Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Move

This picture is from the Documentary that is posted below. We were in Ronny's office when we got the word that US Steal was closing down our Mill. Thats me on the left and Jay on the right.

There wasn't any posts Saturday because I've been busy packing. I will be moving to a place where I can get help with my various illnesses. It's been long over due. The sad part is that there won't be any Pook posts because I can't take him with me (Sigh). I have no idea what kind of net connection there is where I am going. If there isn't any I won't be posting as often. Downtown Pittsburgh has free internet so perhaps I can post from there. We shall see.
Hey, look how young I looked 22 years ago. And dig that hair cut, LOL. My hair is all gray now and I'm not as skinny... Hopefully I will return soon
Love Wolf
My E-mail addy is wolfdancer5@gmail.com if you wish to keep in touch if I can't get connected.
thanks for supporting my rants

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Business of America


WOW!!!!! I can't Believe that I found this documentary on the web. This is a story of what happened here in the steel valley in the 80s. My Friends and myself are in it. I'm even in the credits. Please watch it so I don't have to explain over and over what it was like here when US Steal pulled out of Pittsburgh. Pictures of The Big Gray Ugly (see the 1st post on this blog for the poem I wrote about those times). Pictures of the Local 1397 Food Bank that I helped start. Pictures of Jay, Mike and me. Father Rice the Labor Priest. All these memories come rushing back

A Boot in Yer Protest Song


The Government's Sick War on Marijuana


Hope Pook doesn't see this



BREAKING: Horrific Twist In Pat Tillman Investigation

By: Logan Murphy Crooks and Liars

“This war is so fucking illegal.” (Patrick Tillman)

From the AP:

SAN FRANCISCO -

Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman’s forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player’s death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

“The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,” a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

In other words, Pat Tillman was most likely murdered in the field. In cold blood. By other US soldiers.

This must be what the Bush Administration was trying so desperately to hide behind their all purpose “Executive Privilege” shield. Read more…

I don’t have the words. Rage would be an understatement. To think that our f*#king president is using executive privilege to cover this up defies all sense of human decency. I can only hope that the nightmare the Tillman family has been put through will come to an end someday. Heads need to roll at the highest levels of both the military and the government…

Faces of american poverty


Thursday, July 26, 2007

COUNTRY JOE - Support The Troops


Iraq War Veteran tell the truth about the Iraq war


Unlike the trooper in the video below this man has regrets

"You're F**king Famous Now !"


Warning-Warning-Warning
An American soldier boasts of having tortured Iraqis and making a 15 years old Iraqi girl commit suicide after she had been raped.

FOX Attacks: Bloggers


The Fight for Freedom in Oaxaca


From Axis of Justice Website

Also check out Rock the Bells : Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and Others

As some of you may remember, the teachers of the Mexican state of Oaxaca held a protest in Spring 2006, asking for better wages and improvements to schools and classrooms. The protest turned into a larger movement, with progressives from all over the state joining in denouncing the government and calling for the removal of their corrupt governor.

But in the fall, the government lashed out, killed and kidnapping dozens, forcing the movement underground. But in the following months, the activists have resurfaced, slowing rebuilding momentum. Last week, a yearly Oaxacan festival was attacked by police, and turned into a full on street battle, with several killed and dozens injured. Pictures of the event and attacks can be seen here, here and here.

The main activist group in Oaxaca has sent out this message asking for help. Please read and show your support.

URGENT ACTION NEEDED---PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY

OAXACA IS NOT ALONE: STOP THE MASSACRE!

The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) has issued an international call for “mobilizations in your own places of origin, to integrate yourselves into a human wall to stop the massacre against the people of Oaxaca.”

This call comes in the wake of the violent repression suffered by the peoples of Oaxaca on July 16, 2007, at the hands of police, military and paramilitary forces as they attempted to celebrate the People's Guelaguetza. As we write this, the repression has already escalated, with police and military forces occupying and completely surrounding the city.

We have reports directly from APPO and VOCAL that a major offensive is expected against the movement beginning tomorrow, Monday 22nd, as the people attempt to boycott the government's official "Guelaguetza."

Along with the petition calls that have already gone out (below) and the call for all visitors to Oaxaca to boycott the official Gueleguetza, the APPO is calling for demonstrations and mobilizations of international solidarity like those that occurred around the world last October and November.

Take Action:

  • Hold demonstrations and solidarity actions at the Mexican Consulate closest to you.
  • Document your actions and spread the word through independent media.
  • Flood the phone lines and write letters of protest to the Mexican officials listed below.

Demand:

  • End police repression, harassment, and intimidation of the social and
    popular movements in Oaxaca
  • Condemn governmental actions and indiscriminate use of force by the
    State and Federal police
  • Demand the release of all political prisoners, holding Federal and State officials responsible in the case of arbitrary detentions and disappearances of civilians.

Let the people of Oaxaca know that they are not alone. Let them know we are with them.

Mexican Consulates in the U.S. and Canada:
http://elenemigocomun.net/128

A Full Report on the Battle for Oaxaca, July 16, 200:
http://elenemigocomun.net/1070

More Information:

Weed Wars


House Votes Against Medical Marijuana

ALBERTO GONZALES REPEATEDLY LIED TO THE SENATE


AGENT *W* GET SMARTER

Senators Call Bush’s Veto Of Children’s Health Insurance Program ‘Outrageous’ And ‘Offensive’

Congress is currently considering legislation to reauthorize and expand the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which currently insures close to 6 million children. The new proposal would expand “current levels of spending by $35 billion over the next five years” and “reduce the number of uninsured children by 4.1 million.”

Six Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee voted for the SCHIP expansion, which is being heavily opposed by the tobacco industry. But “in an unexpected turn of events,” the conservative leadership announced that it is caving to President Bush’s demands and is objecting to the legislation.

Bush has promised to veto the SCHIP expansion. Today in an event at the Center for American Progress, Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) sharply criticized the veto threat:

Casey: [Bush] wants to give a billion dollars a year of an increase for children’s health insurance, and tens of billions — by one estimate as much as a hundred billion dollars — in tax cuts to wealthy people. … I don’t understand it and we are not going to accept that because fortunately, unlike a lot of things on Capitol Hill, there is bipartisan agreement on this.

