Monday, October 10, 2005

Democracy Now, CounterRecruiting, Sonia Bock

Good evening, we'll start off with Democracy Now!

Thousands Take Part in Silent Peace March in LA
In Los Angeles, thousands gathered on Saturday for a silent peace march led by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 by Martin Luther King Jr. Among those in attendance was Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq last year.

I think that's really great that so many people turned out and I think it's great that someone who is so historically part of the peace movement was leading the march. And I love and respect Cindy Sheehan. Other than that I don't have anything to say. Elaine and I are doing the same two things and she said she'd try to find some stuff and maybe call C.I. for suggestions. We heard about this on Democracy Now! and that's what's so great about Democracy Now!
because you get this stuff that you won't hear about in like The New York Times or Boston Globe. I used to be okay with the Globe and then either The New York Times bought it or else maybe they already owned it but for like fifteen months now, I just feel like the paper's gone really downhill. Ma still likes Ellen Goodman but otherwise she's usually done with the paper in about five minutes these days. She says she'd rather read one of her magazines and she and Dad get a lot of magazines. So like she'll read The Nation from front to back but the Globe doesn't have much in it these days. Which is why we're all lucky to have Democracy Now!

Environmentalists Criticize Selection of IAEA For Nobel Prize
A number of environmental groups and activists are criticizing the Nobel Peace Prize committee for awarding this year's Prize to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its chief Mohammed ElBaradei. The French group, Sortir du Nucleaire (Get Out of Nuclear) criticized the IAEA for "promoting" civilian nuclear plants. British commentator George Monbiot said the prize to the IAEA and its boss was a "reward for failure in an age of rampant proliferation." Greenpeace also criticized the selection.

This one I did know about. Or I knew about the award. I didn't know about their being any objections to it. I think it was David Corn who was talking about how it was good because it was in terms of Bully Boy's push to war and I can see that point but I didn't know that they were promoting nuclear plants.

I don't know what to think because both things have their points.

I guess the short term good is that it will be harder for Bully Boy to blow off the IAEA if he tries to invade Iran or North Korea. But long term, I don't see any good of this other than maybe historically when people look back on this years in the future and go, "What an idiot Bully Boy was because he didn't listen to the people who won the Nobel Peace Prize."

I got some e-mails saying they liked Maria's thing this weekend. I like it too and think all the links to Democracy Now! help. Maria's really cool and I'm always interested to see what she's picking out for the week. Sometimes Miguel does it or Francisco. If that was your first time seeing it, I should tell you that it goes up at The Common Ills every weekend. Usually on Fridays but no later than Saturdays and then it gets put up at The Third Estate Sunday Review too.

Links help with a site's popularity and stuff so I was real happy to repost it.

I'd hoped to put something up here Sunday but I was wiped out from working with The Third Estate Sunday Review. I'll do something from that now.

Here's my part of "The Third Estate Sunday Review News Review" and I went first because I was the closest to finished first. I was telling Dona I could use about five more minutes but she goes C.I. would probably be able to fill in what I couldn't. C.I. did too which is why C.I. is the anchor.

C.I.: Welcome to The Third Estate Sunday Review News Review 10-09-05. The news review is the brainchild of The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona and we do it in one hour time frame. This is rough transcript. We'll have reports on nature and the environment, entertainment news, a commentary on Bully Boy's latest chat buddy and news on what's happened to The Smurfs. I'm not kidding on that last item. This is a news review for the left. First up, Iraq. We begin with Mike of Mikey Likes It!
Mike: In Baghdad, a killing spree is taking place and Hala Jaber of The Sunday Times of London reports that speculation is the killings are linked to the Iraqi police force. The speculation is that "ethnic cleansing" is going on and that Sunnis in the Shi'ite neighborhoods, specifically Sunni men married to Shi'ite women are being killed. Claims of "insurgents" being targeted are weak when you consider that one of the men assassinated, Najah al-Rassam, worked for "interior ministry’s Maghaweer special police force." al-Rassam was pulled from his bed by the police, taken to the Badr Brigade for confirmation and then killed.
C.I.: To jump in here for a moment, the Badr Brigade is the paramilitary group of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. They've been accused, including by Allawi, of killing intelligent officers at the behest of Iran. While Saddam Hussein ruled Iran, the Badr Brigade was stationed in Iran, a composition of Iraqi exiles, but they returned to Iraq following the 2003 invasion. Along with the report you're addressing, they've also been accused of targeting British troops. How many Sunnis have been reported killed?
Mike: 22. And they were not turned over to their families. The 22 bodies were found in the desert, wrists still restrained by handcuffs, plastic and metal, or ropes. There are concerns that a civil war is emerging. The 22 men were all blindfolded and had been killed via gunshots. The bodies were dumped in the desert and that's something that should be concerned whenever reports come out of a newly discovered group of bodies. A total of 539 bodies have been found at present. The tensions come as Iraq prepares to vote on their constitutional referendum and measures are being imposed including curfews and border closings as the election approaches.
C.I.: Thank you, Mike. Now we go to Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix with further thoughts on the Iraqi Constitution.

That's just my part, there's a lot more there so check out the news review.

I'm going to also recommend you check out this from CounterPunch, Will Youmans' "Why Do We Hate Our Freedom:"

Before we can talk about whether campus recruiters should leave, we have to make sure there can be a debate. At George Mason University, specifically, the students have to fight for the freedom of speech just to protest the presence of the recruiters. Last Thursday, Tariq Khan, a student there who served for four years in the Air Force, simply stood inside the student center with a handful of pamphlets and a small sign taped on his chest. He shared on the sign his personal experiences with the recruiters: they lie. It said, "Recruiters lie. Don't be deceived."
Khan just stood there, mostly silent. He offered his literature to anyone who asked for it. Before he knew it, a ROTC student and his side-kick, a lumpy right-winger, were yelling at him. With foam coming out of their mouths, they called him a "pussy." They talked with enthusiasm about the thrill of getting to kill Iraqis. The ROTC student grew angry with Khan's calm demeanor. Several people tried to intervene by joining the debate. Finally, the ROTC student grabbed the sign and ripped it. Khan calmly began to write another notebook paper-sized sign.
Campus security arrived and told Khan he was violating school policy by being there. Instead of arresting the ROTC student for assault and the willful destruction of property, the officer sought to remove Khan for "tabling" outside of the area where tabling is permitted. Khan did not even have a table with him.
Khan refused to leave, believing the Constitution protected his right to just stand there. The officer began to handcuff him. Khan did not resist, but he did not comply. He saw it rightfully as an unjustified arrest. Soon, some freedom-loving students were chanting "kick his ass," and a few actually helped the officer subdue Khan. Though he was non-violent the entire time, they caused him several injuries. A witness saw the officer "putting him in a headlock, choking him, and then proceeding to throw him against the stage." He was later charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.
I wonder if the recruiters who reeled in Khan fresh out of high school fed him the fancy talk about defending our freedom--the same freedom that got him a gash on his forehead. They probably just told him about the great marketable skills he would learn, and all the money he would get for college. Instead, they had him cleaning bathrooms and doing menial labor--the type of work that requires no skills and no plans for comfortable living. And the money his four years of service brings him is not quite enough to pay for four years of college.
. . .
[ Will Youmans has a blog: He contributed a chapter to '
The Politics of Anti-Semitism.' ]

And I want to also note 1 more thing. It's from Democracy Now! and it's about Amy Goodman's grandmother who passed away last week, "Sonia Bock 1897-2005: Amy Goodman Remembers Her Grandmother, a Woman of Three Centuries:"

Amy Goodman's grandmother, Sonia Bock, died October 5, 2005 at the age of 108. She was born in 1897, in Ruvno, Poland. She lived through the pogroms of Tsarist Russia, the Bolshevik revolution and the Holocaust.
I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone who wrote in last week to express sympathy on the loss of my grandmother. Sonia Bock died October 5, 2005 at the age of 108. Yes, she was indomitable: a woman of three centuries.
She was born in 1897, in Ruvno, Poland. She lived through Tsarist Russia, the Bolshevik revolution, the Holocaust. Though many in her family did not. Two of her brothers and their whole families perished. I remember my mother telling me the wail. The wail that went up in the bungalow colony that my grandparents my mom and her sister went to every summer. The wail when my grandmother got the news that her family had been killed. She came to America by boat in 1929. In 1930, she gave birth to my mother in Harlem with my grandfather, an orthodox rabbi.
In her fifties she contracted cerebral meningitis and was sent to a sanatorium in the Catskills. Not expected to live, she cut everyone's hair and was out in two years. She was an unusual mix of old fashioned in her views of women. "You must always be independent," she would say. "When your husband comes home meet him with a hug and supper, then give him the newspaper to read, but you should have already read it. Then discuss it with him. Communication is everything." She was the eternal student. She spoke four languages: Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, English and was always taking conversation classes in French. At about 4 foot 10 inches tall, she was a pint size fireball. A life force. My heart. I'd like to share a poem that I also read when my father died. I don't know who wrote it:
Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush, of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft star that shines at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there. I did not die.

Sounds like she had an incredible life and saw a lot of amazing things.