Wednesday, February 28, 2007
TIME: 6p.m. free pizza buffet and announcements (seating limited, come early).
6:30p.m. film and discussion.
VENUE: Poppa Rollo's Pizza mtg. room (enter from outside at front or from inside). 703 North
Valley Mills Dr., Waco.
WHO: all welcome.
PRICE: free (donations appreciated).
LENGTH: 96 minutes.
WHY: Waco premier of this outstanding documentary, just released.
The U.S. vs John Lennon is the compelling and provocative story of John Lennon's evolution from beloved Beatle to outspoken artist and activist to iconic inspiration for peace, and how, in the midst of one of the most tumultuous times in American history, Lennon stood his ground, refused to be silenced and courageously won his battle with the U.S. Government.
An inspiring story from the Vietnam era, with amazing parallels to today.
"Smart and deeply affecting."-Ann Hornaday, Washington Post.
"Gripping and moving."-John Payne, LA Weekly.
"Of all the documentaries that have been made about John, this is the one he would have loved."-Yoko Ono Lennon.
your attendance is respectfully requested and greatly appreciated to support a forum for progressive thought in central texas. you will not be disappointed with this film....you will be inspired to continue the struggle.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
In January, 2007 we staged a protest at Mr. Edwards office outside, then entered the office and requested a video conference with the Congressman. We were told he was not available but that a meeting would be arranged (see details in blog below). By February nothing had happened. Thus on February 13 we repeated the action and stated we would just wait in the office until Mr. Edwards could give us a couple minutes of his time. After some discussion we were given a live appointment with the Congressman for February 20 in Waco.
Three of us met with Mr. Edwards and some of his staff members for 45 minutes. We thanked him for voting FOR the nonbinding resolution opposing the Bush escalation of the Iraq War and strongly urged him to vote AGAINST Mr. Bush's next supplemental funding bill to prolong the war. We found Mr. Edwards very informed, intelligent, and open to our ideas. It is not clear how he will vote however. And of this writing, the Democrats are working on various pieces of legislation to help bring the US troops home. I am concerned that the Democrats may not have the guts to take the needed steps to end this illegal war. We will keep in touch with the Congressman with our requests that he vote for steps to rapidly bring the US troops home.
Your calls to his office at this crucial juncture will be very helpful: 202-224-3121.
Our many thanks to Congressman Edwards for his time and consideration, and to his staff for their hospitality and help.
(On a positive note, a group of 20 staged a protest at Mr. Edwards' College Station office on Feb. 22. They presented many letters urging an end to the US occupation. Great! Two protests in one week, right in the heart of "BushCountry." For details: www.skiscoldwaterflat.blogspot.com )
“Sometimes, to be silent is to lie.” –Miguel de Unamuno
The National Mall in Washington, D.C. was filled Jan. 27th with ordinary citizens, peace activists, Congresspeople, military personnel, labor leaders, children, actors, and actresses. The hundreds of thousands overflowed from the Mall and it seemed the unified voices for peace and nonviolence would permeate the surrounding edifices of governmental power. And yet I remembered how easily most members of Congress and citizens were duped into supporting military action against Iraq while attempts at nonviolent conflict resolution were still ongoing. I reflected on those factors that underlie our country’s addiction to war:
The military-industrial complex is still alive and well, demonstrating tremendous power in the halls of Congress. Yes, war is more profitable than peace for some—just ask Halliburton, Bechtel, Blackwater or George David, the CEO of United Technologies (Black Hawk helicopters), who was paid $88.3 million in 2004.
Excessive nationalism and our demand to power our Hummers and other conveniences often convince us that we have an innate right to all the world’s resources. Thus to many, invading countries such as Iraq in order to control their oil is justified, and their injured civilians are acceptable “collateral damage.”
Many Americans espouse a religious tradition which can condemns millions of people in the world to an eternity of suffering because they call their supreme being by a different name. Hence we refuse to negotiate with their “evil” governments, preferring bombs for the nonbelievers, and we tolerate torture. Americans barely noticed the Lancet report of the excess deaths of 650,000 Iraqis since March 2003.
