|Progressive Calendar 01.17.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 03:51:25 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.17.06 1. Welfare/Pawlenty 1.17 12noon 2. Citywide wi-fi 1.17 3:30pm 3. Klobuchar/demands 1.18 10am 4. Labor/sustain 1.19 6pm 5. Anti-war support 1.19 7pm 6. GLBT youth 1.19 8pm 7. Jack Rasmus - Wages in America: the rich get richer, we get less 8. Cindy Sheehan - Our road to Guantanamo: in search of peace 9. Joshua Frank - Turning on the war 10. ed - Pull down the statue (poem) --------1 of 10-------- Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 14:08:20 -0600 From: Welfare Rights Committee - Alt Email <welfarerights [at] qwest.net> Subject: Welfare/Pawlenty 1.17 12noon Please JOIN the Welfare Rights Committee at Governor's Pawlenty's State of the State address at the Capitol. Be a presence and let your voices be heard Wednesday, January 17, 2007 12 noon House Chamber Doors, 2nd floor at the State Capitol Building We will tell the Governor that the TIME to ACT is NOW! 2007 is the year for politicians to stand up for poor and working Minnesotans! While the Governor and his administration believe that the State of MN is doing well; we will be a force to let him know that the poor and working families are still suffering. AND WE have suffered long enough! For the past number of years WE have seen OUR families grow more and more poor! We have seen politicians steal the few crumbs of money that we have out of our pockets. We have seen politicians carry out the most devastating cuts to our welfare and health care in the Minnesota's history! We say: Enough is Enough! Meanwhile, we have seen the RICH get richer and richer as more and more money has been stuffed into their already overflowing pockets. We have seen politicians give massive and permanent tax cuts to the richest in this state! We have seen politicians turn their heads while sham corporations using tax loopholes get away with NOT paying hundreds of millions a year in state taxes! We are here today to say the TIME to ACT is NOW! Welfare Rights Committee will keep the pressure on the Governor and the politicians so that we can stop the attacks on poor, undo all cuts from 2003, and to make sure the agenda of poor and working people are heard! Some of the items that we will fighting for: 1. Raise the Welfare Grants. 2. Stop Workfare/Slave Labor 3. Undo Cuts to Welfare. 4. Stop the Five Year Time Clock. 5. Stop Attacks on Immigrants 6. Childcare: Undo Co-pays and Increase Eligibility 7. Stop MA Co-pays For more information please contact the Welfare Rights Committee. Welfare Rights Committee 310 E 38th St #207, Mpls MN 55409 Pho: 612-822-8020 Fax: 612-824-3604 Primary email: welfarerightsmn [at] yahoo.com Secondary email: welfarerights [at] qwest.net www.welfarerightsmn.org --------2 of 10-------- From: Becca Vargo Daggett <becca [at] ilsr.org> Subject: Citywide wi-fi 1.17 3:30pm Please join Concordia's College of Business and Organizational Leadership for a community discussion of municipal wireless. This event will use futurist Joel Barker's tool for understanding change. The "Implications Wheel" draws upon group wisdom to quickly and effectively uncover the short and long term implications of any change. Should Wi-Fi in Saint Paul be publicly or privately owned? [public -ed] 3:30-6 p.m., Jan. 17, 2007 Library & Technology Center, Concordia University Hosted by: Concordia University College of Business and Organizational Leadership Participants will uncover second- and thir-order implications of citywide wireless projects. Saint Paul is the example, but residents and decision makers in all metro cities can learn from the exercise. The event is free, but you must register online at: http://www.csp.edu/CBOL/strategicdiscovery/ Send questions to: strategicdiscovery [at] csp.edu Joel Barker - "We did a wheel for NASA on a project they had been considering for a year. In three hours, our team had identified a dozen implications as important as any their experts had uncovered. The director had to start over in his assessment of the project." Read a Pioneer Press article about Joel Barker and the Implications Wheel: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/business/special_packages/ biz_home/15924801.htm --------3 of 10-------- From: braun044 <braun044 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: Klobuchar/demands 1.18 10am Dear Peacemakers, I want to invite you to join members of the Peace Community at Senator Amy Klobuchar's Office this Thursday, January 18 at 10:00 am. We will meet with Sarah Grewing, State Director, and Zach Rodvold, Military & Veteran's Policy Specialist, to present our positions on the war on Iraq. The Senator