Thursday, November 29, 2007
LIGHT IN THE DARK: FESTIVAL FOR PEACE
Dec 1 through Dec 23
Presented by The Tidewater Peace Alliance,
a coalition of peace and social justice organizations
Join us during the darkest part of the year to help usher in the new light. We'll present the regional premieres of 12 new movies that tell stories of both hope and terror from around the world. Cautionary tales that show how peace is destroyed by fear, poverty, and ideology. And heroic tales of peace achieved through conflict resolution, cross-cultural studies, respect for civil and human rights, and the nurturing of a just and tolerant society. Internationally known speakers, local musicians and performers complete the lineup, for the most inspiring Light in the Dark Peace Festival ever.
3rd ANNUAL LIGHT IN THE DARK: FESTIVAL FOR PEACE
FILM PREMIERES, SPEAKERS, DISCUSSIONS, SEMINARS AND PERFORMANCES
Films and events listed below held at either Naro Cinema or Studio for the Healing Arts (one block north of the Naro on the Second Floor) on Colley Avenue in Ghent, unless otherwise indicated.
Showtimes to be announced at http://www.narocinema.com or call 625-6275.
Saturday, Dec 1, 10a.m. - 10p.m.
Sunday, Dec 2, 10a.m. - 5p.m.
FAIR TRADE FESTIVAL
Downtown Farmer's Market site, on the Northwest side of
300 Monticello Ave., Norfolk
(Note that region-famous Bear Baker will be cranking out the music from 10-10 on Saturday at the Festival.)
Also Sustainable Hampton Roads workshops at Sacred Heart Church10-4 Saturday. Shuttle Bus from Sacred Heart to the Festival.
Tuesday, Dec 4, 7:30 p.m., and Fri-Sun, Dec 7-9
FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate? Director Daniel Karslake's provocative and entertaining documentary brilliantly reconciles homosexuality with Biblical scripture, and in the process reveals that Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based almost solely upon a significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation of the Bible. Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families-including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson-we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. (95 mins)
Equality Virginia will facilitate the discussion on Tuesday night.
Wednesday, Dec 5, 7:30 p.m., Studio for the Healing Arts
An Evening with Dr. Yacob Hailemariam (cosponsored by Amnesty International Hampton Roads Group)
Dr. Hailemariam served as a professor of business law at Norfolk State University for 20 years, and worked for the United Nations as a Senior Legal adviser in West Africa. In 2004 he put his career on hold to travel to his homeland of Ethiopia to run for and win a seat in parliament. But he and other reformers were soon arrested and given life sentences by the corrupt ruling party. Declared prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International, they were recently released from prison. Dr. Hailemariam has returned to his family in Hampton Roads, but intends to go back to Ethiopia in 2008.
Thursday, Dec 6 (with discussion) at 7:30 p.m. and Sat & Sun, Dec 8 & 9
O JERUSALEM - The synopsis of this film proclaims that it depicts "the historic struggle surrounding the creation of the state of Israel in 1948...meticulously re-created" and "told from the alternating viewpoints of Jews, Arabs, and Brits." However, journalist Robert Fisk, in his review in the London Independent, calls the film a "deliberate distortion of history, the twisting of the narrative of events to present Jews as the victims of the Israeli war of independence (6,000 dead) when in fact they were the victors, and the Arabs of Palestine - or at least that part of Palestine that became Israel in 1948 - as the cause of this war and the apparent victors (because the Jews of East Jerusalem were forced from their homes after the ceasefire) rather than the principal victims." Fisk asserts that the film is built upon Hollywoodized cliches and sentimentality, while offering only racist stereotypes of Palestinians and Arabs and Zionist myths about the 1947-48 war which have been thoroughly discredited by both Israeli and international scholars. Based on the best-selling novel by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre (Is Paris Burning?). (R, 102 mins)
Thursday night discussion will be led by Dr. Ilan Avisar, visiting professor of Jewish Studies at ODU and professor at Tel Aviv University in the Department of Film and Television. An award-winning producer and script writer, he is also the author of several books.
Friday, Dec 7 "False-Flag Day"
66th Anniversary of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor
7p.m. at the Studio for the Healing Arts $5 donation
ZEITGEIST The underground cult Internet hit will have its first local audience screening. Part I: The Greatest Story Ever Told; Part II: All the World's a Stage; Part III: Don't Mind the Men Behind the Curtain. Seeing this film is to understand that "The Revolution is Now".
Hosted by Veterans for Peace, Drinking Liberally, We Are Change Virginia - VA 9/11 Truth, Gaiacircle and Meetup.com
ZEITGEIST the movie "Spirit of the Age" DVD Door Prize
Fri-Sun, Dec 7-9 at 5 p.m.
PETE SEEGER: THE POWER OF SONG Pete Seeger is now 92 years young. One of the greatest American singer-songwriters of the last century, he wrote some of folk music's best known songs, including "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "If I Had a Hammer." Largely misunderstood by his critics, including the U.S. government, for his views on peace, unionism, civil rights, and ecology, Seeger was targeted by the communist witch-hunt of the 1950s and, in spite of his enormous popularity, banned from American television for more than 17 years. Directed by Jim Brown (The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time) and includes appearances by Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Maines, Tom Paxton, and Peter, Paul and Mary. (93 mins)
A Live Hootenanny on Sunday, Dec 9 with film showing and performance by recording artist and local legend Bob Zentz who will tell personal stories about Pete and perform some Pete inspired music along with his daughter Skye Zentz and other guests.
Saturday, Dec 8
7:00pm at A.R.E.(Association for Research and Enlightenment)
64th Street, Virginia Beach
WE ARE ONE PEOPLE -- A Concert
A concert to benefit the Lost Boys of Sudan in Hampton Roads and their families in Africa.
Performers include The Lost Boys Singers, B.J. Leiderman, Chris Van Cleave and others.
Saturday, Dec 8
8p.m. Studio for the Healing Arts
SECOND SATURDAY SALON
free and open to the public
"Stories That Pick Us"
If we ask ourselves, what is our story? chances are we will come up
empty handed. But if we ask, what story has picked me? we will get a response right away from our unconscious psyche. For this salon, we'll talk about stories that pick us, about journaling to explore that story, and about
action that we can take once our attention to story and journaling
ferrets out a palpable clue to act on.
Facilitated by associate professor of English at CNU, Terry Lee, who specializes in Jungian approaches to literature, as well as narrative journalism. He is the author of A New Path at Midlife: Transformative Relationship and Story for Men" (Men's Studies Press, 2006)
Tuesday, Dec 11 (with discussion) at 7:30 p.m. and Sat & Sun, Dec 15 & 16
JIMMY CARTER MAN FROM PLAINS From director Jonathan Demme (Philadelphia, Silence of the Lambs) comes an intimate and surprising encounter with President Jimmy Carter. Following the path of Mr. Carter's recent controversial book tour for "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid", the Academy Award-winning filmmaker reveals a complex individual who, with the gusto and determination of a youngster, crisscrosses the country to get his message across. Man From Plains explores both the private and public sides of Jimmy Carter, whose intense sense of justice compels him to pursue his lifelong and deeply spiritual vision of reconciliation and peace. (PG, 120 mins)
Christie Boyes from the Carter Center at Emory University in Atlanta will be in attendance on Tuesday to introduce the film and lead discussion.
Wednesday, Dec 12, 7:15 p.m., Studio for the Healing Arts
Presented by Norfolk Catholic Worker
CONVICTION Acts of nonviolent civil disobedience against the industrial military complex are not taken lightly in this country. This is the very personal story of three Dominican Sisters affiliated with the Plowshares and Jonah House in Baltimore, MD who risk all in living their lives true to their convictions of equality, peace, and social justice. (50 mins)
Two of the Dominicans, Sister Carol Gilbert and Sister Ardeth Platte will be in attendance to dialogue with the audience.
