My country may be rubbish, but I’m not going to leave. I’m going to stay here
and try to do something about it.
 — an anonymous Burmese writer 

How many snowflakes does it take to break a branch? I don’t know, but I
want to be there to do my part, if I’m a snowflake.
 — Joan Chittister

 

* * * * *
DISASTER CAPITALISM: THE SHOCK DOCTRINE
WORD FROM CANADA AND ELSEWHERE
 
* * * * *

 

In This Issue:

David’s Notes
Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine
A Quote from W. H. Auden
Reader Responses to JME #40
Retired Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez on Iraq
A Call for a General Strike by Garret Keizer
Shrubbie Swiftboated:
From the Reagan Diaries:

* * * * *

 

David’s Notes:
After no JME for almost a year, here comes a second one in a matter of weeks.

My friend, and hand drummer extraordinaire, Michel Bonneau, of Montreal, Quebec, is responsible for this new issue of the JME. He sent me recently an email with three important items in it: some YouTube links to Naomi Klein’s lecture about her new book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, a quote from W. H. Auden and a link to Garret Keizer’s article, A Call for a General Strike, which appears in the September issue of Harper’s Magazine. I thought all three of these things were so important and urgent that I wanted to get them out ASAP.

Recently my friend, and host of CBC Radio Noon, Anne Lagace Dowson sent me a review copy of The Shock Doctrine. [For our too-American friends, CBC is short for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.] We will have more to say about The Shock Doctrine in a future issue of the JME. For this issue: a precis of the book, a link to YouTube and a review.

Also in this issue: responses from some of our readers to JME #40, an excerpt from a BBC report on Retired Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez and an incredible, if inaccurate, quote about Shrubbie from Ronald Reagan’s Diaries.

Fight on!

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* * * * *
Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine
Canadian journalist Naomi Klein has published a book that the mainstream media in the United States, including NPR, is doing everything it can to ignore.

The thesis of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is that America’s “free market” policies are founded on the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

Whether it is Shell and BP claiming oil reserves in Iraq, or private enterprise taking over public housing, hospitals and schools in New Orleans or tourist resort developers building condos on the beaches of tsunami devastated Southeast Asia, in all these, and myriad other places, free market capitalists step in to take advantage of disaster. And if the disaster isn’t natural–a tsunami or a hurricane–they invent one as the U.S. did in Iraq. Klein reviews the last 35 years and connects dots that always seemed unrelated and in doing so reveals the extent and power of “free market capitalists” to destroy the last vestiges of democracy.

As Arundhati Roy says, “Naomi Klein has written a brilliant, brave and terrifying book. It’s nothing less than the secret history of what we call the “free market.”

To hear Naomi Klein herself talk about The Shock Doctrine visit YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kieyjfZDUIc There are six parts to her talk.

For a review of The Shock Doctrine go to: http://thetyee.ca/Books/2007/09/11/ShockTherapy

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* * * * *
Epitaph on a Tyrant
by
W. H. Auden
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
—–

From Another Time by W. H. Auden, published by Random House. Copyright © 1940 W. H. Auden, renewed by The Estate of W. H. Auden. Used by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

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* * * * *
Readers Respond to JME #40
and to the Issues of Paralysis and Depression
I’ve got to admit I’m one of those citizens who just feels bludgeoned into fatalism about this war–the only thing to do: hold one’s breath until a different president is elected.

–Howard Nelson, Moravia, New York

* * *
Bonjour David,–Just to let you know I truly share your depression “at the state of politics in America”; I might also add that, from where I stand, (somewhat North of the border from you, by the St-Laurent oozing out of MontrŽal that you can almost hear: “I’m outa here…Yes! The open sea, give me the open sea!!”), America includes this still country of mine, taken over by yet another right wing conservative party, our prime minister another born again Christian and our “brave troops” picking up after Bush in Afghanistan.

–Michel Bonneau, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

* * *
I think as far as I am concerned, it is anger more than depression. Maybe that is the next stage.

–Christine Zehl Romero, Winchester, Massachusetts

* * *
They say anger expression cures depression. I am struck by the elegance of the anger in the latest issue of JME. Could not agree more with the sentiments expressed. Not a one that’s escaped my own attention. And yet it’s been months since I yelled at The Emperor on TV, and I’ve stayed away from sticking pins into dolls. Instead I put the devil behind me and remember, everything comes to pass, nothing comes to stay. ‘Course that sounds like bullshit when we’re knee-deep in it.

–Lawrence Willson, Birmingham, Alabama

* * *
Everything stated in the [Rashaan Roland] Kirk rant is right on! These people are just plain mendacious — our fear is Bush will declare martial law and cancel the elections.

