Thursday, May 31, 2012


This is the premiere of Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox!

Guests, singer/songwriter, Graham Nash.

and, economist, Richard Cook.

Give this "blast from the past" a listen!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Reflections on FreeDUMB by Cindy Sheehan


Cindy Sheehan

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
Jim Morrison

We perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices...the least the rest of us can do is resist honoring the institution (Warfare State)”  James Garner in the Americanization of Emily

Memorial Day is a double-gut wrencher for my family and me. Our son, brother (posthumous Uncle) and friend, Casey (who was killed in the illegal and disastrous war on Iraq), was born 33 years ago about one hour and one minute past Memorial Day on May 29th.

As I have written and said many times before, for most people Memorial weekend is a weekend of parades, cookouts and sleeping in. Our family used to have a big party for Casey’s birthday every year on Memorial weekend—never even suspecting that it would turn out to be such a sad weekend because for those of us who have had loved ones murdered by the Empire, it’s vastly different. No matter how many flags “patriots” display this weekend they can never know the pain.

After Casey’s funeral and the ceremony at the local cemetery, the limousines brought our family back to the church hall where several restaurants and many community members had set a lavish spread and for the first time since my life was shattered, I was starving. However, even though I was on the verge of collapse, I was forced to go into a room with some local veterans to receive my Gold Star from an older woman who had her only two sons killed in Vietnam. I was in shock and received this demented medal as fast as I could, without much reflection, so I could eat sit down and eat.
Not long after that, I received an application to join the Gold Star Mothers of America ®. For some reason, I never returned the application and later, as my understanding of why my son was killed grew, my relief that I never joined the mostly pro-war organization grew and I was involved in founding an opposite organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, at the end of 2004.

In fact, I am a question in the FAQ’s of the Gold Star Mothers of America group:

Is Cindy Sheehan part of your group?

Cindy Sheehan is currently in the news. She and her organization have no connection whatever with American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. We are a 501 C(3) organization and, as such, do not engage in political activities. We do support our troops. After all, they are our children.

Of course, this answer assumes that people who work for peace don’t support the troops. How ironic this meme is when even CiaNN is noticing that 18 veterans commit suicide each and every day—over 6500 per year—more per year than have been killed by the “enemy” in over ten years of the US’s War of Terror. Does “supporting the troops” mean sending them to wars based on lies for profit, then discarding them when they return? Apparently to many reactionaries, this is the case.

This morning, a friend sent me an article about a documentary being made about the organization Gold Star Mothers of America ®, and the subject line was: You (meaning me) won’t be in it. Reading the article, I found that one of the goals of the filmmakers is to “raise awareness about what it means to be a Gold Star Mother and open Americans’ eyes — especially young people — to the sacrifice that has kept them free.”

So, in actuality, the goal of the movie is to promote the Warfare State propaganda that the US military is used to keep us “free” here in the states. I really wish that I could delude myself into believing that I am freer because my son died, but even if I believed that I don’t even know what it means. Even if this ephemeral freedom existed, what kind of “freedom” has to be purchased by another’s death? Patriotic mumbo jumbo jargon is no replacement for a son.

The Gold Star mother who gave me my star over eight years ago, now, has deluded herself for five decades that her sons died in Vietnam for her freedom, but how much energy does that take every day to avoid the truth? It must be nearly as exhausting as confronting the truth, but she doesn’t have to spend any time in jail or camping out in such places as Crawford, Texas—hiding ones head in the sand can be accomplished from the comfort of your own home. 

I, too, want the eyes of young people to be opened, but to the fact that they kill and die for the crimes and lies of the ruling class and their sacrifices cause pain to themselves and so many others for the profit of a few. I want their eyes to be opened before they enlist to the horrors of war and the images of babies being born with deformities and illnesses because of depleted uranium and other toxins the US military spreads around the world with the cancer of imperialism.

I want young people to envision a future of peace and justice that isn’t wrought off of the deaths of millions of innocent people and the destruction of entire countries.

Besides, I can personally vouch for the truth that since my son died, my civil liberties and human rights have been eroded to the point of ridiculousness.

Peaceful protests are relegated to miles away from the people or events that are being opposed—I am sexually and emotionally molested every time I fly—I have been arrested many times for exercising my “freedom” to peaceably assemble or my “freedom” to speech—I have been followed and spied upon—I am being persecuted by the same US Attorney’s office that protects the Bush regime—and President Obama has given himself the right to imprison me (and you) without due process, or even murder me (and you) if he deems it necessary. Exactly what “freedoms” did my son sacrifice his young and valuable life for? We have freedom here in the US all right—the freedom to take our establishment medals and shut the f@*k up if you don’t support the Warfare State. Here in the US of A, we also can be “free” to be as DUMB as we want—just keeping watching that TV box.

People who support and defend the US Warfare State claim to know that my son is “rolling in his grave” because of my activism, but I knew him better than anyone on this planet and I was relieved and validated when I found out that Casey refused and then was forced to go on the mission that ended up killing him. I am so proud of him and the vets who throw their “Man Scout Badges” back at the Warfare State.

As the prophet, Jim Morrison, implied, we are afraid of true freedom and the responsibility that it brings. It’s so much easier to give our power away to the Warfare State and watch our world be eviscerated for its voracious appetite.

However, the best way to honor Casey and the millions who have died, or been slaughtered by the US Warfare State, is to reject the propaganda and work for true and lasting peace and the overthrow of that Warfare State by any non-violent means necessary. Only then will we be truly free.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Blue Bloc and Other Oppressors

May 27th on the Soapbox!


On Sunday, May 27th, Cindy Sheehan will be interviewing long time peace, justice and political activist, Debra Sweet, who is the National Co-ordinator of World Can't Wait AND Rage Against the Machine guitarist, Night Watchman, 
Tom Morello.

Debra and Tom were in Chicago for the anti-NATO protests and share their experiences.

A lot of emphasis has been on the Black Bloc being an instigator of violence (even from the "left") and Cindy coins the phrase "Blue Bloc" to describe the police--the Armed Forces of the 1%, because 99% of the time, the
Blue Bloc comes dressed for a riot and are armed and dangerous.

Listen to the show at 2pm Pacific Time at
or anytime after at the

Tom and Cindy in June 2008 (San Francisco)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cindy's Ironic Image of the Day

I found this image while perusing google images for 
"Viva La Revolution."

I find this image ironic, because of course, George Washington was a member of the ruling elite back in his day and he was not the so-called leader of a Peoples' Revolution, but a revolution to retain his power, money and class status.

Maybe this will be a regular feature of this blog?

Celebrate Revolution! Book event with Cindy Sheehan

On Thursday, May 24th, Cindy Sheehan will return where "it" all began for her on 4 July 2004 
when she first began to speak out against the war and regime that killed her son just three months before.

Cindy will celebrate the publication of her 5th book, 
Revolution, A Love Story
with the congregation of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists and other activists and community members.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend to hear Cindy speak about the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and how true, positive change for the people (1%) is possible here in 
"The Empire."

Cindy will also be selling copies of her book (10.00, cash or check) and taking up a collection to continue her important work and the important work of the BFUU Social Justice Committee.

Historic Fellowship Hall, which is 1924 Cedar St (wheel-chair accessible by the ramp on Bonita Ave side of the building).

Thursday, May 24
Potluck at 6:30
Book event at 7:00

For more information, please contact Cindy Sheehan at:


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Solidarity Action with anti-NATO Protests in Berkeley May 20


Cindy will be there from 9am to 11am

Bay Area CodePink and Cindy Sheehan invite all activists to join us in a solidarity action tomorrow:

Freeway Bannering over University Ave. Footbridge, Berkeley

Toby, Cynthia and friends will make 2 large banners tonight.

WE NEED YOU….to volunteer for a 1 or 2 hour shift tomorrow to help with the bannering.

WHEN:   Sunday, Any shift between 7am and 7pm….please confirm by phone.
WHERE:   Hwy 80 footbridge just south of University Ave. in Berkeley.
BRING:   Music, friendship, food/drink to share, extra banners/props, orange jumpsuits, etc. 
RSVP:  Please call Toby, 510-215-5974

Banner for peace, for sanity and for a better world!  Other banners welcome!

Large Banners to be made:

                        DISARM NATO: 


Michael Ratner on the Soapbox

Michael Ratner
Sunday, May 20th
2PM Pacific Time


Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox is proud to present Cindy's interview with Michael Ratner, the President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights.  The subject is the abysmal civil and human rights' record of the Obama regime as it continues the post-911 assault on domestic "freedom and liberty."

Obama shreds Constitution 

The show can be heard at 2pm Pacific Time at:

or at the archives:


The War Party and the Faux-gressives who adore it

by Anthony Freda (

This is a reprint of an article I wrote on June 19th, 2009. 

With the election season grinding into full gear, we here in the Propagandized States of America are being deluged with faux-debates on non-issues. Of course, gay marriage is an important civil right for a minority, and if we don't stand up for minorities, then we are bullies, or worse; but, Obama's pronouncement is nothing to cheer and similarly, nothing to curse. It was nothing---a politically expedient announcement impeccably timed to raise the most (over 15 million dollars) in campaign funds.

Along with US troops, profiteers, mercenaries and other imperial functionaries still occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, US Special Forces (and drones) are in Yemen and Africa; and two pregnant women (among others) were just slaughtered by US commandoes in Honduras.

I asked the question early on in the Obama regime of "what will it take" for a majority of us to wake up and realize that the problem is cystemic, not political.

There are thousands of activists in Chicago this weekend protesting NATO--and that's a really, really good thing. In fact, I had my airplane tickets and bag packed to head there myself when I caught a bug (that's been going around my household) the night before I was getting ready to leave. I really wanted to go to Rahm Emanuel's police state to bear witness and support anti-NATO and  anti-G8 austerity.

There's many more thousands of 3rd party activists working for an alternative solution within established and acceptable paradigms--which is also good, but, at this stage in the game it's like throwing a teaspoon of water on a raging inferno. 

So, while we protest in numbers that should be far larger and work on political solutions, we also need to be organizing in our communities to build caring, revolutionary systems of compassion, peace, and health.

Revisit, or visit for the first time, the wo(man)ifesto that I wrote in 2009 called: Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The War Party and its Faux-gressive Minions by Cindy Sheehan

For years now, I have been writing about the duplicity of the Democrats and the shocking similarity between the two parties when it comes to the use of state-sanctioned terrorism against innocent populations.

This past week, after the betrayal of every American who elected Democrats to end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, I am wondering if there is anyone still in this nation who thinks that there’s any significant difference between the war ideologies of Democrats and Republicans.

I know many faux-gressive entities on the “left” whose silence on this matter is so loud it’s hurting my eardrums. Where was over these past few weeks when the Dems were bludgeoning their caucus to vote “Aye” to extend the war crimes in the Middle East? Where were Markos Moulitsas (Daily Kos) and his bloggers that day? The day the funding bill passed, I wandered over to The Daily Kos and saw that it was all a-twitter about Senator Ensign (R) having an extra-marital affair. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Harry Reid may, or may not, be loyal spouses, but their calumny will kill, maim, torture or displace thousands of people over the next 4-8 years. I am not so interested in what happens in bedrooms as what happens in Democratic war zones.

Faux-gressives and The Daily Kos supported me, and my work, as long as it solely focused on the Bush regime and the Republicans. However, when I had a late in life epiphany and figured out that the Democrats were abusing the energy of the anti-war movement to regain power, and I started to speak out against the entire War Party, not just one-half of it, I was kicked off blogging for The Daily Kos and ostracized by the fully co-opted Nathan Diebenow of the Lonestar Iconoclast then accused me of “alienating” my friends, to add insult to injury.

I think that I have unfortunately been vindicated by almost every single action that the Democratic Party has taken since 2006 when impeachment was taken “off the table,” but “blank-check” war funding was served up to the Military Industrial Complex on a bloody platter dripping with the flesh and blood of real human beings.

Our politicians have no integrity partly because the organizations in the movements that have the largest emailing lists have no integrity. Wars that were wrong under Bush become acceptable under Obama and the stain of torture fades into the woodwork or is hidden from sight like a demented relation because a Senator has an affair. As I understand it, was founded to oppose the impeachment of Bill Clinton for the same thing Ensign did…now the gatekeepers of the War Party are going to crucify Ensign to distract their subscribers from real issues? sent this out in April 2008 in a fundraising email to its 5 million person list: No matter what happens in Iraq, the Bush Administration and John McCain always have the same answer: 6 more months. They're at it again this week, asking for six more months. But six months won't change anything—except the body count and the price tag. 

They were not talking about the Democratic war funding this week. Apparently it’s fine to fund wars if we have a Democratic Despotism, but dangerous for our troops if we have a Republican Regime.

Hey Come back from the dark side of partisan politics. You look like Move America Forward, now:( a reich-wing organization that irrationally and blindly supports Republicans and unquestioningly supported BushCo). CODEPINK supported Barack Obama, but at least CODEPINK is over in Gaza trying to call attention to that crime, while ignores the situation and most of the bloggers at The Daily Kos just like to sit behind their computer screens and snarkily criticize anyone who is actually on the streets doing the work.

What Pelosi and her Wrecking Crew did last week was disgraceful, but it’s shameful that people who opposed the exact same policies under BushCo support the same crimes of ObamaCo.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Talk Nation Radio: Cindy Sheehan on the Venezuelan Constitution as a Model for the United States

Cindy Sheehan discusses the new Venezuelan Constitution as a model for reforming the U.S. Constitution in the direction of greater democratic and economic rights, as well as the politics of Hugo Chavez, and her new bookRevolution: A Love Story.  Cindy Sheehan is a leading U.S. peace actvist, a gold star mother, an author, blogger, and radio host.
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.
Download or get embed code from or AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.
Syndicated by Pacifica Network.
Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Since our regimes shred our document, we may as well right a new one!

You Are Somebody

You're Somebody
Cindy Sheehan

I have known about Erma Steppe’s book, I’m Nobody: My Mother Said it; I no Longer Believe it, for a couple of years now, through her sister-in-law, and my dear friend, Missy Beattie.

I was recently at Missy’s house in Baltimore visiting, and I was finally able to get my hands on a copy. I am given many books, some I read, some I leave in cabs, some I throw on the pile for later—but few that have been as riveting as Erma’s little (100 page) autobiography.

If I had to describe the book using one word, I would say, “honest,” but since I am not limited to one word, I can say “brutal,” “touching,” “sad,” “funny” but, above all, “honest. “

Missy has been filling me in on the book’s progress for a while now. There has been interest in movie rights and talk of having it used as a teaching aid in college classrooms. After I received the book, I made a vow to start reading it on my flight home and to review it if I found it worthwhile, but what started as a chore and a favor for a friend soon turned out to be a pleasure.

Erma was born in Ohio near the end of "Double-U, Double-U Eye Eye" in 1944. Her first memories are of hiding behind a door in what she later discovered was an aunt’s house. Her aunt was caring for her while her mother did one of her many stints in jail. Erma remembers being stepped over, stepped on, or jostled by this large human—so behind the kitchen door was her refuge, and she thinks her bed.

Erma’s mother, Agnes, was an abusive, mean, and cold alcoholic who goes through men like some people these days go through computers—one every two or three years. Erma later discovers that her aunt’s husband, Pap, is her father. This fact explains why her aunt hates her so, but why does her mother hate her? Is it because Erma suffers (alluded to in the book) sexual abuse from every one of Agnes’ boyfriends or husbands? The physical, emotional, and sexual abuse causes Erma to retreat from life and become what she calls a “Shell.”

Erma’s writing is simple and direct, but every so often she turns a phrase that takes the breath away

Describing the first instance of sexual abuse by one of Agnes’ men: After he began the abuse, I felt like an old can, rusty and dirty with nothing inside me…Sexual abuse is the death of a child. It rips out what makes you want to be close to other people…it never goes away, it remains in the crevices of your mind (p11).

Erma and her siblings are eventually taken away permanently from Agnes and sent to a strict children’s home where “fostering” seems to be just a cover for child labor in the homes or fields of the foster parent.

Reading Erma’s book, I was struck by several things.

The first is her resilience and the resilience of humans in general. She survived the abuse (one of Agnes’ men even gave her a “jail” tattoo that became severely infected) and eventually married a good man with whom she gave birth to two sons and one daughter.

Erma used the experience of her own upbringing to try and be a better parent to her children. Even though her husband, Frank, was a good man, Erma never spoke of her horrible upbringing to him, yet he never really asked. After 28 years, Erma felt that Frank was too demanding and not very understanding, so she did another brave thing—she left him. Erma raised her children, worked and was able to achieve a college degree.

The next thing I was struck by was the fact that I was under the impression that I had a horrible childhood: Abusive parents, alcoholism, poverty—the whole nine yards. But my upbringing was Leave it to Beaver wonderful compared to Erma.

And, finally, I found myself feeling inexplicably sorry for Agnes: A woman who found her men far more important than her children. Maybe my sympathy comes from the fact that over the years I have been able to gain a little sympathy for my own parents, Dennis and Shirley.

There is no test for parenting and back in the 40’s and 50’s abortion was illegal and reserved for women who could afford a secretive one and dangerous for the poor. Sex Ed was non-existence and birth control was spotty. Women, who had intercourse, whether willingly or not, had very few options. Maybe Agnes and Shirley, growing up on the edges of a society recovering from a Great Depression and War with rampant racism and sexism, knew only one path: marriage and motherhood, ready or not?

You’ll be shocked, stunned, maybe grateful, but definitely inspired by Erma’s tale of perseverance and victory over her substantial roadblocks—one of which appears to be a severe learning disability.

In the beginning of her book, Erma says:

Maybe this book will help me understand myself. Maybe I can learn to use my strengths, accept my faults, and understand my feelings. Maybe there are other daughters and sons who will understand my story and know they are not alone. I wish for them to find peace in their heart.

I started writing very soon after my son, Casey, was killed in Iraq, and I know Erma is correct.

I highly recommend this book.

Erma self-published, so to obtain a copy, send $12 (check or money order) to:

Erma Steppe  
101 Cross Keys RD, Apt B
Baltimore, Maryland 21210.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Afghanistan, like Vietnam, except nobody gives a shit

Dear Friend,

This weekend as we celebrate mothers, it's important to remember that there are mothers all over the world who are in pain because of war and economic oppression. It's also important to remember that Julia Ward suggested this holiday way back in 1870 for peace through her Mother's Day Proclamation. 

For me, it's distressing that "liberals" are gleeful over the fact that the president is personally in favor of same-sex marriage (although it doesn't actually change a thing, except he received one million campaign dollars within an hour) while not protesting either in word or deed Obama's drone program and war in Afghanistan.

I am hoping that the NATO protests (remember NATO is just an euphemism for US Imperialism) in Democrat Rahm Emanuels' Chicago next week (I will be there) are large and non-partisan; but, in fact, the largest coalition to protest at the DNC has changed its name so as not to appear its protesting the Democrats so as not to offend anybody.

I have been blessed with three wonderful surviving children and now four grandbabies and I can be secure that even though a drone overhead may be spying on me, it isn't equipped with hellfire missiles. It's safe to say that every mother in the U.S. will be safe from having their home raided at night by the U.S. military and having their children slaughtered while they sleep.

I don't know what to do anymore. Why aren't we out in the streets in droves protesting the Drone Bomber and his wars? Why do we worship his words and not protest his deeds? Where are the large war protests during the Vietnam or even Bush eras? Even though Mother's Day is not a happy day for me, I try to put myself in the sandals of a woman in Afghanistan, Gaza, Paksitan, or some other hot zone--and when I look across the miles at the U.S., I wonder why no one cares about me and my family.

This weekend, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox has no new show, but I suggest you listen to the show with Rachel Corrie's mother, Cindy (or any other show in the archives)


I really hope that every Mother has a peaceful day filled with love and the best present for me (and the world) would be that our brothers and sisters put aside partisan political hackery and devote themselves to peace and justice not found in either half of the War Party.

Cindy Sheehan 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

¡Viva, Chávez! by Cindy Sheehan

¡Viva, Chávez!

Cindy Sheehan

Chávez and Sheehan in Montevideo, Uruguay

It breaks my heart and pisses me off when I hear horrible and untrue things about President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, and I admire his courage to stand up the The Empire in the north and try to make things better for the 99% of Venezuela.

President Chávez is battling a foe even more powerful than The Empire: cancer. When the news first came out last June, many media pundits had already killed the leftist leader and one terrible Fox News scum Tweeted that everyone should “pray for the death of Hugo Chåvez.” I can’t recall the lowlife’s name right now, but it really doesn’t matter. Rightwing Christian, Pat Robertson, openly called for the assassination of Chávez, and the irony is, if one looks at the New Testament works and words of Jesus, Chávez more closely models what the Catholic Church calls the “Corporal Works of Mercy” than any leader or any Christo-Fascist in the USA.

I have been to Venezuela three times and had significant meetings and interactions with Chávez the firs two times, but the third time was Memorial Weekend in 2011, when the first stirrings of his illness were flying around and, in fact, our only contact with him was through Twitter posts at the rally I attended and spoke.

My first visit to Venezuela coincided with the World Social Forum in Caracas and I have to admit that the only thing I really knew about Chávez and Venezuela at the time was that he was the “enemy of my enemy,” George Bush and I thought his rhetoric was brave and wonderful. I spoke at several events in Caracas, was on Aló Presidente with Chávez, and met with him at Miraflores, the Presidential Palace, where he showed us some of the places where the 2002 coup attempt happened: a living, “The Revolution Will Not be Televised.” Compared to the politicians I know and worked with in the US, except for very few exceptions, Chávez is overwhelmingly more human and real than they are. 

However, when I returned to the US after my first trip to Venezuela, I was surprised at the attacks I received from what passes for the left here in this country and I was even summoned to Arianna Huffington who scolded me for meeting with Chávez—and I am still not sure why except that Arianna is a former Repug who has barely evolved into a liberal, much less a radical left-winger. So, I really began to delve into the subject of Chávez, the Bolivarian Revolution and the similar paths he has inspired in the civil societies in Latin America and I was relieved to find that I was justified in my support of him.

In 2010, I applied for and received permission to interview President Chávez and the audio of that interview can be found at this link. On that trip, I also traveled to Montevideo, Uruguay to attend the inauguration of Pepe Mujica and I witnessed the outpouring of love from the people of Uruguay to Hugo Chávez, who at one point, left his vehicle to stride right into the crowd to shake hands and be with the people--a nightmare situation for his security team, but when someone is loved and admired by the people, that person has little to fear from the people.

Unlike our misleaders who give lip service to the 99% while simultaneously reducing social programs and increasing oppression, Chávez has worked diligently to implement the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela that was written by representatives of the people and voted into law by the people. The people are the only ones that can change it—not the 1% by nearly impossible conditions.

Everything that the establishment in our government or the press says about Chávez and his government are either outright lies or scandalous distortions and for 46 years, I was more liable to believe the lies than search out the truth, but all that ended when my son was killed in Iraq.

Chávez sincerely loves the people of Venezuela because they saved his life when he was deposed with the help of the US and returned to power. Due to the people, he has survived a US sponsored coup attempt, a US sponsored recall attempt and several elections. Chávez comes from a very poor family and he knows what it’s like and he knows what needs to be done to make the economy more equitable and conditions more livable.

The 99% love him because he made dignity through education and political empowerment part of his program. Once the people have awaken, it’s impossible to put them back to sleep.

I read the news about his condition and I have seen video of him the few times he has appeared lately and I am very concerned. My contacts in Venezuela and here in the US are optimistic, but I don’t know if it’s just hope against hope that he will be okay and survive this latest crisis or it’s stalling because elections are in October in Venezuela; Both, probably.

I don’t pray anymore because the last time I prayed with all my being, my son was killed in Iraq and I am not so sure I even believe in the God that Chávez is clinging to right now, but if I did pray, I would pray that he recovers fully and that he can continue to inspire us and lead the way. Because I want we here who live in The Empire to wake up to the fact that we are being robbed of our basic human and civil rights and it doesn’t have to be that way.

Even if the unthinkable happens and Chávez goes before his time, I have witnessed enormous pride and dignity in the people of Venezuela and I don’t think they will let their hard fought gains go easily or quietly, but I also know there are powerful forces at work to undermine the Revolution.

No matter which way this goes, I am honored to know Hugo Chávez, not only a courageous and inspiring leader, but a good and decent human being. 

¡Viva, Chávez! And ¡Viva la revolución Bolivariana!

click for more info

Conscience and the Constitution: They Fought on their own Battlefield

Conscience and the Constitution:
They Fought on their own Battlefield
(Report on my meeting with the feds May 9, 2012)
Cindy Sheehan

"A wo(man) is rich in proportion to the number of things s(he) can afford to let alone." Henry David Thoreau

I had Round X (X representing an unknown quantity) with the IRS/US Attorney today at the US Attorney's office in Sacramento.

The meeting was to try and discover my alleged assets so the IRS could collect approximately 105 grand in taxes that it says I owe for 2005 and 2006. I am not so naive to think that the IRS, using a number of resources or any of the secretive alphabet agencies, doesn't know every single thing about me. However, I refuse to participate in my persecution and furthermore, I should be constitutionally protected from such a thing. 

The US Attorney in charge of the case is based in DC and she was on a conference line along with another US Attorney based out of DC who "just happened to be in Sacramento" today, the Revenue Officer Arteaga and the court reporter. My amazing attorney, Dennis Cunningham and I rounded out the little meeting.

There was no ruling from the Magistrate at my hearing on April 19th whether I could use a "blanket 5th" for the IRS form 433-A, but we agreed to meet with the IRS on May 9th (today--as of this writing) to do a "line by line" answer for my "assets." Basically, every answer was "No" or "Zero," but I do receive contributions for my books and speaking that pay the expenses for Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox and which allow me to be a full-time I did take the 5th on my bank account records. Confirming my suspicion that the feds either want me to perjure or incriminate myself, after I answered "no" to the automobile question, the Revenue Officer pulled up my DMV record showing that I owned a Toyota Camry--which I transferred to my son last year after his only form of transportation died on him. It was barely my car anyway as I also try very hard not to purchase fuel. I had the feeling that I was asked many questions that the feds already have the answer to. At this point, I have a feeling that my non-existent bank account in the Cayman Islands or Switzerland is being sought out. Good luck! 

The meeting lasted a little less than an hour and I exited the conference room before my attorney did to go to the waiting room--however, on my way out I saw a very significant poster taped to the Exit door of which I quickly snapped a picture using the camera on my phone (all other cameras are confiscated at security):

There's glare on the photo, but the poster was advertising a "brown bag lunch" talk that was scheduled to begin just minutes from the time I took the picture.

The title of the talk is: Conscience and Constitution: They fought on their own Battlefield. I googled it and apparently it's a PBS (Pentagon Broadcasting System? Petroleum Broadcasting System? Propaganda Broadcasting System?) documentary and here is the summary I lifted from the PBS website:

"In World War II, a handful of young Americans refused to be drafted from an American concentration camp.

They were ready to fight for their country, but not before the government restored their rights as U.S. citizens and released their families from camp. It was a classic example of civil disobedience -- but the government prosecuted them as criminals and Japanese American leaders and veterans ostracized them as traitors.

CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION delves into the heart of the Japanese American conscience and a controversy that continues today. Experience the choice faced by any group when confronted by mass injustice -- whether to comply or to resist."

It's a story of the collaborators in the Japanese-American communities and the resisters. Ultimately, one in every nine of Japanese drafted out of the internment camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming joined the resistance and formed the Fair Play Committee. Seven of the leaders, and one journalist, James Omura who took up the cause in editorials, were tried for "conspiracy to counsel draft evasion."

Here's the most interesting part of the summary of the case to me (as someone performing a Civil Disobedience around my tax issues and who performs CD on a regular basis):

"The government then tried the seven leaders of the Fair Play Committee and journalist James Omura for conspiracy to counsel draft evasion. The jury convicted the resistance leaders but acquitted Omura on the First Amendment freedom of the press. On Christmas, 1945, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver threw out the convictions of the FPC leaders, ruling their jury improperly ignored civil disobedience as a defense. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal from the resisters in the mass trial; and they served more than two years and were released in 1946."

Me Speaking at Yoo Protest at UC Berkeley in 2010

Recently, I read where torture-professor, John Yoo, was given immunity for his part in formulating the Bush regime's torture policies specifically around the Jose Padilla case. Of course, Yoo's definition of torture in his 2002 memo excluded everything but "organ failure." What the hell? Some supposed Constitutional lawyer writes a memo that becomes policy and he is "immune" from being sued by one of his victims because the tortured person lived, but because I refuse to fund torture and other crimes, I am being persecuted? 

Another little tidbit that I received today says that the man who (the buck stops there) was ultimately responsible for my son's wrongful death in Iraq is requesting 1.3 million taxpayer dollars (excluding SS protection) for postage, phone calls, travel, etc as a retired president. I am supposed to help pay for a comfy retirement for the man who ordered by son to go to a war based on his lies and the lies of his subordinates? 

I have purposefully chosen a very simple and contra-USAian lifestyle and I refuse to help make George Bush's life easier--or any of the others for that matter. Looking at my income immediately post-Camp Casey, I realize that I am fully capable of remaining a part of the Peace Industrial Complex and earning a comfortable living myself--but my own conscience requires me to fight on a battlefield of my own choosing.

I am not recounting my struggles or battles because they are the main focus of my life or because I want sympathy--I report them for a historical record that is true, for one thing, but also because I want people to join me in the struggle. 

Whether it is being a war tax refuser or crossing some imaginary line onto an Air Force base to protest the launch of an ICBM delivery test missile, there is comfort and courage in numbers.

As always, I refer you, wonderful reader, to the National War Tax Resister's Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC) website for more information and I want to close with an email I received the day before my last court case with the SUBJECT line of: I APOLOGIZE:

Hi Cindy my name is Dave.  I hope this email reaches you because I have to apologize to you.  I have to apologize for being a STUPID neo-con until three years ago when I overcame my cognitive dissadance when I noticed that I hated the policies of Obama and had the GUTS to call myself to the carpet because Bush was the genisis of what I so despised about Obama and therefor you.  Now I admire you and your unwavering boldness for standing up for me during the Bush regime when I was too polarized by partison politics to recognize the destruction of my own country and civil liberties.  I demonized you and had no regard for the unthinkable loss you endured at the hands of that criminal regime.  Like you my old "teamates" laugh in my face but because of people like you I just grow stronger and now I dwarve them in knowledge because I'm able to see the whole game from a non partison perspective.  Because of you I WILL NOT pay another tax to this empire of destruction.  Thank you for being so principled and showing everyone what a sham the whole left/right paradyme (sic) really is.  On another note I recommend you touch base with Joe Bannister as there is no law on the books regarding the income tax or the IRS in general.  Again, my apologies, Dave (full name withheld). [sic]

Dave made my day as only such a personal act of solidarity is able to!

As I opened with a quote from perhaps the most famous tax resister, Thoreau, I close with a quote from him, too:

"Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Oh I get it!

Plan and participate in War Crimes--you'll be protected by the Obama regime!

Refuse to participate in them, like me, you get persecuted by the regime! (I have another "date" with the Feds/IRS tomorrow).

Bush's "torture lawyer," John Yoo given immunity

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The New Oil War in Africa (SOAPBOX)

Dear Soapbox Friend,

Today, I have many items of interest to send out to you--as well as posting the information for our new Soapbox show this afternoon.

In case you all think that my life is filled with intense and draining activism, I would like to share with you that I treated myself to an all grandkid day yesterday. We went to the Farmer's Market and donut shop in the morning--later, Mexican food and then the park for a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

It was such a joy for me to walk beside the creek with all four of my grandbabies as we watched the sunset and the Super Moon arise. To top this wonderful day off, we pretended like my daughter's car was a rocket ship and we drove out into the country in search of the Super Moon.

The babies fell asleep in the "rocket ship," and Gigi (what my grandchildren call me) wasn't too far behind after we got home. As activists, advocates, and searchers, we rightly focus on the big picture, but it's also so important to take a little time off to care for ourselves and each other and celebrate the present(s).

Anyhoo, today on the Soapbox, our guest is Ann Garrison who will be talking about the Phony Balony Kony 2012 and the politics of the "New Oil War" in Africa.







Love & Peace

Cindy Sheehan
Super Moon (May 5) Google Images 

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Sheehan Rule

This is a reprint of a piece I wrote on July 26, 2010 and I am reviving it, because I think it's a good idea, and it's actually something that would help humanity--not like Obama's scandalous "Buffett Rule" that he is just using for campaign sound bites. Seriously, if he really cared about the working class, he wouldn't be expanding the military; would have pushed for single-payer healthcare and would be setting out to forgive student loans and make college more accessible and affordable for everyone (he could use money saved by ending this military empire).

Linked here is an excellent blog I found called "Don't tax the rich, smash their privilege: A Response to Warren Buffett" that explains from a left point of view how terrible the so-called Buffett Rule is and why there are far better alternatives. Also, if the "Super Rich" were to pay more taxes, until the Military Industrial Complex is "smashed," the extra money will probably go to feed that beast. 
I originally called this piece, "The Casey Sheehan End to War Bill;" but am changing it to, "The Sheehan Rule." Maybe Obama will start promoting this on his campaign trail--yeah, and maybe puppies will start to fly out of his belly-button, too.
My son, Casey, joined the military in 2000, shortly before his 21st birthday, to help pay for college. He had already completed everything he could take at the local JC and was eager to move on—but he had a fulltime job, and even though we (his dad and I) helped out as much as we could, Casey also had three younger siblings and our family was firmly ensconced in the working-class.
Well, 16 months after he enlisted was September 11, 2001—and no matter what really happened that day—I had a horrible sense of foreboding that it would lead to my son’s early death—and no matter how much I prayed, or cajoled him not to go, or worried—my worst fears were realized and Casey was killed just hours after arriving in Iraq on April 04, 2004.
There is no forced military conscription in the US today, but many will tell you that since forced conscription ended in 1973, there has been a “poverty draft.” The poverty draft has only become more successful as the economy is tanking and our young people are finding less and less opportunity for work, or, as in Casey’s case, to be able to afford college.
I have been finding it extremely difficult to find recruitment stats—I went to the DoD (Department of Defense) website and, although, the site claims the stats are published every month around the 10th, there are no such stats available for June or July. I did see many “The DoD identifies Army (Marine) Casualties—five just for today.
I found a story that was published in the Boston Globe from March of 2009 that states beginning in October of 2008, the military was exceeding their recruitment goals each month, mainly due to two factors: the economy and confidence in Obama’s lies about Iraq.
So the beat goes on just like it always has: Poor people dying in rich men’s wars—but now instead of being drafted, our kids are willingly joining to kill or be killed for a paycheck.
I am not going to elaborate on the mountains of evidence that the longest war (The Global War OF Terror) in US history is about profit, opening new markets for the globalists, controlling precious natural resources, etc—we have been over and over this. It was no coincidence that recently it was discovered that Afghanistan is chock-full of precious minerals—or that the only countries that are seriously threatened by the US War Machine are likewise endowed: Iran, Venezuela. Certain people and corporations are making a crap-load of money—as is the custom.
I am going to propose a piece of legislation that I would love to see introduced by a courageous member of Congress—not that I really believe it would happen, but this is my dream bill that I call: The Casey Sheehan “End to War” Bill:
Immediately upon the president signing this bill into law, forced military conscription will begin.
The bill will have NO EXEMPTIONS to those who are eligible to the draft and the age limit is 18 to no upper limit. This bill seeks to draft those eligible from both genders and all gender and sexual preferences.
There will be very limited health exemptions as most people can perform a skill that is valuable to the military. As University is now open to all ages and attended by old and young alike, there will be no education exemptions. The draftees can resume or attend college when their stint in the armed forces is up. There will be no GI education benefits extended to the draftees, as they will be members of the wealthy of the US.
Citizens will be drafted in this order in the event of a Constitutionally declared war, or un-constitutionally started war, or any of these euphemisms (but not limited to) for war: police action, entanglement, theater, hostilities, occupation, special operations, interventions, cluster-fu@k, pacifications, war on drugs, peace-keeping, fighting for “freedom and democracy,” etc:
The President and his/her Cabinet and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
Senators and Congress Members and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
CEO’s of the Federal Reserve and Banks and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
CEO’s of any company (including the media) that profit directly or indirectly from war and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
Anyone who by word or deed supports the entry into war, or any of the euphemisms associated with war, and their age appropriate dependents. This includes media pundits, male or female and their age appropriate dependents, including spouses. No exemptions as outlined above.
Any citizen of the United States of America who does not fall into one of the above categories is categorically ineligible for this forced conscription draft.
This bill will also provide college tuition grants to anyone who does not fall into one of the above categories and who wishes to go to college—without having to join the military.
You may wonder who will “run” the country during time of war, but I can guarantee you if this bill miraculously was signed into law, war would immediately cease to exist. In a legitimate case of self-defense, every citizen of this country who is age-appropriate should enlist—but when was the last time this nation was in a war that wasn’t about protecting its citizens, but protecting or stealing wealth?
Anyone know a legislator who will introduce the Casey Sheehan “End to War” Bill? Seriously, if a president feels so strongly about his wars of choice, then he and his closest allies and families should be fighting them. Also, if Congress feels strongly enough to fund these wars, then they and their closest allies and friends should also fight them.
No more of OUR blood for THEIR profit. Even in the “off” chance that this bill does not get signed into Federal law, we should do everything we can as parents, educators, community leaders and peace advocates to keep our young people from dying for the people who are mandatory draftees under The Casey Sheehan “End to War” Bill.