Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Open Letter to Barack Obama By Alice Walker

Alice Walker on expectations, responsibilities and a new reality that is almost more than the heart can bear.

Nov. 5, 2008
Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,Alice Walker
© 2008, Alice Walker

http://www.theroot.com/id/48726

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Armistice Day


Long ago,
on the 11th hour
of the 11th day
of the 11th month,
“The War to End All Wars”
Was declared “Over.”

My Grandfather Ernst Mueller
Was freed from the Russian Prison Camp
Where he had been housed in a box car
As a Prisoner of War,
Somewhere in what is now Poland,
That day in 1918…

Long ago,
on the 11th hour
of the 11th day
of the 11th month
When “The War to End All Wars”
Was declared “Over.”

Happy to be free, I imagine
Happy the war was over, I imagine
- I’ve read some of the things he’d seen
Going home to the Black Forest
Bullet wound in his leg
Were strangers kind to him,
As he travelled homeward?
Were there tears in his eyes
As he passed wreckage and ruin
Going home to the Black Forest
Bullet wound in his leg
And all the images in his head…




“It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.”) - Wikipedia


Kurt Vonnegut was born on this day in 1922:
"I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.


It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.


Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not.


So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.


What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.


And all music is.
(Also from Wikipedia: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Kurt_Vonnegut)


Two German Soldiers’ Stories:
http://www.greatwardifferent.com/Great_War/1919/Retreat_01.htm

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dec. 7, 2008 CT-wide March against the War!

From the Students for a Culture of Peace:

Need Money? End the War!
BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

END THE WARS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN!


No War on Iran! No War on Pakistan!
End US Support to all Wars and Occupations!
Money for Housing! For Jobs! For Education! For Pensions! Not for War!


Sunday, December 7th
March and Rally
2:00 pm
Hartford, State Capitol Building


Next Organizing Meeting:
Sunday, November 9th at 2:00pm

Quaker Meeting House144 South Quaker Lane, West Hartford

After more than five years the war in Iraq roars on with roughly one third of Iraq's 26 million people killed, wounded or displaced; more than 4,000 US soldiers dead, hundreds of thousands suffering severe physical and psychological wounds, and trillions of dollars going up in smoke. Instead of withdrawing forces, US policy makers are expanding combat in Afghanistan and into Pakistan, ordering assaults in Syria and threatening to Invade Iran.

They Continue to support Israel's brutal occupation of Palestinians that repeatedly turns into regional war - most recently in the summer of 2006. With a full blown economic crisis bringing skyrocketing home foreclosures, rising unemployment, loan freezes, and collapsing pensions, war funds are needed at home now more than ever!


Join activists from across Connecticut as part of a week of nationally coordinated actions to demand that our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters be brought home now!

And come to the next organizing meeting at 2:00pm on Sunday November 9th at 144 Quaker Lane, West Hartford!

For More information or to sign the call contact Marissa at 860-218-0566 or e-mail http://us.mc343.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=marissablaszko@gmail.com
The Ad Hoc Connecticut December 7th Mobilization Committee

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Studs Terkel, 1912-2008


The legendary radio broadcaster, writer and oral historian Studs Terkel has died at the age of 96 in Chicago.

Studs Terkel worked as an activist, a civil servant, a labor organizer, an ad writer, a television actor, and a radio DJ, among many other occupations. But since the 1960s, he was particularly well-known as a world-class interviewer, a writer and radio personality who drew celebrities and, far more often, average citizens into sharing their oral histories.

For 45 years, Studs Terkel spent an hour each weekday on his nationally syndicated radio show, conversing with famous and not-so-famous guests and with a loyal audience of Chicago listeners.

With his unique style of oral history on subjects such as race, war and employment, Terkel spent decades interviewing Americans across the country, creating intimate portraits of everyday life and chronicling changing times through this century.

He was also a regular guest on Democracy Now. Below are links to watch or listen to our archive of interviews with Studs Terkel.

‘Hope Dies Last’–An Hour with Legendary Broadcaster and Author Studs Terkel

October 05, 2005
Legendary Broadcaster and Author Studs Terkel on President Bush, Mahalia Jackson, James Baldwin, Louis Armstrong, the Rebuilding of New Orleans and What Gives Him Hope

May 16, 2007
Studs Terkel At 95: ‘Ordinary People Are Capable of Doing Extraordinary Things, and That’s What It’s All About. They Must Count!’

November 13, 2007
Legendary Radio Broadcaster and Oral Historian Studs Terkel on the Iraq War, NSA Domestic Spy Program, the Labor Movement and His New Memoir ‘Touch and Go’

from:
http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2008/10/31/studs_terkel_1912_2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Live Election Night Coverage



Democracy Now! will broadcast & video livestream a five-hour election night special on November 4th from 07:00PM–12:00AM ET to report the results as they come in.
On November 5th, Democracy Now! expands to a two-hour, “The Morning After” broadcast & video livestream from 08:00AM–10:00AM ET to provide complete coverage of the election outcome.
Ask your local TV & radio broadcasters to run this special programming and watch here.
More information …
Friday, October 31 1:39 pm EDT

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thank You

A couple posts ago, I tried to upload this and now it finally worked...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Election News


Today Now!: How To Pretend You Give A Shit About The Election

Obama Undertakes Presidential Internship To Ease Concerns About His Lack Of Experience

Precocious Youngster Sells Cookies To Buy Attack Ad

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Thank You, Mr. Bush


Sometimes we forget to say "Thank You" enough ( Above: Entry from MoveOn.org's 2003/2004 "Bush in 30 Seconds" ad contest.Produced by: Christine Rose,


I intended to post a little home made video that's been processing for 2 weeks now because I couldn't find one for this poem that was posted a couple years ago at:

http://melissamsw.blogspot.com/2006/09/thank-you-mr-bush.html

Thank You Mr. Bush
Vanessa German, National Slam Bush Champion, wrote this absolutely amazing, angry, filled-with-promise protest poem. Hear it in her own voice.H/T to A Poetic Justice.

