Saturday, October 15, 2005

Wally's started his own site: The Daily Jot

This is quick in the extreme. But community member Wally has just (just, hot off the presses!) started his own site. In fact, let's make it a cry, "Extra! Extra! Wally has started his own site. The Daily Jot!"

The Daily Jot will be a site where he notes a thing or two. (Read his entry.) He hopes to post five times a day. Seth and Wally were the two who were thinking about starting sites and they have.

Wally's suggested links here, offered comments to be shared here, served on the committees picking links and done things for the gina & krista round-robin. If you're a community member, you know Wally. So make him feel welcome.

The e-mail address for this site is (Thank you, Kat, for posting Maria's entry today and for writing the one on Laura Flanders.) (Thank you, Maria, for doing that. Thank you to Liang for the great e-mail and permission to pull some quotes from it.) (Mike, Wally made me promise to keep it "on the down low" that he was thinking about starting his own site.)

The Laura Flanders Show : The Cowboy Junkies, Chris Hedges, Farnaz Fassihi

Kat here, working from an e-mail provided by Martha. (Thank you, Martha.) C.I.'s helping out with a local organization and had agreed to volunteer early in the morning but some relief volunteers haven't shown up. (If you sign up to help out, you really need to show up. It's not enough to pat yourself on the back for caring enough to sign up, you need to show up. End of lecture from Kat.) So I get a call asking if I can do the run down for The Laura Flanders Show.

No problem, I love The Laura Flanders Show , I love Laura. I may not tune in to much on the weekends, radio or TV, but I have to have my Saturday and Sunday dose of Flanders. Unless there's a concert I'm going to. If I've got a concert to attend, everything is put on hold. And you know what? I think Laura would agree with that. A concert's a communal experience and it's about getting together and sharing. Just like The Laura Flanders Show.

Liang shares. She and a group of friends get together every weekend, they cook a meal, make some drinks and eat the meal all while listening to Laura. They started that before The Common Ills started. It's what they do on the weekend. They get together and they've got food, they've got conversation, they've got information. Liang's e-mail (which C.I. said to include) reports the only problem is when they have margaritas and it's time for a fresh batch.
Why? No one wants to use the blender until there's a commerical. She says she's not sure when they started this but it was probably a month or two after The Laura Flanders Show started. She wanted to share the show with her friends and she & two of her friends were tired of always having to explain why something was important to friends who only got their news from TV (which misses a whole hell of a lot). Saturdays and Sundays, they started throwing their Laura Flanders house parties. On Saturday's they usually go to "J"'s place, she writes, because it's the largest and Saturday's house party is always the largest since some people have committments (church, etc.) on Sunday evenings. But on Sundays, which they rotate in terms of hosting, they can still count on at least fourteen people regularly now.

Liang: It can get loud and energetic with people agreeing or disagreeing but it's a lot of fun and most of the time we hold discussions until the commercial breaks. Most of the time.

Liang says it's a way to stay informed, share and make sure everyone's on the same page information wise. She says that if you're someone who spends all week explaining what the mainstream media isn't telling us to your friends, you might want to hold a house party during The Laura Flanders Show.

Liang: It'll allow your conversations during the week to start right up with no dropping back to give someone the basics. Everyone's up to speed.

Sounds like a great idea to me. Here's what you can expect this weekend:

This weekend on Air America Radio, 7-10 PM EST
Clerics in Control – from Baghdad to the Beltway.
Are we at a watershed for small as well as big D Democrats?
CHRIS HEDGES, author of
Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America, has the scoop on the squeeze Christianists are putting on the President.
Wall Street Journal’s
FARNAZ FASSIHI reports from the mosque-war over the constitution in Iraq.
We revive our media roundtable of criticism/self criticism by journalists.
And we’ll have
The COWBOY JUNKIES live in studio with their new anti-war CD, Early 21st Century Blues.
Don't Forget - You can listen to past broadcasts of the Laura Flanders Show:
Download archived shows HERE or Subscribe to the Free PODCAST through the iTunes Music Store
Go to the Laura Flanders Blog

Chris Hedges writes for Mother Jones and other publications now. Most probably know him either from his reporting for the New York Times or from his book explorations on the topic of war and how it effects us (including those who cover it). Farnaz Fassihi isn't a name I'm recognizing (though when I hear Fassihi's voice, I'll probably remember an earlier appearance on The Laura Flanders Show). And The Cowboy Junkies. Never has a group done more with Lou Reed, than the Junkies did with "Sweet Jane." That's not their only solid track. But I wasn't aware they had an anti-war CD out. I'll run to Tower and see if we can do a discussion of it for The Third Estate Sunday Review.

Maria always encourages you to share and Liang does as well. The reason is because knowledge is power. So take some time this weekend to listen to The Laura Flanders Show which you can listen to over broadcast radio (if there's an AAR in your area), via XM Satellite Radio (channel 167) or listen online. It's a program that airs Saturdays and Sundays. (Sundays is not a rebroadcast unless the show is on vacation.)

C.I. and Shirley will grind their teeth if I don't include the e-mail address: is the public e-mail address. Members should remember to use the private e-mail address.

Descenso histórico del apoyo a Bush- 2% entre los afrodescendientes (Democracy Now!)

Maria: Hola. De parte de "Democracy Now!" once cosas que vale hacer notar este fin de semana. Paz.

Descenso histórico del apoyo a Bush- 2% entre los afrodescendientes.
Mientras tanto, la última encuesta sobre el Presidente Bush indica que lo que algunos analistas dicen podría resultar ser una de las caídas libres más grandes en la historia de encuestas presidenciales. Según una nueva encuesta realizada por NBC/Wall Street Journal, el porcentaje de afrodescendientes que apoyan la labor de Bush disminuyó al 2 por ciento. Se cree que esa caída es la clave del descenso en el apoyo de la totalidad de la población que fue del 39 por ciento, el mayor en todo su mandato. Unos meses después de los atentados del 11 de septiembre, la encuesta realizada por NBC/Wall Street Journal indicó que el índice de aprobación entre la población negra era del 51 por ciento. Sólo seis meses atrás, era de un 19 por ciento. Las últimas cifras se atribuyen en parte al manejo del gobierno del huracán Katrina y sus repercusiones. La encuesta también indica que sólo el 29 por ciento de la población considera que Harriet Miers, postulada por Bush para la Corte Suprema, esta calificada para trabajar en la corte suprema del país.

Informe: la Casa Blanca ignoró advertencias de la CIA sobre Irak
Un nuevo estudio de la CIA sobre Irak concluyó que la Casa Blanca ignoró una advertencia hecha por esa agencia de inteligencia antes de la guerra, acerca del gran caos que se produciría en Irak luego de un derrocamiento de Saddam Hussein. El informe indica que los responsables de definir las políticas del gobierno de Bush se preocuparon más por justificar la guerra, particularmente con la afirmación de que Irak tenía armas de destrucción masiva, que por prever sus consecuencias.

Nueva encuesta: 59% de estadounidenses quieren retirar soldados de Irak
Mientras tanto, una nueva encuesta realizada por CBS News indica que el 59 por ciento de los estadounidenses quieren que los soldados de Estados Unidos salgan de Irak lo antes posible, aunque el país asiático no esté completamente estable; eso representa un aumento del siete por ciento en relación con el mes pasado. Faltan cuatro días para que los iraquíes voten en el referéndum de un proyecto de nueva Constitución elaborado por el gobierno de transición.

