Dissent in the age of Obama by Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
crossposted from Al Jazeera
October 5, 2010

English: Cindy Sheehan speaks at free Palestin...

English: Cindy Sheehan speaks at free Palestine rally in San Francisco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.” – Albert Camus

Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) raided the homes of at least eight anti-war/social justice activists here in the US.

I happen to be a prominent anti-war activist myself, and have joked that I am a “little hurt” that I was not raided and perhaps I should try harder. Even though, we have the urge to try and be light-hearted in this time of an increasing police state, with civil liberties on the retreat, it really isn’t funny considering that the activists could face some serious charges stemming from these raids.

I have felt this harassment on a smaller scale myself and I know that defending oneself against a police state that has unlimited resources, time and cruelty, can be quite expensive, time consuming and annoying.

There is nothing noble about an agency that has reduced itself to being jackbooted enforcers of a neo-fascist police state, no matter how much the FBI has been romanticised in movies, television and books.

For example, in one instance, early in the morning of September 24, at the home of Mick Kelly of Minneapolis, the door was battered in and flung across the room when his partner audaciously asked to see the FBI’s warrant through the door’s peephole. At Jessica Sundin’s home, she walked downstairs to find seven agents ransacking her home while her partner and child looked on in shock.

These raids have terrifying implications for dissent here in the US.

First of all, these US citizens have been long-time and devoted anti-war activists who organised an anti-war rally that was violently suppressed by the US police state in Minneapolis-St. Paul, during the 2008 Republican National Convention. Because the Minneapolis activists have integrity, they had already announced that they would do the same if the Democrats hold their convention there in 2012.

I have observed that it was one thing to be anti-Bush, but to be anti-war in the age of Obama is not to be tolerated by many people. If you will also notice, the only people who seem to know about the raids are those of us already in the movement. There has been no huge outcry over this fresh outrage, either by the so-called movement or the corporate media.

I submit that if George Bush were still president, or if this happened under a McCain/Palin regime, there would be tens of thousands of people in the streets to protest. This is one of the reasons an escalation in police state oppression is so much more dangerous under Obama – even now, he gets a free pass from the very same people who should be adamantly opposed to such policies.

Secondly, I believe because the raids happened to basically ‘unsung’ and unknown, but very active workers in the movement, that the coordinated, early morning home invasions were designed to intimidate and frighten those of us who are still doing the work. The Obama regime would like nothing better than for us to shut up or go underground and to quit embarrassing it by pointing out its abject failures and highlighting its obvious crimes.

Just look at how the Democrats are demonising activists who are trying to point out the inconvenient truth that the country (under a near Democratic tyranny) is sliding further into economic collapse, environmental decay and perpetual war for enormous profit.

Barack and Joe, the commandantes of this police state, say that those who have the temerity to be critical are “asleep” and just need to “buck up”. White House spokesperson, Robert Gibbs, recently stated that we on the “professional left” need to be “drug tested” if we are not addicted to the regimes’ own drug: the Hopium of the Obama propaganda response team.

It seems like, even though some of those that have been nailed to the cross of national security do activism around South America, most of the activism is anti-war and pro-Palestinian rights. Being supportive of any Arab or Muslim, no matter how benign or courageous is a very dangerous activity here in post-9/11 America.

The Supreme Court just decided (Wilner v. National Security Agency) that the National Security Agency (NSA) did not have to disclose if it was using warrantless wiretapping to spy on attorneys representing the extra-legal detention of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obtaining warrants, with cause, and attorney-client privilege were important principles of the US justice system, but even the neo-fascist Supreme Court is undermining the law – talk about “activist” judges!

Not only have activists been targeted here in the States, but Obama has ominously declared himself judge, jury and executioner of anyone that he deems a national security “threat”. These are the actions of a tyrant and another assault against our rights and against the rule of law from a person who promised “complete transparency” from his administration.

We have learned that Obama’s first victim under his presidential execution programme is Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim who is now in Yemen. Without showing proof of al-Awlaki’s so-called executionable offenses and without a trial in a court of law, Obama has unloosed his hit squads on Awlaki. Is there anyone out there reading this who does not believe, or fear, that this programme could quickly descend into summary executions within the borders of the US?

Al-Awlaki’s father has filed a motion in federal court to stay the execution of his son until he gets his constitutionally guaranteed rights to due process, but Obama’s justice department has refused to cooperate stating that to do so would ‘undermine’ that fabled, exploited and ephemeral ‘national security’.

When Obama behaves like Bush, only on steroids, he amply demonstrates why other people hate our country so much. Persons in other countries are not nearly as blind as Americans. They know that even though Obama went to Cairo to blather about building understanding between the US and the Muslim world, actions speak louder than words and Obama’s actions drip with carnage and pain.

Obviously, the suppression of dissent here in the US, while outrageous and inexcusable, has not reached the level of the McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950’s – yet.

The longer we Americans remain silent in the face of these injustices, the more they will continue to occur and escalate.

Make your voice heard!

