Monthly Archives: June 2014

4th of July – Don’t Do Koch Campaign!

email from Coffee Party USA and Big Apple Coffee Party, 6/27/14

Coffee Party USA is proud to connect Coffee Party members and supporters with a great idea from Big Apple Coffee Party.

Big Apple Coffee Party is launching the Declare Your Independence from the Koch Brothers! campaign that asks people not to buy Koch products for their Fourth of July celebrations. 

We’re aiming to have flyering events across the country around the weekend of June 28th to remind people that the supplies they buy for their Fourth of July parties shouldn’t profit the Koch Brothers. We’ll tell people that their Dixie cups dilute the value of their vote—so they should use something else to celebrate their freedom.

We’ve created a Don’t Do Koch website to promote the “Declare Your Independence” campaign and to support our on-going Don’t Do Koch actions.  There’s a toolkit with a pdf of our supermarket flyer and other materials useful in organizing flyering events.

Please check dontdokoch.org and sign up to host or join a flyering event in your neighborhood in the days before July 4th.  And continue to visit the site to see our latest blogs featuring our flyering events and news of the Koch Brothers.

If you have any questions or want additional information about the campaign, feel free to contact us at bigapplecoffeeparty@gmail.com.

Many of you flyered during our last big April Fool the Koch Brothers: Don’t Do Koch on April 1 campaign that was a resounding success with flyering actions in 10 states.  With your help, we can do it again.

Bernadette, Bruce, Chuck, Dan, Emily, Lawrene, Linda, Mort, Nina, Paul, Roberto, Rose, Stephanie, Sally
Big Apple Coffee Party Don’t Do Koch Committee

excerpt from toolkit with supermarket flyer:

Don't do Koch

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War Stories: Bad Wars and the Voice of Disillusion

By John Grant, This Can’t Be Happening, 6/24/14

When lo! An angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, . . .
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.
-Wilfred Owen

The New York Times recently ran a five-page section of essays on the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated on June 28, 1914, causing Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia. Germany sided with Austria-Hungary and European allies sided with Serbia. Thus, one of the cruelest, bloodiest and most corrupt wars was let loose in the world. It did not end until November 1918 and included 17 million deaths, 10 million of them European young men in uniform.

A.O.Scott writes about the sense of innocence and expectant glory at the beginning of the war. Books like Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Robert Graves’ Goodbye To All That speak of the horrors of the everyman in the trenches. It was a war created by vainglorious, corrupt and short-sighted leadership. Beside bad leadership at the top, what stands out about World War One is how the war was fought by ordinary men who did the bleeding and the suffering, and how many of them came home to write eloquently about their disillusion.

“[A]s the war unfolded, a new attitude was taking shape that was rooted in the soldiers’ experiences,” writes Edward Rothstein. “It has had an enduring influence on how war itself is often thought about — with complicated consequences.” World War One seemed to generate poets like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Owen’s great poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” is about witnessing a young soldier without a mask dying from gas.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

(The old lie: It is sweet and glorious to die for your country.)

“[T]his is history written from ‘below’ — through the lens of ordinary participants, not political leaders or military strategists,” writes Rothstein.

World War Two, many argue, came about because the issues at play in World War One had never been resolved. Similarly, one can argue the Vietnam War evolved out of World War Two and the refusal of France and the US to accept Vietnamese independence and, of course, the rise of the Cold War between two WWII allies. In his 650-page epic The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, The historian Niall Ferguson sees a fifty-year war that began in 1904 with the Russo-Japanese War to 1953, the end of the Korean War. This was followed by what he calls The Third World War, involving wars of decolonization. Western imperial decline is part and parcel of this last 50 year arc….

continue reading at This Can’t Be Happening

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Filed under John Grant, Peace, Security, Terrorism, War

The secret Boehner memo on Bowe Bergdahl

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, June 2, 2014 (satire)

From: John Boehner
To: Republican Members of the US House of Representatives
5/30/14

Dear Colleagues,

Our friends at NSA, who know everything, have informed me that some sort of deal may be in the works for the release of a US prisoner named Bowe Bergdahl.

A) If the deal goes through, our response will be: Who is this Bergdahl guy anyhow and how did he get captured? Does he speak any foreign languages? Are we sure he is really an American? How dare this administration make deals with the likes of the Taliban? Is Obama releasing terrorists to go back to their wicked ways? His attempts to shut down the detention facility at Guantánamo, like Benghazi and Obamacare (feel free to enlarge on those themes), show the bad faith of this administration.

B) If the deal doesn’t go through, here’s our line: How dare this administration leave this poor American boy in the clutches of the Taliban for 5 long years? Has Obama no concern for the feelings of the Bergdahl parents and the suffering people of Hailey, Idaho, who have never given up hope? Our prayers are with this loyal American whose continued captivity, like Benghazi and Obamacare (feel free to enlarge on those themes) shows the bad faith of this administration.

Please instruct your staffs to choose the relevant argument whenever any news comes through.

For your eyes only.

JB

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Filed under Republican party, Satire

I Hear America Shooting

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, May 7, 2014

I wrote this “faux” poem about 15 years ago. Some of the references are to events in the second Clinton administration. Sad to say, I could have written it today.

I Hear America Shooting

“I hear America singing…”
— Walt Whitman

I hear America shooting, the varied volleys I hear,
The blue-suited policeman firing at the mugger on the run who fires back over his shoulder with his semi-automatic pistol,
The hardy day-laborer and his neighbor shooting in the morning at each other’s dogs and in the evening at each other,
The postal worker cutting down his unsympathetic boss and co-workers,
The attorney grown unaccountably tired of public life putting the pearl-handled Colt to his head and on the broad shores of Potomac pulling the trigger,
The ninth-grade teacher shooting five or six colleagues at the last faculty meeting of the semester before Christmas vacation,
The ex-marine in the crowded airport taking target practice with his efficient machine gun,
And the sweet song of the armor-piercing bullet I hear as it hums toward the bullet-proof vest,
The rattle and whir of the Uzi feasting on ordinary people talking on street corners and waiting at bus stops,
The single crash and lingering echo of the shotgun drilling the head of the small girl through the open living room window of her family’s row house,
The drive-by shooting in the city and in the forest the firing of rifles at the frightened does and hunters fleeing among the tall trees,
The men and the women, the sons and the daughters, the weapons of small and large caliber, I hear them all,
In the work day, the school day, and late into the moonlit night at parties and gatherings, indoors and out, making the handsome crackle of gunfire,
I hear America shooting.

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Filed under Guns, violence, crime, Nathaniel Smith