Monday, January 22, 2007

Time Off

Pressing family business will keep me from posting for the next two weeks.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Support Spocko

Who is Spocko's Brain? He is an anonynous blogger in San Francisco. He is also a very good citizen. He has undertaken a campaign to notify advertisers on KSFO radio that they are supporting hate speech.

Of course the good deed did not go unpunished. ABC/Disney, owner of KSFO, pressured his ISP to shut him down. He is back up and running, but his story needs to be told.

In this week's Black Agenda Report I tell his story and why it is so important. You see, KSFO radio hosts joke about lynching, castration and burning people alive. The corporate media support them and by association also support lynching, castration and burning people alive. Thanks to Media Matters for bringing Spocko to public attention.
An Open Letter to Judea Pearl

Yesterday Judea Pearl, father of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times opposing al-Jazeera television. Mr. Pearl shouldn't worry. It is almost impossible for Americans to receive al-Jazeera television. No cable company will carry it. For what it is worth, here is my response to him.

Dear Mr. Pearl,

I first want to convey my deepest condolences to you and to your family. Your son's murder was an awful crime and I hope that someday you receive justice.

Yesterday I read your op-ed in the New York Times and I have to say that I disagree quite strongly. Americans live in a bubble of ignorance with no clue about why they are hated around the world, but particularly in the Arab and Muslim world.

I hope that more Americans do see al-Jazeera. It is nearly impossible to get an accurate accounting of world affairs from the U.S. media. Bush administration lies are printed and broadcast as fact. When the president lies and says that Saddam Hussein kicked out WMD inspectors, the networks and newspapers quote him verbatim and never point out that he is telling a blatant falsehood. I see nothing wrong with al-Jazeera pointing out that the war on terror is a phony one. It has been used to eliminate our civil liberties and to bring death to the people of Iraq.

Americans are now living under the abuses of the Patriot Act and crony capitalism. The so-called war on terror is being used to justify these and every other outrageous act committed by our government since 2001.

I understand that you are an Israeli citizen, so I will take great pains to tell you that I do not want Israel to be destroyed or its citizens to be harmed. I am an advocate of non-violence. I say this because critics of Israeli policy are always branded as anti-Semites. While I do make factual but highly critical comments about that government, I also want you to know that those accusations of bigotry do not apply to me.

I mentioned Israel because America's relationship with that nation is the cause of much of the hatred against our country. Israel receives $15 million per day from the U.S. taxpayer. When Israel invades Lebanon, and violates the Geneva conventions by inflicting collective punishment on a civilian population, the U.S. is seen as having also invaded Lebanon. If Israel drops nukes on Iran, then the U.S. has dropped nukes on Iran.

It is a disgrace that the American media rarely point out that Israel is already a nuclear power. If Iranians develop a nuclear weapons capability in the 5 to 10 years that experts estimate, they will still not have as many nukes as Israel. Why is this information never conveyed to us? How can Americans be expected to make judgements about military and other actions if we aren't given simple information, in this case that Israel is estimated to have between 100 and 300 nuclear warheads? If Americans see al-Jazeera they may just get important information that they do not now have.

If more Americans see al-Jazeera they will learn that all Arabs and Muslims are not just crazy fanatics out for blood. They will instead learn that there are many legitimate grievances against the U.S. That knowledge will be helpful to us all and will help the entire world.
You should not be afraid that Americans will get information from outside this country's media. We should fear that Americans do not. We have deliberately been kept ignorant and ignorance is quite dangerous.

Thank you.

Freedom Rider

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rewarding the Evildoers

Robert Scheer used to write for the Los Angeles Times. He was one of the leading critics of the occupation of Iraq. He was right about everything. The L.A. Times fired him and replaced with warmongering cheerleader Jonah Goldberg. He was wrong about everything.

Over and over again the evildoers have been rewarded with better gigs, more cash, and bigger speaking fees. Radar Online tells the sad story. It is sad, but not at all surprising. The ruling class want war, their friends at Halliburton and other corporations are making plenty of cash. So the war will go on to make sure that they keep getting rich. The riches extend to the corporate media and their cheerleaders. No wonder Scheer got the pink slip.

