I just listened as one of our local radio stations announced with little fanfare that the State of Oregon is facing a billion dollar budget shortfall. We will have to cut needed services and find other money from other places. Maybe the Chinese will float us a loan like they do for our national government. I am also aware that our members of congress will soon vote on more money for occupation and war in Afghanistan and Iraq; a supplemental bill is coming up in the next few days and it will have goodies in it to force would be progressives to vote to pass yet another payment in death. Our city of Portland is facing cuts and there is no outrage from our local, state or national leaders. They will cut services, but will not tell the people of Oregon why we are so poor. The Vietnam Era should have shown us what not to do, but no---we have all forgotten what happened to the hopes and dreams of a better life during Johnson's and Nixon's madness.
The new Administration in DC has not kept many of the promises that were so eloquently shouted during the campaign, but the promise to escalate the killing in Afghanistan is coming to your TV sets in a few weeks. Drones are now killing civilians in Pakistan and Obama jokes about them at parties, we are the terrorist of the world and people hide in their homes for fear that they may lose their jobs. The best we Oregonians can muster is to march around in circles on Saturday with permission from the authorities. We are cowards and should be ashamed of doing nothing to stop this madness. We will vote for the same people and send them back to Washington and hope they will be different this time around. We did not have a big choice in the primaries, but in the upcoming general election you can and must send new people to DC. There will be peace candidates on the ballot, vote for them. A vote for Blumenauer (D), Wu(D), Schrader (D), Walden (R), Wyden(D) is a vote to murder your sons and daughters or your grandchildren, because unless we stop these occupations and wars now there will be no place to go except into the military to have a job. We cannot keep doing this without feeling it ourselves. It is time.
It is time to get out and fight, join a protest for an hour or so and show the politicians you are pissed. There are a number of safe protests going on in Portland and throughout Oregon, find one and stand a bit. Tell your reps that you will not vote for them if they pass this new supplemental and don't vote for them. You young people who are so fed up and are in the streets from time to time must also get involved in a political system because this is your world that we old shits are screwing up. You can break things and that may help but also get involved in the system.
There are some good things happening, there are peace candidates running on the ballot under the Green Party, (http://www.pacificgreens.org/) and there is a move to start a progressive party in Oregon. The new Progressive Party is being created by people whom I know, they are trying to change things by putting their money where their mouths are, you will hear about them soon (http://progparty.org/). Whatever it is you want to do, you must act now; time is running out. Never stop fighting, never give up, and when you make a mistake, don't do that anymore and move on. I am coming to the end of my stay here, but my daughter, sons and my precious granddaughters will be here for years to come, help make it better for them and your loved ones. Do not belong to the church of "I don't want to know, Lord."
Joe Walsh-Lone Vet
Individuals For Justice
I acknowledge that I did not list Congressman DeFazio because I believe he is a good guy and would kick ass if any of the others had 10% of his guts.