Friday, September 02, 2005

Democracy Now, Elaine, Musings & Migraines's Lenora, Kelly Dougherty and Kathryn Eastburn

Good evening, let's start with Democracy Now!

Top City Official Blasts FEMA: "This Is A National Disgrace"
The head of New Orleans' emergency operations blasted the federal government and FEMA for its slow response. The official Terry Ebbert said "This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace." Ebbert went on to say "FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans." Ebbert said "It's criminal within the confines of the United States that within one hour of the hurricane they weren't force-feeding us. It's like FEMA has never been to a hurricane."

Blasts FEMA. Do you realize how bad a job you have to be doing for that to happen? Terry Ebbert needs FEMA's help. They have been little or no help and Ebbert wasn't going to stay silent. That takes guts to be that honest. I say good for Terry Ebbert. Ebbert's looking out for the people and willing to fight for their needs.

Bush Officials Criticized For Staying On Vacation
Criticism is also mounting over the Bush administration's handling of the crisis. President Bush didn't return from his vacation until Wednesday and several other top officials remain on summer breaks. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had been vacationing in New York City but returned to Washington on Thursday. Meanwhile Vice President Dick Cheney has been in Wyoming and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card has been in Maine.

I heard this today while I was listening to Democracy Now! and couldn't believe it. Then I'm at The Common Ills and see the thing from Lenora of Musings & Migraines and really couldn't believe it. I'm sure everyone's already seen it but I want to put it in here.

..Condi was doing WHAT?
Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we've confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo's Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice's timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!" Never one to have her fashion choices questioned, Rice had security PHYSICALLY REMOVE the woman.
There's got to be a special corner in hell where this kind of callousness is punished. I hope when Condi gets there, she's wearing those shoes so Satan can shove them down her throat.
Elaine's going to be noting the same two topics because we agreed to today on the phone. She's also going to be ending her substitution duties for Rebecca. I'm not ready to give up hope yet that she's not going to start her own site.

I hope everyone who's written me to say that they want Elaine to start her own site has also written her because I don't think she realizes how much she's spoken to people. I think we can convince her to start her own site. We just might have to pester her is all. :D

Carl wrote me the best e-mail on Elaine and, Carl, please write Elaine. Also Elaine's doing the same items from Democracy Now! tonight at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, so check out her take. It'll be in her post of thanks.

Carl spoke of how much he enjoyed Folding Star's A Winding Road and how even though he knows the person who's using Folding Star's site proper and the mirror site isn't Folding Star, he still goes there kind of hoping that it is Folding Star. He's not mad at FS for deciding not to blog anymore but he wishes the old posts were up because he'd reread them and that FS's decision made him really face the fact that, like a favorite TV show, a blog can end at any time.

We've got a potential roundtable planned at The Third Estate Sunday Review, Carl, and I'll try to bring up your topic if we have it. I've already spoken to C.I. about it.

And I'll be prodding Elaine some more or maybe just pestering her about it when I do my interview with her next week. I've also got maybe, fingers crossed, an interview with C.I. The ground rules, if it comes off, is that the questions are questions about the site and the community. I'll agree to any ground rule because, like Jim told me, they've been begging C.I. for a Q&A since they started their site. If I get the interview, it helps to play the puppy dog kid lol, it'll be two weeks from now. I also intend to interview Betty and Cedric and Kat and Ruth and Isaiah who've all agreed. Gina and Krista say they'd do a joint interview and I'm pestering Dallas for one too.

Lori e-mailed asking if Ava was mad about the interview I did with Jess because I did ask the question that Jim, Ty and me have been wondering. Ava's response was a laughing threat to throttle me if I did that again. She's not mad. She's not answering the question but she's not mad. She said if she was mad she'd be telling me that I blew any chance of a follow up with her.

I didn't think she'd be mad but everyone knows about Jim & Dona being a couple and I think people are curious about Ty, Jess and Ava so since Jim and Ty and me were wondering anyway, I thought it was a good question to ask even if we didn't get an answer.

