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The Sound of Sedition

Michael Bryan

Does the following sound like sedition to you? It does to the VA Administration:

Wake Up, Get Real

Dear Alibi,

I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence of this government. The Katrina tragedy in the U.S. shows that the emperor has no clothes! Bush and his team partied and delayed while millions of people were displaced, hundreds of thousands were abandoned to a living hell. Thousands more died of drowning, dehydration, hunger and exposure; most bodies remain unburied and rotting in attics and floodwater. Is this America the beautiful?

The risk of hurricane disaster was clearly predicted, yet funds for repair work for the Gulf States barrier islands and levee system were unconscionably diverted to the Iraq War. Money and manpower and ethics have been diverted to fight a war based on absolute lies!

As a VA nurse working with returning OIF vets, I know the public has no sense of the additional devastating human and financial costs of post-traumatic stress disorder; now we will have hundreds of thousands of our civilian citizens with PTSD as well as far too many young soldiers, maimed physically or psychologically—or both—spreading their pain, anger and isolation through family and communities for generations. And most of this natural disaster and war tragedy has been preventable … how very, very sad!

In the meantime, our war-fueled federal deficit mushrooms—and whither this debt now, as we care for the displaced and destroyed?

Bush, Cheney, Chertoff, Brown and Rice should be tried for criminal negligence. This country needs to get out of Iraq now and return to our original vision and priorities of caring for land and people and resources rather than killing for oil.

Katrina itself was the size of New Mexico. Denials of global warming are ludicrous and patently irrational at this point. We can anticipate more wild, destructive weather to occur as a response stress of the planet. We need to wake up and get real here, and act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit. Otherwise, many more of us will be facing living hell in these times.

Laura Berg


Preval Prevails in Haiti

Michael Bryan

Though likely to go widely unnoticed, the results of the U.S. purchased elections in Haiti constitute yet another populist slap in the face to the Bush Administration’s policy of spreading ‘democracy’ by force. The illegal overthrow of democratically elected President Bertrand Aristide by a bloody coup sponsored by Washington, threw the country into the hands … Read more

Carter’s Irony

Michael Bryan

KING: … what do you make of warrantless wiretapping? The president defends it almost daily. In a major speech in Nashville today he did a long defense of it as he did in the State of the Union. CARTER: I think it’s illegal and improper and unnecessary. There’s no reason at all why this president, … Read more

TABOR comes to Arizona

Michael Bryan

From People for the American Way: As part of a national crusade to undermine government’s ability to serve its citizens, right-wing activists are trying to impose a reckless constitutional amendment on Arizona.  HCR 2022, better known by the propagandistic name of "Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights," or TABOR, seeks to put elected officials in a budgeting … Read more

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

Michael Bryan

F.O.I: 01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning. 02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall. 03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. … Read more

Bono’s Sermon

Michael Bryan

I am a subscriber to Jim Wallis’ Sojourners magazine. He recently put a speech by Bono, the rock star from the band U2, at the National Prayer Breakfast on his newsletter.

Jim_wallis1jpgThe National Prayer Breakfast is normally a time for reaffirming spiritual truths and testifying to the power of faith in people’s individual lives, but not so much a moment for prophetic and controversial social utterances. There have been exceptions – when Sen. Mark Hatfield spoke courageously about the moral "shame" of the Vietnam War in the presence of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger (I know a lot about that prayer breakfast speech because I helped write it when I was a seminarian in Chicago); when Mother Theresa spoke about the sacredness of life and raised the issue of abortion with the Clintons on hand; and yesterday, when Bono spoke like a modern-day prophet about extreme global poverty and pandemic disease and called upon the American government, with George Bush and Congressional leaders present, to do much more.

The speech, published below, was the most explicit about religion and the role of faith that I had ever heard Bono deliver, and his insistence on the biblical requirements of justice and not just charity was reiterated over and over again. In a small session with religious editors afterward, Bono spoke about how the churches had led on the issue of debt cancellation with the Jubilee 2000 campaign, on HIV/AIDS, and now on global poverty reduction. "You’re the bigger crowd," he said, "much more than my stadium audiences." He said the church will just hear "fanfare" from musicians.

But Bono is offering far more than fanfare, as his talk below demonstrates. To the religious editors he stressed how the justice issue is "really it," and said that the churches had to figure out how to make that clear to people and that "movement is the way" we will finally succeed. Bono said he believed that something is moving now and we have to create the momentum to accomplish our goals. On the way to the car afterward, we spoke together about how really crucial that movement building is, how nothing else will suffice to make the changes in our world that are so vitally and morally necessary, and how the strategy in the religious community is so key. We also talked about the Isaiah 58 passage he had quoted in his speech – that when we respond to the poor as the prophet instructs, "God will cover your back." This is one speech you will want to read and pass on to your friends.

I did, and I do…

Blooming at Williams Center

Michael Bryan

  060205_white_blossoms_2jpg    Originally uploaded by byways. I caught this wonderfully soothing photo from a local Flickr user off the new Zeitgeist tool at the bottom of the right hand column. The zeitgeist displays the latest postings of 90 members of the local Tucson, AZ Flickr group. This tree is just one of a row … Read more

Who is the New LD7 Representative Nancy Barto?

Michael Bryan

BartoNancy Barto was selected by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to replace LD 7 State Representative David Burnell Smith, who was forced out of office for campaign finance violations. Although Burnell Smith was one of the six nominated by the LD 7 PCs to replace himself, the PCs were wise enough not to select him as one of the three names to forward to the Board.

The Board selected Mrs. Barto, who was the LD 7 Chairperson of the Republican Party, over Howard Levine and Howard Sprague. Her selection is about as close to re-selecting Burnell Smith as they could get without actually trying that stunt, however. Mrs. Barto is a staunch supporter of Burnell Smith in his fight with the Clean Elections Commission and the courts to keep his job. Mrs. Barto claims that there is still strong support for Burnell Smith in the district, as well as strong animosity toward the Commission.

Barto said, “I’m disappointed that they [the Commission] would go this route. I don’t think they have the authority to overrule the voters of this district.” The Arizona Supreme Court and the voters of Arizona, in adopting and continuing to support Clean Elections, disagreed.

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