Monday, February 28, 2011

Letter to Representative Shuler's office on budget

When I look at the bill passed late last year that extended the Bush tax cuts, and then I look at the bill passed recently to spend more money on unnecessary and counter-productive wars and to continue the bloated military budget.... well, all this talk about a BUDGET CRISIS strikes me as a sick and silly joke.

If you were serious about the deficit, you would not cut the US Government's income by reducing taxes.

You would further get real about cutting the budget by cutting the PENTAGON budget.

Until you do those things, you are not serious at all about the doing something about the deficit.

You are like a silly women who is worried about the child who steals a quarter from her purse to by candy and claiming that will make her go broke, while her husband writes out $1000 checks every day to cover his gambling debts.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bruce Springsteen & Tom Morello - The ghost of Tom Joad

Man walks along the railroad track
He's goin' some place, there's no turnin' back
The Highway Patrol chopper comin' up over the ridge
Man sleeps by a campfire under the bridge
The shelter line stretchin' around the corner
Welcome to the New World Order
Families sleepin' in their cars out in the Southwest
No job, no home, no peace, no rest, no rest

And the highway is alive tonight
Nobody's foolin' nobody is to where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
Searchin' for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls his prayer book out of a sleepin' bag
The preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
He's waitin' for the time when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box 'neath the underpass
With a one way ticket to the promised land
With a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand
Lookin' for a pillow of solid rock
Bathin' in the cities' aqueducts

And the highway is alive tonight
Nobody's foolin' nobody is to where it goes
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad


Now Tom Said; "Ma, whenever ya see a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry new born baby cries
Wherever there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me ma
I'll be there
Wherever somebody's srtugglin' for a place to stand
For a decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody is strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes ma,
You'll see me

And the highway is alive tonight
Nobody's foolin' nobody is to where it goes
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of Tom Joad

Talk in Madison, WI

Friday, February 25, 2011

WASHINGTON RULES by Andrew J. Bacevich

This book is an overview of America’s national security policies, why they are so bad, and why they must change.  No matter who gets elected to office in the US Congress or the White House, things stay the same.  In spite of consistent failures, things stay the same.  This author argues that this must change – we need to stop our militaristic approach to the world, and fix what is wrong here at home.  The book starts with this quote:

“Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood.” – T. S. Eliot (1930)

This problem has been with us a LONG time.  A critic of foreign policy from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Roger Morris, had this to say:

“The lethal fault of American foreign policy is a matter of neither left nor right, neither liberal cowardice nor conservative conspiracy, but rather a relatively banal bipartisan mediocrity…… A loss of competence more than a loss of nerve, it is not different from nepotism and misrule in one’s country commission or school board, a decrepit commuter railroad or an expiring automobile manufacturer like Chrysler.”

And, from the viewpoint of the US Congress and the military-industrial complex, the aim was to make America “safe” by technological fundamentalism.  In past years, the powers that be did not see the US implementing a policy of preventative war, so they saw their pursuit of nuclear dominance as a source of stability, along with military bases around the world.  That the world might look on all this differently did not cross their minds.  And so this monster grew and grew… and sucked up more and more money and effort.  And any serious consideration of a different path was never considered.

Of course, the Iraq war was a “war of prevention” per Bush administration comments.  In reality, it was a war of aggression. 

One US Senator did speak out against the abuse of power.  Senator Fulbright wrote a book called THE ARROGANCE OF POWER, which received little attention.  He proposed that while America had good intentions, but problems developed when these good intentions were married to seemingly bottomless reserves of power.  The result, he proposed, was self-delusion combined with a tendency to lose touch with reality.  Since the time the country was founded, Americans have believed that we were God’s chosen ones to lead the world, and our immense power is a testimony to God’s favor on our country.   Senator Fulbright asked:

“Who are the self-appointed emissaries of God who have wrought so much violence in the world?  They are men with doctrines…. Who believe in some cause without doubt and practice their beliefs without scruple, men who cease to be human beings… and become instead living, breathing, embodiments of some faith or ideology.”

