Sunday, July 30, 2017

Peace Heroes and War Zeros (SOAPBOX PODCAST JULY 30, 2017)

July 30, 2017




Guest: Michael Knox
Topic: Peace Heroes

This week, Cindy interviews Michael Knox, founder of the 
US Peace Memorial



Michael D. Knox chairs the US Peace Memorial Foundation which directs a nationwide effort to honor Americans who stand for peace by publishing the US Peace Registry, awarding an annual Peace Prize, and planning for the US Peace Memorial as a national monument in Washington, DC.  Knox believes that "these educational projects help move the United States toward a culture of peace, as we recognize the thoughtful and courageous Americans who have taken a public stand against one or more U.S. wars or who have devoted their time, energy, and other resources to finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts.  We celebrate these role models to inspire other Americans to speak out against war and to work for peace.”  See “World Peace: A First Step” at www.uspeacememorial.org/WorldPeace.htm  

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: California Approves Autonomy Initiative for Signature Gathering









FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2017

Steve Gonzales
California Freedom Coalition
steve@CalFreeCo.org

California Approves Autonomy Initiative for 
Signature Gathering

San Jose, CAThe Attorney General of California has released the circulating title and summary for Initiative 17-0005, California’s Future: A Path to Independence. The state’s assigned title and summary is as follows:

CALIFORNIA AUTONOMY FROM FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. 
Repeals provision in California Constitution stating California is an inseparable part of the United States. Directs Governor, in consultation with those members of Congress who represent California, to negotiate continually greater autonomy from federal government, up to and including agreement establishing California as a fully independent country, provided voters agree to revise the California Constitution. Creates new state commission to research and make recommendations on ways of increasing California’s autonomy and independence.


The proponents now have 180 days to collect 585,407 valid signatures to qualify the initiative for the Nov 2018 ballot.

Proponents of the initiative argue that California’s relationship with the United States is almost a textbook case of taxation without representation. “The U.S. government siphons off billions of dollars a year from California’s economy with very little positive impact for its citizens. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our schools are failing, and our tax dollars are instead being used to bomb people in other countries. It is time that Californians take back control of our own tax dollars and invest in our entire state,” said Steve Gonzales, President of the California Freedom Coalition (CFC).

California voters are more underrepresented now than voters in any state at any point in American history. The Electoral College, two Senators per state, and a strongly gerrymandered House of Representatives has had the cumulative effect of reducing the value of a Californian vote to a mere fraction of that cast by individuals in other states. “In very real terms we are second-class voters in the United States,” said Tim Vollmer, Chief Strategist of the CFC. “This was made vividly clear in the 2016 election when three million of our votes were deemed irrelevant and secondary compared with tens of thousands of votes cast in other states.”

In addition to calling for ever greater autonomy from the current U.S. federal system, the initiative calls for reforms within California’s own system of government. “This initiative will spur California to get its own act together and organize itself in a way that befits a modern democracy,” said Dave Marin, Director of Research and Policy. “Our elected officials in Sacramento and on the local level are the only real political representation that we Californians have. It is time for them to take this role far more seriously and to bring California into the 21st Century.”

“It is time that everyone recognizes that it’s not acceptable to discount Californians' votes. California is more than a state of the U.S.; it's a nation, and it should act like one. This initiative will direct the State to make further progress on this front,” said Neil Longhurst, Chief Financial Officer of the CFC.

The proponents of the initiative are adamant that it is not designed to politically antagonize or abandon other regions of the U.S. Rather, it is aimed to start a necessary reordering of a political process that no longer works. “Some people argue that the Electoral College is necessary to protect the political participation of small and rural states. However, the answer to that problem cannot be the near total disenfranchisement of voters in the larger states,” says Vollmer. “We need a national consensus to fix this growing crisis of political underrepresentation and we feel this initiative is an important and necessary step in that direction.”

About The California Freedom Coalition: The CFC is a not for profit, non-partisan organization that was formed to educate and advocate for the voting rights of California. We are a grassroots organization dedicated to ensuring that California and its nearly 40 million citizens and residents have a truly proportionate voice and vote in electing a national government that reflects their values, intentions and expectations. Please visit our website at calfreeco.org.


