Saturday, August 30, 2014

Special Labor Day Podcast with Ray Light from Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA (September 1, 2014)

Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
September 1, 2014

"Workers of the world unite, the only thing
you have to lose is your chains!"
Karl Marx

On Labor Day (May Day, USA style),
Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
Presents an exclusive interview with 
Ray Light: General Secretary of
The Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA
Ray and Cindy chat about the organization, it's goals, the essential link between the working-class and oppressed peoples of the world AND do a little myth busting about the Soviet Union and Stalin.

ISIS Crisis: Brought to You by Israel/US (SOAPBOX PODCAST, August 31, 2014)

AUGUST 31, 2014


SUBJECT: ISIS in Syria and Iraq AND
Why doesn't Israel ever get attacked by
ISIS and al Qaeda 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We Were Lied To About 9/11 - Episode 2 - Mickey Huff

MICKEY HUFF is director of Project Censored and serves on the board of the Media Freedom Foundation. To date, he has edited or coedited six volumes of Censored and contributed numerous chapters to these works dating back to 2008. Additionally, he has coauthored several chapters on media and propaganda for other scholarly publications, most recently Flashpoint in Ukraine from Clarity Press (2014). He is currently professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is cochair of the history department. Huff is cohost with former Project Censored director Dr. Peter Phillips of The Project Censored Show, the weekly syndicated public affairs program that originates from KPFA Pacifica Radio in Berkeley CA. For the past several years, Huff has worked on the national planning committee of Banned Books Week, working with the American Library Association and the National Coalition Against Censorship, of which Project Censored is a member. He is also a longtime musician and composer. He lives with his family in Northern California. He's also the associate editor of the forthcoming SAGE publication Encyclopedia of Censorship in 2017.

I apologize for the quality of the audio. One of our phones caused static. I did my best to fix it.

The song is "Killing In The Name Of" by Rage Against The Machine.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Soapbox People's Network presents... (Soapbox Podcast 8/24/14)

click to play show

On this week's Soapbox Podcast,
Cindy Sheehan
chats with two of our newest podcast

Anthony Freda of
Freda Rants


Jon Gold of
We Were Lied to About 9/11

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We Were Lied To About 9/11 - Episode 1 - Jenna Orkin

Jenna Orkin is the author of "The Moron's Guide To Global Collapse." After 9/11, she was among the first to question the EPA's announcement that the air was safe to breathe. She went on to co-found the World Trade Center Environmental Organization as well as other lower Manhattan activist organizations that revealed and testified to the EPA's lies. Later, she wrote for, the website founded by 9/11 investigative journalist Mike Ruppert who sadly killed himself in April of this year.

The name of the song is "Killing In The Name Of" by Rage Against The Machine.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Everyday is Labor Day: Save Our Unions: (Soapbox Podcast August 17, 2014)

Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox



Monday, August 11, 2014

Stopping War Where it Begins: NNOMY (Soapbox Podcast 8/10/14)

Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
August 10, 2014


GUEST: Rick Jahnkow
TOPIC: Alternatives to Youth Joining the Military


The project on Youth and Non-military Options 

If you know young people or want to help keep our kids out of the military, please listen and spread the word!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6th: This Day in (Camp Casey) History by Cindy Sheehan

August 6th is certainly a day that has gone down in infamy.

From Hiroshima, August 6, 2011

Undoubtedly, the most notorious event that occurred on 8/6 was the 1945 US a-bombing of Hiroshima followed closely by the bombing of Nagasaki. The tragedy of those war crimes still has have many repercussions to this day. 

I was honored to be invited to visit Japan on the anniversaries and I met survivors and the family members of those that were obliterated. I met a Japanese woman who was in Havana and she had lost a young daughter to cancer because of the never-ending after effects of radiation. What the US did on that day was beyond shameful, but what is even more shameful is the vast number of USAians who still consider those bombings justified.

Now, let’s jump over about 56 August 6ths to the year 2001. Remember this is one month and five days before the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

A little known, or remembered event happened on 8/6/2001 in teeny, tiny Crawford, Texas—a place I was to become very familiar with in a few more years.

On that day, Bush was on the longest recorded vacation of any POTUS in US history and he was handed a PDB (Presidential Daily Briefing) titled: Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US. This, according to The History Commons:

“According to journalist and author Ron Suskind, just after a CIA briefer presents President Bush with the later infamous PDB (Presidential Daily Briefing) item entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” Bush tells the briefer, “You’ve covered your ass, now.” This account is from Suskind’s 2006 book The One Percent Doctrine, which is based largely on anonymous accounts from political insiders. In the book, after describing the presentation of the PDB, Suskind will write: “And, at an eyeball-to-eyeball intelligence briefing during this urgent summer, George W. Bush seems to have made the wrong choice. He looked hard at the panicked CIA briefer. ‘All right,’ he said. ‘You’ve covered your ass, now.’”

Like I said, today, there will be commemorations that get it right, or get it wrong about Hiroshima, but I bet none will mention the PDB in 2001, or my little contribution to that day’s history in 2005 that came to be known as “Camp Casey.”

On August 3 of that year, I was at my home in Vacaville, Ca (still in deep pain from the murder of my son Casey in Iraq) watching some news broadcast, or the other, and my nemesis George Bush came on. He was, once again, on vacation at his pig ranch in Crawford, but this day he was somewhere in Texas doing something. That day, 11 Marines from the same reserve unit in Ohio were killed in the same incident in Iraq. Bush was asked about that and he said, “The families of the fallen can rest assured their loved ones died for a noble cause.”

Of course, since my son Casey died in Iraq in another long line of Imperial wars based on lies and for profit, my ears pricked up at this “Noble Cause” bullshit! At the time George was clearly at a press availability, so I waited for someone from the “press” (really, White House stenographers) to ask him what the “Noble Cause” was, since the mission-lie had already changed several times by then. Predictably, not one of the stenographers asked George that question.

Downing Street Memo Hearing. 6/16/2005
This was the first in a string of coincidences that led me to Crawford that year—well, really the second. The first one was that I was supposed to be in London the following week to go to an impeachment conference with Congressman John Conyers—my plane ticket had already been purchased by the London activists. I was very excited because I had never been anywhere in Europe before, but Conyers’ (he of impeachment fame before he became chair of the House Judiciary Committee in 2007) plans changed and the event was postponed, so I had my entire August free.

That was, I had my August free AFTER I went to Dallas, Texas on
August 4th to participate in the annual Veterans for Peace convention. So, the day after George openly told another lie he was not held accountable for (except for by the people), I was scheduled to go to Texas. At that point, I had a brainstorm. After I give my speech in Dallas at the VFP conference on August 5, why don’t I drive to Crawford (at that point I didn’t even know where Crawford was in relation to Dallas—Texas is one big-ass state) and try to demand a meeting with George to ask him “What Noble Cause” myself?

I had scheduled an event in Sacramento that night, so I wrote a quick email to my email list at the time (probably about 300-400 people. There was no Twitter, Facebook, or even Myspace back then) telling my contacts about my plan, and I left for Sacramento. On the way, I called my sister Dede Miller who was meeting me in Dallas the next day to tell her that we were driving to Crawford from Dallas on Saturday to ask Bush “What Noble Cause” and she said, “okay.” Then I called Andrea Buffa who was working PR for CODEPINK at the time and asked her if she would help me spread the word and she said, “Okay.”
By the time I arrived back home that evening, my AOL (remember AOL?) inbox had overflowed. Apparently, my email had traveled around the world and many people were excited about the impending action.
Camp Casey I
The so-called right-wing in this country wanted to paint Camp Casey as a long planned out and well-funded venture and me as the "front person" in an effort that was politically motivated. Gasbag Rush Limbaugh claimed that my "story" was contrived and based on "false documents" like that of Bill Burkett who accused George Bush of being AWOL from the Texas National Guard. Of course, that's true and what did I do? Bury an empty coffin just so I could camp in 110 degree weather in Crawford 16 months later? Hell, even my own in-laws accused my protest of being motivated by my political leanings even though I had always been against wars in general and Iraq in particular. However, I don't think one brainstorm, no endless stream of conference calls/emails, and three days planning can truthfully be construed by anyone with any intellectual integrity as being nothing but completely spontaneous. And, NO George Soros did not personally fund Camp Casey. It was funded by people from all over sending us their contributions and other kinds of donations. 

Met at Crawford Peace House by the Sheriff of McCleelan County
On Saturday morning, August 6th, we loaded up a bus owned by a
member of VFP that had "IMPEACH BUSH" painted in huge letters on its side, and had a caravan of cars follow us to make the approximately three hour drive from Dallas down to Crawford.

Joining me on the bus were members of Vietnam Vets Against the
Dede, Cindy, Amy in front of Impeachment Bus
War, Vets for Peace, and Iraq Vets Against the War and another Gold Star Families for Peace (GSFP) who had come up from Houston to support us, Amy Branham. We were giddily apprehensive and we had no idea what to expect. The day before one of the founders of the Crawford Peace House, Hadi Jawad had asked me what I had planned to do if Bush refused to meet with me. I answered, "I hadn't thought about that, but I guess I will just sit on the side of the road and refuse to move until he agrees to meet with me." I will never forget Hadi's response to me: "Wow, that's an action." And it did turn out to be quite an "action."
When I look back on that summer, I have many, many, many fond memories. It was the first major post-9/11 "occupy" after all. People flocked from all over the country (and world) to come to that bump in the road to be in solidarity with us. If they couldn't come, they held rallies and camps in their own neck of the woods. One couple drove down from Wisconsin just to meet me, give us a donation and they turned around and went right back.
Of course, we had many celebrities come and join us. Hunky Viggo
Viggo and Me
Mortensen came for a few minutes to kiss my hand and bring me some California produce (greatly appreciated). Joan Baez came when I had to go back home to California to take care of my mother who had suffered a massive stroke one day (she sadly ended up passing away in February, 2007) when I was in Crawford. Joan stayed for awhile and was a great presence.
Joan gives private concert in my trailer that doubled as first aid station.
I made many friends who became my family, but some who have since abandoned the idea of peace in favor of the Democrat party.
When I look back on the experience from a perspective of nine years and millions of gallons of water under the bridge, the one thing I regret is that I did not recognize then that some of the prominent people and big organizations that came to Camp Casey that summer did not come to support peace, but came to only support Democrats. 
Hundreds of people gather at Camp Casey II for a rally
That summer, Camp Casey was a powerful movement that could have affected real systemic change if the devious Democrats and their minions hadn't co-opted the struggle to regain political power, and look what that has achieved as the world tilts on the brink of total global conflict via the Drone Bomber and ever present War Machine.
Also, while I met lifelong friends in Crawford, also I lost some
Joan in front of mural of Casey.
friends due to jealousy at my sudden prominence. I guess in this day and age of the "15 minutes of fame" soundbite culture, many people would think that being "famous" or infamous, or a cause celebré is exciting and/or glamorous. It is not, it's mostly awful, especially if one never sought out, or wanted that celebrity.

I was either viciously attacked for example, Glen Beck called me a "tragedy pimp", or put on a pedestal, for example, Maureen Dowd wrote in the NY Times that I had the "absolute moral authority." Both of these extremes were undeserved. I was simply a mom from California who wanted a simple question answered. I wanted the truth, and here in the US, that is extra-ordinary, but I wasn't an extra-ordinary person. I hated having my life being put under a microscope, especially when another coincidence was that I was going through a separation and eventual divorce at the time, which was a deeply personal thing and never should have been fodder used to demonize me. If every woman going through a divorce was demonized in this country, that would be a profitable industry, wouldn't it?
The day I returned from Calif. Putting flowers near Casey's cross at Camp One

Since Bush has left office in the orderly and lawful way, not in handcuffs, and we're well into the term of the new War President, I almost feel sorry for Bush. (Almost, I said). Where's the outcry against Obama's wars? The occupy movement did not address these issues and I have tried to hold three protest camps since Obama has been president, and instead of thousands of people, there has been tens in attendance. 

Did I mention it was hot?
I would hate to think the only thing Camp Casey accomplished was getting the left-wing of the war party back in political power. I think we did re-shape the dialogue and perceptions of war. With many vets and other family members joining me that summer, people in the US were seeing, for the first time this generation, active family opposition to the institutions that steal our young people to kill and die in the wars for profit of today's Military Industrial Complex. 

We're still trying to make that difference and tip the scales towards peace and justice!



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Observations on the Obstacles to Change - Evident Truths, by guest blogger, Stephen Wallace


It is tempting to write another piece, given the urgency of the current political situation - it is tempting to compile the usual statistics and economic details into a mosaic - some larger picture that will give legitimacy to the financial arguments for things regarding the human right to Healthcare, or for that matter, the human right to shelter, or food, or water. However, those arguments have been well-established elsewhere - for example, by organizations like the Physicians for a National Health Program, or the variety of organizations - from UNICEF to the United Nations - on the non-scarcity of food and water.

It is evident, however, that such arguments do not rupture cynical attitudes or reverse feelings of powerlessness. Observation of the political culture of the United States, its effects on the psychological existences of the population, and the attitudes of the political elite might lead us somewhere in our inquiry. The question is "what is preventing changes that would better the society, given that the facts have already been laid out?"

Well, there are a number of ways to proceed in terms of researching such a question - sociological analysis and study of the fresh commentaries is the common way. I'd like to suggest that the following -- simple observation and contemplation might lead to equally valid conclusions. If you are an organizer, or an activist, and the character of your ideology is radical or progressive, I submit the following as evident truth:

Organizing requires a long term commitment - social change of any sort doesn't happen overnight, and the illusion of spontaneity is the result of many years of dedication - a few days of successful protest is usually the result of months of door-knocking, scurrying about, coffee-fueled epiphany-generating exchanges. The ideal is always in mind, or at least, the moral clarity and sense of urgency that is provided with such a need. It is a temptation for the exceedingly vain to intellectualize the matter - social change being the result of some mysterious hand, or a shift in our spirituality, or some massive psychological leap, or cries about social renaissance and the 'round-the-corner revolution. Perhaps it is much harder to admit work like this is the result of simple virtue: A focused-mind, an open and willing heart, talk, and a willingness to participate in the happenings of the society.

There are some common obstacles. In my experience, the hesitation that precedes change is perfectly expressed in the sentiment that an "outside observer" - our neighbor - may "sympathize" with what we are doing, they may "support" our goals and idealism, and even the specific aim - but "not enough" people will care, not enough support will be garnered, or some variation of candy-coated apathy. It is a frustrating irony that this sentiment, which demonstrates active concern for the political direction and the corruption of institutional behavior, prevents active involvement.

Another variation is in our definition of participation. A person who may be in agreement with certain matters in principle, may disagree as to what the proper method is to induce the changes we seek. It is custom in our culture to take pride in the elections - even if it is apparent, paradoxically, the futility of relying on this ritual. With a signature enthusiasm, we will be told to vote in the next election - that if we don't vote, we cannot complain about the deprived social conditions that we are subjected to. That more people should vote - and, of course, if we could only get an honest fellow in office, the problems would evaporate, simply, as a puddle evaporates after a storm. Come election time, that collective enthusiasm is demonstrated by many educated people - that we ought not to be cynical, that we ought to vote and the hysterical insistence that it does make a very large difference. There is additional frustration here, because, though the enthusiasm and authenticity of the sentiment is surely verifiable - so too is the recursion of disillusionment and inevitable feeling of uselessness and powerlessness that follows when a the love affair between a certain political figure and the public comes to an end. Take your pick with any of them, and some fraction of the population will feel this way. So that limited definition of participation results in self-limitation, and limitation of political possibilities. Participating means something more

Organizing means something different for everyone, of course - but there is the sense that a social change means something in our daily lives changes as well. It means that the merry-go-round, day-in-day-out endlessness transforms into something other than passive observations of headlines at the end of the day. It means that we are striving for some lost, or never discovered vitality that this life deserves - for oneself, and for everyone. It means that the culture of political participation doesn't limit itself to election cycles, or outside observations through academic lenses, or viewing the work of others simply to restore our faith in humanity. Political participation means that we play a part, ourselves, in creating the culture. A culture that is capable of educating itself, a culture that is capable of generating its own solutions and putting them into action. It means that it does not rely on viewing institutions through an illusory lens, static and unchanging. It means perceiving their flexibility, their fragility and moving to change their nature. 

The remaining obstacle is the simple fact that a cultural change is just that - a change. Explaining in explicit detail what such a cultural change would consist of is nearly impossible, given that there are few precedents in American history - this isn't a grandiose or self-celebratory statement - it is simply true that if the aim is to produce a new mode of thinking and acting in political culture, there is a very limited selection of historical examples to pull from. Surely, though, intellectuals have attempted to flesh out definitions of what is called "participatory democracy" and have given it an ideological genealogy: Athens, or models of direct democracy in South America (what's called the Landless Workers Movement) or, other systems of social democracy, but that isn't quite the aim, either. Discussions like this tend to be derailed by pedantic criticism.

Beyond that, it is impossible for one to assess the accuracy of critiques like this without direct exchanges with those who are putting effort into realizing these ideas. In addition, it may be intellectually entertaining to suggest that alternatives are possible - but it is a display of moral timidity that such notions - direct action and normalized participation - remain only in the realm of our ideas. But there are current examples to look to, experiments in changing political behavior are happening right now.

The Health is a Human Right Campaign in Maryland has been well underway for quite some time now. A little over a year since its inception, it has progressed toward the realization of the cultural changes that are necessary . Again, without any of the signature grandiosity of commentators - the simple actions of dedicated people have begun to have an effect on the state population. The Health is a Human Right Campaign doesn’t herd itself behind conventional political leadership, it informs its own communities directly of their power through things like speakouts, public forums, letters to local papers. The simple fact that language has meaning carries itself into community discussions with people - some who would consider themselves apolitical in nature may realize their political power, here. Discussions like this allow a platform for an honest assessment - free of political labels and banners - of the damage to personal life caused by the system in place.

The campaign organizes itself in a principled way. Those who organize in their communities are a part of them - an organizer from Southern Maryland is familiar with the psychological terrain of the area. Local events, county fairs, farmers’ markets - it is not someone who is alien to the community that speaks with them. It is literally a friend or neighbor who, like all of us - is seeking to understand what is happening here and everywhere, and is wondering if it is possible to do anything about it. Superficial rhetoric means nothing here. This is about building relationships with people who are directly around us.

Simply getting people together to discuss something has an effect. It shows us that there are people who are in our lives already - who are ready, like us, to see something new happen.

Perhaps it's best summarized, and may be oversimplified in the sentiment that we ought to "just do it." If we want to see something in the world, we ought to just do it. It may be easy to dismiss the sentiment as too idealistic, or even naive, but given the darkness of the current social reality, a bit of naivety, a bit of a spontaneous ethic such as this may be more than a nice thought - it is desperately needed.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Remember Ukraine? (SOAPBOX PODCAST 8/3)

Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
August 3, 2014

This week, on a Special Edition of 
the Soapbox, Don DeBar from 
CPR Metro interviews journalist 
Patrick Lancaster who is 
reporting from Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine