"10 Members of Granny Peace Brigade Released in Philly" (Democracy Now):
In Philadelphia, 10 members of the Granny Peace Brigade were arrested Wednesday after refusing to leave a military recruiting center.
That's news. Good for the Granny Peace Brigade.
Judge Sentences Katrina Looters to 15 Years in Jail (Democracy Now):
In other news from New Orleans, a judge has sentenced three people to fifteen years in prisons for looting in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The three were convicted of taking liquor, wine and beer from a grocery store.
So is that "justice"? It is if the police who looted are punished as well. Democracy Now pointed out earlier that they helped themselves to Mercedes. Are they going to get 15 years? What about the ones NBC's Today Show had video on, back in September, who were going through a Wal-Mart grabbing what they wanted. They were asked about it, on camera, and they said they didn't want to talk. I'm remembering DVDs and other items. Are they getting 15 years?
If they're not, this is just one more way to punish African-Americans.
And speaking of African-Americans, we smoke in significant numbers. (I don't smoke.) So do all members of the lower class. So I was kind of shocked (like Rebecca) to hear the nonsense about cancer being on the rise because of second hand smoke the other day. That's not why two old people I know have cancer. They have cancer because they live next to a plant that streams pollution all day and all the night. (In fact, it kicks up the stream at night. When you go to visit them, you roll up the windows and still get hit with a wave of that crap.) Screaming and tsk-tsking second-hand smoke is an easy out. Our water makes us sick, our air makes us sick. That's why cancer's on the rise. When you're ready to deal with that, deal with it. Until then, you're just scoring points of the backs of the poor lecturing about second-hand smoke. I also believe that there's a "causal link" as opposed to an established one as opposed to an "established" one. So until you're willing to turn your keen eyes to the factories pouring out pollution and the fact that poor people are the ones stuck living next to them, save me your smoking facts. I don't need 'em. I don't want 'em. (I don't smoke.)
I agree that the American Cancer Society is the biggest coward in the world. Of all the causes of cancer, they want to focus on only one. When they get a little bravery, maybe I'll take them seriously. Instead, it's one more way to focus on the things that don't really matter. Unless what matters is to demonize the poor. That's always fun, right? "Those poor folks, getting drunk, getting pregnant, smoking. Worthless and lazy." Right? That's the point, isn't it?
Because if the point was about the increase in cancer, then we'd be exploring the pollution in our environment, in our homes. KPFA aired a great documentary about the pollution in the homes during their last pledge month. Glomming on smoking alone allows a lot of people to feel superior. It does not, however, address reality. It's not uncommon to see on the news (I know two people personally) that someone had cancer (Christopher Reeve's wife Dana, for instance) who didn't smoke, who wasn't around smoking. But let's all pretend it's just smoking because it's easier to attack the habits of the poor then to go after the ones polluting the environment (inside and out).
That's it for me today. I already did an entry with Wally today. Mike and I are blogging on the same things so check out Mikey Likes It and see his thoughts. I'll go out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Chaos and violence continue.
Stooges, fools and cheerleaders allow it to continue. Meanwhile the so-called coalition continues to shrink.
Romania becomes the next to tell the Bully Boy, "Catch you on the flip-side." Retuers reports Calin Tariceanu (prime minister of Romania) announced today that Romania would pull all troops by the end of the year -- before Romania's 890 troops can be pulled the Supreme Defence Council has to give its approval. Romania's president has slammed the proposal as had American ambassador to Romania and Advance Auto Parts merchant Nicholas F. Taubman. Bully Boy pioneer Taubman expressed his "impression that not all of the relevant parties, whether within Romania or beyond, were consulted before this proposal was announced." "Within Romania or beyond"? Spoken like a big donor, not like an ambassador, but Advance Auto Parts isn't known for turning out diplomats.
This as Rocky Mountain News reports that the Colorado Army National Guard's 169th unit will ship 100 soldiers to Iraq in July (with 300 of the "2/135th Aviation Company" currently training in Texas with orders to deploy in Septemeber).
Despite yesterday's 'coverage' of the "insurgent-poll" nothing really changed. It was another day of violence and chaos in Iraq.
Australia's ABC reports that Australian troops were "under attack" in southern Iraq. The Associated Press reports that "Iraqi and U.S. troops battled Shi'ite militiamen in a village northeast of Baghdad" -- still ongoing when the AP filed their report. Reuters notes, on this incident, that a police commander was shot dead by a sniper and two others were wounded.
