Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Remember when they just knocked on your door during dinner?

Now they just blow it right down.

Just when you thought the lunatic fringe Christians couldn't get any more out there.

Now it's Grand Theft Auto meets the Ten Commandments.

Someone, somewhere, thought this would be a good idea.

Welcome To The War Blog


If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable.

John F. Kennedy

I have spent the last week and a half talking with Americans from every walk of life.

Co-workers, college students, neighbors, family and various friends. I've even struck up conversations with strangers and worked my way around to the topics I was curious about.

Iraq, terrorism, Vietnam, social unrest, protest, patriotism, sacrifice.

I've talked a great deal about those things with all sorts of people.

I've been trying to come to terms with where we are in America and just how we might change the headlong rush towards the abyss we seem destined for.

I started Green September a little less than a year ago in the aftermath of Katrina and the desperation and desolation that followed our government's deliberate non-response and outright criminal negligence in dealing with that disaster.

It was a bold idea, not a new one. I'm sure others have had the same thoughts.

Try to start a new movement, a new political party, a grassroots movement to change our government and insure tragedies like Katrina's aftermath would never happen again. In those heady days as the leaves began to turn and the brutal summer sun turned to fall's beautiful grace, I believed it might be possible.

You see, I knew that there had to be a popular uprising after Katrina. Tens of thousands of displaced and angry people, the whole world watching as critical patients on hospital roofs died waiting for helicopters that never came.

No just society would tolerate this sort of callous disregard for the common welfare of it's citizens.

I was right.

No just society would tolerate such things.

Anybody know how many people died during and after Katrina?

No one knows. Not the government. Not the families of victims. No one has an accurate assessment.

It reminds me of a quote about Iraq: "We don't do body counts."

Does anyone know how many civilians have died in Iraq?

Here's the Daily Double: Does anyone know what the people of Iraq and the victims of Katrina have in common?

That's right: Both groups are poor and dark skinned.

They do not matter.

From the innocents murdered in Fallujah and Haditha to the crowds of refugees fired on by police and kept from crossing bridges out of New Orleans into the white suburbs, they are the same. Powerless and poor.

In the aftermath of Katrina I wrote letters. I posted flyers. I called talk shows. I talked about Green September and how we could, if enough of us got together, change how our government did business.

I lobbied philanthropists. The people at George Soros' Open Society Institute finally wrote back and told me to quit writing and support my local Green Party, that political organizations needed more than just good intentions.

A strange thing happened. As the weeks wore on, more celebrities had babies and the fall television season started and no one rose up to shout about Katrina's criminal accomplices.

My good and dear friends on the Internet wrote to me and told me that they were on board and trusted me with their true, and often closely guarded identities. It was one of the most touching moments of my life.

But I failed them. Despite knowing that I knew nothing about organization of such things and the fact that there was no uprising demanding justice, I still feel that I failed.

So, we used the Green September blog to begin to organize like-minded individuals together and to gather information on what Bush and his criminal band were up to. We kept the blog under the radar, not leaving trails that could be followed back to us, not registering with various blog search engines that increase traffic. Just little things to protect our small community.

We have our loyal regulars and what I think of as irregulars. The ones that never comment but from time to time drop me an e-mail and say thank you for saying such and such. Not a lot. Just a handful.

But they are growing. A trickle here. A trickle there. I linked from MySpace after a friend introduced me to it (thanks Fran, I'm holding you to that quarter promise) and lo and behold young people who never were curious about politics are asking me questions. Just a few.

Just a few.

But Green September has failed. I look at the blog and it brings a sense of unrealized potential.

It also brings memories of more personal and painful failures that cut very deeply.

I had considered a change for a while, then a good friend and trusted advisor showed me what I had forgotten: That a name is just a name, but the hope and integrity behind it remains.

Green September failed. Green September is over.

I will leave the site where it is for archival purposes, but it is finished.

Green September was about working to repair a system that could be changed from within using political parties and ideas I thought that Americans respected. I was wrong.

R.I.P. Green September.

Thorn Tree is a war blog.

Take that in whatever way you see fit.

Because like it or not, those who love freedom and self determination are in a war for their lives and for the future of civilization. We face a dark age of Christian dominionists and military-industrial zealots that care not one bit for decency, peace, and human dignity.

Today, we fight with words.