Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Constitution in Crisis.’

Think Progress » ‘The Constitution in Crisis.’

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, has announced a series of hearings titled “The Constitution in Crisis: The State of Civil Liberties in America.” Topics to be covered by the hearings include:

– The National Security Agency’s wiretapping program and proposed expansions;
– The erosion of Habeas Corpus through the Military Commissions Act;
– The sanctioning of torture through the Military Commissions Act and other government policies;
– The practice of “extraordinary rendition,” or government sponsored kidnapping;
PATRIOT Act threats to privacy rights, including the FBI’s abuses of the National Security Letter authority and intrusions into Americans’ “Freedom to Read”;
Government surveillance of First Amendment-protected activities; and
– The gutting of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights and Voting Rights Divisions.

MCCAIN AND O’REILLY AGREE: America needs to maintain “White, Christian, Male Power Structure”

My Old Hat

I'm an old hat when it comes to protesting. Those of you who scream love it or leave it better think again. Thats not what this country is about. Go read the First Amendment again, if you have ever read it at all.

Country Joe And The Fish


How bout some 60's protest music? These guys were great, saw them a lot at the Diggers free concerts in Golden Gate Park. Barry Mellon, the guy with the big hair, was the one who started the getting high off of banana skins scam and Joe McDonald was the lead singer who came home from Nam and decided to protest the war. He's still singing and protesting. I might add their first album was great tripping to at the Psychedelic Shop on Height St.

Attorney targeted for protecting Native American votes.

From Think Progress

“For more than 15 years, clean-cut, square-jawed Tom Heffelfinger was the embodiment of a tough Republican prosecutor,” the L.A. Times reports. “By the time Heffelfinger resigned last year, his office had collected a string of awards and commendations from the Justice Department.” So why was he targeted for firing?

Part of the reason, government documents and other evidence suggest, is that he tried to protect voting rights for Native Americans.

At a time when GOP activists wanted U.S. attorneys to concentrate on pursuing voter fraud cases, Heffelfinger’s office was expressing deep concern about the effect of a state directive that could have the effect of discouraging Indians in Minnesota from casting ballots.

Citing requirements in a new state election law, Republican Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer directed that tribal ID cards could not be used for voter identification by Native Americans living off reservations. Heffelfinger and his staff feared that the ruling could result in discrimination against Indian voters. Many do not have driver’s licenses or forms of identification other than the tribes’ photo IDs.

The Times adds, “About three months after Heffelfinger’s office raised the issue of tribal ID cards and nonreservation Indians in an October 2004 memo, his name appeared on a list of U.S. attorneys singled out for possible firing.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What's Fair in Coverage of RCTV Shutdown?

I was going to write a long rant about this after watching the media just twist and lie about the whole Hugo Chavez vs TV station after I saw NBC and other network news stations as well as the press claim that Chavez is limiting freedom of speech with out telling the PEOPLE what really happened. Watch the Documentary below and read this from Source Watch

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) is criticizing U.S. news media for presenting Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez's non-renewal of the television station RCTV's broadcast license "as a simple matter of censorship." FAIR points out that "RCTV and other commercial TV stations were key players in the April 2002 coup that briefly ousted Chavez's democratically elected government." Moreover, "the Venezuelan government is basing its denial of license on RCTV's involvement in the 2002 coup, not on the station's criticisms of or political opposition to the government." BBC News reports that the Latin American press is portraying Chavez as "authoritarian" and Venezuelan media as "increasingly suffocated." Journalism and human rights groups have denounced the non-renewal of RCTV's license. Governments have the right not to renew a broadcast license, but a standard process should be followed, international rights groups maintain. "We're not arguing that the concession ... should be given to RCTV," said the Committee to Project Journalists' Carlos Lauria. "We're just saying that there's no process to evaluate if it should be." Just Foreign Policy's Patrick McElwee agrees, but notes that a 1987 law -- enacted previous to Chavez -- "charges the executive branch with decisions about license renewal" and "does not seem to require any administrative hearing."




PEYOTE HEALING


Thanks goto Mitsuk for the link

Revealed: Why Your Sons and Daughters Died in Iraq

e-mail from brother Bob

May 27, 2007
by Cliff Carson

Could it be that our soldiers died to enrich five or six International Oil Companies (Four of them American)? Or that possibly a million Iraqis suffered the same fate for the same reason? You might recall that President Bush claimed that one of the Benchmarks the Iraqi Government must meet is a deal to share the Oil revenues. What he didn't say is with whom they, the Iraqis, will have to share. Seems like it's not the Iraqis.

This is according to a speech by Dennis Kucinich last week, well not all of it was a speech; some of it was a reading of the Oil deal that Bush is saying Iraqi must sign. And was the reported deal ever an eye opener!

Seems that those International Oil Companies (can you say EXXON, MOBILE, and BP for starters), stand to pluck the Iraqi people for about $21 Trillion. Folks that's twenty one thousand BILLION. In perspective about double the United States current cash debt and a little over 40% of the accrued National Debt of $50 Trillion. Figured another way, about $70,000 for every American currently alive. And it will all go to about six Oil companies. Well not all, there's the Congress to be bought off, actually it seems they already have, but they still need to get a little more of the harvest.

These are the guys that brought you $3.25 gas and rising. Once they corner the Oil market what might gas cost? How many of your family members are you willing to send to their death so that these Oil companies might get just a little bit richer? For every Human being who has died, American Soldier and Iraqi Citizen, these companies stand to rake in about $21,000,000. And just think, their cohorts got to furnish the War materials and they made off with upwards of a Trillion dollars already. Damn, what a profitable business this war mongering is! For the few that is. For us common folk it's deadly.

How did I come to these figures? Well according to the Oil deal that Bush says must be signed, Kucinich reports that the deal requires that the Oil Companies get control of over 80% of the Iraqi Oil fields. The CEO's of those Companies have complete control of every aspect of the oil for 35 years into the future. Iraq gets to keep 17 oil fields, but even for these fields, operational control is in the hands of the International Oil companies.

Kucinich also points out also that this plan was formulated well before the invasion. And some of you still cling to "We went in to get rid of the WMD?" Ready to admit that you've been had? I'm talking to the Bush supporters here. Yeah I know there's the regime change story, but how many of you out there know that Saddam Hussein agreed to leave Iraq and go into exile - before the invasion? And for that matter, as I write this story, there is precious little on the Media about Kucinich and what he reported.

I'm sure you've heard rumors about the absurd rape of the Iraqi resources leading up to today, and so have I. What I heard was that the plan was for American Oil companies to get 74 cents of every dollar generated by Iraqi Oil revenues for the next 35 years. Pretty close to what Kucinich reported.

Do you still think we went into Iraq for Humanitarian reasons or to protect the United States from an awful dictator? We have a dictator looming over the horizon and folks he sure ain't A-rab.

