Saturday, June 30, 2007

Here is The Real Story of the Protest in Canada

Thanks go to SatkeskoTehstan from PalTalk who forwarded an e-mail from Tsi Nikayen' Enonhne' of what really happened during the protest.

Let's clarify some of the myths the media and
the OPP are propagating.

1. As many of you now know the OPP shut
down the 401 of their own volition. There was
no movement by anyone at anytime to move
to the 401. The OPP admitted at the site that
they saw an old dump truck (one that only
runs in 2nd gear and that has a maximum of
15 minutes run time because it is mechanically
unfit) sitting at the side of Wymans Road (which
is about 10 minutes from any Hwy 401 ramp) and
decided that they would shut down the Highway
just after midnight last night.

2. No one stopped the trains, or blockaded the
railway tracks. As mentioned in some articles
they used booster cables - not to change the
track signals - but to close the rail gates so that
no traffic would come over the railway crossing
in vehicles (aimed to keep the media and OPP
/ CN Police spies and undercover away)

3. The protesters did not shut down any highways.
What the media has referred to as "Highway 2"
is really "County Road 2", part of the handover a
couple of years back from the province to the
County. And since this section of County Road
2 is on disputed territory there is no authority by
the police to either police it, or to legally object
to its closure. As such, the OPP were stationed
at Milltown and at the Hwy 49 Intersection and
County Road 2.

4. The best that the OPP can come up with is
to fake charges of public mischief against Shawn
Brant. Funny that Fantino has been talking about
negotiating with Shawn to allow traffic on the 401
when all he ever had to do was tell his officers to
pull away the road closure signs. This was a media
circus designed to imply that Fantino was in charge
when in essence he was really just negotiating with
himself.

5. The media hype and McHales incessant verbal
masturbation about Shawn breeching his bail
conditions are a red herring. There have been no
crimes committed (by the OPP's admission) and
so the charge of mischief is a silly device to try to
get Shawn back in court. It has been reported that
Shawn is going to surrender after midnight, but there
has been no such agreement, save and except Shawn
has indicated to Fantino that the protest was designed
for only the 28 hour period until midnight tonight and
they expect to keep their word. However, should Shawn
be arrested tonight and not be release forthwith by
8:00am tomorrow there is a contingency plan that
will drive more chaos into Canada than there was
today. Word has it that support from Warrior Societies
across North America have been received and they will
simultaneously disrupt economic and celebratory targets
beginning tomorrow at 8:01AM tomorrow. Everyone is
on "high alert".

A worthy note: CP has shut down its trains today for one
minute in support of the National Aboriginal Day of Action.
While this token is a symbolic gesture it is nonetheless
an important recognition by a major corporation of the
power we wield as a unified force.

CP Symbolic Support

Also ({added in edit} listen to this. Fantino called up mothers
of the protesters between 2 and 3 am this morning to tell
them that they should go down and talk their children into
surrendering as the OPP would be making an armed invasion
first thing in the morning. Many a mother and grandmother
went to the site only to find their children in high spirits peacefully
enjoying the companionship, singing and passionate discussions
around the fire during the early morning hours. Instead of pleading
with them to leave they affirmed to them that they were doing the
right thing in defending our right to protest. Shows just how stupid
the OPP "intelligence" is when they under-estimate the tenacity
of the Mohawks.

Pagans to Rally for Religious Rights

On the fourth of July, hundreds of Pagans will gather peacefully at Lafayette Park, across from the White House, and advocate for a Pagan military chaplain, request the availability of more religious symbols from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and call for freedom of religious expression. Organized by the Chesapeake Pagan Community, this event should bring some interesting issues to the forefront.

You may recall that President Bush said several years ago, in response to a question about the rights of Wiccans in the military, that witchcraft was not a religion. Despite his sort-of deflection of the question, by not addressing Wicca specifically but making a generic statement about witchcraft, the president has made it fairly clear that he's not a big fan of non-Christian religious groups. I'm wondering how he'll react when hundreds, possibly thousands of Pagans are hanging out right there in his front yard.

The Religious Rights Rally will feature speakers such as author Diana L. Paxson, Rev. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary, and Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The best part of this whole thing? It's not just for Pagans and Wiccans, because religious freedom has to apply to everyone in the country... otherwise, it applies to no one at all. What better day to celebrate our freedoms that on Independence Day?

Thanks to LadyWicca for the Link

Saturday Punk


Local Band Makes Good
Anti-Flag - Turncoat

Saturday Cat Blogging with Pook

Ann Coulter Makes me ill!

Asshole of the Week


Why can't this woman shut the hell up?

Political Cartoons of the Week


Shout out to Pedro for leaving the link to the bush toon

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Picture Thats Worth a 1000 Words

Mohawks shut down a Highway and Rail Line in Canada


Mohawks shut down a Highway and Rail Line in Canada (and they ain't Messing around (wolf))


DESERONTO, Ont. (CP) - An aboriginal protest in eastern Ontario that paralyzed the country's busiest highway ended Friday morning and traffic was allowed to start flowing again after a deal was reached between aboriginal and provincial police.

Militant Mohawk protester Shawn Brant had set up three blockades near the town of Deseronto - on Highway 401, Highway 2 and the CN rail line (TSX:CNR) - as part of a national day of action that was otherwise peaceful.

Brant said he did not want to aggravate long-weekend travellers more than necessary by keeping the 401 closed. It had been shut down by police at midnight Thursday night after Brant said his group was armed with firearms and ready to use them in any confrontation with police.

Brant said Friday morning his co-operation with police shouldn't be seen as a retreat by protesters fed up with unsettled land claims and poverty on their reserves.

"We've been able to demonstrate the courage, commitment and resolve of our community members," said Brant. "We don't want people to see this a stepping back, we don't feel that it is."

Brant said he was asked by Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino to take down all three barricades, to which he said he replied, "absolutely not."

The two other barricades would be maintained until midnight, the official end of the national day of protest, Brant added. Ontario provincial police Supt. Angie Howe said the force was "very happy at this move forward through negotiations."

"As the morning continues, we'll have further negotiations and we're very, very hopeful that we'll be able to have Highway 2 and the railway open," Howe said.

Via Rail announced Thursday it would halt service for thousands of travellers between Montreal to Toronto and Ottawa to Toronto and offer a full refund to any ticket holders. Officials said service was expected to resume Saturday.

The rail barricade prompted CN to cancel all traffic Friday morning on the busy line between Toronto and Montreal, affecting almost 50 passenger or freight trains. It is the second time in three months the railway's operations were shut down by a blockade. In April, CN obtained an injunction to end a 30-hour protest, although police did not enforce the court order, frustrating railway operators.

"First Nations protesters are again blocking CN's rail corridor and the OPP continues to refuse to intervene," said a statement issued by the railway early Friday.

Fantino gave a public warning Thursday that Brant would be held accountable for his actions. He stood out as the lone voice advocating militancy for the day of protest.

Provincial police issued an arrest warrant for Brant on a charge of mischief, although they made no move to remove the blockades or arrest him.

Brant said Friday he would turn himself in to police after midnight.

He called the demonstration that closed Highway 401 for 11 hours and disrupted rail service a "good test run."

"This is the first time ever we've shut down the 401, and I don't believe it's going to be the last," Brant said. "It was certainly a good test run for us."

Two secondary roads - County Road 38 west of Bala and County Road 45 south of Peterborough - remained blocked, although Howe said negotiations were also underway to re-open those roads.

Brant, a 43-year-old militant Mohawk, is out on bail on previous charges of mischief, disobeying a court order and breach of recognizance in connection with the blockade of the CN rail line April 20.

He has served jail time for trashing the offices of politicians.

Brant said Fantino called him three times between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., urging an end to the blockade, although he never felt police were ready to move in.

There was a tense moment early Friday morning as Brant was meeting with fellow Mohawks along the deserted highway.

A white van believed to have been driven by a provincial police officer sped through the area without slowing and this appeared to anger Brant and his group.

Assembly of First Nations chief Phil Fontaine says blockades were never intended to be part of the day of protest.

"Our position has been very, very clear," he told a Canadian TV station on Friday. "We've never advocated blockades. We've made it very clear that this is to be peaceful. We want to do everything possible to reach out to Canadians. We are not interested in major disruption. We don't want to impede the Canadian economy."

Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse said Brant's actions were "not reflective of the collective resolve of the First Nations in Ontario."

"There is no doubt that First Nations have longstanding legitimate grievances that must be addressed now and not 10, 20 or 30 years down the road," Toulouse said in a release.

"The First Nation leadership in Ontario appeals for calm, restraint and good judgment on the part of all parties on this national day of action."

Demonstrators also blocked roads in and out of a reserve in Alderville, Northumberland County, halfway between Toronto and Kingston.

A county road near the popular Ontario Muskoka town of Bala was also blocked by demonstrators.

Earlier, the Mohawk protesters near Deseronto parked an old school bus across Highway 2, forcing a steady stream of traffic and heavy trucks to turn around. Brant warned his group was armed with firearms and was ready to use them.

"We've made no secret that we have guns within this camp," Brant told The Canadian Press in an interview.

"It's our intent to go out and ensure a safe day. Unfortunately, previous incidents have shown that aggressive tactics by the police need to be met with equal resistance by the people that they're bringing those against."

Later, the protesters closed the CN Rail main line, using jumper cables to activate crossing barriers before moving another old school bus onto the tracks.

How Psychologists Aid Torture

I've been to one APA conference. It was in New York City during the founding conference of Support Coalition International. The only reason I got in to the APA conference was because I had a press pass. I was covering the events for Vision - Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association's newsletter. Aside from meeting a lot of great people the moment I'll always remember is when I came out of the Jacob Javits Centers big hall exclaiming to the White Light Film Company "The Real Drug Pushers are in There!" The story that follows brought back some great memories. Like meeting Howie the Harp and Kate Millett for the first time (Kate's book The Loony Bin Trip was published that week) . It also brought back some unpleasant memories of my ECT (shock) Treatments. Just being there and protesting the shock docs made everything better. I found this story on Alternet, It's worth reading.

How Psychologists Aid Torture
By Deborah Kory, HuffingtonPost.com.

Many psychologists are in denial about their role in society -- their social responsibility to keep the human race from being self-destructive.

Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm. In their professional actions, psychologists seek to safeguard the welfare and rights of those with whom they interact professionally and other affected persons. -- Principle A, Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, 2002

In August, the American Psychological Association (APA) will hold its annual convention in San Francisco. Notably absent from the program: the application of psychology to current world events. War, terror, genocide. "Our War on Terror that has led to the Deaths of Hundreds of Thousands of People" -- how about that for a plenary session? Of course there are divisions inside the APA organizing against the Bush Administration's policies and trying to have an impact on public discourse about the war in Iraq, but they are marginalized and fighting an uphill battle in a professional organization whose adherence to the status quo allows it continued legitimacy and access to power.

Many psychologists have their own mechanisms of denial and self-delusion about their role in society. "We're not political," they'll tell you, "We are just doing what we can in our way to make things better, one person at a time, one research project at a time." Most have no understanding of the collective impact of their profession and no sense that they have any obligation as psychologists to social responsibility. Wars, global poverty, ecological destruction? "That is not in our professional domain," they argue, "though as individual citizens we might get involved in these issues." As a profession, psychologists refuse to ask what the psychological foundations are for the global insanity that manifests in violence, wars, and indifference to the fate of others -- and what, as professionals, our obligation is to address and seek strategies to heal the pain that leads the human race in self-destructive directions. Of course, the majority of psychologists are compassionate, moral people who worry about these issues -- but they believe they must do so as individuals outside the framework of their profession rather than as part of a profession that makes these issues central.

The American Psychological Association is not just another professional association so caught up in the excitement of its own advancements in research that it has become disconnected from our current social reality. Some of its respected members have been actively aiding and abetting torture at illegal detention sites set up by the Bush administration, and the leadership of the APA has actively blocked attempts by its members to ban any and all engagement with interrogation proceedings at sites like Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and the secret detention centers set up through the Administration's policy of "extraordinary rendition" ( i.e., outsourcing torture to countries that have no laws against it). In his book A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror, Alfred McCoy documents the CIA's decades-long exploitation of psychological research for the purpose of developing effective methods of psychological torture, which, it was hoped, would render detainees incapable of withholding information. This knowledge was also used to inform elements of the U.S. Military's SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) program, which trains service members and civilians in the art of surviving captivity. The SERE program's chief psychologist, Col. Morgan Banks (who later served on the APA's PENS Ethics Task Force), was involved in training BSCT (or "Biscuit") teams in Guantanamo and served at the Bagram detention center in Afghanistan. According to Human Rights First, the interrogation that led to the death of Iraqi Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush involved the use of techniques learned in the SERE training program. Internal FBI memos and press reports have pointed to SERE training as the basis for some of the harshest techniques authorized for use on detainees by the Pentagon in 2002 and 2003.

Please read the rest of the article at http://www.alternet.org/story/55309/

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Keith O mentions Tony Norman


I've shared a few of Tony Normans Pittsburgh Post Gazette articles on the blog, check out what Olbermann has to say about O'Reillys latest attack.

RED STATE UPDATE does Michael Bloomberg

The Bitch and the Nice Lady


Countdown: Senate Digs Into Cheney


Supreme Court Strikes Down Public School Desegregation Law

In the “biggest school desegregation ruling in more than a decade,” the Supreme Court today ruled 5-4 to reject public school assignment plans “that take account of students’ race.” The AP reports:

The decision in cases affecting schools in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle could imperil similar plans in hundreds of districts nationwide, and it leaves public school systems with a limited arsenal to maintain racial diversity. …

[The case] was led by parents challenging the way race is used to assign students to schools for the purpose of integration.

Like the multiple cases decided in favor of the Bush administration and corporations earlier this week, the majority was formed by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy.

UPDATE: Read the decision HERE.

UPDATE II: Chief Justice Roberts, who authored the majority opinion, wrote, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” In fact, a key study by University of Wisconsin professor Douglas Harris, using empirical data gathered from No Child Left Behind, shows that desegregation remains the most effective way of closing this gap:

African Americans and Hispanics learn more in integrated schools. Minorities attending integrated schools also perform better in college attendance and employment.
– Controlled choice and other forms of desegregation benefit minority students.
– Racial integration is a rare case where an educational policy appears to improve educational equity at little financial cost.

UPDATE III: In his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer writes:

Finally, what of the hope and promise of Brown? For much of this Nation’s history, the races remained divided. It was not long ago that people of different races drank from separate fountains, rode on separate buses, and studied in separate schools. In this Court’s finest hour, Brown v. Board of Education challenged this history and helped to change it. For Brown held out a promise. … It sought one law, one Nation, one people, not simply as a matter of legal principle but in terms of how we actually live. […]

Many parents, white and black alike, want their children to attend schools with children of different races. Indeed, the very school districts that once spurned integration now strive for it. … The plurality would decline their modest request.

The plurality is wrong to do so. The last half-century has witnessed great strides toward racial equality, but we have not yet realized the promise of Brown. To invalidate the plans under review is to threaten the promise of Brown. The plurality’s position, I fear, would break that promise. This is a decision that the Court and the Nation will come to regret.

UPDATE IV: In his opinion for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts writes, “Before Brown, schoolchildren were told where they could and could not go to school based on the color of their skin.” But as Justice John Paul Stevens notes in his separate dissent, there is a “cruel irony” in Roberts’s reliance on Brown:

The Chief Justice fails to note that it was only black schoolchildren who were so ordered; indeed, the history books do not tell stories of white children struggling to attend black schools. In this and other ways, the Chief Justice rewrites the history of one of this Court’s most important decisions.

UPDATE V: SCOTUSblog notes that this Supreme Court term has produced a “higher share of 5-4 decisions than any term in the last decade.”

UPDATE VI: According to AP, the Court has previously ruled that “schools have responsibility to desegregate, even in districts where schools had not been segregated by law.”

UPDATE VII: Roberts’s classification of the integration plans as “discrimination on the basis of race” is directly contradicted by well-respected conservative Judge Alex Kozinski, who wrote in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion of the case that:

The plan does not segregate the races; to the contrary, it seeks to promote integration. There is no attempt to give members of particular races political power based on skin color. There is no competition between the races, and no race is given a preference over another. That a student is denied the school of his choice may be disappointing, but it carries no racial stigma and says nothing at all about that individual’s aptitude or ability.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chris Benoit Tribute!


WWE has mentioned on their website that they have info about some strange text messages from Chris that they won't release until the police give them permission. Chris was one of the good guys of wrestling and this whole thing comes as a huge shock to all wrestling fans.

9 11 Again and Again

At least once a week someone in any number of rooms in Paltalks Social Issues section starts a convo about 9 11. I've posted what I witnessed that day on the blog before. The reason I am posting about it again is because I got frustrated during a hot and heavy discussion. Then when I tried to take the mic, Palktalk crashed. So here we go again.

I have mentioned before that Pittsburgh is 92 miles from Shanksville and some strange stuff happened here concerning Flight 93.

1. No one has ever answered this question for me - Why was the control tower at Pittsburgh's International Airport Evacuated 15 minutes before Flight 93 flew over? Want Proof?

Local officials rethink recently made plans to deal with terrorism
Sunday, September 23, 2001
By Jan Ackerman, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

(Excerpted from full article)

It is clear from 911 tapes that local officials had less than 15 minutes' warning that the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 was in Pittsburgh airspace before the plane crashed at 10:06 a.m. in Somerset County, killing all 44 people aboard.

Full learned about the errant plane at 9:53 a.m. That's when he got a call alerting him that the control tower at Pittsburgh International Airport had been evacuated. Thirteen minutes earlier, he had talked to an airport official who had no indication of any threat.

Between those two conversations, the Pittsburgh tower had received a call from the Cleveland air traffic control tower, saying a plane was heading toward Pittsburgh and refusing to communicate with controllers. The FAA ordered the Pittsburgh control tower evacuated at 9:49

2. I also find it strange that you never hear this mentioned.

A new debris site has been found this morning (Thursday) about 6 miles north of the crater where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Considering that the majority of the debris at the primary crash site is confined to a 100 yard radius, it was a surprise to investigators when they found the second area. Debris from that secondary scene is small, but has been confirmed to come from the same airplane. Basically, this means that something fell off of the airplane before it crashed.

So there you go! Two important facts that people never talk about and none of it mentioned in the 9 11 congressional report.

U.N.: Afghan Opium Production Up

Some people on Paltalk need to take a good look at the Poppys in the above picture. They are not the same as the poppys that grow along side of the road in California. BTW, a three hit ballloon of heroin is going for eight dollars on the street here. No, I don't do H anymore, gave it up in 82, I work with junkies now.


VIENNA, Austria — Afghanistan produced dramatically more opium in 2006, increasing its yield by nearly 50 percent from a year earlier and pushing global opium production to a new record high, a U.N. report said Tuesday.

The annual report also found that the estimated level of global drug use has remained more or less unchanged for the third year, although cannabis use continues to decline in North America.

Afghanistan's opium production increased from about 4,500 tons in 2005 to 6,700 tons in 2006, according to the 2007 World Drug Report released by the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. Opium is the main ingredient for heroin.

In 2006, Afghanistan accounted for 92 percent of global illicit opium production, up from 70 percent in 2000 and 52 percent a decade earlier. The higher yields in Afghanistan brought global opium production to a record high of nearly 7,300 tons last year, a 43 percent increase over 2005.

The area under opium poppy cultivation in the country has also expanded, from nearly 257,000 acres in 2005 to more than 407,000 acres in 2006 _ an increase of about 59 percent.

"This is the largest area under opium poppy cultivation ever recorded in Afghanistan," the report said, noting that two-thirds of cultivation was concentrated in the country's south.

UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa warned that Afghanistan's insurgency-plagued Helmand province was becoming the world's biggest drug supplier, with opium cultivation there larger than in the rest of the country put together.

"Effective surgery on Helmand's drug and insurgency cancer will rid the world of the most dangerous source of its most dangerous narcotic and go a long way to bringing security to the region," Costa said in a statement.

Early indications suggest Afghanistan could see a further increase in opium production in 2007, the report said.

For the sixth straight year, the amount of land under opium cultivation has fallen in Southeast Asia. From 1998-2006, that region's share of world opium poppy cultivation has decreased from 67 percent to just 12 percent, largely due to declines in cultivation in Myanmar, the report said.

Southeast Asia's total opium production in 2006 was just 370 tons, it said.

