May 22, 2005

From MoveOn.com:

We have less than 72 hours to stop the radical Republicans from seizing absolute control to stack the courts - including the Supreme Court. We've launched an emergency petition we'll be delivering to congress every three hours until the final vote. Our allies will read your comments on the Senate floor, and every senator will know the American people are standing ready to hold them accountable. Please sign today:

Dear MoveOn member,

This is it ų they've pulled the trigger.

On Tuesday May 24th, the Senate will vote on a motion to end debate on judicial nominations, and when that motion fails Senator Bill Frist will launch the "nuclear option" ų an unprecedented parliamentary maneuver to break the rules of the Senate and seize absolute control over lifetime appointments to the highest courts in the land. The vote is going to be incredibly close, and there are as many as 6 votes still up in the air ų more than enough to win. We must act now.

We've launched an emergency petition and, starting Monday, we'll deliver your signatures and comments to the Senate floor every three hours until the vote is complete. As the debate rages on, Senators fighting to preserve our independent courts will read your statements from the floor of congress. And every senator, every 3 hours, will receive thousands of pages from their constituents demanding that they stand up and do the right thing.

We have less than 72 hours to win this vote and save our courts. Please sign today.

http://www.moveonpac.org/nuclear?id=5554-1486884-6D1D69NeqbfV5VceEuPojg&t=3

May 21, 2005

The lies that led to war 
A leaked British memo, and other documents, make it clear that Bush intended all along to invade Iraq -- and lied about it to the American people. The full gravity of his offense has not yet sunk in. 
By Juan Cole 

05/19/05 "Salon.com" - - When Newsweek's source admitted that he had misidentified the government document in which he had seen an account of Quran desecration at Guantánamo prison, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita exploded, "People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said. How could he be credible now?" 

Di Rita could have said the same things about his bosses in the Bush administration. 

Tens of thousands of people are dead in Iraq, including more than 1,600 U.S. soldiers and Marines, because of false allegations made by President George W. Bush and Di Rita's more immediate boss, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, about Saddam Hussein's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and equally imaginary active nuclear weapons program. Bush, Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice repeatedly made unfounded allegations that led to the continuing disaster in Iraq, much of which is now an economic and military no man's land beset by bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and political gridlock. 

And we now know, thanks to a leaked British memo concerning the head of British intelligence, that the Bush administration -- contrary to its explicit denials -- had already made up its mind to attack Iraq and "fixed" those bogus allegations to support its decision. In short, Bush and his top officials lied about Iraq. more.... 

May 20, 2005

In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths
By TIM GOLDEN

Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him.

The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.

---snip---

Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned a final horrific detail: Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time.

The story of Mr. Dilawar's brutal death at the Bagram Collection Point - and that of another detainee, Habibullah, who died there six days earlier in December 2002 - emerge from a nearly 2,000-page confidential file of the Army's criminal investigation into the case, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. more....

**********

Cowardice In Journalism Award For Newsweek
Goebbels Award for Condi
by Greg Palast

"It's appalling that this story got out there," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on her way back from Iraq.

What's NOT appalling to Condi is that the US is holding prisoners at Guantanamo under conditions termed "torture" by the Red Cross. What's not appalling to Condi is that prisoners of the Afghan war are held in violation of international law after that conflict has supposedly ended. What is NOT appalling to Condi is that prisoner witnesses have reported several instances of the Koran's desecration.

What is appalling to her is that these things were REPORTED. So to Condi goes to the Joseph Goebbels Ministry of Propaganda Iron Cross.

But I don't want to leave out our President. His aides report that George Bush is "angry" about the report -- not the desecration of the Koran, but the REPORTING of it.

And so long as George is angry and Condi appalled, Newsweek knows what to do: swiftly grab its corporate ankles and ask the White House for mercy. more....

May 19, 2005

Did Newsweek Damage America's Image?
by Harold Williamson

The White House said on Monday „that an inaccurate Newsweek report based on an anonymous source had damaged the U.S. image overseas by claiming U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay.š  This after the editor of Newsweek admitted on Monday that there might be a problem with their report. 

Two weeks ago in their issue dated May 9, Michael Isikoff and John Barry of Newsweek magazine reported that U.S. military investigators had found evidence that American guards at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had committed infractions in trying to get terror suspects to talk, including in one case flushing a Qur'an down a toilet. The story spawned protests in Afghanistan that left 15 dead and many others injured.  

The White House jumped on this as if it were a story by Dan Rather. White House spokesman Scott McClellan was quoted as saying, „People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged.š  

Let me make sure I heard that correctly . . . . „The image of the United States abroad has been damaged.š  

Can you imagine McClellan saying that after the recent publication of the „Downing Street memoš that is nothing short of the smoking gun needed to confirm that the Bush administration cooked the books in order to wage an illegal war with Iraq that has ruined the lives of millions of people.  This must be the image that McClellan thinks has been damaged.  It seems that the Pentagon's „shock and aweš campaign pretty much destroyed that a long time ago. more....

May 18, 2005

The Scourge of Nationalism
By Howard Zinn

I cannot get out of my mind the recent news photos of ordinary Americans sitting on chairs, guns on laps, standing unofficial guard on the Arizona border, to make sure no Mexicans cross over into the United States. There was something horrifying in the realization that, in this twenty-first century of what we call "civilization," we have carved up what we claim is one world into 200 artificially created entities we call "nations" and armed to apprehend or kill anyone who crosses a boundary.

Is not nationalism--that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder--one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred? These ways of thinking--cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on--have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.

National spirit can be benign in a country that is small and lacking both in military power and a hunger for expansion (Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica, and many more). But in a nation like ours--huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction--what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves.  more....

May 17, 2005

Buy Your Gas at Citgo: Join the BUY-cott!
by Jeff Cohen  

Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.  

And tell your friends.  

Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."  

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. (Click here http://www.citgo.com/CITGOLocator/StoreLocator.jsp to find one near you.) By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans. more....

May 16, 2005

Whistleblower's Career Over
by William Fisher  

"I realize this is the end of my Air Force career."  

With these words, a chaplain at the Air Force Academy, for the first time, went public about a "systemic and pervasive" problem of religious proselytizing at the academy by evangelical Christians.  

Capt. MeLinda Morton, 48, told The New York Times that a religious tolerance program she helped create to deal with the problem was watered down after it was shown to officers, including the major general who is the Air Force's chief chaplain.  

Captain Morton said she had decided to step forward without the required authorization from the public affairs office because: "It's the Constitution, not just a nice rule we can follow or not follow. We all raised our hands and said we'd follow it, and that includes the First Amendment, that includes not using your power to advance your religious agenda." more....

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No War in Iraq march.

San Francisco, Ca., January 18, 2003
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Klezmatics

Klezmatics concert photos. (These are uncorrected straight out out of the camera)

On April 3, 2005, Barbara and I went to see the Klezmatics, with guest Joshua Nelson, Jewish gospel singer. To quote the concert program, "Their soul-stirring Jewish roots music recreates klezmer in arrangements and compostions that combine Jewish identity and mysticism with a contemporary zeitgeist and a postmodern aesthetic. Since their founding in New York City's East Village in 1986, the Klezmatics have celebrated the ecstatic nature of Yiddish music with works by turn wild, spiritual, provocative, reflective and danceable." The concert was phenomenal.

**********

Campus Bay

On April 28, 2005, More than 50 people representing many officials, community groups, and other concerned citizens gathered at the Campus Bay site to demand strict oversight of health and safety standards designed to protect the community during and after cleanup of these former industrial sites. Two months have gone by since the Richmond City Council asked the state to authorize the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) to take the lead on environmental cleanup for the entire Stauffer Chemical / Zeneca / Campus Bay (called Campus Bay in short) site. Meanwhile, DTSC does have oversight on a portion of the site and cleanup will continue before development plans are approved.

The main health concerns include:
That the soil is so toxic that future residents would be exposed in the long term with unknown health effects due to gases from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and direct exposure to toxic soils. They would almost certainly not be informed about the site history or any potential health threats. The developers idea of mitigation, by the way, includes fans inside the high rises to prevent buildup of VOCs where residents live (!!!!!).

Additional concerns:
Many organizations have additional concerns including the visual impact of the high rises on adjacent neighorhoods, visual impact on the coastal zone, proper clean up and restoration of the site in general and the marsh in particular which is critical habitat for many species including the endangered Clapper Rail etc.

A few additional Photos (Most of these photos are not edited or corrected in Photoshop).

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This site consists of original photographs and composites by Fletcher Oakes, unless otherwise credited.


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