Saturday, October 01, 2005

Isaiah's latest The World Today Just Nuts. Bill Bennett is saying "If we can't privatize Social Security, we could also destroy it by killing old people when they reached 66 years old." This is billed by Isaiah as "More wisdom from Bill Bennett's Book of Virtuous Weight Loss."  Posted by Picasa

Ruth's Morning Edition Report

Ruth: The place to start each week is with FAIR's Counterspin. This week's show focused on a number of topics that this community would find interesting. The Patriot Act was discussed in terms of the court case that everyone's under a gag order on. Melissa Goodman, the national securities fellow at the ACLU, sketched in the details the court will allow. An organization with library records has been asked to turn over records under the Patriot Act, specifically under a National Security Letter. Whether they have turned over the records or not, is not clear. But, as Ms. Goodman points out, the Patriot Act has been used and we are not allowed to discuss it while we are also supposed to be having a serious discussion about renewing it. Ms. Goodman spoke of how difficult it was for even members of Congress to overcome the stonewall that greets all inquiries to the Justice Department about the Patriot Act.

They also dealt with the lack of TV attention, nationally, to the protests against the war last weekend. Aaron Brown told his CNN audience that, "The national conversation today is the hurricane that put millions and millions of people at risk. And it's just kind of an accident of bad timing. And I know that won't satisfy anyone but that's the truth of it."

Peter Hart commented, "No, it's not especially satisfying to hear that a 24 hour cable new channel is somehow incapable of covering more than a single news story at a time. Or to hear the national conversation described as something that CNN just listens in on rather than helping direct and shape with their coverage choices."

Last week, NPR's Morning Edition felt the need to give "equal time" (actually more than that) to the pro-war protesters. Counterspin informs you that others took part in that as well including The Today Show which gave a full sentence each to the 300,000 in D.C. protesting the war and to the less than 500 marching for the war. USA Today also gave them "balance." Peter Hart noted a Washington Post headline:

"Smaller but spirited crowd protests anti-war march; more then 200 say they represent the majority."

Mr. Hart responded, "Perhaps the crowd felt that way because they've grown accustomed to a media system that so frequently echoes thier views while keeping antiwar voices which represents the actual majority opinion off the radar."

Janine Jackson also addressed John McCain and Mark Shields. I tried to take notes on her commentary on Mr. Shields while listening, on
WBAI Friday, but I was laughing too hard when she noted that "he was old enough to remember a time when special interests referred to monied interests." After that she began addressing how he represents the "left" on TV even though he's not progressive or left.

Korea was a major topic discussed. As most of you know, C.I. does not note the New York Times' coverage of North Korea. (Due to the belief that the paper takes State Department policies and opinions which it then passes on as news.) John Feffer addressed the domestic coverage at length.

Unless there are objections from members, I will probably attempt to highlight CounterSpin each week so members can get a feel for the show and hopefully some of you will consider listening if you are not already. CounterSpin is a weekly radio program and you can click here to find out if it airs in your area or you can listen online. (I catch it online on Fridays via Pacifica's WBAI.)

What I wanted to listen to this week during the day was Your Call on Thursday and Friday when Laura Flaners hosts this public radio program. My grandson Elijah is teething and it is the time after lunch when it appears to really bother him which coincides with the broadcast of Your Call. So I missed Thursday.

I was able to listen to Your Call Friday but not able to take notes. One topic was Tom DeLay and Jake Bernstein, of the Texas Observer, and Lori Robertson, with the American Journalism Review, discussed the nature of Mr. DeLay's latest scandal. Ms. Robertson felt that the story would be one that suited print better than television due to the details involved. I will add that the lack of visuals will probably weaken its TV coverage though, if they get footage of Mr. DeLay handcuffed and frog-marched off, that could change. Ms. Robertson said that she felt that the Washington Post had been the leader on this story and that it was the kind of story they do best. She said that newspapers' Sunday editions this weekend would give a good indication of how well the print media will handle this story.

It is a complex story and Ms. Flanders summed it up in understandable terms that I will now probably ruin but Texas has prohibitions against using corporate monies in elections. In order to circumvent that, the money from Mr. DeLay's pac was sent to the Republican Committee nationally with a document of some sort explaining that the money needed to be funnelled back to campaigns in Texas and cited which ones.

A reporter from Aljazeera was also supposed to be on and may have been. Elijah was very loud and needing additional attention, anyone who has cared for a teething baby will understand that, so if the reporter was on, I must have missed him or her. I did hear part of the discussion of the woman who will be replacing Kenneth Tomlinson at the CPB which oversees NPR and PBS. The feeling there was that the woman was smarter and smoother than Tomlinson which will lead to her being a greater threat to public broadcasting. The woman once worked for Newt Gingrich and she also made a comment, about her new position, that the best part was she would not have to go overseas. Which I took, and the guests may have as well, to mean that her huge contributions to Republicans over the years bought her a post but, unlike an ambassadorship, it did not require for her to relocate to a foreign country.

If you're in the San Francisco area, you can listen to Your Call Mondays through Friday via
KALW 91.7 FM. Otherwise you can listen online, as I do. It airs from ten to eleven Pacific Time and from one to two Eastern Standard Time. Ms. Flanders hosts the programs on Thursdays and Fridays. I have not been able to listen Mondays through Wednesdays when Mary Ambrose hosts but Zach has e-mailed to say that she also does a fine job of hosting.

Sonny & Cher got it wrong. It's a grandma's, not a cowboy's, work that's never done. Which is why I attempted to listen to various night time programs this week with various grandchildren.

Monday night, I finally was able to catch Houston's
KPFT's Queer Voices which is a program four members have e-mailed suggesting I listen to. I have attempted to and each Monday, my seventeen-year-old grandson Jayson, who is gay, has come over to listen with me. This Monday we were finally able to pick up the stream. J.D. Doyle, Deborah Bell and Jack Devlin hosted the show.

An actor currently performing in the play Bent was interviewed. I was honestly surprised that Jayson did not know of the play of Bent. This deals with gays kept in Nazi concentration camps. In the seventies it was a big deal to some that Richard Gere was perfomring in the play. Since it combines history, Jewish themes and gay themes, we'll be watching a film of the play on videotape Saturday night.

I have a huge number of grandchildren, who refer to themselves as the "crew," I have no idea why they chose that terminology, and you know of Tracey already who, like Rebecca, reminds me of my friend Treva because she is so together and on the ball. I love them all very much but my policy is that they get named if they want to be named. When I had mentioned during Sunday lunches that some members had requested I listen to Queer Voices, Jayson told me that we would listen together and that way he could be included in the Morning Edition Report.

I asked Jayson what I should share and he stressed to say that he was good looking. He is good looking with dark, curly hair and the only grandchild that got their grandfather's curly hair. He came out on the sixth month anniversary of his grandfather's death, over a Sunday lunch, and we were surprised but, honestly, it was probably one more thing that helped me get back to living my life. I am very proud of him and he knows that gay does not mean different, Grandma is still going to be attempting to fix him up. I have not had much success yet but I think that is partly due to the fact that many of the gay high schoolers I know of are not comfortable being out. He can scoff all he wants, but my oldest grandchild is happily married for five years now and I was the yenta that got him together with his future wife.

Queer Voices is a locally produced program and some of the announcements of local events in Houston had Jayson joking that we needed to take a road trip to Houston. Maybe after hurricane season. It broadcasts once a week, Monday nights on Pacifica's

We learned that gays and lesbians are being entrapped and tortured in Iran as well as that Silo & Roy had broken up. Who are Silo & Roy? Two male penguins who were an "item" for over five years. We also learned of labor efforts in the gay community. And learned that Minister Louis Farrakhan once was a calypso singer when they played a song he recorded in 1954 about a transgendered person. The two hours provided a wide mix of news and voices with the second hour opening with an acapella, female version of the Beach Boys' "Surfer Girl" and was devoted to look at gay themed music. This is the sort of programming that NPR should be producing but does not. It will not distribute a gay themed program despite the fact that doing so fits in with their mission statement of serving the communities and voices that are not are widely heard in the commercial broadcast medium.

I do not think anyone in this community would argue, "Ruth, you feel that way because you have a grandson who is gay." But some visitor might. Before an e-mail comes in from one of them, I will explain that I am not Native American or Chicana but I enjoy those programs on Pacifica. Public broadcasting should provide us with a wide range of voices to educate and inform us. I enjoy learning, even at my age, and my favorite programs are ones that inform and educate me. As a young feminist, I assumed that my friends who were lesbian would have the same acceptance that my straight friends were greeted with in a few years. It has been more than a few years as my gray hairs and wrinkles can attest and, while things have improved somewhat, we have still not reached "easier." The cowardice of NPR on the issue of gays and lesbians is unforgiveable considering their mission statement. That may be the grandmother in me speaking but that is how I feel.

There is a great deal of ignorance in our nation and that goes to a lack of information. Providing the occasional profile on an actor, actress, etc. who is gay does not address a very significant part of our population.

