Saturday, September 24, 2005

my favorite quote so far:

Supporters of the war also showed up, holding a news conference at a local hotel to emphasize the need for soldiers to remain in Iraq. Mike Broomhead, whose brother was killed in Fallujah in May 2003, said that he continued to support the war despite his family's loss.

"They are doing fantastic work, not only so that a free and democratic Middle East can provide freedom for us, but also to give that part of the world a taste of the freedom that we've grown up with," he said.


camp casey d.c.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

W vs. The Prince of Peace

click to enlarge

Friday, September 16, 2005

Go Pig City!

and now for something completely different...

check this blog out. read from the bottom up.



there were so many amazing moments at camp casey in crawford. i veered from tears to laughter at amazing speeds while there and was prone to burst into sobs for days after... this of course, for me, is the only logical response to war and loss and the phoenix of fearlessness that is rising from it.

the last day i was at camp i spent packing up and donating my leftover goods to the cause. i had lots of leftovers. my mother and grandmother equipped me very well and i was supplied with everything from first aid for fire ants (bleach) to heavy duty rubber gloves i brought for scrubbing portapotties to peanut butter, honey and crackers for snacking. (those goods went on to camp casey covington where they were used by folks in much more dire straights.)

my tent was right behind this yellow peace sign and closest to the blogging area. brad friedman was broadcasting, or bradcasting, his radio show from there and it looked like there were quite a few interesting interviews going on, but i never had time to stop and listen. however, that last day i took time to meander around camp and hang out.

i was excited to see that brad was setting up to interview jesse dyen. jesse does sound for the revolution. he showed up early and ended up being the sound guy. not quite sure how that happened, but he's a musician so he must have been the nearest soul not afraid of a mixing board -- tada! sound guy!

that meant that jesse was the defacto gatekeeper of the microphone and stage. he had to deal with the hoardes of "artists" who came to donate their talent. unfortunately some of these "artists" didn't feel the need to donate anything else, like labor or time. instead they just stalked jesse and anyone else whom they thought would let them perform.

so jesse spent days, long days, telling folks that they couldn't get on the stage yet, maybe later. the truth is, he didn't have the last say on that, he just had all the responsibility and none of the authority. sounds like many dayjobs i've quit.

and the thing is, jesse is a really good musician -- and a generous soul. he'd entertain the entertainers and get them up on stage asap. and all the while he had true talent that he wasn't pushing on anyone.

but late at night, as the "staff" decompressed by sitting around those big round tables at 2am -- the first break we'd get all day -- jesse would pull out his gitfiddle and sing.

the first time i joined the late night "round table warriors" cindy had just returned to camp after taking care of her mother in california. she couldn't sleep and was out with us trying to check her email and relax. finally jesse got to play an original song he'd written for her.

i fell in love with the song. it's an anthem i've been waiting for. it got stuck in my head and i told that to brad from bradradio/blog right before he started his segment with jesse. and then i sat back to watch.

but right when jesse started singing a mean wind blew up. i saw that brad was holding a notebook up trying to shield the mic, but it didn't look big enough. so i grabbed the lid to the plastic tub my mom had packed for me and supplemented his wind screen. and then one of those "camp casey" moments happened. within seconds there were eight of us, each using protest signs, t shirts or their bodies to create this instant sound booth around jesse and his guitar. kinda like when you're trying to light a cigarette/joint/pipe match in a wind storm and you and your friends huddle together for the cause... only without the cancer and the second hand smoke or risk of arrest...

you can listen to this event here. please do.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What Cassandra Sees

just got back from a roadtrip to help organize for the revolution. two events and a press conference in the bay area. went well, more about that later..

the question cassandra has been pondering since bush's fema started turning away help at the borders of katrina's devastation is this -- how long will it take the repugnicunts to blame trial lawyers?

after all, as far as robber barons are concerned, liability is the only possible, bureaucratically insane enough reason to deny food and water and safety to the huddled masses. fear of legal retribution if you fuck it up. gots to guard the hoarded money bags! gots to protect the drug companies! can't expose deep pockets! (those deep pockets must be where the chickenhawks hide their fucking balls)

"it's the trial lawyers fault." brilliant strategy -- and preemptive strike at our next candidate, john edwards. it's only a matter of time...

d r i f t g l a s s: Oh by the way, which one's Pink?

check out "us and them"

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Missive from Brother Long Horn

while i was at camp casey my brother surprised me by showing up in the middle of the biggest day at camp. i was so thrilled to see him. didn't get to spend much time with him since we had thousands of visitors that day, but nonetheless, it was wonderful to have family at my side.

when he got back to arlington texas he was moved to write the following in response to what he was seeing in the mainstream texas media:

This last Saturday [8/27/5], I had the opportunity to take a day trip to Crawford to be able to spend some time with people who believe the same way I do. While there, I had a very positive experience; possibly one of the more serene events that I have attended in many years. Then I read your article in your paper on Sunday about the events. I had to make a double take to make sure I was at the same place.

