Sunday, September 11, 2005

"The Third Estate Sunday Review News Review 9-11-2005"

Repost from The Third Estate Sunday Review:

"The Third Estate Sunday Review News Review 9-11-05"

C.I.: Good morning and welcome to The Third Estate Sunday Review news review.

Jess: Australia's ABC network reports that a peace activist may face deportation. The activist, Scott Parkin, is a nonviolent peace activist conducting workshops on peace. A security assessment has found him to be a "risk." Liz Thompson of Australia's Anti-Deportation Alliance told ABC that:

"The idea that someone who talks about non-violent methods of resistance to state violence can be considered a threat to national security is pretty concerning, particularly in the light of the new laws that are being proposed."

Jess (con't): Now I'd like to note an excerpt from Cindy Sheehan's "Peacemakers: What Kind of Extremist Will You Be?" at BuzzFlash:

Most everyone who is reading this knows what happened to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 04, 1968. Some of you may even know what happened to my son, Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan on April 04, 2004. If you don't know, Dr King and Casey were murdered by the same malevolent entities: People and ideologies that say that we have to be mortally afraid of the "ism" du jour and we, as Americans who have the "moral high-ground" in the world can send our innocent children to invade innocent countries and kill innocent people to fight the "ists" that go with the "isms."
In Vietnam we were fighting the evil Communists and in Iraq we are fighting the evil terrorists. Our war against Communism out-stayed its welcome in the 1980's and the military industrial war complex was running out of excuses to build bombs, tanks, bullets, ships, submarines, and soldiers; so in 2001, our leaders who serve the war machine had to switch our enemy of the state to terrorism.
Dr. King had the temerity to challenge the war machine and war racketeers on April 04, 1967 in his famous speech on Vietnam...and he paid for that bit of inspired, courageous, honesty with his life exactly one year later. Casey had the naïve gall to join the US Army thinking he would be making the world a better, safer place... and he paid for that kind of immature (but honest) patriotic mistake with his wonderful life.
Casey was a brave and honorable man who we were told volunteered to go on the mission that killed him to save the lives of his buddies. He was shot in the back of the head and died a little while later in a medic's station while a medic was trying to hold his brains in while the doctors tried to keep him breathing. We have heard many wildly disparate stories of Casey's last few minutes on earth, I don't know if we will ever know the truth. One thing I do know, however, is that like Dr. King, Casey's murder will be to advance the cause for peace and in the name of love.
I am wholly and completely convinced that this aggression on Iraq is illegal, immoral and appallingly unnecessary. I am also convinced that one drop of blood was one drop of blood too much to be shed for this abomination in Iraq. Now oceans of blood -- both Iraqi and American -- have been spilled for ruinous and disturbing policies of very bad people in our government who have based their reasons for invasion and occupation on their twisted imaginations and their seemingly bottomless lust for power, profits, chaos and confusion.

Jess (con't): This is a powerful statement and deserves attention. Due to the length of the excerpt and knowing that Betty, Cedric and Ty have put a lot of time into something they'll be providing tonight, I'll use the rest of my time to note two things. First, here are the upcoming dates for the Bring Them Home Now Tour:

Central Tour:
Cleveland, OH: Sun, Sep. 11th
Pittsburgh, PA: Sun, Sep. 11th - Wed, Sep. 14th
Harrisburg, PA: Wed, Sep. 14th
Philadelphia, PA: Wed, Sep. 14th - Sun, Sep. 18th
Baltimore, MD: Sun, Sep. 18th - Wed, Sep. 21st
Northern Tour:
Detroit, MI: Sun, Sep. 11th
Buffalo, NY: Sun, Sep. 11th - Tue, Sep. 13th
Rochester, NY: Tue, Sep. 13th
Syracuse, NY: Tue, Sep. 13th
Albany, NY: Tue, Sep. 13th - Wed, Sep. 14th
Amherst, MA: Wed, Sep. 14th - Thu, Sep. 15th
Boston, MA: Fri, Sep. 16th - Sun, Sep. 18th
New Haven, CT: Sun, Sep. 18th
Providence, RI: Sun, Sep. 18th
New York City, NY: Sun, Sep. 18th - Tue, Sep. 20th
Newark, NJ: Tue, Sep. 20th
Baltimore, MD: Tue, Sep. 20th - Wed, Sep. 21st Southern Tour:
Savannah, GA: Mon, Sep. 12th - Tue, Sep. 13th
Charleston, SC: Tue, Sep. 13th
Columbia, SC: Tue, Sep. 13th - Thu, Sep. 15th
Raleigh-Durham, NC: Thu, Sep. 15th - Sun, Sep. 18th
Fayetteville, NC: Fri, Sep. 16th
Williamsburg, VA: Sun, Sep. 18th
Richmond, VA: Sun, Sep. 18th - Tue, Sep. 20th
Alexandria, VA: Tue, Sep. 20th - Wed, Sep. 21st

Jess (con't): If they're in your area, show your support. And reader Amy asked me to note that one week from today, in Madison Wisconsin, Jane Fonda & George Galloway's tour gets under way. We publish on Sunday and I'll note this again next week but to give an advance heads up, we'll note it now. Jane Fonda will speak for twenty minutes and introduce George Galloway who will then speak for an hour. Ticket prices are ten dollars for students and twenty dollars for everyone else. Tickets are now on sale and the event takes place in the Wisconsin Union Theatre. For more information, you can consult Madison Indymedia and the article Lee Sensebrenner wrote. Let's keep the activism that took off this summer alive and growing.

C.I.: Thank you, Jess. You have a report that you completed but you'll be holding that?

Jess: Correct. With the events the weekend of the 23rd, we've decided to hold that in case we're short on time.

C.I.: Thank you. We'll also note that BuzzFlash has a petition asking that Jenna & Barbara Bush enlist in the military or that no other Americans be sent to Iraq. To sign the petition click here.We're now fortunate to have Dallas participating with us again. Dallas hunts down all the links you find at The Third Estate Sunday Review, and many at The Common Ills as well. This week Dallas spent many hours volunteering at a relief center for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in his local area. Dallas?

Dallas: C.I., I live in Dallas, Texas and one of the areas that it has been set up is the city's Convention Center. I saw positives and negatives and, my personal judgement, the negatives stem mainly from the lack of assistance provided by the federal government. After attending a training session by the Red Cross, I reported to the Convention Center where residents are tightly packed and alternate between frustration and hope. Many businesses, including Honey B. Ham and Dominos Pizza, donated food throught the week. Food was not in short supply and, again, that food was donated. Last week, we had spoken of the proximity to the West End Station of the Convention Center. The West End Station is a bus and train station that services the DFW area. The city has provided all the evacuess with passes which allow them to travel on the local transportation free of charge. The evacuess wear braclets which allow them to enter and depart from the Convention Center. They are not confined to the center nor are they forced to leave each day. One concern that we discussed last week was repeatedly raised by evacuees in the Convention Center which is the heat outside and the lack of shade for those wishing to step out and get some fresh air. There is also confusion expressed over the layout around the Convention Center. A plus I did not note last week is that although Dallas and surrounding areas are set up under a multi-system that seems to encompass every development design, the immediate area that the evacuees at the Convention Center are in is set up, more or less, on a grid system. That's a rarity in Dallas and a benefit to the location. Those I spoke with who ventured out for walks cited the ease with which they were able to find their way back to the Convention Center. Inside the center itself, there are various areas set up to address problems.Walgreens and another drugstore have set up to provide medications. One of the best run areas, my opinion, is the DISD, Dallas Independent School District, which is registering the children for classes. Five mothers cite that as the easiest area to navigate and the most helpful.Social Security and FEMA are rated by most as the worst areas and the most confusing due to the paper work and the constant referrals of "You need to see ___" first. That was a hall mark in the Convention Center, something that volunteers and evacuees repeatedly noted. The local organizations were running with speed and efficiency. The federal organizations were not. As the week progressed, frustration with the federal agencies became the most cited topic by evacuees who complained to me.

