2006
04.28

 

Catholic Peace Fellowship: ar – Conscience – Catholicism, A Catholic Peace Fellowship-Oklahoma Conference

When: April 28-29, 2006

Where: Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church, 7336 W. Britton Rd., Oklahoma City. Please park in west parking lot, enter at the “Family Life Gymnasium”.

Co-sponsors: Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Pax Christi OKC, Sisters of Benedict Red Plains Monastery

I hope to see y’all there. The move to start Catholic Peace Fellowship in OKC is such an encouraging thing, and I would love to see lots of other religious peace activists from other traditions be there to encourage them in this new effort.

Also if you don’t know the story of war resister Camilo Mejia click here.

2006
04.28

 

I got this message today by email from TulsaWorld.com:

Dear former tulsaworld.com subscriber,

We are pleased to announce that as of Monday, May 1 tulsaworld.com will be a free site. That means all pages of the website can be accessed for free.

Anyone will be allowed to retrieve an article for free if it has been published during the last 30 days. After 30 days, there will be a fee for archive retrievals. To view an archived article you can purchase an EZ access pass for as low as $7.50 for 10 articles or you can pay $1.95 for each article individually.

If you have any questions concerning tulsaworld.com you may contact our customer service department at 582-0921.

Thank you for your readership.

I’m glad they are doing this but am shocked that it took them so long to do this (NewsOK.com has had free acess I think since day one)

2006
04.21

The dehumanization of war

 

MSNBC/ Blogging Baghdad: The Pornography of War

Please be warned that this link is pretty disturbing and gives a potent picture of how war changes good people.

2006
04.21

 

I’ve had several kind folks send emails congratulating on my bar passage which is really cool, but I should say that if any of y’all are wondering why I’m not at the swearing-in ceremony tomorrow, I still have to take the MPRE before I get my bar license. Due to a situation (too long a story to tell here) I didn’t take the March administration of the MPRE, so I have wait until the next time it is offered in August. Assuming I pass, I’ll then affirm the oath in September. (I’m affirming instead of swearing the oath for reasons of both religion and conscience).

2006
04.20

I’m moving

 

Well only next door, but I’m moving from upstairs at Joy Mennonite Church to the garage apartment on the property. My new space is a little bit smaller (just a small studio apartment) but I will have my own bathroom and kitchen which will be nice.

2006
04.20

 

NewsOK: House votes to lift tattoo ban

Shucks, I was hoping I could get another illegal tattoo before the new law passes (hehehe, somehow it is more fun to get a tattoo when you know the cops could bust in). Oh well, I guess health and safety trumps cool.

(thanks to Okiefunk to alerting me about this)

2006
04.20

 

NewsOK: The simple life appeals to Earth-friendly couple

This article is about my friends Bruce and Barbara Johnson who I totally want to be like when I grew up. They are hands down some of the coolest, most genuine, and freest people I know (I think what I admire most is their living off the grid lets them live nearly federal income tax free, so they aren’t paying for the killing of Iraqis like the rest of us are)

2006
04.20

This is an update to an earlier JMBzine post

I just did a bit of google searching and as it turns out Wenyi Wang has been speaking out for freedom for the persecuted practicioners of Falon Gong for some time, and has faced persecution from the tyranical totalitarian/uber-capitalist PROC regime for some time (btw, that was not a typo. One of China’s great failings is their continuation of totalitarian tactics while also adopting the evils of capitalism… which by the dictionary definition has made them a fascist state, as capitalism coupled with total state control creates a world in which all power lies in the rich)

The Epoch Times: Chinese Consulate Denies Doctor’s Passport

NEW YORK — Standing on the corner of 42nd Street and 12th Avenue, Dr. Wenyi Wang refused to eat all day in protest. Wang said that when her father died from heart problems on May 3, she knew she had to go back to her hometown in northeast China for the funeral. The problem was getting there.

The Chinese Consulate of New York, which Wang stood outside of, refused to renew her Chinese passport, making it impossible for her to return home or visit any other country besides Canada.

“The reason is simple. I have very actively criticized the Chinese regime for their persecution of Falun Gong practitioners,” said Wang, a permanent U.S. resident and physician at Mount Sinai Hospital, in an open letter to the public. . .

ClearWisdom.net: Who is Behind the Denial of Wenyi Wang’s Press Card?

Not having a press card did not stop Ms. Wang. While on a quiet walk off the beaten path, she happened upon Jiang Zemin taking a stroll. She asked him to stop killing Falun Gong practitioners.

