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36 Gigabucks in fraud? Dig harder or dig in another place…

Cause there's a much more massive gap between what was reported to us as the cost of the war as late as oh. let me see... Last Week, where the cost of the War on An Amorphous Emotion Peopled By Shadowy Dark Skinned People In Far Corners of The Empire was "set" at being somewhere more than a Trillion dollars.... and the amount that doesn't seem to be accounted for. Which is estimated at between 5 and 8 trillion. How does 8 Trillion anything just up and piss-a-deer? I published an analogy of what a trillion dead mosquitoes would look like in one place, it would be a hill of mosquito meat about as tall as the Capitol Dome. Perhaps one reason the money is "unaccounted" is because the accountants work for the Thieves. Such as one Richard Cheney, who recently as in a couple of days ago did another interview on NBC. Regarding him being not responsible for the massacre of the poor known as the "response to Hurricane Katrina". Irresponsible? yes. NOT responsible? Hell to the no. His company, Halliburton, from which he didn't divest at all when he became the President of Vice, took the greatest share of the funds sent into the Magic Hole Which Makes Money Disappear. Using no-bid contracts administered by... Vice President Richard Cheney. Halliburton, by the way, is a company organized strictly for theft. It's what they do and they're very good at it. I know using the word "good" while describing that particular nest of snakes (my appologies to real snakes and other reptiles) makes it Instant Oxymoron, but that's one of the gaping holes in the Modern English Language. They have sucked America dry and built themselves a private island resort off the coast of Dubai, UAE. Let's break momentarily from Trashing The Trash, in other words talking smack about the thieves, and remind our audience what the term Trillion means as opposed to Billion. When you multiply anything by a thousand, that's when the name changes. "Mil" as in million means "a thousand" and in that case means a thousand times a thousand. A Billion is a thousand times a Million. A Trillion is a 1,000 x 1,000, x 1,000 x 1,000. A thousand times a billion, A MILLION millions. Bill Gates had at one time 80 billion dollars in his personal stash, that's less than 1% of a trillion. And approximately 5 trillion is missing. The largest circulating bill in U.S. currency is the $100. Each weighs a gram. It takes ten kilograms of $100 bills to make a million dollars, and that's the smallest physical pile of currency that would possibly make a million dollars. It wouldn't be like in the movies where somebody carries a briefcase full of money and it's valued, for the sake of poetic license, as ten million bucks. Not so. Ten million would weigh about what I do, 220 pounds. You would need a suitcase so big you would have to check it at the airport, not carry on luggage,

IRS says Cindy Sheehan owes $104K more in taxes than MF General Electric

From Cindy Sheehan, Facebook, Aug 29, 7PM PST: "I just got a notice from the IRS that I owe them 104 grand and they are going to levy my bank accounts and property. I don't have any property and there's less than 150.00 in my bank accounts. Looks like Fed Prison is in my future. I would rather go to prison than fund the crimes of this government. I am going to send them a notice that they owe me infinity dollars for killing my son."   When the MF IRS goes after the highest visibility, loudest voice, friend of world leaders, first name world celebrity, icon of American antiwar and anti-imperialist movement... WHO CAN DISSENT and feel safe? (Cindy- "Infinity" won't compute and doesn't allow for a ceiling, I'm sorry to suggest you put a value on Casey's head, but how about 1.7 Trillion? Obviously they can manage that.)

Just flew back from DC, arms tired

I hoped to be sending updates from CAMP OUT NOW at the capitol, but a laptop mishap left me unplugged for the week. Have much to report about Sheehan's last stand(s), Obama and St Pats, Cynthia McKinney and the ANSWER march, street-dancing with SDS, Kathy Griffin and DADT, Medea torments AIPAC, Sunday's immigration rally, Kill-the-Bill teabaggers vs. anti-abortion Catholics, RAN tripods at the EPA, the Smithsonian for Complete Idiots, disciples for 911 untruth, Holocaust Denial at the National Museum of the American Indian, and more.

If Camp OUT NOW won’t end the US military corporate empire, will you?