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Specialist Casey A. Sheehan who was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004. Since then, she has been a tireless activist for peace and human rights; has published five books, has her own Internet radio show: Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox, and has been nominated in the past for the Noble Peace Prize. Cindy lives in Oakland, CA and loves to spend time with her three grandbabies in her spare time.

You can learn more about Cindy’s activism and events at Peace of the Action.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

see

Hey Nan, how’s that liberal agenda going for you? by Cindy Sheehan

More B.S. Charges Against Me by Cindy Sheehan

March to Nowhere by Chris Hedges

“Don’t F*** With Our Activists” – Mobilizing Against FBI Raids by Roxanne Amico (updated)

58 thoughts on “Dissent in the age of Obama by Cindy Sheehan

  1. Pingback: Hey Nan, how’s that liberal agenda going for you? by Cindy Sheehan « Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Cindy Sheehan: How the anti-war movement is asleep under Obama « Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: Bruce A. Dixon: A More Effective Imperial CEO « Dandelion Salad

  4. Pingback: Terrorist by Association by Jeremy Gantz « Dandelion Salad

  5. Pingback: SOS in a Bottle: Raising the Political Asylum Quota for Americans by Sibel Edmonds « Dandelion Salad

  6. Pingback: Anwar Al-Awlaqi: Judge Rules that President’s Decision to Assassinate US Citizens Abroad, Without Due Process or Explanation, is “Judicially Unreviewable” « Dandelion Salad

  7. Pingback: The War is Wallpaper by Daniel N. White « Dandelion Salad

  8. Pingback: Why I Loathe The Democrats by Philip A. Farruggio « Dandelion Salad

  9. Pingback: Injustice in the age of Obama by Cindy Sheehan « Dandelion Salad

  10. Pingback: Spying and lying about the left – Cindy Sheehan targeted by Brian Lenzo « Dandelion Salad

  11. Pingback: Making free speech a crime « Dandelion Salad

      • You heard me. Rocko needs to rock on somewhere else.
        This is not a good force in your church. Let him on his way.

      • It wasn’t a polite response by Natureboy, Dandelion, but it was an appropriate one. I self-censored so that I wouldn’t be banned, but I agree with Natureboy 100%.

        • It’s only a matter of time, Markx, it’s been about a year since rocko runs things around here, as in HE decides whether you smolder for all eternity in the lake of fire, or fluffernutter among the clouds with virgins & dates.

          He’ll quote something from nietzsche or axolotl ‘proving’ the gas chambers never happened just as convincingly as the dead man rose from the grave.

          And as if decreed by Zeus, the vastly more well-read Lo will capitulate, defend, protect, cuddle & connubiate on command with this scripture spouting drunk, and suddenly our IP’s are automatically flagged for eternal damnation…

          This is the last we’ll see of eachother, brother, for as long as David Rocko Koresh is locked down at Lo’s biblical bunker with his guns & goons preaching pastor Terri Jones, we citizens are fighting the night of the living dead.

          Oh, & did you know he’s ‘socialist’? Who cares, I have more pressing problems than reading some couch-hopping drunken bookworm hooked on freaky fundy scriptural literalism.

          But he’s been bloviating on this beautiful blog like flies on flung, & he’s just itchin for a fight, and when you win (which ain’t hard) he’s just on to the next post. A born-again Blogvangelist (and Jesus would NOT approve!).

          (I still love you forever Lo!!!)

        • hey natureboy ..welcome back pal . whatever you drinking , pass the bottle to me . while you are making inflammatory and accusatory statements about em you might as well lump me in with the Phelps crowd. go all the way to the supreme ct. viva la first amendment .

        • I plan on deleting his comment as there is too much to have to edit out. Natureboy has been told on numerous occasions to keep the name calling out of his comments and to keep to the point. But I love Natureboy. And I love Rocket.

        • I’ll repeat: no name calling. Polite conversation with differing opinions can be had without resorting to name calling. If everyone keeps to that then there is no need to edit/delete anyone’s comments. Looking over some of the previous comments, there are some that should have been removed.

          Personally, those who choose to attack others only lower themselves. Obviously they have nothing to add to the conversation if they can only rely on putting others down (with name calling, etc).

        • Indeed. But some may resent this idea that we either believe or burn. That’s a pretty big insult in and of itself!

  12. mymarkx, lunatic asylums are full of people who trusted themselves. This is what I call the Cult of One. By my statements that I don’t trust myself mixed with the list of some of the great Theistic thinkers of history, I thought you would take the hint that we need something beyond ourselves for illumination.

    I happen to share your politics but not your condensing attitude toward believers. But I’ll meet you halfway on this point, though not a perfect theological nor political paradigm, the Christian Marxist matrix that is found in Central American and South American Liberation Theology might be worth your time to take a look at.

    • I’m very familiar with Liberation Theology, Rocket. I’m an atheist, remember?

      And I don’t condemn believers, it is believers who condemn nonbelievers. If people act in ethical, humane, harmonious, and ecologically appropriate ways, I don’t care what their beliefs are as long as they keep them out of my face.

