Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cindy Sheehan to Speak in Cal State San Marcos and more!

Against the Grain is also available as a podcast!   The Real Cost of Iraq War! 
The most important and credible  analysis of cost of war and the mind boggling impact on the  future, by Nobel Laureate John Stiglitz -  
don't miss  this interview! 
Stiglitz is co-author of:  " The Three Trillion Dollar War"
On "Against the Grain", Pacifica Radio KPFA
Tues 3.25.08| Stiglitz on the Iraq Occupation
Nobel laureate and former chief economist for the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, talks about the costs of the invasion of Iraq and the gloomy prospects for the US economy with journalist Doug Henwood.
Listen to the program anytime:     save it ! share it!
Cindy Sheehan to speak in Cal State San Marcos Thurs April 17, 7-9pm
 Thursday, April 17, 7-9 PM, Arts 240, Cindy Sheehan will talk about her experiences in becoming a peace activist & current efforts to end the occupation of Iraq.For info & tickets:
Hothead McCain
by Robert Dreyfuss       The Nation        March 24, 2008
If you've followed Senator John McCain at all, you've heard about his tendency to, well, explode. He's erupted at numerous Senate colleagues, including many Republicans, at the slightest provocation. "The thought of his being President sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper, and he worries me," wrote Republican Senator Thad Cochran, shortly before endorsing McCain.
You've heard about his penchant for bellicose rhetoric, whether appropriating a Beach Boys song in threatening to bomb Iran or telling Russian President Vladimir Putin that he doesn't care what he thinks about American plans to install missiles in Eastern Europe.
And you've heard, no doubt, about McCain's stubbornness. "No dissent, no opinion to the contrary, however reasonable, will be entertained," says Larry Wilkerson, a retired army colonel who was former Secretary of State Colin Powell's top aide. "Hardheaded is another way to say it. Arrogant is another way to say it. Hubristic is another way to say it. Too proud for his own good is another way to say it. It's a quality about him that disturbs me."
But what you may not have heard is an extended critique of the kind of Commander in Chief that Captain McCain might be. To combat what he likes to call "the transcendent challenge [of] radical Islamic extremism," McCain is drawing up plans for a new set of global institutions, from a potent covert operations unit to a "League of Democracies" that can bypass the balky United Nations, from an expanded NATO that will bump up against Russian interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus to a revived US unilateralism that will engage in "rogue state rollback" against his version of the "axis of evil." In all, it's a new apparatus designed to carry the "war on terror" deep into the twenty-first century.
"We created a number of institutions in the wake of World War II to deal with the situation," says Randy Scheunemann, McCain's top adviser on foreign policy. "And what Senator McCain wants to begin a dialogue about is, Do we need new structures and new institutions, both internally, in the US government, and externally, to recognize that the situation we face now is very, very different than the one we faced during the cold war?" Joining Scheunemann, a veteran neoconservative strategist and one of the chief architects of the Iraq War, are a panoply of like-minded neocons who've gathered to advise McCain, including Bill Kristol, James Woolsey, Robert Kagan, Max Boot, Gary Schmitt and Maj. Ralph Peters. "There are some who've moved into his camp who scare me," Wilkerson says. "Scare me."
If McCain intends to be a shoot first, ask questions later President, consider a couple of the new institutions he's outlined, which seem designed to facilitate an unencumbered, interventionist foreign policy.
First is an unnamed "new agency patterned after the...Office of Strategic Services," the rambunctious, often out-of-control World War II-era covert-ops team. "A modern day OSS could draw together specialists in unconventional warfare; covert action operators; and experts in anthropology, advertising, and other relevant disciplines," wrote McCain in Foreign Affairs. "Like the original OSS, this would be a small, nimble, can-do organization" that would "fight terrorist subversion [and] take risks." It's clear that McCain wants to set up an agency to conduct paramilitary operations, covert action and psy-ops.
This idea is McCain's response to a longstanding critique of the CIA by neoconservatives such as Richard Perle, who have accused the agency of being "risk averse." Since 2001 the CIA has engaged in a bitter battle with the White House and the Pentagon on issues that include the Iraq War and Iran's nuclear weapons program. The agency lost a major skirmish with the creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which put the White House more directly in charge of the intelligence community. And now McCain wants to put the final nail in the CIA's coffin by creating a gung-ho operations force.
Scheunemann, who credits Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations with the idea, says the new agency is urgently needed to "meet the threats of the twenty-first century in a time of war, much as the OSS was created in a time of war." And he disparages the CIA as a bunch of has-beens. The new agency would eclipse "an organization created to meet the needs of the cold war and hang out in embassies and try to recruit a major or two or deal with walk-in defectors," Scheunemann told The Nation.
But John McLaughlin, a former deputy director of the CIA who retired in 2004, is more than skeptical, and he worries that McCain doesn't understand the need for Congressional controls over spy agencies. "You need to have Congressional oversight and transparency,"
he says. "I would not recommend a new agency that is set up parallel to the CIA.... All of those things can be done within the boundaries of the CIA." Told about McLaughlin's comments, Scheunemann says, "Anyone who thinks that the agency today is a nimble, can-do organization has a different view than Senator McCain does."
The UN, too, would be shunted aside to make room for McCain's new League of Democracies. Though the concept is couched in soothing rhetoric, the "league" would provide an alternate way of legitimizing foreign interventions by the United States when the UN Security Council won't authorize force. Five years ago, on the eve of the Iraq War, McCain said bluntly before the European Parliament that if Security Council members resisted the use of force, or if China opposed US action against North Korea, "the United States will do whatever it must to guarantee the security of the American people." Among the targets McCain cites for his plan to short-circuit the UN are Darfur, Burma, Zimbabwe, Serbia, Ukraine and, of course, Iran--and he has already referred to "wackos" in Venezuela. According to Scheunemann, it's an idea that bubbled up from some of McCain's advisers, including Peters and Kagan, but it alarms analysts from the realist-Republican school of foreign policy. "They're talking about a body that essentially would circumvent the UN and would take authority to act in the name of the international community, sometimes using force," says a veteran GOP strategist who knows McCain well and who insisted on anonymity. "Well, it's very easy to predict that the Russians and Chinese would view this as a threat."
McCain seems almost gleeful about provoking Russia. At first blush, you'd think he'd be more nuanced, since many of the foreign policy gurus he says he talks to emanate from the old-school Nixon-Kissinger circle of détente-niks, including Henry Kissinger himself, Lawrence Eagleburger and Brent Scowcroft. Their collective attitude is that as long as Moscow doesn't threaten US interests, we can do business with it. But there is little evidence of their views in McCain's policy toward Putin's Russia. "I think it's fair to assume that he's most influenced by his neoconservative advisers," says the GOP strategist.
