President to Speak at Monticello July 4

Monticello Naturalization Ceremony President George Bush will be the speaker at this year’s Independence Day naturalization ceremony at Monticello. Such events take place around the country, and the annual event at Monticello is for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Charlottesville’s is always a big deal, not just because of the always-excellent speakers (Sam Waterston, actor and Unity08 founder, spoke last year), but because of its great location. The event is free, though probably tough to get into this year. It’s always stunningly hot, even at its 10am start time, so prepare accordingly if you intend to go.

215 Responses to “President to Speak at Monticello July 4”


  • June 4? Wow, I know sometimes Dudya does stuff wrong but did someone forget to tell him that America’s Birthday is on July 4th.

  • Oops. That one’s all my fault. :) I just this week got used to the idea that the current month is June, rather than May…now I’ll never move onto July.

    I’ve got it fixed now.

  • Ken Burns was the original featured speaker. Has he been bumped?

    Would it be rude to get up and leave before “W” reads the speach his writers prepared for him?

  • Brian, that’s what writers do — write speeches. That’s what they are hired for. Hopefully though, they’ve been given a list of words that President Bush can’t pronounce by now. :)

  • Make plans to unwelcome him now!

    Dress Republican.

    Bring your vocal chords.

    Get there early.

    http://charlottesvillepeace.org/node/1615

  • No, don’t. I’m all in favor of protesting this President, but don’t lose sight of the fact that this is a naturalization ceremony. If Bush does something political somewhere else that day, by all means. But that ceremony belongs to these new citizens. Don’t take it away from them.

  • One important thing that separates Americans from most other nations is the right to free speech and to complain publicly about the government without fear of execution. What better way to show these new citizens that they are in a free country than by protesting the President to his face? In many of their home countries, such actions would result in imprisonment or worse. Nobody’s protesting the new citizens or the act of naturalization. Let’s give these new citizens credit for being aware of the social, political, and economic issues that drive so many people to such protests.

  • I agree with Dan. There is a time and a place for protest, and this event is neither. You are suggesting disrupting a naturalization ceremony. You rationalize it by suggesting that the folks being honored will understand. That’s a big assumption. Becoming a naturalized citizen is much tougher than having it handed it to you by birth. I doubt that the new citizens will appreciate having their recognition disrupted because you don’t like the speaker. But then again who cares about them. YOU have the right to protest whenever and wherever YOU see fit. What a country.

  • I’ve joined a few protests against President Bush in my time. I’m also been no stranger to the naturalization ceremonies at Monticello. And I’ve got to agree that protesting at the ceremony itself would be a damned shame. Do it at the airport. Do it at the foot of the mountain, or the entrance to Monticello. But protesting at the ceremony itself would make you no better than Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, who protest the funerals of gay men and women and members of the military who were killed in Afghanistan or Iraq. Phelps has the right to protest at these solemn, intensely personal ceremonies. But the difference between Phelps and the rest of us is that we have the good sense not to do that.

    Don’t we?

  • If you’re planning on attending the ceremony (a wonderfully moving way to celebrate Independence Day) and feel moved to make clear your disapproval of George Bush, how about sitting on your hands? Welcome the President with your silence. Applaud the wonderful Charlottesville Municipal Band. Applaud the new citizens. Applaud the judge who administers the oath of citizenship. Just meet George Bush with long, awkward silence.

    No disrespect to the event. No disrespect to the new citizens. No disrespect to the office of the Presidency. But, that silence would be a powerful message for Charlottesville to send to George Bush.

  • I know two people who have gone through the naturalization ceremony and from what I know from those two people and having attended the ceremony myself, protesting the President would be one of the highest disrespect to those becoming citizens that I can think of.

    Yes, this is a free country and yes, we have freedom of speech. But, the ceremony is never about the speaker, no matter how big or small they may be. It’s about welcoming these new citizens to our country.

    To me, protesting Bush would be like going to someone’s wedding an protesting the minister because you disagree with their religion.

    There’s a time and a place for such actions and a naturalization ceremony is not either.

  • IF a war criminal was featured at my “naturalization” gig I’d want him protested.

  • If Fred Phelps was featured at my funeral I’d want him protested.

  • When your idea of free speech is silence, the fascism has penetrated your brain.

  • It’s not a “naturalization gig.” It is one of the most important events in these people’s lives. It is a ceremony that celebrates a major accomplishment. You’re not from Charlottesville and I doubt you’ve ever seen much less been involved in this naturalization ceremony. In any case, you are showing a massive disrespect to these citizens-to-be. The Fred Phelps comparison is a good one. If you or anyone associated with you interrupts this ceremony, you will be no better than he is.

  • they hold naturalization cermonies all over this country including in charlottesville where i live, and the ceremonies mean different things to everyone involved

    you can’t speak for the people involved in this one any more than you can for me

    your concern has been expected, heard, appreciated, and noted

    it does not rise to the level of outweighing the need to stand up to fascism while we can

    many a good german obligingly shut up out of respect for many a solemn ceremony, often for quite touching reasons that did not measure up to the gravity of the moment

  • I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

    THE CONSTITUTION’S CHIEF DOMESTIC ENEMY IS BUSH
    JEFFERSON GAVE US THE DEFENSE
    IT’S CALLED IMPEACHMENT

    DEFENDING THE CONSTITION
    MEANS IMPEACHING BUSH

    HERE’S WHY:
    http://afterdowningstreet.org/bush

  • I think it will be really, really hard to get into this event. It is likely to be televised and I imagine that W will ensure a partisan crowd at the actual event. Any protest will need to happen before or after, as in lots of sign-wielding people booing at the entrance to Monticello.

  • Has the board of CCPJ actually approved such a protest? Puttting CCPJ’s website after one of your comments makes it appear as if they have David and that concerns me in case they have not. I understand wanting to protest but I have to say I agree that the people who are being naturalized come first and it is definitely not a “gig” for them. I notice you did not refer to your own funeral as a “gig”, why less respect for these folks, some of whom will surely have come from war torn and trauma inducing countries who might be very upset by any discord at the ceremony. For instance, we have Rwanda massacre survivors living in C’ville with the scars to show for it, do you really think they would not be upset by angry shouting at this event? (I don’t know if any of these are at this particular naturalization, but to make these folks into real people for you I mention that.)

  • David, if President Bush was going to be here to speak at a funeral for soldiers who died in the line of duty, would you hold a protest at the funeral? What if he was speaking at the funeral of somebody who had died from AIDS?

  • I’m saddened to see that my suggestion for welcoming George Bush with public silence causes David Swanson to suggest that I’ve been infected with fascism. Silence (not “doing nothing”, but intentional silence) is a powerful tool. While outrage may make shouting a more instinctive response, that doesn’t mean it’s the best response.

    I continue to believe that silence would make a louder and more persuasive statement at this event. If you feel a need to emphasize that your silence is an intentional, political act, turn your back.

    The first time that I attended an Independence Day naturalization ceremony was in the early 1990s, when Carl Sagan was the speaker. When it came time for the Pledge of Allegiance, Dr. Sagan chose not to participate. Right there on the stage, on the 4th of July, all alone in front of all of those people. He sat in silence. It was quite a moment. He later explained that he’d be happy to pledge his allegiance to the Constitution, but wasn’t going to recite a pledge to a flag. It was a quiet, dramatic moment that, I suspect, will not be forgotten by anybody in attendance that day.

    Yelling, shouting and histrionics will spoil a special day for people. Don’t let your legitimate, righteous indignation blind you to the importance of kindness to your fellow citizens.

  • Remember too that the naturalization ceremony is an official court proceeding. Protesting while court is in session is likely to cause swift removal.
    I Love the July 4 event at Monticello but will stay away this year in protest, perhaps protesting at the base of the mountain if he is coming via motorcade (he may chopper in).
    I wish Mr. Jordan and their Board had the guts to say no and stick with ken burns (who apprently ‘deferred’ when little mountain asked him to), disinviting Mr. Bush who has purposefully worked hard, and sadly effectively, to limit our freedoms and liberties, and keeping him away from our Independence Day celebration.

  • Swanson, I apologize for getting wrong your place of abode. I saw “Washington director” or something along those lines at your website link, and I made that conclusion.

    But that being said, calling people who don’t agree with your methods Nazis is a really good way to turn them off of your cause. This is why I disapprove of environmental terrorism. Environmental radicals like those do little good, except for those they are against who can easily use them as scapegoats to denigrate the entire movement, including those that are effecting real change through political activism and grassroots organization.

    That is what you are doing here. We know that Bush doesn’t give a rats ass about what you have to say, and if you make a spectacle of yourself at this ceremony, you are going to turn fair and open minded people against your cause. As nearly everyone here has said, if you learn how to protest at appropriate times (and there surely are many of those), your protesting will be far more effective.

    You’re right, I can’t speak for you, and I can’t speak for those being naturalized. But if you make a scene, you are not giving them a choice. If I were a betting man, I would bet that a fair number of those being naturalized are not fans of the President. But certainly there will also be those who love him. That is up to each and every one of them to decide individually. In fact, that is one of the virtues that will be celebrated that day. Some of the new citizens may not have been able to enjoy those things where they come from.

    I know its easy to be angry at the President. But be sure to do so constructively, and that anger will be far more productive.

    And stop comparing people to Nazis. It’s really unbecoming.

  • I call Bush a fascist because he is one and because it is important to recognize it and resist it. You call me a terrorist because you are acting as an amateur PR agent / pundit, which is a position grounded in fear (and which loves to equate free speech with terrorism), rather than as a human being recognizing the duty to oppose rising fascism. Yes, of course, I would oppose it in any location, because the solemnity of no occasion can outweigh the importance of opposing it, although if Bush were to show his face at the funerals of the soldiers he’s murdered he wouldn’t be Bush, now would he? I wholeheartedly second the proposal that this year’s speaker follow Sagan’s example and remain silent – not just for the flag obedience nonsense but throughout the event – indeed throughout the next 7 months. The Board of Monticello does not strike me as the sort of institution likely to develop a spine on its own, but look to the example of Arizona where Bush was recently scheduled to speak at a big event with McCain. The tickets weren’t selling, and the protest plans were growing. The protesters were going to be in the majority. So, they canceled the event. Charlottesville, too, can be a Bush-free zone, which is of course the only honest demand that could be made by people putting on the charade of concern for naturalized citizens without objecting to the presence at the ceremony of the destroyer of the document to which they are all forced to swear defense.

  • Bush Fulfills His Grandfather’s Dream
    By David Swanson
    (Originally published in July 2007, and to be published every summer until the right to do so is gone.)
    It’s remarkably common for a grandson to take up his grandfather’s major project. This occurred to me when I read recently of Thor Heyerdahl’s grandson taking up his mission to cross the Pacific on a raft. But what really struck me was the BBC story aired on July 23rd, 2007, documenting President George W. Bush’s grandfather’s involvement in a 1933 plot to overthrow the U.S. government and install a fascist dictatorship. I knew the story, but had not considered the possibility that the grandson was trying to accomplish what his grandfather had failed to achieve.
    Read more…
    http://davidswanson.org/node/1337

  • No David, some people actually do have concern for other people. It is not a “charade”. You are not the only person who wishes Bush would not come here nor that wishes Bush would be silent nor that he would be arrested once he leaves office or before as a war criminal. What we believe does not give us the right to impose ourselves on other people’s sacred occasions no matter what, no matter where. I don’t think anyone actually called you a terrorist, but I do think the Phelps analogy is apt. You are perserverating on one issue and will not consider context nor the feelings of folks who have nothing to do with the cause of your issue.

  • David,

    I don’t think you or others like you will be able to get in. I applaud what you are trying to do, though, and agree with your ideals wholeheartedly. Unlike everyone else on this blog, seemingly, I think you should go ahead and do whatever you want to do. Life is frequently about a “great story” and those receiving citizenship will receive their citizenship regardless….and they may have a great story to go with it. For some it will be a story of moral indignation while for others it will be something to laugh about and tell their grandkids about. Why deny either group?

  • Thanks

    But it seems that whether you agree with protesting it or not, if you’re on this blog you consider opposing fascism to be a pretty trivial affair.

    I want people to have good stories. And I want people to enjoy their naturalization.

    How do I explain that something else is FAR more important here?

  • Holy crap! A friend of mine is becoming a US citizen at that ceremony, but I had no idea George W. would be present. I may have to alter my July 4 plans so I can go protest (somewhere other than the ceremony). Any word if Mr. Bush will be making an appearance anywhere else in town?

  • 1. Isn’t immigration about the only issue most anti-Bushers agree with him on?

    2. The most heartwarming free speech moment would be if one of the new citizens held up a small sign of support for detainee’s rights or a peace sign or something. That would be a lot more effective than the same old chants from protesters oblivious to #1. And I speak as a protester myself.

    Something similar happened during the Vietnam War. The president invited some teenagers to White House to accept some award and one of the made a very respectful protest against the war. I forget the details. It was a clarion of the shift in the public mood about the war.

    Bush is already at 73% unpopularity (L.A. Times/Bloomberg, June 19-23).

  • Yes, of course, I would oppose it in any location, because the solemnity of no occasion can outweigh the importance of opposing it

    Wow.

    Do you support what Fred Phelps is doing? If not, please explain, because you say that you’re willing to do precisely what he’s doing. And, if so, how is it that you’re any better than him?

  • >>>There is a time and a place for protest

    Exactly — Have your protest, but have it over there, within the established protest zone, where no one will have to look at you, where you won’t bother anybody. Don’t be disruptive or rude. Do not fail to get a permit. Try to keep the noise down.

    Let’s put the “civil” back in “civil disobedience”!

