- Peace Garden: 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005

Death watches

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Okay Schiavo died. Okay the MSM is on a death watch for the Pope. And Johnnie Cochran's death made front page and headline news.

Sure Johnnie was a celebrity, the Pope is an influential leader and Schiavo was - well her condition was used as a tool by some nutcases.

What about the others who died in that hospice and every other hospice? What about the lawyers who died today from cancer, an accident...? What about young future leaders killed by a gun, a drunk driver, an overdose, a knife...? Why aren't their stories holding our attention? Why aren't we talking of the innocents who are killed in Iraq?

Every single being has value...everyone has a story...every life should be respected. Let us take a moment to think about every life lost. But rather than mourn and cover ourselves in ashes, let's work to stop violence, stop war, stop killing...bring peace as a principle to reality. Let's do that in memory of Schiavo, Cochran, the Pope, the guy down the street, the woman in hospice, the chhild in Iraq, the couple in Sudan.... Now that would be some front page news - good news for the presnt and future.

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Happy April Fools Day Fool

Wear brown on April 1 - tomorrow. Celebrate the Fool in the House - the White House that is. Brown suits, brown ribbons, brown coats....to celebrate the brown shirts in power.

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The Beloved Community

Monday, March 28, 2005

Peace Not Poverty is offering a great opportunity to help create a Declaration of Peace.

On March 30, one million people will gather here to create a written Declaration for peace and justice and against the Iraq War. This site explains how we'll do it and why it must be done.
A MORAL MISSION
We will return America to its true moral mission and restore its historic commitment to the common good. We must do more for those among us who suffer from poverty, hunger, inadequate health care, and educational disparity. The progressive movement is now at a turning point. Dozens of progressive religious leaders and organizations are rising as one to speak out against war and greed, and to build what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called the Beloved Community. The Beloved Community promotes non-violence, social justice, fair and equal treatment under the law, care for the environment, and freedom.
A COMMUNITY OF ALL
The Peace Not Poverty Write-In will use a new online writing system called Synanim. This unique technology enables even a million people to synthesize consensus and identify leaders. It will enable you to engage with others and to lift your voices together for peace and justice. On April 4, the resulting Declaration will be read at the Beyond Iraq service in Riverside Church, New York, by the consensus leader. This event will mark the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech against the Vietnam War in 1967.

A unique opportunity. Register before noon tomorrow to help write this important document. Democracy and community building on-line.

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No Child Left Behind


 Posted by Hello An article hit the front page of my paper tonight about the military having acess to school rosters through the No Child Left Behind legislation. But there is a way to get your child's name off the list by filling out an opt-out form. Just go to Military Free Zone to access the opt-out form.

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Easter Peace

Saturday, March 26, 2005


 Posted by Hello

Found this clipart of Jesus flashing the peace sign. Leo Hartshorn is the artist and it was found at http://peace.mennolink.org/clipart.html.

A perfect sentiment for Easter.

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Far Too Quiet on the Homefront

Far Too Quiet on the Homefront is a great assessment of attitudes towards Iraq. "I can't tell whether America is in denial or despair over events in Iraq, but I suspect it's some of each." It is also because of some very clever work by W and regime to divert attention away from Iraq. The MSM has shifted our eyes away from Iraq to Schiavo, Jackson, blizzards, the Pope, Blake...

"At some point, Americans will need to reengage in this conflict (and conflict it clearly remains, if one reads the battle-and-bombing stories often buried inside the daily news). If they don't, Iraq, like an earlier war in Southeast Asia, will just keep dragging on." And then it will be too late.

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It's Not Your Father's America Any More

It's the end of the world as we knew it! From packaged news and double speak to our trend towards theocracy.

"In the past several weeks, for example, some science museums, mainly in the South, have announced they will no longer show films that discuss evolution, the geology of the Earth or the Big Bang theory for fear of offending people who think such topics contradict the Bible. Topping this enlightening development is the spectacle of the U.S. Congress leaping into the midst of a tragedy confronting a family in Florida faced with deciding whether to end the tube feeding of a 41-year-old woman whom doctors describe as existing in a vegetative state for the past 15 years. Several of the biggest crooks in Congress who face multiple wrongdoing inquiries have managed to deflect attention from their misdeeds by turning this tragedy into a "cause du jour" for the religious right.

