Monday, May 31, 2004

"We are not victims of the world we see, we are victims of the way we see the world!" -Dennis Kucinich

"You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi


Last Lefty Standing
MISSOULA INDEPENDENT
by Brad Tyer
http://www.everyweek.com/News/News.asp?no=4075

OIL MONEY AND A SMART ENERGY POLICY DON'T MIX
May 26, 2004
By Arianna Huffington

Drivers, start your engines — and empty your wallets! As we gear up for the biggest driving weekend of the year, vacationers all across America are coming face to face with the highest average gas prices in history — up 42 cents a gallon since 2001 — and a bad case of "pump panic," a new malady in which your heart rate instantly matches the price of full-service high-test. Where I live, there are lots of folks palpitating at 325 beats a minute. At the same time car owners are having to consider taking out a second mortgage in order to fill up their tanks, oil companies are raking in record profits. ConocoPhillips, for example, the United States' largest oil refiner, recently reported its largest first quarter profits ever. And Exxon Mobil just posted its highest first quarter refining earnings in 13 years. Coincidentally, these companies and their oil and gas industry brethren have a highly profitable habit of greasing the receptive palms of their friend George Bush — doling out over $3.5 million to his 2000 and 2004 presidential runs.

So for American consumers, payback is a bitch. And over two bucks a gallon at the gas pump. Indeed, since taking office, the Bush administration has turned the White House into a veritable full service fueling station for Big Oil. And we're the ones being forced to pick up the tab. How has Bush responded to Big Oil's call to "fill 'er up"? Let me count the ways:

1.5: the meager miles per gallon Bush has proposed increasing fuel efficiency standards for light trucks and SUVs, which are allowed to average 7 miles per gallon less than regular cars.

33: the number of oil refinery mergers the Bush administration has allowed, while refusing to block a single oily takeover. Who needs all that messy free market competition, anyway?

41: the number of top-level Bush administration officials with ties to the oil industry, including Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Evans, Gale Norton and Condoleezza Rice — the only national security adviser in history to have an oil tanker named after her.

100,000: the amount, in dollars, that buyers of extra large — and extra gas-guzzling — SUVs are able to write off in taxes thanks to a scandalous loophole the president signed into law.

23 billion: the number of dollars in tax incentives, tax credits and tax deductions earmarked for the president's energy industry chums in the Bush-backed energy bill passed by the House and awaiting a vote in the Senate.

Infinite (or does it only seem so?): the number of times the president has resurrected the idea that drilling in Alaska's pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would make us less dependent on foreign oil — even though such drilling would, at best, produce enough oil to meet only six months of America's energy needs. And it would take 10 years to do even that. Add to all this the administration's downright contemptuous and
contemptible attitude toward conservation — the only surefire way to reduce the need for more oil — and it becomes unmistakably clear that when it comes to Bush's energy policy, special-interest money has once again trumped the public interest.

It should be the first lesson in Political Chemistry 101: Oil money and good government don't mix. Not in Saudi Arabia, and not in the United States. Of course, our nation's untreated addiction to oil is costing us more than just at the gas pump — it's putting our very security at risk by leaving us beholden to the whims of any number of oil-rich and terrorist-friendly nations. This continued dependence on foreign oil is why Prince Bandar was more in the loop about plans to invade Iraq than our own secretary of state, why the administration's much touted passion for human rights doesn't extend to oil-rich — and brutal — Kazakhstan, why we're spending close to $100 million in taxpayer money to arm and train troops to defend an Occidental Petroleum pipeline in Colombia, and, at least partly, why young Americans continue to arrive home from Iraq (secretly, of course) in body bags.

It's time for Washington to dole out some tough love to the energy and auto industry lobbies and help set them on the path of reform, starting with increasing fuel efficiency standards for all cars, light trucks and SUVs — the single biggest step we can take to conserve energy. Raising standards from the current 27.5 miles per gallon to 36 mpg would save us roughly 2 million barrels a day — about the same amount we currently import from the Persian Gulf. Washington must also push Detroit to radically increase its production of hybrid cars and SUVs, and lead the way in teaming with corporate America to rapidly accelerate investment in energy efficiency, hydrogen-based
technology, and renewable sources of energy like solar and wind. A great model for this is the new Apollo Project, a $300 billion program proposed by unions and environmental groups to create 3 million new jobs while helping America achieve energy independence over the next 10 years.

And, oh yeah, there's one more number ... 2: the date in November when we must make sure to vote Bush out of office and replace him with someone whose judgment hasn't been polluted by all that oil money spilling into his campaign coffers and then leaking into our energy policy. Don't let the skyrocketing numbers on the gas pump fool you: America isn't confronting a shortage of fuel; it's confronting a shortage of leadership.

Important Campaign Message From Congressman Dennis Kucinich On May 29th

I have just concluded three days of campaigning in Alabama, and all of the mythologies about the deep South and the inability of the Democratic Party to register victories in the deep South ought to be challenged because what I saw and heard was an effort by so many people, Democrats and Independents alike, to demonstrate a connection with the highest vision of this country. The south has been through some of the earliest turmoil in America dealing with the challenges of race, and yet when you see the tremendous strides that have been made, and also the awareness and the consciousness to try to heal the wounds of the institution of slavery and the desire to try to truly unite America, you realize that the south is a very special place. And so I'm grateful to all those who helped put the campaign together there.

We need your help so that we can be empowerd as we go through the final campaign to be able to communicate the urgency of the Democratic Party taking a strong stand on getting out of Iraq, a strong stand on ending the PATRIOT Act, a strong stand on fair trade and on universal, single-payer health care. So please, once again, help us in these closing primaries close strongly. Help us get our message out. Help us do everything we can to make sure that when the final totals are in in the last primaries that we're going to be able to demonstrate not only real staying power as part of our effort to change things in the Democratic process, but we're going to be able to demonstrate an emerging awareness and consciousness which is going to transform this nation and the world.

So thank you, once again, for everything you're doing. This is Dennis, wishing each and every one of you an important Memorial day holiday and with a fond rememberance of all of those who have either served our country and have passed on or who are in service of our country today, and all the other ones who are near and dear to our hearts who have
gone on before us.

MoveOn.org Presents Comments & Tidbits On Al Gore's May 26th Speech Regarding Bush's Policy Of Domination

Yesterday, we sponsored a powerful speech by former Vice President Al Gore on the fallout from the war in Iraq. In the speech, Mr. Gore took on the Bush administration, arguing that the "abuse of the prisoners at Abu Ghraib flowed directly from the abuse of the truth that characterized the Administration's march to war and the abuse of the trust that had been placed in President Bush by the American people in the aftermath of September 11th." To sustained applause, he then called for the architects of the Bush foreign policy – Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, Paul Wolfowitz, and others -- to resign, arguing that "the current team is making things worse with each passing day."

You can read a full transcript of the speech and watch a great five-minute video of the highlights at: http://www.moveonpac.org/gore/

Mr. Gore began the speech by focusing on the policy of domination which pervades the Bush Administration:

"An American policy of dominance is as repugnant to the rest of the world as the ugly dominance of the helpless, naked Iraqi prisoners has been to the American people. Dominance is as dominance does."

"Dominance is not really a strategic policy or political philosophy at all. It is a seductive illusion that tempts the powerful to satiate their hunger for more power still by striking a Faustian bargain. And as always happens -- sooner or later -- to those who shake hands with the devil, they find out too late that what they have given up in the bargain is their soul."

This policy, he explained, is making us less safe as a country:

"The unpleasant truth is that President Bush's utter incompetence has made the world a far more dangerous place and dramatically increased the threat of terrorism against the United States. Just yesterday, the International Institute of Strategic Studies reported that the Iraq conflict " has arguable focused the energies and resources of Al Qaeda and its followers while diluting those of the global counterterrorism coalition." The ISS said that in the wake of the war in Iraq Al Qaeda now has more than 18,000
potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq is swelling its ranks."

To sustained applause, he then called for the resignation of the Bush foreign policy team:

"One of the strengths of democracy is the ability of the people to regularly demand changes in leadership and to fire a failing leader and hire a new one with the promise of hopeful change. That is the real solution to America's quagmire in Iraq. But, I am keenly aware that we have seven months and twenty five days remaining in this president's current term of office and that represents a time of dangerous vulnerability for our country because of the demonstrated incompetence and recklessness of the current administration."

"It is therefore essential that even as we focus on the fateful choice, the voters must make this November that we simultaneously search for ways to sharply reduce the extraordinary danger that we face with the current leadership team in place. It is for that reason that I am calling today for Republicans as well as Democrats to join me in asking for the immediate resignations of those immediately below George Bush and Dick Cheney who are most responsible for creating the catastrophe that we are facing in Iraq."

"We desperately need a national security team with at least minimal competence because the current team is making things worse with each passing day. They are endangering the lives of our soldiers, and sharply increasing the danger faced by American citizens everywhere in the world, including here at home. They are enraging hundreds of millions of people and embittering an entire generation of anti-Americans whose rage is already near the boiling point."

"We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team. Donald Rumsfeld, as the chief architect of the war plan, should resign today. His deputies Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone should also resign. The nation is especially at risk every single day that Rumsfeld remains as Secretary of Defense. Condoleezza Rice, who has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy, should also resign immediately."

And, at the end, he called for us to hold Bush accountable in November:

"I want to speak on behalf of those Americans who feel that President Bush has betrayed our nation's trust, those who are horrified at what has been done in our name, and all those who want the rest of the world to know that we Americans see the abuses that occurred in the prisons of Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and secret locations as yet undisclosed as completely out of keeping with the character and basic nature of the
American people and at odds with the principles on which America stands."

