Saturday, July 31, 2010

TIME Magazine Doesn't Give a Rat's Ass about Women's Rights in Afghanistan

In the Spring of 1978, Afghan minister of social Affairs, Anahita Ratebzad, wrote, "Privileges which women, by right, must have are equal education, job security, health services, and free time to rear a healthy generation for building the future of the country … Educating and enlightening women is now the subject of close government attention." Soon afterward, the United States spent about a billion dollars to help keep her vision from coming to light.

Anahita Ratebzad was one of the founders of the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan. It was socialist, anti-clerical, anti-multi-national, and very pro-education. During its brief ascendance, the upward trajectory of women's rights in Afghanistan reached its peak, only to rapidly decline as the battle between Soviet forces and their puppet Afghan government on one side, and covert U.S. forces and resurgent Muslim fundamentalism on the other side, ended in chaos. From that chaos emerged the Taliban.


The United States, in backing the fundamentalist Mujahidin, spent about a billion dollars to defeat the only regime in Afghan history that mandated equal educational rights for Afghan women.


One might hope that TIME Magazine, in an article on the plight of Afghan women, might make a passing reference to Anahita Ratebzad. It might have added depth to their incredibly shallow article, had they considered interviewing Ratebzad, who is 80, and from what I can tell, still alive.


The only reference by TIME Magazine to Ms. Ratebzad dates back to the time of Charlie Wilson's War, which Time applauded, in a hit piece on the puppet government of Babrak Karmal:


Karmal, a 50-year-old bachelor, went into hiding with other members of the Parcham group. Among them was his longtime mistress, Anahita Ratebzad, who had been packed off as Ambassador to Yugoslavia.



Most references to the relationship between Karmal and Ratebzad are more kind, calling them "lovers" or "longtime companion[s]." TIME, whose love of Charlie Wilson's War extended to their review of the Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts movie, giving the slick propaganda production a 1,100-word review. Some of TIME's praise for this bio-pic about the guy who thwarted the movement for women's rights in Afghanistan:


The result, Charlie Wilson's War, is that seemingly impossible object these days: a picture about war and politics that has manages to be both rational and inspirational. It is also the year's funniest smart movie.



The December 2007 review by Richard Corliss, as lame as it is in some ways, is actually less shallow than this coming week's cover story there, by Aryn Baker.


Most criticism of TIME on the story so far has been in their choice of a cover, showing a young Afghani woman who has been awfully mutilated by the Taliban for her leaving an abusive home environment.


More importantly, though, are articles critical of the viewpoint of the article itself. Here at The Seminal, Derrick Crowe's brutal analysis of TIME's misrepresentation of the real situation in Afghanistan merits wide note. For instance:


This is something that folks who put together TIME’s cover better understand right now: the fox is already in the hen-house. There is a very powerful set of anti-women’s-equality caucuses already nested within the Afghan government that the U.S. supports. These individuals and groups are working to reassert the official misogyny of the Taliban days already, independent of the reconciliation and reintegration process. Given the opportunity, these individuals and groups in the U.S.-backed government will manipulate the reconciliation and reintegration process and leverage armed-opposition-group participation in the process to push through policies they’d prefer already as compromises with their "opponents." This is why the propaganda of TIME’s cover is so pernicious: the women of Afghanistan are caught in a vice already, stuck between their opponents in the insurgency and in the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. If one is concerned about the rights of women in Afghanistan, the question is, how do we give women the most leverage possible in this situation?



The post-invasion erosion of women's rights in Iraq was, along with the dispossession of almost 100% of Iraqi Christians, one of our salient failures there. Before our invasion, women in Iraq were more highly educated than in any other Middle Eastern nation but Israel. Christians there had an important role in government, politics and civil administration (as did women). Though the U.S. Government purports to care about this, they are lying.


Afghanistan is even worse. TIME magazine's disgustingly meretricious story on this is so shallowly dishonest, it may even evoke a favorable tweet from Sarah Palin.


Friday, July 30, 2010

More Late July Pictures from the House by the Lake

A water lily on Neklason Lake


Corn in the garden. It needs some warmer weather.


Cherokee Purple tomatoes


Peas, Green beans and potato box #2. The green beans need a LOT more sun and heat.


Campanula


Sedum Spurium

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Arson - Updated X 2

From Bent Alaska:

The Anchorage Fire Department has concluded [note - see update] that someone deliberately burned down a Gay Pride Float two days before it would appear in the city's 4th of July parade. The fire also destroyed the garage and damaged the house of Ken and Paula Butner, allies who kept the Imperial Court's float in a car tent in front of the garage. Their daughter was awakened around 5:30 a.m. on July 2 by the sound of paint cans exploding outside her window, and she woke the rest of the family. Luckily, no one was injured.


Jesse Griffin, at The Immoral Minority, writes:

Gee I wonder which church this arsonist attends? Well okay to be fair, there is no evidence that this asshole attended the Anchorage Baptist Temple. But you just know that a cheer went up when they learned that this float went up in flames, and that their hate filled rhetoric certainly laid the groundwork for this kind of assault.


