Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You Ask: What Can One Person Do? This!

Sunday August 19, 2007 (report from the LA Chapter of WCW)

An organizer from LA decided to make a solo statement and caused quite a fashion stir at the annual Los Angeles Sunset Junction Street Fair Sunday afternoon. Clad in an outfit constructed entirely out of DIN Orange Drive Out the Bush Regime bandanas, she made the scene at this Silverlake community event, known for its good time flavored family fun, and a tradition of colorful and unusually costumed revelers. Silverlake is a neighborhood of artists, performers, musicians and home to a significant Gay and Lesbian community. This is a popular and very well attended event each year in Los Angeles.

She approached the ticket gate, and the workers were so taken by her outfit and the DIN bandanas, that they agreed to flyer every entrant that afternoon while sporting their new bandanas. She managed to inspire all gatekeepers at the event to do this, and got out stacks and stacks of DIN flyers this way.

Inside, she had lots of freedom to flyer and talk to folks about the Wear Orange campaign, as well as she attracted admirers and photographers. A crew from the show “Tous Le Habits du Monde,” a television show on the Arte and Culture Channel in France, asked if they could film her for their show. She agreed. She was asked to spin her fabulous skirt, and fan out the bandanas so that the message could be easily read. “DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME! WWW.WORLDCANTWAIT.ORG” They interviewed her about the WCW and the Wear Orange national campaign to Drive Out the Bush Regime. They plan to feature her on a show dedicated to political fashion.

We decided to do this on the spur of the moment because we didn’t have a crew to go out to this event, and we knew we needed to get the word out somehow, so we decided to make a “fashion scene.” And a scene it was. The World Can’t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime! Declare it Now! Wear Orange!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Why We Take the Moral High Road

We do it, first of all, because it’s the right thing to do. We do it irrespective of whether we expect to win. You don’t decide on what’s right to do on the basis of whether or not you are guaranteed to win or if you think you have a chance to win and you do a calculation about whether it’s worthwhile or not - as if people’s lives and the planet’s future and all of its creatures should be subjected to odds’ calculations the way you’d do it if you were making a bet. We aren’t going to bet on people’s lives and we’re not going to gamble with the planet’s fate. That’s for the other side to do.

Our adversaries say that torturing people and killing innocent people - men, women and children - in the hundreds of thousands is worth it because it advances their goddamn empire and enriches them and their friends’ pockets. And their enablers, those complicit Democrats, those sorry excuses for human beings, who say that “it’s off the table,” who say that “it’s not worth it,” who say, lying through their teeth, that they “haven’t seen any impeachable offenses,” who think to themselves that it’s in the best interests of their party and the empire that they serve to keep the war and killing going longer and to keep Bush and Cheney in office, these are the people making these horrid calculations.

They want to convince us that, "Oh, yes, you’re right, we don’t have the votes, it’s not going to succeed." They want us to believe that you make decisions about whether you’re going to fight against mass murder, torture, dictatorial assertions of power, violations of the law and the Constitution, massive illegal spying and so on by figuring out whether you “have the votes.” Since when is it right for you to decide whether or not you’re going to fight injustice, profound immorality, mass murder and torture on the basis of whether or not you think you can win? What kind of immoral logic is that?! We say fuck that.

We don’t have to lie and we don’t have to suppress science and we don’t have to oppress people. But our adversaries do and this system of imperialism does. Our adversaries have to do all of these things because if they don’t, they can’t possibly get their way. In order to get their way, they have to do deeply immoral, barbaric, monstrous things – daily, hourly, minute by minute.

So when we talk to people about why they should Declare It Now and Wear Orange, we have a lot of reasons we can and should give them, including that our strategy can work and that we can win, but the most important argument we have is this: fighting tyrants, war criminals and torturers is the right thing to do. It’s the only right thing to do. You cannot go along and remain silent because to do so is to be a colluder and a "Good German." You cannot wiggle out of this if you have a conscience.

What’s the counter-argument to our moral stance? THERE IS NO COUNTER-ARGUMENT. There is no moral counter-argument.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Photos of People Declaring It Now!

