Monday, May 02, 2005

Democracy Now: Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, HIV+Foster Children, Daily Howler, Danny Schecter, Jude of Iddybud

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "always worth watching"):

Headlines for May 2, 2005
- 120 Die in Wave of Attacks in Iraq
- Two Years Ago: Bush Declares "Major Combat Operations" Over
- Military Denies Objector Status to Sgt. Kevin Benderman
- Report: CPB Chair Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Bias
- Sudanese Gov't Confirms Ties W/ CIA
- Ex-Haitian PM Yvon Neptune Forced Into Exile
- Tension Escalates Over AFL-CIO's Future
- Millions Mark International Workers Day
- Pioneering Psychologist Kenneth Clark, 90, Dies

Hiroshima Mayor Calls on All Countries "Including U.S." to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
A large anti-nuclear rally in New York calls for global nuclear disarmament ahead of a United Nations meeting to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We speak with the mayor of Hiroshima - where 60 years ago the U.S. dropped one of two atomic bombs.

Hundreds of HIV+ Foster Children in NYC Subjected to Experimental Drug Trials
New York City's child welfare department opens an investigation into whether they forced HIV positive children in foster care to submit to experimental AIDS drug trials. We speak with the commissioner for New York's Administration for Children's Services, New York City councilman Bill Perkins and Vera Sharav of the Alliance for Human Research Protection.

In today's Daily Howler, Bob Somerby is (as always) dealing with a number of issues.
First, we've got an overview of how the Democrats conducted themselves on the Sunday Chat & Chews. There's also the issue of Bully Boy's public lies re: Social Security and the reluctance on the part of the press to do anything more than merely repeat Bully Boy's claim.
Somerby's also beginning a topic that will continue tomorrow on Michael Kinsley.

Regarding the Chat & Chews, we'll note this because Somerby points out the importance of semantics on this issue:

According to Wallace, everyone's benefits "continue to grow" under Bush's proposal. But uh-oh! According to Russert, everyone "would have their benefits cut!" But Wallace and Russert are using the same set of facts, which makes this a classic semantic dispute. And this is a semantic dispute which actually makes a major difference. This conflict will make a major difference in how this debate will turn out.

And we'll note this because members will enjoy it:

Of course, wherever George Bush is being humanized, Elisabeth Bumiller is there. Today's Times presents a large spread (with large smiley photo) about Mrs. Bush's winning performance. Our analysts emitted low, mordant chuckles when they reached Bumiller's nugget:
BUMILLER (5/2/05): Whether her cheeky one-liners will shore up her husband as he struggles with Social Security, gas prices and combative Democrats is another question entirely. But her zingers showed how much the White House relies on her to soften her husband's rough edges at critical moments, much as she did with her extensive travels and fund-raising in the 2004 campaign.

Of course, the White House relies on someone else to soften Bush's rough edges, too. The White House relies on Elisabeth Bumiller, every single Monday. And the scribe has kept it up for years in her fatuous "White House Letter," even during Campaign 2004. FAQ: Who provided the corresponding "Campaign Letter" which softened the edges of Candidate Kerry? Answer: No one did! The Times kept publishing Bumiller's sponge-baths, and offered no corresponding treatment of Kerry. A second-grader would have seen the problem. But did we mention that this is the Times?
Yes, Laura Bush was superb this weekend--simply, flat-out excellent. Unfortunately, Mrs. Bush's dissembling husband has been doing less well in his serious duties. We discussed his most recent blatant lying in a special Saturday post. We continue from there in a special report: “Defining Dishonesty Down.”

[Note: There's much more in today's Daily Howler but Somerby's covering a variety of topics and I don't want to pull the finest observations -- often the funniest -- from each entry and spoil it for people who make a point to visit the site.]

Martha e-mails to note Danny Schechter's "The Unreported Vietnam-Iraq Parallel." Here's the opening of that article:

There is a word missing in most of the coverage of Iraq. It's a ghost-laden word that conjures up distressing memories that Washington and most of our media prefer to keep in that proverbial "lock box," hidden away in dusty archives and footage libraries.
The word is Vietnam.
Its absence was never more noticeable than in the coverage this past weekend of the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam War, marked in Vietnam with celebrations, but largely ignored in America where CNN led with the story of a bride who went missing when she had second thoughts.
Is this denial or is it deliberate? Just this past month, the national Smithsonian Museum of American History installed a new patriotically correct permanent war-positive exhibition, "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War."
If you want to know about the pain of the war official America wants you to forget, you have to head a few blocks south on the mall in Washington to the Vietnam Memorial with its nearly 60,000 names engraved in black marble. That's where you will see the tears of visitors every day and their lingering memories three decades later.

Remember, Danny Schechter's blog News Dissector.

Rachel passed on this from Jude of Iddbybud:

We must continue to appeal to our political leaders for fairness and we must begin to speak to our religious leaders on a political level. We did not ask for this struggle and dilemma, but when our religious leaders decide to divide the body of Christ (which is the church and its members) by politics, we must reconsider the words of Father Philip Berrigan in 1969. Two hundred years from Adam Smith, it's clear that the market has unleashed an uncontrollable force. It is not a Holy force by any means. There is an unrestrained "self-interest" of individuals and of organized special-interest groups. In an economic-Darwinian style, the weak are punished while the strong are rewarded. If we are to believe that the current consensus of the American majority is that it is morally acceptable for them to socially exclude those who are unable to meet the demands of the market, then we might assume we are living in a soulless society. I, for one, refuse to believe that Americans truly feel that it is morally, politically, or legally acceptable to have such an unjust distribution of wealth, work, and income which GOP policies have brought about (with the help of a concentrated group of special interests who call themselves "Christian" and prove themselves to be anything BUT).

It's from a lengthy essay, that Jude's done a wonderful job writing and organizing, entitled "To All Americans - Heal Our Land!"

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