Tuesday, August 22, 2006

We're back!

We're back!
We spent Saturday afternoon in Boston with Ann's old friend Gail Sullivan, from Native American Solidarity days. It was really great to see her.
Vacation photos coming soon. Next time I won't forget to take all the pieces to the digital photo puzzle with me. Be prepared for lots of lighthouse photos.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Victoria Gray Adams: 1926-2006

Victoria Gray Adams flanked
by her two MFDP co-founders,
Fannie Lou Hamer (left) and
Annie Devine (right)
Since I have not seen an obit for Victoria Gray Adams in the mainstream media, I think it's important to celebrate and remember heroes of our movement. So this is from Democracy Now:

"Victoria Gray Adams 1926-2006: Civil Rights Pioneer, Founder of Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Dies at 79

"Civil rights pioneer Victoria Gray Adams has died at the age of 79. She was the co-founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party along with Fannie Lou Hamer and Annie Devine. In 1964 they attempted to unseat the all-white Mississippi Democratic Party delegation during the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City.
Victoria Gray Adams began her Civil Rights work in Hattiesburg Mississippi where she taught voter registration and literacy classes that assisted other African Americans to pass the voter registration test. At that time, although 30 per cent of Hattiesburg's citizens were African Americans, only 50 of them had been allowed to register to vote.

"Victoria Gray Adams later became the first woman to run for the U.S. Senate from Mississippi. She also served on the board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference led by the Rev. Martin Luther King."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Iran: Republican October surprise?

It seems more and more clear that the Republican strategy for the November elections is to paint the Democrats as soft on terrorism. This may provoke the Dick and the Bush as the political situation gets more desperate to invade Iran, which will make the disastrous invasion of Iraq pale by comparison. Peter Spiegel LA Times staff writer is reporting that:

"Seeking to counter the White House's depiction of its Middle East policies as crucial to the prevention of terrorist attacks at home, 21 former generals, diplomats and national security officials will release an open letter tomorrow arguing that the administration's "hard line" has actually undermined U.S. security.

"The letter comes as President Bush has made a series of appearances and statements, including a visit Tuesday to the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Va., seeking to promote the administration's record on security issues in advance of November's midterm congressional elections.

"The rhetoric has increased since last week's Democratic primary in Connecticut, in which antiwar political newcomer Ned Lamont defeated three-term Sen. Joe Lieberman to become the party's Senate candidate — a victory that senior administration officials are describing as a sign that Democrats are embracing their party's extreme left."

The question, of course, remains what will the Democrats do to counteract this politically-dictated Bush policy, which will undoubtedly make the entire Middle East and, therefore, the U.S. far less safe than it is now despite the catastrophic mistakes of the Republican-dictated last six years.

My guess as long as the Democrats take the advise of the DLC, whatever they do will once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It will be Jon Kerry redux.

More on free speech in Canada

B'nai Brith's
Frank Dimant

A few more thoughts about Canadian Jewish leader Frank Dimant's dangerous & stupid words: Remember he has called for the Canadian government to prevent anyone from being on the streets of Canada with signs supporting Hezbollah. When I heard him on Tom Young's afternoon talk show, he said that since the Canadian government had labeled Hezbollah a terrorist organization no one should be allowed to parade in their support.
Now why is that ridiculous?
Well, I assume that murder is a crime in Canada, but no one would stop me from advocating the reduction of sentence or other human rights treatment for someone on death row for murder. Shouldn't an advocate have the same free-speech rights with regard to a "terrorist" organization.
Mr. Dimant, I would defend your "free-speech" rights to make these foolish and intolerant statements. Just as I would defend the rights of the Ku Klux Klan to march (at the same time, marching in opposition to them.
But that doesn't prevent me from being ashamed to call you a fellow Jew.

vacation update

Well! Here we are - as the song says - back in the USA. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but here we are.
We're in Bar Harbor, Maine (actually Ellsworth).
Tommorow back to World Fellowship till Saturday, then home.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Where have you gone Reverend Niemoller, when we turn our lonely eyes to you

Frank Diamant

"The vice-president of B'nai Brith Canada says his organization wants police and the federal government to crack down on pro-Hezbollah demonstrations.

"Frank Dimant says the streets of Canada should not be flooded by extremists supporting a known terrorist group. He said his group has asked police forces and government officials to target the rallies.

