Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cindy Sheehan letter

I haven't followed Cindy Sheehan's activism that closely, but from what I did observe her understanding of the issues and message became more and more intelligent and clear as time went on.

In her "resignation letter" she touches on a few points that I have been trying to make, and Arthur Silber has been making quite clearly about Democrats and the anti-war non-movement:

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...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 partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on....

...Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives...

...I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won't work with that group; he won't attend an event if she is going to be there...

...However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children's children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself...

...I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.

Good-bye America…you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it. ...

These are very sober, accurate conclusions. You cannot function as a selfless, compassionate person if by the very way you have to feed yourself is by functioning within a system based on greed and selfishness.

I cannot emphasize enough that getting out of the old system and creating a new one is what Sloover for President 2008 is all about. The way to get out is through small reforms. The way to build a new system is to organize and operate independent of the crown.

On Sheehan from the San Fransisco Chronicle, answer to the question, "Was Cindy Sheehan an effective anti-war leader?":

Quinton Kruse, Santa Rosa

Well, she was about the only one that stepped up. I didn't care for her approach personally, but I guess nothing ever happens until it happens to you. If you want to see a real anti-war movement, bring back the draft.

Endless War Part 2

Is there still any doubt in your mind that the United States government is not looking out for your "life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness", and in fact has become "destructive of these ends," and that it is our right and prudent course of action to rise up, kick ass, and "alter or abolish it and institute new government"?

Are there any shadows of doubts left about Democrats being anything other than the "left" wing of the ONE corporate party now? Because this is their war too. All the motherfucking way. They are funding it, they aren't doing anything about stopping it, and motherfuckers like Harry Reid continue to lie to us about what's in the bill, and what anyone can read about in the bill. With very few exceptions, the Democrats are 100% on board with the Bush administration. They do not care what the people of this country think. And what about what the people of Iraq think? Hahahaha, funny. The Democratic Party continues to help George Bush, their ally, rob us of our tax dollars to fund Operation Secure Markets for Multinational Government Connected Corporations. And this is exactly what's happening, if you care enough to follow the money. Iraq's oil, their most lucrative resource, is now available to be privatized, taken over by multinational companies such as Kellogg, Brown and Root. It was never about "us" controlling their oil. It was always about a few multinational companies controlling it, and also with endless war there are endless government contracts to companies who used to be staffed by current top-level government officials. There's nothing difficult about understanding the reasons the US government has been in Iraq for four years. And less and less people are buying the nonsense about protecting American citizens from terrorism. Do I have to even explain this one again? Endless war endlessly manufactures anti-Ameircan terrorists: it's obvious, it's happening, many and top intelligence officials have admitted as much.

Yet the Democrats continue to fund their beloved war that they have supported from the beginning. And it's the last time I'm voting for any of them. They are a bunch of self-serving assholes who don't give a shit if their policy promotes terrorism. They love terrorism. This is a War to Manufacture Terrorism. Just like the War on Drugs manufactures drugs.

This is dedicated to the Plan-Colombia-enacting, NAFTA-signing, Iraq-War-Loving Democrats:






Endless War Part 1




Arthur Silber replies to other similar commentaries:

"Notice anything missing? Oh, it's nothing much. Nothing very important. Only a few small details.

Over 650,000 dead Iraqis, the overwhelming majority of whom never threatened or harmed the U.S., or even wished to. The number is probably much closer to one million now.

A completely devastated and destroyed country, which huge numbers of people have been forced to flee, and to which they may never be able to return.

And all this with regard to a country that had not attacked us, and that did not threaten us. We had a choice: by definition, we were not compelled, by facts, or morality, or history, or by any other factor, to initiate a criminal war of aggression, an offensive war similar in principle to Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland, a pattern most of our national leaders continually announce they may well repeat with Iran.

The Iraqis -- the dead, mutilated, maimed, and displaced Iraqis -- did not have a choice."

Monday, May 21, 2007

My first campaign commercial







Kinky Friedman already took "Why the Hell Not?" so I think "We're coming, motherfuckers" is a pretty cool second choice.

George Monbiot on Democracy Now

Ron Paul tells the truth

The truth? How daarrrre you! This is a presidential debate!!! You can't be telling the truth! Get in line with the rest of the Republican dipshits like Giuliani, and repeat the lie that people hate the United States for absolutely no reason.

Speaking of extremists who target the U.S, Paul said, "They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We've been in the Middle East [for years]. I think (Ronald) Reagan was right. We don't understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. Right now, we're building an embassy in Iraq that is bigger than theVatican. We're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting."






