November 4, 2005

To Avert Protests, Bolivia Schedules Presidential Elections
By JUAN FORERO

Resolving a stalemate in Bolivia that threatened to prompt paralyzing protests, President Eduardo Rodríguez decreed Tuesday that elections for president and Congress will be held Dec. 18, paving the way for the political transformation of the isolated Andean country.

Opinion polls show that Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian who is scorned by the Bush administration for his leftist credentials, could win, leading to the first Indian government in Latin America in centuries. The traditional political parties, reviled in Bolivia for years of misrule and corruption, are expected to be swept out of power in Congress. more...

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Protests Await Bush at Summit in Argentina
Battle Looms Over Free Trade at Latin American Meeting
By TRACI CARL, AP

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, emboldened by thousands of anti-American protesters, is getting a rare chance to stand up to his adversary, George W. Bush, with promises to keep the president from reviving talks on a free trade area stretching from Alaska to Argentina.

The two men were to arrive in Argentina for the fourth Americas summit on Thursday, the same day Venezuela is staging a mock U.S. invasion of its own territory. The event is the latest exercise intended to prepare soldiers and civilian volunteers for what Chavez says is a possible attack by American troops.

U.S. officials deny any such plan, but Chavez says it's best to be ready - just in case. more...

November 3, 2005

World Can‚t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime has called for nationwide protests and student walkouts on Nov. 2, the first anniversary of Bush's "re-election." At last count people in 67 cities, at 43 colleges and universities, and 90 high schools (at last count) will leave work and school and gather in the city centers to declare No! This Regime Does Not Represent Us! and to launch a movement to drive Bush from power. (http://www.worldcantwait.org) . San Francisco convergence point is Civic Center at noon, followed by a march. Special invited guest speaker: Cindy Sheehan.

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I went to the demonstration at the civic center. It was attended primarily by young people. There were many good speakers there, including Medea Benjamin and Cindy Sheehan. Cindy Sheehan is an inspiring speaker and seems to be a very humble person. I had the distinct honor of meeting her at the rally. After the rally there was a parade that went across Market, over to Mission, and down to 3rd Street, and then back up Market to return to the Civic Center for another rally. There were some demonstrators, most of whom were high school kids, or maybe even younger, who, at the end of the march, sat down in the street. The police acted in a far more agressive manner than was necessary for the situation in order to clear the streets of these "hard cases."

November 2, 2005

Bush-Cheney Traitors Deserve Prison, Impeachment
by Ted Rall  

Urbana, Illinois --To weigh the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame against historical standards, consider that no leader of the Soviet Union--including that master of ruthlessness, Josef Stalin--ever arranged for the name of a KGB operative to appear in a newspaper. Adolf Hitler had countless millions murdered, yet getting at a political enemy by endangering agents of the Sicherheitsdienst, the Nazi intelligence service, didn't cross his mind. In this respect, not even the worst tyrants have stooped to the level of George W. Bush.  

Don't let the Republicans distract you. Treasongate isn't just about deposed vice presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby, who has been charged with five felony counts and faces 30 years in prison, or even deputy presidential chief of staff Karl Rove, who may soon be charged as well. The Libby charges clearly point to the real culprit: Dick Cheney, who told Libby about Plame's covert status in the first place. Cheney abused his security clearance to find out. "Libby understood that the vice president had learned this information from the C.I.A.," reads page five of the indictment.

---snip---

Democrats, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as usual, say they'll settle for an apology. The media is equally accommodating. "The Wilson affair is not Watergate," wrote Todd S. Purdum in the New York Times, a paper known for its desire to be helpful to the Bush White House. He's right. Treasongate is worse. more...

November 1, 2005

Samuel Alito‚s America

ALITO WOULD OVERTURN ROE V. WADE

ALITO WOULD ALLOW RACE-BASED DISCRIMINATION

ALITO WOULD ALLOW DISABILITY-BASED DISCRIMINATION

ALITO WOULD STRIKE DOWN THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

ALITO SUPPORTS UNAUTHORIZED STRIP SEARCHES

ALITO HOSTILE TOWARD IMMIGRANTS
more...