Thursday, Dec 13(with discussion) at 7:30 p.m. and Fri - Sun, Dec 14-16
MILAREPA In the 11th century, in the Year of the Water Dragon, on a high barren plain in the shadow of Mount Tisi, a child is born. Destined to become one of the most revered figures in Tibetan history, Milarepa's epic life story ultimately moves into the realm of the mythic and legendary, inspiring millions. Nine hundred years after his death, the visionary wizard, saint, and poet (played by Jamyang Lodro as an adult) remains Tibet's greatest mystic. Yet his youthful rage and black magic brought death and destruction upon his own family. This is his story: a tale of revenge, demons, murder, and redemption. In Tibetan with subtitles. (PG, 90 mins)
The executive producer of the film, Greg Kruglak, will be in attendance on Thursday to introduce and then speak after the screening.
Friday, December 14 - CAROLING
Norfolk Court Building plaza/ 6:30 p.m.
Sponsored by The Sowers of Justice
Open to all
Starts Friday, Dec 14
DARFUR NOW A story of hope in the midst of one of humanity's darkest hours, writer/director Ted Braun's documentary is a call to action. The struggles and achievements of six different individuals from inside Darfur and around the world bring to light the tragedy in Sudan and show how one person can make a difference to millions. The conflict is explored through the firsthand experiences of Don Cheadle, Hejewa Adam, Pablo Recalde, Ahmed Mohammed Abakar, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, and Adam Sterling. (PG, 99 mins)
Monday, Dec 17 at 7:15pm
AN EVENING WITH AUTHOR AND ACTIVIST KATHY KELLY
The founder of Voices in the Wilderness and executive director of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Kathy Kelly has traveled twenty-four times to Iraq to give aid, bear witness, and then report her findings in her book: Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison. She served three months at Pekin federal prison for crossing the line as part of the ongoing effort to close the army military training school at Fort Benning, Georgia. In summer 2006 she was in southern Lebanon during and after the Israel-Hezbollah war. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Kathy will speak and have film clips from In a Time of Siege.
Reception for Kathy Kelly at Azar's (20th & Colley Ave) at 5:30pm.
Tuesday, Dec 18, 7:15 p.m.
REDACTED A fictional story inspired by true events, writer-director Brian De Palma's unique cinematic experience is centered on a small group of American soldiers stationed at a checkpoint in Iraq. Alternating points of view, this searing drama balances the experiences of these young men under duress with those of the local Iraqi people. A profound meditation on the way information is packaged, distributed and received, Redacted utilizes a variety of created source material-video diaries, produced documentary, surveillance footage, online testimonials, and news pieces-to comment on the extreme disconnect between the surface of an image and the reality of ideas and the truth, especially in times of strife. (R, 90 mins)
Thursday, Dec 20 at 7:15pm
WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? The charismatic Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir take us on a cross-country crusade to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse! From preaching at the Mall of America, to exorcising the demons from Wal-Mart Headquarters-Reverend Billy takes his gospel to the Promised Land. Changelujah! Produced by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and directed by Rob VanAlkemade, this new doc is both very funny and profound! (93 mins)
Fri, Dec 21, 7:00pm at the Studio for the Healing Arts $10
(space limited so come early, bring your drum, and bring a treat to share)
DRUM DANCE AND DREAM FOR PEACE: A SOLSTICE CELEBRATION
Join Maiyah Olivas, members of Beleza, Elizabeth Gay, and local members of The World Dreams Peace Bridge for drumming, dancing and a celebration of solstice.
This is a benefit event for the Peace Bridge work with the children of Iraq. Nobody will be turned away, but please give generously if you can.
Fri & Sat, Dec 21 & 22
JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN As the front man of The Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives and their politics forever. Four years after his death, his influence continues to reach out around the world. In director Julien Temple's new documentary, Strummer is revealed not just as a legend or a musician, but as a true communicator of our times. Drawing on both a shared punk history and their close personal friendship, Temple's film is a celebration of Strummer before, during and after The Clash. Includes appearances by Bono, Terry Chimes, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Matt Dillon, Topper Headon, Jim Jarmusch, Mick Jones and more. (124 mins)
Sunday, Dec 23 at 5:00pm at the A.R.E.
THE CONCISE DICKENS' CHRISTMAS CAROL
Performed by DD Delaney
Back for its second year, The Concise Dickens' Christmas Carol is a 50-minute, one-person mainline injection of holiday spirit for busy people, faithfully adapted from the original and brilliantly performed by multi-talented D.D. Delaney.
Opening music by harpist Elisa Dickon performing beautiful Celtic Christmas carols.
Plus, At the 40th Street Stage, 809 w. 40th Street in Norfolk
Back by popular demand, poet-playwright-actor D.D. Delaney returns to the 40th Street Stage with his condensed, one hour version of the Charles Dickens Christmas classic. Utterly theatrical, this one man tour-de-force presents the beloved story with sincerity and clarity - simply the essentials and essence of this timeless story of redemption.
Opens Friday, December 14 and closes Saturday, December 22
Performances Dec 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22.
All performances at 8 pm except Sunday, Dec 16 at 2 pm
TIDEWATER PEACE ALLIANCE
NARO Expanded Cinema http://www.narocinema.com/
Studio for the Healing Arts http://www.studioforthehealingarts.org/
The iMAGE Project http://www.imageproject.org/
The World Dreams Peace Bridge http://www.worlddreamspeacebridge.org/
Hampton Roads Network for Nonviolence/A Season for Nonviolence http://www.hamptonroadsnetworkfornonviolence.org/
Crawford Peace House http://www.crawfordpeacehouse.org/
Norfolk Catholic Worker House http://www.catholicworker.org/communities/volunteers.cfm
Virginia Beach Friends, Committee for Peace and Social Justice
Gaia Circle http://www.studioforthehealingarts.org/
Hampton Roads Independent Media Coalition http://www.hrimc.org/
Wordminder Press http://www.wordminderpress.com/
Veterans for Peace http://www.veteransforpeace.org/
Iraq Veterans Against the War http://www.ivaw.net/
Jewish Voice for Peace http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace/
Hampton Roads Peace and Justice Center http://www.hrpjc.org/
Virginia Organizing Project http://www.virginia-organizing.org/
Amnesty International ( Hampton Roads Local Group #633)
Military Families Speak Out
Appeal For Redress http://www.appealforredress.org/
Tapestry, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
40th Street Theater
#1 No Habeas Corpus for “Any Person” -- The Military Commissions Act allows ANYONE REGARDLESS OF CITIZENSHIP (this includes American Citizens) to lose the right of habeus corpus and be renditioned to the alternative military tribunals instead of U.S. courts. You could sit in a "Gitmo" facility somewhere in the world for years before you were given a "military tribunal." All it takes is for Bush or Cheney to label you a "military combatant" and it's done. No "proof" is necessary. The law prohibits detainees once inside from appealing to the traditional American courts until after prosecution and sentencing. Source1 Source 2 Source 3
To learn more about the movement to rewrite this act visit this link. link 1
#2 Bush Moves Toward Martial Law -- The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, allows President Bush to order the military (AND take command of state based National Guards without any recourse from the state authorities) and use them to "suppress public disorder." I bet the white segregationists are kicking themselves in the butt for not setting this mechanism up prior to the days of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. This law repeals the Posse Comitatus Act which has enabled the United States to be the one country in the world who did not enact martial law when citizen unrest occurred. Instead of martial law, the "citizen unrest" resulted in major changes in civil rights for blacks in the U.S.A. Some, in our government would prefer to put a tank in Washington Square to chase any demonstrators away. Next stop, Communist China anyone? There was no major discussion in Congress concerning this lay and the media has remained quiet on the ramifications of this legislation on our democracy. Source
# 3 AFRICOM: US Military Control of Africa’s Resources -- "In February 2007 the White House announced the formation of the US African Command (AFRICOM), a new unified Pentagon command center in Africa, to be established by September 2008. This military penetration of Africa is being presented as a humanitarian guard in the Global War on Terror. The real objective is, however, the procurement and control of Africa’s oil and its global delivery systems.
