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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

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July 26, 2008
WAWA Blog July 26, 2008: On the road again and bound for New Orleans



When Hurricane Kat blew through the Big Easy three years ago, my Irish rose up and my curiosity was enkindled.

I am on the road to New Orleans with a few committed, dedicated Christians who all want to DO SOMETHING for the under served in our nation.

They will be tearing down and carting off debris in order to build a vocational training facility. I am going to LISTEN to the people, bear witness and report.


Today's offerings is excerpted from KEEP HOPE ALIVE which I wrote in September 2005: 



9/11/05 AND THE GULFPORT BLUES


For the past twenty-two years of Sunday mornings, Dr. Jake Hunter had navigated the tannic colored waters of the Withlacoochee River in the dark, so as to arrive at the center of Lake Silver just before first light. For miles, the eastern vista manifested multitudes of eighty-feet-tall and six-hundred year-old cypress trees. The rising sun that backlit the cypress always filled Jake with awe, but this morning, his mood was most foul. He had been consumed with rage from the instant he viewed the first images from New Orleans the week before, and deep pain had wounded America’s soul. Jake spit out of the side of the boat and cursed local, state, and federal bureaucracy for failing the least and most vulnerable.

“I am so pissed! What Hurricane Katrina blew in and exposed was that the empire has no clothes! What happened in the Big Easy was foretold three years ago in a five-part series in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Then, last October’s National Geographic fictional story became fact, as it had laid out the scene in incredible detail, which became reality on TV. Christ, have mercy! Local officials and FEMA knew about the probability that even a slow-moving category three hurricane would cause catastrophic loss and a lot of human misery. Those 19th-century levees were not designed for that eventuality! Now, maybe we all will wake up to the facts, that in the third millennium, all our infrastructures need a physician, stat! The very innards of our nation are collapsing, and a government that has been commissioned to protect its citizens blew it, big time! I am so pissed that a billion tax dollars a day go to support a war in Iraq, and not one level of government would bother to scrounge up the bucks for adequate supplies of food, water, and medicine. I am so pissed!”

Jake rubbed his burning arms while cursing the spinal cord impingement that caused it, and then moaned, “Christ, have mercy on us for ignoring our sentinels! For years, climatologists have predicted and warned us that powerful storms will occur more frequently in this century, because of the rising sea level from global warming. The hardest-working marsh in America is the Louisiana bayou, and we have neglected its health. For three hundred years, men have built walls and levees to control that mighty force of nature, and it has wrecked havoc on New Orleans’s natural defenses. From the Mississippi border to the Texas state line, Louisiana is losing its protective fringe of marshes and barrier islands faster than any place in the U.S.”

Jake hushed as first light broke, and he sat, motionless and awed by the view, until a mosquito bit his cheek; he again cursed, spat, and then growled into the wind, “That’s the other thing that’s pissing me off. People have been propagandized to buy cypress mulch, and that has led to logging companies raping the areas where ivory-bill woodpeckers once roamed. Florida and Louisiana are being violated by timber companies buying up private property, so that they can cut down these magnificent trees that are part of the filtering system for wetland health. If people would only wake up and use leaves, pine bark, or pine straw, which are much cheaper and work just as well, we could put a stop to this particular raping of Mother Earth. It’s time to stop cutting down our cypress trees, and Homeland Security money should go to restoring the homeland.”



 
Back at the A-frame, Terese sipped from her steaming mug of black brew and checked her email, to find report 57 from Jerry Levin, the reporter and full-time volunteer with Christian Peacemaker Teams who had shepherded through Hebron. She sighed repeatedly as she read about the start of a new school year in Hebron, for it wasn’t good. She had spent a few hours in Hebron in June, and had not forgotten it for one day since.

“Christ, have mercy! These teachers and kids trying to get to school are threatened and hassled by these erratic and illegal settlers, and a trigger-happy IDF! What a daily life to have to contend with! I cannot imagine watching my child have to go through a checkpoint or be verbally and physically abused just to get to school! What are we teaching these kids, when they grow up looking up the barrel of an Israeli soldier’s weapon of destruction?”

Next, she opened a press conference summary of September 6, 2005, from Dr. Mustafa Bargouthi, September 6, 2005's Palestinian National Initiative report regarding the aftermath of the “disengagement,” and the bottom line was more settlers, more walls, and more corruption in the PA. He stated that ‘Ninety percent of security violations in Palestine are committed by security forces and intelligence. These forces must be disciplined; the rule of law and an independent judiciary must be installed. [And] it is estimated that 30 percent of the 160,000 salaried government employees do not attend work of any kind. This kind of corruption and nepotism must be ended.’

Terese moaned when she read about the violations since the cease-fire agreement of February 8. “Christ, have mercy! Seventy-five Palestinians, including seventeen innocent children, and fourteen Israelis, including two innocent children, have been murdered. Two thousand Palestinians have been arrested; there have been 2,306 checkpoints imposed, and 8,700 acres of Palestinian land has been confiscated by the Israeli government! And how can these settlers sleep at night, after attacking Palestinians 394 times since the cease-fire agreement? I feel bad about these screwed-up settlers, but they are a cult that has been allowed to get out of control. The Israeli government enticed and encouraged them to settle in illegal land, and this is what it has come to! And yet, the illegal settlements continue!

“And, what a farce the so-called disengagement in Gaza was. The  Israeli government still controls all access to Gaza by land, sea, and air. Bargouthi documented that only 25 of over 150 settlements will be dismantled, and only 8,475 of over 436,000 settlers [less than 2 percent of settlers] have been evacuated. Meanwhile, in the past year, 12,800 new settlers have moved into the West Bank--50 percent more settlers than were evacuated.”

 
“This is no withdrawal, this is BS! Until Palestinians have control of Gaza’s borders and a guaranteed passage between Gaza and the West Bank, it is not a withdrawal; it’s just BS propaganda! And Gaza is less than 6 percent of the occupied territories, and that leaves 94 percent of Palestinian territories under the boot of the IDF. The corruption in the PA government and hot tempers from those under occupation are a powder keg that’s getting ready to blow! What’s it going to take to wake the world up to the fact that most of our problems with radical Islamist fundamentalist militants leads us back to the conflict in Israel and Palestine? All roads do indeed lead to Jerusalem. What’s it going to take before the International community gets it together and insists, in unity, upon the upholding of international law as the rule we all live by? And that includes Israel and America, too, for both ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I wonder, what’s the point of signing on, but then not doing it?

“What’s it going to take to wake up the legions of blind U.S. Christian Zionists to their indifference to the misery of their sisters and brothers in Israel and Palestine? Their blind allegiance to the Israeli government has allowed our best friend in the world to become a big bully. What’s it going to take to break through the ignorance that hard-earned U.S. tax dollars are being used to continue the occupation and apartheid wall?”




Jack slammed the U-Haul’s gate down as he told Maureen, “This is the fourth year since Julianne was vaporized on Floor 101 of the North Twin Tower, and it took that misery in the Delta to get me to finally part with her belongings and much more. If you would have told me two weeks ago that I would be driving a filled-to-the-max twenty-four-foot U-Haul down to refugees in Mississippi on the anniversary date of Julianne’s demise, I would not have been able to even imagine it. But, if I don’t do something to help somehow, I will go nuts, or I will fall off the wagon one more time.

“Here we are, two weeks later, and many Gulfport residents still have not seen FEMA! I hope and pray that this misery in the Delta will wake up America to the fact that abject poverty surrounds our cocoons of consumerism and self-absorbed lives. We all need to do something to help those among us who had so little and now have nothing at all.

“Mo! I know what we can do; we can build Habitat for Humanity housing within the gates of South Hampton and Beverly Hills--you know, resettle the refugees equitably, let every state take some in--and let’s build them housing in the best school districts! That could very well break the poverty cycle; what do you think, Mo?”

Maureen smirked and fought back tears as she hugged Jack and spoke. “Brother, I know you are nuts! But, in “Over the Teacups,” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., wrote: ‘There never was an idea stated that woke men out of their stupid indifference but its originator was spoken of as a crank.’ So, Jack, your kind of nuts is good. Out of a town of seventeen thousand, only you thought to contact all the churches around and announce you would drive down donations of food, water, and toiletries to help American refugees on the anniversary of your own misery.”

“Watching those images and being powerless to help was excruciating. It also forced me to finally part with some things I needed to let go. Mo, not much matters when one’s heart is broken and soul has been torn, but I have learned that I must do something, or else...”




   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

Published 10/30/10

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UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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