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General News    H2'ed 4/9/19

Call of Duty: Resisting War in Venezuela

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Every war is a war against children.

Egalntyne Jebb, founder Save the Children a century ago.

Responding to the British post-war blockade of Germany and Eastern Europe, Jebb participated in a group attempting to deliver food and medical supplies to children who were starving.

In London's Trafalgar Square, she distributed a leaflet showing the emaciated children and declaring:

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Our blockade has caused this, millions of children are starving to death.

She was arrested, tried, convicted, and fined. But the judge in the case was moved by her commitment to children and paid her fine. His generosity was Save the Children's first donation. Source: Kathy Kelly


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This vet for peace has made a life duty to a simple call to action Hands Off Venezuela. Imagine the same call in 1960 Hands Off Vietnam; or in 1970 Hands Off Chile; or in 1991 Hands Off Haiti; Hands Off Puerto Rico 140 years ago.

Those ham-fisted, Imperial-seeped and Monroe Doctrine-primed hands are ours, Uncle Sam's.

There are resisters to this global hyper power disease that we have been infected with in America that professes a USA-rules-the-world mentality. Dan Shea is that Vietnam Veteran for Peace. He puts his actions where his mouth is.

Rewind the tape 13 years, and we see Dan as a Veterans for Peace organizer working on the city of Portland becoming a sanctuary city for soldiers AWOL from the armed services who were inserted into Iraq and Afghanistan illegally.

"This is an opportunity for the citizens of Portland and the City Council to support the soldiers who are coming back and their right to speak out," said Dan Shea of Veterans for Peace, who first proposed the idea.

Shea told an interviewer in 2006 he had enlisted with the Marines and spent two months in Vietnam, where he was exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange. That resulted in his diabetes, he said.

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"I didn't spend my whole time in Viet Nam,,he said. "I was there for two months because I was having trouble processing an operation, search and destroy mission, meaning kill anything or anybody that moves, an operation that continues to haunt my dreams and most of my waking days, and why I have PTSD therapy once a month."

He told me he was allowed to leave that Marine combat platoon, because his "little brother Mike" showed up in the same company and platoon.

Shea professes he never supported the Vietnam War, yet like many boys and men (girls and women) back then especially high school drop-outs he felt obligated to serve. However, when he came home, he felt betrayed by the country, saying the initial reasons for going to war were nothing but lies. The same thing is going on today, he said.

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Paul Kirk Haeder has been a journalist since 1977. He's covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/community journalism situations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and (more...)
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3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments  Post Comment

George W.Reichel

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Inspired.Thanks for the brief interlude of sanity.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 9, 2019 at 4:22:13 PM

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Paul Haeder

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Reply to George W.Reichel:   New Content

And it is insane, my friend. Here's a piece I wrote, on a whole new level of insanity:

And, here, a farmer friend from Merced, CA, responding. His words are what allow me to function in an insane world, sort of a touchstone to my own sanity in the entire mix:


Reading your latest piece today made me ask myself how we ever got to this point we find ourselves in, where the very earth we live on is going into the collapse of all of its systems.

I thought back to all the things I valued growing up and how they were destroyed by an economic system that only values profits. I watched as agribusiness and the banking industry destroyed small rural agriculture under the guise that big is better and more efficient. Corporate agribusiness and the banking industry fostered in the insanity of the green revolution. With the adoption of the green revolution the land was being sterilized with fumigants, the air was being saturated with insecticides, the riparian corridors were being taken over and the rivers became canals eventually becoming toxic waste transfer systems to run the chemicals, fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides downstream and into the ocean. The living things I so valued when I was growing up eventually all died off either from poisoning or loss of habitat. All this was sold to a public that was completely dislocated from the land and clueless to what was happening in the rural areas of the Central Valley and pretty much all across the nation and world.

The public was sold this bullshit through a combination of sources. There were the chemical companies with their "Better Living Through Science," campaigns. There was the agricultural agents advising farmers the latest greatest bullshit from the various land grant colleges that were preaching ,"get big or get out." There was the television with its incessant advertisements about living the good life in the suburbs and selling the latest must have Ford, Chevy or Dodge. The small papers you write about were slowly being bought up by corporate America and turned into advertisers instead of anything resembling news or what was slowly happening around them by these same corporations. The publishers of text books became propaganda channels to further indoctrinate students minds. Eventually the corporations that were foisting their toxic products off on a dumbed down public started buying the broadcast networks, the remaining papers and pretty much consolidating their hold on all media. There is no way these corporate media conglomerations are going to let a guy like Chomsky to reason to the public.

The public Universities became dependent on these same corporations for their funding for research to where they are now little more that employees of the corporations, cranking out students trained in the fields of pharmaceuticals, medicine, engineering, chemistry, finance, business, agribusiness, et cetera to become pawns for the corporate oligarchy. Education has been turned into a mechanism to ensure job security, you don't have to learn how to think critically. In fact to do so pretty much assures you won't get a job. Hell you don't even have to be a student to get your degree anymore if you have parents that can pony up the big money to buy you into college.

The bulk of the public now lives in cities, it is said that less than two percent of the population lives on the land. When you have a population this far removed from how food is grown or what kind of wildlife either used to or if lucky, might still exist, it has little meaning to them. I remember dialogues I used to have with a lady that prided herself on habitat and species protection. Her stand was that in order to protect the environment you had to keep the public away or they would destroy it. I would challenge her that if her goal was to keep the public from destroying the environment the public had to first have contact with the environment so that they would value and protect it. Otherwise you had stupid little dipshits that would tag cave three thousand year old paintings and dump their garbage because they knew no better. But the same is true for the quote, so called educated adults that are clueless to the connections between capitalist economics and the world they live in and what is happening to it and how they are being stuck with the tab for the cleanups the corporation create and profit from.

We are so far down the rabbit hole now, with such incredibly dumbed down leadership at every level, that can't make connections between cause and effect, that I don't hold out much in the way of changing course before it is too late. Western white culture has proven itself to be the most ignorant, arrogant, clueless, religiously motivated, war mongering barbarians of all time. Western culture has lost its mind and become a danger to itself and others. I don't think there is any possibility of stemming mass extinction unless the rest of the world mounts a Manhattan type project to end western culture and unfettered capitalism by whatever means possible. I don't see that happening because too many people are now infected with the idea of capitalism as the only way of being and are like the proverbial monkey clutching the walnut in a jar, whose greed makes him unwilling to let it go before the lion makes him the main course for dinner.

Keep on writing about it and exposing the young people to some different ways of thinking Paul. Maybe some young buck, (or doe), will read what you are writing and wake up from the culturally induced stupor, put down the smart phone and take some action. God knows the old and comfortable aren't going to do it.


Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 9, 2019 at 5:59:38 PM

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Eddy Schmid

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Reply to Paul Haeder:   New Content

As a Vietnam Vet myself, and suffering from the same maladies as yourself Paul, I understand very well indeed where your coming from, I also understand Joe's article very well as well. During my later years, was very well connected with the agricultural Industry in my country, saw first hand, what the commercialisation of the industry was doing to the land and micro climates around them. However, I have come to the realisation, I'm just a old fart living in the past, trying to point out to younger people the follies of the past, is I believe a pointless, thankless task. Folks today have no concept of what we're talking about, as the topics we're discussing are no longer visible, therefore in their eyes, never happened. None of them want to hear what we have to say, and will instead, accept without question, what they are told by the authorities and Government agencies as Gospel. I other words, Vet language, we're pissing against the wind. All we can do, is continue to preach the word as we know it, whether it takes root or not, only time will tell. All the best mate.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 at 2:46:54 AM

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