The most significant and growing challenge to US dominance in Africa is China. An increase in Chinese trade and investment in Africa threatens to substantially reduce US political and economic leverage in that resource-rich continent. The political implication of an economically emerging Africa in close alliance with China is resulting in a new cold war in which AFRICOM will be tasked with achieving full-spectrum military dominance over Africa. " Source
# 4 Frenzy of Increasingly Destructive Trade Agreements -- “It is in nobody’s long-term interest to have a global economy that perpetuates social, economic, and environmental injustice.” (Oxfam) With the current frenzied debate over illegal immigration these Free Trade Agreements are a major source of creating poverty in Central and South America and FORCES people to try to find work in the USA in order to simply feed their families. And the people who have to work for a living, no matter the country, will learn the hard way that this is corporate written legislation that will lower the standard of living for workers everywhere. Source 1 Source 2
#5 Human Traffic Builds US Embassy in Iraq -- Maybe this is the "real truth" behind what Bush and Cheney label US liberation and democracy in Iraq. Source
#6 Operation FALCON Raids -- "While mass militarized police roundups make little sense as a method of apprehending fugitives, the FALCON program does make sense as a means of effectively setting up a chain-of-command structure that radiates from the Justice Department and relocates the levers of control to Washington where they can be manned by members of the administration. Whitney warns that the plan behind the FALCON program appears to have been devised to enhance the powers of the “unitary” executive by putting state and local law enforcement under federal supervision, ready for the institution of martial law." Source 1 http://uruknet.info/?p=m30971&s1=h1
#7 Behind Blackwater Inc. -- Mercenaries--private contractors--are the second largest (and extremely expensive) force in Iraq. These contractors operate with little or no legal contraint, have no oversight, and their deaths are politically expedient because there are no death tolls kept for the mercenaries. Some see Blackwater as the Private Army of Bush and Cheney. Blackwater is now operating withing the United States and were used in Louisianna (many fresh from Iraq) after Katrina hit. Source
#8 KIA: The US Neoliberal Invasion of India-- Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, and Wal-Mart are the corporate forces behind the Indo-US Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture (KIA). "The KIA allows for the grab of India’s seed sector by Monsanto, of its trade sector by giant agribusiness ADM and Cargill, and its retail sector by Wal-Mart. " The details of this agreement are still "secret" even to India's senior politicians and their scientific community. Apparently Prime Minister Singh will sacrifice India’s agriculture sector to pay for concessions in the nuclear field by the U.S. In the meantime, at least 28,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide and folks are fighting to keep GM seed out of India, fearing the loss of their native plants. Source 1 Source 2
#9 Privatization of America’s Infrastructure -- Looks like the USA wants to take us to "Midevil" times when folks did not have the right to travel freely. The new toll takers will be Wall street investors, Australian bankers, and Spanish contractors. One -three roadways in Virginia are already leased out for 100 years. Investment firms (such as Golman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and the infamous Carlyle Group) are approaching state officials in order to pick up the infrastructure at the lowest price possible to maximize profits. These investors usually insist on "noncompete" clauses which prevent the state government from expanding or improving nearby roads. This is insane. If tolls are to be charged the profits should be taken by the state to build and maintain our roadways. not fatten some fat cat's pocket. Source 1 Source 2
# 10 Vulture Funds Threaten Poor Nations’ Debt Relief -- Vultures--distressed-debt investors--are paying pennies on the dollar to obtain the debts of third world countries and then demanding full payment from the impoverished country. For example, Zambia was negotiating with Poland to reduce their $40 million debt to $3 million. Instead a vulture swoops in (Donegal International) and pays Poland less than $4 million for Zambia's debt. Donegal is now insisting that Zambia pay them the entire $40 million. Zambia had hope to invest in nurses, teachers, and build some basic infrastructure in their country and they were close to finalizing the agreement with Poland. However investors in Donegal convinced Poland to sell them the debt. Donegal is suing Zambia for the entire $40 million. Zambia may be forced to sue their national resources to benefit the English Donegal investors and the Zambian people will continue to earn less than $1 per day. Source 1
# 12 Another Massacre in Haiti by UN Troops
# 13 Immigrant Roundups to Gain Cheap Labor for US Corporate Giants
# 14 Impunity for US War Criminals
# 15 Toxic Exposure Can Be Transmitted to Future Generations on a “Second Genetic Code”
#16 No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11
# 17 Drinking Water Contaminated by Military and Corporations
# 18 Mexico’s Stolen Election
# 19 People’s Movement Challenges Neoliberal Agenda
# 20 Terror Act Against Animal Activists
# 21 US Seeks WTO Immunity for Illegal Farm Payments
# 22 North Invades Mexico
# 23 Feinstein’s Conflict of Interest in Iraq
# 24 Media Misquotes Threat From Iran’s President
# 25 Who Will Profit from Native Energy?
Presented by Tidewater Peace Alliance and co-sponsored by
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Hampton Roads Group 633,
as part of the 3rd Annual
LIGHT IN THE DARK: FESTIVAL FOR PEACE
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7:30 PM
The Studio for the Healing Arts
1611 Colley Avenue, Second Floor
One block north of the Naro cinema in the Ghent section of Norfolk
Dr. Yacob Hailemariam served as a professor of business law at Norfolk State University for 20 years. He worked for the United Nations as a Senior Legal adviser in West Africa and as Senior Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In 2004 he put his career on hold to travel to his homeland of Ethiopia to run for parliament in his home district. During the campaign he became a very popular public figure and was chosen to chair the international relations committee of the leading opposition party, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD). He was elected to parliament by an overwhelming majority on May 15, 2005.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi refused to accept the results of the election. When mass protests erupted, the government killed hundreds of people and arrested Dr. Yacob and scores of other elected members of Parliament on Oct. 31, 2005. Charged with treason, inciting violence, and genocide, they were sentenced to life in prison. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations denounced the politically motivated prosecutions and declared the members of Parliament to be prisoners of conscience. After an international campaign of nearly two years, thirty-eight CUD members, including Dr. Hailemariam, were released in July, 2007. Dr. Yacob was reunited with his family in Hampton Roads in October, 2007. However, many political prisoners remain in Ethiopian prisons today.
Dr. Hailemariam will discuss the struggle for democracy and human rights in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa and the international campaign that led to his release from prison.
Contact Amnesty International Hampton Roads at email@example.com.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The Republicans finally agree to do the You Tube Questions BUT only if it's rigged. There is no voting on the questions and the "Pundits" (who already ask stupid safe questions) will be choosing the questions.
Want to know what Americans are concerned about and thinking? Spend some time cruising through the You Tube videos...you will be surprised at the questions we are all asking that never make it to the candidates. I'll be perusing and choosing some of the videos here and there.
For now there is this one and I BET you won't see the Republicans asked this one.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
In Australia the people have spoken.
The news in America failed to report that Donald Rumsfeld was forced to flee France in order to escape being arrested for war crimes. Rumsfeld fled to Germany. Earlier German courts refused to try any of the Bushites for war crimes stating that this was an internal American issue that American courts should adjudicate.