–Kathy White, Beaufort, South Carolina and Newport, Vermont

* * *
This is the most depressing political time that I can remember… ‘m sick-to-death with the political system and non-coverage about how many mercenaries we have out there who’ve killed how many at what cost. Now we get a soundbite on Iraq wanting to kick Blackwater out. What I don’t get is why they don’t want to kick all of us out. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

–Jordie Brener, Wolcott, Vermont

* * *
It’s hard not to despair – Democrats’ subservience, media’s complicity . . . Yet, so weirdly, among the bus drivers, teachers, carpenters, classroom aides, mechanics I know, there is such a deep disgust with and mistrust of the administration. You have to look pretty hard now, I mean among normal people and not on the TV talk shows, to find reactionary nuts. They’re in a small minority. Yet they have power. There’s just something unreal or surreal about it.

–Jim Ellis, Auburn, New York

* * *
Like you I was almost depressed into a coma-like state over the political landscape. But yesterday I watched students from A.&T. and Bennett College [in North Carolina] ‘git on the bus’ for Jena, Louisiana. They were so 1960’s Black I almost got religion. . . . Course now I’m saving bail money and praying they get back to Greensboro without coming to any harm.

–Willi Coleman, Greensboro, North Carolina

* * *
Go get ‘em dad!

–Nadine Budbill, Nevada City, California

* * *
It seems fighting depression is more than half the battle, and would certainly get the better of me were it not for faith in the healing Spirit of the Risen Christ, which does sustain me in word and mission, especially as I find ways to engage with and support, assist, or just befriend the homeless stranger, the exoffender, the juvenile delinquent, etc, wherever people struggle on the margins of society. That focus helps me ‘stay the course.’

–David Benedict, Williamsburg, Virginia

* * *
I was thinking the unthinkable today, that, much as I hate him, I have to give George some credit for courage in persevering, going to Iraq in spite of danger, and continuing to stay the course, as his daddy said, in spite of being reviled and hated. I disagree profoundly with his interpretation of what is going on in the middle east, and with how to act toward other countries in the world in order to make it a good place to live . . . but he is a remarkably persistent idiot.

–Lorna Chafe, Five Islands, Maine and Chapel Hill, North Carolina

* * *
thanks for your latest . . . too depressing to think much about, but it helps to share the sorrow for the present state of things.

–Leslie Rowell, Craftsbury, Vermont

* * *
You sound mightily discouraged. And the bad news just piles up. . . What I still think was miraculous, though, was the feeling I (and I suspect millions of others) had BEFORE our ideological reflexes kicked in, the simple, open-mouthed, open-hearted attempt to take in what had happened WITHOUT explanation or worldview or ideology or Opinion. It was a sacred moment. . . . It’s heart-breaking to feel how badly we failed the moment.

–David French, Shelburne, Vermont

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* * * * *
Retired Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez on Iraq

A former US military chief in Iraq has condemned the current strategy in the conflict, which he warned was “a nightmare with no end in sight”. Retired Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez also labeled US political leaders as “incompetent” and “corrupted”.

He said they would have faced courts martial for dereliction of duty had they been in the military.

The best the US could manage under the current approach in Iraq was to “stave off defeat”, Gen Sanchez warned. “There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight.” . . .

Gen Sanchez branded [the] so-called “surge” strategy a “desperate attempt” to make up for years of shortcomings. “The best we can do with this flawed approach is stave off defeat,” he warned. . . .

Gen Sanchez was commander of coalition forces in Iraq for a year from mid-2003.

—–

Excerpted from the BBC, October 13, 2007

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* * * * *

 

Garret Keizer Calls for a General Strike
Garret Keizer, who lives just over the hill from here, has issued a manifesto in the September Harper’s Magazine calling for a General Strike on this coming Election Day, November 6th.

In it he says, Of all the various depredations of the Bush regime, none has been so thorough as its plundering of hope. Iraq will recover sooner. What was supposed to have been the crux of our foreign policy–a shock-and-awe tutorial on the utter futility of any opposition to the whims of American power–has achieved its greatest and perhaps its only lasting success in the American soul.

This, we thought, was another good expression of what we had to say in JME #40 and in the responses from readers to that issue.

If someone were to suggest, . . . Keizer goes on to say, that we begin a general strike on Election Day, November 6, 2007, for the sole purpose of removing this regime from power, how readily… would you find yourself producing the words “It won’t do any good”? Plausible and even courageous in the mouth of a patient who knows he’s going to die, the sentiment fits equally well in the heart of a citizen-ry that believes it is already dead. . . .

