Tuesday, December 14, 2004

You Go To War With What You Have

"You Go to War With What You Have"
A Poem to Donald Rumsfeld from the Troops
by Jude Nagurney Camwell

Why do we soldiers dig and beg
While fighting in this powderkeg?
You lied to send our units here
In danger, without proper gear

We finally asked you to your face
Why our armor’s not in place
You looked at us as if we’re dumb
Your hands flew ‘round the podium

"You go to war with what you have", you rail
"I see violence! We must prevail!
The war’s an ugly dang’rous one
A lot’s not right; it isn’t fun

You told us freedom's on our side,
Our enemies have no place to hide
And human history sweeps freedom true
Well, Rumsfeld, we've got news for you

"What you have" are good, good men
Who trusted when you began
This war to liberate Iraq
and find the WMDs in stock

Turns out there wasn't a WMD one
But still you kept us on the run
By telling us we'd liberate
A nation that we've learned to hate

Each brother forced to deathbed calm
by RPG, trap, and sucide bomb
Regrets they ever bit this dust
Or ever learned to loyally trust.

They went to war with what they had-
A thing called life, you ignorant cad!
And all you say is, "You can have all
the armor in the world and you still might fall

It doesn't take the smartest guy
To figure out that you would lie
To your own Grandma if you thought it might
Get her to come to Iraq to fight.

Copyright Jude/Iddybud 2004

Before He Went To War-A song by Patty Ann Smith

Before He Went To War-A song by Patty Ann Smith


This is a song that Patty Ann Smith of Hope4America has written about her brother, Bob, a Vietnam Vet who died in 2003.
She dedicates this song to all of our troops both past and present.
Click here to download free at Scrub Records: http://scrubrecords.com//artists/918/

Harvard's Other Rock Star: Andrew Morgan

Harvard's Other Rock Star: Andrew Morgan
Meet Nietzsche's answer to Britney Spears.
By Justine Nagurney

Harvard Independent, 9 Dec 2004
"Essentially what I'll be attempting is to integrate the heart of Nietzsche's critique of Christianity into pop song structure," Morgan told me in an interview. "The intent behind an integration of Nietzsche's critique and pop music is one of subversion - accessing the widest possible mainstream audience in order to introduce content that would challenge the current manipulations of religious language and dogma by undercutting the basis for such actions. [ .. ] Twenty-two musicians (including former Built to Spill cellist John McMahon), five years, and at least as many cities in the making, Misadventures in Radiology ultimately came into being as a result of the goodwill of the late Elliott Smith, to whom the album is dedicated.."

- Justine Nagurney '06

House Rep Cynthia Davis Owes Apology to Citizens and Colleagues

House Rep Cynthia Davis Owes Apology to Citizens and Colleagues


I saw this quote at Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo, and I think it bears repeating, if only to point out what is gut-worst in some of our elected representatives. Missouri Representative Cynthia Davis is allegedly speaking for her "common sense" and "grassroots" constituency in Missouri while comparing liberalism to terrorism:
"It's like when the hijackers took over those four planes on Sept. 11 and took people to a place where they didn't want to go," she added. "I think a lot of people feel that liberals have taken our country somewhere we don't want to go. I think a lot more people realize this is our country and we're going to take it back."
Rep Cynthia Davis is not only speaking in an unstatesman-like manner, she is a nothing more than a hateful-sounding partisan for making such comparison. She is not representing common sense. She is boldly representing what is so very wrong with America today. She owes at least half the population of the United States (and her colleagues) an apology.

Clinton Curtis' "show stopper" testimony causes "gasps" at hearing

Clinton Curtis' "show stopper" testimony causes "gasps" at hearing
Daily Kos diary, Spiral Stairs, 14 December, 2004

There is a transcript of a video of Curtis' Ohio Democratic House Judiciary Committee testimony at Daily Kos and Raw Story.

Credit for the story belongs to Brad Blog.

Other references:

Mark Adams is covering this story at Dispassionate Liberalism.

see Who Is Clinton Curtis? Iddybud, 12 Dec 2004

Deceiving America

Deceiving America

U.S. military charters call for giving truthful information to the media and the public, and must be reconciled with the Pentagon's bitter current debate over how far it can go in creating propaganda to influence opinion abroad.

Will Americans soon be totally deceived by their government about war? Sometimes it can't be helped, if you ask Brig General Mark Kimmitt, who now serves as deputy director of plans for the American military command in the Middle East. It's a tough business, but sometimes we just have to learn to accept outright lies because of "conflicting principles". (Is this sounding acceptable to you yet?)

According to the NY Times:
"This is tough business," said General Kimmitt.

"Are we trying to inform? Yes. Do we offer perspective? Yes. Do we offer military judgment? Yes.

Must we tell the truth to stay credible? Yes. Is there a battlefield value in deceiving the enemy? Yes. Do we intentionally deceive the American people? No

The rub, General Kimmitt said, is operating among those sometimes conflicting principles.

