Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Philip Terrie is a member of Blue November and a resident of Port Huron, Michigan. He was kind enough to allow me to post an article he wrote for the Port Huron Times-Herald which declined to print it for, as Philip states it, "a variety of quite unpersuasive reasons."

Philip, here is to free speech.

I wonder how many Americans are paying attention to an important international drama that could determine the fate of our country and our place in the world. President Bush and his neocon cheerleaders are preparing for air strikes against Iran, possibly, according to recent reports, with nuclear weapons. Their claim is that Iran is itself developing nuclear capabilities, despite expert opinions that Iran is at least ten years away from deployable nuclear devices.
While the emergence of yet another nuclear power is surely not something we want, all Americans should think very carefully about what the likely consequences of an American attack on Iran will be. To Iranians, this will be what Pearl Harbor was for the United States in 1941: an unprovoked attack on their homeland by an aggressive, expansive power. It will set them violently and implacably at war with the United States.
Iran, unlike Iraq, is a relatively wealthy and developed country, with a population approaching 80 million and a well-equipped military. While there is widespread opposition to the authoritarian theocracy maintained by fundamentalist mullahs, there is also a profound sense of patriotism and loyalty to the Iranian state. Nothing would unify the country more than an attack by the United States. The notion of regime change, precipitated by American military intervention, is a neocon fantasy.
It is equally absurd to imagine that Iranians would passively accept an assault on their sovereignty. With its air force and missiles, Iran can stop the movement of oil from the Persian Gulf; this would inevitably lead to a world-wide economic depression, lasting as long as the Iranians want it to. Michigan will hemorrhage jobs, and our state will sink closer to third-world misery. Iran commands allegiance from Shiite militias throughout Iraq; if they are ordered to conduct operations against American troops, the result will be horrible loss of American lives, on a scale far beyond anything we have seen so far.
Iran is capable of unleashing terrorist attacks in Israel and in the United States that will make 9/11 seem tame. If attacked, what is to prevent them from striking back with any means at their disposal? If they do, Israeli and American civilian deaths will be counted in the tens of thousands, if not more. It will be a war without end. Does the United States have an army ready and willing to invade and occupy, indefinitely, a country larger, more unified, and better equipped than Iraq was in 2003? If not, will we launch nuclear warheads against Iranian cities?
I do not like the idea of Iran’s joining the nuclear club; Iran is an unpredictable, anti-Semitic theocracy. But we should remember that for decades the United States faced a far more menacing adversary in the Soviet Union. The doctrine of containment and engagement was hardly perfect, but World War III did not break out, and the Soviet Union collapsed.
The Bush administration invaded Iraq on the basis of faulty or contrived intelligence and clearly had no idea what the consequences of an occupation of that country would mean. Can we be confident that it can accurately assess the long-term consequences of an attack on Iran? Given the debacle in Iraq, can we ever trust this administration?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Terrorists in the White House. Really. No, REALLY!

Big Mitch Schapira was kind enough to let me reprint this.

Thanks Mitch.

Big Mitch Schapira
Identify the Terrorists

It has often been remarked that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The problem is that we need a precise definition of terrorist. Let’s start with the official State Department definition: a terrorist is someone who uses violence or the threat of violence against civilians for political aims.

That’s okay as far as it goes, but it doesn’t help to distinguish the terrorist from the freedom fighter. For instance, when the United States Air Force engages in a program of bombing in Baghdad to provoke “shock and awe,” only the most partisan person could call that terrorism. Therefore, I propose that we add to the State Department definition the following words: “to subvert democratic processes.”

Are we in agreement so far? Our definition of a terrorist – a person who uses violence or the threat of violence against civilians to subvert democratic processes for political aims – is narrower than the State Department definition, but no one can confuse a terrorist under our definition with a freedom fighter.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot today because of this rather disturbing fact. The President’s new Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy is a terrorist.

People have been rejoicing that Karl Rove got a slap on the wrist, and was relieved of his duties as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy as if it were a good thing that he is going to be freed up to run a filthy, vile campaign to control congress for two more years. But not much attention has been paid to the fact that his replacement was part of a group of thugs hired to disrupt an election.

