2002
10.31

Social Justice:

  • I received this chilling message from a Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron, Palestine:
      CPTnet

      October 31, 2002

      HEBRON: “My name is Richard the Second.”

      By Mary Yoder

      The Israeli Army beat three Palestinian teen boys and a CPT translator on Friday, October 25, near the Ibrahimi Mosque. CPTers Mary Yoder and Christine Caton were waiting for a tour group to arrive around noon, when they saw a Palestinian woman crying and pleading with soldiers. Next, they saw the translator who was very pale, shaking, and speaking in low whispers. Yoder and Caton called more CPTers for back up as a crowd started forming.

      At 6:30 AM that day, a soldier had detained a boy who was on his way to harvest olives. After two hours passed, the boy’s mother found the commander-in-charge, who came to the boy’s rescue and released him. A youngster watched from a rooftop as the commander reprimanded the soldier for unnecessarily detaining the boy.

      After the commander left, the soldier found the “roof top” boy. The soldier forced the boy to stand at a makeshift checkpoint for an hour. “This gun is my best friend,” the soldier bragged, “When I handcuff you, I will move up in rank.”

      “Please put your gun down!” the boy yelled and immediately more soldiers arrived. Soldiers took the boy into a room in the alley and beat him unconscious. The boy’s brother arrived on the scene and was also beaten. Their friend arrived on the scene, called for help and then soldiers chased him into the house of the CPT translator. The translator cradled the boy’s head in her arms while the soldiers attempted to beat the boy’s head with their guns. They turned on the translator and beat her bent shoulders

      as well as her head and back. The boys were then taken to the police station near the Ibrahimi Mosque.

      The translator attempted to file a grievence report at the local police station. A police officer told her she must go to the Kiryat Arba police station to file. In extreme pain, she walked the mile, going uphill along with CPTers Kristin Anderson and Mary Lawrence. On arrival, they were told no one could see them for one hour. After the hour was up, they inquired again. “We are very busy. No one can help you,” a police officer told them.

      “What is your name, please,” Kristin Anderson inquired of the policeman in the front office. “I am Richard the Second!” the scowling policeman said, refusing to give his real name. Two and a half hours later the translator left without any police officer taking her complaint.

      The translator collapsed and an ambulance took her to Alia hospital. The next day, the translator told the team that soldiers took the boys to an area outside the police station and hog-tied them with their hands above their heads in the sun. Soldiers kicked them in the genitals when they asked to use the restroom and slapped them in the face numerous times when they asked for a drink. After five hours of this treatment they were released.

      Christian Peacemaker Teams is an initiative among Mennonite and Church of the Brethren congregations and Friends Meetings that supports violence reduction efforts around the world. Contact CPT, POB 6508, Chicago, IL 60680; Telephone: 773-277-0253, Fax: 773-277-0291.

    Remember folks, this is what America’s foreign policy perpeptuates. I know Israel feels it is in a tight spot security wise, but there is NEVER any justification for beating children, or the woman (a translator for CPT) who dared to try to protect these boys.

    Also, I know some of my readers will say, “How do you know this is true?” Well the reason I believe it is true is because I had the blessing of getting to spend some time with some of the CPT folks at Cornerstone last year. They are good folks who are willing to stand up for what is right even when it is not easy. In particular, I got to hear an Amish strawberry farmer speak of his time spent in Columbia trying to be a voice of peace in the midst of the civil war taking place there. I believe him what he would say, and I believe what the CPT folks say. I wish more folks would listen.

2002
10.31

Random:

    Weather here in Oklahoma is wickedly cold. Thankfully it looks like it won’t freeze after all (I still have some peppers and tomatoes in my garden that I’m trying coax some more ripeness into.) but it is might close to freezing. I guess winter has arrived.
2002
10.30

Oklahoma Politics:

  • NewsOK: Online Video of Gubernatorial Debate at OSU – a pretty decent debate. This debate solidified my decision on why I can’t vote for Largent, because he wants to consolidate rural school districts. But of course the other guys support the lottery, so my mind is not made up yet.

    (Look for my brother Daniel and his girlfriend Summer in the background. They are the cute couple who are sitting to the right of Brad Henry’s head from where the camera angle is pointing.)