Isn't it newsworthy to have a former Bush Administration official fleeing from an arrest for the charge of war crimes? IF the media was so liberal (instead of "so corporate") this NEWS would have been covered ad nauseum by every major tv news network and print media in the United States.
But the myth of the liberal media will continue to persist as long as it covers up the corporate bias that is ingrained in our media. The news professionals in the U.S. do mothing more than disseminate propaganda that promotes a corporate agenda.
We are linked to "imeem" for the late Nina Simone's rousing spiritual-style song, "New World Coming". To hear the entire song and not just the preview, hit the play arrow, then click on "download this song" and relax while "imeem" opens up. It will load the song in a few seconds, so you don't have to download or buy anything. Just close the download/purchase box when it pops up and enjoy. In case it doesn't play now, click on the play arrow at the imeem website.
I first heard this song by Nina Simone back in the late 60s in San Francisco, and it has served as a personal theme song for all these decades, helping me to get through all the ugliness and darkness of the world as it is during the last throes of the Age of Pisces. But a new age is dawning, the Age of Aquarius, which the late Sikh Kundalini Yoga Master Yogi Bhajan declared would really begin in 2011, when new energies begin to transform the planet to a higher level of unity, peace and consciousness. The old world is dying, so hang in there and ride it out. Long live the New World Coming!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
There is an unbelievable amount of misunderstanding about the Palestinian people in the West, particularly in the United States, where Palestinians have been reduced to a stereotype in the minds of many, an ugly, deadly stereotype of sub-human, fanatic mad-bombers who deserve what they get from Israel and its allies.
But nothing could be farther from the truth, and this giant demonization of an entire people reeks of the same kind of hatred and vindictiveness that the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews in Europe, in a word, anti-Semitism. And where there is hatred, violence is not far behind.
But how can you call this anti-Semitism if is employed against Arabs? They are not Jewish.
Quite easily, because ethnically, the Arabs are also considered a Semitic people, just like the Jews. They all came out of the same cutural cauldron of southwestern Asia. The term Semite refers to any member of the various ancient and modern peoples originating in that area, including the Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs. Of course, even the term Arab, when applied to the Palestinians, is a cliche when applied to all of them, because there were Persian, Greek, Norman and Frank, Turkish and later British cultural influences, not to mention intermarriage. The bottom line is that they are humans made in the image of God (and Goddess).
So it is ironic that even some Jews fall into the trap today of demonizing the Palestinians, their Semitic brothers and sisters. But this is what power politics, propaganda and violence do. They turn brother against brother.
But here is a brief video to challenge this god-forsaken stereotype, one that shows us the historical cultural, even physical beauty of the Palestinian people, a culture that the world should both be proud of and want to see flourish again.
"Fascism is the merger of corporations and government"--famous quote attributed to Fascist Dictator Mussolini Another way to describe the privatization of the Bush-Cheney Regime.
I hope you will sharpen your senses and only support the Truth Tellers.....The major candidates on the Democratic side who speak truth to power are Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards.
The United States fulfills the criteria to be defined as a fascist nation thanks to the Bush-Cheney regime.
The 14 characteristics are:
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to ‘look the other way’ of even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe; racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists; terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism – The government if fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or through sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in wartime, is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivation tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders in power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely or are severely suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses, and even fore go civil liberties, in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions, and who use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability.
14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against (or even the assassination of) the opposition candidates, the use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and the manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections. (Source)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
As we watch the extremists and Fascists on the Right continue to spread their emotional plague of hatred, death and destruction throughout America and beyond, many of us have begun to fight back.
But it would help to have a theme song, and a rallying cry to inspire us. Well, Laura Nyro, the New York City gal born in the Bronx with the powerful and spiritual voice, gave us one years ago when she wrote and performed "Save the Country". It's time to start singing this song again and shouting "Save the country now" from the rooftops.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Allen was found guilty an on Tuesday (11/13/07) he received his sentence for his crime. The maximum penalty was 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine. Allen was placed on six months probation, ordered to pay a $250.00 fine, ordered to undergo testing for STD's, and is forbidden to return to Space View Park, where the incident took place. (Source)
With so many Republicans being caught for soliciting sex in bathrooms, as well as soliciting sex with children this year, it's amazing the Corporate Media has neglected to cover this phenomena. Especially since Republicans like to present themselves as the party with "real" family values.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
"The impressive thing about the German phenomenon is that one man, who is obviously "possessed," haa infected a whole nation to such an extent that everything is set in motion and has started rolling on its course towards perdition." 388, Vol. 10 of The Collected Works of C.G.Jung
This is the President who wants to say it's the Terrorists who hate our freedoms....when it's actually Bush, Cheney, and the Bushites who are trying to dismantle our constitutional freedoms.
Stay Alert Folks....Will Congress step up to the plate and protect our freedoms and rights?
Thanks and a H/T to Jim Hightower....Buzz Buzz
If Couric and the other "pretty" newscasters would pay as much attention to research and context as they do to their hair and "cook factor" the Corporate News might become worth watching. But Corporate Media doesn't want Americans to really know what's going on....if we did we would not tolerate the government give aways to the Corporate media and their corporate crony advertisers....And the Corporate Media might have to start "paying" for their use of "our publicly owned airwaves" by giving candidates running for office free air time in blocks of 15 to 30 minutes which would eliminate the sound bites and the billions of dollars that the corporations obtain every election cycle.
In the meantime, watch a real journalist--Amy Goodman--at Democracynow.org and see what news can and should be.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Photo montage of victors and victims: source
Destroyed building: source
Destroyed mosque: source
Inside bombed-out house: source
Critically injured Fallujan boy: source
This November marks the third anniversay of the second of two American-led military assaults culminating in the massive destruction of most of the ancient Iraqi city of Fallujah. Consequently, I am republishing my account of this event here on Mosquito Blog, lest we forget what the Bush regime has perpetrated in our names. It was first published by the Southern ((I)) in print form, and later at OpEdNews.com, the web-link of which site you can access by clicking here.
Earlier this year I posted the first four articles in this series at Mosquito Blog. They dealt with the first assault ending in May, and the immediate aftermath. In the rest of the articles, this being the seventh, I have started getting into the much more brutal second assault in November, something most of us know little about, due to the moral poverty of the mainstream media.
Part 7: Fallujah Becomes Guernica
By Mac McKinney
"The soldier, be he friend or foe, is charged with the protection of the weak and unarmed. It is the very essence and reason for his being. When he violates this sacred trust, he not only profanes his entire cult but threatens the very fabric of international society. The traditions of fighting men are long and honorable. They are based upon the noblest of human traits - sacrifice."
-General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, 1946, confirming the death by hanging sentence imposed by a United States military commission on General Tomayuki Yamashita, convicted of failing to prevent Japanese Imperial troops under his command from committing massacres and outrages against prisoners of war and civilians in the last stages of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.
After "capturing" Fallujah General Hospital and isolating its staff from the outside world, American forces continued to sweep into the city, pounding targeted areas with artillery and air power to soften them up, as well as cutting all electrical power by late Tuesday, 09 November 2004. Insurgent resistance varied from neighborhood to neighborhood, in some instances light, in others heavy, but fluid enough to reinforce some areas under attack that were hard-pressed. Even so, the best the Mujaheddin, playing David to the U.S. Goliath, could hope to do was to delay the inevitable against overwhelmingly superior firepower, logistics and technology.
By November 10, after two days of fighting, CENTCOM announced that they had taken about 70% of the city. The northwestern Jolan district was occupied with little resistance, as well as the main east-west highway. However, to the southwest, the Resala and Nazal neighborhoods were putting up a better fight. Coalition forces, generally going house to house, continued to target for assault or destruction all buildings that were deemed to be sheltering insurgents, whom we must recall are usually difficult to differentiate from civilians. Unfortunately, targets included many mosques, such as Al Tawfiq and Muhammadia , which were alleged to either be housing wounded fighters or serving as command centers and bunkers.