Here are the details. In 2000 the election was incredibly close, and it all came down to who won the State of Florida. On Nov. 22, 2000, Republican thugs stopped a vote recount in Miami -- and showed how far George W. Bush’s supporters were ready to go to put their man in the White House. They were prepared to commit acts of violence to prevent the counting of votes. There’s a name for that. It’s called terrorism.

It may seem over the top to call Republicans activists "thugs," but that’s the name I give anyone who would menace civilians to prevent them from counting votes. The fact that they were well dressed changes nothing, notwithstanding the fact that one of them was so concerned about his image that he coined the phrase, “Brooks Brothers riot.”

But who were the well-dressed thugs? No legal charges were filed against the Republicans, but documents released in the summer of 2002 show that Bush’s recount committee paid at least a half dozen of the publicly identified rioters.

The payments to the Republican activists are documented in hundreds of pages of Bush committee records – released grudgingly to the Internal Revenue Service on July 15, 2002, 19 months after the 36-day recount battle ended. Overall, the records provide a road map of how the Bush recount team brought its operatives across state lines to stop then-Vice President Al Gore’s recount efforts.

The documents show that the Bush organization put on the payroll about 250 staffers, spent about $1.2 million to fly operatives to Florida and elsewhere, and paid for hotel bills adding up to about $1 million. To add flexibility to the travel arrangements, a fleet of corporate jets was assembled, including planes owned by Enron Corp., then run by Bush backer Kenneth Lay, and Halliburton Co., where Dick Cheney had served as chairman and chief executive officer.

Only a handful of the Brooks Brothers rioters were publicly identified, some through photographs published in the Washington Post. Jake Tapper’s book on the recount battle, Down and Dirty, provides a list of 12 Republican operatives who took part in the Miami riot. Half of those individuals received payments from the Bush recount committee, according to the IRS records.

The Miami protesters who were paid by Bush recount committee were: Matt Schlapp, a Bush staffer who was based in Austin and received $4,276.09; Thomas Pyle, a staff aide to House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, $456; Michael Murphy, a DeLay fund-raiser, $935.12; Garry Malphrus, House majority chief counsel to the House Judiciary subcommittee on criminal justice, $330; Charles Royal, a legislative aide to Rep. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. $391.80; and Kevin Smith, a former GOP House staffer, $373.23. In the summer of 2002, the Miami Herald reported that three of the Miami protesters were then members of Bush’s White House staff.

They include Schlapp, a special assistant to the president; Malphrus, a deputy director of the president’s Domestic Policy Council; and Joel Kaplan, another special assistant to the president. [See Miami Herald, July 14, 2002]

The Brooks Brothers Riot – carried live on CNN and other networks – marked a turning point in the recount battle. At the time, Bush clung to a lead that had dwindled to several hundred votes and Gore was pressing for recounts. The riot in Miami and the prospects of spreading violence were among the arguments later cited by defenders of the 5-to-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Dec. 12, 2000, that stopped a statewide Florida recount and handed Bush the presidency.

The afore-mentioned Joel Kaplan was the man who coined the phrase “Brooks Brothers Riot” to describe the actions of him and his fellow thugs when they threatened precinct workers with violence to prevent the counting of votes.

Yesterday, he was appointed to replace Karl Rove as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy. Yes, there are terrorists in the White House, in service of King George W. What does that make W? Start with worst president ever, and go down from there.

To read a truly informative account of how Republicans tried to thwart majority rule in Florida, including the personal participation of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, look here. Here’s the bottom line: it worked.

After the Supreme Court prevented the counting of votes, an unofficial recount by news organizations found that if all legally cast ballots in Florida had been counted – regardless of which kinds of chads were accepted, whether punched-through, hanging or dimpled – Gore would have won Florida and thus the presidency. Gore also won the national popular vote, defeating Bush by more than a half million votes, making Bush the first popular-vote loser in more than a century to be installed in the White House.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Non Creative and Violent Response

This was published on the Santa Cruz Sentinal web page.

