The Lady Speaks

Friday Anti-War Song — Chris Chandler Edition

This is the Chris Chander/David Roe song I mentioned in a comment on the previous post. Imagine my joy when I found it on YouTube, and although the video is one created by the uploader, not the one Chris uses, it’s still fantastic.

I’ve seen Chris and DR live twice now, and each time was fabulous. They played both times at this little hole-in-the-wall coffeehouse that seats maybe 30…40 if a few people double up. The crowds were huge both times, with people standing 4 deep outside just to see and hear the show.

Although Dave isn’t touring with Chris anymore, definitely take the time to catch the show if Chris comes to your area! It’s a fantastic combo of music, spoken word, and visual images.

Somethings in the Air/But It’s Not on the Airwaves, from American Storyteller Volumes 1 & 2:

Visit Chris’ website.

December 7, 2007 Posted by | America, Bush, Music, Pentagon, Politics, Protest, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

Friday Anti-War Song

Blowin’ in the Wind
– Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ‘n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

November 9, 2007 Posted by | America, Government, Iraq, Middle East, Music, Pentagon, Protest, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | 1 Comment

Friday Anti-War Song

It’s very simple to understand now. Children of lower-income families whose parents can’t afford insurance for them are not important to Republicans or to the White House. It’s okay to ask for $190 billion to continue a lost cause, but it is not okay to ask for $35 billion over 5 years in order to provide healthcare to children.

It’s okay for a Republican to stand up and deride “socialized medicine” and “government healthcare” while they and their families receive free, taxpayer-funded, government healthcare, but it is not okay to ensure millions of children have access to preventive care and early intervention services.

We learned something about the Republican Party, thanks to the furor over SCHIP:

War = good. Providing lower-income kids with access to healthcare = bad.

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Ca) expressed it well:

Woot. Go Pete!!

Now, maybe you’re wondering what SCHIP has to do with the Friday Anti-War Song. Or maybe you’re a smart, involved, Democratic voter, and you already know. But I’ll lay it out anyway:

40 Days’ Worth of Funding for the Iraq War Would Pay
for Health Insurance for 10 Million American Children.

And, with that, here’s today’s song, from New Songs for Peace:

How Long?

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

We drop our bombs we let them go
They fall on people we don’t know
So will we reap just what we sow and too will grieve

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

We cause our terror in the night
To make it easier to fight
I hope our research is all right
How will we know if it ever is

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

How long will children have to wait
‘Til we stop teaching how to hate
How soon we learn we demonstrate what we believe

Written by Martin Thomas & Art Goodtimes
Performed by Joey Lindly

October 19, 2007 Posted by | America, Children, Congress, Family, Government, Human Rights, Music, Politics, Protest, SCHIP, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | 5 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song

Technically, this isn’t an anti-war song, but since I woke up this morning, this song’s been running through my head. I think it’s especially appropriate considering the confluence of Peace Day, the Iraq Moratorium, and the protests supporting the Jena 6.

Man In Black
Johnny Cash

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there’s a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he’s a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you’d think He’s talking straight to you and me.

Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought ‘a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin’ for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believin’ that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believin’ that we all were on their side.

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin’ everywhere you go,
But ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You’ll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything’s OK,
But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black

September 21, 2007 Posted by | America, Music, Protest, Uncategorized, World Peace | Leave a comment

Black Armbands on Friday

From Meteor Blades:

Come September 21, tens of thousands of people, perhaps hundreds of thousands, will participate in the first Iraq Moratorium, a national day of locally organized opposition to the disastrous war and occupation of Iraq.

[snip]

The Iraq Moratorium is modeled on the Vietnam Moratorium of October 15, 1969, when individuals in small groups and large, in cities small and large, joined millions of their fellow Americans across the nation to challenge a government policy of lies and delusion that had brought devastation and slaughter to Southeast Asia and the greatest turmoil at home since the Civil War.

[snip]

If you do nothing else, wear a black armband to school, to work, to Disneyland, to wherever you go Friday as silent testimony to your opposition to the war and occupation, to your mourning of its consequences and to your determination to help end it. If you’ve got time, you could print a word or a few on it: Withdraw Now. End the War Now. Or some such.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a teacher, a paralegal, a student, a doctor, a factory worker, a retail clerk, an IT technician, or a homemaker, your armband will be noticed, and it can spark conversations with people who may never have thought about the war and occupation as much as you have, who may already be against the war but not know how to express their opposition. With this in mind, you might carry a couple of extra armbands with you wherever you go. [all emphasis MB]

From Natasha:

Meteor Blades asks people to wear black armbands Friday, wherever they are, to protest the war.

Barry Leiba, who provided sorely needed conversation during the march last weekend, suggests a rolling protest. This would consist of calling and then visiting your congressperson’s office with a short, prepared set of limited talking points and speaking with either your representative or a staffer.

[snip]

Tell them that the Iraq war is an emergency. That getting out of it is a high priority. And if you remember, tell them to do everything in their power to keep us from getting into yet another war in Iran.