In 2005 Cindy Sheehan staked her tent in Crawford TX until President Bush would deign to meet with her; she didn't pack it up until she had launched an antiwar movement. From there Sheehan met with world leaders, challenged Nancy Pelosi at the polls, and made herself ubiquitous wherever antiwar was raged. This time Sheehan is laying siege to the White House and she's not going to let up until Obama calls off his dogs of war. Will it work? It should. George Bush could have halted the grieving mother's momentum if he'd heard her out. This time no beer summit is going to pass for Obama's promised change. Sheehan has already been arrested in front of the White House, the new president has already snubbed her on Martha's Vineyard. Didn't hear about it? The media can pretend none of this is happening unless Camp OUT NOW reaches critical mass. You should join in. Sheehan's promising no less than the crumbling of the US military corporate empire. Can it happen? It won't happen without you.

Camp OUT NOW delayed for St Pats

PEACE OF THE ACTION and Cindy Sheehan had to delay their March 13 start by two days, to accommodate the Washington DC's St. Patrick's Day. Parade organizers objected to sharing the National Mall with an antiwar protest encampment. Deja vu? Camp OUT NOW will raise their tents on March 15 on the lawns between the White House and the Washington Monument, to protest America's ceaseless war-making. Sheehan and co will direct civil disruptions of DC activities and don't plan to strike the tents until troops -and drones- are OUT. Join them!

Cindy Sheehan, Phil Ward & Travis AFB

Colorado Springs has its own loony pro-war vet, every bit the ass like retired sergeant Phil Ward, pictured here trying to intimidate antiwar luminary Cindy Sheehan. The good news is these puffed chests are easily deflated, but you have to act decisively. Sheehan and her colleagues plan to press charges against Ward, who police had let pass, and whom the media permitted to remain nameless. The media have blamed last week's altercation on Sheehan, although the video shows otherwise. The elderly vet can be seen moving straight into Sheehan, standing nose to cheek until she steps back and attempts to keep him one bullhorn's length away. Then Ward strikes at the horn, and pushes others who come to Sheehan's rescue. Though he put Sheehan and her fellow activists at risk, Sgt. Ward brought the media's attention to her new tour to protest the US Air Force bases, in this case Travis AFB in California and Creech AFB in Nevada, from which air strikes on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq are being conducted via unmanned drones. Hmm. Where is our good old Major George when we need some publicity? Here is Sheehan's own account of "What happened at Travis AFB on Saturday." "Killing is right and proper" Cindy Sheehan On Saturday, Bay Area CODEPINK and I, started our caravan to Creech AFB in Nevada with a morning peace rally at Travis AFB in Fairfield, CA. After we got there we were informed that we had to move off the base and were shown by MPs where we could protest. As good warriors for free speech and peace, we groused about it and we were moving forward to where we were supposed to go, when a very angry older man pulled up and started yelling at us to: "Don't go, I want to counter protest you." I told him, first of all, he shouldn't be drinking so early in the morning, and secondly not to worry, that we were going anywhere, we were just moving about 100 yards away. We decided to just stop and take a picture by the Travis AFB sign and then we were going to get back in our cars to caravan down to Lemoore NAS because it was extremely windy and we were running a little late anyway. I was giving a little speech denouncing the drone-bombing program and the upcoming 50 percent troop escalation to Afghanistan, when the angry old man, now dressed in a military uniform, charged around the corner and got right into my bullhorn-I told him to get out of my face and he very violently slaps the bullhorn away from me. Everything happened so quickly: I was so shocked that I was actually physically assaulted that I just turned away from him and that's when my colleague, Suzanne immediately jumped to my aid and got between the man and me. He swore profusely and pushed her-and then a mini-melee ensued. The numerous MPs and POs that were there finally intervened after I asked them to stop the man from assaulting my friends.

Cindy, Lockerbie, recruiters, organ theft

Four great reads: AntiWar.com's John Walsh describes Cindy Sheehan's reception at Martha's Vineyard: Barack Obama to Cindy Sheehan: get lost. John Pilger decodes the indignation about Scotland's release of a terrorist: Lockerbie: Megrahi was framed. Mother Jones' David Goodman details the military recruitment of American school kids: A Few Good Kids. An interesting inquiry into Professor Yehuda Hiss and Palestinian organ theft: The autopsy surgeon Aftonbladet forgot.

The antiwar message directed to whom?

