Made in China: Stop Arms Sales to Sudan

April 9, 2008
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Made in China: Stop Arms Sales to Sudan

Stop Arms From China to Sudan
Chinese trade and influence in several developing countires in Africa and Asia continue to fuel crimes against humanity.

The Summer Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8th give China the opportunity to showcase its accomplishments and its rising global power. China is also working hard to manufacture an image as a responsible and harmonious global actor. But behind this façade lies another China, one that places economic growth over its human rights responsibilities around the world.

Since 2003, the government of Sudan has orchestrated a campaign of terror in Darfur, leaving more than 200,000 people dead and at least 2.5 million homeless. During this period, China has largely ignored the mass atrocities in Darfur and instead strengthened its political, economic, and military relationship with the government of Sudan. The primary reason is simple: China desperately needs Sudanese crude oil to sustain its economic growth at home. But the relationship between China and Sudan does not stop with oil sales. China is currently the largest known provider of small arms, small arms parts, and ammunition to Sudan-the type of weapons that have been used by agents of the Sudanese government to wreak havoc in Darfur.

In the lead up to the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, Human Rights First has launched the “Made in China” campaign. With your help, we will pressure China to stop its arms sales to Sudan.

As the Olympic Games draw near, China is trying to minimize the importance of its arms sales to Sudan. As Human Rights First describes in its report, Investing in Tragedy, China is the largest—and at this point, almost exclusive—provider of small arms to Sudan. These weapons are clearly being used to maim, kill and force people to flee their homes in Darfur.

China’s response to demands that it stop shipping arms to Sudan is unconvincing. It points the finger at the other countries China claims are providing arms. This strategy is doomed to fail. Instead of deflecting attention from its own actions, China should use the Olympic Games to publicly commit to its human rights responsibilities by immediately ending arms transfers to Sudan.

The Beijing Summer Olympic Games theme “one world, one dream” rings hollow to the millions of people in Darfur left homeless and devastated by more than five years of violence. Please join Human Rights First in pressuring China to stop selling arms to Sudan now.

Contact Human Rights First: http://www.stoparmstosudan.org/pages.asp?id=1#cont

ROBERT F KENNEDY:Remarks on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 4, 2008
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Robert F. Kennedy

Remarks on the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.



“Ladies and Gentlemen…Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee”



delivered 4 April 1968, Indianapolis, IN

Audio mp3 of Address




click for pdf click for flash

[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio. (2)]

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening, because I have some — some very sad news for all of you — Could you lower those signs, please? — I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black — considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization — black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to fill with — be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States. We have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poem, my — my favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote:

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God.

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King — yeah, it’s true — but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love — a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We’ve had difficult times in the past, but we — and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it’s not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

And let’s dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

Thank you very much.

See Also: Documentary trailer for “Ripple of Hope.

Video Source: YouTube.com (See also The Greatest Speeches of All Time (The Nostalgia Co.) at www.soundworks.net)

Special Collections Audio: Kennedy Press Aid Frank Manckiewicz Announces the Death of Robert Francis Kennedy.mp3

Also in this database: Edward Kennedy – Eulogy for Robert F. Kennedy


January 30, 2008
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So, with John Edwards announcing today his departure from the Democratic presidential primary field, what’s a progressive with a populist inclination supposed to do? As a previous post here noted, the idealogical scope of the Democratic field was diminished by Kucinich’s departure. With Edward’s announcement the breadth of political views becomes even more constrained. Ok, yes, former Senator Mike Gravel is still technically in the race, but his presence & impact is for all practical purposes is non existent.

I don’t like the Triangulator and her Democratic Leadership Council buddies. Wrong on the Iraq War and NOT anti-war enough. And, overall, despite her rhetoric, I see her as being too deeply entwined with the status quo to do much “changin'”.

And I just don’t know about Obama. Is a vision of Hope enough? Plus, his seemingly unequivocal support for US policies on Israel [Republican AND democratic] is a sticking point with me. We’ve had a failed Middle East policy for decades, with that department of the State Department seemingly outsourced to the Israel lobby. His remarks to the powerful American Israeli Public Affairs Committee in March of ’07 articulate that view and are posted at his website, indicating they represent his basic current position on the Middle East. http://obama.senate.gov/speech/070302-aipac_policy_fo/

I fear facing another election cycle when the most necessary accessory for the voting booth is going to be a clothespin. I sincerely hope that does not turn out to be the case!


THE AMAZING Flip Flopper! Something to Agree w/Rudy Giuliani about: The Red Sox!

October 26, 2007
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Providence, RI, Journal, June 2007:

Rudy Giuliani, when asked if he would accept the Presidency if it hinged on him becoming a Red Sox Fan, replied:

“I have a great deal of respect for people who really are fans of the teams they say they are fans of, but probably that’s a deal I could not make”.

On Wed Giuliani declared himself a member of the Red Sox Nation for the duration of the World Series against the National League Colorado Rockies, claiming loyalty to the American League.

How so very typical of our candidate.

I grew up in Western Mass, and my sister lives in SE New Hampshire, all Red Sox Territory. Even when I lived there, which was a long long time ago, the North Shore of Boston extended well past the resort town of Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, which lies just across the border from Massachusetts’s less infamous Salisbury Beach. I would put heavy odds that the overwhelming #s of New England sports fans , never mind New Hampshire by itself, are ardent Sox fans [and of the Patriots, Bruins and Celtics…] . Ever the opportunist Rudy sees a chance for self aggrandizement and goes for it.

I don’t begrudge him this one quite as much as I do his flops on abortion rights, gay rights, human rights, civil rights, personal relationship commitment, family relationships and just about every other position or semi liberal/libertarian idea he made use of to hang onto the Mayorship of NYC.

Nope, because if you are Red Sox fan during a World Series you are OK with me. I HATE the Yankees, and derived great pleasure in their being shut out of the ACLS. BUT, and this is a big BUT, once the Series is over, Mr G, we’re comin’ after you and your secret Drag Queen alter ego…’cause you are wrong on just about everything that needs to be made right about America, starting with your incredibly callous remarks about torture, including about those you made about the infamous “waterboarding” method that Judge Mukasey, the Attorney General nominee, and you, in his defense,  seem willing to endorse in the name of “fighting terrorism”,

That’s not the American way, Mr G, and, if that is YOUR position, then you stand both on the wrong side of the Law and the Constitution as well as being at opposite poles with the educated electorate you will face next November if you are the Republican nominee.

So, go right ahead, MR G, cheer for the Sox now, but know for real that your membership in the Red Sox Nation expires one second after the Sox claim the World Championship and that advance elements of that educated electorate will have drawn a bead on your strike OUT zone. See Ya!


Red Sox Rule!!

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