Thursday, August 04, 2005

Reality's not looking so good

Good evening. We'll start again with two headlines from Democracy Now!

14 Marines Killed in Deadliest Roadside Bombing Of War
In Iraq, Pentagon officials have concluded it was a massive bomb that killed 14 Marines on Wednesday in the western city of Haditha. The Marines were driving in a 25-ton lightly-armored amphibious troop carrier that was not designed for coming under such attacks. It was the deadliest roadside bombing since the war began. In the past two weeks, at least 31 U.S. soldiers and Marines have died in roadside bombings. According to the Knight Ridder news agency, bombs killed more coalition troops in July than in any previous month of the war. U.S. officials admitted on Wednesday that troops are now being targeted with more powerful and more effective bombs.The 14 Marines were all members of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, based in Brook Park, Ohio. Six more Marines from that Batallion died on Monday.

Two Ex-Detainees Report Being Held in Secret U.S. Jails
Amnesty International is calling on the Bush administration to disclose the locations of the government’s secret jails that were set up around the world after the Sept. 11 attacks. This comes after two Yemini men publicly claimed that they were held in secret underground U.S. jails for more than 18 months. The two men were arrested separately but reported being held in almost identical conditions. One of the men was arrested in Jordan, the other in Indonesia. Both were jailed in Jordan where they were reportedly tortured. Each says he was then flown to an unnamed underground jail where he was held in solitary confinement for at least six months. Then they were taken to a second underground jail. Amnesty's Sharon Critoph said "To be 'disappeared' from the face of the earth without knowing why or for how long is a crime under international law and an experience no-one should have to go through. Critoph went on to say "We fear that what we have heard from these two men is just one small part of the much broader picture of US secret detentions around the world."

I'm so into Democracy Now! that it's hard for me to remember a time when I wasn't. The violence in Iraq continues. The invasion didn't change it or the occupation. The election, for all the talk of purple stained fingers, didn't change a thing. Makes you wonder how long a person can live in denial because there are people still living in denial. Still convinced that the roses we were promised would be thrown on our path are just waiting around the corner.

We are the cause of the unrest. We're occuyping another nation. We've been doing so for over two years now. The Iraqi soccer time, at the Olympics, spoke of wanting us to go home. Now you can believe the Bully Boy or the Operation Happy Talkers if you force yourself to but you're going to have to force yourself to.

And if you're ready for reality you should check out Elaine and C.I.'s posts from last night. Those two were on fire. Dad printed up their posts to take to work and Ma's been e-mailing them out to people. So please take the time to read Elaine's "Casualties continue to mount and the Democratic Party needs to find some ideas and a platform that's not 'more of the same'" and C.I.'s "Impunity leads to further silence" because they are powerful posts from powerful voices.
When I was no campus today, I got a lot of back slapping and thumbs up from buds just because I know C.I. and Elaine. Tony's been passing out print outs of both.

In a nation where too many play safe, Elaine & C.I. cut to the heart of the matter and that about says it all. We can't, in the face of the Downing St. Memos, continue to avoid asking the tough questions. Like Laura Flanders says, "Don't leave politics to the politicians." Politicians just want to tell us safe answers. The war is unjust. That may not be a safe answer, people ignored Pope John Paul when he said that, but it's reality.

A lot of the e-mails I was reading today were about the posts Elaine and C.I. did so I know most of you already caught them. But if you missed them, please read them.

Megan e-mailed to offer some advice to Lachelle. She says that if it's not something physical, then Lachelle needs to ask herself if there's a trust issue involved. Megan wonders if Lachelle's been wondering if her boyfriend's being faithful.

Beau wonders if Lachelle has some issues that she's avoided dealing with "like a trauma that she's avoided dealing with?"

Andy wonders if maybe it's over and that's what's going on "like maybe she knows it's over on like 1 level but hasn't owned up to that yet completely?"

Lee Anne writes that she went through something similar and it was part of "coming out of the closet for me." She wonders if Lachelle is dealing with similar issues?