We could probably endure all of this if it were only another of the outbursts of cultural passion that Americans periodically undergo in an attempt to assert why we think we're God's gift to the civilized world. The problem is that the people currently in political power in the United States and the people who support them really think we are -- and that's why this country is becoming more unrecognizable with each passing day. "

It is a very different world. The shift happened but it will shift again - it has to for sanity's sake.

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Banksy

Friday, March 25, 2005


 Posted by HelloSaw a recent report on Banksy who is a graffiti artist from the U.K. This was placed in the Brooklyn Museum. This was his own work and placed in the museum by the artist himself. Do a search and look at some of his great pieces/works.

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Dehumanize the opposition...

An excerpt from "Peace is the Way" by Deepak Chopra.

I recently read that on June 6, 1945, the day the Allies landed in Normandy, a disturbing phenomenon took place. It was discovered that the average G.I. wouldn’t fire his gun at the Germans defending the beaches. Even under direct order, with a commanding officer marching down the line of riflemen and shouting the order to fire, only about one in twenty-five soldiers obeyed.

In the aftermath of war, when D-Day became a glorious victory for right and good, this unsettling fact was not made public. Only an internal U.S. Army report discussed it. In that report the reasons for not firing was clear. It had nothing apparently to do with cowardice; rather, the G.I.s couldn’t shoot advancing Germans because they saw them as human beings. From early childhood each rifleman had been taught that it was against God’s law to kill, and the teaching was nearly impossible to overcome, even in the heat of battle. This reluctance to fire on the enemy was a problem for the army, which decided to change its training methods. Instead of shooting and killing another human being, riflemen were taught to make contact with the target or fulfill the strategic objective. Which still means killing another human being, but with a thick mask of language papering over the brutal facts. The overall solution was to condition the average soldier never to see the enemy as fully human, certainly not as human as those fighting on our side.

”Peace is The Way”, pages 31-32.

Ah, the power of “them”. The power of the “evil empire” and satanic forces. The power of fear. Som widespread in Iraq, in the MSM, in politics, in Florida....

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Peace Pie

Thursday, March 24, 2005

A great idea from The Peace Alliance. House parties to start the ball rolling for the Department of Peace. From their site:


 Posted by Hello

"Legislation for a cabinet-level Department of Peace will be re-introduced in the House of Representatives on September 12 th , 2005. On May 6 th , in honor of Mother’s Day, citizens around the nation are bringing pies to their congressional office to let their Representative know that “peace wants a piece of the pie!” We urge you to support this and other efforts that cultivate a more peaceful society. This historic legislation establishes nonviolence as an organizing principle of American society, providing the U.S. President with an array of peace-building policy options for domestic and international use.

The Department of Peace will focus on nonmilitary peaceful conflict resolutions, to prevent violence, and promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights. The Department of Peace would implement measurably effective intervention for issues such as, school and gang violence, racial and hate crimes, domestic violence, reduced prison incarceration rates, and international conflicts i.e., programs and methodologies that are fundamentally more effective than the application of brute force.

For more information on this legislation and our campaign, please visit The Peace Alliance website at: www.ThePeaceAlliance.org. "

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Culture of Life or Culture of Living Death?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

From Terry Schiavo to Iraq is a very insightful article that looks at the zealots trying to "save" Schiavo.

As the article so nicely points out, this crowd is the same that:

"seem completely untroubled by the fact that current Republican policies are consigning thousands of additional children in the United States to death every year."

"cared nothing about the over half a million children under the age of five who died as a result of the sanctions on Iraq, held on the country beyond all reason by U.S. pressure."

"who held ecstatic religious rites before the destruction of Fallujah in November, and one of whom said, "The enemy has got a face - he's called Satan, he's in Falluja, and we're going to destroy him."

" can be found suggesting that we really need to exterminate the vile Arabs because apparently they don't venerate the same God that we supposedly do."

