Publicizing Truths with Consequence, When Great Minds Think Alike

By, Cheri Roberts-Piper MTR News

This weekend I attended the Publicizing Truths with Consequence media summit in Santa Cruz, CA representing MTR News Network; an event sponsored by Project Censored, 911Truth.org, and Be The Media. Turnout surpassed projected expectations 3 hours into the first day of this three day conference despite a winter storm that produced relentless rain and wind. At it’s high point there were upwards of 250+ people. The organizers adapted to the overflow and hosted a great event.

A pow-wow of sorts to brainstorm and put into action a more effective means of communicating to a public in desperate need of truth and substance. The event brought together an eclectic mix of concerned citizens, activists, and community writers as well as breaking news Bloggers like Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG. Award winning investigative journalists David Ray Griffin, Ray McGovern, and Bob Fitrakis mingled the room with Whistleblowers like Barbara Honegger and retired FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley. Doug Abort – a representative for the Kucinich campaign, Congressional candidate Cindy Sheehan, and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney also attended. All speakers, sponsors and organizers made themselves accessible in order to network, creating – maybe for the first time, a chain of media professionals that run from small town USA all the way to the influentials of DC. Speaking truth to power could get a little easier.

Fellow attendees Matt Sullivan, Editor of the Rock Creek Free Press in DC and Lenny Charles of the I.N.N. World Report said it best the first day of the summit.

Matt points out that,

“We control the web, but we are not powerful in the street”.

While Lenny brings it home with,

“It’s time to think outside the browser”.

With a participant list that reads like a virtual who’s who of today’s alternative media, this summit produced an inspired new army of motivated individuals ready to take on the challenge and rise above the corporate media. The theme seemed to be we are the new mainstream media and although workshop style gatherings were a bit disorganized most seemed to understand the theme and the need to find ways to apply it in their everyday lives.

OH-D Congressman Dennis Kucinich rallied the audience via a piped in conference call the first night emphasizing that,

“Independent media is critical” and the “Last best defense our Nation has” reminding us it is our civic duty as citizens of this democracy.

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Special Agent stressed,

“I have heard every excuse in the book” for not trying.

She concluded that train of thought with a powerful call to action voiced by two little words when she said,

“Do something!”

Breaking off into affinity groups we learned the deeper meaning of communicating by listening and the importance of real news versus mere opinion. We were coached on identifying the propaganda and told by 25 yr CIA Veteran Ray McGovern that,

“We need to sensitize our co-ctizens” and “we have to speak truth to power” and that in order to do that, we need to,

“get them to identify” with our issues “by identifying theirs”.

Other tools were offered by David Mathison of Be The Media – who spoke on building community media, providing resource ideas and tips for doing so.

As invited guests MTR News Network was privileged to conduct many on and off camera interviews from this event, including a one- on – one with Cynthia McKinney, later pairing her with her long time friend and true Patriot Ray McGovern – who we learned is being treated for lymphoma and will be beginning chemo therapy soon. Stay tuned…

Ava Lowery, Old Enough to Vote

By, Cheri Roberts-Piper MTR News

Last week – Seventeen-year-old peace powerhouse Ava Lowery, registered to vote in what will be her first presidential election. Ava has been galvanizing America’s youth for years and the 2008 election just may show how many of our country’s first time voters have been listening. With Ava’s eye and attention on presidential candidates John Edwards and Barak Obama you can be sure her followers are watching as well.

We came to know Ava years ago by her hard hitting, inspiring, and often excruciatingly graphic anti-war videos posted on youtube and other websites across the Internet. Ava’s videos on youtube alone receive many thousands of views from people of all parties and ages and have garnered the attention of media outlets like Mother Jones, Rolling Stone Magazine and CNN.

I asked Ava what she intends her videos to accomplish and who are they targeted at. Her response was simple and to the point,

All of my videos are directed at educating people about the war. What they do with that information is all up to them. Hopefully my videos will cause some voters to think about the Iraq war and how it will be handled by the candidates they support when voting this year.”

Peace Takes Courage
– Ava’s main web presence, received 1.45 million hits last month alone while her newly launched Ava’s Army received more than 80,000 hits in its first month. With numbers like these one has to wonder if this young activist realizes the power she potentially wields on a whole new generation of America’s voters.

CA. Congressional Candidate and Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan – who has known Ava for some time, shared her thoughts with me regarding Ava entering the electorate for the first time,

“If young people followed Ava’s lead in trying to make the world a better place, and if we have young leaders like her, I feel our world will be in great hands. Voting is only a small part of our part in democracy, but our votes have to be informed and intelligent, I am sure Ava will be an active participant in our democracy.”

A Texas father – Steve Mauk, who has a daughter Ava’s age added,

“This election will be the first for my youngest daughter as well and she is eager to understand the platforms of the different candidates instead of just casting a party vote. It is great to see young people like her and Ava caring about our country and its future”.