"'The streets of Canada will not be taken over by radical Islamic forces supporting terrorist activities,' he said Wednesday. 'B'nai Brith Canada will do its utmost to ensure that Canadians will not be intimidated by these terrorist sympathizers.'"

(For rest of article; also check out Bene Diction Blogs On, an excellent comment on Diamant's dangerous words)

In New York we have William O'Donoghue, who babbles idiocy for the Catholic Archdiocese, obviously Canada has its own form of nonsense. I was brought up in an orthodox Jewish home and Mr. Dimant doesn't represent any form of Judaism that I can understand. When "freedom of speech" goes out the window, Mr. Diamant, who do you think will be the first victims. Try reading Rev. Niemoller's famous poem written about the Nazis, perhaps you can actually learn something. - Dan

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mission accomplished II

"President Bush said Monday that Hezbollah guerillas suffered a defeat at the hands of Israel in their monthlong Mideast war.

"'There's going to be a new power in the south of Lebanon,' Bush said."

Remember the last time Bush declared "Mission Accomplished."

(Quote from Denver Post)

Middle-East news: The Neo-Cons once again mislead Washington. It ain't hard to do.

From Democracy Now:

40% Of Israelis Disapprove of War in Lebanon
Polls in Israel show support for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s handling of the war is plummeting. 40 percent of Israelis now disapprove of the war and less than half
support Olmert’s handling of the war.

"Israeli Peace Group: 'Nothing Has Been Gained in This Foolish War.'
On Sunday the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom took out an ad in the pages of Haaretz. It read: 'A mountain of suffering has turned into an anthill of achievements. Nothing has been gained in this foolish war. Every drop of blood that is being shed now is being shed in vain.' UN Human Rights Council Condemns Israel

On Friday the United Nations Human Rights Council condemned Israel for violating human rights and international humanitarian law in its military operations in Lebanon. The council voted to send a high-level commission to the area to investigate the "systematic targeting and killing" of Lebanese civilians by Israel. This is UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour Louise Arbour: "The deaths of hundreds of civilians in documented and corroborated incidents, involving either random or targeted attacks on civilian vehicles or buildings, strongly suggest the indiscriminate use of force.” Amnesty International and other groups criticized the UN Human Rights Council for not also condemning Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli civilians.

From Frost Illustrated
"Entering the fourth week of war between Lebanon's Hezbollah militia and Israel, the George W. Bush administration's ambitions to transform the Arab Middle East into a pro-Western, more democratic region are fading fast.

"'Not only is Washington's thusfar staunch support for Israel losing Arab 'hearts and minds' at an astonishing pace, but the 'moderate' governments and non-governmental forces which the administration had hoped would act as catalysts for reform are increasingly isolated across the region, according to Middle East specialists.

"'I have never seen the United States being so demonized or savaged by Arab commentators, by Arab politicians,' Hisham Melham, veteran Washington correspondent for Lebanon's AnNahar newspaper, told a conference two weeks ago at the Brookings Institution, an influential think tank. 'People are clinging to Hezbollah, clinging to Hamas, because they see them as the remaining voices or forces in the Arab world that are resisting what they see as an ongoing hegemonic American-Israeli plan to control the region.'

"'Right now, the United States is the kiss of death,' Shibley Telhami, an expert on Arab public opinion at the University of Maryland, observed at the same meeting.

"'If you really are trying to empower the ruling elites and nudge them to reform and be more representative, you have to deliver policies that are going to empower,' he said. 'What we see in Lebanon is a policy that is not empowering them. It is widening the gap (between the moderate elites and the people), and people are moving toward the militants.'"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Vacation update

This afternoon (Sunday) we went to the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. It was really a delight. First we checked out the comic songs event at the newly rebuilt St.John's Anglican Church (a beautiful venue). Our favorite was the Winnipeg-based House of Doc. The core of the group-who we heard more from at the Knot Pub Warf-consists of husband and wife, Rebecca and Matthew Harder and her brother Daniel Weibe. We really enjoyed them at both venues and hope they come to New York. I also enjoyed Mary Knickle, who brought out another sister with each song she sang, and a wonderful guitarist and performer, Matt Andersen. More on all of these folks later when I can post my photos.

While we've been here-although we've been cooking in (and out) alot-one great restaurant we found is Rum Runner Restaurant, great seafood.

More later.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Homeland Security?

