He reads my e-mails. He shows up. He gets it done. Whatever needs to be done that he can do, he does. Every organization needs all kinds of people, but when it comes to the “nuts & bolts” of actually “getting it done”, it is the “Dave’s” that are essential to find in order to function. On top of that, Dave’s ideas and perspectives in meetings are an integral contribution to our success. He is a doer, he is a thinker and he loves penguins. Dave.
June 28, 2006
June 26, 2006
In case you missed it. Here it is again:
June 23, 2006
Here is an excerpt from: World Can’t Wait Training Project Unleashes Activists
~ by Sunsara Taylor (WCW Advisory Board member)
As published on: Revolution: Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
> There was a lot of debate over whether reaching “the mainstream” means
> toning down the message or whether we owe everyone as big a dose of the
> truth as we can bring; over how to draw the line between religion and
> theocracy; over how to argue with people that they cannot rely on the
> Democratic Party to get us out of this mess without insisting that people
> break with the Democrats in order to get involved; and over how to get way
> out there in stirring up massive, unprecedented resistance without
> inadvertently sending the message that “non-radicals need not apply.”
The answers aren’t coming easily, nor or they simple. Conversely, I think the answer is very complex, yet not unattainably so.
Last night I attended a meeting in my new neighborhood in South Minneapolis in which about 500 people jammed into a hot and sticky room designed for about 350 for two full hours. Every chair was occupied, as was much of the open space on the floor. There was someone leaning on nearly every inch of available wall and the two entry ways were full as well with people leaning in to hear and contribute in the Q & A portion. Passions ran as high as the non-air-conditioned room temperature as the moderator had to quiet the crowd and bring order multiple times.
What was the critical topic? Torture? Spying on Americans and the loss of our liberties? Stolen elections and the blatantly racist plot to do so? The threats to internet impartiality and public television and radio? The 9/11 cover-up and Dick Cheney’s apparent complicity in it?
No. The school board has recieved a proposal to utilize the vacant elementary school across the street as an alternative high school.
That’s right… a school re-use debate.
Although I respect the concern of my neighbors with small children and those of us who are worried about this leading to an increase in gang activity in the area, it might seem my neighbors are more concerned about a cigarette being left on the sidewalk in front of their house than they are a cigarette being pushed into the eyeball of an American military detainee in Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan or in some former gulag in Eastern Europe who was kidnapped and transported years ago by our government and may never be charged, gain access to counsel or see his family nor the light of day again. As much as that insular hypocrisy disgusts me, I am trying to figure out what the key is to this extraordinary turnout last night because I am long past simply reacting and am solidly committed to finding the strategies that will get the White House eradication results we want and that America and the world so desperately need.
Just like the huge turnout for the Immigration rallies earlier this spring across the nation, the key here seems to be that this issue hit home for my neighbors. It was personal. They perceived this issue as being a direct potential threat to their quality of life. Just as many Mexican-Americans fear that family members who have lived in the U.S. for years are going to be torn away from their children and thrown over a freshly-built sixty-foot tall GOP fence back into Mexico, many of my neighbors fear “gang-bangers” attending this “last chance” school are going to rape, pillage, steal and destroy their neighborhood. I am not as interested in the relative reasonableness of these fears as I am in finding out what will work for us to most effectively bring the multiple solid, legitimate reasons for the cheney/Bush Regime removal movement to the forefront of the American consciousness.
Because there is no draft, the Iraq War is still “over there” for most Americans. Torture is “over there”. The rights we are losing seem distantly conceptual to most Americans. American opinion on abortion is widely split. Many still trust that “christian” leaders will have their best interests in mind. Most believe we are actually fighting a “War on Terror”, as if terror is an enemy that can be isolated, attacked and destroyed. We may as well declare war on bullets. Most concerned citizens are trusting that an inevitable “pendulum swing” back to the Democrats will fix things. We know better. So what is going to make this work?
I do not know.
I do believe that nearly every American, if they were to know the total truth about the cheney/Bush Regime’s actions and policies, would be appalled enough to demand they step down, and perhaps face severe criminal prosecution and punishment for their multiple crimes and misdemeanors.
