Friday, April 08, 2005

Democracy Now: victims of war and more; Pam (Big Brass Blog), Rothschild (Progressive), Daily Howler & The Black Commentator celebrates 3rd year

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "always worth watching") has several stories you won't want to miss:

Headlines for April 8, 2005
- The Largest Funeral in History
- Jaafari Named Iraq PM
- Hans Blix Says Iraq War Motivated by Oil
- Cairo Bomb Kills 3
- Bextra Taken Off Market
- Senate Votes to Repeal Bush Abortion Policy
- Italian Police Stand Trial for Raid on Activists
- Landless Workers in Brazil Occupy Farms

The Funeral of Pope John Paul II
As the funeral of Pope John Paul II takes place in Saint Peter's Square, we go to Rome to get a report on what is being called one of the most momentous funerals in world history.

War Surgeon Gino Strada: "Media Not Interested in Human Tragedies" of War
We speak with Dr. Gino Strada, a war surgeon and the founder of Emergency, a nonprofit, humanitarian organization dedicated to providing assistance to civilian victims of war.

Three People Forcibly Removed From Bush "Town Hall" Meeting on Social Security
As President Bush continues touring the country to promote his plans for overhauling social security, we speak with one of the three people forcibly removed from Bush's Town-Hall-Style "Conversation on Social Security," in Denver on last month. [includes rush transcript]

Undocumented Border Patrol Target Undocumented Immigrants
We speak with Magdalano Rose-Avila, the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project about the Minuteman Project, comparing street gangs to al Qaeda, Homeland Security and much more.

Over at Big Brass Blog, don't miss Pam's post on Sgt. Robert Stout who was awarded the Purple Heart . . . and oh, yeah, he happens to be gay.

This is amazing news and an opportunity for the Dems to stick it to the White House if they have the freaking balls to do it.
With military recruitment numbers falling through the floor, relaxing educational standards for the National Guard, and a President constantly talking about rewarding service and commitment, what are they going to do with Sgt. Robert Stout and its "don't ask, don't tell" policy?

Read Pam's piece and you'll learn that the twenty-three-year-old Stout would like to remain in the military . . . but there's that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Over at The Progressive, Matthew Rothschild has a new "This Just In" entitled "Some Non-Pope News." Excerpt:

While all the media's eyes are on Rome, and as the networks shuttle their celebrities to makeshift studios at Vatican City, other stuff--real news--is happening.
A U.S. chopper goes down in Afghanistan, killing at least 16 people and underscoring the fact that this forgotten war is still raging.
A study by the National Academy of Sciences reveals that our nuclear power plants, and especially the pools of spent fuel around them, are highly vulnerable to attack, three and a half years after 9/11.
And 32 Nobel Prize-winners come out with a statement urging the members of the nuclear weapons club to take their lethal loads off of hair-trigger alert.

Over at The Daily Howler, Bob Somerby continues to explore those liberal and "liberal" pundits who love to play the "quiet game." Here are the first three paragraphs from Somerby:

BUNGLING RATHER (PART 8, GRAND FINALE): OK, let's make it short and sweet. Our modern press corps has two major parts. On the one hand, we have an aggressive pseudo-con press corps which is constantly yelling liberal bias. And then, we have the mainstream press corps, which actually tends towards that "right-leaning dinner-party centrism" which Josh Marshall correctly describes and correctly says that he fails to discuss.
Due to its right-leaning dinner-party centrism, what does that mainstream press corps do? For one thing, when kooky-con books ascend the best-seller lists, the mainstream press corps doesn't point out how kooky these books really are. The free pass being handed to Mark Levin has been handed to many others before him--including John O'Neill and Jerome Corsi, whose absurd, kooky book, Unfit for Command, rearranged last year's White House race.
But there's something else the mainstream press tends to do--over the course of the past dozen years, it has tended to savage Big Democrats. For reasons they've never much been asked to explain, they trashed Bill Clinton through his years in the White House, then conducted a two-year War Against Gore--a war which put George Bush in the White House. That War Against Gore may have been the most remarkable press event in our lifetime. But try to find the "liberal spokesman" who discusses that war today! That press corps war changed American history--and "liberal spokesmen" all seem to know that they just mustn't bring that war up!

Over at The Black Commentator, Dr. Martin Kilson has "Probing the Black Elite's Role for the 21st Century." This is part one of a three part series. From the first installment:

Writing a century ago in the quintessential African-American text, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), the great W.E.B. DuBois committed himself to and charged the then fledgling Negro elite -- the "Talented Tenth" as DuBois called it -- with the obligation of advancing the racist-ravaged plight of the masses of Negro Americans. In general, the role of the Black elite in 21st century African-American society should be the same role it has played since the dawn of its existence among the small Free Negro communities in pre-Emancipation Era American society. Namely, the outreach-to-Black-popular-society-leadership role, the outreach-to-Black-masses-leadership role, if you will.
In this essay I want to reflect on the issue of what the outreach-to-Black-masses-leadership profile of today's Black elite should be by looking back historically to how this leadership profile evolved out of fragile Free Negro communities in the pre-Emancipation Era. It is unmistakably clear from today’s vantage point that the Black elite at the dawn of the 21st century is better situated -- has more social, economic, and political capabilities -- to fulfill its outreach-to-Black-masses-leadership obligation than any previous generation of African-Americans with middle-class and professional-class attributes.

I want to note again that this is the third anniversary for The Black Commentator. Yesterday's e-mailed entry never hit (and then couldn't go up until this morning due to problems with Blogger) but, as stated in that post, this is an important milestone. The Black Commentator comes out once a week, on Thursdays, and contains articles and illustrations that will make you think. They are independent and not afraid to tackle topics that the mainstream media often is reluctant to even mention.

The e-mail address for this site is