Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Friday, July 4th, is "National Dennis Kucinich Day." How Will You Celebrate?

It's seems only appropriate that The Canary Papers -- a small blog that largely goes unread -- should be the ones to unveil a day honoring Dennis Kucinich, a man of small build, who largely goes unheard.

Small of build, yes, but a giant among men, Dennis Kucinich may very well be the greatest American patriot alive today. Yet, he is all but ignored by the media. He is ignored, not despite, but because he works tirelessly on issues of actual importance to Americans. Issues that involve real change -- the kind that will actually improve and protect the lives of living, breathing Americans; Issues that are nearly all shelved because the change they call for involves stepping on the toes of big corporations, and the toes of the politicians funded by big corporations, not to mention the toes of two of the world's most dangerous men: Bush & Cheney.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Our media, under the heavy influence of our corporate-funded politicians, turns a deaf ear on Dennis Kucinich. And on those rare occasions when the media are not ignoring him, it is only to discredit him or dismiss the importance of his work, usually by painting him as tiny, insubstantial piece of fringe from the tin-foil hat conspiracy theorist gang. Or to insult his height. Or, by comparison, his wife's height. Only by looking at the body of his work (a tiny portion of which is outlined below) will you get a true sense of his largeness.

THE WAR IN IRAN: Offering little more than a cursory glance at the facts, our media has been a willing mouthpiece for the Bush-Cheney propaganda campaign over the past several years, waged to gain approval for war in Iran. Of particular note in this potential war: Bush has stated that he's not ruled out bombing Iran's nuclear power & research facilities. This could release nuclear fallout of catastrophic proportions, killing millions of people, possibly affecting worldwide populations. Those who know the facts know that this war is not only avoidable and unnecessary, it carries the real potential of becoming World War III. Kucinich has been very vocal on this and active in efforts to stop the war in Iran before it starts, including work to educate the public on the facts, and to pass legislation urging diplomacy, not war. In January 2008, he cosponsored H.R. 5056, the Iran Diplomatic Accountability Act of 2008, which is also supported by the supported the Physicians for Social Responsibility . Without the benefit of a truthful media, it has been a difficult task to any individual or group to offset the Bush-Cheney propaganda. Physicians for Social Responsibility has worked hard to educate the world on the consequences of such a war, and has been urging and petitioning our leaders to pursue resolution through diplomacy, not bombs. Others -- from Wes Clark to have waged similar efforts. See their petitions near the top, right, of this blog page. (You can also read more on the Iran War efforts in my June 28 post)

HEALTH CARE: The only presidential candidate to support true universal health care, Dennis Kucinich has twice co-sponsored H.R. 676, the only true universal health care plan that has ever been put before Congress. Introduced before both the 109th and 110th Congress, in 2005 and 2007, the bill has been slow to gain cosponsors on Capitol Hill. Why are so many in Congress hesitant to support this plan? Look again to corporate influence, as H.R. 676 doesn't stand to line the pockets of the insurance industry, which has grown to be little more than a profit-greedy middle-man, antagonistic to providing needed health care. Instead, H.R. 676 seeks to provide universal, quality health care for all Americans, bar none. This plan would grant Americans the same quality of health care enjoyed by other developed countries in the world, who have -- unlike our government -- put the health and well-being of their citizens above corporate interests and, yes, without losing their shirts.

IMPEACHMENT OF DICK CHENEY: In April 2007, Kucinich proposed H.R. 333, the articles of impeachment for Cheney. Why wouldn't our Congress support impeachment of Cheney? Pelosi opposed impeachment, as it might be "divisive and likely unsuccessful." What she didn't mention are the corporate donors who profit from Cheney's wars and other deals, and who would pull the plug on campaign funds to any politician who voted to unthrone Cheney, who is said by some to be the most powerful man in the world. Dennis Kucinich -- unphased by the political repurcussions to himself -- has worked long and hard and almost single-handedly, like David to Goliath, toward bringing justice to this war criminal. Guilty of treason and multiple crimes against humanity, Cheney was the primary planner of the illegal war for oil in Iraq, responsible for the deaths of 4100 American citizens, nearly 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens, and maiming of millions upon millions of both American and Iraqi citizens.

IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: The articles to impeach Bush, introduced by Kucinich one month ago, in June 2008, were also shelved, with Pelosi's opposition the same as she gave on Cheney. Our president -- although little more than a hapless hand puppet to Cheney -- is also guilt of crimes against humanity, treason and war crimes.

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Zeus and I often ponder this question, in so many words, when considering the battles betwen right and might, as they are waged by mere mortals, such as Dennis Kucinich, against truly evil empires, such as that of Bush-Cheney.

Make no mistake: It's no accident that Dennis Kucinich has been portrayed by our media as a kook. Few politicians have the shown the courage to buck the coercive influences of our broken political system to endorse and support Kucinich's work. But, the fact is: You will find few experts in any field -- scientists, politicians, diplomats, activists, policy makers -- who stand firmly on the the moral, ethical right side of any issue, who do not also hold Kucinich in the highest esteem.