Videoconferencia de Bush con soldados arreglada
Se dio a conocer que la conferencia televisada a nivel nacional que mantuvo el martes el Presidente Bush con los soldados estadounidenses que se encuentran en la ciudad de Tikrit, en Irak, estaba arreglada de ante mano. La Casa Blanca había dicho que el evento sería una conversación espontánea con los soldados, pero el video tomado por el satélite antes del evento desmintió esas afirmaciones. Las respuestas de los diez soldados estadounidenses y del soldado iraquí que participaron en la conferencia, fueron preparadas antes del evento por la Secretaria del Departamento de Defensa, Allison Barber. Barber se paró en el podio de la Casa Blanca donde más tarde estaría Bush y leyó parte del discurso de apertura, y luego dio a conocer las preguntas que haría Bush. En algunos casos, sugería posibles respuestas a los soldados.
A sólo días del referéndum constitucional en Irak, y con la popularidad del Presidente Bush en descenso, la Casa Blanca claramente quería que este evento diera la impresión de que el plan de Estados Unidos en Irak estaba avanzando.
En la videoconferencia Bush dijo: "Ustedes derrotan a una filosofía oscura con una esperanzadora. Y esa filosofía esperanzadora, se basa en la libertad universal. Estoy muy impresionado con el hecho de que el gobierno iraquí tenga una constitución que atraiga a los sunitas, chiitas y kurdos. Trabajaron duro para tener una Constitución y ahora la gente de Irak podrá votar nuevamente en el referéndum constitucional."
Durante la breve conferencia, los soldados seleccionados cuidadosamente elogiaron excesivamente al presidente. En una ocasión, uno de ellos le dijo: "Comenzamos nuestra lucha contra el terrorismo tras el 11 de septiembre, y estamos orgullosos de continuarla aquí". Pero un momento revelador se produjo cuando Bush le pidió a los soldados que hicieran comentarios sobre su interacción con los civiles iraquíes y el Sargento David Williams sólo pudo citar un comentario de otra persona:
"Señor, la semana pasada estaba con mi compañero iraquí en la ciudad de Tikrit, y él recorría el lugar hablando con los residentes locales. Según lo que me dijo, estas personas le dijeron que los iraquíes están preparados y deseosos de votar en el referéndum".
La videoconferencia se produjo en Tikrit, pueblo del cual es originario Saddam Hussein, al que Bush admitió no poder visitar por razones de seguridad.
Curiosamente, Tikrit fue el telón de fondo de muchas videos de propaganda de Saddam Hussein. La única función del soldado iraquí que estaba presente en la conferencia, Sargento Akeel, fue decirle al presidente Bush: "Usted me cae bien".
Cuando se conoció que el evento estaba arreglado, periodistas colocaron en apuros al portavoz de la Casa Blanca, Scott McClellan, al realizarle preguntas directas sobre la preparación:
Mr. McClellan: Disculpe, ¿está sugiriendo que lo que nuestros soldados dijeron no fue sincero o que lo que expresaron no fueron sus propias opiniones?
En lo absoluto. Sólo pregunto por que fue necesario prepararlos.
Mr. McClellan: Bien, en cuanto al evento de hoy temprano, éste fue realizado para resaltar un hito de la historia de Irak, y para darle al Presidente una vez más, la oportunidad de expresarle nuestro agradecimiento por todo lo que nuestros soldados están haciendo para defender la libertad, por su valentía y sacrificio.

Informe: "Scooter" Libby engañó a fiscales en caso de filtración de la CIA
En Washington crece la especulación de que Lewis "Scooter" Libby, jefe de personal del Vicepresidente Dick Cheney, y Karl Rove, principal asesor del Presidente Bush, podrían ser acusados por un fiscal federal que investiga la revelación de la identidad de la agente de la CIA Valerie Plame. El periodista de investigación Murray Wass informa en el National Journal que Libby no mencionó al Gran Jurado la conversación que mantuvo con la periodista Judith Miller, del New York Times, en junio de 2003, semanas antes que el nombre de Plame se diera a conocer por primera vez. El Fiscal Federal Patrick Fizgerald se enteró de la existencia de esa conversación luego de que Miller anunció la semana pasada que había encontrado unas notas sobre la misma. Fitzgerald, que investiga el caso desde hace dos años, pidió a Miller que testificara hoy nuevamente ante el Gran Jurado. Mientras tanto, el periódico Wall Street Journal informa que ese pedido de Fitzgerald sugiere que podría estar investigando no sólo el caso de filtración de la identidad de la agente, sino que también uno más amplio de conspiración. El periódico considera probable que por lo menos parte del caso se relacione con el trabajo interno de lo que fue llamado El Grupo de Irak de la Casa Blanca, creado para "vender" la guerra de Irak a la población estadounidense. Libby y Rove desempeñaban papeles destacados en ese grupo. La identidad de Plame fue revelada luego que su esposo, el embajador Joseph Wilson, dijo públicamente que el gobierno de Bush había mentido cuando afirmo que Irak intentaba comprar uranio enriquecido a Níger para construir armas nucleares. Wilson acusa desde hace tiempo a la Casa Blanca de haber revelado que su esposa era agente en un esfuerzo para desprestigiarlo.

SEC demanda registros contables de Frist
La Comisión de Valores y Bolsa (SEC, por sus siglas en inglés) citó al líder de la mayoría del Senado, Dr. Bill Frist, para que entregue sus registros contables acerca de su reciente venta de acciones de la Corporación de Hospitales de América (HCA, por sus siglas en inglés), compañía fundada por su familia. La SEC investiga si Frist violó las leyes de transacciones bursátiles cuando vendió las acciones de la HCA poco antes de que cayera su precio. La HCA es la corporación de hospitales privados más grande del país.

Más de 2.000 niños cumplen cadena perpetua sin libertad condicional en Estados Unidos
Un nuevo informe de Amnistía Internacional y Human Rights Watch descubrió que en Estados Unidos más de 2.200 niños fueron sentenciados a cadena perpetua sin la posibilidad de libertad condicional. El informe menciona a Virginia, Louisiana y Michigan como los estados más agresivos en imponer dichas condenas. La práctica es prohibida en muchos países y por el derecho internacional, en virtud de la Convención de Derechos del Niño de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas. En Estados Unidos, se halló que los jóvenes afrodescendientes tienen diez veces más probabilidades de ser condenados a cadena perpetua sin libertad condicional, que los jóvenes blancos.

Numero de muertes en Guatemala supera los 2.000
En Guatemala, el número de muertes por deslizamientos de tierra causados por el huracán Stan sobrepasó las 2.000. Los grupos de rescate suspendieron ayer la búsqueda de cientos de personas atrapadas durante seis días bajo el barro que se ha ido solidificando. La agencia de noticias France Press informa que 2.055 personas murieron solamente en Guatemala. Otras 42 murieron en México, 72 en El Salvador y 11 en Nicaragua. Los dirigentes guatemaltecos presentaron un pedido oficial de ayuda por valor de más de 21 millones de dólares a la Organización de las Naciones Unidas. Según informa el Washington Post, funcionarios dijeron que 107.000 personas estaban viviendo en refugios y que Guatemala necesitará cerca de 22.000 toneladas de comida durante los próximos tres meses.

Reclusos de la prisión de Guantánamo comienzan tercer mes de huelga de hambre
Reclusos de la prisión estadounidense de Bahía de Guantánamo ingresaron a su tercer mes de huelga de hambre. Al menos 22 prisioneros fueron hospitalizados y son alimentados por la fuerza mediante sondas nasales e intravenosas. Hay discrepancias acerca del número de detenidos que participan en la huelga de hambre. El Centro de Derechos Constitucionales calcula que 210 reclusos están en huelga de hambre, mientras que los militares estadounidenses dicen que 130 participaron en la huuelga de hambre, pero solamente 26 aún se niegan a comer.

Miles de personas participan en marcha del silencio en Los Ángeles
En Los Ángeles, miles de personas se reunieron el sábado para realizar una marcha silenciosa encabezada por el monje budista Thich Nhat Hanh, que fue postulado al Premio Nobel de la Paz en 1967 por Martin Luther King Jr. Una de las personas que participaron en la marcha fue Cindy Sheehan, quien perdió a su hijo en Irak el año pasado.

Murió la activista por los derechos civiles Vivian Jones
Falleció Vivian Malone Jones. Es más conocida por haber sido una de las estudiantes afrodescendientes que se enfrentó a la segregación en Alabama mediante su esfuerzo de inscribirse en la Universidad estatal en 1963. Esta acción llevó a la impopular actitud del entonces gobernador Wallace de resistirse a admitir estudiantes negros. Jones y James Hood, acompañados por el vice fiscal general de Estados Unidos, se inscribieron luego de que Wallace concluyera su discurso. Jones se convirtió en la primera mujer afrodescendiente en graduarse de la Universidad de Alabama. Murió a los 63 años.

Maria: Hello. In English now, here are eleven headlines from this week's Democracy Now! and please make a point to share with your friends that Democracy Now! provides the headlines in English and in Spanish, in audio format and in text. Peace.

Bush Approval at All-time Low—2% Among African-Americans
Meanwhile, the latest poll on President Bush shows what some analysts are saying may turn out to be one of the biggest free-falls in the history of presidential polling. According to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Bush's job-approval rating among African Americans has dropped to 2 percent. That drop is thought to be key in Bush's overall approval ratings falling to an all-time low of 39 percent. A few months after 9/11, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found Bush's approval rating among Blacks at 51 percent. As recently as six months ago, it was at 19 percent. The latest numbers are attributed in part to the government's handling of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The poll also found that just 29 percent of people think Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is qualified to serve on the nation's highest court.

Report: White House Ignored CIA’s Iraq Warnings
A newly released CIA study on Iraq has concluded that the White House ignored a pre-war CIA assessment warning of major chaos in Iraq after the removal of Saddam Hussein. The report found that policymakers within the Bush administration worried more about making the case for the war -- particularly the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction -- than planning for the aftermath.

New Poll: 59% of U.S. Wants Troops Out of Iraq
Meanwhile, a new CBS News poll shows that 59 percent of Americans want US troops to leave Iraq as soon as possible, even if the country is not completely stable, an increase from 52 percent last month. Iraqis are four days away from voting in a nation-wide referendum on a new constitution drafted by the transitional government.

