Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Democracy Now: on G8, Africa and O'Connor; Cindy Sheehan (BuzzFlash); Somerby on op-eders; Bill Scher on filibuster; BuzzFlash interviews Paul Jay . . .

I finally got on to speak for my 82 seconds (all the time Larry King Live could spare for the peace message) about how this war is a catastrophe and how we should bring the troops home and quit forcing the Iraqi people to pay for our government's hubris and quit forcing innocent children to suffer so we can fight terrorism somewhere besides America. How absolutely racist and immoral is it to take America's battles to another land and make an entire country pay for the crimes of others? To me, this is blatant genocide. How dare we export our patriotic brand of flag waving death and devastation to a people who have been through so much already? It wasn't bad enough that our sanctions killed tens of thousands of Iraqis before we even started an active aggression on them, now we have to create confusion, chaos, and disorder there. How dare our president, Congress, and we Americans allow this to continue?

After my brief advocacy for peace, my position was refuted by another Mom whose son was killed in Iraq in 2003 who said she "totally disagrees" with me and "feels sorry" for me. Well, you know what? I feel ache for her blindness and for the millions of sheeple who have had the wool pulled over their eyes by the bunch of hypocritical, bad shepherds who are running disastrous herd over the world. I have distressing news for the Soccer Safety Moms and the NASCAR Dads who are such ardent supporters of this administration and war: Your grandchildren and children who will be entering Kindergarten this fall will be fighting George's endless war if he gets his way and is allowed to continue spreading the cancer of imperialism in the Middle-East. Donny Rumsfeld said we could be in Iraq for another dozen years. Does anybody think with all the billions of dollars that are being poured into constructing super-sized bases in Iraq that the war machine plans on relinquishing the cash-cow that is that poor, unfortunate land anytime soon? Think about it when you tuck your child into bed tonight.

The above is from Cindy Sheehan's "Not Worth It: Larry King, Part 2" at BuzzFlash. (Part 1 can be found here.)  BuzzFlash credits her with the following:

Mom of Casey Sheehan, KIA in Sadr City Iraq, 04/04/04 Casey's Peace Page
Cofounder of Gold Star Families for Peace www.GSFP.org
Member of the After Downing Street Coalition www.AfterDowningStreet.org

We'll add Military Familes Speak Out to the list. (To read Sheehan's testimony at the Conyers' Hearing on the Downing Street Memo, click here.  To read an excerpt of her contribution to CODEPINK's Stop The Next War Now, click here.)


On to Democracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says)

Headlines for July 5, 2005

- Sandra Day O'Connor Resigns From Supreme Court
- Egypt's Top Diplomat Kidnapped in Baghdad
- Iraq Ambassador Accuses U.S. Of Killing His Nephew
- 200,000 March in "Make Poverty History" Protest in Scotland
- 2,000 Blockade Scottish Nuclear Sub Base
- 2005: Deadliest Year So Far For U.S. In Afghanistan
- Report: Karl Rove Linked to Outing of CIA Agent
- Israeli President Warns Sharon Could Be Assassinated

After Sandra Day O'Conner: High Stakes Battle Over Supreme Court Gears Up in Washington

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retired from the bench last Friday. In 1981, O'Conner became the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Her resignation created a vacancy on the court for the first time in 11 years and set in motion a high stakes political battle in Washington that could last for months. We host a debate with the Alliance for Justice and the conservative Committee for Justice as well as Planned Parenthood.

Nelson Mandela on G8 Summit: "Overcoming Poverty is Not a Gesture of Charity, it is an Act of Justice"

After billions tuned into this weekend's Live 8 concerts and hundreds of thousands protested in the streets for debt relief, increased aid, and trade justice, leaders of the world's richest nations will begin a three-day summit in Gleneagles, Scotland on Wednesday. We speak with veteran reporter John Chiahemen, chief Southern Africa correspondent for Reuters and we go to Scotland to speak with sociology professor David Miller.

Jailed Native American Leader Leonard Peltier Transferred to Indiana Prison and Put in Solitary Confinement

Jailed Native American Leader Leonard Peltier was transferred from Leavenworth prison in Kansas to the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana where he was put in solitary confinement. We speak with his lead attorney, Barry Bachrach.


