CORNELL WEST ON "THE FUNK"
"How you gonna negotiate through the funk?"
Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....
Get the revised version of my book "Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire" - updated thru the end of 2008
This video of right-wingers screaming at American Muslims who are attending a fundraiser in California is hard to watch. What is even sadder is to see the elected officials pandering to this mean spiritedness.
But this is what the corporate oligarchy has to do to keep building support for its endless wars. Whip up the fear and the hate.
Another peace walk is underway. This one is on Jeju Island in South Korea as the Life and Peace Fellowship (led by a Buddhist monk Dobub) began walking today in a pilgrimage for 100 days. Amongst their peaceful demands is an end to the construction of the Navy base on Jeju.
The U.S. and South Korean governments are presently running more war games aimed at North Korea which always helps to create a dark climate as the people in the north must remain in a constant state of vigilance and hyper-sensitivity.
Last Sunday a full-page advertisement ran in the New York Times called "Visit Korea" and the ad particularly promoted Jeju Island as "one of the finalists for the on-going New7Wonders of nature poll. Jejudo has become a 'must' place to visit".
Jeju Island is indeed a natural wonder as you will see in the video just below. But sadly the U.S. and South Korean governments have chosen one of the most environmentally sensitive spots on the island to build this Navy base. This base will serve as a provocative outpost against China and will be a spark to ignite even more military tensions in an already dangerous region. The environmental consequences of the base will be catastrophic.
Our heartfelt best wishes go out to the peace walkers and the Gangjeong villagers as they do all they can to resist this crazy Navy base construction.
UPDATE: Sung-Hee Choi reports the following wonderful news: "One grateful thing to the organization to the Life and Peace Fellowship is that they decided to stay 1oo days in the Gangjeong village instead 100 days’ peace pilgrim throughout Korea. Meeting with the villagers on March 1, they realized how urgent the villagers needed people to help them and how important of the struggle in Gangjeong village therefore they changed their plan to stay in the village. The plan for peace walk in the Jeju Island in the first week will not be changed. But each evening, they will come back to the village, breathing with the villagers and sharing the villagers’ suffering with them."
I've been working hard since I got home to build our rally in Maine's state capital on April 4 that will call upon all elected officials (and the public) in the state to make the deadly connections between endless war spending and the fiscal crisis.
This piece of information blows my mind: The total debt of all 50 state governments is now $130 billion. The U.S. will spend $170 billion on our wars in Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan this year.
How could anything be more clear than this? You want to solve the fiscal crisis? It's right here before us.
Some activists in Maine and other states are going to go to their Republican controlled state governments and ask for tax increases. Good luck. I'm all for raising taxes on the rich. But a Republican controlled state legislature is not likely to do it. Why not begin to turn the heat up about military spending as well?
One can only begin to speculate about why some good hearted activists in various states are not picking up on this issue. Is it because they don't think we can stop the wars? Is it because we have a Democrat as president and many activists who identify with that party don't want to confront him on the war? Is it because the Dems control the U.S. Senate and activists who are members of that party don't want to challenge their own party? Is it because they are afraid of being called unpatriotic or un-American if they come out publicly against our wars?
It's a confusing thing. Please, someone help me understand the timidity of some activists around this war $$ issue. Please correct me if I am off base.