Monday, November 26, 2007

What Would Jesus Buy?

What Would Jesus Buy?

A fantastic film from Reverend Billy who heads up the Church of Stop Shopping. It will be in Tucson at the Loft on December 7th. At the Loft. Be there or be square.
The Loft Cinema
3233 E Speedway Blvd, Tuscon AZ 885716

Organize a trip to see it with friends. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wonder how our society ever became so ill with consumerism. Sacrilegious? Yep. On target. Yep. A must see? Absolutely.

From The Loft's Website:

Official Website
View Trailer

WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? - Opens December 7th
90 mins, Rated NR

"A fast and funny documentary ... might make a viewer think twice about that next purchase at The Gap."

Brace yourself for the onslaught of the holiday season "shopacalypse" with this hilariously insightful new documentary from executive producer Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me), starring the one-and-only Reverend Billy and the members of his Church of Stop Shopping!
The film follows the white-suited, big-haired Rev. Billy and his 35-member choir as they hit the road in two biodiesel-fueled buses in December 2005, on a guerrilla U.S. tour against rampant consumerism!

They invade shopping malls, megastores and Starbucks coffee shops with a message preached in mock-religious fervor that there is evil – a looming “shopocalypse” – at the heart of U.S. consumer culture.

Rev. Billy tries to “exorcise” discount chain Wal-Mart's home office in Arkansas. He is arrested in Disneyland on Christmas Day after marching with his red-robed choir and denouncing the Walt Disney Corp. for outsourcing merchandise production. In an outlet of lingerie shop Victoria's Secret, known for its blizzard of catalog promotions, Rev. Billy exhorts, “O Victoria, we know your secret – we don't need a million catalogs a day to have our sexual fantasies.”

As the holiday shopping season grows ever-longer, and the malls become ever-more aggressive with their siren call of consumption, Reverend Billy is on a mission to reveal the dangers of holiday over-spending, and help heal the shopping-scarred souls of a cashed-out population.
Filled with biting satire, wacky humor, revealing interviews with psychiatrists, politicians, kids and their exasperated parents, and the gale-force charisma of Rev. Billy himself, this is the perfect holiday film for anyone who's "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!"

Rev. Billy joined CODEPINK in the hallowed halls of Congress for “Don’t Buy Bush’s War” actions this past spring. Can you say, "Peacealujah!! my friends?

Film screenings (from the website:)


Cinema Village
22 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10013

Sunset 5
8000 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90046

Westpark Theatre
3755 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92606

Shattuck Cinemas
2230 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704

Ross Media Arts Center
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lumiere Theatre
1572 California St., San Francisco, CA 94109

Cinema 21
616 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Aquarius Theatre
430 Emerson St., Palo Alto, CA 94301

Landmark Varsity Seattle
4329 University Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98105

Landmark Century
2828 N. Clark St., Chicago

Edina 4
3911 West 50th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55424

Criterion Cinemas
86 Temple St, New Haven, CT 06510

Plaza de Oro Twin
371 South Hitchcock Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Charles Theater
1711 N. Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201

340 Westgate Mall, Madison WI, 53711

The Screen
Santa Fe, NM

The Movies on Exchange
10 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101

Chez Artiste/Landmark
2800 South Colorado Boulevard at Amherst Denver, CO

The Magnolia
West Village
3699 McKinney Avenue, Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75204

Regal Arbor Cinema @ Great Hills
9828 Great Hills Trl, Austin, TX, 78759

The Loft Cinema
3233 E Speedway Blvd, Tuscon AZ 885716

Landmark Greenway
5 Greenway Plaza., Houston, TX 77046

876 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Regal's Tara
2345 Cheshire Bridge Road N.E. Atlanta, GA 30324-3758

Landmark Hill Crest Cinemas
3965 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

Real Artways Cinema
Hartford, CT

Crest Theater
1013 K St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Guild Theater
3405 Central Avenue NE., Albuquerque, NM 87106

JANUARY 11, 2008
Columbia, SC

Saturday, November 24, 2007

CODEPINK Human Rights Delegation to Pakistan

CODEPINK & Global Exchange cofounder Medea Benjamin, and LA and DC CODEPINK activist Tighe Barry are traveling to Pakistan as a CODEPINK human rights delegation to Pakistan. A letter from Medea per this delegation and its mission follow. Codepinkalert.og will have blogs and reports from Medea and Tighe on the site as they are received.

Hold them and peace in your hearts.

From: Medea Benjamin
November 23, the day after Thanksgiving

Human rights activist Tighe Barry and I are on our way to Pakistan today. It's a bit of a trek--leaving from New York to Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), where we have an 11-hour layover, then on to Karachi for a week, then Lahore and perhaps Islamabad.

This is the beginning of what we hope will be an on-going presence of US human rights observers in Pakistan until the elections are scheduled to take place in January.

We've been very troubled by the state of affairs since General Musharraf imposed martial law on November 3. Under the guise of the war on terrorism, he has jailed thousands of lawyers, human rights advocates and opposition leaders. Some have been released, but many remain in prison or under house arrest. He sacked the Supreme Court and then stacked it with his own judges, thereby wiping out an independent judiciary. And he clamped down on the press, closing several stations and restricting others.

So we are going to learn more about the situation, hoping to interview the lawyers and activists who have been victimized by the crackdown. We'll get their stories and learn how we can be of support as they take great risks to bring the rule of law back to their country.

With the US government shoring up Musharraf and continuing to give millions of our taxdollars to his regime every month, we in the US have a great responsibility toward the people of Pakistan. Thanks why this trip--and hopefully the subsequent delegations--are so important.

Below is a description of the delegations and their purpose. We hope you'll help us spread the word, so that more people from the US will join us or donate funds so that others can come.

Much love and happy holidays to all.

Thanks so much,
Medea Benjamin
Cofounder, Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace

Emergency Delegations to Pakistan to Support the Rule of Law

The Ad-Hoc Committee for the Rule of Law in Pakistan (ACRLP) is organizing a series of delegations to Pakistan starting November 25, 2007 and continuing through January, 2008 -- when elections promised by President-General Parvez Musharraf may or may not be held. The delegates include lawyers, human rights activists, free press advocates and labor supporters who will travel to various parts of the country to meet with Pakistan-based democracy activists, as well as representatives of local political parties.

The delegations' purpose includes:
To show support for the secular progressive communities in Pakistan that have been victimized by emergency rule, as well as local human rights and democracy activists who have been especially targeted by authorities;
To produce a well-researched report documenting the crackdown on human rights and democracy activists
To consult with local human rights and democracy activists and develop recommendations for restoring democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan;
Upon returning to the U.S., to pressure the White House and Congress to adopt the recommendations crafted with the advice of local human rights and democracy activists;
To educate the U.S. public about the dire situation in Pakistan, its implications for the region and U.S. national security, and how to support a return to democracy and the restoration of the rule of law.
If January elections do indeed move forward, to assess the conditions for free and fair elections.

On the ground in Pakistan, we will be assisted by professors and students from the Law and Policy Program of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

The first delegation will start the week of November 25.

The ACRLP currently faces several needs:

Groups to sign on to the Ad-Hoc Committee for the Rule of Law in Pakistan
Individuals to join the delegations
Funds to support the effort. Checks (tax-deductible) can be made out to Global Exchange/Pakistan and sent to 2017 Mission St, 2nd fl, San Francisco 94110.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Please forward this letter widely and ask that recipients take action. The signers of this letter are some of the most involved and informed individuals in the Progressive community. Take a moment to consider that pressure must begin to come from the global community to get the U.S. out of Iraq. Our supposed leaders in the U.S. ignore the wishes of the citizenry, this is the next best hope. Peace.