Which brings us back to National Dennis Kucinich Day. How will you celebrate it?

You could spend 20 or so minutes signing the various petitions linked-to on this page to stop the war in Iran before it starts. Or you can spend some time giving your voice to whatever issues concern you. Or not, as is also your right. But please know that, in the absence of your voice, there are powerful voices out there, already speaking on your behalf, who are not acting in the best interest of this country, or you, or your children or grandchildren. Which leaves an awesome job for men, such as Dennis Kucinich, who do speak for your better interests.

Zeus and I, we keep up with the issues and speak out as much as possible. We realize, of course, that we'll likely be the only ones celebrating National Dennis Kucinich Day on July 4th, since were the ones who invented it, and no one ever reads our blog. Still. As the last sparks from the last Roman candle flicker out, we'll honor Dennis Kucinich by making a wish for our country, the same way we do when we blow out the candles on our birthday cakes.

While it seems, at times, that we, as a country, have little more than a wing and a prayer to work with, we are grateful for this small-built man, named Dennis Kucinich, whose work to restore our country and our Constitution places him shoulder to shoulder with the great men who originally founded this country with a vision toward freedom from oppression.



Interview with Congressman Dennis Kucinich by Hooshang Amirahmadi
Rep. Dennis Kucinich Tackles Healthcare

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Psst.... Whatever You Do, Don't Look at the Big Fat Stinking Elephants in the Room

By any standard, Obama's June 30th speech was an act of patriotism...

And his choice to deliver the speech from Harry Truman's hometown of Independence, Missouri was apropos, given the historic parallels of our times: Anti-terrorism is the new McCarthyism, decribed nearly 60 years ago by Harry Truman as, "The use of the big lie and the unfounded accusation against any citizen in the name of Americanism or security. It is the rise to power of the demagogue who lives on untruth; it is the spreading of fear and the destruction of faith in every level of society."

It was perhaps no accident, then, that the message echoed throughout Obama's speech mirrored the wisdom of Edward R. Murrow, who spoke against McCarthyism and the complicity of the media when he said, fifty years ago, "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it."

If you heard Obama's speech and did not hear a call to dissent against a regime that has robbed our country -- not only of its foundation, but of its voice -- then you weren't listening:

Now, we may hope that our leaders and our government stand up for our ideals, stand up for what's right, and there are many times in our history when that's occurred. But when our laws, when our leaders or our government are out of alignment with those ideals, then the dissent of ordinary Americans may prove to be one of the truest expressions of patriotism.


Recognizing a wrong being committed in this country's name, insisting that we deliver on the promise of our Constitution, these are the acts of patriots, men and women who are defending what is best in America. And we should never forget that, especially when we disagree with them, especially when they make us uncomfortable with their words.

It is no surprise that the media have downplayed the importance of this speech.

Aside from being a historic speech, seeded with courageous truths pertinent to these very times, this speech served as a notice to us all that Obama indeed *gets it* -- that there is more to patriotism than wallpapering your car with flag bumper stickers, or wearing a flag pin, or standing by your president, no matter what, even when your president happens to be a war criminal. Obama gets it. And you don't have to read between the lines to understand that he shares our frustration in having our voices silenced for the past 7 years, by a complicitious media, controlled by a government that labels dissenters as unpatriotic or as conspiracy theorists.

So it was also no surprise yesterday when, at the conclusion of Obama's speech -- before he'd scarcely had time to clear his throat -- the mainstream media abruptly flashed to footage of the Wes Clark/John McCain fracas, revolving around, what? Patriotism. Wouldn't be prudent, after all, to leave the people reflecting overlong on a speech, that urged them to own the truth: dissent is not unpatriotic.

Divide and conquer is the order of the day and has been since 9-11, when dissenters of Bush-Cheney policies began being painted with the "terrorist-brush." Even now, our allies, such as Germany, are blackmailed with the terrorist paint brush, as the Bush regime has coerced them with this choice: join our war efforts against Iran or risk being seen as a terrorist appeaser.

This is, of course, the elephant in the room: the upcoming Iran War, aka World War III, designed and implemented by two of the biggest, stinkiest elephants ever to darken America's doorstep -- Bush & Cheney, terrorists at large.

In the coming days, as we witness the fruition of the propaganda campaign leading up to the "unavoidable" war in Iran, we should each be asking ourselves: "Am I a patriotic dissenter, or a terrorist appeaser?"

(see video of Obama's full speech on patriotism at the bottom of this page)
Links to petitions to STOP THE WAR IN IRAN can be found on the links, page right.
The full transcripts of Obama's speech can be found at the The New York Times:

Monday, June 30, 2008

NPR Interview with Seymour Hersh: Covert Operations in Iran

We've heard several interviews this week with Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh. This NPR Fresh Air interview is by far the most comprehensive we've heard to date. It's 45 minutes long and is worth every second of your time, if you value knowing the facts. The facts here pertain to the U.S.- Bush-Cheney covert actions in Iran -- past and present -- including the military and congressional actions that appear to be paving the way to war in Iran.

NPR Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross and Seymour Hersh: