Help Replace Missoula Waterwork’s Hill Peace Sign

by jhwygirl

The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center is heading up the task of replacing the famous Waterworks Hill peace sign, which disappeared last week. They’re also looking for any spare white sheets or towels that you have to help rebuild it.

The event starts at 4 p.m. You can find the trailhead on Duncan Drive, just past Greenough Park – and walk up the hill and take the first left past the water plant – then keep walking. If you have any questions, just give the JRPC a call.

JRPC is also helping sponsor a RALLY IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF IRAN (who are fighting right now for their votes to be counted in the recent presidential election). This event, too, is tomorrow (Tuesday) in Caras Park, at noon. Call your bagged lunch order in early to Doc’s Sandwich Shop (542-7414‎) and head on down to the park for music (including Amy Martin), Persian poetry, and information provided from an Iranian-American law student, an Iranian-American professor (Dr. Mehrdad Kia), and an American recently returned from Iran.

Senator Pat Williams will also speak.

  1. Lizard

    let me first apologize to anyone who i might offend, but i think that the JRPC sponsoring a rally in solidarity with the people in iran is not only a waste of time and money, but also a naive blundering into a complex geopolitical minefield where our “support” of “democracy” in iran is actually supporting a dangerous tactic our govt uses, called “soft power” (bush pledged 400 million for just this kind of influence) to undermine regimes that oppose US imperial ambitions abroad, especially where there’s oil.

    now, if the JRPC wanted to sponsor a rally in solidarity with the iran protestors, AND the indigenous peruvians who stopped more merciless exploitation of their natural resources, AND the hondurans who are trying to get their ousted president back, then i wouldn’t i have such a problem. but there’s no mention of these other, less important uprisings, so i assume either the JRPC is ignorant of these other struggles, or they choose not to include them as worthy of their support.

    i wonder if the JRPC folks know that by acting in “solidarity” with the twitter revolutionaries of iran, they are also supporting their supposed agent of reform, mousavi, who has been rather closely linked to that unfortunate killing of marines in beirut thirty years ago.

    jeezus, if people understood how atrocious the media in this country is, stupid, impotent rallies like this one wouldn’t even be considered.

    i’ll stop by the peace shop to clue them in on the hows and whys of colour revolutions, before they further embarrass themselves.

    final note: this screed is not intended to dismiss or invalidate the grievances of iranian discontent over their supposedly fraudulent elections, but to balance the heavily skewed propaganda we were inundated with, and continue to get fed.

    oh, and russia didn’t invade georgia last summer; it was actually georgia that shelled the capital of south ossetia, at night, killing over a thousand people, and russia responded. just wanted to reiterate the first thing i said @ 4&20 a year ago.

    • Jim Lang

      So… are you saying that you DON’T feel solidarity with those folks protesting in Iran… or are you simply being a crank?

      • Lizard

        jim, did you read my comment? did i say i don’t feel solidarity for the protestors, or are you just trying put words into my mouth? does being skeptical equate, in your mind, to “being a crank?” would you care to respond to the content of my comment instead of making insinuating assumptions?

        what’s happening in iran is an inter-elite power struggle, and our govt supports that because ahmadinejad is our enemy, and we want to destabilize that country. that’s why the state department pressured twitter to hold off on its routing maintenance, so our corporate media could pass on crap information and depict it as actual journalism.

        indigenous peruvians died trying to preserve their land from exploitation, but they don’t matter because our govt, by omission, supports the exploitative extraction of resources.

        and people have died in honduras, but that’s not getting a lot of attention because our govt supports the coup; obama has even said he knew about it, yet did nothing to stop it. why? because zelaya had been moving toward the bolivarian sphere, doing atrocious things like raising minimum wage, which the elites in that country don’t like, so the general trained at the school of americas arrested the democratically elected president and shipped him off to costa rica.

        why are the plight of these people not good enough for the JRPC to support? that’s a really honest question, and i will be interested to hear the answer when i stop by this week.

      • Lizard

        jim, maybe i should i ask if YOU feel solidarity with those folks protesting in peru and honduras…or do you simply believe what our corporate media is telling you about world affairs?

        • Jim Lang

          Yes I do feel solidarity with those protesting in Peru and Honduras.

          Corporate media? I don’t know who you think you are lecturing. Are you paying a monthly to receive CNN, etc, in your home? I’m not, and I don’t get my news from those sources.

          Everyday, however, I watch DemocracyNow!, al-Jazeera, Mosaic, DW Journal (news from Germany) on LinkTV, and news from France and Switzerland on TV5Monde. So I certainly don’t need any self-righteous bombast from you how to stay informed.

          • Jim Lang

            OK, to be fair, I exaggerated, I don’t catch the the German or Swiss broadcasts every single day, and some of these don’t air on the weekends.

          • Lizard

            Jim, i appreciate the more lengthy response, as it allows me to better understand where you are coming from. i am not trying to lecture you, and i commend your choices of media. sadly those choices are not indicative of the majority of americans who don’t have either the time, inclination, or technological hardware to get the information corporate media omits, exaggerates, or otherwise distorts.

            also, just a suggestion (hopefully this doesn’t come across as self-righteous bombast): it’s a lot easier to have a conversation with someone when they don’t start off by a.) making assumptions about my position unsupported by what i actually said and b.) using words like crank to demean my personal character.

            and to answer your question, yes, i do pay a monthly for cable, and i do check in to see how corporate media is framing political issues, but it’s not just CNN i’m critical of. NPR, the NYT, and blogs like Daily Kos are also prone to disinformation and spin.

          • corporate media

            How dare you people criticize corporate media? What just because we try to inform the world of current events while maintaining our advertising profits we are automatically not to be trusted. Sheesh.

          • Jim Lang

            All human beings have inherent biases, there is no news source that can be ‘trusted’. That is why it is important to consult a variety of sources and form your own independent judgement. I only listed TV programs, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of my daily information input. However, I don’t expect most people to put as much effort into it as I do.

            As for paying monthly fee that is split among TimeWarner, NewsCorp, etc… I suggest you stop feeding the beast. As long as they are getting a monthly payment from you, you are part of the problem.

            And I’m sorry if you mistook my comments as an intent to impugn your character; in your post, you came across to me as a crank: that doesn’t say anything about your character, simply that you could have done a better job writing that particular post.

  2. Lizard

    i ran across a great article that articulates better than i can why i’m acting like such a “crank” regarding the JRPC’s “solidarity” rally. Honduras, Wasington, and the Liberal Left Grasping At Straws


    According to Blum in the latest edition of his always instructive Anti-Empire Report:

    “The United States, by its own admission, was fully aware for weeks of the Honduran military’s plan to overthrow Zelaya. Washington says it tried its best to change the mind of the plotters. It’s difficult to believe that this proved impossible. During the Cold War it was said, with much justification, that the United States could discourage a coup in Latin America with ‘a frown.’ The Honduran and American military establishments have long been on very fraternal terms. And it must be asked: In what way and to what extent did the United States warn Zelaya of the impending coup? And what protection did it offer him? It is not unthinkable that the United States gave the military plotters the go-ahead, telling them to keep the traditional “golpe” bloodiness to a minimum. Zelaya was elected to office as the candidate of a conservative party; he then, surprisingly, moved to the left and became a strong critic of a number of Washington policies, and an ally of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia, both of whom the Bush administration tried to overthrow and assassinate.”[26]

    The administration can claim that it tried to “discourage” the coup in advance through conversations with top Honduran military officials. But, as Weisbrot notes, “It would be interesting to know what these discussions were like. Did administration officials say, ‘You know that we will have to say that we are against such a move if you do it, because every one else will?’ Or was it more like, ‘Don’t do it, because we will do everything in our power to reverse any such coup?'” As Weisbrot correctly observes, “The administration’s actions since the coup indicate something more like the former, if not worse.” [27]

    …so, i guess i’m not the only crank out there.

    • Jim Lang

      I certainly never claimed there was a shortage of cranks in the world.

      BTW, when did the United States “admit” that it was “fully aware for weeks of the Honduran military’s plan to overthrow Zelaya”? Is there a source for this claim?

