Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dear, John on the Soapbox! (SOAPBOX PODCAST 6/25/17)

June 25, 2017

(We are having technical difficulties with the audio, but 
keep checking back for updates)!

Guest: Father John Dear
Topic: Non-violent resistance

This week, Cindy chats with Fr. John Dear (who was essentially fired from the Jesuit Order for being antiwar and pro-justice).

Even with a poor phone connection, Cindy and John cover many topics from the shady beginnings of Pope Francis to Non-violent resistance.

About John Dear

John Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. A long time activist, popular lecturer, and movement organizer, Fr. John is the author of 35 books and hundreds of articles, including "Living Peace," "Jesus the Rebel," and "The Nonviolent Life." He was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mushroom Clouds and Miss Mac Murray by Cindy Sheehan

I am a child of the Cold War.

I was born in 1957 in Los Angeles, probably under one of the mushroom clouds that regularly blew over from the above ground Nevada nuclear test sites.

The very public witch hunts of Joseph McCarthy, Herbert Hoover and HUAC were over by then, but the damage and fear of the "Red Under the Bed" persisted, along with the "proxy" wars between the USSR and the USA that included millions dead in Korea and Vietnam, among other places. The radioactive fruits of the nuclear arms race still persist to this day with thousands of live nukes across the globe and many nations poisoned by the US's usage of depleted uranium munitions.

I was in kindergarten in Bellflower, Ca, when the missile crisis between the US and Soviet Union occurred off the coast of Cuba. I didn't understand what was happening, but in hindsight, I remember my parents being very tense as they watched the nuclear near miss on TV.

My most enduring, recurring nightmare is about being outside and seeing a mushroom cloud off in the distance. The awful feeling of "oh, no--this is it" and the immense sense of relief when I awaken to find out that World War III wasn't happening--yet--has been repeated frequently throughout my life.

So, what does my 2nd grade teach, Miss Mac Murray have to do with any of this? 

It was 1964: the conflict in Vietnam was bubbling and getting ready to boil over; Kennedy had been assassinated when I was in first grade; something was happening with the "Red Chinese." I wasn't sure what a "Red Chinese" was, but I knew I liked Chinese food and knew that the workers at the Hong Kong Kitchen were not white, but they weren't "Red," either, so they probably weren't poisoning our food.

Like every dutiful American student, I rose to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning before school thinking for several years that the "one nation, Under God," was "invisible." 

Anyway, in a stunning display of child abuse, Miss Mac Murray asked us all a question one day: "If a red commie came up to you and told you that if you recited the pledge of allegiance he would shoot you in the head, what would you do?" Again, I wasn't sure what a "red commie" looked like, but I pictured a real life Boris Badenov (the bad guy in Rocky and Bullwinkle). But, I was very confident of the answer to Miss Mac Murray's question, I raised my hand, was called on, and I said, "I wouldn't say it!" WRONG! I was dragged out of my seat, put in the corner for the first and only time of my second grade life and told to stay and think about how I betrayed my country. I stayed for a long time, stubbornly (and intelligently) thinking, "I don't care, I still wouldn't say it." I laugh at the people who still call me "un-American." Little do they know that they weren't the first and I, apparently, have been a traitor since second grade.

Fellow Cold War babies have similar stories of mass-conditioning and fear based propaganda to keep us USAians afraid of the "enemy."

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US's decades long perfect enemy became, if not an ally, at least not a partner in Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). 

In the second decade of the 21st century, the war powers that be still have the barbaric capability of destroying the world many times over with its nuclear arsenals. Growing up with "brinkmanship" and the fear of nuclear annihilation makes it even more confusing to me why Democrats are so hellbent on increasing hostilities with Russia by blaming it for everything: even the fact that its war criminal, super-predator, unpopular candidate, Hillary Clinton was beaten by Trump. The same Trump, whose biggest flaw to many of those liberal democrats, is that (at least in the beginning), he wanted to have better relations with Russia than did the Obama regime.

Now, the military junta that has been putatively in charge of foreign policy for decades has now been given carte blanche by Trump to not even pretend to be subordinate to the Commander in Chief. Consequently, the US is increasing its provocation of Russia, especially in Syria. I wonder where the "No Nukes," and "No War" liberals disappeared to?

