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March 18, 2007



-Doctors, lawyers, students, nurses, housewives, veterans, retirees and children, men and women, black and white was the mix of the anti-war contingent. These various folks made up the anti Bush, anti Cheney, anti Iraq War Continuance marchers preparing to defend freedom and march on the Pentagon 3.17.07.
-The phalanx of hate spewers challenging the marchers were old white men wearing matching, tight fitting, leather outfits. If you like big bikes, matching leather outfits and old white men who specialize in crude obscenities these Rolling Fluffer-Nutters might have a place for you.
-Apparently they do not check or require that members have served in time of war or actually have been in the Armed Forces at all. This of course creates a deceptive mockery that this cast of characters has any bona fides to cherish or protect any War Memorial, including the Vietnam Vet's Wall Memorial.
-But hey, if you want to join a well dressed chorus line of hating, buffoons or not so buff goons, who specialize in grabbing their crotches and choreographed group mooning, exposed hog like anal parts included in the show, join the porcine Eagle Review.
-These gus are real cuties and a vivid national testament that America enjoys free speech and "Just-simply-incwedible" diversity.

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Peace man
Practice for the New Millennium by the Dalai Lama
The Practice:

1. Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering
we all want the same things (to be happy and be loved)
and we are all connected to one another.

2. Spend 5 minutes breathing in, cherishing yourself; and, breathing out
cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.

3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet.
Practice cherishing the "simplest" person (clerks, attendants, etc)
or people you dislike.

4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.

These thoughts are very simple, inspiring and helpful.
The practice of cherishing can be taken very deeply if done wordlessly,
allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that
already exists in your heart.
Pentagon report

A report from Washington, after a well-organized but pretty scary trip. We had great diversity, an energetic youth delegation, and good political discussion on the bus. And we had a trip that saw more wrecks per mile than a speedway, it seemed like most of the way there.

The particular subject about which I comment is the counter demonstration, which was much larger and much more intimidating than anything in our recent experience. In the first place, we were fenced into an assembly enclosure. They gathered behind a yellow police ribbon. And they were ceded the grounds of the traffic rotary on which the Lincoln Memorial is centered.

They came dressed in MC leathers, studs, decorations, and boots. Not quite a uniform, but it had the effect. A crowd of aging white (mostly) men angry and ready to fight. There, ostensibly, to defend the memorial wall, allegedly threatened by the marchers. And apparently, to defend their government in general. The “Safer since 9-11” signs would seem to suggest that they support this administration.

And yet…

The group which seems to have organized the couter-demonstrators, Rolling Thunder, Inc., indicates as its Mission “To publicize POW/ MIA issues…” and “ to helping American veterans of all wars.” This organization does not in any way require veteran status, only adherence to their positions and payment of $30 dues.

They are angry that men were left behind in Vietnam- by the government that had, lying about the real reasons for the war, sent them there. And they are concerned about the treatment that returning veterans receive after they have served the needs of their government.

But they focused their hatred on us, instead. And it was hate. Ugly, nasty, swearing verbal assaults all along. Our friends, Carlos and Melida Arredondo, marching with the traveling exhibition remembering their son Carlos, bore the brunt of some especially vicious outbursts. They bore them with dignity and composure.

The situation had every potential for explosion. We were yards apart, with no physical barriers, and only a very sparse police line, between us. Had there been a hothead reaction, on either side, that became physically violent, I suspect this could have easily spun out of control. And there weren’t going to be enough cops to break it up. They were all across the river making sure we didn’t threaten the Pentagon. (There wasn’t much chance of that. We were permitted to rally in a vacant parking lot, separated from the Pentagon itself by a six-lane highway.)

Angry words this time. No injuries. We need to listen, and understand. We need to find ways to the understanding that we fight a common struggle. That we must together demand that we protect our troops best, by bringing them home, now, and providing them with the care they will need to try to recover, for the rest of their lives, from their physical and mental injuries.

My thanks to all who made this such an experience, especially John and Jennifer.
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