June 26, 2008 archive

From California to Connecticut, a stand for peace

More Iraq Moratorium #10 reports.  Meg Oldman of Point Arena CA checks in:

Friday, June 20, 2008  was a warm, sunny day; the best kind for protest.  

I represented Iraq Moratorium, and Women in Black by myself, this time.  A good number of people stopped and talked with me about the war, elections coming up later in the fall, and the economy. Drivers going by(more than usual due to being the first day of Summer) honked, whistled and raised their fists high in solidarity.

Overall, I feel that one person DOES make a difference, as witnessed above.  I am excited to sense the populace taking a deep breath and preparing to change the paradigm from one of fear and apathy, to one of focus and and unity.  I am fulfilling my role to facilitate standing together, all over the world, one the same day, at the same time.

From Lutz, Florida:

MD#10--Lutz, FL--vet

The Veterans For Peace contingent was led by retired USAF Maj. Debra Hedding, who controlled combat aircraft over Laos and Cambodia during Vietnam and served as a Public Affairs Officer under Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf during Operation Desert Storm. (She is also a Political Action Coordinator for MoveOn.org’s Tampa Council.) My own father, Commander U.S.N. (Ret.) John W. Palm wore his “USS Yorktown CV-5” hat–as communications watch officer aboard the carrier USS Yorktown on December 7, 1941, he relayed the devastating news of Pearl Harbor to the ship’s crew.

From Cornwall, Connecticut:

In addition to attending the Iraq Moratorium observation in Cornwall, CT, I wore two buttons all day–the big white-on-black Iraq Moratorium pin and one that has two soldiers comforting on another and says “Support the Troops. Bring Them Home Now,” and got in one or two brief discussions as a result.

I woke up on Saturday and put them on again and headed for a lovely outdoor wedding.

Right before the ceremony, the grandfather of the bride, a tall lean Jewish gent in his 90s who is not too mobile, spotted the Iraq Moratorium pin as I walked past the front row of chairs. “What’s that about?” he asked. When I explained, he propelled himself to his feet and thanked me, grabbing my hand and shaking it vigorously.

I resolved on the spot to wear an anti-war button every time I go out until the next Moratorium and have put a couple hanging on a cloth strip by my front door to remind me.

Every month the Moratorium learns about other events across the country that have never been listed on the national website, which had 110 events posted for June.  The latest to surface is in Silverton, Oregon:

The Silverton People for Peace have been holding monthly vigils since the invasion. These were on the third Mondays, but we switched to Third Fridays last winter to be part of the Iraq Moratorium. Our turnout varies from several people to dozens depending on schedules, weather and other factors. But we ALWAYS have someone on the side of the street. The vigil is at 6 p.m. at Town Square Park on West Main Street, Silverton,OR. The Silverton group is affiliated with the Oregon Fellowship of Reconciliation.

So it goes, and so it grows. More reports here.

It’s only three weeks until the next Moratorium observance, on July 18.  Do something.

Four at Four

  1. Reuters reports Bombs kill 40 in Iraq. “Bombs killed nearly 40 people in Iraq on Thursday, including 20 at a tribal council meeting in Anbar province just days before the U.S. military transfers control of security for the vast western region to Iraqi forces. The U.S. military said there were American troop casualties in the attack in Anbar but gave no details.”

    The LA Times adds “The mayor and tribal chief of Garma were killed along with 19 others when a bomber blew himself up during a meeting of sheiks and city leaders of the town about 15 miles northeast of Fallouja. Another 20 were injured.”

    The Anbar handover ceremony is now on hold, according to McClatchy Newspapers. “The bombing was carried out by a man wearing a suicide vest who struck at a meeting between tribal sheiks and American officials in a municipal building in Karmah… In a separate attack, insurgents targeted the governor of Nineveh province as he left the government headquarters in Mosul… Police said at least 18 Iraqis were killed and 62 injured in Mosul. The governor escaped unharmed, though his bodyguards were among the wounded”.

    The NY Times adds nearly 80 people were wounded in the attacks. “The bombings extended a pattern of multiple-casualty attacks in recent days that are clearly intended to kill local Iraqi leaders, in particular the Awakening Councils of Sunni tribal chieftains who have collaborated with American forces against Sunni insurgents.”

    According to McClatchy, “The latest bombings capped a bloody week with several attacks on local government offices and security targets that killed at least 10 U.S. service members, four U.S. government civilian employees, and scores of Iraqis.

    The Washington Post reports on some of the Iraqis killed by U.S. forces this week., such as the death of four Iraqi family members. A “man, who sold propane gas for a living, was afraid thieves were in the vicinity.” He fired shots in the air with an AK-47 while “U.S. troops were conducting an operation in the area”.

    “U.S. soldiers then retreated and called in an airstrike, [Capt. Ahmed al-Azwawi, a police official in Samra,] said, killing the man, his wife, and two of their children.” The U.S. military said the man refused to comply with their orders.

