Thursday, March 23, 2006

Democracy Now: Thomas Nelson, Matthew Schofield; Peace march Tijuana to San Francisco

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don't mind sayin'
It's a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Sayin' that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over
I'm not ready to make nice
I'm not ready to back down
I'm still mad as hell and
I don't have time to go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
'Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is you think I should
-- "Not Ready To Make Nice" written by Emily Robison, Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines Dan Wilson; from the Dixie Chicks' forthcoming album Taking The Long Way
Morgan e-mailed to note the upcoming release and the lyrics. If you've forgotten, by refusing to clomp happily along with Bully Boy's march to war, the Dixie Chicks were targeted with hate and more.  (Targeted with shame from Diane Sawyer who should be haunted by that interview for the rest of her life.) 
NYPD Caught Lying About RNC Arrests in 2004
In New York, the police response to the Republican National Convention protests is continuing to come under criticism. For the first time a high-ranking police supervisor has admitted that police arrested about 400 people around Union Square even though the police never gave an order to disperse. The disclosure was made in a deposition made by Deputy Inspector James Essig. On Wednesday the New York Civil Liberties Union accused the police of lying about the circumstances surrounding the arrests of hundreds of protesters during the Republican National Convention.
Police Raid Home of Top Nepalese Opposition Leader
In Nepal, police have raided the home of one of the country's top opposition leaders -- Madhav Kumar Nepal the head of the Communist Party of Nepal. Armed police raided his house without a warrant and seized his telephone, computer and fax machine. Mr. Nepal has been under house arrest for the past two months and had already had his phone disconnected. Nepal has been a key organizer of the nationwide protests against Nepal's King Gyanendra who seized complete control of the government last year.
Nearly 100 Disabled Activists Arrested At Nashville Protest
In Tennessee, the capitol building in Nashville was forced to close its doors to visitors after several hundred protesters, many of them in wheelchairs, blockaded nearby streets. Nearly 100 of the protesters were arrested during what was the second day of demonstrations organized by the group Americans Disabled for Attendant Programs, or ADAPT. ADAPT is opposing recent cuts to healthcare funding in the state that disenrolled 330,000 residents from the state's health insurance program. This is Babs Johnson, a longtime member of ADAPT, speaking by cell phone from the midst of a protest on Tuesday: "Right now ADAPT has shut down Charlotte Avenue in front of the capital here in Tennessee because of the unjust and immoral incarceration of people with disabilities in Nursing homes. The state spends 160 dollars on institutional placement for every dollar that goes into community services, and we want to change that."
IRS Audited Greenpeace At Request of ExxonMobil-Funded Group
In environmental news -- the Wall Street Journal is reporting that a fake watchdog group, largely subsidized by ExxonMobil, was responsible for getting the IRS to audit the environmental organization Greenpeace. Two years ago the little known Public Interest Watch challenged Greenpeace's tax exempt status and accused the group of money laundering and other crimes. According to the Journal, tax records show ExxonMobil provided more than 95 percent of the funding of Public Interest Watch. John Passacantando, executive director of Greenpeace USA said "I believe organizations should be scrutinized and audited, but I just don't believe you should get targeted because you're a critic of Exxon Mobil."
The above four items are from today's Democracy Now! Headlines and were selected by Micah, Rachel, Eli and KeShawnDemocracy Now! ("always informing you," as Marcia says):
Headlines for March 23, 2006

- Three Kidnapped Peace Activists Freed in Baghdad
- Army Dog Handler Faces Six Months For Abu Ghraib Abuse
- GM Offers Buyouts to 113,000 Unionized Workers
- Massive Food Shortage Forces Gaza Residents to Ration Food
- American Arrested for Bolivian Bombing
- IRS Audited Greenpeace At Request of ExxonMobil-Funded Group
- South Korean Farmers Protest Expansion of U.S. Base
- New Orleans Remains Without Emergency Hurricane Shelter
- Nearly 100 Disabled Activists Arrested At Nashville Protest
- Police Raid Home of Top Nepalese Opposition Leader
The Return of Black Bag Searches? Oregon Attorney on Why He Feels Federal Agents Broke into His Home and Office to Conduct Clandestine Searches

Attorney Thomas Nelson discusses his lawsuit against the National Security Agency and his evidence that the Bush administration's secret domestic surveillance is much broader than reported and may include secret physical searches. [includes rush transcript]
Another Civilian Massacre? U.S. Launches Investigation After Iraqi Police Accuse U.S. Troops of Murdering 11 Men, Women and Children Last Week

The U.S. military has launched an investigation into the killing of Iraqi civilians by U.S. forces in a raid last week. Iraqi police have accused American troops of murdering 11 civilians in the assault. The dead included five children and four women and ranged in age from 6 months to 75 years old. We go to Baghdad to speak with the Knight Ridder reporter who broke the story.
Iraqi Exile Speaks Out Against the Targeting of Gay Iraqis by Shia Death Squads

We speak with a gay Iraqi exile about the systematic targeting of gay Iraqis by Shiite death squads in Iraq. The attacks follow a death-to-gays fatwa issued by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani last October. We also speak with independent journalist Doug Ireland who broke the story. [includes rush transcript]
Three Kidnapped Peace Activists Freed in Baghdad

The three remaining members of the Christian Peacemakers Team have been freed in Iraq after being held as hostages for almost four months. They were seized last November along with the U.S. peace activist Tom Fox whose body was found in Baghdad two weeks ago. We speak with the co-director of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Canada.
The Guardian of London reports that at least fifty-six people have lost their lives in Iraq today. In an interview with The Associated Press, Peter Pace, general and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is calling "for a formal Pentagon review of the policies" of the US government planting stories in Iraqi media.  Tuesday, Oliver Birch of Christian Aid told the BBC that there was no appearance of improvement,  "Quality of life indicators in most sectors are no higher than, or even below, the sanctions period just before the coalition invaded."  The Guardian's Richard Norton-Taylor also notes that Malcolm Kendall-Smith, the war resister who has refused to serve in the illegal war, will stand trial by court martial.  (Yes, we noted this yesterday.  We'll continue to note this or any news of war resisters.) The 241-mile march for peace continues.  Fernando Suarez del Solar told Jennifer Martinez of The Daily Texan that his speech always starts with this:  "You are not here to support me, Pablo or Anabelle.  We are here to support the children in Iraq and our children fighting there.  This march is not just for Latinos, but for all working-class people."  (Pablo Paredes and Annabelle Valencia.)  Suarez del Solar told Luis Alonso Perez of Pacific News Service that crossing the border by marching through Tijuana to Camp Pendleton was a way of honoring his son Jesus Suarez del Solar who died in Iraq March 27, 2003: "Today I crossed the border legally, the same way my son came into this country looking to fulfill a dream.  Unfortunately that dream was destroyed by the war.  Today I crossed the border to fulfill a dream too, to put an end to the war that destroyed my son's life."
The march for peace continues through Monday, March 27th:
 Day 13
Friday March 24:
- First Leg, 7:00 a.m.: The March will gather at Chestnut and Kings Canyon. We will travel west to Ventura and downtown Fresno. We will converge with members of the National Action Network at “F” Street. Distance = 4.3 miles
- Second Leg, 10:00 a.m.: The March will continue west on Ventura to California. Then east on Fresno St. to the Congressional Offices of Representative Jim Costa and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.
*Note: Marchers will stop for lunch during this leg. Distance = 3.2 miles
- Third Leg, 12:00 noon: The March will head north at Fresno St. and “P” to Abbey, then continue on Blackstone to Shaw Ave. and the Peace Corner. Distance = 4.95 miles. We will then head west on Shaw Ave. past West to the office of Congressional Representative Radanovich by 4:00 p.m... Distance = 2.4 miles.
*Note: The March will end here or in proximity to the office of the Pan-Valley Institute.
 Dia 13
Viernes 24 de Marzo:
- Primera Etapa , 7:00 a.m.: La caminata ineciara por la Chestnut y Kings Canyon. Caminaremos hacia el oeste hasta llegar a la avenida Ventura y continuar a el centro de Fresno. Nos uniremos a los miembros del National Action Network por la calle “F”. Distancia = 4.3 millas
- Segunda Etapa, 10:00 a.m.: La caminata continuara hacia el oeste sobre la calle Ventura a la calle California. Despues seguira hacia el este sobre la calle Fresno hasta llegar a las oficinas congrecionales de el Representativo Jim Costa y las Senadoras Barbara Boxer y Dianne Feinstein.
*Nota: Durante esta etapa Habra almuerso. Distancia = 3.2 millas
- Tercera Etapa, 12:00 p.m.: La caminata seguira sobre Blackstone hasta Shaw Ave. y la esquina de la Paz. Distancia = 4.95 millas. Despues la caminata ira hacia la officina Congressional de Radanovich ( 4:00 p.m...) Distancia = 2.4 millas.
*Nota: La caminata acavara aqui o cerca de la Pan-Valley Institute.
 Day 14
Saturday March 25:
Watsonville - Salinas
- Meet at St. Patrick's Church @ 10AM (721 Main Street Watsonville, CA 95076) march from Watsonville to Pajaro 11 until NOON
- NOON- 1: CARAVAN TO bus and cars.
