Saturday, December 31, 2005
New Year's Eve 2005
Here is one of my favorite Troy poems:
Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah
Dropped in the desert
And no one heard a sound.
Plow the soil
And ask for weeds to grow.
Then clean the garden at your own risk.
Thank you, Troy!
And Happy New Year to all. May you have peace, health, and joy in your lives in 2006.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Third Road Home
Trinity has a perfect voice and Tom's guitar sings like a bird . Here is my favorite song:
© 2004 Trinity Demask
Play the lo-fi version (streaming)
Download the mp3 hi-fi version (3.4 meg)
Listen up my friends
Don't you know there's something wrong
We've been numbed, dumbed, disempowered
And silent for too long
Those who lead us have not earned our allegiance
They have only bought the right
We are marching, sheep to the slaughter
Going down without a fight
We've grown fat on the suffering of strangers
And rich with all they lack
The cars we drive, the food we eat
The very clothes upon our backs
What do we return or offer
To set the balance right?
Find the level ground in kindness and compassion
Not in ignorance, arrogance, or military might
If we could just see beyond the lies that we foolishly embrace
See beyond the subtleties of difference and become the human race
We are one human race
Complacency has numbed our senses
To a fog of apathy
Has our freedom earned us the right
To live without honor and die without dignity?
There is no heroism in this "patriotism"
It's just a game of "us" and "them"
Let's get the story straight, learn to cooperate
Find a way we all can win
There is no safety in the rules we write
Commandments never purged the sin
There is no shelter in the walls we build
They will only box us in
Wrists extended for the chains, handing over the reins
For the falsehood of security
It isn't hard to find the truth to which we've been blind
Fear is our only enemy
Fear is our only enemy
Even the brightest colors bleed, may they fade to a paler shade of peace
And help us see beyond our differences and become the human race
We are one human race
We are one human race
© 2001-2005 Excaligurl Records/Excaligurl Music
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Rolling Stone's Mavericks, Renegades & Troublemakers
As the Guy says, "We need the Mavericks, Renegades and Troublemakers.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
CNN Reader's Poll of Top Ten Stories of 2005
Interesting to think about and a little surprising to me to find out what others think of as an important story.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
I am writing too much for other things and can't make myself blog, so I am on strike. Besides, the wages for blogging stink.
I have been taking care of the media for the MLK event sponsored by the Arvada Peace & Justice Commission. I am really excited about all that will be going on. Curtis May has done great work (see info about him toward the end of the article). I think that Domonique Foxworth will be known as a great Bronco and noteworthy humanitarian. Here is a shortened version of my press release, in case anyone reading this lives nearby and wants to attend this event:
January 16th Event Will Include a Presentation by Bridge-Building Community Leader, Curtis May; Gospel Music; and Dance.
What: MLK Candlelight Walk and Celebration
A 1½ mile community walk followed by a gathering with informative talks, music, and entertainment.
When: Walk begins at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, January 16, 2006.
Celebratory Event takes place at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Arvada United Methodist Church, 6750 Carr Street, Arvada
Route of walk: from the church east on 68th Avenue to the Arvada Center at 6901 Wadsworth, then back to the church for the celebration.
Ample free parking will be available at the church.
How: Dress warmly and bring your own candle or flashlight.
Both walkers and non-walkers are invited to attend the 7:00 p.m. celebration.
Arvada Mayor Ken Fellman will welcome participants to this first annual event that is sponsored by the Arvada Peace and Justice Commission with the support of the Arvada City Council and the Arvada United Methodist Church. Speakers will be:
· School of Choice Manager for Denver Public Schools, Ethan Hemming, as Master of Ceremonies
· Denver Bronco Cornerback, Domonique Foxworth – “What Martin Luther King Means to Me”
· Director of the Office of Reconciliation Ministries, Curtis May – “Removing Walls/Building Bridges”
Domonique Foxworth is a first-year Bronco cornerback. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 3 1/2 years while excelling in sports and community service.