      • Lizard

        the source, jim, that the obama administration was aware of the plans to enact a military coup in honduras is the NYT.

        did you read the article i linked to? if not, then please read the article, so you don’t have to waste your time asking questions the article addresses.

        • Jim Lang

          Yes, I read the article that you linked to on It does make this extraordinary claim, however it does not include a link or any other reference to a NYT article that confirms it. It says

          “It is impossible to imagine that the US was not aware that the coup was in the works. In fact, this was basically confirmed by The New York Times”

          Well, I’m sorry, but I don’t trust Paul Street’s characterization here, especially since this article was heavily referenced, with 30 footnotes, but somehow the most important reference, the one that supposedly supports this key claim, is missing.

          Could you point me to this alleged NYT article? Where can I read it?

          To me as a critical reader, a claim like:

          “The United States, by its own admission, was fully aware for weeks of the Honduran military’s plan to overthrow Zelaya. ”

          rings false. IF this were true – WHY would the US admit it? It makes no sense. And I would have heard about such an admission in my obsessive news gathering. But I have an open mind – I’d love to read this NYT article. If it exists.

          Btw, you might be interested in this:

          which indicates Zelaya, at least, believed that the US had some foreknowledge of the coup. But that is a far cry from the claim made by Paul Street.

          • Lizard

            here you go jim: link

            and so you don’t have to go through the whole tired tripe, here:

            As the crisis escalated, American officials began in the last few days to talk with Honduran government and military officials in an effort to head off a possible coup. A senior administration official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity, said the military broke off those discussions on Sunday.

          • Jim Lang

            IOW, just as I suspected, there was no such admission. Paul Street is a liar.

          • Jim Lang

            The thing is that all the reliable reports indicate that the US had some knowledge of what was happening and worked hard to stop the coup, but Street’s article implies instead that the US had precise knowledge of the military’s plan and did not work to stop it.

            He may not be from the ‘corporate media’ but… he is a good example of why we must read with a critical eye.

          • Lizard

            All human beings have inherent biases, there is no news source that can be ‘trusted’

            yep, and apparently have your biases, and i have mine.

            i do think it’s interesting that you can say no news source can be trusted, then question my claim that there was a NYT article that implied there was foreknowledge by the administration, then, after i provided a link and excerpt that somehow “got by” your implied tireless scouring of various media outlets, you finish by dismissing what street is implying because it deviates from what the “reliable reports indicate”

            jim, maybe you could remind me which reports are the “reliable ones” and which are the crank ones, so i can stop embarrassing myself. thanks.

          • Jim Lang

            Well, “the US” did not “admit” that it was “fully aware for weeks of the Honduran military’s plan to overthrow Zelaya”

            rather, an anonymous source said that the US tried to negotiate with the military to head off the coup, and failed.

            The distinction between those seems clear to me.

            As to the sources I consider reliable… well none as far ‘trusting’ that what they say is ‘true’… but basically it a matter of reputation and intensely critical reading. So basically it is just a function of my own bias. That’s human nature.

          • Jim Lang

            And, the most logical explanation as to why Paul Street left that NY Times link out of his extensive list of references is that he was trying to hide his intentional mischaracterization of what it really said.

  3. Lizard

    …so, i did manage to attend the rally today, and in between the predictable acoustic music (don’t get me wrong, i totally heart amy martin) i listened intently to the speakers. i knew one of the younger guys who spoke, but we don’t get along too well, so it’s probably not appropriate for me to elaborate.

    there were some other young folks who said things, personal anecdotes, read poems, but the guy who rounded out the lineup, professor kia, delivered a powerful speech that touched on foreign interference in iran going back 100 years, implicitly describing the cia’s involvement in 1953 against mossedegh.

    professor kia made an important distinction (at least for me) by declaring that his green sash did not represent support for the opposition candidate, mousavi, but that his support was for the refusal of the people to accept what he claims was an obviously stolen election, and their demand for greater “freedom.”