Clinton: [I]f he wants to have part of his legacy be vetoing the child health insurance program then we’ll try to override the veto because this is absolutely an imperative. … I just think it’s outrageous and offensive that the President would threaten to veto this legislation.

From Think Progress Blog

House Judiciary Committee Votes To Recommend Contempt Charges Against Miers, Bolten


Here is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA29) urging the committee to vote for contempt:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A snowman's biggest question

It's Just one of those days



Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie ~ Bob Dylan


Dylan says it so well in this poem. I didn't have it easy when I was a kid. One of my escapes was music. I listened to a lot of Woody Guthrie songs back then. Read his books. Perhaps it's one of the reasons why I think outside the box. Some years later I ran into a guy that called himself John Brown who played and sung Woody songs when I moved to Greenwich Village with my trusty blues harp. He strummed and sung while I backed him up on my harp in Washington Square. Playing for nickels and dimes, sometimes dollars. We got a few gigs at the Back Fence but John left town in a hurry one day, never to be seen again. That was the end of my folk music career. A few weeks later my St. Marks Place Commune started a Blues Band but thats another story.
Check out this link for a great Woody Song, read the book and see the movie.
Grapes of Wrath - Tom Joad

Here is my favorite part of the movie

Vendor Arrested for “Impeach Him” Buttons

By: Nicole Belle

KEYEtv.com (CBS): (h/t JazzTrombone)

A 74-year-old retired mathematician who sells anti-Bush buttons at a Maryland farmers’ market has become a symbol of free speech to some people. Others say Alan McConnell is a nuisance.

McConnell was at the market in Kensington as usual yesterday, selling buttons that say “Impeach Him” He has sold the $1 buttons for months; he told The Washington Post he uses the money earned to pay for “Impeach Them Both” yard signs.

Town officials had previously warned McConnell about peddling his political wares at the market (he is accused of being “aggressive” in his pitch), and had cited him for selling merchandise without a proper permit.

McConnell was also warned that he would be arrested if he returned to the market, even though it is public property.

McConnell showed up this weekend, when police arrested him and forcibly carried him to a squad car. A crowd of about 40 McConnell supporters booed the arrest, chanting “Free speech!”

McConnell was charged with trespassing; he faces 90 days in jail and a $500 fine

Officials said kicking him out has nothing to do with politics but with fears that the atmosphere fostered by McConnell and his supporters would create a safety hazard. (Mayor Peter Fosselman even cancelled last Saturday’s market.)

It’s getting harder and harder to recognize this country some days…

From Crooks and Liars Blog

Bachmann On Her Trip To Iraq: It’s Like Visiting The ‘Mall Of America’

This month, Bachmann traveled to Iraq, and despite more GOP defections from Bush’s base of support, she returned as firm as ever in her conviction that the war is justified. Al-Qaida, she said, “doesn’t show any signs of letting up.” The congressional delegation met with Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces.

What was the palace like?

“It’s absolutely huge,” she said. “I turned to my colleagues and said there’s a commonality with the Mall of America, in that it’s on that proportion. There’s marble everywhere. The other thing I remarked about was there is water everywhere. He had man-made lakes all around his personal palace — one for fishing, one for boating.”

Cheney's Truth Blooper


Bush’s Polyps Hold News Conference


More Colon Jokes, ho hummmm

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

LAUGH DAY KEEPS THE DOC AWAY

ABC News runs debate on newer electroshock, quotes MindFreedom

ABC News web site ran a "pro and con" piece about so-called "new" electroshock using supposedly brief pulse electricity to induce a convulsion. Several movement activists and MindFreedom members, including director David Oaks, are quoted. You can comment on the ABC web site.


ABC used an image from the film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" for their story, a frequent graphic used in mainstream media stories on shock. Actually, the film minimized the long-term hazards of even the older-style electroshock.

ABC News

20 July 2007

A link to the original ABC News web site article is here:

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=3397685&page=1

Electroshock Therapy Gets a Makeover

Despite Changes, ECT Still Stirs Controversy

By SIBILE MORENCY

Amy, a New York resident, had her first electroshock treatment at the age of 72 & and despite the stigma that electroshock is a brutal, outdated procedure for treating psychiatric health, she said it's been a miracle for her.

And it's probably more common than most people believe.

"I started 10 years ago when I was very depressed. I was diagnosed as bipolar. I took medicine -- Prozac, a whole slew of them -- but they didn't help," she said. "Then a psychiatrist told one of my friends that I should have ECT. My friends told me to get ECT. It was the only solution, I couldn't go on the way I was. After ECT, everyone told me it was a miracle."

Amy, who asked that her last name not be used, is now 82 and continues to receive electroshock therapy regularly.

Although she admits that after each procedure she has a headache and her memory is temporarily "a little bit off," she insists that ECT has been a success for her.

"I know there's a lot of negative. I think it's a rather painless procedure. It's wonderful," she said. "If medicine doesn't work, then yes, I would recommend it to someone else."

The New Face of ECT

Since its terrifying depiction in the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," electroshock, or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has changed dramatically. According to doctors who use it, the administration of the anesthetic, changes in the type of electricity used and the way seizures are triggered have transformed the procedure, making it safer and more effective.

The latest clinically available form of ECT, called ultrabrief pulse unilateral, uses a briefer stimulus that lasts for .25 to .3 milliseconds, according to Dr. Sarah Lisanby at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. The difference in the type of electricity used allows doctors to induce seizures with lower amounts of electricity then was previously possible.

"It does away with lifelong memory loss," said Dr. Harold Sackheim, a leading proponent of ECT and chief of the department of biological psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. "If there is any memory loss, it's markedly reduced."

ECT Not Uncommon

Although there are no national reporting requirements for the number of procedures performed, experts estimate that approximately 100,000 patients a year in the United States and several million worldwide receive ECT. According to Dr. Mustafa Husain, the director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Training Program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the newer version of ECT is becoming the standard in practice, particularly at academic medical centers and clinics due to its relatively low amount of adverse effects on the brain.

"We started the new ECT almost a year ago. All of our equipment is now ultrabrief pulse," he said.
Critics Call ECT Russian Roulette

Despite support from many well-respected physicians, ECT is still controversial. Critics view the procedure as a dangerous game of Russian roulette that should be banned.

"You hear from people who succeed. You don't hear from people who lost wedding or childbirth memories," said David Oaks, director of MindFreeedom, a nonprofit organization focused on human rights campaigns in mental health.