  • Well we finallly have the Oklahoma Green Party Candidate Questionaire results posted online. If you’re still making up your mind on who to vote for on Tuesday, check it out.
2002
10.29

Social Justice:

2002
10.29

Social Justice:

    I’ve continued searching internet news outlets (Indymedia.org, local and national news media, and reports from local activists) and have corrected numbers for the protest actions of the International Day of Action for Peace in Iraq (October 26ish). Here are the latest numbers. In cases where different folks gave different numbers, I sought to find the most accurate numbers possible, or if to hard to tell I either went with an average number, or gave a range between the most convservative and most optimistic reports that sounded credible.)

    As to the total number’s here is what I came up with:

    180,000 Conservative number for US protestors

    329,000 Optimistic number for US protestors

    64,000 Conservative number for Non-US protestors

    88,000 High number for Non-US protestors

    ======

    244,000 Conservative number for World-wide protests

    417,000 Optimistic number for World-wide protests

    100,000-200,000 in Washington, D.C.

    42,000-80,000 in San Francisco

    15,000 in Glasgow, Scotland (on Oct 20th)

    10,000 in Rome, Italy

    8,000-30,000 in Berlin

    3,000-10,000 St. Paul, MN

    5,000 in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    5,000 in Zaragosa, Spain

    4,000 in Adelaide, Australia

    4,000 in Chicago

    3,000 in Seville, Spain

    3,000 in Sydeny, Australia

    2,000-5,000 in Seattle, WA

    4,000 in Denver, CO (155k)

    2,500 in Taos, N.M. in front of Donald Rumseld’s private residence

    2,500 in August, Maine

    2,500 in Ann Arbor, MI

    2,000 in Frankfurt

    2,000 in Jerusalem (162.5k)

    1,500 in Copenhagen, Denmark

    1,500-2,000 in Kingston, NY

    1,500 in Tucson, AZ

    1,000+ in Spokane, WA

    1,000 in Rotterdam, Netherlands

    1,000 in Stockholm, Sweden

    1,000 in Austin, TX

    1,000 in Montpelier, VT

    1,000 in Luxemboug (on Oct. 19th)

    1,000 in Syracuse, NY (169.5k)

    800 in Madison, WI

    800 in Honolulu, HA

    700 in Albany, NY

    660 in Leper-Ypres, Belgium (peace run)

    650 in Nashville, TN (the largest anti-war protest in that city since the Vietnam War)

    600 in Ann Arbor, MI

    500-1200 in Minneapolis, MN (correction from earlier, it turns out there were seperate marches in both of the Twin Cities)

    500 in Hamburg, Germany

    500 in San Antonio (SAPD cops ticketed many drivers for honking in support of the protestors)

    500 in White Plains, NY

    400 in Munich, Germany

    400 in Fayetteville AR (police there filmed all of the protestors as a form of harrassment)

    370 in Oklahoma City (confirmed correction of earlier number of 200)

    350 in Bend, OR

    300+ in Durango,CO

    300 in Juneau, Alaska

    300 in Prescott, Arizona

    300 in Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego, California

    300 in Tokyo

    300 in Salt Lake City, UT

    300 in East Lansing, MI

    250 in Indianapolis, IN

    250 in Durham, NC

    250 in Palm Beach, FL

    250 in Brussels, Belguim

    200 in St. Louis, MO

    200 in Little Rock, AK

    200 in Anchorage, Alaska (corrected number)

    200 in Flagstaff, AZ

    200 in Portland, Maine (14 arrested & several of those beaten by the police http://maine.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=2382)

    200 in Portland, OR (1 arrest at a concurrent direct action at a military recruiting station)

    200 in Goshen, IN

    Several hundred in Edmonton, Canada (this is my best guess based on the pictures posted online)

    “Hundreds” in Stuttgart, and Bremen, Germany

    “Several hundred” in Tallahasse, FL

    180 in Wellington, N.Z.

    150+ in Dortmund, Germany

    150 in Rockford, IL

    150 in Paonia, Colorado

    150 in Chemnitz, Germany

    150 in Fresno, CA

    150 in Petoskey, MI

    125 in Konstanz, Germany

    110 in Colorado Springs, CO

    100 in Fort Wayne, IN

    100 (13 were arrested) in Des Moines, IA

    100 in Houston, TX

    100 in Heidelberg, Germany

    100 in Milwaukee, WI

    100 in Boise, ID

    50-200 in Leipzig, Germany

    80 in Concord, NH

    80 in Columbia, SC

    75 in Travese City, MI

    75 in West Hartford, CT

    70+ in Chattanooga, TN

    70 in Montrose, CO

    70 in Palatine, IL

    50-75 in Sioux Falls, SD

    65 in Terre Haute, IN

    60 in Lewiston, ID

    50 – Bad Tolz, Germany

    40 – Centralia, WA

    40- Bielefeld, Germany

    30 – Duren, Germany

    Last but not least there was a protest by Voices in the Wilderness protestors from America who are illegally in Baghdad (http://indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=212853#other)