Bush Videoconference With Troops Staged
It has emerged that President Bush's nationally televised videoconference with US troops in Tikrit, Iraq on Thursday was scripted beforehand. The White House had painted the event as an impromptu conversation with the troops, but video from the satellite feed before the event gave lie to those claims. The ten US soldiers and one Iraqi were coached in their answers before the event by Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Allison Barber. She stood at the White House podium where Bush would later stand, she read part of his opening remarks and then proceeded to outline the questions Bush would ask. At times, she suggested phrasing for the soldiers' responses. With the referendum on Iraq's constitution just days away and President Bush's popularity plummeting, the White House clearly wanted this event to give the impression that the US plan in Iraq was moving forward.
President Bush, "You defeat a backwards dark philosophy with one that is hopeful. And that hopeful philosophy is one that is based on universal freedom. I'm very impressed at the Iraqi government to have a constitution that attracts Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. They worked hard to get a constitution and now the people of Iraq are going to get to vote again, on a constitution."
During the brief videoconference, the handpicked soldiers appeared to fawn over the president. At one point, one told him,"We began our fight against terrorism in the wake of 9/11, and we're proud to continue it here." But a telling moment came when Bush asked the soldiers to comment about their interactions with Iraqi civilians and Captain David Williams could only cite a second hand account:
Capt. David Williams, "Sir, I was with my Iraqi counterpart in the city of Tikrit last week, and he was going around talking to the locals. And from what he told me that the locals told him, the Iraqi people are ready and eager to vote in this referendum."
The videoconference was set in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, which Bush lightly acknowledged he could not safely visit. Interestingly, Tikrit was the backdrop for many of Saddam Hussein's propaganda videos. There was one Iraqi present for the videoconference, Sergeant major Akeel, whose only role was to tell President Bush "I like you."
When it emerged that the event was staged, reporters grilled White House spokesperson Scott McClellan, asking him directly about the coaching:
MR. MCCLELLAN: I'm sorry, are you suggesting that what our troops were saying was not sincere, or what they said was not their own thoughts?
Q: Nothing at all. I'm just asking why it was necessary to coach them.
MR. MCCLELLAN: Well, in terms of the event earlier today, the event was set up to highlight an important milestone in Iraq's history, and to give the President an opportunity to, once again, express our appreciation for all that our troops are doing when it comes to defending freedom, and their courage and their sacrifice.

Report: 'Scooter' Libby Misled Prosecutors In CIA Leak Case
Speculation is growing in Washington that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby and President Bush's top advisor Karl Rove could soon be indicted by a federal prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Investigative Journalist Murray Waas is reporting in the National Journal that Libby failed to tell the grand jury about a discussion he had with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in June 2003 - weeks before Plame's name first appeared in the press. Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald only learned of the discussion after Miller announced last week that she had discovered a set of notes on the conversation. Fitzgerald, who has been investigating the case for nearly two years, has now asked Miller to testify again today before the grand jury. Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports Fitzgerald's pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent's name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy. The Journal reports at least part of the outcome likely hangs on the inner workings of what has been dubbed the White House Iraq Group which was set up to sell the Iraq war to the American public. Libby and Rove were instrumental in the group. Plame's name was leaked only after her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly revealed that the Bush administration had lied when it claimed Iraq was trying to purchase enriched uranium from the country of Niger in order to build nuclear weapons. Wilson has long accused the White House of outing his wife as an agent in an effort to smear him.

SEC Subpoenas Frist’s Financial Records
The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist to hand over personal financial records related to his recent sale of stock in his family’s company HCA, the Hospital Corporation of America. The SEC is investigating whether Frist violated insider trader laws when he sold off HCA stock shortly before the company’s stock value fell. HCA is the largest private hospital corporation in the country.

More Than 2,000 Kids Serving Life Without Parole in US
A new report by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch has found that in the United States more than 2,200 children have been given life sentences without the possibility of parole. The report names Virginia, Louisiana and Michigan as the most aggressive in imposing such sentences. The practice is outlawed in many countries and by international law, under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Across the US, African American youth were found to be 10 times more likely to receive life without parole than white youth.

Death Toll Passes 2,000 in Guatemala
In Guatemala, the death toll from mudslides caused by Hurricane Stan has passed 2,000 people. Rescuers called off their search yesterday for hundreds of people trapped for six days beneath solidifying mud. Agence France Presse reports 2,055 were killed in Guatemala alone. Forty-two others were killed in Mexico, 72 in El Salvador and 11 in Nicaragua. Guatemalan leaders have launched an appeal to the United Nations for over $21 million in aid. The Washington Post reports officials said about 107,000 people were living in shelters and the country would need about 22,000 tons of food over the next three months.

Guantanamo Hunger Strike Enters Third Month
A hunger strike at the U.S.-run prison camp at Guantanamo Bay has entered its third month. At least 22 detainees have been hospitalized and are being force fed through nasal tubes and IVs. The number of detainees taking part in the hunger strike is in dispute. The Center for Constitutional Rights estimates 210 detainees are on hunger strike. The U.S. military says that as many as 130 took part in the strike but that only 26 are still refusing to eat.

Thousands Take Part in Silent Peace March in LA
In Los Angeles, thousands gathered on Saturday for a silent peace march led by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 by Martin Luther King Jr. Among those in attendance was Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq last year.

Civil Rights Activist Vivian Jones Dies
Vivian Malone Jones has died. She is best known for being one of two African-American students who challenged segregation in Alabama with their effort to enroll at the state University in 1963. The move led to then-Gov. Wallace's infamous stand in defiance of orders to admit black students. Jones and James Hood, accompanied by a Deputy U.S. Attorney General enrolled after Wallace finished his statement and left. Jones went on to become the first African American to graduate from the University of Alabama. She died at the age of 63.

NYT: "Bush Adviser Goes Before Grand Jury Again" (David Johnston & Richard W. Stevenson)

Mr. Rove's testimony on Friday was the first time that he appeared before the panel since a Time magazine reporter, Matthew Cooper, told the grand jury in July about his telephone conversation with Mr. Rove on July 11, 2003.
Initially, Mr. Rove told investigators about only one conversation with a reporter - when he spoke with Robert D. Novak on July 9, 2003, as Mr. Novak was preparing a column, published on July 14, 2003, which disclosed the C.I.A. officer's name. Only later did Mr. Rove recall the conversation with Mr. Cooper, an omission which has long been of interest to the prosecutor, and was a focus of the questioning on Friday, the lawyers said.
Mr. Rove's appearance before the grand jury came as the special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, was weighing whether to charge anyone with a crime in the leak case before Oct. 28, when the term of the grand jury expires.

The above is from David Johnston and Richard W. Stevenson's "Bush Adviser Goes Before Grand Jury Again" in this morning's New York Times. The article states that Rove did not return to his White Office after testifying and (my summary and opinion) Scotty went on spin defense. The article states that "a mood of foreboding gripped many Republicans in Washington" but someone forgot to tell Little Big Man Timmy Russert who doesn't have Plamegate as a scheduled topic of discussion for Sunday's Meet the Press.

While one fluffer does okay today (Stevenson), David E. Sanger embarrasses himself. But he's stuck with James Risen and the Times is responsible. The article's entitled "G.I.'s and Syrians in Tense Clashes on Iraqi Border." Risen's stock has not risen, it's sunk. He collaborated with the CIA on a book which came out in 2004 (it didn't sell well). He was allowed to work on it for years, with the CIA having control over the editing, while the Times still allowed him to cover the CIA.

When people at the Times gripe about how it's not just Judy Miller, some often bring up his name. For the record, a real reporter doesn't cede editorial control to the topic they're covering. For the record, a paper doesn't allow someone dependent upon the CIA's largess to cover the CIA. But both things happened and Risen is laughed about and mocked in ways that pale in comparison to Miller. (That's not my defending Judith Miller. Mock, mock freely. But the point with regards to stenography is that Risen is i.d.ed by some at the paper as one of the worst.)

He gets to churn out a long article (with Sanger). Reading it you have to wonder why Michael R. Gordon didn't put his name to it. It's guilty of all the things Miller's writing was. (And Gordon often shared a byline with Miller on that WMD reporting though some who know better pretend not to remember.) And like a student of Hack U (see "Rudith Miller"), Risen knows to offer dissent well into the article (the long article) so that later on he can say, "Well I quoted dissenting voices" (yes, way, way down, in the long, long article).

But how did this article get into the Times to begin with considering their policies?
It's riddled with anonymice. Someone set the traps!

1) One of Mr. Bush's most senior aides, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject . . .

2) But other officials . . .

3) Some current and former officials add . . .

4) Increasingly, officials say, . . .

5) . . . none of those who discussed the subject would allow themselves to be identified. They included military officers, civilian officials and people who are otherwise actively involved in military operations or have close ties to Special Operations forces.

6) A military official who spoke with . . .

7) American officials say Mr. Bush . . .

8) . . . said one senior official, using . . .

9) . . . added a senior official involved in the discussion.

10) Some other current and former officials suggest . . .

11) Several senior administration officials said . . .

12) According to people . . .

13) . . . said one former United States official . . .

14) Some hawks in the administration . . .

15) Other American official . . .

16) . . . said a senior administration official . . .

