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peace vigil journal

waging peace in ellensburg

this pic came through email--from a peace rally in eugene, or--beautiful!

another email forward

> Intelligence riddle:
George W. Bush meets with the Queen of England. He asks her, "Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?" "Well," says the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people." Bush frowns. "But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?" The Queen takes a sip of tea. "Oh, that's easy. You just ask them to answer an intelligence riddle." The Queen pushes a button on her intercom. "Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?" Tony Blair walks into the room. "Yes, my Queen?" The Queen smiles. "Answer me this, please, Tony. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?" Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answers, "That would be me." "Yes! Very good," says the Queen. Back at the White House, Bush asks to speak with vice president Dick Cheney. "Dick, answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?" "I'm not sure," says the vice president. "Let me get back to you on that one." Dick Cheney goes to his advisors and asks every one, but none can give him an answer. Finally, he ends up in the men's room and recognizes Colin Powell's shoes in the next stall. Dick shouts, "Colin! Can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?" Colin Powell yells back, "That's easy. It's me!" Dick Cheney smiles. "Thanks!" Cheney goes back to the Oval Office and to speak with Bush. "Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Colin Powell." Bush gets up, stomps over to Dick Cheney, and angrily yells into his face, "No, you idiot! It's Tony Blair!"

Just got back from the video showing at the Peace Cafe of UNCOVERED-The Truth About The Iraq War. Great movie--here from the blurb about it--
"This controversial and arresting film takes you behind the walls of government, as CIA, Pentagon and foreign service experts speak out, many for the first time, detailing the lies, misstatements and exaggerations that served as the reasons to fight a "preemptive" war that wasn't necessary. This documentary offers an in-depth look at the unsettling distortion of intelligence and the "spin and hype" presented to the American people, the Congress and the press. Fighting wars to bring about regime change is in breach of international law. Yet, throughout the fall of 2002, and into the weeks preceding the war in Iraq, the Bush administration systematically distorted intelligence evidence and misled the public in order to turn opinion favor of "regime change" in Iraq."
AL FRANKEN ON UNCOVERED- "It's one thing for a President to lie about his sex life. It's another to lie about why we are sending our young men and women into battle."
You can find out more about the film at

DISCLAIMER! I am a tv watcher--some of my information comes from CNN--if you distrust CNN--the corporate voice--good! Be sceptical! But keep in mind that it feeds our citizens information and influences those who don't question the source. I wouldn't discount it or ignore it--if you know what you are up against, you can more easily address it!
12 01 03--from Martha :
George W. Bush
The White House, USA
I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days.
My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.
I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use.
By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam. I went AWOL but did not suffer any consequences from it.
I graduated from Yale University with a C+ average .
I was a cheerleader.
I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock at full price.
I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected Governor of Texas.
I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.
I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
I set the record for the most executions by any Governor in American history.
I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week but without a solid plan for their reconstruction.
I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.
I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history and created conditions to assure that it would continue into the next few decades.
I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.
I am the first president in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.
I set the the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one year period.
After taking-off the entire month of August, 2001, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S.history and its subsequent cover-up.
I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD.
In my State Of The Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq, then blamed the lies on our British friends.
I set the record for the most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. president.
In my first year in office over 2-million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month. I set the all-time record for the most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any president in U.S. history.
I set the record for the fewest press conferences of any president since the advent of television. I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.
I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.
I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families -- in war time.
I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people) shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind. I've broken more international treaties than any president in U.S. history.
I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
I urged passage of a Medicare bill that transferred greater power and wealth to drug companies and HMO's than ever before, at the expense of the elderly.
I am the first president in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive and unilateral attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, a majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.
I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government, which has already been misused for political purposes in Texas.
I am the first president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.
I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law. I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. prisoners of war and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention. I renamed them "enemy combatants" to deprive them of every human right agreed upon by civilized nations.
By trampling international standards of civil and human rights, I have set the example to other nations similarly inclined, made enemies where there were friends, and put our own troops in greater jeopardy if they are captured. At home, I have sullied my own favorite word: "Democracy."
I am the first president in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).
I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. history. My political party used the Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision. I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate frauds in history.
I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.
I am first president in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.
I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein to justice.
All records of my tenure as Governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed, and unavailable for public view.
All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.
Records from my father's presidency and that of Ronald Regan, as well as my own, have been, by my Executive Order, made less available for public review.
Please consider my experience when voting in 2004 - Send this to every voter you know.

