Friday, June 15, 2007

Other Items

Since Friday morning in Baghdad, the US military has announced multiple deaths of US service members. They announced: "Three Task Force Lightning Soldiers were killed as a result of injuries sustained from an explosion near their vehicle while conducting operations in Kirkuk Province, Thursday." And they announced: "One Task Force Lightning Soldier was killed as a result of injuries sustained from small arms fire while conducting operations in Diyala Province, Thursday." And they announced [PDF format warning]: "A Task Force Lightning Soldier died Wednesday in a non-combat related incident, which is currently under investigation." That's five announced deaths and the current ICCC total for the number of US service members killed in the illegal war since it began (March 2003) is 3519 with the total for the month of June thus far at 42. Not that there's been news coverage or commentary from our media -- big or small -- to really inform you of that. Reuters count is also 3519.

Hey, let's drop back to the New York Times, from the previous entry: "Alissa J. Rubin has the temerity to maintain that 'Thursday passed with few violent incidents despite the destruction on Wednesday of the minarets of a holy shrine in Samarra sacred to Shiites'." You think the friends and families of the 4 dead US service members agree with Rubin's judgement that there were "few violent incidents"?

And the mosque attacks continue today with Reuters noting that one in "Basra was destroyed" today. AP informs that the attacks on the mosque began on Thursday with some damage and then, on Friday, a new attack ("planting bombs inside the structure and exploding it completely"). Deborah Haynes (Times of London) reports: "Only the front gate of the Talha Ibn Abdellah mosque was left standing after the gang planted bombs around the compound, blowing up two domes and a minaret." Tina Susman and Suhail Ahmad (Los Angeles Times) report 5 corpses discovered in Baghdad yesterday and Lauren Frayer (AP) notes that yesterday's mortar and rocket attacks on the Green Zone included: "one that hit on a street close to the Iraqi parliament less than a half hour before U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte passed nearby."

In the US, Thomas E. Ricks (Washington Post) reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saw Thursday's USA Today Q&A where David Petraues was doing the Operation Happy Talk he does so well ("astonishing signs of normalcy" in Baghdad) and looking that the then freshly released Pentagon report (which all but screams "LIAR! LIAR!" at all the Waves of Happy Talk) leading Reid to declare Petraues "isn't in touch with what's going on in Baghdad." William Roberts (Bloomberg News), on the same topic, notes Reid said Petraues' comments were not reality but "just trying to make the president feel good." Crazy John McCain issued a statement (from the maternity ward? Read Wally and Cedric's "THIS JUST IN! JOHN MCCAIN'S KNOCKED UP!" and "Senator Crazy with child!") that he was gravely disappointed. Sadly, the statement did not end with the words "in myself." Nor did Senator Crazy's statement of disappointment end with "my poll numbers." Senator Crazy, it starts with you. Focus on your own recovery.

Also in the US, Tina Susman (Los Angeles Times) reports that Lt. Col. William H. Steele will face a court-martial at an undetermined date in the future according to a statement released by the military and that this follows his Article 32 hearing which took place in May with the charges for the court-martial as follows: "aiding the enemy, possessing classified information, disobeying orders and engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer for his alleged relationship with a female Iraqi interpreter."

In many markets, PBS stations will be airing the new episode of NOW with David Brancaccio tonight. (Many, but not all, check your local listings.) The new episode's topic:

In the 1970's and 80's, Land Developer Gary Bradley worked to transform Austin, Texas' pristine hill country into lucrative residential subdivisions, making both headlines and lots of money. When local residents learned of new plans to develop 4,000 acres over nearby Barton Creek, they rose up to stop Bradley and his partners in their tracks. Wheres the developers had strong connections in the Texas legislature -- and a powerful ally in eventual Governor George W. Bush -- the city had an even stronger connection to their unspoiled home.
On Friday, June 15 at 8:30 pm (check local listings), NOW's David Brancaccio talks with filmmaker Laura Dunn about her documentary, The Unforseen, which captures the drama, passion and heartfelt convictions on all sides of the conflict without making easy targets of any of them.
The NOW website will provide a clip from the film as well as featured commentary from Robert Redford starting Friday morning, June 15th.