Neither the Anchorage Daily News nor the Alaska Dispatch seem to have covered the issue of the damage to this float yet, at least with their own reporters. But if and when they get around to it, there was a probable witness to the arson. Hopefully, the witness can take a look through these pictures for a possible clue:
I'm not saying that any of these people had anything to do with the arson. But one never knows.

Here are links to more photos from the June 2009 pro- and anti-Proposition 64 demonstrations in Anchorage. The probability that one of the images shows the perp is more than marginal:

The Mudflats

Progressive Alaska


Progressive Alaska


Henkimaa

Winston's Mom

Anchorage Daily News

There will be a fundraiser to help pay for the damages:

A fund was set up to help the Butners repair their home and rebuild their garage, with security cameras and a big enough garage to store the float inside. A fundraising dinner has been announced for August 14 to replace the destroyed float equipment.
"Insurance will not cover the sound equipment belonging to Daphne Do All LaChores, emcee of Drag Queen Bingo and PrideFest Parade announcer," wrote Phyllis of Identity, Inc.


Hence, a fundrai$er to replace the equipment—a spaghetti feed with salad on:


Saturday afternoon, August 14, 2010, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at Guido's, 549 W. International Road. Tickets $10.00 per person, $5.00 under 10 years old. $5.50 of every adult ticket sold will go to Daph. There will also be a 50/50 split the pot and silent auction to raise funds for the equipment.

Update - 12:10 p.m:
According to Linda Kellen Biegel, the Anchorage Fire Department has not made the arson determination. It was insurance company investigators. The AFD is still working on their evidence. Linda will have a report on this today at The Mudflats.

Update - 3:00 p.m. Friday: Here's a link to Linda's article on this at The Mudflats. And there's a new article at Bent Alaska. Both ask for, as does this article, help for the Anchorage Fire Department, from anyone who might be able to shed light on this.

top image - Celtic Diva; other images - PA

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ethnic Cleansing of a Bedouin Village in Israel.

First of all, to quote a commenter at a blog covering this action:

Arab citizens of Israel have full equality and human rights and they can build houses in Jerusalem and eat cherry tomatoes and are not discriminated against at all and anyone who says otherwise is an anti-Semite.


Now that that is taken care of, the ethnic cleansing operation. The people whose village is being razed, are Israeli citizens:




More coverage:

Promised Land

The Guardian


Mondoweiss

For AKM and Shannyn

Jeanne and Shannyn don't allow people or cartoon characters to talk like this on their blogs, but it is about a Teabagger that accidentally shows up for Netroots Nation, where AKM and Shannyn spent last week:


hat tip - Howie Klein

Blue America 2010 Ad

Blue America, which helped raise about $70,000 for Mark Begich in 2008, but has pretty much disowned him now, created this ad - the first of several coming out:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How Much Dispersant Is Being Put into the Gulf of Mexico - and Where?


Apparently, the coordinates given in this video are from a "rig [that] was toppled by Hurricane Ivan some 6 years ago. It still leaks today enough to create a plume 10 miles long." Along with several reports of leaks on the ocean floor from the same basin into which BP was tapping in the blown out rig in April, we need to ask "How many drill holes leak?"

We need to question whether or not the application of these dispersants was more commonplace than is generally acknowledged before the late April BP rig blowout. With thousands of capped off wells out there, some reported to be leaking unknown quantities of oil, should we have a right to know whether or not the amount applied, mixed with the oil it is meant to hide, is more than we might have assumed?

NOAA and the USCG need to be more active in protecting our interests, less involved in protecting those of a foreign-owned oil company with a criminal record as long as the slimy trail of this slick.

British Prime Minister Calls Gaza a "Prison Camp"


This is unprecedented. For one thing, Tony Blair, who is now Middle East envoy for the "Quartet" (the United Nations, European Union, United States, and Russia) has never been so critical of the results of Israeli foreign policy. Cameron knows Blair is under a lot of heat right now, with the possibility of a renewed, more thorough, opposition-led inquiry into what was probably the murder of Dr. David Kelly by British intelligence on July 18, 2003. Chances are that Blair knew about it, and may be brought in to testify in any inquiry.

Cameron's statements, made in Turkey, will be denounced by somebody in Avigdor Lieberman's Foreign Office, but Prime Minister David Cameron, in his statements, has tread new territory. Israel's ambassador to the UK said today, "The people of Gaza are the prisoners of the terrorist organisation Hamas. The situation in Gaza is the direct result of Hamas's rule and priorities."

So far, though, there has been no statement released by the Israeli Foreign Office.

The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl has condemned Cameron, calling Cameron's statements "pandering at Israel's expense."