George W. started his war.
I did not make it to the vigil last week. Although a person I talked to had misgivings, negative response to the vigil was no worse than usual. People gathered to make new signs to address the new situation.
My thoughts are with the group of POWs that were taken by the Iraqis because their truck made a “wrong turn.” They were with a maintenance division. I especially worry for the woman taken, 30 year old Shoshawna Johnson. She is a cook in the army. She is the single mother of a two year old girl. I guess others in her family had been military; I assume she sought the military situation to improve her future and to support her little girl. On the news, her family is quoted as saying that she loves to cook, and is a chef. In the pictures taken from the Iraqi broadcast, she looks terribly frightened.
Where are your daughters tonight, George Dubyah?

above photo--
Now, I must address this word: Freedom.
It is being tossed around like a grenade these days, being applied like a straight jacket. George Bush has a little bubble coming out the side of his apple pie-smeared mouth with this buzzword written in comic sans font. People blame anti-war protestors for abusing this "freedom" earned by our troops. As if the very day Shoshawna Johnson was captured by bullies, every American was suddenly transformed! As if Saddam challenges our freedom--he challenges our imagined autonomy and our thirst for oil.
The other day on CNN, a commentator prefaced a story on biodeisel fuel by calling it a "bizarre little story", but one on the "lighter side". Which story would be the more bizarre, sir? The question is which is more glorified; which is more commercial; which is sponsored by the fat cats?
Last night, Michael Moore won an Academy Award for his documentary, Bowling for Columbine. He received a standing ovation from the audience. Here is his acceptance speech. BTW, he was booed loudly, and when asked about the controversy later, he said--I am a citizen--that doesn't stop when I walk into [this] theatre.
Whoa. On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn and Michael Donovan from Canada, I'd like to thank the Academy for this. I have invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us, and we would like to — they're here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up. Thank you very much.

Yesterday, the wind was mighty! Colder than I remember our vigils being even when snow was on the ground.
When we arrived, we saw "Support Our Troops" signs, and wondered what to do. We left them there and augmented them with our own stating "Support Our Troops--Bring Them Home".
Two CWU students showed up with video equipment--they wanted to film us for their video class. They interviewed several people. Toward the end of our vigil, as we were playing in the drum circle, our attention was called to two American flags which were flying from the top of a crane--they were way up there against a bright blue and white and gray sky, the light showing through them ethereally as they flapped in strong winds. I had not noticed them before. The woman with the video camera came over to me and asked me to comment on the flags and what they symbolized to me. I responded that they were beautiful and looked grand there, but that unfortunately, at that moment, they had become a symbol of reprimand to me, a symbol of polarization. They were not representative of my ideas of democracy.
After 9/11, flags sprouted up everywhere; if you didn't have one, you were suspect. One woman says, "I guess they have to remind themselves what country they are in." Shades of the 3rd reich. Itentify yourself and your loyalty. Patriotism run amuck. The Reader's Digest version--short and digestible, without any time consuming and distracting details.
Then, of course, a call for war against the middle east--terrorist=anyone with roots in that part of the world--the dark-skinned foreigner. Oh--stop me before I get too wound up. WW2 was 60 years ago. Have we learned any kind of discernment about isolating the particulars of our situation? WW2 veteran--respectfully sir-- I understand that you were young then, and the country mobilized in a most stirring and infectious way behind that war (oh, those good ol' days when racial slurs were the norm, and internment of Japanese Americans was justified). I leave it to historical experts to debate our role in that war. Let me say that it is past--we face another kind of war here. The average educated citizen more fully understands the intricacies of war and commerce. We know that the prize is not this glorious "freedom" as touted, but something more tangible--in fact viscous--oil!
I remember seeing a military strategist on CNN a few weeks ago. The news commentator asked when the US would begin it’s strike against Iraq. The military man advised that “the dark of the moon” was the most strategic; that’s when the ’92 strike began. We can get in better under the cover of darkness.
In a meeting last week, a woman asked jokingly, “do we know when the war is scheduled to start?” I said, “dark of the moon; that’s what I heard.” She looked at me like I was nuts. As the new moon approaches, and coincides with Bushy’s statement of yesterday that Saddam had five days, I hope I AM nuts.
The vigil last Sunday was quiet without all the drums. Andrew and Diane had gone to Berkeley for an Animal rights conference. Oh how I envy them! They got out of town! But without the anti-war wagon there, our little gathering was somehow without our home base. Finally Birgit and her friend arrived with three drums, and Birgit held the line bravely, even playing two at once, and very effectively, at one point!
My daughter went with me for the first time.
There was a decent number of us though—several of the diehards showed up—and less of the one-timers who come and go.

