Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sending to elected officials soon.....


Abdul Malik/Reuters
An Afghan man held the bodies of two children killed in a NATO air strike in the southern province of Helmand. Local officials said the strike was aimed at Taliban fighters.
A total of 14 civilians were killed – this happen on 5-29-11.  

**********
They kill them, and I send them the photos and a note of disapproval.  I sure wish they could understand what they are doing, but apparently, they are sociopaths and do not have a clue.  This photo will go to Obama, Hagan, Burr and Shuler.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cloisters Condominium Community Garden - May 29, 2011









Behind my condo - May 29, 2011


Directly behind my condo, there is a hill.  Normally at this time of year, it is covered with green stuff- mostly weeds.  This year, it is mostly brown (with a few green plants) because they sprayed it with herbicides.  I was home when they (the landscaping company the management hired) did this, and it smelled so bad I immediately shut my windows and doors.  I also got a headache.  I started to feel sorry for the young guy spaying this poison on the earth, since he will likely have his health impacted if he does it a lot.  But he told me that he was glad they spayed, since it meant he had to do less weed cutting.  So, I stopped feeling sorry for him - he is stupid, and stupid people only learn the hard way.

Last year, the only person who cut any weeds (that I know about) was me.  I cut them back when they started overgrowing the grassy area. I took these photos from my back patio.  If we were to have a deluge of rain, there is a good chance that the hill would turn into a mud slide and cover my back patio.  Sure hope that does not happen.  And I sure hope the stupid guy, and the stupid people who started this program of spraying unnecessary herbicides are the only ones to suffer from their stupidity, but this hope will not likely be realized.  Here are a couple more pictures I took today - you can see exactly how high the herbicides reached:


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Speaking out on Israeli crimes

The above women is Rae Abileah.  I met her when I stayed at Code Pink house for a week in 2007.  I have always had a lot of respect for her, and of course, I agree with her positions on issues of war and peace and Israel.  Here is her story in her own words, concerning her action at the US Congress last week:

Do you know that our Congress gave 29 standing ovations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he spoke in the Capital on Tuesday, May 24? I couldn't watch this hero's welcome for a man who supports the continued building of illegal settlements, won't lift the siege of Gaza, and refuses to negotiate with the new Palestinian unity government. During the talk, when Netanyahu was praising young people rising up for democracy in the Middle East, and I took my cue to stand up from my seat in the Capitol Gallery, unfurl a banner, and shout, "No More Occupation! Stop Israeli War Crimes! Equal Rights for Palestinians!"

Immediately, I was tackled, gagged and violently shoved to the floor by other members of the audience, many of whom were still wearing their badges from the AIPAC conference this past weekend. Police dragged me out of the Capitol gallery, and an ambulance whisked me to the hospital, where I was treated for neck and shoulder injuries and put under arrest for disrupting Congress. After I disrupted, Netanyahu said to his Congressional audience, "You can't have these protests in Tehran; this is real democracy."

Is it? What kind of a democracy do we live in when free speech is met with brutality and arrest? In a real democracy, our representatives would be looking out for our best interests, not the interests of a foreign government, ie, Israel. I want my government to take an even-handed approach that respects the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians. But in our so-called democracy, special interest lobby groups like AIPAC have enormous power because of their ability to direct campaign contributions.

So we have a very skewed policy that ignores the rights of the Palestinians, allows repeated Israeli violations of international law, sullies the U.S. reputation internationally, and gives $3 billion a year of our tax dollars to the Israel military when we need this money here at home. Before we go preaching democracy abroad, we should make our own democracy more responsive to the public good, not the wishes of wealthy lobbyists.
…….

The outpouring of support I have been receiving from all over the world has been astounding. A woman in Iraq said she was moved to tears seeing a Jewish-American speaking out. A man in Gaza wished me a speedy recovery and quoted the civil rights song "We Shall Overcome." I even got a message of gratitude from Brad Pitt!

Her full post is at this link.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Press TV report on Ethan McCord and Collateral Murder video

"We beg your pardon" by Gil Scott

RIP, Gil Scott.  I never heard this rap until tonight, but it clearly reflects what I was thinking when President Ford pardoned President Nixon..... it was a pardon that should have never happened, followed by many more.... and even more white-collar white-skinned criminals who were never even charged with their crimes.

