:: eyedot ::: images information ideation ::

:: EYE (anatomy), light-sensitive organ of vision in animals.
:: EYE (verb), to look at to look at something or somebody inquisitively.
:: EYE (noun), an ability to recognize and appreciate something; a point of view or way of thinking.

[::..archive..::]
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
September 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
[::..political..::]
:: media matters ::
:: watchblog ::
:: cost of war clock ::
:: doctors w/o borders ::
:: hungersite ::
:: second harvest ::
:: working assets ::
:: democracy now! ::
:: common cause ::
:: ACTIVISM LINKS ::
:: daily mojo ::
:: gary hart ::
:: this modern world ::
:: people tree ::

[::..comix..::]
:: get your war on ::
:: scary go round ::
:: get fuzzy ::
:: explodingdog ::
:: penny arcade ::
:: homestarrunner ::
:: dieselsweeties ::
:: orneryboy ::
:: perry bible fellowship ::
:: butternutsquash ::
:: this modern world ::

[::..music..::]
:: WFMU streaming radio ::
:: accuradio ::
:: 20minuteloop ::
:: bjork ::
:: onelovehiphop ::
:: erp ::

[::..random + cool..::]
:: boingboing ::
:: fark ::
:: mit ocw ::
:: abebooks ::
:: ursula k leguin ::
:: jon cornforth photos ::
:: sylvia ::
:: lucas krech blog ::
:: noodlebox ::
:: lot47films ::
:: nakd ::
:: lynn fox ::
:: nooflat ::
:: jeff bridges blog ::
:: novica ::
:: ugly dolls ::
:: gama-go ::
:: presstube ::


:: 5.30.2003 ::  



Ever heard of swatting flies with a Cadillac? Here's IR video of US pilots picking off fleeing Afghanis with huge bombs.

Also, mercury levels in Indiana rainfall significantly exceeds Federal standards. So do those in at least 11 other states. "Addressing it on a state-by-state or county-by-county basis would not address the issue at all," [Indiana Department of Environmental Management mercury coordinator Paula] Smith said. "Air is not covered by state boundaries."
Story here.

Fark.

:: Deb 10:24 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Here's an archive of Bush administration quotes re: WMDs from the last six months.
Thanx to Tom Tomorrow.

Have a great weekend everyone!

:: Deb 10:15 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.29.2003 ::  



More good news:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Teenagers at high schools where condoms were available were no more likely to have sex than other teens, a study published Wednesday finds.

The study confirms earlier research on the programs developed in the 1990s to stem the spread of HIV and reduce teen pregnancy. It found that students in high schools with condom programs were more likely to use condoms, though students in other high schools were more likely to use other forms of birth control.

Some conservative groups have staunchly opposed such programs, saying they send the wrong message and in effect encourage and enable teens to have sex before marriage.

:: Deb 5:51 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Alright!
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (AP) -- The nation's third largest Boy Scout council expanded its nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation, defying the national group's anti-gay stance.

From CNN.

:: Deb 4:42 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



More on the tax cut debacle: "The final bill dropped a child tax credit provision included in the Senate version of the tax bill that would have assisted close to 12 million low-income children, many of whom receive no benefit from the final bill." From CNN.
Also from the article:
A married couple with a combined income of $41,000 and two children under 17 will save $1,208 a year; a single person earning $170,000 can expect a savings of $2,743.

:: Deb 4:18 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



More criticism of the Bush education bill, which many are saying is a good piece of legislation that's getting hamstrung by a lack of funding, and others say is just bad policy.

On the FCC rules:
Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.) cited a radio study that examined the nation's 44 top-rated stations over a week and found that they broadcast 312 hours of conservative talk programming, compared with 11 hours of liberal shows.
Dorgan pointed out that these stations are owned by only five companies...
...
Although [FCC Chairman Michael K.] Powell said public-interest programming is necessary, he's uncomfortable with the five commissioners deciding what it should be. "If you're using the government will to impose 'castor oil' or 'eat your vegetables' programming, you'd better be a little bit concerned that you're going to allow three of five unelected officials to unduly impose what they prefer to see on TV," he said.