Did we really need to lose all those civil liberties to get all that Oil? Or, did we get the oil? Maybe those Oil companies will lower the price of gas as soon as they get that 21 Trillion. Then again, they might not. They still have to sack Iran to corner the market. Course they're gearing up for that now. The most powerful country on Earth, America, the country with a Military budget greater than the rest of the World combined is afraid of Iran? Absurd! Of course they're not, our shadow government is just afraid that Iran can't handle all that oil. How many of your sons and daughters do you plan to send to die so those few oil companies sack Iran? How many Iranians are you willing to sacrifice?

Have you heard about the oil deal? Do you think we sacked Iraq for any reason other than the oil? Do you consider yourself to be well informed? What do you think you have gained by our invasion of Iraq? What have the American people lost?

The time for change is now. And it won't come from either the Republicans or the Democrats. It will have to come from the people. Those in Power won't surrender their roles without a fight. You ought to get informed and involved. Now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED



DIRECTED AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY KIM BARTLEY AND DONNACHA O'BRIAIN IRELAND, 2003 74 MINUTES

IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

HUGO CHAVEZ ELECTED PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA IN 1998, IS A COLORFUL, UNPREDICTABLE FOLK HERO, beloved by his nation's working class and a tough-as-nails, quixotic opponent to the power structure that would see him deposed. Two independent filmmakers were inside the presidential palace on April 11, 2002, when he was forcibly removed from office. They were also present 48 hours later when, remarkably, he returned to power amid cheering aides. Their film records what was probably history's shortest-lived coup d'état. It's a unique document about political muscle and an extraordinary portrait of the man The Wall Street Journal credits with making Venezuela "Washington‚s biggest Latin American headache after the old standby, Cuba

Monday, May 28, 2007

Since Memorial Day 2006, over 1,000 more soldiers have died.

Where have all the Solders gone?
Gone to Graveyards, Everyone
When Will We Ever Learn?, When Will We Ever Learn?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Something to think about on Memorial Day


Little Steven - I am a Patriot

Nightmare Number 4

late night, early morn
depending where you are
couldn't sleep
mushroom cloud visions
in my head
nightmare
flashbacks
all too real

computer on
spam e-mail
all thats there
go to r blog
Rosies's rants
brings smiles
rich white men
declare the wars
today we morn
our own
Who here morns
the Iraqi dead

I should leave it there
and go back to bed
nightmare waits
bad dreams
in my head

tv news
chants a mournful tune
dead bodies
it's no
dream
I see it
through their eyes
been there
once or twice
this ain't nam
this is worse
I ask again
Who here morns
the Iraqi
DEAD

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Videos On the Side Bar

If you haven't noticed I have started to post Videos on the side bar. All you have to do is click on one of the thumbnail pictures and the Video will be displayed at the top of the blog. Just scroll up to watch them. I will be changing them weekly. Enjoy!

Saturday Cat Blogging

Let me ask you Something.

Whats the Difference between a Democrat and a Republican?
Answer - Nothing
As Always
Pook T. Cat

Saturday Night Reggae Party With Little Steven


Little Steven - Leonard Peltier

Political Cartoon of the Week

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bush has yet to outgrow his hubris

Bush has yet to outgrow his hubris

Tony Norman columnist for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wraps up his latest rant against Bush so well.
Click the Link to read the rest of the column.

When the definitive history of this war is written and a full account has been taken of its spillage of blood, its rituals of mutilation and its mindless embrace of death, Mr. Bush may be the first president to be regarded by future generations as both evil and stupid.

Bush Ignored Senate’s Pre-War Intelligence Warning of Post-War Fiasco

Think Progress » Bush Ignored Senate’s Pre-War Intelligence Warning of Post-War Fiasco

Yesterday, a White House correspondent candidly asked Bush why the American people should trust him as “a credible messenger on the war,” in light of the major mistakes he has made since first invading Iraq:

Q: The majority in the public, a growing number of Republicans, appear not to trust you any longer to be able to carry out this policy successfully. Can you explain why you believe you’re still a credible messenger on the war?

BUSH: I’m credible because I read the intelligence, David.

Today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released pre-war intelligence that warned the Bush administration in early 2003 that invading Iraq could create massive internal strife, giving extremist groups like al Qaeda new opportunities to expand their influence.

The U.S. intelligence community’s pre-war clairvoyance is notable. While there was originally no link between al Qaeda and Iraq, they accurately predicted how a U.S. invasion would ignite Islamic sentiment against the U.S., allowing terrorists networks like al Qaeda to resurge elsewhere and disrupt regional stability. Some highlights of the report:

“A stable democratic government in postwar Iraq would be a long, difficult, and probably turbulent challenge.”

Al Qa’ida probably would see an opportunity to accelerate its operational tempo and increase terrorist attacks during and after a U.S.-Iraq war.”

Rogue ex-regime elements could forge an alliance with existing terrorist organizations or act independently to wage guerilla warfare against the new government or Coalition forces.”

“A US-led defeat and occupation of Arab Iraq would boost proponents of political Islam and would result in ‘calls for the people of the region to unite and build up defenses against the West.’”

Funds for terrorist groups probably would increase as a result of Muslim outrage over US action.”

But like several other reports, the Bush administration dismissed these predictions. “The committee also found that the warnings predicting what would happen after the U.S.-led invasion were circulated widely in government, including to the Defense Department and the Office of the Vice President.”

Four years after the invasion, these predictions have become reality. Al Qaeda is resurging in Afghanistan and Pakistan, partly funded by allies in Iraq. Anti-U.S. sentiment in the Middle East continues to rise.

Happy Birthday Robert Zimmerman


Blowin' in the Wind

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Anti-Flag "This Land is Your Land with Tom Morello


I want you to listen to this version of Woody Guthrie's This is YOUR land with an open mind. I grew up listening to Woody and believe me when I tell you as Tom (from Rage Against The Machine) says it so well in his speech in the middle of this song, there are many verses we were never taught in school. Anti-Flag is a Pittsburgh Band that has made some noise around the world, enjoy.

Kieth Olbermann calls out King Bush and the congress


See The entire government has failed us on Iraq for the text
Thanks to MSNBC and Keith for telling it like it is!

Rosie

I am a big fan of Rosie. I think a lot more men would listen to her if she wasn't gay and looked like Jessica Alba. I am a member of her blog and visit daily. I don't watch the View cause I don't have cable and ABC is covered with snow. So here is the latest take on the big fight. From The R Blog

Did Rosie Call Our Troops Terrorists?

The is directly from the transcripts of The View for May 17th:

O’DONNELL: …… I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
HASSELBECK: Who are the terrorists?
O’DONNELL: 655,000 Iraqis — I’m saying you have to look, we invaded –
HASSELBECK: Wait, who are you calling terrorists now? Americans?
O’DONNELL: I’m saying if you were in Iraq, and the other country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?
HASSELBECK: Are we killing their citizens or are their people also killing their citizens?
O’DONNELL: We’re invading a sovereign nation, occupying a country against the U.N.

