Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hope and Peace

As we approach the Winter Solstice, the sun will begin it's return and the promise of change is but weeks away. Obama is not exactly showing enough signs of change, per his appointments, as any true progressive would seek, but he's better than the other choice. We hope.

May the quiet of the Solstice bring us peace.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fillin', Killin', and Drillin'

As our country has quickly slipped into our second Great Depression, I have remained silent on my blog. So much is happening...so much to take in. The last hurricane to hit the Gulf (was it Ike?) caused a gas shortage in the Southeast, Asheville included. In fact, Western North Carolina may have been the hardest hit. Panic was the word of the week here, with gas rising as much as $5.50 per gallon. Although it was better that Katrina, price wise anyway. During Katrina, gas rose well over $6.00 per gallon. This time it was a bit different, an ugly species of human emerged...the hoarder. People lined up, sometimes taking over four hours to get their gas. Some pulled their boats and all the gas cans they could find. The smarter stations limited the amount of gas, $10-50 dollars worth. My husband and I avoided most of the mess. We put $20 in our car when the hurricane was hitting land. We remembered last time. We started conserving gas more, something we should have started a long time ago, and our daughter started riding the bus.
The mortgage crisis has not left us unharmed, although we are renters. Our landlord got one of those adjustable rate mortgages and has has to raise our rent or risk losing our house. I guess you could call this a trickle down crisis.
Do I have to mention the stock crash or the hate-filled presidential campaign? OK, I'll talk about Palin. I cannot fathom why any thinking person would support the McCain/Palin ticket. Especially women. I have to post this info about Palin:


As Governor, Palin offered a $150 bounty for every front left wolf paw. She thinks of them as vermin.



She doesn't want any pesky environmentalist messing with her killin' and drillin'.



How can you argue with a whale?

I am very scared for my daughter's future.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

IVAW at DNC & RNC


IVAW with Operation First Casualty at DNC in Denver
As they say, the first casualty of war is always the truth.



IVAW marching at RNC protest in Minneapolis.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dead Man Walking

Amy Goodman always brings stories to light that the mainstream media ignores. Today she talked about the inmate on death row for a crime he did not commit. His cousin did it, he shot the man behind the counter at the convenience store. Woods, outside in the car, heard the gunfire and ran in. The cashier died instantly and was most likely already dead before Wood even entered the store. By a draconian law in Texas, the Law of Parties, Wood is guilty by association. He was driving the "get-away car". Here is the law's wording:

THE STATUATORY BASIS OF THE LAW OF PARTIES
Section 7.02 of the Texas Penal Code outlines the following:
A person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if "acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense he solicits, encourages, directs, aids or attempts to aid the other persons to commit the offense" or "If, in the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one felony, another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators are guilty of the felony actually committed, though having no intent to commit it, if the offense was committed in furtherance of the unlawful purpose and was one that should have been anticipated as a result of the carrying out of the conspiracy."
Article 37.071(b)(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedures permits the infliction of the death penalty only if the jury believes beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant "intended to kill the deceased or another or anticipated that a human life would be taken."


PARTIES AND THE US SUPREME COURT
The US Supreme Court held that imposition of the death penalty on a person who aids and abets a felony in the course of which a murder is committed by others but who does not himself kill, attempt to kill, or intend to kill violates the 8th and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution. (Edmund v. Florida 458 US 782, 1982)
Five years after the Edmund decision the Supreme Court created an exception to this general rule for those guilty of a murder that occurs in the commission of a felony who do not kill or intend to kill, but who have major personal involvement in the felony and display a reckless indifference to human life. (Tison v. Arizona, 481 US 137, 1987)

THE STANDARD NECESSARY TO DEMONSTRATE RECKLESS INDIFFERENCE TO HUMAN LIFE
The Delaware Superior Court observed:
"Major participation and reckless indifference to human life are more likely to be found where an accomplice defendant is present at and before a killing which involved considerable deliberation and the killing is preceded by physical or psychological abuse of the victim, including assault, torture or other acts of cruelty. Such a finding is less likely where the killing is sudden or impulsive and it is unclear that the defendant actually caused the victim’s death."
The application of Texas Penal Code 7.02, in combination with Texas Code of Criminal Procedures Article 37.071(b)(2), is unjust and unconstitutional because it permits the death penalty to be imposed for complicity in a capital crime without requiring a finding that the person intended to kill or that he was a major participant in a crime where he showed reckless disregard for human life. In other words, neglecting to anticipate another actor’s commission of murder in the course of a felony is all that is required to make a Texas defendant death-eligible, thus immensely lowering the standard the US Supreme Court has set. This is allowing the death penalty to be applied in a most immoral and liberal way.

Texas loves the death penalty. Governor Dubya certainly proved that. This Law of Parties is a barbaric, shameful and horrific piece of legislation. Texas needs to rethink it's place in the 21st century. Will they continue on the path to totalitarianism? When a time for peace and harmony is so desperately needed, it is sad to see so many Orwellian laws go into effect.
Jeff wood, I will light a candle for you today and continue to call Texas Governor Rick Perry's office. If you wish to call, here is the info:

Please call the Governor of Texas at 512-463-2000
Office of the Governor Fax: (512) 463-1849
Tell the Governor to Issue a 30-day Stay of Execution to Jeff Wood

Jeff is Scheduled for Execution Thursday, Aug 21 at 6pm, THAT'S TODAY, so CALL NOW!

Monday, August 4, 2008

What Happen's When There Is No More?

I've taken a few weeks to reflect on all the things going on in the world and in our town. From the watch on the 100 year old magnolia sitting on death row in our own town square (see Asheville on the Ground blog for daily updates), to the election and the two front runners, each with their own major faults, if that were the only things happening, I would be more at peace. The drumbeat to war is getting louder, and they are playing the same tune as they did in 2002-2003. War with Iran seems imminent. The push to drill for more oil continues despite the catastrophic effect on our fragile earth. The thing that makes me cry is that they are all connected.
I recently heard about this disaster in the Amazon in Ecuador. Actually I had heard but had no idea of the scope;



What Exxon/Texaco says via Faux Fox News;



While trying to talk to my brother about it this morning, I had tears in my eyes. (Sometimes talking to him is like talking to a rock.) Tears as I thought about our Mother Earth and how She is raped on a daily basis and in Her most intimate and fragile spots. Think about Tropicana and their new juice which describes in a sensuous voice about a berry from the Amazon rain forest. Think about the medicine ingredients big pharmaceutical use which some are rare and endangered.
I subbed for Cecil Bothwell for Blows Against the Empire on WPVM a few weeks ago and played the song More by Madonna. She sings about wanting more, when you have a little you just want more and more. I have added bold to the phrases that catch me;

More

Once upon a time I had plenty of nothing,
Which was fine with me.
Because I had rhythm, music, love,
The sun, the stars and the moon above,
Had the clear blue sky and the deep blue sea.
That was when the best things in life were free.

