If you care about freedom of speach in america please check out the Common Cause campaign to support the senate rollback of the FCC's sellout to the big media corporations. Why is this important to you? Whether left or right, anarchist or statist you cant decide an issue without the facts. And our media daily becomes more and more immune to fact. Our media is the laughingstock of the world, though few in the US know it. It regularly censors news stories unfavorable to corporate interests or its GOP (and sadly democrat) lapdogs.Thats not scary enough? If this bill goes through it is completely within the realm of possibility for a foreign power to control nearly 100% of what americans hear, see,and read as news.
Racism in the GOP. If you still think the Bush election was anything other than a coup read this.
The future of america is beint tested in Iraq. Anyone who thinks we have a free press, especially after reading the previous story might want to check out what the US Gov prefers when it has a choice. While our press already refuses to print anything critical of the government, corporate america, or especially the GOP their political wet dream is being tested in Iraq.
We will not tolerate rogue nations with nuclear weapons! We will not tolerate rogue nations harboring Al Qaeda Terrorists!. Hmm starting to sound familiar? It seems the new Target is Iran. Stay tuned.. same bat time.. same bat channel!
PS The MEK terrorists the US is allowing to use Iraq as a staging point for terrorist operations doesnt count. Theyre not terrorists if theyre doing something we like. Even if we DO list them as terrorists.
Iraqi Democracy Cancelled. Promises of "freeing the iraqi people" apparently depends on your definition of free as the US has cancelled Iraqi elections.
The DEA apparently decided using the RAVE act, which is a law designed to appease white middle class voters terrified their "innocent all american kids" will be corrupted by evil minorities bearing X, to shut down a benefit for NORML/SSDP (anti drug war organisations). Even if you disagree with Legalisation theres something very very disturbing about government agents using threats of criminal action to shut down political dissent.
On the drug war democrats appear identical to republicans (how is this not suprising) with the lone exception of Dennis Kucinich. His statement is the best articulation of the reasons for legalising drugs (other than the fact drug criminalisation is blatantly unconstitutional) and this is it in its entirety:
A safe, free and just America is undermined, not bolstered, by the costly and ineffective War on Drugs. While well-intentioned, this misguided policy -- which emphasizes criminalization over treatment -- has led to increased violent crime, misdirected resources of law enforcement and restricted Constitutional liberties.
Despite billions spent yearly on the drug war, addiction is up. Our country must rethink a policy that produces many casualties but benefits only the prison-industrial complex. Nonviolent drug offenders often receive Draconian sentences, tearing apart families.
Racial bias in the enforcement of drug laws is pervasive. According to a Human Rights Watch report based on FBI statistics, blacks were arrested on drug charges at nearly five times the rate of whites. Drug use is consistent across racial and socioeconomic lines -- yet in the state of New York, for example, 94 percent of incarcerated drug offenders are Latino or African-American, mostly from poor communities.
Countries in Europe and elsewhere are turning away from failed policies. They are treating addiction as a medical problem and are seeing significant reductions in crime and violence -- with fewer young people becoming involved with addictive drugs in the first place. In our country, due to misplaced priorities and resources, only one bed exists for every ten people who apply for drug treatment. Addiction is a medical and moral problem that should be treated by professionals, not dumped on the criminal justice system.
Most Americans believe that medical marijuana should be available to help relieve the suffering of seriously ill patients, and eight states have passed laws to allow it. But the Bush administration has harassed medical marijuana patients in an effort to assert federal authority. This is another aspect of the drug war that should be ended.
The Governor of Texas signed a bill freeing those arrested in the infamous Tulia Texas drug raid which decimated the towns Black population based on uncorroborated testimony by Swisher County lawman Tom Coleman after a specially-appointed judge found his testimony to "be riddled with perjury and purposely evasive answers".Coleman has now been charged with perjury. The bright side of this story is that Coleman will possibly face jail and his victims will most likely be freed eventually. The dark side of this story is that very few police officers who commit perjury or plant evidence are ever even disciplined.
On another rather shocking note the plans by congress to fund Federal ad campaigns designed to defeat state ballot innitiatives to legalise drugs for medicinal use was ripped out of the bill and some other onerous provisions removed. When the federal government becomes active in financially sponsoring attempts to defeat a political view we get a glimpse of a future tyranny. Pick the political issue of your choice and imagine how youd feel having the Fed use your money and the money of others supporting that issue to defeat your political agenda.
