Monday, February 27, 2006

Octavia Butler, NSA hearing on Pacifica Tuesday, Michael Ratner week

Science Fiction Writer Octavia Butler, 58, Dies
And science fiction writer Octavia Butler has died at the age of 58. She died on Friday night after a fall outside her home in Washington state. Her best-known work included "Parable of the Talents" and "Kindred." Butler was considered to be one of the first African-American women to break into the world of science fiction. Jane Jewell, of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, said "She is a world-class science fiction writer in her own right. She was one of the first and one of the best to discuss gender and race in science fiction." Butler joined us four months ago on Democracy Now:
OCTAVIA BUTLER: "I'm going to read a verse or two. And keep in mind these were written early in the 1990s. But I think they apply forever, actually. This first one, I have a character in the books who is, well, someone who is taking the country fascist and who manages to get elected President and, who oddly enough, comes from Texas. And here is one of the things that my character is inspired to write about, this sort of situation. She says:
"Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be lied to. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery."

The above item is from today's Democracy Now! Headlines and my apologies to Ty. Octavia Butler is a favorite author of his and this should have been noted earlier today. I had intended for it be noted and in the e-mail attempts (to e-mail the post), it was; however, those never made it and I ended up dictating the entry over and forgetting the item.

I'm tired, so this is a talking entry.

Bruce wondered what online page I went to for the excerpt of Lewis Lapham's "The Case For Impeachment" that was in this entry? I didn't read it online. Chad e-mailed the heads up that a portion was available online. I dictated that from the print version of Harper's Magazine. On the essay (which is wonderful), Lily e-mails about another site calling Lapham's a first or something. I haven't seen the entry she's speaking of. Hopefully, they're not saying that. Elizabeth Holtzman's "The Impeachment of George W. Bush" advocated the impeachment of Bully Boy (and was also wonderful). Click here for the contents of that issue (available to all, subscriber or nonsubscribe) and you'll see the cover. The Nation made that the cover story of their January 30, 2006 issue. Again, I haven't read the entry (and don't have time to). But if someone was saying Lapham's article was a first for a magazine, it's not the first for the year. I'm sure there were other cover articles as well before Holtzman's.

Both are wonderful articles and approach the impeachment differently. Lewis is writing an essay in his own wonderful way and Holtzman is doing the same in her way. Robert Scheer was advocating it in 2003. (He wasn't the only one.) In terms of magazines making it a cover story, at least this year, The Nation did that awhile back. (I can't say how many issues ago because they always arrive late -- and usually in twos or threes -- I never did receive the Frances Lappe Moore issue. That's not a slam at The Nation. It's a mail issue, not a magazine one. I have The Progressive delivered to a friend's residence and, as a result, it arrives on time. The only magazine that does -- and again, not a slam at any magazine, it's a mail issue.)

I'm not trying to take anything away from Lapham. I'm not even sure Lapham was called the first. And it doesn't really matter if he was to this community. What does matter in this community is that we recognize that Lapham continues this year's tradition of cover articles calling on impeachment.

In terms of confusion, I'm not surprised Bruce's is confused. The entry that did make it to the site was rushed (hence forgetting Ty's highlight) and there's no sentence stating "This is from the magazine." My apologies for that. It's a strong issue and Stan's already e-mailed about an essay "Liberalism, Torture and The Ticking Bomb" by David Luhan. Stan wonders what the Judith N. Shklar quote is from? I'm surprised it isn't credited. I'm not sure, but I believe it's from the introduction to Ordinary Vices. I'll check on that later this week. I haven't read the entire essay yet. But the quote appears to be from Ordinary Vices.

Bruce found this announcement online at Harper's:

Is There a Case for Impeachment?
a public forum featuring
Lewish H. Lapham
Rep. John J. Conyers (D-MI)
Michael Ratner
Elizabeth Holtzman
John Dean

Moderated by
Sam Seder

Thursday, March 2
8:00 p.m.

Town Hall
123 West 43rd Street
New York, NY

Tickets are available at
The Town Hall box office
or through Ticketmaster
(212) 307-4100

Press contact for this event: Giulia Melucci.

See, it really was Michael Ratner day. (See earlier entry.) Maybe it's Michael Ratner week?

Ruth noted this:

New Orleans 1973 to Guantánamo 2006
A discussion on torture at the hands of the United States government.
WHAT: New Yorkers Unite to Fight U.S. Torture from New Orleans to Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo
WHEN: March 3, 2006,

6:30 to 8:30 PM
WHERE: Riverside Church,
91 Claremont Ave.
Room 9T
(1 block west of Broadway)
Gita Gutierrez, CCR attorney representing Guantànamo detainees
John Bowman and Harold Taylor, Black Panthers tortured by New Orleans Law Enforcement in 1973
Henry “Hank” Jones, CDHR
Wayne Thompson, CDHR
Dr. Ron Daniels, Institute of the Black World 21st Century
Michael Ratner, CCR President
Bill Goodman, CCR Legal Director