To member Marco, I listened to the program you recommended, finally, this week and it was funny. Chicano News Network, jokes about the Bully Boy and Osama, I could not stop laughing. But I did not write down the title or station. If you will e-mail again, I will note it next week because it was a very funny program and original comedy programming done by one of the Pacifica affliates.

Tracey and another granddaughter came over Wednesday night to listen to listen to KPFK's Feminist Journal but we were unable to get any of the streams to work. (KPFK provides several streaming options.) We will try again next week because it is a program we enjoy very much.

Berkeley's KPFA remains the source of my favorite evening news program, KPFA Evening News. So if you're looking for an evening news program, or a nightly one in my case, I'd suggest that you sample it. Like many Pacifica radio stations programs, they are archiving the broadcasts of KPFA Evening News so if six p.m. PT, eight p.m. CT, or nine p.m. EST is not ideal for you, you might want to consider listening at another time via the archives.

Last weekend, as most of you know, my granddaughter Tracey and I were in D.C. with many good people, including community members, standing up for peace. I received a number of e-mails on that and have replied to all of them but Brady's question was how did I think it compared to the "sixties"? I actually attended more rallies in the early seventies than I did in the sixties. Humor was evident then and now. The passion seemed just as strong. I, and this is just my opinion, honestly felt there was a lot more heart in this protest and that the diversity was more present on all levels.

That is a subjective opinion but, as I remember it, there was a great deal of arguing over whether women should have an active role in the demonstrations and whether gays and lesbians would help or hurt this rally or that march. Inclusion desires back then centered solely on males of other races and ethnicities to hear many of the leaders, male, speak. Not all, but many of them.

Feminism emerged from the student movement, in many ways, as my peers looked around and wondered why we were always the ones typing or getting coffee or doing phone work while the speaking and more "glamorous" work was done by the men? Stonewall was, I believe, in 1968 and it and feminism were too new for some of the more traditional type males to grasp. There was a great deal of talk of how women and gay people were destroying the movement with our "niche" issues as though the various topics that males went after that were not related to the Vietnam conflict were not "niche." A "niche" issue, my opinion, is any issue that someone in charge does not want to address.

So that was probably what stood out the most for me, this sea of change that a lot of us hoped we would see but that I, frankly, do not think we ever saw then in the general peace movement. Last weekend in D.C., there was a wide range of voices and there seemed to be far less attempts to gate control. That might result from the fact that one of the of the leaders in today's peace movement is CODEPINK which is a group made up of women. It might also have to do with the fact that groups such as NOW were establashing themselves during the peace movement of the sixties and seventies but are now firmly organized and very powerful.

Someone else might see it differently. In fact, I can think of one sixties "leader" who has always gotten on my nerves -- or, as Tracey would say "my last nerve" -- coming forward today to bemoan this diversity but then he was one of the people screaming "niche" in the sixties and early seventies. (I did not see him in D.C. and I doubt he participated.)

On the other hand, I saw it as a testament to the power of women and others to organize and persevere. Some may remember it differently but, as I remember it, we were discouraged from leadership roles quite often. The change today is amazing and I do not think it has been noted by the mainstream press which, true, has not noted much about the current peace movement.

I was very grateful to see that change.

The Laura Flanders Show: Craig McDonnell on DeLay, Etan Thomas, Sarah Jones, monthly book show, arrest stories from the Troops Home demonstrations ...

(Note: Too tired and lazy to rewrite. This is from last night's Sunday Chat & Chews and it provides the rundown for The Laura Flanders Show this weekend.)

So if I had to watch? I'd skip all three. I'd use the time more wisely in the morning and catch The Laura Flanders Show on Saturday & Sunday:

This weekend on Air America Radio, 7-10 PM EST
Tom Delay's wheeling and dealing -- was it dirty, dumb or both?
We'll hear from Craig McDonnell - the Texan whose public-interest group nailed the hammer.
Also: Arrest stories from the Troops Home demonstrations
Etan Thomas of the Washington Wizards on his powerful speech against the war
Sarah Jones on her new play "A Right to Care"
And on our monthly book show, we'll come up with a Reading List for Senators... at least one may be about to have some time on his hands!
Visit the blog to hear sound clips from our coverage of the historic anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C. last weekend and Click here to see photos.
Don't Forget - Now you can listen to the Laura Flanders Show via podcast on iTunes!
Go to the Laura Flanders Blog

I get the topics that will be covered on the Chat & Chews but I get them with a wider range of voices and I get them with Flanders common sense perspective. She hasn't traded common sense for access. (Or traded integrity for access.) Unlike the Chat & Chew hosts, she's yet to write a book (or mulitple ones) about herself. Instead she focuses on real issues when she writes a book (with no rumors of ghost writers). She's interested in the world and knows it exists beyond the beltway. She doesn't want rehearsed responses, she wants a discussion. So I'll skip the Sunday Chat & Chews and listen to Laura Flanders. (Thanks to Martha for the information on The Laura Flanders Show.)

In the days when I did watch the Chat & Chews (I'm in recovery from the Chat & Chews -- one Sunday at a time), if I was in the other room and thought I heard something, I didn't consult the transcripts. But on Saturdays, when we're working on The Third Estate Sunday Review's latest edition and have Flanders on in the background, if I miss part of something, I will go over to Air America Place to catch an archived show again. Like everyone else, my time is limited. I can't imagine watching a Chat & Chew once all the way through, let alone twice. But I can, and do, listen to The Laura Flanders Show more than once.

If you've never listened, you're missing one of the community's favorite programs. So if you haven't listened before, consider checking it out. You'll get a range of guests, a range of opinions, you'll get callers calling in to share and agree or disagree (disagreement! never on the Chat & Chews!). You'll get a journalist as a host who has remained a journalist and not a game show host. Flanders is "the real deal" (as West wrote after hearing Sunday's show). The TV networks don't seem to believe a woman can host a Chat & Chew (or anchor an evening newscast) as anything other that a one-off broadcast. Weekend after weekend, Flanders pilots six hours (three hours Saturday, three on Sunday) of live radio, sometimes with remote broadcasting, and has yet to lose her sanity or common sense. This community listens to Flanders (check out Maria's interview conducted by The Third Estate Sunday Review), too bad TV network presidents don't. If they did, maybe Meet the Press wouldn't feature so many women-less programs, or so many conventional wisdom bits of pith, or, radical idea, maybe they might even consider widening the narrow range of voices and opinions they offer Sunday after Sunday.

Until that happens, you can listen over broadcast radio (if there's an AAR in your area), via XM Satellite Radio (channel 167) or listen online.

The e-mail address for this site is

NYT: "Phone Call With Source and Deal Led Reporter to Testify" (Adam Liptak)

One of Ms. Miller's lawyers, Floyd Abrams, wrote a letter to Mr. Libby's lawyer on Thursday in what he said was an effort "to set the record straight." Mr. Abrams acknowledged that the lawyer, Joseph A. Tate, had told him in the summer of 2004 that Mr. Libby had no objection to Ms. Miller's testifying about a meeting with him a year earlier. But Mr. Abrams also said Mr. Libby's lawyer had said that a blanket form waiver Mr. Libby signed at the request of investigators in January 2004 had been "coerced and had been required as a condition for Mr. Libby's continued employment at the White House."
"The message you sent to me was viewed by Ms. Miller as inherently 'mixed,' " Mr. Abrams wrote.
He said Mr. Libby's failure to contact Ms. Miller as the case proceeded had also led her to conclude that he did not want her to testify.

The above is from Adam Liptak's "Phone Call With Source and Deal Led Reporter to Testify" in this morning's New York Times and Wally e-mailed to note it. Scoots lawyers maintain that it should have been clear ("over a year ago"), Miller's side maintains the position they've maintained publicly throughout. The artilce also refers to a recent fifteen minute phone call between both sides where Miller is said to have been able to determine Scoot's willingness for her to break confidentiality. According to Liptak, that combined with the offer, similar to Glen Kessler's of the Washington Post, that she'd only have to reveal her source re: Valerie Plame resulted in Miller's decision to testify. (Floyd Abrams offers that the deal arrived at a point when she had "no desire to continue to endure life in the detention center.")

Katharine Q. Seelye notes, in "Journalists Fear Impact on Protecting Sources," that:

But some lawyers and journalists said the claim by journalists that they have the right to protect confidential sources had been weakened. And they were less worried that Ms. Miller's case would cause sources to refuse to talk than it would cause prosecutors to clamp down.

Marcia notes William Yardley's "Day Arrives for Recognition of Gay Unions in Connecticut:"

Beginning Saturday, town clerks in some of Connecticut's 169 cities and towns will keep their offices open to accept applications for civil unions. The rest will begin accepting applications on Monday. Some gay partners, including a state lawmaker, are planning Saturday ceremonies in parks, churches and city halls.
Even those like Ms. Bailey and Ms. Smith who are not planning civil unions see them as progress. "It's remarkable that we've come from the days that we spent in coal-black bars in Provincetown to the light of day," Ms. Smith said.
But the new law, which effectively grants gay couples every state right and benefit that married couples receive, does not resolve many major questions, including how gay couples will be treated in other states, what their status is under federal law, which does not recognize gay unions, and whether it is financially wise to legally unite.