      But I do blame thousands of years of religious strife and billions of needless deaths on believers. Did you ever read Colby and Dennett’s book, “Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon : Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil”? If not for the goddamn missionaries there wouldn’t be a need for Liberation Theology, as imperialism and predatory capitalism are what people need to be liberated FROM. You can’t liberate people when your church is subjugating and oppressing them on behalf of capitalism and imperialism, so Liberation Theologists who were trying to help people, had to confront their own churches, which were one source of the problem.

      In other words, the theology part is not necessary to the liberation part, and if not for the theology part, in many cases the liberation part wouldn’t be necessary at all.

      I understand fully that Liberation Theologists, Spiritual Humanists, Ethical Culturists, Unitarian Universalists, Bahai, and many other groups of believers are well meaning. I have a good friend who is a believer. A few years back I was at a protest at City Hall that was co-sponsored by his (Quaker) church, and he was walking around passing out signs that had some sort of religious message. When he got to me he said, “Oh right. You don’t want one of these signs. You’re an atheist. Thank you for being here today and showing your support.”

      It’s that simple, Rocket. Judge people by who they are and what they do, not by what tribe, group, cult, etc., they belong to, just as you should judge people by their actions instead of by which political party they belong to. Religion is just one of the many things that Annie Besant taught Krishnamurti are divisive forces in the world.

      I don’t want to take your crutches away from you, I just don’t like you trying to cripple other people so that they’ll need crutches also. YOU may need something beyond yourself for illumination, just as many addicts need a higher power in order to stay sober, but not everyone is an addict and not everyone is you, so don’t try to tell me what “we” need. You’re you and I’m me. If we come to agreement on certain things, even though we’ve reached there by different paths, you can’t force me to go back and take a different path when I’m already here, because I won’t let you.

      I’m 70 years old. I’ve been an atheist since I was seven, when I decided that if there was a Creator, the children of the world wouldn’t be subject to such disparate conditions because a Creator would love them all equally and provide for them equally. Ever since I’ve been amused at how otherwise apparently intelligent people have futilely attempted to communicate valid visions and truths into human languages that aren’t capable of communicating those concepts, so the concepts get corrupted in translation and lead to all sorts of trouble. The word “guru” did not originate in India. Alexander the Great took it from the original Pushto, where it meant “we look.” It was later corrupted to mean, “I teach and you learn,” in conformance with the hierarchical linguistics of patriarchy. Your “great thinkers” were handicapped by their societies, their languages, and what they considered to be their primary identities.

      A reliance upon authorities in matters of belief, is likely to be reflected in a reliance upon authorities in matters of politics. Liberation, by definition, is freedom, including the freedom from reliance upon authorities.

      • well , thank you for being so forthright and honest. wow.

        as far as judging people , i find that counter productive and don’t do it .” judge not lest you be not judged ” my master tells me .

        as far as crutches go . don’t remember them . i threw them away 36 years ago when i was given the bone to walk with at the split second of my conversion .

        and speaking of my conversion , i was a vehement enemy of anything to do with Christ’s message. but what do you do when it happens to you ? should i be silent about it ? that would be an act of cruelty toward others.

        in regards to your concept of Liberation without a theological base. i am assuming that the only other base that one can base ones liberation from is an anthropocentric one . but let us look at that . it assumes that man’s nature is fine by itself and needs no transformation coming from somewhere else. it assumes , does it not , that man is good by nature ?. this is philosophically problematic .

        the first problem is how do you define good ? the second is a form of social entropy that no utopianistic optimism can fix. to quote Mark Twain ”the damned human race”.

        history is replete with booby traps , brick walls , and trap doors that are nothing more than man;’s projected shadow self . and though i am willing to admit that matters of faith and the abuse thereof have done horrible things to this planet , one cannot deny that matters of unbelief have given us equal atrocitys ( Pol pot , Mao , Stalin ) .

        so if we believe that this world is it and only it , we are kind of stuck . unless we die . and speaking of that ; you have been a non believer from age 7 to 70 and have held firm even to such an age. being that age and as a fellow passenger toward the same grave but you being a bit closer to it then me , it would seem that would be even more the reason to take one last look at the real Christ who stands against bogus faith and stubborn unbelief.

    • Of course ‘liberation theology’ is Glenn Beck’s personal pet peeve. (Like ‘Tom, Dick & Haley’ he hates Obomba for the wrong dry white reason). No mention of his bizarre cult of mormonism, yet another gift from the prolific cult of the afterlife…

  13. Nader was right again when he said ”if Barak Obama gets elected it will be THE biggest con job in american history ”.
    why ? becuase he talks all of this hope and change rhetoric while he is a war criminal .

  14. Pingback: Dissent in the age of Obama « Coreys Views

  15. Not voting, which has its virtues, will not dump the ruling elite — only street protests, boycotts, and stopping the gears of the industrial supply system will disrupt order.

    Because some voting machines in some unusual districts are unreliable doesn’t invalidate every other election or vote.

    I think there is a craft and skill-set to political activity and, no, not everyone off the street can do it (item: Christine O’Donnell who is not even mediocre).