Cindy Sheehan may be glamping again. This time it's Martha's Vineyard, where Sheehan is prepared to lay siege to another presidential vacation. Which certainly highlights what's become undeniable about Barack Obama. He heralds no change. And I'm not prepared to hope the effectiveness of petitioning our leaders has changed either. Bush answered to no one, Obama won't even dance with them who thought they elected him. The antiwar message has no one's ear. Let's put it to the American people. Who's empowered our military commanders to direct their war crimes? We. Who's encouraging our soldiers to execute their assigned tasks? We. We "support the troops, not the war." It's the distinction between manslaughter and premeditated murder. In practice, we fully support the war effort. Of greater horror, by wishing to see the fighting wrapped up properly, we are prepared to condone the gravest brutality. The war machine has coopted the word "peace." The soldiers are "peacekeepers" after all. Peace has come to denote "world peace" actually, the Utopian spiritual quest. Like eternal salvation, world peace is paid lipservice, no one is so unreasonable as to expect its fulfillment. In this life anyway, which defines the religious American's aversion to participatory antiwar efforts. I still am warmed when I see a peace symbol unexpectedly. They have become more ubiquitous, haven't they? Now I see peace stickers on cash registers where cigarettes are sold. We're all for peace. It's what America is doing abroad, via the Peace Corps or The Corps, pacification.

See Ann Wright in action or at the PPJPC

COLORADO SPRINGS- The PPJPC is collecting money to bring noted antiwar activist Ann Wright to Colorado Springs. They're hoping to have her speak for a fundraiser. I've had a chance to meet the retired colonel/diplomat in person a number of times. You can too, with no fund-raising necessary. Go to an action. The first time I met Wright was in Crawford Texas when a delegation from Colorado Springs joined Cindy Sheehan's encampment outside George Bush's ranch. Ann Wright and Medea Benjamin were the primary organizers behind Sheehan's "Camp Casey" PR coup. When our group convened our own Camp Casey at Nevada Avenue and Dale Street, Wright was our liaison to the continued national effort. Most recently we ran into Wright at the DNC in August. Ann Wright brought the white faceless masks to the Denver demonstrations. She spoke at the rallies and participated in several marches. Even now, whether the issue is closing Guantanamo or saying no to the Fed, you'll see Wright's squad with their masks, representing the faceless victims of America's destructive imperialism. While I look forward to Ann Wright's upcoming visit, I think it is unfortunate that local energy for activism be dissipated with an in-house lecture. What would Wright rather see us doing? Hopefully she can illuminate the hole into which the PPJPC is burying its head. Perhaps a study of her successes can show that a nonviolent ethos need not limit one's actions to the avoidance of confrontation.

Cindy Sheehan & Public Enemy at DNC

DENVER- DNC demonstration organizers Recreate 68 announced today that Cindy Sheehan will be speaking at its END THE OCCUPATION rally on Sunday. Sheehan will join Cynthia McKinney and other luminaries at the kick-off of R68's antiwar activities surrounding the DNC. The bigger news today was that Public Enemy will be coming together for the cause with a free concert on Tuesday afternoon, August 26, at Denver's Civic Center Park. 1. Public Enemy Free Concert The Re-create 68 Alliance has announced that in addition to free shows by Dead Prez, Rebel Diaz and Blue Scholars, and 22 other influential bands, the historic and legendary political hip-hop band Public Enemy (The original line-up) will be playing a free concert at Civic Center Park on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 2pm which is expected to draw thousands (no tickets necessary). 2. Cindy Sheehan Joins Us in Denver The Re-create 68 Alliance also announced that anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente will be joining their historic line-up of speakers who include Ida Audeh, Kathleen Cleaver, Ward Churchill, Mark Cohen, Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., Larry Hales, Larry Holmes, Ron Kovic, Glenn Spagnuolo, Pamela Africa, King Downing, Jenny Esquiveo, Mumia Abu Jamal - Current Political Prisoner (Recorded from Death Row for the DNC), Gloria Estela La Riva, Ricardo Romero, Natsu Saito, Ann Erika White Bird, and others. 3. March and Street Theater in the Freedom Cage Monday August 25 at 9am, Re-create will be staging a street theater demo at the Freedom Cages. We need your assistants and can explain the details when you arrive. We will be starting at Skyline Park on the 16th Street Mall and head to the Freedom Cages at the Pepsi Center. If you cherish your civil liberties, than you should be apart of this event! For more information on other speakers and bands, go to www.recreate68.org