Friday, May 27, 2011

How the FOREVER WAR goes....

THIS IS HOW THE FOREVER WAR GOES:

Islamic charities from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates financed a network in U.S. ally Pakistan that recruited children as young as eight to wage holy war, a local newspaper reported on Sunday, citing Wikileaks.

A U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks said financial support estimated at $100 million a year was making its way from those Gulf Arab states to a jihadist recruitment network in Pakistan's Punjab province, Dawn newspaper reported.

The November 2008 dispatch by Bryan Hunt, the then principal officer at the U.S. consulate in Lahore, was based on discussions with local government and non-governmental sources during trips to Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province.

+++++++++++++++++++

SUMMARY:

The US bombs Pakistan and kills children, thereby giving the population a reason to hate the USA.

The US is friends with Saudi Arabia and UAE and gives them "aid" in the form of grants to buy US weapons and military hardware. They allow these countries to suppress any movement towards democracy, because that would mean the leaders might be overthrown and the US would lose control - no more opportunity to subsidize the military-industrial complex, and no more money going to radical groups in Pakistan (which might impact the FOREVER WAR).

SA and UAE send money to people in Pakistan, who will use it to wage "jihad" on the US and any Pakistani organization seen as allied to the US.  This includes jihadi becoming suicide bombers.

So, the US goes and buys more military hardware and goes in and bombs Pakistan again.

This is definitely a win for the military-industrial complex here in the USA, since they get to make and sell weapons over and over and over again.

And it clearly shows how stupid and immoral MOST of the American population is.  They don't care.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Witch Hunts by the FBI

Photo says:  FBI raids & Grand Jury investigations of anti-war activists, there is a name for that :  WITCH HUNT.

"If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us." - Justice Robert Jackson, Chief of Counsel for the United States at Nuremberg

The people who are being investigated and raided by the FBI are activists who have been involved in anti-war activities, and involved in pro-Palestinian activities, and are members of Freedom Road Socialist Organization.   Some of them are also involved with labor rights and democracy issues in Columbia.  They are all opposed to what the US government is doing, because what the US is doing is criminal.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Letter to Gaza

Dear people of Gaza:

You are often in my thoughts, and I hope I can come visit your
beautiful seashore one day.  I know that many of you have beautiful
souls to go with your seashore, and I know that many of you have very
strong hearts and minds.  I hope the siege of Gaza ends soon.  I hope
the injustice visited on Gaza is ended, and reparations paid.

I really hope that you are strong enough to stay non-violent in your
efforts to gain freedom and dignity and a good life for your selves
and your children.  Not only will the likelihood of success be greater
if you are non-violent, but your country will suffer less and have a
better outcome with non-violence.

I really hope one day I can join a ship that is breaking the siege of
Gaza, but even better would be for the siege to end.  VIVA PALESTINE!

No justice, no peace.....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ten lessons from Chernobyl and Fukushima

Here are 10 lessons from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 25 years ago and the Fukushima disaster this year.

1. Nuclear power is a highly complex, expensive and dangerous way to boil water to create steam to turn turbines.

2. Accidents happen, and the worst-case scenario often turns out to be worse than imagined or planned for.

3. The nuclear industry and its experts cannot plan for every contingency or prevent every disaster.

4. Governments do not effectively regulate the nuclear industry to assure the safety of the public.   Regulators of the nuclear industry often come from the nuclear industry itself and tend to be too close to it to regulate it effectively.

5. Hubris, complacency and high-level radiation are a deadly mix.  Hubris on the part of the nuclear industry and its government regulators — along with complacency on the part of the public — has
led to the creation of vast amounts of high-level radiation that must be guarded from release to the environment for tens of thousands of years.

6. The corporations that run the nuclear power plants are protected from catastrophic economic failure by government limits on liability.  If the corporations that own nuclear power plants had to bear the burden of potential financial losses in the event of a catastrophic accident, they would not build the plants because they know the risks are unacceptable. It is only when government limits the liability, as
the Price-Anderson Act does in the United States, that companies go ahead and build nuclear power plants. No other private industry is given such liability protection, which leaves the taxpayers on the
hook.

