Jan 25 2008
I hope this will ease a bit of the pain and disillusionment surrounding Kucinich’s sad, yet wise, drop-out from Presidential contention. He certainly fought hard, but the quivering corporatists refused to give him a chance to speak his message.
Many, many people who have heard some of his message have said, “I agree with what he says, and I would vote for him if he had a chance.” They go on to say that since he does NOT have a chance, they feel they should vote for someone who has. They feel they should vote for Blabbidy Blah – one of the corporate preselected “acceptable” contestants. The media has effectively perfomed its corporate-assigned job. This is Circular Disfunctionality! Self-Fulfilling Prophecy! Destructive and Disastrous Democraticropolitis!
So, to ease our frustration a little and to make a statement, I’m sending a copy of a letter I received from Independent Primary.com. Go vote on “Tsunami Tuesday.” I hope my hyper links work. If not, just go to Independent Primary and figure out where to click.
I, for one, will continue to work to restore our democracy through FDR New Deal principles. Thanks.
Today, January 24, 2008, Dennis Kucinich announced he is dropping out of the Presidential Race.
We want your voice as an independent-minded American to be heard.
So we’re going to give you another vote in the IndependentPrimary.Com “Tsunami Tuesday” vote.
You can go now to click here and cast a new vote for your choice.
Jim Mangia & Linda Curtis
PS. I know Dennis personally, and I want to extend my congratulations on a hard fought Presidential Campaign. Given his courageous stands for democracy, I think he’d want everyone to cast a ballot…
IndependentPrimary.Com and have your voice heard.
Jan 02 2008
It appears there may be some more panky-hanky going on in Iowa. If you live there, or know folks who live there, please alert them to the following:
My friend Jerry Berkman has been very active in electoral reform for the last 7-8 years. He played a major role in helping to correct problems in California.
I just received the following note from him:
California Election Reform Alert, Dec. 31, 2007 The Iowa Caucuses happen this Thursday. So far, both the Democratics and Republicans have been unwilling to release the procedures for counting and tabulating the votes, and are unwilling to commit to posting the precinct results and how they arrive at the state wide totals. Since a poor showing in Iowa can knock a candidate out of the race, transparency of procedures should be a requirement. If you know anyone in Iowa, forward the link below to them and ask them to contact the Democratic and/or Republican parties. For details, see the lead article at: http://www.blackboxvoting.org archived at: http://www.bbvforums.org/cgi-b… – Jerry
I know it’s short timing, but see what you can do to let people know.
The price of democracy is eternal vigilance.
Thomas Jefferson. (Is this quote accurate?)
Dec 15 2007
Xposted at PDA Blog
I first heard of the IRAQ MORATORIUM at the 20 year anniversary of Nuremberg Actions. September 1, 1987 was the day a US navy munitions train ran over Brian Willson when he and Nuremberg Actions were protesting US actions in Central America. The commemoration lasted a couple of hours at the Concord Naval Weapons Station “tracks.” Then we gathered in a Berkeley backyard for a great barbeque, many reminiscences, and lots of laughter.
With so many old time activists in attendance, it wasn’t long before the conversation turned to strategizing about what could be done to get us out of our current situation–the madness, the craziness, the intransigence of war on Iraq and threats against Iran. Some of the folks present were already involved with the Iraq Moratorium, and the conversation really settled on that. Dan Ellsberg was one of the main participants. Despite his busy schedule, Dan stayed all day, from 10 AM to 8:30 PM. He seemed so eager to find a way, a new possibility. He related the story of the Vietnam Moratorium in the late 60s.
In October 1969 Nixon was so discouraged, angry and disheartened with the course of the war in South East Asia, he decided to threaten bombing North Vietnam with Nuclear Weapons. Whether this threat was real or a bluff is still up for debate; it was most probably both. According to Ellsberg, Nixon made it clear to North Vietnam and the world, both through direct statements and through the Russian Ambassador, that “…the train had left the station and was heading down the tracks…,” a phrase meant to convey the irreversibility of his plans.
However, at the very same time, yet separately from Nixon’s plans, the peace movement came up with the “Vietnam Moratorium.” A movement where people pledged to be in non compliance with the system 1 day a month, to walk out from school, from work, from business as usual in the name of peace and in protest of the war. According to Dan Ellsberg, when Nixon saw 2 million people engage in this action, and state their intention to do the same the following month, he really felt he could not risk this large display of non cooperation with the system. Ellsberg indicated that it was the Vietnam Moratorium which deterred Nixon from going forward with his plans to “nuke” North Vietnam.
