Tuesday, February 23, 2010
February 23, 2010
Dear President Obama,
A contingent of Peace Groups and Activists will be setting up a Peace Camp across the street from your house on the lawn of the Washington Monument called, Camp OUT NOW.
After over one year of your presidency, it's become crystal clear to even many of those who supported you, that your foreign policy is as much of a disaster as was George Bush's.
On Sunday, 33 civilians were killed in a bombing raid on a caravan in Afghanistan, and no matter how many times you or your generals say, "Sorry," innocent civilians will always be killed in these insane wars of profit and occupation. Since, by your regime's own admission, civilian slaughter "can't be avoided," these wars must come to an immediate end.
It's also quite tragic that your war in Afghanistan has victimized more of our troops than when Bush was president, and more of our returning vets are committing suicide with most of their needs still going unmet.
For all intents and purposes, Mr. Obama, you have had a blank-check from the U.S. anti-war movement since you were elected. Certainly being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize gave these wars some international legitimacy, but those days of your free pass to carry out and magnify the Bush regime's crimes against humanity are over.
Even though there have been those of us in the anti-war movement who never dropped the ball, or passed it to the Democratic Party, many of the ones who supported you are also starting to awaken to the harsh reality that you are only keeping your campaign promises and they don't like that.
Mr. Obama, your anti-war base is an awakening giant that you will have to deal with in this election year. People are fleeing your party with the same regularity that they fled the other party when Bush was president. This waking giant is also realizing that with a Democratic majority everywhere, your failure in proceeding with a progressive agenda is abysmal.
Every time you are "contemplating" sending more troops to Afghanistan, you have countless meetings with what you have called your "War Council." The very name implies a foregone conclusion that you will send more troops and that other, more rational, more humane, and more peaceful solutions are never even considered.
In 2005, I asked for a meeting with President Bush that was never granted, and as you know, Camp Casey in Crawford became the spark that lit a prairie fire of anti-war sentiment that swept you and your cohorts in the Democratic Party back into power and now we are coming to collect the spoils of that victory--which is not more war--but more Peace. You Democrats owe much to your anti-war base--and we will not be quiet nor be ignored as we were in the previous administration. It's time for you to pay the Peace-piper, Mr. Obama.
Our demands are profound, yet simple for you to perform: troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (where three soldiers were just killed); no more drone bombings anywhere; close the permanent bases and torture prisons; and bring the mercenary soldiers home, too. We will not be closing up Camp, or the movement, until positive progress in the direction of Peace is noted.
The first week of Camp (March 13-20), we are asking for a meeting with you to discuss setting up a Peace Council that you will regularly meet with that will have a seat at the table when decisions that will kill, maim, displace, or harm our troops or civilians in any way are being discussed. We also demand that this Peace Council be comprised of grassroots members of the Peace Movement and not rubber-stamp status quo worshippers, or other "Peace" Prize laureates like Henry Kissinger, who already, reportedly, has your ear.
If you do not meet with representatives from Camp OUT NOW, we will be a thorn in the side of the War Machine, and we will not go away without a struggle. If you do meet with us and agree to a Peace Council, we will pack up our tents, but we will still be a thorn in the side of the War Machine until Peace is finally achieved--the only difference is that we won't be camped across the street from your home.
During your campaign, you often quoted Roosevelt as saying that if the voters wanted him to do the right thing, they would have to "make him." Well, Mr. Obama, we are the bosses of you--not your corporate masters--and we will be in DC to "make you" do the right thing.
I can be reached at anytime through my email:
In struggle until there is finally Peace,
Mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was murdered on 04 April, 2004, by the U.S. War Machine.
And the Peace of the Action Coalition
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Back in the day, during time of war, messages were delivered by a person to the opposing camp. What a job to have, huh? Many times the messgenger was killed after the message was delivered out of rage, revenge, or just because.