This news story came from the Daily Record:
Council refuses to hear local peace activists- Anti-war resolution goes unheard.- By PAT MUIR - About 30 peace activists were stunned Tuesday when the Ellensburg City Council refused even to hear their request that the council pass a resolution protesting a possible U.S. war with Iraq. After the council voted 5-2 not to discuss the issue, the crowd dispersed to the sidewalk outside City Council chambers to discuss what had just happened. On their way out, some of the protesters said things such as "fascism in the works" and "heil Perrie," a reference to City Councilman John Perrie who had spoken against dealing with the resolution. Some said they didn't believe the council had the right to keep them from speaking. "People have enough savvy with Robert's Rules of Order that they can actually be undemocratic in a democratic country," said Andrew Cottonwood, who helped organize the peace resolution effort. George Popovic said the scene outside on the sidewalk was closer to true democracy than what was going on in the meeting. "The true city council meeting is happening in front of the building," he said. "This is how democracy works." The peace activists' resolution argued against war on humanitarian, political and economic levels. It's ridiculous to separate that from the well-being of any city, so it is relevant to Ellensburg, they said out on the sidewalk. Perrie, Howard Collins, Ed Barry, Louis Savidge and Margaret Sowards had voted against having the discussion. Nancy Lillquist and Mayor Stan Bassett voted for it. Perrie's opposition was based on the same principle the council has applied before when political candidates have wanted to speak at City Council meetings, he said. "I have a record of opposing the City Council meetings being used as a political forum," Perrie said. Collins said a woman he had spoken with referred to the possibility of the council passing an anti-war resolution as a "total waste of taxpayer money." Lillquist questioned that, saying the only cost would be the paper the resolution would have been printed on. "Obviously this is an issue that's being discussed in every forum across the country right now," she said. "I would be willing to vote for such a resolution." Bassett, who said he had seen the resolution and wasn't sure whether he would have voted for it, argued that the meeting was an appropriate venue for such a discussion. "Citizens of Ellensburg have the right to speak," he said. "They're here from both sides. Š What other avenues to people have to speak their voice." Then the council voted. Then the crowd rumbled and left. Some out on the sidewalk moments later said they had heard Barry say, "Hit the road," and had been offended. Barry denied saying, "Hit the road," and posited that perhaps some of the activists overheard a member of the audience say it. At any rate, it was a confrontational scene. Later, as the meeting continued, Savidge noted how the crowd was still out in front of the building. "Are we going to get an escort to our vehicles," he asked. "I'm serious. It seems kind of noisy out there." Ellensburg Police Chief Bob Richey said he would stick around if needed, but the crowd dispersed before the meeting's end. After the meeting, Perrie said he had heard the taunts directed at him and hoped the activists realized his stance was "nothing personal." E-mail Pat Muir at:

