Sunday, September 30, 2012

"The War Prayer" by Mark Twain, Read by Cindy Sheehan


Transcript
It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came -- next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams -- visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation

*God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!*
Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory --

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory--*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(*After a pause.*) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

End

Twain apparently dictated it around 1904-05; it was rejected by his publisher, and was found after his death among his unpublished manuscripts. It was first published in 1923 in Albert Bigelow Paine's anthology, Europe and Elsewhere.

The story is in response to a particular war, namely the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902, which Twain opposed.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Capitalism is like an old FRIDGE" (SOAPBOX SEPTEMBER 30, 2012)

CAPITALISM IS LIKE AN OLD REFRIDGERATOR
SEPT. 30, 2012
SOAPBOX
GUEST: PROFESSOR RICHARD WOLFF


This week, Cindy Sheehan, interviews Marxist economics professor, Richard D. Wolff.

Professor Wolff breaks a complicated subject down with easily understood analogies and with prophetic solutions.

Listen at 2pm (PDST) at 
Sunday, September 30th

Anytime by clicking here

Or Subscribing to the Podcasts on iTunes!



RENT SALE!


Just this past week, I have been contacted by three people who recently read my new book, 
Revolution, A Love Story: A Better World is Possible
and all used the same word: DEVOURED.
To help pay rent and bills this month, I am offering an 
autographed copy of the 
book for $10 (including shipping and handling).
You will be helping Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
pay the bills to stay on the air AND you will be 
getting a book to DEVOUR.

CLICK THE PAYMENT BUTTONS, OR SEND A CHECK/MONEY ORDER TO

CINDY SHEEHAN'S SOAPBOX, LLC
PO BOX 6264
VACAVILLE, CA 95696

(PLEASE ALLOW ABOUT 4 WEEKS FOR DELIVERY AND DUE TO THE SPECIAL PRICE, THIS OFFER IS NOT GOOD OUTSIDE THE USA).

OTHER WAYS TO ORDER 
REVOLUTION, A LOVE STORY
CLICK HERE 





QUANTITY




 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Perp Walks by Jon Gold

In no particular order. Wouldn't it be nice?


Dick Cheney


Barack Obama

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Smashing the Silence about the Cuban 5 by Cindy Sheehan

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Smashing the Silence
People’s Tribunal to Free the Cuban 5
Cindy Sheehan