The report also found that the production, trafficking and consumption of other illicit drugs have largely stabilized globally and that the estimated level of global drug use stayed about the same for the third year in a row.

About 200 million people _ or 5 percent of the world's population aged between 15 and 64 _ used drugs at least once in the previous 12 months, it said. Of those, an estimated 25 million were so-called problem drug users, or individuals who are heavily drug dependent. That estimate also remained unchanged from the year before.

"Recent data show that the runaway train of drug addiction has slowed down," Costa said.

Cannabis continues to account for the vast majority of illegal drug use and is consumed by some 160 million people, the report said. Globally, however, the number of people using cannabis has decreased slightly due to ongoing declines in North America and _ for the first time _ some declines in the largest cannabis markets of Western Europe.

"Although it is too early to speak of a general decline, signs of a stabilization of cannabis use at the global level are apparent," the report said.

Amphetamine-type stimulants _ including ecstasy _ remained the second most widely consumed group of substances. Over the 2005-2006 period, some 25 million people are estimated to have used amphetamines at least once in the previous 12 months, about the same as a year earlier.

Global cocaine production is estimated to have remained basically unchanged in 2006 as compared to one or two years earlier, the report said.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wrestling Champ Chris Benoit Found Dead With Family

Chris Benoit lowers the boom on Eddie Guerrero in one of the featured matches in WWE's holiday special in Baghdad in 2003.

Wrestling star Chris Benoit, his wife, Nancy, and their 7-year-old son, Daniel, were found dead in their suburban Atlanta home Monday. The deaths are being investigated as a possible suicide and double homicide, authorities told ABC News.

Lt. Tommy Pope of the Fayette County Sheriff's Department told ABC News that Benoit had missed several appointments over the weekend, leading concerned parties to ask police to do a "welfare check." When sheriffs arrived at the Benoits' home, they found the wrestler, his wife and their son dead.

There were no signs of gunshot wounds or stabbing, according to Pope. Authorities are not ruling out other causes, such as poisoning, suffocation or strangulation. Pope told ABC News that his department is looking at this situation as a "possible double murder, suicide."

Pope said "the instruments of death were located on scene," but he would not specify what those instruments are or where in the house the bodies were found. Pope added the department is "not actively searching for any suspects outside of the house."

An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. However, it could be weeks before there is a result.

Benoit, 40, was scheduled to spar against C.M. Punk in a pay-per-view event Sunday night in Houston for the Extreme Champion Wrestling title. But Benoit canceled before the event, citing personal reasons.

A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Benoit was known in the ring as the "Canadian Crippler."

Following the announcement of the deaths, World Wrestling Entertainment issued a statement: "Chris was beloved among his fellow superstars, and was a favorite among WWE fans for his unbelievable athleticism and wrestling ability. He always took great pride in his performance, and always showed respect for the business he loved, for his peers and toward his fans. This is a terrible tragedy and an unbearable loss. WWE extends its sincere condolences and prayers to the Benoit family and loved ones in this time of tragedy."

WWE announced that it would drop its planned Monday night line-up on the USA Network to air a three-hour tribute to Benoit.

In a sport known for bravado and bullying, Benoit was very much beloved and respected by his peers. He was passionate about his profession and served as a mentor to many younger, up-and-coming performers. As an indication of how much the fans enjoyed him, when the crowd in Houston's Toyota Center learned Sunday night that he wouldn't be there, they chanted, "We want Benoit!"

Green Day - The Campaign To Save Darfur - Working Class Hero

Murtha Coverage in the P-G

The P-G is one of Pittsburgh's daily newspapers. This post is from one of the local Pittsburgh blogs, 2 Political Junkies that I read every day. I agree 100% with them on this article about John Murtha that the P-G published yesterday. As I've said many times, John Murtha is a good congressman; Ask the folks in Johnstown PA who lost two steel mills when the company's decided to ship our jobs overseas.

I met Jerome Sherman in early January. He seemed like a nice enough guy, so I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt in his article today of Congressman Jack Murtha.

But whoever writes the headlines, that person I got a serious problem with.

First, the headline:


John Murtha: How a lifelong hawk became a dove, too
Veteran Congressman still champions military even though he opposes Iraq war

Notice something? Yea I am sure you do - the parallel phrase structure of the two headlines.

"hawk" is (nearly) set in opposition to "dove"
and then
"champions military" is set in opposition to "opposes Iraq war"

I say "nearly" for the first line because it does say he's a hawk AND a dove.

It's the second line that's most egregious. The implication is that someone who opposes the war can't possibly "champion" the military. This isn't 2003, folks. According to a recent (5/29-6/1/07) poll done by ABC News/Washington Post, only 37% of the American people thought that the Iraq war was "worth fighting." 61% said it was "not worth fighting." If we stretch the logic of the P-G headline writers to that poll, a majority of the American people don't "champion the military" because they oppose the war.

It's absurd at its face. And yet it's there in black and white on the pages of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But since it's my understanding that article writers do NOT write the headlines, this one can't be pinned on Jerome Sherman.

The rest of the article, however, can be. The piece is, roughly speaking, a biography. But it seems to be written to position Murtha as a flip-flopper on the one hand, while also undermining his credibility with a smear on 'tother. Look at how Murtha's past is set up in opposition to his current views on the Iraq war. Paragraph six and seven:

"I thought it was important that we stood up to communism," he said recently. "And if the Congress and the president said it was the right war, I thought it was the right war."

Today, 40 years later, Mr. Murtha, the senior congressman from Pennsylvania, doesn't express similar confidence about President Bush's military decisions. He has become one of Congress' loudest and most prominent critics of the war in Iraq, calling for a rapid redeployment of more than 150,000 U.S. troops.

If it was good enough for LBJ, why wasn't it good enough for GWB?

Then comes the criticism of the Congressman, first he's called a coward ("He's lost his nerve.") by a fellow Marine who served in Vietnam, though Sherman never says he served with Murtha in Vietnam - something to remember. So after the Jean Schmidt smear resurfaces, Sherman trots out another swiftboat smear.

It's from the Cybercast News Service. Why would a real news source (the P-G) even bother with a fake news source like CNSNews? Sherman writes:
The Cybercast News Service, an online news organization, last year ran a report questioning whether Mr. Murtha deserved two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam, even though Marine records confirm that he was wounded.
Especially since Sherman's own paper published this in May, 2002:
Choby [who was running against Murtha at the time] criticized Murtha, the first Vietnam combat veteran elected to Congress, for not turning over medical records proving he's entitled to his two Purple Hearts. Murtha spokesman Brad Clemenson insisted his boss deserved the medals.

Marine Corps casualty records show that Murtha was injured in "hostile" actions near Danang, Vietnam, on March 22, 1967 and May 7, 1967. In the first incident, his right cheek was lacerated, and in the second he was lacerated above his left eye. Neither injury required evacuation.
No mention of CNS being owned by the right-wing Media Research Center, is there? No mention that CNS was originally called the "Conservative News Service" is there? No critical review of the source of the smear, is there? Nope, it's just there.

