CS: Cindy Sheehan
MM: Malachy McCourt
CS: Welcome back to Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox. I am your host Cindy Sheehan and you are listening at CindySheehansSoapbox.com.
Well I’m heading to New York City tomorrow (note: I didn't make tat trip and decided to stay home and attend Occupy Sacramento) to attend the Occupy Wall Street protest on Saturday. I am going to Boston on Sunday and I am going to be speaking at the Occupy movement of Boston and I think it is an exciting movement but my question to the movement is what’s next? I will be writing reports for my blog at CindySheehanssoapboxblogspot.com. I will be doing some interviews while I am there to play on the air for next week and the week after.
My guest today and I am so honored and thrilled to have him, he is politician, actor, writer and raconteur and a very dear man Malachy McCourt. Malachy welcome to Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox.
MM: Grand to be with you again Cindy. Good to hear your voice and good to know you are still keeping the good fight going.
CS: Well you too. You never stop. I was looking through your website and your Wikipage and I was really delighted to see that I am mentioned on your Wikipedia page for endorsing you when you ran for governor of New York and that was an whole hearted endorsement I gave you. Please tell my listeners the very sweet story about how we first met.
MM: It came about when I saw in the paper a picture of one son kissing the coffin of the lad that was killed in, God I forget…
MM: In the war. I was very touched by that. But what struck me was, well the direct connection in that, my mothers name was Sheehan, Angela. My brother Frank had written a book called Angela’s Ashes, which catapulted our family in to some sort of fame. Anyway that connection and jut on an impulse I rang your town and I saw there were about twenty Sheehan’s there and the first one just happened to be your listed phone number. So we got on the phone and I told you that I was touched and moved by the picture in the paper. So that was the beginning of our friendship. Then you came and spoke at the Martin Luther King affair at the Riverside Church and you stayed at our house with the family. We distributed the family amongst friends and then you subsequently you endorsed to my delight, you endorsed my run for Governor on the Green Party ticket in 86, 96,..
MM: (laughing) I’m losing it Cindy!
CS: First of all I’m pretty sure we are kin and secondly my ex-husband who was my husband at the time his name is Patrick and you have a brother named Patrick.
MM: An uncle.
CS: An uncle named Patrick, He was Patrick Sheehan?
MM: Patrick Sheehan.
CS: Okay. When my Patrick was younger he went to Catholic School and his Priest kept telling him there was a song in Ireland called the Ballad of Patrick Sheehan.
CS: He finally heard it. So anyway Malachy I was very touched when you called. It was just a few days after we buried Casey and it made a big difference to my family. And I have to tell you that I interview on Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox some very interesting and amazing people and when I tell my children who I interview, they know my are just usually, "oh that’s just what mom does," but when I told them I was interviewing you they all very excited and they told me to pass their love on to you and to Diana and to the extended family that we got to know when we came and visited you that year.
MM: Lovely, it was a lovely time and it was bittersweet remembering Casey. We all got to know him too even in death. We know that what you’re doing for humanity is so needed and praiseworthy. And that you have not stopped is a great tribute to your own spirit cause you could have retired and in your grief and been miserable and quiet but you decided the best thing you could do was bring comfort and to make those that inflict war and who kill our children, that they must be brought to justice. I believe those that send peoples children to war must be tried for war crimes. Especially when they spread lies about weapons of mass destruction and all that sort of rubbish. Your occupation of George Bush’s town in 2 ways was just wonderful and it was I found ironic and funny what you did. I know it’s not meant to be comedic but it was just such a wonderful thing to do to just camp at his doorstep.
CS: Well it was very ballsy wasn’t it?
MM: It was indeed.
CS: I mean like you said quote unquote going to the doorstep of the most powerful man in the world was kind of ballsy. I want to remind people that we did that in the day before MySpace, Twitter or Facebook. Now all the revolutions are Face Book and Twitter revolutions or uprisings. So anyway, I know that you know and you can identify and that’s one of the reasons that I supported you when you ran for governor because you can identify with the 99 percenters. You’ve been there. You’ve been desperately poor in your life. You have gone out to the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’m going there Saturday. I’d like you to tell me and my listeners what you have observed there.
