Granny D (and other current politcal stuff) : LUSENET : Beyond the Sidewalks : One Thread

Wow, this joint is jumpin! (are we dead yet?) One more try.........

Like a Tree Standing By the Water We Shall Not Be Moved

By Granny D, Utne Reader

Text of remarks by Doris "Granny D" Haddock at the Minneapolis Rolling Thunder Chautauqua, Sept. 2, 2002

Thank you.

We have come to a time for communal remembering. We will see the images again of 3,000 fine people dying. We will see again in our minds those crematory clouds that overwhelmed the pink-vapored sun and all our sensibilities.

The horror of September 11 was not only the horror of 3,000 deaths: We were all victimized, all dehumanized by seeing our fellow human beings killed in so wholesale a manner, as if we were but ants.

Since that morning, in more than three thousand ways, we have tried to re-humanize the city and our lives. We said "I love you" in public parks. We placed flowers in harsh places. In small cafés by candlelight we rekindled torches of human love and, like resolute townspeople suddenly of one mind, we carried these torches against the monstrously inhumane oppressions and abstractions of modern life.

As a democratic people, we deserved support from our political representatives in that effort --they are supposed to be the agents of our common dreams. We had an opportunity to make those deaths mean something. We had an opportunity to honor those individual hearts by bringing more humanity, more love into the world in vivid and heartmoving forms. We had an opportunity to defeat the forces of hatred--that sick product of the spiritually immature mind that reduces humans to abstractions. For a moment, we looked at life with the same amazement that I'm sure those who died shared from the other side. Do they stand around us yet, hoping that we do not fall back into the hypnosis of exploitation --hoping that we can still imagine love and be conscious and amazed in the world?

Instead, their memories were harshly abused. We got an inhuman response that yet grows --a sickening cloud that yet darkens the American sky and the world's sky. And to Ashcroft's and Rumsfeld's and Cheney's and Bush's false alarm manipulations of the childish news networks and the pushover Daschle Congress, we say, for God's sake, men, if you aren't smart enough to see the positive opportunities for the world at this moment, at least sit on your hands and do no harm. This is no time to repeal the Bill of Rights, or to renounce America's citizenship in the world. Don't do all that because you think we fear a few madmen enough that we will give up America's freedoms.

Yes indeed, there are people intent on killing us who are as dedicated as they are spiritually deformed and immature. What indeed is more childishly selfish or more spiritually immature than to love your religion so much that you would ask someone else to die for it? But there are things in this world worth dying for honorably. And one of those is real political freedom for our loved ones.

I am from New Hampshire and our state motto is, "Live Free or Die." I never thought much about it until recently. But I tell you that we must all now have the courage of our Constitution. I will take the risks of living in a free country. I will risk the danger of terrorists. I often carry a heavy purse and can defend myself, and if that is not enough, so be it. But I will check my own bedroom walls for subversive posters and I will monitor my own email and if I find anything I will type myself up a nice report. But I will NOT stand idly by and allow my government to commit treasons against our Constitutional Bill of Rights.

Get a grip, Mr. Ashcroft, Mr. Cheny, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Bush: this is America where we live free or die. Go visit a military cemetery to remind yourselves that we are a courageous people and that we mean it when we say LIBERTY or Death.

Whose dark cloud is it that darkens our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our national soul, our responsible position in the world community? It mustn't be one of our own making.

Would you have thought a year ago that people in America could be arrested and held without charges, without lawyers, without any rights? Would you have imagined that America would be running detention and maybe torture camps, holding people secretly for months or years, and with the corporate media cheering them on?

Would you imagine that the government would reorganize around the idea of becoming something of a police state, and that soldiers would be patrolling like policemen and that your email and that the posters on your bedroom wall would put you at risk of all this machinery of snooping and detention and isolation and perhaps torture, and with the corporate media cheering them on?

Could you possibly imagine that any American could be stripped of all his or her rights by being named, with not proof, an enemy combatant, an enemy of the state? Could you have imagined that permanent war would be declared against nobody in particular and that it would be used to de-fund every social program the radical right ever didn't like? Could you imagine the idea of our elite storm troopers being authorized to go anywhere in the world, without invitation, to kill anyone they please, and with the corporate media cheering them on?

Could you have imagined we could fall so far so fast under this dark cloud?