Today, during times of war, the messages are delivered quite differently, but being in the business of delivering messages is still risky, especially if some people very vehemently do not want to hear the truth.
Now, "Attacking the Messenger" is a subdivision of the ad hominem logical fallacy, and boy, did I get attacked last week for having Glenn Greenwald on my show and exposing the Presidential Assassination Program. I haven't been so roundly, thoroughly or more vilely attacked since I started to publicly say that the war in Iraq was based on lies--but this time from the other "side."
I got called "liar", and things that the rightwing reactionaries usually call me that can't be printed in polite company--for just pointing out the truth.
And like my guest said, "Where's the outcry" against this administration for ordering the assassinations of U.S. citizens--and many times their families and neighbors? There was a huge outcry from the Democratic base when we found out the that the Bush Admin was spying on our phone calls, but not even a peep when we find out that the Obama regime is targetting U.S. citizens in this extra-judicial crime spree. It's not a comfortable fact, but it's a fact, and anger should be directed properly. Your government is a rogue government--facts are facts and truth is the truth no matter who warms up the presidential chair in the Oval Office.
Anyway, I will keep telling the truth, and I don't "lie" about anything. If I ever get my facts wrong, I always correct that, but you can all be guaranteed if I say something, it has been researched through credible sources! And of course, you can always research whatever I say yourself.
Please listen to today's show with amazing truth-teller, Australian Journalist, John Pilger (pictured here with Pres. Chavez of VZ)--it's probably one of the best ever--listen at the website.
Next week, the show will have another amazing truth-teller, whistleblower, Colleen Rowley, who was also a Time Mag Person of the Year! (Colleen's the one in front)
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Friday, February 19, 2010
"The very word 'war', therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. ... War is Peace."
George Orwell, 1984
If I forget everything else in my life, I will never forget the night I walked in my front door with my dogs, Buster and Chewy, and saw the three military officers standing in my living room.
I knew the moment I saw them that Casey was dead. It doesn’t take a genius to put that equation together. On one side of the equal sign is your recently deployed soldier-son, and on the other side are three Army officers standing in your house looking like they would rather be just about anywhere else.
I didn’t go to sleep that night, or indeed for a few nights. I didn’t want to go to sleep and have to wake up after brief oblivion to the realization that my oldest son was dead: Killed in a war that, like most wars, never should have been fought in the first place. Casey’s number came up and he became just one more in a long-line of humans killed for profit. Casey certainly wasn't the first, and he certainly won't be the last, but my first-born preceded his parents and three of his grandparents in death.
It seemed like within minutes of the notification at 9pm on 04 April, 2004, our house was filled with friends and the tears, screams, questions and memories flowed freely. Around 6am, I went outside to sit on the porch on my porch swing. Through my tears, shock and grief, I could see my neighborhood begin to awaken. People coming outside to pick up their papers, or head for work. I wanted to scream at them: “Don’t you know my son is dead? How can you pretend like the world is normal?” The world has never been “normal,” but I have lived in an even more surreal version since Casey was killed.
Today, I found out that the “operation” that killed my son is over. “Operation Iraqi Freedom” got its name after the “great” Powers That Be figured out that “Operation Iraqi Liberation” stood for “OIL.” Now, Obama’s SecDef, Robert Gates, has changed that benign name to an even more New-Agey, Sweeter-than-Honey name: “Operation New Dawn.” Doesn’t that sound nice? Who doesn’t like New Dawns? Except perhaps the people of Falluja who were brutalized in a Marine siege back in 2004 that was inappropriately entitled, Operation New Dawn.
When Obama first took over the trappings of Empire, he changed the name of the “Global War on Terror” the GWOT to: OCO, or Overseas Contingency Operation—doesn’t that sound benevolent, too? Like the U.S. Empire is involved in Overseas Aid. You have a need for “Aid?” We have a “contingency” for you!