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In Cheney's Shadow, Counsel Pushes the Conservative Cause
By Dana Milbank

Since he took office, Vice President Cheney has led the Bush administration's effort to increase the power of the presidency. "I have repeatedly seen an erosion of the powers and the ability of the president of the United States to do his job," he said after a year in office, calling it "wrong" for past presidents to yield to congressional demands. "We are weaker today as an institution because of the unwise compromises that have been made over the last 30 to 35 years."

Cheney has tried to increase executive power with a series of bold actions -- some so audacious that even conservatives on the Supreme Court sympathetic to Cheney's view have rejected them as overreaching. The vice president's point man in this is longtime aide David Addington, who serves as Cheney's top lawyer.

Where there has been controversy over the past four years, there has often been Addington. He was a principal author of the White House memo justifying torture of terrorism suspects. He was a prime advocate of arguments supporting the holding of terrorism suspects without access to courts. more...

October 31, 2005

The Day of the Dead is a major Mexican holiday, where traditionally, it is believed that the dead return in spirit form in the early hours of November 2 to be among the living. Altars are prepared with offerings to welcome them.

Yesterday, this important holiday was observed in the Fruitvale District of Oakland for the 10th year.

I will feature photos from that celebration over the next several days.

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Let Us Honor Rosa ParksųBy Shattering the Myths About Her
by Rick Chamberlin  

It is right and good that at this time we should celebrate and honor the life and legacy of Rosa Parks. Her brave, dignified act of civil disobedience on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955 precipitated a nonviolent protest movement that awakened our nation to the widespread injustice of discrimination and segregation.

But as we honor Rosa Parks and bid her soul rest, may we also lay to rest the myths that began to form about her almost immediately after she was arrested 50 years ago. In the long run, I believe these myths could do more harm than good to the unfinished struggle for equality in this country.

Perhaps the most damaging myth about Rosa is that she acted alone. In fact, she worked for years with other social justice and civil rights activists prior to her famous action. She served as a secretary for and was a member of her local NAACP chapter. She attended workshops at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee to study racial desegregation tactics and Gandhian resistance methods. While Rosa parks was led from that bus alone, there were many people behind her when she boarded it. Her decision to refuse to move to the back of the bus so that a white rider could have her seat was made in the context of a community. more...

October 30, 2005

Our 27 Months of Hell
by Joseph C. Wilson IV  

After the two-year smear campaign orchestrated by senior officials in the Bush White House against my wife and me, it is tempting to feel vindicated by Friday's indictment of the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.  

Between us, Valerie and I have served the United States for nearly 43 years. I was President George H.W. Bush's acting ambassador to Iraq in the run-up to the Persian Gulf War, and I served as ambassador to two African nations for him and President Clinton. Valerie worked undercover for the CIA in several overseas assignments and in areas related to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.  

But on July 14, 2003, our lives were irrevocably changed. That was the day columnist Robert Novak identified Valerie as an operative, divulging a secret that had been known only to me, her parents and her brother.  

Valerie told me later that it was like being hit in the stomach. Twenty years of service had gone down the drain. She immediately started jotting down a checklist of things she needed to do to limit the damage to people she knew and to projects she was working on. more...

October 29, 2005

Scooter Meet José Padilla
Suddenly, Bush Embraces Right of Fair Trials
By DAVE LINDORFF

When President Bush was confronted by reporters as he left the White House for Camp David following the announcement of the five indictments of, and the resignation of Vice President Dick Cheney chief of state I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, he offered up a lame comment, which at the same time exposed him as a grotesque hypocrite.

"In our system," he said, "each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial."

Sure. That's what will happen with Scooter, and with Karl Rove if he gets indicted when the other shoe drops.

But what about Jose Padilla? This U.S. citizen, picked up at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport back in 2001, has been held in a military brig without charge, without access to an attorney, and in solitary confinement without any contact with family members for four years because President Bush has claimed the right, on his sole authority, to declare any American citizen to be an "enemy combatant" and to revoke their Constitutional rights and rights of citizenship. more...

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November 4, 2005


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November 3, 2005


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November 2, 2005


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November 1, 2005


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October 31, 2005


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October 30, 2005


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October 29, 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
October 22, 2005 - October 28, 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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