Monday, February 07, 2005

Democracy Now! salutes & remembers Ossie Davis; Matthew Rothschild's latest from the McCarthyism Watch; Yazz notes Ari Berman as an important voice

Democracy Now! highlights the life and contributions of Ossie Davis today. As Marcia always says, "Democracy Now! always worth watching!"

Headlines for February 7, 2005
- 75 Killed in Iraq as Violence Continues After Elections
- Rice Pledges $40M Aid to Palestinian Authority
- Bush Submits $2.5 Trillion Budget to Congress
- Justice Dept. Drops Criminal Inquiry of CIA in Peru Plane Crash
- Tobacco Stock Prices Surge on Court Ruling
- New York Judge Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban
- African Union Condemns Military "Coup" in Togo
- Tens of Thousands Mark Bob Marley's Birthday in Ethiopia

Ossie Davis 1917-2005: A Tribute to the Actor and Civil Rights Activist
Actor and civil rights activist Ossie Davis died Friday in Miami Beach. He was 87 years old. For half a century, Davis led a distinguished career as an actor, playwright and director. Along with his wife, Ruby Dee, he was a renowned civil rights activist and an unforgettable figure in the African American struggle for equality. We spend the hour remembering Ossie Davis: From his eulogies to Malcolm X and Martin Luther King to his opposition to the war in Iraq. We hear from actor Danny Glover and journalist Herb Boyd and we play a commentary by death row prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal. [includes rush transcript]

Danny Glover on Ossie Davis: "He Saw No Separation Between His Social Commitment and His Artistic Commitment"
To remember Ossie Davis, we speak with actor Danny Glover and journalist Herb Boyd. Glover says, "I wanted to mirror my career after Ossie Davis...He knew the role that culture and art played in elevating us as human beings."

Ossie Davis Eulogizes Malcolm X in 1965: Malcolm Taught "Us to Stand Up Off Of Our Knees to Address Ourselves to the Truth"
We play a recording of Ossie Davis delivering the eulogy for Malcolm X at the Faith Temple Church Of God on February 27,1965. Davis says, "[Malcolm] talked to all of us: Get up off your knees. Come out of your hiding place. If your hiding place is gold, come out from behind it. If your hiding place is prestige, come out from behind it. If your hiding place is poverty, if you live in the slum, if you live in the gutters, stand up, look at the sun, you too are a man."

Ossie Davis Remembers Martin Luther King in 1968: King Was "One of the Bravest Black Men We Have Lost in This Struggle"
We play a recording of Ossie Davis speaking at a memorial gathering for Martin Luther King in New York City on April 5th, 1968. Davis says, "As I stand before you, I don't ask whether you are a white Martin, or whether you are a black martin, I ask first if you are a man and second, if you believe that men should stand or fall for freedom and third, if you believe that the time for that freedom is now."

Ossie Davis Protesting the Iraq War: "I Choose to Live for Brotherhood and Not For Folly"
We play in interview with Ossie Davis as he protested the invasion of Iraq on March 22, 2003. Davis says, "The choice is to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools. I come together to say, I choose to live for brotherhood, and not for folly. I choose peace and not war. I choose life, and not death."

Mumia Abu Jamal Remembers Ossie Davis: "A Lion Has Fallen"
We play a prison radio commentary by journalist and death row prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal. He remembers Ossie Davis and plays an interview with him from 1980.

Also check out Matthew Rothschild's latest McCarthyism Watch:

The Fargo Forum broke the story, noting that "Fargo City Commissioner Linda Coates is among more than 40 area residents included on a list of people barred from attending President Bush’s speech."
On February 1, the people who were distributing tickets had "copies of the list at their tables" to check names against, the Forum reported. Among those on the list were people who "wrote opinion page letters to The Forum criticizing Bush or the war in Iraq. Others wrote letters in support of gay rights or of Democratic policies."
(A subsequent Forum article noted that three quarters of those on the list were "members of the Fargo-Moorhead Democracy for America Meetup Group, which formed in the wake of the Dean campaign.")
Coates told the paper she was "creeped out" by the list.

Yazz e-mailed wanting to pass this on from The Nation's Ari Berman:

When George W. bragged at the State of the Union address about having "prosecuted corporate criminals," it was akin to Bill Clinton's infamous and equally absurd "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." It might sound comforting, but it simply isn't true.
Last September, Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) found that 82 leading corporations paid no federal taxes in one or more years since Bush took office in January of 2001. Now CTJ has a new report out disclosing that corporate tax dodging is even worse in the states than at the federal level. Of the 252 Fortune 500 companies that disclosed their state income taxes, 71 paid no state income tax at all in at least one year from 2001 through 2003. On average, two-thirds of the companies' profits went untaxed, cheating state governments of $41.7 billion in revenue during 2001-2003. Toys "R" Us, AT&T, Boeing, Eli Lilly, Merrill Lynch, and ITT Industries are among the highly profitable corporations that avoided paying state income taxes altogether.

Berman is Yazz's choice for voices that speak to us. You can still weigh in on that -- there's no cut off date for noting voices that speak to you -- by e-mailing at