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“If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation, we put them on the cover of Fortune magazine and pretend that they are role models.”
-– B. Lester

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 My Story: I Hereby Resign in Protest Effective Immediately

War Newsby Brandon Toy

I hereby resign in protest effective immediately.

I have served the post-911 Military Industrial complex for 10 years, first as a soldier in Baghdad, and now as a defense contractor.

At the time of my enlistment, I believed in the cause. I was ignorant, naïve, and misled. The narrative, professed by the state, and echoed by the mainstream press, has proven false and criminal. We have become what I thought we were fighting against.

Recent revelations by fearless journalists of war crimes including counterinsurgency “dirty” wars, drone terrorism, the suspension of due process, torture, mass surveillance, and widespread regulatory capture have shed light on the true nature of the current US Government. I encourage you to read more about these topics at the links I have provided below.

Some will say that I am being irresponsible, impractical, and irrational. Others will insist that I am crazy. I have come to believe that the true insanity is doing nothing. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, July 22 @ 20:33:05 EDT (804 reads)
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 My Story: Robert Skold, Bob, Bobby, Frog Daddy, Shabby


Robert Skold, Bob, Bobby, Frog Daddy, Shabby

11/28/52 - 12/16/2012

We celebrated his life on 12/22/12, this is how we knew him:

Artist, Sage, Musician, Chef, Dad, Lover, Friend, Heart-warming, Renaissance Man, Wonderful Whacko, Worked for Peace & Justice, Individual, Humorous/Humor-loving, Easy to talk to, Easy going, Thoughtful, Kind, Trusting Friend, Peaceful Soul, Talented, A Character, Radio Voice, Interesting/Interested, Soft Spoken, Always a Teacher, Imparted Life Advice... and so much more. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, December 26 @ 18:23:41 EST (1077 reads)
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 My Story: For The Least Of These My Sisters And Brothers

SpiritualityBy Howard Bess

I am writing this column on Tuesday evening. Tuesday is a very special day of the week. Every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. I arrive at Daybreak Apartments, a 20 unit housing complex built for the benefit of persons who suffer from long-term mental illnesses. I always have in hand a large box of pastries that I have purchased at a local bakery. By the time I can get to a seat at the large table in the complex dayroom, a dear friend has poured me a cup of fresh coffee along with a cup of water. The cup of water is her way of saying that her friend should not drink a second cup of coffee. She is certain that too much coffee is not good for anyone.

About three quarters of the tenants visit the dayroom on Tuesday mornings. Some stay for an hour and a half. Others pass through, grab a pastry and disappear out the door. Each has a story that would make a chapter in a great book about the people of Daybreak Apartments. Many of my favorite people live in that attractive building on Hemmer Road.

I have had a long-time interest in people will mental illnesses. I cannot say when it first began, but it became very real over 50 years ago when my younger sister was struck down with a schizophrenic episode. At the time, she was in her mid-twenties, was married and had four young children. Psychiatrists did not understand the disease and the treatments were primitive to say the least. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, October 07 @ 19:10:49 EDT (902 reads)
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 My Story: Twenty Names

History / Culture
Excerpted from Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life

by Michael Moore

"Moore, YOUR SHIRTTAIL is out!"

It was the voice of Mr. Ryan, the assistant principal for discipline at my high school, and he was right on my back. Not figuratively. He was literally on it.

"Turn around!"

I did as I was told.

"You know the rules. Shirts are to be tucked in."

I tucked it in.

"Bend over."

He was carrying "The Paddle," a shortened version of a cricket bat, but with holes drilled in it to get maximum velocity. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, June 12 @ 19:47:02 EDT (1768 reads)
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 My Story: Peace Group Attacked, 80 y.o. Assaulted

Vermontby Sherlyn Meinz

Springfield, VT I arrived this morning at our usual time and place in downtown Springfield - the corner near the movie theater. We have been standing out for well over a decade, protesting war, asking for peace, and last year joyfully adding 99% signs. I honked as usual, as I approached, though something looked strange. There was a truck pulled over blocking the corner, and Norman, 65, was picking up our signs out of the road. There was a large man looming over 80 y.o. Jane looking angry. As I got out of my car, in the parking lot behind where we stand, tying on my "peace apron"... I realized there was trouble.