    I am all in favor of a new Constitution but that only happens if we elect enough iconoclasts to get that procedure flowing. It won’t happen under martial law.

    So, I see high principles and dedication here, but also political naivete.

    • Robert Becker, you say, “Not voting, which has its virtues, will not dump the ruling elite — only street protests, boycotts, and stopping the gears of the industrial supply system will disrupt order,” as if it was Gospel. Can you refer me to the Bible in which it was written? It isn’t Gospel, it is just another lie that political party hacks use to get out the vote. It is violence that will not dump the ruling elite. The violence in South Africa went on for decade after bloody decade, but not until the election boycott deprived them of legitimacy was the ruling elite willing to make concessions. Violence was met with more violence and in the case of the US, you’re dealing with a military superpower that loves violence. Besides, this discussion is meant for anti-war/peace activists. As an advocate of violence, why are you here?

      It isn’t a question of “some voting machines in some unusual districts” being unreliable. More than 80% of U.S. election results are tallied by computers called central tabulators. Those computers are privately owned and programmed and their results cannot be verified. To paraphrase Stalin, it isn’t on which voting machine people cast their votes, it is whose central tabulators count the votes.

      The first and only political naivete I’ve seen in this thread is yours.

    • Robert Becker wrote, “I am all in favor of a new Constitution but that only happens if we elect enough iconoclasts to get that procedure flowing. It won’t happen under martial law.’

      A Constitution written by elected representatives or delegates won’t do us any good. That’s how the old one was written.

      A good Constitution has to actually be directly written openly, publicly, and directly voted upon by ALL the people, not a select group of delegates or representatives.

      Our old Constitution starts out with a lie, saying it “We the People,” rather than “We the landowners, slaveholders, and delegate meeting in secret.”

      The U.S.-backed coup in Honduras was to prevent the Honduran people from voting directly on a new Constitution, a process they call a “Constituyente.”

      Let me try an analogy. Suppose that 90% of the people in a town want more parks and open spaces, and two real estate developers want to build a housing complex instead. It the town gets to vote, the developers are out of luck. But if only the city council gets to vote, the developers can make political donations, hire lobbyists, and use other dirty tricks to manipulate the council members without even breaking any laws. So they have a much easier chance of getting their housing complex.

      A Constitution of, by, and for the people, has to be written in open debate by the people and voted on openly in honest elections by all the people.

      Representative or delegate democracy is not democracy at all. That’s why we’re in this mess now, with most Americans opposed to the wars, but a majority of their so-called elected officials supporting the wars.

      The old Constitution prohibits U.S. citizens from voting directly for President and Vice-President and from directly removing them from office. Do you think that if We the People had written it, we would have said that we could not directly vote for and directly recall all our representatives? Of course not. Constitutions written by the people give the people not just the right to have their votes counted, but also the right to directly elect and directly remove their representatives. That’s how people can hold their representatives accountable.

      That’s called democracy.

  16. Tis the “New Religion” of the land, called Law and Order which has stiffled choice, dissent.
    Dem., Rep., Ind., Green, P/F, doesn’t matter, the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been over-ruled by feel good “Law(s)”.
    The Courts benefit from the legality/illegality of law, a win win for the court systems, and their officer’s.
    We don’t need a new Constitution, we need the Original Constitution, “unalienable rights that AMONG them are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of(your)Happiness…” to be re-instated. ?

    • I’m glad you put a question mark there “? Authority.”

      The original Constitution did not establish a democratic form of government. We can either get a new Constitution that does, or we can continue to live in a tyranny where politicians can wage wars in our name against our will because we can’t hold them accountable, and where an unelected body called the Supreme Court can make decisions over our lives which cannot be appealed because the Framers vested supreme power in an oligarchy rather than in the people.

      The Supreme Court is the highest law of the land. It has what used to be called “Divine Right,” the absolute authority to issue edicts which cannot be appealed. It has the sole power to interpret the Constitution, so if it ruled that not just corporations, but also military fighter drones were persons, that ruling could not be appealed. In 2000 it ruled that the popular vote didn’t need to be counted and that the Supreme Court alone could choose the President. The Supreme Court, as established by our Constitution, is incompatible with the most basic definition of democracy, that supreme power be vested in the hands of the people.

  17. When are Americans going to start getting serious and quit this childish attitude of looking at everything from a ‘humorous’ side? The country is in deep doo-doo – shit has been hitting the fan for quite some time already and yet “don’t worry, be happy” is alive and well. Give your heads a good shake and get going…

  18. Pingback: The Audacity of Blame: The Politics of Put-down By Robert Becker « Dandelion Salad

  19. dandelionsalad writes, “I’m not as convinced as you are that if the people decide not to vote at all that those in power will relinquish it.”

    While it isn’t a sure thing, in most cases I’ve been able to find, that’s what happened. There have been successful election boycotts where an oligarchy didn’t leave the country, but they had to relinquish power, as happened with the Apartheid regime in South Africa after only 7% voter turnout.