Thank you George Muthaf@%#king Bush

thank you mr. george w. bush
thank u
for makin it easier for me
to get a tech9 or AR14
than a pap smear & a good education
thank u
from the first boy i kissed
who u sent off to fight your war in iraq
he returned home only by telegram
& in a box
thank u
from me
from my body
from the woman i love
that i want to marry & call my wife
without u bible thumpin daggers
& demanding constitutional amendments
to prevent us from loving this revolutionary love
(az tho we cud soil the sanctitiy of marriage)
u cud nevah touch my love or fuck with my love
its just the right u seek to deny us
so we must fight for it in the end it's all a matter of
voiceof excercising choice & flexing the muscle of democracy
which shudn't be pigeon holed marginalized
or constitutionaly compromised
under the pretense that who i love
kiss fuck hold hands & make family with
iz destructive to the fiber
that quilts the fabric of america


which ironically happens to be
cotton
that notoriously bloody lily white thread
that my grandfather
& hiz fathers fathers before picked by hand
in mer rouge louisiana


i hav not forgotton that i am america
that my blood iz in these rivers
& at the roots of these redwood trees
i know that this country was built on the backs of blacks
that were shackled strapped & stacked
slashed gashed taxed & then cashed in on


like cattle


i hav not forgotton that i am america
& even tho u want me to be quiet & invisible
i will noti hav decided that if u r not with US
then u r against US
USthe 99% of the population that makes less
than 1.2 million dollars a year
the 43 million people that hav no health care
the 14 million children that got left behind
& go to bed hungry every night
if u r not with US then
u r against US


& we understand
that terror iz not always guns & knives
& otherwise explosive devices of evil
sometimes terror iz just making no living wage
going day to day pay check to pay check
praying that no one gets sick


terror iz not knowing which of ur sons
will fit the description
& die while reaching back pocket
for identification to prove he iz american
but not american enuf to live free
terror iz being 13having no access
no choice & taking matters
into ur own hands
terror iz being a woman
begging for emergency contraception
when u've been raped taken by force & foresaken


just like the constitution


after the presidential election of 2000
which u did not win
u stole like a purse
off the shoulder of an old lady
making america ur bitch
didn't anyone ever tell u
when u take shit that's not urs u give it back
& apologizebut no.


we realize that u mr bush
r just the figure head the smoke screen
the sony nike gmc tommyhilfigerbluejeansbrand name
of a regime of evil so vicious & arrogant
u hav the audacity to murder in my name
& call it justice call it liberation long time come
when all it really iz
iz economic imperialism
or occupation
which iz the same thing hitler did
in poland austria & hungry
...if u really wanted to liberate
u cud hav liberated
delbert orr africa
janine holloway africa
micheal sims africa
or mumia abul jamal
it wasn't 6 weeks
it waz 17 thousand lives
not just american lives
but human lives
how sacred are they
tell me answer me
tell me how sacred are they


stop trying to convince us that justice
iz always this bloodythat liberation costs babies
& mothers & homes & sons& lovers & fathers & dignity& truth & purity
& hope & democracy

thank u mr bush

for showing us

that we must fight everyday for our freedom as tho we r fighting for our lives

obviously u r not going to beat a path of justice to our frontdoors

this is my requiemfor the last four years

my premptive strike on the next four years


this iz my love poem
to america even tho
he took u by force violated u
forsook u before they eye of god
made u barely recognizable to the rest of us
i still love u baby
he can not shame u before my eyes
u r beautiful
i will fight
& die for u r the people
& i am u

Monday, October 27, 2008

Andrea Gibson - For Eli

Andrea Gibson performs, "For Eli" from her album, When The Bough Breaks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwh23QSrwKw

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's timely to re-post this song by Jackson Browne.

It's called "Lives in the Balance."

"There are Lives in the Balance...

And they sell us the president the same way they sell us our cars..."

It's one of the few songs I've ever sung -and played- publicly, in the pursuit of Peace...

"Ive been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear

You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that youve seen it before
When a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war
And there's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runs

On the radio talk shows and the t.v.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends
--These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can't take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone

There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire...

There's a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
We can't even say the names...

They sell us the president the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they're never the ones to fight or to die

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire..."

And I think of Utah Phillips, quoting Ammon Hannessey,
Saying "Pick dead people as your heroes, since they can't let you down,"
Which I mention because of that photo of Jackson wearing an Obama for president pin,
Hearing phrases like "Clean Coal," "Safe Nuclear Power," and "Troop Surge in Afghanistan,"
Being spoken by Mr. Obama...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Burbank for Congress Forum


Photo from:
http://www.myspace.com/burbank4congress

Date: Thursday, October 23, 2008
Times: 6;30 to 9 PM
Location: Canton Library Program Room
Address:
40 Dyer Ave.Canton, CT 06019
Contact: Harold Burbank
Phone: (860) 693-2687
Email: haroldburbank@comcast.net
Details: This is an open public forum for groups and indivduals to ask questions, obtain literature, and make suggestions about my campaign. The Library Program Room is located about halfway down the hallway on the left in the Canton Community Center adjacent to the Dyer Avenue Canton Public Library.



