Thursday, January 31, 2008

The war continues to take a heavy toll...

In Baghdad, relatives comfort the father of Alaa Abdul-Karim al-Fartoosi, a 29-year-old Iraqi television cameraman who was killed in a roadside bomb explosion in Balad. Reporters Without Borders say at least 207 journalists and media workers have been killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003.

This is another story that gets little coverage in our mainstream media. So many of the media casualties have been Iraqis themselves. As I noted recently, the presidential candidates scarcely mention the war...except for the Republicans who seem determined to keep it going.

(Photo: Karim Kadim / AP)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The war goes on unnoticed...

Iraqis attend a funeral ceremony in a suburb of Tikrit. Eighteen people were killed and 22 were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated himself inside a funeral tent.

The war goes on almost unnoticed by the mainstream media. And the issue is pretty much ignored in the Democratic primaries...which is good news for Hillary Clinton. With the economy tanking maybe people will start to talk about the cost of the war.

(Photo: Bassem Daham / AP)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King...

This morning I found myself thinking about the first time I came to know of Dr. Martin Luther King. I had arrived in the early Sixties as a young Irishman in Bible Belt country (North Louisiana). One of the first things I noticed was the large roadside billboards claiming to show King attending a meeting of the Communist Party.

It would be difficult for people who are not familiar with what was happening at that time in the Deep South to fully understand the hatred and bigotry directed towards Dr. King. I was not one bit surprised when I heard that he had been shot in Memphis, Tennessee.

I can well understand why the African American community would be defensive about any statement that seemed to diminish the contribution of Dr.King...even if that statement came from someone who is considered a friend of the African American community. Put simply, Dr. King put his life on the line.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who Won Democratic Debate?

Judging by comments on various progressive blogs it would appear that most thought that both Obama and Hillary did very well last night. I game it to Obama on points...but a lot of others saw it as a Hillary win. What did you think?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What happened in New Hampshire?

The polls predicted a double-digit Obama win. During the last few days the crowds at the Obama events were twice as large as Clinton events. A friend who worked as a volunteer for Obama told me the excitement leading up to the the election was extraordinary. She compared it to the energy that surrounded the RFK campaign during the final days of his campaign. What happened?

Some are already saying that Hillary's emotional breakdown may have contributed. But would her tears be viewed favorably since she is running for the position of Commander-in-Chief?

I notice in reading comments in the progressive blogs that some are questioning the validity of the results. Suspicions regarding the voting machines.

I believe that the most likely explanation between the poll predictions and the outcome has to do with latent racism. I have done some work as a consultant in the North Country and many of the folks there are as conservative as you'll find anywhere in the Deep South.

Anyway, Barack Obama has his work cut out for himself. The Clinton Machine is only getting started. I hope he is wearing his flak jacket.


I have a feeling this election is going to get nasty. Check out this Op Ed in todday's New York Times.