    That could be a real problem because in a case like that you get a new government but retain the old system, which is why South Africa still has extreme income disparities and the conditions of many people there has not improved.

    Nelson Mandela was, to a certain extent, their Obama. People believed that things would change, but since the system itself hadn’t really changed, just the players, very little changed.

    It isn’t a matter of getting new or different elected officials who would try to represent the people, it is a question of getting a new Constitution that would enable us to hold elected officials directly and immediately accountable if they didn’t.

    The definition of a democracy is a system of government in which supreme power is vested in the hands of the people. A republic is a form of democracy where the people exercise their power through their elected representatives. Unless we can hold them accountable, we can’t exercise our will through them and we have no power over them.

    I remember when Congressman John Olver was presented with a petition signed by more than 80% of his constituents, asking him to support the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. His response was, “Spare me! I’m well aware that the overwhelming majority of my constituents want me to support impeachment. I will not.”

    So there it was. There was nothing his constituents could do but wait until the next election–they could not exercise their will through their elected representative because they had no way to hold him accountable during his term of office. The term of office is the ONLY time they’re supposed to represent us, so if we can’t hold them accountable then, we never can.

    In a democracy, the rich would be taxed just like everyone else. Remember back when it made the news that several U.S. billionaires had renounced their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes? While it may not be a certainty, I think it more likely than not that if there was any chance that they would be treated just like everyone else, they’d leave in a, if you’ll excuse the expression, huff. 😉

      • Thank you for the correction. Much appreciated.

        I looked at the post you linked and I like the comments by Gordon Glick and Shaine Parker.

        Funny, there was a news story recently about how they found that atheists were more knowledgeable about religions than believers. In my experience, non-voters are much more knowledgeable about politics, our electoral system, and the Constitution than voters. Those who take things on faith, simply believe and don’t question. Those who question are the ones who start doing their homework.

        • Um, don’t think so, dandelion.

          The OP here by Cindy Sheehan was worthy of a response.

          The OP there by Tim Gatto, which suggests using a hopelessly flawed electoral system to put a nonexistent labor party in power, is not. I’ve watched Tim’s social consciousness evolve from back when he was a Dem, and it is possible that he may eventually, as he moves more and more to the political left, become a radical. But that hasn’t happened yet. He still wants to work within the system rather than to oppose it.

          And mmckinl is an example of how the Green Party, rather than representing its Ten Key Values, uses the same terror tactics as the Dems and Reps to grow their party and get out the vote. Reformists don’t want change, they just want reform. That doesn’t work. Even a benevolent tyranny is still a tyranny and can become malevolent again overnight. Without a foundation of democracy, there can be no real change.

        • I’m sort of new around here, Dandelion, so I don’t know if we’re allowed to tell people to fuck off, but I’m the sort of person who tries to avoid topics where I might feel a desire to do that.

          Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop other people from jumping into topics where I am already, and saying things that make me want to respond impolitely. I’m trying my darnedest to be on my best behavior here, as a guest and a newbie, but I do have problems with impulse control. 😉

        • Right. Um, is there a polite way to tell somebody to please quit annoying me, dragging me off topic, or, uh, lording it over me, or should I just ignore people like that and not respond to them?

          I have a very small website, and since it is my website, I wrote the rules. I don’t allow personal attacks and I don’t allow political party operatives and other evangelicals to post at all. I got tired of listening to them repeat variations on the same small handful of canards hundreds of times on dozens of websites, so I created a place where they couldn’t bother me. It’s sort of like not having a TV. It makes my life much more pleasant and relaxing.

          When I do venture out to other sites, I try to avoid people like that as much as possible. It probably seems cowardly of me, but since I don’t engage in the delusions of positive thinking, it helps keep my blood pressure down. 😉

        • well i guess snice there was a news story that atheists know more about religion than believers it must be true ? i mean after all , the news would not lie would they ?

          fact: they know that the new atheism is a hot topic now . the media just wants to sell matresses . so they get peoples attention by unprovable statements instead of covering real storys that would conflict with their corporate sponsors.

          i am on the ground level and have been for years in dialogue and friendly debates with atheists , and most of them make serious missteps in logic and reason in name of being rational . so , i relish a real hard thinking atheist . i went out to dinner with the president of the atheist group here at the university last night and about 5 other members they were intelligent .

          but know one should assume that atheists in general know as much about religion than believer , or visa versa ..cause it cant be proven either way .

        • Actually, it wasn’t a news story, it was a Pew Research Center survey. Here’s the link:

          http://pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/U-S-Religious-Knowledge-Survey.aspx

          Nobody made unprovable statements. The Pew center did a survey, asked questions about religions, and reported the results.

          You talk about “serious missteps in logic and reason,” yet you speak about atheists as if you are not one of them. If you are a believer, you adhere to some faith-based religion and have no business commenting about logic or reason. You are entitled to your faith and your beliefs, but not to call a scientific study a corporate media lie.

          Here’s the link so that you can take the quiz yourself:

          http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/index.php

          The quiz is not about beliefs, it is about facts. Either a person knows the facts or they do not.