Date: Monday, October 27, 2008
Times: 5:30 PM
Location: Farmington High School
Address:
Rte. 4Farmington, CT
Contact: Harold Burbank
Phone: (860) 693-2687
Email: haroldburbank@comcast.net
Details: Farmington Chamber of Commerce will hold an all-candidates US House 5th District debate 10-27-08. This is the first REAL DEBATE to be scheduled for ALL VOTERS in the 5th District. Bring all your friends and relatives for a great GREEN cheering section for this blockbuster debate, where Murphy and Cappiello will answer for their support of bail outs of criminal corporations, war crimes, no energy plan, skyrocketing living costs, no national health insurance, no free education through college, and deep recession.



Date: Monday, October 27, 2008
Times: 9 AM to 10 AM
Location: Hartford, CT
Address:
Hartford, CTHartford, CT
Contact: Harold Burbank
Phone: (860) 693-2687
Email: haroldburbank@comcast.net
Details: I will appear with all CT Green Party US House candidates on John Dankosky's call in radio show "Where We Live". Call in and ask a tough question about bail outs, the wars, impeachment, indictment of the Bush cabal, and Murphy and Cappiello's tolerance and support of these crimes against the Constitution and humanity.

Let the debate begin!


The third party and independent candidates for President will duke it out tomorrow night.

At the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. October 23, 2008 at 9 p.m. EST.


And it will be shown live on C-Span.

Ralph Nader will be there.

Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin will be there.

We've been told that Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney and Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr have been invited but haven't committed to attend yet.

If you are in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, please come on down to the Mayflower Hotel (1127 Connecticut Avenue NW -- Farragut North Metro Stop on the Red Line) and catch an historic event -- a Presidential debate that includes Ralph Nader.

If you are not in the the DC area, hope you get a chance to watch it live on C-Span.

If you get a chance, organize a debate party and watch with friends, family and neighbors.

Should be a lot of fun.

Can Coal really be called "Clean" with a straight face?
Can Nuclear-waste producing steam-generated electricity actually be labeled "Safe"?

Why are the corporate-funded Candidates so very afraid to debate the next highest placing Presidential Candidate?

Find out why by going to:

http://www.votenader.org/



And Ralph will have a chance to lay out before a national television audience the Nader/Gonzalez people-powered platform that Obama and McCain and the national media ignored during the three Anheuser-Busch sponsored parallel interviews (aka The Presidential Debates.)

Onward to November.

The Nader Team

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

John McCain Accidentally Left On Campaign Bus Overnight


John McCain Accidentally Left On Campaign Bus Overnight

Come plan CT Dec. antiwar action!!


- Please circulate widely -
Statewide Meeting to Call and Build a December Demonstration to End the War and Bring the Troops Home Now!

Sunday, October 26th, 2008
2:00 pm
Quaker Meeting House
144 South Quaker Lane
West Hartford, CT 06105

On October 9th and 11th students at Central Connecticut State University, Trinity College and UConn held inspiring actions to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home now. They joined activists across the country in a nationally coordinated week of local actions against the war which included a rally in Boston of over 1000.

Earlier, in a late summer fight to prevent the closure of two neighborhood libraries in Hartford, children and adults tied their struggle to the war with signs demanding, "Money for Libraries, not for War!"

The pressure to oppose the U.S. war machine is only growing. The war in Iraq roars on with an approximate 1.6 million dead Iraqis, 5 million refugees, over 4,000 dead US soldiers, a shattered infrastructure, and trillions going up in smoke. Anti-Iran venom grows, with officials commonly labeling its national guard a "terrorist organization." U.S. operations are already spreading into Pakistan where they killed 11 Pakistani troops in a recent June airstrike. Rather than admit defeat, the war-makers are attempting to extend combat into new terrain.

As the world economy tumbles into depression, the drive for war will only intensify. Investors will look more towards arms spending to turn a profit. The rush to control resources and trade routes; to attain regional hegemony; to smother discontent and dissent in a tsunami of war-mongering nationalistic fervor - will escalate. Conflicts between Georgia and Russia could very well turn into war between Russia and the U.S.

Amidst an economic crisis involving hundreds of billions in corporate bailout dollars, skyrocketing home foreclosures, rising unemployement, loan freezes, and collapsing pensions, war funds are needed at home more than ever before.

Now more than ever it is time to bring anti-war forces across Connecticut together to oppose this war! Activists across the country will demonstrate against the war on the week of December 9-14 as part of nationally coordinated actions responding to the proposal put forth by anti-war activists across the country, including the National Assembly to End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let us unite in Connecticut for a mass action in December to Bring the Troops Home Now! Join us on October 26th at the Quaker Meeting House in West Hartford for a meeting to call and begin organizing a state-wide anti-war demonstration in Connecticut!
Initial signers:
Organizations:

Trinity College Anti-War Coalition
CCSU Progressive Student Alliance
Students for Change, Norwich
Students for Justice, WCSU
Stop the Raids! Students of Trinity College
Progressive Alliance, Quinepaug Valley Community College (Danielson branch)
Queers without Borders
Middle East Crisis Committee
Iranians for Peace and Justice
Colectivo Puertorriqueño Pro-Independencia
Iraq Veterans Against the War, CT
Socialist Action, CT
People of Faith, CT
Socialist Party, CT
International Socialist Organization, CT
ANSWER, CT

