendition, kidnapping, rape, and murder – oh, and destroying the US Constitution.

And I bet that the second bush president follows the example of his father – pardons people for their involvement in crime. Except this time, he will do it before the arrest warrants are even handed down – just to be sure.

Today, we are at a place where the Republican criminals won’t even show up when they are subpoenaed by the US Congress. We are a lawless police state - or rather, headed that direction fast.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh, good job there......

Photo: This is an undated photo of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. The U.S. cruise missile strike on an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan in 1998 was meant to kill Osama bin Laden. But he apparently left shortly before the missiles struck, and U.S. documents declassified on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008 suggest the attack cemented an alliance with his Taliban protectors. (AP Photo)

Yes, apparently the bombing runs that Clinton ordered in 1998 served to deepen ties between bin Laden and the Talliban. Good job, there! Killed a bunch of people, mostly innocents, and succeeded in insuring bin Laden’s support in Afghanistan. From the AP article:

“The State Department documents released Wednesday provide details of the evolving relationship between Taliban leader Mullah Omar and al-Qaida chief bin Laden over four month in 1998. The period begins Aug. 21, 1998, one day after the missile attack — retaliation for the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on Aug. 7 of that year. Omar said publicly on Aug. 21 he would continue to protect bin Laden.

…… By the end of that October, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad was concerned the tables had turned and Omar was falling under bin Laden's political and philosophical sway. The U.S. once had believed the Taliban's ambitions were confined to turning Afghanistan into a Sunni Muslim theocracy. Now, however, there were signs that Omar's association with bin Laden was driving him toward a greater goal — pan-Islamism, the unification of all Muslims under a single Islamic state.”

Well, I guess this is insignificant in comparison to the assistance we gave to bin Laden’s group in the first place, including helping them fight the Russians that were in the country of Afghanistan. I know a US Air Force pilot who delivered the Stinger missiles that they used to bring down Russian helicopters. He is now retired and has a beautiful home in the mountains. He went on to be a commercial airplane pilot.

And this also pales in significance to the help/assistance we gave Musharraf and Khan in Pakistan, which I think did a lot to promote the spread of nuclear weapons. But a lot of that information has yet to be exposed.

Today, we know that the bombing in 1998 actually helped bin Laden to prosper. And the Stinger missiles we gave bin Laden in the 1980’s actually got him established.

And people claim that being a pacifist is not a ‘workable’ solution ….. well, take a look at what violence SOLVES!! HA!!!

Oh, I wish it were funny. The very same people who claim that I am a dreamer are they themselves busy creating a living nightmare, and God only knows how this will end. Recently, the US forces have actually gone into Pakistan, and now the Pakistani army is authorized to shoot at any American troops inside Pakistan, and I guess that means that they can shoot down those drone planes too - and use the F-16s we sold them (or gave them?) to do it.

And this weekend - we're going to party like it is 1929.

And meanwhile, our politicians on the national stage will talk about lipstick or something.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Election help from overseas, part 1

In this post, and the one below, are some examples of bumper stickers that some Japanese folks made up to help us with our difficult election. The link to their website is in the post below.

I think they are cute.

Election help from overseas, part 2

This is the Republican bumper sticker that they made up for us. More information at this blog.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hypocrisy from the neocons

In this case, that would be Rove, O’Reilly, and Dick Morris. Hey, after seeing what is happening to the stock market and to investment banks lately….. I think we can all be thankful that we stopped these neocon clowns from privatizing social security. Let’s hope that doesn’t change!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This week's events

Photo: March of thousands to DNC site in Denver led by "Support GI Resistance" banner! From Courage to Resist email.

I have posted all the upcoming events in the area for this week at the WNC Peace Coalition blog.

We have a busy week - there are three activities I am involved in on Saturday alone, and I had to turn down two other activities.

I got an email today saying that a hateful anti-Islamic DVD was put inside the Raleigh News & Observer. It seems our society is now targeting Muslims and Hispanics. And doing so in a very hateful, un-Christian, and immoral way.

On top of that, it looks like this may be the week that the US economy really starts the crash, thanks to our investment bankers! Yipee!