- Arrive in Salinas at 2 pm at: Cesar Chavez Park (250 North Madeira Avenue, Salinas,Califas) march until 3 pm
- 3-4 Rally/ Music
Sponsored by: Watsonville Brown Berets, Resource Center for Nonviolence GI Rights Counseling Project, Guerro Azteca Project
 Dia 14
Sabado 25 de Marzo:
Watsonville - Salinas
- Nos vamos a reunir en la iglesia St. Patrick's @ 10AM (721 de la calle Main Watsonville, CA 95076) Caminaremos desde Watsonville hasta Pajaro 11, llegando alrededor de las 12 de la tarde
- 12 pm - 1pm: Hacer la CARAVANA hasta SALINAS...por medio de autobus y automobiles.
- Llegaremos a Salinas a las 2:00pm al Parque Cesar Chavez (250 Avenida Madeira Norte, Salinas, Califas) Desde aqui caminaremos hasta las 3:00 pm.
- 3-4 Demonstracion / Musica
Grupos organizadores: Watsonville Brown Berets, Resource Center for Nonviolence GI Rights Counseling Project, Guerro Azteca Project
 Dia 15
Sunday March 26th:
East San Jose
- 8am Start on Alum Rock near White road
- March West on Alum Rock to King Rd. and stop at Mexican Hertiage Plaza for interviews
- March to McKee to the Military Recruiters offices for interviews
- Local marching crossing Capital Expressway and back to Mexican Heritage Plaza at King & Alum Rock for interviews
- March into Backesto Park for Finish Rally. (approximately 3 pm)
 Dia 15
Domingo 26 de Marzo:
Este de San Jose
- 8am Comienzo de la Marcha en Alum Rock cerca de White road
- Caminando hacia el oeste por la Alum Rock hasta llegar a King Rd. y hacer una parade en la Mexican Hertiage Plaza donde se realizaran entrevistas.
- Caminar hasta McKee a la officina de reclutamiento military para realizar una demonstracion con entrevistas.
- Caminar por el area local crusando Capital Expressway y volviendo a la Mexican Heritage Plaza en la King y Alum Rock para realizar otras entrevistas
- Finalizar la marcha en Backesto Park donde Habra una demonstracion. (approximadamente a las 3 pm)
 Day 16
Monday March 27th:
Oakland - San Francisco
- 7:30am: Fruitvale BART, March through Fruitvale and
- 12noon: Civic Center Plaza--Join the Immigrants Rights
Hunger Strike
- 3:15pm: Dolores Park, 18th and Dolores: March through
the Mission
- 5:00pm: Back at Dolores Park, March for Peace Culmination Rally
 Dia 16
Lunes 27 de Marzo:
Oakland - San Francisco
- 7:30am: El BART de Fruitvale Caminaremos desde la estacion del Bart de Fruitvale por el area de Fruitvale y Oakland
- 12 de el medio dia: Plaza del Centro Civico, Nos uniremos a los que estan manifestando una huelga de hambre por los derechos de migrantes.
- 3:15pm: Parque Dolores, calle 18 y Dolores: Caminar por el Distrito La Mission
- 5:00pm: De Nuevo nos encontramos en el Parque Dolores para la culminacion y la demonstracion final de la Peregrinacion Por la Paz
As Conscientious Objector Camilo Mejia explained to Laura Flanders on Saturday's RadioNation with Laura Flanders, the march is an attempt at "raising Latino voice of opposition to the war in Iraq."  Billie, who noted the Daily Texan piece, asked that we note that Camilo Mejia has a chapter in CODEPINK's Stop The Next War Now (an excerpt can be found here.) Franciso asks that members who see anything on the march e-mail to note it because he doesn't feel (I agree with Francisco) that it's gotten the level of attention that it deserves. 
Highlights?  Brad asked,  "Where have the women writers been?"  I wondered that too but thought I was just jet-lagged and missing something that wasn't missing.  Wally steers attention to "the one and only Helen Thomas" and her "Bush Still Trying To Convince Nation Of Progress: President Admits Troops Will Be In Iraq For Years" (
Standing on a rooftop, an American soldier recently fired a shot at an Iraqi man walking down the street. As the dying Iraqi grabbed at his wound, he cried out: "What did I do?"
That's for every American to answer.
But right now we will have to make do with President George W. Bush's new flurry of speeches as he seeks to justify claims of progress at the start of the fourth year of the U.S. war in Iraq.
Bush said he "will settle for nothing less than complete victory" but admitted that "more fighting and sacrifice" are needed. He remains optimistic "because slowly but surely our strategy is getting results." He coupled that statement of hope with the warning that the terrorists "will attack us again."
He told a news conference Tuesday that future American presidents and Iraqi governments probably will have to decide when to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq. In other words, we will remain at war in Iraq at least through 2008.
In the run-up to the war, reporters heard almost daily from White House officials trying to make the link between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein, though the president later acknowledged that he knew of no link between the two.
Now Bush claims that the terrorists have made Iraq the "central front" in the war on terrorism. Not so. That designation was first heard in the White House press room when the administration was running out of credible rationales for the war.
From Iraq to the work roles and US system, Brad noted Ruth Conniff's "Stop Feeding the Work Monster" (Ruth Conniff's Weekly Column, The Progressive):
