Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Update on Molly Ivins..

I was saddened to read this post on Daily Kos this morning on the condition of Molly Ivins. It appears she is losing her battle with cancer.

Molly Ivins is an example of what a journalist should individual who is willing to speak truth to power. Not many of them around anymore.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Molly.


I just learned that Molly passed away this afternoon at her home in Texas. She was 62. May this courageous woman rest in peace.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Three Senators visit New Orleans...

Today's New York Times has this article on the visit to New Orleans yesterday of three U.S. Senators to investigate why the Bush Administration is doing to little to help citizens displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Senators Lieberman, Obama and Landreau held a hearing in the French Quarter.

A number of speakers at the hearing, including the Mayor, pointed out that the Administration is more efficient at getting money to Iraq than to New Orleans. The fact that Bush made no mention of Hurricane Katrina in the State of the Union is leading many to conclude that the people in New Orleans who lost their homes will soon be forgotten.

Lieberman who heads up the Homeland Security Committee is not inclined to hold hearings on what the Administration has been doing. I guess he would not want to do anything to offend his new-found Republican friends.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Justice delayed in Mississippi...

This July 2005 photo shows Thomas Moore at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, holding a photograph of himself (right) and his younger brother, Charles. The small photo was taken in 1964, shortly before Charles Moore and Henry Dee were killed by Ku Klux Klansmen.

A federal grand jury has indicted 71-year-old James Ford Seale in the case.

This story caught my attention because I was a young man working in neighboring Northeast Louisiana in 1964. It is difficult to comprehend the level of racism that existed in that part of the world at that time. Some horrible crimes were perpetrated against black people.

(Photo: David Ridgen / AP)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A profile in courage...

Photo shows Senator James Webb (D-Va.) preparing to respond to the State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

In his prepared text, he said the middle class is "losing its place at the table." He also commented that "the president took us into this war recklessly."

What a great speech he delivered. I hope Hillary was listening. A lot of people in the blogosphere are suggesting that Webb would be a good VP candidate for 2008.

In the meantime, our junior Senator from Massachusetts has decided that he will not be a candidate for President this time around. A sensible decision. I still believe that if he had not flip-flopped on the Iraq War issue he would have beaten Bush in 04.

(Photo: Melina Mara / The Washington Post

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Orleans ignored in State of the Union...

This morning I read in the online version of the Times-Picayune that 300 students have been refused admission to New Orleans schools because of a lack of classroom space and teachers. This is just an example of the terrible social problems confronting New Orleans and surrounding communities.

Unfortunately, New Orleans seems to have disappeared off the national radar screen. Not a single mention in the State of the Union address last night. I keep thinking that American taxpayers would want the rebuilding of schools in New Orleans to have a higher priority than the schools in Baghdad.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Peace march on Saturday...

Hanan Shawar, an activist with CodePink, takes part in a rally in Monterey, California, against the escalation of the war in Iraq.

Americans angered by Bush's plans for escalation will flood the streets of Washington on Saturday, January 27, in a massive national peace march organized by United For Peace and Justice.

During the Vietnam War more families were directly affected because of the military draft...and that would explain why there was more grassroots involvement in the anti-war movement. This time it would appear we are all too preoccupied to be bothered with any kind of involvement in anti-war demonstrations.

(Photo: David Royal / AP)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Congratulations to the Colts...

A lot of disappointment around New England this morning over the defeat of the Patriots last night. Anyway, it's just football! I'm pleased Tony Dungy finally gets to take a team to the Super Bowl. He's really one of my favorite coaches.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Best wishes to Jane Hamsher!

One of my very favorite bloggers, Jane Hamsher, the founder of FireDogLake, is recovering from breast cancer surgery. I join her many friends and admirers in wishing her a full and speedy recovery.

In the meantime I've been feeling better and hope to resume blogging on a regular basis this coming week. It seems like more than a few of us in the blogosphere have had health challenges lately. Could it be the stress of the Bush Administration!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tragedy beyond comprehension...

This photo from Baghdad, shows a mother comforting her daughter injured in Tuesday's bomb blasts.

Twin car bombs tore through a leading Baghdad university Tuesday as students left classes, killing at least 65 students, in the deadliest attack in Iraq in nearly two months.

I keep thinking what it would be like if bombs exploded at the entrance to one of our local universities, such as Boston University, and 65 students were killed. It is hard to really comprehend what is now happening in Baghdad. The situation has reached the boiling point and there is nothing anyone in Washington can do about it.

(Photo: Karim Kadim / AP)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The killing goes on...

More than 100 killed today in Baghdad...many of them university students.

Many doctors and academics are leaving the country. If this goes on there is not going to be much to fight about left in Iraq. And now we are told that the guy who came up with Bush's "surge" plan knows nothing about the Middle East or military strategies. It's time for Bush to tell those Weekly Standard guys to go to hell.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A lonely fight against the war...