The United Nations Security Council will soon consider re-authorization of the U.S.-led occupation force in Iraq. The Iraqi cabinet, led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, is about to send a letter to the Council requesting extension of the mandate of this so-called "multinational force." The U.S. government is drafting a Council resolution, and the vote will come up in a matter of days.
But the Iraqi constitution clearly calls for ratification by the parliament of any such international agreement. And the parliament is demanding a voice. Last April, 144 members, a majority of Iraq's parliament, signed a letter calling for a timetable for withdrawal of occupation forces. And the same letter denounced as "unconstitutional" a move by the al-Maliki cabinet to unilaterally request a mandate renewal without consulting the parliament. As the current mandate comes closer to expiring, it appears that al-Maliki, under pressure from the U.S., is about to repeat the same unconstitutional and illegal process.

In May, by majority vote, the Iraqi Parliament passed a law reaffirming the Constitution's requirements – that the cabinet must get two-thirds majority approval from parliament for any force renewal request to the Security Council. An overwhelming majority of Iraqis want a complete withdrawal of all the occupation forces, as numerous polls have shown. While the Bush administration insists that it wants to "build democracy," it is ignoring the Iraqi people and their elected representatives. Washington wants to renew the UN mandate without approval of the Iraqi parliament-- another illegal step to justify and prolong the U.S.-led occupation.



People worldwide should take action. Nations sitting on the UN Security Council are particularly important: United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, Belgium, Congo, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Slovakia, South Africa

For background., see:

TAKE ACTION! See sample letter at

Jim Paul, Global Policy Forum

Gael Murphy, Code Pink

Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange

Leslie Cagan, United for Peace and Justice

Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies

Emira Woods, Foreign Policy in Focus

Anna Polo, Europe for Peace

Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NY

Alfred Marder, International Association of Peace Messengers

Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

Anna Goodhun, Fairbanks Coalition for Peace and Justice

Stacey Fritz, No Nukes North

John Burroughs, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy

Jacqueline Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Impeach Cheney Campaign

Just got this impeach Cheney campaign info that is aimed at draft age students. I suggest forwarding it to every teen and young adult you know.

You will need a Facebook account to access this page.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pakistan, societal dissociation, and Sapir-Whorf

Okay... do you get it now? We've supported a military dictatorship in Pakistan since 1999 and enabled this rogue dictatorship's development and ownership (and thus USE) of nuclear weaponry. Yes -- we -- not our government... not our administration, not any other euphamistic term that downplays our individual responsibility for allowing this to happen. Listen for the use of the phrase "came to power" by the talking heads rather than any referenced to an election.

Whatever the Bushites do, we do, because we are not stopping them. I cannot continue to use language that separates we the people from we the government because it leads to dangerous societal dissociation. WE must stop using language that minimizes our responsibility for the fascistic government we have governing us. Language is power. The language we use in the present changes future pattern of thoughts and thus what is likely to happen.

While not all things scale up, I think this is an organizing principle of social systems. We must visualize and speak of a societally created, better and just governance or we will have no chance of enacting it.

So -- this week's exercise: watch how the corporate media describes the Pakistani military dictatorship's suppression of the fragile tendrils of democracy in the courts and government and how you talk about the situation.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Update on Liz's condition

Thought I should update you all per Liz's condition. Received this email this morning from the Phoenix CODEPINK Coordinator.
Yesterday, Liz was released from jail after 30 hours, despite the vice-chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee calling the Capitol Police several times to request her release. While she was in quite a bit of pain, she was never actually hospitalized because she wanted to stay with the other people who had been arrested. She was charged with resisting arrest although, as you can see from the videos, it would have been difficult for her to willfully resist arrest. Her glasses were broken, she has at least one black eye and cuts on her face, and she feels generally battered, but she's well and back at the Code Pink house.

You can see a series of video clips on .
From my take on what happened, and you can see that she wasn't doing anything and was sitting when the attack began - she was also being exceptionally quiet as as she'd been informed that if she so much as burped in the hearing that she would be arrested. The cops grabbed her from either side, were in fact, pulling her in two directions and slamming her face into the chairs in the row in front of where she was seated. This was an unprovoked attack on her that resulted in serious bodily injury. She was at no time in any condition to even attempt to resist arrest. The charge is totally bogus. Furthermore the refusal of the Capitol Hill police to release the CODEPINK five after direct instructions from the Committee heads -- who are supposed to be entirely in charge of what is happening in their hearings is outrageous. None of the seated CODEPINKers showed disrespect to Congress or even the War Criminal Rice; it was the police who expressed their contempt of Congress.

A friend reports, "Captain Mark Sullivan, perhaps on a signal from the Secret Service, brutally yanked Liz out of her seat and dragged her down the row. At one point, one officer had her feet and another had her arms and they were pulling her in opposite directions, banging her face on a chair leg."

We Arizonans need to contact Gabrielle Giffords and Jeff Flake, both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,non-Arizonans can contact other members of the Committee, and urge them to issue a statement of apology to the seated CODEPINKers who were brutalized by these police captains and to request formal reprimand of officers Captains Gerber and Sullivan.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Phoenix CODEPINKER Kept in D.C. Jail Overnight

UPDATE on Liz's condition (from a Phoenix friend):
"I just got off the phone with Dana in Washington. She says that she's heard that Liz is fine, although the Capitol Police broke her glasses and her head was cut in the scuffle. She apparently did not go to the hospital. She, Medea, and Lori will see a judge today at 1:00 eastern time to see what happens next. I'm not sure when Desiree (the woman with the red hands) will be released or what she's going to have to go through. I think it's significant that the vice-chair for the House Foreign Relations Committee called the Capitol Police to say that the committee's policy is to only escort activists out and not to arrest them. The vice-chair asked for their prompt release, but everyone was kept over night. I'm guessing that the Capitol Police are now just the strong arm of the administration."
What a lot of people don't realize is that law inside the Capitol, especially when a hearing is in session, is a bit different from what people might presume it to be. The chair of the session has authority over his or her hearing room. For me, this is the most deeply disturbing aspect of yesterday's arrests. From what I can tell from out here in the western U.S.A., the Vice Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee asked the police to immediately release those arrested and act according to the known policy of that committee. The police knew this policy and should have honored the law. Furthermore, once the will of the Committee Chairwas iterated, those arrested without provocation should have been immediately released. They were kept in jail overnight.

Desiree knew, I'm sure, what the consequences of confronting Rice might be. She is an extremely intelligent woman. She was also careful not to touch Rice and to keep her hands clearly visible. Plus these cops know these women. They know that these are not violent women. The psychological profiles I'm sure they have done must show this or they wouldn't have been allowed into hearings on an almost daily basis for the last couple of years.

The wonderful thing about CODEPINK is that it values the individual and nothing is "policy written in stone" other than those necessary for 501c3 status. Those pink women sitting in the "audience"/gallery did nothing wrong. The police acted in defiance of known Congressional authority. And they did this repeatedly. If the police are no longer respecting the laws of the land and the procedures of the leaders on The Hill, we are in watching a slow motion military/police cout d'etat.

Call/write/contact your Congresspersons and let them know you are outraged by this flagrant police abuse of the law and disrespect of Congress.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Liz Hourican, from Phoenix, roughed up and arrested by Capitol Hill police

, Liz Hourican of Phoenix was assaulted and injured by Capitol Hill Police today when the police defied the policy of the House Foreign Relations Committee to escort Citizen Protesters from the room without arrest if they are nonviolently disruptive vocally or written signs.

The blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands!” yelled Desiree Fairooz to Condi Rice during the hearing and displayed her hands covered in red paint simulating blood.
She was escorted from the room. Four women and one man ended up being arrested. Fairooz was arrested. Then two women who were sitting quietly in the hearing room were forcibly dragged from the room into the hall where they, who had engaged in no provocation, were brutally treated by the police. One of the women, Liz Hourican, had to be take to the hospital. Lori Perdue was also inexplicably dragged from the room and arrested. Medea Benjamin who had no written signs and who had not said anything in the hearing room was asked to leave when she made a peace sign with two fingers, She gathered her stuff and left the room. She was then arrested in the hall as was a gentleman who was vocally challenging the actions of the police as they happened.

You can watch the videos and judge for yourself.

Later in the day the press was given the following information in a statement from Dana, a CODEPINK spokesperson:

"Liz Hourican is now being treated at a local hospital for her injuries. The Deputy Chief of Staff of the House Foreign Relations Committee contacted the Capitol Police later in the day to again relay that their is a policy of that committee to not arrest Citizen protesters but to instead escort them out of the room. The Deputy asked for the CODEPINK members to be released promptly from custody.

For more information please contact Dana Balicki at 202 422 8624 or Gael Murphy at 202 412 6700."
I know Liz. She is a sincere, peaceful person, active in Arizona and Phoenix politics and an incredibly patriotic person who takes her duties and responsibilities as a citizen very seriously. She also is one of the least wimpy folks I know. To hear her crying in pain is horrible enough but to hear the despair in her voice when she is saying "I didn't do anything" is equally as painful for me as I know she believes in justice and truly was aghast at the abuse of justice by the police.

I haven't yet heard how Liz is doing or if she is out of the hospital. I will post again when I find out more.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cops out of control in case you needed any more evidence

Thanks to the Sonoran Progressives for making me aware of this gross abuse of power by out of control Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpio. Seems the owners of the Phoenix New Times, a weekly newspaper, were arrested yesterday on charges of revealing Grand Jury information. The New Times, a Village Voice company, has had its executives, reporters and names of readers subpoened by a special prosecutor. The special prosecutor was appointed to see if the newspaper violated the law when they published the home address of Sheriff Joe Arpaio three yeares ago. A sheriff's department spokesperson refused comment on the subpoena, saying that Arpaio is a "crime victim."

Hmmmm.... Woman dies in Phoenix airport within minutes of being "taken down" by airport security staff. Sheriff arrests persons named in grand jury probe centered on info about the sheriff. None of that would make me want to travel to Phoenix or spend one second there that I didn't have to. Do I need to say that this city is also the home of Hell-bent Hawk John McCain and Bush administration apologist and right hand boy Jon Kyl.

If anyone doubted that Phoenix was a hell-hole, this should get them on the path to changing their minds.

And if anyone doubts that police are way out of control in this country, along with our purported "leaders," these stories of high level abuse of power parallel and encourage the street level abuse of the citizens of this country.

Read more here about the Phoenix abuse of the legal system in the New Times case:

Warning: You'll be part of the subpoena if you read the New Times online.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Shame in Tucson

Louis Vitale, 75, a Franciscan priest, and Steve Kelly, 58, a Jesuit priest, were each sentenced on Wednesday, October 17th to five months in federal prison. Their crime? Attempting to deliver a letter opposing the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. The priests are now in prison.

Common Dreams describes the offense thusly:

The priests were arrested while kneeling in prayer halfway up the driveway to Fort Huachuca in November 2006. Both priests were charged with trespass on a military base and resisting orders of an officer to stop.

In a pre-trial heating, the priests attempted to introduce evidence of torture, murder, and gross violations of human rights in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, and at Guantanamo. The priests offered investigative reports from the FBI, the US Army, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Physicians for Social Responsibility documenting hundreds of incidents of human rights violations. Despite increasing evidence of the use of torture by U.S. forces sanctioned by President Bush and others, the federal court in Tucson refused to allow any evidence of torture, the legality of the invasion of Iraq, or international law to be a part of the trial.

Demonstrations against the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca are scheduled for November 16 and 17 this year.

Despite the Disney-esque image that comes to mind with use of the Fort's nickname, "Fort Sneezy," the real nature of what goes on there is far more sinister. Fort Huachuca is Army Intelligence HQ. Oxymoronic but still dangerous.

In Friar Kelly's words, "“We will keep trying to stop the teaching and practice of torture whether we are sent to jail or out. We have done our part for now. Now it is up to every woman and man of conscience to do their part to stop the injustice of torture.”

Every man and woman... that's us folks. Shall we begin?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reason for Hope, Reason for Despair

Al Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize. Hope.

World ice caps gone in 23 years. Despair.

Torture as a routine American practice. Despair.

Mainstream TV covering the topic of U.S. Government-sanctioned torture on prime time, network TV show "Without A Trace," Thursday October 11, 2007. The information divulged under torture was useless. Hope.

Creating and engaging in a reasonable and ethical life amidst the volatility and utter unbalance of lives set in this world that seem to be caught in a vortex of destruction requires a focus on calmness and peace that is difficult to maintain. But we have to keep on trying. Everything is generational and continuous. The illusion of individual as a significant element is what gets us in trouble. We are but a sputter in a candle. Light is the the process, the essence. We must acknowledge the difficulties, the despair, but we must move on and continue to attempt to create beauty and peace as a part of the process of hope that will never cease as long as there is a single bit of humanity in our species.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Newt Gingrich in Second Life

Guest Post by Ana Herzog

Second Life passed another milestone today (Ouch! That sounds painful!) when Newt Gingrich used Capitol Hill SL today to announce his new plan to take over America.

This photo of Gingrich is courtesy of Liz Link. Used with permission.

The metaverse becomes more like real life every day.... the buying of Capitol Hill is nothing new in RL, but in SL this use was groundbreaking in that a precedent was set for Free Speech Zones in SL. I am gravely concerned about the creation of and tolerance for the zoning of free speech in RL, but in SL, well that is probably a good precedent. Capitol Hill folks, TROI Timtam and Kiwini Oe and their group that runs the Capitol Hill SL sim gave five of a very limited number of slots for avatars who could be in SL attendance at today's Capitol Hill SL event. Newt spoke to his minions and groupies in Atlanta and Second Life about the future of corporate politics and the emerging metaverse.

Most of the initial part of the speech was filled with him describing the metaverse. It didn't really take all that long to get Newt acclimated to presentation procedure in Second Life (which he repeatedly called Second Voice). I've been told by people in the know that Gingrich likes to drive his own avatar, but there was no evidence of that today. The avie appeared, sat, then stood in exactly the same spot for the duration of the talk.

In the second pic, above, you can see the back of him, the guests who were allowed invites into the sim, and at the very back beyond a virtual fence, invisible at a distance, there were the five lonely protesters.

It sort of honks me off that the sim folks presumed we would grief folks. I take my civic DUTY very seriously, as do other very courageous protesters. That is civic as in civil and civilization.

Anyway, you can see more photos of the event on flickr. i like the Venice Vandal's and Liz Link's photos of the event. But in these I took you can see the basic setup.

I may get around to the content portion of his speech eventually, but first I would like comment on the meta messages broadcast via this event today.

(Isn't In beautiful as she flies in protest?)

I'm not sure Newt really understands the whole merging of a personally expansive identity into a new and larger self that encompasses an electronic persona that is every bit as real as a corporate face, or the identity one puts on for family as opposed to the one puts on at church or in the supermarket.

Conservatism and corporatism are starting to "get it" as far as understanding the networking abilities that Second Life affords.

It does seem that Newt understands much more of the metaverse and Second Life than most RL politicos do.

This isn't surprising to me. Newt is intelligent. This is the thing that makes him most dangerous. It always has been. Newt took out his Contract on America with the help of Tom DeLay. Newt was major player in the creation of K Street and the corporate coup d'etat that knocked off the last semblance of the representation of the people of the U.S.A. His contract was such a snow job. He promised the conservative Chrisitian right that the contract would help to clean up Congress and America. It carefully tended the seeds of the demise of America that had been sown by Ronnie Raygun. Bush is harvesting that demise.

The hypocrisy shown by so many of the supposedly moral men who came into power in '94 by lying through their teeth to the American People about what their intentions were has become common knowledge and well documented. The longer serving hypocrits became emboldened. Foley, Craig, Stevens, Vitter, rode in with Newt. Opiate addicted Linbaugh served as a cheerleader. Stevens became the pork barrel king. Just look at this list of Republican scandals -- a major one every week this year. The Culure of Corruption is real and was orchestrated by Newt, Delay, Abramoff.....

So today Newt sang the praises of IBM (Yes the same IBM who allowed certain South American leaders to be tortured to death in their buildings a few decades back...) and the corporatization (is that a word) of SL. And this as the IBM Strike is going on. Oh, the irony... The double speak of Gingrich is scary. I believe he was well aware of the allusion to taking out a Contract on America. His current American Solutions campaign smacks of Dachau and Germany's Solution. He had to be aware of the similarity to Final Solution. This man is a soulless, corrupt maggot. He served divorce papers to his wife as she received chemotherapy for cancer. He told his second wife he wanted to divorce her over the phone at a holiday dinner. What a cowardly little sleeze bag. There is nothing honorable about this man and I am disturbed that so many folks continue to revere him.

Now back to the event itself.

Here (above) you can see the paltry presence the five allowed protesters made ion the Capitol Lawn But this Cap Hill group's dedication to showing there was dissent is good.

It would have been better if I could have had a banner drop off the Washington Monument but they nixed that.

Guess that is it for now.

So we were left to our rather "normal" protest signs. I had some problems in that I couldn't get the shake fist animation to work so I had a wilted protest sign most of the time. Oh well.

Probably the avie schmoozing after the event had as much impact as the avie attendance at the event. Gingrich just wanted to make a pr statement. We felt compelled to dissent. But as always, talking to people is the key to understanding and a better world.
Here you can see Liz Link and I in real discussion after the event.

Monday, September 17, 2007

More police brutality.

So students asking questions in a school sponsored event of national figure are appropriate tazer targets?

Read the article at:

Watch this video.

The police in this country have gotten way too full of themselves under this fascist national administration. We need to send a clear message that we will not tolerate this crap! Four cops on top of an unarmed guy do not need to taze him.


Aren't Tazers made in Glendale, AZ?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More on the Assault of the Rev. Yearwood and the illegal abduction of Lori Perdue by the Capitol Police

View the video by IPS of Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. speaking about the attack on him and the police brutality that resulted in his severe injury.

Another video in which the Rev. Yearwood talks about the police brutality he experienced for simply attempting to listen to a hearing on The Hill. He encourages us to not give up and to continue to fight tor justice.

A third video puts his abuse in a broader contast and highlights his military service.

Also listen to/watch Colonel Ann Wright talk about her arrest and about the treatment of Rev. Yearwood. as well as the heinous routine treatment of prisoners in the D.C. jail.

Another ridiculous situation from Capitol Police in the last couple days was police abduction of a woman that consisted of the false arrest, imprisonment, and shackling of Lori Perdue for a nonexistant stay away order. This fifth video includes an interview with her shortly after being released from jail for doing absolutely noting wrong. It also includes a brief interview with a member of Democracy Rising discussing the Reverand's and Lori's outrageous abuse.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Call the Speaker and protest her "boys" assault on the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.

I'm trying to find out how the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. is doing today after being tackled by 6 Capitol Hill cops who decided Rev. Yearwood shouldn't entrer the Patraeus hearings yesterday. He had waited in line with the women of CODEPINK and other progressive folks for hours in order to get in to the hearing. Of course the Washington Post iterates the police propaganda by saying, "Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., of the D.C.-based Hip Hop Caucus, who allegedly refused to move back after jumping in front of a line of people waiting to get inside the room. "

This so pisses me off! The black man as target of police violence shit has to stop. Non-whites as targets of hate (yes, police can be guilty of hate crimes) is beneath us. The U.S. is still predominantly composed of sensible and generous people, but if we do not collectively step forward and stop the militarization of our protective service forces, insist they live by the laws of our land, we are no better than the creeps who are currently running our country. A peaceful and honorable nation does not allow public servants cleanse our streets of select ethnic groups nor selectively single them out for assault.

Watch the video and join me in outrage and action. Pam's House Blend has the second video (after the police assault) when the medical personnel made the call that Yearwood was injured and needed a wheelchair to be moved.

This is NOT what democracy looks like from firedoglake has the most complete report I've yet found on the bogus charges against Yearwood and verification that the cops broke his leg during their assault on him.

I'm with Siun from FireDogLake:
The Capitol Police work for the Speaker’s Office. I’m calling the Speaker’s office to “discuss” this and I hope you will too. Her office number is:
(202) 225-0100.
This crap has to stop. I've faced off against these same cops doing very similar crap this past February. These tactics are totally bogus and anyone who has spent more than a couple days on The Hill know there is selective enforcement and the "rules" change from day-to-day. They insisted on misdirecting me to the wrong line as I waited to get into a hearing where Condi-LIE-za was to speak. They pulled the same crap but I remained calm and kept repeating, to a storm trooper who didn't deserve the respect, "But sir, may I say something. Sir. Please listen to us. We want to get in to the hearing at which Ms. Rice will speak. I I will move to where you want me to but I would like to ask a question as to how we can get in when we are directed to the wrong line. Sir, please may I speak?" as he was blaring out his orders and not at all assessing the situation. Finally another cop told him to cool the aggression. Yearwood wasn't as fortunate as I was.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Liz from Phoenix arrested at Petraeus hearing today.

Several CODEPINKers were arrested today and many more were removed from the "Betray us" hearings.

The early story coverage can be found here. The CODEPINK press release from before the hearing can be accessed for background on the group and their motivations for action.

Lydia's post on the CODEPINK DC Blog is well worth the read too. Seems they are now refusing entry to Gael. Many courageous women are there to disrupt if necessary -- and those who are carrying on as if this is business as normal after stolen elections, unconstitutional executive branch power grabs, illegal and immoral war that has escalated to all the way to enabling ethnic cleansing have gone from foolish to being criminal.

Hell yes this protestation is right and justified. Thank you CODEPINK! Thank you Ray McGover for yelling out,"SWEAR HIM IN". Betray us Petraeus is a war criminal as his crimes have gone far beyond being a twitchy little puppet. Just following orders doesn't cut it when you are directing a war while knowingl backing a failed tactic masquerading as policy.

According to Lydia, Cindy Sheehan, her sister DeDe, and the Reverand Yearwood were arested in the hall (as they were denied entry) for raising their voices. See the Washington Post article for the "approved for broadcast" version.

I guess the Halls of Congress have lost their status as a free speech "zone." This is one of my biggest causes of outrage. Free Speech "Zones.!!!" When the bleep did the First Amendment become "zoned?"

WAY TO GO, LIZ. Thank YOU for being brave enough to say what the vast majority of the country is thinking. Thanks to Desiree, Mona, Lydia and all the tireless pink souls temporarily "stationed" (voluntarily) in D.C. Special thanks to and request for support of the Rev. Yearwood who undoubtedly got assault charge for being a black man.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

News Release per TORTURE ON TRIAL from Nuclear Resister

from the Nuclear Resister newsletter

September 5, 2007

Contact in Tucson:
Jack or Felice Cohen-Joppa 520-323-8697


Three weeks after the conclusion of a pretrial motions hearing for
two priests facing trial for their November, 2006 arrest at Ft.
Huachuca, U.S. Magistrate Hector Estrada issued his rulings on the
various motions before his Tucson, Arizona court. He denied the
defense requests for a jury trial and dismissal of the charges
against Jesuit Fr. Stephen Kelly and Franciscan Fr. Louis Vitale. He
also denied the government's motion to use Fr. Vitale's prior arrests
and convictions as prima facie evidence of trespass.

In a significant order that effectively gags the defense, Estrada
granted the government's motion in limine to preclude defenses. The
gag order forbids the defendants from introducing evidence at trial,
either documentary or testimonial, about: the defenses of duress,
justification, necessity, or self-defense; the morality or immorality
of the government's use of interrogation techniques, training of
soldiers in interrogation techniques; the legality of the wars in
Iraq or Afghanistan; any military actions to support interrogations
in any foreign countries; the legality of the Military Commission Act
of 2006; the defense of international law; or the wisdom of any
political question or government policy.

Magistrate Estrada also ordered Fr. Vitale to report to court on
September 21 for a hearing on his conditions of pretrial release.
Because of the unavailability of his attorney, Bill Quigley, on that
day, another date will be scheduled for the hearing. On August 13,
at the end of the pretrial motions hearing, Estrada sent Vitale to
the court's pretrial services for evaluation, after learning that the
priest had been cited a few days earlier for a Nagasaki Day
line-crossing at the Nevada nuclear weapons test site. At their
April arraignment, Estrada had ordered the two priests not to break
local, state or federal laws.

The two are charged with federal trespass and an Arizona state charge
of failure to comply with a police officer following their attempt to
speak with enlisted personnel and deliver a letter denouncing torture
and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to Major General Barbara
Fast, then commander at Fort Huachuca, on November 19, 2006. If
convicted of both charges, they each face ten months in prison.

A trial date is expected to be set later in September.

For more information, visit


Naomi Klein points out the villain... Disaster Capitalism

This is what I like to see... women leading the way against corporatist evil. Any person can lead the way of course, but so far men haven't been really good at this at Horatio Alger dreams seem to live in most of them.

I was so pleased to open my laptop this morning and see leading with a repost of the Toronto Star's piece about Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

My recommendation? Find an Independent Bookstore and order it today.

If you want to get behind a movement that can change the world, and has a proven track record, go anti-corporation, after all it is a major concept upon which our once great United States was founded.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Presidential handlers worried about the ultimate fragging?

How come none of the military folks around Bush today had any weapons? Very interesting.

And the the hoo-ha's sounded rather forced throughout the speech.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Patriot Act Co-author Favored as Gonzales Replacement

Alberto Gonzales publicly announced his resignation as Attorney General of the U.S. publicly today after having turned in his resignation in to Bush on Friday.

This is no victory for America. This is a shuffle of a sniveling little suck-up and power-hungry elitist to a duplicitous situational ethicist. Even his old school legal buddies abandoned Alberto months ago.

Those of you who read Build Peace regularly or have even read it a few times know that I am an old fashioned girl who believes in old fashioned politics at least as they are presented if not how they actually existed--The Great McGinty is one of my favorite films of all time- watch it for a refresher course on how politicians are created and the power of a single act -- Simplification is dangerous in that "flip-sides" are far too simple of descriptive tools to ever be accurate... but the old

Republicans = Big Business
Democrats = Little Guys

dichotomy holds great appeal for me. That is how it was supposed to be in the world in which I was raised. Business versus the little guy. Nice and simple. But now what we have is:

Republican Party = Gigantic Business
Democratic Party = Enormous Business
Current Administration = Fascistic Corporatism

Gonzales was brazenly arrogant in his disregard for the essence of the law and ideology that shaped a pretty damn good country that had continued to expand individual rights while maintaining respect for education and moral training that supports the notion of responsibility in an individually empowered society.

Chertoff was an architect for the Patriot Act. He co-authored that tool used for the atrocious and vile perversion of American Justice. The P.A. is the document that undercuts the great original documents upon which the idea that was our noble America was based.

Gonzales ruthlessly applied the Act, but a greater though less overtly arrogant evil in Michael Chaertoff is set to step into the Attorney General's office. The bureaucrats who actually build a corrupt administration wield tremendous, underestimated power. Joe Demsey might have been talking about Chertoff and company when reviewing Zackary Shore's book. "By creating a climate of distrust, uncertainty, and fear, his regime inadvertently denied itself the benefit of receiving important foreign policy information. Instead of performing their jobs, the first priority for career officers quickly became protecting their own livelihoods (and lives)."

Chertoff knows on which side his bread is buttered, and most assuredly works for his masters, and spews out what is advantageous to him at any given stage in his career. He played both sides after being brought in as a US Attorney in 1990 by Bush the 1st, then he was the sole US Attorney kept on by Clinton in '93, but as the tide turned toward Republican control, his balance shifted to a more partisan stance with his appointment as special prosecutor for Whitewater as he chose to align with the single ascending master of the emergent species of Republican ideology. He currently serves no other master than Bushite Corporatism.

As author of the Patriot Act Chertoff should be considered more dangerous to have in the Attorney General's slot than Gonzales.

A simple rule to follow is do not use an auto-mechanic who has named his or her business "Quality Mechanics," or buy your veggies from the "Fresh Market," or have your taxes done by "Value Accountants" -- adjectives tend to only be put in names when the good or service marketed under the name lacks or falls short in that area. The name doesn't require the adjective if the quality is present in the product or service. This axiom has never been better illustrated than in the case of the Patriot Act.

Another basic element of the Chertoff make-up seems to be his hesitation to act within clear bounds of authority and responsibility before checking with higher ups. Remember Katrina? Well it was Chertoff who effed-up royally and did not take the necessary steps to allow FEMA to begin to act (even under Brownie's "heckuva job" type leadership) until days into the disaster.

Someone stop these people! House? Congress? Last year didn't we as voters tell you loud and clear that we want all this ineptitude and all the duplicitous machinations stopped? I think so. If you are reading this it is your responsibility to make them listen to you and act to stop the Bushite's in their tracks. Now!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bayh is a, he's a Demo.... what is he?