Bill Moyers interviews Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart interview with Bill Moyers, with some great footage of John McCain's Daily Show appearance, where he's actually question. .

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04272007/watch.html



part 1:







part 2:






Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Here's a video of war protestors getting arrested at another Democrats' office



Okay, the singing is a little retarded, but it's San Fransisco. Code Pink is kinda dorky, but they're old. But they have the right idea. At least they are trying to physically DO something.

Charges dropped for Chapel Hill SDS

As usual, there is a bunch of finger wagging at people actually trying to oppose the war with direct action and civil disobedience. And I suspect a lot of that finger wagging is coming from the "blue" tribe.

Do you want to know a fact? It's not discussed on television because reality is generally uncomfortable and not usually very profitable: most Americans don't give a shit about the current wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. They don't have family there, or friends, nor do they REALLY give a shit how many soldiers are killed, much less Iraqi civilians, and as long as there is not an immediate physical threat, they can slap that pro or antiwar bumper sticker on their cars and put it out of their minds.

Maybe I'm not in tune with their world, but I've given a shit since the beginning. Not only because I knew friends and family would be in these countries, but because I actually give a fuck about the long term consequences of the actions of our government. I don't know why I give a fuck. I would give a fuck if I had no friends and family "over there". Even though it makes the war more real to me having physically lost a friend there, I would give a fuck even if I didn't know anybody in Iraq, even if it wasn't my country that's going to shit because of a completely bought and paid for government, operating with the illusion of an effective system of checks and balances.

I don't even see the point in criticising the pro-war crowd anymore. Many of them have been convinced, and the rest obviously cannot be convinced. My problem is with people against the war, who realize the terrible consequences, who think loss of life whether American or Iraqi is needless and terrible, who see that it's leading our country and the world with it down into a hellhole, yet, who not only refuse to DO anything about it, but have hostile reactions to any group trying to actually, physically DO SOMETHING TO STOP THE WAR.

From what I can gather, liberals like direct action and civil disobedience, and stopping war, as long as it follows these parameters:

1. Only people in elementary school history books are allowed to have engaged in civil disobedience (never mind that plenty of fingers were wagged at them). People who engage in civil disobedience now pale in comparison to those who engaged in civil disobedience in the past, who are accepted as part of mainstream American history. I mean come on, we can clearly see the positive consequences of their actions. They never made one mistake, misspoke, or had problems with communicating their message. Everybody in past movements agreed with each other on everything, and we moved forward peacefully to a more glorious society.

2. The only accepted forms of protest are those which are silent and nondisruptive. You must only write polite letters to your representatives and a newspaper owned by a media conglomerate, even if the people who read those letters only pay attention to what you have to say if you've included cash in the envelope. And letters should be as historically significant as Letter from a Birmingham jail. Oh, and pushing a button next to a Democrat's name every two years is different from pushing a button next to a Republican's name, even if their foreign policy platform is identical.


3. Democrats can go on with their policy, shared with the Republicans, of hegemony at all costs, of forcing markets all over the world whether they are wanted or not, and the upper crust liberals can go on worshipping their Obamas and Hillarys because, even though they almost mirror George Bush in matters of foreign policy, they are from the blue tribe, so when they become president all will be well in America, and their atrocities are to be forgiven, because they are better on healthcare.

4. Any ideas not discussed on television are radical.

5. Holding signs and going to a protest is cool! Like we did in the 60s, man! As long as you have a permit, and it doesn't accomplishing anything, or disrupt the flow of traffic, or make anyone too mad, or disrupt the political sport of red vs. blue, then go ahead.

6. A guy who voted several times to fund a corrupt and illegal war crime is okay as long as he's a Democrat.

7. Calling the Iraq War an illegal war crime is crazy and radical. Do you ever see anyone on TV talking like that? Come on! Hey, the US never has intentions that are less than noble. We wanted democracy in Iraq. George Bush just messed it up. A democrat would have installed a stable puppet by now.

That is what is considered "the left" in America by people who buy into mainstream media arguments.

Responding to someone who said of the SDS "they wanted to be arrested", which might be true and I commend them for it. Everybody should be getting arrested at the offices of government officials, and I'm ashamed I haven't yet...

If they wanted to be arrested, then obviously they knew their actions had consequences. A class 2 misdemeanor carries a maximum consequence of $500, which, if they were so inclined, they could have chosen not to pay and maybe gone to jail for a few days.

To my knowledge the SDS didn’t ask anyone to drop any charges.