7. Radiation releases from nuclear accidents cannot be contained in space and will not stop at national borders.

8. Radiation releases from nuclear accidents cannot be contained in time and will adversely affect countless future generations.

9. Nuclear energy — as well as nuclear weapons — and human beings cannot coexist without the risk of future catastrophes. The survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have long known that nuclear weapons and human beings cannot coexist. Fukushima, like Chernobyl before it, makes clear that human beings and nuclear power plants also cannot coexist.

10. The accidents at Fukushima and Chernobyl are a bracing reminder to phase out nuclear energy. We need to move as rapidly as possible to a global energy plan based upon conservation and various forms of renewable energy: solar cells, wind, geothermal, and energy that is extracted from the oceans and the tides and the currents.

Poet Maya Angelou once said, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage doesn’t need to be lived again.” We need the courage to abandon nuclear power. No one should
have to experience the wrenching pain of another Chernobyl or another Fukushima.

Written by David Krieger, who is a councilor on the World Future Council and the chair of the executive committee of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility.  This was published in the Miami Herald.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Reality Check - from email by A.N.S.W.E.R. (LA Chapter)

Reality Check: The Profound Hypocrisy of President Obama’s Speech on the Middle East
By Brian Becker and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard
President Obama took to the airwaves today to discuss the revolts and conflicts spreading throughout the Middle East. The U.S. dominance over this strategic and oil-rich region has been the pivot of U.S. foreign policy for decades. Utilizing a system of proxy and client regimes, in addition to its own vast military forces in the region, the United States has supported a network of brutal dictatorships and the Israeli regime for decades.
Now that system of imperial control has been shaken by the popular risings that started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt and elsewhere, the Obama administration spoke today at the U.S. State Department as part of an effort to reassert U.S. leadership over the swiftly changing region.  Using the rhetoric of democracy and freedom to mask the responsibility of U.S. imperialism in the enduring oppression and suffering of the peoples of the Middle East, President Obama’s speech was a demonstration of profound hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy: President Obama said that the “greatest untapped resource in the Middle East and North Africa is the talent of its people.”
Reality: The U.S. strategy is based on control of the Middle East’s most coveted resource: two-thirds of the world's known oil supply. The U.S. government has given billions of dollars and armed the most brutal dictatorships in the Middle East for decades, a practice fully continued by the Obama administration. The U.S. government never cut funds to the Mubarak dictatorship even while the regime murdered more than 850 peaceful protestors. More than 5,000 civilians in Egypt have been convicted and jailed since Jan. 25 following trials conducted by the Egyptian military. The United States continues to provide massive funding to Egypt's military in spite of the ongoing repression against the people.
Hypocrisy: President Obama stated, “it will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy.”
Reality: The only governments in the Middle East that have been targeted for invasion, economic sanctions and overthrow by the U.S. government are those that pursue policies that are independent of U.S. economic, political and military control. The U.S. never imposed economic sanctions on the Mubarak dictatorship and only came out publicly against Mubarak when the tide of revolution had become irresistible. Likewise, the U.S. supports the brutal Saudi monarchy.
Hypocrisy: President Obama championed for the people of the Middle East the “basic rights to speak your mind and access information,” stating, “the truth cannot be hidden; and the legitimacy of governments will ultimately depend on active and informed citizens.”
Reality: The Obama administration has gone out of its way to punish those who would inform the public by shedding light on the activities of the U.S. government. Bradley Manning remains jailed with the threat of life in prison, having been held in brutal conditions that caused the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture to seek an investigation. The Justice Department is working at full speed to find a way to prosecute Julian Assange of Wikileaks for disclosing government documents to the public, many of which expose the U.S. role in the Middle East. The Obama administration has undertaken a major campaign more aggressive than any prior administration to criminally prosecute whistleblowers who expose the truth of illegal government actions.
Hypocrisy: President Obama stated: “The United States opposes the use of violence and repression against the people of the region.”
Reality: The United States under Obama is involved in the invasion, occupation, and bombings of four predominantly Muslim countries simultaneously: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan. Moreover, the head of state who has been the single biggest violator of the basic human rights of Arab people and the perpetuator of violence in the region is George W. Bush, whose illegal invasion of Iraq cost the lives of more than one million people. The March 19, 2003, invasion was a war of aggression against a country that did not pose any threat to the United States or the people of the United States. The invasion and occupation of Iraq led to the deaths of more Arab people than have been killed by all the dictatorships in the region combined. President Obama today called Osama Bin Laden a mass murderer. September 11, 2001, was indeed a great crime that took the lives of thousands of innocent working people, but measured in order of the magnitude of victims killed, Bush’s crime of mass murder in Iraq is unmatched. George W. Bush has not been arrested for the mass killings of Iraqi people but is treated honorifically by the Obama administration.