And I always go and get gas the day before a hurricane hits in the Gulf - but this time, I didn't because the prices had shot up so much overnight. It went from $3.58 to $4.99 per gallon. Then, on Saturday, I was taking a walk in my neighborhood and found that two out of three local gas stations had completely run out of gas. This is unbelievable to me - since the impact of the hurricane was not even known yet, much less impacting on us. I think this is more evidence that my fellow citizens are loony-tunes. Really expensive gas along with an economy tanking should make things very interesting - and very ugly.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Killing Civilians - Four years ago

This was an incident on Haifa Street in Baghdad on September 12, 2004. There were no “insurgents near the vehicle”. There were journalists and ordinary Iraqis, and none had weapons. This is a graphic video. There was a total of 22 Iraqi civilians killed in this incident and 48 injured. Some of the Iraqis were celebrating around a burning US armored personnel carrier.

A poem I wrote about the above incident

Violence on Haifa Street

They had several excuses:
to retrieve injured comrades- except there were no comrades there.
to return ground fire- the film shows no arms, no fire.
to destroy sensitive equipment left behind- they hit civilians instead.

Blood on the camera lens.

Thirteen dead at the end of the day.
Scores injured. Their crimes: reporting, curiosity,
celebration of knocked down Americans, or just walking down the street.
All recorded on film this time-both moving and still-
all recorded by stories, straight from those on the scene.

Three more would die of injuries in the days to follow, all unnamed,
Except for one- a TV reporter, whose last report was "I'm dying! I'm dying!"
Broadcast live.
His final act as a journalist.
His final act as a human being.

Just sixteen more civilian casualties
among the unreported tens of thousands.
The cameras know what happened.
The soldiers know what happened.
The people on Haifa Street know what happened.

Blood on the camera lens. Blood on the street.

Earlier, US troops were injured there.
Anger and a thirst for revenge pulled the trigger.
Our troops are in a country where the people are not our enemy.
We are growing our own enemies.

We are sowing seeds of prejudice with our failures of intelligence.
We are sowing seeds of hatred with our failures of compassion.
We are sowing seeds of rage with our failures of decency.
We are sowing seeds of revenge with our failures of integrity.

Blood on the camera lens. Blood on the street. Blood on our hands.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A comparison of quotes

"I BELIEVE that God wants me to be president." ~ George W. Bush

"I would like to thank Providence and the Almighty for choosing me of all people to be allowed to wage this battle for Germany," ~ Hitler - Berlin March, 1936

”God is not on the side of any nation, yet we know He is on the side of justice. Our finest moments [as a nation] have come when we faithfully served the cause of justice for our own citizens, and for the people of other lands.” ~ George W. Bush

”If we pursue this way, if we are decent, industrious, and honest, if we so loyally and truly fulfill our duty, then it is my conviction that in the future as in the past the Lord God will always help us.” ~ Adolf Hitler, at the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival on the Buckeburg held on 3 Oct. 1937

"freedom and fear, justice and cruelty have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them." ~ George W. Bush

"Never in these long years have we offered any other prayer but this: Lord, grant to our people peace at home, and grant and preserve to them peace from the foreign foe!" ~ Hitler - Nuremberg Sept. 13, 1936

[Of course, there is a vast difference in the number killed, when comparing Bush and Hitler. But then, this ain't over yet. Hat tip to Tom at Information Clearing House for finding and sharing these quotes. I strongly recommend that website, and signing up for the email announcements. It will keep you very informed about what is happening in the world. - dancewater]

More Quotes

"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." - Adolph Hitler, My New World Order, Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933

"I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it." -George W. Bush commenting to Texas evangelist James Robinson in the run-up to his presidential campaign

"And I just -- I cannot speak strongly enough about how we must collectively get after those who kill in the name of -- in the name of some kind of false religion" – George W. Bush in press appearance with King Abdullah of Jordan, Aug. 1, 2002

These quote came from Information Clearing House emails, which I think are very informative. You can sign up for the emails at the website.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cranes for Peace

Listen! listen! friends gathered here
Can you hear the throb,
The heartbeat, of a thousand
Pairs of wings,
Lifting off in unison,
Necks stretched in flight,
Sadako Sas’ki’s thousand cranes
Blanketing the skies in white?
Sadako, child of Hiroshima
And Nagasaki too,
Knew the promise from the mists of time
Had been told the legend of old:
“If you can fashion a thousand paper cranes,
Your heart’s desire will be fulfilled.”
So, she begins as she lay ill,
Wasting away, a victim
Of that horrific August day.
Painfully, hopefully, lovingly,
Fold upon precise, origami fold,
She creates her winged ones to soar.
Sadako, they say, made 400 or more
Before she too succumbed.
And now it has been left in trust to us,
To painfully, hopefully, lovingly
Finish what she so long ago began.
May our every word and deed
Be a new crease, a new fold,
In yet another
Listen, listen friends gathered here
Can you hear?
The resounding throb,
The heartbeat of a thousand pairs of wings
Lifting off in unison,
Necks stretched in flight,
Sadako Sas'ki’s thousand cranes
Blanketing the skies in white.
Charlotte Koons 8/6/08