I also believe that from the corporate executive who would agree to the street vendor who would also concur, the avenues to gain their support and participation are as varied as the daily population of a Greenwich Village sidewalk. Because of that, the ways of reaching them may be more of an art than a scientific formula, and there is room in our movement for every type of person and every kind of communication from gentle and personal to loud and radical. The key is for each participant to decide on an audience (or several) that they know and understand and to reach out to that particular group in such a way that the group will be most likely to recieve and accept the message.
> There was a lot of debate over whether reaching “the mainstream” means toning down the >message or whether we owe everyone as big a dose of the truth as we can bring;
Perhaps “… as big a dose of the truth as they are ready to recieve” on a case-by-case basis to individuals or groups is the most effective option? I am sure that was discussed.
> over how to draw the line between religion and theocracy;
From the christian bible, which is what this regime tries to pretend they are adherents to:
(Religion) Jesus said: “But I, when I am lifted up will draw all of humanity to myself.” ~ John 12:32.
(Theocracy) President McKinley justified an imperialistic annexation in order: “to educate the Filipinos and uplift and Christianize them”.
(Religion) When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, his disciple Peter attempted to violently defend him and Jesus rebuked Peter, saying: “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.” ~ Matthew 26:52
(Theocracy) President George W. Bush gave a glimpse into his true perspective in the week after 9/11 by saying: “This (christian) crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while”.
> how to argue with people that they cannot rely on the Democratic Party to get us out of this >mess without insisting that people break with the Democrats in order to get involved;
The vast majority of Americans involved in the peace movement, strongly critical of Bush, frustrated and angry over the direction the cheney/Bush regime is taking us are registered Democrats. It is the most fertile field for allies available to those of us calling for an early end to cheney/Bush control. Not all will heed “The Call”, of course, but almost all will be sympathetic to our rage and will listen to impeachment and other efforts to remove the cabal from the White House:
Here are some talking points to discuss with Democrats who insist on working within the political process, leaning toward “business as usual”:
1). Impeachment is the only legal, political recourse to investigate/hold accountable/prosecute the President of the United States. All other public officials can be held liable in a court of law and/or through the impeachment process.
2). To be impeached, criminality is not a prerequisite, although it makes the job much easier – especially when many of Bush’s admissions of guilt are on the record (NSA spying, support of torture, etc.).
3). Impeachment is simple accountability. No American is above the law. This is the only way to hold Bush accountable within the Democratic system.
4). Do you trust our voting system across the nation? If not, why are you depending on it alone to save us from this disastrous Regime?
4). If Bush isn’t impeached, what will the next President get away with?
5). We won’t get cheney as President. Any impeachment would reveal him to be “double dirty”. Just as Nixon did, the likely result of impeachment hearings starting would be mass resignations for “health” reasons (cheney) or other reasons in the administration.
6). Impeachment is OUR responsibility and it is something WE AS CITIZENS can and must do:
For more evidence and responses to arguments against impeachment/removal of cheney/Bush:
> How to get way out there in stirring up massive, unprecedented resistance without inadvertently > sending the message that “non-radicals need not apply.”
Meet them where they are at. Know your audience. Find out “where they live” and talk about the topics that concern them personally. No matter what the topic, it is easy for anyone reasonably informed to tie the discussion back to the fact that this administration considers itself above the law, considers everything in America for sale including the precious blood of our young men and women in service overseas, and that they will do anything and everything they can to consolidate power, control and profit margins into the blood-stained hands of their soul-less corporate cronies and immoral business partners.
Every American is at grave risk. They just need to see it. Our job and our mission is to get that information to them. THEY will remove cheney/Bush. We can’t, but thankfully, we don’t have to do it by ourselves, we just need to inform and recruit.
June 21, 2006
Does anyone else get just a little bit nauseous when they see someone wearing camouflage as fashion? Does anyone else stop to think what price the wearer DIDN’T pay for the privilege? Does anyone else think of how many of those uniforms have been bloodied, or how many of those sleeves have been separated from the rest of the shirt along with the arm inside it?
I was sickened by the ad shown shown here, and not just because I hate pop-ups in general (got ‘em blocked now). “Get the Desert Hat Worn by our Combat Troops in Iraq. Great for the Summer!”
If you wonder what a veteran feels and thinks when he or she sees a civilian walk by adorned with a piece of uniform they once wore, I would recommend asking a veteran:
It sickens me.
I am not a veteran, but I am a member of Veterans for Peace. If you are interested, contact them about membership at their website above.