Remember when, during the rise of welfare reform in the 1980s and early 1990s, pro-welfare-reform politicians like Tommy Thompson (then governor of Wisconsin)argued that since middle-class women can't afford to stay at home with their children, poor women shouldn't be able to stay home either? Here’s where the stinginess of that philosophy comes back to bite us all on the butt: now that we've done away with welfare, my twenty-something editor friend argues, it is elitist and unfair for middle-class women to be able to take time off with their children. First, we increased the misery of poor families through welfare reform. Now, we need to spread the misery around. Talk about a race to the bottom. The situation would be different if low and moderate-income families had the option of great, affordable, high-quality child care. But no such thing exists in this country since we view the "family romance" as a private matter.
The truth is that women have been doing this work for so long for free that it seems completely ridiculous to our society to have to pay for it. If we hold the work of caring for small children in such low esteem, it stands to reason that we could end up in a situation where we argue both that women should work full time (which now means more than 40 hours a week) and that we shouldn't have to pony up a major public investment in child care.
Where does that leave mothers, who still do the majority of childcare, not to mention a staggering amount of housework, in addition to their full-time jobs? It leaves them in a pretty lousy situation.
Former New York Times economics reporter Ann Crittenden, author of “The Price of Motherhood” and “If You've Raised Kids You Can Manage Anything,” argues this point brilliantly in her books and in various guest columns and essays. She has a short piece in the current issue of Glamour magazine that I hope reaches millions of young women who are just encountering the new brand of sexism in the workplace, which seems wonderfully egalitarian when you're single and woefully discriminatory once you have kids.
The destruction of Iraq, the work system that punishes -- what's left?  Billie finds it.  She notes Maureen Farrell's "Apocalyptic Times" (BuzzFlash) addressing the current trend in 'thought:'
While the link between the Bush White House and the Religious Right was clear from the start, the connection between those actually rooting for the End Times and Mr. Bush was not. Before the war in Iraq, President Jimmy Carter explained why the majority of Christian churches were against military intervention (except for those literally praying for Armageddon), but few knew why Mr. Bush was shunning mainstream churches in favor of the more rapture-minded.
"Some wonder if the president might be influenced by evangelical teachings that envision an end-of-the-world battle between Israel and its enemies. It would be dangerous for a president to take a particular theology like that and apply it to world events," former Nixon aide Charles Colson mused, a little more than a year before the Guardian reported that "US Christian fundamentalists are driving Bush's Middle East policy."
Ultimately, however, an e-mail unearthed by the Village Voice proved how entrenched fundamentalists actually are. "Most of all, apparently, we're not supposed to know the National Security Council's top Middle East aide consults with apocalyptic Christians eager to ensure American policy on Israel conforms with their sectarian doomsday scenarios," Rick Perlstein wrote, in an article that should scare the bejesus out of everyone.
Billie recommends Farrell be read with Elaine's "Musings" from yesterday.  (Good suggestion.)  And are you ready for that third war -- because Bully Boy is itching for it.
Carl notes Marjorie Cohn's "Israel, al Qaeda and Iran" (
Since George W. Bush gave his "axis of evil" speech, he invaded Iraq, changed its regime, and created a quagmire reminiscent of Vietnam. His administration is now sending clear signals that Iran is next in line for regime change. The raison d'être: Iran's nuclear program, an al Qaeda connection, and protecting Israel.
First, for months, Bush has been pressuring the Security Council to sanction Iran for its nuclear development, but the council is moving slowly. According to Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Nobel Peace Prize winner, we must "stop thinking that it's morally unacceptable for certain countries to want nuclear weapons and morally acceptable for others to lean on them for their defense."
Second, Bush's men are now floating an Iran-al Qaeda linkage, much the way they tried to connect Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks. As journalist Jeremy Scahill testified at the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in January, "There is a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. It's called Washington."
An article in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times quoted several administration officials, who laid out the case for the link between Iran and al Qaeda. Under Secretary R. Nicholas Burns, the third-ranking official in the State Department, said "some al Qaeda members and those from like-minded extremist groups continue to use Iran as a safe haven and as a hub to facilitate their operations."
Problem is, Shiites run the Iranian government. Al Qaeda's Sunni leadership has denounced the Shiites as infidels.
Cohn is president-elect of the National Lawyers Guild.  The NLG is the organization Heidi Boghosian is with.  Ruth highlights Boghosian and the other three hosts of WBAI's  Law and Disorder in her Public Radio Report. We'll note three events from the NLG (two start Saturday):
MARCH 25, 2006
Mid Atlantic Regional Convention will be held at Georgetown University Law Center, in Washington DC. Click here to download a brochure (PDF).

