Friday, October 29, 2004
Eminem leads the Revolution at the polls. This
video is outstanding -- and may gain in prominence if
next week devolves into a fiasco:
Monday, October 25, 2004
ELECTION 2004 --UNDO IT --Sign KYOTO
Global Warming Undo It! Update
Election 2004 - Undo Global Warming
The election is just over a week away and already over 20,000 Environmental Defense members have taken the Election 2004 Global Warming Challenge. That's 20,000 people sending emails to top candidates for national office, from the White House to the U.S. Senate, urging tough action to undo global warming.
With new faces to join Congress, now is a key time to make sure that candidates for national office are addressing the issue of global warming for voters and supporting real global warming solutions in the new year.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
A Critical Message from Kieran -- Read and Respond
This was written by my son Kieran who is 18 years old. Please read it and if you would send it to 10 other people preferably those who don't know which way to vote yet - or Republicans (I was a Republican myself).
Moderators - please post this - without this research many people will be losing all hope. Kieran is my middle son, he has accomplished so much against adverse conditions, he was his freshman class president and attended Oxford University last summer. He wants to have hope that research will one day give him a shot at life.
And if you would just cc Kieran letting him know that you read his letter his email address is: email@example.com
Remember Them in November
by Kieran McGovern
Parkinson's Disease, Lou Gehrig's Disease, muscular dystrophy diabetes, brain damage, forms of cancer, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, paralysis, blindness; the list of undesirable maladies goes on and on. All of these ailments, and countless others affect millions of people worldwide. The only thing anyone knows for sure is that stem cell research and genetic engineering would treat, if not cure these conditions.
When I was 13 years old, I was diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia – a rare neurobiological degenerative disease. Both of my parents carried recessive genes that gave me this problem, characterized by the lack of a certain protein in somatic cells that normally eliminates excess iron. Because of this iron overload, my peripheral nervous system slowly deteriorates. This makes my balance very poor, and walking is difficult. People with Ataxia often wind up in wheelchairs, and can develop cardiomyopathy; a heart malfunction that normally leads to death. The killer realization is that I was a normal kid until Ataxia showed up when I was 13, and slowly began taking over my body.
Supposed president George W. Bush (PLEASE DO NOT STOP READING) stripped federal support from stem-cell research, which consequentially stifled progress profoundly. Could it be that he wanted to conserve national revenue? That hardly seems logical, considering how he's accomplished to obliterate American economy in every way possible.
The real argument is that it's immoral to use aborted fetuses to attempt to replicate human beings. That's an incredibly ignorant argument for two major reasons. First – stem-cell research does not necessarily need to come from aborted fetuses, and most of the studies are done with umbilical cord cells, that would otherwise be discarded. Second – No one of medical authority has any desire to realize George's fear of the "Attack of the Clones."
Embryos are created in labs, and stem cells are extracted from them. They're frozen, and would have absolutely no way of becoming a child. If you believe that's a life, you've lost touch with reality altogether. Do you mean to tell me that a microscopic tissue of cells has more rights than me? I'm 18 years old… I have a brain, emotions, and my vital existence is not in dispute.
Look, I've been involved in studies at the National Institute of Health… a lot of pro-Bush people seem to adamantly believe against the facts I've just presented you with. They are facts. No matter what Fox News transmits to you, like it or not, it's set-in-stone.
With that said, it comes down to a choice of tradition, zealous, blind faith or reason and humanity. Fundamentalism will bring one comfort and some cracked-out feeling of nobility. But, it won't get humanity anywhere. Isn't this the American condemnation of terrorists? All I know is I refuse to die for any hateful, dishonest, bloodthirsty, homophobic plutocrat. Do not vote for this man; do not take our hope away. The religious right (which is an oxymoron) might tell me this is "God's will." Well I've never been so fortunate as to meet God and talk to him. I do know, however, that Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, and Buddha, all preached the same thing: love yourself, and love one another and the rest of religion is a man-made institution. YOU have the power to save my life, and the lives of others. We just want to live.
Bush is killing Arabs, he's killing American soldiers, he's killing people that suffer from diseases that I hope he will never have to understand… and it's all faith based. What kind of god does this man have? It's time for America to take its head out of the sand and face reality.
The world will not end if we elect John Kerry. You just need to reject whatever biased media says, and use your brain. Bush is preying on people's sense of fear, and it's working. "Weapons of Mass Destruction" were NOT found… it's a fact. Osama bin Laden was NOT found… another fact. Iraq had NO connection to terrorist groups. Saddam Hussein was an oppressive dictator (which is condemned by Islam).
Think of all the people dying of disease. Think of the ones who are waiting with ultimate anxiety, losing all faith, giving up on the world. The people who live each day in pain that most of us are afraid to imagine. It's an election year, and I hope we all remember them in November.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Margaret Hassan Biography:
'Everywhere she went, people just beamed ... if anyone
can cope with this, it is Margaret Hassan'
By Terry Kirby Chief Reporter
21 October 2004
She has been described as a secular Mother Teresa: a
very quietly spoken, slightly built, almost frail,
woman, aged about 60, with a core of steel and a
determination to achieve what she wants.
Last night, the friends and family of Margaret Hassan,
the aid worker held hostage since Tuesday, were
fervently hoping the very qualities which had enabled
her to bring help to ordinary Iraqis for more than
three decades of brutal dictatorship, wars and
sanctions, would help her survive the ordeal of being
kidnapped. Memories of the death of Kenneth Bigley
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
"Rise Up Old Heart"
Two times yesterday, I heard words that seemed to help, words I want to share.
1. I read an e-mail from a Buddhist who describes the US political duopoly as parents who can't communicate: Republicans being the father who is worried only about finances and protection from outsiders who may take his land; Democrats being the mother who is worried only about her family--nourishing them, clothing them, keeping them healthy, helping them get along with each other. The e-mail went on to say that the parents must learn to love each other and take care of each others needs and share their concerns so that all the needs of the family can be met. I wish this e-mail could be read by everyone in this country. We should not be about the business of this or that party, nor should we be trying to make even more parties--3rd or 4th or other. We need to look to each other first, then to our community, then to our country, then to our world.
2. I saw an old friend who isn't faring much better than I am. We have been at this a long time, but she quoted an author I should remember right now (but don't), "Rise Up Old Heart" and that is what I did this morning. Perhaps we will have a new silent majority, and a new president Nov. 2, and perhaps he will make a change or two. And even if we don't, there is always another day, another fight, another hope--and those are the reasons to fire up the soul and move on.
My wish is for all the first time voters in this election. I want you all to vote again and again and again, even if your vote is lost by a machine or your candidate doesn't win. I want you all to get excited every election, every time you hear someone say what ought to be done or changed. That rush in your heart and soul is worth the downs, and that spirit does pay off--perhaps in little changes here and there--but that is how real change happens. Little pebbles break off as the waters race by, and before you know it someone will see the Grand Canyon. Maybe you won't be there, but someone will be amazed at its miracle.
Catastrophic Success, Polls, Culture of LIfe, Two State
1) 'CATASTROPHIC SUCCESS'
The Strategy to Secure Iraq Did Not Foresee a 2nd War
2) Poll crazy [Fasten your seatbelts America, this is
going to be one rough ride...]:
If your mood swings are tied to the daily fluctuations
of Electoral-Vote.com - and you know who you are -
then you need Tim Grieve's guide to opinion polling
Wednesday October 20, 2004
They are the numbers flying by on the TV screen, and
if you're living and dying by the presidential race,
no amount of Zoloft can even out the highs and the
lows they bring.
George Bush and John Kerry are tied in the brand-new
NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Kerry is up by
three in a Democracy Corps poll released on Tuesday.