I was on a motorcycle, so as I went through the town of Crawford I was able to both see and hear the goings on. Yes I did hear the arguing, and chanting from both sides. I traveled through the original “Camp Casey”, and again I felt and experienced the anger and taunting from both sides of the road. I myself was verbally assaulted on more than one occasion (for only my appearance, I guess since I was saying nothing). And I was ashamed to see the hostility from the side of my adversaries, but I was more embarrassed to see the same hostility from my allies. I seriously braced myself for a full day of negativity and resentment. Almost turning my bike around and heading back down the peaceful backroads of Central Texas.

When I reached my final destination (the second “Camp Casey”) my skepticism was almost immediately erased. What I soon became a part of was anything but chaotic and hateful. This was an oasis of peace in the middle of a desert of gloom (meant both figuratively and literally). I was immersed into a huge gathering of people of all races, religions, genders, ages, sizes, health abilities, parts of the country (even world) who were fighting the 105 degree heat only to stand up for what they believe in. I talked with people who had put their “normal” lives on hold for a week or more so they could gather there. I saw those same people volunteering to organize the daily runnings. I witnessed people volunteering to stand in the middle of the hot, unshaded road to help direct traffic. I saw people risking their own health concerns walking up and down the area passing out umbrellas to others so they could break the sun. I saw non-trained volunteers rushing to the aid of people who had succumbed to the heat. I saw cases of water bottles being carried across the crowded tent by participants of all sizes so that they could easily be reached. I witnessed people volunteering to stand by the road to hold a 100 ft. long banner, and others taking turns spelling them for 15 or 20 minute “shifts”. Then I also saw people (who were there for the event, not as volunteers or paid organizers) carrying cold water to those who were taking their turns on that banner.

When a large truck pulled into the area to deliver ice, but noticed that they could not get the truck close to the “Kitchen” area, the two deliverers started taking the ice the 200 ft or so through the dirt. Without any prompting or requesting, I witnessed an instant “fire brigade” line form to pass the ice along easily. Then shortly after that, I saw a child of about 11 get on the microphone and request that everyone please help pick up the garbage (eventhough there was very little on the ground) and I witnessed everyone stop what they were doing for a few moments to search the ground around them.

I saw a lady walking over to one of the crosses representing a fallen soldier and straightening it. I saw a lady in tears because she had just talked to “a very nice older gentleman” from the opposite ideological side who said to her “I have to support my president, no matter what he says”. I saw people volunteering their own vehicles and fuel to shuttle people back and forth so they wouldn’t have to walk long distances in the heat. I saw people helping others, sharing stories, hugging strangers. I saw an encampment of at least 2000 (at times as many as possibly 4000) dancing together, eating together, sharing together without one “negative” event. What I saw was true peace.

The article in the paper seemed to point out that there was a lot of behavior that was angry. I admit that I was not at the places that the author described, but I would be willing to bet that many of these type of instances that I saw also occurred at those places as well. If being a part of this event means that I am “Un-American” or a “Bad Person”, as so many of my peers with opposite views have labeled us, I am glad that I am “Bad”. But mostly I am glad that I live in an America that allows us to be so “Un-American”.

Susan Goes to Crawford

so i'm supposed to be leaving today for san francisco to help with a fundraiser put on by my camp casey friends but since i was up all night dutchman has asked me to wait until morning. he's smart. i'll listen to him...

in the meantime, i found this great blog by susan, whom i've never met. it's funny. she's from california, was in crawford the same time i was and i never laid eyes on her -- and i would have remembered, since she took her dog with her. i lerrrve the dawgs.

but her story is so near mine, the desire to talk to strangers about the decision to go, the apprehension that grew the closer we got to crawford... check her out. kindred spirits, we.

and, hey susan, let's hang sometime...


more later...

i still plan to blog about camp casey... my mind is still awhirl with the amazing experience i had there.

i'm going to have to just distill things down tho, to little sound bytes. otherwise, i'll either a/never get to it b/never finish it c/no one will ever read it because it will be too fucking long

so let these two completely unrelated things stand in for now:

1/ a great joke i read on the camp casey alumni site (which i will credit to the author when i find him/her) Q: why didn't the chicken cross the road? ... are you ready? give up? okay... A: because cindy sheehan was on the other side.

2/ there is nothing in my life (right now) more tortuous, more incapacitating, more depressing than small talk and bad art. add the search for profundity and cake eating while rome burns outside the window into the mix and i find myself poisoned with a concoction that only a few weeks of couch surfing for the cause will exorcise. are you lost? do you have no idea what i'm talking about? great! i wouldn't want to offend anyone.

