June 5, 2005

When is Someone Going to Toss Rumsfeld into a Cage?
by Jason Leopold  

If you want to ensure that the media doesn‚t cover an important political story, send out a press release on a Friday, preferably at the end of the day. By the time reporters return on Monday, the story will be old news and will either be buried deep within a newspaper or not covered at all.  

That‚s what the Pentagon brass is praying for.  

At the end of the day Friday, the Pentagon confirmed a pattern of widespread abuse of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, by military personnel dating back two and a half years. Releasing the report when most beat reporters have left for the weekend was a calculated move by White House and Pentagon spin doctors to control media coverage of the explosive report.  

Where‚s the outrage?  

Last month, Bush and his cronies publicly stated that a 10 sentence item in Newsweek detailing that a prison guard flushed a Quran down a toilet sparked an uprising in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia that led to more than a dozen deaths, was flat out wrong. more....

June 4, 2005

The Other Bomb Drops
by Jeremy Scahill

It was a huge air assault: Approximately 100 US and British planes flew from Kuwait into Iraqi airspace. At least seven types of aircraft were part of this massive operation, including US F-15 Strike Eagles and Royal Air Force Tornado ground-attack planes. They dropped precision-guided munitions on Saddam Hussein's major western air-defense facility, clearing the path for Special Forces helicopters that lay in wait in Jordan. Earlier attacks had been carried out against Iraqi command and control centers, radar detection systems, Revolutionary Guard units, communication centers and mobile air-defense systems. The Pentagon's goal was clear: Destroy Iraq's ability to resist. This was war.

But there was a catch: The war hadn't started yet, at least not officially. This was September 2002--a month before Congress had voted to give President Bush the authority he used to invade Iraq, two months before the United Nations brought the matter to a vote and more than six months before "shock and awe" officially began. more....

June 3, 2005

Watergate's Lost Legacy
Investigative journalism is dead; long live investigative journalism
by David J. Sirota  

Upon the news this week that Watergate source „Deep Throatš had come forward, CNN's Judy Woodruff waxed nostalgic about the golden era of muckraking journalism. "It is so hard, I think, for young people we know who work here at CNN and other news organizations to even imagine what Watergate was like," she said. "To have a White House come undone, an administration come undone, because of some news reporting." Coming from a lead reporter at one of America's largest cable networks, it was truly a sad commentary.  

First and foremost, it was sad because she was right -- American journalism today has lost its confrontational, hold-their-feet-to-the-fire attitude that gave it a reputation as our government's fourth check and balance. Young reporters can't imagine what that kind of reporting really is because they've never experienced it. more

June 2, 2005

Papiere  Bitte

By Doris Colmes

Those were the magic words of the time:  „Papiere Bitte.  (Translation: „Papers, Please.š)  Hearing those words, even now, causes dull echoes of sounds akin to bodies hitting dirt, or bullets penetrating flesh to thud into my mind.  Because, if those papers weren‚t correctly in order, or, if you were a Jew sneakily present in any place (including the grocery store) which displayed the usual „NO JEWS OR DOGS ALLOWEDš sign, you were dead meat--literally.  And, yes, of course I‚m talking about my childhood as a little Jewish kid in Nazi Germany.  

No one ever forgets stench.  Whether it is a long-forgotten encounter with a ripe skunk, or a ripe egg, or a ripe decomposing body, once one of those odors has been brain-documented, then even the slightest tinge of such an aroma pops back up immediately, along with the circumstances under which it first offended the nostrils.  

And, that‚s what‚s happening now.  I smell the long-forgotten skunk, the long-forgotten rot of fascism.  What is happening all around can no longer be denied. .  What I ran away from so desperately in 1938 is coming back full circle.  Only the jack-boots have not yet arrived. more....

June 1, 2005

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

**********

Sign Iraq Withdrawal Petition

Read the Petition:

Progressive Democrats of America will deliver the following petition to Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean in Washington, D.C. during the first week of June, 2005.

To Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean,

We the undersigned join grassroots Democrats from California to Vermont in calling for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. We ask you to join us in our demand that the troops be brought home. We support efforts to repair the damage the war has inflicted on Iraq, but believe that the occupation is causing further damage, encouraging violence, hardening divisions, and failing to train or prepare Iraqis for self-governance.

We believe the United States can best help Iraq by supporting reparation efforts financially, rather than continuing to spend greater sums of money on an occupation that is aggravating the situation and making all of us less safe. more....

May 31, 2005

Why I'm Joining the GOP
Leaving the left for fun and profit
by Jeff Gillenkirk  

After a lifetime voting for and working for Democratic candidates and independents, I'm finally going to make the switch and become a Republican.  

The reasons are many, not the least of which is age. I turned 55 recently and, having lived more than half my life, I can't afford to worry anymore about the other guy. It's time for me.  

As a Republican, I can now proudly -- indeed, defiantly -- pledge to never again vote for anyone who raises taxes for any reason. To hell with roads, bridges, schools, police and fire protection, Medicare, Social Security and regulation of the airwaves.  

President Bush has promised to give me more tax cuts even though our federal government owes trillions of dollars to its creditors. But that's someone else's problem, not mine. Republicans are about the here and now, and I'm here now.  

As a Republican, I can favor exploiting the environment for everything she's got. No need to worry about quaint notions like posterity and natural legacy. There are plenty of resources left for everyone, and if we don't use them, someone else will.  

I want a party that doesn't worry about things before we have to. Republicans refuse to get hog-tied by theories such as global warming, ozone depletion, fished-out oceans and disappearing wetlands. The real problems -- if there are any -- aren't forecast to take hold for at least 50 years. So what do I care? I'll be dead. more....

May 30, 2005

San Francisco's Carnaval is billed as California‚s largest annual multi-cultural celebration and one of the City‚s most spectacular traditions. I like to go to the parade; it's a lot of fun. I'll be featuring photos from there for the next week or so.

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A lot less fun is what is going on in Iraq. Read Riverbends reflections on her webstite at Baghdad Burning.

(Click on icons to see larger images.)

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June 5, 2005


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June 4, 2005


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June 3, 2005


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June 2, 2005


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June 1, 2005


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May 31, 2005


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May 30, 2005


Archives

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February 26, 2005 - March 4, 2005
March 3, 2005 - March 11, 2005
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April 25, 2005 - May 1, 2005
May 2, 2005 - May 8, 2005
May 9, 2005 - May 15, 2005
May 16, 2005 - May 22, 2005
May 23, 2005 - May 29, 2005

No War in Iraq march.

San Francisco, Ca., January 18, 2003
San Francisco, Ca., February 16, 2003

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.

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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).

Home

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


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