Thursday, April 23, 2009

President Fix
Dennis Perrin's weblog

The vanilla tumult over torture and "brutal interrogation," as the New York Times puts it, is a never-ending source of raw amusement, the kind that sears your gut and makes you cough blood. Obama, ever the evenhanded manager, now says that he won't stand in the way should someone else bring criminal charges against the previous regime.

Wow. What courage. Is there anything our Father Leader can't equivocate? At least he still speaks better than Bush. (Liberal APPLAUSE sign flashing.) Am I right? Ladies, you know it's true!

The day that senior Bush officials, like Bush and Cheney themselves, take the perp walk in chains and orange jumpsuits is the day I publicly register as a Democrat, don an Obama t-shirt, and burn a stack of "Savage Mules." Of course, for justice to be seriously administered, many leading Dems would also have to be charged, not only for supporting or silently tolerating torture and rendition, but for beating the war drums over Iraq, the broken, bloody stage where much of this official "concern" originated with the Abu Ghraib photo sessions. This would naturally include the Vice President and Secretary of State, whose firing, arrest, and prosecution would show just how impartial American justice truly is, a shining counterexample to those lawless states that allow piracy to go unpunished.

But none of this is gonna happen. In American politics, talking and posturing about "justice" is about as good as it gets. Oh, maybe some lower echelon cog will be sacrificed to keep the charade going, but the real crime lords will avoid any jail time or serious censure as Obama urges us to "get past" this "aberration" to our noble system of governance. His slow motion pose about not impeding criminal investigations is simply more imperial pantomime -- chum bait for the rubes.

No matter what he does or doesn't do, Obama will not face a liberal mutiny, and he knows it. While a few Democrats like Glenn Greenwald are making critical noises against Obama's obfuscation, it remains a minority view. The liberal overreaction to the pitiful teabag demonstrations showed their true, loyal colors. That many of the teabaggers hold fantastic concepts of Obama helps his lib admirers, as it diverts attention away from his actual positions, giving Dem mouthpieces like Janeane Garofalo room to rant about idiot crackers who dare protest a black president, something you won't see Garofalo and kindred ideologues ever do, not with the energy and anger they protested Bush.

There are rare moments when the American Fix is so blatant, so obvious, that speaking against it merely reinforces its power and reach. This is one of those moments. Admire it, fellow peasants. You have nothing to lose but your CHANGE.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Youth PROMISE Act - Message from The Peace Alliance

Now is the chance to test out the social networks you've been building! The announcement from Lynn McMullen earlier today about TPA support for the Youth PROMISE Act meshes well with a posting put up on yesterday re: school violence. This afternoon, I added a companion letter writing action on to let Reps and Senators know we want their support of Youth PROMISE. See the article and action at:

Please sign the letter then send the action invitation to your friends and networks, on and off. There are links at the bottom of the action to post on Twitter and Facebook. Spread the word and let's see what kind of an impact we can have!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Pearl Jam Makes Surprise Visit to Atlanta Film Festival
By MARCUS K. GARNER, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Pearl Jam, a rock band born from the ’90s “grunge” movement, made a surprise visit Thursday to opening night of the Atlanta Film Festival. The quintet made a low-key entrance to the festival — avoiding the red carpet — to see lead singer Eddie Vedder’s appearance in the Tony Sacco film, “The People Speak,” festival executive director Gabriel Wardell said.

The film, based on writings by Howard Zinn, features a cast of celebrities reading letters and memoirs by people who spoke up for their rights. “One thing about this film, and seeing it tonight, you can’t help but be inspired by these people who fought and died for their rights,” Vedder said. Actors Josh Brolin and Jasmine Guy and rocker Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes also appear in the film and attended the festival’s opening night.

The group debuted in 1991 with the chart-topping album “Ten,” and followed with consecutive Billboard No. 1 albums “Vs.,” “Vitalogy,” and “No Code.” Pearl Jam won their only Grammy in 1995 for the record “Spin the Black Circle.” Wardell said the group was in town making a new album with Atlanta producer Brendan O’Brien, the mastermind behind several of Pearl Jam’s hit albums and Bruce Springstein’s Grammy-winning Best Rock album “The Rising,” and latest work, “Working on a Dream.”

Media Focus on Minor Violence; Ignore Peaceful Protests at Global Summit
Maria Margaronia, The Nation

Tax Day: You Pay Your Taxes – Why Don’t the Rich Pay Their Share?
Chuck Collins & Sam Pizzigati, AlterNet

First Black President Defeats U.S. Antiwar Movement
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

How Many Democrats will Stand up to Obama’s Bloated Military Budget and $75 Billion More in War Spending?
Jeremy Scahill, RebelReports

Unemployment is Hitting Men Particularly Hard and Both Sexes are Losing Out
Betsy Reed, The Nation

The Unfolding of the Obama Fraud
Michael Dawson, Dissident Voice

Obama Administration Quietly Expands Bush’s Legal Defence of Warrantless Wiretapping
John Byrne, Raw Story

Freedom Rider: No Better Off with the Democrats
Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report

Why the London Protesters Are on the Right Side of History
Johann Hari, Huffington Post
There will be far more sympathy in the future for those who took to the streets and rioted outside the G20 than for people who stayed home.

Eshu’s Blues: First Black President of the American Empire
Michael Hureaux Perez, Black Agenda Report

Jonathan Steele Obama Should Listen to Iraqis, Not Lecture Them

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship Changing the Rules of the Blame Game

Sarah van Gelder A Plea To President Obama: Don't Bankrupt America

Ted Rall Barack Obama, Torture Enabler

[Duchess Note: More "news" coming soon on Kucinich and the Peace movement. Many thanks to Carol in NYC for some of the above informative articles.]

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Update on General Dept of Peace News

New HR808 Co-Sponsor
Congratulations to volunteers in Colorado's District 2!
Congressman Jared Polis (D CO-02) has become our 66th cosponsor of HR 808, the legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace.

Gentle Reminder … Friday, May 8th, is “Peace wants a Piece of the Pie” day. This is the Friday before Mother’s Day were Dept of Peace chapters around the USA bring pie to their Congressional reps local office and talk about HR808. Make an appointment today with your Congressional reps office and bring some pie on the 8th.

5th Annual Peace Conference, Washington DC
March 20th through 23rd
Peace Alliance’s Photo Gallery

2009 National Conference Blog

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Natural Order
Dennis Perrin’s weblog, April 6th

Obama's response to North Korea's fizzled rocket test was no different from what Bush would've said, for that's the imperial manager's function: reminding weaker nations who's allowed to own the big sticks. Comes with the gig. The notion that North Korea is an ominous threat to the world is another imperial talking point, taken seriously by Serious People, who speak of dangerous end games, the globe on the brink, and related dramatic rhetoric.

It's all BS, aimed at keeping We The Servants afraid and beholden to our owners. You'd be hard pressed to find any media commentator mentioning the millions of Koreans the US massacred from 1950-53, primarily in the North, where entire villages were erased and cities reduced to rubble. Massive destruction that was perhaps a step or two shy of an actual nuclear assault, though that too was under serious consideration among Truman's advisers. In the end, despite the mad Douglas MacArthur's raving about hitting the North with 30 nukes, it was felt that conventional dismemberment was more than enough, which it pretty much was.

Of course, the smoldering rubble and open mass graves did not seriously affect North Korea's perceptions of the US, just as if the roles were reversed, we wouldn't hold any grudge against a larger country that flattened numerous American cities and towns, killing tens of millions. And the idea that we would seek some kind of defense or deterrent against a future attack is ludicrous, which further shows just how crazy and paranoid North Korea remains.

So, a la Bush, Obama laid down the "rules," as he put it, bellowing about perilous threats and the rest. But whereas Bush would add that the US seeks only freedom, peace, and unconditional love, Obama took it to the next level, calling for a nuclear-free world.

A planet free of nukes. Wow. Awesome. Like Miss America praying for world peace and lots of hugs. The beauty of this approach is that no one can really disagree with Obama. Who wouldn't want nukes dismantled, other than lunatics and terrorists (i.e. North Korea and Iran)? That Obama admitted that such a state would probably not be seen in his lifetime, making his rhetoric even emptier, matters little to the faithful. The point is, Bush wouldn't have said it, or he wouldn't have said it as well. To countless liberals, that's all that really matters.

My old pub pal Juan Cole not only found Obama's nuke-free spiel "visionary," "pivotal" and "epochal" (beware of liberals clutching thesauri), he also says:

"The speech does not refer to the Middle East, but it has potentially big implications for that region. The logical conclusion is that Obama not only wants Iran to cease its nuclear enrichment program (which may not now be aimed at making a bomb, but could one day be used for that purpose), but he also wants Israel to give up its nuclear arsenal of 150 warheads."

Really, Juan? And just how, politically and militarily, will Obama convince Israel to go nuke-free? For this to actually work, Obama would have to insist that Israel undergo the same inspections forced on Saddam's regime. I mean, to achieve a post-nuclear world, all nations holding bombs must be treated equally, right? So not only Israel, but India, Pakistan, Russia, China, England, France, and of course the US would have to submit to inspectors and outside enforcers. I'm not sure who would enforce the dismantling of all these weapons (unless one thinks that the nuke nations would unilaterally disarm), but Obama's speech was so elevating, so life-changing, petty details like that are junk food for cynics and non-believers.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Kucinich on Budget Resolution: I Simply Cannot Endorse a Budget or a Plan that Authorizes the Expansion of War

Washington D.C. ( April 2, 2009) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today issued the following statement after voting against H.Con.Res 85, setting forth the Congressional Budget for the fiscal year 2010:

“I am committed to doing everything I can to put our community and our nation on the path to economic stability. I led opposition to the bank bailout program TARP, I worked vigorously in favor of the stimulus package, and I have worked to save the automotive, steel and aerospace industries in America. “This budget is a statement of principles for the upcoming year, and I cannot accept it in its entirety. I will not vote for a budget that ties military spending to the operational funding of our government. This year, the budget includes $130 billion for war funding. The Washington Post reports today another 10,000 troops may be sent to Afghanistan, bringing our total number of troops there to as much as 78,000 by 2010 – a more than 100% increase from today’s troop levels. This budget is a plan that authorizes the expansion of the war. I simply cannot endorse a budget or a plan that sends more of our brave men and women to Afghanistan, a conflict which has the potential to become this generation’s Vietnam.”

Read more, go to ...

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... Out of the crooked timber of humanity, nothing entirely straight can be built. Immanuel Kant