I was at the Lexington Avenue Arts
Festival last Sunday,
and they had a peace booth there. They
were folding cranes for peace. There are
other activities in the area around peace,
please check the WNC Peace Coalition blog
for details.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Events in Asheville This Week

There are lots of events in Asheville this week, and you can find a full listing at WNC Peace Coalition blog. There is the Lexington Avenue Arts Festival, and The Olive Tree Circus, the start of Movement for Peace events and some informative movies - all in Asheville.

This is a picture of Rusul with her new prosthetic foot. There is a news video on this happy event at this link.

There is another video report on another child being helped by No More Victims.

Thanks to Ann Cothran for the photo of smiling Rusul (with a missing front tooth!).

Friday, September 05, 2008

From Jon Snow, Brit reporter

He works for Channel 4 News, and this was sent on an email on 9/4/08. He nails it:

It’s an odd thing being in two different parts of Middle America for a fortnight. Most of those who choose to come to America come to the wonder of New York, of Boston, San Fransico or LA, or to the Grand Canyon, the Cape, Florida or California. To be in Denver and, more particularly, St Paul and Minneapolis, is a salutary experience.

You feel it hard. America is living in the past, a past of consumption, fatty foods, garish television, weight reduction ads, depression relief pills, gas guzzling freeways and a dependence on splurging out 25 per cent of the entire world carbon emission totals.

Travelling bumper to bumper, rat race to the workplace for 50 minutes each way, six lanes of traffic clogging the freeway, with many more trails of such traffic glimpsed from the side windows.

Parking in vast multi-storey carparks that dominate the city centres, a short walk through massive yet inefficient security into great icy barns in which these conventions take place and are reported.

This sort of living, which huge numbers of Americans experience every day of their lives, is NOT the future. There is no soul, no touch with nature, no brush with fresh food or fresh air.

The sheer cost of maintaining a building at 15 degrees C when it’s 23 outside must be monumentally wasteful, and everyone of the skyscrapers, office blocks, malls and convention centres you see are up to the same stuff, freezing inside against a perfectly manageable temperature outside. There’s not a single opening window in Minneapolis.

Yet for the first time I have heard politicians on both sides at last calling for an end to America’s dependence on foreign oil. But there is still no clarion call for a Manhattan-style project to find alternative energy sources.

So yes, being here at this crunch moment in the life of America is, er, a kind of a treat. But you know something, you feel neither of these competing teams is offering a big enough vision for what’s needed to change America.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Our priceless, priceless media, yet again

Photo was linked in a Daily Kos comment, and the person who posted it has articles (like stickers) for sale with this image at this website.

Scott Horton interviewed investigative journalist Joe Lauria:

“Centrism is the philosophy of the American media - and that essentially backs the status quo, when you're a centrist, and this game of objectivity that they play is really limited by parameters that you're allowed to ask questions and to investigate and in a sense then you're transmitting these assumptions, and reinforcing every day that the US is really a functioning democracy, not even a representative democracy. And as we know of course there are oligarchic interests that buy off Congress, that puts the person in the Whitehouse that they need - and this gets me into the book of Gravel - that gets the defense contracts necessary to pump the American people with fear, so that we allow our taxpayers money to go and pay for defense outlays that are absolutely unnecessary and then fight wars that enhance our power and wealth.”

Original interview here, transcript posted at this blog.

In other words, we have a media that is strictly a corporate media – for the corporations, and of the corporations. And the “news” they choose to show on our TVs, or print, is all done to serve their customers – the ones who advertise on their station or magazine or newspaper. The “product” is American eyeballs that look at all this – and they entice the product by their titillating nonsense about missing white women, stupid sex scandals, family tragedies and celebrity crime. And in between, they present a load of nonsense to inspire the under-informed and misinformed Americans to support whatever idiocy the corporations are promoting.