Then time went by and now I got plenty of plenty,
Which is fine with me.
'Cause I still got love, I still got rhythm,
But look at what I got to go with 'em.
"Who could ask for anything more?", I hear you query.
Who would ask for anything more? Well, let me tell you, dearie.

Got my diamonds, got my yacht, got a guy I adore.
I'm so happy with what I got, I want more!

Count your blessings, one, two, three
I just hate keeping score.
Any number is fine with me
As long as it's more
As long as it's more!

I'm no mathematician, all I know is addition
I find counting a bore.
Keep the number mounting, your accountant does the counting.
(More! More!)

I got rhythm, music too, just as much as before
Got my guy and my sky of blue,
Now, however, I own the view.
More is better than nothing, true
But nothing's better than more, more, more
Nothing's better than more.

One is fun, why not two?
And if you like two, you might as well have four,
And if you like four, why not a few
Why not a slew
(More! More!)

If you've got a little, why not a lot?
Add and bit and it'll get to be an oodle.
Every jot and tittle adds to the pot
Soon you've got the kit as well as the caboodle.
(More! More!)

Never say when, never stop at plenty,
If it's gonna rain, let it pour.
Happy with ten, happier with twenty
If you like a penny, wouldn't you like many much more?

Or does that sound too greedy?
That's not greed, no, indeedy
That's just stocking the store
Gotta fill your cupboard, remember Mother Hubbard.

(More! More!)

Each possession you possess
Helps your spirits to soar.
That's what's soothing about excess
Never settle for something less.
Something's better than nothing, yes!
But nothing's better than more, more more
(Except all, all, all)
Except all, all, all
Except once you have it all (have it all)
You may find all else above (find all else above)
That though things are bliss,
There's one thing you miss, and that's
More!
More!
More! More! More! More!
More! More! More!


I have always heard this song with an environmental message rather that materialistic, but then again, they are all connected. Our "undying need to consume and create things we can consume". I believe we are at peek oil. Oil is destroying our earth, air and water. The demand for clean energy is now. I will end with the lyrics to another song. This one by Melissa Etheridge;

What Happens Tomorrow

I believe if I look hard enough
I will see
That there can be enough
I believe I can think clear enough
To conceive
A place where there's enough

If not now, when
If not today then
What about tomorrow
What happens tomorrow

I believe a woman can work hard and succeed
And we could be content
To believe that she could be in charge
Of the free
And be the president

If not now, when
If not today then
What happens tomorrow
What happens tomorrow
If you become the change
You want to see you change
What happens tomorrow
What happens tomorrow

I believe that we are waking up from the spell
That those that profit from the fear
Cast so well
And good people of the earth now can tell
There is no us and them

If not now, when
If not today then
What happens tomorrow
What happens tomorrow

All is love
All is choice
Everyone and every voice
All of life that you see
All are possibilities
As above so below
To wed the sense into the soul
This is truth I believe
I believe I believe

Truth is of the people
By the people
For the people

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Peace on Earth

If you have never heard this song before, this is one of my favorite Willie Nelson songs.

Whatever Happened To Peace On Earth - Willie Nelson

There's so many things going on in the world
Babies dying
Mothers crying
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth

We believe everything that they tell us
They're gonna' kill us
So we gotta' kill them first
But I remember a commandment
Thou shall not kill
How much is that soldier's life worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth


So I guess it's just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let's just kill em' all and let God sort em' out
Is this what God wants us to do

(Repeat Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

Now you probably won't hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there's a time, and if you're ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

But don't confuse caring for weakness
You can't put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free

(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our Mother is Hurting

I am a C-Span junkie...I admit it. But I believe it should be free, why should we have to pay to watch Congress bicker? Recently, I have been watching the Republicans push for drilling in our National Forests and on the continental shelf, as if our planet were as disposable as our culture. Even our celebrities are disposable, one day they have a hit TV show and the next they are an unknown.
The desire to drill for more oil seems futile. If we are at peek oil production, why drill for the remaining resources when we can use that money to place solar along our massive interstate highway system, invest in public mass transit making it cheaper to travel long distances. We need to move away from fossil fuels, we have seen what it does to our fragile planet. Nuclear power is not the answer either, as McInsane is touting. Nuclear waste is a major issue and should not just be swept under the rug or mountain as they want to do. Clean coal is a myth. What is clean about mountain top removal and poisoned streams? What happens once all our water sources are polluted?
Since I have been recycling for many years, the thought that others still do not recycle seemed foreign to me. I recently realized that most of my immediate family does NOT recycle. Even my sister who is Wiccan. How can she be a daughter of the earth and not even recycle! But that is the hypocrisy of organized religion. The "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.
This is all connected. This is the road to the destruction of our Mother Earth.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kucinich the Just - A Tireless Warrior for Impeachment


We can dream, can't we? Or has that been outlawed?

Kucinich, Kucinich, Kucinich....I just love that man. Who else has the balls to take over four and a half hours to read 35 articles of impeachment on the floor of the House? Although I have yet to see the story on TV, including C-Span, where last night they aired Dennis reading all 35 articles of impeachment starting at 7:30pm yesterday ending around midnight. It is one of the most popular stories on Yahoo news today. Whoever wrote the article, called his efforts basically a waste of time:

Rep. Kucinich calls for Bush impeachment

By JoAnne AllenMon Jun 9, 10:13 PM ET

Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich defied his party leadership on Monday by calling for the impeachment of U.S. President George W. Bush for launching the Iraq war -- but his move was not expected to go anywhere.

The Ohio representative outlined his intention to propose more than two dozen charges against Bush on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kucinich, a former presidential candidate, accused Bush executing a "calculated and wide-ranging strategy" to deceive citizens and Congress into believing that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said she opposes trying to remove the Republican president who leaves office next January because such an attempt would be divisive and most likely unsuccessful.

Kucinich, an outspoken Iraq war critic who has consistently voted against funding the war and led anti-war efforts in Congress, offered a resolution to impeach Vice president Dick Cheney in April 2007. That also failed to move forward.

Many Democrats and civil liberties groups have accused the Bush administration of providing misleading information before the 2003 Iraq invasion as well as violating the rights of U.S. citizens with its warrantless surveillance program. The White House denies the charges.

(Editing by Alan Elsner)

I'm not sure why such a short article would need editing including listing the name of the editor. This is not the norm. Additionally the article was written before he even finished reading the articles of impeachment.
As one person wrote on Op-Ed News, the story cannot be found on the mainstream media. They are more concerned with the election and whatever sensational murder has occurred. But there is an even more sensational murder taking place in Washington, the demise of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and Habeas Corpus. Why is this not news?
Next step, a trial for war crimes.
The 35 articles included masking global warming, lying about Iraq, 9/11 quasi-investigation, and 32 others. At least we have one Warrior for Justice in the house. I believe they ask every Representative to turn in their spine when they are elected.
Thanks Dennis, for keeping your spine.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Collateral Damage

Lisa Holland
Foreign affairs correspondent
Updated:07:32, Thursday May 29, 2008

Families in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are calling for an investigation into their claims of a rise in the number of birth defects.