I just watched Chris Matthews and his panel of journalists including Howard Feinman, Jill Zuckman, and Jonathan Capehart. Matthews asked the panel after replaying that segment of the show if she in fact said that our troops were the terrorists. They unanimously agreed with Matthews that she did call our troops terrorists. That conforms with the majority of journalists who have reported on this comment.

Rosie does not mention the troops at all in that segment of the show. She poses a rhetorical question. “Who are the terrorists?” “I’m saying if you were in Iraq, and the other country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?”In both of her rhetorical questions she refers to the “United States” and “us.” The policy of the United States or “our” policy in Iraq is not the responsibility of the soldiers who are ordered to execute the policy. It is obvious that state supported terrorism can only be implemented by those who have the responsibility of doing the fighting and dying. But, it is not the soldiers who are the terrorists in that hypothetical. And she was not calling the soldiers terrorists.

It is absolutely absurd that these journalists agreed with the interpretation that Matthews and the majority of the MSM had concluded.These journalists who are supposed to be experts on language and communication certainly know that she meant that the U.S. policy was the villain here and not the soldiers. Yet they persist in accusing the accusers who do not fit into their elite club. People like Rosie and others who have been branded as eccentric and outside the main stream are always fair game. They do it with many others who speak truth to power by carefully portraying sound bites out of context. They have done that to Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal for years.

The truth is that it was the elite reporters like the Hardball panel aforementioned who aided and abetted the rush to war in Iraq and fostered the terrorist policy that has resulted in this catastrophe. So it is not Rosie who is the villain. It is journalists like these who have to rationalize their lack of courage and appropriate skepticism of a “policy” that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of our soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

The entire government has failed us on Iraq

Keith Telling It Like It Is
Hope to have the video soon

For the president, and the majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party—there is only blame for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal

SPECIAL COMMENT
By Keith Olbermann

A Special Comment about the Democrats’ deal with President Bush to continue financing this unspeakable war in Iraq—and to do so on his terms.

Few men or women elected in our history—whether executive or legislative, state or national—have been sent into office with a mandate more obvious, nor instructions more clear:

Get us out of Iraq.

Yet after six months of preparation and execution—half a year gathering the strands of public support; translating into action, the collective will of the nearly 70 percent of Americans who reject this War of Lies, the Democrats have managed only this:

  • The Democratic leadership has surrendered to a president—if not the worst president, then easily the most selfish, in our history—who happily blackmails his own people, and uses his own military personnel as hostages to his asinine demand, that the Democrats “give the troops their money”;
  • The Democratic leadership has agreed to finance the deaths of Americans in a war that has only reduced the security of Americans;
  • The Democratic leadership has given Mr. Bush all that he wanted, with the only caveat being, not merely meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government, but optional meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government.
  • The Democratic leadership has, in sum, claimed a compromise with the Administration, in which the only things truly compromised, are the trust of the voters, the ethics of the Democrats, and the lives of our brave, and doomed, friends, and family, in Iraq.

You, the men and women elected with the simplest of directions—Stop The War—have traded your strength, your bargaining position, and the uniform support of those who elected you… for a handful of magic beans.
You may trot out every political cliché from the soft-soap, inside-the-beltway dictionary of boilerplate sound bites, about how this is the “beginning of the end” of Mr. Bush’s “carte blanche” in Iraq, about how this is a “first step.”
Well, Senator Reid, the only end at its beginning... is our collective hope that you and your colleagues would do what is right, what is essential, what you were each elected and re-elected to do.
Because this “first step”… is a step right off a cliff.

And this President!
How shameful it would be to watch an adult... hold his breath, and threaten to continue to do so, until he turned blue.
But how horrifying it is… to watch a President hold his breath and threaten to continue to do so, until innocent and patriotic Americans in harm’s way, are bled white.
You lead this country, sir?
You claim to defend it?
And yet when faced with the prospect of someone calling you on your stubbornness—your stubbornness which has cost 3,431 Americans their lives and thousands more their limbs—you, Mr. Bush, imply that if the Democrats don’t give you the money and give it to you entirely on your terms, the troops in Iraq will be stranded, or forced to serve longer, or have to throw bullets at the enemy with their bare hands.
How transcendentally, how historically, pathetic.
Any other president from any other moment in the panorama of our history would have, at the outset of this tawdry game of political chicken, declared that no matter what the other political side did, he would insure personally—first, last and always—that the troops would not suffer.
A President, Mr. Bush, uses the carte blanche he has already, not to manipulate an overlap of arriving and departing Brigades into a ‘second surge,’ but to say in unequivocal terms that if it takes every last dime of the monies already allocated, if it takes reneging on government contracts with Halliburton, he will make sure the troops are safe—even if the only safety to be found, is in getting them the hell out of there.
Well, any true President would have done that, Sir.
You instead, used our troops as political pawns, then blamed the Democrats when you did so.

Not that these Democrats, who had this country’s support and sympathy up until 48 hours ago, have not since earned all the blame they can carry home.

“We seem to be very near the bleak choice between war and shame,” Winston Churchill wrote to Lord Moyne in the days after the British signed the Munich accords with Germany in 1938. “My feeling is that we shall choose shame, and then have war thrown in, a little later…”

That’s what this is for the Democrats, isn’t it?

Their “Neville Chamberlain moment” before the Second World War.
All that’s missing is the landing at the airport, with the blinkered leader waving a piece of paper which he naively thought would guarantee “peace in our time,” but which his opponent would ignore with deceit.
The Democrats have merely streamlined the process.
Their piece of paper already says Mr. Bush can ignore it, with impugnity.

And where are the Democratic presidential hopefuls this evening?
See they not, that to which the Senate and House leadership has blinded itself?

Judging these candidates based on how they voted on the original Iraq authorization, or waiting for apologies for those votes, is ancient history now.

The Democratic nomination is likely to be decided... tomorrow.
The talk of practical politics, the buying into of the President’s dishonest construction “fund-the-troops-or-they-will-be-in-jeopardy,” the promise of tougher action in September, is falling not on deaf ears, but rather falling on Americans who already told you what to do, and now perceive your ears as closed to practical politics.
Those who seek the Democratic nomination need to—for their own political futures and, with a thousand times more solemnity and importance, for the individual futures of our troops—denounce this betrayal, vote against it, and, if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi if they continue down this path of guilty, fatal acquiescence to the tragically misguided will of a monomaniacal president.

For, ultimately, at this hour, the entire government has failed us.

