This Thing Called Courage

Monday, March 26, 2007

Anti-War Rally on Saturday

UNDER BRIGHT EARLY SPRING skies, several thousand people gathered at the Boston Common Saturday to rally against the war, and hear impassioned, powerful speakers, including Howard Zinn (local professor and author of A People's History of the United States) and Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey Sheehan, who, like hundreds of thousands of others, died in this perverse, unnecessary war. It was wonderful to see so many young people there, of all races and ethnicities. The media love stereotypes, and love to portray anti-war activists as aging hippie-types with straggly goatees and headbands-- just as they like to portray many gay people as witty, fashion-fixated clones who are more than happy to 're-create' clueless straight men, as if we were born for no other purpose. As usual, the reality of the situation is quite different.

We bumped into several wonderful people, including Jesse and Edwin, a young, sweet interracial couple from Brighton (my original home town until I was 2.5 years old) who brought their dog along so he could express his Free Speech rights (photo above). And also two women from Northhampton People for Peace-- who would have come to my reading two weeks ago in NoHo, they said, were not their group showing an anti-war movie that night. (Chris also bumped into Mark, the owner of Northhampton's wonderful GLBT bookstore, Pride and Joy, Saturday night). Cindy was wonderful to hear-- her passion, courage, and determination are inspiring. She, like many people in the movement, is very upset that Speaker of the House Pelosi and the other Democrats have handed Bush 90 Billion more to continue to wage this insane war, and also removed language from the Appropriations Bill that would have required Bush to get their approval before attacking Iran. (!!! Not exactly following the mandate of the people that was expressed this past November.) As a result, Cindy is withholding her tax money, and urging other people to do the same.

I'll be back at my regular anti-war post this evening in Arlington Center. The beat goes on.

I also had the pleasure this weekend of seeing the Boston Gay Men's Chorus perform their spring concert, which featured the music of Bette Midler and Barry Manilow. It was a wonderful show and such a pleasure to watch this inspring, talented group do their thing. After that, I visited a local gay men's book group at their invitation, who had read A Map of the Harbor Islands as their selection for this month. They were, as usual, gracious and welcoming hosts, and a wonderful discussion was had. Such events keep me inspired. My next gig is coming up Monday, April 9, at the Cambridge Center for Adult Ed, where I will be giving a talk on Irish Culture and the role Story plays in same, from 12 noon to 1:00 pm; and then at the Barnes and Noble on Route One in Saugus, on Thursday evening April 26, at 7:00 pm.

Finally, speaking of dogs, Congress is expected this week to vote on the anti-animal fighting bill, which would (finally) outlaw on a national level the horribly cruel and barbarous 'pasttime' of animal fighting, specifically cock fighting, dog fighting, and dog-pig fighting. Here are the details below, courtesy of the American Humane Society. It seems some poeple are not content to live in a world where man kills man-- we must also enlarge that horror to include the animal world. Here are the details below-- please take action if you feel so inclined.

Trouble with links or images? View this message online:

March 26, 2007

Time to Give Animal Fighting the Knock-Out Punch

Dear Joe,
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are expected to vote on the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act to crack down on illegal dogfighting, cockfighting, and hog-dog fighting. The House vote may come as soon as today. We need your Representative and Senators to hear from you now!

TAKE ACTIONPlease take a moment to call your three federal legislators right away. Let them know it's high time for Congress to pass this anti-crime law and establish felony penalties for cruel animal fighting.

Representative Ed Markey: (202) 225-2836
Senator Edward Kennedy: (202) 224-4543
Senator John Kerry: (202) 224-2742

Calling your federal legislators is easy. A staff person will take your message and pass it along to your legislator. All you have to say is:
"Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent from [your town]. I strongly support the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act (H.R. 137/S. 261). I respectfully urge [legislator's name] to support this critical piece of legislation and finally get it enacted to fight back against the underground animal fighting industry. Thank you."
After you make your calls, click here to send a follow up email to your legislators. We need everyone who cares about ending animal fighting to take action, so please tell your friends and family how they can help, too.
The House bill has 304 cosponsors and the Senate bill has 36 cosponsors. Committees in both chambers have approved this legislation, and versions of it have already passed over the years. But it's not yet gotten over the finish line -- let's get the job done now!
Thank you for your time and continued commitment to ending animal fighting.

Wayne Pacelle

President & CEOThe Humane Society of the United States


Blogger berlinorama said...

Dear Joe,
I just thought I would share with you and your readers a nice little video with photos of Teheran and people there going about their daily (prewar) business, which someone made to show Americans what they would be destroying if they don't stop a US attack on Iran.

Peaceful greetings from sunny Berlin!

11:57 AM  
Blogger BiscuitsBoy said...

Thanks Pam-- and so it goes. I kept wondering when the media (during the 'run up' to the Iraq War-- I hate that phrase-- like it's a business plan or something, instead of a death warrant for hundreds of thousands) would inform us about Iraq-- that it was the 'cradle of civilization' and the 'land between the Tigrus and Euphrates' and that half of its population of 35 million was under the age of 15. There was, however, none of that-- that would have made them seem too human, and, as Joseph Campbell noted, in order for a people to wage war against another people, they must be first turned into a 'thou.' I guess that is the role of the MSN now-- the agency of propaganda. We arte uncomfortable killing people like us-- we are apaprently more comfortable killing 'terrorist' and 'towelheads' and 'Islamic radicals.'
I heard today the Iran War will begin on April 6. God I hope I'm wrong....

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