Uh huh. But it's ok for 5 unelected CEOs to make that decision, instead. From the Washington Post.

Fark.

:: Deb 3:49 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Here's an excellent example of why I like this guy:
Democrat Kucinich endorses medical pot use
He says he'd issue executive order if elected president
...
"Compassion requires that medical marijuana be available" Kucinich said during a telephone interview after a campaign stop in Cupertino. "We must have health-care systems which are compassionate . . . so I support it without reservation."
From today's SF Chronicle.

Here's an article on the side effects of one of medical marijauna's alternatives: Oxycontin, a powerful narcotic originally introduced to manage cancer patients' pain, and now available for arthritis and back pain. Hmm.... highly addictive (and, one would assume, expensive) narcotic with scary side effects; or a plant I can grow in my own yard that's not chemically addictive and whose side effects are increased appetite, mild euphoria, and drowsiness... I dunno, that's a tough one...

:: Deb 2:14 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Followup on the Jessica Lynch "rescue."

:: Deb 12:55 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



From This Modern World's Bob Harris:
Taxing Credulity

Three quick points about the Bush tax "reform" signed yesterday:
The NY Times reports the $400-per-child credit will not apply to families with incomes under $26,625.
The day before the bill was signed with such pomp and fanfare, Bush very quietly signed another piece of paper raising the national debt ceiling by a record near-trillion dollars. How quiet is quiet? The White House statement on this subject was only a single sentence.
Finally, the Financial Times reports that a Treasury Department report forecasting a future deficit of 44 trillion dollars was shelved by the White House, which omitted the findings from the annual budget report in the interest of selling tax cuts.
Since that crippling number is hard to fathom in real terms, read the following -- information the Bush White House knows but doesn't want to tell us -- and just try not to quiver in fear:
"The study asserts that sharp tax increases, massive spending cuts or a painful mix of both are unavoidable if the US is to meet benefit promises to future generations. It estimates that closing the gap would require the equivalent of an immediate and permanent 66 percent across-the-board income tax increase."
The Bush White House: screw the poor now, screw the rest of us later.

:: Deb 11:50 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



New York, May 27, 2003—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released an investigative report today about the April 8 shelling of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad by U.S. forces, which killed two journalists and wounded three others. CPJ's investigation, titled "Permission to Fire," provides new details suggesting that the attack on the journalists, while not deliberate, was avoidable. CPJ has learned that Pentagon officials, as well as commanders on the ground in Baghdad, knew that the Palestine Hotel was full of international journalists and that they were intent on not hitting it. However, these senior officers apparently failed to convey their concern to the tank commander who fired on the hotel.

The report itself is here. An AP news story on the subject is here. Here is the CPJ's home website.

:: Deb 11:12 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.28.2003 ::  



An excellent dressing-down of the New York Times Magazine article about the hip neo-conservative movement supposedly sweeping the nation's college campuses.

Also, for those who want more info on war profiteering, I highly recommend Major Barbara's blog.

Both links thanks to Tom Tomorrow.

:: Deb 1:30 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



The US is planning to turn the Guantanamo Bay terrorist camp into a "death camp" - complete with execution chamber: "Prisoners would be tried, convicted and executed without leaving its boundaries, without a jury and without right of appeal, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported yesterday." Also here.
Fark.

:: Deb 12:21 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.23.2003 ::  



Follow-up on the FCC thing - Bob Harris (regularly posts on Tom Tomorrow's blog) had a really good point: "if the media really was in liberal hands, then centralization of that power would be absolutely terrifying to the right wing. It would be all you ever heard about." And yet we haven't heard word one from folks like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly about the total domination of the airwaves by a few lefty-run corporations. So.... maybe that's not what's happening, eh?

:: Deb 6:26 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



WASHINGTON - May 22 - As the FCC is about to announce new rules regarding media ownership, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) filed official comments denouncing further deregulation of the industry.
"Walking further down the path of deregulation skews the national discourse and is directly contrary to the welfare of the public," Kucinich stated in his comments. "It is adamantly not in the public interest to grant a few corporations the privilege to broadcast their views and augment their voice to the American people at the expense of the many."