On November 12, Coalition forces continued to force the Mujaheddin into the southeast corner of the city while the Iraqi Red Crescent, the Muslim version of the Red Cross, declaring the situation in Fallujah a "big disaster", requested permission to enter the city, but received no official reply. By the following day, officials stated they had achieved control of most of the city and were beginning house-to-house clearing operations, claiming that a thousand or so insurgents had been slain and 200 captured.
By November 15, ground troops were still plodding on, house-to-house, aided by ongoing air strikes, artillery, tanks, and explosives experts. The Red Crescent was still not allowed into the city, so they turned their trucks toward the outlying villages where tens of thousands of Fallujans were encamped in tents in very desperate straits.
The following day CENTCOM declared victory in Fallujah, other than for isolated pockets of resistance, which would linger on with nagging persistence. According to GlobalSecurity.org: "As of 15 November 2004, 38 U.S. troops, six Iraqi soldiers and an estimated 1200 insurgents had been killed. Three of the U.S. fatalities were non-battle related injuries. Approximately 275 U.S. troops were wounded as well." (source)
Several senior military officers now began to predict that the insurgency in Iraq would soon collapse.
This, in a nutshell, was the sanitized version of events that was flowing from the corporate media in November. The Pentagon's embedded reporters were, as usual, kept on a tight leash regarding physical access to the city and were briefed regularly by military spokesmen on the "liberation of Fallujah". Moreover, there were no independent, live-reporting media crews within Fallujah during major hostilities, unlike the April siege. Still, the universe itself has eyes and ears, so to speak, and so the unvarnished, other side of the story, with powerful allegations, eventually began to surface, a tiny portion of which I am recounting here. Some of what follows has been corroborated, some of it not, so the reader must decide for himself the veracity of each eye-witness account.
Marines moving out in Fallujah. (source)
Let us begin with information provided in this year's Project Censored book, "Censored 2006", that lists civilian suffering in Fallujah as the second biggest story ignored by the Establishment media in 2005. The following is recounted from the book's report, Media Coverage Fails on Iraq: Fallujah and the Civilian Death Toll, and addresses, among other things, American house-to house searches:
"Burhan Fasa'a, an Iraqi journalist, said Americans grew easily frustrated with Iraqis who could not speak English. 'Americans did not have interpreters with them, so they entered houses and killed people because they didn't speak English. They entered the house where I was with 26 people, and shot people because [the people] didn't obey [the soldiers'] orders, even just because the people couldn't understand a word of English.'
"Abu Hammad, a resident of Fallujah, told the Inter Press Service that he saw people attempt to swim across the Euphrates to escape the siege. 'The Americans shot them with rifles from the shore. Even if some of them were holding a white flag or white clothes over their head to show they are not fighters, they were all shot.' Furthermore, 'even the wound[ed] people were killed. The Americans made announcements for people to come to one mosque if they wanted to leave Fallujah, and even the people who went there carrying white flags were killed.' Former residents of Fallujah recall other tragic methods of killing the wounded. 'I watched them [US Forces] roll over wounded people in the street with tanks ... This happened so many times.'
"Preliminary estimates as of December of 2004 revealed that at least 6,000 Iraqi citizens in Fallujah had been killed.....The illegal, heavy handed tactics practiced by the US military in Iraq evident in these news stories have become what appears to be their standard operating procedure in occupied Iraq. Countless violations of international law and crimes against humanity occurred in Fallujah during the November massacre...... According to Iraqis inside the city, at least 60 percent of Fallujah went on to be totally destroyed in the siege, and eight months after the siege entire districts of the city remained without electricity or water. Israeli style checkpoints were set up in the city, prohibiting anyone from entering who did not live inside the city. Of course non-embedded media were not allowed in the city." (source)
The above Project Censored report of American troops wantonly gunning down civilians in the Euphrates River is so ghastly that corroboration is demanded. Revolutionary Worker Online Article #1260, November 28, 2004, does just that with the story of Bilal Hussein:
"Bilal Hussein is an Iraqi photographer for the Associated Press. He stayed inside Fallujah during the invasion, and planned to photograph the advance of U.S. troops from that side.
"But once the bombing and artillery started to flatten his Jolan neighborhood, Hussein realized he was facing death. 'U.S. soldiers began to open fire on the houses... Destruction was everywhere. I saw people lying dead in the streets, wounded were bleeding and there was no one to come and help them,' he said. 'There was no medicine, water, no electricity nor food for days.'
A dead Iraqi, decapitated, apparently holding his dead daughter (source)
"As the U.S. forces entered his neighborhood, Hussein fled in total panic. He decided to escape by crossing the Euphrates River along the western side of Fallujah. Hussein stuck to the shadows, dodging the gunfire, moving house to house, toward the river. He says, 'I decided to swim... but I changed my mind after seeing U.S. helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river.' In shock, he watched a family of five shot dead in the water. He helped bury a man by the river bank, digging with his hands. 'I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could still see some U.S. snipers ready to shoot anyone who might swim. I quit the idea of crossing the river and walked for about five hours through orchards.' A peasant family gave him shelter in their house, so he survived to tell what he had seen." (source)
"Inside the city, many are dead. Reporters describe desperate dogs and cats feeding on corpses in the streets...... Much of the city is impassable: Crushed cars fill the streets and intersections. Sewage pipes broken and spewing lakes of filth. Power and telephone lines snarl into spaghetti-like tangles.
"Everything lies covered in layers of soot and debris. This makes the ruins look ancient-as if they had been abandoned and untouched for years. But the heavy dust is only days old, dropped from a fiery sky filled by explosions and the thick smoke of a burning city. The northern neighborhoods were flattened in the fury and flames of the opening attack. The southern industrial districts were leveled in the fierce fighting of the attack's last days. The city's huge northern rail station-once a major transfer point for all of Iraq-was obliterated forever by a single earth-shaking 2000-pound bomb." (source)
Tolls and Ironies
What was the overall toll of destruction? Moscow Times columnist Chris Floyd writes: "By the end of operations, the city lay in ruins. Falluja's compensation commissioner has reported that 36,000 of the city's 50,000 homes were destroyed, along with 60 schools and 65 mosques and shrines. The US claims that 2,000 died, most of them fighters. Other sources disagree. When medical teams arrived in January they collected more than 700 bodies in only one third of the city. Iraqi NGOs and medical workers estimate between 4,000 and 6,000 dead, mostly civilians....."
(Chris Floyd from his article, The White Death of Fallujah) (source)
Indeed, during the middle of the American attack on Fallujah, insurgents suddenly poured into Mosul on November 10, attacking police stations and causing most of the several thousands-strong police ranks to abruptly flee or resign en masse. Furthermore, Dr Ali Fadhil, the Iraqi physician turned journalist, who snuck into Fallujah after the main assault and shot enough footage to eventually broadcast a video-report for Channel Four News in England, actually managed to interview Abu Shaiba, the commander of the 'Army of Mohammad' based in south Fallujah's al-Shuhada'a district:
"With his face covered, Shaiba relates what had happened to the insurgents under his command: 'The fighters withdrew from the town following an order from our senior leadership. We pulled out, but not because we had lost the fight with the Americans. It was a tactical decision to re-group.'
Resistance fighters on alert in Fallujah (source)
"Finally, Fadhil speculates on the results of the US military offensive against the city. 'If so many of the insurgents escaped, what did the American forces really achieve in Fallujah? The violence has simply spread to other parts of the country; over 300,000 people have lost their homes and now bitterly resent the Americans. 'The City of Mosques' has become the 'City of Rubble.' " (source)
So if many or most of the Mujaheddin had followed the old ditty of "he who fights and runs away will live to fight another day", then who were all the bodies lying buried underneath rubble or being gnawed on by starving, rabid dogs in the streets? Civilians, many of them women and children, or what was left of them, because many had been horribly shredded by ordnance.
