Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Other items

From "National Briefing" in this morning's New York Times we'll note:

GEORGIA: POSTHUMOUS PARDON Six decades after she was executed for killing a white man, a black maid was granted a full and unconditional pardon. The maid, Lena Baker, 44, was the only woman put to death in Georgia's electric chair. She had maintained until she was put to death in 1945 that she had shot the man, E. B. Knight in self-defense. Members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles read a proclamation saying the board's refusal to grant clemency before the execution was "a grievous error, as this case called out for mercy." (AP)

Back on August 16th, Trevor brought this issue up:

Trevor e-mails to note the Associated Press' "Executed Woman
to Get Pardon in Georgia
" which details the pardon, forty years after the
woman was executed, that will be granted to Lena Baker:
In her one-day trial, Ms. Baker, who was black, testified that E.
B. Knight, a white man she had been hired to care for, had held her against her
will and threatened to shoot her. She said she grabbed a gun and shot him when
he raised a metal bar to strike her. She was convicted by an all-white, all-male

Lewis e-mails to note David D. Kirkpatrick's "Reagan Library Finds Thousands of Additional Roberts Documents:"

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library said Tuesday that it had discovered thousands of previously undisclosed documents related to the work of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., adding a potential last-minute complication to the hearings on his nomination to the Supreme Court.
[. . .]
In a statement, Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, faulted the administration for the mix-up. "This administration has even failed to live up to its promise to produce all of the relevant files from John Roberts's time in the Reagan White House," Mr. Leahy said.
Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, another Democrat on the committee, said, "If these documents reveal significant information about Judge Roberts's views and we are not getting them until the eve of the hearings, there could well be a need for additional time to question the nominee."

Lawanda e-mails to note Carl Hulse's "In Memoir, Jesse Helms Says He Was No Racist:"

Former Senator Jesse Helms defends his record on race relations and explores his role in the rise of the modern conservative movement in a new memoir that reserves some of its harshest words for the news media.
In vintage Helms fashion, the 83-year-old North Carolinian and former newsman who left the Senate in 2003 assails a news establishment he describes as contemptuous of American values and a threat to the country's future.

Lawanda: I eagerly await future additions in this series. "In Memoir, Donna Rice Says She Was No Bimbo." "In Memoir, Alexander Haig Says He Was Never In Charge." "In Memoir, George H.W. Bush Says He Can Operate a Grocery Scanner." You get the idea.

Eli notes it's still a Bully Boy economy and refers us to David Leonhardt's "U.S. Poverty Rate Was Up Last Year:"

Even as the economy grew, incomes stagnated last year and the poverty rate rose, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. It was the first time on record that household incomes failed to increase for five straight years.
The portion of Americans without health insurance remained roughly steady at 16 percent, the bureau said. A smaller percentage of people were covered by their employers, but two big government programs, Medicaid and military insurance, grew.
The census's annual report card on the nation's economic well-being showed that a four-year-old expansion had still not done much to benefit many households. Median pretax income, $44,389, was at its lowest point since 1997, after inflation.

From BuzzFlash, we'll note "Good Bye to Crawford, But Not to Camp Casey: The Peaceful Occupation of Crawford - Day 24:"

While George golfed yesterday, the worst hurricane ever struck New Orleans; oil went up to over 68.00/barrel; and an American soldier was killed in the charade and cataclysmic occupation of Iraq. The soldier's family doesn't even know what's going to hit them yet. The death is "Pending Notification." I continually ask myself: "How do George Bush and other death-mongers live with themselves?" While George vacations and bikes and golfs his way to the lowest poll numbers since Richard Nixon, other "patriots" are wrapping themselves in the Stars and Stripes and going along with the farce that the mission from hell, "Killing more people in Iraq, because so many have already been killed," is somehow a good thing ordained by God. I can live with myself, but trust me, sleep does not come easily to me these days.
Yesterday at Camp Casey was, again naturally, an amazing day. Dennis Means from the A.I.M. came with a group of Native American musicians and they made a presentation to me. He gave me a shawl in the tradition of Tecumseh and he pinned a brooch of 5 stars on it from "One chief to another." He also said we should all change our last names to Sheehan and he will be known as: Dennis Means Sheehan! Sheehan is Gaelic for "Peace," which I think is such a cool thing, and not a coincidence. Casey Sheehan's sacrifice will stand for peace forever.

