From: GIRightsLawyer.com

I have a new version of the article I wrote on AWOL issues in the Army. (huge thanks go to Susan Bassein of the GI Rights Hotline for helping me update it, as well as the On Watch editorial board who helped improve it a great deal in the editing process)

You can read it here: On Watch – January/February 2009 Issue, including “AWOL in the Army” Version 2.0

Also in the issue is an Addendum on AWOL/UA policies in the Navy, Marine Corps & Air Force, by my friend (and fellow MLTF co-chair) Kathleen Gilberd

Also I should mention that the layout editing (as well as some of the content editing) for this issue was done by my friend Rena.


Yesterday marked yet another sad day, in a long line of sad days in Oklahoma.

I was in the room and saw it with my own eyes as 10 of our state Senators voted against Randy Brogden’s bill to reform Oklahoma’s horridly undemocratic ballot access laws. I’m going to email the Senate Rules Committee Staff and Chair to make sure I got the votes correct, but as soon as I get confirmation I’ll post the names of those who deserve shame for voting against democracy and those who deserve praise for taking a stand for equality and fairness.

For now though, I must say I have tremendous gratitude for Republican Randy Brogden bringing the bill to the floor. I was very struck by his eloquence in arguing on behalf of the bill. I was also struck by the silence of the opponents of the bill. Most didn’t want to go on the record as opposing democracy so instead they just were silent during debate and then let their votes hit. (the only comments I recalled was one guy cracking a joke about whether Randy would support his bill, and another person who was worried if the ballot access retention standards were based on the state or federal vote count)

I was stunned and outraged at this point and decided to speak my mind (even if I was disruptive), and told the committee, quite loudly as I was storming out of the room, “It’s good to see that Oklahoma isn’t a democracy.” — Not my most eloquent moment for sure, but I had to say something. I wanted the “Gang of 10” to know what they had done.

The fight isn’t over though. I don’t know what it will take, but somehow these laws have to change, as I frankly don’t see the point in voting anymore as long as you don’t get to vote for people of other political parties.

For more information on this issue, please check out the good folks at OBAR (Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform)


GIRightsLawyer.com: A Crying Shame — Cliff Cornell deported from Canada, arrested by US Border Patrol


DanzigUSA.blogspot.com: Wendell Berry Makes Public Statement on the Death Penalty

Wendell Berry Makes Public Statement on the Death Penalty
Noted Kentucky author, philosopher and man-of-letters, Wendell Berry has authorized me to use the following statement of his position on the death penalty:

[Not to be altered in any way without the approval of Wendell Berry]

“As I am made deeply uncomfortable by the taking of a human life before birth, I am also made deeply uncomfortable by the taking of a human life after birth. Obviously, it can be well argued that the world would be better off if certain people had never been born or if they had been killed in early youth by a fall from a tree. And I certainly can imagine circumstances in which I might kill another person. But I don’t believe that mere humans have the mental or moral capacity to decide rightfully, let alone infallibly, that another human should be killed. As I don’t condone the illegal killing of a human by a human, I cannot condone the legal killing of a human by a human. One killing is not rectified or atoned for by the addition of a second. An illegal killing is in no way made better by a legal killing. A society is not made saner or more morally secure by the deputation in it of legalized killers. Whereas many illegal killings are done in hot blood, legal killings are always done in cold blood and with a procedural deliberation that is horrifying. Hot-blooded killing is of course horrifying also, but to me it is more understandable. Probably we have no choice against illegal killing, which continues to happen against the wishes of nearly everybody. But it is possible, morally and rationally, to choose to withhold one’s approval from legal killing, and I so choose.”
[Not to be altered in any way without the approval of Wendell Berry].
–Wendell Berry
Port Royal, KY
January 23, 2009

(thanks to the Mr. Wendell Berry of Kentucky blog for sharing this