The U.S. continues to allow state killing of humans through the death penalty. (Japan and S. Korea are the only other developed democracies permitting capital punishment.). This action reinforces the mindset that killing is an acceptable way of dealing with human problems.
American entertainment in which watching the death of numerous people (body count films) is considered enjoyable must reflect a distorted sense of pleasure and a lessened value of human life. Most popular video games provide a vicarious thrill of killing, and many portray war as sport. Under the influence of our culture, a 4 year old child tragically described to me a video game “head shot.”
Finally, the media is vitally important as our provider of reality beyond our immediate personal experience. But the corporate media is often owned by companies that profit from war, and usually functions as cheerleaders for those profiting from military conflict. Thus, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) found that shortly before the Iraq invasion less than 1% of “experts” appearing on major network news shows were antiwar activists. And once the war started, the media adopted the government propaganda in its language (“Operation Iraqi Freedom”) and used attractive video game-like graphics and rousing music to support military adventures. So “Shock and Awe” consisted of beautiful images of bombs lighting up the Baghdad night, rather than the image of an Iraqi parent holding the mutilated body of his child. War became entertainment.
Yet with all these influences opposing peace, as the massive march encircled the Congress we felt hopeful that the members inside would hear our voices and the voices of a majority of Americans and take decisive action to end the occupation of Iraq. And we were hopeful that Iraq would be the last Vietnam.
Written by Alan Northcutt. Edited and published by the Waco Tribune Herald, February 10, 2007.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
The "I" word has now been spoken publicly and clearly in Waco. The Impeachment billboard went up February 1, 2007 on Waco Drive. As you drive South toward Waco proper (away from Bellmead) just before the river, you will see the billboard in a large field on your left. The background is actually bright yellow, although it looks green in the photograph. It is unclear at this time if impeachment will occur, and certainly ending the Iraq War is the first priority. But as a matter of principle and assertion of 1st amendment rights, this statement needs to be made in Waco, particularly when local infatuation with Bush persists, and the desire for tourist dollars (Bush library) has overpowered any honest evaluation of the horrendous Bush legacy. Grounds for impeachment include: 1)violation of US and international law by the invasion of Iraq, 2) violation of US law by warrantless electronic eavesdropping, 3) violation of US and international law by authorizing torture, 4) and violation of the principles of separation of powers with over 700 presidential "signing statements." Want to take action? Contact your congressman thru the D.C. switchboard 202 224 3121. Or sign our online petition by going to the August archive in this website. SILENCE IS NO LONGER AN OPTION.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
images from United for Peace and Justice Rally and March, Washington, D.C., Jan. 27, 2007.
TITLE: "January 27, 2007 March on Washington: 500,000 Voices Against the Iraq Occupation."
DATE: Thursday, February 8, 2007.
TIME: Free Pizza Buffet 6p.m., Film and discussion 6:30p.m.
PLACE: Poppa Rollo's Pizza Meeting Room, 703 N. Valley Mills Drive.
COST: Free to public; seating limited; donations appreciated.
The news/documentary was produced by Democracy Now and is 1 hour in length. This documentary takes you beyond the 15 second sound bites of the corporate media, and places you in the middle of the massive rally and march which just happened. Experience the crowds, signs, messages, and speeches. Speakers included Rep. Maxine Waters, Bob Watada, Rev. Jesse Jackson, labor leaders, Iraq war veterans, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Jane Fonda, Sean Penn, CodePink leaders, and Tim Robbins. Those who attended the event or other peace rallies will find this energizing. Those who have never attended a rally or are undecided about the Iraq war will find the film informative.
Time will be available after the film for discussion, including comments by individuals who were fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend the march. The discussion will include information about what steps we can all take in the Waco area to help end the occupation.
This is a crucial time, with the Congress currently debating resolutions to help end the war.
Please make your opinion known. You can call the Congressional switchboard and ask for the office of your Senator or Representative: 202-224-3121.
We will be honored by your attendance at this unique film event. Note: as announced in January, the 2nd Thursday is our regular film/forum night for 2007. Thank you.
As one speaker stated at the rally: "SILENCE IS NO LONGER AN OPTION."