Keizer says that all of us in our depression, paralysis, ennui are abetting the abuse the Bush administration has visited upon us. We are, in our dolour, enablers. And the way, he says, to stop being an enabler is TO DO SOMETHING.

An Election Day general strike would set our remembrance of those people [who died on 9/11] free from the sarcophagi of rhetoric and rationalization. It would be the political equivalent of raising them from the dead. It would be a clear if sadly delayed message of solidarity to those voters in Ohio and Florida who were pretty much told they could drop dead.

In short, Keizer asks: As long as we’re willing to go on with our business, Bush and Cheney will feel free to go on with their coup. As long as we’re willing to continue fucking ourselves, why should they have any scruples about telling us to smile during the act?

—–

to read all of Garret Keizer’s manifesto go to: http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/10/0081720

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* * * * *
Shrubbie Swiftboated:
from the Reagan Diaries

May 17, 1986:

A moment I’ve been dreading. George brought his ne’er-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I’ll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they’ll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.

—–

According to Global Research at: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6580 the quote above, from the Reagan Diaries, is a hoax. But since everybody knows how unreliable posts on the internet are, maybe this notice of a hoax is also a hoax.

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* * * * *
 

Read More...

A poet’s work is to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides,
start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
– Salman Rushdie

 

* * * * *
SPOILED LITTLE RICH KID STILL AT IT
* * * * *
 

In This Issue:

David’s Notes
Must the Empire Always Strike Back? by Tom F. Driver
Colonel Douglas McGregor on the War in Iraq:
Watch it on-line at Newsweek On Air
Bill Moyer’s Journal and the Mainstream Media
Two Poems from Judevine Mountain
A Final Note, and a Last Word from Rahsaan Roland Kirk

* * * * *

 

David’s Notes:
It’s been almost a year since the last JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been so busy with other things I haven’t had time, which is, in part, true. But the truth is, I’ve been so depressed by the state of politics in America I haven’t had the heart to do another JME, and I barely do now. But we’ve got to keep on keepin’ on, right?

9/11 week is over, Praise the Lord. Barack O’Bama is right, why fall for this crafty connection between 9/11 and the War in Iraq? Why did General Petraeus have to come to Congress on 9/11? Almost everybody says they don’t respect The President anymore, but they do respect the Generals. Huh? Why? Based on what? On the way General Colin Powell dissembled and lied to us? General Petraeus even had charts and graphs just like Powell did. Why should we–given our past experience with generals–believe a word General Petraeus says?

It is clear now from what General Petraeus said and from President Bush’s speech on 9/13 that the President intends to stick to his pig-headed, stubborn, spoiled-little-rich-kid view of the way he wants the world to be. He means to do absolutely nothing about Iraq from now until he leaves office. Then he will retire to his ranch in Texas where he will go fishing and stick the next President with the quagmire, mess, conundrum, chaos he has created.

He has bankrupted America, killed thousands of innocent soldiers and civilians, both American and Iraqi, destroyed our military, not to mention made a total mess of disaster relief, education, social security, health care–make your own list–and so on, and now he intends to walk away doing what he always does, giving to everyone the erected middle finger and his trademark smirk.

This should not come as any surprise. When he failed miserably as the president of the Texas Rangers baseball team his friends bailed him out. He never had to face his own incompetence and failure. It will happen again on January 20, 2009.

George Bush has always gotten his way even if he’s had to redefine reality to get it. And he’s going to get his way again. He’s going to, as usual, leave the mess he’s made for someone else to clean up, just as he did with the Texas Rangers baseball team.

And if you don’t believe me, here’s what The New York Times editorial for September 9, 2007, had to say, Nothing has changed about Mr. Bush’s intentions. Waving off the independent reports, he plans to stay the course and make his successor fix his Iraq fiasco.

May God have mercy on the next President.

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* * * * *
Must the Empire Always Strike Back? by Tom F. Driver
For a very brief time after 9/11 we North Americans had a chance to learn from our pain. One of its lessons might have been how much we are like others in our vulnerability, our suffering and our flawed leadership.

Since we were getting a flood of messages of sympathy and solidarity from around the world, we might have learned from them how to turn pain into compassion and wisdom. Then we could have begun to address the causes of the miseries that lead to terrorism.

We could have seen that terrorism is not simply born of evil but comes from histories of inferiority and the consequent desire for revenge. The way to counter terrorism is to advocate not for our own brand of “democracy” but for the just distribution of the world’s resources.

Instead, we used 9/11 to bolster our own feelings of “us versus them,” our illusory dream of invulnerability and our search for enemies rather than friends. This mentality, a blend of machismo and militarism, has given us bloody Iraq, tempts us to nuke Iran and requires us to look under every rock for dangerous foes.