Green Party-pooper insubordination more embarrassing than imaginable

And I thought I hade a vivid imagination. Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney has issued a press release detailing her explicit intention to participate in the Sunday DNC rally. The letter is very diplomatic but it spells out the ultimatum she was given by the Colorado Greens to desist. Compelling reading. On a related note. Cindy Sheehan will also be joining the lineup. This represents a significant divergence from her close allies Medea Benjamin and UFPJ's Leslie Cagan. It shouldn't be that way. If you're not inclined to read McKinney's letter, and I'll add it's as direct as her speeches, I can summarize the threats made and actions taken. Spoiler alert. For agreeing to speak at a rally organized by R-68: Resignation threatened. Fundraiser, place to stay, withdrawn. All scheduled engagements canceled. Assistance to get on Wyoming ballot, withdrawn. Every effort to remove her from Colorado ballot, threatened. McKinney was also informed she had been last choice candidate of Colorado delegation. So there. Are we witnessing someone's hissy-fit nervous self-immolation? Could be, but it packs the wallop of a suicide bomber. Local party gutted; bystanders, fellow Greens, burned; vital preparations annulled just months from the election. Third parties probably attract people who have difficulty with authority. In this case with irreparable consequence. Cynthia McKinney & Rosa Clemente Announce Their Participation in Anti-war, Anti-human rights Abuse Events Before the DNC August 14, 2008 As the United States activated Navy ships and the Air Force to begin an airlift of non-specified goods into the former Soviet state of Georgia, and military exercises began in the Persian Gulf near Iran, I received communications from certain individuals among the Colorado Greens who were organizing campaign support events there, suggesting that I not participate in an anti-war program being organized by other individuals in Colorado. Perplexed, I began to do my research to understand the nature of the fissure that I seemed to be placing myself in the middle of. The communications to me about not participating in one of the scheduled events became more and more shrill. The events ran through August 26th. When the lineup of speakers, including Rosa and me, was announced for the events in question, I received multiple communications stating in various ways that the sender from the Green Party of Colorado, was on the verge of desperation over the matter. Within a few hours, I was reading messages stating that the Green Party of Colorado would be ruined if I participated in the End the Occupations/End the War march and rally slated to take place on the morning of August 24th on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol, or if Rosa participated in a Freedom March and Rally for Human Rights and Political Prisoners at Civic Center Park the following day. An article appeared in a local Colorado newspaper stating that Rosa and I would not appear at the events for which we had been scheduled. Rosa responded to our Colorado

