Jul 232013
 

WE ARE BRADLEY MANNING

We stand with WikiLeaks whistle-blower US Army PFC Bradley Manning

We are American military veterans, artists, journalists, educators, homemakers, lawyers, and citizens.  We live in red states and in blue states, in communities urban and rural.  We ask you to consider the facts, and join us in declaring: 
Enough is enough.  Free Bradley Manning now.

In a time of endless war and economic distress, a cloud of government secrecy has eclipsed our republic.  We are told that these secrets are necessary, that they save American lives, and we are told the growing National Security state is beyond question.  More secrecy does not make us secure when it allows leaders and politicians to avoid accountability.  We’ve learned these secrets also conceal crimes: torture, illegal surveillance, and corruption—all committed in our name. Continue reading »

Apr 282013
 

A video developed by some well-known cartoonists who have joined together to make the case for stricter gun legislation. I liked the thought and was touched by the message but I also recognize that even with 90% of the people wanting even something as simple as universal background checks, the politicians are too beholden to the NRA and gun manufacturers to pass anything meaningful. It's a sad commentary of the political realities of today. Maybe this will act as a wake up call that makes clear who our "representatives" see as their true constituents.

Mar 272013
 

30 suicide attempts everydayWho Knew & When Did They Know?

Most people believe or at least suspect that Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld lied us into the war with Iraq. They all share in the responsibility for thousands of deaths of U.S. military personnel and hundreds of thousands of (some believable estimates as high as 1.2 million) Iraqi people. If it can be shown that they acted in good faith, it becomes only a horrific accident, a misjudgement of epic proportions. To this end, they all claim that they are not culpable because they were fooled by faulty intelligence reports (Cheney has said that even so, he would do it again in a minute). On the other hand, if it can be proved that they purposefully misled the American people and the Congress of the United States, it becomes an entirely different matter. It would and should be considered a crime of epic proportions. 

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Feb 082013
 

Torture, Secret Prisons, & Extraordinary Rendition

Amrit Singh, Senior Legal Officer for the Open Society Justice Initiative’s National Security and Counter Terrorism program has just released a exhaustive report on secret detention, torture, and extraordinary rendition by the CIA. In an interview she indicated that 54 other nations (more than 25% of all the nations in the world) participated in various aspects of the secret program.

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Child Victims

 Posted by
Jan 272013
 

President Obama made an eloquent and heartfelt speech at the prayer vigil for the people who were killed in Connecticut. The fact that the majority of victims were very young children seems to have broken peoples' hearts more than any of the other recent school shootings. I have to ask, does a 6 year old actually have greater intrinsic value than a 14 year old high school student or a promising young adult university student?

People are so affected that gun control is actually being seriously discussed. At least in regards to a ban on military equivalent assault weapons, high capacity clips, and the so-called gun show loophole. Approximately 40% of the guns purchased are sold without background checks. Calling it a loophole makes light of the gaping highway to unrestricted gun ownership. Even some prominent Republicans who previously were against such measures have changed their position.

The prospects of serious gun legislation appears greater than at any time since the 10 years of the assault rifle ban expired in 2004. Maybe it was the deaths of 20 children that was the magic number to get the President to decide that enough is enough. That it must stop.

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Jan 232013
 

Whistleblower John KiriakouObama Has Used The Espionage Act More Than All Previous Presidents Combined

President Obama has opposed waterboarding as torture since the 2008 campaign. The question should be asked, why is he sending the whistleblower who helped end that practice to prison?

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who helped expose the Bush administration's torture program, recently plead guilty to sharing the name of a colleague to journalists to use as a source. He is expected to receive a sentence of 30 months in prison.1

It's a cruel irony that the first agent connected to the CIA torture program to go to prison is the whistleblower who spoke out against the heinous practices of our government. From Bradley Manning to Aaron Swartz to John Kiriakou, the government's pattern of overzealously prosecuting activists and whistleblowers has ruined too many lives already. If President Obama wants to show he opposes torture and supports government transparency he should pardon Kiriakou immediately.

Tell President Obama to pardon CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou.

Click here to read and sign the petition

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Jan 102013
 

I was probably being naive but I held out hope for something positive to happen in Bradley Manning’s legal proceedings. Not that the judge didn’t acknowledge that the military had made mistakes and acted against Navy Rules. She indicated that it “became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests.” However, Judge Lind ruled that 23 hours a day with no human contact wasn’t actually solitary confinement because Bradley could see a portion of the hallway from his cell. This determination identified only 112 days that could be considered abusive.

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Gaza Youth

 Posted by
Nov 282012
 

This post is a simple letter (the writers call it a manifesto). It is a very powerful statement about life in the Gaza strip for the people in general and specifically for young adults. It was written by a group calling themselves Gaza Youth. They can’t openly meet or be named as a participant. If you have been so indoctrinated into the idea of Israel being blameless that you can’t sense the truth about the hopelessness the authors feels and react with compassion, then I recommend some serious soul searching. See what you think and leave a comment.

GAZAN YOUTH’S MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE

Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, Continue reading »

What A Choice

 Posted by
Nov 042012
 

I voted my conscience in 2008 and am greatly disappointed. I know about the good Obama’s done & the obstructionist congress. But that doesn’t excuse the surveillance state Obama has created, signing the PATRIOT Act without change as well as the NDAA, (which codified the demise of habeus corpus), and most of all the immoral murders by drone he controls, I can’t bring myself to vote for him again. It would make me complicit with things I find morally repugnant. The truth is I hope Obama wins but if there is enough support for Jill Stein, Obama may be more inclined to behave more in line with her views on climate change, the Keystone Pipeline, health care and what is truly in the best interests of the American people. One can always hope.

Sep 152012
 

It’s not possible that a sane and compassionate person could deny a victim of rape an abortion. Any person who would, is neither sane or compassionate. I won’t dignify the notion as some have suggested of a magical protective force which keeps women from getting pregnant from rape, except to say that each year approximately 30,000 women do get pregnant from being raped.

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