"We need a new Western approach to...revanchist Russia," wrote McCain in Foreign Affairs. He says he will expel Russia from the Group of Eight leading industrial states, a flagrant and dangerous insult, one likely to draw stiff opposition from other members of the G-8. He refuses to ease Russian concerns about the deployment of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, saying, "The first thing I would do is make sure we have a missile defense system in place in Czechoslovakia [sic] and Poland, and I don't care what [Putin's] objections are to it." And he's all for rapid expansion of NATO, to include even the former Soviet republic of Georgia--and not just Georgia but also the rebellious Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Since Kosovo's declaration of independence on February 17, which was opposed by Russia, Moscow has said it intends to support independence of the two Georgian regions, making McCain's goal of expanding NATO provocative, to say the least. "McCain says [NATO] ought to include Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are not under the control of the current Georgian government," says a conservative critic of the Arizona senator. "Which, if not a prescription for war with Russia, is at least a prescription for conflict with Russia."
Earlier in his Congressional career, McCain was reluctant to engage in overseas adventures unless American interests were directly threatened. He opposed US involvement in Lebanon in the early 1980s, and in Haiti and the Balkan conflicts in the early 1990s. But as the post-cold war environment seemed increasingly to promise unchallenged American hegemony, McCain took up the neocons' call for interventionism. His views crystallized in a 1999 speech, when he called for the United States to use tough sanctions and other pressure to roll back "rogue states" like Iraq and North Korea, adding, "We must be prepared to back up these measures with American military force if the existence of such rogue states threatens America's interests and values." In referring to "values," McCain indicates his support for the notion that a selective crusade allegedly on behalf of freedom and democracy can provide a rationale for an aggressive new foreign policy outlook.
"He's the true neocon," says the Brookings Institution's Ivo Daalder, a liberal interventionist who conceived the idea of a League of Democracies with Robert Kagan. "He does believe, in a way that George W.
Bush never really did, in the use of power, military power above all, to change the world in America's image. If you thought George Bush was bad when it comes to the use of military force, wait till you see John McCain.... He believes this. His advisers believe this. He's surrounded himself with people who believe it. And I'll take him at his word."
Not surprisingly, the center of McCain's foreign policy is the Middle East. "He's bought into the completely fallacious notion that we're in a global struggle of us-versus-them. He calls it the 'transcendental threat...of extreme Islam," says Daalder. "But it's a silly argument to think that this is either an ideological or a material struggle on a par with [the ones against] Nazi Germany or Soviet Communism." For McCain, the Iraq War, the conflict with Iran, the Arab-Israeli dispute, the war in Afghanistan, the Pakistani crisis and the lack of democracy in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are all rolled up into one "transcendent" ball of wax.
More than any other politician, McCain is identified with the Iraq War. From the mid-1990s on, he and his advisers were staunch supporters of "regime change." Scheunemann helped write the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998, which funded Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress; joined Bill Kristol's Project for the New American Century; and helped create the neoconservative Committee for the Liberation of Iraq in 2002, with White House support. Together with Joe Lieberman, Sam Brownback and a handful of other senators, McCain emerged as a major cheerleader for the war. Like his fellow neocons, McCain touted what proved to be faked intelligence on the threat posed by Iraq.
Echoing Vice President Cheney, McCain said on the eve of the war, "There's no doubt in my mind, once [Saddam] is gone, that we will be welcomed as liberators." He pooh-poohed critics who argued that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's war plan was too reliant on technology and too light on troops, saying, "I don't think you're going to have to see the scale of numbers of troops that we saw...back in 1991." When Gen.
Eric Shinseki warned, a month before the war started, that occupying Iraq would require far more troops, McCain was mute.
Today McCain portrays himself as a critic of how the war was fought, but his criticism did not emerge until long after it was clear that the United States faced a grueling insurgency. From the fall of
2003 onward, against a growing chorus of critics who called for US forces to withdraw, McCain repeatedly called for more troops to secure "victory." By late 2006, when the bipartisan Iraq Study Group called for pulling out all combat brigades within fifteen months, McCain, Lieberman and a hardy band of neocons, led by Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute and joined by Cheney, persuaded Bush to escalate the war instead. Asked if McCain directly lobbied Bush to reject the ISG's recommendations, a McCain aide says, "There were many encounters with the President's senior advisers and with the President on this issue." Fred Kagan, the surge's author and Robert Kagan's brother, told McClatchy Newspapers, "It was a very lonely time. He went out there for us."
In January McCain famously said US forces might end up staying in Iraq for a hundred years. It's clear that for McCain the occupation is not just about winning the war but about turning Iraq into a regional base for extending US influence throughout the region. According to the original neocon conception of the war, as promoted by people like Perle and Michael Ledeen, Iraq was only a first step in redrawing the Middle East map. Gen. Wesley Clark said recently that on the eve of the war he was shown a Pentagon document that portrayed Iraq as the first in a series of operations to change regimes in Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Lebanon.
When The Nation asked Scheunemann why US forces would have to stay in Iraq so long, he explicitly linked their presence to the entire Middle East. "Iraq might be stable, but what about the region?"
he responded. "Other countries could be in turmoil; other countries could be threatening Iraq. It could be an external threat that we need to have troops there for, à la South Korea, à la Japan."
He added, "I understand your readers may think it's some sort of malevolent imperialist conspiracy." Conspiracy or not, it's clear that McCain sees our presence in Iraq as a permanent extension of US power in the oil-rich Persian Gulf.
McCain has made no secret of his belief that using force against Iran is the only way to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons.
"There is only one thing worse than a military solution, and that, my friends, is a nuclear-armed Iran," McCain said. "The regime must understand that they cannot win a showdown with the world." He supports tougher sanctions against Tehran, but critics note that implementing them would require Russia's consent. McCain's provocative anti-Russia stand, though, makes such a deal less than likely. And he rejects direct US-Iran talks.
In the end, McCain seems almost reflexively to favor the use of America's armed might. "He would employ military force to the exclusion of other options," says Larry Korb, a former Reagan Administration defense official. Scion of admirals (his father and grandfather), a combat pilot in Vietnam who continued to believe long after that war that it might have been won if the US military had been allowed free rein, McCain presents the image of a warrior itching for battle. He is the candidate of those Americans whose chief goal is an endless war against radical Islam and who'd like nothing more than for the Arizona senator to clamber figuratively into the cockpit once more. Like his former aide Marshall Wittman, currently a top aide to Senator Lieberman, McCain sees Theodore Roosevelt, the Bull Moose interventionist President of the early twentieth century, as his role model. And that attracts neoconservatives.
"I'm an old-fashioned, Scoop Jackson--I guess you'd now say Joe Lieberman--Democrat, and he's a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, and they're pretty close in their views, so substantively there's a lot of overlap between us," says James Woolsey, a former CIA director who's endorsed McCain and has campaigned with him this year. "I think John's style is very TR-like. It's very much about speaking softly but carrying a big stick."
We're still waiting for the "speaking softly" part. "There's going to be other wars," McCain warns. "I'm sorry to tell you, there's going to be other wars. We will never surrender, but there will be other wars."
This article can be found on the web at:
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Networking for Social Justice
I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Truth Stock 2008

