Tuesday, August 31, 2004

March on the RNC

On Sunday, August 29th, I joined 400,000 other spokespersons for peace and justice in a march against the Bush agenda. It was a beautiful experience and an essential action to take in order to get Bush out of office.

It saddens me that so many Democrats have not learned the lessons of the past. As soon as the pro-Republican media picked up the mantra that protests would be "like 1968," liberal pundits began to panic. It amazes me that Republicans can steal elections, tell lies to occupy foreign nations, and take away hard earned overtime pay, only to be applauded by the chattering classes. Democrats on the other hand, won't defend citizens who exercise their right to speak and assemble freely.

I knew all along that the march wouldn't be like 1968 for a very simple reason. It isn't 1968. There is no Black Panther Party, no Weather Underground, and no SDS. 1968 was nearly 40 years ago and the politics of that time are quite literally history.

It is also untrue that the protests hurt Kerry. Why do liberal pundits not understand that the sight of 400,000 Americans protesting an incumbent president helps get that president out of office? On August 27th the New York Times told the story of a young Texan, John Alan Gibson, who rented a van and set off with a group of people he didn't know in order to protest in New York. Gibson didn't know where he was going to stay or more importantly in New York, where to park his car. Did Democrat pundits applaud him? No they didn't. They told him to stay home.

This lack of conviction is going to sink the Democratic party. The media is against us and the Republicans take no prisoners. I know that the DNC is trying to disassociate itself from even peaceful protesters. I hope McAuliffe and the other grand potentates of the party know that it helps Kerry when people drive more than 1,800 miles from their homes to speak out against Bush.

Take a look at some of the anarchists in this photo slideshow from Newsday. You can see the people who put fear in the hearts of Democratic wimps and ivory tower intellectuals. They look like a cross section of America to me, but what do I know. I'm not afraid to be a Democrat.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Protest Post Script

At least 250,000 people marched in the streets of Manhattan to protest against the Bush agenda. As I predicted, there were very few arrests, almost all of them took place away from the demonstration route. I didn't see any of the anarchists that we were all told would take over the event. I did see people of every age and race expressing dissatisfaction with every policy of the Bush administration. It was a wonderful day. We should all be proud.
I'm Marching in New York City

Dear Readers,

I am on my way to the United for Peace and Justice march. We will be marching directly past Madison Square Garden, site of the RNC convention. I will be with the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981.

Contrary to reports from the anti-Democratic national media, 99.9% of marchers are non-violent. I never see the anarchists you see depicted day after day. When I have protested in NY I see parents with babies in strollers, and groups from churches, but they don't sensationalize the story OR demonize the Democrats so they rarely make the news.

I am very disappointed that even liberal pundits have tried to persuade us not to march. When millions of people all over the world marched on February 15, 2003, the Democratic party and the peace movement got a new dose of credibility. I'll have more on that later.


Friday, August 27, 2004

Quiet in Najaf

Najaf is once again a place of pilgrimage for Shia Muslims. The return of Grand Ayatollah Sistani seems to have brought a true cease fire. Read about it here in the Guardian.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

More Torture
"It just feels like your skin is on fire."

The Bush Defense department has been making my blood boil for a long time, but now they are getting too literal about it. Yes, there are plans for a weapon that will make ones blood boil. It is called "directed energy." But wait there is more. We will soon have an Active Denial System. It makes your skin feel like it is on fire. Wonderful.

Right now they are experimenting on chickens. Anybody who talks back may be next. Forget the "no fly" list. If you see my blood boiling you will know that Ashcroft finally caught up with me.
Journalists Arrested in Najaf

Journalists in Najaf, Iraq were detained by police today. Some were beaten, others said their belongings were stolen. Their crime was reporting the news, seriously. Will their American counterparts protest? Don't hold your breath. Being embedded certainly pays off.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Search those Coffins
"Grandma over there is freaking out."

Most people will "freak out" if occupying troops harass them in a cemetery. Why do they hate us? Perhaps it is because Iraqis can't escape the terror of the U.S. occupation, even in death. An Iraqi father and his 2 children were killed by American bullets as they slept out doors to escape the heat. That was bad enough, but their relatives couldn't even bury them without fearing that they could be shot at or questioned by U.S. soldiers. Of course the story is from the Daily Telegraph, a British paper. Our papers only give cover to liars connected with the Bush campaign.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Chris Matthews Wakes Up and Pays the Price

What happened to Chris Matthews? I recall during the 2000 Democratic convention Matthews sitting with his stable of pundit punks and saying, "People don't like Gore." He didn't ask if people liked Gore, he didn't say that he didn't like Gore. He stated as fact that most Americans didn't like Al Gore.

