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Re: [smygo] Code Pink Extends Olive Branch to Tea Party

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  • dean tuckerman
    i just wrote Medea Bnejamin a question, which i await her answer, as where she got the statistic that Israel was the 11th richest nation in the world. In every
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 17, 2010
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      i just wrote Medea Bnejamin a question, which i await her answer, as
      where she got the statistic that Israel was the 11th richest nation
      in the world. In every list i looked at it says it is below 20.
      On Apr 16, 2010, at 4:08 PM, Dan Clore wrote:

      > News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo
      > *****
      > http://www.countercurrents.org/benjamin150410.htm
      > Peace Activists Extend An Olive Branch To The Tea Party
      > To Talk About War
      > By Medea Benjamin
      > 15 April, 2010
      > Afterdowningstreet.org
      > On Tax Day, Tea Party members from around the country will descend on
      > the nation’s capitol to “protest big government and support lower
      > taxes,
      > less government and more freedom.” CODEPINK, a women-led peace group
      > advocating an end to war and militarism, will be sending some
      > representatives to begin a dialogue. While we come from the
      > opposite end
      > of the political spectrum and don’t support the goals and tactics
      > of the
      > Tea Party, there is an area where we are seeking common ground, i.e.
      > endless wars and militarism.
      > As Tea Partiers express their anger at out-of-control government
      > spending and soaring deficits, we will ask them to take a hard look at
      > what is, by far, the biggest sinkhole of our tax dollars: Pentagon
      > spending. With the Obama administration proposing the largest military
      > budget ever, topping $700 billion not including war supplementals, the
      > U.S. government is now spending almost as much on the military as the
      > rest of the world combined.
      > Perhaps the Tea Party and peace folks—unlikely allies—can agree
      > that one
      > way to shrink big government is to rein in military spending. Here are
      > some questions to get the conversation going:
      > · At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference on April 10, Cong.
      > Ron Paul—who has a great following within the Tea Party--chided both
      > conservatives and liberals for their profligate spending on foreign
      > military bases, occupations and maintaining an empire. “We’re running
      > out of money,” he warned. “All empires end for financial reasons, and
      > that is what the markets are telling us today….We can do better with
      > peace than with war.” Do you agree with Congressman Paul on this?
      > · Every taxpayer has already spent, on average, a staggering $7,367
      > for
      > the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama is now sending another 30,000
      > troops to Afghanistan, with a price tag of one million dollars per
      > soldier per year. Opposition to these wars ranges from liberal Cong.
      > Dennis Kucinich and conservative Tea Party leader Sheriff Richard
      > Mack.
      > During a Congressional vote to end the war in Afghanistan that was
      > defeated but got bipartisan support, Rep. Dennis Kucinich said,
      > "Nearly
      > 1000 U.S. soldiers have died. And for what? Hundreds of billions
      > spent.
      > And for what? To make Afghanistan safe for crooks, drug dealers and
      > crony capitalism?" Do you think Congress should turn off the war
      > spigot
      > and bring out troops home?
      > · The Cold War has been over for 20 years, yet the U.S. government
      > maintains 800-plus bases around the world with troops stationed in 148
      > countries and 11 territories. Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan
      > asks, “How we can justify borrowing hundreds of billions yearly from
      > Europe, Japan and the Gulf states -- to defend Europe, Japan and the
      > Arab Gulf states? Is it not absurd to borrow hundreds of billions
      > annually from China -- to defend Asia from China?” Should we begin to
      > dismantle this global web of bases?
      > · Far and away the largest recipient of US foreign aid is Israel, a
      > wealthy country (the 11th wealthiest in the world) that gets $3
      > billion
      > a year from Uncle Sam with no strings attached and no
      > accountability. We
      > also give the repressive Egyptian government over a billion dollars a
      > year to buy their support for a Middle East peace plan that is going
      > nowhere. Are you in favor of continuing this taxpayer largesse to
      > Israel
      > and Egypt?