17) The official added . . .

18) Some current and former administration officials say . . .

19) . . . the American officials say . . .

20) . . . a senior official said . . .

21) Some current and former United States military and intelligence officials who said . . .

22) One former United States official with access to recent intelligence . . .

23) This former intelligence official said . . .

24) . . . the former intelligence official said . . .

Twenty-four anonymous quotes? If this were blackjack, they'd lose their chips. Instead, the Times gives them a pat on the back.

How desperate are they for an on the record quote? They dub "recent" a public remark made on September 12th. (Reminder today is October 15th, over a month later.) Thank God for television (such as CNN) or they wouldn't have any quotes to put a name to.

What is the article about? Forget what it tells you, what is it about?

The rumors I've heard (from friends at the paper) is that Cheney's team is at war with Bully Boy's over how to handle Syria. (Bully Boy has no opinion, or he's keeping it close to the vest.)
This article is attempting to cover both camps. Who lost out? The rumor is Bully Boy's. They're the "dissenting voices" heard rarely in the article.

Now that may or may not be true. And normally when the phone calls come in from friends at the paper, I laugh with them and don't include it here. But this article, with 24 anonymice, begs for speculation.

So since the Times can't provide readers with a sense of who's saying what, we'll note that the whispers at the paper are that this is "an intermural, White House face off." (I didn't come up with that sports analogy -- please, I write without a cup.) The reason for caution (which doesn't mean no to war, only to smaller groups) is because Bully Boy's faction is worried about the poll hits. Cheney's faction (which includes Rumsfeld and his people) aren't worried about polls.

Bully Boy's faction favors squads sent in undercover, the rumor is. Cheney's favors full frontal (and would we expect anything less from Cheney after the "appendage" photo?).

That's what was passed on to me. Is it true? Who knows? You can't tell a damn thing from this article.

Again, bad morning re: phone calls coming in. I'm going to post this entry and that'll be it until much later today. We will note The Laura Flanders Show before it begins airing.

No post called "Other Items" and no additional links offered due to the fact that there is just not time at present. My apologies.

The e-mail address for this site is On Plamegate, to make up for these morning entries, I'll note this question needs to be asked: Where did Miller find the notes re: earlier conversation with Scoots? January 2004 may hold part of the answer. (It's a puzzle, like a jumble. Put on your thinking caps.)

NYT: "Review for Payments to Commentator" (Anne E. Kornblut)

The United States attorney's office is investigating whether a conservative commentator hired by the Department of Education to promote the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind initiative performed all the work for which he was paid, a spokesman confirmed Friday.
"We're reviewing the matter," said Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the United States attorney in Washington. He declined to elaborate.

Who is Anne E. Kornblut reporting on in "Review for Payments to Commentator"?

Armstrong Williams who may or may not have done the work he was paid for (with tax dollars), work that was a proganda effort on the government's part.

It's a small article. Tiny. Much more important to hear from the "Safe In My Greenzone" twosome.

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Sunday Chat & Chews

It's not news, it's the Sunday Chat & Chews.

Yes, it's that time again. Where some delude themselves that real conversations take place on their TV sets. If you're one of those afflicted with the delusion, check your local listings for air time.

At NBC's Meet the Press, Timmy Russert intends to trip back to the nineties by engaging in some Clinton hating. He'll chat and chew on it with Louis Freeh aka "I am not responsible!" (By the way, we never did get the promised breakdown of Freeh at a site, everyone knows which one I mean. We got trash women. We got an excuse and a promise that never panned out and by the end of the week, apparently, it was time to go through the mail for invites and pull out the yearbook for shout outs. But no Freeh. Now that he's an announced guest for Sunday, don't be surprised to see a rush post from someone who goofed off all week and suddenly wants to weigh in and act as though he's been on the job.)

When not pleasuring himself by trashing Clinton, Timmy will have Condi back! Will they make football bets again! It's always the most pressing issues on Meet Timmy! Here's a thought. If we're discussing the charter, why not bring on people to explain the charter. Not Condi to tell us what's what (which is practically how MTP announces it) and Carl Levin "for the Democratic view" but how about some historians who've read the charter (all versions of it)? No roundtable. Is there concern Timmy can no longer fit around one?

That's why you'll never get reality in the chat & chews. It's all about who they can cozy up to (the hosts). But people persit in watching this nonsense.

ABC's This Week offer Zalmay Khalilzad to weigh in on Iraq. How long was he wrong about Afghanistan? (When was he ever right?) But he's brought on and given ample time to spin. The Sunday Chat & Chews are a consquence free zone. He'll tell you we've turned a corner.
Jack Reed will also talk Iraq. Richard Ben-Veniste and Joseph diGenova will talk Plamegate (and give Steph credit for that -- what you thought Baby Timmy would finally break his silence?). Martha Raddatz reports "on the ground in Baghdad." Which means safe from the Green Zone. And more "Things are looking up" reporting because no one will tell you of life outside the Green Zone or the continued and continual upheavals everywhere outside the Green Zone. They can't report what they can't see.

All the mainstream reporters need to start singing "Safe In My Green Zone" to the tune of "Safe In My Garden" (the Mamas and the Papas off the album The Papas and the Mamas, written by John Phillips).

"Finally, Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein; Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International; and ABC News' George Will join me for a roundtable discussion on Iraq, continued confirmation troubles for Harriet Miers, and the CIA leak investigation and its implications for the White House."

Why does This Week have more guests and more planned segments? If Condi and Timmy are going to play macho and talk up football, the time has to come out of something else, people!

Face The Nation (and CBS) have finally left the service ramp and started down the information highway -- meaning they've retooled the web site. They'll discuss the CIA leak and Miers. Guests will be Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel, reporters Doyle McManus (LA Times), Jan Greenburg (Chicago Tribune) and Lara Logan (CBS news).

Two shows tackle Plamegate the week Rove is yet again called in. And Timmy? Is he silent or is he just stuffing his face? Regardless, Meet the Press has shown no real interest in the topic and viewers still haven't gotten an explanation from Russert about his own involvement. But by God, he will have Condi and he will have football.

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Democracy Now: Michael Eric Dyson, Russell Simmons, Larry Hamm, Julianne Malveaux; Margaret Kimberley,

Apparently, we need a little house cleaning.
First of all we'll start with Rod because a) he is a member and b) he didn't complain.
Rod wrote this morning to note Amy Goodman's Un-embed the Media tour.  Here are appearances for tomorrow and Sunday:

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Sat, Oct 15
NewLife Expo
New Yorker Hotel
34th St. and 8th Ave.
New York, NY
Keynote speech
For tickets and more information, visit:

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Sun, Oct 16
2005 Annual Fall Party
Dos Pueblos:
NY-Tipitapa (Nicaragua) Sister City Project
503 West 120 Street (between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway)
New York, NY
Music by John Fisher, Jim Rogers, and Ben Silver
For more information:
(mail) Dos Pueblos, 2565 Broadway, #173; New York, NY 10025
This morning was ringing phones and madness so this got overlooked.  My apologies to Rod.
Where next? Let's deal with morning calls while I was attempting to do this morning's entries.
One thing taking up time this morning was in the Times.  A number of friends called feeling that Dean E. Murphy short changed Warren Beatty in a front page story.  I agree.  You're talking about a lifetime of activism and committment and Deanie (again, am I the only one who thinks Splendor in the Grass due to that byline?) can't recognize it.  But that's the issue with the Times.  If this were Bill Gates, they would have bent over backwards to list everything.  They don't grasp the way the entertainment industry works or that their slight (if they even grasp it) of Beatty today will cause problems.  (And should.  There's no excuse for it.)  It's their grave, they're just determined to dig it deeper and deeper. 
There was a second topic of this morning's calls.  I need something confirmed on that so we'll postpone it for now.
Jess was dealing with the public e-mail account today.  He advises me that apparently not everyone reads well.  So I guess I need to speak very slowly.
If someone else writes something about you and you are unhappy, take it up with them.
If there's something up at this site (The Common Ills), you can gripe all you want.  But I have no interest in your whining about something someone else posted somewhere else.  I'm not responsible for it.
That seems pretty clear to me.  It seems clear to Jess.  But it's not clear to someone who writes today.  (Or late yesterday -- Jess found it this morning in the public e-mail account.)
One more time, if someone writes something that offends you or hurts your feelings, if I didn't write it, it's not my concern.  Use the e-mail option at the site you read and respond to that person via e-mail.
Antiwar Playwright Wins Nobel Prize for Literature
An Antiwar British playwright has won the 2005 Nobel Prize for literature. Harold Pinter is known for his activism and writing against the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. He has called British Prime Minister Tony Blair a "deluded idiot" and President Bush a "mass murderer."
Civil Rights Activist Vivian Jones Dies
Vivian Malone Jones has died. She is best known for being one of two African-American students who challenged segregation in Alabama with their effort to enroll at the state University in 1963. The move led to then-Gov. Wallace's infamous stand in defiance of orders to admit black students. Jones and James Hood, accompanied by a Deputy U.S. Attorney General enrolled after Wallace finished his statement and left. Jones went on to become the first African American to graduate from the University of Alabama. She died at the age of 63.
Bush Approval at All-time Low--2% Among African-Americans
Meanwhile, the latest poll on President Bush shows what some analysts are saying may turn out to be one of the biggest free-falls in the history of presidential polling. According to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Bush's job-approval rating among African Americans has dropped to 2 percent. That drop is thought to be key in Bush's overall approval ratings falling to an all-time low of 39 percent. A few months after 9/11, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found Bush's approval rating among Blacks at 51 percent. As recently as six months ago, it was at 19 percent. The latest numbers are attributed in part to the government's handling of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The poll also found that just 29 percent of people think Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is qualified to serve on the nation's highest court.
The above three items are from Democracy Now!'s Headlines and were selected by Liang, Amanda and Brady.
Headlines for October 14, 2005