I believe that these pseudo-libs would rather live under the fear of being melted by a nuke than to admit that Hillary Clinton lost because she was Hillary Clinton. I was confused by the rising John Birch, Russophobia of the Democrat left, until I recalled my history lessons. It wasn't McCarthy that started the "commie" witch hunts of the '40s and '50s, it was democrat Truman with his loyalty oaths and sweeping investigations of Federal employees that began the whole enchilada of red-baiting; informing on your family, neighbors, and colleagues; and secret police harassment heading into the new Cold War in 1947. The Neo-Trumanites are just following in a dangerously conservative Democrat tradition.

Don't worry, Democrats---just teach your children and grandchildren to "Duck and Cover."


"The US Has No Moral Authority" Cindy Sheehan on PressTv

Watch Cindy Sheehan on PressTv


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cindy's Interview With The San Francisco Review of Books!

Interview: Cindy Sheehan explains what happened to the antiwar movement after Barack Obama

Original Interview Here
 Story by Joseph Ford Cotto

Being antiwar might be fashionable in one of our country's major parties now and again, but Democrats and Republicans alike tend to fall in line behind military action whenever it suits their respective agendas.

The loss of life, destruction of property, and psychological torment which result from this cannot readily be put into words -- perhaps not under any circumstances.

Preventing even a single drop of unnecessary bloodshed has been Cindy Sheehan's mission for some time.

Her "public opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began after her son was killed in Iraq in 2004. Sheehan’s vigil outside U.S. Pres. George W. Bush’s ranch in Texas in 2005 received international media coverage and established her as one of the most visible and controversial figures in the antiwar movement at that time," the Encyclopedia Britannica's Sabrina Worsham explains.

Sheehan has done much since then. She recently spoke with me about many timely topics. Some of our conversation is included below.


Joseph Ford Cotto: This is surely one of the most polarized eras in American politics. Nonetheless, the antiwar movement has not taken center stage in recent protests. Why has it, more or less, been sidelined?

Cindy Sheehan: My theory about the antiwar "movement" not being center stage in recent protests is because the protests (around immigration and women's rights in particular) have been organized by liberal Democrats (Demo-libs, I call them). Demo-libs usually only choose issues where a clear difference between DNC and GOP can be shown. Of course, after eight years of Obama's demented foreign policy, those Demo-libs cannot protest Trump's acts of aggression, because it always puts a bad spotlight on the Dems.

For example, after Trump's recent bombing of the air field in Homs, Syria, both Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi (minority leaders of 
Senate and House), came out in support of it. 

Cotto: After Barack Obama was elected president, the antiwar movement seems to quiet down a bit. Is this actually the case, or simply a matter of inadequate media coverage?

Sheehan: So, I think the antiwar movement actually quieted down in 2006 after the Democrats took over majority in the House of Representatives. In 2008, for example, United for Peace and Justice refused to have a large antiwar protest on the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq because it would, "embarrass the Democrats." 

Cotto: What would you say are the goals of the modern American antiwar movement?

Sheehan: I would say to end wars and reduce the USA's military footprint all over the world.

Cotto: Many antiwar activists speak about pacifism as a viable alternative to all forms of combat. In your opinion, is this a practical viewpoint?

Sheehan: Personally, I am not a pacifist and recognize and individual's right to self-defense---and, obviously, a community or sovereign state has the same rights. Unfortunately, because my own son was killed in Iraq by a person who was defending his/her community.

I think as a movement we start from the position of non-violent protest and 10 times out of ten, when I have seen violence, it has been 
instituted by the police or other law enforcement.

Cotto: During the years ahead, do you expect the antiwar movement to gain popular support?

Sheehan: Maybe if forced conscription (lord forbid) is reinstated. I think the movement is moving towards being against the budding fascism of the Trump regime. 

Joseph Ford Cotto: Since Donald Trump succeeded Obama, and even during the 2016 general election, war-hawks became much friendlier to the Democratic Party, and vice-versa. Meanwhile, antiwar voices saw their volume diminished. What might account for this?

Cindy Sheehan: It's similar to what I said in my first answer--at least during the campaign in 2016, Hillary Clinton was seen as far more hawkish that Trump; for good reasons. There was even a "Neocon for Hillary" Group.

