Good evening! It's Friday. Finally. Hopefully you get some time off or at least some time where there's a little less to do. Let's get things kicked off with Democracy Now!
15 Anti-Torture Activists Arrested Outside White House
In Washington, 15 activists were arrested outside the White House Thursday at a protest against torture. The protest was called by Witness Against Torture. In December, the group marched on the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where hundreds of detainees are being held without charge.
Human rights attorney Jennifer Harbury: "We wore the orange overalls and a gag that said 'torture' and we walked the halls of congress to awaken their conscience. We're trying to haunt their conscience. We're the ghost walkers today. We're here to say no human being can be tortured under any circumstances. My husband was tortured to death by CIA assets or informants in Guatemala 10 years ago, and after many of my hunger strikes that leaked out. What we found out after it was too late to save his life is, like I say, they were all on the CIA payroll. The Senate intelligence committee held a huge panel discussion and investigation of this, and after my testimony they said quote: 'This is a disgrace. No one should ever have to starve to stop torture. It will never happen again.' Really all of us are just calling them on that promise. There can be no more torture by the United States or anyone else."
I wonder sometime how mcuh people care about this? Not the ones who follow the news, but the ones who never know what's going on. If they hear about it by accident, do they get what's going on? I think it's really important for demonstrations like the one above to take place. They raise awareness. It's great if they can get media coverage, but just being out there, with people passing them, they raised attention/awareness. That's what all the different rallies, protests and marches this month are about. So find something you can do and do it.
Otherwise, you're giving your approval. Even if silently or among a few close friends, you object, you're giving your approval to torture, illegal war, and all the stuff being done in our name.
Bush Signs Controversial Nuke Deal on India Visit:
In India, President Bush has signed a controversial deal to foster nuclear cooperation between the United States and India. Under the agreement, the U.S. would end a decades-long moratorium on sales of nuclear fuel and reactor components to India while allowing the country to substantially step up its nuclear weapons production. India is one of only three countries that has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The deal was criticized by some lawmakers in Washington who said it could lead to the spread of nuclear weapons. House Democrat Ed Markey, co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation called the agreement "a historic failure of this president to tackle the real nuclear threats that we face."
Wally is on the phone with C.I. I heped enough last night so that Wally could get his latest Jot posted but he's having some serious problems. So C.I.'s trying to help him figure out what's going on there. But yesterday's "THIS JUST IN! BULLY BOY RETURNING TO THE USA WITH A 'PLAN'! " nailed Bully Boy's moves described above:
EXPLAINING WHY HE WAS EAGER TO ARM ONE NATION WITH NUKES WHILE HE FRETS OVER THE ALLEGED NUCLEAR CAPABILITIES OF OTHER NATIONS, BULLY BOY EXPLAINED, "I AM A FIRM BELIEVER THAT FENCES MAKE FOR GOOD NEIGHBORS. AND I THINK GOOD NEIGHBORS BORROW A CUP OF NUKES FROM ONE ANOTHER ON THOSE ROUGH MORNINGS WHERE YOU'RE DRAGGING."
WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE ISSUE OF THE PORTS, BULLY BOY SIGHED LOUDLY.
"I HAVE A PLAN," BULLY BOY EXPLAINED. "MY ECONOMIC CHOICES ARE A PLAN. AND MY PLAN IS A PLAN. MY PLAN IS GOOD FOR THE RICH AND THE PORTS. A PORT MAN WORKING AT MCDONALDS WILL GET TAX RELIEF UNDER MY PLAN. IT IS A GOOD PLAN. IT IS A STRONG PLAN. IT IS A PLAN. RICH OR PORT, ALL BENEFIT FROM MY PLAN."
THE LAST FUNCTIONING PRESS MEMBER IN THE POOL, HELEN THOMAS, ASKED BULLY BOY IF HE COULD "EXPLAIN THIS PLAN?"
"HELEN, WEREN'T YOU LISTENING?" ASKED BULLY BOY. "I JUST DID. IT IS A PLAN. A PLAN FOR RICH AND FOR PORT. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TRUST ME ON THIS. I JUMPED INTO ACTION TO ADDRES THE PROBLEMS OF HURRICANE KATRINA AND I CAN HANDLE THE PROBLEM OF THE PORTS."
I love Wally's running gag where Bully Boy always thinks the "ports" are the poor. :D
But there it is. We're bothered by North Korea and Iran but we're handing over nukes to India.
One of my classmates said today that "the curse and the shame of nuclear weapons is now India's as well." Tony and I were like, "Perfect!" Cause it does sum it up perfectly.
For more on the nukes, on war, on Bully Boy and his visit to India (and probably a lot more), check out the interview Amy Goodman did with Arundhati Roy: "Baby Bush Go Home: Arundhati Roy on Massive Protests Against Bush's Visit to India."
If you're a member of The Common Ills community, did you check out the gina & krista round-robin? Gina, Krista and C.I. hit hard on the Patriot Act. I hope you'll use the action alerts that Gina and Krista always provide.
Tony's cousin Ed was saying, "I oppose the Patriot Act, I oppose torture, I oppose the war . . . But how can I work on all the issues?" Tony had asked him about some protests that are going on this month. So Tony told me about it and goes, "What do I tell him?" Tell him to work on it all. He can do a letter to his rep and senators via e-mail on some issues and he can pick one (or more) to get active on by participating in a rally or something.
When you do just one protest, you'll probably sense how amazing it is when people come together to speak truth and to try to get the word out. I bet if Ed, or you, go to just one protest, you'll want to go to others. But few people have the time to work on every issue all the time.
Nobody can do "everything" but you can do "something." Figure out what that is and get to work on it.
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