Freedom for the Five Cuban Patriots


Although I don’t want to point a finger of shame at my fellow USAians, I think that we must be the most self-centered and ignorant people on the planet. I would be fully-disgusted with everyone in this country if I didn’t know how propagandized, exploited, and beaten down we are by the propaganda and the mythological “democracy” that we grew up in.
I am somewhat ashamed, though, because, I as one who “woke up” if you will, know how relatively easy it is to obtain the truth about what’s going on inside and outside of our borders. Even though most of us are scrambling to survive we could and do inform ourselves in as little as 10 minutes per day.
I suspect FAR more Americans know about Honey Boo Boo Child then their president’s programs of indefinite detention or targeted extra-judicial executions and I know that more people phone into to vote for the next American Dancing With the Stars Idol than vote for president of the USA.
I try to be sympathetic because before my son was killed, I didn’t go too far out of my way to separate the truth from the B.S. and our family and Casey paid a profoundly unreasonable price for that. Before Casey was killed, I had only traveled outside of the US twice, but now, I have been fortunate enough to travel across the borders extensively.
Me in Havana in January 2007
One place I have been to several times is a place that few American Cold War Babies have been to and that’s Cuba. I want to tell you that going to Cuba has made me a better human being. The Cubans have taught me that everyone’s needs are superior to anyone’s greed and that wasting anything is a mortal sin to humanity. Instead of throwing away a pair of shoes when the sole has separated from the rest of the shoe (like most USAians), glue it—wear it out, use it up, recycle, reclaim and repurpose! Cubans even cleverly refill and reuse disposable lighters. Cuban society is, by mostly necessity of the immoral US blockade, beautifully resourceful while US society is usually appallingly wasteful.
Even though Cuba has an unjustified reputation for being warlike, on the contrary; and as juxtaposed against the US’s obviously warlike government and profiteers, when there is a problem in the world, Cuba sends doctors, engineers and teachers. Since Cuba helped the liberation movement in Angola and paid a high price, not one Cuban troop has left its soil: The US usually sends harm, Cuba sends help!
Adrianna Perez (wife of Gerardo), Me (Giant), and Elizabeth Palmeiro (wife of Ramon)
Since I admire the people of Cuba and am grateful to them for making me a better human, I try to help tell the truth about Cuba and their tribulations imposed by my country as often as possible—to this end, I have become involved in the case of the Cuban 5 and their quest for justice.
The Cuban 5 are five men who came to Florida to infiltrate Cuban counter-revolutionary terrorist cells which had already been responsible for almost 4000 deaths in Cuba and tens of thousands of injuries. 
No one in Cuba had been left unscathed by these acts of terrorism. Many tourists were also killed or harmed as some monstrous terrorists like the still-free and US protected, CIA trained, Luis Posada Carriles, targeted major hotels in tourist areas.  
The Cuban 5: Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González Llort and René González were also willing to share information with the US which led to THEIR arrests in 1998, not the arrests of the terrorists.
Besides their unbelievable arrest, one of the first unjust things that occurred was when the Five were denied a change of venue by federal judge, Joan Lenard. The trial was held in Miami. Miami is notorious for the violence of the Cuban counter-revolutionaries and the jurors were not sequestered and their license plates were photographed by the Cuban counter-revolutionary terrorists. As one of the witnesses at the Toronto tribunal glibly stated, "If Santa Claus were sympathetic to the Cuban Revolution, even HE would not get a fair trial in Miami."
Recently, the most egregious example of jury tampering and disinformation was revealed: the US government paid journalists thousands of dollars to write false propaganda about the case and about the Five! Normally, in any kind of system that valued justice, this mere fact alone would necessitate an immediate reversal of the verdict, or at least, a re-trial! But no, not in the USA. A writ of Habeas Corpus has been filed, but the same judge who denied a change of venue will be charged with reviewing the new damning evidence against institutions of the US regime that conspired to railroad the Five.
The Five Heroes, as they are known in Cuba, came to the US to courageously and nobly root out terrorism. Subsequently,  my son, Casey (and indeed, all of us) was told he was going to Iraq to do the same thing and he was killed by lies and for profit. It’s profoundly unjust that the Cubans are still imprisoned in the US. Incredibly, two of the Five have never been able to see their wives for the last 14 years as they have been denied travel visas.
The Wish of Many Torontans (My seat at Tribunal)
In my support for the Five, I traveled to Toronto for a People’s Tribunal for the Cuban 5 the weekend of September 21st. I took my duties as a “Magistrate of Conscience” very seriously. We heard testimony from legal experts, two wives of the Five and others who were affected by the terrorism.
One of the witnesses, an Italian living in Canada, Livio Di Celmo, had a brother, Favio, who was killed in a hotel in Cuba by the machinations of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. Posada Carrilles was asked in a 1998 interview with the NY Times about Di Celmo’s murder and his callous and chilling response was: “The Italian was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I sleep like a baby.” I know how being a family member of a victim of terrorism must feel, because the terrorists in the Bush regime have also admitted to "sleeping like babies" after all the heartache their actions have wrought. The Bush terrorists walk free and part of the reason that I do what I do and that we held the People's Tribunal was to be the “nightmares” to those “people” who kill and torture innocents for their disordered pleasure/profit.
We magistrates came out with our verdict (read here) that the entire process, which led to the arrest, "trial" and conviction of the Five, was a total travesty, a miscarriage of justice. We urge in the strongest terms possible that Obama free the Five as quickly as possible.
I do this to educate the people of the US and to Smash the Silence surrounding this case.
Free the 5 and all political prisoners!

People's Tribunal Verdict on the Cuban 5

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This People’s Tribunal was convened in Toronto fourteen years after the arrest and detention of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González Llort and René González  in the United States.

After considering all the evidence before this Peoples’ Tribunal, we find:

1.     There is overwhelming and compelling evidence as to the activity of terrorist groups in Southern Florida, groups which have planned and executed terrorist actions against the people of Cuba for decades in contravention of U. S. and international law.

2.     Every country has the right to defend itself and in that context, the Cuban Five acted in the least adversarial and nonviolent manner to prevent acts of terrorism without engaging in actions against the national security of the United States.

3.     The U.S. failed to take any action to prosecute the actual terrorists in Southern Florida.

4.     We find that men that are peacefully trying to prevent terrorism should not be in prison.

5.     This Peoples’ Tribunal condemns the cruel and unwarranted treatment of the Cuban Five during their incarceration.

6.     We find the Trial was a political trial against the Five.

7.     We find there was no credible evidence to support a conviction of conspiracy to commit espionage against the Five.

8.     We find there was no credible evidence to support a conviction of conspiracy to commit murder against Gerardo Hernandez.

9.     We find the U. S. Government interfered in the trial by spending considerable sums of money to pay reporters to write over one thousand printed articles and other television and radio coverage amounting to propaganda which had the unequivocal effect of influencing the outcome of the trial.