"I believe we have a duty to hold President Bush accountable -- and I believe we will. As Lincoln said at our time of greatest trial, 'We -- even we here -- hold the power, and bear the responsibility.'"

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

HERE NOW ... THE LATEST NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT & IF NOT ... WELL THEN ... I'M PRINTING IT ANYWAY.

Blair Dismisses Iraq 'Divisions'
BBC NEWS
Tony Blair has tried to stamp out reports of UK-US splits over the handover of power in Iraq. To read more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3748647.stm

Building The Countermovement
ALTERNET
by Laurie Spivak
http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18786

Bush Speech Alarms Even War Enthusiasts
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
by Carolyn Lochhead
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0526-01.htm

Bush Speech Widens The Reality Gap
ALTERNET
by D.Sirota, C.Harvey & J.Legum
http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18783

It's Time Americans Meet Dick And Learn The Truth About Republican Policies
ACT FOR VICTORY
http://actforvictory.org/act.php/incoming/lp03/68256

An Eye On Power
PROGRESSIVE TRAIL
by Bill Moyers
http://progressivetrail.org/articles/040524Moyers.shtml

The Big Lie
ALTERNET
by Nicholas von Hoffman
http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18765

You Can't Mock The President Or Say "Balls" ... The Most Important Thing I Learned In School This Year
COUNTER PUNCH
by Billy Wilson
http://counterpunch.org/wilson05202004.html

Personal News – Part XXII

Greetings to all! Sincere apologies for the long delay in getting out updated “personal news”. [Been busy with work, commitments, research, home repairs, etc.] I actually had one typed up over the past weekend and silly me accidentally deleted it. Duh! Now there is abit more news, so I’ll lump it all together. Ah yes, I can hear all my avid, devoted Duchess Blog readers saying “happy happy joy joy”. [smiling] So, without much further ado, lets get on with it.

Back on Tuesday, May 18th, I participated in my second “Tea Meetup” down in Greenwich Village. [Near West 4th subway stop.] I’d gone to the previous one in April and met Jill at the Saints Alp Teahouse on Bleeker Street. I highly recommend this place to all. [Delicious food, decent prices, good service & a wide range of cold/hot tea concoctions.] This time around it was again held at the teahouse on Bleeker Street. Unfortunately Jill couldn’t make it this time … I met Toija and Rodney. Two really cool, fun, groovy people. Arrived shortly after 7pm and sat down with the other two at a table near the big, open windows facing the sidewalk. The weather was warm, abit humid and a slight breeze. Typical of the funky Greenwich Village scene, there is always something going on and people milling about. Back at the teahouse I had a refreshing Passion Fruit Black Tea drink on ice. Then for the meal I noshed on Tea Eggs and Vegetarian Dumplings. Both items are yummers. The three of us hung out for about two hours talking about a number of topics. Everything from politics, meetups, 9/11, 2003 blackout, relationships, etc and we all had a delightful time. While walking to the subways in East Village we discussed relationships and politics. Their both Democrats and looking to become more involved [ie: volunteering]. I made a strong pitch on the Jereski For Congress campaign. Both expressed interest, we exchanged email addresses and I sent them info on Jereski that very evening. I’ve since exchanged emails with Toija and she’d sent Jereski info to a Progressive Democrat friend of hers. Awesome news!

Back during the weekend of May 15th it got abit warm, sunny and humid here in NYC. You know … summertime air conditioner weather and wouldn’t you know it my 14-year-old A/C unit died on me. The air conditioner unit was abit old when given to me by some NJ pals in 1990. It wracked up the electric bill every year, but when funds are tight, it’s not easy to purchase a new one. Well, this time, I had no choice. On Wednesday, May 19th, I ran into my neighbor John as we were heading into the apartment building. As he’s done every year for the last 4 years John starts lecturing me on air conditioners. Well, this year I surprised him and asked where can I purchase a small, inexpensive one. Told me one of the appliance stores in our neighborhood was having a sale [$79 for a 5000 bt unit]. Whoa! Sweet deal! Later that evening, before my power walk at local track, I stopped by the store he mentioned and checked out the unit. Then I had to figure out my finances, see if I had enough to swing the deal [I DID] and then stopped by on May 20th [after session with Personal Trainer] to purchase it. For a small fee or tip the store delivered it to my apartment that evening. John helped me take out that big, dirty old unit and helped me install the new one. It works perfectly! As a thank you to John for his help, I baked him a yummy batch of Oatmeal Raisin cookies on Sunday.

On Friday, May 21st, around 6pm I had a conference call with Cielito and Bill about the “forum” our committee is working on. Which will hopefully involve Kucinich, Nader, Dean and Sharpton as the main speakers before the Democratic Convention in July. If all comes together it’ll be an exciting project/achievement. Over the weekend I did much research on the office computer Internet relating to projects for “NYC Friends of Kucinich” and the “Jereski for Congress”. [And for those who read my Blog regularly, I also did much updating on that. Hope to have more interesting links listed in sidebar. Stay tuned…] Also during the weekend my landlady had work done on my bathroom ceiling, plus tub area.

On Monday, May 24th, I briefly attended a Campaign Petitioning Workshop down on 14th Street. Rob Jereski was there as well, so before the workshop started we discussed items relating to his campaign. Last evening I joined fellow Kucitizen BC for a drink and fun, interesting chatter down at a Union Square area bar. And finally … the Duchess Blog will be abit “quiet” over next few days … as I’m heading out of town for the LONG holiday weekend. For those of you who live in the US, I hope you all have a fun/happy/safe Memorial Day holiday weekend. May the sun’s warmth shine down on you. Peace & Solidarity!

Kerry Really Could Produce 10 Million New Jobs [So Could Bush]
ANNENBERG POLITICAL FACT CHECK
http://www.factcheck.org/SpecialReports.aspx?docID=178

Dean, Kucinich Delegates Hope Kerry Gets Message
BANGOR DAILY NEWS
by Jeff Tuttle
http://www.bangornews.com/editorialnews/article.cfm?ID=423202

Presidential Candidate Kucinich Spreads His Message To enthusiastic Supporters In Missoula
MISSOULIAN NEWS
by Ericka Schenck Smith
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2004/05/25/news/local/news02.txt

Message From MoveOn.Org Asking "What Do You Think About Iraq"

Yesterday, President Bush tried to respond to mounting criticism of his management of the crisis in Iraq. The American people were looking for a sign that Bush understands the situation and is adapting American policy to the realities on the ground. But in this speech, the administration just repackaged failed U.S. policy as a five-step plan. They obviously don't get it. We've got to do better. First, of course, we're demanding accountability from the Bush administration. We're demanding a change in leadership at the Pentagon. Without this change, nothing in U.S. policy will change. But the problem remains: even with new leadership, how do we get out of this disastrous situation?

Most of the people we've talked with share two conflicting instincts: (1) that the U.S. occupation must end before Iraq can move forward but (2) that we have a responsibility to the Iraqi people to protect them from a descent into civil war. The Bush administration has failed to project any plan ending the U.S. occupation, and instead is focusing on an almost meaningless June 30th turn over of "soveriegnty." Recently, two mainstream policy analysts, James Steinberg and Michael O'Hanlon, made an interesting proposal in a Washington Post Op Ed, a call to "set the date" for the end to the U.S. occupation. What do you think? We'd like to know where people stand, so that we can craft our campaigns going forward. Let us know what you think at: http://www.moveon.org/iraqsurvey.html

Do you support immediate withdrawal? Do you support setting a date certain to end the military occupation? Or do you support President Bush's call to "stay the course"? Or do you see a better way to proceed? Steinberg and O'Hanlon make the case that setting a date to pull out would (1) dampen the popular support for insurgency by demonstrating good American intentions, and (2) allow the establishment of indigenous Iraqi security forces, with international support, to avoid civil war between Shiites and Sunnis, which could grow into a broader Middle East crisis. The importance of a timetable is even more important now that it has become clear to everyone, and especially the Iraqis, that Bush's June 30th turnover of "sovereignty" is a sham.

The Bush administration's lack of a credible plan is almost shocking. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz recently told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "We don't know what it will be," he said. "We've had changes, as you know, month by month. We've had several different plans." Setting a real date for pulling out, and sticking to it, will almost certainly be opposed by the neoconservatives who have gotten us into this mess. Although they say that the occupation is about establishing freedom and democracy, their geopolitical calculus is far more cynical. Their agendas include long-term military bases, significant influence over Iraqi oil policy, and unrestricted foreign investment in Iraq. They still haven't faced the reality of the situation they've created.

An Important Message From Ohio Congressman & Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich

I just got off the phone with an ABC reporter from Anchorage, Alaska, who informed me that we took 50% of the vote in the Alaska state caucus. That is tremendous news for a campaign that has been growing with strength across this country, and now we've achieved a first place tie in a state, and I'm so excited about it! As you know in the last week we've had a lot of success. We started off the last week with 17% in Oregon. We went to 25% in the Maine state caucus. We went to 30% in the state convention in Colorado. And now we've received word of 50% in the state of Alaska. I'm in Montana now. I've been campaigning across this state for the primary, which is on June the 8th.