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Venezuela: ¡Constituent Assembly YES! Interference NO!


International Committee 
for Peace, Justice and Dignity 

¡Constituent Assembly YES! Interference NO!
Photo: Bill Hackwell
Statement from the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity

The U.S. State Department, the oligarchy and the Venezuelan right, together with the regional and European right have not let up in their attempt to destroy the enormous achievements accomplished by the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela and the Government of Nicolas Maduro.
 
The main objective that drives them, constantly and permanently, is to put into practice various methods of war in order to take control of the vast natural resources of the country, especially oil. Since Chavez, all those resources have been put in the hands and stewardship of the Venezuelan people.  
 
It is the first time in two hundred years of history that this has happened, thanks to the emancipatory and anti-imperialist efforts of Commander Hugo Chávez - a direction continued by the Government of Maduro. The oil income is now at the disposal of huge projects aimed at benefiting those who were always forgotten and humiliated; the people, workers, farmers, blacks and native people.
 
Also for the first time in the history of Venezuela, illiteracy has been eradicated; more than 1,500,000 affordable homes have been built, education, culture and sports now reaches every corner and mountain top of the country and is no longer just a privilege to be enjoyed by the rich. Women have recaptured their dignity and today they occupy important positions at all levels of the life of the country, including the armed forces. Social missions have been multiplied to give a roof, work and land to those who never had anything.
 
The generosity of Chavez did not forget a single Latin American. His work and vision changed the map of Latin America and the Caribbean. Along with the resistant and blockaded Cuban Revolution, the solidarity of Fidel and Chavez carried out the largest and most beautiful feats of the century. It was not just Venezuela and Cuba, but all poor people of the Americas. In just a few years, through Operación Milagro and the literacy program Yo Si Puedo, millions of poor Latin American and Caribbean were able to see, read and write.
 
Regional bodies of integration such as Mercosur strengthened, progressive governments in the region and were supported so they could put an end to the historical dependence on the IMF and the World Bank. It was a clear and loud message of NO MORE that was sent to the FTAA and in that ALBA, UNASUR and the Bank of the South were born. Huge efforts were made to start the dialogue of peace between the Colombian Government and the FARC, which, after five years of talks, ended 50 years of war in that country.  For the first time in history a regional body without the presence of imperialism was created in January of 2014 in Havana when CELAC was born declaring Latin America and the Caribbean a "Zone of Peace".
 
All of this was accomplished in less than two decades when there was not really a moment of true peace. Imperialism just could not stand what was happening. 
So they plotted and invented a humanitarian crisis, by urging the Venezuelan right and the oligarchy to hide and destroy food and medicine while the imperialists themselves prevented shipments of these vital items. They gave cover to the cowardly terrorist imperialist right who have systematically refused to engage in dialogue while failing to organize even one "peaceful demonstration" that even remotely matched the size that the legitimate government of Maduro has been able to bring together.
Instead they have resorted to the most inhumane extreme tactics by funding, providing and sponsoring mercenaries that kill in the most horrendous ways any young man who looks like they could be a supporter of Chavez. Many times the color of their skin is enough to be set on fire.
It has been one hundred days of declared war during which an unconstitutional referendum and a so-called parallel government of the "opposition" took place. They have even begun to organize and appointing a future government with absolutely no constitutional basis.
The Trump administration has threatened Venezuela with severe sanctions if it does not desist from conducting the upcoming Constituent Assembly. Meanwhile the lap dog of the empire, Luis Almagro, who heads the Organization of American States (OAS) has demanded a "humanitarian" intervention by the United States. One with the same humanity of those interventions into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria that has left millions dead and still counting. The sniveling right wing governments of the region and Europe are pathetically joining the choir.
Imperialism, along with its servants and allies are pulling out all the stops to prevent the realization of the Constitutional Assembly taking place on July 30 which is the largest and most significantly representative exercise any nation could conduct. Basically Maduro is putting his trust in the people by empowering them to defeat the fascist coup. No wonder the imperialist are so hell bent on stopping it.
The Empire and the retrograde right fear the Constituent Assembly because it will be the most genuine expression of people power. To support it is not only to defend the sovereign right of the Bolivarian people to decide their own fate in peace. It is also to preserve ours.
We make a call to all our friends in the solidarity movement, to the committees all over the world that for a long time have supported the Cuban Revolution and other people's struggle, the honest men and women, to be permanently alert and mobilized to denounce the imperial right that will attempt to impede the vote to the Constituent Assembly.
This week, on July 28, will mark the 63rd birthday of Hugo Chavez and July 26 will be the 64th anniversary of Fidel's assault on the Moncada Barracks; the best way we can pay tribute to these two heroes of our time is to renew our commitment to the Cuban and Bolivarian Revolutions and their right to exercise their sovereign right to life, peace and dignity.
#Constituent Assembly Yes!!
#Interference No!!
#Venezuela Has to Be Respected!!
#The Constituent Assembly Goes!!
International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity
July 24, 2017   
International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity 
510-219-0092 | info@TheInternationalCommittee.org | Website

