Sunday, June 22, 2008

 

Springfield...I mean, Champaign

Hmmm...hard to run a blog called "Progressive Springfield" now that I live in Champaign. What to do...what to do...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

 

Government of the People


Lately I've been reading "Civil Disobedience" by Henry Thoreau, required reading for any student of peace. This was written in 1847, and it strikes how similar things were then to how they are now. At that time, the U.S. government was waging an essentially private war against Mexico, not unlike our current situation in Iraq. This blog's subtitle mentions "taking back our country," as if the country was ever "ours." Reading Thoreau makes me wonder if this is just the nature of governments, even our government which, at first glance, appears founded on principles of democracy, yet in practice acts more like an oligarchy.

By the way, don't forget to call your Congressperson and Senators about ending the funding for this war. Call Congress: 202-224-3121 (or, temporary toll free number: 888-355-3588). There is vote coming up soon for an additional $72 billion dollars for the war. There is no end in sight for this war, especially now that civil war is on the horizon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

 

Out of Iraq 2006 : Vote with your checkbook

As election time approaches, those who can afford to do so may wish to consider contributing to one or both of the following Congressional campaigns. Both Democratic candidates are running on anti-war campaigns, and both races are considered close enough to overturn Republican seats.

Major Tammy Duckworth is running for Illinois 6th district (north Chicago - Henry Hyde's vacating seat). Major Duckworth lost both her legs on tour in Iraq. From her website, she states:
"To bring our troops home, we need a much more aggressive plan and timetable than the Bush Administration has offered for training the Iraqi police and armed forces, and transferring to the Iraqis the responsibility for securing their own country."

Diane Farrell is running for Congress in Connecticut's 4th District against a Republican who has stood steadfastly by Bush and his bloodthirsty invasion. From Diane's website:

"I have been deeply concerned by the current administration’s headlong rush into war with Iraq. This War has alienated our allies, solidified the US position as an object of resentment and mistrust in most of the Arab World, destroyed much of Iraq’s infrastructure and increased its ethnic strife and increased global terrorist activity. A huge economic burden has been placed on the United States to fund a war entered into without a strong, committed coalition. Worst of all, the Administration’s lack of an exit plan has resulted in the tragic loss of life of hundreds of our American servicemen and citizens as well as thousands of Iraqis.”

Friday, January 20, 2006

 

bin Laden truce



You know, perhaps I'm extremely naive; but it seems to me that when the world's most feared terrorist offers a truce, maybe it shouldn't be just totally dismissed out of hand.

"We don't negotiate with terrorists," Dick Cheney says. "We destroy them."

How stupid is that? How are we ever going to achieve peace if we aren't willing to negotiate? Has anyone in this administration ever heard of the word "Diplomacy?"

Granted, maybe it's a ploy; maybe bin Laden isn't being sincere. Who cares? Does it hurt to at least talk things over with the guy? I mean, it doesn't seem like his demands are all that unreasonable: pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance. We have no business being there anyway. Even if we pretended to negotiate with bin Laden, maybe we'd find out where he was hiding. One would think that might be worth a lot, even to Dick Cheney.

Or could it be that we really don't want bin Laden? Do we want to keep him at-large so we can justify the "War on Terrorism?" What would happen if we actually caught or killed bin Laden? Would we still be able to justify robbing the taxpayers to support the neo-conservatives' Crusade against the Muslim world? Could Halliburton and the rest of the military-industrial complex survive without our ongoing public subsidy?

It's enough to make you wonder...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

 

5-Minute Activism


Some people call me an activist. I suppose I am. I'd like to think I am. It's hard to be particularly active when you have a demanding day job.

My new prescription for myself is 5-minute activism. I will spend 5 minutes every day doing something activist. These activities could include:
- Learning more about an issue that concerns me
- Debating an important issue with someone (such as online politics chat rooms)
- Sending an e-mail to my representative/senator/president
- Donating a few bucks to a worthy cause
- Discussing issues with other concerned citizens
- Posting to my blog (or elsewhere)

These are easy ways in which we can all make a difference in only 5 minutes a day.

Try it. Become a 5-minute activist!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

 

Bye Bye Scooter!

It's so encouraging to see Scooter Libby indicted. I'm hoping the investigation turns up something on Karl Rove also. These guys need to be made accountable for their involvement in the biggest scam on the American people ever. Convince Americans that Saddam is a threat, and they'll gladly fork over their tax dollars to Halliburton.

The tide does appear to be turning against Mr. Bush. Public opinion is at an all-time low. Rove's involvement is diminishing due to his preoccupation with the Senate investigation.

More and more, the American public also appears to be swaying towards an Iraq pullout. The casualties keep mounting, and will continue to mount as long as we maintain a military presence there. The "insurgents" are developing more advanced bomb technology, as they attempt to take back their homeland.

I was encouraged at a recent march on Washington. There was such a feeling of hope amongst my fellow protesters. Most of these people were veterans of the Vietnam protests, and they had seen first hand how their actions eventually led to the pullout from Vietnam. Many of these people were actual Veterans, giving credence to the anti-war cry. And a large number of clergy and laity spoke out against a President who attempts to use God to justify his evil ways.

It will likely be several more years until we pull out of Iraq, if we ever do. But at least I have hope that this may actually happen. Until recently, it seemed like the Bush junta had too much power for any change to occur.

The mighty do fall. In this case, it will be a fabulous spectacle!