From Iraq Moratorium:

The slow-motion train wreck that is the occupation of Iraq grows daily more of a nightmare. In 2006 America voted to bring it to an end. But our politicians have failed to grasp the strain on our military and the depth to which America’s influence in the world has fallen. We must force them and our media to recognize just how angry America is, and how massive the anti-war sentiment in this country has become.

It’s time for the Iraq Moratorium.

The Iraq Moratorium will be an escalating monthly series of actions demanding an end to the war. Starting on Friday, September 21 and on the third Friday of every month thereafter, we will take the time to show our President and Congress that our troops must be brought home, now! [...]

[snip]

With the first Moratorium Day just two days away, interest is swelling. Every day, hundreds more people sign the pledge–look for friends and notable names by clicking the link under the thumbnail photo of an IM endorser, top right. See who’s just come on board, look through the names alphabetically, or arrange them in zip order to see who else from your community has signed on!

Sign up, spread the word, and help end the war!

September 19, 2007 Posted by | America, Government, Iraq, Protest, War, World Peace | 2 Comments

A Prayer for Forgiveness

RevDeb posted this in the comments at Firedoglake yesterday today.

There’s a responsive reading taken from the Reform High Holiday prayer book Gates of Repentance written over 30 years ago. It pains me that it was so prescient:

We sin against You when we sin against ourselves.

For our failures of truth, Divine Spirit, we ask forgiveness.

For passing judgment without knowledge of the facts,
and for distorting facts to fit our theories.

For deceiving ourselves and others with half-truths,
and for pretending to emotions we don’t feel.

For using the sins of others to excuse our own,
and for denying responsibility for our own misfortunes.

For condemning in our children the faults we tolerate in ourselves,
and for condemning in our parents the faults we tolerate in ourselves.

We sin against You when we sin against ourselves.

For our failures of justice, Divine Spirit, we ask forgiveness.

For keeping the poor in chains of poverty,
and turning a deaf ear to the cry of the oppressed.

For using violence to maintain our power,
and for using violence to bring about change.

For waging aggressive war,
and for the sin of appeasing aggressors.

For obeying criminal orders,
and for the sin of silence and indifference.

For poisoning the air, and polluting land and sea,
and for all the evil means we employ to accomplish good ends.

We sin against You when we sin against ourselves.

For our failures of love, Divine Spirit, we ask forgiveness.

For confusing love with lust,
and for pursuing fleeting pleasure at the cost of lasting hurt.

For using others as a means to gratify our desires,
and as stepping-stones to further our ambitions.

For withholding love to control those we claim to love,
and shunting aside those whose youth or age disturbs us.

For hiding from others behind an armor of mistrust,
and for the cynicism which leads us to mistrust the reality of unselfish love.

Teach us to forgive ourselves for all these sins, Divine Spirit of forgiveness, and help us to overcome them.

(RevDeb’s emphasis)

September 15, 2007 Posted by | America, Government, Prayer, Protest, Religion, War, White House, World Peace | Leave a comment

Friday Anti-War Song

LIVES IN THE BALANCE
— Jackson Brown

I’ve been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the crowd in my ear

You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you’ve seen it before
Where a government lies to a people
And a country is drifting to war

And there’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places
Where their business interest runs

On the radio talk shows and the T.V.
You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend

But who are the ones that we call our friends–
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can’t take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone

There are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire
There’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can’t even say the names

They sell us the President the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars

I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die

And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire

September 14, 2007 Posted by | America, Government, Music, Politics, Protest, War, World Peace | 2 Comments

Cindy Sheehan Leaves the Peace Movement

From Cindy’s diary at DailyKos:

“Good Riddance Attention Whore”

I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called “Face” of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such “liberal blogs” as the Democratic Underground. Being called an “attention whore” and being told “good riddance” are some of the more milder rebukes.

I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a “tool” of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our “two-party” system?

However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of “right or left”, but “right and wrong.”

[snip]

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

As I commented on Counting the Cost, I do not believe Casey died in vain or that Cindy failed.

If the reason behind Casey Sheehan’s death in Iraq was nothing more than to act as a spur, so that his mother and others would fight for peace, then he did not die in vain.

And Cindy most assuredly did not fail. At a time when Bush had decent approval ratings and his war was thought to be a good thing, though maybe it wasn’t going so well, Cindy called on him and on America to tell her why her child and other children – Iraqi and American – had died. There were no WMDs, there were no ties to 9/11, there was no reason for American troops to be fighting and dying on Iraqi soil.

Through her steadfast determination to stop this war, to stop the killing, to stop the endless quest for power and oil, she created a movement that will continue until all our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers are brought home. Every last one.

If anything, it is our country that failed. It is us who have failed.

Seventy percent of us might oppose this war, but not all of us have done more than register our disapproval. We failed to stand up, and we continue to do so. Until and unless we all – all of the 70% – join together, to write and call our CongressCritters, to join protests in our hometowns and on the National Mall, to insist our supposedly Democratic-controlled Congress does the will of the people, then nothing will change.

