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Sep 16, 2009

Some thots to revive and clarify the LEFT: Re-defining terms.

"PEACE" is such an amorphous term, used so loosely now, that it could mean almost anything. The Inquisition burned heretics in the name of "The Prince of PEACE". Every Xmas we get all these Peace, Peace, Peace cards. Every Xmas there's another WAR going on!

So I have decided instead to use the term, NO IMPERIALIST WAR! that makes it specific. Besides, while I do admire Pacifists and Quakers immensely, I am not all that non-violent in my views, as they are. I believe that indigenous peoples, for example, have a right to defend their lands, lives and communities either by non-violent means, or by arms. It is not for me to choose for them. I believe in the right of self-defense. I would not take away the right to defend themselves during invasion or occupation, for example, from Afghans or Iraqis. I would not take away the right of people to defend themselves any way they chose, from Hitler's Nazi stormtroopers, from Soviet Communist invaders, from British, French, Japanese, or any other Imperialists, including the United States. {My Dad, a civilian schoolteacher, was once caught in the crossfire of a 'Moro' uprising in the Phillipines, in the 1920's!}

People have the right to defend themselves; but NO-ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO INVADE ANOTHER COUNTRY FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER. That is why I will from now on, whenever possible, use the phrase "NO IMPERIALIST WAR" when others would use the wishy-washy, blah-nothing merely "feel-good" term covering anything and everything including masked aggression, "Peace".

The other loose term, "Social Justice", while fine in intent, actually MEANS, when you come RIGHT DOWN TO IT, it means SOCIALISM. Gasp! Because of propaganda, Americans have gotten all sorts of weird ideas about SOCIALISM. It is NOT A BAD THING! SOCIALISM and Social Justice, are terms that can be used for GOOD things interchangeably; but "SOCIALISM" expresses the REAL meaning, without euphemisms. {Besides, "Justice" is a term that here on Care2 has taken on some ambiguous meanings. Is it "Justice", or "revenge", to seek to punish someone in the same way that they hurt someone else? Some people here act like this is a proper thing; which is quite disturbing.}

SOCIALISM is not Communism; it is not Authoritarian or Totalitarian in its nature.

SOCIALISM is not Marxism; Socialism and Socialists existed before Marx wrote; and have continued to exist, after Marx wrote. {Marxists may be Socialists; but not all Socialists are Marxists.}

SOCIALISM merely means, that ALL HAVE A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT TO THE NECESSITIES OF SURVIVAL AS HUMAN BEINGS: TO FOOD, CLOTHING, SHELTER, MEDICINE AND MEDICAL CARE, and in today's society, TO AN EDUCATION.

ALL: all children, babies, the sick, the elderly, the handicapped, and the presently poor, homeless and unemployed. ALL. ALL have a RIGHT to the same basic necessities of life. Not ONLY the rich. ALL.

This has nothing to do with weird and obsolete 19th-century theories about "workers owning the means of production", etc. Nothing to do with theories of economics, arguments, ideologies, "predictions", theories of "history", etc. etc. etc. FORGET all that.

"Social Justice" implies that ALL have the ground floor of the BASIC NECESSITIES. Not that all have the "same things". People all have different perceived needs, wants and fancies! But you should NOT have a situation where John McCain can't even count the number of houses he owns; while millions sleep HOMELESS on the mean streets, in dangerous shelters, in Tent Cities -- including entire FAMILIES living this way. THAT is NOT "Social Justice". And REMEDYING that situation by building housing units for the poor, yes, that WOULD be SOCIALISM. Using Society's, and Nature's, resources for the benefit of ALL; NOT just for the few wealthy at the top.

I trust that Human Ingenuity COULD, if given half-a-chance, figure out how to bring this about. They already HAVE SOCIALIST measures, to one degree or another, in several countries of the world. You DON'T need a friggin' theory; that just stands in the way of practicality! Yes, Universal Health Care for All, in America, such as they have had for decades in ALL OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD; Yes, that would be SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. {You'd have to get rid of the Corporations to get there, the HMOs, etc.}

The CHIEF ENEMY of both SOCIALISM, and of the American People, {and of the entire PLANET}, is the huge and totally VILE and EVIL, Military-Industrial-Prison-Advertising Complex.

