September 30, 2011 archive

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

These featured articles-

The Stars Hollow Gazettte

This is an Open Thread

WWL Radio #124 Bruce A Dixon, Black Agenda Report

SPECIAL GUEST BRUCE A DIXON live with Diane Gee on WWL Radio Friday, September 30th at 6pm EDT!

Listen live by clicking the link icon below:

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

Tonight I have the honor of interviewing Bruce A. Dixon co-founder of the wonderful (and wildly left) Black Agenda Report. His bio there:

PhotobucketPhotobucket“Managing Editor Bruce Dixon: Longtime Activist, Habitual Troublemaker

A habitual troublemaker and incorrigible activist, Bruce Dixon has been comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable since 1968.

As a rank and file member of the Black Panther Party in 1969-1970, a 1970s rank-and-file union activist in a string of factories, plants and workplaces, a 1980s community organizer in what were then some of the nation’s poorest neighborhoods, to organizing and consulting through the 1990s Dixon has built an impressive record of service in and to the cause of human liberation.

In 2002 he began writing articles for Black Commentator, the predecessor of this publication, and broke the first accurate analyses of the phenomena around the election of Denise Majette over Cynthia McKinney in Georgia that year.  

As managing editor at BAR Dixon is chiefly responsible for maintaining this web site.  He currently resides in metro Atlanta.

Bruce graciously allowed me to reprint his latest essay questioning the LOTE, lesser of the two evils with Barack Obama as perhaps the more effective evil. “Barack Obama VS Those Craaaazy Republicans: Is He the Lesser Evil, or the More Effective Evil?”  I adored it. He is brilliant, outspoken, and a troublemaker like me. This should be an awesome show!

The call in number is 646-929-1264 to join the conversation!

Tip: In order to comment in adjoing chat, you must create a BTR account, its free and only takes seconds. I read chat while on air, so make yourself heard.

Miss the show? The podcasts are available at the link above, or at the Wild Wild Left

Join Wild Wild Left Radio every Friday at 6pm EST, via Blog Talk Radio, with Hostess and Producer Diane Gee to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective….  

WWL Radio: Bringing you controversial, cutting edge, revolutionary, “out there where the buses don’t run” LEFT perspective since January of 2009!


I invite every member of DocuDharma to join us at The Stars Hollow Gazette for our coverage of the 2011 Major League Baseball Playoffs starting at 4:30 pm ET.

Porky’s Baseball Broadcast

This Week In The Dream Antilles

Your Bloguero, as you may have already noticed, is a complete optimist.  He actually believes along with Dr. King that things bend toward justice.  Eventually.  And this drives your Bloguero to be extremely persistent.  He wants to do some serious bending.  You might even think of him as obsessed.  And nothing drives your Bloguero more than the plight of those who are always screwed.  There are a number of subtopics to this, ways that this happens, but somehow for your Bloguero it always eventually comes down to state killing, the death penalty.  State killing is always a huge thorn in your Bloguero.

Your Bloguero has been railing against the death penalty for decades. He’s successfully defended people charged with capital crimes.  And he’s been aggravated by and writing about state killing for a while.  In 2002, when there were too many recipients to keep track of, he moved the informal anti-death penalty emails he wrote to a list serve, Yahoo groups.   Your Bloguero started writing those emails in 1999 or 2000.  Maybe it was earlier.  The initial response from some recipients, including family members, was instructive. “How,” some wrote, “Can you get involved in this horror and care about these worthless scum.  Don’t send me any more of this [expletive deleted].”  OK.  Your Bloguero struck their names from the address block and forged on.  “You have compassion for these horrible people.  You should have more for those around you.”  OK.  Strike the name and move on.  Etc. Repeat and repeat again. The complaints were legion.  Your Bloguero, however, knows how to use a delete button, and he did.  Frequently.

When your Bloguero started the Dream Antilles more than six years ago, his initial intention was to promote his 2005 novel, The Dream Antilles. That didn’t last long.  Your Bloguero does not stay on topic well, especially when the topic is commercial.   Your Bloguero doesn’t care very much for commerce. Soon the plight of those who are always screwed became unavoidable.  Of course.  How could it not?  Yes, it was always present in the literature from Latin America your Bloguero loves to write about, but then the Blog swerved headlong into politics.  And of course, as soon as it swerved, along came all of your Bloguero’s many arguments about state killing.  Does the Dream Antilles now have more politics than literature?  Who knows?  Your Bloguero is not the best curator if the goal is to maintain balance.  Yes, your Bloguero wishes there were more about books.  More about Paco Ignacio Taibo II.  More about Skarmeta.  More about Cortazar.  Martin Solares.  The list of authors is enormous.  And there could be more about that if the states would just moderate the rate at which they were executing people.  

When your Bloguero didn’t feel that there was enough readership at The Dream Antilles, he cross posted at other Blogs, especially bigger group ones.  There, particularly at the Orange Blog that shall not be named, your Bloguero was surprised.  There he encountered more people who wrote to provoke your Bloguero and assert that they had no problem with state killing.  Worse, there were some who were actually in favor of it and argued that it was just.  These comments, which your Bloguero generally perceived as the menacing handwork of paid trolls or [expletives deleted] agents provocateurs, who needed to get a life, were always annoying. But your Bloguero knows how to ignore them, and ignore them he did.  Your Bloguero tries not to feed their anger.  Or their wallets.

Fast forward to killing Troy Davis. And this week, the echoes continue at the Dream Antilles, even as they fade to quiet in the Trad Media.

The  Banality Of Death takes note of Florida’s killing of Manuel Valle on Wednesday.  Valle was killed for a crime more than 30 years ago.  He was 61.  The execution was barely noticed. It was the fourth execution of the week.  Your Bloguero believes this is one of the best pieces he has written in a while.

The Shame Of State Killing tells the story of the 1944 execution in Georgia of 5’1″ 95 pound George Stinney, Jr., who was then 14 years old.  Stinney is the youngest person executed in the US in recent history.  It is a story of state killing at its most barbaric.  One wonders whether the US has evolved beyond that.

Banned Books Week noted the ALA’s annual celebration of the First Amendment and provided a list of “challenged” and “banned” books.  Your Bloguero wishes he found it hard to believe that book banning continues in the US.

About That Disaster Aid shows the destruction of a roadway in Greene County, New York near where your Bloguero finds himself and inquires what it will take for Congress to get up some money so that there can be repairs and disaster aid.

Please Sign This Petition promoted a badly written, weakly conceived petition on the White House Web site to ban state killing.  Yes, it was badly written.  Your Bloguero doesn’t care.

The Back B minor Mass showed up at the Dream Antilles.  What a great performance.  Go ahead, click it.  You’ll be happy you did.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now, it is actually a digest of essays posted in the past week at The Dream Antilles. Please leave a comment so that your Bloguero will know that you stopped by. Or click the “Encouragement Jar” if there is one. Your Bloguero likes to know you’ve visited.

A Day of Shame

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Friday, Sep 30, 2011 06:31 ET

It was first reported in January of last year that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens whom the President had ordered assassinated without any due process, and one of those Americans was Anwar al-Awlaki.  No effort was made to indict him for any crimes (despite a report last October that the Obama administration was “considering” indicting him).  Despite substantial doubt among Yemen experts about whether he even has any operational role in Al Qaeda, no evidence (as opposed to unverified government accusations) was presented of his guilt.  When Awlaki’s father sought a court order barring Obama from killing his son, the DOJ argued, among other things, that such decisions were “state secrets” and thus beyond the scrutiny of the courts.  He was simply ordered killed by the President: his judge, jury and executioner.  When Awlaki’s inclusion on President Obama’s hit list was confirmed, The New York Times noted that “it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.

What’s most striking about this is not that the U.S. Government has seized and exercised exactly the power the Fifth Amendment was designed to bar (“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”), and did so in a way that almost certainly violates core First Amendment protections (questions that will now never be decided in a court of law). What’s most amazing is that its citizens will not merely refrain from objecting, but will stand and cheer the U.S. Government’s new power to assassinate their fellow citizens, far from any battlefield, literally without a shred of due process from the U.S. Government.  Many will celebrate the strong, decisive, Tough President’s ability to eradicate the life of Anwar al-Awlaki — including many who just so righteously condemned those Republican audience members as so terribly barbaric and crass for cheering Governor Perry’s execution of scores of serial murderers and rapists — criminals who were at least given a trial and appeals and the other trappings of due process before being killed.

From an authoritarian perspective, that’s the genius of America’s political culture.  It not only finds way to obliterate the most basic individual liberties designed to safeguard citizens from consummate abuses of power (such as extinguishing the lives of citizens without due process).  It actually gets its citizens to stand up and clap and even celebrate the destruction of those safeguards.

So there you have it.  An American Citizen murdered for ‘thought crime’ at the whim of our unconstitutional monarch.