    Other Protests reported that I can’t find crowd estimates for:

    Barcelona, London, Belgium, Paris, India, South Korea, Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Grand Rapids & , MI, — Ashland, Astoria, Corvallis, Eugene, Hood River, Pendleton, McMinnville, Newport and Salem all in Oregon, Danbury, CT; Bicyclist protest in Santa Fe, NM, Calgary, Canada; Napier and Auckland, New Zealand; Adelaide, Australia; Bonn, Germany; Bowling Green, KY; Bradenton, FL; Missoula, Billings, & Butte MT; Joplin, MO; Jonesboro, AR; Glenwood Springs, CO, Hilo, HA

2002
10.28

Social Justice:

    I am still amazed (and thankful to God) for the tremendous response to Saturday (O26)’s response to International Anti-War day.

    Regretably the media is still underreporting the numbers and breadth of these actions (the NY Times is especially guilty) So, in the interests of truth and encouragement to any peace loving readers out there, I’ve searched online to find the most likely numbers for the various protest actions for International Anti-war Day. Here’s what I’ve compiled so far: (many of these numbers are estimates… when the police, protestors, and media gave disparate numbers, I either gave a range or went with what was an average number)


      over 100,000 in Washington, D.C.

      60,000-80,000 in San Francisco

      15,000 in Glasgow, Scotland (on Oct 20th)

      10,000 marched in Minneapolis-St. Paul

      8,000-30,000 in Berlin

      5,000 in Amsterdam, Netherlands

      5,000 in Zaragosa, Spain

      4,000 in Chicago

      4,000 in Seattle, WA

      “Several thousand” in Rotterdam, Netherlands

      “Several Thousand” in Denver, CO

      2,500 in Taos, N.M. in front of Donald Rumseld’s private residence

      2,500 in August, Maine

      2,000 in Frankfurt

      1500 in Copenhagen, Denmark

      1,500 in Kingston, NY

      1,500 in Tucson, AZ

      1,000 in Stockholm, Sweden

      1,000 in Austin, TX

      1,000 in Montpelier, VT

      1,000 in Luxemboug (on Oct. 19th)

      800 in Madison, WI

      650 in Nashville, TN (the largest anti-war protest in that city since the Vietnam War)

      600 in Ann Arbor, MI

      500 in Hamburg, Germany

      500 in San Antonio

      300 in Tokyo

      300 in Salt Lake City, UT

      250 in Durham, NC

      200 in St. Louis, MO

      200 in Oklahoma City (Woohoo!!!)

      200 in Portland, Maine (14 arrested, with several of those beaten by the police more info on this incident can be found at http://maine.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=2382)

      200 in Goshen, IN

      “Several Hundred” in Anchorage, Alaska

      “Several hundred” in Portland, OR (There was also a sit-in/shutdown of military recruiting station in Portland in conjunction with the march)

      Several hundred in Edmonton, Canada (this is my best guess based on the pictures posted online)

      “Hundreds” in Stuttgart, and Bremen

      180 in Wellington, N.Z.

      150 in Rockford, IL

      100 (13 were arrested) in Des Moines, IA

      100 in Traverse City / Petoskey, MI

      100 in Houston, TX

      80 in Concord, NH

      80 in Columbia, SC

      50-75 in Sioux Falls, SD

      65 in Terre Haute, IN

      Last but not least there was a protest by Voices in the Wilderness protestors from America who are illegally in Baghdad (http://indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=212853#other)

      Protests reported that I can’t find crowd estimates for:

      Barcelona, London, Rome, Belgium, Paris, India, South Korea, Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Grand Rapids & East Lancing, MI, Indianapolis, IN, Palatine, IL, Colorado Springs — Ashland, Astoria, Corvallis, Eugene, Hood River, Pendleton, McMinnville, Newport and Salem all in Oregon, Danbury, CT; Bicyclist protest in Santa Fe, NM, Calgary, Canada; Napier and Auckland, New Zealand

      (There are also major anti-war protest scheduled across the UK scheduled for October 30-31.)

    We might well be the minority, but our number is growing. Don’t lose heart. Keep speaking out for peace!

2002
10.26

Politics and Policy:

  • Ha ha!!! Fox”News” had to eat their words. Now they’ve turned “hundreds” into “tens of thousands” in their latest story on today’s protests.. Ain’t that funny?