  • Mr. Reid, Mr. Hoyer, and the other Democrats... have failed us.
    They negotiated away that which they did not own, but had only been entrusted by us to protect: our collective will as the citizens of this country, that this brazen War of Lies be ended as rapidly and safely as possible.
  • Mr. Bush and his government... have failed us.
    They have behaved venomously and without dignity—of course.
    That is all at which Mr. Bush is gifted.
    We are the ones providing any element of surprise or shock here.

With the exception of Senator Dodd and Senator Edwards, the Democratic presidential candidates have (so far at least) failed us.

They must now speak, and make plain how they view what has been given away to Mr. Bush, and what is yet to be given away tomorrow, and in the thousand tomorrows to come.

Because for the next fourteen months, the Democratic nominating process—indeed the whole of our political discourse until further notice—has, with the stroke of a cursed pen, become about one thing, and one thing alone.
The electorate figured this out, six months ago.
The President and the Republicans have not—doubtless will not.
The Democrats will figure it out, during the Memorial Day recess, when they go home and many of those who elected them will politely suggest they stay there—and permanently.
Because, on the subject of Iraq...
The people have been ahead of the media....
Ahead of the government...
Ahead of the politicians...
For the last year, or two years, or maybe three.

Our politics... is now about the answer to one briefly-worded question.
Mr. Bush has failed.
Mr. Warner has failed.
Mr. Reid has failed.
So.
Who among us will stop this war—this War of Lies?
To he or she, fall the figurative keys to the nation.
To all the others—presidents and majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party—there is only blame… for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oh No, Not Again


How many times do we have to hear the same old shit.

Bush: Iraq at Center of Terror Fight


NEW LONDON, Conn. — President Bush portrayed the Iraq war as a battle between the U.S. and al-Qaida on Wednesday and shared nuggets of intelligence to contend Osama bin Laden was setting up a terrorist cell in Iraq to strike targets in America.

Bush, who faces a public weary of war and is at odds with Democrats in Congress over funding troops, said that while the Sept. 11 attacks occurred in 2001, Americans still face a major threat from terrorists.

"In the minds of al-Qaida leaders, 9/11 was just a down payment on violence yet to come," Bush said during a commencement speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in which he defended his decision to order a troop buildup in Iraq. "It is tempting to believe that the calm here at home after 9/11 means that the danger to our country has passed."

"Here in America, we are living in the eye of a storm," he said. "All around us, dangerous winds are swirling and these winds could reach our shores at any moment."

I'm Still waiting for those Mushroom Clouds that Bush, Cheney and Condi told us about- wolf

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Republicans and Voter Suppression

From The Democratic Daily

by Pamela Leavey
May 21st, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

Last June, in his Rolling Stone article, about the ‘04 election questioning whether the vote had been stolen, Robert Kennedy, Jr. quoted Howard Dean saying, “We know that there was substantial voter suppression, and the machines were not reliable. It should not be a surprise that the Republicans are willing to do things that are unethical to manipulate elections.”

It appears now in the midst of the “scandal over politicization of the Justice Department,” we have a little more evidence that Republicans are indeed “willing to do things that are unethical to manipulate elections.” We’re really not surprised

McClatchy reports:

During four years as a Justice Department civil rights lawyer, Hans von Spakovsky went so far in a crusade against voter fraud as to warn of its dangers under a pseudonym in a law journal article.

Writing as “Publius,” von Spakovsky contended that every voter should be required to produce a photo-identification card and that there was “no evidence” that such restrictions burden minority voters disproportionately.

Now, amid a scandal over politicization of the Justice Department, Congress is beginning to examine allegations that von Spakovsky was a key player in a Republican campaign to hang onto power in Washington by suppressing the votes of minority voters.

“Mr. von Spakovsky was central to the administration’s pursuit of strategies that had the effect of suppressing the minority vote,” charged Joseph Rich, a former Justice Department voting rights chief who worked under him.

He and other former career department lawyers say that von Spakovsky steered the agency toward voting rights policies not seen before, pushing to curb minor instances of election fraud by imposing sweeping restrictions that would make it harder, not easier, for Democratic-leaning poor and minority voters to cast ballots.

In interviews, current and former federal officials and civil rights leaders told McClatchy Newspapers that von Spakovsky:

-Sped approval of tougher voter ID laws in Georgia and Arizona in 2005, joining decisions to override career lawyers who believed that Georgia’s law would restrict voting by poor blacks and who felt that more analysis was needed on the Arizona law’s impact on Native Americans and Latinos.

-Tried to influence the federal Election Assistance Commission’s research into the dimensions of voter fraud nationally and the impact of restrictive voter ID laws - research that could undermine a vote-suppression agenda.

-Allegedly engineered the ouster of the commission’s chairman, Paul DeGregorio, whom von Spakovsky considered insufficiently partisan.

This is very ugly stuff, I don’t put much past the crook running our country any more. BradBlog has more on the McClatchy piece. This should get interesting because in the midst of the Congressional investigation into the DOJ scandal, “Von Spakovsky, who had been a longtime voting rights activist and elections official in Georgia before serving at Justice, accepted a presidential recess appointment to a Republican slot on the Federal Election Commission in December 2005.”

He is scheduled to appear at a June 13 confirmation hearing before the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

Let’s hope this confirmation gets nipped in the bud.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Impeach Gonzales

Perpetual War: State Sponsored Terrorism


NOT SO GENTLE NEIGHBOUR


I am Proud of my Mohawk heritage. Perhaps if I found out earlier in life about my Grandmothers secret and her People I would have followed the Red Path instead of the Pagan Path. Our Paths are similar. This is an 8 min clip of a 31 min. documentary. Please go to the AIM site and watch the full movie.

Canada is making fundamental legislative changes affecting First Nations. Native organizations are threatening political action including economic blockades. Minister Nault considers Coon Come irrelevant and is bypassing First Nation organizations that refuse to participate in Canada's imposed changes. In 2000, the Liberal government was re-elected with strong voter support in Atlantic Canada for taking a hard line against First Nation rights, rights recognized by Supreme Court decision in the Marshall case.

Twenty-five percent of all United States imports come from Canada. In 1990 if Mohawks had been killed by Canadian soldiers, Canada would have become a war zone. The Mayan uprising in Chiapas 1994 impacted Americans by 38 billion dollars. Americans need to know more about Canada and potential problems. First Nations represents 2% of the population but over 50% of people killed by Canadian police are indigenous people. Nault will have even more powers as a result of September 11th events, a huge 170 page Bill C-36, the so called anti-terrorist bill allows for unparalleled police and court powers.

Under "preventative measures", police can indefinitely arrest people deemed to be a threat to Canada. Foreign aid is needed to get international attention to the plight of First Nations in Canada. Any sovereign nation interested in funding human rights in Canada is welcome to contact the Okiijida Society. American Indians and Councils are requested to contact Okiijida Society or AIM for further information.