Method Man at Rock the Bells in San Francisco. Chuck D of Public Enemy also wore an orange bandana on both arms while performing. The second picture is from the Washington Heights Anti-War Demonstration. Go to here for more.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Homeland Security Enlists Clergy to Quell Public Unrest if Martial Law Ever Declared"

This is from KSLA News 12 in Shreveport, Louisianna, dated August 15, 2007:

Could martial law ever become a reality in America? Some fear any nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S. soil might trigger just that. KSLA News 12 has discovered that the clergy would help the government with potentially their biggest problem: Us.

Charleton Heston's now-famous speech before the National Rifle Association at a convention back in 2000 will forever be remembered as a stirring moment for all 2nd Amendment advocates. At the end of his remarks, Heston held up his antique rifle and told the crowd in his Moses-like voice, "over my cold, dead hands."

While Heston, then serving as the NRA President, made those remarks in response to calls for more gun control laws at the time, those words live on. Heston's declaration captured a truly American value: An over-arching desire to protect our freedoms.

But gun confiscation is exactly what happened during the state of emergency following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, along with forced relocation. U.S. Troops also arrived, something far easier to do now, thanks to last year's elimination of the 1878 Posse Comitatus act, which had forbid regular U.S. Army troops from policing on American soil.

If martial law were enacted here at home, like depicted in the movie "The Siege", easing public fears and quelling dissent would be critical. And that's exactly what the 'Clergy Response Team' helped accomplish in the wake of Katrina.

Dr. Durell Tuberville serves as chaplain for the Shreveport Fire Department and the Caddo Sheriff's Office. Tuberville said of the clergy team's mission, "the primary thing that we say to anybody is, 'let's cooperate and get this thing over with and then we'll settle the differences once the crisis is over.'"

Such clergy response teams would walk a tight-rope during martial law between the demands of the government on the one side, versus the wishes of the public on the other. "In a lot of cases, these clergy would already be known in the neighborhoods in which they're helping to diffuse that situation," assured Sandy Davis. He serves as the director of the Caddo-Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

For the clergy team, one of the biggest tools that they will have in helping calm the public down or to obey the law is the bible itself, specifically Romans 13. Dr. Tuberville elaborated, "because the government's established by the Lord, you know. And, that's what we believe in the Christian faith. That's what's stated in the scripture."

Civil rights advocates believe the amount of public cooperation during such a time of unrest may ultimately depend on how long they expect a suspension of rights might last.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Who is the Real Murderer Here?

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) -- A man threw his seriously ill wife four stories to her death because he could no longer afford to pay for her medical care, prosecutors said in charging him with second-degree murder.

According to court documents filed Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, Stanley Reimer walked his wife to the balcony of their apartment and kissed her before throwing her over.

The body of Criste Reimer, 47, was found Tuesday night outside the apartment building, near the upscale Country Club Plaza shopping district.

Stanley Reimer, 51, was charged Wednesday. He remained jailed on $250,000 bond and was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

In the probable cause statement filed with the charges, police said Reimer was desperate because he could not pay the bills for his wife's treatment for neurological problems and uterine cancer.

Investigators said that Reimer was in the apartment when they arrived. He told them, "She didn't jump," but did not elaborate, they said.

Criste Reimer's caregiver told police she could barely walk and would not have been able to climb over the railing of the balcony, according to the probable cause statement.

Reimer's alleged motive emerged after several more hours of questioning, police said.

According to Jackson County Probate Court records, Criste Reimer had been in ill health for several years. Her weight had fallen to 75 pounds and she was partly blind.

According to the court records, she had no health insurance to pay for medical bills that ranged from $700 to $800 per week.

The Probate Court documents were filed in April, when Stanley Reimer petitioned to be allowed to sell personal property his wife owned in Wheeler County, Texas, for $20,000.

The documents listed her assets at approximately $6,700, with monthly income of $725 from oil royalties and Supplemental Security Income.

It was not immediately known if Stanley Reimer had an attorney.


"After the Senate Finance Committee approved an expansion of the federal Children's Health Insurance Program to cover nearly 10 million kids, President Bush offered a strange rationale for threatening to veto it. 'People have access to health care in America,' he told an audience in Cleveland. 'After all, you just go to an emergency room.' As any hospital executive can attest, that is precisely the problem created by the high number of uninsured people in the United States."