Norah e-mails to note Matthew Rothschild's "Delightful Indictment of DeLay" (This Just In, The Progressive):

Tom DeLay indicted.
It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
I'm deLighted and eLayted.
As Molly Ivins once said of the Reagan Administration, so it may soon be said of the Bush Administration: "Half of it is under average, and the other half is under indictment."
Actually, DeLay qualifies in both categories.
And if there's another category for rattlesnake mean, he's there, too.
But God didn't give Bush the sense to distance himself even when this guy got trapped and startled to rattle.
DeLay "is a good ally, a leader who we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people," said Bush's spokesman Scott McClellan.
Yes, Bush has worked closely with him but not for the American people but to further the crony capitalism that so mars this Administration.

There's an issue that members want addressed involving an article that they (and I) find offensive. I'm not doing it today. I stayed up all night (and just realized that as I looked out the window) attempting to get an entry on that. (It's twelve paragraphs currently. I can't believe I wasted that much time on twelve paragraphs.) We'll make it our Sunday entry. I would honestly prefer to act like it never made it into print but since members (including Pru) are offended by it and want a comment, something will go up tomorrow.

In the meantime, we have other things to focus on. I need to finish this entry and to get Ruth's latest Morning Edition Report up, plus we have a new The World Today Just Nuts from Isaiah. We'll also repost the section from the Sunday Chat & Chews on The Laura Flanders Show. I'm too tired to care about the other Air America programs this morning, sorry.

Cedric e-mails to note Seth's latest "No Time For Silence" and to say that is our "commonalities that drive home our connections." Seth's writing about his difficulties finding people around him to discuss issues that matter to him with. Cedric recently wrote that about that in relation to some of the women he's dated. (That could actually tie in with the print article that has offended so many. I think we're all sick of people who miss the obvious especially when their skewing of the facts seems intentional.)

Cedric highlights this from Seth's latest entry:

So many of my friends, when we get together, just want to talk about their personal lives and nothing else. I hear about countless relationship dramas, family dramas, or work dramas. I admit that those things matter, too, but why are they our only focus?
And why do I always end up going along with those conversations, biting back what I really want to talk about so that I won't bore everyone? I feel like a total closet case when I'm with them, hiding who I really am because they probably won't approve! Only it's not my sexuality I'm hiding, it's the large part of me that cares about what's going on outside of our own little circle.
I get so depressed over it sometimes, and I think it's just me. I'm too serious. I should be just having fun. I should just go with the flow. Sometimes I really, really want to just not care. I wish I could stop and live a blissful life where the only thing that matters is how my hair looks and getting that hot guy into bed. Life would be so much more simple.
But that's not who I am and if I'm honest, I'm proud that it's not.

The e-mail address for this site is (And thank you Ava for correcting typos yesterday evening.)

NYT: "Buying of News by Bush's Aides Is Ruled Illegal" (Robert Pear)

Federal auditors said on Friday that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush's education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and by hiring a public relations company to analyze media perceptions of the Republican Party.
In a blistering report, the investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, said the administration had disseminated "covert propaganda" in the United States, in violation of a statutory ban.
The contract with Mr. Williams and the general contours of the public relations campaign had been known for months. The report Friday provided the first definitive ruling on the legality of the activities.
Lawyers from the accountability office, an independent nonpartisan arm of Congress, found that the administration systematically analyzed news articles to see if they carried the message, "The Bush administration/the G.O.P. is committed to education."

The above is from Robert Pear's "Buying of News by Bush's Aides Is Ruled Illegal" in this morning's New York Times. It notes Armstrong Williams and it notes Karen Ryan; however, as reported by FAIR's CounterSpin a week or two ago, others were involved. Whether the report mentions them or not isn't addressed in Pear's article.

Brenda e-mails to note Douglas Jehl's "2nd Lawmaker Credits Secret Intelligence Program:"

A second Republican member of Congress has said that Stephen Hadley, who was then the deputy national security adviser, was given a chart shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks that showed information collected about Al Qaeda before the attacks by a secret military intelligence program called Able Danger.
The account was provided by Representative Dan Burton of Indiana, who said in an interview that on Sept. 25, 2001, he attended a meeting with Mr. Hadley in the White House along with Representative Curt Weldon, Republican of Pennsylvania. Mr. Weldon has said that he gave Mr. Hadley such a chart at the meeting, but the White House had refused to comment on Mr. Weldon's account.

E-mails from Rove, charts from Burton, it's hard work for Hadley . . . burying everything.

Joe e-mails to note Robert Parry's latest "Can Bush Be Ousted?" (Consortium News):

Can American voters impose any meaningful accountability on George W. Bush, including possibly removing him and his team from office?
That’s a question -- implicit in our recent stories about his administration's failures -- that has attracted skepticism from some readers. Several have sent e-mails expressing strong doubts that anything at all can be achieved through the electoral process, given the cowardice of the Democratic Party and the complicity of the mainstream news media.
There is much to be said for those arguments. A sub-theme of my book,
Secrecy & Privilege, is that the massive conservative investment in media, think tanks and attack groups over the past three decades has led to a systemic change in U.S. politics, the creation of a right-wing machine that can crush almost anyone who gets in the way.
While there have been some cracks in that machine -- with the bad news from Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, pocketbook issues like gasoline prices and corruption probes of leading Republicans -- the conservatives retain a huge advantage when it comes to putting out and repeating a message that will resonate with their followers and average voters.

The e-mail address for this site is

Friday, September 30, 2005

Soldados de Estado Unidos admiten que el ejército golpeó y torturó a iraquíes

Maria: Hola. De parte de "Democracy Now!" quince cosas que vale hacer notar este fin de semana. Paz.

Soldados de Estado Unidos admiten que el ejército golpeó y torturó a iraquíes
Otra noticia de Irak. Tres integrantes del ejército de Estados Unidos dijeron a Human Rights Watch que soldados del ejército estadounidense rutinariamente golpeaban y torturaban a los detenidos iraquíes en una base militar en el centro de Irak. Afirmaron que un soldado le quebró una pierna a un detenido con un bate de béisbol. Los soldados también aplicaban sustancias químicas en la piel y los ojos a los detenidos, los forzaban a permanecer en posiciones incómodas, los privaban del sueño y los exponían a extremos de calor y frío. Los soldados dijeron que los malos tratos fueron ordenados por personal de Inteligencia Militar como táctica de interrogatorio, pero eran aplicados también para "aliviar el estrés".

Cinco maestros chiitas asesinados en Irak
En Irak, cuatro maestros chiitas murieron el lunes luego de que dos pistoleros disfrazados de policías irrumpieron en su escuela, los capturaron y les dispararon en un salón de clases vacío. El asesinato tuvo lugar en un suburbio sunita de Baghdad. Esto marca uno de los primeros ataques a una escuela en Irak desde que comenzó la ocupación. Al menos 16 personas murieron el lunes en una serie de tiroteos y bombardeos. En Baquba, un bombardero suicida atacó hoy temprano frente a un centro de reclutamiento de la policía, matando a 10 personas. Mientras tanto, el gobierno iraquí asegura que el segundo al mando de Al-Qaeda en Irak fue asesinado de un balazo en Bagdad. Y el periódico Washington Post informa que ya han muerto 3.000 personas sólo en Bagdad desde finales de la primavera en atentados con coches-bomba y otros ataques.

300.000 personas protestan contra la guerra en Washington D.C.
Cientos de miles de personas se reunieron el sabado en numerosas partes del mundo, para demandar que el Presidente Bush traiga a los soldados que están en Irak de vuelta a casa. En Washington DC, entre 100 mil y 300 mil personas se reunieron para la mayor manifestación antibélica desde la Guerra de Vietnam. Otros miles marcharon en Londres, Copenhague, Damasco, Helsinki, París, Roma, Seúl, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles y otras ciudades y pueblos.

Gobierno saudita advierte que Irak desestabilizará Medio Oriente.
El gobierno de Arabia Saudita advierte que el creciente deterioro de la situación en Irak podría llevar a la desestabilización de todo Medio Oriente. El ministro de Relaciones Exteriores saudita, príncipe Saud al-Faisal, dijo que le preocupa que la desintegración de Irak "lleve a los países de la región hacia el conflicto". Arabia Saudita teme desde hace tiempo que crezca la influencia de Irán sobre Irak a medida que los chiitas adquieren más poder económico y político. El Príncipe Saud señaló que el gobierno de Bush ignoró, antes de la guerra, advertencias de Arabia Saudita acerca de las consecuencias que acarrearía la invasión de Irak. Dijo: "Es frustrante ver algo que claramente va a suceder, no ser escuchado por un amigo, y que pronto eso cause daños. Es doloroso".