"are just fine with having the state terminate care to a patient against the guardian's will, as happened just a few days ago with a poor black baby in Houston, Texas - killed under the auspices of the Texas Futile Care Law, signed by Bush when he was governor of Texas."

So what is motivating these people to turn their eyes away from so many to focus on one person's plight? Can you say theocracy?

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Monday, March 21, 2005


Hey W. Remember this on Easter Sunday. Posted by Hello

Thanks to peace.mennolink.org/

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Rumsfeld Cautions Iraqis

Uncle Rummy really laid down the law:

"He then warned that Iraqis had to "be darned careful about making a lot of changes just to be putting in their friend or to be putting in someone else from their tribe or from their ethnic group." "This is too serious a business over there," he said on the program "Fox News Sunday," "and the United States has got too much invested and too much committed and too many lives at stake for people to be careless about that."
That's right Mr. Iraqi. We invaded you and now you have to do things our way.

Hey what do you expect? For us to let you run your own country. Hell Congress even won't let an individual or a State run their own life - they walked all over State and individual rights last night in the Schiavo case. So watch out Mr. Iraqi - Congress used Palm Sunday images and religious morals to step "out of line." W wouldn't think twice of not only stepping out of line but erasing all lines.

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Peace In Iraq Now

From Progressive Democrats of America's Newsletter. A great piece by David Swanson.

The majority of Americans, even according to polls conducted by corporations with an interest in war, think that attacking Iraq was a mistake and that continuing to occupy it is a mistake. But the will of a majority of Americans means very little without a substantial minority of Americans willing to struggle and suffer for a goal. If majority opinion mattered on its own, we'd have clean elections, democratic media, a serious effort to slow global warming, major investment in public education, a decent minimum wage, single-payer health care, and other achievements that not enough of us have been willing to lay our bodies on the line for.
We do not, I repeat, not need to spin or frame our position better in order to make clearer our support for the troops or our love for God or our eagerness to fight terrorists. We already have a majority on our side. Stop and think about that and let it sink in. Your position may be denounced as radical and nutty by the news media every day, but it is shared by a majority of your fellow Americans. You're mainstream. Propaganda is not what you need. What you need is power.
We must force US senators and congress members to act. We must appeal to them. We must threaten them. We must pressure, shame, cajole, and encourage them until they refuse to engage in further killing. We must not support the troops. Rather, we must work with the troops and assist those willing to refuse to fight.
Every person of conscience in the United States right now should be putting everything into ending the war on Iraq. The US military is killing thousands of human beings, wounding thousands, traumatizing infants and children, destroying families, destroying cities. This is not one issue among many. This is an emergency to which we must not become adjusted and numb. This is life and death. People are murdering in our name.
Anger and vengeance are being nurtured by actions we are allowing to occur. We are encouraging international armament and militarism by failing to restrain our government. We are allowing the world to move closer to nuclear disaster, a catastrophe that looms more urgently than global warming.
The war on Iraq will overrun any other issues we choose to work on. It will drain them of resources, and it will continue to create patriotic political cover for our opponents.
Our national discourse is corroded by three major forces: militarism, moral values, and corporate media. If we cannot oppose militarism, we are lost. But opposing it, at this moment, can allow us to oppose the other two forces as well.
Support for a wartime president played a much larger role in the last election than did hatred of gays or women or blacks. It is militarism that is now dividing us. And it can only be stopped by morality. If we are going to talk about moral values, we must talk about the moral value of lying to working people in order to get them to kill and maim other working people for the gain of robber barons. We must discuss the moral value of smashing a house with a family inside it or of killing and torturing people who have done us no harm.
In talking about these moral values, we cannot avoid talking about the lies that Bush used to start the war, and those lies are now the single strongest argument we have for persuading people to avoid the corporate media in favor of independent sources of news.
Turning to independent news sources will make people aware that the killing has not ended, the expense has not ended, the instability and hatred are still growing, and no democracy has been or can be established by the US occupation. What can be achieved, if US troops continue to occupy that country and continue to treat its citizens with the most reckless disregard for their lives or liberty, will be an attack on US soil. Should that occur, Bush will immediately declare another war. It won't be another war on Iraq, but another war on whatever part of the world he pleases.
And then where will we be? What will become of all of our plans unrelated to ending this war right now? What resources will remain? What trust and stability in the world? What rights to speak out against flag-flying militarism?
We must push with everything we have right now for the US to get out of Iraq.
So let's start pushing.