The large burly stranger was yelling at Jane, her ankle was bleeding and leg scraped. Norman was angry, and rapidly getting angrier, saying the man had just knocked Jane to the ground. I approached them, asking loudly what was going on. Jane was trying to placate the man, who was mumbling "It ain't right, it just ain't right". I replied "No, throwing an 80 year old woman to the ground, is certainly not all right. What the hell is the matter with you?" I told him that he'd better leave because I was calling the police. Naturally I'd forgotten my cell phone (rather a lot going on of late.) ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, May 26 @ 23:21:32 EDT (709 reads)
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 My Story: Luck Matters

OpinionBy Betsy Malcolm

In their unbending opposition to raising a penny more in taxes from even the wealthiest Americans — even in the midst of a government debt crisis and shrinking public budgets — extremist politicians paint all rich people as self-made, entrepreneurial "job creators." If we ask any more in taxes from such paragons of industry, they argue, we'll not only crimp the economy, but perversely "punish success."

I was born into an affluent family and lived in a good neighborhood, and so received a top-notch public education. I went to one of America's great public universities, the University of California, Berkeley, emerging debt-free. Later, I inherited money and married a man with a high-paying profession.

It's true that I've appreciated the opportunities afforded me and made responsible choices. But personal effort, choice, and virtue played no role in creating the opportunities. They were just handed to me, by good luck.

That's why I support higher taxes for me and for people like me....

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, November 18 @ 19:49:57 EST (504 reads)
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 My Story: Getting Better NOW

Opinionby: Eric Poole, Truthout | Op-Ed

Yeah, it gets better.

But what about when some armored tank with ears is escorting you, face first, into your locker or a ditch? Or some charm-challenged cheerleader who can barely spell D-E-F-E-N-S-E goes on the offense on Facebook? Is it really a crapload of comfort to have people tell you that, as ADULTS, their lives got better?

Oh, it's absolutely true - once you get out of high school, or in some cases college, things just about always turn around. In fact, most bullies, once they grow up, end up realizing what jagholes they were (or they score a mug shot for selling meth from an ice cream truck, but at that point it's pretty clear which of you is the winner here).

But a few years from now is like a freaking lifetime, right?

Before it gets better, you've gotta live through this year. This month. This. Rotten. Day. And I'm guessing you're more concerned about how you can handle your life RIGHT NOW. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, June 30 @ 21:29:24 EDT (793 reads)
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 My Story: World War II's Invisible Wounds

History / Culture
Mythologizing and romanticizing World War II ignores its complex legacy.

By Carol Schultz Vento

World War II: the good and righteous war. We still celebrate in the 21st century the heroic success of the 16.2 million who fought in the last uncomplicated conflict.

My dad, Arthur "Dutch" Schultz, a paratrooper with the elite 82nd Airborne Division, was plucked from obscurity after the war and achieved a certain amount of fame in movies, books, and television for his participation in historic events, including D-Day, Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge. My step-dad, a seaman, remained one of the unrecognized millions who also answered their country's call by serving on a Navy cruiser in the Pacific.

Mythologizing and romanticizing World War II ignores its complex legacy. Postwar, my two fathers walked starkly different paths. Tragedy and trauma haunted one, while the war was a springboard for the achievements of the other. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, April 14 @ 22:58:42 EDT (712 reads)
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 My Story: Creativity Streams

Artby Jeff Bourbeau

Staring at walls, baring it all
before women and them who He says are his friends,
He lays awake paralyzed by desire,
a dreamless world of wanting eyes and worthless “mys”,
such ugly possession by everyone claimed by consumer obsession,
stealing hearts and laying waste to several parts of earth.
He's no different, his desires don't matter,
but he's constantly working to get what he wants,
he's constantly fighting against himself.
And he's constantly crying for someone help.

