Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drones are State of the Art Death Squad(ron)s

Creech Air Force Base "no drones" protest this coming Monday. When Drones Attack, Civilians Die.

And now these fearless (they can't be hurt, why should they show fear?) virtual (yep it's like a video game to them--virtually) will be produced at an even faster rate with a spin off program for training these valiant 9-5 warriors who live "normal" lives half a world away from those they kill.

Fly boys like McCain dropping death from on high were bad enough when it came to depersonalization of death delivery, but this train in a virtual world and deploy from a video screen takes the impersonal to a level of disconnect that is even more psychotic than war itself.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Media Excises Deep and Murky Context in Pan Am Bomber Story.

Today's 'featured" news story is on the release of a man from Libya by the Scottish Government from a prison where he was sentenced to serve a life sentence.  The man has cancer and is expected to die within 3 months.  We know he was convicted for blowing up a transcontinental flight. 

My problem with how the media is covering this is that story is being presented without context. 

We/the U.S./Reagan blew up some boats off the coast of Libya.  They retaliated and blew up a night club, La Belle Disco,  killing two U.S. service men and a civilian and wounded many dozens of people.  We attempted to assassinate Mumamar Qadaffi in a strike on Qadaffi's home that did not kill him but did kill his infant daughter.  Several Libyans then were then involved in the bombing of the flight that was exploded over Lockerbee, Scotland. 

Read a recount of this tit for tat escalation that helped no one but killed hundreds.  

Reagan chose to engage in Israeli style "diplomacy" -- i.e. assassination of a a country's leader.  The U.S. and most western govenments have chosen not to engage in assassination of leaders as it elevates the person in power to a symbolic level akin to that of a regal status where the person and the government or country are all the same.  

If memory serves me, this was also the  time the French did not allow overflight and an "errant" bomb fell on the lawn of the French embassy in Libya.   This instance of neener, neener, neener with bombs illustrated a level of in your face immaturity that is intensely troubling and frightening beyond words.

This is akin to the problem implicit within the use of drones.  It personalizes war to the level of assassination.   To have to have no contact with the people you kill was a trajectory started with the use of aerial bombings.  But this trend has expanded to the point that no support staff at all has to walk among the people who will be bombed.   This is supremely arrogant.   Our technological capability has evolved to a level where we cannot justify its use and maintain any sense of humanity.  We must do things entirely differently.  

My suggestion, train and disperse an educational militia primarily composed of women into areas of conflict and work with the women of the area to solve base level problems that percolate up through society to create international conflict.  Raging Grannies and CodePink Women and Women in Black would be a good population from which to initially draw for the corps.  

Women, wake up, we have to change all this.  


Monday, August 17, 2009

Huge Turnout at Phoenix Healthcare Rally Outside Obama's VFW Address

As I posted earlier in the day, I was at the demonstration outside the VFW gathering where Obama spoke today. I was also near these kooks who were carrying weapons. A few pieces of information that I haven't seen mentioned in the media reports although the Maddow video above does briefly show the donkey hanging in effigy.

The people carrying the guns were parading their weaponry through the "other" side crowds. The intention of the police and permitters and such were clearly focused on keeping the opposing factions apart on opposite sides of the street. What I've not seen mentioned is how the person carrying the lynched stuffed animal had hateful notes pinned to the stuffed toy, marched directly into the opposing demonstrators and attempted to instigate confrontation and conflict and were quickly (within 5 minutes) joined by the guys with assault weapons. There were very clear provocateurs who were there at the rally to stir up trouble. I should also mention that the guns that were holstered on legs were within a foot or so of small children, in strollers next to their slightly older toddler siblings who were within grab range of the and at the very same level as the weapons.

Talking to people who are active in progressive politics and demonstrations in the Phoenix area I heard from a couple different individuals that these guys often show up, attempt to intimidate and are close supporters of Joe Arpaio. This association between extremely conservative police factions, the self proclaimed minute men and "freepers" in the Phoenix to U.S. Mexican border area is an area of great concern to me. I wrote about it 3 years ago when I was threatened by a "counter" demonstrator outside a military recruitment office -- this man told me that I was a traitor and would have been hanged to death in other times. The the threat and attempted intimidation was clear... not all of these times were necessarily in the past.

A brave soul has been valiantly continuing to stand, often alone, in an anti-recruitment protest at least that occurs at least one a week for years, before and after, the incidents I witnessed 3 years ago. This woman protester (in her late 70s) has been harassed and threatened by an individual from Tucson gun toting, Freeper thugs who "counter protest" at the recruitment center and had to go back to court a second time, from what I understand ( I need to interview her and others who attended the court hearing to cover this significant story that has had absolutely zero attention from "journalists" in the Tucson area) to keep this thuggish person and his threats and legal harassment away from her. It has taken years to even get the courts to acknowledge that there is targeted personal harassment and intimidation of regular citizens - little old ladies in fact - by thugs within the vigilante border guard/Joe Arpaio's posse/cocaine trafficking military recruiters/"Freeper" network. There is systematic assault and intimidation of the exercise of free speech by progressives in the central and southern Arizona region.

The police in Phoenix seemed far more neutral than the police in Tucson have seemed from my experience. I've been called on to private property by Tucson cops who then proceeded to cite me for trespassing. I've had police show up at my home's door and have them inform my terrified daughter they could arrest me any time they chose. Military - police - vigilante - wacko connections should be investigated.

There are radical right groups in AZ who are dangerous. Assault weapons and provocateurs are a dangerous combination. Perhaps you remember Timothy McVey and his Kingman connections?

I think this is enough for now.

Pro Public Healthcare Turnout in Phoenix is HUGE!

It's been a long, long time since I posted here.  Many fires each with many irons. 

I'm writing from the Fair Trade Cafe & Gallery @1020 N. 1st Avenue in Phoenix... just across from the Roosevelt/Central Ave. light rail stop (metro?)   Just checked out of a fairly priced room at the Lexington that we got on  This morning we met up with the Democratic contingent to welcome Obama and publicly, visibly and vocally support public options for healthcare for all.

Compared to some of my past actions this was vanilla.  I am actually a bit perturbed that our President is caving to corporate interest and withdrawing from public options and he is still using drones to kill civilians.   

I carried a black sign that read in pink duct tape letters,  "A.I.G. killed my brother! "  I now feel like I've done a little bit toward the working for justice in health care that my brother Max and I talked about the last time I ever saw him.  He was dying from a recurrent, but slow to metastasize cancer that had been successfully managed for 15 years while my brother worked at a factory.  When he retired his health care coverage situation changed and he could no longer get routine screening to catch the cancer in its earliest stages.  I wanted to stay in Indiana and be with him, but I had driven through just to see him on my way to the Counter-Inaugural that January.  He told me to go and continue working for justice and equality.  It was hard but I left him and went on to D.C. knowing that would be the last time I would ever see him, hug him, or talk with him.  He died two months later in March of 2005.

Saw Arizona Lizzie -- Ms. CODEPINK  .   So proud of her!

Finally today I stood out in public FOR health care for ALL amidst the wacko effigy-lynching, Glock and AR15 carrying right wing nuts. 

Just had a wonderful conversation with Raquel from in the coffee house.  Perhaps we Dems are finally learning to work together.   Wouldn't that be wonderful! 

More later.   These are just initial basic impressions.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Zen Activism

There is a part of me that seems to be holding onto a great amount of regret or guilt about my becoming less active in the Peace Movement.

There is a part of me that wants to experience a normal, calm, happy life.

There is a part of me in which the fight or flight response is always active. Years of living like this created what I think of as burned out circuitry that is partially responsible for my chronic depression.

I stepped back from activism and writing last autumn after the election in order to give myself some time and space to figure out what to do in the next phase of my life. Health concerns then entered the picture.

Deciding to focus on becoming healthy and just being happy is one of the most selfish decisions I've ever made. I confess I feel some sense of guilt about "abandoning" the peace movement. I will deal with this and come to a place where I feel satisfied with what I have been able to do and what I may be able to do in the future when I am healthy and have a renewed vigor and sense of purpose. And I still have the virtual world in which I can promote the message of peace.

Being on the front lines of the peace movement is stressful. I've had so much stress in my life that the addition of constant awareness of the world's pain, physical threats, traveling and being away from home pushed me over the limit of my tolerances.

As a mother I consider the examples that are set by my choices. I wanted to teach my daughter to be politically active and to believe that individual actions make a difference. I wanted to show my daughter that even though my mother was not always the best mother in the world that I chose to be the best daughter I could be at the end of my mother's life when I moved into her home in another state and cared for her as she left this life. And now I hope I am showing my daughter that I do what is necessary to take care of myself even if it means totally changing my way of life in order to become healthy.

One of these days I will be able to do these things for myself, but for now it is okay that I do them for her.

