Archive for the 'Peace' Category

05
Feb
13

Why Is The Military Training in Our Cities?

Recently there have been reports from urban America that the military is doing drills within the city – some reportedly using live-fire and helicopters while others invading schools so that children “know what gun fire sounds like.”

This alarms me. I know the official answer is probably something like “we are training for an overseas operation” but I just don’t buy it. I was in the Army and I know that the Army has a whole school for training how to jump out of a helicopter for an operation – it is called Air Assault School. If the Army already has such schools then it seems logical to believe that they don’t need to train in the city where we all live. After all, isn’t the military supposed to mainly fight foreign enemies?

But let’s just say that they don’t have a school and they must train in the city where we live, shouldn’t we be notified that soldiers will be roaming the streets or flying helicopters past our bedrooms and office cubicles? There is even evidence that in Houston the helicopters were live-firing while flying through the city.

As far as I’m concerned this is wrong. All power in America is vested in the people and if the people don’t posess that right then they cannot cede that power to the government to handle. A government that creates it’s own power is a tyrannical state and no longer a Republic of We The People.

Specifically speaking if I personally opened fire within the city limits I would be held accountable in Arizona for discharging a firearm in the city and I would probably be subsequently visited by the police, beaten by the police, tasered by the police and taken downtown until they firuted out what to do with me. I ask though, how am I supposed to act as a citizen who is uninformed by my government of such training missions? What am I to do if I believe I am being fired upon – am I allowed to return fire in defense?

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to live in a world where there are armed people, regardless of  whether it is an American soldier or a Jihadist soldier, flying around in the sky. This is not the sign of a free land but rather an occupied land.

I am sending off letters to all politicians to see if they know what is going on and to try to get some answers. Below is a copy of my letter that I am sending. Feel free to copy, adjust, and send off to your state and federal politicians.

Mr. <NAME>: 

SUBJECT: MILITARY LIVE FIRE WITHIN CITY LIMITS 

There has been some indication in the news that certain cities across the United States are experiencing live-fire military drills over American cities recently, some of which are conducting live-fire drills. I know this has happened in Miami, Florida, and Houston, Texas. This naturally causes concern and confusion to me, especially if the drill is unbeknownst to me. If I discharged a firearm within the city limits I would be tried under ARS § 13-3107 entitled, “Unlawful discharge of firearms; exceptions; classification; definitions.”

I would like to know the following:

  1. Why are live-fire drills being performed over cities by the United States military?
  2. What will you do to ensure that this does not happen and if it is going to happen that the public is properly notified?
  3. What would be the lawful outcome if a citizen opened return fire in defense of such a drill?

Sincerely,

God help us if we ever have real troops acting against it’s own citizens.

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13
Jun
12

The Ron Paul nobody knows about

This isn’t a politician. This is a man.

I’ve often wondered how someone can claim to be a Conservative or even a loving-Democrat when they spend millions on campaigning.

Original here.

I would like to tell some things Dr. Paul will be remembered for, back home in his district. See, he does so much in stealth, its hard to keep up with the man and just what exactly fills his day when he comes home for a long weekend and stays for a few extra days or a week to catch up on things.

He does spend time here, recently it has not been as often, but during the hay days he would fly in on Fri and sometimes stay at his office in his district to work.

But that’s not all he did when he was here supposedly working!

Several times a year Ron would get up very early in the morning and go get his youngest Grandaughter. He would pick her up and together they would drive 4-5 hours in heavy Houston traffic, through his huge district- all the way up to Houston Intercontinental Airport.
Paul lived appx 1.5-2 hrs hours south of Houston and Bush(duhbya) Intercontinental Airport is 2 hours N of Houston.

Anyways, together they would drive all this way up to the airport.
They were on their way to greet an American hero who was coming home that day, and Ron wanted to meet him at the gate, simply to give him the medals he had earned in battle—at the gate—right in front of his family when he stepped off the plane.

Another thing I so vividly remember is that Dr. Paul could NEVER bring himself to ask his constituents for money to run his campaigns to win. NEVER once did he say, “Help me with my campaign” or “Can you donate”. Not even ONCE!