And the politicians set out on their self-appointed missions to police the world, and defeat all tyrannies, are less likely to advance the cause of peace then to wreck havoc, and bring misery and death to the intended beneficiaries.  And, as a side note, though they would claim that “all options are on the table” the fact is that many options are not on the table at all – such as the option to not use violence or falsehoods to promote their cause.  The USA is very much a militaristic and aggressive nation.

And the Presidents that we elect are charged with continuing this policy, while they had us a bunch of slop to make us accept this violence and aggression.   Bush gave us 27 different reasons for invading Iraq and for continuing to occupy Iraq.  Obama has surged three times in Afghanistan, while claiming that this war and occupation is necessary to defeat the “terrorists” even while they acknowledge that the terrorists who organized the attacks on the US on 9-11-01 are long gone from Afghanistan.  And yet Obama still calls it a “war of necessity”. 

Later in the book, this author points out that there is NO evidence that what the US has done in the world with our military has advanced the cause of global peace (he is referring to post WW2).  Here are some steps that the author feels the US should take to correct our way of being in the world:

1)      Recognize that the point of the US military is not to combat evil or remake the world, but to defend the United States.
2)      The primary duty station of the American soldier is in America.
3)      Force should be employed only as a last resort and only in self-defense.

Near the end of the book, the author points out that if the politicians in DC continue to follow these military and fiscal policies, then that is the fault of the American people.  There is much, much more in the book and I do recommend it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recent pictures from Afghanistan

Which I will be sending to my elected officials........

A boy, injured during a NATO air strike, lies on a hospital bed in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province February 20, 2011.  REUTERS/Stringer

A relative mourns near the damage, caused during a NATO's forces raid in Khogyani district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011. The NATO coalition says it is investigating the accidental death of Afghan civilians in Nangarhar province along the Pakistan border.
(AP Photo)

An Afghan youth looks at the damage caused during a NATO's forces raid in Khogyani district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011. The NATO coalition says it is investigating the accidental death of Afghan civilians in Nangarhar province along the Pakistan border.
(AP Photo)

Relatives transport the body of a man killed after an air strike in the back of a vehicle in Nangarhar province February 21, 2011. The NATO-led force in Afghanistan said on Monday it was investigating another case where its troops may have accidentally killed Afghan civilians, a day after local officials claimed 64 had been killed in raids in the east.

And the idiot Petraus has this to say:

Gen. Petraeus Suggests Afghan Parents Intentionally Burned Children

Tension is rising between U.S. and Afghan officials after reports that 64 Afghan civilians may have been killed in NATO attacks last week. The Washington Post reports that U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus suggested Sunday in a closed meeting that pro-Taliban Afghans might have burned their own children or invented stories to exaggerate claims of civilian casualties. Afghan officials present at the meeting were said to have been shocked by Petraeus’s comment. One Afghan official said, "Killing 60 people, and then blaming the killing on those same people, rather than apologizing for any deaths? This is inhuman."

From Democracy Now on 2-24-11

On those torture tapes that were destroyed

So here's what the tapes would have shown: not just that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative, but that we had brutally tortured an al-Qaeda operative who was (a) unimportant and low-ranking, (b) mentally unstable, (c) had no useful information, and (d) eventually spewed out an endless series of worthless, fantastical "confessions" under duress. This was all prompted by the president of the United States, implemented by the director of the CIA, and the end result was thousands of wasted man hours by intelligence and and law enforcement personnel.
Attorney General Holder did not and will not let the US Congress question people about what was on the tapes.  Holder did not prosecute anyone for destruction of evidence. 

(However, the real reason the tapes were destroyed may be none of the above reasons – it may be that the tapes caught someone confessing to where the financial backing for the 9/11 attacks actually came from – our supposed allies.  That is just a speculation on my part, and possibly not true at all.)