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mimi Soltysik: The Common Sense of Socialism (SOAPBOX PODCAST JULY 23, 2017)

July 23, 2017




Guest: Mimi Soltysik
Topic: The Common Sense of Socialism 

Emidio "Mimi" Soltysik (born October 30, 1974) is an American political activist for the Socialist Party USA. He was the party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election.
From October 2013 to October 2015, Soltysik served as National Co-Chair of the Socialist Party USA. Prior to that, he served as National Vice Chair from 2011 to 2013.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Speaking Truth to Empire with Dan Yaseen (July 2017 Edition)

https://soundcloud.com/speaking-truth-to-empire/170719-speaking-truth-to-empire-steve-lendman
CLICK IMAGE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

July 2017

On “Speaking Truth to Empire,” on KFCF 88.1 FM Free Speech Radio for Central California, Dan Yaseen interviews Steve Lendman, an author, a progressive blogger and an internet radio host. He writes on vital international and national topics, including war and peace, American imperialism, corporate dominance, political persecutions, and a range of other social, economic and political issues. His website is: www.stephenlendman.org

Lendman



Friday, July 21, 2017

Of "Heroes" and "Communist Dictators" by Cindy Sheehan

July 21, 2017

The first time I met Senator John McCain, I was still under the false impression that, even though he was a Republican, he was still slightly independent and not entirely reprehensible.

The occasion was the now infamous meeting our family had with then president George Bush in 2004, about six weeks after Casey was killed in Iraq.

Our family was invited for a “sit-down” with Bush at Ft. Lewis up near Seattle. The government was paying, so we agreed. We had some things we wanted to “chat” with him about, also.

Along with about 16-17 other families in the same piteous situation, we cooled our jets for awhile in a waiting room at the base hospital. After a bit, we were ushered into a small curtained room to wait for 43. While we were waiting, the curtains parted and in walked McCain. I did mention to him that he had been a POW in another immoral war and I asked him why my son had to die. His response: “Well Cindy, if we don’t win in Iraq, then I am afraid for nothing.” After McCain left, we all wondered if he had been the “opening act” for Bush.

Fast forward six months to inauguration day for 43’s second term. 

By that time, I was now very active opposing Bush and the wars and had founded Gold Star Families for Peace. I was invited to appear on Good Morning America (from the Library of Congress) early on the morning of the inauguration. After the interview, I was leaving and John McCain walked in to be interviewed—I reminded him that we had met at Ft. Irwin and I told him what I was up to. His response (which he later denied in our 3rd meeting) was: “The country needs people like you, too.”

After I protested Bush and the wars at Camp Casey in Crawford in August of 2005, I went to Washington DC for a huge antiwar rally in September and I met with many reps and Senators and John McCain was one of them. I reminded him that he had encouraged me to protest the war back in January and he said, “Why would I do that, I support it?” On the way out, he said, “Good luck, Cindy.” I said, “Thank you, you are wishing me luck to end the wars.” He said, “I take it back, then.”

I have been in Phoenix at his office a few times opposing his bellicosity with my dear antiwar friends there.

Since my first meeting with McCain in 2004, I am under no illusion that he is “independent” or not too reprehensible. In a nation of reprehensibles, he is near the top (or bottom) of the dung-heap. It's normal that conservatives are praising him, but he is being lauded by liberals as an "American hero" also. That a war criminal who, with his own hands, murdered untold number of Vietnamese and with either incompetence or arrogance murdered 134 sailors on his aircraft carrier the USS Forrestal in Vietnam is considered a “hero” doesn’t say very much about this country.