is temporarily using Senator Dayton's office space at: Bishop Henry Whipple Building 1 Federal Drive, Suite 298 Fort Snelling, MN 55111 The Twin Cities Peace Campaign is coordinating visits with each of the Minnesota Congresspersons or their staff members during early January to urge our representatives to support an immediate end to the war. Roxanne Abbas and I will be presenting the position of the Twin Cities Peace Campaign and others can express their personal perspectives or their group's position. Let's present a unified position to: 1. End the occupation and begin bringing the troops home now. 2. Cut off all further funding for the war. 3. Close all U.S. bases in Iraq. 4. Assume responsibility for reparations. If you can come to the meeting, you might want to give me a call so that we have some idea how many people will be there and what groups will be represented. Marie Braun for Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq --------4 of 10-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Labor/sustainability 1.19 6pm Dear Friends, Members of the Media, Unionists, Environmentalists, Humans: Labor & Sustainability Conference We are very excited about this confluence of organizers, officials and activists from the Midwest region and beyond. This first Labor & Sustainability Conference will take place at the United Auto Workers 879 Union Hall, 2191 Ford Parkway in St. Paul on Friday evening and all day Saturday. For the workshop panel titles, descriptions and speakers, feel free to visit: www.laborandsustainability.org (click on the Conference Leaflet link). In solidarity with people and the planet! - The Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities (3CTC) FRIDAY, JAN. 19, EVENING PROGRAM 6:00 PM Reception/7:00 PM Speakers "Building A Movement For Sustainability: How Labor Can Respond to the Climate Crisis" Jack Rasmus - Chairperson of Bay Area National Writers Union 1981 (UAW) - Author of "The War At Home: The Corporate Offensive From Reagan To Bush" [See Jack Rasmus article below -ed] Bill Onasch - Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1287 Retiree (Kansas City, MO Bus Drivers) - Labor Party Interim National Council & U.S. Labor Against the War Steering Committee Charles Griffith - Auto Project Director, Ecology Center, Ann Arbor & UAW 174 Claudette Juska - Auto Project Coordinator, Ecology Center, Ann Arbor & UAW 174 SATURDAY SCHEDULE 8:00 AM Registration 9:00 AM Welcoming Address: Lynn Hinkle, Health & Safety Director, UAW 879 10:00 AM First Workshop Session in the MNSCU Training Center 12:00 Lunch-Time Press Conference: Rotunda of the MNSCU Training Center 1:00 PM Second Workshop Session in the MNSCU Training Center 3:00 PM Plenary to Discuss & Vote on Action Resolutions 6:00 PM DINNER-TIME PANEL DISCUSSION Charles Griffith: Auto Project Director, Ecology Center, Ann Arbor, MI Bracken Hendricks: former Executive Director, the Apollo Alliance Jack Rasmus: Chairperson, Bay Area National Writers Union 1981 (UAW) Sean Sweeney: Director, Cornell Global Labor Institute A Catered Organic Dinner Will Be Served 9:00 PM Poetry by members of the Minnesota Spoken Word Association! (Tentative) 9:30 PM Dance Free & Open To The Public! Endorsed By: AFSCME 3800, Douglas County Supervisor Adam Ritscher, 4th & 5th CDs Green Party, IMPACT, Labor Education Service, Mac CARES, Mayday Books, Mpls. CLUC, MN AFL-CIO, MN-CPUSA, MNs For Peace & Social Justice, Prof. Peter Rachleff, Red Lake Casino, Hotel & Restaurant Employees' Union Org. Cmte., Save Our Bog, St. Paul Area Trades & Labor Assembly, Socialist Alternative, State Rep. Frank Hornstein, 3CTC, UAW 879, UFCW 789, UTU 650, WAMM, WILPF-MN Metro. For More Information: www.laborandsustainability.org Or info [at] laborandsustainability.org, 651-699-4246. --------5 of 10-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Anti-war support 1.19 7pm Send Off Party: Help Support the U of M Students Going to DC to Demonstrate Against the War Friday, 1/19 from 7-9 pm @ May Day Books, 301 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis People across the country will be demonstrating in Washington DC on Saturday, January 27th to send a strong anti-war message to the new Congress. AWOL (Anti-War Organizing League) activists from the U of M will be taking a van to the demonstration. Come have some drinks and hors d'oeuvres with the students going on the van trip. Please come prepared to make a donation to support the student activists going on the trip. Organized by the Anti-War Committee. --------6 of 10-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: GLBT youth 1.19 8pm EMPOWERED EXPRESSIONS, Minnesota's only Queer Youth performance troupe is a collaboration of OSTC