C.I.: What would you offer as an explanation for that?

Dallas: Frustration over the procedures. The paperwork is more often a maze of paperwork for those agencies. There is a "It's not my job" attitude that is sometimes expressed verbally. Again, this is with the federal agencies. The local agencies, such as DISD which you would expect to be frustrating, have had more thought and planning put in. They're also under local oversight which no doubt helps as well.

C.I.: And you said in an e-mail Thursday that it was a peaceful setting.

Dallas: Right. People do express frustrations, valid ones. But the evacuees have not lived up to any of the horror stories reported in some media.

C.I.: Other than complaints regarding the federal agencies, what has been the biggest complaint from evacuees in the Convention Center?

Dallas: That family can't enter. If you lived in New Orleans and were currently in the Convention Center and Jess was your brother from Oklahoma who showed up to check on you, Jess would not be allowed into the Convention Center. I spoke to many who voiced this complaint. Two of which actually had a visitor that they found out later. Both visitors had stationed themselves in the area outside of the Convention Center with the hopes that their family inside might walk out or someone that they knew who could go back in and inform them that they were outside. The two people who did leave the Convention Center by chance and encounter visitors took the story back inside and a number of evacuees are wondering whether they too might have had people attempting to visit them. There's a discussion, at least inside the Convention Center, on a way to address that issue because obviously it is an important one.
These people have already lost so much and certainly no one wants to deprive them of a visit from loved ones.

C.I.: The rule was set up for safety reasons?

Dallas: Yes. You have to have a braclet to enter or leave the Convention Center. This is an attempt to focus on the needs of the evacuees.

C.I.: As opposed to the homeless population that you spoke of last week?

Dallas: Correct. As well as to prevent casual visitors from dropping in. You're dealing with a tightly packed area, set up with cots. There's not a great deal of privacy and the braclet system was also an attempt to provide the evacuees with some privacy from what one agency head called "curiosity seekers." I should probably disclose that I did vote for our mayor, Laura Miller, and for the council member that represents me. However, I'm not always pleased with the mayor's positions or proposals. I went in wanting to help and expecting a nightmare. Not from the evacuees but from the way things would be set up. I think the mayor and the council has provided strong oversight and that the city officials involved planned very carefully. Again, the contrast between what you receive from the city and what you receive from the federal agencies is very different. The mayor is saying publicly that the city needs more federal assistance and a few hours inside the Convention Center will demonstrate why she is asking for that.

C.I.: Thank you for that report Dallas. We now have an editorial sgement. It will begin with Betty and myself, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, and then we'll be joined by Ty of The Third Estate Sunday Review, and Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix. Before we get to that, last week, Elaine and I attempted to figure out the terms "refugee" and "evacuee." For information on that you can refer to Ruth's Morning Edition Report from Saturday. We will all be using the term "evacuee" in place of "refugee." Betty, you have issues with a certain fact checker, correct?

Betty: Correct. My frustation were voiced here last Sunday over what I saw as his insensitivity and lack of desire for an exploration of racial issues. As the week progressed, my frustration only grew with each daily entry from the fact checker.
He critiques Rep. Dianne Watson (D-CA) for her complaints about the use of the term refugee. He writes:

But let’s go farther: Who exactly has called the New Orleans storm victims "refugees coming from a foreign country?" Answer: No one has made such a statement. Watson is pleasuring herself.

C.I.: Fact, the legal definition of "refugee" refers to those from a foreign country. Refugess come from a foreign country, to repeat. Watson is legally correct. Legally the "from a foreign country" is implied.