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Happy(?) 2nd Anniversary

Sunday, March 20, 2005

What an anniversary! "Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters marked the second anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq with demonstrations across Europe."

"The protests were nowhere near as big as those in February 2003, just before the war, when millions marched in cities around the world to urge US President George W Bush and his allies not to attack Iraq."

Here the protests were rather small as well. Are the majority in favor of the war? Not in the least, rather I think too many are becoming de-sensitized. We are too concerned over what Mark McGuire said to Congress about steroids or what Michael Jackson is doing. There is death and destruction going on in Iraq, but the MSM's eyes are elsewhere.

What will it take to get us to call for a pullout - more deaths? What will it take for us to call for an end - more devastation? I hope I am wrong. I hope that while the MSM is not reporting things, everyone is still concerned and calling for peace - I hope. But with everyone's fascination with the steroid scandal, Paris Hilton, spring break and Wacko Jacko my hope is dimming.

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From John Lennon

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Appropriate for this weekend:

War is over,

if you want it

War is over

now

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What are your plans?

Friday, March 18, 2005

How will you raise your voice and demonstrate your desire for peace this weekend? Loud protest, quiet candlelight visit...? Just do something please. There are so many events taking place around the country, choose one in your area. Get away from the internet for a few hours and make your feelings known.

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The St. Patrick's Four and Resistance to the War in Iraq

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The St. Patrick's Four and Resistance to the War in Iraq. Some more candidates for the wall of honor - standing up for peace.

"Two years ago today, March 17, 2003, four peace activists in Ithaca, New York, poured their own blood on the walls, posters, windows, and a US flag at a military recruiting center in order to try to stop the imminent invasion of Iraq. They took action based on international law."

"We can also be thankful to the many people, like the St. Patrick's Four, who are resisting the war in Iraq."

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43 Heroes

The following Representatives were brave enough to vote against the funding needed to continue our Iraqi occupation. A big thanks to the following for their call to bring our troops home:

Abercrombie (D-HI), Baldwin (D-MN), Blumenauer (D-OR), Capuano (D-MA), Clay (D-MO), Coble (R-NC), Danny Davis (D-IL), Duncan (R-TN), Farr (D-CA), Filner (D-CA), Frank (D-MA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Hastings (D-FL), Hinchey (D-NY), Holt (D-NJ), Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Kucinich (D-OH), Lee (D-CA), Lewis (D-GA), Maloney (D-NY), Markey (D-MA), McCollum (D-MN), McDermott (D-WA), McGovern (D-MA), McKinney (D-GA), Meehan (D-MA), George Miller (D-CA), Owens (D-NY), Pallone (D-NJ), Paul (R-TX), Payne (D-NJ), Rangel (D-NY), Sanders (I-VT), Schakowsky (D-IL), Serrano (D-NY), Stark (D-CA), Thompson (D-CA), Tierney (D-MA), Towns (D-NY), Velázquez (D-NY), Waters (D-CA), Weiner (D-NY) and Woolsey (D-CA).

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Another poster for peace

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Thanks to http://www.anotherposterforpeace.org. Posted by Hello

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What are we doing?

Alaska Wildlife Refuge Open for Drilling.

"The Senate, by a 51-49 vote, rejected an attempt by Democrats and GOP moderates to remove a refuge drilling provision from next year's budget, preventing opponents from using a filibuster - a tactic that has blocked repeated past attempts to open the Alaska refuge to oil companies.

The action, assuming Congress agrees on a budget, clears the way for approving drilling in the refuge later this year, drilling supporters said. "

Mother Earth is crying tonight - as we all should!