Dr. Peter Breggin, founder of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, is a staunch opponent of the practice.

"If you were in your kitchen, touched your stove and got a convulsion, you would be in the hospital. It would be treated as an emergency. You might even be given anti-seizure medication to ensure that you do not get another convulsion," Breggin said. "Psychiatry is the only place where you damage the brain and call it a cure."

Because unilateral ECT is a shock to the nondominant, nonverbal side of the brain, controls a person's intuition, creativity and emotions, Breggin said patients may have a harder time explaining the side effects they might experience.

"So people when damaged on the nonverbal side can't tell you about it. It's a ruse," Breggin insisted. "Ultrabrief pulse unilateral is still damaging the brain, but it's less obvious. It cures by creating a delirium in which the patient is incapable of normal human emotion."

John Breeding, an Austin, Texas, psychologist, is alarmed by the state of the industry.

"The shock industry is the Enron of mental health. If they're honest, and you ask them, 'How does shock work,' they'll say they don't really know," Breeding said.

Oaks agreed.

"They look at a problem as physical -- drug, drug, drug, drug, drug -- then they'll try shock. The system is so oriented toward this medical model approach. Relapse rate is enormous, so what's their answer? Maintenance shock," he said. "What has happened in the industry is that research has discounted people's memories."

ECT experts recognize the controversial history of the procedure and acknowledge the stigma attached to it.

"The stigma affects providers and patients. The treatment is perceived by the public as brutal," Sackheim said. "Undoubtedly people don't receive the treatment, because they're afraid of it. In some cases it's quite tragic because they may not live."

ECT proponents hope that the newer form of ECT will encourage more people to seek the procedure to cure their depression.

"Finding ways to make ECT safer, beneficial, lowers barriers to accessing the efficacy of this procedure," said Dr. Lisanby.

Still Searching for a Cure

Doctors who use ECT are the first to admit that the complete cure for severe depression still eludes them.

"ECT can be rapidly effective in treating [depression] but always needs maintenance treatment to maintain effects," Lisanby said.

Don Weitz, co-founder of the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault, a group that opposes the use of ECT, said that the American public is in the dark about its use as a treatment.

"Most people think it no longer exists. When I meet people in the street, they say, 'You're kidding!' And it's increasingly for elderly women," Weitz said. "Two-thirds of people who get ECT are women. This is not a treatment. It always causes brain damage and it targets women."

ABC News

~~~~~~~~

To comment on this article on the ABC News web site go to the bottom of the article and click on "Read Comments and Post Your Own":

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=3397685&page=1

David Oaks has already published a comment:

~~~~~~~~

COMMENT by David Oaks published on ABC News web site:

I appreciate that the ABC journalist Sibile Morency included both sides of the debate about shock, which the American Medical Association called one of the most controversial in mental health. Too often I've seen mainstream media primarily emphasize shock industry sources. Thank you Sibile for including the voice of an activist, psychiatrist, psychologist and electroshock survivor who disagree with the procedure.

That said, I would appreciate a human rights focus. It's easy for us all to disagree about what care we seek for ourselves. But I hope we all agree on three key human rights points when it comes to electroshock.

First, full informed consent is crucial; however, all informed consent material we've seen for electroshock is flawed. A British study found that shock researchers tend to unfairly discount subjective reports of memory problems after shock, and this may be one reason why informed consent is fraudulent.

Second, what about alternatives? Domination by the medical model is a problem. The drug, drug, drug, drug, drug, drug, drug, shock approach chokes out a huge range of proven alternatives for people who are even in extreme and overwhelming despair. Many of our members have reached full long-term recovery, even following multiple unsuccessful suicide attempts, with a variety of more humane, more sustainable, less harmful approaches. Why aren't more non-drug and non-shock alternatives offered? The industry maintains its authority by sticking primariily to one model, a medical model.

Finally, what about forced electroshock? We told Ms. Morency about heart breaking cases of involuntary electtroshock over the expressed wishes of the subject. Surely we can all agree that giving such an intrusive and potentially irreversible procedure over a citizen's objections violates core values, For more info see our web site www.mindfreedom.org, or e-mail me at oaks@mindfreedom.org. Speak out!

Sincerely, David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

Metalica - ONE


The great ONE video by Metalica. Video of war scenes.

SNL: Presidential Candidates on Oprah


DICK CHENEY AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS


Monday, July 23, 2007

Incredible String Band - Witches Hat


It was way back in the 196os (tittle to one of ISB's songs off the 5000 layers of the Onion) that Jorn and I sat around listening to this wonderful band in our little family commune up in Greenville PA. I have found memories of that place and time. We'd get mail addressed to THE FOOLS ON THE HILL from our friends in other states. Without a doubt the String Band Got us through some great times and weird ones as well. If you happen to come across Incredible String Band Music someplace, stop what your doing, listen and enjoy.

Red State Update: Gut Feeling


Jackie & Dunlap at the Harry Potter Book Release


BTW - Finished the Book Yesterday

"How to Create an Angry American" or a Bush Lies Montage


No End In Sight - Trailer


Award Winning Documentary open July 27th

FEINGOLD CALLS TO CENSURE BUSH & CHENEY


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday Cat Blogging with Pook

Two Hep Cats

Saturday Rock'in with The Airplane


Asshole of the Week


Mike Vic - The NFL and Falcons are talking about paid vacation for the bum.
Not Good Enough!

Political Cartoon of the Week

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bush looking for his brain tomorrow



CHENEY TO BE PRESIDENT TOMORROW!


LMAO - I just went through this and I don't feel sorry for bush.

Generation Chickenhawk

Unneccessary Taser Use at Antiwar Demonstration


This happened a year ago at our recruitment center demo. I just found the video. The cops over reacted that day. Since then they have been a lot better and have avoided confrontations with us.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Black Sabbath - War Pigs


Bother Bob sent me the Lyrics

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of death's construction
In the fields the bodies burning as the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds... Oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait 'till their judgment day comes, yeah!

Now in darkness, world stops turning
As the war machine keeps burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of god has struck the hour
Day of judgment, god is calling on their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
All right now!