In the last 10 days, we've had stories in the LA Times, in the New York Times, in USA Today. I've been on Meet the Press, on Crossfire, on the Wolf Blitzer show, and on MSNBC. And there's more attention being given to our message. And our stand for peace and for civil liberties and health care for all and fair trade is finally beginning to resonate! Now, it's true, the direction of the nomination appears to be more or less decided. However, we're having an impact on the direction of our Party, and YOU'RE having an impact on the direction America's going to take for the next four years. So, it's not too late. And it's not too late to give us even more energy in the remaining primaries and caucuses. Our peace plan is finally getting the kind of national attention not only that it deserves, but that will serve to help spur a resolution of what's going on. And our call for universal, single-payer, not-for-profit healthcare is resounding from sea to shining sea because Americans are increasingly being driven into poverty because of this bad health care system. And so this is something that has been not just my accomplishment, but yours as well.

So let's get ready to take the next step for the next strong showing, and perhaps the next victory. Let's get ready to march into Boston, not only 2000 strong with our supporters coming from all over the country, but also with even more delegates. How to Join Dennis at the Convention: http://www.kucinich.us/convention/housing.php

So what an exciting windup as we move towards the stretch of this campaign and head towards the finish line! How exciting it is that we are finding an opportunity to at last make the country aware of the power of our campaign and the power of our message. So thank you! So help us keep it going! This is up to you! Let's continue our efforts and I couldn't be more proud of the campaign team that we put together in places like Oregon and Maine and Colorado and Alaska and all the other states where we gained delegates and all the other states where we have strong support! We're putting something together that's gonna change this country. You know it and I know it. So let's keep moving ahead. I look forward to seeing you soon! This is Dennis. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Bush's Iraq Plans An 'Illusion' Guaranteed To Make Situation Worse
May 24th PRESS RELEASE FROM KUCINICH

Plans being announced today by the Bush Administration regarding Iraq “are an attempt to create the illusion that somehow things are different and getting better, when just the opposite it true,” said Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich today. The resolution “guarantees that our troops will remain there and continue to be targets for violence that promises to increase,” Kucinich said. “Trying to fool everyone by calling it a ‘multi-national security force’ instead of an ‘occupying army’ isn’t going to fool anyone.” “Playing word games with the lives of Americans and the lives of innocent Iraqis only adds insult to the arrogance, the dishonesty, and the total futility of this war,” said Kucinich, who is campaigning in Montana today. Bush’s planned address tonight to spell out a “new” Iraq policy, “will be a further attempt to trick America and the world into believing that progress is being made,” Kucinich predicted. “Putting in place an interim ‘puppet government’ will only fuel the resentment and the hostility and make it more difficult to establish a truly sovereign government in Iraq," Kucinich said. The only way to achieve true progress is to ask the United Nations to bring in peacekeepers, bring our troops home, and allow the interim Iraqi government, with the assistance of the U.N., to assume full responsibility for the management of assets and reconstruction contracts, Kucinich said. “Anything short of that will further contribute to the instability and the violence.”

America's Brutal Culture Of Unseen Oppression
INDEPENDENT/UK
by Robert Chesshyre
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0525-04.htm

Iraqi Shia Holy Shrine 'Damaged'BBC NEWS
One of Iraq's holiest Shia Islamic shrines has reportedly been damaged in clashes between US troops and the forces of militant cleric Moqtada Sadr. For more on this story, check out: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3744841.stm

Monday, May 24, 2004

LIVE FROM NYC ... ITS THE LATEST NEWS TO SHOCK & AWE

Permit Or Not, Protesters Prepare For Republicans In New York
NEW YORK TIMES
by Randal Archibold
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0524-01.html

EXPOSED - THE CARLYLE GROUP
Shocking documentary uncovers the subversion of America's democracy. Click on the following link ... http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3995.htm ... to view the 40-minute (approx.) streaming video and then please forward widely. Thank you all ... peace & solidarity!

It's Not Just The Emperor Who Is Naked, But The Whole Empire
COMMON DREAMS
by Robert Jensen
A few years ago, anyone who described the United States as an empire was branded part of the loony left. But since 9/11, even conservative pundits talk of empire, albeit in perversely positive terms, exhorting U.S. leaders to seize the opportunity to remake the world. But that project didn't begin with 9/11. Whatever point in U.S. history one claims as the beginning of the imperial project (the genocide of indigenous people in North America? the Monroe Doctrine? the conquest of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War?), there is no doubt that U.S. empire building went into high gear after World War II. The fact that the United States doesn't acquire colonies in the same fashion as past empires, preferring instead to install compliant governments that will do its bidding, doesn't make us less an empire. The modalities of control change, but the game remains the same; set the terms for the world economy and derail the possibility of independent development by any means necessary, with a gargantuan military on call when violence is required. To read more of this article, click on the following link: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0524-05.htm

"When Advocates Become Regulators" ... President Bush has installed more than 100 top officials who were once lobbyists, attorneys or spokespeople for the industries they oversee.
DENVER POST
by Anne C. Mulkern
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0523-02.htm

Our Darkest Days Are Here
60 MINUTES
by Andy Rooney
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0524-12.htm

'Wedding Video' Clouds US Denials
BBC NEWS
A videotape has been broadcast which purports to show before-and-after footage of a wedding which Iraqis say the US bombed, killing about 40. Read the whole story at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3741223.stm

Bill Clinton Attacks Bush Over Iraq
INDEPENDENT/UK
by Tom Murphy & Angus MacSwan
http://truthout.org/docs_04/052404F.shtml

Pearl Jam Goes To The Movies
TWO FEET THICK
by Jessica Letkemann & John Reynolds
http://www.twofeetthick.com/articleread.do?id=23

Sunday, May 23, 2004

For Those Of You Who Remember And Enjoy Anything To Do With MONTY PYTHON ... Please Read On ... Eric Idle Presents "The FCC Song"
[Comments from Monty Python Direct & Eric Idle ... "Here's a little song I wrote the other day while I was out duck hunting with a judge. It's a new song, it's dedicated to the FCC and if they broadcast it, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars."] Click on the following link and listen to this delightful little song:

http://homepage.mac.com/njenson/mp3/fcc.mp3

If you wish to check out Monty Python Direct, with items related to Eric Idle, click on the following link:

http://www.pythonline.com/plugs/idel/index.shtml

BIG WEEK & BIG DAY FOR KUCINICH
It was the biggest single week of the primary campaign season for Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. Before Tuesday’s primary election in Oregon, Kucinich had won 40 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Boston in late July. With a final tally of almost 17 percent of the vote in Oregon, Kucinich had picked up at least eight more. State conventions in Maine, Colorado and Alaska added another 17 national delegates.

Kucinich Makes Major Gains In Maine
Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich went into the Maine state Democratic convention on Saturday with 14 percent of the February caucus votes and zero national convention delegates. After delivering a speech described as "electrifying" by former Maine House of Representatives Speaker Michael Saxl, Kucinich ended the day with 25 percent of Maine’s Democratic vote and six national delegates. The speech drew huge and frequent bursts of approval and standing ovations from the entire statewide delegation, many of whom had previously pledged to support other candidates that have dropped out since the winter caucuses. According to an Associated Press account of the event "Rep. Dennis Kucinich temporarily made the Democratic State Convention his own with a highly charged attack on the first-term record of Republican President George W. Bush."

Colorado Delegates For Kucinich Nearly Triple
The national delegate count for Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich nearly tripled Saturday at the Colorado state Democratic convention – from five in last month’s caucuses to a total of 14 after final balloting today. Kucinich’s percentage of the statewide vote also went from about 13 percent in April to almost 30 percent when delegates were done voting today. Even his strongest support in the state got stronger. Boulder County Democrats, who had earlier given him a 51 percent majority, today boosted that percentage to more than 55 percent, according to county Kucinich co-chairman Walt Kramarz. The state convention also adopted as part of its platform Kucinich’s proposal to establish a federal Department of Peace.

Kucinich Collects Close To Half Of Alaska's Committed Delegates
In Alaska, Kucinich previously received about 26.5 percent of the vote and five national delegates from the precinct-level caucuses. At Alaska’s state Democratic Convention today, Kucinich picked up two additional delegates. Out of a total 18 possible delegates in Alaska, Kucinich garnered seven delegates to Senator Kerry’s eight. Alaska has three uncommitted super delegates.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

THE NEXT NYC FRIENDS OF KUCINICH GENERAL MEETING IS BEING HELD ON Wednesday, June 2nd, At 7:00pm and the location is (tentative, confirmation will follow) ... United Nations Church Center, 777 UN Plaza, Boss Room on 8th Floor, East 44th Street and 1st Avenue. Please join us ... all are welcome!


Dennis Kucinich & Robert Jereski at March 20, 2004 Rally/Protest in NYC


To check out the website, click on the following link: http://www.jereskiforcongress.com

Important Message From MoveOn.Org Regarding The Biggest Progressive Conference of the Year

On June 2nd, 3rd and 4th, we're co-sponsoring the biggest progressive conference of the year -- the Take Back America Conference in Washington D.C. So that every MoveOn member has a chance to be part of this amazing gathering, we're supporting a deep discount on conference registration for MoveOn members only -- $89.00 for three days, including meals during the day -- nearly a 50% discount. This will be the last time for all of us to get together before the November election, and plan the future of our growing movement to Take Back America. Come and join us by registering at: https://secure.ctsg.com/ourfuture/moveonregister2004/

There are only a limited number of tickets available, and it's filling up fast. We want to make sure as many MoveOn members as possible can be part of this event. Special prices are also available for one-day passes and for students. In addition to Joan, Peter, Eli and Wes ... featured speakers will include: Gov. Howard Dean, Senator John Edwards (D-NC); House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); George Soros, Elaine Jones, President of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Eliot Spitzer, New York State Attorney General; Rev. James Forbes of the Riverside Church, Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Author Arianna Huffington; National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy; and many more. The conference will also include practical skills training for citizen leaders, organizers, and candidates.