-- posted at the Drudge Retort by species8472 on July 29. 2007.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Zinn on Social Change

Excerpt of a speech delivered by Howard Zinn on April 17th, 2007 in Boston, Mass.

One of the things we can learn from history is that history is not only a history of things inflicted on us by the powers that be. History is also a history of resistance. It’s a history of people who endure tyranny for decades, but who ultimately rise up and overthrow the dictator. We’ve seen this in country after country, surprise after surprise. Rulers who seem to have total control, they suddenly wake up one day, and there are a million people in the streets, and they pack up and leave. This has happened in the Philippines, in Yemen, all over, in Nepal. Million people in the streets, and then the ruler has to get out of the way. So, this is what we’re aiming for in this country.

Everything we do is important. Every little thing we do, every picket line we walk on, every letter we write, every act of civil disobedience we engage in, any recruiter that we talk to, any parent that we talk to, any GI that we talk to, any young person that we talk to, anything we do in class, outside of class, everything we do in the direction of a different world is important, even though at the moment they seem futile, because that’s how change comes about. Change comes about when millions of people do little things, which at certain points in history come together, and then something good and something important happens.

Frankenstein’s Monster

On August 8, in “Turns Out We Are Mad as Hell,” Cindy Sheehan at After Downing Street excerpted comments from someone whose sentiments were typical of those that Cindy received about her original posting (“I’m Perturbed as Heck”).

I think that this person’s comments are really helpful and indicative of the struggle going on among very many people right now:

"I'm just another lame American afraid to change my whole life...I shouldn't have to. But that's hardly the point, I know. It seems pretty late in the game to still be looking for alternatives to armed revolution. But I am sooo non-violent. I'm still just asking for someone else to do it."

For dramatic social change to occur – which is exactly what is called for at this juncture, as increasing numbers of people are realizing - some people do have to change their whole life (as Cindy Sheehan did).

Along with that a much, much larger number of people need to do things that are out of the ordinary. They must do things that contribute to major social change. They don’t have to turn their whole lives upside down, but they DO have to step out and take a stand. In other words, both the Cindy’s of the world must emerge – a lot more of them - AND millions of less known people must step forward in smaller, but real ways.

If you aren't going to change your whole life, then the contradiction that "we the people are literally being ignored" (as the person who wrote to Cindy also stated) still has to be addressed by literally millions. The time for asking someone else to do it must be brought to a decisive end.

As I've written at After Downing Street and elsewhere, for instance, here, the majority sentiment for impeachment and, probably at this point, for criminal trials, needs to be made visible. THE PEOPLE have to stop confining themselves to pleading with our elected representatives to do the right thing. The Democratic Party leadership isn't going to do the right thing. They have made this crystal clear. In fact, they are spectacularly doing many of the most inexcusable things one could imagine.

THE PEOPLE must show themselves and assert their power. Nothing else will do. With this we have a chance to drive out the Bush Regime and without this we will not. The suffocating, frustrating, infuriating feelings that so very many people have must find a release and a vehicle for expression.

This is what the Declare It Now: Wear Orange campaign is designed to do. It's about making the invisible mass sentiment manifest and it's about declaring yourself - publicly – against the immoral, inhumane, murderous, criminal, irrationalist cabal who are ruling this country and wreaking havoc upon - and gravely endangering - the planet.

If just 2% of the 58%+ who want to see Bush and Cheney gone were to wear orange in their daily lives (ribbons, armbands, t-shirts, etc.) then we would have a sea of millions of people wearing orange and the unmistakable signs of a major cultural shift.

Does anyone think that anything less than this will suffice in these times of terrible danger and peril? Has the Democratic Party and the mass media done anything to disprove this proposition? Are they not everyday reinforcing in graphic ways the truth that the people must take things into our own hands?

The people in charge now are determined to prevent genuine democratic action from breaking out. They hope to confine people’s activities to those actions that will not jeopardize the existing order and the existing – and expanding - extraordinary disparities of wealth and power. They are hoping to lull us into putting all of our hopes into the 2008 elections.