The America I knew and loved DID NOT TORTURE.  The America I knew and loved DID NOT OBSTRUCT JUSTICE.  The America I knew and loved FOLLOWED THE LAW.  The America I knew and loved RESPECTED CIVIL RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL PEOPLE, EVERYWHERE, ALWAYS. 

And today, we have a former US president bragging about torture on national TV.  Sickening

The America I knew and loved is dead and gone.  I miss America.  I miss this country badly.  I don’t think it is ever coming back.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A look back at US torture

In this undated file photo obtained by ABC news and allegedly taken by Sgt. Charles Frederick, Army Spc. Sabrina Harman, of the 372nd Military Police Company, poses with the body of Iraqi detainee Manadel al-Jamadi who is packed in ice at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq. In the years since the Sept. 11 attacks, CIA officers who committed serious mistakes that left people wrongly imprisoned or even dead have received only minor admonishments or no punishment at all, according to an Associated Press investigation.
(AP Photo/ABC News, File)

While some of the lower level people involved in torture have been punished, the people who ordered it are still running around free and bragging about the torture they ordered or approved.  Well, free inside the USA.  There are some European countries that are indicating that they might arrest them.  And the CIA officers who have messed up severely over the last nine years - generally no punishment or accountability for them either.  One exception is the CIA folks in Afghanistan who brought in a guy to report on Pakistan... he turned out to be a double agent and blew himself up and killed several CIA agents. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Poster for a US audience

This came from an End the Occupation email.  Very well done!

We also need to end our support of the building of settlements on Palestinian lands.  With the recent US veto of a UN resolution on this issue, the US government has shown that it is on the side of the Israeli right-wings, and not on the side of peace or justice.  Seems like a stupid and dangerous position to take, in light of all the protests across the Middle East recently.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Panorama - The Battle for Bomb Alley

This news report really shows the uselessness of our military actions in Afghanistan.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Four and a half million orphans in Iraq!

Keep in mind, a child without a father (and therefore no means of support) is called an orphan even if his mother is still alive.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Clinton shows how much she believes in freedom

While Clinton is giving a speech on internet freedom, and freedom of speech, Ray McGovern stands up and turns his back on her.  Then some security thugs pull him out of the audience and drag him off.  This has got to be the height of hypocrisy.

Veterans for Peace have this statement:


George Washington University, Washington D.C., February 15, 2011. 
Just minutes after Secretary Clinton began a speech lauding freedom of the internet, two security personnel forcefully removed an audience member wearing a Veterans For Peace t-shirt who had silently stood and turned his back to her.  Ray McGovern, a 71-year old veteran, and former CIA analyst was violently grabbed and forcibly removed from the auditorium in direct view of Mrs. Clinton.  According to Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney with the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, “For this peaceful expression of dissent, he ended up bruised, bloodied, arrested, and jailed.  Secretary Clinton never paused, continuing her speech lecturing other countries about the need to allow freedom of expression and dissent, while Mr. McGovern was hauled out in front of her.” 

Mr. McGovern is covered with bruises, and the metal handcuffs were fastened so tightly that his wrists were cut and bloody.  After being held by local police, he was told that he was being charged with “disorderly conduct.”

