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A Nation of Sheep?

(A) Editorial: A Nation of Sheep?
(B) Links Directory
(this page revised Tues. Nov. 20, 2001)

(A) Editorial: A Nation of Sheep?

After I sent out yesterday's edition our role in the war and the erosion of civil rights in Canada, a friend asked whether the quotes on the Nazi holocaust were really appropriate.

Well, it's not my role to judge – I'm here to provide a variety of listings of interest to you. But given the millions of deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, questions need to be asked. Are we doing the right thing? Could there be more to the "War on Terrorism" than meets the eye? What is the "War on Drugs" really all about? "Protecting Democracy"? Who is protecting what from whom – and using what methods?

Some people are asking questions.

  "Why are we despised? ... There could be about 5,000 deaths from the horrific events in NYC. ... The same level of human loss would have to happen in the U.S. once every month, all year long, for over fifteen years, for the death toll to match what U.S. policies have imposed on Iraq." ** [emphasis added]

There are many other voices, on a variety of websites and e-mail lists. You can find them if you know your way around, or if you have a starting place such as the People- & Planet-Friendly.

But why aren't these questions being asked in more prominent places? Why aren't they front-page news? It begs the question: just who is the media serving? And government. And corporations. Are they serving people and the planet? Or are they only serving each other – an incestuous tangle of vested interests, a tragic short-circuit in the system? At what point, as society deteriorates and the planet crumbles, will they realize that they are failing to serve even themselves?

  "When we all think alike, nobody thinks very much. This applied to Germany under Hitler – and it applies to North America under Capitalism." – Wilfred Bricker  

So how did we let things get so bad? Softened by material comfort, have we forgotten our roles as citizens? Hoping that government would take care of things, have we given away our responsibilities – and lost our control? Seduced by the American Dream, have we let greed and habit overcome our common sense? Hypnotized and disheartened by the media ...have we given up on life?

I saw a T-shirt the other day. It carried an American flag, where the stars had been changed into tiny white fighter planes, the stripes into rifles. The caption was: "Nation of Sheep. Owned by Pigs. Ruled by Wolves". Unfair, perhaps, to single out the US in this way. But it's a striking vision. If we look in the mirror, can we see ourselves?

If we ask the right questions we might find the answers. What is happening in society today? What is money, and how can it be made to serve the individual – without destroying the planet? What things are happening today, out of sight and out of mind, that could come back to haunt us? What are our dreams? And what are our real needs, if we want to be around for a while?

There are a lot of questions, and none of us can answer them all alone. If you haven't read yesterday's edition, do spend some time with it. Read the quotes. Visit it on the website, and follow the links. Print off some pages that scare you – and some that inspire. Discuss them with those who share your views and those who don't. We're all in this together. Learn about it, communicate it, act on it.

As the Greek orator Cicero said 2,000 years ago, "freedom is participation in power". Without power, we are all slaves. To find the power we need, we must listen to ourselves and to each other, very carefully. We must study society, economics and nature with a renewed interest and an open mind. And we must put in place systems that ensure that power never again gets into the hands of a few.

Peter Blanchard

  "In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me... and by that time, there was no one to speak up for anyone." – Martin Niemoeller, Pastor, German Evangelical (Lutheran) Church (Human Rights Web)  

NOTE: Yesterday's special edition has been uploaded to the web, for easy surfing.and printing. Watch for more in future editions.

** Total embargo-related deaths in Iraq, according to New Internationalist Magazine, as of 1998: 1,060,960 "UNICEF's figures are similar if not worse"
[to find figures for American military, covert & embargo actions in many other countries, see the links below]

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

The Humane Response

"The humane response of people all over the world to the terrorism of Sept. 11 has long been hijacked by those running a rapacious great power with a history of terrorism second to none. Global supremacy, not the defeat of terrorism, is the goal; only the politically blind believe otherwise." – John Pilger. Full article at:

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

Top 5 Lies About The War – "How many people do you know who claim to be sceptical, who pride themselves on their distrust for authority, who like to pretend that they're wise to the ways of the world – and then, every time there's a war, they swallow the lies of the government with all the gullibility of a three-year-old child in the lap of a department store Santa Claus? Don't fall into that trap yourself! Learn to identify and refute official misinformation when you see it. Let's count down some of the common misconceptions about this war:" or

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

What is propaganda? – "Every time we 'go there to help' it's because we want something. We 'went there to help' South Africa because they've got diamonds. We 'went there to help' Saudi Arabia because they've got oil. Read your history books." – woman selling US flags, New York City, Sept. 2001.

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

(B) Links Directory: War, Civil Rights, Peace, Democracy

AMERICAN WARS, COVERT ACTION, FOREIGN POLICY or – "Top 5 Lies about the War" – "The War Against The Third World". This two-hour video compilation says it all. It is a must-see for anyone who cares about how many millions of people are dying violent deaths – without rhyme or reason – as a result of American "interventions" and covert actions around the world. It features a variety of well-known and credible sources, including former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, journalist Bill Moyers, and musician Kris Kristofferson. This moving and illuminating film can be ordered for $8US from the above link. – New Internationalist Magazine "Why are we despised?" "Alienating the International Community" Can we face the truth? Noam Chomsky on the New War Against Terror – over 180 articles on War & Terror; much more – Petrotyranny (book) (more) (related) (2) – Nation of Sheep T-Shirt

CIVIL RIGHTS & HUMAN RIGHTS – Canadian Civil Liberties Association

DEMOCRACY WATCH – Democracy Watch – Twenty Steps Toward a Modern, Working Democracy – manipulative & misleading PR practices used to control political debates and public opinion – Democracy 101 – Citizens for Local Democracy (Toronto)


PR Watch – manipulative & misleading PR practices used to control political debates & public opinion.
Corporate Watch
Corp. Accountability Project
Council of Canadians
The Corporate Web – info about the corporations which make political contributions to, and benefit from, the Harris Progressive Conservative government in Ontario
United for a Fair Economy

MEDIA WATCH – Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

ALTERNATIVE / INDEPENDENT MEDIA – "progressive journalists, writers, artists and activists" (Canadian) – "helping you save money, protect your rights and untangle spin" (Canadian) – "a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators & entrepreneurs" – YES! A Journal of Positive Futures – Natural Life Magazine, bookstore, more (Canadian) – New Internationalist magazine, films, books & more – over 1000 organisations working for social justice – ZNet & Z Magazine, with Noam Chomsky, Vandana Shiva, Naomi Klein and many more – news, opinion, investigative journalism, article database – Independent Media Center – the world's longest running environmental magazine – links to alternative press, radio, politics; business & media criticism

PEACE & NON-VIOLENCE – Canadian Peace Alliance – Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace
Project Ploughshares, an ecumenical agency of the Canadian Council of Churches
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade 613-231-3076
A Force More Powerful (excellent PBS broadcast on the use of nonviolent conflict for positive social change; now available as a video; also readables, materials for teachers and discussion online)
Peacewire 604-687-3292

Toronto Disarmament Network 416-535-6586

Science For Peace 416-978-3606

Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace 403-938-5335

Canadian Voice of Women For Peace 416-603-7915

Bombs Away 613-233-1982

Physicians For Global Survival 613-233-1982

Nonviolent Peaceforce Canada 613-564-0999

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

People- & Planet-Friendly Events & Resources

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