Here’s a story from last July on how Knight Ridder got it right, while the rest of the media overwhelming got it wrong on the reality of WMDs in Iraq:

“It is now well-known that Walcott and two especially tenacious reporters operating as a formidable, closely-knit trio, were the only journalists out of hundreds of American reporters and editors across the nation working on pre-invasion stories who "got it right." That is, producing solid stories – starting a year before the invasion began – reporting that the administration was manipulating intelligence to conceal dire forecasts that the Iraq invasion was headed into a morass to rival the Vietnam war disaster.

How did these exclusive reports pass unnoticed in Washington, New York, and other major print and broadcast news centers? Because while there were 32 Knight Ridder newspapers across the nation, none were in New York or Washington.

………What the American print and broadcast press has yet to grasp is exactly what the Knight Ridder trio of John Walcott, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel did in order to run circles around everyone else.

It was not legerdemain; but it was the opposite of prevailing journalism practice, which starts with the illusion that the smartest journalism requires finding the highest ranking official as your prime source. He/she supposedly would be your personal version of the Hollywood-inflated myth of a "deep throat" who will tell you everything you need to become a star reporter rivaling Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford in "All The President’s Men."

……. How did the Knight Ridder journalists avoid retaliation from the Bush White House for being the only news syndicate to challenge core elements of its Iraq war strategy? Walcott uses two metaphors to describe the Knight Ridder style of working "below the radar" with mid-level expert sources who drafted the war plans and knew its pitfalls.

In addition, the Walcott team readily accepted the role of the skunk at the garden party, so they had nothing to ask for, and nothing to hide. As one of the group explained, "We don't have the access that the big shots from the Times or the Post have. We're not on the first-call list. We're not invited to some of the inner-circle type of things."

Walcott has said that as he sees it, two key institutions "fell down on the job" on the road to war in Iraq—“the Congress and the press." Speaking to a foreign policy group last February when the presidential primaries were under way, he said, "What we hear from some Democratic presidential candidates and others is, 'if I had known then what I know today I would never have gone to war."

His blunt reply, Walcott said, was, "If you had done your homework you would have known that the real experts in the government, in the CIA, the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), the State Department, the uniformed military, the Energy Department, and so on, had grave doubts of this part or that part of the administration's case for war."

"How do I know that?" asked Walcott “Very simple...We knew that in what was then the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, and we wrote stories about it over and over again..." (The Knight Ridder chain was sold to the McClatchy Company in 2006. Walcott is now its Washington bureau chief, with many of the same reporters.)

Walcott has saved his roughest criticism of the leap into the Iraq war for his own profession. "Too many members of the Fourth Estate in Washington," he has said caustically, "are trying to move up the social ladder an estate or two...Being an outsider, a naysayer isn't as much fun as being an insider, and it can't get you on TV where the money is, or on the lecture circuit when you know the right people..."

"But there were much bigger problems with the media after 9/11" he continued, "than just too-cozy relationships with the wrong sources and timidity about challenging a popular president in the wake of an attack on all of us. There was simple laziness...Much of what the administration said, especially about Iraq and al Qaeda simply made no sense. Yet very few reporters bothered to check it out: they were stenographers; they were not reporters."

And there was finally the fact, Walcott said, "that most of the elite news organizations in the country, led by the New York Times and the Washington Post were seriously, overwhelmingly wrong about Iraq, and that too many others simply followed them, like lemmings, over the cliff..."

I read a lot on the internet during the run-up to this war – INCLUDING everything Knight Ridder put out there. They are among the best, and when I make fun of, or complain about, the CORPORATE media, I am not including them (although, technically, they are a corporation also – but they serve the interests of the public, not the interests of the corporation or the bottom line).

But here is how I very simply figured out that the likelihood of finding NO WMDs in Iraq was very high indeed:

1. Bush administration officials claimed they knew Saddam had WMDs and that they knew where they were. Rumsfeld made this claim several times. (In early 2001, Powell and Rice both made the claim that Saddam did not have WMDs and was ‘contained’. Everyone ignored that recent history.)

2. UN weapons inspectors were in the country, and had been there for months. They report that they are allowed access by the Saddam government. They report that the Bush government was not giving them helpful information. They are not finding any evidence of a WMD program.