We have to wait more than 40 paragraphs to read:

The Johnstown Marine was wounded twice during his tour of duty, both times in helicopters. On one occasion, he was in an H-34 "Seahorse" that made a hard landing to avoid enemy fire, throwing passengers from their seats. Another attack came in mid-air. A bullet pierced the helicopter and sprayed him with shrapnel.

He was eventually awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with Combat "V," and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Even before he came out against the Iraq war, Mr. Murtha faced questions about his medals from political opponents. The 2006 Cybercast News Service report interviewed some of those old rivals, citing discrepancies in how Mr. Murtha has described his wounds.

According to documents in the Marine Corps' public archives in Quantico, Va., Mr. Murtha received "lacerations" on his cheek and near his eye. He says he also hurt his knee and scratched his arm.

It takes that long to see that the CNSNews criticisms were from Murtha's political rivals. Hardly an objective source.

It's also interesting who Sherman gives the last word to. Get a gander:

"A war initiated on faulty intelligence must not be followed by a premature withdrawal of our troops based on a political timetable," he wrote in an epilogue to his book.

Now, Mr. Murtha rejects that idea, and he hopes to use his power of the purse as chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to force the Bush administration to change course.

"I made a mistake. I admitted I made a mistake," he said. "I couldn't get anywhere just by talking to [the Bush administration.] I had to say something publicly, and I think it's made the difference."

Many anti-war advocates credit Mr. Murtha's switch as a turning point in the debate about the war, citing his credibility as a conservative lawmaker with a good track record on defense issues.

Mr. Stokes [who had served with the 1st Marine Regiment in Vietnam], 75, doesn't see it that way: "If I saw Jack, I'd tell him what I really thought about him. But I don't need to see it in the newspaper."

This is balance?

Supreme Court Rules Against Student In "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Free Speech Case

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech Monday, ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner.

Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in a 5-4 ruling.

Joseph Frederick unfurled his homemade sign on a winter morning in 2002, as the Olympic torch made its way through Juneau, Alaska, en route to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Frederick said the banner was a nonsensical message that he first saw on a snowboard. He intended the banner to proclaim his right to say anything at all.

His principal, Deborah Morse, said the phrase was a pro-drug message that had no place at a school-sanctioned event. Frederick denied that he was advocating for drug use.

"The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic," Roberts said. "But Principal Morse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one."

Morse suspended the student, prompting a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Students in public schools don't have the same rights as adults, but neither do they leave their constitutional protections at the schoolhouse gate, as the court said in a landmark speech-rights ruling from Vietnam era.

The court has limited what students can do in subsequent cases, saying they may not be disruptive or lewd or interfere with a school's basic educational mission.

Supreme Court Sides With Administration, Corporations In New Decisions

From Think Progress

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Bush administration, corporations, and an anti-abortion group in a series of decisions announced today, reaffirming the conservative, business-friendly bent the Court has taken under Chief Justice John Roberts

EPA’s responsibility to protect endangered species weakened:

In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that the federal government can avoid its responsibility to protect species under the Endangered Species Act by handing off authority to the states. The EPA routinely delegates administration of the Clean Water Act to states. The Court’s decision means the EPA does not have to ensure that states abide by the federal Endangered Species Act when they issue Clean Water Act permits. [National Association of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife and a companion case]

Ordinary taxpayers cannot challenge Faith-Based Initiative:

In a 5-4 decision, the Court “barred ordinary taxpayers from challenging a White House initiative helping religious charities get a share of federal money.” A taypayers’ group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation sued eight Bush administration officials, including the head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, objecting to “government conferences in which administration officials encourage religious charities to apply for federal grants.” [Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation]

Campaign finance restrictions weakened for corporate- and union-funded ads:

In a 5-4 decision, the Court loosened restrictions on corporate- and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, “weakening a key provision of a landmark campaign finance law.” The court “upheld an appeals court ruling that an anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads during the final two months before the 2004 elections.” [Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right-to-Life]

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Political Cartoon of the Week

Saturday Jazz Rap Concert with Gil



Gil Scott-Heron - Winter in America
Don't let the word Rap stop you from watching this great video. Gil Scott has been around a long time. I got turned on to him and The Last Poets when I heard "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" back in the early 70's. Gil's lyrics are just as relevant today as they were back then.

Saturday Cat Blogging with Pook



Pook The Cat from hell says;
"Lay me down, roll me over and do it again"

Asshole (s) of the Week


President Bush claims he's exempt from security oversight too, Los Angeles Times to report

"The White House said Friday that, like Vice President Dick Cheney's office, President Bush's office is exempt from a presidential order requiring government agencies that handle classified national security information to submit to oversight by an independent federal watchdog," the Los Angeles Times will report Saturday, RAW STORY has learned. Excerpts:

"The executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 covers all government agencies that are part of the executive branch and, although it doesn't specifically say so, was not meant to apply to the vice president's office or the president's office, a White House spokesman said.

The issue flared up Thursday when Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., criticized Cheney for refusing to file annual reports with the National Archives and Records Administration, spelling out how his office handles classified documents, or to submit to an inspection by the archives' Information Security Oversight Office.

The archives, a federal agency, has been pressing the vice president's office to cooperate with its oversight efforts for the past several years, contending that by not doing so, Cheney and his staff have created a potential national security risk.

Bush issued the directive in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a way of ensuring that the nation's secrets would not be mishandled, made public, or improperly declassified.

Read the full story here.

Health Insurance Industry, Big Pharmaceuticals Launch Michael Moore Smear Campaign

From Think Progress

In his new movie SiCKO, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore exposes the deplorable practices of the major health insurance and pharmaceutical companies in working to deny coverage to individuals who are insured. As Moore told ABC’s Nightline:

There’s no getting around the fact that people are dying in this country as a result of the decisions that get made by these health insurance companies. People are dying in this country because they can’t afford the pharmaceuticals because of the price gauging that takes place.

For his damaging exposé of the health care industry, Moore is now under attack from front groups supported and funded by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. The New York Sun reports:

The pharmaceutical industry and think tanks it backs financially are readying a multifaceted counteroffensive against Michael Moore’s film about the health care industry. […]

The drug companies and their allies have been on their toes ever since the movie was being filmed, when they warned personnel to watch out for film crews from the “Fahrenheit 9/11″ director. But in advance of the film’s release, they are upping the volume and the tempo of their activities.

Armed with the plenty of cash from the health care industry, these organizations are lobbing personal insults against Moore and propagating the message of those invested in maintaining the status quo. Some examples:

FreedomWorks: FreedomWorks has launched a new campaign claiming that policies favored by Moore, “healthy individuals” would “wind up subsidizing people like Moore, who are overweight and and/or live decidedly unhealthy lifestyles by frequenting fast-food restaurants, smoke, or use drugs.” FreedomWorks is run by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, whose PAC has received significant contributions from the health care industry. Several industry members serve on its board of directors. Additionally, it has a deal with Medical Savings Insurance Co. allowing the company’s brokers “sell high-deductible insurance policies and tax-free savings plans at a group discount to buyers who join the conservative political organization.”

CATO Institute: CATO receives funding from multiple insurance and pharmaceutical companies, including Amerisure Insurance, Pfizer, and Merck. It has written numerous pieces attacking Moore’s film, arguing that he “ignores the positive side of American health care” and instead “focuses on life expectancy.” It held an event after the DC premiere of the film, screening conservative films that “highlight problems” with “government-run health care.”

Manhattan Institute: The Manhattan Institute receives funding from multiple pharmaceutical giants such as Bristol-Myers Squibb. One of its senior fellows started a site called Free Market Cure, which argues SiCKO is “set to inject a large dose of misinformation and propaganda into our national dialog about health care policy.” The group is advising reporters covering SiCKO that scholars “at the institute’s Center for Medical Progress…were available to comment on the health care industry.”

Other health-care industry front groups — such as the Galen Institute, Pacific Research Institute, and the Heritage Foundation — have recently launched their own attacks on Moore’s film.

For the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, Michael Moore’s film exposing their history and their misdeeds is a serious threat, and they have no shortage of funds to try to distort it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Documents Offer Unflattering View of CIA

WASHINGTON — Little-known documents made public Thursday detail illegal and scandalous activities by the CIA more than 30 years ago _ wiretappings of journalists, kidnappings, warrantless searches and more.

The documents provide a glimpse of nearly 700 pages of materials that the agency has declassified and plans to release next week.

A six-page summary memo declassified in 2000 and released by The National Security Archive at George Washington University outlines 18 activities by the CIA that "presented legal questions" and were discussed with President Ford in 1975.

Among them:

_The "two-year physical confinement" in the mid-1960s of a Soviet defector.

_CIA wiretapping in 1963 of two columnists, Robert Allen and Paul Scott, following a newspaper column in which national security information was disclosed. The wiretapping revealed calls from 12 senators and six congressmen but did not indicate the source of the leak.

_The "personal surveillances" in 1972 of Pulitzer Prize-winning muckraking columnist Jack Anderson and staff members including Les Whitten and Britt Hume. The surveillance involved watching the targets but no wiretapping. The memo said it followed a series of "tilt toward Pakistan" stories by Anderson.

_The personal surveillance of Washington Post reporter Mike Getler over three months beginning in late 1971. No specific stories are mentioned in the memo.

Much of the decades-old activities have been known for years. But Tom Blanton, head of the National Security Archive, said the 1975 summary memo prepared by Justice Department lawyers had never been publicly released. It sheds light on meetings in the top echelon of government that were little known by the public, he said.

CIA Director Michael Hayden called the documents being released next week unflattering, but he added that "it is CIA's history."

"The documents provide a glimpse of a very different time and a very different agency," Hayden told a conference of historians on Thursday.

Blanton pointed to more recent concerns, such as post-Sept. 11 programs that included warrantless wiretapping. "The resonance with today's controversies is just uncanny," he said.

The documents were compiled at the direction of CIA director James Schlesinger in 1973. In the wake of the Watergate scandal, he directed senior CIA officials to report immediately on any current or past agency matters that might fall outside the authority of the agency.

___

On the Net:

The documents can be found at: http://www.nsarchive.org

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Behold a Pale Horse


William Cooper, a former military intelligence officer and world renowned lecturer and writer, was killed in a suspicious 2001 police shootout in his Arizona home. Author of the best selling underground book of all time, "Behold A Pale Horse," his top secret intelligence document discoveries provide proof positive the Illuminati intends mass destruction of half the world's population, reaching its diabolical goal in what the author terms 'the age of deception.

MICHAEL MOORE: “Sicko” in the Congress



Health care lobbyists skip SiCKO screening.

Michael Moore recently put out newspaper advertisements inviting 900 health care industry lobbyists to a free screening of his new film SiCKO. But at the showing last night, only about a dozen actually showed up. “They’re probably busy doing what they do, which is make life miserable for the rest of us,” said Moore.

Michael J Fox discusses Bush's med veto

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ghost of Tricky Dicky

Sorry, I like the Parrot one better


This is NOT endorsement of Hillary Clinton by me

They keep Bashing Bloggers

Think Progress » ‘Fox News All-Stars’ Bash Progressive Bloggers As ‘Pungent,’ ‘Profane,’ ‘A Pox’

‘Fox News All-Stars’ Bash Progressive Bloggers As ‘Pungent,’ ‘Profane,’ ‘A Pox’

Last night on Special Edition, the “Fox News All-Stars,” used this week’s Take Back America conference as an oppurtunity to bash progressive bloggers.

Describing bloggers as “a pox,” Roll Call editor Mort Kondracke compared them to right-wing talk radio, charging that they are preventing “American problems” from being solved:

KONDRAKE: They are the leftward pressure on the Democratic Party that the right-wing talk show hosts are on the Republican party. And between the two of them they manage to polarize even further an already polarized politics, making it increasingly difficult to get any American problems solved, like health care, or the war in Iraq, or sensible terrorism policy.

NPR’s Mara Liasson also compared bloggers to the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth because “that was on the internet too.”

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer added that conservative blogs are “more analytical and restrained” while “the more liberal blogs are a lot more pungent and profane.”

THE PARROT - FINAL EPISODE


Pirates spoof of 'Sopranos'
By L.A. Johnson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Just a small-town [bird]
Livin' in a lonely world ...

-- sung to opening strains of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' "

"Sopranos" fans received a treat at last weekend's Pittsburgh Pirates games: The debut of "The Parrot," a clever and comic video spoof of the loved, loathed and hotly debated final scene of "The Sopranos." The video appeared on the PNC Park JumboTron during pitching changes in the series with the Chicago White Sox.

As the video begins, we see the Pirate Parrot (a k a Tony Soprano) striding across a dark street toward the entrance to a diner. (Ritters - Use to live one block away - great late night bacon cheeseburgers -wolf) Bells dangling from the front door ring as he enters. Seated at a booth, the Pirate Parrot flips through the song choices on the tabletop jukebox. Just like his HBO counterpart, he selects Journey's 1981 Top 10 single "Don't Stop Believin'."

Bells jingle again and the song begins as Captain Jolly Roger (a k a the Pirate a k a Carmela Soprano) enters the diner and slides into a booth across from the Pirate Parrot.

A menacing young man in a Members Only jacket walks into the diner followed by Oliver Onion pierogi, who joins the group. The waitress serves the table a plate of onion rings. (Not sure how Oliver feels about being served up a fried side of his innards). Then, Jalapeno Hannah pierogi pulls up outside, trying to parallel park a Pirates panel truck, just like Meadow trying to maneuver that Lexus (and evidently a model that doesn't parallel park itself). Once parked, Hannah runs toward the diner. The song swells. Her little purse swings with each step. The Pirate Parrot looks up, then, the screen goes black.

