Friday, April 04, 2008

Other Items

I was glad to read about another walkout at Rutgers. While it's obvious that cutting class has no impact on our government, students kept a light shining on one of our government's many crimes that has become ignored, normalized and even glorified by many.
The illegal war of aggression based on lies and deception that dishonors and disgraces the U.S. and unites the world in hating us for an ongoing 5-year crime, makes Sept. 11 look like a bake sale. In addition to killing over a million people, wounding and terrorizing millions more, the illegal war violates the U.S. Constitution, the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles, the Geneva Convention and International Humanitarian law.
U.S. troops were betrayed, exploited, lied to, conned and coerced into following unlawful orders to take part in oppressing, terrorizing and killing people who were never a threat, with over 4,000 troops getting killed in the process and thousands more wounded.
American extremists howl of "winning" by means of a Nazi-like victory through domination, however, the illegal war-occupation is a global crime and a crime cannot be won, it can only be stopped. The people and mentality that created and carried out the illegal war can never be the solution to the problems it has created.
It shouldn't be discussed whether ROTC had classes during the walkout. People should be asking if ROTC instructors are teaching cadets that it is their legal duty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice to refuse and challenge unlawful orders. Since the illegal war began, only one soldier has had the sense and courage to do his duty, Lieutenant Ehren Watada. The military is supposed to be politically neutral, but not legally neutral and almost all troops never read or understand the Constitution that they blindly swear to "Support and Defend Against ALL Enemies both Foreign And DOMESTIC".
Supporting the rule of law is not a left vs. right or Democrat vs. Republican issue; it's about doing what is ethically and legally right. On the other hand, the flag wavers who scream "freedom" are often the biggest enemies of the US Constitution, liberty and the rule of law. And any authority that violates the rule of law has no validity.
If students are going to make a positive impact on campus, they have to figure out what they stand for and then take on the sources of illegal war, ignorance, fascism, etc. along with apathy. If true "higher education" is rejected, abandoned or negligently blundered within a university, especially by those who have the most likelihood of being part of aforementioned crimes, then the international accusations of the USA being a rogue state runs to the heart of our country.

Chad Hetman is a Rutgers Alumni and US Army Infantry Veteran, Captain. He enlisted in the NJ National Guard and was commissioned as an officer through Rutgers ROTC program.

The above is Chad Hetman's "War vet commends Walk Out" (Daily Targum). [CORRECTION ADDED APRIL 7TH: Chad Hetman is not a war veteran and does not present himself as such. The paper made a mistake. Hetman is a US Army Veteran and the paper's headline should have noted that and not that he is a "War vet." Again, Hetman does not claim and has never claimed to be a war veteran. The paper made a mistake. He is attempting to get the paper to correct the error. This correction will be noted in the April 8th snapshot.] Billy noted the above and noted that Watada's remains at risk of another court-martial but "the press long ago stopped caring." That pretty much sums it up.

What Panhandle Media does care about is proving how stupid they can be. Chief among them, of course, is the non-stop joke that is The Nation. Randi Rhodes is suspended. Cedric and Wally have covered it humorously (here, here, here and here). Carolyn (Make Them Accountable) notes it here. Susan UnPC (No Quarter) notes it here. Taylor Marsh offers a roundup (including Geraldine Ferraro's remarks) here. VastLeft (Corrente) notes it here.

The Nation never turned a profit (and depended upon begging) until recently. Today, they aren't overly concerned that they've bled more subscribers in the last three years than ever before. To them, it's always just beg for more money.

So they're framing it as 'free speech.' It's not about free speech. Randi Rhodes went to San Francisco to an Air America Radio event and proceeded to call Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro "wh--es" (sometimes prefaced with the f-word). It's not about free speech.

Air America Radio does not and has never existed for free speech. AAR exists to elect Democrats. That's the reality. It is not left radio and they made that clear before they ever went on air. Their management has changed repeatedly, each time with another cry for money. They struggle more today than ever. Randi Rhode's 'free' speech does not trump the network. She knew full well what she was getting into all that time ago. And had no problem then because AAR had no greater Clintonista than Rhodes.

AAR was started to influence elections in the same way right-wing talk radio does. That has been the pitch repeatedly -- no matter who was in management -- when they ask for big money donations. In 2004, when they didn't think they were doing that well, they stated it couldn't go under before the election -- that was their appeal for big donations. 2004 was actually one of their stronger years in retrospect (and had they focused on the streaming model, they wouldn't have had half the problems they ended up having).

