Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thank you, Howard

Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist, died of a heart attack yesterday. He was 87.

Zinn was an early voice against the war in Vietnam and in his best-known book, "A People's History of the United States" (1980), he presented as heroes not the Founding Fathers (many of them were slaveholders,as Dr. Zinn pointed out) but instead the likes of the common farmers of Shays' Rebellion and the union organizers of the 1930s.

Howard Zinn was a stand-up guy and one of the few men I have ever admired.

If you want to know what an American patriot really looks like, look to him.


One of Howrd Zinn's best pieces:

The State of the Union (in B flat)

We don't need you to tell us what the state of the union is, Mr. Obama.
We're living in it.
Maybe you should ask us instead.

You want to know what the state of the union is?
It stinks.
And you can’t blame Bush anymore.
This god-awful mess is all yours, Baby.

What have you accomplished in your first year?
It’s an impressive list.
Here are just a few of the highlights:

1. You’ve escalated unlawful wars in Pakistan and Yemen.

2. You’ve continued the unlawful war in Iraq and you’ve escalated the unlawful war in Afghanistan.

3. You’ve escalated rhetoric to expand unlawful war in Iran, including an official policy of first-strike use of nuclear weapons if we think Iran might possibly be a threat. Maybe. Someday.

4. You’ve refused to prosecute torturers and other war criminals and in so doing have become an accessory after the fact in their crimes.

5. You have claimed the authority to torture, imprison or even murder American citizens upon pronouncing them ineligible for the inalienable rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

6. You’ve continued and expanded the shamefully unlawful and tyrannical practices of indefinite detention and rendition.

7. You’ve facilitated the largest transfer of taxpayer wealth to the elite corporate class in American history. No easy task, that.

8. You’ve increased the already-bloated military budget to even more staggering heights while neglecting everything else.

9. You’ve increased the militarization of law enforcement to the extent that we’ll now have the same trigger-happy nitwits patrolling our streets as we have indiscriminately gunning down innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

10. And, oh yes, now you’ve apparently invaded Haiti.

People are unemployed.
They’re losing their homes.
They can’t afford health care, and more and more of those troops you and your cronies use once then throw away, are living on the street.
Our roads and bridges are in ill repair, half our kids can’t read and the other half can’t find America on a world map.
Fire/rescue/EMS resources are strapped, the cops are out of control, and the Supreme Court has decided that while Guantanamo prisoners are not “persons,” corporations are.

That’s the state of the fucking union, Mr. President.

And it stinks.

Thanks a lot.


Show Me Where It Says THAT in the Constitution....

"Barack Obama, like George Bush before him, has claimed the authority to order American citizens murdered based solely on the unverified, uncharged, unchecked claim that they are associated with Terrorism and pose "a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests." They're entitled to no charges, no trial, no ability to contest the accusations."

- Glenn Greenwald

Read the rest here:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Better Check those Pants...

"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank. "

- Candidate Barack Obama, October 27, 2007.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It Only Hurts When I Laugh...

Or maybe I have to laugh because it hurts.

Anyway, here are a few comments about the economy that are going around.

Maybe you've got one to add?


The economy is SO bad......

,,,I can’t even afford to pay attention

…the Crips and the Blods are car-pooling

…it’s now the Fortune 100

…I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail

…CEO’s are playing minature golf

…rich people are having to fire their nannies and learn their kids’ names

...I'd have to get a second-mortgage just to weigh myself

…at fast food joints they now say “Can you afford fries with that?”

…and Exxon-Mobile has laid off 25 Congressmen


...Instead of saying "Don't take any wooden nickels," take 'em. The lumber in them is now worth 9 cents.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Justice for ALL

This piece came across the wire this morning.
I hope you'll express your support for it.



Champaign, U.S.A./The Hague, Netherlands (19 Jan 2010). –

Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, U.S.A. has filed a Complaint with the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) in The Hague against U.S. citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales (the “Accused”) for their criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition” perpetrated upon about 100 human beings.

This term is really their euphemism for the enforced disappearance of persons and their consequent torture.