And the crowd cheered, at least those who knew it was a "Sopranos" parroty, um, we mean, parody.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Clinton Did It Too, NOT!!!

Snow Responds To Potentially Illegal Use Of RNC Accounts: Clinton Did It Too


House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday released a report documenting how White House officials have regularly used RNC and Bush-Cheney ‘04 e-mail accounts for official government business, in apparent violation of the Hatch Act. The report also found that the RNC has overseen “extensive destruction” of these e-mails, which would likely violate the Presidential Records Act.

During yesterday’s press briefing, White House spokesman Tony Snow brushed aside this direct evidence of potential illegality. His response: Clinton did it too. “Those email accounts were set up on a model based on the prior administration, which had done it the same way, in order to try to avoid Hatch Act violations.”

Snow’s statement is false. In 1993, President Clinton’s then-Assistant to the President John Podesta issued a staff memo clearly stating that all administration e-mails dealing with official business had to be “incorporated into an official recordkeeping system,” stressing that no “e-mail document that is a Presidential record should be deleted.”

The Clinton administration’s policy also made clear that personal and political e-mail accounts — which are generally exempt from the Presidential Records Act — could not be used for official business. Indeed, the Bush administration has seemingly implemented a policy opposite of the Clinton administration’s.

Read the full memo HERE.

Have you ever felt like leaving?

Iraq Veterans Against the War on Good Morning America

True That!

Think Progress

ABC’s Charles Gibson slams Fox News in a commencement address at Union College on Saturday:

[D]on’t disparage the mainstream media. The editor of your hometown newspaper or the producers of network newscasts don’t have 30 or 40 years of experience for nothing. When you see a news organization get fixated on non-stop coverage of Paris Hilton, or Anna Nicole Smith, or Michael Jackson, go elsewhere.

When an announcer says, “It’s a report you have to see,” you probably don’t. When an anchor says, “shocking details,” they probably aren’t. When a reporter claims his news is “fair and balanced,” it probably isn’t. And, when politicians say, “I’m going to level with you,” they probably won’t.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Typical Snow Job

My favorite teacher in High School was Mr. Teats. He was a wonderful history teacher and Dean of boys. You couldn't cut classes when he was around cause his rooms window was right above the side door of the school. Sure as shit he'd run down those steps and catch you. He would give tests every Friday cause he didn't want us to catch Fridayits (taking an early weekend). He was the first person I ever heard use the term Snow Job (if you tried bluffing your way through a question if you didn't know the answer or in other words BULLSHIT). Here is some Bullshit from Tony Snow.

Helen Thomas: Are there any members of the Bush family or this administration in this war?

Snowjob: Yeah, the President. The President is in the war every day.

Helen Thomas: Come on, that isn’t my question –

Snowjob: Well, no, if you ask any president who is a commander in chief –

Helen Thomas: On the frontlines, where ever…

Snowjob: The President.

25 years ago yesterday


I use to think Tricky Dicky was the worst President

Bush got him beat by a mile
.Watergate Break In happened 25 years ago

What’s an Iraqi life worth?

“For the U.S. military in Iraq, it may be roughly the same” as an Iraqi car. A recent Government Accountability Report finds that the Pentagon “has set $2,500 as the highest individual sum that can be paid” to Iraqi civilians killed “as a result of U.S. and coalition forces’ actions during combat.” “Most death payments remain at that level, with a rough sliding scale of $1,000 for serious injury and $500 for property damage.”

from Think Progress

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A NEW 9/11 COULD EXTEND BUSH'S TERM IN OFFICE.

THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE: UNDER MAY 9 DIRECTIVE, A NEW 9/11 COULD EXTEND BUSH'S TERM IN OFFICE.
A message to all those concerned with the 2008 presidential election - Republican, Democratic and independent: it's irrelevant.

Who cares whether your candidate is for or against abortion or gay marriage or tweaking the health care system? Who cares how he/she feels about Ronald Reagan? Who cares if they are for or against impeachment? It's as irrelevant as Jimmy Carter's observations on George W. Bush are not.

We, as Americans, are in a vast state of denial. We're acting as if everything is OK, as if times were normal, as if we can carry on, in 2008, as though the Bush administration never happened.

But everything that has not already changed is changing now.

A chill ran through my body a few days ago when the news broke that President Bush authorized the CIA to conduct a covert "black" operation to "destabilize the Iranian government."

According to ABC News, the plan includes "a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions." And this is in addition to our current massive multinational show of Naval force in the Persian Gulf.

At this point on the Outrage Express (which is what I call the bullet-train of fear that's been running through my veins since George W. Bush became President) I have two main focuses.

One is that the man is mad enough to start another war - possibly with nuclear weapons - against Iran. No diplomacy, no concern for life, no immediate threat, no nothing. And this is already well under way.

The other is that somehow, in some way, God - the one Mr. Bush claims is talking him through all of this madness, mayhem and murder - will convince him that times are so dangerous that he must stay in office even after his term is over.

I hear you saying, "She's paranoid, right?"

Then take a look at National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51, also called Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20.

Under this directive, President Bush entrusts himself with leading the entire government - not just the Executive Branch - during a "catastrophic emergency."

He makes himself the American czar, in keeping with the war czar and the drug czar and whatever else kind of crazy czar he's got down there in Washington.

The correct word for it, however, would be "dictator."

Read the directive for yourself. It was released by the White House on May 9, and can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509.

Health care industry braces for Sicko.

Think Progress » Health care industry braces for Sicko.

Health care industry braces for Sicko.

The U.S. health-care industry has the June 29 premiere of Michael Moore’s new film Sicko “circled on its calendar… For-profit providers of health care are the controversial and award-winning filmmaker’s latest target.”

“I don’t think Michael Moore set out to make a balanced movie,” said Karen Ignagni, president America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group. “He set out to make a movie about government-run systems and imposing them on the United States as the solution to the health-care crisis.” […]

Managed-health-care provider Amerigroup Corp.’s chairman and chief executive, Jeff McWaters, in his remarks at a recent investment-banking conference, listed the film’s coming release among the “headline risks” for the industry overall.

The trade group that represents the drug industry, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, issued a statement last month deriding both the movie and Moore himself. […]

Moore “has no intention of being fair and balanced,” [the group’s vice president Ken] Johnson said.

In the run-up to a Washington DC screening of Sicko, Moore has taken out a front-page ad listing dozens of health care lobbyists by name, inviting them to watch the film.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Amp'd Mobile - Lil' Bush "Hot Dog" Pilot

Saturday Jazz Concert


This one is for my friend Biff Brown
Miles Davis - Bitches Brew Part 1
Saw Miles play this at the Filmore East way back when

Asshole of the Week


This weeks Asshole is (drum roll please) - Bill O'Reilly
Please vote for your favorite Ahole in the comments

Political Cartoon of the Week

Saturday Cat Blogging with Pook

No, I didn't get you anything for fathers day
Now leave me alone!