Tina is dedicated, principled, passionate and her energy and commitment are strongly contagious. She is already one of the finest examples of showing initiative, frequently taking action steps without asking for “permission”, such as contacting bands and speakers for October 5th, leafletting, attending and speaking out at rallies. She represented us in New York City with Jan on a shoestring personal budget. Maybe most impressive of all, she is raising her son Tristan to be world-conscious and active for the causes of freedom, justice and giving of oneself to a higher purpose.
Thank you Tina!!!
If your government orders you to violate international law, what is the honorable thing to do?
“On June 7th, 2006, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada became the first commissioned officer to publicly announce his opposition to the Iraq war and his intent to refuse to deploy with his unit to Iraq.”
God bless America, and may God bless Lt. Watada in his courageous stand against this illegal and immoral war of aggression against Iraq.
Here is his published statement:
Opposing war in Iraq my duty as American
By First Lt. Ehren Watada
Posted on: Sunday, June 18, 2006 in The Honolulu Advertiser
My name is Ehren Watada. I am a U.S. Army commissioned officer. Currently, I am awaiting charges for refusal to participate in the illegal war and occupation in Iraq.
I was born and raised in Hawai’i. As a child, my family instilled in me a moral sense of right, wrong and giving of one’s self. As a young man, I worked my way through college, appreciating the value of earning my own education. I haven’t always lived a perfect life, but I have tried to live it to the best of my ability.
When I decided to be military officer, I chose to lead by example and put the needs of others before myself. Joining the Army is a choice I will never regret: My decision to reject unlawful and immoral orders in spite of the danger, has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. I hope that my example shows other soldiers that they, too, have the freedom and the duty to choose right over wrong.
In March 2003, I joined the military because I felt the pull of duty, service and patriotism. This was coming off of the tragic terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Upon enlisting, I did not believe an invasion of Iraq was fully justified but I believed the president’s claims should be given the benefit of the doubt. I was willing to fight terrorism —- but always within the extent of the law. At that time, I never imagined that our leader could betray the trust of the people over something as serious as war.
Since I learned of my coming deployment last year, I wanted to know everything about war —- its history, its effects, and of course, this particular one.
The books and articles I read would change my views forever. They exposed in detail the president’s deliberate manipulation to initiate this war. Recent reports show us that this war is a debacle of enormous proportions and that there never was any just cause. I felt as though our lives were being wasted for nothing.
My mind and my moral compass were in turmoil. For me, the turning point came in January 2006. It was not the startling revelations of U.S. Rep. Jack Murtha that swayed me. Nor was it the countless articles written by veterans, former officials, nongovernment agencies and journalists exposing the criminality of the war. Instead, I as a leader could no longer stand the pain and suffering of so many soldiers, families, and Iraqis on the basis of a lie.
I wanted to be there for my fellow troops. But the best way is not to add to the death and destruction. It is to help oppose this unlawful war and end it so that all soldiers can come home.
Never in my life did I ever imagine I would have to disobey my president. But I have come to the conclusion that participation in this war is not only immoral but a breach of American and international law. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution makes all international treaties the law of the land. Therefore, the invasion and the continued fight against an indigenous insurgency are unlawful because they violate Article 2 of the U.N. Charter, U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3314, and the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter prohibiting wars of aggression.
The Congressional Authorization of Force against Iraq has no bearing because its basic premises are untrue. Furthermore, there is vast evidence of numerous violations of international conventions by occupation forces and occupier-trained forces. Though I may never be punished for these crimes, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse to take part in them.
1st Lt. Ehren Watada was born and raised in Honolulu. He wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.
June 16, 2006
In a recent interview, American hero Daniel Ellsberg, who helped to bring Richard Nixon to justice, called President Bush a dictator and warned that the “next 9/11″ will be our “Reichstag Fire”, possibly leading to the demise of Democracy in America.
This is an exceptionally informed perspective coming from a longtime veteran of the battle to save democracy in America and a signer of “The Call” from World Can’t Wait–Drive Out the Bush Regime!:
When will the “next 9/11″, our “Reichstag Fire” occur? Will it be timed to affect the November elections or will it be later? What will the reaction be from those of us who are already anticipating it? What should it be?
