Thursday, November 29, 2007

Food for Thought

The CODEPINK house had, yet another, fabulous potluck last night bustling with a great turn out of about 40 friends in attendance. There was much food, drink, and conversation shared making a wonderful evening. CODEPINK was very happy to be able to welcome into our home yesterday evening special guest, author and activist, Genevieve Vaughan. Gen, while in town participating in the Anthropology Association Conference, came to share her evening with CODEPINK for our potluck. We gave her a tour and a beautiful CP poster that a friend in NY made for us. Gen was very sweet, telling us how proud she was of our work. She contributed to the house copies of her book Women and the Gift Economy and her new children’s book Free, Not Free.

Gen, along with a couple of friends of hers, Bernadette from South Africa and Mary from Ireland, who were also in town for the conference, took time to share with us a little about their work. Gen shared with us her perspective of The Gift Economy which is a new paradigm that identifies the destructive, gendered exchange economy of today. Through this awareness, the Gift Economy provides a new perspective enabling social change. Gen shared with us her idea of how present institutions and social structures based on competition, domination, and egotism produce an economy focused on exchange. The Gift Economy, however, is based on nurturing and gift giving. Gen, Bernadette, and Mary were very inspirational and shared ideas and great conversation with many guests throughout the evening.

Later, in the evening activist, scholar, and writer Riane Eisler arrived and spoke to us after dinner about her philosophy of changing the language from domination to partnership. Riane also generously donated her book The Real Wealth of Nations. She gave us the gift of the tool of knowledge to put forth to action. Riane told us that with our creative and active group she hoped she could contribute through inspiring future actions and would love to hear about them if she did. The group all engaged in a lively conversation following her talk.

With an evening full of special guests, we even had reporters from the D.C. weekly, City Paper and Bloomberg. They were able to enjoy food and drinks and talk with many of our amazing CODEPINK activists. All in all, we had lots of great home cooked food and enlightening company.

If you are interested in hearing Genevieve Vaughan speak, you may see her at the American Anthropological Association’s 106th Annual Meeting from November 28 – December 2, 2007 in Washington DC at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. For more information visit

A Look Inside Iraq with Author Haifa Zangana & the Filmmakers of Meeting Resistance

In honor of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, CODEPINK co-hosted an event at Busboys and Poets to provide an insightful look into the present state in Iraq with Haifa Zangana and the filmmakers of Meeting Resistance.
Haifa Zangana as an artist, journalist, and novelist bares witness to her native war-town country, Iraq.

Zangana was raised and studied in Iraq, was for a time imprisoned by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath regime at Abu Ghraib, and is now is the only Iraqi woman in the West writing about the situation in Iraq. She presently works as a contributor to the Guardian in London and recently released City of Widows: An Iraqi Womans Account of War and Resistance. City of Widows offers an insightful and moving account of Iraqi women throughout the recent history of sanctions, occupation, and war.

Molly Bingham and Steve Connors partnered in directing Meeting Resistance, a documentary of the resistance in Iraq through a collection of personal statements by members of the opposition. Connors went to Iraq as a photographer at the start of the invasion and worked fourteen months there. Bingham is a photojournalist who began her work on Iraq by capturing some of the only close up pictures of the attack on the Pentagon on September 11th. From there, she continued her coverage of America’s response to the attack in Afghanistan. Bingham worked for a year in the Gaza Strip and Iran before finally in 2003, just before the US attack, she went to Iraq. Bingham was a prisoner in Abu Ghraib and shortly after her release, she teamed up with Connors to begin work on Meeting Resistance to understand and readdress those behind the emergence of post-war violence in Iraq.

Through their work on Meeting Resistance, Bingham and Connors were able to learn the underlying ideological foundation of the resistance and how members funded, recruited, armed, organized, and now run this US counter-insurgency operation.

The book reading, film clip, and question and answer session with the artists provided me a more comprehensive understanding of the war resistance in Iraq. The present opposition to the War in Iraq is said to be the largest grassroots communal resistance movement which is embedded in the Iraqi society. The US efforts in Iraq are a fight against violence but the violence is fueled by the foreign occupation of the country. Fighting the opposition violence is therefore essentially fighting the people of Iraq. Zangana, Bingham, and Connors explained the counter-insurgency operation as being comprised of anyone who assists by even simply providing shelter, leaving a gate open, or refusing to give information.