Lessons learned from Iraq and Katrina

it looks like bush finally learned something. or someone pulling his strings/washing his brain/doing his beer runs has...

see, in iraq, the country was destroyed and everyone became a newly minted refugee camper due to power outages, dislocation, leveled homes and businesses. then we took all the jobs away from the menfolk and left them their guns.

not a great combo, unemployed and well armed. even i can figure that out and i'm just a stupid hippie.

but this time, the buscists are taking the guns away BEFORE taking the jobs away.

who says you can't teach an old, drunk monkey a brand new trick?

it's the end of the world as we know it

i'm feeling so f'ing detached from the computer, composing, rewriting and mindbloggling away -- only to never find the time to actually sit down and write...

however i just heard the biggest piece of crap i've heard in my life and i can't find it anywhere on the net to cut and paste or quote from so i'm forced to sit down and report on it while it's still steaming.

i'm up, pulling another all nighter, packing, laundering, editing and all around cramming for another trip out to save the world. heading to SF tomorrow. tonight, i'm listening to "coast to coast" on talk radio while doing chores.

so i hear this subhost, ian punnet, going on about various sensational, freeaky katrina stories and then he makes and awkward, awkward, awkward segue that went something like this:

"it was later confirmed that the suburban police turned around 200 people and sent them back over the bridge, back into new orleans. they were reported as saying 'this isn't the superdome.' two paramedics also confirmed that the police confiscated the food and water of the people after turning them back. but let's not forget about 9/11..."

yeah, you read that right, and then he completely digresses into a tribute to the "involuntary soldiers" of 9/11 who fought the bad guys with airline food and/or briefcases and compares them to the "voluntary soldiers" who are dying now to make us safe. at this point the rhyme scheme is showing and i realize he's snuck us into a poem or a song or something. the repeating refrain is (paraphrasing - duh):

something about the two towers
if i could have those people back
(i'm thinking country song since it's pretty fucking sappy) -- only when he refers to the soldiers dying now, after:

something about the two towers
if i could have those people back

he sneaks in this little couplet about how fucking valiant they are EVEN IF THE WAR IS WRONG.

even if the war is wrong? at that point i'm thinking "that is one of the most obscene things i've ever heard." war is it. it's worse than the word cunt or nigger or showing hard core porn at a little kid's birthday party. murdering another human being, ripping a person who is loved out of this universe, maiming children and training young people to kill is putrid, vile and beyond my comprehension.

so while i'm stunned into contemplating this i hear that the poet believes that this wrong war is ok since we succeeded in obliterating the taliban because:

something about the two towers
if i could have those people back

and EVEN THOUGH THE WAR IS WRONG at least saddam hussein is gone.

"if i could have those people back."

so the writer believes the ends justifies the means, right? or what? oh, yeah, EVEN THOUGH THE WAR IS WRONG, at least we set the iraqis free (well, the men we set free, the women we set back).

but then he goes on to end, ohh, so poignantly with this nice warm bucket of spit:

but i'd give afghanistan to the taliban
and to saddaam i'd give back iraq
something about the two towers
if i could have those people back.
so, in other words, the taliban (which, by the way, IS back) and saddaam were the noble cause that casey sheehan and 1,894 other voluntary soldiers died for. it's noble what we've done to those countries and all those dead people because:

something about the two towers
(shhhhhhhhhh! -- let's not talk about osama bin forgotten or the saudis who actually did do something about the two towers) but of course, it's not so noble that we would ever have given a rat's ass about the oppressed in afghanistan and iraq if ... if ... hmmm:

if i could have those people back

we're all doomed

Thursday, September 08, 2005

thank god, a rational conservative

found this at liberal oasis, and who wouldn't want a liberal oasis in this sea of repugs who are so aghast at the blame game that they've outblamed the blame-gamers though they RUN ALL ASPECTS OF OUR GOVERNMENT

era of responsibility? bullshit. murderous bullshit.

this conservative from the region knows the smell of manure when he smells it (link here):

"In recent days, defenders of the Bush administration have been trying to shift blame to Democrats like Governor Kathleen Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard. But, in the view of this conservative Republican, all three of these individuals have acted admirably and have been working literally 24 hours a day since well before the hurricane hit. Since I live in the metropolitan New Orleans area, I watched television coverage during the crucial days before Hurricane Katrina arrived on the coast. I saw the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana plead with local residents to evacuate. They held news conferences, went on numerous TV shows, visited churches and community groups to implore people to evacuate. They ordered State Police to implement a traffic contra-flow that allowed evacuees to travel in all lanes of the Interstate to leave the area. When the storm hit, these local leaders stayed in the area to manage the response, working around the clock to help facilitate recovery. According to Louisiana State Representative Steve Scalise, Jefferson Parish officials have been “doing a great job of getting things back in order…everyone is working hard and they are making remarkable progress.” In contrast, President Bush remained on vacation for two days after the storm hit the coast and FEMA waited precious days to deliver crucial aid, undoubtedly contributing to needless deaths among the poor and feeble of New Orleans. It took way too long, it was a disgrace."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

cry me a river

(via boing boing)