April 22, 2006
Cyber war over UCSC protest heats up

In the easy and anonymous world of cyberspace communication, angry partisans on both sides of the anti-war movement can volley threatening barbs at the click of a button. UC Santa Cruz students and conservative pundits alike have seen such messages filing up their in-boxes in the wake of last week's campus protest.

After nationally syndicated columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin posted the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of three members of Students Against War, they received a flood of obscene and harassing messages from around the country, including death threats. When a liberal Web site, in retaliation, published Malkin's cell phone number and home address, a full-blown blog war ensued.

"I am now forced to remove one of my children from school and move my family," Malkin wrote Thursday in an e-mail to the Sentinel.
Malkin, author and Fox News Channel contributor, runs one of the most popular right-wing sites on the Web, attracting 145,000 hits daily, according to Web log rankings on

On April 11, Students Against War flushed military recruiters out of a campus job fair.

The next day, Malkin copied the cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses of three student activists at the demonstration from a news release intended for journalists and pasted them in her online column titled "Seditious Santa Cruz vs. America."
"I woke up in the morning and my cell had 14 new messages, 25 missed calls and it kept going on," said SAW member David Zlutnick, estimating the group's three media contacts have already sifted through 500 e-mails, more than 100 with death threats.
When students called Malkin to request she remove the student information, Malkin reposted the names and numbers several more times. She defended the decision, blaming SAW for posting a link to the news release on its Web site.

To Zlutnick, the retaliation Malkin got was simply "a taste of her own medicine."
"But to put all our energy into a cyber war with this crazy right-wing lady takes away from our larger mission to end the war," he said.

Contact Roger Sideman at

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Monday, April 17, 2006

Time For Real Conversation

The reason a government of checks and balances makes sense is that it can ensure that no one wields so much power that they can do whatever they want regardless of the will of the people. It is supposed to ensure that a large portion of the country does not feel so disenfranchised that it becomes an angry mob. Tonight I saw an angry mob. We really are in deep trouble in this country on many levels. We have an incompetent Administration hell bent on its own agenda. It is supported by people who think logic and understanding are quaint politically correct oxymorons that only dirty hippy atheists believe in. Liberals, leftists and people who just know something is deeply wrong are frustrated to the point they just do not know what to do. That is not a good thing in any society.

If you box people in; if you put them in “Free Speech Zones; ignore their rights, deny them their votes and marginalize them to the point they can’t really have any voice at all…

Well, you have what we have today in America.

I am a leftist, I shower everyday and as far as I can tell, I am not a hippy. Ok, I am an atheist, but I respect religion and people’s belief in it as far as it goes. I don’t consider myself to be a lunatic. I don’t think my ideas are worthless or worthy of contempt. I don’t think, as Anne Coulter does, that I should be locked up in Gitmo.

Michelle Malkin published the phone numbers on her website of some people from Students Against War who had successfully driven out some military recruiters from their school. They have received death threats. Malkin should be ashamed. She should apologize, remove the phone numbers and publicly tell people not to harass these folks. She won’t. She has decided to destroy her credibility (what little there is.)

In response some people have come up with her phone number and home address and the counter campaign of harassment has begun. I shudder to think. This is just not the appropriate response. I can imagine blogs being created for the sole purpose of creating hate targets.

The atmosphere in this country is very bad. We may be on the horizon of using nuclear weapons in Iran. Many people are convinced that there is nothing that can be done to stop George Bush. This kind of frustration leads to violence against people you can get to. Malkin is about to be violated. There is nothing good to come out of this.

People need to wake up and consider some more creative and appropriate responses to the hate coming from the right. For a month I have been pleading with people to come to this site and brainstorm ideas to confront this madness in a non violent way that may, if we are lucky, work.

Scapegoating people is not the answer. We can lead ourselves right into having hit squads, death squads. Do you really think sliding into a civil war is a good idea? That is what would happen next.

You want to change the world? Get off your soft behinds and start planning and implementing some actions that confront power with truth. This website was set up for that specific reason. Tell me to go to hell. Tell me you have an idea. But make some comments and give some input. Time is getting short.

