Not Valaida Snow!

Crownpropeller's Blog

If you are looking for photos of trumpeter/singer Valaida Snow on the internet, you will find the above photo on several websites. It is indeed a beautiful photograph – but it does not show Valaida Snow. In fact this is Lorraine Glover, wife of famous hardbop trumpet player Donald Byrd. And it was shot by William Claxton in 1960. There are several books of Claxton’s work in which this photo is featured (usually just credited “Mrs. Donald Byrd”). The websites on which this photo is credited as showing Valaida snow can’t either be reached or ignore my postings about this, so maybe this helps.

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Published in: on June 1, 2014 at 9:46 pm  Comments (1)  

The Science of Solidarity

What do monkeys & babies intuitively know that we don’t? That empathy can save the world. (duh!)


Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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9 Pictures That Expose This Country’s Obscene Division of Wealth

Many people don’t understand our country’s problem of concentration of income and wealth because they don’t see it, but a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Published in: on February 16, 2011 at 9:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Veterans sue Pentagon over rape cases | Raw Replay

More than a dozen female US veterans are suing the Pentagon in a bid to change the way the military handles rape and sexual assault allegations.

Published in: on February 16, 2011 at 9:26 am  Comments (2)  
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Worth noting re: Qu’ran burning – Imgur

Worth noting re: Qu’ran burning – Imgur.

Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mittens: Crackhead Orderly at CPAC

A contribution of Greg G.:

Mittens, a crackhead working in an insane asylum, drives to work in his station wagon with his dog and kids in a luggage rack fastened to the roof.  He works as an orderly at the CPAC Institute for the Very, Very Delusional.  He smokes up in the parking lot and heads in for the night shift he had bid for hoping to avoid supervisors and be able to work on his hand sewn special religious night garments while pretending to write in the log book in the staff office.  He thought Rand, Sarah and Beck (back warders with no hope of ever being discharged) were all sleeping as they were to have taken their anti-psychotic meds with Big Nurse on the previous shift, but they all apparently hid the pills under their tongues and spit them out once they left the medication room.  Now at 3a.m. they were in the day room watching a DVD of “Freaks” and getting rambunctious.  They had come to identify with Hans, The Feathered Hen, and a microcephalic and wanted to explore some issues they had been fomenting that had to do with Mittens lack of concern for their way of seeing things.  Mittens tried to get them back to bed, but they overpowered him and soon he was renamed the Dog-Faced Boy and was no longer on staff but just one more freak in their carny show.

Published in: on February 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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They did it. 18 days. I have no words, just joy and hope.

Published in: on February 11, 2011 at 8:45 pm  Comments (2)  

Letter from Southern Poverty Law Center

April 16, 2010

Dear Friend,

Monday marks the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing — a terrorist attack by a racist, antigovernment fanatic that left 168 men, women and children dead. An MSNBC special hosted by Rachel Maddow about the tragedy features extensive interviews with my colleague Mark Potok. I hope you’ll watch it, because I’m afraid that history may be repeating itself.

McVeigh“The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist”
Monday, April 19
9 p.m. ET on MSNBC

We recently released a report showing an astonishing 244 percent increase in antigovernment extremist groups — the kind of groups that spawned the likes of Timothy McVeigh 15 years ago. Already, we’re seeing eruptions of right-wing violence. Just last month, for example, nine members of the Hutaree Militia — one of the groups we’re tracking — were indicted for plotting to kill hundreds of police officers.

Shortly before the Oklahoma City bombing, we sent a letter to the U.S. attorney general warning that the growing antigovernment militia movement posed an imminent threat to the public. With your help, we’re again alerting the law enforcement community to the danger posed by the rebirth of this same movement.

Richard Cohen photo Sincerely,
Richard  Cohen
J. Richard Cohen
President, Southern Poverty Law Center
Published in: on April 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm  Comments (25)  

Dreams Come True

I have a Dream

Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait

“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.”

That is what he said. That is what Abraham Lincoln said.

“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility.” [Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862]

He was born in Kentucky, raised in Indiana, and lived in Illinois. And this is what he said. This is what Abe Lincoln said.

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we will save our country.” [Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862]

When standing erect he was six feet four inches tall, and this is what he said.

He said: “It is the eternal struggle between two principles, right and wrong, throughout the world. It is the same spirit that says ‘you toil and work and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.’ No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation, and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.” [Lincoln-Douglas debates, 15 October 1858]

Lincoln was a quiet man. Abe Lincoln was a quiet and a melancholy man. But when he spoke of democracy, this is what he said.