Stop the War in Iraq and BTTHN

Open National Conference to Stop the War in Iraq and Bring the Troops Home Now Cleveland, Ohio, June 28-29, 2008 National Assembly Endorser List (Partial Listing) ( * = organization or position for identification only) 1. Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace* 2. Howard Zinn, Author, Historian, Social Critic, Political Scientist, Playwright 3. U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) 4. Veterans for Peace 5. Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Utah Chapter 6. National Lawyers Guild 7. North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor (Formerly Cleveland AFL-CIO) 8. Donna Dewitt, President, South Carolina AFL-CIO* 9. Navy Petty Officer Jonathan W. Hutto, Author of "Anti-War Soldier" and Co-Founder of Appeal For Redress* 10. Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Los Angeles, CA 11. Progressive Democrats of America 12. A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) 13. The Iraq Moratorium 14. United Teachers Los Angeles 15. Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition (NOAC) 16. Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General 17. Green Party of Ohio 18. Progressive Action, a coalition of the Duluth Central Labor Body, Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, and the Duluth Area Green Party 19. Scott Ritter 20. Anti-War Committee of the Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh, PA 21. Colia Lafayette Clark, Chair, Richard Wright Centennial Committee, Philadelphia, PA 22. Ohio State Council UNITE HERE 23. Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice – the Cleveland Branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom 24. Chris Silvera, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 808*, Long Island, NY 25. Cleveland Peace Action 26. Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, Palo Alto, CA 27. Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition (STWC) 28. John W. Braxton, Co-President, American Federation of Teachers Local 2026*; Faculty and Staff Federation of Community College of Philadelphia* 29. Eduardo Rosario, Executive Board, NY City Chapter – Labor Council for Latin American Advancement* 30. RI Mobilization Committee to Stop War and Occupation 31. Steve Early, Member, National Writers Union/UAW*, Labor Journalist 32. Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace 33. Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee 34. Cynthia McKinney, Former Congresswoman from Georgia 35. Allen Cholger, United Steelworkers Union Staff Representative*, Southfield, MI 36. Malcolm Suber, Reconstruction Activist; 2007 City Council Candidate in New Orleans, LA 37. Greg Coleridge, Coordinator, Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition; Economic Justice & Empowerment Program Director, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee 38. Marilyn Levin, Member, Coordinating Committee, Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace; Founder, Middle East Crisis Coalition 39. Jeff Mackler, Founder, Mobilization for Peace, Jobs and Justice, San Francisco, CA 40. Jerry Gordon, former National Co-Coordinator of the Vietnam-era National Peace Action Coalition (NPAC); Member, U.S. Labor Against the War Steering Committee, Cleveland, OH 41. Barbara Lubin, Director, Middle East Children’s Alliance 42. Jamilla El-Shafei, Kennebunkport, Maine, (the Kennebunkport Peace Department) 43. Mumia Abu-Jamal 44. Alan Netland, President of the Duluth Central Labor Body and AFSCME Local 66* 45. Will Rhodes, Chair, Minnesota 8th Congressional District, Green Party; Steering Committee of the Duluth Area Green Party 46. Leonard Weinglass, Attorney for the Cuban Five 47. Gail Schoenfelder, Co-Chair, Clayton-Jackson-McGee Memorial; Board Member of the Duluth League of Women Voters* 48. California Peace and Freedom Party 49. Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network 50. Wasatch Coalition for Peace and Justice of Northern Utah 51. Alan Benjamin, Member, Executive Board, San Francisco Labor Council; Member, National Steering Committee, U.S. Labor Against the War 52. Rev. Dr.

Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan together in Mexico City!

Below, we reprint 2 speeches made in Mexico City Friday, just yesterday, April 4, 2008. The speech Greed ... by Cindy Sheehan, and another speech by Cynthia McKinney that is without title. Cynthia McKinney Segundo Encuentro Continental de los Trabajadores Mexico City, Mexico, April 4, 2008 Brothers and Sisters in the Movement I am happy to be here in Mexico City where the people all over Latin America are on the move: On the move for justice, self-determination, and peace. I love that you have created a Power to the People movement with your votes that is stronger than the mightiest military force on the planet! With the power of your vote you have taken your countries back. Now, all we have to do is to count all the votes in the United States and Mexico! In the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, an estimated six million people went to the polls and voted, but their votes weren't counted. In 2000, and again in 2004, Democrats helped to install Republicans into power rather than fight for the victory that the voters had given them. As a result of this kind of collusion, the Democratic majority in our Congress has failed to impeach Bush. They have failed to institute a livable wage, stop the multiple wars the U.S. is fighting right now, and they have failed to protect human rights anywhere in the world, including even at home. That's why I left the Democratic Party. I refused to become complicit in war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against the peace, spying on the American people, and ripping our Bill of Rights to shreds. And so I declared my independence from the U.S. leadership that gave us tax cuts for the wealthy and a country 53 trillion dollars in debt and Hurricane Katrina. To my brothers and sisters at this Conference and in the United States, I say: Hands off Haiti! Hands off Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Argentina now making a claim for the Falklands! Hands off Venezuela and Ecuador! No to Plan Mexico; No to Plan Colombia! Hands off Pemex! And finally, it was on this date, 40 years ago, that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered. We now know that Dr. King was murdered as part of a conspiracy that included his own government. Hatched in the bowels of the Pentagon, where so many other regime change operations have been hatched, the government of the United States launched regime change at home on Black America. We blacks in the United States have long known the pain and the consequences of having authentic leadership snatched from us; of having someone else pick our leaders before we pick them ourselves. I am proud to join this international movement for self-determination; for justice and for peace. Despite today's difficulties, we must never let our dream be deferred. We in the U.S. gain inspiration from your successes here so we can carry the struggle to every nook and cranny of the United States. Que vivan los pueblos de america! Cindy Sheehan -Key Note Speech "GREED" Segundo Encuentro Continental de los Trabajadores Mexico City, Mexico, April 4, 2008 First of all I would like to thank the International Labor Council and the Electrician's Union for such a warm welcome and I would like to assure you all, my brothers and sisters that