Fatima Ahmed
Three-year-old Fatima Ahmed
They have raised concerns about the weapons used by American forces in 2004 - when Fallujah suffered one of the heaviest bombardments of the entire war in Iraq.
The evidence is anecdotal because there are no records from the era of Saddam Hussein to compare their stories against.
But Hikmat Tawfeeq, deputy chairman of the Fallujah-based human rights group Alakhiyar said: "We have around 200 cases of deformities recorded by our society. Most of these cases are birth deformities which have arisen after the bombing of Fallujah."
Campaigners say officials are reluctant to speak out publicly, but at Fallujah's children's hospital one doctor told Sky News in the past month she has seen one or two cases of birth deformities every day.
An opthalmologist said he deals with four or five cases of newborn babies every week suffering from some form of eye deformity - and that has risen in the last two years.
At one of the cemeteries in Fallujah, undertaker Mahmoud Hummadi said he usually buries four to five bodies of newborns every day and most of them are deformed.
Phosphorus over Fallujah in 2004
Phosphorus over Fallujah in 2004
Fallujah today still bears the scars of a time when it represented the backbone of the Sunni insurgency - a power-base America decided it had to break.
April and November 2004 saw some of the heaviest bombardments of the war in Iraq, including the controversial use of white phosphorous.
It is a highly flammable material which ignites when it comes into contact with oxygen, causing severe burns.
In a statement to Sky News the US military said it had used white phosphorus in Fallujah but primarily as a smokescreen and not as an incendiary weapon.
US troops bombed the city
US troops bombed the city
The families say doctors have raised concerns to them about what kinds of materials were used by the Americans in order to achieve their military goals.

Fatima Ahmed is three years old. Small and lifeless she barely moves, burdened by two heads on her tiny frame.
Her mother Shukriya says doctors have been unable to diagnose exactly what has caused Fatima's condition.
But her father Jassim, when asked who he held responsible for his daughter's condition, said: "It's because of the war - it's the flagrant aggression they launched against us. What they dropped in Fallujah God knows."
We showed our findings from Fallujah to Alastair Hay, a professor of environmental toxicology at Leeds University.
He is currently investigating injuries caused to children during the war in Iraq. He says without an independent medical study it is impossible to say for sure what has caused the deformities and how they may be linked.
But he says there has never been a study examining if there ARE links between white phosphorus and birth deformities.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Voices

Although I did not finish my term of duty in the Navy, I went through the training and by definition, I am a Veteran. I am thankful I did not see war first hand as many of my fellow Veterans who work to make Veterans' Voices possible. In the core group, we have a Korean War Vet, a Vietnam Vet and an Iraq Vet. Then there's me. But successful military men and women are rare in my family, although many of us tried. My father joined the national guard at the age of 16, lying to get in. I believe he was eventually found out. My uncle was in the Army and had a very successful career. My oldest brother, inspired by our uncle's service, enlisted before he was drafted in 1970. He broke his knee during boot camp and was discharged. My other brother joined or was drafted (I'll have to talk to him about it) and served for two years. The family story is that he got hooked on heroin and overdosed and had to have fluid drained off his brain. I'm not sure how much is true. He receives a disability check from Uncle Sam every month. I now have two nephews, one recently returned from Afghanistan and the other an officer in the Navy nuclear field.
I am thrilled to be a part of Veterans' Voices on WPVM. I am proud to be a part of the independent media movement. Recently, we have interviewed Ret. Col. Ann Wright and Howard Zinn. Mike Ferrell of M*A*S*H fame arrived too late into Asheville to make the interview. We will do a phone interview with him in the near future, although I am not as excited as I was before I heard him give a talk at Malaprops. Even though he has been involved with human rights issues for most of his life, he enjoys talking about M*A*S*H more. I didn't ask him a softball question. Check out what he wrote in his Huffington Post Blog:
One woman asked about my association with the Cult Awareness Network and what I thought about this terrible situation with the kids from the polygamous Mormon cult in Texas. A really tough one. I understand that there's been a ruling holding that the kids were not molested, something I personally find hard to believe. Another person mentions reading this blog, which knocks me out! The idea that someone actually reads it (besides Shelley and my daughter Erin--and now my sister Kathy--and the folks at Akashic Books) makes me laugh.

Both these women were me. I didn't like his answer to my question, but that is the mainstream view about non-mainstream religions. What if the state did not like my religion, would it be right for them to take my daughter, too?
I also got a chance to work the board for Wally Bowen's interview with Amy Goodman. Her speech was brilliant.







I am happy to be a part of independent media, to give a voice to the once voiceless. I hope I can make a difference.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Economic Stimulus Scam


Image stolen from cartoonstock.com


You might not want to count on your stimulus check. Not if you owe back taxes, student loans, child support or other money. This whole government stimulus issue is a scam, a scam for the government to get their money, owed by the poor working class people of this country. In this time when our country is in a recession leading towards a depression, why would they just give people money? Did they think that people who actually received a check would spend it on something other than bills? The whole thing is a SCAM! Just imagine how many people are counting on receiving a check, some will spend the money before they receive it. When it is time for their check to arrive, many will receive a note from the IRS stating why they did not receive anything because they owe the government money from their student loans, which they could not make the payments on because of their ballooning mortgage payments. With the money they thought they were receiving already spent, this brings them further into the hole. This will lead to further foreclosures, worsening the recession, leading us further down the road to a second depression. Don't you find this hypocritical of our government to tell us not to spend our money on bills yet they take it for bills you owe them? Just how much money does the government receive back?
Don't get depressed about this though, remember, the government has your best interest at heart. (Yeah right) They want to you continue spending, continue to accumulate debt. The whole credit score system is based on being in debt. If you do not have much debt, this counts against your credit score. But if you have too much debt, this also decreases your credit score. This whole credit score thing is a scam, too. Where do you rank on their score card?
The government takes up to a third of what people make. When you only make $20,000 a year, a third of that is too much. When it comes down to it, we are not citizens, we are slaves to the US economy. Slaves to our capitalistic, imperialist government. Slaves to the once almighty dollar.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Death of Progress

There are so many things to be concerned, pissed off, scared and sad about. Record oil prices teamed with record oil profits, glaciers melting at an alarming rate, polluted water everywhere, a culture based on the accumulation of stuff while basic health care is an afterthought, all the while our government takes away more of our civil liberties and continues it's imperialistic occupations of sovereign nations as if it were Ancient Rome. Food, water and shelter, our most basic of needs, are becoming a questionable part of our children's future.
Where does this all leave me? Anxious, crying and depressed. Maybe sometimes, not all the time. I have the soul of a revolutionary. I will not go quietly into that goodnight. But I need to focus my energies, although it is hard when every other word out of our President's mouth is a lie; "We are not in a recession, it's a slow down.", saying that the Iranian guard is supplying militants in Iraq, when Iraq says that there is not any proof.