So, someone was lying…. And you have to ask yourself, what would each group gain by lying? The UN weapons inspectors would have made themselves look like incompetent fools. The Bush administration would have gotten the war they wanted to control the oil and the area. So, it was pretty clear that the Bush administration, including Rumsfeld, were lying.

It was also very clear that they did not give a rat’s ass about the wellbeing of the Iraqi people, or their culture and their heritage. They say the cultural wrecking of Iraq is second only the invasion of the Mongols several centuries back.

Of course, we now have author Ron Suskind claiming that Bush order the forgery of a letter (in late 2003) linking Saddam with al Qaeda, and that he knew that there were no WMDs in Iraq.

The claim that Saddam would have worked with al Qaeda also flies in the face of common sense and fails the critical thinking test. It is the US that supported and trained bin Laden and the al Qaeda people in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. It is Saudi Arabia that funded them (and likely still is). And it is currently Pakistan that has bin Laden and al Qaeda within it’s borders…. But we seem to be able to do nothing about that, except bomb innocent people….. which results in more people joining up with the al Qaeda people. So, considering that we are out-killing the ‘terrorists’ by about 500 to 1 – who exactly is the real terrorists here?

And anyone who claimed in 2002 or 2003 that Iraq had WMDs is either a TOOL or a FOOL. Email from Aaron Brown, formerly of CNN, states that he believes himself to fall into the FOOL category – he was just too dumb to figure it out.

I hope someday all these criminals have a trial and go to jail. And I hope the corporate media TOOLS or FOOLS who got it wrong finally develop some shame and realize that they need to drop out of journalism and take up a profession more appropriate for them. That would be one that does not involve a lot of critical thinking skills or ability to analyze data. Prostitution and garbage collection both come to mind as suitable career choices.

Now, here is some commentary from a real journalist, who was imprisoned in Guantanamo for 6 and a half years by our evil government:

Sami El Haj : For me, there is no question - I will continue my work as a journalist. I must continue carrying a message of peace, no matter what. For my part, I have spent six years and six months in prison, far from my family, but for others it was so much worse. I lost a very dear friend, a journalist with Al Jazeera: he died in Baghdad, killed when the hotel where he was staying was bombed. I also lost a colleague who was working with me at Al Jazeera, whom I consider a sister: she too died in Baghdad.

Many people have lost their lives because of this war. You must know that the Bush administration wanted to prevent coverage by the free media, like Al Jazeera, in the Middle East. The Al Jazeera offices in Kabul and Baghdad were bombed.

In 2001, when I left my son and my wife to film the war initiated by the USA against Afghanistan, I had to expect finding death during a bombing raid. I went there fully aware of the risks. Every journalist knows that he is carrying out a mission and must be ready to sacrifice himself in order to bear witness to what is happening, through his films and writing. And to help people understand that war brings nothing but the death of the innocent, destruction and suffering. It is on the basis of this conviction that my colleagues and I went to countries at war.

Now, after all these years in captivity, I can once again do something to help bring about peace. I am going to commit myself to this goal, until it is achieved. I am sure that one day, even if I do not personally reap the fruits, we will succeed in achieving peace and the respect of human rights, as well as the protection of journalists throughout the world. I am sure that we will see the day when journalists are no longer tortured or injured doing their job, defending people’s rights to information and highlighting human rights abuses.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

War Criminals

I did not watch the conventions on TV...... it all struck me as a dog and pony show, frankly. But there was something I missed - as pointed out on Arther Silber's blog. Al Gore spoke and said this:

and redeployed the troops to invade a nation that did not attack us
Well, that confirms that the invasion and occupation was a war crime - because Iraq did not attack us. Iraq did not even threaten the USA. This is called a war of aggression, just like Hitler's wars of aggression, and a violation of the Nuremberg principles.

Of course, this comment went unnoticed at the Democratic Convention, because they were touting how the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is the "right war" which I happen to think is pure idiocy, and also a war crime.

But there is a difference between this election and the election of 2004 --- in 2004, both candidates were also war criminals, just like today. However, back in 2004, both candidates were also members of 'skull and bones'. Is this an improvement that Obama and McCain are not members of a secret society called 'skull and bones'? I just don't know.

Idiot Freidman writes

In the column “A Biblical Seven Years” Mr. Friedman writes: “We had to respond to 9/11 at least by eliminating the Al Qaeda base in Afghanistan and investing in tighter homeland security.”