Individuals (All below organizations for identification purposes only):
Joyce McKelvey, AFSC
Jason Ortiz, Idealists United, UConn
Hannah Kluger, UHart, Greater Glastonbury for Peace and Justice
Brittany Kilburn, Tim MacSweeney and Juan Veliz, Students for a Culture of Peace, Naugatuck Community College
Marissa Blaszko, Opinion Editor, CCSU Recorder
Wayne DeRoy and Paul Ofori, Africana Students Organization, CCSU
Erin McAuliffe, CCSU PRIDE
Gabrielle Pierce, CCSU Art Club
Erin Kenney, CCSU Central Counseling Society
Laura Lockwood, Director of Trinity Women & Gender Resource Action Center
Christopher Hutchinson, Manchester Community College
Harold Burbank, Green Party, running for CT 5th district Senate
Opton Martin, CCSU
Ebony Murphy, Hartford
Barbara Byrd, Bloomfield
Sharyn Murphy, Southington

If you are interested in joining the call for the meeting to call a mass action against the war in December, or want to find out more about the October 26th meeting contact Beth @ 203-448-9140 or eilis.dyer@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Statewide Meeting to End the War and Bring the Troops Home Now!

"hey tim! it's brittany from students for a culture of peace. i just wanted to get into contact with you because there has been a proposal set forth to hold anti-war actions in the month of december and we are looking for endorsers to lend their names to the call in support of the proposal to hold actions. i know that you were interested in being involved before, and it would be great if you could lend your name in support. also, there is a meeting this sunday, october 26th at 2:00 pm at the quaker meeting house in west hartford, and it would be great if you might be able to attend that as well. i have asked others from students for a culture of peace if they were interested. no one has gotten back to me yet, but we could possibly have a carpool. let me know what you think, preferably tonight if possible, tonight is the deadline for endorsements. (sorry for the short notice). have a good night, thanks!!

brittany kilburn, Students for a Culture Peace

Statewide Meeting to Call and Build a December Demmonstration to End the War and Bring the Troops Home Now!

Sunday, October 26th, 2008
2:00 pm
Quaker Meeting House
144 South Quaker Lane
West Hartford, CT 06105

On October 9th and 11th students at Central Connecticut State University, Trinity College and UConn held actions to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home. They joined activists across the country in a nationally coordinated week of local actions against the war in Iraq which included a rally in Boston of over 1000.

Earlier, In a late summer fight to prevent the closure of two neighborhood libraries in Hartford, children and adults tied their struggle to the war with signs demanding, "Money for Libraries, not for War!"

The pressure to oppose the U.S. war machine is only growing. The war in Iraq roars on with an approximate 1.6 million dead Iraqis, 5 million refugees, over 4,000 dead US soldiers, a shattered infrastructure, and trillions going up in smoke. Anti-Iran venom grows, with officials commonly labeling its national guard a "terrorist organization." U.S. operations are already spreading into Pakistan where they killed 11 Pakistani troops in a recent June airstrike. Rather than admit defeat, the war-makers are attempting to extend combat into new terrain.

As the world economy tumbles into depression, the drive for war will only intensify. Investors will look more towards arms spending to turn a profit. The rush to control resources and trade routes; to attain regional hegemony; to smother discontent and dissent in a tsunami of war-mongering nationalistic fervor - will escalate. Conflicts between Georgia and Russia could very well turn into war between Russia and the U.S.

Amidst an economic crisis involving hundreds of billions in corporate bailout dollars, skyrocketing home foreclosures, rising unemployement, loan freezes, and collapsing pensions, war funds are needed at home more than ever before.

Now more than ever it is time to bring anti-war forces across Connecticut together to oppose this war! Activists across the country will demonstrate against the war on the week of December 9-14 as part of nationally coordinated actions responding to the call put forth by anti-war activists across the country, including the National Assembly to End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ANSWER, and the Troops Out Now Coalition.

Let us unite in Connecticut for a mass action in December to Bring the Troops Home Now! Join us on October 26th at the Quaker Meeting House in West Hartford for a meeting to call and begin organizing a state-wide anti-war demonstration in Connecticut!

If you are interested in joining the call for December actions, or want to find out more about the meeting contact Beth @ 203-448-9140 or eilis.dyer@gmail.com

Monday, October 13, 2008

COLUMBUS AND THE INDIANS


"When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure--there is no bloodshed-and Columbus Day is a celebration..."
Howard Zinn
"Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress,"
A People's History of the United States.
More at: http://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2008/10/christopher-columbus-and-indians.html

Friday, October 10, 2008

VP Candidate Matt Gonzalez Talks to Protesters Outside Rally

In Santa Cruz, CA

Added (to YouTube): October 06, 2008

Ralph speaking to an audience in Waterbury, Connecticut.

2008 Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader discusses the passage of the bailout bill. Waterbury, Connecticut - October 4, 2008.



From: votenader08
Added: October 05, 2008
Words and phrases I keep hearing:
Middle class, Safe nuclear, "I agree with Senator McCain," Clean coal, Biodiesel, Troop surge is working, Rescue package, Terror, al Qaeda, Countries that don't like us, Dependence on foreign oil, Capture and kill, Change, Innovation, Bipartisan, "I agree with Senator Obama," Failed economic policies, Tax cuts, Fundamentals, Maverick, Grave threat, Reform, Working familes...
Words I don't hear enough:
Working class, No to nuclear power, Yes to solar, Carbon tax, Taft Hartley Act, Labor Unions, Consumer Protection, Bailout, Military Industrial Complex, Poverty, PEACE, Single Payer Healthcare, Impeachment, Corporate power/Corporate welfare/Corporate crime, Living wage, Open Presidential Debates...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Three Way Presidential Debate

- Obama, McCain, and Nader:

The Question

2008 Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader responds to a question from the audience about impeachment/prosecution of Bush/Cheney.
Excerpted from the Open the Debates super rally in Minneapolis on September 4, 2008.