Juez ordena publicar más fotos de Abu Ghraib
Un juez federal dispuso el martes que imágenes del abuso a prisioneros en la cárcel de Abu Ghraib, en Irak, deben ser publicadas, a pesar de que el gobierno afirma que pueden dañar la imagen de Estados Unidos. El año pasado, un senador republicano admitió que contenían escenas de "violaciones y asesinatos" y el Secretario de Defensa, Donald Rumsfeld, dijo que mostraban actos "obviamente sádicos". La Unión Estadounidense por la Libertades Civiles (ACLU, por sus siglas en inglés) y el centro de Derechos Constitucionales pidieron la publicación de 87 fotos y cuatro vídeos tomados en la prisión, en el marco de los procesos en curso relacionados con la prisión de Abu Ghraib. Se le otorgó al gobierno un plazo de 20 días para apelar la decisión. El año pasado, luego de ver un gran depósito secreto de fotos no publicadas, Rumsfeld dijo "Si son publicadas, eso obviamente empeorará las cosas".

Director del FBI pide investigar asesinato de nacionalista puertorriqueño
El FBI recibe intensas críticas en Puerto Rico luego de que agentes de esa agencia mataron de un balazo al líder nacionalista Filiberto Ojeda Ríos. Se espera que miles de personas asistan hoy a su funeral. Mientras que para muchos puertorriqueños era considerado un héroe, el FBI lo veía como un fugitivo, buscado en relación con el robo de siete millones de dólares a un banco. El informe de la autopsia muestra que Ojeda Ríos murió desangrado, abandonado en su casa durante 24 horas después de que le dispararon. Cuando finalmente los agentes ingresaron en su casa, lo encontraron muerto en el suelo, armado únicamente con una pistola. El lunes, la esposa de Ojeda Ríos dijo públicamente que 20 agentes del FBI rodearon su casa de campo y dispararon los primeros tiros. El FBI admite que Ojeda Ríos ofreció negociar, pero que el FBI se negó luego de que él pidió la presencia de un periodista, cuyo nombre no fue revelado. El lunes, el Director del FBI, Robert Mueller, pidió una investigación independiente del tiroteo. En Nueva York, mas de 100 personas protestaron contra el asesinato en una manifestación en Federal Plaza.

Decenas de miles de personas lloran a líder independentista asesinado
En Puerto Rico, decenas de miles de personas asistieron al velorio y funeral del líder independentista puertorriqueño, Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, que fue asesinado el viernes de un balazo por agentes del FBI. Se cree que fue uno de los funerales más grandes en la historia de Puerto Rico. El Diario informó que más de 1.000 vehículos participaron en la caravana desde San Juan hasta el pueblo de Naguabo, donde fue enterrado.

Amnistía pide investigar asesinato de Ojeda Rios
Amnistía Internacional pide una investigación independiente sobre el tiroteo. Esa organización afirmó que el asesinato debe ser considerado una ejecución extrajudicial si el FBI mató deliberadamente a Ojeda Ríos, o si deliberadamente lo dejó morir, cuando podría haberlo arrestado. Los agentes del FBI le dispararon en su casa en la noche del viernes, pero esperaron 20 horas antes de ingresar a la vivienda. El informe de la autopsia muestra que murió desangrado. Su esposa, Elma Rosado Barbosa, dijo el lunes que los agentes del FBI dispararon primero, pero el FBI lo niega. Ojeda Ríos había vivido durante 15 años en la clandestinidad y era buscado por su participación en el robo de siete millones de dólares a un banco.

Los Macheteros prometen vengar el asesinato cometido por el FBI
El grupo militante que Ojeda Rios lideraba, llamado Los Macheteros, dio a conocer el martes una declaración en la que promete vengar su muerte. El asesinato ha enfurecido a puertorriqueños de las más diversas posiciones políticas, especialmente porque ocurrió el 23 de setiembre, aniversario de un levantamiento contra la dominación española en 1868. El diputado José Serrano, de Nueva York, dijo que le preocupa que esto sea el comienzo de una nueva represión del gobierno al movimiento por la independencia puertorriqueña. El lunes, el Director del FBI, Robert Mueller, respondió a las crecientes críticas anunciando una investigación independiente sobre el tiroteo.

Cuatro activistas por la paz absueltos de cargos de conspiración
En Binghamton, Nueva York, cuatro activistas por la paz conocidos como Los Cuatro del Día de San Patricio fueron absueltos de cargos de conspiración, pero declarados culpables de dos cargos menores. Su asesor legal, Bill Quigley, dijo que el veredicto fue una "gran victoria". Los cuatro acusados, Clare Grady, Teresa Grady, Peter DeMott y Daniel Burns, fueron los primeros activistas por la paz en afrontar cargos de conspiración desde la Guerra de Vietnam. Todos fueron arrestados el 17 de marzo de 2003, luego de derramar su propia sangre dentro de una estación de reclutamiento militar. El jurado los declaró culpables de cometer dos delitos menores: irrumpir en una instalación del gobierno y dañar una instalación del gobierno. Cada uno de ellos puede ser condenado a un máximo de 18 meses en prisión.

Seis de cada diez mujeres de la Guardia Nacional sufren acoso o abuso sexual
Un nuevo estudio indica que seis de cada diez mujeres que han trabajado en la Guardia Nacional y en el Ejército de Reserva manifestaron haber sido acosadas o abusadas sexualmente. El estudio indica que menos del 25 por ciento presentaron denuncias, y que a muchas de las que lo hicieron se les pidió que las retiraran. En la encuesta, realizada por el Departamento de Asuntos de Veteranos, casi la mitad de las mujeres consultadas dijeron que los abusos sexuales ocurrieron mientras se encontraban desempeñando sus funciones.

El martillo de las acusaciones cae sobre DeLay
Uno de los políticos republicanos más poderosos de la historia fue forzado a abandonar su cargo como líder de la mayoría de la Cámara de Representantes, luego de que un jurado en Texas lo acusara de conspiración para violar las leyes electorales. Tom DeLay, conocido como "El Martillo", es acusado de conspirar junto con dos asistentes, previamente acusados, para violar una prohibición de uso de dinero corporativo para apoyar a candidatos políticos estatales, mediante el filtrado de miles de dólares de contribuciones corporativas a través del Comité Nacional Republicano. Según analistas, los cargos presentados el miércoles son sólo una pequeña parte de las acusaciones de corrupción contra DeLay. Los republicanos de la Cámara de Representantes se reunieron horas después de que las acusaciones se hicieran públicas, y eligieron al representante Roy Blunt, de Missouri, para sustituir a DeLay, quien se vio forzado a renunciar temporalmente debido a las normas de la Cámara. Mientras en Washington proliferaban los comentarios de que la carrera de DeLay llegaba a su fin, "El Martillo" respondió el golpe al ofrecer una conferencia de prensa en la que proclamó ser inocente. DeLay describió al fiscal demócrata que formuló la acusación, Ronnie Earle, como un "fanático partidista" que dirige una “campaña de represalia política coordinada y premeditada”. DeLay dijo: "Es un cargo que no puede sostenerse ni siquiera ante un escrutinio superficial. Este acto es el producto de una campaña de represalia política coordinada y premeditada , el resultado predecible de una investigación vengativa dirigida por un fanático partidista." El liderazgo republicano del Congreso apoya a DeLay, y la Casa Blanca también. El portavoz Scott McClellan dijo: "Sí, DeLay es un buen aliado, un líder con el que hemos trabajado conjuntamente para lograr cosas para el pueblo estadounidense."

SEC abre investigación "formal" sobre Frist
Mientas los republicanos se apresuran a defender a Tom DeLay, se produjeron avances significativos en el escándalo relacionado con el destacado senador republicano Dr. Bill Frist, líder de la mayoría del Senado. El periódico Wall Street Journal informa que la Comisión de Valores y Bolsa (SEC, por sus siglas en inglés) le dio poderes de citación a los investigadores que indagan sobre la posible realización de transacciones bursátiles con información confidencial por parte de Bill Frist, con acciones de la Corporación de Hospitales de América (HCA, por sus siglas en inglés), que pertenece a su familia. La SEC cambió oficialmente el grado de la investigación de informal a formal. La Fundación para los Contribuyentes y Derechos del Consumidor no partidista calcula que Frist ganó de dos a seis millones de dólares al vender sus acciones en la HCA justo antes que cayera su valor a causa de un informe de malos ingresos.

