Tuesday, January 31, 2006

March 18-20: Global Days of Action Against the War

Global Days of Action
March 18-20, 2006

3rd Anniversary of the “Shock and Awe” Invasion of Iraq

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition joins with antiwar organizations globally in calling for March 18-20, 2006, to be Global Days of Action. This is the third anniversary of Bush's criminal aggression against the people of Iraq.

March 18 - March 19
Locally-Coordinated Antiwar Protests

On Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, 2006, locally-coordinated demonstrations will take place in cities and towns across the U.S. and around the world, including in New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and many more.

On Monday, March 20, young people will organize acts of resistance in their schools and communities.

From the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition:
"We believe that our movement must weld together the broadest, most diverse coalition of various sectors and communities into an effective force for change. This requires the inclusion of targeted communities and political clarity. The war in Iraq is not simply an aberrational policy of the Bush neo-conservatives. Iraq is emblematic of a larger war for Empire. It is part of a multi-pronged attack against all those countries that refuse to follow the economic, political and military dictates of the Washington establishment and Wall Street."

Wendy Wasserstein: 1950-2006

"I know that Wendy, who died Monday after a long and horrible struggle with cancer, was a feminist hero, a significant spokeswoman for the social good, and a major role model for women in the arts. I know all that—but I still hear Wendy Wasserstein giggling."

(From: Michael Feingold in the Village Voice)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Scalito filibuster update

Scalito filibuster update from Democrats.com/Alito 48:
"I just spoke with Senator Clinton's Chief of Staff and confirmed that Senator Clinton SUPPORTS the brave and urgent filibuster of Sam Alito by Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.


I'm not sure why we should b e grateful that Sen. Clinton is doing her Constitutional duty by protecting the Supreme Court from being politicized and made into another arm of the right-wing. But I guess that given the current Democratic party, we should be thankful for whatever we can get. (I don't want to say small favors, cause this ain't no small thing.)

Truth trumps "variety's sake" at Sundance but not in the New York Times

Sometimes in odd ways the mainstream media obsession with evenhandedness begs the question of truth. Truth, after all, was once the purpose of journalism - or so I thought. In a recent NYT article covering the Sundance Film Festival, A.O.Scott says:

"It would be nice, if only for variety's sake, to encounter a pro-war or pro-death-penalty documentary here, but that seems unlikely."

In one breath, I want to say: Why in the world would it be nice? Since when does "variety's sake" trump truth? In the next breath, my choice is to say: Aren't we lucky that it "seems unlikely?"

Bush and Osama: Two peas in a pod?

If any pair of nogoodniks is singing from the same hymnbook, it’s George Bush and Osama bin Laden. Both of them rely on the continued imbroglio in Iraq to sustain their precarious political fortunes.

When the Shi’ites finally struggle clear of rigged elections and American resistance and kick our butts out of Iraq, they will turn around and deal with al Qaeda ruthlessly and totally (as a certain superpower has been unable to do), handing more than defeat — inflicting humiliating repudiation — to Bush and Osama.

So now Karl Rove has announced that he is going to roll the dice once again and try to turn Bush’s sole proprietorship of that national security debacle known as the War on Terror into a political asset.

(For complete article see Halcyon Days)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jan. 27-29: USAS Conference & Performance

Washington DC, Dec. 8, 2005
Jan. 27-29

United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) Annual Conference and Performance

Lerner Hall-115th and Broadway-back entrance
(Train 1 to 116th street.)

Performance JAN. 28, 8:30 ON
Columbia University
Lerner Hall, Broadway Room

Performers are:
CAPOEIRA: an afro-brazilian martial art along with brazilian music
And some Latin music.......all night long!!!

Are you able to visualize Human Rights issues, Social Justice and Solidarity in a Global context and at the same time be able to act and think at a local level? Or you simply would like to learn more about these topics?
Then Come and join the gang from USAS, particularly the Northeast Region to share how we can do this together at their Annual regional conference.

For more information and To register please go to

Kerry to lead filibuster of Scalito

Is it possible that John Kerry has finally realized that those Democrats advising him to move to the right (who advised him in the last election how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory) have their heads up their proverbial asses.-Dan

This is from the Daily Kos
Filibuster Alito
by John Kerry

Do I support a filibuster? The answer is yes.

Yesterday Senator Kennedy and I spoke with our colleagues about it. I don't have a shred of doubt in my opposition to Sam Alito's nomination. I know Senator Kennedy does not either. He has truly been a great leader in the effort to oppose Judge Alito.

