Archive for August, 2009

Jack Reports on Vets for Peace Rally

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Saturday I was at a Vets for Peace and support of Gaza – 2 part rally.

It was really a great opportunity. I had a chance to discuss anti-war thoughts with a group of War Resisters who had come down from  BC in Canada and then spent 15-20 minutes talking to a couple from Finland. I wish we had more international discussions and less with these myopic closed mind folks who are almost an extension  of the Bush “My way or the highway.” I wish they would see us as neighbors in a world instead of top dog in the alley.


Open Letter to Barack Obama

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Mr. Obama:

A choice you have is to stop the illegal and immoral occupations and wars in which the US is engaged.  You have the authority to do that today. You can issue an immediate order for all military personnel to return to bases and then return to the US in the speediest possible way.  Of course, all mercenaries should also be discontinued immediately, not to be rehired under any circumstances.  All personnel except small embassy staff should also be returned to the US.

Once back in the United States, personnel can be demilitarized and employed by the government instead to rebuild our infrastructure; convert to sustainable energy; change our agriculture to small, local sustainable units; revive industry in this country; and take on other projects badly needed for the survival of the US and the planet.  Instead of killing people in other countries and destroying their infrastructure, the US can work to make life better for all.

You can do this.  I don’t know what the cost to you personally would be, but you have the authority to order these things.  I urge you in the strongest possible way to do so now.  Continuing on the course of the last years as you are doing is disastrous and will only have continuing bad results for the US and the world.

Please change.

Nancy Vining Van Ness


Friday, August 21st, 2009

Pakistani journalist Ansar Abbasi is reported to have said: “You should know that we hate all Americans. From the bottom of our souls, we hate you.” In an article in TruthDig, “Abbasi went on to explain that Americans ‘are no longer human beings because [their] goal was to eliminate other humans.’ He said that ‘thousands of innocent people had been killed because [Americans] are trying to find Osama bin Laden.'”

This is what we have sewn with our illegal invasions and wars of aggression clothed in the rhetoric of spreading democracy.

I for one will continue to work to bring these illegal and immoral wars and occupations to an end.

The Wars and The Financial Collapse

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Though this blog is called Dance for Peace and is intended to focus on ending the illegal and immoral wars and occupations in which the US is engaged, I know that the financial system and the implications of it are major factors. Several conversations of the past few days underlined an aspect of this for me.

I heard of a person who inherited a New York apartment in a very desirable area and a very large amount of money invested to provide the maintenance fee needed to keep it for the life of that person.  In the most recent of the series of financial disasters that are a feature of a capitalist economy, the investment lost half of its value, but is still generously adequate to pay for the monthly maintenance.  The person was reported to be still very fearful, as indeed people with investments have some reason to be.

In another instance that came to my attention, a person who had worked hard and invested for retirement has also lost a good portion of the money that provides retirement income.  Now long past typical retirement age, this person who thought of a comfortable old age may have to make serious adjustments.

Neither of these persons are in the lists of the world’s richest.  They are among the capitalists who are and have been the most precarious members of their class since Marx’s day. Capitalism is very cruel to everyone but a very few, fewer all the time.  In the nineteenth century when Marx was writing in England, he saw families impoverished time and again.

Why in this country do people howl and rise up even at the idea of a steeply graduated income tax that would help provide security for all citizens?  Why do they allow themselves to be victims of what always happens in capitalist economies?  Right now, as the traditional media are proclaiming the end of the “recession”, just as they did in the months after the collapse of 1929 when the worst of the Great Depression was just beginning, small investors are being lured back into the “market”.  Once more they will find that this is a chapter in the transfer of wealth to a smaller and smaller number of people.  Some of the people who suffer the most loss from this system are the most strident defenders of it.  It mystifies me.

Naturally, the few at the receiving end of this transfer are also profiting from the illegal wars and occupations.  Obama is continuing the Bush regime’s plan for the wars and occupations: building a huge complex in Afghanistan like the one in Iraq, continuing the expansion of war on Pakistan.  Not a single real withdrawal has occurred, nor will it.  He is doing just what he promised to do, with billions more in borrowed money that comes out of the pockets of US citizens who are losing jobs and facing personal ruin.

What I long to see is an immediate end to all US aggression and people rebuilding and expanding US infrastructure: more rail lines, more renewal energy, more local food production by small farmers, more local industry producing things people really need, the complete breakup of the huge monopolies and corporations that are raping our land and impoverishing most of the population of the US and the world.  I only wish I had an idea of how to help effect these changes.  So many US citizens are not even willing to hear of graduated taxes.  How do we start?