  • Would you picket a funeral, too, Elizabeth?

  • “Have your protest, but have it over there, within the established protest zone, where no one will have to look at you, where you won’t bother anybody. Don’t be disruptive or rude. Do not fail to get a permit. Try to keep the noise down.”

    Now THAT would make Mussolini proud. :-)

    Oh, and if you do NOT fall in line, we’ll recruit some moron to accuse you of supporting the murder of gay people and mocking their corpses.

  • Elizabeth, Elizabeth, you miss the point. The highest priority in life is politeness and failure to disturb solemnity. ALL of those various issues pale in comparison to this ultimate duty. Therefore each and every one of these various protesters is the equivalent of a gay-hating murderous bigot. It’s a question of getting our priorities straightened out. Now sit up straight and type quietly. God bless.

  • David, this is a pretty simple question, and I’m surprised that you won’t answer it, if you have the courage of your convictions. Would you or would you not protest a Charlottesville-area funeral if President Bush was speaking there?

    And, really, if you can’t support your position without calling me a “moron” and accuse me of being “recruited” by President Bush (?!), then you’ve probably already lost this one, David.

  • Right David, we were all recruited by President Bush just to pick on you. Never mind that I have had an Impeach Bush bumpersticker on my car since the war started in Iraq and before you ever started your blog and your Re-eject Bush stuff, I guess that was all just a ruse to lure you into thinking I wasn’t one of Bush’s tools, eh? And anyone who disagrees with you is a moron? Well that works well if you want to keep yourself from hearing anything anyone has to say to you that you might not want to hear. Worked real well over at Shakesville too huh? We all want our civil rights back, we all want our country back, you are not the only one and you are not our leader, get over it.

  • On reflection, David, I think you and I both know that you’re not going to answer my question, so I’ll just go ahead and explain why both potential responses are wrong.

    If you would picket a funeral, then you are a horrible human being with whom virtually nobody (other than the Westboro Baptist Church) would sympathize. I hardly need go into detail here.

    If you admit that such a thing is beyond the pale, then clearly all of us here agree with you in kind, though not necessarily degree. For all of us here, that’s cause for discussion. For you, that’s cause for condemnation and wild accusations. For our minor sin, you’ve taken a big group of people who do not like President Bush, in one of the most liberal towns in the country, who believe strongly in and have actually participated in protests against him, and labelled us Nazis, morons, and accused us of secretly being enlisted by President Bush to support his agenda. Taking a group of people who agree with 90% of what you believe and saying such beastly things about them—us—shows a stunning inability to discern who are and are not your ideological allies.

    On a related note, I watched “Inherit the Wind” for the first time last night, the fictionalized account of the Scopes monkey trial. What comes to mind so strongly for me now is the subplot between Rev. Jeremiah Brown and his daughter, Rachel. The daughter is engaged to the accused Scopes (played by Dick York), who is charged with the crime of teaching evolution to his students. Reverend Brown believes with all of his heart that evolution is the work of the devil, and thinks that it is his duty as a servant of God to speak out against evolution and its supporters. While preaching before the townspeople at an impromptu prayer gathering, he lets loose a fiery condemnation, in which he damns both his future son-in-law and his daughter to hell for their beliefs. Rachel collapses in grief and terror. The reverend believed, as you believe, that he must never, ever restrict his expression of opposition to that which is wrong, no matter the target, no matter the venue. Because of that belief, he loses both his daughter and the support of the town.

    You just got to this town, David, and you’re already losing us.

  • It seems like some useful distinctions are being lost. What *is* the correct time and place for protest? Should government, business interests, or community mores have a say in determining the correct time and place? (And what if what you are protesting *is* government, business, or mores)?

    Where can protest be the most effective? Is there no meaningful difference (e.g., public vs private) between a naturalization ceremony and a funeral in the context of protesting the government?

    First amendment rights have often been secured by people who exceed the boundaries of taste and comfort. The ACLU has defended the Phelps family’s right to protest at funerals (http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/protest/26265prs20060721.html). I don’t imagine it’s because ACLU members tend to agree with the Phelps’s methods or philosophy.

  • My, what a lively discussion! I gotta say, when I noted that I thought this ceremony would be the ideal place to protest Bush, it never even entered my mind to do so at the actual ceremony. For one thing, that WOULD be disrespectful of those being sworn in. For another, people who protest within Bush events (particularly political ones, and every event Bush attends is a de facto political event) tend to have rather unpleasant encounters with the authorities or Bush’s own “Republican” Guard.

    I just assumed any such protest would be outside of Monticello. I seriously doubt any protests in the event area would have the intended impact and would likely backfire. But as I stated above, let’s give these new citizens credit for being aware of the current political situation in the United States!

  • I think that all anyone is saying here is that simply having the right to do something doesn’t make it a good idea. Individual citizens have the right to protest, but they also have to exercise good judgment about the time and place. I would want to ask someone like Fred Phelps what he hopes to accomplish by his method of protest; he might say that he’s trying to get his message out in order to bring more people around to his way of thinking (I really have no idea what he would say, I’m just guessing). I would then point out (not that I think you can have a rational conversation with Fred Phelps) that his method of protest seems instead to turn off more people than it converts, and if he really wanted to bring people around, he should use a different strategy. I suspect that Fred Phelps really doesn’t care about converting people to his message and just wants attention and to fuel his own sense of self-righteous indignation and moral outrage.

    I kind of think David Swanson is in the same category.

    So, I think no one in this conversation is saying Swanson et al don’t have the right to protest at the ceremony; I think rather some people are saying protest at the ceremony isn’t going to convince anyone (who doesn’t already think so) that Bush is a war criminal, therefore it’s ineffective for that purpose, and that it’s really rude to the citizens-to-be and their families. So long as there’s no pretense that protest at the ceremony is actually shifting anyone’s opinions and so long as we realize that instead it’s just making the protesters themselves feel better, then I don’t think there’s any real argument here.

    For me, this whole approach (disrupt the naturalization ceremony, protest at funerals) is what I’m sick of in American politics. “I hate you and what you stand for so much that I’m going to stand here and scream at the top of my lungs and stick my fingers in my ears when you talk and by the way you are the devil and you are going to hell.” It’s what I’m hoping that Obama AND/OR McCain can shift us away from, towards a model in which people on opposing sides can actually talk to one another.

  • Elizabeth, I don’t believe that anybody has claimed that there is or ought to be a legal restriction on protest at this event, or even that legal, business, or community standards come into play. The scope of this discussion is what is appropriate, and what each of us, individually, believe is appropriate. I quite agree with Big Al, that any vocal protest at the event itself would backfire, and badly, on the protestors. (Those who know me, and clearly David is not a member of that group, may recall Schleifer v. City of Charlottesville and Microsystems v. Scandinavian Online, both free expression cases. I was a plaintiff in the former and a defendant in the latter. I’m no shrinking violent on free expression matters.)

    Incidentally, it’s not just the ACLU who has defended the Phelps—Charlottesville’s own Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has defended Shirley Phelps-Roper, Fred Phelps’ daughter.

  • I didn’t know that about the TJ Center, interesting!

    I just think “appropriate” is not quite the right word when talking about protesting war and injustice. Appropriate, yes, in terms of what would be effective in getting the message across (I don’t say *convince* anyone; public protest is also successful if it puts heart in the people who agree with the cause). But “appropriate” is also the catchword to describe what is convenient, or obedient, or tasteful, or conforming. When I think of the great touchstones of civil disobedience and protest throughout history, “appropriate” is not the first word that comes to mind.

  • When I think of the great touchstones of civil disobedience and protest throughout history, “appropriate” is not the first word that comes to mind.

    No, but it does remain a perfectly fitting word. Look at how hard Dr. King worked to stage protests that could not be seen as inappropriate. He didn’t picket funerals or citizenship ceremonies. His supporters walked down public streets, they quietly asked to be served at lunch counters or to sit with others on buses. Ghandi simply walked to the sea to collect salt, or fasted for six days.

    An effect protest shouldn’t expand or empower the opposition, but should instead break it down and weaken it.

  • Okay folks, listen up… if you want to really protest, how about holding the Monticello Foundation accountable for inflicting this disruption on the citizenry and environs of Charlottesville? A bonafide patriot, Ken Burns, was scheduled to welcome new Americans on the sacred ground of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. At the last minute, all are informed that instead, a war criminal and scofflaw of our Constitution has “decided” to take Monticello up on their “standing invitation to a sitting president.” Our law enforcement, residents, and visitors will all have to pay a price, like they’re not paying enough already to GWB’s oil baron associates and the Pentagon, for this fiasco. Write to Dan Jordan and his Board of Directors and let them know how shameful their actions are to Mr. Jefferson’s legacy. And let them know that Poplar Forest will now be the untainted venue of choice for pilgrims of democracy.

  • I agree with Gary’s post. Monticello owes our new citizens an apology for subjecting them to Our National Embarrassment.

    This is one of the few years I’ve been able to attend this very nice ceremony, and I was looking forward to it. Now I’ll be staying home.

  • YES I WOULD PROTEST BUSH AT A FUNERAL.

    Y E S

  • David,

    That last one sounds very green-eggs-and-ham-ish, and I am hopeful that you can complete the rest of the poem (I will protest in a bar, I will protest near and far, etc…). I’m a bit worried about rhyming with funeral, though.

    The fact is that David has the right to protest where he will. If Hitler were speaking at Monticello, I think we would all protest. I place Bush in the same category.

  • No, I have not labeled anyne a Nazi or accused anyone of working for Bush. Here’s what I think is moronic:

    Making the ultimate sin risking impoliteness or disturbance of people’s day.

    Even if it’s to save lives or preserve freedoms, if you commit the ultimate sin, then you are the equivalent of whoever the most offenseive person is who’s also done that.

    But even he is not sinful because he’s a hate-spewing bigot but – worse – because he is impolite.

    When Bush speaks at a college graduation now, the professors lead the protests. They don’t hate the poor students or want to scare their daughters to death. They are thoughtfully refusing to be good germans.

    If Bush had reduced Medicare payments by 2 percent I’d be with you. He’s instituted tyranny in a once free nation, destroyed international law, slaughtered over a million people in Iraq alone. People. Yes, human beings, with names, faces, tatses, clothing, mothers, cousins, friends, aunts, hopes, plans, stories, personalities. He’s threatening to attack Iran. There’s widespread belief that such an act would make all of his crimes thus far look like child’s play.

    And you want politeness as your TOP PRIORITY? And for my own good? Thanks, but no thanks.

    This guy doesn’t read newspapers or mingle with the public. Would you suggest I send him Hallmark card?

  • Andrew (and Gary, and Elizabeth, and everyone else)

    DON’T stay home. We need you there!

  • writing to jordan and board and letters to editors and opeds and calls to shows would be good

    maybe waldo will start a fast on jordan’s front lawn?

    seriously, serious proposals for actions are welcome.

    anybody got any?

    while it’s no more true that i just got to this town than that i said any number of things alleged in this blog, i do admit to having no idea who jordan is. i’m sure he’s sick or his daughter’s sick or there’s some good reason not to protest him. but may i point out that a lot of people died in a war for independence to win what we are blissfully, if haughtily, pissing away?

    what i want to fight is the situation in which becoming a citizen of this place is so easily and immediately associated with attending a funeral

  • I’m losing my civil rights on Tuesday as are everyone else in this state with any psychiatric history at all. Want to protest that? It’s happening right here in our state. It’s going to end up killing more people than are already killed in our mental health system, more people like myself with kidney failure from fear of coercion, more people traumatized for life by seclusion and restraint and beatings and rapes in our wonderful state hospitals and private hospitals. UVA psych. unit has requested a restraint chair like Gitmo. Want to protest outside UVA with me? Anyone? I didn’t think so. You can’t be with people if you don’t even know who they are and what their situation is and what they are dealing with. But go ahead and protest, it is your right as it is my right to tilt at windmills hoping anyone will care about thousands of Virginians losing access to voluntary care to be replaced by probationary type monitoring and being placed in fear of losing everything on the whim or rumor or hearsay of anyone in their lives.

    Medicare cuts are the least of my problems right now, my people are being terrorized right here at home in this state and in this town.

  • I would protest at a wake
    I would protest with a cake
    I would protest at a marriage
    I would protest in a carriage
    I would protest in a church
    I would protest on a perch
    I would protest in a court
    I would protest with a snort
    Where won’t you protest?
    That’s what I want to know.
    I’ll only refrain when
    I’m in Guantanamo

  • Alison,
    Now you’re talking!!!
    Make a fact sheet / flyer
    Pick a time and place
    We can spread the word and tell the media.
    David
    write me at david@davidswanson.org

  • No, David. It’s your right to protest. It’s my right to:

    1. Believe that this is a day that’s important day for new citizens.
    2. Protest when and where I believe it to be appropriate.
    3. Think that you’re an a**hole for choosing a setting that’s inappropriate.

    We all pick our battles. This ain’t it.

  • You might be onto something. If all the silent types stay home out of disgust for Bush, and all the vocal types show up out of disgust for Bush, we might see some dawn’s early light o’er the land of the free.

  • I’m concerned mostly about the to-be-naturalized citizens. All three of the people I know who became citizens on one 7/4 or another would be appalled that Bush is being inflicted on them. I wonder how many would-bes decide to do it another day. That would be the coolest protest of all, really….