Elizabeth Edwards Strong Advocate For Gay Rights


Elizabeth Edwards talking about the Sacramento Hate Crime and other Hate Crimes

Washington Times Propagates False Headline: ‘Senate Rejects Iraq Pullout’

In today’s paper, the Washington Times blatantly mischaracterizes yesterday’s Senate vote that failed to end the conservative filibuster over the Levin/Reed Iraq redeployment bill. In a front-page blaring headline, the Times reports: ‘Senate Rejects Iraq Pullout‘:


The headline is false and misleading for a couple of reasons.

– First, the vote taken by the Senate yesterday was not a “rejection” of the Iraq redeployment bill because the bill was not a vote on redeployment. Instead, it was a vote to end the conservative filibuster. Having failed to receive the necessary 60 votes, the Senate was unable to move to a final vote on whether or not to pass the Iraq redeployment legislation.

– Second, a majority of the Senate voted in favor of proceeding with the Levin/Reed bill. The final tally was 52-47. That’s hardly a rejection of an “Iraq pullout.”

Only the Washington Times would be brazen enough to say a majority of the Senate voting to proceed with a bill to change course in Iraq was actually the “Senate rejecting Iraq pullout.”

Atrios, Media Matters, and David Kurtz have caught other media distortions of the Senate’s action.

Story from http://thinkprogress.org/

The 11th Hour - TRAILER

Hello in There - John Prine


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CINDY SHEEHAN PLAYS HARDBALL

Highlights From The Iraq All-Nighter Outside The Capitol


And The Winner is!

Jerry Yang and 8.25 Million $$$$

Jerry Yang won the 2007 WSOP Main Event by playing a relentless aggressive style of poker from the call to shuffle up and deal at noon to the last hand of the heads up match with Tuan Lam after 4 am. Now he plans to take the $8.25 million he's won and start aggressively attacking the some of the ills of society.

What do you do for a living and will tomorrow be your last day on the job?

I am a psychologist and a social worker. I work with foster kids providing therapy and making sure they are being placed in a good home.

My plan when I go back home is to sit down with my boss, the owner of the company, and my gut feeling at this point is I think there are better purposes for me out there and I want to use the money to do some good. But I will be professional and I will give my two weeks notice. But my wife (a blackjack dealer) no more work for her.

We've heard your plan is to donate some of the money to charity right away. Any truth to this philanthropic rumor?

I will be donating ten per cent to the three following charities: The Make A Wish Foundation, Feed The Children and The Ronald MacDonald House.

I want to donate some of this money to help families ease some of their pain while they are going through the recovery process. Children mean a lot to me. I have six children of my own. When I was a child I was in a refugee camp and so I understand what it is to suffer physically, nutritionally. I used to have a big old stomach from lack of nutrition at the refugee camp in Thailand. I think children are our future and we should do whatever we can to help them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blogosphere Responds To O’Reilly’s Baseless Attacks On The Netroots

Think Progress » Blogosphere Responds To O’Reilly’s Baseless Attacks On The Netroots

Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly dedicated a segment to disingenuously attacking the upcoming YearlyKos convention, its namesake DailyKos, and one of the event’s sponsors, JetBlue. The Fox newsman who has encouraged terrorists to target San Francisco is now claiming that DailyKos is “one of the worst examples of hatred America has to offer.”

O’Reilly went on to compare the YearlyKos blogger convention to “a David Duke convention” while calling DailyKos “hatemongerers” like “the Ku Klux Klan” and “the Nazi Party.” Watch it:



Not only is O’Reilly’s “report” a textbook example of shoddy journalism — passing off an extreme minority of reader comments and diaries as representative of the site itself — but it also reveals his own intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.

As BooMan points out, one of the “hateful” comments O’Reilly parrots — “the Pope is a primate” — isn’t actually an insult. The prime definition of “primate,” the seemingly offending word, is actually:

pri·mate -noun
1. Ecclesiastical. an archbishop or bishop ranking first among the bishops of a province or country.

Furthermore, when Business Week Senior Writer Diane Brady notes that DailyKos is “an open forum” and anyone, even “lunatics,” can post there, O’Reilly dismisses her, saying “I have my own website. Open forum is bull. You can regulate what’s on your website.” O’Reilly doesn’t mention, however, that his website doesn’t have a public forum and the message boards are available only for a $50 annual membership fee.

Voices across the blogosphere have weighed in on the “report,” responding to different portions of O’Reilly’s disingenuous attack:

- McJoan points out that it’s not news that individuals “say stupid things on the Internet.”

- BarbinMD notes the many positive contributions DailyKos makes to the public discourse, such as the I Got The News Today series honoring fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

- Noting the irony, Kos posts some of the hateful email he has received as a result of the O’Reilly segment.

- Jeffery Feldman shows how O’Reilly has hosted “hateful” voices on his show numerous times in the past.

As Cenk of the Young Turks points out, thanks to O’Reilly’s declaration that he’ll never fly on JetBlue again, passengers can fly in comfort knowing their flight won’t be interrupted by Papa Bear.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I Can't Wait

Harry Potter Book Under High Security At Secret Locations
I started reading the Harry Potter books before they became a big deal. When I suggested that my coven mates read them, they laughed at me. I soon left that coven for other reasons. I wonder if they are still laughing about Harry. Here is my take on the two characters that die.
Harry and Voldemort of course. Reason - Harry will play the part of the sacrificial God - like Jesus or in my case one of the Pagan Gods - and destroy the evil lord. No worry though, Harry could come back as a Ghost like his Uncle. I could be totally wrong but we will have to wait till we finish reading the book won't we. Please don't be a lamer and skip to the last chapter and tell me.

Senator Bob Casey In The News

For all you non PA people Bob Casey is the Senator that ripped Tricky Ricky a new Ahole in the last election. From 2Political Junkies Blog

Here's something Senator Casey did recently:

Sen. Bob Casey stood on the Senate floor Wednesday and read the names of 169 soldiers killed in Iraq with ties to Pennsylvania.

He delivered a tribute to Pennsylvanians who have died in Iraq after voting for a measure that did not advance. The measure would have guaranteed that troops who fought in Iraq be allowed to stay home as long as they had been overseas.

Here's the text of what he said and a link to the video.

Earlier that day, the Republicans in the Senate killed the Webb amendment (S. 2012), an eminently logical amendment that would require the already overworked troops to be at home for at least as long as they were deployed in Iraq.

Senator Casey had this to say about the vote:

I am disappointed that procedural tactics were used to act as a rubberstamp for President Bush and to obstruct action to give troops more time at home between deployments. This amendment had the bipartisan support of 56 U.S. Senators.