MM: It is brilliant in its conception and absolutely astounding in it’s inception and it is very clever in it’s deception of the people who are running the country at this moment. What is happening there is the strategy is of course; never let the enemy know what you are up to. Because the folks are not making demands there as people usually do, they usually have a list of demands they’re letting the enemy guess what those demands are, what those needs are, what those requirements are. But what’s its doing is they are attempting to re float the ship that those bastards in Wall Street have sunk. And they have gotten away in luxurious yachts and left our ship sinking.
I think that we are helping them, those young folks down there to clear up this mess. Now I’m not sure whether their tactics are going to work because after the Vietnam War draft was somewhat lifted the whole antiwar movement stopped and yet we have wars just about everywhere. We have thieves like Cheney and Halliburton and Black Water all robbing the country blind. Wall Street is profiting. They’re all supposed to be patriots. If they were that bloody well patriotic why don’t they do everything nonprofit to help our country win the war on terrorism, which we are guilty of ourselves?
CS: Right. Well speaking of that you know I haven’t quit because the wars of course aren’t over and Obama has expanded the wars in to Pakistan, into Libya. Now they have all this fabrication going about Iran. Carl Levin who the chairman of the War committee, or something in the Senate--I can’t remember what it’s called. He called the fabrication of the Iranian who was making a plan to maybe assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador, he called that an "act of war." So we have a two party system that is basically a War Party or the Wall Street Party and that’s why I haven’t stopped, because these things are still happening. I don’t think that the Democrats are friends of the worker or friends of peace. So where should the movement be going? What’s the specific strategy that goes beyond just camping out?
MM: Well I think that when the Vietnam antiwar was going on it brought together a whole lot of people with disparate viewpoints. Now what it is we need to bring together people, we’re bogged down with a two party system.
The two party system here is like Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola both full of rubbish. They’re both sugar and water, they’re both poison, they’re addictive and people are still thinking that it’s democracy and it’s not democracy to have just those choices. What I think, what I see down here and I hope it continues is that we are beginning to exercise the right to think and we need to exercise the right to choose. I hope it spreads across the world.
Now we have these capitalists, these robber barons who have planes, they have yachts, they have limousines, they have the latest equipment, they have huge mansions, they have apartments. They fly here and there. They go anywhere they want. Get tables anywhere they want and they deduct every bit of that. Now here’s what I want and would like because I have just hit the age of 80 years old. I have been an actor, a writer and a protester and still protesting and marching, I need this body of mine, it’s the only one I have they gave it to me when I was born and I haven’t been able to trade it in yet. I can’t find the bloody garage that will take it and give me a new one.
So here’s what I want Cindy. I want that I could put a value, a price I should say not a value, they have Warren Buffet and they say he’s worth I think it’s about 60 billion as is Bill Gates. They say he worth, now I don’t know what anybody is worth all I know is suppose we put a ten million price on my body. Now I want, as I grow older that I have deterioration of my body. I want to be able to take off, I broke my leg for example so they put a million on my leg, a broke hip, put another million as years go on I want to be able to deduct the failure of my organs and when I die I want my family to be able to deduct ten million dollars off their taxes no matter how long it takes to go through that. As well as these fellows taking off their yachts and their planes, they get back, they can take them all off where as we can’t unless our bills are over seven thousand dollars, medical bills that is. But there’s no value on our lives. No price and I want the price, I want to be near to Warren Buffet if possible.
CS: Do you see this as a crisis of capitalism and do you think that there might be a chance for some kind of income equality or income justice without peace with our government spending billions of dollars a month on these wars?
MM: The pentagon Cindy spends 47 million dollars every hour of every day of every week of every month 47 million dollars. I mean when we finish speaking they will have spent close to 50 million dollars today. Now that is absolutely useless and a waste of our resources. So unless our here’s what happening is that our young folks are not informed, they’re not reading and they twitter in 149 characters is not going to make anyone literate. We have to know what is going on in the world and we have to know what is going on in the world right now.