Here is an article from the Agence France Presse:

Iraq says no hard evidence of Iran support for militia

Sun May 4, 10:43 AM ET

Iraq said on Sunday it has no evidence that Iran was supplying militias engaged in fierce street fighting with security forces in Baghdad.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said there was no "hard evidence" of involvement by the neighbouring Shiite government of Iran in backing Shiite militiamen in the embattled country.

Asked about US reports that weapons captured from Shiite fighters bore 2008 markings suggesting Iranian involvement, Dabbagh said: "We don't have that kind of evidence... If there is hard evidence we will defend the country."

Tehran strongly opposes the US military presence in Iraq, while Washington has repeatedly accused Iranian groups of arming and training Shiite militia groups in its neighbour.

Iran, whose ties with Washington have been severed since 1980, strongly denies the allegations.

US military spokesman Rear Admiral Patrick Driscoll told reporters in the presence of Dabbagh that the Americans fully supported talks between Iran and Iraq on curbing the sectarian violence.

"We welcome all dialogue between Iran and Iraq," Driscoll said, adding that they supported any platform that could lead to an end to violence and ensure stability in Iraq where the US has deployed over 158,000 troops.

Dabbagh said an Iraqi parliamentary delegation which visited Iran last week had held useful discussions and secured assurances of support.

"They talked frankly about the fears and concerns in Iraq," he told reporters at a news conference in the tightly-guarded Green Zone of Baghdad where the Iraqi government and the US embassy are located.

He stressed that Iraq wanted closer relations with Iran. "What happend in the past is in the past," he said referring to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

Dabbagh said that Baghdad was keen to "reorganise" its relations with its former enemy, and that Tehran supported Baghdad government moves to curb violence.

"Iran supports the government and understands the need to eliminate all militia... and allow the rule of law," Dabbagh said, adding that the Iraqi team which went to Iran had the blessing of the government but was not "official."

Reports from Teheran on Sunday said Iran had warned Iraq against using excessive force in its crackdown against Shiite militias.

"We support the efforts of the Iraqi government to disarm the armed militia but we advise them not to confront the population," an official source, who was not named, told the student ISNA news agency in Tehran.

"The official position of the Islamic republic of Iran is to support the legal Iraqi government and we will do everything to ensure the security of the country," added the source.

Militiamen mostly loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who according to his Najaf-based office is currently in Iran, have been battling US troops in Baghdad's Sadr City.

Sadr's Mahdi Army militants have fought running streetbattles with US and Iraqi forces since late March in the district, killing hundreds of people.


But we are the nation that, after France would not go along with our unjust invasion of Iraq, changed the name of French Fries to Freedom Fries.
Looking to the election of 2008 brings hope and fear. McInsane and annihilate llery have both promised to continue our imperialistic march across the Middle East. Obama...promises are great but will he really deliver? We still have a totally ineffective Congress. But as the bumper sticker goes, "If progress is to move forward, what does congress mean?".
Back to focusing my anger/frustration/outrage...I know...Viva La Revolution!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Free Christian Nation

Imagine...you and your family live on 40 acre tract of land with many other families. Everyone there has the same religion and works together for the good of the group. The kids are bright and do not waste their time watching TV or playing video games. Thing are well.
Until...an anonymous call to the sheriff's department destroys everything. The caller does not like your religion and lies to the officer about sexual abuse. Without any proof, without any warning, your children are ripped from your arms and spread across the state and they are trying to get permanent custody of them.

This is modern day America...land of the free, home of the brave. Free if you are a tax-paying, reality show-watching, Christian.


Phone number in polygamist case linked to Colo. woman


By Staff Reports

Originally published 03:09 p.m., April 23, 2008
Updated 03:09 p.m., April 23, 2008

COLORADO SPRINGS — A court document says a phone number used to report alleged abuse at a polygamist retreat in Texas had been used previously by a 33-year-old Colorado woman.

It's not yet clear whether authorities suspect Rozita Swinton of Colorado Springs made any of the calls that triggered this month's raid of the compound.

An arrest warrant affidavit made public today says a phone number she had used previously was used to call a Texas crisis center before authorities conducted the raid and removed more than 400 children. Swinton's whereabouts are unknown.

Authorities have said a 16-year-old girl called a crisis center claiming she was abused at the compound. Authorities have not found that girl but say they have found evidence other children were abused.

Swinton was arrested April 16 on a misdemeanor charge of false reporting in a February incident in Colorado Springs with no known ties to the Texas case. She was later released.

Two Texas Rangers were with Colorado officials when they searched Swinton's home. Texas authorities said the search turned up several items suggesting a possible connection between Swinton and calls regarding compounds in Texas and Arizona owned by the sect, called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The items weren't identified.

Swinton has not been arrested or charged in connection with the calls made to the Texas crisis center, but authorities call her a "person of interest" in that case.

The document released today shows Swinton had an extensive record in Colorado Springs of posing as a troubled teen and making false claims. The affidavit connects Swinton to several reports that alerted Colorado Springs officials.

The document links Swinton to calls made throughout October from a "Dana Anderson." The caller claimed to be a young woman being abused by her pastor at Colorado Springs' New Life Church, and later as a 13-year-old student at Liberty High School who said she was being drugged and sexually abused by her father.

In February, a woman calling herself "Jennifer" called 911 from a prepaid Tacphone, claiming that her father had locked her in her basement for days, the document said.

Officers linked the calls to Swinton in March.

In mid-April, Texas Rangers called Colorado Springs Police regarding their investigation into the Yearning for Zion Ranch.

Texas Ranger Brooks Long asked about two telephone numbers, both with Colorado Springs area codes. One of the phone numbers, the document says, "was possibly related to the reporting party for the YFZ Ranch incident," and was one of the numbers police had connected to Swinton.

While Colorado Springs Police did not file for an arrest warrant until three days after hearing from Texas, Swinton was arrested April 16 in connection with the February call.

Documents related to Swinton's arrest were sealed by a judge at the request of Texas authorities. The Associated Press filed a motion to unseal the records Monday, and the arrest warrant affidavit was released today.

© Rocky Mountain News





How free do you really think you are???!!?

Even in the military, 90% of the chaplains are evangelical Christians. That's 9 out of 10. Read this story about an atheist in Iraq.

Fort Riley atheist soldier speaks out on lawsuit

United States Army Specialist Jeremy Hall takes a moment to collect his thoughts at a local coffee shop near Fort Riley in Junction City, Kan., Thursday, April, 24, 2008. Hall, an atheist, has brought a religious discrimination lawsuit against the government naming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in the legal proceedings. He has filed a lawsuit alleging his constitutional rights have been violated because he doesn't believe in God. (AP Photo/Chuck France)

Like hundreds of young men joining the Army in recent years, Jeremy Hall professes a desire to serve his country while it fights terrorism.