After more than four years at war in Iraq and almost six years in Afghanistan, our troops have served multiple tours that have kept them away from their families and hurt our long-term military readiness.

We cannot state enough the effect that having a loved one deployed on what is often multiple tours has on a family or a community. Children are growing up seldom seeing their mothers or fathers. And by giving our troops less time to rest and train between deployments, our military readiness is undermined.”

And as I said, the Republican Senators dutifully killed the measure.

So much for supporting the troops.

Go watch the video. Casey reads the names of all 169 Pennsylvanians killed by dubya's war. They were real men and women with real families. Real lives ended. Someone has to pay some attention to them.

It made made Laugh when I needed one


I was in a lot of pain (the meds didn't kick in yet) while I was watching Poker After Dark. The weeks show came down to The Uni-Bomber and The Magician playing head to head for the $120G pot. This is funny even if you don't like Poker. BTW - The World Championship Of Poker Main Event is down to it's final table. Nine players will face off for 8 + million tomorrow and there are no Pro's among the finalists.

TOP 10: Bad Dick, Good Sex


Maybe this video will help us catch up a little. Thanks to all the folks who have e-mailed and left comments about my illness, and yes I feed Pook. I will be writing a little rant about my hospital stay when I feel a little better. Thanks again dear readers for your support.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wolf Home From Hospital

I just got home from a 5 day stay at Mercy Hospital. Seems that I have a little infection in my colon. I must say the scope thing they do, colonoscmy (sp) isn't bad but the gallon of stuff you have to drink the night before is wicked plus it cleans all the poop out of your system. I'm here, I'm weak and I will start posting asap. There are some other life changes I'm taking care of as well. 

Please keep me in your thoughts
love
wolf

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Update: Hate Crime

A young man is dead, the victim of hate and intolerance.
After many years of relative safety in the Sacramento area, the last several have seen virulent protest from radical fundamentalists including many Slavic church groups. Over the 4th of July weekend, the homophobic hatred turned deadly. Satendar Singh was killed in an attack at Lake Natomas on Sunday by a group of Russian-speaking men after they perceived him as gay. Satendar was a recent immigrant to America from Fiji, having won a lottery for a green card. Satendar earned the nickname "The Lucky One" among his family and friends.
A group of Slavic men picnicking with their families at the lake allegedly noticed that, Satendar did not have a female date, and he danced with both women and men in his party. Witnesses reported that the attackers began hurling anti-gay and racist invectives. As things escalated, the attackers sent their families home and called for backup. When a new group of Russian speaking men showed up, the party tried to leave, but were blocked by the attackers. One of the men struck Satendar, who fell unconscious, his head bleeding profusely. As the attackers went to their cars to get away, they hurled bottles at the members of Satendar’s party. One member of this party was a petite and young woman who is 6-months pregnant.
Satendar was taken to Mercy San Juan hospital. Tests indicated no brain activity due to the severe brain injury. Singh died on July 5th, 2007. His family and friends numbered over 100 at the hospital. Singh's parents live in Fiji with no way to come to Sacramento, so the painful decision to unplug his body from life support fell on his aunt and uncle. Singh’s body will be transported back to Fiji for burial.
A fund is being setup to help Satendar’s family with expenses. Information will be available shortly at http://www.satendar.com
Memorial services for Satendar are being planned by the family, details to be released soon. The family asks that people show up to express their support of the family and opposition to violence and intolerance.
Community Members held vigil at the California State Capitol on Friday July 6, 2007 to show solidarity against hate in response to the brutal crime.


Several investigators have warned the Sacramento community for years about the fact that American fundamentalists have been stoking the fires of homophobia in new immigrants from Russian and the Ukraine, in order to use them for political agendas.
A small number of Russian-speaking preachers presiding over huge congregations are allegedly spreading the message that it’s their God given right to kill homosexuals, among other radical interpretations of the Bible. Protests against homosexual events and others have been organized within a number of these churches. Over 80 of these churches exist within the Sacramento area; some have over 5,000 members.
Not all of these churches are intolerant and preach hate, but a small handful of politically and financially-influenced preachers are capable of moving vast numbers of faithful followers. A growing number of these churches are becoming organized along the West Coast of the United States. The result is a growing threat to our safety and freedom. Sadly these congregations are being manipulated and used as foot soldiers to promote complex political and financial agendas that they will never be told about.
The following video link is to Sacramento’s Pride Parade that shows some of the radical fundamentalist protestors. This video was shot on June 16th only 3 weeks before the tragic murder.

Before this crime took place, the LGBT and other minority communities had already begun planning a West Coast Diversity Summit to take place on the 21st of July in Sacramento. The focus of this summit will be the growing number of hate crimes and threats generated from radical groups. To become involved visit http://www.outsacramento.com
If you have information involving a Hate Crime please report it to your local authorities.
When doing so, be certain you demand the incident is filed as a hate crime, even if you meet resistance. Often the authorities may try to talk a victim out calling an incident a hate crime due to the increased amount of paperwork.
If you have information concerning the murder of Satendar Singh, please call the Sacramento Sheriffs Department at (916) 874-5115
For updates and more information as it becomes available, visit http://www.Satendar.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bush on Health Care: It’s All Your Fault


Ante Up for Africa Celeb/Charity Event


Ante Up For Africa Tourney Raises Thousands

Top Two Finishers Donate Entire Prize to Charity

Last night was a good night for poker and the world.

The Ante Up for Africa tournament, a $5,000 event that took place at the Rio to raise money for charities that are dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, concluded when the final two players, Dan Shak and Brandon Moran, stood up and announced that they decided to donate all their winnings to the charities.

With that, the tournament ended. Just between Shak and Moran, $368,738 went to the Enough Project and the International Rescue Committee.

The $5,000 tournament, which was dreamt up by actor Don Cheadle and poker star Annie Duke, was added to the World Series of Poker schedule as a kind of exhibition. Although no money was held out of the prize pool for the charities, the players were asked to donate at least half of their winnings to the charities.

If everyone who cashed added half their winnings to Shak and Moran’s large donation, then $601,869 would’ve been donated out of the $835,000 prize pool. The WSOP didn’t have an exact figure.