Given this mentality, we will find them.

—–

Editor’s Note: Tom F. Driver is emeritus professor of theology and culture at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. This essay first appeared as a Letter to the Editor in The New York Times on September 14, 2007

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* * * * *
Colonel Douglas McGregor on Newsweek on Air
The media continues to be the defining factor in what we hear, see and know about anything. And some of our most trusted media outlets–NPR for example–fail us over and over again, like Cokey Roberts’ thinly veiled Republican analyses on Morning Edition. On the other hand, I am continually surprised and pleased by the reporting on Sunday morning on a program called NEWSWEEK ON AIR, which airs on commercial radio stations around the country. Here for example are Colonel Douglas McGregor’s comments on the war in Iraq, an honest, straightforward assessment, for a change.

You can listen on line at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12318129/site/newsweek/?bclid=1173345317

Click on: Audio: Advising Petraeus: And His Advice, suffer through a commercial, then when play video comes up, click on it, suffer through another commercial and then listen to the news piece. McGregor’s comments are toward the end of the piece but well worth the wait.

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* * * * *
Bill Moyer’s Journal and the Mainstream Media
And speaking of media, if you missed Bill Moyers initial reentry into the Public Television world with his newly minted Bill Moyers’ Journal last March, go back and watch “Buying the War.” This 90 minute documentary points out in specific detail how the major mainstream press–The New York Times and Washington Post along with CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox–all collaborated with the Bush Administration to spread, unchallenged, the lies used to lead us to war in Iraq.

And they are still at it. The New York Times reported on September 13, 2007: In Iraq, the report from General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker to Congress was viewed favorably because it portrayed the situation accurately. For more on this go to:http://jameswagner.com/mt_archives/006638.html

To watch Bill Moyers’ Journal “Buying the War,” click on http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw then scroll down to Watch & Listen and click again. You can watch the video and/or read the transcript.

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* * * * *
Two Poems from Judevine Mountain

He Should Be So Lucky

One general pulling out a victory
leaves ten thousand corpses to rot.

Ts’ao Sung

General Hsin Ch’i-Chi complains:
never the spring wind
will turn this white beard
black again.

Now, instead of reveling in his book
Destroying Tatars
he’s been reduced to reading
How to Plant Trees.

He should be so lucky.
Better he should spend his days
putting young trees into the earth
rather than young bodies.

* * * * *

THE SUBWAY PHILANTHROPIST

The Emperor of Death loves only weapons and money and
so long as he is on the throne, The Subway Philanthropist
plies his trade, prowling the bowels of New York City moving
deliberately from subway station to subway station dropping
fifty-dollar bills into white plastic five gallon buckets, saxo-
phone cases, violin cases, upturned straw hats, Tupperware
bowls, all sitting quietly in front of electric guitar players,
Mariachi bands, women classical saxophonists, avant garde
jazz ensembles, brothers in do-rags drumming on plastic
buckets and tin cans, a woman playing a saw, an electric
organist playing Guy Lombardo’s greatest hits, old Chinese
men playing one-string Chinese violins, Peruvian Panpipe
Players, young Chinese men playing Chinese flutes, Buddhist
monks playing Shakuhachi, doo-wop singers doing close four-
part harmonies, conga players, bongo players, cellists, string
quartets, Hawaiian guitar players and trombone players too,
all of them, every one, no matter how good, how bad, itÕs
music and it’s a stay against, an antidote to, The Emperor’s
hatred of all that is warm and good and alive. And so The
Subway Philanthropist plies his trade, makes his rounds,
prowls the subways paying one fifty-dollar bill at a time to
keep humanity alive while the Emperor of Death wages war
upstairs, above ground, in the sad daylight of the world.

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* * * * *
A Final Note, and a Last Word from Rahsaan Roland Kirk

When it all finally comes out, the Bush administration will make Warren G. Harding look like Mother Theresa. The Bush administration will, however, never have the honesty about itself that Harding had about himself. This is the most corrupt, criminal, evil, scandalous, wicked, foul, dishonest administration in the history of the United States. Their egomaniacal arrogance, hubris and vainglorious pride know no bounds. May they all–Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Gonzales, Brownie, Rumsfeld, the whole schmear–go straight to hell, or better yet: Guantanamo.

Or as Rahsaan Roland Kirk said, lo, those many years ago, in “Watergate Blues”:

Line ‘em up. Take ‘em away.
Don’t give ‘em no break.
—–
Editor’s Note: “Watergate Blues” is from Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s album Boogie-Woogie String Along for Real, Warner Bros. Records, BSK 3085. © 1978.