Kucinich Outlines Plan For 'Peace With Honor' In Iraq
NEWPORT NEWS TIMES
by Terry Dillman
http://www.newportnewstimes.com/articles/2004/05/21/news/news27.txt

OREGON AND NATIONAL MEDIA RECOGNIZE STRONG SHOWING IN OREGON FOR KUCINICH
Likewise, a strong showing of 16.6% in Oregon-despite having a presumptive nominee-has demonstrated the strength of Kucinich's message. Both the Oregon and National media have taken notice. Here are a few examples:

NBC affiliate KGW reported while Senator John Kerry won Oregon's primary "Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich came away with a handful of Oregon delegates that will help him carry his anti-war message at the Democratic National Convention this summer." Full story at: http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D82LHN9O0.html

The Los Angeles Times reported today in an article on potential worries in the Kerry camp about the impact of antiwar voters should they go to Nader: "Tuesday's showing by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) in Oregon's presidential primary may have added to those worries. Kerry easily won, with 81% of the vote. But Kucinich, who has continued to campaign in part to stress an antiwar message, got 17% - by far his best showing in any of this year's primaries."

KUCINICH OP-ED PUBLISHED IN USA TODAY
In an op-ed published in yesterday's edition of USA TODAY, Kucinich reiterated the need for the U.S. to get out of Iraq. Kucinich expressed concern that if the United States insists on staying the course in Iraq, "it will damage America's security and lead to a longer war, more troop losses and civilian casualties, hundreds of billions of tax dollars wasted and, inevitably, a draft." Kucinich stressed "this is the time for a peace plan for Iraq and an exit strategy for the U.S. The world community will not make a commitment absent a change of direction in U.S. policy." Hear Dennis Read it at: http://resources.kucinich.us//video/video/usa_today_thing/5_20_04.mp3

America Hardly Seems Like America Any More
GUARDIAN/UK
by Terry Jones [ie: writer, film director, actor & Python]
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0522-03.htm

DENNIS TO APPEAR ON MEET THE PRESS
NBC's Meet the Press has invited Kucinich to discuss the US role in Iraq this Sunday, May 23rd, with Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Duncan Hunter. While Meet the Press is aired live in most cities, there is a varied schedule across the country. Click here for local listings: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3080248/

Pleading The First
[New Book ... "Freethinkers: A History Of American Secularism" by Susan Jacoby]
NEWSDAY
by Scott Mclemee
http://www.newsday.com/features/booksmags/ny-bkjacoby0516,0,2943544.story

Friday, May 21, 2004

Kucinich Defies Expectations
PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY VANGUARD
by Matt Petrie
http://www.dailyvanguard.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/05/20/40ac5033f3884

On The Spot: Rallying Girl Power
ALTERNET
by Darci Andresen
http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18751



'US Soldiers Started To Shoot Us, One By One'
GUARDIAN/UK
by Rory McCarthy in Ramadi
"The bombing started at 3am," she said yesterday from her bed in the emergency ward at Ramadi general hospital, 60 miles west of Baghdad. "We went out of the house and the American soldiers started to shoot us. They were shooting low on the ground and targeting us one by one," she said. She ran with her youngest child in her arms and her two young boys, Ali and Hamza, close behind. As she crossed the fields a shell exploded close to her, fracturing her legs and knocking her to the ground. She lay there and a second round hit her on the right arm. By then her two boys lay dead. "I left them because they were dead," she said. One, she saw, had been decapitated by a shell. "I fell into the mud and an American soldier came and kicked me. I pretended to be dead so he wouldn't kill me. My youngest child was alive next to me." Mrs Shibab's description, backed by other witnesses, of an attack on a sleeping village is at odds with the American claim that they came under fire while targeting a suspected foreign fighter safe house. She described how in the hours before dawn she watched as American troops destroyed the Rakat villa and the house next door, reducing the buildings to rubble. Another relative carried Mrs Shihab and her surviving child to hospital. There she was told her husband Mohammed, the eldest of the Rakat sons, had also died. For rest of story, click on the following link: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0521-01.htm

The Diseases Of A Troubled Nation
THE AGE/AUSTRALIA
by Julian Ninio
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0520-12.htm

Important Message From NARAL Pro-Choice - Three Of Bush's Nominees Stopped, But The Worst Is Yet To Come

Senate leaders stood up to President Bush's court packing scheme, winning a victory for the pro-choice movement by securing a promise that Bush will not appoint more judicial nominees while the Senate is in recess. The Senate's agreement effectively closes a chapter on several of Bush's most radical nominees: Carolyn Kuhl, Priscilla Owen, and Janice Rogers Brown. The deal means that Bush will not sneak these nominees onto the federal bench during a Senate recess - a trick that Bush has used twice in recent months. Thank you to the CAN activists who wrote 236,123 letters to Senators about Kuhl, Owen, and Brown! You helped convince pro-choice Senators to stand strong against Bush's attempt to take over the federal courts. We could not have won this fight without you!

There is still one nominee to watch - and he's one of the worst of Bush's bunch. James Leon Holmes has written that the role of "the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband." He has compared pro-choice activists to "Nazis," said that rape victims don't get pregnant, and compared abortion to slavery. We must stop this out-of-step nominee from winning a lifetime appointment that will give him the power to make decisions about women's rights for the rest of his life. Help us reach our goal of sending 50,000 letters to the Senate this week by taking action today - click here: http://prochoiceaction.org/campaign/holmes_sen_052004/b7e33u4fjdn5kb

The fight against Holmes may be a dress rehearsal for a bigger fight looming on the horizon: the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Rehnquist has been dropping hints about retiring. Send a signal to President Bush now that pro-choice activists will not let him appoint another anti-choice ideologue to our nation's top court.

Important Message From Peter Schurman & MoveOn.Org About Getting Rid Of Rumsfeld

It's time to raise the stakes in our demand that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld be fired. We need your help today to put a powerful new TV ad on the air. We now know Rumsfeld personally approved a policy that "encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners," violating their fundamental human rights under the Geneva convention. Our new ad will help make sure everyone in the country knows about Rumsfeld’s direct responsibility for the prisoner debacle, but to air it we need your help. Here's the script:

The screen pans slowly up the Statue of Liberty, ultimately revealing that her head is hooded. The narrator says:

"They said we were going to Iraq to bring American values: democracy, liberty, justice. But something has gone terribly wrong." "It's been reported that Donald Rumsfeld initiated a plan that encouraged the physical coercion and sexual humiliation of prisoners, violations of international law. Rumsfeld has placed the men under his command in even more danger." "Why hasn't George Bush fired this man?"


Click here to help us put this ad on the air:

https://www.moveon.org/hooded/

New evidence of Rumsfeld's responsibility for the torture at Abu Ghraib prison is surfacing daily, and on Tuesday his top deputy admitted seriously miscalculating the Iraqis' willingness to put up with the American occupation. Yet President Bush still refuses to remove Rumsfeld from his post. Although Bush has apologized to the world for the torture, every day Rumsfeld keeps his job sends the opposite message -- that Americans don't mind all that much. Every day Rumsfeld stays, Iraq grows more volatile, increasing the danger to our troops. Every day he stays, Iraqis who work with us are killed, recently including the president of the Iraqi Governing Council. And every day Rumsfeld stays, potential terrorists harden in their anger toward America. Yet, in the face of this snowballing disaster, Bush's posture boils down to an arrogant "so what?".

It's time to make our demand for accountability impossible for Bush to ignore. We're taking our campaign to the next level, beginning with this TV ad. We'll also run radio and print ads soon, and next week we'll hold constituent meetings with dozens of key Senate and House offices, calling for Rumsfeld's ouster. Michael Berg, whose son Nicholas was recently beheaded in Iraq, said: "I can't stand even more than those murderers who took my son's life, those who sit and make policies to end lives and break the lives of the still living." We need your help today to jump-start our campaign to fire Rumsfeld. Every time we ask for your help, you step up. Thank you, more than we can say.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Greenpeace Cleared In U.S. Ship-Boarding Case
REUTERS
by Jim Loney
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0519-11.htm

From Ancient Greece To Iraq, The Power Of Words In Wartime
NEW YORK TIMES
by Robin Tolmach Lakoff
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/18/science/18LANG.html



Kerry Wins, But Kucinich Snags Nine Delegates
THE REGISTER GUARD
by D.Steves & R.Bjornstad

Should Kucinich's distant second-place finish of 16 percent hold, it will only marginally add to the about three dozen delegates he'd previously won - a fraction of the more than 4,300 delegates headed for the Democratic National Conven- tion in July. Despite the monthlong campaigning binge, Kucinich's Oregon finish wasn't as strong as in March, when he won about 26 percent of the votes in the Hawaii and Alaska caucuses. Leandra Bell-Matson, Kucinich's coordinator in Eugene, said Democratic voters' preoccupation with "electability" led them to support Kerry, even if they found more appeal in Kucinich's more liberal proposals for the environment, education, global trade and other issues. "When people come from that place of fear, then your thinking is clouded," she said. "If you step out of that and really get a picture of how America can be, then that's where America's strength really is." Check out the whole story at the following link: http://www.registerguard.com/news/2004/05/19/a1.prezprimwrap.0519.html

IF A DEMOCRAT WERE DOING THIS......
Common Dreams
by Guy Reel

The release of disgusting photos showing abuse of Iraqi prisoners was followed by the horrifying beheading of a prisoner in retaliation for the prisoner abuses. Over and over again we heard from the right, "How are those parallel? A beheading versus some humiliation - which is worse?" They argued, again and again, that the beheading shows we were right to fight this horror which is terrorism, and that it showed we must stay the course in Iraq.