Hypocrisy: In an effort to appease Arab public opinion, President Obama's speech made it appear as if the United States was insisting that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders. Obama stated, “precisely because of our friendship, it is important that we tell the truth: the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.”
Reality: Israel’s war against the Palestinian people would be impossible without U.S. support, which continues unabated. The single biggest recipient of U.S. foreign aid is the state of Israel, which uses the $3 billion it receives annually to lay siege to the people of Gaza, continue the illegal occupation of the West Bank and prevent the return of the families of the 750,000 Palestinians who were evicted from their homes and villages in historic Palestine in 1948. The United Nations in various resolutions has condemned the 1967 Israeli invasion and occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and Syria’s Golan Heights. Far from imposing economic sanctions, President Obama has promised Israel a minimum of $30 billion in military aid over the next 10 years, thus functioning as a partner in the occupation. Obama’s speech also made it clear that the United States would support Israel retaining vast swaths of the West Bank. This is what he meant by referring to “land swaps.” In the coming days, Obama will have private meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu and will be a featured speaker at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference. He will undoubtedly reinforce the strong U.S.-Israeli military ties and U.S. financial support.
Hypocrisy: President Obama stated: “We support a set of universal rights. Those rights include free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; equality for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders – whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus; Sanaa or Tehran…. [W]e will continue to insist that universal rights apply to women as well as men.”
Reality: While the U.S. government – along with Britain and France (the former colonizers of the Middle East and Africa) – are bombing Libya with the latest high-tech bombs and missiles in the name of “protecting civilians” and “promoting democracy,” the Obama administration offered the most tepid pro-forma criticism of the Bahrain monarchy as it and the Saudi monarchy kill and imprison peaceful protestors in Bahrain. No sanctions have even been hinted at for Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. The Saudi monarchy is the ultimate negation of democracy, depriving women of all rights, depriving workers of the right to form unions and depriving all sectors of the population of any right to free speech, assembly or press. There has never been an election in Saudi Arabia. But the Saudi monarchy functions as a client of the U.S. government and, as such, is not targeted for economic sanctions or “regime change” as are the governments of Syria and Libya. The Bahrain monarchy likewise functions as a U.S. client and allows the U.S. Fifth Fleet to use Bahrain as its home port, which is why he referred to the monarchy as “a long-standing partner.”
Hypocrisy: President Obama denounced the Iranian government, stating that “we will continue to insist that the Iranian people deserve their universal rights,” and condemned what he called Iran’s “illicit nuclear program.”
Reality: He failed to mention that it was the CIA along with its British counterpart that staged the overthrow of Iran’s democratic government in 1953 and reinstated the Shah’s monarchy. They overthrew Iran’s democracy when Iran nationalized its own oil from AIOC/British Petroleum. The U.S. only broke relations with the Iranian government when the Shah’s dictatorship was overthrown by a populist national revolution. Regarding nuclear weapons, the Israeli government has refused to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and has accumulated 200 “illicit” nuclear weapons. Of course, the United States has thousands of nuclear weapons and remains the only country to have used nuclear weapons, destroying Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Hypocrisy: President Obama told the world that the United States shares the goals of the Arab revolution, that “repression will fail, that tyrants will fall, and that every man and woman is endowed with certain inalienable rights.”
Reality: The U.S. government, whether it is led by Democrats or Republicans, views the oil-rich Middle East through the lens of empire. Operating through a network of proxy regimes including Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, the Shah of Iran until his overthrow in 1979, and other regimes in the region – and supplemented by tens of thousands of U.S. troops positioned in U.S. bases throughout the region and on aircraft carriers – the United States aims to dominate and control a region that possesses two-thirds of the world’s known oil supply. It has and continues to finance a network of brutal client dictatorships, and it has funded the Israeli war machine and staged repeated invasions, bombing campaigns, and occupations against the people of the region.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Radiation falling down in our rain

Think different!