(Jiang Zemin was the prior PROC President)

Also here’s some more coverage of today’s arrest of Wenyi. I am appalled that the Secret Service is actually prosecuting her for this, particularly for “intimidating a foreign official.” Well maybe Hu needed to be intimidated by the power of the people!

Newswire.co.nz: US Arrests Falun Gong Protestor

A Falun Gong protester who heckled Chinese President Hu Jintao on the White House lawn today is to be charged with disorderly conduct and “intimidating” a foreign official.

The US Secret Service says Wang Wenyi, who was working as a reporter for Falun Gong’s United States-based newspaper Epoch Times, shouted pro-Falun Gong slogans as Mr Hu made brief remarks before he held talks with US President George Bush. . .

Wang was a pathologist who researched claims by Falun Gong that thousands of its followers in Chinese concentration camps have been killed and had their organs harvested and sold.

The Age (Australia): Heckler embarrasses presidents

. . . “This was unfortunate and I’m sorry this happened,” Mr Bush told Mr Hu, according to Dennis Wilder, a senior official with the National Security Council.

The Secret Service charged Ms Wang with disorderly conduct under local statutes.

The US Attorney’s office was weighing federal charges of “willing intimidation or disruption of a foreign official”, said Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren.

In China, authorities blacked out television feeds as Ms Wang heckled Mr Hu. CNN International said its signal to China was interrupted twice: when Ms Wang was shouting and later, when the network reported the incident.

The websites of the state-run China Central Television and the official Xinhua news agency made no mention of the protest. Both said that Mr Bush “held a solemn ceremony to welcome” Mr Hu.

Outside the White House, hundreds of yellow-clad Falun Gong disciples, Taiwanese nationalists, and Tibetan youth group members demonstrated against Mr Hu and his Government.

The protesters denounced China’s human rights record, its missile build-up near Taiwan and its 55-year-long rule over the Himalayan Buddhist region of Tibet.

A US official said Mr Hu’s team was probably offended by the incident.

“The hardliners on Mr Hu’s team are going to ask, why did it take so long for us to pick her up. It is not a good thing,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Drudge Report.com: HU HECKLED ON SOUTH LAWN: ‘YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED’

. . . On China TV: As Hu was speaking when yells of protesters became audible, the screen went black. When the feed came back the screen once again went black when woman was again heard. During CNN International’s post-speech commentary, at mention of south lawn heckler, the screen also went black again. The CNN feed returned when the incident ended. . .

Just wait, give it a few years and CNN will do the same thing here in the US of A.

Also here’s some op-ed commentary on this…

Yahoo News/Huffington Post: President Bush Stands Up for Free Speech by Standing Up – by Bob Cesca

. . . In fact, during this morning’s event, President Bush urged President Hu to allow his people to speak freely. What a coincidence that a Chinese woman at the event would take the president up on his challenge.

“President Bush, stop him from killing! Stop persecuting the
Falun Gong! President Bush, stop him!” she shouted while CNN anchors expressed pity for… the president.

CNN’s coverage: “An embarrassing moment, potentially, for the president.” Then Miles O’Brien reacted, “I should say amid the pomp and circumstance — a blemish.” A Chinese woman expressing her views to the Chinese president in the only forum possible — she certainly couldn’t do that in China — is a blemish? Yes, it was a pimple on the ass of such a wonderful event; an event which will usher in an era of more American jobs going overseas to communist controlled sweatshops. Dag. How dare she interrupt such pomp with all that annoying pus-filled free speech!

Back to the president. You’d figure since he’s been called by God to protect and ensure the liberty of all people, he’d have the courage of his faith and convictions to do or say something. Perhaps he could’ve waved off the Secret Service agents who hauled her away. He could’ve invited her to address President Hu in a more official setting. This could’ve been his moment to put his money where his mouth is.

Wizbang: China’s President Hu Heckled at Arrival Ceremony

    The incident took place immediately after Mr Bush urged President Hu to allow Chinese to “speak freely”.
    The Chinese leader, unaccustomed to such public protests, stopped speaking briefly until Mr Bush lent over and reassured him. Later Mr Bush personally apologised for the incident.

So, Ms. Wang was arrested for doing what Bush recommended. And what’s with the “intimidating a foreign official” charge? How ridiculous.

