Archive for April, 2008

Stop the Torture, Stop the War

April 21, 2008

I stood with other protesters outside the Park Avenue apartment building where rich Republican David Koch was entertaining Dick Cheney for a party fund raiser today.  We chanted Stop the Torture, Stop the War and carried signs. 

Among those present was my friend Sharon who has recently been arrested for actions of peaceful civil disobedience aimed at getting Congressman Nadler to move on the impeachment of Cheney.  It was good to be with others who are willing to stand up and speak out at this time in US history.  

These are people who know, as I do, that the US system is broken.  It was certainly never perfect, but even the imperfect days of the late 60’s and early 70’s seem idyllic by comparison.  Then, Lyndon Johnson knew there was dissent against the war; protesters were visible and audible from his windows.  Today, we were penned in across Park Avenue and down near the other end of the block from the building.  Cheney must have been spirited in through a service entrance underground, for we never saw him.  We did have the satisfaction of causing considerable numbers of NYPD officers to be on the street to defend him against us.  We meanwhile were there defending the Constitution and the people of the United States and the world against US aggression and torture that Cheney has spearheaded. 

Almost thirty-five years ago, Nixon was not impeached, but he resigned when it was obvious that a vote of impeachment was imminent.  Today, the fact of Cheney’s supervising the plans for torture and Bush’s knowledge and consent to that are known, even bragged about by the perpetrators.  The Congress does nothing.  The regime must have known that the legislative branch would do nothing.  The press is not leading demands for impeachment.  Only a few of us on the street cry out Stop the Torture, Stop the War. 

I ask myself why John Conyers does not insist on impeachment investigations.  He had drawn up a list of over twenty laws Bush had broken before the 2006 election.  Why does Conyers, now chairman of the Judiciary Committee, not act?

Is the entire Congress or at least the majority, in league with the regime?  I can only assume that they are.  Why do the three “main” presidential candidates, all of whom are US senators, not demand select committees and investigations in the Senate?  Again, I can only conclude that they are somehow in collusion with the regime. 

An email came in just as I was drafting this about a conference at which a number of leaders for peace and justice will discuss a new order.  Here is the site:

www.wpaconference.org

I pass that along as something I can do.   The World Can’t Wait is also organizing for the remainder of the time through the elections, holding a meeting on the West Coast.  Here is that website

www.worldcantwait.org 

I stand on the street and cry Stop the Torture, Stop the War. 

What are you doing?

POSITIONS OF CINDY SHEEHAN, RUNNING FOR CONGRESS AGAINST NANCY PELOSI

April 10, 2008

Cindy Sheehan is running for Congress in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district.  Since I live in New York, I cannot vote for her, but I can contribute to her campaign and support her. 

I know her and know that she will work for these things in Congress.  I know that Nancy Pelosi, in spite of what may come out of her mouth, is part of the ongoing occupation of Iraq and the continuing decline of US democracy. 

Cindy’s message is one of people before profit:
•    US troops completely withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan
•    US bases closed world-wide
•    Pentagon budget slashed
•    Money used to improve schools, infrastructure, security and provide Universal Health Care
•    Humane and comprehensive immigration solutions that guarantee a quick path to legalization
•    Sustainable and renewable power for our homes and cars
•    LGBT should have complete protection from hate crimes, the freedom to marry the person they love and protection from discrimination in the work place
•    A humane foreign policy that recognizes the rights of everyone on Planet Earth to be free from violence and occupation
•    The rights for workers to unionize and repeal NAFTA and other “free” trade agreements.

Here is a link to her website:

http://www.cindyforcongress.com/

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Martin Luther King on Poverty and War as well as Race

April 5, 2008

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“Increasingly, [Dr. Martin Luther] King, [Jr.] identified the war in Vietnam as part of a global struggle against colonialism, and black inequality as a function of class inequalities that also affected many whites. Though he opposed the separatism espoused by black nationalists, he had his own view of what ‘integration’ meant: ‘We are not interested in being integrated into this value structure.’ A ‘radical redistribution of economic power’ was needed. ‘So often in America,’ he observed, ‘we have socialism for the rich and ragged free enterprise capitalism for the poor.’

This quotation is from an article called “Dr. Martin Luther King: A Demanding Legacy.”

It includes information about a civil suit filed by the King family.

“In 1999, the King family brought a civil suit in Memphis for wrongful death; after reviewing the evidence in more detail than had ever been done before, the jury ruled that government agencies had indeed been involved in a conspiracy to kill Martin Luther King.”

“Abraham, Martin, and John” … and Bobby … and Iraq ,,, and New Orleans …

What am I doing to stop this?

Dr. King’s Wisdom

April 3, 2008

Gwen’s ordination was in Riverside Church, an event I will never forget.  The place is filled with the spirit of peace and tolerance and love.  It was there that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached an antiwar sermon on April 4, 1967. 

What he said then applies today.  Here is a link to an article in The Nation that quotes that speech. 

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/edcut?pid=305672

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave?

April 3, 2008

I live in the land of the caged, penned up, spied upon, phone tapped, message intersepted home of the cowardly and afraid who are encouraged to spy on and report on others.  I want to be free and among the brave again. 

I am sometimes seized with the desire to knock over police barriers, tear down posters with eyes telling me to report on my fellows.  I so loathe living in a world where I am told to “say something if I see something,” that I have vowed under almost no circumstances will I say anything, not to the police anyway.  Any choice is preferable to becoming a police informer. 

We have allowed the illegitimate Bush regime to take away our freedoms and a police state to be established.  We have allowed the invasion of another country and the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and the destruction of their land. 

We knew before the invasion that there was no reason for it; the UN inspectors were there telling us there were not WMD.  Even if there had been, we had no reason to invade.  Iraq posed no threat to the US.  As my valiant and reasonable Congressional Representative at the time, Major Owens, said, we never panicked and invaded the Soviet Union when we knew for sure that they had WMD. 

Why do we allow this regime to go on?  Why do we not demand that Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Rove, Perle, Wolfowitz, and company be held accountable.  The ones still in office can be impeached.  The others can be indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity under US and international laws and tried. 

Why do we not do it?  We have become the fearful and the cowardly in the land of the penned up, spied on, wire tapped, controlled. 

My grandchildren have lived most of their lives under the repressive Bush dictatorship.  They only know being scanned, spied on, penned in, and monitored.  They don’t know what it was like to go about life in a free country where people had the courage to live life fully.  It breaks my heart.  They think this is normal. 

Today on 42nd Street, I stopped for coffee at a shop.  More than half of the long block between Times Square and 8th Avenue was full of police cars.  A pleasant looking young policeman was in the shop getting coffee, too.  I asked him why all the cars.  He said they were the anti-terror unit. 

All I could see them doing at the time was getting coffee.  A street full of police cars parked and empty while the officers get coffee?  Haven’t they any real protection work to do?  Could they not be better employed?  Is the real agenda there to intimidate and control people in the Times square area, which is becoming more and more the bastion of corporations and less and less a place where freedom of expression lives.  The disnification of Broadway is not a step up in my mind.   I never want to go to Disneyland and am horrified at the way Times Square is more and more controlled by Disney and other big, greedy corporations who sell bland, tasteless entertainment at high prices.   Can we not tell the difference between real culture and Disney? 

These things are not unrelated.  Mussolini said that fascism should really be called corporatism.   We have that, corporatism, and the police is in its service and the government in its service. 

I want to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.