  • Elizabeth,
    I have a cousin who was naturalized years ago (and quite upset that it didn’t turn him white as he’d expected) and he took the further americanization step of joining the army, served out his contract (including in Iraq), settled down with his wife and two beautiful little girls, and WHAM BAM: ordered out of reserve and back to Iraq for 18 more months. And politeness is our highest calling? In fact, there may be Iraq veterans among those being naturalized on Friday. I cannot imagine that many of them will not be disgusted by the presence of Bush.
    David

  • wouldn’t it been easier just to go up to DC and protest at the White House? Oh yeah, gas prices, my bad.

  • David Swanson seems to have found a straw man. He offers the insinuation that somebody has suggested that “politemess is the highest calling”. The only problem is that there’s been no such suggestion made. I don’t find a single reference to “politeness”, except on the part of David Swanson. Perhaps he’s conflating “politeness” with calls for kindness. There’s a difference, but I suspect that he knows that.

    I think of the horrors that this war in Iraq has inflicted upon American soldiers and their families and innocent Iraqi citizens and their families, many of whom were “collateral damage”. That is, they weren’t the focus and the intended victims of George Bush’s ill-begotten war, they were just minor obstacles that got in the way of Bush’s ideological crusade. I hope those who oppose this war are mindful of the possibility of inflicting “collateral damage”, in their single-minded effort to stop the war and seek revenge upon its perpetrators. Anger and hate can damage the one who harbors such feelings more than it does those to whom it is directed.

    Peace.

  • when I heard bush was coming on the 4th I wondered if there was a protest being organized that I could join… but I was thinking something along the lines of standing along the road to monticello or rt 20 (of course, to avoid it, they might go through palmyra or something).

    but, it didn’t occur to me that a protest would be organized at the ceremony. If people do go for the purpose of protesting, then I think something along the line of Harry Landers’ suggestion–perhaps standing up and turning so one’s back when he speaks–would be a powerful statement that you are rejecting the president and his mssg while not disrupting an important ceremony for immigrants.

    The point of avoiding disrupting the ceremony is: first, new citizens will be able to vote. don’t turn them into republicans by making them angry at your disruption of THEIR celebration (it’s not bush’s event, after all) and second, just simple respect for the new citizens–THEY didn’t pick bush to speak for them, so why ruin it for them when it’s not their fault?

    And, who knows–maybe the new citizens themselves will be disapproving of bush and avoid applauding him. people can surprise you sometimes.

  • Karl Rove’s concept of the ‘permanent campaign’ does seem to have found a loving home among those who hate him most.

  • In other news, everyone attending the naturalization ceremony with Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) (as evidenced by their pink shirts, oversized mannequins, or bold rage-against-the-machine-faces covered with scarves) will be issued an official Ralph Nader tinfoil hat and Rush Limbaugh Club Gitmo survival kits for the inevitable Secret Service police visit to their home later that night to swift them away to Area 51 where they will undergo alien brain transplants so as to convert them to be subservient serfs of the Bush Administration…

    Jokes. On. Stilts. The whole lot of ya…

    Sincerely,
    Secret Undercover Agent for the Society for the Advancement of the Bush Legacy

  • Poor George Bush. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.

    He can’t even go to a baseball game without getting booed now. An all-American, Star Spangled Banner-singing baseball game! The BBC covered it pretty well, with a tape of the loud booing as GW Bush threw out the first pitch for the Nationals, but I’m not sure John Stewart and the rest of the serious media here did.

    There is something called Goodwin’s Law in internet discussions and I will now fulfill it. There once was a world leader who when a once-promising war became unpopular did not appear in public for three years, instead relying on his propaganda minister to face the crowds. Nah, I won’t say it.

    As a sometime protester, I’m sympathetic to funeral-protester Swanson, but like I said I’d rather one of the new citizens exercise some newly-endorsed free speech.

    And Bush is pretty good on immigration. On the other hand, anyone from his administration will be nervous about traveling overseas after Jan. 2009, as they might get hit with a Eurocourt arrest warrant for war crimes. You don’t see Henry Kissinger taking a lot of foreign trips these days.

  • “He’s instituted tyranny in a once free nation, destroyed international law, slaughtered over a million people in Iraq alone.” He couldn’t have done so without Congress’ passing of bills, resolutions and funding packages. Why not protest the REAL culprits, the fat cats we call legislators? Because we don’t want to cut off our pork.
    I’m always amused with bored people looking for a protest. For some reason, they are never satisfied unless they can stir up a pack. That way, they can make a lot of noise behaving like obnoxious teenagers rebelling against their parents and celebrate later with a beer on the downtown mall with one eye on the news to see if they’re in it. They can’t make hay following suggestions such as those proposed by Mr. Landers.

  • watch bush booed at baseball game

    what a sacrilege!

    they should all be ashamed!

    and in War Time!

    http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/32339

  • Write to Dan Jordan and his Board of Directors and let them know how shameful their actions are to Mr. Jefferson’s legacy.

    That’s what I did. I imagine if Jordon got hundreds of emails and letters protesting a criminal coming to Monticello, it may give them pause. At the very least it would show them how pissed off local citizens are about this.

    Closing down 53 with a mass march would be another option-lots of press coverage for sure. Letters to the editor protesting this shameful action on the part of Monticello would be another option.

  • Protest Congress Members? Who’d have ever thought of it? Or spent the past seven years doing it?

    http://afterdowningstreet.org

    The beer’s on me.

  • Jefferson once said The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It says “certain occasions” not all occasions and that is the difference that many here are speaking to.

    I was curious how this debate would go here and was met with more humanity than imagined. Many here are very anti Bush and yet have balanced that with compassion for the people this event is really about- the new citizens.

    This is the Charlottesville I love- people of passionate opinions who understand that sometimes actions need to consider others more important then yourself. Standing at the ceremony and turning your back on the President would accomplish both goals of protesting the Administration and respect for our new fellow citizens.

    It in many ways reminds me of the ceremony and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where protesting would be disrespect to the dead and their families. This is about the birth of new citizens and screaming at the top of your lungs at this time in at this place seems more narcissistic than patriotic. A chance to show their Bush hating peers how “hardcore” they were by screaming at immigrant families and their children. But now that arrest record for protesting the President at Monticello can be worn like a shiny new badge.

  • Quite a discussion. The only fascists I see are David Swanson and the CCPJ, assuming it approves his statements and intentions.

    Did it occur to you that Monticello is private property, not a public square, and that (if admitted) you are a guest? You’re free to do what you want on your property, but not on someone else’s, unless you have their OK to do so.

    Funny that a supposed advocate of “peace” wants to disrupt a peaceful event on the private property that belonged to one of America’s greatest thinkers, and advocates of property rights.

  • It doesn’t matter what a President does or who they are. No one is ever happy and all they do is complain. Whether it is MCcain or Obama..it wont matter. The same complaints will continue..the beat goes on..JC

  • I love how all of you anti-Bush people fight over the best way to protest the man. Should we ruin the naturalization ceremony… should we sit on our hands… should we protest at the foot of the mountain… should we write letters??? What should we do?

    Here’s an idea: respect the President. Come to terms with the idea that maybe, just maybe, he has been acting earnestly in our nation’s best interest. That Iraq might just be a war that was justified. That he is NOT a war criminal. That he has policies that you absolutely disagree with, but that he is our president, elected by this country (and by this state) twice. Maybe some of his policies are right… maybe they are what is best for the country. I think that many of you are more close-minded than you would like to think. I think that so many of you hate the guy because he sticks to what he believes in, and you happen to disagree with it… so you figure out ways to demonize the guy, call him a war criminal, etc … and so you actually consider protesting at a naturalization ceremony on the 4th of July. What is wrong with you people?

  • I will be there supporting our new citizens, our country and our President. This should be a proud day for Charlottesville to have our President here. I realize that I am the minority here :)

  • senor rojo—what is wrong with us? Being in touch with reality, that’s what. It’s a dreadful affliction, luckily big pharma is busy coming up with cures for it……….Google F-ckitol but put in the “u” and you’ll find a youtube on the drug you may already be on and apparently want all of us to take. :)

  • Got a link to a blog discussing this subject.. it was talked about on WCHV this morning. Worth checking out-
    http://welcometocvillepresidentbush.blogspot.com/

  • HAHA, pretty funny video, but no, I assure you I’m on no such pill. I am in touch with reality, as best as I can hope to be I suppose. I just worry for people when they seriously consider protesting a naturalization ceremony on the 4th of July… that that would even get serious consideration. It’s laughable. I know how tough life can be, how war sucks, how medicines cost a lot, how much gas prices are… I am not on “F*kitol” (haha!)… But I don’t think that our president’s approaches to these problems are worthy of the hate he receives. I don’t think he caused these problems. I think you may simply disagree with his ideas… but that is no reason to seriously think about ways to protest on the 4th of July … Yes, you have the right to do it… but should you? Absolutely not.

  • This Democrat hereby proposes that we all show up at David Swanson’s house with signs and megaphones to protest his intent to ruin the naturalization ceremony.

  • To best defend our Constitution, you should not hate anyone. Nor should you respect the authority of a tyrant.

  • Should a war criminal be permitted to speak on the Fourth of July at Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello?

    Right Now, Wherever You Are: The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, a private nonprofit, owns and operates Monticello with a professed mission of preservation and education. Call Monticello right now and ask them to uninvite Bush: (434) 984-9822. Then let the Daily Progress newspaper in Charlottesville know that you’ve done that: enewstips@dailyprogress.com

    In Charlottesville on July 4th: Join us for a colorful nonviolent exercise of our First Amendment rights at 8:30 a.m. at the first parking lot on the right on Rt. 53 just east of Rt. 20. Or attend the event at Monticello, open to the public.

    PRINT FLYER.

    The Unitary Executive is scheduled to disgrace the grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s house, Monticello, in Charlottesville, Va. During a July 4 naturalization ceremony, immigrants will swear to “support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic” at an event besmirched by the presence of the Constitution’s leading domestic enemy. Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence from King George faulted him for harassment by his troops, elevating the military above civilian power, denying people a fair trial by jury by transporting them overseas to be tried on false accusations, and other abuses that have been matched by our current King George. He has claimed the power to ignore laws, to rewrite laws, to adhere to secret laws, to discard habeas corpus, to spy without warrant, to detain without charge, to torture, to murder, and to lie the nation into wars of conquest. All citizens, old and new, have a duty to support and defend the Constitution, a document that requires the impeachment of a president as criminal and abusive as the current one.

    Learn more about impeaching Bush: http://afterdowningstreet.org/bush

    For information on the protest, including housing if coming from out of town, call 434-961-6278.

    Please bring posters, signs, costumes, banners, props.

  • I’m sure the inevitable protests will represent our fair city (and Mr. Jefferson’s University, for that matter) quite accurately: as a bunch of whiny brats who know the world revolves around them and their undeniably correct opinions.

  • Josh- you pretty-much covered it.

  • hahaha! i’m laughing… you know, as a conservative, it probably helps my cause if this wacko does what he says he’ll do… he makes the rest of you (relatively) sane liberals out there seem like nutcases. I don’t think most of you are, but it certainly helps my cause.

    Amen to what Josh and Bob said.

  • I like the idea of protesting in front of David Swanson’s house on July 4th. Maybe his neighbors will tell him he’s not welcome.

  • Jackson I would be glad to help you with your protest. Since Mr. Swanson has ignored the fact that the President has not been convicted of anything (war crimes) a protest at his home seems like the right thing to do. Swanson has set himself above the law and acted as judge and jury not allowing the President due process. Mr. Swanson would ask us to continue the lesson of Guantanamo Bay. Restore Justice and Peace by ignoring both!

    Sic semper tyrannus, indeed

  • I wonder if any Iraqis are getting naturalized? Seems like we haven’t let hardly any of them come over even though the ones that have helped our guys are often persecuted and killed. Kind of like back in Vietnam.

  • What is this? Salem in the 1600’s or that awful Big Brother reality show? People are seriously suggesting protesting at a resident’s home because he wants to protest the President? How warped and ridiculous is that? You’re persuading me David’s right with your ridiculous responses. David Swanson is not the one who has ruined our country’s reputation in the world and allowed tainted food and bad drugs into our homes and stopped regulation of workplace injuries or the one who let folks die in Katrina, just to mention a few of the horrible things this President is responsible for.

  • Thanks Allison.

    You (and the brownshirts) are all welcome at my house anytime – I’ll give you one of those post-action beers ahead of time.

  • Make mine a cold water please–kidney diet :).

  • Here’s an idea: respect the President. Come to terms with the idea that maybe, just maybe, he has been acting earnestly in our nation’s best interest. That Iraq might just be a war that was justified. That he is NOT a war criminal.

    It is possible to respect the office without respecting the person who holds it. However the ideas you espouse have been considered and debunked by many, many completely rational people. Looks like you’re one of the 26% who still have a positive opinion of Shrub. You’re entitled to that, just as others are entitled to consider him the most reprehensible, ineffective, and damaging president to ever hold the office.

  • Senor Rojo writes, “you know, as a conservative, it probably helps my cause if this wacko does what he says he’ll do… he makes the rest of you (relatively) sane liberals out there seem like nutcases. I don’t think most of you are, but it certainly helps my cause.”

    That tells me pretty much all I need to know about Senor Rojo and where his priorities are. He acknowledges that most liberals are relatively sane and are not wackos, but he’s so partisan (my team above all others!) that he openly prefers it if ALL liberals are damaged by the actions of the few extremists. That “helps my cause,” he says. Ergo, his cause is NOT the cause of true cooperation and constructive engagement among people who have different opinions but share a similar goal (i.e., the nation’s best interest). All he cares about is his team winning.

    I’m so sick of people like this on ALL sides of every issue.