Among others, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt—-yes, I know technically he is independent, but he’s about as independent from the Dems as McCain is from the GOP) has heaped praise upon the head of the slimy McCain since he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Now, I don’t expect Bernie Sanders to tweet, “Nice, a war criminal has cancer; isn’t karma a bitch?” But how can a person who protested the Vietnam War tweet this about McCain?
 
John McCain is a hero, one of the most respected senators and a friend. The hopes and prayers of the nation are with him and his family.
In the ill-fated campaign of Sanders for president, after he was “accused” of being a supporter of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela (CitGo oil provides low-cost or free heating oil for poor people in the Northeast), Sanders campaign sent out a fundraising blast to his supporters trashing the beloved Chavez by calling the populist president of Venezuela who was democratically elected many times (and survived a coup attempt and recall effort) a “dead, communist dictator.” (Unfortunately, he got the "dead" part right).

I was very privileged to know Hugo Chavez, and in contrast to McCain who never met a war he didn’t like, or a pocket he didn’t want to pick in reverse Robin Hood style, Chavez was a warm person who had a big heart and used the power of his office to elevate the condition of the poorest—often at the expense of the parasitic wealthy.

When Chavez was a military officer, he noticed that the government that he was sworn to serve was horribly oppressing its own people and, with other officers, tried to overthrow it.

On the other hand, McCain, who graduated 2nd to the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy used his military career to carouse and murder his way through Vietnam and with the help of his Admiral father, covered up his crimes to use his “heroic” “service” as a stepping-stone for greater political power.

If Obama and Sanders and many liberal talking blah-blah heads are praising the “American hero” McCain are they saying that the war in Vietnam was "heroic" and the millions of Vietnamese who died and continue to die from their poisoned country and landmines are just shit? 



Liberals (like this clip from The View), who thought McCain was the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler when he ran against Obama in 2008, are now gushing over how McCain corrected a woman on TV who was afraid of Obama because she thought he was an “Arab.”

“No,” McCain thoughtfully and with his "great" flair of being so gosh-darned "independent" corrected the woman and said that Obama was not an “Arab,” but a “good person.” Cogitate on that for a moment—liberals are praising a deeply bigoted statement. Like the Vietnamese, do liberals consider Arabs as shit?

John “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran (and everywhere else, while we're at it),” McCain has been one of the biggest devotees of this country’s imperial misadventures his entire life; however, the “Communist dictator” never once invaded or infested another country by his military. No, Chavez used Venezuelan oil and the force of his personality to not only improve the lives of Venezuelans, but to forge alliances and friendships throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Yes, even improving the lives of the poor in the United States.

Meeting McCain was like meeting a robot with insincere blue eyes: a male Hillary Clinton, if you will. With few exceptions, the humanoids that inhabit US politics are cold, calculating and murderous liars.

Meeting Chavez was like coming home to your long lost brother who only wanted good things for everyone and was expansive and genuine in his hospitality and courageous in standing up to the Great Satan of the North.

I am not afraid to say that, although I am not thrilled that McCain has brain cancer, I am in no way sad about it, or conflicted about calling out the terrible crimes against humanity this man has committed in the name of American “heroism.” Illness, near death, or death itself should not confer immediate sainthood on profoundly criminal lives.

I would rather see him and his ilk rotting in Ft. Leavenworth.

Cancer claimed the lives of my sister Dede Miller and my comrade Hugo Chavez and millions of other good people, often after torturous struggles. Now, McCain.


The death of Chavez was a great loss to humanity; the death of McCain, not so much. We should have exactly the same sympathy and compassion for McCain that he showed to all his victims--at home and abroad--which is zero. 


Cancer is the deadly and too prevalent equalizer: it takes the good and evil, alike.





Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Soviet Revolution: Lessons for Californians by Matt Owen (Guest blogger)

July 18, 2019
As we celebrate the Centennial of the revolution which brought workers to power in Russia, let us take this opportunity to examine what, if any, lessons we in the California independence movement can apply to our struggle.


One lesson, drawn not only from the Russian Revolution, but from the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the revolutionary process underway in Venezuela, and many other instances, is that movements often end up quite different than when they first began. 



The American Revolution started out as a struggle by the English American colonies to regain the autonomy taken from them by the Crown, backed by a Tory Parliament: only after the British government refused this demand did those colonies unite and declare their independence from Britain (this demand was also the motive for the first Declaration of California Independence from Mexico, made in 1836, the same year Texas was annexed by the US: the Bear Flag Revolt, which resulted in "Anschluss" of California and the US, was a decade later, and led by US settlers).



The French Revolution, inspired by the above, resulted initially in a constitutional monarchy: the failure of the monarch to accept his reduced status set the events in motion which led to the Republic, the Thermidorian reaction, and ultimately the seizure of power by Napoleon Bonaparte.


The Russian Revolution originally overthrew the Tsar in order to end Russia's participation in the First World War: a succession of Provisional Governments failed to make peace with Germany, so the workers finally took matters into their own hands, as they had in 1905 to put an end to the Russo-Japanese War, and the All-Russian Congress of Soviets--the central organ of the Soviets, or workers' councils--was recognised as the government of Russia by the Military-Revolutionary Committees, or military Soviets.



Unfortunately, party after party in the Soviets turned against the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, leaving the Bolsheviks the only party standing in the Soviet government: the result of a very particular situation, as we shall see...


When Hugo Chavez first rose to power at the end of the 20th Century, he was combating the market-totalitarian type of capitalism known as neoliberalism: his MVR offered, and the Venezuelan people embraced, a new Constitution, that of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: the reaction by the neoliberals and the class they represented necessitated a broadening of the target of the Bolivarian revolution from neoliberalism to capitalism as a whole: while a referendum on a new Constitution for a "Bolivarian Socialist Republic of Venezuela" failed, Chavez did succeed in launching Soviets...Consejos Comunales...in Venezuela, and they've been growing ever since.


Venezuela now finds itself in a struggle to convene a Constituent Assembly: this didn't go so well in Russia, but there, the Soviets were already in power, albeit tenuously--whereas in Venezuela, the struggle is to shift power to the Consejos Comunales and their Comunas.


In California, the election of Trump has resulted in the explosive growth in interest in independence from a United States increasing numbers of us are seeing as falling to fascism: less than 20% supported California independence from the US when Obama was president, whereas one-third of Californians support the idea today--at the same time that about as many Millennials favour socialism as do capitalism, and more people boycotted the 2016 US Presidential election than voted for either candidate!


A potentially explosive political mix: if the boycotters and socialists began to move to California, drawn by single-payer healthcare, a living wage, sanctuary from punitive, racist immigration policies and enforcement, and the like, that mix could explode at any moment--and a truly viable independence movement would be born!


The other lesson we can draw from the history of the Russian Revolution is this: the impossibility of socialism in one country, even one as vast as Russia.


Until Lenin, Marxists believed that socialism, understood as a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat, was impossible in an overwhelmingly peasant country such as Russia: both Marx and Lenin, however, did think that a socialist revolution could start amongst the Russian working class--but that it must spread quickly to a more industrialised country (most likely Germany) if it was to retain its socialist character.


This is why the Bolsheviks used the ceasefire between themselves and the German Army to agitate German soldiers to join their revolution: don't shoot us, shoot your officers and join us! Unfortunately, the Germans continued to obey their officers, leaving the Russians no choice but to negotiate peace with their government: by the time the peace was inked, Russia had lost much territory to the Germans, and war broke out between the two remaining Soviet parties, the Bolsheviks and Social-Revolutionaries: rooted in the proletariat and peasantry, respectively, this was the opening salvo of a civil war which destroyed the Russian proletariat, leaving the Bolsheviks to lead a peasant country...


In Germany, however, events took turn after turn as the Germans faced their own defeat by the addition of US forces to their foes: Eugene V. Debs, the only antiwar socialist leader other than Lenin, was in jail, and within a year of defeating the Russians, it was the Germans' term to taste defeat. The armistice their enemies forced them to sign was as onerous as that they imposed on the Russians--and that, like the Russian defeat before it, set things in motion.


By 1919, the Kaiser was overthrown...and a Soviet Republic proclaimed from the balcony of the Kaiserpalast was opposed by the Social Democrats in the Reichstag: the Social Democrats put down the pro-Soviet uprising using demobilised soldiers reorganised into "Freikorps"...and for the next few years, they played "whack-a-mole," putting down Soviet uprisings up and down Germany, but not throughout the whole country simultaneously...


...Until 1923! In that year, the Reichsmark became worthless, and as a direct result Soviets sprang into being throughout Germany, and began arming themselves...


...However, the new Communist Party of Germany had just inked a "United Front" agreement with the Social Democrats: as happened in Russia, the forces used by the anti-Soviet government to crush the Soviets tried to overthrow it and new fascist forces were growing, especially the "German Workers' Party" after it came to be led by one Adolf Hitler, who imbued it with an ideology, "National Socialism," that is, violent nationalism with a socialist face.


Because of the United Front agreement with the Social Democrats, when they demanded that the Soviets disarm and dissolve, the Communists complied...


...But what if they hadn't? What if the German Communists did what their Russian comrades had done, and instead led a Soviet revolution in Germany? How differently history would have turned out had the Soviet Union grown to the Rhine, encompassing not only the peasantry of Russia, but the German proletariat!



This, I submit to you, is the juncture at which we once again find ourselves:


Venezuelan socialism is under siege at precisely the moment that its Soviets, its Consejos, now must walk through the door to power: if not, socialism will be crushed in Venezuela...


...Unless the 21st Century socialist revolution spreads to a country with a larger economy, more diversely developed than Venezuela, with about the same population...


A country poised to break free from the imperialist hegemon.


Our country. California.


Socialism isn't on the agenda "por ahora" but I predict that the struggle for our independence, like the antiwar struggle in Russia, and the antineoliberal struggle in Venezuela, will make socialism the order of the day.


When that happens, we revolutionary socialists must be organised to lead that fight: to that end I propose a California analogue of Venezuela's PSUV, a California Socialist Party, drawing on existing Socialist and Communist organisations.



¡Venceremos! 
¡Viva California libre, soberana, y independiente, con libertad, justicia y democracia de, por, y para el pueblo!

¡Viva la República Socialista de California!
 
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Matt Owen is a Californio striving to make California a worker's paradise.

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Cindy Sheehan at California Freedom Coalition Open House in Berkeley (July 23, 2017)


 
 CFC Open House in Berkeley
The California Freedom Coalition has been busy. We have been highlighted in the news and the initiative is very close to being approved by the state. We would like to invite you to an Open House in Berkeley. Well known peace activist, Cindy Sheehan will be in attendance. Please join the California Freedom Coalition (CFC) for a bite to eat and drinks (heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served). The CFC is a non-profit formed to restore Californian's voting rights. CFC Board Members, including well known peace activist Cindy Sheehan, will be speaking on the CFC's progress and answer any questions you might have. Please visit our website for more information about the CFC: calfreeco.org. Please register here: https://cfcopen-berk.eventbrite.com
 
 
 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Why the Russian Revolution Matters Today (SOAPBOX PODCAST JULY 16, 2017)

July 16, 2017





Guest: Luciana Bohne
Topic: The Russian Revolution and Why it Matters Today

This week, Cindy chats with professor Luciana Bohne about many fascinating topics:

Her early years in post-WWII Yugoslavia
The October Bolshevik Revolution in Russia
The Soviet Union and Why it Dissolved
Today's Neo-McCarthyism



Check out the Professors new article at Counterpunch:

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

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For more information on the Great October Revolution

Check out the Series from the 

Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA

Great October Socialist Revolution Series 

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cindy Sheehan: Sixty and Still Single-Minded




July 9, 2017

Dear Friends/Supporters of Cindy Sheehan and The Soapbox,

On July 10th, the single-minded campaigner for peace and social justice, our friend, Cindy Sheehan will turn 60 years old!

The past few years have been a struggle for Cindy: taking care of her sister Dede Miller and mourning her death, but Cindy has managed to keep the Soapbox (weekly podcast, blog and clearing house for leftwing thought/action) and her vision of a peaceful and equitable world for all, alive.

Currently, Cindy is on the board of directors for the California Freedom Coalition (working for California Independence from the USA); an original convener of the People's Congress of Resistance; member of Hands off Syria Coalition in SF Bay Area; member of the State Central Committee of the California Peace and Freedom Party; and host/executive producer of Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox. Cindy will also be a keynote speaker at a major anti-US Empire conference in Toronto and the state conference for the California National Party (For Cal Independence), both in August. Oh yeah, and she is "Gigi" to five amazing beings who inspire her to move her old bones every morning.

In 2006, Cindy published her 3rd book, Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey Through Heartache to Activism, (which was suppressed by the media--every major interview canceled the day after publication) which covered the first year after her historic protest as Camp Casey in Crawford Tx and today she is working on her EIGHTH book: Peace Mom II: A Mother's Journey from Activism to Heartache and Revolution. Peace Mom II will cover the subsequent years since 2006 and a draft of the foreword can be read HERE.

Cindy is obviously still single-minded in her struggle for peace and social justice, but we at Team Soapbox need your help.

Please consider making a donation to Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox in honor of the birth date of this dedicated worker for the international working-class.

Everyone who donates $30 or above will receive a signed copy of Peace Mom II upon completion (projected publishing date October 15).

THREE WAYS TO DONATE:

For a tax deductible online donation click HERE

Paypal: 
Enter: CindySheehansSoapbox@gmail.com 

Or send a check/money order to:

Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox, LLC
PO Box 6264
Vacaville, CA 95696 

In struggle and solidarity for a better world!

Team Soapbox 



Foreword: Peace Mom II: One Mother's Journey from Activism to Heartache to Revolution by Cindy Sheehan

CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION

Peace Mom II:
A Mother’s Journey through Activism to Heartache and Revolution

Cindy Sheehan

Foreword

After my stint (not stunt) in Crawford, Tx in the summer of 2005, I figuratively went from “zero to eighty” in the space of 28 days.

My son Casey was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004 and 16 months after that, I was toddling around the country trying to re-activate a mostly dormant anti-Iraq war movement. However, on August 5th of 2005, I had an idea to go confront then president George Bush at his vacation home (Flying Photo-op Fake Ranch) in Crawford to ask him for “What Noble Cause” was my son and tens of thousands of others dead.

As I recounted in the prequel to this book: Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey Through Heartache to Activism (Atria Books, 2006), it became quite a zoo in little Crawford and the bored media (alternative and corporate) made me into an international cause célèbre and certainly a polarizing figure for those who supported George Bush and those who opposed him.

After Camp Casey was over that first crazy year, I was courted by a few book agents who wanted to rep me and sell a memoir. I remember meeting the venerable investigative reporter Seymour Hersch near the end of 2005 in Manhattan shortly after my book had been sold to a division of Simon and Schuster: Atria Books.

I felt the professorial looking Hersch was a very engaging and down to earth person who immediately told me that he thought it was too soon for me to publish a “memoir.” I explained to him that my reasoning was to be able to influence the 2006 Congressional mid-term elections so we could re-install Democrats in the majority (at least in the House) and have a chance to rid the world of the dangerous and odious Bush regime and to have a chance to end the wars. Seymour Hersch said, “then you should do it.”

Of course, when I look over the first Peace Mom (PM1 from now on), I get a little red-faced over my energetic optimism. I actually believed that if the Democrats, led by my soon to be nemesis Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), regained power in the House of Representatives, that all of my dreams of peace and accountability would come true.

Now writing Peace Mom II (PM2) in the summer of 2017, twelve years after the summer of frenetic energy in Crawford Tx, I reflect that we are further from peace and justice than we were when I predicted that Bush would be impeached and the wars would end.

Since I wrote PM1, so many amazing, tragic, wonderful, frustrating, annoying, sad, hilarious, troubling, exhausting, draining, energizing and et cetera things have happened. PM1 was only the first year of my activist life—PM2 will cover the past 11 years and not as profoundly naive as PM1. My saving grace is that my naivete came from a good place with working towards good things for everyone on this planet not just USAians.

Some of the things that I will cover in this book:

The primary theme that comes to my mind when I think of my public life from 2007-today is the absolute treachery and betrayal of me and my movement by the Democrat Party. I will cover this is FAR more detail in the heart of the book, but in PM1, I went through “heartache to activism” and after the betrayal of the Democrats in 2007 and my subsequent departure from the party of Jefferson, Truman, war, and disaster, I was thoroughly attacked and kicked to the proverbial curb by some liberal/Democrat organizations that I believed were antiwar, but they were only anti-Bush. So, PM2 will take me from "activism" back to "heartache."

As it turns out, since Trump has gladly continued and expanded Obama’s destructive wars for profit and power, those same organizations weren’t even anti-Republican war, I guess. No wars have ended, nothing has changed, except the liberals have crossed the line to attach a “neo” in front of their label and now know they cannot criticize a Republican for war, because if they point one finger at the GOP, four more fingers are pointing at their own rotten core and the DNC.

I have transformed from someone who was terrified to travel, if I had to fly, to a person that has visited every continent (except Antartica) and can be sanguine even in the worst turbulence, or annoying travel experiences with the TSA, or airport personnel. My travels have included being warmly held in the bosoms of some of what most USAians consider “the enemy” like Cuba and Venezuela, and finding out what I was inculcated and indoctrinated with regarding the “enemy” was mostly calculated bullshit.

I have met with presidents, peasants and revolutionaries and have had some very surreal experiences meeting substantial people who I was told were subpar and very subpar people who I always believed were substantial. “Do tell, Cindy!” Well, I will.

After I left the Democrat party and ran for Congress against the backstabbing, one-percenter, Nancy Pelosi, any national coverage of me and my activities dried up, so I started Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox, a weekly podcast that has been stirring the pot and poking the rotten establishment since the beginning of 2009.

I rode my bike from California to Washington DC in 2013 and since it was so “fun” (read stressful) to run against Pelosi in 2008, I have dipped my toe in the corrupt US electoral system two other times. These stories have me as a central character, but also have wider implications and instruction that go far beyond me and what I have tried to accomplish since I buried my son for lies and the benefit of a few.

My children have gifted me with five of the most precious beings on earth: my grandchildren, and their very existence on this troubled planet drive me to do my work. Frankly, I am terrified for them and they, and their child-colleagues all around the Earth deserve better from us and if we aren’t doing everything we can to insure their lives are more peaceful, prosperous and environmentally stable than ours, then we are failing them. Like the World Social Forum says and why I became a socialist is, “A Better World is Possible.” After all the real life experience, betrayal, and setbacks I have had, I still believe that a better world is possible and that is not only possible, but achievable. Thus, I have left the "heartache" behind and embraced socialist revolution.

One thing I have learned since Casey was killed is that these are ALL our children and we should try and protect them as much as we would our own children and grandchildren—even if we are parents, or not.

For 90% of my folderol and dedicated activism over the years, I had my sister/comrade/best-friend Dede Miller by my side. Tragically, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in the middle of 2015 and after a very exhausting and painful struggle, she passed away on January 22, 2017. This book is dedicated to her and will hopefully give me some kind of closure to the chapter of my life where my “Irish Twin” (she was only 11-months younger than I) is with me in spirit, but not in fact. Granted, Dede had a huge spirit and before she got cancer, a contagious joie de vivre, but, selfishly, I want her in the flesh, back by my side.

When Dede was a few days away from making her transition from this life, I told her, “You have lived a life of meaning. So many people are better off because you were alive. Your life made a difference. Not very many people can say that. I am blessed because you were my sister.”

Finally, I begin this book at the beginning of my seventh decade on planet earth. I have made almost sixty complete trips around the sun and I want my life to also have meaning. I want as many people as possible to be better off because I lived--and lived a life of service to humanity.

I want to be like Dede and I want to live up to what my seven year old granddaughter Jovie recently said, “Gigi, (what my grandkids call me) when I grow up, I want to be just like you.”

Sixty and still un-retired. I guess when the demented US Empire collapses, or the people rise up in rebellion and overthrow it, I will quit—until then, I will plant both feet firmly on the shoulders of those that went before me and refuse to give up.

Cindy Sheehan
Vacaville, Ca
July 9, 2017