Apparently, Cameron made the same or a very similar statement in The House of Commons recently:

Cameron defended himself later at a press conference with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister. "My description of Gaza is something I said in the House of Commons several weeks ago. Perhaps this is final proof that if you want to keep something completely secret you should announce it in the House of Commons." A No 10 source added: "This is not an elevation of the rhetoric. This is equivalent language."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Closer Comparisons Between the Pentagon Papers and the Wikileaks Documents


Hundreds of commentators, thousands of bloggers, are already making comparisons between the Wikileaks Afghanistan documents and the Pentagon Papers Vietnam documents from 39 years, 11 months ago.


I was working in radio news, public affairs and arts broadcasting in Seattle (KRAB-FM) when the Pentagon Papers came out. My story, picked up by the fledgeling NPR, was crafted around interviewing stodgy guys dressed in suits, as they came out of what was then the largest building in Seattle, the Seafirst Building (now known as Safeco Plaza), carrying folded up newspapers under their arms. I asked them if they had read anything about the leaked documents, and if they had, I asked for impressions.


Shortly afterward, Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel first came to my attention, as he began reading from the Pentagon Papers on the Senate floor, during a filibuster.


A lot of people active in liberal and progressive politics now weren't even alive in June, 1971, so this diary will make a few comparisons between the Pentagon Papers and their reception, and the emerging Wikileaks story. I'll use Youtubes to do a lot of the illustrating.


Here's a nifty mini-documentary on the Pentagon Papers, prepared by the New York Theatre Workshop early this year, for their production of the play, Top Secret:


The Supreme Court heard the case on June 26th, 1971. On June 29th, Sen. Mike Gravel (Dem - Alaska), read extensively from the Papers on the Senate floor. Here is his recollection, from a Democracy Now episode on July 2nd, 2007:


Gravel wasn't alone in defending the actions of Ellsberg and others. But criticism of the leaks beyond the White House's almost insane reaction crossed party lines, as many of the decisions revealed by the Papers involved key Democrats.


Here are two clips on Nixon's reaction:


June 13th:



Haig's prediction of a "gut fight among Democrats" didn't come to pass.


June 29th:


The same day, Sen. Gravel began reading the Papers:


So many people are covering Wikileaks, one might get inundated. I guess that is a good thing, as just 48 hours ago many of us interested in this were complaining about the lack of followup on last Week's Washington Post coverage of the explosion of useless spy agencies since 2001.


The best article I've read yet that compares the Pentagon Papers structurally to the so-far revealed Wikileaks material, is by New Yorker writer, Amy Davidson, just a few hours ago:


This stash will be compared to the Pentagon Papers, and in some ways that’s right—WikiLeaks, like Daniel Ellsberg, has been accused of ignoring the national interest. (An unfair charge, unless by “national interest” one means the political interests of a particular Administration.) But the Pentagon Papers were a synthetic analysis, a history of the war in Vietnam. WikiLeaks has given us research materials for a history of the war in Afghanistan. To make full use of them, we will, again, have to think hard about what we are trying to learn: Is it what we are doing, day to day, on the ground in Afghanistan, and how we could do it better? Or what we are doing in Afghanistan at all?



As with the Pentagon Papers, the White House is furious with the publication of the leaks:


To some extent, bloggers have already observed many times over that Wikileaks, in its ability to transcend national borders through the internet, is a deeper, more meaningful development in an already recognized and growing phenomenon, and that it represents something even more important:


In media history up to now, the press is free to report on what the powerful wish to keep secret because the laws of a given nation protect it. But Wikileaks is able to report on what the powerful wish to keep secret because the logic of the Internet permits it. This is new.



I'm not sure how comprehensively accurate that statement is. The late Spring Gaza flotillas were reported by a rather large, somewhat interlocking group of bloggers from dozens, perhaps scores of nations. Bloggers from Malaysia to Ireland to Alaska covered three flotilla groups or individual vessels, tracking and writing about them in real time, using public GPS shipping tracking tools, live-feed video, twitter, texting and cell phone cameras. All this was done right into the face of obvious and publicly declared attempts by one of the supposedly most vaunted electronic warfare military organizations on the planet. After the Israeli military destroyed or confiscated millions of dollars worth of personal computers, cell phones, cameras and video recorders, flash cards smuggled out of Israeli jails inside of human bodies emerged within days to counter the false IDF narrative.


Iranian resistors seem to be capable of working around internet restrictions erected by the Iranian government. Coverage of the BP oil spill, especially where it is now beginning to cross borders in the Gulf of Mexico, is somewhat trans-national.


Just as when the U.S. Government lashed back at those who showed them to be liars in the Pentagon Papers case, so now, the U.S. Government is just beginning to lash out at those who are showing contemporary policies and actions to be both clearly illegal and downright stupid. When the White House push-back gets mobilized this coming week, will a new Sen. Mike Gravel emerge, to challenge the imperiousness of the current president and his advisors?

Andrew Breitbart's Next Target? - Oliver Stone


Since Oliver Stone confronted Bill Maher in late June, on Palestinian rights, on Maher's show, I've been waiting to see where the push-back would come from. We need wait no longer. Andrew Breitbart, desperate to regain his creds, appears to be ready to lead the attack.