He has been over heard saying “the government takes so much from them all ready, how can I ask for more?” His staffers and campaign people begged him, but he would not ask.

Anyways, we all know Ron! He has his ways!!!

Once or sometimes twice a year he would send out a big mailer in a larger style envelope. In it we would find certain important bills he has written. Votes he has cast, and reasons why he voted the way he did. He would give us some scoops on whats coming up, etc etc.
Lovey would put some of her delicious recipe finds~ like a good Gumbo or Crab Stuffed flounder recipe she had run across…

Maybe Ron would include a photo of a new addition to the family (black and white photo of course) and that would be it! Not one single mention of money in the entire envelope. Then, if one looked deeper inside the big envelope, tucked away, we would find a much much smaller envelope. No bigger then a folded check! The only thing written, where the stamp would go was “your stamp saves this campaign much needed funds”, and thats it! He couldnt even ASK US FOR MONEY! He doesnt hang around at events looking for it afterwards, hes gone in a flash!

I guess he supposes we should know what to do if we want him as our Representative, and we certainly did know what to do and he certainly used an ultra conservative budget to run every single campaign on a shoe string budget. Thus- exposing himself for the conservative he is, while the others spend a FORTUNE to upend him at every turn.
The strories he could tell…

Just ask Duhbya, Rove, Harris and the Galveston County GOP just what spankings theyve received from Dr. Paul, theyll tell you. Newt had the entire delegation go against Paul one year by having ALL TEXAS CONGRESSMEN and WOMEN endorse Rons opponent. Well, Ron went on to win that election by winning MORE of the VOTE spending LESS money then the election year before! Just like one would expect of our true conservative.

At one point in his career, it was said he delivered half his own votes BY HAND! That was a running joke for the longest. He was surely loved and some could not understand him or his reasoning, but they trusted him. Many said to him “we trust you with our children’s futures and our checkbooks” and his response was always the same. “One should never trust government, nor should one be expected to do so.”

So there ya have it.

His retirement has removed a good feeling from our district. He knows the wolves are circling the camp and want in. Boy oh boy do they want in.

but we know the great sadness that NO one will fill his shoes, but we will be forever grateful for the service and devotion his entire family has given us. One thing I will say, Ron Paul gave us our moneys worth. Thats for sure! He was worth every dime we sent.

What an education he handed us. Never charging and always respectful. We love him and we will miss him dearly.

11
Oct
09

Could You Survive With No Money? Meet the Guy Who Does.

(Original here)

DANIEL SUELO LIVES IN A CAVE. UNLIKE THE average American—wallow….ing in credit-card debt, clinging to a mortgage, terrified of the next downsizing at the office—he isn’t worried about the economic crisis. That’s because he figured out that the best way to stay solvent is to never be solvent in the first place. Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit.

His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah, where people who know him are of two minds: He’s either a latter-day prophet or an irredeemable hobo. Suelo’s blog, which he maintains free at the Moab Public Library, suggests that he’s both. “When I lived with money, I was always lacking,” he writes. “Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present.”

On a warm day in early spring, I clamber along a set of red-rock cliffs to the mouth of his cave, where I find a note signed with a smiley face: CHRIS, FEEL FREE TO USE ANYTHING, EAT ANYTHING (NOTHING HERE IS MINE). From the outside, the place looks like a hollowed teardrop, about the size of an Amtrak bathroom, with enough space for a few pots that hang from the ceiling, a stove under a stone eave, big buckets full of beans and rice, a bed of blankets in the dirt, and not much else. Suelo’s been here for three years, and it smells like it.

Night falls, the stars wink, and after an hour, Suelo tramps up the cliff, mimicking a raven’s call—his salutation—a guttural, high-pitched caw. He’s lanky and tan; yesterday he rebuilt the entrance to his cave, hauling huge rocks to make a staircase. His hands are black with dirt, and his hair, which is going gray, looks like a bird’s nest, full of dust and twigs from scrambling in the underbrush on the canyon floor. Grinning, he presents the booty from one of his weekly rituals, scavenging on the streets of Moab: a wool hat and gloves, a winter jacket, and a white nylon belt, still wrapped in plastic, along with Carhartt pants and sandals, which he’s wearing. He’s also scrounged cans of tuna and turkey Spam and a honeycomb candle. All in all, a nice haul from the waste product of America. “You made it,” he says. I hand him a bag of apples and a block of cheese I bought at the supermarket, but the gift suddenly seems meager.