They don't even have it halfway right. We should be fighting terrorism, but we have lost our way. The beheading, perhaps above all images we've seen, shows the mistake of the war. Many have missed the obvious - the beheading was done by a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda. It was not the Iraqi people who did this. Rather, the Iraqis have been remarkably restrained in their reaction to the prisoner abuse scandal, when you consider what has happened to them. They lost a dictator but gained a military presence that is responsible for holding innocent people, then humiliating them.

But the beheading - that is another matter. It illustrates why, in response to an attack by Al-Qaeda terrorists, we should have gone after the Al-Qaeda terrorists. This might seem elementary, but it is a point lost on about half of Americans. This half of the populace is strangely oblivious to facts - it's as if they live in a world divorced from the one the rest of us are in. They will support their leader no matter the depths of the disaster we are facing.

This is a sad state of affairs because one can easily imagine that if a Democrat were in charge of the White House now, and we were in exactly the same position we are now in - disastrous deficits, an untenable war, ecological carelessness, soaring gas prices, payoffs to cronies, arrogant foreign policies, trillions in unfunded obligations that threaten Social Security, education and Medicare while we go deeper and deeper into debt every day - he would be lucky to have 20 percent support now. A Democrat in exactly the same position that President Bush is in now would be looking at losing the fall election in a record landslide. Why? Because Democrats are willing to abandon their leaders and vote for the other guy if the policies their leaders are pursuing aren't working. Many Republicans, however, have apparently decided they will stick with a disaster all the way to the bitter end.

Any time you are faced with a Republican making arguments about politics today, ask him or her to imagine that a Democrat was in charge right at this moment - that this Democrat has pursued exactly the policies that have put us where we are now. Then ask the Republican if he would support that Democratic president. The honest answer for most is no. And neither would the vast majority of Democrats. Yet while some support for Bush has dropped, he is still hanging on to much of it. Given where this nation is, his support is, in fact, incredible.

One reason for this disparity in electoral reasoning, a disparity that has grown worse over the last 10 or 15 years, is that there is a vast apparatus fixed to spread right-wing falsehoods. If Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and the hundreds of local rightist radio zealots began telling the truth, Bush wouldn't be polling 20 percent. That is because of their relentless mischaracterizations of Bush policies and Democratic responses - their willingness to lie to achieve their aims, to portray Democrats as un-American, or to claim they are unwholesome, or lustful for your tax money. These are ridiculous but appealing arguments, and to refute them gives them currency.

After the beheading, those on the right kept asking, "Where is the outrage?" Here it is - we should hunt down and kill those who beheaded Nick Berg. By the way, these criminals are the same people who used airplanes to kill innocent people on our soil. We should be fighting them tooth and claw, with every method - economic, military, diplomatic - at our disposal. So why aren't we?

Because of this president, we're letting the bad guys get away. We're fighting the wrong war while screaming about the terrorist threat. This president has hamstrung the United States. We're locked in a bloody, Israeli-like aggression against a people who had no cause against us. That's where the true outrage should be directed - at the president who has led us into one of the worst messes in our history. It's costing not only thousands of lives but billions of dollars that threaten the economic security of the United States - and this president not only refuses to pay for it, he is actually is giving MORE money to his millionaire friends who, in turn, contribute millions of that former tax money to his re-election campaign. Just think if a Democrat were doing this. He'd be finished.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Less Is Moore In subdued, Effective '9/11'
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
by Roger Ebert
http://www.suntimes.com/output/eb-feature/cst-ftr-cannes18.html

Impeach the SOB - Damn the Republicans & Full Speed Ahead!
Written by “kucinich4president” Yahoo Group Member Daniel Welch
Tuesday, May 18th

It's time to stop beating around this Bush and start beating up on him—but good. There is no set of humanitarian or democratic principles by which this administration would not have been removed in any sane society. The last election was questionable at best, and his reckless, dangerous and criminal actions in the ensuing years have shown the whole world he is unfit to govern. The only democratic remedy, impeachment, was set aside early and forcibly by an opposition still afraid of its own shadow. It did make some sense, early on, to argue that, since the Greasy Oil Plutocrats (GOP) controlled both houses, it was a waste of time and energy.

Cynical political calculation is the currency of a failed "democracy," and Washington is crawling with sellouts and political weathervanes. In the Sausage Factory that is the legislative process, anyone who wants to get anything done had best be ready to hold her nose and roll up her sleeves. The principle still counts for something. To hear either of the Mega-Parties talk, you'd think they were all about principle. Grandiose rhetoric covers the tiniest focus-grouped nuances; minor tweaks to failed policies are disguised as major ideological shifts, their proponents bravely marching, Quixote-style, into the windmill of their ever-so-slightly differing opponents.

So maybe it's time for a simple, radical proposition: Truth is True. Of course Republicans will fight impeachment like crazy--so what? Anyway, it's past time to put to rest the right-wing myth that Nixon was "hounded out of office" by the opposition. By the time Barry Goldwater met with Nixon to tell him the jig was up, he reported that the president could expect no more than ten votes in the Senate. "And," he is reported to have added, "I'm not one of them." Politicians don't always toe the party line, especially when it is one drawn in the sand by a crook. The damage done to decades-long international agreements, to the reputation of the US, and simply the revulsion at all the atrocities committed in our name, is almost beyond calculation, and quite likely beyond repair. Cornered at every turn, the thieves and liars of this junta respond to every new self-inflicted crisis with greater abandon.

There are dangerous and powerful forces trying to keep this man in power, and there is no doubt that confronting them head on will prove difficult. But there is no choice left. The iceberg whose tip is now poking its way into the eye of a weary world is gargantuan, and will not melt of its own accord. These men intended all along to shred the Geneva Convention, the US constitution and every safeguard in between. The "Iraq Prison Abuse Scandal," a misnomer if ever there was one, is not about a few hicks on a rampage. Anyone with a brain could see that immediately, and once again we were proven right. The attempt to end-run the CIA and establish a fully secret system of torture and "intelligence gathering" lays bare the core of these men's "principles:" utter contempt for democracy and due process.

It should be something of a clue to learn that the CIA was too accountable for these guys. The CIA, as we well know, is loath to bend any rules or skirt accountability in pursuit of its own shadowy goals. Doug Feith, apparently, knows better than the CIA, and he wouldn't trust them for...well, let's say for all the assassination manuals in Central America. It has become the unspeakable, torturous mess we knew it would, and they still won't come clean. That's why they mustn't be let to leave of their own accord. Next January is far too long, too many wars, atrocities and frayed alliances too late. These guys, and yes, I mean all of them, from Dubya and Lon Chaney on down--these guys have to go now. And I don't mean back to cutting brush in Crawford. (What's the deal there, by the way? Does this guy live on a billion acres that he cuts himself, or what? Isn't he done yet?).

No, not back to Crawford or off to some slimy lobbying firm--they need to go sit in a dock in The Hague and await the judgment of the world. The world's responsibility is to convene an ad hoc tribunal to prosecute the war crimes of the Iraq war--just as they do with other rogue nations who refuse to subject themselves to the conventions of international law. Our responsibility in the US is to facilitate the process by first removing the war criminals from power, and then not stopping the international peacekeeping force when they come to arrest them. Shocked? Why? Of course, it is often shocking to turn the looking glass around, but if we try to see what the rest of the world sees, these are the logical next steps. Instead, the internal "debate" grows more and more deaf to the outside world. The Democrats have already picked their pro-war candidate, and he is staying the course, while rumors about a "unity ticket" with McCain swirl above the wreckage of the international scene. What planet are we on? I actually saw an article recently chiding the left with the specter of 1968, claiming that it was our fault (the antiwar crowd) that Humphrey lost. Huh? I guess it couldn't have been Humphrey's fault that he saddled himself with Johnson's War. At least he was the sitting vice president--what's Kerry's excuse?

And as long as we're playing the bogus counterfactual history "whose fault was Nixon" game, there are plenty of turns to go around. Assume that RFK had not been killed in June of 1968. Having won the California primary, he was poised to wrest the nomination from Humphrey, relieving the Democrats of their war burden, and would presumably have swept to victory over Tricky Dick. Imagine...no Houston Plan, no destabilizing Chile--maybe a few million still alive in Southeast Asia.... Well, maybe it's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the point is history is not an a la carte menu. You can't pick and choose once the opportunities are gone.

The only way the Democrats can lose this election, as I see it, is to fail to embrace and stay ahead of the exploding buyer's remorse now coming into focus over the quagmire in Iraqnam. The RFK analogy is with us still, in the person of Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich is RFK for 2004--the late-surging candidate whose war stance-deemed opportunistic by some, too establishment by others--represents the hope of the party but whose candidacy, alas, is not to re: RFK's because he was shot in the head, and DJK's because he was shot in the image, budget, soul...take your pick. But it doesn't graft well a generation later. No bullets were necessary to doom Kucinich's candidacy, and no matter what changes between now and July, it is exceedingly unlikely that Democrats in the "disciplined," slick "modern" era would abandon the walking disaster that is the Kerry candidacy--although they should be thinking hard about it. But of course, it's beside my point. Who cares who's running in November? Impeach the bastards now. By the time the dust settles and the indictments are all handed out, we may well have come far enough down the chain of succession to where a new government might mean something: Bernie Sanders, or Kucinch, and Barbara Lee. Full speed ahead!