The Rosa Parks Lone Rider Theory

Urban mythologists would have us believe that Rosa Parks launched the Civil Rights Movement all on her lonesome. Why? Because that’s exactly how it’s not done. And the corporate tale spinners have no interest in educating the public about how societal reform is accomplished.

Cindy Sheehan talks about her break from the Democrats

WSWS has an interesting interview on their website with Cindy Sheehan. More than anybody else Cindy Sheehan has come to personify the American Antiwar Movement. We will be hearing a lot less about her views in the press, simply because the Democratic Party wants people not to hear her message even more than George W. Bush himself wants that. She no longer is useful to the Democratic Party liberal voter types in helping them be better Bush bashers. How they suffer from losing Cindy... Not that Bush shouldn't be bashed, but so should the Democrats themselves. Their corporate handlers also want constant warfare just like the Republican do, since it's so very good for business even if not so good for humanity. Thank goodness that Cindy Sheehan has had the courage and honesty to stand up to both these corporate, war mongering parties. Cindy Sheehan interview

Cindy Sheehan on Afghanistan

“Oh, honey. It must seem like the peace movement in the US has forgotten about our troops in Afghanistan and the Afghani people. I know that I don’t talk about that conflict enough, although I think that it is morally wrong, too. I know that our soldiers are dying and being harmed there, too. As much as the media doesn’t cover what’s happening in Iraq, it pays even less attention to Afghanistan. However, the peace movement is not united on Afghanistan, because many people think that it is a “good war.” I believe no such thing and I promise you that I will be more vigilant about exposing that war crime, too.” Full article can be found at Znet

March on Washington Sept 15

A broad spectrum of national groups have united to mobilize for a massive fall anti-war mobilization called the Days of Action. Sept 15-21 will be a major showdown in Washington DC at the very moment that the Petraeus Report is released and Congress takes up spending over $100 billion to prolong the war. Led by veterans who have returned from Iraq, there will be seven days of actions to send a shockwave through Washington and the nation with the reverberating demand: End the War Now! Sponsors of the march include: The ANSWER Coalition; Ramsey Clark; Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation; USLAW; Mounzer Sleiman, Vice Chair, National Council of Arab Americans; Cindy Sheehan; Cynthia McKinney; Veterans for Peace (National); Garett Reppenhagen, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Chair of Board of Directors; Tina Richards, CEO of Grassroots America; Rev. Lenox Yearwood, CEO of Hip Hop Caucus; Code Pink; Father Roy Bourgeois and Eric LeCompte, School of Americas Watch; Kevin Zeese, Democracy Rising; Navy Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto, co-founder Appeal for Redress; Liam Madden, Pres., Boston Chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War and co-founder of Appeal for Redress; Malik Rahim, founder of Common Ground Collective, New Orleans; Howard Zinn, Author and Historian; Carlos & Melida Arredondo, Gold Star Families for Peace; Rev. Graylan Hagler, Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice; Latino Movement USA; Hermandad Mexicana Nacional; Ron Kovic, Vietnam Veteran, author, Born on the 4th of July; Leonard Weinglass, Cuban 5 attorney; Michael Berg; National Lawyers Guild; Father Luis Barrios, Iglesia de San Romero de las Americas - UCC; World Can't Wait; Frank Velgara, ProLibertad Freedom Campaign; Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