There are many reasons the Iraq Moratorium movement can be so potent:
1) The actions are incredibly simple, ranging from wearing a black arm band to
not shopping (especially for gas) to standing in a vigil to civil
2) The actions are spread out across the nation and therefore close to our homes.
3) The main thing is to sign the pledge to do something to make a statement for
peace on the 3rd Friday of every month. By signing the pledge, the numbers are
4) These gentle steps can lead to the most potent action of all, a General Strike.
Please read a short essay on this:
Garret Keizer, “Specific Suggestion: General Strike,” HARPERS
MAGAZINE, October 2007, “Notebook”
5) The Iraq Moratorium is designed to find the 65% to 75% who oppose the war
but who don’t know how to speak out. This is a way to find them and to give
them a means to speak out and be counted. The Iraq Moratorium is an umbrella,
not a group. All groups can fit under the umbrella.
6) The Iraq Moratorium breaks the competitive tendency amongst different groups.
It isn’t one group against another. It isn’t come to “our” demo instead of
“that” demo. The Iraq Moratorium is an umbrella, not a group. All groups
can fit in under the umbrella.
For this to happen, imo, all the activist groups must come together and YELL about the Iraq Moratorium. All the Peace and Justice groups need to spread the word of the Iraq Moratorium far and wide. Sign the Pledge! Do something the 3rd Friday of every month! And the essence of what you do is non-cooperation, a refusal to cooperate, with the system, with the status quo.
The fine video documentary, “A Force More Powerful,” tells the stories of 6 successful nonviolent resistance actions from Gandhi to Apartheid South Africa, to the Civil Rights movement and more. The refusal to cooperate, the refusal to go along is the key. But it takes massive numbers to be this powerful against the recalcitrant sturm and dreng of the repressive immobilists.
And the question is: How do we get these massive numbers? We need to take the simple message “wear a black arm band” to every nook and cranny of mainstream America. And for those who are strong of heart already, and are able to take the day off from work, then do it, General Strike!
When I have contemplated the sagging turn out numbers at our recent demonstrations, it would be easy to despair. After all, the ‘big’ National rally of October 27th, which had been planned for almost a year, saw only between 80 and 150 thousand people turn out.
The population of the US is 300 million. The percentage of 80 or 150 thousand to 300 million is…
…5/100 of 1%!…
NO, no, no, boys and girls. This won’t do. Rather than become discouraged, I’m going to keep YELLING LOUDER to get people to stand up, speak up in some form or other, and TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK.
I agree with Dan Ellsberg, that the Iraq Moratorium presents perhaps the best opportunity for doing that.
This is a plea to the Peace & Justice community to YELL with me.
STAND UP AND YELL WITH ME…IRAQ MORATORIUM…GENERAL STRIKE!
Dec 13 2007
Oh the Fear of the Corporate Controllers and Managers of our world!
I wish I had a photo of a gnarling tiger to put here. But I can only say,
DO SOMETHING! DO SOMETHING NOW!
The “Des Moines Register” has banned Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel from tomorrow’s Democratic debates. Here’s the reason, as reported in 12/13/07 USA today:
Kucinich protests exclusion from Des Moines debate; should he get an invitation?
Six-term Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich is crying foul over tomorrow’s Des Moines Register debate for Democratic presidential candidates. The campaign today issued a lengthy protest against his exclusion from the debate, the last before the Jan. 3 caucuses.
The newspaper’s standards for participation include at least 1% in its statewide poll and an office and paid staff in Iowa. Republican Alan Keyes, who has not been in any debates this year and has done little if any campaigning, has made the cut for today’s GOP debate, which we’ll be live-blogging here at 2 p.m. ET.
Kucinich’s campaign said today he has been excluded because “his Iowa field director operates from a home office rather than a rented storefront.” The campaign quoted newspaper editor Carolyn Washburn as saying, “It was our determination that a person working out of his home did not meet our criteria for a campaign office and full-time paid staff in Iowa.”
Kucinich’s campaign says Marcos Rubinstein, its field director and state coordinator, runs the campaign from his home office in Dubuque, “bolstered by a dozen-or-so other senior campaign staff who have traveled the state over the past several months.”
The campaign also notes that Kucinich is the top-ranked candidate in online polls conducted by Democracy For America and Progressive Democrats of America and both groups plan to advertise for him.
What do you think? Should Kucinich get an invitation? Should Mike Gravel get an invitation? Was it right to include Keyes in today’s debate? We welcome your (polite, civil and thoughtful) comments.
(above from: USA Today, “On Politics” by Mark Memmott & Jill Lawrence, 12/13/07)
I’ve got to go to a doctor’s appointment, so I can’t write any more than this. But you know how to find it. Go there and leave your comments. I did. I’ll also mail the DMR later.