Probably not one of my last posts about Indiana even though I'm on the road back home to Tucson. I feel more comfortable blogging about it when I'm not there. The place scares me. Conservative doesn't even begin to describe the climate there. Anyway... the supposedly Democratic Senator Evan Bayh finally (after years of Hoosier peace activists efforts ) met with group of individuals drawn from a coalition of constituencies representing the peace movement in Indiana as well as long standing pacifist constituencies.

You can read about the security paranoia in the Gary Post Tribune or at Network for Peace where Sue E. corrects the errors in the Trib article.

Bayh is more conservative than many of his buddies on the supposedly opposite side of the isle. I hope people understand this when re-election time rolls around.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Torture, Texas and Totalitarianism

I won't be going through Texas on my drive back home to Tucson this week. I encourage everyone who reads this to also boycott the state.

On Tuesday, August 7, in a six-to-three decision, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Kenneth Foster’s final writ of habeas corpus, giving the legal green light for his execution. Foster, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection on August 30, is now at the mercy of the merciless Board of Pardons and Paroles. ...Foster’s supporters, who are spearheading a letter-writing campaign to the board and governor, are relying on one particularly salient detail to move their minds, if not their hearts: Foster didn’t kill anyone.

A man from Texas (Kennibunkport is in Texas, right? Sorry, couldn't resist.) sits at the helm of the U.S. administration that authorizes, promotes, and seems to take great satisfaction in torture. More evidence to this effect comes forward every day. A UK resident's family tells the most recent tale of ongoing torture at Guantanamo. The Bush record for sending more people to death as governor than

What the BLEEP is wrong with this country when outrage is more intense against Don Imus than for executing people even when we know that death sentences handed out in our "justice" system are hugely skewed toward executing people when the victim is white.

The rather simplistic summary statement I make based on both the advocacy of torture and execution by persons in power who are from this state -- people from Texas The State of Texas love to kill people.

You can write the Governor of Texas and let him know your feelings on the abuse an already scarred system in order to kill a man who killed no one. (He was involved in a crime in which there was a death. He can and probably should have received a murder conviction, that stands quite apart from being executed/murdered by the state. After looking at the case, you can write to:

Texas Gov Rick Perry
Citizen’s Assistance Hotline: (800) 843-5789
[for Texas callers]
Office of the Governor Main Switchboard: (512) 463-2000
Fax: (512) 463-1849

Mailing Address
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Our government is rapidly descending into a totalitarian one. YOU have to act to stop it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Tide is Turning

Reuters is mainstream, no? Well, they sent out a story that Common Dreams picked up today about the perfectly ripe and ready to be plucked activist spirit fruiting in the U.S.

It's true. I was in Ft. Wayne today and needed to do some personal errands and in the course of human events I ran into a woman I will call C.J. who seemed truly happy to find out about the healthy existence of grassroots progressive activism spearheaded by women.

The country is receptive. I met C.J. at her place of work and she was willing to talk about peace and liberalism in public in one of the most conservative areas of the conservative midwest. This is great news for the country.

Through women banding together, we will restore the best elements of our proud heritage.

I'm so glad I talked about my activism -- we all need to do this. The vast majority of Americans are just waiting for someone to tell them it is ok to act on the feelings they have.

It is ok to act on the feelings you have. Follow your heart.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Intentionality and Activism

At times I find the irony of my situation, a woman who doesn't believe in the inherent worth of politics, in which I spend so much time writing about the whole mess to be a bit sardonic.

I am a dedicated believer that you have to go around obstacles. Trying to plow right through items or processes blocking your intended path, or become one with them so that you can just move them do not make sense to me. But I've also lived in the southwestern U.S. long enough to know that if you go around barricades you might just get swept away by a fast current or a flash flood's wall of water.

In anthropological graduate school there was a distinct disdain shown by mentors and professors for anyone foolish enough to flirt with the idea that any one person can impact a cultural system in a predictable fashion. Individuals have influence, sure, but intentionality and emergence are problematic concepts or so say some of the most informed discussants in fields that discuss such things over coffee and for fun as well as to make their bread and butter.

That's right, I'm talking post-modernist thought. (Run away, run away!) No really, it is okay. I'm talking thought not application. Premature application is almost as devastating as premature .... well, you know. Sorry. Couldn't resist and just had to see if you were paying attention. (And no I wasn't one of those undergrads who salted term papers with sentences like, "check here if you read this.") The banality of unnecesary use of complex tools for analysis of simple procedures is evident when you watch a group of young persons listening to literary "theorists" applying post-modernist thought to specific written works or performances. The truly profound can turn to mush when used by someone who really doesn't have a handle on the complexity of systems and the narrowness of any interpretation.

Any way let me talk about this via some examples.
  • When you are inside you can't observe from the outside.
  • All singular entites have a viewpoint from which they collect information and from which they act.
  • You will choose a different path when you are walking with a group in contrast to when you are walking alone.
  • Sometimes unintended consequences are small, sometimes large, but they always are.
For years I stayed away from any attempt to influence anything, taking this "knowledge" about systems to the extreme, but then I realized I would still have influence as "to not make a decision is to make a decision." I finally reached the point where I HAD to act. It was a selfish act. I didn't want the guilt or bad karma of "knowing without acting." . I don't know exactly how I reached and recognized that point, but I knew it when I was there. It was in D.C. while I was participating in a CODEPINK march around the end of February or beginning of March 2003. For me the appeal was about the organizational structure that was networked and self-organizing rather than imposed, rigid and bound to breakdown. This was the first time I had encountered a group of people working for change who were doing so in a way that accepted and encouraged the worth of networks rather than hierarchy, emergence and its unpredictable nature over status quo predictability, as well as the noncompartmentalization of the groups actions that allowed and promoted integration over disintergration.

In the grassy area south of the White House and north of the Mall an effigy of Bush was pulled down by a web created when women encircled the effigy and, while hanging onto one end of the thread, threw balls of yarn over the Bush effigy to the woman on the opposite side of the circle. A web was woven in this process and it then pulled down the Bush effigy.

The metaphor was beautiful and illustrative whether I believed in, acknowledged or even knew about Wiccan aspects of the action. There was also direct action and with it the consequent arrests. Women had banded together and taken back control over symbols associated with them,
this allowed the budding network of women to sprout and grow it's own frame (and trunk) rather than attempt to layer change over existing structure.

Ignoring is bliss. We don't have to pound through barracades, or go through channels to have them removed. We can go around them, tunnel under them, or even remove them spoonful or splinter at a time.

I'm wondering whether now is the time to start going around our Government in a new way? I'm not sure what that means. We have to grow it.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

41 Dems Vote For Wiretapping

Grijalva and Giffords were both on the right side of this vote.

The 41 Dems from all over the U.S. who voted for this are selling out the American people. For example, why did Harry Mitchell (AZ LD 5) vote with the Republicans to continue giving Bush the expansive power to do whatever the hell he wants in the arena of invading our privacy.?

Women, framing, blogging and more.

I've so many things to blog about, and I've still so little time to blog. But only one more week and I will be on the road back in the general direction of Tucson.

Yesterday I ran a bunch of errands. Dropped stuff at Goodwill. Met a progressive friend at a great little lunch restaurant (and breakfast on Saturday) in the one time burg of Dunfee, IN. It is just north of the train tracks north of State Road 14 on the County Line Road between Whitley and Allen County. It is in the back of an antique and country crafts store that has a sub-specialization in equestrian items. The building obviously was a general store -- long rectangular and narrow clapboard, now weathered gray with occasional specks of the original color clinging to the wood.

