August 19, 2005

Man says he forgot pipe bomb was in luggage
Charged with trying to take device on plane, he says it was meant for fun

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Kirk Humphreys
BuzzFlash.com GOP Hypocrite of the Week.

Every once in a while, we like to honor minor stage players in the tragic farce of the Grand Hypocrisy Party. That is why this week we are honoring former GOP Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys.

You see Humphreys helped get one Charles Alfred Dreyling Jr. out on bail after he was caught trying to board an airplane with a bomb.

August 18, 2005

Cindy Sheehan's Tragic Critics
by John Nichols  

While debating conservative pundit David Horowitz on Ron Reagan's MSNBC show the other night, I was struck by the desperation with which supporters of the war have turned their fury on Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq who has been trying to get an audience with President Bush.

Horowitz, the former left-wing zealot who is now a right-wing zealot, described the woman who has camped out near Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch as "hateful," accused her of dishonoring the memory of her son and promised that if Sheehan and other anti-war activists succeed in bringing an end to the occupation of Iraq then "rivers of blood" will flow in the streets of America. It was a remarkable performance, so much so that even Horowitz admitted that he was "emotional" about the subject. more...

August 17, 2005

Bush's Blind Spot on Iran
by ROBERT SCHEER

We don't respect or understand any religious or nationalist fervor other than our own. That myopic distortion has been a persistent historical failure of US foreign policy, but it has reached the point of total blindness in the Bush Administration.

The latest exhibition of this approach was President Bush's thinly veiled threat this weekend to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities or even invade the country as a last resort, sparked by Tehran's troubled negotiations with the West over its nuclear program.

It is telling that Bush made the comments on Israeli television, which makes them exponentially more provocative. Israel is, of course, not only Iran's archenemy but is also believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the immediate region. more...

August 16, 2005

How can the US ever win, when Iraqi children die like this?
By Robert Fisk

There‚s the wreckage of a car bomb that killed seven Americans on the corner of a neighbouring street. Close by stands the shuttered shop of a phone supplier who put pictures of Saddam on a donkey on his mobiles. He was shot three days ago, along with two other men who had committed the same sin. In the al-Jamia neighbourhood, a US Humvee was purring up the road so we gingerly backed off and took a side street. In this part of Baghdad, you avoid both the insurgents and the Americans - if you are lucky.

Yassin al-Sammerai was not. On 14 July, the second grade schoolboy had gone to spend the night with two college friends and - this being a city without electricity in the hottest month of the year - they decided to spend the night sleeping in the front garden. Let his broken 65 year-old father Selim take up the story, for he‚s the one who still cannot believe his son is dead - or what the Americans told him afterwards.

"It was three-thirty in the morning and they were all asleep, Yassin and his friends Fahed and Walid Khaled. There was an American patrol outside and then suddenly, a Bradley armoured vehicle burst through the gate and wall and drove over Yassin. You know how heavy these things are. He died instantly. But the Americans didn‚t know what they‚d done. He was lying crushed under the vehicle for 17 minutes. Um Khaled, his friends‚ mother, kept shouting in Arabic: "There is a boy under this vehicle." more...

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U.S. Defends Detentions at Airports
By NINA BERNSTEIN

Foreign citizens who change planes at airports in the United States can legally be seized, detained without charges, deprived of access to a lawyer or the courts, and even denied basic necessities like food, lawyers for the government said in Brooklyn federal court yesterday.

The assertion came in oral arguments over a federal lawsuit by Maher Arar, a naturalized Canadian citizen who charges that United States officials plucked him from Kennedy International Airport when he was on the way home on Sept. 26, 2002, held him in solitary confinement in a Brooklyn detention center and then shipped him to his native Syria to be interrogated under torture because officials suspected that he was a member of Al Qaeda. more...

August 15, 2005

Nancy Rowe suggested freewayblogger.com to me.

"So Far We've Got...
1800+ Signposters in.
315 Cities and.
50 States."

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Sweet Jesus, I hate Bill O'Reilly, International is an organization dedicated to the dissemination of information that exposes Bill O'Reilly for what he is:  an ego-driven, biased individual who spreads fear, hate and misunderstanding.  His views are firmly anchored to the political right.  He works tirelessly to enrage Americans and pit them against anything he considers "liberal" or, worse yet, "secular". Mr. O'Reilly uses highly manipulative forms of presentation, phrasing and, yes, "spin".  

Check out this cartoon from their website.

August 14, 2005

Sheehan Strategy
by Jerry Fresia

The strategy employed by Cindy Sheehan to hold President Bush accountable needs to be examined for its effectiveness.  I believe her effectiveness is rooted in something that Martin Luther King pointed to as an essential feature of any effective non-violent action and that is the use of "confrontation" to make "the invisible visible."

---snip---

By positioning herself outside the ranch of a vacationing president in the broad light of day, Sheehan is using a non-violent tactic that is both militant and confrontational. She is creating tension and conflict. She is using provocation. She states, "We will force him to answer to us."  And of course, with the rest of the world looking on, his failure to answer is equally as revealing. 

And so with tens of millions following the story, Bush finds time each day for his trainer but not an hour to respond to a Gold Star Mom's simple request that he explain to her what he means by the words "noble cause."   Before a national audience, Bush's motorcade zooms past Cindy on the way to a 2 million dollar barbeque fundraiser, literally leaving her in the dust. The arrogance of Bush, which is still invisible to many, is thus rendered palpably visible. The invisibility of his contempt for people like Cindy, for dissent - for citizenship, is not only made visible, but the gulf between the Bush promise of family values and accountability and their fulfillment has been explicitly laid bare. more...

August 13, 2005

It Is Not Only Iraq That Is Occupied. America Is Too 
By Howard Zinn 
---snip---

'But more ominous, perhaps, than the occupation of Iraq is the occupation of the US. I wake up in the morning, read the newspaper, and feel that we are an occupied country, that some alien group has taken over. I wake up thinking: the US is in the grip of a president surrounded by thugs in suits who care nothing about human life abroad or here, who care nothing about freedom abroad or here, who care nothing about what happens to the earth, the water or the air, or what kind of world will be inherited by our children and grandchildren.

More Americans are beginning to feel, like the soldiers in Iraq, that something is terribly wrong. More and more every day the lies are being exposed. And then there is the largest lie, that everything the US does is to be pardoned because we are engaged in a "war on terrorism", ignoring the fact that war is itself terrorism, that barging into homes and taking away people and subjecting them to torture is terrorism, that invading and bombing other countries does not give us more security but less.' more...

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


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