In downtown Portland, Maine, a man weighs in on President Bush's plan to send 21,500 US troops to Iraq. He joined activists nationwide on Thursday to protest Bush's new plan.

A new poll says that seventy percent of Americans oppose sending more troops to Iraq.

I participated in some of the anti-war demonstrations during the Vietnam war. At that time huge crowds took to the streets because of the draft...and the fact that many middle-class families were directly impacted by the war. This time it is different. There is almost no anti-war activity on the college campuses.

(Photo: Robert F. Bukaty / AP)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thousands march in New Orleans to protest violent crime...

In an unprecedented display of civic outrage in New Orleans over violent crime, as many as 3,000 people marched on City Hall yesterday, demanding that city leaders stem the tide of violence, as well as calling on ordinary citizens to help make New Orleans safer.

Organized in the wake of a string of almost daily murders in the new year, the protest channeled the city’s rising anger and fear.

The police seem helpless to do anything about the crime problem. It is a very sad situation. If the crime wave continues it will be difficult for the city to attract major conventions.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bush wants war with Iran...

Had promised myself not to watch the Bush speech last night...thinking I would just be stressed listening to the same old warmongering. In the end I did tune in.

The line that caught my attention was the not-so-veiled threat to punish Syria and Iran for interference in Iraq. So much for the diplomacy advocated by the Iraq Study Group. It seems pretty obvious that Bush and his NeoCon supporters are setting the stage for an attack on Iran's nuclear sites.

If the Democrats in Congress have any spine (which I doubt) they will pass a resolution advising the President the he'll be impeached if the starts another pre-emptive war with any other Middle East country. Of course it is not going to happen. And our Imperial President will do whatever he wants to do. We really are screwed.


Robert Fisk provides an analysis of Bush's new strategy in today's Independent (UK)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Orleans: Deadliest city in the United States...

Lately I haven't written much about New Orleans. Recent reports of the increase in crime have been most depressing. Last week there was the story of the senseless murder of the wife of a young doctor. This young couple had been dedicated to helping their own community. You can read about them in this Op Ed in todays New York Times.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Honoring another Fallen Hero...

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders form an honor guard outside a funeral home in Racine, Wisconsin, during the visitation for Army Pvt. Evan A. Bixler.

Bixler, 21, was killed in Iraq on Christmas Eve. This past weekend six more soldiers were killed in Iraq.

I regularly post photos reminding us of our Fallen Heroes here at this site. Their extraordinary sacrifices get little attention in the mainstream media.

(Photo: Mark Hertzberg / AP)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Vietnam revisited...

This past weekend I found myself shutting out all the media discussion of "the surge" in troops that Bush is planning for Iraq. It's all so depressing...and it's reminiscent of LBJ and Vietnam.

What I find so disappointing is that Bush is taking his advice from the same NeoCons who got us into this war in the first place. In my view, this war represents one of the worst foreign policy decisions in the history of the United States. The people who promoted this war, despite the opposition of people around the world, should be discredited at this stage.

In the meantime, there is not much any of us can do. On this issue Bush seems to have tuned out the American people a long time ago.

Friday, January 05, 2007

We're making progress!

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), pictured here with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California (left) and his wife (center), is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress.

Ellison took his oath of office on a copy of the Koran once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

Note that two "milestones" are reflected in this photo.

(Photo: Lawrence Jackson / AP)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Regime change in Massachusetts...

While the national focus today is on the changes in Washington here is Massachusetts we have the inauguration of a new Governor - Deval Patrick. This is an historic event since Patrick is only the second African-American to be elected as a Governor in the United States.

Most of my liberal/progressive friends have big hopes for the Patrick Administration. I have more of a wait-and-see attitude. Maybe I'm too cynical about politicians who make a lot of promises! Anyway, here's hoping our new Governor is very successful in providing leadership for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Photo shows a Jordanian woman crying at a protest in Amman against the execution of Saddam Hussein. Jordan's professional associations held demonstrations against his execution.

Sunni Muslims across the Arab world in places like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt were angered by images of Hussein's final moments.

The execution was carried out by thugs from the Mahdi Army, the militia group loyal to Mugtada al-Sadr, the Shiite firebrand cleric. Unfortunately, the execution is viewed by many Sunnis as a sectarian lynching. How many of our young American soldiers will pay a price for this botched-up execution? Maybe the gloating by the wingnuts is premature.

(Photo: Mohammad Abu Ghosh / AP)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!

In touring around the blogosphere this morning I noticed that Riverbend has a new post describing her reaction to the execution of Saddam Hussein. A very different perspective from what you'll get from Fox Cable News or CNN. One clue: she refers to the execution as a "lynching."