© 2004 Daniel Patrick Welch. Reprint permission granted with credit and link to http://www.danielpwelch.com. Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School. His website is at http://www.danielpwelch.com

KUCINICH WINS DELEGATES IN OREGON

With about 90% of the votes counted in yesterday’s Oregon primary, Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich appeared headed toward a final total of about 16%, enough to win several delegates to the Democratic National Convention in July. “I’m grateful to the voters of Oregon for their support, their encouragement, and their hospitality,” said Kucinich, who spent a good part of the past month campaigning throughout the state. “Oregonians responded to my message about the importance of the Democratic Party taking a stand on the crucial issues facing our country, and now we’ll have additional delegates to help take that message to the convention in Boston.”

Kucinich said the response of Oregonians was especially strong on the issue of the war in Iraq, and he intends to continue making that a centerpiece of his ongoing campaign in Montana, South Dakota, Alabama, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. “When you reach out to voters, and you listen to what they have to say, you hear loudly and clearly that they want the Democratic Party to end this war and bring our troops home,” Kucinich said. “Even though the party’s nomination was locked up two months ago, tens of thousands of Oregonians voted their consciences and their beliefs.” Oregon is considered a key swing state in the November general election.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PETER SCHURMAN AT MOVEON.ORG

As America learns more about the prisoner abuse scandal, it's becoming clear that the path to the crimes committed at Abu Ghraib prison began at Donald Rumsfeld's office in the Pentagon. According to an article in the New Yorker magazine, a policy put in place by Secretary Rumsfeld "encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq." Despite this horrible scandal and the cascading failures of U.S. military policy in Iraq, President Bush says that Rumsfeld is doing "a superb job." In the absence of presidential leadership, Congress must step in and hold the administration accountable. Please call your Senators and Representative today and tell them to call on President Bush to fire Donald Rumsfeld.

Senator Charles E. Schumer
Washington, DC: 202-224-6542

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington, DC: 202-224-4451

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez
Washington, DC: 202-225-2361

President Bush approved a policy that the Geneva Convention wouldn't apply to suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. When the war in Iraq started to go badly, Rumsfeld extended these aggressive interrogation policies to Iraqi prisons. According to the current issue of Newsweek ... "It was an approach that they adopted to sidestep the historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the rights of detainees and prisoners of war. In doing so, they overrode the objections of Secretary of State Colin Powell and America's top military lawyers - and they left underlings to sweat the details of what actually happened to prisoners in these lawless places. While no one deliberately authorized outright torture, these techniques entailed a systematic softening up of prisoners through isolation, privations, insults, threats and humiliation - methods that the Red Cross concluded were ëtantamount to torture."

High-level officials in the Pentagon were sent from Guantanamo Bay to Iraq to implement the more aggressive policies, and it appears that command of the prison was placed in the hands of military intelligence officers. Techniques that had been approved only for suspected al-Qaeda terrorists were suddenly applied to Iraqi prisoners (up to 90% of whom
>were mistakenly detained, according to the Red Cross). Despite the eagerness of the Bush administration to blame the torture at Abu Ghraib on a few rogue soldiers, it is now clear that real responsibility lies at the top of the chain of command. As the Commander-in-Chief, it's President Bushís job to decide who runs the Pentagon. If he won't take the steps that are needed to restore American credibility around the world, Congress needs to use its power to convince the president to do the right thing - whether it issues a clear public call for the Secretary's resignation or whether it uses other leverage to force the Administrationís hand.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Media's Isolated Flights Of Fiction Less Damaging Than Skipping Story
DAYTONA BEACH NEWS JOURNAL
by Pierre Tristam
We're living through fabulist times, which shouldn't be confused with fabulous times. The two words are next-door neighbors in the dictionary but have as much in common as George W. Bush and George Carlin. The first makes stuff up like Zane Grey on speed, the other deconstructs it with punch lines. Carlin has a glut of material to work with these days because from the president on down, fabulism is everyone's branding iron of choice. Corporations invent profits. Big oil companies invent big oil deposits. The military fakes heroic feats and global alliances. The Treasury fakes impending surpluses. Researchers fake data. Employers fake time-clocks. Employees fake illnesses. Insurers fake coverage. Priests fake trust. Entertainment passes off for fact, propaganda passes off for news and advertisers begin to look like truth-tellers. Is it any wonder that the nation's big news media have produced some of the biggest fabulists of them all? I'm referring to Jayson Blair and Jack Kelly. At The New York Times, Blair fabricated and plagiarized national stories by the dozen, most notably about the Washington, D.C., sniper and Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who -- to be fair to Blair -- was the inspiration for compulsive fabrication mediawide. At USA Today, Kelly took his fabrications global, inventing Egyptian and Pakistani terrorists, a Starsky and Hutch-like hunt of Osama bin Laden, Cuban exiles a-drowning, and the flash-portrait of a suicide bomber just before he blew himself up. Click on following link to read more: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0518-05.htm

9/11 Scrutiny Turns To New York
BBC NEWS
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3725225.stm

Holding Halliburton Accountable
ALTERNET
by James Carter
http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18718

Kucinich Makes Pitch In Oregon
THE OREGONIAN
by James Mayer
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1084881910205370.xml

Monday, May 17, 2004

Liberal Talk Radio - Let The Water Cooler Wars Begin
COMMON DREAMS
by Thom Hartmann
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0517-04.htm



Fahrenheit 9/11 Could Light Fire Under Bush
GUARDIAN/UK
by Charlotte Higgins
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0517-10.htm

Moore's 9/11 Movie Riles Cannes Audiences
YAHOO NEWS
by David Germain
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=13&u=/ap/20040517/ap_on_en_mo/film_cannes_fahrenheit_911_5



Baghdad Blast Kills Iraq Leader
BBC NEWS
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3720161.stm

Down But Not Out, Kucinich Keeps On Fighting
NEW YORK TIMES
by Rick Lyman
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/17/politics/campaign/17kucinich.html?ex=1085371200&en=4fd2c2f611b1e896&ei=5062

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Personal News - Part XXI

Back on Monday, May 10th, was our monthly NYC Friends Of Kucinich general meeting. [I put in a cardio workout at the gym before heading to the 7pm meeting.] The following Kucitizens were present: Bill, Paul, Cielito, Mike, Kim, Thomas, Jane, Larry, Efram, Steve, Marlene, George, Pam, Jessica, Linda, Mark & myself. The next General Meeting was announced for June 2nd and hopefully at same location. Plus the next Kucinich Meetup is June 3rd. We started off the meeting with roll call and then jumped onto first item on Agenda. This was regarding the "Progressive Candidates Forum" we're trying to organize for either late June or early to mid July. Bill is in charge of the committee, of which I am part of and our first committee meeting is set for today at 6pm. The forum would bring together Kucinich, Nader, Dean and Sharpton to present their views on the issues and help build a progressive block at the July Convention AND within the Democratic party. Discussion was long and at times abit heated. Touching on locations, dates, outreach, issues, etc. Then Paul asked Kim to talk about second item on agenda, which is doing Candlelight Vigils in NYC at time of Republican National Convention. Discussion was mostly on where it could take place and many suggested churches, since we wouldn't require a city permit. [City has been denigning many organizations permits for even the simplest of protests/rallies. Grrrrrrrr] Kim is head of that "Candlelight Vigil" committee. Last item on agenda was talking about joining NJ Kucinich folk at their June 3rd meetup. Plus passing around flyers at that time to commuters heading home from Penn Station, Port Authority and PATH trains. George, who is one of our NJ Kucitizens, handed out flyers for us to copy and distribute. Afterwards we broke off into committee groups to discuss topic and location for future meetings. I also purchased a funky, black t-shirt from Thomas ... which says on the front "Got WMD?" and on back says "Bush Lied".

The following night, May 11th, after the Kucinich general meeting I was at Rob Jereski's place, along with Deborah G, to help him fine tune his Bio and 14 points of campaign. It was abit of a learning experience and half of what was discussed was new to me. [Appraised Rob of what I'd worked on since last meeting towards his campaign.] I also mentioned to Rob how I was having some serious troubles with my Blog and hoped to have it resolved shortly. Those of you who pop in regularly to the Duchess page will have noticed it's absence from the Internet for a few days. Troubles with the template and not fully resolved as I type this, but hope it soon will be. Its great to see some of my dear Blog pals posting the Jereski banner w/link on your sites. I mentioned this to Rob and so happy to hear it.

Took a break on Wednesday ... then an intense workout with personal trainer on Thursday ... followed by the first meeting of the "Progressive Candidate Forum" committee meeting on Friday @ 6:30pm. Several of us Kucitizens [ie: Thomas, Cielito, Mark, Marlene, Bill & I] were there to get the ball rolling on this project and brainstorm ideas. Our meeting went on till about 9:30pm with only Bill, Cielito and I fleshing out the presentations "objective", plus proposed moderators and locations for forum. This forum or "Democracy Shakedown" will showcase Kucinich, Sharpton, Dean and Nader sometime in July before Democratic Convention. [These esteemed leaders must be heard and not silenced by the media.] It was a good, productive and fascinating meeting. If you live in the NYC area, read my Blog, are into grassroots politics and would like to help out our committee ... please contact me [cblossom@mindspring.com] or Bill Delp [BilDel@MUZE.com]. Merci!