From today's Democracy Now! Headlines, Tori and Jonah each wanted one item highlighted:

200,000 March in "Make Poverty History" Protest in Scotland
President Bush is flying to Scotland today to take part in the Group of Eight summit. While the summit opens on Wednesday, Scotland has already been the scene of mass protests. On Saturday more than 200,000 demonstrators gathered in Edinburgh for the "Make Poverty History" march. That same day simultaneous concerts were held in 10 cities around the world in an attempt to increase the world's attention about poverty in Africa.

Iraq Ambassador Accuses U.S. Of Killing His Nephew
Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations -- Samir Sumaidaie -- is accusing U.S. Marines of shooting dead his 21-year-old nephew. According to the ambassador, his nephew was arrested because Marines found a rifle at his home. After Marines detained him, the young man was found dead with a bullet in his neck.


At The Daily Howler, Bob Somerby is addressing a number of topics (always) and we'll focus on the remarks on the New York Times columnists* for this excerpt:

For example, consider John Tierney's column this morning. Tierney starts by listing two questions he would pose to a Court nominee:

TIERNEY (7/5/05): Two questions I'd like to ask candidates for Sandra Day O'Connor's job:

1. Does the Constitution forbid the government from seizing your home and giving it to someone else?

2.If you're not sure, would you be willing to tour Pittsburgh before taking this job?

But how would a tour of Pittsburgh help someone know what the Constitution forbids? Answer: It wouldn't--of course. But so what? After a silly jibe at current Justices who are "not inclined to be too literal about the Bill of Rights," Tierney goes off on his latest tear. Urban renewal in his native Pittsburgh has been a disaster, he says--a decades-long string of bad decisions. And somehow, this is supposed to help O'Connor’s replacement know how to make a judicial ruling about eminent domain. Tierney wants this new Justice to read the Constitution literally--and to base her rulings on the way planners screwed up the Lower Hill District. Does any of this make a lick of sense? No--except at the Times.

And then, as always, there's Kristof. Believe it or not, this is paragraph 10 of
today's 14-paragraph column:

KRISTOF (7/5/05): The divide I portray between the left and right is, of course, a caricature. Some of the very best work to help the poor is done by liberal-leaning groups, like the Carter Center, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Doctors Without Borders. They all use their resources to make real changes on the ground.

Only Kristof thinks this way. Only Kristof tells us, in paragraph 10, that paragraphs 1-9 were "of course, a caricature"--a wild misstatement of reality. And as always, Kristof's "caricature" tilts in favor of magnificent Bush at the expense of those vile, worthless Dems. Only if you read all the way to the end do you escape his sprawling burlesque, finally getting a chance to learn what Bush has really done in Africa.

What has Bush actually done? Here at THE HOWLER, we don’t know, but here's what Kristof finally says: In paragraph 11, we learn that "because anything with a whiff of sex in it makes some conservatives go nuts, Mr. Bush's decision to cut off funds for the U.N. Population Fund means that more African girls will die in childbirth." And: "Even more tragic is the administration's blind hostility to condoms to fight AIDS--resulting in more dead Africans."

So Bush, the hero of the earlier caricature, is consigning many young Africans to death, for reasons that are utterly kooky.

Did you note "*"?  Sunday, Ava and I did joint entries.  Which included the morning entries on the New York Times.  We'd just finished up (assisting The Third Estate Sunday Review for myself; Ava, of course, is a member of The Third Estate Sunday Review along with Jim, Dona, Ty and Jess) an all nighter that actually started in the afternoon.  (And I'll take the blame/fall for that.  Anytime there's a roundtable at The Third Estate Sunday Review, it takes a huge amount of time.  I'm the one who suggested the roundtable -- and I did so at the last minute.)  So the point is we were tired and seeing hardly any news in the main section.  At which point, Ava said let's look at the op-eds or the Sunday Magazine.  We ended up going with the op-ed.  We noted Patricia Limerick Nelson ("Patti") who'd doodled on Saturday. (Also note that Ava and I were trying to provide humor in that entry and "The Manny named Brian" due to the fact that we felt we had so blown the humor in our TV review at The Third Estate Sunday Review: "TV Review: Make Room For Bully." And yes, to Martha, I'm much more comfortable seeing the humor in the review you enjoy best than this one we just did on Bully Boy's press conference.)

I've passed on some of the compliments to Ava (and we'll continue to do so) and while it's great that so many of you enjoyed it, we didn't address Patti's op-ed in the Times in terms of "she says ____ but she is incorrect."  (We did critique her "opinion" that she'd offered in a CounterPunch op-ed.)  But a number of you e-mailed expressing disappointment that this morning's op-eds weren't addressed.  If Ava and I are doing a co-entry and she wants to take those on, we will.  (And if Ava takes over the site, she'll do what she sees fit.)  But I'm really not interested in the Times' op-eds as I've noted before.  Somerby will critique them and we cite him as often as he has a new Howler (or at least as often as we're aware that their's a new Howler).

But a number of e-mails came in this morning asking where the critique of Tierney or Kristof were.  They're at The Daily Howler as cited. As for the guest op-ed by Stephanie Coontz that twelve of you e-mailed about, if I did take on the op-eds, I'd probably have to excuse myself from Coontz's.  (I know her.)  I will, however, recommend that the people who enjoyed her op-ed seek out The Way We Never Were:  American Families and the Nostalgia Trap which is my personal favorite of her books and one that is not listed by the Times this morning.  I'll also add that members can comment on whatever they want.  If you have opinions on an op-ed or an editorial, you're more than welcome to e-mail your thoughts and they will go up here if you give permission for that.

Kelli e-mails to note Rohan Pearce's "World Tribunal: Iraq needs justice, not occpation" (Green Left Weekly):

"In February 2003, weeks before war was declared on Iraq, millions of people protested in the streets of the world. That call went unheeded. No international institution had the courage or conscience to stand up to the aggression of the US and UK governments. No one could stop them. It is two years later now. Iraq has been invaded, occupied, and devastated. The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all. We the people of conscience decided to stand up. We formed the World Tribunal on Iraq, to demand justice and a peaceful future." -- from the preliminary declaration of the World Tribunal on Iraq, Istanbul, June 27.

On June 26, the World Tribunal on Iraq held its final session, the culmination of 20 commissions of inquiry and hearings held across the world over a period of two years. Sessions took place in London, Mumbai, Copenhagen, Brussels, New York, Japan, Stockholm, South Korea, Rome, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon and Spain; the "Jury of Conscience" that rendered judgement on the war and occupation was drawn from 10 different countries.

The tribunal was formed by activists in the anti-war movement because of the absence, as the tribunal's statement on its legitimacy explains, of a "court or authority that will judge the acts of the US and its allies". It added: "If the official authorities fail, then authority derived from universal morals and human rights principles can speak for the world."

Jonah e-mails to note that Global Movements, Urban Struggles (Pacifica radio program airing Tuesdays on WBAI) addressed The World Tribunal on Iraq for the full hour this morning. 

Jonah:  Biju Matthew had clips from Dahr [Jamail] and other people speaking and Biju gave a really an indepth look.  I'm not sure if the programs are archived or not, but people should be aware of this once a week program.  They can probably listen online.

WBAI archives their programs and clicking here should take you to the July archive but note that Tuesday's programming is not yet archived.  The World Tribunal on Iraq also maintains an archive.

Amanda e-mails to note Armando's "Damaging National Security" (Daily Kos) comments on this morning's front page article in the New York Times on the outing of Valerie Plame (penned by Scott Shane):

Which means that is one less agent we have to do the important work of stopping the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Not to mention the operatives who worked with Ms. Plame.

Weapons of Mass Destruction. That's a phrase you don't hear much from BushCo anymore.

Marcus e-mails to note Bill Scher's latest at Liberal Oasis:

Can Dems really just keep opposing and opposing? Won’t they just look political and obstructionist?

Yes they can, and no they won’t, if the principles are clear and laid out from the beginning.

When principles slosh around from nominee to nominee, that’s when it looks political.

Republicans are trying to prevent Dems from dragging things out.

On Sunday, a talking point from Sens. Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch was that the average nomination process was 72 days long, to try to set a benchmark for excessive fighting.

But remember, Dems have successfully fought out a protracted nomination battle.

From the time when the right-wing Robert Bork was nominated in 1987, to when the merely conservative Anthony Kennedy confirmed in 1988, took more than 200 days.

(There was even an empty seat on the Court from October to February. The Court stayed in business and the Republic survived.)

And Kennedy was Reagan’s third attempt. (Granted, Dems got a little lucky, as the second right-wing pick, Douglas Ginsburg, withdrew because he smoked pot.)