Betty: He wrote of Kanye West and Don Imus and their remarks of Bully Boy hating black people:Kanye West knew it, and Imus did too.

C.I.: Fact, he does not know what Bully Boy hates anymore than anyone else does.

Betty: He wrote:

A single photo caption from Agence France Press failed to use the naughty term "looting"--and a pair of white people were portrayed in the photo! To Atrios, a college professor (!), this single, unexplained example seemed to display a troubling race bias—and the stupid story quickly spread around the liberal web (ending up in a stand-alone story in the New York Times). As it turned out, the photojournalist had a very good reason for saying this couple “found” bread and soda from a local grocery--he said he had literally seen them do it! But pseudo-liberals were outraged by this one example--and when pseudo-liberals start to pleasure themselves, one example is all they need to establish a troubling principle. Their well-trained professors (!) play along.

C.I.: Fact, we are outside of France. AP distributes AFP globally. Snit fits over AFP seem beside the point. More importantly the photo is a Getty Image. Which AFP distributes. AP distributes AFP internationally. Are we confused yet? We won't get any clarity from the fact checker.
The photos were teamed on the internet by Yahoo.
Fact checker informs that the photo journalist says he saw the "looting." Unless he knows the photog it certainly is strange that he, who ridicules the press so often, is building his case on a single source. It certainly is a pleasing story for the photog involved. One doubts that Maureen Dowd would be granted the same unquestioning treatment to a defense she offered that only she could back up.
Interestingly enough and not surprisingly, there are larger issues. Such as the photos themselves.

Betty: Left out of discussion is the fact that the "looting" man is presumably not far from the store in question since the Getty journalist claims to have seen the looting. The Getty photog couldn't very well have chased the man far for a photo.

C.I.: Or shouldn't have since the photo shows the quote "looter" unquote in chest deep water.The man is thought to be carrying a case of Pepsis. Betty, do you prefer your Pepsi chilled or under stagnant water?

Betty: Well, while there's nothing like a rust ring to make a can of Pepsi more attractive, I think I'd have to choose the can not buried under water where it will remain for days.C.I.: Point. There are bigger issues. The "analysis" is useless.

Cedric: Help! Help! Help!

Betty: Cedric, are you okay?

Cedric: I've just sliced open my hand. It was bad enough when I woke with an ingrown fingernail.

Betty: Cedric, you're losing a lot of blood. Let's apply pressure.

Ty: Hold it one damn minute! Before anyone applies pressure, allow me to fact check. Contrary to the way the liberals love to spread self-pleasing tales, Cedric DOES NOT have an ingrown fingernail. He has a hang nail! Allow me to explain at length.

Betty: But Ty, there is a bigger issue!

Cedric: I'm bleedin,g man!

Ty: Drop the bandage, Betty! The issue at present is that Cedric has lied, lied, lied about having an ingrown nail. It is a hang nail. That is our focus and that will be our focus.

C.I.: Ty, isn't it correct that Cedric is bleeding from a sharp cut to his hand?

Ty: I'm not commenting on that. I'm not into self-pleasing liberal tales that liberals tell themselves to be self-pleased. I'm the last honest man, emphasis on man, and I will howl and holler until I am heard!

Cedric: You self-righteous ass!

C.I.: The above, beginning with the appearence of Cedric screaming, "Help! Help! Help!" was a dramatization. Betty?

Betty: Did Cedric, in our dramatization, have a hang nail or an ingrown fingernail? Considering that, Cedric's hand was bleeding, Ty's focus on the hang nail issue was rather strange.

Ty: The point of the skit that Betty, Cedric and I wrote was to underscore that there are larger issues. The character I played was someone totally oblivious to the pain of others and unconcerned with the big issues but determined to extoll my own self-pleasing critiques.

Betty: And did a very fine job. Our Weekly Howler Players, Ty and Cedric. The skit actually illustrates some of the huge problems this week. Thursday is all , these people claim crime wasn't as rampant as portrayed, the police chief says otherwise!