I spent a lot of time over the last years thinking about the Supreme Court and who America needs on the highest court in the land. So I don't hesitate a minute in saying that Sam Alito is not that person. His entire legal career shows that, if confirmed, he will take America backwards. People can say all they want that "elections have consequences." Trust me, more than anyone I understand that. But that seems like an awfully convoluted rationale for me to stay silent about Judge Alito's nomination.

(For more of Kerry's statement go to Kos)

(For more on the filibuster and what you can do, see Democrats.com/Alito 48)

Feb. 6: Film showing: Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier

Feb. 6,

Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier

A Film by Susie Bear

6:30 PM - Coffee & dessert
Q&A to follow film

St. Mary's Episcopal Church
521 W. 126th St

Feb. 6, is the 30th anniversary of Leonard Peltier's capture in Canada.

"To acknowledge his commitment to the people and our commitment to his release, NYC Jericho and ProLibertad will show "Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier " by Susie Bear"

For more information, please call: 718-220-6004

$5.00 on a sliding scale. All money raised to be sent to Leonard's
commissary fund.

"An intimate look at the circumstances surrounding the incarceration of Native American activist Leonard Peltier, convicted of murder, with commentary from those involved, including Peltier himself."

Feb. 2: Film showing - Bloqueo

Feb. 2, 7pm

B L O Q U E O: Looking at the U.S. Embargo Against Cuba

Bluestockings Bookshop and Café
172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington

$5 Suggested

(No one will be turned away from an event at Bluestockings for lack of $)

Independent New York filmmakers Rachel Dannefer and Heather Haddon traveled to Cuba with Pastors for Peace to discover the story behind the 40-year-old embargo. The result is Bloqueo, a documentary which explores the considerable effects of the blockade upon the Cuban people. The film surveys the successes in healthcare, organic farming, and conservation that Cuba has managed over the last decades. Rachel Dannefer coordinates the National Immigrant Farming Initiative. Heather Haddon is a journalist and photographer for the Norwood News, an award-winning Bronx community newspaper.

There will be Q&A with the filmmakers after the film.

Bush, the incompetent

Lately I've been wondering what it will take before everyone realizes how totally incompetent the Bush administration is at everything it attempts to do. Check out Harold Meyerson in the WP

"Incompetence is not one of the seven deadly sins, and it's hardly the worst attribute that can be ascribed to George W. Bush. But it is this president's defining attribute. Historians, looking back at the hash that his administration has made of his war in Iraq, his response to Hurricane Katrina and his Medicare drug plan, will have to grapple with how one president could so cosmically botch so many big things -- particularly when most of them were the president's own initiatives.

In numbing profusion, the newspapers are filled with litanies of screw-ups."

(Thanks to Naked Cartwheels for linking to this WP article)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Mike Malloy no longer "speaking truth to power" in New York City

From the Smirking Chimp:

WLIB, Air America's alleged 'flagship' station in New York City has dropped Mike Malloy from its 10pm-to-Midnight slot. As of today he's no longer broadcast live in NYC.

I can't find official notice anywhere about who is replacing Mike, but what I'm reading on various message boards is that it's going to be The Satellite Sisters.

What the frack?

Satellite Sisters is a happy-talk show. It's not politics. Is Air America trying to commit suicide?

Brokeback Mountain: a review

Directed by
Ang Lee

Writing credits (WGA)
E. Annie Proulx (short story)
Larry McMurtry (screenplay)

Brokeback Mountain is a great film. Not just a good film but a great film. It is something almost unheard of in today's film world - a tragedy. In this age of packaged films mostly immature comedies and/or special effects, a beautifully written, directed and acted film is truly a rare bird.

The drama of tragic love has. of course, a long history, going back, at least, to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Two people fall in love and circumstances keep them apart. Obviously the fact that in this case the lovers are both men is the reason they try to stay apart and build alternative lives. But that's not what the film is about. It's about how a great love is so powerful it keeps drawing the two lovers back into it, no matter how pervasive the pain it brings - not only to the lovers, but to those who are drawn into their web. Ergo tragedy.

Ann - my partner - says that both of the lead actors - Heath Ledger,who plays Ennis Del Mar, and Jake Gyllenhaal, as Jack Twist - are equally spectacular in their respective performances. This is basically true, but I think Ennis was much more difficult to embody. He is the more traditional stoic cowboy, who says everything with his body and eyes, not with words.