and District 202, and is dedicated to giving voice to the imagination, creativity, and the everyday lives of local youth, colaborating with Outward Spiral Theatre Company is dedicated to producing theatre from a Queer point-of-view. We strive to entertain, educate and act as a catalyst for social change through inclusive, multi-cultural, provocative artistic expression. EMPOWERED EXPRESSIONS @ Patrick's Cabaret Throughout 2007, Empowered Expressions will be performing at Patrick's Cabaret. Each month they will share stories, poetry, and give voice to the community. They've been going strong for a year - but they're just getting warmed up. Join us each month at Patrick's Cabaret. First Show January 19th and 20th 8pm Patrick's Cabaret, 3010 Minnehaha Ave. Mpls, MN 55406 --------7 of 10-------- Wages in America: The Rich Get Richer and the Rest Get Less by JACK RASMUS (Copyright 2004) Do you feel like you're working harder, longer hours, and still can't keep up with rising taxes, gasoline prices, utility bills, ballooning medical expenses, or the accelerating cost of paying for your kids' education? Well, you're not alone! You're in good company. The company of tens of millions of American workers today on the same economic treadmill, having to walk faster and faster just to stay in the same place, or, unable even to keep up with the pace due to unemployment, loss of benefits, or wage cuts by their employers. How would you like to be making $200,000 a year today after 25 years on the job? Well, if you started with the pay of an average worker 25 years ago that's what you'd be making today---if you got the same kind of raises that CEOs of American companies got for the past 25 years! The average compensation of a CEO in 1980 was about 40 times that of the average worker in his company. Today it is more than 500 times! If your pay had kept up with his, you would be making more than $200,000 this year. Of course, that didn't happen, did it? So let's see what actually did happen to the average American worker's pay over the past 25 years of the Reagan-Bush economic regime.. Stagnating Workers' Wages In 1979 the American worker's average hourly wage was equal to $15.91 (adjusted for inflation in 2001 dollars). By 1989 it had reached only $16.63/hour. That's a gain of only 7 cents a year for the entire Reagan decade. But wait. Things get worse! By 1995 it had risen to only $16.71, or virtually no gain whatsoever over the 6 years between 1989 and 1995. During the great 'boom years' between 1995 and 2000 it rose briefly to $18.33 per hour. In other words, from 1979 to 2000, even before the most recent Bush recession, after more than two decades the American worker's average wages increased on average only 11.5 cents per hour per year! With nearly all of that coming in the five so-called 'boom' years of 1995-2000, and most of that lost once again in the last three years. And that includes for all workers, even those with college degrees. The picture is worse for workers who had no college degree. That's more than 100 million workers, or 72.1% of the workforce. For them there was no 'boom of 1995-2000' whatsoever. Their average real hourly wages were less at the end of 2000 than they were in 1979! And since 2000 their wages have continued to slide further. The Great Productivity Swindle Management is always quick to say in contract negotiations, 'give us more productivity and we can afford to give you a bigger raise'. But this has been a false promise from 1979 to 2000, and an even bigger lie under George Bush II. With 1992 as base year, productivity was at 82.2 in 1979. It grew to 94.2 by 1989 and 116.6 by the year 2000. In the past year, moreover, it has exploded, putting it over 120. That's a nearly 40% increase since Ronald Reagan took office nearly 25 years ago! The 100 million American workers without college degrees, whose real take home pay today is less than it was 25 years ago, certainly can't be said to have shared in that 40% productivity gain. And the other 20 million or so with college degrees whose pay rose modestly at best certainly shared in very little of that nearly 40% productivity gain. So who got all the money? CEOs & Executive Compensation Considering just the period from 1989 to the present yields an obscene result. The median executive salary (cash pay and bonuses) of American CEOs rose by 79% from 1989 to 2000 - and has continued to accelerate right through the current Bush II recession! And that's only the median. The average CEO cash and direct compensation growth is even higher than 79%. But wait! That's only CEO wage or 'cash' compensation. How about management incentives, stock options exercised, the value of new stock grants, special supplemental pensions, etc. etc. The growth of this 'direct compensation' of CEOs from 1989 to 2000 was no less than 342%!. 