Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cindy's Interview With The San Francisco Review of Books!

Interview: Cindy Sheehan explains what happened to the antiwar movement after Barack Obama

Original Interview Here
 Story by Joseph Ford Cotto

Being antiwar might be fashionable in one of our country's major parties now and again, but Democrats and Republicans alike tend to fall in line behind military action whenever it suits their respective agendas.

The loss of life, destruction of property, and psychological torment which result from this cannot readily be put into words -- perhaps not under any circumstances.

Preventing even a single drop of unnecessary bloodshed has been Cindy Sheehan's mission for some time.

Her "public opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began after her son was killed in Iraq in 2004. Sheehan’s vigil outside U.S. Pres. George W. Bush’s ranch in Texas in 2005 received international media coverage and established her as one of the most visible and controversial figures in the antiwar movement at that time," the Encyclopedia Britannica's Sabrina Worsham explains.

Sheehan has done much since then. She recently spoke with me about many timely topics. Some of our conversation is included below.

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Joseph Ford Cotto: This is surely one of the most polarized eras in American politics. Nonetheless, the antiwar movement has not taken center stage in recent protests. Why has it, more or less, been sidelined?

Cindy Sheehan: My theory about the antiwar "movement" not being center stage in recent protests is because the protests (around immigration and women's rights in particular) have been organized by liberal Democrats (Demo-libs, I call them). Demo-libs usually only choose issues where a clear difference between DNC and GOP can be shown. Of course, after eight years of Obama's demented foreign policy, those Demo-libs cannot protest Trump's acts of aggression, because it always puts a bad spotlight on the Dems.

For example, after Trump's recent bombing of the air field in Homs, Syria, both Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi (minority leaders of 
Senate and House), came out in support of it. 

Cotto: After Barack Obama was elected president, the antiwar movement seems to quiet down a bit. Is this actually the case, or simply a matter of inadequate media coverage?

Sheehan: So, I think the antiwar movement actually quieted down in 2006 after the Democrats took over majority in the House of Representatives. In 2008, for example, United for Peace and Justice refused to have a large antiwar protest on the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq because it would, "embarrass the Democrats." 

Cotto: What would you say are the goals of the modern American antiwar movement?

Sheehan: I would say to end wars and reduce the USA's military footprint all over the world.

Cotto: Many antiwar activists speak about pacifism as a viable alternative to all forms of combat. In your opinion, is this a practical viewpoint?

Sheehan: Personally, I am not a pacifist and recognize and individual's right to self-defense---and, obviously, a community or sovereign state has the same rights. Unfortunately, because my own son was killed in Iraq by a person who was defending his/her community.

I think as a movement we start from the position of non-violent protest and 10 times out of ten, when I have seen violence, it has been 
instituted by the police or other law enforcement.

Cotto: During the years ahead, do you expect the antiwar movement to gain popular support?

Sheehan: Maybe if forced conscription (lord forbid) is reinstated. I think the movement is moving towards being against the budding fascism of the Trump regime. 

Joseph Ford Cotto: Since Donald Trump succeeded Obama, and even during the 2016 general election, war-hawks became much friendlier to the Democratic Party, and vice-versa. Meanwhile, antiwar voices saw their volume diminished. What might account for this?

Cindy Sheehan: It's similar to what I said in my first answer--at least during the campaign in 2016, Hillary Clinton was seen as far more hawkish that Trump; for good reasons. There was even a "Neocon for Hillary" Group.

I still believe Clinton is a bigger hawk than Trump and it's interesting, but I don't think coincidental, that just hours before Trump bombed the aforementioned air field, Clinton publicly said it should be done. 

Cotto: Nowadays, skepticism of military adventurism is more pronounced in the GOP than at any other time since the years leading up to World War II. How did the antiwar movement's principles find a welcome audience among Republican ranks?    

Sheehan: I am not sure what is feeding the skepticism in the ranks of the GOP? I know for the antiwar movement, we care for lives here and abroad and want the death and destruction to stop. I think being anti-interventionist (like Ron Paul, for example), may still be a little imperialistic: caring how the wars affect the USA before how they affect the occupied and attacked innocent populations.



Cotto: During his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, Trump spoke negatively about George W. Bush's policies regarding Iraq. In the process, Trump voiced concerns of the antiwar movement which, until recently, were lambasted by virtually all Republican politicians. Looking back, what did Trump's acknowledgment of antiwar perspectives mean for the movement's future? 


Sheehan: I know a lot of my colleagues and friends encouraged a vote for Trump based on those aspects of his rhetoric. I, myself, think it's really dangerous to be sucked into the bourgeois politics of the DNC and GOP. If we are to survive as a movement, I think we need to be principled and non-partisan.



Cotto: The Democratic Party, whose most recent presidential nominee -- Hillary Clinton -- and prevailing establishment figures are generally hawkish, now opposes anything Trump supports. Over the years to come, might the traditionally leftish antiwar movement and most conservative voters, who have come to dislike George W. Bush and his neoconservative ideology, form an unlikely alliance?


Sheehan: I hope so because there is strength in greater numbers.



Cotto: More than anything else, what motivates the antiwar movement?

Sheehan: Love for all the peoples of the world.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Election 2016, We're Still On This? By Dakotah Lilly



I knew the Democrats were out of touch, but I really didn’t think they were this clueless. Out of all the recent talk about Comey and the premiere of ‘The Putin Interviews’ etc, one thing that struck me was the Democrats political maneuvering in the case of the AHCA and sanctions on Russia. It was said that the Democrats were willing to relieve some pressure on the Republicans on healthcare in exchange for more a bipartisan bill aimed at sanctioning Russia. So the Democrats are willing to let the AHCA, a piece of legislation not worth the paper it was printed on, pass in exchange for more covert warfare and taunting of Russia? These are the issues the Democrats are pursuing? They already passed the god-awful ACA a few years back which has done nothing to help tens of millions of Americans and was nothing more than a corporate check to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, but now they are willing to send the American people down the creek without a paddle yet again by helping to pass the AHCA? This is at least reason 4 trillion why the Democrats are corporate, capitalist, imperialist, empire spreading, civil rights destroying, working class hating, bourgeois tools of the empire. Not to mention that even one iota of time or one dollar of taxpayer money is being wasted on this “Russia investigation”. The Democrats lost fair and square as far as fair and square can go in this oligarchic capitalist electoral system that the Dems love so much. Pushing Russophobia has become the Democrats number one concern, which is yet again another reason why they are absolutely no different and in many ways worse than the Republicans. People are dying in this country from lack of access to healthcare, police murder, food insecurity, mental illness, homelessness, etc. People around the world are dying because of bombs this country drops and sanctions it crams down the throat of the world, yet the Democrats are still pouting over their sour grapes of losing the election. The Russia investigation is absurd and nobody in this country is waiting with baited breath on the outcome of this witch hunt. The working class of this country has no interest in a sham investigation into a bogus nonexistent issue. Working people of this country have no enemy in this world except the class and politicians that exploit us, but especially none in the people of Russia. While the establishment vultures want nothing more for people to demonize an entire country and its government with no shred of evidence, it is a relief that they have seemed to fail thus far. My only regret is that they also failed when they tried to demonize the nations and peoples of Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, North Korea, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Brazil among countless others. Reject this Russophobia and this “investigation” they are just more clever ruses used by the ruling class to distract us from realizing our power, and to distract us from unifying beyond borders against them. 

Dakotah Lilly is a 19 year old anti imperialist, revolutionary socialist. He is a co founder and organizer with Students and Youth for a New America and is a frequent guest on PressTv. Facebook:facebook.com/Dakotah.lilly.9
Twitter @dakotah4prez
 Dakotah

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Apricots and Sisters by Cindy Sheehan

 Dede, ca. 1968

As many of you know, my sister, comrade, best-friend and many times over, jail mate, Dede Miller passed away from breast cancer on January 22 of this year.