You Just Got to Laugh

Fair And Balanced LOL


For those who don't know LOL means Laughing Out Loud

Saturday, May 19, 2007

To Be A True Friend of the Jewish People


This is how Starhawk describes herself on her website Starhawk.org

I'm Starhawk, author of many works celebrating the Goddess movement and Earth-based, feminist spirituality. I’m a peace, environmental, and global justice activist and trainer, a permaculture designer and teacher, a Pagan and Witch. To see how it all weaves together, follow the many strands of my web."

It's been many years since I first read "The Spiral Dance"; one of the first books I was able to find at that time on Paganism. Since then it has become a lot easier to find books books on the subject. Don't believe me? Just go to the New Age Section in almost any bookstore.

Starhawk (through her writing) has been one of my many teachers. In "Truth or Dare" I learned about the two types of Power; Power Over and Power Within. Being a huge sci-fi fan I loved her "The Fifth Sacred Thing." I first met Sister Cindy (A Catholic Nun) who use to teach music at WellSpring Drop-Inn over a copy of "Walking to Mercury." Imagine how surprised I was when Sister Cindy said "Do you know Starhawk?" my answer was that I didn't know her personally, only through her books. Sister told me that she had been to Starhawks Reclaiming Collective.

I was surprised when I saw that Starhawk is writing for The Washington Post on their On Faith Blog alongside of some other religious folks. I Identify with the article I am reposting here in many ways. May I suggest that you go to Starhawks Activist pages to see how she feels about the many issues she is involved with. I hope to reprint more of her articles here in the future.

To Be A True Friend of the Jewish People

I can think of nothing more unfaithful to the strong Jewish traditions of social justice than the current climate of vicious denunciation towards anyone who raises criticisms of Israel’s policies.

Judaism is the religion of the prophets, who never held back from calling to account the people or the kings. Jewish culture thrives on intellectual freedom, argument and debate. “Where there are two Jews, there are three opinions,” we used to say, proudly. How have we allowed this vibrant diversity to be stifled?

Anti-Semitism is a form of prejudice, and the essence of any prejudice is seeing all members of a group as the same and erasing the differences among them. To label any criticism of Israel as ‘anti-Semitic” is to obscure the real differences between Israel as a state, Judaism as a religion, and Jews as a varied and diverse group of people. It is to ignore the thousands of Jews and Israelis who are strong critics of many of Israel’s policies, and to erase the many courageous Jews who have crossed the line to stand with Palestinians in demonstrations against the wall, who have rebuilt demolished Palestinian homes, taken public stands in favor of justice for both peoples, and worked to build bridges of peace.

It also gives a pack of strident lobbyists credence over the measured critiques of rabbis like Michael Lerner, Arthur Waskow, Aerik Asherman of Rabbis for Human Rights and so many more, the organizations like Jewish Voices for Peace, Gush Shalom, Bat Shalom, B'Tselem, Israeli Committee Against Home Demolition, Jewish Peace Fellowship, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Tikkun, and many more.

Although, as readers of this blog will have noted, I’m a practicing Pagan, I was raised as an American Jew in the postwar period, when Israel was our great dream realized, our one compensation for the horrors of the Holocaust. I grew up saving my pennies to buy trees to plant in the Holy Land, and spent my vacation, at 15, on a Hebrew High School summer-in-Israel program. I know the tug Israel has on our hearts, the deep pain we feel when that dream is threatened in any way, the excruciating process we must go through to challenge the myths and stories we were brought up on.

But I have also seen the other side. I have volunteered four times with the International Solidarity Movement, a group which supports nonviolent resistance to the occupation in Palestine. And yes, there is a strong nonviolent movement among the Palestinian people, and though the media rarely report on it. For the last two years or more, almost every day has seen protests at the Western Wall, and hundreds of courageous Israelis have crossed the line to join marches, peace camps, and demonstrations together with their Palestinian neighbors.

I have been a witness in refugee camps under siege and negotiated with soldiers as they searched—and trashed—Palestinian homes. I have stood in line at checkpoints and experienced a taste of the daily frustration and humiliation of life in Gaza and the Occupied Territories. I have huddled with children trying to do their homework as soldiers fired bullets into their homes and tanks prowled outside, and I’ve sat in meetings with village elders searching desperately for some nonviolent means to resist the wall which would shortly confiscate their farmlands and their ancient olive groves. I know that every day in the occupied territories, people live with terror, with the death and loss of loved ones, with arbitrary restrictions imposed on their movements and their livelihoods, with hunger, want, and humiliation. I can never condone terrorism as a response to oppression, but I do know that under the conditions of the occupation, frustration and rage will breed violence as sure as stagnant water will breed algae.

Only justice for the Palestinian people can bring security to Israel and bring peace to both peoples. Every day that justice is delayed increases the danger to Israel and to the Jewish people worldwide. True friends of Israel will not support her in policies that sow hatred and reap retribution. Real allies of the Jewish people will listen to and amplify the voices of all those who cry out for justice.

For more information:
My accounts of my time in the Occupied Territories can be found in the archives of my website, www.starhawk.org

I highly recommend Jimmy Carter’s Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid. All the attacks he has suffered cannot obscure the calmness, fairness, and clarity of his account—and the fact that no other politician has yet delivered a long-lasting peace agreement like the one he brokered between Israel and Egypt.

Some other good websites:
International Solidarity Movement


Gush Shalom


Saturday Cat Blogging

You might not know this about me. I understand human talk very well. I wish humans would understand cat talk, although Wolf knows what I'm talkin about most of the time. Anyway, this week I was listening to what folks were saying when Wolf was in the chat rooms and I didn't like what I heard. People fighting over this immigration bill, so silly. People mad at poor people wanting to make a better life for themselves and their family's. People yelling at each other with misdirected anger. Get with it people. The real enemy is the Corporations, the ones that hire those folks and pay them substandard wages and make them work long hours. Some thing else that crossed my mind when you guys were yelling at each other is that this is another attempt at Union Busting, think about it!

I can't say it enough. Get with it and take your anger out on the corporations that get off and the Government that never does anything to punish them.

Till next week
As always
Pook T. Cat

Saturday Rock Party - Get Well Bo


Bo Diddley -I'm A Man and Who Do You Love
Bo is Recovering From a Stroke he had last Week

Political Cartoon of the Week

Moore sends copy of film abroad to avoid confiscation.

Moore writes on the recent Treasury Department investigation relating to his new movie on the health care industry, Sicko:

This preemptive action taken by the Bush administration on the eve of the ‘Sicko’ premiere in Cannes led our attorneys to fear for the safety of our film, noting that Secretary Paulson may try to claim that the content of the movie was obtained through a violation of the trade embargo that our country has against Cuba and the travel laws that prohibit average citizens of our free country from traveling to Cuba. (The law does not prohibit anyone from exercising their first amendment right of a free press and documentaries are protected works of journalism.)