These dark clouds from the towers, if they darken our Constitution, are clouds of darkest opportunism. The corporate elite behind the radical right miss no trick in manipulating our own fears into a mass capitulation of our freedoms. The maneuvering to undermine our Bill of Rights by a fraudulent pursuit of public safety is as un-American as anything that has occurred in my 92 years.

These un-American usurpers of our election and of our freedoms do not represent us in the least.

We have the courage of our Constitution to live free on our garden Earth as brothers and sisters --to live free or die. And together as the human community we stand for love. And against death and exploitation and the lie of projected evil we link our arms. We shall not, we shall not be moved. Just like a tree that's standing by the water, we shall not be moved.

The responsible course for America is no secret. Our only real safety lies in crafting an American success story that does not rely upon the repression of the world's people and the destruction of their systems of self-determination for the sake of our industrial needs, but instead upon their rising health and wealth and freedom. Otherwise a state of constant war is indeed inevitable. We know that. We choose against it.

Our only real safety lies in the crafting of an American success story that does not rely upon the trashing of the American and the world environment for the sake of corporate profits, funneled to political careers. Otherwise there is no America the Beautiful for our children or life on earth for our grandchildren. We know that. We choose life and love, and we shall not be moved.

The blue haze that keeps us from seeing our mountains and that is warming the earth and threatening our survival is the product of a domestic political terrorism that harms us far more than any cells of terrorists. In the Northeast alone, where the Hudson River Valley is now blanketed in coal pollution coming from as far away as the Midwest, twice as many Americans die each year from the loosening of environmental standards on coal plants as died in the twin towers. Are we dehumanized when we are killed in so wholesale a manner? To get that coal, a thousand times the explosive might of the Oklahoma City bombing is used each day against the mountains of Appalachia by Mr. Bush's coal friends, who help finance his career. Every four days, the explosive power of the entire Afghanistan campaign is used against Kentucky and West Virginia mountain ranges we once called "almost heaven," --all while Mr. Bush rejects any effort to conserve energy. What kind of patriotism is that? It is none.

And what, then, are we the people to do? Well, there is November coming. Let us work hard so that we have some candidates who recognize a needed regime change when they see one, and who are leaders in fact. Our system is overrun with ego-driven would-be reformers who really just take up valuable space, and with ossified political parties who are more interested in protecting the elite on the right or the elite on the left than the people or the future. We have hard political work to do, and the big parties need transforming or dumping.

We also have a war to stop. We need to organize massive peaceful demonstrations in Washington and in our state capitols. The trumped-up war in Iraq is power madness and pure stupidity. The fact that it is monstrously immoral ought to count for something, too.

But beyond the necessary effort to stop the continuing coup, and beyond the need to use the coming election to box in these power mad frat boys, we must each in our own creative ways give testimony to who we are, that we have the courage of our Constitution to live free on our garden Earth as brothers and sisters --to live free or die; That we are members of the human community and that we stand for love; That for the dead we light candles, not fuses; That against death and exploitation and the lie of projected evil, we link our arms; That we shall not, we shall not be moved. Just like a tree that's standing by the water, we shall not be moved.

Thank you.

-- Granny D From Utne Reader

Three years ago, at 89 years old, Granny decided to walk across the country to call attention to the lack of moral leadership in either major political party. She walked 10 miles per day and almost a year, but she did it. Now at 92, she is still touring and talking.

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2002


Response to Granny D

Wow, EM, powerful stuff. I've tried three times now to read this complete post but the 4th paragraph gives me so many shivers and tears I can't continue. The thought of those who died standing among us, frantically shouting "Wake Up!" as we continue to blindly stumble down this path of destruction...perhaps that's what hell is like?

Did you attend the Minneapolis Rolling Thunder?

OK, I'm going to try to read a little more.... :)

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

Response to Granny D

I got a little confused because it seemed like part of the 6th paragraph got left out. So I went to the Utne Reader website (very cool, I'll be back there to look around some more) and pulled up the text of the speech. The last line of that paragraph should be

"And one of those is real political freedom for our loved ones."

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

Response to Granny D

And now your friendly moderator has fixed the original post with the addition that Sherri found.