We did NOT have to respond to a massive criminal act by starting a war and occupation in Afghanistan. We should have followed the example set in the response to the Oklahoma City bombings – police work, investigations, detentions and trials – which lead to the successful capture and conviction of the terrorists behind that event. Instead, we killed hundreds of thousands of innocents, destroyed the lives of millions, and increased terrorism around the world.

Well, guess what, Mr. FriedmanUnits – we have NOT eliminated al Qaeda’s base, we inspired them to move to another country. And the idea that we could eliminate such a movement by bombing and killing a bunch of people is inspired stupidity, which you have in abundance. Furthermore, you kept promoting and promoting and promoting and promoting the continuing occupation of Iraq by saying that the NEXT SIX MONTHS are critical.

Oh, and the “investing in tighter homeland security” part? Well, guess what, our security here at home is WORSE than on September 10, 2001. And that is due to the fact that NO ONE got FIRED for not protecting America, among other failings. We now have a “terrorist-suspect” list of over a million American names. This is completely useless! And while we now have to take off our shoes at airports, it seems it has never cross our DHS minds that a suicide bomber could blow up in those shoe-removal lines and kill just as many people as on an airplane. They would close down that airport, and air traffic would be a mess. Or maybe they could just do a computer virus attack, which would have the same effect.

Friedman further writes: “They could avoid foreign entanglements.”

‘They’, in this case, refers to the Chinese. We most certainly could have avoided invading other countries, but as the video below shows, people like Friedman advocated that we invade and destroy a Middle Eastern country now.

Exact quote from Friedman: "take some small crappy country and throw it against the wall so everybody notes we mean business."

And then he said that we should tell them “suck on this”. The man is so idiotic that he does not realize that the homes that we invaded and destroyed had nothing to do with the terrorists attacks at all. We choose to invade and occupy foreign counties, so it is totally possible that we could have AVOIDED it. We could have chosen to be moral and decent people instead.

Friedman also states: “Trying to build democracy in Iraq, though, which I supported, was a war of choice and is unlikely to ever produce anything equal to its huge price tag.”

It was a huge price alright, mostly paid by the Iraqis. And since when does democracy mean throwing countries against a wall and saying “SUCK ON THIS”? What the hell kind of democracy is that?

Finally he ends with: “I never want to tell my girls ……..that they have to go to China to see the future.”

I will tell you that if you want your girls to see some moral decency and intelligent behavior, they sure as hell have to leave the house. I would also tell them that they are not their parents, and they do not have to turn out like them.

And if the next terrorist act on American soil happens near you, then I have this to say to you:


Thomas Friedman on the Charlie Rose show

where he proves forever and always that he is an evil piece of shit.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Amy Goodman arrested in St. Paul

She has been released, along with two other staff at Democracy Now. This is just unbelievable. Now, there has been some property damage done in St. Paul by anarchists, but I wonder if they were really provocateurs. They were wearing masks. Here is the video of her arrest:

I tried to call the jail and mayor's office and no one answered.... but here is the info for the Mayor's re-election campaign:

Chris Coleman for Saint Paul
C/O Kris Fredson
P.O. Box 14447
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114
E-mail Kris Fredson, Campaign Manager: krisfredson@gmail.com

Monday, September 01, 2008

Raids in St. Paul

Photo: Police released one person at a time from a protest-planning headquarters where people were detained in St. Paul on Friday night. Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

RNC2—Raid on the Convergence Center

By Starhawk (sent by email to a friend)

It’s Friday night. Our Pagan Cluster is sitting on the bluff of the Mississippi having our first real meeting, when Lisa gets a call. The cops are raiding the Convergence Center, where we’re organizing meetings and trainings for the protests against the Republican National Convention. It’s not a role play, the caller says. It’s real.

Instantly, we jump up and hurry back the six or eight blocks to the old theater we are using for meetings, trainings and social gatherings. I ‘ve spent the last two days doing magical activism trainings, teaching people how to stay calm and grounded in emergency situations and when things get chaotic. Now it’s time to put the training into practice. Aaron, a tall, red-headed young man who could be one of my nephews strides along beside me. “Are you grounded?” I ask him. He nods, and runs ahead.

Nobody can keep up with Lisa, who speeds ahead like an arrow, walking, not running, but still covering the ground quickly. Andy and I trail behind. We’re often street buddies, because we’re both big, slow, and supremely calm and stubborn, willing to wade into almost any situation and become the immovable object.