- Bush Videoconference With Troops Staged
- McClellan Says Helen Thomas Against War on Terror
- Bush Approval at All-time Low
- Russia Raids Kill Scores
- Antiwar Playwright Wins Nobel Prize for Literature
- New Spy Agency in US
- Jeb Bush Promotes Judge From 2000 Recount
- Civil Rights Activist Vivian Jones Dies
Russell Simmons, Larry Hamm and Julianne Malveaux on the Millions More Movement

Ten years after the Million Man march, the Millions More Movement is heading to Washington DC. This time around the event is open to women and is supported by a broad coalition of groups. We speak with grassroots organizer Larry Hamm, economist Julianne Malveaux and Russell Simmons, founder of Hip Hop label Def Jam records. [includes rush transcript - partial]
Professor Preacher Michael Eric Dyson on the State of the Country: "Some of Us are In First Class, But The Plane Is In Trouble"

We play an address by professor and preacher Michael Eric Dyson speaking at the first annual Unvarnished Truth Awards in Washington D.C. Dyson says, "If you're in the plane, being in first class ain't going to stop you from going down with the rest of us. When there is turbulence, there is turbulence everywhere. Everybody be shaking. If that plane goes down, you might die first in first class. Yes, some of us are in first class, but the plane is in trouble."
Keesha e-mails to note Margaret Kimberley's "Porn in High Places" (The Black Commentator):

Occupations are inherently oppressive. You can't take over someone else's country without breaking bodies, homes and dignity. We saw a brief glimpse of the humiliation and violence waged against Iraqis when photos of abuse and death at Abu Ghraib prison were first made public. As awful as those images were, there are more to come that are apparently much, much worse.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the federal government to force the release of an additional 87 photographs and 4 videos. The feds took the position that the images will ruin America's image abroad and increase the likelihood of terror attacks. That is quite an admission of guilt.

It has been reported that these new photos may depict the sexual abuse of women and minors. If that is true it will be further proof that the U.S. is in fact the infidel, the great Satan and anything else that will cause aggrieved people to want to kill us all.

Speaking of photos and Iraq, the mixture of violence and sex recently exposed yet another incident that goes under the heading of "scandals that should have been but were swept under the rug." A patriotic porn meister offered access to his web site to anyone who submitted photographic evidence of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan. Some soldiers sent humdrum shots of Baghdad while others felt compelled to use gruesome images of bodies blown to bits.

Billie e-mails to note that The Progressive has posted an interview with Harold Pinter from 2001.  Here's an excerpt of "Harold Pinter Interview" by Anne-Marie Cusac:

Question: Early on, you didn't talk about some of your plays, like The Birthday Party, The Dumb Waiter, or The Hothouse, as political. But more recently you've started to talk about them that way. Why?

Harold Pinter: Well, they were political. I was aware that they were political, too. But at that time, at whatever age I was--in my twenties--I was not a joiner. I had been a conscientious objector, you know, when I was eighteen. But I was a pretty independent young man, and I didn't want to get up on a soapbox. I wanted to let the plays speak for themselves, and if people didn't get it, to hell with it.

Q: Did you feel that if you got up on a soapbox it would take away from the art?

Pinter: Yeah, I thought it would, really. As I said, I thought the plays would speak for themselves. But they didn't.

Q: What was your experience like as a conscientious objector?

Pinter: I was quite resolute. This was 1948, I remind you. And I was simply not, absolutely not, going to join the army. Because I had seen the Cold War beginning before the hot war was over. I knew the atom bomb had been a warning to the Soviet Union. I had two tribunals and two trials. I was prepared to go to prison. I was eighteen. It was a civil offense, you know, not a criminal offense. I had the same magistrate at both trials, and he fined me twice. My father had to find the money, which was a lot of money at the time, but he did. But I took my toothbrush with me to court both times. I was prepared to go to prison.

And I haven't changed a bit, I have to say.

Q: And your family?

Pinter: They were very upset by it. My God, yes. I mean it was a disgrace. But they stood by me, nevertheless. You know, in those days, one did what one was told. This was national service; it was conscription. And that was that. You went into the army.

Q: What changed your way of approaching your plays?

Pinter: I changed myself. I became less and less reticent about saying what I felt, and therefore I was able to talk about the plays in a slightly different way, too.

I really did have a great jolt in 1973, when the Pinochet coup overthrew Allende. It really knocked me, as they say, for six. I was appalled and disgusted by it. And I knew how the CIA and the U.S. were behind the whole damn thing. And of course now, surprise, surprise, the documents come out confirming this.

So, anyway, in '73, that really jolted me into another kind of political life. Now what happened to my plays, I don't know. I've written plays which have nothing to do with politics, during the seventies, one or two. I've always had a number of lines going in my life. And I don't write plays, you know, to do with party politics.

You'll have to ask one of those professors how to define what I'm doing because it's difficult for me.


In June the Supreme Court started the clock ticking on a potential political time bomb. In Kelo v. New London, the Court ruled five to four that local governments could use their power of eminent domain to take private property, including homes, to promote economic development. The decision broke no new legal ground, but it did stir up opposition across the political spectrum, yielding a potential windfall for the right-wing libertarian movement for "property rights."

Under the Constitution, government can take property for "public use"--for projects like roads, schools and hospitals--if it pays "just compensation." For more than a century, courts have interpreted "public use" to include public purpose or benefit, like clearing a slum or helping a utility or railroad obtain right-of-way.

Over the past half-century or more, local governments have used eminent domain to promote local economic development, creating more jobs and generating needed revenue. While everyone agrees that government can't arbitrarily transfer one owner's property to another owner, the controversy arises over what kind of public benefits, if any, can justify such a transfer. From both left and right, critics have accused government of abusing its power of eminent domain by taking homes and small businesses from the less affluent or less powerful and transferring them to big corporations--much as Detroit did in 1980 when it razed the working-class Poletown neighborhood and displaced more than 3,400 people to clear land for a new General Motors factory. On the other hand, it's rare when eminent domain is even proposed to take over, say, a factory being shut down by a corporation and turn it over to community-worker ownership.

In Kelo, the court ruled that the economically depressed city of New London, Conn., had the power to take and pay for the property of a group of homeowners for a planned development that included a waterfront conference hotel, a marina, housing, and commercial and office space. But the majority also emphasized that the government’s power was legitimate because there was a deep public need and a well worked-out plan.

Troy e-mails to note Ron Jacobs' "The Black Panters Revisted" (CounterPunch):

If a single date can be assigned to an historical event that developed over the course of a decade, then October 15, 1966 would be the date given as the day that the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was formed by two young men in Oakland, California. Bobby Seale and Huey Newton--two Black brothers attending community college who were frustrated with the existing rights groups on campus, in large part because they did not speak to the concerns or emotions of African-American on the streets. It's not that they didn't want those groups to exist, it was that they needed to be more radical and address the issues of those black-skinned residents of the United States who lived in situations that not only put them at the mercy of the landlord and the welfare system, but turned their daily existence into a struggle (sometimes armed) with the police force. Of course, the police were (and are) nothing but the most obvious brutality of the system built on the enslavement of a people in the pursuit of profit and power that we know as the American way.

Contrary to popular myth, the Black Panther Party did not come out of their clubs and homes in the black communities of Oakland, California with their guns a-blazing. In fact, their first actions involved working with church and neighborhood groups to get a traffic light at an intersection near a school in East Oakland after a series of traffic fatalities involving young children and suburban Californians speeding through the neighborhood on their way home from work. The Oakland city government had consistently ignored the requests of these very same church and neighborhood groups for years, telling them that while that intersection was on their list, it would be a while before the city could afford to install a traffic light. The Panthers disagreed with that assessment and took direct action. They began directing traffic, stopping cars so that children and their parents could cross the street. At first the Oakland Police Department (OPD) attempted to shut down the traffic control operation, but when many church members and leaders joined in with the Panthers and their supporters, the OPD backed off. Soon afterwards, the city installed a traffic light at the intersection.