Suelo lights the candle and stokes a fire in the stove, which is an old blackened tin, the kind that Christmas cookies might come in. It’s hooked to a chain of soup cans segmented like a caterpillar and fitted to a hole in the rock. Soon smoke billows into the night and the cave is warm. I think of how John the Baptist survived on honey and locusts in the desert. Suelo, who keeps a copy of the Bible for bedtime reading, is satisfied with a few grasshoppers fried in his skillet.

HE WASN’T ALWAYS THIS WAY. SUELO graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in anthropology, he thought about becoming a doctor, he held jobs, he had cash and a bank account. In 1987, after several years as an assistant lab technician in Colorado hospitals, he joined the Peace Corps and was posted to an Ecuadoran village high in the Andes. He was charged with monitoring the health of tribespeople in the area, teaching first aid and nutrition, and handing out medicine where needed; his proudest achievement was delivering three babies. The tribe had been getting richer for a decade, and during the two years he was there he watched as the villagers began to adopt the economics of modernity. They sold the food from their fields—quinoa, potatoes, corn, lentils—for cash, which they used to purchase things they didn’t need, as Suelo describes it. They bought soda and white flour and refined sugar and noodles and big bags of MSG to flavor the starchy meals. They bought TVs. The more they spent, says Suelo, the more their health declined. He could measure the deterioration on his charts. “It looked,” he says, “like money was impoverishing them.”

The experience was transformative,…. but Suelo needed another decade to fashion his response. He moved to Moab and worked at a women’s shelter for five years. He wanted to help people, but getting paid for it seemed dishonest—how real was help that demanded recompense? The answer lay, in part, in the Christianity of his childhood. In Suelo’s nascent philosophy, following Jesus meant adopting the hard life prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount. “Giving up possessions, living beyond credit and debt,” Suelo explains on his blog, “freely giving and freely taking, forgiving all debts, owing nobody a thing, living and walking without guilt . . . grudge [or] judgment.” If grace was the goal, Suelo told himself, then it had to be grace in the classical sense, from the Latin gratia, meaning favor—and also, free.

By 1999, he was living in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand—he had saved just enough money for the flight. From there, he made his way to India, where he found himself in good company among the sadhus, the revered ascetics who go penniless for their gods. Numbering as many as 5 million, the sadhus can be found wandering roads and forests across the subcontinent, seeking enlightenment in self-….abnegation. “I wanted to be a sadhu,” Suelo says. “But what good would it do for me to be a sadhu in India? A true test of faith would be to return to one of the most materialistic, money-….worshipping nations on earth and be a sadhu there. To be a vagabond in America, a bum, and make an art of it—the idea enchanted me.”

THERE ISN’T ENOUGH SPACE IN SUELO’S cave for two, so I sleep in the open, at the edge of a hundred-foot cliff. No worries about animals, he says. Though mountain lions drink from the stream, and bobcats hunt rabbits under the cottonwoods, the worst he’s experienced was a skunk that sprayed him in the face. Mice scurry over his body in the cave, and kissing bugs sometimes suck the blood from under his fingernails while he sleeps. He shrugs off these indignities. “After all, it’s their cave too,” he says. I hunker down near a nest of scorpions, which crawl up the canyon walls, ignoring me.

The morning ritual is simple and slow: a cup of sharp tea brewed from the needles of piñon and juniper trees, a swim in the cold emerald water where the creek pools in the red rock. Then, two naked cavemen lounging under the Utah sun. Around noon, we forage along the banks and under the cliffs, looking for the stuff of a stir-fry dinner. We find mustard plants among the rocks, the raw leaves as satisfying as cauliflower, and down in the cool of the creek—where Suelo gets his water and takes his baths (no soap for him) —we cull watercress in heads as big as supermarket lettuce, and on the bank we spot a lode of wild onions, with bulbs that pop clean from the soil. In leaner times, Suelo’s gatherings include ants, grubs, termites, lizards, and roadkill. He recently found a deer, freshly run over, and carved it up and boiled it. “The best venison of my life,” he says.