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NO BLOOD FOR OIL

I remember when I was going to anti-war protests in early 2003, and seeing the signs that said NO BLOOD FOR OIL.  I remember thinking – it could not be just about oil.  Yes, Iraq had oil, but there must be some other underlying reason for the war.

I was wrong.  It was ALL about oil.  Of course, I had figured out that it was not about imaginary WMDs.

And here is some more evidence to show that it was all about oil:

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

Plans to exploit Iraq's oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world's largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.
……
The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.  The documents were not offered as evidence in the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war. In March 2003, just before Britain went to war, Shell denounced reports that it had held talks with Downing Street about Iraqi oil as "highly inaccurate". BP denied that it had any "strategic interest" in Iraq, while Tony Blair described "the oil conspiracy theory" as "the most absurd". 

But documents from October and November the previous year paint a very different picture. Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq's enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair's military commitment to US plans for regime change. The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP's behalf because the oil giant feared it was being "locked out" of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms. Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: "Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis." The minister then promised to "report back to the companies before Christmas" on her lobbying efforts. 

****************
More at the link, including quotes from various oil companies making denials at the same time they were meeting with British officials.  This illegal and highly immoral war of aggression was all about oil.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Flying Kites" by Layla Anwar

Photo:  An Iraqi woman whose son and grandson were kidnapped by unknown assailants in 2007 joins the weekly protest against corruption, unemployment and poor public services at Baghdad's Tahrir Square on May 6, 2011 to call on the government to help find the whereabouts of missing people.  AFP PHOTO/AHEMED AL-RUBAYE- Date created: 06 May 2011

 *************************
"Flying Kites"

Come and see our overflowing morgues and find our little ones for us...

You may find them in this corner or the other, a little hand poking out, pointing out at you...

Come and search for them in the rubble of your "surgical" air raids, you may find a little leg or a little head...pleading for your attention.

Come and see them amassed in the garbage dumps, scavenging morsels of food...

Half of them are under-nourished or dying from disease.  Cholera, dysentery, infections of all sorts....

Come and see, come....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An Iraqi child


Tao Te Ching, Witter Bynner's translation, chapter 31:

Even the finest arms are an instrument of evil,
A spread of plague,
And the way for a vital man to go is not the way of a soldier.
But in time of war men civilized in peace
Turn from their higher to their lower nature.
Arms are an instrument of evil,
No measure for thoughtful men
Until there fail all other choice
But sad acceptance of it.
Triumph is not beautiful.
He who thinks triumph beautiful
Is one with a will to kill,
And one with a will to kill
Shall never prevail upon the world.
It is a good sign when man's higher nature comes forward,
A bad sign when his lower nature comes forward,
When retainers take charge
And the master stays back
As in the conduct of a funeral.
The death of a multitude is cause for mourning:
Conduct your triumph as a funeral.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The only way to justify war......

The only way to justify war…..

The only way to justify war, is to dehumanise its victims

This opinion piece was published in March 2011.  I think it clearly outlines how wars are started, and how they are continued – by making other people “lesser” beings.  Or, in other words, by flat out prejudice and racism.  It is done by dehumanizing the victims of war.

It is not normal to look at photographs of explosions and destruction and to celebrate.  It is not logical for people to agree with spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to send jets half way around the world to drop bombs on another people’s country, whilst their family members lose their jobs and their local services are cut.  These things do not make sense, but they are happening.  The government and the media have a clear plan in the run-up to foreign intervention; firstly, dehumanise the enemy to such an extent that any action is justified by their ‘evil’.

The article goes on to discuss how the leader of Libya has been demonized, and the citizens of that country who support him disappeared.  It is the same story, the same song and dance routine, for every war that the USA (or other countries) start or join in when they are not being attacked.  The leader of the target country is demonized, and compared to Hitler, and his past actions are derided in the corporate media – without a whisper about how the USA was supporting him when he did those horrible things.  

The people of the countries that the US government attacks are seen as barbarians, and as less than human.  They are seen the same way the US government in centuries past saw the native people of this land.  As a matter of fact, we have a recent operation named GERONIMO and we have weapons named Apache and Tomahawk.   We also have weapons called Grim Reaper and Hellfire missiles…. And yet some Americans think we drop those bombs for good intentions.
Well, they certainly are not keeping us safe.