The clip from Meeting Resistance provided a visual of these ordinary people, such as the school teacher or the doctor, talking of their active commitment in the resistance. Haifa further explains the resistance in saying:
What the occupation and its puppets have chosen not to see is that the Iraqi resistance would not have continued and sustained its attacks, over three years, in 13 provinces unless it was first Iraqi, second national, third and above all supported and protected by Iraqi people through various social networks, communities, tribes, NGOs, and political parties.
The War in Iraq is working against the united people of Iraq. Bingham and Connors state that, “Some of the people we interviewed were Shia - fighting alongside their Sunni colleagues - and the idea that has recently become common currency, that Iraq is a country driven by ancient sectarian hatreds, is a claim for which we found little evidence.” And further they note, that research for the film further indicated that any fissures in Iraq present at the time of the invasion where exacerbated and exploited by the invasion.

Zangana shared stories of families forced out of their homes by war, whole families of all religious divisions, intermixed, living and surviving together beautifully. The War in Iraq is tearing the country apart and support for the War in Iraq is fueled by the wrongful representation of main stream media. Witnessing these testaments of the state of Iraq has given me a better understanding of the resistance and need for troops to come home from Iraq. If we truly want what is best for the people of Iraq we should support them and the end of this war.

To read an article by Haifa on Iraqi Women visit:
To read an article on Iraqi resistance by Haifa please visit:
For more information on Meeting Resistance visit the official website at
To purchase City of Widows: An Iraqi Womans Account of War and Resistance, visit

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gandhi Peace Brigade/ Thanksgiving & Homegrown Terrorism

Dear Friends,

Leslie and I won't be coming home to the Bay Area for Thanksgiving this year. I've been charged with "unlawful conduct" for shouting,"Shame on you Senator" at Dianne Feinstein (as explained in a previous email) and my court hearing is scheduled for November 27. I'll be pleading not guilty and asking for a jury trial. I accept the consequences of what I did and I'd gladly do it again. Please encourage the Democratic Party in California to censure Senator Feinstein by signing MoveOn's Courage Campaign petition:

What I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving:

* I'm thankful my sons are adults (they're 28 and 31). I loved being a full time dad, but now I can devote 100% of my energy to creating a more peaceful world.

* I'm so thankful Leslie is in my life. Our love for each other gives us the courage to confront the challenges ahead.

* I'm thankful for my sabbatical from teaching. There isn't time for the children to grow up and make the change ... these are critical times and the change needs to happen now.

* I'm thankful to be free of worldly attachments. When Leslie and I returned from Iran we put everything in storage and started touring the United States. We want to clear up the misconceptions Americans have about Iranians.

* I'm thankful for the passion I feel every day ... and for "being the change I want to see in the world".

* I'm thankful for CodePink and the hope it offers ...

* I'm thankful to be living in a country FILLED with grassroots activists who cherish their freedom and love this country.

What concerns me:

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This act claims to set up a Commission for a study that will "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so called violent radicalism and extremist ideology and then make legislative recommendations for combating it. It will focus on passing additional federal criminal penalties that are sweeping and inclusive in criminalizing dissent and protest work. Further, this bi-partisan attempt can set the ground for an even more acquiescent Congress, never wanting to look weak on terrorism. On October 23 it was passed by the House (400-6) and will next go to the floor of the Senate. Click on the Democracy Now! link for more:

Detention Camps inside the U.S. in preparation for a roundup after the next 9/11 for Mid-Easterners, Muslims and possibly dissenters:

Listen to this Naomi Wolf Interview on The End of America:

What inspires me:

Pink's Dear Mr President PLEASE PLEASE click on this.

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their Constitutional Right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. If the founding fathers gave us anything, they gave us that. Abraham Lincoln 1865

Peace and Freedom,

Jes & Leslie

PS Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

VIDEO BLOG: Once upon a monday...

On monday November 12th 2007, CODEPINK Women were on Capitol Hill... Here is what happened:

A Chat with Senator Feinstein:

Liz Talks Intelligence:

Desiree Falsely arrested by Capitol Police:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Shame On You, Feinstein

Dear Friends,

I LOVE CALIFORNIA! When I was fourteen, Billy Williams moved to the west coast with his family. He came back two years later with the longest hair I had ever seen on a guy. "If they let you do that in California, I want to live there," I thought to myself ... and now I do. I appreciate everything California stands for ... freedom, acceptance, compassion, and love. On Tuesday Dianne Feinstein trashed all of that.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the nomination of Michael B. Mukasey as our next Attorney General. The vote was 11 to 8 ... Feinstein and Schumer joined the Republicans on the committee to send him to the floor of the Senate for a "probable" confirmation next week. As part of his testimony to Congress last week, Mukasey refused to define waterboarding as torture. You be the judge ... this is waterboarding:

I held up a sign in the hearing room that read Shame as Senator Feinstein explained her position ... Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It was the, "I really believe that this man is going to be an independent breath of fresh air," that pushed me over the edge. When she finished, I yelled,"Shame on you Senator! Shame on you! I'm from California ..." Five policemen grabbed me roughly from behind and before I knew it I was straddling a table in the hall. Click here to see what happened:

I was booked and released from jail in a little over three hours. Feeling just a little incomplete, I went to Feinstein's office to talk with her. She wasn't in, so I left her this letter:

Dear Senator Feinstein,
I was the person arrested in the hearing room today. The police pulled me out so quickly, I didn't have a chance to finish what I wanted to say.
As you know, I was able to get out,"Shame on you Senator, Shame on you. I live in California ..."
I want to finish by saying how ANGRY your constituents are with your vote today. I'm sure you have an explanation for what you've done, but in the eyes of the world you condone waterboarding and torture.
Many of us feel you have betrayed the democrats on the Judiciary Committee, democrats in general, and Californians.
I never thought I'd say this, but I am ashamed to be a Californian.
Jes Richardson

She claims she's voting for Mukasey because Bush might appoint someone worse during the recess. LET HIM! Congress's approval rating is 11% ... Bush's is 28%. Do you think this low rating might have something to do with the spineless nature of Congress? You had an opportunity to take the moral high road and show the world the United States Congress does not approve of torture. Why didn't you take it, Dianne ... what did Bush offer you on that helicopter ride over fire-ravaged California? Are you concerned that Schwarzenegger might run against you in 2012 and you're looking for some Republican support? Or maybe you're concerned about your husband's two contracting businesses in Iraq, Perini and URS . What about us Dianne ... your constituents!

We are tired of politicians playing with our lives, pretending to speak for us, pretending to act on our behalf when they are only concerned about their own political careers and nothing else. We want our country back!

Peace and Freedom,

Jes & Leslie

If Dianne Feinstein isn't representing you, please take a minute and call her: 202-224-3121 (The Congressional Switchboard). Those of you who live in other states, please call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Mukasey (same number). They really do pay attention to phone calls. Meanwhile, Leslie and I will be visiting Senators personally up until the vote on Mukasey. We haven't given up yet!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Day in the Life of CODEPINK Peace Activists on Capitol Hill

On Tuesday November 6th CODEPINKers were unnecessarily detained and harassed by Capitol Hill Police in Congress.

VIDEO: CODEPINK at FCC Hearing on Halloween as "Corporate Whore" and Asks Question During Public Hearing

Depict Waterboarding outisde Dirkesn Senate Bldg

Monday 11.05.07 a rainy morning in DC

Today Michael Mukasey will be confirmed as Attorney General!

Next Gonzo!!SHAMEFUL!!!!!

CODEPINK and supporters feel so outraged to have rep's who do not stand for our
values of justice, fairness,bill of rights,constitution and so easily confirmed
another BUSH PUPPET .................. so Jes,
went to Dirsken Senate Office Building at 830am
to exhibit the harsh military interrogation practices of TORTURE--- WATERBOARDING
(which Arizona has a part in these trainings and teachings and outsources to CACI)
during the morning rush hour outside the Dirken Senate Office Building.
We take this time to participate through educating our
representatives and the public on the UNamerican like practices through
policy of the failed Bush Regime.The practice of waterboarding is en vogue at the
moment (no matter what Condi or Bush say WE TORTURE WE WATERBOARD FOLKS)
and we feel it our moral obligation to bring unjust practices to the attention of
every citizen! We all have the power to make change through our voice, our
actions,our dollars everyday,our vote,our passionate resistance and lack of
acceptance for bad policy!This was our opportunity to show a horrible act against
humanity and promote awareness through informational fliers & action!

