tim: protest sign: "Down With This Sort of Thing" (politics)
Since I may not be near a computer tomorrow...
Is there anybody here who'd like to change his clothes into a uniform
Is there anybody here who thinks they're only serving on a raging storm
Is there anybody here with glory in their eyes
loyal to the end, whose duty is to die
I wanna see him
I wanna wish him luck
I wanna shake his hand, wanna call his name
Put a medal on the man.

Is there anybody here who'd like to wrap a flag around an early grave
Is there anybody here who thinks they're standing taller on a battle wave
Is there anybody here who'd like to do his part
soldier to the world and a hero to his heart
I wanna see him
I wanna wish him luck
I wanna shake his hand, wanna call his name
Put a medal on the man

Is there anybody here so proud of the parade
who'd like to give a cheer and show they're not afraid
I'd like like to ask him what he's trying to defend
Oh I'd like to ask him what he thinks he's gonna win

Is there anybody here who thinks that following the orders takes away the blame
Is there anybody here who wouldn't mind a murder by another name
Is there anybody here whose pride is on the line
with the honor of the brave and the courage of the blind
I wanna see him
I wanna wish him luck
I wanna shake his hand, wanna call his name
Put a medal on the man

-- Phil Ochs, 1966 (audio)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
"I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. And there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love. I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism. We are presently moving down a dead-end road that can lead to national disaster. America has strayed to the far country of racism and militarism. The home that all too many Americans left was solidly structured idealistically; its pillars were solidly grounded in the insights of our Judeo-Christian heritage. All men are made in the image of God. All men are brothers. All men are created equal. Every man is an heir to a legacy of dignity and worth. Every man has rights that are neither conferred by, nor derived from the State--they are God-given. Out of one blood, God made all men to dwell upon the face of the earth. What a marvelous foundation for any home! What a glorious and healthy place to inhabit. But America's strayed away, and this unnatural excursion has brought only confusion and bewilderment. It has left hearts aching with guilt and minds distorted with irrationality.

It is time for all people of conscience to call upon America to come back home. Come home, America. Omar Khayyam is right: 'The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.' I call on Washington today. I call on every man and woman of good will all over America today. I call on the young men of America who must make a choice today to take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late. The book may close. And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, 'You're too arrogant! And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God.'"

-- Martin Luther King, Jr., April 30, 1967
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
A friend on Facebook posted this text:
A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including their life. That is beyond honor; there are far too many people in this country who no longer remember this fact.

If there were a way in which I could serve my country by writing a blank check payable for an amount up to and including my own life, but not including someone else's life -- the life of someone who did not consent to sacrifice their life for my country, and for whom the basic circumstances of survival might be incompatible with my country's agenda -- I would do it. But my moral beliefs do not allow me to swear that I would be willing to take a life -- because I would not. I cannot conceive of being able to look at myself in the mirror in the morning as a person who believes that I am sufficiently wise, sufficiently far-seeing to make the decision that taking another person's life is the right thing to do in the long run, that taking that life might save the life of someone else who I'll never see, or at least that the probability of saving that other person's life is sufficiently high to justify extinguishing this one. To me, being an actor in a system wherein we do those kinds of calculations on each other's right to exist would be immoral. I could never be sufficiently sure that I was killing for... justice? Freedom? Whatever it was, not to advance the economic interests of the power elite of my country. Given how many people have killed a human being believing, or hoping, that they were killing for freedom and justice, but who were actually killing in order to keep a defense contractor in Cristal -- I would not be able to say, straight-faced, that I was the one exception, that I wasn't like all those other killers. What would make me so different?

This is all kind of abstract, as I'm nearly 30, transsexual, and flat-footed; I may not be the last person who would get drafted if the de facto, economically propelled draft that's in effect in this country stopped providing enough cannon fodder, but I'd be pretty close to the last boy picked for the team. Even so, I hope you'll believe me when I say that if there was an obvious way to serve that didn't require me to promise to hurt anyone else, that didn't require me to be taught how to hurt other people without feeling bad about it, I would do it. But the shops don't close for Peace Corps Day.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Oh I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British war
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing
But I ain't marchin' anymore

For I've killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying I saw many more dying
But I ain't marchin' anymore

It's always the old to lead us to the war
It's always the young to fall
Now look at all we've won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all

For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes I even killed my brothers
And so many others
But I ain't marchin' anymore

For I marched to the battles of the German trench
In a war that was bound to end all wars
Oh I must have killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain't marchin' anymore

It's always the old to lead us to the war
It's always the young to fall
Now look at all we've won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all

For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning I knew that I was learning
That I ain't marchin' anymore

Now the labor leader's screamin'
when they close the missile plants,
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore,
Call it "Peace" or call it "Treason,"
Call it "Love" or call it "Reason,"
But I ain't marchin' any more,
No I ain't marchin' any more

-- Phil Ochs, 1964
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
"she says my ass hurts
when i sit down
she says my feet hurt
from just standing around
i think my body
is as restless as my mind
and i don't know if i can roll with it
this time

she packed his uniforms
and drove him to the base
she was crying all the way
the world looked her in the face
and said
roll with it, baby
make it your career
keep the home fires burning
till america is in the clear

the mainstream is so polluted with lies
once you get wet, it's so hard to get dry
we are all taught how to justify
history
as it passes by
and yes, it's your world
that comes crashing down
when the big boys decide
to throw their weight around
but just roll with it baby
make it your career
keep the home fires burning
till america is in the clear

what if the enemy
isn't in a distant land
what if the enemy lies behind
the voice of command
the sound of war
is a child's cry
behind tinted windows,
they just drive by
all i know is that those
that are going to be killed
aren't those who preside
on capitol hill
i told him,
don't fill the front lines
of their war
those assholes aren't worth dying for
and he said
roll with it, baby
make it your career
keep the home fires burning
till america is in the clear

but she says my ass hurts
when i sit down
she says my feet hurt
from just standing around
i think my body is as restless as my mind
and i'm not gonna roll with it this time
no, i'm not gonna roll with it this time"

-- Ani DiFranco, 1991
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Let's remember the deaths of those who believed (at least at some point) that they were dying for their country, which good intentions surpass those of the people who keep the war machine going for profit's sake.

We got a call to write a song about the war in the Gulf,
But we shouldn't hurt anyone's feelings.
So we tried, and gave up, cuz there was no such song,
But the trying was very revealing:

What makes a person so poisonous righteous,
That they'd think less of anyone who just disagrees?
She's just a pacifist, he's just a patriot.
If I said you were crazy, would you have to fight me?

Fighters for liberty,
Fighters for power,
Fighters for longer turns in the shower.

Don't tell me I can't fight 'cause I'll punch out your lights
And history seems to agree
That I would fight you for me.

So we read, and we watched
All the specially selected news,
And we learned so much more about the good guys.

"Won't you stand by the flag?"
Was the question unasked,
"Won't you join in and fight with the allies?"

What could we say? We're only 25 years old,
With 25 sweet summers, and hot fires in the cold.
This kind of life makes that violence unthinkable.
We'd like to play hockey, have kids and grow old.

Fighters for Texaco,
Fighters for power,
Fighters for longer turns in the shower.

Don't tell me I can't fight 'cause I'll punch out your lights,
And history seems to agree
That I would fight you for me,
That us would fight them for we.

He's just a peacenik,
And she's just a war-hawk.
That's where the beach was,
That's where the sea.

What could we say? We're only 25 years old,
And history seems to agree that I would fight you for me,
That us would fight them for we.
Is that how it always will be?

-- Jian Ghomeshi, 1991

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

August 2014

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