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Iraq War Vets on Anti-War Offensive

Click on the title. When you get to the page, click on "Watch Presentation." This is a short but great flash presentation that honors the sacrifice of our troops and end swith a call for peace and a call to bring the troops home.

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WorkingForChange

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Two years out in Iraq and it's a mess and getting worse.

The bombings and shootings continue to increase; the suffering continues to increase. Amazingly, many Iraqis now pine for the un-liberated days of Saddam. They are clear on one thing: the United States must go. Even civil war, they say, would be preferable to the current nightmare.

The Iraqi war has its costs in the United States, too: soldiers killed, or maimed physically or mentally. Anecdotal evidence already suggests a new Gulf War syndrome, more pervasive, caused, perhaps, by the heavily-used depleted uranium shells. PTSD, spousal abuse, and even suicides are common among returning soldiers.

But this isn't about Americans. It's about the suffering (aka "liberation") of the people of Iraq, who, after 35 years of a brutal dictator, 20 years of war, and 10 years of crippling economic sanctions, had already suffered quite enough.

People in Iraq need to know that people in the U.S. oppose this war. That, as much as any changing of Bush Administration minds, is why the demonstrations scheduled across the country next weekend are so important. Go. Make your voice heard. Remember that war is not an abstract game. Remember that democracy cannot be installed at the barrel of a gun. Remember that this country belongs to us -- not to a tiny neocon cabal.

So raise your voices this weekend and let out the yell: Bring the troops home now!

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Self promotion.

Monday, March 14, 2005

A new traffic exchange site. Not up for surfing yet - still signing up members. This is another good way to generate traffic to your site - and find some intertesting blogs.

I think this is only the second time I have posted a referral to a traffic exchnage service. I think it will serve you well.

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Can you top this?

"President George Bush is expected to announce on Wednesday that Syrian - and perhaps Lebanese - military intelligence officers were involved in Mr Hariri's death; the bombing killed 18 other civilians." This coincides very nicely with the demonstrations held today. Today's "Cedar Revolution" rally probably surpassed the "pro-Syrian" rally that surpassed the first "Cedar" rally. Get it? - trying to one-up the other side. And wouldn't you know it, W will be one-upping everone on Wednesday.

Fits perfectly into our plans. We take care of Syria and Israel takes care of Iran.

Then we get the report that "soft" targets (theaters, schools...) in the U.S, may be targeted by Zarqawi. We got this information a year ago. But folks, it all has to do with timing. We have to time our actions and our announcements to meet our needs. In the case of the "soft" targets, W would love to have some of the anti-terror laws that Blair is trying to cram down the throats of his people.

Zarqawi is taking top billing away from Bin Laden. Is he a more effective leader? Is he just more accessible? Or is he just a little scarier because of his deeds in Iraq?

Today's words are: TIMING and FEAR.

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Why Pick a Military Town as the Site for an Antiwar Rally?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Why Pick a Military Town as the Site for an Antiwar Rally? The ranks of those wanting to "bring home the troops now" is growing. And leading the way next weekend will be veteran groups against this war. When will W listen?

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U.S. Gaining World's Respect From Wars, Rumsfeld Asserts

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Rummy "upheld the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan yesterday as powerful demonstrations of U.S. military prowess that will make other countries think twice about making "mischief" around the world."

"Mischief" ? TP'ing the bushes around the White House? "Other countries"? Well the real issue is not countries and their leaders. They look at their own survival as a ruling class first. But let's look at the general population of countries. Has our power stopped the "insurgents" in Iraq? Has it stopped Bin Laden?

"Rumsfeld was asked about a potential military threat from China. He said this year's Quadrennial Defense Review -- a major rethinking of U.S. military strategy -- would plan long-range weapons systems "with respect to China and other circumstances that can change dramatically." China? Now we have plans for China - after Syria, Iran, North Korea, Russia.... More and more W is becoming our own little "Napoleon" - not short in stature but short in vision and decency.