Rhodes is an Obama supporter as are most on air personalities at Air America Radio. That didn't bother AAR. Too much. As the complaints got louder -- as they should -- it was something new management was wondering about. (The Democratic Party is split between Hillary and Barack. How can a 'national' radio network aimed at Democrats afford to write off half the audience?)

What did bother AAR was Rhodes' trashy mouth. It bothers them because they still need big funding. It bothers them because it goes against the whole point of starting AAR. The nonsense Randi Rhodes offered could be heard from the likes of Rush, et al (though they may or may not have used the f-word). AAR was created to combat that nonsense. Now Rhodes serves it up.

It makes it that much harder for the struggling AAR to drum up funds. It is offensive, it is appalling. Again, AAR was never about "free speech." It was never a left network. Rachel Maddow is a little War Hawk who tilts slightly to the left. The anti-war voices left the weekday schedule long, long ago. (And were never that numerous to begin with.) AAR never attempted to empower listeners, it was always a pipeline for the Democratic Party. Rhodes had an outburst that seriously hurts AAR and that's why she was suspended.

Reality is that AAR and Rhodes need to part ways. The rumors circulating around Rhodes for the last few months are alarming. Her "I was assaulted!" followed by "I fell" nonsense alarmed many as they felt her troubles were going public. Her own studio (in Florida) was a must because people didn't want to be around her.

And here's the thing, they haven't seen anything yet. It is April of a presidential election year. Flashing back to 2004 gives them a good indication of where they are headed with Rhodes. It was Rhodes who bought into the tabloids (and right-wing cry) of "Protestors stay home!" It was Rhodes who used her program to scream and snarl that she didn't want people protesting the RNC convention in "my city." It was Rhodes who repeated all the frothing nonsense that anarchists were planning to descend upon NYC and destroy the city. She repeated it not for one day or even for one week. She devoted whole hours to that nonsense week after week.

There's also that Patti Smith issue which shocked the original management (and should have). Patti was in the studio to tape a show with Steve Earle. She didn't know Randi Rhodes. She hadn't agreed to go on Randi's program. As usual, Randi was playing boo-hoo city about how she couldn't get any guests. Poor Randi, poor Randi. Patti took pity on her and agreed to go on live with Randi as soon as her show started. That was Patti Smith doing a favor for Randi, a favor for someone she didn't even know.

They went on air. Rhodes spoke about Horses (Patti's rock classic) for a few minutes and then went to politics. Patti Smith is left. She's not kind of, she's not sort of. She's left. Rhodes wanted to know who Patti was supporting and Patti spoke favorably about Ralph Nader. Rhodes tore into her -- on air -- told her she was stupid, told her she didn't know her facts (in terms of facts stated on air, Patti knew what she was talking about, Rhodes didn't). She was screaming at Patti Smith and it was offensive to hear. Patti tried to be polite and offered that they could have a conversation but let her finish speaking. Rhodes wouldn't let her finish. Every time Rhodes came up for air and Patti started to speak, around the fourth word, Randi would begin screaming at her, hurling abuse at her.

Repeating, Patti didn't know Rhodes, she'd never met her before. Rhodes played her "No one ever comes on my show" pity trip and Patti agreed to go on air, live, with Rhodes. Her thanks for that was to be screamed at, shouted at, told she was "an idiot," made fun of, mocked and just abused non-stop.

Patti softly stated that if they weren't going to talk, she was going to end the interview. Rhodes continued screaming at her, blaming Patti for the 2000 election, on and on. Then Patti left and Rhodes continued her abuse. She informed listeners that Patti had just left and continued abusing Patti. She said you shouldn't come on her show if you don't know your facts. (Apparently Rhodes is the only one on that show who is permitted not to know the facts.) She ripped into Patti on and on. It was embarrassing. It was offensive. Upper management heard complaints non-stop from donors.

That's what's in store. Rhodes cannot censor herself. Rhodes has serious issues and AAR and she need to part ways because what happened is only going to get worse as the election looms closer.

Her 'free' speech is not worth the network going under. She wants to sink her own ship, that's her business. But AAR has teetered all along and since becoming Obama Central, they've had even more difficulty raising funds. They are losing listeners (which is why the NYC outlet now plays informercials during the day). They can't afford Randi Rhodes' nonsense. She attacked Hillary and Ferraro. It's unacceptable in AAR's planned model.

She thought she could get away with the nonsense. For her to get away with it puts AAR at risk. That's why she was suspended. Her past history indicates that as a presidential election gets closer, she only becomes more unhinged. The smartest thing to do is to cut her off. It's unnacceptable, it offends donors (I'm talking big money donors) and it offends the Democratic Party.