Peace to all of you, friend and foe alike.


Firedoglake Has a Plan

Join Us to Stop Bush and Rumsfeld on Iran
By Pachacutec
Bush has proven he cannot be trusted with foreign policy.
This will be short and to the point. A lot has been written about Bush and Iran since Sy Hersh’s New Yorker article, and too little done. This is a time for actions more than blog posts.
We’ve had confirmation that Bush is considering a preemptive nuclear attack against Iran. This is suicidal madness for America, as I described here. We also have word from Joe Biden yesterday that Democratic senators need a serious kick in the ass to wake up on this issue.
Ladies and gentlemen, put yer steel tip boots on.
We’re asking our readers to sign up for our Roots Project, to get together to lobby and meet with their senators in their home states. Since we’ve had time across the blogosphere to refine our message, here’s our current FDL recommneded talking points:
Starting a nuclear war against Iran is seriously nuts. It won’t just destroy part of Iran: its consequences will destroy America.
Through Iraq, Bush and Rumsfeld have proven they are weak failures who can’t be trusted to do the right thing with Iran. Even our military establishment is against Bush and Rumsfeld and is demanding a change in leadership. Rumsfeld must be replaced. Bush’s reckless rush to war must be stopped.
Strength begins with leadership, and yet leadership has not yet been tried on Iran. America must cooperate with our allies to contain Iran and promote its democratically inclined people through engagement and tough negotiations. Congress must act to be sure this occurs. Only people who lied about Iraq deny Iran is many years away from developing a nuclear weapon.
To get involved in the Roots Project, contact me according to the instructions in this post.
Getting groups of citizens to show up at the offices of senators and congressmen is an extraordinarily powerful tool. It’s underutilized and underappreciated. A handful of people going to an office is worth two thousand emails, letters or phone calls. It works. It shows them we are real people, and takes much less effort to coordinate than a peace march. Please get involved today to stop the next next mindless war against American interests, before it’s too late.
I’m on the road this afternoon, but with catch up with your emails tonight, so please be patient.
UPDATE: To get involved, send an email to Pachacutec01 at gmail dot com. Include only your state in the subject line, and please include your commenting name or kos user name in the body of your email if you can.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Death Toll Rising

Six retired Generals independently called for the Donald Rumsfeld to resign this week. They did not discuss this among themselves. It was spontaneous. After a quiet month of March the number of U.S. casualties in Iraq is exploding. So is the country. Civilians are being slaughtered night and day. Bodies are being discovered when the sun rises.

Vietnam took more than a decade and 58,249 American service members. After three years we have lost 3,272 at this writing.

No one counts the civilians in either war. Estimates vary widely.

Rumsfeld’s resignation will probably not come. If it does as long as Bush is in Office it may not matter.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Making Hard Choices

You Can Get Out of the Military Even if You Enlisted.

Here is how:

Peace Out

These rules apply for anyone drafted as well.

Emilie Maersk, with a peace sign painted on her face, is taking part in a demonstration in front of the US Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, in a protest against a possible US-led war on Iraq, Saturday March 15, 2003. Some 5,000 people took part in the demonstration. (AP Photo/Scanpix, Carl Redhead)

Preemptive Nuclear Strike

The neocons are chomping at the bit for an excuse to use nuclear weapons. George W. Bush wants to go down in history as the man who saved the world from Iran getting the bomb. Iran wants to convince the world it has nuclear capabilities and has a right to them. This is a recipe for disaster.

Approximately 40,000 people live in Natanz, Iran. Thirteen times the number of people killed on September 11, 2001. This is where the United States believes that Iran has its nuclear research facility some seventy five feet under ground. Afghanistan proved that bunker busting bombs do not work. Iraq proved that American Diplomacy is never attempted.

The United States and Iran are not talking. Not to each other.

Our Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton is a belligerent proponent of Preemptive First Strike. No diplomacy is taking place.