June 16th would have been her 59th birthday and what many of you may not know is that Dede and I were what is sometimes referred to as "Irish Twins." (Born within a year of each other).

When we were very young, on her birthday, one of the first things the little pest would say was, "Ha ha, I am as old as you." And, me always being very logical would say, "but, you can never be as old as me, I am 11 months older." Of course, she being the little pest would harp on it all day.

I am not sure what year it was, though, when I turned the tables back on her and was able to proclaim, "Ha ha, you are as old as me now!" 

Dede and I may not have shared our mother's womb, but over our lives, we grew to be as close as some twins and closer than any sisters I have known. Especially after Casey died, she was the only one who never said, in essence, "get over it," when I was experiencing the most profound grief. She couldn't understand my pain, but she knew on some level that she couldn't change it, or rush me in getting "over it." Understandably, my deep loss and horrible pain frightened a lot of people, but not fearless Dede. She was just always there when I needed her, and many times when I didn't even know I needed someone. 

Being so close in age, I can't remember a life without Dede; she was the only one that shared my entire history and since she passed, I can't even say how many times I have wanted to check with her about something to make sure I was remembering everything correctly.

And after we both went to Crawford, Tx on August 6, 2005; she was with me every step of the way after. Dede never "disowned" me when I did such socially unconscionable things as meet with then president Hugo Chavez of Vz (in fact, she was there, too) or *gasp* leave the Democrat Party and run for Congress against Nancy Pelosi.

When I called the US the "biggest terrorist organization in the world," Dede didn't back away from me, or soft-pedal what I said, she said, "You're damn right it is."

Dede also withstood some horrible treatment from me during the most stressful times of being infamous. I always apologized when I got out of line with her, but I knew consciously and subconsciously that, besides my children, she was the only person in the world who would love me and support me, even if I was not always pleasant to be around. I would hope everyone has someone like this in their lives, it's beyond priceless.

Anyway, apricots?

Dede and I grew up in a dysfunctional household, but our first home had two very mature apricot trees in the backyard. Oh my gosh, we spent hours in those trees that were there for climbing and yielded the most wonderful fruit. Many summer days, we would leave our home in the morning and graze the neighborhood for lunch. We had apricots; wild onion grew between our house and the Crittenden's and another had avocados. At dinner time, we would grudgingly return home and even if our mom didn't do much else, she always cooked a good dinner. Looking back, it seems idyllic although I know it was not. Dede often joked that we were "feral children." There were many times, also, that we would unite against our father who made us pick up the rotten fruit. Of course, we would have had the task done in a heartbeat, if we didn't spend so much time complaining or pretending we had to take a long potty-break.

Ironically, apricot seeds contain laetrile that has been shown to be a natural treatment for cancer.

Dede lived with me the last year and a half of her life. Coincidentally, the home I rent has two apricot trees in the front yard (that my grandchilden spend hours climbing) and the past two years of good rain have contributed to massive amounts of fruit. Dede enjoyed the 'cots from the tree, but last year I did something I have never done: I canned the excess fruit and made jam. It was delicious and every time I served it to her, I would say, "here's a little taste of summer sunshine for you."

Tomorrow, on her birthday, I am planning on canning this year's crop and putting some extra love and nostalgia into this batch.

Update:
Dede's Peace Jam made June 16, 2017



Apricots for Dede and jam for the rest of us.

Happy Birthday, Sissy, you remain 58 for eternity.

I miss my twin.

Friday, June 9, 2017

War Must Be Shown the Door! Guest: David Swanson (SOAPBOX PODCAST 6/9/2017)




Welcome David Swanson back to the Soapbox! Listen below! 



Guest Website:
Guest Category:
Guest Occupation:
Author, Radio Host, Human Rights Activist, Philospher, Newspaper Reporter, Communications Director, Press Secretary, Media Coordinator, Columnist, Blogger
Guest Biography:
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Cindy's Interview on Chiampa Radio W/ Joe and Anthony!

Click the picture below to listen to Cindy's latest interview! Interview starts after the weather!

