Monday, September 20, 2010

Organizing Against Empire: Where Left and Right Meet ... Amicably

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Counterpunch

Over a conference table at a Washington hotel on March 20, a couple dozen antiwar activists and intellectuals, yours truly included, met to hash out the beginnings of a most unusual movement. We wanted to end American war and American Empire, against the evident bipartisan determination to keep both of them going.

There never was such a boundary-crossing event before, at least not in my 50 year political lifetime or any historical incident that I can recall.

Not quite true. The Populists, arguably the one literal grassroots movement that most nearly overturned the two party system in a handful of states, brought together a kind of cultural conservatism, bathed in scorn of city life, and political radicalism. The antiwar movement of the 1910s made Republican German-and Scandinavian-Americans of the northern Midwest and Great Plains states turn to the Farmer-Labor movement, under a variety of names, and again, in the middle 1930s, to join campus antiwar activists in resisting the militarization of American culture.

Even as Pearl Harbor drew close, Norman Thomas stood on platforms with outspoken conservatives urging some other solution than US entry with the inevitable counterparts of conscription, loss of civil liberties, etc. They were wrong about the war but, at least after Truman came to power, right after all about the doleful consequences of mobilization for war. The big state, with its military-industrial part not at all benign, was here to stay...Read it all

Simplicity, Anxiety, and "Rethinking Our Way Back to Thought"...

...but for clinical depression / anxiety and treatments see bottom of page

Anxiety is such a characteristic of our time that we have almost come to accept it. It is evident everywhere. Mark and Louise Zwick of the Houston Catholic Worker have publicly lamented the fact that many parents (Catholic parents!) do not want their kids "wasting" time helping the poor when they need to be be pursuing a career...So often today life is marked by complex dilemmas which arouse more fear than peace.

Education of some higher and good kind certainly is necessary (at what costs!) especially if no trade can easily be passed on to the children, but hopefully it will be some kind of practical education and not Gender Constructions in Feminist Theory and the like, ad nauseum (imagine paying for that?) Most importantly we need thinkers today who can help us "rethink our way back to thought," as G.K. Chesterton said was already needed in his day. Where "the scholars can be workers and the workers scholars" in the words of Peter Maurin as he envisioned a new bartering society growing within the shell of the old.

Life is not simple in a hyperreal techno-maxed society (as if you didn't know). Security is not something one can always count on, not even from family, friends, the village (least of all Hillary's)...Read it all

--->Candidate tells of past, "One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that," she said. Note: Hey, at least she changed her life. Now if she can turn herself and us away from American imperialism which spills more blood than witches, we'll be making true progress.

--->Joseph Pearce: The beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman on Sunday
during the pope's visit to England is a timely reminder of Newman's monumental...

---> British Author (and Former Spy) John le Carré on Why He Won’t Be Reading Tony Blair’s Iraq War-Defending Memoir. On the heels of the publication of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Iraq war-defending memoir A Journey, le Carré explains why he refused to interview Blair and why he won’t be reading his memoir

--->Novelist John le Carré: "The United States of America Has Gone Mad"

--->PopSci Investigation: What Kind Of Top-Secret Assassination Tech Does $58 Billion Buy? Not since the end of the Cold War has the Pentagon spent so much to develop and deploy secret weapons...

--->One in Three Americans Lacks the Income Needed to “Make Ends Meet”

--->Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio: If financial decisions result in self-indulgence at the expense of honesty and justice (see Amos 8:4ff), then you are serving mammon. If your increased profits finance your family, your church, Christian education, evangelization, the crisis pregnancy center, or local homeless shelter, chances are you are serving God...