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Friday, February 17, 2017

#throwbackthursdayonfriday


Dunno if I'll ever put on Trump's head like I did Bush's back in my Code Pink days...

ntodd

February 17, 2017 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Monday, February 13, 2017

That Shit'll Never Work In The Trump Era

It began on this date:

The genius and fearlessness of Rev. James Lawson and the young men and women who followed him are the touchstones of this pivotal chapter of the American civil rights struggle. Inspired by his studies in India of Gandhi's work, as well as the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lawson begins in 1960 to train black and white college students in nonviolent methods to desegregate downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The students stage a sit-in at segregated city lunch counters in February 1960.

First they are ignored, but when they return again and again, they are beaten and jailed. The resulting outrage in the African American community leads to a boycott of downtown stores; many whites stay away as well, disturbed by the brutality and disruption. Business leaders apply pressure for a political solution, and bombing of a prominent black lawyer's house prompts the students to march on city hall and confront the mayor. After he is forced to admit that segregation is wrong, Nashville begins to desegregate.

Following on the heels of Greensboro, this series of actions provides yet another example of how people can collectively resist evil.  Care to try again?

ntodd

February 13, 2017 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (1)

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

We're Playing Into The Giant Puppets' [SIC] Hands!

I do enjoy a good argument againt ever resisting fascism.  Really, it's never a good time to protest and always a better idea to keep one's powder drier than a good martini.

ntodd

January 31, 2017 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

That Shit'll Never Work Here

People Power can work against the worst dictator. Why couldn't it in a country governed by a Snowflake who lost the popular vote?  We all too busy on social media?

ntodd

January 24, 2017 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Day Of Prayer And Fasting Would Be Yuge

I'm heartened by all the massive marches and traffic shutdowns today, including in Mount Peculiar.  Imagine if all the people who turned out for this protest called in sick on a particular day?

I remember the heady days of 2007 when Monkeyfister and I were pushing for a general strike.  Sadly, the rest of the nation didn't follow our lead, but you know, I get it.  It can be hard to imagine collective action when we couldn't even get the most popular candidate elected.

Yet, we could learn from the Greeks and the Indians and the Germans.  We don't even need to do everything in concert, just so long as people choose one arc of escalation or another.  We just can't let today be the end, but rather the beginning.

ntodd

January 21, 2017 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Friday, January 20, 2017

We hung up our lyres


How can we sing?

ntodd

January 20, 2017 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Protest: You're Doing It Wrong

Seriously, the Giant Puppets are why we have Trump, so you damned hippies get outta my First Amendment Zone.  Oddly enough, "are you marching?" was a common question amongst my colleagues this week in Boston...

ntodd

January 19, 2017 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (2)

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What Is This, Pre-Nazi Germany?

Let the Ruhrkampf be our guide.  From Gene Sharp's paper on civilian-based defense:

Probably the first case in history of nonviolent resistance as official government policy against a foreign invasion was the German struggle in the Ruhr against the French and Belgian occupation in 1923. The Ruhr struggle is especially complex and covers the period from January 11 to September 26,1923...The French and Belgian invasion was launched to secure scheduled payments of reparations (following the First World War) despite Germany's extreme financial difficulties and to gain other political objectives (such as separation of the Rhineland from Germany).

The occupation was met by the Germans with a policy of noncooperation, which had been decided upon only days before the actual invasion. There had been no preparation, but the resistance was to be fi- nanced by the German government...

Actual noncooperation against the invasion forces developed gradually. The means included the refusal to obey orders of the occupation forces; nonviolent acts of defiance; the refusal of mine owners to serve the invaders; massive demonstrations at courts during trials of resist- ers; the refusal of German policemen to salute foreign officials; the refusal of German workers to run the railroads for the French; the dismantling of railroad equipment; the refusal of shopkeepers to sell to foreign soldiers; the refusal of ordinary people, even when hungry, to use occupation-organized soup kitchens; defiant publication of news- papers in spite of many bans; posting of resistance proclamations and posters; and refusal to mine coal.