Three Way Vice Presidential Debate - Palin, Biden, Gonzalez

Vice Presidential Candidate Matt Gonzalez was barred from the 2008 Vice Presidential Debate hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on October 2nd, just as Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader was barred from the first Presidential CPD Debate on September 26th.
If you'd like to see all major candidates participate in a debate please visit:http://thirdpartyticket.com/
Spread this video along and help them reach their goal of 10,000 pledges today!
Video created by Manila Ryce

From: votenader08
October 07, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Associations

In a televised interview last spring, Senator John McCain asked,
"How can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings
that could have or did kill innocent people?"
"I was reading my copy of the New York Times the other day," she said.
"Booooo!" replied the crowd.
"I knew you guys would react that way, okay," she continued. "So I was reading the New York Times and I was really interested to read about Barack's friends from Chicago."
It was time to revive the allegation, made over the weekend, that Obama "pals around" with terrorists, in this case Bill Ayers, late of the Weather Underground. Many independent observers say Palin's allegations are a stretch; Obama served on a Chicago charitable board with Ayers, now an education professor, and has condemned his past activities.
"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.
"Boooo!" said the crowd.
"And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.
"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Students for a Culture Of Peace

The Students for a Culture of Peace at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury CT sent me this:

upoming anti-war actions

"hello members and future members of students for a culture of peace!

i just wanted to let you guys know of a couple upcoming important dates for the fight against the wars inIraq and Afghanistan. the week of october 6th through 11th is a nationally called week of action for the anti-war movement, and many campuses around the state are holding anti-war actionsin this week. the list is as follows:
Event: CCSU Against the War October 9th
"All Out for October 9th"
What: Rally
Host: CCSU Against the War Organizing Committee
Start Time: Thursday, October 9 at 12:15pm
End Time: Thursday, October 9 at 3:15pm
Where: Student Center Mall Area - The Big Circle Thing Outside
To see more details and RSVP,
follow the link below:
October 11 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Trinity College, Hartford, CT
Mather quad
Endorsers: Stop the Raids!
La Voz Latina (LVL)
Arab American Student Association
Temple of Hip Hop
ConnPirg? (no confirmation yet)
Performers:
Zee Santiago
Sagacity
Speakers:
ACLU Director Mike Alewitz Professor Chatfield (Trinity History)
Andrew Page (Trinity anti-war)
Stop the Raids! Member
Arab American Student Association
- president LVL- i think gustavo
Marissa Blazko- she said sounds good on facebook, will call her soon
IVAW- ?
that is all i know right now, but let me know if you can make it and maybe we can carpool. have a good weekend!!"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

HOLLY NEAR TO DAVID MIXNER, SEPTEMBER 2008

To read this interview on David Mixner's blog, go to http://www.davidmixner.com/holly_near/index.html
If Woody Guthrie were alive today he would be Holly Near. This kind, gentle person is one of the great folk singers, writers, activist and teachers alive. She was the one of the first women to ever create an independent record company called Redwood Records over thirty years ago. She has been a major presence in the LGBT, feminist, peace and justice movements her entire life. When one thinks of champions of civil rights and human rights you think of Holly Near. Most of all, Holly is a brilliant singer and entertainer who has sung in all corners of the world. Coming from a left, feminist and activist viewpoint, we asked her to discuss her support of Obama with us.

Who did you support in the primaries and why?

I didn’t work for any of the candidates. I don’t like either party much and have always worked outside of the mainstream political system. But I do vote.
Kucinich's ideas were probably the closest to my own. I have a friend who voted for Edwards by absentee ballot but by the time the actual California Primary happened, he had withdrawn so her vote was wasted. Clinton would have been her second choice. It is crazy her vote didn’t count. We need a new system. I voted for Obama in the primary.
I feel frustration during an election year. I can’t stand flag waving and phrases that suggest this country was built on the principles of democracy and equality when in truth our “fore-folks” had slaves, lynched people, and terrorized indentured servants including little northern European irls who looked like me working in sweat shops. Millions of indigenous people were killed - so the whole show un-nerves me.
That said, I’m not stupid. I think critically and strategically. I like Obama and McCain scares me to death. If Clinton had won the primary I would be supporting her as well. I am a long time activist - always left of the democrats - but I like to choose with whom I am going to struggle. I did NOT vote for Nader last time nor would I vote 3rd party this time. I like the idea of building a third party from local level up but I am startled by the thought that experienced political organizers would vote 3rd party this time around at the presidential level.
I don’t feel I’m voting for an icon or a politically perfect social feminist…

…Some indigenous tribes say that the clan mothers pick the ones who will serve different aspects of the community. They would never put a warrior as chief. They would only put a diplomat. So, when I imagine that red blinking button and a cinder box moment involving nuclear weapons, it terrifies me to think of McCain or Palin representing our national security. Obama is not an anti war candidate but he is thoughtful and seems to know how to listen. And he makes room for an anti war movement in his belief system. I don’t feel hated by Obama. I feel hated by McCain…
...This is one of the most historic and important elections I have experienced in my lifetime. And the Republican Convention just upped the ante. How often do we get to do something as the citizens of the United States? I’m not a nationalist but I do live in a nation that is seen around the world as violent and insensitive and greedy and weak and self absorbed.
I want the world to see the other side of our nation, see us make a choice, even if it seems to some to be symbolic. Most people in the world don’t know about the in fighting in the left or about gay marriage. All they know is that their lives and the very safety of the planet has been in grave danger for the last 8 years. I believe they are looking at us to see if we will stand with them to form the biggest circle of resistance the world has ever seen in opposition to Bush-Cheney policy. Regardless of what Obama can achieve or not achieve, I believe one of the strongest things we could do for national security is to show the world we have the courage throw out the Republican agenda and replace it with an offer friendship - to each other and to the world.