    and though professor kia emphasized that iranian culture is not “monolithic,” (which of course it’s not; it’s ancient, proud, diverse, and beautiful) his speech nonetheless seemed to imply that there is an indisputable consensus among iranians about the claims of fraud in the elections.

    the problem i have with this depiction is that not all iranians can speak english, afford to leave the country to live abroad, or know how to twitter. there were people who voted for ahmadinejad, and those people aren’t even considered. why is that?

    as an american totally ignorant about the day to day life of an average iranian, i can’t prove my gut feeling, but for some reason i simply don’t believe there is the kind of consensus against ahmadinejad that expats, students, and the protestors holding signs in english are claiming.

    professor kia was kind enough to chat with me for a few minutes after the rally. i asked him what he thought about claims that this revolution followed the template of post soviet collapse colour revolutions. he thought that was rather silly; i think ridiculous was the word he used.

    i also asked whether he thought the neo-con/zionist residue was still at work, hoping to exploit the harsh suppression of social unrest to justify another “regime change” (dennis ross is a very dangerous man) and he was politely dismissive, conceding that of course there were different factions behind the scenes of the obama administration advocating different approaches.

    discussing mousavi, kia was frank with his displeasure at the choice, but said, both to me and in his speech, that this was much deeper than mousavi, who is indeed a man with an unsavory past record.

    there were other aspects of the conversation i can’t attempt to paraphrase right now, but i am very appreciative professor kia took the time to respond to my questions.

    but i’m still uncertain how we, as americans, are suppose to support young twittering iranian freedom fighters, when so much here at home needs to be fixed.

  4. Jim Lang

    no, there’s not a consensus – Ahmadinejad does enjoy significant support… then again, other than the Rainbow Gathering and Wikipedia, claims of consensus are pretty rare… anyway, I’m sure I don’t need to repeat all the evidence of election fraud here….

    • Jim Lang

      Interesting reading. I especially like the part where he insists that Khamanei’s title is “Supreme Guide” not “Supreme Leader”, apparently not realizing that they mean the same thing.

      • Lizard

        so what’s the solution? if there was fraud, the ideal solution would be a recount. but would a recount be believed if ahmadinejad won? and if, like professor kia asserted, this social unrest has moved beyond mousavi, then the issue of election fraud seems moot.

        one thing that struck me about the rally was kia’s loud, passionate call for a violent revolution, if peaceable means won’t achieve the change being demanded. if kia wants a violent revolution in iran, one in which more young, idealistic kids will die, maybe he should return to fight alongside those brave kids. it’s one thing to use your influence as a respected professor to call for violence as a means of achieving political/cultural changes from the relative safety of academia, but it’s quite another to actually be on the streets, facing that violence directly.

  5. Lizard

    i’ve been thinking about this issue a lot, and in reexamining my initial comment i can see how insufferably self-righteous the last part sounds. i’m working on sounding less like a dick, but from what i’ve been told, change takes time.

    it’s also counterproductive to the promotion of dialogue, which is too bad, because i would be really interested to hear what other people think about the call to support a violent revolution in iran actually means.

    and thank you jim for jumping in and keeping it lively. really there’s nothing left to do but watch and read our respective media sources to see how things play out.

    i do think the way you pecked at the street article exposes a fissure in our different belief systems about our new president. you brought up valid points about sourcing and exaggeration, and more importantly at one point expressed distrust of all media, which i very much agree is necessary to maintain.

    that said, you seem to disagree with my skepticism regarding this administration’s yet-to-be-defined culpability in what transpired in honduras, or the suspicion of how widespread the iranian uprising is, and what it intends to accomplish.

    i know this international stuff gets messy, but the conversation is important, and it’s important even in a local blog like this one, because domestically we’re crumbling while the war machine keeps getting bigger, and at some point we’ll need to try and answer the question why?

    • klemz

      The topic itself is problematic for one major reason: the United States public, media and federal government can have no productive role in Iranian politics. Whatever side we land on is going to feel like non-racist affirmative action opponents when the Klan shows up at their rally.

      Besides that, it next to impossible to see from here what is actually happening because our international news reporting agencies suck so hard.

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