Curtis May was born in Greensboro, Alabama in 1944. He worked in pastoral ministry for over thirty years, and is now the Director of the Office of Reconciliation Ministries. He has traveled to cities throughout the United States, South Africa, England, Northern and Southern Ireland, and the Philippines helping to organize and conduct racial reconciliation workshops. He currently resides in Pasadena, California.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Bill Clinton and Liel Singing "Imagine"
Friday, December 16, 2005
More on Toy Soldiers
And here is a little blog about sharing experiences with this stealth act : www.toysoldiermovement.blogspot.com
This is really good!
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Dingell's HOLIDAY Jingle for O'Reilly & House GOP
Thanks to One Good Move.org.
'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House
No bills were passed 'bout which Fox News could grouse;
Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,
So vacations in St. Barts soon would be near;
Katrina kids were nestled all snug in motel beds,
While visions of school and home danced in their heads;
In Iraq our soldiers needed supplies and a plan,
Plus nuclear weapons were being built in Iran;
Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell;
Americans feared we were on a fast track to…well…
Wait--- we need a distraction--- something divisive and wily;
A fabrication straight from the mouth of O'Reilly
We can pretend that Christmas is under attack
Hold a vote to save it--- then pat ourselves on the back;
Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger
Wake up Congress, they're in no danger!
This time of year we see Christmas every where we go,
From churches, to homes, to schools, and yes…even Costco;
What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy,
When this is the season to unite us with joy
At Christmas time we're taught to unite,
We don't need a made-up reason to fight
So on O'Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter, and those right wing blogs;
You should just sit back, relax…have a few egg nogs!
'Tis the holiday season: enjoy it a pinch
With all our real problems, do we honestly need another Grinch?
So to my friends and my colleagues I say with delight,
A merry Christmas to all,
and to Bill O'Reilly…Happy Holidays.
No Time for Sleepin'
I am in the midst of working on all things media for the January Arvada Peace & Justice MLK event. I am so excited!
We will have two guest speakers. One is a rookie Denver Bronco Cornerback - Domonique Foxworth. He graduated early from both high school and college, and he scored B averages in both. Don't know what he will talk about yet, but I've seen video of an interview with him and he carries himself well.
Our other speaker is doing important work in the world. Curtis May is the director of the Offices of Reconciliation Ministry. He gives workshops such as the racial reconciliation meeting in Pasadena, CA where he brought together police officers and members of the minority community.
He uses four steps for the process:
1) acknowledge the issues;
2) be willing to change to a different way of interacting;
3) reach out and reconcile with former enemies, and begin doing things together;
4) and love one another.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
L.A. Crips Gang Founder Executed in Calif.
Why do we kill people who kill people to show killing people is wrong?
An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind
Who do we kill for this murder???
Monday, December 12, 2005
New U.S. Emblem
The government today announced that it is changing its emblem from an Eagle to a CONDOM because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance. A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while you're actually being screwed.
Damn, it just doesn't get more accurate than that!
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Powerful Email From Cindy Sheehan
Today was bitterly cold as I walked from the Charing Cross Tube Station to Parliament Square in London. I was heading there with my traveling companion, Julie, to go and visit Brian Haw after several exhausting, but productive days in England and Scotland.
Brian is a peace activist and exceptionally compassionate man who has been camping out and vigiling in Parliament Square since June 2, 2001. He was so enraged by the sanctions of the United Nations against Iraq that were supported by the US and his government that he felt like it was the only thing to do.
While I was vigiling and camping out in Crawford by George Bush's ranch because of my outrage at the continued and unnecessary killing of Iraqis, Americans and coalition troops, Brian sent me a letter. Part of it reads:
We stand beside you as family, and you can be sure of our love no matter what. Now let's help the rest to understand, sort the mess in the quickest possible time. I don t want another day, another child to come home in a body bag, nor do you. Well, let's get through to the rest of our folks pretty damn quick. Amen?!
Your brother Brian, in Jesus name xxx
This portion and the rest of the letter so touched me that I knew if I ever visited England, I would have to go and see Brian. I was shocked when I found out that Brian had been arrested early Saturday morning.