I still believe Clinton is a bigger hawk than Trump and it's interesting, but I don't think coincidental, that just hours before Trump bombed the aforementioned air field, Clinton publicly said it should be done. 

Cotto: Nowadays, skepticism of military adventurism is more pronounced in the GOP than at any other time since the years leading up to World War II. How did the antiwar movement's principles find a welcome audience among Republican ranks?    

Sheehan: I am not sure what is feeding the skepticism in the ranks of the GOP? I know for the antiwar movement, we care for lives here and abroad and want the death and destruction to stop. I think being anti-interventionist (like Ron Paul, for example), may still be a little imperialistic: caring how the wars affect the USA before how they affect the occupied and attacked innocent populations.

Cotto: During his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, Trump spoke negatively about George W. Bush's policies regarding Iraq. In the process, Trump voiced concerns of the antiwar movement which, until recently, were lambasted by virtually all Republican politicians. Looking back, what did Trump's acknowledgment of antiwar perspectives mean for the movement's future? 

Sheehan: I know a lot of my colleagues and friends encouraged a vote for Trump based on those aspects of his rhetoric. I, myself, think it's really dangerous to be sucked into the bourgeois politics of the DNC and GOP. If we are to survive as a movement, I think we need to be principled and non-partisan.

Cotto: The Democratic Party, whose most recent presidential nominee -- Hillary Clinton -- and prevailing establishment figures are generally hawkish, now opposes anything Trump supports. Over the years to come, might the traditionally leftish antiwar movement and most conservative voters, who have come to dislike George W. Bush and his neoconservative ideology, form an unlikely alliance?

Sheehan: I hope so because there is strength in greater numbers.

Cotto: More than anything else, what motivates the antiwar movement?

Sheehan: Love for all the peoples of the world.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Election 2016, We're Still On This? By Dakotah Lilly

I knew the Democrats were out of touch, but I really didn’t think they were this clueless. Out of all the recent talk about Comey and the premiere of ‘The Putin Interviews’ etc, one thing that struck me was the Democrats political maneuvering in the case of the AHCA and sanctions on Russia. It was said that the Democrats were willing to relieve some pressure on the Republicans on healthcare in exchange for more a bipartisan bill aimed at sanctioning Russia. So the Democrats are willing to let the AHCA, a piece of legislation not worth the paper it was printed on, pass in exchange for more covert warfare and taunting of Russia? These are the issues the Democrats are pursuing? They already passed the god-awful ACA a few years back which has done nothing to help tens of millions of Americans and was nothing more than a corporate check to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, but now they are willing to send the American people down the creek without a paddle yet again by helping to pass the AHCA? This is at least reason 4 trillion why the Democrats are corporate, capitalist, imperialist, empire spreading, civil rights destroying, working class hating, bourgeois tools of the empire. Not to mention that even one iota of time or one dollar of taxpayer money is being wasted on this “Russia investigation”. The Democrats lost fair and square as far as fair and square can go in this oligarchic capitalist electoral system that the Dems love so much. Pushing Russophobia has become the Democrats number one concern, which is yet again another reason why they are absolutely no different and in many ways worse than the Republicans. People are dying in this country from lack of access to healthcare, police murder, food insecurity, mental illness, homelessness, etc. People around the world are dying because of bombs this country drops and sanctions it crams down the throat of the world, yet the Democrats are still pouting over their sour grapes of losing the election. The Russia investigation is absurd and nobody in this country is waiting with baited breath on the outcome of this witch hunt. The working class of this country has no interest in a sham investigation into a bogus nonexistent issue. Working people of this country have no enemy in this world except the class and politicians that exploit us, but especially none in the people of Russia. While the establishment vultures want nothing more for people to demonize an entire country and its government with no shred of evidence, it is a relief that they have seemed to fail thus far. My only regret is that they also failed when they tried to demonize the nations and peoples of Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, North Korea, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Brazil among countless others. Reject this Russophobia and this “investigation” they are just more clever ruses used by the ruling class to distract us from realizing our power, and to distract us from unifying beyond borders against them. 

Dakotah Lilly is a 19 year old anti imperialist, revolutionary socialist. He is a co founder and organizer with Students and Youth for a New America and is a frequent guest on PressTv.
Twitter @dakotah4prez

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Apricots and Sisters by Cindy Sheehan

 Dede, ca. 1968

As many of you know, my sister, comrade, best-friend and many times over, jail mate, Dede Miller passed away from breast cancer on January 22 of this year.