Further Note: Percy Heath–bassist for The Modern Jazz Quartet–composed “Watergate Blues.” Heath plays cello with Rahsaan on “Watergate Blues.”

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* * * * *
 

Read More...

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to
remake the world–that is the myth of the atomic age–
as in being able to remake ourselves.
Mohandas K. Gandhi


 

 

* * * * *

CHITTISTER ON THE AMISH, HEDGES ON IRAN,
WAGNER ON THE TERRORISTS,
EDWARD R. MURROW & BERTRAND RUSSELL
 

* * * * *

In This Issue:

David’s Notes
“What Kind of People Are These?” by Joan Chittister
“Bush’s Nuclear Apocalypse” by Chris Hedges
“The Terrorists Have Won” by James Wagner
Edward R. Murrow & Bertrand Russell

* * * * *

 

David’s Notes:
Here are three recent, interlocking and important essays and two short quotations.

First, Joan Chittister considers the murders at the Amish School and suggests that the truly shocking thing about the whole incident was not the violence but the Amish reaction to the violence. Sister Joan then wonders what would have happened if we’d reacted after 9/11 the way the Amish reacted after the shootings.

Second, a frightening essay by Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times foreign correspondent, Chris Hedges, on the right-wing neo-cons who control the current administration and their claim to be anointed by a Christian God to reshape the world. With their apocalyptic rhetoric and twisted pathology that sees the world through the childish lens of good and evil, us and them, the forces of darkness and the forces of light, Hedges sees how this strange, twilight mentality that now grips Washington is barreling us towards a crisis of epic proportions via a war with Iran.

Third, the most succinct statement I’ve read anywhere on how and why the terrorists have already won by James Wagner, a New York City art aficionado.

Finally, some words from Edward R. Murrow and Bertrand Russell.

REMEMBER TO VOTE!!

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* * * * *

For Joan Chittister’s “What Kind of People Are These?” go to:
http://ncrcafe.org/node/513

* * * * *

For “Bush’s Nuclear Apocalypse” by Chris Hedges go to:
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1009-20.htm

* * * * *

For “The Terrorists Have Won” by James Wagner go to:
http://jameswagner.com/mt_archives/005781.html

* * * * *

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.

 

Edward R. Murrow

 

* * * * *

 

All this madness, all this rage, all this flaming death of our civilization and our hopes, has been brought about because a set of official gentlemen, living luxurious lives, mostly stupid, and all without imagination or heart, have chosen that it should occur rather than that any one of them should suffer some infinitesimal rebuff to his country’s pride.

 

Bertrand Russell

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From the bosom of the devastated earth
a voice goes up with our own.
It says, Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder
is not the balance
of justice.
Julia Ward Howe


 

 

MOTHER’S DAY IN A TIME OF WAR

A Special All Women’s Issue 

* * * * *

In This Issue:

David’s Notes
Julia Ward Howe
Anne Lamott
The Hidden Wounded:
What Happens to Wounded American Soldiers
The Baghdad Burning Blog
GenderGappers

* * * * *

 

David’s Notes:
The gang in Washington these days is the definition of macho, kick-butt, chest-thumping, arrogant, hubris-infected men, or as Anne Lamott says–below–“cold, rich, scary, armed, white men.”

It’s time to hear from the committed, life-affirming, nurturing militant feminine. Thus this all women’s, Mother’s Day, issue of the JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE.

First, a manifesto penned in Boston in 1870 by the creator of Mother’s Day herself, Julia Ward Howe.

Second, our friend, Diana Schmitt McCall, young mother of three, wife of one, new homeowner and homesteader from Black Mountain, North Carolina, recommended Anne Lamott’s engaging Let’s Have a Revolution: Does July 14th Work for You? Here it is.

Third, a note from a friend about what happens to American soldiers wounded in Iraq when they get back here to the so-called “United” States.

Fourth, a link to Baghdad Burning, an important new blog written by a young Iraqi woman.

And fifth, a recommendation to subscribe to GenderGappers, a cyberzine run by two women who we think are hitting the nail on the head over and over again.

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* * * * *

Mother’s Day Proclamation

by Julia Ward Howe

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!

Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Boston
1870

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* * * * *

Let’s Have a Revolution! Does July 14 Work for You?

by Anne Lamott

Leave your cell phone, bring some fruit, and protest – with kindness — what has happened to our country.

I’m drawn to almost any piece of writing with the words “divine love” and “impeachment” in the first sentence. But I know the word “divine” makes many progressive people run screaming for their cute little lives, and so one hesitates to use it. Also, we all know that there isn’t going to be an impeachment any time soon.