      > · An area where Pentagon spending has mushroomed is the payment of
      > private security contractors. While many soldiers who risk their lives
      > for their country struggle to support their families, private security
      > company employees can pocket as much as $1,000 a day. High pay for
      > contract workers in war zones burdens taxpayers and saps military
      > morale. Moreover, military officers in the field have said contractors
      > often operate like "cowboys," using unnecessary and excessive force
      > that
      > has undermined our reputation overseas. Cong. Jan Schakowsky
      > introduced
      > the Stop Outsourcing Security Act that would phase out private
      > security
      > contractors in war zones. Do you support that?
      > · Experts on the left and the right say we could cut our military
      > budget
      > by 25%, including closing foreign bases, winding down the wars, and
      > ending obsolete weapons systems, without jeopardizing our security. Do
      > you agree? If we could make significant cuts to the military
      > budget, how
      > should those funds be reallocated? To pay down the debt? Increase
      > security at home? Rebuild our infrastructure? Stimulate the economy
      > through tax breaks?
      > We are not naïve enough to think that it would be easy for the Tea
      > Party
      > and the peace movement to work together. Our core values are
      > different.
      > We have had our battles in the past. We would certainly part ways in
      > terms of how to redirect Pentagon funds, with progressives wanting
      > more
      > government investment in healthcare, jobs, clean energy and
      > education—which is exactly what the Tea Party opposes.
      > But building peace means reaching out to the other side and trying to
      > find common ground even with those people whose beliefs contradict so
      > many of our own. If the Tea Party is really against runaway government
      > spending, then certainly we can work together to cut a slice out of
      > the
      > military pork that is bankrupting our nation. In extending the olive
      > branch to talk about war, the conversation can hopefully be
      > enlightening
      > on other issues as well, such as banks run amok and undue corporate
      > control of our government.
      > Who knows what kind of potent brew could emerge when folks on the left
      > and the right—both alienated by a two-party system that doesn’t
      > meet our
      > needs—sit down for tea?
      > Medea Benjamin (medea@... ) is cofounder of CODEPINK
      > (http://www.codepink.org ) and Global Exchange (www.globalexchange.org
      > ). Please contact her if you want to be part of a serious left-right
      > dialogue on war.
      > *****
      > http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/04/
      > code_pink_crashes_tea_party_lo.html
      > Code Pink crashes tea party, looking for converts
      > At this afternoon's Tea Party Express rally, on the left of the
      > stage, a
      > small woman in a bright pink shirt milled around conducting friendly
      > interviews. The interviewer was Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, a left-
      > wing
      > activist who excels at showing up at conservative events,
      > congressional
      > hearings and military recruiting stations, and getting herself
      > arrested.
      > She listened to tea party activists, patiently marking down their
      > answers to questions like, "Israel, a wealthy country, gets $3
      > billion a
      > year from Uncle Sam with no strings attached and no accountability.
      > The
      > second largest recipient is the autocratic government of Egypt. Should
      > Congress cut the foreign aid budget by cutting funds to Israel and
      > Egypt?"
      > "I find more hawks here than Ron Paul supporters," Benjamin told me,
      > right after an interview with a tea party activist (who didn't want to
      > give her name) who blamed "Walter Cronkite and Bob McNamara" for
      > America's defeat in Vietnam. "I think it's fascinating! There's a
      > lot of
      > myths about 'the other,' on both sides. Like, somebody came up to
      > me and
      > said 'You're a Castro lover!' I said, you don't know, I was
      > actually put
      > in jail and deported from Cuba. Let's talk, let's inform each other."
      > Benjamin didn't find any full converts -- some people I saw loudly
      > (but
      > peacefully) suggested that she should leave -- but she did find common
      > ground on economics.
      > "We found we were both against the bailout," she said, "against
      > government subsidies to corporations -- the Chrysler/GM takeover. With
      > cash for clunkers, one woman told me she had a lot of friends who
      > could
      > buy new cars but some who didn't have the money. The common ground was
      > on bailing out those who don't need a bailout."
