Archive for peace

Overnight: The Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right

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From the 'About' section on YouTube about this video:

Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that.
There's a black granite wall in Washington D.C. that bears 58,260 names on it. All of those whose names are carved on that wall are dead. For what? Freedom? If this country had listened when kids were screaming to stop that slaughter, that wall would have been one hell of a lot shorter. Yet we as a nation still wage wars of choice. War encouraged by pluotcrats. Peace is never discussed. Peace has somehow become a pejorative. Peace is no perjoritive. Peace is essential to the survival of the human race. Those who advocate for war are a dangerous and fearful group who should be marginalized and disavowed. War is always the last choice.

The dirty fucking hippies were right!

Now the oceans have been rising and warming. The polar ice is melting at alarming rates. The climate is changing in irreversible ways. Our survival as a species is on a precipice. The science on this is clear: Humans are now in trouble..... because of our reckless stewardship of what we dominate. We have polluted this fragile jewel that hangs in space. Our only home. The food we buy is contaminated. The toys we give our children as presents for christmas are tainted with poison. The water we drink is rife with carcinogens. The fish in our seas, lakes and rivers are so full of mercury that it is only recommended we eat them once per week. We have now come face to face with our own extinction. I hate to say we told you so, but...

the dirty fucking hippies... were right!

As an old, peacenik hippy, I entirely approve of this message.

Want to know more about the hippies? Read this.

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Michele Bachmann - Jewish Icon Or Jewish I-Con't?

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Jewish Michele Bachmann

Well, to hear the representative from Minnesota's sixth congressional district, she's fighting the battle for Jews all over the world -- almost single-handedly.  HuffPo:

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has very strong feelings about Israel, and she's disappointed that American Jews don't have the same feelings she does.

In a Monday interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Bachmann chastised American Jewish organizations for backing off stronger sanctions against Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

As a person of the Jewish faith, I have to say how reassuring it is that Bachmann's got my back. Here's a yenta of staunch beliefs and she's going to see to it that the Jewish state of Israel is protected in accordance with her wishes. And what's tops on her kvetch list? Get the US into a war with Iran.

How do I know? Well, for starters she's tackling the same people she pretends to be protecting. This shiksa thinks she knows better than the luntsmen and their yiddisher kops (Jewish thinking).  She criticizes the people who support Obama -- which statistically happen to include an overwhelming majority of Jewish voters. Obama, in 2012 received over 70% of the Jewish vote -- that's a big shtetl (community). Though Israel's importance to us is huge military and symbolic, not so much so for the political ramifications of their politics here. Hawk Bibi Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel is working from a damaged reputation and is seen as a has-been, not the will-be.

Facts are facts. If you're a progressive Jew, you're a Democrat. If you're a wealthy Jew, you're a Republican party member who behind the voting booth curtain votes Democratic.  And if you're a poor Jew, you lie and tell everyone you're really a rich Jew, just waiting for a check to come in.

J Street, a pro-peace lobbying group, commissioned a poll last year which found that just 10 percent of Jewish American voters identified Israel as one of their top voting issue priorities. Jobs, immigration, unemployment, education, women's reproductive rights, race relations, the economy and  healthcare all rank higher.

"What has been shocking has been seeing and observing Jewish organizations who it appears have made it their priority to support the political priority and the political ambitions of the President over the best interests of Israel," Bachmann added. "So in some respects, they sold out Israel."

The Jewish community she refers to, voted for Obama because they value world peace higher than Bachmann's need to start or promote a war. If that's selling out, count me in. She's a neo-con like Lindsay Graham and John McCain -- never having seen a war that she didn't like. She may be through as a representative after the elections in November, but it won't be soon enough for those of us who look for peaceful solutions to difficult situations.

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand - "What Is She Thinking?"

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Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is truly an enigma. She's a strong political voice in the battle against cuts to SNAP (food stamps - the farm bill),  advocate for women's reproductive rights, and for tackling the issues of the out-of-control sexual assaults in the military. That might lead conservatives to ask, "what is she thinking?"

Ms. Kirsten was a guest recently on All In with Chris Hayes, MSNBC.

The Senator's visit and discussion with Hayes have left me, a progressive, asking myself the same question as the conservatives:  "What is she thinking?"

Hayes quizzes her about international issues -- Iran specifically. She signed onto a controversial proposed bill that would add sanctions against Iran after nearly 40 years of no formal relations with that country.  We're in the midst of high ranking discussions to monitor the Iranian nuclear program. Gillibrand and Congress knows damn well that increased sanctions during the talks could lead to a shutting down of the negotiations. Perhaps even worse -- a potential war. Frankly, this move is insane. And she backed it.  What is she thinking?

She admits that sanctions have worked in the past ("Sanctions are better than war.  Sanctions got us to the peace table" she admits.) But Hayes points out that the people most hurt by sanctions are the woman and children of Iran, not the politicians who have some say. So why more sanctions and why now despite the White House saying increased sanctions at this point are unhelpful and will break up these historic talks?  What is she thinking?