    Azwawi identified the dead man as Afar Ahmed Zeidan. The police official said Zeidan’s wife, Khawlah Talab, and two of their children, Noor Afar Ahmed, 8, and Alaa Afar Ahmed, 6, were also killed. Another child in the house was taken to a hospital in critical condition, the police officials said.

Four at Four continues with more news from Iraq, the Afghan booming opium trade, and habeas corpus.

Obama: Stop Pandering To Barbarians

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 this week that Louisiana’s statute permitting the death penalty for child rape was unconstitutional.  The decision was a step against extending the barbarianism of the death penalty to crimes in which the victim was not killed.  

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the opinion, saying, in essence, that the crime, awful as it is, does not merit capital punishment.

“The incongruity between the crime of child rape and the harshness of the death penalty poses risks of over-punishment and counsels against a constitutional ruling that the death penalty can be expanded to include this offense,” Kennedy wrote.

He was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.


Put simply, a majority of the Supreme felt that as a substantive matter, the death penalty for child rape was cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment and could not be permitted.

Where is the beef?

Something is missing beyond the spine of some Democrats in the rush to legalize warrantless wiretaps, end privacy, and reward corporations for betraying the public trust. Let’s call it the beef (or nicely textured soy protein for the vegetarians among us).

I am an empiricist at heart. I want proof in the form of sound evidence before I am willing to believe something is true. I am also deeply cynical and suspicious of politicians because too few decisions favor the common good. That cynicism has grown after our elected officials ‘misrepresented’ the threat posed by Iraq. In the uproar over the FISA revisions, now is a good time to point out there are some glaring gaps in the evidence at hand.  

The Corporations and Climaticide

Before I start this rant, I want to thank Jay Elias for keeping me honest and reeling me in in regards to “The Corporations.” You see, I think there is no greater threat to both our Constitutional government and the health and well being of seven billion people and the planet’s atmosphere, the planet’s food and water supplies, and general geopolitical stability than those Corporations that place concern for their profits above legal, social and environmental responsibility. The pure unvarnished greed at the heart of the modern multinational corporation is akin to me to that of say, the Mongol Hordes on a planetary scale. Or, since our government can, and has been, basically bought (as the FISA/Telcoms example shows)by The Corporations….perhaps a merger (heh) of the Vandals and the Roman Empire. Jay provides a bit of balance and perspective for me, lol. He has helped me to tone down my rhetoric to point out that The Corporations, while they are no doubt despicably and shortsightedly and maliciously destructive to life on earth, they are really just the disastrous culmination of human greed, in a form that is specifically designed to avoid any and all responsibility and consequences for their mendacity, perfidy, and willingness to destroy anything for a handful of pocket change. Otherwise I might condemn them to harshly.


There has been a rash of reports recently on Climate…ad of course, one of them are good. In fact considering that three of them have been by our own government, and that ‘our own government’ is currently in the business of serving business (EPA censorship etc.) as opposed to serving The People whose planet The Corporations are attempting to destroy, they are even more alarming.

So alarming in fact, that the latest report; “The National Security Implications of Global Climate Change Through 2030.” has been classified because of its implications for American foreign policy.

A report on Climate Change…which the Right Wing ‘business boosters’ (iow, Corporate whores) deny even exists …has to be classified because of its implications for American national security and foreign policy.


Obama Waffles on School of the Americas

By Nikolas Kozlff via Counterpunch.com: http://counterpunch.com/kozlof…

The Gun Control Decision Is Good For Obama And Democrats

Today, the Supreme Court issued a decision striking down the District of Columbia ban on hand gun ownership. Contrary to what some may think, the world has not been turned on its head, except that a rallying cry for the NRA and other forces that have used gun control as a wedge issue against Democrats for decades has been partially neutered.

The Court held that the second amendment right to bear arms is an individual, not just a collective right associated with having a state militia. But, it is still a limited right and is not totally disconnected from the concept of a militia. The court basically held that at the time of the founding the weapons that people had for personal protection are the same weapons they brought to their service in the militia. It is those weapons that the court says are covered by the Amendment.

Scalia Summarized

(cross-posted at orange under my nom du orange)

Writes Scalia in District of Columbia v. Heller:


“We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country… [but, you see, as Right Wing fucktards, we really don’t give a shit.  In fact, not only are we going to strike-down DC’s ban on a kind of firearm technology that didn’t exist when the Bill of Rights was ratified, we’re going to strike down trigger-lock requirements!]”

Why?  What was Scalia’s and the majority’s reasoning and rationale?  I quote and paraphrase:


“The historical narrative [is that insane gun fanatics own the Republican Party, and the Republican Party owns me.  Besides, I simply don’t give a shit if Saturday Night Specials flow like a flooded Potomac into the lower elevations of the District of Columbia.  What’s it to me?”