He was down by three in the New York Times poll on
Tuesday morning, down by five in the Washington Post
poll on Tuesday night, tied in last night's Zogby
tracking poll, and down by an alarming eight in the
CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released over the
3) Ziad Asali Speech Supporting Two-State Solution:
THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND A BETTER FUTURE
By Ziad Asali, MD
Carnegie Mellon University
October 17, 2004
This is my first visit to Pittsburgh and it is
quite a pleasure to be here. Among other things,
Pittsburgh is home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a
team that has sparked some of the most intense
rivalries in American professional sports.
We are here today however, to talk about a
rivalry other than sports, one that is deadly and
destructive with no time-outs. It has no rules
and its purpose is not just to score a win, but
also to vanquish, with no need for future fights.
For both Israelis and Palestinians, with few
notable exceptions, knowing the history of the
other is just another weapon in the struggle, and
as such, it is to be avoided. Understanding that
history might humanize the other, and thus might
diminish the capacity of the young to kill and
die for a noble cause, against an inhuman and
evil enemy. However, this understanding is a tall
order. There is too much to know, and the problem
with history, as I said on another occasion, is
that it has been around too long. It lends itself
to support and to refute any argument, thus
adding an aura of authenticity and validity to
The Palestinian history, which has come to be
called their narrative, is that of a people who
have lived in the land as residue of its
inhabitants since time immemorial. Their coveted
land was taken over by the Crusaders a thousand
years ago and retrieved in two centuries. Jewish
immigrants, supported by powerful and advanced
Western powers, took over the land, and
ultimately inflicted on them the Nakba,
catastrophe, in 1948 by establishing the state of
Israel on their land. A tale of dispossession,
disinheritance, exile, struggle, tenacity,
sacrifice, endurance, occupation, resistance,
patriotism, betrayal, hopelessness, violence,
humiliation and steadfastness, all woven together
to define the Palestinian psyche. It is a story
of individual success and of communal failure to
redress the injustice of the past. At its core is
a yearning of the people to have a state of their
own, to be able to return from exile.
The Jewish narrative starts out with
dispossession and exile thousands of years ago. A
story of a people scattered among inhospitable
neighbors in foreign lands and surviving by their
sheer will to prevail against all powers aligned
to assimilate and integrate them out of their own
uniqueness. A story of Diaspora, Pogroms,
Ghettos, Holocaust and Return that lead to
unending wars and a conflict that defies
resolution. A story of abject defeats, and heroic
victories; of belligerence and dominance: of
individual and communal success after the longest
journey of humiliation and weakness. At its core,
it is a story of survival, and the will to
survive on the land.
These apparently irreconcilable narratives have
caused these two peoples, and many others,
unspeakable grief. It is the task of the
survivors to reconcile these narratives, to
achieve that which eluded generations before us,
and to bequeath to our children a legacy of
This is the story of the past. Let us move on to
more familiar grounds. The present. A state of
war exists in Palestine / Israel. People, mostly
young people, with a fair representation of
children and old people thrown in as collateral
damage, are being murdered. The Palestinians live
under occupation, with their elemental freedoms
restricted, parceled out or denied. No one is
safe and none is spared indignity in their
encounters with the only Israelis they really
see, and those are members of the army. The
Palestinian economy is in shambles with the scary
statistic that two thirds of the people in Gaza
live on less than two dollars a day, and with two
thirds of the Palestinian economy coming from
outside subsidy. Lawlessness, emerging warlords,
and outright thuggery remove any sense of safety
and security that all people seek for their
families. Criminality, confusing legitimate
resistance with terror against the innocent has
sullied the Palestinian name. Rampant corruption,
from an authority that is cynical and fragmented,
adds to the frustration of a public that is
rudderless and dare not hope. They have been
sustained, despite the two ills of occupation and
corrupt Authority, by a cohesive culture that is
centuries old, which is fraying at the edges.
Their story too is one of survival and sheer
existential defiance. They do not want to be
broken and forever lose their chance of having
their own state.
The Israelis, on the other hand, live in fear.
Fear of suicide bombing, stealth attacks and
threats of retribution by future attacks
extending as far away as Iran. Their economic
engine has stalled with tourism dwindling, the
high tech boom turning into bust; the threats of
sanctions with economic teeth are gathering
momentum, especially in Europe and now the United
States. The political system, reflecting the
state of the country, is fragmented along ethnic,
racial and ideological fault lines. The
discipline and sense of mission to be a beacon to
the world, proclaimed by the founders of the
state has given way to emerging parochial
interests pursuing their narrow gains. The quest
to maintain the country as democratic and Jewish
is threatened by the demography of occupation. To
add to this picture, consider the defensive
attitude of the Israelis to the world that has
become more overtly critical of the occupation
and its reflections on TV. The suffering of
ordinary Palestinians chafing under occupation
can only be accepted to the Jewish people of
Israel and elsewhere if their own sense of fear
blinds them to it. Their fear is not just for
their own personal security, but for the possible
loss of the whole enterprise. It resonates with a
people victimized by history of millennia of
oppression and is easily and readily evoked. What
also sustains the Israeli public is their own
sense of defiance. They will not be weak, or
appear to be weak, ever again, and they will be
protected by their own might, and that alone. All
in all, a grim picture of two peoples,
conditioned to endure, with no sense of security,
and with the conviction that your enemies' gain
is your loss. A zero sum game.
Having dispensed with the past, and drawn a grim
picture of the present, let me turn your
attention and mine to the future.
Let us start with the acceptance of reality as it
is with these two people intertwined in a deadly
embrace, stuck with the fact that none will
eliminate the physical presence from the land.
The Israelis have a choice; either to make a deal
with the Palestinians, a weak party eager to be
free of occupation and to compromise, or try to
frustrate them, hold on to the occupied
territories, deny the emergence of a Palestinian
State and wait out the present conflict in hopes
for a better future. That future, statistically
speaking, will entail the empowerment of the Arab
and Muslim world, and with that, the continued
call of the masses to liberate Jerusalem. The
rising tide of militant Islamic radicalism is
likely to be defeated in time by a culture that
will not yield to the coercion and strictures of
this militancy; however, the Muslim people's
sense of their own grievances, their need to
develop and be empowered, will unavoidably lead
to stronger states and societies. The rallying
cry for them will be to liberate Jerusalem, if,
in their eyes, Jerusalem were not free. Failing
to bring this conflict to a close will pit Israel
and its supporters, against the Muslims, radical
or moderate, for the balance of the century. In
other words, a prescription for a century of war
and conflict. 0ne point two billion people are
hard to beat.
Let us then assume that wise minds will prevail
and will accept the fundamental need for a
compromise for peace in the near future. The
contours of the historic compromise are known to
all. It is a variation on the Theme of Taba,
worked out with the assistance of President
Clinton in the waning days of his presidency. A
state of Palestine along side Israel, with the
borders of 1967 adjusted with mutual agreement.
Arab Jerusalem serving as capital of Palestine,
part of a shared and undivided city, holy places
under each parties control. The state of
Palestine will be a home of all Palestinians and
the refugee's rights, including compensation and
relocation, will be preserved. This package will
be sealed by a Marshall Plan that should make the
whole project viable and assure the end of the
conflict, and pave the way to create a New Middle
How do we get from here to there? The parties
themselves are incapable of negotiating a formula
for peace. It is left to us, the United States,
with our immense assets across the spectrum, to
bring this project to fruition because no one
else can, not even in theory. This does not mean
that others are irrelevant or have no role to
play, but that we are the only that can do it.
