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Showing posts from May 11, 2008

Tell Congress: Arrest Karl Rove

Click the title to sign the petition....Tell Congress: Arrest Karl RoveMore than seven years too late, it appears as if a growing number of congresspersons are realizing that they are part of a co-equal branch of government. After allowing their institution to be disrespected and at times ignored by the executive branch, top officials in Congress are finally expressing a willingness to use their full power under the Constitution to rein in an out-of-control administration.The current target: Karl Rove.Rove has been asked by the House Judiciary Committee to testify about his involvement in the Justice Department’s prosecution and imprisonment of former Alabama Governor Don Siegleman. As Rove has so far refused to testify voluntarily, members of Congress have started sending signals that they are prepared to go to the mattresses over this.Two prominent members of the House Judiciary Committee have advocated the use of “inherent contempt” against Rove, which would allow the House Serg…

As Israelis Celebrate Independence and Palestinians Mark the “Nakba”, a Debate With Benny Morris, Saree Makdisi and Norman Finkelstein

Benny Morris' infamous interview in Haaretz: "Survival of the fittest." For some reason, I can't read the whole thing on Haaretz: click the "more" link and you get a 404 error. Can't imagine why.

Here's the full interview reprinted in Counterpunch. You make the call: I call it "fascism."

Oppose a Sweeping New Federal DNA Database


Under a new plan, the government could take your DNA and keep it on file permanently if you are arrested at a demonstration on federal property. Take action today to stop the government from giving itself sweeping new powers to create DNA databases.

Please read this alert for background on the plan and immediately go here and click on the yellow "Add Comments" balloon to file public comments with the government to oppose the plan. The government is only accepting comments until this Monday, May 19, so take action today!At the end of 2005, a little-noticed provision was slipped into the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill that provided the federal government with the power to collect and permanently keep DNA samples from anyone arrested for any crime whether or not they are convicted, any non-U.S. citizen merely detained by federal authorities for any reason, and everyone in federal prison. Now the government is trying to put the DNA F…

A Week in Gaza, Guardian: 'They say they have the right to shoot at us and kill us'

Blurb below; click title to view; the ever-growing "Week in Gaza" page at the Guardian -- articles, photo essays, all the videos, etc. By the way, the kid in this video uses the word I'll transliterate as "yih-hude" -- which I think means "Jews," not "Israelis," as the translation claims. Doesn't make any difference to me what the kid said; does make a difference if the Guardian mistranslated out of fear of "antisemitism":
In the fourth of five films from Gaza, multimedia reporter Clancy Chassay meets Samir who lost his brother and two footballing friends during Israeli rocket and shell attacks on their playing fields

Childish superstition: Einstein's letter makes view of religion relatively clear

An abridgement of the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954, translated from German by Joan Stambaugh. It will be sold at Bloomsbury auctions on Thursday... I read a great deal in the last days of your book, and thank you very much for sending it to me. What especially struck me about it was this. With regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community we have a great deal in common.... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with who…

Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution, Peter Kropotkin, 1902

Growing Up With Gore Vidal

Blurb:Editor’s note: In this Truthdig exclusive excerpt from his just-released book, Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir, National Book Award-winning author Gore Vidal recounts Depression-era episodes of his life involving his grandfather T.P. Gore, the blind senator from Oklahoma, along with a political awakening that followed young Vidal’s viewing of “The Prince and the Pauper.”

Recent Gore Vidal Interview (La Stampa; May 11, 2008)

He's been making the rounds in Italy...this is in English (Windows Media Player); click the title.

More here, from Turin:

And from yesterday (in Italian, but you can kinda figure it out):

Age has definitely caught up with him; it'll be a sad day, and a great loss, when he dies....

And here's an oldie but a goodie from March, 2003 on CNN, of all places:

And, what the hell: recent long interviews on The Real News...

...and, a ways back on Democracy Now!(2004; audio-only; toggle across to a bit less than halfway for the Vidal segment).

Somalia -- Hidden Catastrophe Hidden Agenda | MediaLens

On May 1, the BBC website reported an attack on Somalia with the words:

“Air raid kills Somali militants.”

One might think the BBC’s headline would identify the agency responsible for the bombing, but the first few sentences also shed no light:

“The leader of the military wing of an Islamist insurgent organisation in Somalia has been killed in an overnight air strike.

“Aden Hashi Ayro, al-Shabab's military commander, died when his home in the central town of Dusamareb was bombed.

“Ten other people, including a senior militant, are also reported dead.” (

Only in the fourth sentence, was responsibility ascribed:

“A US military spokesman told the BBC that it had attacked what he called a known al-Qaeda target in Somalia.”

English teachers often illustrate use of the passive form with the sentence: ‘A man has been arrested.’ The passive is preferable, students are told, because the active form, ‘The police have arrested a man,’ contains …

Hamas condemns the Holocaust, Bassem Naeem, Guardian

We are not engaged in a religious conflict with Jews; this is a political struggle to free ourselves from occupation and oppressionAs the Palestinian people prepare to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Nakba ("catastrophe") -- the dispossession and expulsion of most of our people from our land -- those remaining in Palestine face escalating aggression, killings, imprisonment, ethnic cleansing and siege. But instead of support and solidarity from the western media, we face frequent attempts to defend the indefensible or turn fire on the Palestinians themselves. One recent approach, which seems to be part of the wider attempt to isolate the elected Palestinian leadership, is to portray Hamas and the population of the Gaza strip as motivated by anti-Jewish sentiment, rather than a hostility to Zionist occupation and domination of our land. A recent front page article in the International Herald Tribune followed this line, as did an article for Cif about an item broadcast …

US confession: Weapons were not made in Iran after all

(source: CASMII) Saturday, May 10, 2008 CASMII Press Release10 May 2008 "US confession: Weapons were not made in Iran after all"In a sharp reversal of its longstanding accusations against Iran arming militants in Iraq , the US military has made an unprecedented albeit quiet confession: the weapons they had recently found in Iraq were not made in Iran at all. According to a report by the LA Times correspondent Tina Susman in Baghdad: “A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was canceled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran. A U.S. military spokesman attributed the confusion to a misunderstanding that emerged after an Iraqi Army general in Karbala erroneously reported the items were of Iranian origin. When U.S. explosives experts went to investigate, they discovered they were not Iranian after all.” The US, which until two weeks ago had never provided any proof for its allegations, …

An Interview with Howard Zinn on Anarchism, May 12, 2008

By ZIGA VODOVNIK Howard Zinn, 85, is a Professor Emeritus of political science at Boston University. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1922 to a poor immigrant family. He realized early in his youth that the promise of the “American Dream,” that will come true to all hard-working and diligent people, is just that -- a promise and a dream. During World War II he joined US Air Force and served as a bombardier in the "European Theatre.” This proved to be a formative experience that only strengthened his convictions that there is no such thing as a just war. It also revealed, once again, the real face of the socio-economic order, where the suffering and sacrifice of the ordinary people is always used only to higher the profits of the privileged few. Although Zinn spent his youthful years helping his parents support the family by working in the shipyards, he started with studies at Columbia University after WWII, where he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in 1958.…