The Bush regime is one pretextual incident away from declaring martial law. They stole the last two presidential elections. The Democratic Party presidential hopefuls deemed by the mass media as legitimate – Clinton, Obama and Edwards – have all signed onto the White House’s threats on Iran and the essentials of the rest of the Bush program. As stupid as Bush is, do you think that he and the rest of his cabal who believe that they are on a mission from God and who believe that they talk directly to God, are dumb and fair-minded enough to allow themselves and their vicious agenda to be simply voted out of power?

The people in charge are counting on being able to carry out their despicable program through their command and control over the major organs of political power and in the mass media. They continue to shield these despicable tyrants in the White House like Frankenstein’s creator sought to protect his monster from the outraged villagers. The time for pitchforks and blazing torches and marching on the house on the hill is here.

The enablers and apologists for this criminal White House continue to insist that impeachment is "off the table." What is this table that the Democratic Party thinks impeachment cannot be on, but talk of a nuclear strike on Iran, can be on? What kind of system treats impeachment as verboten and treats war crimes and torture as legitimate? What kind of fools would we be to be sucked in by this criminal craziness?

We have to find a way to mobilize the people of this country directly and in ways that do not depend upon favorable media and public official attention.

This way - this path - exists. It involves the people refusing to any longer forsake their power and to undertake collective, independent actions as THE PEOPLE. We either take this path - and soon - or we will be forced to accept more and more horrors under this regime and its enablers. 2008 is too late. Now is the time.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

News articles on the LA launch of Declare It Now: Wear Orange

The Beverly Press article about our LA launch of Declare It Now: Wear Orange Against the Bush Regime is here.

The Los Angeles Independent article is here. (Actor Rene Auberjonois, who is pictured in the article, was incorrectly identified in the caption as Stephen Rohde).

For a photo that ran on page 3 of La Opinion (the largest Spanish language paper in the US) of our press conference see this.

“Gee, Osama, since Bush has to get FISA approval, we can now call our sleeper agents and plan the next attack.”

I recommend today's piece by Robert Parry at Consortium News "Bush's Secret Spying on Americans." The Democrats are planning, incredibly, as we speak, to revise FISA to legalize some of the patently illegal things that Bush has been doing with the NSA spying program. Ain't it wonderful now that the Democrats are in charge? Look how much things have changed!

In conjunction with this, you should also see, if you haven't already, the PBS program "Spying on the Homefront." The show has a number of elements to it, including an interview with the AT&T whistleblower in San Francisco who discovered the NSA covert spying on millions of Americans. The show also features a recounting of 2003 New Year's Eve in Las Vegas when the FBI and DHS attempted, successfully, to obtain hotels' records of all their guests on the grounds that the government had intelligence about a possible terrorist attack. No attack ensued, of course, but what is interesting about this episode (not discussed in the program) was that the government's unprecedented invasion of privacy here would have gotten them nothing in terms of useful intelligence - and the highest eschelons of the government undoubtedly knew it.

If you had been a terrorist planning an attack on Las Vegas would you have checked yourself into a hotel just for the weekend? Would you have used your real name? Would you be this stupid? Wouldn't you have arranged to have operatives dispatched to Las Vegas or the immediate environs weeks, months or even years beforehand, living and working in Vegas under an assumed alias, and integrating themselves into the community?

The real reason for the government's demand for all the hotels' guest records was most likely instead an effort to push the envelope and set a precedent for the government getting these kind of records.

For a much more thorough analysis of government spying, see Barbara Bowley's Chapter "The Campaign for Unfettered Power: Executive Supremacy, Secrecy and Surveillance," in my book, Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Why the Democrats Are Acting This Way

You can find this essay of mine (plus some reader comments) at After Downing Street.

Radio Interview on KPFK with Alex Ko

I spoke with Alex Ko on his show "Radio Active" yesterday. We discussed the Warner Act, NSPD-51 and the prospects for martial law being declared by Bush before the 2008 elections. You can listen to the archived edition here. It's listed as "4 Oclock Tuesdays - Alex Ko aka Radio Active."