Jesus if he were living today, would be a SOCIALIST.

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Posted: Sep 16, 2009 2:22am
Aug 25, 2007
PLEASE NOTE BOTH ARTICLES; THEN START SOMETHING IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY IF YOU CAN. BMT

Please, someone come up with a way to get it into the mainstream media and not just in cyberspace

Here's something we ALL can do - really! TELL THE  -Cate












AND THIS:
Rev. Rich Lang's 9/11: Call to Action Freedom From Fear in Seattle   video visit site
US Politics & Gov't  (tags: 9/11, impeach, iraq, lies, politics, war, healthcare, elections )

Patti 
 - youtube.com
Rich Lang is a Methodist minister from Seattle. He is a passionate and powerful speaker (please watch the enclosed link). He is right in saying that passive protest is not going to change anything. A YouTube video in 3 parts.

 
http://www.livingfaithnow.org/
Philosophy of Living Faith Radio

  • A positive, progressive Christian alternative
  • Reflecting the joy and justice message of Jesus
  • Aimed toward spiritual seekers and strugglers
  • For the purpose of amplifying the voice of Progressive Christianity.

Living Faith is a positive, progressive, Christian alternative that lifts up themes of nonviolence, compassion, co-operation, and community. Living Faith will educate the public in the liberal family values of Jesus, his commitment of economic justice for the poor, care of creation, compassion for the excluded, and resistance to empire. Living Faith will articulate a positive expression of a Wisdom Culture that promotes lifestyles of balance and reconciliation. Living Faith will invite others into a conversation about the values and vision of Jesus.

CALL TO ACTION ON 9/11; Please go to the above URL for the entire speech; or watch the video. BMT
"First they came for the terrorists but I wasn't a terrorist so I stayed silent and went about my business. Then they came for those suspected of terrorism, but I certainly wasn't a suspect so I stayed silent and went about my business. Then they came for those who defended those who were suspected of terrorism, but I wasn't defending such people so I stayed silent and went about my business. Then, one day, they came and began to "suspect" me, so I stayed very, very silent and went about my business.
And that is how I lost my soul."

You can feel it in the air: many of us are living in the fear that we are one "bad event" away from this administration seizing power over the people in such a way that we will find ourselves swept up in a nightmare of tyranny such as we've never seen before.

Others before us have also lived in such times. Others before us have also witnessed the tyranny of empire, the fear it unleashes, and the trance it imposes on its population. There is a story in the Gospel of Mark (this Sunday I'll be preaching about it) that has Jesus encountering a man in a graveyard, chained to the tombs and possessed by a powerful demon that has caused the man to become violent, insane, and out of control. The name of the demon is Legion, a military term that symbolizes the occupying army of Rome. In the story Jesus breaks through the silence, the denial, the trance and compels the demon to acknowledge its name. Once named, Jesus "exorcizes the demon", that is, he performs a direct public action that breaks through the denial and the trance while restoring the man to sanity and community.

We are gathered tonight because our nation has fallen into a trance: we've become possessed by a spirit that is causing us great harm. It is a spirit that causes great violence. It is a spirit that destroys community. It turns us against each other. It causes us to distrust each other. And it certainly causes us to question our sanity, our understanding of events and of basic human qualities like honesty, forthrightness, integrity, co-operation. This trance has caused us to lose our voice, we have become silent in the face of great evils. We have learned how to live in denial of the obvious. Indeed, we now know the answer to that old question, "how could good German citizens allow the Nazi Party to rise to power?" We need somehow to awaken from this trance, and find our voice. We need to break through the denial and compel the demon that possesses us to state forth its name, and having done that, then through direct public actions we can restore our citizenry to sanity and community. We need to awaken and reclaim our roots as a democracy.