Feel free to add a Gnarling Tiger if you wish.
Nov 21 2007
I really didn’t want to write this, waited all day to see if someone else picked up on it, especially Tigana (from his 10/25 diary, “This Way to the Camps…”).
This is the next step in the crackdown on dissent / free speech. It’s scarey! Representative Jane Harmon, down there in Rand Corp country sponsored this bill:
THE VIOLENT RADICALISATION AND HOME GROWN TERRORIST PROTECTION ACT OF 2007
It’s H. Res 1955, offered by Jane Harmon with 14 co-sponsors, including Zoe Lofgren.
It passed the house with only 6 nays coming from DENNIS KUCINICH (pardon my prejudice), and Congresspersons Abercrombie, Costello, Duncan, Flake, amd Rohrabacher. Six nays: 3 dems & 3 repubs. Today it was to be reviewed in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Please google & look for more info than I’m able to write right now.
Nov 16 2007
I just received this e-mail from a friend. It started with a disclaimer about not knowing its validity, but I did a google and the legal firm Rohde & Victoroff looks good.
PLEASE DO THIS NOW. IT’S WORTH A SHOT!
House Resolution 333 for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney is off the House floor, and has instead been sent to the Judiciary Committee for “further study.” This maneuver, organized by Pelosi and the Democratic leadership, is consistent with their mantra that impeachment is “off the table.” But, we are told Nancy Pelosi is reported to have replied to the question of impeachment that if she received 10,000 hand written letters she would proceed with it.
What are we waiting for?
Take out a sheet of paper RIGHT NOW and write:
PLEASE HOLD IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS IMMEDIATELY
Sign it with your address and mail it TODAY to:
Rep Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
235 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
AND CIRCULATE THIS MESSAGE FAR AND WIDE
Stephen F. Rohde
Rohde & Victoroff
1880 Century Park East
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Not much more to say, onward to the General strike!
Nov 15 2007
I simply can’t wait to try to write something smart, engaging, even very coherent. Something needs to be done…and soon!
Yes. Buhdy, we must come together behind a “unified field theory & action” to take back our country, to take back the soul of our country.
Impeachment is a good one. A high percentage of people are for this. There is an even higher percentage of people who think we should get out of Iraq.
The issue is not “finding” an issue. The issue is how to empower and persuade people to do something, to “yell louder,” to get up, go out and make their opinions heard. This is what appeals to me about the IRAQ MORATORIUM. I am also greatly in favor of a General Strike.
So, I think we can unify and act behind these three ideas:
The Iraq Moratorium was conceived as a platform to bring out massive numbers of people.
Although between 2/3 and 3/4 of people surveyed are now in opposition to the Iraq war, they don’t come out to express their feelings. The population of the United States is 300 million. The last major, national demonstration, October 27th, had been planned and organized for months in advance; but only about 80K to 150K people came out to protest.
While 67% to 75% of the U.S. population opposes the war, only about 5/100s of 1% came out to protest. The apathy, distraction, or feeling of hopelessness expressed by these numbers should be taken into account.
The Iraq Moratorium takes account of these dismall numbers and has developed an idea to help the voiceless speak out through the simplicity, regularity, and non-competitive umbrella nature of the action. All P & J groups can join in under the umbrella of Iraq Moratorium. Power in numbers. “Solidarity Forever!”
Hopefully, the Iraq Moratorium can turn into a General Strike! The Iraq Moratorium (IM)is scheduled for the Third Friday of Every Month. People who participate in IM take a pledge to do something for peace on the 3rd Friday of each month. The commitment is easy as there is a broad range of actions to be taken, ranging from wearing a black ribbon or arm band, to buying no gas on that day, to vigils, to informational forums, to civil disobedience. The main thing is to sign the pledge (numbers are important)
The Iraq Moratorium could be combined easily with The General Strike. Garrett Keizer, a contributing editor to “Harper’s Magazine” had an excellent essay on this in the October ’07 issue “Notebook” section:
“Specific Suggestion: General Strike”
Nov 02 2007
In a Press Release dated Nov. 2, Dennis Kucinich announces…
that he will offer a privileged resolution on the House floor next week that will bring articles of impeachment against Vice President, Richard B. Cheney.
Check it out at Kucinich’s government web site.
Call Speaker Pelosi and thank her in advance for allowing it to come to the floor.
Call your local Congressperson.
And call or email your friends and family to do the same.