10.  We find the court’s decision to deny the motion for change of venue was patently unreasonable in light of jury intimidation and a pervasive environment of hostility against the Five.

11.  Therefore this Peoples’ Tribunal concludes that the Cuban Five were unjustly detained, unjustly prosecuted, and unjustly sentenced, all contrary to international and U.S. domestic law including the U.S. Constitution.  This Peoples’ Tribunal proposes the convictions be quashed, and that Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González Llort and René González be set free immediately, without any restrictions on their liberty.

12.  In the alternative, and in the interest of justice and healing, this Peoples’ Tribunal proposes that the President of the United States should exercise his prerogative of a Presidential Clemency and allow the Five to return home.


Monday, September 24, 2012

A Review Of "9/11 Truther: The Fight For Peace, Justice And Accountability" By Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development (IPRD). It is an independent, non-profit transdisciplinary research network promoting equality, sustainability and security. The IPRD (www.iprd.org.uk) analyses violent conflict in the context of global economic, ecological and energy crises.

He is a bestselling author and international security analyst, specializing in the historical sociology & political ecology of mass violence. Currently focusing on the intersection of global ecological, energy and economic crises, and their linkages with terrorism and state-militarization. His blog is available here, and his latest book and film are available here.

Nafeez was very influential to me over the years. Thank you for this wonderful review.

A bitter dose of heartfelt rationality in a field muddied by conspiracy industry dimwits

Source: Amazon.com

By Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
September 24, 2012

Jon Gold's '9/11 Truther' is a must-read for a number of reasons. On the one hand, I hate the title. Although I've done my part in challenging the official narrative around 9/11 and international terrorism for the last decade, I've never been a great fan of the language of the 'truth movement', which, to me, smacks of an almost religious, cult-like sensibility. And I've been increasingly perturbed by the proliferation of ridiculous theories masquerading as activism, much of which has simply served to distract from the hard task of challenging power. In particular, I've been revolted by the conspiracy theory industry itself that has grown up around the 9/11 question, generating endless proportions of speculative nonsense which obscures the task of holding the 1% to account in pursuit of progressive social transformation for more just, equal and sustainable communities, while generating profits for the proponents of these theories.

But that's what makes Jon's book, with its annoying title, so appealing. Because he confronts all of this, right from the start. Jon Gold is an unabashed 9/11 Truther. But he hates the conspiracy theory industry as much as anyone, has been witch-hunted by a variety of fanatically deranged self-styled 'Troofers', and writes passionately about the 9/11 issue not as the be-all and end-all of activism, but as a critical issue which opens up fundamental questions about politics and society today.

The book opens with Jon's own story, and it's a really heart-wrenching, inspiring narrative of a young man, an average American, a typical 99 percenter, faced with the troubles that so many face in a society that is crumbling under the weight of lack of opportunity, inequality and corrupt government. And we learn how Jon has struggled to overcome his problems, and moreover, how the anomalies and questions around the almost total collapse of the US national security complex that facilitated 9/11 and the events leading up to these horrendous, world-shaking terrorist atrocities, changed Jon.

From a man demoralised by the pressures of living in the rat race of modern capitalism, Jon finds within himself a new spirit, inspired by the extraordinary struggles of the 9/11 Jersey Girls to demand answers from a Bush administration keen to close the book without accountability. And thus begins a story of Jon's journey into the 9/11 movement. Throughout, though, we find the crucial distinction between that minority of people who cling fast to an ethic of rigour, fact-checking, constant questioning, and persistent self-criticism; compared to an unfortunate majority who jump to kneejerk conclusions, indulge in rampant and unverifiable speculation, and perpetually pass judgement on others who disagree with them.

His books sets out not only a map of the most salient and verifiable facts and anomalies around 9/11 and the official narrative, based on solid checkable data, but also catalogues how his refusal to endorse any particular conspiracy theory of 9/11 led to several face-offs with certain individuals who, shall we say, ended up exposing how morally compromised and intellectually challenged they really are. Some of these dialogues are fascinating, and for anyone interested in studying the 'truth movement' as a sociological phenomenon, will find interesting first-hand information here on the conflicts and diversity therein.