Democratic Party corruption sinks the heart of Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan has been grieving a long time, and this Memorial Day after the capitulation of the Democratic Party legislators in Congress was particularly rough. But it is more than that. The pain is made even worse by how inactive so many rank and file Democratic Party voters are in opposing this war. At street vigils we see this, too. So many liberal minded folk wave and honk their horns in support of our vigil, but then it seems that they never get out of their cars to be the protesters, and not just the driver by-ers. After a while, this becomes disheartening. We hope that Cindy gets her spirits back up and rejoins the activist antiwar movement after some family time off. She deserves the best, and she has given America her best. Here is her last commentary about how despairing she now feels. Many feel the same alongside her. We are sad to see it be so, but when push comes to shove, the Democratic Party is not to be relied on. Cindy Sheehan tried to push the Democratic Party into action, but the corporate controllers resisted. She is not the first, and will not be the last to fail in such a project. Good Riddance Attention Whore by Cindy Sheehan I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called “Face” of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such “liberal blogs” as the Democratic Underground. Being called an “attention whore” and being told “good riddance” are some of the more milder rebukes. I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me. The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a “tool” of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our “two-party” system? However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of “right or left”, but “right and wrong.” I am deemed a radical because I believe that

Oh, Lord, not Kumbaya!

My muse is upset because everyone is making fun of Kumbaya.   Relax, Kumbaya is safe. The story you read in the Gazette, Oh Lord, not Kumbaya, syndicated from the Dallas Morning Herald, is a rather underhanded loaded question. You know the classic example: "When did you stop beating your wife?" Whether you never stopped or never started, the load is delivered, you do. (But you don't.) The DMH article asked "How did Kumbaya become such a joke?" and then lists instances of the joke being made: A GOP ad, a Christian Science Monitor quip. They are able to find an early instance in an obscure 80's comedy Volunteers spoofing the Peace Corps. It seems to me SNL has made fun of everything, that wouldn't make the ridicule universal. I was tipped off when my friend paraphrased the article as having said Kumbaya was an "international joke." What international? The rest of the world isn't making fun of our spirituals, certainly not our peaceniks. The lambast is purely English-speaking and it's coming from corporate mouthpieces who want to ridicule any tools of grassroots community efforts. Television has no interest in sing-a-long songs. People singing together and not looking at the TV doesn't serve them at all. But for people communing together, a melody and lyric like Kumbaya is very powerful, especially because everybody knows it already. When protestors assembled with Cindy Sheehan last year in Crawford, we sang Kumbaya among others. We wound up singing all the patriotic songs too because they were the only ones we all knew. And so the media is determined to keep the heat on hippies and idealists, religious or not, by making fun of them, and concluding that the derision is universal. The press laughs with each other's jokes and then report the humor to be statistically unanimous. The Dallas reporter asked several etymologists "why did Kumbaya become an idiom for idiocy?" And none of the etymologists knew. Maybe that's a tip off it isn't. Hopefully one day the press will stop trying to paint people who hope for peace and goodwill to all mankind as idiots.

Sheehan power

Cindy Sheehan has no peer in the world. She can travel to any country and be received by their governments as a dignitary. Few celebrities or politicians can expect such treatment, and when they do, their entitlement comes from being plugged into the establishment.   Cindy Sheehan's power comes from the people. It comes from our belief that an outsider could make a difference in the turn of events. The American media could easily have ignored Cindy Sheehan's stand in Crawford Texas, but Sheehan had captured the public's fascination. Why? Because she reflected the public's idealism. As long as the ordinary people of the world believe that there exists someone who could call President Bush to the carpet, Cindy Sheehan will be imbued with her power. Who other than one improbable woman could face off the man who holds the fate of the world in his hands? This Easter Cindy Sheehan is returning to Crawford Texas to lay siege one more time to President Bush in his lair. Since initiating her movement in August last year, Sheehan has participated in diverse actions, including a Thanksgiving reprise in Crawford which led only to several prompt arrests. The media has learned that as public attention wanes, it can ignore or temper their enthousiasm for Cindy Sheehan when it wants to. Again, Sheehan's power comes only from us. Perhaps it is again time to rally to Sheehan's side. Maybe joining Sheehan's vigil in Crawford for Easter can once more focus the world's hope that the peace movement can plant itself before George Bush's eyes. We can rally in large numbers all over the world, but because the media can typify the effort as lacking cohesion, it can certainly pretend that the peace movement is peopled by malcontents who offer no alternative. Cindy Sheehan offers a real alternative, and I think she has hit on an ideal strategy. Not just withdrawal from Iraq, but an appeal to Bush's conscience. He may have one.

Cindy Sheehan, taking the fun out of war!

