Friday, September 5, 2008

St. Paul police trample on press freedom during the RNC

"The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are inclined to write against others, and a calamity when we find ourselves overborne by the multitude of our assailants."
-Samuel Johnson, (1709–1784)

More Fox Hypocrisy!
"FOX News, advocates of truth and justice, will not standby silently while nasty Americans examine Sarah Palin's life for clues about her character and qualifications. Because they care about the truth and our democratic process, FOX has compiled a guide on their website entitled TOP 7 MYTHS, LIES and UNTRUTHS ABOUT SARAH PALIN much like the Fight the Smears website Senator Obama created to counter the non stop garbage heaped on him by FOX News. Obviously this is serious business since the FOX article debunks both lies and untruths about Palin, an important distinction. FOX News wants America to realize that they have no right to be curious about Sarah Palin. That's just not fair or balanced."
-Deborah, News Hounds

"Media uncritically repeat McCain claim that Obama "will raise" taxesSummary: In reports on Sen. John McCain's acceptance speech at the RNC, several media outlets uncritically reported McCain's claim that Sen. Barack Obama "will raise" taxes, without pointing out that McCain's own chief economic adviser has reportedly said the accusation is inaccurate or that Obama has in fact proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families and raising them only on households earning more than $250,000 per year."
-Media Matters


The Republican National Convention should consider changing its name to the Religious National Convention. They have sold out to evangelical holy rollers and neocons.
Barry Goldwater warned us when he said,
"If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.'"
That kind of Conservatives no longer exists, the Republicans have pandered to the evangelical right and sold their soul in the process.
McCain has chosen his running mate to appease the religious right and sold his legacy. Of course Fox News thinks it's great. Anybody who claims to be for God, guns, anti-abortion, against gay right is alright with them, no matter how incompetent, evil or just plain stupid. In fact the Republicans are doing it again, making the issues God, guns, abortion and gays. They are anti-intellectual, anti-humanism and about not asking the hard questions while appealing to emotions.  They dumb down the issues, they don't want to talk real issues such as the 10 billion dollars a month going to Iraq while school districts around the country are cutting back on school days and laying off teachers, or that there was 592,000 jobs lost in August, and 2.2 million jobs lost in the past twelve months or about unemployment at a five year high at 6.1 percent. These issues are not to be brought up by Republicans because they created them. They push the lie that the Democrats will raise taxes on the working class. They will if that working class has a job and makes $250,000 a year. The country is in a recession and the Republicans want you to think everything is great. It's not great if you are laid off and can’t pay your mortgage, or your kid can't go to school all week because of cutbacks. Where is the money? Pouring out of the country. Four more years of a Republican administration and this country will be broke. -J. Mullin


Palin and Republicans praise and stretch truth at GOP convention
"ST. PAUL, Minn. - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.
Some examples:
PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."
THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."" more
-By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer


Journalists under attack, St. Paul police use gestapo tactics.
"Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC
Goodman Charged with Obstruction; Felony Riot Charges Pending Against Kouddous and Salazar
ST. PAUL--"Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday afternoon.
All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back. Salazar’s violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she was slammed to the ground while yelling, “I’m Press! Press!,” resulted in her nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman’s arm was violently yanked by police as she was arrested.
On Tuesday, Democracy Now! will broadcast video of these arrests, as well as the broader police action. These will also be available on:
Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three have been released, they all still face charges stemming from their unlawful arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion of felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with obstruction of a legal process and interference with a “peace officer.”
Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges be immediately and completely dropped.
Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities’ law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.""