Homeland Security Chief
Michael Chertoff

I'll bet that you've been wondering how come after five years the airlines have suddenly discovered that clear liquid might be a danger. I'll bet you've wondered how come the vaunted Dept. of Homeland Security under Republican management can't do anything but react to terrorist actions. In other words, alleged airline bombers arrested in England, U.S. airlines tighten security. London bombing of subways, NYC police department checks bags for a week or so (at certain more visible stations).
Will the U.S. (under Republican control) ever get ahead of the terrorists? I doubt it.

Check out the following by John Solomon:

"As the British terror plot was unfolding, the Bush administration quietly tried to take away $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new explosives detection technology. Congressional leaders rejected the idea, the latest in a series of Homeland Security Department steps that have left lawmakers and some of the department's own experts questioning the commitment to create better anti-terror technologies.

"Homeland Security's research arm, called the Sciences & Technology Directorate, is a 'rudderless ship without a clear way to get back on course,' Republican and Democratic senators on the Appropriations Committee declared recently.

"'The committee is extremely disappointed with the manner in which S&T is being managed within the Department of Homeland Security,' the panel wrote June 29 in a bipartisan report accompanying the agency's 2007 budget."

(For the rest of the article)

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Bush raises money while the world burns

The Bush makes an anti-Islamic speech at the airport and rushes off to raise Republican dollars
"The Republican Party's big spenders were rewarded with a barbecue lunch with President Bush on Friday at a $750,000 fundraiser at a ranch neighboring the president's Texas home.

(noted on AmericaBlog)

The photo-op Sec'y

Wouldn't it be nice at some point to have a Secy. of State who didn't have her nose completely up the Bush and did more than be the photo-op sec'y?

Ned Lamont is the only Democratic candidate in Conn.

Here's the latest from Ned lamont. Joe Liebereman must be defeated. His arrogance is over-
whelming. Don't be confused by his nonsense "Independent Democrat" campaign. Ned Lamont is the only Democrat. That's what primaries are all about. Don't let Lieberman fool you.

"After kind words from Dick Cheney and a condolence call from Karl Rove, it took Senator Lieberman less than 48 hours to adopt the Republican playbook for his go-it-alone re-election campaign.

"'It will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again,' Joe Lieberman said specifically of Ned's, and your, desire to start bringing our troops home.

"He even went as far as calling you 'anti-security' before the election.

"Sound familiar? Of course it does. The politicizing of terror and fear-mongering peddled by Senator Lieberman and his favorite president for the past five years is part of the problem in Washington, D.C., and it's why the people of Connecticut voted for change on Tuesday.

"Joe Lieberman's fear campaign is off to a quick start, and it won't be long until Republican money starts completely funding his campaign. Will you make a donation to make sure we're prepared for for three months of attacks like this?

"It's not just his use of Bush-speak as a direct attack on Ned and the Democratic Party, it's that Joe Lieberman and President Bush are so terribly wrong on national security. Their stay the course strategy in Iraq diverts necessary human and financial resources needed to keep us safe, and prosperous, here at home.

"Joe Lieberman has provided aid and comfort for a failed foreign policy for too long, and Republicans across the country are already using his last ditch attempt to cling to political power as an election issue this fall.

"How much longer will he hurt the Party, and our country? With your help, it ends this November."


Tom Swan
Campaign Manager,
Ned Lamont for U.S. Senate

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Travel notes

Well here we are in Nova Scotia, Lunenberg to be exact.
This weekend there is the Folk Harbour Festival in Lunenberg. We're going on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile lots of lighthouses and some magnificent scenery.
As soon as I can post photos I will.

I'm watching to see how the Bush and his cohorts, particularly the unindicted co-conspiritor the Roving hit man, use the alleged London attack to advance their political chances. The Bush is already using his favorite code words - "fascists" for those he doesn't like and "Freedom" for those he likes. They have taught him the words, but not their meaning.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Michael Moore on the Democrats & the War

Here's a letter from Michael Moore about Tuesday's defeat of Joe Lieberman in Conn. and its meaning for the Democrats:

"Let the resounding defeat of Senator Joe Lieberman send a cold shiver down the spine of every Democrat who supported the invasion of Iraq and who continues to support, in any way, this senseless, immoral, unwinnable war. Make no mistake about it: We, the majority of Americans, want this war ended -- and we will actively work to defeat each and every one of you who does not support an immediate end to this war.

"Nearly every Democrat set to run for president in 2008 is responsible for this war. They voted for it or they supported it. That single, stupid decision has cost us 2,592 American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives. Lieberman and Company made a colossal mistake -- and we are going to make sure they pay for that mistake. Payback time started last night."