But the short and soft-spoken specialist is at the center of a legal controversy. He has filed a lawsuit alleging he's been harassed and his constitutional rights have been violated because he doesn't believe in God. The suit names Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

"I'm not in it for cash," Hall said. "I want no one else to go what I went through."

Known as "the atheist guy," Hall has been called immoral, a devil worshipper and — just as severe to some soldiers — gay, none of which, he says, is true. Hall even drove fellow soldiers to church in Iraq and paused while they prayed before meals.

"I see a name and rank and United States flag on their shoulder. That's what I believe everyone else should see," he said.

Hall, 23, was raised in a Protestant family in North Carolina and dropped out of school before earning his GED. It wasn't until after he joined the Army that he began questioning religion, eventually deciding he couldn't follow any faith.

But he feared how that would look to other soldiers.

"I was ashamed to say that I was an atheist," Hall said.

It eventually came out in Iraq in 2007, when he was in a firefight. Hall was a gunner on a Humvee, which took several bullets in its protective shield. Afterward, his commander asked whether he believed in God, Hall said.

"I said, 'No, but I believe in Plexiglas,'" Hall said. "I've never believed I was going to a happy place. You get one life. When I die, I'm worm food."

The issue came to a head when, according to Hall, a superior officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, threatened to bring charges against him for trying to hold a meeting of atheists in Iraq. Welborn has denied Hall's allegations.

Hall said he had had enough but feared he wouldn't get support from Welborn's superiors. He turned to Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Weinstein is the foundation's president and a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate. He had previously sued the Air Force for acts he said illegally imposed Christianity on students at the academy, though that case was dismissed. He calls Hall a hero.

"The average American doesn't have enough intestinal fortitude to tell someone to shut up if they are talking in a movie theater," Weinstein said. "You know how hard it is to take on your chain of command? This isn't the shift manager at KFC."

Hall was in Qatar when the lawsuit was filed on Sept. 18 in federal court in Kansas City, Kan. Other soldiers learned of it and he feared for his own safety. Once, Hall said, a group of soldiers followed him, harassing him, but no one did anything to make it stop.

The Army told him it couldn't protect him and sent him back to Fort Riley. He resumed duties with a military police battalion. He believes his promotion to sergeant has been blocked because of his lawsuit, but he is a team leader responsible for two junior enlisted soldiers.

No one with Fort Riley, the Army or Defense Department would comment about Hall or the lawsuit. Each issued statements saying that discrimination will not be tolerated regardless of race, religion or gender.

"The Department respects (and supports by its policy) the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs," said Eileen Lainez, a spokeswoman for the Department of Defense.

All three organizations said existing systems help soldiers "address and resolve any perceived unfair treatment."

Lt. Col. David Shurtleff, a Fort Riley chaplain, declined to discuss Hall's case but said chaplains accommodate all faiths as best they can. In most cases, religious issues can be worked out without jeopardizing military operations.

"When you're in Afghanistan and an IED blows up a Humvee, they aren't asking about a wounded soldier's faith," Shurtleff said.

Hall said he enjoys being a team leader but has been told that having faith would make him a better leader.

"I will take care of my soldiers. Nowhere does it say I have to pray with my soldiers, but I do have to make sure my soldiers' religious needs are met," he said.

"Religion brings comfort to a lot of people," he said. "Personally, I don't want it or need it. But I'm not going to get down on anybody else for it."

Hall leaves the Army in April 2009. He would like to find work with the National Park Service or Environmental Protection Agency, anything outdoors.

"I hope this doesn't define me," Hall said of his lawsuit. "It's just about time somebody said something."




Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Broken

I produce a radio show on WPVM called Veterans' Voices. It is a show by Veterans, about Veterans, service members and their family and friends. While listening to the moving Winter Soldier testimony to find a clip to air, I ran across the testimony of Perry O'Brien, a former Army medic who served in Afghanistan. He talked about the use of Afghani corpses for medical practice. This disturbed me greatly. My nephew also served as an Army medic in Afghanistan. I have tried to talk to him about his experiences in the war, and he only repeats Pentagon talking points; "We have to fight them there so we do not have to fight them here"..."We have to finish the job" and other similar words we have heard spew out of the mouths of this administration. Of all my sister's boys, I always seemed closer to him. He has wanted to be in the Army since he started walking, so when he signed up, I was not surprised.
I discussed O'Brien's statement about using the dead bodies of the Afghanistan people, without the consent of family members, with my sister. She says, "If he had done that, I would have known, he would have bragged about it". 'Bragged about it'! This does not sound like the loving, caring boy I once knew. What has the Army done to my favorite nephew?
He hides more from his mother than she thinks he does. He came home with shrapnel wounds, months since healed. He never told her about them, until she saw them. His brother Bob, my sister's 'Golden Child', wants to go to Iraq. He has been in the Navy for many years, an officer in the nuclear field with a new wife and baby. Jim argues with his brother, Bob about it. (Notice, they have grown up now, no longer Jimmy and Bobby) Jim has been there and knows about the horrors of war. He wants to protect his brother and his new family. (This sounds more like the Jimmy I knew) Their fates have yet to be determined. I wish I lived closer to him, so I could get to know him again and learn about his experiences.
This whole story reminds me of a guest we had on Veterans' Voices. He had been in Vietnam and returned a broken man. Then I believe it was either his cousin or brother that wanted to go enlist. He told him that he would rather run him over with his car than see him go to Vietnam.
War destroys many more lives than the body count indicates. The number reported by the Department of Defense, currently 4036, is almost insulting to the actual number. Count in those that have died months after being medically discharged from the military and those that have come home so broken spiritually that they take their own lives. These deserve to be counted. To not do so would be a dishonor.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rescue Rusul

No More Victims needs your help. You can visit IH Center and have recurring donations taken out of your Paypal account or make a single, tax-deductible donation. You can also visit NoMoreVictims.org to read more about the Asheville project to bring Rusul to Greenville.

No More Victims Asheville invites you to two events in support of Rusul Jalal, a six year old Iraqi girl, injured in a U.S. missile attack, who is coming to Greenville, S.C. for needed medical treatment:

***Saturday, April 12th, 9-10a.m – A Loving kindness and Walking Meditation at the WNC Baha'i Center, 5 Ravenscroft Drive, Asheville. RSVP to Beth DeLap, 828-768-1145. Donations gratefully accepted.

***Saturday, April 12th, 6-9p.m. – An Evening for Rusul at the Asheville Arts Center, 308 Merrimon Ave. At 6 PM a light dinner will be served. The program begins at 7 PM and will feature a presentation by No More Victims founder and director Cole Miller. There will also be musical entertainment from Stack Kenny on guitar, Stephen Canner on Cello, Don Pedi, Bruce Greene, Kore Loy McWhirter bringing Appalachian music, and lastly, musical comedy by Left of Center. There will also be a raffle for fine prizes donated by area businesses. A $10 minimum donation is asked at the door. All proceeds support the work of No More Victims (www.nomorevictims.org) Help needed! For more information or to help with this event, contact: tcraig@main.nc.us or call 252-4536.