Today Andrew shared an incident from last week. He drives a small pickup with a NO IRAQ WAR sign mounted prominently on top. He saw two young men looking over his way with obviously negative reaction to his sign, so he opened the window and called out, "hey--what's up?" One of them said, "I'm going to Kuwait tomorrow." Andrew says he was struck by the fact of our community offering up it's youth for this folly-- right here and now-- so he answered back, "I hope you get back home safely." At that, the young man's demeanor changed, softened, and he responded, "me too." Having nothing more pertinent to add, Andrew turned and drove away.
Andrew has spoken before about such encounters and his efforts to gently and firmly separate the facts from the anger and distrust. Andrew is calm and steady, but a certain taut cord runs just below the surface. This is serious business--he's not fooling around with this-- he feels it-- but always strives for equanimity. His stated purpose is to educate. I appreciate his efforts.
At the end of the vigil, we gathered for closing announcements, remarks, etc. Andrew mentioned having a plan in the event of an outbreak of war. Most groups have a plan to meet in that case. A common plan is to gather at a federal building at, say, 5 pm. It was suggested that we go to the peace cafe, at 5 pm or 3 in the morning or whenever, and decide what to do. One fellow suggested "the Argentine way"-- it was described thus: Each person starts out from wherever they are (home), banging a pot and making as much racket as possible until everyone converges on a designated location. What would the town fathers do? The town mothers would probably get out a pot, and fall in.
It was sunny and bright at the vigil today. Even before anyone had signs out, the shout was heard from the pickup truck-- the ardent male voice, the shaken fist. It's sadly predictable and always the same. Each brazen, thoughtless curse twists my insides another notch. One woman at the vigil said that yes, it used to bother her, but not anymore.

A few of us guessed that we had around 50 folks at today's vigil. It was a good body of people, and we got a lot of positive response from drivers. Initially, while we were still back in the parking lot getting organised, some male voice shot out an expletive at top volume, but that just stiffened our resolve to get out there and do our work.
Before the vigil, three of us had met at the Methodist church to check out the facilities for the Peace Action Day gathering and march. Such a kitchen! Such a room!
We also met with Ravenwolf, who will be playing music that day. They were full of enthusiasm for the event and for the people who would be attending, and had some great ideas about getting the word out in the media and also for videotaping speakers for the Peace Cafe library or for Ellensburg Community TV. It was suggested that we call KYVE and the three network affiliate news departments in Yakima too, to see if they would want to cover it. Ravenwolf said they would be doing an interview with the new upper-county classic rock radio station, and would be promoting the event on-air. They mentioned that possibly Andrew would like to be interviewed on-air as well. Their enthusiasm was inspiring--they are compiling a special play list of songs about peace, including one that Jamie wrote during Desert Storm.
After the vigil was the showing of Robert Redford's documentary Incident at Oglalla, about the case of Native American prisoner Leonard Peltier. Djordje mentioned that overseas, Peltier was considered the most famous American political prisoner. I'm anxious to check out his prison memoirs, My Life is My Sundance and the Peter Mathiesson book on the case entitled In The Spirit of Crazyhorse. The film made me sad, and then mad.
This was the Peace Cafe's first presentation. And by the way, when I made an announcement at the close of the peace vigil that the cafe would be opening tomorrow, at least the community center aspect of it, everyone cheered.