Police Seize Journalists' Notes About RNC Protest Plans

We've been arrested
We've been arrested

Recommended Book:

The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby
"From Publishers WeeklyInspired by Richard Hofstadter's
trenchant 1963 cultural analysis Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, Jacoby (Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism) has produced an engaging, updated and meticulously thought-out continuation of her academic idol's research. Dismayed by the average U.S. citizen's political and social apathy and the overall crisis of memory and knowledge involving everything about the way we learn and think, Jacoby passionately argues that the nation's current cult of unreason has deadly and destructive consequences (the war in Iraq, for one) and traces the seeds of current anti-intellectualism (and its partner in crime, antirationalism) back to post-WWII society. Unafraid of pointing fingers, she singles out mass media and the resurgence of fundamentalist religion as the primary vectors of anti-intellectualism, while also having harsh words for pseudoscientists. Through historical research, Jacoby breaks down popular beliefs that the 1950s were a cultural wasteland and the 1960s were solely a breeding ground for liberals. Though sometimes partial to inflated prose (America's endemic anti-intellectual tendencies have been grievously exacerbated by a new species of semiconscious anti-rationalism), Jacoby has assembled an erudite mix of personal anecdotes, cultural history and social commentary to decry America's retreat into junk thought."

"From The New YorkerIdentifying herself as a "cultural conservationist" (but by no means a cultural conservative), Jacoby laments the decline of middlebrow American culture and presents a cogent defense of intellectualism. America, she believes, faces a "crisis of memory and knowledge," in which anti-intellectualism is not only tolerated but celebrated by those in politics and the media to whom we are all "just folks." The Internet, for all its promise, is too often "a highway to the far-flung regions of junk thought." Meanwhile, twenty-five per cent of high-school biology teachers believe that human beings and dinosaurs shared the earth, and more than a third of Americans can’t name a single First Amendment right. In such an environment, Jacoby argues, the secular left and the religious right can have no fruitful dialogue on issues like the separation of church and state. She offers little hope that the situation will improve, opining that, despite increasing levels of education, "Americans seem to know less and less."


"On Feb. 2, 2007, the United Nations scientific panel studying climate change declared that the evidence of a warming trend is "unequivocal," and that human activity has "very likely" been the driving force in that change over the last 50 years. The last report by the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2001, had found that humanity had "likely" played a role.
The addition of that single word "very" did more than reflect mounting scientific evidence that the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from smokestacks, tailpipes and burning forests has played a central role in raising the average surface temperature of the earth by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1900. It also added new momentum to a debate that now seems centered less over whether humans are warming the planet, but instead over what to do about it. In recent months, business groups have banded together to make unprecedented calls for federal regulation of greenhouse gases. The subject had a red-carpet moment when former Vice President Al Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," was awarded an Oscar; and the Supreme Court made its first global warming-related decision, ruling 5 to 4 that the Environmental Protection Agency had not justified its position that it was not authorized to regulate carbon dioxide.
The greenhouse effect has been part of the earth's workings since its earliest days. Gases like carbon dioxide and methane allow sunlight to reach the earth, but prevent some of the resulting heat from radiating back out into space. Without the greenhouse effect, the planet would never have warmed enough to allow life to form. But as ever larger amounts of carbon dioxide have been released along with the development of industrial economies, the atmosphere has grown warmer at an accelerating rate: Since 1970, temperatures have gone up at nearly three times the average for the 20th century.
The latest report from the climate panel predicted that the global climate is likely to rise between 3.5 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit if the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere reaches twice the level of 1750. By 2100, sea levels are likely to rise between 7 to 23 inches, it said, and the changes now underway will continue for centuries to come. "


Army Sgt. 1st Class David J. Todd Jr. Died: August 20, 2008 36, of Marrero, La.; assigned to the Afghan Regional Security Integration Command-West, Herat, Afghanistan; died
Aug. 20 in Bala Morghab, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when his unit was attacked by enemy forces using
small-arms fire.

Army Staff Sgt. David L. Paquet, Died: August 20, 2008 26, of Rising Sun, Md.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st
Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Aug. 20 at Combat Outpost Vegas, Afghanistan, of undetermined causes
while conducting a patrol.

Army Pvt. Tan Q. Ngo, Died: August 27, 2008 20, of Beaverton, Ore.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, Hohenfels, Germany; died Aug. 27 in
Kandahar, Afghanistan, when his mounted patrol received small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire.

Army Spc. Michael L. Gonzalez, Died: August 28, 2008 20, of Spotswood, N.J.; assigned to the 340th Military Police Company, Fort Totten, N.Y.; died Aug. 28 in Baghdad
of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. No Photo

Army Sgt. David K. Cooper, Died: August 27, 2008 25, of Williamsburg, Ky.; assigned to Forward Support Company, 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery, 1st Brigade
Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Aug. 27 in Baghdad of wounds sustained in Qadasiyah,
Iraq, when his dismounted patrol came under small arms fire. No Photo


  1. "I watched the ball game and did not hear the Palin speech. I am unmoved by her and expect she gave the Republican Right the blow job they wanted. After all the criticism we heard this past week none of it matters. She is everything we thought her to be, and more. She is a right wing fire breather without contrition and she is wound up and ready to campaign. The heads are talking about "where the country is right now" as if they knew. The only thing we know for sure is that no one knows, and either candidate can lose this thing more easily than the other can win. It is that close. You know I don't care for the two party system and think even less of these candidates. What confirms that for me is that either is more likely to win based on the others mistake(s) rather than to have earned the respect of voters. If ever the issues surface they will not get more attention than sound bites, and the resulting drivel will serve only as distracting cloud cover. "

  2. The two party system has reduced American citizens to nattering nabobs echoing to each other schisms of fractured reality. Political parties understand that issues are divisive and the only practical solution is the creation of large buckets, red or blue and making yours larger. Elections are contested with one universal premise: say it on a bumper sticker or it’s a non issue!

    Sterile talking points like letters from the draft board, you know you are fucked and argument is valueless. Issues deserve more than sound bites and captions beneath a photo opportunity. Generally, people know when they are being talked to rather than being spoken with. A conversation should evidence an understanding of concerns and require a dialogue that offers expectation of a solution.

    A thinking person understands reading, comprehending, and the taking of time to ponder with tolerance for review can be a cumbersome task. Participation in a discussion demands preparation. If that’s what you expect then good luck to you because the more easily issues are reduced to placards the quicker the teams players begin to recite them.

    I know when I am listening to a reading from the red or blue playbook. I almost always challenge it, fight it, resist it, railing against the mediocrity hoping to somehow educate and win over the other side. I do that not only because it is the right thing to do, but because I fear failure. What other strong nation on the face of the planet has not experienced failure? I’m not rooting for it to occur, but as a nation of citizens unwilling to engage in dialogue of reasonable discourse, we continually choose leadership that employs the tactics of separation and cultural war.

    Such a nation is doomed to failure. Coldly, in the end, not unlike the former Soviet Union it is simply mathematical how many states, or regions we are left with, each having territorial compacts with the others. No longer naïve I am neither hopeful nor innocent. I do understand however, that the innocence of hope can only be lost once. Red and blue buckets are causing the loss of the American way.

  3. I have looked at your website and although I have the utmost respect for you, I disagree with your politics. I am amazed that you can find the time to set up this blog with your already busy schedule! Once upon a time I voted Democratic in fact I'm still registered as a Democrat. I believe that this is a crucial election for so many reasons. The security of this country is and always should be the first priority. Illegal immigration and the economy are next in line. The other party which in recent years I've been leaning towards is more equipped, I believe to handle the complex world that we live in. I believe in keeping the tax cuts. I believe in offering vouchers for the parents that seek an alternative to placing their children in public schools. I believe that I shouln't have to bear the financial burden for a Universal Health Care program. I believe that when I die I should be able to leave my children what I have worked my whole life for without the government extracting a higher percentage. I don't believe that you should be penalized because you are successful. I believe that this country is still the best hope for this complex world. I just don't think that the Democratic candidate is ready! It's just my humble opinion. Any way I hope all is well! Please give my regards to Maestro Richard. God Bless.



  4. Good post about GM john. Their cars do suck, and all the giant SUV's and trucks that suck up as much fuel as an aircraft carrier. Good riddance to them, let the Japanese take them over.