Since we are in the heat of the award season, I should added that's why he is beiing touted for all the "Best Actor"awards and Gyllenhaal is being passed over.

The other character who will break your heart is Alma Del Mar, Ennis' wife played so beautifully by Michelle Williams (who one wag said atones for all those years on Dawson's Creek, with this performance). She will almost certainly get a supporting actor nomination. [More about this when the Oscar noms are announced.]

With Brokeback Mountain Ang Lee solidities his place as, perhaps, the best director of his generation.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Knicks' Antonio Davis charges into stands to confront a fan

Ron Artest

Fourteen months ago Ron Artest of the NBA's Indiana Pacers went into the stands to confront a fan who had thrown a soda onto the court. He was given the heaviest suspension in NBA history. He was suspended - without pay - for the rest of that season. This amounted to about $5 million. A number of other players were also suspended for various periods of time for the same incident. At the time, NBA Commissioner David Stern said: "The line is drawn, and my guess is that won't happen again -- certainly not by anybody who wants to be associated with our league."

Antonio Davis last night

Last night the New York Knicks' Antonio Davis went into the stands because he believed his wife was in some danger from an out-of-control fan. Obviously there are many different versions of what actually happened in the stands before Davis crossed the line. It's not clear at what point the arena security entered the picture and some reports lead one to believe that Davis' wife may have provoked the confrontation.

As of this writing Commissioner Stern has not yet made a decision about Davis' punishment. Most sports commentators agree that there must be a suspension, but there seems to be disagreement as to how severe it should be. Most people who comment on sports are men and most of them say, "If it were me, I would have done the same thing to protect my family."

That may be the case, but I firmly believe that the punishment must be strong enough to reiterate the point that Stern made after the Artest incident. Although, in a statement Davis released today he says that there wasn't enough time to call security, I'm not at all sure that that was the case. It is, in fact, their job, his job is to stay on the court.

If there was a danger (real or imagined) to his wife when he got there, what would he have done? If he puts one hand on the fan, he sets himself, the Knicks, the NBA and the Bulls organization up for major law suits; not to mention, a possible assault rap. Security is officially able to handle such situations.

In addition to the above problems raised by a player (any player) going into the stands, what would have happened if other fans decided to join the fray on either side - a riot?

The simple fact is that in every sport, the athletes have to stay on the court and the fans in the stands. Anything else is an invitation to disaster. The punishment must reflect - not the particular person - but the act.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Al Gore criticizes Bush and defends the Constitution

As we begin this new year, the Executive Branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress to prevent such abuses.

It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored.

So, many of us have come here to Constitution Hall to sound an alarm and call upon our fellow citizens to put aside partisan differences and join with us in demanding that our Constitution be defended and preserved.

(This is from a Martin Luther King Day speech given by Al Gore at Constitution Hall as posted on the Smirking Chimp website. For the complete speech.)

After the White House responded to Gore's speech, he issued the following statement:

The Administration's response to my speech illustrates perfectly the need for a special counsel to review the legality of the NSA wiretapping program. The Attorney General is making a political defense of the President without even addressing the substantive legal questions that have so troubled millions of Americans in both political parties.

There are two problems with the Attorney General's effort to focus attention on the past instead of the present Administration's behavior. First, as others have thoroughly documented, his charges are factually wrong. Both before and after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was amended in 1995, the Clinton/Gore Administration complied fully and completely with the terms of the law.

Second, the Attorney General's attempt to cite a previous administration's activity as precedent for theirs - even though factually wrong - ironically demonstrates another reason why we must be so vigilant about their brazen disregard for the law. If unchecked, their behavior would serve as a precedent to encourage future presidents to claim these same powers, which many legal experts in both parties believe are clearly illegal.

The issue, simply put, is that for more than four years, the executive branch has been wiretapping many thousands of American citizens without warrants in direct contradiction of American law. It is clearly wrong and disrespectful to the American people to allow a close political associate of the president to be in charge of reviewing serious charges against him.

The country needs a full and independent investigation into the facts and legality of the present Administration's program.

(for the White House response, etc.)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King: January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds. ....

But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that an men are created equal ..." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we viii be. We be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremist for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime---the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jeans Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists. [From Letter from a Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963]

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: "Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?" "Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "Peace and civil rights don't mix," they say. "Aren't you hurting the cause of your people," they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

In the light of such tragic misunderstanding, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church -- the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate -- leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight. [From Speech on Vietnam to Clergy and Laity Concerned, April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church, NYC]

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Responsibility is in short supply at the top these days.