At about 1:00 a.m. Monday, EDT, Breitbart's site, Big Hollywood, picked up on Alana Goodman's 9:00 p.m. EDT story at the far-right site, Newsbusters, which opens with:


Director Oliver Stone belittled the Holocaust during a shocking interview with the Sunday Times today, claiming that America's focus on the Jewish massacre was a product of the "Jewish domination of the media."


The director also defended Hitler and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and railed against the "powerful lobby" of Jews in America.



The Times only allows subscribers to view their full articles. The article was written by Camilla Long.


What's Breitbart's Big Hollywood site trying to turn this into? And who else is picking up on the story, and where it may lead? The Charlotte Conservative News is running the Alana Goodman piece almost in entirety. It may be time to start a timeline. Breitbart involvement timelines in the O'Keefe and Shirley Sherrod fiction events are fascinating.


I'm ready for Breitbart, smacked down pretty thoroughly last week, to make a move into new territory, away from his anti-Black racism. Stone is verdant territory for Breitbart's methods of taking advantage of cutouts to distance himself - at least in his own mind - from the originators of the stuff he likes to take credit for.


Stone's work has always been all over the map. I've never discovered a unifying element in his takes on history, politics, social mores or film making. There are no lack of documentaries that compare Stalin to Hitler. Stone's 10-part series isn't about that, though, even as his critics suggest otherwise. From all I can tell, Stone's series will be more Howard Zinnish than Kumbaya with Fidel, Hugo and Mahmoud.


Stone's upcoming Showtime documentary is about under-reported events in mid-20th century American history. It has been targeted since January by the far right. Articles from the far right press on Stone's newest TV effort center on terms that point out Stone's interest in Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and so on. The term "belittling the Holocaust" is Goodman's, not Stone's.


Essentially, regarding the "belittling," Stone said in the Camilla Long piece, "Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30 [million killed]."


I'm not sure why this is belittling the Holocaust, as it is true in terms of numbers of people killed, if not addressing those numbers as population percentages. Since shortly after the end of World War II, some portrayals of Eastern European deaths caused by conflict between 1939 and 1945 have been criticized for not being Holocaust-centric enough. American journalist and writer, Alexander Werth, may have been the first to observe this, in updated editions of his masterpiece, Russia at War 1941 to 1945. The official position of the USSR on how to deal with why the Nazis killed whom and when has always been suspect because of Katyn and the Soviet system's own holocaust against so many of their own citizens. The Soviet position that had Hitler been given more time, he would have turned to Slavs and others after he had liquidated all Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses has resonance, based on captured Nazi documents from the war.


Stone's statements about Jewish influence in American media are the closest to real trouble I can find in these articles. The influence is pervasive. And it is often wonderful. Jewish voices like Amy Goodman, Phil Weiss and Glenn Greenwald would probably like to affirm Stone's message in his upcoming documentary.


Stone fails to describe what he sees accurately. The Jews he may be referring to probably don't represent where Judaism is going in the 21st century. He should have taken more time to define this influence for what it is, a sub-set of anything that can be identified as "Jewish influence." I'm not about to claim the generals in Myanmar represent Buddhism, anymore than I'm ready to claim militant Zionist expansionism's enablers who are Jewish represent Judaism.


Is there a move afoot to try to get Stone's series cancelled? Some are trying to get Sarah Palin's Alaska reality series cancelled, so?


Is Breitbart man enough to attack Oliver Stone more openly than his hit piece Sunday night might suggest?


We'll see.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chinese-Language Animation of Palin as Gun-toting, Dope-smoking, Pole-Dancing Bimbo Going Viral

Wonkette picked up on this Youtube Saturday evening. Chinese, it is most likely out of Taiwan or Hong Kong. The script, translated into English, is rather bland. The accompanying images, however, in the video are humorous, reaching well beyond the usual news channel snark.


Here's the script:


Sarah Palin was a virtual unknown, even in the US, when John McCain picked her as his vice-presidential running mate in August 2008.


But after parting ways with McCain, Palin has since become the standard bearer of the Republican Party and the conservative right in the United States.


Her opinions are sought after by a highly respected broadcast news organization.


Her family life is the subject of much fascination. There have been rumors her daughter and future son-in-law could feature in a reality TV show.


With her rising political profile, Sarah Palin has waded into New York City politics and in the process, invented new words. She compares herself to William Shakespeare.


She has used her popularity to raise US$1.3 million so far this year for her political action committee, SarahPAC.


This fund-raising largess has raised speculation that Sarah Palin could be preparing to run against President Barack Obama in 2012.


If she wins, that would indicate the American people have "refudiated" Barack Obama and chosen conservative values.



Here's the video:

hat tip - Alaska WTF

Gov. Howard Dean - FOX News is Racist



Chris Wallace, rather than refute Gov. Dean about FOX hyping the NAACP-bashing, Black Panther-bashing and Glenn Beck racism the network is so steeped in.

