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Marketing War and Peace

I’m happy to run with the six peaceniks that stood trial in DC Superior Court on July 12th. Three are with Peace of the Action (POTA) and include Cindy Sheehan, national director of the organization, as well as Jon Gold and Jim Veeder. They were acquitted. Elaine Brower of Military Families Speak Out and Matthis Chiroux of Iraq Veterans Against the War were convicted, as was Leflora Cunningham-Walsh. I applaud these citizens of the world and their devotion to peace and activism. Sheehan and Gold have articles about the trial on POTA’s web address:

On July 13th, some of us gathered at the White House. We took a bullhorn to the president’s presidio and told Barack Obama what we think of his George Bushiness foreign policy. This was gratifying, a celebratory wrap for POTA’s July action, especially since the defendants, prior to the trial, had been under a “stay away order” from this area of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Now, this:

The Karaoke Played On

By Missy Comley Beattie

My mother has an opera-quality voice. No training. Two of my siblings can sing. I can’t. At all.

I positioned the karaoke machine near the television set and plugged the auxiliary cables into the back of the TV for a wider word screen. I rarely watch television, except when “researching” the inadequacies of “mainstream” mediocrity for an article. Every now and then, when I read something important on the Internet, I turn on the tube to see if anyone is addressing the issue. Usually, the answer is either an “Update” sentence beneath the blathering blahblah blahers or a no.

So, largely, the TV monitor will be an accessory for the karaoke machine that is my scream therapy. “Sing, sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong.”

No Shelter from the Storm

No Shelter from the Storm
by Missy Comley Beattie

I was running through my sister's neighborhood in KY and saw that “Support the Troops They Want Victory You Should, Too” sign in a yard.  For a long time, after my nephew Chase was killed in Iraq,  my sister had a large board, propped against a tree in front of her house, bearing a laminated photograph of Chase along with the number of troop deaths.  She’d change the number frequently.  

One morning, she went outside and the sign was gone, stolen during the night.    

There is something unsettling about this--a particular violation of the unspoken, unwritten rules of bereavement.  A sign with a picture of a dead loved one is a memorial, and its removal is a desecration, almost like tampering with a gravesite, trespassing on a family’s grief.   

Under the Covers with Rush and Larry

Okay, I can’t help it.  It is beyond my control.  I’m visual.  And, so, I make no apologies. Or is admitting that I can’t help it, because I’m visual, an apology?  Let’s pretend it doesn’t matter.

It’s Rush Limbaugh.  And Larry King.   No, they aren’t the only men with much younger, sizzling-hot wives, but they’re the two whose images are looping through my head.  I try to picture a large “STOP” sign, but that sign tilts, falls, and, suddenly, there they are, in my optics—3D, too, these older guys who spoon and WHATEVER with women who are sooooooo much younger than they, so much younger, in fact, that the women could be their offspring.  

Suffocating Planet Earth

By Missy Comley Beattie

If you spot me, carrying my Chanel handbag, don’t worry. You do not have to duck or run. I am not packing heat. I will not carry a weapon of any caliber of destruction, from the teensy to the massive. Except for a tube of red lipstick.

However, I do want to embrace the spirit of Che—his passion and determination on behalf of the oppressed—for my children’s future, yours, and the grandchildren.

Yet, even as I write, I’m wondering at the wisdom of anyone who is making a decision to bring life into a world populated by people whose pathologies are metastasizing at the speed of virulence.

The Air is Humming

In March, while attending Camp Out Now in DC, I went with other peace advocates to protest torture attorney John Yoo who was speaking at the University of Virginia. ON the return, we decided to stop at a restaurant for dinner. The entire time I’d been in DC, I’d walked from our peace camp on the Washington Monument grounds to my rental in the 2000 block of 16th St. NW to compose dinner and, then, head back for evening activities. You see, I prefer my own food preparation, or the magic of a five-star chef.

Truth is I appreciate finery—the first-rate, top-notch, well-made.

I decided not to conceal this and, so, I suggested we look for a place that was Zagat rated. “Cause, look, I’m kinda, sorta a princess.” Debra Sweet, National Coordinator of World Can’t Wait, was among our group. I’ve known her about four years, so she’s aware of my proclivities.

We were caravanning, five of us in one car and four in another.

Dancing With the Scarred

Missy Comley Beattie

I’ve been thinking of marketing a concept in the genre that’s all the rage—Reality Television. My primary objective is to enlighten the public, however if financial success is a byproduct, I won’t complain.

This I know: engaging the masses requires much more than the presentation of truth. Truth must be veiled in entertainment, the latter a lure to hold attention until the truth, finally, is grasped through (gasp) an epiphany. And, yes, I do believe I’ve come up with something that delivers both.

Here’s the idea: I’m imagining a show whose contestants are troops who’ve returned from AfPak-Iraq. My production crew could go to any military hospital’s traumatic brain injury (TBI) ward to seek competitors for the series. I’m talking Dancing with the Scarred. We’d have Hollywood types work with the young men and women to teach them some dance moves and create fabuloso costumes.

Guardians of Human Wrongs

By Missy Comley Beattie

It’s a light bulb moment. This decision to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the oil “spill” in the gulf.

Can’t you hear the brains storm?

“What should we do?”

“I know. A commission. A bipartisan commission.”


Of course, we already understand the genesis of the debacle? It’s our culture of greed, the materialism of contemporary life, oil dependence, and indifference to war.

It’s why British Petroleum has donated oodles to political candidates for the “right” to rape our ecosystem and avoid the consequences of criminal activity. This is not dissimilar to the Military Industrial Complex’s ongoing carnage in AfPak-Iraq,

Like pedophile priests, War Inc. and Big Business inflict catastrophic cruelty.

Political Misspeak

By Missy Comley Beattie

Who hasn’t misspoken? Jeeez, I have—plenty of times—and especially if I’ve consumed one too many glasses of Cabernet.

Do you remember when Condi Rice referred to George W. Bush as “my husband”?

Yes, we've all made slips of the tongue and, some, like Condi’s, are quite Freudian funny. Or funnily Freudian.

Project Runaway

By Missy Comley Beattie

Eleven people lost their lives when the explosion occurred. British Petroleum is being sued. BP has slipped though the cracks between right and wrong, over and over again. Will this company really be held accountable?

Regardless, our planet cannot sustain the damage.

How many people understand that what has occurred in the Gulf of Mexico is cataclysmic?

I know that for eleven families the death of a loved one is numbing and, then, shockingly assaulting. But beyond this, beyond the pain of fresh death, the aftermath is shattering loss. Some will outlive the paralyzing grief and go forward. Others will be consumed, unable to move with purpose to enjoy the rest of their lives.

The disaster that is unfolding from the oil hemorrhage will continue for decades and, maybe, even centuries. Actually, the REAL truth is that recovery may never occur.

Four hundred species of animals are at risk.

Livelihoods are destroyed.

Speaking Events



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.


September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

Find more events here.


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