Sheila e-mailed to say that Anne E. Kornblut's article on Howard Dean was noted here June 10th.  (The article, entitled "Dean's Remarks Draw Fire From Both Sides of the Aisle" was the subject of a correction by the Times which we noted this morning.)  Sheila's correct (I was wrong), the article was noted.  The quote corrected wasn't.  Click here to read that entry from June 10th. (Scroll down to "Avoid Anne E. Kornblut's .  . .") Thank you for catching that Sheila (and the earlier entry from this morning will be corrected this evening).

We'll note the latest BuzzFlash interview: "Paul Jay, Creator of Independent World Television, Intends to Challenge Corporate Broadcasters at Their Own Game:"

When we heard of Paul Jay's project to start an international television news network supported by viewer donations, we said to ourselves, "Now here is a guy who is truly BuzzFlashian!" After all, BuzzFlash was started in May of 2000 with sweat equity, and it has been supported ever since by its readers -- 5 million monthly, these days, although in the first month of our online existence, we only had 34 readers a day. When we met Paul Jay, we became convinced he's got the professional expertise and righteous indignation to maybe pull this idea off. After all, we did, on the Internet. So, we have joined his advisory committee, and BuzzFlash is fully supporting his efforts. After all, he's a kindred spirit who cherishes democracy, the free flow of ideas, and social justice. You can find out more about his vision and unfolding plans at the Independent World Television web site: http://www.iwtnews.com/

* * *

BuzzFlash: You're a successful producer of documentaries and also public affairs programming for the CBC in Canada, and you have enjoyed other accomplishments relating to films and television. Why at this point in your life would you undertake this gargantuan project to launch an international television news network?

Paul Jay: In many ways, everything I've been doing has led me here. I've been making long-form documentaries for over twenty years. The last film I did was in Afghanistan, a film called "Return to Kandahar." And that filmmaking experience gave me an opportunity to get a sense of just how serious, even dire, the world situation is. You can't go to a place like Afghanistan, and see the poverty and the destruction that's taken place -- the destruction of so many people's lives -- and not just feel moved, but feel the need to act in some way, to respond to it.

The more I know about the world, the more concerned I am about where it's going. Also, I've been doing a political debate show on Canadian TV for the last ten years called "counterSpin." So I've heard all the political debates.

BuzzFlash: It was on the CBC?

Paul Jay: Yes, on CBC News World. And it's the same thing. At least personally, I've increasingly felt that the only life that makes me happy is a life with meaning. For my life to have meaning, I have to act. It's not enough just to know. I asked myself, where and in what way should I act, beyond making films, beyond doing "counterSpin?"

Always ahead of the curve, BuzzFlash picked Karl Rove as their GOP Hypocrite of the Week Friday.  And my apologies to Paul who e-mailed on that Friday night.  (Ahead of the curve in this instance due to the reporting on Rove re: Plame case.  And for members who took long holidays or missed it due to other reasons, check out The Third Estate Sunday Review's editorial from Sunday, "Karl Got Fingered.")

Pru e-mails to note that at UK Indymedia they have G8 radio and video live stream

This morning a banner was hung from a tall crane near Edinburgh central train station saying "No More Brown Wash". The campaigning group WDM have been critical of both Make Poverty History and the Governments G8 spin [audio: mp3 from crane].

The above is the latest at UK Indymedia, "G8 Reports: Tuesday 5th July."  (Nice photo of the banner, by the way.)

And we'll note from (Scotland's Indymedia) "Carnival of Full Enjoyment, Edinburgh:"

The Carnival for Full Enjoyment travelled around the streets of Edinburgh on Monday 4th, involving a cast of G8 Summit protesters, clowns, police and local people. The Carnival called upon 'workers, migrants, students, benefit claimers, New Dealers, work refusers, pensioners, dreamers, duckers & divers' to resist the 'daily grind of the institutions that plunge us into overwork, poverty and debt.'

The day started with police and groups of protestors playing cat and mouse through the streets, as police quickly started to stop and search people under the Section 60 imposed all over Edinburgh. At 12pm groups of people began to gather in and around Princes St. From that time on, and throughout the day, police tried to heavily repress any demonstration using scores of riot police, horses, dogs, and endless batton charges whilst attempting to pen in groups of people. As a result several clashes occurred in the Princes St and Canning St areas that resulted in more than 100 people arrested, and around 35 protesters treated in hospital for injuries caused by the heavy handed policing. Despite this many streets in central Edinburgh were taken over by protestors throughout the afternoon. Click here for a full appraisal of the day and here for the Timeline of Events.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

Yahoo! Sports
Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football