  • “elected by this country (and by this state) twice”

    Elected twice? When was the first time? :)

  • Sacrilege at Monticello

    A Letter to the Charlottesville Daily Progress
    By Ray McGovern, http://afterdowningstreet.org

    I write as a Virginian, the father of four graduates of Mr. Jefferson’s university and of another who is an alumnus of the university Mr. Jefferson himself attended.

    I have just spoken with Emily of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation to register our family’s dismay that President George W. Bush has been invited to speak at Monticello on July 4th. I cannot imagine a greater insult to Mr. Jefferson, who played such a huge role in securing for us the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this great Commonwealth and country. George W. Bush at Monticello? Desecration of what until now has been hallowed ground.

    Emily explained that the Foundation had decided that it could invite the office of the president, without appearing to invite the present incumbent. That distinction is one worthy of the lawyers whom the Bush administration hired to justify torture, ignoring the dictum of another Virginian, Patrick Henry, that practices like the rack and screw must be left behind in the Old World.

    Those who invited the president to Charlottesville to help celebrate the Declaration of Independence, which asserted basic freedoms that Mr. Bush has now curtailed, dishonor Mr. Jefferson in a most offensive way, scandalize our children and grandchildren, and desecrate Monticello itself.

    A shameful day for the Commonwealth.

    Raymond L. McGovern
    Arlington, Virginia

    ***

    Ray McGovern, Co-Founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, spent 27 years in the CIA with duties including presentation of presidential daily brief.

  • “…Desecration of what until now has been hallowed ground.” Interesting snippet from Mr. McGovern’s letter that David Swanson referenced. Doesn’t Mr. McGovern think that slavery prevents that plantation from being considered hallowed ground in the cause of freedom or does he find justification for it?

  • Dear Mr. Swanson, I’m not trying to limit your speech here but do you think that posting your entire site here bit by bit is the way to go? Hey I got it, you have a website and hate Bush the the passionate heat of a thousands suns. I’ve always thought cvillenews is better when there is conversation not a lecture. People tend not to hear the meaning in your words when you are yelling in their ears and calling them names.

    You think that calling people like Waldo, the Landers or others ‘brown shirts” is the way to bring more Justice and Peace? I could see where you might “godwin” the thread and call some here a nazi but Waldo? That just shows an epic lack of judgment.

  • I don’t hate anybody – sorry to disappoint or bewilder as the case may be.

    If Nazis offend you, what have you done today to get Bush impeached or prosecuted?

  • You don’t hate anybody but you called Waldo and others “brown shirts”? Is that a term of endearment? I think that causal use of Nazi terms in the wrong way is a type of hate speech. Please spend a moment and visit Wikipedia and look up Godwin’s law.

    I don’t think your actions show that you are a man of peace or care what others may say or think. You really trying to tell me you don’t HATE President Bush. Nothing you have said here leads me to any other conclusion. You sorry to bewilder me? I pretty sure that condescension and self-righteousness aren’t the pathway to more peace and justice either.

  • David Swanson I am a Republican. I frequent this site and while I regularly disagree with many on here, I do have respect for their opinions. I have never heard of you before. It takes some pretty big balls to come on here and attack the owner of this site and the many dedicated readers who have participated since the early “phpnuke” days.

    I think that your way of going about this may reflect unfavorably on the democratic party and I honestly don’t want to see that. And yes, that is coming from a Republican. Your fist pounding appears to have no value with the readers of this site. Go find another sandbox to bury your turds in….

  • C-ville Eye, while the legislative branch may be complicit in the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocents, the legislative branch did not execute state-sponsored torture. This alone is despicable enough to warrant anyone’s disapproval, regardless of political affiliation; I certainly cannot agree with Mr. Red that torture is remotely in our national interest. It does not fit with the ideals formed by our founding fathers and built upon by generation upon generation of Americans. Bush does not believe in human rights, period. He may believe in the rights of Americans, but I really don’t think so.

    Bob, I somehow think that David is a bit left of the Democratic party, so don’t see how his actions will reflect on them.

  • I reiterate the point of all my comments: that protesting a 4th of July naturalization ceremony is a terrible thing to do, whether you agree with the president or not. I mentioned that such an extremist’s protest would be good for my side simply because that statement is true. People WILL view that protest as being representative of liberals… the fact that so many on this blog thought one protest or another on the 4th of July (whether at the ceremony, at the foot of the mtn, at the airport) was appropriate tells me that it would in fact be representative of at least some liberals. Casual viewers would see that and think less of liberals. If anything, take what I say as kind advice… extremism never plays well when it disturbs normal people trying to enjoy their 4th of July. I never said I preferred it that way just to help my cause.

    However, I would prefer to win the debate on the merits, and I believe the conservative viewpoint does win the debate when you strip the debate of all the name-calling and useless rhetoric… calling someone a war criminal, is name calling and useless rhetoric. Saying that the President did not win the election in 2000 and 2004 is useless rhetoric. Putting words into my mouth that torture is in our national interest is useless rhetoric. Same with the terms “Nazi” and “Brownshirt,” whatever that means.

    If you don’t like specific policies, fine. Work to change them. Debate the merits. But calling the sitting president a war criminal is a serious accusation…all that there is to support it is the wild rants of liberals that seem upset that they lost two presidential elections and want the man impeached for whatever reason they can dream up.

  • This is quite a lively discussion! I just heard Coy Barefoot mention it on his radio show, so I had to take a look.

    I enjoy attending the naturalization ceremony at Monticello on the Fourth of July each year. It’s a great way to start off the holiday.

    When I heard that President Bush was coming to Charlottesville for Independence Day, however, I decided to stay home this year. Not so much because I disagree with Bush’s policies (I do) but because of the inconvenience his presence will cause.

    Anyway, I put my thoughts about the announcement into pixels, words, and sentences a few hours after it made the news:

    http://tinyurl.com/4blkem

    Comments always welcome, of course.

  • “extremism never plays well when it disturbs normal people trying to enjoy their 4th of July”

    Don’t tell those nice normal people about Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, or Bagram. Wouldn’t want to disturb anybody.

  • Senor Rojo, the fact that you think in terms of “your side” is the problem. The fact that you see it in your best interest for people to “think less of liberals” is the problem. The fact that you think it serves your ends for the positions of millions of reasonable, well-intentioned, intelligent people (i.e., “liberals”) to be associated (wrongly, by your own admission) with the actions of extremists is the problem.

  • From the DP.

    Monticello will begin distributing free tickets, first come, first served, at 7 a.m. Wednesday at its vistors center. Approximately 1,000 tickets will be available, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

    Here’s the story we just posted:

    http://www.dailyprogress.com/cdp/news/local/article/limited_tickets_available_for_presidents_visit/24186/

    I would carefully read the paragraph on the just announced restricted items.

  • “Senor Rojo, the fact that you think in terms of “your side” is the problem. The fact that you see it in your best interest for people to “think less of liberals” is the problem. The fact that you think it serves your ends for the positions of millions of reasonable, well-intentioned, intelligent people (i.e., “liberals”) to be associated (wrongly, by your own admission) with the actions of extremists is the problem.”

    I do think in terms of “my side” because so many of you are attacking OUR president and calling him a war criminal. My thinking in terms of “my side” and “your side” is NOT the problem… it is a representation of what is TRUE. Liberals disagree with me on way too many issues, and I disagree with them. There are indeed sides in this, and I won’t apologize for acknowledging that there are sides and for being on the conservative side.

    I think I clarified my point that wackos like David Swanson will hurt the liberal side. It is true and I think most of you would agree with that. Why is pointing that out “the problem”?

    Now I have read what everyone wrote, and most people on here seem to be pretty reasonable … they don’t like Bush for whatever reason, but they think David Swanson should forget about protesting at the ceremony. I agree with that notion.

    My added point is simply that liberals, whether the extremist ones or the more reasonable ones, should be very careful before calling people war criminals, Nazis, etc… that they should be more open-minded to the other side. That maybe Bush is not the evil man that so many on this blog seem to think he is. That maybe commanders-in-chief will have soldiers who act innaproriately (as in Abu Ghraib), but that those instances do not represent the military at large, and definitely do not represent the commander-in-chief himself. There are millions of reasonable people who are thankful that the president is a decent man who is willing to defend their freedom. Can there be debate on these issues based on the merits?

    My stating truths is NEVER the problem. I am willing to debate people based on the merits… but please do not try to tell me that there being a debate is “the problem” because that’s essentially what you are saying. There are sides in debates. Debates are attempts to persuade other people. And the other people will be swayed by the wackos on each side. The fact that one side gains supporters based on all of these factors is not the problem, it is reality.

  • Wow, Wow is all I can say… I am still a Permanent Citizen. I have been a resident of Charlottesville for 6 years now, and a resident of the US for 22 years. I’ve been dreaming of being naturalized at Monticello.

    I was going to try to become naturalized by July 4th this year. Now I’m glad for my procrastinating ways. I would not have wanted President Bush at my ceremony, and probably would have, to my biggest regret, stayed home… He would have ruined my day.

    Well, I’ll shoot for the 4th of July Naturalization Ceremony at Monticello in 2009 instead! Now I got to time it all so that it will actually happen.

    Really, applying for citizenship is problematic. There is no way you’ll know when you’ll actually get naturalized. I’ve heard rumors ranging from “if you apply 3 months ahead of July 4th, you’ll be naturalized on July 4th.” Or was it “if you apply 6 months ahead…” Well, there is no way of knowing. I guess it’s just the luck of the draw? No?

  • Got a link to a blog discussing this subject.. it was talked about on WCHV this morning. Worth checking out-
    http://welcometocvillepresidentbush.blogspot.com/

    My lord, that’s just as bad. Protesting, protesting protestors…in either case, it’s taking attention away from the reason for the event. It seems to me that having Bush speak at this was just a flat-out bad idea.

    I’ve always thought cvillenews is better when there is conversation not a lecture.

    I couldn’t agree more, dieter. That’s what I think David is really missing here, that this is a place for discussion. Showing up and declaring everybody to be Nazis is the opposite of my intention here and, of course, the opposite of what we were doing before he showed up.

    I would carefully read the paragraph on the just announced restricted items.

    Wow, those restrictions are pretty draconian, given the usual heat of the event. No bottled water, umbrellas, or chairs? I think I’ll follow Rick’s advice and skip this year’s event. Too bad…I was looking forward to withholding applause for President Bush.

  • You know, if people keep flapping their gums about protesting, Bush might just cancel.

  • I hope the people being naturalized aren’t subject to these restrictions and that if so none of them are elderly or have a medical disability that makes them vulnerable to heat stroke and dehydration. I could not possibly attend any event under these restrictions as I would end up in the ER if I did. Way to make people with disabilities feel welcome Mr. President but then Bush got rid of the office of disabilities in the White House as soon as he came in, has not let the DOJ enforce CRIPA to the extent previous Presidents did, left a huge dougnut hole in Medicare Part D. that disproportionately affects people with disabilities, has made cuts to Voc. Rehab., cuts to the MH block grant to states, and on an on so I guess this is to be expected.

    I’m sure if anyone gets heat stroke because of Bush’s selfish presence ruining this event for everyone that he will visit them in the hospital……not.

  • Elizabeth–now there’s a happy ending I think we all could get behind :).

  • Cynic said “C-ville Eye, while the legislative branch may be complicit in the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocents, the legislative branch did not execute state-sponsored torture.” So, you would rather be a victim of the legislature than strip naked in Cuba?
    Elizabeth McCullough said, “‘extremism never plays well when it disturbs normal people trying to enjoy their 4th of July’
    Don’t tell those nice normal people about Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, or Bagram. Wouldn’t want to disturb anybody.
    ” in answer to the internal quote. So, is your game plan to protest on the 4th then go home and do nothing else? Isn’t that a good example of “getting on the bandwagon” when there’s a pack to hide you? What are your future plans that concern those detention centers?

  • Waldo & Alison just because you can’t bring water doesn’t mean it won’t be provided. I would imagine it will be like Clinton’s visit 16 years ago where chairs were provided as well. Let’s give the fine people at Monticelllo at little credit with handling a crowd of this size.

    There will be all the medical staff you could imagine, just in case.

  • If this is happening in Denver I wonder what will happen in Charlottesville:

    Protestors hoping to catch the attention of delegates at the 2008 Democratic National Convention may have to do so behind a fence.

    On Monday in U.S. Federal Court in Denver it was revealed local and federal authorities plan on using some sort of mesh fence similar to chain-link fencing around the public demonstration zone (or PDZ). The PDZ will be in a Pepsi Center parking lot.

    Various organizations have filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Denver and the U.S. Secret Service in an effort to avoid the conditions that surrounded the protest zones at the 2004 DNC in Boston.

    The ACLU of Colorado remains unconvinced the Denver PDZ will remain within “sight and sound” of delegates at the 2008 DNC. Denver authorities have routinely said they are doing everything they can to balance the rights of protestors with security concerns.

  • To get in you must pick up free tickets at 7 a.m. on Wednesday at the Monticello Visitors Center. Bring as many people as you can, and each request the maximum of four tickets. Go early!

    To protest outside meet at 8 a.m. on Friday at Quarry Park. Please bring posters, signs, costumes, banners, props.

    Here’s a map that includes Monticello, the visitors center, and Quarry Park: Map.

    Here’s a new flyer: PDF Flyer.