June 16th would have been her 59th birthday and what many of you may not know is that Dede and I were what is sometimes referred to as "Irish Twins." (Born within a year of each other).

When we were very young, on her birthday, one of the first things the little pest would say was, "Ha ha, I am as old as you." And, me always being very logical would say, "but, you can never be as old as me, I am 11 months older." Of course, she being the little pest would harp on it all day.

I am not sure what year it was, though, when I turned the tables back on her and was able to proclaim, "Ha ha, you are as old as me now!" 

Dede and I may not have shared our mother's womb, but over our lives, we grew to be as close as some twins and closer than any sisters I have known. Especially after Casey died, she was the only one who never said, in essence, "get over it," when I was experiencing the most profound grief. She couldn't understand my pain, but she knew on some level that she couldn't change it, or rush me in getting "over it." Understandably, my deep loss and horrible pain frightened a lot of people, but not fearless Dede. She was just always there when I needed her, and many times when I didn't even know I needed someone. 

Being so close in age, I can't remember a life without Dede; she was the only one that shared my entire history and since she passed, I can't even say how many times I have wanted to check with her about something to make sure I was remembering everything correctly.

And after we both went to Crawford, Tx on August 6, 2005; she was with me every step of the way after. Dede never "disowned" me when I did such socially unconscionable things as meet with then president Hugo Chavez of Vz (in fact, she was there, too) or *gasp* leave the Democrat Party and run for Congress against Nancy Pelosi.

When I called the US the "biggest terrorist organization in the world," Dede didn't back away from me, or soft-pedal what I said, she said, "You're damn right it is."

Dede also withstood some horrible treatment from me during the most stressful times of being infamous. I always apologized when I got out of line with her, but I knew consciously and subconsciously that, besides my children, she was the only person in the world who would love me and support me, even if I was not always pleasant to be around. I would hope everyone has someone like this in their lives, it's beyond priceless.

Anyway, apricots?

Dede and I grew up in a dysfunctional household, but our first home had two very mature apricot trees in the backyard. Oh my gosh, we spent hours in those trees that were there for climbing and yielded the most wonderful fruit. Many summer days, we would leave our home in the morning and graze the neighborhood for lunch. We had apricots; wild onion grew between our house and the Crittenden's and another had avocados. At dinner time, we would grudgingly return home and even if our mom didn't do much else, she always cooked a good dinner. Looking back, it seems idyllic although I know it was not. Dede often joked that we were "feral children." There were many times, also, that we would unite against our father who made us pick up the rotten fruit. Of course, we would have had the task done in a heartbeat, if we didn't spend so much time complaining or pretending we had to take a long potty-break.

Ironically, apricot seeds contain laetrile that has been shown to be a natural treatment for cancer.

Dede lived with me the last year and a half of her life. Coincidentally, the home I rent has two apricot trees in the front yard (that my grandchilden spend hours climbing) and the past two years of good rain have contributed to massive amounts of fruit. Dede enjoyed the 'cots from the tree, but last year I did something I have never done: I canned the excess fruit and made jam. It was delicious and every time I served it to her, I would say, "here's a little taste of summer sunshine for you."

Tomorrow, on her birthday, I am planning on canning this year's crop and putting some extra love and nostalgia into this batch.

Dede's Peace Jam made June 16, 2017

Apricots for Dede and jam for the rest of us.

Happy Birthday, Sissy, you remain 58 for eternity.

I miss my twin.

Friday, June 9, 2017

War Must Be Shown the Door! Guest: David Swanson (SOAPBOX PODCAST 6/9/2017)

Welcome David Swanson back to the Soapbox! Listen below! 

Guest Website:
Guest Category:
Guest Occupation:
Author, Radio Host, Human Rights Activist, Philospher, Newspaper Reporter, Communications Director, Press Secretary, Media Coordinator, Columnist, Blogger
Guest Biography:
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Cindy's Interview on Chiampa Radio W/ Joe and Anthony!

Click the picture below to listen to Cindy's latest interview! Interview starts after the weather!

In this interview Cindy chats with Joe and Anthony of Chiampa radio - Based in Tampa Florida.