Matthews continued to embarass himself for the Bush team. The Daily Howler has the goods from the USS Lincoln (Mission Accomplished) flight deck landing. Matthews and one of his favorite guests, G. Gordon Liddy, waxed elegiac about the President's crotch.

"MATTHEWS: What do you make of this broadside against the USS Abraham Lincoln and its chief visitor last week?
LIDDY: Well, I—in the first place, I think it’s envy. I mean, after all, Al Gore had to go get some woman to tell him how to be a man [Official Naomi Wolf Spin-Point]. And here comes George Bush. You know, he’s in his flight suit, he’s striding across the deck, and he’s wearing his parachute harness, you know—and I’ve worn those because I parachute—and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those, run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman’s vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn’t count—they’re all liars. Check that out. I hope the Democrats keep ratting on him and all of this stuff so that they keep showing that tape."

Apparently Matthews grew tired of embarrassing himself. After years of catering to the whim of every right winger on the talking head circuit he finally smacked down Michelle Malkin. Malkin suggested that Kerry's battle wounds were self-inflicted and then wouldn't answer when Matthews tried to pin her down.

Poor Chris. The right don't have any appreciation for his years of service. They are now out for blood. According to David Neiwert in an August 23rd post on Orcinus, the word has gone out to Republicans not to appear on his show.

Actually this is good news. Matthews is allegedly a Democrat, but he worshiped Bush. For a while he argued against the occupation of Iraq, but then he went gaga over the bulge in presidential flight suit. He has come to his senses and the conservatives are out for his blood. Maybe now he will be a real journalist. It is a hard way to learn a lesson, but I am not sympathetic to Matthews and I think the brazen attack against him will back fire.

It is all good.

Friday, August 20, 2004

What is happening in Najaf?

Once again our national media have let us down. There are reports that Muqtada al-Sadr's forces have left the Imam Ali shrine, but if the past is any indication our national media don't know as much as they claim. It seems that previous reports of a cease fire in Najaf were exaggerated. Salon has the story from the last correspondent allowed inside the Imam Ali shrine.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

"How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes."
Ahmed Manajid, Iraqi soccer player, describing President Bush

I haven't been watching the olympics, so I have missed the Bush campaign ads that use Iraqi and Afghan athletes as propaganda tools. Too bad Karl Rove didn't check with Iraqi athletes before he came up with this idea. They want the U.S. occupation of their country to end, and Manajid said he would be part of the resistance if he weren't on the olympic team. The athletes spoke to Sports Illustrated, which also has a link to the ad.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Playing into Bush's Hands

"To win the debates and the election, Kerry needs to establish himself as the clear alternative to a president who has lied us into a quagmire."
Robert Scheer

Can Kerry admit he was wrong to give the president the authorization to go to war and still be elected? I think so and so does Robert Scheer. All Kerry has to say is that his vote was premised on the president being truthful. Of course he will be called a flip flopper, but he will be called that anyway. Changing his position won't hurt him very much. Only a minority of voters still give Bush unqualified support on Iraq.

Iraq ought to be the Bush achilles heel. Kerry's nuanced approach doesn't make much sense and it will deny him the support of voters who are angry at Bush but don't know why they should make a change. If a Republican can say that the occupation is a mistake, Kerry should be able to as well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The New York Times

Yesterday I lambasted the Times for using Ashcroftian language. The word "troublemaker" was used in a headline to describe anti-war activists who have been investigated and harassed by the FBI. The article was good, but the language was highly suspect to my cynical eyes.

Today a Times editorial came down squarely on the side of civil liberties. I am glad, but the Times bears watching. It isn't as liberal as advertised and it has been very biased in favor of Bush in some of its campaign reporting.

I wrote a letter to the Times Public Editor and I received this reply. Here it is:

"Thank you for your message.I raised your observations with a senior editor. You may have a point that the headline could have been written more clearly.He noted that the word would not have been used it in the body of the story. Implicit in the structure of the headline is the idea that it is the FBI -- not The Times -- that regards these people as troublemakers. The headline is saying in effect that the FBI will be knocking on the doors of the people it considers troublemakers.Thanks for writing."