He said: “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.”

Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of these United States, is everlasting in the memory of his countrymen. For on the battleground at Gettysburg, this is what he said:

He said: “That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm  Comments (1)  

Merry Christmas All!


Robert Green Ingersoll

The Arena,
Boston, December 1897.

..If I had the power
to produce exactly what I want for next Christmas, I would have all the kings
and emperors resign and allow the people to govern themselves.

I would have all the
nobility crop their titles and give their lands back to the people.
I would
have the Pope throw away his tiara, take off his sacred vestments, and admit
that he is not acting for God — is not infallible — but is just an ordinary
I would have all the cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests and
clergymen admit that they know nothing about theology, nothing about hell
or heaven, nothing about the destiny of the human race, nothing about devils
or ghosts, gods or angels.
I would have them tell all their “flocks” to think
for themselves, to be manly men and womanly women, and to do all in their
power to increase the sum of human happiness.

I would have all the
professors in colleges, all the teachers in schools of every kind, including
those in Sunday schools, agree that they would teach only what they know,
that they would not palm off guesses as demonstrated truths.

I would like to see all
the politicians changed to statesmen, — to men who long to make their country
great and free, — to men who care more for public good than private gain
— men who long to be of use.

I would like to see all
the editors of papers and magazines agree to print the truth and nothing but
the truth, to avoid all slander and misrepresentation, and to let the private
affairs of the people alone.

I would like to see drunkenness
and prohibition both abolished.

I would like to see corporal
punishment done away with in every home, in every school, in every asylum,
reformatory, and prison.
Cruelty hardens and degrades, kindness reforms and

I would like to see the
millionaires unite and form a trust for the public good.

I would like to see a
fair division of profits between capital and labor, so that the toiler could
save enough to mingle a little June with the December of his life.

I would like to see an
international court established in which to settle disputes between nations,
so that armies could be disbanded and the great navies allowed to rust and
rot in perfect peace.

I would like to see the
whole world free — free from injustice — free from superstition.

This will do for next
Christmas. The following Christmas, I may want more.

Published in: on December 25, 2008 at 1:41 pm  Comments (4)  

What’s your Obama tax cut?

…and how much higher will your taxes be under McCain? Find out!

Published in: on September 11, 2008 at 9:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Hillary Plays the Crazy Card

In this protracted and often dispiriting prelude to the general election, few remarks have been as poorly chosen as Senator Hillary Clinton’s threat to “totally obliterate” Iran. What she obliterated with just those two words were her own boasts of superior diplomatic experience—and she managed at the same time to tar America’s international image with all the subtlety of the man she hopes to replace.

Joe Conason

Published in: on May 7, 2008 at 6:09 pm  Comments (1)  

Bowling 1, Health Care 0

Elizabeth Edwards

The vigorous press that was deemed an essential part of democracy at our country’s inception is now consigned to smaller venues, to the Internet and, in the mainstream media, to occasional articles.

Published in: on April 27, 2008 at 12:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Goodbye Howard Metzenbaum

The Last Ferocious Liberal

Published in: on March 15, 2008 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pols dress the part


Published in: on March 3, 2008 at 12:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Merry Christmas!

I like what Dickens said of it: “a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of other people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys”.  inside-holiday-specials.jpg
I love Linus’ reading of the Christmas story. Watch it here

I hope this holiday finds you healthy, happy and surrounded by those you love.

Published in: on December 25, 2007 at 11:08 am  Comments (2)  

Goodbye America, Hello Norway

Michael Moore cut this scene from Sicko because no one would believe it

Published in: on November 24, 2007 at 4:58 am  Comments (4)  

All You Need Is Love….

All You Need Is Love…., originally uploaded by lat454205 / Lisa.


you simply must go and read about this butterfly… 

Published in: on November 1, 2007 at 10:24 pm  Comments (2)  

Rapidly Dying 47-Year-Old Professor Gives Exuberant ‘Last Lecture’

“If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you.”

Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 8:25 pm  Leave a Comment  


Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Thank you for your patience!

I am trying to get back to normal here.  If anyone is interested in being a contributor to this blog with publishing privileges, let me know.  I am considering making it a group effort, though I haven’t decided yet.  Just feeling around for interest.  Thanks again anyone still checking in, you rock!


Published in: on October 1, 2007 at 7:54 pm  Comments (2)  

For any readers still left…

I’ve been really busy, starting new job, sorry to let you down.  Hope to get back to it in the next day or two.

Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 6:28 am  Comments (23)  

Monday’s News Roundup

{Thanks to GL}

Remembering Hiroshima

David R. Henderson

Sometimes, something happens that is so awful that we find ourselves rationalizing it, talking as if it had to happen, to make ourselves feel better about the horrible event. For many people, I believe, President Truman’s dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, were two such events. After all, if the leader of arguably the freest country in the world decided to drop those bombs, he had to have a good reason, didn’t he? I grew up in Canada thinking that, horrible as it was, dropping the atomic bombs on those two cities was justified. Although I never believed that the people those bombs killed were mainly guilty people, I could at least tell myself that many more innocent people, including American military conscripts, would have been killed had the bombs not been dropped. But then I started to investigate. On the basis of that investigation, I have concluded that dropping the bomb was not necessary and caused, on net, tens of thousands, and possibly more than a hundred thousand, more deaths than were necessary.


Published in: on August 7, 2007 at 2:15 am  Comments (1)  

A Partnership of Minds

Douglas Hofstadter was a happily married man. After dinner parties, his wife Carol and he would wash the dishes together and relive the highlights of the conversation they’d just enjoyed. But then, when Carol was 42 and their children were 5 and 2, Carol died of a brain tumor.

by David Brooks

[need access?]

Published in: on July 22, 2007 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Johnston case ‘exposes hypocrisy’

The head of the clan linked to the kidnapping of Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist, has criticised the outcry over his abduction saying it exposes double standards on the part of the international community.

Published in: on July 5, 2007 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Justice Denied

In the 1960s, Chief Justice Earl Warren presided over a Supreme Court that interpreted the Constitution in ways that protected the powerless — racial and religious minorities, consumers, students and criminal defendants. At the end of its first full term, Chief Justice John Roberts’s court is emerging as the Warren court’s mirror image. Time and again the court has ruled, almost always 5-4, in favor of corporations and powerful interests while slamming the courthouse door on individuals and ideals that truly need the court’s shelter.

Published in: on July 5, 2007 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  


Published in: on July 4, 2007 at 1:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

News from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, etc.

US air strike ‘kills 10 Iraqi civilians’: A hospital source said the dead included six children under the age of 12. He put the number of wounded at 30.

Baghdad suburb residents flee after US raids: Iraq civilians fear US indiscriminate attacks that usually leave women, children among dead.

6 U.S. occupation troops killed in Iraq: Five U.S. occupation soldiers and a Marine were killed in attacks in Baghdad and Iraq’s Anbar and Salahuddin provinces, the military said Monday.

U.S. occupation force helicopter shot down in Iraq: A U.S. helicopter was shot down by Iraqi resistance fighters near Baghdad on Monday but its two pilots escaped with only minor wounds, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

Iraqi Kurds ‘tortured prisoners’: The US-based rights group, Human Rights Watch, has issued a report detailing torture and abuses in security prisons in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq.

Sex slaves recount ordeals in Iraq: Women looking for work are being tricked into sexual slavery, with some trafficked abroad.

The spoils of war: Iraq Cabinet approves draft of oil law sought by U.S: Washington has pressed its ally al-Maliki to quickly pass the oil law and other pieces of legislation, considered vital to President Bush’s attempts to end Iraq’s turmoil – alongside a security crackdown by an increased U.S. military force

The spoils of war: : Iraq draws up plans for privatisation gold rush: The Iraqi government has begun preparing the groundwork for what could be one of the biggest privatisations of state-owned assets.

Presstitute and war pimp alert: U.S. Ties Iran to Deadly Iraq Attack : Iranian operatives helped plan a January raid in Karbala in which five American soldiers were killed, an American military spokesman in Iraq said today.

Manufacturing Consent For War With Iran:: U.S. general says Iran inciting violence in Iraq: Iran is arming, training and funding members of the Lebanese Shiite Muslim militia Hezbollah in Iraq and using it as a “proxy” to wage war against U.S. forces, a senior U.S. military spokesman said Monday.

War pimp alert: Lieberman: Iran Has Declared War: “The fact is that the Iranian government has by its actions declared war on us,” said Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Senate Democrats. As a result, he continued, “The United States government has a responsibility to use all instruments at its disposal to stop these terrorist attacks against our soldiers and allies in Iraq, including keeping open the possibility of using military force against the terrorist infrastructure inside Iran.”

UN’s Ban Urges Delay in Push for More Iran Sanctions: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the U.S. and its European allies to delay pursuit of tougher sanctions on Iran while UN inspectors try to break the stalemate over the Islamic government’s nuclear work

Iran to test Bushehr nuclear power plant within 2 months : -Iran’s atomic energy organization safety chief announced that the Bushehr nuclear plant would be ready for initial tests within two months.

Iranians commemorate victims of passenger plane shot down by USS Vincennes: Helicopters showered flowers into the Persian Gulf on Tuesday as family members commemorated the 19th anniversary of the downing of an Iranian passenger plane by a U.S. warship that killed 290 civilians.

Iran, Venezuela to establish joint oil company : The Venezuelan president said in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart on Monday in Assalouyeh of Khuzestan province that the two countries have also agreed to establish an international import and export company.

Afghan, coalition forces kill 83 “Taliban”: : Afghan and coalition occupation forces killed at least 50 suspected Taliban in the infamous Tora Bora area of eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, while 33 other “rebels” were killed in the southern region, officials said Tuesday

Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan No Coincidence: NATO bombs killed at least 45 civilians in Afghanistan the other day. If you get your news from the front pages of the U.S. mainstream media, you wouldn’t know it.

Afghanistan: Civilians complain about impact of fighting on their lives: On 18 June, heavy fighting between Taliban fighters and NATO forces in the Chora District of Uruzgan Province, resulted in the death of more than 50 civilians, according to local officials.Pakistani army battles students at pro-Taliban mosque; 9 killed, 140 injured; Clerics at the radical Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, threatened suicide attacks to avenge the ‘blood of martyrs’ after the day-long clashes, which killed a soldier, four students, a journalist and three bystanders.

US to hunt the Taliban inside Pakistan : Operations inside Pakistan might be carried out independently by the United States, probably with air power, by Pakistani forces acting alone or as joint offensives. In all cases, though, the US will pull the strings, for instance by providing the Pakistanis with information on targets to hit.

IDF kills 16-year-old Palestinian carrying toy rifle: The IDF said soldiers opened fire on two Palestinians who appeared to be armed, and only after the fact did it become clear that the gun he was holding was in fact a toy.

Haniya for protests by Gaza workers : The recently dismissed Palestinian prime minister has called for protests against the new emergency government after it refused to pay salaries to workers hired by his Hamas faction in the Gaza Strip.

Eyeing Jordanian involvement, U.S. now rethinking the two-state solution : There are increasing signs, slowly but unmistakably, that the Jordanian option for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is once more assuming a central position on the agenda. Not necessarily along its original ‘Jordan is Palestine’ formula, but in a more sophisticated composition

Soldiers on move inside Lebanon siege camp : Lebanese soldiers made small advances Tuesday in a refugee camp where they have been fighting Arab Islamist fighters for the past six weeks

Syria describes U.S. travel ban as absurd: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem said the move to stop the Syrian officials from entering the United States “did not need comment because of its absurdity.”

‘al-Qaeda’ puts on big shoes, red nose, takes custard pie: The “car bomber” hysteria gripping much of the British and international media over the weekend has had a bucket of cold water from the Reg already, but just one bucket doesn’t seem enough for this kind of outbreak.

[Thx TF]

Published in: on July 4, 2007 at 1:53 am  Comments (1)  

The Latest from “In These Times”

Rocking Out To Our Demise By Megan Tady

It’ll take more than outdoor concerts to stop global warming

Kissing up to K Street By David Sirota

Democrats are selling out the economic populism that got them elected in the first place

Entrapping Inflated Threats By Salim Muwakkil

Terrorist “plots” exposed by the administration have been notable for their lack of credible threat and the whiff of political opportunism

Stories of Survival By Cynthia Greenlee-Donnell

NO! explores rape within the African-American community and fights society’s instinct to focus on the racism outside while turning a deaf ear to gender violence within

Can Habeas Corpus Be Restored? By Brian Beutler, The Media Consortium

Congressional Dems are finding it hard to do

He Shoots, She Scores By John Ireland

When Mike became Christine, she gave Los Angeles sports fans a courtside view of gender politics

More Recent Articles

Published in: on July 4, 2007 at 1:46 am  Leave a Comment  

I’ve been tagged, twice in one day! Now, you’re it!

Hattie tagged me for a new meme, as did Chuck. Thanks for thinking of me guys. ;)

First: the rules

  • We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
  • Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  • At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Ok, here goes, though I can’t imagine anyone cares.

  1. I am an adoptee and I have found my biological mother.
  2. I am married to a social worker. This is not an accident. ;)
  3. I have no children. This, too, is not an accident, though I adore children and relate to them very well, perhaps because I am one myself.
  4. I adore animals and often find them easier to relate to than humans.  My 110 lb lab/hound, Lewis, is my baby.
  5. My IQ is alleged to be in the genius range, all evidence to the contrary.
  6. I have not graduated from college and I’m not proud of it.
  7. I tend to drive too fast, but not like I did in my reckless youth when I had my license suspended TWICE for points.
  8. I love music, a lot, & have rather eclectic taste. I love vinyl, and refuse to give up my turntable, albums, and 45’s.

I have to tag 8 people. Call it a cop-out, but I am tagging the first eight people who read this. IF eight people actually read it. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your answer in the comments. It would be nice to get to know my readers better, if there are any willing to step up to the challenge. Thanks all.

Published in: on June 27, 2007 at 1:24 pm  Comments (1)  

One Stop News Shop

A collection of articles for your perusal (more…)

Published in: on June 26, 2007 at 8:49 am  Leave a Comment  

One Stop News Shop

Obama Campaign Circulating Negative (And Ultimately False) Story About Bill Clinton

We’ve just obtained an email that shows that the Obama campaign yesterday circulated a negative, and ultimately false, story about Bill Clinton — that he allegedly made money giving a speech on September 11, 2006.

Strange Culture
Terrorizing Artists in the USA

“This film is dedicated to Hope.”

Thus reads the opening epigraph in Lynn Hershman Leeson’s film Strange Culture that opens the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival this Friday, June 15th in New York. It’s a lovely sentiment for our era of unremitting pessimism. When one realizes that Hope is not only the belief that events can turn out for the best, but a 45-year old woman who died prematurely of natural causes in her sleep , chills travel up and down one’s spine.

Mail Sent to Walter Reed Never Delivered

Turns out the trouble at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the focus of a firestorm of criticism over poor treatment of wounded war veterans, reached into the mailroom.

Pentagon May Drop Mental Health Question

U.S. troops would no longer be asked to reveal previous mental health treatment when applying for security clearances under a proposal being considered by the Pentagon.

Conversations with History: Confronting Global Terrorism: The Elements of a Liberal Grand Strategyr

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes international lawyer and policy analyst Tom Farerfor a discussion of the different world views of liberals and neo-conservatives within the foreign policy community. He analyzes their different perspectives on the U.S. role in the world, on the problem of terrorism, and their choice of means for the conduct of foreign policy. He also discusses the historical continuity in U.S. foreign policy.
Watch it now

The Ordeal of Ali al-Marri

There used to be a belief – no doubt Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would describe it as “quaint” – that people accused of a crime were presumed innocent until proven guilty. That was in the olden days, however, before the world-changing events of 9/11, after which, according to the powers that the President of the United States granted himself in November 2001, anyone he regarded with suspicion – almost exclusively Muslims, as it turned out – could be declared guilty without the need for such outmoded legal relics as the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial.Read more

Prevent Mr. Qassim from being sent to torture

We need your help today to stop the U.S. government from transferring CCR’s client to Libya where he will likely be tortured.

Click here

The threat to al-Jazeera
It would be a disaster for the Middle East if the US neutered the region’s most independent TV station
By George Galloway

Since its launch just over a decade ago, the al-Jazeera satellite TV station has transformed the politics of the Middle East. For the first time, people in the region had access to a genuinely free and independent source of news and comment that was neither under the control of dictatorial regimes nor western states or corporations. Under its slogan of “The opinion … and the other opinion”, al-Jazeera gave an Arab world hungry for information and debate the means to talk to itself and shape its future.

More on That Meeting in Prague…
June 14th, 2007

A closer look at the participants list at the Prague Democracy and Security conference that was the subject of my last post discloses some intriguing associations that I had not noticed at first glance but which may warrant additional attention. Not only was the gathering a kind of “Neo-Conservative International” and the corridor chatter all about Iran, as Anne Bayefsky reported in the National Review Online, but some of the participants appear to be institutionally inter-related in ways that I had not anticipated.

A Neo-Conservative International Targets Iran

It’s worth noting the “Democracy & Security” conference in Prague last Monday and Tuesday where Bush, on his way to the G-8 Summit in Heiligendamm, confirmed once more — just in case his tightening embrace over the past year of Sunni-led authoritarian regimes around the Middle East had provoked any doubts — his commitment to spreading freedom and defeating tyranny throughout the world, particularly in Iran, Cuba, and Sudan.

Bush’s European disaster

The president’s trip was a pageant of disdain, delusion and provocation masquerading as a respite from his troubles at home.

By Sidney Blumenthal, at Salon

Russia warns Nato on arms treaty
Russia has warned Nato it could freeze its participation in a key arms control treaty in Europe, after talks on the issue ended in deadlock.

The talks in Vienna were aimed at reviewing the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, which limits the number of non-nuclear weapons. The Kremlin says the 1990 treaty is outdated and restricts its ability to move troops around its own territory.
read more

Robert Fisk: Welcome to ‘Palestine’

How troublesome the Muslims of the Middle East are. First, we demand that the Palestinians embrace democracy and then they elect the wrong party – Hamas – and then Hamas wins a mini-civil war and presides over the Gaza Strip. And we Westerners still want to negotiate with the discredited President, Mahmoud Abbas. Today “Palestine” – and let’s keep those quotation marks in place – has two prime ministers. Welcome to the Middle East.
read more

Editorial: Lunacy in Gaza

Hamas has locked itself into the Gaza Strip with one-and-a-half million Palestinians and thrown away the key. Its seizure of control is political and economic lunacy because, for all its triumphant shouts, a sterile impasse has been created from which there is no painless retreat.

Where does the Hamas leadership imagine Gaza is going to go from here? read more

Juan Cole: Informed Comment
Sunni Mosque Demolished
Turks Plan Buffer Zone inside Iraq

An important, historic Sunni shrine south of Basra was blown up on Friday, raising fears of further Sunni-Shiite sectarian killings and reprisals, according to Alissa Rubin of the NYT. The town of Zubayr near Basra is largely Sunni, though it is situated in the overwhelmingly Shiite deep south. Iraqi authorities put the large southern port of Basra (pop. 1.3 mn.) under curfew as a result.

Turkey is considering setting up a narrow security zone inside Iraqi territory.

Friend or Foe?
By Dwayne Powell
Truthdig cartoon

Contractors Face Growing Parallel War
As Security Work Increases, So Do Casualties

U.S. military and State Department contracts, are fighting insurgents on a widening scale in Iraq, enduring daily attacks, returning fire and taking hundreds of casualties that have been underreported and sometimes concealed, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and company representatives.
Read more

The ‘City of Cemeteries’
For several weeks, E & P has been featuring frank and often disturbing blog entries by McClatchy’s Iraqi correspondents and staffers from their site, Inside Iraq. The writers’ full names are not listed due to security concerns.
Here is the latest, on the continuing crisis in Fallujah, from a frequent poster, correspondent “Dulaimey.”


Download Information Brochure about Depleted Uranium: PDF


Action Guide: Depleted Uranium/Gulf War Syndrome (pdf)

International Appeal to Ban DU By former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark


During the current Iraq War the U.S. use of radioactive DU weapons increased from 375 tons used in 1991 to 2200 tons. Geiger counter readings at sites in downtown Baghdad record radiation levels 1,000 and 2,000 times higher than background radiation. The Pentagon has bombed, occupied, tortured and contaminated Iraq. Millions of Iraqis are affected. Over one million U.S. soldiers have rotated into Iraq. Today, half of the 697,000 U.S. Gulf War troops from the 1991 war have reported serious medical problems and a significant increase in birth defects among their newborn children.

From Naomi Klein
Laboratory for a Fortressed World

Gaza in the hands of Hamas, with masked militants sitting in the president’s chair; the West Bank on the edge; Israeli army camps hastily assembled in the Golan Heights; a spy satellite over Iran and Syria; war with Hezbollah a hair trigger away; a scandal-plagued political class facing a total loss of public faith.

At a glance, things aren’t going well for Israel. But here’s a puzzle: Why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it’s 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China’s?

at The Nation

US and Israel Stir Up Palestinian Crisis
by Ira Chernus

It’s so obvious that Fatah and Hamas should work together to achieve an independent Palestine. Not long ago, they were proclaiming their unity. So why are they now destroying each other? If you get your news from the mainstream U.S. media, you might well think that they are just two irrational factions, driven crazy by lust for power.
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Reports of Forced Labor Unsettle China
SHANGHAI, June 15 — Su Jinduo and Su Jinpeng, brother and sister, were traveling home by bus from a vacation visit to Qingdao during the Chinese New Year when they disappeared.
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Published in: on June 16, 2007 at 3:24 pm  Comments (2)  

A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim

by Walt Whitman

A sight in camp in the daybreak gray and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air the path near the hospital tent,
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there untended lying,
Over each blanket spread, ample brownish woolen blanket,
Gray and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.

Curious I halt and silent stand,
Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest the first just lift the blanket;
Who are you elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-gray’d hair, and flesh all
sunken about the eyes?
Who are you my dear comrade?

Then to the second I step – and who are you my child and darling?
Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming?

Then to the third – a face not child nor old, very calm, as of beautiful
yellow-white ivory;
Young man I think I know you – I think this face is the face of the Christ himself,
Dead and divine and brother of all, and here again he lies.

Published in: on May 27, 2007 at 2:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Right Now

Take a Breather

Published in: on May 14, 2007 at 2:41 pm  Comments (1)  

Addicted to L-U-V

May 13, 2007
Contributing Columnist

ABOUT three years ago, I stumbled onto something called Scrabble Blitz. It was a four-minute version of Scrabble solitaire, on a Web site called, and I began playing it without a clue that within 24 hours — I am not exaggerating — it would fry my brain. I’m no stranger to this sort of thing: one summer when I was young, I became so addicted to croquet that I had a series of recurrent dreams in which I was whacking my mother’s head through a wicket. (more…)

Published in: on May 12, 2007 at 11:34 pm  Comments (3)  

Of Them Much Is Expected

Many liberals fear mixing their religious convictions with their political ones. Not Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

Published in: on April 18, 2007 at 11:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Imus Show Cancelled

Let me say, I don’t condone what Imus said by any stretch.  That said, where are the same cries for cancellation of the voices of hate such as Michael Savage, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and so forth?  Just wondering.

Published in: on April 11, 2007 at 9:35 pm  Comments (1)  

Here’s why I love Digby

New Life

Published in: on April 8, 2007 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

F**k Bill O’Reilly

says Snoop Dogg on YouTube

Published in: on April 1, 2007 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Birthday Sergey Rachmaninoff


It’s the birthday of the pianist and composer Sergey Rachmaninoff, born in Novgorod, Russia (1873). He was a tall, imposing man and his hands were so big they could span an interval of 13 keys on the piano. He went on to become a big success, as a composer and a performer, after he debuted his Prelude in C-sharp Minor in 1892. The piece was so popular that audiences requested that he play it for the rest of his life. (more…)

Published in: on April 1, 2007 at 9:27 am  Comments (1)  

The D.C. Tea Party

March 29, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist


Larry Chapman is a firefighter, and during an interview the other day I couldn’t help but notice the burns from a recent fire that circled both of his wrists. He shrugged them off. Part of the job.

He and I were talking about something that bothered him a lot more. He’s an American citizen, lives in the nation’s capital, has kept his nose clean his entire life and has always had a strong interest in national politics and government. (more…)

Published in: on March 28, 2007 at 11:22 pm  Comments (5)  

News Roundup

U.S. Urged to Abandon Trials by Military Tribunals

by Jane Sutton

MIAMI – Amnesty International urged the United States on Thursday to abandon plans to try Guantanamo prisoners before military tribunals and asked other nations not to contribute any evidence for use at the trials.

The London-based human rights group said the trials do not meet international standards of fairness and should be moved to the U.S. federal courts.

“These trials threaten to cut corners in pursuit of a few convictions and add to the injustice that the Guantanamo detention facility has come to symbolize,” said Susan Lee, Amnesty’s Americas Program Director.

The report comes as the United States prepares to restart the tribunals with Monday’s scheduled arraignment of Australian prisoner David Hicks, charged with providing material support for terrorism by fighting for al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Hicks, 31, is the only person charged so far under a new system of war crimes trials authorized by the U.S. Congress last year and formally called military commissions.

US struggling to prevent ‘disastrous’ Turkish invasion of Northern Iraq

Filed by RAW STORY

Turkey says that 3,800 Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK) guerrillas are preparing for attacks in south-east Turkey, and that it is “ready to hit back if the Americans fail to act,” reports the Guardian Unlimited.

Bolton admits Lebanon truce block

A former top American diplomat says the US deliberately resisted calls for a immediate ceasefire during the conflict in Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

Former ambassador to the UN John Bolton told the BBC that before any ceasefire Washington wanted Israel to eliminate Hezbollah’s military capability.

Mr Bolton said an early ceasefire would have been “dangerous and misguided”.

He said the US decided to join efforts to end the conflict only when it was clear Israel’s campaign wasn’t working.

Juan Cole: Informed Comment
Friday, March 23, 2007
4 US GIs Killed
House Dems set to Pass ’08 Withdrawal Language
Shiite on Shiite Violence in Basra
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears to have put together a winning bill by both authorizing additional funding for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (something antiwar Democrats oppose) and by specifying a withdrawal date of 2008 (something the antiwar representatives very much want). The danger for her was that the antiwar left would peel away and she might not have the votes to pass the bill, which Republicans will vote against in the main. But most close observers of the Hill on Thursday were convinced that Pelosi would win this one.
The Senate Appropriations Committee seems set, a little unexpectedly, to report out a similar bill with the withdrawal language in it. Because of the Senate’s provisions for filibuster and consensual decision-making, however, it seems very unlikely that the language will survive when it goes to the whole Senate.
Bush has promised to veto any bill sent him with the withdrawal language in it.

Gaza Strip virtually ‘imprisoned’

From correspondents in Geneva March 23, 2007 Article from: Agence France-Presse

A UN human rights expert today accused Israel of turning the Gaza Strip into a virtual prison under an apartheid-like occupation of Palestinian territories.

“Gaza remains an imprisoned society into which the prison guards have made frequent military incursions, killing hundreds of Palestinians and wounding thousands in the second half of 2006,” said John Dugard, the special rapporteur on human rights for the Palestinian territories.

Mr Dugard told the UN Human Rights Council that the situation in the West Bank was “little better”, with an increase in military incursions by Israel and the construction of a wall between Israeli and Palestinian territory.,21985,21432278-5005961,00.html

Anger at US ‘rendition’ of refugees who fled Somalia

By Steve Bloomfield in Nairobi
At least 150 people arrested in Kenya after fleeing violence in Somalia have been secretly flown to Somalia and Ethiopia, where they are being held incommunicado in underground prisons, human rights groups say.

It is alleged they were questioned by US and British officials.

Flight manifests seen by The Independent show that three charter planes left Nairobi for Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, and Baidoa, the seat of parliament, in January and February, carrying around 80 people suspected of links with al-Qa’ida. The flights left at night, and the manifests appear to have been filled in hastily with many of the details, including the plane’s destination, left blank.

Published in: on March 23, 2007 at 8:08 am  Leave a Comment  

So do I


Boys write a message with red colored powder on snow to mark Valentine’s Day in Shimla, India, today. (AP Photo/Anil Dayal)

Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dinner for $25,000

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche?

Published in: on February 10, 2007 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

For in reason, all government without the consent …

For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is slavery. ~Jonathan Swift

Published in: on February 9, 2007 at 1:35 pm  Comments (3)  

What is the great Amercican sin? Extravagance? Vic…

What is the great Amercican sin? Extravagance? Vice? Graft? No; it is a kind of half-humorous, good-natured indifference, a lack of “concentrated indignation” as my English friend calls it, which allows extravagance and vice to flourish. Trace most of our ills to their source, and it is found that they exist by virtue of an easy-going, fatalistic indifference which dislikes to have its comfort disturbed….The most shameless greed, the most sickening industrial atrocities, the most appalling public scandals are exposed, but a half-cynical and wholly indifferent public passes them by with hardly a shrug of the shoulders; and they are lost in the medley of events. This is the great American sin. ~Joseph Fort Newman, Atlantic Monthly, October 1922

Published in: on February 9, 2007 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Unless you become more watchful in your States and…

Unless you become more watchful in your States and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges, you will in the end find that the most important powers of Government have been given or bartered away, and the control of your dearest interests have been passed into the hands of these corporations. ~Andrew Jackson, farewell address, 04 March 1837

Published in: on February 9, 2007 at 1:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Principles of Uncertainty – Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Published in: on February 8, 2007 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  


*offer expires at birthfish_pro-life_500.jpg

Published in: on February 7, 2007 at 2:42 am  Comments (1)