Democrats are slightly better than Republicans, but not much different, and despite what the media has been saying about the recent “withdrawal” bill, they aren’t offering any real alternatives to Bush’s policy. We’re never withdrawing from Iraq without massive public pressure. If young men and women are willing to die for Bush’s war crimes, just as many should be willing to spend a few days in a cell or pay a couple hundred dollars in fines to make trouble for members of Congress.

From what I can tell the SDS is one of the only groups doing anything effective in actually trying to STOP the fucking war. Nobody else seems to give a shit, as long as there’s not immediate physical threat to their comfy, upper crust Orange County lifestyles.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Arthur Silber explains Democrat position on Iran & US Hegemony

Please do yourself a favor and read Arthur Silber regularly. This is not your run of the mill "blog" by any means.

Make no mistake: there is no significant difference whatsoever between McCain's tuneful "Bomb Iran" and, as two prime examples, what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have to offer.
...
Even if a threat does not exist at present, and even if it is not likely to exist for five or ten years or longer, we are to be the sole arbiters of when a possible alleged threat is "intolerable," on the basis of standards that we alone determine -- and we are then "entitled" to launch an attack on a non-existent threat so as to bring the targeted country into accordance with our unappealable demands. In short: we are entitled to run the world. Period, end of story. Moreover, as I noted last week, Clinton's comments make clear that it would be nice "if the rest of world" thought our resort to bombing, possibly with nuclear weapons, was a "last resort," but it is hardly a requirement -- and it need not even be true. How is this different from what McCain believes, or Bush for that matter?
...
it is a wonder to me that any so-called "liberal" or "progressive" would even consider supporting her presidential candidacy for a second. Ah, but she might be "electable" -- and if the goal is solely to install a member of one's own tribe in the White House, no matter how criminal in mind and deed she might be, Clinton's monstrous sins fade into insignificance. Simultaneously, identical sins remain monstrous if practiced by Republicans. So much for principles, consistency, or minimal coherence.
...
It is a measure of how embarrassingly thickheaded our political debates are that anyone can consider Obama to be "original" in any respect at all. At every point of importance, Obama has fully absorbed what has been the consensus view in foreign policy for the last sixty years (and longer).
...
Obama's program is, quite simply, endless interventions across the globe, for any reason at all and on any basis we choose. No one, and no country, is safe from our interference. We will determine the goals, and we will determine whether others are meeting them in the required manner. We are the final arbiter of what is permissible and what is not; there is no appeal from the court convened by America's governing elites.

The War on Terrorism is Bullshit

One of my bad habits is that I tend to state the obvious. But just like the War on Some Drugs, what's clear to anyone paying the least bit of attention is the War On Terrorism is only a war on some terrorism, namely that terrorism which directly conflicts with wealthy American interests. Its primary objective is clearly not to save civilian lives - if that we're the case, the Pentagon would be primarily going after al Qaeda, instead of focusing on forming client governments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And of course, when the US government kills civilians, that's not terrorism. Also, when a terrorist happens to oppose Fidel Castro, it's perfectly okay for him to kill civilians, and he can rest assured that he won't be considered an enemy in the War on Terrorism, he'll be released by a US judge on bail, and the lapdog US "liberal" media will ignore him liberally.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Chapel Hill SDS goes to trial today

This is from a press release from the Chapel Hill Students for a Democratic Society.

Dear Anti-War Friends and Allies—

Representative Price has failed to represent the will of the people and lead us out of Iraq. Instead, Price is trying to appease the growing anti-war movement which is sweeping through North Carolina and the rest of the country with empty rhetoric and failed promises of action. On February 16 2007, six students, as part of a larger coordinated national effort, visited Price's Chapel Hill office to share our grave concerns about his supposed commitment to end the Iraq War. David Price's political advisor, Rose Auman, would not allow us to speak to Price by phone. Instead, Auman called the Chapel Hill Police Department to intimidate and silence us. The David Price Six were arrested and charged with first degree trespassing for the 'crime' of exercising our first amendment rights to seek a redress of grievances from our Congressperson. When we invited Congressman Price to come to our trial to testify as to his position about our country's invasion and occupation of Iraq, he wrote to District Attorney James Woodall and asked him to drop the charges against us. Woodall declined.

On Friday, March 23, Rep. David Price and the U.S. House of Representatives voted for war by funding an additional $100 billion dollars to continue the criminal Iraq Occupation. The Democratic leadership, which was elected on an anti-war mandate, framed this vote as a win—as 'the first check on the president's failed Iraq policy'. This supplemental was non-binding, calling for a withdrawal by March of 2008. This is a farce! The overwhelming majority of U.S. service people, Iraqi civilians, and American citizens want the troops out now!