Those were among many of the deaths in Iraq. As Sandra Lupien noted on KPFA's The Morning Show, there were multiple victims of violence today: trash collector, head of security for Baghdad University (Kadhim Challoub), merchants, baker, electrical worker and a woman who'd been waiting in her car with her two children (the children were wounded, not killed) among them. Reuters notes, in Kerbala, the death (by gunshot) of "a criminal intelligence policeman" as well as the death of two Iraqi soldiers (as well as one civilian, with one soldier and two other civilians wounded) in Faulluja, and one Iraqi soldier dead with seven more wounded from a roadside bomb in Riyadh. In Kirkuk, a car bomb exploded at a Shi'ite soldier's funeral initially claiming the lives of at least four. Reuters would later put the number of those dead at seven.
As Mark Mericle noted on yesterday's KPFA's The KPFA Evening News, "People gathered in 34 cities around the country yesterday to show their support for Lt. Ehren Watada" introducing a news report by Julie Sabatier from Portland.
Two other items noted on yesterday's KPFA Evening News, the 'apologetic' Joshua Belile, who once apologized (or 'apologized') for his song while advising others to "let it go," has now announced that he will be releasing "a professionally recorded version of the song in a few weeks" and in Berkeley, the city council has put a "symbolic" referendum on the ballot calling on Congress to impeach the Bully Boy due to his lies that led us into an illegal war. (June 27th was also declared Cindy Sheehan day.)
Reuters notes that seven corpses were found (male) in the Tigris River ("gunshot wounds . . . signs of torture"), while two more corpses (male) were discovered in the Euphrates River ("gunshot wounds . . . signs of torture"). Reuters notes that: "Morgue officials say 30-50 bodies are found in Baghdad alone every day." In Kirkuk, the AP reports the corpse of a fifteen-year-old female was discovered -- "kidnapped five days ago." The AFP puts the count of corpses discovered throughout Iraq today at 18.
File it under "No one could have guessed," Condi No-One-Could-Have-Guessed Rice had a "testy exchange" with Russia's Sergei Lavrov (Russia's Foreign Minister) in a "closed-door meeting" from which the audio feed was accidentally left on. "What does that mean?" Rice asks at one point, to which Lavrov responds, "I think you understand." In what might have been her most honest reply, she declared, "No, I don't." On that, we believe you, Condi, we believe you. The issue was how to word a statement on the security situation in Iraq and the anger spilled over publicly after the meeting, in front of reporters when Rice responded to Lavrov's comments about changes in America that he'd seen since he first visited in 1979, "So when did you go and where did you go in the United States in 1979 that you saw so much change? I am really interested." Though Rice may have forgotten, her current title is Secretary of State.
What gets play and what doesn't? One might think that Nancy A. Youssef breaking the news Monday that the US government, despite claims otherwise, was indeed keeping body counts of Iraqis. You might think that would be news . . . but you'd be wrong. What gets runs with?
Not truth. July 4th's a-coming, can't have families getting together in the United States without some false hope or Bully Boy might get a trashing that wouldn't bode well for the November elections. So nonsense gets tossed out by the puppet government and the media amplifies it.
Yes, we're speaking of the nonsense that "insurgents" are on the two-year-withdrawal bus. Since the domestic, US media has never explored the terms "insurgent" or "resistance," who knows what they mean? The AFP notes: "At the same time, a foreign diplomat raised questions about the identity of armed groups reportedly in contact with the government and whether they carry any real weight in the nationwide insurgency." Al Jazeera notes that eleven groups have met with occupation puppet Nouri al-Maliki and that eight of them are the ones being referred to. Do they carry any weight? A good question to ask. (Instead, it's easier to report/"report": "Insurgents meeting with Maliki!") Al Jazeera, which may be the only news organization that's going by more than government sources (it's spoken to representatives for the groups) reports that "the 11 groups operate north and north-east of Baghdad in increasingly violent Salahuddin and Diyala provinces."
Increasingly violent. This isn't Anbar, this isn't even Baghdad. These, if Al Jazeera's reporting is correct, are groups from, for Iraq, relatively restful provinces that are growing "increasingly violent." It's a nice bit of happy talk to send us all into the holiday weekend. It's not, however, reality. Having never explored the issue (other than to guess fighting is fueled by Iran -- wait, no! it's Egypt), they now want to get behind eight groups or eleven groups and the news consumer is left uninformed. (Possibly that's the point of it all.)
Reality was Nancy A. Youssef's report. Have we seen that covered in the New York Times? Have we seen it covered elsewhere? Maybe the silence is due to the fact that the administration being caught in yet another lie seems more "redundant" than "newsworthy"?