We need each of us, now I am powerless over anybody else. And as we know and you know well too Cindy and you’ve been doing it. We can only sweep our own side of the street. Now if I do that and I know I am absolutely certain you will be there too and you will be there for me and then our families and they will be on either side of us then somebody on the other side of us will say well I better sweep my side of the street and just like those young folks down on Occupy Wall Street cleaning up. The mayor wants to move them out Mayor Bloomberg. But they say, no we’ll do it ourselves and that’s terrific.
CS: And I hope they stand their ground.
MM: But I don’t know if that capitalistic mode will fade from here because there is a great deal of comfort to be hand in the capitalistic system and just about everybody thinks they will eventually be multi-millionaires too. But that’s a lot of bull rubbish.
CS: Well they’re saying of course I have a concern about the movement that we will talk about next. But the corporate media, which I do watch because I think it is good to always know what the propaganda is then we know how to respond to it. But they’re all talking about this occupy Wall Street movement as a class war and they are talking as if it is a bad thing for it to be a class war.
Now you mentioned Warren Buffet and he himself said, "of course it is a class war and it’s my class, the wealthy class, that is winning." They only call it a class war when our side fights back. I think to put it in those terms is very instructive and it causes a lot of good dialogue where yes our class is literally being strangled to death while Warren Buffets class is doing fine.
MM: Well what happens is of course, as we know, the nature of war generally speaking is that nobody declares war unless they’re pretty sure of winning. Now the one percent have declared war on the rest of America. On the 99 percent cause they’re sure of winning because they are holding all the cards and the money. Now as you know when I ran for governor one things that I wanted to do was as chief magistrate of the state I wanted to make sure that if George Bush who was the President ever crossed my state line of New York I was going to have him arrested and tried for war crimes. So of course every body said that’s absolutely ridiculous, you can’t arrest the President.
Well you can arrest criminals and he is a criminal. Now the one percent are fairly sure of winning this class war. They have declared the war and therefore we have to respond by fighting back and making sure that all those thieves, all those thugs, all those robbers have to be tried for what they did to America. They robbed us blind and torpedoed the ship of state and its time they were tired for all that robbery. They’re getting away with it and that’s one thing we have to see. We talk about this being a land of laws.
CS: Well and I back in 2008 when I was running for congress, but I thought you didn’t run for governor Malachy I thought you stood for governor.
MM: I stood.
CS: When I stood for congress and I stood for congress against Nancy Pelosi 2008. Way back then the Democrats and Republicans conspired to give Wall Street and almost one trillion dollar bailout and I thought it would be a good protest to build like guillotines out of balsa wood and cardboard and tin foil and out them on wheels and silently walk up and down Wall Street. I thought that the Wall Street robbers would get that message but everybody at the time said, "no, no we can’t do that, that’s too radical," or whatever.
MM: You were ahead of your time.
CS: I was ahead of my time. But anyway in 2005 when I camped out, when I occupied Crawford Texas and where we had a real chance I think of actually making a difference Democrats and Democrat organizations swooped in, they took control, they co-opted that movement just to elect Democrats. I am afraid that is going to be the fate of this Wall Street movement because as I already said the Democrats are obviously not friends of the working class or the robbed class. They’re one of the Wall Street parties and if the movement is used to have Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House again. To reelect Obama to the White House then the movement will literally be killed at that point.
MM: I think the Senate is just filled with multi-millionaires on both sides of the aisle and the same thing with the so called House of Representatives and honesty goes by the board as they cross the threshold and they take the oath. They’re all committing perjury when they take the oath because they are not upholding the constitution of the United States. They’re upholding their bank accounts and the bank. That’s what’s happening. They should be honest. And you know the definition of an honest politician is one who when he’s bought he stays bought. That’s what an honest politician is. These fellows and women they’re all the same, many of them anyway. There are some decent ones in there but unfortunately I think we are in the hands of a majority of thugs and thieves.
CS: Absolutely. Well Malachy we are running out of time. Do you have any more words of wisdom for myself and my listeners?
MM: Live every day like this will be your last, because one day you will be right. Here in American it’s optimism of the will and pessimism of the intellect. And we’re going to be okay as long as we’re together. We’ll keep talking and we’ll keep marching. That’s what it is. Thank you Cindy.
CS: Thank you for being on the show, Malachy.
Thanks to Dede Miller for transcribing the show.
Thanks to Dede Miller for transcribing the show.