However, maybe there is the chance of a calm, polite revolution, and perhaps in lieu of “divine love” we could use the idea of simple “kindness.” Consider, just for the sake of argument, how good people, in a democracy that has been taken over by cold, rich, scary, armed white men, might proceed. Good people who have watched their country’s leaders skid so far to the triumphal right would have to do something. I mean, wouldn’t they? Am I crazy? Otherwise, those people’s children will ask them someday, when we are all living in caves, “What did you do to try and save us?” And the children will be so angry, and they are so awful and unpleasant when they are mad, even in the dark. I, for one, do not want to answer that I did nothing, or that I ranted and flailed, showing up to support my own interest groups, candidates and concerns. Instead, I think we should lay down our differences, and have a revolution. I am wondering if July 14 works for everyone.

My father wrote a great novel about an antiwar march in 1970, called “The Bastille Day Parade,” in which many protesters carried signs that read, “Turn Off the Lie Machine.” In choosing July 14, I would like to pay tribute to him and to the people of his generation, who are surely turning in their graves, as if on rotisseries, with horror about life in their beloved America. They were passionate in their fight against fascism, and Joseph McCarthy, their commitment to civil rights, and to libraries, and to good manners. All of us were raised to be polite, as honest as we could manage, and to live as if the word “fair” meant something, which all sounds a little Amish at this point. A renewal of these values would be the major plank of this revolution.

In this revolution, there will not be any positions except kindness, and libraries. We will not even have a battle cry, as that can lead to chanting, and haranguing: Hey, hey, ho, ho, all that chanting’s got to go! We would simply look one another in the eyes, shake our heads, and say, “This just can’t be right.” We will not try to figure out what it all means: Iraq, Guant‡namo, Abu Ghraib, Terri Schiavo, abortion rights, the Downing Street Memo, domestic spying, immigration, the Kyoto Accords, the Geneva Conventions, Tom DeLay — none of it. We all know what kindness means, and I think we can all agree that libraries are sacred, and our revolution will decree that we will fight tooth and nail for these things, politely. Mostly we will show up and say things like, “Giving India massive nuclear assistance? I don’t know — that just can’t be right.” “Madge, maybe I’m nuts, but John Bolton, at the U.N.? Can that be right?”

I am hoping for a large turnout even though so few people showed up to mark the third anniversary of the war in Iraq. This was dispiriting, but let’s not dwell on it. That was then, almost two weeks ago. This is now. Nearly 50 million people voted for Kerry, and I’m hoping for somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 million (although I know the press will way under-report the turnout). We need precinct leaders to get the word out, although not the kind who go door-to-door while people are eating, then threaten sweetly to come back later. Bitter neighbors are the very last thing this revolution seeks. We would all show up on Bastille Day, propelled by the ferocious, heartbroken belief we’ve carried since childhood, that America is a republic, of 50 states, united and humane. It would be nice if everyone would turn off his or her cellphone that day.

Also, I thought we could all wear green – not because we have an environmental position we are pushing, but because trees, grasses and the natural world are just so incredibly beautiful and precious. Nature = life. Some will suspect that this is inching dangerously close to a “position,” what with everyone in green, hundreds of shades of green — and if I am being honest, it’s true that the tiniest point might be made that a black-and-white worldview, a Manichaean good vs. evil color scheme, is wearing out its welcome. Additionally, it would be great if everyone could bring a bit of fruit to share, and maybe a few dollars, in case one runs into someone desperately poor. Bananas are great, as I believe them to be the only known cure for existential dread. Also, Mother Teresa said that in India, a woman dying in the street will share her banana with anyone who needs it, whereas in America, people amass and horde as many bananas as they can to sell for an exorbitant profit. So half of them go bad, anyway. Maybe, come to think of it, that wasn’t Mother Teresa. Maybe that was Ram Dass, or my neighbor Irmgaard, but it doesn’t matter.

Trust me: Fruit is a nice touch. Apples, oranges, it doesn’t matter, and it would not be mandatory that you bring any fruit at all. All we would ask is that you show up and help us foment a revolution, based on kindness and that silly old idea our parents taught us, about fairness. Maybe we’d sing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” No offense in that, really, is there? But we won’t sing that if it is going to stir up a lot of debate and screeds and distraction. I was just thinking that both of my parents died here, on this land that they loved. They were both born abroad. A lot of our parents have died, people who made sure their children read John Steinbeck, Rachel Carson and Langston Hughes. I would show up for my parents, by proxy. Never mind; we don’t have to sing that song. Still, I cry when I hear it.