Illegal invasions and occupations are now called: “Interventions” as if the U.S. and its allies, are sweeping in and saving a country or society from a drug or alcohol problem, when clearly it is The Empire that is suffering from an addiction to mass murder and pillage.
It doesn’t matter what the U.S. decides to call its “Operations:” part of us will reject the propaganda, and part of us will embrace it wanting very desperately to believe that our country is not a rogue state and/or that Obama is not as bad, or worse, than Bush.
Innocent people still die and our soldiers are still victims, whether they come home dead or alive, whatever the war criminals in DC decide to label their crimes as.
It doesn’t matter for me either. One day, whether voluntarily, or by force, these “Operations,” “Contingencies,” “Interventions,” or “Crimes against humanity” will eventually end, but my oldest son will be always be dead. There’s absolutely no way in hell for The Empire to euphemize that reality to make it any less painful or easier for me to bear.
Accountability for Casey's death won't make the pain go away, either, but it may prevent other mothers and families from having to suffer from our nation's continuous wars.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
“You must not kill your neighbor, whom perhaps you genuinely hate, but by a little propaganda this hate can be transferred to some foreign nation, against whom all your murderous impulses become patriotic heroism”
In the movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, at the end of a filibuster, idealistic freshman U.S. Senator, Jeff Smith (played by Jimmy Stewart) gives an inspiring speech where he says, “Lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for.” Before he collapses on the Senate Floor, he croaks out, “you fight for the lost causes even harder than the others—you even die for them.”
“Love thy neighbor,” is the reason that Senator Smith (everyman) gives for fighting for “lost causes” the hardest. Whether one believes in this Christian command or not, it is the best reason to fight for lost causes.
Here in the U.S., we rarely even know our next-door neighbor, let alone our planetary neighbors that live across the globe from us. And we rarely even care what happens to our neighbors. Fight for them? Sacrifice anything for them? Die for the lost cause?
We have no leaders in this country that…well we just don’t have any leaders in this country. No one in the establishment is telling us that this nation kills more people and uses more resources than any other, and to be responsible humans, we must sacrifice! No “leader” that wants to keep sucking off the public-corporate tit, that is.
Yet, we are too comfortable here in the U.S.—the worst off of us are usually doing far better than most people in the nations we are destroying with our Military-Corporate Empire. Any idea that any of us may have had about “sacrifice” flew out the window after 9-11 when we were told to “go shopping and travel,” because Consumerism is our holy state religion and the Mall is our Mecca. Everything is “okay” if we are surrounded by material comforts, even if those comforts are purchased with debt and are making the banksters richer.
Anyway, even as we were waking up during the nightmare years of the Bush administration, many of us were lulled back into false-worship of the Empire because the new Emperor in Chief is seemingly more articulate and intelligent and we have been profoundly conditioned to believe mass marketing campaigns. “Hope and Change” were sold to us like “Minty Fresh,” or “New and Improved,” even though the product is the exact same thing in a redesigned package.
So, after a year of the new regime, nothing, I repeat, nothing, has changed for the better in this nation. Even as the economy collapses, the wars continue and people are being killed the same as before. The death toll in Afghanistan was greater in 2009 than any other year when Bush was president. The only difference is that when Bush was president, we had an anti-war movement.
Like in the summer of 2005, when the anti-war movement was re-ignited during our protests at Camp Casey in Crawford Texas—we need an infusion of real hope that can bring relevant change. We must quit looking to politicians for hope. Hope can only come from each other and ourselves. Hope and positive change are not what the U.S. Military Industrial Complex is in business for—and a business cannot deliver a product that it doesn’t make.
I am once again uprooting my own life to move to the heart of this Empire to start a Peace Camp on the lawn of the Washington Monument called: Camp OUT NOW. From this Camp, Peace of the Action will launch daily acts of civil resistance in different areas of DC until our simple demands are acknowledged and we see positive movement in a Peace direction.