This criminal policy and practice by the Accused constitute Crimes against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute establishing the I.C.C.

The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute. Nevertheless the Accused have ordered and been responsible for the commission of I.C.C. statutory crimes within the respective territories of many I.C.C. member states, including several in Europe. Consequently, the I.C.C. has jurisdiction to prosecute the Accused for their I.C.C. statutory crimes under Rome Statute article 12(2)(a) that affords the I.C.C. jurisdiction to prosecute for I.C.C. statutory crimes committed in I.C.C. member states.

The Complaint requests (1) that the I.C.C. Prosecutor open an investigation of the Accused on his own accord under Rome Statute article 15(1); and (2) that the I.C.C. Prosecutor also formally “submit to the [I.C.C.] Pre-Trial Chamber a request for authorization of an investigation” of the Accused under Rome Statute article 15(3).

For similar reasons, the Highest Level Officials of the Obama administration risk the filing of a follow-up Complaint with the I.C.C. if they do not immediately terminate the Accused’s criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition,” which the Obama administration has continued to implement.

The Complaint concludes with a request that the I.C.C. Prosecutor obtain International Arrest Warrants for the Accused from the I.C.C. in accordance with Rome Statute articles 58(1)(a), 58(1)(b)(i), 58(1)(b)(ii), and 58(1)(b)(iii).

In order to demonstrate your support for this Complaint you can contact the I.C.C. Prosecutor by letter, fax, or email as indicated below.

Francis A. Boyle

Professor of International Law

Law Building

504 East Pennsylvania Avenue

Champaign, Illinois 61820

Phone: 217-333-7954

Fax: 217-244-1478

Monday, January 18, 2010


Imagine this:

Somebody kidnaps you and transports you to some foreign place for the purpose of forcing you into prostitution. They plan to sell your body as they please and film the episodes, so they can sell that, too, profiting twice on your enslavement.

But, somehow, you escape.

You get away and make it to safety.

But the ordeal isn’t over yet.

Your kidnappers claim you owe them money.

You owe them for room and board while you were a prisoner.

You owe them for the window you broke during your escape.

And you owe them the money they would have made from using you for prostitution and pornography. They want you to pay them 90% of your gross income – indefinitely.

Does that little scenario sound like a twisted trip to Bizarro World?

Does it seem outrageous?



Guess again.

That’s pretty much the deal Haiti got – thanks, largely to the Good Old USA, --Land of the Free, Home of the Brave – which supported the outrageous demand by Haiti’s former master, France.

See, Haiti is the only country in history to have been founded by a successful slave revolt.

Indeed, the first and only successful slave revolt in history.

And they’ve been punished for it ever since.

There’s more to the story.

A lot more.

It’ll make you sick.

And it should make you angry.

Read about it here:


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oh, Yeah? I Got Ya Chrissmiss Story Right Here...

Felicia Lettieri, a 72 year old grandmother visiting the Big Apple from Italy, and half a dozen members of her clan, grabbed a couple of midtown cabs on Christmas Eve.

Unfortunately, when Ms. Lettieri got out of her cab, she left her purse and another bag behind. In that bag was $21K, some expensive jewelry, and some of her gang’s passports.

Can you feel that sinking sensation she must have felt when she discovered her loss?


Me, too.

Gone, Baby.

She went to the cops.

Oddly enough, they didn’t taser her.

But they did tell her “not to get her hopes up” about getting her money back.

Maybe they figured that was shock enough.

Hey, this is America, man.

Finders, keepers…

But just then, a White Knight rode in to save the day.


He wasn’t exactly a knight; just a part-time cabbie, trying to hack it through medical school.

I imagine having an extra $21K wouldn’t have hurt him any.

We’ll never know, because when he found Ms. Lettieri’s stuff in his cab, he never bothered to count it.

He found her ID’s and got a pal to drive him out to her Patchogue address, 60 miles away, so he could return her stuff to her.

Finding nobody home, he left her a note with his phone number: “Don’t worry about your money. It’s safe.”