I didn't really have time to read this when EM posted it, and I don't have time right now. But I'm leaving this window open on the 'puter and will read it later tonight. I just skimmed it now. Don't you love Granny D? She has more fire than 100 ordinary people! :-)

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

Response to Granny D

I just found out about a new organization called "Not In Our Name" which is protesting the Bush Administration's actions since Sept 11th. They are taking out ads with their "Statement of Conscience" in as many major newspapers as they can until the money runs out. The list of people who have signed on to the statement is pretty impressive. You can see the statement and sign on at: Not In Our Name

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2002

Response to Granny D

Thank you, Sherri, for that link as well!

What is it about autumn that makes us start thinking about politics?

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2002

Response to Granny D

I posted the Pledge of Resistance from the Not In Our Name site over at Homesteading Today and someone called me a Nazi sympathizer, tee hee.

Warning: long sort of disjointed philosophical ramblings to follow!

I've been giving EM's post a lot of thought these past few days, and even more since I found the Not In Our Name site. I've been feeling very overwhelmed with all the stuff going on in the world that needs changing and how I'm just one person. How can I make any difference in the loss of civil liberties since 9-11, the looming war with Iraq, the environment, hunger, the global AIDS epidemic, child abuse, homeless people and animals, etc. etc. etc. I just didn't know where to start.

So I've been thinking about First Principles and if there is one underlying thread that connects all these issues, so if I could support the root all the branches would flourish. I thought of a bunch of different contenders for the First Principle, such as freedom, justice, peace, equality, responsibility, etc. But none of them seemed right, either I could think up a case where the quality could be used in a negative fashion (like the President feeling he has the freedom and responsibility to attack Iraq at will, for example) or they just weren't basic enough.

So I finally figured out that, at least for me, the First Principle has to be love. No matter what the situation is, if I can act in a way that brings the most love to the issue then I'm helping.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately about the amazing healing power of touch, and how screwed up we can get without it. Babies who are lovingly touched and massaged grow quicker, sleep better, and when they get older they have higher IQs, while babies who aren't touched fail to thrive and have an increased incidence of ADHD and psychiatric disorders. Pregnant women who are stressed out have smaller babies with more fragile nervous systems who are fussier, and if mom is still stressed and has poor parenting skills the fussy baby is a prime candidate for abuse. Did you know that our skin and our brain develops from the same fetal tissue? That just seemed really amazing to me.

I'm saving the world through massage therapy! hehehehee

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2002

Response to Granny D

I signed on quite a while ago, but just checked, and my name wasn't' there :( Probably there was a computer glich; I signed on again.

For those of you who need more prompting, here's there "pledge":

The Pledge of Resistance

We believe that as people living in the United States it is our responsibility to resist the injustices done by our government, in our names

Not in our name will you wage endless war there can be no more deaths no more transfusions of blood for oil

Not in our name will you invade countries bomb civilians, kill more children letting history take its course over the graves of the nameless

Not in our name will you erode the very freedoms you have claimed to fight for

Not by our hands will we supply weapons and funding for the annihilation of families on foreign soil

Not by our mouths will we let fear silence us

Not by our hearts will we allow whole peoples or countries to be deemed evil

Not by our will and Not in our name

We pledge resistance

We pledge alliance with those who have come under attack for voicing opposition to the war or for their religion or ethnicity

We pledge to make common cause with the people of the world to bring about justice, freedom and peace

Another world is possible and we pledge to make it real.

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2002

Response to Granny D

Sherri, I too am totally frustrated at all the crap going on in the world, especially the "kill for oil" policy of the Bush regime.

The only things I've come up with to do something productive are sending out as much credible information about what is "really" going on regarding Bush and Iraq, and Bush and terrorism, etc to a rather long email group. I've been doing this for a long time. I get about five percent positive response, no negative response so far, and mostly no one bothers to write back. I do hear good things "through the grapevine", though, so I guess some folks are reading the stuff, and just too busy to write back.

I also do a lot of research of FACTS about what went on regarding 911 (e.g. what Bush was doing when the buildings were attacked)

Another thing I do is call my representatives fairly often. Remember that each call you make is treated as representing a large number of people.

I also write letters to the editor of the local newspaper. Since I live in a farily lightly populated area, all my letters get published, though we're limited to one letter to the editor per month.

One last thing is TALK. I get into frequent arguments when I hear people following the party line of the Republicans, Bush, and most of the Sheeple. With a lot of willpower, I generally remain calm and polite. Generally, folks don't concede any points, but I occassionally am pleased to hear them repeating things I said in future conversations.