This past year, the British Parliament passed a very restrictive law called: The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. The act restricts freedom of speech and freedom of assembly around Parliament and No. 10 Downing Street. Citizens who break this law can be arrested and often are for breaking it.
A young woman went in front of the Parliament building and read the names of the 97 British Iraq war dead. She was arrested.
An old man started yelling at Jack Straw for his complicity in war crimes. He was arrested.
Brian Haw, who has been camping in front of Parliament for over 4 years was arrested very early the other morning. Brian is allowed to be there because the law was passed after his vigil started, but he was arrested for encouraging "new people" to join his vigil. These new people, naturally, agree that the war is a tragic mistake and our troops need to come home.
These prohibitions and many more on freedom of speech and dissent seem eerily familiar to me. I have been hauled in twice for exercising my First Amendment freedoms in America. I have tried to petition my government on dozens of occasions to redress the wrong that George Bush and the other neocon monsters have inflicted on the world and my family. I have spent a lot of money, sacrificed so much, and have traveled far and wide to do so. No one in the government is listening. No one pays any attention.
I was speaking to a large crowd of hundreds of peace activists in London at an International Peace Conference and I challenged them to take back the freedoms that our governments are taking away from us. Just as thousands of people traveled from all over the world to join us at Camp Casey over the summer, I wondered why hundreds of people didn't go to Parliament and scream out the names of the slaughtered British war heroes after the young woman was arrested for doing the same. Parliament's complicity and support of the war crimes in Iraq have contributed to the killing of the troops and innocent Iraqis. The MP's and Tony Blair should be faced with their acts of murder on a daily basis.
Why, when Brian was arrested the other day, didn't hundreds of people go down to Parliament Square and pitch their tents alongside Brian's?
Why do we as Americans sit complacently by and watch our government use chemical weapons in Iraq? George Bush says that Saddam Hussein is "a bad man" because he used chemical weapons against his own people. What does that make George Bush and the leader of the War Department? I think that makes them bad men. Why do we allow it to continue?
Why do we as Americans turn the channel when we see that our government is transporting alleged criminals and torturing them in European airspace?
Why do we turn our backs on the innocent children who are killed everyday in the name of liberating a people and spreading "freedom and democracy?"
Why do we let the war criminals rape and pillage our treasury and rob precious human treasure from our communities and families?
Brian Haw, who is a father of 7, left his comfort zone of his home and family to save the children of the world. He states his reasons so eloquently on his website: http://www.parliament-square.org.uk/index.htm
"I want to go back to my own kids and look them in the face again knowing that I've done all I can to try and save the children of Iraq and other countries who are dying because of my government's unjust, amoral, fear - and money - driven policies. These children and people of other countries are every bit as valuable and worthy of love as my precious wife and children."
I was violently ripped out of my comfort zone on April 04, 2004 when Casey was killed in Iraq. Even if I wasn't constantly traveling and demonstrating against the immoral occupation of Iraq, I will never be comfortable again. I will live the rest of my life with a part of my heart and soul missing. I have had my comfort cruelly amputated as so many soldiers have had limbs ripped off by IEDs.
Brian showed me pictures of babies who are affected by depleted uranium sickness in Iraq. He showed me pictures of morbidly ill Iraqi children who couldn't or can't get medicine because of the prior inhumane sanctions and now the devastating occupation. Even as the occupational authority in Iraq can live in relative security in the Green Zone in Baghdad, the people of Iraq have no comfort zones. They are unrecorded, unreported and marginalized as sub-human. What we as citizens of humanity are allowing our governments to do is monstrous and heartless.
So we, who care about our freedom and democracy and who care about our governments perpetrating crimes against humanity, have to take action. We have to do as Henry David Thoreau said "vote with our whole ticket."
If you do nothing for peace and justice in the world, start doing something. If you are doing something, do more. Our survival on this planet demands immediate.
Now is the time to leave our comfort zones and make a difference.
Stretching While the Days are Short
Many holiday parties and visiting with friends that we haven't seen for awhile.