PA Arts Sunday - Music Evoked by the BP Gulf Oil Spill

PA has already posted music about the ongoing environmental holocaust in the Gulf of Mexico. Here's a compilation of more Youtube videos of music inspired by artists' sadness, frustration and desire to express their despair:

Classical composer, Peter Vamos:


A Hole in the Ocean
:


Under Control:


You've Killed the Gulf of Mexico:


BP Oil Song #4:


A powerful photo montage, set to Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Member of Group That Will Perform at EAFB at the End of the Month Escapes Flaming Crash Today



The pilot, Cpt. Brian Crews, has been a member of the Snowbirds, the RCAF aerobatic team that will perform alongside the USAF Thunderbirds next weekend at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Here's an article on the crash. He's in the hospital, but will be OK.

Tony Hayward to Resign from BP Before Tuesday


From the Telegraph:

The chief executive of BP, Tony Hayward, is finalising the details of his imminent exit from BP this weekend as the oil giant prepares to make an announcement on the chief executive's future possibly within the next 48 hours.

After a weekend of detailed negotiations over Mr Hayward's severance package, it now appears almost certain that he will announce his departure ahead of BP's half year results on Tuesday.


The Independent, in a more recent story, isn't so sure:

Industry sources said that Mr Hayward has told the board he is prepared to announce his departure on Tuesday, when the oil giant reveals half-year results and estimates for the cost of the oil spill which killed 11 men.


The lives of many will be on Hayward's soul.

Shannyn Moore and AKM on the Nicole Sandler Show from Netroots Nation - TriG



hat tip to Palingates, where they're discussing this segment heatedly, and in detail, not necessarily agreeing with Shannyn and AKM.

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23rd Garden Pictures

Dinner stuff: a beet, mint, potatoes, smoked and frozen Copper River Sockeye salmon


Closeup of the rather large beet


Stupice tomatoes. We've already eaten about 40 of them.


Purple Hungarian peppers


The bounty: broccoli, radishes. beets, carrots and zucchini


Two five-foot-tall chard plants


Corn starting to mature


A purple poppy


Tiny green beans. They need more sun.

five-foot-tall dill plants


Potato flowers


A wheel barrow full of future compost


A lilly flower amidst other flowers from Judy's rock garden border

Brave New Films California Senate Ad Featuring Palin

Guy Convicted of Rape for Consensual Sex with Woman of Different Religion

Israeli citizen, Sabbar Kashur goes by the name of Dudu. In Israel, Dudu is often a diminutive or nickname for David. The slimeball is married. Two years ago, he talked an Israeli woman into having sex with him. Both agree it was consensual.

The woman is Jewish. Dudu isn't. She thought he was when they had consensual sex. When she found out he wasn't Jewish, she went to the cops.

Dudu has now been convicted of rape:

The prosecution first claimed that the complainant actively and significantly objected to the events, but in the course of the trial the young woman testified that she had agreed to the action because she had thought that the person in question was a Jew. In light of that the indictment was amended, and the defendant was accused of rape and indecent actions by way of fraud.


Liberal Israeli commentator, Gideon Levy writes:

Sabbar Kashur wanted to be a person, a person like everybody else. But as luck would have it, he was born Palestinian. It happens. His chances of being accepted as a human being in Israel are nil. Married and a father of two, he wanted to work in Jerusalem, his city, and maybe also have an affair or a quickie on the side. That happens too.

He knew that he had no chance with the Jews, so he adopted another name for himself, Dudu.

The Israeli blog Promised Land observed on Tuesday:

The main reason for which the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder notorious Kach party, was kicked out of the Knesset in the 80’s was the set of racist bills he tried to pass in the Israeli parliament. One of the most well known of them was intended to make sexual relations between Arab and Jews a criminal offense. In his verdict verifying the Knesset’s decision not to let Kahana run again for election, Meir Shamgar, the president of the Supreme Court, wrote that Kahane’s actions were reminding “the worst harms that were imposed upon our people.”

These are different times.

Yes, these are different times. Right now, the new Knesset is attempting to pass legislation that could de-Judaize the majority of American Jews. Presumably, should these people declared non-Jews by Israeli rabbinical authority present themselves to young women in Israel, on some visit there, as being authentic Jews, they could suffer the same fate as the sleazy opportunist, Sabar "Dudu" Kashur.

On Levy's point that "
His chances of being accepted as a human being in Israel are nil," so he took on a nickname that made him less of an outsider, there are many examples in the USA of people who wanted to be accepted, changing their names:

Issur Danielovich became Kirk Douglas.
Hedwig Keisler became Hedy Lamarr
Myron Wallechinsky became Mike Wallace
Arthur Rosenberg became Tony Randall
Judith Tuvim became Judy Holliday
Zvi Mosheh (Hirsh) Skikne became Laurence Harvey
Bernard Schwatz became Tony Curtis
Tatiana Josivovna Chernova Blacker became Tina Louise

....and so on.

I admire all of these American Jewish artists. Should I admire them less because they felt compelled for one reason or another to take up a name that made them feel less uncomfortable in an America that was often hostile to Jewish Americans?

The case of Dudu Kashur isn't unique. Consensual casual sex has its pitfalls. HIV is certainly one of them.