Another thing I saw at The Common Ills (from "Indymedia focus on Iraq") is something I wanted to put up here and make sure you saw it. This is from an interview that Kathryn Eastburn did with Iraq vet Kelly Dougherty and it was in The Colorado Springs Indy and called "At war: Iraq veteran Kelly Dougherty speaks of the realities of life in Iraq and the growing movement against the occupation:"

Indy: Do you feel that the anti-war movement is growing?
KD: I know that before the [presidential] election, people were saying, "Gosh, I've never been involved in politics but now I'm involved." Trying to get Bush out of office mobilized a lot of people.
But now I see even more of that happening, and I think it's good. I do think it's growing. You can tell from the polls that the president's approval rating is low, that people may not say unanimously, "We have to get out of Iraq now," but they're asking, "Why are we there?"
I don't think we should have gone. And that's what the majority of people are saying, that they don't think it's been worth it. And it's only a matter of time, hopefully not a very long time, that the majority of people will say, "OK, it's not worth it, so we don't need to stay on a course that's heading toward a cliff."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Democracy Now! and Elaine

Good evening. As always, I'll start out by noting some stuff from Democracy Now!

Katrina Death Toll Rising
The death toll from Hurricane Katrina continues to climb dramatically with the mayor of New Orleans estimating that the number of dead in his city could well be in the thousands. He described dead bodies yet to be recovered floating through the water-soaked streets of New Orleans. The White House has declared a public health emergency for the entire Gulf Coast, as the US Department of Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt warned of potential outbreaks of cholera and typhoid. President Bush cut short his vacation in Crawford, Texas. Upon his return to Washington, he addressed the nation on television: "As we flew here today, I also asked the pilot to fly over the Gulf Coast region so I could see firsthand the scope and magnitude of the devastation. The vast majority of New Orleans, Louisiana is under water. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses are beyond repair. A lot of the Mississippi Gulf Coast has been completely destroyed. Mobile is flooded. We are dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history."

We have a national disaster on our hands. Did you ever think you'd wake up to find Americans referred to as "refugees?" That's what they're calling them now.

And if Bully Boy had done his job, if the money would have been put up when it was needed, the disaster might not be as bad now.

Mississippi Death Toll Rises
Meanwhile, in neighboring Mississippi, authorities now say that at least 185 people have died. In Hancock County alone, Sheriff Eddie Jennings put the death toll at 85, with 60 people dead in Pearlington, 22 in Waveland, two in Bay St. Louis and one body that had washed up on the beach. In neighboring Harrison County, which is home to Gulfport and Biloxi, officials say that 100 bodies have been found. All of these numbers are expected to grow as search and rescue operations continue. The city of Gulfport was almost destroyed, and Biloxi was heavily damaged. Dozens of patients from a Biloxi hospital were evacuated by the U.S. Air Force on Wednesday. Patients including a ward full of women with high-risk pregnancies were transported from the hard-hit area by Air Force cargo planes to San Antonio, Texas. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour flew over his state's ravaged coastline and likened it to Hiroshima in 1945. In Alabama more than 400,000 homes and businesses are without power, while Florida reported 11 deaths.

I'm putting the above in because I think it's important to remember that people outside of New Orleands were effected as well.

The big thing in the e-mails right now is a question about is there any way to keep Elaine blogging after Rebecca comes back and I don't know.

I know she reads the e-mail C.I. forwards. And I know since she announced last week when Rebecca would be back, people have started e-mailing to say they'll miss her.

Maybe if enough members e-mailed her, she'd consider doing a blog of some kind?

I don't know. I know she's got some sort of function tonight. If I'm back from date by the time she's home, I'll give her a call and ask her if e-mails would persuade her. But I may not be back in time or she may be out later than I am.

So let's all put our thinking caps and figure out something.

This is brief entry because Nina and I are going to a play tonight so I need to be hitting the road right now.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Democracy Now! and my interview with Jess

Good evening. This evening we have an interview with Jess of The Third Estate Sunday Review. Before we get to that, we'll kick things off with Democracy Now! like usual.

FEMA: This Is the "Most Significant Natural Disaster to Hit the U.S."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making unprecedented preparations to house at least 1 million people in the region whose houses were damaged or destroyed. FEMA's Bill Lokey called the hurricane "the most significant natural disaster to hit the United States."

So we got a national disaster on our hands. Good thing we got a National Guard, right? Right?

