There is nothing that can show the binary thinking of modern man more a tragedy in the US. Tragedies are tragic in every sense, but somehow American Exceptionalism feeds into some need for a 24/7 media frenzy disproportionate to the reality of what same Exceptionailsm wreaks upon the rest of the World. A hundred killed at a Pakistani wedding? Nary a peep. A thousand born with grotesque birth defects in Fallujia? Meh. But give us a plane flown into a IRS building, a white girl kidnapped, a fertilizer bomb in Oklahoma, and we go rabid. Add any tragedy involving guns? And it becomes a meth frenzy of polarization, leaving absolutely no room for shades of grey in the reactionary public.
We don't have plane debates, fertilizer debates, racial unfairness in missing kid debates, but god damn. We do have gun debates. And? There is nothing more divisive than this subject.
Somewhere between the crazed militia types and the screeching, preaching abolitionists? Sanity and reason are suffocated under the mountain of invective, stereotyping and panic.
In the June Primary of 2010, corporate interests misled California
voters into passing Proposition 14, which replaces the June partisan
primary elections with the first round of a partly partisan, partly
non-partisan "top two" election in which political parties no longer
nominate candidates for office. The November General Elections are
thereby reserved for the "top two" vote getters, usually the two richest
candidates. Independent party candidates will not appear on the ballot
and even write-in votes will not be counted.
Prop 14 makes an already seriously flawed electoral system even worse
by striking a devastating blow against independent parties like Peace
and Freedom which receive no funds from corporate interests.
Although touted as an “Open Primary” measure, Prop 14 will in fact
close November General Elections to all but the two richest candidates.
Voters will no longer be able to choose Green, Libertarian, or Peace
& Freedom candidates in the General Election. Prop 14 will thus
increase the power of wealth over an electoral system already biased in
favor of corporations and the rich.
The Peace and Freedom Party fought vigorously against this ballot
measure. We will continue to fight it in the courts and at the ballot
box. Meanwhile, we must mount a voter registration campaign. Previously,
independent political parties could maintain their ballot status either
by receiving two per cent of the vote in a statewide November general
election or by maintaining two percent of all registrants. Now, since
Peace and Freedom will no longer appear on the November ballot, the only
way to maintain our ballot status is by increasing our voter
registration. In other words, to meet the new requirements of the new
system, we must almost double our registration by the end of 2014 to
stay on the ballot.
By registering Peace and Freedom, you are joining with tens of
thousands of others who want to take control of our political system
away from the ruling capitalist class. You want an end to the war
machine that gave us the wars in Vietnam and the Middle East. You want
an end to bail outs for bankers and the rich. You want to shift the tax
burden to the rich and their corporations and away from the working
class and the poor. You want an end to the corporate rape of the
environment and no compromise in defense of our Mother Earth.
David Josué email@example.com
July 29, 2012
ROSEANNE BARR ANNOUNCES RUNNING MATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Roseanne Barr announced that Cindy Sheehan will be her running mate in her bid for the Peace and Freedom Party’s nomination for President. Sheehan is an anti-war activist who first gained national attention for her protest camp outside then-President Bush’s Texas ranch.
Barr said, “Cindy and I are the ‘Throw the Bums Out’ ticket and the ‘Ballot Access’ ticket. We want people to register in the Peace and Freedom Party so that the party can keep its ballot status in California.” After the passage of the ‘Top Two primary” in 2010, alternative political parties lost one of their ways of staying on the ballot. The Peace and Freedom Party needs approximately 40,000 more registrants to maintain its ballot status beyond 2014. “We also want people to start Peace and Freedom Parties in other states,” added Barr.
Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who has been working closely with Barr on this campaign, commented, “Access to the ballot is a civil rights issue that needs attention across the country. If voters only have two choices, both of which represent the same interests, then we don’t really have a democracy.” McKinney went on to describe a higher standard of democracy, “When I was in Congress, I promoted proportional representation for legislatures. This is the only way to make our democracy representative of the people, rather than the corporate donors.”
The Peace & Freedom Party nominating convention takes place on Saturday August 4th in Los Angeles. Cat Woods, an officer of the Peace & Freedom Party, echoed Barr on the party’s emphasis on ballot access. She said that the party hoped to “draw attention to the ongoing erosion of alternative parties’ access to the ballot and how this directly deprives voters of control of their government.”
When asked whether she supported the Barr ticket, Woods added, “Our party needs to reach a wider audience with its message of socialist solutions. Roseanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan can bring that.”
Responding to charges that she could “steal votes” from Obama or “spoil the election,” Barr said, “The American people are sick and tired of this ‘lesser evil’ garbage they get fed every election year. Both the Democrats and the Republicans do the same evils once they’re in office. I’m here to tell the voters: if you want to tell the government and the two domineering parties that you’re sick and tired of all their evil, register in the Peace and Freedom Party and vote for me and Cindy.”
To contact the Roseanne for President campaign, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy is taking a mini-break to write her new booklet about her 2008 campaign against Nancy Pelosi in SF called I Left My Marbles in San Francisco, so there will be no new show until August 5th, but our featured encore broadcast is with the attorney for Anwar al Awlaki's father who tried to enjoin the Obama administration from executing his son.
Now, Anwar al Awlaki and his 16 year old son have been executed by Obama's thugs in the skies over Yemen, so we suggest you listen to the show first broadcast in December of 2010:
August 6th is the
218th day of the year; (219th during a leap year); its
astrological sign is Leo the Lion and, most importantly, to our consumer based
culture: 140 MORE SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL XMAS!
August 6th is also
a significant day globally, historically, and personally for me.
Throughout the ages, August 6th
has seen the founding of Bogota, Columbia (1538); the Treaty of the Hague
between Portugal and the Dutch Republic (1661); 60 proof sheets of the US
Constitution were delivered to the Constitutional Convention in Philly (1787);
the Holy Roman Empire went kaput; (1806); the first person is executed by
electric chair in NYS (1890); The Cuban Revolution nationalized all foreign
companies (1960); President LBJ (remember when we called presidents by their
initials?) signed the Civil Rights Act into law (1965); numerous battles happen
during numerous wars; and probably the most significant event in human history
happened on August 6th, 1945: the US dropped the atomic bomb,
“Little Boy” on Hiroshima, devastating it and being the first and only nation
to use such a weapon of mass destruction on an unsuspecting civilian
Having been a history
student, I studied about all significant events that happened every day of
the year…not being good at rote memorization of dates, I still like studying
the events and was always bothered at the emphasis the History education in the
US puts on wars. Of course, until very late in my formal History education, I
was taught that dropping two bombs on innocent Japanese “saved lives” and
hastened the end of the war. Naturally, in our conveniently xenophobic society, “saved lives”
means the lives of US service members because the lives of the “slanty-eyed,
buck-toothed” devils didn't count.
So, while history has always
been interesting to me, as a history nerd, the study of it can be as impersonal
as studying numbers. Facts, figures, dates, and the personal testimony of those
long dead can seem dry to sheltered academics until we get out into the real
I had the opportunity to go
to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2011 for the terrible anniversaries of those
tragically terrible days. I talked to the survivors who were barely children
themselves in 1945 and I talked to the loved ones of victims as we stood on the
buried remains of thousands of people who were incinerated that day.
As someone who has felt the ripping
pain of needless war for profit, the stories were as fresh for me as they were
to the tellers. As a grandmother of young children, the display in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial of the bombed tricycle of a
three-year old Hiroshiman boy named, Shin, who was out riding his beloved bike and enjoying the
undoubtedly scorching and humid day when Little Boy dropped on his precious
head killing him, tore at my heart as if he died yesterday.
GWB pretending to be a Rancher in Crawford
Speaking of needless wars for
profit—let’s take a leap over some more significant August 6th
events to August 6th, 2001. President George Bush (GWB) was on his
month-long vacation at his pig ranch cum vacation fortress in Crawford, Tx when
he was handed a Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) that was entitled, “Osama bin
Laden determined to strike in the US.” According to journalist, Ron Susskind,
GWB told the hapless CIA analyst who delivered it to him: “You’ve covered your
ass, now.” 9/11/2001 was not a surprise to the Bush administration, nor would
it have been to the Clinton regime. I don’t have to enumerate the warnings we
had that were ignored, or facilitated along. The 9/11
Timeline is a Great resource on this and I had one of the contributors of
it, Paul Thompson, on Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox (listen here).
Bear with me…I am going
somewhere with all of this. As there is much evidence that Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(FDR) provoked and/or knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor to rile our
rightfully war-weary nation to support US entry into another World War. Many
wars and subsequent attacks on domestic civil liberties have occurred since the
not-so-surprise attacks on 9/11/2001. The next significant August 6th
(in 2005) would never have occurred without the purposeful disregard that led to
our nation being attacked again in 2001 (don’t go crazy, I am not supporting
the “official story,” but I don’t think anyone can deny that the US was
attacked that day).
August 6th, 2005,
was the day that I serendipitously chose to head to Crawford, Tx to confront,
arguably, the most powerful man in the Universe, GWB. A few days before, I had heard
him on my TV tell an audience in Texas that our killed soldiers in Iraq had
“died for a Noble Cause.” My ears perked up waiting for the propagandists in
the corporate media to ask him to define “Noble Cause,” no one did, so I
“determined” to strike at the lies and crime of the post-9/11 meme and go to
Crawford myself to demand a meeting with GWB to ask him myself.
Me in Crawford before settling in a ditch for 26 Days
The rest, as they say, is
In a couple of weeks it will
be (incredibly) the 7th anniversary of what became known as Camp
Casey and I wish that 26 days baking in the Texas heat, media scrutiny and
right-wing stupidity, had made a difference and that the wars would be over and
our nation and world would be on its way to healing events instead of more war
and oppression—but, alas—the political reality is that the antiwar movement is
composed mainly of anti-Republican war activists because if they really hated
all war, Obama has given them plenty of fodder for opposition and protest. Did
you ever hear the “Sounds of Silence?” That’s the sound of the so-called
antiwar movement when it comes to the Drone Bomber. (Again, don’t go crazy—I
have been honored to be part of the real peace movement since then, and I am
not talking about YOU).
That first day of Camp Casey,
before we headed out to do peace-battle with the Bush mob, I met with a
survivor of Little Boy who was a guest of the Crawford Peace House and, on
August 6th, I can’t imagine a better way to commemorate the global
events that have affected us and personal events that have shaped me by
opposing nukes in all forms.
UPDATE: Some of the information that I used was from the Wikipedia entry about August 6th, here. I noticed that the day GWB received the PDB in 2001 was not recorded as an historical event--nor was the first day of Camp Casey in Crawford in 2005...so I signed up for Wikipedia to edit the page to add those two historically significant events. The events were removed by someone within an hour.
From the first time Hugo Chavez was elected President
of Venezuela in 1998, Washington and its allies have been trying to undermine
his government. When Chavez was just a presidential candidate, the US State
Department denied his visa to participate in television interviews in Miami.
Later, when he won the presidential elections, Ambassador John Maisto called
him personally to congratulate him and offer him a visa. The following months
were filled with attempts to “buy” the newly elected President of Venezuela.
Businessmen, politicians and heads of state from Washington and Spain pressured
him to submit to their agendas. “Come with us”, urged Spanish Prime Minister
Jose Maria Aznar, trying to seduce him with offers of wealth and luxury in turn
for obeying orders.
When Chavez refused to be bought, he was ousted in a
coup d’etat April 11, 2002, funded and planned by Washington. When the coup
failed and Chavez’s supporters rescued their democracy and president in less
than 48 hours, attempts to destabilize his government continued. “We must make
it difficult for him to govern”, said former US State Department chief Lawrence
Soon, Venezuela was overrun with economic sabotage,
oil industry strikes, chaos in the streets and a brutal media war that
distorted the reality of the country on a national and international level. A
plan to assassinate Chavez with Colombian paramilitaries in May 2004 was
impeded by state security forces. Months later, the US-backed opposition tried
to revoke his mandate in a recall referendum, but again, the people saved him
in a 60-40 landslide victory.
The more popular Chavez became, the more millions of
dollars flowed from US agencies to anti-Chavez groups to destabilize,
descredit, delegitimize, overthrow, assassinate or remove him from power by any
means possible. In December 2006, Chavez was reelected president with 64% of
the vote. His approval rating grew in Venezuela and throughout Latin America.
New governments in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua,
Uruguay and several Caribbean nations joined regional initiatives of
integration, cooperation, sovereignty and unity, encouraged by Caracas.
Washington began to lose its influence and control over its former “backyard”.
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our
Americas (ALBA), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), PetroCaribe,
PetroSur, TeleSUR, Bank of ALBA, Bank of the South and the Community of Latin
American and Caribbean States (CELAC) were created. Washington isn’t included
in any of these organizations, nor is the elite that previously dominated the
In January 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
said Chavez was a “negative force” in the region. In March, the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) placed Venezuela on their list of “Top 5 Hot Spots”.
A few months later, Reverend Pat Robertson publicly called for the
assassination of Chavez, claiming it would cost less than “a $2 billion war”.
That same year, when Venezuela suspended cooperation with the US Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) because it was found committing acts of
espionage and sabotage, Washington classified Venezuela as a nation “not
cooperating with counter-narcotics” efforts. No evidence was presented to show
alleged Venezuelan government ties to drug trafficking.
In February 2006, Director of National Intelligence
John Negroponte referred to Venezuela as a “dangerous threat” to the US.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfled compared Chavez to Hitler. That same year,
Washington created a special intelligence mission dedicated to Venezuela and
Cuba, increasing resources for operations against them. In June 2006, the White
House placed Venezuela on a list of countries “not cooperating sufficiently
with the war on terror”. The classification included a sanction prohibiting the
sale of military and defense equipment from the US and US companies or those
using US technology to Venezuela. No evidence was ever shown to back such
In 2008, the Pentagon reactivated its Fourth Fleet,
the regional command in charge of Latin America and the Caribbean. It had been
deactivated in 1950 and hadn’t functioned since then, until Washington decided
it was necessary to increase its presence and “force” in the region. In 2010,
the US established an agreement with Colombia to set up 7 military bases in its
territory. An official US Air Force document justified the budget increase for
these bases in order to counter the “threat from anti-American governments in
International media call Chavez a dictator, tyrant,
authoritarian, narco, anti-American, terrorist, but they never present proof
for such dangerous titles. They have converted the image of Venezuela into
violence, insecurity, crime, corruption and chaos, failing to mention the
incredible achievements and social advances during the last decade, or the
causes of the social inequalities left behind from previous governments.
For years, a group of US congress members - democrats
and republicans - have tried to place Venezuela on their list of “state sponors
of terrorism”. They claim the relationships between Venezuela and Iran,
Venezuela and Cuba, and even Venezuela and China evidence the “grave threat”
represented by the South American nation to Washington.
They say again and again that Venezuela and Chavez
are threats to the US. “He must be stopped”, they say, before he “launches
Iranian bombs against us”.
In an interview a few days ago, President Barack
Obama said Chavez was not a threat to US security. Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney said he was. The ire of the Miami Cuban-Venezuelan
community came down upon Obama. But they shouldn’t worry, because Obama
increased funding to anti-Chavez groups this year. More than $20 million in US
taxpayer dollars have been channeled from US agencies to help fund the
opposition’s campaign in Venezuela.
Is Venezuela a threat to Washington? In Venezuela,
the only “terrorists” are the groups trying to destabilize the country, the
majority with political and financial support from the US. The drug traffickers
are in Colombia, where the production and transit of drugs has increased during
the US invasion disguised as Plan Colombia. Relations with Iran, Cuba, China,
Russia and the rest of the world are normal bilateral – and multilateral – ties
between countries. There are no bombs, no attack plans, no sinister
No, Venezuela is not that kind of threat to
Poverty has been reduced by more than 50% since
Chavez came to power in 1998. The inclusionary policies of his government have
created a society with mass participation in economic, political and social
decisions. His social programs – called missions – have guaranteed free medical
care and education, from basic to advanced levels, and provided basic food
items at affordable costs, along with tools to create and maintain
cooperatives, small and medium businesses, community organizations and
communes. Venezuelan culture has been rescued and treasured, recovering
national pride and identity, and creating a sentiment of dignity instead of
inferiority. Communication media have proliferated during the last decade,
assuring spaces for the expression of all.
The oil industry, nationalized in 1976 but operating
as a private company, has been recuperated for the benefit of the country, and not
for multinationals and the elite. Over 60% of the annual budget is dedicated to
social programs in the country, with the principal focus on eradicating
CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE ON EVA'S BLOG, THE CHAVEZ CODE
I've been more than a little troubled lately. It started before the Kony thing. I suppose it started with Watergate, truth be told. I was 9 in '72. I had been given a reading assignment to read the newspapers for an English class. I found out that the Government lies. I was, frankly, not so shocked. I mean, I had already heard about what our "good guys" were doing in Vietnam. I had already argued with the Parish Priest about God damning babies who never even heard of Jesus. My 18 year old sister had been dead 3 years already, and my Mom was well on her way to being a less covert alcoholic.
I wasn't born cynical, but sure as fuck wasn't innocent long. Martin, Robert and John. Iran/Contra. What used to be called investigative reporting is now regarded as tin-foil hat and conspiracy. What happened to "question everything?"
I'm beginning to question even my line of questioning. Are we being played even in our resistance? Are we asking the right questions? Are we being played like the pixelmated pawns of a greater plan?
....and now to suit our great computer....You're magnetic ink....
I read a rather self important and preachy piece (I hate sole purveyor of truth type authors) over the weekend, suggesting that the great Green revolution in Iran was actually no more than a handful of paid propagandists using the paranoia of the activist-types to create a fabric of self-reinforcing reality to manufacture a protest that never really occurred. I think back to my twitter time, and wonder... what evidence did I really see? I'm not really fond of conspiracy theory either.
What I am big on is evidence, facts, math and science. What I am really bigger on, is as Molly Ivans always said when writing about Bush escapades, is "following the money."
What I like to study is context and historical precedent. One thing you really don't have to look to hard to find is the US's intervention in Sovereign Nations to know, well, "Hell yeah we do that kind of stuff. Always have."
The guy who wrote the article's math didn't add up for me. Like calling a June story "five minutes after the election of the 1st Black President of the United States." Ummm, huh?
But? He did point out a larger truth. That people on the internet can be emotionally manipulated to repeat things with little or no questioning on their part. That "evidence" becomes circular because we repeat one another. That any "source" as anonymous as the net is, could possibly be flat out lying.
A famous quote by Caesar, that Caesar actually never said comes to mind. We saw this under Bush, repeating 9/11 and Iraq. So, not only is the comment itself true enough, its also proof in and of itself that if you repeat a lie enough, it becomes truth. Who actually said it? Who knows? It shall ever be linked to a man who never uttered the words.
"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind is closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar."
Kony 2012 anyone? Or how about McCarthy naming people Communists to eliminate the voice of a Party with a differing ideology than his? How about the now-common practice of calling anyone who stands for Palestinian rights an anti-semite? Demonization is easy, and proving you are not that which you have been accused is tough.
COINTELPRO, a US government program to shut down anti-war activists and civil rights activists is historical fact. McCarthyism is Fact. Pinochet is fact. Interventions and the propping of dictators is fact. Saddam was one of ours. The Shah was too. Illegal bombings are fact. We are still at war with Korea, and have never been with Laos or Cambodia. Our cluster bombs are still killing them.
What is truth?
Manuel Zelaya had raised the minimum wage paid by US corporations in the textile industry and blocked privatisations. He was overthrown. We did nothing.
The same day Lugo was impeached by Congress, a delegation of Paraguayan politicians, led by the head of the parliamentary defense committee and opposition member Jose Lopez Chavez, met with US military chiefs to negotiate the establishment of a US military base in the Chaco region. We did nothing about that either.
What we are involved in? Syria and Libya. Whether coups be real US-backed is hard to prove. What is not hard to prove is our indifference to those with Western-friendly (read neo-liberal capitalists who want to allow US business hegemony over their own people's interests) and our push to create sympathy for intervention to overthrow unfriendly (read those who want to nationalize assets for their own interests and will not allow US hegemony) leaders.
The language we use is a tell. "Dictator" even for those very popular in their own lands, democratically elected. "Protestors" even for those who may be the greatest purveyors of violence against their own people. "Insurgents" for those who resist whoever we back.
In spite of repeated proof that in Syria (The Vatican News Service Agenzia Fides, League of Arab States Observer Mission) that most of the violence is Western backed and foreign? Even the most "liberal" of medias speak only of Assad being responsible.
I wasn't born last night. I knew Iraq was wrong, I know Iran will be wrong. I know what we have been told about Libya and Syria is wrong too.
So what of the Arab Spring? What of Occupy?
I don't believe the author of that piece's conclusions that we are 'useful idiots'. Not at all. I do believe that there are agents within each of the movements who will try and radicalize them to create a reason for a crackdown. Again, COINTELPRO is real.
But it is a worthy question to ask, "To what extent do we have to worry about what comes after destabilization?"
...But I'm frightened for your children
That the live that we are living is in vain
And the sunshine we've been waiting for
Will turn to rain...
Much brighter minds than mine have gone on endlessly about power abhorring a vacuum, and that often revolutions end up with a more brutal regime taking power. Divide and conquer. Yankees or the Mets. Black and White. Wreaks and Wrecks. Jews and Palestinians. Sunni and Shias. Pacifist and Anarchist. Romney and Obama. Uniparty and 3rd party.
Destabilized people are easy to conquer. Surveilled people are easy to conquer. People you don't actually have to fight are easy to conquer, and they have drones.
Egypt still sucks after the "Spring" - getting rid of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces power will be close to impossible for Morsi - and the US sent Clinton to strong arm that new President not to allow Gazans to have an open border with them. The US is still droning Yemen. Tunisia just arrested the Mom of the guy who set himself on fire and instituted curfews. The Algerian uprising is said to be "hijacked" by the Western Press because they don't want what we would have installed there.
In every single one, the US has sought hegemonic control in the aftermath.
So what will the PTB do with us if we manage to upset our status quo?
The order may be wrong....
What are the facts, and who is the source?
What memes are we repeating, and who fed them us to repeat?
The fact remains, people are dying enmasse all over the World, being slowly strangled by austerity as the rich get richer.
What is truth and how will we know it, when the rich own the press, have unlimited access to social media and we in our earnest angst are so ready to want a cause to cling to?
Back to following the money. If Occupy and Anonymous truly serve the People, they will not allow it to continue. They will "create" violence and attribute it to us. They will be violent against us to breed fear. They will try and make sure our efforts interrupt the lives of people just trying to survive so as to foster resentment.
I ask again, if we manage to destabilize the fabric of the United States in some kind of peaceful or even violent revolution/civil war, what will they do here?
They aren't stupid. They are 40 chess steps ahead of my ass. But the portends aren't every good. There are empty Fema Camps everywhere. We have the largest Incarceration Industry in the World. There is already an Executive Order signed to shut down all of our Communication Systems. There is NDAA that says we may be detained without trial. They now say it is legal to shoot an American on sight if that American is on the Presidents "kill list."
And the hold the keys to us eating or starving, being housed or homeless, have medical care or die. Worse, they have managed to keep is fighting among ourselves.
We are so angry... we will repeat almost anything that comes from an "activists" mouth, and repeat almost anything that has a human-interest feel-good story of people being brutalized. What next in the propaganda round? "Occupiers caught raping young blond christian girl while forcing her to watch gay porn and aborting her baby on bed covered with US flag on fire!"?
My husband used to warn me to be careful what I wished for, that I may get it. Especially when I spoke of revolution.
"uh-uh uhhh-uh uuu-uh-uh-uh-uh-uhhhh!"
We went from grunting to gregorian chants to finding Higgs Boson particle and letting the Government track us by iPhone.
Listen to the tide slowly turning
Wash all our heartaches away
We're part of the fire that is burning
And from the ashes we can build another day
I used to believe this. I want to believe this. I want LOVE to conquer Greed.
I want to believe that all my relatives in the Human Race will wake up and say, "We are all related, no more war and bullshit."
I wanted to believe that the net would bring us the chance to know one another as Mothers, Fathers, Sons and Daughters.
I realize that the SINGLE most demonized concept in the World has always been the full and equal rights of all humans. Its name is Socialism. Its name is Communism. Its definition is Sharing. Its source is Love.
I've been more than a little troubled lately. Is sometimes supporting an uprising a way for them to stop any real revolution in its tracks?
Is it real or Memorex?
Will it be Pepsi or Coke?
Who will win the Global Class War?
And are you really you?
I'm not magnetic ink.
I think I think I am
Therefore I am I think
Of course you are my bright little star
I've miles and miles of files,
pretty files of your forefather's fruit
And now to suit our great computer
You're magnetic ink
I'm more than that I know I am
At least, I think I must be
There you go man,
keep as cool as you can
Face piles and piles of trials with smiles
It riles them to believe that you perceive
the web they weave
Celebrating thirty-five years of nonviolent resistance to the
Trident nuclear weapons system, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action will
honor two of its co-founders, Jim and Shelley Douglass, who will speak at its annual August
event at the Ground Zero Center in Kitsap
By the 1980s the Douglasses and a community of activists were
organizing people across the county to protest the “White Trains” that carried
nuclear weapons to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.In subsequent years the community that became Ground Zero
Center for Nonviolent
Action has continued the spirit of resistance to the Trident nuclear weapons system with regularly
scheduled vigils and nonviolent direct actions at the Bangor Trident submarine base.
The theme for the August 4th – 6th
event, “NUCLEAR WEAPONS: The Most Inconvenient Truth”, will focus participants
on the history, current status, cost, and future plans for more nuclear new
subs and missiles.
Cindy Sheehan and Dorli Rainey will also speak about their
experience with this “Most Inconvenient Truth.”Sheehan’s son Casey was killed in action during the Iraq War.Her makeshift camp outside President George
W. Bush’s Texas Ranch in 2005 launched her career as a dedicated peace activist.
She continues to be a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy under President
Rainey, at 84, pepper sprayed in the face at Seattle Occupy,
became a “poster child” for the Occupy movement through national media
attention to her picture and story.Rainey
has been a peace activist for five decades, and has a strong commitment to
nonviolence in foreign affairs.
addition to speakers, on Saturday, August 4, participants in
the Interfaith Peace Walk for a Nuclear Free Future will arrive at
Ground Zero Center, ending their 13-day walk that will begin on
July 23rd in Portland, Oregon. The Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist order conducts
annual peace walks as a reminder of the very real dangers presented by all uses
of nuclear materials.
The weekend includes education about nuclear weapons and the
Trident base, nonviolence training, music, movies, and a vigil at the Kitsap
Mall.There will also be special
sessions on the Navy’s plans for a Second
Wharf at Bangor and its plans for a new generation of
ballistic missile submarines.
Participants at the weekend event will walk down to the Bangor entrance gate early
Monday morning for a traditional vigil and nonviolent direct action.Monday, August 6th, marks the
anniversary of the atomic Bombing of Hiroshima.
In related action the Peace Fleet will arrive in Seattle’s Elliott
Bay on Wednesday, August 1st.The Peace Fleet is a water-based nonviolent
protest against the glorification of weapons of war at the Seattle Seafair
festival.Peace activists will
simultaneously demonstrate near Pier 66.
All or any part of the weekend gathering at Ground Zero
Center for Nonviolent Action, at 16159 Clear Creek Road NW, Poulsbo, WA is open
to anyone interested in the nature and practices of nonviolent
action and working toward a nuclear weapons-free world.More information and schedule at
“Lovely place, the finest food and drink, gay orgies in every
lodge, what a well earned retreat for me and my billionaire friends!”
— Anonymous Google+ review
“Worked there for many years. No devil worship, no sacrifices, no
gay orgies. Just older gentleman camping on a retreat and playing
dominos, play writes, music, acting, great food.”
— Another anonymous Google+ review
* * *
There are probably three wacky conspiracy theories for every one
realistic account of the Bohemian Club. It doesn’t help that what
happens every summer at the Club’s “Grove” campground along the forested
banks Russian River in Sonoma County includes a bizarre mix of silly
druidic rituals that only feed the rumor mill of Satanism and
sexcapades. The proliferation of wacky stories about the Grove gathering
are unfortunate because the truth about the Bohemian Club is
fascinating and important, especially today with the entire nation
focused on growing inequality and the undermining of democratic
processes by the wealthy elite.
The Occupy Movement has revived a once annual counter-mobilization
against the infamous summer camp for the 1%, and so this year, as they
did throughout the 1980s and 1990s, activists with the Bohemian Grove
Action Network hope to subject the Club and its members to intense
public scrutiny in order to talk about what the Club really is.
For those who don’t know, the Bohemian Club began in 1872 as an
artists and writers society with its own wilderness retreat, a place men
could drink beer alongside each other, fraternize over art and
philosophy, and urinate outdoors in the duff. The Club was soon
colonized by San Francisco’s nouveau riche businessmen, mostly bankers,
lawyers, merchants, and construction magnets who were accumulating
enormous fortunes by monopolizing real estate, cattle, agriculture,
financial services, and other needs enormously stimulated by the Gold
The Bohemian’s clubhouse, still located on lower Nob Hill at Taylor
and Post streets, quickly turned into an exclusive watering hole
catering to white, wealthy men. Even so, the Bohemian Club has always
sought to include a few genuine “bohemian” artist types —musicians and
actors mainly— to spice up its “High Jinks,” serious theatrical
performances, and “Low Jinks,” comedic plays produced for the
As the Bay Area became an increasingly important center of financial,
industrial, and military power up and through World War II, the Club’s
membership more and more began to represent this power elite. Membership
rosters from years past include former and aspiring presidents (Nixon,
Reagan, Bush I and II), captains of industry (three generations of
Bechtels, William Randolph Hearst and his grandson William Hearst III,
the Koch Brothers), bankers and investors galore, generals and foreign
policy advisers (Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger), and other grand
The main beef that many have with the Bohemian Grove is that members
engage in discussions about important public policy and business issues
that will affect millions, but they do so from behind a well-fortified
screen of redwood trees and armed guards. Activists say the Club
represents America’s worsening inequality and decaying democracy like
few institutions do.
“They’re not just cavorting around a peeing on redwoods,” said Mary
Moore, an organizer with the Bohemian Grove Action Network. “They’re
giving two serious talks a day up there. The way you learned about how
important decisions get made in civics class isn’t the way it really
plays out.” According to Moore and others who have tracked the Bohemian
Grove camp for several decades, club members give “Lakeside Talks”
touching on important subjects like foreign and economic policy. Moore
said that the powerful come together at the camp to make decisions, and
that in the supposedly social atmosphere, big ideas in politics and
business get hatched. Moore worries about the absolute lack of public
access to what is officially a private men’s club. “It’s the ultimate
backroom on steroids,” said Moore.
The titles of past Lakeside Talks have been leaked after the fact,
and they include such heavy subjects as “Preventive Defense &
American Security in the 21st Century,” delivered by Bill Clinton’s
Secretary of Defense, and “American-Russian Relations — Is the Honeymoon
Over?” from a Stanford Professor who later became President Obama’s
Ambassador to Russia.
Richard Nixon gave one of the most famous Lakeside Talks in 1967. In
his memoirs Nixon called his speech, “an unparalleled opportunity to
reach some of the most important and influential men, not just from
California but from across the country.” Of course it was a great way
for the presidential candidate to ingratiate himself with the U.S.
ruling class, to show he was one of them and would guard their interests
against the hippy and Black barbarians at the proverbial gates
clamoring for equal rights and an end to the war in Southeast Asia.
Moore says she doesn’t know who will be in attendance this July when
the Grove camp kicks off, or what the subject of the Lakeside Talks will
be. “We’ve always gotten the attendees list after it starts. Back in
the day we had a worker up there who leaked it to us each year.”
Others who have closely studied the Bohemian Grove aren’t so sure the
Lakeside Talks are really the backroom policy sessions many say they
are. “Despite the suspicions of many on the Right, and a few on the
Left, [the Bohemian Grove] is not a secret meeting place to plot, plan,
or conspire,” wrote William G. Domhoff on his web site accompaniment to
his classic book Who Rules America? Domhoff published one of the
authoritative studies of the Grove in 1975 and ultimately concluded that
the Club is mainly an institution for ultra-wealthy men to socialize in
the company of one other, while pissing on ferns and redwoods of
“The most important decisions typically happen just where we might
expect: in the boardrooms of corporations and foundations, at the White
House, and in the backrooms of Congress.” Domhoff’s main point is that
the Bohemian Club itself isn’t a place where important decisions get
made, but rather a place where the ruling class fosters and maintains
its own “cohesiveness” which is a prerequisite for “class domination.”
It’s one of a few dozen institutions where the global political,
economic, and military elite gather to bond with one another and foster a
sense of upper-class consciousness.
The activists planning a counter-event during this year’s Bohemain
Grove encampment don’t disagree on that last point. The Club’s function
as an instrument of class domination is just a further reason to protest
its existence, they say.
This year marks something of a revival for the Bohemian Grove Action
Network. “The last big protest we did was in 2001, when had about 1000
people,” said Moore. After that, a decade of mostly silence ensued, and
the Grove’s men were able to enjoy their jinks, and talks, and redwood
urination in peace. Moore says that about six months ago she began
getting phone calls from various Occupy organizers across the country
asking if her group planned a protest this year to expose the
brotherhood of the 1% at its favorite hideaway.
Along with Occupy groups in Santa Rosa, Arcata, Petaluma, Sebastopol,
and even Portland, Oregon, the Bohemian Grove Action Network is
planning to flip one of the Grove’s oldest and most bizarre ceremonies
on its head. To kick off the camp each year the Bohemian Club carries
out a “cremation of care,” a mock ritual with Wagnerian operatic
overtones, in which an effigy personifying the emotion of care —that is
concern for worldly affairs— is burned. The fire frees the men, who as
upstanding members of the ruling class normally worry over large
financial, political, and military problems during their everyday lives,
to spend their special week outdoors at the Grove without worry for
their empires in the world outside. The ceremonial cremation, carried
out by dark figures in flowing mysterious robes, occurs beneath a
massive stone owl statue and is probably the single biggest reason for
the proliferation of conspiracy theories “revealing” the Grove’s occult
or Illuminati masters, space reptilians, Bilderberg Nazis, etc.
The Bohemian Grove Action Network and its Occupy allies are
organizing a “Creation of Care” ceremony in the nearby town of Monte Rio
on the same day the Bohemian Club will torch care, July 15. “We’ll be
featuring North Coast activists from our communities who are creating
care every day by fighting for social justice,” said Moore. “Also
speaking at our ceremony will be Cindy Sheehan, a delegation of
Fukushima mothers fighting against nuclear power, and Code Pink
activists researching the drone industry.”
The connection to nuclear power, and drones, points out Moore, makes
some sense. “The Bohemian Grove Action Network was originally an
anti-nuclear group,” she explained. “We researched who was making money
off nuclear weapons and realized a lot the them were meeting here at the
Bohemian Grove.” During the 1980s and 1990s numerous CEOs and directors
of weapons manufacturing companies like Lockheed Martin were frequent
attendees of the camp. It wouldn’t be unusual if among this year’s
attendees was an executive or two from General Atomics or Boeing: both
companies build drone weapons.
When the jinks, esoteric ceremonies, and political lectures are over,
one the truth about the Bohemian Grove emerges above all: it’s mostly a
river-side romp where billionaires and presidential material can
embrace their manliness in the shade of thousand year old sequoias that
will absorb their urine in a an ancient ritual of male bonding. It’s a
rich boys club.
In 1981, just before Bohemian Club member Ronald Reagan headed to
Washington for his first term in the White House, just months before
he’d appoint his dream team of Bechtel Corporation executives George
Shultz and Caspar Weinberger to lead the Departments of State and
Defense (Shultz and Weinberger also being Club members), the Bohemian
Club won a court case near and dear to the organization’s most sacred
purpose; A federal judge found that the Club did not have to hire female
employees. According to a New York Times report, “in citing the
‘legitimate defense,’ the judge noted that at the retreat men ”urinate
in the open without even the use of rudimentary toilet facilities” that
are available on the grounds. The presence of women at the Grove, he
said, would ‘alter the behavior of the members.’“
The Bohemian Club did not return phone calls for this article.
"The madness of this
course, we believe, is admitted now...but we fear the lesson is wholly lost on our present
- Frederick Douglass, from
his speech, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?
remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the
people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth."
- Howard Zinn
The truth is that at this
moment of time in this, the 21st century, the vast majority of everyday ordinary Black, White, Brown,
Red, and Yellow people in the United States are de facto slaves. That's right -
A hit list abroad means there is
a hit list at home
We are slaves to the
psychological, economic, and physical dictates of a self-legitimized
organized corporate / military crime syndicate known as the United States
government. Our bondage is not only economic, it is mental, and is supported by constantly tweaked
tyrannical and unjust laws and extremely brutal police forces throughout this
nation. Our slavery is further reinforced by a corporate owned and controlled
"news" media that is as pathetic as it is insidious.
Unfortunately, much of
'Black America' exists in a vacuum of delusion and has yet to heed the burning
significance of Harriet Tubman's words, when she said, "I freed a thousand slaves - I could have
freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves."
Now, this nation has as its
president [i.e. chief executive] a dangerously alluring man, of somewhat
darker pigmentation, who has, in the fallacious name of 'hope and change,' ushered in a corporate-controlled
police state, and has shamelessly taken on unconstitutional powers to overtly
and/or covertly militarily attack peoples and sovereign nations in Africa and
the so-called 'Middle East,' etc. Yet, much of Black America has remained
deafeningly silent about these
This man, Barack Obama, was
four years ago, and remains today, a deceivingly packaged corporate brand
whose actions have repeatedly belied his obfuscated rhetoric. His demonstrative message to Black America
is, in reality, "Shut up! You should consider yourself lucky to have someone who looks
like you in the White House! So just shut up and support me! Ignore your
conscience and your common sense, while I do what I want!" Meanwhile, Barack Obama, relying upon his
obfuscated rhetoric, his well-honed hypocrisy, and his now meaningless pigmentation is
going about the business of making an utter mockery of the hundreds of years
struggle and enormous sacrifices collectively made by Black America.
hypocritical and strong support for the trillions of dollars given to Wall Street's banksters and other corporate
robber barons, at the terrible expense of everyday people of all colors in this
nation, Obama has now blatantly taken it upon himself to be the judge, jury, and executioner of people
(including U.S. citizens) around the world that he decides will be eliminated, i.e.
murdered, without the bother of a trial, a jury, or legal defense. He is the corporate brand
assassin with his very own secret 'kill list.' How can so much of Black America, after years of
lynchings and Jim Crow, etc. be silent (and therefore complicit) in this?
Another word for 'kill list' is government terrorism, and covertly
murdering those persons on a kill list does not diminish so-called terrorism
- it enhances it, which is the height of "madness" and
As if the internal U.S.
government outrages of COINTELPRO [counter intelligence program], the Patriot Act, and the NDAA (the
so-called National Defense Authorization Act) are not already more than egregious and draconian
enough, Obama now has his own murderous hit list [i.e. 'kill list']. What will
it take for the slaves under the yoke of this organized government terrorism against everyday
people to recognize and resist their / our slavery?!
Moreover, make no
mistake about it: What this corporate self-legitimized organized crime
syndicate U.S. government practices abroad, it most assuredly will, or
does already, practice
covertly right here at home. A hit list abroad means there is a
hit list at home. Wake up
Black America! We must wake up and regain our collective conscience and common sense.
Much of Black America has remained
deafeningly silent about these horrors
Notwithstanding the phony
rhetoric and statistics emanating from the corporate-owned U.S. government crime syndicate,
the reality is that the rate of joblessness for everyday people of all colors in this nation has
skyrocketed, and the actual rate of joblessness in Black America is deep into the
double digits. Yet, Barack Obama and his political accomplices in the
symbiotically-joined Democratic and Republican parties are doing quite well even as the elite
Wall Street banksters and other corporate robber barons have annual criminal 'salaries'
that are in six and seven digits. This is not only insane -it is criminal. Without
economic 'democracy' in this nation for the masses of everyday ordinary people, there is no
'democracy' at all! Remember: Obama's 'kill list' has many forms, not the least of which is
economic, and most of us are targets. We must first recognize our slavery, in order
to eradicate it.
We must trust that 'Black
America' collectively will re-awaken and regain its rightful place among our everyday sisters and brothers
of all colors in this nation and throughout Mother Earth. This will not
happen by osmosis. We must work to make it so!
Each one, reach one. Each
one, teach one. Onward, then, my sisters and brothers. Onward!...
THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN BLACKCOMMENTATOR.COM
Editorial Board member and Columnist, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the
Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New
Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have
successfully self-authored his civil / political rights case to the United
Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In
connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter
suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally
televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The
MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book,
Saying No to Power: Autobiography of
a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel
[Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.) Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.