It seems that the Bush administration penchant for blaming everyone else for failures at the top has trickled down to even lowly municipal agencies. Here's what New York City's Administration for Children's Services Commissioner John Mattingly said after the the allegedly murderous death of 7-year-old Nixmary Brown this week: After telling the New York Daily News "that the agency's training and policies are top notch," he said, "but the recent deaths of four children [including Nixmary]... suggest caseworkers and managers aren't doing enough."

Sure John and the soldiers and guards at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are responsible for the deaths and torture at those prisons.

Nixmary - rest in peace!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Mainstream media fails on Scalito

From: Georgia10/TheDailyKos

The media is universally declaring that Alito is headed towards con- firmation. I've been bothered by the spin from reporters that Alito will be confirmed because the Democrats failed to challenge him properly at the hearing. The burden was never on Democrats to grill Alito until he cracked. Alito was coached for months, including by Lindsay Graham, a committee member. So this notion that the Democrats "failed" to put a kink in Alito's armor is ridiculous. There was no armor to begin with.

The burden, from the start, was on Alito to counter his record as a idealogue. Alito walked into that hearing room saddled with a record as one of the most pro-government Republican judges in the nation. He walked into that room with his objective memorialized in black and white: overturning Roe. He walked into that room already having established his contempt for our system of checks and balances.

The burden was on him to explain his record. And he didn't. Because there's no explaining away the fact that he believes the government can do whatever the hell it wants when it comes to stripping of our rights. To succeed in these hearings, Alito had to counter record, and he didn't.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Fridays: Protest Clinton's pro-war stance

From Chelsea Neighbors United to End the War:

A group of grass roots activists are creating an ongoing protest against Hillary Clinton's continuing support of the Iraq War.

The protest will take place in front of her New York City office,
780 Third Ave. (bt 48 - 49 Sts)
each Friday from 5-6pm.

A number of us are going to attend this week to help them get started. We will be carrying our banner. If you are able to attend and would like to join the Chelsea contingent, please call Chuck Zlatkin at 917-693-9427.

If you can't make it on Fridays, please remember that Chelsea Stands Up Against The War takes place every Tuesday from 6-7pm at the northwest corner of 8th Avenue and 24th Street. Next Tuesday, January 17th will be week 36.

CNU To End the War

Chelsea Neighbors United To End The War
P.O. Box 821
JAF Station
New York, NY 10116-0821
join our listerv: ChelseaNeighborsUnited-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Thru Jan. 20: Defeat Scalito Nomination

Through Jan. 20
Freedom Winter 06.
Mobilize a massive student campaign to save women's rights & civil rights:

Oppose Judge Samuel Alito's Supreme Court confirmation.
In DC.

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) and the National Organization for Women (NOW) student activists are organizing Freedom Winter '06 because the future of civil rights and women's equality are on the line. We are recruiting volunteers to come to Washington DC and join Freedom Winter '06 from Jan. 3 to Jan. 20, or anytime in between. We need activists dedicated to being part of the fight to Save Women's Rights and Civil Rights. Commit a week or more of your winter vacation to call activists, visit Senators' offices, plan educational events, and raise public awareness.

Be a part of history and join the Freedom Activists from around the country.

The Freedom Winter campaign headquarters is at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation located at 212 East Capitol St. NE, Washington, DC 20003, and will be open daily from 9am to 5pm.
(Closest Metro Stops- Union Station and Capitol South.)
Daily information briefings at 10 AM and 1 PM.
Light breakfast and coffee served each morning.
If you have a laptop computer please bring it with you.
For questions please contact the Freedom Winter Team at 703-522-2214.

Alito Confirmation Hearings begin Jan. 9th,
meet at 7:30 AM
at First and C sts, NE for tickets.

Feminist Majority Foundation, National Organization for Women, National Congress of Black Women.
Info: 866-444-3652,

Jan 14: The Transit Strike & the Labor Movement

Jan. 14, 5:30PM

After the Transit Strike… What's Next for NYC Labor?
A panel that will be a useful place to assess the strike and its impact on our union...

Musicians Local 802
322 West 48th Street,
bt 8th & 9th Aves.
[C, E to 50th St.; A to 42d St.; 1 to 50th; N, R to 49th; B, D, F, Q to 47th-50th/Rock. Ctr.; 7, S, 2, 3 to 42d St.-Times Sq.]