I'd sure hate to have to be a sex educator in Israel. Or Wasilla.

I suspect Kashur might win his appeal.

Emily Henochowicz, Gave an Eye for Justice. Now She Gives Us a Song

Emily Henochowicz, the talented young Cooper Union college art student, who lost an eye in a May 31st demonstration at the Qalandiya checkpoint (her offense - holding a Turkish flag), has written a song. It is a plea for justice for Palestinians.

Emily was shot, almost point-blank, in the eye by an Israeli soldier. She's lucky she wasn't killed. In her recovery, Emily has shown remarkable courage, durability and restraint toward those who robbed her of half of what a visual artist needs most - eyesight.


She continues to produce new images, posted at her web site, Thirsty Pixels. Yesterday, Emily posted a song there, and on YouTube. Just below the song, Emily makes an appeal:


Also, if someone could remix this or re-sing this with piano, that would be brilliant.


Hopefully, one of the many talented musicians who inhabit the world of Alaska's progressive blogs, can come up with Emily's request. Here's her song:

Susie Kneedler and Phil Weiss have transcribed part of Emily's lyrics:


In Palestine, oh I miss you Palestine.


And you know I think back to the memory of my grandparents in Poland


And I think of what they suffered through in Europe. It makes me sad


I think they would be sad how all those Jews who died in the Holocaust would be so very sad


If they knew that this is how their memory was being used


Oh-oh, in Palestine


It’s fascist what they’re doing


It is ethnic cleansing what they’re doing


It is just as bad as what had happened to them


Don’t they see?


Don’t they see?


If they don’t want people to be anti-Semitic, then they better act like good Jews!


They can’t say that they are moral when this is what they do!


In Palestine


An Andrew Sullivan Reader's Description of Palin's TriG Conversation with her Doctor - Updated

I was reading The Daily Dish this morning, working on Part Two of the JounoList story, when I came across this submission to Andrew Sullivan, regarding a possible conversation between Palin and Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson:

Palin: My water broke, and I'm having contractions. I want to give this speech, then fly to the hospital in Wasilla.

Doctor: You should stay in Texas and go to the hospital. Due to your age, your pregnancy is considered high-risk and you could have complications during delivery.

Palin: I don't care.

Doctor: Your baby has been diagnosed with Down's Syndrome and could have other problems, and it's very important that you be in a facility that handles high-risk deliveries when he is born.

Palin: I don't care.

Doctor: If your water broke, your baby is at risk of infection until he is delivered.

Palin:
I don't care.

Doctor: Since this is your fifth pregnancy, labor could progress very quickly and you could have the baby at any time.

Palin: I don't care.

Doctor: If you went into labor on the flight, you could disrupt all the other passengers by forcing an emergency landing.

Palin: I don't care.

Doctor: Okay, if you don't care about any of that, tell me, what the fuck is so great about the hospital in Wasilla?

Palin: It's in Alaska where there are mooses and bears.



Sullivan adds, "And where no one will ask any questions."

Gryph at The Immoral Minority has found a Youtube based upon this script:


image - Palingates

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Palin JournoList Bullshit - Part One

The latest scam worthy of an Andrew Breitbart award for journalistic integrity is now being brought out by a Glenn Beck wannabe, named Jonathan Strong. He's claiming that liberal journalists and opinion writers, when faced with McCain's choice of Palin as his running mate in late August 2008 communicated with each other, and attempted to frame a message that may have done Palin an injustice.

Good fucking grief.

Matthew Iglesias observed on Strong's move today:

I’m mentioned in Jonathan Strong’s latest exposĂ© on how liberal pundits have liberal views on politics, with today’s edition dedicated to revealing that liberals don’t like Sarah Palin.


From Iglesias' experience with Strong, it appears the latter is trying to do something similar at the end of the week to what Andrew Breitbart did at the beginning - selectively pick stuff out of context to deliver what would otherwise be an undeliverable far right meme. Breitbart's lie was that the NAACP is more racist than the Tea Party. It may have been coordinated with behind-the-scenes GOP ratfink ops. We may or may not get the Fox News JournoList stuff on that, but here's a timeline.

It didn't work very well, because it was a disgustingly racist lie.

Now, Strong, probably trying to get a better gig, is pushing another lie - that Palin was ambushed by organized Alinksy-worshipping nutcase leftists who violated the sacrosanct rules of journalistic integrity by communicating with each other. Nefariously. Ask Glenn Beck. He can diagram it on a blackboard.

I was intrigued enough by Strong's meme, that I went back through my e-mails from the first three days of the Palin candidacy announcement. I don't subscribe to many JournoList-type listserves or e-mail groups. I didn't subscribe to any back then.

What I've discovered from going through the e-mails is that I had the same reaction Shannyn Moore had to the announcement, when Palin called in to the Bob & Mark show to tell them she had been "chosen." Moore was in the radio studio.