Another interesting facet of American behavior is the frequency with which Americans claim (and think) that the people of the Middle East are just always violent – always have been and always will be.  But the people in the Middle East are not loading up airplanes full of bombs, bullets, and troops to invade and destroy other lands.  The USA does that.  And frankly, the USA is responsible for the second highest number of non-combatant deaths since World War II.  Only the DR Congo has seen a higher death toll.

How much longer will it be before the empire crashes?

The photo above is of an Iraqi child after US troops shot her parents dead when their car got too close to a foot patrol.  Photo was taken by Chris Hondros, who was killed in Libya covering that war.  Here is an updated story on what has happened to that child.

Face That Screamed War’s Pain Looks Back, 6 Hard Years Later

Change I believe in!


Demonstrators express their opinion on the death of Osama bin Laden in front of the White House on May 2, 2011 in Washington, DC. The al-Qaida chief was killed by U.S. Nave SEALS in a special forces operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 1, 2011. UPI/Pat Benic

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Original intention of Mother's Day


In the wake of the Civil War’s devastating toll on human life, women’s peace groups called for a day celebrating American moms and their dreams of a safer future for their families. Written in 1870, Julia Ward Howe’s “Mother’s Day Proclamation” eloquently speaks for many moms in the U.S., Iraq, and around the world today:

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

**************
The above came from a Code Pink email.

Reality.....

Yes, the truth is that Osama, who reportedly was behind the attacks on 9/11, was killed by actions on the order of Obama.  At the end of WW2, Americans tried their best to capture war criminals and bring them to trial.  Then they gave them a trial and a sentence.  Today, we just kill them.  I guess prior generations of Americans were made of better stuff than today's generations.

And the fact is, for every innocent person who was killed on 9/11/01, the USA has killed at least 100 innocent persons and maybe as high as 300 innocent persons.  And we are still killing them.  Daily.

I feel the same about Osama being killed as I would if Iraqi commandos invaded Bush's home and killed him outright.  Of course, Bush ordered the death of many more innocents than Osama, and he did it quite publicly.

Paul Craig Roberts: "International polls show that the rest of the world regard the US and Israel as the greatest dangers to world peace. Americans claim that they are fighting wars against terrorism, but it is US and Israeli terrorism that worries everyone else."

Saturday, May 07, 2011

LA FIGLIA CHE PIANGE

Photo of a window at the Solace Center in Asheville NC.  Taken in September 2010.


LA FIGLIA CHE PIANGE
A poem by T.S. Eliot

Stand on the highest pavement of the stair-
Lean on a garden urn-
Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair-
Clasp your flowers to you with a pained surprise-
Fling them to the ground and turn
With a fugitive resentment in your eyes:
But weave, weave the sunlight in your hair.

So I would have had him leave,
So I would have her stand and grieve,
So he would have left
As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised,
As the mind deserts the body it has used.
I should find
Some way incomparably light and deft,
Some way we both should understand,
Simple and faithless as a smile and shake of the hand.

She turned away, but with the autumn weather
Compelled my imagination many days,
Many days and many hours:
Her hair over her arms and her arms full of flowers.
And I wonder how they should have been together!
I should have lost a gesture and a pose.
Sometimes these cogitations still amaze
The troubled midnight and the noon’s repose.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Protest against ALEC in Cincinnati on 04/29/11

I was in Cincinnati last Friday, and participated in this event.  Here is what the organizing group had to say about ALEC:

They meet in secret. They write our laws. And they want us silent.

On March 15th, University of Wisconsin Professor Bill Cronon posted a study guide on his blog on the history and actions of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He asked: What is behind the “sudden and impressively well-organized” wave of right-wing legislation targeting workers, students, women, immigrants, and the environment in state legislatures? He found that all roads led to ALEC.

ALEC is a conservative think-tank run by right-wing politicians and corporate and financial interests within the banking industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the big oil and gas industries, and others. They are aligned to many right-wing and conservative interests, including the election-manipulating Koch Industries.