Announcing a new meeting for The San Diego 9/11 Truth Meetup Group!

What: Truthstock 2008

When: Thursday, April 10, 9:00 AM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Who should come: Anyone who wants a day packed with truth and an opportunity to see all of the heroes in the 9/11 truth movement.

Why: You'll love it because there is something for everyone to take part in.

Meeting Description: is proud to host 9/11 Truthstock 2008 at Montezuma Hall in the Aztec Center on San Diego State University campus, April 10th, free and all day from 9am?10pm!

The day's events will include screenings of Terrorstorm, Improbable Collapse, Zeitgeist, two Loose Change Final Cut premieres and speeches from guests Dr. Steven Jones (physicist) and Richard Gage, AIA (founder of architects and engineers for 9/11 truth). After the event there will be a panel with both speakers,
Jesus Nieto, SDSU professor, Dylan Avery (creator of the loose change series), and Tony award winner Daniel Sunjata (star of the hit show Rescue Me), who will also be MCing throughout the day. The event is free and open to the public so bring family, friends to learn the facts that the 9/11 truth movement has uncovered in the wake of the September 11th attacks. This venue has 800+ seats so please help us spread the word!

April 10th, 2008 Montezuma Hall @ Aztec Center, SDSU

Time/ Event

8:00am - 09:00am Doors Open & Vendor Setup

9:00am - 11:00am Terrorstorm

11:00am - 1:00pm Loose Change Final Cut Matinee

1:00pm - 2:00pm Improbable Collapse

2:00pm - 4:20pm Zeitgeist

4:20am - 6:30pm Loose Change Final Cut Premiere

6:30pm - 7:00pm Introduction by Daniel Sunjata

7:00pm - 8:00pm Dr. Steven Jones

8:00pm - 9:00pm Richard Gage, A.I.A.

9:00pm - 10:00pm Q & A Panel with Richard Gage, Steven Jones, Dylan Avery, professor Jesus
Nieto, and Daniel Sunjata.

Guaranteed VIP seating available with a $25.00 donation. All proceeds will be used to fund events and pay for guest accommodations.

If you are interested in tabling, the tabling fee for vendors is $100.00. SDSU needs a detailed list of items for resale, so please forward your list to ASAP to ensure your spot.

Your support of this historic event is greatly appreciated. All VIP tickets and vendor fees please pay online through There is a link at the top for the event. We are paying $400 in colored glossy flyers to promote this day, so if you can help us flyer please e-mail me to coordinate, so we can reach everywhere in this city!

Thanks and I hope to see everyone there for part of the day! This is one event that cannot be missed!

Learn more here:

Main site/Press Interviews/Mortgage Financing
Community Involvement
Streaming Internet Television

Post to the Blog by Email

Add to your email lists to post directly to our blog!
When you send out announcements of your events, use this email address to post your events to the blog.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Palestine Children's Relief Fund

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF)
invites you to

Mojaddara Night

To raise funds for an Echocardiography machine for children with heart disease in Gaza.
Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 5:30pm
Holy Angels Church Hall
2235 Galahad Road
San Diego, CA 92123

Listen to doctors and nurses who have recently come back from Palestine.
Enjoy supper, poetry, music, Dabkeh & raffle.
Tickets $20.00
Please RSVP by 3/22/08
Hiam Khaireddin (858) 722-4690
Aya Malhas (858) 829-7709

~ PCRF is a 501c3 organization ~
Donations are tax-deductible

Diego-based counter-recruitment organization Project YANO oon UCSD TV

Beginning March 24, the Growing Activism series produced by
UCSD-TV will feature the San Diego-based counter-recruitment organization Project YANO. The half-hour program includes interviews with students and Project YANO activists, as well as footage of parent and student workshops and the antiwar march and rally in San Diego on March 15.

The program will be repeated numerous times between March 24 and May 2 on local cable systems and on the
UCTV channel, which reaches 16 million viewers via cable, satellite and the Internet.

When to watch:

Growing Activism: Project YANO
(#14214; minutes; 3/24/2008)Leaders from the
Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities present career choices in peacemaking and social change to high school and college students gathered at UC San Diego.
Current Schedule on UCSD-TV:
3/24/2008, 8:00 PM pacific time zone
3/25/2008, 10:00 PM pacific time zone
3/28/2008, 7:00 PM pacific time zone
3/30/2008, 8:00 PM pacific time zone
3/31/2008, 8:30 PM pacific time zone
4/1/2008, 10:30 PM pacific time zone
4/4/2008, 7:30 PM pacific time zone
4/6/2008, 8:00 PM pacific time zone
4/28/2008, 8:30 PM pacific time zone
4/29/2008, 10:30 PM pacific time zone
5/2/2008, 7:30 PM pacific time zone

Where UCSD-TV can be seen:

Cable System
Broadcast Times
UHF 35
UCSD-TV from 4pm - Midnight
UCTV from Midnight to 4pm
Cox (Digital)
UCSD-TV from 4pm - Midnight
UCTV from Midnight to 4pm
Time Warner San Diego (Digital)
UCSD-TV from 4pm - Midnight
UCTV from Midnight to 4pm
Time Warner North County
4pm - Midnight, 7 days a week
Time Warner Del Mar
UCSD-TV from 4pm - Midnight
UCTV from Midnight to 4pm
UCSD-TV from 4pm - Midnight
UCTV from Midnight to 4pm

www.ActivistSanDiego.orgNetworking for social justice

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Women's Caucus for Art/San Diego joins with SWAN


This year Women's Caucus for Art San Diego joins Support Women Artists Now (SWAN) in celebrating the first International SWAN Day.

SWAN Day is a new international holiday that celebrates women artists. It will be an annual event taking place on the last Saturday of Women’s History Month (March). The first SWAN Day will take place on Saturday, March 29, 2008.

Our local event will be March 29th from 1-4 p.m. at WCA/SD Member, Valerie Henderson’s new Gaslamp District loft studio. For further details please e-mail

Valerie will let us in on some of her projects that are on-going, maybe some of her tips and tricks, and for those of us mid-project, or just wanting feed back we will have that opportunity too.


As a symbol of international solidarity, there will be events all over the world featuring women artists on SWAN Day. The public will be encouraged to attend these events and to make donations to their favorite women artists, or hire an artist to further your cause. We will be participating by having a Studio Visit/Critique at Valerie Henderson’s new Loft Studio.

By focusing attention on the work of women artists, SWAN Day will help people imagine what the world might be like if women’s art and perspectives were fully integrated into all of our lives. The long term goal of SWAN Day is to inspire communities around the world to find new ways to recognize and support women artists as a basic element of civic planning. We will be asking the Mayor of San Diego to sign a mayoral proclamation, proclaiming March 29th the first Support Women Artists Now day in the name of Women’s Caucus for Art/San Diego in conjunction with The Fund for Women Artists.

SWAN Day is a grassroots effort that is being coordinated by The Fund for Women Artists through its websites at and

The Women’s Caucus for Art, founded in 1972, is a national, professional organization devoted to championing the contributions of women in the arts. During 1991, in San Diego, a small group of activist women artists and art historians founded this local chapter in order to inform the public regarding the role of women in the arts throughout history. We host bi-monthly meetings, annual retreats, workshops, seminars, and generally help to promote the work of our members to the public.

For any woman who simply enjoys expressing herself artistically, the WCA/SD is for you. And any man who enjoys the efforts of women artists and wants to further support them - WCA/SD is for you.

Peace Rally

Sharing pictures from the Peace Rally last Saturday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

End the War!! Support the Veterans for Peace!!

End the War!!!! Support the Veterans for Peace !!!!

March and Rally

This Saturday March 15, 2008, BE THERE!!!!!

Gather at Fairmount and University, City Heights, San Diego - noon -

Then walk to Teralta Park at 40th & Orange

Featured speaker: Gore Vidal Five Years of War

– Look at the Cost - End the Occupation of Iraq – Troops Out NowHealthcare, Jobs and Education, No More War and OccupationFund the Wounded, Not the WarMore information and fliers on the SDCPJ website ( see attachment

This event is sponsored by the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice and is endorsed by 33 organizations -

Celebrate Potrero Party!

Celebrate Potrero PARTY

Saturday, March 22, 1-3 p.m.: Celebrate Potrero PARTY!

Everyone is welcome for healing and reconciliation after notice that Blackwater pulled the project.

Celebrate the power of citizen action! "Rally Site" is 23975 Yerba Santa Rd. (East on 94. N on Potrero Valley Rd, L on Round Potrero Rd. to 23975 Yerba Santa Rd., Potrero).

Gather at "Rally Site" starting at Noon, main event is from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Bring: Food To Share, drinks, chairs, hats.

KEYNOTE: Rep. Bob Filner (CA-51) Many other speakers, poetry, music til 6:00 p.m.

More Info: or 619-820-5321.

All Media is invited.

Congressmen who voted in favor of Waterboarding

Brian Bilbray Mary Bono Ken Calvert John Campbell John Doolittle
David Dreier

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Naral Pro-Choice Successful Against Verizon

Published: September 28, 2007

Verizon Blocks Messages of Abortion Rights Group (September 27, 2007)
“The decision to not allow text messaging on an important, though sensitive, public policy issue was incorrect,” said Jeffrey Nelson, a spokesman for Verizon, in a statement issued yesterday morning, adding that the earlier decision was an “isolated incident.”
Last week, Verizon rejected a request from the abortion rights group, Naral Pro-Choice America, for a five-digit “short code.” Such codes allow people interested in hearing from businesses, politicians and advocacy groups to sign up to receive text messages.
Verizon is one of the two largest mobile carriers. The other leading carriers had accepted Naral’s request for the code.
In turning down the request last week, Verizon told Naral that it “does not accept issue-oriented (abortion, war, etc.) programs — only basic, general politician-related programs (Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, etc.).”
In yesterday’s statement, Mr. Nelson called that “an incorrect interpretation of a dusty internal policy” that “was designed to ward against communications such as anonymous hate messaging and adult materials sent to children.” The policy, Mr. Nelson said, had been developed “before text messaging protections such as spam filters adequately protected customers from unwanted messages.”
But the program requested by Naral would have sent messages only to people who had asked to receive them.
Nancy Keenan, Naral’s president, expressed satisfaction yesterday. “The fight to defeat corporate censorship was won,” she said. But Ms. Keenan added that her group “would like to see Verizon make its new policy public.”
Verizon did not respond to repeated requests for copies of the policy or an explanation for why it is withholding it.
Text messaging is an increasingly popular tool in American politics and an established one abroad. In his statement, Mr. Nelson acknowledged that the technology is “being harnessed by organizations and individuals communicating their diverse opinions about issues and topics.” He said Verizon has “great respect for this free flow of ideas.”
But the company did not retreat from its position that it is entitled to decide what messages to transmit.
Legal experts said Verizon’s position is probably correct under current law, though some called for regulations that would require wireless carriers of text messages to act like common carriers, making their services available to all speakers on all topics.
“This incident, more than ever, shows the need for an open, nondiscriminatory, neutral Internet and telecommunications system that Americans once enjoyed and took for granted,” said Gigi B. Sohn, the president of Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group.
Some of Verizon’s customers said they were outraged by the company’s initial stance.
Gary Mitchell, a lawyer in New Jersey, said he called a Verizon customer sales representative yesterday morning to cancel his wireless service in protest. After spending a few minutes on hold, he said, the representative read him an e-mail message that she said all the customer service representatives had just received. The message instructed representatives to tell callers that the policy had been reversed.
Verizon kept Mr. Mitchell’s business but lost some of his respect. “It was an incredibly foolish corporate decision,” he said.
Wyn Hoag, a photographer in California, said he was still mulling whether to cancel his Verizon service.
“I’m a supporter of abortion rights, but I could be a Christian-right person and still be in favor of free speech,” Mr. Hoag said. “If they think they can censor what’s on my phone, they’ve got another thing coming.”

Saturday, March 8, 2008

San Diego 9/11 Truth Events

San Diego 9/11 Truth

For more informationplease visit or email or call 619/222-2120

Upcoming Events!

Sunday, March 9, 2008
6:30 pm

A new independent film
“This brilliant new film played last night to a standing room only crowd
of over 400 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica . It received one of the
longest ovations I can ever remember.”

- Frank Dorrel, peace activist

interview with the writer/director

Joyce Beers Center3900 Vermont St., San Diego, CA 92103

at the intersection of Vermont St. and 10th St.
just off of University Ave.
(Ralph's/Trader Joe’s Shopping Center
right next to Aladdin's Mediterranean Café)

printable flyer

Tuesday, March 11, 2008
4:00 pm

Visibility Action
La Jolla

California Convergence - Sunday, Feb. 10th – Hillcrest

Throughout 2008 we will take our Visibility Actions
to a different neighborhood each 11th of the month.

Meet at
Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove
1180 Coast Blvd , La Jolla , CA 92037

we will march into downtown La Jolla

Bring fliers, DVDs, and signs!!!

These events are always peaceful and exhilarating.
Your participation makes a difference.
Our message has strength in numbers!

Saturday, March 15, 2008
12:00 pm

Peace Rally
In observance of the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq .
Sponsored by the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice.


Normal Heights
University & 43rd St., San Diego, CA 92109

Saturday, March 15, 2008



University San MarcosAcademic Hall, room 102
7:00 pm

Veterans For Peace Rally and Activist San Diego: Important Information

Vets For Freedom is a veterans organization, heavily funded by right wing groups, who are touring the country to boost the war effort in Iraq. Their nationwide tour begins next Friday here in San Diego at a 6:30 PM event at the USS Midway.
The San Diego Veterans For Peace and other local peace groups in San Diego have decided to demonstrate at the entrance to the USS Midway that the war is wrong and that using veterans as a prop for the war is wrong. It is hoped that our demonstration will gain as much local press coverage as their event on the USS Midway.
Please come stand with us from 5-7 PM, next Friday night (March 14th) at the USS Midway.
Bring signs appropriate to the occasion.
Peace. Gil Field, President, San Diego Veterans For Peace 858-342-1964
Activist San Diego
General Meeting Mon. March 10th, 7PM: Focus on our Peace Offensive & March 15th Rally
Film showing & discussion:

Eight US soldiers today face the most difficult decision of their lives: to kill or not to kill. A film about war, peace, and the transformative power of the human conscience.
NEW LOCATION - Joyce Beers Community Center, 1090 Vermont, one block north of University, next to Trader Joe's Hillcrest Shopping Center, San Diego 92103
* please park in Ralph underground parking lot Who: Everyone Welcome, bring a friend.
Post screening discussion with Dave Patterson, SD Veteran for Peace
Contact info: Martin 619-871-9354 or ASD office 619-528-8383 or email ASD Office at OTHER TOPICS: How to expand the Activist Film Series Community Outreach for the March 15th peace rally - Donation requested - for info: 619-528-8383 SEE THIS PROMO >> SOLDIERS OF CONSCIENCEDescription = USA, 85 minutes, documentary
Their country asked them to kill.
Their hearts asked them to stop.
Four sincere war fighters and four sincere conscientious objectors, all struggling over the question: to kill or not to kill.
Made with official permission from the US Army, this film transcends the usual divisive rhetoric of politics and instead reveals a surprising shared truth.
All our soldiers are “soldiers of conscience,” torn between the demands of duty and the call of conscience.
From West Point grads to drill sergeants, from Abu Ghraib interrogators to low ranking reservist-mechanics; this film allows soldiers to speak about killing, and what it means to them.
When is it right to kill?
Is war inevitable?
What is your duty to your nation?
What is your duty to God?
To your fellow soldiers?
To your conscience?
SOLDIERS OF CONSCIENCE breaks the taboo of talking about this subject, and provides access and intimacy to the issue of killing that is rarely, if ever, seen in documentaries.
Within the first five minutes, a US Army sergeant describes “the demons” that haunt him ever since he killed a 10-year-old grenade-throwing Iraqi boy. At Ft. Jackson, we see and hear the bloodcurdling chant of “kill, kill, kill without mercy” as new recruits are trained to overcome their aversion to killing.
At a Penn State ROTC class, we learn the startling US Army statistic from WWII: among US soldiers who were under fire, in combat, with their own lives at risk, 75% did NOT try to kill the enemy.
SOLDIERS OF CONSCIENCE follows the emotional and spiritual transformation of four soldiers as they decide not to kill and become conscientious objectors. Two go to prison: Camilo Mejia, the first combat veteran to come back from Iraq and refuse to continue the war; and Kevin Benderman, a 240 pound, 6’3”, 10-year veteran Army sergeant from Tennessee.
The other two, guided by their faith, get honorable discharges: Joshua Casteel, an Evangelical Christian, and Aidan Delgado, a Buddhist. The majority perspective on war is voiced by Major Peter Kilner and three Ft. Jackson drill sergeants who are combat veterans. Major Kilner, a West Point professor of ethics and former 82nd Airborne infantry commander, combines his real-world military leadership experience with a PhD in education and Masters in Philosophy, to articulate the need for the strong to protect the weak, the moral justification of war, and the appropriate use of lethal force.
Screened at both West Point and peace churches, this is a unique and powerful film. Respectful, balanced, cinematic, and dramatic, SOLDIERS OF CONSCIENCE is a realistic yet optimistic look at war, peace, and the power of the human conscience. PRESS QUOTES & BLURBS“Thoughtful … fascinating … tight and balanced storytelling” - Moira Macdonald, Seattle TIMES =
www.ActivistSanDiego.orgNetworking for Social Justice
I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Blackwater Defeated!!!: From Raymond Lutz

Dear Everyone who helped defeat Blackwater:

My humble apologies to everyone who helped in the fight againstBlackwater.

My last couple of press releases made it sound like I am theonly one involved, especially the one about my entry into the race as acandidate. Snippets taken by the media are far from the thoroughdescriptions I gave.

Although those press releases centered on promotingmy candidacy, this is not a one-man show--far from it--and without thehelp of everyone, Blackwater West would still be on the horizon. Almostall of the credit goes to the people in Potrero.

Jan Hedlun has enduredperhaps the largest strain, being the sole opponent to the project on the Potrero Community Planning Group while everyone one else in the roomseemed to be against her. Jan has a heart of gold and extremely highintegrity. I have nothing but respect for her, Thank you!

Carl Meyer,Barbara and Robin Simmons headed up the Recall effort, and all thePlanning Group members -- William Crawley, Terry Stephens, Janet Goode,Tina Brown -- whoran and even the three new appointees who stepped forward. I really had nothing to do with thateffort, of course, as it was not possible for nonresidents to take part.Behind the scenes, other people, as I mentioned were involved, but Idon't think it is wise to list everyone in an email, even though it istempting. Although cartoons were put forward about puppeteering, thosepeople took no direction from me. They are VERY capable people and I didnot attempt to tell them what to do. If you are any of those people, youknow very well that I am not a puppeteer.

We appreciate Steve Kowit for his eloquent comments to themedia, even squaring off with Thell when Al Jazeera came in last week,and I sincerely appreciate my new friendship with Steve.

Of course,Carol Jahnkow (Peace Resource Center), Susan Friedman (Activist San Diego), Drew Searing (Puppet Insurgency), and all the great workerswho put the Oct 6-7 Rally together. Vets for Peace activists such asDave Patterson, David Wiley. Also Geoffrey Smith, Enrique Morales, andall others who provided their presentations.

Thank you Jeanette Hartmanfor running the regular Sierra Club Land Use Committee meetings. Thosewere essential to keep focused on what we would need to do to defeatthis. And so many contributors to the list, such as Fred with hisinteresting but thoroughly readable contributions about the Bird, Snake,and Lady. Others from out of state also had an impact.

The protests andarrests in North Carolina went further than anything we had done hereand kept the issue in the media. The Illinois group also has beenworking to put on pressure. None of these contributions would beeffective alone, but together they worked. Yea! And thanks to everyone.It would be entirely remiss if I were to exclude the important assistance we received from Rep. Bob Filner (CA 51) who attended our press conferences and Oct. rally. His high profile as keynote really helped to move the event to the next tier.

And behind all this is the tireless and excellent reporting and writing of Jeremy Scahill, author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's most powerful Mercenary Army", Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow! and other journalists, such as our own Miriam Raftery. Media outlets such as KLSD and now Stacy Taylor on AM1700 really helped to keep the pressure on county wide. (It is my theory that the demise of KLSD and the East County Californian, where Miriam's stories would appear, are linked to the media silence BW wanted so they could exit the scene.)

Also, I have had the honor and privilege of working with PR master Karen Pomer. Thank you Karen!I sincerely feel I was a very small part of the effort when I list allthese important players. And, I really have enjoyed working witheveryone. You are friends that I hope I can keep for life.If you are not listed, it does not mean you are not appreciated but isout of respect for your privacy. Also realize that this is a cobbledtogether activist group with no absolute leader. We all led in our ownway, and we all deserve credit. And it is credit that I can acknowledge,but I really can only notice it like everyone else. I have no authorityto dish out these credits. I do so only knowing that these people deserve to be acknowledged for their contributions to the effort.

I saythank you, not as someone who has asked you to do something, but out of pure respect for your patriotism that you would stand with the othersand fight this battle.Realize that the threats I made saying that "we would take this fight to the State Assembly" only had teeth with everyone standing with me andstaring down Blackwater as a group. Sure, I made the statements, and I'm sticking my neck out to run for office. But I can't do anything withoutthe support of everyone else. I sincerely believe that the threat thatwe would be able to carry this to Sacramento was the final straw in thedecision for Blackwater. I sent out the press release on March 6th, Ichatted with Joel Anderson's assistant this morning (March 7th) about itin a chance meeting at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast, and then hourslater, Blackwater pulled out.True, it could be a stroke of coincidence. I was predicting that BWwould pull the plug at about this time, if they were planning to pull itat all.

The media had quieted down about them, and they were desperateto put this behind them. They just needed to find a way to do it thatwould not empower the opposition--us. If they were trying to find a timewhen no one would be able to get any mileage from it, they picked thewrong day, but perhaps the best day they could given that we have areasonably good candidate in the 77th AD. If they waited at all, thiswould fester and would only be a boon for free media exposure in thecampaign. I believe that the threat worked because they could see howeffective our coalition had become and they knew that the campaign wouldbenefit from having the ultimate of worldwide evils to fight -- Blackwater.And, you can also trust me when I say that I was not overjoyed to get in the race for this seat. In fact, I had done a great deal of looking and tried to get others to take on the challenge, someone who would perhapsa military record (which I don't have) to run as I think that would playwell in the district. With no one rising to the occasion, I ended upreluctantly taking on the challenge. But if I do so, I intend to win,and I do. But although intention is very powerful, and I believe works in ways that I don't quite understand, it goes nowhere without the backing ofeveryone concerned. Your backing. Your support. If we are going to haveany shot of winning, we're going to have to play every card as well aswe can. We'll need to take advantage of the likely linkage myannouncement of candidacy and the pull out of Blackwater the next day.

This is not because I wish to denigrate the contributions of anyone elsebut because it is the right way to play the card to gain as much creditfor the opposition, i.e. everyone involved --us-- as we can.Don't be fooled by rumors of complaints about how wrong this was, how I did the wrong thing by not mentioning everyone in the first few emails,etc. Those are probably planted just to ruin our great joy. I believethat as time rolls out, we will find that certain players in this soapopera were nothing more than BW operatives who will soon leave Potrero.We must also be very careful in the near future as I doubt thatBlackwater is disappearing altogether. We must keep a close watch on our nation to find where their next move will be, and then nip it in the bud.

This is a great challenge for our nation, not just Potrero.

We mustStop Blackwater and the blossoming of privatized military of all kinds.

In the coming months, we will have a big party and all get together andenjoy our success. Don't let any negative thoughts ruin this... Thesegreat successes are something to relish! And the letter of Blackwaterpulling out?

Everyone who helped should frame that letter as a rewardfor your contributions, whatever they were.But with Blackwater (hopefully) out of the way, we still have theSunrise Powerlink threatening Potrero. The Alternative Route D willimpact many of the same people who would be impacted by the BlackwaterWest project. Public comment is still open on that project until mid April.

Again, thank you for taking up the challenge and working together to achieve this wonderful success!!--RaymondP.S. If you are like me, I fell in love with the valley when I saw it. It is a rarity indeed to still have a valley as nearly untouched as that one.

Now, we need to put together a deal to set that valley aside and combine it with the Hauser Wilderness and National Forest. It must be done!-- ---------------------------------------Raymond Lutz, CoordinatorCitizens' Oversight Projects (COPs)
P.O. Box 252El Cajon (San Diego Cty), CA 92022
USAVoice 619-820-5321

San Diego Progressive Democrats Endorse Mike Copass

Come meet Democratic Candidate for US Congress Mike Copass and campaign supporters on Sunday March 15th at TerAlta Park, San Diego, at the Rally to End the Occupation of Iraq, and show your support for PDA's new campaign:Healthcare, NOT warfare!

Mike Copass is challenging a 4-term incumbent who is heavily funded by Washington DC-based PACs which represent the weapons / surveillance / torture industry.

In turn, the incumbent has faithfully voted in support of Bush- and Republican-backed Iraq funding bills which guarantee lucrative weapons contracts -- and up to 3 years' more open-ended funding for the Iraq Occupation. These are not our democratic values - and this voting record must be publicly challenged.

Progressive Democrats are ready to speak out with moral clarity and purpose.

Like Rep. Bob Filner (CA-51), we are ready to stand up to defend our shared valuesI will be honored to join with Rep. Filner and serve the public as your next Congressional Representative.Join the campaign - and Let's Turn San Diego Blue!Mike CopassProgressive Democratic Candidate for US Congress California's 53rd District

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rally Monday for family-sustaining wages!

March 6, 2008
Low-wage jobs build a weak economy

When San Diego officials encourage and approve new hotel and tourism developments, they are shaping our local economy for years to come. And the shape they're molding is bottom-heavy with poverty-wage jobs.
In a article this week, CPI Research and Policy Director Murtaza Baxamusa and Marney Cox, chief economist for SANDAG, agreed that the Mayor and City Council must consider the long-term need to foster better jobs rather than continue to focus on tourism development.

As Baxamusa said: "Every single land-use decision we make as a city, it says something about the society we want to grow into." Rally Monday for family-sustaining wages! As a first step toward a healthier economy, CPI and many of our allies have worked hard to make family-sustaining wages a goal of San Diego's plan for future development.
This Monday, the battle for livable wages comes to the City Council.
Join us for a rally to tell the Council we must aim for a fair economy with quality jobs! RSVP for the event here!

Rally: 1 p.m. Monday, March 10
Civic Center Plaza
(1200 3rd Ave., San Diego 92101)
Council meeting: 2 p.m. Monday, March 10
12th floor, City Hall (202 C St., San Diego 92101)

Mayor Jerry Sanders has deleted all references to better wages and economic prosperity for workers from the city's General Plan, which sets guidelines for new development. The restaurant industry is lining up behind him with wildly misinformed alarms.
Let's fill the council chambers with the clear call for developments to bring our community quality jobs - jobs that include healthcare benefits and pay enough to make ends meet!
Contractors violating San Diego's Living Wage Ordinance
In just one month of outreach, CPI staff and allies found 13 workers who say they weren't paid the wages or given the healthcare benefits required of city contractors under the Living Wage Ordinance.
One example: a woman employed by a janitorial contractor to clean San Diego libraries, who supports three children and her sick mother, said she has been paid $8 an hour with no health coverage. Under the law, she should have earned $12.41 an hour or $10.34 an hour plus health benefits.
The workers must remain anonymous or risk losing their jobs, but their stories were presented Wednesday to the City Council budget committee.

The committee voted unanimously to draft ordinances to:
Include the cost of contract monitoring and enforcement in contractor bids.
Strengthen penalties or deterrents to enforce the living wage law.
Committee Chair Toni Atkins said she will create a Citizens' Advisory Committee on living wage enforcement. She and Councilmember Donna Frye noted that the having adequate staffing to monitor contracts is essential to protect taxpayers as the city moves to privatize some city departments through the Mayor's managed competition plan.
"As we get into managed competition, this needs to be part of the Mayor's proposal," Atkins said. "It should be included in the cost of the program."

Center on Policy Initiatives
3727 Camino del Rio South, Ste 100
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 584-5744

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Who is responsible?

Something to ponder from His Holiness the Dalai Lama

"Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job.
It lies with each of us individually.
Peace, for example, starts within each one of us."

. . . it is easy to shift blame and responsibility else where, "it's their fault". "I'm just too busy going to work", "taking care of my kids", "trying to make ends meet".

But what if you didn't have that job to go to, what if there was no where for you to take your kids to play because of bad air quality, what if the "ends" are too far apart and you can't make them meet!

Taking just a small step is enough to get started, make a phone call, write a letter, express your discontent, stand up and be counted, join those that are doing something, just joining will make a difference.

We do the things that are important to us, make quality of life important, make your future important, make creating peace important.

When is enuf enuf?

Yesterday I went to my usual gas station, they generally have the lowest prices in my area - it was just after payday and I usually fill up, but I got to the pump and regular unleaded was $3.59 a gallon. No fill up for me! I'll continue to put $20 in at a time in hopes that the cost will go down in the next couple of days.

Getting a bus pass for March is lookin' pretty good, even if it increases my commute time from 20 minutes to more than an hour each way. . . . let's not get started on the mass transit system here in paradise!

But back to the gas/oil prices . . . here's an article from TruthOut from March 3, if you want to read other pertinent articles about what's happening in our world, click on the link above.

Send a comment by clicking on the "comment" link under this post and let me know how you like paying YOUR highly taxed, hard earned $$$ to make the oil fat cats fatter! Do I hear economic boycotts???

The Senate Shills for Big Oil The New York Times Editorial
Monday 03 March 2008
One of the major shortcomings in last year's admirable energy bill was its failure to extend vital tax credits to producers of wind, solar and other renewable fuels. This was entirely the doing of the Senate, which caved in to the oil companies and their White House friends.
The House had approved the credits but insisted - under the Democrats' pay-as-you-go rules - that they be paid for by eliminating the same amount in tax credits for oil and gas producers. Industry (which is rolling in cash these days) howled, President Bush lofted veto threats, and the Senate caved.
The damage was immediately apparent. New investment in clean, non-fossil-fuel energy sources - which need the help until they become competitive with older, dirtier energy sources - began to shrivel.
The Senate now has a chance to redeem itself. Last week, the House approved a new $17 billion package of credits, spread over 10 years, to encourage the development of renewable energy sources and to promote energy-efficient buildings and appliances.
As before, the House insisted that the credits be paid for by terminating an equivalent $17 billion in tax breaks over 10 years for oil and gas companies. And right on schedule, Senate Republicans began complaining that increasing industry's taxes would discourage investment in domestic oil and gas production.
What will it take to wake the Senate up? It should be clear to even the most obtuse members that a country that consumes one-fifth of the world's oil but has only 3 percent of its reserves cannot possibly drill its way to energy independence.
It should be equally clear that an industry whose five biggest producers generated $145 billion in profits last year can easily sacrifice $1.7 billion in annual tax breaks it does not need to help develop the cleaner fuels the country does need.
If those arguments aren't enough, we offer the Senate some words from President Bush. In a 2005 address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Mr. Bush spoke forcefully of the need for an energy strategy that looked to the long term and emphasized conservation and renewable fuels.
Of the oil and gas industry, he said pointedly: "I will tell you with $55 oil we don't need incentives to the oil and gas companies to explore. There are plenty of incentives. What we need is to put a strategy in place that will help this country over time become less dependent."
The question for Mr. Bush and the Senate is clear: If that was true at $55 a barrel, why isn't it even more valid and urgent at $100 a barrel?

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The Earth Was Created