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Calls to Action

Friday, March 11, 2005

Several groups, including MoveOn, are calling for action next Tuesday, March 15. On that day I hope you would call your Senators and demand that they oppose the plan to override any Senate opposition to the nomination of far-right judicial nominees. The plan to squash opposition involves overturning the role of a filibuster. This is being called the "nuclear option" because this type of move by the administration has the possible effect of destroying the Senate's operation and Senate history. Call your Senator and tell them that you oppose the "nuclear option. Tell them you want judicial nominees who will judge cases with the public in mind rather than special interests or political agenda. And get your friend to do the same.

Another great opportunity to work for peace and justice is available at The Peace Alliance. As plans are formulated to re-introduce the Peace Department legislation, voices are needed in each Congressional District to drum up support (both the public and members of Congress). What a wonderful opportunity to work for peace. Sign up and get involved.

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Half a million gather for pro-Syrian rally to defy vision of US

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Half a million gather for pro-Syrian rally to defy vision of US. Some news media were jumping up on down for the anti-Syria rallies the other day. This rally overshadowed, in numbers, that one. "So what did all this prove? That there was another voice in Lebanon. That if the Lebanese "opposition" - pro-Hariri and increasingly Christian - claim to speak for Lebanon and enjoy the support of President Bush, there is a pro-Syrian, nationalist voice which does not go along with their anti-Syrian demands but which has identified what it believes is the true reason for Washington's support for Lebanon: Israel's plans for the Middle East."

Complexity!

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What Rise in Freedom?

What Rise in Freedom? is a great article that suggests, as I have hoped, we all step back before we raise W up to a god-status. Sure there are events in the Mid East that some are calling the beginnings of democracy...

"For starters, each of these events has its own dynamics. The new Israel-Palestine reality reflects the death of Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon's decision to seize the moment, defy his party, and do a ''Nixon to China" by dismantling some Israeli settlements in Arab lands. This shift has nothing to do with Bush or Iraq. Indeed, the Bush administration has been less active in promoting a Palestine settlement than any in memory. (Watch out, when Fidel Castro finally dies and democracy comes to Cuba, Bush will take credit for that, too.)

Saudi Arabia remains a dictatorship and an intimate ally of the Bush administration. The prospect of genuine democracy breaking out there soon is laughable. Egypt, a place where the CIA sends highly sensitive prisoners to be tortured, is a similar story. If Iran is negotiating about its nuclear ambitions, it is thanks to European diplomacy and over US objections.

Lebanon's instability dates to the 1920s, when the French split it off from Syria as a Christian enclave. The French formula gave the Lebanese Christian Maronites power over what soon became a larger Muslim majority. The consequences: on-and-off civil war and Syrian protectorate of Muslims. Lebanon is reminiscent of other colonial legacies in places like Rwanda, Vietnam, India, and Iraq, where Western powers played brutal ethnic games of divide and rule. The United States has tried to intervene in Lebanon before and each time got its fingers burned.

What the whole Mideast region has in common is a sense of bottled-up popular grievances, many of them directed against the United States for propping up dictators that served American military and corporate interests (including, once, Saddam Hussein).

If genuine democracy breaks out, Bush might not like it. Al-Jazeera, the Arab world's mirror image of Fox News, is the closest thing to free Arab language media -- and the Bush administration keeps trying to strangle it. By the same token, the eventual government that emerges in Baghdad is not likely to be both genuinely democratic and pro-American.

But Bush is right that people everywhere want to be free. However, the fitful expansion of democracy has been more the fruit of local struggle and complex diplomacy than American military intervention."

So let's take a long look at world events. Not everything is because of one man or one nation. Things are complex, not simple. Presidents should be complex, not simple. The world and diplomacy is complex and should not be treated as simple issues.

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Hunter Thompson was working on WTC collapse story before mysterious sudden death, warned he'd be 'suicided'

Monday, March 07, 2005

HST murdered? Possible....YES. We may never know for sure. But you know, there are so many "deaths" and "incidents" that smell of some sort of conspiracy. Probable...I'll let you decide.

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Bush chooses hard-liner as new envoy to U.N.

Are you kidding? Neo-con John Bolton for top UN post? He rarely "muffles his views in diplomatic nuance." In other words, he puts his foot in his mouth - great diplomacy. I would rather have Michael Bolton in that position.