Cindy, I can only say “Thank you.” For teaching us to stand up, even when the polls and the pundits said you shouldn’t. For inspiring us, even when the media excoriated and abused you. For continuing, even in the face of hateful attacks by your fellow citizens.

I truly believe that when the time comes for you to join Casey in the life hereafter, he will greet you with a hug and the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

May 29, 2007 Posted by | America, Politics, Protest, War, Women, World Peace | 2 Comments

Jenn’s Sunday Sermon – Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day.

Julia Ward Howe (1819 – 1910) is best known as the poet-author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” which was published in the Atlantic Monthly, and later set to music to become the most well-known song of the Civil War.

She was an active campaigner against slavery and war and for the women’s right to vote. In 1868, she founded the New England Women’s Suffrage Association. A year later, she and Lucy Stone founded the American Woman Suffrage Association.

Her “Mother’s Day Proclamation” is as important today as it was at its writing, 137 years ago:

Mother’s Day Proclamation
1870

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,

Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace

-- Julia Ward Howe

* *

To my mother:

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I began to appreciate what you’d done and endured in raising five kids. Whether it was fishing MatchBox cars out of the backed-up toilet or taking a daredevil bike rider to the emergency room or trying to wrangle three kids into clean clothes in time for school, you were there to assure me that “They really do grow out of it.”

It wasn’t until Miss M. became a teenager that I began to feel sorry for having been a whiny, rebellious, know-it-all, convinced of her own ability to direct her life and find the happy ending. I’m lucky you let me live. Which is why, as I’ve dealt with hormonal mood swings and slamming doors and screams of “I hate you!” I’m so grateful you’ve been there to assure me that “They really do grow out of it.”

It wasn’t until RC turned 18 that I realized a mother’s worries don’t end with adulthood, they just become more complicated, and that you have to stand back, bite your tongue and keep yourself from interfering while they work it out.

It wasn’t until PK moved to his dad’s that I realized how hard it must have been for you to let me marry and move to Arizona. And how, sometimes, doing the right thing and letting them go is the hardest thing of all.

I’ve always known you loved me, but it took having children of my own to teach me just how much.

Thank you, for all you do and all you’ve done.

Love you muchly,

Me

* *

This poem never fails to make me cry. I wish I knew who wrote it, but not even the great and mighty Google could help me find the author.

This is for mothers of the flesh and mothers of the heart; for married mothers and single mothers, for fathers doing their best to raise their children alone; for foster parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, relatives of every stripe who have stepped in to help raise a child, for whatever reason.

For mothers in war-torn lands, and mothers living in peaceful ones trying to stop the carnage.

For all of us:

This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, “It’s OK honey, Mommy’s here.” when they keep crying and won’t stop.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON’T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at football or soccer games Friday night instead of watching from cars,so that when their kids asked, “Did you see me?” they could say, “Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet like a tired 2-year old who wants ice cream before dinner.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to but just couldn’t. For all the mothers who read “Goodnight, Moon” twice a night for a year, and then read it again. “Just one more time.”

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls ” Mom ?” in a crowd, even though they know their own off spring are at home.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they’d be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can’t find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips sometimes until they bleed–when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

For all the mothers of the victims of all these school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school safely.

This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children’s graves.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation.

And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all. So hang in there.

— Unknown

* *

Whether a grown man or a toddler, a high school senior or a preteen girl – there are mothers everywhere who would give anything for one last hug, one last kiss, one last whispered “I love you.”

Take the time to be grateful if you are not among them.

May 12, 2007 Posted by | America, Mom, Women, World Peace | 3 Comments

Friday Anti-War Song

YOUR FLAG DECAL WON’T GET YOU INTO HEAVEN ANYMORE
– John Prine

While digesting Reader’s Digest
In the back of a dirty book store,
A plastic flag, with gum on the back,
Fell out on the floor.
Well, I picked it up and I ran outside
Slapped it on my window shield,
And if I could see old Betsy Ross
I’d tell her how good I feel.

But your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.
They’re already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don’t like killin’
No matter what the reason’s for,
And your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.

Well, I went to the bank this morning
And the cashier he said to me,
“If you join the Christmas club
We’ll give you ten of them flags for free.”
Well, I didn’t mess around a bit
I took him up on what he said.
And I stuck them stickers all over my car
And one on my wife’s forehead.

But your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.
They’re already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don’t like killin’
No matter what the reason’s for,
And your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.

Well, I got my window shield so filled
With flags I couldn’t see.
So, I ran the car upside a curb
And right into a tree.
By the time they got a doctor down
I was already dead.
And I’ll never understand why the man
Standing in the Pearly Gates said…

“But your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.
We’re already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don’t like killin’
No matter what the reason’s for,
And your flag decal won’t get you
Into Heaven any more.”

May 11, 2007 Posted by | America, Music, Politics, Protest, US Military, War, White House, World Peace | 3 Comments

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