June 11, 2006
Michael Berg, the father of U.S. contractor Nicholas Berg who was beheaded by al-Zarqawi had this to say upon the death of his son’s murderer:
//”Revenge is what killed my son,” said Berg. “My son died in a perpetual cycle of revenge that goes on and on, forever. It’s got to stop somewhere. As far as I’m concerned, it will stop with me.”//
So… when Jesus said “Turn the other cheek”, it applied to individuals in America in 2006?
Apparently it does to at least one man in Delaware:
June 6, 2006
What is the definition of fascism?
How would one know when one’s country is slowly being transformed into a fascist state? What is it like to live inside of one? Would we recognize it if it were happening to us, or, like the frog in the slowly warming kettle, would the “national warming” be so gradual, so undetectable that we wouldn’t notice until it was too late? Like melting ice caps, would the signs be too easily disputable for us to agree that they are evidence?
Perhaps those who live inside the bubble of a controlled mass media (#6 below) would tend to be the last to know.
Here is the final sermon delivered by retiring Pastor Dave Weissbard at The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, Illinois on Memorial Day, May 28th, 2006 entitled “Treachery and All Ruinous Disorders”:
And here is an excerpt from that sermon, in which he quotes an article by Laurence Britt (Free Inquiry Magazine, Volume 23, Number 2):
Characteristics of Fascist States
In that article on fascism I mentioned earlier, Laurence Britt looked at seven fascist states: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia (most of which the United States supported). He found fourteen characteristics they shared:
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
5. Rampant sexism
6. A controlled mass media
7. Obsession with national security
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together
9. Power of corporations protected
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
12. Obsession with crime and punishment
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption
14. Fraudulent election
Do any of those fourteen characteristics look familiar to you?:
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism (Backdrops to FoxNews broadcasts indistinguishable from Colbert Report “drowning in flags and eagles” parody, Soldiers as background for speeches, Dissenters labeled “unpatriotic”, greatly increased military presence at sporting events).
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights (Torture camps, extreme renditions, denying detainees access to lawyers/Red Crescent/etc., Spying on Americans, Haditha, Gitmo, Abu Gahrib, Baghram, former Soviet gulag facilities now in our use, additional federal detention facilities on U.S. soil in process).
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause (Osama, Saddam, Al-Zarkhawi, “Freedom Fries”, Gore, Kerry, Murtha, Hillary, Cindy Sheehan).
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism (Checked the federal budget recently?, Afghanistan/Iraq/is Iran next?, Runaway rubber stamping war spending by subservient Congress despite billions of reconstruction dollars “missing” and numerous cases of blatant war profiteering/no-bid contracts to cronies. Use of nuclear weapons “on the table” against Iran).
5. Rampant sexism (Opposition to abortion is a one thing… suppression of birth control leading to a sharp spike in AIDS overseas is another. Subservient wife model paraded out in “family values” legislation).
6. A controlled mass media (Treasonous outing to press of CIA NOC Valerie Plame , Armstrong Williams, Jeff Gannon/Guckert, FAUXNews/Roger Ailes, attacks on Dan Rather, PBS & NPR, federal lawsuits against whistle-blowing journalists, manufactured fake news reports still distributed despite orders by courts to cease).
7. Obsession with national security (Giving it lip service, but our ports are as of yet nearly completely unprotected. Always an excuse for power & money grabs, but never actually taken care of).
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together (Pat Robertson + President Bush = call to assassinate Hugo Chavez. Jesus used as election tool to attract the sheeple, yet teachings of Christ ignored in policy decisions).
9. Power of corporations protected (Corporate lobbyists now writing policy, no-bid contracts are the rule, Clean Air Act removed environmental protections, corporate cronyism favors rampant).
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated (Ask any Northwest Airlines or Delta employee/former employee, jobs flying overseas unhindered by feds).
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts (Seymour Hersch, Noam Chomsky, Dixie Chicks, Michael Moore, Neil Young, Garrison Keillor all under attack for being critical of the Bush Administration).
12. Obsession with crime and punishment (Calls to round up the “illegals”, build a wall, etc., dissidents branded “traitorous” – see Carole Fisher case, Florida WTO crackdown).
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption (If you don’t see this one, you might be completely brain dead or living on an island somewhere. Abramoff/Sefavian/DeLay/Noe/Cunningham/Libby, etc, etc., etc. As many as sixty national GOP leaders implicated in Abramoff scandal alone).
14. Fraudulent election (Florida 2000, Ohio/New Mexico, etc. 2004, Michigan 2006?).
I have no doubt.