The celebs who showed up included Cheadle, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Sandler, Ray Romano, Dean Cain, Brad Garrett, Martin Sheen, Charles Barkley, Hank Azaria, and Cheryl Hines.

Poker stars who played included Michael Binger, Andy Bloch, Justin Bonomo, Doyle Brunson, John Cernuto, Antonio Esfandiari, Farshad Fardad, Clonie Gowen, Russ Hamilton, Joe and Tony Hachem, Phil Hellmuth, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow, Daniel Negreanu, Kevin O’Donnell, and Stephen Zolotow.

Bush's Video Blog on Scooter Libby


FOX Attacks The Environment


Michael Moore vs. Wolf Blitzer on CNN


Monday, July 9, 2007

Clinton Did It Too, NOT!!! one more time


Bush invokes executive privilege to deny aides’ testimony.

Bush must think he's above the law....Last President that thought he was had to resign - Nixon

President has invoked executive privilege to “defy Congress’s latest demand for information regarding the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys.” AP reports:

President Bush invoked executive privilege Monday to deny requests by Congress for testimony from former White House aides Sara Taylor and Harriet Miers.

It offered once more to make the pair available for private, off-the-record interviews on any role the White House might have played in the firings of several U.S. attorneys.

In a letter to the heads of the House and Senate Judiciary panels, White House counsel Fred Fielding insisted that Bush was acting in good faith and refused lawmakers’ demand that the president explain the basis for invoking the privilege.

UPDATE: This is the third time Bush has invoked executive privilege. It marks the second time he has used the power in relation to the U.S. attorney scandal.

UPDATE II: House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) responds:

We are extremely disappointed with the White House letter. While we remain willing to negotiate with the White House, they adhere to their unacceptable all-or-nothing position, and now will not even seek to properly justify their privilege claims. Contrary what the White House may believe, it is the Congress and the Courts that will decide whether an invocation of Executive Privilege is valid, not the White House unilaterally

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Live Earth


Al Gore
Great Concert With A Needed Message
Roger Waters - Another Brick In The Wall


Cat Blogging With Pook

Do you wanna know how I got my Name?
Wolf is a big fan of the movie Harvey
Harvey is an invisible Rabbit
or what is known as a Pooka

Asshole of the Week

Political Cartoon of the Week


Price of milk here went up 40 cents for a 1/2 Gallon
Not Funny

Rock'in With Green Day


AMERICAN IDIOT LIVE

had ISP problems yesterday - sorry

HUMAN RIGHTS ALERT:

New York State wins in court to give more forced electroshock to
"Simone D."

Simone D.: "Electroshock causes more pain! I suffer more from
shock treatment!"

How you can easily use the web to say "No!" to four key NY State
officials!

The State of New York won its battle in court to order even more
forced electroshock for Creedmoor Psychiatric Center inmate "Simone
D.," who has already had more than 200 electroshocks, also known as
electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

Now it is time for the international court of public opinion to weigh
in!

Here is how you can easily use the web to speak out and say "No!" to
this overwhelming human rights abuse. It takes only a moment... about
as long as an electroshock.

The New York Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court order
forcing Simone D., an inmate at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, to
undergo 30 more electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments against
her will.

Simone D.'s attorney Dennis Feld said, "Her battle cry has been
muffled by her being primarily a Spanish language speaker in a unit
where no one except her MHLS on-site attorney speaks Spanish."

Court records reveal that when approached by the State clinicians for
her to submit to more electroshock, Simone stated clearly enough in
Spanish that, "Electroshock causes more pain! I suffer more from
shock treatment!"

New York State's Office of Mental Health (OMH) has a long-standing
policy of vigorously pursuing legal action to force ECT on unwilling
people whom it determines are not capable of making their own
decisions. Interestingly, the capacity of people who agree to ECT is
never called into question.

To read two updates from Simone D's attorney Dennis Feld about her
court hearings go here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-d/200705

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-d/200707

It's time for us all to speak up and demand that New York State end
this appalling, inhumane practice!

It just takes a moment to use e-mail to contact the below four New
York State officials! If you can also phone or write that is helpful,
but at least e-mail them!

Let New York State officials know that forced ECT is wrong and must
be stopped!

A draft sample message is included below, though using your own words
and personal experiences are encouraged. Please be civil but firm.

Please contact these New York State officials immediately!

** Gov. Eliot Spitzer:

Complete the web form at: http://161.11.121.121/govemail Phone:
(518) 474-8390. Fax: 518-474-1513.

** Lieutenant Gov. David Paterson:

He is legally blind and has been charged by the Governor with dealing
with disability issues. Complete the web form at: http://
161.11.121.121/emailltgov Phone: (518) 474-4623. Fax: (518) 486-4170

** OMH Commissioner Michael Hogan:

Go to web form at: http://www.omh.state.ny.us/omhweb/email/feedback.asp

UPDATE: THE WEB FORM FOR COMMENTS TO COMMISSIONER HOGAN IS APPARENTLY
INOPERATIVE IF YOU GO THERE DIRECTLY. (The "submit" button is grayed
out.) You can get to an operative version of this form indirectly via
the small print "Web Site Administrator" link at the very bottom.

However it is recommended that you instead phone and fax during
business hours, and don't stop! Be civil, be firm, but ask how
Commissioner Hogan can claim to support empowerment and recovery
while leading President Bush's Commission on Mental Health, but now
his office is pushing more and more forced electroshock!

Let's make this into a phone campaign -- be civil, but don't stop!

Phone: (518) 474-4403 Fax: (518) 474-2149.

** Peter M. Rivera, Chair, New York State Assembly Standing
Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental
Disabilities.

Email: riverap@assembly.state.ny.us Phone: (718) 931-2620. Write:
1973 Westchester Avenue; Bronx, NY 10462 USA.

~~~~~~~~~

Draft sample message - though your own words are best:

~~~~~~~~~

Dear ___________:

The New York Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court
order forcing Simone D., an inmate at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center,
to undergo 30 more electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments against
her will. Ms. D. has already been subjected to more than 200 ECT
sessions.

It is time for the State to reverse the New York Office of
Mental Health's long-standing policy of vigorously pursuing legal
action to force ECT on people who do not want this controversial
intervention. We believe it is time to revise the laws that allow
forced electroshock. ECT is of questionable efficacy, but it does
have well-documented serious side-effects effects, including
permanent memory loss. This memory loss can be so severe that people
may not recognize family members or be able to practice their
professions. This is an invasive irreversible intervention.