SPEAKERS: Steve Downs Member, TWU Local 100
Megan Behrent Member, UFT &
Teachers for a Just Contract
(Organizations listed for identification only)

In just three days on strike, transit workers paralyzed New York City and electrified the labor movement. With the MTA, city officials, the courts and the media lined up against them, TWU members took a courageous stand against devastating concessions.

What lessons can other unions take from this struggle?
Where is NYC labor headed from here?
Come to a discussion about the future of our movement.

Endorsed by the International Socialist Organization, Solidarity, and Teachers for a Just Contract

Jan. 15-31: Israeli-Palestinian Film Festival

Labyrinth Books and Symphony Space Present
Israeli and Palestinian Films About the Conflict

Jan. 15 -- Double Feature:

4PM: DIVINE INTERVENTION (Palestinian; director present at screening)
dir. Elia Suleiman
An intense exploration of the dreams and nightmares of Palestinians and Israelis living in uncertain times.

5:45PM: CHECKPOINT (Israeli)
Exploring the destructive impact of occupation through the daily interface at the checkpoints.

Tuesday, Jan. 17 -- Double Feature:

dir. Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
A group of West Bank Palestinians reencounter their homeland as tourists.

7:45PM UNTIL WHEN (Palestinian)
dir. Dahna Abourahme
Follows Palestinian families living in a refugee camp during the current Intifada. A film of sorrow and hope.

Sunday, Jan. 22 -- Double Feature

4PM ARNA'S CHILDREN (Israeli/Palestinian)
dir. Juliano Mer Khamis
An intense look at the childhood of resistance fighters and suicide attackers. Best Documentary Feature winner, 2004 Tribeca Film Festival.

5:45PM No.17 Is Anonymous (Israeli)
dir. David Ofek
Documenting the search for an unidentified victim of a suicide bombing and portraying Israeli society as it struggles with the reality of terrorist violence.

Tuesday, Jan. 24 -- Double Feature:

6PM: CAMPFIRE (Israeli)
dir. Joseph Cedar
This story of one woman'd personal battle is also a portrait of the settler movement.
Israeil's nominee for the foreign language category of the Academy Awards.

dir. Michel Khleifi
An expose of mixed-marriage couples who chose love instead of hate.

Sunday, Jan. 29 -- Double Feature

4PM WALL (Israeli)
dir. Simone Bitton
A portrait of the wall of separation revealing the inherent dilemma of trying to protect one way of life at the expense of another.

dir. Tahani Rached
Daily life under the occupation. How do you preserve your humanity in the midst of oppression?

Tuesday, Jan. 31 (Film and Roundtable):

dir. Danae Elon
An Israeli filmmaker chronicles her quest to reconnect with her Muslim Palestinian caregiver.

Followed by a roundtable discussion with:
Dahna Abourahme, Bashir Abu-Manneh, Danae Elon, Elias Khoury, Stuart
Klawans, Richard Pena, Adam Shatz, Ella Shohat, and Debra Zimmerman.

Free admission to the discussion with ticket stub from any of the films of the festival. First come, first serve.

All films will be shown at
Symphony Space's Leonard Nimoy Thalia:
Broadway at 95th Street.
Tickets:$10; seniors/children:$8;
Labyrinth Books and Symphony Space members: $6

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Letterman speaks truth to O'Reilly

David Letterman to Bill O'Reilly on The Late Show

"I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap."

Right on Dave. But perhaps you underestimated the percent of what O'Reilly says that is crap.- Dan

(For more on this)

Jan. 10: Support Granny Peace Brigade


The 18 grand- mothers who were arrested and jailed on Oct. 17 this past autumn for attempting to enlist at the Times Square Recruiting Center are due in Criminal Court Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 100 Centre Street, Part B, at 9:30 a.m. However, first a press conference will be held beginning at 8:30 a.m. outside the courthouse, and Granny supporters should be there at that time. Following that, it is hoped people will fill the courtroom during the proceedings. There is plenty of space.

Famed civil rights lawyer, Norman Siegel, has submitted a motion to dismiss in the interest of justice, to suppress remarks made by some of the grandmothers during the arrest, and to prevent the introduction of prior convictions and Bad Acts. It remains to be seen whether the case will be dismissed on Tuesday or sent to trial.

As many people as possible are needed there Tuesday morning, with banners, signs, chants and songs. A big press/media turnout is expected and it is important for the anti-war cause to show that huge numbers of people are determined to bring this horrendous war to an end now.