We asked Ray for a quick statement after his release.  He wrote:
“I find myself wondering if this show of brutality may be a signpost on a path to even wider and more brutal repression. I have been comparing what happened during Clinton’s speech Tuesday with my four-minute mini-debate with Donald Rumsfeld on May 4, 2006 in Atlanta ( Halfway through, Rumsfeld gives the nod to a black-hatted security fellow to elbow me away from the microphone.
I shout, ‘So this is America.’  Rumsfeld takes one look at the TV cameras streaming live, makes a snap decision, and tells the security fellow to let me stay.  During that same speech in Atlanta, one fearless witness stands dead-center in the audience with his back to Rumsfeld for the entire speech and is not bothered, much less beaten and jailed.
The contrast between the experience of May 2006 and February 2011 can be viewed through the prism of the proverbial ‘boiling frog.’ There does seem to be a subtle but successful campaign to get people gradually accustomed to increasingly repressive measures; and many, perhaps most, Americans seem oblivious. 
After 9/11 Norman Mailer saw a ‘pre-fascist climate’ reigning in America.  If we don’t stand up for our rights, it may not be long before we shall have to drop the ‘pre.’”
Veterans For Peace is proud of our member Ray McGovern, whose simple, dignified action speaks volumes about the power of non-violence.  We abhor the actions of the security personnel who reacted violently and in flagrant violation of Mr. McGovern’s First Amendment rights.  We also deplore the indifference of Secretary Clinton who didn’t bat an eye and we demand that she apologize for her silence and hypocrisy.   Most importantly, we call on the American public to wake up to the dark reality of what this country has become…a place where civil liberties and freedom of expression are becoming increasingly endangered, and the government’s response to every situation is intimidation and force.

Call 202-647-4000 and write Sec. Clinton to protest.

Government turns violent in Bahrain

And meanwhile, Clinton and Obama sharply criticize Iran's actions towards the protesters there .... which is way more peaceful than either Bahrain or Egypt.

Anti-government demonstrators disperse after being attacked by Bahraini riot police officers at the Pearl roundabout in Manama.  Photograph: Hasan Jamali/AP

Women weep outside a hospital morgue in Manama.  Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Thursday, February 17, 2011


There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen. – V. I. Lenin (1870-1924)

It's not radical Islam that worries the US – it's independence.  The nature of any regime it backs in the Arab world is secondary to control. Subjects are ignored until they break their chains. – Noam Chomsky


What other dictators does the U.S. support?
By Justin Elliott

Saudi Arabia
Human Rights Watch summarized the situation in its annual report: "Authorities continue to systematically suppress or fail to protect the rights of nine million Saudi women and girls, eight million foreign workers, and some two million Shia citizens. Each year thousands of people receive unfair trials or are subject to arbitrary detention. Curbs on freedom of association, expression, and movement, as well as a pervasive lack of official accountability, remain serious concerns."

And, according to Human Rights Watch, violations of basic freedoms are not uncommon in Jordan.  The group said in its annual report: "Torture, routine and widespread in recent years, continues, in particular at police stations, where complaints about ill-treatment increased in 2009 and again in 2010." There is also no freedom of speech in Jordan, with steep penalties for criticizing the king or the government.

It seems not to matter to U.S. policymakers that Turkmenistan is run by one of the most repressive regimes in existence. It presides over the following impressively long list of human rights violations, according to a 2009 State Department report:  citizens' inability to change their government; reports of torture and mistreatment of detainees; incommunicado and prolonged detention; arbitrary arrest and detention; denial of due process and fair trial; arbitrary interference with privacy, home, and correspondence; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association; restrictions on religious freedom, including continued harassment of religious minority group members; restrictions on freedom of movement for some citizens, including increased restrictions on those intending to study abroad; violence against women; and restrictions on free association of workers.

Torture is common, and the Guardian reported in 2003 that two prisoners were even boiled to death. Here's what Human Rights Watch says about Uzbekistan's human rights record: "Authorities continue to crackdown on civil society activists, opposition members, and independent journalists, and to persecute religious believers who worship outside strict state controls. Freedom of expression remains severely limited. Government-initiated forced child labor during the cotton harvest continues."

Equatorial Guinea
Human Rights Watch reports that Guinea is "ired in corruption, poverty, and repression under the leadership of" Obiang and that "the government regularly engages in torture and arbitrary detention." Oil revenues are distributed to the president's family and allies, with his son reportedly spending more on luxury goods between 2004 and 2007 than the country's annual education budget.

