April 16, 2010

Recovering from Empathy

By Robert C. Koehler
Tribune Media Services

What I thought of, straight off, as I watched that 17-minute WikiLeaks video of Iraqis – including a Reuters photographer and his driver – being strafed on a Baghdad street in 2007 by a U.S. helicopter, was a book of postcards published a decade ago.


The book, compiled by James Allen, is called Without Sanctuary. My guess is that you don’t have it sitting on your coffee table. The postcards and various other stained, frayed photographs – about a hundred of them – depict mostly black men, a few women, a few white men, in the process or aftermath of being lynched in the United States, in the first half of the 20th century. The dangling or burned corpses are surrounded, in most of the pictures, by grim or smirking or benevolently smiling onlookers, some of them children. It’s the most surreal and troubling historical document I’ve ever seen in my life.

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Posted by mwblog at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2010

A Letter from Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont

Dear Friends,

Today we begin the process of undoing the great harm done by a narrow majority on the U.S. Supreme Court in its recent Citizens United v. FEC decision. I just returned from our first Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused specifically on how, in light of the Court's misguided decision, we can protect our political process from excessive corporate spending.


The Founding Fathers crafted a Constitution and adopted a Bill of Rights to guarantee the fundamental rights of the American people, not corporations. After all, corporations are different from individual citizens. They do not have the same rights, morals, or motivations. They cannot vote. They are legal constructs designed to conduct commerce, nothing more.


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Posted by mwblog at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2009

Van Jones' Resignation: Bad for the Country and Bad for Obama

by Rabbi Michael Lerner

This moment will be looked back upon as giving a signal of encouragement to some of the most fascistic elements in the American political Right.

Van Jones Resignation: Bad for the Country and Bad for Obama By Rabbi Michael Lerner

I signed the same statement on 9/11 that Van Jones signed, and there was nothing immoderate about it. It didn't say what the Right claimed it said (and the mainstream media chimed in without investigation). I'll explain below.

Jones' resignation is bad for the country and for the Obama Administration. It's bad for Americawhen progressive views are an excuse to purge someone from the Administration while extremist right-wing views of past Administrations were always given a "pass."


Van Jones forced resignation is a huge defeat for the forces of sanity and humanity, and represents a deep failure of the Obama-ites to understand the nature of the challenge they face from an increasingly fascistic Right wing.

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Posted by mwblog at 07:06 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2009

New Hope for Nuclear Disarmament

By David Krieger
August 6, 2009

Dr. Krieger delivered these remarks at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's 15th Annual Sadako Peace Day commemoration in Santa Barbara, California on August 6, 2009.

This is the 15th year that we have commemorated Sadako Peace Day in this beautiful garden created by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and La Casa de Maria.  It is a garden inspired by a young girl, Sadako Sasaki, who was two years old when she was exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.  Ten years later, Sadako succumbed to radiation induced leukemia. 

Today we join with the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and with people all over the world in remembering a somber and world changing day 64 years ago, when the first atomic weapon was used in warfare.  We learned, or should have learned, that one bomb can destroy a city, that no longer would any city on the planet be safe from the threat of annihilation, and that we had created weapons capable of destroying humankind.  This is a lot of information to take in, and I doubt that it has been fully absorbed by humanity even now.


Before she died, she inspired her classmates by her valiant attempt to fold 1,000 paper cranes – a symbol of long life in Japan.  Sadako wrote on the wings of one of these paper cranes: “I will write peace on your wings, and you will fly all over the world.”  Each year, students send colorful paper cranes that they have folded, some 10 million of them, to Hiroshima in honor of Sadako.  There is a statue of her with outstretched arms in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

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Posted by mwblog at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2009

Lobby for Peace

Marianne is the co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of an organization called The Peace Alliance. In that role, she has participated in a grass roots effort supporting legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace. The legislation was reintroduced into the U.S. House of Representatives on February 3, 2009 by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (OH-10) and 62 Congressional cosponsors. Two additional cosponsors signed on after introduction, bringing the total number of supporters to 65. It was assigned the same bill number as in the previous Congress: HR 808. This bill has some small but exciting changes. For example, it calls for $10 billion dollars to fund the Department, with 85 percent of funds designated to reduce and prevent violence here in the United States.

Click to watch Marianne’s commentary about the legislation Marianne's comments about the legislation. If it sounds like a good idea to you, make a constituent call to your member of the US House of Representatives and say you want him or her to support legislation to create a US Department of Peace. To find your Congressperson or his or her contact info, visit www.congress.org

Posted by mwblog at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)