No More Victims pairs communities in the U.S. with war-injured Iraqi children for medical sponsorships, while educating and advocating for Peace.






I got involved with No More Victims after Cole Miller came to town last fall with Salee, Rusul's sister, injured in the same US bombing. I'm happy to be part of something that helps Iraqis as I have opposed the Iraq war since its bloody beginning.
As the saber rattling with Iran grows, the need to do SOMETHING grows greater. How much more of a humanitarian crisis do we need before the American public gets out of their reality show stupor and wake up the the ugly reality that the people on this big blue ball of war are in danger, and need our help.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Inspiration to Wage Peace

Inspiration sometimes can hit you like a ton of bricks, knocking to your senses and waking a part in you that was previously dormant. Like Melissa Etheridge's performance at Live Earth 2007 (7-7-07). If you missed it, you will not find it on the Live Earth album. She was one of the only performers with a message other than "buy my album". She inspired my husband and I to get out in the streets and do something other than bitch. What will be the inspiration to get Joe Apathetic Public off their rumps?

Could we pull something like this off in our "liberal" Asheville?



Listen to the latest Veterans' Voices show on WPVM. It is very powerful. Hopefully it will be an inspiration to someone.
I have the honor to know many inspirational people here in Asheville. I am one of six women involved with No More Victims Asheville. No More Victims pairs war injured Iraqi children with communities in the US to get them the medical care they so desperately need. Our little girl, Rusul, will be coming to the Shriner's hospital in Greenville, SC ,hopefully next month. Her sister, Salee, was brought to the US last year and visited Asheville in the fall. We need to raise about $30,000 for Rusul. I am inspired to be a part of something so important, to feel like I can do something about the destruction in Iraq and help one child.

Salee


Rusul


Benefit for Rusul


Where will you (did you) find your inspiration?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Winter Soldier 2008





Some things you will not see on corporate news; soldiers' flag covered coffins, reporters embedded with Iraqis and Winter Soldier. There is terrific coverage from independent media like Free Speech TV, though. I spoke briefly with Asheville's IVAW chapter president, Jason Hurd, Friday night. He could not speak long, they were about to have a debriefing about the days events. We will air some of the testimony on WPVM's Veterans' Voices in the coming weeks.


In the meantime, here are a few of the independent media's coverage of Winter Soldier in no particular order:

Veterans groups offer different views of conflict
Winter Soldier: Military Command Failures at War, Deserting Vets at Home
Winter Soldier: Bitter truths from those who know

Excellent blogger coverage at Third Estate Sunday Review

Video:
Winter Soldier Testimonials

Audio:
Winter Soldier Testimonial from WarComesHome.org


A CNN search does not find one thing about Winter Soldier. There was more important news, I guess. After all, there was a crane collapse in NY, they are attacking Obama's church, tornado in Atlanta, abandoned puppies found a home and Paris Hilton is looking for a new BFF.
How can we get these people out of their comas?

The BBC is actually reporting about the Bleak picture of Iraq conditions.

Philly IVAW march to Valley Forge before Winter Soldier



Is this the beginning of something bigger? Some greater movement towards national consensus? Will it get uglier before we see the olive branch of peace extended? There are simply too many questions in this world gone mad.

The chickenhawks certainly have their feather's ruffled about this:

Michelle Malkin just squawkin'
This ain't hell make snide remarks



Highlights of Testimony



For the best, honest coverage, visit IVAW.org.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Governor Spitzer's Terrorist Attack

Across the country, the story about Governor Spitzer is front page news. He slept with a high-priced prostitute. So what? Prostitution is the oldest profession and legal in Nevada. So once again, I say, so what? I do call your attention to a few coincidences. The story yesterday on Democracy Now! was about abortion and the bill, the same Governor Spitzer was proposing to keep abortion safe and legal in New York no matter what the supreme court may do down the road. We know these anti-choice people play very dirty. How many abortion doctors are killed and clinics bombed before they are deemed a terrorist organization? They spew Bible verses as they gun down doctors. Please tell me, in what way this is different from the "terrorists" 'ol W is out to get?

Another coincidence, Democracy Now! could not be aired this morning on WPVM. They were having "technical difficulties". I checked Democracy Now!'s website and I could not stream it either. Is AT&T blocking the stream? Is the satellite provider at the station blocking the stream?
Too many coincidences for me. I wonder who is responsible for the story that broke about Governor Spitzer? I think it's the terrorists.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Do you promise to tell the truth?

Lawyers lined the side of the prosecution in the court room yesterday. Besides the DA, they had the city attorney, the state DA and a handful of others. The DA, being whispered advice from the city attorney, started with Officer Crisp, who was not so truthful. He stated that Jonas "darted across three lanes of traffic". Well this one wasn't a lie but an exaggeration. He did cross the street, but that section of the road has a light on each side of the bridge and, before 8am on the Haywood Road bridge is not exactly what you would consider heavy traffic. The "three lanes of traffic" apparently included the turning lane. He also did not indicate any specific car or pedestrian hampered by "the protester". When asked by our attorney, Bill Auman, if he questioned Jonas if he was a part of the Climate Convergence group that had protested the Bank of America just two days prior or if he was a member of Veterans for Peace or any other local activist group. Crisp stated that he did not ask him any questions. Which was a flat out lie.
When Sergeant Riddle took the stand, being a seasoned man on the force for over thirty years, he told his untruths using the "I don't recall" response. Auman asked Riddle if he said "I'm sick of this crap" and "You're gonna' get your fifteen minutes of fame, buddy". "I don't recall sayin' that". In my opinion, Riddle has been on the force too long and is overdue for retirement. A friend of ours was pulled over by Riddle one evening. Our friend had a doll holding a sign that said "Impeach Bush and Cheney" propped up to show out the back of his hatchback. He told our friend, "I like your doll" in a sarcastic tone. When asked why he was being pulled over, Riddle barked at him about having a reason and told him that his head light was out. He says that Riddle appeared agitated, as he did when he was arresting Jonas.
The circus went on, with WLOS filming everything. (How can I get a copy of that?) The Asheville Citizen-Times was there along with reporters from the Asheville City Paper and the Mountain Express. Additionally a handful of bloggers took notes and absorbed the spectacle. Our attorney had about five arguments, all technicalities, why the case should be dismissed. One by one the judge overruled our lawyer. The prosecution centered it's case on highway blogging being a dangerous distraction to motorists. But, Jonas wasn't arrested for endangering motorists, which they did not prove anyway, he was arrested for blocking the sidewalk. A fact they also did not prove.
In the end, the judge sided with justice and found that they did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jonas broke the ordinance. He was found not guilty. When Jonas was questioned by WLOS whether he would resume highway blogging he stated he would and he would bring a buddy. "Blog with a buddy". Good advise for any protester.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

And now for the verdict.........