We will just all come together. Bastille Day. Ix-nay on the cellphones and the speeches. Like Woody Allen said once before I turned on him, 80 percent of life is just showing up. We will show up and foment a loving revolution, wearing green: I just looked up “foment,” to make sure that this is what I meant. It comes from the Latin “fomentum,” which means a warm poultice. One of the definitions is to apply a warm cloth, dipped in warm water or medication, to a body that needs healing; and that is exactly what I meant. I’m thinking noon-ish.

Copyright ©2006 Salon Media Group, Inc.

 

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The Hidden Wounded:

What Happens to Wounded American Soldiers

From a friend recently we heard about the mother of a soldier wounded in Iraq. The soldier was flown back to the States weeks ago. The military, however, will not permit a visit from his mother until they feel the soldier is “ready.”

Everyone is aware that the administration will not permit news coverage of coffins arriving in the U.S., but we hadn’t known until this case that the wounded are routinely flown in at night, to likewise maintain a low profile for the realities of war and then kept “under wraps” until they are “ready.”

We, of course, wonder what “ready” means.

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The Baghdad Burning Blog

The Judevine Mountain Emailite has found out about a blog written by an Iraqi woman in her twenties. The friend from Canada who told us about this has written saying, “The entries are priceless, and I’ve learned more–and gained more empathy–for the struggle of the human beings living in Iraq in a single morning than I have in all the daily news reports.”

The blog is called BAGHDAD BURNING and it’s at: http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com Have a look. The entries are intense, touching, painful, human.

We especially recommend the section TODAY IN IRAQ that is at: http://dailywarnews.blogspot.com

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GenderGappers

We’ve recommended GenderGappers before and want to do so again. It’s an occasional, short, pithy, hard hitting, no-holds-barred, truth-to-power blog created and sustained by two women known collectively as Twanda. Highly recommended.

A great place to start is with their recent note on Steven Colbert’s White House Correspondent’s slam of Shrubbie which is at: http://gendergappers.blogspot.com/2006/05/red-hot-colbert.html

GenderGappers has a new and attractive blog which is at: http://www.gendergappers.blogspot.com

To subscribe and view archives go to: http://www.gendergappers.org

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Democracy can only be saved through non-violence, because democracy, so long as it is sustained by violence, cannot provide for or protect the weak. My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest. This can never happen except through non-violence . . . . Western democracy, as it functions today, is diluted Nazism or fascism 

Mohandas Gandhi



 

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PROGRESS TOWARD IMPEACHMENT 

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In This Issue:

David’s Notes
Lewis Lapham’s “The Case for Impeachment”
The Rutland Resolution
The Judevine Mountain Emailite in Review
Contributors’ Notes

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David’s Notes:
Something is happening and you do know what it is, don’t you Mr. Jones? The you-know-what is hitting the fan. First there was Nixon, then Clinton, now many of us hope for the trifecta. This issue of the JME devotes itself to the progress we are making toward impeaching George Bush and his Gang of Thugs in Suits.

First, Lewis Lapham’s crucial and detailed essay published in the March 2006 Harper’s called “The Case for Impeachment.” We provide an on-line link to an extended excerpt from the essay.

Second, a most interesting proposal, called “The Rutland Resolution,” from an attorney in Clarendon, Vermont, who has discovered the legal basis for a state legislature to begin impeachment proceedings against a president.

The legal means is there in The Rutland Resolution. The evidence has already been gathered compliments of Rep. John Conyers, D. Mich. See Lapham’s essay.

Now the only missing element–and it’s a big one–is that for any of this to proceed, we need a Democratically controlled House and Senate. We also need a Democratic Party with the backbone–something it still lacks–to proceed toward impeachment and removal of what Peter Freyne of Seven Days, a Vermont weekly, referred to recently as “the most dangerous, dishonest and incompetent president the United States of America has ever known.”

It is time for Americans to get serious about impeachment and about electing a House and Senate capable of proceeding with impeachment. The level of corruption, bungling and utter disdain for law and human rights this administration has reached is truly amazing. Paul Krugman recently (New York Times, 2/3/06) referred to the cabal in Washington as “The Mayberry Machiavellians.” Well said, and it would be funny too, if all this weren’t so serious.

Finally, we offer an outline, and links, to previous JMEs concerned with The President and His Outlaws. The JME has been on this case since October of 2001.

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

Mohandas Gandhi

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Lewis Lapham’s “The Case for Impeachment”

Editor’s Note: Lewis Lapham’s essay “The Case for Impeachment” begins this way:

On December 18 of last year, Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D., Mich.) introduced into the House of Representatives a resolution inviting it to form a select committee to investigate the Administration’s intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment.