 
In this interview Cindy chats with Joe and Anthony of Chiampa radio - Based in Tampa Florida.
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http://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com/p/tax-deductible-donation.html

https://www.facebook.com/Cindy-Sheehans-Soapbox-Radio-Show-188031143274/

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The People Speak w/ Cindy Sheehan: Bob Linden on Veganism and Animal Liberation


May 30th, 2017


GUESTS: Bob Linden
Bob Linden

TOPICS: Veganism and the need for animal liberation, Non-violence and its extension into our diets. 


On the soapbox this week Cindy speaks with committed animal liberation and environmental activist. Bob speaks with Cindy about non violence against animals and the planet in the form of veganism- abstaining from eating anything that comes from the exploitation of animals.
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http://cindysheehanssoapbox.blogspot.com/p/tax-deductible-donation.html


https://www.facebook.com/Cindy-Sheehans-Soapbox-Radio-Show-188031143274/

UPCOMING ON The People Speak w/Cindy Sheehan: War Must Be Shown, the Door! Guest: David Swanson

Broadcasting Date: 
Tuesday, June 6, 2017 06:00 pm (Pacific)
9:00 pm (Eastern)

Guest Name: 
David Swanson
Topic:
 War Abolition and Countering the Boogeyman Narrative
BBS RADIO
Live Talk Radio Station 2
 BBS Radio Native HTML5 Audio Player icon  Flash Audio Player icon
Listen-in Only phone line: 605-475-1600
Problems with the line try 716-748-0144

Call-in to interact when live with the program hosts and guests:
Toll Free 888-429-5471 in the US/Canada or Direct 323-744-4841
  

Guest Website:
http://davidswanson.org/
Guest Category:
News
Politics & Government
Guest Occupation:
Author, Radio Host, Human Rights Activist, Philospher, Newspaper Reporter, Communications Director, Press Secretary, Media Coordinator, Columnist, Blogger
Guest Biography:
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Got some “isms” for ya, right here ... by Lee Burkett (guest blogger)

By
Lee Burkett
(Guest Blogger)
 
 
 
Here's the thing:
 
It appears that the terms "capitalism", "fascism", "socialism" and "communism" have become so ill defined as to have lost all meaning. It seems anyone can offer up any term, define it however they wish, and then use that definition to bolster their own belief or attack the beliefs of another.
 
Dictionary definitions are cited, quoted, misquoted, dismissed and ridiculed. Dictionary definitions themselves have subtle but meaningful differences.
 
Modern day "capitalism" as a political/economic paradigm can be traced to the Roman Empire, but the practice of investment, return on investment, and growth most assuredly existed long before the Romans codified it.
 
The definition of "fascism" one finds today is substantially different than the definition one finds was commonly accepted in the 1940's and 1950's. Fascism as a political ideology existed long before Mussolini, Hitler and Franco.
 
The post Marx definition of "socialism" is radically different than it's historic predecessor.
 
And "communism" is a veritable hornets nest of contention since Marx used the term to define his theory of social evolution.
The fact is that all these terms are latter day definitions of cultural practices that predate written and possibly even oral history.
Despite the many loud, usually arrogant and angry claims made that capitalism is as old as humankind itself, that the first groups of humans or near humans who traded meat for grain were capitalists, such claims are simply wrong, the result of a filtered revisionist history.
 
The claim that capitalism represents ultimate individual freedom is absurd.
 
Quite simply, capitalism cannot exist without capital. Capital is money. Money is a place holder for value.
 
Capitalism is not about fair trade, and those who stridently claim that "pure capitalism" or "free market capitalism" is the willing exchange of value for equal value are mistaken.
 
What sets capitalism apart from trade is this:
 
Capitalism, to exist, demands that profit be made. The word "profit" by the way translates from the Latin variously as: usury, booty, loot, to get more, to gain advantage and to prey, among other meanings.
There is nothing in capitalism that represents an equal trade for items of equal value. If you're buying it, someone is getting more value from that transaction. And that value is in the form of money, which is not and cannot ever be value in and of itself.
This is worth repeating: Money is a placeholder for value.
 