For this to happen, a significant segment of the
Palestinian and Israeli societies, and
Palestinian and American Jews, have to link up,
explore ways to express the will of the majority
and turn it into political forces that will help
the Administration play its indispensable role.
The American people need to be more aware of our
national interest to resolve this conflict.
President Pervez Musharraf, the president of
Pakistan who is a stalwart and courageous ally in
this fight, said in an interview with Peter
Jennings on September 2004: no single factor is
more useful in our fight against global terrorism
than resolving the Palestine problem. Now
Pakistan is five countries, and two thousand
miles away from Palestine, but Musharraf
understands the incendiary nature of this issue
and the need for its resolution. Prime Minister
Blair made it his number one foreign policy
commitment for the future.
The American people need to appreciate the
significance of removing this issue from the
table in truly normalizing economic relations
with the fifty-five Muslim countries, thus
opening up markets for our goods and products,
and creating stable societies that pursue
prosperity rather than war.
And lastly, nothing counts more than integrity
and moral clarity. Establishing a democratic,
constitutional state of Palestine, where it is
actually feasible and desired, will be consistent
with our own sense of our values that we wish for
others to share. A prosperous and peaceful
Palestine would be our contribution to the
possibilities of freedom and stability that can
open to the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Resolving the Palestinian Israeli conflict will
not put an end to terrorism, but it will pave the
way for its defeat. It is necessary but
insufficient, and that ought to be enough of an
incentive for us to act.
At the end of the day, it takes people like us,
like-minded in our pursuit of a real peace,
people who transcend their tribal, ethnic,
religious and national fault lines, to lock hands
as we face those who are driven by the suffering
of the forefathers than guided by the future of
their children. Let us deny those who use
religion for war and strife their wish to impose
their dark visions on the rest of us.
There are no clean hands in this conflict, no
monopoly on victimization, but there is a crying
need for wisdom and compromise. Therein lays the
hope for peace.
BUILDING AN ALLIANCE TOWARDS THE 'HISTORIC COMPROMISE'
By Ziad Asali, MD
Union of Progressive Zionists student conference
October 17, 2004
A consensus, that is, nearly a
consensus, about the contours of the final
agreement for a genuine and lasting peace is
known. It is a variation of the themes of
Clinton's Taba proposal, The Geneva Initiative,
Nusseibeh- Ayalon, One Voice and most
importantly, the Road Map. Polls and surveys of
Palestinians, Israelis, American Jews and Arabs,
as well as the general American public, indicate
support for a two-state solution based on what
has come to be called the Historic Compromise. An
opposing minority in each camp has exercised its
power decisively, predictably and effectively to
derail and frustrate a peaceful solution. It has
thwarted the will of the majority of all these
The consensus is so accepted that even the most
hardened opponents of the compromise have adopted
it publicly, as they worked to obstruct it, in
the hope of killing it in due time.
The forces opposed to a two-state solution are
opposed to peace at this time because they think
that time is on their side. The Israeli
opposition, whether national or religious, is
based on a claim for Eretz Israel or land of
Greater Israel. It believes that if Israel hangs
tough it will in time rule most of, if not the
whole, land of Palestine, and the Arabs and
Muslims will eventually relent and move on to
other issues. The Palestinian and Arab
opposition, whether national or religious,
believes that Israel is just another Crusader
state that will, in time, perhaps a century or
two, be wiped out by the might of a united Muslim
power that will liberate Jerusalem again.
The most recent formula for non-peace is the one
calling for a bi-national state, a one state
solution, because irreversible facts on the
grounds have already precluded the emergence of a
viable Palestine. This view does not distinguish
between settlements, which can stay, and
settlers, who should go back to Israel as part of
the Historic Compromise. Advocates of this
position, which is not in accord with the
international consensus, must think that Israel
will accede peacefully to the dissolution of its
Jewish character after the millennial struggle of
the Jewish people to achieve it. We are all
waiting with baited breath to see whether there
will be support for this formula amongst the
Israelis and American Jews. The waiting period
will not be one of peace.
Palestinians struggling alone in Palestine can
never regain a state in Palestine no matter how
heroic, or even wise, they might be. Indeed, even
with the support of the whole Arab and Muslims
worlds, the Palestinians have been, and will be,
unable to achieve independence. An alliance of
Palestinians committed to the grand compromise,
with significant segments of the Israeli society,
working in tandem with Palestinian Americans,
other Arab Americans and American Jews, can form
the core of the needed alliance to impact policy.
The existing global consensus for peace should
help empower this alliance to achieve its
Israelis at this point in time, beleaguered,
powerful and defiant, have to make a choice
between signing on with the more beleaguered and
weakened Palestinians, the majority of whom are
anxious to negotiate an end to occupation on very
reasonable terms, or to dash the hope of the
Palestinians for a state and wait for a less
troubling future. Should the compromise fail, it
is hard to see how Israel can escape a looming
confrontation with over a billion Muslims
clamoring for the liberation of Jerusalem for the
balance of the century. All in all, this is no
prescription for peace.
Why has the minority thwarted peace? The answer
is because it could. Why has the majority failed
to impose its will for peace? The answer is
because it could not. To translate the policy of
the majority into political clout is the
challenge of our time.
I will spare you the tedium of dwelling on the
past. Instead I will try to discuss some issues
in American politics that I believe to be
relevant, and see how we can learn from them in
order to move forward, to achieve our collective
goal of genuine peace.
American politics is based on building alliances.
It is pluralistic. No single party or group is
powerful enough to achieve its objectives on its
own. Single issue-oriented alliances are forged
between groups pursuing a defined objective that
they have in common, regardless of their other
strategies, ideologies or even competing
interests. The alliance that traditional Zionists
have put in place over decades is awe inspiring
in its breadth and depth. Centering on support
for Israel, it consisted of groups as varied as
the Republican and Democratic parties, Labor
Unions and Chambers of Commerce, Christian
fundamentalists and white liberals, Black leaders
and conservative Southerners as well as a legion
of voices in liberal and conservative media
outlets. This alliance is decidedly one of the
most successful convergences of strange
bedfellows that have ever been assembled. It held
together not just to support Israel proper, but
also its conquests after 1967.
Another example of a group working on foreign
policy issues with measurable success was the
obscure Sudan People's Liberation Movement, a
Marxist-Leninist movement established a quarter
century ago with a political base in Marxist
Ethiopia. Shortly thereafter, a coup in Ethiopia
that toppled the regime, orphaned the movement
and forced it to look for a base elsewhere, so it
shrewdly moved its political operation to the
United States. Methodically and successfully, it
distanced itself from its ideological past and
was able to forge an amazing alliance of
Christian Fundamentalists, white Christian and
Jewish liberals, the Black Caucus and Academia
with sympathetic media coverage. Yet another
successful alliance of disparate groups, with
little in common, but with a clear convergence of
support for a single goal.
What can we learn from this? One lesson is that
there are no quick fixes and no substitute for
hard work, and another is that we have to forge
ahead and build our own alliance for peace in
Palestine / Israel. A cursory look around this
country reveals wide support for a two-state
solution among the majority of American Jews,
particularly those who do not belong to
organizations, Arab-, and especially Palestinian-
Americans, the moderate wing of the Republican
Party, and the progressive wing of the Democratic
Party, the public at large, academia, mainstream
churches and many ethnic groups with an emerging
voice of support in the media. There is no thread
that ties these groups together around this issue
at this point in time. Indeed, gatherings of
like-minded Jewish, and Arab or Palestinian
Americans, presumably the core constituents of
such an alliance, reveal, more often than not,
vast psychological and emotional canyons
separating them. Human bonds are rarely created,
and tribal links prove to be more solid than
reasoned strategies. Real, no-nonsense,
business-like communication has yet to evolve.