Yes, the headline could have been written more clearly. As I said, I was happy with yesterday's article and with today's editorial, but Democrats can never give the media the benefit of the doubt. We have to call them on everything.

One of the reasons I was so harsh with the Times is that protesters have been treated very badly by the City of New York and by the New York media. We are now suspected of bringing a repeat of Chicago circa 1968. Having attended other protests in New York City I don't know why anyone would say that. Protests have been peaceful and generated relatively few arrests. Even liberals are dredging up the Chicago bogeyman. Mayor Bloomberg implied that the right to protest is a privilege. Perhaps I missed that day in school, but I thought we had the right to speak and assemble freely.

So if I seem sensitive about the issue it is because I am. I hope you are too.
"I will kill you all."
Iraqi policeman to unembedded journalists in Najaf

Only the embedded need apply. Independent journalists have been threatened by Iraqi authorities in the holy city of Najaf. If the U.S. military is crazy it will attack one of the most sacred places in Islam.

Civilians are now arriving in the city to act as human shields and protect their holy sites. Read about it here.

Monday, August 16, 2004

The New York Times: Shill for Bush

According to the New York Times, only "troublemakers" oppose the Bush administration. In an article entitled, "FBI Goes Knocking for Political Troublemakers" the Times tells an important story. The FBI has been questioning and in some cases subpoenaing anti-war and anti-Bush activists. Those questioned don't know why Ashcroft has singled them out. Of course we know the real reason. It is to keep us quiet and complacent.

Why are people who have neither been charged nor convicted of committing any crime labeled "troublemakers" by a supposedly credible news source? At any rate, communicate your displeasure to the Times public editor at public@nytimes.com.

Not only is the Times doing Ashcroft's job for him, but they don't even tell us what we need to know about law enforcement. As of today we have the right to remain silent. One should never, and I repeat never, talk to law enforcement without having an attorney present. You don't have to let them into your home unless they have a warrant, and you still don't have to speak to them. Maybe someday the Times will give us some news that is fit to print.
Who is Following Whom?

The Freedom Rider is back from a much needed vacation. It was interesting being in swing states. In states where either candidate has a solid lead, as is the case here in New York, it is as if there is no campaign. Swing staters get all the action. It was good to finally see campaign commercials, such as they are.

Our incumbent President apparently doesn't have any successes to tell us about. His commercials talk about 9/11 and he tells us that we must not yield. Another commercial tells us that the president wants us to own our homes and businesses. Apparently even Bush doesn't believe that he ought to be president again.

When I am on vacation I don't follow the news very closely. I could miss nuclear winter until I saw radioactive snow falling. I did watch the news a bit and it seemed that Kerry and Bush are still ending up in the same cities. What a coincidence. Actually I think it is all a Karl Rove coincidence. The president continues to draw much smaller crowds. Maybe if he wasn't afraid of talking to only the Republican faithful he might get the 40,000 to 50,000 that Kerry has attracted.

The Rove strategy seems to consist of keeping Kerry out of the news. If it isn't a yellow, orange or red alert it is bringing Bush to the same city, as happened recently in Oregon.

Friday, August 06, 2004


"I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it." - Alan Keyes

Alan Keyes, Maryland resident, has decided to run against Barak Obama, Illinois resident, in the upcoming Illinois Senate race. I think that makes him a low-life, cynical, hypocritcal ... oh, never mind.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Howard Dean was Right (Again)

". . . every time something happens that's not good for President Bush, he plays this trump card, which is terrorism."
"His whole campaign is based on the notion that 'I can keep you safe, therefore, in times of difficulty in America, stick with me,' " Dean said.
"It's just impossible to know how much of this is real and how much of this is politics, and I suspect there's some of both."

Howard Dean on CNN Late Edition

Of course useless Joe Lieberman was outraged, perturbed, annoyed, disgusted or whatever else he could think of to denounce his fellow Democrat, but wouldn't you know it, Dean was right. Yesterday's terror alerts were generated by information that pre-dated 9/11. Jittery New Yorkers and Washingtonians were subjected to sights such as these, for no reason other than to make Bush look good.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Ted Koppel's Media Bias

Amy Goodman's interview with Ted Koppel is an eye opener. Koppel says that it is OK for networks to put generals on their payrolls but not to pay peace activists. He also implies that only militarists have any expertise. Well, the ones who said that Iraqis would love being occupied certainly didn't have any.