6,000 Local National Guard Members In Iraq
While the National Guard has been taking part in rescue operations and law enforcement, some 6,000 members of the Louisiana and Mississippi Guard have been forced to watch the catastrophe from 7,000 miles away in Iraq. 40 percent of Mississippi's National Guard force and 35 percent of Louisiana's is in Iraq. Over the past eight months 23 members of the Louisiana National Guard have died in Iraq - only New York's Guard unit has suffered as many deaths.

"Woopsie!" giggles the Bully Boy. The costs of the invasion/occupation continue to mount and we're the ones paying the cost in this country, not the Bully Boy. Oh sure, he had to cut his month long vacation two days short. Boo hoo.

His failed leadership leads to the poverty level in this country rising for the fifth year in a row. 9/11 happened under his watch. We're in an illegal war because of him. When do we start speaking the truth and saying, "That guy ain't cut out for the job?"

Elaine's covering the same two items so be sure and read her take on them.

Now here's my interview with Jess of The Third Estate Sunday Review.

So Jess, any ground rules?

Jess: Do I need 'em?

Well there's a question Jim & Ty both suggested I ask you?

Jess: Well fire away.

Well there's a rumor floating around that you're seeing someone.

Jess: Is there a rumor floating? I haven't seen it float past me.

Look, there it is, in the sky! It says Jess and Ava are dating.

Jess: No comment.

No comment? If you were dating Ava, who would know?

Jess: Well I guess I'd know and I'd guess Ava would too.

Because the thing is, Dona and C.I. aren't speculating and Jim says that's proof that you're dating Ava because if you were dating and keeping it quiet, Ava would tell Dona and C.I.

Jess: Maybe I'd tell Dona and C.I. Did you think of that?

So you really aren't going to answer?

Jess: Ava and I went to a vigil for Cindy Sheehan together and I think that's what started the rumors.

So there's nothing to them?

Jess: You should ask Ava.

Well I've already interviewed her.

Jess: Is this what this whole interview's going to be like? Forget it, this interview is over!

For real?

Jess: No, Dona passed on Candy Perfume Boy's interview with Ira Glass and I thought I'd have some fun like Glass does.

Okay, we'll move on. I really liked the thing you wrote about your parents and was wondering what they thought about it and what sort of response the thing got?

Jess: My folks loved it. They're the easiest people in the world to please though. You just have to be honest with them and they're proud. Readers and members seem to have enjoyed it.

Rebecca brags about your mother, about both your parents, but she really likes your mom.

Jess: I know. She called her up last week. I'm like, "Isn't she supposed to be on vacation?" But then I thought about Rebecca and the phone. But yeah, she thinks my mom's pretty cool and my mom feels the same way about her. Your mom's pretty cool too, I'm going to take her up on the offer to stay with you guys when I'm in town to see a game.

Yeah, Ma's pretty cool. You know, because your parents help out some time by going through the British papers, Ma's saying if she made a strong pot of coffee she could probably help out like that too. Like check out Australia or something.

Jess: She does realize how late those sessions go, right?

I keep telling her. I'm like, "Ma, you can forget church the next morning!"

Jess: Well if she wants to help out sometime, let her know we'd love to have her.

It's really a group effort over there and I figured that I'd ask you how that happened?

Jess: Cool. Okay, well the point was that we were doing this together. We were talking about it, Ty, Jim and I for awhile. About needing to put something out there. And Dona was in classes with us. One time she was around when Jim was talking about it and -- am I going into too much detail here?

No, this is cool.

Jess: Okay, so Dona's there and she says something like, "Talk, talk, talk and never do." You know she can be pretty straight spoken.


Jess: So that's when Jim said that she should be part of it. And we kept talking about it and talking about other stuff. I think that's when we all first saw that thing at The Common Ills about how they wouldn't let a reporter report on the campaigns because her husband was involved with the Democratic campaign but then they let Robert Kagan come on and give a commentary on John Kerry's campaign even though his wife works for Dick Cheney. Jim and Dona were original readers. They came on board with the "Here Come the Madmen." And then Jim's telling Ty and me that we've got to read that the next day because this was when it was still all rah-rah. And we were against the invasion/occupation so right away The Common Ills was like all of our site. We'd e-mail about this or that, politics or music and C.I. would e-mail back these really long e-mails. Back then, that could happen. If you e-mailed a 5K e-mail, you got back a 5K e-mail. Then there was a sort of teach in on campus and I'm being vague here on purpose. And we're there, Jim, Ty, Dona, Ava and me and there are some strong statements and all but there's this one person speaking and we're getting pissed at Jim because we're trying to listen and Jim keeps whispering, "That's C.I.! I know that's C.I.!" He just wouldn't shut up about it. And then later on, Jim goes up and talks for a bit and then says, "You're C.I. right?"
And C.I.'s just sort of staring at Jim and Jim says, "You do The Common Ills." And I guess it was the first time anyone had made the connection because the face gave it away.
So it was like, "Man, we've got C.I. here if we're ever going to do something it should be now."
So that's what happened.