Slain Iraqi in street, his body either eaten by starving dogs or very likely burned to the bone by American incendiaries, judging by the charring on clothes and what looks like charring on bones (source)
Slain woman in a home (source)
Again, Pepe Escobar writes: "Terrified Fallujans calling Baghdad tell of A-10 jets raining cluster bombs on the city's streets. Iraqi (very) black humor qualifies unexploded cluster bombs as the Iraqi version of Toys 'R' Us: children get injured or killed because they think cluster bombs are toys. Everyone is talking of 'scores of bodies' in streets destroyed by US bombing. There is no power, no water, shops are closed, food is scarce and practically no medical supplies remain, according to Dr Sami al-Jumaili, speaking to al-Jazeera. No more clinics are open throughout the city - and there is no possible way to estimate how many civilians are dead, blown up, burned or injured, although al-Jumaili tells of 'scores of injured civilians'. A brand-new clinic funded by a Saudi Islamic relief non-governmental agency was bombed by the Americans during the weekend, as well as a medical dispensary in the city center: this was apparently the last place where anybody could get any medical attention." (source)
The use of cluster bombs in populated cities is illegal, but then again, so are military assaults against civilian populations. But our commanders were used to ignoring ethics by now, so why not throw in some white phosphorus to boot. But that is in the next chapter.
Next Chapter, Part 8:
Willie Pete Does Fallujah
Mosquito has been taking one of those unexpected "breaks" this week....but thoughts are brewing.... Thanks so much to Mac for getting his thoughts out into the universe and keeping us online.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Here's Michael Franti's new Yell Fire music video, shot at his San Francisco concert this year by Brooke Duthie. Franti is becoming a major artistic force for love, peace and humanity. "Stay human" is one of his core messages to soldiers around the world, as they are ordered to do inhuman things by their lost-in-purgatory governments.
Thank God(dess) for Michael Franti. Michael is becoming a cultural icon and hero of progressive forces on the planet. His head and heart are in very solid, loving places and he is moving America along toward higher consciousness in these dark times.
A key component of the Peace and Justice Movement: building resistance against war and enabling Peace though music and the arts.
Franti in concert
Franti has also made a terrific documentary of his recent musical and Peace odyssey through Iraq, Israel and Palestine entitled I Know I'm Not Alone. Check it out, I've seen it and it's terrific. Music can open people up and unite them, even in a war zone.
Franti with GI's in Iraq (photo source)
Michael Franti Biography from Star Pulse (Reference):
Since his days as a member of the Beatnigs while in his early twenties, Michael Franti grew from an angry young hip-hopper with a political, socially conscious bent (the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Spearhead) to a man who channeled his seriousness, social unease, and desire for change and merged them with his love for music, particularly old-school R&B, soul, and hip-hop. What he left behind in brash, make-some-noise aesthetic, he gained in compassion. And through his use of his own raw power -- charisma, sex appeal, sense of social injustice -- he carried out in his music a community-generated passion in much the same way as Gil Scott-Heron or Marvin Gaye.
Franti was adopted at birth by white parents in the predominantly black community of Oakland, CA. That set of contradictory circumstances instilled in him a hyper-awareness of his own cultural identity as did the sobering fact that his more thoughtful, less provocative style of expression was not accepted by the African-American audience that had embraced a harsher, more combative faction of the hip hop movement. In 1986, Franti formed the drum'n'bass/industrial duo the Beatnigs with turntablist Rono Tse, disbanding after one album. He then formed the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, whose combination of jazz-influenced heavy rap set out to challenge the materialism and misogyny of what had become mainstream rap.
His next project, Spearhead produced the critically acclaimed Home in 1990. The album contained his biggest single, "Hole in the Bucket," a thoughtful lament on the plight of the homeless, and "Positive," which addressed the growing AIDS epidemic. The album boasted adept funk samplings, sinuous guitar vamps, and soulful, melodic tracks about family and social injustice. 1997's Chocolate Supa Highway was not as pop-friendly as Home, but neither did its themes of kidnappings and police brutality lend themselves to such overt accessibility. Its mixture of harsher musical styles -- techno, rock, and funk -- was a step forward for Franti as his world view broadened and deepened. In 2001, Franti released Stay Human. In it he expresses his anger at the system, his advocacy of love, and his belief in freedom through individuality and self-expression through a set of songs that revolve around a fictitious death penalty case. In it, his embrace of the genres that inspired him is achieved with eloquence.
Songs from the Front Porch was Franti's first proper solo album, appearing in 2003. It was an acoustic affair that had him focusing even more on his singing, but not at the expense of his intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. In 2005, Love Kamikaze: The Lost Sex Singles & Collectors' Remixes appeared. Again billed only to Franti, it was a collection of Spearhead tracks that didn't quite fit into the albums they were originally recorded for (as well as a couple different mixes from the Stay Human album). In 2006, Franti and Spearhead released Yell Fire! The album was partially recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, and, along with the book and film I Know I'm Not Alone, was part of a trilogy that was themed as documenting Franti's recent visits to Israel, Palestine, and Iraq. Travis Drageset, All Music Guide
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Aren't you tired of these weirdos and nihilistic space-cases that keep attacking the 9/11 Commission? I mean, the Commission was comprised of honorable men doing the best they could under trying conditions, wasn't it?
And these nuts have even written a book to try to prove their preposterous case. Here is a synopsis of what these two crazies have to say in it:
"(They) devoted the first chapter on how they believed the Commission was set up for failure......listed a number of reasons why they thought this, including the late start of the Commission and the very short deadline imposed; the insufficient funds, 3 million dollars, initially allocated for conducting such an extensive investigation (later the Commission requested and received additional funds, but the chairs still felt hamstrung); the many politicians who did not want the Commission formed; the continuing resistance and opposition to the work of the Commission by many politicians, particularly those who did not wish to be blamed for any of what happened; and the denial of access by various agencies to documents and witnesses."
And it just goes on and on in this critical vein. Give me a break!
And just who are these clowns?
Two guys named Kean and Hamilton. Even the names sound phony. To be exact, former Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean and former Congressman Lee Hamilton.
And what possible credentials could they have to make them some kind of experts on the Commission?
They were the co-chairs of the Commission.
Sureeeeeeeeee, big deal! They're still fringe nutjobs trying to bring America down.
The name of their attention-seeking book by the way is: Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.
And I'll leave you with this parting, ridiculous book quote by them, just so you can have a good laugh:
"So there were all kinds of reasons we thought we were set up to fail."
-Book Review by Richard I. R. Cheney (no relation to the current CEO of Halliburton)
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Are there enough patriots in Congress to fight for the rule of law and not interfere with the judicial process? Let the courts do their job and if the Telecoms are guilty of illegal surveillance they should bear the lawful consequences. (And then the courts can take on the evildoers in our government who asked the Telecoms to spy on us.)
Are there enough patriots in Congress to uphold the rule of law, an essential element in any "alleged" democracy, and INSIST on having an attorney general who will go after the criminals and not protect them. It's better to have no attorney general than to get another Gonzalez in the office.
Stay tuned....better yet contact your elected officials and let them know you are aware of what they will be voting on. If you won't take the time to exert some pressure then who will?
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
If only we had people running for office that understood Americans as well as Keith Olbermann. The Washington Lieber-crats--Feinstein, and Schumer--better watch out. You are playing with an angry fire when you decide to become accomplices with the criminal and treasonous acts of Bush and Cheney.
