This week I am featuring the photos of my wife, Barbara. She is an extremely talented musician, writer, and photographer, and I am fortunate to have her in my life.

October 28, 2005

The Epic Crime That Dares Not Speak Its Name
By John Pilger

A Royal Air Force officer is about to be tried before a military court for refusing to return to Iraq because the war is illegal. Malcolm Kendall-Smith is the first British officer to face criminal charges for challenging the legality of the invasion and occupation. He is not a conscientious objector; he has completed two tours in Iraq. When he came home the last time, he studied the reasons given for attacking Iraq and concluded he was breaking the law. His position is supported by international lawyers all over the world, not least by Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, who said in September last year: "The US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN Charter."

---snip---

In September, Human Rights Watch released an epic study that documents the systematic nature of torture by the Americans, and how casual it is, even enjoyable. This is a sergeant from the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division: "On their day off people would show up all the time. Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC [prisoners'] tent. In a way it was sport... One day a sergeant shows up and tells a PUC to grab a pole. He told him to bend over and broke the guy's leg with a mini Louisville Slugger that was a metal [baseball] bat. He was the fucking cook!" more...

**********

If You Believe in What You Are Doing, Give Me Your Stiffest Sentence. If You Don't, Then Resign
by Cindy Sheehan

"If you believe in what you are doing, give me your stiffest sentence. If you don't, then resign." -- Gandhi

Yesterday, started off with a "bang" when we went to Arlington Cemetery to lay a wreath in the section where the Iraq War dead are buried. In our group yesterday morning were 3 other members of Gold Star Families for Peace. Juan Torres was with us and his son, Juan, was murdered in Afghanistan.

First of all, I was followed all morning by the Park Police. I guess because I am a very dangerous subversive. I would never hurt a flea, but what I am dangerous to is the lies and corruption of our government.

Secondly, Juan, Beatriz Saldivar, and Julie Cuniglio who have all had loved ones killed in this war had brought pictures of their dead loved ones with them to Arlington. We were told by the administration of the cemetery that they couldn't take the pictures into the cemetery because they were "political statements!!" We were stunned that pictures of our children that have been killed for lies and betrayals and for purely political reasons can't be shown in a cemetery that supposedly honors those who have served, some making the ultimate sacrifice in war. We are living in a state that kills our children then calls them political statements. That speaks volumes to the chicken hawks who we are allowing to ruin our country. more...

October 27, 2005

Who Are We to Pick Syria's President?
Could someone recommend one for us?
by Paul Craig Roberts

Someone should tell Condi Rice that the game is up. With the Bush administration dissolving in illegalities committed by key officials in their attempts to protect the lies that they used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the secretary of state is trying to ramp up war against Syria.

Grasping a UN report that uses unreliable witnesses to implicate Syria in the assassination of a former Lebanese government official, Condi Rice told the BBC on Oct. 23 that Syria's crime cannot be "left lying on the table. This really has to be dealt with."

This is amazing for many reasons. Here is the person in charge of U.S. diplomacy acting as if she is the secretary of war unsheathing military force. Whoever heard of an American diplomat wanting to start a war because a former Middle Eastern government official was assassinated?

The UN investigator, Detlev Mehlis, has no more idea who assassinated the former official than the U.S. knows who is responsible for assassinating the many Iraqi officials under its protection. After more than two and one-half years of war in Iraq, the U.S. still doesn't know exactly whom it is fighting. Yet Mehlis blames Syria for an assassination on the strength of an informer described by the German news magazine Der Spiegel as a convicted felon and swindler. more...

October 26, 2005

From Amy Goodman's Democracy Now:
Col. Janis Karpinski, the Former Head of Abu Ghraib, Admits She Broke the Geneva Conventions But Says the Blame "Goes All the Way to The Top

Karpinski, the highest-ranking officer demoted in connection with the torture scandal, speaks out about what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison. She discusses:

How the military hid "ghost detainees" from the International Red Cross in violation of international law;

Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller calling for the Gitmoization of Abu Ghraib and for prisoners to be "treated like dogs";

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's secret memos on interrogation policies that hung on the prisons walls;

The militarys use of private (and possibly Israeli) interrogators;

Her dealings with the International Red Cross;

Why she feels, as a female general, she has been scapegoated for a scandal that has left the military and political leadership unscathed;

Calls for Donald Rumsfeld, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, Alberto Gonzalez and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller to be held accountable for what happened more... (includes transcript and broadcast)

October 25, 2005

War Protest Has Captive Audience
No matter how much neighbors may try to ignore it, effigy gives display a high profile.
by Eric Bailey

SACRAMENTO Morning begins on Marty Way. Sprinklers slap across crew-cut lawns, and the rising sun angles through a thick canopy of trees. As neighbors head to work, they hardly glance anymore at the block's oddest sight.

hanging in effigy

An effigy depicting a dead American soldier hangs from a Sacramento home. The display has been repeatedly vandalized, but owner Stephen Pearcy has repaired it. He says it will come down when the U.S. leaves Iraq.