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman always had a lust for other people's blood and he didn't try to hide it in 2003. He has a closet full of Pulitzer prizes but it isn't clear why. He must have a relative on the panel. He is also one of the big winners in the pundit clean up sweep stakes. His writingss are an absolute waste but that hasn't stopped him from making a fortune.

Take a look at this interview from C-Span's Book TV in 2005. At about 24 minutes into the program a caller asks about the neocons push for war because Israel wanted it. Friedman pretended not to understand the question and the wimpy interviewer let him off the hook. The caller hit the nail on the head. We went to war in large part because Israel wanted it and Friedman thinks that is fine. Just don't bother to ask him about it.

Why should he bother answering? He isn't beholden to any of us. He can keep writing crap and keep making millions.
Arnold for President?

"He clamped his right hand over my boob and was wrestling with me... He wouldn't let go. I fought him. The size of his biceps coming across my chest, they were enormous. I couldn't get away from him... Any time you make a woman feel that vulnerable or that overpowered, it changes you forever."
Schwarzenegger assault victim

Have you noticed that the media are giving Arnold Schwarzenegger more attention than usual? Last week the New York Times felt compelled to tell readers that his broken leg still hurts. The announcement of his universal health care plan is newsworthy, but he has no way to pay for it. It probably won't go anywhere. Let's see if he gets the same kind of scrutiny that the Clintons got over their attempt to create a national single payer plan.

The attempt to get Arnold in the White House has never abated. There is a big problem, however. He wasn't born in the U.S., so there is now an effort to change the constitution so that he can run. Make no mistake about it. This effort will be about putting Arnold in the White House.

And what is up with the Golden Globe awards? Why was Schwarzenegger a presenter last night? Oh, I forgot what I just wrote. It is all an effort to put him in the White House.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Happy King Day!

"...the gallows were built to international standards ...

Poor Martin is rolling in his grave today. As usual, this man of peace must suffer the indignity of having pro-war politicians claim to honor his memory. This year is even worse.

Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam Hussein's half-brother, was decapitated when he was hanged today.
“In a rare incident, the head of the accused Barzan Ibrahim al-Hassan was separated from his body during the execution,” said a government spokesman. Well, I guess it is hard to get those nooses just right, not too loose and not too tight either. Bummer.

King risked so much to speak against the war in Vietnam. He risked the support of the Johnson administration, he faced the wrath of the media. His outspoken opposition probably cost him his life.

This year the U.S. prepares to go to war or allow Israel to go to war against Iran. Yes, our tax dollars will be used to incinerate Iranians because Israel wants to be the only nuclear game in that part of town.

Happy King Day. May next year's be better.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Barbara Boxes with Condi

Ay caramba! What is a feminist, black nationalist, peace and justice advocate to do? Surely not defend Condi Rice. During Senate hearings yesterday, Democrat Barbara Boxer of California had this to say to the Secretary of State.

"The issue is, who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."

I don't know why Boxer had to get personal, about her family or Rice's. It is enough to say that a small segment of the population is represented in the military and is paying the price for the occupation of Iraq. Who cares if she or Rice has kids to send?

Well, that is what happens when the personal substitutes for the substantive. At any rate there is a debate going on among feminists about the propriety of Boxer's comments. Of course we also have to contend with phony right wing concern for feminism. Please!

Instead of reinventing the wheel, I will just repeat what I said in a letter to Salon.

"Tony Snow and the rest of the right wing had nothing to say when Laura Bush dissed Condi. The first lady opined that Condi couldn't run for president because she didn't have a spouse to lean on. The right wing said nothing about this obvious insult.

I have to say that Boxer's comments were a great disappointment to me. As a single, childless woman myself, I have experienced first hand the innuendo and derision directed Rice. I am also a fierce opponent of the Bush regime, so I don't let any supposed loyalties, I am also African American, keep me from denouncing true believing neocons like Rice and her ilk.

So, I think Boxer was wrong to phrase her concern the way she did. Should she apologize? Well, when Rice apologizes for lying about mush room clouds, Barbara Boxer should apologize too."

To repeat, Boxer was wrong, but until she kills 600,000 Iraqis, she doesn't owe Rice anything.

Reuters/Jim Young

Bush in Tears

The prez boo-hooed at the post-humous medal of honor ceremony for Marine Corporal Jason Dunham. Gee, I recall another historical figure who wept for his troops. His name was Hitler.

What a cynical bastard. The ceremony took place the night after Bush gave us all the finger and declared that he would keep on killing. The rest of us ought to be crying our eyes out.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bush to U.S.:Go F_ _ k Yourselves!

These are the words of Scott Thill in Huffington Post. Like Thill, I didn't bother to watch the president last night. I never do.

What does it take to wake everyone up around here? Who has to suck W.'s cock to get him impeached in this country?

I dont' know what it will take, Miss Nancy has said that she won't impeach him. The Republicans used a magazine article to impeach Clinton. Bush can lie to Congress, open our mail and take our civil liberties but the namby pamby Dems won't lay a finger on him. Too bad.

By the way, if you wanted to know what the Dems said in response, you didn't find out from any of the networks. None of them bothered to show it. Only PBS and cable gave up the air time.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Uncle Sam and Saddam

"The missing pages implicated twenty-four U.S.-based corporations and the successive Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. administration in connection with the illegal supplying of Saddam Hussein government with myriad weapons of mass destruction and the training to use them."

Saddam Hussein could never have developed a chemical weapons program without the help of the United States. Of course the media will never tell you this, but the Bush administration removed over 8,000 pages from a report that detailed the extent of Iraq's chemical weapons capabilities. Why the editing? Well, without it Reagan and Bush (41) administration officials could be charged as war criminals.

The Bush administration is now doing serious damage control, after having managed to make the tyrant look heroic. How coincidental that the trial of Saddam's co-defendants now includes tapes of conversations that included ordering WMD attacks on the Kurds.

Nice try. The Bushies have been busy tap dancing since the hanging took place. First reminding us that Saddam was really, really bad and then twisting Maliki's arm and getting him to claim that it was he who hurried up the Saddam Swing.

Sometimes damage cannot be undone. In this case it keeps getting worse. Not only is there a video showing what looks like a masked street gang taunting Saddam before he died, there is a new video showing his bloody corpse.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century

Those poor stupid Arabs. They hate Israel because they believe the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. They mindlessly soak up any anti-Semitic screeds because well, they just hate Jews and their stupid.

If you watched the new PBS documentary Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century without knowing any of the history of the Middle East, that is what you would think. Arabs have legitimate grievances against Israel. In July 1948 the Israelis massacred Palestinians at Deir Yassin and sent thousands more to their deaths in the desert. Israel now inflicts collective punishment on civilian populations, a no-no in the Geneva Conventions, and is planning to kill millions of Iranians in order to make sure that no other nation in that region has the bomb. (Israel has been 100 and 300 nukes.)

Thanks for nothing PBS. Americans will remain stupid thanks to you.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Israel Plans Genetic Germ Warfare

Tonight PBS will tell us that anti-Semitism is increasing and the Arabs just hate the Jews, etc. I wonder if they will ever get around to telling the world that Israel tried to develop a chemical weapon that would target only Arabs? Of course that will never happen. I'll watch tonight's documentary, if I can stomach it, and review tomorrow.

Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: the Resurgence, is part of an ongoing campaign to shut up critics of Israel. Norman Finkelstein said it best regarding the controversy surrounding his book Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. Finkelstein stated that the controvery took place because of "...Israel's horrendous human rights record in the Occupied Territories and the misuse of anti-Semitism to delegitimize criticism of it."

Amen brother Finkelstein, who debated Jimmy Carter's book on Democracy Now. Finkelstein is always worth listening to.