But more importantly, we learn a few lessons about what real activism is all about. Unlike his detractors - accusing him invariably of being a "Zionist", a "state agent", among other silly accusations which say more about the people making them than Jon himself - Jon's approach is simple. Check the facts, ask questions, demand accountability, support those doing the same, defend the 9/11 families, remember the victims, recognise the bigger picture, remain engaged in wider social campaigns. From this, we learn that activism is very much about being the change we want to see in the world. If we want to create a world free of violence and war, we need to look at our own ethic. Do we accuse others without evidence? Do we conjecture absurd unverifiable theories and then use them to level unproveable slanders at others? Do we indulge in hysteric personal ad hominem assaults on people we barely know? Do we harbour personal grudges for years, if not decades, for no good reason other than our egos have been fundamentally challenged? If so, then we're not part of the solution, no matter what we believe, or what 'truth' we think everyone else should believe in order to be considered 'worthy'. We're very much part of the problem, part of the system of self-aggrandizement and egoistic acquisition that has led to the world we see around us, led to events like 9/11.

Jon's inspiring journey shows us that there's another way, dignified, and based on real, personal integrity. And because of that, his book offers us a powerful guidebook to people not familiar with these issues, to get a firsthand insight into why asking questions about state-narratives of terrorism remains ever more critical over a decade after 9/11, and most of all, to grasp the difference between asking with inner sincerity and lashing out due to inner fragmentation. Thanks Jon, for taking the time to share with us your journey; and bon voyage!

The book is available here.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Peoples' Tribunal Seeks Justice For The Cuban Five - Cindy Sheehan


To listen to the full press conference, click here.

To read more about the tribunal, click here.

(Restorative) Justice for Rachel Corrie

Cindy and Craig Corrie on August 28, 2012

On September 19, 
 Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox 
sponsored a National Community Conference Call with
the parents of courageous, Rachel Corrie, 
Cindy And Craig.

Cindy and Craig just returned back to the States
from Palestine where they were to hear the verdict of 
the lawsuit they filed against the government of Israel 
for the wrongful death of their daughter, Rachel--Cindy and Craig were generous with their time and energy in talking about the case, verdict, and future.



Dozens of community members joined the call.

BONUS GUEST:
SIMON MOYLE OF 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

or

Listen at 2pm Pacific Time at:
Community Progressive Radio


Cindy Sheehan - One Of Her First Speeches - November 2004


In one of her first speeches after the death of her son, Casey, in Iraq, Cindy Sheehan movingly questions Bush about the war and why her son was sent there. Illustrated with pictures from her web site. November 2004, at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarians.

Cindy Sheehan at the Monsanto Shutdown in Davis - Occupy Anniversary 9/17/12

Friday, September 21, 2012

TROY ANTHONY DAVIS, RIP






CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE BROADCAST


October 9, 2011 (SOAPBOX #112) - Cindy brings aboard Martina Correia, sister of the likely innocent - but still executed - Troy Davis.  Today we all dwell in a dungeon of economically-driven inequality, where so-called "cop-killers" are put to death but killer cops go free with at most a slap on the wrist. (Ask the relatives of Oscar Grant, executed by BART police as he lay on the ground, unarmed and fully cooperating.  The unprovoked killing was captured on numerous videos and went viral on YouTube.  Oscar's killer was eventually found guilty of "involuntary manslaughter.)"  Now it's too late for Oscar.  It's also too late for Troy.  And back in the present day, Martina is carrying on the fight for accountability.  Cindy and Martina discuss this killing, who is responsible and how they can be held to account for what they've done.  They talk about the Georgia Parole Board - which will spare the life of one who pleads "guilty," but vengefully kills any who insist on their innocence.  This is state sponsored killing of the innocent.  Of course, bear in mind that some who proclaim their "innocence" are actually guilty; but who among us are wise enough to NEVER make a mistake?  Who is wise enough to carry the burden of choosing life or death - for others?  Cindy and Martina continue to explore the relevant issues here.  Please use the title link above this paragraph to listen in to Cindy and Martina!



CLICK TO DONATE TO THE SOAPBOX

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PODCAST: WHAT ABOUT OBAMA?

WHAT ABOUT OBAMA?
 
CINDY'S PODCAST CALLING FOR A 
WAR CRIMES' TRIAL AT THE HAGUE
FOR GEORGE W. BUSH AND HIS
SUCCESSOR, IMPERIALIST, OBAMA
 
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

SHEEHAN VS. MONSANTO!

ON THE 1ST ANNIVERSARY OF OCCUPY WALL STREET, CINDY SHEEHAN BLASTS MONSANTO AND 
ENTHUSIASTICALLY ENDORSES 
PROP 37 IN CALIFORNIA
(GMO FOOD LABELING)
 
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
 
 
CLICK TO CONTRIBUTE TO CINDY SHEEHAN'S SOAPBOX
 
 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thinking Outside the Ballot Box? Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox Sept 16, 2012

Sunday, Sept 16
 
Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
 
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BALLOT BOX?

This week, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox presents a
National Conference call/debate/dialogue
with one of the leading proponents of the
Boycott strategy: Terri Lee.
 