The World Health Organization has called for a ban of
involuntary electroshock. It is time that New York ends such shameful
practices.

New York Office of Mental Health Commissioner Michael Hogan
chaired the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health,
which promoted the idea that people with psychiatric disabilities
must direct their own care in order for recovery to be possible. This
stands in stark contradiction to OMH's zealous legal activities to
force ECT on those who do not want it.

We call on the State of New York to renounce this harmful
policy, and on the Governor to propose legislation that would end the
possibility of ECT being forced on any citizen.

Sincerely,

[Your name & address.]

~~~~~~~~~

This alert is also on the MindFreedom web site with hyperlinks to the
four NY officials along with additional information:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/simone-d

or use:

http://tinyurl.com/262xma

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

URGENT: Please act IMMEDIATELY. Then FORWARD this alert to all
appropriate places on and off the Internet! Add a brief personal note
that you have acted, and you encourage your friends, colleagues and
relatives to act too!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More news at the MindFreedom News Web Site:

http://www.mindfreedom.org

Don't see an important news item? Submit it to news@mindfreedom.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~

And while you're on the web site... click on the button on the RIGHT
to join or donate now, or go directly to:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

Friday, July 6, 2007

CLINTON DID IT FIRST!


The Cry of The Neo-Con

ImpeachCheney.org


A Penguin in Vegas


There is a Pittsburgh Penguin playing in the World Series of Poker. I was surprised when I read this story on MSNBC's website and even more surprised that MSNBC is covering WSOP. I have been going to PokerListings.com for updates of the tourneys as I don't get ESPN. The main event starts today.

Penguins’ Talbot ready to show poker face

Maxime Talbot loves playing hockey and, perhaps even more, talking about it. The enjoyment he gets from playing the sport is difficult to disguise.

Starting Friday, Talbot will enter a new arena in which the passion and personality he brings to hockey must hide behind a poker face.

Talbot isn’t a star yet — he had 13 goals and 24 points in 75 games last season — but he was good enough to beat Martin Brodeur, Bryan McCabe, Sheldon Souray, Simon Gagne and 11 others in a televised charity poker tournament for current or former NHL players.

By winning a tournament that was taped for Canadian television last summer, Talbot won a free trip to the World Series of Poker that starts Friday in Las Vegas.

Most of the estimated 9,000 World Series of Poker contestants pay a $10,000 fee to enter a tournament in which the winner collects about $15 million.

“Actually, I’m pretty bad,” said Talbot, who won $20,000 for a designated charity for winning the NHL players tournament. “I guess I got lucky to win that position out there when I won that tournament.”

Poker is one sport where strategy, technique and an ability to bluff can outweigh a lack of experience. Some previous World Series of Poker contestants, such as Anna Benson, the wife of major league pitcher Kris Benson, played for only a few weeks before entering. Almost every tournament features a previously unknown player who advances deep into the event.

As Talbot is fast learning, luck often plays a big role in poker — much like an NHL game can be decided by a puck that accidentally deflects off a skate or takes a tricky bounce.

“I don’t know how well it’s going to go or how bad it’s going to go, but I’m excited about that,” Talbot said. “I don’t want to expect too much because I can be really disappointed, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.”

That’s why Talbot is hoping his experience as a pro athlete might compensate in part for his lack of experience in play-for-money poker events.

I’m pretty good at bluffing. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I don’t care that much,” he said. “I’m not a liar, but I guess I can play with people’s minds and I’m pretty excited to do that.”

Talbot has known for nearly a year he would be competing in Las Vegas, but he did nothing
special over that time to prepare. Most of his poker experience comes from playing on Penguins road trips or with his family.

“I don’t want to lose in the first hand — everybody’s going to laugh at me if I do — so hopefully I’ll make it out of the first day,” he said. “That’s my objective, but after that it’s only luck.”

He has a game plan, too.

“I’m going to be really aggressive. All these players are paying $10,000 to play, so I can be a little bit more loose, there’s no pressure,” he said.

Should he defy all odds and win a ton of money, might the 23-year-old forward from Lemoyne, Quebec, give up playing hockey and turn poker pro?

“Definitely not,” he said. “I’d be signing here for the minimum salary and just be happy to play. I love it too much.”

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Immortal Technique -- The Poverty of Philosophy

Homophobic Hatred

Mairead sent this: It was 1st published in the Sacramento Bee and then to her group.

Well, what the gay community has feared for some time has finally happened. After a couple years of fundamentalist and Slavic Christian virulent anti-gay protests at almost every Sacramento gay event in the region, and after years of relative safety in the Sacramento gay community, the homophobic hatred has turned deadly. Today the life support plug will be pulled on a young East Indian gay man killed in a gay bashing at Lake Natomas on Sunday by a group of Slavic Christians. The Sacramento Bee reported that the man's friends told reporters he is not gay, but family members discussing the murder with Being Gay Today's Nathan Feldman, said they knew of Satendar Singh's sexual orientation, and that it had never interfered with their deep love for him. Singh was a recent immigrant to America, having won a lottery for a green card, earning him the nickname "The Lucky One" among his family and friends.

Apparently a group of Slavic Christian men picnicking with their families near Singh's friends at the lake on Sunday noticed that, unlike the rest of his group, Singh did not have a female date, and he danced with both women and men in his party. The Slavic men began hurling anti-gay and racist invectives. As things escalated, the Slavic men sent their families home and called for backup. When a new group of Slavic men showed up, the East Indian party tried to leave, but were blocked by the Slavic men. One of the men punched Singh, who fell unconscious, hit his head, and began bleeding profusely. As the attackers went to their cars to get away, they hurled bottles at the members of Singh's party, one a pregnant young woman, to keep them from seeing their license plates. Singh regained consciousness briefly, but lapsed into unconsciousness before being taken to Mercy San Juan hospital where tests indicated no brain activity. His family and friends numbered over 100 at the hospital. Singh's parents are in Fiji with no way to come to Sacramento, so the painful decision to unplug his life support fell on his aunt and uncle.

There will be a memorial service for Singh out at Lake Natomas on Saturday. The family is asking that people show up to express their support of the family and their opposition to anti-gay violence. As soon as I have details on the times and exact location, I will forward this information on. This is an opportunity for people of good will to show their outrage at this resurgence of Homophobia.

The Sacramento Sheriff's department initially decided against investigating the murder as a hate crime, and expressed doubt that the murder was premeditated, despite the Slavic men having sent their families home and having called for back up.