In the meantime, calm and rational public
discourse is stifled by loud, passionate and
personal voices of recrimination and paranoia.
These voices have for decades appealed
successfully to the core of their communities'
insecurities, fears, sense of humiliation,
superiority or inferiority. All these factors
made public communication an arena for
recrimination and calumny. Individuals could, and
did, defy this communal separation at their own
risk. To be a non-racist, for a Jew, a
Palestinian or any other Arab, and to act like
one, is still an act of courage that carries
little reward amongst one's peers. This communal
failure can only be confronted and ameliorated by
having more public encounters of concerned
people, of equal standing, discussing issues
bequeathed by an unkind history, with seriousness
and mutual respect. The two communities should
endeavor to search for answers rather than to
score debating points.
At the risk of offending some, I feel compelled
to say that the alliance we seek can only work if
it is perceived to serve the interest of each
group as they themselves define this interest.
Right wing and left wing Jews and Palestinians,
here and there, might, for diametrically opposed
reasons, agree on the desirability of a two-state
solution. This agreement alone makes them
eligible potential allies.
The national interest of the United States has to
be the overarching incentive for forging an
effective and wide alliance in our country to
support this objective. This interest is best
defined, at this age of terrorism and global
instability, by the major contribution the
resolution of this conflict will make in the Arab
and Muslim world towards dissipating the
hostility engendered against us; a hostility that
has been fully exploited by the Bin Ladens of
this world to recruit terrorists and misguided
Palestine, after its independence, can in theory
lend itself to the creation of a constitutional,
democratic, transparent and free state. It has
the educated human capital to fulfill this
promise and it lacks the dictatorial state
structure that stifles institution building in
other Arab countries. Constructing such a vibrant
state would be consistent with our values and
morality. This is yet another argument that will
appeal to all people who value freedom in our
Clearing the deck of the Palestine / Israel
conflict should unlock many artificial political
barriers to free trade in the Middle East and
would throw the door open for our goods, products
and services to a market of three hundred million
Arabs, as well as 1.2 billion Muslims. The
stunted current trade with all these countries,
virtually restricted to oil, will create huge
business opportunities in markets that have money
and are in need of development - a great fit for
our economy. This yet is another argument to help
build an enduring and sustainable alliance.
In short, if we are serious about achieving a
solution of Palestine-alongside-Israel, we
ourselves will have to go about forging the
alliance that will make it happen. At the core of
it is a self respecting, dependable relationship
between Palestinians and Jews in this country and
among like-minded people in Palestine and Israel.
Anti-Semitism, anti- Arabism and anti-Islamism
are a plague and to be avoided as such. It is our
obligation to replace all these ills by a working
bond of brave people committed to building an
alliance for a genuine and lasting peace.
4) Anti-Tom DeLay Initiative:
5) Cartoon: "A Culture of Life"
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Margaret Hassan from Nabil---
I worked with Margaret Hassan in Iraq in 91-92, and
last saw her during my visit there in May 2003. This
is a strong, admirable, critical, and compassionate
person who first went to Iraq over 30 years ago. I
sincerely hope she weathers this storm, because she's
the wrong target of a kidnapping in every sense of the
Postings from Nabil --
1) Cartoon describing campaign practice to date:
2) Another American speaks out. Here, Jon Stewart
ruthlessly lays into the Tweedle Dee / Tweedle Dum
style of American bipartisan politics as displayed on
phony debate shows -- in this case CNN's Crossfire
(itself modelled after BBC's Hardball):
3) Election blog:
4) For those of you who think the cleavages in
American society aren't really all that serious:
Inflammatory letter a 1st Amendment test
Anxious Muslims in Tucson debate the wisdom of a
lawsuit against an apologetic newspaper
By Howard Witt
The Chicago Tribune, October 14, 2004
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The only mosque in Tucson hugs the
curb on a blighted street north of downtown surrounded
by cheap motels, vacant lots and boarded-up buildings,
its exposure and vulnerability symbolizing the unease
Muslim residents have felt over the last year.
A spate of incidents over the spring and summer,
including harassment of young Muslim women singled out
by their head-coverings and threats made against
Muslim families enjoying city parks, has set many of
Tucson's estimated 10,000 Muslim residents on edge.
But it was a brief, incendiary letter to the editor
published by a local newspaper in December that
started most of the troubles, triggering a frank
apology by the newspaper, an unusual lawsuit now
before the Arizona Supreme Court that tests the limits
of a free press, and an uncomfortable schism in the
local Muslim community over the best way to confront
The letter, written by Dr. Emory Metz Wright Jr., a
retired Tucson physician, proposed a solution to stop
the killing of American soldiers in Iraq.
'Whenever there is an assassination or another
atrocity,' Wright wrote in his letter, published Dec.
2 in the Tucson Citizen, 'we should proceed to the
closest mosque and execute five of the first Muslims
. . .
The rancor that Wright left behind has divided
Tucson's small Muslim community. Local leaders were
not pleased that Rahim and Elleithee decided to press
'The two individuals filed the suit on behalf of
themselves, certainly not Arizona's Muslims,' As'ad
said. 'We tried to discourage them doing this. We'd
rather have good relations with the paper than pursue
this matter further.'
Elleithee scoffed at such reticence and attributed it
to a split in the community between foreign-born and
'I live in this country for 35 years,' said Elleithee,
63, who was born in Egypt. 'I came as an immigrant,
and I chose to be American; I have two kids who are
American. This is my country. I am not going to live
here in the shadows. I'm not after money. But we need
to do something about this.'
. . .
5) The world's most expensive and terrifying taxi ride
-- on the front lines of globalization:
by James Hider
At £183 a mile, a cab from Baghdad airport has to make
a mad dash between guns and bombers
October 16, 2004
THE rare business traveller to Baghdad airport does
not just walk out of departures and hail a cab to
town. Waiting at the half-deserted airport will be a
small convoy of armoured vehicles and Western gunmen
to escort him on what has become indisputably the most
expensive, dangerous taxi ride in the world.
The distance from the airport, on the southwestern
edge of the capital, to the relative security of the
coalition’s green zone compound in central Baghdad is
only about 15 miles — but the fare is at least £2,750.
At roughly £183 a mile, and running the gamut of
roadside bombs, suicide car bombers, snipers and
rocket-propelled grenade launchers, the airport road
is a high-speed dash where your driver is more likely
to ask your blood type than if you had a pleasant
landing as your aircraft corkscrewed in to avoid
“You could jump in an Iraqi taxi with a gun and get
there for $20,” one security contractor said. But with
armed kidnap gangs marauding in the capital, and
Westerners sold for about £150,000 to Islamist
terrorists, he did not recommend it.
Hiring an armed team is the only way for the security
conscious contractor to make it to the city. For a few
thousand pounds, the visiting Western contractor will
have at least two cars and four Western former
military bodyguards, usually American, South African
or British, toting a mixture of MP5 submachine guns,
M16 rifles and or AK47 assault rifles.
The client will ride in one vehicle: the other is
known as the “gun car” or “chase car” riding shotgun
to attack potential assailants. One Western security
official recommended a convoy of three armoured
vehicles with accompanying gunmen to ensure as safe a
journey as possible.
The danger is reflected in the soaring cost of
security, running at up to £6,000 a day for a
close-protection team. At least 10 per cent of each
reconstruction project budget goes into security.
Officials say that it is often double that.
Baghdad airport is the hub of the US-led coalition’s
military activities, while the green zone, a
blast-walled complex of former Saddam palaces serving
as Western embassies and Iraqi government buildings,
is the heart of the civilian administration.