If one reads the Ten Point Program of the Panthers, they will not see a radical document that calls for the installment of a dictatorship of the proletariat or a program to install a racially designed anti-white regime. No, the demands merely demanded fairness and some reparations for the historic enslavement of African-Americans by the white-skinned rulers of the American colonies and the early United States. Sure, the Panthers saw the situation of black people in the US as comparable to that of a colony, but that perception is still not that much of a stretch even today, thirty-four years after the founding of the Party. One can argue the various theoretical inadequacies of this perception, but the general truth of the economic status of most African-Americans in today's world is this: they own little property; they are subject to the whims of the major capitalist and political powers that work hand in hand to keep power among the rich who are also mostly white skinned; in those arenas where they do produce goods or services, the control remains with the colonial (or neocolonial) power; and in terms of the culture of the colonized, it is expropriated, manipulated, and exploited.

Susan e-mails to note "In Memoriam: C. DeLores Tucker" (NOW):

Our movement lost a visionary leader yesterday, with the passing of Dr. C. DeLores Tucker, a tireless activist for women's rights and civil rights. "She had as heart as big as Pennsylvania, yet she was absolutely determined and unflappable. Whatever the issue, she had a laser-like focus on what needed to be done and you just couldn't say 'no' to her," said NOW President Kim Gandy.

Dr. Tucker marched from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., side-by-side with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1965 and soon became the first African-American women to serve as a Secretary of State (Pennsylvania, 1971-1977). Her efforts helped make Pennsylvania one of the first states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. As a member of the Democratic National Committee, Dr. Tucker was deeply involved in efforts to ensure that women were equally represented at all levels of the Democratic party, and she was a primary organizer of the women's caucus.


I'll close by noting that Kat's addressing a mistake by the New York Times Thursday as well as toys from her youth. 
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Other Items

Carl e-mails to note Philip Shenon's "Prosecutor Subpoenas Phone Data of DeLay" in this morning's New York Times:

The subpoenas, issued by the district attorney in Travis County, Tex., which includes Austin, the state capital, sought records for Mr. DeLay's home telephone number and for his campaign office, as well as for two phone numbers used by his daughter, a key political aide. The subpoenas sought information on long-distance calls made from or charged to the numbers.
The district attorney, Ronnie Earle, had no immediate comment on the subpoenas or their timing. The move appeared to be an effort to gather additional information that might tie Mr. DeLay, whose home is in Sugar Land, near Houston, to what Mr. Earle has described as a conspiracy in 2002 to undermine a state ban on the use of corporate money in local political campaigns.

Bill Richardson is headed to Korea. Steven R. Weisman has the details in this attempt at diplomacy in "A U.S. Democrat to Go to North Korea for Nuclear Talks" but note, when diplomacy is needed, the administration has to go outside the White House, outside their own party.

Does it make you wonder (even more) about the lack of competency in this administration? (Not that Richardson's going on the trip but that they have to go outside their party.) Richard W. Stevenson's "White House Dismisses Idea Of Withdrawal by Nominee" tells you Scotty says Harrie is not going anywhere:

In a series of heated exchanges with reporters at his daily news briefing that seemed to reflect the White House's frustration with the difficulties the nomination has encountered, Mr. McClellan said there had been too much focus by journalists on "side issues like religion" and not enough attention on "her record and her qualifications."

Side issue? Bully Boy made it an issue and it's now public record that he made it an issue in his efforts to shore up her support with fundamentalists.

Andy e-mails to note The New York Times' "In a Scripted TV Scene, Soldiers Reassure Bush" (TNYT is the byline for the story):

The event, stage-managed for television, came across as carefully scripted and a bit awkward, despite attempts to prepare the soldiers for what they would be asked and to give them time to think through their answers.
"How are they doing?" Mr. Bush asked one of the officers about the Iraqi security forces. "I mean, give us an assessment. One of the things, Captain, that people in America want to know is, one, do the Iraqis want to fight, and are they capable of fighting?"

Krista e-mails to note Douglas Martin's "Vivian Malone Jones, 63, Dies" (stroke related death):

Vivian Malone Jones, who on a blisteringly hot June day in 1963 became one of two black students to enroll at the University of Alabama after first being barred at the door by the defiant governor, George C. Wallace, died yesterday in Atlanta. She was 63.
[. . .]
Her entrance to the university came as the civil rights struggle raged across the South. On June 12, the day after Ms. Jones and James Hood were escorted into the university by federalized National Guard troops, the civil rights leader Medgar Evers was shot to death in Jackson, Miss.

Erika e-mails to note Elisabeth Rosenthal's "Asia Avian Flu Confirmed as Killer of Birds in Turkey:"

Thousands of birds that died in Turkey in the past week succumbed to the same deadly avian influenza virus that has ravaged Southeast Asia in the past five years, medical tests done in Britain confirmed Thursday. It was the first time that the disease had been reported in Europe.
The development signaled a new phase in the spread of the deadly virus across the globe.

Lane e-mails to note Jeremy Scahill's "Mr. Bush Goes to Tikrit (Sort Of)" (CounterPunch) on the same subject as the article by "The New York Times:"

Just when you think that President Bush couldn't out-Saddam Saddam any more, he goes and does something that proves you wrong. If any Iraqis caught the hilarious videoconference today between Bush at the White House and troops from the 42nd Infantry Division in Tikrit, it may have seemed like a high-tech version of a familiar scene from the old days when Saddam used to travel to Tikrit to feel (and more importantly to have others feel) his greatness.
The videoconference was a display of just how far the propaganda system has come since Bush took over from Saddam. Instead of visiting Tikrit, which the president lightly acknowledged he could not safely do, Bush addressed-- via satellite--an adoring bunch of US soldiers that had apparently been given a heavy dose of Kool-Aid before the telecast began. Oh, there was one Iraqi there--Sergeant Major Akeel from the 5th Iraqi Army Division, whose role in the affair was limited to smiling like a good Iraqi and saying to Bush, "I like you."
Under Saddam, Iraqis were bombarded via their TVs with video of the Iraqi leader meeting his generals in Tikrit, overseeing military parades, listening intently to his commanders, examining their weapons, firing a rifle here, swinging a sword there. For Iraqis, Tikrit represented the mother of all locations for the regime's propaganda commercial shoots. Few were those Iraqis chosen to be in Saddam's midst for these staged commercials, but at least Saddam actually went there.
Two and a half years after the US occupation began, there stood President Bush at his podium in the White House in front of a massive plasma screen TV, holding an earpiece to his head (out in the open this time). Before him, beamed in by satellite, were the 10 handpicked soldiers. They sat in three rows, fawning over Bush and delivering glowing assessments of the situation on the ground. At one point, it seemed as if one of the soldiers, Master Sergeant Corine Lombardo, was lifting from one of Bush's "major addresses" on Iraq when she told the president, "We began our fight against terrorism in the wake of 9/11, and we're proud to continue it here."

We're asked to note Christopher Dickey's "Wars of Hate" (MSNBC, Newsweek online):

On or about Dec. 30, 2002, which was a day after we’d had dinner in New York and a year to the day before he died of a heart attack, John Gregory Dunne put a floppy disk in an envelope and dropped it off at the Manhattan apartment where I was staying. As happens, I misplaced it in my travels after that, and only last weekend did I find it and read the digital newspaper clippings he’d pulled together, which he’d talked about with so much excitement at our dinner.

Rod e-mails to note today's scheduled topics for Democracy Now!:

Friday, October 14: TBA We will be discussing the upcoming vote on the Iraqi Constitution with leading Iraqi feminist Yannar Mohammed and the latest developments in Syria with Political Science Professor Bassam Haddad. We will also talk with one of the local organizers of the Millions More Movement, Larry Hamm.

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NYT: "Jitters at the White House Over the Leak Inquiry" (Richard W. Stevenson)

Karl Rove nosed his Jaguar out of the garage at his home in Northwest Washington in the predawn gloom, starting another day in which he would be dealing with a troubled Supreme Court nomination, posthurricane reconstruction and all the other issues that come across the desk of President Bush's most influential aide.
But Mr. Rove's first challenge on Wednesday morning came before he cleared his driveway: how to get past the five television crews and the three photographers waiting for him. He flashed his blinding high beams into the camera lenses and sped by.
That is the way things are for the Bush White House these days. The routines are the same. But everything, in the glare of the final stages of a criminal investigation that has reached to the highest levels of power in Washington, is different.
Mr. Rove is scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury on Friday, the fourth time he will have done so in the case, which centers on the disclosure of an undercover C.I.A. officer's identity.

The above is from Richard W. Stevenson's "Jitters at the White House Over the Leak Inquiry" in this morning's New York Times. Lot of anonymice with Clinton people thrown in for 'perspective.' (Yeah, right.) We'll note this:

Mr. Bush joked late last year with Matthew Cooper, a reporter for Time magazine, about why Mr. Cooper was not yet in jail for fighting a subpoena demanding that he testify about a conversation with a source who later turned out to be Mr. Rove. These days, though, the leak investigation is almost never spoken of openly within the West Wing, and certainly not made light of, administration officials say.