    Keep phoning Monticello! The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, a private nonprofit, owns and operates Monticello with a professed mission of preservation and education. Call Monticello right now and ask them to uninvite Bush: (434) 984-9822. Then let the Daily Progress newspaper in Charlottesville know that you’ve done that: enewstips@dailyprogress.com

    The Unitary Executive is scheduled to disgrace the grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s house, Monticello, in Charlottesville, Va. During a July 4 naturalization ceremony, immigrants will swear to “support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic” at an event besmirched by the presence of the Constitution’s leading domestic enemy. Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence from King George faulted him for harassment by his troops, elevating the military above civilian power, denying people a fair trial by jury by transporting them overseas to be tried on false accusations, and other abuses that have been matched by our current King George. He has claimed the power to ignore laws, to rewrite laws, to adhere to secret laws, to discard habeas corpus, to spy without warrant, to detain without charge, to torture, to murder, and to lie the nation into wars of conquest. All citizens, old and new, have a duty to support and defend the Constitution, a document that requires the impeachment of a president as criminal and abusive as the current one.

    Learn more about impeaching Bush: http://afterdowningstreet.org/bush

    For information on the protest, including housing if coming from out of town, call 434-961-6278.

  • By Laurie Dobson

    Generally Bush tries to come to Kennebunkport on July 4th. It’s Bush family tradition. This year, however, we have a large assemblage coming to Kennebunkport with keynote speaker Bob Bowman. Also speaking will be Harold Burbank, Kurt Daims, and myself, Laurie Dobson, with open discussions planned regarding the current state of the world and including updates on the Bush Indictment Resolution going forward in Kennebunkport. So I don’t think he wants to be here this year…

    Laurie Dobson is Maine’s Independent for US Senate
    http://www.dobsonforsenate.com

  • Swanson you are a self-righteous blowhard. You think you’re a real fearless hero, don’t you? Pat yourself on the back buddy. You’re taking out facism. Way to go. Are you so in love with your own opinions that you can’t let some immigrants be naturalized in peace? I hate Bush as much as anyone else, but Swanson you are childish. This is the problem with ideology, whether on the right or left… the idealogues like Swanson believe that their truth trumps everyone else’s truth. It’s rigid quasi-religious zealotry… its self-aggrandizement and self-delusion, and for Pete’s sake we’ve had enough of that. Bush is headed for the dustbin of history. Let him go. Stop the histrionics about facism and do the actual work of getting our country back on track.

  • Wow, what a bunch of frightening paranoid conservative douches. Daddy’s drunk and waiting for you out in the tool shed. You know what he wants… wide stance.

    You go get ’em, Swanson, The rest of you whiners can blow.

    And the president IS a war criminal, and completely morally bankrupt.

  • Gosh, Steve, your claim that anybody who disagrees with you is routinely anally raped by their alcoholic father—and advisory that we now collectively perform oral sex on a man—is an especially deft logical parry. You’ve really given me a new perspective on this that I hadn’t seen before. Why, I really think that we might all come around to seeing things your way, once this new line of thinking sinks in.

    Thanks for dropping in!

  • Does anyone think he’s getting through to David Swanson? This is his entertainment. It also serves to get him attention. The nannyies would call it “acting out.” I’m just hoping that he’s only a phoole and will phade away soon like a phizzled phart. I truly, truly hope that his words and actions are not indicative of early signs of mental degradation.

  • Fair enough, W, abuse is never quite adequate. How about defense? I don’t know if you guys have heard Swanson speak, but nobody around here can hold a candle to him. He is incredibly talented, passioned and reasonable. I can’t wait to hear him thank Bush for disgracing the U.S. military in TWO campaigns and sacking the treasury, the justice department, etc…

    Oh, and Wally, I prefer Stephen. Then again, most people erringly call me “CriSPy,” not “CriPSy.”

    One thing is certain: we definitely won’t come around to any way of thinking if the only voices heard are Wal-Mart’s, Limbaugh’s and a bunch of nice guys who don’t want to make waves.

  • I’m no conservative douche, but I don’t think protesting the naturalization service is going to “make waves” with anyone other than the immigrants and their families. I agree that Bush is a war criminal and the Iraq war is the largest bank heist we’ve ever seen. But Swanson’s self-righteousness is nauseating. He is so wrapped up in the story he tells about himself (free speech crusader! scourge of the facists!) that he neglects the facts about how his actions will actually affect real people. Sounds like W himself…

  • Makes a certain amount of sense, Sequoia, but there’s a serious difference between Swanson and President s#*t-eating-grin: one of them is right.

  • While I’ll take Mr. Duck’s word that David Swanson is both talented and passioned, I have to take issue with the “reasonable” part. Because I offered a different tactic to protest President Bush’s appearance at Monticello than that which Mr. Swanson suggested (He suggested shouting, while I suggested silence), he suggested that fascism had penetrated my brain.

    Is that an example of his “reasonableness”? Frankly, I don’t care how fast he trots out the “Nazi”, “fascist” and “brownshirt” labels for the president, but I resent it when I’m the target of such attacks. Part of leadership is building coalitions and I’ve never seen anybody alienate a group of politically like-minded citizens as I’ve seen Mr. Swanson do on this site.

    There are those who seek to make political change through various methods and I suggest that it’s counterproductive to promote squabbles as to what method each of us chooses. But, that’s exactly what Mr. Swanson seems to be doing. Presumably, there are those who would suggest that, since Mr. Swanson isn’t prepared to enter into an armed insurrection against the government, he’s really just rolling over and playing the patsy for the fascist dictator. That would be wrong. We all do what we can, in good conscience and in line with our own moral and political values.

  • I dig it. Silence can be deadly. The reality is, no protester will be allowed up to Monticello. We can all rest assured that this event will be heavily screened and security will be complete and intense. If someone up there does as you suggest, Larry, it would be awesome. Swanson’s crew will most likely be down by the road, hopefully in full force, and that’s fine with me.

    There’s really only one way to truly, effectively protest a war: stop paying taxes. Everybody at once! Come on! That’d fix ’em.

  • Crispy Duck, Considering how incendiary Mr. Swanson’s comments have been I’m not sure why you would have to hold a candle to him but to your other claim of his reasonableness that is provable false. As the former Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich, Swanson’s job was to yell kick and scream to make sure the media covered the congressman from Ohio. Because if only Dennis got a fair shake would the American public come to know truth and beauty of Dennis words and recognize the brilliant mind of Mr. Swanson behind the next great leader of this once great republic. But alas the only thing more diminutive the Congressman was his share of the popular vote.

    Mr. Swanson likes to talk about democracy but after the votes have been counted he’s unhappy with the result. See dear reader, he thinks democracy a wonderful thing as long as you see it his way. For when he can’t get the votes of the unwashed masses that have ignore him in the marketplace of ideas; it’s everyone else fault but his own. The media was biased, the other democrats played dirty tricks or they just didn’t have the money to get their message out.

    The truth is too crushing for him to consider. That alternative is the public he pretends to love and fight for, has heard his message and found it wanting. Swanson is the ugly American, who decides that when the natives of a different mindset can’t understand his spoken demand that all ones needs to do is make the same demand louder and more slowly. He will post again and again as his smugness blinds him to the fact that he has lost more minds then he has gained.

  • “We all do what we can, in good conscience and in line with our own moral and political values.”

    What have we done? What have you done personally? And I ask that of all here. Reading through these posts I sense we all know that PrezNot Bush (two stolen elections) is a criminal for any number of things. Steal a can of formula for your baby and you go to jail. Kill over a million Iraqis for oil and okay torture and detain children indefinitely and illegally spy on your citizens and some here would ask we be polite when he steps out of the bubble?

    For those who “will stay home” rather than going to Monticello as previously planned, I implore you to get involved. Come out and be a citizen, not a consumer. If all the people sitting on the fence would get involved we could affect change very soon.

    Impeach for Peace,

    p.s. I would protest at a funeral also.

  • In lieu of spitting on the nationalization ceremony of innocent immigrants, I propose a general strike until Bush and Cheney are impeached.

    Everyone go home…. now.

  • For your reading pleasure,

    Bryan McKenzie’s recent blog post hosts a choice sampling of the letters that have been forwarded to us here at the DP.

    http://www.mydailyprogress.com/index.php/onebrick/comments/letters_from_a_peaceful_place/

    Enjoy!

  • Wow. I didn’t know Swanson worked for Kucinich. I LOVE DENNIS KUCINICH! If that’s true, that kicks butt.

  • Now I know why Kucinich lost a lot of the support he had. He had his own Jeremiah Wright.

  • While I appreciate the defense and praise I make no claim to being talented and the rest of it. That’s nonsense. I also make no claim to hating Bush more (or less) than somebody else, whether they agree with me on tactics or not. I do not hate Bush at all. I know that’s impossible to understand (or believe), and yet I feel compelled to keep saying it, and I actually think it’s important. I do, on the other hand, accept the criticism of posting stuff that sounds self-righteous. In my defense, I’ve been talking about this topic nonstop for years now, and sometimes I get in a hurry. I’ve never spoken to anyone in person who thought I was self-righteous. But on blogs? Yes, plenty of times. My point is not to label an actual person a fascist (other than actual fascists like Bush and Cheney), but rather to suggest (in admittedly too flippant a way to make the point) that there is something very disturbing about how those on the left have adopted in a very widespread way the notion that a silent candle-light vigil is more powerful than a rally with speeches. It can be, if the speeches really suck. But if we have something to say and are not ashamed to say it and believe that it is important to say it, then silence can be deadly and self-defeating, and much appreciated by – yes – the fascists. Presumably silence advocates understand that nobody hear wants to frighten their daughters to death or disrespect new citizens, etc., and yet I keep trying to point out that Bush IS KILLING PEOPLE. Is it more important to avoid disturbing a few new citizens or more important to stop slaughtering Iraqis and US troops? I have a different answer to that question than some here, and – yes – I think I’m right. In fact, I have yet to find anyone who thinks they’re wrong, no matter how slowly and carefully and tactfully they post their opinions. Of course, you can claim that protesting Bush’s visit won’t save any Iraqi lives. Maybe not. But – combined with other actions – it MIGHT, and we have a responsibility to take that chance, to save Iraqi lives, and the lives of Americans and others around the world, and our democratic republic and all the rights that go with it.

  • Split personality? Medication wearing off?

  • Declaration of Impeachment

    Issued by Veterans for Peace for July 4

    Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are instituted to secure the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But

    “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    …all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations…design(s) to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    …The history of the present King (George) of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny…To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
    § He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    § He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    § He has…deprive(ed) us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury…transport(ed) us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    § He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us…
    § He is at this time transporting large Armies…to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    § He has constrained our fellow Citizens…to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    A (President) whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
    We, therefore…do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People…solemnly publish and declare, That these…Free and Independent (People)…are Absolved from all Allegiance to the (Bush Administration), and that all political connection between them and (this Administration), is and ought to be totally dissolved…And for the support of this Declaration…we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

    (Note: Except for the first two lines above and words in parentheses, this Declaration is quoted directly from the original Declaration of Independence.) http://www.veteransforpeace.org

  • Celebrating Independence in the Era of Empire
    By Medea Benjamin, July 3, 2005 — updated July 3, 2007

    This Fourth of July, while Americans are marching in parades and oohing and aahing at the fireworks, it would be a patriotic gesture to also spend some time thinking about what independence means today.

    Our nation was founded on a determination to be free of domination by the British empire. The US Declaration of Independence proclaimed the need to fight the War of Independence against Britain because King George III had ‘kept among us standing armies’ that committed intolerable ‘abuses and usurpations.’ Today it is our government whose standing army is committing abuses and usurpations in foreign lands. Today it is our government that is in the business of empire-building. Even before 9/11, the US military maintained over 700 foreign military bases and installations and almost 250,000 troops in 130 countries.

    George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison all warned that the invasion and occupation of other lands would turn America into precisely the sort of empire against which they had so recently rebelled. “We should have nothing to do with conquest,” asserted Jefferson in 1791.

    READ THE REST.

  • Cville Eye,

    I continue to be amazed that someone who holds himself in such high standing offers such dopey rebuttals with such great frequency. In addition to your recent “split personality” comment, you rebutted me previously as follows (paraphrased):

    You: You can’t blame Bush for everything, the legislative branch is complicit as well. Why not protest them?

    Me: Yes, but not only did Bush start an unjust war that killed tons of innocents, his administration tortured as well.

    You: So, you would rather be a victim of the legislature than strip naked in Cuba?

    Get yourself together, son! You’re not making sense. This was a dopey attempt to brush away the fact that Bush is guilty of both. Did the legislative branch approach the executive branch with a bunch of lies and cooked facts?

  • Fascist America, in 10 easy steps
    From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.
    By Naomi Wolf, The Guardian, Tuesday April 24, 2007

    Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody.

    They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy – but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

    READ THE REST.

  • I actually agree with blaming Congress, but just don’t see how it excuses the executive.

  • David, please stop posting blog entries, newspaper articles, and other chunks of text unrelated to the discussion at hand. Any further such postings will simply be deleted under the Safe Harbor Provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and under the Stop Spamming My Damn Blog Act.

  • No doubt Bush is a facist… or at least a wanna-be. However, the solution is not to trample on other peoples’ celebration with the jackboots of your own sense of outrage.

  • Waldo,
    You can delete stuff or you can say don’t post links, or you can say don’t post something posted somewhere else first, but you can’t pretend I’ve posted something “unrelated to the discussion at hand” – at least not by just decreeing something so apparently untrue.
    David

  • David, we have the link to your blog. We can go there to read more. Can you consider this piece of criticism: in the same way that your tone (by your own admission) sounds self-righteous on blogs and sometimes you get too flippant to make a point productively, it is also true that by posting huge chunks of text that are already available elsewhere — essentially, bludgeoning the readers of this blog — you are similarly alienating people who might otherwise be open to your message? Like, it’s counterproductive?