In his essay, Lapham outlines Conyer’s detailed case–based on a report of 182 pages, 1,022 footnotes, assembled by Conyers’s staff– replete with damning evidence in every paragraph for the impeachment of George Bush.

It’s all right here, Folks, in black and white.

To read the complete essay, get a copy of the March issue of Harper’s.

To read an extended excerpt go to: http://harpers.org/TheCaseForImpeachment.html

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Corruption ought not to be an inevitable product of democracy.

Mohandas Gandhi

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The Rutland Resolution

Editor’s Note: A. Jeffry Taylor of Clarendon, Vermont, who– like the Editor of the Judevine Mountain Emailite–was an active anti-war protester in the 1960s, has discovered what may be the way to get “the weasel in the White House”–as someone said recently–out of Washington, DC. We first read about Taylor’s Rutland Resolution in Peter Freyne’s “Inside Track” column in Seven Days (3/8/06). Taylor discovered that, as Freyne put it, “the U.S. House operates under published rules, and the rules of the current House, the 109th Congress, includeJefferson’s Manual. Written in 1801 by then Vice President Thomas Jefferson, it’s a book of procedural rules and parliamentary philosophy, originally intended to guide senators in the early days of the republic.” The current House uses The Manual to supplement its official standing rules of procedure. Taylor discovered in Jefferson’s Manual, Sec. 603 the following: _In the House there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion: one of which is by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State . . . . Taylor realized that if he could get the Vermont State Legislature to adopt articles of impeachment against President Bush, those articles, according to Jefferson’s Manual could then be forwarded to The House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and impeachment proceedings could begin.

For more about possible stumbling-blocks to all this see Peter Freyne’s column “Will Vermont Impeach George Bush?” at: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/columns/inside-track-politics/2006/will-vermont-impeach-george-w-bush-copy-1.html

Here’s A. Jeffry Taylor’s Rutland Resolution.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Section 603 of the Manual of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives provides for impeachments to be initiated on a motion based on charges transmitted from a state legislature, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has committed high crimes and misdemeanors as he has repeatedly and intentionally violated the United States Constitution and other laws of the United States, particularly the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Torture Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution is a treaty as part of the “supreme law of the land”,

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has acted to strip Americans of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to legal counsel, without charge and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an “enemy combatant”, all in subversion of law, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered and authorized the Attorney General to override judicial orders for the release of detainees under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS) jurisdiction, even though the judicial officer after full hearing has determined that a detainee is held wrongfully by the Government, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered at least thirty times the National Security Agency to intercept and otherwise record international telephone and other signals and communications by American citizens without warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, and designated certain U.S. citizens as “enemy combatants”, all in violation of constitutional guarantees of due process, and

WHEREAS George W. Bush has admitted that he willfully and repeatedly violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and boasted that he would continue to do so, each violation constituting a felony, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has violated the United Nations Charter and other treaties prohibiting aggressive war by invading Iraq without just cause or provocation, and has misled the US Congress by deliberate or grossly, wantonly negligent falsehoods to obtain the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq resolution (Public Law 93-102-1)

NOW THEREFORE the Rutland County Democratic Committee submits that his actions and admissions constitute ample grounds for his impeachment, and that the General Assembly of the State of Vermont has good cause for submitting charges to the U.S. House of Representatives under Section 603 as grounds for George W. Bush’s impeachment.

The County Committee further submits that Articles of Impeachment should charge that George W. Bush has violated his constitutional oath to execute faithfully the office of President and to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

In all of this George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the State of Vermont and of the United States.

WHEREFORE, George W. Bush, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any offices of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

February 28, 2006
Proposed by Jeff Taylor
Chairman, Clarendon Town Democratic Committee

Adopted: February 28, 2006
Rutland County Democratic Committee

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The Rich must live more simply so that the Poor may simply live.

Mohandas Gandhi

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Contributors’ Notes

Lewis Lapham is Editor Emeritus of Harper’s Magazine.

A. Jeffry Taylor is a Former US Justice Department trial attorney, 2000 and 2004 Electoral College member, Vermont State Counsel for Clinton/Gore and a resident of Clarendon, Vermont. He can be reached at: jeffryt905@yahoo.com

Peter Freyne writes the “Inside Track” column for Seven Days. He can be reached at:freyne@sevendaysvt.com.

Mohandas K. Gandhi was a peace activist, advocate of strenuous, daily, physical labor and the father of modern India.

All quotes from Gandhi are from Wikiquote except the one at the top of this issue and that one is from Gandhi on Non-Violence: A Selection from the Writings of Mahatma Gandhi, Edited and with an Introduction by Thomas Merton, New Directions Paperbook #197

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