      > I pointed out to Benjamin that Republicans, in pushing back against
      > stories of tea party extremism, have cited Code Pink as an example of
      > real hate on the left. She shook her head. "We never curse. Never. We
      > don't do that. We're totally non-violent. We never say anything
      > racist."
      > Benjamin avoided the pushing and shouting matches that have marked
      > some
      > of her videotaped confrontations with Republicans. Tea partyers, she
      > said, were a different breed. "Sometimes when I talk to them I find
      > out
      > that they're scarier than I ever thought. Sometimes I find that
      > they are
      > really nice people who think differently than me."
      > *****
      > http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/04/15/ellen-ratner-tea-party-
      > tax-day-washington-code-pink-republican-military/
      > April 15, 2010
      > Tea Party + CODEPINK = Love?
      > By Ellen Ratner
      > The group CODEPINK holds out an olive branch to the Tea Party
      > movement.
      > Could this be the start of something big?
      > Today is Tax Day and it is also Tea Party Day in Washington. Citizens
      > who had enough of the bailout and are concerned about runaway spending
      > are gathered to let Washington know their concerns. They were even
      > partying last night taking over a bar on Capitol Hill to celebrate the
      > impact they are having on elections and with elected officials.
      > They have chosen Income Tax day for their protests but income taxes
      > for
      > a family of four are historically low. (During Eisenhower in 1955
      > it was
      > 6%, Nixon 10% and Carter almost 11 %) The average family of four pays
      > about 4.6% in income taxes. Even 52% of self-identified Tea Partiers
      > felt their income taxes were fair. So, maybe it isn’t taxes that are
      > motivating them, maybe it is spending. They certainly don’t seem
      > outraged that corporations like Exxon get away with a small tax bite
      > because of off-shore corporations.
      > Anyone with half a brain knows that the deficits we are racking up are
      > unsustainable. By most estimates the rate we are spending will be
      > about
      > 300 percent of the GDP by 2050. That kind of government spending
      > finished off the Soviet Union and without a change in course it could
      > finish off us.
      > The Tea Party people have it right, we can’t be bailing out Wall
      > Street
      > and charging the taxpayers. It can’t happen again. The problem is that
      > the Tea Party people are not looking at where government spending
      > might
      > be cut. Fortunately the ladies of CODEPINK have given the Tea Party
      > people an option. They are holding out an olive branch and
      > suggesting a
      > common ground with the Tea Party folks. Their idea is to stop endless
      > wars and militarism.
      > This isn’t just a bunch of old sixty-year-old post-menopausal women
      > who
      > are making up figures, they’re on to something. The actual military
      > spending is staggering. The Obama defense budget for 2011 is $663.7
      > Bbllion dollars, which is almost 42% of all worldwide defense
      > spending.
      > This does not include the war supplemental spending that will also
      > come
      > up for a vote. The two next biggest spenders? China comes in at
      > 5.8% of
      > the worldwide budget and France at 4.5%.
      > CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin quotes former Republican
      > presidential
      > candidate Pat Buchanan, who says “Is it not absurd to borrow
      > hundreds of
      > billions annually from China -- to defend Asia from China?”
      > Tea Partiers should remember that great Republican Dwight
      > Eisenhower who
      > said “Beware the military industrial complex.” President Eisenhower
      > had
      > it right. Maybe CODEPINK and the Tea Party people can reach a
      > consensus
      > on this overboard spending. Now that would be something to party for.
      > Ellen Ratner is Washington bureau chief for Talk Radio News Service
      > and
      > a Fox News contributor.
      > *****
      > --
      > Dan Clore
      > New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
      > http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
      > My collected fiction: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      > http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
      > Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
      > http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
      > News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo
      > Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
      > in charge on this island?
      > Professor: Why, no one.
      > Skipper: No one?
      > Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
      > -- _Gilligan's Island_, episode #6, "President Gilligan"
      > ------------------------------------
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