 
We had a lively discussion and I hope you can listen to the recording of the interview/debate/dialogue.
 
CLICK IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD SHOW
 


 

Occupy Wall Street One Year Anniversary - 9/15/2012


Occupy Wall Street is having their 1 year anniversary events from 9/15 - 9/17 in NYC. 9/17 being the actual anniversary.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Little Tribute To Cindy Sheehan


My hero and a National Treasure. It says so in the video. ;)

Shutdown Monsanto! September 17



I will be speaking after 10am.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's Past Time to End the US War OF Terror



On this day, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox wishes to extend heartfelt sympathy to everyone who was killed that day and since, including, but not limited to, Americans killed on 9/11/2001.
 
Eleven years of US led terror in the Middle East and Africa has left devastation in its wake and near financial collapse here on the home front.
 
A new Democrat president has exploited that tragic day to expand the Bush regime's War OF Terror and has been able to continue the policies with a "mandate" from a Democratic base that is willing to literally allow Obama to "get away with murder."
 
I, as always and forever, mourn the loss of my son, Casey, in Iraq, but understand that the universal pain my country causes is not limited to just me, or my family.
 
The wars must be ended before they end all of us.
 
 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Gospel According to Gee by Diane Gee

"This is the day that Capitalism has made, let us Revolt and be Mad in it!"

Its Monday, and if you are "lucky enough" to have a job?  Chances are pretty good you are doing the work of 2 or 3 others who have been "downsized" and their load "streamlined" onto you.  Chances are really good you have no benefits, aren't really making ends meet and are stressed to the breaking point.  Chances are excellent that you are non-union, and if you have one, its probably in name only and you are losing pay and being forced to accept cuts that once were unimaginable to you.  You hate Mondays, but feel obligated to feel lucky about your crappy work for your crappy pay, because, hey, "At least I still have a paycheck!"

Now, if you are unemployed?  You live in daily fear.  You likely feel marginalized; resentful and bitter that you are being painted as a slacker, inferior, and have no safety net.  Hell, even if you had someone to take you and yours in, they are probably in much the same boat.  Mondays are reminder that you have nothing to show for yourself. You may have had a dream... but now you have reruns if you can afford cable. You have the time to do all those projects you once hoped to do, but not the resources to pay for them. You're probably too depressed to feel like doing anything anyway.  "Why fix a house the bank will end up with?"  Mondays feel like guilt.

Either way?  You probably look back with some sort of nostalgia to when it seemed there were jobs that paid well, people had excess income for things like boats, cottages, vacations and might even be able to send their daughters to college.

What you probably don't see is the difference between then and now, and how it came to be.  
Capitalism here started as land barons, railroad barons, sweatshop owners and poor houses.
Every single benefit your family once enjoyed was put in place because of Socialist programs.
Not "regulated capitalism" programs, but SOCIALIST programs.  Unions.  5 day work week.  Vacation time.  Cost of Living wage increases.  Health care supplements.  Safe workplaces.  Public education.  Banning child labor.  Social Security.  Unemployment.  Fire Departments.  Garbage pick up. Roads.  Bridges. All SOCIALIST!

Every.  Single.  Thing.  You once liked best was not the result of Capitalism working well for you, it was because some socialist or communist group organized people and forced the Capitalists to cave in and let us have a degree of Socialism.

Photobucket


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"Blessed are the Socialists, for they shall be called the Saviors of all Mankind.."

Here's a little tidbit I learned today.

You know that 70 dollar pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans you want?  They are made in Bangladesh by workers who get paid about about 40 cents to make them.  In fact, their garment workers make an average $30.00 a MONTH. They do not get overtime, don't get time off, and the corporations have been bribing the local police to "off" people's advocates who try and organize them, or even bring suits on their behalf. (see page 4)
"Wealthy businessmen in particular have a history of buying police support to increase profit margins," the report stated, citing a human rights lawyer who complained of "numerous examples of garment factory owners bribing police officials to force workers protesting late wages to work."

The American Mythos says that "That's a lot of money" to "those" people, when in fact poverty is rife in Bangladesh. Its also why they outsourced your job.  
At first blush, we can be enraged that they outsourced our jobs, although they claim lower prices an your need for lower prices as the cause.  Except 140% markup isn't lower prices, its fucking robbery. Even if you took 100% markup for overhead and said the jeans cost them a whole dollar to make?  Someone is making 69 bucks a pair. Times many pairs a day by each worker, times many workers, times many factories.  Silas Chou who now owns Tommy Hilfiger is worth a cool 1.3 billion.  Ralph Lauren is worth an even cooler 6.1 billion. 10 guys in Bangladesh that the US corps deal with are worth about 7 billion combined. Yeah, I spent a couple hours doing all the math.


