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Fri Jun 20, 2014, 09:55 AM

Change the World: Today

“Libby had reasons beyond politics to be obsessed with Matthews. …Libby called Russert on July 10 to complain about Matthews. For Scooter, it would be a fateful call. …Russert suggested Libby call the president of MSNBC. Russert promised to call Neal Shapiro, the president of NBC. …Russert told Shapiro that he viewed Libby’s call as an implicit warning …. Shapiro spoke with Matthews’s executive producer, and urged him to have the talkshow host throttle back a bit. ’Hey,’ Shapiro recalled saying, ‘this guy is still the vice president’.”
-- Michael Isikoff & David Corn; Hubris; Crown Publishers; 2006; pages 266-67.

Two weeks ago, while driving on a local highway, I saw a snapping turtle attempting to cross the road. I’ve long stopped to assist turtles during their egg-laying season. For snappers, I have some tools to help me avoid their powerful beak. As I was getting the shovel out of the back of my vehicle, a lone car approached. The driver purposefully swerved, to kill the turtle, and continued on his way.

Watching clips of Dick Cheney’s rant against President Obama last night -- covered on MSNBC -- I found myself questioning if the former vice president reminded me more of the dead snapping turtle, or the guy who killed it for no good reason?

As obscene as it is to see the vile thugs like Paul Wolfowitz babble on about U.S. “national security” interests in Iraq, Cheney is by far the most toxic. Everyone on “The Last Word” agreed that Cheney’s contribution to the national conversation damages the republican party. In part, this is because while many republicans wish Cheney would just shut u, another segment of the party views Cheney as a wise elder statesman.

Anything that creates a divide among republicans is, by definition, a good thing. And every time that Dick Cheney’s evil mug is shown in association with that party, it’s a really good thing for all non-republicans. For when he opens his beak, everyone recognizes that lies are his language, and death and destruction roll from his tongue. You go, Dick! Straight to hell.

Recently, I posted a short essay on DU, urging people to become active in a non-violent movement to counter the republicans’ call to yet more “military intervention” in Iraq. It is important, in my opinion, to express support for NOT getting involved in yet more violence and warfare at this time. No matter if one supports President Obama or not is immaterial. He is definitely being pressured by the necroconservatives to attempt to secure energy corporations’ access to the resources of the Middle East -- no matter how many middle class and poor young American soldiers would be involved in killing and dying, or the horrors that the Iraqi people would suffer.

Cheney provides a vehicle for the Democratic Left and Democratic Party to make progress in areas beyond Iraq itself. This is obviously important in the context of this year’s elections. I’d like to discuss this in the context of some of the negative responses my last OP got -- not as an argument, an insult, or pointing fingers. Rather, we should be focusing on the potential benefits for all of us.
First, some people believe that, at the national level, politicians from both parties serve the same master. I am among those who thinks this way. That is not to say that I don’t think a President Obama, or a President Clinton, isn’t better than any George Bush or Ronald Reagan. Obviously, both Obama and Clinton are superior beings than Bush or Reagan, and are hoping to make positive contributions to the lives of ordinary citizens. But our nation has not only become an empire that colonizes, but it has been in the post-overreaching phase of empires. And it has for far too long been based upon a military-industrial economy, to provide for a military foreign policy. More, it is turning against those very ordinary citizens, fearing that they will practice democracy.

Others believe that no meaningful progress can be made, until Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld are prosecuted for war crimes. Again, I am among those who advocate prosecuting those hoodlums. Yet, I do not believe that no significant progress can be made until such prosecutions take place. Indeed, I would say that until progress begins to build steam, there will be no accountability for men I rank among the most terrible criminals in human history.

In his 2008 book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,” Vincent Bugliosi made a strong case for the criminal prosecution of Bush, Cheney, et al. Interestingly, he noted that such a prosecution could take place on a “local,” county level. A prosecutor could indict any one (or all) of them, charging them with the murder of any military person from their district. It would seem more likely that this could take place, than the Justice Department from any administration ever seriously considering taking the case in the name of justice.

Is that totally unrealistic? Muhammad Ali once said that he believed that anyone who didn’t believe in miracles was totally unrealistic. And, as friend Rubin “Hurricane” Carter told me on July 4, 1976, “Miracles DO happen -- they just take a dog-gone lotta work.” I believe both of these men accomplished the impossible here in America.

What would it take to elect a District Attorney willing to prosecute a Bush or Cheney? It would definitely require a coordinated effort by the Democratic Left and Democratic Party. And what would that require? You. You and me. And the next person. And the next one. It is possible to elect such a District Attorney, and fully support her effort to seek justice. But it isn’t possible if we do not assume other progress is impossible, until that somehow happens upon its own.

Others questioned if non-violent action could accomplish meaningful change. That’s a fair question. I recognize that everyone is entitled tio their opinion. But if your opinion somehow locks you into a position where you identify yourself as helpless and hopeless, you might want to get rid of it. If your opinion reduces you to simply complaining on the internet, get rid of it.

How effective is non-violence, either as a tactic or a way of life? We need to consider that for ourselves, as individuals. Surely, the victories of a Gandhi or a King provide evidence that non-violence can work. Likewise, we can identify times where non-violent groups were crushed to earth.
It would be easy to mistake the efforts of those who have been crushed as failures. There are actually two types of related failures, however: the moral and ethical failures of those who participate in the crushing, and the failure of those who, for whatever reason, choose to turn their backs and say that nothing can be done, the opposition is too powerful, and accept the conditions inflicted upon them.

Non-violent activism includes public rallies, marches, and sit-ins, but it is not limited to those things. It includes everything associated with Amendment 1. We need voter registration and education campaigns. That means going into those neighborhoods that are taken for granted by politicians -- either because so few residents participate in the election process, or because they typically vote in a routine manner for machine candidates -- and exposing them to new ways of thinking.

I understand why some people honestly believe that the Cheneyites are too powerful to confront. But they have been lied to. They do not understand the Power of Ideas. Thus, they can not fully appreciate that the Truth is stronger than any lie.

We have an opportunity, now, today. Let’s not waste it. For if we allow it to pass us by, it will never present itself again. Another opportunity that looks kind of like it may come our way, but it can not be the same as we have now. It can only be more difficult to exercise.

Let’s get to work.

H2O Man

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Reply Change the World: Today (Original post)
H2O Man Jun 2014 OP
tk2kewl Jun 2014 #1
H2O Man Jun 2014 #3
G_j Jun 2014 #2
H2O Man Jun 2014 #4
Agony Jun 2014 #5

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jun 20, 2014, 12:14 PM

1. I think your essay dovetails nicely with this guys thoughts


“I am a patriot. I have always sought to serve my country, in theory a Republic. Learning that secrecy was evil rather than good was my first step. From there it was a steady march toward open-source everything. Now I see all the evil that secrecy enables in a corrupt Congress, a corrupt Executive, a corrupt economy, and a corrupt society. I see that the greatest service I or any other person can render to the Republic is to march firmly, non-violently, toward open-source everything.”
― Robert David Steele, The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust

check out this post for more on Steele: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251367717

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 20, 2014, 01:07 PM

3. Thanks for that.

In theory, the US is (or was) a republic; Jefferson changed it to a democratic republic in the early 1800s; and it has become the military-industrial complex -- merged with "energy" corporations, that Ike warned about in my lifetime. And "democracy" is nothing but a fancy, feel-good word, unless people practice it. And far, far too many people -- good people -- sit back and although they are unhappy, fail to add their contributions to the effort to revive this country's potential for good.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jun 20, 2014, 01:03 PM

2. K&R

well said!

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Response to G_j (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 20, 2014, 01:08 PM

4. Thanks.

Much appreciated.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jun 20, 2014, 01:25 PM

5. "necroconservatives" toxic to life.

so... we have to be in it for the long haul and not choose to turn our backs and say that nothing can be done.

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