    What is even more humerous is that they didn’t run a retraction but rather just stuck up an AP story instead of the one their own staff wrote. Remember folks, if the story is written by Fox “News” it likely ain’t true.

2002
10.26

Politics and Policy:

  • MSNBC: Thousands protest against Iraq war

    I was wrong in my earlier post in criticizing MSNBC for not running a report at the time I wrote that. While they did not immediate coverage of today’s world-wide protests against the war in Iraq, they now (a few hours later) have published what looks like the most accurate and comprehensive report of what happened (read the coverage on Fox”News” to see the contrast)

    Here are some intersting excerpts from the MSNBC report…

      This paragraph was in a photo caption: Mehdi Ghezali, father of a 23-year-old Swedish citizen detained at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for nine months, holds a placard during an anti-U.S. demonstration in central Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday.

    This father’s son is a prisoner of war, denied even the most basic of rights provided by the Geneva Convention to prisoners of War. This holding of the detainees is in itself a war crime, as it is a violation of the Geneva convention, which makes Bush, Rumsfeld, and the brass at the Pentagon war criminals. Of course, they’ll never face trial since America isn’t subject to international law anymore.

      THE WASHINGTON protest coincided with anti-war demonstrations from Augusta, Maine, to San Francisco and abroad from Rome and Berlin to Tokyo to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Mexico City. In Washington and many of the other demonstrations, protesters added complaints about U.S. policy toward the Palestinians.
      Protest organizers claimed up to 200,000 people had answered the call to challenge President Bush’s determination to force out Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Because the U.S. Park Police no longer issue crowd estimates, the size of the crowd could not be verified. As the march began, participants stretched for at least five city blocks.

    Five City blocks… that sounds like a lot more than what Fox”News”calls a disapointing showing of mere “hundreds” of protestors.

      New Englanders ventured out in snow, sleet and rain to join demonstrations in Maine and Vermont. Across the nation a couple thousand showed up at the Colorado capitol in downtown Denver, and demonstrators marched in San Francisco.

    Along with this, there were close to 200 in Oklahoma City, who knows how many in Austin, and thousands more in towns and villages across this great nation!

      In Berlin, crowds of people brandishing placards that declared “War on the imperialist war,” “Stop Bush’s campaign” and “No blood for oil,” along with a few Iraqi and Palestinian flags, converged on the downtown Alexanderplatz square and marched past the German Foreign Ministry.

      Police estimated that as many as 8,000 people took part in damp, windy weather, while organizers put the number at 30,000. No trouble was reported.

    At least 8,000 protested in Berlin. Read that again… at least 8,000 showed up in bad weather!!! The people of the world are speaking!!!

      Some 1,500 people turned out in Frankfurt and 500 more in Hamburg, according to police, while 1,500 rain-soaked demonstrators gathered under umbrellas outside the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, and more than 1,000 hit the streets in Stockholm, Sweden.

      Closely watched by police in anti-riot gear, a few thousand people marched in downtown Rome in a protest dominated by banners referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that also was attended by some opposition politicians.

      “We’re aware that war and terrorism feed each other,” Paolo Cento, a lawmaker for the Greens party, said of his opposition to a war against Iraq.

      In Baghdad itself, American anti-war activists protested in front of U.N. offices, urging the U.N. Security Council not to give Bush a blank check for war against Iraq. Six members of the Chicago-based Voices in the Wilderness raised banners including “Drop sanctions not bombs.”

      In Tokyo, about 300 Japanese staged a “peace walk,” holding up placards urging governments to “stop the war before it starts.”

    The world is speaking out and Americans are speaking out. We might be the minority in the US but more are changing their mind daily. Fox”News” and others who try to belittle this people’s movement are misguided at best and anti-democratic at worse.