Now explain about Ava.

Jess: Ava was friends with Dona, this is what you're talking about?


Jess: And we really hadn't thought of her being involved because she's really nice and she's really sweet but she was pretty shy and we can all be pretty loud and pretty opinionated. But Dona said, like a week or two before, that if we ever do this, Ava's a part of it because they're friends and roommates.

She's also very pretty.

Jess: She is very pretty. And professors would be steering her towards communication classes because she's obviously got the looks to make it on TV. This was a difficult time for her because she was not from the area and I'm being vague here too because I don't want to give out her business. So let's just say it was a bit of cultural shock for her. So she was getting her feet and feeling herself out and everyone just thought "Oh, she's nice." I mean us, I mean professors.

And then she ended up surprising everyone.

Jess: Man did she. We were doing that first issue and what I remember is C.I. was not going to take part in the TV review because C.I. didn't watch television. And then we were going over the piece and C.I. was like, "Wait, wait!" So C.I. starts adding some stuff and Ava knows television because of . . . We'll leave it at that. And so Ava starts tossing out some stuff. And we had a review. And then the next time it was like that too. And then it ended up being Ava and C.I.'s thing because they were doing the feminist critique from the beginning. If you read those early reviews, anything that stands out, where we're taking on the culture in TV which is one standard for men and another for women, that was Ava and C.I.'s contribution. And Jim was, he admits this, a little dismissive at first. But when it got turned over to them, and they didn't want credit and weren't crediting for being the ones writing them for the longest time, Jim saw what they were doing and realized, to his credit, that they were doing something that wasn't being done everywhere else and that with no one editing them, they were funny as well as offering strong social commentary. And what that did for Ava was help her find her footing and I mean everyone, not just us, but professors too, have pretty much had to re-evalute her written work because she's off on her own level.

It can be spooky the way they know where they're going. Like when we're all discussing something, they are always pretty much on the same page. And like it turns out C.I. knew her aunt and her mother.

Jess: Yeah, that was weird. Small world and all. But yeah, they're a good writing team and when nothing else is working out we always know "Well if nothing else, Ava and C.I. will turn out a review that will keep the readers talking."

Which is a lot of pressure?

Jess: I know. I was really surprised when they did their thing on the Bully Boy's speech to the nation because we're reading that and all and we're blown away and they really didn't want to write it and they really didn't think they'd have much to say on it. And I know from both of them that there are times when they are freaking out because while we can slide on other features, if they slide, the TV review is always the piece we get the most e-mail on, it's like the whole issue is a waste with readers.

Before we go on, I want to ask about the credit because that's something that you guys decided early on.

Jess: Yeah. We didn't want it to be "This is by Ty, this is by Dona, this is by Jess, this is by Jim, this is by Ava" and that sort of thing. We wanted to do it as a group. And, you know this, when someone helps out, they can have just as much input as any of us. There's a lot of signaling out in the press and our point was "We are The Third Estate Sunday Review." All of us.

But then Jim goes in and puts in credits for the editorials.

Jess: Because they get copied and pasted elsewhere. And Jim noticed that C.I. was putting credit on it over at The Common Ills. It just makes sense to put it in when we do that since it does get noted elsewhere.

I got my first e-mail from someone in France who saw an editorial at some sort of Amazon like site. Someone had gone in and on some DVD, instead of reviewing it, they'd copied and pasted the editorial.

Jess: Yeah. That's The Common Ills effect. The community, and I'm a part of it, really tries to get the word out.

I wish C.I. hadn't imposed the whole "Don't push the site" rule.

