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Showing posts from August, 2007

Larry Craig in Focus: Can September Redeem an Awkward August?

By Ron Elving
Npr.org

August is normally the month when big-time Washington decision makers get out of town to relax and recharge. They spend time with normal people, some of whom may be family members. They remember what life is supposed to be about, and how to treat others with respect.

With luck, they return to their offices with their decency and reasonableness restored. That's one reason September is normally a pretty productive month in Washington.

But don't count on that happening this year. This August recess has been anything but a time-out for the power structure. The Washington wars have continued without interruption, and casualties have continued to mount.

As usual, a lot of the hostilities have focused on personalities and the arc of careers. Most recent of the victims is Sen. Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican who may become the first member of Congress to be almost literally laughed out of office.

Craig was arrested in a men's room in Minneapolis in June and plead…

A piece of communal paradise in Baltimore

This weekend three of my dearest friends and I camped one night in a Baltimore graveyard. The St. Peter's Graveyard was abandoned by the church in the late 60s, but it was rescued by the community of nonviolent resistance, Jonah House. The great Liz MacAllister, and her late great husband Phil Berrigan founded Jonah House together more than 30 years ago. The place is simply a piece of paradise in the middle of an inner city. The paradise is created not by the wonderful setting of the graveyard and the woods over-growing one side of the property, nor of the bountiful apple and plum trees on the property. The paradise that has been created by Jonah House is their community. I was truly touched by the warm reception and absolute inclusion we received from Liz (who always makes an impression on me), Susan Crane, Joe, and Sisters Ardeth and Carol (of the Colorado Ploughshares action). Eta and Mike were away on their honeymoon still. Soon after arriving, Susan gave us a tour of the hous…

Can you imagine what we could spend on peace?

~As delivered by Pete Perry at the William Penn House, Washington, D.C.
August 16, 2007

Good evening, my friends. My brothers and sisters in the peace and justice movement. I wanted to talk to you this evening about something that is often glossed over in the current American peace movement, something that I believe has kept us from gaining more strength and broadening our movement, and in fact diversifying it. And that is the connection of the peace movement to the social justice movement. They are in some ways one movement, but commonly they are viewed separately.

I pose this question to you – how can we possibly have justice here at home – in Washington, DC – when our government is spending more than $600 Billion on total military expenditures in 2006 alone? Peace is great – it is what we all want, but if we truly did have peace – if our government did turn away from invading and occupying other nations -- which never posed a serious threat to our shores – would we make sure our gove…

Sheehan to challenge Pelosi

I was there the day about three weeks ago when Cindy announced she was running against Pelosi. It was outside of Rep. John Conyers'office. I think change is in the air, and all politics is local. The San Fran area is perhaps the most staunchly progressive in the whole country. Tomorrow morning I will be dropping a check for Cindy's campaign in the mail.


Peace activist seeks SF-area House seat
Associated Press report

Citing her son as inspiration, a tearful Cindy Sheehan announced her candidacy Thursday for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The anti-war activist, a former resident of Vacaville, said she will run as an independent against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has represented San Francisco in Congress since 1987.

"The country is ripe for a change," said Sheehan, who spoke at a news conference in San Francisco, with her slain son's photograph attached to the podium. "It's going to start right here and right now."

Sheehan's 24-year-old son, Cas…