We are “all in it, to win it” this time. One of the failures of the anti-war movement, besides misplacing energy to elect Democrats, is that our actions have been mostly symbolic. Symbolic actions are mostly useless in the face of real and immensely destructive problems.
Is Camp OUT NOW a “lost cause” If it is, then it is worth fighting our hearts out for.
Camp OUT NOW is worth coming to DC and sacrificing some of our creature materialism to help our neighbors here and abroad.
I am so optimistic for our chances for victory, and I hope each and every one of you will join us.
For more information and to read our demands, go to: www.PeaceoftheAction.org
We are planning on setting up Camp OUT NOW on Saturday, March 13th--we need all of the help we can get that day and our first two weeks of operation and forward.
(WE WILL BE CONFIRMING MORE SPEAKERS AND PERFORMERS, SO CHECK BACK EVERY FEW DAYS FOR SCHEDULE UPDATES).
MARCH 13-14: Set up camp and do community building and non-violence training.
DURING THE WEEK OF MARCH 13-21, WE WILL HAVE REGULARLY SCHEDULED NON-VIOLENCE TRAINING, TEACH-INS AND OUTREACH DURING (CLICK HERE FOR DAYTIME SCHEDULE) THE DAY AND IN THE EVENINGS, WE WILL BE HAVING:
"DINING WITH A DOSE OF REALITY."
OUR SPECIAL PROGRAMS:
MONDAY, MARCH 15: KEVIN ZEESE (NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF VOTERS FOR PEACE) AND DR. MARGARET FLOWERS (SINGLE-PAYER ACTIVIST) SPEAK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF ALWAYS LINKING THE U.S. WAR ECONOMY TO THE COLLAPSE OF THE REST OF THE ECONOMY AND HOW WE NEED TO END THE WARS TO HAVE POSITIVE SOCIAL PROGRAMS HERE AT HOME.
TUESDAY, MARCH 16: EX-CIA AGENT, RAY MCGOVERN, TALKS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING RACHEL CORRIE'S DREAM ALIVE ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF HER MURDER WHILE TRYING TO PROTECT PALESTINIAN'S HOMES FROM DESTRUCTION.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17: DAVID SWANSON (AFTER DOWNING STREET) AND DEBRA SWEET (NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF WORLD CAN'T WAIT) SPEAK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF HOLDING U.S. WAR CRIMINALS ACCOUNTABLE--FROM THE TOP DOWN. ENTERTAINMENT BY BANJER DAN.
THURSDAY, MARCH 18: CINDY SHEEHAN SPEAKS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF RAMPING UP THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT TO PERFORM COURAGEOUS AND COMMITTED ACTS OF CIVIL RESISTANCE.
FRIDAY, MARCH 19: SOME OF US WILL BE LEAVING CAMP TO GO DOWN TO CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA TO PROTEST WAR CRIMINAL, JOHN YOO, WHO IS SPEAKING AT UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA (FROM: 1PM TO 6PM) AND WE WILL BE MAKING SIGNS AND GETTING READY FOR THE MARCH ON DC SPONSORED BY ANSWER.
SATURDAY, MARCH 20: MARCH ON DC---MEET AT CAMP AT 10AM AND WE WILL BE GOING TOGETHER TO THE WHITE HOUSE FOR THE MARCH---AFTER THE MARCH, OUR FRIEND, CYNTHIA MCKINNEY, WILL BE VISITING US AT CAMP.
SUNDAY, MARCH 21: POTA DAY OFF: ON OUR "DAY OFF" WE WILL BE PROTESTING AT THE AIPAC (AMERICAN-ISRAEL PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE) CONVENTION AT THE DC CONVENTION CENTER FROM 8AM TO ABOUT 8PM. WAR CRIMINALS, TONY BLAIR AND BENJAMIN NETANYAHU WILL BE SPEAKING AT THE CONFERENCE.
MONDAY, MARCH 22, OUR ACTIONS BEGIN (STEALTH--INFO WILL BE GIVEN AT CAMP).