We’re stopped by a line of cops just before we reach the building. They refuse to let us through, or to move their van which is blocking Scarecrow’s car. There’s an investigation underway, they say, and won’t say more.

Brush, our dear friend, is inside, having gone to a jail solidarity meeting, ironically enough. So are two very young people who had just joined our cluster that night. I try calling Brush’s cell phone, but get no reply.

We wait. That’s what you do when the cops have guns trained on kids inside a building. You wait, and witness, and make phone calls, and try to think of useful things to do. We call lawyers. We call politicians. We try to call media. We call friends who might know politicians and media.

Through the kitchen door, we cansee young kids sitting on the floor, handcuffed. We walk across the street, back, made more phone calls. An ambulance is parked in front, and the paramedics head into the building, leaving a gurney ready. Susu, from her car around the corner, reports that the cops have been grabbing pedestrians from the street, forcing them down to the ground, handcuffing them.

Song, one of the local organizers, calls her City Council member. She wants to call the Mayor, Chris Coleman, who has promised that St. Paul will be as welcoming to protestors as to delegates, but no one has his home number. What I have forgotten to tell people at the training is how much of an action is just this: tense, boring waiting, with a knot of anxiety in your stomach and your feet starting to hurt. Song talks to a helpful neighbor, who’s come over to find out what’s happening. He knows where the mayor lives, says it’s just a few blocks away, and draws us a map.

We decide to go and call on the Mayor, who could call off the cops. About five of us troop down there, through the soft night and a neighborhood of comfortable homes and wide lawns on the bluffs above the Mississippi. The Mayor’s house is a comfortable Dutch Colonial, and lights were on inside. We decide that just a few of us will go to the door, so as not to look intimidating. Song is a round, soft-bodied middle-aged woman with a sweet face. Ellen is a tiny brunette with a gap-toothed smile, and Lisa, formidable organizer though she is, looks slight and unthreatening. The rest of us hang back.

Someone opens the door. Our friends have a conversation with the mayors’ wife, who is not pleased to be visited by constituents late at night, and who tells us we should call the office. The Mayor, she says, is asleep, and she will not wake him up. We think a mayor who was doing his job would get up and go see what’s going on. Nonetheless, we head back to the convergence space.

A protestor has been released from the building. A small crowd has gathered across the street, and Fox News has arrived. They interview Song, who does her first ever Fox media spot. She tells them the truth—that people were in there watching movies—a documentary about Meridel Le Seuer. Meridel would be proud, and I’m glad she is with us in some form.

One by one, protestor’s trickle out. Now we get more pieces of the story. The cops burst in, with no warning. They pulled drew their guns on everyone—including a five year old child who was there with his mother, forced everyone down on the floor. It was terrifying. They had a warrant, apparently, from the county, not the city, to search for ‘bomb making materials.’ They were searching everyone in the building, then one by one releasing them as they found nothing. They continue to find nothing, as we wait through long hours. Meanwhile, more and more media arrives. These cops are not as creative as the DC cops during our first mobilization there against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Those cops confiscated the lunchtime soup—which included onions and chili powder, claiming they were materials for home made pepper spray. We wait until the last person gets out. He’s a twenty year old who the cops have accused of stealing his own backpack—but apparently they relented.

And now it’s morning. I wake up to the news that cops have been raiding houses where activists are staying, bursting in with the same bogus warrant and arresting people, including a four year old child. They’ve arrested people at the Food Not Bombs house—a group dedicated to feeding protestors and the homeless. They’ve arrested others, presumably just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Poor Peoples’ Campaign, which had set up camp at Harriet Island, a park in the middle of the Mississippi, has also been harassed, its participants ordered to disperse and its organizers arrested.

Let me be perfectly clear here—all of us here are planning nonviolent protests against an administration which is responsible for immense violence, bombs that have destroyed whole countries, and hundreds of thousands of deaths. This is the America that eight years of the Bush administration have brought us, a place where dissent is no longer tolerated, where pre-emptive strikes have become the strategy of choice for those who hold power, where any group can be accused of ‘bombmaking’ or ‘terrorism’ on no evidence whatsoever in order to deter dissent.

Please stand with us. Because it could be your home they are raiding, next.

Call the Mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Tell them you are outraged by these attacks on dissent. Urge them to let Poor People encamp and to let dissent be heard.


St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak
(612) 673-2100
(612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis