- Peace Garden: 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005

50,000 people or more expected...hopefully many more!

Friday, April 29, 2005

 Posted by Hello



W's way to peace?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

"Peace is a very complicated concept. When the lion gobbles up the lamb and wipes his lips, then there's peace. Well, I ain't for that peace at all." - Abbie Hoffman
That peace is short lived - peace through violence isn't true and lasting. A true peace is one that comes from within, one spread through an open giving hand.

One guess the type W is after.


Who's Next?

 Posted by Hello

From www.cafepress.com


35 years and 1 week...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

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On May 4 we will mark 35 years since Kent State and then 10 days later we will remember Jackson State.

Kent State - 60 plus bullets fired by Ohio National Guardsmen. Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Lee Scheuer and William Schroeder killed and many wounded.

As Neil Young wrote:
"Tin soldiers and Nixon's comin'.
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming.
Four dead in Ohio."

Let us never forget.


History Repeats Itself...

 Posted by Hello

"This Is Our Guernica" concerns the devastation we brought upon Falluja.

In the 1930s the Spanish city of Guernica became a symbol of wanton murder and destruction. In the 1990s Grozny was cruelly flattened by the Russians; it still lies in ruins. This decade's unforgettable monument to brutality and overkill is Falluja, a text-book case of how not to handle an insurgency, and a reminder that unpopular occupations will always degenerate into desperation and atrocity.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Ah, spring is in the air. The thoughts of young men turn to love... Posted by Hello


US says Iraqi insurgent threat grows again

US says Iraqi insurgent threat grows again. Can't be right? The elections, those purple-blue fingers , they were all a success - right?

"Iraqi insurgents have shown improved coordination and greater tactical sophistication in a new surge of attacks following a sharp decline after national elections in January, US defense officials said.
The increased violence comes amid a stalemate over the formation of a new Iraqi government, which US officials worry is dissipating an opportunity opened by the January 30 elections to undercut Sunni support for the insurgency.
"It's not over. Nobody thinks this is over," said a senior defense official, who asked not to be identified. "

Say it ain't so Georgie.


Uncle Dick and Papa

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Uncle Dick and Papa is a great piece by Maureen Dowd that highlights some great parallels between " W.'s Doberman and John Paul's 'God's Rottweiler". " The two, from rural, conservative parts of their countries, want to turn back the clock and exorcise New Age silliness. Mr. Cheney wants to dismantle the New Deal and go back to 1937. Pope Benedict XVI wants to dismantle Vatican II and go back to 1397. As a scholar, his specialty was "patristics," the study of the key thinkers in the first eight centuries of the church."

So many other parallels that Dowd highlights - amusing, interesting and thought provoking.


Earth Day 2005, 2006.....

Friday, April 22, 2005

Well Earth Day 2005 came and went. Some hoopla, some press. But shouldn't we honor Mother Earth everyday? Why just one day a year? And isn't it amazing how many large corporations have coopted Earth Day. Even the link posted above.

Sad too that the night before Earth Day, the House votes to approve drilling in Alaska. So much for saving Mother Earth.



Thursday, April 21, 2005

From The Chopra Center

If there is to be Peace in the world
There must be Peace in the nations
If there is to be Peace in the nations
There must be Peace in the cities
If there is to be Peace in the cities
There must be Peace between neighbors
If there is to be Peace between neighbors
There must be Peace in the home
If there is to be Peace in the home
There must be Peace in the Heart
Lao Tzu


Benedict XVI, St. Malachy, Now I'm Scared

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Okay, they have my attention now. When the neocons were driving us to the EndTimes, I was afraid that they were trying to bring it about through their own hands. But now with Ratzinger being elected, I am afraid. Either they are all trying to bring about the End Times or maybe the End Time is real.

I have always been interested in the occult and in prophecy (love all the theories and interpretations about Nostradamus). So after the pope died I started looking at prophecies/predictions. The major prophecy I had read previously and reread now was the Papal timeline established by St. Malachy. It was interesting reading the interpretations of his prophecy and how his papal names fit throughout history. So I waited to see if "From the Glory of the Olive" would be our next Pope. I felt it would be Ratzinger and feared that the Catholic Church would embrace fundamentalism and go back to the concept that "Catholicism is the only way." But I did not see a clear tie-in with Malachy until...

He takes the name Benedict XVI! A perfect tie-in to St. Malachy's timeline. Even ties into a Benedictine Order prophesy that the last pope would come from their order. A website called Catholic Planet even predicted the name and shows how the prophecy is coming to pass.

Okay, so either the Vatican didn't care about scaring me because they know the "truth" or Ratzinger is trying to bring the prophecy to pass. How else can you explain it? Who in their right mind would take a name or elect someone who does fit into the prophecy? When does it become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Is it really the End Times if it is brought about by men hoping for the end?

Now you know why I am scared.


A Radical in the White House

Monday, April 18, 2005

A Radical in the White House is a great piece about FDR. Interesting thoughts from his last State of the Union that are not in W's vision at all.

Roosevelt referred to his proposals in that speech as "a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race or creed."
Among these rights, he said, are:
"The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation."
"The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation."
"The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living."
"The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad."
"The right of every family to a decent home."
"The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health."
"The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment."
"The right to a good education."


Armenian genocide - learn from history

Are we not to learn from history? Should we not strive to help anyone and everyone?

An Op-Ed from NY Times:

Mr. Bush, Take a Look at MTV

When Turkey was massacring Armenians in 1915, the administration of Woodrow Wilson determinedly looked the other way. The U.S. ambassador in Constantinople sent furious cables to Washington, pleading for action against what he called "race murder," but the White House shrugged.
It was, after all, a messy situation, and there was no easy way to stop the killing. The U.S. was desperate to stay out of World War I and reluctant to poison relations with Turkey.
A generation later, American officials said they were too busy fighting a war to worry about Nazi death camps. In May 1943, the U.S. government rejected suggestions that it bomb Auschwitz, saying that aircraft weren't available.
In the 1970's, the U.S. didn't try to stop the Cambodian genocide. It was a murky situation in a hostile country, and there was no perfect solution. The U.S. was also negotiating the establishment of relations with China, the major backer of the Khmer Rouge, and didn't want to upset that process.
Much the same happened in Bosnia and Rwanda. As Samantha Power chronicles in her superb book, "A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," the pattern was repeated over and over: a slaughter unfolded in a distant part of the world, but we had other priorities and it was always simplest for the American government to look away.
Now President Bush is writing a new chapter in that history.
Sudan's army and janjaweed militias have spent the last couple of years rampaging in the Darfur region, killing boys and men, gang-raping and then mutilating women, throwing bodies in wells to poison the water and heaving children onto bonfires. Just over a week ago, 350 assailants launched what the U.N. called a "savage" attack on the village of Khor Abeche, "killing, burning and destroying everything in their paths." Once again, there's no good solution. So we've looked away as 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur, with another 10,000 dying every month.
Since I'm of Armenian origin, I've been invited to participate in various 90th-anniversary memorials of the Armenian genocide. But we Armenian-Americans are completely missing the lesson of that genocide if we devote our energies to honoring the dead, instead of trying to save those being killed in Darfur.
Meanwhile, President Bush seems paralyzed in the face of the slaughter. He has done a fine job of providing humanitarian relief, but he has refused to confront Sudan forcefully or raise the issue himself before the world. Incredibly, Mr. Bush managed to get through recent meetings with Vladimir Putin, Jacques Chirac, Tony Blair and the entire NATO leadership without any public mention of Darfur.
There's no perfect solution, but there are steps we can take. Mr. Bush could impose a no-fly zone, provide logistical support to a larger African or U.N. force, send Condoleezza Rice to Darfur to show that it's a priority, consult with Egypt and other allies - and above all speak out forcefully.
One lesson of history is that moral force counts. Sudan has curtailed the rapes and murders whenever international attention increased.
Mr. Bush hasn't even taken a position on the Darfur Accountability Act and other bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Jon Corzine and Sam Brownback to put pressure on Sudan. Does Mr. Bush really want to preserve his neutrality on genocide?
Indeed, MTV is raising the issue more openly and powerfully than our White House. (Its mtvU channel is also covering Darfur more aggressively than most TV networks.) It should be a national embarrassment that MTV is more outspoken about genocide than our president.
If the Bush administration has been quiet on Darfur, other countries have been even more passive. Europe, aside from Britain, has been blind. Islamic Relief, the aid group, has done a wonderful job in Darfur, but in general the world's Muslims should be mortified that they haven't helped the Muslim victims in Darfur nearly as much as American Jews have. And China, while screaming about Japanese atrocities 70 years ago, is underwriting Sudan's atrocities in 2005.
On each of my three visits to Darfur, the dispossessed victims showed me immense kindness, guiding me to safe places and offering me water when I was hot and exhausted. They had lost their homes and often their children, and they seemed to have nothing - yet in their compassion to me they showed that they had retained their humanity. So it appalls me that we who have everything can't muster the simple humanity to try to save their lives.


Rejecting Jesus' Extreme Makeover

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Rejecting Jesus' Extreme Makeover is a great article that really explores the hypocrisy of W's "faith".

Jesus was the original social progressive. He was a righteous, rebellious pacifist. He taught that only though the earthly practice of love for our fellows could we come to know God, and eternal life. Jesus said: "Amen, Amen, I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death forever." (John 8:51)
So we must stand firm. We know in our hearts that Jesus would not support war of any kind, whether cultural, economic, or military. And we must continue to say so.
We can't turn away in shame and disgust as members of Congress, leaders of right-wing sponsored think tanks, heads of evangelical mega-churches, and members of Bush's inner circle continue to clamor that our "liberal agenda is anti-Christian."
Knowing better, we must speak this truth at every opportunity.
Whether or not we are practicing Christians, as progressives who believe passionately in the potential of American democracy, we recognize in the historical Jesus a teacher who called us all as children of God to reach for our highest potential together.
Yet before our very eyes, Jesus is swiftly being transformed from a uniter into a divider. From a liberator into a jailer. It's an extreme makeover we must identify and disavow. "
So I guess when God speaks to W, maybe he is speaking in aramaic. We know W has trouble with the English language, how should we expect him to know aramaic. That would explain everything - Iraq, capital punishment, lies...


Two shipments of deadly flu missing,

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Deadly flu missing, WHO says. Are you kidding? Shipped by FedEx and DHL? Now missing?

The interesting thing is that the two were going to Lebanon and Mexico. HMMM, let's see - Mexico is near Venezuela and Lebanon and Syria are neighbors. So let's wait for the report that the shipments were "stolen" by Venezuela and Syria - another reason to place them in the "evil" column. Hey I wouldn't put this action past W and regime. Or maybe we should just blame terrorists.


What I Didn't See in Iraq

Friday, April 15, 2005

Jim McGovern is a Representative from Massachussetts and writes of a recent trip to Iraq. He paints a picture of continued violence, misguided policy, a war based on lies, our presence increasing the ranks of the insurgents...

"What worries me almost as much as our misguided policy in Iraq is that so many of my colleagues and so many citizens have become resigned to the fact that the war will go on. Congress is not being inundated with letters and phone calls and faxes and e-mails and street protests demanding an end to our presence in Iraq. President Bush's re-election seems to have taken much of the energy out of the antiwar movement. My recent visit to Iraq only strengthened my belief that this war is wrong. And only renewed, passionate dissent by the American people can end it."


Bush likens Saddam's fall to end of Berlin Wall

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Washington Times reports on W at Fort Hood. Seems he is trying to write his own history book pages.

"On April 9th, we liberated the Iraqi capital," he said. "The toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad will be recorded, alongside the fall of the Berlin Wall, as one of the great moments in the history of liberty."
The president said the U.S.-led democratization of Iraq and Afghanistan has triggered signs of reform in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Palestinian territories.
"As the Iraq democracy succeeds, that success is sending a message from Beirut to Tehran that freedom can be the future of every nation," he said. "The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a crushing defeat to the forces of tyranny and terror, and a watershed event in the global democratic revolution."
Now W, just a minute. Let's wait until we are out of Iraq and there is no bloodshed to declare a victory. Also, the Berlin wall came down through a multitude of actors, actions and factors. That Saddam statue came down through bombs, blood, tow trucks nad some great media planning. Let's not jump to the end of the story just yet. Your place in history will be written by others and will include all your actions - wars based on lies, trade deficits, environmental chaos, election tricks, slips of the tongue, slips of character, slips of judgement...


New York Rejects Death Penalty

David Kaczynski writes about the death penalty and New York state legislation from a very personal standpoint.

I was always opposed to the death penalty, but it unexpectedly became intensely personal for me in 1995 when my wife, Linda, first suspected that the man known as the Unabomber could be my brother, Ted. I knew Ted was mentally ill, but I never saw him as violent. Yet when newspapers across the country published his manifesto, it was clear to us that Ted was most likely the Unabomber.
I was faced with a dilemma that even in retrospect seems overwhelming. If I turned my brother in, I knew there was the possibility he would face execution. If I did nothing, I knew there was a likelihood that another innocent person would die as a result of his actions....
We in New York have learned that we can live without the death penalty. We hope that the rest of the country learns what we have learned.

Also today, U.S. Lethal Injection Executions Condemned was presented and detailed the findings of The Lancet.

Prisoners executed by lethal injection in the United States may have experienced awareness and unnecessary suffering because they were not properly sedated, according to a research letter in this week's issue of the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet.
The authors believe the use of lethal injection should cease in order to prevent unnecessary cruelty and call for a public review into anesthesia procedures during executions.
Lethal injection in the U.S. has eclipsed all other execution methods because of public perception that the process is relatively humane and does not violate the U.S. Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
Isn't it time we reconsider all capital punishment and recognize that it is not a deterrent and should be abolished?


CNN.com - Kucinich Transcripts

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Kucinich on CNN. A lengthy transcript but some highlights:

KUCINICH: You know what I can't get over? I can't get over that we attacked a nation that did not attack us, that we spent the lives of over 1,500 American servicemen and serivcewomen, that we're spending a billion dollars a day, losing a service person every day. I'm not going to get over that. And I think we need to get out of Iraq. It's time to get out of Iraq.
KUCINICH: How are we ever going to have peace in the world if we have an administration that will use any justification whatsoever to wage aggressive war against any nation.
KUCINICH: Bring our troops home who are the targets of insurgents. Are we going to lose the life every day of an American serviceman or sericewoman? Are we going to spend a billion dollars a week on this? Isn't it time that we recognize that we need to reach out to the world community. Get the U.N. in and get the U.S. out of Iraq. Get out of Iraq. Somebody in Congress has to say that.
Let me share with you as my world view. I see the world as being interconnected and interdependent. We need to work with the world community to get rid of all nuclear weapons, to support the biological weapons convention, the chemical weapons convention, the small arms treaty, the land mine treaty, join the international criminal court. Sign the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty.

Sorry I missed him. But even when read, his words and thoughts ring true. Even his passion comes through in the written word.


Let Them Eat Bombs

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Let Them Eat Bombs is by Terry Jones - yes Monty Python Terry Jones.

A report to the UN human rights commission in Geneva has concluded that Iraqi children were actually better off under Saddam Hussein than they are now.
This, of course, comes as a bitter blow for all those of us who, like George Bush and Tony Blair, honestly believe that children thrive best when we drop bombs on them from a great height, destroy their cities and blow up hospitals, schools and power stations.
It now appears that, far from improving the quality of life for Iraqi youngsters, the US-led military assault on Iraq has inexplicably doubled the number of children under five suffering from malnutrition. Under Saddam, about 4% of children under five were going hungry, whereas by the end of last year almost 8% were suffering.
These results are even more disheartening for those of us in the Department of Making Things Better for Children in the Middle East By Military Force, since the previous attempts by Britain and America to improve the lot of Iraqi children also proved disappointing. For example, the policy of applying the most draconian sanctions in living memory totally failed to improve conditions. After they were imposed in 1990, the number of children under five who died increased by a factor of six. By 1995 something like half a million Iraqi children were dead as a result of our efforts to help them.
A year later, Madeleine Albright, then the US ambassador to the United Nations, tried to put a brave face on it. When a TV interviewer remarked that more children had died in Iraq through sanctions than were killed in Hiroshima, Mrs Albright famously replied: "We think the price is worth it."
But clearly George Bush didn't. So he hit on the idea of bombing them instead. And not just bombing, but capturing and torturing their fathers, humiliating their mothers, shooting at them from road blocks - but none of it seems to do any good. Iraqi children simply refuse to be better nourished, healthier and less inclined to die. It is truly baffling.
And this is why we at the department are appealing to you - the general public - for ideas. If you can think of any other military techniques that we have so far failed to apply to the children of Iraq, please let us know as a matter of urgency. We assure you that, under our present leadership, there is no limit to the amount of money we are prepared to invest in a military solution to the problems of Iraqi children. In the UK there may now be 3.6 million children living below the poverty line, and 12.9 million in the US, with no prospect of either government finding any cash to change that. But surely this is a price worth paying, if it means that George Bush and Tony Blair can make any amount of money available for bombs, shells and bullets to improve the lives of Iraqi kids. You know it makes sense.
Great article. Just hope Bolton doesn't see this - he may steal some ideas from it.


Venezuela: US-Backed Coup Made Chavez Stronger

Monday, April 11, 2005

Venezuela = Iraq = OIL.

"Three years after dissident generals briefly drove him from power, President Hugo Chavez is stronger than ever, but he is facing increased criticism from the United States as he moves to buy arms and more of his political foes face criminal charges.
Having survived the short-lived coup of 2002, a two-month strike that petered out in 2003 and a presidential recall referendum in 2004, Chavez and his "revolutionary" movement appear unstoppable.
"He is stronger now than he ever was in the past and has successfully managed to use each of these episodes to consolidate his grip on power," said Steve Johnson, a Latin America analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.
The Venezuelan leader is maintaining his popularity as he pours millions of dollars from windfall oil prices into programs for the poor, while increasing the size of the military reserves and brushing aside criticism that his government is cracking down on dissent."

"Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter and accounts for about 13 percent of U.S. crude oil imports." Now we know why Chavez may be joining the Evil Empire hit list. He may have to wait two years to greet our troops. That's how long the reports are saying we may be staying in Iraq. Now if Iran and Syria will just cooperate and be "one with the Force of W" we'd be able to handle Chavez a lot sooner. But those crazy Rapture non-believing entities....


The Imagine Campaign

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Imagine Campaign.

Yoko Ono Lennon has given Amnesty International a wonderful and generous gift: the rights to use her late husband's song "Imagine" in a campaign for human rights. In her words:
"Those who know the song 'Imagine' understand that it was written with a very deep love for the human race and a concern for its future. It is about the betterment of the world for our children and ourselves. Like the song, Amnesty International gives a voice to the importance of human rights. And like the song, it has been able to effect change."

I think John Lennon would be proud and leading the choir.


Teachers and Classmates Express Outrage at Arrest of Girl, 16, as a Terrorist Threat

Girl, 16, as a Terrorist Threat and a CBS cameraman also. We can't trust anyone - right? At least that is what some want us to believe. Years ago it was the Red Scare, now it is the "Allah Worshipper Scare". Check under your beds tonight. See someone with a turban, a veil or someone reading the Koran? Who you gonna call?

No not the "Ghostbusters". Call the FBI, call the army, call Gonzales... They want to hear from you. They love it when fear rules your life.


Teilhard de Chardin

Attended a beautiful event at St. John The Divine. It was a celebration called "The Epic of the Universe" and concerned the vision and work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Great music by Paul Winter and Eugene Friesen and inspiring words from all including Sister Helen Prejean.

"The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."

From "Toward the Future" by Teilhard de Chardin

It is time to embrace peace, love, ecologically sound practices.... for Mother Earth... before it is too late.


Shiite Mahdi Army Reopens Second Iraqi Resistance Front

Friday, April 08, 2005

Shiite Mahdi Army didn't hear of the GREAT success of the Iraqi elections. They didn't see those purple/blue fingers.

"Over their heads flew the Iraqi flag, banners of Shiite Muslim saints and a portrait of their leader, Moqtada Sadr - symbols of their militia, the Mahdi Army, twice subdued by the U.S. military last year but now openly displaying its strength in parts of the south."
" It was also long enough for the militiamen to deliver the message that has distinguished their organization from Iraq's other Shiite groups - implacable hostility toward the U.S. occupation. They delivered it far beyond the purview of the U.S. military, in one of the many towns and cities in southern Iraq where the Mahdi Army has emerged as kingmaker, and where the lines between authority and lawlessness are still ambiguous."

""There is no place in the land of Mahdi except for the people of Mahdi," he shouted. "There is no place for you on this ground. Our people exist to force you out by means that are peaceful and then by means that are military."

When will we hear them and pull out?


Some Non-Pope News

Some Non-Pope News talks about a major issue that was either pushed to the back pages or pushed out the door.

"And 32 Nobel Prize-winners come out with a statement urging the members of the nuclear weapons club to take their lethal loads off of hair-trigger alert.
The statement, signed by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, among others, notes that "thousands of nuclear weapons in the US and Russia are on launch-on-warning status, and that the megatonnage involved remains more than enough to destroy civilization and perhaps the human race."
Launch on warning status means the weapons can be fired at a moment's notice. This leaves little time for reflection or assessment if one side believes there's an incoming missile. In fact, it leaves all of about fifteen minutes.
The statement notes that "there have been numerous incidents in which a nuclear exchange involving thousands of warheads could have taken place, and in which the fate of the earth has depended on the correct judgment of a single individual."
Is that the situation we really want to remain in, 14 years after the end of the Cold War?
The Nobel Prize-winners also called on India and Pakistan to put their weapons off of hairtrigger alert, and for all the nuclear powers, including Israel and North Korea, to move toward nuclear disarmament."


Continuing the March for Peace

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Photo by Dennis Kucinich Posted by Hello

Kucinich writes:

I visited a peaceful march in London, recently. Nearly 100,000 people gathered along Hyde Park. They came from communities throughout the London metropolitan area. Peace coalitions within neighborhoods expressed pride in their neighborhoods and also celebrated their unity for peace. Protests against the war in Iraq continue, as well as apprehension that the Bush administration may be preparing to attack other nations. A great number of children participated in the peace march, including one cherub, on this same day throughout the world. People gathered hopefully, expressing their belief in human rights and in the inevitability of peace. People around the world are willing to gather for peace, to speak for peace, to march for peace. Let us continue to join our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Let us continue to gather, to march, to strive for peace.


FBI Wants Greater Search Powers

FBI Wants Greater Search Powers relates to Gonzales and Mueller asking for a renewal of the Patriot Act.

"Among the controversial provisions is a section permitting secret warrants for "books, records, papers, documents and other items" from businesses, hospitals and other organizations. That section is known as the "library provision" by its critics. While it does not specifically mention bookstores or libraries, critics say the government could use it to subpoena library and bookstore records and snoop into the reading habits of innocent Americans. Gonzales told lawmakers Tuesday the provision has been used 35 times, but never to obtain library, bookstore, medical or gun sale records."

Sure not yet, but just wait. Hey what did we expect when Gonzales, hero of Abu Ghraib, was nominated and approved. Torture and the Patriot Act - just two tricks in his bag.


Building the Beloved Community

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I was so happy to be a small part of this declaration - a very small part but a part.

[The Declaration below was completed on April 2. It was read for the first time in Riverside Church, New York, on April 4 by Kelley Ogden, of Houston, Texas, the final consensus leader of the Peace Not Poverty Write-In.]

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Thirty-eight years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us of those moments in life where silence is betrayal. Our collective conscience tells us now is the time to speak. Today we walk in the footsteps of Dr. King, Mahatma Gandhi, Fred Korematsu, and countless others who have walked this road before. We follow their footsteps along a path of moral evolution so we may forever change the way we see ourselves and those with whom we share this earth.

War poisons the moral fiber of every individual and rips the intricate fabric of life. As a nation, our core values are peace and non aggression towards other sovereign states. The war in Iraq, however, violates this principle of non-aggression for the Iraq war is a war of choice. We did not engage in diplomacy, but rather, bullying. Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction and Iraq did not invade or attack our country. It is painful to face this nation’s arrogant and brutish tactics but our conscience tells us that we must end this war.

The war in Iraq violates law and perverts our sense of justice. We can no longer be viewed as an impartial arbitrator of disputes, but as a biased proponent of our own self interest. We have lost the moral high ground for condemning the aggression of others. Our compassion and care for our fellow man has been twisted and warped into intolerance, hatred, and bigotry. The war in Iraq was born from the curtailing of freedoms and liberties that our founding fathers, and those like Dr. King, worked so hard to secure. This war promotes fiscal insanity for us and future generations and it narrows and degrades our soul. It is a cancer that, if left unchecked, will only spread. Our conscience tells us that now is the time for action, before the war destroys all that we hold dear. We must speak so that our families, our children, our loved ones, and our nation are not lost in a miasma of fear, anger, and retribution. We must end this war.

First, we must cease all combat operations. Troops should be withdrawn on an orderly timetable, with only a small portion remaining to assist in the rebuilding efforts. To the extent that troops are necessary to maintain order, peacekeeping activities should be turned over to the UN and the international community.

Second, we must dismantle our military bases, which only serve to remind the Iraqi people of our presence. We have done enough damage and must remove the vestiges of this transgression.

Third, we must use all unallocated monies to fund the rebuilding of Iraq’s roads, building, and infrastructure destroyed by this war, as this is our moral and legal obligation. Instead of US corporations and war profiteers, we must employ the Iraqi people, "the engineers, mechanics, farmers, and business leaders, including women" to rebuild their country as it is their vision and promise that we must aspire to.

Fourth, we must give international relief agencies full access to help the people of Iraq and alleviate their suffering. We must help heal the Iraqi people and reweave the fabric of their lives.

Next, we must accept the form of government freely chosen by the Iraqi people, without US influence. Our insistence upon a particular form of government only degrades the political process and democracy cannot be imposed upon others by the barrel of a gun.

Also, we must take steps at home to change the mindset of the American people. Through an environment of fear and images of mushroom clouds brought to us by our government at the hands of a permissive media, we were provided with a false sense of justification for our actions. We were wrong and we need to recognize that we were wrong. Americans must be reminded that truth, honesty, freedom, and liberty for all are our core values. The freedoms and liberties that have been taken from us through the labels of “traitor,” “un-American,” and “terrorist” must be restored. We must rise as a people to ensure that our freedom and liberties are not taken so easily from us again.

We must also address the root causes of this conflict, not only in our hearts but in our daily lives. We must wrestle with the biggest factor of our aggression and we must reduce our dependence on oil.

As a result of this war, countless lives have been lost and ruined, and our integrity among our global partners has been compromised. We must repair relations and strengthen the ties that bind us all by eliminating the permissiveness of greed and violence and holding those responsible for this war accountable. At the same time, we must also demonstrate the power of forgiveness. We must release those we have imprisoned, even those who may now wish us harm. The men, women, and children of Iraq should be free to begin rebuilding their lives, regardless of our suspicions. We must remove the log in our own eye before attempting to remove the splinter in another’s.

We must demonstrate our strength at home and abroad by apologizing to the Iraqi people, the UN, and to the world. By redressing the wrongs that we have inflicted, we demonstrate respect for freedom and democracy. By redressing the wrongs, we strengthen the bonds of humanity, we make peace possible, and we restore our soul.

In the name of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., let us lift our voices and rock the heavens for as our conscience tells us, now is the time to speak.


Get out of the way DLC

Monday, April 04, 2005

Centrist Democrats Warn Liberals reports on the Democratic Leadership Council's latest "Bluprint" magazine article.

In an attack on the party's dominant left wing, anti-war base, and a warning for new Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean "to do no harm," the centrist-leaning Democratic Leadership Council said it is "a delusion to think that if we just turned out our voters, we could win national elections."

Instead, the DLC called on the party to dramatically change its message to "recapture the muscular progressive internationalism of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy and convince voters that national security is our first priority."

I hope that the message the DLC will hear is "get out of our way." This war on Iraq, our sabre rattling must end. The Dems must offer an alternative to an unjust war, a future of bloodshed. It is time for the DLC to go away.

I loved the headline Common Dreams used for this article:"DLC CALLS FOR ALL-OUT POLITICAL CIVIL WAR ON ANTI-WAR DEMOCRATS". Well if it is civil war they want...


Dueling Popes

Three great articles that paint a different picture of John Paul II.

Papal Legacy: Questioning Capitalism talks about the Pope who is concerned about poverty. It is about his hope for the poor, a hope for all nations..."Eliminating the abuses that accompany capitalism and harnessing it for the benefit of society and human morals still needs to be tackled. John Paul II had the courage to raise the fundamental questions that needed asking."

The Pope's 'Seismic Shift' is about the Pope who was against the death penalty and t our war on Iraq. "...he denounced the death penalty as "cruel and unnecessary." Referencing moves by countries around the world to ban capital punishment, the Pope declared in St. Louis that, "A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil."

And then we have The Pope Has Blood On His Hands which looks at the views he expressed concerning birth control, Opus Dei, women, etc. It is not very flattering at all but very much real.

Two Popes? Well the one I am quoting to the right, the one I want to remember is the Pope who promoted peace and equality for all. The Pope who was respected by other religions. The other one - I'll leave him for someone else to praise and honor.


Support the Legislation

Sunday, April 03, 2005

"Withdraw the troops" legislation (H. Con. Res. 35) in Congress that needs to be supported.

"Expressing the sense of Congress that the President should develop and implement a plan to begin the immediate withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq."

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that the President should--

(1) develop and implement a plan to begin the immediate withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;

(2) develop and implement a plan for reconstructing Iraq's civil and economic infrastructure;

(3) convene an emergency meeting of Iraq's leadership, Iraq's neighbors, the United Nations, and the Arab League to create an international peacekeeping force in Iraq and to replace United States Armed Forces in Iraq with Iraqi police and Iraqi National Guard forces to ensure Iraq's security; and

(4) take all steps necessary to provide the Iraqi people with the opportunity to completely control their internal affairs.


The Pope and his Peace Message 2004

My words are addressed to you, the Leaders of the nations, who have the duty of promoting peace!

To you, Jurists, committed to tracing paths to peaceful agreement, preparing conventions and treaties which strengthen international legality!

To you, Teachers of the young, who on all continents work tirelessly to form consciences in the ways of understanding and dialogue!

And to you too, men and women tempted to turn to the unacceptable means of terrorism and thus compromise at its root the very cause for which you are fighting!

All of you, hear the humble appeal of the Successor of Peter who cries out: today too, at the beginning of the New Year 2004, peace remains possible. And if peace is possible, it is also a duty!


Insurgents attack Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Insurgents attack Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. Gee I wonder why they would attack that place. Was it something we said or did? A symbol?



I have commented before on W and his regime and their seeking the End Times. At times I feel like their actions are trying to bring the predictions of the "book of Revelations" to pass. Trying to bring about the last war to end all wars.

I have similar thoughts concerning Pope John Paul II. As his death nears, several journalists, websites and blogs are bringing up prophecies of St. Malachy and other signs of the "end of times." One journalist on CNN brought up a few points that really got me thinking. His first point is that the first Sunday after Easter was declared, 5 years ago by this Pope, as Mercy Sunday. He also mentioned a prophetic vision by a Polish nun. The vision is now viewed as foretelling the ascendency of this Pope. And finally the journalist talked about the possibility that the next pope may come from the non-cardinal ranks. He mentioned that a Bishop from Russia may considered.

So I got to thinking, maybe the Pope is already dead but the announcement will be withheld until Sunday. Maybe the Vatican is looking at the prophecies and their interpretations and trying to bring about "the end times" through their own actions (like W and the religious fanatics). Maybe these prophecies come true because there are powerful people who cause them to come true. The selection of the next Pope will be very interesting. Check out the Pope timeline of St. Malachy. If this next pope fits into Malachy's timeline, we must consider what is really going on. Is it some "divine" plan or some move by powerful earthly forces attempting to bring about some "hoped for" endtimes?

Maybe we are our own worst enemy.

So a few hours after the original post the Pope died. Divine Mercy Sunday theory down, more to wait for...


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