Story. Kucinich is certainly looking better and better as a Presidential candidate - thanks for the heads-up, Mom!

Here are some actions you can take to oppose the FCC rules change.

:: Deb 4:25 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



I just found this on Democracy Now!'s website:
The film provides eyewitness testimony that U.S. troops were complicit in the massacre of thousands of Taliban prisoners during the Afghan War.... Witnesses say that when the trucks arrived and soldiers opened the containers, most of the people inside were dead. They also say US Special Forces re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried. Now, up to three thousand bodies lie buried in a mass grave.

You can see clips from the film, including some of the eyewitness accounts, here. You can read discussions of the film and reactions to it here, here, here, here and here. Although this film has been seen around the world, only Democracy Now! has broadcast this film in the US.

:: Deb 4:02 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



NYC to close six firehouses to ease budget shortfall. How exactly will these jobs be re-created by cutting taxes?

:: Deb 2:54 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



The true cost of this year's tax cut - way above what Bush originally proposed.

:: Deb 2:22 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



According to CNN's online poll, 60% of people polled think the new tax cut will NOT help them. No, it's not scientific, but it's interesting.

:: Deb 10:57 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.22.2003 ::  



Well, the New York Times is a goldmine today:
"Fearing that thousands of students would fail the new test and be held back a grade, and that hundreds of schools could face penalties under the federal No Child Left Behind law, the board voted to reduce the number of questions that students must answer correctly to pass it, to 20 out of 36, from 24, for third-grade reading." States are redefining "success" in an effort to avoid sanctions under Bush's education bill. Does anyone else think this sounds ridiculous?

:: Deb 6:04 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



General Tommy Franks is retiring.

:: Deb 11:46 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



From the New York Times:
WASHINGTON, May 21 — The Central Intelligence Agency has begun a review to try to determine whether the American intelligence community erred in its prewar assessments of Saddam Hussein's government and Iraq's weapons programs, several officials say.
...
Senior American intelligence officials say they believe that the only plausible use for mobile laboratories that have recently been found in Iraq was for development of biological weapons, although they say they have not yet found any evidence that such weapons were recently produced. Some senior officials also say they still believe that they will eventually find chemical weapons.
But those same officials say that they have not yet found any new and conclusive evidence inside Iraq of connections between Mr. Hussein's government and Al Qaeda.
While the United States may still find such evidence, some current and former intelligence officials say it is becoming increasingly clear that the C.I.A., Pentagon and other agencies did not know as much about the status of Iraq's weapons programs and its ties to terrorists before the war as was previously believed.


:: Deb 11:44 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.21.2003 ::  



Christine Todd Whitman resigns.
One notable area where Ms. Whitman and the administration disagreed, at least privately, was on ratification of the multinational Kyoto treaty on global warming. Ms. Whitman advised the White House against coming out against it, especially without any alternative to offer. But after that decision was made, she assumed the role of committed loyalist and defended the administration's environmental policymaking, drawing fire from environmental groups that early on had regarded her a potential ally.

:: Deb 5:53 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Sign of the times: a judge in Tarrytown, NY asks an Arab-American woman if she's a terrorist after her name is called in court.
She claimed that after giving the judge her explanation for why the tickets should be dismissed, ''He said something like, 'You have money to support the terrorists, but you don't want to pay the ticket.' I could not believe I was hearing that.''
Story.

AUSTIN, Texas - A commander with the Texas Department of Public Safety ordered the destruction of all documents and photographs gathered in the search for the Democratic state legislators who fled to Oklahoma to block a congressional redistricting bill.
Story.

Fark.

:: Deb 2:18 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.20.2003 ::  



Fox "News."

:: Deb 7:13 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



The brighter side of journalism.
Farked again.

:: Deb 4:41 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Image of the day from This Modern World.

:: Deb 4:36 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



New South Wales, Australia decides to start a four-year trial of a state-run medical marijuana program.
Thanks Dave!

:: Deb 12:01 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Followup on Jessica Lynch: an interview with the BBC correspondent who alleged the "rescue" was misrepresented to the public.

:: Deb 10:36 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Warren Buffet on the silliness of the Bush tax cut: "Administration officials say that the $310 million suddenly added to my wallet would stimulate the economy because I would invest it and thereby create jobs. But they conveniently forget that if Berkshire kept the money, it would invest that same amount, creating jobs as well." Article here.
Fark.

:: Deb 10:15 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.19.2003 ::  



I'm sure most of you have seen "Wag the Dog." Apparently so have a bunch of people in the Bush Administration PR machine - check out this Guardian story about the "rescue" of Jessica Lynch. One of the doctors is quoted as saying, "I examined her, I saw she had a broken arm, a broken thigh and a dislocated ankle. Then I did another examination. There was no [sign of] shooting, no bullet inside her body, no stab wound - only RTA, road traffic accident.... They want to distort the picture. I don't know why they think there is some benefit in saying she has a bullet injury." Also, according to the doctors present, there were no Feyadeen remaining at the hospital at the time of the "rescue," and the Americans knew it. Yet they came in with guns blazing, handcuffed everyone, and filmed it all.

Another article on the stagecraft of the Bush PR machine, from the New York Times

Thanks to Tom Tomorrow.

:: Deb 12:52 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Ari Fleischer is leaving.

Town criminalizes compliance with Patriot Act
ARCATA, California (AP) -- More than 100 cities and one state have passed resolutions condemning the USA Patriot Act, saying it gives the federal government too much snooping power. But in this liberal fold of Northern California's Redwood Curtain, a simple denouncement just doesn't go far enough.
Story.

Check out today's Tom the Dancing Bug for a little levity.

:: Deb 12:31 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.14.2003 ::  



(CNN) -- A new global study concludes that 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans in the past half century, the devastating result of industrial fishing.
Story.

:: Deb 4:36 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Here's a fun little fictional piece, written as if Gore had won the 2000 election and subsequently done exactly what Bush did - with some appropriate substitutions. It also includes what the political, popular and media responses might have been, in such a case. Thanks again to Sunit.

:: Deb 3:25 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Again, I'm lifting direct from www.thismodernworld.com

"The quote is second-hand in the Washington Post here, but the math is right:
"As John Cassidy noted recently in the New Yorker, if you take the president's statements at face value, each new job created by his tax cut would cost the government $550,000 in lost revenue. That, Cassidy noted dryly, is "about 17 times the salary of the average American worker."
Of course, the tax-cut-as-jobs idea is supported by folks who also think the Pentagon really needs the ability to kill the entire human race dozens of times over.
"So at least they're consistent."

Check out this site, "a website that allows you to create maps of the interlocking directories of the top 100 companies in the US in 2001". Some interesting stuff in there. Thanks to Sunit.

Here's a fun one: "No losses for biggest bosses: Thousands get laid off but CEOs still make millions." From the New York Daily News. So yeah, giving these guys more money is obviously the way to strengthen the economy.
NOT.

:: Deb 2:47 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Another quote:
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else"
- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
Thanks to this site, and to Tom Tomorrow.

:: Deb 2:12 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Wow, I heard nothing about this:
National Desk | April 28, 2003, Monday
U.S. Warns Drug Makers On Illegal Sales Practices

By ROBERT PEAR (NYT) 1042 words
ABSTRACT - Bush administration issues compliance guide for drug industry barring financial incentives to doctors, hospitals, insurers or pharmacists to encourage or reward prescribing of particular drugs; Health and Human Services inspector general Janet Rehnquiest says such payments have high potential for fraud and abuse; notes federal antikickback law prohibits payments intended to generate business under Medicare or Medicaid; also warns that drug company rsearch and education activities must be divorced from their marketing (M) The Bush administration told drug companies today that many of the techniques they use to sell their drugs run a high risk of violating federal fraud and abuse laws.

