Tag: moratorium

The Preamble; Fix it or Nix It?

Transportation Without Petroleum or Biofuels

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

At present, oil saturates the Gulf Stream.  An official six-month cessation of permits for new drilling did not actually affect the industry or government decisions.  Despite Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead.  To explain such an authorization and waiver, the Department of the Interior and the Minerals Management Services Division which regulates drilling, pointed to public statements by Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar.  He did not intend to forbid all first cuts in the Earth’s crust.  Absolutely not.  The Federal Government approved wells off the coast of Louisiana in June. Regardless of the day, or realities that are anathema to our citizenry, little has truly changed.  Today, just as in yesteryear, we, the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect Union, polish policies to appear as though our civilization would wish to protect and defend all beings, equally.  

An Objection to War, From My Father to Me

Since today is my Father’s birthday, I thought I’d share a brief story about one of his experiences 40 years ago, and how learning about this experience contributed to my perspective today.

On November 15, 1969, my Father was in Washington DC for what is still the single largest anti-war protest in American history to date — the second Moratorium against the Vietnam War, in which it has been estimated that between 250,000 and 750,000 citizens arrived to demonstrate in the nation’s capital.  As a lieutenant commander in the United States Public Health Service, my Father was volunteering on site at a medical van as part of an emergency response team.  He helped treat several patients who were suffering from burns and injuries when police tear gassed a group of demonstrators who protested violently later on during the day.  In fact, he even suffered eye burns of his own from the tear gas, simply by being in the vicinity where police and demonstrators clashed.

Singing songs of peace for the holidays

Mission:  Find some antiwar versions of holiday carols to sing at December 21 Iraq Moratorium #4 and other peace events around the holidays.

The call for lyrics or song parodies, with some samples for inspiration, went out a few days ago.  

And now Pat Wynne of the Freedom Song Network offers this:


Words By Pat Wynne

(Tune: Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

Soldiers resting near an open fire

Generals safe in the Green Zone,

Explosions, shots and unfriendly fire

Arms and legs and bodies blown.

Everybody knows

There were no weapons- let’s come clean

Just lies to feed the war machine.

Tiny tots with their homes all aflame

It¹s hard to not affix some blame.

They know no Santa’s on his sleigh

There’s just more death and maiming on the way.

And every mother’s son would like to say,

“Just send me home to my family today.”

And so I’m offering this simple  plea,,

To folks from one to ninety-three,

Peace In Iraq, Stop the war, Let’s all say,

“Bring the troops home today”.

There’s no reason to be jolly; fa la la la la, la la la la

Congress Isn’t Stopping the War

(To the tune of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”)

You better shape up,

You better get tough.

Or this next election

Is gonna be rough

If Congress doesn’t stop the war

We’re watching your votes

We’re taking good notes

Gonna insist on more than good quotes  

Congress isn’t stopping the war

We see you when you’re voting

We know when you sell out

We know when you don’t have the guts

To get our troops right out

So you better shape up,

You better get tough

Or this next election

Is gonna be rough

If Congress doesn’t stop the war.

(VARIATION: Substitute Democrats for Congress, with a few word adjustments)

Think that’s bad?  You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.  Read on …

For antiwar Yellow Dog Democrats, 1968 looms again

Six months ago, I was confidently telling people that if the Democrats couldn’t win the presidency in 2008, we should just disband the party.

Lately, I have started hedging my bets.  

And an hour with the front section of Sunday’s New York Times was enough to make me think that we are headed for another heartbreaking and unnecessary loss.

What did we learn today from the “liberal media?”

1. Violence is on the decline in Iraq.

2. One brigade of US troops has started to pull out.

3.  The troop surge has not produced the political progress that was promised, so the Bush administration is simply downsizing its goals, to make it look like progress.

4.  The Democratic presidential candidates appear ready to soften their stances, or at least their language, on Iraq and change the subject to domestic issues.

Here we go again.  

We will be fooled again, it would appear.

Which brings us to the question: What is an antiwar Yellow Dog Democrat to do, after reading that one of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy advisors, Michael O’Hanlon, is saying:

“The politics of Iraq are going to change dramatically in the general election, assuming Iraq continues to show some hopefulness,” said Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who is a supporter of Mrs. Clinton’s and a proponent of the military buildup. “If Iraq looks at least partly salvageable, it will be important to explain as a candidate how you would salvage it – how you would get our troops out and not lose the war. The Democrats need to be very careful with what they say and not hem themselves in.”

Iraq Moratorium 3: The People Speak

11/16/07 (Berkeley, CA) – The third Friday of every month I have been attending a war protest on the streets of Berkeley, CA. The majority of the protesters are members of the Grey Panthers and/or are from Strawberry Creek Lodge,  a nearby retirement community.  The rest are random people who heard about this through word of mouth, IraqMoratorium.org or some other organization.  For two hours we stand on four corners of a busy street.  All the cars honk when they drive by and when they are stopped at the light some people hand out slips of paper with the date and time of the next event. Pedestrians are also given flyers about taking action to end the war.

