I wasn't sure how many folks read the PI, but I figured some of you may enjoy this article.
By MICHAEL HONEY
Lost in the media frenzy over the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, First Lt. Ehren Watada, of Fort Lewis, opened another front in the conflict over President Bush's war of choice in Iraq. At a news conference in Tacoma a few hours before al-Zarqawi's death, Watada announced his refusal of orders to deploy to Iraq on grounds that the war is illegal as well as immoral.
"An order to take part in an illegal war is illegal in itself," he said. "I felt it was my obligation as a leader to speak out against the willful misconduct at the highest level of the chain of command."
Click on the link for more information, I didn't want to copy the whole article.
One of our OlyBloggers (JXN) is in computer hell -- he isn't able to log on to OlyBlog and I'm not sure why. He types his username and password in, hits [return] and gets the same login screen again. This problem has been reported before. It seems to be isolated to users of Win XP. (JXN was also using Internet Explorer, but the same problem persists with Firefox.) JXN was able to log in the first time he ran FF, so does that mean it is a problem with the Cache? Or Cookies? Any thoughts?
I just got back from the eastside neighborhood association board meeting. (Anybody can go & participate, not just board members.) I ended up taking minutes, because the secretary wasn't there, and when Jody called for volunteers, I happened to mention that I type really fast. I used a borrowed laptop, but if I can get to the internets, it's all the same to me.
They'll be posted soon, once Jody gets a chance to look at them, but I thought I'd make a quick note here now.
Some of the discussion topics are small, quotidian even. Yes, we will be distributing ice cream at the water town & Madison park for Lakefair. What stories will be in the newsletter. What materials our neighborhood entrance signs will be. Etc.
But our treasurer also shared a draft of a letter expressing the board's concern with Weyerhaeuser's (sp?!) plans to run logging trucks down Plum. (And he shared a bunch of sound bites about the horrors of cargo ship exhaust!)
We talked about the recent national guard drill at Madison School. One of the other board members -- who reads OlyBlog! -- was very much upset by running into that, and has been following up on it with the school district and now the parks dept.
Oh, and you heard it here first: there will probably be a big neighborhood yard sale at the Old Madison School in August, in collaboration with the church that's buying the building.
Whew! All in all, I'm glad I went to the meeting, and I encourage everybody to participate in their neighborhood association, if you have one. You don't have to own your house, or have lived there for a gazillion years. Just go to the meetings. Get to know people. Participate.
(But get dinner first. I had a haircut instead, and got home STARVING.)
Jeff Paterson, the former Marine counseling Lieutenant Watada in his decision to oppose the war, says military laws are tempered by public sentiment. Paterson credits significant demonstrations during his own trial with averting a prison sentence for his refusal to deploy to the Persian Gulf. In Lieutenant Watada's case, Paterson says the anti-war community is energized, and ready to support Watada. "We're in a great position here in the Seattle area to mobilize on behalf of the Lieutenant. Just weeks ago, students and community members laid their bodies in front of military transports departing from the port of Olympia to Iraq. Those people and many others are willing to do the same. They recognize the sacrifice that Lieutenant Watada is making in the name of what he believes is the truth."
I don't know what, if anything, that Meeting can do regarding soldiers and citizens who choose a path of conscience and risk becoming prisoners of conscience, but it seems like more local individuals are finding their feet on that path: Watada, Benderman, and most recently Suzanne Swift from Eugene. It seems like Western Washington is home to this growing movement with Captain James Yee and these other folks from Ft Lewis and surrounding areas. Maybe it's just local news that I am hearing and this is happening in lots of places. I hope that is so, but I am not sure.
If this is really a movement, a progression of conscience, that is building from Western Washington, then Meeting may be facing a somewhat unique responsibility to seek a leading in this area. Do we have a mechanism to call for Quakers from University and Tacoma Meetings to gather with us and pray about this in a quakerly manner? As we seek "to live in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars" I am asking how that life and power appears in our daily lives, what might we be called to do as war, an ocean of darkness, is waged through our communities and lives. How do we bring Light to this darkness?
I am comforted to see that First United Methodist in Tacoma acting to provide sanctuary to soldiers who seek it. Do any faith communities in Thurston County feel called to join the Methodists?
From Dan Bennett:
A very frightening and intriguing thing happened at the Port Commissioners meeting today. As some of you may know, I do camera work for TCTV, aside from other work there and this time was a dooser. Before the meeting took place, a port official asked that if unflattering things were said at the meeting that we (TCTV) would be told to shut the cameras off and give the tapes to the port for "editing" before it would air. From what I could gather (since I was not an official part of the conversation, only the angry listener) they figure that since the Port pays TCTV to film their public meetings, they have a right to censor it. Are you pissed of yet? I am still freakin pissed, and I couldn't yell at the staff since they were only the messenger for one or more of the commissioners. And, I don't know if Telford was involved in this little request but I doubt it since he seems a much more reasonable man. However, I overheard bits and pieces of the plans on what to do with meeting spoilers and it was not nice. I am so very glad no one "acted out" because they were very ready to surround and tackle anyone who didn't behave. I try so hard to remain neutral but this time was really f***** up. The official TCTV response is that we will continue taping and that they would have to call an executive session and kick the public out as well to make us stop taping. The tapes are not their property. Since it is after all, a public meeting. The Port pays TCTV to film and air their meetings through a contract. My guess is that they would want to add a censorship clause to it.
But this was a quiet conversation before the meeting that could just as easily be denied. I don't know if I would get fired for exposing all of this, though I don't care at this point. I couldn't believe my ears. It is an FYI for things to come. I am worried about Pottle's obviously increasing anger and Van Shorel's quiet hostility towards those liberals (like me) that disagree with them. Telford is outvoted every time a screwed up decision is being voted on..