"Open the Debates" Tour in Connecticut!


Since 1988, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has sponsored every presidential debate. Since its inception, the CPD has always been headed by two former chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties. In 1987, the League of Women Voters refused to sponsor any more presidential debates, "because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter."

The Nader/Gonzalez Campaign is on a mission to open these debates for third party candidates, and bring back democracy to the American Voter!


If you cannot make it to these rallies,

please help us spread the word by forwarding these events:


October 4th, Noon - Waterbury, CT

Nader for President 2008 Rally

195 Grand St. Waterbury, CT 06702

For more information: (203)982-8578 or events@votenader.org


October 4th, 4 pm- Hartford, CT

Private Gathering with Ralph Nader

RSVP: Rob Socket at (202) 471-5833 or rob@votenader.org


October 4th, 7 pm - Storrs, CT

Nader for President 2008 Rally

Edwin O. Smith High School

1235 Storrs Rd. Storrs, CT 06268

Suggested Contribution: $10/$5 students


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Separation of State and Witchcraft

Subtitled Version. Palin appears at 7:10 (in the YouTube video).

She gets protection from Witchcraft from these pastors. Kenyan Pastor, Pastor Muthee- including prayers for campaign finances and protection from "witchcraft". This is video of the prayer session that Sarah Palin credits with getting her into the Governor's Office.

The first 7 minutes show this Pastor praying for religion to overtake government & education- a clear violation of separation of church & state. Sarah Palin goes up to the pulpit at 7:15 where 2 men lay their hands on her and they pray to "make a way, to bring finances to her, to bring her personnel, to rebuke "every form of witchcraft" is what you will rebuke (8:36)Witchcraft??!?!?!Pastor Muthee preaches his sermon:

"The problem is do we just pray, but we do nothing about it. If the believers had not done something in this country, your President (George W Bush) would not be in office today.

We need believers who are educationists. If we had them, today we would not be talking about the Ten Commandments being kicked out of our schools. They would still be there.

...Im a child of revival of the Seventies, and that revival swept through the schools.

...You go to any school, there is what we call Christian Union. Christian Union is nothing more but a bunch of kids that are born again, spirit-filled, TONGUE TALKING, DEVIL CASTING....ALL OVER THE COUNTRY...We need God taking over our education system! Otherwise, we, if we have God in our schools, we will not have kids being taught, you know, how to worship Buddha, how to worship Mohammed, we will not have in the curriculum witchcraft and sorcery."

Palin says that Pastor Muthee was very bold and didn't pray for what God's will was, but just that he "make a way", as he didn't know what her plans were and what she was going to do. The beginning of this Pastor's sermon and intent clearly shows that there will not be a separation of church and state. He specifically states that children should not be taught about other religions other than Christianity.

Keep in mind that Sarah Palin has not answered any questions about religion or her intentions, has not given any press conferences - a first for a Presidential or VP candidate at this point in the campaign. We, the AMERICAN PEOPLE still do not know what her plans are or what she intends to do with the office, should she get in. The debate has been tightened so there will not be the opportunity for her to expound on her intention for the office.

After the last 8 years of having a President who feels that he was annointed by God, it is imperative that we examine the intentions of ALL Candidates before electing them into office."

From: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkViRp6W5oE

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No, You Can't


From: http://lobbyistsformccain.com/ (where the whole screen shows if you play the "AD/No You Can't")

business proposal

In among the daily notifications I get informing me that I'd won the Lottery in Timbuktu and urgent messages from people with strange names asking for my routing number etc, I got this one too:

"Dear American:


I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.


I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.


I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.


This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We can not directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.


Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may speedily transfer your commision for this transaction. After I receive that information I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.


Yours Faithfully,


Minister of Treasury Paulson"

Monday, September 22, 2008

No More War


"John McCain has made it clear that if elected, he plans to continue the Bush Administration's "legacy", specifically when it comes to the war in Iraq. Over 4,000 American troops have been killed in the war, and it is estimated that at least 1,000,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the war. We've already had 5 years of a disastrous war. Do we really need four more?"
From: http://www.peacetakescourage.com/ (& http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=peacetakescourage)

Open the Debates





"2008 Presidential candidate Ralph Nader hosted an Open the Debates rally during the Republican National Convention in Minnesota on September 4, 2008. In this highlight reel you can see excerpts of speeches by Ralph Nader, his VP Candidate Matt Gonzalez, and former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura talking about open debates and how they impact elections.

This also features a musical performance by 98 Degrees' Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons."


September 21, 2008
"William Greider put it best yesterday when he called Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's upcoming bailout of Wall Street:

"All sugar for the villains, lasting pain and damage for the victims."


"As I have been saying for several months, this crisis has the potential to bring down one or both political parties, take your choice," Greider said.

And investment analyst Christopher Whalen chimed in:
"The joyous reception from Congressional Democrats to Paulson's latest massive bailout proposal smells an awful lot like yet another corporatist lovefest between Washington's one-party government and the Sell Side investment banks."

"Strip aside the rhetoric of the two major parties.
And what is left is one party devoted to Wall Street.
Who represents Main Street?
Nader/Gonzalez.
So, why is that when the Presidential debates open this Friday, only Wall Street will be in the ring?
And the man who predicted the disaster of deregulation is out?
Because the Commission on Presidential Debates is controlled by the two parties and funded by the corporations.
That's why we're sponsoring a National Day of Action to Open the Debates.
This Thursday, September 25, 2008, the day before the first debate.
Once again the Commission intends to silence the majority of Americans by shutting out Nader/Gonzalez from the debates.
We're asking all of our supporters to get ready.
Because on Thursday, there are four ways you can take action to Open Up the Debates.
1. Write:
Letters to the editor, to your friends, family and anyone in your address book, companies and corporations who sponsor the presidential debates.
2. Phone:
The Commission on Presidential Debates, Obama and McCain Campaigns, Talk Shows, Newspapers, and National and Local Media Outlets.
3. Create:
Posters, fliers and literature to pass out and hang up at college campuses and other high traffic areas and banners to display to morning and evening rush hour traffic -- Check out our "Open the Debates" section on the website for downloadable materials.
4. Protest:
Outside the Democratic and Republican headquarters in your community, at corporations that sponsor the debates, at radio stations, newspapers and media outlets not covering Ralph Nader.
(Phone numbers, e-mails and addresses will be available tomorrow at votenader.org/debates.)
Many Americans believe they are getting the full story when they tune into the televised and highly publicized debates.
What people don't see is that behind the scenes the debates are controlled by a corporate funded entity.
Third party and independent candidates are arbitrarily required to be polling at 15% according to five national polls in order to participate in the debates, even though these third parties are forced to devote all resources to get on the ballot in all 50 states during the months leading up to the debates -- costing well over a million dollars!
Who decides who gets into the debates?
The so-called "non-partisan" Commission (as described by the New York Times today). Non-partisan? Headed by Paul Kirk and Frank Fahrenkopf, the former heads of the Democratic and Republican parties?
Since the media blithely adopts the framing of the corporate parties, we must take it upon ourselves to expose the Commission on Presidential Debates as the real spoiler of the democratic system in this country.
Just recently Green party candidate Elizabeth May was included into the debates in Canada.
Why?
Massive e-mailing, phone calls, and letters to the editor, including one from former Prime Minister Joe Clark, displaying public outrage prompted the debate commission to invite Elizabeth May to participate..."

National debate sponsors: http://www.votenader.org/debates/sponsors/ & http://www.votenader.org/debates/sponsors1/

Commission on Presidential Debates1200 New Hampshire Ave NW #445Washington, DC 20036202-872-1020http://www.debates.org/index.html

Monday, September 8, 2008

Harold Burbank


I think I got this because of a MySpace link to Bethlehem Peace Watch:


"Thank you for the add and thank you for taking a stand for this great nation. We are in a troublesome place as a country. We face an uphill battle, but with people like yourself and a message of liberty we can defeat any obstacle. Thank you again for your support."– Attorney Harold Burbank

He has an interesting story - and is running for the seat of the only person I've ever actually voted for who actually won the election (but doesn't want to impeach certain individuals guilty of certain crimes - unlike Harold).



(He has a "Cost of the War" banner that I'll soon figure out how to aquire.)

Also: Interesting coverage of the recent conventions at:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC

Breaking With Convention: War, Peace and the Presidency
Democracy Now! expands to daily two-hour broadcasts during the Democratic and Republican National conventionsDNC: Aug. 25–Aug. 29RNC: Sep. 1–Sep. 5

Read more…

September 02, 2008

(This below is the "most viewed YouTube Video" on Sept. 2, 2008)

Amy Goodman & Two Democracy Now! Producers Arrested at RNC Protest
More than 280 people were arrested here in St. Paul Monday, the opening day of the Republican National Convention. Among them were several journalists covering the protests in the streets, including three of us at Democracy Now! Amy was detained trying to question police officers about the arrests of Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
http://www.democracynow.org/
September 1, 2008
Contact: Dennis Moynihan Mike Burke
ST. PAUL, MN—"Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. Video of her arrest can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYjyvkR0bGQ
Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfuly detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.
Ramsey County Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.
Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).
Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amenmdent rights of these journalists.
During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.
Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation’s leading independent news outlet.
Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sign the online petition for Impeachment Hearings today


"Why is this man in the White House?

The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there?

And I tell you this morning that he's in the White House

because God put him there for a time such as this."

- Lt Gen William Boykin,
speaking of G. W. Bush, New York Times, 17 October 2003

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

"God gave the savior to the German people.

We have faith, deep and unshakable faith,

that he was sent to us by God to save Germany."

- Hermann Goering
speaking of Hitler


Together we can:

* Urge real Congressional action to hold President Bush accountable now

* Reinstate the authority of our Constitution* Document crimes committed by President Bush for historical account

* Facilitate post-Administration law enforcement and prosecution

* Reset the standard for the incoming and future administrations

* Demand justice for the over 3,000 who died on 9/11and whose deaths were tragically exploited to take us into an illegal war in Iraq

* Demand justice for the estimated 30,324 U.S. military personnel who have been injured/wounded

* Demand justice for the estimated 4,138 U.S. military personnel who have been killed or died

* Demand justice for the 1 Million innocent Iraqis who have died

** Avert another illegitimate looming war – this time against Iran


We need your active participation to deliver 1 Million signatures to Congress by September 10, 2008.

