Friday, December 30, 2005

Jack Random's Top Ten on 2005

The following are the most read articles posted by Jack Random on in 2005.

1. THE DECLINE OF AMERICA. 2/6/05 (7,211 hits). The writing is on the wall. Under the weight of unfathomable debt, bogged down in a Middle East quagmire, America is in decline. The deck of power is being reshuffled and America’s fall is the world’s gain.

2. HURRICANE KATRINA: PRAYERS FOR NEW ORLEANS. 8/30/05 (5,975 hits). Hurricane Katrina may not be as catastrophic as anticipated but it is far, far worse than at first reported. The levees of Lake Pontchartrain are giving way. Martial Law has been declared. Total evacuation is being considered. New Orleans is under siege.

3. THE POISON PILL: SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM. 2/13/05 (5,622). Cleverly disguised as reform, the rightwing domestic agenda is a prescription for the wholesale destruction of FDR’s New Deal.

4. LINES IN THE SAND: THE IRAQ ELECTION. 2/1/05 (4,068). The Promise Of The Iraq Election: While it is difficult to characterize the election in Iraq as anything but a sham, there is a chance it will mark an end to the occupation.

5. VISION OF THE BLACK ROBES. 1/29/05 (3,803). Jerico Whitehorse has a vision of the black robes bringing destruction to the land of his forebearers. He is visited by the wasichu killing spirit, who attempts to convert him. From the novel: Cries for A Vision (The Killing Spirit).

6. THE FEDERALIST COURT: BLAME THE DEMOCRATS & MOVE ON. 7/20/05 (3,673). Who is Judge John Roberts? A brilliant and ultra-conservative attorney who will rise to a position of elite power at the age of 50. Most importantly, he is a favored son of the Federalist Society and he will be confirmed as the pivotal member of the Supreme Court. Blame the Democrats and move on.

7. COLOR OR CLASS? CHARGES OF RACISM IN DISASTER RELIEF. 9/3/05 (3,641). It is now universally acknowledged that government response to the New Orleans tsunami was tragically inept. Those bearing witness to the ongoing horror could not but observe that the vast majority of the abandoned were black. Inevitably, the question had to be asked: Did race play a role in the government's failure?

8. ON LIBERTY: THE MENDACITY OF GEORGE BUSH. 1/27/05 (3,559). The Inaugural Address: On January 20, President George Bush issued an impassioned call to the cause of Liberty! Thousands of dissidents across the land rose in one voice to reply: You, Mr. President, are no friend to Liberty.

9. THE REPENTANT WARRIOR. 1/12/05 (3,516). An Apache Vietnam veteran struggles to find his footing until he seeks help from a wise elder. From Random Tales (unpublished).

10. THE STONE DREAMERS. 3/9/05 (3,470). In a vision of the Stone Ceremony, Jerico returns to Sand Creek to deliver a warning to Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle. Instead, he receives a lesson. From the novel: Cries for A Vision (The Killing Spirit).

Thursday, December 29, 2005

New Year Wishes from Code Pink

by Medea Benjamin

Imagine if, in 2006:

• Every citizen against the war decides to attend a peace vigil.
• Every mother shows up at a recruiters' office and says, "NOT MY CHILD!"
• Every father is brave enough to tell his son "Killing is NOT manly."
• Every teacher teaches conflict resolution to her students.
• Every Christian demands that our government practice the Commandment: THOU SHALL NOT KILL.
• Every anti-war voter refuses to give money, support or votes to pro-war candidates.
• Every student who considers joining the military to pay rising college costs instead joins with other students to demand affordable education.
• Every soldier who has doubts about the mission in Iraq refuses to fight.
• Every congressperson walks, cycles or takes public transportation to work.
• Every American buying a new car chooses a hybrid or biodiesel.
• Every family member of a fallen soldier joins Cindy Sheehan in saying “Honor our sacrifices; stop the killing.”
• Every living veteran, those who best know the agony of war, converges on Washington to demand a Department of Peace.
• Every woman who wants to see a more peaceful world connects with like-minded women of all ages, races, religions and nationalities to demand an end to war. *
• Every citizen who feels lied to about the reasons for invading Iraq demands that George Bush be impeached.

Maybe, together, we could end the occupation of Iraq in the new year and make it harder for future leaders to drag us into unjust wars. When we sow seeds of peace, a whole field of dreams can blossom.

From your sisters at CODEPINK, we wish you a joyful holiday season and look forward to working together in 2006 to make our dreams come true.

Medea Benjamin is Founding Director of Global Exchange. For over twenty years, Medea has supported human rights and social justice struggles around the world. Medea is a leading activist in the peace movement and helped bring together the groups forming the coalition United for Peace and Justice . She is also the co-founder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace, a women's group that has been organizing creative actions against the war and occupation of Iraq. CODEPINK is pushing for a reorientation of budget priorities in the US to focus on heath care, education and housing, not war. Code Pink now has over 250 chapters throughout the United States.

[Published on Thursday, December 29, 2005 by]

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Mind of Mansel: Rats & The Devil

The Rats Were Made Hungry

(A line from Joseph LeDoux’s book, Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Became Who We Are)

(The sheep have fled and the root of the tree is covered in mucus, mucus from a severed limb addict who pledged to free the lost from Iraqi prisons with force. He stumbled over the best of the brightest; he kept copies notes and took all precautions, then)

Fox News and their embedded (read here for editorial reasons the name of the individual who opposed any right to freedom by interdicting his own racist hatred for the olive skin) Oliver North as he pranced in front of the camera calling the troops out for yet another interview. It was difficult to tell whether or not North would be the target of friendly fire or just saddle sores on his non-dimpled chin from trying to swallow too many belt buckles. One soldier withstood the groping hand of North as he prodded the young Filipino like a heroin addict at sunrise job interview. The soldier immediately attacked the cameraman once the satellite feed ended, kicking the man in the face he had to spit at North to keep him from staring up his pants leg.

Back in New York Sean Hannity liquored up on a strange concoction berated anyone in sight of a toy store even pimping out salvation Army children to donate the change from their pockets to throw in the washing well located in the crotch of Bill O’Reilly. Rush Limbaugh staggering noisily through Tavern on the Green announced a mistrial in his case as he had buggered the prosecutor with fistfuls of pills he acquired in Key West.

- Chris Mansel

Sympathy For The Devil

A curious biographer some day will force himself into the men’s room of the Bush library and find there amidst the vials of cocaine postmarked from Panama once shredded documents that will reveal a tattered game plan in the handwriting of the devil who had made a deal with the late Prescott Bush to ensure for Bush a life of comfort and the ability to swing death like a komodo with a native son. There would be a few more floors to the library if Prescott had not gone against the devil and decided he would through the descendants of his family be the self-appointed killer of generations.

- Chris Mansel