  • Cecil,
    Reading and considering criticism is not always the same as being able to make any sense of it. Neither the Guardian newspaper nor Code Pink is actually my blog. They may both use some of the same colors or fonts but I don’t actually publish them. Since you clearly didn’t read either of them, you either type extremely fast or you spent more time on your criticism than you did feeling bludgeoned. Nonetheless I’m sorry for bludgeoning you and hope that you are actually aware of the quite relevant things I posted despite not reading them.
    Best,
    David

  • Hey David do you really believe in democracy and if so can we vote you off this blog?

    Argue here but don’t copy and paste; it not the point of this blog and you’ve pissed off nearly everyone here. If you bring any more of your blog over here you should pay Waldo hosting fees.

  • I would like to thank David for taking all of these unwarranted put downs and reponding with an attempt to explain and educate rather than respond in kind. As far as I could tell, no one is being asked to go into Monticello and disrupt the proceedings. There is a demonstration planned along Rt.53 to the entrance of Monticello. It begins at 8am,you can brings signs and wear T-shirts expressing your opinions of Bush and his policies. This is something you can do, that in no way detracts from the naturalization ceremony.I hope that the people who are professing their commitment to democracy,social justice and the rule of law, on this blog, will be out on Rt. 53 on Friday morning.

  • I would like to thank David for taking all of these unwarranted put downs and reponding with an attempt to explain and educate rather than respond in kind.

    *snorts milk through nose*

  • You can delete stuff or you can say don’t post links, or you can say don’t post something posted somewhere else first, but you can’t pretend I’ve posted something “unrelated to the discussion at hand” – at least not by just decreeing something so apparently untrue

    The crap you’re posting is what the telephone company refers to as “intent to converse” or, in your case, the lack of it. We’re trying to have a conversation in here, while you continually post utterly unrelated essays, some of which you do not even own the copyright to post. I already give you a platform on Charlottesville Blogs. That’s well enough of my subsidizing your expression.

    Since you’ve already declared me a Nazi, I’ll put this in terms you can understand. I’m a fascist dictator. You’re in the country of cvillenewsistan and, as such, you’ll do as I tell you to. I’m telling to stop posting garbage. Why? Because I’m a bad, bad man, and I want to crush your spirit to ultimately turn you into a foot soldier for my loyal army, where you will help take over the nation and turn it over to President Bush, the man behind the curtain here at cvillenewsistan.

    ¿Comprende?

  • Wow… took over 100 comments before Swanson’s like minded buddies came out in force! You’re organizing skills are lacking, Swanson.

  • You know, the special irony here is that I am—or was—a big fan of the CCPJ. I ran their mailing list for years, up until they got a more feature-rich host some months ago. I’ve been to a couple of their events. I have many friends who are involved with the organization. So to have David Swanson speaking for them—calling me, a long-time booster of and volunteer for the organization, a Nazi—strikes me as a deeply foolish thing for them to do.

    At the outset of this discussion, the proper thing for David Swanson to have done would be to say “well, I guess we disagree on this,” and that would have been either the end of or the beginning of an interesting discussion. Historically, that’s been the CCPJ’s approach. But, instead, he chose a far nastier route. I can’t see volunteering any more of my time for them, at least until enough time has passed that I’ve forgotten that their spokesman repeatedly and angrily linked me to the murder of ten million Jews. It takes a special kind of incompetence and vitriol to do that.

  • Waldo, I’m not sure David Swanson is speaking for CCPJ : “Among the groups with whom Swanson is working is the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, who hold weekly protests in front of the federal courthouse against the Iraq war. Asked if the Center is planning any kind of disruption of Bush’s remarks or the naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens over which he will preside, spokeswoman Center spokesperson Sarah Lanzman says, ‘If people do something like that, that would be something out of their own conscience. We’re not organizing anything like that.'”http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2008/06/30/will-bush-bring-out-red-white-and-boos/

  • David Swanson is not CCPJ’s spokesman. He is not on their board as of last month. Their spokesperson was quoted today saying people should do what their conscience tells them at the ceremony. Sarah Lanzman, wish I had the link to hand, I think it’s in the Progress though. I was concerned about this at the start of the thread and asked David if he had the board of CCPJ’s approval for this and never got a response. I think that says enough to say David is speaking for himself and not for CCPJ. But if there is any question I suggest contacting Sarah Lanzman or Bill Anderson directly rather than give up on an organization that is also close to my heart and on whose board I sat for a few years many years ago and which my parents still attend meetings of. If I were not so tired my writing would be better, please excuse grammatical errors.

  • Oops, Yes I should have read the whole thread before commenting again but there were about 50 new comments in my defense. Please contact Bill Anderson, President of CCPJ is what I apparently should have written or another board member in regards to CCPJ’s stance on all this. Oh my.

  • Wow, somebody from CCPJ really needs to make that clear. I’ve gotten more e-mail from this discussion than from any discussion we’ve ever had on cvillenews.com, and a great many of the people e-mailing me have assumed, as have I, that he’s their spokesman. After all, he’s the author of every single statement, announcement, and call to action on their home page, including ten blog entries about this event, most of which are word-for-word identical to his comments here. Heck, even CCPJ’s Sarah Lanzman posted a comment here, alarmingly defending Swanson’s nasty rhetoric.

    Whether or not he’s officially their spokesman, this set of facts makes quite clear to me that he is their spokesman. If CCPJ doesn’t want that to be so, somebody from the organization really ought to a) stop letting him speak for them on their own website and b) point out here that he speaks only for himself.

    Incidentally, I just noticed that Markos Moulitsas banned David Swanson from Daily Kos for doing the same crap there that he’s done here. Wrote Markos:

    Diary content deleted by me (kos) for copyright violation. User David Swanson has been banned. […] I will not subject this site to legal liability because people are too obnoxious or lazy or self-important to read the damn rules. I take this shit seriously

    And that was two years ago. Apparently the lesson still hasn’t sunk in.

  • How can anyone post, with a straight face (keyboard?), that David’s posting of Naomi Wolf’s article “Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps” and other things you will NOT find in your local paper, or the New York Times, are “utterly unrelated essays?” Sheeple or people, folks?

    There is never a good time to be a “good German.” July 4th is an especially appropriate time to be a good American. Who said “Dissent is patriotic”?

    One more thing that bugs me about the some of the posts here are how the protesters are anarchists or something. If you go along with Bush’s way of breaking federal and international law, why would it bother you at all to break any law you feel like breaking? I am a law-abiding citizen. I want the pResident to hold the same standards. He does not. We need to do something about it.

    Hope to see some of you on Friday.

  • Ignore my last post.

  • I just read at C’ville’s site they are giving away 1000 free tickets to the ceremony at Monticello featuring the war criminal. Obviously no one is paying to go.

    Guess they are desparate to get bodies for the event.

  • I don’t think most of CCPJ’s board reads blogs. I have made a call to see if someone can post here as to CCPJ’s position. It may take some time.

    It makes me very sad to see a newcomer to CCPJ seen as representative of a very old organization which just celebrated its 25th anniversary of good work in this town. I know these people and calling people names is not their way nor representative of CCPJ at all. I hope someone from the board will comment soon and I hope Waldo and others will not write off the whole organization because of one newcomer.

  • About the July 4th Monticello protest event—

    Prior to today, the CCPJ Board has never had any plans, or even the
    briefest discussion, regarding this event. Today, when queried about sponsoring the protest, the majority of the Board declined.
    We sincerely hope that those people attending this event for the purpose of becoming US citizens have a wonderful experience on this important day in their lives.

    We do have a website which is open to unresticted public blogging (charlottesvillepeace.org). We believe in the freedom of speech so people who wish to register and post are welcome. I am sure many of our “members” will be protesting and I strongly support their right to do so. However, CCPJ is not sponsoring any of this.

    One individual, David Swanson, has blogged quite vociferously of his thoughts regarding his objections to President Bushes coming to
    Monticello. He does not represent CCPJ. He is simply an individual with his own views.

    Lorrie Delehanty
    CCPJ Board member

  • Markos is part of the dem machine status quo. Many important articles have been censored there, not submitted by David Swanson.

    Did you know that Dennis Kucinich won the Virginia Democratic Party’s poll last December? Did the dem party announce the winner? No, “there was a water leak that damaged our server” and the dog ate my homework garbage. Shortly after that two national debates who had invited him, uninvited him, citing new standards. We have FOUR companies owning all the corporate fawning media.

    We are not being told the truth almost everywhere and David Swanson is trying to get the word out. I applaud his efforts and will continue to help him get the word out. The future is very bleak indeed unless we do something to change what seems to be “acceptable” to some. The current time is rather difficult for the Iraqis who offered no threat to us. You can be a part of that change or you can sit back and do nothing, and have to explain why you did nothing to your grandchildren when they ask why the 4th of July isn’t celebrated anymore.

  • So…you have to stand in line for tickets for the event. Assuming you get a ticket, you have to show up on 7/4 at your designated parking time, which might be as early as 6am. Then you take a shuttle over to where the ceremony is to be held. You can’t take anything to drink or to make yourself comfortable with. Meanwhile, the presidential escort is making its slow and disruptive way down 29 and through town. Unless he plans to ‘copter in.

    I’m starting to think that it would take a heck of a protest to make the day more unpleasant than it’s already shaping up to be.

  • Rain… I’m pretty sure that I heard about those results back in December. There was no cover-up. What actually happened was a bunch of very enthusiastic supporters flooded the proceedings. Good for them. The turned their people out. But, no matter how many people they turned out, it doesn’t change the fact that those results do not reflect the preferences of Democratic primary voters.

    The people on this blog have called Swanson a few things. They’ve called his methods wrong, they’ve called him unreasonable. And from what I’ve seen, Swanson has made no effort to let these people know they are off base. His posts here have served to strengthen those conclusions. But the people who have repeatedly compared their “opponents” in this discussion Nazis are now saying that we have called you anarchists? Please. I can’t remember anyone saying that protesting the President (spell it right please, name calling in politics is sophomoric and stupid) is illegal or even wrong. In fact, most of us are very opposed to this President. What we said was that the venue was wrong. That’s all. And when you pressed on, many of us actually gave you advice on how to best further your agenda.

    And so you called us Nazis.

    Take the time to actually read the posts here. There is a wealth of advice from all kinds of people that will actually help you. Your current course will only hurt you.

  • One individual, David Swanson, has blogged quite vociferously of his thoughts regarding his objections to President Bushes coming to Monticello. He does not represent CCPJ. He is simply an individual with his own views.

    Thank you for that clarification, Lorrie. For what it’s worth, since you allow him to post all of these things on the CCPJ website, a reasonable individual would believe that he almost literally speaks for CCPJ. If I may make a suggestion, if you don’t want him to speak for you, you should stop letting him.

    One more thing that bugs me about the some of the posts here are how the protesters are anarchists or something.

    What? Rain, nobody said or implied that. You’re the only person to use the word “anarchist.”

    Markos is part of the dem machine status quo. Many important articles have been censored there, not submitted by David Swanson.

    Uh. Wow, Rain. That’s like seeing somebody claim that Marx was an anti-union fascist, or that Genghis Khan was a dirty lih-bhurl—it really tells you where somebody stands. So, just to be clear, Rain, you believe that David Swanson was censored by Markos as a part of a cover-up on the part of the “dem machine”?

    And what about fellow prominent progressive blogg Shakespeare’s Sister, a favorite of mine for many years now? One of the folks there has repeatedly asked David Swanson to stop e-mailing them his hateful blog entries, just last month? There was one comment by Shakespeare’s Sister that I could particularly relate to:

    “You are an ideologue that is myopic to all other views and feelings other than his one goal. You know, like George W. Bush.”

    Tell me, Rain, is Shakespeare’s Sister also a part of the “dem machine” that’s trying to censor David Swanson’s apparently-dangerous message? Or is it possible that his rhetoric is just so poisonous that he leaves a trail of hatred in his wake, even among those inclined to be his natural ally?

    I’m starting to think that it would take a heck of a protest to make the day more unpleasant than it’s already shaping up to be.

    I think you’re right, Elizabeth. It sounds like a bummer of an event at this point. That’s what comes of having a president speak. I hope Monticello won’t try this again.

  • David Swanson is a good man who is passionate about the downward turn this country has taken under Bush and his neocon buddies. He is frustrated about the apathy of our citizens who have been asleep for seven years. I think it is wrong to so horribly criticize someone who cares so much about us and our country and our future. He may be farther to the left than many on this blog, but so what? There are plenty of folks here that are so far right that it is amazing.

  • Even I, Cynic, felt a bit put off by David initially. I firmly believe that anyone who says “God bless America” is a fascist, so I didn’t like the thought of someone judging my leftist credentials.

    What I decided to believe is that David is really, really zealous, as in overzealous.

    If there is one time in our history that we need someone to be overzealous, this is it.

  • Waldo,
    Was that the point of all the pretense that I had “called you a Nazi” (which, best I could make out, was derived from my having called some jerks who proposed protesting at my house brownshirts)… so that you could act like as much of a jerk as they and claim you were being a fascist dictator which would somehow be clever and acceptable because it was tongue in cheek? Pretty weird. And the pretense that I’m speaking for CCPJ? Gotta wonder where that one’s headed. You are not a Nazi, Waldo; you are a good german. There is a difference, but it’s not as big a one as good germans believe it to be, and there’s no polite way to say that. I wish there were. And I wish you could keep the thrill of managing a blog alive once we’ve completely lost our republic, but it won’t work that way.
    David

  • Waldo writes:

    “It sounds like a bummer of an event at this point. That’s what comes of having a president speak. I hope Monticello won’t try this again.”