Bully Boy & Coopy yucking it up. Those were different times. Late last year. That would be what, October 2004? Before the election at any rate. When brave Matt Cooper could have written something. But didn't. Didn't write about Rove until things got serious for Cooper, until Cooper was looking at jail time.

You can never know what will or won't impact an election. But it certainly did work out well for Bully Boy that Cooper played I've Got A Secret from 2003 until 2005. Was special access granted for those who sat on it? Did they think they'd get special access?

What exactly did they think they were doing? Cooper's position wasn't a First Amendment one. He suddenly announces a new disclosure that doesn't appear to have existed. Then he can finger Karl Rove.

Friends of Cooper who pretend to get worked up about the 2004 election (over and over) always manage to give Cooper a pass. Usually that means spending a lot of time sliming Joseph Wilson. That no one questions this when they also pass themselves off as Democrats is surprising. Some of the loudest lectures come from Cooper friends. They'll lecture about ___ or ___ and tell you how the press (meaning reporters which they aren't) made a mockery of the election. But never name Coops. It's interesting.

Probably, they should move on to a different topic (both to comment on publicly and on the party circuit) because people are starting to catch on and they are starting to whisper about why these strong, brave voices still stay silent on Cooper?

It's because he's their friend and because of who is married to. They're willing to spend time (and time!) sliming Wilson and they certainly want people to take them seriously as "strong voices for the Democratic Party," as voices that can be trusted.

They talk about the right-ward tilt of the media or some other topic always griping that reporters aren't honest. (Reporters as opposed to journalists or any other monicker -- they generally go after the mainstream reporters.) And they present themselves as brave people who will speak out. But cat got their tongues when their friend Matt Cooper sat on information for two years. Cat got their tongues when they had a perfect example of a reporter (who didn't make the First Amendment argument past the very real threat of jail) with information damaging to the White House sat on it for two years. They who rip apart many arguments (certainly Joe Wilson's) didn't have the need to rip apart the weak "I got a message from my source just today!" nonsense announced on the court room steps.

I'm really not in the mood to deal with Stevenson. He may have written a good article, he may have written a bad article, a pedistrian one, whatever. I don't know. I see this article (by someone who is presumably a reporter) and just think of our "journalists" and others who aren't reporters and traffic in something else while they slam this person or that for their bias but they don't get honest about the fact that they're tight with Cooper and whether their need to cover for Cooper is the main motivation behind their attacks (from the left and "left") on Wilson.

I'm too bothered by the "journalists" to evaluate reporter (or "reporter") Stevenson or his article. (I'm trying to be very clear that my criticism of the ones who remained silent doesn't apply to Stevenson who is supposed to be a reporter as opposed to commentators and others of that ilk -- those are the ones I'm slamming.)

What nasty note did one of them write in 2004 during the election to justify their actions? Something about (pulling a Hillary) "this ain't about baking cookies, this is serious!" How serious was it, the election of 2004? Not serious enough for them to call their own friend on the fact that he spoke to Karl Rove about Valerie Plame in 2003 and he waited until 2005, after that non-cooking baking election, to get honest.

Excuse me, in terms of one person, the comment wasn't bake cookies. It was bake cupcakes. It was a firey speech, about how someone else was more interested in protecting their friends, but this brave voice was interested in the truth and "repulsed" by the 2000 election and anyone else who was going to stand tall and brave (like the speaker) could go bake cupcakes.

I'll assume that speaker had a sweet tooth and needed to bake cupcakes instead of addressing their friend Matt Cooper.

That's probably why they pull "the nothing to say" about Plamegate currently. Those brave voices, those in it to win it voices, who are strangely silent right now.

Cooper's lucky he has friends who will stand by him (and rip apart Wilson) but I'm not sure the public is served by that.

None of this is meant as a defense of the mainstream reporters (those who report on stories to be clear) which is certainly ripe for criticism. But it is meant to say that "brave voices" going silent should be noted. Watch and see what they waste your time with today and over the weekend.

(And for those wanting a humorous critique of some at the Times, check out Betty's latest
"Thomas Friedman's Silence and Suicide Attempt.")

Lloyd e-mails to note Matthew Rothschild's "George Mason Student Busted for Anti-Recruiting" (McCarthyism Watch, The Progressive):

Tariq Khan is a junior at George Mason University in Virginia. An Air Force veteran at 27, he has strong views about the Iraq War and about military recruitment on campus.
He went to the trouble of making up his own anti-recruitment pamphlet, which he entitled "Three Good Reasons Not to Join the Military." Those reasons, he says, are: first, you have to submit to authoritarianism; second, you have to commit human rights violations; and third, you have to risk your own life for leaders you might not respect or trust.
For the last two semesters, Khan says he has kept these pamphlets with him on campus because he's never sure when the recruiters will be there.
And so on September 29, when he saw the Marine recruiters had set up a table in the Johnson Center on campus, Khan decided to stand nearby.
"I got out an 8 ½ by 11 piece of paper, which I had written on: 'Recruiters Lie. Don't Be Deceived.' And I taped it to my chest," Khan says. "I was standing about four feet from the Marine recruiting table. I wasn’t blocking access or anything."
Khan says that someone from the Johnson Center staff came up to him and told him he couldn't be there.

Rod e-mails to note today's scheduled topics for Democracy Now!:

Friday, October 14: TBA We will be discussing the upcoming vote on the Iraqi Constitution with leading Iraqi feminist Yannar Mohammed and the latest developments in Syria with Political Science Professor Bassam Haddad. We will also talk with one of the local organizers of the Millions More Movement, Larry Hamm.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Indymedia roundup focus on Iraq

On Oct. 6 over 100 students at Holyoke Community College and their allies in Western Massachusetts marched and rallied on campus to protest the 'banning' of student Charles Peterson, the U.S. war on Iraq and military recruiting on campus.
Calling the protest after its members were brutalized and maced by campus and state cops Sept. 29, the HCC Anti-War Coalition hand delivered its five key demands to the college's President William Messner.
The demands are: the immediate lifting of the ban on Peterson, an immediate, unconditional public apology from the college; a pledge of non-retaliation against activists; a thorough and impartial investigation; and that military recruiters be banned from campus.
The demands are: the immediate lifting of the ban on Peterson, an immediate, unconditional public apology from the college; a pledge of non-retaliation against activists; a thorough and impartial investigation; and that military recruiters be banned from campus. The Anti-War Coalition also held a press conference Oct. 3 at Holyoke City Hall expressing these demands.A police riotOver 30 multinational lesbian, gay, bi and trans students and allies protested Army National Guard recruiting at the HCC student cafeteria Sept. 29. Another focus was the Pentagon's bigoted "don't ask, don't tell" policy that essentially bars LGBT persons from enlisting -- in violation of the college's and the state's non-discrimination laws. After menacing the students by ripping a placard from one and brutalizing more, campus and state cops dispersed the counter-recruitment demonstrators. At least 20 local and state police in riot gear and gas masks arrived with boxes labeled "gas masks." One student claimed a group of state police pointed guns at him.

The next day Charles Peterson, a student maced and assaulted by police at the counter-recruiting action, was visited by two state police at his home who told him he was banned from campus and would be arrested for trespassing if he entered public HCC property. Peterson is vice president for academic affairs on the Student Senate and is employed at HCC.

The above, sent in by Brenda, is from Bryan G. Pfeifer's "Holyoke College students stand up to Military Recruiters and Administration" (Boston Indymedia). It's Thursday, it's indymedia roundup. This entry focuses on the war at home (United States). And a number of the items focus on counter-recruiting. I'll be sure to pass these items on to Mike because this is one of the issues he covers.

Lori e-mails to note Justin Park's "Brass Tactics: Students are finally resisting the military's aggressive recruiting practices" (Syracuse New Times):

