Tag Archives: peace

Berkeley and the Marines

I’ve gotten lots of requests for comments about the ongoing situation involving [tag]Marine recruiting[/tag], the city of [tag]Berkeley[/tag], and Federal Legislators threatening to punish citizens by withholding money from, among other things, the schools. I’m not there, so I can’t comment directly on the situation. I may not even understand the situation at all, for that matter. But I can comment on some of the assumptions present in some of the emails and articles and news stories I’ve seen or been sent.

For starters, Berkeley’s mayor, Tom Bates, was a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, and apparently not a lifelong anarchist. (Or, if is his, he was probably the most confused Army officer ever).

Second of all, Code Pink as an organization (which I am not a spokesperson for) does not advocate fragging. Code Pink supports the troops, not the war.

Anyone who thinks the tactics some recruiters use aren’t predatory are high.

And last of all, if you’re so damned determined to send every able-bodied American to serve in this so-called nobel war, why don’t you shut up and go set an example?

If you’d like to read more about the recruiting practices being protested, you can check out this page.

Sure, there are liberal activists who would like to dismantle the military. There are Conservatives who want to abolish the federal government and organize around militias, too. Focusing on the fringe isn’t a very good way to have a rational conversation.

The core issue here isn’t to my understanding the existence of the military, nor is it about people who choose to become public servants by joining the armed forces. It’s the increasingly desperate and deceptive recruiting practices that have most people concerned.

I’m rather tired and I’m sure after 9 or 10 drafts I could make this cogent and reasonable, but then I’d never get around to posting it.

Phil Nesmith in the WaPo: "From Baghdad, Pictures of Peace"

Nothing has exploded and no one is wounded in Phil Nesmith’s photographs of Iraq. And that might be the most extraordinary thing about his show, opening Saturday at Irvine Contemporary.

“My Baghdad” chronicles Nesmith’s two trips to the war zone in ambrotypes– hazy, antique-looking images created on glass plates.

The surprisingly placid images were shot in 2003-04 and during a brief stint in 2006, and they include barren Iraqi landscapes, birds on a wire and sunsets marred only by a passing helicopter. They have the patina of old Civil War photographs, but were shot digitally — because things move too quickly in Iraq to pull out a large camera and wait for a long exposure. “It’s too dangerous for that,” Nesmith says.

[read the whole article]

Phil’s blog is here and this is his [tag]Ferrotype[/tag] site.

The opening reception for Phil Nesmith: My Baghdad is at Irvine Contemporary from 6-8 on Saturday. You should check out his work. And encourage him to sell me the picture I want to buy that isn’t for sale, if you just happen to have him cornered.

Free Burma: International Bloggers' Day for Burma

Free Burma!

I know that Free Burma, who’ve organized the “one blog post” campaign, want participants to post the graphic in lieu of a real post today, but I’m not very good at following directions so I’d like to direct you to the website of the [tag]U.S. Campaign for Burma[/tag], which I believe is one of the best informational site about the human rights situation in [tag]Burma[/tag].

(Disclaimer: Husband’s school-friend Jeremy runs this organization, but I’d be deeply impressed with their work even if we didn’t know them).

Tomorrow I'll get back to The Silliness

Today, the options seem to be despair or hope. I’ll pick hope. Here’s a link to [tag]The People Speak[/tag], a program that developed out of the [tag]United Nations Foundation[/tag]. The initiative brings young people together to debate current events issues in a structured environment and the website strives to create “…a community of young people who are passionate about global issues.” By all accounts, it’s working.

Beware the Quakers. First, they lull you into submission with their oats…

The [tag]ACLU[/tag] has an extensive section on their website dedicated to [tag]domestic spying[/tag]. The whole situation is deeply troubling and I don’t wish to make light of it, but something in an October press release caught my eye:

Also included in the documents is information on a series of protests mistakenly identified as taking place in Springfield, Illinois (the protests actually occurred in Springfield, Massachusetts). According to the document, “Source received an e-mail from the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), e-mail address: [REDACTED] that stated that on March 18-20, a series of protest actions were planned in the Springfield, IL area… to focus on actions at military recruitment offices with the goals to include: raising awareness, education, visibility in community, visibility to recruiters as part of a national day of action.”

The people tasked with protecting the homeland can’t tell the difference between Springfield, Illinois and Springfield, Massachusetts?

Nevertheless, the more I think about it the more I think that maybe they’re barking up the right tree after all. After all, Sidwell Friends is considered the premier [tag]Quaker[/tag] school. A fair number of our friends there and look how well they turned out.

And how about some of Sidwell’s most prominent alums: Tricia and Julie Nixon? Nancy Reagan? Valerie Rusmfeld? I hope someone checked them for Quaker-implanted mind control devices. You can’t be too careful, from the looks of the FOIA documents the ACLU has posted.

In the months this post has marinated in my draft-file, I’ve thought more about the issue. And thinking about what a dedicated and committed Quaker [tag]Richard Nixon[/tag] was, I’m wondering if maybe they weren’t watching the Quakers closely enough

No, that’s wrong. I’m kidding. Aren’t I? I think so. Yes. Definitely kidding.

You can search the ACLU site for more about domestic wiretapping, spying and Quakers, they’ve posted a considerable number of documents, statements, and testimony transcripts since I started this post (last October).