We'll see who the real Democrats are in the House when Dennis Kucinich proposes Impeaching Vice President Cheney and in the Senate when the vote for a "protect the Bush/Cheney criminals" attorney general nominee is voted on.
Will any Republicans decide to stand up for the rule of law in our allegedly "democratic" country and stop supporting the madness of Bush and Cheney? Stay tuned we will soon have the answers
I am an independent; I "prefer" to vote for the best candidate. I am unhappy that in my district (79th) Democrat Johnny Joannou is running unopposed. Quite frankly, I voted for his opponent in the Democratic primary. In my humble opinion, we can do better than Johnny Joannou. He's been in Richmond a long time and I don't see him doing that much. I want a serious representative who actually listens to his constituents....I have never gotten the feeling that Joannou wants to listen to me....he surely doesn't make it easy...his constituents can't even email him with their thoughts. So if I had a choice (and I thought they had a decent platform) I'd most likely be voting against Joannou this year...as it stands I'm not going to vote for Joannou so he will slip in again....Hopefully next election a much better candidate will run for his seat....This is one incumbent that needs to go.
Another incumbent that needs to go is Senator Quayle in the 13th Senate District. Quite frankly I have had it with Senator Quayle and most of the Virginian Republicans. I have heard from constituents that visited with Quayle and though he agreed with them he voted the issue with the way his party wanted him to. In addition Quayle has not only been MIA--missing in action--from representing me in the Senate he's also been MIA during the race. It seems as though Quayle believes that Virginians will always vote for the incumbent no matter what they do or don't do. Well, soon to be MR. Quayle, I have had it with not being able to visit my friend's farm because the King's Highway Bridge remains closed AFTER 10 YEARS...and this is also a major evacuation route for Hampton Roads. Now "MR" Quayle wants to play the blame game and hold the Suffolk City Council responsible for his inability to get the bridge repaired. Funny how we are only hearing about this during his "tight" re-election race. MR Quayle has not done anything to "earn" a return to his Senate seat.
I read a few conservative blogs in VA. They are urging us to They are urging us to think "different." We should think of Virginian Republicans as "different" from George Bush and Dick Cheney. I actually had to LOL when I read this plea. Frankly, it's hard to separate Virginian Republicans from the Bushites. They have been firmly attached to Bush's coattails with Super Glue for a long time. Now that it's a negative the Virginian Republicans cut and run. They cannot even bring themselves to use red for their campaign signs. They are not mentioning they are a Republican unless they have to. BTW, Quayle's signs are blue and they do not mark him as a Republican.....but he definitely is a Republican and he's been toeing the party line up in Richmond.
The Virginian Republicans are closely allied with Bush/Cheney and the local right wing neocon Pat Robertson. These Republicans REFUSE to work with Gov. Kaine (or ANY governor that the people of VA elect IF that Gov happens to be a democrat.) It's the Republicans who are playing dirty partisan politics and blocking meaningful legislation. Meanwhile serious issues like transportation fall through the cracks.
In My Humble Opinion--
In My Humble Opinion--It's an uneducated voter that votes Republican in VA's 13th Senate District this year. Quayle seems to believe that incumbents rule but I haven't seen him doing anything great for this region. He doesn't even pass the good and decent test when I realize I still can't visit a friend at their beautiful country farm because the King's Highway Bridge is still out....after ten years. Any Senator worth his salt would have stepped in and seen this issue solved. Now Quayle simply wants to blame Suffolk City Council. Shame on Quayle. We definitely need a change. Watch out Incumbents....maybe this election Virginian voters won't reward incumbents who are doing a bad job. In Portsmouth, we know that Portsmouth City Councilman Steve Heretick has done a great job so we are more than willing to give him a chance to represent us in the VA Senate. I think you should give him a chance to, based on his record in Portsmouth's City Council. I don't think you will be disappointed. Virginians need to let all Incumbents know that if you aren't doing a stellar job, if you have a worthy opponent with a good platform, then you are going to be replaced.
The word is out that this Senate race between Heretick and Quayle has become a real horse race. I hope so. I even hear that the conservative blogger at Grumpy's Gripes has seen the light. Thank you Grumpy for daring to vote for your community rather than for your party. I am voting for the challenger Democrat Steve Heretick. (The Portsmouth and Suffolk Police organizations are backing Steve Heretick. It's funny that another conservative blogger at Scott's Morning Brew (a Portsmouth policeman) has written nothing on this topic. Maybe he's still trying to make up his mind? Very interesting that he couldn't bring himself to endorse the incumbent--Quayle-- in time to have any effect on this election.
Hopefully, the voters will be too smart and will call these Republicans on what they are doing--Cutting and Running. If you can't run openly with your party's colors and your party's name on your campaign sign then something is seriously wrong.
So I'll be voting for Democrat Steve Heretick...I hope you will give this race some serious thought and then go out and vote.
After all in a healthy democracy we should have some great choices. BUZZ ...BUZZ.....
Monday, November 05, 2007
The last minute dirty trick gives your opponent no time to undo the damage and "out" you as a lying, scheming, bum. Look what the desperate Republicans are doing in Kentucky. They "invent" nonexistent, FAKE, "homosexual" organizations and then do Robo Calls saying they are "homosexual" and supporting the Democratic candidate. Funny thing, maybe these Republicans really are "homosexuals" but closeted so they are just doing another deceitful lie in a day's work (while they vote to deny gay rights to anyone.....why should a Republican "homosexual" worry about rights when in this day and age they can be "above" any law?
Hopefully any voter getting one of these Robo calls will realize they have even more reasons to go to the polls and vote for the Democrat.
It's a bad trick...especially since only last week a "homophobic" anti gay Republican Michael Curtis from Washington State was outed. Seems this right wing , conservative Republican enjoys wearing women's clothes and soliciting sex in an X-rated Erotica shop. Of course, he's now doing the "I'm not gay defense." (source)
It seems like a week can't go by without some right wing holier than thou republican is being caught in a sex scandal. At least this time it doesn't involve children.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
This November marks the third anniversay of the second of two American-led military assaults culminating in the massive destruction of most of the ancient Iraqi city of Fallujah. Consequently, I am republishing my account of this event here on Mosquito Blog, lest we forget. It was first published by the Southern ((I)) in print form, and later at OpEdNews.com, the web-link of which site you can access by clicking on this article's above title.
Earlier this year I posted the first four articles in this series at Mosquito Blog. They dealt with the first assault ending in May, and the immediate aftermath. In the rest of the articles, this being the sixth, I will go into detail about the much more brutal second assault, something most of us know little about, due to the paucity of the media.
Part 6: Cruel November Arrives
By Mac McKinney
A Native American Parable:
A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said 'I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.' The grandson asked him, 'Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?' The grandfather answered: 'The one I feed.'
By October of 2004, while the Bush Administration was focusing on winning the November elections, the American military was not so quietly finalizing preparations for a second assault on Fallujah, which some analysts were predicting would not occur until after Bush was re-elected, so as not to jeopardize Bush's compassionate conservative campaign image.
However, bombing runs against alleged insurgent safe-houses and meeting places, such as restaurants, were now occurring daily, coupled with ongoing reports of related civilian casualties. American officials once again trumpeted their sophisticated use of "smart" bombs and missiles to unerringly obliterate the "bad guys", although forensic evidence on the ground has time and again painted a picture of this ordnance as neither terribly bright at times nor terribly discriminating. And on the ground, Marines were also engaging in almost daily and nightly firefights along the city's perimeter with the Mujaheddin.