Repression was severe...Resistance was complicated by various types of sabotage, including demolitions, which sometimes killed occupation personnel...Widespread unemployment and hunger were severe problems along with continuing extraordinary inflation. The unity of resistance, and to a large extent even the will to resist, was finally broken.

On September 26, the German government called off the noncooperation campaign, but the sufferings of the population increased. Complex negotiations occurred...

Belgians widely protested against their govemment's actions. Some French people became advocates for the Germans, called advocats des boches. Toward the end of 1923, Poincare admitted to the French National Assembly that his policies had failed. Germany could not claim victory, but the invaders finally withdrew, and the Rhineland was not detached from Germany. The invaders had achieved neither their economic nor their political objectives.

Britain and the United States intervened and secured a restructuring of reparations payments. The Dawes Plan was developed to deal with reparations, occupation costs, and German financial solvency, and provided a loan to Germany--all on the assumption that Germany would remain united.

Occupation forces were all withdrawn by June 1925.

Don't cooperate with Putin's Amerika.  Force the kinky occupiers to withdraw.

ntodd

January 11, 2017 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community

My awesome company, part of the change we need, in Fortune:

[H]ealth is affected by plenty of factors beyond insurance coverage and the way that medical providers treat patients. And that's why Trump's choices to lead other critical, if less high-profile, organizations like the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may also harbor consequences for Americans' wellness.

That's because access to basic social needs like heating, electricity, food, and medicine can play a significant role in health outcomes, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. 

The nonprofit group Health Leads—which screens patients for these very necessities and works to provide them with assistance through community organizations—teamed up with Massachusetts General Hospital to assess how much these factors could affect health. The results were striking: of 1,774 patients who visited various Massachusetts General primary care facilities over about a year and a half and were found to have unmet social needs, 1,021 wound up participating in Health Leads' program—and these patients actually saw an improvement in both their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Like climate change, dealing with human heath is a bit more complicated than certain people realize.  But is it really hard to understand that Americans might be healthier if they had access to shelter, food, transportation, etc?

ntodd

December 14, 2016 in Family Life, Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Such A Nasty Woman

Political courage:

In 1916, four years before women nationwide won the right to vote, Montana’s Jeannette Rankin—the first woman elected to Congress—captured a House seat. (Montana granted women the vote in 1914.) A fighter for woman suffrage, the dedicated pacifist also was among 50 House members opposing U.S. entry into World War I.

Rankin narrowly lost a race for the Senate in 1918 but returned to the House in 1941. That December, as Pearl Harbor still smoldered from the Japanese attack, Rankin cast the sole vote against war. “As a woman I can’t go to war,” she said, “and I refuse to send anyone else.” After the vote, Rankin had to barricade herself in a phone booth until the Capitol Police escorted her to safety.

“Man-on-the-Street” interviews were not kind:

A Madison, Wisconsin, woman alluded to Ms. Rankin without mentioning her name:

"I believe that American womanhood, as a whole, feels ashamed and humiliated that our one woman representative in Congress kept the vote to declare war form being unanimous."

From "Man-on-the-Street", Madison, Wisconsin, December 9, 1941 (AFS 6367A)

Another woman from Madison said

"I certainly was burned up when Miss Rankin gave all her male colleagues an opportunity to say "just like a woman." Because there's a lot of us who haven't had sheltered lives. We've been out and met life in a hard way and we are resolute and military as our British sisters."

From "Man-on-the-Street", Madison, Wisconsin, December 9, 1941 (AFS 6367B)

But even some folks who disagreed with her were in awe:

In response to that vote, the renowned editor William Allen White wrote an editorial in the Emporia Gazette:

"Rudyard Kipling coined the phrase: 'The female of the species is more deadly than the male.' Well, look at Jeannette Rankin. Probably a hundred men in Congress would have liked to do what she did. Not one of them had the courage to do it. The Gazette entirely disagrees with the wisdom of her position. But, Lord, it was a brave thing! And its bravery someway discounted its folly.