A perfect setting to begin my good-byes.

I've been in the mid-west, bible belt, rust belt, old union land for 6 months now, and this will be my last week here. I can't say that I will miss the fear driven conformity that underlies so much of everyday life here.

There is a lot made of the supposedly close-knit communities in the small towns of this region. They are held up as supposedly wholesome iconic communities worthy of emulation.

Bull. Bull. Bull. When I walk down the street here, strangers don't smile as they do in large cities. I see looks of intolerance flashed as soon as someone "different" walks by. For heaven's sake, Wal-Mart is the new town square. Plastic junk from China surrounds our center of social information exchange. Far too many of the churches unite groups in their damnation of others who don't believe as they do rather than in the love of all people as the person they name themselves after professed.

There are drawbacks and perks within every sort of living. Both the small town and the international urban metropolis have positive and negative elements, but the success of both are built via social networks. i think it is actually harder to build a supportive community based on distinction when surrounded by a small community rather than a large one. It isn't about anonymity as must as it is about respect.

Community -- that is the core of peace building. The recognition of community across time exists. Community across vast spaces exist. We must build community across socially constructed class to stop the acceleration of artificially enhanced divisive difference.

I'm thinking of starting a "tour" to show any interested women how to connect and communicate via currently available communication technologies.

Is it soincidence that as I was writing this that I flipped through TV channels to find Bill Moyers interviewing Barbara Ehrenrich and found out about her book:

Dancing in the Streets: the History of Collective Joy

Here is the table of contents of the work:

I've always been rather outspoken when it comes to lambasting the "Big Frog in a Small Pond" phenomenon. But now rather than fixate on the big frogs, I'm shifting to simply attempting to have all the women look around at the pond and decide what they want to do with it.

Attendance at BlogHer '07 in Chicago helped this goal solidify into something concrete enough I can begin to meander toward it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Personal BlogHer Debriefing


I want to begin my personal debriefing per the BlogHer Conference. I’m sitting at the bar at Uno’s in Chicago. I tried to get a Spanish meal down the street at Emilios Tapas but the server obviously did not want to serve (per his non-attentiveness) a single female who wasn’t going to drink alcohol. So back to the familiar. Was really looking forward to some pan con tomat and some calamari. Sigh. I’m sure my dissing it isn’t going to impact their Zagat’s rating, but I feel better for having vented.


Today was wonderful. Informal. Made connections. Learned a bunch. And I made some connections which is the element I felt was missing from my conference connection.

I participated in a focus group for Revolution Health that allowed me the opportunity to vent about some holes in the health care system that I’d noticed these past few months that they may be able to address and fill. This meant that I missed part of the first session and part of the second, but I came in on the second session and stayed there for the rest of the day.

Blogging with accessibility, wikis, and embedding wikis within in web pages are all topics I wouldn’t have sought out had it not been presented in a small non-hierarchical manner. I’m so glad I attended. Codepink AZ now has a wiki! This is going to allow all the groups and individuals to coordinate actions, plans, information of all types. Of course public sites are attractive to trolls, but there are ways to circumvent folks who are maliciously motivated. I really, really want to go home to Tucson. Anyway, back to the conference.


Elizabeth Edwards interview and open answers to whole large group questions was a highlight, but the entire day of political speak was quite interesting. Edwards and Clinton were the only Pres. camps who chose to be present at the conference.

Pizza arrived. More later. Will add links too.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards

Notes from Elizabeth Edwards questions.

Listening to Elizabeth Edwards talk about the magic of the medium and how we don't sep. ourselves in this medium as we do in RL.

She has dealt with all the issues of blogging while not having her own blog. She writes her own diary entries on the Edwards size.

"He's come a long way since his days on a Southern Baptist pew.

She believes in actually answering questions.

Feels John is more supportive of "women's issues" than Hillary Clinton.

Universal healthcare is a key issue , childcare also.

Birth to death education is another significant education.

Youth need to feel their voice is heard in order to want to participate. One Corps per local level. Larger issues at national Iraq. Global warming. Darfur. Operation engage (young people who do not go to college.)

Iraq as a woman's issue. Women serving in Iraq - 10%. Fiancee.

Didn't mention the civilian casualties. Although she did mention that if mother's were in charge, there would be no war.

Also talked about the class divide in the military.

Medium consolidation and Telecom Act of 1996 - John doesn't want Rupert Murdoch to be the gatekeeper of information. She recognizes the uniformity.

Net neutrality is important. (See Laura Scott on Blogher Ads.)

No one person should be the sieve through whom all information flows.

Trails of following from one blog to another.

35 Google alerts.

Eldercare/sandwich -- coverage of chronic care and long-term care. Need to increase number of people who can navigate the eldercare issue. Who watches out for elders who have no children. We are at capacity for training nurses. We need nurse educators.

People dye their hair purple in order to stand out in a very crowded world.

Howard Dean is right.... we need a campaign in all 50 states.

From audience member: "?" Religious liberal. Reclaiming the F word. F is for faith.

Doesn't believe in an intervening God he (or she) does not think her prayers for intervention about cancer will have any effect.

Renewing their vows on Monday. Service was a part of their vows.

No one edits her posts, sees her posts.....

Will continue to answer questions (with Blogher) from Blogher 07.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bush's Executive Order 13438 serious threat to activism

Just received this from a CODEPINK friend in D.C.

You're receiving this because time is short to try to stop Bush's Executive Order 13438 from becoming law on August 19. The Executive Order, titled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq," is unconstitutional but once it becomes law it would likely take years and huge chaos and loss to activists before being revoked. As you know, Congress will recess for August. The Order was entered into the Federal Register on July 19. It becomes law automatically on August 19. Today is July 27. Will Pelosi and Reid call them back to stop this? Yesterday at the Senate subway to the Capitol, I spoke to about 10 Senators about this. After my brief, on-the-run question-description of the Order, they all said they had never heard of the Order (!) but that they would look into it. Your help is greatly needed to quickly study the order and then move Congress to stop it using your broad contacts to mobilize. I will set up a yahoo group site, called "Stop Executive Order of July 17, 2007" to help move communication forward.

Calls and faxes to Congress are urgent! See the contact lists at These lists, by the way, can be moved to a spreadsheet.

White House web site for the Executive Order: order

I've highlighted the most problematic element below:

(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:...

Holy Mother of the World, we have to stop him!

I'm here!

I'm at BlogHer 07. Arrived last night quite late and have been busy every moment since then. Amazing women per media, politics, technology, business.... The over-layer of corporate gloss conceals a significant network of progressive women.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday at Evan's Office

What an amazing day!. Zanne just left "the farm" and headed for South Bend.

We hit the street by the Federal Bldg. in Fort Wayne by 8 a.m. this morning. Zanne and I were the first to arrive, followed shortly by Betty, then Dave, then Phyllis, Bruce, Bonnie and 5 or six others wonderful folks for a Peace Vigil in front of the Federal Building where Evan Bayh's office is located. The specific target of this gathering was awareness of Bayh's vote for war funding in May. Zanne is doing her best to visit the office of every Democratic Senator who voted in May to fund the war. By 8:30 we were organizing to go up to Senator Bayh's office.