Jess: Me too. But I mean, I help Ava and C.I. with the e-mails and there are so many. And there's also the fact, and you know this, members get really mad when they feel that The Common Ills is being ignored.

Right. I had tried to start a petition to get people to avoid sites that were ignoring The Common Ills. C.I. e-mailed me about that and was nice but firm. Telling me that wasn't the purpose and that The Common Ills was a resource/review. That's why I started up. That's why Cedric started up, to be proactive and get the word out. Do you guys think about quitting?

Jess: Me, I think it about it after every edition. Jim loves the chaos and we've done some strong things because of it but staying up all night and still being up when the sun's coming out. And then we distribute them on Sunday around campus, print editions. I don't mind giving my Saturday but the way it works out, I've lost my Sunday too. I don't know how you, Rebecca, Betty, C.I. and Elaine do it. Because you guys are blogging on Monday.

And C.I.'s blogging on Sunday.

Jess: I know. I mean, you know this, before we got done Sunday morning, C.I. was functioning on one eye. The other one was too blurry to see out of. And we all try to be protective of C.I.'s health and take that into consideration but, well you know, you were on the phone.

Right, everyone was going, look go on over, do your entry and get some sleep. But C.I.'s like a work horse or something. Which is why we insisted on going over after to do the entry with C.I. And then me and Jim wasted time on sports and you know when that entry went up, Dona called us on that.

Jess: Right. She goes, "Oh, I'm sorry, did you think you were helping out at The Daily Howler?"

Cause Bob will talk sports there.

Jess: Yeah. And that bores the hell out of Dona. She likes The Daily Howler but when he's off on his sports, she's always got a pointed remark or two.

Cedric told me he feels bad because he spent a bit of time on the phone with us Saturday and we were all helping him with his speech he had to give on his friend Vern who died.

Jess: Now that time wasn't wasted. No one would say that. We were all wanting to help. And that includes just listening. That's part of being a community. I'll call him tonight and check on him but he doesn't need to feel guilty. And the two things that we were working on that never came together, that happened long after Cedric was off the phone and that's part of the reason it went on so long.

I told him that too. But call him tonight because so far Elaine, C.I. and I have told him that and he's still feeling guilty.

Jess: I will.

What's one thing you'd like to see different at The Third Estate Sunday Review?

Jess: Good question. Besides the hours, I'd like to see us integrate music more. There's a tendency sometimes, I think anyway, to repost one of Kat's entries and then think we covered music. I'd like to see more music roundtables and am glad we did the one on Carole King. I also like it when a song works it's way into an editorial or a feature, you know the lyrics? I think that adds a dimension and I think music's really important. Did you see C.I.'s thing this afternoon?

Quoting U2?

Jess: Yeah. I mean, that's something I just like. Music's a part of all our lives and I'd like to see that reflected more. That's also why when time runs short with the news review, I'm always saying, "Cut me, cut anyone, but don't cut Kat." I think we need that in there.

You've got the Cass Elliott Solo Collection playing in the background, I can hear it.

Jess: Yeah, I've always got music playing.

Last week, I interviewed Ty and I've also interview Dona, Jim, Ava and now --

Jess: You've just done your worst interview.

No. No, this has probably been the longest one.

Jess: Next week, you're interviewing Elaine. I read your thing yesterday and I've got to tell you that I'm sad too. I hope she'll still help from time to time at The Third Estate Sunday Review. I really wish she'd start her own site.

I know. Like I said yesterday, Rebecca and I were talking about that. And I mean, Rebecca and C.I. have talked about Elaine before and all so I'd heard she was really cool and all that but it wasn't until she was subbing for Rebecca that I really got how cool she was, you know?

Jess: Yeah. She's pretty amazing. And she doesn't take any crap. That's got to be the common thread between her and Rebecca!

You think she'll reconsider doing her own site?

Jess: Ava's asking her to. She's saying, "How about you just do a paragraph a day?" And I mean I'd check her out. I love the "Peace Quotes" and all the things she provides. And we need more voices.

Can you imagine what would happen if everyone who was a community member at The Common Ills started their own site? That would be so awesome.

Jess: Well, Krista and Gina are also trying to talk her into doing something like their round-robin if she's not comfortable with putting stuff up at a site. And she's got something coming up in their Friday round-robin that she's writing for community membrs, a message, just to tell them thank you for all their support.