I was floored when our lawyers told me this. “Are you saying they might actually confiscate our movie?” “Yes,” was the answer. “These days, anything is possible. Even if there is just a 20 percent chance the government would seize our movie before Cannes, does anyone want to take that risk?”

Certainly not. So there we were last week, spiriting a duplicate master negative out of the country just so no one from the government would take it from us. (Seriously, I can’t believe I just typed those words! Did I mention that I’m an American, and this is America and NO ONE should ever have to say they had to do such a thing?)

Read Moore’s full message HERE, and his new interview with Time magazine HERE.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bob Dylan's MASTERS of WAR


Warning - Very Graphic Pictures

James Blunt - No Bravery


PLEASE STOP THIS GOD DAMMED WAR

Bill Moyers - The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis


Pittsburghers for Impeachment

Pittsburghers for Impeachment

Let me say this about Jimmy Ferlo - I have known Jimmy since we protested the closing of Nabisco, The attempt by Mesta Machine to drop Steelworkers Pensions and Walked the Picket Lines with the ATC. I'm with you on this one as well Jimmy!

An Initiative of Pennsylvania State Senator Jim Ferlo

Senator Jim Ferlo began the Pittsburgh Impeach Bush campaign to educate the public, advocate for accountability, and raise the debate in the public realm of whether the Bush Administration's breach of the public trust represents "high crimes and misdemeanors" as required by the Constitution for Impeachment.

Senator Ferlo's efforts are part of a nationwide initiative, as H.Res. 635, 636, and 637 introduced to the US Congress by Representative John Conyers have sparked a national debate. In cities and towns across the country, support continues to mount for an investigation of impeachable offenses committed by the Bush Administration. Nationwide, local organizers have gathered the support of millions and coordinated through the internet to march in protest on Washington and run full-page newspaper ads in the New York Times, USA Today and others.

Click for the website

Attorneys for Mumia Abu-Jamal Urge a Federal Appeals Court to Grant A New Trial

Democracy Now! | Citing Racist Bias, Attorneys for Mumia Abu-Jamal Urge a Federal Appeals Court to Grant the Former Black Panther a New Trial

Attorney Robert Bryan says a racist judge and racist jury practices contributed to the sentencing of Abu-Jamal to death row. Bryan joins us in New York one day after he argued before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Phildelphia

Thursday, May 17, 2007

WORDS OF FIRE DEEDS OF BLOOD


Another video recommended by Spirit
How many of you who loved The Band knew Robbie Robertson is Native American?

Randi Rhodes: Jerry Falwell is dead


I agree with Randi 110% on this one

War -- Casualties of War


Duh!

I never believed Spectors single bullet theory! If they can cover up JFKs murder, you know they can cover up 9 11.

Scientists Cast Doubt on Kennedy Bullet Analysis

Multiple Shooters Possible, Study Says

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 17, 2007; Page A03

In a collision of 21st-century science and decades-old conspiracy theories, a research team that includes a former top FBI scientist is challenging the bullet analysis used by the government to conclude that Lee Harvey Oswald alone shot the two bullets that struck and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

The "evidence used to rule out a second assassin is fundamentally flawed," concludes a new article in the Annals of Applied Statistics written by former FBI lab metallurgist William A. Tobin and Texas A&M University researchers Cliff Spiegelman and William D. James.

The researchers' re-analysis involved new statistical calculations and a modern chemical analysis of bullets from the same batch Oswald is purported to have used. They reached no conclusion about whether more than one gunman was involved, but urged that authorities conduct a new and complete forensic re-analysis of the five bullet fragments left from the assassination in Dallas.

"Given the significance and impact of the JFK assassination, it is scientifically desirable for the evidentiary fragments to be re-analyzed," the researchers said.

Tobin was the FBI lab's chief metallurgy expert for more than two decades. He analyzed metal evidence in major cases that included the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island.

After retiring, he attracted national attention by questioning the FBI science used in prosecutions for decades to match bullets to crime suspects through their lead content. The questions he and others raised prompted a National Academy of Sciences review that in 2003 concluded that the FBI's bullet lead analysis was flawed. The FBI agreed and generally ended the use of that type of analysis.

Using new guidelines set forth by the National Academy of Sciences for proper bullet analysis, Tobin and his colleagues at Texas A&M re-analyzed the bullet evidence provided to the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations to support the conclusion that only one shooter, Oswald, fired the shots that killed Kennedy.

Now-deceased University of California at Irvine chemist Vincent P. Guinn. told the committee that he used bullet lead analysis to conclude that the five bullet fragments recovered from the Kennedy assassination scene came from just two bullets, which were traced to the same batch of bullets Oswald owned. Guinn's conclusions were consistent with the 1960s Warren Commission Report that found Oswald had acted alone. The House assassinations committee, however, concluded that Oswald probably was part of a conspiracy and that it was possible a second shooter fired one shot that missed the president.

Tobin, Spiegelman and James said they bought the same brand and lot of bullets used by Oswald and analyzed their lead using the new standards. The bullets from that batch are still on the market as collectors' items.

They found that the scientific and statistical assumptions Guinn used -- and the government accepted at the time -- to conclude that the fragments came from just two bullets fired from Oswald's gun were wrong.

"This finding means that the bullet fragments from the assassination that match could have come from three or more separate bullets," the researchers said. "If the assassination fragments are derived from three or more separate bullets, then a second assassin is likely," the researchers said. If the five fragments came from three or more bullets, that would mean a second gunman's bullet would have had to strike the president, the researchers explained.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dr. W snaps a Redtail

My boss was coming back from a meeting when he caught this RedTail Hawk with his cellphone cam right after it had killed a Pigeon. Click on picture for full size.

Big area of Antarctica melted in 2005

NASA's QuikScat satellite detected extensive areas of snowmelt, shown in yellow and red, in west Antarctica in January 2005.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Vast areas of snow in Antarctica melted in 2005 when temperatures warmed up for a week in the summer in a process that may accelerate invisible melting deep beneath the surface, NASA said on Tuesday.

A new analysis of satellite data showed that an area the size of California melted and then re-froze -- the most significant thawing in 30 years, the U.S. space agency said.

Unlike the Arctic, Antarctica has shown little to no warming in the recent past with the exception of the Antarctic Peninsula, where ice sheets have been breaking apart.

Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado in Boulder measured snowfall accumulation and melt in Antarctica from July 1999 through July 2005.

They found evidence of melting in several areas, including high elevations and far inland in January of 2005, when temperatures got as high as 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius).

"Increases in snowmelt, such as this in 2005, definitely could have an impact on larger scale melting of Antarctica's ice sheets if they were severe or sustained over time," Steffen said in a statement.

"Water from melted snow can penetrate into ice sheets through cracks and narrow, tubular glacial shafts called moulins," Steffen added.

"If sufficient melt water is available, it may reach the bottom of the ice sheet. This water can lubricate the underside of the ice sheet at the bedrock, causing the ice mass to move toward the ocean faster, increasing sea level.