Barring tactical nuclear weapons the Bush administration is considering prolonged air attacks on the general population of Iran for the purpose of, “breaking their will.” This had the opposite effect on the British during the Blitz when Nazi Germany bombed London. We can see the results of “Shock and Awe” in Iraq. The people in Iran generally support the United States. George W. Bush will put an end to that..

George Bush is right about one thing; he is a war President.

This country needs a peace President.

Here is the Federation of American Scientists' Fallout Calculator

This is from the Union of Concerned Scientists Bunker Busters

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rocked to sleep...

For those of you who don't know The Poetry Man, make sure to check out his site and view his great work. This video I found there seems a wonderful way of saying thanks for the kind words from Mike in the previous post and all who commented and wrote. Thanks everyone. They are good men and "Cav" will be missed.

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Mapping Casualties

I thought it was about time I put up this link. This is the most graphic depiction of violence I have ever seen using dots on a map.

Map of death.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

For Nate

Last night Nate, who owns this site and is kind enough to let me babble on it, informed me and others on Crooks&Liars that he found out that a friend of his was killed in Iraq. Another friend is coming home with a prosthetic arm.

We all too often accept the killing and the horrendous injuries that occur in war as background noise.

Nate’s friend’s family lost a son, a brother and perhaps a father. America has lost another soldier. Some care, some are not even aware. We have gained another victim who needs to adjust. And he will, we all do, I suppose.

To Nate I want to say, I am sorry.

To Bush I want to say, GO TO HELL!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Frog Walk Nation

According to press reports “Scooter” Libby has testified that Dick Cheney told him George Bush authorized the leaking of certain unnamed classified secrets to the press to support his assertions about the war in Iraq. Who classified these secrets and what the secrets were is unknown. While it is true that the President can declassify any document or information that was classified by the Executive Branch it is unlikely that any information relevant to the invasion of Iraq fell into this category.

Even if leaking this was narrowly legal (and I am yet to be convinced) the idea that the President of the United States should ever be authorized to plant stories in the media to support assertions, as yet unfounded, for invading a country without provocation is Unconstitutional on its face.

There is no law this man and his Administration won’t break to achieve its ends. Impeachment should only be the first step.

This image is from

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Cost of War

This funeral took place in Lafayette Park in front of the White House in the winter of 1991-1992. The man in the pine box was a Korean War Veteran who froze to death on the streets of our Nation’s Capital. It was more than a funeral. It was yet one more of our statements about the way our country treats its War Veterans. There are six pall bearers. Four of them are Gulf War Veterans who lived in our 1400 bed shelter four blocks from the Capital Building. I am wearing the Redskins cap and the young man behind me was an intern from England who came to work with us. The Support Our Troops banners from the Gulf War were still fresh in our minds. One third of the twelve hundred men in our shelter were veterans.

In a special room in our building we had the cremated remains of eighty four people who had frozen to death on the streets who had remained unclaimed and unwanted. Some were never identified. Who they were and how they had ended up so far away from the safety of family and friends no one knows. John and Jane Doe made up about twelve or so. Of the people who were identified about three quarters were men and of those men more than half were veterans.

It was extremely cold and windy that day. Our fallen comrade had died two nights before just blocks from the White House near the State Department. A dead human being is very heavy. The police were ready to pounce on us if we set this coffin or another coffin, not pictured, with a homeless woman who had died the same night on the ground. It would have amounted to a “Violation of Structures” which was not allowed in front of the White House or in Lafayette Park.

We stood there with arms aching and our faces numb as our frustrations grew. We live in a country that sends people off to war, flags waving and pundits raving. When they return they become hidden and forgotten. After the Gulf War they had a parade for the troops. They flew every conceivable machine that can pulverize a tank or obliterate a city over the Mall while down below tanks literally tore up the streets of DC with their treads and their weight.

The parade ended and the cuts in benefits filtered down and the broken men who had returned slipped quietly onto the streets. And we hardly took any casualties.

The casualties today are great. We are losing and killing more people every day. The wounded come back, some never to heal. The “unscathed” survivors come back and try to adjust. The things they experienced not easily forgotten.

At least we have our “Support Our Troops” magnets. After the war a parade would be nice, I guess.