(For complete letter)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Travel update

Well here we are at World Fellowship.
At the moment for technical reasons I can't post new photos I am taking. As soon as I can I will.
We'll be here till Tuesday, then on to Nova Scotia.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Travel plans

Well, we're still on Shelter Island, but we're leaving here tommorow (Sun.) and heading up to Boston (by ferry and train). In Boston we'll pick-up a car and drive up to North Conway, NH and visit one of our favorite places - World Fellowship and from there on to Nova Scotia on a lighthouse hunt.

As soon as I can get on line, I'll let you know what's happening.


Not even Israel buys Bush's Middle East strategy

From Consortium News (Robert Parry, "Bush wants wider war"}:

"George W. Bush and his neoconservative advisers saw the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah as an opportunity to expand the conflict into Syria and possibly achieve a long-sought 'regime change' in Damascus, but Israel’s leadership balked at the scheme, according to Israeli sources.

"One Israeli source said Bush’s interest in spreading the war to Syria was considered 'nuts' by some senior Israeli officials, although Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has generally shared Bush’s hard-line strategy against Islamic militants."

Will Rice give birth to a new "Bay of Pigs"

Rice speaks before an AIPAC convention
Having immea- surably screwed up Iraq, and having orbed in and out of the Middle East, which for her means Israel, the neo-Condesleaza has been making speeches about giving birth to a new Middle East. Now she has taken the time to announce the appointment of a Republican party hack to plan a regime change for Cuba.
I can't help but wonder who the Ahmad Chalabi of Cuba will turn out to be. There are so many candidates in Miami. But the bigger question is: who is this nut job who has taken up residence in the State Department?

From the BBC News:

"US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced the creation of a new post to help 'accelerate the demise' of the Castro regime in Cuba.
"Caleb McCarry, a veteran Republican Party activist, was appointed as the Cuba transition co-ordinator.
"Ms Rice said for 50 years Fidel Castro had condemned Cubans to a 'tragic fate of repression and poverty'.
"Mr Castro accuses the US of funding unrest and vowed that dissidents would never bring down his government."

Well Fidel, you're right again. Please get well soon.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bush, Israel, and the final resurrection

If you've been wondering where the Bush comes by his blind devotion to Israel, more than just the Neo-Cons are involved. Check out this post by Bill Berkowitz on Working for Change

"Over the past two decades, as the Christian Right has grown in political power in the United States, there has been parallel growth in support for Israel. A number of organizations made up of conservative evangelical and Jewish leaders have been founded, and millions of dollars have been raised and donated to charities in Israel.
"Now, a new group plans to take it up a notch, becoming a significant presence in any political policy debates involving Israel.

"In mid-July, while the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict continued to escalate, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) -- an organization founded less than six months ago by Texas evangelist Rev. John C. Hagee, pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and the author of "Jerusalem Countdown," a 2006 book about a nuclear-armed Iran -- rolled into Washington, D.C., for its first major get-together.

"More than 3,400 delegates from across the country attended the inaugural meeting.

"CUFI kicked off the gathering on July 19 with its A Night to Honor Israel banquet at the grand ballroom in the Washington Hilton. The festivities attracted a number of high-profile Israeli and U.S. political leaders, including Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, retired Israeli defense chief Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, and Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman.

"According to a report posted at Israpundit, Hagee read greetings from President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. ... Bush urged 'God [to] bless and stand by the people of Israel and ... bless the United States,'...."

Fair and Balanced?

Thus is from Democracy Now:

"Earlier this week, two producers working for Fox News in Amman Jordan resigned in protest. In their resignation letter, Serene Sabbagh and Jomana Karadsheh wrote 'We can no longer work with a news organization that claims to be fair and balanced when you are so far from that. Not only are you an instrument of the Bush White House, and Israeli propaganda, you are war mongers with no sense of decency, nor professionalism.'”

What's Hillary afraid of?

The following is a letter sent to Chelsea Neighbors United to End the War by the Tasini campaign:

Dear Friend

One of the worst aspects of our political system is the corrupting role played by money in election campaigns. Too often, money, not ideas or vision, decides what voters get to hear and, as a result, who gets elected to our political bodies.

NY1 has taken this a step further. It is now acting as a censor, refusing to let voters here Jonathan's views. Rather than act as a promoter of greater speech and greater knowledge for its viewers and the public at large, NY1 (which is owned by media giant Time Warner) has announced that Jonathan cannot participate in a Town Hall debate because he has not raised or spent $500,000. This is shocking.