Ty: "But, uh, I guess I should toss in that the police chief might have a reason to say that."

Cedric: "And note how I don't mention word one about the reports of the police abusing reporters."

Betty: When you set the rules, when you call the fouls, when you're the home team, you can make an argument. Doesn't make it valid. As a black woman, I'm grossly offended by pretty much every commentary the Fact Checker has offered on this topic.

Ty: The minimizing of race and the serious issues involved repeatedly by someone rushing into scream, "Don't look here!" didn't play well to the three of us. He appears to want a serious discussion on race. But only on his terms.

Cedric: And he'll attempt to ridicule anyone who attempts to raise a serious issue because, instead of focusing on the bloody hand, he's trying to figure out whether it's a hang nail or in grown nail. It's insulting no matter how it's meant. As the three African-Americans of this community who have sites, we felt we had a special obligation to make sure our point of view was heard on this nonsense.

C.I.: Ty, you have a statement to read composed by everyone participating in this edition?

Ty: Correct. We don't know the intent of the Fact Checker. We do know that many in the community found his remarks insensitive and offensive. Racial issues have been addressed rarely at his site so if he's thinking that he's earned some benefit of the doubt on this, he's wrong.We link to him at this site on our blog roll. It is our hope that he was in a bad mood all week, as evidenced by his use of the f-word, and attempting to make points that he never executed due to his frustration. But as the comments stand, people are offended. Issues of representation have been raised in other forums and while focusing on the domestic mainstream may limit some of his choices due to the institutional bais in those organizations focused on, the fact remains that people are asking questions and feeling, in the words of Common Ills community member and co-author of the gina & krista round-robin, uninvited.

C.I.: Thank you Ty, Betty and Cedric. Again, that was editorial content. We now go Elaine with reports from Iraq. And we'll note that this week Elaine started her own site, Like Maria Said Paz.

Elaine: It is now September 11th. Though the mainstream media hasn't been very concerned with covering it, the fatality count for American troops in Iraq stands at eleven [for the month thus far]. There is not a total for those wounded in action but August's total is 451 injured while serving in Iraq.The Associated Press reports that this Friday, at a court martial, Sgt. David Fimon pled guilty to abusing prisioners in Iraq. Reportedly, the abuse included stun guns used on prisoners who were both handcuffed and blind folded.
In Tal Afar, Reuters reports that the mayor, Mohammed Rasheed, has resigned saying that "The operation is targeting Sunni neighbourhoods."As noted elsewhere, The New York Times has a fondness for copying press releases from the military and turning them as a news reports. One such press release last week claimed that Saddam Hussein had confessed. The BBC reports that attornies for Hussein state there has been no confession.While the paper of record for press releases told readers about a questionable confession and baseball in Iraq, they found little time to report on Tal Afar.
Aerial bombings began mid-week according to Aljazeera. Aljazeera also reports that:"The Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) in Iraq slammed the military offensive in Tal Afar on Saturday, saying it was as an expression of innate sectarian hatred that rulers should refrain from." The BBC reports that the city of Qaim is next on the radar for the US military although this is being delayed due to the fighting in Tal Afar. The Observer has called events in Tal Afar"the biggest assault since the retaking of Falluja." At some point The New York Times may decide to report on it.

C.I.: Thank you, Elaine. In other news you may not find in The New York Times, we go to Mike, of Mike Likes It!

Mike:Based on past reporting on the area, there's a good chance this is news that The New York Times won't tell you, a confrontation in Belfast between police and loyalists resulted in violence. Australia's ABC reports that at least one Protestant was shot and that the authorities speak of a spike in the attacks in West Belfast by loyalists. Machine gun fire was reportedly heard.

C.I.: The IRA is supposed to be disarming but as many, not the Times, pointed out the loyalist paramilitary goups, which exist even if the Times can't find them, have made no such proclamation. What else is know about the attacks?