Monday, September 05, 2005

 

Slow to respond

Who's slower to respond, our President to the natural disaster Katrina, or our citizenry to the un-natural disaster George W. Bush?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

 

Traitor Awards

I think there are several officials of the Bush Administration (aka the Corporate Oil and Gas Junta) that are due awards--traitor awards. Obviously, Carl Rove is a traitor in the first degree. I thought these Republicans were supposed to be big on protecting national security, but he pimped Ambassador Wilson's wife( the deep-cover CIA agent working on nuclear proliferation issues), just to get back at Wilson for exposing the big "Iraqi Niger uranium buy" lie. So when necessary to cover up Bush lies, the national security can be compromised, and even if it would encourage some nuclear anihilation by a rogue state.

But from I've seen at infowar.com, it looks like these wacky neo-cons have already got a nuclear attack on the US planned. Could be why a 4-star general at Fort Monroe got fired right before his retirement. He might have interfered with an "inside job," an apocalytic Wag the Dog where there's a nuclear accident related to a nuclear drill, and Rumsfeld and Cheney can use it to start war on Iran. They've got a policy all set to automatically attack Iran if there's ANY nuclear attack on the US. Talk about your rogue states with nukes, how about the George W. Bush Amerika run by Right-Wing wackos?

 

Vigil tonight for Cindy Sheehan

To sign up for this event, click here:http://www.moveonpac.org/event/cindyvigils/4909

Monday, June 27, 2005

 

Embedded

I need to check out the new DVD by Tim Robbins called "Embedded Live." Robbins produced a play about the Iraq war, and this is a live filming. Also see interview in this months In These Times.

 

March on Washington

A massive anti-war mobilization is planned for Sept. 24-26. United for Peace and Justice is organizing it. Should be lots of fun!

Bring the troops home!

Friday, June 17, 2005

 

Anti-war movement growing

I was encouraged to see the latest polls showing increasing popular dismay with the war in Iraq. According to Washington Post /ABC News, for the first time, a majority of Americans feel that the war has not made the United States safer. Fifty-eight percent disapprove of Bush's handling of it. Fifty-eight percent say the war was not worth fighting. And 73 percent consider the number of casualties unacceptable.

This is very good news. Finally, people are seeing the light. Maybe there's still hope that we'll be able to pull out of this mess we've got ourselves in.

Friday, May 13, 2005

 

This can't be good...

Muslim protests are spreading in demonstration against reported desecration of the Qu'ran by Guatanamo Bay interrogators. This can't be good. So far, most of the protests have been peaceful, but 8 were killed in Afghanistan.

No, this can't be good at all. This is the sort of spark that could ignite some serious backlash from a Muslim world that is already angry about Bush's Crusade.

Which will, in turn, makes things even harder for American Muslims like me. I'm lucky enough that the FBI hasn't interrogated me yet over the comments I've made on this site. I'm sure they are watching (remember, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!).

No, this just can't be good at all.

You know, I actually remember a time, oh, maybe 3 years and 8 months ago, give or take, when being a Muslim in America didn't seem to be such a big deal. Now, you say the wrong thing and people think you're a "terrorist!"

But I have to say my piece (or is it peace?). This is the only way to clear my conscience for what's being done with my tax dollars.

One of my friends is thinking about moving to New Zealand because he's just as disgusted with contemporary American politics as I am (and he isn't even Muslim!). By the way, New Zealand was listed in The Bush Survival Bible as one of 7 countries to move to (the others being Costa Rica, Canada, France, Spain, Iceland, and Pitcairn Island!).

Unfortunately, as I just found out from an ex-patriate in Spain, you may still have to pay U.S. taxes even if you emigrate (depending on your income). So it's really hard to get away from paying for these wars no matter what you do.

I suppose not paying your taxes is another option. You do risk going to jail, however. Which may not be such a bad thing, depending on your circumstances. Some great people have done serious jail-time. Gandhi and Mandela come to mind. But some of us have kids to feed. It's hard to feed your kids from jail. (And let me just say, before I get into too much trouble, that I am not recommending that anyone break the law. Breaking the law is a BAD thing. BAD BAD BAD! Whew.)

By the way, I'm always eager to hear from my loyal readers (or anyone else, for that matter). Just click below the post where it says "comments."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

 

Politics as Usual

Another $82 billion approved for further bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan with unanimous senate approval!

I should rename this Blog to "Observations from the Politically Naive ," because only someone like me would actually find this news surprising or even mildly shocking. To oppose an active war is certain political suicide, or so I'm told. Better to kill other people than have one's own political career in jeopardy, the reasoning must go.

Still, I would have expected more out of our more progressive senators. Dick Durbin, how could you? And Barbara Boxer?! I thought she had more "balls" than that.

I guess no one wants to look like they aren't supporting our troops. I bet they'd feel plenty supported if we flew them back home to be with their families.

And someone please explain to me why the bill includes $592 million for a secure diplomatic compound in Baghdad. I mean seriously, half a billion dollars for a fucking embassy? Is this some sort of joke? Doesn't anybody question these things?

The worst part is, I'm paying for it...and so are you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

 

Just Say "No" to Bolton

This is so typical of our administration...nominate someone to be ambassador to the UN who has repeatedly ridiculed the United Nations and alienated U.S. allies. He helped formulate the administration's go-it-alone policy that has isolated us from our allies and tarnished our image abroad.

We need a diplomat in this position, not the kind of hard-liner who supports unilateral action in disregard to world opinion.

Write your Senators! Tell them you oppose the Bolton nomination and they should too.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

 

hmmmm...

Ok, I've got this great money-making scheme:

First, bomb the shit out of some weak country.
Then, appropriate that country's assets to pay you to rebuild what you've just destroyed. Also pay yourself with your own country's taxpayers' money.
Then offer this now-desperate country a big loan.
Then, open and control new markets in this country, so that they have to take the money you loan them and give it right back to you to buy the things they need from you.

Brilliant!

 

Naomi Klein on the war in Iraq

Great article

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