We had a script each person had a specific role to make
the exercise in extreme interrogation seem realistic.The media was ready to get the show on........
Everything was on schedule until the Capitol police started harassing me.Officer Timothy
O'connor asked me if i had stay away order that was in effect to keep me away from the
Capitol grounds.Timothy O'Connor then
went into the Dirksen for 2 minutes and came out with 3 officers - Sweet Tara Neeld started ordering me inside the building to do a quick check of my I.D. by myself. She said it will be quick it is for my protection the same ole junk they always spew out
The Police try to get you alone and isolated feeling vulnerable...this time lucky me the media was all over the harassment.The various media outlets were able to film this harassment for all the world to watch because it will be uploaded friends.After 15 minutes we were back in action the police confirmed i don't have any restrictions on the Senate side deemed arrestable NOW the show begins~
Waterboarding reconvenes
Great Job TEAM!!
THANKS to all participants for exposing what is really going on and how our military is being MIS_used
my question is how will these soldiers ever forgive themselves for these crimes against HUMANITY??
Forgiveness is the hardest part for the conscience

Monday, November 5, 2007

POLITICAL PRISONER - Eve Tatez jailed for peaceful protest

On Monday November 5th 2007, a 76 year old retired school teacher reported to DC Superior Court to begin serving a 7 day jail sentence.

Waterboarding Torture Demonstration at Justice Department to Protest Mukasey Attorney General Nomination

On Monday November 5th in Washington DC a graphic demostration of "waterboarding" was performed at the Departmnent of Justice in Washington DC

Longer video with background story:

Shorter video (MORE INTENSE)

CODEPINK Shows Senator Feinstein Waterboarding at CNN

On November 4, 2007, CODEPINK activists re-enacted a live waterboarding demonstration for Senator Feinstein as she entered CNN studios in Washington, DC

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Low Blow from Di Fi

Yesterday Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Chuck Schumer (NY) parted from their party colleagues including the four Democratic candidates for President and instead sided with President Bush by announcing their support for former judge Michael B. Mukasey as United States Attorney General. The votes of Feinstein and Schumer would give Mukasey at least 11 yes votes on the 19 member Judiciary panel, sending his nomination to the full Senate.
In committee hearings, Judge Mukasey claimed ignorance about waterboarding. Obfuscating, he avoided a condemnation of this method of torture. In addition, he would not support granting habeas corpus to detained prisoners at Guantanamo, and suggested the President can ignore surveillance statutes in wartime, signally that his views mesh significantly with the administration's.

Dianne Feinstein stated on CNN today that Mukasey is the best we can expect and that if he isn't confirmed now, Bush will probably appoint someone worse during the holiday recess. This is unacceptable! Our senators are second-guessing what George W. Bush will do and this drives the votes of the U.S. Senate? Incredible!!

A small group of concerned citizens turned out at CNN this morning to voice our dissent to this confirmation. Karen, Liz, Leslie, Medea, Gael, Allison, Mona, Marietta, Carol, Jess, Steve, Dick, Clark, Mahboud, Vernon and I arrived around 10:30 this morning at the doors to the CNN studios to pressure Sen. Feinstein to change her mind. We staged a mock waterboarding on her way in and after the program. As we cornered Ms. Feinstein all she said and I paraphrase, "We're going to pass legislation to declare waterboarding illegal". On Wolf Blitzer's Late Edition she stated that only the CIA can waterboard legally.

The New York Times reported 3 years ago that Maj. Gen. George R. Fay said the conduct of C.I.A. personnel at Abu Ghraib was perceived by military officials there as more aggressive than that allowed by the military and had a corrupting influence on military interrogators. So what does this say for us, America? What's good for the goose is good for the gander!

We cannot stand idly by while our "representatives" confirm Gonzo II.

Those of you here in Washington, D.C. can join us noon tomorrow at the Justice Department, 9th and Constitution. If you are in N.Y. you can protest at Schumer's office. Those in California are speaking their minds at DiFis. Please join us tomorrow and stand up for human rights!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dangerous Books!

The level of security here in Washington DC seems more like a campaign to frighten the American people than like security against terrorism. Tourists have to get passes to get into the Capitol itself. To get into the gallery, they need a pass signed by their Senator or Representative. They can't get into the Senate or House Office Buildings without going through a metal detector and putting their purses and bags through X-rays. And cops are everywhere.

A couple of weeks ago during the “No War, No Warming” demonstration, even though we had a permit for a rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol, police, some carrying automatic rifles, closed off all the front entrances to the Capitol, so that to get to the West Lawn, we had to climb over waist-high walls.

All this excessive security recalled my first trip to the capital of Montana, Helena, last year. I went with a labor group for a rally on an initiative to raise the minimum wage, and I was sitting alone on the steps of the Capitol, beside the stage, listening to the speakers, and a man in working clothes and his dog sat down on the steps beside me. I was playing with the dog when the governor of the State of Montana was introduced. The man beside me turned out to be the governor, daring to wander around the state Capitol without even an entourage.

The Senate and House Office Buildings are anything but user-friendly. The long, long hallways don't have a single bench or chair or anywhere at all to sit down, and the hallways are snarled in a labyrinthine puzzle that all but guarantees a person will get lost and wander in exhausting circles trying to find their Senator or Representative.

I blogged yesterday about distributing Naomi Wolf's new book, “The End of America,” to all the Senators. It did occur to me after I posted it that maybe the Capitol Police read Code Pink blogs. Distributing anything to Senators is illegal, but I've been carrying heavy bags full of books into the Senate office buildings over and over all week, going through the X-ray every time without being stopped, until this morning. This was my last day, I'm leaving Monday for Montana, and I had 14 books left to distribute.

But I didn't make it through the first X-ray at the Russell Building this morning. The Capitol Police guarding the entrance stopped me, wanting to know what was in my bag. They found a bunch of copies of just one book, very suspicious. I said they're for a select list of Senators, from the publisher, and showed them the names on my list, organized by building. They said it's against the law to distribute anything to Senators.

I left and walked over to the Dirksen Office Building, and almost made it through security there. My books got through the X-ray unmolested, but as I was walking away a warning came over the police radio about a suspicious woman, who may be from CODEPINK, trying to distribute material to Senators. A friendly woman cop named Tyra came after me. She was carrying her radio and I could hear nonstop chatter about me and CODEPINK. Exciting! A 65-year-old grandmother wearing pink is on the loose on Capitol Hill, with books! I showed Tyra the books, told her this was the last group and I'd already distributed the books to all the rest of the Senate, and they were grateful to receive them. It's a $14 book! People recognize a valuable gift when they see it. I told her the whole story (explained in an earlier blog) about how I came to be distributing these books. I invited her to accompany me to the office of the first Senator on my list, and she walked along beside me as we looked for the office.
She reported on the police radio that she had me; they could stop looking. After a few minutes she got a call and walked away from me, not leaving me but taking a call she didn't want me to hear. I waited, there being no chance at all of getting away. She came back to me and said she wouldn't accompany me further, warned me that it's against the law to distribute anything to Senators, and if they received a complaint, they would take action. I noted they hadn't yet received any complaints, and I'd almost finished the task. I don't know why they let me proceed with something they'd just told me, repeatedly, was against the law. Maybe they realized they might get complaints from Senators who wanted their copy of the book!

I was thoroughly decked out in pink, since I'm one of the few Pinkers who can still wander Capital Hill hallways, and we want to show the colors. On the other hand, I really wanted to finish the task of getting this book to all the Senators, and this is my last day. I was afraid, after all the police radio chatter about me, that I might be stopped again by any cop who saw me, had heard the chatter, and missed the denouement. So I ducked into a restroom, took off my CODEPINK T-shirt. I was wearing a “Arrest Cheney First” black long sleeved T-shirt underneath. I turned my CODEPINK black hoody inside out, and tried to carry my CODEPINK bookbag so the logo didn't show. Couldn't do anything about my long pink skirt. And the “Arrest Cheney First” T-shirt also attracted a lot of attention. Several suit-clad men in the hallways and in Senate offices laughed and complimented me on it.

No one else stopped me. I finished distributing Naomi Wolf's “The End of America” to the whole Senate and celebrated with a tiramisu at Union Station.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What to do when you're banned from Capitol Hill

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

George Bush, speaking at the Heritage Foundation today, complained about CODEPINK while we protested outside, calling him a war criminal. The day after Halloween, one of our supporters wore a rubber George Bush-as-vampire mask, fangs dripping blood, and a long black cape.

“When it comes to funding our troops, some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists like Osama bin Laden and the requests of our commanders on the ground, and less time responding to the demands of bloggers and CODEPINK protesters,” Bush said. If he had a brain, he'd realize how satisfying that is to us.