The soldier is still there.

Affixed under the gingerbread eaves of Stephen and Virginia Pearcy's place is the figure of a U.S. serviceman in desert camouflage and helmet. A balled-up American flag forms the head. A noose is cinched around the neck, just above the sign reading, "Bush Lied. I Died." more...

October 24, 2005

Huge Majority Of Iraqis Want Coalition To Go
Ned Temko

The government has been dealt an embarrassing double blow in its battle to convince the public it is beating insurgency in Iraq and the threat of terrorism at home, according to confidential reports leaked to today's newspapers.

One claimed nearly half of all Iraqis sympathised with violent attacks against British and US coalition troops; another said that at home, Tony Blair's high-profile strategy to counter the terrorist threat was proving disjointed and ineffective.

Downing Street, while saying it would not comment on 'allegedly leaked reports', told The Observer last night that Britain remained firm in its commitment to stay in Iraq until the elected government felt it was ready to take over security responsibilities.

The figures on Iraqis' views about attacks on coalition troops came from a nationwide opinion survey, commissioned by the Ministry of Defence and leaked to the Sunday Telegraph more...

October 23, 2005

Fitzgerald Is No Ken Starr
By Joe Conason

The same pundits who are absurdly smearing Fitzgerald as a partisan zealot were notably silent during the Whitewater disgrace.

With the mounting anticipation that Bush administration officials will be indicted in the CIA leak investigation, we have arrived at the stage that was always inevitable: a wave of preemptive attacks on special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and his expected prosecutions.

While the attackers have various motives, their arguments tend to share the same specious themes: that the special counsel has "run amok"; that he is pursuing the "criminalization of politics"; that no crimes were committed except possibly in covering up administration misbehavior, which supposedly are not crimes worth prosecuting; and that Fitzgerald is somehow comparable to Kenneth W. Starr, the Whitewater independent counsel whose gross abuse of his office led to its abolition.

To anyone familiar with the most basic facts about Fitzgerald's prosecution, the quarreling with him and his methods simply sounds stupid. Do the Republican partisans who claim that he is running a "political" investigation realize that John Ashcroft's deputy appointed him? Do those same Republicans remember that the president endorsed his appointment and the purposes of the investigation? Do they know that the original demand for an investigation came from former CIA director George Tenet? more...

October 22, 2005

It's Not up to the Court
by Howard Zinn

...knowing the nature of the political and judicial system of this country, its inherent bias against the poor, against people of color, against dissidents, we cannot become dependent on the courts, or on our political leadership. Our culture-the media, the educational system-tries to crowd out of our political consciousness everything except who will be elected President and who will be on the Supreme Court, as if these are the most important decisions we make. They are not. They deflect us from the most important job citizens have, which is to bring democracy alive by organizing, protesting, engaging in acts of civil disobedience that shake up the system. That is why Cindy Sheehan's dramatic stand in Crawford, Texas, leading to 1,600 anti-war vigils around the country, involving 100,000 people, is more crucial to the future of American democracy than the mock hearings on Justice Roberts. more...

(Click on icons to see larger images.)

yulee the dog
October 28, 2005


graffiti icon
October 27, 2005


neighbor portrait icon
October 26, 2005


pig statues icon
October 25, 2005


times square icon
October 24, 2005


easter parade icon
October 23, 2005


yulee the dog icon
October 22, 2005


Archives

August 21, 2004 - August 19, 2005


August 20, 2005 - August 26, 2005
August 27, 2005 - September 2, 2005
September 3, 2005 - September 9, 2005
September 10, 2005 - September 16, 2005
September 17, 2005 - September 23, 2005
September 24, 2005 - September 30, 2005
October 1, 2005 - October 7, 2005
October 8, 2005 - October 14, 2005
October 15, 2005 - October 21, 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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This site consists of original photographs and composites by Fletcher Oakes, unless otherwise credited.


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