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Mon

06

Nov

2006

All you need is love (...and a small, well-trained army)
Monday, 06 November 2006 03:10

by Mickey Z.


Warning: This article has not been approved by the Department of Homeland Security. Read at your own risk
.

Thomas Jefferson sez: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

In his most recent book, a two-volume set called 'Endgame,' author Derrick Jensen tells of a discussion he had with a longtime activist. "She told me of a campaign she participated in a few years ago to try to stop the government and transnational timber corporations from spraying Agent Orange, a potent defoliant and teratogen, in the forests of Oregon," Jensen writes.

All too predictably, the dedicated demonstrators assembled to protest the toxic spraying were, "like clockwork," ignored by the helicopter pilots.

Both humans and landscape ended up thoroughly doused with Agent Orange-time and time again. The protest campaign obviously had no effect, so a different approach was taken. "A bunch of Vietnam vets lived in those hills," the activist told Jensen, "and they sent messages to the Bureau of Land Management and to Weyerhauser, Boise Cascade, and the other timber companies saying, 'We know the names of your helicopter pilots, and we know their addresses' "You know what happened next?" she asked.

 

 




"I think I do," Jensen responded.

"Exactly," she said. "The spraying stopped."

******

 

To me, the following quote reads like poetry...so that's how I'll present it."

Whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness (Thomas Jefferson) ****** In her excellent 1.

5 book, ³Bridge of Courage,² Jennifer Harbury quotes a Guatemalan freedom fighter named Gabriel, responding to a plea to embrace non-violent resistance: "In my country child malnutrition is close to 85 percent. Ten percent of all children will be dead before the age of five, and this is only the number actually reported to government agencies. Close to 70 percent of our people are functionally illiterate. There is almost no industry in our country-you need land to survive. Less than 3 percent of our landowners own over 65 percent of our lands. In the last fifteen years or so, there have been over 150,000 political murders and disappearances...

Don't talk to me about Gandhi; he wouldn't have survived a week here. There was a peaceful movement for progress here, once. They were crushed. We were crushed. For Gandhi's method to work, there must be a government capable of shame. We lack that here."

Repeat after me: We lack that here.

******
 

Another "poem" of sorts."

You've got to learn that when you push people around, some people push back.

As they should. As they must. And as they undoubtedly will.

There is justice in such symmetry. (Ward Churchill) Love is the answer...but as in tennis, sometimes it means "nothing."

 

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Jimmy Montague said:

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I know another one
Back in 1980, I was watching TV news at the old Peck Road Truckstop off the Pomona Freeway near Los Angeles. There was a story about a Vietnam vet, an artilleryman, whose hearing had been blown out by the noise of cannons. He'd been trying for years to get the VA to give him a hearing aid. They refused repeatedly. Each time he petitioned them, he was told: "The VA does not provide hearing aids."

So on the day I was at Peck Road, this vet put on his cammo fatigues, loaded up a 20-round magazine and slapped it into his M-14 assault rifle. Then he borrowed his buddy's Jeep CJ, and drove to the VA Medical Center in LA. He crashed the Jeep through big, plate glass windows in front of the hospital, stopped in the lobby and shot the place up. He didn't shoot anybody, mind, he just shot the place up. He was arrested at the scene.

Six months later, I'd forgotten all about the incident. I was at home for a few days. I went to the Post Office to pick up my mail and found a letter there from the VA. It was one of those "advisory" letters telling vets about changes in benefits, and guess what it said!

Yup. You got it. "The VA now provides hearing aids for vets with service-connected hearing loss."

I can't imagine the two incidents are connected, mind you. But even if they aren't, there's a certain poetry there, don't you think?

In fairness I should add the fact that I owe my life to the VA healthcare system. I would have died at least four times in the last 12 years had VA medical care not been there for me. As far as I'm concerned, VA has its shortcomings like everything else in this life. But on the whole, the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs is a wonderful organization and one of the finest things left of the former U.S. Government.

One of the stories I haven't seen covered here is the fact that VA is threatened now as we all are by the power-mad, runamok little shit who scammed his way into the White House. Maybe you guys know someone who can correct that?
 
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