212% of that growth occurred in the 'boom years' of the late 1990s. Put in real money terms, the median pay for an American CEO was $2,436,000 in 1989 and $10,775,000 by 2000. The growth in CEO compensation has been unstoppable, and is accelerating faster every year. In 1965, CEO pay was 26 times that of their average worker. In 1980, as noted, 40 times. In 1989, it was 72 times. In 1999 it had risen to 310 times, and today, as per the above data from the accounting firm, Towers Perrin, survey it has reached 500 times. The international comparisons are also interesting to note. Whereas the American worker today earns only about a third more than the average wage of the worker in 13 other industrialized countries, for those same countries the American CEO earns 300%, or three times, as much as his CEO counterpart. No average CEO compensation in any of the other 13 countries is equal to even half that of the typical American CEO's. For example, the ratio of CEO to average worker's pay ranges from a low of around 10 to 1 for Japan and Switzerland to a high of around 25 to 1 in the UK and Canada. As one source has put it, "in 2000 a CEO earned more in one workday (there are 260 in a year) than what the average worker earned in 52 weeks. In 1965, by contrast, it took a CEO two weeks to earn a worker's annual pay". The Falling Minimum Wage One of the more shameful legacies of the past decades has been what has been allowed to happen to American workers at the lower end of the earnings spectrum. While workers at the top end have become fewer and fewer with the outsourcing and offshoring of high pay-good benefits union jobs, those at the lower end have been suffering their own severe hardship. We are talking here about more than 10 million American workers who earn the minimum wage. (Contrary to corporate propaganda, only 28% of those getting paid minimum wage are teenagers. Most are single women or men as head of households). The minimum wage in America reached its high point in the late 1960s in terms of real buying power, and thereafter went into a deep and steady free fall of more than 29% decline in buying power under Reagan during the 1980s. In the early and mid 1990s the decline was slowed somewhat with modest increases in the minimum wage legislated by Congress, but has fallen sharply was again since the last increase in the federal minimum wage in 1996, now approaching almost a decade ago. In terms of 2001 dollars, the minimum wage in 1979 was worth $6.55. It fell to $4.62 in 1989, rose modestly in the early and mid-1990s, but today in 2003 is equivalent to only $4.94 an hour. The minimum wage is 21.4% less today than it was in 1979. The Legacy of Declining Hourly Wages in American: Working Longer And Harder The overall picture is abundantly clear: real average hourly ages of more than 100 million of American workers' are less today than 25 years ago; real wages of college educated workers have risen only modestly in the late 1990s and fallen since under Bush II; and real wages of the 10 million lowest paid workers have declined more than 21%. Given this irrefutable array of facts, one might ask 'how has the American worker and his or her family survived the last quarter century under Reagan and Bush'? The answer is by working longer hours - individually and as a family unit - and by taking on more and more household debt - both in lieu of hourly wage gains. Let's look at hours worked: The American worker not only works more hours in a year than his counterpart in other industrialized nations, but is the only worker in the 13 major industrialized countries whose hours worked per year actually increased since 1979. Workers in all the other industrialized countries have enjoyed an actual decrease in their total hours worked per year in a comparable period. For example, there are approximately 2080 hours of work in a year. In 1979 the American worker individually worked 1905 hours out of the possible 2080. But by 1998 he or she was now working 1966 hours a year. That's an increase of 61 hours. In contrast, a worker in Germany saw his working hours decline from 1764 to 1562. A worker in France from 1813 to 1634. And in the United Kingdom from 1821 to 1737. The picture is similar in all 13 industrialized countries recently surveyed. As a family unit, while real wages of male workers as heads of households in the US have fallen, the American family has worked longer hours by adding more family members to the workforce. Since 1973 this increase in family average hours worked is the equivalent of adding 5 months of work in a year