March 25-6, 2006
The Midwest Conference "Rising to the Challenge: Pursuing Justice in Dangerous Times" will be held at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology. Click here for more information (PDF).

APRIL 8-9, 2006
Northeast Regional Conference
New York City. Visit the NYC website at for more information! Or check out a flier by clicking here.
"Why do we have war?" Marci asks in her e-mail and then quickly answers, "Because it's so damn profitable."  Marci steers us to Katrina vanden Heuvel's "Independent War Profiteering Commission (Continued)" (Editor's Cut, The Nation):
A few weeks ago I called for an independent war profiteering commission composed of current and former public servants drawn from across the political spectrum. Frankly, the Halliburton travesties alone justify such a commission. But the problems go well beyond Dick Cheney's former company.
Custer Battles, ordered on March 9 by a federal jury to pay $10 million in damages, is accused of bilking the government out of $50 million. Bechtel has hired three subcontractors who were fined more than $86 million in the past four years but are still somehow eligible for new contracts. And 60 Minutes revealed that $50 billion of taxpayer money – more than the entire annual budget of the Department of Homeland Security – "has gone to private contractors hired to guard bases, drive trucks, feed and shelter the troops, and rebuild the country…with little or no oversight."
And let's not forget that $9 billion was simply lost -- that's right, lost, gone, nowhere -- by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Stuart Bowen, the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, reported the possibility that thousands of "ghost employees" were funded and that the CPA "failed to establish financial controls and transparency."
Sen. Patrick Leahy seems to understand why this is such an affront to all Americans. "[It's] clear that the Bush-Cheney Administration's approach to reconstruction in Iraq has been a formula for mischief," Leahy said. "Waste, fraud and abuse in the name of defense is doubly destructive and doubly offensive, and it should never be tolerated. It saps resources needed by our troops and it plays the taxpayers for fools, all the while hiding under the cover of national defense."
Leahy recently introduced the War Profiteering Prevention Act that would make these overcharges a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and fines of $1 million or twice the gross proceeds of the crime -- whichever is greater. Furthermore, any person who makes false statements about these contracts could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and the same aforementioned fines.
Indymedia roundup this evening.  The e-mail address for this site is

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