When, in a hundred years from now, courage, sheer courage based upon moral indignation, is celebrated in this country, the name of Jeannette Rankin, who stood firm in folly for her faith, will be written in monumental bronze not for what she did but for the way she did it."

Amen.

ntodd

PS--More on Rankin in Women who Speak for Peace.

December 7, 2016 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Sunday, December 04, 2016

Giant Puppets: How Do They Work?

Indeed, it doesn't work all the time (when does any human endeavor?).  But perhaps people will find some constructive lessons from Standing Rock about direct action instead of saying "that shit only worked in the 60s"...

ntodd

December 4, 2016 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

You Know, I've Never Seen Donald Trump And Slobodan Milošević In The Same Room Together

One hopes that people start studying Otpor and their success in Serbia against DJT's twin.  Because we gotta learn a lot of shit pretty quickly...

ntodd

November 27, 2016 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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We Covenant and Combine ourselves together in a Civil Body Politic

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: we're all responsible for the Republic, and have myriad ways to do the necessary work defending it.  It's more important than ever that we don't normalize Trump, but rather organize against him.

ntodd

November 27, 2016 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (1)

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Peaceful Revolution

Want a good revolution?  Look to East Germany (remember that place?).  Their government was gone by this date after several weeks of increasing popular protest in 1989.  And that Wall which Trump and his ilk admire so much?  Gone a few weeks later.

ntodd

October 17, 2016 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Prefer My Revolutions Involve A Good Deal Of Drinking In Ancient Taverns

Okay, so I do actually like singing and whatnot during protests against regimes.  And I miss those heady days of Baltic resistance against the Evil Empire (ignore my error of geography, please).

So a Singing Revolution?  Yeah, I think it's pretty cool, and not just because of Prince...

ntodd

August 23, 2016 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Thursday, August 04, 2016

In Fairness To Donald Trump

There was that time when Congressman John Conyers told us during a Judiciary Committee hearing that we weren't allowed to hold up pocket Constitutions...

ntodd

August 4, 2016 in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Keep Revolution Alive

I'll just say this to #BernieOrBusters: if you want the revolution to continue, you need to put more skin in the game than booing or walking out of the DNC.  Go home, get involved in your local party committees (Democratic or otherwise). Actually do shit for the Republic.

Then you can have a Fart In.

ntodd

PS--I supported Kucinich in '08, then worked my ass off to get Obama elected even in the wake of my great disappointment.  After that, I went to demonstrate with Code Pink at his inauguration, constructively criticized his approach to healthcare reform, and engaged in other activities to try effecting change.  Not the only way to do it, of course, but people might consider what Gandhi said about how scrupulous a satyagrahi must be before trying to undermine the existing order.

July 27, 2016 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Still Pink After All These Years

Pilgrims in an unholy land:

On Monday, Code Pink carried their message inside the Quickens Loan Arena, disrupting speeches throughout the day. Alli McCracken, the organization’s co-director, initiated the effort. She stood with a banner that reads “Yes We Can End War!” during Senator Jeff Session’s speech, counteracting the rhetoric of the convention with Code Pink’s message.

“Trump’s hate makes us unsafe!” she yelled. “Stop Trump’s Islamophobia! Stop Mike Pence’s war on women!” She resisted those who attempted to wrestle away her banner — the man seated in front of her gave the cloth an especially violent tug.
...
Both McCracken and [a] second protestor were removed by security. The Hillreports that as the latter left with her “Refugees Welcome” banner, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani—at the podium during her protest—said, “It means we are getting to them.”

Naturally Mayor Nounverb911 has it backwards...

ntodd

July 19, 2016 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (1)

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

#AlliedBodiesMatter

Take the initiative in seeking ways by which you can have the experience of a common sharing of mutual worth and value. It may be hazardous, but you must do it.

 - Howard Thurman in Jesus and the Disinherited

Black Lives Matter needs white bodies:

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is the new no-nonsense civil rights movement. Decades after America's legacy civil rights movement, methodological change is a must. It is not pretty. To some, sometimes it is downright scary. Yet clearly attention is required to force justifiable change.