The NY senator deflects addressing that by somehow equating Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's stated desire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth as a motivation for wanting to step up pressure on Iran. Only problem with that is Ahmadinejad was voted out of office and there are now formalized talks going on with an entirely different leader (Leader Hassan Rouhani) and an entirely different cabinet. What is she thinking?

Follow that with a very composed senator G. saying she wants to find a way to prevent going to war with Iran. Yet her backing the increased sanctions bill right now, despite the President's warning of the incendiary outcome of this move at this time would possibly lead us into war. And she still backed it. What is she thinking?

When Chris Hayes challenges her on whether Iran with a nuclear weapon would make Israel or the U.S. a first strike target, she affirms that belief, citing, "At some point you have to take Iran at its word."

Whose word? The former leader or the current leader, who's shown olive branches to both Israel - calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to wish Israel Happy New Year on Rosh Hashana and the U.S. by putting out the word of his willingness to open negotiations on nuclear talks after 40 years of icy non-recognition?  What is she thinking?

I come back to Gillibrand saying in the clip below,  "At some point you have to believe what they say. You have to take them at their word." I agree with her there. Then why isn't that time now? They're joining us at the peace table discussing a ceasing of the Iranian nuclear program. You can't have it both ways. Either you're going to take them at their word at the peace table or you're not. What is she thinking?

Watch the video interview below and ask yourself the same thing. Here's a bright, articulate elected official with some very precise attitudes. After watching this, see if you too are left scratching your head and asking yourself, as you would with Michele Bachmann, What is she thinking?

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Overnight: Pete Seeger Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

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Pete Seeger with grandson Tao Rodriguez: Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

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Finally, A Good & Novel Use For Guns

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HandgunPartsw394h244

The President is going to be delivering his State of the Union Address tonight and most likely he'll avoid any serious mention of the rampant injuries and wanton loss of life that guns and rifles have wreaked daily on this country over the recent past.

From Columbine to Sandy Hook, to the thousands wounded on the streets of Chicago on weekends alone, to mall and campus shootings to domestic disputes....those memories are swept under the carpet by the cowards collectively known as our Congress. They bow before a false God, a deity known as the NRA. Their flock is made up of gun toting zealots shouting over everyone else's rights for a peaceful, safe existance. Their mantra is "Second Amendment Rights." It echos as loudly as "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember the Maine!"

Sadly most of those doing the yelling have never read the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights. But they stand behind what they don't understand and truthfully their vote counts just like every other legal citizen's. At least those legal citizens whom the Republican's haven't knocked off the voter registration logs yet.

We've all seen, heard or read about the the brutal and devastating loss of life that guns can bring. There's really not a lot of good press for these killing instruments. As their sales numbers rise, their basic purpose becomes much more for harm rather than for good-- heightened fear and reckless killing more than putting food on the table or true, personal safety. More people get shot senselessly than wild game gets bagged for actual consumption. Shooting for sport is fine, when the prize isn't other people. 

As reported by Bill Moyers & Company:

Estimated real number of people killed by guns, including homicide, suicide and accidental death since Newtown (using most recent CDC estimates for yearly data): 33,173

Those are just deaths. The number of gun related injuries are tenfold.

Now I step off my anti-gun soapbox to share with you a rather novel use for guns. One which I don't think you've seen before. I know I haven't. Weapons of destruction are used to provide the "cover" rendition of the iconic John Lennon peace song, "Imagine." Yes, music, not death, is the bi-product of these deadly devices. Gun barrels, triggers, butts, muzzles, safeties, sights, action, stocks, trigger guards, magazines and any other part of a shooting mechanism you can think of are put to novel use.

Fellow Political Carnivalites, I proudly share with you some musical peace made entirely from some deadly weapons of destruction:

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Surprise: Newest American Saboteurs are Democratic Senators

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aipac

When you hear names like Charlie Schumer, Mark Warner, Cory Booker, Kay Hagen, Mary Landrieu, Bob Casey and Richard Blumenthal, you usually hear that some Democratically sponsored bill has their support. And usually you're right, give or take one of the above.

Yet recently, led by Senator Bob Menendez, these US elected officials to the upper house have been sold a bill of goods. And it's not a jobs or education bill. Nor is it some health plan or civil rights issue. It's war.

Real war. A potential nuclear war.

Why these guys? This isn't the Republican Party war stalwarts, Lindsay Graham and John McCain. These are normal people -- at least as normal as it gets in the senate.

The truth is these new Hawk senators are on the dole. Not necessarily news there -- all elected officials are influenced by lobbyists. But this time, and I'm going to take heat for this, it's the Jewish Mafia. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It's the most influential Jewish lobby group in the US. And historically they have backed candidates who fight for justice and equality in social issues, and political ones when it comes to Israel.

Now Israel has a special place in my heart. Not just because it's the Jewish homeland and I was born a Jew, but my wife is a Sabra, a native born Israeli. And once you have that in your blood, you're generally a dyed-in -the-wool supporter of anything the Israeli Knesset (parliament) proposes.

This brings us to war and peace. For nearly 30 years we've been in a cold war with Iran. We've had no formal diplomatic talks with them and we've been the world leader in getting other nations to impose austere economic sanctions against them. That was until about four months ago. There was a breakthrough. John Kerry reported back to the US that talks on stopping or at least tightening nuclear safeguards with Iran were possible. But like all negotiations, there's a bit of 'give a little' to 'get a little.' The price for us was to hold off on further economic sanctions while negotiations would take place (a six months moratorium). The price to the Iranians is to allow open international monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program -- full inspections.

This was a great tit for tat -- especially as pressure was building for war between our two countries.  That would ultimately would result in a nuclear conflagration. There's no way around that. Yet here's a potentially peaceful solution at hand. The only ones unhappy in that region are Saudi Arabia (remember where the 911 trainees spent much of their pre-attack time) and Israel -- the other nuclear armed country in the region who doesn't want any competition in weapons superiority. And I can understand that.

Obviously those in the pocket of the neo-cons -- the entire GOP party hierarchy -- were against this. But the Democrats? How could they be against peace -- especially one their President is working so hard to accomplish? And if you're looking at public opinion, over 60% favor a peaceful solution with Iran over war. So how could 16 Democrats come out and favor new sanctions which would lead to Iran pulling away from the negotiating table?

Obama was told in no uncertain words that new sanctions  against Iran would be a line in the sand by the their President. Secretary of State Kerry was told the talks would be DEAD if Congress passed new sanctions by the Iranian Foreign Minister. So until we find a reason not to, why not give peace a chance?

The Republicans want war and they've been able, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. to stir the pot and brainwash the Jewish senate members (or those gentile members who aren't totally anti-semitic) by selling a bill of goods that peace negotiations can't be trusted. Netanyahu along via the dangerous and borderline deranged John McCain (who's totally bonkers) contacted his influential PAC, the AIPAC, and forced them to exert pressure on the weak and vulnerable among the Democratic senators. Face it, backbone is not a prerequisite for being a Democrat.

But don't take my word for it. Here's Chris Hayes:

Finally, some sense of sanity. Obama spoke to the Democratic Senate Caucus last night and evidently they've seen the light of their wayward ways.

UPDATE: Since this airing, according to WAPO:

But editorial boards and commentators have harshly condemned the push for a vote. Many Senate Democrats have continued to remain silent, which could well be a sign of an unwillingness to sign on to the bill. A couple Dem senators have come out against it in the last couple of days, joining 10 Dem committee chairs who have already done the same. At last whip count, this bill will not get past Harry Reid and is now considered dead.

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Mainstream Press Drinks Polluted Water -- Gets Dysentery

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Duty

Two nights ago, Lawrence O'Donnell, as he often does, takes a breaking national story and rather than become a mouth-piece lemming and following along, or a parrot repeating back talking points, he examines the full story with an eye from overhead, giving him a wider view. Instead of flowing downhill with the jabberhead mainstream press through heavily germ-filled waters of bunk, spin and political pollution, he looks a bit deeper and sees some runoffs that might actually lead to fresh water.

Such is the case with Robert Gates new book, his memoir of the few years he served in the Obama Administration. Many thought it was a strange choice to keep Gates as he served in the corrupt GW Bush administration, but President Obama saw something in him. Perhaps it was his boldness. Maybe his honesty. Or possibly something else, he was a near perfect barometer. Perhaps Obama knew that if Gates was in favor of something, the wise choice was to do just the opposite.

DUTY: MEMOIRS OF A SECRETARY AT WAR, according to O'Donnell, actually makes a good argument for that. Gates was a litmus test. That's always good to have around when there's a toxic situation.

At yesterday's press conference the adjective "explosive" was tossed about like a hot potato. It was used so much, it was obvious that it was a prepared, planned buzzword. It's like "IRS Conspiracy," "Benghazi," and "Trainwreck" when referring to the ACA rollout. Explosive was the word of the day that Jay Carney needed to defend. If only he had Lawrence O'Donnell with him it would have been a cake walk.

During the Rewrite segment on THE LAST WORD yesterday O'Donnell took great delight in pointing out these explosive revelations are perhaps not as damaging as the headless chickens of the beltway press would have you think. Rather than look at what the ex-CIA chief and defense secretary really said, these brainless reporters took to their imaginations and interpreted what was really written. They took words like "vaguely" and changed them to "definitively" and phrases like "conceded political opposition to the Iraq surge" meant Obama's opposition, not his parties or the nation's opposition. When you twist words, you can get them to say almost anything.

Watch this systematic destruction of the "explosive accusations" in the book, and enjoy how it's actually becomes a most complimentary Obama piece. For instance, Gates writes Obama's decision to launch an attack on Osama Bin Laden (against Gate's advice) was, "One of the most courageous decisions I had ever witnessed in the White House."

Yes sir. This book is not a hammering away at Obama. It's a tribute to a fine military and diplomatic leader.

Take a look. This clip is bit longer than I usually add, but I think every minute of it's worth it to understand just how much the White House really loves what William Gates had to say, as it makes Obama one of the strongest and definitive leaders ever to rule the roost. This is one time that Obama is no Jack Kennedy, and we're all better because of it. (Watch the clip and you'll understand that reference.)

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