I didn't know that. I always read the round-robin but now I have another reason. So what did you hope I'd ask or fear I'd ask?

Jess: I'll pass on fear, but I hoped you'd ask about music and you did.

You play guitar.

Jess: Yeah and I can do bass too.

Rebecca thinks you could be the next Jack Johnson.

Jess: He's cool but she's inflating my abilities.

Hey, can we rerun one of Isaiah's comics Sunday?

Jess: I'm with you on that. I think it would be a great idea.

Well then I'll go ahead and close this by saying thank you for talking with me.

Jess: No problem. Thank you for all your help over at The Third Estate Sunday Review.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

about Elaine and some stuff from Democracy Now!

Good evening. I talked to Elaine before getting on to blog. I asked her if it would be okay to interview her for next Wednesday. Tomorrow is Jess.

But next week, fingers crossed, Rebecca's back at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude.
As happy as I'll be about that, I told Rebecca on the phone Monday that I was going to miss Elaine. Rebecca bragged about what a great job Elaine's been doing. She said when she first heard about Cindy Sheehan's vigil in Crawford, she thought, "And I'm on vacation!" But then she realized that this was up Elaine's alley and no one would be able to handle better.

I agree that Elaine did an amazing job and brought a voice all her own to Rebecca's site. Besides being best friends, Rebecca picked Elaine because she was really hoping Elaine would end up with the blogging bug and start her own site. C.I. and Rebecca have been on Elaine to do that forever.

This evening, I brought that up with Elaine but she was still saying that she was fine with filling in for Rebecca but she wasn't going to start her own site.

That got me to thinking that this Saturday will probably be the last time Elaine and I are both helping The Third Estate Sunday Review. I like Cedric a lot but it did take some space off me or a load to not be the new guy. And maybe that's part of why I'm sad that Elaine will stop blogging soon. But another thing is, she's a really important voice.

When I was talking to C.I. about starting my own site, I'd hear about Elaine and later I'd hear about her from Rebecca. There's a reason for that. She's smart and she's funny but she's also a firm advocate for peace.

This week at the news review, Jim & Dona came up with the idea of having two people discuss a topic. Ty was tired and just wanted to help with research. Kat was wanting to announce about Fiona Apple's CD so that just left Elaine, Ava, Jess, Betty and me. Jess really does the peace and activism report and that's his thing. I felt like I would just be standing there going, "Huh?"

And Ava and C.I. have their whole own wave length thing going due to all the writing they've done together so I wasn't wanting to do a discussion with Ava because I'd be like twice double "huh?" So that left Betty and Elaine. Betty's real cool and she likes to do the show biz report and all. Since I already did sports over there I wanted to do something a little more hard hitting.
And like me and Elaine was intimidating to me but she saved my butt at least once and she also brought up a topic that I thought she did just because she knew I had some stuff on it.

She's a really generous person.

So I guess I'm a little sad about that. I'm happy that Rebecca's coming back and she's got her whole own thing and own voice and all and she's a great friend. But like Rebecca said on the phone, "Ideally, Elaine would go off and start her own site."

Doesn't look like that will happen and it makes me a little sad.

But let's move to Democracy Now!

New Anti-Recruiting Coalition Forms in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, a new coalition announced plans for a national campaign to fight military recruitment of students of color in the nation's schools. Members of the coalition include Latinos for Peace and the Coalition Against Militarism in our Schools. The groups made the announcement at Salazar Park on the 35th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium, when 20,000 protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles to protest the disproportionate number of Latinos being killed in the Vietnam War. Salazar Park is named after journalist Ruben Salazar who was shot dead by police after covering the Moratorium. The coalition is calling on students to sign forms that would block the military from receiving personal information about them as well as not to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.

Counter-recruiting is a serious issue. People are tired of seeing their kids lied to and seeing them sign up because there's not a lot of options in this country. They're also tired of seeing them killed. We've actually done a lot of outsourcing in the fighting. We get people from places like Puerto Rico and tell them they can go fight and they can become citizens. So Latinos are seeing a lot of casualities.