2002
10.26

Social Justice:

  • The OKC rally against the War with Iraq was a tremendous success. I don’t know what the final numbers were, but there were 125 signatures on the anti-war petition. (I think were probably closer to 200 there.) The speakers included several pastors, State Representative Opio Toure, a man from the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and the President of the OU chapter of Amnesty International. I was so blessed to get to be there. Thank you to Batch, Elderberry Bob, and of the others who organized it!
  • Emergency Oklahoma City Coalition Against the War with Iraq — the orgnanizers of today’s protest are now having protests at busy OKC intersections twice weekly!!!
  • Thus far the mainstream media coverage of the D.C. and world-wide protests are not very well done. Nothing at all from MSNBC.com or the NY Times (I’ll give the times some leeway since they’ll probably have a story in tomorrow’s paper.) Here the stories I’ve found thus far….
    • Wash Post: Anti-war Activists rally in Washington
    • CNN: Global rallies protest possible US war on Iraq — Notice how this story downplays the protests in the US. Besides the major protests in D.C. and San Francisco, there dozens of the smaller local protests across the country, from Maine to Austin.
    • BBC: US Peace marches draw thousands — BBC places the number at 10,000 in D.C. I think that is a very, very low number.
    • NPR: Anti-War Protest in Washington Targets Iraq Debate (RealAudio)
    • FoxNews: Marchers Protest Iraq War Plans

      Fox News has given such a biased tilt on this story, I gotta quote this line of B.S. . . .

        WASHINGTON — Despite the lousy weather, hundreds of demonstrators flocked to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Saturday for what organizers expected to be a loud but nonviolent protest march against President Bush’s pre-emptive war policies.

      Absolute garbage. I watched the coverage of the rally on C-span and there were thousands there, not hundreds. I could see that with my own eyes, and that was only the portion of the crowd that was within camera view.

      Final counts are still uncertain (I’ll post them once I find out something official) but there were at least tens of thousands, if not close to 100,000. (One source at DC.Indymedia.org says there were 200,000. Crowd estimating is a tricky thing, but if participants on the ground are saying there could be 200,000, then that means that there are more than mere ‘hundreds’) Fox News is an offense to all real journalists and has done a disservice to the American people and to our leaders who should know that many of us DO NOT SUPPORT THIS WAR! From now on, Fox News shoudn’t be called Fox”News” but rather Fox”SPIN.” or FoxPROPAGANDA.

2002
10.26

Music:

  • Here’s what I’m listening to today at work… (I should be working on the church bulletin right now instead of talking about music… )
  • Jackson Rubio Compilation – By the people for the people, the Lo-Fi Mixes — very old school Mid-Late Nineties music from when I first began to dig good acoustic music
  • They Might Be Giants – a mix CD of songs I dig of theirs, esp their classic “Birdhouse in your soul”
  • Bad Faces Clan Demo – the gritty country side project of Madison Greene bass player Bone.
  • The Crossing Standing Stones and In the Court of the King
  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – yeah, yeah, yeah, Ska will never die!!!
  • One observation is worth noting… the Christian music scene as a whole is pretty dead. I didn’t realize how dead until a few days ago when I turned on KOKF (the local youth oriented Christian station). It was either garbage or it was something quality but three years old. There really is nothing that I can see in the scene that I dig, at least as far as what gets radio airplay. Even though I and tons of people always said “there shouldn’t be a seperate scene, yada yada yada” I have to say I miss those days of turning on the radio and finding stuff I like, and going to C-stone and being excited by all of the different bands.

    Don’t get me wrong, there were tons of good bands at the festival but most of the ones I really liked play no other Christian festivals besides C-stone. And when I look at the label rosters… sheesh… Tooth & Nail has Havalina and Joy E, but otherwise nothing interests me there.

    But heck, I’m pretty tired of rock music too. There’s some stuff in the indy vein that is good but as a whole I connect much more with Americana music. It seems more genuine to me, and expresses the full range of at least my emotions.

  • While I’m talking about Americana music, I never gave my review of the bands I heard at the Austin City Limits Festival.
    • The South Austin Jug Band – They were every bit as good as their name promised. Old-timey country banjo pickin’ music.
    • Gillian Welch – was even better than I expected and that’s saying a lot. She played with David (Rallings maybe, I don’t know how his last name is spelt, but my oh my that man can play the guitar). What I remember about her show the most was singing harmony with her (out in the audience, haha) on “I’ll Fly Away” and her smile. She has the prettiest smile I have seen in my life!
    • Nickel Creek exceeded what my excessive superlatives could describe. It was one of the most memorable concerts of my life. I like their albums a great deal but their live show was ten times better. — Highlights of the show included their cover of the Beatle’s “Tax Man” and also a song off their new album: “Spit on a stranger.”
    • And as I’ve already said here, but I’ll say again… half of the fun of the ACL festival was seeing genuine hippies again! It did my soul good. — There were of course some folks there who were not so cool (almost tempting me to discard my pacifist values in one case) but 99.9% of the folks there were wondeful people so I’ll choose to remember the good ones and pray the bad apples don’t come back next year.

    OK, back to that church bulletin . . . 😉