Great turnout today at the weekly peace vigil--not sure how many folks, but obviously a lot of new faces; John came over and "counted" me, but he said that since people kept arriving, he lost count. This group seemed a lot more social than usual--maybe it was the sunny skies, maybe the recently bolstered moral due to a national and international groundswell of anti-war sentiment, at least more visible sentiment-- but everyone was in a party mode. More drums arrived, and if the sound was not beautiful, it was enthusiastic. Andrew has gotten together a huge bunch of signs displaying a multitude of slogans--something for anyone and everyone--and today materials were provided for people to make their own signs. I had made my own sign yesterday (I have to say I get a lot of personal satisfaction from these small tasks for peace) which stated "intelligent alternatives" on one side, and the simpler version, "brains not brawn", on the other. One woman saw the first and said, "intelligence? Do you think there is any intelligence at work in these matters?" Someone else said that no, there had been no intelligence in the national government since the days of FDR.
It was a much more lighthearted vigil today--I think the mood of fun and flirtation at the vigils rises the closer we get to Bushy's State of the Union speech on Tuesday (and the deployment of forces is no small element). My gut tightens just to think of it. His swagger and bravado is alarming and frightening--as one person said, he doesn't have any sons who will be drafted to pay the price for his familial vendetta...
Our regional allies suffer retaliation for our aggression and the middle classes are hit hardest by economic sanctions. This devastates the groups that would be most likely and most able to oppose oppressive governments. Our bullying only weakens the positions of our allies. The guy who drives past our peace vigil with a maniacal grin and a big ol' truck, shaking his fist and shouting "bomb 'em", needs to have these issues boiled down and made digestible. As someone said at a meeting last week: we have a supposedly "free" citizenry, but do we have an adequately educated or thoughtful citizenry?
Planning is underway for the next Peace Action Day on February 15th from 2-6 at the Methodist church. This location will be more accessible to downtown and Main St, the Safeway store, and other high traffic areas.
Lake Wobegon's got nuthin' on us, dontcha know.

Saturday brought a full house at the Martin Luther King /peace action gathering. A friend remarked how great it was to see how involved and savvy was the speaker, a young woman of 20 years old, who walked into Baghdad with aid for the women and children. The newspaper sent a cameraman, and the article reported about 100 participants in the peace march from the Episcopal church to 3rd Ave. They walked along Main St. then circled by the Safeway store. Many witnessed a good number of encouraging honks and waves, and not as many middle fingers and punctuating shakes of fists as you might expect. It was raining lightly when they left the church, and all became cold and hungry--ready to pounce on the warm cider, coffee, and potluck food table upon their return. A wonderful turnout, especially considering weather conditions.
Another such peace march/potluck is tentatively planned for February 15th. Although the Bush regime is sending our military over now, and talking tough like Mike Tyson to Saddam, we hold out hope for some intervention: divine, legislative, or populist.
At the Martin Luther King program last night at the Methodist church, a young local university woman quoted this japanese saying: "vision without action is a dream; action without vision is a nightmare."
Let our thoughts, words, visions and actions continue to promote peaceful solutions...

Yesterday there were 28 of us at the peace vigil--great!
We were all glad to report more positive feedback in the mainstream media--a woman said a poll in the local paper stated a majority was opposed to a war--I can't verify or document this claim.
There was a letter to the editor from a woman who responded positively to seeing us on the corner, saying it encouraged her to express her feelings on the subject. That's great news to us--especially to the long-haulers of the group who have received some measure of negative response through the last year.
Next week is the peace vigil at Grace Episcopal--from 1:30 to 6--potluck--peace march starts at 2--then food, entertainment and edification--a great speaker who made a peace march in the middle east!

Today there were 17 of us at the peace vigil off Main St. We hold signs promoting peace--there are quite a variety--several red/white/blue "NO IRAQ WAR" signs, a sign questioning the current county jail enlargement proposal, a quaker's peace banner, a small handwritten sign stating "wage peace", and others, including my little hand made sign. Several people told me it looked like a throwback to the sixties. I made it of construction paper--red white and blue--a flag design stating "peace" on one side and a circle/slash over "war" on the other.
This small act feels good--we gather on Sunday afternoons to bring the issue to the awareness of passersby. Today they were pretty quiet and non-committal--we have seen plenty of honking, waving, along with shaking of fists and yelling. One guy said, "why don't you fuckin' hippies go back to Seattle?!" Everybody laughed. Mary watched the car as it disappeared down the road, a puzzled expression on her face, then said good-naturedly, "whaddya mean? We have fuckin' hippies in Ellensburg too!"
One woman brought her young son, who spent the hour throwing and dodging snowballs. My friend went along with me today for the first time. We ended the hour with a group photo (above).
I needed a religion. This one resonates with meaning as no other has.


The following pics were taken on a foggy day early in January... Hopefully, more will be added.

drumming keeps things lively

Marymakins makes an announcement

diane works with the campus progessive student union
andrew works tirelessly

these photos of the Peace Cafe were taken from the Yakima Herald

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