Lesbian activist Marghe Covino, who has been warning the GLBT community for years about the fact that American fundamentalists have been stoking the fires of homophobia in the new immigrants from Russian and the Ukraine in order to use them as proxies against the gay community was at the hospital comforting Singh's family. It was a task she had hoped to never again have to do in Sacramento.

Please feel free to forward this notice to any people of good will who might wish to support the family.

With tears,
Michael

Libby's guilty verdict: Media myths and falsehoods to watch for

I know this is a long post from Media Matters but it answers all the stupid right wingnuts that are making excuses for Libby.

On March 6, a federal jury found former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby guilty on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to federal investigators. In the wake of this decision, conservatives and other media figures can be expected to revive and advance numerous myths and falsehoods regarding the CIA leak case that have circulated throughout the media since Libby's indictment in October 2005.

In anticipation of this misinformation, Media Matters for America has listed those baseless and false claims likely to surface in the coming days and weeks:

  • No underlying crime was committed. Since a federal grand jury indicted Libby in October 2005, numerous media figures have stated that the nature of the charges against him prove that special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's investigation of the CIA leak case found that no underlying crime had been committed. But this assertion ignores Fitzgerald's explanation that Libby's obstructions prevented him -- and the grand jury -- from determining whether the alleged leak violated federal law.
  • There was no concerted White House effort to smear Wilson. In his October 2005 press conference announcing Libby's indictment, Fitzgerald alleged that, in 2003, "multiple people in the White House" engaged in a "concerted action" to "discredit, punish, or seek revenge against" former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. In August 2006, it came to light that then-deputy secretary of State Richard Armitage was the original source for syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak's July 14, 2003, column exposing CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. Numerous conservative media figures subsequently claimed that this revelation disproved the notion of a "concerted" White House effort to smear Wilson. But to the contrary, David Corn -- Washington editor of The Nation and co-author of Hubris (Crown, 2006) the book that revealed Armitage's role in the leak -- noted on his Nation weblog that Armitage "abetted a White House campaign under way to undermine Wilson" and that whether he deliberately leaked Plame's identity, "the public role is without question: senior White House aides wanted to use Valerie Wilson's CIA employment against her husband."
  • Libby was not responsible for the leak of Plame's identity. Some in the media have suggested that because Libby did not discuss former CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity with Novak -- the first journalist to report she worked at the CIA -- he is not technically responsible for the leak. But such claims ignore the fact that Libby discussed Plame's CIA employment with then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller on several occasions prior to the publication of Novak's column naming Plame as a CIA operative.
  • Libby merely "left out some facts." Some media outlets -- such as The Washington Post -- have suggested that FBI agent Deborah Bond testified at the trial that Libby simply "left out some facts" when he was interviewed by her in 2003. Specifically, the Post asserted that Bond said Libby "did not acknowledge disclosing the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame to reporters." In fact, Bond testified that Libby actually denied having leaked Plame's identity or having had any knowledge of her -- this despite the fact that two reporters had already testified that he leaked Plame's identity to them.
  • Libby's leak was an effort to set the record straight. Critics of the CIA leak case have repeatedly claimed that the indictment stems from an effort by Libby and Vice President Dick Cheney to rebut a purportedly inaccurate attack on the administration by Wilson. According to these critics, Wilson falsely accused Cheney of having sent him to Niger to investigate reports that Iraq had attempted to purchase yellowcake uranium from the African country. In fact, Wilson, in his July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed, did not say he was sent by Cheney. Rather, Wilson wrote that it was "agency officials" from the CIA who "asked if I would travel to Niger" and "check out" a "particular intelligence report" that "Cheney's office had questions about," so that CIA officials "could provide a response to the vice president's office."
  • There is no evidence that the Plame leak compromised national security. Some media figures critical of the CIA leak case have attempted to downplay its significance by claiming that no evidence exists that the public disclosure of Plame's identity compromised national security. In fact, news reports have indicated that the CIA believed the damage caused by the leak "was serious enough to warrant an investigation" and that the subsequent disclosure of Plame's CIA front company likely put other agents' work at risk. Further, Fitzgerald stated that Plame's identity had been protected by the CIA "not just for the officer, but for the nation's security." And in their recently published book, Hubris, Corn and Newsweek investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff reported that, at the time of the leak, Plame was the chief of operations for the CIA's Joint Task Force on Iraq, which "mount[ed] espionage operations to gather information on the WMD programs Iraq might have."
  • Fitzgerald is a partisan prosecutor. Over the course of the CIA leak investigation and the Libby trial, conservative media figures have attempted to cast Fitzgerald as a "prosecutor run amok" who is engaging in "the criminalization of politics." But Fitzgerald's background and prosecutorial record undermine the suggestion that his pursuit of Libby was politically motivated. Indeed, Fitzgerald is a Bush administration political appointee who, as U.S. attorney, has investigated high-level public officials from both parties, including former Illinois Gov. George Ryan (R), Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (D), and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).
  • Fitzgerald exceeded his mandate in investigating violations beyond the IIPA. The administration's defenders also have accused Fitzgerald of exceeding his original mandate. Media figures have repeatedly asserted or implied that Fitzgerald was appointed to investigate possible violations of the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA), which prohibits the knowing disclosure of the identity of a covert intelligence officer. In fact, his mandate was far broader. The Department of Justice granted Fitzgerald "plenary" authority to investigate the "alleged unauthorized disclosure" of Plame's identity.
  • Plame's employment with the CIA was widely known. This falsehood has taken at least two forms -- that Plame's employment with the CIA was known in the Washington cocktail party circuit and that her neighbors knew that she worked for the CIA. In fact, Fitzgerald stated in the indictment of Libby that Plame's employment was classified and "was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community," a finding he reiterated at a post-verdict press conference. Moreover, as Media Matters noted, contrary to The Washington Times' assertion that "numerous neighbors were aware that she worked for the agency," none of the neighbors cited in The Times' own news reports or in other reports said that they knew before reading the Novak column that Plame worked at the CIA. Her acquaintances told reporters that they believed she worked as a private "consultant."