Please help by being there Tuesday.
For further information, feel free to email Joanwile263 @ aol.com

The Grannys always have a weekly vigil on Wednesdays, 4:30 to 5:30 pm in front of Rockefeller Plaza on the west side of Fifth Ave bt 49th and 50th Sts.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Life Wasted: Another dead marine in Iraq

From Chelsea Neighbors United:

A Life, Wasted
Let's Stop This War Before More Heroes Are Killed

By Paul E. Schroeder

[Supporters stand silently as a lone bagpiper plays "Amazing Grace" during graveside services for Marine Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II August 15, 2005, in Cleveland, Ohio. Schroeder, 23, also known to friends and family as "Augie", was one of the 14 Brook Park, Ohio based Marines killed in Iraq during the first weeks of August, 2005.] (Photo: AP/Amy Sancetta)

Early on Aug. 3, 2005, we heard that 14 Marines had been killed in Haditha, Iraq. Our son, Lance Cpl. Edward "Augie" Schroeder II, was stationed there. At 10:45 a.m. two Marines showed up at our door. After collecting himself for what was clearly painful duty, the lieutenant colonel said, "Your son is a true American hero."

Since then, two reactions to Augie's death have compounded the sadness.

At times like this, people say, "He died a hero." I know this is meant with great sincerity. We appreciate the many condolences we have received and how helpful they have been. But when heard repeatedly, the phrases "he died a hero" or "he died a patriot" or "he died for his country" rub raw.

"People think that if they say that, somehow it makes it okay that he died," our daughter, Amanda, has said. "He was a hero before he died, not just because he went to Iraq. I was proud of him before, and being a patriot doesn't make his death okay. I'm glad he got so much respect at his funeral, but that didn't make it okay either."

The words "hero" and "patriot" focus on the death, not the life. They are a flag-draped mask covering the truth that few want to acknowledge openly: Death in battle is tragic no matter what the reasons for the war. The tragedy is the life that was lost, not the manner of death. Families of dead soldiers on both sides of the battle line know this. Those without family in the war don't appreciate the difference.

This leads to the second reaction. Since August we have witnessed growing opposition to the Iraq war, but it is often whispered, hands covering mouths, as if it is dangerous to speak too loudly. Others discuss the never-ending cycle of death in places such as Haditha in academic and sometimes clinical fashion, as in "the increasing lethality of improvised explosive devices."

Listen to the kinds of things that most Americans don't have to experience: The day Augie's unit returned from Iraq to Camp Lejeune, we received a box with his notebooks, DVDs and clothes from his locker in Iraq. The day his unit returned home to waiting families, we received the second urn of ashes. This lad of promise, of easy charm and readiness to help, whose highest high was saving someone using CPR as a first aid squad volunteer, came home in one coffin and two urns. We buried him in three places that he loved, a fitting irony, I suppose, but just as rough each time.

I am outraged at what I see as the cause of his death. For nearly three years, the Bush administration has pursued a policy that makes our troops sitting ducks. While Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that our policy is to "clear, hold and build" Iraqi towns, there aren't enough troops to do that.

(For more of this)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bush plot to destroy U.S. Constitution

The Bush Family Coup
Son revisits the sins of the father on America

by James Ridgeway

(Village Voice)

The 9-11 attacks provided the rationale for what amounts to a Bush family coup against the Constitution.
From the outset, President George Bush used 9-11 to reorganize the federal government and increase its reach far beyond any existing law to delve into the lives of innocent, ordinary people. The new powers allowed the government to arrest them at will and to subject them to endless incarceration without judicial review. Some people were sent abroad to be tortured for crimes they had nothing to do with. Who knows how many people have been tortured in American jails? When government employees within the intelligence community sought to protest, the government fired them and made sure they could never get another job in their areas of expertise. This extraordinary program of spying on Americans, much of which was carried out in fishing expeditions under the Patriot Act, has the makings of a consistent and long-range policy to wreck constitutional government.

It is little wonder both left and right have come together to fight Bush and may yet jettison the Patriot Act.

(For more of this)

Jan. 20: Cuba-Puerto Rico update

Jan. 20th, 7pm


Benjamin Ramos, Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5
Frank Velgara, The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
Desiree Gordon, Hands off Assata Coalition

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
521 W. 126th St.
(bt. Amsterdam Ave. and Broadway)
(1 or 9 train to W. 125th St. and Broadway)

As the U.S. government continues its terrorist and repressive occupation of Iraq, it has also waged a war against freedom fighters and revolutionaries in the U.S.