Fascism is the union of wealthy interest and state authority. That is the ultimate definition. As such fascism was the foundation of the oldest known civilizations ever to have existed, Whether it was a king or a god or a priestly class wealth was consolidated and protected by a form of government.
 
I do not think that the invention of money, the appearance of capitalism- money as a placeholder for value-, and the flourishing of fascism are unrelated. Arguments about fascism being one form of tyranny are pointless in that ultimately tyranny is the use of government authority to protect, increase and maintain wealth and power.
 
Removed from latter day definitions, socialism is genetic in primates and many other animals as well. It predates even culture or language. Shared effort and shared reward provides a Darwinian advantage for the species.
 
Socialism, as an economic/political construct is a johnnie come lately, and bears little relationship to the organic practice of socialism.
 
Ideals of liberty and freedom harking to the philosophies of Rousseau regarding natural law and sovereign individuality fail to recognize the underlying fallacy of such belief.
 
In prehistoric times the rugged individual who set off on his or her own to keep the fruits of their labor to themselves died and whatever progeny they had died soon after.
 
Interestingly enough, Rousseau was just one of a number of 18th century philosophers whose thought was informed by 17th century thinkers whose works, collectively, represent what is considered modern day Socialism.
 
In that time socialism as a codified body of work was a reaction to, and an argument against Monarchy.
 
And it was 17th century concepts of socialism- shared will, shared destiny, shared effort, shared reward- that fomented both the American and the French Revolutions.
 
I find a distinct and poignant irony in that.
 
Somehow, concepts of freedom and liberty are now at odds with concepts of socialism.
 
Quick- duck! Here comes communism.
 
Modern day communism begins and ends in the mind of Karl Marx. I doubt that there is a single self professed Communist who would argue that.
 
I also doubt that there is a single self professed Communist who is not ready, willing and able to argue with another self professed Communist as to which interpretation of Marx, Engels, Trotsky or Lenin is correct. It is not stretching things to say that every Communist is an expert, and every Communist disagrees with every other.
 
Communism as a codified, self contained philosophy is an economic theory filtered through the lens of social evolutionary theory.
 
Or it is a theory of social evolution as filtered through the lens of economic theory.
 
These are not the same thing. The first assumes that economics drives social construct, while the second assumes that society drives economic construct.
 
Putting that hot mess to one side, communism as a cultural practice has always been with us. At it's simplest, it means community, togetherness, shared values.
 
Some make the mistake of assuming that communism and socialism are essentially one and the same. Those who reject socialism as "the gateway drug" to communism consistently fail to understand the differences between the two.
 
Socialism, if one accepts the modern day definition, not only implies but requires some form of regulation in the body of a government.
 
Communism, if one accepts the larger Marxist definition, not only implies but requires the ultimate abandonment of government.
It is Marx, and only Marx, who states that socialism is a required step toward communism. (Post script added for clarification) A strict reading of Communism vis a vie Marx is that capitalism MUST give way to socialism, as an organ of government, in which there is a period called The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, during which time the government seizes all resource, production and labor. Marx's definition of socialism is the exact opposite of all previous thought and philosophic understanding of socialism. Marx's "socialist government" is meant to seize then steward all resource, production and labor as a sort of absentee landlord for the people. This, according to Marx is a transitional state which is only supposed to last until the "masses" have been educated enough to govern themselves without government. Thus we have Marx to blame for the modern definition of both socialism and communism.
 
This redefinition of Socialism and Communism has been fodder for Capitalists since the printing of Das Kapital to condemn socialism as an evil communist plot to kill freedom, liberty, and of course capitalism itself. 
 
Lee Burkett is a retired professional actor, a proud former member of the Screen Actor's Guild of America. He has been a social activist and a political commentator most of his adult life. He has a been staunchly anti-war, anti- imperialist since his indoctrination into resistance during the Vietnam War.
 
You can become a "patron" of Lee's for as little as $1 per month to view this and his other writings.
(Supported by Cindy Sheehan)