Brazil's Indians offended by Pope comments

By Raymond Colitt

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Outraged Indian leaders in Brazil said on Monday they were offended by Pope Benedict's "arrogant and disrespectful" comments that the Roman Catholic Church had purified them and a revival of their religions would be a backward step.

In a speech to Latin American and Caribbean bishops at the end of a visit to Brazil, the Pope said the Church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

They had welcomed the arrival of European priests at the time of the conquest as they were "silently longing" for Christianity, he said.

Millions of tribal Indians are believed to have died as a result of European colonization backed by the Church since Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492, through slaughter, disease or enslavement.

Many Indians today struggle for survival, stripped of their traditional ways of life and excluded from society.

"It's arrogant and disrespectful to consider our cultural heritage secondary to theirs," said Jecinaldo Satere Mawe, chief coordinator of the Amazon Indian group Coiab.

Several Indian groups sent a letter to the Pope last week asking for his support in defending their ancestral lands and culture. They said the Indians had suffered a "process of genocide" since the first European colonizers had arrived.

Priests blessed conquistadors as they waged war on the indigenous peoples, although some later defended them and many today are the most vociferous allies of Indians.

"The state used the Church to do the dirty work in colonizing the Indians but they already asked forgiveness for that ... so is the Pope taking back the Church's word?" said Dionito Jose de Souza a leader of the Makuxi tribe in northern Roraima state.

Pope John Paul spoke in 1992 of mistakes in the evangelization of native peoples of the Americas.

Pope Benedict not only upset many Indians but also Catholic priests who have joined their struggle, said Sandro Tuxa, who heads the movement of northeastern tribes.

"We repudiate the Pope's comments," Tuxa said. "To say the cultural decimation of our people represents a purification is offensive, and frankly, frightening.

I think (the Pope) has been poorly advised."

Even the Catholic Church's own Indian advocacy group in Brazil, known as Cimi, distanced itself from the Pope.

"The Pope doesn't understand the reality of the Indians here, his statement was wrong and indefensible," Cimi advisor Father Paulo Suess told Reuters. "I too was upset."

Mother's Day Protest of Electroshock in Ireland, Toronto and Montreal.

From Mindfreedom

Protests were held on Mothers Day, 13 May 2007, in Ireland, Toronto and Montreal. Here are photos and reports from all three.

For report and photo from Toronto protest click here.

For report and photo from Montreal click here.

Here is report and photo from Ireland:

by Mary Maddock, MindFreedom Ireland

The first ever public demonstration against electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) in Cork, Ireland took place on Sunday, 13 May 2007 at Daunt Square.

Organised by MindFreedom Ireland, who campaign for a non-violent revolution in the mental health system, the demonstration was in solidarity with similar demonstrations in Montreal and Toronto Canada which also took place on Sunday, May 13th. For background information on the Toronto protest including news conference and poster click here.

The day is Mothers Day in the U.S. and Canada and was selected to mark the fact that the greatest number of recipients of ECT are mothers and grandmothers.

ECT has been in use since 1938. It involves passing an electric current through the brain of a depressed person who has been anaesthetised, resulting in a ‘grand mal’ seizure. It has always been a controversial treatment. Its proponents claim it helps in cases of severe depression but its critics argue that it causes permanent brain damage and memory loss and is often ‘threatened’ on a patient or administered without proper informed consent. Every year, over 1000 people are given ECT in Ireland.

The demonstration heard first hand testimonies from a number of recipients of ECT, including Mary Maddock, founder-member of MindFreedom Ireland. Other speakers were Kathy Sinnott, independent MEP, Dan Boyle TD and John McCarthy, independent health candidate in the upcoming election.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Falwell's stupidest quotes


* “AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals”

* "It appears that America's anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men's movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening."

* "If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."

* After the September 11 attacks Falwell said, “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen."

* “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions”

* “[Homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.”

Tonight on Frontline PBS Spying on the Home Front


Monday, May 14, 2007

The Oval Office


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Cat Blogging with Pook

Can you touch your nose with your tongue, bet you can't?

Political Cartoon of the Week

Saturday Country Music Double Shot


Willie Nelson and Ray Charles - Seven Spanish Angels
What I can I say about Willie and Ray - I've been a fan for years


The Highwaymen - The Highwayman
Counrty Music's Outlaws and first super group, Waylon, Willie, Johnny and Kris. Two are gone now and they shall be missed. The first album I bought was Johnny Cash's ablum on the Sun Record Label.

Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, U.S. Study Says

Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, U.S. Study Says - New York Times

I thought Oil was going to pay for this war, hmmm

Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq’s declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling, according to a draft American government report.

Using an average of $50 a barrel, the report said the discrepancy was valued at $5 million to $15 million daily.

click link for rest of the story

Friday, May 11, 2007

Joey Gets Out Alive

I met my extended family brothers Joey and Bobby over the CB a few years after I moved to Pittsburgh. Bobby and Joe wound up in Fla. although Bob is back in the Burgh for awhile because of his Job. Over the years we've managed to keep in touch via the Internet or Cell Phones. Thank goodness our cellphone carriers don't charge extra for long distance. I usually get a call when Bob is driving home from work but last night his call was unusually late. When I answered the phone Bob was upset, told me Joey was in a bad car wreck but was OK as he just talked to Adam who was driving the car. However, they did take Joey to the hospital to get checked out. A few minutes later Joey was on the phone with us as he was leaving the hospital, being sent home with some scratches and whiplash. Joey wasn't in the mood to talk long but told us they had to cut him out of the wreck. Get well quick Bro and congrats on getting your FLA drivers license. Aren't you glad you weren't driving?

I can write a better car accident report than the local Orlando TV station in my sleep. Must have been the late night copy person but here it is anyway.

A bad crash on the Beachline near Orlando International Airport blocked all eastbound lanes, Thursday night, while troopers mopped up the mess. FHP said three cars were involved and at least one person had to be cut out.There wasn't much left of the Oldsmobile, a young man was driving, soon after he rear-ended a dump truck. It was easy to understand why he was so shaken up.State troopers were investigating the crash after someone driving a black car with tinted windows, possibly a commercial luxury cab, cut the dump truck off on the Beachline near Orlando International Airport. Investigators said the driver of the dump truck slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting the vehicle, but the black car took off, leaving behind the mess.Firefighters extricated a passenger and paramedics rushed him to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.The driver of the black car is wanted for fleeing the scene of an accident without rendering aid, which is a felony.

Enough is Enough: The death of Johnny Gammage


"Keith, Keith, I'm only 31!" Those were the last words of Johnny Gammage, a black motorist who died just inside the city limits of Pittsburgh, when he was pulled over by police from from some of the Steel City's wealthiest, whitest suburbs, some time between 1:47 and 2:10 AM, October 12th, 1995. It made national headlines at the time, but now you won't even find "Johnny Gammage" in Wikipedia.