Let’s get these guys home. Let’s support them a little more deeply than a millimeter of magnetized rubber. Let’s find the courage to stand up for ourselves and our freedoms. Let’s stand with the returning Veterans and demand that the rest be returned. Let’s come together, here, on this website and discuss how we are going to do this.

We need to end the subversion of our Constitution. We need to end the tyranny of the Bush Administration. We need a change in the balance of power.

We need to do it soon before it is too late.


For any and all Veterans out there!

An upcoming movie for any and ALL US Veterans to see! Here's the must-see trailer:

Sir, No Sir! is a gritty documentary showing a much different side of Vietnam Veterans experiences in that time with such parallels to now. I was born near the end of the Vietnam War but as a Veteran of a different conflict, this touches home. Make sure to check out their site and find a big screening near you. If you're a Vet and you're in a biker club, make a day of it and take over a theatre. Definitely find a way to support and represent.


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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Beginning the Process

I am beginning the process of contacting other groups to help brainstorm and participate in the planning of whatever it is we come up with.

I just sent something to the Iraq Veterans Against the War.

I can't think of a better place to start. Watch this must see video about them via the BBC.

Anyone who has any ideas on who to contact please email me at


Monday, April 03, 2006

Outrageous Idea

I have this idea I would like to throw out. It is a seriously outrageous idea on many levels, but we have to start somewhere.

I would like to propose that we make flag draped coffins for every member of the US Military who has died in Iraq and have a funeral procession from Dover Air Force Base where photographs of incoming coffins are not allowed to be taken to the White House where incoming coffins are not given recognition.

The distance is 100 miles.

I don’t know exactly how long it would take to walk that distance, and it might be more (we will not be using interstates) but the longer the better. As I write this we have 2332 dead members of the military in Iraq. No one knows how many Iraqi’s.

That is a lot of coffins. There will be more.

These coffins are coming out of Iraq everyday. We are not allowed to see them. We need to make them visible. We need to make concrete the abstract.

If we put out a call to every national organization opposed to this war that we want each state to make one flag draped coffin and provide at least four pall bearers for each military death in their state (two more per coffin would be good so people can take breaks) would they and could they do it?

I have found basic pine boxes for $39.95 (nice to know you are eligable for a discount when you die.) A caskett company if contacted soon could make us 2500 or so boxes cheaper because we want something a lot lighter and we will be buying in quantity.

Flags could also be negotiated.

If you think about it, if the coffins are six feet long and if by then there are 2400 dead, which at this point is an underestimate….

The Funeral Procession would stretch over 9 miles if you consider a single file and twenty feet separating the first casket’s front from the next casket’s front.

The Visual impact in and of itself would be riveting.

The details are grueling.

Coffins would need to be built. Permits to March would need to be acquired and support people would need to be in place to supply food, medical care and legal services. We would need press people. We will need a myriad of other things.

If we can end up in DC on the Mall on Sunday September 10 then on the following Monday September 11 we can do the National Strike.

And we can center it's focus on DC.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fighting Terror

An important lesson has played out for us over the past few days that should not go unnoticed or unlearned. A woman was released after three months of captivity in Iraq. She was told that a condition of her release was to say certain things on a video tape. So she did as her captors demanded. Upon the release of the video Jill Carroll was demonized by some people in the press both in print and on the air waves.

She was raped on the web.

Cindy Sheehan has been called a Communist and worse for standing up and asking the President for an explanation of the invasion of Iraq that took her son’s life.

The list goes on and I won’t bore you with all the names and all the details.

It was done by those who put their face on television or their voice on the radio. They make a lot of money doing this. They enrage the ignorant and then they misinform them. Controversy sells. Who cares who gets hurt?

Decency and integrity are not inventoried in their bag of tricks. They would have us believe they are patriotic Americans whose sole purpose in life is to save us from being duped by terrorist sympathizers. They drape themselves in the flag and carry the cross on their backs. They terrorize an already frightened public into thinking that if they speak, if they take a stand they too will become victimized.