The warning came as the government issued a compliance guide for the drug industry, telling manufacturers that they must not offer any financial incentives to doctors, hospitals, insurers or pharmacists to encourage or reward the prescribing of particular drugs.

:: Deb 12:55 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Quote of the Day:
"When one of the students asked, 'do we have to talk now? Can we be silent? Can we get legal council?' they were told, 'we own you, you don't have any legal rights.'"
Story. From Tom Tomorrow.

:: Deb 11:50 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.12.2003 ::  



My friend Steve sent me this link Friday.
It is an engrossing and terrifying story about a secret Jesus movement that has been influencing heads of state for 40 years. The guy who wrote it went undercover to become a member of one of the cells of "the Family," as they call themselves. Their mission is to spread the word of Christ and take over the world. I am so not joking.

Here are some possible connections I found to "the Family":

International Fellowship House, in Boston, which describes itself as "...started by a group of Christian couples who wanted to provide a place for male international students to stay while they were studying in Boston. The house has a Christian emphasis though we do not require students to be Christians to live here. We pray before dinner and may have Christian discussion times in the house which you have the option of attending." Sounds lovely, eh? Note: "Opportunity will be provided for meaningful discussion of the Christian faith and of residents’ personal values and beliefs." Maybe I'm just cynical, but in my experience this kind of statement really means: "you can tell us about your silly heathen ideas and we'll explain why Jesus is so cool."

One of the founding members of IFH is a guy named Butch Dickerson, who I found in a google search at this site, and also as a member of the Evangelical Christian Publisher's Association. Trinity Church seems to be consistent with what I read of "the Family," which is based around the idea of "covenant." Here's an excerpt from the history of the the church: "From its humble beginnings to the present time the 'heartbeat' of Trinity Church has been expressed in it's covenant: "We covenant with the Lord and with one another and do bind ourselves in the presence of God to walk together in his holy ways.""
Does every church have a covenant? Maybe this is just something I don't know much about... also, this church does not mention any denomination, and it's all about the congregation's direct relationship with Jesus: "Trinity Church seeks to be a vibrant community of believers in Jesus Christ who glorify God and impact our world and neighbors through evangelism, equipping, worship, and service." Men and women have their own programs and ministries, just as "the Family" does.

There's also this. Note item 9 under "How Fellowship Houses Work!": "Encourage others to stay focused, but stop Satan in his tracks and blow the whistle on anyone that is not interested in following a new life. It is good not to be judgmental, but it is important to deal with problems. The House can loose its charter for not dealing with these problems." In other words, any person or group not complying with the greater mission gets kicked out - the charter for each house includes the item: "That the houses expel those individuals not interested in pursuing the life of Christ."

There's also Christian Leadership Ministries, which sounds very similar to the other groups listed in the story as designed to prevent the Family from becoming "a target for misunderstanding." (sound like Mafia fronts to anyone else? well, after all they base a lot of their ideas for organization and proliferation on the Mafia and the Nazis.) the CLM's mission is: "In partnership with professors, we build spiritual leaders, help them continually saturate the campus with the gospel, and fully integrate their faith into their academic discipline and culture. This partnership will change the way decision makers around the world think by giving them a biblical perspective on relevant topics that are at issue on campuses and in the culture." They sponsor something called Leadership U, and are the faculty outreach and training arm for Campus Crusade for Christ International. And here's another associated organization/project, devoted to spreading the Word over the world wide web.

[[I know there's more out there, but I do have a job.]]

In other words, these people are everywhere, they're organized and motivated, and they've got lots of money available to them. How do you feel about that?

:: Deb 1:00 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.08.2003 ::  



Cluster bombs are still a problem in Iraq, even though the "war" is over.

:: Deb 4:36 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



From yesterday's New York Times:
A Respected Face, but Is It News or an Ad?
By Melody Peterson
Aaron Brown of CNN, Walter Cronkite and other broadcast journalists have been hired to appear in videos resembling newscasts that are actually paid for by drug makers and other health care companies, blurring the line between journalism and advertising.
Story.

Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach: here are some very graphic pictures of Iraqi bombing victims. DO NOT click on the link unless you are prepared to see exactly that. Damian sent me this link this morning; I had seen the link on Fark or This Modern World a while ago, but since I didn't feel up to looking at the pictures myself, I didn't think it was ok to post them on this blog. Even today I was only able to look at a few of them. But I think it's important to have these images accessible, as they are evidence of the results of this war that most of America has not seen. Our national news media has apparently been alone in the world in not showing pictures like these to their viewers; not that I condone sensationalism, or revelling in the violence they portray, of course. But I think that NOT showing us the true and full effects of our country's actions is irresponsible.

:: Deb 11:40 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.06.2003 ::  



Update:
Sadly, Gary Hart announced today that he will not be running for President in 2004. I'm pretty upset about this. I feel I didn't do enough to spread the word and get people to write and email and send money to him, to convince him that it's worth it and that he has a chance of winning. I got distracted with work and family and... life and didn't follow up on my initial emails, sent after hearing him speak in SF a few months ago. I am really very concerned about our chances, without him in the race for '04.

:: Deb 6:34 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Quotes of the Day:
"The people—not elites or powerful interests—are sovereign."
and
"To pretend our energy policy doesn't play a role in this is crazy. We are willing to trade the lives of our sons and daughters for a wasteful lifestyle."
and
"There is within almost every American soul a desire to make a contribution, to invest time and energy to make things better, to know the unique satisfaction of helping one's country. We call that sense idealism-the notion that the gap between what is and what ought to be can be narrowed if we will simply try."
and finally,
"If we’re going to sell democracy to the world, we better live up to it."
- Gary Hart
Please visit his site to read about his ideas for a new and better America. Please send him a contribution and/or a letter of encouragement. This is a man I could see as our next President - unlike any of the men who appeared on the Democratic debate a few nights ago (did anyone see it? I didn't even know it was on). Mr. Hart appeals to the best in us, to the idealism that forged this country in the first place.

Here's an article on why Gary Hart should run for President in 2004.

:: Deb 5:49 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



I recommend this site, pointed out by Bob Harris of www.thismodernworld.com. Here's an interesting little bit on how the Associated Press misrepresented an Iraqi anti-US banner as saying "we'll kill you," rather than "we'll kick you out" - which it clearly says in English. See it here.

:: Deb 12:11 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



"Bonnie Tenneriello, staff attorney for the National Voting Rights Initiative, which released the documents, said they show that the campaign-finance system gives 'a huge advantage to wealthy individuals who are able to network and effectively aggregate huge amounts.'"
On Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia struck down major provisions of the new campaign finance law Bush signed last year, but left in place the higher ceiling for direct contributions to campaigns. That ceiling is now $2000 per individual, direct contribution - twice what it was before the law was passed. Story. The previous rules allowed so-called "Pioneers" to each raise $100,000-$250,000 for the first Bush II campaign, by soliciting checks from friends and colleagues. Here's another quote from the article:

"Pioneers were given briefings on confidential polling data and were feted at a reception at the Republican National Convention. Since Bush took office, at least 19 have been named ambassadors."

And somehow there's still doubt that the rich rule the country?

ps - Anyone notice how the Bushies tried to dismiss what they repeatedly called the "class warfare" argument against the huge tax cuts they were proposing - in other words, calling detractors of the plan Communists? See this for a direct quote. Also, here's part of an op-ed on the subject, and here's a full article.

:: Deb 11:28 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.05.2003 ::  



More states are cutting financial aid for low-income childcare.

:: Deb 6:31 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Senate declassifies over 4,000 pages of transcripts from the McCarthy hearings.
Fark.

:: Deb 6:18 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



A good, if scary (and for many of us not terribly surprising) story about the situation in postwar Iraq.

A nicely laid-out timline of W's "service" record.

...and even more from www.thismodernworld.com, this time lifted wholesale:
Right before Bush's speech on the Abraham Lincoln, there were a lot of stories about how he had to take a jet because the carrier was too far out at sea for a helicopter landing, honest, it has nothing to do with the dramatic visuals.
Well, guess what:
ABOARD THE USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN — President Bush didn't have to make a dramatic tailhook landing on this aircraft carrier. He could have flown here on a helicopter as presidents normally would, the White House said Friday.
Officials also acknowledged positioning the massive ship to provide the best TV angle for Bush's speech, with the vast sea as his background instead of the very visible San Diego coastline.

And yet Fleischer is quoted as saying (with a straight face, one would assume): "This is not about the president. This is about thanking the men and women who won a war." HAH, i say.



:: Deb 4:52 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 5.02.2003 ::  



And this one I'll just have to lift verbatim from www.thismodernworld.com - Bob Harris, otherwise known as Robin to Tom Tomorrow's Batman, said it better than I can. Access to these articles online requires free registration.

Page A22, today's Los Angeles Times:
President Bush's insistence on a controversial proposal to eliminate taxes on dividends is threatening to squeeze out other, more popular elements of his tax cut plan that would help people in lower income brackets.
Page A27, today's Los Angeles Times:
16% of Children Live In Extreme Poverty, Report Says
The number of African American youths living in extreme poverty is at its highest level in the 23 years such statistics have been kept... changes in public assistance programs that once provided a "safety net" for these families have led to the increase in extreme poverty..."
The story is accompanied by a bar-chart (not included in online article - Deb), provided by the Children's Defense Fund, which, if you have eyes, plainly shows that child poverty rose throughout the Reagan/Bush I years, fell during the Clinton years, and has soared vertically under Bush II.
Today, our glorious leader is flying around -- like violence and bullets (see below) -- an aircraft carrier, thousands of miles away.
"Leave no child behind" -- a phrase Bush stole from the Children's Defense Fund, by the way -- indeed.

Amazing.

Here's what the CDF has to say about Bush's budget proposal.

:: Deb 4:56 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



The connection between Saddam and Osama - not quite what the Bushies had in mind.

American soldiers fired into a crowd of protestors twice this week. Images here from the second protest, during which 2 were killed and 18 wounded, as well as life in "peacetime" Iraq.
Both links from Tom Tomorrow.

53 Iraqis were injured and 15 were killed during the first protest, which started because US troops had occupied an elementary school and refused to leave so classes could resume. The troops pulled out that night. The second protest was a response to the killings at the first. Stories here and here.

:: Deb 4:22 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Scarier and scarier. "New figures released today also showed that the Justice Department is relying with increasing frequency on secret warrants that allow the officials to go to a secret court to get approval for surveillance and bugging warrants in terrorism and espionage investigations without notifying the target.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said in an annual report that the Justice Department used secret warrants a record 1,228 times last year, — an increase of more than 30 percent over the year before. The court that governs the warrants did not turn down any of the Justice Department's applications, officials said."
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Republicans back off from ending the dividend tax completely. Story.

:: Deb 2:22 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



The Bush administration is trying to cover up the findings of a Congressional report on 9/11 - including material that top intelligence officials have already testified to in public hearings. It is difficult to tell whether they are motivated by fear of political fallout so close to the next election, or rather the ingrained culture of secrecy that permeates the intelligence community and the highest levels of the current White House. Story here.

A quote from the above:
The tensions over the release of 9-11 related material seems especially relevant—if not ironic—in light of recent reports that the president’s political advisers have devised an unusual re-election strategy that essentially uses the story of September 11 as the liftoff for his campaign. The White House is delaying the Republican nominating convention, scheduled for New York City, until the first week in September 2004—the latest in the party’s history. That would allow Bush’s acceptance speech, now slated for Sept. 2, to meld seamlessly into 9-11 commemoration events due to take place in the city the next week.
Fark.

:: Deb 2:08 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Awesome Bush vs. Bush debate, from the Daily Show. A lot of work went into this. It's a really interesting comparison between what Gov. Bush said while running for President, and what he's said since becoming President.

:: Deb 11:54 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

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