Karen Hughes Confrontada sobre ocupación de Irak
La Subsecretaria de Estado Karen Hughes, nueva enviada del Presidente Bush para reparar la reputación de Estados Unidos en el mundo, termina hoy su gira por varios países de Medio Oriente, en un viaje que fue marcado por varias confrontaciones acerca de la ocupación de Irak. Un grupo de activistas turcas confrontaron el miércoles a Hughes sobre la ocupación de Irak, y la Subsecretaria afrontó hostilidades similares por parte de un grupo de mujeres en Arabia Saudita. Hughes es desde hace tiempo confidente de Bush. A principios de este mes, se le asignó la tarea de reparar la imagen internacional de Estados Unidos. A pesar de las confrontaciones, en su viaje predominaron las reuniones amistosas con personas y grupos que recibieron fondos de Estados Unidos o con ex estudiantes de intercambio. Sin embargo, ninguna de las activistas con las que Hughes se reunió durante su visita a Turquía reciben fondos de Estados Unidos, y seis de las ocho mujeres que hablaron en la sesión se centraron en la Guerra de Irak. Fatma Nevin Vargun, una activista kurda por los derechos de las mujeres, dijo a Hughes: "La guerra borra totalmente los derechos de las mujeres y produce pobreza, y las mujeres pagan el precio". Vargun también denunció el arresto de Cindy Sheehan, que se produjo el lunes frente a la Casa Blanca, en una protesta antibélica. El Washington Post informa que a medida que avanzaba la reunión, Hughes se veía "cada vez más molesta". Hughes defendió la invasión a Irak al decir: "Estás preocupada por la guerra, y a nadie le gusta la guerra, (pero) mi país cree que a veces la guerra es necesaria para mantener la paz". Otra activista turca respondió: "La guerra no es necesaria para mantener la paz. Nunca podremos exportar democracia y libertad de un país a otro".

Nuevo informe indica que Estados Unidos es visto como una "fuerza peligrosa"
Mientras Karen Hughes (la nueva Secretaria de Estado para Asuntos Exteriores estadounidense) estaba de viaje, se publicó un nuevo informe acerca de la opinón internacional sobre Estados Unidos. El informe fue recopilado por un comité asesor integrado por nueve miembros y presidido por el jefe de personal del ex Secretario de Estado Colin Powell. El informe halló una hostilidad generalizada hacia Estados Unidos y sus políticas, especialmente la ocupación de Irak. El informe decía "Según lo que se puede escuchar en todo el mundo, tras la invasión de Irak, el escándalo de abuso contra prisioneros en Abu Ghraib y la polémica acerca del trato de los detenidos en Bagram y Bahía de Guantánamo, Estados Unidos, más que una luz de esperanza, es una fuerza peligrosa a ser cotrarrestada".

Maria: Hello. Here are fifteen stories from Democracy Now! Peace.

U.S. Troops Admit Army Beat & Tortured Iraqis
In other news from Iraq -- three U.S. army personnel have told Human Rights Watch that Army troops in Iraq routinely beat and tortured Iraqi detainees at a base in central Iraq. In one incident, a soldier is alleged to have broken a detainee's leg with a baseball bat. Soldiers also applied chemical substances to detainees' skin and eyes, and subjected detainees to forced stress positions, sleep deprivation, and extremes of hot and cold. The soldiers said mistreatment was ordered by Military Intelligence personnel as an interrogation tactic, but was also used to "relieve stress."

Five Shiite Teachers Killed in Iraq
In Iraq, five Shiite school teachers died Monday after gunmen dressed as police officers burst into their school, seized them and shot them in an empty classroom. The killings took place in a Sunni suburb of Baghdad. It marks one of the first attacks of a school in Iraq since the occupation began. At least 16 died in a series of other shootings and bombings on Monday. In Baquba, a suicide bomber blew himself up earlier today outside a police recruitment center killing 10 people. Meanwhile the Iraqi government is claiming Al-Qaeda's second highest-ranking man in Iraq has been shot dead in Baghdad. And the Washington Post is reporting that 3,000 people have now died in Baghdad alone since late spring in car bombings and other attacks.

Up to 300,000 Protest Against War in D.C.
Hundreds of thousands rallied around the world Saturday to call for President Bush to bring troops home from Iraq. In Washington DC, between one and three hundred thousand gathered for the city's largest anti-war demonstration since the Vietnam War. Thousands more marched in London, Copenhagen, Damascus, Helsinki, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities and towns.

Saudis Warn Iraq War Will Destabilize Middle East
The Saudi government is warning that the deteriorating situation in Iraq could lead to the destablization of the entire Middle East. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said he is concerned the possible break-up of Iraq "will draw the countries of the region into conflict". Saudi Arabia has long feared Iran's influence on Iraq would grow as the Shiite gain more political and economic power. Prince Saud said the Bush administration ignored warnings from Saudi Arabia before the war of the consequences of the Iraq invasion. He said, "It is frustrating to see something that is clearly going to happen, and you are not listened to by a friend, and soon harm comes out of it. It hurts."

Judge Orders release of More Abu Ghraib Pics
A federal judge ruled Thursday that graphic pictures of prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released, despite government claims that they could damage the US image. Last year a Republican senator conceded that they contained scenes of "rape and murder" and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said they included acts that were "blatantly sadistic." The ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes taken at the prison as part of the ongoing lawsuits over Abu Ghraib. The government is being given 20 days to appeal the decision. Last year, after viewing a large cache of unreleased images, Rumsfeld said "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse."

FBI Director Calls for Probe in Killing of Puerto Rican Nationalist
The FBI is coming under intense criticism in Puerto Rico after FBI agents shot dead Puerto Rican nationalist leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Thousands are expected to attend his funeral today. While he was considered a hero to many in Puerto Rico, the FBI viewed him as a fugitive wanted in connection to a $7 million bank heist. Autopsy reports show that Ojeda Rios bled to death after being left alone in his house for 24 hours after he was shot. When agents finally entered his house they found him lying dead on the ground armed with only a pistol. On Monday, Ojeda Rios' wife publicly said 20 FBI agents surrounded their rural farmhouse and fired the first shots. The FBI is now admitting that Ojeda Rios offered to negotiate but the FBI refused after he asked for an unidentified reporter to be present. On Monday FBI Director Robert Mueller called for an independent investigation into the shooting. In New York over 100 protested the killing at a rally at Federal Plaza.

Over 10,000 Mourn Slain Puerto Rico Independence Leader
In Puerto Rico, tens of thousands attended the memorial and funeral services for Puerto Rican independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios who was shot dead Friday by FBI agents. It is believed to be one of the largest funerals in Puerto Rican history. El Diario reported over 1,000 vehicles took part in a caravan from San Juan to the eastern town of Naguabo where he was buried.

Amnesty Calls for Investigation Into FBI Killing of Ojeda Rios
Amnesty International is calling for an independent investigation into the shooting. Amnesty said that the killing should be considered an extra-judicial execution if the FBI deliberately killed Ojeda Ríos or deliberately left him to die, when they could have arrested him. FBI agents shot him Friday night at his home but then waited 20 hours before entering the house. Autopsy reports show that he bled to death. His wife Elma Rosado Barbosasaid Monday that FBI agents fired first but the FBI denies this. Ojeda Rios had been living underground for 15 years and was wanted for his role in a $7 million bank heist.

Los Macheteros Vow to Avenge FBI Killing
The militant group that Ojeda Rios led, Los Macheteros, issued a statement Tuesday saying they would avenge his death. The killing has outraged Puerto Ricans of all political stripes especially because it occurred on Sept. 23 -- the anniversary of an 1868 uprising against Spanish rule. Congressman Jose Serrano of New York said he is concerned that this is the beginning of a new government crackdown on the Puerto Rican independence movement. On Monday, FBI Director Robert Mueller responded to increasing criticism by announcing an independent investigation into the shooting.

St. Patrick's Four Acquitted of Conspiracy Charges
In Binghamton New York, four peace activists known as the St. Patrick's Four were acquitted on conspiracy charges Monday but convicted of two lesser charges. Their legal advisor Bill Quigley declared the verdict to be a "major victory." The four defendants - Clare Grady, Teresa Grady, Peter DeMott and Daniel Burns - were the first peace activists facing conspiracy charges since the Vietnam War. They were all arrested on March 17, 2003 after spilling their own blood inside a military recruiting station. The jury convicted them of misdemeanor counts of trespassing at a government facility, and damaging a government facility. They each face up to 18 months in prison.

Six in Ten Women in Nat'l Guard Are Sexually Harrased/Assaulted
A new study shows that six in 10 women who have served in the National Guard and Reserves said they were sexually harassed or assaulted. The study says that less than a quarter reported it and many who did were encouraged to drop the complaint. The survey, done by the Department of Veterans Affairs, found that nearly half of the women who responded said the sexual assaults occurred while they were on duty.

DeLay Hammered By Indictment
One of the most powerful Republican politicians in history has been forced to step down as House Majority Leader after a Texas grand jury indicted him on a charge of conspiring to violate election laws. Tom DeLay, who is known as "The Hammer," is accused of conspiring with two previously indicted aides to violate a ban on the use of corporate money by state political candidates, by funneling thousands of dollars in corporate contributions through the Republican National Committee. Analysts say Wednesday's indictment is just the tip of an iceberg of corruption allegations against DeLay. House Republicans gathered within hours of the indictment's becoming public, and chose Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri to replace DeLay, who was forced to step down because of House rules. As Washington buzzed with talk of the end of DeLay's career, the hammer hit back, holding a news conference proclaiming his innocence. DeLay described the veteran Democratic prosecutor who brought the indictment - Ronnie Earle- as a "partisan fanatic" leading a "coordinated, premeditated campaign of political retribution."
Delay said: "It's a charge that cannot hold up even under the most glancing scrutiny. This act is the product of a coordinated, pre-meditated campaign of political retribution - the all too predictable result of a vengeful investigation led by a partisan fanatic."
As the Republican congressional leadership rallied around DeLay, so too did the White House. Here is spokesperson Scott McClellan.
"Yes, Congressman Delay is a good ally, a leader who we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people."
We will have much more on this story in just a moment.