"There is a gray area," he said. "Tactical and operational deception are proper and legal on the battlefield." But "in a worldwide media environment," he asked, "how do you prevent that deception from spilling out from the battlefield and inadvertently deceiving the American people?"

New Yogananda Book May Change View of Jesus

photo credit: www.reluctant-messenger.com

New Yogananda Book May Change View of Jesus

52 years after his death, a book compiled from decades of Paramahansa Yogananda's speeches and writings is being published by his Los Angeles-based Self-Realization Fellowship. "The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of Christ Within You," is a book which offers Yogananda's ideas about the deeper meaning of Jesus' teachings and their essential unity with yoga. Yogananda believed these major teachings were lost to institutional Christianity. The "bridge-building book" will offer intricate discourse on various Gospel passages and may change the way people see Jesus, according to USC professor emeritus and specialist in world religions, Robert Ellwood.

According to Amazon.com's editorial review:
"Yogananda takes the reader on a profoundly enriching journey through the four Gospels. Verse by verse, he illumines the uni­versal path to oneness with God taught by Jesus to his immediate dis­ciples but obscured through cen­turies of misinter­pretation: "how to become like Christ, how to resurrect the Eternal Christ within one’s self."
Never before available in its entirety, this landmark work by one of the most revered spiritual teachers of our time transcends divisive sectarianism to reveal a unifying harmony underlying all true religions. A groundbreaking synthesis of East and West, it imparts the life-transforming realization that each of us can experience for ourselves the promised Second Coming -- awakening of the all-fulfilling Divine Consciousness latent within our souls.."

LA Times writer Teresa Wantanabe says:
The guru did not focus on a literal return of Jesus. Rather, he said, the significant Second Coming involved a return of the "Christ consciousness" of divine intelligence, wisdom and perception that was incarnate in Jesus and other masters, such as Krishna of India. As it spreads among seekers, it will bring peace and harmony, he said.

Yogananda also says that John's puzzling Book of Revelation is not a treatise on Armageddon and the final days before Christ's Second Coming, as perceived by many Christians. He says John, whom he described as the most deeply mystical of Jesus' disciples, was providing a road map to divine union using yoga techniques [...]

..If the book confounds or offends traditionalists, however, Chappel and Sharma say it might not surprise mystics. The path to God or enlightenment through meditation is found in Sufism of Islam and cabala of Judaism, monastic Buddhism and contemplative Christianity.

Chidananda says such Christian mystics as Teresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart and John of the Cross have described experiences of divine union that uncannily resemble the yoga experience."

Being Left by Kathryn Schulz

"..we on the left have failed [..] not only to express convincingly that we love our country, but also why we love our country."

Being Left by Kathryn Schulz

At The Nation, Kathryn Schulz does an eloquent job of explaining how she believes many progressives have missed the boat on defining their vision for the America they love and desire to see.

Photo credit: www.adsources.com

While we don't have to be a bunch of crooning Lee Greenwoods, we should never be afraid to admit that we are heartbroken over the fact that our efforts failed insofar as the election goes. Yet, we shouldn't dwell on the angst. Instead, we can express how deeply we love and care about our country and its people and move on to a future of hope.
"Instead of defining that vision, we have scrabbled desperately for a tiny patch of space inside the right's increasingly narrow-minded nation, abdicating our real job of providing a countervailing ideal. We have forgotten that we are supposed to have a dream, and as a result, we now have a nightmare. Like many progressives, I look at another four years of the Bush Administration and see a widening gyre: more war, more terrorism, more corruption, more governmental secrecy and inaccessibility, more religious fanaticism, more poverty, more debt, more international isolation. I see a political ethos of greed, secrecy, divisiveness and cronyism, and a cultural ethos that makes moral failings of this country's bedrock principles--reasoned dissent and respect for difference. I look on all of that and I understand why much of this nation is heartbroken.

And yet, strangely, it is ultimately in that heartbreak that I find some measure of hope. Heartbreak is, after all, evidence of the existence of love, and our current grief is a kind of emotional sonar, a way to measure the previously hidden depth of our dedication. We need to begin acting on that love and dedication"

Thin veil of democracy torn asunder by "Electronic Jim-Crow" voting

"It is not until the economy crashes, the draft is reinstated, more major terrorist attacks happen and the stuff really hitting the fan that more and more people will see what is really happening. Unfortunately by the time that people get mad enough to hit the streets en masse, it will probably be too late, with the current neocon administration declaring the protests as terrorist activities and sending troops in to break them up, jailing the protesters as "enemy combatants".

--Jeffersonian American, responding to an article by Lloyd Hart

Thin veil of democracy torn asunder by "Electronic Jim-Crow" voting

At North Texas Indy Media, Lloyd Hart believes that there will never be another free and fair election in America until there is a civil war restablishing an open democracy.