Since the early days of the insurgency, guerrillas
have been trying to sever this key artery.
The road is pitted with craters where rebels have
planted bombs. The US Army has cut down all the palm
trees along the route, officially known as the
Qadisiyah Expressway, to stop insurgents firing
rockets from their cover.
Smoking Humvees, the standard US army workhorse, are a
common sight by the roadside, while the motorist
occasionally passes the charred hulk of a suicide
bomber’s car that has exploded while trying to ram a
A large road sign to remind departing convoys of the
need for vigilance stands at the exit from the green
zone and asks: “Are you ready for the next attack?”
Travelling in a British military convoy in two white
“soft skin” four-wheel drives recently, The Times was
told by the Scottish NCO in charge that “if contact is
made and you are disabled, we will leave the kill zone
and seek back-up”.
To civilian ears, that sounded horribly like: “If
you’re shot we will drive away and if it’s safe later
on we’ll come back and pick up your body, if it’s
Iraqi businessmen who can afford the £350 ticket for
the 80-minute flight to Jordan try to travel incognito
up the highway, although that carries its own risks.
Driving along the highway in an Iraqi civilian car
this week, The Times followed two white GMC Suburbans
as they tore past a slow moving convoy of US armoured
Speeding along at 100mph, we got too close to the rear
vehicle: the back door opened and a thick-set man in a
safari jacket leant out to point his Kalashnikov at
our windscreen. We dropped our speed dramatically. One
Iraqi traveller arrived at the airport flustered for a
recent flight: the Range Rover in front of him had
been caught in heavy traffic just before entering the
Two opportunistic gunmen stepped up, shot the driver
in the leg and threw him out before driving away in
his car. At the airport itself, the traveller has to
navigate a major checkpoint before reaching the
Beside the statue of Abbas ibn Farnas, the Iraqi
Icarus with his exaggerated wings, travellers are
frisked by Gurkha (see note at end, Imad) security
guards, then made to wait for a bus as the crump of
mortars echoes from the huge airfield.
There is no small sense of relief when the aircraft
circles to a safe height and heads westwards.
· Dennis Tito, the American millionaire, paid £20
million for his 450-mile, 8-day return space flight to
the Mir space station. Price per mile: £24,729
· A military taxi from Baghdad airport to the
heavily-protected green zone in the city centre costs
£2,750. Price per mile: £183
· A ticket for Concorde’s final, 3,455-mile flight
from London to New York cost £8,292. Price per mile:
· Four tickets, priced at £21,700 each, are available
to accompany Sir Ranulph Fiennes 3.29 miles from the
Mount Everest base camp to its peak. Price per mile:
Note [This from Imad Khadduri, not me]:
Recall the twelve Nepalese (workers) who were killed a
few months ago?
Nepalese Gurkhas were with the 1st Irish Regiment
under Colonel Tim Collins taht invaded from Kuwait.
They were feted by General Jackson on the eve of
"Show them no pity. We go to liberate, not to
The whole of the Nepalese Army was turned over to the
British in the first world war and the links have
endured ever since, Gurkhas also rotate in the
guarding of Buckingham Palace. So not only did they
invade, then their compatriots turn up driving trucks
for a Kuwaiti company delivering supplies for the
Americans and in security companies.
A year ago, a U.S. security firm could hire a Nepalese
Gurkha soldier for $1,000 a month. Now the cost is
more than $2,000. Former U.S. Special Forces soldiers
can command $700 a day to protect "high-value"
targets. "When you have risks this high, the profits
are going to be high," Brooks said. "That's
Funds to Rebuild Iraq Are Drifting Away From Target
State Department to Rethink U.S. Effort
October 6, 2004
6) This article said to be by Gideon Levy in Ha'aretz,
although I couldn't find the link:
Killing children is no longer a big deal
By Gideon Levy
More than 30 Palestinian children were killed in the
first two weeks of Operation Days of Penitence in the
Gaza Strip. It's no wonder that many people term such
wholesale killing of children "terror." Whereas in the
overall count of all the victims of the intifada the
ratio is three Palestinians killed for every Israeli
killed, when it comes to children the ratio is 5:1.
According to B'Tselem, the human rights organization,
even before the current operation in Gaza, 557
Palestinian minors (below the age of 18) were killed,
compared to 110 Israeli minors.
Palestinian human rights groups speak of even higher
numbers: 598 Palestinian children killed (up to age
17), according to the Palestinian Human Rights
Monitoring Group, and 828 killed (up to age 18)
according to the Red Crescent. Take note of the ages,
too. According to B'Tselem, whose data are updated
until about a month ago, 42 of the children who have
been killed were 10; 20 were seven; and eight were two
years old when they died. The youngest victims are 13
newborn infants who died at checkpoints during birth.
With horrific statistics like this, the question of
who is a terrorist should have long since become very
burdensome for every Israeli. Yet it is not on the
public agenda. Child killers are always the
Palestinians, the soldiers always only defend us and
themselves, and the hell with the statistics.
The plain fact, which must be stated clearly, is that
the blood of hundreds of Palestinian children is on
our hands. No tortuous explanation by the IDF
Spokesman's Office or by the military correspondents
about the dangers posed to soldiers by the children,
and no dubious excuse by the public relations people
in the Foreign Ministry about how the Palestinians are
making use of children will change that fact. An army
that kills so many children is an army with no
restraints, an army that has lost its moral code.
As MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash) said, in a particularly
emotional speech in the Knesset, it is no longer
possible to claim that all these children were killed
by mistake. An army doesn't make more than 500
day-to-day mistakes of identity. No, this is not a
mistake but the disastrous result of a policy driven
mainly by an appallingly light trigger finger and by
the dehumanization of the Palestinians. Shooting at
everything that moves, including children, has become
normative behavior. Even the momentary mini-furor that
erupted over the "confirming of the killing" of a
13-year-old girl, Iman Alhamas, did not revolve around
the true question. The scandal should have been
generated by the very act of the killing itself, not
only by what followed.
Iman was not the only one. Mohammed Aaraj was eating a
sandwich in front of his house, the last house before
the cemetery of the Balata refugee camp, in Nablus,
when a soldier shot him to death at fairly close
range. He was six at the time of his death. Kristen
Saada was in her parents' car, on the way home from a
family visit, when soldiers sprayed the car with
bullets. She was 12 at the time of her death. The
brothers Jamil and Ahmed Abu Aziz were riding their
bicycles in full daylight, on their way to buy sweets,
when they sustained a direct hit from a shell fired by
an Israeli tank crew. Jamil was 13, Ahmed six, at the
time of their deaths.
Muatez Amudi and Subah Subah were killed by a soldier
who was standing in the village square in Burkin and
fired every which way in the wake of stone-throwing.
Radir Mohammed from Khan Yunis refugee camp was in a
school classroom when soldiers shot her to death. She
was 12 when she died. All of them were innocent of
wrongdoing and were killed by soldiers acting in our
At least in some of these cases it was clear to the
soldiers that they were shooting at children, but that
didn't stop them. Palestinian children have no refuge:
mortal danger lurks for them in their homes, in their
schools and on their streets. Not one of the hundreds
of children who have been killed deserved to die, and
the responsibility for their killing cannot remain
anonymous. Thus the message is conveyed to the
soldiers: it's no tragedy to kill children and none of
you is guilty.