Obama: A disaster for civil liberties

He may prove the most disastrous president in our history in terms of civil liberties.

By Jonathan Turley, The L.A. Times

September 29, 2011

Protecting individual rights and liberties – apart from the right to be tax-free – seems barely relevant to candidates or voters. One man is primarily responsible for the disappearance of civil liberties from the national debate, and he is Barack Obama. While many are reluctant to admit it, Obama has proved a disaster not just for specific civil liberties but the civil liberties cause in the United States.

President Obama not only retained the controversial Bush policies, he expanded on them. The earliest, and most startling, move came quickly. Soon after his election, various military and political figures reported that Obama reportedly promised Bush officials in private that no one would be investigated or prosecuted for torture. In his first year, Obama made good on that promise, announcing that no CIA employee would be prosecuted for torture. Later, his administration refused to prosecute any of the Bush officials responsible for ordering or justifying the program and embraced the “just following orders” defense for other officials, the very defense rejected by the United States at the Nuremberg trials after World War II.

Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay as promised. He continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals that denied defendants basic rights. He asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens he views as terrorists. His administration has fought to block dozens of public-interest lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses.

But perhaps the biggest blow to civil liberties is what he has done to the movement itself. It has quieted to a whisper, muted by the power of Obama’s personality and his symbolic importance as the first black president as well as the liberal who replaced Bush. Indeed, only a few days after he took office, the Nobel committee awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize without his having a single accomplishment to his credit beyond being elected. Many Democrats were, and remain, enraptured.

Even though many Democrats admit in private that they are shocked by Obama’s position on civil liberties, they are incapable of opposing him. Some insist that they are simply motivated by realism: A Republican would be worse. However, realism alone cannot explain the utter absence of a push for an alternative Democratic candidate or organized opposition to Obama’s policies on civil liberties in Congress during his term. It looks more like a cult of personality. Obama’s policies have become secondary to his persona.

Ironically, had Obama been defeated in 2008, it is likely that an alliance for civil liberties might have coalesced and effectively fought the government’s burgeoning police powers. A Gallup poll released this week shows 49% of Americans, a record since the poll began asking this question in 2003, believe that “the federal government poses an immediate threat to individuals’ rights and freedoms.” Yet the Obama administration long ago made a cynical calculation that it already had such voters in the bag and tacked to the right on this issue to show Obama was not “soft” on terror. He assumed that, yet again, civil libertarians might grumble and gripe but, come election day, they would not dare stay home.

This calculation may be wrong. Obama may have flown by the fail-safe line, especially when it comes to waterboarding. For many civil libertarians, it will be virtually impossible to vote for someone who has flagrantly ignored the Convention Against Torture or its underlying Nuremberg Principles. As Obama and Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. have admitted, waterboarding is clearly torture and has been long defined as such by both international and U.S. courts. It is not only a crime but a war crime. By blocking the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for torture, Obama violated international law and reinforced other countries in refusing investigation of their own alleged war crimes. The administration magnified the damage by blocking efforts of other countries like Spain from investigating our alleged war crimes. In this process, his administration shredded principles on the accountability of government officials and lawyers facilitating war crimes and further destroyed the credibility of the U.S. in objecting to civil liberties abuses abroad.

On This Day In History September 30

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 30 is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 92 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1791, The Magic Flute, Die Zauberflote, an opera in two acts composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, premiered in Vienna at the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden. Mozart conducted and Schikaneder played Papageno, while the role of the Queen of the Night was sung by Mozart’s sister-in-law Josepha Hofer. This was Mozart’s last opera.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

–Benjamin Franklin

Symbol 3

Late Night Karaoke

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 14

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at


The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

New York Unions are at last coming out to support Occupy Wall St:

Despite the common cause, the city’s established left did not initially embrace the protest, which began Sept. 17 and has been made up mostly of young people angry about the widening income chasm in the country, the growing influence of money on politics and police brutality, among other issues.

But as the action nears the start of its third week, unions and community groups are eager to jump on board. They are motivated perhaps by a sense of solidarity and a desire to tap into its growing success, but undoubtedly by something else too-embarrassment that a group of young people using Twitter and Facebook have been able to draw attention to progressive causes in a way they haven’t been able to in years.

The protestors have transformed the park into a village of sorts, complete with a community kitchen, a library, a concert stage, an arts and crafts center and a media hub. All of that has enabled them not just to sustain the action but to build momentum. And as celebrities like Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Russell Simmons and Cornel West have joined in, the city’s traditional activists have been forced to jump into the fray.