Lawanda writes that sometimes "love just fades slow." She thinks that this is what is happening.

But everyone agreed that Lachelle needs to tell her boyfriend right away that she's not interested in sex right now. I hope that something up here helps, Lachelle. And maybe Bobbie will see something up here that helps her too.

Beau likes the Democracy Now! stuff but wonders why I use it. That came up in a thing with The Third Estate Sunday Review. We were talkinga bout the power we had and all and how we could use it in a responsible way or not.

So like I use it because what is "mainstream news?" Mainstream news is just mainstream because it is what everyone talks about. So I do this stuff from Democracy Now! to help raise awareness of a show I really believe in. And C.I. does a post on it each Monday through Friday.
And like Francisco, Maria or Miguel will pick some headlines at the end of the week, in Spanish and English, to try to raise awareness too. And Third Estate Sunday Review reruns that. And Elaine will note stuff and Rebecca has too. And I mean if a lot of people with their own blogs or sites were doing that, think of how popular Democracy Now! would be and how aware people would be of it?

Think how much better and smarter we'd be as a nation if when we were talking news, we weren't all going, "I was reading the Boston Globe today . . ." or "I was watching ABC's World News Tonight . . ." but instead were saying, "I saw this thing on Democracy Now! today . . ." and the other person was saying, "Oh I saw that too!" I mean we'd be more informed and more aware. So that's my part in trying to make sure people know and stuff.

And maybe somebody sees my link and visits the site or makes a point to listen to the show on radio or watch it on TV, that's really incredible. But like even if they don't, if they just come here and get the little taste of Democracy Now! they're getting informed and they're also aware of Democracy Now! and know it's out there.

Because there are people that don't watch news or listen. Maybe they don't have a dish or maybe there's no Democracy Now! on the airwaves in their area. And maybe they're like Charlie, who's a Common Ills member who's been really kind about my site in his e-mails to me, and they're computer access comes from a public library? Charlie actually listens to Democracy Now! on the radio. But if someone didn't have that option, and a lot of people don't, and they come here and they've got like 15 or 20 minutes of access time, they're getting a little bit of Democracy Now! here.

Or if you're a Common Ills member and you get the gina & krista round-robin, you know that members of The Common Ills community want to know what's going on. They're looking, when it comes to excerpts or highlights, for information they can digest quickly. Gina and Krista did the poll on that and did some follow up interviews and like Wally said, "I don't have time to read through The New York Times and visit every blog and every magazine so I go there to get the summary of what's important and what's happening and being discussed." (Wally's an e-mail bud so I think he'll be fine with being quoted. If he's not, I'll remove it tomorrow.) Like the outside the U.S. mainstream news posts that C.I. does on Sundays or the indymedia's ones on Thursday, those are seen by members as informative and giving them what they need without them having to surf all over.

If you've got your own computer and all the time in the world, great for you and you can check out everything you need but a lot of people don't have all the time in the world or their own computer. Or they don't like pop ups and they want summaries or excerpts for that reason or they have a really slow computer and it's not worth it to them to click on a link. And that's what was so great about Gina and Krista's poll because they also included that test and people scored really well on the issues even if they were respondents who said they never go to links.

So that's why I do it, Beau.

Now let's wind down by noting CounterRecruiter cause that's another site I really believe in.

Black Recruits Say No, Bucking Historical Trends
While African-Americans have traditionally made up a significant percentage of the US Armed Forces, the numbers of Black enlistees is on the decline, reports the Dallas Morning News.
In fiscal 2001, which ended 19 days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, nearly 23 percent of all new Army recruits were black – as in each of the previous five years. So far in fiscal 2005, which ends Sept. 30, only about 14 percent are. That's a decline of nearly 40 percent in the proportion of black recruits – when the Army never needed them more.
And the war in Iraq seems to have a lot to do with the drop in numbers - not just fear of dying in the war, but opposition to the war itself.

And maybe someone says