SEC Opens 'Formal' Investigation of Frist
As Republicans scramble to defend Tom DeLay, there were significant developments in a scandal involving the Senate's top Republican, Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has given subpoena power to investigators looking into potential insider trading by Frist of shares of his family's corporation the Hospital Corporation of America. The SEC has officially changed the investigation's status from informal to formal. The nonpartisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights estimates that Frist made between $2 million and $6 million by selling his HCA holdings just before stock values plummeted in the face of a bad earnings report.

Karen Hughes Confronted Over Iraq Occupation
President Bush's new envoy on repairing the US global reputation, Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, wraps up her tour of several Middle Eastern countries today, capping off a trip that was marked by several confrontations over the occupation of Iraq. A group of Turkish female activists confronted Hughes Wednesday over the occupation, while Hughes faced similar hostility from a gathering of women in Saudi Arabia. Hughes is a longtime confidant of President Bush. Earlier this month, she was tasked with repairing the U.S. image internationally. While she did face confrontations her trip was dominated by friendly meetings with audiences filled with people and groups who received U.S. funding or consisted of former exchange students. When Hughes visited Turkey, however, none of the activists she met with receive U.S. funds and six of the eight women who spoke at the session focused on the Iraq war. Fatma Nevin Vargun, a Kurdish women's rights activist told Hughes, "War makes the rights of women completely erased and poverty comes after war -- and women pay the price." Vargun also denounced the arrest of Cindy Sheehan in front of the White House Monday at an antiwar protest. The Washington Post reports that as the meeting went on, Hughes looked "increasingly pained." Hughes defended the Iraq invasion, saying "You're concerned about war, and no one likes war." But, she said, "to preserve the peace sometimes my country believes war is necessary." Another Turkish activist shot back, "War is not necessary for peace. We can never, ever export democracy and freedom from one country to another," the Turkish activist said.

New Report Says US Viewed as 'Dangerous Force'
As Karen Hughes traveled, a new report was released on the international view of the US. It was compiled by a nine-member advisory committee headed by former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff. The report found widespread hostility toward the US and its policies, especially the occupation of Iraq. The report said, "For what can be heard around the world, in the wake of the invasion of Iraq, the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, and the controversy over the handling of detainees at Bagram and Guantanamo Bay, is that America is less a beacon of hope than a dangerous force to be countered."

Sunday Chat & Chews

Sunday Chat & Chews . . .

You took my heart misery
You taught me blues
Well I got a lot of patience, baby
That's a lot of patience to lose

Sunday Chat & Chews

(Apologies to the late, great Laura Nyro. "When I Was A Free Port And You Were The Main Drag" words and music, by Laura Nyro. Off the album Chirstmas and the Beads of Sweat.)

The Sunday Chat & Chews destroy the brains on Sunday, they generally air Sunday morning's and you can check your local listings for the times in your area.

NBC's Meet the Press? It's hard for many people to picture this, but there was a time when a guest would . . . Meet the Press. Now it's all Tim, all the time. If you like your blowhards with splotchy cheeks and an increasingly rotund figure (are he and Bill Richardson in some sort of contest to see who can pack on the most pounds this decade?), Tim Russert hosts the Chat & Chew for you.

Topics? "General John Abizad" will discuss Iraq in one segment. Tom DeLay will be discussed by Rahm Emanuel and Tom Reynolds. (The "press" will be represented in both segments by Russert.) Then Dan Balz (Washington Post) and John Harwood (Wall Street Journal) will "discuss the very latest in the CIA leak investigation, corruption charges and the Republican Party, and the politics of President Bush's next Supreme Court pick."

Setting aside Russert's own grand jury testimony (as he's done and continues to do), here's a reason the format is a dog. John Harwood? Back in May of 2004 was writing a column about the "group think" of our elected officials on Iraq, he was speaking to William E. Odom, retired general, whose remarks then seem even more true today. If the show used the old format, Harwood would be able to ask about that, to contrast Abizad's views with Odom's. But it's all about Tim and when Tim's not aware of something, the show really suffers.

ABC's This Week? Well it looks promising when you see that it's both Cokie free and has Stephen Breyer as a guest. Anytime a Supreme Court Justice is a guest, it should make for something since they so rarely do the Chat & Chews.

But it's the parsely that comes with the meal and the main course may leave you gassy.

"Gen. George Casey" will discuss Iraq. But, and here's where you need to hide the children, the
Lynne Cheney will come on to discuss her "passion" for American history (revised and rewritten), the Constitution (which her attacks on academic freedom have demonstrated is a document she knows nothing about) and "teaching children." It's not an election cycle so they might even toss Mary a crumb. Who knows?

They sprinkle the lesbian daughter in when it's good for them and act outraged and draw the veil (like Jeb over his son's most recent address) at other times. If you watch, you can figure out if they're forcing their own groundhog back into her hole.

The roundtable includes Terry Moran & Linda Douglass with everyone's favorite Aunty George Will offering his own version of Roz Russell's Mame -- minus the sparkle.

At CBS's Face The Nation? Cue cards are being written, martinis mixed while swinging Bob Schieffer continues to wing it and keep the memory of Dino alive. (Translation, the show's still up in the air.)

Let's go back to Laura Nyro:

I'm a woman
Waiting for due time
Now I've been treated bad
When I was a free port and you were the main drag.

Tim Russert is the main drag. Nyro wrote that song in 1971. Thirty-four years later, Russert & co. don't think twice (it's not alright) about doing an entire show without a female. Tim Russert & Meet the Press, you are the main drag.

So if I had to watch? I'd skip all three. I'd use the time more wisely in the morning and catch The Laura Flanders Show on Saturday & Sunday:

This weekend on Air America Radio, 7-10 PM EST
Tom Delay's wheeling and dealing -- was it dirty, dumb or both?
We'll hear from Craig McDonnell - the Texan whose public-interest group nailed the hammer.
Arrest stories from the
Troops Home demonstrations
Etan Thomas of the Washington Wizards on his powerful speech against the war
Sarah Jones on her new play "A Right to Care"
And on our monthly book show, we'll come up with a Reading List for Senators... at least one may be about to have some time on his hands!

Visit the blog to hear sound clips from our coverage of the historic anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C. last weekend and Click here to see photos.
Don't Forget - Now you can listen to the Laura Flanders Show via podcast on iTunes!
Go to the Laura Flanders Blog

I get the topics that will be covered on the Chat & Chews but I get them with a wider range of voices and I get them with Flanders common sense perspective. She hasn't traded common sense for access. (Or traded integrity for access.) Unlike the Chat & Chew hosts, she's yet to write a book (or mulitple ones) about herself. Instead she focuses on real issues when she writes a book (with no rumors of ghost writers). She's interested in the world and knows it exists beyond the beltway. She doesn't want rehearsed responses, she wants a discussion. So I'll skip the Sunday Chat & Chews and listen to Laura Flanders. (Thanks to Martha for the information on The Laura Flanders Show.)

In the days when I did watch the Chat & Chews (I'm in recovery on the Chat & Chews -- one Sunday at a time), if I was in the other room and thought I heard something, I didn't consult the transcripts. But on Saturdays, when we're working on The Third Estate Sunday Review's latest edition and have Flanders on in the background, if I miss part of something, I will go over to Air America Place to catch an archived show again. Like everyone else, my time is limited. I can't imagine watching a Chat & Chew once all the way through, let alone twice. But I can, and do, listen to The Laura Flanders Show more than once.

If you've never listened, you're missing one of the community's favorite programs. So if you haven't listened before, consider checking it out. You'll get a range of guests, a range of opinions, you'll get callers calling in to share and agree or disagree (disagreement! never on the Chat & Chews!). You'll get a journalist as a host who has remained a journalist and not a game show host. Flanders is "the real deal" (as West wrote after hearing Sunday's show).

The TV networks don't seem to believe a woman can host a Chat & Chew (or anchor an evening newscast) as anything other that a one-off broadcast. Weekend after weekend, Flanders pilots six hours (three hours Saturday, three on Sunday) of live radio, sometimes with remote broadcasting, and has yet to lose her sanity or common sense. This community listens to Flanders (check out Maria's interview conducted by The Third Estate Sunday Review), too bad TV network presidents don't. If they did, maybe Meet the Press wouldn't feature so many women-less programs, or so many conventional wisdom bits of pith, or, radical idea, maybe they might even consider widening the narrow range of voices and opinions they offer Sunday after Sunday.