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE EMAIL:
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Peace of the Action would like to initiate a short video contest with a winning prize amount of $200 and a POTA sweatshirt (we know that's a bit low but budgets are very tight).
– Subject: Peace of the Action and/or attendance to our event Camp OUT NOW in Washington, DC.
– We would like to see a general sense ...of promoting the search for solutions outside of the establishment and the status-quo.
– Time Length: three to five minutes.
– Must promote non-violent Civil Resistance (no promotion of violence allowed in any way).
– Closing: must include request for donations at end and give POTA web site address.
CONTEST DEADLINE: March 12th, 2010 (12 noon EST)
SUBMISSIONS: For initial submissions please make video private on your YouTube account and send the link to email@example.com. Once we have viewed and verified that the video is an original submission from you, you can then make it public.
WINNING ANNOUNCEMENT: To be made on the starting day (March 13, 2010) of our Camp OUT NOW event, which will be held in Washington, DC on the lawn of the Washington Monument.
JUDGING: Judging will be conducted by Peace of the Action Camp OUT NOW organizers.
The contestant(s) will retain rights to their videos but Peace of the Action may use any or all content with attribution for promotional purposes.
For more information regarding Peace of the Action in context to this event/contest please view our web site at: www.peaceoftheaction.org
Sunday, February 14, 2010
On today's Soapbox (2pm Pacific)
www.CindySheehansSoapbox.com, Cindy chats with Constitutional authority and Civil Libertarian, Glenn Greenwald, about the U.S. government's murder by presidential decree program as outlined in this op-ed that Greenwald wrote for Salon.com:
It seems as with the recent Supreme Court decision that gives corporations even more say in our government than they had before and with this new Presidential Assassination Program, that the U.S. is even more of a rogue state under Obama's regime than we were under the Bush stain.
On May 31, 2007, Cindy wrote this:
"If we don't find alternatives to this corrupt "two" party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland."
It seems like it is too late, we have come to this point.
Listen to the Soapbox in its new 1/2 hour format today for one of the most information packed half-hour in some time.
Cindy's Soapbox is going to be uploaded to the Pacific Network affiliates and we need your support!
About six months ago we had to stop recurring support because of problems with our system, but we are excited to announce that we can now accept monthly recurring donations once again.
For a $20/month subscription to Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox, you will get each show sent to your email box every week before it goes on the air or on the website; you will get Cindy's blogs especially emailed to you AND you will be put on a list to get regular updates from Venezuela, Uruguay, Camp OUT NOW and Cindy's other peace adventures before anyone else gets them.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010
FIRST PUBLISHED IN GLOBAL RESEARCH
“The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief.” Jacques Ellul
Since it was the Holy Day of Obligation for our national religion of Football, I headed for my health club because I have always been a heretic. I arrived there a little before kick off, so the club was still occupied, but after kick-off it was deserted.
Cindy: Who attacked us on 9-11?
First it’s the very revolutionary idea of recognizing that we do live in a Mythocracy and the lower one is on the socio-economic ladder, the farther apart the reality and myth of this country are.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
February 10, 2010
EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE SOAPBOX!
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox will be uploading a new 30-minute version of her bold radio show to the Pacific Networks affiliates’ server.
The first show Cindy will upload on March 8th will be her in-person and in-depth interview with Venezuelan Populist President, Hugo Chavez.
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox will have a new 30-minute show uploaded to the affiliate server every Monday after that.
Cindy is moving to Washington DC in the middle of March to direct Peace of the Action.
Cindy’s archived shows can be accessed at:
For more information, please email Cindy at:
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH
5654 Ralston St Ventura 93003 @ Ventura .
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH
Newbury Park this Friday evening, starting at 7:30pm. The location is Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The address is 3327 Old Conejo Road. She has advised us that she will talk about the peace movement and her latest book, "Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution."