Death is, of course, the most acute danger that
confronts a Palestinian child, but it is not the only
one. According to data of the Palestinian Ministry of
Education, 3,409 schoolchildren have been wounded in
the intifada, some of them crippled for life. The
childhood of tens of thousands of Palestinian
youngsters is being lived from one trauma to the next,
from horror to horror. Their homes are demolished,
their parents are humiliated in front of their eyes,
soldiers storm into their homes brutally in the middle
of the night, tanks open fire on their classrooms. And
they don't have a psychological service. Have you ever
heard of a Palestinian child who is a "victim of
The public indifference that accompanies this pageant
of unrelieved suffering makes all Israelis accomplices
to a crime. Even parents, who understand what anxiety
for a child's fate means, turn away and don't want to
hear about the anxiety harbored by the parent on the
other side of the fence. Who would have believed that
Israeli soldiers would kill hundreds of children and
that the majority of Israelis would remain silent?
Even the Palestinian children have become part of the
dehumanization campaign: killing hundreds of them is
no longer a big deal.
Monday, October 18, 2004
In this other blog, Nabil and I post information, news, and opinions directly related to IRAQ and the WAR and the MIDDLE EAST.
The first hand accounts and the links to shocking investigative journalism may worry you. We hope so.
ps and na
3 more from Nabil
1) Remember when the USG said those veterans' sickness
was all in their heads? You should see the photos of
Iraqi birth defects as a legacy of uranium tipped
shells. Well, at least Toys R Us got their's...
Chemicals Sickened '91 Gulf War Veterans, Latest Study
October 15, 2004
By SCOTT SHANE
A panel studying illnesses among the veterans has
concluded that many suffer from neurological damage
caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, rejecting past
2) Check this out -- RNC Chair Ed Gillespie demands
that the Rock the Vote organizers stop using the
potentially imminent draft (note Syria posting above)
as a reason to mobilize young voters. Rock the Vote
responds in a letter on the website (they have a
facsimile image in Adobe of the RNC letter as well):
3) As far as I'm concerned, this election is already
being stolen -- and we just don't realize it yet.
US attack on Syria after the election?
|Date:||Sun, 17 Oct 2004 20:47:55 -0700 (PDT)|
|From:||Nabil Al-Tikriti |
1) Remember that little mortar exchange last week?
This is a second completely unverifiable story,
planted in the media as a trial balloon for later use.
I am growing more certain that if Bush takes this
election, there will be a US attack on Syria by next
summer. The signs are all there, and they're laying
the seeds even before the election.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Rock The Vote Attacked by RNC!!! Told to STOP
Take Action on the Draft!
We just received an outrageous letter from the Chairman of the Republican Party, demanding that we stop talking about the issue of the military draft.
He said that the draft issue is just an "urban myth" and Rock the Vote's
effort is being conducted with "reckless disregard for the truth."
The truth is that we still haven't received acceptable answers from the candidates to real questions affecting our lives. The possibility of a draft is not a hoax. It's a real issue that deserves real answers.
An attempt to silence us by any politician-Democrat, Republican, Whatever-is unacceptable. This is one of the most important issues affecting our generation. And that's why we need to stand up and make our voices heard right away.
Below is the letter that Rock the Vote sent back to the Chairman. Please read it.
http://action.rockthevote.org/ctt.asp?u=685935&l=5014 responds to RNC.pdf
If you like what we are saying, sign our petition to the Chairmen of both
the Republican and Democratic parties asking them to answer some key questions that we have about the draft:
We're not going to stop talking about the issue of a draft simply because it makes the politicians squirm. We're not going to let Congress think that a phony vote against the draft settles the matter.
By sending thousands of email draft cards and talking to your friends about the possibility of a draft, you ignited a national dialogue. If you have any doubt, just look at the last two presidential debates-both of which included questions for both candidates on the draft.
Click here to tell both parties that we need answers to some fundamental questions affecting our lives:
PS. And please support our effort to keep the heat on the politicians. Donate to our campaign today.
Rock the Vote Responds to the RNC
October 14, 2004
Mr. Ed Gillespie, Chairman
Republican National Committee
310 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
VIA FASCIMILE: (202) 863-8774
Dear Chairman Gillespie,
The letter I received from you yesterday was quite a surprise. It struck us as just the sort of "malicious political deception" that is likely to increase voter cynicism and decrease the youth vote. In fact, it is a textbook case of attempted censorship, very much in line with those that triggered our organization's founding some fifteen years ago.
I am stunned that you would say that the issue of the military draft is an "urban myth" that has been "thoroughly debunked by no less than the President of the United States."
I have some news for you. Just because President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary Rumsfeld, and for that matter Senator Kerry, say that there is not going to be a draft does not make it so. Just because Congress holds a transparently phony vote against the draft does not mean there isn't going to be one. Anyone who thinks that the youth of America are going to take a politician's word on this topic is living on another planet.
By your logic, there should be no debate about anything that you disagree with. There's a place for that kind of sentiment (and your threats), but its not here in our country. There are questions that the politicians are running away from. How long can we keep 138,000 U.S. troops or more on the ground in Iraq? What if full-scale civil war erupts there, as the CIA has warned is a realistic possibility? Would the next President be faced with a choice of pulling out of Iraq rather than institute a draft? Would women be drafted? What exactly would the draft-age be?
According to the Pentagon's own internal assessment, there are "inadequate total numbers" of troops to meet U.S. security interests. The current issue of Time magazine reports that, "General John Keane, who retired last year as the Army's No. 2 officer, says the continued success of the all-volunteer military is not guaranteed... Keane has told Congress that adding more than 50,000 troops to the Army would require thinking about a return to the draft."
But you want young people to believe that the draft is just an "urban myth." I was expecting that you were going to present some facts to back up your assertion. But, instead, you have demanded that we stop talking about it.
Although the draft may not be a discussion topic for someone of your age, we have found that young people - Republicans, Democrats and Independents - are very interested in this issue. We believe in the capacity of young Americans to make their own judgments when fairly presented with the facts. That is why we are actively promoting an informed, educated dialogue. I urge you to review the "Debunking the Myths" section on our website where we address misperceptions about the draft.
Mr. Gillespie, this is a generational issue. Nothing cuts closer to the core of the very reason Rock the Vote exists. We think young people deserve to know where the politicians stand on this issue-and that a generation that could be called to service deserves more than the phony debate they are getting. We believe that it is only by asking questions-not by censoring debate-that our democracy can remain strong and vital.
Issues such as jobs, health care, Iraq, taxes, and education have energized the electorate, and the draft issue deserves the same serious treatment and candor. Blanket denials do not square with the facts and do not level with the electorate. As far as the possibility that Rock the Vote's efforts might "decrease the youth vote," we are feeling very confident at this point that the opposite is true. More than 1.1 million people have used our website to fill out voter registration forms this election cycle. Our street teams and ground partners have registered hundreds of thousands more. Young voters are going to surge at the polls on Election Day and make the difference for whichever candidate does thebest job reaching out to them.
Despite the strong and often strident tone of your letter, I would hope that we could both agree that honest and open debate is the surest guarantor of our democracy and liberty.
Jehmu S. Greene
Randel A. Falco, NBC Universal Television Networks Groups
Judy McGrath, MTV Networks
Jonathan Miller, AOL
Vincent K. McMahon, Chairman, World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.
Richard D. Parsons, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner Inc.
Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
David Letterman, The Late Show
Conan O'Brien, Late Night
Jay Leno, The Tonight Show
Please view below the draft public service announcement.
The Draft PSA
The Draft Blog
Check out the current dialogue on the Draft on our Blog!
Volunteer with Rock the Vote in our Get Out the Vote and Election Protection efforts!
Click here to Volunteer
Rock the Vote with your donation - Without your support, we can't rock the system.
Your contribution will support Rock the Vote's street teams, which register, educate and mobilize young people to vote across the country, including dozens of the most hotly contested cities of the 2004 election.
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Friday, October 15, 2004
A Republican Declares His Independence
This declaration is appearing on lists throughout the net:A Republican Declares His Independence
By Robert L. Black
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Wednesday 13 October 2004
When in the course of a lifetime, it becomes necessary for a born Republican to refuse to support the re-election of the party's incumbent president, to exercise his discretion, and in all good conscience, to vote for an opponent (even a Democrat), a decent respect to the opinions of his fellows requires that he declare the causes that impel him to switch.
I am grateful to the Republican Party for the support it gave me
on each of three elections as judge. I respect many of the party leaders in Ohio. Nevertheless, my loyalty to the party must give way to my love of this country. I consider it a patriotic duty to speak up when the future of our democracy is at stake.
It is self-evident that everyone has certain unalienable rights
endowed by the Creator, and that among these are the right to his/her own
conscience and the right to pursue his/her sense of justice. Whenever in the field of politics the party to which he has belonged, and that party's
president, become destructive of his vision of what is not only right and
fair but also good for our future, it is his duty to call the tune as he
hears it. When that future is endangered by the present policies of the
administration, it is time to act. The record of this incumbent president is a history not only of repeated violations of the key principles underlying our democracy, but of the core values of the Christian faith to which he claims commitment. Let his actions be stated candidly.
He has taken us into a pre-emptive war, misleading the country by alleging without qualification that there was an immediate threat to our safety. No weapons of mass destruction have been found despite the
president's unconditional declarations that he had to pre-empt Saddam
Hussein's use of weapons of mass destruction.
He engaged in this war without any workable plan to win the peace. While the ultimate outcome of this adventure is unknown, the loss of human life and the imposition of human suffering weigh heavily against us.
The effect of this adventure is to solidify the deadly opposition of radical Muslim extremists, who are currently leading of the Muslim world. He has exacerbated a dangerous confrontation, a conflict of religious dimensions.
The result of the arrogant way the war was handled is that the
president has alienated our long-established allies: and it will take
decades to re-establish friendly working relations with these other powers.
He acted unilaterally in pulling the nation from international
treaties designed to move toward a more livable and a more just world, such as the Kyoto Treaty and the treaty creating the World Court of Law.
At the same time, he has cut the taxes owed by the richest 1
percent or 2 percent of the population, giving meaningless decreases for all the rest, and with no resulting benefit to the job market or the economy. He has presided over the largest loss of jobs since the Great Depression.
He has appointed or sought to appoint to the federal judiciary
persons who hold extreme right-wing views, views that are driven by
political bias and that ignore established legal precedent. (He threatens to appoint such a person to the Supreme Court.)
He has ignored or denied widely accepted scientific findings. For example, with respect to stem cell research, captured by a religious
minority, he limited this research to a degree that radically restricts
research leading to benefits for hundreds of thousands of persons subject to major disabilities and early death.
He has re-emphasized abortion as a political issue, when it is a
purely personal decision for the woman.
He has allowed an increase in the number and type of media
organizations any one company can acquire, thus permitting a further
concentration of power over the news.
He has again and again reversed the regulations and policies
designed to protect the environment, always adopting a policy that favors
those manufacturers and industrialists whose actions have clearly fouled the air and water. He pushes for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and throughout northern Alaska. He is allowing the logging of our national parks. He ignores scientific findings that the world is being subjected to a warming climate change that is man-made and that could otherwise be forestalled or radically slowed down.
He has adopted or proposed regulations that endanger the safety of persons, when a Republican two-house legislature will not act in his favor. His regulations would prevent the release to the public of car safety information, such as warranty claims, consumer complaints and individual rights on safety issues; he would relax the rule on allowable coal dust in mines; he would eliminate the rule requiring employers to keep records of employees' ergonomics injuries; he has cut 77 personnel from the staff of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; he has raised the allowable mercury content in the air.
I am, as American citizens ought to be, free to express my deeply held convictions, derived from my conscience and sense of justice, and to vote for candidates who in my opinion will act in the best interests of the country. In this, as in other life actions, my prayer is I am in line with the will of God.
Robert L. Black is a retired judge of the Hamilton County Common
Pleas Court and the Ohio First District Court of Appeals.
Free Speech Under Attack by George Bush!
TRB FROM WASHINGTON
On July 4, Jeff and Nicole Rank went to hear George W. Bush speak in Charleston, West Virginia. Tickets in hand, they found seats ten or 15 rows from the stage. There they sat, quietly, wearing t-shirts that read love america, hate bush and regime change starts at home. Forty-five minutes before the president took the podium, event staffers approached the couple and said, "You need to either take those shirts off or leave." According to The San Antonio Express-News, Jeff Rank replied, "People around us have Bush-Cheney t-shirts, pro-Bush t-shirts. Why can't we express our views?" The staffers left, but a few minutes later, two police officers arrived and told the couple to "cover up, take them [the t-shirts] off or leave completely." The Ranks refused, at which point they were handcuffed, expelled from the event, and briefly thrown in prison. With the Ranks safely off the premises, Bush addressed the crowd, declaring that "on the Fourth of July, we confirm our love of freedom, the freedom for people to speak their minds, the freedom for people to worship as they so choose. Free thought and free expression, that's what we believe." Two days later, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Nicole Rank's employer, told her that, as a result of the incident, she was being dismissed from her assignment in West Virginia....(I don't own a subscription and couldn't read more...but there's enough here to rile almost anyone..).
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Lifelong Anarchist to Vote for 1st time !
Hello, my friends.
Utah Phillips, radical songster and Wobbly, activist and organizer, and a lifelong anarchist (actually, anarcho-syndicalist) has decided to cast a ballot in this presidential race - the first ballot for him in 50 years. This was forwarded to me by my fellow anarchist Dave, whose comments are below.
This is truly a crucial election. Tweedledum is a fascist fundamentalist arrogant rich guy who cares little for the truth or for the people. Tweedledee may have similar policies but the only one of those characteristics he also shares is being rich. We may have to picket against Tweedledee the moment he assumes office, since many of his policies are wrong and rotten. But he is, in fact, of better character and of better companions than Tweedledum. I think we should listen to Dave and Utah, our comrades.
In solidarity, Wythe
(Here is Dave's comment:) Although I claim to practice anarchism I never bought into the "don't vote" bit that alot of anarchists including some historical ones that I love and respect (Kropotkin) followed. Nor do all anarchists believe in that thinking I always viewed anarchism as radical democratic socialism in action. And anarchy as the best and greatest goal humanity could ever attain. Voting is the closest thing to a democratic voice that I can practice that effects the political system directly.....however small it may be. Therefore i encourage people to vote rather than discourage them from voting.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
The Last and Best Debate...NCLB is not the answer
Every equity problem in the United States can be fixed:
- by teaching minority children (i.e. Blacks and children of parents who don't speak English) to read and to add and subtract so they can go to community college and get a job.....(Obviously health care, discrimination, and lack of child care makes no difference to the poor--who must all be minorities who can't read or do math.)
- by giving tax cuts to people who have enough money to pay taxes in the first place (i.e. who have jobs)
- by making sure we stay safe (not by protecting our borders or making alliances) by bringing freedom to countries like Afghanistan where the first person to vote was a 19 year old young woman (I wonder if she can do math and has a job?).
I can't believe someone actually advised him to pin his hopes on NCLB.....Doesn't he know any of the parents in Texas, Florida, New York, California, or in any major city?
I could talk about Kerry's specific answers, his direct answers to the bishops who don't want Catholics to vote for him, and his real description of those "plans" he has been talking about.
But even without Kerry's good performance, Bush surely lost this one all on his own.
Letter from McAuliffe to Gillespie -- voter fraud?