Today was a beautiful day. For some. For a couple of homeless men, not so beautiful. As we awaited Jonas' case to be called this afternoon, we listened as one man was convicted of trespass and sentenced 10 days in jail along with another man found guilty of "soliciting alms". As I listened I forgot about my husband's minor city code violation charge. Yet these charges never make the papers, never are discussed during political debates and these men are never on Oprah.
But truth and justice prevailed on our side today. Today, it was a beautiful day for us. Jonas was found "not guilty" today of the charges! Our lawyer, Bill Auman, could not have done a better job.
There are already articles about it:

DailyKos
Asheville Citizen-Times
Mountain Express
Asheville On The Ground

I will write more later. I need time for this to sink in.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Local IVAW President Arrested in Alabama

Local IVAW president, Jason Hurd, was arrested during a Mock Raid at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa last week. Jason said that they were detained and questioned by campus police for over five hours followed by an evening in the county jail. They were eventually released on a $2500 bond. The ACLU, the NAACP and the National Lawyers Guild are all interested in this free speech case. Jason and hundreds of thousands of IVAW members and supporters will descend on DC next week for Winter Soldier, where many men and women will testify about their experiences during their tour(s) in Iraq.

IVAW Winter Soldier PSA

Students, Iraq Vet Arrested During Mock Raid
By Chapin Gray
Tuscaloosa, AL - Four protesters from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) were arrested here, Feb. 29, at the University of Alabama for performing a mock raid meant to demonstrate the effects of the U.S. occupation on Iraqi civilians.
No one was harmed during the protest that lasted only a couple minutes, and employees were notified of the performance 30 minutes beforehand. After protesters dressed as Iraqi civilians were 'arrested' by protesters in military costume and hauled away, Jason Hurd, president of the Asheville, North Carolina chapter of IVAW - who was invited by the Tuscaloosa SDS chapter to speak on his experiences in Iraq, gave an impromptu speech, explaining that the purpose of the action was to demonstrate what life in Iraq is like under the occupation. Hurd also invited stunned and curious onlookers to his talk scheduled for that evening.

However, the talk had to be cancelled, because as four of the protesters - Hurd, Alyse Deller and Christine Jackson from Tuscaloosa SDS, and Jeremy Miller of UNC-Asheville SDS - were approached by campus police, then taken into a building on campus, where they were detained for over four hours before finally being charged with disorderly conduct. The were then hauled away in handcuffs to the Tuscaloosa City Jail. Bail was set for a total of $2,500. Hurd and Miller were also charged with trespassing and banned from campus property.
During the four-hour interrogation, police insinuated that the protesters were terrorists, and threatened to hand over their case to the F.B.I. The University had said that it plans to investigate SDS-Tuscaloosa, which was hosting the Iraq Veteran. The Dean of Students sent out a campus-wide e-mail statement following the incident, saying the University "cannot condone and will not tolerate behavior that mimics a true emergency on our campus."

The incident has sparked intense debate at the University of Alabama and in the Tuscaloosa community. Local activists from the Tuscaloosa Peace Project were outraged upon hearing of the arrests and immediately lent their support by offering bail money and facilitating contact with the Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is interested in the case and showing support for the protesters. The organization also criticized the university's actions as not only unwarranted, but also as repressive and in violation of students' rights. In addition, IVAW is considering publicly condemning the university's actions.

"The circumstances surrounding the protest made it evident that this was street theater, but with our society having been carefully crafted into a people on edge, individuals have become rife with hair trigger fear of 'the other,' especially upon seeing actors in Islamic-style clothing," said Diane MacAteer of the Tuscaloosa Islamic Society. "We believe that more than anything else, this was an ill-intentioned use of the recent campus violence in other states as an excuse to quash anti-war protests, especially those that depict the victimization of Muslim families in war zones and allow students to identify with the Iraqi people and reduce support for the war."

While many have criticized the protest, claiming it was 'too alarming,' others are appalled that students can be arrested for expressing their opposition to an unjust and illegal war, and feel as though the students' rights have been violated.

"If you are one of those people who was frightened, you had a glimpse of what it feels like to be an Iraqi man, woman or child who experience things like this and worse everyday," said J VanBolt, a University of Alabama student who witnessed the mock raid. "I think the one thing everyone - whether you agree with what SDS did or not - can take from this is that people don't like to be scared and have their lives interrupted! Try and imagine what it would be like if things like this happened to you everyday, and instead of just watching you were actually involved. That is life for people in Iraq."

To show support with the SDS-Tuscaloosa and the four arrested, you can call the University President, Dr. Robert Witt, at (205) 348-5320 and ask that all charges be dropped. You can also contact Tim Hebson, Dean of Students and Director of Judicial Affairs thebson@sa.ua.edu or Todd Borst, Assistant Director of Judicial Affairs tborst@sa.ua.edu.

"The outpouring of support that we have received has been so amazing and empowering," said Jenae Stainer, a member of SDS-Tuscaloosa. "We appreciate it all, and hope that people will continue to stand with us as we fight to protect our freedom of speech."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Poetic Torch Scorches Neocon Agenda

I received this slam poem as a comment to IVAW Storms UNCA



2008 Middle East Spelling Bee Final Words: QUAGMIRE & IMPEACHMENT
Poetic Torch Scorches NeoCon Agenda
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What Americans think, feel, vote, and say has zero bite.
With millions of votes Diebolt stolen, accountability - so slight.
NeoRadical RepubliCons chose how to so waste our might ---
Just where, when, and why we had to go START a fight.
They'd planned for Iraq, with 30 years more oil still in sight.
Must control the price and flow into OUR gas tanks, right?
Exxon-Mobil, BP, Shell - profits future sure looks bright!
Hyped bogus threats, then fanned the flames to such great height.
9/11, Anthrax, then the mushroom cloud type of fright.

Pulled the Towers, and with balled-up flags to plug their ears:
A Patriot Act panic attack => waived our rights to calm the fears.
How well a shredded Constitution wiped away our wasted tears.
Slick magic trick: lasted 800 years - now Habeas Corpus disappears.
Load the planes with C-notes, no bids please, as toxic dust clears;
Corporate warriors - No Draft! It's a private war - Three Cheers!
Fat cats, still fed by exce$$ greed, now six straight years.
Ten billion fraud, whistleblowers stalled in Justice: no one hears.
Say what, a change of plan to end war profits? Sharpen up the spears!
Another traitor to be skewered, trot out the NeoCon-tradicting seers.
From Limpbowel, O’Rlie-to-me, and their ilk, we start to hear the jeers.
Interrupting homophobic rants on "No Marriages for queers",
To deliver freshly think-tank-framed simplistic scripted smears.

Sad sight, so many flags draped over coffins never seen.
The sinister lies that filled them burried deep beneath such patriotic sheen.
Human losses well disguised, and media filtered from our collective eyes,
By corporate puppet leaders, whose agendas we must now despise.

Pity the Iraqi families, alone with blood, pain, death, despair,
Depleted uranium shells exploding - poison dust spreads everywhere,
While pompous jingo windbags fill the U.S. propaganda-polluted air,
Can spews of false praise glory, hide true neglect in veterans' care?
Fox Snooze hype NOT, as your heroes, our loved ones lost;
Their blood for oil - spent badly – much too high this cost.
Keith Rupert Murderdoch, the boss who must be tossed!

Long past his “Mission Accomplished” day in years now more than four,
One so delusional Decider is still not looking for an exit door.
An occupation, one aggressor means it never was a war!
The stench, the smell - corruption, failures everywhere,
Yet all we hear is that which plays upon our deepest fear.
A drone of platitudes preached to stretch our stay another year.

“The job is almost done! “
“Must keep them Terrorists on the run!”
“We can't abandon Iraq until we've won.”
“Another 30,000 surge, send us your brave sons.”
“ Trillion dollar debts, their kids can pay these no small sums!”
"Waterboarding works. Don't call it torture. You're just chums!"
NO NO NO! Time true Patriots stand and shout “Impeach these Bums!”

Lean hard on traitors, like Lieberman, to not just lose their parties,
But to find our Republic again, while we still have one!
Target the REAL Axis of Evil => IMPEACH Cheney-Bush!
Perhaps small justice, but at least some!

by RRLedford



Thank you, RRLedford. That was very inspiring.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is It For Freedom?

Assasinating Mother Nature

I remember the commercial from childhood, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature". I can't remember what product they were hawking but I remember the saying. What is our country up to? Are chem trails poisoning us or are they harmless smoke? Is there such a thing as harmless smoke? I just have too many questions. Once you start caring, it gets overwhelming. Like Neo taking the pill in The Matrix, I begin to see how far the rabbit hole goes. I am still falling.

This link contains military, government,and scientific reports pertaining to perpetual war,space wars,military budgets,aerial spraying,arms trading,procurement,and arms control, to list a few....


Here are a few pictures of unnatural cloud formations:









Are these harmless, or are they experimenting on us?


Also, what about the genetically modified meat, fruits and vegetables? It's enough to want to become a farmer and grow your own food, feed your own cattle, after all, that's what my parents did when I was little and before I was born. In New Hampshire, we had a small farm with pigs, a cow, chickens, ducks and a big vegetable garden. Here are some guidelines for buying fruits and veggies at the supermarket:


The PLU codes on fruit and vegetables contain four
numbers (i.e. 4859), if it's organic, 5 numbers starting with a 9 (i.e. 94859).
But! if you see 5 numbers starting with an 8, (i.e. 84859),
that means the fruit/vegetable is GMO, a genetically modified organism.


Gaia is crying...

Reflections on an Ill-fated Military Stint part 2

So, there I was, in front of the Navy recruiting office. I chose the Navy because I knew their boot camp was not as rough at the other branches of the armed services and also because I knew the Navy rarely saw on the ground combat. I began discussing with the recruiter what I wanted. I had not taken the ASVAB in high school because at the time, I never dreamed I would enter the military.

Within a two weeks' time, I had taken the ASVAB, chosen my vocation (based on where I wanted to go rather that what I would like to do) and was shipped off to boot camp. At the time I was just within the weight guidelines and made the height requirements because the recruiter lied and said I was 5' tall. In actuality, although I never admit it, I am 4'11 3/4". I did well on the ASVAB so I had my choice of careers and should have picked something better suited to me. I wanted to go to San Diego so I chose a training school there, Interior Communications Electrician. There was a problem, I was terrified of getting shocked. Not a good vocation for someone with that phobia.

At 22, I arrived in Orlando, Florida on an early January morning, as the second oldest in my squad. I044, that was us. If I never mentioned this, I was always a good girl and my parents rarely had to yell at me. Well in there, everyone yelled at me. Being the emotional girl I am, I cried every day of boot camp. With the exception of the day we got to shoot guns, that day I shot 29 out of 30 targets. Pretty good for never picking up a gun before. Must have been all the training at Duck Hunt on the Atari.

I made it through, lost a lot of weight and 5 inches around my waist. Looking back, my boot camp memories are a blur of pushups, running, shots and the gas chamber. Of carrying a flag, marching and writing letters. Of men yelling, rude awakenings and friendship. I was in a integrated squad. My bunkmate was a man. Although at night we (the women) went next door to sleep while their men slept in our room. Everyone there seemed to know exactly why they were there and what they wanted to do. I couldn't wait for it to be over so I could go to San Diego.


To be continued...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Video of SDS/IVAW Action at UNCA



This pretty well captures the drama of the day's event. The kid who yelled out "Bullshit!" was either already signed up with the Marines (he has his high and tight cut) or his big brother was over in Iraq. He was the only opposition voice. You can see him standing near Jason near the end of the video.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Country's Calling Me A**hole?

Reflections on an Ill-fated Military Stint

It was November of 1992 when I packed my '70 Ford van with all my belongings and moved to North Carolina with by soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. Within a month of our arrival, we loaded all of his belongings in the same '74 van and delivered him to his brother in Georgia. Upon returning to North Carolina, I made a for naught attempt at finding a job and making a new life. Although I was surrounded with family, all my friends were back in Florida.

On New Years Eve, I was alone without any direction, driving around Asheville. I soon found myself outside the Navy recruiter's office with thoughts of college money on my mind. After all, I was on my own in I wanted to go to college. At 22, my parents would not and could not pay my tuition. My mother was retired and my father, who had not found a job in North Carolina yet, was on his way to a deep alcoholic depression.

So, there I was, outside the recruiter's office, contemplating the previously unthinkable. I was going to enlist.


To be continued.....

Friday, February 8, 2008

Jonas goes to court...again




Court has been postponed once again.

Jonas arrived shortly before 9am at District Court 1. I arrived shortly after. Clare joined Jonas near the back of the court room. Another supporter and a reporter entered next. The woman bailiff was kinder than the one there at the previous court date. She asked everyone to put their cell phones on vibrate and then went around to make sure no one needed anything. The other lady told you to shut your phone off and didn't care if anyone had any questions.

After the defendants started making their pleas, two other people, there to support Jonas, walked in the court room. We all watched with pity as some mousy disabled man was handcuffed and forced to walk past the leering crowd twice. I'm not sure what his charge was, I could not hear very well in the back of the room. Next time I will sit closer. Clare, wanting to hear better, moved closer to the front.

Once again, Jonas' charge was the most ridiculous on the docket. Of course that is our opinion. I'm sure many others there thought their charge was ridiculous as well.

At after 10, his lawyer had not arrived yet. But when he walked in, his was the next case heard. At this point, the DA tells them that the officer (not sure if he was talking about Crisp, Riddle or both) called in sick. That's right, he (they?) called in sick to court. If Jonas had been sick, it would have been considered a "failure to appear". If a civilian plaintiff had done that, the case would have been dropped.

I question if they were truly sick, or if this is some sort of tactic.