Then, when the good lady called, the cabbie drove out a second time and returned the lost items. And he refused to accept the reward she offered him.

Here’s a regular guy who went out of his way to save the Christmas of someone he didn’t even know.

Just because it was the right thing to do.

The decent thing.

The kind thing.

Makes you kind of misty, doesn't it?

Make a great movie. Time was, Jimmy Stewart would have played The Cabbie and Frank Capra would have directed it...

Except, the reason our hero returned the goods and refused the reward was that he’s a devout Muslim, whose mother had always taught him, “Be honest and work hard.”

The cabbie’s name is Mohammad “Mukul” Asaduzzaman.

From Bangladesh, originally.

Not many “news” papers ran this story.

Quite a few of those that did OMITTED the cabbie’s name, and the fact that he is a Muslim. (We can’t have any Muslims portrayed as NON-terrorists, now, can we?)

So this is a guy some people would round up and incarcerate “indefinitely,” without counsel, without habeus corpus, no hits, no runs.

Just errors.

On the other hand, maybe they should lock him up.

He clearly doesn’t understand how we do things in America, and guys like him ---- hell, they ruin the class curve.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Of Presidents and Kings

A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

So they killed him.

And I wept when they did.

King had reached a point where he had become a global thinker. He had been to the mountain, all right, and it gave him the perspective he needed to understand the connection between lynching black people in America and napalming brown people in Vietnam.

If you think that President Obomba,– is the heir apparent to Dr. King, then you haven’t got a clue. King didn’t take to the streets and risk his life so that this double-talking, double-crossing corporate pimp could preach global war, and don’t imagine for a second that the good Dr. King would smile with satisfaction that this particular corporate pimp happens to be Black – sort of.

That would be the supreme insult to his memory.

It was “the content of their character” King wanted people to be judged by and not “the color of their skin,” remember?

As for the President’s character, I believe he’s revealed it. He is either an abject coward, or a bullying psychopath – just like his predecessor.

Either way, about the only similarity between King and Obama is in both having two legs.

Except King stood up on his.


"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it."

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tanks, Man. Tanks a lot.

I don't who this guy was.
Or what has happened to him.
Maybe he's okay, hiding out.
Maybe he's in some black hole for the rest of his life.
Or maybe they ended his life.

There were a million protesters there, they say.
A million.
A million unarmed protesters.
And so there came the ever-predictable conclusion when there's a conflict between people who have guns and people who don't.

I look at this photo and it makes me weep in a deep aching part of myself
that mourns for us all.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

There's Blind and There's Blind...

"Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought! Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder! Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings! Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction! Be heroes in an army of construction."

-- Helen Keller, 1940

Seems like some people have perfectly good eyes, but don't see a thing.

Perfectly good ears, but don't hear a thing.

How is it possible to be deaf and blind to war, to torture, to oppression and injustice?

Those people are the one's who should have "handicapped" parking spaces.


Monday, January 11, 2010

And the Lion Shall Lie Down with the Lamb...

Not a lion.
And not a lamb.

But it's a start.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Honor Roll

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

- George Orwell

It’s simple.

But, I guess, not easy.

Tell the truth.

That’s all.

Without that, nothing else really matters.

Because anything based on lies can’t last.

Not a relationship.

Not a country.

The rich and powerful are heavily invested in lies.

They can’t afford to have you going around telling the truth.

And they have the means to stop you.

One way or another.

Given that, merely telling the truth becomes not only revolutionary, but heroic.

So be a hero.

Here’s where you can find s few others:


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You're not blind
As long as you can see with your heart.


You might be amazed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

If He Doesn't Love Horses

I'm proud of you, darlin'
Goin' out on your own
I want you to know I'll always be here
You're never alone
You've always been my
Sugar and spice
And since you're askin' me
I'll give you my best advice:

If he doesn't love horses
He can't love your heart
If he doesn't love freedom and gentle strength
Where can you start?
If he doesn't love horses
Loyal and true,
If he doesn't love horses, darlin,
He could never love you.

"If He Doesn't Love Horses"