In the past year, the U.S. government has increased the bounty on Assata Shakur and added her name to the domestic terrorist list, has intervened in the case of the Cuban 5 in order to undo the decision of the 11th Circuit Court for a retrial, and masterminded the political assassination of Puerto Rican revolutionary leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios.

Join The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5, Hands off Assata Coalition and the ProLibertad Freedom Campaign for a night of discussion and dialogue about U.S. terrorism and repression in our communities.

Jan. 7: U.S. Out of Iraq

U.S. Rep. Murtha says he wouldn't join military now

WASHINGTON, Jan 2 - Rep. John Murtha, a key Democratic voice who favors pulling U.S. troops from Iraq, said in remarks airing on Monday that he would not join the U.S. military today.

A decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Murtha told ABC News' "Nightline" program that Iraq "absolutely" was a wrong war for President George W. Bush to have launched.

"Would you join (the military) today?," he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.

"No," replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party's leading spokesmen on military issues.

Source: Reuters

Out of Iraq Events Planned Nationwide on January 7th

Contact: Bob Fertik 718-242-7772, David Swanson 202-329-7847, Tim Carpenter 413-320-2015

Web: afterdowningstreet.org

Jan. 7: Out of Iraq Events Planned Nationwide
Jan. 9: National Call-In Day on Accountability
Jan. 9: International Commission Taking "Indictments" to White House

Jan. 7:
Local organizations have planned over 70 Out of Iraq events around the country on or about Jan. 7. Most of the events are town hall forums, and several will feature members of Congress, including Bobby Scott, Diane Watson, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith, Bob Filner, Martin Sabo, Jim Moran, and John Murtha. Several other events will feature congressional staff, congressional and senatorial candidates, local elected officials, and leaders of the peace movement, including Gold Star Families for Peace founder Cindy Sheehan, and After Downing Street Co-Founder John Bonifaz.

While all of these events will focus on ending the war, many of them will also address Congressman John Conyers' new resolutions to censure President Bush and Vice President Cheney and to create a select committee to investigate and make recommendations on impeachment.

Tim Carpenter, Director of Progressive Democrats of America and Co-Founder of After Downing Street, said: "Progressive Democrats of America is proud to be working with grassroots organizations across the country to mobilize and organize a broad-based coalition to call for an end to the Occupation of Iraq and demand action from Congress to investigate the lies of the Bush administration and their conduct regarding the Iraq War."

Jan. 9:
National Call-In Day on Accountability
Tens of thousands of members of Progressive Democrats of America and other organizational members of the After Downing Street Coalition will phone Members of Congress in their district offices on Jan. 9, urging them to cosponsor three bills: H.Res.635 to create a select committee to investigate and to make recommendations on grounds for impeachment, H.Res.636 to censure Bush, and H.Res.637 to censure Cheney.

More about these bills
Congress Members' phone numbers

Jan. 9:
International Commission Taking "Indictments" to White House
On Jan. 9, the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity By the Bush Administration will serve indictments on the White House for its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, its actions and policies on torture and illegal detention, its promotion of abstinence-only in the midst of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, its fueling of global warming, and its response to Hurricane Katrina. This is in preparation for its Jan. 20-22 hearings at Riverside Church and Columbia Law School in New York City (where the Administration will be invited to present a defense). See here for details.

Sponsored by: Backbone Campaign, Progressive Democrats of America, After Downing Street, Democracy Cell Project, Cities for Peace, MilitaryFreeZone.Org, Operation Ceasefire, United for Peace and Justice, U.S. Tour of Duty, Hip Hop Caucus, Democracy Rising, World Can't Wait, Gold Star Families for Peace, Peace Majority Report, Global Exchange, Bring Them Home Campaign, UP (United Progressives) for Democracy, 20 20 Vision, Impeach Bush Coalition, and Peace Action.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Jan. 6: Rally in solidarity with Haitian workers in Dominican Republic

Jan. 6, 5-6:30 pm

Rally in solidarity with Haitian workers in the Dominican Republic.
Protest attacks on & deportations of Haitian workers.

Dominican Consulate,
1501 B'way Ave (Times Sq at 43rd St
(1/2/3/7, N/Q/R/W, S to Times Sq).