Staying on Michael Ratner but moving to the Center for Constitutional Rights, Jonah was at work and attempted to find a new book online at WBAI's pledge drive premiums. He couldn't find it. (Did you contribute anyway, Jonah? I'm just teasing.) He heard about it during the broadcast of Law and Disorder and went through "seven pages of premiums" looking and "used the search function too." The book is Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush and you can order it online. (Or you could have called WBAI, it's not even a toll call for you, Jonah.) If it wasn't on the seven pages of premiums, that's because, according to Ruth, it's brand new. This was the first day WBAI was offering it. Ruth says it's $9.99 plus shipping and that you can send it to Congress members of your choice at a discount rate. Don't want to order online? See if there's not an address you can send a check or money order too or ask your bookstore of choice to special order it for you. The book's put out by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Remember that the Senate holds another NSA warrentless, illegal spying hearing. Want to listen? Tuesday Pacifica will air the NSA hearings, gavel to gavel, live. WBAI is still doing fundraising. I would guess that they would cover it but Rachel says they have nothing up about it currently.

NSA Surveillance Hearing Special Coverage Feb 28, 2006
SPECIAL LIVE COVERAGE:Pacifica Radio will broadcast: President Bush surveillance coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the National Security Agency activities.
The Senate Judiciary Committee holds its second hearing into President Bush's authorization of warrantless wiretaps within the United States of America. Breaks will include expert analysis and anchor commentary.

9:00-9:30 AM EST Pre-show
9:30 AM - 1:00 PM EST Hearings
1:00 PM - 2:00 P.M. EST Post-show Wrap-up

Live public audio streams will be made available via Please check back during the scheduled broadcast for the various links. Audio streams will be made available at the following formats: 24k mp3pro; 48k mp3pro; and 44k ogg.
ANCHORED BY: Larry Bensky, Pacifica National Affairs Correspondent

Elizabeth de la Vega, former federal prosecutor for more than 20 years.
During her tenure, she was a member of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Chief of the San Jose Branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California.

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds its second hearing into President Bush's authorization of warrantless wiretaps within the United States of America. Breaks will include expert analysis and anchor commentary.

Confirmed guests:
American University Political Science Professor,Clarence Lusane

Ann Beeson, Associate Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union
Mark Danner, Staff Writer, The New Yorker;
Professor, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
U.S. Representative John Conyers, (D-Michigan)
Others TBA

The Honorable James Woolsey
Vice President Global Strategic Security Division
Booz Allen Hamilton
McLean, VA

Harold Hongju Koh
Dean Yale Law School
New Haven, CT

Ken Gormley
Associate Professor of Constitutional Law
Duquesne University School of Law
Pittsburgh, PA

Doug W. Kmiec
Professor Pepperdine University School of Law
Malibu, CA

Bruce Fein, Esq.
Fein & Fein
Washington, DC

Robert F. Turner
Associate Director
Center for National Security Law
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Robert Levy, Esq.
Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies
CATO Institute
Washington, DC


Ku Satellite Right [use the right channel link]

DOWNLOAD [after program]:

A recording of the wrap-up will available in Audioport for download by 4:00 PM EST;
TYPE: Events and Speeches; FILE NAME: NSAHearing2:28_02_06


contact Kirsten Thomas, Exec. Producer

[Note that Kirsten Thomas' cell phone number is included if you visit the link. I'm not comfortable posting her cell number even if it is a business cell phone. Our point in posting this is to get the word out. So it's all been included except for her cell number. I'm less concerned about an e-mail address and she deserves her production credit so we'll include that.]

Trevor advises that there's a new site for Pacifica (in addition to the ones already permalinked on the left, always on the left). We'll note it here but I'm too tired to go into the template tonight and add it so I'll do that later this week. (If it's not done by Saturday, flood me with e-mails.)
In addition to the ways to listen already noted above, and in addition to broadcast radio if you live in an area that carries Pacifica, you can also check these sites:

KPFA listen live · visit online (Berkeley, Larry Bensky is anchoring and he announced on air Sunday that KPFA would carry the hearings and it starts at 6:00 a.m. Pacific time)

KPFK listen live · visit online (Los Angeles, Zach says no word at the website on whether they're carrying it or not)

KPFT listen live · visit online (Houston, Ruth noted they are carrying it and that it will start at eight am central time for those in that area; people listening online, do the math if you're not in the central time zone)

WBAI listen live · visit online (New York, New York)

WPFW listen live · visit online (DC, Barbara says no word on the hearings at the website yet)

And we'll note this as well:

Our Affiliate Stations · Does Your Local Community Station Want to Join Our Family, click here to find out more!

If there's a Pacifica station you normally listen to (online or broadcast) make that your first choice. If it ends up not carrying the hearings, you can try another Pacifica station or the main Pacifica website and listen online.

Will Democracy Now! air tomorrow? Has it ever not aired? Even from Ground Zero, on September 11th it aired. It will air tomorrow so if it's not aired on a radio station you normally listen to it on, catch it on TV or catch it at the website. It's the program's ten year anniversary so, suggestion, how about if we all make an effort to get the word out to at least ten people, between now and the end of March, about the show? Ten new people you've never told about the show.