All of the above countries are foreign terrorist organizations.  And there is a law on the books in the USA saying that no one is allowed to give support to foreign terrorist organizations.  And yet, our government is doing that time and time again when they hand over money and weapons to these countries.  They are clearly giving support to a foreign terrorist organization, and giving them the worst kind of support:  weapons that kill.

And, in fairness, I have to plead guilty to supporting a DOMESTIC terrorist organization.  It is one of the largest such organization in the world, and is generally known by the title "US Government", although the terrorist activities are carried out by the FBI, CIA, Special Forces, and scores of other government agencies and private contractors.  I support them by paying my taxes, mainly because I don’t want to get thrown in jail.  I wish that the taxes I paid went for good purposes, but they don't.  The money goes to evil.

Peace Action

PEACE ACTION: Take the voters’ peace pledge. "I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign."

I took this pledge in early 2005, and even before then, I knew my last vote ever for a politician who wants war went to Kerry/Edwards in 2004.  I only voted for them because I felt Bush was so bad.  Regardless of who is running for office, I will only vote for peace candidates.

Monday, February 14, 2011


"First they ignore you
Then they laugh at you
Then they fight you
Then you WIN"
- Ghandi


I heard em say 
The revolution wont be televised
Aljazeera proved em wrong
Twitter has him paralyzed 
80 million strong
And ain't no longer gonna be terrorized
Organized - Mobilized - Vocalized 
On the side of TRUTH
Um il-Dunya's living proof
That its a matter of time
before the chicken is home to roost
Bouazizi lit the...

and it slowly ignited the fire 
within Arab people to fight it

From Tunis to Khan Younis
the new moon shines bright
as The Man's spoon was
as masses demand rights 
and dispel rumors of disunity 
communally removing the tumors 
of rotten 7ukoomas 
we're making headway
chanting down the dictators
getting rid of deadweight
opening the floodgates 
like the streets of Jeddah
bawwabit il-thawra maftoo7a
oo ma ba2an sid'ha  
we've been empowered to speak
and though the future is uncertain 
man at least it isn't bleak
when our children can be raised
not in a cage - but on a peak
the inheritors of mother earth are meek

Freedom isn't given by oppressors
It's demanded by oppressed 
Freedom lovers - Freedom fighters
Free to gather and protest
for their God-given rights
for a Freedom of the Press
we know Freedom is the answer 
The only question is… 

Who's next?


Time to push, and we aint falling back now
Time to fight, because we are all we have now
Do you hear? 
Calling out for back up
Try to keep a look out for better days


Weathering the storm, pleasure to be born,
news media disseminate at heaven's gate's level of alarm...
3rd Person Dictators couldn't sever them till dawn
3 mill in your streets, We will live in Peace....
you will see it.
But First God Rest the soul of those who choose to be free
from poverty they rose
knee deep in robbery 
souls will plummet and burn like Mohammed Bouazizi...
All I see is...
Al-Jazeera Logos,
Pillars of the State can now hear their own souls,
Karma waits for no man, 
your presidential charm and armor break,
out of place in your own homeland,
Now Dip like Mezza..
imagine a million human march to Gaza, 
From Qahira to Baghdad, siyasatkom saa7ira…..
3alamat Al-akhira... 


Time to push, and we aint falling back now
Time to fight, because we are all we have now
Do you hear? 
Calling out for back up
Try to keep a look out for better days


And that's where the beef ends
you should learn a lesson from oppression where it begins
black white yellow it don't matter what race 
before you break us you can push us off the Deep end 
different country same struggle we even
contemplate on squeezin when our kids ain't eating
only other difference is it's hot all year round there 
winter time and your kids ain't freezing
but we all starving all grieving 
and the people with the power ain't got heart enough to feed us
follow the procedures and I study my Quran 
this is modern day signs we just waiting on Jesus
you should be the teacher of Quran to your kids
instead of wasting time watching Kelly Ripa and Regis
this is Egypt 
home of the ruins last time we needed change it took Musa to move em
operation get rid of the pharoah 
now we getting rid who ain't willing to share no
bread with the people we are all equal
true men of God, Fear God, don't fear no 
person that's walking on the face of the earth
if he got a tank, knife, gun, bow or an arrow
long as there's breath 
then there's still hope left 
so let hope rise like the eye of a sparrow