Again I am no fan of George Bush and his cowardly behavior today doesn’t do much to change my opinion. Again, Bush should have been the one to condemn Hu for putting his people in concentration camps for the “crime” of choosing a spiritual path. Bush’s failure to do this made Wenyi’s action a moral imperative. God bless her for having the courage to speak truth to both of the tyrants who were on the South Lawn.

And here’s one more news story that highlights Bush’s complete lack of backbone in standing up to this tyrant…

Washington Post: Bush, Hu Produce Summit of Symbols — Protester Screams At Chinese President

Emphasis added is my own:

In private, aides said, Bush raised the case of a North Korean asylum seeker, Kim Chun Hee, who was deported back to her homeland despite Chinese obligations under U.N. refugee conventions. He asked again about a list of Chinese political prisoners that he first gave Hu during a meeting at the United Nations in September and gave a new list of six detainees he hopes will be released. But Bush did not mention the persecution of Falun Gong, even with hundreds of its followers outside the White House banging drums, holding up banners and chanting, “Stop the killing, stop the torture.”

That was not enough to satisfy Baihua Zhou, 49, a software engineer from Ohio, who was among hundreds of protesters on Pennsylvania Avenue. On her chest she wore a picture of a mutilated corpse whose organs had been sold off, representing what Falun Gong says is a campaign of abuse and murder of believers in China.

“We want to expose these crimes to the world,” she said, comparing Hu to a murderer. “If he wants to invite him to his house, President Bush has to say what is right to say, not just to please him. He has to tell him the people’s concerns.”

President Bush is a joke, but if he wants to redeem himself he can start by giving Wenyi a Presidential pardon (she now faces six months in prison for the “crime” of speaking the truth to power) and then appologizing for her for silencing her when she was saying the very things he should have been saying.

2006
04.20

 

NPR.org: As Bush and Hu Discuss Issues, a Protest Erupts

When it was President Hu’s turn to speak, a woman standing on the top level of a viewing stand set up for the press began to shout loudly, yelling in Chinese that, “President Hu, your days are numbered”. In English, she shouted, “President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong,” referring to the spiritual movement banned by the Chinese government.

Hu stopped briefly but continued his remarks. In several minutes, uniformed Secret Service agents removed the woman, still screaming, from the South Lawn. The protester was later identified as a reporter with credentials issued for a Falun Gong newspaper.

FoxNews: Bush, Hu Make Little Progress on Trade, Iran

Hu’s visit began with an official welcoming ceremony on the White House South Lawn, which was interrupted by a protester in the press pool who began yelling about China’s repression of religion before being escorted away by Secret Service agents.

NY Times: Bush and Hu Vow New Cooperation

The occasion was disrupted when a member of the Falun Gong spiritual sect, accredited as a reporter for a sect-run publication to cover the ceremony at the White House, interrupted Mr. Hu’s address and upset the elaborate choreography the Chinese delegation had regarded as the most important trophy of Mr. Hu’s visit. Screaming, “President Bush, make him stop persecuting Falun Gong,” the ethnic Chinese woman, Wenyi Wang, partly drowned out Mr. Hu. She continued shouting for more than a minute before security officers removed her.

Mr. Bush later apologized to Mr. Hu for the incident, White House officials said. But Chinese Foreign Ministry officials traveling with Mr. Hu canceled an afternoon briefing. One delegation member, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the subject publicly, described his superiors as outraged by the breach. . .

On human rights, Mr. Hu refused to make concessions on any cases on a list that Mr. Bush presented to him last September, when they met during a session at the United Nations. Dennis Wilder, the acting senior director for East Asian affairs at the National Security Council, said Mr. Bush presented the same list to Mr. Hu again this time.

I’m so proud to see Wenyi Wang tell it like it and speak truth to power. President Bush should not be giving the tyanical leader of China a tour of the White House, but rather should be calling him on the carpet for his country’s suppression of religious, cultural and political freedoms. And why the heck is Bush appologizing? Ms. Wang courageously did what Bush should be doing, speaking out for the cause of freedom.

In fact this is what really gets my goat. President Bush tells us that the US fighting the war in Iraq to give freedom to the Iraqi people, yet Bush does JACK SQUAT for the freedom of the Chinese people and the Tibetan people. It just doesn’t make sense and certainly makes it hard to take him at his word.

2006
04.20

 

Cognitive Dissonance – this blog discusses the protest that is planned in Stillwater.

I’ll be curious how far the Secret Service keeps the protestors away.