    While I understand the prestige of having a sitting president speak at any institutional ceremony — most colleges and universities drool at the idea of having a president deliver a commencement address — the logistical difficulties and inconveniences imposed by the president’s presence really do manufacture “a bummer of an event.”

    If things go as poorly as I expect they will, Monticello officials will no doubt have second thoughts about inviting a sitting president in the future. (I wrote on my blog about how different it must have been when Gerald Ford spoke there in the Bicentennial year of 1976.) This will be true whether the president is Democrat or Republican, well-loved or highly disliked. (There will always be people who want to protest one policy or another of a current administration.)

    Perhaps Monticello should set a rule that speakers at its July 4th ceremonies should be limited to former officeholders and people who are not public officials. Few people would object vociferously to former Secretary of State Colin Powell or former President Jimmy Carter. (There may be grumblings about either or both, but no wild demonstrations of protest.)

    I am sure that the folks up on the mountain will be doing a major post-mortem analysis come Monday morning, regardless of what happens. This will be a learning experience for everyone involved.

  • Obviously, any occassion and any house is fair game for protests. If someone pickets David Swanson’s home is a jerk, can those at Monticello be too far behind? There is either a dual standard or sickness in play here.

  • yes, absolutely a dual standard. i think protesting a dictator who has stolen our democracy is smart. i thought the people proposing to protest me sounded like jerks, but of course i’m biased. but by all means, accuse me of being sick, or equate me to a raving proponent of murdering gay people, or accuse me of wanting to scare someone’s daughter to death. Those sorts of things seem to come and go more quickly than pretending I called you a Nazi. That seems to drag on rather interminably :-) Of course it all seems rather absurd a distraction from the crisis at hand in our country, which admittedly hasn’t made in on TV yet.

  • Well, everytime I think I can’t be more offended or disgusted with W, he surprises me again. I am a graduate of the University of Virginia, and have great respect for Jefferson’s legacy of ideas. (The slaveholding, not so much.) So it horrifies me to think of W poisoning those grounds with his presence. W doesn’t understand the constitution that Jefferson helped to forge any better than he understands concepts in “Nuk-u-lar” physics.

  • David, you just can’t put that genie back in the bottle. “Brownshirts” being, of course, the members of the Sturmabteilung,the Nazi paramilitary group. And “good german” referring to citizens of the Nazi regime who didn’t object to it—sort of Nazis by default. Then there’s your statement that “fascism has penetrated [my] brain.” And that the notion that one should be respectful to new citizens “would make Mussolini proud.” For good measure, you also declared President Bush to be a “Nazi.”

    There’s no getting around it: you called me and just about everybody else here Nazis. For somebody who is a member of (and de facto, but apparently not official, spokesman for) the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, I would think you’d have a far stronger appreciation for what a beastly term that is to be tossing around. And, on top of that, you’ve behaved like an absolutely ass. And now you have the gall to put out a call on unrelated, national blogs to find people to defend you [1, 2]?

    Please go away, David. You’re not welcome here. You’ve treated people rudely, you’ve made an organization that I like and respect look very foolish, and you haven’t shown the slightest understanding that you are harming the causes that you support, nor are in in the least bit apologetic for your hurtful statements. You are one of the most ineffective protestors I’ve ever had the misfortune to run across. Please take your protest elsewhere.

    This server space is private property. Get off of it.

  • While *bush bashing is one of my favorite
    sports I have to agree, as a local, with various
    posters above urging restraint.

    Bush is fast becoming a 3rd rate celebrity
    who doesn’t even warrant the attention. Today
    he speaks at Monticello, in a few years he will
    be lucky if he’s invited to open new rides at
    fundie theme parks.

    This ceremony is for our new citizens. Having
    *bush speak is bad enough. Let’s not make it about
    how much we disapprove of him.

  • I would think protests should follow Bush anywhere and everywhere he goes. Equating the actions of Fred Phelps, with American citizens protesting their own President is ridiculous. It’s a moot point regardless. No protest within Mr. Bush’s eyesight will tolerated. There’s your free speech.

  • Jan writes, “David Swanson is a good man who is passionate about the downward turn this country has taken under Bush and his neocon buddies.”

    Many people posting on this site are good people who are passionate about the way Bush has damaged the country. It doesn’t make Swanson unique or special or privileged to speak on these issues; it’s a passion and a commitment that he shares with thousands of people in the local area. People express their passions and enact their commitments differently. I don’t believe there’s only one right way to express and enact.

    Jan writes, “He is frustrated about the apathy of our citizens who have been asleep for seven years.”

    His frustration is his problem — those are his feelings. I know many peace activists who are energized by what they see happening around the country. So David is a glass-half-empty kind of guy — again, that doesn’t give him special license to be an ass online.

    Jan writes, “I think it is wrong to so horribly criticize someone who cares so much about us and our country and our future.”

    Jan, I think it is right to criticize someone whose rhetoric and approach do more damage than they do good. People like Swanson are doing Karl Rove’s work for him — they’re a huge fat target for Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh to shoot at. What could be more important, to someone who cares about advancing progressive causes, than trying to ensure that the movement doesn’t end up an easily caricatured and marginalized freak show? When average disengaged fence-sitting status-quo-leaning Americans see/hear the kinds of things Swanson says, they dismiss liberals/the left/the peace movement as raving lunatics. It doesn’t help advance the cause. It’s alienating. I ask, do you want to be correct or do you want to be effective?

    Jan writes, “he may be farther to the left than many on this blog, but so what?”

    There is nothing about Swanson that is intrinsically leftist — in no way does one have to think, write, speak, or act the way he does in order to qualify as a leftist. There are MANY people on the left who do not behave or speak or blog this way. There are MANY people on the left who balance passion with a commitment to building bridges and avoiding alienation (what I think David dismisses as “politeness”). To anyone reading this thread, PLEASE don’t assume that David Swanson accurately and comprehensively represents “the left.”

  • Waldo,
    The reference to anarchists is missing on this blog. I didn’t pull it out of thin air. I believe, but cannot prove, that a post here suggested we all follow the law and make sure to get a permit to protest. It is very possible I got this from the blog that led me here, so don’t take it personally, but I think I made my point. Dissent is patriotic, and you ought not have to get a permit to do so.

    Will check out Shakespeare’s Sister because I want to learn. To call David’s posts “hate-filled” etc, is so crazy I don’t even know what to say.

    To whomever wrote they heard about Dennis Kucinich winning the VA poll, would you be able to find anything from the dem party that made this statement? You may have read it, but you didn’t get it from them or any paper. If anything, you got it from http://www.afterdowningstreet.org or opednews.com. Nobody that depends on the war machine printed anything about it. I’m sure I’m not addressing other questions but it is time to go to bed.

  • I sure think Bush would be pleased if everyone were everyone quiet and polite so as not to disrupt the ceremony for the new citizens of the homeland. But I seem to recall that Thomas Jefferson pledged his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to overcoming tyranny. I do not think he was all that polite when he did that. Freedom and honor were important to Jefferson.

  • Hmm. I’ve never commanded someone to leave a blog before, or been commanded by someone else to leave one, but the latter seems fair enough. Take this last post and distort and pervert it unmolested:

    “David, you just can’t put that genie back in the bottle. “Brownshirts” being, of course, the members of the Sturmabteilung,the Nazi paramilitary group.”

    Yes, but I didn’t call you a brownshirt.

    And “good german” referring to citizens of the Nazi regime who didn’t object to it—sort of Nazis by default.”

    You are a good German right now. If you want to call that a Nazi by default, that’s up to you.

    “Then there’s your statement that “fascism has penetrated [my] brain.””

    Except that it wasn’t your brain, but someone else’s.

    “And that the notion that one should be respectful to new citizens “would make Mussolini proud.””

    The nice thing about the internet is that anyone can go back and discover that what I said was that this would make Mussolini proud:

    ““Have your protest, but have it over there, within the established protest zone, where no one will have to look at you, where you won’t bother anybody. Don’t be disruptive or rude. Do not fail to get a permit. Try to keep the noise down.””

    Of course your distortion of what was said would garner a little admiration from him too.

    “For good measure, you also declared President Bush to be a “Nazi.””

    He is a Nazi. He’s just not you. I assume you have not identified that closely with your President.

    “There’s no getting around it: you called me and just about everybody else here Nazis.”

    Everybody? Including all the people I didn’t? Maybe you identify with quite a few people so closely that you’ve lost touch?

    “For somebody who is a member of (and de facto, but apparently not official, spokesman for) the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, I would think you’d have a far stronger appreciation for what a beastly term that is to be tossing around. And, on top of that, you’ve behaved like an absolutely ass. And now you have the gall to put out a call on unrelated, national blogs to find people to defend you [1, 2]?”

    CCPJ has a website that encourages you, yes you, to post articles on it.

    “Please go away, David. You’re not welcome here. You’ve treated people rudely, you’ve made an organization that I like and respect look very foolish, and you haven’t shown the slightest understanding that you are harming the causes that you support, nor are in in the least bit apologetic for your hurtful statements. You are one of the most ineffective protestors I’ve ever had the misfortune to run across. Please take your protest elsewhere.”

    “This server space is private property. Get off of it.”

  • The reference to anarchists is missing on this blog. I didn’t pull it out of thin air. I believe, but cannot prove, that a post here suggested we all follow the law and make sure to get a permit to protest.

    No such comment was posted here. I very rarely erase comments—I can’t recall the last time that I did.

    but I think I made my point.

    Did you? What was it?

    Dissent is patriotic, and you ought not have to get a permit to do so.

    Rain, you clearly have not read this discussion. Nobody has claimed otherwise. The discussion has been about whether or not it is appropriate to potentially disrupt or upstage a very important day in ~75 people’s lives, the day they’re sworn in as citizens. The question has been whether that’s a worthy tradeoff. We all agree that it is legal, and that it ought to be legal. Were it not legal, I’d be the first one protesting.

    One more time: Everybody here agrees that such a protest is legal. The question is whether or not it’s a good idea. If it’s so obvious that it is a good idea, perhaps you can tell me why CCPJ has been unwilling to suggest that people should do so?

  • Hmm. I’ve never commanded someone to leave a blog before, or been commanded by someone else to leave one, but the latter seems fair enough.

    Yes, yes you have.

  • It would be something if everybody walked away when the Clown Prince George showed up on stage. Find a Bush look alike and have him sing “If I only had a brain!”

  • The celebration is to focus on the Constitution and new citizens, who will have a unique to watch the Constitution in action—or not.

    As the founders put the Constitution together, they were painfully aware that at some point in our history there would be a president who thought he could act like a king.

    They took great care that sweltering Philadelphia summer to include in the body of the Constitution itself an orderly political process to be used, should a president commit high crimes and misdemeanors of the kind we have witnessed these past seven years. The process is typically direct, simple, and cautious. To remove a president, impeachment does not suffice. He must be convicted by a two-thirds majority of the Senate (VERY hard), after being impeached (indicted) by the House of Representatives by a simple majority (relatively easy).

    For reasons best known to themselves, our Representatives are refusing to implement that part of the Constitution, although they solemnly swore to protect and defend the whole Constitution.

    The fawning corporate media (FCM) have been of great help to these cowardly Representatives. For example, with very few exceptions, the FCM have refused to give ink or air to Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s 35 Articles of Impeachment now languishing in Conyers’ inbox. (It only took three such Articles to do in the last president who thought he could act like a king—Richard Nixon, who chose to resign than be impeached.)

    President George W. Bush rarely allows himself to appear before the media…even the FCM——like for press conferences (remember them?). And he rarely appears in places in this country where people who wish to challenge him for his impeachable offenses can be seen and heard.

    On July 4 in Charlottesville, will they be herded off to some special “speech-free zone” where they can be neither seen nor heard?

    This seems altogether likely. What would Mr. Jefferson say? Surely, he would call attention to the First Amendment and insist that citizens retain the rights of free speech and assembly.

    And if Mr. Bush should deny them that right….then I believe we could count on Mr. Jefferson to say to George W. Bush: “You are a usurper, acting like the English king George III, who spilled so much of our blood trying to prevent us from being free. I shall give you ten minutes to get off my land. Should you choose to linger, I shall call out the militia of our Commonwealth to detain you and bring you to justice.”

    If it’s at Monticello, it has to be about Mr. Jefferson. Let us not disturb his rest and dishonor his contribution to our independence by a show of latter-day cowardice before tyranny.

    Ray McGovern
    Arlington

  • Bush should not be allowed to travel anywhere without a protest following him. Do you not think bush is using this naturalization ceremony for his own ends? He certainly does not care about the people or the event. He is photo op-ing like mad.

    If Dvid Swanson wants to call for people to show up, tha’s great! If some actually show up as a result, even better!

    What an insult to trade the patriot Ken Burns for the village idiot and traitor to his country.

  • Serious question here. Has anyone who has posted regarding the methods employed by Mr Swanson ever personally known someone who has been tortured? (i.e. electrocution, waterboarding, being set on fire, etc etc.)

    I have, and I’m sure others in Cville must also have known torture victims. But how about you posters– have you known the victims well, and heard their stories firsthand? Seen, through daily interaction, how it shapes their lives?

    Perhaps I’m looking at this through too personal a lens, but I’m finding it quite bizarre that people could possibly be discussing a plan to demonstrate against a demonstrator (Swanson) versus, say, demonstrating against a war criminal and torturer (Bush).

    I’d rather be called a Nazi by a stranger on the internet than be tortured. Sticks and stones, and all that. I’ll save my moral outrage for those folks that actually need our help. Because they surely do need help from ALL of us.