We had a megaphone and sang and yelled at Bush until the Heritage Foundation put on blasting marching music to drown us out. We marched around for a bit, the Dracula Bush goosestepping, but then moved on around the block down to the entrance Bush actually used after battalions of police and secret service cleared the path. A woman across the street offered us the use of her lawn, but the Secret Service was clearing out the whole block, and after some debate, we were forced to move back. We left two banners, and the Heritage Foundation folks stole them and hung one of them upside down from a tenth floor balcony. We got them back, probably after the Heritage folks remembered forking over $200 to replace a camera they broke in an earlier protest when CODEPINK took the stage away from panelists on Iran.

As Bush drove by in a caravan of black limousines, we gave him a chorus of War Criminal! War Criminal! War Criminal! He smiled and waved to us from the darkened window of his limo.

Since almost everyone in the CODEPINK D.C. House is banned temporarily from Capitol Hill due to earlier arrests, particularly after Des' confrontation with Condoleezza Rice, we've had to find other places to go. Tuesday it was to the Phoenix Hotel for our unveiling of Blackwater's new Department of Corporate Integrity, described in an earlier blog.

Wednesday we were at the FCC's public hearing on localization, a hearing announced just five days ahead, with one of the two women invited speakers called just the day before. Liz got us a speaking spot by getting in line at 4:30 a.m., and partied in the line with a team of satirical “FCC cheer leaders.”

We wrote a song the night before for the hearing, and sang it outside on line. To the tune of “There's no business like show business”:

There's no airways like my airways and I want to get more
People think that their new should be local
I don't think they need to have a choice
Problem is that they are way too vocal
They will be better off with just one voice.

There's no airways like my airways and I want to get more
The FCC is always there to help me.
They let me have Fox News and New York Post.
I give money to George Bush and Hillary
But I'm so rich that I don't have to boast.

There's no airways like my airways and I want to get more.
Tom Dick and Harry want to have a show
But I'm the man who has got the dough
For those who think there should be voices from below,
They won't miss what they don't know.

Sam took the spotlight with her “media whore” costume, black with lace and fishnet hose, corporate logos inked on her bare skin, and a “faux” on her cleavage. Police tried to remove her for “inappropriate dress,” but the convergence of the rest of CODEPINK and media persuaded the police to give it up and allow her to stay, so she took a front row seat.

Medea made a sign in her notebook, “Why are there only 2 women on a panel of 14?” and Leslie got it on their in-house screens until a copy made her put it down.

Sam took our speaking spot, explaining her “media whore” outfit as a comment on the fact that the media played a major role in getting the U.S. into the Iraq War and they're doing it again, uncritically reporting Bush's lies about Iran and his drumbeat for war in a shameless reprise of the build-up to the Iraq War. What democracy needs and what we're not getting from the media is diverse voices and critical examination of politicians' claims. Sam ended her testimony saying that it was time to stop prostituting our airwaves.

Sam's got a lot of emails complaining that none of the blogs who've mentioned her performance included a photo, so here it is.

Oops. Sorry. We're having technological difficulties with the photos. You'll just have to go on imagining Sam in a sexy French maid's outfit.

Naomi Wolf's “The End of America” blankets the Senate

I blogged a few days ago about giving my Montana Senator, Jon Tester, my personal copy of Naomi Wolf's “The End of America,” a great must-read book in which the author makes a chillingly credible case that America is far along the road from democracy to totalitarianism. What makes it so convincing is that it's not a secret conspiracy; it's all stuff you already know. “Invoke an external and internal threat...Establish secret prisons...Develop a paramilitary force....” Wolf draws parallels to Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Pinochet's Chile. Get the book. Read it.

Senator Tester told me his mother had called him the preceding weekend and told him he must read this book, so he accepted it and promised to read it on the plane on his way back to Montana.

Wolf's publisher, Margo Baldwin of Chelsea Green Publishing, put a comment on that blog generously offering to give me as many copies as I was willing to distribute to members of Congress! I'm leaving for Montana on Monday, but I asked for 100 copies for all the Senators, and the books arrived on Wednesday. I've been trekking from the CODEPINK D.C. House to the Senate office buildings for the last two days with bags full of books, got some help from another Pinker, Karen, today, and I'm almost finished. The last few will be distributed tomorrow. Let's hope at least some of the Senators remember they took an oath to protect the Constitution and actually read Wolf's book.