According to NY1, in our democratic system, half a million bucks is the ante to get your voice heard. Even though we have an amazing grassroots campaign--which powered our gathering of 40,000 signatures that put Jonathan on the ballot--NY1 will act as a censor, preventing the voters from being able to fairly judge the positions and views of the two candidates in this race, Jonathan Tasini and Hillary Clinton.

We are asking you to immediately call Robert Hardt, NY1's Director of Politics, who was one of a few media power-brokers who made this decision that is closing off discussion and censoring debate. We are calling for a simple criteria for participation: any candidate who has qualified for the ballot should be allowed into the debate. Call or e-mail him TODAY: 212-379-3330 or Robert.Hardt@ny1news.com and demand that NY1 revise its criteria.
You can read Jonathan's full press statement about this issue and, then, help our voice be heard by making a donation to the campaign.
Don't let the media shut down the debate! This is YOUR DEMOCRACY!
Thanks for all you do for the campaign,

Stephanie, Anna, William, Helen, Andre, Barbara, Sam and the rest of the Tasini For New York team.

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

Chelsea Neighbors United to End the War
P.O. Box 821
JAF Station
New York, NY 10116-0821
Yahoo! Groups Links

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Bush conspiracy?

Here's an exerpt from Dave Lindorff's latest post on This Can't Be Happening:

"If some diabolical anti-American mastermind had been trying, behind the scenes, to destroy this nation by secretly installing in the White House and Pentagon agents who would deliberately sink the ship of state, he or she couldn’t have come up with a subversive wrecking crew more adept at the job than the Bush administration. The nation is being bankrupted by tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy and by a pointless, and endless trillion-dollar war. At the same time blood enemies are being produced with every bomb dropped, every innocent victim kidnapped and locked away in America’s gulag, every child shot at a roadblock.

"Clearly, though, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice et al, are not the secret agents of some malevolent foreign enemy of America. Nor is their vile reign of terror around the globe and their gutting of the Constitution here at home, simply a matter of stupid policy-making. They are, rather, home-grown enemies of American democracy, bent on subverting the country to their own ends of unbridled power.

"Their goal in all this is not the stated one of "spreading democracy" at the point of a gun--a clearly ridiculous notion in any case. Rather, the goal is destroying democracy here at home, in order to establish a one-party dictatorship."

Lindorff is the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of The Case for Impeachment

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mel Gibson: In vino, veritas

Here's Mr.Gibson's latest publicity release, oops, I mean "apology."
"There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge."

I understand he is going into a rehabilitation program (at home). I can't help but wonder: How do you rehabilitate someone from anti-Semitism?

The arrestingg officer, who is Jewish, says it was the booze talking. The booze may loosen your tongue, but it doesn't tell your brain what to say.

One of the most startling pieces of information to come out of all this is that his next project was to be a film (for Disney, since cancelled) about the Nazi holocaust. What in the world could this man say? Is there no limit to his arrogance?

Here's a prediction: If his next movie makes money, all will be forgiven. If it doesn't he will have alot more 'splainin to do.

The new Domino Theory in the Middle East

Well here we are on Shelter Island hanging out with our great good friend Eli Messinger. It's a lovely place to spend the first part of our vacation. But even in this beautiful spot, the world comes crashing in. Here's a really scary story from the Democracy Now web site.

Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad (l)
and his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, walk past a guard of honour
in Damascus.
(Photograph: Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters)

"Report: U.S. Wants Israel to Attack Syria"

"The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Israeli military officials have told the paper that they have received indications from the United States that the Bush administration wants Israel to attack Syria. On Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered the countryÂ’s military to raise its readiness. Israel has been repeatedly bombing sites in Lebanon along the Syrian border."

Just in case you were under the misunderstanding that anything Israel is doing in Lebanon isn't part of the great "neo-con plan" for rearranging the power structure in the Middle East. That's why the CONdeSleaza has been fighting so vehemently to prevent a cease fire from working. She is the current Neo-Con voice in the Bush administration. It is, of course, the current version of the Domino Theory - with Israel as it's proxy (While it's bogged down in Iraq) the Dick and the Bush, with their new co-conspirator in the State Department, expect Lebanon to come under their control, then Syria, and followed by Iran.

That this is madness hardly needs stating, but then what else would you expect from King George.