Worse, in many ways, we have people posting absurd and obscene comments on the web without regard to either truth or justice even though they would have us believe they are fighting for the American way. We may never know who these people are. They are anonymous. As far as I am concerned they may remain so. But they are cowards, charlatans and scoundrels. Because they are cowards and only because they are cowards, they are dangerous. What they say is flat out wrong. They don’t care. They have an agenda.

These are the people who want to use the Office of the President of the United States of America to inflict their wrath on whoever is handy. The innocence or guilt of their victims is beside the point. No formal charges are necessary. No reasoned deliberation of the facts required. Indeed, there is no desire on their part to even wait until all the facts are in. They support detaining people without charges and they support torture. Character assassination is simply entertainment.

I stand firmly in opposition to those who would force their will upon us or anyone else without due process of law that is not in violation of the Constitution. I oppose those who would ignore the Geneva Conventions. It does not matter who they are or what power they possess. If they occupy the Oval Office, host a radio show or operate a keyboard we must stand up to them honestly and forthrightly and say, “No, you may not and you will not subvert the Constitution of the United States. No, you will not violate the Geneva Conventions, which we ratified, as a nation, and signed.”

Well, of course, they have. We can not let this stand. Not if we are Americans.

If this is the land of the brave and the free we need to start acting like it is. Take courage in the United States Constitution. In a world of shifting sand it is solid ground to stand on. I refuse to be silenced in my own country and I refuse to be intimidated by lawless hooligans.

My name is Michael Meehan and I stand behind these words.


Late addition from a late edition:

Creative Dissent

This site has been up a few weeks but off to a sporadic start. The original intent of this site was to generate interest in a one day national strike which changed into a summer long campaign and has recently melted down into candle wax.

I don’t know how much interest there is right now. Nate fell ill shortly after creating this site and it sat dormant for several days and people have drifted off. I was recently given access to post directly here. I feel it is an awesome responsibility to attempt to get this idea (any idea really) going again. I would like people to start brainstorming again about what we could do to help turn back the tide on the numbing down of America. I am beginning to think the Neo Cons have been misnamed. Perhaps Novocaine would be more appropriate. Every time they do something even more outrageous than the last it just makes us numb. The Jill Carroll smear campaign played on people’s prejudices and their willingness to make decisions without all of the facts. Blaming the victim, deflecting the issue and distorting the facts are their tools in trade. Let us try to rise above that and look toward creativity instead.

I would like to tell you about some fun a group I used to work with had back in the late 1970’s. At very short notice we found out Richard Nixon would be flying into Dulles Airport which is about 25 miles west of DC. It was his first time back since his resignation. We decided his arrival should not go unnoticed.

We made welcome signs and painted flowers on our faces and hoped into the van and headed west. We got to the airport; it seemed, just in time. Airport security was a bit different back then. It was close to non existent. We got to the gate that he was to arrive at and took out our signs.

“Stop the Bombing!” “Get Out of Vietnam!” “Hell No! We Won’t Go!” “Nixon’s the One!”

A security guard showed up and ordered us to take down our signs. A member of our group put his hands out and offered to be handcuffed and arrested which confused the guard so badly he withdrew. At this point a Washington Post reporter covering Nixon’s return asked us who we were and what we were doing. Although we refused to identify ourselves we were happy to tell him what we were doing. "We just wanted Richard Nixon to feel at home."

And although Nixon was whisked away in a Limo directly from the plane and missed his welcome the Post included our prank in their story of Nixon's return the next day.

A few years later Ronald Reagan successfully convinced the Congress to cut taxes for the rich and programs for the poor. The Conservatives in Congress and their friends decided to celebrate by baking an enormous apple pie. They trucked it out to the Mall near the Capital Building and told everyone to come get their "piece of the pie." Five members of our group, later known as the Apple Pie 5, dressed themselves up in tuxedos and top hats. They put large signs around thier necks proclaiming themselves to be Bankers, CEOs, Lobbyists, etc. They arrived on the scene and jumped into the pie proclaiming, "It's MINE! It's All for ME!" Naturally they were arrested, but they had desert in the patrol wagon.

Dissent need not be boring!

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