And if you think parents are angry, you should talk to the college students because I am one. We've seen recruiters play dirty tricks. We know people are dying. Recruiters don't want to talk about that. They'll even tell you, "Oh, you won't go to Iraq." Anything to make their quotas and people have had enough.

ACLU: FBI Has Designated Activist Groups as Terrorists
The American Civil Liberties Union has obtained internal government documents that show the FBI designated two Michigan activist groups as potentially being "involved in terrorist activities." One of the groups is the anti-war organization Direct Action. The second group is called By Any Means Necessary - it is a national organization dedicated to defending affirmative action, integration, and other gains of the civil rights movement. ACLU staff attorney Ben Wizner said "When the FBI and local law enforcement identify affirmative action advocates as potential terrorists, every American has cause for concern." The ACLU has been conducting an investigation into whether the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces has been engaged in political surveillance. As part of this investigation the ACLU has learned that the FBI has collected thousands of pages of documents related to other activist groups including Greenpeace, United for Peace and Justice, Code Pink, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Dad thinks this is disgusting and a sign of how backwards our country has moved. He says not many will even talk about it. But that it's a serious issue. So pay attention to it.

That's going to be it tonight. I've got to pick Nina up in about thirty minutes and I need to get ready.

Monday, August 29, 2005

2 items from Democracy Now!

Good evening, I'm going to note some stuff from Democracy Now! and Elaine and I decided to do the same items again so be sure to head over to Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude to check out what stands out to Elaine.

Shiites and Kurds Agree on Constitution; Sunnis Reject Draft
In Iraq, Shiite and Kurdish members of Iraq's constitution drafting committee have agreed on a draft charter but Sunni Arab lawmakers have largely rejected the document. Some members of the drafting committee signed the draft charter but in a surprise move the full National Assembly never took a vote. A nationwide referendum on the constitution is now scheduled for Oct. 15. On Sunday President Bush attempted to downplay the Sunni opposition to the draft constitution. "Some Sunnis have expressed reservations about various provisions of the constitution, and that's their right as free individuals living in a free society," Bush said. "There are strong beliefs among other Sunnis that this constitution is good for all Iraqis and that it adequately reflects compromises suitable to all groups. Sunnis are warning that the constitution could lead to civil war because it will allow Shiites to create an autonomous government in the oil-rich south.

This is so screwed. And we've caused it and the longer we stay over there the worse it will get. And we act like we're going to save them like we're so much better than they are but reality is that since we've been occupied Iraq things keep getting worse and worse.

Thousands Rally At Camp Casey in Crawford Texas
In Crawford, Texas, the anti-war vigil led by Cindy Sheehan has entered its 24th day outside President Bush's 1,600 acre estate. Over the weekend thousands of military families, veterans and anti-war activists gathered for the final weekend of the vigil. Former U.S. diplomat Ann Wright -- who has been running much of Camp Casey -- is now estimating that up to 10,000 people have visited the camp since the vigil was launched on Aug. 6. This is Iraq War veteran Sean O'Neill: "I know too many good men that died out there who left behind families, widows, children that will grow up without their fathers. And for what?"

Why do I love Democracy Now!? Because they cover the real world. While a lot of other people are moving on to stories about nothing, CNN can fill hours with nothing, Democracy Now! brings you what matters. And if you didn't watch today's episode or listen to it you better go read it at Democracy Now! because this is the news you need.

You won't realize how many people are finding their voice thanks to Cindy Sheehan's lead unless you check out today's stories.

Loretta wrote in this weekend to say that she wanted to comment on Suzie being attracted to her new step-brother Tom. Loretta saw something like this happen in her family.

Her mother remarried and her older brother and her new step-sister started a relationship.
Loretta said they did it behind everyone's back and that it all ended up "messy without everyone screaming at each other." She points out that the answer I gave was about Tom's father and Suzie's mother but I didn't mention one word about the other siblings and step-siblings involved.

Loretta's got a good point and thank you for catching that.

So Suzie, that's one more thing to consider.

How are your siblings going to feel if something happens? Are they going to be happy for you? Or are they going to be upset and feel like they were lied to?

I want to note something from The Common Ills. I don't have time to copy and paste tonight but do yourself a favor and go read C.I.'s "NYT: Scott Shane on CIA report and my op-ed comments on the Times" because it's really worth reading.