That's the assumption of this call to meeting. We face a multitude, a whole legion of evils that are silencing us, chaining us to fears and denial, possessing us with a spirit contrary to our nature. You have probably come here because you have seen this possession and have become restless and frustrated in "casting it out" of the body politic. Some of you are here because you think electing Democrats in 2008 will bring a new birth of hope. Some of you are here because you think our governing system has fallen into disrepair and needs a few tweaks and adjustments. Some of you want to fix our broken elections, or stop the impending war in Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Some of you want to get to the bottom of the 9/11 contradictions, and some of you are worried sick about the house of cards that is our economy. Many of you are greatly concerned about the growing power of the executive and the military. Many of you worry about the corruption of our political process through Corporate money. The urgency of multiple crisis (legion) is certainly before our nation this evening. But tonight the focus is really on one part of the crisis: breaking the trance, breaking through the denial and finding our voice.

CONTINUED............

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Posted: Aug 25, 2007 7:43pm
May 23, 2007
What will it take to bring an end to the illegal Iraq war and Occupation?
It is on everyone's mind. Both Americans, and non-Americans, wonder what it will take.
Here are some points I would make:

1] There is talk blah blah blah about "storming Pennsylvania Avenue", "revolution", etc. Sorry my Leftist and non-Leftist friends, that simply ain't gonna happen. Life in these United States has just become too difficult and complicated; most people and their families are struggling for survival, to cope with debt or to keep out of debt, to keep healthy and to keep economically afloat. That is what takes up most people's energies these days. You can see it if you read what they write on Care2 groups. Then there are all these Natural Disasters because of Global Warming; broken Health Care systems and Educational systems; destroyed or decaying Infrastructure; etc. Most people simply are trying to make it thru the next month, or DEPENDING on that NEXT PAYCHECK.
They TALK big, to VENT -- but TALK is all that's happening. They are in no position to Storm the White House -- and possibly lose their JOB for that!
{Not to mention the Police armed with tasers, lasers, heat weapons, and god-knows-what!}
Same with wild plans to boycott, not pay taxes, go on strike, shut things down, etc. Sure, they would WORK -- only if EVERYBODY, or MOST people, did it. Ain't gonna happen. For the same reasons. People have FAMILIES to support; and their lifestyles they think they can't do without.

2] So, then what?
Well, THE ARMY ITSELF SAYS, IT IS STRESSED TO THE BREAKING POINT.
The soldiers, it is said, are LOSING THEIR WILL-TO-FIGHT. THIS is why, it is said, the PENTAGON HAS SHUT OFF ACCESS OF TROOPS TO THE INTERNET; except on a tightly-controlled and censored government channel, that they and their families don't like to use.
The same thing happened in Viet Nam. THE TROOPS WOULD NOT OBEY ORDERS TO "ENGAGE THE ENEMY".
And would often "frag" their officers, instead. Historical FACT.
The mis-Administration has learned NOTHING from the Lessons of Viet Nam!

My focus is, and has always been, to BRING THE TROOPS HOME. That, to me, is the KEY. Not silly talk of this & that "ideal" solution -- day-dreaming!!!

See the on-line film, if you haven't, "Sir! No Sir!".
The Resistance to fighting, resistance to obeying the orders they were given, plus civilian support, was what helped hasten the end of U.S. involvement in Viet Nam. Whether people think this was right or wrong, a Good Thing or a Bad Thing, that is what actually did happen.
Following this LOGIC, I say, we Civilians make LOUD AND CLEAR, PERFECTLY CLEAR TO THE TROOPS, our SUPPORT for them -- SUPPORT FOR THEIR COMING HOME!
That we also show our SUPPORT, for Lt. Ehren Watada, and several others, who have OPENLY RESISTED GOING TO WAR.
I think that there is going to be more and more resistance within the military -- that it will become, or is becoming fast, like Viet Nam.
Examples are, the 343rd Quartermasters {in 2005}, the 10th Mountain Division {earlier this month}. They both refused orders to go into danger zones with INADEQUATE armored protection. Well, I've heard that they aren't the ONLY ones with inadequate protection; and it figures, there must be other units where the word just hasn't gotten out, yet, about them. There was a video I remember seeing, about troops refusing to protect a convoy driven by contractors, not the US Army. Don't know if it was released which unit it was.
Stuff like that, the military is just FRANTIC to censor! Doesn't want the word spreading from troop to troop!