On October 14, 2004, CNN reported, quoting from Wikipedia, "that the US offensive assault on Fallujah had begun and broadcast a report from a young Marine outside Fallujah, 1st Lt. Lyle Gilbert, who announced that 'troops have crossed the line of departure.' Hours later, CNN reported their Pentagon reporters had determined that the assault had not, in fact, begun." The Los Angeles Times would later report that "the Marine's announcement was a feint--part of an elaborate 'psychological operation' (PSYOP) to determine the Fallujah rebels' reactions if they believed attack was imminent."
There was no doubt that the American military was eager to finish what it had started in April, like a hungry lion stalking an escaped and wounded prey, still game, but slowly tiring. The generals had also convinced themselves that Fallujah was the heart of all their troubles in Iraq. Conquer the city and the insurgency would be broken, like a Jihadist Napoleon meeting his Waterloo. Set a harsh example, as the Romans once taught their legions, and the other cities of Iraq would fall in line. But first the November 2nd presidential election had to come and go, so everything was to be put into place in the meantime, the new order of battle completed and the ever pliable, interim Allawi government's authorization to attack officially secured.
Operation Phantom Fury
The pending operation was officially named Phantom Fury and, according to GlobalSecurity.org, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Marines and U.S. Army troops, as well as 2,000 of Allawi's Iraqi Security Forces, would be deployed, backed by all manner of weaponry and aircraft, against some 2000 to 3000 hardcore Mujaheddin. Residents of Fallujah, once a vibrant city of some 300,000 to 350,000 people, were being warned by the military to flee the coming onslaught, the Americans accenting this by cutting off food and water supplies. Thus a vast, unorganized exodus into the desert and neighboring towns and cities began. Think of the evacuation of New Orleans just before Katrina struck to imagine the scale of confusion and hardship for tens of thousands of Iraqis who now had to huddle in chaotic tent cities with sparse food, water and medical support. Typhoid fever and other diseases would quickly break out.
Not everyone in Fallujah could or would leave the city and their homes though, just as in New Orleans. Perhaps as few as several thousand to as many as 50,000 civilians stayed behind, but no one will ever know now, in the aftermath. The frightening thing about this was that the Americans would soon declare parts of the city "weapons free" once the attack began. This means, in combat jargon, that GIs are free to kill anything that moves. Another term for this is "free-fire zone", a phrase made infamous in Vietnam, as entire swaths of territory would fall under that designation, giving the American military and its allies carte-blanche to slaughter thousands upon thousands of "gooks".
On November 2, 2004, George Bush won re-election. Reports immediately began surfacing that a second major assault on Fallujah was now imminent. On November 7, ominously, the Iraqi interim government declared a 60 day state of emergency across Iraq. The following morning of November 8, Prime Minister Allawi formally authorized Operation Phantom Fury, later to be called Operation al-Fajr (the Dawn) by his Defense Minister. Allawi's stated goal was "to liberate the people" and "clean Fallujah from the terrorists".
That same day the new offensive began, on what was also Laylat e-Qadr, the most important and holy night of the year for the Islamic world, the assault commencing with coordinated heavy air strikes, artillery, infantry and armor. But there was an immediate glitch. The CENTCOM commander, Gen. George Casey, had to acknowledge that a number of the Iraqi forces, apparently hundreds of them (possibly upset about killing humans on a holy day), had failed to show up. However, this was not a strategic setback, because the Iraqis had no major, independent responsibilities anyway, but the White House had wanted to give the assault as prominent an Iraqi face as possible.
Onslaughts from the North, the Southeast and the West began simultaneously, with the highest priority given to storming the city's western outskirts, where Marines and Iraqi Security commandos raced to secure two bridges across the Euphrates River and seize Fallujah General Hospital. Why, we must ask, was the hospital such an important target, especially when it is against the Geneva Conventions to target hospitals at all?
First we must recall that during the April siege of Fallujah, bloody reports from the city's hospitals of civilian casualties, along with powerful newscasts by Al Jazeera, were instrumental in turning public opinion against the siege, ultimately leading to a ceasefire. These were lessons learned at the Pentagon. Not surprisingly, Prime Minister Allawi banned Al Jazeera from Iraq altogether in August. A second step would obviously be to silence the hospital staff at Fallujah General. Here are several accounts of what transpired:
The official version of events is recounted in the pro-Establishment, GlobalSecurity.org article on Operation Phantom Fury:
"In the first stage of their assault, a Marine unit and other troops seized two strategic bridges and a hospital situated on a peninsula formed by the Euphrates River leading to an area that was a possible fall back zone for insurgents driven out of central Fallujah. However, according to MNF-I (Multi National Force-Iraq) the hospital was being used as a center for enemy propaganda to inflate the number of civilian casualties. Iraq's 36th Commando Battalion was placed in charge of Fallujah General Hospital which was kept open to provide medical services to injured civilians. However, according to Defense Tech, the 36th Commando Battalion was originally a 'political' unit drawn from the militias of the five major political parties, but only its Kurdish pesh merga element has really proved reliable." (source)
Here is a second account from the Canadian journalist, Naomi Klein, dated Dec 4:
"The first major operation by US marines and Iraqi soldiers was to storm Falluja general hospital, arresting doctors and placing the facility under military control. The New York Times reported that 'the hospital was selected as an early target because the American military believed that it was the source of rumours about heavy casualties', noting that 'this time around, the American military intends to fight its own information war, countering or squelching what has been one of the insurgents' most potent weapons'. The Los Angeles Times quoted a doctor as saying that the soldiers 'stole the mobile phones' at the hospital - preventing doctors from communicating with the outside world. But this was not the worst of the attacks on health workers. Two days earlier, a crucial emergency health clinic was bombed to rubble, as well as a medical supplies dispensary next door. Dr Sami al-Jumaili, who was working in the clinic, says the bombs took the lives of 15 medics, four nurses and 35 patients....."
Pepe Escobar, Asia Times' Roving Eye reporter, also had several notes on all of this:
1) "Dr Muhammad Ismail, a member of the governing board of Fallujah's general hospital 'captured' by the Americans at the outset of Operation Phantom Fury, has called all Iraqi doctors for urgent help. Ismail told Iraqi and Arab press that the number of wounded civilians is growing exponentially - and medical supplies are almost non-existent. He confirmed that US troops had arrested many members of the hospital's medical staff and had sealed the storage of medical supplies.
"The wounded in Fallujah are in essence left to die. There is not a single surgeon in town. And practically no doctors as well, as the Pentagon decided to bomb both the al-Hadar Hospital and the Zayid Mobile Hospital. So far, the International Committee of the Red Cross has reacted with thunderous apathy."
2) "In terms of the information war, the hospital was indeed the most strategic of targets. During the first siege of Fallujah in April, doctors told independent media the real story about the suffering of civilian victims. So this time the Pentagon took no chances: no gory, disturbing photos of the elderly, women and children - the thousands unable to leave Fallujah in advance of this week's offensive, the civilian victims of the relentless bombing.
"But this did not prevent the world from seeing doctors and patients at the hospital handcuffed to the floor - as if they were terrorists. Hospital director Dr Salih al-Issawi told Agence France-Presse that the Americans blocked him and other doctors from going to the center of Fallujah to help another clinic in distress; he also said an ambulance that tried to leave the hospital was shot at by the Americans - just like in April, when all ambulances were targeted. The Geneva Convention is explicit: in a war situation, hospitals and ambulances are neutral...."
But this is not the military of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur any longer, a military that honored the Geneva Conventions and the Principles of Nuremberg, whose armies won the affection of civilians in both occupied Germany and Japan after WWII. This is the Rumsfeld military, lost in the dark wilderness of Machiavellianism and murderous egocentrism, marching to the drum beat of a soulless, delusional bureaucrat, enamored with the high technology of killing and oblivious to human suffering.
Next issue, Part 7:
Fallujah Becomes Guernica