Sorry for the short diary “essay”, but here we have, in a 5-4 decision, another legacy of Republican Presidents putting hacks and goons on our Supreme Court.

Mu . . .

The Truth About the Iranian Threat

There is another voice calling out the US establishment media on their less than truthful portrayal of a threat from Iran. While at it, Kaveh L Afrasiabi, writing for Asia Times Online cites UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon for having repeatedly condemned Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric against Israel, while remaining “ominously, and inexcusably, silent” about on Israeli threats of military attacks on Iran.

Unfortunately, compounding the UN’s shortcoming above-cited is a related failure of mainstream media in the US and Europe to criticize Ban’s flawed approach to the Iran crisis, or to address the systematic disinformation and planned paranoia about Iran’s nuclear program put forth by Israel and its allies.

Of particularly important significance in this affair is the fact that the head of the IAEA, (International Atomic Energy Agency) Mohammed ElBaradei, has stated that if a military attack is launched against Iran that he would resign immediately and that such an attack would inflict serious civilian casualties and “trigger the volatile region into a fireball.”

Pony Party……..ride, dance, blue….


keirdubois is writing RAW tonite!!

Front Page~10PM eastern

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Have a lovely day! Be excellent to each other!

& dont wRECk the pony!

UPDATE: Supreme Court to Rule on Handgun Ban in D.C. w/Poll

The Supreme Court of the United States of America will be issuing a ruling from the bench today regarding a 32 year old law that bans handguns in Washington, District of Columbia.  

Yesterday, John Roberts & the Supremes issued a ruling regarding Capitol Punishment where they found, once again by the magic number of 5 – 4, that Capitol Punishment was only to be used in cases of murder and not for cases of rape or rape of a child.

Of course, the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse (John Robert, Clarence Thomas, Vlad Scalia and Samuel Alito) all wanted to expand the ruling regarding Capitol Punishment but were held at bay by the more thoughtful members of the Supreme’s.

Much Wingnut gnashing of the teeth, pulling of the hair and wailing of the in-lockstep voice of the Right Wing could be seen and heard directly after this ruling.  

I must admit, I do get a slight kick out of watching and listening to the Right Wing extremists when they get told they can’t go forward and do what they want to do!  It’s like witnessing a mass group of 5 year olds being told they have to take a nap before they can eat their cupcakes!  Quite noisy and somehow hilarious!

in defense of freedom of speech

what does that mean… freedom of speech. does it mean say what you want? does it mean say what you want within limits? within constructs and conventions?

or does it mean: say what’s on your mind. in the way it is in you to say…

is there something deeper here? freedom of speech brings me to ask you: what about freedom of ideas? doesn’t it start there? the way we think. how we think. and then expressing those thoughts and ideas.

it makes me wonder what we progressives really want… do we want a clash of ideas? a messy debate? or are we just plain folks, yearning for unity in our ideas?

do we have room for a poster like stu piddy? or lasthorseman? or pfiore8? pinche tejano… the blogosphere would be poorer without his ideas disrupting our brain rhythms.


and good god. what happens when a guy like stu piddy becomes mainstream? when what he’s been saying turns out to be right? that obama will be a big let down. that obama is just another corporatist jerk who sells it better.

how incredible can any idea be after these seven years of absolute crap in America? what have we learned? when we are still reactionary to outside ideas… challenging visions of others that don’t fit what we WANT to happen. and while we can’t really dismiss these outliers, we can blame it on their delivery. the way they say it. how they say it. why the fuck are they saying it?????????

yeah. because we want. i want. obama to be the next coming of Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Ghandhi.

but what if he’s not? what if he’s like Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid? What if he’s another Bill Clinton. Makes you feel good as he strips your freedoms by allowing, as Clinton did, a concentrated media and beginning a stepped up version of outsourcing our tax dollars…

but back to the point. the last seven plus years have been so incredibly outlandish that it seems absurd to the nth degree to marginalize anyone’s paranoid concerns about the next phase in country.

so here’s my perspective. as i left in a comment to Robyn. i am going to say what i say the way i say it. because, as i look back on what i’ve said, i think i’ve been fucking right. i’ve been bashed a bit… but, hey. i’m not going to back down. i say it again: change the game. change the board. change the rules. it is time for third or fifth parties. target the essential congressional seats in 2010 and Nancy Pelosi in 2008. get outside of DEMOCRAT… they will hold us prisoner to their empty promises… but but but find those in Washington, whoever they are and whatever party, who want to wrest control from the corporatists and get our country functioning again. stop the fucking outsourcing. kick the wingnuts off the school boards and the developers off planning boards. shop local and pay cash. we need to come up with armchair strategies and release the power of citizens to understand they have power in this play.

i’m not going away. so stu, pinche, Jay, Night Owl, Balzac, LastHorseMan, and all the other outliers… keep singing. i don’t always like your song choice, but i am so awfully glad you’re out there. On the fringes of conventional thought… seeing truth in a slightly different way.  

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