Time to push, and we aint falling back now
Time to fight, because we are all we have now
Do you hear? 
Calling out for back up
Try to keep a look out for better days


wont be just niggas 
wont be just spiks
a rabs pakis rednecks and hicks
the leaders aint helping them feeding their kids
the leaders helping pigs eating their kids
got me back on my Elijah eating to live
run up in the white house like i got a key to the crib

the house and the senate
ousted in a minute
takes these streets to wall street

this ones for kemit

they on that ghandi
they on that che though
but that che turn cairo fuego 
Hard for the press to find a Scapegoat
When evey man woman and child at the table
They think they John Adams
They think they Ben Franklin
they want democracy 
what them arabs thinkin 
the world leaders now can see when
keep people from eating
the people will eat them


Time to push, and we aint falling back now
Time to fight, because we are all we have now
Do you hear? 
Calling out for back up
Try to keep a look out for better days
And the older I get, the better I like rap music.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Photo is of Shining Rock in the mountains of western North Carolina.  Taken in the fall of 2010.

Part V

[A poem by T.S. Eliot.}

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.  And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph.  And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone:  and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration.  A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments.  So, while the light fails
On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.
With the drawing of the Love and the voice of this Calling.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always –
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in – folded
Into the crowned know of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thanks al Jazeera and Democracy Now!

A protester holds a placard in support of Al-Jazeera television channel, outside the Egyptian state television building, in downtown Cairo Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. Revelers swept joyously into the streets across the Middle East on Friday after Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's president. From Beirut to Gaza, tens of thousands handed out candy, set off fireworks and unleashed celebratory gunfire, and the governments of Jordan, Iraq and Sudan sent their blessings.    (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Poem by Sadhar Kahn

This was published in the book STONES INTO SCHOOLS by Greg Mortenson.  The poet was a mujahedeen in Afghanistan.
You wonder why I sit,
Here on this rock,
By the side of the river,
Doing nothing?

There is so much work to be done for my people.
We have so little food,
We have so few jobs,
Our fields are in shambles,
And still there are land mines everywhere.

So I am here to listen to
The quiet,
The water,
And the singing trees.

This is the sound of peace
In the presence of Allah.
After thirty years as a mujahedeen,
I have grown old from fighting.
I resent the sounds of destruction.

I am so weary of war.

Egyptians get it......

I think they fully realize that the US government has not been helping them in their revolution, and is unlikely to help in the near future.  Here is a chant from the protests in Egypt:

Raise your voice, raise your voice, it's our time, it's our choice. 

And another one:
  Leave means Get out      
    Don't you comprehend?
    O Suleiman O Suleiman
    You too must leave
   Sitting in sitting in         
    Till the regime is gone
   Revolution, revolution until victory
    Revolution in all Egypt's streets 
    Chants by two million Egyptians, Liberation Square, Feb. 10, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

They won! The dictator is gone!

Photo:  Egyptians and supporters celebrate the resignation of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak outside the country's embassy in London February 11, 2011. Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president of Egypt on Friday after 30 years of rule, handing power to the army and bowing to relentless pressure from a popular uprising after his military support evaporated.  REUTERS/Luke MacGregor 


"Lift your head up, you're Egyptian!" is the chant in the streets.  I am so happy for them and so proud of them today!  Yes, there is more to be done, but this is a huge step forward.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The dying of the light - for Egypt

Photo:  Sunset on the Cherohala Skyway, taken by me in the fall of 2010.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
--Dylan Thomas

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

How many will die?