Kinda interesting that we cram everything in right now, because of holidays. Then in January, we won't feel so motivated to visit with the whole world all at once. Kind of an ebb and flow, I guess.
I will be visiting my darling daughter in California this month, we are painting 2/3 of our house right now, and I am working on media for a great MLK event that will take place in January.
It's a good tired - and very full. Full of warmth, because I am soooo lucky to have amazing people in my life. And they want to spend time with ME! And I love spending time with THEM, even though I am an introvert and will have to compensate all of January by going in to my cave.
Yesterday, we still had 5 women stand for peace, even though I know they all probably had holiday things to do. Shoppers drove by in waves as we stood in 40 degree weather (very warm after last week). My heart is touched by the commitment of these women. In Speaking Circles, I have found that I actually get to know someone more when we allow silence than when we feel a need to share our stories. Stories are just stories, but being is precious and we find that place beyond the stories where we are the same.
Last night I did my once a year dancing. We were at Michael's company party. Michael doesn't like to dance, but he did do a couple of slow ones with me. I got some other men to boogie with me. It feels so good to move my body to the music. Before Michael came along, I danced most weekends. I was a dancin' fool. Now I'm just a ...... ;-)
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Signs - or problems with them - are the reason that Deborah Davis will not be charged???
Deborah Davis, who was arrested for refusing to show her I.D. on a City bus - see my Nov 27th post - is now NOT going to be prosecuted. Still, there will be a rally tomorrow. From her website:
A rally scheduled for this Friday morning in support of Deb's stand in favor of the Freedom to Travel will go ahead as planned. A victory ride on the route 100 RTD bus by Deb and some of her supporters will take place shortly thereafter.
Article Last Updated: 12/08/2005 03:17 AM
Federal Center ID case dropped
By Alicia Caldwell
Denver Post Staff Writer
Citing a technicality, federal authorities said today they will not prosecute a woman who refused to show identification when the public bus she was riding entered the Denver Federal Center.
Deborah Davis, a 50-year-old mother of four, had been given two misdemeanor citations in September by a Federal Protective Services officer and was set to be arraigned on Friday.
But today, a spokesman for the Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office said the office would not prosecute her because of problems with the signs outside the federal compound.
Jeff Dorschner, U.S. Attorney spokesman, declined to describe the problems. While Davis and the Denver lawyer who volunteered to represent her were elated by the news, it was unclear today whether there would be any change to the policy requiring riders on bus route 100 to show ID before the bus enters the federal campus in Lakewood.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
And On Each End of the Rifle We're the Same
A couple of excerpts:
"The demand during the Iraq War that -- whether for or against the war -- one must support the troops was the most effective type of rhetorical strategy: Simply by accepting that framing of the question, opponents of the war were guaranteed to lose the debate, and the chance for meaningful political dialogue would evaporate. So, when asked, I tried to refuse to answer the question of whether or not I supported the troops. Instead, I said that I don't support the "support the troops" framework. That doesn't mean I don't like the troops (of the troops I have known, I have liked some and disliked others, as is the case with every group of people I've ever run into). It doesn't mean I wish to see any of them harmed physically. But I don't support talking about whether I support them."...
The implicit demand in the "support the troops" rhetoric was -- and likely will be in future wars -- that even if I am against the war, once troops are in the field I should shift my focus from opposition to the war to support for my fellow Americans who are doing the fighting. But to support the troops is, for all practical purposes, to support the war. Asking people who oppose a war to support the troops in that war is simply a way of asking people to drop their opposition. If I had believed this war would be wrong before it began, and if none of the conditions on which I based that assessment had changed, why should I change my view simply because the war had started?
In a democratic society, the question should not be whether one supports the troops. The relevant question is whether one supports the policy. The demand that war opponents must "support the troops" is nothing more than a way of demanding that we drop our opposition to the policy.
"One of the best qualities of human beings is our capacity for empathy, which we should attempt to engage -- while understanding that we routinely will fail -- in all relationships. What opponents of a war owe the troops is not unquestioning support that undermines our moral and political judgments but a heightened sense of empathy, given the situations those troops will find themselves in. Whatever conclusions we reach about a war, we certainly can understand that those who fight wars face horrific choices about life and death, and often live with routine deprivations that no one wants to face. Empathy does not mean a burying of differences, but an attempt to transcend differences to understand more fully the position members of the military are in."