Moore, quite rationally, asked Palin, "You accepted?"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Looking for Lisa Murkowski Signs in the Valley

I just returned from a chore run to Lowe's in Wasilla. I decided to count Lisa Murkowski vs. Joe Miller signs.

Lisa Murkowski - one

Joe Miller - 21

Here's Valley GOP stalwart (and friend) John Klapperich's fence. He's got three of the 21 signs. John owns KENI KBYR and KMBQ radio station, and has been President of the Board of Directors of the Wasilla Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps more importantly, the Miller signs on John's fence are right where the Murkowski signs were six years ago.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Where is NOAA on This? - Exploding Water Samples from the Gulf!



Hat tip - Kelly Walters @ Just a Girl from Homer

Love Boat or Hate Boat?

Alan Grayson to the GOP - "May God Have Mercy on Your Souls!"

Can Scott McAdams Take Lisa Murkowski’s U. S. Senate Seat – With Sarah Palin’s Help?

U.S. Senate candidate, Sitka Alaska's progressive mayor, Democrat Scott McAdams, trails U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski in polls. But Sarah Palin has endorsed Murkowski's challenger, Tea Party Express favorite Joe Miller in the August 24th GOP primary. Palin has a lot of prestige riding on being able to pull off this win. But, as we will see in 2010, Palin's ability to pick primary winners might not work out so well for her picks in November.


Monday, candidate Miller released a batch of documents showing he had left his Fairbanks City Attorney job under less of a cloud than had been suspected by many. This comes as the Tea Party Express has sent chairwoman Amy Kremer to Alaska to seriously put the upset of Murkowski onto the front burner here in Alaska, and nationwide:


Kremer and other Tea Party Express leaders were in Anchorage to talk about their support for Miller's Republican primary campaign against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The California-based group said the Miller-Murkowski race would be its "singular focus" between now and the Aug. 24 primary, and that it will do whatever it takes for him to win.


"You're going to see several hundred thousand dollars spent on this race in television, in radio, in get-out-the-vote efforts," said Bryan Shroyer, the political director for the Tea Party Express.



Palin has endorsed Miller over Murkowski:


"Though the media has tried to portray some sort of feud or bad blood between Lisa and myself, such is not the case," Palin wrote. "I've always wished her well, but it is my firm belief that we need a bold reformer who is not afraid to stand up to special interests and take on the tough challenges of our time."


A Palin aide said that the former Alaska governor may do an event for Miller down the line, although nothing is currently planned.


While Palin sought to downplay the idea of any ill will between the two families, it is extremely uncommon for a governor (or former governor) to endorse against an incumbent in a primary fight -- unless that incumbent is scandal-plagued or unelectable. Murkowski is neither.


This episode also fits neatly into a running storyline about the feud between the two families.


Palin defeated Murkowki's father, then-Gov. Frank Murkowski (R), in the 2006 gubernatorial primary; she also backed Lisa Murkowski's 2004 primary challenger, Mike Miller.



The Tea Party Express has made a $100,000.00 Miller ad buy, which will go a long way in Alaska's radio-TV market, with very few outlets.


Palin has a lot of local prestige riding on whether her pick wins in her home state. A loss of her buddy Miller could become a very big national story. Additionally, the local media has been covering Tea Party Express racism. Yesterday, in her Miller support appearance, Kremer was asked about Tea Party Express luminary Mark Williams' racist blog posts:



Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer, in Anchorage Monday to support Joe Miller's campaign for U.S. Senate, would not condemn her group's spokesman, Mark Williams, after his "controversial blog post about what he called "Colored People." Kremer said the post was wrong but the Tea Party Express isn't dumping him.



Hopefully, more attention will begin to come Scott McAdams' way. I've had two detailed talks with Scott in the past month. He is a fully pragmatic progressive. He is quickly transforming Sitka, one of the most beautiful little cities in Alaska, into a blue island in the Southeast Alaska political archipelago. Should Joe Miller win the GOP primary, McAdams will be attractive to the plurality of Alaskans who are registered as non-partisan or independent.


McAdams gives a dynamic stump speech that resonates powerfully in Alaska's coastal communities. He was inspired to run, back in late May, when Murkowski jumped to defend BP, and attempted to stop legislation raising the cap on spill liability from $75 million to a more realistic amount. Then Lisa attacked the EPA and its authority over clean air and clean water.


The most detailed interview with Scott yet, was by the blog The Mudflats, on June 2nd. It is certainly worth a read, and after digesting Scott's grasp of detail, you might consider donating to his campaign at ActBlue.


Here's Scott, writing about the spill liability cap in a context that looks at the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska's rural lifestyles and cultures, all in one sweep:


I don’t think $75 million dollars as far as a liability cap even pays to commemorate a spill with a memorial, let alone mitigate a spill. So, obviously I think that a $10 billion cap, if there’s $20 billion in damage that is done, then the liability needs to be covered. You can’t go in and do a contracting job, you can’t go in and build a building without a certain amount of bonding ability to be able to cover the liability. This business of keeping the cap low so that smaller oil producers can go in and explore is a very dangerous way of looking at the world, because if we’re going to allow people to come in and wildcat in our back yard and they don’t have the means to even begin to pay for a mistake…. Would you allow a contractor into your house to retile your bathroom if you didn’t think if that person cracks six of the tiles that they couldn’t afford to replace them? Of course you wouldn’t.