Ruminate this on one of the most despicable men in congress
The GOP's worst nightmare could be about to happen. Mayor Bill Clinton in New York?
Can't you just see the Dittoheads foaming at the mouth? I dont particularly like faux-republican Bill but if it pisses off the far right its gotta be a good thing.
Run your own Nation!. I grabbed this link from Alas, a Blog and its just too cool for words.
Here is my nation
The Democratic Party has a faux-new plan for regaining power. They want to reach out to business. In laymans terms that means turning the "for sale" signs from your normal streetside variety to the flashing neon of Vegas or.. say.. the republican party. The Democratic party seems to be still lost in its decades old cycle. To Wit- lose election.move right. lose election. move further right. Perhaps someday this century 'democrats' will discover that the best way to get elected as a democrat... is to act like a... Democrat?
The war is still on in Iraq, though you wouldnt know it from the pentagon-worshipping broadcast media. The NY Times reports that a US Tank patrol responded to an attack killing 27 of the attackers and forcing the rest to flee. However Iraqis present claim the US forces opened fire on civilians as well as the attackers. Killing a farmer and his family working in a field nearby. In a rare example of humanity by US troops, the villagers say the US forces returned to the village and apologised for the civilian deaths. Something that you can bet would not have happened if the political generals in charge had any say in the matter. It is noteable that, as is standard practice these days, the media got its report from the pentagon then found native sources to comment.
In Britain, a farmer was sentenced to five years in prison for wounding one burglar and killing another who robbed his home. The burgling pair consisted of a sixteen year old, who was killed, and a 33 year old named Brendon Fearon who has 30 previous convictions. Fearson is now suing Martin for wounding him. The truely depressing part of this story is that this now can and does happen in the United States. According to the law if you are robbed the worst thing you can do is defend yourself and face prison. The us and british courts' reccomended solution seems to be to aid the robbers in loading your property, lead them to your femal family members bedrooms for any planned rapes and only if they decide theyre going to kill you may you assault the helpless thugs. After all... crime is a career choice and we must provide for worker safety.
The lack of actual reporting on Iraq and the reliance on the Pentagon and the use of embedded (read : censored) 'reporting' may seem to many of us as purely a result of the right wing, pro business, pro authority takeover of what we call a media. From some reporters view however its simply self preservation. One completely unreported story is the intentional targetting of Reporters and media outlets by the US Military with US, British and other foreign reporters being warned against reporting the 'other side'... and the deaths of a suprising number of those who didnt go with the program.
As Lying Media Bastards notes, in Editor and Publisher the press responds to criticism that it was asleep at the switch when Bush, Powell and company used misleading, questionable and even fabricated 'evidence' to claim Iraq was a threat to the US and had WMD's. The press's response is along the range of "well .. we cant really make them tell us anything.. we tried.. kinda-sorta".
And in South Carolina the SC Supreme court hears a motion to force the Charleston authorities to release the 911 tape of a call which resulted in two police officers shooting and killing a 35 year old black man, who allegedly was attacked by four white men in October 2000. The government is using an exception that allows them to withhold information that could affect a criminal trial to withhold the information on the theory that it might sway a potential jury pool. 9th Circuit Solicitor Ralph Hoisington refused to prosecute the officers and the states real goal is apparently to avoid public scrutiny of the officers actions in shooting the man and the solicitors refusal to prosecute on the theory that it might taint a potential jury pool. If the court falls for this sham logic it is in effect saying the state has the right to keep any information to itself that could result in public criticism. On its face a very local and technical issue. But at its core this case goes to the heart of freedom of the press and people to scrutinise or criticise the government.
The media.. at least parts of the mainstream print media.. are beginning to notice the public has little or no faith in their accuracy or trustworthiness. However despite the evidence they tend to claim journalism standards are higher now, rather than lower and reject any notions of change. (If nbc,abc,cbs,fox, the ny times had ombudsmen.. who had the security to be independant.. you might actually be able to trust the 'news').
According to Eat the State, the Bush administration now openly allows a known terrorist group to operate out of iraq. I guess the "war on terrorism" is really a "war on people with opposing viewponts to the us and those who have large amounts of oil". I guess that doesnt really sound quite as nifty as a jingle though.