I think that this is a key concept and we Americans, who like to live in black and white, think that if we don't support the troops' actions in war, that means we spit on them and ignore them while they are struggling to re-enter their lives back home. But there are other choices, like empathy and compassion. If we practiced the empathy he writes about, we would have more peace and deeper, more meaningful and rewarding relationships.
"If I had to face these young men, I would begin by acknowledging that if we lived in a decent world, what they had been asked to do and what they did in Iraq would be unthinkable. In a decent world, the weapons they fired would never have been invented and the military in which they served would not exist. But, instead of a decent world, we live in a world where the demands of power put them in Iraq, with those weapons in their hands, facing those doomed Iraqis. I would have told them that, while I don't know what they had faced, I knew that others had faced it -- and faced the truth -- and come through it.
And I would, as respectfully as possible, tell people serving in the military that throughout history there has been not just a patriotic call to war but also a call to resistance, a plea for solidarity among ordinary people who want to build a better world, not serve the empire. It is a reminder, as John McCutcheon put it so eloquently in song, that 'the ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame / And on each end of the rifle we're the same.' "
Monday, December 05, 2005
Rally for Freedom to Travel
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Feeling the warm Colorado sun on the back of my legs,
I am thankful that my clothes are black, gathering and focusing
solar energy to soothe my bones.
I stand beside the street, cold cement beneath me,
the breeze blowing my hair, and my sisters beside me.
Black Hummers and blue and red Suburbans speed past,
but when they stop for the red light, there is a silence
almost more powerful than the quiet of the desert.
I hear no bird singing, and neither do I hear a human voice.
The air sounds like the moment after someone dies.
In this space, my mind repeats my mantram and a few prayers
"O Great Spirit, May we walk in Beauty..."
"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.."
while my eyes rest on distant Gilbert's Mesa*.
I can hear Dick Gilbert's** voice
reminding us to not get caught up in fear of
imagined rattlesnakes behind every rock
lest we forget the bigger view. I remember
the moment I was in doubt about my leadership role
and he told me that "you just do it".
So I just do it. Every Saturday, I pull out the banner and signs
It doesn't matter if it is cold or hot.
Our soldiers can't stay home because of weather.
I do it because there is always some young man
who makes eye contact with me and smiles with a thumbs up,
women who honk and thank us,
or a little girl with blond hair who shyly waves.
I do it for that little girl's future
and for the future of the angry young man who yells obscenities at us.
I do it for Dick Gilbert
because he believed that what I do matters.
I do it because if I don't speak my truth, I am complicit
in the killing, raping and torture being done by my people.
*Really South Table Mesa in Golden, CO
**Interim minister for Jefferson Unitarian Church, 2002-03; Social Activist,
Thursday, December 01, 2005
World AIDS Day
If you are so moved, please visit ONE.org and add your name to the ONE Big Noise letter to Bush.
From ONE.org site:
Make ONE Big Noise
On December 13th, the world will sit down in Hong Kong for trade talks that have the power to transform millions of lives through fairer trade. On the table will be proposals to change the rules so trade becomes part of the solution to poverty, not the cause.
At the G8 Summit, we called on world leaders to do more to fight extreme poverty and global AIDS. They heard us, and this meeting is the next step in helping the world’s poorest people. Our leaders need to know that we’re still watching and want real progress.
Add your name to the ONE Big Noise letter today and ask President Bush to take this opportunity to fight extreme poverty by making trade fair.
A Bono quote: "The AIDS emergency is dwarfing any of the famines that are raising their head again... When the history of our time is written, there'll probably be three things that come out of it - the internet, this war against terror, and the fact that an entire continent burst into flames while we all stood around with watering cans. You cannot ignore the AIDS emergency - if we do it will be at our peril, economically, in terms of stability and this problem will come home to visit us."