Last week, President Bush's veto of the Democratic Party's war supplemental was extremely troubling. It was a weak bill, however; the next one the Democratic leadership puts forward will be even weaker. Iraq is in turmoil. Attacks against occupying forces are increasing and the U.S. surge has failed. Over 300 Iraqi civilians and 3 U.S. service people are dying every day bringing the death toll to over 655,000 Iraqi civilians and 3,358 U.S. service people. The Bush administration and mainstream media are using fear to keep us in Iraq—Both fear of letting down our soldiers in the field and fear of an Iraqi civil war. First, the best way to support the troops is to move them out of harms way. Second, there is no civil war. Just as the U.S. was born out of a strong resistance against the English invaders and occupiers, there is a strong Iraqi resistance movement against the U.S. invaders and occupiers. We stand in solidarity with the Iraqi Resistance and their struggle to throw the U.S. occupiers out!

Join us the Monday as we tell Price and the Bush Administration that we will not be silenced. We will continue to speak, continue to seek justice and continue to engage in civil disobedience until our collective voices drown out our politician's shameful support for this crime against humanity, the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Join us as we say—IRAQ FOR IRAQIS, TROOPS OUT NOW!

In Struggle,

The David Price Six—
Laura Bickford, Ben Carroll, Alisan Fathalizadeh, Sara Joseph, Dante
Strobino, Tamara Tal

What: Support the David Price Six!
When: Monday, May 7th-- Rally at 1 PM—Pack the Court at 2 PM!
Where: Chapel Hill Courthouse (in the post office)—East Franklin Street

For more information visit: chapelhillsds.org or raleighFIST.wordpress.com

Friday, May 04, 2007

A realistic perspective on Biofuels

Rachel Burton is one of the founders of Piedmont Biofuels, the largest biodiesel co-op in the country, now building a million gallon/year facility, that grew up from a few kids mixing biodiesel from McDonald's waste oil in the basement of a little shack outside of Pittsboro, NC. Rachel taught some auto mechanics and biofuels courses at Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro, where they have a great sustainable agriculture program (including Biofuels) taught mostly by local farmers, where my wife and I took some courses a few years ago before we became farmers (she full time, me part time).

As a continuation of my last post about the large-scale production of biodiesel and its potential ill-effects, I want to refer you to a speech of Rachel's posted on the blog of our local Slow Food convivia, titled "Slow Fuel".

We understand that biodiesel doesn’t scale very well, and we have no delusions that in the future everybody will simply be running around on vehicles powered by soybeans. Once we have used up all of our waste fats, oils, and greases, we can start growing some oilseed crops, and once we’ve planted every arable inch in oilseed crops we are out of tricks.

And if that time comes, we will not even have begun to power an unquenchable economy like the United States. Some in biofuels are already to plant oil palm trees all in a row in the developing world to ship supertankers of oil to the U.S. market, to which we ask you to be very afraid.

Some have grandiose plans of producing biofuels from algae with yields of 10,000 gallons per acre. We’ve even put out the challenge to few universities in the southeast to produce a gallon of algae oil. ..We cannot possibly grow enough BTUs to fuel our current consumption. The biota will not give it to us.

We are not wanting to be the next Rockefellers of fuel. Of course we believe that the carbon age is rapidly coming to an end. For us, peak oil, and climate change, and resource wars are standard baseline thinking. But when we reflect on those influences which have the most deadly effect on this planet, we find ourselves suspicious of corporate structure, and shareholder value, and greed. We are opposed to business as usual. And we want to turn over the apple cart that is our atrocious energy paradigm

We have a design-build group that ships “farm scale” biodiesel processors which help people make their own fuel. And we have an education and outreach group that runs all over the Southeast in an effort to demonstrate biodiesel, and subsequently demonstrate a different way of relating to energy and fuel consumption.
..
.. the linkage between local FOOD production and local FUEL production are inescapable, and we are simply interested in living in a community that can feed and fuel itself.

Press Reaction to Republican Debate

I don't have TV anymore. Apparently the Republicans had a debate. I'm sure they explored the issues in depth, with some hard hitting questions by Chris Matthews. Ok I can't keep a straight face.

But at least the press reacted with hard hitting analysis of the debates.