Mike: The police speak of petrol bombs, blast bombs and bricks being hurled at them by loyalists. The crackpot The New York Times loves to quote, Ian Paisley, is blaming the violence on parade commissioners who re-routed a parade, according to the BBC. Burning automobiles and other things are blocking many roads. In other news from Europe, The Guardian is reporting that the general-secretary of the Transport & General Workers Union, Tony Woodley, is calling for Tony Blair to step down as prime minister within the year and thus far refusing to endorse Gordon Brown as the next prime minister. In the United States, the Associated Press is reporting on The "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" -- a 2002 Pentagon plan that is in the process of being updated. The doctrine calls for the use of nuclear weapons to fight "terrorists" in a pre-emptive war. Left unstated by the AP is the legalisty of a pre-emptive war.

C.I.: That is disturbing, Mike. Thank you. We'll note that Jim Lobe's "Anti-Terror Strategy in Doubt on 9/11 Anniversary" at IPS raises serious questions about the strategy of the so-called "war" on terror. Now we go to Rebecca, of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, who is filing her first report for the news review and is focusing on nature. Rebecca?

Rebecca: C.I., the great apes in Africa are facing extinction. The BBC reports that the UN and ministers of 23 African republics are attempting to save the great apes which could disappear in one generation if nothing is done. In Rio de Janeiro, Ireland's reports, savelha are dying in large numbers in the lagoon of Marapendi which follows the 2000 death of "132 tons of fish in the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon." Scientists are concluding, according to the BBC, that climate change (global warming) could result in 50 million people be facing the risks of hunger and starvation over the next fifty years. The New Zealand Herald reports that a "southern Right Whale, a sub-adult about 14 metres long" remains caught "in a craypot." Rescue teams have lost track of it and the whale is expected to die if not located soon. Finally, on Tuesday, the World Health Organization issued an alert that it appears bird flu has transferred from poultry to migratory birds.

C.I.: Thank you, Rebecca. Now we go to Kat, of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills), for an entertainment wrap up.

Kat: As reported by the Associated Press, faced with a legal challenge by CNN, the federal government has backed off their demand/command that the media be prevented from documenting and witnessing the recovery of bodies in New Orleans. Rolling Stone reports that"MELISSA ETHERIDGE will produce and host the Lifetime network's breast-cancer awareness special, WomenRock! Our Journey with Melissa Etheridge. The show, which will be taped in Los Angeles on September 29th, will air October 18th as part of the network's Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Breast Cancer for Life campaign." The AFP reports that Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain has won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. Spin reports that Outkast's upcoming film will also feature " Ving Rhames, Terence Howard, Faizon Love, Patti LaBelle, Macy Gray, and Cicely Tyson." The Progressive's Barbara Ehrenreich follows up her million selling Nickle and Dimed with a new book entitled Bait & Switch. Bait & Switch focuses on the white collar world and Ehrenreich explained what led her to write the book to the Associated Press:

I hadn't thought of doing anything like this after "Nickel and Dimed." I spent four years running around the country, speaking about the issues. What was beginning to catch my attention was the number of letters ... from people with degrees — not just bachelor's, but master's — who sunk into poverty and couldn't come back. ... I hadn't thought this was a group in trouble. My curiosity was piqued.

Kat (con't): Lastly, tonight the Independent Channel airs Danny Schechter's documentary WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception which airs at 10 pm eastern and pacific times and nine pm in the central time zone.

C.I.: Thank you, Kat. WMD, if you get the Independent Channel, please check out the movie tonight. And that wraps this edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review news review. We thank Dallas and Jess' parents for hunting down links and helping locate stories. Dona and Jim, both of The Third Estate Sunday Review, acted as producers, helping to edit the stories and maintain the one hour frame we try for in this feature. Dona asks that we note this feature is a "rush transcript."
posted by Third Estate Sunday Review @ Sunday, September 11, 2005