I tell him that living without money seems difficult. What about starvation? He’s never gone without a meal (friends in Moab sometimes feed him). What about getting deadly ill? It happened once, after eating a cactus he misidentified—h….e vomited, fell into a delirium, thought he was dying, even wrote a note for those who would find his corpse. But he got better. That it’s hard is exactly the point, he says. “Hardship is a good thing. We need the challenge. Our bodies need it. Our immune systems need it. My hardships are simple, right at hand—they’re manageable.” When I tell him about my rent back in New York—$2,400 a month—he shakes his head. What’s left unsaid is that I’m here writing about him to make money, for a magazine that depends for its survival on the advertising revenue of conspicuous consumption. As he prepares a cooking fire, Suelo tells me that years ago he had a neighbor in the canyon, an alcoholic who lived in a cave bigger than his. The old man would pan for gold in the stream and net enough cash each month to buy the beer that kept him drunk. Suelo considers the riches of our own forage. “What if we saw gold for what it is?” he says meditatively. “Gold is pretty but virtually useless. Somebody decided it has worth, and everybody accepted this decision. The natives in the Americas thought Europeans were insane because of their lust for such a useless yellow substance.”

He sautés the watercress, mustard leaves, and wild onions, mixing in fresh almonds he picked from a friend’s orchard and ghee made from Dumpster-dived butter, and we eat out of his soot-caked pans. From the perch on the cliff, the life of the sadhu seems reasonable. But I don’t want to live in a cave. I like indoor plumbing (Suelo squats). I like electricity. Still, there’s an obvious beauty in the simplicity of subsistence. It’s an un-American notion these days. We don’t revere our ascetics, and we dismiss the idea that money could be some kind of consensual delusion. For most of us, it’s as real as the next house payment. Suelo doesn’t take public assistance or use food stamps, but he does survive in part on our reality, the discarded surfeit of the money system that he denounces—a system, as it happens, that recently looked like it was headed for the cliff.

Suelo is 48, and he doesn’t exactly have a 401(k). “I’ll do what creatures have been doing for millions of years for retirement,” he says. “Why is it sad that I die in the canyon and not in the geriatric ward well-insured? I have great faith in the power of natural selection. And one day, I will be selected out.” Until then, think of him like the raven, cleaning up the carcasses the rest of us leave behind.

15
Sep
08

World Peace and How to REALLY Get It

Below is a three part piece on Bullshit by Penn and Teller. While I disagree with some of their conclusions, this is one thing that I believe that I do agree with. I’ve been there and done that – so hopefully this doesn’t offend any of my fellow peace-activists.

11
Sep
08

September 11, 2008

Where ever this country has gone since Sept 11, 2001 – conspiracy or no conspiracy – let us remember the people who were lost.

Thank you to all the heroes that day.

16
Mar
08

Winter Soldier

So the Winter Soldier movie is out this weekend. And you know what? I find it odd that I am not all over it. I am avidly anti-war and am part of IVAW. However, as of recently I have been finding myself at odds with IVAW and her doings.

 

With Winter Soldier, I cannot really put my thoughts into words really. I want the war to end. I am a non-interventionalist. I believe that we need to quit meddling in other countries foreign policies and doings. And thus this means that we need to get out of Iraq, ASAP.

 

However, the Winter Soldier (2008) seems to reek of Winter Soldier (1971). Will the truth, and nothing but the truth be told this year? Or will people like Army PVT Beauchamp or Jesse MacBeth be telling the stories?

 

Furthermore, what if they are telling the truth? I don’t think America cares enough to create any rifts in our current politics anyways…




Quotes:

"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it." - Patrick Henry

"Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason." - Anonymous

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country" - Hermann Goering

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing." - Romans 7:18-19

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

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