to the 2080 hours. Wives in working families have assumed the major share of this increase in total family hours worked, contributing more than 500 additional hours of work per year. But the male worker in the family has also worked more overtime hours, and both husbands and wives have taken on second part time jobs as well. All three developments add up to the 5 additional months of work American workers' families now work in order to offset declining hourly wages and just to make ends meet. If it were not for working these longer hours worked, or adding record amounts of family debt (installment, mortgage, student loan, etc), the standard of living of the American worker and his family would have certainly collapsed. What George Bush and Friends Want In A Second Term Given these trends of longer hours worked, it is not surprising that Bush and corporate America are intent today on reducing overtime pay. After making sure hourly wages haven't risen for more than two decades, Bush and friends have recently implemented new rules to cut overtime pay for 8 million workers. Their other wage strategies include preventing any increase in the minimum wage; continuing pressure to make workers pay more for health insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles; and promoting more offshoring of American jobs. Finally, of importance in particular to longshore workers, there's the additional Bush goal to eliminate industry-wide union contracts and replace them with local agreements. If Bush gets re-elected, expect a new Bush-Corporate offensive and push on all these fronts Conclusion While the American worker and family are working harder, with longer hours, and still falling further and further behind - the American CEO is 500 times better off since Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. Think about that $200,000 equivalent pay you might have gotten if you were treated as equally or fairly as the CEO of the company you work for. - Jack Rasmus, National Writers Union, UAW 1981, AFL-CIO. This article is an excerpt from Jack Rasmus's forthcoming book, THE WAR AT HOME: The Corporate Offensive in America From Reagan to Bush, which is available for pre-ordering along with offerings of other plays, music and videos. -- [Let us invite the rich to become even richer by giving them even more of our money. As we know, the American Dream is to be filthy rich; it is what America is all about. Only a few (not we) can achieve this. What we can do is voluntarily tax ourselves an additional 10% - a tithe - and send it to the Rich Men's NonWorking Association. That way, when a rich man is Rolls Royced past us, elegantly sneering at the peasants (us), we can feel we are a part of America (them), a part of the(ir) American Dream. Truly heroic donors will consider 20% - a double tithe - to more quickly bring back the long longed-for sneering aristocrat/stinking peasant society of our dreams. -ed] --------8 of 10-------- Our Road to Guantanamo: In Search of Peace by Cindy Sheehan www.dissidentvoice.org January 16, 2007 Asif Iqbal is a quiet, but funny and quick-witted 25-year-old British man of Indian descent who was detained illegally in Guantanamo Bay prison for 2 years before his government was finally able to obtain his release. Asif's story is a traumatic tale of survival. From the first moment that he was sold to the Americans by bounty hunters, he was forced to leave Afghanistan, miraculously lived through hails of bullets that killed hundreds in the back of truck containers to arriving in Guantanamo prison camp where he was actually relieved to discover that he would be in the hands of Americans. Asif was under the tragic and very mistaken impression that Americans were good and would treat him more humanely than his captors. He soon found out that Americans could be just as brutal as the next person. Asif was put through the most horrendous torture and lived to survive and have his and two other detainee's stories told in The Road to Guantanamo. Matthew Whitecross the filmmaker documented 700 pages of testimony to produce this factual and brutal movie. I don't know how anyone, even one with the tiniest, blackest heart of all could not be intensely affected by this movie and Asif's unspeakable experiences. Asif came to Cuba this past week to protest with us on the other side of the gates. Zohra's road to Guantanamo probably affected me the most. Her son, Omar DeGhaye, has been detained there almost since the infamous prison debuted its vicious and illegal purpose on January 11, 2001. Omar was sold by a bounty hunter in Pakistan as he tried to get a visa for his new wife to travel to London with him. Zorah and her other son, Taher DeGhaye traveled