No cameras or cell phones allowed in the building. Have to have ID with photo. Once we made it through security two very large burly men stepped up to block our way and ask us what we intended to do. He referred to us as protestors. I didn’t intend to argue with him but I would have loved to have had the time to discuss his labeling of us. “We’ve had trouble with protestors before,” he said. “Laying down in the halls and such.” Was he referring to the three men who were arrested as they prayed in the Federal Building in April? Anyway I didn’t appreciate the physical blocking of our entry, so I politely said, is it okay if we go through (meaning between these two federal marshals.)” Four people had decided to go up, but it soon became clear that only three of us were on the same page with the purpose of this planned visit. But that was good too as it provided a few “educational moments.”

When we arrived upstairs, no one was in Bayh’s office so we stopped by Mark Souder’s office to give his staff some feedback to pass on to him. That was that we watch what all senators and Reps do and we like to give positive feedback where it is appropriate. While Congressman Souder has a long way to go, we have noticed that he has moved toward opposing the war and bringing our troops home.

After we left Congressman Souders office we stood in the hall debating whether we should wait there for Senator Bayh’s office to open. That was when “one of our own” started unloading on us about how she thought Bayh was doing a good job and that we should support him. We tried to calmly reply that Bayh voted to fund the war in May. The viewpoint that this woman espoused was that we have to support any Democrat in Indiana no matter what. My take is that any Democratic Senator in Indiana needs to support the will of the people. We need him to lead, we need him or her to have the courage to do what is right, not mouth the Republican framing of an issue. Even here in the conservative Bible Belt the majority of the people want our troops home NOW.

I pay taxes here in Indiana and have lived well over half my life here in this state. All the branches of my family have been Hoosiers for going on two centuries (not to mention the Indian ancestors who met those folks as they arrived.) We do not want war. We do not want to send our children to fight the wars that benefit the rich families and their corporate manifestations.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the supporter from the provocateur – this is just my opinion, but I believe some of the internal divisive behavior we experienced this morning is “cornered prey” behavior. In extremely conservative Republican strongholds it can be fairly easy to develop a mindset that works almost totally from dichotomy of us them and to live and work from a mindset of fear that demands fight or flight responses rather than reasoned calm assessments of areas of mutual agreement.

We all come from different places and perspectives. We must look for areas of overlap, areas of agreement, areas where we can cooperate, and we must not sabotage each other. We must support each other and all grow through learning from each other.

I sometimes allow myself to engage in magical thinking and I’m allowing myself that luxury per my thoughts about this morning. Had it not been for the presence of a woman who wants peace but does not feel it is appropriate to “disrespect” Senator Bayh (and who cannot hear me when I say that I don’t feel it is appropriate for Senator Bayh to disrespect the people) we might not have still been on the floor when Brent Wake, the regional Director for Senator Evan Bayh, opened up the office.

Mr. Wake is a well-spoken man. He asked us in, attempted to get us all chairs, and listened intently and politely as we asked him to please make sure the Senator gets the message that the people of Indiana do not believe that his vote for war spending in May was justified and that we expect him to vote to cut off war funding in September. Mr. Wake attempted to explain to us that the Senator didn’t want to abandon the troops in Iraq without money to support their return. We discussed several of the fallacies inherent in that essentially Republican framed argument. We attempted to explain that we need our Democratic Senators to be courageous and to lead without concern about whether that will a prudent political career move for them.

I mentioned my pink sister of the peace struggle being arrested and prosecuted in Hammond, Indiana for reading the names of the American Service men and women who have died in Iraq . She was arrested in front of building that houses Senator Bayh’s office. Why was she ordered away before she had finished reading the names of those who have given their lives to defend our country even though the entire situation we were supposedly defending our country from was a crock of warm spittle? Why does Senator Bayh refuse to meet with the peace community of Indiana? The bright side is that Mr Wake did say he would attempt to arrange a meeting between the Senator and the Ft. Wayne Peace Community. Betty is the contact that Mr. Wake will notify per the meeting. She will contact the rest of the peace community as best she can after she receives the call.

It was so good to talk to people on the street. One gentleman, Jebbar, who has recently completed his military service actually drove past us and then parked and came over to thank us and to let us know that a large, large segment of the men and women of the military wants us out of Iraq. He was articulate, informed and radiated the peaceful confidence of a just man. There is hope for us if he in any way represents our young adult population.

We also talked to a woman with a wonderful presence, Jackie, who said she wanted to mention us on her blog and how she supported the peace work that we are trying to do. She had spotted Zanne’s truck outside and knew we were around somewhere. I’m glad she found us.

A young woman at the FW Food Coop asked for literature and said she would take info about the September actions to her church.

All in all an amazing day.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fort Wayne for Peace

Came back from the Fort Wayne, IN UU church showing of No More Victims and discussion among the 9 folks who came out to watch the film to find this great film forward from Liz in D.C.

I'm so proud to know these women. The courage and stamina they show inspire me.

9 may not sound like a whole bunch but it was pretty good considering that every body and her sister were headed out to watch the fireworks at the end of the 3 Rivers Festival. As I said in my last post.... the Heartland really is heating up for Peace.

Zanne Joi pulled into the driveway of the old family farm today with that beautiful pinkly emblazoned truck of hers. She will certainly add a degree or two to the heat. Bless her for having the ovaries to travel the U.S. from coast to coast helping motivate local peace groups, stirring the pot, and raising the temperature a bit.

Anyway, hope there are at least that many folks (9) at the vigil in front of the Federal Bldg. in FW tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. We will then take a message up to to Sen. Bayh's office. He votes to fund the war though the majority of the people (even here in the heartland) want us out of Iraq and our troops home now. He won't meet with CODEPINK Indiana (consistently scheduling with CPI and then canceling-- several times over the last few months). His "boys" saw fit to arrest Sue E. for reading the names of the dead U.S. soldiers in front of the Bldg that contains his office in Hammond. Sorta like the three arrested in Fort Wayne for praying for peace in front of Lugar's office in April. (I guess those in charge want prayer in schools but not in government buildings.)

Evan, we want the troops home now! Even Hillary had the balls to finally say no to the war funding. What happened to yours? Can't stand up to the power brokers in D.C.?

By the way, Hillary does deserve kudos and perhaps a pink badge of courage for finally realizing the war must end.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Heartland Heats Up For Peace

I am pleased to see that some "mainstream" media coverage of CODEPINK's vigilance on Capitol Hill even if it is in the form of an ABC blog.

Things and thinks are rapidly changing here in the heartland. I'm beginning to stick my head out into the community after the time spent with my mother during the last few months before her passing and the following weeks of closing up a very full house.

Sentiment on the streets is decidedly pro-peace... a first ever Peace Float was cheered on in the Three Rivers Festival Parade in Fort Wayne, Indiana last weekend. This weekend there are Peace Church meetings and on Monday CODEPINK's own Mz. Zanne will be at an action at Evan Bayh's office in Fort Wayne. She will also be stopping in South Bend and Hammond.

I'm tempted to leave early and not attend the BlogHer Conference in Chicago so I can caravan with Zanne, but I really want to attend that conference and meet all those wonderful "be the media" women. And truth be told I still have a couple weeks of stuff to get done here.

Anyway the float shown below is evidence of some very good news. Do check out The Fort Wayne Agitator for up to the minute (it seems) info on peace happenings in NE Indiana.