  • Here’s my idea:
    As a member of freepress.net, I support the right of even the worst evil scumbag to speak in public. Yes, even if that sucker is an international criminal.
    BUT I also support the right of the people to protest in any and all nonviolent ways, without limitation except perhaps the bounds of decency.
    What else is there to do if we are to practice what we preach? If we would squelch the disgusting and yes, evil, speech of King George the Dubyath, why would we not be squelched in return?

  • Yes I have Victoria, but you are setting up a straw man. And if you really want to do something about victims of torture, you might start close to home in our local Western State Hospital.

  • My point?
    Bush should be protested at every turn. He is the one who has broken many laws but we should not. It is up to the people of the United States to take back our country. Vincent Bugliosi’s book should be in your Amazon shopping cart.

    I HAVE read every post and if I had bothered to do a pro/con list, Bush loses, but it is the American people that really lose. Check out “dubai islands” on youtube for what Cheney/Bush look forward to if they are allowed to leave the U.S. Paraguay may no longer be a safe haven for Bush with recent changes in their government.

  • Nancye, so does pretty much everyone else on this blog. Free speech yay, right to protest yay, we’re all pretty much on the same page, you should really read the whole conversation before helicoptering in and enlightening the natives.

    The debate here concerns the effectiveness and therefore the advisability of disrupting the naturalization ceremony by shouting/chanting/waving signs during Bush’s speech at that ceremony. Specifically that. Some here see wisdom in balancing a desire to express outrage about Bush’s actions with respect for the naturalization ceremony itself and for the wishes of at least some the citizens-to-be. That’s all this is about: is disrupting the ceremony in order to shout at Bush so important that nothing else matters, neither (a) the wishes of at least some of the citizens-to-be for a focused ceremony that is about them and not about the President, nor (b) the likelihood that news of protesters disrupting the ceremony in order to shout at Bush will further alienate middle-of-the-road Americans.

    Back to Minnesota with you, Nancye, and hope you enjoyed your brief visit to Virginia!

  • “ HAPPY 4th of JULY, 2008 “

    … “ I HAVE A JOB ! “

    Thank You, bush, cheney, republican party on, all…

    I HAVE A JOB !

    … DIGGING GRAVES

    4 Y/OUR WAR DEAD

    And MY STARVING NEIGHBORS

    … EFFCIENTLY

    COVERING UP OUR CONSTITUTION,

    YOUR BOGUS LIES and PILFERING

    WITH THEIR

    … EXHUMED DIRT !

    ———

    new poem by, http://www.RogerART.com

  • To all people thinking we should let a murderous war criminal speak anywhere without a protest.. This despicable man should only be speaking in the Hague under indictment wearing shackles along with his entire cabinet.

    It is all of YOU who have lost sight of the fact that the MOST IMPORTANT document to this country has been desecrated by Bush. Citizen of a country with a useless Constitution?

    Anyone, not wanting to protest a criminal like this regardless of the event, is putting the cart before the horse and cannot see the forest for the trees.

    I guess it doesn’t matter that he stole his way into office.
    Lied us into a murderous, trillion dollar, economy-depleting, blood bath of a war-for-profit for him and his oil buddies. With all the stolen iraqi oil, gas should be cheap but is at record levels because he’s gouging even more from the American people.

    He’s outed a CIA agents identity because her husband dissented. He’s Profiteering from death and destruction (like his Grand daddy, ‘Prescott Bush’ did with Hitler – look it up) and he’s now trying to start yet another illegal war with another innocent country to mire the next democrat president in for 4 yrs so the Repugnants get the 2012 bid. Its so plain to see, people don’t even see it. Best place to hide something is in plain view. As he’s done with 911, his agenda and the war.

    Anyone willing to let this man walk around continuing to spit on the United States, its (and the entire world’s) people is completely fooled by rhetoric, the media, and the Bushit.

    Far, FAR more important than this ‘one ceremony’ or these people getting their immigration is the need to Protest this latest version of Hitler. The people in this ceremony will appreciate their ceremony not being marred by the presence of this murderous imperial dictator. I’m also sure they’re more concerned with being a citizen than “the ceremony” itself.

    Try and think “bigger picture”.

  • Over one million Iraqi citizens were murdered at the behest of George Bush and people are concerned about being unseemly? And, Iran is next.

    Let’s hold off on the white gloves and tea cakes until Bush is impeached and out of the White House.

    Trust me, the new immigrants understand and will thank you.

    JUST TO REMIND YOU —

    Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,225,898”
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

    ===

    Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’sWar On Iraq 4,113
    http://icasualties.org/oif/

    The War And Occupation Of Iraq Costs
    $533,014,754,380

    See the cost in your community
    http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182

  • The many people on this thread who do NOT live here are unable to weigh the importance of this annual ceremony to the new citizens and to this community. It is very sad that Monticello has agreed to welcome GWB as his attendance will be a huge distraction from something truly important.
    The inflammatory insults/language in some of the posts on this thread are very counter productive to attempts at meaningful discussion. And the historical illiteracy is not very useful either.

  • Let’s make it the mother of all Protest Bush events! Bring your outrage, signs, puppets, theatrics, noisemakers and friends. Let’s stage a funeral for the fourth Amendment, or a die- in. Let’s blow up a thousand balloons that say “IMPEACH.” Please somebody, bring a video so we can document testimony against Bush. Let’s bang pots and pans, and let the world know we will not tolerate the war criminal in chief on the sanctuary that is Monticello.

    Let’s prove to the new citizens that this is a country they can love with all their heart. You know they’ll be glad we did.

  • Protest, not protest. I don’t know when it would be more appropriate. I am amazed they don’t have a “protest zone”. If our populace was more informed and motivated, this guy would be afraid to show his face in public. There should be booing anywhere and everywhere he shows up in public. The people should let all these new citizens know that this man is not respected or liked because of his disdain for the liberties and freedoms that the Constitution, the very bedrock foundation that is this country. You know the one before the corporations took over.

  • *sigh*

    Swanson’s gotten people to parachute in from democrats.com, as you can see. (It’s not the Democrats’ site. He just owns the domain name.) I’ve blocked them from getting through, too, as I also blocked people from the other two sites where he’s rallied the troops.

    At times like this, it’s crystal-clear to me why “liberal” is an epithet in so many circles. It’s not the ideology that’s the problem, its its most vocal adherents. Jesus, save me from your followers.

  • Everyone is acting so silly. Bush will never be impeached ever and he has only a few months left in office anyhow. Life is so short and so many of you are spinning your wheels. Your rants about the economy, Bush and the world in general are accomplishing absolutely nothing. Before you seek out to change the world, why don’t you first change yourselves? It all begins and ends within you and if you can’t find peace within yourself, it’s useless to seek it elsewhere..JC

  • This is my first visit to this site and I am amazed at how “Peace Loving People” can seem so angry. Whatever happened to the days of actually sitting down and working out or differences. Or do we just all have to pick a side and go fight? As a founder of another group here in Cville that works for justice, I find the tactics of some on this thread embarrassing. If I conducted myself in the vain of Mr. Swanson and others, I would never be allowed into City Hall/County Office Building to help with community issues (of which I have been invited by both bodies). It seems like to me, we have lost sight of the real issue at hand here. These new citizens who have come to become members of the United States of America. Yes, we have our problems but all in all is this not the best nation in the world? Is that not why so many people want to come here? The issue at hand my friends is to let these new citizens come in peace and then, LET THEM decide where they will lay their loyalty. It is not fair nor just nor peaceful to cause them undue stress on one of the most important days of their lives.

    Peace to all,

    Brother Peace

  • Man, you guys are frothing at the mouth. I guess we’ll see the cops out there with riot gear and tear gas. So much for the image of a peaceful Charlottesville to the USA. Now it’ll be known as a hotbed of controversy. Way to go!

  • It’s a shame I didn’t get tickets. Anyone here have a couple of extras?

  • I am very proud that my friends and neighbors are willing to give up part of their holiday to join in protest. Image? Image? We already look like fools and dullards to the rest of the world because we have allowed bush to remain free of IMPEACHMENT. It is time to repent before God and the world for what we have done and allowed to be done in our names. Protesting him whereever and whenever he travels is a small thing to do.

  • Boy, things are quieting down around here. Thanks, Waldo, for the link that housing David Swanson’s own blog publishing policy. By the way, what is the most commonly used “demagogy” or “demagoguery?”

  • Ah, now I remember how the word “liberal” came to be an insult. I can’t wait for Barak Obama to win in a landslide and bring some much-needed pragmatism back to our government. I’m tired of the shouters on the right (or, in the case of this debate, the left) dominating our collective fate. At first this was a discussion about whether it was right (as in, moral) to disrupt the naturalization service (an event that marks a lifelong dream for many of the participants). Swanson and his ilk turned it into masturbatory session about how they’re fighting fascism. For the love of Pete, you guys post to a blog and make some puppets, and you think you’re Ghandi. I thought the left was supposed to be on the side of humility, but it looks like ego transcends party. I can’t wait until Obama wins and you can go back to blogging about how much you hate Wal-Mart.

  • David, thanks for all you say and do to help our country and to educate people. You are an amazing activist. If I wasn’t in Canada I would be in Monticello “with bells on”. Back in a month to resume my responsibility as an American to protest unjust and illegal acts committed by our president.
    And, before the “why don’t you stay in Canada” comments start – how very 60’s of you…………cheeeeezzz!

  • Not me, I’d like to ask…how does a fella immigrate to Canada? What with the recent reaffirmation of your right to have an AK-47 tucked under your pillow, the humongous national debt, the imminent collapse of Social Security for the elderly, dwindling healthcare benefits, etc., etc. I think Canada is looking pretty sweet.

    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.

    It’s even easier to sing than “O say can you see”.

  • This is a PERFECT place and opportunity for everyone (that is close enough to get there), to protest the War-Criminal In Chief. There should be NO excuses from anyone that can afford to be there, to not be there. If it was Hitler speaking, there would be millions in protest, and Bush is the “Hitler” of todays world. “Political correctness”, as an excuse to not protest, will be the death of us all, if we do not restore the Constitution and have the Bush-Cheney gang tried and sent to prison for their crimes. “We The People” will become the next occupied country, if we do not act now and often. Protesting them EVERYWHERE that they are, should be the #1 priority for EVERY “progressive” and anti-occupation citizen in our country, regardless of where those two are, or what they are doing….that is how THIS volunteer infantry veteran feels about Bush at Monticello.

  • I wanted to protest bush at a National’s game and some people thought that ball games should be sacrosanct. In fact, it was funny to hear so many of the places where P&J people thought it inappropriate to protest. Anywhere bush is, is appropriate. Don’t forget that bush is the one who called our CONSTITUTION a g-d piece of paper. Cville is a perfect place from which to stage a whopping protest! Any of you read the letter to his baby son that David wrote? It moved me to tears. You can call him all the names you want, to me and tens of thousands of others, he is a rock! He travels all over the country educating and informing, asking for nothing in return except that people take to the streets and voice their collective outrage. I am proud to know him and to be called an antiwar activist!

  • I don’t know if it’s even possible to try to turn this discussion in a more positive direction, but I’d like to encourage readers to pick up a copy of Helena Cobban’s new book – [“Re-Engage! America and the World after Bush”]. Helena, a Charlottesville-based journalist (and friend), who has walked the walk, offers a very practical prescription for U.S foreign policy in a post-Bush world. She points the way for the United States to restore its political and moral position going forward and provides resources for “global includers” to make real change.

    For anyone who wants to see a path forward, this small, but important book is a good place to start.

  • Lydia said:

    Back in a month to resume my responsibility as an American to protest unjust and illegal acts committed by our president.

    Summertime soldier?

  • “He travels all over the country educating and informing, asking for nothing in return except that people take to the streets and voice their collective outrage. I am proud to know him and to be called an antiwar activist!”

    Swanson asks nothing, Tea and Cakes, except for people like you to stroke his ego. Oh, the warm feelings you get when you think of yourself and your activism!

    I think there’s a big difference between a baseball game and a naturalization ceremony.

    But maybe I am wrong! Maybe you are a hero and a patriot, and the feelings of those involved in the ceremony are inconsequential compared with your fearless fight against tyranny. Oh Tea and Cakes, thank you for all you do. Truly you stand aside great revolutionaries everywhere. You protest! You take to the streets! You are so noble!

    There. Does that make you feel good? I thought so…

  • Based on all of the click-thrus from web-based mail clients, I see that David Swanson has sent an e-mail to many of his friends, telling them to come here and post more comments still. Because if there’s one thing that change people’s minds the world ’round, it’s out-of-towners showing up just long enough to lob an insult.

    And, no, I really think it’s just not possible to salvage this discussion. Would that something interesting would happen in town, so I could write about it and move this discussion down the page.

  • It seems we have become the practice run. If the people protesting Bush sound anything like they do here, it will only make Bush and his fellow conservatives more resolute.

  • Waldo, it looks like some of those sideblog posts are of enough import, and recent enough, to promote to the main page.

  • Couldn’t you just close this one to further comment Waldo. It’s getting kind of hard to load in my browser anyway. It’s not limiting speech, just turning the page. Even the city council gives public discussions a time limit.

  • Yes, you’re right about one th ing Sequoia, you don’t know me, where I live, what I do/have done or anything else. You just could not pass up the chance to attack me and my motives because I expressed an opinion about someone that you dislike. I did not comment on any of the mean spirited posts here. I did not call you names or question your integrity.

    One of the things I do is register new voters at Naturalization ceremonies in my city. Based on first hand experiences, I can tell you that most new voters are much more politically aware than 3/4 of native American’s.

    It is our duty to protest bush no matter where he appears.

  • You’re right, Perlogik. This conversation, such as it was, is over. I’m closing it down.

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