He just can't clean the sludge of the jack-shit every-day drudge.
The window to his world, it is wicked with sweat-wet fog,
snowballing gravity of entropy clawing at matter,
his cells slowing down, should anything matter?
and worse, the monotony he works himself autonomously into
shovels deep a trench in which to bury the rot
of his wounded legs and cemented heart. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, April 07 @ 19:38:34 EDT (1050 reads)
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 My Story: A Healing Experience: A Man and the Sun

Opinionby: David Lindorff, Sr.

Seated one day at the organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys.
I know not what I was playing
Or what I was dreaming then,
But I struck one chord of music
Like the sound of a great Amen.

--Arthur Sullivan & Adelaide Ann Proctor

Seated one day by the window, I was “weary and ill at ease,” as I contemplated the frozen ground covered with snow. It was a murky day, with the sunlight painfully missing. In this desultory state I contemplated the absent image of the sun.

From my boyhood I knew the sun was ninety-three million miles away, and that it took its rays eight minutes to reach the earth. I also knew it furnished the energy to support life. But there is more to the story. Gazing at the stark wintery landscape outside, I reviewed what I knew about this nearest star. I have learned its awesome heat results from atomic fusion, and that it has fuel sufficient to last billions more years. What we see as light is derived from just a miniscule fraction of the energy constantly bombarding the earth. The sun’s radiant energy contains an enourmous range of frequencies, from mere thousands to trillions of cycles per second. This radiation includes ultraviolet and infra-red light, X-rays, and gamma rays.

Basically the sun’s electromagnetic radiation is invisible. The narrow band of frequencies that we “see” as the color spectrum is an illusion, produced by our brain. It turns out the world we see around us, including color, is a creation of our own making. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, March 07 @ 17:14:48 EST (641 reads)
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 My Story: Egypt and the Path of Peace

History / CultureBy Howard Bess

The past two weeks have been mind boggling. The uprising in Egypt has to be added to the truly world changing events that I have witnessed in my life. Up until now I have lived through what I would call “the big three.” World War II, the American civil rights movement, and the Viet Nam War. There have certainly been other important events, but each of the three that I have named were world changers that have left an indelible stamp on my mind, heart and soul.

And now Egypt. What I have been observing is the overthrowing of the unjust government of a significant and important nation. Military might was overthrown without the use of military might. How the next chapters of the story will be written, I do not know. However, I have witnessed the successful overturning of an unjust regime by peaceful means. It gave me hope that the better way can actually succeed.

World War II was my first workshop in understanding conflict. Identifying the enemies was easy. Germany and Japan were evil empires that had to be destroyed. It was the ultimate just war. The lives taken from our enemies were not mourned and the lost lives of Americans and its allies were justified because victory would lead to a more just world. It seemed to me that World War II fit every criteria for just war theorists.

Following the war under the Marshall plan, the United States rebuilt its enemies. Our former enemies became our friends and partners. It reinforced my belief that war can produce a just outcome and contribute to a better world.

However, if this were true, why do we keep finding more wars to fight? Something was wrong with just war theory. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, February 22 @ 21:59:15 EST (673 reads)
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 My Story: DRONES

War NewsFrom: Jane Newton

To the Editor,

Looking back over almost 20 years of letter writing, and now, unable to think about anything except our newest, nifty way of killing people with drones named “Predator” and “Reaper”, carrying bombs called “Hellfire missiles”, that can, if need be, carry nuclear weapons, (and surely contain that silent and most deadly material of all, “depleted” uranium), all controlled by what could be called children by old people like me, using computer games someplace in Nevada, it's not easy to find any of the hope I had in 1990, when even then there wasn't much at all......Not only that, since President Obama joined us, these Drones have become a weapon of choice, the production and the use of which has increased by about 50%, giving the entire scene something that simply can't be real and must have been stolen from the world of science fiction. Maybe all those dead blackbirds falling from the sky are trying to tell us something unspeakably sorrowful about the world. Like them, I don't have the words any more.

