Handbook for Conscientious Objectors

“I read earlier editions bought from the publisher, with other authors. It explains who qualifies as a conscientious objector under the U.S. military draft and how the procedures work. The book did not push one type of belief over another, but left that to the individual. The law is highly technical. I doubt the law has changed much since the book last came out. While CO claims are not officially considered even if someone tries to submit one (I don’t know if they’re even kept on file), the law will probably be the same if general induction authority is revived unless Congress rewrites the Military Selective Service Act, section 6(j). Draft regulations may have changed, especially on procedure, but the basic Constitutional interpretations and statutory provisions have likely been stable since 1972 or so. Note that the courts do not accept a literal reading of the statute as sufficient to anyone’s understanding of the subject. The publisher was not part of the Selective Service System or the military and did not toe the line with either one, but relied on the law, largely from civilian courts, and was a well-reputed organization at the time. I was a draft counselor and read many of the books and newsletters of the time, and read the principal law reporter. This is the only book of its kind. It was very well researched and written for a lay readership. …” -Nick Levinson
amazon: Handbook for Conscientious Objectors

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Did America Commit War Crimes in Vietnam?

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, center, participating in a tribunal that determined the United States had violated human rights and international law in Vietnam.

“On Dec. 1, 1967, the last day of the International War Crimes Tribunal’s second session, antiwar activists from around the world gathered in Roskilde, Denmark. The panel, also known as the Russell Tribunal after its founder, the philosopher Bertrand Russell, had spent a year investigating America’s intervention in Southeast Asia and was now ready to announce its findings. Tribunal members unanimously found the United States ‘guilty on all charges, including genocide, the use of forbidden weapons, maltreatment and killing of prisoners, violence and forceful movement of prisoners’ in Vietnam and its neighbors Laos and Cambodia. Russell often stated that he was inspired by the Nuremberg trials. But the Russell Tribunal was not a government body or treaty organization; it had neither the legal authority nor the means to carry out justice after its findings. The tribunal’s mission was to raise awareness about the impact of the war on Vietnamese civilians. ‘The Nuremberg Tribunal asked for and secured the punishment of individuals,’ Russell stated during the sessions. ‘The International War Crimes Tribunal is asking the peoples of the world, the masses, to take action to stop the crimes.’ The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre presided over the tribunal and helped to recruit 23 other internationally recognized academics, scientists, lawyers, former heads of state and peace activists whose self-professed moral consciousness persuaded them to accept the tribunal’s invitation. Across two separate sessions, between May 2 and May 10, 1967, in Stockholm, and between Nov. 20 and Dec. 1, 1967 in Roskilde, the members weighed the evidence that each had found during several fact-finding trips to Vietnam between the two sessions. …”
NY Times
BBC: Was My Lai just one of many massacres in Vietnam War?
Mother Jones: Rape Was Rampant During the Vietnam War. Why Doesn’t US History Remember This?
LA Times: Civilian Killings Went Unpunished
amazon: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam


Posted in Books, Cambodia, General Westmoreland, Henry Kissinger, Laos, Lyndon Johnson, My Lai, Napalm, Richard Nixon, Robert Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Vietnam War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Pogo is the title and central character of a long-running daily American comic strip, created by cartoonist Walt Kelly (1913–1973) and distributed by the Post-Hall Syndicate. Set in the Okefenokee Swamp of the southeastern United States, the strip often engaged in social and political satire through the adventures of its anthropomorphic funny animal characters. Pogo combined both sophisticated wit and slapstick physical comedy in a heady mix of allegory, Irish poetry, literary whimsy, puns and wordplay, lushly detailed artwork and broad burlesque humor. The same series of strips can be enjoyed on different levels by both young children and savvy adults. The strip earned Kelly a Reuben Award in 1951. … Kelly’s characters are a sardonic reflection of human nature —venal, greedy, confrontational, selfish and stupid —but portrayed good-naturedly and rendered harmless by their own bumbling ineptitude and overall innocence. Most characters were nominally male, but a few female characters also appeared regularly. Kelly has been quoted as saying that all the characters reflected different aspects of his own personality. Kelly’s characters were also self-aware of their comic strip surroundings. … Traditional Christmas carols were a regular feature of Kelly’s holiday strips as well — particularly Deck the Halls. They are enthusiastically performed by the swamp’s rotating ‘Okefenokee Glee and Perloo Union’ Choir (perloo is a pilaf-based Cajun stew, similar to jambalaya), although in their childish innocence the chorus typically mangles the lyrics. … Kelly used Pogo to comment on the human condition, and from time to time, this drifted into politics.  … In 1960 the swamp’s nominal candidate was an egg with two protruding webbed feet — a comment on the relative youth of John F. Kennedy. The egg kept saying: ‘Well, I’ve got time to learn; we rabbits have to stick together.’ Kelly, who claimed to be against ‘the extreme Right, the extreme Left, and the extreme Middle,’ used these fake campaigns as excuses to hit the stump himself for voter registration campaigns, with the slogan ‘Pogo says: If you can’t vote my way, vote anyway, but VOTE!’ …”
Going Pogo
W – Walt Kelly
Comic Strip / Pogo
Pogo Art
Whirled of Kelly
amazon – Walt Kelly

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1967 Newark riots

“The 1967 Newark riots was one of 159 race riots that swept cities in the United States during the ‘Long Hot Summer of 1967‘. This riot occurred in the city of Newark, New Jersey between July 12 and July 17, 1967. Over the four days of rioting, looting, and property destruction, 26 people died and hundreds were injured. In the decades leading up to the riots, deindustrialization and suburbanization affected Newark greatly. White middle-class citizens left for other towns across North Jersey, in one of the largest examples of white flight in the country. By 1967, Newark was one of the United States’ first majority-black cities, but was still controlled by white politicians. Racial profiling, redlining, and lack of opportunity in education, training, and jobs led the city’s African-American residents to feel powerless and disenfranchised. In particular, many felt they had been largely excluded from meaningful political representation and often subjected to police brutality. … Residents of Hayes Homes, a large public housing project, saw an incapacitated Smith being dragged into the precinct, and a rumor was started that he had been beaten to death while in police custody. Smith in fact had been released in the custody of his lawyer. The rumor, however, spread quickly, and a large crowd soon formed outside the precinct. At this point, accounts vary, with some saying that the crowd threw rocks through the precinct windows and police then rushed outside wearing hard hats and carrying clubs.[1] Others say that police rushed out of their station first to confront the crowd, and then they began to throw bricks, bottles, and rocks. At least five police officers were struck by stones, according to one officer. Some residents went to City Hall and shouted angry protests. After midnight false alarms caused fire engines to race around a six-block area along Belmont Avenue. Looters smashed windows of a few stores and threw merchandise onto sidewalks. According to police, liquor stores were the main target of looters. …”
50 years ago Newark burned (Video)
TIME: A Riot Started in Newark 50 Years Ago. It Shouldn’t Have Been a Surprise
YouTube: America – Newark Riots, Crossroads: The 1967 Newark Riots

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Che Guevara last Speech in Algiers 1965

Che Guevara: “Cuba is here at this conference to speak on behalf of the peoples of Latin America. As we have emphasized on other occasions, Cuba also speaks as an underdeveloped country as well as one that is building socialism. It is not by accident that our delegation is permitted to give its opinion here, in the circle of the peoples of Asia and Africa. A common aspiration unites us in our march toward the future: the defeat of imperialism. A common past of struggle against the same enemy has united us along the road. This is an assembly of peoples in struggle, and the struggle is developing on two equally important fronts that require all our efforts. The struggle against imperialism, for liberation from colonial or neocolonial shackles, which is being carried out by means of political weapons, arms, or a combination of the two, is not separate from the struggle against backwardness and poverty. Both are stages on the same road leading toward the creation of a new society of justice and plenty. It is imperative to take political power and to get rid of the oppressor classes. But then the second stage of the struggle, which may be even more difficult than the first, must be faced. Ever since monopoly capital took over the world, it has kept the greater part of humanity in poverty, dividing all the profits among the group of the most powerful countries. The standard of living in those countries is based on the extreme poverty of our countries.  …”
At the Afro-Asian Conference in Algeria
YouTube: Che Guevara last Speech in Algiers 1965