          It is a fact that atheists scored better on the test than believers. Not a corporate media lie, a fact. You can believe whatever you want. Some people still believe that the earth is flat or that the universe revolves around the earth. Those were accepted tenets for millenia until scientists proved that they were wrong. Some major religions have a history of being wrong and of persecuting anyone who challenged their beliefs as a heretic. But even the major religions usually don’t claim that they themselves are perfect and omnicient, or that their adherents are perfect and omnicient, so if they can be wrong about some things, they can be wrong about other things. It is the inability of various religions and their adherents to admit when they’re wrong that is a serious obstacle to logic and reason.

        • you say that a believer of a faith based relgion has no business commenting on logic and reason . oh really ? gee , i must have missed something here . does that include the last words of Socrates in the” Apology” as the faith summation to his Socratic logical syllogisms that constantly confouded the less learned ? or Plato’s ”Demiurge”? or Aristotle’s ”Unmoved mover”…or what about the great genuis of ST. Augustine who fused the concepts of ”reason and faith ” , and as bertrand russel a brilliant atheist said ”Augustine is the most brilliant philospher in the ancient world , possibly the most brilliant of all time ”.

          moving on — we cant forget that Isaac Newton wrote more about Jesus Christ than he did about science. and what do we make of Pascal ,Kepler , Dr samual Johnson , all great men of reason and faith . or the atheist converts of the 20th century like C.S.Lewis , Malcom muggeridge , and last but not least the man who wrote 40 books arguing for atheism who became a theist on the evidence alone in mathematics , physics , etc

          brilliant analytic philsopher Anthony Flew culminating in his latest work called ”There is a God ”.

          the facts are this : a. i am distrustful of surveys for a very good reason . becuase i am a critical thinker .

          b.faith widens the gaze to make deductive reason go beyond itself into what the Jewish philosophers who debated the ancient Stoic philosophers called ”Inspired reason ”.

          a survey of history always show that it is the 2nd rate thinkers who are the Atheists and the first rate thinkers who are Theists .

          i mean after all , Carl Sagan is smart but he was no Einstein .

          and what inspired the great beyond comparison partita’s , cantata’s , and symphonys of J.S.Bach was his faith based inspired reason . music to which the world has never heard since .

          and i will leave you with one parthian shot …2 words : QUANTUM THEOLOGY . wait until you read about this forward thinking .

        • on the contrary , it is the believers with a faith base religion that have expanded reason into a fusion of ”faith and reason” far beyond reason and logic itself … as St. Augustine has proven thru a proiri reasoning . the greatest thinkers in history have always been Theists of some kind .

          Isaac Newton wrote more about Christ than science . fact. Aristotle’s” Unmoved mover” , Plato’s ”Demiurge ”. Montaine , Swedenborg , the Jesuits , Bach , Blake , Pascal , Tolstoy , Ghandi , Kierkegaard , C.S.Lewis , Einstein , Heisenberg , Kepler , etc., …the list is too long to mention .

          Anthony Flew british analytic philosopher wrote 40 books defending Atheism until the evidence via the new Physics , Math, etc. proved to him that there is a God . his recent book is called ”There is a God ”.

          also , my critical thinking has shown me a few things in life –never trust yourself . never trust surveys or polls .

        • Okay, rocket, if you’ve learned not to trust yourself, I certainly won’t trust anything you say either.

          Thanks for the warning.

        • Rocketman needs to rock on to rocketland and stop wasting our time.
          HE’S A CHARLATAN!

          I propose a game: UNTIL ROCKETMAN ADDRESSES MARTIN KING’S THEOLOGY (WHICH HE AVOIDED!)

          He get’s to stick his scriptural scrolls up his white cooter arse and we get to pretend he doesn’t exist.

          NO MORE WASTING OUR TIME AND CARPAL TUNNEL ON ROCKET!

          Walker back to Johnny, barfly, that’s the closest to baptism you’ll ever get.

  20. Pingback: Dissent in the age of Obama by Cindy Sheehan (via Dandelion Salad) « OntheWilderSide

  21. The problem is voting in faith-based, unverifiable, rigged elections that don’t have a full range of options and where you know beforehand that the results of the election, no matter who you vote for and no matter who wins, will be continuing wars.

    Voting for Greens or other peace candidates won’t help.The problem is the system, the genocide-for-profit industry upon which this nation was founded, and which continues to be our primary business to this day. We kill people, take their land and resources, and call it progress, development, and the American way.

    It isn’t. It is mass murder and exploitation. Call it the war on terror, the war on drugs, the Cold War, manifest destiny, or civilizing the savages, it is still mass murder and we do it as we’ve always done it, for capitalist imperialist profits. Private profits, from which Casey and others who fight and die for them never derive any benefit.

    “War,” as General Smedley Butler famously said, “is a racket..” Wars of aggression are crimes against humanity. A government that wages wars of aggression is fascist. You don’t have to wait for it to become fascist–you can’t get any more fascist than crimes against humanity. The two political parties with an iron lock on U.S.; politics that makes it impossible for other parties to compete, both support wars of aggression and are both fascist. And people who commit genocide for profit WILL rig the elections here as they do in other countries, WILL lie about it, and WILL arrest you for protesting.