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Hostage fears troops targeted her

Sunday, March 06, 2005

"Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena has suggested US troops deliberately tried to kill her moments after she was released by her kidnappers in Baghdad." Why? Was it because she writes for a "leftist" newspaper, or as she states "it was possible the soldiers had targeted her because Washington opposed the policy of negotiating with kidnappers."

I really don't know if it was the heat of the moment or she was a target. I would not think it inconceivable that the latter be true. Whatever the reality is, the damage is done. When an idea is floated that we were intentionally shooting at a "friend" and that idea is widely accepted is a sure sign that our foreign policy/relations absolutely suck. Our cowboy image, so many want and cheer for, just doesn't cut it - it alienates, it degrades, it frustrates....

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Rushing to Judgement

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Do you remember the story of the murder of a family of Egyptian Coptic Christians in New Jersey two months ago? Right after the killing so many were quick to blame the Muslim community. Why? They based their anger on some suppossed internet "nasty words' between the Egyptian Coptic father and a member of the Muslim community. Of course the accusation was easy - it fit perfectly into a dominant view that Islam is a religion of violence. Talk shows jumped at the possibility and the link. I even think Micheele Malkin jumped on the bandwagon and was getting the hanging rope ready.

But now it seems that two robbers were charged yesterday with the murder. It wasn't a religious battle after all - doh!

When the murder took place, the news was front-page material, top story on TV news. Now the truth is relegated to top story of "The Metro Section" of the NY Times (the "B" section). I wonder where it was in the NY Post? I wonder if Malkin even mentions this story and offers an apology for her rush to judgement? I wonder if the rightwing bloggers offer a similar apology?

I won't hold my breath waiting for it. They are all on to bigger and better things - Syria's involvement in the suicide bomb assassination in Lebanon - not that they rushed to judgement then either. Right?

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Canadian Bacon (1995)

Watched Canadian Bacon today. Never saw this Michael Moore movie before - it was great. So pertinent to today's policies of "who is today's enemy?" Hilarious but sad because so many scenes of "hate the Canucks" mirrors today's "hate the Arab/Muslim". Fear and spin can move so many to action.

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No Beirut Spring

No Beirut Spring is an excellent article by Nicholas Frayn.

Frayn points out several issues in regard to the "superficial talk of democracy from around the region." As an example he talks about who is involved in the Lebanese demonstrations.

"Indeed, it is not clear that the current demonstrations represent a real expression of majority will. Neither of the two main representatives of Lebanon's 55 per cent Shi'a majority, Hizbolah and Amal, have joined the opposition to Syria (8). Nor has a significant block of parties representing a leftist and Sunni constituency (9). In reality this protest has much in common with those of the Ukraine in the past presidential election. A relatively small, media-savvy, group takes the initiative, while their regimes are paralysed like frightened rabbits, trapped in the glare of the White House."

The same should also be said about the Iraqi elections. Was it a true representation of all sects, all groups...? Before we kneel in adoration before W, let us all take a step back and really analyze the "democracy" these nations are embracing. Until there is peace in those nations, until all groups are either represented, listened to and respected, until all have a voice...

We must all take a step back and look at anything and everything with a discerning eye. O'Reilly loves to talk about his "no-spin zone." The reality is that there is spin in every newspaper, radio broadcast, TV program. Recognize the spin and seek the truth and reality!

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Syrian pullout

Friday, March 04, 2005

MSNBC - Bush dismisses talk of partial Syrian pullout

“When we say withdraw we mean complete withdrawal — no half-hearted measures,” Bush told an audience in New Jersey on Friday. “Syrian troops, Syrian intelligence services must get out of Lebanon now.”

Okay W. What's good for the goose is good for the gander: U.S. troops, U.S. intelligence services must get out of Iraq now. U.N. troops in.

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Rep. Jim Gibbons - a new hero?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Elko Daily Free Press in Nevada reports on the new hero of the right - Rep. Gibbons.

I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else," Gibbons said to another burst of applause.

Well I do hug trees, I am a proud liberal, I wear Birk knock-offs (can't afford the real thing), I wear tie-dyed shirts, make home movies, listen to music - but I hope I don't whine. And Jimmy, where do I go?

"What greater love has man than he lays down his life for his friend - or in this case, his country," Gibbons said in conclusion.

Sure you served before, but how about you who are so gung-ho strap some kevlar on and make the trip to Iraq.

I am so happy he is not my Representative. While Joey Lieberman and Shays are not my cup of tea, they are great compared to this guy. Who the hell in their right mind voted for this guy?

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A timely prayer

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort: at easy answers, at half-truths, and superficial relationships—so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger: at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed: for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
Amen.

From the National Council of Churches: www.ncccusa.org/iraq/firstanniversary /iraqprayers.html

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www.NoDraftNoWay.org - Draft Threat Level: Elevated

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

"The President has given the Selective Service System a set of readiness goals to be implemented by March 31, 2005. As part of these performance goals, the System must be ready to be fully operational within 75 days. This means we can look for the Draft to be in operation as early as June 15, 2005."

Click on the title to access the site and sign the online petition.

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Today's excerpt...

From "Peace is the Way" by Deepak Chopra (Page 31):

"The way of peace teaches that no one is your enemy. Since this is such a radical change from the way we were taught to feel, it must happen by degrees. The first step is to stop believing in that legendary monster them. Every enemy, when met face to face, turns out to be a human being."

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Not my NY Times!!!!

Mideast Climate Change is a NY Times Editorial looking at recent events in the Mid East.

"Still, this has so far been a year of heartening surprises - each one remarkable in itself, and taken together truly astonishing. The Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit for many of these advances. It boldly proclaimed the cause of Middle East democracy at a time when few in the West thought it had any realistic chance. And for all the negative consequences that flowed from the American invasion of Iraq, there could have been no democratic elections there this January if Saddam Hussein had still been in power. Washington's challenge now lies in finding ways to nurture and encourage these still fragile trends without smothering them in a triumphalist embrace."

I knew someone would start laying the praise on Bush for recent events. I did not think it would be the NY Times. They beat Hannity to the punch on this one. What's next, W pushed yesterday's storm away from the Northeast saving us from a devastating blizzard? Come on!

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Bizarro World

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Did I wake up on the wrong side of bed? Is this all a dream? On the way home tonight (a late night in work) I was surfing the radio dial and came across "Savage Nation". I always like to listen to right-wing talk radio - it gets the anger going (I'd rather scream and yell at the radio than at the driver cutting me off). Savage talked about my pal Wolfie going to the World Bank. He talked about W on the road drumming up support for his Social Security plan. But there was something different. He seemed pissed.

The bottom line is that he feels W and regime has pushed Iraq to the back burner even as the battles and attacks are heating up. He views Wolfie's move as "abandoning" the Iraq mission. He commented on W's slipping ratings and called W maybe the "lamest duck" president ever. He took W to task for talking about peace with Putin who the next day deals with Iran - comparing W's visit with Chamberlain's visit in the 30's. He was very critical - sure it is part of the spin.

I was all set to start cheering and screaming that another has seen the light - or darkness. But then Savage has to ruin my glee and blame "liberalization (?)" as pushing W in the wrong direction.

Things are spinning in very different directions lately. Social Security leading the news while Iraq, Iran, Syria are out of the front pages. A lot of press for the "Cedar Revolution" in Lebanon - I wonder how soon will W declare that any progress in Lebanon was due to his policies. Very little focus on North Korea. So what will be the big news next week to save a slipping W? A new terror threat - we got a little taste of that today? A new assasination? A terrorist capture? An invasion?

It just feels that W and pals spins the "mainstream" media his way. Now is the time to search all media for the latest news. Don't rely on local or national papers or TV stations. Look to Independent Media sources, look to international publications, look to internet sources. We have to stay informed - Iraq is not over, the Patriot Act is still a disaster, our environment is still being ravaged.... But you will never know that if you just FOX or "American Idol" or just read the sports pages, The New York Post, or USA Today.

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