Recruiters are desperately trying to sign young people up for the war in Iraq. At the end of September, the U.S. Army posted its worst recruiting shortfall since 1979 and tales of recruiting abuses have made headlines over the past year. Anti-war activists, sensing a chink in the armor, have seized upon recruiting as an area for war resistance, and they are confronting recruiters on campuses and distributing literature to students detailing what they call "myths" recruiters portray about the military life.
After hearing so many horror stories about military recruiters lying to young people, railroading them through the enlistment process and using high-pressure sales tactics I decided to test the waters myself. Still of enlistment age, I milled about in front of a recruiters' table set up on Sept. 24 in front of the Galleries of Syracuse. I received nary a "Hey you!" Bored, I asked if I could climb their rock wall. They obliged, put me in a harness, and I scaled the wall in a minute or so.
While rappelling back down, I noticed a woman, looking perturbed, talking to an Army recruiter. Slipping out of the harness I heard him tell her, "This isn't like other countries where he'd have to go," apparently referencing the woman's son. The woman--black, middle-age--immediately responded, "Not yet." The recruiter, a young Caucasian who looks culled from a "Be all you can be" TV spot, almost walked away, then half-turned and with finger pointed a la Uncle Sam, whispered, "We might be closer to that than you think, then we'll come and get him."
As I walked away, another recruiter handed me the Army's official video game--the full version, "not a demo," according to the package--for my exploits on the rock wall. Naturally, I wouldn't have been allowed in the harness in the first place had I not filled out a form with my name, address, phone and e-mail (Social Security number optional). I realized later that I could have downloaded the game for free, at
The rock wall and the video game are just a couple of the tools the Army employs, costing billions in tax dollars, in an ever-expanding marketing effort designed to bolster enlistments for the United States Global War on Terror, or whatever it's called these days. Despite almost 6 million downloads of its games, the Army announced earlier this month that it's nearly 7,000 recruits shy of its goal of 80,000 for fiscal year 2005, one of the worst gaps since the military draft was abolished in 1974. The shortfall raises questions about the Army's ambitious plan to expand by 40,000 troops over the next several years to help bear the burden of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kenneth Love is a former Junior Reserve Officer Training Cadet (ROTC) at Washingtonville High School downstate who briefly attended military college in Georgia. He is now doing "counter-recruitment" at his new school, the Rochester Institute of Technology. "After the war {in Iraq} started, the anti-war movement went into a lull. Counter-recruiting became a national, grass-roots movement during that time and now it's the leading edge of a resurgent student anti-war movement," he says.
Ironically, former military types, many once recruiters, who either oppose the war in Iraq or at least object to the military's hard-sell tactics to fill ranks, populate much of the counter-recruitment movement. There are signs, including a new billion-dollar Army television ad campaign out this month, that the Pentagon may be amending its recruiting pitch to include more honesty about the dangers of service. But it remains to be seen if they'll abandon their sales tactics altogether. It's also up in the air whether armed forces recruiters can make their own quotas by telling Gen-Y youth, used to meaningless video game death, that they ought to die, literally, for their country. So far, sales are slow.

Wally e-mails to note James Carlson's "No Child Left Unrecruited" (Orlando Weekly):

David Vitter, a Republican senator from Louisiana, attached 9528 to the bill in 2001 after hearing from the Pentagon that many schools were not handing over student information to recruiters. He said at the time he was offended by the "anti-military attitude" these schools displayed.
What Vitter terms "anti-military," many call respecting privacy, and school districts in anti-war pockets of the country have fought back. Schools in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, Calif., have placed the notification on the emergency card, which has to be filled out and returned. Other districts -- New York City is one -- allow students (including minors) to opt themselves out, and Los Angeles schools only release 11th and 12th grade students' information to recruiters.
If it were up to California Democrat Rep. Mike Honda, opting in would be the norm. He introduced the Student Privacy Protection Act of 2005, which requires a parent's consent before a child's information can be released. It has been stalled in the Republican-controlled House Committee on Education since March.
Both the national Parent Teachers Association and the National Education Association support changing section 9528, and has received more than 31,000 opt-out cards. But even with more information getting out across the country, it's the way local districts notify parents that determines the number of opt-outs.
Eighteen percent of Orange County high school students have opted out so far this year. The low percentage might be due to the bulk of papers students bring home at the start of school. The "Public Notice of Parent Rights" letter, which has a box to check for opting out, is sent home with students along with other first-of-the-year materials such as schedules, the student code of conduct and day planners.
"I send [the notifications] home, but I send a lot of stuff home, which probably just gets lost in the shuffle. Maybe that's the problem," says Lorenzo Phillips, principal of Jones High School, where only 8 percent of students opted out.
Orange County, however, has the highest percentage of opt-outs in the area. In Seminole, Osceola and Volusia counties, 1 percent or less of their students return an opt-out form. (Lake County could not provide numbers at the time of publication.)
In Osceola County, where only 18 of the 13,601 high school students have opted out this year, the notice appears at the bottom of page 37 of the student code of conduct. Unlike Orange County, there is no box to check, no official form to return, only a line that informs parents they can notify the principal in writing of their wish to withhold student information from recruiters.

Micah e-mails to note NYCLU's "NYCLU Pushes Buffalo High School to Release Students from Mandatory JROTC Program" (NYC Indymedia):

Hutchinson Central Technical High School ("Hutch Tech") in Buffalo, NY has agreed to allow one student to withdraw from the school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program. But the school has yet to provide assurance that it will release the other students who were enrolled in the program without parental consent. In letters to Hutch Tech Principal David Greco and the Buffalo Board of Education, the New York Civil Liberties Union has called for changes to bring the rest of the JROTC program into compliance with the law.
The NYCLU initially wrote to the school following complaints from parents of Hutch Tech students whose daughters, who had been "automatically" enrolled in JROTC, a military training program for high school students. The school's practice violates the State’s Education Law, which provides that no child may be compelled to participate in JROTC and requires prior written parental consent before any child may be enrolled.
"Our legislature has made it quite clear that schools cannot push students into the JROTC military training program over their objections or by default," said Maggie Gram, Program Organizer for the NYCLU's Project on Military Recruitment and Students' Rights. "The schools must develop procedures that respect the rights of students."
Given the school's disregard for state education law regarding JROTC, the NYCLU also expressed concern regarding the school’s compliance with other statutory limitations on military access to students and their contact information -- especially the provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) which gives the military unprecedented access to students info also provides that students and parents may withhold their contact information from the military and must be given adequate time to do so.
The NYCLU has received information indicating that Hutch Tech students have not been given this option. In a follow-up letter to Greco, the NYCLU inquired as to whether the school was giving students the chance to opt out, reminding Principal Greco that the Family Compliance Office of the US Department of Education has concluded that "a school must honor a request by a student…not to disclose his or her name, address and telephone number to military recruiters." Buffalo's school board will meet tonight at 5:30 p.m. in room 801 of Buffalo’s City Hall. The session will be open to the public. Parent Bruce Beyer will speak on the subject of Hutch Tech’s JROTC program, and the NYCLU’s Western Regional Office will distribute informational leaflets outside. More information and documents related to the Hutch Tech policy, and information about other issues relating to military recruitment and students' rights, are available at

Anne e-mails to note A.K. Gupta's "Looking For A Winning Strategy" (The Indypendent):

Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside of Bush’s ranch in Texas in early August helped revive the antiwar movement, but it wouldn’t have been possible without a wide array of antiwar groups. In July, Sheehan announced at the Veterans for Peace convention in Dallas that she would make a stand at Bush’s ranch until he met with her. She arrived in Crawford in early August with 50 supporters, including dozens of vets, and just days after a huge spike in U.S. deaths in Iraq.
With hundreds of media in Crawford looking for a story they found one. Soon, support mushroomed and UFPJ member groups such as Code Pink came in with resources to support Sheehan. The vigil was immediately followed by the "Bring Them Home Now Tour" with military families and vets in the lead, such as Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace -- the last three of which are part of UFPJ's national steering committee. The tour ended with Sheehan headlining the Sept. 24 protest in Washington, D.C.
Without her presence and the anger over the government's handling of Hurricane Katrina, the anti-war march and rally would have likely struggled to draw a crowd one-tenth the size. The previous "national" day of protest last March saw the Troops Out Now Coalition muster a scant 5,000 in Central Park while United for Peace and Justice drew only 1,500, at a nationally organized demonstration in Fayetteville, North Carolina on March 20. But Fayetteville marked a turning point. In December 20004, says Khalil, UFPJ decided "to make Fayetteville a major regional demonstration."
The aim was to elevate military families and veterans, as well as to build the antiwar movement in the South. Cindy Sheehan spoke at the event. Just one week earlier she had been profiled in The Nation, which asked if she was "The New Face of Protest?"
UFPJ deserves credit for bringing the antiwar movement back to life after earlier strategic mistakes of eschewing militant action when it had the support and the sidetracking of the antiwar movement into an anti-Bush movement last year. But it has also become a whipping boy for much of the left, criticized as much for its prominence as politics that are seen as overly liberal. Many observers caution that UFPJ is not synonymous with the antiwar movement. They point to an upsurge of antiwar activity at the local level, particularly around "counter-recruitment."
SHUNNING RADICAL POLITICS UFPJ's organizing strategy is under fire in particular. According to one inside source, some within UFPJ argue that the coalition of 1,300 groups should play to the center by bringing in unions and other large organizations, partly to counter the influence of one of the other main antiwar groups, International Answer. Such a strategy entails jettisoning broader anti-imperialist politics because, the argument goes, the focus should be on building "the broadest possible antiwar movement" rather than trying to bring together left forces.
It's debatable if reaching out to working-class communities and people of color means shunning radical politics. Sheehan, for one, is a vocal opponent of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, an issue that UFPJ finds difficult to negotiate. UFPJ opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestine in strong terms, but its working group on the issue agrees on very little because some member groups, such as Tikkun, are pro-Zionist. Unable to address such issues leaves UFPJ's left flank wide open. Both Answer, which recently split from the rigidly authoritarian Workers World Party and Troops Out Now Coalition, Workers World new antiwar front, attack UFPJ constantly for not taking a stronger stand against U.S. domination of countries such as Haiti, Afghanistan, Palestine and the Philippines.

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