    But they cannot send armed troops to every door to force you to vote. And without the consent of the governed, without your vote, they have no claim to legitimacy.

    Did Biden tell you to stop whining? Why shouldn’t he? The Demopublicans own and program the central tabulators that “count” the votes, so they don’t need your vote. They only need you to cast a ballot so that they can announce the “winner” and point to a 50% voter turnout as proof that half of all Americans approve of what their government is doing.

    But they don’t. Polls show that only 21% of voters believe this government has the consent of the governed. The other 70% are too stupid to realize that their vote is their consent, and are granting their consent, out of habit or hopium, to a government they don’t want to consent to.

    Forget about what the political party hacks tell you. People who don’t care enough about wars of aggression to withhold their votes, their consent, are the ones who are apathetic. The political party hacks are liars, just like the candidates they’re pimping. They’ll bully, bribe, even terrorize you to get you to vote. Elections are the only way that a government can demonstrate the consent of the governed. If you don’t consent, DON’T VOTE!

  22. My friends and I had predicted this before Obama was elected. I personally begged every peace activist I knew not to vote for the pro-war Obama. Nobody listened to me. I spoke with Cindy at an anti-war rally here in San Diego. Every peace activist I knew supported Obama, intended to vote for Obama, and didn’t care that he had promised to expand the war crimes in Afghanistan, as he has done.

    I am an election boycott advocate. When the predetermined outcome of elections are known to be continuing wars of aggression, more bailouts (hand-outs actually) for the rich, and further loss of civil liberties, you may think you’re voting for legal pot, single-payer, marriage equality, or whatever benefit you hope to gain, but you’re actually granting your consent of the governed to a government that has already killed over a million innocent people, and with your consent, can easily kill a million more.

    The word civic means: “Of, relating to, or belonging to a city, a citizen, or citizenship; municipal or civil.”

    The word duty means, “An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion.”

    So civic duty is that which the government requires you to do.

    Obedience to government is NOT rebellion. Granting your consent of the governed is NOT withdrawing your consent.

    In Haiti, when the people didn’t like the choices on the ballot, only 3% voted. In the US, when people don’t like the choices on the ballot they hold their noses and vote for what they hope will be the lesser excrement.

    And that’s what they get, every time.

    If you want to call yourself anti-war or a peace activist, don’t vote in any election where the predetermined outcome is continuing war. It doesn’t matter how you vote or who you vote for, if you vote in an election where you know the result will be more war, you are granting your consent of the governed to more war.

    You can complain about it all you want afterward and go to jail protesting your own vote, but I suggest it would be more productive if you stop voting. No matter who you vote for, the bad guys always win because they’ve got the most corporate money and the central tablulators that “count” the votes are programmed to ensure that the bad guys win.

    If you want to resist, the first step is to STOP doing your civic duty, STOP voting, and withhold your consent.

    • Very well stated. Thank you.

      I cannot in good conscience vote for anyone who would continue the wars. Obama was clear in his campaign, like you said, that he would expand the war in Afghanistan. Those who called themselves “anti-war/peace activists” fell for an illusion, not reality when they voted for Obama and any of the Democratic politicians who continue to fund these wars.

      • It is going to happen again.

        In 2012 the Republican and Democratic nominees will be Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

        There will, of course, be other candidates, but none with any chance of winning, or any chance of pushing a peace agenda through our corporate Congress if they did.

        So the wars will continue, and expand, and the anti-war/peace activists and liberals and progressives will point to the first female President in U.S. history as a sign of progress.

        Progress is when we kill another million or so innocent people but do it under a President of color or a female President. Voting can’t end the wars, but it can bring about change in the color or shape of the Commander-in-Chief.

        And the wars wouldn’t end if Cindy Sheehan was President. Presidents who don’t support perpetual wars get JFK-ed. The ONLY way to end the wars is to oust the ruling oligarchy that represents their own interests, the interests of the corporations and military-industrial complex, and the ONLY way to oust an oligarchy nonviolently, is to stop voting in its elections.

        But the corporations, including defense contractors, can give millions, even billions of dollars to the political parties and candidates, and part of that money will pay the salaries of the astro-turfers who’ll tell you that THIS election (always this election) is the MOST important election EVER, that if you don’t vote the bad guys will win, that people who don’t vote for war are apathetic, that NOT submitting obediently to government by doing your civic duty and voting is abject surrender to government or “doing nothing,” and all the other lies.

        And there will be enticements, as always. Promising peace candidates in the primaries (who never get the nomination and always throw their support to the war candidates who do), hot-button emotional issues that, even if they win on the ballot, can be struck down by the Supreme Court or defunded by Congress the next day, and all sorts of illegal voter purges to make people think that their uncounted votes are precious and worth fighting for.