I was at the rally after the five police officers who killed Johnny Gammage were found not guilty. I was suppose to be a featured speaker at our annual homeless rights march but gave my poem Suits to a member of WellSpring Drop-Inn Center to read for me instead. I felt it was more important at the time to support my friends in the Black Community. Johnny Gammage wasn't the first man killed by police in Pittsburgh and won't be the last. At one time there was a big sign on the local NAACP headquarters with the names of thirteen men gunned down or otherwise killed by the cops. The bottom of the sign read in big red letters Will You Be Next?

Protesters assemble for Bush's St. Vincent visit

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!! The local networks interrupted the Ellen show for Bush's plane landing at the 9 11th Air Force base here in Pittsburgh. Friday is my only day to watch a complete Ellen show. I will update this story as it unfolds. The local networks are promising to break into to local programing to cover Bush's remarks at St. Vincent College.

Friday, May 11, 2007

By Michael A. Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As President Bush prepares to address today's graduation ceremony at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, more than three dozen protesters assembled in their designated zone about half a mile away on Route 30.

The demonstrators, representing veterans groups, Benedictines and various peace groups, stood in a construction site outlined with orange cones. Five state troopers, one with a camera, monitored them.

Some passing cars honked in apparent support, but some drivers yelled at them, including one who told them to "get a life."

The protesters held a variety of signs and a large dove made from bed sheets.

Barbara Roseborough traveled from Erie to protest. Her husband and daughter are graduates of the Benedictine school.

She said she understands the appeal of having a prominent person like the president speak at a small, rural school, but said this president at this time is giving a message counter to the Benedictine motto of pax, or peace

Quinn & Rose made baseless claim

So what else is new? Quinn and Rose are on a local Clear Channel Radio station as well as XM Radio. Yes folks, they are coming to you over the air waves from Pittsburgh, PA. I can't say I listen all the time but if your an old time reader of this blog you know I've written about them. In a few of my posts I've referred to Jim and Radio Rosie as those right wingnuts that spout a lot of hate. I have taken them to task three times over an e-mail I wrote - Wolf vs Quinn - that Jim answered on the air - Quinn vs Wolf - calling it hate mail. In Quinn vs Wolfe Part 2, I remind Quinn to do better research before he accuses some one of being a communist. Now it seems Quinn and Rosie have made the big time at last. Not on their own show The Warroom but on Sean Hannity's show.
I was very surprised this morning when I read the following story on Media Matters - XM Radio's Quinn and Rose make baseless claim that Dem leaders behind Sebelius links between war, Kansas Guard shortages. I'm not listening to the Warroom while I write this but I know Quinn is trashing Media Matters. However, I was listening earlier this week when I heard both of them with their usual anti-muslim rant as well as making jokes about Islam and ham sandwiches.
Stop ranting Wolf and post the article....

On the May 10 broadcast of Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated radio show, radio hosts Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent repeated baseless allegations that they had reportedly made on their own XM Radio show that Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Howard Dean was behind Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' assertion that equipment shortages due to the war in Iraq had impaired the Kansas National Guard's ability to respond quickly after a tornado leveled the town of Greensburg, Kansas. Quinn told host Sean Hannity that, according to his source, Sebelius called Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) after she had publicly made her complaint about the Guard shortages "to apologize for the statement she had made and she explained that she did not believe those statements really to be true -- that they actually had more than enough National Guardsmen showing up." Sebelius, Quinn continued, then said that " 'Howard Dean called me around 5 o'clock' -- we [Quinn and, presumably, Tennent] assume that's 5 o'clock in the morning -- 'and told me not to ask the White House for any help or make any statements until I heard back. Dick' -- and we don't know who that is; my source assumes it's [Assistant Senate Majority Leader] Dick Durbin [D-IL], but I can't, I don't know -- 'Dick called me an hour or two later, and that's when he told me that we needed to use this and talk about the Guard all being at war.' "

Quinn said that, according to his source, Sebelius had justified her actions as a political necessity. "You know how political everything is right now," Sebelius supposedly told Brownback, "and we're not allowed to let an opportunity like this pass." Tennent later continued on this theme, saying that Sebelius "then went on to explain and she said that the Speaker [Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)] and Harry -- we're assuming [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-NV] -- are feeling the heat from both sides over the war and that they need to get the press on something else. She said she didn't think it was right to use this but she didn't have much choice, she said, considering the climate she was in." Tennent then claimed that Sebelius "promised" Brownback that she would "try to move away from the comment when she and Brownback were to meet up later ... but she had to do so without disappointing Dean and Pelosi, and those were her words, supposedly."

Quinn later told Hannity, that "[t]hey're all going to deny it, because Brownback doesn't want to screw up his relationship with the governor. ... [W]e're prepared for that. Our source absolutely stands by her or his story." As support for his assertion, Quinn said that Sebelius, appearing on television with Brownback to look over the damage in Greensburg, "look[ed] like a woman who's really embarrassed about being there. ... This is a woman whose body language is just screaming out that she just feels awful about something."

The DNC has issued a cease-and-desist letter to XM Radio stating that the allegations are "false and defamatory [and] libelous and slanderous" and demanding that Quinn and Tennent broadcast "an express and specific retraction of these statements" on their show.

Moreover, Quinn's claim that Dean and other national Democratic leaders instigated Sebelius' statements about Guard resources being depleted because of the war in Iraq is undermined by Sebelius' numerous past statements of concern about the impact on the Kansas Guard of the war in Iraq. As Media Matters for America has documented, Sebelius has -- on several occasions well before the Greensburg tornado -- highlighted the need for additional National Guard funding and equipment because of deployments for the Iraq war

Check out Media Matters for the rest of the story and listen to the mp3 file. If you want to start your mornings in anger listen to Quinn and Rose on their morning show in The Warroom.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tom Morello - Union Song May Day 2007 Rally


By now you kinda might get the idea that I am a big fan of Rage Against The Machine. Tom Morello plays lead guitar with Rage. Here is a great solo performance at the big rally in LA before the pigs went nutz. I haven't stopped listening to Tom's new album The Nightwatchman since I got it. I've noticed on YouTube in some of the comments of the videos that a few folks are comparing Toms voice to Johnny Cash and I disagree. On the slower songs I hear the haunting tones of Leonard Cohen. However, Tom has his found own voice and has written some great protest lyrics. You won't hear these songs on any Clear Channel Radio station. Tom also has a site worth checking out, Axis of Justice, with lots of updates on protests and great pod casts. Tom and Zack de la Rocha (lead sing of Rage) have been supporting The Coalition of Immokalee Workers . The coalition have victories against McDonalds and Taco Bell, and are now taking on Burger King. Please check out the websites and give a listen to Tom's Album. Who said protest music is dead.

Powerful People Talking About Plans for A NWO