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Cindy and Film Crew have raised half the money to travel to South America to interview Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The U.S. is placing troops on bases in Columbia ostensibly to fight "drugs." U.S. drones and other aircraft have been spotted flying over Venezuelan airspace and the demonization of Chavez and Venezuela is escalating. There are always "two sides" to a story and our corporately controlled mainstream propaganda media rarely even reports one side accurately.
Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox has been a courageous voice for truth and peace since its inception in January of 2009, but this will be a sharp increase in the influence and credibility of the Soapbox...
...Other great news--Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox is in negotiations to be placed on the Pacifica Network's affiliates and the Chavez show will be the premier event.
Please support our trip to Venezuela and the Soapbox's evolution by ordering your advance copy of the DVD/Documentary of our trip by clicking on the Cover (image below):
(CINDY WILL PERSONALLY SIGN EACH DISC)
or by donating here:
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I don’t want this column to be seen as bashing the US. However, there is much to validly criticize about the current model in the US and much to dissent from, also.
There is little that comes from above that I agree with here in my accidental country of birth—I didn’t agree with it when Bush was president—and I still oppose the policies with all my might now that there is a new Emperor.
During the Nuremberg trials, the chief prosecutor for the US, Supreme Court Justice, Robert H. Jackson, made the distinction between the actions of the Third Reich and the German people. While “just following orders” could not be used as a defense, merely living in a country that was committing atrocities could not be turned against a “regular” German citizen in a court of law.
Now, while I agree with the legality of that stance, I do not agree with the morality of this position. How can one just turn a blind eye and ones back to atrocities that their country is committing? Here in the US, we have a term for people who just “go along to get along;” We call them “Good Germans.”
I read a story from a citizen of Germany during the rise of the Third Reich and he said that the changes to his nation were incrementally small, but before he realized it, Germans were gassing dissidents, Jews, gypsies, Christians and other “enemies of the state.”
We see the same thing occurring here in the US—the assaults on our freedoms had been incremental, especially during the Cold War, but since September 11th, the outright, full-frontal assault here has escalated dramatically.
The First Amendment to the US Constitution is unambiguous:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,
or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
However, the USA PATRIOT ACT and the Bill of Rights cannot co-exist in the legal system here. It’s just not possible and many laws have been passed limiting our freedom of expression. US court rulings have consistently stated positions on what are called “Free Speech Zones” (sometimes cages where US citizens are forced—mostly far away from what we are protesting), that the state cannot put limits on what US citizens say, but can limit the “time and place.” Believing that every inch of this planet should be open to the basic human right of expression, I refuse to be herded into these cages like an animal.
Perhaps one of the noisiest cities in the world, NYC, now has laws that prohibit the use of bullhorns to express our message. How can we be heard above the propaganda of the Ruling Class?
While exerting my First Amendment rights here in the US, I have been chased and roughed up by cops, tear-gassed, shot at with rubber bullets and targeted by what is called a Long Range Acoustical Device. I have been arrested over a dozen times for PEACEFULLY protesting.
Since 9-11, dissent has been steadily and more violently oppressed by the state, but we must courageously protest, unless we be counted among the “Good Germans” that were complicit with our government by our apathy and/or silence.
Torture, wars of aggression, environmental degradation and economic oppression are the business of the US Empire—and we imperial subjects are the ones that have to strongly resist the crimes.
The world lost a leading voice for peace, justice and truth this past week when Howard Zinn passed away at aged 87.
Howard was a wonderful historian, but also profoundly supported grass-roots movements to improve conditions in the poor and working classes. He will be deeply missed, but we must be inspired by his work and dedicate our efforts to his memory.
This column appeared in the Spanish version of Correo del Orinico in VZ in the 3 February edition.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
We are going to Venezuela!
Our request to interview President Hugo Chavez of VZ has finally been granted.