So why would we open up our subsistence way of life to that? What’s the value of the Inupiat culture? What’s the value of the Chu’pik the Yup’ik, the Siberian Yup’ik cultures? What’s the monetary value of the Alutiiq and others who are still facing the devastation of the Exxon Valdez oil spill? Is there a liability cap? This is critically important. This is one of the reasons I’m in this race, because I am from coastal Alaska. I learned to read, write, reason and work in a town where 85 cents on the dollar comes from commercial fishing. So, when I see a billion dollar commercial fishery, and a $750 million charter industry in Louisiana, facing peril… When I see the city of New Orleans with one of the biggest sectors in their economy being tourism, and their tourism ties right back into their cuisine and their culture as a sea port, $10 billion can’t even begin to pay down the loss. $75 million is an insult.



McAdams is an excellent public speaker. His physical presence - Scott is about 6'5" tall - is almost overwhelming, especially as he so outwardly projects a sense of curiosity, intelligence and goodwill.


Palin can't afford to lose to Lisa Murkowski. With your help, Scott McAdams can't fail to beat Joe Miller in November.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cenk Uygur on Palin's Most Recent Twitter Fail - Hilarious

Just When I Was About to Put the Ethan Berkowitz Bumper Sticker on the Outback....

Alaska Democratic Party primary gubernatorial candidate Ethan Berkowitz caused quite a stir with his July 6th op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News, titled, What’s Alaska’s Plan for “Beyond BP”? Yesterday, at a fundraiser for U.S. House AK-AL candidate Harry Crawford and U.S. Senate candidate Scott McAdams, a number of people related to me that they've changed their primary votes from Ethan to state Senator Hollis French. I was a bit surprised, and asked "Why?"

For the most part, people just didn't think Ethan gets how ridiculously easy the oil companies would manipulate the whole "revisiting ACES" process, from proposals to attempting to get legislation going, to finalizing it, to then dealing with a new, untried negotiating regime with companies known to do almost anything to subvert honest policy making in Alaska.

Some had read Sean Cockerham's excellent, long July 14th ADN article on the early stages of an uproar caused by Berkowitz' op-ed.

A few people at the fundraiser had either listened to Shannyn Moore's broadcast encounter with Ethan last Wednesday on KUDO, or had downloaded the podcasts. It made for some great radio. Moore was incredibly well prepared to discuss the subject, and even though Ethan hadn't announced ahead of time that he was calling in to Moore's show, she was more than ready. The encounter reminded me of my comparison of Shannyn to Ginger Rogers:

I've told Shannyn she reminds me in her sassy comebacks to some of Ginger Rodgers' lines in the great series Rodgers did with Fred Astaire, between 1933 and 1939. It has been hard for Moore to keep on coming back, looking for a chance to do what she loves - talk radio from a progressive viewpoint. She's had to struggle to prove herself capable of capturing a market dominated by guys far less adept, far less knowledgeable, and who couldn't spell "nuance," even if they knew what it meant.

It's like the line Faith Whittesley created, to describe how Rodgers dealt with Astaire. "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels."


Ethan was all but cornered. Shannyn was testy at times, but deservedly so. Here's a link to the show:

Hour Two (Ethan comes in in the 20th minute of the segment)

Hour Three

Late this morning, The Mudflats posted a long article on this subject. Usually articles there are signed. This one merely has been submitted by "The Editors." Hmmmm....

A crucial paragraph is this one:

And, even though Palin and Berkowitz passed each other in the revolving door of Juneau, as she was coming in and he was going out, it looks like he picked up at least one annoying trait from her – how to throw his friends under the bus. That’s what he did to every Democratic legislator this week. In trying to criticize the work of his opponent Senator Hollis French for finally getting Alaskans a fair share for our oil in 2007, he also dissed every other Democrat in the legislature. And we think that’s pretty sad.


All this, as Jon Blair, Ethan's campaign manager, sent me an email one minute ago:

A new poll shows Ethan Berkowitz maintaining a nearly 30-point lead in the Democratic primary for Governor. The data was collected by Ivan Moore Research from July 6-11, 2010 and had a margin of error of +/- 5.3% (336 respondents). Ivan Moore Research has previously worked in an official capacity for both Berkowitz and Hollis French.

If the primary election were held today, voters choosing the ballot containing Democratic candidates would be voting for:

Ethan Berkowitz 43.1%
Hollis French 14.6%
Other Non-Democratic Candidates 13.9%
Undecided 28.4%

This new data follows similar research independently released by Strategies 360 in mid-May. That poll showed Berkowitz at 49% and Hollis French at 17%.


Note the date on the poll - the week before the op-ed.

Time for a new poll. This one was DOA. Many of Ivan's are next to worthless, anyway.