“It’s become too big to ignore,” said one political consultant.

Some of the biggest players in organized labor are actively involved in planning for Wednesday’s demonstration, either directly or through coalitions that they are a part of. The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union Local 100 are all expected to participate. The Working Families Party is helping to organize the protest and is expected to mobilize its extensive online regional networks to drum up support for the effort.

“We’re getting involved because the crisis was caused by the excesses of Wall Street and the consequences have fallen hardest on workers,” a spokesman for TWU Local 100 said.

Transport Workers Union Votes Unanimously to Support Occupy Wall Street

We spoke to TWU Local 100’s spokesman Jim Gannon, who told us that the executive board voted unanimously last night at their regular monthly business meeting to support Occupy Wall Street. TWU Local 100 has 38,000 members, the vast majority of whom work in New York City transit. (TWU has 200,000 members in 22 states.) Gannon said, “A motion was brought up to endorse the protests’ goals; I don’t know why it took us so long to do it. Right now we’re going to be involved in a march and rally on the 5th of October. We’ll gather at City Hall at 4:30 and march to Zuccotti Park.”

Why did they join? “Well, actually, the protesters, it’s pretty courageous what they’re doing,” he said, “and it’s brought a new public focus in a different way to what we’ve been saying along. While Wall Street and the banks and the corporations are the ones that caused the mess that’s flowed down into the states and cities, it seems there’s no shared sacrifice. It’s the workers having to sacrifice while the wealthy get away scot-free. It’s kind of a natural alliance with the young people and the students — they’re voicing our message, why not join them? On many levels, our workers feel an affinity with the kids. They just seem to be hanging out there getting the crap beaten out of them, and maybe union support will help them out a little bit.”

Union Members, Wall Street Protesters to Converge at Police Plaza

The pepper-spraying incident has galvanized support for the protesters, said Alex Vitale, a Brooklyn College sociologist who will be at the Friday’s rally on Police Plaza.

“It’s turned something that was a fairly small group of people, operating somewhat under the media radar, into something that’s getting significant press coverage and a lot of support,” he said.

Vitale is one of several members of the executive council of CUNY’s Professional Staff Congress – a union of 20,000 faculty and staff – who have signed on to a statement condemning the pepper-spraying of several female protesters last Saturday by Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna. The incident, which was caught on video that subsequently went viral, has prompted an investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

Protest Police Harassment, Brutality & Attacks

When:Fri, September 30, 4pm – 5pm

Where: Liberty Square (map)


** In order not to conflict with the already called demonstration at One Police Plaza on Friday, this action is now moved to FRIDAY and MARCHES TO ONE POLICE PLAZA



The NYPD is out of control!

Come out FRIDAY 4:00 at the Occupy Wall Street site, Broadway & Liberty, for a demonstration and MARCH to One Police Plaza


For more information call the Solidarity Center 212-633-6646 Called by BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE MOVEMENT

Countdown with Keith Olbermann: Worst Persons 9.28.2011

Worst Persons: Dick Morris, Sen. Rand Paul and CNN’s Dana Loesch

Find out why Dick Morris is WORSE; Sen. Rand Paul is WORSER; and CNN’s Dana Loesch is the WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD for Sept. 28, 2011.

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

These featured articles-

The Stars Hollow Gazettte

This is an Open Thread

Justice would be nice

I don’t normally cover stories about transpeople committing crimes.  I hope that is understandable.  I write so that maybe someday we’ll get equal rights.  I personally don’t think transpeople committing crimes advances that cause.  I don’t write about those incidences unless something else is involved in the story, like maltreatment by the police or while incarcerated.

This past week I took another look at one of those stories.  I think it warrants some commentary.

Crishaun (Cece) McDonald is a 23-year-old transwoman from Minneapolis.  She has been charged with second-degree murder in the June 5 stabbing death of Dean Schmitz, 47, of Richfield, outside of the Schooner Tavern in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis.

McDonald remains in jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. Because of his gender transition status, McDonald is being held in isolation for his own safety, said Tony Dulski, who looks after McDonald’s finances as a trustee and has visited him in jail.

Dulski said that McDonald is a man who is “in the process of becoming female,” receiving hormone treatment while living as a woman.

As a trustee and counselor, Dulski said, he helps McDonald handle his finances. McDonald, who attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College this past spring semester, receives Social Security disability payments because of emotional and mental difficulties tied to gender identity, Dulski added.

Don’t think we didn’t notice the use of the male pronouns.