The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan: "If we view the proceedings in vulgar and reductive Who Won, Who Lost terms, and let's, Mitt Romney won..." (Peggy Noonan, "An Incomplete Field," The Wall Street Journal," 5/4/07)

- Noonan: "The statuesque Mr. Romney had a certain good-natured command, a presidential voice, and a surprising wiliness. He seemed happy to be there, and in the mysterious way that some people seem to dominate, he dominated." (Peggy Noonan, "An Incomplete Field," The Wall Street Journal," 5/4/07)

- Noonan: "He did some light-handed and audience-pleasing Clinton bashing, and was confident on stem-cell research." (Peggy Noonan, "An Incomplete Field," The Wall Street Journal," 5/4/07)

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza: "Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) stood out with clear and crisp answers - showing flashes of humor and an ease with the important issues. He sounded authoritative when he talked about Iraq (not an easy task for a one-term governor of Massachusetts) and effectively cast himself - a Mormon - as part of the broad faith community in America." (Chris Cillizza, "Debate Wrap Up," The Washington Post's The Fix, Posted 5/3/07)

Newsweek's Howard Fineman: "I think Mitt Romney came off looking presidential..." (MSNBC's "Post Debate Analysis," 5/3/07)



compiled by Le Courier on http://forums.raleigh.craigslist.org/?forumID=20

Thursday, May 03, 2007

lapd


This is just another example of the LAPD doing what they do best, being jackass tough guys and roughing up women and innocent bystanders.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Democrats don't want to withdraw from Iraq

The majority of Democrats don't want to leave Iraq.

The bill Bush vetoed only suggested a draw down of combat forces, not all forces.

The US government is building permanent military bases in Iraq, and a huge embassy.

We're not leaving Iraq as long as Democrats and Republicans control Congress.

They don't give a fuck what 70% of the American people think.

Do you care?

If you care, what are you doing about it?

Arthur Silber is back

Actually he's been back - I'm a week late - but I'll be catching up today. Sometimes this guy is the only blogger worth reading.

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/

"Iraq has not altered the fundamentals of our foreign policy in any significant way...What we would vehemently condemn others for doing, including the invasion and occupation of a country that did not threaten them, is permitted to us, and to us alone. No action is prohibited to us, while only those actions are available to others that we choose to permit."

"For all their ferocious opposition to the Bush administration and to Republicans generally, liberal and progressive bloggers act as if they are largely indifferent to bringing about a quick end to the incomprehensibly deadly Iraq occupation. They certainly demonstrate no sustained, serious effort to pressure Congressional Democrats into defunding the war -- or into acting to oppose an attack on Iran in every way possible. The concerns of these bloggers and the Washington Democrats are perfectly coextensive: they will condemn the Iraq war and act to block an attack on Iran only to the degree such actions will not endanger their perceived political opportunities in 2008."

"Proving still another time in an infinite series of such demonstrations that it has learned nothing over the last six years, the NYT plasters an entirely false headline on its story: "War Bill Passes House, Requiring an Iraq Pullout." In fact, the bill "requires" no such thing; it certainly does not require an "Iraq pullout." The charade goes on unchallenged only because our governing class and our major media institutions know they can count on the majority of Americans to be ignorant of the relevant facts and/or largely disinterested in acquiring them."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy Real Labor Day

Today is the real Labor Day - International Workers' Day. In our society it's considered communist to have a day for the working man. Congress moved our Labor Day to September so we wouldn't get any ideas about organizing and possibly having a real democracy some day. They changed May 1st to "Loyalty Day". No, that's not a joke. They were considering calling it "Shut Up and Do What We Tell You Day", or "Sit Rover! You Are Such a Good Loyal Little Puppy! Now Here's a Treat! A Whole 15 cents! Day" Yes, that's a joke.

The Human Rights Watch report on Wal Mart is getting some good play in the mainstream press today.

Hugo Chavez nationalized Venezuela's oil industry. Wait, scractch that, he "SEIZES", (Associated Press), and "GRABS" (CNBC) the oil.


NPR mentioned the immigration rallies but insisted on downplaying them by having Karl Kassel repeat that the turnout was going to be lower than last year.

"May Day" mentions appear in the mainstream press almost exclusively in stories expressing horror over some protest riots in Turkey and Germany and in hopeful speculation over Castro's health for his no-show (so far) at Cuba's International Workers' Day rally.

In their typical comedic fashion, FoxNews.com has a "May Day Around the World" slide show, reminding us that what May Day is, is a bunch of commies and transvestite prostitutes getting together and starting riots for no reason. I'm sure if someone decides to look at the American flag wrong, we'll see it first on Fox's lovely slideshow.

And Rupert Murdoch picks today to make a public attempt to further consolidate media corporations. Notice he doesn't attempt to "seize" or "grab" Dow Jones. It's just a friendly business proposition.