We are so much like sheep! People keep hearing all the BS put out by the Bush propaganda machine. If they hear it often enough, they start to figure it's true, or it wouldn' t be broadcast so often. So, telling them another perspective has at least a chance of waking them up.

Good luck!

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2002

Response to Granny D

I just ordered up a bunch of postcards with the Pledge of Resistance printed on them. I'm going to pass them out at our local Pagan Pride Day next Saturday. I'm prepared for some resistance and negative comments; anyone who thinks all Pagans are pacifists hasn't met an Asatruer! :)

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2002

Response to Granny D

Thanks for the great link, and the very thoughful posts, Sherri and others. I have encouraged lots of folks to sign the petition, although our names have not shown up on the internet site as yet.

I loved what you had to say, Sherri; that too is how I try to decide how to use my energy when it all seems so overwhelming. Goes to show we can all do something to help in whatever ways seem right to us as individuals. And you are right, you *are* saving the world in your own special way, guided by love.

About the reference to the Homesteadingtoday site........I used to visit there most every day, just cuz I am insatiably snoopy; I even posted a handful of times, when I couldnt help myself, under cover. About half those times my posts were deleted, which didn't surprise me all that much.........Chuck can easily trace me I suppose, and I am on his list cuz I complained about him to CS mag and on the old site.

But more importantly, I found myself becoming increasingly depressed by visiting there. The overall tone of the place was so terribly lacking in love and compassion, and I realized it was getting me down. It's really interesting how quickly negative energy can take over a family, a group, probably a nation. When fearful people take the reins loudly, pushing out dissenting voices with harsh judgements and the need to have the last word, those too timid or tired to respond drift away into a quiet corner and no longer participate in the family, the group, the nation, because they feel their opinions and (more importantly) their feelings are not honored, not even noticed. I guess in this way the silent ones set the tone in as big a way as do the noisy ones, because their silence leaves open the spaces for the ugly voices to spew their lies and hatred, plus the ones who DO speak up are often silenced by the ones in power..... And so it goes........

I can only be around negative people for a short time, I've noticed. It's draining.......I also noticed when I want a boost, I feel better after having visited a Whole Foods Market, or attending a festival, or somesuch, cuz then I remember all the really cool people there are in the world, who care deeply about the things I care about, who see the world as I see it, and who try to live their lives consciously, and with love as their guide.


-- Anonymous, September 21, 2002

Response to Granny D

E.M....I am as much in awe as to the way you express "stuff" as I am when Polly tells us about what she's doing during the course of a day :-)!!!

Sherri...I'm headed over to your link right now! I only wish I'd spent more time reading this post earlier...sorry E.M.!!!

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2002

Response to Granny D

I guess this has turned into the politcal thread . . .

Found this on another board today:

From the Forgotten History newsletter. {{snip}}

Here are some questions I would like answered by those who are urging us to start this war. 1. Is it not true that the reason we did not bomb the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War was because we knew they could retaliate?

2. Is it not also true that we are willing to bomb Iraq now because we know it cannot retaliate- which just confirms that there is no real threat?

3. Is it not true that those who argue that even with inspections we cannot be sure that Hussein might be hiding weapons, at the same time imply that we can be more sure that weapons exist in the absence of inspections?

4. Is it not true that the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency was able to complete its yearly verification mission to Iraq just this year with Iraqi cooperation?

5. Is it not true that the intelligence community has been unable to develop a case tying Iraq to global terrorism at all, much less the attacks on the United States last year? Does anyone remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and that none came from Iraq?

6. Was former CIA counter-terrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro wrong when he recently said there is no confirmed evidence of Iraq's links to terrorism?

7. Is it not true that the CIA has concluded there is no evidence that a Prague meeting between 9/11 hijacker Atta and Iraqi intelligence took place?

8. Is it not true that northern Iraq, where the administration claimed al-Qaeda were hiding out, is in the control of our "allies," the Kurds?

9. Is it not true that the vast majority of al-Qaeda leaders who escaped appear to have safely made their way to Pakistan, another of our so-called allies?

10. Has anyone noticed that Afghanistan is rapidly sinking into total chaos, with bombings and assassinations becoming daily occurrences; and that according to a recent UN report the al-Qaeda "is,by all accounts, alive and well and poised to strike again, how, when, and where it chooses"

11. Why are we taking precious military and intelligence resources away from tracking down those who did attack the United States- and who may again attack the United States- and using them to invade countries that have not attacked the United States?