Until that happens, you can listen over broadcast radio (if there's an AAR in your area), via XM Satellite Radio (channel 167) or listen online.

The e-mail address for this site is

Posts are about to start

We'll do the Sunday Chat & Chews and Maria's running down Democracy Now!'s Headlines, but before I copy and paste that, a number of e-mails are asking how I can be so casual about the disappearing posts.

I'm not. But I'm not expecting much from Blogger these days. I was furious when friends began calling and telling me the posts had disappeared. I was angry when I went into the e-mails. When I found Pru's copy & paste of the editorial, I was less concerned.

Is it frustrating? Yes.

Last weekend was frustrating.

I'm not really in the mood for Blogger but it helps that I don't expect a whole lot from it.

Kat has a different take. She worked two hours on an entry only to lose is when she tried to post and was instead asked to "sign in." That's nonsense and Blogger needs to address the problem.

I spent a half hour on the phone with Kat. She's really upset. (Hopefully less so than when she called.)

She doesn't have a lot of time. She didn't have time to give two hours tonight only to have some stupid program error of Blogger's void her entire entry.

That's nonsense.

But I'm used to it.

It happens too often now to get too upset about it.

I also know Blogger won't reply to e-mails even when you're told to contact them (told in a message while you try to post). So I don't have a lot of expectations.

For someone like Kat, it's different. She's never had this kind of problem. She also attempted to blog earlier in the week only to be caught with that "down for maintance" that they did again this afternoon.

You can get really mad about it (and I'm not dismissing Kat's feelings) or you can face the fact that it's not reliable and that you won't be helped.

I've twice now figured out how to fix a problem for The Third Estate Sunday Review's site. Both times they were told to contact Blogger support. Both times no reply ever came.

The point in noting the above is to explain that I wasn't pleased this morning when four posts disappeared. (I wasn't pleased when Isaiah's comic and Ruth's repost disappeared Monday either.) But I don't expect much from the program anymore.

The second point is to make sure people understand that there are problems. There are many good reasons, if you're thinking of starting a site, to go with Blogger. But there are also problems and bugs and you need to know that and know that you are own because Blogger support, in my experience and that of members with their own sites, doesn't bother to reply these days. ("These days" because early on, Blogger support did reply to questions I had. They were actually helpful.)

Is it frustrating? Yes, it is. But it's nothing that you have control over. Consider yourselves warned.

The e-mail address for this site is

Democracy Now: CPB, Public Access, New Orleans; Phoebe Connelly, Barbara Lee, Dahr Jamail, Mary Geddry, Dave Lindorff ...

No, you aren't crazy, those of you e-mailing with that question and yes, there were posts this morning for those e-mailing with that question. I have no idea what happened. From e-mails, at approximately ten a.m. EST, the two entries for this morning ("Other Items" and the editorial) as well as the last two from last night ("Indymedia roundup" and "Indymedia roundup focus on Iraq") all disappeared for one hour. I have no idea what happened.

We do have copies of the editorial should it disappear again. That's thanks to Pru who noticed it had disappeared and grabbed it from a crossposting in England. Again, I don't know what happened and since e-mail after e-mail is asking that question, I thought it best we get that noted before anything else. Now, let's move on:

Chavez Blasts US Over Posada
In international news, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is striking back at the US following a judge's refusal to hand-over Cuban-born militant and former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela. The judge said he would not send Posada to either Venezuela or Cuba, saying he could face torture in either country. Caracas has officially requested that Posada be extradited to face charges over the bombing of a Cuban civilian airplane in a 1976 bombing that killed 73 people. As President Chavez arrived at the airport in Brazil for a regional summit, he blasted the U.S.: "They protect him (Luis Posada Carriles) and besides allege, in a cynical way, that they're protecting him against Venezuela because Venezuela is going to torture him. That's to say, the government of the United States is protecting the number one torturer in the history of Latin America, the Bin Laden of Latin America. It's a cynical and sham government, whose mask falls more everyday and it's left in front of the world with its Dracula molars full of blood."

More Than 1,100 Imprisoned in Burma
The United Nations reports the government of Burma continues to imprison more than 1,100 (eleven hundred) political prisoners, including Nobel peace laureate and pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. A report delivered by a UN human rights envoy to the General Assembly documented forced labor, sexual violence, extortion and expropriation committed by troops in the ruling military junta. Meanwhile, outside the United Nations several Burmese pro-democracy activists have entered the thirteen day of a hunger strike. This is Burmese refugee, Han Lin: "It is time that the United Nations to take effective action against the Burmese brutal military regime. It is time. We Burmese people cannot be suffering anymore because the real situation in Burma gets worse."

Gov't Knew NOLA Levee Was Weak
Now to the ongoing crisis in New Orleans. NBC News is reporting on documents it has obtained that show that the US Army Corp of Engineers was warned in the late 1990s that there were major construction problems with the 17th Street Canal but that those warnings were ignored and construction moved forward. The breaking of that levee a month ago led to much of the flooding in New Orleans. A 1998 ruling, by an administrative judge for the Corps' Board of Contract Appeals, shows that the contractor, Pittman Construction, told the Corps that the soil and the foundation for the walls were "not of sufficient strength, rigidity and stability" to build on.

NOLA Police Investigated Over Looting
Meanwhile, the New Orleans police department says it is investigating a dozen officers in connection with looting during Hurricane Katrina. News reports in the aftermath of the storm put officers at the scene of some of the heaviest looting, at the Wal-Mart in the Lower Garden District. Some witnesses, including a Times-Picayune reporter, said police were taking items from shelves. The acting Police Superintendent Warren Riley said at a news conference that incidents in which officers took Cadillacs from a dealer's lot were not looting because the officers patrolled in the cars. This comes as reports are emerging about the systematic exaggeration by the authorities of rapes, murders and other violent crimes allegedly committed by civilians.

The above items are from today's Democracy Now!'s Headlines and were selected by Zach, KeShawn, Jonah and Lily. Democracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):

Headlines for September 30, 2005
- Judy Miller Freed After Agreeing to Testify
- $100K Bounty for Info Leading to Arrest of Gov't Officials
- Roberts Sworn in as Chief Justice
- DeLay Court Date Set
- Chavez Blasts US Over Posada
- Judge Orders release of More Abu Ghraib Pics
- Gov't Knew NOLA Levee Was Weak
- NOLA Police Investigated For Looting
- Bill Bennett: 'You Could Abort Every Black Baby In This Country, And Your Crime Rate Would Go Down'

Longtime GOP Fundraiser and NPR Critic Elected to Head CPB
Longtime Republican fundraiser Cheryl Halpern was elected the new chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting earlier this week. Halpern has overseen such government-funded media projects as Voice of America, Radio Marti in Cuba and Radio Free Iraq. She has also accused National Public Radio of anti-Israel bias. We speak with Celia Wexler of Common Cause.

Local Public Access TV Under Attack From Trio of Congressional Bills
Local public access television across the United States is being threatened by legislation introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Critics say the bills could eliminate the only source of funding public access providers receive and would take away control from local governments. We speak with Anthony Riddle of the Alliance for Community Media and George Stoney, who many consider the father of public access.

New Orleans Evacuees Blast Lack of Any Aid or Relief Weeks After Katrina
A month after hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, displaced New Orleans residents at the Radisson Hotel in New York City speak out about the lack of aid they have received and the continued difficulty of receiving any type of relief from the Red Cross.

Head of Small Relief Agency Blasts Red Cross "Money Pit"
We speak with Richard Walden, president and founder of Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based relief agency. In an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times this week titled "The Red Cross money pit," Walden writes that despite, "Giving so high a percentage of all donations to one agency (The Red Cross) that defines itself only as a first-responder and not a rebuilder is not the wisest choice." [includes rush transcript]

Jennifer e-mailed to note Phoebe Connelly's "Witnesses to War: Military families bring the cost of war to students" (In These Times):

At 7:45 am on the second day of school, Karen Meredith, a founding member of Gold Star Families For Peace, sat in front of a senior sociology class at Thomas Kelly High School on Chicago’s south side. "I am not anti-military, my son was a fourth generation army officer," she told the class. "But I believe that this administration is not using the military in a way many of us in this country think they should."
The visit was part of the "Bring Them Home Now Tour," a combined effort of Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Vets Against the War and Veterans For Peace that spent the end of August and early September crossing the country.
The group advocates immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq and demands that elected officials account for starting and supporting an unsubstantiated war.
The tour began in Crawford, Texas, at "Camp Casey"--the site of Cindy Sheehan’s vigil. In three contingents--north, central, and south--the tour wended its way to Washington, D.C., for the September 24–26 mobilization sponsored by United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ). At Kelly High School, three parents of slain soldiers, Al Zappala, Karen Meredith and Juan Torres, gave presentations. Each went to a different classroom, speaking to the first three classes of the day.
Karen Meredith, mother of Sgt. Ken Ballard, spoke quietly, at times nearly drowned out by the cars passing in the street below. "When he was killed I asked the government for a photo of his body being returned," Meredith said. "You may not know but the government doesn't let us see the caskets coming home. This administration does not want us to see that because they don't want us to see the human cost of war. If we see these caskets every night, whether we know the person or not, we can still see what is happening to this country: We’re losing children."