I asked Ava how her documentary was coming along. She has been immersing herself and her life savings into a one on one approach with Veterans of the Iraq war preserving their thoughts upon returning from Iraq, and comparing those to their thoughts pre-deployment.

I had heard that – although not quite on the shelf, there was some delay in its completion due to dwindling funds. Ava agreed funds were definitely an issue and that she was at a bit of an impasse and needed help,

“Most of the filming for the documentary has been completed but we still have Veterans of the war that would like to be interviewed and to be a part of this film. We don’t have the funds at this time though to conduct those interviews so we are trying to find a way to get the funds needed to finish filming.”

She added,

“I believe this documentary will be an important piece that people should see”.

And when I asked why she felt it was important, her response once again hit home on how mature this young lady really is,

“Why? Because it is Veterans of the Iraq war talking about the war. No political pundits and no main stream media mouth pieces. Just people who have witnessed the war first hand and are speaking from their own experiences. I think most Americans want to support our troops. What better way to support them than to hear what they have to say?”

My final question was about what her own thoughts were as we begin the primaries and lead into the 2008 election and what being able to legally vote means to her. I couldn’t help but smile at her response,

“I’m excited to be able to vote for the first time because for a long time now I’ve been involved in politics without being able to vote. Now I think I can call myself a full fledged political junkie and activist.”

Like she wasn’t already working for democracy full time?

She went on to add,

“If more young people voted, I believe there would be major change in this country. I hope that I will be in a large crowd of first time voters this year.”

Just in the crowd? Somehow this writer thinks it will be Ava Lowery leading the crowd, straight to the polls this November.

Also published on Op Ed News.

*If you would like to help Ava Lowery complete her documentary please go to her website where you will find details on her work and on how you can help.

Attacking Richard Gage, AIA, and why it doesn’t work – Part 1

By, Cheri Roberts-Piper MTR News
A new website was launched into cyber world aimed at debunking Richard Gage, AIA and the Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth. Voice Writer and Actor Joseph Nobles – better known as blogger Bolo Boffin, has decided to take on facts with his opinion once again and call it truth, this time attacking Richard Gage, AIA.

Prematurely launching his site before its completion, ae911truth.INFO is relatively bare except for some commentary directed at 28 slides from Richard Gage’s PowerPoint presentation on how and why the Towers fell on Sept. 11th, 2001. The site is laid out nicely, however the commentary is just that, opinionated commentary no different then found in an Op Ed . The commentary is presented to the world as if Mr. Bolo is some sort of authority on a parallel with Richard Gage, AIA and his peers. I guess as an Actor he is just playing the part, it makes one wonder though who pays him to take the stage.

Nobles’ rebuttal begins with slide one of Gage’s presentation where he focuses not on the content of slide one so much, but instead tries desperately to find ways in which to convince or warn the reader of Gage’s magical skills of mass hypnosis, or what he calls appeal to authority. Pointing out Gage’s use of the AIA logo and title – which by the way Gage has every right to use, Nobles asserts,

“Richard Gage is not engaging in his professional practice here. He is not dealing with the design or the livability of the World Trade Center complex. He is a part of a team that designs and builds buildings, and not part of a team that tears them down”.

Nobles wants the reader to believe that Gage has no experience with building structure, but that statement makes little sense to support that, and certainly proves no point let alone the one he is trying to make.

Like an attorney getting ready to sum up his case (his character changes often, try to keep up if you can) Nobles goes on to say,

“Therefore, whenever you see the AIA logo, remember that this is an attempt by Gage to enhance his authority to speak about something he has no expertise in. He is propping himself up with this trade association. Don’t be fooled”.

He follows that by labeling ae911truth members as conspiracy theorists and says they are not a professional group, but an advocacy group. Maybe he should have said they were advocacy group of professionals? Nah, that would be asking too much of a professional debunker to debunk his own bunk now wouldn’t it?

By using fancy terms like Appeal to Authority, Argument ad Populum, and
Affirming the Consequent Nobles tries to sound authoritative regarding Gage’s credentials, research, evidence and his cause. He even appeals to his readers by complimenting Gage on a personal level by saying,

“Richard Gage is a mild-mannered, likable person. He generates a great deal of sympathy as a speaker because of this. He seems genuine to me in his desire to see justice done for the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, the best I can say for him is that he is terribly misguided”.

Sounds kind of sweet doesn’t it?

Don’t be fooled by the sugar coated venom because what most of his readers don’t or wont know, is on Jan. 1st, 2008 – the day he launched the sight, he also had this to say about his shiny new site, Richard Gage and the ae911truth colleagues,

“This one is my very own. I noticed that Richard Gage and his gang of fruit loops weren’t using the domain name ae911truth.info, so I am.

I’m working on it slowly, very slowly. I’m only up to 28 slides out of over 300 hundred in that wretched PowerPoint of his. However, I was contacted by someone who knows Gage. I evidently popped up in a search engine. The gig is up, so the doors are open to the public.

Unlike Gage, I have no plans to plead for your money. Please save it for more worthy causes than myself. Enjoy!”.
*Source: http://journals.democraticunderground.com/boloboffin boloboffin’s journal

This self-proclaimed debunker has zero credentials, training, or professional experience on the subject of Richard Gage’s research let alone any authority to pass himself off as if he does by mere expression and conjecture. He is quite simply an Actor on a self-erected stage continuing the monologue people have been ignoring. The only thing he is an authority on is self-promotion like the big bolo, bolo tube, and the best of bolo. If this is the best of bolo, Gage and his crew have nothing to worry about.
*Source: Bolo Boffin Blog http://boloboffin.blogspot.com/ and
Everything in the known universe about boloboffin http://technorati.com/people/technorati/boloboffin

To be continued – this is part 1 in a series…

Truth Squaded!

An Encounter with Rep. Henry Waxman
By, Cheri Roberts-Piper MTR News
Thursday night Rep. Henry Waxman walked into a crowded room of concerned constituents and citizens – after what had reportedly already been a trying day. The longtime and much loved Congressman got a little more than he bargained for. Waxman was met in a small community room at the Westside Pavilion Landmark Theater building in Santa Monica, CA, by more than a hundred people, most of whom appeared to be there to discuss and press for the impeachment of both President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Waxman’s more than 30-minute speech focussed on health care, corrupt charities, rampant steroid use in major league baseball, and he touched lightly with pride on the fact that Congress had just passed the Whistle Blower Protection Act. He clearly stated with regard to any impeachment bill that his opinion differed from those in the room and that he would not support such hearings nor would he entertain a new 911 investigation because it would look bad for the Democratic Party. When the disagreeing crowd interrupted his speech at that point, Waxman, who was clearly agitated and sounding almost childish said,

“Hey this is not right, the way you are treating me”.

As We Are Change LA’s Adam Ruff put it,

“He nearly cracked completely a couple times. He apparently wants to continue to ignore the will of the people and wants to be respected for that”.

Later, when the audience was allowed to ask questions they lined the center isle for their turn to speak. From the beginning Waxman was bombarded with question after question about Sibel Edmonds – the gagged FBI Whistleblower, WTC7 and other issues related to the crimes of 911. These questions came from We Are Change LA members who had dispersed into the audience and appeared to be coming from everywhere – even the cameraman at the event, Drew Piper, was a founding member of the Change LA group.

Congressman Waxman, you have just been Truth Squaded!

The questions ranged from why the Congressman refuses to have Sibel Edmonds testify under oath in an open session to when will Congress open a new 911 investigation – while also hitting hard on HR 1955. Waxman was obviously caught off guard and cornered with little to say on those issues. Even the forum’s host and moderator, Mickey Oskey – of the Democratic Westside Progressives, tried without luck, to stop the bombardment. No less than six We Are Change LA members were able to get their hard-hitting questions heard before the Congressman had to leave.

At the end of the night I asked core Change LA members Katy Kurtzman – whose question was about the new Thought Crime Bill HR 1955, and Jeremy Rothe-Kushel what they were walking away with from this experience.

Katy was the first to respond,

“What I find most striking is he (Waxman) admitted to not reading HR 1955 at all before signing it. I mean, that just really struck me hard, that and also the fact that he is obviously ok with fascism and treason in our country because according to him it would hurt the Democratic Party if he were to press any line of impeachment”.

When Kurtzman asked her question during the Q & A, the Congressman readily admitted to not having read HR 1955 and went on to admonish the audience for not alerting him personally that there was any controversy surrounding the Bill. Anonymously from the audience came the response that Waxman had no right to sign anything pertaining to the American people without first reading and understanding what he was signing.

While as Jeremy, Change member and founder of Jewish Voices for Peace and Justice, said he got what he had expected to get and that,

“He (Waxman) confirmed for me what I was already thinking about the democratic leadership at this point, that they’re just playing politics with peoples lives and with what is right and wrong. The fact that the congress has a lower approval rating then the worst President in US history is proof that this strategy of theirs is neither moral nor politically savvy”.

As Waxman exited the community room, Change members were waiting for him on the catwalk, with camera rolling. Followed by his entourage, Waxman walked away only to stop abruptly, arms spread wide in question and turn to this writer with obvious discomfort and ask,

“Why are you following me?”

To which I replied,

“Because the exits that way Sir…”

*Sibel Edmonds – pronounced Si-bell, testified under oath before Congress about foreknowledge of the attacks of Sep. 11th, 2001 by government higher ups as translated while the FBI employed her. Sibel has been gagged from speaking about this and other evidence, by the US Government with threat of incarceration and is a champion to the 911 Truth movement.

« Older entries