For offering his research to the public, Professor Cronon then immediately found his character, privacy, and livelihood under attack by the GOP.
I had never heard of this group before, but once I heard, I decided I needed to go to the protest.  The reason behind the date and place of the protest was simple - ALEC was having their spring meeting at a hotel in downtown Cincinnati.  The protest started with a rally on Fountain Square, and after about an hour, the crowd (about 100 - 200 people) moved to the sidewalk by the hotel where ALEC was meeting.  We then marched around the block.  Here are some pictures that I took:



Some of the legislation that ALEC has proposed include anti-collective bargaining laws in several states, anti-immigrant laws in Arizona, defunding women's health care, turning prisons into for-profit entities, and rolling back environmental protections. 

Here is a report from someone who also attended this rally and march. 
We Kossacks should give a very hearty Well Done! to the organizing group Seeyouincincinnati, who only one month ago today had absolutely nothing, and in only one month, organized, got demonstration permits, located housing, and in general, organized a terriffic rally to begin the long process of shining the light on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) the right wing shadow government who has a major hand in writing our 50 state's draconion laws that do everything from privatizing prisons and making prisoners slave labor for corporate interests, to union busting bills OH SB5 and Wisconsin Senate Bill 11, to legislation introduced in 31 states to attempt to implement unneeded and expensive Voter ID requirements with the final goal to supress Democratic voters.  A hat tip is in order for Manfrommiddletown a Miami University PhD student who actually got the ball rolling at Miami, and it was picked up by others.
And here is a link to another report on the event, along with a photo of the march around the block the hotel was on.

Over two hundred people gathered in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday for the nation’s first-ever organized mass protest against powerful right-wing think tank ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Chanting slogans about defending democracy and the priority of people over profit, protesters marched peacefully several times around the block where ALEC was holding its “Spring Task Force Summit” at a Hilton hotel.

ALEC is an elite group of state legislators, corporations, and free market advocates who draft and introduce hundreds of pre-packaged right-wing bills into each state legislature yearly, bills restricting government regulation, encouraging privatization, and promoting (according to their mission statement) “Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty.”

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A poem about the killings at Kent State - 41 years ago

Kent State: Truth Emerging in this Cold Case Homicide

Written by Laurel Krause, little sister of Allison Krause.  Published on  December 9, 2010

The government crossed the line
in the killing of four young people
in the killing of our Allison
as she rallied against the war on May 4, 1970
A civil rights battle on U.S. soil in our times
Kent State is personal for us yet important for all

Arthur Krause knew the importance
of the Kent State Tape
My dad knew it held the truth
of what happened at Kent State
even though back in 1970
and until just recently
truth from the Kent State Tape was locked up
in a jumbled maze of analog antiquity
Dad passed away over 20 years ago
He knew the truth in the Kent State Tape

A patriot and WWII soldier
Dad believed the American dream
When Allison his firstborn
a freshman at Kent State University
was protesting the Vietnam war on her campus
He never anticipated the American apocalypse
our family would endure
at the hands of our government

Like Sandy, Jeff and Bill
our Allison was shot dead at Kent State
Homicide by national guard gunfire
Dad knew they got away with murder
at Kent State University
just after noon on May 4, 1970

Over the next ten years
Dad sought truth and justice at Kent State
demanding to know what happened to our Allison
Taking it to the courts yielded only
road blocks, cover-ups and threats
Every effort to uncover and face
the deadly inhumanity of Kent State
was completely thwarted

A series of seamless stonewalls
Never examining the wrongs of Kent State
No accountability for the killings of Kent State
Not one person or group ever held responsible
Not one apology uttered

Yet governmental claims were consistent:
There was no order to fire
The Guard reacted to sniper fire
The Guard felt under attack from the students

A government-fabricated pack of lies
that has now transformed
into the recorded history
of the killings of Kent State
That is … until 2010
and the examination of the Kent State Tape

40 years after the shootings
the Kent State Tape that Dad held so dear
that was evidence in his court cases
finally examined using
tools of state-of-the-art audio technology
unlocking the true record of what occurred
at Kent State on May 4, 1970

Sounds expertly analyzed by
world-class forensic scientist Stuart Allen
commissioned by the Cleveland Plain Dealer
to explore the Kent State Tape
for the very first time

Whether copy or original is moot
Truth is recorded in the Kent State Tape
A tape does not remember, forget or change its story
The Kent State Tape does not lie

At the Kent State Truth Tribunal in NYC
October 2010 with Stuart Allen examining
Hearing and unraveling the labyrinth of deadly sounds
including shots and national guard commands
and a violent altercation with FBI-paid Terry Norman
all contributing to the shootings at Kent State 1970

The government denied
orders to fire were isolated, heard and verified
orders of Guard, Prepare to Fire
orders of Alright, Guard, Fiii-
with the last word of the deadly order stepped on
by a barrage of 67 shots over 13 seconds

At unarmed students changing classes at noon
At unarmed students more than a football field away
At unarmed students rallying against the Vietnam War
At unarmed students rallying against the military occupation of their campus
in a battle where American dissent was also slaughtered

Note: Entered into the United States House of Representative Congressional Record on December 14, 2010, Volume 156, sponsored by Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio at the request of Laurel Krause, whose sister Allison Krause was shot and killed as she protested the Vietnam War at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. Laurel is the co-founder and director of the Kent State Truth Tribunal.

On May 4, 1970.... FOUR DEAD IN OHIO

Monday, May 02, 2011

Is it for freedom?

show me, America, that you care..... show me, America, that you are aware.......

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Hegemony or Survival

Some excerpts from HEGEMONY OR SURVIVAL          

These are some excerpts from the book that I found particularly worthwhile.
This is a book written by Noam Chomsky in 2003.

As the invasion of Iraq began, the prominent historian and Kennedy adviser Arthur Schlesinger wrote that:

“The president has adopted a policy of “anticipatory self-defense” that is alarmingly similar in policy that imperial Japan employed at Pearl Harbor, on a date, as an earlier American president said it would, lives in infamy.  Franklin D. Roosevelt was right, but today it is we American who live in infamy.”

**********

Here is what Chomsky wrote about Iraq under Saddam’s regime:

Horrifying and brutal as Saddam Hussein’s regime was, he nevertheless did direct oil profits to internal development.  “A tyrant, at the head of a regime that has turned violence into an instrument of state,” with a “hideous human rights record,” he nevertheless “had hoisted half the country’s population into the middle class, and Arabs the world over...came to study at Iraqi universities.”  The 1991 war, involving the purposeful destruction of water, power, and sewage systems, took a terrible toll, and the sanctions regime imposed by the US and UK drove the country to the level of bare survival.  As one illustration, UNICEF’s 2003 Report on the State of the Worlds Children states that “Iraqs regression over the past decade is by far the most severe of the 193 countries surveyed,” with the child death rate, “the best single indicator of child welfare,” increasing from 50 to 133 per 1,000 live births, placing Iraq below every country outside Africa apart from Cambodia and Afghanistan.   Two hawkish military analysts observe that “economic sanction may well have been a necessary [sic] cause of the deaths of more people in Iraq than have been slain by all so-called weapons of mass destruction throughout history,” in the hundreds of thousands according to conservative estimates. 

Just totally disgusting…. completely disgusting.

**********

Again, Chomsky talking about the Iraq war:

In the end, the Turks proceeded to teach a lesson in democracy to the West.  Parliament finally refused to allow US troops to be deployed fully in Turkey.  To formulate the outcome within the conventional framework:

The ground war has been hampered because Turkey did not accept its role as host of the northern front forces, again for political reasons.  Its government was too weak in the face of antiwar feeling.

The presuppositions are clear.  Strong governments disregard their populations and “accept the role” assigned to them by the global ruler; weak governments succumb to the will of 95 percent of their population.

And to hell with democracy!

**********

Chomsky again on Iraq, this time on the war in 1991 against Iraq:

US forces in the Gulf War in 1991 enjoyed such overwhelming military superiority that troops could enter Iraq behind plows mounted on tanks and earthmovers, which bulldozed live Iraqi soldiers into trenches in the desert, an “unprecedented tactic,” Patrick Sloyan reported.  “Not a single American was killed during the attack that made an Iraqi body count impossible.”  The victims were mostly Shi’ite and Kurdish peasant conscripts, it appears, hapless victims of Saddam Hussein hiding in hold in the sand or fleeing for their lives.  The report elicited little interest or comment.

I have heard verbal reports of these horrific war crimes, but no national media attention to these incidents.