Sponsors: Batay Ouvriye Solidarity Network, Haiti Grassroots Solidarity Cmt.
Info: 718-284-0889, info@grassrootshaiti.org & grassrootshaiti

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Support NYU Student Workers strike

At New Year's Eve dinner sev- eral of our friends expressed concern over how the NYU graduate student workers strike was progressing. So here's the latest info on how you can support the strikers.
In 2002, GSOC won the first contract for graduate assistants at a private university. That contract improved the lives of graduate students dramatically and was praised by the NYU administration. Now, thanks to a regressive Bush administration ruling, NYU is refusing to bargain a second contract with GSOC. GSOC members voted by a margin of 85% to strike for a new contract, and the strike began on Nov. 9.

Support is welcome at picket lines
Daily 8 am-5:15 pm
at Bobst Library, Washington Sq South & LaGuardia Place
(A/B/C/D/E/F/V to West 4th St, R/W/N to E 8th St, 1 to Christopher St-Sheridan Sq).

For more info: GSOC/UAW, Local 2110.
gsoc@2110uaw.org &

It would be a good idea to confirm the time and location before heading there:

Ohio legislature commits election fraud

According to Bob Fitrakis in The Free Press, a dangerous dictat is about to emerge from the Ohio legislature:

"Top level Republican operatives with ties to the White House, Senate Majority Leader William Frist and the Republican National Committee (RNC) not only engaged in the suppression of poor and minority voters in the 2004 Ohio presidential election' but they spun the election irregularities into a story linking blacks to cocaine and voter fraud. Bush allies in Ohio are now using this myth of voter fraud to pass a repressive 'election reform' bill.

"In the month prior to and immediately after the 2004 presidential election' the Republican Party engaged in an orchestrated campaign to divert the mainstream media focus away from election fraud and irregularities in Ohio and manufactured the myth of 'voter fraud.'

"According to a former Columbus Dispatch reporter' Ohio Senator Mike Dewine sent his spokesperson' Mike Dawson' to meet with the editorial board of the Dispatch and other Ohio newspapers. The primary talking point for the GOP was that there was no evidence of irregularities in Ohio.

"The Republican state legislature used the 'voter fraud' spin to introduce the draconian Ohio House Bill 3. The 'election reform' bill has passed both Republican-dominated houses and is awaiting a conference committee at the start of the new year.

"HB 3's most publicized provision will require voters to show their ID before casting a ballot. But it also opens voter registration activists to criminal prosecution' exempts electronic voting machines from public scrutiny' quintuples the cost of citizen-requested statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote count or' indeed' any federal election result in Ohio. "

Council Member Clarke v. Miss Jones

According to Daily News Caribbeat columnist Jared McCallister, Not 97 radio personality "Miss Jones" is in hot water due to the comments she made about the Transit Workers Union and its president Roger Toussaint. McCallister says: ...in a recent broadcast of Jones' morning show, she reportedly labeled transit workers as uneducated and overpaid persons who got their jobs by making poor career choices early in life. Jones also reportedly called Trinidad-born TWU local president Toussaint 'a dumb coconut who probably doesn't have a green card.'

Who the "dumb coconut" is here is obvious and that these comments are offensive goes without saying. And clearly should cause any self-respecting, fair-minded listener to change the station and leave Miss Jones to talk to herself.

But, unfortunately, the story doesn't end there.

Enter: New York City Council Member Yvette Clarke.
According to McCallister, Clarke, "who was angered by Jones comments," said, "It is my intention to bring this issue to my colleagues in the City Council and introduce a resolution calling for the permanent removal of the 'Miss Jones in the Morning' show and the economic boycott of Hot 97 and its advertisers."

I certainly can understand why Council Member Clarke is angered by these ridiculous comments, as am I, but a Council "resolution calling for the permanent removal of the 'Miss Jones in the Morning' show" is scary-as-hell. That's the way the right wing fascists operate. When they find something offensive, they call for the government to shut it down. We can't do that.

The whole meaning of freedom of speech is the protection of all speech that doesn't immediately endanger the lives and health of people. Government intervention into the behavior of cultural institutions must be fought against without hesitation. Trust me, when council members start talking about "shutting down" speech, most of the time it will be our speech.

Don't miss the fact that former-Mayor Guiliani's attempts to censor museum exhibits that offended him is not different from Council Member Clarke's attempt to shut down "Miss Jones in the Morning." Both instances of censorship are equally dangerous.

If Ms. Clarke, on the other hand, wants to call for people to shut off "Miss Jones in the Morning" I'll be on the picket line with her.