The average income in Bangladesh is $838 a year. 31.5% of their citizens live below world poverty rates (which is much more generous than US standards - in other words poorer than what we call poor)  So, you cannot say in good faith, they are "lucky" to be working for us.

So, the point to all of the above is simple.  You aren't doing better.  They aren't doing better? So who is doing better?  A handful of Capitalists at the Top.

This is not the result of a Democrat or a Republican, or any election ever held in public.  This is not only the natural result of Capitalism, this is the INTENDED result of Capitalism.  

This is exactly why those who do hold those Board of Director votes in private work relentlessly to eliminate any Socialist programs that stand in the way of their profits; work harder to rescind any gains made by Workers and Unions.  Before the "global economy" allowed import and export, they needed US workers.  They no longer do.  They want to "shock" us into the belief that we MUST endure austerity and take less pay, live with less and work harder or ~gasp~ the "economy" will fail.
Here's a news flash for you. "Our" economy already has failed.  "Their" economy has never done better.

It is Capitalism doing exactly what Capitalism is supposed to do.  Enrich the Rich.
Socialism hates that shit. Socialism hates Poverty.  Socialism is your brave big brother who beats the crap out of the bully who has been stealing your lunch money every day.

Socialism does not want to close your small business, and not let you buy whatever you want with the profits of your labor.  It just ensures you cannot exploit anyone in the process.  As a Socialist, you cannot have real Freedom unless you have choices.  And you cannot have true choices until all your basic needs are met:  Shelter, water, food, clothing, health and education.  If you are insecure in any of those, losing your home, unable to feed your kids, unable to make educated decisions, etc - you are not free.  You are imprisoned by fear and suffering.

We can no longer expect the Capitalists to give us anything back.  We can no longer afford to be isolationist and just want the US to be rich again. In order to be paid a wage reasonable enough to buy the products we produce, someone at the top has got to give up that 140% percent profit.

The only way we do not become a world of serfs serving elites is to stand up and demand all People of the World be treated fairly.  The world is not ruled by Politicians, my friends, it is run by those who control its resources, and all access to them.  The Elites.

Point in case, this Australian Gem...

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"Blessed are the Peace Activists, for they shall End the ultimate Evils of War."
I hate to break it to you, but there have been more than 4 or 5 wars.  Most people in the US can name the Revolutionary, Civil, both World Wars, Vietnam, and maybe, maybe Korea.  The only other war they know is the war on "terror" and something about Iraq. We have been spoon fed "bad guys" that want to "take your freedom(s)" or maybe have some kind of super scary weapon that they somehow can deliver to the country that houses the best intelligence in the World, and a military bigger than the rest of the world combined.

It may sound glib, but as Noam Chomsky says, "Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way:  Stop participating in it."

Lets talk a little about what being a "client state" means:   A country that is dependent on the economic or military support of a larger, more powerful country.
We in the United States have been brainwashed with the "evils" of Communism and the worries of Socialism. Red Scare.  Pink Tide. All words we have been taught to hate as reflexively as a mongoose faced with a cobra.  We have fought countless wars against tiny nations like El Salvador, not because, as Reagan said we were worried about their nutmeg production.  It was because rather than allow US businesses to take over that production, they set a precedent of autonomy with Socialist ideals that helped their poor.  We fought an undeclared war against them for over 10 years, ending in 1992. (presumably, the CIA still is there)

Take a scroll through the list of our military operations and look for any name other than Hitler's that is not "pink" or unfriendly to US businesses? It gets way, way more obvious when you read the CIA Regime Change List.  They flat out admit they will go to any lengths to ensure a US-economic friendly regime.  By US-friendly, it doesn't mean they want to invite you to dinner.  It means Survival of the Greediest Capitalist friendly.  

Our military, our "intelligence" agencies are being used as the personal guard of the richest to ensure they get richer.  And when anyone gets richer?  They only do so by making someone else poorer. We didn't go to war to save lives.  We didn't go to war because we were threatened.  We went to war because someone wanted to go in, use the natural resources of a country and have cheap labor so they could reap a huge-ass profit off it, which they in turn used to donate to politicians that would send our military to do it again elsewhere.

WE HAVE BEEN IN THOUSANDS OF WARS OF ACQUISITION
Self-sustaining communities decimated, villages moved, water supplies polluted, generations bombed back into the stone age.  Women burying their children, husbands burying their wives.  All in the name of a system that seeks to fuck you as it fucks other.  All in the name of stopping the ideal of Socialism that seeks to help you as it helps others.

Worse?  They do it without our consent, half the time without our knowledge... and do it with our money and in our names.

Now they do it while telling us that any and all of the "Socialist" programs standing between us and the streets have to be cut.

Ending wars will not only stop the wholesale mass murder happening by us to the world, it will stop creating enemies where were once only families.  It will bring back the collective buying power for the good of all the people to actually HELP the PEOPLE.

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This is the day Capitalism has created... starvation, global warming, food insecurity, homelessness, disease and an entire world being diminished to the lowest of classes while the Elites rise to ever greater riches.

I want a World Revolution.  We have to Unite.  We have to stop teaching our children hatred, like these Israeli youths mocking a woman who was evicted from her home, so they could expand onto her land...

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We have to refuse to fight for our masters in their wars, refuse to fight Iranian, refuse to fight Pakistanis, refuse to fight the Yemen.

We have to end wars to create the unity to break the backs of the Elite Class and their Capitalistic Predation.

We need to look to one another and say this instead....

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We need to feel righteous anger, anger that Capitalism has killed all that is good and right, and is in free-fall (for us) and feel righteous love to ensure that Socialism and the good of all becomes the climb out of this pit of inequity.

So everyone can have roads, homes, food, health care, fire departments, educated children, clean air and water... all those things we really loved.


Then, and only then, the Gospel of Gee shall read:

"This is the day that Socialism has made, let us Rejoice and be Glad in it!"

Sunday, September 9, 2012

NATIONAL CONFERENCE CALL: JUSTICE FOR RACHEL CORRIE

Palestinian Rally calling for Justice for Rachel



On March 16th, 2003, Palestinian rights' activist, 23 
year old, Rachel Corrie, was run over by a 
Caterpillar bulldozer while she was trying to save
homes in Rafah, Palestine.

Rachel's parents sued the state of Israel and the Defense Ministry, and the verdict was recently given--surprisingly, Israel did not hold Israel accountable.

Cindy and Craig, Rachel's parents will participate in a National Conference Call for Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox on 

Weds, September 19th at
4pm Pacific Time

Please participate to hear about the case and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice

Call in number:
218 632 0995

Code:
73223#

To ask a question during the Q and A, please submit your question, name and location to:

CindySheehansSoapbox@gmail.com

Cindy Sheehan will moderate the call and it will be recorded and 
played on Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox on
Sunday, September 23rd

ARTICLE:












Freedom by Cindy Sheehan


Freedom
Cindy Sheehan
“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
Kris Kristofferson, Bobby McGee
 "Freedom isn't free,"
Any number of right-wing, knee-jerk, reactionaries
I am a member (and VP2012 candidate) of the Peace and Freedom Party.
Although not universally accepted, I think my peace activism is well understood: I was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 and have received many peace awards from all over the world for my global anti-Empire work.
True Freedom
But, freedom—what is that? What does it even mean? Recently, I was asked towards the end of an interview by a Libertarian friend of mine, in Austin, named, Jack Blood, what “liberty means” to me. “Liberty" cannot be defined without using the word “freedom” and I would like to concentrate on the concept of “freedom,” because liberty is just freedom. Anyway, Jack asked me a hard question and before I give my answer, I want to explore what “freedom” might mean to different people.
I went to Dictionary.com to get a working definition of “freedom” and these are the definitions and my thoughts.
1. The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
No matter how bad I think we have things here in the United Police States of America, there are millions who have it a lot worse—those being held in US prisons as political prisoners, or there for non-violent crimes or non-violent “3rd strike” violations. Torturers of state, murderers in the Military Industrial Complex and banksters who are responsible for collapsing economies roam the planet free, while people like Bradley Manning, the Cuban 5, Mumia, Leonard Pelletier and Lynne Stewart are incarcerated because they dared to speak out against the status quo.
I am a war tax refuser and for about a year now, the IRS and the Department of Justice have persecuted me and I just received another notice today that the IRS has summoned my bank records in an effort to find my millions, I suppose. I feel angry, but at least I am not in prison or in Af/Pak, or any other place where the US is dropping bombs.
To the unfortunate people the US is bombing, freedom may mean the freedom from constant potential obliteration. Kind of makes my problems (recent root canal, infection; and stolen bike) of the past week, or so, pale in comparison.
The next two parts of the definition seem Libertarian in flavor to me and where I think Jack Blood would come from (I am not picking on him—I truly do love him and have a lot of good friends who happen to be either Libertarian or libertarian—Jack is just being used as a catchall person) and I am lumping the definitions together because they sound almost the same:
2. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. The power to determine action without restraint.
I have spoken, or written, many times about how my son, Casey’s, death in Iraq resulted in some unintended, but, now I think, positive “freedoms” for me. I left a marriage that hadn’t worked for a long while. I left the church. I left behind the old idea of what being a “law-abiding” citizen meant. I became an outlaw by doing repeated acts of civil resistance and not paying my income taxes to a corrupt and murderous government. I stopped being a debt and wage slave. I freed myself from the ownership mentality and sold my car and gave away most of my possessions. I have become “free” of any institution that thought it had, or wanted control over me.
It hasn’t been easy and, even though I have renounced and denounced this state, I still live here and I would never think of doing anything to hurt any one else. All of that sounds L(l)ibertarian-y, doesn’t it? But even though I do know many L(l)ibertarians, I don’t know very many who practice what Ron Paul preaches (even Ron Paul, himself).
However, I would actively support with my being and with my money a state that put caring for people before killing them. I always wear my seatbelt when I am in a car and I wear a helmet when I ride my bike—not because Big Brother tells me to, but because it makes sense to me. Some strains of anarchism seem so selfish to me and being involved in a caring community where principles of humanism are fostered seems to me to be an ideal way of living and goes with the answer I gave to Jack about what “liberty” means to me.
I choose to live the way I live. It’s on one hand a very freeing way to live and on the other hand, it’s very difficult. I know that many people are in my same boat, not because they chose to be here, but the situation was forced on them by the cyst-em that really enslaves us.
For example, talking about my infection, root canal, and bike—any of these difficulties would not exist in a free society that cared about its citizens.
When my jaw started aching about two weeks ago, my first thought was: “Oh shit! What’s wrong with me? I don’t have health insurance, I don’t have dental insurance, and I don’t have any money.” In a free society that cared about its citizens, my first, and only thought, should have been: “I need to call the doctor and go see him/her in the morning.” After I isolated the pain to a tooth that had a recent crown put on it, my second thought was: “Oh shit! I have to borrow a car, buy gas, pay bridge tolls and go to SF to see my dentist.” I feel fortunate that I have a dentist that will let me make payments to her, but I should have the option for close/free/good dental care in my own community.
The day after my visit to the dentist and expensive root canal (thank goodness, I can make payments!), I needed to go to the Post Office that is two miles from my home. I walked out the door to hop on my trusty bike, Roxy (Schwinn cruiser with a basket, bell, and comfy seat), only to find that someone had liberated her from my ownership! I was devastated and in a free society that cared about people, public transportation that is low cost, accessible, and doesn’t take over an hour to go two miles would be readily available. I can (and do) walk the two miles in less than 30 minutes--but what about elderly or disabled people? What about mothers with young children? Why are our choices so limited--it's not because most of us are "lazy."
So, what did I tell Jack about liberty and its meaning to me?
Liberty, to me is the freedom from daily struggle.
The freedom to raise children in a peaceful world where war is obsolete and the air is clean and water from the tap is drinkable.
The freedom to grow our own food, or medicine, without hassle and, if that’s not possible, to go to the local grocer and purchase food that is free of poisons and GMOs and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
The freedom to seek health care that promotes health and not sickness as a right, not a privilege.
The freedom to an excellent and comprehensive education as a right, not a privilege.
The freedom to housing that is warm and secure, as a right, not a privilege.
The freedom to retire at a reasonable age with a good pension and benefits as a right, not a privilege.
The right to a good and meaningful job with decent wages and benefits as a right, not a privilege.
The above very basic things are basic human rights and should not be only privileges for the 1% and a cystem that denies these rights to most of its citizens is a cystem of chattel slavery and is not free.
The last Dictionary.com definition of freedom puts all the others in perspective:
         4. Political or national independence.
Even though, as I have demonstrated, here in the US we don’t have a free society where even our basic Constitutional Freedoms in the Bill of Rights are vigorously protected and not persecuted when it serves the Ruling Class, at least our communities aren’t surrounded by thick steel walls and we aren’t regularly strafed or bombed like the Gazans are by Israel, for example.
However, we are in bondage to the “two” party political system here—where only money and lies are able to “speak” and have power. Elections are about as “free” here in the US as they are in any other one-party political structure. 
John Steinbeck said that the reason Socialism never took root in America is because Americans don't think of themselves as "poor" but, "temporarily embarrassed millionaires." We must also break our chains of bondage to this myth that one must struggle with less, because there is anybody out there (including you or I) that deserves more. We are humans, we have an inalienable right to these human rights. 
The struggle for a free society belongs with We the People and our victory can only occur when we break our chains of bondage to the murderous Empire and freely build bonds of community with each other.