In addition, last week's report on the future of internet radio is available online at the program's website or at YouTube [those links should take you straight to the reports]. And on the topic of the media, here's an excerpt from Larry Pinkney's "The US Mass Media: Tools of Disinformation and Control" (The Black Commentator):

Black America knows, from continuous and deeply painful first-hand experience, that those politicians and "journalists" who, for example, feign surprise and ignorance at there having been no so-called "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq are, in fact, part and parcel of what the US mass media and "educational" system have always been about: deceit and disinformation [see Black Commentator-American Democracy: Legacy of Hypocrisy & Deceit]. In this vein, it is stunning to the point of being absurd that the US "news" media, which represents the only nation in the world to have actually used nuclear weapons - having dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese cities - dares to schizophrenically portray America as if it has never used weapons of mass destruction against civilian populations, and as if other nations (particularly of color) throughout the world are not keenly aware of this fact.
We must steadfastly refuse to succumb to the deliberate disempowering, inaccurate, and wholly misleading terms and expressions used by the US mass media, including "educational" institutions and so-called "news" and information outlets. An example of this is the misleading and inaccurate term "third world debt." There is absolutely no such thing as so-called third world debt. Rather, the accurate definition and description is actually "first world" (i.e. European and US) extortion. Yes, it is extortion by European nations and the US (through thievery of natural resources, amoral subjugation, colonization and neocolonization) of the peoples of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Central & South America. To reiterate: There is no such thing as "third world debt;" there is, quite bluntly, US and European extortion of these nations.

And from the Green Party of Suffolk:

Press Contact:
Kimberly Wilder, Green Party of Suffolk Press Secretary
(631) 422-4702 / votewilder at yahoo dot com
The Green Party of Suffolk is holding a "Summer in Setauket--Green Fundraising Party" on Friday, June 22nd at the scenic Setauket Neighborhood House.
The evening's events will include: A Silent Art Auction; display of youth and adult poster contest entries; music by "Blacklisted and the Banned"; and a vegetarian/vegan potluck dinner.
This event was originally scheduled for St. Patrick's day, and was snowed out. We are excited to hold it in June, when guests may enjoy the porch at the Setauket Neighborhood House.
For information and directions, see details below, or go to:
Pictures and videos of some of the art to be auctioned can be found at:
A steel sculpture of a peace sign by the artist, Portugie. It is made from rolled steel and is about 12 inches in diameter. Portugie, aka John Phillips, is a Babylon sculptor, musician, and public access producer.
"Jardin du Luxembourg" by Peter Josyph. Media: acrylic, oil, and wax-oil crayon on handmade French paper. Artist notes: "I chose a nice abstract (one of a few post-9/11 works) that happens to be on the best paper made in the world: extremely heavy handmade paper from a mill somewhere in France, paper I've only seen in Paris and have had to carry back with me. Its also of a series that enables me to double-sign it: once vertically, once horizontally: very user-friendly for accommodating wallspace!"
A painting, "Escaping the Fire", by Amityville poet/painter Lois V. Walker. The painting is acrylic and multimedia, and measures 15x21. More works by Lois V. Walker can be found at
A birch weaving by Manorville naturalist/puppeteer/ farmer/artist Tom Stock. It is mounted on a curved piece of wood. The weaving is made from Adirondack Birch Bark that naturally peels off the trees. It measures 8 x 14.
A pastel by Huntington artist/musician Gary Ivan. The piece measures 8 x 11.
Four pieces donated by Ron Thomson for the Silent Art Auction. More works by Ron Thomson can be found at
A photograph, "End of the Road", by Long Island photographer Robert A. Kelly. The Photograph is 10 x 10. More works by Robert A. Kelly at
A photograph, "Shep Jones Lane", by Robert A. Kelly. The Photograph is 10 x 10.
The Silent Auction will also include a number of autographed books, some of them by the artists whose art is also represented. Amityville scholar/poet Pat Falk has also donated a signed copy of her most recent book It Happens As We Speak:A Feminist Poetics and a book of her poetry.
"Summer in Setauket--Green Fundraising Party" Information and Directions:
The Green Party of Suffolk will be holding a "Summer in Setauket--Green Fundraising Party" on Friday, June 22 from 7pm to 10pm at the Setauket Neighborhood House, 95 Main Street, Setauket. (Main Street is north of 25A and 6/10th of a mile west of Nichols Road)
The evening will include a performance by the music group "Blacklisted and the Banned." There will also be a potluck dinner, a silent art auction, and a display of entries from the "Bring Home Our Troops" poster contest.
Vegetarian and vegan dishes will be served. Admission is $15 (with a dish) and $20 (without a dish). Children are welcome. There will be a Silent Art Auction of work by local artists.

Blacklisted & The Banned will perform their unique style of original, political music. Blacklisted features local musicians Sonny Meadows, Bob Westcott, Jon Foreman, Bob Campbell and Robert Langley. The Banned has a new CD out: I Never Thought I'd Miss Richard Nixon. You can purchase the new CD at CD Baby.

The Green Party is an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. The Green Party's values can be described by the four pillars of: Nonviolence; Grassroots Democracy; Ecological Wisdom; and Social and Economic Justice.
Donations and/or requests for advance tickets can be sent to: Green Party of Suffolk, 14 Robin Drive, Huntington, NY 11743. Please note that political donations are not tax-deductible. For more information call Roger at (631) 351-5763 or go to
Green Party of Suffolk:
Information on Blacklisted and the Banned:
Setuaket Neighborhood House:
Information on poet, Pat Falk:

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