What amazing weather we had yesterday ... felt more like summer than a spring day. It was sunny, a few clouds, slight breeze, warm and abit humid. After a busy work week, along with other commitments, I spent Saturday catching up on many errands. During the afternoon, in between errands, I ran into a few of my neighbors and we caught up on stuff. Gail and Rob took up a suggestion I made last Autumn, regarding Twin Gables Inn down in Cape May and are staying there next month. When making reservations they mentioned to Regina and Harry [owners of Twin Gables] that I highly recommended their Inn to them. I've been visiting that particular Inn since 1998 and love it there. Gail and Rob told me they've been visiting Cape May alot over past 20 years. Whoa! We talked about our fav places to dine in that charming seaside resort. As well as experiencing hurricanes while down there. Their a delightful couple and the outside of their apartment building is prettily done up with flowers, plants and rose bushes. [Gails got the magic touch when it comes to gardening.] Then I ran into another neighbor [Nick] and got to talking about Iraq war, economy and politics. He loves Bush, hates all Muslims, supports Iraq war and thinks that Bush Administration is doing a great job. Sigh! I said "Nick, I don't agree with you and since I respect you, I'll refrain from arguing or forcing my opinions down your throat". He was cool with that. I asked him if he watches Fox News or reads the NY Post. Nick said no on both counts, as he feels both are a crock of crappy, corrupt beans. That was one of the few things we did agree on. [smiling]

Well, its now Sunday, May 16th, and another lovely day outside. What do I do on a lovely day such as this ... well I sit my ass inside an air conditioned cinema [ticket price is $10.50] watching the film TROY. While on line at cinema waiting to get my ticket, who is standing five people in front of me, but British actor Roger Rees. He to bought a ticket to see same showing of TROY as me. Cool! The film stars Brad Pitt, Peter O'Toole, Sean Bean & Orlando Bloom. [Even the lovely Julie Christie makes a cameo appearance.]

Quite frankly I'm no fan of Brad Pitt, but he comes across rather nicely in this movie and yes, I do recommend others see it. True, its no LOTRs, but it does hold its own quite well. Have to admit the real reason I wanted to see TROY, was due to the fact that Sean Bean [Odysseus] and Orlando Bloom [Paris] are in it. Of the movies previewed before TROY played, I saw two I'd like to see very much. THE TERMINAL starring Tom Hanks and CONSTANTIN starring Keanu Reeves. And that's it, for now, on the personal news front. Peace, Joy, Hope, Justice & Solidarity!

Trojan War Shows Bush & Blair's Achilles' Heel Say Actors Who See A Modern-Day Similarity
INDEPENDENT/UK
May 14, 2004
by Louise Jury in Cannes
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0514-02.htm

Kucinich: Oil Co. Profiteers Pushing Up Gas Prices
BEND.COM NEWS SOURCE
At the same time, Kucinich said, major oil companies are capitalizing on that uncertainty and are earning record profits. Five of the world’s largest oil companies had combined earning of more than $17 billion in the first three months of this year*. "It's an outrage that a working family has to pay $2.40 or more for a gallon of gas while oil company executives, speculators, and commodities traders are raking in billions of dollars in profits," Kucinich said. "First, the Bush Administration concocted reasons to go to war. Then, it began paying billions of dollars to private, hand-picked contractors to reconstruct what the war destroyed. And now, on top of that, it has created a climate that enables its friends in the oil industry to make billions more." To read more, click on to the following link: http://www.bend.com/news/ar_view%5E3Far_id%5E3D15546.htm

Cheney Sings Wal-Mart's Praises
GADFLYER
by Paul Waldman
It was fitting that Cheney came to hail the success of Wal-Mart, because there are few American institutions that so embody the Bush administration's vision of what the American economy should look like. Like Wal-Mart, the administration has done all it can to encourage the accumulation of great wealth in a few hands (and worked to make sure that wealth will not be subject to taxation), while the men and women who actually do the work receive obscenely low compensation. Like Wal-Mart, the administration has been unconcerned about the lack of health insurance in America, leaving people to fend for themselves in the private market (whose rates are ridiculously out of reach for Wal-Mart employees) or, more often, rely on costly emergency room care and federal poverty programs. Like Wal-Mart, the administration has waged unrelenting war on labor unions, lest ordinary people obtain a voice for fair treatment in the workplace and cut into corporate profits. [Click on following link to read more: http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18704

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The Nation Institute & New Democracy Project Are Hosting A Progressive Agenda Conference This Weekend, Here In NYC

In the past three years the US has suffered a dramatic decline in its fortunes, moving from prosperity to recession, from peace to war, from record budget surpluses to record deficits. We've seen pre-emptive strikes; destabilizing tax cuts; the rollback of protection for workers, consumers and the environment, and an assault on the rights of women and minorities. It's time to lay out a forward-looking progressive agenda to counter the rightwing. In that spirit, the Nation Institute and the New Democracy Project are hosting a sold-out conference this weekend with many of America's leading scholars, thinkers and advocates. And see the full conference schedule: http://www.newdemocracyproject.org/events/special_events/wwsf_schedule.cfm

The entire two-day event will be available for web viewing in the weeks ahead. Finally, please visit http://www.thenation.com regularly for new weblogs, exclusive online reports, info on nationwide activist campaigns, Nation History offerings, reader letters and special weekly selections from The Nation magazine.

SEAN PENN, THE ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST, CAMPAIGNS WITH KUCINICH IN OREGON

As one of Hollywood's biggest stars and this year's Best Actor Oscar Winner for his role in Mystic River, most people know Sean Penn for his on-screen acting abilities. It was Penn's off-screen opposition to the Iraq war, however, that brought him to Oregon Tuesday night to stand with Kucinich at a press conference in Portland. Like Kucinich, Penn has opposed the war from the start; he even traveled to Iraq before the war to call attention to the added suffering war would bring to Iraq. The pair called for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq and lamented the prison abuse scandal. "This is only consistent with the history of all wars," said Penn. "What is happening in all of those prisons is no surprise to those people who have paid any responsible attention to what's gone on in the history of the planet in wars. So this is something we can expect to get worse in a lot of the corners of the world." See video of press conference: http://www.kucinich.us/messages/superstarpower.php#videos

OREGON STATE REPRESENTATIVE ENCOURAGES VOTE FOR KUCINICH

Northeast Portland state representative Joe Smith asked Oregon voters to "help put Kucinich ideas on the table" in a letter to the editor printed in today's Oregonian. Representative Smith wrote: "The issues Rep. Kucinich, D-Ohio, has raised, and the goals he has urged us to look at, demand attention in the coming national debate, and we can assure that by sending a few Kucinich delegates to the Democratic National Convention who will see to it those issues and goals are clearly on the table." Read full letter: http://www.oregonlive.com/letters/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1084535951289780.xml

KUCINICH IS COMMITTED TO REMAINING PRIMARY SCHEDULE

After Oregon, Congressman Kucinich is still committed to campaigning in the remaining Democratic primaries and caucuses. He will be making campaign stops in Alabama, Puerto Rico, Montana, South Dakota, and New Jersey. Check the schedule (http://www.kucinich.us/schedule.php) for more details.

STAND WITH DENNIS AT CONVENTION: ORDER YOUR CONVENTION PACKAGE TODAY!

Finding accommodations in Boston during the Democratic National Convention is certain to be very difficult. Unless, of course, you are a Dennis Kucinich supporter! The Kucinich Campaign has secured nearly three thousand beds in Boston to accommodate the many supporters coming to participate in activities surrounding the Convention. Reserving your Convention Package is quick and easy with our new online reservation system. Read More: http://www.kucinich.us/convention/housing.php Make reservation: http://www.kintera.org/autogen/home/default.asp?ievent=54828

Friday, May 14, 2004

Be Different, Kucinich Urges Democrats In Speech At OIT
HERALD & NEWS
by Brook Reinhard
http://www.heraldandnews.com/articles/2004/05/12/news/top_stories/top1.txt

Important Message From NARAL Pro-Choice America

The thousands of women serving abroad in our military are being denied their freedoms, even as they are fighting to defend ours. Servicewomen and female military dependents are banned from accessing abortion services - even when using their own private funds - at military hospitals overseas. They don't even have the same right Medicaid recipients do to public support in cases of rape or incest. Our overseas military personnel deserve the same rights as women here in America. Please take action today to defend the rights of those who defend us - click here: http://prochoiceaction.org/campaign/congress_dod_504/b7e33ur4je8mx5

Urge your federal lawmakers, when they consider the Defense Authorization Act, to support amendments that would repeal current-law bans and oppose any attempts to make it more difficult for women to access safe abortion care.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Official "No To Bush" Website
Click on the link to view the website: http://www.notobush.com

It is the hope of us at notobush that the designs herein will gain presence both domestically and internationally, in order to help build the single largest protest in history - the day prior to the start of the RNC in NYC. We were there on Feb 15, 2003 and we know that we are the majority. The world still says no to war and on August 29th, 2004 - the world will say no to bush. And in november - bush will lose - again.



Notobush.com is an independent project of Forth Position Design. based in Brooklyn, NYC: Forth has been active within the peace & justice movement, working within several coalitions formed in response to the tragic events of 9.11 and the bush administration’s exploitation of the tragedy as an excuse for war.

Though we encourage everyone to come to NYC in August, the “no to bush box” graphic can be customized to accommodate other cities if ordered in bulk. Arrangements can also be made to do translations into other languages. Contact us to explore the possibilities.

Dems Roll Out Welcome For Kucinich
May 11th Press Release
http://www.kucinich.us/convention/dem_hq.php

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Sean Penn, Kucinich Preach Troop Pull-Out In Portland
KATU NEWS
http://www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=67251

The America We Know
ALTERNET
by J.D.Allen-Taylor
http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18659

Kucinich: Bush's Support Of Rumsfeld "Misses The Whole Point"
May 10th PRESS RELEASE
http://www.kucinich.us/pressreleases/pr_051004.php

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

When You Wish Upon A Star....
ALTERNET
by Michael Moore
http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18646

Kucinich Targets National Convention
PLAIN DEALER BUREAU
by Tom Diemer
http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news/108427863161610.xml?nnusa

An Important Message From The Exploratory Committee to Elect Robert Jereski to Congress ... Taking On The Bush Agenda

Our campaign is preparing to move into a higher gear and we need the assistance of committed people like you to elect a representative who will help bring an end to the Iraq War. This month will include our official campaign announcement and preparation for the petitioning process that is crucial for getting Robert Jereski on the ballot. We will be holding another fun and exciting friendraiser this Thursday, May 13th, 2004 to recruit more friends and raise more funds for our efforts.

Please feel free to forward this message/invitation to others who may be interested in volunteering or contributing to our campaign. This event will be an opportunity to meet and greet other Jereski supporters and to participate in an engaging salon to discuss the critical issues of the day. Light refreshments will be served. Please join us at the home of candidate for U.S. Congress, Robert Jereski from 6:30 pm till 8:30 pm on May 13, 2004. The address is 2 Tudor City Place, Apt 9AS (East 41st Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues).

A suggested minimum donation of $25 is requested, however, donations of $50, $500, or $1,000 would be welcome. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, as we appreciate all of your support. Please RSVP to "mutualaid@earthlink.net" or call 212-973-1782. If you cannot attend, but still would like to contribute, you may mail your contribution to 2 Tudor City Place, Apt 9AS, New York, NY 10017. Make checks payable to "E. C. to Elect Robert Jereski to Congress". You may also contribute through our web site, please click on the following link: http://www.jereskiforcongress.com We hope you will join us and look forward to seeing you there.


[Came Across The Below Tidbits From FLYBY NEWS ... Link To Website Is Located In Left Side Column. Some Of The Similarities Are Truly Frightening. God & Jesus DID NOT Put These Evil Men Into Power, Only Corrupt Individuals Did These Dirty Deeds. Church & State Do Not Belong Together.]

"Why is this man in the White House?
The majority of Americans did not vote for him.
Why is he there? And I tell you this morning
that he's in the White House because God put him there
for a time such as this."

– Lt Gen William Boykin, speaking of G. W. Bush,
New York Times, 17 October 2003

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

"God gave the savior to the German people.
We have faith, deep and unshakeable faith,
that he was sent to us by God to save Germany."

Hermann Goering, speaking of Hitler

Monday, May 10, 2004

The Next Step In Iraq
THE AMERICAN PRESPECT
by Dennis Kucinich & Michael O'Hanlon
http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=7681

Kucinich wins Boulder(CO)County

An already enthusiastic crowd of Democratic delegates, many of them new to the political process, burst into cheers and applause yesterday with the surprise announcement that Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich won 51 percent of the vote in Boulder County. According to the Boulder Daily Camera online news service, front runner John Kerry received 49 percent.

Many of the delegates who showed up Saturday were newcomers to party activism, and their preference for president says a lot about the local Democratic party, said Hillary Hall, the county Democrats' chairwoman. "It's grass roots at its grass rootiest," Hall said.

Outgoing County Commissioner Ron Stewart, the outgoing county commissioner, said he couldn't recall a more lively crowd at a Democratic county assembly — a sentiment echoed many long-time party activists. Many Democrats have been motivated by the idea that the country is a mess now because the Republicans took the White House in 2000. "We're not gonna sit by and let it happen again," Stewart said.

Lawyer Says Accused Soldier Is Scapegoat
ASSOCIATED PRESS
by Robert Weller
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040510/ap_on_re_us/prisoner_abuse_england_3

Esteemed Journalist Lectures On Ethics
OREGON DAILY EMERALD
by Ayisha Yahya
He added that a difference exists between journalism and propaganda. As he addressed some of the hard hits journalism has taken in the field of ethics, Carroll noted that anyone could be a journalist because, unlike other fields, journalism had no qualification tests, boards to censure misconduct or a universally accepted set of standards. However, Carroll said a great depth of feeling remains on the importance of ethics that is centered around newspapers' sense of responsibilities to their readers. "I've learned that these ethics are deeply believed in even though in some places they are not even written down," he said. When ethical guidelines are ignored, their proponents respond with 'tribal ferocity,'" he added. "If you stray badly from these rules, you will pay dearly," he said. To read the whole article, click on the following link: http://www.dailyemerald.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/05/07/409bbfc0d5b00

Jail Don!
ALTERNET
by G. Pascal Zachary
Rumsfeld deserves to be sent to prison for his acts as Secretary of Defense. So the President is doing the right thing: he is keeping Rumsfeld in place in order to give the legal system time to do maximum damage against our country’s arrogant, pompous and unrepentant war chief. Surely, any legal case against Rumsfeld would be strong. Let’s start with misappropriation of federal funds. As Bob Woodward details in his new book, “Plan of Attack,” Rumsfeld directed funds appropriated for Afghanistan to be used for the preparation of the Iraq invasion. He blithely ignored a requirement that Congress approve any such spending. That’s against the law. Not a gray area. Not a maybe. It is a crime. Then there are Rumsfeld’s lies to Congress. Weapons of mass destruction, anyone? Rumsfeld’s mis-statements about Iraq’s potential to harm the U.S. can no longer be dismissed as mere “failures of intelligence,” as if the Defense Secretary might have decided differently on the matter had he received other advice. A special prosecutor will clearly document that Rumsfeld knew that Saddam Hussein had no WMDs and that he lied to Congress, repeatedly, in order to obtain the necessary legal mandate to go to war. Click on the following link to read more: http://alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18635

Sunday, May 09, 2004

A Special Message From The Women Of The Dennis Kucinich Campaign.

We, the women of the Kucinich Campaign, on behalf of the children of the world ask you to join us in remembering the meaning of Mother's Day as we read the Mother's Day Proclamation, penned in Boston by Julia Ward Howe in 1870:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.


In Vast Philanthropy, Kerry's Wife Wields Sway
NEW YORK TIMES
by Stephanie Strom
[Duchess Note ... I find Mrs Heinz-Kerry a far more important, fascinating, worthier person than her husband.] Click on the link to read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/09/politics/campaign/09TERE.html

Kucinich Continues Fight For Democratic Platform
HERALD DISPATCH
by Jim Ross
Dennis Kucinich knows he will not be the Democratic nominee for president. What he's fighting for now, he says, is to remind his party of what it stands for. "The direction of the Democratic Party has not yet been determined. This is a critical time to keep the debate going," he said during a visit to Huntington on Friday. To read more, click on the following link: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/2004/May/08/LNtop2.htm

BILL MOYERS [PBS show NOW] ON THE MEDIA, POLITICS & CENSORSHIP

The war in Iraq has become also a war of images. This week, we were troubled by pictures of tortured Iraqi prisoners. Last week, it was photographs of American soldiers who have given their lives there. On Friday a week ago on NIGHTLINE, Ted Koppel read the names of the dead and showed their photographs. But their faces and names were blacked out on ABC stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting. Sinclair accused Koppel of "…doing nothing more than making a political statement."

But what about Sinclair's own political agenda? With 62 stations the company is the biggest of its kind in the country and has lobbied successfully in Washington for permission to grow even bigger. Its executives are generous contributors to the Republican party. After 9/11, there were reports their on-air talent had been required to read statements affirming a station's 100% support for the President. And the company's Vice President for Corporate Communications, Mark Hyman, doubles as the on-air commentator on The Point, a daily commentary segment that airs in cities across the country via Sinclair's News Central channel. Hyman is known to regularly "stimulate public discourse" with statements like, "Clinton was too busy chasing skirts to chase terrorists."

Earlier this year, he was sent to Iraq to editorialize on the good things happening there. That's Sinclair's prerogative, of course. Every news organization has First Amendment rights, just as I'm exercising mine right now. But speaking out is one thing, keeping others from being heard is another. Sinclair censored Koppel. And when the Democratic National Committee wanted to buy time for a spot critical of the President, Sinclair's station in Madison, Wisconsin, said no.

Sinclair's not alone with cozy ties to Washington. Clear Channel, the biggest radio conglomerate in the country (with twelve hundred stations plus), was a big winner in the deregulation frenzy triggered by Congress in 1996. Last year Clear Channel was a cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq with pro-war rallies. Rupert Murdoch's a big Washington winner, too. Congress and the Republican controlled Federal Communications Commission let him off the hook even though his News Corp. owned more stations than the rules allowed.

Murdoch also controls Fox News, another big cheerleader for American policy in Iraq, the NEW YORK POST. For a week, the Post refused to publish photographs of those tortured Iraqi prisoners saying the pictures would "reflect poorly" on the troops risking their lives there. Again, it's their right. Freedom of the press, it has been famously said, is guaranteed only to those who own one. That's just the point. These media giants can be within their rights even while doing wrong. It's the system, dear Brutus, the system…a cartel, in effect, of big companies and big government scratching each other's back.

It wasn't supposed to be that way. The founders of our government didn't think it a good idea for the press and state to gang up on public opinion. So they added to the Constitution a Bill of Rights whose First Amendment was to be a kind of firewall between the politicians who hold power and the press that should hold power accountable. The very first American newspaper was a little three-page affair whose editor said he wanted to "cure the spirit of lying…" The government promptly shut him down on grounds he didn't have the required state license. Nowadays, these mega-media conglomerates relieve government of the need for censorship by doing it themselves. So we're reminded once again that journalism's best moments have come not when journalists make common cause with the state but stand fearlessly independent of it. A free press remains everything to a free society.