Dying Declaration

Rosebud…

Citizen Kane is undoubtedly one of the best screenplays of all time. Orson Wellescautionary tale is as socially relevant today, as it was back in 1941.

The main character possessed the superficial things that many misguided souls in modern society deem utopia prerequisites. A story rich with many of the necessary evils: media, politics, greed, money, and power- a film that subliminally whispers ‘school is now session’ by way of intellectual atonement.

“Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted, and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn’t get, or something he lost.”

Kane’s last utterance was perhaps an allusion to the only time in Kane’s wretched life, that he experienced true happiness. In his dying moments, Kane did not lament, nor recall his wealth or power (or even his demise), but a time of great happiness.

A dying declaration is thought to be sacred, based on Latin theory Emo moriturus praesumitur mentiri, simply put- a dying person is not presumed to lie. Kane’s utterance is a symbolic warning. A simple truth. It wasn’t the childhood sled (Rosebud) that Kane missed the most. Rosebud was symbolic of simpler times when his life was not dominated by blind ambition.

Sometimes, in the quest for validation, it’s possible to lose sight of who we are, and what really makes us happy. Perhaps, what we THINK will bring us happiness will instead (when  achieved or attained), leave us empty and alone.

What makes you happy? Does it truly make you happy? Or, have you been conditioned to believe that it will make you happy?

Live passionately; do what you love-love what you do, love who you will, and share that love with the world.

Don’t take Rosebud for granted.

Note: Every now and then a reprieve is in order (if only to remind me that I’m still human). Therefore,a  temporary intellectual escape was required (today), it lasted 3 hours. At times I retreat to the comforts of music, prose, poetry, and my wonderful DVD library. Today, I watched Citizen Kane (again). It inspired me to write this piece. I’m now ready to begin anew. Fighting for what I believe in, fighting for those who can’t (or won’t) fight for themselves, and doing what I can to make this world a better place. Join me. – Annie

Cemeteries are Peaceful…

Hugo Chavez may not be the perfect president, but anyone who can tip their hat to the IMF with a thanks, but no thanks attitude, deserves a bit of respect. And, while I may not embrace all of Hugo’s politics, I am quite fond of him.

In September, President Hugo Chávez’s statement was delivered by Venezuela’s foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro at the 66th UN General Assembly .    I printed the entire speech from the website listed below.   I began reading…and, I couldn’t stop.  Soon, the symbolic, powerful words penetrated my thoughts, plunging down into the black , depths of my intellect.  The simple (and painful) truth of Hugo Chávez‘ s statement cannot be denied. Truth be told, with respect to America, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

“Peace, peace, peace… We do not look for the peace of the cemetery, as said Kant ironically, but a peace based on the most zealous respect for international law. Unfortunately, the UN, through all its history, instead of adding and multiplying efforts in favor of peace among nations, ends up supporting, sometimes through its actions and other times by omission, the most ruthless injustices.”

Why does the UN do nothing to stop Washington? Because, Hugo, if we give them enough rope they will hang themselves….The imperialists have a people’s revolt on their hands. Yet, I do not hope for the peace of the cemetery. If we’re in the cemetery, we didn’t work hard enough for PEACE. The occupation continues.
The statement continues: ” I want to call on the governments of the world to reflect: since September 11th, 2001, a new and unprecedented imperialist war began, a permanent war, in perpetuity.”

It’s true, Hugo, the U.S. war-profiteers continue to feed their blood thirsty appetite, manufacturing fear in the hearts of the castle dwellers. The imperialists bankroll the propaganda peddlers, and there is no end in site. The war on terror is a front created to justify perpetual war.

It should always be remembered that “saving future generations from the scourge of war” is mentioned in the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations – it’s just a dead letter. From 1945 on, wars have done nothing but inexorably increase and multiply themselves. We see, once again, Libya destroyed and bloodstained by the will of the powerful. We have to look directly at the terrifying reality of the world we live in. It is necessary to ask a series of questions on the basis of the risks and threats we face: Why is the United States the only country that scatters the planet with military bases? What is it afraid of to allocate such a staggering budget for increasing its military power? Why has it unleashed so many wars, violating the sovereignty of other nations which have the same rights on their own fates? How can international law be enforced against its insensible aspiration to militarily hegemonizing the world in order to ensure energy sources to sustain their predatory and consumer model? Why does the UN do nothing to stop Washington? If we answer these questions sincerely we would understand that the empire has awarded itself the role of judge of the world, without being granted this responsibility by anyone, and, therefore, imperialist war threatens us all.

Washington knows that a multi-polar world is already an irreversible reality. Its strategy consists of stopping, at any price, the sustained rise of a group of emerging countries, by negotiating great interests with its partners and followers in order to guide multipolarity along the path the empire wants. What is more, the goal is to reconfigure the world so it is based on Yankee military hegemony. Mankind is facing the very real threat of a permanent war. The empire is ready to create the political conditions for triggering a war anywhere, and the case of Libya proves it. Within the imperial view of the world, the well-known Clausewitz’s axiom is being reversed: politics is the continuation of war by other means.

What is behind this new Armageddon?: the absolute power of the military-financial leadership which is destroying the world in order to accumulate ever more profits; the military-financial leadership which is subordinated, de facto, to an increasingly larger group of States. Keep in mind that war is capital’s modus operandi: the war that ruins the majority and makes richer, up to the unthinkable, a few people...

Humanity is on the brink of an unimaginable catastrophe: the world is marching inexorably toward the most devastating ecocide; global warming and its frightening consequences are announcing it, but their perspective on the ecosystem, which resembles the ideology of the conquistadors Cortés and Pizarro, as the influential French thinker Edgar Morin rightly pointed out, pushes them to continue degrading and destroying. The energy and food crises are sharpening, but capitalism continues to trespass all the limits with impunity.

Given such a meager outlook, the great U.S. scientist Linus Pauling, awarded the Nobel Prize on two occasions, continues enlightening our path: “I believe that there is a greater power in the world than the evil power of military force, of nuclear bombs — there is the power of good, of morality, of humanitarianism. I believe in the power of the human spirit”. Let us mobilize all the power of the human spirit: it is time now. It is imperative that we unleash a great political counter-offensive in order to prevent the powers of darkness from finding justifications for going to war, from unleashing a widespread global war through which they attempt to save the western capital….

I want to conclude by remembering the great Venezuelan singer, Alí Primera. In one of his songs he asks us: “What is man’s struggle to achieve peace? And what peace, if they want to leave the world just as it is?” Today more than ever before, the worst crime against peace is to leave the world as it is: if we leave the world as it is, the present and future will be determined by perpetual war. On the contrary, to quote Alí Primera, achieving peace involves radically reversing all that impedes humanity from being humane.

Read the entire speech here:

http://www.voltairenet.org/Statement-by-Hugo-Chavez-at-66th

Watch Oliver Stone’s Award Winning piece:

http://southoftheborderdoc.com/

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Rise Up Against The Machine

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, now spreading like wildfire across the nation, are the culmination of deep rooted pain & suffering of an oppressed sector of society. And, if current political trajectory continues undisturbed, this oppressed society will soon become extinct; crushed beneath the weight of political favors.
Historically, the campaign trails are littered with come-ons and one-liners designed to coddle and woo the 99%. But, soon after the ballots are counted, the romance quickly fades. And, like a cheap one-night stand, our self-serving leaders, resume their tawdry affairs with the elite 1%, while quietly and discreetly leaving the interests of the 99% on the nightstand as they disappear into the shadows.
“He chose poorly” said the Grail Knight of the scavenger… Leaders who choose profit over people-can expect a similar fate. The political scavengers who prostitute themselves for the sake of bankrolling ambition must be held accountable.
99% of the population holds 99% of the VOTE. Remember that. But, it doesn’t stop at the ballot box. Hopefully, this movement will inspire a new generation of social activists, to sort through the quagmire of special interest and reveal the true agenda of their chosen representatives. And, then (hopefully) they will take the appropriate actions to eradicate the source (vote them out of office).
Fellow 99’ers, never give up and never give in, even when the odds are stacked against you. The fight must continue: “Everything we do & everything we are is in jeopardy, and because the peril is immediate & unremitting, every person is the right person to act and every moment is the right moment to begin, starting with the present moment. For nothing underscores our common humanity as strongly as the peril of extinction does; In fact, on a practical and political plane it establishes that common humanity. The purpose of action is not to replace life with politics. The point is not to turn life into a scene of protest; life is the point.” (Jonathan Schell).
We must fight for a better tomorrow.

Annie Walker-Leonard

He’s Dead. “May God Bless Your Souls.”

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” But, what if there is still doubt?

It’s done. He is dead. Despite the doubt, in spite of the public outcry, Troy Anthony Davis was executed. Time of death, 10:08 CST.

As of January 2011, 266 people, previously convicted of serious crimes in the United States, had been exonerated by DNA testing since 1989. The Innocence project estimates 200,000 innocent people are presently behind bars in the United States. How many of them are innocent?