An Egyptian man holds up a sign as he and other Egyptian nationals living in Lebanon protest outside the Egyptian Embassy in Beirut on January 30, 2011, in support of mass protests across Egypt calling for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

Date created: 30 Jan 2011

Since President Obama and other world leaders have not stated that MUBARAK MUST GO AND SO MUST HIS ENTIRE CABINET, I suspect that many of the Egyptian protesters will end up being killed.  This picture is from January 30, 2011 - and I am posting this on February 9, 2011.  I think by that date we will have our sad answer.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

"Call it Democracy" by Bruce Cockburn

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament --
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called "developed" nations'
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It's just spend a buck to make a buck
You don't really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you're going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there's one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

the killing goes on......

A 2005 photo shows a protester alongside a placard denouncing Donald Rumsfeld in the Australian city of Adelaide. The ex-Pentagon chief argues in a recently-published book that the abuse at Abu Ghraib detention facility in Baghdad was the result of rogue soldiers and not policies he helped draft, a stance that rights groups have rejected.  (AFP/File/Jamie Mcdonald)

It has been reported that President Bush canceled a trip to Geneva, Switzerland, because of a threat of arrest.  Bush has proudly and publicly declared that he ordered torture, so I do not see how Rumsfeld can claim that he was not a part of this.  He was the one responsible for Abu Ghraib prison when the torture happened, and it was Rumsfeld who outed Joe Darby on public TV as retribution for having brought the torture to light.  Rumsfeld has lots of innocent blood on his hands, and he is not worthy - and never will be worthy - of licking dog shit off of Joe Darby's shoes.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Face of evil....

"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm. But the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it. Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." ~ T. S. Eliot

Friday, February 04, 2011

Rivers of fire

The Italian volcano awoke Wednesday night, spewing molten lava into the air for over two hours, according to the AP. The lava flowed down the eastern side of the mountain in the volcano's first eruption since 1992.

The eruption forced the nearby Fontanarossa airport to shut down overnight. Luckily no one was injured.

Mubarak must go!

I have been in communication with my Representative's office, the President's office, and both Senators office.  I have signed on to email written by various groups, and send my own emails.

Basically, President Obama needs to clearly call for Mubarak and his evil twin Suleiman (who is currently the vice-president) to leave NOW. 

It has been fascinating watching what is happening in Egypt on Al Jazeera English.  I have been watching a lot of it.

Here is one email I sent to my elected officials.  I did not write it, but I agree completely.

I write to urge you to support the Egypt democracy movement's one essential demand -- that Hosni Mubarak resign as president of Egypt.  President Obama has said that he supports democracy in Egypt.  Mr. Mubarak, a dictator for 30 years, is not the person to lead Egypt to that goal.  I, therefore, ask you to urge President Obama to support the Egyptian people's call for Mr. Mubarak to resign immediately.

Such a call would enhance the image of the United States in the Middle East by beginning to demonstrate to a new generation of Arabs that the United States genuinely values their voices and respects their human rights.  Please urge President Obama to take this excellent opportunity to advance the rights of Egyptians and interests of the United States.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Bush and Mubarak and War

Bush and Mubarak

President George W. Bush walks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after arriving at Sham El Sheikh International Airport, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008. White House photo by Eric Draper.

I could not find one of Obama and Mubarak holding hands, but they are buddies too.

World War Three

The Devil's Children
With no disgrace
Crushed and killed
The Human Race
While they got rich
Off the games of war
What in the Hell
Were you fighting for
A silly assed medal
A stupid parade
For all those innocent people
You slayed
After that
You couldn't even get a job
Cause fighting that war
Made you a slob
A sergeant, a major
A corporal, lieutenant
Names and positions all invented
You and me and all the rest
Are just a bunch of little pieces
In a game of chess
Its all the same
A third world war
A bloodthirsty massacre
Just like before
Its genocide
Three billion tears
Feeding on a war
Every twenty years.

--  Melle Mel, of Furious Five