Please give at least ten of your friends the opportunity to stand up for our country – the way you and I have, by inviting them to sign the impeachment petition online at www.Kucinich.us. Send your friends an email invitation to sign the petition=> http://kucinich.us/ Together we can make September 10, the day before the world changed, a day we change the world!"

Dennis Kucinich



Thank you for your active and ongoing citizenship.
Dennis Kucinich


"WHEREAS, in his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has committed abuses of power.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and Commander in Chief, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States and that he be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors."


Support impeachment hearings - http://kucinich.us/

Join the campaign with Rep. Dennis Kucinich to make September 10th a day to change the world!


"Dear Friends,

On August 1st, I delivered to Speaker Nancy Pelosi; a petition bearing the names of over 100,000 Americans that, like us, feel that the President must be held accountable for abusing executive power and disregarding his Constitutional obligations. Your voices have been heard and your support continues to send a powerful message to lawmakers. That is why I call on you again to help us in a new effort to deliver 1 Million signatures to Speaker Pelosi on September 10, 2008."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Connecticut's Nuclear Weapons


There are no signs pointing the way to Above All State Park. It is not even marked on the newer editions of the official state tourism map, nor is it included in the official list of state parks. Nevertheless, it is a public park managed by the CT Department of Environmental Protection, like the other state parks. And it is the former command center for Connecticut' s network of nuclear missiles.

To reach the park, you have to follow Above All Road in the town of Warren, up to the summit of a hill overlooking Litchfield County. At the entrance is a small marker to show it is state property, and a gate just high enough for a bicycle to pass underneath (without rider). A dirt road leads up to a meadow in the woods. In the 19th century there were plans to build the "Above-All Mountain House" as a holiday resort, but nowadays the road is frequented more by little red salamanders than by human visitors.



At the top of the meadow is an empty cinderblock bunker. Behind the bunker is the concrete base of what was once a launchpad for Nike anti-aircraft missiles. Each missile carried a 2-to-40 kiloton nuclear warhead. This was the control center for 12 Nike batteries distributed around Connecticut during the Cold War. Ours was the only state to have had every square inch of its territory protected (or targeted) by nuclear weapons.

The Nikes were intended to defend against Soviet bomber planes, but they were never tested since even an unarmed missile could have killed people if it fell to earth in a populated place like Connecticut. And they became obsolete soon after installation because they were useless against the new Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) which replaced bombers.



After the 1972 SALT treaty banned rapid-fire Nike missiles, the launchpads were dismantled. The Above All site became a state park again. For a while it reappeared on the maps, but now it has reverted to secrecy and is seldom mentioned.



The only Red Menace now are the red efts which creep across the road and which you have to watch out for if you want to avoid squashing them under foot or tire. I am reminded of Karel Capek's "War With the Newts," the 1936 Czech science-fiction satire in which salamanders take over human military installations, and the world descends into a nightmarish arms race and world war. Fortunately, these newts seem to be the peaceful kind.






--from an email from David Bedell [CT_Peace_Justice]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Torture


Senator McCain: Torture is Wrong


by True Majority, US Action, Catholics United (http://www.catholics-united.org/), & the School Of the Americas Watch (http://www.soaw.org/)


Click





Watch this video from Joshua Casteel, a former military interrogator. Then join Joshua and call on Sen. McCain to lead his party by bringing an end to torture in all circumstances.


http://www.TrueMajority.org/NoTorture






Nov. 21-23, 2008: Converge on Fort Benning, Georgia



The annual November vigil to close the School of the Americas at the gates of Fort Benning will follow the presidential election by two weeks. It will be an opportunity for the progressive movement to push for the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC and to set an agenda against oppressive U.S. foreign policy, whatever the result of that election is.



Click here to download the November Organizing Packet

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Folk Process

Pete Seeger often talks about "The Folk Process."

It's almost like plagarism, but it's not really.

It's more like bending the words of someone elses song to fit your voice or capture your mood or convey your point of view, whether it's an old Russian Lullaby like "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," with the addition of Pete's line: "When Will They Ever Learn?" or your friend Bob's song in which you change the title a little bit and switch some words about (and I've got a "take one recording" but it's difficult for me to sing and play at the same time, so I won't torture you with it - yet).


Something like this:


Our Lady of Perpetual War
Shishka Bob (and Slider Tim’s Folk Processing)
C: 2008

Well he looked to the right, and he looked to the left
And he felt something funny as it pierced through his vest
And the bullet gave another of America’s best
To Our Lady of Perpetual War

He was just 23, with a wife and a kid
And he joined at 18, like a good young man did
And he bought all the bullshit from the cowards who hid
Behind Our Lady of Perpetual War


They cock and they crow and they make others pay
For their greedy decisions while they kneel down and pray
And seek absolution from an idol of clay
Our Lady of Perpetual War

Maybe someday we’ll know why the good die so young
Why a mother’s heart’s brok’n by a rocket or gun
Why the rich just get richer and the poor pay the sum
To Our Lady of Perpetual War

When you gas up your car instead of buying kid’s shoes
Think of Oil Man’s profits, know that his kid’s excused
From the high cost of living, from his body being used
By Our Lady of Perpetual War

You may think that I’m crazy, or politically naive
As I watch you deal with a card up your sleeve
It’s just that I refuse to bow at the knee
To Our Lady of Perpetual War