Green Imagination

Your Blog for Sharing Green Ideas.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Great Protest Story

For the past several months, a group of brave souls have been holding regular protests down in DC, right outside the Smithsonian Metro station. And every week, one of the protestors sends a report to one of the Maryland Green Party listserves. Here's one that really hits home, and shows that being against the war doesn't mean you're against the troops. Indeed, the best way to support the troops is to bring them home.

“My sister graduated from the Naval Academy...”

The woman stared down at our anti-war placard spread out on PennsylvaniaAvenue in front of the White House.

“She got back from Iraq just a couple of months ago, but my brother is stillthere. And I myself am an officer in the military. We're a militaryfamily.”

She puzzled over the multi-colored placards aranged on the sidewalk, some in mysterious Asian scripts. She looked over at the Polish tourists taking turns with their cameras. The Poles held a placard in Polish that expresses a very rude sentiment against the criminals that have sent so many of this woman's colleagues off to die.

“My sister graduated from Annapolis...”

The woman continued:

“She was so very proud to be one of the first African-American women to graduate from the Naval Academy. She loved it.”

“But now she's back at Mom's house and she's a mental wreck. PTSD. She'squit the military, and had intended to stay in for life. She just sits at home now.”

Her voice was firm but still full of emotion.

She continued the story about her sister's involvement in a grenade attack in which many servicemen were killed. About having to order men on missions from which there was no return. I don't recall all the details, as tourists were snapping up our placards for their own White House protest photos.

But I do remember one thing she said:

“The worst part about it was the goddam propaganda. They bathe you in it day and night. Both my sister and my brother say that in Iraq, all day and all night, on the radio, on the TV, in the newspaper, in your eyes and in your ears every second, all you hear is a pack of lies, lies so blatant they insult your intelligence.”

And I remember her parting words:

“Keep up the good work!”

Monday, August 22, 2005

Another Innovative Green Idea

Esteban at Chlorophyll has pointed out another great way that Green candidates can demonstrate their commitment to keeping Americans safe: Depleted Uranium testing for US soldiers.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Depleted Uranium, you can find a good explanation here. Basically, the army dips its bullets in radioactive materials to help them penetrate armor. It's been proven to be an environmental hazard, and it's been shown to increase cancer rates in Iraq.

As Esteban notes:
This harm comes not only from the Iraqi insurgents, but from their own

And we're supposed to be the good guys. Yeah right.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Moyers on America

I'm on vacation (and fortunately have free internet access--gotta love wireless) and I've been reading Moyers on America, a collection of essays by the retired TV journalist and former LBJ hack. I've always loved NOW, his last TV news show, and was saddened when it was cut down from 60 to 30 minutes when Moyers left.

At any rate, here's one of my favorite passages (so far):

What I can't explain is the rage of these counterrevolutionaries [i.e. neocons] to dismantle every last brink of the social contract. At this advanced age I accept the fact that the tension between haves and have-nots is built into human psychology and society itself--it's ever with us. However, I'm just as puzzled as to why, with right-wing wrecking crews blasting away at social benefits once considered invulnerable, Democrats are fearful of being branded "class warriors" in a war the other side started and is determined to win. I don't get why conceding your opponent's premises and fighting on his turf isn't a surefire prescription for irrelevance and ultimately obsolescence. But I confess as well that I don't know how to resolve the social issues that have driven wedges into the ranks of the working-and lower-middle-classes and divided them from the more affluent, upper-middle-class professionals and highly educated who were once their allies. Nor do I know how to reconfigure Progressive politics to fit into an age of sound bites and polling dominated by a media oligarchy whose corporate journalists are neutered and whose right-wing publicists have no shame.

From his writings, you'd think Moyers was registered Green. If he's not, he certainly should be. I don't know how to place my own politics into sound bites (although I'm getting good at it), and I don't know how to bridge that gap in understanding between what conservatives are doing to our country and those who continue to support them lock, stock and barrel