Toll free lines to Congress: 1-800-828-0498
Nov 01 2007
“The conflict dates from the day when one man, flying in the face of appearance, perceived that the forces of nature are no more unalterably fixed in their orbits than the stars themselves, but that their serene arrangement around us depicts the flow of a tremendous tide—the day on which a first voice rang out, crying to mankind quietly slumbering on the raft of Earth, ‘We are moving! We are going forward!”
“It is a pleasant and dramatic spectacle, that of Mankind divided to its very depths into two irrevocably opposed camps–one looking towards the horizon and proclaiming with all its new-found faith, ‘We are moving’, and the other, without shifting its position, obstinately maintaining, ‘Nothing changes. We are not moving at all.’ These latter, the ‘immobilists’, …
forbid the earth to move. Nothing changes, they say, or can change. The raft must drift purposelessly on a shoreless sea.”
“But the other half of mankind, startled by the look-out’s cry, has left the huddle where the rest of the crew sit with their heads together telling time-honored tales. Gazing out over the dark sea they study for themselves the lapping of the waters along the hull of the craft that bears them, breathe the scents borne to them on the breeze, gaze at the shadows cast from pole to pole by a changeless eternity. And for these all things, while remaining separately the same–the ripple of the water, the scent of the air, the lights in the sky–become linked together and aquire a new sense: the fixed and random universe is seen to move.
No one who has seen this vision can be restrained from guarding and protecting it. To testify to my faith in it, and to show reasons, is my purpose here.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, THE FUTURE OF MAN, 1959
More on Teilhard next time…If anyone wishes to add graphics, I will say thanks.
Oct 15 2007
About 25 years ago, I woke from a good night’s sleep filled with words. The words went something like this:
—If evolution is now the evolution of consciousness (and I believe it is), ergo, whatever species is evolving in consciousness must become aware of increasingly more aspects of the totality of being, must become aware of that part of being which is death—
When awareness of death began dawning in the evolving consciousness of homo
sapiens (although animals have some sense of death, they don’t wake in the morning thinking, ‘I’m going to die some day’), the human species reacted largely with fear, denial, and avoidance. This ‘significant’ awareness of death in the evolving human consciousness seems to have coincided with the transition from a matriarchal to a patriarchal orientation in society.
I state these only as interesting possibilities, to be examined, thought about, researched, felt with the heart, contemplated…
Early literatures, like the Gilgamesh Epic, have themes of searching for the fountain of eternal life. From fear and attempted denial, the effort to escape, the effort to transcend death, became a driving force of western civilization, and led to much of our cultural and technological progress.
Through various religious constructs, humans sought to continue existence in an afterlife where we join our loved ones who have gone before, to continue where we left off, so to speak.
Other means of ‘escaping’ death were such devices as fame, power, control of nature, wealth. So, if you are as rich as Walt Disney (of the Happy, Magic Kingdom) you can, at that moment of imminent death, have your body frozen in cryonics until science comes up with a cure for whatever it was from which you were about to expire.
But I apologize for being on the brink of slipping into sarcasm and humor in what is a very serious subject. Yet I love to laugh!
There are many means by which we have attempted to avoid and deny. Find your own examples.
But, as the psychologists say…
“Whatever we deny is bound to come back to haunt us, writ large, barring the
way forward! Saying, “This denied content is what is blocking the way
forward.” Saying, “Deal with this. Integrate this. This psychic content
is what is barring your way forward, is barring your further growth, is
barring your evolution…”
Our very attempts to avoid death, our attempts to dominate nature, to control natural processes in a non-integrated manner–have brought us to this point where we have created…
DEATH WRIT LARGE ACROSS THE PLANET
…saying, basically, deal with this, integrate this, awareness and acceptance of death is the way forward.
And so the very threat to our survival is the gateway and the impetus to our evolution forward.
—With the splitting of the atom, everything has changed save man’s way of thinking, and thus we drift toward unimaginable peril—
With our technological advances we have taken into our own hands the power which was once attributed only to Gods. This mandates that we evolve man’s way of thinking to become at least somewhat more equivalent to the thinking of the Gods. Evolve or die! Thus it has always been.
Be excellent to each other…we’re in this together…this is all we have…
Oct 08 2007
—With the splitting of the atom, everything has changed save man’s way of
thinking; and thus we drift toward unimaginable peril…
paraphrase of Albert Einstein
With the splitting of the atom, humans took on the technological power which was once attributed only to the gods. But the second part of the equation, man’s way of thinking, did not make a similar leap.
Thus we are involved in balancing the second part of the equation. We are involved in the evolution of consciousness. This evolution is imperative
for the survival of the species.
Survival depends on adaptation to this evolutionary imperative.
Will we make it? I don’t know.
Yet I do know that this is the challenge.
I will contribute more of my ramblings on this subject soon. Thanks