Maria e-mails to note something from In These Times as well, Barbara Lee's "Permanent Occupation:"

If you are inclined to believe the president, we will be in Iraq, in his words "as long as necessary, and not a day longer." Members of the Bush administration, including the president, have been at pains to dispel any notion that they have plans for a permanent military presence in Iraq.
On April 13, 2004, President Bush said, "As a proud and independent people, Iraqis do not support an indefinite occupation and neither does America."
On February 17, 2005, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, testifying before the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate, said, "We have no intention, at the present time, of putting permanent bases in Iraq."
The circumstances on the ground, however, tell another story. On March 23, 2004, the Chicago Tribune reported on the construction of 14 "enduring bases" in Iraq. The May 22, 2005, Washington Post described the military's plan to consolidate military personnel in Iraq into four massive "contingency operating bases." According to the Congressional Research Service, Emergency Supplemental funds appropriated for military construction in Iraq for fiscal years 2001–2005 total more than $805 million, with the vast majority, more than $597 million, coming in the 2005 fiscal year.

Liang e-mails to note Dahr Jamail's "Securitizing the Global Norm of Identity: Biometric Technologies in Domestic and Foreign Policy" (Iraq Dispatches):

In November 2004 the world watched -- periodically, depending on the focus of the media gaze -- as the US Marine Corps engaged so-called 'insurgents' in a brutal battle in Fallujah, Iraq. For all their high-tech weaponry, precision munitions, and exceptional training, in their search-and-destroy mission occupation forces all but obliterated Fallujah. During the month-long siege of Fallujah by American forces more than 200,000 residents fled the city. Out of the these ruins, occupation forces argued they were erecting a 'model city', replete with a high-tech security infrastructure centered on biometric identification strategies to manage returning citizens. Returnees are fingerprinted, retina scanned, and issued a mandatory identity badge displaying the individual's home address and collected biometric data. In this context, the gratuitous destruction of Fallujah appeared, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld often retorts when pushed on current events in Iraq, to be precisely 'according to plan'.
It is trite to say that we live in interesting times; not so trite, however, are the meditations of many contemporary thinkers and writers surrounding the way modern liberal politics embody what is increasingly known as 'the state of exception'.

Erika e-mails to note Mary Geddry's "Why I Marched" (CounterPunch):

When I was a little girl and again as a young woman dreaming about having children I never, ever, even for a heartbeat imagined that I would ever be the mother of someone who had killed somebody. But I am. There in Iraq in the dusty, sun-baked rubble that was once the City of Mosques, Ar Ramadi, Iraq, my son repeatedly engaged an enemy, sighted down the barrel of his weapon, opened fire and ended lives.
John, now a corporal in the Marine Corp, returned from his second tour in Iraq in March. The transition from patrolling Route Michigan, one of the most dangerous highways in the world, to visiting with his mother in Oregon was more difficult than I would have thought.
Once, while chatting about his future, his plans, his experiences, the lid of a large dumpster at a nearby building slammed shut. John catapulted to his feet. His instincts, his brain, ready, alert, searching, assessing, calculating. His body was coiled and tense. The flesh on his face flattened against his skull and a vein appeared on his forehead, pulsing. His hands appeared to reach for a machine gun that was, thankfully, not slung over his shoulder.
The moment lasted only nano-seconds before he realized he wasn't in Iraq. Yet, in less than a second his face had registered fear, anger, hatred, relief and finally self-deprecation. My heart ached as I watched him.
Knowing I was powerless to erase the experiences and memories that led to my son's reaction, I entered the anti-war arena. Many other things have contributed to my emergence as an opponent of this war. My son's near brushes with death. My belief that my son and his fellow warriors are being used as targets and security guards to allow Halliburton and similar corporations and individuals to plunder the assets of Iraq. The anger I feel when I see the burden this war has permanently imprinted upon my son. Knowing that the war had no basis in fact, that my son and his fellow Marines and soldiers are being used have all contributed to why I went to Washington, DC last weekend.

West e-mails to note Dave Lindorff's "What Opposition Party?" (CounterPunch):

Iraq War going to hell, with U.S casualties approaching 2000 dead and 25,000 wounded, at a cost of $200 billion and rising.
Poverty in America on the rise in a period of supposed economic growth.
Republican Party a cesspool of corruption.
White House being investigated for outing undercover CIA agent.
Abortion rights under serious threat, with the Supreme Court being packed with right-wing judges.
New Orleans, just drying out from disastrous flood, being raped by White House-linked corporate pirates and scam artists.
Budget deficit topping half trillion dollars.
Gas and heating oil crisis looming, while oil companies reap record profits.
Bush poll numbers hit historic low as even some Republicans abandon him as an incompetent.
Oh yeah-all this and global warming and the end of human life as we know it.
Man, if you were an opposition politician looking to make a run for Congress next years, or for president in 2008, this would be a magical time.
But where's the opposition?

Who were the 22 Democrats who voted to confirm John Roberts to the Supreme Court? Carol runs down the list in "Their Big Bet" (A New Leif) and notes:

Twenty-two. In blackjack, that's what you call "going bust." You lose your bet. Luckily, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. The Supreme Court is no Vegas, baby.

For more on the tragedy that is John Roberts (his confirmation or the person himself), you can also check out Seth's "Chief Justice Blues" (Seth in the City). You can also check out BuzzFlash's GOP Hypocrite of the Week for more on Roberts.

Are you someone planning to see the film Serenity? You'll want to check out Christine's take on what to expect and information Whedon in "Revenge of the Geek: Joss Whedon, Serenity and the Power of the Story" (Pop Politics). Christine's also noting Nora Ephron's op-ed in yesterday's Times in "Dear Bill: Letter From an Ex-Lover" and noting Katha Pollitt's reality check on the Times' Lousie Story in "The Stay-At-Home Revolution, Revised."

(Disclosure, I have no interest in seeing Serenity; however, I do have a friend who will profit from the film's success. If anyone else had noted the film, it wouldn't have been linked to. When it's Christine, we will note it. And if that confuses anyone, they should read Rebecca's "christine & pop politics." And Rebecca, what did happen to Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions -- which is the name of Lucy Hughes-Hallett book?)

End Zone e-mails to note two voices from "'Why Are You Here' and 'What's Changed'" (The Third Estate Sunday Review):

17) Keelan, 19, college student, Florida: I'm here because of Cindy Sheehan. She faced down Bush and he cut & run. He ended his vacation and high tailed it back here. Then she blows into town and he's got to run again. She's like Linda Hamiliton in T2. She's that strong. Because she's not just one mother, she's all mothers. She's got the other mothers who've lost children and who might lose their children behind her. And she's not backing down and George Bush can keep running, but she keeps marching. The change is that she can't be taken out. She's not backing down or wimping out like Tom Daschle or any of the other wimps. She's spoken her mind and she's not said, "Oh, I'm sorry, maybe I forgot to kiss his boots." She's spoken out and she's stayed strong. She's awesome.

20) Patricia, 35, homemaker, mother of three, Maine: I'm here because of Cindy Sheehan. I took the attitude that the people in Washington knew what they were doing. I graduated high school and that's pretty much it besides raised my kids. And what would I do if I was in Cindy's shoes? My oldest is 16. Two more years more and he could be in Iraq. How do you justify him dying for a lie? My whole family's here. I tried to get some people to come from my church and my pastor said to me, "Bring the troops home isn't a plan. What's your plan?" What's my plan? What's my plan? Excuse me but nobody asked me for a plan when they decided to go to war. Senator Susan Collins didn't call me on the phone and say, "Hello, Patricia? This is Susan, look we're thinking about going to war. I was just wondering how would you do it? Do you have any plans in your pantry?" They're the big geniuses, they're the ones who are supposed to know what they're doing. My plan's real simple, start bringing our sons and daughters home. How? You put them on flights out of Iraq and get them back to their families. My plan may not be fancy but it's not based on any lies. They can't say the same. The change, for me, anyway, was seeing Cindy Sheehan on the TV. Hearing her story and knowing that could be me. That could be any mother. It made me think and it made me really ask questions that I hadn't wanted to ask.

End Zone wonders if I decided to stop noting the voices. That's not the case, I just forgot this morning. We'll note at least one tomorrow morning. The first entry this morning was a rush job and even so took a huge amount of time. (And thanks to three friends who were on the phone with me during that -- the typos are all my own but they were sounding boards on what to keep in and what to leave out.) And thanks to End Zone for picking two voices and catching what I'd forgotten.

Marci says that any member who hasn't watched, listened to or read transcripts at Democracy Now! should read Elaine's entry entitled "Democracy Now!" (Like Maria Said Paz) which explains several reasons the program is so important. Also we'll note that "Dating, pioneers" finds Cedric exploring a range of topics at Cedric's Big Mix.

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