Trina notes this from Paul Krugman's "Voodoo Health Economcics" (New York Times) where Krugman's noting Elizabeth Edwards' remarks about the healthcare proposals by Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama:

Indeed, while Mrs. Edwards focused her criticism on Mr. McCain, she also made it clear that she prefers Hillary Clinton's approach -- "Sen. Clinton's plan is a great plan" -- to Barack Obama's. The Clinton plan closely resembles the plan for universal coverage that John Edwards laid out more than a year ago. By contrast, Mr. Obama offers a watered-down plan that falls short of unviersality, and it would have higher costs per person covered.
Worse yet, Mr. Obama attacked his Democratic rivals' health plans using conservative talking points about choice and the evil of having the government tell you what to do. That's going to make it hard -- if he is the nominee -- to refute Mr. McCain when he makes similar arguments on behalf of such things as prviatizing veterans' care.

Marcus notes Howard Wolfson's "HUBdate: Ringing" (

Ringing: The campaign released a new 30-second television ad statewide across Pennsylvania. "Ringing" highlights Hillary’s readiness to be Commander-in-Chief of the economy on Day One. Sen. McCain "just said the government shouldn’t take any real action on the housing crisis. He’d let the phone keep ringing." Watch here.

Tonight on The Tonight Show: Hillary will appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Strong on the Economy: At yesterday’s jobs sum

Ringing: The campaign released a new 30-second television ad statewide across Pennsylvania. "Ringing" highlights Hillary's readiness to be Commander-in-Chief of the economy on Day One. Sen. McCain "just said the government shouldn’t take any real action on the housing crisis. He’d let the phone keep ringing." Watch here.

Tonight on The Tonight Show: Hillary will appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Strong on the Economy: At yesterday's jobs summit, Hillary outlined her insourcing agenda that provides $7 billion in tax incentives and investments for firms creating jobs in America. Read the plan here. Read more and more.

Big Change: USA Today’s "Clinton's goals for economy? Big change" details Hillary's plans for the economy given that "there is still time for policymakers to avert a lengthy and punishing downturn." Read more.

In Case You Missed It: Hillary appeared on CNBC’s "Mad Money with Jim Cramer." Watch here.

Swing State Lead: A new Quinnipiac poll shows Hillary beating McCain in key swing states. In Florida, she leads McCain 44-42 while Obama trails McCain by 9 points. In Ohio, Hillary leads McCain 48-39 while Obama is only ahead of McCain by 1. Read more.

For the Long Run: "Hang in there, Hillary...This Democratic presidential race is much too close - and you’d disappoint way too many people - if you let a bunch of party hacks and hand-wringers force you out now." Read more.

Active In The Tar Heel State: North Carolina For Hillary announced the grand opening of its state headquarters in Raleigh. Read more.

Previewing Today: Hillary hosts a "Hillary Live" fundraising event in Beverly Hills, CA.

A Tribute To Dr. King: On Friday, Hillary visits Memphis, TN to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in remembrance of the 40th anniversary of his assassination. She released a video inviting her supporters to submit testimonials about the impact Dr. King's work has had on their lives. View here.

On Tap: Hillary will attend the North Dakota Democratic NPL State Convention in Grand Forks, ND on Friday and will be campaigning in Oregon on Saturday.

Added: Rhodes appeared at what was promoted by the local station as an AAR event; however, an e-mailer notes it was also a Barack event which means Obama needs to issue a statement since Rhodes was using her foul mouth to represent him.

SOLD OUT: An Evening with Randi Rhodes (Obama supporter) (Meeting)

Come join other Bay Area Obama supporters for an evening with Air America host Randi Rhodes!

She was quieter in her support earlier in the primary season, but this week Randi Rhodes has been on fire with her passion for Obama (and disappointment/anger with his opponent). Today (3/7), she spent nearly her whole show urging people to get to Pennsylvania or to call Pennsylvania on behalf of Senator Obama.

Let's show her some Bay Area love and have a chance to get together socially as well. Spend your afternoon phonebanking and then join us (in Obamawear of course) for a great evening. Doors open at 5:30 pm, event is at 6:00 pm.

This event is $5 at the door, and you sign-up in advance via Green 960 radio station's website.

After the event, we can all head to a place in the neighborhood for drinks and organizing for winning Pennsylvania, the nomination and the White House.

Again, she was representing both. AAR has suspended her. Barack Obama's campaign needs to apologize. It was unacceptable behavior. Link goes to Obama site and thanks to the visitor who e-mailed to note that.

The e-mail address for this site is