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Wall of Sound

The Ronettes – Phil Spector
“The Wall of Sound (also called the Spector Sound) is a music production formula developed by American record producer Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios in the 1960s, with assistance from engineer Larry Levine and the session musician conglomerate later known as ‘the Wrecking Crew‘. The intention was to create a dense aesthetic that came across well on AM radio and jukeboxes popular in the era. Spector explained in 1964, ‘I was looking for a sound, a sound so strong that if the material was not the greatest, the sound would carry the record. It was a case of augmenting, augmenting. It all fitted together like a jigsaw.’ Spector also included an array of orchestral instruments—strings, woodwind, brass and percussion—not previously associated with youth-oriented pop music, characterizing his methods as ‘a Wagnerian approach to rock & roll: little symphonies for the kids’.  Critical shorthand usually describes the Wall of Sound inaccurately as a maximum of noise. Larry Levine recalled: ‘other engineers … tried to duplicate the Wall of Sound by turning up all the faders to get full saturation, but all that achieved was distortion.’ In order to attain the Wall of Sound, Spector’s arrangements called for large ensembles (including some instruments not generally used for ensemble playing, such as electric and acoustic guitars), with multiple instruments doubling and even tripling many of the parts to create a fuller, richer sound. For example, Spector would often duplicate a part played by an acoustic piano with an electric piano and a harpsichord. By mixing the unison well enough, the listener would then perceive each layered part as though it was a single instrument’s tone color. Additional texture was provided by capturing natural reverb in an echo chamber and amplifying it in the mix. The intricacies of the technique were unprecedented in the world of sound production for popular records. …”
YouTube:The Crystals – Da Doo Ron Ron, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling – Righteous Brothers, Ronettes – Baby I Love You, Ike & Tina Turner – River Deep Mountain High, The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride

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Liberation Magazine (1956–77)

Liberation Magazine (1956–77) was a bimonthly, later a monthly, magazine identified in the 1960s with the New Left. Liberation was founded, published, and edited by David Dellinger, Bayard Rustin, Sidney Lens, Roy Finch, and A. J. Muste out of New York City and Glen Gardner, New Jersey. Muste brought funding from the War Resisters League. For Rustin, the magazine was a major commitment of time and energy, raising money and meeting every week with Muste. He wrote to Martin Luther King, Jr., who later wrote for the magazine. The June 1963 issue contained the first full publication of King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail‘ and the first version with that title. The editorial positions of the magazine were somewhat comparable to those of Dissent and Studies on the Left. Editorially, Liberation supported the Cuban Revolution, and published C. Wright Mills‘ article ‘Listen, Yankee!’ (leading to Finch’s resignation from the editorial board); support for SDS and opposition to the Vietnam War; and support for unilateral nuclear disarmament. The magazine supported Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR) organizers, and its editorial offices at times served as a clearinghouse for activists conducting non-violent resistance. Liberation occasionally ran investigative pieces. In early 1965, the magazine ran long articles by Vincent Salandria challenging the conclusions of the Warren Commission. In 1975 it published an article by Fred Landis on psychological warfare by the CIA in Chile. A poem by Louis Ginsberg, father of Allen Ginsberg, was published in the magazine. By 1977 the magazine was edited by Jan Edwards and Michael Nill out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It ceased publication not long after the departure of Dellinger.”
Liberation, August-September 1969
[PDF] Political Integrity and its Critics, Liberation Magazine, 1965

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