In Memory of Heroes

4KentState Kent State University will commemorate the 38th anniversary of the May 4 shootings this weekend with movies, poetry readings, a march and a ceremony, all concentrating on the question, “Where does it end?”

On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on Kent students protesting the Vietnam War. Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder were killed; nine others were injured.

This year, a poem Miller wrote in high school, in 1966, provides the commemoration’s theme, “Where does it end?”…

Inserted from <Cleveland.com>

This tragedy occurred just a few months after I dropped out of SDS, because would not support the violent tactics the organization had adopted. I was, and remain, a believer in the nonviolence of Thoreau, Gandhi and King. While I disagree with the tactics employed by the demonstrators at Kent State and consider their destruction of property misguided, I understand the frustration they felt and admire their commitment. This was not the first time police or guardsmen had killed demonstrators. I saw it myself in Chicago (1968) and Washington, DC (1969). But it was the first time it was so obvious that the government could not cover it up. Regardless of misguided tactics, remember these four as the heroes they were, because they stood up to power and paid the ultimate price. I leave you with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus

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Worker Protest Closes West Coast Ports

2protestports Ports along the U.S. West Coast, including the country’s busiest port complex in Los Angeles, shut down on Thursday as some 10,000 dock workers went on a one-day strike to protest the war in Iraq, port and union officials said.

Twenty-nine ports from San Diego to Washington state that handle more than half of U.S waterborne trade ground to a halt, but shipping experts said the economic costs of the walk-out would be limited.

“We are hearing there is no activity taking place up and down the West Coast,” said Steve Getzug, spokesman of the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents all 29 ports. “There is no unloading or loading.”

At the Los Angeles-area port of Long Beach, a hub for trade with Asia, a Reuters reporter said the normally bustling area was unusually quiet and there were no signs of protesters…

Inserted from <Reuters>

Hats off to the union workers!

Hadley: Bright as Bush?

14nepal This morning on ABC’s This Week, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley repeatedly confused Tibet and Nepal while discussing President Bush’s decision to attend the Olympics. At least 8 different times, Hadley said “Nepal” when talking about the human rights abuses that have taken place in Tibet. A portion of the interview:

  • HADLEY: The president is going to the Olympics. The president is going to — thinks that the way to deal with the issue of Nepal is not by a statement that you’re not going to the opening ceremonies and say therefore, I’ve checked the Nepal box…
  • STEPHANOPOULOS: So he may not go to the opening ceremonies. You just don’t want to say it.
  • HADLEY: No, the president is going to the Olympics. What he’s doing on Nepal is what we think the international community ought to be doing, which is approaching the Chinese privately, through diplomatic channels, and sending a very firm message of concern for human rights, concern for what’s happening in Nepal, urging the Chinese government to understand that it is in their interest to reach out to representatives of the Dalai Lama, and to show, while the whole world is watching China, that they are determined to treat their citizens with dignity and respect. There is an opportunity here. And if countries are really concerned about Nepal, we shouldn’t have this sort of non-issue of opening ceremonies or not.

Watch it:

… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

I find it ludicrous that the National Security Advisor does not know that Tibet, not Nepal, is the locale in question here. Perhaps, like his Fuhrer, he couldn’t read My Pet Goat either. Or perhaps he’s taking his policy cues from McBoomBoom, who keeps insisting that Iran is Al Qaeda’s base. Or perhaps Republican and sanity are mutually exclusive terms.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

GOP Sweetheart: 4/10 – Pat Robertson

robertson …Commenting on the report, co-host Pat Robertson said of Islam: “I want to say it again, and again, and again: Islam is not a religion, it is a political system meant on — bent on world domination, not a religion. It masquerades as a religion, but the religion covers a worldwide attempt to exercise power and to subjugate the world to their way of thinking.”…

Inserted from <Media Matters>

Only a true GOP Sweetheart would combine sufficient ignorance and audacity as to claim that Islam is not even a religion, based on a statement that applies only to a very small minority of Muslims.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus

Should Bush Boycott the Olympics?

8torch The Olympic torch had its 17.4-mile trip through Paris cut short yesterday after protesters in the French capital disrupted its journey at several points.

A few demonstrators got within a few feet of the Olympic symbol, and one person managed to throw water on it but did not succeed in dousing the flame.

Amid the chaos, the torch was snuffed out by officials and moved by bus five times.

The activists were protesting China’s record on human rights, especially in the region of Tibet. The Olympic Games are being held in China this August.

Supporters of China held their own demonstration in Paris.

The torch is lit daily by the flame from a lantern kept nearby. That flame was lit in Greece a few weeks ago and has continued to burn, causing one French sports official to say yesterday: “The torch has been extinguished, but the flame is still there.”

More than two dozen arrests were made, officials said.

On Sunday the torch was in London, England, where more than three dozen people were arrested for protesting… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

I have some really mixed feelings on this issue. On the one hand, China’s human rights record, especially where Tibet is concerned is atrocious, and should be protested, not that the US has any room to talk about human rights, thanks to the GOP. On the other hand, the Olympics has historically been an apolitical event, a time for athletes from all nations to mingle and learn first hand that they are alike as people, despite their government’s differences, so I hate to the event politicized again.

There have been calls from several quarters for Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies.

senator-clinton2 Sen. Hillary Clinton called on President Bush Monday to boycott the opening of this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

In a statement released by her campaign Monday, the New York senator pointed to recent protests in Tibet; and to the Chinese government’s failure to pressure the government of Sudan to end the violence in Darfur.

“These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China,” said Clinton.

At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.”

“Americans will stand strong in support of freedom of religious and political expression and human rights,” Clinton said. “Americans will also stand strong and root for the success of American athletes who have worked hard and earned the right to compete in the Olympic Games of 2008.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <CNN>

In this case, I’m going to disagree, although my reasons are a bit unconventional here. I think that boycotting the opening ceremonies is the right thing to do. When had Bush ever done the right thing? For him to now feign even the slightest concern for human rights would be the epitome of hypocrisy. Therefore Bush should attend with McConJob at his side, and leave the protesting to those worthy to do so.

Cross-posted from Politics Plus