        In ’08 I asked voters if they would continue to vote if the only federally-approved voting mechanism was a flush toilet, and half of them said they would. Who’s apathetic? Those of us who won’t vote unless we FIRST have free, fair, open, honest, publicly funded elections with a full range of options, an even playing field, where every vote is counted and the popular vote alone determines the results of the election, where no candidate can be sworn into office before every vote is counted and no elected or unelected body can overrule the will of the people as expressed in the popular vote, and where candidates, once elected, can be removed from office directly by vote of the people who elected them at any time rather than having to allow them to continue to betray their constituents until their term of office is over and the next rigged election is held, OR those who will continue to vote even if their votes are flushed down a toilet?

        U.S. voters are the most apathetic people in the world. They don’t care if their votes aren’t counted, they’ll vote anyway. They don’t care if the results of the election, more wars, more bailouts, and fewer freedoms, are predetermined before a single ballot has been cast, they’ll vote anyway. They don’t care if they can’t hold their “representatives” accountable, they’ll vote anyway. They just don’t care.

        They’ve been told that even if their job has been outsourced, their home foreclosed, and their taxes spent on bailouts for the rich and wars based on lies, they still have their precious right to vote. They don’t understand the difference between a vote and a voice in government. People had the precious right to vote in the USSR under Josef Stalin, but they had no voice in government. A vote is not necessarily a voice. And if it isn’t a voice, it isn’t precious.

        In a tyranny, people can petition their tyrants for mercy. In a democracy people can hold their elected officials accountable. This is not a democracy or a republic, it is a tyranny and a vote IN a tyranny is a vote FOR tyranny.

        • We can stop it.

          Approximately half of us already don’t vote. That’s about twice as many as either major party has. We’re the majority.

          Oligarchs are a class. They’re the plutocracy. They protect their wealth. They have offshore bank accounts. They have estates in foreign countries. They have private jet planes or access at any time to charter flights. And they keep their bags packed for the day when the people stop supporting them.

          Contrary to popular belief, most don’t want to declare martial law and stick around for the inevitable violence. When there’s a successful election boycott and the oligarchs can see that they have lost the support of most of the people, they take their ill-gotten millions (or billions) and high-tail it out of wherever they are, so that they can live in a palatial enclave with other deposed or exiled oligarchs. They prefer to retire rich, safe, and happy.

          Do you want to be a millionaire? Do you admire millionaires? Do you vote for millionaires? I don’t. And there are many people like me who prefer a simple life, and who don’t admire, respect, or want to be like the rich. But not enough of us yet. We still have a materialistic consumer culture and there are still many people who vote, go shopping, and think global warming is a myth.

          But fewer every day. I just read the most exciting news in a long time. Monsanto stocks are down from $140 to $47.77. http://cot.ag/9lyXD8 People are starting to lose faith in Messianic Technologism and to understand that progress won’t save us. New leaders won’t save us. The only thing that will save us is us.

          We don’t need guardians to make our financial decisions for us. We’re more competent to manage our affairs than anyone in Congress of the White House. We really are. All we have to do is realize it and stop voting. We can’t take our country back by continuing to give it away. We wouldn’t give our paychecks to people we couldn’t hold accountable, so why do we give the national treasury to people we can’t hold accountable?

          If our government falls, what will replace it? We will. We do all the work anyway. We always have and we always will. The rich people who rule us certainly don’t. They need us to finance and fight their wars, but we don’t need them to grow our food, cook it, and wash the dishes. When they lose our votes, they’ll lose the right to tax us and to spend our money on their wars.

          A recent Rasmussen Reports poll found that almost half of all voters think that people chosen at random from the phone book could do as good a job as Congress. They’re right. 75% of all voters are angry with the policies of our government. That’s 75% of the half of Americans who still vote.

          If only those who are angry stop voting, that would leave less than 15% of Americans voting and our government would lose the consent of the governed. Then we could write a new Constitution that ensure that we have a voice in government, that no unelected tyrants like the Supreme Court can make decisions over our lives which cannot be appealed, and establish a democratic form of government where supreme power is vested in the people. Other countries have done it and we’re not as incompetent as we’ve been led to believe that we are.

          The landowners and slaveholders who met secretly to write our Constitution established a form of government where those who owned the country, ruled the country. Then they lied and said we had a republic when we did not. We need a new Constitution that is actually written and voted upon by We the People. Not We the Oligarchs, but We the People.

          We’re a motley crew, we Americans, with diverse opinions, but most of us don’t want war and do want jobs. So once we got rid of the oligarchs we could take the trillions spent (or mislaid) on war, and spend that money creating jobs. A new Constitution would dethrone the Supreme Court and define persons as We the People. What kind of Constitution lets an unelected Supreme Court overrule reality?

          It doesn’t have to happen again and again. If everyone who is angry with government just stops voting, we can nonviolently rid ourselves of this government and establish a new government–a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, as the Declaration of Independence states clearly is not only our right, but also our duty.

        • I’m with you, I don’t vote for Dems or Repubs. I’ve chosen not to vote, too. I’m not as convinced as you are that if the people decide not to vote at all that those in power will relinquish it.

Comments are closed.