Fathers Day For Peace

MANUSCRIPT GOES ON THE ROAD

This book and it's author had a huge influence on me when I was young.

Jack Kerouac's original manuscript-on-a-scroll for his novel On the Road has toured 11 cities since 2004, and today it lands at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum in Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Mass., for a golden anniversary celebration (through Oct. 14; ontheroad.org). From there, it heads to the New York Public Library (Nov. 9-Feb. 22). Stops for 2008 include Austin (March 7-May 31); Indianapolis (July 1-Sept. 30); and Chicago (Oct. 3-Nov. 30).

When Kerouac set out to record his impressions of several cross-country trips he made in the late 1940s, he typed them single-spaced and without paragraphs on a 9-inch-wide scroll. It was made from 12-foot-long strips of semi-translucent paper that were taped together so they could be fed into the typewriter without interruption. At the end of his marathon three-week writing session in spring 1951, the scroll had grown to nearly 120 feet long. The work was revised several times and finally published in September 1957 by Viking Press.

In 2001, the scroll was auctioned off for $2.43 million to Indianapolis Colts owner James Irsay, who authorized the tour.

The River of Freedom


Friday, June 15, 2007

Employee Service Awards Night


Once a year Mercy has an awards night dinner for some of it's employees. I usually don't go to these things but this one was right down the block from my apartment. So I said what the heck, It was a free meal. The young lady standing next to me is OSN's Social Worker Ms Stephanie who was nominated for a special award. Good going girl. I am holding my fifteen year award. Not seen is my fellow out reach worker and medical van driver Mark who got the thirty year award. In my years of service to the community I have received a number of awards and stuff. None of it decorates my walls because awards are not what it's about - It's about helping people in need. I was there there once and this is the way I pay back people who were there for me when I was down and out.

Why The Government doesn't want you to See Sicko

                  


                                   

I just got done watching Michael Moore's new film Sicko. At times I watched with tears in my eyes as I remembered how my bro's wife and my friend Kathy died while waiting for an HMO to approve a treatment that would have saved her life. Other times I cheered as I saw people in every country that Mike visited get free health care. The only thing you hear from the right wing idiots about this film is that Mike Moore snuck in to Cuba with some loonies. The right wing idiots fail to tell you that these "So called" Loonies were 9 11 heroes who are now suffering from the effects of all that dust. I must admit that Mike did get a little over dramatic taking two boats of the 9 11 heroes to Gitmo and demanding that they get the same free treatment that the US Government gives the prisoners. I was amazed to see that the same inhaler that I use and cost $120 here cost 5 cents there.

The documentary takes us through the formation of our present health care system, thanks to Richard Nixon and his pals, the whole HMO insurance rip off denial of treatments to hospital dumping or refusing poor people. Mike travels the world and gives us a look at many other countries free health care systems, I won't spoil it for you by going into more details about the movie. It's a Must See. I only hope you get as mad as I have been for years at our messed up system of care and together maybe we can change the system.

I have been working in one capacity or another for many years with the homeless of my city. I work as a homeless out reach worker with doctors, nurses and med students, providing free health care to homeless folks where ever they may be. Doc Andy just got back from Vietnam and Cambodia. He's been all over the world. Doc Jim (who started OSN) is also a world traveler and has now started an international organization for Street Medicine. Doc Kelly goes back to Nam every year. Doc Kelly was there for the war and is one of those friendly Republicans that knows we need a national health care system here. Two of my favorite med students (the Twins) have been to Africa twice and plan on going back again.

The Time IS NOW for a National Health Care System!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The U.S. Aid to Israel


from the Documentary film “Occupation 101″ (2006) trailer

IRAQ STUDY GROUP: Violence Has Continued and Gotten Worse


A Petition on the War On Iraq and more

From 2Plotical Junkies Blog

The Pittsburgh Vets Tour belives in SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS BY BRING THEM HOME. To that end, they have created a downloadable petition that you can sign and collect signitures from others.

The Pittsburgh Vets Tour is a city-wide speaking tour featurning Iraq Vets and military families. The tour kicked off on Wednesday, May 23rd.

The Tour is also a vehicle to advance the above linked petition to City Council demanding the immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq; reparations for the destruction and corporate pillaging of Iraq so that Iraqi people can control their own lives and future; and full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.

What does Pittsburgh City Council have to do with the War on Iraq, you may well ask? Proclamations of this kind help to provide courage to the convictions of our representatives in D.C. who can do something about the war.

Other groups such as The Thomas Merton Center and Democracy for Pittsburgh are supporting the petition drive, but EVERYONE can help gather names. Petition signatures will be collected through September. Although the petition is to be presented to the Pittsburgh City Council, the TMC and the P'VT are encouraging all local residents, county as well as city to sign the petitionas this is not the sort of petition that needs to meet an legal requirements (such as if it were to get a referendum or a candidate on the ballot).

Sudan Divestment Authorization Act

Your help is needed to push an important bill that would help end the violence by empowering states to divest their pension funds from companies that help fund the genocide in Darfur.

Unfortunately, this crucial bill has been stuck in the Senate Banking Committee for the last two months.

When lives are being lost, two months is far too long to sit on such an important bill!
Urge Senator Dodd to make sure the crucial Sudan Divestment Authorization Act comes to a vote on the Senate floor without further delays!

You can CLICK HERE to send your letter now.

Give Greener Cars the Green Light

Even though the debate about global warming has moved from "is it happening?" to "how do we slow it down?" -- meaningful action at the federal level could be a ways off.

And unfortunately, the Bush Administration's EPA is blocking California and 11 other states from implementing tailpipe standards to reduce global warming pollution from cars and SUVs. For nearly a year and a half, the EPA has refused to grant a stamp of approval (called a Clean Air Act "waiver"), and air pollution has been higher than it needs to be.

The public comment period ends this Friday June 15th, so take action right away in support of state-level efforts to combat global warming.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Last Comic Standing

I only watch one reality show and it's back - Last Comic Standing
The most comics are in Washington D.C and they are not funny, but you can catch this show on NBC Wednesday nights. There is so much Bullshit happening in the world these days, Take Some Time out to Laugh.
You will feel better

U.S. act would make spyware legal

If you ever needed proof that big media and big government are a big crock of... well, let's just say look no further than the SPY Act. The U.S. House of Representatives already sold you down the river but, the bill is currently making it's slimy way through the Senate. The EFF has an action alert on how you can tell your Senator exactly what you think of making it legal for the recording industry to install spyware on your box.

The EFF's alert puts it succinctly, "The SPY Act is supposed to help stop spyware, deceptive adware, and other malicious software, but it is unlikely to do any good and could actually make things worse. If enacted, it would block lawsuits similar to the one EFF brought against Sony-BMG for infecting customers' computers with privacy-invasive copy protection."

The EFF did PC users a serious solid by slapping Sony for invading your machine through trojaned music CDs. This bill would essentially give the media industry carte-blanche to install what they wish any time you insert a disc you've paid for.

[via Boing Boing]