Kelly, Pallas and Cindy.   Camp Casey Colorado Springs own Pallas Stanford and IVAW co-founder Kelly Dougherty marched with Cindy Sheehan from Mobile to New Orleans. Also marching from Colorado Springs were veterans Joe Hatcher, Jeff Peskoff, Ethan Crowell, Alan Skinner, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War co-founder Terry Leichner. The March 14-19 Vets Gulf March marked the third anniversary of the war in Iraq and was meant to highlight the relationship between the misappropriation of resources for the illegal war and the woeful assistance given to the Katrina Hurricane victims. The Colorado Springs delegation left from Camp Casey on March 12. Cindy Sheehan had sent her greetings through Andy Braunstein when he was in DC, now she's got our peace cap. The TAKING THE FUN OUT OF WAR cap from Colorado Springs' ragtag peace camp!

Giving Catholicism its due

I might never have imagined myself saying this, being somewhat agnostic in my practices, certainly atheist in my personal dialogs. I had a Catholic upbringing, even some years at Catholic schools. I've railed against the dogma of organized religion, the counter-intuitive belief system that seemed always to oppose scientific philosophy. I've felt victimized by the guilty self-restraint which tempers a Catholic's view of pleasure. Sex for example seemed all the more exciting for what it shouldn't be, as opposed to what it is. The vague admonition that a person should choose a mate within their faith took on real meaning for me when I discovered myself drawn to similarly prudish partners, Catholic. Dirty laundry aside, in the civic and philanthropic realm, I am encountering a great number of Catholics, disproportionate to the other more predominant American religions. Why is this? It's true that many of these Catholics are no longer practicing, in fact many are rebelling still against their upbringing. In the do-gooder crowd this seems especially true. From a humanist perspective it is hard not to condemn the Vatican's stand against prophylactics and its resultant impact upon AIDs ravaged Africa. It's hard also to regard the church's patriarchal edicts as anything other than stubborn sexist recalcitrance. In fact when independent-minded people gather to rail against what are felt to be oppressive religious forces, they are most usually recovering Catholics. Maybe we should give Catholicism its due. The Catholic Church may have launched countless lives into trajectories of self-doubt, but it implanted those lives with a spiritual center. Those brains formed themselves around spiritual ideas which, even if it rejected them, knew that some spiritual idea or other should reside there. That's my radical, none to complicated developmental theory. I hit upon this topic when I read today about Cindy Sheehan having been a Catholic youth minister. Are there quite a few Catholics in the anti-war movement? There certainly are. Would the number seem disproportionate? Frankly, yes. In Colorado Springs, bastion of fundamentalist protestantism, the anti-war community is driven by a majority of Catholic or former Catholic activists. Why is that? Catholicism can't lay claim to being more spiritual or more ethical than any other religion. Where are the Protestant voices among the protesters? We need to wake the dormant consciences of that majority of American churchgoers. Whatever the spiritual practices to which we now cling, ex-Catholics should be thankful for the awakened sense of humanity with which we were imparted.

First they came for Cindy

Is protest now a crime? Someone called the police on the CPT vigil. Just after noon on Thursday, a patrol car pulled into the Toons parking lot. The officer rolled down her window and motioned for someone to come over to speak for the eight vigil keepers assembled near the Nevada Avenue sidewalk. Apparently someone had called in to a radio station, which in turn called the police, to investigate a report of "protesters at Willamette and Nevada." We thought: "send them over, they can join our vigil!" Clearly we were the "protesters" in question, the report was only off by a block, and the officer asked to know what organization we represented and wrote it down in her paperwork. The Christian Peacemakers Team. We didn't ask which radio station had made the call. Did someone there think that a "protester" was something you can call the cops about? And what was the crime to which the police thought they were responding? If you called the police to say that a man was mowing his lawn, you'd probably learn that they don't dispatch officers for activities which are lawful. Maybe the radio station had been emboldened by Cindy Sheehan's arrest the night of the state of the union address. Sheehan had unveiled a t-shirt which read " 2,245 dead. How many more?" Immediately a police officer shouted "protester!" and hurredly removed her from the congressional gallery. Sheehan was released later in the evening, and received an apology from the Washington DC police. Ostensibly their officers had not been sufficiently briefed to know that protesting was not in fact a crime.

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