Hon. Ed Gillespie
Republican National Committee
312 First Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
In recent weeks, all over the country, the Republican Party has been engaged in systematic efforts to disenfranchise voters--to impose unlawful i.d. requirements in New Mexico, to throw eligible voters off the rolls in Clark County Nevada and to deprive voters of their rights to vote a provisional ballot in Ohio, among other examples.
And the Republicans' excuse for these efforts? It's always about protecting the process from "voter fraud." In fact the AP reported on September 19th that President Bush expressed to Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn and Attorney General Brian Sandoval he was concerned about voter fraud in Clark County.
But just last night, the American people have learned that it is actually the Republicans who are engaging in voter fraud in Nevada, Oregon and potentially other states as well and in fact you are paying for it.
Press reports in Nevada disclosed that a Republican organization, "Voters Outreach for America" has been ripping up Democratic voter registration forms in that state. According to those same reports, on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, that group has been "largely, if not entirely, funded by the Republican National Committee." Indeed, a classified ad recruiting paid workers for "Voters Outreach" in Nevada carried the disclaimer, "Paid for by the RNC."
The Washoe County (Reno) Nevada voter registrar (who was identified as a Republican by Channel 8 News) has asked the FBI to investigate complaints of out of state groups submitting fraudulent voter registration forms and refusing to register anyone but Republicans.
And it is reported that this group has now moved its operations to Oregon, where the Secretary of State and Attorney General are already investigating allegations that a paid Republican canvasser was ordered to destroy forms turned in by Democrats.
In Oregon, "Voters Outreach", also known as "America Votes," has been linked to Sproul & Associates, a firm that has been paid some half a million dollars by the RNC.
Ed, there are only 20 days left to the election. Early vote starts in Nevada and Oregon over this weekend. We are deeply concerned these reports of Republican National Committee funded felonious activities in these states could serve to discourage all voters from voting because of concerns of problems with their ballot. Regardless of party or candidate, it is the civic and moral duty of both parties to encourage complete and full participation in the democratic process.
In the name of democracy, it is essential that you and the Republican National Committee proactively come forward to address this issue, especially since President Bush will be traveling to both of these states immediately following the debate. You can either let this burgeoning Republican scandal fester, or you can come clean with the American people by:
Giving the Election Officials in Nevada and Oregon, the press and the public answers to these questions immediately:
Why is the Republican National Committee funding an organization that is ripping up voter registration forms of Democrats?
Who's behind "Voters Outreach for America" and what is their link to Sproul & Associates?
How much has the RNC paid for "Voters Outreach" and similar groups to engage in voter registration?
Exactly what were these groups instructed to do about voters they registered who freely chose to register as Democrats?
Disclosing to Election officials, attorneys in Nevada and Oregon and press immediately, all documents, correspondence and invoices between the RNC and "Voters Outreach," Sproul and all other groups employed by the RNC to register voters;
Refusing to pay Sproul and any other groups engaged in GOP "registration activities" until all questions can be answered and information disclosed.
Voluntarily agreeing to make knowledgeable RNC officials available for depositions in the litigation being brought by the Democratic Party of Nevada seeking a remedy for the victims of Republican voter registration fraud in that state and any other state or party seeking relief based on RNC funded efforts.
Ed, please let me know right away whether you will agree to these steps which are essential to address the deep fears and concerns voters now have about Republican voter fraud.
Terence R. McAuliffe
Watch Bush's BACK tonight--"the lump!"
Technical expert: Bush was wired --by David Lindorff "Since Friday, when
Salon first raised questions about the rectangular bulge that was visible
under Bush's suit coat during the presidential debates, many observers in
the press and on the Internet have wondered aloud whether the verbally and
factually challenged president [sic] might be receiving coaching via a
hidden electronic device. Now a technical expert who designs and makes such
devices for the U.S. military tells Salon that he believes the bulge is
indeed a transceiver designed to receive electronic signals and transmit
them to a hidden earpiece lodged in Bush's ear canal."
Was Bush packing Wi-Fi in TV debate? --by Thomas C Greene "In the first
debate, during a reply to [John] Kerry, he [George Bush] ranted, 'Let me
finish!' Oddly, neither his opponent, Senator Kerry, nor the moderator, Jim
Lehrer, was attempting to cut him off, and he had plenty of time left on the
clock. ...[I]n view of the pictures and his sudden debating competence, is
that he was addressing not his opponent or the moderator, but a remote coach
who had prompted him to move on to a fresh topic before he was ready to do
so. In the second debate, Bush went off the rails, again in a way that
suggests remote coaching."
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
1) Your tax dollars at work. Here's that video clip
of a US pilot bombing people in Fallujah:
2) Inform yourself. Here's a website with a virtual
archives of the effects of Bush's Iraq adventure.
3)Why this election matters [the report referred to
in the previous posting]:
Redefining Rights in America; The Civil Rights of
George W. Bush, 2001-2004:
4) Frequently heard in Republican voter circles: "I'd
rather be fighting them over there than over here."
Oops, what happened to all that loose nuclear material
again? Poetic justice if someone with the same
philosophy "over there" transports it "over here."
NB: These materials were presumably safely under lock
and key prior to March 2003. So, do you still feel
safer with "Saddam no longer in power"?:
Nuclear items missing in Iraq
Tuesday October 12 2004
Equipment and materials that could be used to make
nuclear weapons have disappeared from Iraq, the UN's
nuclear watchdog warned yesterday.
Abu Ghraig, The Onion, and Spin the Polls
1) Classified Abu Ghraib Documents:
2) The Onion
Cheney Vows To Attack U.S. If Kerry Elected:
3) Influence the spin. Once the debate's over, log on
to these websites and vote for your debate winner.
The lemmings will vote for whomever they think is
winning, so it might matter.
National and local news organizations will be
conducting online polls during and after the debate
asking for readers' opinions. Look for online polls at
these news websites, and make sure to vote in every
one of them:
Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/
Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/
Akron Beacon-Journal: http://www.ohio.com/
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: http://www.ajc.com/
Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/
Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune:
Orlando Sentinel: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/
Philadelphia Inquirer: http://www.philly.com/
South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
Sinclair Prez in scandal....
Sinclair president, woman arrested in company car
Published on: August 15, 1996
Byline: SUN STAFFPeter Hermann
The president of Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., which owns the local Fox television affiliate, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with committing a perverted sex act in a company-owned Mercedes, city police said.
David Deniston Smith, 45, of the 800 block of Hillstead Drive in Timonium, who also is Sinclair's chief executive, was arrested in an undercover sting at Read and St. Paul streets, a downtown corner frequented by prostitutes, Baltimore police said yesterday.
Smith and Mary DiPaulo, 31, were charged with committing unnatural and perverted sex act. Smith was held overnight at the Central Booking and Intake Center and released on personal recognizance at 2 p.m. yesterday. DiPaulo's bail status was not available.
Officials at WBFF-TV (Fox 45) and Sinclair, one of the fastest-growing broadcasting companies in the nation with 28 television and 34 radio stations, would not comment yesterday. The company had $126 million in sales in the first half of this year.
Police said undercover Officer Gary Bowman, on a prostitution detail, was talking to DiPaulo about 9: 15 p.m. in a car at St. Paul and Read streets. She left the undercover car after telling Bowman that ``she had just seen her regular date driving in the area,'' according to court documents.
Police said DiPaulo ran across the street to a 1992 Mercedes, registered to Sinclair, and got in on the passenger side. Police followed the car onto the Jones Falls Expressway, where they said they witnessed the two engage in oral sex while Smith drove north.
Police said they followed the car back to Read and St. Paul streets, where they arrested Smith and DiPaulo, who lives in the 700 block of Washington Blvd.