Perhaps I've just worn the words out that one needs when bogged down with sorrow over the world that we are, (or perhaps are not), leaving our children...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, January 07 @ 12:24:51 EST (667 reads)
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 My Story: My Father at Nagasaki (Sept. 1945)

History / Culture
By Francis A. Boyle

Instead of being among the first U.S. troops ashore to invade mainland Japan, my Father was among the first U.S. troops ashore to occupy mainland Japan. According to his Marine Corps records, my Father “arrived [by ship] and disembarked at Nagasaki, Kyushu, Japan” on September 24, 1945 -- just after that City and its civilian inhabitants had been obliterated by an atomic bomb on August 9, 1945. It must have been an horrific sight for a young man from the Irish Southside of Chicago to have witnessed and dealt with.

By that point of the war I suspect my Father had become inured to inflicting death and destruction upon the Japanese Army and all of its accouterments. But this scene was existentially different: a devastated City where approximately 80,000 civilians had just been exterminated. At the time my Father must have contemplated what damage an atom bomb could do to his native City of Chicago and its beloved inhabitants. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, November 05 @ 15:28:28 EDT (645 reads)
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 My Story: Come Wake Me Up

Artby: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

A poem I have loved a long time has been swirling in my head these last days, and I have been trying to figure out why. There may be no reason for it. If your brain is anything like mine, you have a Nonsense Channel that broadcasts 24/7/365. Sometimes, the signal is weak, a snatch of song or an advertisement jingle playing in the far corner of your mind. Other times, the signal is like a klaxon, and it doesn't have to make sense. Just the other day, and for no reason whatsoever, I had Arnold Schwarzenegger yelling "Get to the chopper!" in my head, and it wouldn't go away until I got the chance to use it in a joke. Someone said, "Let's get going," and I fired out the Arnold line, and everybody laughed, and the signal went away. So it goes, right?

The poem in my head has definitely been playing on the loud end of the spectrum. I memorized it many years ago, and have lately been whispering it to myself by rote:

Keep me from going to sleep too soon
Or if I go to sleep too soon
Come wake me up. Come any hour
Of night. Come whistling up the road.
Stomp on the porch. Bang on the door.
Make me get out of bed and come
And let you in and light a light.
Tell me the northern lights are on
And make me look. Or tell me clouds
Are doing something to the moon
They never did before, and show me.
See that I see. Talk to me till
I'm half as wide awake as you
And start to dress wondering why
I ever went to bed at all.
Tell me the walking is superb.
Not only tell me but persuade me.
You know I'm not too hard persuaded. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, October 05 @ 16:48:57 EDT (1133 reads)
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 My Story: From Death Row to Elusive Freedom

History / CultureAn exonerated former prisoner shares his story so that the United States may one day join the rest of the civilized world in abolishing the death penalty.

By Ron Keine

"Hey Mom, pass the turkey, please."

I silently watch as the wave of many pairs of hands pass the heaving platter to my end of the table. Just as I am forking slices of dark meat onto my plate, I hear the loud slam of a metal door, the clanging of steel bars jarring me awake. I am back on death row again. I shoot a look at the calendar. Good. I still have a few weeks to live. I renew my pledge not to make it easy for them. I have been practicing holding my breath for the last year and a half.

The other day, the assistant warden asked me if I had a special request for the moment when the pellets fall in the gas chamber. I said, "Yes, will you hold my hand?"

I hold my shaving mirror outside of the bars at a 45-degree angle. I can see the trustee pushing the food cart, sliding a tray into each cell as he makes his way down the row. I don't have to wonder what's for breakfast. It's the same thing every day. Cold chopped potatoes with chili sauce splattered on it. It looks like someone already tried to eat it.

We used to get a hard-boiled egg on Sundays, but that ended when the assistant warden caught one in the back of the head. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, September 28 @ 19:20:59 EDT (671 reads)
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