I missed the candlelight vigil at Camp Casey last night, but I heard that the counter-protestors came over and held vigil with us for our killed heroes. I heard it was beautiful and life-affirming. This is what Camp Casey does for us: it transforms bitter anger into righteous, productive anger. It turns hate into love. It brings people together in new love and cements mature relationships. It brings other people together who would normally not ever meet and makes them lifelong soul-friends. It heals broken hearts and mends broken souls. I know Camp Casey has healed my broken soul and heart. A veteran from the Iraq tragedy told me that he is now cured of any bad feelings he had.

We'll also note the following sent out to those who sign up for e-mails at Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches:

New on DVD: Falluja 2004
*A film by Japanese independent journalist Toshikuni Doi
**Falluja April 2004 A documentary by Japanese independent journalistToshikuni Doi
Fallujah has become a symbol of the resistance movement against the U.S. occupationof Iraq. In April 2004, the U.S. forces invaded Fallujah with several thousand soldiers. Why did Fallujah become a base of the resistance against the occupation? How did the U.S. forces attack? Who fought against them? And what damages and injuries did people suffer? Ten days after the siege of Falluja was lifted, Toshikuni Doi, a Japanese independent journalist, went into Fallujah. His documentary investigates the causes of, the conditions during, and damages from the siege. The documentary is primarily in Arabic, with English subtitles. DVD, 55 minutes.
Toshikuni Doi is a Japanese journalist who has been covering Iraq since just after the U.S. invasion.
"For a well documented, powerful film of what really occurred inFallujah during the April, 2004 siege, this is a must see. The film begins by investigating why the resistance began in Fallujah shortly after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. The film then accurately chronicles what occurred in Fallujah during the failed April siege. I couldn't recommend this more highly. To get a more complete understanding of the failed occupation of Iraq, watch this film and encourage others to do the same./" -Dahr Jamail
*In addition, here is a petitition against a film being made about Fallujah in Hollywood which I encourage you to sign and distribute far and wide:
To: Patricia McQueeney, Mr Ford's agent
*Harrison Ford has announced that he wishes to play the role of the general in charge of the assault and seige of Fallujah, in an upcoming movie to be entitled No True Glory. This action resulted in the destruction of a whole city and the loss of many thousand innocent lives, and caused over 300,000 people to become homeless, while the insurgent Iraqis mostly slipped away, to attack again from elsewhere. We do not trust Hollywood to show the abuses of the US forces, who broke Geneva Conventions and denied civilians hospitals, water, food, opening fire on ambulances and denying the press coverage. We do not believe the military to have been innocent pawns of flawed government, and do not wish Mr Ford to play General Mattis, and we vote against the making of this film. We ask the studios to examine history before they rewrite it. We ask Mr Ford to read up on the truth. "And the truth shall set us free."

And we'll note BuzzFlash's latest editorial, "Sign the Petition of Redress. Either the Bush Kids Put Their Lives on the Line for George's "Noble War" or the Troops Come Home:"

"I demand that George W. Bush's daughters, and his eligible nieces and nephews, serve in Iraq to prove their support of Bush's 'noble war for a noble cause.' If the Bush family does not believe in 'sacrificing' for the war and is not willing to put their lives on the line, then Bush must bring the troops of middle class and poor Americans home now."
Much, much more about how the Bush family leaves the sacrificing and dying to average Americans, while they live in the lap of luxury and privilege.

(Before any e-mails come in, I'm not for sending any more troops to take part in Operation Enduring Falsehood. Nor do I think BuzzFlash believes a petition means Jenna and Barbara Bush will be patrolling Tikrit. It's a symbolic protest -- done to make a point.)

Today on Democracy Now!:

Wed, August 31: On the last day of Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's estate in Crawford, Texas we look back at the day her son Casey was killed in Sadr City, Iraq on April 4, 2004.

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