12. Would an attack on Iraq not just confirm the Arab world's worst suspicions about the US-and isn't this what bin Laden wanted?

13. How can Hussein be compared to Hitler when he has no navy or air force, and now has an army 1/5 the size of twelve years ago, which even then proved totally inept at defending the country?

14. Is it not true that the constitutional power to declare war is exclusively that of the Congress? Should presidents, contrary to the Constitution, allow Congress to concur only when pressured by public opinion? Are presidents permitted to rely on the UN for permission to go to war?

15. Are you aware of a Pentagon report studying charges that thousands of Kurds in one village were gassed by the Iraqis, which found no conclusive evidence that Iraq was responsible, that Iran occupied the very city involved, and that evidence indicated the type of gas used was more likely controlled by Iran not Iraq?

16. Is it not true that anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000 US soldiers have suffered from Persian Gulf War syndrome from the first Gulf War, and that thousands may have died?

17. Are we prepared for possibly thousands of American casualties in a war against a country that does not have the capacity to attack the United States?

18. Are we willing to bear the economic burden of a 100 billion dollar war against Iraq, with oil prices expected to skyrocket and further rattle an already shaky American economy? How about an estimated 30 years occupation of Iraq that some have deemed necessary to "build democracy" there?

19. Iraq's alleged violations of UN resolutions are given as reason to initiate an attack, yet is it not true that hundreds of UN Resolutions have been ignored by various countries without penalty?

20. Did former President Bush not cite the UN Resolution of 1990 as the reason he could not march into Baghdad, while supporters of a new attack assert that it is the very reason we can march into Baghdad?

21. Is it not true that, contrary to current claims, the nofly zones were set up by Britain and the United States without specific approval from the United Nations?

22. If we claim membership in the international community and conform to its rules only when it pleases us, does this not serve to undermine our position, directing animosity toward us by both friend and foe?

23. How can our declared goal of bringing democracy to Iraq be believable when we prop up dictators throughout the Middle East and support military tyrants like Musharaf in Pakistan, who overthrew a democratically-elected president?

24. Are you familiar with the 1994 Senate Hearings that revealed the U.S. knowingly supplied chemical and biological materials to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and as late as 1992- including after the alleged Iraqi gas attack on a Kurdish village?

25. Did we not assist Saddam Hussein's rise to power by supporting and encouraging his invasion of Iran? Is it honest to criticize Saddam now for his invasion of Iran, which at the time we actively supported?

26. Is it not true that preventive war is synonymous with an act of aggression, and has never been considered a moral or legitimate US policy?

27. Why do the oil company executives strongly support this war if oil is not the real reason we plan to take over Iraq?

28. Why is it that those who never wore a uniform and are confident that they won't have to personally fight this war are more anxious for this war than our generals?

29. What is the moral argument for attacking a nation that has not initiated aggression against us, and could not if it wanted?

30. Where does the Constitution grant us permission to wage war for any reason other than self-defense?

31. Is it not true that a war against Iraq rejects the sentments of the time-honored Treaty of Westphalia, nearly 400 years ago, that countries should never go into another for the purpose of regime change?

32. Is it not true that the more civilized a society is, the less likely disagreements will be settled by war?

33. Is it not true that since World War II Congress has not declared war and- not coincidentally- we have not since then had a clear-cut victory?

34. Is it not true that Pakistan, especially through its intelligence services, was an active supporter and key organizer of the Taliban?

35. Why don't those who want war bring a formal declaration of war resolution to the floor of Congress?

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2002

EM, I had no idea that your posts were being deleted over at Homesteading Today. I thought that you just didn't go over there anymore. That certainly is some food for thought.

OK, I told you I was really bad when it comes to remembering politicians names. The end of Joy's post said that Ron Paul was from Texas. I thought that he was the same guy that was the only one to vote against the PATRIOT Act, but I thought he was from Wisconsin. Am I getting two different guys mixed up? I need a scorecard! :)

BTW, getting back to Granny D, the thought that an 89 year old woman could walk across the USA makes me very cheery!

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Yes, Granny D is definitely hero material! And the politician you are thinking of is Sen. Russ Feingold from Wisconsin. If I remember correctly, he was also the only one to vote against Clinton's impeachment. A truly brave and honorable man.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

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