America is in the midst of many internal battles. Income inequality affects us all in the aggregate. The corrosive nature of money in politics affects us all. The destruction of the environment affects us all. We are all comfortable fighting those battles as progressives no matter who we are.

But there are certain wrongs that affect only some of us. Many are unable to empathize with those, to see through the eyes of the aggrieved. The Black Lives Matter movement is the ultimate result of that reality. Black Lives Matter’s in-your-face nature tells society as a whole that it will make you uncomfortable until society gets it right.
...
Several black women spoke at the rally [St Louis BLM rally commemorating the one-year anniversary of Sandra Bland's death], focusing for the most part on black women killed by the police because, they intimated, the movement has concentrated thus far on black men gunned down by the police. They had a poignant message, however, for many in the crowd—specifically the Netroots Nation visitors, specifically white people. They thanked them for being there but wanted much more.

These BLM women declared they want white folks to speak up more. They did not want placation or tacit acknowledgement of the problem—they wanted engagement. One of the women said that she feels the pain when any killing occurs, no matter who it is, and that she wanted that reciprocity.
...
{E}very minority feels an initial discomfort when they are first immersed into an environment of pure whiteness. They survived. Every white person immersing into a different environment will survive as well. Moreover, they will complete the loop of reciprocity to see through the eyes of other. They would have done their part to really engage. They would indeed become part of the solution. More “white bodies” in the struggle will cause the chain reaction, the peer pressure needed to solve the police brutality problem that afflicts black and brown bodies and many of the other related moral ills.very minority feels an initial discomfort when they are first immersed into an environment of pure whiteness. They survived. Every white person immersing into a different environment will survive as well. Moreover, they will complete the loop of reciprocity to see through the eyes of other. They would have done their part to really engage. They would indeed become part of the solution. More “white bodies” in the struggle will cause the chain reaction, the peer pressure needed to solve the police brutality problem that afflicts black and brown bodies and many of the other related moral ills.

Yes, the movement needs maladjusted white people as allies who are up to engaging in stunts, even if it inconveniences somebody.

ntodd

July 17, 2016 in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adventures In Bad Legislating

This is a nation that developed the world's most destructive weapon, is the only one to have actually used one (two!) in war, and yet somehow since that time we also sent humans to the moon and ended up, so far, not causing a global nuclear holocaust.  This is a nation that finds new and inventive ways to prevent women from exercising their reproductive rights.  This is a nation that cleverly attacks non-existent problems like voter fraud to disenfranchise minority voters

All that, but we can't, among all the nations of the world, figure out how to mitigate the violence, particularly involving guns, in our society.  That's the backdrop to the frustration many Americans feel, and the desperate measures House Dems have taken during their remarkable sit-in.

Make no mistake: any solution that relies on the No Fly List is bad, bad, bad.  I'd also submit that outright bans probably aren't going to work, either.

That said, I'm completely sympathetic with John Lewis et al.  This Congress thought it was a great idea to vote on actively eroding the 4th Amendment (Senate) and gutting a rule that requires bankers to do their jobs with client interests in mind (House).  Then they throw up their hands and say nothing to do about all the shootings, sorry.

The Dems' stated goal of a (losing) vote on some bad law isn't necessarily bad itself, however.  Like many "stunts", the real object is to force a reaction.  At the very least, they put their differences with the Do Nothing/Know Nothing GOP in stark relief.  That's particularly good if the other side can't even come up with alternatives, and is left sputtering on Twitter.

I'd love to see a complete pivot away from this demand and toward something more constructive.  How about: "okay, you don't like this approach, so let's skip it.  While we're at it, let's kill the No Fly List.  Oh, also maybe let us create a Department of Peace, and end the ban on gun research by the CDC so we can at least start examining violence inherent in our society and why the fuck other countries don't go through the same shit every other goddamned day?"

It's not like sitting around has gotten us anywhere...

ntodd

* Lucky Thirteenth Blegiversary Fundraiser: Donate today, or I'll not forget to ask you tomorrow! *

June 23, 2016 in Constitution, Schmonstitution, Pax Americana, RKBA | Permalink | Comments (3)