So, then, eliminating all the stuff that WON'T work, that CAN'T POSSIBLY work, this is ALL I can come up with! Like it or not!
Some people strongly disapprove of this -- of troops, in essence, mutinying. {The Pentagon calls it, "Combat Refusal".}
Well, number one, it IS happening, whether someone personally likes it, or approves, or not. Just like the "fragging" of over 800 officers happened, in Viet Nam. {I think that was atrocious. But it DID happen! We can't close our eyes to it! Whether we approve or not!}{I HOPE, the FEW instances of fragging in this war, remain just a FEW!}

Number two, I think, no I KNOW, that it will GIVE TROOPS THE WILL TO RESIST ILLEGAL ORDERS, if they KNOW that the folks at home support them 101% in that!
Illegal orders, for example, ACCORDING TO THE ARMY'S OWN UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE {which I have read}, WOULD INCLUDE PARTICIPATION IN TORTURE, AND IN MURDERING CIVILIANS AND TAKING THEIR PROPERTY.
These are PUNISHABLE OFFENCES and soldiers can be PROSECUTED for them. "I was only following orders" is NOT a defence! A SOLDIER HAS THE OBLIGATION TO NOT FOLLOW ILLEGAL ORDERS.
According to treaties the U.S. has signed, which ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION ARE THE LAW OF THE LAND, and the Geneva Conventions, THE ENTIRE IRAQ WAR IS AN ILLEGAL WAR. This was the DEFENCE that Lt. Watada tried to bring to his trial {postponed}. His defence for not deploying with his company for Iraq.

Therefore, I PERSONALLY STATE, that I am FOR THE SOLDIERS NOT OBEYING THEIR ILLEGAL ORDERS whether BEFORE, or AFTER, deployment to Iraq.

It would have been better, if Lt. Watada's entire COMPANY had refused to go to Iraq; as someone who deserts his or her company, is perceived by many as a traitor. Altho MANY INDIVIDUAL SOLDIERS have expressed SUPPORT for Lt. Watada -- and several of my friends are active in his support -- it is when entire UNITS refuse, that THERE CAN BE A REAL TURNAROUND.

THIS IS WHAT DID HAPPEN DURING THE VIET NAM WAR. There was a famous instance, when LIVE ON NATIONAL TV, an entire COMPANY REFUSED to go on patrol into a danger zone! HOW EMBARASSING FOR THE ARMY BRASS -- who had probably ORDERED them to go in the first place, to GRANDSTAND FOR TV!!!!!!! I sortof remember the FUROR that caused at the time! and the lift it gave to the anti-war movement I was then a part of!
This was just one of many instances of Combat Refusal by entire units in Viet Nam.
There was even a group of B-52 Bomber Pilots, who refused for "reasons of conscience" to go on missions to bomb Cambodia; and were prosecuted by the Military.
There were other units about which there is just "hearsay" -- what the troops widely reported when they got home.
There is a book about this, written by a General, deploring this, which I could refer to if asked.

So, anyone asks my opinion, you got it. I think there could and should be a DYNAMIC set up, between the troops, and the extended Peace Movement. In SPITE of military censorship, people, families, WILL find means to communicate!
WE support the troops, and EXPLODE the LIE that they are "Protecting" us, or "protecting" anything but Bush's oil! So they don't feel uncomfortable "sitting down".
THEY support US, {and our Economic Survival!} by not dragging on this war any further!
I think, under such circumstances, the war COULD end on the TROOPS' TIMETABLE; rather than on Bush's NON-EXISTENT "timetable"! Bush keeps EXTENDING AND EXTENDING THE WAR AND THE TROOPS' DEPLOYMENTS; he is simply LYING about any troop pullout, EVER EVER EVER. And the troops should KNOW this, by now!!!
THE TROOPS WILL ONLY COME HOME, AT ALL, EVER, NOT IN BODY BAGS, IF THEY TAKE MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS.
And to finish, as Patrick Henry said to the Virginia Burgesses {before the American Revolution}: "If this be TREASON, then MAKE THE MOST OF IT."

This is what I truly think, and will stand behind it till I die.
BMutiny T



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Posted: May 23, 2007 8:08pm

 

 
 
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