Think about the thousands of people who are wrongly convicted each year, or those who will die as a result of wrongful convictions. Get ANGRY! Now, channel that anger toward changing the system. Get involved.

http://www.innocenceproject.org

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“Sheath the Sacrificial Knives”

How does one live under the microscope, in a society driven by selfishness and hate, yet still manage to speak out against insensitivity to the human condition.   Can a society enslaved to hate & fear be reached by words alone?  Persuaded perhaps, to “sheath the sacrificial knifes” and lift the societal curse.  Or, is the truth wasted on the deaf ears of those who cling to false dogmas (while praying at the altar of deception)?

 

Compassion Renaissance: Start a Revolution.

My incontrovertible sense of humor can’t help me laugh this one away.  I simply cannot laugh away the pain.  Pain caused by the realization that our nation is plagued by hate, fear, and indifference.  What happened to humanity?  Have we lost our ability to love each other?  When did humanity become so disconnected that it’s common place to walk past our wounded brothers or sisters without so much as acknowledging their pain?  I really need to know.  The idealist in me doesn’t want to become like the machine.    Spend a minute tonight thinking about this.  To
those who can hear me, speak out!   We are humanity… “If you prick us, do we not bleed?  If you tickle us, do we not laugh?  If you poison us, do we not die? And, if you wrong us…[does anyone really care]?  (Some of us do); It’s time for a compassion renaissance.  Will you start the revolution?

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WAR IS BUSINESS…

US War Profiteering: Coup de grâce to the sanctimonious ‘American Dream’ hyperbole.

Nothing captures the essence of ‘war as business’ better than the satirical brilliance of War Inc. (2008). Corporate sponsorship of war (depicted in the film) may seem far-fetched, but the industrial military complex of our current reality is proof that this far fetched notion is disturbingly accurate. Perhaps, serving up the truth with a side order of satire helps to make the unspeakable reality of wars for profit (in spite of human devastation) easier to stomach. But, off screen, the harsh reality doesn’t end when the credits roll.

Funding contrived, perpetual wars in the name of greed… is the new American way. Our leaders (past and present) sell the notion of war by exploiting the villain, victim, hero frames deeply embedded in the psyche. The ever looming threat of terrorism (fueled by metaphors of fear) provide the necessary level of political brainwashing to gain supporters. Soon, the war mongering puppet masters execute murder-for-profit contracts, written in blood.

Support war or suffer the consequences-opposition will be labeled treasonous, unpatriotic, or un-American. But, anti-war activists are immune the tactical framing and political brainwashing of the war mongers.

They see contrived war for the scam it really is…war profiteering fraught with waste, fraud, and abuse.

Governments offer up the human sacrifices to fuel the war profiteering machine. Stop the machine. Know the truth.

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” — Howard Zinn

Interesting reads/Sites:

http://antiwar.com/

Commission on Wartime Contracting Report

http://www.fff.org/comment/com1109j.asp

http://www.warresisters.org/warprofiteers

http://www.iwatchnews.org/2011/08/29/5989/windfalls-war-pentagons-no-bid-contracts-triple-10-years-war/

http://costofwar.com/en/publications/2011/ten-years-after-911/department-defense-budget/

http://www.iwatchnews.org/2011/08/31/5992/windfalls-war-pentagon-buys-choppers-russia-equip-afghan-iraqi-militaries

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0884224/

http://www.commondreams.org/category/broad-topics/militarism/war-profiteering

http://www.warprofiteering.net /

http://www.thenation.com/article/blackwater-founder-implicated-murder

http://iraqforsale.org/

http://october2011.org/

http://www.imdb.com/company/co0079035/

Sexism is a Social Disease

The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins

when the doctor says, “It’s a girl.” ~Shirley Chisholm

WHAT IS WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY?


“At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.”

“The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.”

The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.

The headlines read, “WOMEN GET THE VOTE.” The 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920. After decades of oppression, women’s rights advocates brought a triumphant end to the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. The movement began, simply enough, by women who gathered together to voice their frustration over social, economic, and gender disparities. The convergence of their collective intelligence, conveyed through public discourse, produced a platform to share their concerns, philosophies, and proposed solutions. Once women realized the power and influence behind their collective voices, they changed the course of politics for generations to come.

References:

http://www.nwhp.org/resourcecenter/equalityday.php (National Women’s History Project)

http://www.legacy98.org/

http://www.legacy98.org/timeline.html (Historic Timeline)