SRI medication has helped me live a somewhat normal life this past decade. Unfortunately this past decade is also the one in which my personal belief system required me to act, protest, and write whenever I could to help build the grassroots efforts to restore our country to some semblance of a democracy.

some of these
So how does one weigh the actions that are so different? I have taken steps toward creating a virtual meeting company, I am working on a book about living well and being positively focused as a healing strategy. I enjoy a part time position that allows me to play with computers in a calm and healthful environment. I am sometimes at less than my best and have pain associated with my liver disease. We are just now finishing what has turned out to be a 10 year progressive remodeling of our home.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Repurposing This Blog: Build Peace

Over the last six months I have given a tremendous amount of thought to starting a new blog that better reflects my current take on "life, the universe and everything" than my build peace blog.   Everytime I would find the perfect domain name for a new venture  and begin to build a new whirling mass of me-ness in cyberspace I'd find that I missed this blog into which I had put so much energy for so many years.   Please allow me to be a bit self-reflective here and a bit self-reflexive too as I deconstruct my thought processes about writing and blogging about inner peace, world peace, paths to peace, tools of peace, tools for peace, and... well you get the idea. 

I have to admit I heaved a huge sigh of relief the evening of the election, Tuesday November 4th, when I gathered with a couple thousand other Tucsonans to watch the returns come in at the University Marriott.  I will never forget standing next to a long retired colleague of my husband who came to the U of A after being booted from the California University system during the highly political days of the free speach civil rights era turbulence of the early 1960s and who helped establish ACLU to this Old West enclave.  As McCain was conceeding defeat I happened to see this man's face as complete and utter joy washed over it.  

At that time I decided that I was going to take a couple days off for R & R.  I ended up taking off six months.   Long story, short version:  I had continuing pain after a bout with the stomach flu and ended up finding out I have Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  After my esteemed scientifically-gifted genius research professor husband (he might read this, lol) looked at the literature, we think that the combination of anti-depressants I've been on for many years could have contributed to the development of this condition as well as my being significantly overweight.   It could relate to the invasive and often toxic medical tests and treatments I underwent as a child.  I never had hepatitis nor am I an alcoholic.

I don't do well with being ill.   It makes me depressed.  I have been working on, and off -- a lot of off, some on -- on a book about my childhood experience on the receiving end of my mother's instability that I have come to realize falls into the range of behavior that has been termed Munchause Syndrome by Proxy.  At least partially due to being "sickly" and kept out of school and shuttled from doctor to doctor when I was little so that it was not uncommon for me to miss up to 100 school days a year during my primary education. 

My journals during the teen years are painful to read but allowed me as a middle-aged adult to see that my isolation during my childhood coupled with being thrust into the socially topsy-turvy, psychedelic and sexually liberated world of the 1970s as a totally naive, socially incompetent, pathologically shy human being were the primary factors that contributed to multiple rapes, exploitation, and emotionally abusive relationships, and less than wise choices that pretty much characterized my teens and young adult life.  

Writing helped save my life time and again when the blank page or screen was the only tool through which I could communicate - even if that communication was basically just me talking to myself.   I became fairly good at this apparently, and the winning of a state-wide writing competition in High School allowed me to win scholarships that made it possible for me to attend college.   Writing continued to be my main communication channel with the world as I wrote essays, exams, reports and post-graduate research reports and theses. 

Then the internet evolved into the web and I reached out through words and found that while I was a social mutant (and mutations can be a very good thing that allow the process of evolution to happen) I was also thinking things and making observations that other people found interesting and sometimes even amusing when I wrote about them.  I was blogging long before a thing called a web log existed.  

Then CODEPINK and I found each other.   This blog, Build Peace, has been the most consistent and meaningful body of my writing to date.   It allowed me to enter the BlogHer community of women's online voices. 

A few days ago I was talking to a Second Life friend about my dilemma of attempting  to shift my peace activism and writing from a broader and more tempered perspective than I had in Build Peace.  She said, "Repurpose the blog."  Initially I thought, "Ugh,  corporate speak. Yuck.  Ptooey."  But then, trying to live the  peace and be the peace I write about, I decided that I can continue writing/blogging about info that helps me build my own peace and share that with others that is the only way peace in our world will ever be built - person to person, one word at a time.... and with my bias showing I will further state that a sustainable peace must be built by women talking to each other and creating the world we want for our children.  


Words like emergence, energy work, calmness, spiritual, belief, attraction and the like will be far more common here than in the past.  I will talk about my struggle to lose weight, the challenge of shifting to an empty nest at home, and about healing.  Politics will undoubtedly creep in... I've been political since I was about 10, but I will try to mediate my outrage and use  words like Fascist and F**k far less often and perhaps not at all from this time forward.  Maybe I can even get the Huffington Post to end their ban on links to my site in their comments.   Purportedly this is because of profanity.   We'll see.  

Anyway, consider this blog repurposed.  The appearance will change dramatically.  The content may too.    Peace to you all.