Cindy and a film crew will be heading down to VZ on February 25th not only to interview Chavez (which will also air on the audio and video Soapbox), but to film in communities and interview Venezuelans about the state of affairs there and to be witness to what a grassroots revolution looks like.
This entire trip will be captured on film and edited into a documentary about the populist (anti-Empire) uprising in South America to help foster a pan-Americanism that is needed for Peace on our continent.
The Soapbox is selling pre-orders for the short documentary tentatively entitled: We are all Americans: Todos Somos Americanos to help fund our trip. The DVD will include the full-unedited interview with President Chavez and pictures from the trip.
To pre-order your copy for $20 (plus $3 shipping), please click BUY NOW:
Or send a check/money for $23 to:
Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox, LLC
PO BOX 6264
VACAVILLE, CA 95696
READ CINDY'S FIRST COLUMN IN CORREO DEL ORINOCO:
Last Rites for the USACindy SheehanFRIDAY | January 29, 2010 | NO. 00 | BS. 0 | CARACASCorreo del Orinoco - English EditionA U.S. Supreme Court case decision from 1886, The County of Santa Clara v. the Southern Pacific Railroad (SPRR), is the reason today that the U.S. is a corporate empire.
Many people mistakenly believe that corporations were given the same rights (not just privileges) as persons in this Supreme Court decision, but nothing could be farther from the truth - the reason my nation is such a dysfunctional system now is not because of a Supreme Court decision, nor a law passed by Congress, nor by a referendum of the people: it's because of a single statement, one sentence, spoken by a Supreme Court Chief Justice before the hearing even began.
The founders of the U.S. did not like corporations and for the first few decades of the existence of this nation, corporations were only given limited "privileges" and not "rights," but after the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1868 - which extended equal protection under the law to all male citizens of the U.S regardless of race - attorneys for the corporations recognized the opportunity that had been gifted to them and started to scheme for corporate personhood.
After many assaults against common law, finally a perfect test case came up before the Supreme Court, the previously referenced case. The case was brought before the Supremes because the SPRR (the Halliburton of the 19th Century) objected to the fact the state of California would not allow it to deduct mortgage costs on its vast holdings from its before tax income as could private citizens.
The Supreme Court did not even try that case to grant corporate personhood - the reason corporations now have 14th Amendment protections is because of a statement made by Chief Justice Waite: "The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does."
This one sentence changed the frame of North American politics in a very corrupt way. 1886 is when the "noble experiment" of representative republicanism died. Despite some populist stabs at "anti-trust" laws and labor unionism, today we find that the U.S. system of government is "by and for" the corporations.
On Thursday, January 21, 2010 - a (little noticed) U.S. Supreme Court decision took our critically ill republic that has been on life support and effectively murdered it.
Our elections have been compromised and the presidential candidates have been chosen for us by the tyranny of the oligarchy for many decades, and we the people of the U.S. are allowed to cast our votes to give us the appearance that we have a voice in our nation, but now with the decision in the recent United Citizens v. The Federal Elections Commission even any appearance of representation for the people has been overturned.
In this decision, the Supreme Court removed limits from corporate campaign expenditures stating that even limiting these contributions in the first place put restrictions on a corporations' 1st Amendment rights to free speech.
Corporations have long held sway over our government and the soft fascism of corporate control has been running things behind the scenes.
However, the decision in United Citizens v. The Federal Elections Commission that expanded a mouth-less and mindless corporation's freedom of speech has effectively gagged 300 million more of us that don't have billions of dollars to buy the votes of our politicians who are just extensions of such crime cartels as Goldman Sachs, anyway.
I believe that United Citizens v. The FEC will go down in the history books as one of the most important, and most destructive Supreme Court decisions in U.S. history and we should just drop all pretense at democracy and call our leaders President Goldman and VP Sachs.
Cindy Sheehan - Cindy Sheehan is a US peace activist and founder of Peace of the Action, an anti-war organization that promotes profound structural change in the US.