The most recent IM Day, I brought my video camera and took some footage. First you will hear a song and then there are some interview clips speaking out against the war.  Listen to the voices of our elders. These are the real deal DFHs, many protested Vietnam and wars before that.  I’m so glad they agreed to be on camera. You may catch a glimpse of Docudharma’s own dharmasyd – who I met after the first IM Day.   She is one of the organizers of this monthly action.    

Disclaimer:  This is the first time I have ever edited a video and put it on YouTube.  I was in a hurry to put it together so the quality may suck but the spirit and sincerity of The People still shines through (I hope).   If I can figure out the sound editing I will do another version with all the extra footage I have.  

Here are some photos from the first IM Day (9/21/07).

Six million turn out to protest Iraq war

OK, that headline is only true in my dreams.

But on a per capita basis, the equivalent happened on Iraq Moratorium  #3 last Friday in Hayward, Wisconsin.

Hayward, a city of 2,129 in northwestern Wisconsin, is better know as the Musky Capital of the World than as a center of antiwar activism.

But 40 people turned out for a vigil to call for an ending the war and bringing our troops home.

If people in Milwaukee turned out in equal numbers, as a percentage of the population, there would have been 12,000 at the downtown rush hour vigil Friday night.  Instead, there were perhaps 100 at most.

In New York City, there would have been 160,000 in the streets.  In Houston, 42,000.   In  San Jose, 18,000.  And that’s without including any suburban populations.

This inspiring photo, which graces the Iraq Moratorium website, is not from Hayward, but from Sewanee, Tennessee, with a population of 2,335. You can count about 30 people in that small community at last month’s Moratorium.  Its turnout is almost on a par with Hayward’s.

Those kinds of successes, in small town America, are what inspire activists in the antiwar movement and help to keep hope alive as the senseless, endless war continues.  

What if there was an antiwar movement and no one reported it?

This can’t be blaming the messenger, because the complaint is that they aren’t bringing any messages.

But one can’t help but wonder whether the antiwar movement in this country might grow a little faster if the news media reported on it.

Currently, there is an almost total blackout on coverage.

Case in point: Friday’s Iraq Moratorium.

In small towns and big cities across the country, people held events to call for an end to the war in Iraq.  Some were small vigils, but others were clearly newsworthy and video-friendly.

Want to guess how much coverage there was, either before or after?  

Feeling guilty? Buy an M-Day indulgence

Happy Moratorium Day, Bucko.

What’s that?  You say you’re not planning to do anything today for the Moratorium; too stressed out, overbooked, busy, sick, exhausted and who knows what all?

And if you weren’t in sad enough shape, you’re feeling just a teensy bit guilty about not doing something, anything to stop the war today?

Well, Bucko, we’ve got just the solution for you:  Buy yourself an indulgence.

Simply go to the Iraq Moratorium website and make a contribution.  A one-time donation of any amount counts as doing something.  And the Moratorium desperately needs the dough.

Of course, if you don’t intend on doing anything on the third Friday of coming months, either, you might want to consider a monthly pledge — sort of a plenary indulgence that will keep you in the state of grace right on through.

Tomorrow’s the day; What’s your excuse?

Tomorrow is Iraq Moratorium #3.

Is there a reason you can’t participate?

Too busy?

Too burned out?

Too sophisticated?

Too cynical?

The bloodshed never takes a day off.

The Pentagon operates 24/7/365.

So why not join the growing number of people who take the pledge to do something on the third Friday of the month to call for an end to the war?

Bridge players speak out; Can you trump this?

A U.S. team of world-class bridge players, tired of being asked to defend their country’s indefensible actions, disavowed George W. Bush’s policies — and risked their livelihood. All sorts of penalties are being threatened.

All they did was hold up a handmade sign saying, “We did not vote for Bush.”  But they did it at a public event in China.

In the polite, refined world of duplicate bridge, it rivals the black power salute of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Which leads to the question: If they can do that, what are we going to do Friday, Iraq Moratorium Day #3?

Iraq Moratorium Friday: Do something!

Friday is the third Iraq Moratorium.

Organizers ask people to do something — anything — to call for an end to the war in Iraq.

Cynics say it won’t do any good.

But I am participating because it seems obvious that doing something is infinitely more likely to have an impact than doing nothing.

It’s a largely unstructured, grassroots event, designed to continue to grow, expand and escalate.  It recognizes that it’s going to be a long haul to stop the war, and is digging in for a prolonged effort. It happens on the third Friday of every month.

There’s no shortage of ideas of things you can do.  A few suggestions:

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