all the way to Guantanamo from Dubai. Zohra sobbed as she watched Asif's story. One can imagine that her distress was bad enough when she only imagined the inhumane treatment that her son was receiving at the hands of the "good" Americans, but seeing a factual account in living color on a movie screen and hearing Asif's testimony was so heartbreaking to her. I, myself, was heartbroken when she approached me at the torture chamber's front gate and said in her soft broken English: "If only they would let me talk to Omar. To hear his voice would be a miracle to me." Adele Welty's road to Guantanamo closely parallels mine. Her courageous and handsome son, Timmy, was killed in one of the towers on 9-11. Adele is a member of "9-11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows" and has traveled both to Afghanistan and Iraq as a good-will ambassador whose heart is filled with love and compassion for the people that BushCo are destroying by exploiting her son's death: constantly. It took Bloody George 3 paragraphs before he used 9-11 as one of the rationales for wreaking more havoc in Iraq in his escalation speech. Adele urgently called for all Americans to persistently harass their elected officials to give the prisoners at Guantanamo due process and then shut the gulag down. Colonel Ann Wright who is a dear friend and a companion in the struggle, arrived at Guantanamo through a life in which her entire adult years were taken up by service to our country in the Army Reserves and as a diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War. What acutely stabs Ann in the heart is that American soldiers act so viciously towards fellow human beings. The kind of behavior demonstrated by U.S. soldiers in Guantanamo not only lowers themselves to the level of animals, but endangers their brothers and sisters in arms who may be targets of reprisals and brutality themselves. Bill Goodman, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and his group represent almost all of the prisoners who are incarcerated there against our own Constitution, international law and the Geneva Conventions. It saddens Bill that we have a renegade and rogue government in DC that sanctions and has, in fact, codified torture and taking away the basic human rights of prisoners of which not one has been found guilty of anything, and in fact, very few have even been charged. My road to Guantanamo began on April 4, 2004. My son was killed for the insatiable greed, immoral stupidity, and cruelty of BushCo. Casey and my family were used as pawns in the bloody game of corporate greed and militarism that abused Asif and Omar and devastated Adele and Zohra; the same ineptitude and callousness that have saddened Ann and Bill who both have been such noble servants of our Constitution and defenders of true freedom. Bloody BushCo brought us all together in an unlikely spot on a somber day. Not one of us, not even Bill the attorney, can judge the guilt or innocence of a single inmate at Guantanamo. We are not saying they are all innocent and should be freed. We say that they deserve their days in court. Each and every one of them deserves to be charged, hear the evidence against him, be allowed to present a defense, and then be judged. BushCo refuses to call them prisoners of war, so they should be tried in criminal courts, not by military commissions without their rights to habeas corpus. In the old and now quaint US system of justice, one was held to be innocent until found guilty. In the BushCo system of justice anyone can be held guilty for an indefinite amount of time without due process or basic human comforts. A person in Bloody George's world can have menstrual blood spread on his face by a female guard, or be subjected to temperature or noise extremes. A human being in the Bloody George prison system can even be water-boarded or have his religion mocked and desecrated by the same people who claim to revere the Prince of Peace and Love. In America, many of the same people who condone the sadism of Guantanamo would raise a bloody uproar if animals were treated half as badly as the humans of Guantanamo. It is just plain wrong. And it is wrong to either condone it, or condemn it without corresponding action. We eight converged in Guantanamo together from different paths. Some of our paths were marred by unrelenting pain and some by a sense of injustice, but all with the common mission to finally call this violence what it is: barbarism and to call our leaders what they are: barbarians. The USA is no longer admired as a nation that can be respected because of the blatant atrocities of Bloody George the Torturer's reign of Terror. We the people who are inhabitants of this planet and intimately connected to both the tortured and torturer in Guantanamo need to demand some basic changes: Charge the prisoners and appropriately punish them or let them go. Close the torture chamber of Guantanamo prison and other prisons or torture chambers around the world. Repeal the Military Commission's Act and restore habeas corpus. Hold BushCo accountable for the heartache and heartlessness they have forced on the world. Get on the phone this minute. In Search of Peace is a series of reflections on Cindy's Journey towards true and lasting peace. Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and the Camp Casey Peace Institute. She is the author of three books, the most recent is Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey Through Heartache to Activism. --------9 of 10-------- Turning on the War by Joshua Frank www.dissidentvoice.org January 16, 2007 It really is a blunder that my generation (20-somethings), and those to come after it, will have to atone for decades to come. Blood. Death. Occupation. The remnants of imperial greed. Policies run amuck. Perhaps an empire can only function when it is dysfunctional. A kind of serial killer on life support. Indeed, chaos is the natural pattern of villainous deeds, and America has bloodstained hands. The United States is not really even an empire anyway, as Slavoj Zizek recently put it in the New York Times. "That is, while pretending to be an empire, it continues to act like a nation-state, ruthlessly pursuing its interests." Even so, the "Land of the Free" still does as it pleases, despite international opposition and common sense. I think the ol' adage that proclaims we should obey our elders is just a bunch of hogwash. What if our elders, those whom we should respect, tell us to kill? To murder? To vanquish entire cultures and religions? To tear men from their loved ones and detain them in offshore prisons where they will never be charged with an actual crime? Are we still supposed to obey the authority that tells us to do this for the health of the country? To accept it as the reality of war? I say no. Yet, ads on television and in our public schools prey on our youth to sign up for the US armed forces as way to see the world, pay for education, and succeed in life. I don't blame the kids who think the military is the answer to their mounting woes. They've been lied to, inundated with patriotic babble about country and God, while their commanders order them off into battle from the safety of Washington board rooms. Voting won't stop the nonsense either. As President Bush calls for more troops in Iraq, the Democrats still can't fancy a thought on the subject of their own. They seem to realize we need the troops out, but haven't the slightest idea how to go about doing it. Redeployment, as Rep. Jack Murtha has called for, still won't bring our troops home. It seems the only way the war will come to an end will be when soldiers start resisting by the droves. It's already happening with little fanfare all across the country. Many are finding refuge in Canada and elsewhere. These brave soldiers must be congratulated for taking such a path. They are the answer the antiwar movement has been looking for. Let's hope they lead by example. If their peers don't follow, we are in for a much longer, deadlier war. Making sense of it all isn't easy, especially for those who have seen the mess first hand. I'm happy to say, I haven't. Nor do I ever want to, no matter how much better the government pays than this writing gig. Deep down Bush must know that more troops there will only lead to more deaths, more collateral damage. More anguish for families everywhere. It has to stop. And the best way to end the war isn't to march around in the streets on our designated day of dissent. Rather, the best way to help stop the madness is to get military recruiters off our school campuses. Plain and simple. No longer should the marketers of death be allowed to sell war to students. I know this little polemic isn't going to end this mess Bush and his allies have created. When my generation and the soldiers in Iraq turn on this war by refusing to return, only then will it come to a screeching halt. Joshua Frank is Co-Editor of Dissident Voice, and the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush. He edits BrickBurner.org, the official blog of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at: joshua [at] dissidentvoice.org. --------10 of 10-------- Pull down the statue of the would-be dictator. Dance among the shards. Flip the bosses the bird; throw them huge shit-loads of Why the hell should I? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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